That awkward moment
Wednesday, January 23rd, 2013
#thatawkwardmoment is a trending topic the on social media networks, most especially twitter, these days. It is most amusing to see the things we, young people, come up with. Now, any time something ridiculous or embarrassing happens, my first impulse is to update my blackberry personal message or tell the world of twitter ‘what’s happening.’ So when I heard about the Farook Lawan saga, the first thing that came to mind was #thatawkwardmoment when Farook Lawan got caught stuffing bills into his cap.
I absorb with dismay the indignation of most people whenever they talk about the Farook Lawan saga. So intoxicating is their hate towards the man who abused his office so he could enrich himself Nigerian and even more intoxicating is their piety whenever they pass judgement on him. I won’t deny that I was once one of them. With shock and disgust, I narrated the tale of the man caught red handed, announced to all who would bother to hear that leaders were the problem of the Nigerian state. I was on a roll, I was in a frenzy of passionate criticism. I couldn’t be stopped. Not until I remembered the epic words ‘let he who is without blame cast the first stone.’ Then, I had to stop.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not advocating for Farook. He has indeed done wrong and must pay the price. But then if we think about it, in Nigeria today, the extent of wrong done is measurable by the extent to which one is caught. We are not really crucifying him for taking the money; we are crucifying him for getting caught.
It is, after all, no news that a lot of pilfering and embezzlement takes place in the government house. However, what is news is that a respected honorable who led an integrity campaign could be caught stuffing bills into his cap. Whatever happened to suit cases and wire transfers?
If it were not so, then surely Otedola, the brain behind the sting operation, should also be facing as much criticism and queries as the infamous Farook. But, Otedola seems to have diverted attention by ensuring that he was the hunter and not the hunted. The question nobody is asking now is ‘Why was Otedola’s name on that list in the first place?’
Although what I am about to say may sound like a digression, it is however a necessary one to enable me make my point. It is generally regarded as trite that the youths of today are engaged in pre-marital sex. However, the look of scandalized disappointment in the faces of most people whenever the so called ‘club girls’ or ‘runs girls’ end up pregnant leaves me wondering if those surprised even have the faintest appreciation of cause and effect.
It seems like in Nigeria, we are not really concerned about adherence to the law, so long as you do not get caught breaking the law. And that is what scares me. I asked myself the question, who amongst us can categorically and honestly say that if given the opportunity they would not attempt to apportion their own share of the national cake? The answer to this question must not be given superficially. If we say ‘No’ let our ‘No’ be just and true and maybe perhaps then we can cast stones against the man that is Farook Lawan.
Like I said, I am no advocate for the impropriety that goes on in government offices. However, I am an advocate for what is good and true. Do not criticize the man for getting caught, criticize him for stealing in the first place; but before that make sure your hands are not soiled with awkward moments.
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