Alternative By Reno Omokri
Of recent, there has been a great deal of malarkey about regulating social media on the part of the Nigerian government. Ever his master’s voice, Buhari’s Goebbelsian and eponymously named Minister of Information, Lai Mohammed, has been championing this case, despite the apparent hypocrisy in his gospel.
Why hypocrisy? Well, because both Buhari and Lai Mohammed abided social media to spread untrue, divisive and sometimes inciting statements.
In fact, they gave birth to the angst that currently drives Nigeria’s youths, by their repeated false and irreverent attacks on then President Jonathan. But now that the tables are turned, they are finding their pill too bitter to swallow.
Before Lai Mohammed goes too far in his madness of curbing free speech on social media, permit me to remind him of some of his social media lies.
On Monday, June 30 2014, Lai Mohammed said that “at no time did I condemn the government for proscribing Boko Haram.”
He forgot that on Monday, June 10, 2013, he criticised the Jonathan administration for banning Boko Haram, claiming the ban “makes it easy for an increasingly intolerant government to clamp down on the opposition, which it sees more as an irritant. Today, this same fellow wants to regulate social media.
On Monday, December 21, 2015, Lai Mohammed claimed that ‘The war against Boko Haram is largely won. We have so degraded the capacity of Boko Haram that the terrorists can no longer hold on to any territory.”
We now know that, that was a huge fat lie.
On Monday, January 18, 2016, Lai Mohammed claimed that ‘Between 2006 and 2013, just 55 people stole a total of 1.34 trillion Naira in Nigeria”. That was a lie. Not just a lie, but an irresponsible one. A person who can tell such lies lacks the moral fabric to regulate social media.
On Thursday, January 26, 2017, Lai Mohammed told a delegation of the Presidential Committee on the North-East Initiative that “the president is hale and hearty in London where he is observing his 10-day vacation.” This information was then passed on to the media via a statement.
Lai’s claims turned out to be a big fat lie, as they were debunked by Buhari himself, who returned to Nigeria on Friday, March 3, 2017 and admitted that he was not on any holiday, but had gone to the UK on health grounds.
The President’s words were ‘I couldn’t recall being so sick since I was young.’ He also said he underwent “blood transfusions, going to the laboratories, and so on and so forth”.
On Monday, February 6, 2015, Lai Mohammed said “the killing of Christians by Muslims in Nigeria is a fallacy.” This statement is so patently untrue and showed the insensitivity of the Buhari government. Yet, Lai wants to regulate social media. Should he not rather regulate his lies?
And it is not just Lai Mohammed that is displaying hypocrisy. Northern Governors are also displaying group hypocrisy. On Tuesday, November 2020, Northern Governors met with Buhari and insisted on the regulation of social media.
In their communique, they averred, among other things as follows:
“The meeting took note of the devastating effect of the uncontrolled social media in spreading fake news. Therefore, calls for major control mechanism and censorship of the social media practice in Nigeria.”
How can a body that includes Nasir El-Rufai complain of fake news? El-Rufai is the father of fake news in Nigeria.
On October 1, 2015 Nasir El-Rufai falsely tweeted (he also put it on Facebook) that former President Jonathan spent a whopping N64 billion on Independence Day celebrations, during his tenure when in fact only N333 million was spent.
Till today, Nasir El-Rufai has not apologised to the public and the former President for such an egregious lie. You can read how he was exposed by yourself by Googling El-Rufai Independence Day Lie.
Moreover, El-Rufai’s former boss, Ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo, who brought him to the limelight, had this to say about Nasir El-Rufai in his book: My Watch Volume 2 as follows:
“Nasir’s penchant for reputation savaging is almost pathological. Why does he do it?……I recognised his weaknesses; the worst being his inability to be loyal to anybody or any issue consistently for long, but only to Nasir el-Rufai.
He barefacedly lied to me against his colleagues and so-called friends. I have heard of how he ruthlessly savaged the reputation of his uncle, a man who was like, in the African setting, his foster father. I shuddered when I heard the story of what he did to his half-brother in the Air Force who is senior to him in age.”
Given such a long and illusory history as a liar, it is quite bold for El-Rufai to ally with other Northern Governors and call for the regulation of social media. But as El-Rufai once told me himself, ‘Nigerians have a short memory’. That is what he is banking on.
And it looks to me that our Northern Governors do not have their priorities in order.
Northern Nigeria is facing the following crises:
• Boko Haram
• Killer Herdsmen
• The extremest poverty on planet Earth
• 13 million out-of-school children
Yet, these Northern Governors’ priority is censoring Social Media. Are these Governors not a Social Mafia?
On Friday, May 27, 2011, former President Jonathan signed the Freedom of Information Bill into law, to guarantee both free information and free speech. And now, in 2020, Buhari is seeking a law to regulate social media and strangulate free speech. How the tides have changed!
Even Desmond Elliot, one of those we thought, was a bright light in the All Progressives Congress, who once said “social media was very instrumental to my victory” circa 2015, is now singing a new tune.
The fact is that the APC has shown that it has no business having the word ‘Progressive’ in the middle of its name. This party is the most retrogressive and repressive party ever to have governed Nigeria, and they are betting that they can stifle social media in order to hide their true nature. Something that we will never allow. Never, never!
Instead of regulating social media, Buhari’s junta would get better returns on their regulatory authority if they regulate looting. I mean, Transparency International just announced that Nigeria has moved from 144 to 146 on the Corruption Perception Index. Evidently a case of aluta continua!
From ₦11 trillion debt in 2015, to ₦38 trillion projected debt and growing! What did Nigeria do to deserve these Buhari locust years? So much debt, yet Nigerians are worse off than we were five years ago! Where did the money go, if not into people’s pockets? Who will deliver Nigeria from the bondage of visionless leaders?
Who? That is the million-dollar question!
10 Things You Don’t Need For a Biblical Wedding:
• A Church
• A priest or pastor
• A white wedding dress
• A suit
• A ring
• A cake
• A crowd
2 Things That You DO Need
• Bride’s consent
• Parental consent
Once you fulfil the above two conditions, you have met all the requirements of a biblical wedding!