Writing Politics But Was I Compromised?
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Was I Compromised?
That was the question I asked myself as I wrote what seemed to be my last political statement on my personal facebook page. My past few weeks before that had been a whirlwind of insults and accusations of bias … so sharp that I had been left asking myself over and over again “was I compromised?”
About 5 months ago, just a few days before the the Presidential elections I attended a literary event at TerraKulture. At the end of the event, I ran into a couple of APC youth supporters, not the supporters that write articles and do nothing, but supporters that are part of the strategizing and planning committee’s for APC.
And when I met them they said this to me regarding my political coverage …
“We don’t know what side you are on, whether you are with APC or against APC, one minute you are criticizing APC the next you are criticizing PDP, so tell us what side are you on”
The conversation did not go exactly like that, but the above is a general summary of what they said to me. And my general response was this …
“I am neither for or against APC, I am just anti-bull shit and pro-democracy.”
I further told them that I believed that no matter what GEJ did, that Buhari was going to be the next President of Nigeria and that the only way that would not happen was if there was massive rigging of the 2003 scale.
I could see the confusion in their faces when I made that statement … I don’t think they were expecting me to say that I believed Buhari would win. But that is what I sincerely believed. However, they still had one more question … “If you believe Buhari will win, then why are you criticizing him?”
And my answer is really the crux of this article I am writing today … it s simply that I believed in the democratic process.
In the elections I saw a Buhari that was being camouflaged and protected by a strong/brilliant APC media force, a Buhari that did not want to debate because people had advised against it, a Buhari that had not faced any tough questions or scrutiny by journalists in Nigeria or overseas, a Buhari that was being erroneously peddled as Obama change, a Buhari that was simply over protected from democracy!
That’s why I spoke up then … but even now after the elections are over, Buhari is still being protected, not by APC but by we … the Nigerian people.
Nigerians sadly are still in Election mode, not questioning our leadership, making excuses for his faults and exalting him to an almost mythical level. Even loud critics of our previous democracy have mysteriously gone quiet … the Oga’s at the Top known for their over the top puppet satire are no longer releasing videos as though their mission has been fulfilled, our intellectuals and occupy Nigeria activists have gone on Vacation, our Boko Haram wailers non-existent, its as if the country is on democratic mute. Mute, because somehow we believe that change has come…so even when shit looks wrong, facts look distorted … most people are still quiet. But not me, I am too stupid to know when to keep quiet, so I write and speak out when I sense bullshit and hypocrisy.
And because of this, I have been insulted, accused to be a pro-biafra tribalist, a bitter GEJ supporter, a hater of Northerners, and the list goes on.
If this was coming from strangers … I could bear it, but this was coming from close friends or at least people I considered close friends. It got so bad, that I even had to Facebook block a person that I served on the same wedding train with because he kept using the “your brother” ethnic slur to respond to my criticism … no logic, just emotional insults.
And then I realized that for whatever reason, people are more emotionally connected (which is sad) to this administration than any other.
And like a relationship where emotions are high the probability for abuse is also high, because emotion displaces logic. And boy have I seen that happen.
I mean I have friends that laughed and praised me as an intellectual when I attacked GEJ’s on issues, caricatured him on Religion, called him stupid on his Boko Haram clueless war … but the moment I turned the pen on their candidate, the very same people that thought I was an intellectual started sending messages about how I am going over the top or going too far. All of a sudden what was comedy 4 months ago had now become #$@$##.
So back to the question “Was I Compromised” the answer is no. I have not been.
I believe that Buhari has the ability to be the best President in the history of Nigeria. I believe that he can stamp out corruption and raise the image of Nigeria, but I believe also that he has flaws and that he will not get to his full potential with Doyin Okupe style sycophancy … he will get there with honest criticisms.
So yes I will not be posting on my personal Facebook page, because I don’t want to end up blocking friends and classmates that are emotionally connected to this administration. But I will keep speaking up about politics, keep offering the sharp criticisms on my other pages. Because my duty is to make sure we don’t stifle the potential of Buhari by drowning him in excessive praise!
NOTE: This article is dedicated to those great people out there who put logic before emotion, regardless of whether or not we are on the same political side. Because we all agree on one thing and that is that Nigerian can and will be better.
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