"WR6_gUnUj-ztiW07KQcOCnTel9A"/> Notes From Atlanta: December 2019

Friday, December 27, 2019

I’ve NEVER Intentionally Shared and Will NEVER Intentionally Share False Info

By Farooq Kperogi
Twitter: @farooqkperogi

I’ve been away from my base since Dec. 24 and have only had sporadic access to social media. But I’m aware that defenders of Buhari’s fascist regime are having a feeding frenzy over a screenshot of a Feb. 23, 2019 Facebook status update on Dasuki’s alleged death that I deleted within minutes of posting.

I’ve already shared the recorded phone conversation that informed my update, but I still need to make a few points, not to convince inveterate worshippers and defenders of Buhari but for the records.

The recorded phone conversation in which someone said Dasuki had died because he had been denied access to his medications and that the Buhari regime was hiding news of his death because of the election had been wildly shared on the Hausaphone WhatsApp sphere—and on some websites—before it got to me.

I received it on WhatsApp from at least 10 people, but I only took it seriously when someone who had shared reliable information with me in the past also shared it with me. He told me one of the people in the recorded phone chat was his colleague in the intelligence services.

Within minutes of sharing it on Facebook, Dasuki’s family friend and biographer Yushau Shaibu told me it wasn’t true. So I took it down and made another status update to clarify why I had taken it down. (See the screenshot of my clarification). But Buhari apologists who monitor my social media feeds like monitoring spirits took a screenshot of the first update before I deleted it and, of course, ignored the subsequent one where I disclaimed the earlier one.

Now, here are the issues. In journalism, you can never always get it right the first time. Dan Rather, one of America’s most accomplished journalists, fell for inauthentic documents that claimed George W Bush received preferential treatment at the Texas Air National Guard in 1972–73 because of his father’s influence. He apologized and retracted the story after the documents were found to be entirely false.

Even Washington Post’s reporting of the famous Watergate scandal (from where every scandal is now suffixed with a “gate”) had series of what people would have called “fake news” today. Some sources lied to and misled Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, and the Nixon admin seized on this to call the entire reporting of the scandal into question. At a point, Washington Post editor Ben Bradlee wanted to withdraw the reporters from the story. But the Washington Post was mostly accurate, and it brought down Nixon.

That’s why we say journalism is only the first rough draft of history. Others say it’s history in a hurry. Carl Bernstein famously characterized it as only “the best obtainable version of the truth.”

Like other ethical journalists, when a piece of information I share is not true, I say so. But these are few. All other bits of information I've shared about the Buhari regime’s moral putrefaction are accurate. Here’s a partial list:

1. I was the first person to expose the existence of the Buhari Media Center (BMC). They initially said it was “fake news.” Now they admit it exists and have even incorporated beneficiaries of N-Power into the pro-regime troll factory.

2. The memo instructing the police to extend the tenure of Buhari's nephew is true. Even the Punch and ICIR verified it.

3.The memo instructing the posting of senior DSS officers to Ilorin to rig the last election is accurate.

4. The exposé on the names of Buhari's relatives serving in his government is true.

5. The screening of ministers after Senate confirmation, instead of the other way around, is true.

6. The auctioning of ministerial appointments to the highest bidders is true. Many people have confirmed it.

7. The meeting with youth leaders in Aso Rock to attack anti-regime protesters is accurate.

8. Buhari’s personal call to ask that Danjuma Goje be let off his fraud trial as a compensation for not running against Lawan for the Senate Presidency is wholly true.

The list is endless. Several people within and outside the regime who fear that giving information to the domestic media would endanger their lives reach out to me daily. When I can verify their information, I share it.

One or two slip-ups, which I publicly rectified within minutes, don’t change these facts. I will never intentionally tell a lie. Never.

Wednesday, December 25, 2019

The Viral Audio that Claimed Dasuki was Dead

By Farooq Kperogi
Twitter:@farooqkperogi

Now that Dasuki is out of jail and we all know for a fact that he is alive, I feel an obligation to share the viral WhatsApp audio that had falsely claimed that Dasuki had died in jail. It was a recorded phone chat between two people in Hausa, which I received from more than 10 people on the eve of the presidential election.

