The Lying Gadgets


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The Lying Gadgets




Tony Momoh



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.
 Some time ago, someone told me to ask three questions from anyone who wants to tell me something about another. One-Is what you want to tell me true?  In other  words are you a witness to the facts?  Two - Is what you want to tell me bad or good?  If good, ok.  If bad, I must be in a position to confirm and quote you that you  told me.  And Three - Is what you want to tell me beneficial to me, to you and to everyone else?  If it is just Market Talk  then go your way.  I have more important  things to do with my time…”


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?



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