This Talk Is Too Much, By Tayo Elegbede
If talks guarantee development, Nigeria would be a first-world country.
Unfortunately, Nigeria is still a grand master in the third-world colony, elusive of expansive social, economic and political development.
Unarguably, Nigerians are blessed with extensive talking prowess. But then, talk is cheap and not an alternative to actions that ensure all-round human and social advancement.
Bring up any issue, anytime, anywhere and anyhow, most Nigerians will have something to say. From those who have deep insight into the issue(s) at stake, to those who rely on hearsay to express their warped perceptive and, of course, those without a pinch of the issue but don’t want to “carry last”, it’s almost a reflex action for most Nigerians to talk, talk and talk. “No be every talk dey make sense ooo.”
For (some), politicians and governments, it’s perfidious promises, explanations and excuses for quantum failures. Clerics have their forte in perpetual proclamations without substance effect. Businesses grow in producing phoney proposals, plans, projects and performances. Many others, it’s simply a case of spitting words at every (un)expected moments.
Realistically, the gains of this plethora of talks are invisible.
Check out the myriad of thoughts expressed daily on Radio, TV, Print and Online and privately and you’ll appreciate how much Nigerians talk. Check the endless legislative, committee and public hearing sessions and you can quantify the value of talk. Take a look at the number of conferences, seminars and workshops held in Nigeria annually and you will be amazed at how less we’ve harnessed the power of our talks.
We’ve simply mastered the act of flipping pages on issues, offering analyses and talks, bouncing the blame ball, proffering superficial solutions and moving to the next issue of discourse. No follow up, no introspection, no implementation…Just move on! A circle we’ve been comfortable with through the decades.
At this juncture of our national existence, we need to be more conscious of the potency of words and get definite with our talks to achieve clear-cut agenda. In doing this, identifying and engaging the right audience is key. Who are you? What do you want to talk about? Who are you talking to/about? What do you want to achieve? You can’t be advising government without the government’s knowledge or presentation of your idea piece. Enough of enclosed conversations and social agitations tagged social analyses without social value.
The media needs to redefine its public/government relations role by clearly dissecting issues, welcoming opinions, filtering thoughts and present relevant ideas to all stakeholders.
Talk is cheap, find the value of your talk.
Enjoy your freedom of speech, responsibly.