Occasionally, one wonders the way we are configured in this part of the world. Lest I’m accused of subtle racism, this is not affirming that we’re inferior, no, after all our compatriots have gone on to do greater things outside these shores just as some are forging ahead here even with the rot around us.
Two pictures that made the rounds recently on social media forced me to be more introspective on whether we still admit that what is wrong is just wrong. Of course I remember the theory of relativism, which teaches that views are relative to differences in perception and consideration. It affirms that there is no universal and objective truth rather each point of view has its truth. There is, however, a challenge, because the way some of us were brought up, we were taught that what is wrong is wrong, simple. But we are at a point where things are shifting and whether something is accepted depends upon the shifting sands of taste. We are also reminded of Immanuel Kant’s theory that the rightness or wrongness of actions does not depend on their consequences but on whether they fulfill our duty.
So, how does one rationalize or justify the fact that a super cop (?) so-called because he’s actually a creation of the police establishment, could be seen in a photograph posing with a chief thug of Lagos State. Yes, the chief thug that even our political gladiators cannot wait to be identified with, the one they all must pay obeisance to before contesting. The one that commands the army of volunteers willing to do their bidding of snatching ballot boxes or scaring away voters on election day or help in mobilizing the multitude of unemployed and under employed always present in our political rallies. As a friend cynically reminded me some weeks back, we don’t campaign again now, we only do rallies and engage in a my rally-is-bigger-than-yours and so it pays to have the chief thug fighting in your corner.
Initially, I thought it was a Photoshop picture, something ubiquitous in these days of fake news and so I dismissed the picture. But that was before the ‘super cop’ posted his own defence claiming his upbringing forbids him from discriminating and since it was a birthday party organised for him by some of his friends, he had no hold over who to invite or who should attend. That was not all; a battery of defenders came online defending his line of thought. Waoh, waoh, I said in my mind wondering what has come over us. We know too well the incestuous relationship between some of our policemen and the criminals they are supposed to be pursuing and keep off our communities but a cop seen as a rising one posing with a thug, we are done for.
I know our chief thug has not been pronounced guilty in a court of law and so presumed innocent until proven guilty, as a matter of fact, I’m not aware he’s even under any trial presently and so one is not saying he’s a condemned person. But a picture of a rising star in our police force hobnobbing with a thug leaves sour taste in one’s mouth. We know at certain levels, the difference between our policemen and miscreants who disturb our peace is six and half a dozen; bragging about it is what baffles me. Asking us to go to blazes over a suspicious picture does not bode well for someone charged with our protection.
The second picture is that of a newly elected House of Representatives, said to be a medical doctor- something I could not verify – presenting his certificate of return to the same chief thug. As a representative who is the second person elected from my local government, one is tangentially affected by this action. Who knows, he might infect my own representative with his behaviour soon. It is not on record whatsoever that our dear representative has presented his certificate to any of the ordinary constituents who voted him but could not wait for the ink on the certificate to dry. I tell you again, we’re configured differently or how does one explain this. Reminds me of a story told by someone who should know of how a new senator emerged in the last election. He has been in a state assembly for a while now and just felt that becoming a senator should be the next thing of his political career. Pronto, he called the godfather and said, “Oga emi na fe lo senate sir,” in Yoruba literally saying I want to go to senate too and the godfather replied, “There is no problem” or something to that effect. That’s how the gentleman serving as the senator presently lost his position and did not even know that a primary was holding the day the new person defeated him.
By the way, why must we make a ceremony over presentation of certificates of return to elected officials? It’s the way we are.