‘Buhari is not dead but they are killing him on social media’ – Tony Okoroji

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  • Many of those who supported Buhari and his determination to eliminate the virus at the heart of our nation’s sickness, have even become too scared to even be associated with him.

Tony Okoroji looks into how President Buhari is being killed on social media
Tony Okoroji looks into how President Buhari is being killed on social media

You better believe it, Nigeria is at war. I am not talking about the Boko Haram war in the North. I am also not talking about the never-ending skirmishes in the Niger Delta that threaten to bring to a halt whatever little income we still generate from crude oil.

Nigeria is at war over the control of the minds of our young people and the millions of our vulnerable citizens. The war is fierce. There are no rules in this crazy war. The Geneva Convention does not apply. Religion is in play. Tribe has become a major weapon. Genocide soon will be okay. Torture will be allowed. Right now, every crude propaganda tactic is being deployed as tribal, religious and ethnic hatred is being incubated in our land.

My biggest worry is whether the government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria fully understands that our nation is at war and that if we do not do what we need to do and do it fast, Rwanda may once again be repeated in Africa.

I can hear a chorus of ‘God forbid!’. That is part of the problem. Somehow, we Nigerians have convinced ourselves that God loves us so much that we can do very stupid things and there will be no consequences Yea! We believe that what applies to the rest of God’s children do not apply to us.

For some reason, we have begun to believe that we are such a special breed that we can consume all our seedlings, sow nothing and yet reap a bountiful harvest. Let me ask: did the Almighty step down from His throne while the horrific tragedy of Rwanda occurred? Was He not there while brothers and sisters butchered themselves in Sudan? Right now, in Syria and Iraq, unspeakable mayhem and suffering are taking place but God is still on His throne.

Let someone show me that chapter in the Bible or the Quran that says that God loves His children in Nigeria but hates his children in Rwanda, Sudan, Syria, Iraq and the other places where the incubation of hate has led to indescribable human suffering. Was God not on his thrown when Nigerians slaughtered each other during the Biafra war? Why is today different?

Everywhere in Nigeria people are praying from dusk to dawn. Everywhere you look, there are new churches and mosques being built. Pray, how can we love God so much, that we hate our brothers and sisters, children of the same God so much?

Femi Adesina is special adviser on media and publicity to Buhari
Femi Adesina is special adviser on media and publicity to Buhari

During the week, I accidentally ran into Femi Adesina, President Buhari’s chief spokesman, in Lagos. Femi probably would tell you that I was very upset with him, his team and their tactics in what has clearly become a war of attrition. I accused his team of leaving our president naked to be shot at and made fun of by all kinds of characters.

Femi is clearly one of the finest journalists Nigeria has produced in recent years. He has grilled me in a memorable interview at the Sun. Practically, everyone who knows Femi will tell you that he is also a very decent gentleman. I like him. I am however asking myself whether Femi is not too decent to lead a critical part of the war that President Buhari must wage to prevent Nigeria from going the way of Rwanda or Sudan.

The war I speak of is not in Sambisa Forest or the creeks of the Delta. The war is on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, WhatsApp, Snapchat and all over the internet. At this point, millions of Nigerians are being recruited to despise their President, to despise their fellow countrymen and to despise their country. History tells us that the ongoing recruitment has huge consequences for every Nigerian, man woman and child. Times are hard for a lot of Nigerians and that makes it even easier.

As has been clear in other places where foot soldiers of hate have been unleashed, a lot of the people being recruited do not even know that they are being recruited. How did Al Qaeda begin? How did the Hutus and Tutsis of Rwanda who had existed together for hundreds of years wake up one morning and start butchering each other? How did Boko Haram grow under our eyes and become the terror machine that has traumatized the Nigerian people?

Let’s face it – Buhari has stepped on Big Toes. Big Toes are fighting back with vengeance. Big Toes are incredibly cunning. A hungry man is an angry man and the story being craftily told the millions of hungry Nigerians is that Buhari is responsible for the biting hunger in the land.

Big Toes will not tell you that they stole Nigeria’s common wealth, bought mansions across the world with the money budgeted to fight Boko Haram and sent our young men without weapons to go and die in Sambisa Forest. They will not tell you that they are responsible for the hunger in the land.

Sadly, while they are telling their story in a very co-ordinated way, no one appears to be telling the true story of Nigeria in a manner that makes sense. While Big Toes have an army deployed on every social media platform tugging on the hearts of our young and vulnerable, the president’s men are sending press releases to NTA and Daily Times.

Trump is TIME's Person of the Year. Credit: AP
Donald Trump. Credit: AP

Please, when was the last time you got your news from NTA or Daily Times? If anyone still believes that social media is a joke, he needs to be reminded that Donald Trump just became the most powerful man in the world using a smart phone.

Many of those who had supported our president and his determination to eliminate the virus at the heart of our nation’s sickness, have even become too scared to even be associated with him. They are badly outgunned on social media.

The many crazy stories that went viral recently about the ‘death’ of our president is a new level of the war. Big Toes want to totally demystify, discredit and destroy Buhari so that they can regain control of the purse strings of Nigeria. They cant wait for 2019. That is why they are killing our democratically elected president on the social media. Where is the guy responsible for clothing the President?

Let me state here that I have never met Muhammadu Buhari. I have never spoken with him directly or indirectly. I have not benefited from him in any way. I am not even sure that he has ever heard of me. I do not belong to APC or any political party.

But I remember what happened in Nigeria after Buhari was taken out of power the first time. 419 took root in Nigeria and our values collapsed. The War Against Indiscipline died and madness took over the land. Buhari’s medicine might be very bitter but Nigeria’s sickness is that severe. If for any reason we no longer want Buhari, please let us wait for 2019 and not kill him on Facebook.

The truth is that our nation is at war. It is time that those who truly love Nigeria and want a tomorrow for our children fought back.

See you next week.

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