Last Saturday, I published an article not very critical but enough to rattle the skin of a well known social critic who happens to be a SAN. All hell broke loose as my publishers were made to issue a retraction and cut me to size. When I read the retraction in the Sunday edition of the paper I could not help but fall down in helpless laughter.
Further investigations showed that this SAN had threatened to bring down the roof if this retraction was not placed immediately. Infact from what I have learnt, the retraction is also to be issued on my page to complete my ‘humiliation’. The message was clear, the SAN found the article offensive and I was to be warned.
This is the recent episode in my clashes with well known social critics who from their glass houses throw stones and yet expect not to be shot at. This is really pitiable as people who have made a career and living off criticizing every and anybody but still would not expect to be attacked and scream and cry like babies when the slightest of criticisms get close to them.
My initial brush with this phenomenon was with an ex Minister who has just been released from the EFCC gulag. The very handsome gentleman is a fiery critic of the present government and is currently alluding to his persecution as a direct consequence of his vitriolic attacks on the government. During the last election, he was everywhere casting aspersions on the person of the opposing presidential candidate and abusing everybody. I remember him claiming that Governor Amaechi had only one shirt when he first met him, asking with a whimsical look at the TV camera, ‘who is his father’. What Trump is doing now can only but be labelled as a joke compared to the way and manner this our cool cat went about his own campaigns on behalf of his principal. But the day I ‘yabbed’ him small on my page, all hell broke loose. I was made to apologise not only to him but his then girlfriend. I come weak o.
The second one was my global journalist. The one with the self acclaimed iconic back page column in the Apapa based newspaper where I also write for. I had only just asked jocularly in my usual light hearted manner that he be made the Ooni of Ife since he had shown an uncanny understanding of the Ife traditions and politics, na so I beg too. Everybody call me to warn me.
So this leads me to a very serious conclusion, that we are being assailed by Pharisees and hypocrites. Those who practice the ‘do what I say and not do what I do’ mantra. For how would you find criticisms of yourselves and statements irritating even as you continue to throw stones at perceived targets. What this means is that if some of these our fighters for social justice had some modicum of executive powers, we will all be dead. I would have been flogged on the shrine of oduduwa in Ife or made to crawl on the muddy streets of Apapa and also slapped at Ikeja GRA for daring to point a finger at our royal social critics.
You see why I just may continue to respect those with executive powers who have continued to show restraint. All the abuse I have thrown at Buhari and Saraki, plus even the latest ‘impregnator’ I have not been asked to apologise or threatened with any form of judicial murder.
I remain restrained because of those around me. But for my mother and housemaid, I would have taken this fight to them. Who gives you the power to throw shots and yet not expected to be shot at. My retirement is due and once that is concluded, I will seize to be this cowardly becuase by that time I will be free and would not be bothered about collateral damage and I would say it as I see it.
We need a heavy dose of reality check in this country. We need to increase our level of integrity and shun the hypocrisy that continues to chip into our national fabric, turning us all into zombies and mumus who walk around naked but not knowing.
I tire. Let’s meet 2017.
Ripples Nigeria…without borders, without fears
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