Isaac Asabor

It is no more news to say that uncouthness has from time immemorial being classified to be a character flaw. What is new is that in the context of interactive communications on social media platforms, we are by each passing day becoming more exposed to it. Aptly put, social media trolls are unarguably making the virtual space literarily uncomfortable with their disgusting behaviors.  The reason for the foregoing cannot be farfetched as compared to years back. As it is, we are today interacting with more people that unarguably have potpourri of backgrounds and temperaments. Think of the dozens (or hundreds) of conversations you see every day on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn among other platforms.

In as much as it cannot be denied in this context that most conversations on social media platforms are polite, it can equally not be denied that we have not seen rude, aggressive postings directed at specific individuals. People post things online that most would never say to someone face to face. If your experience on social media does not resonate with that of this writer, suffice it to say that it happens often to those of us that are writers as not every reader agrees with one’s opinion. Again, not everyone feels the same way. There have been times where those who disagree with my stance on an issue feel the need to disparage me on account of not agreeing with them. Thus, just the number of communications that we participate in or observe makes it more likely that we will encounter rudeness and incivility.

As it seems, social media trolls have no doubt developed superiority complex in argument that they always assume that their views are more expressive and logical than that of those that hold opposing view. To them, every other view is wrong except their own view. Aptly put, it is an insalubrious way of engaging in public discourse.  It is imprudent for anyone to think that he or she can go through life expecting that everyone will agree with him on any issue. It is expedient to always have it at the back of our minds as communicators that every person thinks differently, and equally understand that that is what makes human beings remarkable and unique beings.

There is no denying the fact that you may have been wondering on what inspired yours sincerely to be expressing his view in this lamentable and troubling manner. The explanation to your wonderment cannot be farfetched as for much of last week, culminating into the weekend, the social media space was agog with news and pictures sourced from the burial ceremony of the septuagenarian mother of popular Nigerian businessman and socialite, Obi Iyiegbu, a.k.a Obi Cubana. In my opinion, if he feels that is the way he can give his mother a benefitting burial, it is left to him. Most of us had in the past buried our mothers. Nobody supervised us on how we did it. Personally, as long as the money for the burial and fabulous gifts he received from his friends and associates were not stolen or fraudulently obtained, then what is the fuss about his mother’s burial all about. How come we got to this ridiculous state in life where other peoples’ businesses have become ours?

With the news, there was no manner of negative comments that were not aimed at him, and to some extent on how large burials are celebrated in Igbo land as if other tribes do not have their own way of burying the dead. Let’s face it, lavish burial cut across African culture and tradition. Go and ask them in Ghana! Aptly put, there was nothing that is bereft of disparaging tone that was not said or insinuated about him. The reason why some backlashers’ comments may not be difficult to interpret is that their tones are self-explanatory, and are revealing enough for a dunce to deduce.

Most revealing among the combative comments was that of Reno Omokri, a former media assistant to ex-President Goodluck Jonathan, who shared on social media space a secret revealed to him by a friend who was a member of a white garment church.

While speaking about the money rain at the burial of the mother of Obi Cubana in Oba, Anambra State, at the weekend, he quoted his friend as saying that as people pick the money sprayed on them, the more the sprayer’s wealth will keep growing. With this, your interpretation of Obi Cubana’s kind of person and to a large extent his source of wealth is as good as mine. But can Omokiri be said to be fair and factual in his comment? Or was he trying to give a dog a bad name in order to hang him as an English proverb says?

Be that as it may, if my deductive reasoning from Omokiri’s comment is anything to go by, I think it can be dismissed with mere wave of the hand as the popular police detective, Abba Kyari, was one of the guests that graced the star-studded ceremony where Obi Cubana buried his mother at Oba town in Anambra State. It would be recalled that Kyari, in a post on his verified Facebook page, defended his presence at the event, describing Obi Cubana as a “brother and good friend.”

In a more damaging vein, Deji Adeyanju, an activist in the online edition of the Nation newspaper of July 19, 2021 was reported to have warned Obi Cubana to slow down on his open display of opulence to avoid ending up in jail.

Joining those questioning the source of Obi Cubana’s wealth, he said he may end up in jail like Hushpuppi based on how he is spending money, particularly the way he was seen ‘spraying’ money at his mum’s burial over the weekend at Oba, Anambra state.

Against the foregoing backdrop, it is expedient to opine that it is so easy to criticize other people, and so hard to give a single honest compliment. It is so easy to see yourself in a good light and at the same time focus on imperfections of other people.

To me, it is high time Nigerians realized that criticizing people is a complete lose-lose situation that only creates distance, spreads negative energies and causes tensions. Criticism is one of the worst kinds of negative thinking, talking and acting.

At this juncture, it is expedient to say that if positive thoughts are creative thoughts of connecting, including, sharing and loving, then negative thinking is composed of thoughts and words (and consequently actions) that disconnect, exclude and spread hate.

Since it is impossible to live a positive life with a negative mind, it is obvious why criticizing others is so unproductive and irrational. So let’s put a stop to it. Obi Cubana did not sacrificed anyone’s life to bury his mother. He merely did what most of us would have love to do if we had the opportunity.


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