People think that a liar gains a victory over his victim. What Ive learned is that a lie is an act of self-abdication, because it surrenders ones reality to the person to whom one lies, making that person ones master, condemning oneself from then on to faking the sort of reality that persons view requires to be faked. And if one gains the immediate purpose of the lie the price one pays is the destruction of what the gain was intended to serve (Ayn Rand, 1957 Atlas Shrugged).
I participated as an ad-hoc staff in the last Nigerian presidential general elections. It was one hell of an experience, one I never hoped to have acquired. Before arriving at our polling unit, my colleagues and I, I might have thought about some anomalies before, during or after the election, but I never imagined something so outrageous would happen to us.
When we arrived and had set up all we needed to run a smooth electoral process, a countless number of youths who seemed more like thugs invaded the vicinity ranting and sweating. With their bloodshot eyes, some were holding sticks, some had daggers tucked into the back of their trousers, some smoking nothing short of hemp and marijuana.
They swore that no election would hold, and no one was leaving that place. It was almost like a hostage situation, and much so, though we werent bonded with ropes nor chains and werent locked up in a dark, unventilated room. Their anger was tied to the previous failed promises of some political leaders: they had promised them money (this was their utmost priority), they had promised them jobs; a better life.
They had failed to honour those promises and now, they wanted their votes? Thats not happening! They lit a big fire at a close end to stress how seriously they meant to beat nonsense out of us and set us together with our materials on fire if we dared do anything without their permission. Truly, we had nothing to do with this, we were innocent, poor us that had just come to carry out our duties.
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But they felt they had to do something, they wanted to express themselves, to send a capital signal because they were hurt by the lies, the empty promises. And in their prejudiced thoughts, the only way they could get back at the government was by hurting us. After all, we were the governments children, we were corps members.
Lies have their ways of making the unimaginable happen. The tiniest lie that proves itself to not mater at the moment could wreak severe havoc sooner or later. It is on the foundation of lies that trust is broken, and of course, this is the commonest of all the upshots of telling lies. But before I dive into these effects, there are reasons people tell lies and these reasons one way or another are linked to the notion of victory. Ayn Rand (1957), says people think that is to say, if people think, it means also that the liar thinks the same victory. But the question is; what kind of victory?
Victory, regardless of how little is the aim of most people, if not all. It could be a major, minor and sometimes even an unconscious aim. But commonly, people want to gain the victory of being held with high esteem, of being accorded so much value even if they have to debunk the necessary sacrifices of attaining such position. People want to be loved, they love to be looked up to and hate being looked at as bad people, so they lie.
The government is for the people and has a responsibility of fostering equity, justice, peace and development. In Nigeria today, the quest for victory (power) this victory that is as sweet as honey on a little finger has turned the political ground into a city of war with weapons of lies, deceit and even bloodshed. It is almost common now that whatsoever that proceed out of the mouths of these people vying for places of authority are always false. They tell lies because they are desperate and of course they gain victory over those to whom they lie. Yes, they do. Almost all the time. Because we believe them, we do what they want: hate each other, curse each other, carry weapons, fight each other and later face disappointments.
Lies do not just eventually break trusts, they destroy nations. Nigeria is almost in chaos now because of the lies that have been told; parents lie to their children, religious leaders lie to their subjects, political leaders lie to the people they are sworn to protect. We have been brainwashed that we cannot coexist together, why? Because each of us in our sectionals has been misled into believing that the other is the enemy. Instead of protecting the present and watering the ground for the future, we dwell on the false pasts which compel us to destroy the present and even unpluck the future from coming into existence.
A nation without a future is doomed. And a nation in which people who are expected to uphold the truth guard it as sacred and pass it down to generations as a legacy do otherwise, has no hope. Regardless of what people want to achieve, regardless of whether or not they would be loved, regardless of whether or not they would be held with high esteem, the truth should always be the foundation on which they stand because the bitterest truth told is better than the sweetest of lies.
If this is so, what then is a victory gained on the basis of lies when in the end the price that is paid is destruction? It then means that truth is the orchestrator of actual victory, not lies.
A third term for President Buhari: an agenda taken too far by many | By Albert Igbebina
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