Please do not get me wrong, this documentary is a public relation(s) disaster for Nigeria, Nigerians and every thing Nigeria stands for. But I tend to have a different view about this documentary. My opinion is that, British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC 2) deserves special award and commendations for finding time, resources and manpower that went to Nigeria to do such an eye opening documentary. Please permit me to thank BBC 2 for this wonderful efforts and exposure. I suggest British Broadcasting Corporation should do more documentaries on Nigeria.
This documentary should become a major challenge for our own media outfits like, Nigerian Television Authority (NTA), Channels Television, Silver Bird Group, Daar Communications Plc, owners of (African Independent Television [A.I.T.], and Ray Power Radio Stations) to expose many dark sides of our society, with a view to prompting positive actions from the government. On this note, I recommend Covert Journalism/Reporting for all Nigerians. These days every one can become a reporter (iReport) and publisher due to information technology. Therefore, we should expose the good, the bad and the ugly in our society. Covert, surveillance and spy cameras are also recommended.
For the benefit of those who have not watched it (welcome to Lagos), I enclosed here a weblink for episode 1 (http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b00s3bmx/Welcome_to_Lagos_Episode_1) and episode 2 (http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b00s5x5w/Welcome_to_Lagos_Episode_2).
The above documentary is similar to an earlier drama/film (Blood and Oil) shown by the same channel BBC 2. The above film(s) and documentaries are highly recommended. First, it shows the level of decay. Secondly it shows absence of government. Thirdly it shows the determination and how people work very hard to survive in the face of government imposed hardship. It also revealed that there are a lot of human resources to be harnessed for national development. The people in the documentaries (Welcome to Lagos) exhibited several entrepreneurial and survival skills.
I understand that the Nigerian High Commissioner to the United Kingdom (Dr. Dalhatu Tafida) protested to the controller BBC 2 against the documentary (Welcome to Lagos). Ironically, the government he is representing and past governments did more to push people to the slums. An example was the Moroko evictees who were forceful evicted by the ex military ruler (Babangida) in 1990. Till date (20 years after), many of them are still going to court for compensation. Many have died in the course of pursuing their resettlement claims.
Though Moroko then was not properly developed, all the ex ruler (Babangida) did was to forcefully evict people from their homes. By so doing he pushed people to the streets which would have led to more slums. Thank goodness he (Dr. Dalhatu Tafida) did not deny the existence of the slums in Lagos in his protest message. On behalf of poor Nigerians whose pain, anguish and neglect by the government necessitated the making of these documentaries, I declare his (Dr Dalhatu Tafida) protest letter null and void.
The authorities that asked Dr Dalhatu Tafida to protest or the Nigerian High Commissioner himself should bury his head in shame for the failure of Nigerian government to provide basic amenities like houses, electricity etc. How much will it cost the nation to provide houses, steady power, water etc for its population compared to how much that has been looted by government officials. Olabode George for instance misappropriated about 85 billion naira. Imagine what this amount could do for those people shown on the documentaries.
In the same manner that the British Broadcasting Corporation used documentaries (Welcome to Lagos) and drama (Blood and Oil) to expose the neglected part of the Nigerian society, and even cause the federal government to react (protest letter from The High Commissioner to the BBC 2), let use films, documentaries, drama on DVDs to propagate political evangelism and change. Picture effects are a powerful means of communicating to people. Perhaps this method (political evangelism) could cause the government to react positively for our people.
Finally, please remember to participate and join the fight against global warming. Turn off your electrical appliances/lights when not in use. Plant a tree or sponsor one to plant on your behalf. Government and companies should send less paper work and do more email, telephone, and sms. May God bless Nigeria.
Chinedu Vincent Akuta.
An activist and leader of “Support Option A4 Group” Leicester-UK