There is the biological heart of man; there is also the spiritual heart of man. Functionally, the two perform similar tasks but in different ways. But their performances notwithstanding, the heart and man are the same. You cannot take away from the other and expect one to be alive.
From the moment it begins beating until the moment it stops, the biological heart which I wish to be referring to as human heart works tirelessly. It is said that in an average lifetime, the heart beats more than two and a half billion times, without ever pausing to rest. Like a pumping machine, the heart provides the power needed for life.
This life-sustaining power has, throughout time, caused an air of mystery to surround the heart. Modern technology has removed much of the mystery, but there is still an air of fascination and curiosity.
Little wonder, The Franklin Institute, USA that promotes Science Resources for Learning never stops urging all to explore the heart, especially the human heart; discover the complexities of its development and structure; follow the blood through the blood vessels and wander through the web-like body systems. In so doing, one would learn how to have a healthy heart and monitor the heart’s health.
Simply put and as universally acknowledged, the heart is central to human existence. A weak heart and a weak person are thus companions. However, every man needs a heart. It is a sine qua non to life.
But there is this other heart that society frowns at and loathes very seriously. Nobody wants to be associated with it. And even those who manifestly have such a heart either try to hide its manifestation or diligently seek ways to extricate themselves from it. It is the wicked heart. It is spiritual rather than physical; but the manifestation of its actions can be devastatingly physical.
In the Holy Bible, Jeremiah 17:9 tells us that “The heart [is] deceitful above all [things], and desperately wicked: who can know it?”
Mark 7:21 underpins the foregoing stating that “For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders”
Matthew 12:35 provides a balance indicating that the spiritual heart can be good too. “A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things.”
Thus, like the biological heart that can be weak, the spiritual one can be wicked and evil. The product of the latter is “evil things” including corruption, violence, discriminations like xenophobia, hatred, malice, killings, adultery, fornication, idolatory, criminalities, et al.
The Zuma example
South African President Jacob Zuma on Monday hit out at other African countries after South Africa faced a backlash over the wave of xenophobic attacks in his country. Curiously, while he condemned the violence, saying immigrants contributed to the South African economy, he questioned why so many had flocked to South Africa.
Hear him: “as much as we can have a problem alleged to be xenophobic, our brother countries contributed to this,” he said; adding, “why are the citizens not in their countries?”
Earlier in April, mobs in Johannesburg and in the port city of Durban targeted migrants, ransacking their homes and burning shops. Seven people reportedly died and thousands were displaced.
Alas, Zuma did not care if South Africa is faced by a backlash over the attacks and looming strained relations in the South Africa region as well as Nigeria among several other African nations that led the war against apartheid paving way for today’s liberated South Africa.
Banning of media coverage
No matter what may have transpired in the countdown to the April 11 presidential poll, the resort by the camp of the President-elect, Muhammadu Buhari to bar Africa Independent Television and Ray Power FM from coverage of events concerning him was done in bad faith and it must be condemned by all.
When statesmen gather, they revel in the huge presence of the media coverage they are getting and the unquantifiable visibility they flow from such. The recent showing by Buhari easily brings to the front burner fears openly expressed in some quarters that those fine principles of democracy which are readily imbibed and manifested by statesmen are yet to get to the President-elect’s door step. And most unfortunately, his handlers in this respect are not doing anything in that direction. The consequences of such vexatious tendencies are many. Chiefly, you leave the man’s flanks open to condemnations and attacks from all corners.
For instance, the South-South Pen Pushers, SSPP group join millions of Nigerians to do just that less than 24 hours after the development.
The group in a statement described the action of the president-elect as unfortunate, vindictive and a clear sign that the APC-led federal government will be intolerant to press freedom and the media. According to the group, Buhari has shown that he has not changed from a dictator to a born-again democrat, and warned Nigerians to be vigilant or they will be stripped of the civil liberties which they have enjoyed under the Goodluck Jonathan Presidency.
It is thus not out of place to qualify the decision to bar AIT from the president-elect’s activities as a product of a wicked heart that is bent on destroying the freedom and liberties the media enjoy in the discharge of its roles in our democracy.
The latter day revocation of the ban by his party, the All Progressives Congress, APC was a clear statement that the action by Buhari was nauseating and it was archaic and manifestly wicked for our democracy.
May be his handlers need to be reminded of the time-honoured quote by Thomas Jefferson that The only security of all is in a free press. The force of public opinion cannot be resisted when permitted freely to be expressed. The agitation it produces must be submitted to. It is necessary, to keep the waters pure.
To be continued