By Charles Anyiam-Osigwe.
My son, I am happy to hear that you want to take up a career in politics. I will tell a story which I will like you to bear in mind throughout your political career.
Once upon a time, father tortoise seduced his son’s wife. Unfortunately, his son caught him in the act. Tying up his father, the young tortoise hung him up on a tree by a road leading to the market place. The young tortoise wanted to ensure that everyone heading for the market place the next morning will see him and asked why he was strung up a tree. Then, the world will hear of his despicable act. His plan worked as everyone who passed that route and saw the sight was told the reason for which father tortoise was stuck up a tree.
They condemned him in no uncertain terms for the abomination he had committed. The young tortoise saw his father being shamed and it gave him some satisfaction.
As the day wore on, father tortoise begged his son to let him down, saying that he had been shamed enough and was sorry for his action.
However, young tortoise refused. He was determined to leave him where he was until evening, when those on their way from the market would see him, condemn him further and shame him the more.
Father tortoise begged him to relent, proffering the adage that “what people say on their way out, is not necessarily the view they will hold on their way back”.
As those who went to market started coming back, they saw father tortoise still hanging from the tree.
“Ha? What are you still doing up on a tree?” they enquired. “my son refuses to set me down even though I have apologized and begged for forgiveness.”
“What a son! Imagine leaving your father strung up all day without food or water! Did he kill someone? He was only having a bit of fun! One should not pray for such an unforgiving son!” etc, the people said in condemnation of the son’s unforgiving spirit.
The young tortoise hurriedly brought his father down.
So my son, always remember throughout your political career that what people say when they are heading out will not necessarily be what they say on their way back