THE ALTERNATIVE STORY
with Reno Omokri
By now, I am sure my readers have read the very disparaging comments against former President Goodluck Jonathan which were credited to the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu.
So pedestrian are those comments that I will not repeat them here. You can Google them on your own if you have not read them but I will not stain my writing space by republishing them.
Ndiâ€™Igbo needs friends and support. No one can win in life if the person walks solo. Ecclesiastes 4:11 says, â€˜If two lie together, then they have heat: but how can one be warm alone?â€™
It was for lack of friends that Ndiâ€™Igbo were defeated between 1967-1970. Is history about to repeat itself? You do not alienate the few friends you have and expect to attract more friends.
This is the advantage the North has over Ndiâ€™Igbo. They know their friends. If with all Jonathan did for Ndiâ€™Igbo someone can dismiss him with the wave of the hand so casually and accuse him of doing nothing for Ndiâ€™Igbo and Ndiâ€™Igbo would applaud such a person instead of calling him to order, then do not expect those who are watching Ndiâ€™Igbo acquiesce to this mistreatment of Jonathan to do anything for Ndiâ€™Igbo when or if they get into power.
If Jonathan can be so treated, then who is sacrosanct?
There are those who have said Jonathan lost the 2015 elections because his fondness for Ndiâ€™Igbo alienated him from other sections of Nigeria. Today, people who hold such opinions are laughing at Jonathan.
The fact that not even one prominent leader amongst Ndiâ€™Igbo has stood up to condemn the hate speech against Jonathan is telling.
This is a man who was the first person since the end of the civil war to make Ndiâ€™Igbo Secretary to the Government of the Federation and Chief of Army Staff. For 41 years before Jonathan, not one Ndiâ€™Igbo came near such positions.
Alas, none of the many Ndiâ€™Igbo who benefited from appointments under Jonathan could stand up to defend him against those very mean words from Nnamdi Kanu.
What a lesson to anyone who may be planning to toe the path of Jonathan! What a lesson.
My advice to you and the Igbo race, go and learn diplomacy. It will help you more than physical strength and academic intelligence.
Only a month ago, in my widely published article, â€˜Hegemony: What the Igbo can learn from Yoruba and Fulani about powerâ€™, I advised Ndiâ€™Igbo, saying that the Igbo often mistake discretion for weakness.
Nnamdi Kanu proves my point! Calling Dr. Goodluck Jonathan weak is just a manifestation of what I wrote about.
Nnamdi Kanu needs to understand something about leadership. Leadership is a platform that gives you the opportunity to increase your influence or reduce it until it is eliminated.
Upon his release, public sympathy for him increased his influence. The successful sit at home further increased it. However, his utterances since then have been steadily reducing his influence.
I know Chief Femi Fani-Kayode very well. He will soon hear the things Nnamdi Kanu said about the Yoruba. He has already heard about the things Nnamdi Kanu said about Jonathan. It will not be very long before Nnamdi Kanu loses one of his most valiant non-Igbo supporters. Apparently, what the Nigerian government couldnâ€™t do to Nnamdi Kanu, Nnamdi Kanu is using his own mouth to do to himself!
Why does this keep reoccurring? Anytime I read or hear about Madiba Nelson Mandela, I have bitter-sweet memories. Why? Because we could have had our own Mandela in another Nnamdi!
Nnamdi Azikiwe was at one time known all over Africa as Zik of Africa. It was a thing of pride and joy to pre-independent Nigeria. Everyone was proud of Zik including Northerners. This is a fact.
But the story ended tragically. No matter what might have happened to him through his political choices and alliances, it was a very great disappointment that a man who reached the peak of his political career as Zik of Africa ended up allowing himself to be known as the Owelle of Onitsha, not even of Nigeria, or Igboland or even Anambra, but of Onitsha.
The new Nnamdi ought to learn from this tragedy. When he was released, believe it or not, he was hailed and celebrated far beyond the borders of Igboland.
