Of shrouded leaders, and the burden of Secrets.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017



All of my decades on earth as a Nigerian, if there is one phrase I have heard one time too many, it is “Don’t tell anyone o!”

From whispers of “I’ve gotten a job… don’t tell anyone” to “I’m traveling out for studies…. Don’t tell anyone”

But the worst are your friends, for whom you empty your egg nest to purchase their Aso-Ebi’

If after a few months, you run into them, and they happen to be spotting “the glow” already (wink!), with the size of their nose somewhere in between a piano and a double surf-board, it is easy to piece one and ten together. You are excited; you begin the chicken-dance, while levitating on the ceiling in sheer joy for them.

All your attempts at early congratulations would however be rebuffed with coy attempts to ‘hide’ everything, and frowns of “I don’t know what you’re talking about!”. If you’re of the persistent breed, you may eventually get a hushed “I’m [----] months gone… Please don’t tell anyone o!”

(As though you have redundant cash to place an advertorial in the newspapers. Tsk.)

One may respond, that our preponderance to hiding things is due to the fear of ‘African remote control’, so that your plane does not suspend in the air over the Red Sea, or that the pregnancy does not culminate in the birth of a squirrel.

That is excusable, seeing as one’s personal life is one’s personal life, hence, the availability of the fundamental right to privacy.

What is quite incomprehensible however is when this ‘hidey’ bug appears to have bitten into our national affairs, such that the citizens are kept in the dark regarding information that should be for general consumption. Such as the identities of the people from whom illegally acquired loot have been recovered.

But even that is still forgivable; one may seek cover under our amorphous criminal laws regarding Plea-Bargaining, to submit that obscurity may be part of the ‘deal’ to enable the looters return what was never theirs to keep in the first place.

What is however unacceptable is the (apparently) failing failed attempts to persist in hiding the state of the well-being of Nigeria’s President.

You see, this burden of keeping secrets is a rather heavy one:

One would have to remember which lie was told yesterday, so as to ensure that a corresponding lie is sold tomorrow. But selling lies to the most populous black nation on earth… Haa! That is a full-time job.

Asides the lies… there are the corresponding actions to cover-up. There is the preparedness that the cover could blow up in your face, and the need to have a Plan B at hand, if that happens. There are also the alternative conspiracy theories which will be spun by the persons not privy to the truth. For the duration of the secrecy, its keepers will continuously reside in a hybrid-limbo of High Blood Pressure, and danger of eternal damnation (in the case of sudden death).

The burden of secrecy is indeed a heavy one, which burden has no business being borne  by the Nigerian populace regarding the health or well-being of their number one citizen.

Why?

Because the moment the President became the President, he entered into a social contract with each and every Nigerian, to the effect that his life is no more HIS alone - per se - but ours as well.

His well-being is our well-being. His strength is our strength. His lack of strength thereof is OUR lack of strength.

He is the driver of the molue called Nigeria; we all are his co-occupants. It is beyond unkindness to the people – and even to the President - that the status of his well-being is shrouded in secrecy.

If the President is ailing, it is we all who are ailing. Why should we all not be privy to the gravity or true nature of our ailment, so as to determine our next move? Why should we not be prepared for the informed decisions to be made in the short-run (and maybe long-run)? Why should we not receive full-disclosure on the ‘k-leg’ that our chosen mandate?

The only reason which comes to mind is that such secrecy is for the selfish interests of his ‘handlers’ i.e. the infamous and ever-evolving ‘Cabal’, who fear that such information would trigger constitutional actions requiring relinquishment of power (whether temporarily or permanently), thereby robbing them of their demi-god/affiliate masquerade status.

(Do they mean us well??)

There is a place for secrecy and protection of selfish interests. It is however not with the well-being of the President of Nigeria, and the future of Nigeria as a whole.

That the majority of us live below poverty level does not equal that we are also a rather ‘simple’ bunch. By the time the President was absent from the third Federal Executive Council Meeting in a row, it was apparent that something was amiss.

Unsurprisingly, we became fodder for all sorts of conspiracy theories and theorists, ranging from “the President is pregnant” to “Jack Bauer has poured ota pia-pia in his drink”, hence, making a bad situation already worse.

I reiterate: we all have no business of bearing this burden of secrecy. Not especially the President, who would fare better with good wishes upon the truth being shared, than the erstwhile curses from (rightfully) annoyed Nigerians, for whom (to the best of their knowledge) he was merely sun-bathing in his bikini in the hills of Yankari, while there was a country to be run.

We have survived an ailing President. We have survived as an ailing Nation.

Let the truth be told, and the unnecessary secrecy shrouding the President be removed, so we can begin to tackle the battles that lie ahead, if any, rather than keep us in prolonged (and unnecessary) suspense. And if his health is such as would demand complete relinquishment of his powers, so be it. He will not be the first. He may not be the last.

After all… none of us entered this world with a crown tied to their waist.

Paz,

Meg.


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7 comments

  1. Beautiful piece! I hope the people in the corridors of power read this.

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  2. Ailing Nation with some pathetic ailing "cabals" as leaders....not leader

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  3. '... None of us entered this world with a crown tied to their waist,' '...he was merely sunbathing with his bikini in the hills of Yankari'
    Cherish this piece; thoughts well displayed. Thanks

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  4. They seem to want to politicise everything so the secrecy I guess.

    ReplyDelete