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OVER & OUT: THE PAIN MY INTERVENTION IN POLITICS HAS CAUSED ME

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If you are really keen on reading this, you may have to be patient because it might prove to be quite long….

I have been a very sad man for a while now. I had not been through such a dark phase as this before. I have had to pay some huge price for loving my country and speaking up for her.

In January 2015, I had just resumed in Ibadan following my redeployment from Lagos and I was approached by a younger friend and colleague, IfeOluwa Adeniyi to do a ‘deal’. At the time, she worked for Splash FM as a radio presenter. The station has a Newspaper Review segment on her morning belt and the major guest analyst had just left on maternity break. Due to my experience in campus politics and what was presumed to be my good knowledge of politics and how a nation should work, I was offered the seat.

I promptly had a chat with my wife, parents and siblings. We agreed to give it a shot.

Fast forward to a month, the programme was already the rave of the moment. If in doubt, please ask people around about STRAIGHT FROM THE DAILIES on Splash FM 105.5 between January 2015 and June 2016. I was getting the rave reviews of how well I spoke and dissected very critical and knotty issues.

My efforts to launder the image of the incumbent President of Nigeria because of my faith in his much touted integrity were not unknown and the peak of the acknowledgement was when I received a delegation of both the PDP and APC at the time asking me to step into politics.

I declined.

All through the time when I launched countless tirades and missives against Jonathan in favour of Buhari, I was a good friend of Buharists. Those on the other side, the Wailing Wailers as we derogatorily labelled them, disliked me. I lost a few of my good friends to the tempest of politics. Only mature minds like Kennedy saw that beneath my angst and rejection of Jonathan was an unfaltering love for our motherland.

Move forward please.

Buhari had won the election and he set out on weak legs taking wobbling steps. My conscience would not allow silence or papering over the obvious cracks. I had excused a few initially but I saw this was growing into a trend.

I separated myself quickly from the falling pack. I was not going to sink on a rudderless ship which captain was both blind and purely lacking in the requisite skills needed to salvage the expedition.

I knew we had made a mistake.

We had been sold a dummy.

We had bought a whitewashed sepulcre as a holy groove.

I started speaking and writing against the government. There were threats to my life and there even came a time when someone at the very top of the radio station I ‘worked’ with as an analyst told me they could not guarantee my safety. It was at this point that Debby cried to my parents and insisted I must leave radio.

I had to leave. Sadly. Reluctantly.

I resorted to using my social media space to speak up for that which I believe is right. My language may not always be the best but I have NEVER set out to offend my friends or push bile in the faces of people.

However, I have observed that I have lost valuable relationships in the past two years because of my opinions and positions on matters of national/state importance.

I have friends I cherished and honored who either blocked me or have gone mute on me even when I do posts that are not related to politics. They are obviously bitter that I keep hitting their man.

Must we have the same opinion on politics?

Must we agree on everything?

Can’t we share dissenting opinions and still live happily?

It came to a head when last year, June 15, 2018, I had a near fatal accident. My car was a heap of wreckage while I clearly obtained the highest level of God’s mercy not to have died in the accident.

 

I found that some of my “friends” did not even muster the effort to say as much as a word to me by way of felicitation.

Some ignored my call to attend my thanksgiving.

I reached out to some personally and I got loads of excuses as to why they “FORGOT” how important it was to show some kindness and love to me at the time.

Some of these “friends” have not set their eyes on me since that event and they care less.

All because Oluwaseun is no longer a Buharist.

They may deny this charge but I know what I know.

I had “friends” I called to hail and wish well who told me off the phone. Some were cold to me. Some would not even reply my message NONE OF WHICH WAS TO BEG FOR MONEY. God forbid it!

Is it worth it to lose relationships because of politicians who do not even care if you die or exist?

Is it worth it to burn bridges because our “friends” do not agree with us or walk the path we are walking in political persuasion?

I do not do what I do because of personal hatred for anyone. I do not hate Buhari neither do I love Atiku. I do not have the capacity to hate. That is not the Christian life.

I do my interventions because I believe we can get more than what we are getting from the charlatans who lie to us and tell us what we want to hear just to get our votes.

I am not backing down now because I am afraid. I am not a man to feed fears.

But I have chosen to honor relationships and share my opinion with those around me who are mature to take my dissenting thoughts as sincere and true to my person.

THOSE “FRIENDS” WHO FALL INTO THIS BUCKET ARE GONE FOR GOOD FROM MY LIFE!

They are never to be trusted anyways.

If politics is strong enough to break our relationship, then we were never supposed to be “friends”.

I must have taken you too seriously.

I shall continue to host my political talkshow- THE PODIUM every Saturday at 9am-10am on thirtytwofm 94.9.

In the coming days, we shall also be birthing an arm of our ministry which would be doing more than just talking on social media about nation building. It will surely do much more.

For now, it is aurevoir to political commentary on social media.

May Nigerians help Nigeria find her way out of the woods come February 16 and March 2.

Amen.
Hezekiah Oluwaseun Akinrinde

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