Nigeria Opinion

General Marwa’s Zobo Revolution – Emmanuel Onwubiko

At first the airing on major television stations of the news sounded like a fresh Nollywood skit produced by the prodigious and immensely talented teenager called Immanuela.

To satisfy my curiosity, I then decided to read it online via, one of the most trusted online platforms in the Country, and lo and behold, the story that starred  me in the face is that of the National Drugs Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) that raided a Commercial Garden at the Zone 5 Wuse Area of Abuja where the operatives successfully arrested sellers of the locally brewed beverage drink known in Hausa language as Zobo.

Dear readers, I am sure you are thinking what I am thinking. I said to myself, wow! What have zobo sellers done to attract the attention of the anti- drug behemoth known as NDLEA which for like a year now is led by a man who made his name in no other place but Lagos- a city of over twenty million citizens.

Lagos has always been a miniature Nigeria. And for one person out of that multitude to become so beloved as a governor, he or she must have some exceptional skills.

That man is General Mohammed Buba Marwa (rtd) who worked a long time ago as military Governor of Lagos State but for over two decades or more that he exited the Army, his name still resonates amongst residents of Lagos and most other parts of Nigeria especially for his brilliant effort to try to resolve the troubling transportation crisis of Lagos by his introduction of tricycle which the people then named ‘Keke Marwa’.

I discovered that the reason for which General Buba Marwa has become a living legend amongst Lagosians is for his meticulous attention to details.

His focus on pursuing every detail of his mandate is the reason the story I read about Zobo sellers did not shock me once I read through the press statement masterfully authored by one of Nigeria’s most illustrious newspaper man Femi Babafemi who has since joined public service and is the publicity director at the rejuvenated NDLEA headed by the Adamawa born infantry soldier Brigadier General Mohammed Buba Marwa (rtd) who was recalled into public office by president Muhammadu Buhari.

Just a minute and you will read the ZOBO news being discussed but permit me to tell you my impression and that is that the executive chairman of NDLEA pays meticulous attention to details.

But first, let me say it here that I am completely an Independent Commentator  who is known for speaking truth to power for over 15 years as head of HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (HURIWA). As a passionate Writer and Journalist, I do not wait to be paid to write. This is not to say that as a professional media consultant aside my voluntary work in the human rights sector that I don’t get paid for doing my legitimate work of writing. So please send a reference of some big boys who want me to write on them as a consultant but in this particular piece I’m doing it as a human rights volunteer so it is absolutely free of any charges or favours. 

Permit me then to shock you by announcing that this essay is not sponsored by anybody and nobody, not even Femi Babafemi, my professional colleague knew that I was drafting it talk more of paying me for it.

Now this is why I say that General Marwa pays attention to details just like Professor Chukwuma Soludo or Ngozi okonjo- iweala. Of course who does not know that the newly elected governor of Anambra State Professor Chukwuma Soludo does not have a knack for details? Soludo has so much time for the smallest details that he even have the time to tell his constituents in Anambra State to call him Charlie Nwangbafor and not His Excellency. Now you know, my dear readers. Back to the ‘ZOBO REVOLUTION’.

It is an immortal truth that as far back as when yours faithfully was at the Kafanchan teachers college (1982- 1987), which is both a boarding and day school, some stubborn students used to prepare jollof rice garnished with Indian hemb or Ganja. Preparation of beverages mixed with leafs of Ganja was also common amongst deviants.

For over 20 years, it is not known that NDLEA arrested those who commercialized the use of Indian hemb to mix up in beverages such as cakes, zobo and others but not with the current leadership at the NDLEA which manages to mix up chasing after big drug traffickers and small scale sellers of zobo mixed with Ganja. To General Marwa and his lieutenants,  every criminal matters- big, small, large or gigantic. 

This is why it is strategic to encourage NDLEA to continue with that revolutionary approach to law enforcement which I have called “zobo revolution”.

My beloved Igbo people use to say that “it is when  many people come together to urinate at a place that the foams become noticeable.” This means that when crime is committed bit by bit, it will dovetail to a significant crime.

I repeat, the Executive Chairman of NDLEA now is succeeding where many failed because like a good journalist who has sharp nose to nose around for news, Marwa has a passion for knowing every details of his mandates.

