There should be no Facebook, Google and Instagram in Nigeria – Information Minister. When we went to China, we could not get google, Facebook, and Instagram. You could not even use your email in China because they made sure it is censored and well regulated,” – Information Minister.
Mr Igboho is a “militant”. He has been disturbing the peace of the country under the guise of protecting his kinsmen from Fulani herdsmen attack” – President.
Is President Buhari recorded, anywhere at all, as having once condemned the murderous activities of Fulani herdsmen? Not that I know of. The nearest I can remember was when he went to commiserate with the people of Benue state after they have mass – buried about 70 people killed by Fulani herdsmen and all he told them was that they should learn to live with their neighbours, whereupon the Benue government said: “We appreciate the visit, but we didn’t get any hope”. “In Benue State, the President did not condole with us”.
Where is equity in this, given that the president is Fulani?
Something tells me the president expects victims to roll out the red carpet for these killers. Otherwise, he should at least know that, as Professor Niyi Akinnaso put it in his column last Wednesday in The Nation, all that Southern Nigerians want are: One, their farms to grow food for local consumption and for sale, rather than to feed cows whose herders carry AK-47 all over the place killing, and raping their wives, as well as waste their children or kidnap them
for ransom or for murder, if ransom is delayed. If for reasons of ethnic consainguity the Buhari government would not ensure these, then non state actors are bound to wade in, not only because nature does not only abhor a vacuum, but for the singular reason that this, indeed, is a massive existential problem, especially in Yoruba land, where life is treasured.
Lest I forget, let me very quickly apologise to The People’s Republic of China which our Information minister mischievously wants Nigeria to emulate its strict societal control. I apologise for making it the caption of this piece not because Nigeria could hold the candle to it in any respect but because, rather than be impressed by its technological wonder, Mohammed saw only its monstrous internal control when we do not have a hundredth of the discipline which underpins that society.
The Communist two weeks ago marked its Centennial anniversary during which President Xi Jinping, so sure of his country’s viability and power, declared that “China’s rise is unstoppable and the country will not be lectured, concluding that those who try to block its ascent will hit a “Great Wall of steel.”
Now that is the county Nigeria is being asked to emulate in controlling the Press, but not its technological development. Where, in Nigeria, is anything comparable to China’s ideological purity and seriousness?
Who can, indeed, be sure that all these shenanigans are not aimed at furthering, or cementing some ethnic exceptionalism?
It is just as well that Lai Mohammed is currently in the eye of the storm trying to redeem his integrity and have had to run to the press to plead his innocence in the damning allegations of misuse of campaign funds in the elections in his home state of Kwara.
The Yoruba have a saying which, translated literally, means that nobody could ever have imagined that water, it is, which would be used to fully cook the fish.
This aphorism is very apt in the case of Lai Mohammed and his current single- mindedness to eclipse free speech in Nigeria, demonstrating , very unmistakably, his chronic obsequiousness to power.
How many people knew Lai Mohammed beyond his law circle, and those who frequented the Lagos state governor’s office when he served as Chief of staff to Governor Bola Ahmed Tinubu?
Obviously leveraging on that juggernaut, Lai became APC spokesperson, and the rest, as they say, is history. Today, he could, like any other any APC leader claim to have assisted in making the party’s 2015 victory a foregone conclusion. Thanks to his deft use of the media which he now wants to asphyxiate – to sell to Nigerians, promises which now look more like deliberate lies – to hoodwink Nigerians, and see off the ruling PDP. Indeed, President Buhari has since disowned many of the rosy promises, Power Devolution being a very good example.
It is, therefore, ironic that he is now the cheer leader of the armoured gang intending, with the connivance of a very complicit National Assembly, to make Nigeria a pariah in the international arena. Besides the allegation that the same National Assembly is also considering a bill to jail demonstrators 5 years, you need to see how giddy they become, whenever a PDP member defects to the ruling party.
What manner of Democrats will so hsppily assist in erecting the building blocks of a likely one – party, fascist state?
Did they ever read history?
Granted that Lai’s may, after all, be no more than Esau’s voice but, he is doing it so enthusiastically, he even shared the story of his grand son asking him questions about what names people call him probably not realising that the joke is on him.
If PDP promised to rule Nigeria for 60 years and came a cropper only after 16 years, these people taunting Nigerians should know that APC will not be in power for ever.
