Wednesday 24 August, 2016
Popular stand up comedian, Ali Baba, has lambasted the Nigerian government, saying by all standards, the country is finished.The renowned comedian reacted to the treatment recently given to the Dream Team VI on their way to Rio for Olympics men football tournament. The Dream Team VI were left stranded in Atlanta, USA, where they had gone for training ahead of the competition, after the chartered airline refused to leave until full payments were made.
Although the players got a bronze medal from the competition, the government had showed little or no regard for them initially. In his opinion, the comedian, in an open letter on his Instagram account, wrote:
“Nigeria is a finished goods country. A country that is only interested in the end products does not invest in the process; that’s Nigeria. We like chocolate but to convert cocoa to chocolate is rocket science. We have over 200m cars, that’s a car multiplied by 4 tyres minimum.“We like to go to countries that have beach-sides and waterfronts, yet we have acres of coastlines. No tourism policy to harness the sector. We have stadium scattered across the country in all states of decay & abandonment, or at best underutilized, yet we want to win Olympic gold.
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"Nigeria is bursting at its seams with raw & developed creative talents that needs no support from govt. yet ordinary piracy laws, we no get. We know the sports that can bring us several medals, boxing, swimming, long jump, and weightlifting: who polo and golf don hep for Nigeria? Go see the spaces reserved for polo and golf in Nigeria. How many medals have these sports brought us? Yet we don’t see how that kills sports.“Nigeria used to have the Mobil opens and other keenly contested sports meet. That was when we had the best crop of athletes, now nothing.
We have a country that wants to see athletes & footballers making it on their own, before calling them to come for national duty. na today? Most of these footballers hustle their way into Europe & begin to make waves, then that finished product mentality kicks in. national call.“Then when we decide to appoint sports administrators, we appoint them based on the political affiliations. Sport ministers wey know nadaaaa.
“I have seen Ijaw boys do breast strokes faster than Olympic & world records, but who is harnessing it? The boys are best used as party thugs. Most of the people who refused to see the value in standup comedy back in 1987, are in government. It took Obasanjo to bring it to fore.“What is the tourism attraction in Dubai? Camels, sand, road infrastructure, architecture, beach & water tourism… and why can’t we have them. Policies! Policies!! Policies!!! We don’t need their roles, just the rules.“Let others key into it.
No one needs govt funding, just enabling environment. Make the laws. Enforce them. Punish law breakers. Provide security.“Did Nigerian govt grow Nollywood? Did Nigerian govt make Psquare, Davido, Tubaba? What of the comedy sector? Just create policies. Lobatan,” the comic character added."