A Brotherly Memo To Reno Omokiri

By Isaac Asabor
Reno Omokiri
Reno Omokiri

Mr. Reno Omokiri, good day. I have so far never met you one-on-one; that is in person, in my life. However, I believe our paths will cross someday.

I must confess that your predilection to making hate speech, and working day and night to find faults in anyone that is politically opposed to your paymasters compelled me to peep into your profile to actually understand where you are drawing inspiration from, because our elders say, “When the dove begins to coo, and makes rhythmic motions with its head, walk by stamping its feet, and swings its tail majestically, be rest assured that there is something underneath beating the drum for it.

For instance, just in the last 96 hours, you have published three articles that are replete with hate speeches about Peter Obi in particular, and Ndigbo in general. The articles with their separate titles are “An IPOB Compliant President?” published in Thisday newspaper, “Peter Obi listed in Pandora Papers, What Makes Him Better Candidate” published in the Vanguard newspaper edition of September 21, 2022, and “Tinubu’s Wealth Better Than Obi’s” in the Nation newspaper of September 22, 2022. In fact, I do not know when you were made the auditor of both Tinubu and Obi for you to have the authority and audacity to have spoken from a comparative perspective.

As if the spaces you have on the pages of newspapers are not enough for you to pour your seeming sponsored vitriolic spit on Mr. Peter Obi, whom I know by all standards; in terms of exposure, experience, wealth, and age, is not your mate, you went on Twitter to express your view that his degree in Philosophy which he earned from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, (UNN), which was shared online is not worth the hassle. In your somewhat warped and convoluted view, you said your receptionist has a better degree than him.

Before you deny authorship of the post, the following are your words: “Even my receptionist while I was in government has a better degree than Obi. After all this noise on social media, it is only a Second Class degree in Philosophy that your messiah has? Zenith Bank will not even employ such an educationally challenged character!”

Haba! Why are you playing politics in such a “Roforofo manner”? Is politics a do-or-die affair? The way you are going about it, I believe your paymaster may not even like it.

Be that as it may, since it is crystal clear that you lacked a sense of history, particularly concerning the person of Mr. Peter Gregory Obi CON, it is expedient to remind you that he is a Nigerian businessman and politician who served as governor of Anambra from March to November 2006, February to May 2007, and from June 2007 to March 2014. In May 2022, he became the Labour Party (LP) nominee for President of Nigeria in the 2023 presidential election. Prior to his decampment to LP from PDP, the party was barely reckoned with in Nigeria’s electoral factor, but today that has changed so much so that his opponents, particularly you, are being intimidated at the mention of the name Peter Obi.

Born in Onitsha in 1961, he entered business and banking after graduation, eventually rising to hold several high-ranking executive positions at banks. By the early 2000s, Obi was the chairman of Fidelity Bank before leaving the position to enter politics. Given the foregoing positions, there are elements of foolhardiness and tomfoolery in your argument that he is not as qualified as your receptionist, and that he is not eligible to become a staff of Zenith bank. Mr. Omokri, were you in a state of stupor while making your comment online? For advisory purposes, if you were the one that actually made the post, and you are sure your social media account was not hacked, I think you need to be rehabilitated.

To enlighten you better so that you don’t continue exposing your ignorance on media platforms, it is expedient to let you know that Obi ran for governor in 2003, as a member of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) but his main opponent was unlawfully declared the victor. After three years of legal battles, he was declared the winner in 2006 and assumed office in March 2006. He was impeached in November the same year before his impeachment was overturned and he returned to office in February the next year, 2007. Again, Obi was removed when the 2007 Anambra State gubernatorial election; the election was held in accordance with the time frame of the normal Nigerian electoral calendar of a four-year election interval, which in this case dated back to his first, previously annulled election was held. But the judiciary intervened again and ruled that he should be allowed to complete a full four-year term. In 2010, he won re-election to a second term. For your information, Obi's terms were marked by improvements in state finances, education, and healthcare.

After leaving office in 2014, Obi gained new status as an advocate for good governance and national political figure after decamping to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in 2014. In 2019, he was selected as the vice presidential nominee in the presidential election running alongside Atiku Abubakar but lost to incumbent President Muhammadu Buhari and vice president Yemi Osinbajo.

