By Bala Ibrahim.
For the best part of yesterday, Monday, 08/03/21, I was pushed to a state of painful embarrassment, because of what I saw in Mahdi Shehu’s sham, or his sheer show of shame at the premises of a court in Katsina.
Pursuant to a complaint of calumny by the Katsina State Governor, Aminu Bello Masari and the members of his cabinet, Mahdi Shehu, an acclaimed activist cum whistle blower, was arraigned before a Federal High Court in Katsina, where he was served with six-count charges bordering on cybercrime.
Through various channels of communication, including the use of the social media, Mahdi Shehu, the chairman of the Kaduna based Dialogue Groups, had accused the Katsina State Government, under Aminu Bello Masari, of squandering over N50bn in the last five years from the state’s security vote. The Governor and his cabinet members, including the Secretary to the Government, Dr. Mustapha Inuwa, took the matter to court, seeking redress for defamation.
Rather than heed the invitation of the court with the dignity of a revolutionary, and one in the struggle for change, from a corrupt society to a clean and conscientious one, Mahdi opted for an open mockery of himself and the residue of his little reputation. He reduced himself to a coward, that turned vegetative, when invited to substantiate the allegations he made against others.
Borrowing from the books of Olisa Metuh, Dino Melaye and Ayo Fayose, Mahdi Shehu suddenly turned crippled and appeared before the court in crutches, with belly belts, straps, neck collar and braces all over his body to give support to the supposed enfeebled.
If dishonour were to come with another name, the dictionary would not take offense, if the general consensus settles for Mahdi Shehu’s caricature show of yesterday, as a substituted synonym. It was a poorly put comedy that ridiculed the meaning of courage, made nonsense of the position of activism and defeated the fortitude of a person that is claiming to be a Whistle blower.
In every game, those who steal the show are naturally the ones with guts, courage, nerves, or the stamina to fight, regardless of whatever suffering they may encounter in the process. Cowards and losers are the ones that come with characters that stand in the reverse of the aforementioned.
By his cowardly action of yesterday, which clearly failed to convince the judge about the genuineness of the presented situation, Mahdi Shehu has not only lost whatever little respect he had from his gullible viewers and listeners, but joined the league of those he had been accusing of engaging in immoral activities.
His action is even more disgusting than the theatrics of Fayose and Dino, the dishonourable predecessors of the sham, who may continue to be remembered by posterity, as the permanent patent bearers of such a show of shame.
Although I have never rated him above a rabble rouser, who is always struggling to gain cheap popularity from the gullible, through the use of oratory powers, but I wasn’t expecting him to cheaply crumble to the level of such caricature. From an anti corruption combatant, Mahdi had condescended to a coward, that came to court clinging on to crutches, in order to evade answerability. Nothing can be more shameful from an acclaimed activist.
The public is yet to forget a similar sham from the same Shehu last year, when he claimed to be bitten by a snake at the premises of the Force CID Headquarters, Area 10, Garki, Abuja, where he was detained for something to do with defamation.
Bravery is always in conflict with cowardice, so said the late hausa musical legend, Alhaji Mamman Shata, in one of his famous songs, “Matsoraci baya gwaninta, mai tsoro baya zama gwani, ko wanene”
While I totally support the idea of whistleblowing, especially where it would expose the corrupt, it is equally pertinent for the whistle blowers to know that, to every action, there are consequences. He who alleges, is burdened by proof. If you are not ready to face the consequences of the heat, don’t dare brag of entering the kitchen with brigandage.
To arrest the future occurrence of such mediocrity, the government should put in place proper means of checkmating the excesses of these shameless comedians, including if need be, the regular deployment of mad dogs to court premises, for use in testing the validity of such suspicious disability.
Bala Ibrahim Public Affairs Commentator