We all grew up with grandmothers and mothers telling us folk tales. My mother told me a lot of those folk tales when I was young.
At a time, it seemed to me that she had a story for every occasion; each with its own moral. Some did not make a lot of sense to me at first but as I grew older, I began to draw some wisdom from them, especially the ones she repeated quite often. One of them applies to the theme of my article today. Here goes….
‘A young lady was seen by neighbours dragging her mother on the floor. The neighbours were aghast and pleaded with the lady to stop the abominable thing forthright.
She ignored all pleas. Some of the neighbours might have been surprised at the stoic silence of the mother being dragged on the floor.
Then after a while and quite some distance, she shouted ‘stop. This was where I stopped with my mother…’ the implication for those who are slow like me, is that she had also dragged her own mother on the floor at some time in the past. In other words, what goes around, comes around.
Just a couple of weeks ago, the media was awash with how a former Director- General of the Department of State Security, DSS, was literally and figuratively dragged on the floor by people who had served ‘loyally and obediently’ under him in the past.
The story was that Colonel Kayode Are refused to vacate his official resident months, if not years after he had been relinquished of the post and the current Oga decided to forcefully evict him.
The story went on to state that Col Are had obtained a court injunction (court injunctions seem to be two for kobo among the elites these days in spite of several of directives to the contrary) to stop the eviction.
The injunction was ignored and he was instead humiliated and taken out like a common Joe with his family. Now, what was Are’s plan? Was it to sit tight and eventually acquire the said property like the other big men have done? Or had he already acquired it and ‘paid?’ Do people like him ever count the cost to the Nation of official residences that are routinely acquired these days by people who should consider themselves privileged and lucky to have served their father-land in one capacity or the other? This, however, is not the thrust of my article today.
Colonel Sambo Dasuki, Col Are’s counterpart in the National Security Agency NSA, is currently fighting the battle of his life. He has also been severally dragged on the floor by people he once commanded; again in spite of court rulings and injunctions.
Now the food for thought is this; would these two officers and gentlemen be the hapless victims they are today if they had endeavoured to build institutions and a healthy respect for the rule of law when they were in the position to do so? How much of respect did they accord the courts they are running to now for succour?
Did they ever give a thought to the fact that they would not be there forever when they were putting themselves and the people they served above laws and institutions? When they were manipulating people and institutions for private ends? Or the age-old dictum which says ‘be nice to the people you meet on your way to the top because you might meet them on your way down’?
Recently our vocal and voluble Governor of Ekiti State, Mr Ayodele Fayose brought a smile to my lips when he became effusive in his praise of the judiciary as it tried to stand up to the Federal Government in the Dasuki case.
This is the same man who refused to put himself under the authority of the judiciary when he was fighting for the government house. In fact, he has done more to denigrate the judiciary and the legislature than many of his contemporaries. He has instead, demonstrated open contempt for these two institutions.
Allegations were pointed in his direction at the public disgrace and disrobement of certain High Court judges in his state. Even if the allegations were unfounded, it is not on record that he has done anything to restore the dignity of the courts and the gentlemen concerned.
These selective praises and abuses of the judiciary by politicians are not in the best interests of the judiciary, the nation and even the politicians themselves.
The decision to flout or uphold judgements according to how they affect them will not grow this all important institution. At some point in their lives, especially when they leave power or are fighting superior powers, they might need the protection of an impartial and respected judiciary.
The time to build the respect and independence of not only the judiciary but all national institutions, is when they are in power. Otherwise, what goes around will surely come around.
It is bad to rejoice at somebody else’s misfortune but it was hard for me to sympathise with General Olusegun Obasanjo when he had that accident on Lagos –Ibadan ‘express’ road. He had all of eight years to fix the road among several others.
The leaders who built the beautiful highways in South Africa did not have two heads or more money, just a different colour of skin and mentality.
Obasanjo knows all the ills of the country but did pretty little to fix them when he had the power to do so. Well, he will not always have a helicopter to fly him around and at some point, he will go through what the rest of us have always gone through.
And to those leaders who have turned our hospitals to consulting clinics or worse and have made our skilled medical practitioners to become immigrants, may the day not come when they or their loved ones would be rushed to the hospitals to reap what they have sowed or failed to sow.
Those who use sirens to push the rest of us into the gutter forget that some of those on the road are in life and death situations either literally or figuratively. May the day not come when faced with their own life and death situation, they would be pushed into the gutter.
Unfortunately, what goes around always…..
Our leaders must always think of their legacy. The opportunity to serve mankind is the greatest blessing a man can have.
If you have it and are still looking for other blessings, then like Fela would say ‘you miss road’.
They must also never forget that immutable law of nature, ‘what goes around, comes around’.