There are too many civilised "nonentities" in Nigeria that think that they are trendy and classy just because they don't comment on national developments.

I understand if you are satisfied with your salary, three bedroom flat and used SUV and as a result have no dreams for the country of your birth.

I personally have a dream for Nigeria and so does many other citizens like Omoyele Sowore, who are frustrated and opinionated.

To seek a revolution without carrying fire arms or taking steps to overthrow government is not and can never be a crime. 

To seek to raise the consciousness of the citizens by asking them to demand change is never a crime.

That is why democracy as a system of government is defined as "government of the people, by the people and for the people" and not government of tyranny, by a tyrant and for the slaves.

If protesting and calling the protest #RevolutionNow were a crime, the courts should have been able to convict Omoyele Sowore after keeping him for over 120 days.

So, please note that your abstinence and silence from national issues of injustices, corruption and poor public services delivery does not make you a better person.

You are just myopic and damn too selfish.

You see, I am writing this piece because someone said to me that I should leave Sowore’s matter alone and face my business on WhatsApp and I laughed.

He will be reading this post so I have decided to grant him the anonymous identity as his view remain myopic in my own opinion.

For you, who is reading now, be reminded that the idea around the statement when you are told to "mind your business" is not just to sell your products and services.

It is also to show interest in your country and speak out against injustices and the violation of the social contract, at least, on a need to say basis.

If your country becomes a banana republic where people are kidnapped in the courts of law in broad day light, what will happen to your business and your plans to partner with global brands?

Every serious business generates an annual report at the end of each year that includes taking a look at the technological, political, social and economic environment in which it operates.

This skill of environmental scanning, which is necessary for writing such a report is primarily the duty of a sound public relations practitioner, who has the knowledge, skill and attitude to research happenings and developments in the society and report same to management and leadership of the organisation or the client he serves for effective planning purposes.

Yes, this helps for planning and carrying stakeholders along in business projections and the possible benefits of occurrences in the business environment as well as the possible dangers ahead for a free market economy.

It is not “tush" or "classy" to operate like you are immune from the developments in the environment in which you operate and live.

For instance, based on the poor medical services in the country today, if anybody at all gets involved in a minor accident or contracts a minor disease that should be otherwise curable and manageable where effective and efficient medical services exist, such may result into the death of the victim.  

As impunity becomes a culture reminiscent of 1984, let me state very clearly that a genuine foreign investor will definitely be scared of coming to do business in Nigeria knowing full well that if a well-respected citizen and prominent leader like Omoyele Sowore can be abducted in the law courts, anything can sure happen to him or her as well as his or her investments.

If you add this to the myriad of unsolved criminal cases of fraud, kidnapping, terrorist bombing and the absence of efficient and effective public services, how exactly do you expect a young millionaire in Monaco, who sees opportunities for long-term investment in Nigeria to so want to?

So, when you think that keeping quiet is a matter of sophistry and status symbol, I beg to disagree.

How exactly is it a matter of class or civilisation to keep quiet in the face of injustice?

One of the greatest dangers for any business is the violation of the rule of law and the principles of justice, equality and the right to be heard.

Businesses thrive best where the rule of law is respected and the justice system is well established to serve the general public without fear or favour.

For the avoidance of doubt, here are the few things among many others that a businessman or woman thinks about before investing outside his country of birth:

1. Political stability, personal and property rights.

2. Labour skills.

3. Tax rates.

4. Transport and infrastructure.

5. Size of economy and potential for growth.

Without disregard for number 2 to 4, let me say very clearly that no businessman will leave his country in pursuit of profit if the other four items on the list are guaranteed where the first on the list isn't.

The very first item on the list touches directly on the gross injustices against Omoyele Sowore and his supporters and clearly sends a sharp message of disregard for the rule of law and the issue  of personal and property tights.

Therefore, I think that the government should look into this matter and think of us businessmen, who are trying to partner other companies with greater capacities for partnership and the clear purpose of creating wealth as well as employment opportunities for the over 30 million young Nigerian roaming the country aimlessly.

Ayo Moses Ogedengbe is a Branding and Public Relations Strategist

You may also like

Read Next