President Ahmed Bola Tinubu certainly has a way with words. He carefully dropped words and statements with the intent to give his readers, followers, and listeners ample opportunity to find answers to his posers and riddles.

During the week, while receiving American Congress delegation on a visit to the villa, the president told his visitors that Nigeria over the years suffered from leadership elephantiasis and left his visitors to imagine the damage such a disease must have done to the fabric of the nation.


Elephantiasis, also known as lymphatic filariasis, is caused by parasitic worms and can also be spread through persons by mosquitoes.

Now, it’s clear that Nigeria’s leadership issues and failings are driven by “parasitic” individuals (politicians) and, as worms, they do eat up the collective gains, leaving behind a suffering nation.

There are mosquitoes, those who will transmit corruption (elephantiasis) through padding of budgets, and if we must be a little creative, it could also include mosquitoes that could swallow allocations or cause such money to disappear without trace to any verifiable deliveries.

I am beginning to think that Mr. President possibly has managers of Nigerian Tourism Development Authority (NTDA) in mind as leaders suffering from elephantiasis.  Why? In seven years, there are no values or tourism deliveries recorded from this agency despite actual budget releases.

It is just stories, excuses,   and ear splitting sing songs of blame game as reasons not to deliver.  Now, you tell me, is the leadership of ntda not mosquitoes and parasites driving the elephantine tourism sickness and pain?

Clearly, it’s up to the apologists of Folarin Coker “elephantiasis leadership failure” at ntda to go tango with Mr. President, who has rightly diagnosed the problem of tourism promotion in Nigeria.

Again, it’s the prerogative of the president through the office of Minister of Tourism, Mrs. Lola Ade John, to leave a failed ntda leadership in office, looking the other way.

Let me go back to the message of today, and that is addressing the tuberculosis of tourism failure in Nigeria, and I should think the tuberculosis diagnosis is still not well treated at all and may cripple Lola Ade John in no distance time.

Before I venture further, let me save our valuable time in researching the tourism leadership tuberculosis conundrum in promoting Nigerian tourism to Nigerians and to the world by letting you know what tuberculosis is and does to the body.

Tuberculosis, according to the World Health Organisation, is caused by a bacterium known as Mycobacterium tuberculosis, which affects the lungs.

Now, all to all tour operators who mouth Nigeria as the new medical tourism destination should know that this disease is transmitted (spread) through the air when people with the disease sneeze, cough, or spit. When you inhale a few of the Mycobacterium, you become an unwilling bearer.

Nigeria is ranked sixth (kai) and the first nation in Africa and in the world with a burden of tuberculosis. According to WHO, about 1. 3 people died from tuberculosis in 2022, including about 167 thousand persons with HIV.

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TB is also the deputy infectious killer disease after covid 19. No wonder tourism players in Nigeria did not get covid 19 palliatives from the immediate past government.

A lot of people have been asking lai Mohammed, immediate past Minister of Culture and Tourism about the unfulfilled promise of covid 19 palliatives and, like TB infested sector, no one is bold enough to either sneeze, cough or spit out the Mycobacterium of tuberculosis to avoid being labelled a carrier.

It’s interesting to note that both culture and tourism and the padded creative economy may, in the end, become tuberculosis patients.

Lola Ade John is now pranting around, and I can see the leadership tuberculosis disease that dealt with others before her, waiting to floor her. To avoid tuberculosis leadership disease, She must first fumigate her ministry and come out with clear-cut deliverables and avoid the struggling to incubate an idea that she could not sustain.

Since tuberculosis attacks the lungs, it is apparent that tourism under her watch will suffer from complex tourism indenty issues, mouth saying one thing, body and soul telling another story.

Okay, if we agree to disagree that Nigerian tourism lacks tourism developmental bite and focus, certainly we agree  and admit that our leadership ethos has been diagnosed with the presence of a disease and on our fingers count, we could see that we lacked serious focus on how to champion our cultural tourism advantages.

Count on your fingers the verifiable achievements of tourism under the immediate past government. It was eight years of deception and elephantine projects that were not seen anywhere. We spent more time at unwto meetings chasing shadows, ignoring challenges waiting for solutions.

I really don’t know why the new madam tourism minister wants to fall into a trap.  Let us take a look at the sister ministries and what they are doing.  Festus Keyamo is focused even without being an aviator.  Tunji Ojo is a tech start-up guru like Madam Lola Ade John, and you can clearly see his focus and impact on immigration procedures and travel facilitation.  In the Maritime and Blue Economy, former governor Oyetola has held out well in a seemingly difficult terrain.

Check these ministers out. They all went to the president, collected and signed for documentated deliverables and operational targets, and vowed commitment to performance deliveries and also did the same with all the agencies’ heads under their ministries who must understand their mandates, matching same with the president’s expectations.

So far, Madame Lola Ade John is missing in action on this ecosystem. It is important to know what President Ahmed Tinubu has in mind for the tourism sector.  What are his expectations? Who signed the Tourism Ministry’s performance metrics, and what are the same expectations down the line for the two implementation agencies?

Luckily for Mrs. Ade John,  she has only two agencies to extract same form of high octane deliverables and operational targets,  so there is no need go round the country just cutting tapes to declare open skills acquisition meetings as if she has  just found the missing key to unlock the gate to the tourism prison.

I really worry when our industry is diagnosed as being a stronghold for elephantiasis and tuberculosis frontier, what then is there to rejoice.?

Madam minister must strategically define her mission and focus and drive it with single-minded determination.  To confuse her ministerial focus with that of the agencies under her watch is simplistic and defeatist. 

This does not mean that one is not wholeheartedly in support the minister’s presence at the opening of any of her two agencies programmes and even at that, sometimes focal directors or the Permanent Secretary could be delegated to perform such mundane assignments.

It’s also noteworthy that   the Minister seems afraid to challenge folarin Coker to wake up from his elephantiasis leadership slumber.  True, Coker has few months to go if tenure metrics are religiously followed but if he continues to count days and seconds in office, and not perform, then he should be asked to relinquish that public office.

Nura Kangiwa of Nihotour has announced May 31st as Nigeria Gastronomy festival day, and I ask when will Coker announce his Nigerian flavours festival ?Now it’s easy to see why madam lola Ade John is always at Nihotour’s red tape events to declare open its activities,  but  what is Coker’s ntda doing?  Let us even see ‘quantity’projects unveiled by the two agencies and ask questions on quality ecosystem later, so madam Ade John should tell us why she is always at Nihotour event, ignoring ntda?  I even doubt if she has ever left her Nihotour address to visit ntda since she returned to her beat?

Anyway, now that we know our problems, let both the orthodox and native doctors in the industry find a cure for these leadership maladies. Are we going to continue like this again?