I have been hearing this silly question from adults since I returned from prison and sometimes I wish I could really give them a lash each, to beat some sense into their heads. How can some adults whom I respect so much, trivialize matters of serious public interest on the platter of filial exigency?
Come to think of it, how can anyone imagine that I, Agba Jalingo will hate Governor Ben Ayade, a man that imprisoned me (even though he has continuously denied it in public) and caused me to become…
1. A global symbol of Press Freedom
2. Amnesty International Prisoner of Conscience along with Sowore and Mandate, 25 years after Gani Fawehinmi was so pronounced.
3. A winner of several human rights and press freedom awards, with several on queue.
4. A rebranded conference speaker. But for COVID-19, speaking engagements had been concluded in several international locations and back home on the prevailing need to protect the civic space and journalists at the frontline.
5. An author of a highly anticipated book, “The Pen In Jail” and film script.
6. A man that made me one of the “10 Most Urgent Cases of Threat to Press Freedom in The World” along with the late Jamal Khashoggi, Daphne Carruana and other colleagues.
A man that headlined me on CNN, Aljazeera, BBC, Time Magazine, Forbes, Yahoo News, Newsweek, UK Guardian, UK Telegraph, etc and all our brave national dailies and broadcast channels.
Why on this planet will I hate such a man?
Even the cosmic will reverse those gains and more that are to come should I allow myself to fall into the hate bracket.
I cannot be that daft. I have spoken to Governor Ben Ayade personally on the phone after my return and it did not sound like I was talking to someone I hate. I was also not talking with my lover either. I simply will not be controlled and cannot keep quiet when I perceive that things aren’t going right. I am not lying in what I have been saying and I don’t think it is right to tell me to stop doing what my conscience tells me is right.
If constantly seeking the good from government to the people has become hatred, then hatred needs another definition. Investigating and interrogating the facts and figures that public officials throw at us is a crucial ember of journalism and I cannot decifer how that can be classified as HATRED. It still beats my imagination.
But in case you still don’t get it, I am saying that we all have a duty including you that is calling what I am doing hatred, including you that is reading this, to call our leaders, particularly Governor Ayade to order and to account. If we allow fear to make us keep quiet, our society will continue to disintegrate in this conspiracy of silence and praise singing and, in the end we will all be guilty, if not for the spoilage, for the silence.
Citizen Agba Jalingo.
Citizen Agba Jalingo is the publisher of CrossRiverWatch and writes from Lagos State.
NOTE: Opinions expressed in this article are strictly attributable to the author, Agba Jalingo and do not represent the opinion of CrossRiverWatch or any other organization the author works for/with.
Since You Are Here, Support Good Journalism
CrossRiverWatch was founded on the ideals of deploying tech tools to report in an ethical manner, news, views and analysis with a narrative that ensures transparency in governance, a good society and an accountable democracy.
Everyone appreciates good journalism but it costs a lot of money. Nonetheless, it cannot be sacrificed on the altar of news commercialisation.
Consider making a modest contribution to support CrossRiverWatch's journalism of credibility and integrity in order to ensure that all have continuous free access to our noble endeavor.