When Propaganda Represents Governance In Nigeria

It was George Orwell who was credited as saying that the most effective way
to destroy people is to deny and obliterate their own understanding of
their history. And, in [Undated 1948 Democratic Party speech], John F.
Kennedy reportedly said that no matter how big the lie; repeat it often
enough and the masses will regard it as truth.

To my understanding, there are too many propagandas that are being used in
the Nigeria’s democracy and, they are christened governance. The country is
not in actual sense in a war that it can be said that it is propagating the
theory of Winston Churchill, which is: In wartime, truth is so precious
that she should always be attended by a bodyguard of lies.

I think the greatest threat to governance in Nigeria is the bombardment of
rightist propaganda depicting lies as honest, praiseworthy, and
nationalistic. Like one Criss Jami would say, I have noticed that in our
government the leaders misplace pity for compassion, flattery for love,
propaganda for knowledge, tension for peace, gossip for news, and
auto-tune for singing. These are the popular cultures everywhere today: One
group citing hatred against the other, and a person citing hatred against
the other, just like that.

It is not certain in our country who would represent these persons that
Aldous Huxley mentioned and had used hyper note to explain: It is possible
to argue that the really influential book is not that which converts ten
millions of casual readers, but rather that which converts the very few
who, at any given moment, succeed in seizing power. Marx and Sorel have
been influential in the modern world, not so much because they were
best-sellers (Sorel in particular was not at all a widely read author), but
because among their few readers were two men, called respectively Lenin and
Mussolini.

All there are in this country are people with stereotyped mindset to
outwit, outsmart and outdo the other fellow for the greedy reason of
politics. Jarod Kintz warns against such conspiracy of fake and fake
theorists and explorers who make name through bogus claims, saying,
conspiracy theorists like to claim NASA’s moon landing was faked. Well of
course it was! But the biggest conspiracy of all is the Columbus landed in
the new world in the late 15th century. There is no new world. It simply
doesn’t exist. And Amerigo Vespucci? He was a character out of Walt
Disney’s diary.

As if Adolf Hitler was addressing the Nigerian democratic government of
today when he said that but the most brilliant propagandist technique will
yield no success unless one fundamental principle is borne in mind
constantly and with unflagging attention. It must confine itself to a few
points and repeat them over and over. Here, as so often in this world,
persistence is the first and most important requirement for success.

This is not the case with Nigeria leaders. They are of the view that
propaganda yields success and without it a government cannot run. Today,
many of the citizens do not trust the government owing to the too many
discovered brazen lies and rude behaviours of the leaders. The citizens see
every comment by the leaders as lies, because the politicians first started
using lies in their promises to the citizens in place of truth. It is a
monstrous regiment, indeed!

Terry Pratchett in ‘Monstrous Regiment’ admonishes thus: Anyway, why
would you trust anything written down? She certainly didn’t trust “Mothers
of Borogravia!” and that was from the government. And if you couldn’t trust
the government, who could you trust? Very nearly everyone, come to think of
it…

I’m yet to see any correlation between the Nigerian leaders with the much
touted principles of democracy. As if he was referring to Nigerian leaders,
but however be said to be a metaphor of what Nigeria represents today,
Henry A. Wallace said that the obvious types of American fascists are dealt
with on the air and in the press.

Wallace continued, these demagogues and stooges are fronts for others.
Dangerous as these people may be, they are not so significant as thousands
of other people who have never been mentioned. The American fascist would
prefer not to use violence. His method is to poison the channels of public
information.

Hear Wallace again, with a fascist the problem is never how best to present
the truth to the public but how best to use the news to deceive the public
into giving the fascist and his group more money or more power.

The sad side of the conspiracy theory in Nigeria is that even the so-called
elites are barefacedly liars. Hear this in ‘Media Control: The Spectacular
Achievements of Propaganda’ by Noam Chomsky who warns against such people:
State propaganda, when supported by the educated classes and when no
deviation is permitted from it, can have a big effect. It was a lesson
learned by Hitler and many others, and it has been pursued to this day.

In ‘A Farewell to Arms’, Ernest Hemingway weeps that we did not say
anything, we were always embarrassed by the words sacred, glorious, and
sacrifice and the expression in vain; we had heard them, sometimes standing
in the rain almost out of earshot, so that only the shouted words came
through, and had read them on proclamations that were slapped up by
billposters over other proclamations, now for a long time, and we had seen
nothing sacred, and the things that were glorious had no glory and the
sacrifices were like the stock yards at Chicago if nothing was done with
the meat except to buy it.

Unlike the views of John F. Kennedy, Chrystine Oksana however gives us hope
in ‘Safe Passage to Healing: A Guide for Survivors of Ritual Abuse’ and
devises methods through which we can surmount.

Oksana says, violators cannot live with the truth: survivors cannot live
without it. There are those who still, once again, are poised to invalidate
and deny us. If we don’t assert our truth, it may again be relegated to
fantasy. But the truth won’t go away. It will keep surfacing until it is
recognized.

Truth will outlast any campaigns mounted against it, no matter how mighty,
clever, or long. It is invincible. It’s only a matter of which generation
is willing to face it and, in so doing, protect future generations from
ritual abuse.

And I ask where that generation is in Nigeria.

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