I'd just woken when I heard the audios and was terribly distraught. I Googled it and found that a few fringe websites had stories on it, so I shared the news thinking, as the person who shared the false news in the phone call claimed, the government was really trying to hide the news from the mainstream media because of the upcoming election. It didn't help that one of the people who shared it with me works with the DSS.

It turned out that it was entirely false. Dasuki's family friend and media adviser Yushau Shuaib confirmed that he had met with Dasuki the previous day. So I took down my update within minutes of putting it up and apologized.

I just want to put it out there for the records. If you don't understand Hausa, get someone who understands it to translate it for you.

Sowore: The Disrupter of Nigeria's Political Landscape

By Farooq Kperogi
Twitter:@farooqkperogi

In 2018, Omoyele Sowore said he got into politics to "disrupt" the Nigerian political landscape like he did the media landscape. Many people thought he was being quixotic and self-aggrandizing when he said that.

But he is turning out to be accurate. Since 1999, no lone individual has disrupted Nigeria's political space with as much consequence as he has done.

In my interview with the Interview Magazine before he was rearrested in the court by Nigeria's lawless DSS, I nominated Sowore as my man of the year.

I said, "He forwent his comfort to confront Buhari’s monster of fascistic executive overreach and is living, at least for now, to tell the story.

"He refused to give in when several interest groups prevailed upon him to compromise. He stuck to his guns, and he has now been released from illegal confinement.

"In this season of mass authoritarian hypnotism in Nigeria, that’s worthy of admiration and praise."

Because of Sowore, Dasuki, who had been in jail since 2015--in spite of several court orders asking that he be released on bail--is now out of illegal detention. Other unjustly detained people such as El-Zakzaky may be next.

Because of Sowore, US senators wrote a strongly worded letter to Nigeria. Lickspittle Femi Adesina who said the US wasn't the world's police and should mind its business didn't get the memo that when America sneezes his puppeteers in Aso Rock quake in their boots.

Because of Sowore, the Punch wrote a trenchant editorial that rattled the addled little brains of the fascists in Aso Rock and their media enablers.

Because of Sowore, our permanently drugged and drunk Attorney General of the Federation suddenly became sober enough to eat his words and do the right thing. Recall that on Dec. 17 Malami had said he couldn't ask the DSS to release Sowore.

That, right there, my friends, is a disrupter.

Tuesday, December 24, 2019

Aso Rock Planned Deji Adeyanju's Attack

By Farooq Kperogi
Twitter: @farooqkperogi
I feel a tinge of guilt over the barbarous attacks on peaceful protesters by sponsored Aso Rock thugs in Abuja yesterday. My guilt stems from the fact that a senior member of the National Youth Council of Nigeria (NYCN) reached out to me on December 16 via social media private message to give me a foreknowledge of what happened yesterday.

He said agents of the Presidency invited executives of the NYCN to the Presidential Villa and asked them to not only speak out against the planned anti-regime protests by civil society groups but to also stage a counter-protest. When officials of the group said their organization was non-partisan and won't do what the Villa wanted them to do, Villa agents got angry and decided to inaugurate a new "National Youth Council."
"They are organising a counter protest in the name of youth council," he said. He wanted me to alert the world. But I got too busy and didn't get round to doing it. Then I woke up yesterday to news of the primitive, bloodstained brutalization of civil society protesters, including Deji Adeyanju, by "youths" shouting "Sai Baba Buhari!"
My exposing the fact that Aso Rock was paying "youths" to counter civil society protests might not have changed anything, but I'd at least be at peace with myself that I did the right thing.

Monday, December 23, 2019

Nigerian Lawyers Misunderstand “Learned Colleague”/“Learned Profession”

By Farooq Kperogi, Ph.D.
Twitter: @farooqkperogi

For some reason, many--certainly not all--Nigerian lawyers have been socialized into thinking that only they and their profession are “learned.” That notion sprouts from a fundamental misunderstanding of terminologies. Let me unpack them here for those who’re interested.

“Learned profession” is an old English expression traditionally used to refer to medicine, theology, and law. They were called “learned” because of the disproportionately extensive intellectual preparation required to qualify to practice them, particularly in relation to the other vocations of the time. “Learned profession” never ever exclusively referred to law.

In contemporary English usage, any vocation that requires extensive specialized training is called a “profession.” In other words, “profession” has now replaced “learned profession.” If we were still to use the archaic expression “learned profession,” many professions would be called “learned.” But, somehow, some Nigerian lawyers are still stuck with the old expression—and erroneously think only their craft is a “learned profession.”

