My Oga at the Top Mindset – Kunle Falae

Chances are you’ve already seen the now infamous video of Mr. Obafaiye Shem of the Lagos State Nigeria’s Security and Civil Defense Corps or NSCDC Commandant A.K.A “My Oga at the top” a popular coined term for the commander. Due to his recent gaffe on Channel TV sunrise daily show. Just in case you haven’t seen the video, it’s about a minute long. Here’s a quick refresher to bring you up to speed.

My first reaction to this video, like most, was to bust out laughing, in fact, I couldn’t but watch multiple times. The phrase my oga at the top #trended really quick on social media, series of new parody pictures of Mr. Obafaiye surfaced. I mean its was quite embarrassing.

Well I thought about it again. Is this really a laughing matter? or a time for reflection; a reminder of our fate as a people.  It’s serious than we think.

We can’t deny our rich cultural tradition of respect with superiors, or elders, neither can we let this kind of mindset continue to damp our ability to make crisp judgment in the time of need
First thing first It’s a  national security issue that a commandant of his rank could not articulate his organizations website, let alone understand the magnitude of a possible cyber security threat in Nigeria’s most prosperous city, A city where the nation’s wealth and economic activity is concentrated

The Lagos port has seen growing amounts of crude oil exported, with export figures rising between 1997 and 2000. Oil and petroleum products provide 14% of GDP and 90% of foreign exchange earnings in Nigeria as a whole.[35]“Nigeria”. CIA World Factbook. 1 February 2007. Retrieved 4 April 2012.

With these staggering figures, we have a Nigeria Security and Civil Defense commandant that has little to no understanding of basic technological algorithms.

My job really isn’t to criticize or state the obvious. But I write these to shed light on the not so talked about coined phrase. Something l like to call “MY OGA AT THE TOP MENTALITY” a mentality that’s plagued us for decades. It’s also an opportunity for us to revisit how we manage Human Capital, including how it’s resulted in poor Human Development in Africa’s most populous city.

  • SecondTogether; we can practically discourage the “MY OGA AT THE TOP MENTALITY”: approach. Simply by empowering your associates, and or employees to make informed decision in your absentia. You don’t need to live in Lagos full time to understand what the term MY OGA means. Chances are you’ve had an encounter or heard this phrase one way or the other on the streets of Lagos. Phrases like “Let me check with my oga”, “Oga said”, “Oga Talk Sey”. We can’t deny our rich cultural tradition of respect for superiors, or elders, neither can we let this kinds of mindset continue to damp the abilities of folks that need upbeat moral or build interpersonal skill set. The My Oga at the Top Mentality prevented Mr. Obafaiye from making crisp informed decision at a critical time of need. HE HAD TO WAIT ON HIS OGA. We can RETHINK that and we should. And I ask you to because it’s the right thing to do. The ability and skill set to make swift smart informed decision could have saved Mr. Obafaiye his earned national and global embarrassment on national TV. So yea. Let us RETHINK that “abeg”.So if you are in a position of leadership of any kind or as we call in in Yorùbá Ọ̀gá, Help your employees learn how to make swift smart informed decisions in the time of need. It could save you, your organization, a global embarrassment. Plus it’s a moral booster. That’s a practical way to empower your employees, or your junior colleagues. To learn step by step on how to help coach or empower someone to be better and fast in making sound informed decisions, Click HERE .
  • ThirdI sum up this post by reflecting on how HUMAN CAPITAL was poorly utilized plus how you can fix your human capital woes which could translate into a stronger Human Development Index or HDI if done properly: Mr. Obafaiye Shem is a commandant of the Lagos State Nigeria’s Security and Civil Defense Corps meaning to some other people; He is THE OGA ON THE TOP”. A loose way of saying he’s got quite a few people under him that reports directly to him. In essence, he could have had quick brief meeting with is staff, prior to the day of the televised interview, talk about strategies and objectives of going into this interview in the first place. To his credit and his discredit. This interview was supposed to be about job racketeering in Nigeria’s Ministry Department and Agencies or MDA. Meaning he had all the reason he needed to know his organizations website as the one resource to apply to jobs in his organization supposedly.From what I gather, the NSCDC website is not up to par. Some links display an internal server error as of the time of this post.


So this could have been an opportunity for a quick fix. Updated links, job racketeering information, and steps to take if you’ve fallen victim. I mean really quick fixes. But nooooo…. Again deep human capital flaws.

We get the point. The point is we can’t continue to THINK, or DO the same thing we’ve been doing for decades, and expect a hero’s welcome. It won’t happen. The world is way ahead of the curve. So before you step out to make that presentation, make sure your “I’s are dotted, and your “T’s are crossed; because If they’re not, you will definitely hear about it. Plus possibly earn yourself some parody pictures for your wallpaper or something…Something to help you re:THINK.



  • Under a commonsensical application, it’s socially ridiculous for a so-called commandant to be so uninformed with such indecisive expression from a psychology full of occupational incompetency. How can this “my Oga” NSCDC commandant with no trait of personal autonomy and social intelligence successfully negotiate security challenges in our civil society. Now, it is intellectually expedient for us as a nation and individual, to utilize this embarrassing opportunity to have a RE:THINK of the realistic ways of improving our moral sensibilities in other to avoid more injuries to the reputation in our country Nigeria.

    • Kunle Falae says:

      @Tope: You’ve got some great points sir. I appreciate your candid response; if I may advise, ill suggest we refrain from harsh criticisms. Rather learn how we can be better as a person and as a nation. With people like you, we will be better. Thank you for your support.

