Ayokunle Odekunle: Of hailing hailers, hypocrisy and the rest of us (A Rejoinder) @oddy4real

“These people walk by a widow deformed by leprosy…walk by children dressed in rags living in the street, and they think, ‘Business as usua...

“These people walk by a widow deformed by leprosy…walk by children dressed in rags living in the street, and they think, ‘Business as usual.’ But if they perceive a slight against God, it is a different story. Their faces go red, their chests heave mightily, they sputter angry words. The degree of their indignation is astonishing. Their resolve is frightening.”
― Yann Martel, Life of Pi


I was a JSS 2 Student at Ijemo Titun High School, Abeokuta when I joined the ‘Career Press Club’ (CPC). Attending the induction for young members, the Co-ordinator Mr. Akinola took his time to take us through the rudiments and elements of writing and writing well. An article must have a theme, he said. A concrete theme, he echoed.

One should also never fail to call out anyone who thinks himself a writer and pens something that may be offensive or deemed offensive by the ‘gods of writing’.

Such a fellow must be called out. As it is a duty one has to account for on the Day of Judgment.

I read an article by one of Nigeria’s most outstanding youths and acclaimed ‘activist’, Mr. Japheth Omojuwa titled “Nigeria: The following class and the face of hypocrisy”. Reading the article first of all, I couldn’t pinpoint what the theme was. I had to read 4 more times to decipher the message the author was trying to pass across.

I must confess at this point that the said article lacks so much substance to warrant an in-depth rejoinder. No issues were raised in the assemblage of words disguised as a well though-out article.

However, I am here to take the writer on, on his attempt at approbating and reprobating; arguing for and against, without basically making a point. His attempt at sounding politically correct even if it means doing that at the expense of logical reason irked me and still irks me. I know he can do better.

Hence this.

The author started by trying to make his reader think the article was an unbiased critique of the Muhammadu Buhari led administration. But as Alaafin Sango said in 666B.C:
“You can fool all the people some of the time or some of the people all the time. But you cannot fool all the people all the time”.
Mr. Omojuwa’s article is a veiled attack on avowed critics of the Government whom he tagged “Wailing wailers”. He went all out to set a ‘we v them’ scenario. He accused the ‘wailing wailers’ of wanting the Government of the day to fail at all cost and that they’re still pained Goodluck Jonathan (whom he once called a PIG when he was a wailing wailer himself) lost the last elections.

He went further by subtly asking the world to not take the ‘wailing wailers’ seriously but should instead listen to people like him who are the latter-day-saints saddled by the Almighty God with the sacred responsibility of determining how and when, the form and substance the critique of a Government should take and all what not.

I must tell you fam, the article made me laugh. It is laughable.

First things first, Mr. Omojuwa should know that it is not compulsory to criticize a Government. In fact, one is allowed to worship the President and the ruling party even if they are abject failures. It is however a sin, a fundamental one if I must add to try to insult our intelligence by engaging in ‘half thought out’ criticisms.

Laughable attempts at appearing unbiased. Putting it succinctly, President Buhari can be criticized without reference being made to Mr. Jonathan, the PDP or some neon eyed god. It smacks of some kind of ‘insecurity’ and an undue knack to justify one’s BIG mistake when one has to justify the failures of the present Government on the ‘BIG’ achievement of ‘kicking’ Goodluck Jonathan out of office.

It is not very responsible, if I must say.

Mr. Omojuwa, a ‘lecturer’ at a German University made reference to some things I see on social media and never ever believed an ‘academic’ would include in an article to be read by the Intelligent, the pseudo-intelligent and the aspiring ‘intelligent’. Issues like ‘Why criticize Buhari when under Jonathan, Nigeria earned a lot of petrodollars which Jonathan frittered and ‘ate’ hurt me. These things break my very tender heart.

There is a reason there is the internet. Asides championing the cause of the ‘downtrodden’, even ‘Overlords’ should be able to conduct ample research using the various search engines. And Google comes in handy here. A simple search, done under 2 minutes will show how former Governors fought the past President on sharing the ‘Excess Crude Account’. But that is a story for another day.

It is also not very responsible when citizens who pay tax and deserve good governance are labelled ‘pained wailing wailers’ because of their political affiliations. To each his own. ‘Biri Ka Mbiri’. Motives for criticism should never be an issue as every citizen, irrespective of political leanings can call out the Government of the day.

Politely I must say as I do not expect the opposition to be as lewd and rude as the e-opposition to Goodluck Jonathan which Omojuwa himself was an arrowhead of. Opposition should be with decency and should never be malafide. But even when such intentions are malafide, whoever arrogates the power of determining such acts ultra vires his powers. No one should however be maligned for his choice of political alignments.

I believe those are the only stuff with resemblance of ‘serious issues’ in Mr. Omojuwa’s piece. Mr. President’s supporters like Japheth should stop the nose-in-the-air-i-am-better-than-you-you-know-not-what-is-good-for-you-because-you-are-not-progressives demeanour. It is nauseating, to say the least.

But I must say, hypocrisy comes in different forms. It could come in the form of a suit wearing man or a normal person pretending to belong to the elite intelligentsia. It could even come in the form of an Overlord. It is a complex world.

However, it must be said that the success or failure of the Buhari administration lies in the hands of these griots; some self-appointed, some ‘codedly-appointed’. Some appointed but hiding under the cloak of the ‘Human Rights Activist’ who mean well for Nigeria. It is imperative for these griots and Squealers to learn from the last administration.

It is never going to hurt the President when things are spelt out the way they are, to the President. Without sugar-coating of any kind. White can never be ‘Black white’. It can only be white. It is what it is. For example, I expect the ‘advocates of good governance’ to tell the President in plain terms that the Country is falling apart. That businesses are on the death row… each waiting for the hangman.

That the middle-class is being depleted and we are all being drawn down the poverty lane. That NOTHING seems to be working. These ‘advocates’ should be able to tell the President that he is failing and may remain a perpetual failure if things continue the way they are.

These advocates do not need to worry about Goodluck Jonathan, the ‘wailing wailers’ or whoever. Goodluck Jonathan has been consigned to the annals of History and he is going to be judged. And he is not going to be judged by the ‘Wailing wailers’ or the ‘Hailing Hailers’. He is going to be judged by posterity. And no one is stopping the ‘Hailing Hailers’ from elevating the President to the status of a god and worshipping him. It is what it is.

And I must say that Twitter basically protects people with writing deficiencies or let me say deficiencies in making sense in a long haul.

Perhaps, due to the 140 character limit which is the biggest promoter of ‘pseudo-intelligence’ and grand delusion of grandeur.

One may then be advised to keep the ‘substance-less’ grandstanding on Twitter for their select audience where such disguised ineptitude and lack of intellectual depth could be condoned and even hailed. Writing is not for everybody.



Ayokunle Odekunle, a Lawyer, writer and brand strategist works with one of Nigeria’s Largest full service law firms. He was most Outstanding Personality at the University of Ibadan in 2011 and tweets from @oddy4real

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