On social media, every Wale, Dakolo and Nosa sang his praises. He was Nnamdi Kanu, the hero of the oppressed. But the more he talked, the more the Wales had a rethink and shrunk away from him, leaving only the Dakolos and Nosas.
Then he talked some more and both the Dakolos and the Nosas felt unwelcome and beat a hasty retreat. Today, it is only Chukwuma and Ikechukwu that are singing his praises.
Nnamdi Kanu was created by President Muhammadu Buhari because before he was arrested, I had heard nothing about him. Absolutely nothing.
But just like President Buhari has squandered whatever goodwill he had left by choosing to give his national Sallah message to Nigerians in a sectional language, so too has Nnamdi Kanu wasted away the considerable adulation he had outside Igboland by his Igbo supremacy tendencies.
I hope with Nnamdi Kanu, IPOB does not end up with a case of me and Ndiâ€™Igbo against Nigeria, me and Abia State against Ndiâ€™Igbo, me and Isiama Afara against Abia State and finally, me and my fatherâ€™s house against Isiama Afara. From what we are seeing, the omens are not encouraging at all!
Shaka Momodu, an editor with THISDAY newspapers, taught me a lesson 26 years ago. We both had a mutual friend who turned out to be something of a nasty piece of work. When I discovered this, I quite naturally withdrew from this person and although almost all our other friends badmouthed this individual, Shaka would not.
One day, I asked Shaka why he refrained from talking down this man. Shakaâ€™s response was telling and has stuck with me for decades
He said Reno, one day I had nowhere to sleep and ……..allowed me sleep in his room for that day. I cannot find it in me to fight someone who accommodated me even if it was for just one day.
From that day till the day I die, and even when I am in Godâ€™s kingdom after death, I will respect Shaka Momodu for having such sterling principles. I can only wish that Nnamdi Kanu had such high principles.
Ndiâ€™Igbo should remember the proverb: If you want to walk fast, walk alone.
But if you want to walk far, walk with friends.
And now let me address the issue of President Muhammadu Buhariâ€™s unwise decision to address the nation in a sectional language.
In a country whose official language is English, President Muhammadu Buhari broadcasts his Sallah message in Hausa! Would Trump (whose origin is German) address America in German?
So what about all those Nigerians who canâ€™t speak Hausa? Ideally, the President should have spoken in English first, then if he feels like it, he may also speak in Hausa.
The way he has now spoken only in Hausa makes it seem as if he is only concerned with those who gave him 97% of the votes while those who have him 5% can take a hike!
How would the rest of the country have felt if President Olusegun Obasanjo had released a Christmas broadcast to Nigerians in Yoruba, or if President Goodluck Jonathan has done so in Ogbia?
How can a NATIONAL leader address Nigerians in a SECTIONAL language? Nigeria has never had a leader as divisive as Buhari! There is no difference between President Buhari and Nnamdi Kanu.
President Buhari is the President of all Nigerians. He is not the President of only those who can speak Hausa! This is an outrage! President Yarâ€™adua also spoke to the BBC News by phone. He is Fulani, like President Buhari. Yet he spoke in English because he was President of all of us!
At this stage, permit time to digress and say something about a loss I suffered.
Eight years ago I cried as if I had lost my own brother. You gave me so much joy from my childhood to now. I thank God for giving the world the opportunity to benefit from your creative genius, Michael Jackson! You were the most consistently brilliant music star the world ever knew. Your dedication to your craft was matchless. You outshone Elvis, The Beatles, and even in death you continue to outshine contemporary stars. I love you Michael. Rest in the bosom of The Lord!
If you knew how quickly your boss will replace you if you die, you will pay more attention to your family rather than your job. How many burials have you been to? Do you ever see the dead manâ€™s boss there? Yet most men slave away at their work and prioritise it over their family who will be the one to bury them, mourn over them and carry on their legacies. Remember, your company has its own name, but your children bear your own name forever. Be wise. You are replaceable at work. You are irreplaceable to your family. Donâ€™t work for your salary. Work for your family #RenosNuggets.