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Abigail Anaba: Of crying public servants and their tears


Abigail Anaba: Of crying public servants and their tears

by Abigail Anaba

And The Tears Keep coming

Cue in: Julie London, ‘Cry me a River’.

Fade off at chorus


That natural emotional response to feelings of sadness and hurt. The attack sends no notice. It can hit you anywhere, anytime as long as there is a stimulus.

For women, crying comes more easily than men. Scientists say it’s because they have more proclatine, the hormone responsible for tears. While men’s testosterone makes them less vulnerable to tears.

Once upon a time, it was believed that men don’t cry. But thanks to politicians, we all know that is not true. Men do cry. According to research men’s tears are positive or sentimental. It is grouped under any of these headings: pride, courage, victory, defeats, and companionship

Cue in: VIP tears

Crying attacks have struck presidents and public figures at the oddest times : George Washington and John F Kenedy reportedly cried during their swearing in ceremonies. Perhaps, theirs were manly tears of victory .

George Bush, Bill Clinton and Obama have also cried in public for various reasons.

Hillary Clinton however came under attack for exercising her crying rights on the campaign trail. Critics felt her tears showed she was weak. A woman trying to cry a man’s tear…perhaps.

Nigeria has had her own share of  VIP tears.

In August 2007, Diezani Allison-Madueke, then the Transport minister, cried over the sorry condition of Benin-Ore Express Road, when she visited it. At that time, crying attacks were a little new. Of course being a woman, Diezani had excess proclatine. Maybe she should have just manned up.

In April 2011 Buhari cried. Some were sympathetic others cried fowl. A cry of defeat? Maybe. Definitely not one of victory, or pride, or companionship. I would hate to say excess proclatine. He is a General for crying out loud!

In June 2012 GEJ cried… twice. Same reaction. Voltrons supported. Vextrons were riled. Quit the crocodile tears they wailed. Another cry of defeat? Maybe.  Definitely not one of victory, or pride, or courage or companionship.  Maybe excess proclatine. He has been acting like a ‘woman’, not so?

And now in Feb 2013 Elrufai cried (allegedly) during the launch of his boo,The Accidental Public Servant, I dont know whether to label his tears accidental, but then all tears are accidental, except when they are not.

Fade up: Cry me a river

Of course we know about crocodile tears and how they are used for emotional blackmail.  With political actors, a cry well placed could turn votes in their favour. Its all about believability.

For the rest of us lesser mortals recent research has shown that contrary to popular belief, crying is not relieving but exhausting. You only experience relief when you have people around you who understand your tears and can therefore identify with it and offer support.

This quote is apposite

“Crying is all right in its own way while it lasts. But you have to stop sooner or later, and then you still have to decide what to do” ~ C.S. Lewis


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