Saturday, September 18, 2021

Mahdi Shehu: The sham and shame of a witless whistleblower, by Bala Ibrahim

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For the best part of yesterday, Monday, 08/03/21, I was pushed to a state of painful embarrassment, because of what I saw in Mahdi Shehu’s sham, or his sheer show of shame at the premises of a court in Katsina.

Pursuant to a complaint of calumny by the Katsina State Governor, Aminu Bello Masari and the members of his cabinet, Mahdi Shehu, a self-styled activist cum whistleblower, was arraigned before a Federal High Court in Katsina, on a six-count charge bordering on cybercrime.

Through various channels of communication, including the use of social media, Mahdi Shehu, the chairman of the Kaduna-based Dialogue Groups, had accused the Katsina State Government, under Aminu Bello Masari, of squandering over N50bn in the last five years from the state’s security vote. The Governor and his cabinet members, including the Secretary to the Government, Dr. Mustapha Inuwa, took the matter to court, seeking redress for defamation.

Rather than heed the invitation of the court with the dignity of a revolutionary, and one in the struggle for change, from a corrupt society to a clean and conscientious one, Mahdi opted for an open mockery of himself and the residue of his little reputation. He reduced himself to a coward that turned vegetative when invited to substantiate the allegations he made against others.

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Borrowing from the books of Olisa Metuh, Dino Melaye and Ayo Fayose, Mahdi Shehu suddenly turned crippled and appeared before the court in crutches, with belly belts, straps, neck collar and braces all over his body to give support to the supposed enfeebled.

If dishonour were to come with another name, the dictionary would not take offense if the general consensus settles for Mahdi Shehu’s caricature show of yesterday as a substituted synonym. It was a poorly put comedy that ridiculed the meaning of courage, made nonsense of the position of activism and defeated the fortitude of a person that is claiming to be a Whistle-blower.

In every game, those who steal the show are naturally the ones with guts, courage, nerves or the stamina to fight, regardless of whatever suffering they may encounter in the process. Cowards and losers are the ones that come with characters that stand in the reverse of the aforementioned.

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By his cowardly action of yesterday, which clearly failed to convince the judge about the genuineness of the presented situation, Mahdi Shehu has not only lost whatever little respect he had from his gullible viewers and listeners, but joined the league of those he had been accusing of engaging in immoral activities.

His action is even more disgusting than the theatrics of Fayose and Dino, the dishonourable predecessors of the sham, who may continue to be remembered by posterity as the permanent patent bearers of such a show of shame.

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Although I have never rated him above a rabble-rouser, who is always struggling to gain cheap popularity from the gullible, through the use of oratory powers, I wasn’t expecting him to cheaply crumble to the level of such caricature. From an anti-corruption combatant, Mahdi had condescended to a coward that came to court clinging on to crutches, in order to evade answerability. Nothing can be more shameful from an acclaimed activist.

The public is yet to forget a similar sham from the same Shehu last year when he claimed to be bitten by a snake at the premises of the Force CID Headquarters, Area 10, Garki, Abuja where he was detained for something to do with defamation.

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Bravery is always in conflict with cowardice, so said the late Hausa musical legend, Alhaji Mamman Shata, in one of his famous songs, “Matsoraci baya gwaninta, mai tsoro baya zama gwani, ko wanene”.

While I totally support the idea of whistleblowing, especially where it would expose the corrupt, it is equally pertinent for the whistleblowers to know that, to every action, there are consequences. He who alleges is burdened by proof. If you are not ready to face the consequences of the heat, don’t dare brag about entering the kitchen with brigandage.

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To arrest the future occurrence of such mediocrity, the government should put in place proper means of checkmating the excesses of these shameless comedians, including, if need be, the regular deployment of mad dogs to court premises for use in testing the validity of such suspicious disability.

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