BBOG: THAT EZEKWESILI'S ATTACK ON JOURNALISTS
The garrulity of Oby Ezekwesili appears to know no bounds. Now that she has dumped every ethical standard to pursue the matter of the over 200 Chibok girls still in the detention centre of the mad group called Boko Haram, she is desperately trying to recruit new followers. And for refusing to join her less than decent and self-seeking campaign, she has picked on members of the Nigerian Guild of Editors, her best supporter thus far.
She wants members of the guild to go beyond their present involvement of causing their reporters to give vent to the position of the BBOG; come on board her irrational train; and put government under more fire.
The emotions of Oby can be understood as a woman and mother, but she is gradually stepping out of line and seeking to burn whatever remnant of goodwill she has. Many know that the BBOG is a creation of the opposition, which has taken a good venture and given it a bad name and an opprobrious status. Where was she when the PR firm of the APC in UK claimed that the group was part of the machinations of the opposition? Didn't she know that was enough for the “lucrative” project to be kept at bay by even those who bought into it initially?
And the editors, being professional as they ought to be, even allowed her denigrating comments about them to see the light of the day as published in the Leadership newspaper: “We tried to hold meetings with editorial boards of media houses and it was difficult. I thought it was all about timing to align, that it would sort itself out. When the meeting wasn't coming through, I decided to call the president of the Nigerian Guild of Editors to collaborate with us on Day 130. He said it was a good idea. But when he got back to his people, they agreed that they wouldn't collaborate with us because we were opposition tool. It is unfortunate that we would get this response from the fourth estate of the realm.
“If the media are scared to confront the government when it is wrong, what is there for us then? They are supposed to put the government on their toes; if they don't do that, then who will? The social media has brought us thus far and will continue to move us on. One key issue has refused to go away in social media and it is the BBOG. We don't have power over the mainstream media but in the social media, we will continue. Our advocacy is aimed at compelling the right action by government which is to bring back the abducted girls to their families. That is the reason we are here. If we had not been here, the issue of the Chibok girls would have been swept under the carpet. We are seeking accountability; we want good governance. We know that the process of getting the girls back will lead to getting the other abducted people home. It will be a victory for us against the terrorists….”
Oby got it wrong when she suggested that the media was afraid to confront the government, because if any group has kept the issues related to the Chibok girls on the front burner, it has been the media and their chiefs. It is to the credit of the media that they have not allowed their emotions to run as wild as those of opposition elements like Oby. She should know better than to take them on, for that route is fraught with dangerous bumps.
And what exactly does she mean by confronting the government? Does it mean that when these media chiefs see that government is doing or has done all within its powers, they should continue to act as unreasonably as much as possible as the BBOG and the opposition parties do?
According to the Leadership newspaper, the BBOG agreed that military action is needed for the rescue of the Chibok girls and called on the federal government to act accordingly with all the military might at its disposal and ensure that the girls are rescued. This is again crass ignorance at its highest height. Either the group has been watching too many Hollywood movies, or the unreasonableness that characterizes some unthinking women has become their lot. Have they considered the fact that using military might could be counter-productive and lead to needless loss of lives, even of the girls they want brought back home alive?
It may be necessary for Oby to apologise, not only to the guild, but also the people and government of Nigeria for her often uncontrollable outbursts where it concerns the abducted girls. While many have opined that the women that people the BBOG have been the best supportive group for the release of the Chibok girls, it has to be observed that the group has been infiltrated by self-seeking politicians who see it as a franchise to steal of the public space it enjoys. Two of such are that woman and the foul-mouthed former student union leader who was in the National Assembly.
As commentators have said, the genuine fighters for the girls have had their voices drowned by the loud-mouths who know how to seize every opportunity to court the media. Now that the media appears ready to go elsewhere or follow the matter without being partisan, they have become the butt of needless invectives from the publicity stunts-persons. It has to be admitted that while the girls are not back home, the government has done its possible best in the prevailing circumstances of our clime. It should be encouraged to do more by well-meaning individuals so that at the end of the day, this country will once again know some modicum of peace and unity.
Written by Abba Adakole.