'BEWARE THE GREEKS BEARING GIFTS'
The phrase is used to warn against possible deception by an adversary, but where does it originate? For ten years, the city of Troy had been under siege from the armies of Greece, after the Trojan prince Paris eloped with – the wife of Menelaus, King of Sparta. Or at least, that's the myth.
Thousands had died in the decade-long war but the stone walls of Troy remained impenetrable. With the two sides at stalemate, the Greek warrior king Odysseus hatched a cunning plan. A giant wooden horse was built and left at the gates of Troy and the Greek ships sailed out of sight. The Trojans, believing the war was over, saw the horse as an offering to the gods and as a gift of peace so wheeled it into the city and celebrated their victory. This is exactly what Odysseus wanted - once the Trojans had all gone to sleep - many of them blind drunk - a host of armed soldiers crept out from the belly of the horse and opened the city gates. Troy was overrun and destroyed and the 'Trojan Horse' became revered as one of the most successful military tactics ever.
There was only one voice of reason among the Trojans who distrusted the Greeks. A priest named Laocoon pleaded against accepting the gift and bringing the horse into the city, declaring, “Timeo Danaos et dona ferentes” roughly translated, as “I fear the Greeks, even those bearing gifts.” It was adapted over the years to the expression we have today.
Back home in Nigeria, it is the height of election season, and campaign trick is setting new records. According to Frank Herbert, “my father once told me that respect for truth comes close to being the basis for all morality. 'Something cannot emerge from nothing,' he said. This is profound thinking if you understand how unstable 'the truth' can be”.
Sincerely, I fear the Greeks even when they offer gifts. It is, however, shocking to find out how many politicians still believe that they can continually fool Nigerians especially when election is approaching to appease the anger of the people that they have perpetually oppressed. And I am of the opinion that Nigerians of today that I know are not fools. Though, we may have been fooled severally in the past, but never again will Nigerians listen to dubious poli-trickcians.
Without meaning to be unruly, I believe that the uncertain future of APC in Lagos compelled Governor Fashola to reverse the Lagos State University (LASU) fees from N350,000 back to N25,000; but he will undoubtedly take the fees back to N350,000 (or even higher) after the elections. Also, his political terrorist organization called (KAI) has suspended their mayhem against the innocent market women and traders in Lagos State simply because election is around the corner.
Do I call this rare political benevolence an election fever or is it really true that guilt starts as a feeling of failure? By any reasonable assessment this appears more like a blatant political hypocrisy of the highest order. In fact, who says politics is no more amusing, and far more suspense-filled, than any comedy show in Nigeria? The fact is that absolute power does not only corrupt absolutely, it equally attracts the corruptible. Therefore, it is only foolish Lagosians that will trust Fashola and APC. The truth always carries the ambiguity of the words used to express it.
In my personal assessment, this is designed explicitly to attract the attention of Lagosians whose children had been sent out of LASU for their inability to pay N350,000 fees.
The Reality of the Situation: Let us look at this situation from various points of view. At the time Gov. Fashola increased the fees, he went on National Television to defend the hike and subsequently, declared that the hike in Lagos State University (LASU) fees is a cut-and-dried decision, even though it was generally perceived as irresponsible and outrageous based on the fact that many parents who could not afford N350,000 withdrew their children out of Lagos State University. Instructively, most of them are civil servants employed by the same Lagos State government on a minimum wage of N18,000.00.
Now that he has reversed the fees to N25,000.00 because of election fever, the question is: has Gov. Fashola thought of the emotional impact that his astronomical hike of LASU fees from N25,000 to N350,000 had on the LASU students? What about the pressure on parents who had to cough out that money at all cost without government's concern for their feelings or financial well-being? What about the sense of violation and betrayal, the embarrassment, the abuse of trust and even the student's feeling of how Gov. Fashola evaluates others.