In May 2022, he became the presidential candidate of the LP in the upcoming 2023 general elections, after defecting from the PDP. Obi's presidential campaign has been described as populist and has been noted for its support among many young Nigerians, who have been nicknamed "Obi-dients

Having enlightened you for free in this context, I must confess that I used to erroneously think you are very intelligent, and that you have a bearable critical mindset. However, as it is now, it appears you have scammed me, and other admirers of yours with your impressive profile on virtual space making us perceive your personality from the perspective of the profile you posted online. Without resorting to insolence, it is germane that what you said you are through your profile is not in any way reflected in your public conduct, particularly in virtual space, and more so, given your predilection to denigrate people. From what I gathered about you, you were born in 1974, and you are an author and a social media influencer.

Against the foregoing backdrop, I will not doubt your actual age which seems cynical to me; maybe I am being deceived by your grey goatee bears. I may be wrong but I may not be completely wrong. You are also reputed to be a transformational expert and a host of a Christian teaching TV show broadcast (for one season) on San Francisco's KTLN-TV and Detroit's Impact Network. However, with your cantankerous and querulous disposition, I pity those you have transformed so far. This is because you might have wrongly impacted them to the detriment of the peaceful co-existence of other Nigerians, particularly in terms of electioneering.

You are also known to have been a Special Assistant to former President Goodluck Jonathan, where you held sway by using social media in conducting surveys and drawing attention to the projects of the Nigerian Government.

Did you really perform well in the position? Asking the foregoing question is inevitable as you are wont to carry yourself in public, particularly through your critical and aspersive comments, thus coming across as an angel and an incorruptible judge. However, I may not agree that you worked well in the position since the dust you literarily raised while working with the former president, almost a decade down the line, is yet to settle. For instance, a publication in the vanguard newspaper of September 19, 2022, and a couple of other credible media platforms reported that a Port Harcourt-based lawyer, Azubuike Ihemeje, has petitioned you, to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), and Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC), over alleged criminal representation.

Ihemeje in the petitions sent to the offices of the two anti-corruption bodies in Port Harcourt, during the weekend, claimed that you received salaries above your employment status and thereby, obtained salaries by pretense.

In as much as I am averse to saying much in this context to avoid saying what I am not supposed to say about you, because I am not like you that takes delight in denigrating people, permit me to say that Olalekan Adigun in an article titled, “Reno Omokri, the Commander-in-Chief of misinformation”, and published in the Vanguard newspaper of April 15, 2021 tells much about you.

To copiously quote Adigun, he partly wrote about you thus: “Reno Omokri, a former social media aide to ex-President Goodluck Jonathan, needs no introduction in the socio-political space in Nigeria, especially on social media where he misinforms his over 900,000 Twitter followers, over 120,000 Facebook followers and his over 500,000 Instagram followers.

“The self-acclaimed-pastor and member of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party, is the leading errand boy of all opposition politicians on social media, as he attacks the All Progressives Congress government of the day simply because of one sin: ejecting the Jonathan government out of office in a keenly contested and won poll in 2015.

“Omokri, who has been severely identified as a paid social media troll, has, over time been synonymous with the spread of Fake News against the President Muhammadu Buhari government”.

On a sad note, I am very much ashamed of you when you attempted to denigrate philosophy as a body of knowledge in human endeavor. I am very much ashamed because despite whom you claimed to be you do not even know the benefits that are inherent in philosophy as a field of study.

To enlighten you once again, it is expedient to let you know that much of what is learned in philosophy can be applied in virtually any endeavor. This is both because philosophy touches so many subjects and, especially, because many of its methods can be used in any field.

The study of philosophy helps us to enhance our ability to solve problems, our communication skills, our persuasive powers, and our writing skills. Against the foregoing backdrop, I am cocksure that you have been following Obi in recent times, and have been observing how articulate and oratorical he is.

To further enlighten you, Philosophy contributes uniquely to the development of expressive and communicative powers. It provides some of the basic tools of self-expression, for instance, skills in presenting ideas through well-constructed, systematic arguments that other fields either do not use or use less extensively. Philosophy helps us express what is distinctive in our views, enhances our ability to explain difficult material, and it helps us to eliminate ambiguities and vagueness from our writing and speech. If I may ask, do you prefer someone that is suffering from glossophobia to become your president, come 2023

Not only that, Philosophy provides training in the construction of clear formulations, good arguments, and appropriate examples. It equally helps us to develop our ability to be convincing.

In fact, the study of philosophy enhances a person's problem-solving capacities. It helps us to analyze concepts, definitions, arguments, and problems. It contributes to our capacity to organize ideas and issues, deal with questions of value, and extract what is essential from large quantities of information. It helps us, on the one hand, to distinguish fine and subtle differences between views and, on the other hand, to discover common ground between opposing positions. It also helps us to synthesize a variety of views or perspectives into one unified whole.

Be that as it may, I will advise you by saying “Nwanne Jiri Nwayo”! You are running too fast.

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