OF WAILERS, HAILERS AND WAILER-HAILERS44 views
Let me state from the onset that wailers mean well for the country. Hailers also mean well for the country. Wailer-hailers, too, want the best for our country.
Though we see things from different perspectives, we all mean well for our country. Sometimes our different views may clash but that is to be expected. How we handle that conflict however is what separates an emotionally secure wailer, hailer or wailer-hailer from an insecure one.
Our right to hold and express our opinion is guaranteed by the law of the land. It is therefore abhorrent to say the least that one’s right to freely express his opinion should sometimes be needlessly greeted with personal insults and abusive language – two things that do not conduce to useful, enlightened and responsible discourse. It is indeed a sign of inadequate comprehension of the true goals of discourse for anyone to resort to insults and name-calling simply because someone else's opinion disagrees with his. Disagreement is healthy as long as it is constructive. Insults and abusive languages, however, are not.
Having said that, let me now confess that I like wailers (or perpetual disagreers, if you like) because they keep me on my toes, make me to want to get better. Their value in national discourse lies in the fact that they directly or indirectly push government to get even better.
But there are perpetual and melancholy wailers who never see any good in the government no matter how much government tries. This category of wailers are influenced by three things – tribe, religion, politics or some other sentiments. They are dangerous because they could go to extreme. There is also the phenomenon of the hired or mercenary wailers. These are the political equivalent of soldiers of fortune. Their tears are for hire.
I like hailers too because they encourage the government to do more. I do not however like the sycophantic or what you may call the “eye service" type of hailer because, like the melancholy wailer, he is often influenced by his selfish desires. This specie of hailer is a schemer. He sees and hears no evil in the power that be even when that power is clearly derailing. He cares not about the common good. Like in wailers, there is also the mercenary hailer. He is for hire, and quickly moves on to another paymaster once his job is done.
The wailer-hailer is the one that does it for me; he earns a permanent place in my heart. Wailer-hailers are the more rational and objective. They have an open mind and are not needlessly emotional. They evaluate every government action or inaction on their own merit. They look at both sides of the coin and do not allow halo effect. Wailer-hailers also proffer the most useful and effective solution. Yet they desire nothing from the government.
Personally, I really don't know where I belong. Some have told me I belong to the first group; they may be right, but that is probably in the last two years of the last administration. Before then I was supportive of that regime and actually gave it time to get its act together until I was convinced beyond doubt that it had allowed itself to be deceived and consequently derailed.
Some other friends have told me that I belong to the hailers’ camp. Well, they may be right too insofar as this government is concerned. But they have conveniently forgotten that since May 29 2015, I have criticized the Buhari administration 9 good times. One thing is clear though: I support the government of President Muhammadu Buhari but I am not naive. I believe that like all humans he will make mistakes here and there, but he is on the right track. I will not, like melancholy wailers, write him off until convinced otherwise. I will not also, like see-no-evil-hear-no-evil “otimkpus” refrain from lampooning him if he gives me cause to.
What I do not, and will never, like or support, is to wail or hail with the selfish intent to spark off the disintegration of Nigeria, kill innocent citizens in the name of religion or some other reasons, and destroy, pillage or loot public property. This is why I will never be swayed by the dubious argument of neo-Biafrans, religious fundamentalists on both sides, especially the more irrational and deadly type in the mold of Boko Haram, and of course Niger Delta ethnic militias.
Beyond this, I believe Nigeria is a project that requires continuous discourse, but not through force of arms. I believe we can always agree, disagree and agree again. So wailers, hailers and wailer-hailers, do your thing as long as it is for the good of the country.