Critics, criticism and burden of moral stability

Seun Onigbinde [photo credit] Daily Post

In less than four months or thereabout into the second term of the Buhari administration, nemesis in a way has caught up with two of his proven critics in a manner, arguably, never before seen in the political history of the country.  

I say this, reasons being that, I’ve been around for some time now and I don’t think I’ve heard or seen similar scenario ever played out in Nigeria where politically active personalities would be barred from joining, in whatever capacity, a government of which they once hold critical opinions.

I might be wrong as I don’t have a monopoly of knowledge. As such anybody with a superior experience is free to correct me.

And the executor of the judgment on the two was none other than the Buhari Media Organization and by extension his die-hard fans.

The undoing of the two, like I hinted above, was after all the while of throwing invectives at the person of President Buhari and his government they suddenly make a U-turn by accepting an offer to serve in the same government.

The first casualty of the Buhari Media Organization’s intolerable stance for anybody who looked double-faced a personality was Festus Adedayo.

Festus is a brilliant writer and critic who has not spared the Buhari administration with the vitriol of criticisms ceaselessly flowing from his pen.

He has a well-referenced stockpile of unkind words for the president and his men in his locker-room as an opinionated writer.

It is fair enough, you might say. After all, being a Nigerian and a writer, he is such a critical stakeholder in the country’s democratic project that’s duty-bound to breathe his perceptions on the state of the nation.

He is also eminently qualified to hold the government accountable as far as governance is concerned.

But more often than not, his written pieces are borne out of bad faith, personal aggrandizement or a calculated but hidden lure of lucre through self-promotion unto the government consciousness by way of launching scathing attacks on it which all played out not too long afterward.

All seem to be going well for him as an independent critic until he veered off the track in a manner of speaking by accepting the appointment as the chief media aide to the current Senate President Ahmed Lawan.

The Buhari Media Organization, as well as his supporters, would have none of it. And their response was tidal enough to cause a significant shift in official quarters.

Adedayo was not only severely criticized by the group for accepting an appointment from a government he sees nothing good in, his innocent benefactor; Ahmed Lawan was likewise hounded through a frenzied social media campaign into terminating the said appointment.

That settled the score with critic Festus whose only rebuttal was his vehemence resolve to continue criticizing the government where and when it appears it’s not doing well as it concerns good governance no matter whose Ox is gored.

I personally wish him well at such a laudable endeavor from which I also advise that he should never deviate.

But if feelers from his antecedence are anything to go by, that’s left to be seen because I’ve it on good authority that he was once a media aide to one of the governors in the south-south region of the country. 

This makes it a forgone conclusion that he would always be on the look-out for similar openings by whatever means suitable including demonizing his targets.  

This time around the victim, literally speaking, is Seun Onigbinde.

Before his appointment gone awry as the Technical Adviser to the Minister of State for Budget and National Planning, Clem Agba, he was the co-founder of a certain IT company named BudgIT which specializes in fiscal transparency.  

Like Festus, Seun has been a long-standing caustic denigrator of the government of the day, and indeed of the president.

He had at some points in the past described the president in the lowliest of language imaginable. Summarily, the president to him is 'incompetent, dictatorial and perpetuating illegalities' in one of his rabid jibes.

And those men and women of goodwill and genuine interest of the country at heart which includes my humble self who support the president he had also uncharitably characterized as 'ethnic jingoists'.

It is a thing of interest that long before now the route of criticizing a government of the day at every opportunity has been traveled by many with clearly the singular motive of getting noticed and followed by an appointment.

And many indeed were later appointed into the same government they had harangued at every turn even needlessly for the reason of not appreciating its limitations as a bunch of elective and appointive persons seeking the good of the country in their various capacities.

What usually happened next is they were not only quieted but would go on to singing a new song of praise of the government in which a while ago they see nothing good to write home about. Isn’t that hypocritical? Yes, it is. The reality that had stared us in the face-up until now is that they always get away with it.