“My learned friend”— or “my learned colleague”— is a polite term of address that lawyers in British courts use when they address each other, especially if they are opponents. The term was introduced to enhance mutual courtesy in legal disputations.

Before the term was introduced, lawyers who argued on opposite sides of a case never used to even shake hands in the courts, and often used crude, coarse, unguarded putdowns to undermine each other. So “learned colleague”—or its many variants—is merely a term of courtesy, not an indication or claim of professional superiority in Britain. Many Nigerian lawyers don’t seem to know this.

American lawyers, for instance, don’t call each other “learned friend” or “learned colleague,” nor do they call their profession a “learned profession” or, worse, the “only learned profession”—as some self-important Nigerian lawyers tend to do.

It’s like American senators who routinely refer to their colleagues as “distinguished senator” out of conversational courtesy—just as British lawyers call each other “learned friend” or “learned colleague”—even when the colleagues may not really be “distinguished.” The Nigerian use of “distinguished senator” obviously owes lexical debt to America since, in any case, our democracy is modelled after theirs.

However, only Nigerian senators capitalize the first letters in the expression, make it an honorific, and prefix it to their names, such as “Distinguished Senator (First name) (Last name).” In fact, “distinguished” has now become a standalone title, as if the word were a noun. This would strike Americans, from whom it's borrowed, as quaint and comical.

In American English, the phrase typically occurs this way: “I disagree with the distinguished senator from Georgia” or “The distinguished senator from Oregon made a great point,” etc. In other words, “distinguished senator” is only a phrase, not a title. “Distinguished Senator (First name) (Last name)” is as ridiculous as lawyers being addressed as “Learned Colleague (First name) (Last name).”

Related Articles:
Boss Mustapha and Silly, Ungrammatical Titular Vanity Among Nigerian Politicians
Politics of Grammar Column

Sunday, December 22, 2019

Tinubu’s Dangerous Dance with the Cabal

By Farooq Kperogi, Ph.D.
Twitter: @farooqkperogi

The cabal is toying with Bola Tinubu like a yo-yo—and he is naively, if gingerly, playing along— in readiness for his eventual political incineration by or before 2023. And the cabal is being ruthlessly Machiavellian about it.

Tinubu has been given a fake promissory note that he’ll be APC’s presidential torchbearer in 2023. On the strength of this worthless promissory note, they’ve sought his permission to destroy some of his most trusted foot soldiers.

With his consent, they’ve consigned Yemi Osinbajo to symbolic Aso Rock prison. Tinubu endorsed Tunde Fowler’s replacement at the FIRS and is in on his impending trial for corruption. He also stamped his imprimatur to Muiz Banire’s unceremonious ouster from AMCON. He’s giddily approving everything the cabal tells him it wants to do to his “constituents” and foot soldiers.

He has now fallen out of favor with almost all Southwest governors except his dutiful stooge in Lagos and his nephew in Osun. Of course, he is a bête noire to Afenifere. At this rate, Tinubu would divorce his wife and disown his children if the cabal tells him to do so—just because he’s told that he’d be president.

This is a strategic, Machiavellian demobilization of his base, but one in which he is a willing participant, using the illusory promise of APC presidential nomination. When he is eventually denied the APC presidential slot, he would have no one of political consequence in his natal region to fall back to for counterattack other than his battering rams in the Lagos media.

Before his eventual political annihilation, he would be thoroughly unpopular in the Southwest. His fate would elicit no mass sympathy from the region when the cabal finally bares its fangs publicly and devours him.

To be sure, Tinubu is sensing danger, as we can tell from the newfound, unaccustomed critical commentaries in his paper, but he is like a moth that is irresistibly and fatally attracted to the flame that will eventually burn it alive. The flame is the promise of the presidency.

Saturday, December 21, 2019

Daily Trust’s Unusual Meta-Editorial about Punch’s Editorial

By Farooq A. Kperogi, Ph.D.
Twitter: @farooqkperogi

A meta-editorial is an editorial about an editorial, which is both bizarre and unprofessional in journalism. But Daily Trust wrote one about the Punch Newspaper’s widely and rapidly shared December 11, 2019 editorial titled, “Buhari’s lawlessness: Our stand.”

