Blossom Nnodim: The curious case of our elder statesmen and women

by Blossom Nnodim

Olusegun-ObasanjoThere is no dignity that comes with throwing modesty and wisdom out into the flames in a bid to seek external validation.

Yesterday cannot be considered a slow news day thanks to the media frenzy about the departure of Chief Olusegun Obasanjo from the Peoples Democratic Party. It was as dramatic as it can get with the former Chairman of PDP, Board of Trustees and former President of Nigeria who equally enjoyed an eight year uninterrupted leadership under the umbrella of the Peoples Democratic Party, making a public show of tearing or demanding that his membership card be torn.

Move over Kanye West, there is a new drama king on the block.

The greatest question that any political observer will ask and ponder about is what on earth could have informed such a dramatic decision. We recall briefly, a recent interview that Dr. Alex Ekwueme, a former Vice President of Nigeria and a co-founder of the Peoples Democratic Party granted the Sun Newspapers. He made it known in the interview that Chief Obasanjo who did not even meet the requirements of the National Executive Committee of PDP to contest for the 1999 elections in the first instance simply used the PDP as a vehicle for acquiring political power and subsequently tried to make it a private property. In the interview, one thing was clear, Dr. Alex Ekwueme was apparently unhappy about the current state of the party and equally voiced out that he felt humiliated and neglected by the party. Notwithstanding, he was willing to remain in the party and contribute what he can to ensure that PDP is turned back the right side up. That is the spirit of an elder statesman.

In a 2013 article penned by Reuben Abati, which he succinctly titled ‘The hypocrisy of yesterday’s men,’ he went to great lengths to present the hypocrisy of the supposed well-meaning advocacy of men and women that were once in the corridors of power. I may not agree entirely with some of his arguments but I cannot but agree that we have so many of these individuals strutting on the red carpet and showing us all what we should know about being a drama queen and king.

Each day presents us with brand new opportunities to behold some dramatic actions of older Nigerians especially on social media that makes one wonder at the wisdom in some of these actions. From the presidency to the opposition, unending drama has become the order of the day. Hardly a day goes without the inevitable word fight from one of the President’s Senior Special Assistant. A particular individual who falls into the ‘yesterday’s men’ classification initially held the title for this but apparently he has become distracted by his current campaign to become a Governor. What about our yesterday’s women? I recently read a mendacious attempt by one to blame the rising spate of non-decorum by young Nigerians netizens on the precedence set by the presidency. She may not be entirely wrong but when in one breath, you condemn such acts and go ahead to repost some of such abuses then they validate you, the caution becomes watered down.

Young Nigerians want to say that they have very few individuals to role model and I believe this rising trend will further reduce the availability if left unchecked. Wisdom is a gift that becomes further defined as one ages gracefully. If we have this crop of individuals that will refuse to embrace decorum in action and speech, it could infer that wisdom and age have become inversely related. There is no dignity that comes with having the last hurtful word. There is no dignity that comes with throwing modesty and wisdom out into the flames in a bid to seek external validation.

I will close with a particular proverb that comes to mind about the eagle, hen and duck. The eagle had sent the eaglet to hunt for prey. The eaglet returned with a chicken and when asked about the attitude of the mother hen, replied that it cackled and made loud noises. Dinner was served as the eagle concluded that the hen has made all the noise it can make by such dramatic display of displeasure. Next day, the eaglet went out again and returned with a duckling. When asked about the attitude of the mother duck, the eaglet informed that it made not a single sound. The eagle quickly instructed the eaglet to return the duckling as they knew not the next step that the duck will take.

I will close with the words of my favorite aboki, Gimba Kakanda, may God save us from us!

Blossom Nnodim is a speaker, blogger, social entrepreneur and an advocate for social good. She supports Chelsea Football Club. She tweets from @blossomnnodim


Op-ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija.

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