With the few examples so far seen, it seems that is not working with this government because its supporters are strict, conscious and are well-armed to take on individuals who might want to access the government on the back of being self-entitled critics of its programs and policies.

And I think it is a good one. People, by whatever names they go – critic, opponents, name it should not be allowed to eat their cake and still have it. You cannot describe something or someone in the most odious terms and still want to co-travel with it. It shows in practical terms a total lack of honour, decency, morality, and integrity.

If the critics truly believed in the ideas and ideologies they are espousing which indeed most of the time are at variance with the government one should expect that they find an alternative home in the wide skies of our political climate to push them rather than seeking to sneak themselves into the same government at nightfall thinking people will just look the other way.

To me, it is nothing short of an act of moral instability or bankruptcy if you like which has long been condoned in the political landscape of the country.

It is even quite different from when politicians switched allegiance from one political party to the other no matter how ridiculous the stated reasons are.

In their case, they constitute themselves into arm-chair critics and are from their cozy inner-rooms slashing at the heart, body and soul of a government only to emerge as beneficiaries of such dirty antics while the real party men get soiled from head to toe in the murky trenches of Nigerian electioneering campaign. 

Without mincing word, Seun Onigbinde is a social and intellectual scoundrel who seeks to profit by a calculated subterfuge. He is a horrible wretch hoping he would not be uncovered.

And his types should be restrained or resisted if you like by every means possible from having their ways in our society just as the Buhari Media Organization has done.

It is not about clamping down on the rights of Nigerians to keep an open mind and freely expressing their views and opinions on issues of national importance like some people are saying.

It is about the critics themselves not condescending into the domain of imbalanced and hysterical commentaries and analyses of national developmental issues for selfish gains which is what the likes of Seun and Festus has been doing when they have the platform to constructively engage the government.
Instead, all they spend their day doing was shading the government without proffering solutions. And they still have the effrontery to step forward to accept an appointment from the same government.

Whereas if they have shame, they would never have even secretly desire to serve in a government they both had at one time or the other called illegality among other unprintable words while deliberately overlooking the fact that it is a democratically elected government we are talking about here.

And for going as far as deleting his Twitter account so that his ridiculous and denigrating posts against the President Buhari administration would not be recalled, Seun has shown himself to be a tendentious opportunist - a scam artist to the core.

And that's mostly regrettable because it is coming from a young Nigerian whom we all have been vigorously campaigning for to be given a chance in a leadership position in the country.

I think more searchlight should be beamed on him lest we have another Obiwanne on our hand pretty soon.

Now if we think the political class is the worst set of people in the country, I think more than ever before, we should begin to have a serious rethink.

I believe like the Buhari Media Organization said that there are countless supporters of the President who have more powerful backgrounds and records, who are better qualified, and who would offer better professional and intellectual support to the attainment of the President’s ideas and goals, which they believe in – which Seun, from his posturing, has said he does not.

More so, I also think it is high time conscious efforts should always be made by public office holders to recruit only people whose political positions aligned with theirs into appointments to avert a similar occurrence in the future.

This is because we have had enough of people of imbalanced and unstable morality trying to reap roses where they had sowed thorns.

It is the most unimaginable evil. And it should never be allowed to stand.

I pledge my availability and support to fight the scourge of moral instability wherever it rears its ugly head because it is not good for the progress of this country.

And for those who think he (Seun) shouldn't have resigned from the post, and that he should have come prepared for the criticisms that was bound to follow his appointment knowing fully well his own antecedent as a critic of the government, they are not only being dishonest with themselves they are equally promoting the cause of travesty of decency, honour, integrity and above all moral stability.

Finally, I for one strongly believe there should be a clear demarcation of political ideologies in operation in Nigeria; instead of the current ideological fluidity in the system which is leading us to where.

No wonder Nigerian politicians’ cross-carpet at will from one political party to the other simply for a lack of political ideology. What we have today is more of politics of interest, of jobbers, of butchers and not politics of pan-national development driven by ideologies.

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