Home ENGLISH VIEWPOINT: Refusal To Accept Truth By Mahmoon Baba-Ahmed

VIEWPOINT: Refusal To Accept Truth By Mahmoon Baba-Ahmed


Nigeria’s political class, especially the ruling elites, is quite insensitive to constructive criticism and is always quick to pour scorn on key members of the opposition and the press whom they wantonly condemn for exercising their fundamental human rights. There is no disputing the fact that some resentful politicians are extremely officious, always interested in other peoples’ businesses ostensibly to intimidate or suppress them if they fail to acquiesce or condone their unfair acts. That was precisely manifested in their bitter relationship with members of the Press and the opposition parties which they castigate unnecessarily and unjustifiably. While the political parties and their leadership simply relish the pleasure of accusing each other, they have also progressively become unreceptive to good counseling and particularly hostile to excellent reasoning and superior argument and are often indisposed to logical thinking. Their reactions to any meaningful criticism was always an angry, sharp or insulting rejoinder which is more often than not intended to humiliate and disparage anybody who dares raise finger against them.

How else can one explain the haughty attempt of some APC governors to stifle opposition, disagreeable politicians or members of the Press in a manner quite incompatible with their self-proclaimed status of messiahs? They always find fault with whatever the press has done as if they have no right to exercise their civic liberties.  In fact any pressman who dares publish or broadcast any material considered offensive or unpalatable to a government official will subsequently be unnecessarily persecuted for what may be termed contrived and fabricated statement. On so many occasions such vilifications would be followed by threats to life by specially kept thugs which often issue strict and uncompromising warning for supposedly careless and obviously mischievous utterances.

A typical example is Kaduna State where the impunity of the government and its high-handed officials is deplorable. Whenever a frontline politician, either from the opposition or from within the ruling party, utters any statement considered distasteful, will then be harassed and persecuted. In fact it was alleged that the government and the governor are highly intolerant to any iota of criticism or opposition to his avowed stand and had on many occasions reacted impulsively with devastating consequences. A typical case to buttress this contention was the pulling down of a house in Kaduna belonging to his political adversary, an action which was allegedly borne out of vengeance and vindictiveness.

There was no doubt that the previous PDP administration had unfairly threatened its political opponents through chief blackmails and unwarranted coercion to achieve a particular, but sinister result by identifying them with the dreaded Boko Haram sect members. The APC governors are now borrowing leaf from the PDP and are terribly emasculating inter and intra-party opposition as well as muzzling the Press in their respective states. In a nutshell, they are trampling upon the freedom of the press and the fundamental rights of dissenting politicians.

Another gesture expressive of some governors’ unnecessary insensitivity to constructive criticism was the needless indignation over comments by fellow compatriots that often descend heavily on the impact of their style of leadership which they often likened to a sinking ship in the hands of absolute autocrats. In the same vein, various well-meaning citizens also deplored what they called sectional politics peddled by politicians in unreserved disregard of institutions or individuals who preach against the unity of their party members. That attitude was largely responsible for the malady that is currently afflicting the country.

As if the Press or opposition politicians have no constitutional responsibility to offer constructive criticism to a government, an egotistical gubernatorial mouthpiece, will always engage his master’s critics in a most disgraceful, absurdly ludicrous war of words. His diabolical associates will also issue menacing statements and dangerous threats, promising hell and brimstone if knockers failed to endorse their principal’s actions, views and utterances. It is quite interesting to know that such zealots and their wayfarers have never been reprimanded or called to order over their unwarranted and incendiary comments.

In effect, the caustic and erratic remarks of the gubernatorial spokespersons have never addressed the substance of their critics’ frustration with their principal’s despotic style of leadership; rather they compound the situation by portraying his party and its government in poor light for being impervious to suggestions for improvements, having already become insensitive to other people’s feelings or situations that define their predicaments. Most criticizers of government policies and actions are peaceful citizens, propelled by immense patriotism to promote good governance in a country hijacked by mediocre politicians. They do not deserve vindictive reproof from uninspiring public functionaries which are impervious to good reasoning and sound counseling.