Who cast a spell on us? (part 13)

“Without deviation, without exception, without any ifs, buts, or whereases, freedom of speech means you shall not do something to people for views they have, express, speak, or write.”

A saint was once asked: “What is anger?” He tee-heed, but still gave a resounding answer thus: “It is a punishment we give to ourselves for someone else’s mistake.”

This beautiful, short answer sounds ludicrous, but it unambiguously explains the brickbats on social media that greeted a widely circulated document containing an alleged oath of allegiance purportedly between the Abia State Governor, Dr Okezie Ikpeazu, and his predecessor, Senator T.A. Orji.

A look at the imponderabilia surrounding the document (that debuted in 2016), including its interiors – writing style and syntactic errors – exposed the individuals behind it. Sadly, they are the same faction of the hypocritically silent opposition elements and so-called friends of the governor today. Are we surprised? Certainly not, unless we are still learners; as we commonly say in local parlance.

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If not hypocrisy, why recirculate the same false document of 2016 in 2020 to elicit critical opprobrium against Governor Ikpeazu, you are secretly courting for your 2023 ambition? Anyways, hypocrites do not learn the skill; it is inherent in them.

The two petulant flibbertigibbets behind this document are active Facebook users. They are aware that their mischievousness has claimed its first victim – Barrister Emperor Ogbonna -. I am sure they will abandon him during his trial time like they did to our collective wish a few months ago.

“Without deviation, without exception, without any ifs, buts, or whereases, freedom of speech means you shall not do something to people for views they have, express, speak, or write.”

The worst set of opposition element to trust and solidarize with is the one with opaque agenda that believes in the use of falsehood and propaganda to incite the masses against a government. It is a pure display of desperation to get to power by all means. If given a chance, the element would govern with deceit and falsehood. Our obsession for change might lead to Panglossian dismissiveness now, but, we will certainly be the losers at the end.

Judging with my twenty-twenty hindsight, the two grumpy chatterboxes, cum social media digital warriors who masterminded this false document in circulation will be more concern now on how to preserve their boss’s integrity than the release of Barrister Ogbonna. In other words, preventing the fake oath document traced to him is prioritized than saving the scapegoat of their turpitude from incarceration.

The last time I checked, Facebook (especially, Abia cyberspace) is where double standards, falseness, rumours and comedies meet up for coffee. I am not saying that it’s not nice to use social media to solicit for Barrister Ogbonna’s release, but without the right people and approach, it will be a cul-de-sac. We have to match words with the corresponding action. That brings us to the antics of the opposition political parties in Abia State – APC, APGA, ETC – why are they silent?

Maybe they are waiting for Barrister Emperor’s wife to consult them with kola nuts and kegs of palm wine as customary to village deities before they speak. I am querying the silence of the political parties because I do not expect the individual whose boys are behind the production and circulation of the fake oath document to speak. After all, he has never spoken before.

Emperor Ogbonna is a lawyer. Today is his 72-hours in prison, and I am at lost why his colleagues, the Nigeria Bar Association (NBA) Aba, branch, are yet to offer asseverations. Their muteness and tergiversation are tantamount to coup de grâce.

Mahatma Gandhi posits that “silence becomes cowardice when the occasion demands speaking out the whole truth and acting accordingly.” The time to show our statesmanship is now not during the campaign in 2022.

In conclusion, permit me to borrow the words of Hugo L. Black, “Without deviation, without exception, without any ifs, buts, or whereases, freedom of speech means you shall not do something to people for views they have, express, speak, or write.”

We, know that the document in circulation is very repulsive but Dr Ikpeazu must show magnanimity by dropping all the charges against Emperor Ogbonna. Governor, we praised you last week for not instigating the arrest of dissenters in your tenure. The record must remain intact and not broken; not even now. N’ihi na obughi gi ji onwe gi, amara ya! Amara ya ji gi aka ka ighari i da. Lol.

Join me at Afara prison today, as I visit Barrister Emperor to see ways we can secure his release without further legal battles, even if it means appealing to Governor Ikpeazu.

To be continued

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