TUESDAY TRENDS – ANIMAL FARM
Nigerian Senator Shehu Sani did a post on social media where he showed his allegiance to President Muhammad Buhari while metaphorically referring to party members and Nigerians at large who were against either the president or the country at large (I am not sure which) as Hyenas, Jackals, Snakes, and Crocodiles.
Our beautiful First Lady Aisha Buhari sent her response this week by telling us of how the “wounded Lion” would soon be back and Hyenas and Jackals would be sent packing from the kingdom. She then gave a “shoot-out” to the faithful “Tiger” who has been holding the fort for the “Wounded Lion”.
I don’t know how happy or unhappy George Orwell would be if he got to read both pieces. They stole the playbook from his classic Animal Farm, borrowed a couple of leaves from The Lion King and mashed it up into something I am not sure exactly how I feel about.
I fondly remember the many speeches of the Dame, the one and only Patience Jonathan, (which Nigerian doesn’t?) I also remember the immediate response from the then opposition APC, with chief respondent Alhaji Lai Mohammed, ably seconded in Lagos by Chief Joe Igbokwe and their Internet Lieutenants. How the intended and unintended message in such speech would be analyzed, re-evaluated, and dissected until you begin to doubt what you heard or didn’t hear.
Twitter would become a beehive of activity and Goodluck Jonathan would be called every name under the sun for having no control over his wife. How times have changed. I don’t even know where to begin.
With Nigeria being a country populated with people of diverse socio-cultural backgrounds, making Animal Farm analogy out of its inhabitants is something that should be done with utmost shrewdness. Yes, some people do get what you mean, but as a leader of the whole country, you should be more concerned about those who wouldn’t understand what you mean the way you meant it.
Communication is incomplete if the recipient of the information doesn’t get the intended message, just as it is a waste of time if its receiver is left more confused at the end than at the beginning. Considering that we have a large number of uneducated people who would pick up cutlasses and cudgels at the first call from people they look up to, I think it is time the political and religious elite begin to think twice and even thrice before making public pronouncements.
And in the spirit of Animal Farm, let our ruling class remember that “All animals are equal”. Can they kindly leave out the “Some animals are more equal than others” bit?