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Monday, May 27, 2024

The Lying Fathers In Nigeria

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The leper said two things, one of them being a lie; he said after he had struck his child with his palm, he also pinched him severely with his fingernails.

Many years ago, at a small family reunion I was invited to, I watched as a father narrated a movie to the kids, unknown to him, the kids had viewed the same film. He went about mumbling the storyline, while the older ones feigned attention, one of the younger ones just blurted out…”Daddy it’s a lie”.

I am writing this on yet another day that marks the ‘Fathers’ Day’.

And it’s early weeks yet, a new administration at the centre and several states are also adjusting to new leadership and in this case new fathers.

So, this is it, will the lies told about electricity, the whole pension administration, filled with filthy lies about change for the better. Like we now have an electricity act and the student loan bill in effect by September, would the lies about education witness the truth?

The cost of lies to our national development cannot be quantified, so it is fashionable that parents lie to kids, husbands to wives, wives to sisters, employers to employees, and how about those legislative lies on job creation…but very painful lies that fathers and leaders tell recklessly, you remember how despite the strides of the last administration they lied about those job creation numbers.

Telling the truth is just unthinkable, it has simply become a deviant attitude to be truthful. I guess this writer should let sleeping dogs lie, and of course that itself is the problem, the dogs don’t sleep, they lie continuously.

The problem with all these lies is how they seem to become the truth after constant repetition; you know that caveat that if you listen repeatedly to a lie, it becomes the truth. One other effect is, it leaves us with a short fuse memory because it’s all too dramatic. Too many lies, even when there’s no need to lie we conjure up some fancy tales, lace it up with all the condiment.

When last did a public official tell the truth, I mean to say it as it is and have it on record as having said and stood by it. We just talk anyhow, most times without thought or regard for the consequences.

Fathers are forced to lie, coupled with the lack of security, alarming increase in the cost of food items, and an all-time low in public confidence in the government.

Our fathers like Tinubu and like legislators and governors I ask, are you all ready for this job; is the job already overwhelming, how difficult is it? Almost all the states are without a cabinet list with portfolios, it’s almost a month!

How are they dealing with the opposition, as usual lies about how they are responsible for all this early morning sickness are already flying? There are persons that have a padlock grip on state matters positively and negatively, how are the current fathers dealing with it?

Can the current fathers disappoint PDP and LP, disappoint the old APC, and tow a different line? They have promised this and that, but opinion is divided on whether they have said anything, will they deliver?

Can Mr Tinubu, as the father of the nation, unite Nigerians, given the almost every day constant reminders that we are on the edge, Boko Haram, MEND, IPOB, OPC, kidnappers, robbers, terrorists, unemployment, union strikes etc? Do we have nice fathers, or are they weak, humble or sly or they are still trying to define themselves or cooking lies?

The truth is that the topic of politicians and lies is complex and multifaceted. While it is true that some politicians may engage in dishonesty or deception, it is important to recognize that this behaviour is not exclusive to politicians but can be found in individuals from various professions and walks of life. It is crucial to approach this topic with nuance and avoid broad generalisations. However, I have intentionally beamed my searchlight on politicians, in the context of our leaders and as fathers.

Here are a few key points to consider:

Trust and Accountability: Honesty and transparency are essential for fostering trust between politicians and the public. When politicians lie or deceive, it can erode public trust and undermine the democratic process. Holding politicians accountable for their words and actions is crucial in promoting integrity in politics. Sadly, we are stuck here…

The Complexity of Issues: Politics deals with complex issues, and finding simple solutions or conveying the intricacies of policy decisions can be challenging. Politicians may oversimplify or distort information to gain support or simplify complex issues for public consumption. This does not justify dishonesty but highlights the importance of critical thinking and fact-checking. This is something we lack…

Individual Responsibility: While politicians have a responsibility, to be honest and ethical, citizens also have a responsibility to engage critically, seek accurate information, and hold politicians accountable for their actions. Active civic participation, fact-checking, and demanding transparency can contribute to a more accountable political system.

Ethical Leadership: Encouraging and supporting ethical leadership is essential for addressing the issue of dishonesty in politics. Political parties, institutions, and civil society organisations should promote ethical behaviour, integrity, and a culture of honesty among politicians.

It is important to note that not all politicians engage in dishonesty, and many individuals in politics strive to serve their constituents with integrity and honesty. However, addressing the issue of dishonesty in politics requires a collective effort from politicians, citizens, and institutions to promote transparency, accountability, and ethical behaviour in the political sphere.

We want to see leaders and fathers that take action, are in charge, and the powers are theirs and ours, they need to start to work, do something, anything, one thing or nothing”. Whatever reasons Nigerians voted for are getting inconsequential by the day…they need to prove themselves, the excuses are not tenable, and the lies cannot continue.

The Yorubas say ebìtì tí ò kún ẹmọ́ lójú, òun ní ńyí i lẹ́pọ̀n sẹ́hìn. It is a trap that the giant rat disdains that wrenches its testicles backwards. Dangers that one belittles are liable to cause great havoc. When people suffer low expectations it’s easy for the Stockholm syndrome to set it…This president and governors won an election, they are our fathers, they can continue lying or they must now earn fatherhood—May Nigeria win!

By Prince Charles Dickson PhD

Charles is the Team Lead of The Tattaaunawa Roundtable Initiative (TRICentre).*

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