Apart from his Twitter ban which has assumed a life of its own, President Buhari quite easily reminds Nigerians of his draconian Decree 2 of yore. No thanks too, to a National Assembly whose leader, Senate President Ahmed Lawan, had promised, long ago, that whatever the President throws at the 9th Assembly would be approved, poste haste.
So enamoured of the President, and so complete the executive capture, is the legislature, that the same top parliamentarian could declare, quite unashamedly but with an eye on the President’s request for a loan approval which was then before them, that “Nigeria is poor; (but) we must borrow”.
Is that how countries are governed, or they cut their coat according to their cloth?
President Biden, many months after, is still sweating over his one trillion plus dollar Infrastructure proposal even when it is certain that, if approved, it would be spent judiciously, and precisely on what it was meant for, things you cannot take for granted in Nigeria.
Now that APC is aggressively showing its hands, not only intending to muzzle and control the Press, but actually eagerly working towards a one party state – the way it is gulping PDP governors, albeit without their people – as well as almost completely forgetting all about the peoples dire needs, there could be no better way of capturing our current circumstances than for me to go back to my article: ‘SOCIAL MEDIA/HATE BILL: PRODUCTS OF LEGISLATIVE IDLENESS’ of 1 December, 2019 from which I shall have to quote at some length.
It reads as follows: “As I asked two weeks ago, I ask again: what is going on in this country? Why is the APC so groggy with victory it must snatch odium from the jaws of victory? Must the same arrogance, if not folly, that completely eliminated it from the legislative houses in Zamfara and Rivers states be allowed to consume the party? Must the National Assembly, where it boasts a majority, turn its pugilism on the entire citizenry? Has it not occurred to its leadership that had President Buhari not already stridently disavowed of tenure elongation, most Nigerians would have accused him of a Third Term plot?
How long ago were PDP people, celebrating, arrogantly claiming they would rule Nigeria for 60 years?
Pray, where are they today?
So what is it with a hate speech law or a social media law? How many Nigerians will the laws rescue from the pangs of hunger or from poverty? How will the laws significantly reduce Nigeria’s medical tourism? How will they provide power, good roads, affordable healthcare, a good educational system, security, as well as a virile economy?
I was so pissed off with the member who sponsored the Hate Bill who was remiss enough not to know that thousands of Nigerians die daily from hunger, from vehicular accidents on our notorious roads and from attacks by Fulani herdsmen, Boko Haram and others that he should never have dared propose, so cavalierly, a death sentenve in his ill-advised bill.
When last did Senator Aliyu Sabi Abdullahi visit his constituency?
Of all the things bedeviling Niger state, like many other states in the country, should this be his priority?
In case he is unaware, may I refer him to The Nation of Sunday, November 17, 2019, page 11, and This Day, 30 September, 2019 to read the articles captioned: “Niger Roads Now Highways of Death” and “Niger’s Highways of Sorrow And Death”, respectively?
He should equally get a copy of The Punch of Monday, November 18, to see how Niger state features conspicuously in what the paper called ‘The Unbelievable Tales Of States Where Learning Takes Place Under Trees”
What has he done to help these and other schools in the state?
Unfortunately, this senator is archetypical of his Abuja colleagues who, until they begin to nurse gubernatorial ambition, leave their respective governors severely alone to singlehandedly face the troubles in their respective states.
Titled National Commission for the Prohibition of Hate Speech, his Bill proposes that any person who uses, publishes, presents, produces, plays, provides, distributes and/or directs the performance of any material, written and or visual which is threatening, abusive or insulting or involves the use of threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour commits an offence if such person intends thereby to stir up ethnic hatred, or having regard to all the circumstances, ethnic hatred is likely to be stirred up against any person or person from such an ethnic group in Nigeria.
According to the bill, any person who commits this offence shall be liable to life imprisonment and where the act causes any loss of life, the person shall be punished with death by hanging etc etc.
If the sponsor, who knows those he might be fronting for in presenting this bill, can be pardoned for not sufficiently reflecting on the needless bill, one can justifiably ask what befell the entire senate that it rushed it through the different stages like Jamaican Hussain Bolt. You would be right to think it is even part of the President’s social investment programme.
What exactly do these people know that Nigerians don’t? COULDN’T it be why no effort is being spared to make Lauretta Onochie, a passionate member of the ruling party and Special Assistant to the President, a member of the the electoral body, INEC?
“What is the end in view in all these?
All the questions pertaining to the Hate Bill could rightly be asked today as I am reliably informed that the Press Bill currently under consideration, cannot even hold the candle to Decree 2 or the Hate Bill in its crudity.