You know, the other day a friend of mine called me to draw my attention to a critical paragraph in a story we had published about one big man in our village. To be honest, my friend was not happy and felt the paper was against this big man who happens to apparently have a tribal connection with him.
But Father, the interesting thing is neither my friend nor any other person connected to this big man have up to this point called one day to say ooh, we have seen how balance you have been on this case and have been keeping it up.
However, Father, in silence and with the way this big man’s lawyer have been calling my boys up and down to produce documents it was obvious that they saw us as balance or anything to the contrary in their mind was their own responsibility to handle not ours.
So, Father, my friend was not too happy and whatever his conclusion was over the way that paragraph was phrased is obvious. You are a good town crier when the message is in their favor. But you are bad when it’s critically against their interests.
Father, my friend is not alone in this. It appears like it’s something that is ingrained in our village. We defined objectivity as something that is always in our favor. When it is not in our interest, the Town Crier has been bought or have compromised his or her integrity.
On Sunday, while sitting in church, a female friend came to me. She wanted to pick my brain or get information on the “25m” mopping up money for which two of the big men in our village council names have been paraded as more villagers called for their heads to roll.
Let me backtrack a little Father. Mind you, know there is this satire going around that the big man at our village money matters house, and the big man at the village big money house sat in a keke (a tri motorcycle) distributing the money to money changers around town and because of that they are unable to give account of the money.
So many people believe that by their mere modus operandi they are guilty and should be placed behind bars with the keys thrown away. This, for most people in our village is the final verdict that should not be compromised, any other contrary opinion is against the village interest.
Now Father, it is against this backdrop that my female friend had come to pick my brain as “big village town crier”. The issue my friend and many like her have is while should the Footballer called for a 2nd investigation when the first one has already found the two big men guilty. And all we as Town Criers should be calling for all over the place with one voice is that the two guys should be arrested and thrown in jail. In fact for them the first investigation which says the people could not produce documents as to how the money was infused in the economy is a clear indication that the two men chopped our village money.
And so, Father, as an independent person, my friend was certain that I would have provided her my candid opinion, at least for once that is what I thought, but I was wrong.
You joking my son.
No, Father listen. And when my friend asked what do I think about the money issue and the call for this 2nd investigation, I said I think if we say we are a village of laws, it will be good for them to conduct this second forensic investigation and compel the people to produce the documents they could not produce in the first one, so that we can clearly see who is responsible. Because as things look we are only claiming that those who were are the head of this should go to jail, but before we send them there is a need to ensure that we cross all the “Ts” and dot all the “Is”.
Father, my friend facial expression changed immediately. And I asked why, your facial expression has changed. Father she said and I quote, “the way you just spoke tells me that the people have bribed you. You people are the ones we are depending on for this country. But the way you explained to me now, just shows that the people have bought you to talk for them.”
Now, Father, if I had said those two rogues need to be in jail now. I don’t think this village council should spend the next few months in office because they all know about our money and they all spent it, you know talking loosely like that I would have been to her a patriot.
And Father this is how many of our people think- you are very objective when you get on the airwaves and call everybody criminal or write insulting articles about everybody in the papers. You are bribed when you try to tell people to allow the due process to take its course for the right action to be taken. To be continued.