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Published On: Thu, Dec 31st, 2020

2020: Diary of a columnist (III)

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Thursday Column with Mohammed Adamu

dankande2@gmail.com

NOT ‘JUSTICE’! BUT ‘SUBSTANTIAL JUSTICE’
“Virtually everyone layman qualifies for that proverbial ‘juristic man’ that the law refers to whenever judges value the weight of legal ‘reasonability’ using the measure of ‘objective test’. The lot has always fallen on the ‘opinion’ of what judges call the ‘reasonable man on the street’, -the question being: ‘will the reasonable man on the street, hearing only the facts of a case (and even if he is ignorant of the laws that apply to it) believe that justice has been served?’ And maybe it is the reason that lawyers and judges, whenever they talk about ‘substantial justice’, they are always wont to cap that desirable juristic goal with the assertion that ‘justice must not only be done’, but that ‘it must be seen to have been done.’ Meaning that it is not sufficient only that the judge believes that his judgment is just; or that the lawyer accepts that the court has served the end of justice; but that every ‘reasonable man on the street’ must believe that justice has been done”. –‘Obaseki And The Hypothetical Jury’ (13/10/20)

THIS ‘OBADIAH’ IS UNBIBLICAL!
“Quite un-Mailafiya-like…who would fain talk but to put forth his credentials ahead of his character. And although he outwardly exudes (even if we now know deceptively) the God-consciousness of the prophet-Obadiah, given the infamy of his most recent conduct, we can safely say that ‘this Obadiah’ is not hewed in the exemplary character of ‘that (biblical) Obadiah’. Because obviously inside of this ‘Obadiah’ lurks a subtle- conniving-ness that is both other-godly in conception and almost beyond the ken of the Devil himself in design –to ignite a war of tribes and tongues, religions and geographies”. –‘Obadiah Mailafiya And The Anatomy Of A Name’ (Aug20/20)

EL-RUFAI AS ENEMY
“But this has always been the lot of ‘plain-dealing villains’ –especially in the hands of hypocritically ‘honest flattering’ men. El-Rufai too knows this. And maybe it is the reason that Chapter Six of his autobiography ‘The Accidental Public Servant’ is titled “The enemy of my enemy is my friend –unless the friend is El-Rufai”. Head or tail El-Rufai has to be enemy. There is no middle ground when it comes to El-Rufai. You either love or you loath him. You are either for him or against him. You are his friend or his foe. To the latter group El-Rufai is a do-nothing, blood-baying ethno-religious bigot who is the insinuated Islamic leader of Boko Haram, the clandestine sponsor of bandits ravaging the North and the eminently priestly Jihadist leader of the invincibly marauding Fulanis that are killing the people of Southern Kaduna. But to the former, El-Rufai is about one of the best things that has happened -or that is happening- to political governance”. –‘El-Rufai As Plain-Dealer’ (Aug/27/20)

THE ‘WATCH’ OR THE ‘LAPDOG’?
“….why should the Daily Trust reporter –or any journalist for that matter- not find the meeting with Femi Fani Kayode auspicious enough to ask a former Minister, and one, by the way, with a pedigree not of bequeathed wealth but merely of ancestral bookstores, where and how he found the wherewithal, especially now that he is a stark, un-salaried, no-known-business-doing, private citizen, where in the hell, and how in the name of Hades did he find the wherewithal, to tour the country, one state after another, appraising projects executed by Governors? Why should that be a problem?… It is just a question of perspective after all. That although the journalist has a constitutional and moral duty to play the ‘watchdog’, too many alluring laps strewn across his ethical minefield invite daily to a decadent optional role as a ‘lapdog’ of the rich and powerful….how he daily navigates this minefield has always been a decision entirely his own. It has always been the journalist’s duty to interrogate especially those who hold public trust. But it is the prerogative too, of those, where they are asked discomforting questions to be forthright with their answers or maybe even to hazard ‘no comments’ at all. –‘Maryam To The Rescue’ (Spt/03/20)

COMFORTERS OF THE AFFLICTED, AND AFFLICTERS OF THE COMFORTABLE!
“Nonetheless the entire Media itself that would almost kill the fly of FFK’s malfeasance with a sledge hammer was still no less guilty of collective self-centeredness than Eyo’s colleagues were of group self-interestedness. Our collective anger against FFK was not only terribly a gangsterous overkill, it was ironically mis-primed and self-spitingly misdirected. Or have we ever been this collectively angry about our own ethical misconducts? We claim to be ‘comforters of the afflicted’ and often in fact we also arrogate the right to ‘afflict including the already comfortable’; but then we insist always that no one dares to afflict us beyond our ‘watchdog’ affliction. We may be dis-united on all ethical fronts of the profession; yet collectively we insist on being off the leash -to do as we please; malign, insult, abuse and disparage both kings and paupers. We do not even excuse the fact that others have the inadvertent right to cause us a moment’s discomfort”. -‘Still On The Humiliation Of FFK’ –(Spt/10/20)

TO ZONE OR NOT TO ZONE…THAT WILL BE THE QUESTION
“Those who cannot remember the past” George Santayana warned “are condemned to repeat it”. We are almost right at another zoning’s death-door again. And it informs the motive behind this six-part series ‘Zoning: The Next Frontier’. How much of the history of this largely unresolved area of our political experience we know, will determine how, this time around, we may handle this potentially divisive issue without the attendant bickering that had once pitched largely Southern anti-zoning pro-Jonathans against a largely Northern pro-zoning anti-Jonathans”. – ‘Zoning: The Next Frontier’ (Spt 17 – Oct 22/20)

SKYDIVING WITHOUT PARACHUT
“…as Shakespeare would say: “The blood stirs more to rouse a lion than to start a hare”. Now with the ENDSARS protests, it appears at last we have now gone from mere skateboarding to skydiving –without parachute! You heard that! Our current situation –toying with the nerve elements of war- is as good as going skydiving without parachute. And as the Hausas would say ‘mu je gudu, mahaukachi ya hau kura’. Madness at last has mounted the beast. And like I said on my Face Book Wall anarchy is a complete package. It is a bouquet of all possible channels. There is always a little something in it for everyone. Anarchy is a Frankenstein monster that is apt always to forget who its makers are and who it is made to consume. Anarchy is a beast without memory! –‘Anarchy: A Beast Without Memory’ (29/10/20)

THEY WON THE BATTLE BUT LOST THE WAR
“This was the youth that had succeeded in ENDING SARS but would not leave the streets. This was the youth that was obstinate to the wiser counsel that it should appoint leaders to negotiate its victories. This was the youth that had won the battles mid-air, but rebuffed entreaties to come down to secure the surrender. This was the youth that had won the war but did not know how to secure the peace. This was the youth that should’ve been sitting at the negotiating table giving terms and conditions for a new Nigeria; but this is the youth now trying desperately to prove its loses –even as it is unwilling to recognize the greater loses that its own obstinacy had caused. -‘The Burden Of Youth’ (05/11/20)

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