“When a person should be spoken with, and you don’t speak with them, you lose them. When a person shouldn’t be spoken with and you speak to them, you waste your breath. The wise do not lose people, nor do they waste their breath.” –Confucius
We watched with incredulity as Ambode spewed out incoherent and crass insults towards Sanwo-Olu. If it was not televised, it wouldn’t be believed. It was cringe worthy and why did his communication people stop him or at least advise him that it was in his best interest? Possibly he did not take their counsel; this is what happens when you surround yourself with sycophants and yes men. What on earth happened and how could anyone in their right mind take to the rostrum with the press watching to commit political hara-kiri?
He said that Mr Jide Sanwo-Olu, was once arrested and detained in the US for spending fake dollars, and that he was once a mental patient:” The aspirant that has been put up to contest against us is not a fit and proper person to take this job. This particular aspirant is somebody that has been arrested for spending fake dollars in a night club in America, and was detained for months. It is also known that he doesn’t have the competence to do what he is propelled to do. This is somebody that has gone for rehabilitation before. The records are there at Gbagada General Hospital.”
Well, no matter how you slice and dice it, this was a political own goal. Ambode for whatever reason chose to nail his colour to the mast; it was not pretty, in fact, and it was damn right ugly and despicable.
No matter what people thought of him before, he left no doubt in what people thought of him after. Even though, some apologists felt he was pushed. That was no excuse. No justification for the diatribe.
He is an adult and as the first citizen of the state, he is accountable and has responsibility to act in a way that reflects his high office. He failed spectacularly that day; not only did he let himself down, he let the whole state down. If there was anyone that needed assessment for their character, it was Ambode.
Sadly, we have many like Ambode, who in a hurry to spite their nose they often cut their face. This is the psyche of an ego driven person. And if they cannot have it, no one else can. It is always about them never about other people. They seek revenge at all cost and disregard the consequences.
The nation needs people who hold public office, who have the interest of the people at heart and love to advance the lives of every Nigerian and not the immediate few.
What Ambode has shown is how not to behave but also what anyone seeking public office should not have- a malicious streak.
Whatever happened, people of Lagos were cheated of a good and honest debate. It became about personality and not about the mandate.
When two elephants fight, it is the grass that suffers. Time and time again, the people were distracted and failed to see the real issue; high unemployment rates, poverty, poor health, insecurity, high crime levels and poor standards of living.
So now that the dust have settled and the people of Lagos State have decided to forgo Ambode for Sanwo-Olu, Ambode has conceded and assuring Lagosians to come together for the sake of the people. Like my mother would say, medicine after death. Too late to bolt the stable door after the proverbial horse has bolted.
Ambode has not only truly fallen on his political sword but also lost the respect of the people.
The Nigeria we know
Nigerians are on a perpetual emotional rollercoaster where the ride will take us nobody knows.
Life, they say, is never a straight road, and one should take the rough with the smooth. Afterall, it is those rough roads that build character. Of course, naturally, no one wants to have that uncomfortable experience but there is no growth without it.
There lies the paradox of the Nigerian. There is the desire to always want a smooth road; a painless journey and to arrive unscathed and victorious. As a result, the Nigerian has been unsuccessful always on the lookout of the smooth road that leads to nowhere fast. Memo to Nigerians: Rough seas, makes good sailors.
Our country was not built on get rich quick hustle nor was it built on vacuous and shallow individuals. Well, it was not before but it seems now; it is full of Nigerians who are. If I am preaching to the converted, my apologies.
Right now, far too many Nigerians, are far too selfish and money driven above everything else to make a positive difference to the national narrative. It is harder not to come off evangelising, it is incredibly more difficult not to feel frustrated and overwhelmed by the daily hardship, the onslaught of day to day living condition of majority of Nigerians. For a country that professes to be highly religious, so why have we lost our humanity and our moral compass?
I do have hope because, inspite of it all, I know that our young people will lead the way out of this mess. They owe us nothing; in fact we owe them a lifetime of gratitude, because they did not give up, when they were not given opportunities to merely survive. I am optimistic, very optimistic.
My Archive-political Riposte 2013
There is a big elephant in the room and some opportunists are using it to their advantage because they have ulterior motives. While they start the fire, they will stand back and let people fight it out and innocent people will get embroiled in this melee. I felt that the brouhaha was in the least alarmist, and at most, prejudicial with a thick religious extremist profiling. So I question the way some of our people love stoking the Islamic/Christian divide and the worrying trend of creating religious hatred over certain conspiracy theorists that there has been a dominance of one religion over another.
I believe it will be wrong to start fanning and inciting hatred on religious and tribal lines. And anyone heading towards this notion is stoking the hornets’ nest.
So what matters to the ordinary people, what do they really, really want? Employment, housing, education, training, proper standard of living, consistent and regular power supply, better access to health and social care, safe roads and transports and better governance in all sphere of public and private institutions.
That’s what the ordinary Nigerian wants and should have. So what have they been fed? More of the same; poverty, insecurity, deprivation, lack or insufficient quality education, massive corruption, bribery, abuse of power, misappropriation of resources and capital.
So no one; Christian or Muslim, Igbo, Hausa, Yoruba and other tribes are lily white, they are all tarred with the same brush.