By Ochereome Nnanna
THE social media is full of all sorts of things – the good, the bad and the ugly. It is an information minefield, and those who regularly tread it must do so with extreme caution and wisdom to avoid becoming a victim of the bad and ugly sides of it.
Over the weekend someone sent a dangerous phone conversation to me through the Messenger app. It was supposed to be the excerpt of a phone conversation between Governor Kashim Shettima of Borno State and Governor Kunle Amosun of Ogun State. Their photographs were displayed on the message to indicate that it was their voices that were contained in that horrible phone call.
The message was an out-of-control anti-Igbo diatribe obviously initiated and chiefly conducted by this “Kashim Shettima”, with “Kunle” sometimes agreeing with his submissions, at other times either seeming unsure and yet other times (rather weakly) calling for caution. “Shettima” kept cutting off “Kunle” when the latter tried to counter a spurious claim, and when he was done with his 20-minute verbal haemorrhage he simply ended the conversation with: “Thank you, Kunle”.
This “Shettima” had a domineering and hectoring prevalence and called his supposed colleague “Kunle” in a manner that one usually addresses a subordinate. “Kunle” also carried on like a typical underdog. This is totally at variance with probability, if not reality. The real Kashim Shettima, Governor of Borno State and Kunle Amosun, Governor of Ogun State, were sworn-in on the same day on 29th May 2011 as their respective state Chief Executives. The issue of superiority complex cannot arise.
I have not met Governor Kunle Amosun in person but I have heard him speak. Though he has the same baritone as the “Kunle” in the conversation Amosun is a very authoritative person. Besides, he is firmly rooted in the President Muhammadu regime, which is why his nominee, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, is the Minister of Finance. It is widely believed that if Buhari wins his re-election bid next year, Amosun could become a prominent minister, unless he chooses to go and cool off at the Senate.
Kashim Shettima is someone I have known since he was a bank manager with Zenith Bank more than ten years ago. He is extremely courteous with people, including appointees in his government. He never rides rough-shod on anyone in the manner that the “Kashim Shettima” in this conversation did. In any case, the voices are not the same, neither are the manners of delivery. This point is very important for those who have seen this toxic message because of its seditious content.
Apart from this, Governor Shettima recently lavishly praised an “Igbo man from Mbaise” (as he put it), Major General Rogers Nicholas, the Commander of “Operation Lafiya Dole” for his role in the “defeat” of Boko Haram. At a Townhall meeting in Maiduguri on 7th February 2018, Governor Shettima had observed: “Some of our greatest recent feats in the conflict were done by non-northerners and non-Muslim officers in the military. Most of the soldiers that sacrificed their lives are not of the Kanuri ethnic group”. This man cannot be the carrier of the toxic message reported below. Now, let me report the vitriol the fake “Shettima” spewed.
This Shettima postured as one speaking for the North. He said he had learnt his lesson and will only support “my brother” (Northerners) “because of what the Ibos did when Jonathan was president”. He accused them of “assembling people, calling them Boko Haram” and refusing to protect the North from this group because they wished the Northerners to “finish themselves” to reduce the population of the region. He conveniently forgot that Northern leaders such as Buhari, Murtala Nyako and Northern Elder Forum, NEF, had complained that the war against Boko Haram was a “war against the North”.
According to this “Shettima”, the Igbo pushed out the North and Yoruba from Jonathan’s government. “Kunle” in a weak tone pointed out: “but the North benefited a lot from Jonathan”.
“Shettima” launched another missile about how the Igbo have been dominating the markets in the North and West, especially Lagos. He said this was why Oba Rilwan Akiolu threatened “to push them into the ocean”. According to him, “the North” did not really want Buhari in 2015. It was Rabiu Kwankwaso they wanted because they knew that Kwankwaso would end Igbo domination “within six months” through policies aimed at crippling their businesses. He boasted that Kwankwaso had done something similar when he was the Governor of Kano State.
This fake Kashim told “Kunle” that “the North” does not trust Rochas Okorocha and Chibuike Amaechi, no matter how they pretend to be loyalists of their region. According to him, this same Rochas had plotted to force all “Hausas” in Imo State to obtain ID cards or leave the state. He accused the Igbos of refusing to sell land to non-Igbos in the South East because of “instructions from ancestors” and asked: “don’t we also have ancestors in the North?” He alleged that Northerners were not allowed to vote in the South East in 2015.
Interestingly, “Kashim” said the All Progressives Congress, APC, has perfected a plan to strengthen the North and South West alliance to create an economic union between the two sections. The agricultural, industrial and mineral resources of the North will be harnessed and “primary industries” established, while the West will be corridor through which they would be sold to the world. “Let them (South East and South-South) drink their oil. After all, AA Rano brings his oil from Niger Republic”.
I had to highlight this issue because some Nigerians who are bent on destroying this country are pussyfooting around. But they are too cowardly to come out and let us see them for who and what they are. They are masquerading with innocent people’s identities hoping to deceive the ever gullible Nigerian people.
Don’t be deceived.