Kemi Adeosun: To Serve Nigeria?

July 17, 2018 Nigeria , Opinion , OPINION/NEWS



Prince Charles Dickson



The leper said two things, one of them being a lie; he said after he had struck his child with his palm, he also pinched him severely with his fingernails.



A long time ago at a small family reunion I was invited to, I watched as a father narrated a movie to the kids. Unknown to him the kids had viewed the same film. He went about mumbling the storyline, while the older ones feigned attention; one of the younger ones just blurted out…”Daddy it’s a lie.”


Why is it that Nigerians have embraced lies as a national pastime, from the governed to those doing the governance itself? Lies are told about electricity, the whole APC administration is filled with filthy lies. Lying about education, lying about health, and the lies of the opposition PDP is even filthier.


The cost of lies to our national development cannot be quantified, so it is fashionable that parents lie to kids, husbands to wives, wives to sisters, employers to employees, and how about those lies that are absolutely unnecessary, those lies that officials tell, that leave you dazed, confused and in wonderment.


Telling the truth is just unthinkable, it has simply become a deviant attitude to be truthful. In fact, as a matter of rule, you learn to lie by default on becoming a leader in Nigeria, whether in politics, administration or faith.


When a goat’s day “to die” arrives, it says there is nothing a butcher can do to it. (A person who does not recognize and heed danger courts death). Through our lies as a people we only court death.


I am told a lie is a type of deception in the form of an untruthful statement, especially with the intention to deceive others. To lie is to state something with disregard to the truth with the intention that people will accept the statement as truth.


A liar is a person who tells lies, who has previously told lies, or tends by nature to tell a lie repeatedly—even when not necessary.


The three definitions suit the current group we call leaders…particularly the third one. I really do not blame them so much because as a people we have become accustomed to accepting lies as statements of truth.


There are several types of lies…like the big lie, a lie which attempts to trick the victim into believing something major and likely be contradicted by some information the victim already possesses, or by their common sense. When the lie is of sufficient magnitude it may succeed due to the victim’s reluctance to believe that an untruth on such a grand scale would indeed be fabricated.


The fuel subsidy is a classic big lie. All the stories about a growing economy out of recession are a lie, all the tories on rice farms, cockroach farming, are stage managed with half truths, misinformation and falsification.


Whether the factory is in Plateau state or Abia, give it a few months and visit the same commissioned arrangement and you will see the lie. The problem is not just the lies, but also the lunacy behind the figures when money is involved in a Nigerian lie.


There is another lie, we call bluffing, and to bluff is to pretend to have a capability or intention one does not actually possess. Bluffing is an act of deception that is rarely seen as immoral when it takes place in the context of a game where this kind of deception is consented to in advance by the players.


For instance, a gambler who deceives other players into thinking he has different cards to those he really holds, or an athlete who hints he will move left and then dodges right is not considered to be lying (also known as a feint or juke). In these situations, deception is acceptable and is commonly expected as a tactic.


This is one tactics the current APC administration has continually used, and as long as Nigerians do not react and cannot complain, it is an acceptable tactic, after all previous Nigerian governments like the PDP have been using it, why bother our amiable, incorruptible Mr. Buhari.


For all the noise, when the chips are down the Adeosun NYSC exemption certificate will die away, if at all there is anything like that, and we will do nothing. Government at all levels lie, its simple logic, who is government, you, them, and me…Them; they are there. You; aspiring to be there. Me; hoping to be there…to chop you must lie or be lied to.


When we want to be truthful, but we suddenly realize that we are Igbos, Hausas, Ijaws, Urhobos, Yorubas, Idomas, Muslims and Christians and we continue lying. There is simply no truth in us, our tales by moonlight are exactly what it is…tales.


There is the barefaced lie; it is one that is obviously a lie to those hearing it. A lie told with a straight and confident face (hence “bold-faced”), usually with the corresponding tone of voice and emphatic body language of one confidently speaking the truth.


These kinds of lies have been elevated in recent times, go and ask those that told us that snake swallowed monies, monkeys ran away with money, governor was slated and his neck shifted and yet could carry his broken arm…that killers of our women and children are from Libya.


Only in climes like ours, that such absurd lies are told with our knowledge, and we know it’s a lie, but it is delivered with boldness. What can we do?


When our leaders in various spheres are not lying directly to us, they are being economical with the truth, a popular euphemism for deceit, whether by volunteering false information or by deliberately holding back relevant facts. More literally, a careful use of facts so as not to reveal too much information; because we either cannot handle the truth or we are allergic to it.


Big lies, economical lies, crazy lies, they bluff, they stare at us like Fashola and his co travelers telling us that Nigerians are enjoying electricity at its best second only to the US, at 25 hours per day. Whether the newspapers,= and the media lie, whether the narrative is Fulani herdsmen, the technical defeat of Boko Haram, or armed bandits, or the narrative of the natives, we struggle with the truth.


But really when an ordinary citizen lies to another about the cost of a thing as simple as the shoes on his feet, does he or she not deserve lies in turn from those that ordinarily should be responsible with the truth to him? What is rocket science about a minister addressing the truthful status of her service to the nation, after all if no be lie—only time will tell.






Prince Charles Dickson

Currently Prince Charles, is based out of Jos, Plateau State, and conducts field research and investigations in the Middle Belt Region of Nigeria with an extensive reach out to the entire North and other parts. Prince Charles worked on projects for UN Women, Search for Common Ground, and International Crisis Group, among others. He is an alumnus of the University of Jos and the prestigious Humanitarian Academy at Harvard and Knight Center For Journalism, University of Texas at Austin. A doctoral candidate of Georgetown University

Born in Lagos State (South West Nigeria), Prince Charles is proud of his Nigerian roots. He is a Henry Luce Fellow, Ford Foundation grantee and is proficient in English, French, Yoruba Ibo and Hausa. Married with two boys, and a few dogs and birds.

Editor review


No Comments Yet!

You can be first to comment this post!

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.