-By Austen Akhagbeme:
Just very recently, the erstwhile veteran journalist and renowned Editor-in-Chief of the defunct TheNews magazine, Mr Bayo Onanuga fired a bigoted shot at the Igbos.
It was a warning to the Igbos to stay away from the political affairs of Lagos State because Lagos belongs to his Yoruba ethnic group and bla bla.
Without remorse, he has again, declared that he has no regret whatsoever for his unkind speech and this is very discomforting.
For a firebrand journalist who once headed a public institution like the News Agency of Nigeria and was well respected for his guerrilla reportage in the days of the military jackboots when political civilisation slapped us in the face, one finds this difficult to comprehend. What happened to Bayo?
The chameleonic metamorphosis of this great mind represents one of the biggest surprises of this election season where the very educated and learned were deceived either by emotionally unintelligible wokeness or the allure of filthy lucre.
It was commonplace to see the very educated, even University professors, being unashamedly swayed by ethnic considerations, religion or financial inducement to loudly embark on revised logic while turning truth into lies with a smeared conscience. Political pugilists and beugoisie party chieftains simply hijacked the electoral process and pocketed the system to the consternation of the frustrated majority who wished Nigeria good.
That we are not intelligent enough to know that weaponizing religion and ethnicity to gain political power is the last breath and bullet of a failing politician in Nigeria beats my widest intellection. Yet we all fell for it; hook, line and sinker. Both the educated and the uneducated.
We all clapped when our electoral rights and nascent Democracy were being brazenly raped by thuggery and electoral malfeasance masquerading as ethnic solidarity, party loyalty and existential reassurance.
This particular election has taken us two decades backwards and helped in no small way, to deepen our already yawning fault lines as a nation. What happens to the good mutual relationship hitherto enjoyed by the Yorubas and the Igbos of Lagos going forward?
Let us look beyond Bayo Onanuga and his nauseating remarks and think about an election that gulps over three hundred billion Naira, midwife by an umpire who is as knowledgeable and intellectually as sound as Bayo but chose to go the way of infamy to put the nation on a precipice. Nationalism, patriotism and conscience are truly higher than our hollow certificates.
- Austen Akhagbeme is a Columnist with Blank NEWS Onome