Dedicated to Nigeria's socio-political issues
October 3, 2007 - December 2, 2007
The Lying Gadgets
January 08, 2006
We have been discussing heavy stuff for some time now. We who write did not start the heavy talk-stuff rolling. Our leaders, our political class did. And everywhere is stuffy. Those interested in spiritual matters will say that the ethereal environment is polluted and hangs like a dense cloud over our country, with the suffocating heaviness most felt in official quarters where no critical communication is welcome any longer. Spend five minutes thinking about that sentence. These signs are familiar to those who have a sense of history. They must be worrying and worried, and frightened. It was this concern that advised my little chat with a friend’s company’s staff at Christmas. Joe had told me to call at his Ikeja office, that they had a get-together and could I come and give a pep talk. This is what I told them, and that them should here include our countrymen:
“You are all welcome to this time of the year when we all have a sensing of guilt. I will tell you why, but let me first share with you some of the greatest dangers to co-existence today. These are the Radio, the GSM and Market Talk. All have to do with the profound preoccupation with doing what we have no business doing - that is talking about others.
But where does radio come in? Once upon a time, if you told someone something that led to trouble and investigators wanted to find, as they say, the root of it, the questioning would start somewhere and everyone must say who told them. There was no journalism then which evolved the code that you should not reveal your source of information. Joe would say Tony told him. Tony would say Andrew told him. Andrew would say Arith told him. Arith would say Mark told her. Mark would scratch his head trying to remember who told him. If the buck stops on Mark’s table, he would be asked to pay six pence. And he would thenceforth be known as a liar. But radio came and Mark would say he heard it on radio. No one had a recorder to tape what was broadcast. So in the villages, people would look you in the face and tell you, Liar, you dey tell lie like radio.
Then we had television and other sophisticated communication gadgets until the GSM arrived. Now, someone sends you a text and tells you to communicate it to many people as if a curse would be placed on you if you failed to. The one I received some time ago was that Nigeria has a new first lady. The unique thing about the lady was that he left Nigeria as a man with a bloating tummy. He went to Germany for a tummy tuck operation, then went to London for a sex change. He was last sighted in a village in Bayelsa State, in trouble from his people for doing what he was not given any mandate to do. They had to impeach him because they did not want a woman at this time as their governor! That was a funny one.
But what of the one I received on December 11? It said that the Nigerian Breweries Limited terminated the appointment of some of their technical staff who in anger poisoned Gulder and Star. It said some people had died after drinking Gulder and Star. I should please warn my friends about this danger to their lives! I refused to send the text to anyone. I sent a query back to the sender. I said the text was alarmist. I wanted more information. At what stage were the two products poisoned? I asked this question because I have visited the production lines of Nigeria Breweries and I know that no one can get through their security arrangements to do harm to the production lines. I also asked for more information on who died and where they were declared to have died as a result of drinking either Gulder or Star? There was no feedback from whoever sent that text. I then sent word to the marketing department of NBL and informed them of the text I had received. They had also seen the text! You see how far GSM has become a veritable vehicle of information flow which may well be in form of gossip or misinformation?
Even much older and more deadly than radio and GSM is Market Talk. Market Talk does not take place only in the market. It occurs when one person relating to another or in a group starts discussing other people or things. It is the product of Market Talk that is disseminated through radio or GSM. Market Talk leads to people automatically making up their minds without question. And once they make up their minds, they resist any change of attitude when some other perspective is introduced. Market Talk can kill an organization or cause panic or destroy a government. Market Talk can be a result of many things including want of something to do, laziness, incompetence or lack of organization in the work place.
But these are manifestations of indolence of the spirit. A spirit that is alert will hearken to what Jesus said about communication. He says only YES or NO are safe. Any other thing is dangerous. The Qur’an tells it bold and clear that Allah is a witness to every word you utter. So what you say, think or do binds you. They are seeds you sow, fruits of which you must reap. Those who believe that their business is to say something, to talk, are politicians. A knowing one said that the world is ruled by talkers, that is politicians, and that until the world is ruled by doers, there would be no progress!
Now, let me come back to this season which I said makes us sense some guilt. It is the Season of Love, the time Jesus came to our Earth to provide the opportunity for us to be liberated from the Darkness. Every year, during Christmas, we involuntarily look back and discover that we have not reflected in our lifestyles the Love that Christ was before He came; the Love that Christ was when He gave His life that we might be saved; and the Love that Christ has been ever since His departure. We feel that we have not been as clean in our thoughts, words and deeds as He would have wanted. We discover that we have more than played a part in the booming trade in Radio, GSM and Market Talk communication, not in building up, but in running down, in gossip, in loose talk. In filtering what has come our way since the beginning of the year, we feel guilt, genuine guilt, if we are still open to the way God wants things done.
This Season of Love should make us
rededicate our lives to ourselves as human beings, as members of a family of
workers, as Nigerians, and most important, as aliens on this earth who are here
but do not belong here and must get back to where we came from to account for
what we did during our sojourn on the Earth Plane.
My friend later sent me two umbrellas and a hamper. Happy New Year. But remember that we shall, as always, reap in multiples the fruits of the seeds we sow. The venom now building up with the Third Term Agenda distraction will bring forth hatred and distrust, and retrogression. I am worried, aren’t you?
© 1999 - 2006 Segun Toyin Dawodu. All rights reserved. All unauthorized copying or adaptation of any content of this site will be liable to legal recourse.
Segun Toyin Dawodu, P. O. BOX 710080, HERNDON, VA 20171-0080, USA.
This page was last updated on 10/27/07.