Politicians, standing truth on its head


By Idris S. Hayatudeen

I find the classic politician’s penchant for standing truth on its head most
perplexing, as if he has never come across the adage that one needs to
manufacture 1000 lies to cover one, or that truth liberates. Didn’t he see how
telling the truth about his indiscretion with weed liberated Obama and paved
his way to an improbable black presidency?

And here we are witnessing our seemingly sagacious classic politicians
mining with their own mouths their otherwise safe passage to higher offices
of their dreams. To wit, take Asiwaju’s case. Exercising his right, he went for a
ticket that will help him realise his life long ambition regardless of what type
of country that the winning strategy will serve him post inauguration. All fair
enough until in justifying his choice he stood truth on its head and said he
went for competence.

And bam all those excluded felt insulted, thus starting his storm in a teacup,
unnecessarily. He didn’t have to justify his choice, and even if he needed to,
he should have simply said ‘I chose Shettima because amongst the sea of
competent people in our party, he is the one who can help us cruise to
victory’. Truth served, liberated he stands. But no, he is a politico.

Or the case of Atiku who scored his own goal too by serving
himself some hodgepodge soup that made him believe that he could live with
whatever the VP selection committee came up with. And BAM suddenly 3
became greater than 13 and all hell broke lose sending everyone scampering
for cover from Wike’s justifiable fury.

Or a Datti going incognito in the now popular ‘I be competent too’ garb. He
knows, Obi knows and even we the gullible electorate know that Peter
settled for him after a long and futile search not because he was competent,
but because he is Mr. Available Hausa-Fulani Muslim from North West who
Obi thought was ‘competent’ to help him establish a beachhead in his own
version of Normandy landing for his crucial conquest of Arewa. And BAM,
with one truth stood on its head, he torpedoed his region, tribe and heritage
in one fell swoop, and with it too his claim to competence and political usefulness. And hence began the revolt in Zamfara, another totally
unnecessary storm.

We have thus stood truth on its head until untruth became truth, might
became right, not the right our fathers taught us was might, until the mighty
pens behind government fortresses had right over our collective wealth and
health, and until, through trickle down economics, the herder became the
herded and the tiny hand that wields the mighty AK47s from the forest has
right over our lives, brutally heralding to us that MIGHT is indeed RIGHT.

Yet, see the politicos do not seem to see, and hear they do not hear as they
corral us with the power of the mighty green back over the precipice into
Armageddon, all in pursuit of their life long ambitions for high office.
Unfortunately, complain we can’t even do, because complicit we all are since
we have, in pursuit of Fayose’s inglorious stomach infrastructure, allowed
ourselves to be absorbed into their all consuming culture of untruth.
All we can do is pray for absolution by the generations yet unborn when they
get to read about their ancestors who prodigally squandered and imperilled their future.

So, as Gowon would say, let us pray.