Photo Credit: AFP

Rejoinder, Reno Omokri: The Futility Of Terror In The Face Of Courage

By Adetayo Adegbemle

So many opinion and emotion are running in these trying times in the annals of our history and development, and this has not been helped with the ‘faceless’ and ‘No Ideology’ terror group popularly known as Boko Haram.

All well meaning Nigerians are crying daily, and one way or the other, seeking for an end to these plagues.

But for someone in the position of authority to want to intentionally mislead public opinion in the face of common suffering should be roundly condemned.

The piece released by Mr. Reno Omokri titled “The Futility of Terror In The Face of Courage” is a mistimed and misjudged one, with no relevance to the challenges at hand.

He started the piece by taking us through the mis-logic of a game. As a Chess player, who played up to the National level, and with links to some National and International Masters Nigeria has produced, I stand to correct the picture Mr. Reno Omokri painted.

It is an established fact that “Observers” of a Chess game actually analyses the game better, and most often this is because they are not under any pressure, as those on board are. This same applies to other games, even football, where everybody is a pundit of sort.

Going deeper in to Mr. Reno’s write up, in defense of the ill thought-of dance and marrying that followed the first Nyanya bomb blast, and kidnapping of the 127 school girls later same day, he took us back in history, to the Britain of 1984, when the IRA bombed the venue where the then Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher was scheduled to host a Conservative   Convention.

Permit me to point out some facts to Mr. Omokri here:

  1. Margaret Thatcher was ‘physically’ involved and was at the venue when the bomb went off. SHE WAS A DIRECT TARGET.
  2. Margaret Thatcher ‘narrowly escaped injury’
  3. 2 high-profiled Conservative Party members died on the spot(Out of 5 people that died, 31 others were injured)
  4. The very next day, IRA issued a statement saying this would not stop them, and they would try again.
  5. Name of prime suspect was released immediately by the ‘efficient police’
  6. It should be noted that Margaret Thatcher was also a hated figure in some section of the British society at this point, in facts, there were several strike actions going on at this time.

My question is: Why has Mr. Reno Omokri chosen to compare this two disjointed and inequal situations? Was his primary motive just to mislead Nigerians, as they have wont to do?

While Thatcher’s immediate reaction is passable because she was personally targeted and has lost members of her direct cabinet, can we however compare same to President Jonathan Goodluck, who was nowhere near the venue of the Nyanya’s bomb blast, nor lost any close personnel? What sort of empathy does this show of our leader?

Mr. Omokri further went on to compare Mr. Jonathan’s immediate silence to President George Bush of the United State of America when Bush was told about the strike on the twin towers.

Mr. Omokri did not remember to tell us the “shock on George Bush’s face as he learns that a second aircraft has crashed into the World Trade Center”.

A reporter said and I quote:

 “Bush’s reaction, as Andy Card, his chief of staff, whispers the news into his ears that America is under attack, has become an indelible memory for many who watched the event of the terrible day unfold”

Can Mr. Omokri please tell Nigerians what in particular President Goodluck Jonathan was doing when he was told of the Nyanya blast, and later of the School girl’s kidnap? Can Mr. Omokri also tell Nigerians where President Jonathan was at this time, graphically?

Thank God Mr. Omokri further confessed that President Bush visited Ground Zero 3days later, this is almost 5years after killing and kidnapping has started in North East Nigeria, has President Jonathan not find it convenient to visit these places, or are they not Nigerians? Did these people not vote for President Jonathan too?

After visiting Ground Zero, President George Bush retreated to Camp David, and planned the most probably the Greatest Military expedition in recent history. Don’t forget that Mr. Omokri

Mr. Omokri, since you are trying so hard to copy statesman craft from all these great leaders, don’t forget next time to add that President George Bush cried when he visited. President Obama also called off his foreign trip to visit Nashville high School after a student shooting.

The list of leaders with empathy is endless. Leaders who value the lives of those they rule, even above their own.

Mr. Reno Omokri, you have mis-quoted history in your desperation to defend an act that is unforgivable. Our President went marrying after scores of Nigerian have just been brutally murdered. Remove these numbers from those who would vote for President jonathan in 2015 because you have no regard for their lives.

I am personally disappointed going by the caliber of advice our number one citizen receive. This is poor, and lack any merit.

Step up your game, and STOP wasting lives of Nigerians.

Our primary focus is stopping this scourge, and You, Mr. Reno Omokri, should advice the Mr. President to seek for help. This has grown beyond the Presidency, and YOU SHOULD SEEK HELP.

Stop politicizing these issues.

Seeking for help is not a sign of weakness, but of Courage, only then would you be facing terror with courage.


Adetayo Adegbemle is the convener of PowerUpNigeria, a Power Consumer Advocacy Group, based in Lagos. (Twitter: @gbemle, @PowerUpNg)


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