THURSDAY Column with Mohammed Adamu
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So, whether we like it or not, we are –at last- pitched, ‘Wailers’ against ‘Hailers’. Or should I say ‘Jeerers’ versus ‘Cheerers’. Because there does not seem to be a middle ground any longer. No straddle point for fence-sitters. And no middle course for neutrality. You are either a ‘Wailer’ or you are a ‘Hailer’. And since I am a ‘Hailer’ by classification, -not by inclination- I thought that I should give an objective Hailer’s view concerning ‘Wailing’ and ‘Hailing’. Who is a Wailer? Who is a ‘Hailer’? How do you tell a Wailer from a Hailer? What do Wailers and Hailers stand for? What do they lie down for?
Wailers are either unrepentant pro-Jonathans or they are unapologetic anti-Buharis. Or both. They are generally pro-looting –some unabashedly so; others in a dissembling, hypocritical manner. Or they are pro those who are known to have looted –either for beneficial, geo-political or ethno-religious reasons. And these are ‘Wailers by choice’ only. There are also ‘Wailers of necessity’: namely the looters themselves. Or rather those accused of looting. Or those who fear that they may soon be accused -of looting. ‘Wailers of necessity’ have to either wail by themselves or they must spend humongous money to promote wailing. It is the only way they hope to distract the ‘eagle’ from swooping down; or to keep the hangman’s noose away from their fattened necks. And since they have to be ‘alive’ and ‘free’ first, to enjoy their loot, it makes pragmatic sense that they spend to Wail.
But there are also ‘Wailers by circumstances’. And these are partisan, dye-in-the-wool PDP apologists. They may not have ever looted. They may or may not have benefitted from looting. But like the restless hyenas that they are, ‘Wailers by circumstances’ are driven by a non-recessive, avidly-jumpy gene that gives them hope they just might be tomorrow’s lucky looters -or beneficiaries therefrom. These Wailers have not the littlest shame denying that any wrongdoing had taken place under the PDP.
Hailers are generally pro-Buhari. If you ask me, mostly for altruistic reasons. They may, contemporaneously, be anti-Jonathan and anti-PDP also; and for the same altruistic reasons. That both Jonathan and his political party are no good. And yes, there may be Hailers also who are pro-Buhari for geo-political and or ethno-religious reasons. But since ‘there is no art’ -as Shakespeare would say- ‘to find the mind’s construction on the face’, you can only know them by their admittance. Else you must take them on their honor, if they claim to be pro-Buhari for altruistic reasons, that is. Only those who identify with the devil should have some explaining to do. Not those who pitch their tent with God. And so, it is Wailers who advocate for Jonathan and PDP that have the explaining to make Not Hailers, for being pro-Buhari.
Thus Hailers may not necessarily be anti-PDP or anti-Jonathan in the same patently hateful manner that we know Wailers to be anti-APC and anti-Buhari. Nor are most Hailers necessarily blindly pro-APC as most Wailers appear to be pro-PDP. On the contrary it amuses, amazes and disgusts virtually every Hailer that any one, in their right senses, should fence for Jonathan or desire that PDP returns to power. But that is what ‘power’ and ‘absolute power’ do to those who use inordinately. It does not only corrupt them, it does so absolutely!
Wailers have always acted like the proverbial rabbit that is bitter not with the hunter that killed it at the hunt, but the innocent one that hangs it into town. Rather than be bitter with the electorate, they hate Buhari and APC -for taking their power’ and for not wanting to give it back. Rivers’ Nwike said Jonathan was chicken! He (Nwike) would rather have plunged the country into war than yield. Soon Orubebe would be canonized –as the ‘Seer-Saint’ who should not have been ignored.
If anything, Hailers dislike Jonathan and PDP only because they despoiled the country for 16 years and still have the arrant want of shame to want to have ‘our power’ back. Hailers are excellent footballers; they have their eyes always, on the ‘ball’ -and that is Buhari. Yes, you may prove all around him sullied; but as long as Buhari stay clean, your job is not done! And so, let Buhari be ‘true’, Hailers seem to say, even if everyone around him is proved a liar! Which I think is biblical: ‘let God be true and every man a liar’.
And as you can see, Wailers too are no less dexterous. Because they too have their eyes always on the same ‘ball’, -Buhari. But they, for diabolic reasons: to get down the last man still standing with some modicum of integrity! It is the reason that every poisoned dart that they throw is intended to get at the ‘Queen bee’, and not at the many randy fecundating drones around her. Buhari is the only hallowed zone that the devil must corrupt, to prove the hollies wrong. This is a war of proxies. It has never been about Maina, Kachukwu, Baru or any of the other excuses bandied around! These are not the casus belli for the war. They are in essence the pretext for it.
