I am just a citizen of Nigeria. A very hopeful one, with dreams that one day, Nigeria will be great again. My wishes are not unrealistic- they are basic-. I want to see a country, where there is light, good infrastructure and a life expectancy of at least reach 60 years, for the Nigerian, who only gets screwed left, right, centre, by the very government that should make our lives fair. I don't want a good life, just a fair life!
I like Reno Omokri. Well, mostly because when he writes, he is passionate, articulate and objective. He would have been nominated for an award, if only his writings were balanced and sincere, in line with his calling as a Pastor. When a man of God, is partial with his views on important issues, one must begin to question the motive. One sided writings, often appear like hatchet jobs, undertaken on behalf of pay masters, who dictate what should be shared in the public space.
Now, I'm not as talented as Reno, I do not have access to the numerous data he reels out, but it doesn't require rocket science, to know that his articles or condemnation are specifically churned out, to impress a select few or altogether mislead the citizens, who are in any case the pawns in the very intricate game of denials, that has become the past time of men of yesterday.
I supported President Muhammadu Buhari in 2015. Not because he was the most eminently qualified man for the position of President, but I chose him, simply because he was the better devil at that time. I also protested on the streets for former President Johanatan in 2010. It probably remains one of the most bewildering choices I've made in my adult years.
Let us assume, given the circumstances, that the President isn't impressing the citizens. The question is : If the former president, had at least done his job diligently, would there have been an option of President Buhari or his very controversial aides, that Reno takes pleasure in abusing with his one sided articles?
The facts, that have been presented are basic and straightforward. Did Col Sambo Dasuki, divert monies meant to fight Boko Haram or not? Whether it's one naira or one hundred billion, is he innocent, a victim of vendetta or really a suspect of interest?
Is Mrs Maduekwe, being maligned wrongly? Does it matter if she's accused of acquiring a ten thousand property at Makoko or a multimillion dollar estate on Banana Island? Were these charges manufactured out of thin air or based on evidence before EFCC? What Reno does, is akin to a child, implicating others, because his hand was found in the cookie jar.
Lai Mohammed, or whatever he is called, is my not my main concern. I'm not bothered about the babbling of Femi Adesina or the blaming of sky rocketing food prices on corrupt policemen and so on. My concern is, did EFCC plant 9.8m dollars in Dr Yakubu's home in Kaduna or did EFCC create the mansions, alleged to be owned by the former petroleum minister?
When Reno goes on social media to reel out numerous projects executed by his former principal, does he suffer from dementia, to the extent that he conveniently forgets to mention the several billions stolen under the watch of his principal?. Is it OK, for us to accept that his principal fired Dr Yakubu, because he knew he was corrupt? What happened to trying people for graft? So, 9.8m dollars is now like akara, that just warrants a dismissal without trial?
Is Reno, saying that he couldn't have offered his sweet mouthed criticism to his principal? Are pastors not expected to speak truth to power, regardless of the consequences? Is Reno also like the common sense Senator, who lost his voice, when his kinsman was president, but is now a roaring lion on Social media? Was he deaf and dumb when his 'goons' held sway in Abuja?. What happened to the saying that ' He who comes to equity, must come with clean hands'? Is Reno saying he wasn't aware that some people were robbing the nation blind, under the government he served?
There is no worse injustice that what Reno does lately. Tucked away in his comfort zone, somewhere in California, he suddenly dishes out nuggets, as if they are those served at a Macdonald's outlet? Can Reno beat his chest and profess in the name of Jesus Christ, that his principal's government was a better one than this present government?
I wouldn't have minded if the scathing criticisms came from the pen of a pagan. I would understand that he is just being eccentric. I am worried that a Pastor, would conveniently omit truths, all in the name of painting this government black. I am already disappointed in this government, but it doesn't mean I should just let Reno feed us with half truths. It's a great disservice to the pulpit, he claims to love so much and a slap on the faces of the masses of this country.
Where was his dripping pen, during those dark days, when people just took dollars straight from the central bank?. Dr Yakubu left NNPC around 2014. This means those dollars have been stashed in that fire proof safe, and getting cooled by airconditioners for the past three years. Yet, Reno, without shame wants us to believe that his former principal, tackled this 'dollars loving' chief executive of the nation's cash cow by firing him. Was that enough? Does this mean we should applaud him for a job well done? Is this how America operates?
Reno, should come out of his bubble, shake off the illusion, that appears to have be clouded his reasoning and start telling the truth. For starters, he should apologize for being asleep, when his principal and his aides, were enjoying the largess from the cookie jar. He should apologise for being mute and turning his face the other way, while the looting spree was going on.
Until then, all his articles are rantings of a frustrated man, who has simply found refuge behind a pulpit and comfort in California. Let him come back home and visit EFCC to declare his assets and prove that he is living within his means. If he wants to add value to Nigeria, he should go back to the basics. Let him stop deceiving us with his yeye statistics about the creation of fifty federal universities or almajiri schools. Let him explain how dollars and pounds magically got into the soak aways of service chiefs, how civil servants could afford to own sixty properties and how a permanent secretary, who happened to be the wife of a President, could afford to stash millions of dollars in her accounts, with spurious claims, that they were savings. Unless he can prove that Permanent secretaries in Bayelsa, earn mega salaries like the chief executives of blue chip companies.
If Michelle Obama, the wife of the former most powerful man in the world, didn't have the Benjamins racked up in her personal accounts, Reno should please enlighten us, the uneducated folks, why the case was different in Nigeria. Unless of course, he wants to prove that the money mysteriously got into the accounts.
Until then, Pastor Reno, should please face his job as a Pastor. I admonish him to at least tell the truth all the time and not choose to tell stories, that attempt to paint some people in bad light. He shouldn't be directing our attention, to other people, who are trying to steal from the cookie jar. Before we pounce on them, we want to know who had been stealing from the jar from the past.
If he won't do all the above, abeg tell Uncle Pastor Reno, to 'mechonu' and 'sit down'.
Niyi Oyededji,Is a Marketing Communications consultant, and he wrote in via email@example.com