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Nigeria’s image and Abba Kyari’s reinstatement

By Solomon Okoye


In the 2006 World Cup Final, France’s best player, Zinedine Zidane was shown a red card after headbutting Italian midfielder Marco Materazzi in the chest. It was a moment France will never forget, and Italy eventually won the match after penalty kicks. Despite being a former world footballer of the year, the referee gave Zidane a red card – he had to leave the field of play. No sentiments attached!

The above story is a typical example of what the lack of emotional management could lead to. No matter one’s achievements and social status, failure to curtail one’s emotion at crucial moments would eventually result in disgrace. That is apart from the ripple effects such consequences will have on several others.

The recent clamour for the reinstatement of Abba Kyari, the Deputy Commissioner of Police and erstwhile head of the Nigerian Police Intelligence Response Team who was allegedly involved in the conspiracy to commit electronic fraud and abet criminal behavior looks more like a public display of stupidity rather than a case of being blinded by emotions.

Just like a father who fails to discipline his child would reap the reward when he is old, continuously condoling acts of indiscipline and activities that would bring disrepute and shame to our country, Nigeria, should not be a matter of debate. Let’s call a spade a spade. No sane parent would be proud of an intelligent son who finds pleasure in stealing other people’s belongings. I am yet to see a car owner who would continue to patronize a mechanic that takes pleasure in using fake spare parts to fix their vehicle. No matter how much you like the mechanic, I am sure such a person would not want to risk their life. What Abba Kyari did is the least expected from a person who occupies such a sensitive position.

One of the books of wisdom says, he who thinks he stands should take heed, lest he falls. The higher you go in life, the more careful you should be. Leadership would always place a demand on one’s level of discipline and self-management. As sweet as sugar tastes, too much of it is not good for the body. Mr. Abba Kyari failed the test of leadership, one can only hope that we all will hold on firm to the lessons.

If we intend to make remarkable progress as a nation, it is important that we stop placing ethnicity and nepotism above character. A leader who lacks character is a great risk to his followers and his neighbours. There is an African adage that says, a sheep that walks in the company of dogs would definitely feast on excreta. In the case of Kyari, not only has a super cop mingled with fraudsters, he unfortunately has got his beautiful garment of honour stained. In a more devastating manner, he has also brought shame and dishonor to his father’s land. What a pity!

Just like Zidane got sent off after committing an offence while representing his country at the FIFA world cup, Abba Kyari and his people should embrace their fate. His sympathizers and overzealous supporters should stop at being beclouded by their emotions and their bellies, we have a country to build and you can’t build a nation with a bad global reputation.

Solomon Okoye wrote in from Abuja

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