The bad news is that we cannot always be the victims of political parody and tricks. The sudden reversal of Lagos State University (LASU) fees is highly polemical and has attracted street parliamentarian's scrutiny. This is a gesture Lagosians just cannot really trust because it is undoubtedly linked to the same old dirty political gimmicks to once again fool the gullible people of Lagos State. APC did same with okada prior to the 2011 elections: they said there were no plans to ban okada, but no sooner had they been reelected that APC unconscionably banned what was a major source of livelihood to many commoners.
This latest effort to my mind, is therefore an attempt to hold the country hostage until it gets its narrow extremist agenda entrenched and the poor will not be able to send their children to school in Lagos State. With this action, Gov. Fashola has shown a lack of concern for the impoverished parents who managed to send their children to Lagos State University (LASU). The old saying, “I didn't think it would really hurt you; the Governor just reversed the fees,” cannot be allowed as an excuse. When parents and their children protested, Gov. Fashola maintained that his action is a cut-and-dried decision. In other words, he did not care about you and how this affects your life. Why then would you continue to protect someone who is putting you at risk of not having the education that you desire?
Knowing where the trap is hidden is the first step in evading politicians' tactics of enslaving the masses. It is imperative that we quickly synthesize the rudiments of this tricky area in order to identify their strategies and avoid a few traps on time. Lagosians need to understand what is allowed and what is not. Fashola's honesty and integrity has been questioned as his gift of Lagos State University fees reduction from N350,000 to N25,000 is a gift of deception and illusion; it is nothing but a phantom act that is meant to fool Lagosians on the evil hike of Lagos State University (LASU) fees. The sudden reversal of the fees could mean translating their insatiable wrongs into divine rights to escape the collective action from the masses against them.
APC is known to have used this tactic overtime, yet complain that other political parties do. Their dirty tricks include propaganda and blackmail. And they have become quite good at it. It doesn't change anything or bring any positive effect on the nation, but yes they are darn good at name calling. Even creative at times and they all rally around the talking points of the day. But unknown to the APC, this irrational gift cannot cloud observation. Lagosians must know that APC governors are loyal only to their own dream-world while practicing disloyal behaviours towards the nation with their tax regimen. I will however declare here that APC is an unnecessary pain and adversary to this nation because of their governance by blackmail and insensate economic policies. What a sad, sad state?
The word “democracy” means a form of government in which the government derives its power from the people and is therefore accountable to them for the use of that power. Unfortunately for all APC states, the reverse is the case and to anyone with common sense, APC's policies have been brutally hostile by all standards to everyone that voted them into power. Their calculated attempt to hold the country hostage must be resisted by all as their actions have been incredibly disloyal to the nation. It is fair and reasonable to state here that there is a limit to human endurance and as such, Lagosians are tired of Fashola's juvenile delight in fooling the electorate whenever election is around the corner. I wonder where such shameful campaign tactics will end up.
It is also against the law and also morally reprehensible for anyone or party to glorify terrorism as we have seen in Nigeria. Unfortunately, APC leaders have always taken delight in making inflammatory statements that have emboldened the notorious terrorist organization (Boko Haram) in this country and as such, APC cannot be exonerated from funding Boko Haram in their calculated attempt to frustrate the government of President Jonathan. Many of them have threatened to make Nigeria ungovernable for President Jonathan and today that is the unfortunate situation. They have even threatened to form a parallel government if/or whenever they lose elections. Such incipient blackmailing campaigns gradually become uncontrollable and dangerous to the lives of people, especially the innocent Nigerians.
In one of Desmond Tutu's celebrated speeches, he avers that “If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor. If an elephant has its foot on the tail of a mouse and you say that you are neutral, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality”.
Regardless of what happens, I will continue to fight the subtlety and chicanery of the APC. I am going to campaign throughout every nook and cranny of Lagos until we eradicate APC's evil system and drive these crooks and their acolytes out of Lagos.
Written by Kexter Donald Jnr.
Amsterdam, The Netherlands.