Understanding Criticism As Fruit Of Democracy And Catalyst To Good Governance

Nasir el-Rufai, governor of Kaduna state

By Isah Abbas Ahmed

Criticism is the practice of judging the merits and faults of something. In more meaningful way, criticism as an evaluative or corrective exercise can occur in any area of human life and can take many different forms. How exactly people go about criticizing, can vary a great deal!

In specific areas of human endeavour, the form of criticism can be highly specialized and technical; it often requires professional knowledge to understand the criticism.

To criticize does not necessarily imply “TO FIND FAULT”, but the word is often taken to mean the simple expression of an objection against prejudice, or a disapproval of something. Often criticism involves active disagreement, but it may only mean “taking sides”. It could just be an exploration of the different sides of an issue. FIGHTING IS NOT NECESSARILY INVOLVED.

Criticism is often presented as something unpleasant, but it need not be. It could be friendly criticism, amicably discussed, and having some people find great pleasure in it.

Whoever takes this into cognizance, s/he practice a ‘DISTINGUISHED CRITICISM’. This category of people usually tries to put those they criticize to speed and on right track. Objectivity and consistency is very key here.

Many times, personalizing support for something or someone does not help in distinguished criticism. That is where a lot of those for or against certain individuals miss it.

The way events are unfolding from our state governors these days, it is crystal clear that they do not welcome criticism. I believe they mostly have a minute memory because it is not more than a year back that they criticizes the past administration in a totally bad and uncultured manner. Recent attempts to arrest some critics in Kaduna State became very alarming. The governor was in the forefront of dirty criticism to the past immediate administration and he was never arrested because the then leaders respected freedom of speech and expression. Our good friend from Kano is also being hunted these days by the governor’s SA simply because of his criticism against the governor’s appointments which he termed as disappointments.

It is more damning when some promising young intellects indulge in personalizing supports for politicians or opposing them. Their style of picking in ‘person’ of anybody who criticize a government they support is very wrong. Many times they could see that their heroes are obviously wrong but will still stand by them and defend them from all angles. If one practice such, s/he should be prepared for the consequences of his/her actions as retaliation will surely follow and might be in more deadly way.

I have witnessed a lot of unnecessary events on Social Media (specifically Facebook and Twitter) just to smear the name of those who criticize government of the day especially in Kaduna State. In some cases, those in defense did not even contribute to campaign of the present administration while the criticizers did. This is TRULY UNCALLED FOR!!! Remembers, Social Media should unite us not divide us.

As I usually call on people, always try to read the MESSAGE not the MESSENGER and also try reading between the lines.