Sunday, August 19, 2018
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Lai Mohammed and Olisa Metuh, the need for talking lessons

Before the 2015 general elections in Nigeria, Olisa Metuh was the spokesman of the ruling PDP, while Lai Mohammed was the spokesman of the opposition party, the APC. However, after the election, they switched positions through the ballot box. Despite their change of status, their verbal attacks seem to have continued unabated.

There is hardly any week they do not engage each other in verbal attack, calling each other all sorts of names. As I right, who knows if their fingers are on the compose button of their writing device. Anyway, by the end of this week, my guess might be wrong or right, but not far from the truth.

They derive so much pleasure in attacking each other, which makes it a bit difficult to fathom out what they have against each other. Is it just being spokesmen of their various parties or are there things we do not know? More often than not, their press release, statements are filled with attacks. Their press conference or briefings are filled with attacks. It would be nice for the media to give us the statistics of the number of their press engagements while they served as spokesmen, it might be the highest in Nigeria’s history. They keep talking, they like talking, and their tongues keep wagging, even when there is no need for talking. It is like keeping silence makes them sick.

Sometimes, I wonder if these two men are merely doing their job as respective spokesmen of their political parties or they create headlines to entertain us. Their words are vulgar and derogatory, and laced with hate. As their faces are ugly, so also their utterances. Some Nigerians describe their words as bombs, almost like Boko Haram’s common weapon. I wish that they can be sent to a school of crises communication and conflict-sensitive communication to learn how to talk with courtesy and decorum. It might help our ear drums.

Both men share many things in common. Firstly is the ability to talk dirty which is domiciled in their DNA, as they churn them out with ease. They enjoy it, the media enjoy it and use their words as headlines, and Nigerians who love political comedy are being entertained and look for more of them. Another thing they share in common is their ability to generate propaganda such that it is difficult to know whether they are saying the truth or lies. Similarly, they share same cognate experience of being spokesmen for both ruling and opposition parties.

With the nomination of Lai into President Buhari’s cabinet, Nigerians who are being entertained or irritated will miss their weekly dose of humor. The media will miss their explosive words, which are often used as headlines. Finally, both characters will miss each other’s words.

They are truly comedians. They have the gift of the garb. Talking is their hobby. They made us laugh, but they also made us hate each other. They distracted us. In all, they contributed to political discourse.

While we wait for their parting words, tantrums, clichés, innuendos, and propaganda against each other, I wish to remind them that they will be remembered by what they said in a long time. It might be negatively or positively.

Obviously, in the eyes of their parties, they justified their pay that is why Lai got Ministerial position for verbally attacking Olisa and his party. On the other hand, Olisa has also retained his position, even after his colleagues have resigned after losing the presidential election.

At least for now, we will have some comic-relief. We do know how long it would last; it depends largely on Lai’s successor.

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