There has been some criticism regarding the Federal Government’s plan of “rebranding” Nigeria. The general impression seems to be that the plan is regarded as giving the country a makeover when what it really needs is a couple of surgeries.
I, however, believe that most people judge our government harshly by habit, so the very thought of giving Nigeria a fresh look is unappealing at best when there is so much within Nigeria that needs to be fixed. In my opinion, humble though it admittedly is, rebranding is not necessarily a bad thing. After all, when you graduate from university and get a job, the first thing they do is give you a dress code and despite Mark Twain’s warning to “distrust any enterprise that requires new clothes”, we usually adhere to that dress code as long as the firm we work for adheres to the digits on the salary slip.
So rebranding, if done for the right reasons and done right, may not necessarily be an evil thing or a manner of beating around the bushes. And so, instead of hating, I have decided to participate. I am offering my own suggestion as to how this rebranding campaign of the government’s may be used to give my country a fresh, new and, unfortunately, honest face.
My idea is to change the country’s flag. Yes, the flag. 2-colour flags are for the simple, I suggest we change that boring green-white-green wrapper for something which speaks to us more. If the stories are true and the flag was designed by a student in London back in the 1950s, then it stands to reason that a rebranding campaign (which could be akin to an independence from the old ways and the old face) may be aided by a student in Malaysia in the early 2000s.
Green White Green. Well, we can keep the first green, that’s alright. Because the past is related in many ways to the future, but more precisely because it is a good colour representation of the greed of Nigerians (leaders and followers alike) as well as our envious nature which spurs us on to exchange other people’s lives for property.
But the white will have to go. It was supposed to represent peace and unity but when last did we exhibit any of these? Peace? Please. Our young men are denied visas to lands which have peace, but are sent to quell insurrections and fight wars all over Africa. Of course we do call it peacekeeping, so maybe my point is moot. Unity? Never as Nigerians in Nigeria. And so the white will have to go. But rather than tearing it off (since I hate wasting), rather soak it in the blood of my brothers and sisters which runs off the semi-tarred roads through the gutters and into the earth. Red is such a warm colour, wouldn’t you say?
Well, we already kept the first green, so we definitely aren’t keeping this one, or else we’d just be back to square one, wouldn’t we? So now the question is, what colour would suit us best here. Let me think…. Rather than think, better just ask my brothers in the Niger Delta what colour can replace green. They tell me that, well, they used to have a lot of green; trees, grass, plants; all sorts of green. But the crude oil spills with such regularity that the green areas of the land have transformed into a deep, murky black, which must give us our final colour. Come to think of it, black actually fits in well, considering the supposed meaning of the original Nigerian flag, where the green colour was intended to depict Nigeria’s rich agriculture. However, since we concern ourselves mainly (almost completely), with exporting black gold these days, we may as well switch colours.
Ladies and gentleman, allow me to present to you, a Nigeria rebranded in truth. And this is her flag.