By Jude Ndukwe
A namby-pamby London-based newspaper that goes by its appropriate name, “Observer”, falsely observed that former President Goodluck Jonathan purportedly rejected an offer from the British government to help rescue the abducted Chibok girls during the Jonathan administration.
This is not the first time a foreign based newspaper would stoop so low to allow itself be used by spin doctors of the current administration in Nigeria to continue to futilely attempt to smear Jonathan’s gargantuan image and whose records have remained unmatchable, hence, a source of concern to this government, and exposure of their ineptitude and perfunctory approach to governance nearly two years after the former president left office.
As usual, to complement the falsehood churned out by partners in the Enemy-of-Progress venture, Lai Mohammed quickly responded to Jonathan’s explanation that at no time did he or his government reject any offer of help from the British to rescue the Chibok girls contrary to reports by the Observer. Lai attempted to push the false narrative down our throats and went as far as inferring that Jonathan should not only accept the false accusation but that he should also stop finger-pointing.
But then who is surprised at this? Is Lai Mohammed not known for his knack to reduce serious State matters to issues of propaganda and witch hunt? Acting on the springboard of guilt, he was forced recently to try and explain to the gods how Nigerians accuse him of being a liar when, in his own estimation, he is the opposite. But we all know the truth about Lai!
Then came his partner, the Emperor of Kaduna who took his own reaction to the story to a new lowly and mundane level using his twitter handle. Reacting to the story, El Rufai had written on his handle: “JONATHANIANS, WE HAIL THEE!: ‘Nigeria rejected British offer to rescue seized Chibok schoolgirls’ – World News”.
In another tweet, he had this to say: “JONATHANIANS!! – JUST SHAKING MY HEAD: How Jonathan’s administration shockingly rejected British offer to rescue…”
This is nothing but an incitement to hate. For a public official to use his twitter handle to spread falsehood against a former president is nothing but an incitement against the former president, and by extension, his supporters whom he correctly but mockingly refers to as “Jonathanians”. To think that this is the same man of very dwarfish height who had caused the harassment, intimidation, arrest and detention of Audu Maikori for “incitement”, is most unpardonable.
Contrary to his claims at the recently concluded Social Media Week held in Lagos, the grizzly gnome of Kaduna had spoken of himself in glowing terms about how he uses the social media responsibly while advocating that others should do the same. He had boasted at the event that he has the largest followership among public officials on twitter at one million, but what he did not tell Nigerians, which has always been part of his life as a harbinger of falsehood, is that his one million followers are actually 902,570. An independent twitter audit of his account shows that a whopping 37% of them amounting to 333,951, are fake, while twitter is not even sure who the others making up the one million are. One of the ways of generating fake twitter followers is to buy them in order to boost one’s presence on the platform and his/her popularity, but most times, like in this case, to a vain end.
The saddest part of the event was when the Emperor defended the most inciting comment ever made among the tweeting Nigerian community. In the comment, El Rufai had said “We will write this for all to read. Anyone, soldier or not that kills the Fulani takes a loan repayable one day no matter how long it takes”. This is a threat that has come to pass in Kaduna under the supervision of El Rufai as governor. Rather than be conciliatory in his remarks in the aftermath of the Kaduna genocide, this dwarfish emperor sounded so offish in his explanation of that devilish tweet at the Social Media Week.
He had said quite emphatically and most unfortunately that what he wrote was a statement of fact and that he wrote it in the context of the operation of soldiers who attempted removing Fulani settlers in Jos, Plateau State, a supposed Christian state. Now, we all know why the killings of indigenes of Southern Kaduna who are predominantly Christians by their terrorist Fulani herdsmen settlers who are Muslims have been allowed to thrive for that long under El Rufai as governor of the State.
To even think that he compensated the killers rather than ensure their arrests and prosecution leaves a bitter taste in the mouth.
This same El Rufai who is quick to accuse others and pontificate on the responsible use of the social media had also tweeted another highly inciting statement on 27th of January, 2013 thus: “@zebbook…If Jesus criticizes Jonathan’s govt, Maku/Abati/Okupe will say he slept with Mary Magdalene…LWKMD…”
The fact is, if the above tweet had the name of the Islamic prophet in place of Jesus, hell would have been let loose on this country. It is therefore most hypocritical of El Rufai to be the one that would be pontificating on the responsible use of social media when he has proven to be an abrasive provocateur himself over time.
He uses his twitter handle to promote lies and dissension only to turn around to accuse the Audu Maikori’s of this world of doing the exact thing he is guilty of just to parry attention away from his own gross incompetence and divisiveness as governor who allowed an avoidable crisis to fester for so long leading to loss of precious lives in his state.
It is therefore not surprising when he acted true to type by promoting the falsehood about Jonathan’s purported rejection of British offer to help rescue the Chibok girls. To his shame, and like it always is with propagandists, sophists and peddlers of hate, their towers of falsehood built on the pedestal of resentment for other people’s region and religion, soon fall like a pack of cards right before them when the truth eventually unravels and they run away with their tails between their legs.
The British High Commission had described the story that Jonathan’s administration rejected an offer by the Britons to help rescue the Chibok girls as false. In debunking the story, the Commission had said “a more cordial, collaborative and unified approach between Nigeria and her allies than the reported differences was used”.
Furthermore, Ambassador Mathew Rycroft, the UK’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations Security Council and head of the delegation to the Lake Chad region, confirmed that nothing was true in the Observer newspaper report about Jonathan rejecting any help from Britain. It is therefore a pity that in a bid to attempt to drag former president Goodluck Jonathan down, the likes of El Rufai and Lai Mohammed keep promoting falsehood against the country they serve as long as that would serve their primordial and pecuniary purposes.
The reason why the country is currently in such a shamble as it is today is because government officials have been expending most of their valuable times and energies on attacking Jonathan rather than focus such bubbling energies on good governance and providing dividends of democracy to the people they all so deceived to vote for them in 2015.
The fact that APC goons are the architects of the Chibok charade is not lost on anyone of us. They should all be quick in winding up their script to save the remaining girls from this politically motivated humiliating pain they are going through, and leave Jonathan out of their script gone awry!
—email@example.com; Twitter: Stjudendukwe