I ran into a very fascinating article on PAYING ATTENTION TO DETAIL and this expert said I quote briefly “Suppose you’re trying to source a new employee for your organization, and you’re compiling a list of skills that are vital for your potential candidates. Did you remember to include “attention to detail” on your list?

While hiring a new employee with attention to detail sounds like a no-brainer, there are many reasons why it’s an essential skill, and why you should emphasize how important it is during your hiring process.”

What do we mean by attention to detail? And the expert says thus:

“When you look for a candidate who pays close attention to details, you are searching for someone who can be accurate in their work, even in the smallest elements. You are looking for a candidate who can complete a task thoroughly without errors.

Think meticulousness, precision, and task perfectionism, and you’re along the right lines. If you’re an organization on the hunt for a candidate who pays attention to detail, one of your goals is to find someone who is not only incredibly efficient in their work, but who delivers exceptional work, consistently. In other words, you’ll want someone who won’t drop the ball or mishandle a task.

To go one step further, a factor to keep in mind is that attention to detail is achieved by processing information and understanding discrepancies between data. Each of these skills requires exceptional cognitive and analytical abilities.

What causes a lack of attention to detail?
A lack of attention to detail can be caused by many different factors. According to, some of the main causes of poor attention to detail in the workplace include: Working quickly to complete tasks; Receiving training that isn’t up to standard; Experiencing tiredness during the working day.

The expert says We have all been there. A deadline might be looming and we need to complete a task quickly, or perhaps we’re feeling slightly drowsy during the day and make a fundamental error. These are key factors that can stand in the way of paying attention to detail.

One thing your candidates will need to prioritize, despite deadlines, is the ability to avoid making errors, in addition to avoiding misunderstanding of tasks. Another skill that needs to be prioritized is the ability to follow deadlines. Working too quickly or multi-tasking poorly can cause a potential problem as it can hinder your candidates’ ability to pay attention to detail.

Your task, if you are sourcing a candidate who has an exceptional ability to pay attention to detail, is to find someone who can carry out tasks meticulously and avoid these key issues.

How an employee’s attention to detail can impact your organization:
“Have you wondered what an employee’s keen attention to detail can do for your organization? The answer is quite a bit. Take Disney’s Magic Kingdom Park, for example. The attention to detail has been woven into the entire guest experience and has customers talking about this brand globally.

There are three reasons why it’s crucial to prioritize this skill: Drives success and productivity; Increases your revenue and A lack of attention to detail skills can cost your organization a significant amount of money.
That last point the expert says is particularly important. A lack of attention to detail in some fields (such as in software engineering for certain industries) can cost your organization several million dollars.

Why textual attention to detail is important:
Attention to detail on a company-wide level can, quite simply, save your company money. There are also additional reasons why textual attention to detail is important. Let’s first start by answering what textual attention to detail is.

Textual attention to detail encompasses your candidates’ aptitudes to follow complex processes by making use of top analytical and cognitive skills.

From matching or filtering data to pointing out whether certain information is consistent, to highlighting errors or inconsistencies in tasks, candidates with textual attention to detail will have mastered each of these areas in their respective fields.
If your candidates’ have top textual attention to detail skills they can also:

  • Make comparisons between statements to highlight differences between them
  • Point out missing information or data
  • Notice the tiniest of discrepancies in numerical or grammatical information

All of these skills can not only enhance the customer experience – as in the case of Disney’s Magic Kingdom Park – but also the reputation of your organization. Avoiding losses by hiring a candidate who pays attention to detail is important, but your accurate and dependable reputation is also essential going forward.

Candidates who have top attention to detail skills will help you bolster your company’s reputation, and avoid inconsistencies in data and grammar. They enhance the professionalism of your organization and ensure it makes the best impression on your clients, consistently.

This is why textual attention to detail skills are important”, the expert submits(

My appeal is this, if you see something please say something.  Nigeria needs to grapple with smaller manifestations of criminality to stop then from blossoming into complex crimes.

This is why I uniquely applauds the NDLEA under General Buba Marwa and his reinvigorated NDLEA.  We also have to encourage the NDLEA to emphasize rehabilitation of addicts as a strategic imperative. 

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