See below a sample of the responses I received on my last week’s column with the above title. Enjoy!
OIC: Scapegoating the Foreign Affairs Minister
I watched the video. I did not see anything close to what these people accuse Nurudeen Mohammed of saying. The irony is, after watching the video, I saw a great guy. Nurudeen Mohammed was deliberate, cautious and careful. Beautiful articulation of Nigeria's policy. Love it.
Innocent A. Nweze, Columbus, Ohio, USA
Uganda is a member of OIC, despite having about 20% Muslim population; it is not an issue of controversy. They are a living witness to the socio-economic benefits for which they joined the organisation. Now Uganda Central Bank has sent a bill on Islamic banking to the parliament expressly providing for Islamic financial services. The Islamic University in Uganda, an OIC university here, is established by an act of parliament and is one of the largest employers of Christians in Uganda with not less than 60% Christian student population. The country gets interest-free loans from IDB and is host to many OIC developmental programs.
Now coming to the issue of the minister's statement, I think by now we are used to how a part of the media promotes Islamophobia. Should such persons stop talking because the media will twist their statements? Of course no. Similarly should Nigeria not join OIC because a part of the media is the information arm of a CAN that has chosen not to see anything good in OIC? I think not. We shouldn’t capitulate to those who are bent on inflaming the country. I don’t think they represent the average Nigerian Christian though I concede they sometimes succeed in misinforming the average Christian. We can put things in perspective for anyone so deceived.
Tajudeen Sanni, Lecturer, Kampala International University, Kampala, Uganda
|Dr. Nurudeen Muhammad|
Thanks for the vital information on what the Minister of State actually said. The Minister should have given a little bit of clarification as you did. The matter should now be laid to rest since they have succeeded in raising the issue of OIC membership. Nigeria will be a peaceful place if we are honest and tell ourselves the truth as you have done. But we keep on pretending and sweeping such sensitive matters under the carpet. The truth must always be told as a sound basis for resolving issues. Thank you.
Prof. Jacob Kwaga, ABU, Zaria
Nigeria has been turned to a religious state consciously and unconsciously. Nigeria must start learning to separate state from religion. Trying to bring religion or force religion into state has caused a lot of trouble for Nigeria. Those who took Nigeria to the OIC never consulted anybody. They just did whatever they wanted. Now look at what it is uprooting. We need a national consultation before embarking of such endeavour in the future. Most Christians have the opinion that joining the OIC is what is causing the problem of extremism in Nigeria today. The issue of extremism may not be related to it at all, but when there is crisis even in the most civilized world, scapegoating becomes the order of the day. Someone has to take the blame. At least now everybody will be careful with their utterances. Don't blame the media too much. The media people are business men. Sometimes issues can be deliberately pushed around to sell papers. At least we know the truth now. Thank you Farooq. You are the best.
George Omonya Daniel, Abuja
This is another example of how the Nigerian media has degenerated. Stories on the security challenges of the country are written based on the reporter's faith. A good example is the Jos crisis. As for the CAN chairman, it is not surprising because it has been in his character to jump to conclusions without verifying his facts. I recall his position on Islamic banking, forgetting that the UK has Islamic banks without the Queen losing sleep. God save us from mischievous people.
AbdulRafiu Lawal, Assistant Editor, TELL magazine, Lagos
This might be your best column ever. The fact that the YouTube video was there all along makes the media frenzy even more ridiculous. Well done, Dr. Kperogi.
Dr. Matt J. Duffy, Assistant professor, Zayed University, United Arab Emirates
Hopefully your widely-read blog will provide the platform that gives clarity to the foggy issue and vindicate the minister. I used to think that disinformation was typically an African addiction, until I discovered the wacky FIXNEWS America ___ easily the vilest, most scurrilous, disingenuous and nasty media machinery ever created to deliberately ferment trouble and distort the truth. So you're right to be concerned when a colossus of the print media like the Nigerian Vanguard bares its fangs erroneously to bark up the wrong tree.
This is a very vexing. Sometimes, I wonder whether in Africa the rapid spread of mangled information is attributable to deliberate mischief-making or that old bugbear—ignorance.
That said, at a time when religion has reached a particularly fractious point in Nigeria, propaganda takes pole position. Passions preclude verity!! The Truth is a superfluity and a fatuous irritant— the first casualty of information interpretation and dissemination.
The need for objective voices like yours becomes a moral imperative to provide an ethical framework that rescues the integrity of the media and dissipates the bad vibes beclouding the truth. It saves lives.
Duchess Samira Edi, London
In the 80s and 90s it used to be bigoted newspaper journalists and columnists who used to do this; they intentionally propagate falsehood to generate controversy and achieve a hidden aim. Now with the social media, anyone can do it. Someone will post something that looks slightly true but mostly false and it will soon get propagated and before you know it, it has reached the floor of the National Assembly and State House. Of course, no one will bother to verify. This is why I consciously and deliberately stay out of all such hysterical bandwagons and dubious mass movements that are commonplace in Nigeria today.
Dr. Raji Bello, Abuja
Well done! This is how some of these journalists tarnish the image of innocent people. It is really not fair. The good thing is that there are a few of you that are honest and can always defend the innocent.
Fatima Dikko, Abuja
Prof, this is a great job. Well done for taking the pain to reveal the fact. You are always very objective in your write ups. Please keep up the goodd job. Keep educating us. Sometimes it beats my imagination why some of these journalists could be so myopic and tribalistic that they don't verify the authenticity of their stories before publishing them knowing fully well that religion is a delicate issue in Nigeria! Do these journalists really wish for peace in Nigeria? We all have a mandate to make our great country Nigeria peaceful. May God save us from those who are wishing for disintegration. Christians & Muslims should learn to live peacefully together if we truly love God. After all, there is only one indivisible God. God bless Nigeria.
Safiya Umar, Abuja
You did just justice with the piece, sir. You are worth more than being a role model.
Adeoti Abidemi, Lagos
OIC: Scapegoating the Foreign Affairs Minister