BY Idemudia Oviosun (Phd)
It is not always difficult to know when a person is afflicted by the pathology called double morality. When they talk or write, no matter the gamely toils they put up to mask or conceal it, signs of that afflicting disorder can be established from their write-ups or speeches. To be sure, the disease of double morality is often evident in a person when it is the case that they venomously speak against whatever does not serve their interests. They profusely compose panegyric in outlandish praise of that which profits them or redounds to their good as proper and acceptable while they bitterly caterwaul and script threnody in response to whatever does not favour them.
The foregoing position very well describes the personality of the pro-People’s Democratic Party hatchet men and spin doctors like Efosa Ugiagbe who have continued to stain the pages of newspapers with puerile falsehoods and farcical projections in the build-up to and after the verdict of the Edo Governorship Election Tribunal.
Having emboldened themselves, their sympathisers and backers with the false hope that only surface thinkers are amenable to, they wrongly read certain clauses of the Electoral Act (2010) and proceeded on the wings of some patently odd logic to expect that the Tribunal’s judgement would favour them.
However, since that did not happen, these specious thinkers and analysts have achieved a volt-face that enabled them to abandon their advertised confidence in the judiciary and the provisions of the Electoral Act. Their double morality ailment makes it possible for them to find unjustifiable faults in the Tribunal’s judgement. Newspaper articles written thereafter by them have become doses of trivialities diverging completely from logical analysis and bordering on a quest to blackmail the superior courts into acquiescence through a sustained attempt to rewrite the facts of the litigation process which led to the verdict. The latest scene in this awful drama is the gobbledygook entitled “Of godfathers and judicial pronouncement”, authored by Efosa Ugiagbe, and published in the May 9, 2017, edition of The Vanguard newspaper. This waffle projected as sense is nothing but a name-calling propaganda roguishly built on ex-governor Adams Oshiomhole’s obviously figurative description of the verdict as “mama akara”.
Reeling from the crushing defeat that befell them at the Tribunal, they, like a vanquished and retreating army would do, resorted to attacking soft targets for which Oshiomhole’s utterance came in handy. By this show of shame, the Edo PDP leaves no one in doubt that even Boko Haram is more principled than them as regards adherence to the Rules of Engagement in war. Why abandon their previous “evidence-based” arguments for the non-indicting statement made by an individual whose freedom of expression is constitutionally guaranteed?
In their quest to manufacture for the expression an entirely new context, they have sponsored articles and cartoons in the media insinuating that Oshiomhole’s words are a Freudian slip, indicative of an underhand factor in the Tribunal’s proceedings. Unfortunately, their malice-laced anomalous interpretations have refused to gain traction as it conflicts with the conventional meaning and application of the expression among the grassroots where its etymology inheres.
The far-fetched meanings those souls of oily manners have dressed the phrase (mama akara) in compels a clarification.
Literature is a very expressive form of venting emotions and maudlin sentimentality. Sometimes, by deploying figures of speech and literary devices, the artist lends eloquence and style to his art. The story of Oshiomhole, especially of his humble background, is a well-known narrative. He was not born with a silver spoon and so he is no stranger to that delightful delicacy (akara, bean cake). He must, therefore, be forgiven if that was the first image that flashed through his mind for encoding his thoughts.
One possible interpretation of Oshiomhole’s riddling metaphor is that mama akara’s simplicity is renowned. Therefore, if she is called to judgement on an issue, then the issue must be so simple and without any undue complexity. A no-brainer kind of case.
It is not lost on the right-thinking Edo people that the typical Nigerian roadside akara seller has no flair whatsoever for any rigorous analysis beyond the realm of the simple daily routine arithmetic of her sales and the balance she gives to costumers on payment.
Therefore, as a pidgin figurative phrase, “mama akara” connotes a kind of logical simplicity and self-explicitness that falls within the grasp of even the unlettered section of the society represented in the female roadside bean cake seller. It becomes obvious that Oshiomhole’s use of the expression was a hyperbole to underscore the glaring simplicity of the logic behind the verdict as it relates to the petition.
It therefore remains an interesting irony that the Edo State PDP, which never let an opportunity to boast of grassroots presence and knowledge slip by during the campaigns, now ironically betrays ignorance of the correct application of an expression with indigenous etymology. If the disorderly party and its purblind stringers of untruths now chose to explain “mama akara” in the self-serving ways they have done, then we must understand that the action as consistent with what is expected of those horribly assailed by the ailment inverted morality.
Accordingly, Mr. Efosa, on behalf of the Edo PDP, is admonished to get off the infantile quest to trivialise the Tribunal’s verdict with his spoofing of Oshiomhole’s words, and rather busy himself with telling the Edo public exactly which part of the judgement is a perversion of the Electoral Act (2010) as he alleged. Next time, when Oshiomhole hands him a literary lemon, he should make lemonade like a progressive fellow, not poison like a sorcerous alchemist. Better still, if Oshiomhole hands him akara, he should make some pap and have a good meal, not choke on the delicacy.
Obviously, the PDP and its backers are relentlessly obstinate. Undeterred by the public’s rejection of the otherwise dubious perspective of theirs, they have taken a step further to accentuate it by stringing up dubious narratives of Oshiomhole’s alleged influence on the judiciary, all aimed, in their subconscious mind, at giving Oshiomhole a bad name in order to hang him noticeably for his “sin” of demystifying the PDP hegemony in the state. This misplaced objective makes most part of Mr. Efosa’s unfortunate thesis.
As it is said, any attempt to attire falsehood in the garb of truth often results first in commonsense becoming a casualty. Mr. Efosa in his objectionable tripe claimed Oshiomhole lost the elections at the polls and won in the courts. This is a betrayal of crass ignorance of what constitutes victory at the polls. By this, the writer seems to suggest that election at the polls and subsequent litigation at the Tribunal are two entirely independent events similar to home and away matches in soccer. Do judges conduct fresh elections inside the courtroom for the two contending candidates who come before them for adjudication or that they rather review the election conducted right in the polling booths and then determine who really won at the polls? Of course one understands the psyche of a gang of sore losers who have been trying to redefine over-voting, evidence and all other Electoral Act provisions all in a futile bid to mitigate their loss at the Tribunal.
– Oviosun wrote in from Benin City