Minister Onwuliri’s “Town Hall Meeting: a reader’s reaction & explanations on the short essay

January 23, 2012


Submitted on 2012/01/20 at 7:21 pm

It is disgraceful that you would prefer a location not owned by a Nigerian to discuss Nigerian matters where there is a Nigerian owned location that our people can relate to.

January 21, 2012 at 9:38 pm e

Dear Mr./Ms. Ade, Thanks for your comments.

It is rather unfortunate that things will never really change in Nigeria because we continue to see everything through the prism of Us vs. Them. Actually, every word used in the reference made to the Agama Restaurant was quite generous and charitable because I’ve been to the restaurant and do know that it should not be a Ministerial choice for quite a few reasons but I will list only two: it cannot seat more than a couple dozen diners comfortably and if the minister was serious about holding a “Town Hall Meeting”, one would expect her to look forward to where, perhaps, a minimum of hundred Nigerians could sit in an area that is home to [perhaps] over a hundred thousand Nigerians as I mentioned in the essay.

Those two reasons alone nullify the choice of the restaurant. Ownership of an establishment – much as it’s a great idea patronizing “our own” – cannot be used to justify selection of a place, especially for a miniterial briefing. That kind of meet-the-people briefing that Ms. Onwuliri had was, I suppose, meant to tell the government’s side of the sorry story of oil subsidy removal protests. Shouldn’t there be some news outlets present from the metro area?
As for a place “that our people can relate to”, I think the professor cannot tell Nigerians that considering the fact that the cost – I’m a skeptic in things of this nature – would not likely be less than if the event had been publicized at the scores of Nigerian churches, local papers like Prince George’s Gazette, Montgomery Gazette and even the Washington Post, etcetera and attracted a more dignified environment.

Mark you, I’ve been to the restaurant as mentioned above but it was most inappropriate for a Nigerian affair at that level.

TOLA ADENLE, Ibadan, Nigeria.



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