Vision 2025…Re-branding? Yes We Can


By Cawike Chibuzor, Jos, Plateau
Since the minister of information launched the re-branding Nigeria project, most Nigerians have looked for every opportunity to reel out reasons why the re-branding project is not only an anomaly but an utter failure. However the fact that most people think that a nation like Nigeria is not fit to have a positive label, is the very reason why the re-branding project was initiated in the very first place.

Most of the those who are describing the re-branding project as an old wine in a new wineskin are oblivious of the fact that just as your dog answers whatever name you give it, a product's name determines a buyer's perception to a large extent. Maybe they don't know the meaning of the adage that you give a dog a bad name in order to kill it. Furthermore, they forget that 'As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he'.

Some of these critics claim that nobody should try to enhance the bad image of the entity called Nigeria, since a lot of negative things take place here. They tell you we are one of the most corrupt nations and that our brand of democracy cannot flourish even in the jungle. I wish these critics realize that everything man sees today whether good or bad once existed at the realm of thought. That means that if you want something good to happen you start thinking good thoughts, rather than wait for something good to happen first, ditto bad things.

Most of the products we have accepted as good, are not necessary so, we believe they are good merely because the producer created a good brand out of the product and spent some money to make us see the product in a particular way.

Let us look at Coca Cola, coke is not the best of drinks health wise, the colouration and sugar contents are not best suited for our body, yet through a heavy investment in advertisement it is almost a crime not to drink a bottle of coke a day. Few years ago, I visited an elderly man who offered me a bottle of coke which I declined. I told him to give me a bottle of water instead, but he felt insulted and insisted I take the drink or he would be offended. I took time to explain my choice of water before he relaxed, all because someone has taken the time to promote the brand, and who says we cannot do that with the name Nigeria?

Yes there are cheats in Nigeria; yes most of our politicians are greedy and myopic; yes a lot of heartless people are in government; yet not only will you find the same scenario in practically every country in the world, but for every ten corrupt Nigerians and cheats there is a Dora Akunyili who refused every entreaty to be bribed as the Director General of the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration (NAFDAC); for every ten myopic politicians there was a Donald Duke as governor of Cross River State, who built a TINAPA, one of Africa's largest business resorts, just as there is Governor Raji Fashola who has changed the face of Lagos State.

Blacks in the United States of America were branded rogues and second class citizens by the white media, but a Martins Luther King Jr. dared to see them as capable of being judged by the content of their character, rather than the colour of their skin. He believed that if you place a black man and his white counterpart on a fair scale, a black man might out weigh the white man. Today Obama, a black man is adjudged the best politician in the U.S. though there are still black rogues there.

The white media as led by the CNN and BBC are doing a good work of branding Nigeria as a failed state. I see behind these sustained and largely negative media campaign, a dread of the potential that is lying latent at the core of an average Nigerian.

The re-branding project as spearheaded by the minister of information, should be seen as a call to the hidden man in every Nigerian. It should be seen as a beckoning to the resilient Nigerian who never gives up in the face of daunting challenges. An average Nigerian is like an eagle that is dragging worm with chicks. The eagle has stayed so long on the ground that it is suddenly afraid of heights, yet it is still an eagle.

A lot of young eaglets are gradually rousing from the ignorance of their core potentials and are preparing for a flight. Whatever the heart of man can think, man can achieve. 2025 will be a historic year in this entity called Nigeria. We must believe in ourselves

Do you believe in this country?
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