By Chioma Gabriel
Sometimes I feel sorry for those whose job it is to polish people’s image especially when a case is very bad. Sometimes, you are forced to lie, tell half-truths, hoodwink people and embellish truth or lies to justify what you are trying to defend. Sometimes, you don’t have a case but you just have to say something. Then you see yourself calling white black and black white and you do so with a volte face. Sometimes too, you don’t believe you are the one saying what you are saying and might have to pinch yourself to ask, am I really this person?
So, I feel pity for image launderers of politicians and political office seekers who have to lie through their teeth and many times, sound ridiculous in order to sell a bad market. In the process, they lose their friends and the trust of close associates and family members but many don’t seem to care.
Man must ‘wack’.
Sometimes, I pity people like Joe Igbokwe, Festus Keyamo, Buba Galadima and many others who don’t even know the cause they are fighting. They just find themselves arguing baselessly in defence of candidates who are using their intelligence to survive.
I feel sorry for social media tigers who abuse each other in their bid to defend political candidates. I also pity politicians who have stolen money in the past and in their bid to avoid being detected or having been detected and are trying to avoid punishment, talk from both sides of the mouth and jump ships. I feel pity for politicians who have to lie to defend a causeless cause or trying to force others to believe that black is white and white is black.
This is campaign period and each time big masquerade politicians campaign in some cities, they leave behind, tales of woe, lamentations and sometimes death. They leave behind, collateral damage. But it remains a fact that some of these politicians don’t give a damn about the people. They regard the people and treat them as inanimate objects that can be acquired and jettisoned at will. They import them as goods and commodities from other countries, make them climb poles, masts and trees to show off or try to convince others that they are being accepted by people.
It was even alleged that they rent all manner of people to join their campaign trains and in the process, other people are frustrated from doing their genuine businesses and going about their personal businesses. People are forced to close their shops not because they want to but because they are afraid of what could happen should hoodlums go berserk.
The other day in Lagos, during a gubernatorial campaign in Lagos, guns were fired and people died while many sustained injury. Those familiar with the story know about MC Oluomo, Kunle Poly and others.
I don’t really know if politicians care about human life or not. Whenever there is campaign rally, the onus is on security agents to beef up security but it becomes an issue when hoodlums defy the security apparatchik to perpetrate mayhem.
And when the news broke of the most recent presidential campaign rally in Lagos where 18 routes were initially reported closed and the gridlock on Ikorodu road was cleared instantly, Lagosians were aghast at what could be possible but was not being done. So, Ikorodu road could be cleared of tankers and containers? So, one can actually drive freely along that route towards Surulere? So, it is possible to get tankers and containers of Lagos roads?
And what about Lagosians? Was the route to other places free on Saturday? Was the system interested only in those who move and shake Nigeria? And when the roads are cleared for the movers and shakers to pass through, it creates problems for others who have to suffer all day to get to their different destinations and when these complain about the situation, they get instant reactions.
Vuvuzelas and lepatatas immediately get to work to justify the evil of the day.
And that is why Nigeria is where it is.