I start this engagement with Okonjo-Iweala's joke at the opening session of the just concluded Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria conference: “An accountant went to the market to buy a parrot. When he got there, the shop owner showed him 3 parrots. The first one cost N100 000, the second one cost N250,000 and the third one cost N1 million.

He was really shocked by how expensive the parrots where, so he asked the show owner why they were so expensive.

The shop owner explained that the 1st Parrot can do complex audits and the 2nd Parrot can do everything that the 1st Parrot does plus prepare financial forecast.

The accountant was really impressed by the parrots and asked what the 3rd Parrot that cost N1 million could do. The shop owner then confessed that he had never actually seen the 3rd Parrot do a single thing but that the other two parrots called him Senior Partner!”

Nigerians are Parrots, Senior Partners, and Experts in everything and most times nothing—Everyone is talking but really only a handful are listening, because many are not saying much.

Often the general populace are the parrots, they are divided into senior partners and experts.

The senior partners do really nothing but they are senior partners, we can see many of them, we call them statesmen, we refer to them as veteran of this and that, ex-this and ex-that, and then we have experts.

Interesting my big aunty Ngozi is one of the many experts in this nation that is so blessed with the so good, very bad and extremely ugly.

Join me, lets take a cursory look: a young woman has just been heartbroken, she becomes an expert in relationships, giving counsel to married and unmarried on issues she did not succeed on, and giving advice that did not work for her.

Bearing any twist of catastrophic proportion the ebola virus has been tamed in Nigeria, but how could one forget the “salt experts”, “Kolanut professionals” and off course the “ewedu professors”.

Hear the experts, “Ebola is a virus not a bacteria, so all these washing of hands is only precautionary”. Well we better be sorry than dead!

The Nigeria Medical Association disagree on resumption with the Health Minister, the Minister in turn retorts that the date of school resumption was picked in consolation with experts.

Parents like parrots in turn have become experts in child body temperature, and engage themselves on the right and wrong on the resumption date, how many weeks to December and another school fees, and how one sick child could mean pandemonium. Indeed a nation of experts.

Some years back we were all experts on bird flu, and after the billions disappeared and innocent chickens lost their lives without necessarily ending in the pot, that phase came and went.

Have you listened to a Boko Haram expert, especially one that has never been past Jebba, or come anywhere close the North? The expert even apportions blame but offers little in solutions.

How about the experts in religion and faith, they argue how feasible is it for a man of God to drive from Benin to Lagos without Petroleum Motor Spirit and debate on how many marriages and divorce some god of men should correct, intact a group of experts engaged on the difference between adultery and irresponsible behavior

Others are expert Shittes and others gurus in Sunni theology, others pride themselves as Salfists, everyone is an expert, leave some Nigerians they would stage a debate with the Prophet Muhammed PBUH and Jesus Christ.

I am not a fan, nor a senior partner in the conglomeration called PDP, but I certainly will not be an expert in the mold of APC that has as part of its detail to criticize everything and anything government and yet proffer no solution rather than promissory notes

I often use fables to drive home my admonitions on the subject matter of Nigeria and her people and our ways. I will end with the following by Sheikh Ahmad Jamal Ololade (Hafadhahullah)

There was a sheikh who used to teach his student 'Aqeeda (creed). He taught them لا إله إلا اللÙ'Ù‡ (there is no deity worthy of worship except Allaah) and explained it to them following the way the prophet taught his companions creed and inculcated it in their minds.

One day, one of the students brought a parrot as a pet for the teacher. As time passed by, the teacher became fond of the parrot so much so that he took it along with him to his classes till the parrot learnt to say لا إله إلا اللÙ'Ù‡ (laa ilaaha illa llaah). It used to sound it often and repeat it day and night.

On a fateful day, the students came and saw their sheikh weeping seriously and sobbing. When they asked him the reason for that, he said: “a cat in the house has killed the parrot. “Is this the reason why you are crying? If you so desire we shall bring you another and a better parrot” they said re-assuringly.

The sheikh replied saying, “I am not crying because of this. But, what made me cry was that when the cat attacked the parrot, it screamed and cried till it died.

Despite how often it used to repeat the statement “laa ilaaha illa llaah” (there is no deity worthy of worship except Allah); it could not say it when the cat pounced on it.

The parrot could not but only squeak and squeal because it was only making sound with the statement without realizing it's meaning in the mind or feeling it”.

Then, he added by saying: “I fear that we should not be like this parrot. We live our lives repeating “la ilaaha illa llaah” on our tongue and when death comes to us we forget it because it is not infused in our mind.”

The students started weeping with fear of insincerity in professing “there is no other deity worthy of worship except Allah”

Do we know and strive to make real in our lives the statement “laa ilaaha illa llaah”

The Holy Bible sums it up this way, “But don't just listen to God's word. You must do what it says. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves.” James 1: 22

Nigeria has in large numbers bodies of experts, but our problems remain, and sadly will only escalate until our experts start to do something and cease being senior partners…until we stop being parrots that talk all the time but are mute when the occasion arise, when will it be—Only time will tell.

Yours In High Regards
Written by Prince Charles Dickson.
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