Permission to Speak Sir?!

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As a child in my father’s house, we were not to speak until we were spoken to. It was a taboo to open your mouth when father is giving marching orders, it was around the time I became a teenager that one of our older sisters had the courage to bell the cat.

We all learnt to say “permission to speak sir?!”, we would employ all timidity, remorse and contriteness. The speaker would silently appeal to the only God that was allowed and hope that his/her appeal was granted favour.

It has become quite the norm that bloggers, young Nigerian writers are attacked or detained for writing, is the nation calling for our silence? Injustice to one is injustice to all, and a nation cannot be establish on the faulty notion that fundamental human rights can be set aside to foster growth.

August 2016 – Musa Azare, Arrested and detained somewhere in Nassarawa, he is simply a political critic!

Emmanuel Ojo Adediran, was arrested a while back over a Facebook post alleging that governor Amosun’s wife was involved in money laundering in London. Emmanuel is also a blogger.

Management of the University of Lagos (UNILAG) has trailed and arrested Adeyeye Olorunfemi; a vocal student recently rusticated from the same school over Facebook post accusing the school management of incompetence. 

The list is endless, we could talk about the man who named his dog “Buhari”, but restraint is key!

Human Rights

noun: Defined as a right which is believed to belong to every person. Every human should be free to speak in such a manner as they seem fit since no consensus has yet been made to outlaw some manner of expression. Are we choosing the path of North Korea where Sarcasm has been declared illegal?

Can the state and the nation’s peace be threatened be sound? Can bombs be detonated by sounds? Can blood be spilled when people are allowed to air their opinions and everyone is given a platform to be heard?

The African Silence

It has been a culture passed down through generations, intellect and capacity is measured by either age, gender or social status. The Yoruba says “if a child learns to wash, he gets to eat with elders”. There is a limit to discussions that a Nigerian child would be allowed to engage with. He is not even allowed to choose his meal, not until he probably disvirgins a woman.

We must arise as a people and let every human voice have a say! Let every living soul have a platform, because without these, there can be no peace.

Nnamdi Kanu may well be another scape goat for the fight against human rights. In the past week, the month of September 2016, the South East sat home to protest his detention. We may well be approaching a break down in communication, we may well be approaching anarchy, we may be approaching bloodshed. Because injustice to one is outright injustice to all and it may be my turn tomorrow.

PS. The story in the intro is a work of fiction, any semblance to real life characters is mere coincidence.

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6 thoughts on “Permission to Speak Sir?!

  1. Nice story and great article..

    Citizens should all be given permission to pour out their profound sensation and intuition. Everyone is fayed to their opinions considering the fact that we are distinct entities with diverse perceptions and personalities.

    The government should institute a platform where it’s citizen could vehemently erupt their opinions, as well as to enact its functionality.

    You can’t expect the tholing masses to keep mute and observe the crinkum-crankum betiming in the government. We are not some bufoon. The voice of the people is a voice of reason and must be heard.

    Voices aren’t violence, but failure to speak could arouse conflict.

  2. Yeah Dami! We should speak it out sir. Especially when what is to be said is reasonable and justifiable. Even in the days of the military junta there were people whose voices could not be silenced even by the gunshots.

    It’s quite appaling how earnestly we strive to attain a truly democratic society but despise it’s price. We be mouthing respect for Human rights in one corner of the mouth and abusing same on the other. It’s a pity really. But, to speak up or not to speak is still a choice anyway. Nice piece bro. Weldon.

  3. Excellent write up! In my opinion, I think freedom of speech and human rights in general have to have limits, there has to be some groups of people check mating the excesses. I have always been against the violation of human rights (mostly by the Government) but when the exercise of ones human rights tends towards the violation of another, then the government has every authority to come in. In essence, I think the reason Nigeria is backwards & gradually becoming a failed nation is because everybody wants to be heard, the Niger-Delta Militant havoc, the Herdsmen manace and the terror of the boko-haram.

    1. Should everyone not “want to be heard”? It is in my opinion quite sensible to desire a hearing. It is now the duty of the government to create all the enabling environment for communication to be done in a civilized manner.

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