Monday, March 18, 2013


My OgaThe last may not have been heard of the gaffe committed by the Lagos State Commandant of the Nigeria Civil Defence Corps, Mr. Obafaiye Shem, during a live interview on Lagos-based Channels Television last Tuesday.
The  TV station on Sunday hit back at critics over the now popular ‘my oga at the top’ interview. Shem, who was a guest on Sunrise Daily, a breakfast show, goofed when he gave the website of the NSCDC without its top-level domain.
Shem, who kept on referring to the corps’ Commandant General, Dr. Ade Abolurin, as “my oga at the top”,  had repeatedly dodged, albeit unsuccessfully,  the question that he should give the official web address of the NSCDC.
Shem had said, “We don’t have multiple websites. If you want to know more about NSCDC visit,  ‘ww.nscdc’. That is all.”
However, critics on blogs and social networks had said the three-man team who anchored the show were unprofessional with the way and manner they handled the interview.
One of those who belong to this school of thought is Nigerian rapper, Ruggedman, who  the embattled NSCDC commandant has finally found an ally in.
Ruggedman believes the team of Channels TV anchors should have let him (Shem) be after it was obvious that he had no idea of what NSCDC web address was.
Ruggedman expressed displeasure on Twitter via his handle, @RuggedyBaba,  with 12 tweets,  saying he was disappointed with the way and manner the interview was handled.
Ruggedman,  who admitted catching a whole lot of fun from “My oga at the top” clip and the ensuing jokes,  however,  said the anchors  should have moved on to the next question adding, “As a TV host, if your guest doesn’t have an answer to a question, you don’t keep asking him or her the same question.”
He adds, “A lot of people including myself, have all had fun laughing at “Oga at the top” but now let’s get serious with @Channels_TV.
“My oga at the top is trending but no one has condemned the distasteful way the Channels TV crew ridiculed a guest on a live TV show.
“(It’s) wrong to hammer on a question a guest obviously doesn’t have an answer to. The point was obvious that after asking him twice, he couldn’t come up with a tangible answer.
“I don tweet my mind and I go still tweet more, it’s either you love me or hate me in peace or war. It won’t change nothing. God bless. Now you can all go back to laughing about #MyOgaAtTheTop.”
But the producer of Sunrise Daily, Sulaimon Aladeh,  replied Ruggedman and other critics by shoving off the criticism on his Twitter handle, @aledeh,  on Sunday.
He stated, “As the producer I take full responsibility. It’s on employment racketeering,  so we must have a genuine website to stop further exploitation. Now some claim to be professional broadcasters. They lie that it’s a rule that if your interviewee does not have the answer you must move on.
“Nothing like that. Only discretionary. Some say the anchors are not trained or professionals. Check their resumes and see. They all have their training here and also in Europe and America. They may be young but are well trained. That does not mean they are infallible but on this matter, they did well, very well.”
Meanwhile, On Saturday, the social media circles were awash with the information that Shem’s wife forced her way into Channels TV studio to protest bitterly to the chairman of the station on the damage the incident  had  caused his family.
Aledeh,  reacting to this on his Twitter handle,  said, “No woman or wife came to Channels TV as reported by blogs in respect of the trending ‘Oga at the top’ debacle.”
Meanwhile, the rumour that Shem had been placed on suspension could also not be substantiated. He was invited to speak on “Cash for job racketeering” and employment irregularities rocking ministries, departments and agencies.
Believed to be  dodging the question, he  had said, “Yes, I cannot categorically tell you one now because the one  (website) we are going to use (website), I won’t be the one to create it.
“The one we are going to make use of is going to be made known by my oga at the top. Yes, I cannot announce one now and my oga at the top says it is another one.”
After the interview, Shem became a celebrity of some sort as the social media networks feasted on the clip of the interview, and various hilarious pictures of him.
Apart from hashtag,   “MyOgaAtTheTop,  bearing various coinages, that has gone viral on Twitter, there is a music video  of ‘My Oga At The Top’ by DJ Ziggy on YouTube. In fact, some creative Nigerians have begun the sales of customised “My oga at the top” T-shirts.
The hullabaloo about “My oga at the top” joke has,  no doubt, highlighted the power of the social media in driving public debate around issues in the country. Since the hashtag #MyOgaAtTheTop broke into trending topics on Tuesday, the phrase had literally crept into the vocabulary of Nigerians both at home and in the Diaspora. The question now is: When will ‘my oga at the top’ stop trending?
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