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Open Letter To Journalist Jide Kolade

By Remi Oyeyemi
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My dear Jide,
Compliments. I hope this meets you in your usual vivacious mood. It has been a little while since we met. I believe the last time we met was at a colloquium held at Gov. Gbenga Daniel's Place in Shagamu. Since then a lot of water has passed under the bridge of our polity.

I also note that since then, you have been embroiled in the task of tackling issues that are rankling our polity and bothering your good self. You are evidently bothered as to why some are unable to feel despite laying claim to being humans; why they are unable to see despite having eyes, or why they have been unable to hear despite having ears. I know you have been wondering why partisanship has become so rancorous, callous, cold, crude and cruel.

I have watched you on several platforms fighting series of battles of intellection using tools of logic. I have witnessed you appealed to the highest instincts of humaneness to help others understand and appreciate what are at stake. I have watched and read sharp, instructive and illuminating posts and pieces from you. I have read your several crisp and concise posts that are like scissors meant to cut down the drapes of deceit, duplicity and dishonesty and tear to tatters the tapestry of tall tales in our public discourse.

I must say that I am very enamoured by your doggedness. I am impressed about your determination. I am encouraged by your never-say-die spirit. I am greatly inspired by your efforts to endure. I applaud your desire to persevere. I am aware that despite this, occasionally, you get irritated about a kind of weird intellectual demography, among several others, that you have to contend with. I commend you on this and for not allowing yourself to be frustrated.

But it is this irritation that I want to speak to. I want to inform you that you are not alone in this boat. I know what it takes to stabilize such a boat when the winds of ignorance and idiocy blow against it. I also want to use this opportunity to show solidarity with you as a brother, a friend and a professional colleague. I want you to know that someone of your intellectual constitution could not but get irritated by intellectual minions, who more often than not, peddle cretinism as a means to lay claim to real intellectuality.

I know that because of your trajectory, you do not mind to suffer fools and gladly too. It is for this reason that when they come around with their inanities, you just wonder why? Before you are able to fathom an answer, they throw at you a bunch of shenanigans. By the time you are done deciphering that, they have climbed the pedestal of intellectual charlatanism. They do so too, with unrestrained enthusiasm, with shameless gusto and with seared conscience.

As humans, we cannot but show the traits of our nature, at least once in a while. So, it is possible, from time to time, for one to get irritated by moral midgets and intellectual Lilliputians. One would definitely be chafed by reprobates of our long held values, the leeches and locusts of our commonwealth, the hypocrites, the barefaced liars, purveyors of false propaganda and the political marauders.

But then, my dear Jide, I believe you do understand this weird category among the crowd you are dealing with. This is just to remind you of what you know. That for the hapless sentries of misery; the heartless sympathizers of murderers; the advocates of counterfeit anti corruption crusade; the clueless supporters of the"lifeless"; the seared conscienced (permit the poetic licence) apologists of incompetence; the dork hallelujah singers to the Dullard and the vacuous minds that are impervious to facts, it is easy to lap up and gulp down any nonsense. Yes, it is very easy for them.

They possess impeded capability to be cerebral. They are like Lap Dogs. They lap up any nonsense as long as it fits their cocooned comfort of ignorance. They are fixated on a narrow path of narratives that doesn't allow any deviation stemming from facts, reason, logic and or superior arguments. They are morally and intellectually schizophrenic.

And mind you, Jide, my dear brother, this has nothing to do with literacy or education. We all know that there is a big gulf of difference between education and literacy. One could have a doctorate degree in any field and still be uneducated. There are a lot of morons who have "Dr." as their prefixes. Many of them are glorified nincompoops. There are many roadside vulcanizers, welders, market women among others who are not literate but very, very, very well educated about their society and the issues germane to it.

So, my dear colleague, this is all about the values that we all hold dear. Values that we have defined and that define us. Values that our forebears have used as building blocks of our civilization. Values that encapsulate our moral codes, the basis of our dignity as human beings, as Africans, as Nigerians and as Káàró Ojìíre. The foundation of our milieu and the guidelines of our inter-relationships, between the powerful and the weak, the strong and the vulnerable, the rich and the poor, the kings and their "subjects," the rulers and the ruled, husbands and wives, parents and children and so on.

Thus, when you encounter people with seared consciences who excuse the incessant murders of their fellow citizens because of partisanship, I could understand your irritation. But you should know that they are reprobates. They are unscrupulous. Their moral compass has a cincture. They have no values outside the crumbs they are paid for them to survive without making it.

They care not about lives being lost. They care not about the maiming of innocents. They care not about the literal and figurative raping going on in the land. They don't care about the hunger on the streets. They don't care about the agonies in all the crannies and corners of the land. They feel secured, albeit foolishly, as arson is perpetrated across the land.

Their minds are captives of abominable instincts that are better suited for a jungle where the only rule is the survival of the fittest, thinking that they are strong enough to contend, until they become victims. They are witting and willing subscribers to the Hobbesian concept of the State of Nature - nasty, crude and brutish. They are locusts on civilization. They exude worse base instincts than the beasts in the boscage.

Their exudation of a warped sense of strength garbed in the concept of "might is right," is predicated on and in their support for a Government that has lost it.Thus, they, always with abhorrent alacrity, give excuses with insouciant sophistry, for official banditry, state brigandage, extra judicial murders of innocent citizens, destruction of properties, abuse of power, elevated corruption, egregious and obnoxious acts of impunity, hypocritical righteousness, violation of the dignity of our Courts with contemptuous disrespect, and ceaseless abuse of the rights of their fellow citizens and relentless rape of our social values.

To this end, Jide, my dear brother and colleague, you would continue to get irritated from time to time, but please, endeavour not to get frustrated. We can't afford that. We must know better than to give up. We have an obligation to ourselves and the coming generation not to concede our living space to moral scallywags, intellectual carpetbaggers, hypocrites, reprobates and unscrupulous advocates of value revisionism.

Thank you for your time.
My usual regards to you and the family.
Yours sincerely,
'Remi Oyeyemi.