“The truth is incontrovertible, malice may attack it, ignorance may deride it, but at the end, there it stands” Winston Churchill (paraphrased).
I had expected that the dreaded Obi-dient internet mob would have dissected the issues raised in Prof. Soludo’s compelling submission by providing issue-based superior arguments to the salient points raised in the debate, at least for the advancement of a healthy intellectual discourse. But I have scoured my Facebook feed and still cannot find any intellectual, issue-based rejoinder to his piece. I have only read packets of disjointed verbiage and infantile balderdash crafted for nothing but emotional blackmail, an avalanche of curses, invectives, threats and have disappointedly noted the triumph of brazen ribaldry over healthy debate and an incurable intolerance to divergent views.
In the last six months, the likes of Senators Uche Ekwunife and Ike Ekweremadu, Chimaraoke Nnamani, Hon. Emeka Ihedioha, Governors Hope Uzodinma, David Umahi, Pastor Poju Oyemade, Adeyanju Deji , Fr. Ejike Mbaka, Arch Bishop Chukwuma and any other person who has dared to cast aspersion on the person of Mr. Peter Obi or who even attempted to suggest that Peter Obi cannot win the presidential election by available statistics have received brutal social media lynching by the Obi-dient mob. A group that has since gained notoriety for verbal attacks and intolerance to dissenting opinions.
This ugly trajectory, asides mirroring the dearth of intellectualism in our politics and our society by extension, reveals obnoxious hypocrisy and reeks of typical IPOB-esque behaviour and remains antithetical to democratic ethos.
Presidential candidates everywhere in the world are interrogated, their character questioned and their records and “chances” x-rayed by the populace. Obi-dients are thus free to say that Omoyele Sowore cannot win the presidential election but would not take same from anyone. They are free to question and ridicule the character of presidential candidates of other parties but no one is permitted to demystify their sacred candidate.
Furthermore, factions of social cultural groups like Afenifere, the Northern Elders Forum and individuals from other geopolitical zones are free to endorse the candidate of the Labour party but southeast politicians who are not “obedient” to delusion are saboteurs and should cower and say nothing. Miraculous hypocrisy.
As much as people loathe this truth, albeit, it has to be said without minding whose ox is gored. It takes strategies, tact and alliances. Negotiations are the core necessities for successful politics in a country like Nigeria. Not zest, not untamed emotions, social media thuggery and brazen almajiri-ism. Not chest thumping, empty delusional rhetoric of victory in online polls translating into victory in reality. Those who understand these rules and play by them will continue to govern those propelled by only zeal and emotions.
Something died in southeast politics. Our blatant refusal to learn the politics of a multicultural, multiethnic and multi-religious society has cost us dearly and could continue to do so if not reversed. We cannot continue in this vicious cycle: we become apolitical after every general election and only pick up interest once again as the election season draws near. This means that we go into every election with no strategy, no plan B, no regional alliances, little trust from fellow countrymen and with our garments stained by separatist agitations. This is definitely not the road to the Aso Villa.
Those who wish to hurl curses at Charles Chukwuma Soludo, can continue but after the elections have been won and lost in February, we will in sober reflections read Prof. Soludo’s epistle again.
We will agree with Churchill that the truth is incontrovertible.