Jollof Rice War And Lai Mohammed’s Suicide Response To Richard Quest By Bemdoo Hulugh
Posted On May 1, 2017
When the Minister Of Information, Mr Lai Mohammed said Senegal has the best jollof rice, CNN’s Richard Quest was also in shock. He said “I hear a shock across the country. I hear a sigh across the country”. But the Minister who was at that moment obviously unaware of his crime was smiling sheepishly. He didn’t understand that he had just betrayed his countrymen and women who have been telling the whole world that Nigeria has the best jollof rice. Since ignorance is never an excuse and it is a crime for a Minister of Information to be uninformed, Mr Lai Mohammed has been rightly tried and found guilty in the Court of public opinion for committing treason. He did not just betray his countrymen and women, he also missed the opportunity to officially support our social media claim that Nigeria has the best jollof rice. In fact he aided the enemy in the Jollof Rice war.
On a more serious note, some people feel this is a minor issue that should not be talked about for too long but it is not. We are talking about our national pride. Do you understand what it means for the spokesman of the Cuban government to say cigars from Dominican Republic are better than Cuban cigars? That will be a national disaster. Do you understand what happens to the pride and self-confidence of French citizens when you fry potatoes in your village but still call it “French fries”? Do you understand the feeling of self-worth in the mind of a japanese citizen when instant noddles which was invented by Aondo Momofuku in Japan after world war II is now your favourite meal in the deep jungles of Africa? Do you know what happens to the mentality of an American when you prefer a chilled bottle of coke(not kunu or zobo) which was invented by a pharmacist called John Pemberton long time ago in Atlanta, Georgia? The Honourable Minister had the opportunity to give us all that sense of pride but he failed woefully. What a man! What a disaster!!
All great countries throughout the ages make deliberate effort to dominate politically, economically and culturally. That is how they become great. Though jollof rice is a West African delicacy, it became more prominent when Nigerians and Ghanaians argued about who cooks the best jollof rice on twitter. This was about cultural dominance in the region and the Honourable Minister missed a golden opportunity to tell the world we cook the best jollof rice. That our jollof rice has different varieties that are all cooked with different ingredients which gives them all a slightly different taste. We expected him to tell a powerful story of how Mark Zuckerberg or any other foreign dignitary enjoyed our jollof rice and said good things about it. And how all ceremonies in Nigeria, be it mourning or celebration are not complete till jollof rice is served. He missed the opportunity, failed in his responsibilities and also betrayed his country. This is how Mr Lai Mohammed became a traitor.
Bemdoo Hulugh is an active citizen and he writes from Makurdi
You can also interact with him on Twitter @bumy04.