My attention has been drawn to a write-up in the Nation Newspaper on March 13, 2015 titled, ‘Crossing the Line: Shaka Momodu’s Obsession with Tinubu’ supposedly written by one Olabode Johnson who sadly was not brave enough to tell the world that he works in Bola Tinubu’s media office or should I say propaganda office? That he failed to tell the world that he used a fake name to mask his true identity before electing to embark on a flight of fantasy with outstretched wings in the hope of smearing me says a lot about him.
My first reaction on reading the hogwash was to laugh and I did have a good laugh. As infantile as the narrative was, which instructively, was true to type, let me make a few things clear on the record: I am under no illusion whatsoever that when you put yourself out there in the public space and challenge principal actors and dramatis personae in the politics of our country and put them on the spot, they would fight back. Oh! Was it not the former Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) Chairman, Nuhu Ribadu, who stated that when you fight corruption, corruption would fight you back? Well, there you have it.
I have been around long enough to know this as a fact, so I know what I was getting into – that I was going to get more than I give out. But this will by no means discourage me because if we are to change this country, it has to start from genuine self-introspection. I hate to sound like a broken record, but it’s worth restating here: change depends on our conducts and attitudes, and not just some pretentious posturings to hoodwink people in the pursuit of private benefits. On this score, I can beat my chest on the rooftop that the ark of history is on my side.
Now, let me respond to the specifics of Mr Johnson’s rubbish, unlike Tinubu who has refused to respond to the grave allegations levelled against him: I have not travelled to Abuja in more than a year now, and yet “Mr Olabode Johnson” stated categorically that I regularly go to Abuja for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) meetings.
I don’t even know if PDP has a strategic committee and yet the writer categorically stated that I was appointed into that committee. How can I be appointed into a committee that I don’t even know whether it exists or not which the writer claimed is public knowledge?
The man seems to even have a problem with my name. In the headline of his response, he addressed me as Shaka Momodu, but in the body, he addressed me as Shaka Momoh. This man wants to change my name in my old age.
He alleges that I have received huge sums of money; I challenge this man to tell the world when, where and how I received the money. I must state here that Johnson’s strategy fits into the general strategy of his master who when caught in his scorching hypocrisy, quickly goes on attack mode to discredit the person putting him to task. Then, he proceeds to be the first to shout that some people are after him, and immediately starts uncovering all sorts of imaginary plots to kill him such as soldiers carrying out surveillance on his residence. Afterwards, he organises a one-million-man march to demonstrate the people’s love and support for him. That way, he successfully diverts attention from the corruption allegations levelled against him. And the clincher in all this: he announces to the whole world how prepared he is to die for democracy – which is the last line to whip up sympathy and portray him as a hero who is being persecuted because of his belief in democracy.
Unfortunately for “Olabode Johnson” and his master, some of us see through these things and so, such tricks don’t impress me. My message to them is: your blackmail and false claims won’t affect me. I just shake them off.
Now, “Olabode Johnson” seems to have opened a new vista as far as media management is concerned. He said I was part of the PDP Media Strategy Committee (MSC), and that I was paid a huge amount of money. Good point. Now, there are columnists who take President Goodluck Jonathan and the PDP to the cleaners everyday. He knows them, and I do not need to mention their names. Does it mean that he can conveniently say they too are part of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Media Strategy Committee (MSC), and are being paid handsomely to vilify the president?
It is a tragedy of lopsided reasoning for someone to measure himself with high standards but apply lower ones for others. It beats me hollow when people reason, rather unintelligently, that whenever you write in favour of Jonathan or the PDP, you are being paid to do that since, to them – you do not have a mind of your own or your power of conviction to take a stand is too weak to withstand monetary inducements. However, when you write in support of Muhammadu Buhari or the APC, you are on a national assignment and rendering service to humanity since “saints” are always marching on the APC platform. Nothing can be more ludicrously reductionist in presentation.
It is precisely this mindset that puts people like me off their hypocritical change mantra. For a nation to undergo change, it must not be built on a foundation of one nation, two moralities. We must see two wrongs with the same lens. It is not enough to mouth democratic attributes as articles of faith without really manifesting them in our conduct and daily lives as well as interaction with the system.
Let me admit it here on record that Johnson has strong support in this club of people who believe that if your position does not align with that of the ring leaders of the APC, then you cannot be honest or principled. They believe they love Nigeria more than those in government – but we have seen that they are not different from those they attack. We have seen that these change agents are as corrupt, if not more corrupt than those they label as fraudulent. We are all witnesses and victims of their abuse of power and have seen how they have become so rich on account of holding public office – such that a chieftain of the opposition party arrogantly boasted to the whole world that he is richer than his party’s standard-bearer.
We have noted the haughtiness of their campaigns and how they have pompously arrogated to themselves the right to determine when election is free and fair. And not surprisingly, it is only when such results favour them that they declare: “victory for democracy”, but when it goes against them, “it was rigged.” Unfortunately, many Nigerians have bought into this grand deception and are being daily misled into believing that only when the opposition wins is election free and fair. Well, I got some bad news for Johnson: I am not a zombie who follows some paymasters sheepishly like a fly will follow a corpse to the grave – I have a discerning mind to look at the facts and circumstances of issues and put them out. That is why I am different from the pack.
Ironically, none of the issues I have raised in all my articles have been addressed by Johnson and his club members, rather they resort to the cheap and outdated tactics of personal abuses.
What should otherwise be answered in straight talk of yes or no, becomes woven in clumsy riddles – and that easily give them away.
Let me close here with the words of my elders: “Truth is like oil, no matter how much water you pour on it, it will always float”