Have you read about Emperor Haile Salassie, the man someone quoted in penning his diatribe against a politically innocent man, Magnus?
Have you? I have.
I will share snipets with you of what Historians documented about this emperor that my friend Tolofari is apparently in love with.
“Everything depended on emperor Haile Selassie’s decision. He alone was the arbiter between competing factions and individuals. He alone decided on appointments, promotions, and demotions. He, in person, redressed grievances, received petitions, granted pardons, distributed largesse, cancelled debts and OVERTURNED COURT DECISIONS”.
“His eldest son, the crown prince, Asfa Wooden, he never trusted. He insisted on retaining personal control of even small administrative details, including on petty expenditure, ruling on the most minor ministerial disputes, authorising each trip abroad of his officials. No minister would dare to take any decision of consequence without having first obtained the fakad- his personal approval”.
“To keep himself informed, Haile Selassie relied on a constant stream of secret intelligence and GOSSIP. In private audiences, ministers were encouraged to report on the activities of their colleagues. Officials competed to provide him with choice tidbits of information.
The key to all advancement lay in loyalty and service to the emperor which he was careful to reward”.
“Those who plotted against him or earned his disfavor faced expropriation and ruin. ”
“In the Audience Hall, all bowed as he entered. As he took his place on the old imperial throne, dwarfed by its size, an official pillow-bearer swiftly slid a pillow under his feet to ensure that his legs were not left hanging in the air”.
“The pillow-bearer, who accompanied the emperor every where he went, kept a store of fifty-two pillows of various sizes, thickness, materials and colours, to cover every eventuality”.
You must remember that this “strong man” Haile Salessie, who exhibited this strong tactics and mentality against his own people, “fled into exile in England when Benito Mussolini of Italy, determined to construct an East African empire, ordered the conquest of Ethiopia “.
The strong man Selassie ran away and foreign power occupied his country for almost half a decade.
He couldn’t fight them but could only fight and punish his own people.
On the day the military voted to end the ‘ancien regime’ of Selassie, and when he was dethroned, “the Derg, as the military committee was known, questioned him about his wealth.
How did the emperor answer? He answered exactly the same way Nigerian politicians, publicly known to be stupendously rich answer :
When the Derg interrogated Selassie on the whereabouts of his fortune, he vehemently denied possessing any fortune!
Meanwhile he owned a large zoo which included rare animals and lions which he fed personally every day and yet he claimed he owned no fortune.
Can a fortuneless man even own a foul?
“But surely, Your Majesty “, the Derge insisted, ” you must have put something aside for your retirement “.
How the emperor replied revealed that same mindset here in Nigeria of politicians who never hope to leave power one day or that power will one day leave them :
“For an emperor, there is no retirement, he rotorted. Having not provided for our retirement, we have nothing “, he concluded, of course lyingly!
This is the man Tolofari is holding up to us as an inspiration!
I’m not inspired because evil and sleight hand and underhand dealings with fellow humans should not inspire any rational human!
Typical of all dictators which Tolofari evidently admires, “at 80 in 1972 Selassie held on stubbornly to power even though he had been in absolute power far longer than any other figure in contemporary history, still addicted to pomp, protocol and a system of personal rule that was no longer a viable method of government ”
After all said and done, undone and unsaid, the verdict on Emperor Halie Sallasie, (whom George Tolofari evidently admires) whose original title was Ras Tafari, from where the Rastafarian “religion” in Jamaica took its name and beginning, is this :
“Haile Sallasie was ruthless only in crushing opposition to his rule…”
Even if we discard the nature and person and antecedents of the idol Tolofari was obligated to be inspired by, and focus on the statement credited to him as per “inaction being the reason evil triumphs or the indifference of those who should know better”.
“THE SILENCE OF THE VOICE OF JUSTICE WHEN IT MATTERED MOST being the reason evil triumphs.
Taking each of those limbs of Sallassie’s quotation, which George Tolofari gleefully quoted, is it not clear he was indicting himself and those who are thinking like him?
Let us take the last limb: THE SILENCE OF THE VOICE OF JUSTICE WHEN IT MATTERED MOST.