Hailers by the way, are generally anti-looting and they are anti-looters –no matter whose ox is gored. Besides, Hailers are neither looters themselves, nor do they hope to become looters someday. On the contrary Hailers hope that both punitive and preventive measures will be put in place that makes it impossible for any to loot. It is a wish you cannot catch Wailers toying with. Not in their dream!
Hailers are pro-rule of law and pro-justice. They want all looters –without exception- judged and recompensed. They want all the loot, from wherever and whoever, traced and recovered. Hailers believe in ‘crime and punishment’. They believe, like Americans do, that ‘if you do the crime, you must do the time’. Wailers play lip service to ‘rule of law’ -even though they are anti-justice. They believe in ‘sin and forgiveness’, instead of ‘crime and punishment’. It is the reason that they say ‘stealing is not corruption’. That it is merely a ‘sin’, -requiring for its atonement ‘forgiveness’, instead of ‘punishment’. They want Looters to ‘keep their loot’, and be sentenced only to ‘go sin no more’.
CHALK AND CHEESE
And so the difference between Wailers and Hailers is like that between chalk and cheese. Wailers want us to forget the past in which their role was unsavory. They insist we ‘let bygones be bygones’ because those who remember the past, may remain trapped in it. But Hailers insist we must remember the past. Because ‘those who forget the past are always doomed to repeat it!’ That is the difference between Wailers and Hailers. To use a popular description, Wailers are part Saint Thomas –the doubter- and part Saint Jude, ‘the patron Saint of those who ask for the impossible’. Hailers on the other hand are part Saint Paul –telling the gospel truth- and part Saint Vitus, – always ‘enjoining what is good and forbidding what is evil’.
Hailers alone have always said ‘let the due process take its course’, ‘give all accused the benefit of the doubt’, ‘allow fair hearing to all concerned’, ‘tarry awhile, and let the facts unravel ’; because ‘truth’ in the end has an uncanny way of manifesting itself. But no, Wailers will have none of that! Because ‘truth’ has always been their frigid zone. Truth is the hobgoblin of Wailers. A genie they are happy to lock securely in the bottle geo-political and ethno-religious expediency. Each time they are about to grab the jugular of Buhari, this incubus called ‘truth’- rears its head to spoil the show.
Hailers alone tell the truth merely for its sake. Wailers cite the truth in defense of falsehood. Hailers believe like the British poet, William Blake that “The truth you tell with bad intent beats all the lies you can invent”! Wailers believe, like the devil advocates, that you do not have to be truthful to be virtuous. Hailers are prophets of Bloom and of Boom. They believe that slow and steady wins the race. And that soon we are sure to get out of the woods of our socio-economic woes.
But Wailers are Adlai Stevenson’s “prophets of Gloom and of Doom.” They pray fervently that we never get out of the woods -not if Buhari remains in charge of the groove. They knew that there was no ‘killer vaccines’. They only wished that there was. They hope always that the devil is at work in the affairs of our nation; so that they may prove just one thing –that Buhari has failed.
Wailers are Spiro Agnew’s “effete corps of impudent snobs”. They argue to create schism. But Hailers reason in order that there is a healthy debate. Because they believe, like the English poet John Dryden did, that “A man is to be cheated into passion, but to be reasoned into truth”. Hailers disagree without being disagreeable. They accept dissent as a useful component of healthy debate. Wailers disagree with a view to being disagreeable. They dissent in order to create dissension.
Hailers are patient with the ‘due process’. Because they know that beyond the cry-wolf of Wailers, only ‘the due process’ determines who actually is right from who has been alleged to be wrong. And we know also that it is for the same reason that Wailers hate the ‘due process’. The ‘due process’ is the Wailer’s bitch. ‘Fair hearing’ is their kill-joy! Wailers are bad boxers. They hit below the belt, and they want it to count for a ‘knockdown’; yet they’ll frown at the referee for allowing the victim the mandatory eight count. Because in just eight seconds, true boxers can rise from the canvass and win the bout. Like Baru just did. Like Malami may soon do. And who knows, maybe even Maina may spring some surprise.
Postscript this week was part of a comment I had posted last week on my Facebook Wall.
CYNICS AND CRITICS
Criticism is okay. Cynicism is not. People mistake being cynical with being critical. But no! Critics express disapproval, of or dissatisfaction with, something. Cynics mock, scorn or sneer at everything. Critics ignore what pleases them in order to see that which is plain. Cynics pay attention to that which pleases them and ignore what is plain. Critics want things to get better. They want better things. Cynics want things to get worse. They want nothing good. And it is the reason they say ‘critics do not contest the price of anything. They assert only that everything has a value’. Cynics alone ‘know the price of everything and the value of nothing.’ Wailers are Cynics. Hailers only criticize.