Once again, Mahdi Shehu was in court in Katsina yesterday, where as usual, he came up with another display of undistinguished theatrics, including the emotional and immoderate inclination to the recitation of takbir, the Islamic faith, with a view to seeking the support of those that may fall gullible to such deceitful and pedestrian religious sentiment.
I don’t know what arrangement he had with Fayose, Metuh and Dino Melaye, the original creators, or copyright holders of the comedy, as to whether he has their authorization to act in such a manner, but he went a bit further in slander, by making additional damaging statements against the reputations of the Katsina state governor, Alh. Aminu Bello Masari and a renowned businessman, Alh. Dahiru Mangal.
I am not averse to the investigation of the Governor or anyone in the state, provided there is evidence to suggest any wrongdoing, but I don’t subscribe to the commonplace approach of Mahdi Shehu, of using blackmail or publishing false statements against the reputations of people, only for him to collapse to comedy when called upon to account.
Mahdi wants the public to swallow hook line and sinker, whatever allegations he made against the people in power, but he doesn’t want the accused to follow the legitimate means of asking him to prove his point. He wants to make people believe that he is fighting for the establishment of an egalitarian society, but doesn’t want to accept the concept of the social and judicial challenge as they relate to the onus of proof, where those who alleged, are necessarily burdened by proof.
Mahdi would want the public to see him as a person in pursuit of perceived injustices in the public service, but he doesn’t want the public to do justice to the public servants. He doesn’t believe in the police but wants the police to arrest those he accused. He does not believe in the judiciary, yet, without advancing any Mahdi miracle, he wants to see corrections in the system.
The maxim of equity demands that those who come to equity must come with clean hands. Anyone accusing someone of being guilty of improper conduct must come clean of improper conduct. You cannot ask others to come with clean hands when others are accusing you of being the person with unclean hands.
Particularly painful is the side talks that come from the mouths of those familiar with Mahdi Shehu, who are claiming to have a good knowledge of his antecedents and social background. The story is not palatable, nor commensurate with that of those deserving honour. While admitting to his reprehensible and unprincipled policies, some would still sale to us the idea of getting him treated with nobility.
Mahdi cannot engage in defamation and the open assassination of the characters of people, in a manner that is denting and damaging their good reputations, but resort to drama in order to deny them enforcing their rights to seek redress against slander or libel.
Mahdi is always energetic, calm, cool and collective, while busy with the media in his campaign of calumny, but quick to claim spondylosis, when invited to substantiate the charges. That is not only insensitive but clearly callous and cowardly.
Time was, when Nigerians witnessed the crusades of people like late Chief Gani Fawehenmi, SAM, SAN, who was always ready to display courage in facing danger, difficulty, opposition, pain and whatever intimidation, in the pursuit of justice for the society.
Gani had never fained any ailment in order to evade or avoid arrest by the authorities. He was known to be ever-ready with his prison and medical bags, eagerly awaiting the arrival of the security operatives, whose help he never sought, when climbing the black Maria that would convey him to detention. Such were the people that fought injustice with martyrdom.
As long as people like Mahdi would continue to slander people in power and later resort to childish drama when called to court, and we have people buying or believing the play, the future consequences of the mismanagement or misguidance of our country through mediocrity, can only be deepened and damaged by the menace.
Ibrahim, a media advisor writes from Abuja.