Before We Become another Reno, Let’s Talk To Ourselves by Ajewole Bejide
Events on social media and in Nigeria has got me thinking these days about the difference between us and Goodluck Jonathan and co whom we all criticize for his stand on corruption and the attacking style of his government and his media aides.
For the records, I am not one of those that voted for President Goodluck Jonathan in 2011. During the build up to the election, I looked at his antecedents and decided this is not a man that Nigeria needs. I remember how cowardly and scary looking I saw him years back in Abeokuta during the Gateway games and later during the Presidential campaign where OBJ made the then famous ‘Umaru den say yu don die’ phone call and the various times I saw through the ‘I had no shoes’ campaign spearheaded by the drain pipe called neighbour to neighbour.
I would have centered this article on the three musketeers called in the persons of Dr Reuben Abati, Dr Doyin Okupe and Mr Reno Omikri, who manages the media and public image of the president, but in so doing, end up causing more harm to his exalted office, but I have decided to do otherwise by focusing on me and you who have taken it upon ourselves to so criticize this three ‘wise’ men for the job they choose to do.
The President has always come under attacks from the Combined Children of Anger for his choice of words and the way he strings those words together. He came under severe and justifiable hammer when he made the infamous ‘I don’t give a damn’ remark on national television, I did care enough to make some remarks about that loose statement from the C in C.
When the president granted a recent interview to CNN and said electricity is improving in Nigeria, I also joined to rebuke the president as I have not seen improvements in Lagos and Akure where I reside, even though my cousin in Ilesha told me that there is a near uninterrupted supply of power in the town, a development I personally confirmed when I paid a visit there.
All said, I know of the immature nature of the president’s media aides, I have witnessed firsthand tweets and statements from Reno, Abati and Okupe which were obvious lies and propaganda at laundering the image of the president at all cost and I have also seen the attacks of the Combined Children of anger in response to these people.
But wait a minute, is the Combined Children of anger not also guilty of what they are crusading against? I have seen people attack and use derogatory statements against perceived opposition, the same crime we accuse Reno and co travelers of. Imagine someone calling another person a bigot just because he does not reason along his line of thought.
I have seen people defend others without providing facts and resort to name callings and sometimes blocking, same thing the presidential aides do. They call some voltrons but doesn’t our own action portray us as voltrons too? Why do we have sacred cows while we fight corruption and government rascality? Why do we behave like rascals while we fight the government rascals, must we fight dirty because they fight dirty?
If we are going to fight some perceived and known irregularities, we are not to do same with another irregularity and style which we condemn. Why should we criticize Abatti saying ‘Don’t be silly’ yet use words like ‘Are you out of your mind?’ Must we throw decorum into the trashcan all in the name of fighting abnormality?
We are the future of this country, Nigeria looks up to us for a better tomorrow, if we don’t want to end like Reno, Abatti and Okupe then we should eschew any action/actions that has any semblance of the modus operandi of these people. No matter the affiliation, why not defend whoever you think you know better with facts and figure and if you can’t, let the person in question defend him/herself.
Finally, let’s ensure that we do not chase a monster and make ourselves a monster too. We do not want to deal with a Reno and make ourselves another Reno. Let’s be guided and ask ourselves, am I not another Doyin Okupe, Reuben Abati and Reno Omokri in the making?
Ajewole Bejide is also on twitter with the handle @Da_Megadon
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