We have all seen them. At least most of us should have. A very "bad person" with a captive whom is to be silenced while still breathing. What is to be done in order to achieve this? A dirty piece of cloth is stuffed in the captured individuals mouth which is then taped over. What does this do? It allows the "very bad person" to enjoy some sense of tranquility while carrying out whichever nefarious acts have already been planned. Yes, we have seen that scene played out in many a movie!
Unfortunately, in Nigeria right now it is not a scene from the latest violence filled blockbuster from Nollywood, Bollywood or Hollywood. Do they use gags in Nollywood? Sadly, it is playing out in real life with major scenes in the theater aptly called 'The Red or Upper Chamber of NASS'.
"A Gag In The Mouth – Stealing Freedom Of Speech" is the title of this movie! Its principal actors are really not that good either I must say. Only the extra who happens to be the victim shows any emotion.
The victim? Nigerians who are not in elective office.
Those bad people? Nigerian Senators! – "The Boss"
The gag? An obnoxious decree… please pardon us. A ridiculous bill which will punish those who use social media "irresponsibly" by posting "untruthful things" they "must" have known about against the government or other people who are… effectively, the government. Let us be real. A 'Truth-O-Meter' will be designed to help determine without any doubt if a comment on social media is truthful.
The tape over the gag in the mouth? A 2-year prison term!
While irresponsible use of social media is definitely not a good thing, making it an excuse to go after those who will criticize them – the government is just a very cheap blow in a democracy. What is wrong with Nigeria's laws against defamation and libel that such a draconian bill is on the floor of the Senate having gone through a second reading? Only oppressive governments do things like this. Really!
Chicken little felt a bump on its head and thought the sky was falling down. Terrified, Chicken little ran around telling everyone around, "the sky is falling down!" It took a while but eventually, the acorn which fell on Chicken little's head was shown to be the culprit.
Nigerian Senators are that "acorn" and they are giving Nigerians a serious migraine with their ineffectiveness, cell-level corrupt natures and complete lack of emotional attachment to their employers – the Nigerian people which gives them the detachment necessary for them to mistreat their own as badly as they have been doing.
President Buhari who can be "The Actor" in this badly scripted movie has an excellent chance to do some real good if this bill passes through the Senate, gets to his table and he uses his 'Super Veto Power' to kill it, thereby showing Nigerians that the sky is not falling.
For those born after these two terms were in popular usage, "The Actor" is the hero while "The Boss" happens to be the villain. It took me a while to understand it too back then.