The fallen and his escapist twaddle

Shodipo

Shodipo

With all the drum beats of public flogging, with all the dizzying lashing from every outpost, with the truth perverted to serve the hour, with his image smashed in a thousand places with the cudgel of calumny, you would expect the promoted outing of the fallen man as a great revelation, an iron man spectacle thrusting out his will in assertive largeness; a pronounced standing up to the gods of today.

There was no such a thing. There was no firm comprehensive declaration, mustering up with courage and heroic singularity, promptly shattering all the odious constructs of those who now wield the terrible lash of animadversion.

There was no defined purpose of uniform articulation confronting all the alleged wrongs, affirming the fullness of a statesmanship resolve, extenuating the lynching of his quondam lieutenants with a mighty shield of honour that blocks all the insidious prowling and all the tendentious inquisitional grandstanding with immediate Achilles reflex, promptly insisting that he alone should be held accountable for both the good and the ills of the last watch.

And what did our man do? His reflex was to cringe and fawn, teetering here and there in aimless uncertainties, hiding behind tenuous legal curtains, verging on inanities as his men are being liquidated in open sight.

This is hardly a statesmanship recourse.

The fallen cannot distance himself from the total spectacle of his own watch, peeping cowardly from behind the hill like some forlorn, defeated General foolishly believing he cannot be touched by the widening fray.
Not true.

Even as the General cannot be divorced from the content of a battle, stripping himself of responsibility for a failed campaign, the statesman cannot remove himself from the summative content of his own watch. He cannot stand aloof in some resplendent unconcern, thinking he can manoeuvre around the fault-lines, picking and choosing like some self-appointed seraph, deciding when to enter the fray without being soiled.

But alas, the fallen is already soiled, muddied and tainted in the voiced and pronounced escapism of his deliberate silence.

Perhaps he may think that his silence and withdrawal will banish the censure of the moment and void the barbs and the stings of the present oppressive weight.

It will never happen. That is not the way of the vulture. Playing dead or yielding into some vitiating docility aggravates the predatorial instincts of the gods of today.

They will not temporize or halt in some sympathetic nudging as the fallen appears weak and small. Never. The very perceived weakness raises their cruel ardour, strengthening their determination to knock him down with vengeance, vanquishing all his illustrative banners with sickening vehemence.

What should he do now? The fallen cannot play dead forever. He cannot pretend that he lives alone in some mysterious wonderland, far removed from the dirtying fray. Not true!

Let him be a man! Let him stand up with final clarity and the truth, asserting without a veil that though he was an imperfect shepherd, that he guided the state as best as he knew; that he harboured no venom nor rioted in malice; that his purpose was the unity of the state, that his vision was to preserve the commonwealth with dignity and equitable logic; that he held the rudder of the state without flagrant bias to ethnic prejudice as we are now witnessing today; that he was a simple and unambitious man who coveted no empire nor assumed himself in curative largeness of the ills of the state; that he was flawed in administrative orderliness and in the pristine comprehension of the nuances and the delicate intricacies of power.

It will be a testimony that holds nothing back, that does not pretend any sanitizing dramatisation.

He cannot eclipse his own flaws in pious ejaculations, pretending all was fair and adequate during his watch.

There was no such a thing. To be sure, his failings were not deliberate nor hinged upon conscious designs. There was no malice in his bearing. There was no grand repose in a lock-down in a brazen manufactured larceny to mutilate the Nigerian Union. There was no deliberate nudging to sever the rules of law and infest the infant Liberty with the odious malignancy of the tyrant’s cancer.

He was woven in the unhappy complexity of a severely inadequate man thrust upon a far superior task that can only dwarf and drown his lowly understanding.

The crushing burden of power stupefied his elementary vision and stunted his fundamental focus. And instead of seeking direction and guidance from vast superior talents, who could mould his path and enhance his guidance in more ennobling authority, he withdrew quixotically into the deluding comfort of cretinous characters who dragged him deeper into the putrid pool where little men of darkness rioted without restraint.

But it is not all that blight and ruin for the fallen man. There is still somewhere an element of redeeming glow in the simplicity of his humanity, in his genuine honesty and in his unadventurous moral restraint. He played no Caesar and he aspired to be no god. He resided largely in the perverse illogic of a stunted man who was contented somehow with muddling through the vast immensities of the burden of power.

Thus, he was etched forever in the shadows, stumbling and groping for the elusive light.
In the end, it may be impossible to define him in any reseating succour, retrieving him from the abyss he has now descended.

It may be sufficient to say that he was as human as human can be, flawed like all of us, but without evil, surely without the malignant vividness of the imperilled moment.



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