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Crabs in a barrel – by Kennedy Emetulu

For them, it’s easy. Once they consciously or unconsciously create a class of sycophants large enough to distort the waters of civil engagement, they know they are safe.  

They can steal to their hearts’ content, brag about it and rub it in your face while ordinary Nigerian are collapsing or dying on their feet. 

Sure, there will always be people howling against them, calling them out on their various acts of misgovernance and impunity.

But as far as the sycophants are distorting that communal pool, ensuring that there is no solidarity in the civil populace against them, they are fine, very fine. 

But for the people, it invariably becomes harder to hold government accountable when amongst you are people who refuse to accept the evidence of their own eyes, because of their emotional investment in the failure they see. 

Indeed, some simply insist on hanging on to false hope, because of the needless shame they have been infected with. 

The question then is how do you get societal solidarity for positive democratic action against failed leaders if you are still here prosecuting an electoral outcome that’s been decided more than a year ago? 

The whole point of an election is that people make a choice. 

You cannot point accusing fingers at those who made a choice yesterday that became the majority choice to produce the failed government of the nation today simply because they made that choice then just as they cannot point accusing fingers at you for supporting a choice that’s voted out because, rightly or wrongly, the majority thought that choice a failure. 

If you are still with me up to this point, I ask you to pause….Think….

In whose interest are you saying “Ntoi!” today? 

Even if you are living large abroad and have no truck with the difficulties people are facing at home politically, economically and socially, don’t you have relations, kinsmen and women and friends who go through this and who you must feel for? 

I mean, if you are still a human being and have a drop of the milk of human kindness in you, don’t you feel something? 

Do you think every person who voted for Buhari is in the intellectual class you rail against for imposing him on us? 

Do you think every voter of Buhari was bought over by lucre? 

Do you think every one of them is so daft about their history that they chose a man you considered a failure the first time he was national leader and Head of State, a man you insisted has nothing to offer this time, because of his antecedents? 

Do you think sitting there and mocking them is the patriotic thing to do now that we find our nation here?

No, the patriotic thing to do is to forget the election and remember only NOW. 

Do not point any finger at anyone claiming they caused this or brought us here. In case you have forgotten, democracy brought us here. 

We made a choice based on the rule of the game and there are no regrets from all sides and there should be none. 

The patriotic thing to do is to seek people who think like you now (not people who voted like you or unlike you yesterday) about the nation and who are prepared to do something about it. 

And yes there are diverse ways to do something about it. 

You can join people of like minds who think that the best thing is to support the government and not criticise them;

Or you can join others who think the best thing is to call out the government on its various acts of impunity and bad governance and seek legal and democratic ways (no matter how hard) to force them to do the right thing;

Or correct the wrongs they are doing, because whatever they do wrong is against all of us. 

Of course, if you are in the latter category, they call you opposition, but you don’t have to be in the PDP to be that. 

It is your right as a citizen of Nigeria to express yourself. 

Your right to free speech and freedom of thought allows you to oppose the government and that is a patriotic thing to do because opposing the government is not the same thing as opposing the nation. 

It does not make you a traitor, no matter what the security services tell you. 

In fact, there is no greater show of love to one’s country than to stand in opposition to a government intent on taking it down Calamity Road. 

If you understand all I’ve said so far, then you must recognise the danger you pose to Nigeria by mocking those who voted Buhari or by being defensive for voting Buhari. 

Sheathe your swords, people! Stop making a great to-do about the vote; that is a distraction! 

The barbarians are at the gates of our nation tearing everything down, ready to devour us! 

Join hands with your fellow patriot, irrespective of who he or she voted for the last time, to save Nigeria from the scourge we face now. 

Stop the whole accusations and counter-accusations, begin to look at the issues affecting us all now and think solutions, no matter whose horse is gored. 

Think!

A word is enough for the wise.

Kennedy Emetulu

 

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