Shem Obafaiye, the then Lagos State Commandant of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, who came in the limelight after his ‘Oga At The Top’ comment during a TV interview in 2013, appeared on the same show on Tuesday morning, narrating his experience after the interview.
Obafaiye, who is now a retired Deputy Commandant General of the NSCDC, in an interview on Channels TV’s Sunrise Daily, the same show he made the comment about 10 years ago, said the development affected him psychologically but that his superiors and colleagues showed understanding.
During the 2013 interview, which was about the prevailing issue of job racketeering at the time, he was asked for the website of the NSCDC to help job applicants, a stuttering Obafaiye said, “The website of the NSCDC, I cannot categorically tell you one now..”
When interrupted by one of the anchors, he said, “Wait, wait (pointing his left index finger at the anchor), because the one we are going to make use of, I’m not the one that is going to create it.”
When asked again for the website, he said, “Wait! The one we are going to make use of is going to be made known by my Oga At The Top (pointing his right index finger up in the air). I can’t announce one now and my Oga says it’s another one that we are going to use.”
Asked if the NSCDC had multiple websites, he said, “We cannot have multiple websites.”
Asked for the NSCDC’s official website, he stated, “If you want to know about the NSCDC as at now, it’s www.nscdc.” He chuckled and said, “Yes, that’s all!”
Following the interview, ‘Oga At The Top’, meaning the boss, became a national slogan, while people customised shirts and other items with the slogan and his image with the pointed finger.
Speaking on the show on Tuesday morning, he humorously said he had forgiven those who did that to him, while dismissing reports that he was sacked after the interview. He noted that he hadn’t granted any interview since then, because he had no reason to, adding that he was in operations and wasn’t in the best position to provide such an information.
On what happened after the interview, he stated, “Immediately after the interview, I was changed (redeployed). My principal, the Commandant General asked me to rest, and I was at home for one month, resting, before they moved me to Oyo State Command where I was for one year before I was moved to another command. Redeployment is a normal thing in the job.”
Asked how the experience affected him, he stated, “The experience was beautiful afterwards. ‘Oga At The Top’ became a national slogan, and it has not impacted my life negatively. In some quarters, they projected it negatively; some insulting, but all the same, one of my cousins asked me after the programme if I wanted national recognition, and I said yes. He said I should be ready for national insults and embarrassment.”
When asked if the development affected him psychologically, he responded in the affirmative, saying, “Definitely, it had to, because I had never gone through such in life, but for what my cousin told me that if I was ready for national recognition, I should be ready for national embarrassment, insults and the likes.”
He disclosed that his wife had procured the patent for the slogan, and noted humourously that “We have the certificate; my wife did it, so we have the patent. Anywhere I hear ‘Oga At the Top’ without permission, na money o”, a comment that threw him and the anchors into laughter.