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HomeOpinionThe Primacy of Truth (Part 1) By Crusoe Osagie

The Primacy of Truth (Part 1) By Crusoe Osagie


“In a society where they burn books, they will soon burn human beings.” This is a paraphrase of the somewhat prophetic quote by a German poet called Heinrich Heine long before the Nazi regime began to set up gas chambers in which over six million Jews were massacred.

Heinrich wrote this quote in 1820 and 113 years later, the Nazi regime led by Adolf Hitler took office and shortly after, they diligently supervised the holocaust, exterminating over six million Jews which till date is probably the biggest scar on the human conscience.

But guess what? Before the regime began to exterminate the Jews, they had made practical efforts to suppress truth, knowledge and reason by burning thousands of books including All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque; the Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka; Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad; the Outline of History by H.G. Wells and the Story of My Life by Helen Keller, a memoir written by a deaf and blind woman who was also a socialist and pacifist, all of which were seen as threats to Nazi ideals.

It is however important to note that even though books may not be physically burnt today, a lot of efforts and tactics are being deployed by people with selfish political interests to silence the voice of reason, truth and upend objectivity.

In Edo, a lot of effort has been made by a small segment of political actors to rewrite the history of the last seven and a half years, and their reason for doing this is simple: pecuniary. Unfortunately for this small segment of politicians in our society who used to depend absolutely on state gratification for their opulent living, Governor Godwin Obaseki’s approach to governance occasioned the redistribution of resources from people with political access to the generality of Edo citizens.

Funds that could have been deployed for orgies, opulent overseas trips, flamboyant medical tourism, and other frivolities have now been redirected for the construction of institutions like the Edo College of Agriculture, Iguoriakhi; Edo College of Nursing Sciences, Sapele Road; Edo School of Health Technology, Dumez Road; equipping teachers to adequately train over 400,000 children under the EdoBEST Programme; upgrade of the Edo State Polytechnic, Usen, and the reconstruction of the Stella Obasanjo Hospital; the list is endless.

Funds that would have been ferried away in sacks popularly called ‘Ghana Must Go’ after pointless meetings in Government House have now been channeled towards the reconstruction and equipping of the State Secretariat Complex on Sapele Road; construction of the John Odigie Oyegun Public Service Academy (JOOPSA), in Benin City; construction of the Adams Oshiomhole Labour House, in Ikpboa Hill; establishing the e-governance system that allows the government to run a paperless public service; prompt payment of salaries and pensions to workers and retirees, and payment of N70,000 as minimum wage, which is the highest in the country, among others.

Alas, by these good deeds, Obaseki has murdered sleep. Just like Robin Hood, the legendary heroic outlaw depicted in English folklore who stole from the rich to give to the poor, Obaseki has a target on his back.

A segment of the politically powerful are upset. They have vowed to destroy the reputation and legacy of the man who dared to interrupt the flow of state funds to satisfy their voracious appetite.

Will the people for whose benefits Obaseki contended with the powers that be rise in his defense?

The jury is out and the battleground is the gubernatorial election in September 21, 2024.

Sadly, not many will read this. Our people are overwhelmed by a deluge of lies and they can hardly find space to accommodate the primacy of truth.

Watch out for Part 2

Osagie, a journalist, is the Special Adviser to Governor Godwin Obaseki on Media Projects

I'm Israel, a creative writer, poet, photographer, videographer and news correspondent.


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