By David Dimas
In a country where Nigerians are invariably losing their lives, livelihoods and right to free speech, many government officials are earning their paychecks propagating duplicitous commercial messages intended to deflect this truth. One of such officers is the presidential media aide, Femi Adesina.
His response to questions in a recent interview with Channels Television, concerning the growing insecurity in Nigeria, deeply exposed his romance with denial and embodies the grossest form of class solidarity.
When confronted with statistics depicting the upsurge of insecurity in the country, Mr. Adesina answered saying: “It is not as bad as you make it seem…because we know what the situation was as of 2015 and we know what it is today despite the reversals in security, it is still not as bad as it used to be in this country….Yes, there was a bomb or two today (the day of the interview). There was a time that there were five, six, ten bombings in a day in this country.”
In that awkward session with the show presenter, the presidential media mouthpiece claims that corruption and insecurity have been on the decline, in comparison to when they assumed office in 2015. But on the flipside, statistics available to Nigerians and the world paint a different picture.
Recently, the Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) published annually by Transparency International since 1995 scored Nigeria 26th, with a ranking of its being “Perceived as more corrupt”.
The Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP), in its 2019 Global Terrorism Index, ranked Nigeria the third most terrorised country in world, with an impact rating of “Very High”.
A critical analysis of both indexes shows that corruption and insecurity in Nigeria have not experienced any improvement since 2015.
This depicts that Nigeria is still within the grip of terrorism and corruption under President Buhari, as it was under his predecessor, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan.
Again, these are publications by institutions whose statistics the present administration, when in opposition, used to describe the previous government as weak, corrupt and incompetent.
…Is Mr. Femi Adesina merely a fraud who caters to a privileged audience for profit, or does he veritably believe the things he says? Is he, and his principals, aware that Nigerians have grown tired of the heavily guarded political class, oftentimes born into wealth, who arrogantly lecture poor and low-income people on how they could live better?
This is a pivotal time and space to remind Mr. Adesina that Nigerians voted for a change that will go beyond presenting political statistics of mendacity.
For the time being, momentous questions that well-meaning and God-fearing Nigerians are asking are: Is Mr. Femi Adesina merely a fraud who caters to a privileged audience for profit, or does he veritably believe the things he says? Is he, and his principals, aware that Nigerians have grown tired of the heavily guarded political class, oftentimes born into wealth, who arrogantly lecture poor and low-income people on how they could live better? Why should Nigerians stop believing what the media is reporting? Is the worry that the media and international institutions and watchdogs correct that our government is now helpless such a big concern to our current leaders, so much that they prefer to show the middle finger to statistics from institutions they once echoed to convince Nigerians to send their predecessors packing?
While Mr. Adesina and his principals might not provide Nigerians with honest answers to these questions, it is important they know that with their backs against the wall, Nigerians are poring through strategies to thrive despite the ubiquitous insecurity and corruption in the country. Nigerians are battling with challenges they never signed up for. But perhaps more than being overly simplistic, Mr. Adesina’s line of reasoning is patently and unabashedly offensive to Nigerians who do not belong to the protected and privileged class.
By the way, where does Mr. Adesina live? The answer is most assuredly around people much like himself: the protected and privileged class.
The suggestion here, in conclusion, is that if Mr. Adesina will spend a month working on a security assessment of local governments or Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camps in North-East and other troubled parts of Nigeria, it might help cure his intentional myopia, which is evidently preventing him from seeing what intensely terrorised Nigerians currently see and experience. This may not only help change his infantile logic of attempting to fault facts on national T.V but may also help him understand and review his recent episode of shamelessness, which has since exposed him as a barefaced raconteur of a spurious deep state.
David Dimas, a pastor, author, blogger, inspirational speaker and IT consultant, writes from Laurel, Maryland, U.S.A. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org; Twitter: @dimas4real.