The story is told of an Igbo man, who wanted to have a one of a kind title, one more distinguished than just the usual "chief".
As he perused a publication on our nation's founding fathers, he found that they all had a common prefix, "late", before their names. It was an elite group, an exclusive club of sorts, he liked what he saw.
The result of his intellectual pursuits, became apparent the next day at an event. He stood up to announce his donation, to every one's shock he announced " I, Sir, High Chief, Mazi, Late Cornelius Okafor, I donate the sum of Fifty thousand naira! The master of ceremonies was not sure what he had heard, and the audience all looked at him in shock, so the young man asked the chief to repeat his donation for the audience to hear properly.
From the stunned silence, the chief knew that his new title was having the desired effect, so he cleared his throat, and belted out with gusto, "I say I, Sir, High Chief, Mazi, Late Cornelius Okwudili Okafor, Ebenebe One of Umu Ego Autonomous community, will give Fifty thousand naira! He then smiled for the camera, as the audience began to laugh!
As they laughed at him, he nodded his head in appreciation, he loved the accolade, and adulation!
There are many Late Mazi Cornelius Okwudilis running amok in Nigeria today. Men with no claim to integrity, or any contribution to mankind, other than the fact that they have money. Sometimes, money made in very dubious ways!
In the eighties in Nigeria, people who wanted to buy respect, bought titles, in the nineties, they bought honourary doctorate degrees, now, they are buying dubious political titles.
I do not blame them because even people in government who have titles that are clearly defined constitutionally, are also adulterating their titles too!
We have governors being addressed as "Executive Governors" Pray is there anything like a non-executive governor? It is like saying the hot fire, or the wet water! It is the height of silliness, and idiocy!
Then you have those who were not elected, but were appointed, they go by titles like, Special Assistant, Senior Special Assistant, Special Adviser to the Senior Special Assistant! Just as the titles are ridiculous, so are the job descriptions. We have Special Adviser on the diaspora, the newest one, it must be that the ministry of Foreign Affairs is now too busy to attend to Nigerians in the diaspora. Then we have Special Assistants, and Special Advisers for job descriptions for which we already have two ministers, a "Senior Ministers, and Ministers of State!
We seem to be lost in the woods!
How many politicians do you need to change a light bulb? One to define what darkness is, one to identify it, another to determine it's size, one to identify, and define the solution, one to define the light bulb, one to buy it, one to collect the receipt, and one to pass it to the one who would fix it! And all of them would have titles designating their roles in the bulb changing exercise!
Nigeria has been subjected to hordes of Philistines who have never seen the insides of a university, but insist to be addressed as "Dr"
This ego trip is also very prominent among professional people who ought to know better. That is why we have people insisting they be called "Architect, Surveyor,Lawyer, Pharmacist, xyz! You even hear people in the police giving themselves titles like "Supol" for superintendent of police, and "Compol" for commissioner of police! No one seems to be in charge, we are like the boys on the island in William Golding's "Lord of the Flies" Basking in the light of chaos, and wallowing in the mire of lawlessness!
We are showing classic signs of a society that is deficient in intrinsic values! Money has become the be all, and end all of our people! It does not matter how the money is made, the money legitimizes the man!
We do not understand that we look like certified clowns to the rest of the civilized world. We are like monkeys dressing up like humans: a circus!
It is time to end this comedy, and tell people who do not deserve these dubious honours, that we are unto them.
MAY GOD BLESS NIGERIA FOREVER!