On August 3rd 1857, in what can only be described as one of the most profound, moving, passionate and inspiring speeches in human history, Frederick Douglas, the former black slave and the great freedom fighter and philosopher said, inter alia, the following:
“Let me give you a word of the philosophy of reform. The whole history of the progress of human liberty shows that all concessions yet made to her august claims have been born of earnest struggle.
The conflict has been exciting, agitating, all-absorbing, and for the time being, putting all other tumults to silence. It must do this or it does nothing. If there is no struggle there is no progress.
Those who profess to favor freedom and yet deprecate agitation are men who want crops without plowing up the ground; they want rain without thunder and lightning. They want the ocean without the awful roar of its many waters.
This struggle may be a moral one, or it may be a physical one, and it may be both moral and physical, but it must be a struggle.
Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will. Find out just what any people will quietly submit to and you have found out the exact measure of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them, and these will continue till they are resisted with either words or blows, or with both.
The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppress. In the light of these ideas, Negroes will be hunted at the North and held and flogged at the South so long as they submit to those devilish outrages and make no resistance, either moral or physical.
Men may not get all they pay for in this world, but they must certainly pay for all they get. If we ever get free from the oppressions and wrongs heaped upon us, we must pay for their removal.
We must do this by labor, by suffering, by sacrifice, and if needs be, by our lives and the lives of others”.
These powerful and insightful words are as true and as relevant today as they were 150 years ago when they were first spoken.
They are words that have universal application to humanity and that have been recited and repeatedly chanted like a haunting and inspiring mantra by virtually every notable prisoner of conscience, freedom fighter and agitator for equity, liberty and human rights over the last one hundred and fifty years.
They are particularly relevant in the Nigeria of today where tyranny and injustice runs deep, where any form of resistance or opposition is regarded as subversion and is met with brutality and lethal force and where any telling criticism of the ruling APC party, government officials or the President is regarded as “hate speech” that must be supressed.
Permit me to give just one example of the latter in this contribution which, in my view, clearly reflects the nervous and obsessive disposition, the sheer madness and the sociopathic narcissism of the Buhari administration.
A few days ago I had a revealing, probing and in-depth interview with a leading television station about President Muhammedu Buhari, his record in office over the last two years, his health and his governent.
Lai Mohammed, our notoriously excitable and mendatious Minister of Information, was so upset and disturbed by the contents of that discussion that he personally called the television station that recorded it and told them that the government would close them down if they dared to air it.
His call was followed by an equally threatening one from the chief executive of the Nigerian Broadcasting Corporation who issued the same threat.
Yet it did not stop there. Femi Adesina, the President’s spokesman, almost defecated in his pants when he got a whisper of some of the things that I had revealed and he wondered out loud how I managed to get all the facts and information that I shared during the interview.
He begged the station not to air it as well and also threatened them with dire consequences if they did so. Sadly the station in question got cold feet, succumbed to the threats and fell for the blackmail.
I am not surprised by this and neither do I blame them for doing so. I say this because they, more than any other, have been subjected to all manner of harrasment over the years yet despite that they remain one of the most balanced, professional, forthright and courageous media outfits in the country till today.
They are indeed the first amongst equals but they also know the monsters that they are dealing with when it comes to the Buhari administration and they appreciate the fact that they have to be extreemly careful even when it comes to reporting what are essentially notorious facts.
They have to be even more careful when it comes to allowing strong opposition figures like yours truly and other non-conformists and perceived enemies of the government to use their powerful platform to air their personal opinions and strong dissenting views.
The truth is that this government is vicious and dangerous and, in my view, they are only one step away from “disappearing” (Argentinian style) media practitioners, publishers, essayists, columnists and writers that are not prepared to bow down to their unholy will and lick their filthy, unclean and unwashed posterior.
Simply put they are a chicken-hearted government that are terrified of their own shadow.
They are a government of uncircumcised Philistines who were put in power by heathans and unbelievers and who attract and enjoy the support of every low-life and apostate from the south side of hell.
Nothing terrifies them more than public scrutiny and the glorious light of accountability and truth.
From the top to the bottom they are all the same: gangsterish and paranoid charlatans who flourish in darkness and who thrive in division, conflict, lies, deceit, suppression, threats, murder, violence and intimidation.
Femi Adesina’s cowardice and perfidy particularly is nothing new. This is the same man that threatened the publisher of two leading national newspapers to close my weekly column and that has been begging and offering inducements to virtually every online magazine that I write for to stop publishing my essays.
That is how fearful, feeble, powerless, shameless, cowardly and paranoid the Buhari government has become. That is the level of their depravity and that is the level that they have degenerated to.
They cannot take criticism and they cannot bear any form of factual and in-depth analysis of their abysmal and woeful performance.
They do not have the stomach or intellectual stamina for a strong and lively challenge, for what I would describe as “hardtalk” or indeed for any form of virile debate and contentious public discourse.
Simply put they behave like a congress of baboons and a colony of monkeys. They always run away from a real fight and a real debate and they are terrified of those that are ready to take them on.
Instead of attempting to defend themselves in the court of public opinion they seek to silence the opposition by the power of their might and they seek to supress dissent, muscle the media and bury the truth.
Despite their sheer desperation to hold on to power at any cost and to cower the people and in spite of their despicable, tyrannical and inglorious mindset I have the following to say to them: like satan, your time is short.
You oppress the people and whip them into line, not by good works or inspiring leadership, but through the usage of nothing but intimidation, lies, threats, blackmail, disinformation, witchunts, fear, hate, division and terror. Your tactics are as despicable as they are deplorable.
Yet despite your subjugation and tyranny it will soon be over for you. The earth and the heavens have rejected you, the elemental forces oppose you and the Nigerian people secretly despise you. This is the doing of the Lord and it is marvelous in our sight.
You cannot wash away the blood that you have shed. You cannot erase the memory of your failures and your atrocities and those that you have humiliated, destroyed, insulted, tortured, incarcerated and subjected to persecution and the most vicious and callous media trials.
You cannot silence the voice of the voiceless, you cannot intimidate the servant of truth and you cannot supress the champion of the oppressed.
The finger of the Lord has marked you down for shame, torment and destruction and the sword of the Lord has wounded you beyond redemption. The rats were just the beginning. More miracles and wonders will soon come.
The truth is that no matter how hard you try to put out the raging fire and the crisis of confidence that has afflicted you it will not stop.
Your days are numbered and your end is nigh. The Ancient of Days has spoken and He shall perfect it.
Femi Fani-Kayode is a lawyer, a Nigerian politician, an evangelical christian, an essayist, a poet and he was the Special Assistant (Public Affairs) to President Olusegun Obasanjo from July 2003 until June 2006. He was the minister of culture and tourism of the Federal Republic of Nigeria from June 22nd to Nov 7th 2006 and as the minister of Aviation from Nov 7th 2006 to May 29th 2007. He tweets from@realFFK.
The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author.