Opinion

Deji Adeyanju: The mosquito on President Buhari’s scrotum By Pius Adesanmi

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Deji Adeyanju: The mosquito on President Buhari’s scrotum By Pius Adesanmi

The Yoruba are a very wise people. They insist that you need extreme wisdom to handle an impertinent mosquito that shuns the entire surface area of your body and insists on landing on your scrotum. The human instinct is to slap and crush mosquitoes whenever we feel that discomfiting bite. However, when the mosquito’s airport is your scrotum, the Yoruba advise you that a slap to crush it may have consequences for the two delicate inhabitants of that region.

To President Buhari’s eternal damnation, whenever a mosquito lands on his scrotum, his only recourse is to carry “omori odo”, a pestle, and land it on his own scrotum with full force in order to kill the mosquito. As the Yoruba proverb insists, the two residents of that geographical region of the President’s anatomy are always beaten, bruised, and battered.

When Nnamdi Kanu landed on his scrotum, President Buhari blockaded Igboland, violated civilian spaces with heavyhanded pacification and mop up operations, and even wondered aloud if they had responsible elders in that part of the country. When Oby Ezekwesili and Ayisha Yesufu landed on his scrotum by constantly reminding him of his electoral vow to #BringBackOurGirls, President Buhari hounded and tear-gassed them in public spaces in Abuja with his police and military. A famous photo of a defiant Aisha Yesufu, sitting in the middle of the road, has since become iconic of the infinite possibilities of the human spirit to insist on dignity in the face of tyranny and oppression.

Enter political provocateur, Deji Adeyanju, the latest proverbial mosquito to land on President Buhari’s scrotum. Two of Mr. Adeyanju’s tweets particularly incensed the Buhari administration and their onward social media army. In one offensive tweet, Mr. Adeyanju screams that only bastards support Buhari. And he cursed and cursed and cursed. In a second tweet, he screams and rants and calls Vice President Yemi Osinbajo a thief: “Osinbajo ole!” This, of course, cuts even deeper in Yoruba than in English.

I winced in disgust and disapproval when I saw those tweets. I made a mental note that his days as a free man were numbered because, sadly, I understand the primitive instincts of President Buhari and his supporters.They have never met a democratic norm, a humanistic ethos, or an institution of democratic practice they are not ready to violate or subvert for the purpose of building and sustaining their Buhari mythology and phantasmagoria. Soon enough, they grabbed Mr. Adeyanju and locked him up. Although he is now out on bail, he is far from being in the clear.

Grabbing and locking up Mr. Adeyanju was a stupid move. As offensive as his statements were – Buharideens are into all kinds of silly contortions to say he wasn’t grabbed for his statements – there is this inconvenient thing called democracy which not only guarantees his full right to say the things he said but also compels us, civics-sentient citizens, to defend to the death his right to say such things no matter how much we disapprove of them. I disapprove of Deji’s tweets and utterances with every fibre of my being, but it shall not be said that I was part of a primitive culture of acquiescence and rape of democratic norms which sanctions people for exercising their right to free expression.

One person who fully understands these dynamics – and I don’t envy him for that reason – is the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo. Pastor Osinbajo is one of Nigeria’s foremost Professors of constitutional law. His academic trajectory is unimpeachable. This means one thing: his mind has been shaped and humanized by the humanities and the social sciences. He has read far too many books to be able to partake of the primitive ethos and culture of the administration in which he serves as the Number Two citizen. This always puts him in ironic and contradictory situations, if not morally and ethically slippery grounds.

I do not envy the Vice President. Being the person who was so crudely insulted by Deji Adeyanju, the deontology of his academic training in the humanities imposes only one obligation on him: come out and state clearly thus: Mr Adeyanju is a crude jackass who has insulted me. However, I have a Voltairean obligation to defend to the death his right to abuse, insult, and call me names because we are a constitutional democracy and I am duty bound to help the growth and expansion of democratic ethos in Nigeria.

Tragically, Vice President Osinbajo (if you have been reading this column since inception, you know by now that I have a tremendous soft spot for him), has been unable to rise to this level of ethical and democratic grandeur. Instead, he is doing the next most clever thing: pretend that he does not know that a citizen was grabbed and locked up basically for insulting him; throw himself fully into crowd bathing from Lagos to Ilorin, as he distributes N10,000 tradermoni in what Omo Baba Oloye of Ilorin calls “sophisticated vote buying.” Rarely do I agree with Bukola Saraki on anything.

Because Vice President Osinbajo has failed to wield his enormous intellectual capital to teach the Buhari herd about democratic ethos, we are seeing very funny developments. This week, a brother of mine, Chief Joe Igbokwe, a prominent APC chieftain in Lagos and the Aare Ona Kakanfo of President Buhari’s massive post-the-unreasonable-update-first-and-justify-it-later Facebook army, copied an update basically calling anybody supporting Atiku Abubakar a lunatic who should be in a sanatorium. Nigerians always think that plastering #copied# on anthing they post or share absolves them of responsibility.

What I am driving at should be clear. Chief Igbokwe ought to be locked up and the keys thrown away going by the standards that he and his fellow Buharideens say we must live by. Indeed, going by their own very standards, our prisons should be so full by now that we ought to be renting prison cells in Benin Republic, Togo, Ghana, and Cameroon to accommodate Buharideens for the things they had to say about Goodluck Jonathan yesterday and what they have to say about Atiku and anybody not supporting Buhari today.

No Buharideen, including my closest friends among them, would be left standing using the standards they have applied to Mr. Deji Adeyanju. Democracy is an inconvenient obligation. Were the tables to be turned, those of us who consider ourselves true democrats would have to step out to defend the rights of these same Buharideens who, today, are sacrificing democratic norms for base, primitive, partisan instincts.

Vice President Osinbajo, I call on you to come out and educate your followers please.

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