FEAR AND LOATHING AT THE TIME OF LENT BY AY0 BADMUS

jona
The media helmsman of the Goodluck Jonathan\Sambo team femi fani- kayode(ffk)  has clearly defined his job in a way that will haunt our politics as well as the very concept of societal cohesion and indeed of social solidarity upon which as of necessity a republic should be constructed upon, for a very long time to come.

The unhealthy template he has set bears a disconcerting, striking resemblance to the modus operandi of Hitler`s propaganda minister the perfidious Franz Josef Goebells.The columnist Femi Aribisala has also joined in on the same band-wagon.
On the surface it is rather straight forward ; repeat the ‘big lie` sufficiently often until it assumes the posture of` truth` and it sticks. The dangerous undercurrent of this sort of game was not lost on ffk`s role model – Goebells. The intention was to redefine the very basis of society itself in a way in which democracy is eventually undermined and then truncated. In the case of Goebells, the policy subordinated an entire society to the interest of a political party, unleashed a war, and the world would never be the same again. It is very instructive.
For a democracy the convergence of the tactics of Goebells, the rantings of Aribisala and the antics of ffk is fraught with great dangers.
We all know that electoral contests are by their very nature divisive. Nevertheless, an election should not be positioned in such a way as to destroy the very basis of democracy as well as by cynical manipulation whose end result will be to tear apart the fabric of society.

 Elections ought to be conducted within the context of a preexisting national democratic arrangement.
In the true manner of the template set by Goebells, all the fault lines are being ruthlessly exploited. Ethnicity, religion, regional differences, no holds are barred and there is obviously no intention to take prisoners. For a democracy though there is, has to be, a critical issue. This is, what happens after the elections?
For the body language from the Goebells school is in one direction. This might be interpreted as to, ‘well, this is the last election in a democratic setting`. Which is why anyone who believes in democracy must continue to ask ‘what happens on the day after the elections`.
Much of the big lie on offer is not just offensive to the sensibilities, it is meant to create a permanent rupture undermining the very sustainability of the democratic ethos and of constitutionalism. In this way the republic is imperiled.
For those like the author who are Christians the hate speeches coming during lent provides food for thought. The hate maestros do not just resemble Goebells which is bad enough, they also bear a sickening resemblance to the ultimate bogeyman Pontius Pilate.
Through the ages, every Sunday school pupil has been taught to regard Pilate as a` bad man`. This is, as the `bad man` is viewed in the cowboy films of yore. Unfortunately this inadvertently allows Pilate a lot of undeserved latitude. This unwisely allows Pilate and his successors Goebells and co to get off the hook. For Pilate was more than just your run of the mill ‘bad man`. His place in eternal infamy was earned because of the way he abdicated his responsibility.
Pilate was in actual fact a `chancer`, his eyes firmly fixed on self-preservation. Fixated on his impending comfortable retirement and the prospect of a quick exit from a perennially problematic Roman colony\outpost in Judea he simply cut and run, washing his hands off the matter.
His successors today demonstrate the same trait. Those who use hate speeches and divisive politics based on exploiting divisions based on religion and tribe follow in the footsteps of Pontius Pilate. Ffk`s continuous outbursts have to be looked at through this prism.
He has completely abdicated his responsibility to any concept or form of society especially one that is based on Christian principles. This is dangerous, for as Bob Marley said ‘when the rain falls it won’t fall on one man`s house.`
Like Pilate ffk obviously believes that his house will be exempted.
This is not going to happen of course but the deluded always have this erroneous belief.
Continuously for example, peddling fairy tales about a vice presidential candidate who without yet been sworn in as already fixed a six month tenure for himself in contempt of those who voted for him is in line with the conscious desire to set sections of faith adherents against each other. It means that without the agreement of the electorate a same faith ticket would have been contrived through the back door!
That this sort of nonsense can be peddled displays a complete abdication of responsibility. Those doing so obviously have Pilate as their role model and like him will get their just deserts. It is difficult to reconcile this mindset with any interpretation of Christianity. It is precisely this abdication of any sense of the ridiculous that has led us into our present predicament in the first place.
Now that we are in lent might we ask in all of this what is the light that surprises the Christian as he prays?
It cannot be about enveloping the polity in the politics of hate.That is not withing the context, meaning as well as the interpretation of this seminal season.
The light that should guide the Christian at this time is clearly fore told by St Francis of Assisi. The words of St Francis were recollected by Mrs Margret Thatcher on her first day in office as Prime Minister.
`Where there is discord, may we bring harmony. Where there is error, may we bring truth. Where there is doubt, may we bring faith. And where there is despair, may we bring hope`.
It is obvious that those jumping from pulpit to pulpit while at the same time promoting hate have never really thought about the import of St Francis` prayer. Quite honestly they should.
AYO BADMUS wrote in from Osogbo