Every now and then, the universe will choose one of us to make famous by way of ridicule. In these internet times, every now and then can be every day if you are virtually savvy. Shem Obafaiye, a Lagos Commandant of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corp (NSCDC) was chosen by the universe one beautiful morning in March 2013 for this wicked plot. An opportunity to grab 15 minutes of fame, for him, quickly turned to a portal through which his name entered into the Book of lasting ridicule.
Obafaiye Shem had been invited to Channels TV’s Sunrise Daily to speak about the issue of employment racketeering in government agencies, and NSCDC having been indicted as one of the agencies where jobs were being exchanged for money, Obafaiye’s task was very peculiar – to restore confidence in the public that his organisation was on top of things.
After saying that his organisation’s top management were on top of things and even had a committee constituted to review internet-related matters, he assured that if NSCDC wanted to recruit new staff, announcements will be made across National dailies and in them, the secured internet portal for the recruitment process will be contained. But when he was asked what the default NSCDC website was, here is how he answered:
And then Obafaiye Shem lived in the spotlight from then on – well, for about the next 15 months. The fact that Channels TV chose to release the specific part where he delivered the bombshell of a response (with the title: “Civil Defence Commandant Can’t Tell His Organisation’s Web Adress”)did not help the ridicule that came Obafaiye’s way.
From shirts declaring “My Oga At The Top” to hilarious memes on the internet, Mr Shem could never have “hesperredit” – what he’d just started.
Although the Corps denied taking disciplinary actions against him immediately after the video went viral, Obafaiye was later removed from from his Commandant position in Lagos.
Immediately after it happened and rumours were flying around that he’d been suspended and that his wife had stormed Channels to protest that they released the clip, he gave this noteworthy response:
”I am still the State Commandant of NSCSC and I am determined to work hard to expose the vandals across the State. My wife was in the village with me for my father’s burial and there is no way she could have visited the television station to carry out a protest. She is a learned person and somebody of that caliber would not have been involved in such a jinx. I see all these as a distraction which is not enough to hinder me from achieving my goal in Lagos State.”
Just a few weeks after he said this, he was replaced by an officer from Oyo State, Mr. Adesuyi Clement, in his Lagos Commandant role. Two months later, Mr Shem was redeployed to Oyo to take Adesuyi Clement’s place.
”I am determined to serve in Oyo State and I know God will help me”, he said.
And that’s the last we heard of him.