By Denrele Animasaun
A functioning, robust democracy requires a healthy educated, participatory followership, and an educated, morally grounded leadership.--Chinua Achebe
Just when I thought our politicians could not sink any lower, they then go and show that there are depths lower than low they can easily crawl out of. Last week, my British colleague alerted my attention to a sickening report about Nigeria covered by the BBC and the Washington Post. It seemed that Goodluck’s sycophants had unfurl banners round Abuja, using similar hashtag campaign of the missing Chibok girls. They, in their absolute stupidity and arrogance flew the flag for Jona’s 2015 campaign. Only they could have thought it was right to capitalise on other peoples’ tragedy.
I am sure they did not see the harm in what they did, they simply thought that there was an opportunity to link the Chibok girls hash tag to Jonathan’s ambitious re-election bid. They must have thought what a stroke of genius that they had come up with it. How they must have thought that people will recognise the hash tag similarity and of course, people will applaud them and it will be a success! I don’t know about you, but in a country of very clever people, why do we often act dumb, crass and uncouth? Where have we left our pride and honour? What have we traded for the loss of our moral compass and what are we saying to our young. We are quick to shot down people who speak out and question our collective morality and integrity. We have thrown out respect and replace it for those that shout the loudest and offer nothing but chaos and confusion. We have lost our humanity and compassion.
This time,they have gone beyond the pale of decency and they have the temerity to explain it away that the top huncho knows nothing about it and that makes it all right? No, it does not make it right; in fact there lies the problem with these arrogant and power drunk hunchos. The floor is strewn with litany of excuses and they wish it away and we consign it to back with the other big white lies and mediocrities.
I mean, the fact no one amongst the so-called media savvy lackeys would have thought that #BringBackJonathan2015, is simply puerile. The international press did register their horror and disappointment that such campaign to bring back the girls can be tainted and abused at a higher level to exploit the situation.
It seems that the mad (politicians) are running the asylum(Nigeria) how obscene to gather that the press office to the president was not aware and meanwhile,many of this banners were flying in prominent places in the capital and women at their rallies had hundreds of this said hash tag embossed across their T-shirts? What do you say when the blind seems to be leading the clueless? They say, that those gods want to destroy, they first make mad. We are witnessing a runway train and they cannot stop it because they are in too deep. We are watching how this train will hit the buffers with all these supercilious idiots on it.
So to my delight it was a relief and with pride to read that Wole Soyinka took pen to paper to register his disgust in an open letter. The man of letters covered the mood of right thinking Nigerians. Is there no respect for the family of the missing girls and for the worldwide concerns for their return? The open letter covered what is wrong with Nigerians today and more. Soyinka is brave, erudite and conscientious as always. He called it as he sees it when he said that; “The dancing obscenity of Shekau and his gang of psychopaths and child abductors, taunting the world, mocking the BRING BACK OUR GIRLS campaign on internet, finally met its match in Nigeria to inaugurate the week of September 11 – most appropriately.
That banner read: BRING BACK JONATHAN 2015″ Of course, there are many in their ivory towers who readily dismissed what this esteem elder has said. I remember what another esteem sage Chinua Achebe, had said; “When old people speak it is not because of the sweetness of words in our mouths; it is because we see something which you do not see.”
They obviously have no respect as they are filled with own self-importance and arrogance, they dismiss the achievements and contributions that the likes of Achebe and Soyinka made to our country and in one quick swoop, they become belligerent and they will time rue the day.
Despite the protestations of not knowing by the Jonas camp, it is plain to see that if it smells like a duck, looks like a duck, then it is a duck! No way can we continue to live on a diet of lies that are spewed and scattered as the gospel. Nigerians have got to have the courage to believe the truth and develop some moral back bone. We can no longer feel it is safe to stick our necks further down the sand and rather than face the facts; Nigerians have got a serious problem and it is about time we faced the facts and see what we can do as a collective.
There are immoral and avaricious individuals who are doing everything that they can to siphon more of our common wealth for their own gluttonous agenda. They are so desperate to hold on to the vestiges of power and are ready to try all dastardly means to do so.
It is absolute disgrace, there is no redeeming features in these desperados even if they attempt to dazzle us with their cloth of respectability. This simply will not wash. Like elder Soyinka sad;” the damage has been done, the rot in a nation’s collective soul bared to the world. The very possibility of such a desecration took the Nigerian nation several notches down in human regard. It confirmed the very worst of what external observers have concluded and despaired of – a culture of civic callousness, a coarsening of sensibilities and, a general human disregard. It affirmed the acceptance, even domination of lurid practices where children are often victims of unconscionable abuses including ritual sacrifices, sexual enslavement, and worse. Spurred by electoral desperation, a bunch of self-seeking morons and sycophants chose to plumb the abyss of self-degradation and drag the nation down to their level. It took us to a hitherto unprecedented low in ethical degeneration”
He was acerbic and funny to suggest that perhaps if they must, they could bring back some essentials like “electricity and other elusive items like security, the rule of law, etc.
The list is interminable. And funny “The nature of what is being brought back is thus what raises the disquieting questions. It is time to ask the question: if Ebola were to be eradicated tomorrow, would this government attempt to bring it back?”
No one could have put it better. What do we say to our young, where do we stand on the side of history? Should we all be tarred with same odious brush?” Most of us love a life of delusion, escapism, grandiosity and denial for so long.