By Segun Ige
ON March 20, 2021, Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, was allegedly attacked by some armed, face-masked men on his way from farm at Tyo Mu, along Makurdi-Gboko Road. Ortom tellingly describes how he narrowly escaped death, grateful for his sure-footed security personnel.
Meanwhile, the reaction of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, becomes crucial.
The party vehemently condemned the incendiary attack of the governor, arguing specifically how his death could call for yet another civil war, presupposing that the All Progressives Party, APC,- in particular, President Muhammadu Buhari – could ultimately have a huge hand in the premeditated, preplanned assassination attack.
Does it mean Ortom could be the voice of the PDP? Or, put another way, could he be representing the sweat, blood and slavery of the Biafrans? For the party has been laying accusing fingers on the “Right-wing?” (I’ve always taken the APC and the PDP as schools of thought of the Trump Republican Party – or Trumpism – anyway.)
Well, I think it’s about time we went “Rightly”, which does favour the U.S. Democratic Party, in a sense. Normally, of course, that’s what a two-party system would instantiate and inspire. But, now, what is ‘Rightly’ and how did it come about?
In February 2021, the Al Jazeera Media Network launched a U.S.-based media platform targeted at the conservatives.
According to the news network, ‘Rightly’ will be a “new U.S.-based digital platform that will generate content for audiences currently under-represented in today’s media environment.”
In other words, the Al Jazeera U.S. media will be engaging ‘Rightly’ in fact-checking, interrogating and investigating “centre-right” politics in the United States.
This is, in fact, an overwhelmingly welcoming idea by the AJMN considering how mawkish and slippery slope the U.S. has been because of domestic terrorism.
One would have thought, by the way, that the Joe Biden administration, with all its doctrine on peace, love, tolerance and respect on the January 20, 2021 Inauguration Day, wouldn’t sooner or later have been transgressed by ‘Adamic aggression’ meted on Asian-Americans on Tuesday, March 16, by one Robert Aaron Long, 21.
The narrative, quite sadly, behoves that of the May 25, 2020 George Floyd death under the Donald Trump administration.
And, to be sure, White supremacy seems to have dominated the original essence of democracy that it’s now pretty difficult to succubus out. Overall, AJMN has arguably been politically motivated by the January 6 Capitol Hill crackdown by the pro-Trump supporters.
The Nigerian version of “Rightly” definitely would not be ‘conservative-inclined’. The Ortom attack, as has been speculated, is anti-PDP, and has even more actively made us realise the will-o’-the-wisp of ‘conserving’ or ‘preserving’ anything worthwhile. Really, ‘Rightly’ might not necessarily serve as a voice for the voiceless, that is: the ‘underrepresented’.
Clearly, their voices are already on streets but unheard-of by political apparatchiks anatomised, not by Ortom, but by the singularity of automating the brochuremenship of bursarship.
What the Ortom assassination attempt has made us come up in terms with is that the herdsmen crisis partly serves as a common ground to the beefing up on ground.
Ortom has initially ordered the sanction of grazing or rearing or breeding in the state; so that’s understandable. But then, those in the corridors of power could have capitalised on that miniature overhaul, deploying it as a tool to bring back the Civil War, or something similar.
To that end, ‘Rightly’ comes to play: It would be an independent, indispensable and immune media body aimed at restoring peace, equality, transparency and unity.
For example, the Ortom attack shouldn’t be a conundrum we’d be wrestling and racking our brains to unravel.
As a media platform disinterested in party politics, payola, or pork-barrelling, I recommend a “Rightly” saddled with the responsibility of uncovering deeply hidden truths about the Nigerian policy-making processes and governance.
Ige, a Lagos-based freelance journalist, wrote via [email protected]