As if he had not been disappointed enough with slipping of the presidential ticket and vice-presidential nomination from his grasp, Governor Nyesome Wike of Rivers state was to see unfold before his eyes, the negative way chieftains of his party and others generally view him.
This is by way of reasons given for his losses, namely, that he lacks the necessary consideration for his fellow human beings. He is generally seen as being talkative, arrogant, undisciplined (in that he often cannot control his emotions), quick to anger, abusive, insulting and the like.
Deep within him, Wike would have felt depressed to be so regarded. It is like being able to read the hidden thoughts of people about you. Your first reaction is that of shock. It is quite possible that the governor considered these characterisation of him good traits seeing that some people hail him whenever he exhibits such. This is understandable because in this world of gross matter where good and evil dwell side by side you would find kindred spirits for whom sordid behaviours are a kind of elixir. They only lead the person blinded by their flattering unto the road of perdition.
Having experienced first-hand the repercussions of his bad traits (a.k.a. weaknesses), by way of what they have cost him in recent times, Wike should summon the courage to do away with them, to overcome these his weaknesses by honestly working on himself.
His current vacation in Europe (Turkey) in a serene environment, surrounded by the beauty of nature, offers him an opportunity for self-communion, introspection and self-purification. In the end, Wike should emerge from this purification of himself a new man, born anew with a new heart, devoid of bitterness, hate but in whom is planted love, utmost respect for all creatures, irrespective of colour, creed, socio-economic and other backgrounds.
However, should the governor elect to continue nourishing his weaknesses by flying off the handle at the drop of a hat, still engaging in uncouth vituperation, etc., he would discover that they would cost him more in future and may even consume him altogether. We all have our weaknesses. For some of us they are still slumbering within us and have not been brought to the open due to certain constraining circumstances. But come to the fore, to be exposed to all eyes they would one day. The earlier we deal with them to become a changed person, the better for us; because the longer they remain within us with their under growths, the harder and more painful would be the battle to banish them when they eventually show their faces.
No sooner had the Asiwaju of Yorubaland and Jagaban Borgu in northern Nigeria, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, crossed the first hurdle towards achieving his life-long ambition of becoming Nigeria’s president than the brickbats started flying around against him. They are fierce, vile, unsparing. They did not even allow him to enjoy the euphoria of having won the primary election; an election which prior to its commencement was laced with palpable tension, high wire intrigues with a powerful clique within apparently hell bent on side stepping Jagaban given the feverish push for a national consensus candidate and drafting of his erstwhile godson, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, to compete against him.
A meeting called by Yoruba elders to pick a consensus candidate among contesting South-west presidential aspirants failed in its mission. It was instead resolved that each of them had a right to aspire to the highest political office in Nigeria. Thus, it is a testament of Asiwaju’s political acumen that things started falling in place for him on D-day when a number of them began to step down for him. He won by a landslide. Jagaban says he prepares for anything and everything in politics – betrayals, backstabbing, etc., etc. Obviously, in his long years of preparation towards becoming Nigeria’s president, he would have virtually seen it all (the good, the bad, the ugly) gathered sufficient experience in the murky waters of Nigeria’s politics.
However, there is a big difference today. First, he is personally involved this time. Second, he is directly playing the game at national field in contrast to the hitherto regional level where he was largely lord of the manor. More importantly, we are now in the digital era where social media and their concomitant bloggers reign supreme, platforms for which nothing is sacred, which cannot be traced physically as such and to which the ethics of journalism do not apply. Their driving force is to get as many clicks as possible and so anything goes, the end, for them, justifies the means. Thus, you see misleading, scandalous headlines that verge on character assassination.
Notwithstanding all that he had witnessed in the political field, Asiwaju should be surprised at the hydra headedness and ferocity of these mud slinging. Perhaps his opponents are taking to heart the literal saying that if you fling enough dirt, some will stick. I cannot repeat some of these patently distorted screaming headlines because this is a respectable medium. But take the case of a Bloomberg report from which our bloggers cast an eye-catching headline that cast doubt on his integrity.
They all conveniently ignored the fact that Bloomberg in its report clearly stated that ‘’he was never convicted’’. Consider this latest social media headline, ‘court to arrest Tinubu within 48 hours’, which does not correspond with the facts. Unfortunately, most people do not have the patience or are rather lazy to read through the body of a story itself. They are content with just the headlines from which they make their conclusions and rush to comment.
The comments section of the social media reels of bile, oozing with insults, curses, abuses. It casts us as an uncouth people without any iota of respect for one another. Government cannot unfortunately regulate the social media at this time as such a plan would be misinterpreted to be aimed at achieving some parochial objectives. Nevertheless, administrators of these comments section should set some standards, chiefly that commentators should do so without hatred or abusive language. Certain words should be prohibited. Commentators should be constantly reminded that they should critique the message, not the messenger or any other person and that this should be done in a language deserving of civilised/decent people.
Ikeano writes via Victorian [email protected] 08033077519