Ibrahim Umah and thousands of party faithful were induced by the party to pay for and obtain forms to contest congresses. After paying and showing proof of payment, the same party wilfully and fraudulently refused to issue them with the forms.
They went to the party secretariat seeking attention. They were teargased and brutalised by the same party and police unleashed on them from which one person reportedly died.
They went to court and the court in its wisdom ordered stay of further action on the matter.
What did George Tolofari and those who think like him now quoting Halie Sallasie on voice of justice being silent do?
Whose voice was silent then because I never heard Tolofari’s voice until now that he was disappointed at the turn of events as he hoped his side would triumph over the monumental injustice.
As I write (paraphrasing Tolofari who said “even as I speak “) the millions of Naira that Ibrahim Umah and co paid to the party for the forms that were never issued, had been spent and never refunded!
Which “voice of Justice” of Tolofari’s or those for whom he writes, has spoken?
Selassie’s quoted statement includes the “indifference of those who should have known better “.
Tolofari was here clearly indicting himself and any adult who claims to be a Christian and a politician both of which Tolofari is.
A former public officer at the highest level of government, Tolofari actually knows better than keeping quiet when party faithful were mindlessly swindled of their hard earned money!
He should have known that no conscientious person keeps mum in the face of such savagery!
Obviously, Tolofari, with his high position as a political leader in Bonny and a close ally of the leader of the party, is evidently “one of those who could have acted ” in the language of Sellasie that he quoted.
Did he act?
He didn’t instead he is now lampooning those who acted against glaring injustice.
For not acting when he should, he made it possible for evil to triumph.
Tolofari said Magnus is drowning.
Well, we thank God “he is” drowning. He is yet to drown. If at all “he is drowning”.
The person who has actually drowned with his megalomaniac sponsors is Arc Tonye Patrick Dele Cole whose name illegally made the INEC list as a candidate but was agitated against and successfully judicially removed.
So, who is the drown man between them?
It is not difficult to see why Tolofari George who had been quite quiet, yes, QUITE quiet, since this contrived crises (contrived to gubernatorially enthrone Tonye instead of Magnus) suddenly had to speak publicly.
You don’t need any special gift of discernment to know why the naturally taciturn George Tolofari wrote himself to historical infamy with that ill-advised piece which runs against what the whole world already knows.
The reason is simple :
It is time for positioning, for jostling and jesting before the leader of the party so that when the Minister becomes minister again in the new president Buhari dispensation, George Tolofari would be considered for DG something!
Nothing more, nothing less!
And there is nothing wrong with that.
The problem is the hypocrisy, the mischief, the incredible running of others down as Tolofari is doing to get it.
I have repeatedly asked :
1. Since WorguBoms became the Hon Attorney General of Rivers State at a comparatively younger age, has he become the happiest person in the world, with all his life challenges gone?
Has he become the most brilliant lawyer and the most popular and the most sought after?
2. Since my former boss Rt Hon Rotimi Amaechi became the Speaker of the state Assembly at his youthful age and later, still young, became Governor and minister and in between, held that and this office, is he now without worries and all the challenges this life brings?
Is he now the happiest person in the universe?
3. Papariye Diete-Spiff was first Rivers Governor.
That in itself is history.
The other histories are that he became the first Rivers Governor in his early 20s and as a bachelor!!!
You think anyone can beat that record in our lifetime?
Now, has our papa Spiff, by reason of those impressive historical firsts, attained youthful immortality?
3. What of Dakuku?
As DG of the almighty dollarised NIMASA we all pitifully gloat to be its DG for which reason we don’t want to be ourselves or at least keep quiet instead of disgracing ourselves by writing crap, is Dakuku now the happiest man in the universe without worries, anxieties and aspirations?
4. What of Nsima Where?
5. What of Akpako?
My friend Tolos, please cool down!
This world was created by God and given to us all to enjoy.
“As regards the heavens, to Jehovah the heavens belong. But the earth he has given to the sons of men. ”
-The modern language Translation.
Tolos, all scriptures are unanimous that this earth wasn’t given to one man.
It was given to us all!
With or without Magnus, we can still live.
We pity those whose life can’t function without one man!