– By Tayo Faloye.
Written: April 19, 2020.
He blocked me on Facebook after we had a spat. He had called me a liar amidst a barrage of attacks over a post I made and he got hit below the belt in return. He scampered away. It was during PMB’s 1st term. We are pals in realtime but he was on the opposing side; a member of the defeated wailers club, who never rose above their 2015 election spanking.
Months down the line, we crossed paths while returning from a property inspection for a client. We shook hands and hugged, while laughing at the obvious.
“How is your president?”, he asked teasingly.
“He’s doing great. And what are you doing in our country?”, I retorted jovially.
The pleasantries led to another bout of arguments. We decided to sort it all out, so we sat down for the session. It got heated in a genial and mature way. We barked and howled at each other like two rabid dogs, eyeballs to eyeballs. Thank God Corona was still in deep slumber then. While I tried making him see the positives in the country from overcoming recession, economics diversification, infrastructural development and other ongoing projects, all my guy harped on was Abba Kyari this, Abba Kyari that, after failing to pin any dirt on Buhari, aside the overused, flat “incompetent” tag.
He flipped out his phone, went to google and dug up stories on the Kyari and MTN conundrum. “Oya, see am! What do you have to say about this too?”, he scowled, going for the kill. “How can Buhari appoint such a corrupt man and you say he’s not corrupt himself!” His shot momentarily threw me off balance in my defense. I didn’t have much information on the Kyari/MTN saga or much on him aside his profile being the Chief of Staff. I quickly gathered my wits and told him Buhari was our focus, while accusing him of using the Red Herring since he was unsuccessful at mudslinging PMB. I cited OBJ vs Atiku. “Just like Atiku cornered public assets under the privatisation scheme without OBJ’s directive, Kyari could have acted in his own capacity too by virtue of his position without PMB’s express nod.” My friend seemed cornered now. Phew! I was relieved to have unwoven myself from the Kyari’s box, but it left me wondering, as I continued my onslaught.
We went on attacking and counterattacking. He would not relent neither was I backing down. Then, power supply was restored in the area. I needed to be at the office quickly to take advantage of electricity to work. Told my friend I had to run off. It was a temporary ceasefire. As we bade each other goodbye and parted ways, I realised I was having some tinging in my head. With the amount of energy deployed at the exchange, having a headache was unsurprising. I got back to the office and gulped down two tablets of paracetamol from my work bag, vowing to henceforth abstain from verbal political debates. LOL! Researching the Kyari vs MTN fallout later led me to a cul-de-sac. It was just another cruel hoax by cynics.
As tributes roll in diffusing the myths surrounding Abba Kyari, allegations getting debunked and misconstrued records being straightened after his demise, it’s perhaps pertinent not to sometimes allow falsehoods go unchallenged. Silence isn’t always golden and lies told repeatedly could become the gospel truth to some people. The damage control to the negative press over the years comes a bit late for him. Or, of what use is it to him now in death? To the perpetual cynics stuck in their way, it may all still mean nothing to them. He’s only being whitewashed. After all, he’s no longer with us.
Rest On, Abba Kyari.