By Dr. Ugoji Egbujo
My father was a deputy premier! Now, do you know who I am?
My grandmother said it—if we lived long enough we would see enough. Now I have seen a 60-year-old man appoint himself General Inspector of Projects. And he has been touring the country in a red cap, dipping his mouth into political broths, and running loose political commentaries.
Some say he is foul-mouthed. Others say he is self-conceited. I think he simply likes attention and likes to talk about his ancestors, a little too much.
But it appears he has acquired a new bad habit. In the last few months, he has bullied innocent journalists. A few days ago, he flipped over an innocent question. Isn’t it strange that a man who has no known businesses, and whose last political appointment was five years ago, could wake up one morning and start crisscrossing the nation to monitor developmental projects as if he were an EU ambassador?
That must have piqued that journalist who asked that question— “Oga sir, don’t be annoyed oo, but who is bankrolling this walkabout?” Yes, that is just about what he said that broke open the gates of hell.
Let us not even dismiss the conjecture that the journalist was motivated by a brown envelope. How did that question undermine the ethics of journalism? On the contrary brown envelope would have made other journalists swallow their doubts and curiosities.
This project is for the sake of clarity, is an afternoon dash by a frog. And our people know that when a frog makes an afternoon dash its either chasing something or something is pursuing it. Would it then be disrespectful for watchdog to ask “Chief this money you are spending on this curious mission, have you won a lottery?”
But rather than answer the question and settle doubts, our new General Inspector of Projects had a “long fuse” literally detonated. He threw decorum into the dustbin, let his acidic tongue loose on the 53-year-old journalist and lionized his ancestors. He dredged up insults from the sewers and flung at the poor man.
And rather than stand his ground, our vilified journalist, fearful of the name-dropping art of his opponent, tucked in his tail and genuflected. Oh my! But we know times are hard and jobs a few, so we might spare the bruised reporter.
A former minister was raining obscenities on him and threatening to report him to his publisher. And he might not if his publisher would be a man, a squirrel or a chameleon. So he ducked. Fortunately, the newspaper house didn’t cower. They saw through the bluster of the bloated man and stood by their staff.
No one begrudges a child in a man’s body the right to blow the trumpets of his ancestors. His father was a deputy premier. And so? His grandfather was a priest.
Ehen? He was trained in the ‘Ivy league school’ of SOAS in London. Chai, there is nothing we haven’t heard. But one would have let them have their fun massaging their egos. The problem is that these folks carry their childishness and fling them into our faces.
A man has spent the last five years demonizing the Fulani. That man has never wasted any opportunity to tell us about FutaJallon, a certain satanic tribe and the ultimate dipping of the Koran into the sea. And he chose these pyromaniacal paths for selfish political objectives.
For five years, he roused the rabble and sowed division. Today, he has been to Zamfara, the home of Sharia, to be turbaned. He has endorsed RUGA which he had labelled a demonic Fulanization project.
He has sworn to protect and defend the Shinkafi Emirate. But he has not bothered to put out the fires of bigotry and hate he lit and fanned in the south-east.
After leaving Zamfara where he told us about his chumminess with the governor he passed through Sokoto caliphate. Sokoto where he went to wine and dine is the same Sokoto he once depicted as the centre for national enslavement, the headquarters of anti-Christianity!
From Sokoto he zoomed off to Calabar. Not virtual zooming, he is physically inspecting the state and shedding crocodile tears about Bakassi. But do you know why he has become such a highly sought Vuvuzela? He can tell anyone anything, flippantly, and get away with it. He takes pride not only in his ancestry but in his caustic tongue.
In 2017, he said the pictures showing Buhari in London, recuperating, were fake. When Rochas Okorocha called him out, he sank his teeth into the governor. He told the nation that Governor Rochas who has a limp, had used his leg for some ritual. That wasn’t anybody. That was an ex minister! The 60-year-old son of a late deputy premier.
In 2017, he looked at a sick Buhari and called him a corpse. When President Buhari defeated the man’s evil prayers, and returned to good health, this self-anointed born-again christian continued to refer to Buhari as a corpse. Perhaps leveraging on his Ivy league training, he labelled the Buhari government a ‘corpsocracy’. And people cheered him.
Despite these provocations and outpouring of manifest hate speeches, Buhari ignored him.
Because Buhari ignored these indiscretions the loudmouthed one assumed valor. He began to see himself as a political lion. Little wonder he now believes he is the Agu n’eche mba of the opposition.
So he is now touring states, prancing around, inspecting government projects and holding press conferences. And at his ‘world press conferences’ journalists dare not ask questions that might rile him. And if they dare, as that poor man did, he would visit them with filthiness. The poor man was fortunate he escaped something worse because journalists must be like rats to the lion of Shinkafi.
And you wonder why Nigeria has retrogressed?
A former minister is asked how he is funding an expensive merry go round. He spits at the journalist and reminds us that he has been a politician for 30 years. How does being in politics make anyone multimillionaire?
I wish he would find some courage and tell the boys in the south-east, who now look up to him for fake news and fiery divisive speeches, that it was a Fulani man who brought him into national politics, and that he said many of the things he said in the last five years to hoodwink the gullible.
If that would prove difficult, he can issue a statement and say, that after a meeting with his advisors he has decided to abandon his studies in the demonology of the Fulani and to abandon his career in hate speeches. That would be enough.