By Olajimi Smith
In an age of “alternative facts”, the media has been awash and desecrated with fake news, “post-truths” and outright untruths; where people who claim to be authors or journalists, in their write-ups, gleefully revel in these three 21st century media-related anomalies.
And it seems a few notable names, including a former minister of aviation, have since been co-opted into the small, bitter crowd that dishes out such anomalies, disjointedly stewed with plenty of bile and hateful statements.
Such persons have also attempted to denigrate the personality of the Vice President Yemi Osinabjo, SAN, by giving their forced readers a bumpy ride with personal biases and bitterness in their words.
Albeit, in the real world, where truth, fairness and objectivity, not alternative facts, still count for something, such articles are, at best, inconsequential, as these articles only succeed, in the end, to be indigestible to objective, sane minds, and also leave a bad taste, even in the mouths of neutrals.
Let’s face the facts, instead of being clouded by the unreason in these disjointed articles against Prof. Osinbajo, including one written by a former minister of aviation.
The man who is sometimes referred to as FFK need to be reminded that officials under the former administration of Goodluck Jonathan were involved in corruption that stank to the heavens.
On the Vice President’s comments that “100 billion naira and $289 USD million was withdrawn in cash by President Goodluck Jonathan two weeks before the presidential election ostensibly for security. This was unprecedented stealing and it led to the economic recession that we are suffering today”.
FFK didn’t even present one fact when he alleged that it was “wild, baseless and frankly absurd allegations and willful and premeditated display of perfidy”. All he attempted at were unwarranted personal attacks on the Vice President, with unfounded statement and libellous claims.
It should be pointed out to FFK that Prof. Osinbajo only scratched the surface when he mentioned that amount. Since 2015, Nigerians have come to realise the monumental corruption that happened under Jonathan’s watch; from former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Allison Madueke, to former National Security Adviser, Col. Sambo Dasuki, and many other officials in the former administration that have been accused of corruption. The list goes on. Nigeria is still recovering from this wanton thievery of its national purse.
To cover his lack of facts, he based his false claims on mr false claim; that he could only support with more false claims.
Again, for the umpteenth time, there is no $25 billion NNPC contract scam anywhere. A quick reminder for FFK, no contracts were procured by the NNPC. Prof. Osinbajo, while as Acting President, only approved Joint Venture Financing arrangements.
Also, there is no agenda by President Muhammadu Buhari to Islamise the country. Like Prof. Osinbajo noted, both the Islamic Development Bank and Sukkuk bonds are not evidence of any plans by the present administration to Islamize Nigeria.
For instance, Nigeria joined the bank in 2005, under the administration of a Christian, President Olusegun Obasanjo, while the country is today the fourth largest shareholder of the bank.
All the article raised were simply a long list of personal grievances against the person of the Vice President and the fact that he is committed to the service of his fatherland as Vice President. FFK, as a former minister, should know and understand the chain of command and being under authority. Both President Buhari and the Vice President and united and work together to achieve a common goal of this administration: to make Nigeria better.
Sadly, it seems the necessary qualities of leadership, among which is service, is lost on FFK who was once a minister. It now seems that he was more focused on pursuing his selfish motives than working for his country and in tandem with his former principals.
Also, President Buhari comments to the World Bank were taken out of context. The Presidency and the World Bank have since come out to clarify this. The North East was what the President asked to be given more priority, and the North East of the country is just a subset of Northern Nigeria. In case he pretends not to know, international agencies like the World Bank and NGOs usually give more priority to crisis areas like the North East that had been ravaged by insurgency.
The Vice President, also has condemned, in strongest terms, every form of religious, tribal or ethnic sentiments and violence by any group or individual. He also condemned hate speech, which he described as acts of terrorism.
Even attempting to explain the bulk of disjointed statements in the article is labouring, as it lacks substance, it is almost akin to giving prominence on the table to a badly prepared dish.
Many have adjudged the Vice President, Prof. Osinbajo, to be forthright and honest. FFK and co should ask the Niger Delta elders forum, PANDEF, Christian and Muslim leaders, some of whom came to visit the Presidential Villa, Abuja recently, or even the man on the streets about the Vice President’s leadership, his selfless service to fatherland and his candour. Then people should ask the same of FFK. The answers, I am certain, would be as different as night and day.
Nevertheless, I refuse to go low, like FFK, with a series of needless personal attacks, But I would kindly leave him and his likes the wisdom in the words of the former First Lady of the United States, the elegant Michelle Obama, whose husband former US President Barack Obama, embodies everything that FFK has, sadly, shown he isn’t; leader, patriot and role model:
“How we urge them to ignore those who question their father’s citizenship or faith. How we insist that this hateful language they hear from public figures on TV (or online) does not represent the true spirit of this country. How we explain that when someone is cruel or acts like a bully, you don’t stoop to their level. No, our motto is: when they go low, we go high.
“With every word we utter, with every action we take, we know our kids are watching us. We, as parents, are the most important role models. And let me tell you, Barack and I take that same approach to our jobs as President and First Lady, because we know that our words and actions matter. Not just to our girls (and boys), but to children all across this country.”
– Smith wrote in from Abuja
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