  • Anonymous says:

    Kunle, am very sure you are aware of “chain of command”, what’s wrong if this guy should seek permission from his boss before addressing the press or releasing a statement? we can’t be an expertise in every area, at least he got a clue of what a web address should sound or look like, he’s an high ranked security officer, if questions on how to combat civil unrest was asked, am pretty sure he’s going to do justice to it. I would definitely blame channels and its presenters for the whole scenario they’ve created, mainly on the social network. For the fact that he was invited on the program and he responded to their invite, I believe the media should be protecting his interest and be unbiased, what’s wrong if the presenter should take commercial break when they (presenters) first asked him the web address? And while on break, he should be orientated on it (website). It’s obvious that a media a house and its classy presenters were out there to ridicule the guest. What’s the probability that a high profile guest would respond to their (channels) invite, for the fear of been ridiculed, just like “MY OGA AT THE TOP”. Left to me, Channels, Tony Momoh, and his Co-Conspirator have lost their credibility.

    • Kunle Falae says:

      @Mr/Mrs/Miss Aanonymous: Please permit me to respond line by line so as to cover all basis:Yes i am very aware of “chain of command”, and your right there’s nothing wrong if the commandant seeking permission from his boss before addressing the press or releasing a statement? The question is in what situations do we seek permission of or from our bosses. 

      Personally my organizations website won’t be something I’d defer to my boss attention.I should just know that information simply because I work for that organization. Irrespective of the set up. With exception to “classified” government organizations of any. As I stated in this post, to the credit of Mr. Obafaiye and to his discredit subsequently,  he was referring to the website for recruitment. So he’s very right. Should NSCDC national recruitment exercise be announced through a third party organization or website, we shouldn’t expect the commander to be aware of what he’s not preview to at the moment. 

      To his discredit on the other hand, the question asked was not about the “recruitment website” the question asked was ” what is your website” “what is the NSCDC” website” and as I stated earlier, knowing the website (if any) of the organization you work for is not what I would defer to the military’s chain of command. 

      Regards to expertise in every area. Absolutely. You have a point. In the extensive tape, the commander professed to getting his daily briefs from his admin dept. Great. If that works for him; no qualms. I’d have preferred he stuck with that line of thought of not knowing what the website is. And personally I believe the global embarrassment could have been mitigated. I will refer you to watch the full tapes available through channels tv youtube page. Mr. Obafaiye was indeed asked questions about civil arrests, mechanisms, intelligence gathering and so on. And personally I must say I wasn’t impressed.  And for the record, I am NOT a national security or civil defense expert. 

      Channels TV is only doing their due public service to educate the public on issues of national interests. So I won’t blame them. Are you suggesting JOURNALISM CENSORSHIP?  I will also suggest you watch the full tape as it shows exactly how the whole interview unfolded.

      Channels did a great job in PRODUCTION in my opinion. On a final note, am not so sure how I feel about the media protecting the interests of their guests.. in part because their guests interests may come at the cost of truth of a larger populace. So should we get involved in that kind of business is my question to you.?

      The reason any guest should accept an invitation for any kind of appearance on a subject should be because they are competent enough to speak on the issue unaided by the invitee… if the invitee is supposed to aid the guest, why invite him to begin with?

      Another reason guests are invited is to help the invitee and the audience get acquainted with the subject not otherwise.

      On a final note: I am no expert in journalism. But from the few things that I’ve seen, journalists and their organizations gain credibility for being thorough. Because it’s their job to be. Yes high profile officials or guest may be scared, no doubt. At the same time, Channels just sent a strong message that they are interested in quality journalism. Not anything goes. Meaning; know your material and BE PREPARED. 

    • Omowaire Tope says:

      Hello Mr, Mrs or Miss Anonymous, its so saddening and reasonably unacceptable for a bonafide compatriot without any sentimental compromise to conscientiously comprehend with your biocratic ideology regarding your raw response to the global reputation injury of our beloved country Nigeria. well, its so fortunate that I’m not nailing you on any political cross nor contesting with your comment in order to perpetuate or precipitate a situation that could lead to any form of immature misunderstanding but a political sagacity is always a symbolic jingoism so let us call a spade a spade! The journalist are professionally conscious of their respective responsibilities and we don’t have to condemn them for basically attending to the in-secured situation of our economy but instead realize the fault and occupational incompetence of this “my Oga” type of NSCDC commandant. i hope you are there to agree with my friendly protest without any trait of misconception. God bless Nigeria!!!

  • Joseph says:

    Hello every one.
    Its really sad Mr Shem had to bear it all alone. In my opinion, it’s the Oga@dTop who’s the culprit. Obviously, there was no valid website as at the time of the interview… commandant was supposedly trying to cover some lapses. @least, before anyone would get to O@dT, he must have been out of the studio; that way he wont have to say something while oga says otherwise.

    Referencing the RETHINK article, we all just have to be prepared. This is something that happens all the time….just that we do not have opportunity of a media attention! i had been there before; trying to cover some lapses for my boss @that time…i got really embarrassed in the process.

    • Kunle Falae says:

      Joseph; You made some valid important points here; #loyalty #patriotism #representation…e.t.c Thank You. I guess the take away for us all is to aide our organizations representation; to a point where it doesn’t cost you, and the organization you represent a national embarrassment!!! and to your point, I personally don’t think it would have been out of place should he have admitted he didn’t know. In part because he admitted earlier he had never visited the website! so by default he technically shouldn’t know or speak to a website he never visited. That said, the public space might have seen it as less abominable.

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  • Stephen O. J. says:

    Sir, Mr Kunle Falae, keep it up a very nice job.