Beyond what we can effortlessly see, it is outstandingly difficult, though not impossible, to see through the sand tracks birthed in the sheer grit of lying lips. Those who lie, lie for different reasons, but undoubtedly, many who lie are subsumed in fear, electing to bask in the fleeting wish that the lie will shield and comfort them and it never happens. I tell you, a lie is the liar’s scorching headache, carried by a sluggish body with the supprt of shaky feet, constantly afraid that like always, the truth will undo them.
Last week, while something remarkable happened, something outrageous followed this remarkable happening. In the list President Muhammadu Buhari drew up for the board of the Nigeria Communication Commission, NCC, the name of a certain Okoi Obono-Obla, appearing on the list as the candidate representing Nigeria’s South-South region, burst the bubble. Obla, a foremost lawyer and activist from Cross River State, was the Special Assistant, Prosecutions, to Buhari before his non-executive membership of the NCC board came calling.
While I didn’t delude myself that Obla’s elevation will be received with thunderous ovation, (not many people truly celebrate our elevation), I am still awestruck at the vitriolic negative actions of a few persons (of Cross River extraction) who took the back seat of intelligence. In their estimation, the added responsibility that comes with Obla ‘s NCC nomination is a SACK from his Buhari’s prosecution aide’s job. It was indeed stomach wrenching to see individuals; literate, urbane, exposed and devilish, peddle the lie that Obla has been sacked. A few ingenious ones opened news websites that propagated an April Fool’s Day in August.
We may never be able to, for certain, say what forces drove them into the ignoble Order of Liars but their actions clearly demonstrate a serpentine personal hatred for Okoi Obono-Obla and their indulgence in a liturgical litany draped in dirges speaks volumes. Let me say this; if we kneel and constantly pray that our neighbour’s house should go up in flames, we must then thank God unceasingly, if the house burns to the ground while our kids were there taking a nap.
Some people have argued that Obla does not deserve the kleigh lights of the Buhari stage because he comes poorly attired; whatever that means. Others remember too many evil things about him and shout themselves hoarse. If we however listen to the faint, deep voice within us, the biblical words of St. Paul as recorded in his first letter to the Corinthians, 1:27~29, should do us good.
Paul wrote, “…No, God chose those who by human standards are fools to shame the wise, he chose those who by human standards are weak to shame the strong…indeed those who count for nothing, to reduce to nothing all those who count for something”.
There is of course, politics at play in all of this. I am quite saddened to say that most of those who peddled this falsehood have no axe to grind with Obla, rather they are, without a whiff of exaggeration, rustlers, hired by men with a malicious hatred for promotion and elevation among all manner of men and women. One or two that I have spoken with, whimpered in sentences that made native arrogant sense and confessed in the end that he had nothing against Obla but “..was just told to share the story on Facebook”.
Obla too has work to do; his closeness to Buhari must not be for his kith and kin. He also must not exploit his positions, doing things that will bring him and Cross River State shame. He must begin to fight well and less because he must conserve energies for fruitful work. While it is impossible to wish away enemies, it is possible to work at not making more enemies; it is not weakness, it is discretion. I agree that Buhari is Obla’s master and must be defended in good, and in the kind of bad times upon us all, now. Those who reasonably disagree with Buhari, must also be heard just like Obla defends Buhari; it is the only way to the kind of dialogue Nigeria needs.
I congratulate Obla on the elevations so far and congratulate his detractors too for using this opportunity to “show face” and get base recognition. May this ugly experience be the performance filip.
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