By Haruna Muhammad Inuwa
In what it is like fate, a failed social experiment, the Senior Special Assistant to the Governor Ganduje on New Media AKA Dawisu overstepped his boundary, and so, caused him a painful suspension. Would that be the end of Dawisu? Time shall tell. This is the same man that relentlessly hard-earned himself battalions of enemies on cyberspace. Barely, he watches his steps; neither does he care about the consequences and damages of his actions. Does Dawisu truly understand the principle of “Life is like a boomerang”? I doubt. Everything you give, you get. That is how some of us have been religiously practicing this quote to save ourselves from daylight embarrassments.
Undoubtedly, Dawisu’s unflinching loyalty to his boss is unmatched. That is how it is supposed to be. Still, your loyalty before these politicians who might likely part ways with you after years in the office does not earn you a permanent spot in their hearts. You are, but, a pawn before kings. In their game of politics, they can predictably sacrifice you to match closer to their goals. And therefore, life goes on.
While I was a toddler, I used to think a Promised Land is a land beyond our shores, and that, our leaders will one day take us all there. I thought as I finished my high school, I would forthwith get admission to the university and study the course of my choice. As light as a spider web, as we grow older, things become much clearer and open than we thought. You see, growth is an endless iterative process. As we grow, we go from wrong to slightly less wrong. Dawisu’s pure certainty on his unflinching loyalty to his principal beclouded his sense of foresight, and could not see any further; like one last-living prince of a certain bad King – that can eat his cake and still have it.
In Nigeria, it is like a ritual and tradition that the people of the ruling party and political appointees have no right to constructively or openly criticizes fellow party leaders. It is like a taboo, sort of. Whoever goes against these man-made settings will fall out of the kingdom helplessly, like a concrete parachute. To Dawisu, with a pure certainty of his loyalty to the party faithful and his boss he took over Twitter with a bomb-like tweet over Mr. President’s insensitivity. Even though he tried to reconstruct his words by quickly deleting the first tweet, unfortunately, for him, the people he often hit harshly and unfairly were way ahead of him. Voila, the Governor whose Dawisu thought loyalty could save him over controversial comments on the Emperor’s New Clothes issued an immediate suspension through his Commissioner of Information.
Dawisu’s suspension reminds me of Hans Christian Anderson’s story: The Empire’s New Clothes. Where the emperor was cloaked in nothing, but his sycophantic courtiers could not tell him so. Many years ago there was an Emperor so exceedingly fond of new clothes that he spent all his money on being well dressed. He cared nothing about reviewing his soldiers, going to the theatre, or going for a ride in his carriage, except to show off his new clothes. He had a coat for every hour of the day, and instead of saying, as one might, about any other ruler, “The King’s in council,” here they always said. “The Emperor’s in his dressing room.”
“Those would be just the clothes for me,” thought the Emperor. “If I wore them I would be able to discover which men in my empire are unfit for their posts. And I could tell the wise men from the fools. Yes, I certainly must get some of the stuff woven for me right away.” He paid the two swindlers a large sum of money to start work at once.
The Bengali poet Nirendranath Chakraborty in his poem Ulanga Raja (The King Is Naked), said only one small innocent little boy in the entire kingdom had the courage to stand up and ask the naked Emperor, “Hey King, where are your clothes?”
The use of the story’s Emperor’s New Clothes refers to something widely accepted as true or professed as being praiseworthy, due to an unwillingness of the general population to criticize it or be seen as going against popular opinion. It is like an expression used to describe a situation in which people are afraid to criticize something because everyone else seems to think it is good or important.
Today’s Nigeria under Buhari is like that of the Emperor’s. No one gets to say the truth or publicly criticizes his government without being labelled an unpatriotic citizen or call out by his sycophantic courtiers.
Today, I join Dawisu and other patriots in this country and ask: Hey Mr. President, Where are your clothes?!
Haruna Muhammed Inuwa, a Staff Writer at Educational Communities Worldwide and writes from India