Tuesday, 17 February 2009

Let the Critic Swear

By Hakeem Babalola
Comment & Analysis

Except perhaps Fela Anikulapo-Kuti, there's no other Nigerian critic whose SELF is not being boosted by the president's recognition. For one example, what parcel was the late Dele Giwa expecting from "President" Babangida which turned out to be a bomb that eventually killed the master critic? read more


Adekunle said...

Dear Hakeem,

nice article, but one part was inconsistent with facts and history, u wrote that "Except perhaps Fela Anikulapo-Kuti, there's no other Nigerian critic whose SELF is not being boosted by the president's recognition", I don't think that the great Gani Fawehinmi,Tai Solarin, Balarabe Musa and Wole Soyinka fall into this category, Soyinka, Solarin and Fawehinmi made their names in the 60's without being boosted by any head of state or president's recognition! The facts speak volumes in support of my assertions.

Thank you

Hakeem said...

Dear Adekunle,

Thanks for your response....

I admire Tai Solarin, Gani Fawehinmi and Wole Soyinka very much. But you know Tai Solarin and Wole Soyinka served under Babangida. Even my main man, Tai Solarin, adorned agbada which he had sworn not to wear until IBB robed him. There's also a report that linked Gani Fawehinmi with Buhari's regime....

I still admire and respect these three people but I think their SELF was boosted by the president's recognition in one way or another. However, I still believe they have contributed positively to the greatness of Nigeria.

Meanwhile I decided to choose only one person which is why Fela Anikulapo-Kuti came to mind....

Adekunle said...

Well, I understand what you are trying to say, but I still emphasize that these men's selves were not boosted by any presidential recognition!,these people had pedigrees dating back to the sixties!, they were already seen as mavericks and change agents as far back as the 60's! is it tai solarin that created the one of the first private secondary schools in the west?, whose fame spread as far as ilorin, kabba, ekiti,oyo provinces in the 60's ?, the man who was public complaints commissioner for the entire south west states as at the middle 70's?, i dont really understand how these people could have had their self boosted by presidential recognition?

Tai solarin was among the civil war's most ardent critics he was jailed for about a year( not too sure) by the gowon regime for criticising the war and gowon's wedding at the height of the civi war, he was among the first people to visit the east after the end of the war and brought lots of ibos to study without cost at mayflower.His misstep of accepting the PBN Chairmanship and wearing agbada rather than boost his self attracted opprobrium to his self. He was already a collosus as at 1970, an icon and apostle of free education in the south west and ran one of the longest serving columns in the country. This aside as at the middle-late 70's - 80's, his school was already famous and was attracting reviews, aid and technical programmes from overseas!

As per the gadfly himself, his odyssey started in 1968 when he went to defend a poor servant against his oga who snatched his wife in benue state, as at the late 70's the had already established himself as a human rights crusader !i dont need to say much here because his inimitable and unassailable antecedents not only predate him, but enough has been written about him to blow the roof off the library of congress! Yes the linkage of Gani with Buhari's regime was not due to contracts, awards or consultancies, but against the order of NBA for lawyers to boycott military tribunals, he actually defended some soldiers who had cases!.To show you that Gani completely dissociated himself from unjust awards and familiarizations, his recent rejection of the national (dis)award has solidified his unparalleled, consummate,peerless and unwavering credentials as a man of honor, candor and dignity( Although, Achebe the pacesetter was foreign based).

For the essential wole soyinka, i think u even know more than me, this gift of God to nigeria and nigerians has been involved in all struggles since the civil war, where he got gaoled for years, before then he was the mysterious gunman who held up WNBC.Being the only nigerian nobel peace prize winner alone dwarfs any presidential recognition! The FRSC rather than boost his self also attracted the same recriminations from friends and admirers like tai's sojourn in PBN! Inarguably, Fela completes the list too! At this point, i wont forget the matchless, incomparable and unique Ayodele awojobi, another mythological figure ranks in this category.

Finally, the incontrovertible point is that these men were already icons of their own, they have become legends and among the pantheons in the Nigerian context!Their records, pedigrees,sacrifices for common good have not only become a reference point, but also a benchmark for the younger generation to emulate !,

isnt it noteworthy that 25years and 15years after the demise of awojobi and solarin respectively no one has filled the shoes they left behind, same thing goes for Fela!, it is not easy, it came by the dint of hard work, commitment, diligence, sacrifice, integrity, tenacity, hope,thinking outside the box,selflessness,showing examples, leading the way,brilliance, aptitude,altruism,candor, honesty, compassion, affection,empathy, humanity etc, not any recognition of self by some ruler or president, infact such things almost became their albatross( in the case of solarin and soyinka, but like honest men who want to change society for the better, they recovered from it).

Isn't it also compelling that none of these figures have national honours and or awards?apart from soyinka who just got a merit award! look at all those who have some modicum of recognition and the pretenders and ersatzs?, the jakandes, babatopes,ikokus,keyamos etc, why is it that despite all that they are never and will never be equated on the same platform with the solarins, awojobis,soyinkas?,facade cant last long! pretense cant hide its ugly face forever!

Finally, in a society lacking heroes and where honesty does pay and deceit is ampfully rewarded, lets continue uphold the names and tenets of the few people who set the pace for us, people who dared where we couldnt and we maynot go, people who have shown us that with honesty, tenacity and transparency, goals are attainable! lets try to eschew their positive sides and refrain from making statements that are not at variance with the lives they led and the sacrifices they endured!

Thank you for your patience especially when most of what i wrote isnt new to you

giafaleye said...

Critics are also humans. Most times they are misunderstood. However some critics are paid agent either of government or individuals who are out to destroy other critics. For a government to gag a critic they have to use a ‘fellow’ critic to achieve their satanic agenda. Who actually is a critic that is the one million naira question? I actually agree with Dale Carnegie that any fool can criticize, condemn and complain – and indeed most fools do.
Talking about journalists, don’t you think they are all the same? Check out CNN, BBC etc and see their news direction. Do you still hear any of those stations calling Gadhafi a terrorist? There no need singling out Nigerian journalists for bashing, it has already been said that he who pays the piper dictates the tune.