By Abdullahi O Haruna Haruspice
I used to be a victim of bullies when I held forth as students president in the faculty in ABU Zaria until I extricated myself from that onslaught. I was seen and taken as naive and novice by those who felt they knew much about politics and unionism. So, every time they come with barrage of offensive confrontations because I didn’t want to be distracted, I barely give hue to their tantrums. While they enjoyed their needless affronts, I was sulking inside. Then one day, my short fuse snapped and the once considered weakling became a terror.
It was during one of the congresses, I had given my midterm report with all my financial books clean and intact. Rather than be applauded for transparency and prudence management of resources, I was harangued. A dude asked, ‘Your record showed you travelled to Abuja to honour a World Bank invitation but there is no receipt showing you lodged in a hotel?’ And I calmly responded, ‘I live in Abuja, so it doesn’t make sense for me to put up in a hotel when I have the comfort of my parents house, besides, I’m trying to save the association from unnecessary financial drain.’ The dude flared up, pouring invective on me and almost dragging my name to the mud.
That was when the street madness in me popped and the fuse of my gentility snapped, I threw caution to the wind and went face to face with this bully dude- towering over him with my lanky frame as I dared him to open his buccal cavity in denigration of my person. He was stunned and the whole congress dazed. The gentle president has discarded the civility garb and ready to roll in the gutter of mischief. I have had enough and this was my time to free myself from the grip of bullies. In the end, I was begged and pacified and that ended the reign of bullies in my reign as students leader!
In life, once in a while, you must rise up to smelly prejudice, you must give it back to narcissistic fellows, you must shut those with the echoes of mischief, not every time must you give the second cheek when slapped, learn to slap back sometimes.
The Daily Trust journalist betrayed his manhood when he sits in cowardly sulking insults from a very unstable man, a man with no history of civility, a man who brags about the number of women he had slept with, a man with no pedigree of courteousness. His paper painted his humiliation as being calm, that is not calmness, that is timidity, that was lost of worth- that was a display of inferiority complex. A real man should rise in defence of his dignity and pride. Eyo Charles desecrated the journalism profession by standing like a bird beaten by rain before Femi Fani-Kayode and uttering ‘Yes Sir, Yes Sir’. A real man would have given him back in equal measure and let the worst happen. And more shameful was the sheepish display of fellow journalists who sit in witness of the debauchery of one of them. Again, this is what you get when you practice journalism because of the daily crumbs that come from newsmakers. Nobody will respect you when you reduce yourself to pen beggars. The most disrespected profession after police in Nigeria is journalism.
Journalists are derided, scorned and made to look like agberos. When press conferences are organized, journalists are made to stand while the organizers occupy seats in comfort. When organisations budget is planned, nothing is assigned for communications, when board committees are formed, you won’t find media representations when NGOs plan workshop, they lodge themselves in choice hotels and only invite the media to cover their program and wave them off with stipends.
These denigrations are what Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ) are supposed to address and not to join opposition elements in fighting perceived enemies. Angrily musing
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