By Pius Adesanmi
So, Garba Shehu was tweet-gloating that Zahra Buhari’s entrance into the Indimi family via marriage, starting yesterday, “is a celebrity event.”
I am sorry for him.
There is a phatic duty to wish the families of Buhari and Indimi well in this private affair – made public by unfortunate ostentation. I wish them well.
There is a human decency obligation to wish the new couple happy married life. I wish them happy married life.
But there is also a commonsense obligation on the parties involved to be sensitive to optics and the heartbeat of the land. That obligation has not been met. A time of hunger and despondency in the land is perhaps not the best time to declare a festival of designer products. We must still celebrate. Life never stops. But there are ways to make things reflective of the times, no matter one’s material means. It is called empathy. In public office, empathy is not a choice. It is an obligation. A moral obligation. An ethical obligation.
There is yet an obligation of commonsense on the part of political aides. Shasha and Malia Obama do private events. They serve in soup kitchens and participate in fun events all the time. We hear about such stuff from National Inquirer and the paparazzi. We do not hear about such stuff from Josh Earnest, Obama’s White House Press Secretary. Garba Shehu should not spend the Nigerian tax payer’s billable hours taking over the turf of Linda Ikeji and Stella Dimoko Korkus.
Finally, there is an obligation for the subjects of today’s “celebrity event” to be philosophical about life. They must constantly be guided by what the poet wrote in Ecclesiastes 1:2 “vanity of vanities, all is vanity”.
In other words, Garba Shehu must remember that the weddings of President Yar’Adua’s daughters to Governors were also “celebrity events”.
The wedding of President Jonathan’s daughter was also a “celebrity event”.
Stella Obasanjo organized numerous “celebrity events”.
If you look at the crowd in these events, you will find the same people, the same “dignitaries”, the same “movers and shakers”, from Stella Obasanjo’s events to Buhari’s events via Yar’Adua’s events.
In other words, if a stone occupied the Villa and held a ceremony of stones for stones, this same crowd would be there to hail the stone as the best stone to happen to stonehood.
The roll call never varies. And they hail every occupant of that space. What they do once you leave that space is why Garba Shehu should not be gloating about celebrity anything.
As far as I know, only Segun Adeniyi still asks about the Yar’Adua family because he has remained faithful to his boss.
Reuben Abati is using torch light and kerosene lantern to look for relatives because his phone no longer rings.
Stella Oduah reportedly hasn’t been calling President Jonathan because she claimed to have lost the phone number of her former boss.
A day after the Buharis lose Villa residency, more than half of those who attended this “celebrity wedding” will suddenly misplace Ogbeni Buhari’s phone number.
And Garba Shehu’s phone will stop ringing…
Let’s be guided by philosophy and reflection in the things we do.
Let’s stop gloating.