SETTING THE RECORDS STRAIGHT
I received an email recently from one Mr. Sam C. Okudah, containing an attached document replying my article, IGBOS AND THE BUHARI'S GOVERNMENT. With the manner the document was sent, one would have thought it was just a private mail for my viewing only to later learn that it has been published to me only to learn that it had earlier published on some online new platforms. Though, I took exemptions to many of his saccharine remarks against the write-up, I thanked him for at least bothering to reply nonetheless. But I think I need to set the records straight so that we do not get confused.
On reading his piece, my first conclusion was that either Mr.Okudah didn't read the article at all or that he just chose the parts that he could understand from it. I say this because if he truly read and digested the piece, he would have known that my main thesis in the article is that Igbos should henceforth be more tactical when it comes to political issues. From his diatribes, I could only make sense of a few points he raised which I am going to put straight in this piece.
The first point Okudah made was that I wrote about something I knew little about-the Igbos. He quoted me when I wrote that I knew very little about Igbos and what may be their peculiar needs which the Buhari government may wish to address. On this he pointed out: “don't you see that what you have tried to do was to obfuscate your gullible readers. Your article is one of the worst cases of disingenuity and mendacity I have ever read.”
Let me say this clearly, I made the statement “I know little of Igbo needs except those that I am told by my Igbo friends” in relation to what Igbos stood to benefit if some of them can just drop their toga of Civil War defeatist mentality!
I will equally add that it is never a sign of weakness if you play the Socratic ignorance-“I know one thing: that I know nothing”. What is wrong in admitting you have limited knowledge about something? How would situation have been, if the Ohaneze Ndigbo leadership has just granted a simple audience to General Buhari during the campaigns even though they wouldn't vote for him? What excuse will Buhari be having about not been “well-briefed” on Ndigbo had some people been more civilised in their approach? What right have you have to tell a man who went into the forest to kill an elephant how to share the meat?
Mr. Okudah may find the quote by Amenhotep IV, Pharaoh of Egypt,( c.1250BCE) interesting when he said, “The wise man doubts often, and his views are changeable. The fool is constant in his opinions, and doubts nothing, because he knows everything, except his own ignorance”. Invariably, all wise men admit to their degree of ignorance!
Another point-perhaps his strongest- Mr. Okudah made in his article is on Buhari's “lopsided” appointments. One cannot expect much from a man whose hatred for Buhari is written all over his face even into his article. Let me be quick to admit that I am not impressed with the balance of President Buhari's appointments, but I insist on supporting anyone that is qualified to fit which post, not just where they come from!
On those wailing on “regret” for voting Buhari among which he included the Yoruba socio-cultural group, Afenifere I think Okudah needs some tuition-free political lessons here. Senator Femi Okunrounmu and his cohorts in were former President Jonathan's supporters who obviously overrated themselves politically. If there is any political lesson the former president must learn, he should be that he selects those he must avoid like a plague and this include people like Senator Okunrounmu.
Just recently, Okunrounmu went public to declare that “Yoruba will regret voting Buhari”. As at the last time I checked Afenifere, Oodua People's Congress (OPC) and the likes publicly supported former President Jonathan during the 2015 election. In fact, Yinka Odunmakin, its spokesman supported the People's Democratic Party (PDP) Gubernatorial candidate, Mr. Jimi Agbaje in Lagos. Still, I ask, what right do these people have to weep for millions of Yorubas who trooped out to vote Buhari? Can we still say these people speak for the Yoruba nation? At least the Oganeze Ndigbo directed all Igbos to vote Goodluck Jonathan and they did so without mincing words, can we say the same for Afenifere?
That still reminds me, Odumakin was Buhari's spokesman during the 2011 election, the turning point was when he stopped “speaking” for Buhari and “spoke” for Jonathan in 2015, but unlike in 2011, Buhari won. Can you now see how contagious failure is? I think Buhari must be thanking God that Afenifere, OPC and Odumakin didn't support him in 2015!
Let me still recommend the wonderful political bible, Robert Green's The 48 Laws of Power, to Mr. Okudah.in Law 10 in that book, Infectious: Avoid the Unhappy and the Unlucky, states among other things: “Recognize the fortunate so that you may choose their company and the unfortunate so that so that you may avoid them. Misfortune is a crime of folly, and among those who suffer from it there is no malady more contagious. Never open your door to the least of misfortunate for, if you do, many others will follow in train…Do not die of another's misery.”
For those who do not know, the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) won all states in the South-West, except Ondo, without the support of Afenifere. Smart Yoruba politicians have paid important attention to avoid these unfortunate elements. That former President Jonathan fell a victim of their deceit and chose to consider their unflattering resume should bother lovers of the former president. Does anyone still wonder why the APC National Leaders like Bola Tinubu, Bisi Akande, and the likes avoid them like an infectious disease?
It was just so unfortunate that former President Jonathan this not pay attention to this important Law, rather he chose to enjoy the company of flatterers like Fani-Kayode, the same people Niccolo Machiavelli urged, The Prince to avoid like a plague!
It still bothers me why anyone will write with much frustration against an article containing harmless advice whose contents is nothing new to public knowledge!
***Olalekan Waheed Adigun, a political analyst and author of Igbos and President Buhari's Government, writes from Lagos.