By Dayo Sobowale
When a dog bites a man it is no news, but when a man bites a dog then that is news’ This is a well-known saying in journalism and the events that I will dwell on today will show vividly how a man ‘bites a dog’
In France a man slapped the president of the Republic in broad daylight and that news was shown and shown repeatedly all over the world, even days after the unusual event.
In Nigeria, the government unbelievably suspended Twitter and created shock waves all over the world both locally and internationally. In the US, no less a person than Donald Trump the 45th president of the USA commended the Nigerian president and lamented that he had not done similarly while in office till he was silenced and dethroned literally and democratically as it were by Twitter, in the last US presidential election of 2020.
In the same US, some parents especially mothers are up in arms against the education policy of the new US government called Critical Race Theory which seeks to correct the notion of racism against black people by teaching white children to acknowledge and learn that white people have in the past been unfair to blacks since the dawn of American history and that the gender of a human being is not his biological gender but his gender identity .
Let me first of all show the funny side of these ‘man bites dog events’ before I go on to show their serious side as well as their security and political implications now and in the future. In the case of the French president, he was called by name by a crowd in the town he was visiting , and he thought he was popular and ran to the crowd only to run into a neat slap and he had to be carried away like a child by a bulky body guard very fast to safety . From that event Emmanuel Macron , president of France must learn that not all that glitters is gold even though he has said the event will not deter him from being close with the French people.
With regard to the ban of Twitter by the Nigerian president, those who were shocked and whipped up the cry of violation of human rights , forgot too conveniently and too soon, the promise of the Nigerian government to shock those fomenting trouble and causing insecurity to be on the rise in the nation.
Our president to me has simply lived up to his ‘shock’ promise on insecurity, and you may cry or laugh on that, depending on which side of the fence you are on , in terms of our collective security.
On the issue of the former US President congratulating our president on banning twitter, I believe, as a victim of Twitter power, Donald Trump really is sincere on the commendation, although for him it is a clear case of getting wise after the event or closing the stable doors after the horses had bolted. On the rebellion of some mothers on the curriculum of education based on the Critical Race Theory , they say it is like educating white kids against black ones and that is like saying my skin or colour is better than yours and that too is bound to lead to another foundation or round of skin struggle in students who were born biologically as boys and girls now being taught that boyish looking girls can now share the same toilets with normal looking girls. It is the simplest recipe for a sex and gender war and confusion, now and in the foreseeable future.
Now let us proceed to the nitty-gritty of the ‘man bite dog of today’s topic serially starting again with the slapping of the French president by a man who shouted the slogan of France’s imperial past under Charlemagne . That makes the man a product of the Far Right in France and French Muslims can heave a sigh of relief that it is not one of them this time around . But in a France where people have been bombed and beheaded randomly on the streets, the French leader was careless about his own security. He could have been dead by now. I wonder how Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan will react to the slapping of the French president he condemned some time ago with the handling of Muslims in France over Islamic terrorism. Erdogan called Macron mad then. I hope he will be more sympathetic and charitable over this slapping of his counterpart in France.
On security then, Macron should watch his back, both left and right. Some retired and serving military officers recently wrote a signed letter that civil war is brewing in France over his lack of courage in tackling Islamic terrorism and the head of the French army asked those who want to play politics to quit the army or face the music of being thrown out. That is like trying to quell a mutiny or coup. Which really means that Macron was lucky with a slap, but he should be told in plain terms that a revolution or civil war is not a tea party.
On the Nigerian government ban of twitter, let me say that I somehow feel proud about it, notwithstanding its implication for free speech and the right of dissent. Twitter is awash with the vilest language on earth. Some Nigerians avoid it like the plague while many Nigerians revel in such language and insults.
The objective of the ban is to stop the spread of insurrection and insecurity with the spontaneity and viral nature of the twitter technology to spread fake news , false information and unfounded information. See the way twitter uprooted Donald Trump though it must be said twitter made him the most powerful US president in his time with his frequent daily tweets that knocked down his many enemies and detractors on a daily basis.Trump, in admiring our government’s ban also accused the twitter CEO of treachery in dining with him frequently at the White House before pulling the rug from under him at election time.
Our own government has shown that surprise and shocks are weapons of war and technology and knowledge are strategies of war in the modern era . It is those who are waiting for the army or navy to come to their areas in the nation , that will be caught pants down by the ban , when they realize that they cannot communicate and spread false rumours and news both locally and internationally to further promote and grow insecurity in the country . The government said the ban is in the public interest and that supersedes any anger on human rights because where human lives are being wasted on the scale we have seen in our land in recent times then the government is right to say human rights end where our noses begin on insecurity .
With regard to the teaching of the Critical Race Theory , a Chinese American mother has compared the concept to the execution of the Cultural Revolution in Maoist China when children betrayed their parents and teachers by reporting them for not being conformist with the tenets of the Cultural Revolution. The mother was reportedly 6 when the revolution began and came to the US at age 26 and confessed her joy at the freedoms she had never seen before in her adopted nation. The mother lamented that with the teaching of the CRT in US schools, it seemed Chinese Americans have run away from Communism in China only to now face it in the US which they have long adopted as their country. Anyway , I find it unbelievable that a US government that criticizes China for indoctrinating the minority Uyghur Muslims with Chinese Party ideology by force while building camps for such orientation , is now indoctrinating its own children on how to perceive colour , history and behavior in its own schools for American children.I hope the protests over CRT succeeds because it is morally wrong to substitute one suspicious and historically unfair discrimination with another which this time is CRT at the expense of sheer whiteness which is different from the reprehensible white supremacy racist theory .
Once again from the fury of this raging pandemic, Good Lord deliver Nigeria .