Whether or not a matter is true in Nigeria today depends on who you are talking to. Forget the dictionary definition of truth and the facts on ground. I was speaking with a friend of mine the other day and I asked him what he thought about the state of health of President Buhari vis-a-viz the demands of his office. You need to hear his answer. He sounded as if the present situation is the best form of governance the country has ever experienced. You can tell that he is an APC Chieftain! Another friend of mine works with an Information Agency of Delta State. Some years ago he bemoaned the then Governor’s patronage of the Lagos Press to the disadvantage of the State’s media houses. When he got appointed as an Assistant to an Aide of the Governor, his language changed. ‘Deltans only listen to the Lagos Press, hence the need to invest Delta’s millions there’ he quipped.
What a shame! Many people laughed heartily the other day when Information Minister Lai Mohammed asked to be reminded of any lie he has told. Indeed you can’t discuss ‘lies telling’ in Nigeria without talking of this man. The practice of communicating lies is called lying, and a person who communicates a lie may be termed a liar. Lai Mohammed employs lies to serve a variety of instrumental, interpersonal, or psychological functions for his office and the government he represents. He forgets that the term “lie” carries a negative connotation, and that ordinarily the person who communicates a lie may be subject to social, legal, religious, or criminal sanctions. Sadly there is a Lai Mohammed in most Nigerians. Several have told lies to the extent that they believe their lies like Lai Mohammed.
What is truth? Truth is most often used to mean being in accord with fact or reality or fidelity to an original or standard. Truth ought not to be subjective to political, religious, tribal, economic or any prejudices. But this is not the case in Nigeria today. Even otherwise educated people speak from both sides of their mouth as soon as they are remotely connected with government or when their supposed personal interest is involved. And this is what politicians exploit in robbing the national coffers. Having understood that truth is not absolute in this country a former Military President in this country introduced the concept of ‘settlement’. And my present State Governor has achieved notary as the Governor with the highest number of Aides in the history of governance in this country. All because these persons know that most Nigerians have a price and as soon as this cheap price is met, they will speak from their anus. But a lie continues to be a lie, no matter what!
A lie is something intended or serving to convey a false impression. These impostors should not think that we are all stupid. Their statements are used intentionally for the purpose of deception but they forget that “you can fool all the people some of the time and fool some of the people all the time but you can never fool all the people all the time”. Their inaccurate and false statements constitute absolute falsehood made with deliberate intent to deceive us. Confronted with independent reality they claim one is a member of the opposition. One wonders how some Nigerians become easily satisfied with the crumbs that fall from the tables of these our oppressors.
Nigerians can’t trust government today as telling of lies has become an official policy. What a shameless bunch! Whenever a government official opens his mouth you can be sure he will lie like a dog. These people have no love for our country and our people. Believing and acting on false information can have serious consequences. Therefore, ordinary Nigerians must like scientists develop reliable methods for distinguishing lies from true statements. Our Lord Jesus said, ‘you shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free’. The famed Apostle Paul asked the Galatians whether he had become their enemy because he told them the truth. I wonder what he would have said of some Nigerians today.
William Cullen Bryant’s statement has encouraged me over the years to stand on truth. “Truth, crushed to earth, shall rise again; The eternal years of God are hers; But Error, wounded, writhes with pain, And dies among his worshippers”. All Nigerians must know this.
Rev Francis Ejiroghene Waive
Senior Pastor Church of the Anointing Warri Nigeria
Convener of the Free Delta Group