I have read so many arguments on the arrest and arraignment of some people who shared malicious publications, and urged Akwa Ibom residents to run away from the state for their lives, yet they didn’t run. While many attempted to justify their arrest on the basis that he spread malicious information and panic in the state, others condemned their arrest by the Police, calling the governor unimaginable names and all of that.
I want us to be sincere with ourselves and not be sentimental, was those publications mere criticism or blackmail? Perhaps, a clear sense of defamation? Although the case is in court, we know what the law says, so let’s allow the court decide their fate. However, in as much as we advocate for and celebrate media democratization and participation, it must be done with caution. There are things that are not acceptable in saner societies, no matter how liberal the state appears to be, not even in The US.
In other words, in democratic governments, criticism is accepted, but it must not be out of place. Open insult and blackmail cannot be regarded as criticism. Besides, those publications were capable of pushing people from their safe haven to danger, even at a time when lockdown as ordered by the government was still in place. Is that not outright flouting of government’s order?
Has Covid-19 stolen our conscience, that some people now write absent of reasoning? Our morality should not be slaughtered on the altar of greed for political or media relevance. Irrespective of political interests, the state governor deserves some level of respect from all the citizens.
Even in great democracies of the world where freedom for almost everything is in place, acts capable of sabotaging government’s efforts are not permitted. Everyone, no matter the level of freedom they have, is guided by sets of principles. And this is equally expected here.
Let us not deceive ourselves, if those people were sincere on their “postulation” that the state was not safe, they would have been the first to run. But what were they he still doing?
Enough of the abuses on the person of the governor. For heaven’s sake, he is human. He has a family. He is just like anyone of us. If you wouldn’t want such to be meted on you, don’t encourage others to do so. One day, you may become a governor, how would you feel if every Tom and Dick insult you even when it is not necessary?
We are in a sane society, we must behave accordingly. Let people resist every inducement, whether in cash or kind, to do things capable of sabotaging government’s effort. We are on the path of victory over covid-19, all hands must be on deck till we achieve this. Enough of distractions.