Tuesday, March 29, 2016 11:12 am
By Eseoghene Al-Faruq Ohwojeheri
When you take Maggi from the market without paying it is called stealing. This is why we don’t like to call billions of dollars escaping our treasury “stealing” even if it was; we seem to think calling it just what it is does not capture the seriousness of the matter. An evil you can’t do anything about frustrates you so much you no longer denounce it in clear terms you begin to speak in sarcasms and satires. This is why Mark Twain said “I would say you are an idiot, or I would say you are a member of Congress. But I repeat myself”. I knew I would find a Mark Twain to start my description of what Mr. Femi Adesina, the Nigerian President’s Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, did in the name of a Channels TV interview but I was wrong.
Mark Twain said, in the same sarcasm of frustration, about the likes of Femi Adesina “get your fact first, then you can distort it as you please”. Mark Twain was wrong. Femi Adeshina needed no facts when he made a failed attempt to speak on fuel scarcity; when you have “corruption is fighting back”, “wailing wailers”, and “Jonathan”, in your armoury, who needs facts? Femi did not need fact, he needed to simply give us a Pete Edochie swag and he did. Igwe!
Nigeria is perhaps the only country in the world where a spokesman to the President will be laughing while talking about fuel scarcity. Nigeria is perhaps the only country in the world where a spokesman to the President will tell a presenter who complains about having to queue up for hours to get fuel “you got at the end of the day, its what matters”.
When Mr. Femi was asked how come there is so much scarcity just about a year into this administration, his first response was that fuel scarcity has always been like that, “it is endemic”. Let us enrich Mr. Adesina’s list of other things that has been “endemic”. The first will be bad leadership and the second will be ehmmm…corruption. These are the exact same reasons his principal was elected on the promise of change. If what was endemic is normally expected to continue then what was the point?
He goes on to say if it will take some time “we just have to wait”. He adds with a blank face “sad, regrettable, but if it is the reality of the moment we live with it and we know better days will come”. While talking all this arrogant baloney he was looking up like Pete Edochie playing untouchable King; he was simply not answering questions, the presenter will go on and on and he will just give a short answer as if to say ‘well, that’s how we roll, go figure’.
Then like wanting to “sink the ship” for real, he expressly says the President has no control of “all the variable”, whatever that bull-pee means. He runs to PDP and runs to military era, complaining as usual about refinery and how “anything can happen”. All the while he keeps a blank face and defended a Minister of State for Petroleum who used the same blank face to tell Nigerians to wait till May, and he thinks the Minister should not be crucified for being “truthful”.
He goes on and on with plainly ridiculous statements like “with Nigerians head or tail you often lose”, he adds “Nigerians want a magic wand”, when reminded the President promised almost a magic wand he goes on and on about the word “almost”. Then he blames Bayelsa, he blames Delta, and breaks the camel’s back by saying “if some people are crying that they are in darkness they should go and hold those who vandalised the installations”. Even the presenter went quiet! Imagine an Abati saying “if some people are complaining of Boko Haram they should go and hold Shekau responsible”. Of course you can’t imagine. No one can imagine poo.
The problem is not Femi Adesina but the arrogance of the government. An arrogance which emanates from the fact that the people gave the government the mandate. Once our President was asked why he wants fewer Ministers when the constitution says more and his answer was “are you going to pay them?” I am not addressing how many Ministers are needed and I do support his decision, but you look at the tone of the answer and you remember this is the same fellow who was dressed in different traditional attires taking pictures during campaign and smiling at everyone, answering every question politely. The same fellow whose wife went to fry akara, the same fellow who use to call presenters by their names and pet them when power was being sought after. It seems that the real head or tail you lose is with the practice of democracy; they rig they become arrogant, you elect them they become arrogant. The former because they didn’t need your help and the latter because they have all your heads.
The lesson here is that the will of the people does not make anyone perform as the democrats will want you to believe. That the will of the people is on their side may even make the leaders more arrogant and less effective. The very idea of democracy is being questioned by such actions. It comes across as a mirage in Nigeria where poster boys become arrogant in power and a mirage in America where elections are won based on how many countries a candidate promise to bomb.
Democrats have become notorious in using and dumping “the people”. Adeshina is just a representative of this order, his interview with Channels Tv says it all.