Its kina funny you know, how people go after their critics or perceived enemies in this forested village of ours. They often look for ways-unorthodox, to silence the messenger or discredit the messenger before he or she can start speaking.
Father, I have repeatedly dismiss and will continue to dismiss that the Town Criers of this village are at war with the leaders of our village-no, not at all. On the other hand, I will not dismiss the fact that certain big men and women in this village have rather decided for themselves to be at war with select group of Town Criers in our village and for that I am not in denial.
It is very important to note how they go about with their fight and interestingly it is so glaring for one to see how naïve sometimes they draw their lines of battles.
Father, I remember few years ago, because of my stance and the kind of reportage we were writing, saw us silently running into series of problems whether knowingly or unknowingly to the powers that be at the time we can’t say.
It was just few months after the Old Lady had been sworn in for the second term as our village leader. Relationship had gone bad because of unpaid debts her beleaguer party had for us-our pronouncement and critical analysis of her government led to a joint security team coming to our offices to inquire about our tax records and when documents were presented they insisted they wanted to see me and find out how I got money to start the business.
Father, I was out of the office at the time and instructed my people to show them all the documents that we had; they insisted they wanted to see me in person. Father, little did I know that on that fateful morning, one zealous security officer, then deputy minister for our security house, had instructed his boys to come and pick me up.
They came asking how I got money to open the newspaper here and there. They were particularly concern as to who give me money- There suspicion as I later learned, that they pointed to one man who did not know my first name and is currently smarting in jail in one of Uncle Sam cousin’s village was bankrolling me-God!
Now, this little known zealous security boy acted based on stories we had been reporting about this man during a certain trial. When they knew they had nothing on me, the next thing was to sanction an audit. They did the first audit, apparently they were not satisfied with the first findings, and so they immediately commissioned a second one, one or two months later.
Remember I said I don’t know if the action of this little known security officer was done knowingly or unknowingly to the powers that be, now, it turns out that others who were closed to such powers at the time, they said they heard about the pickup of a certain Town Crier that morning but did not know it was me. This friend of mine, peace be to his ashes was frank with me when he said “my Pekin, you have crossed the line too far. You were once moderate how come you are hitting the Old Lady like this?”
There I knew that all these joint security officers coming to my office and the two subsequent audits were forms of intimidation and I don’t know what my crime would have been that morning if they had met me. Father, why am I saying all this now? There is a proverb which says “there are many ways to kill a cat.” Certainly people in this village of ours have ways of getting at people. They have a way of getting at messengers. If they can’t discredit you, they find means of wiping you off.
Of late, we have been having a frequent visitor at our offices who claimed to come from a particular entity. We have cooperated in the framework of the letter he brought from this particular entity. He now comes back to be asking for some two years ago and making comments which suggest to me that there is something more to his mission.
Our village is a place where people are very vindictive; they use their offices to get even with certain individuals especially when you have the loudest mouth and the biggest pen. History has shown in our village that people for whatever reasons have tried over and over to silence the messenger.
We know very well that we stepped on several toes during the just ended voting period and some of these people whose interests were affected are still in other positions and would want to revenge using the available power.