Beyond emotional appeal: revisiting the allegation against Wasiu Ayinde by Ganiu Bamgbose, PhD

Beyond emotional appeal: revisiting the allegation against Wasiu Ayinde by Ganiu Bamgbose, PhD
I had decided to let the controversy surrounding the allegation against Wasiu Ayinde by his drummer, Ayankunle Ayanlowo, die down before my intervention. This is to attract a less biased reading of my stance. The drummer had accused the Fuji musician of maltreatment in some videos, citing specifically how the singer would seize the passports of his band members on arrival at or from foreign shows. In a more personal lamentation, Ayanlowo cried out that he had nothing to show for three decades of dedication to Ayinde’s band despite his hard work. This outcry was greeted by sympathy from social media users; some expressing their displeasure with the Fuji maestro and others donating and seeking help for the drummer.
While this piece is not a sponsored nor personal effort at vindicating Wasiu Ayinde, it just makes a good case study for a bad habit among Nigerians which is worth discussing: SENSE OF ENTITLEMENT or ENTITLEMENT MENTALITY.
The entitlement mentality is defined as a sense of deservingness or being owed a favour when little or nothing has been done to deserve special treatment. While the emotional tact is understood from the angle of the drummer who had deployed it to attract pity at the micro level and financial help at the macro level, the number of shallow interventions resulting in abuses and curses on Wasiu Ayinde confirms that argumentum ad misericordiam (appeal to pity or a related emotion such as sympathy, compassion, or mercy in order to gain the acceptance of an unrelated conclusion) is an instrument of emotional blackmailing among Nigerians. Resolutions, judgements and conclusions call for the use of head and not just heart. The husaband is not necessarily at fault because the wife is crying while narrating her side of the story. The employee is not certainly right because the employer is the rich one. If you have experienced a car driver being called a wicked rich man in an accident involving a car and a motorcycle in Nigeria, you will have an idea how emotion is placed above reasoning in many social issues.
Returning to the allegation of the drummer, he did not mention in the videos or interviews granted that Wasiu Ayinde was fond of not paying his band members after shows. It was basically that he, the drummer, had no house of his own in 32 years of drumming for the singer and his passport got seized after shows. A question to ask is where on earth it is it the business of an employer whether or not an employee has a house or a car even if the latter works for a hundred years? Except if this is part of a contractual agreement, it amounts to a mere appeal to pity to accuse your employer of not having a house and/or car after working for him for 32 years. Also, he who pays the piper calls the tune. If Ayinde secures visas for his band members and he wishes to hold onto the passports just so they do not abscond (an action which has implication for his own dignity and integrity), how is that a problem, logically speaking?
This is similar to the allegation against Funke Akindele by some persons after the demise of Jumoke Aderounmu. The popular actress was accused of not helping when Jumoke was sick and someone, God forbid, even said Funke would lose her twins, which made the actress cry out on a live video. Aside Funke’s clarification on the issue, how was it even a duty to help someone she had featured in her series and who was paid for her role?
The crux of this piece is to emphasise that sense of entitlement is a killer. It kills your sense of focus, direction and hard work while making you feel deserving of other people’s possession. It is also important to let people know that you cannot sentence anyone to your own imaginary hellfire for not helping you. Help is a moral concept, not a legal one. Even religiously speaking, people can make heaven for helping others but they may not necessarily go to hell for not helping you. The man you think should be able to give you fifty thousand naira to complete the payment for your single room apartment may need five hundred thousand naira to complete the payment for his duplex. You will live a peaceful life if you understand people’s kindness as fortune, and not right.
(c) 2024 Ganiu Bamgbose writes from the Department of English, Lagos State University.

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