Lai Mohammed wouldn’t have got it right in the moral perception of any Nigerian because he had deliberately failed to be a good Nigerian by refusing to argue out his master’s merits and thereby ridicule his minor lapses in the public. Why didn’t he insult Obasanjo in his response to his letter? Why didn’t he call the old man some dirty names?
Unlike Labaran Maku, Doyin Okupe, Reuben Abati and Femi Fani Kayode of the PDP era, Lai Mohammed has indeed proved to be receptive to criticism, by being urbaned, enlightened and cerebral in his approach to image making. His response to the former President’s letter was undoubtedly distinct.
He refused to be belligerent, but rather, he spoke like someone who has nothing to hide. For if someone has something to hide, he would shout and shout; and then, bark and bark at his opponents. In the reign of silence, he who has something to hide would emphasize a frivolous issue beyond the limit of logic. Lai didn’t do that. He responded and the chapter was closed.
To us, as Nigerians, that is an alien comportment. At the breakout of Obasanjo’s letter, every body had expected a vehement antithetical sequel. But alas, Mohammed, the witty tongue of the administration, would rather wet our thirsty throat with a cup of cold drink and not the hot liquid anticipated by many.
In the running days to 2015 election, he did wonderfully well in his propaganda against the ruling party, not only with his prompt responses, but also in the way and manner he had always cited his facts and figures, without necessarily throwing the filthy mud in the beautiful face of the opponents. This is a big lesson for all of us.
President Muhammadu Buhari has the privilege of being defended by three mouthpieces: Garba Shehu, Femi Adeshina and Lai Muhammed. Why did the government choose that Lai should do the response? It’s simple diplomatic morality, even though morality is alien to diplomacy.
Garba is from the North – Our tribal chauvinism may inflame the tension and consequently mobilize sympathy for Obasanjo in the South, if Garba had responded. It’s ofcourse a moral government. So, Femi Adeshina may be too young and cool-headed to respond to a distinguished elder state man without provoking sympathy for the victim.
But then, Lai has done it well – A brilliant agbalagba Yoruba man craftly spoke with his native wisdom, and the flame of tension was intelligently extinguished. At the end of it all, everybody is happy. Relationships remains intact. The mutual interest – which is Nigeria – is protected. Lai’s response dispels ill-feelings.
The lesson we’ve all learnt from this scenario is that it is only reaction, and not a negative action, which aggravates a bad situation. We should all learn to accommodate contrary views that would not jeopardise our collective interest. But if we must disagree, we must disagree politely. Even while disagreeing politely, we must remember that there’s a day after the disagreement – A day that may require the enemy’s attention!
Therefore, maturity is all we need, and that’s what this government has taught the restive masses through Lai Muhammed. Buhari is indeed tolerant, for Obasanjo wouldn’t have endured it as a President. Although, there’s nothing wrong in his letter, he would have seen it as an effontry if directed at him. Lai is indeed a bad Nigerian for dousing the tension!
By Abu Mazeedatilkhayr Bn Sa’eed