On December 19, Daily Trust, which has now positioned itself as an extension of Lai Mohammed’s Ministry of Information and Pro-regime Propaganda, counterposed Punch’s editorial in an editorial titled “That PUNCH editorial.” As an alumnus of Daily Trust, I was mortified, but not altogether surprised, by the unprofessionalism and ignorance of the meta-editorial.

The Daily Trust said “PUNCH went overboard” in describing “an elected government as a ‘regime’ and to refuse to recognize the president by his statutory title.” It characterized this as “an attempt to delegitimise an elected president and the government he heads.” This is both uninformed and inaccurate.

Punch’s editorial doesn’t say it “will refuse to recognize the president by his statutory title.” It actually addresses him as “the president, Major General Muhammadu Buhari.” That’s tame. I think it doesn’t go far enough in calling attention to Buhari’s moral illegitimacy. I took a decision to never address him as president after May 29 because he unquestionably stole the 2019 election. Whenever it’s morphologically inevitable to use the term “president” when I talk about him, I insert scare quotes around it.

So contrary to Daily Trust’s claim in its meta-editorial, Punch calls Buhari “president”; it just doesn’t deploy the term as a titular prefix to his name.

Again, the Daily Trust meta-editorial betrayed insufficient familiarity with the semantic and pragmatic boundaries of the term “regime.” Although there’s undeniably an undertone of disparagement in calling a government a regime, the term is polysemic and isn’t even strong enough to describe Buhari’s fascist absolutism.

Here is the notation for “regime” in The Associated Press Stylebook, the most widely used style guide in American newsrooms and that journalism professors use to teach students: “The word regime is a synonym for political system: a democratic regime, an authoritarian regime. It may also mean the period in which a person or system was in power, often with a negative connotation: Gadhafi’s regime, the Nazi regime.”

A junta is different from a regime. The Associated Press Stylebook defines a junta as “a group or council that often rules after a coup: a military junta controls the nation. A junta becomes a government after it establishes a system of political administration.”

What Punch should have called the Buhari autocracy is a “junta” to signpost its military-style descent into the low-water mark of lawlessness. The Daily Trust would then at least be defending Buhari from a position of knowledge.

At any rate, as I pointed out on social media in my widely shared preliminary response to Daily Trust, the decision to prefix “Major General” instead of “president” to Buhari’s name and to call the government he heads a “regime” is merely a stylistic choice, which newspapers all over the world exercise regularly.

 The Associated Press, the New York Times, the Washington Post, and all other major newspapers in the world update their style guides every year—and publish the changes for public consumption—in response to changes in language use and in the political environment. It’s a newspaper’s inviolable prerogative to tweak its style guide.

And how does a newspaper’s stylistic choice to signalize the habitual subversion of democratic ethos by a government, which Daily Trust itself grudgingly conceded, “delegitimize” the government? That’s woolly reasoning. A newspaper has no judicial power to confer or withhold legitimacy on any government. Buhari won’t cease to be “president” because the Punch calls him a “Major General.” Nor will Nigerians stop to recognize the government he pretends to head because the Punch calls it a “regime.” Newspapers are not the conferrers of “legitimacy.”

Instead of writing an editorial about another newspaper’s editorial, why not write your own independent editorial to lend symbolic authority to your favorite tyrant's autocracy? Punch may be Nigeria’s most widely read newspaper but isn’t THE Newspaper of Nigeria; it’s one of several newspapers in the country. Why fixate on what it chooses to do with its symbolic resources?

It bespeaks crippling professional insecurity, even deep-seated inferiority complex, for one newspaper to take another’s editorial seriously enough to respond to it in an editorial.

Most important, though, this is particularly hypocritical coming from a newspaper that stopped my column for no other reason than that it said I was too consistently censorious of the Buhari regime’s failings. Before then, I had received several official communications from the Editor-in-Chief subtly and not too subtly importuning me to either stop writing about Buhari or to “tone down” the stridency of my critiques of his regime. That’s a worse betrayal of the basic principles of journalistic integrity than Daily Trust is incorrectly accusing Punch of.

For instance, a memo I received from Daily Trust’s Editor-in-Chief on May 17, 2018 titled “Reminder on Column Writing” discouraged "elegance of prose" and "heavy criticisms" and requested columnists to not "use derogatory or abusive language which could irritate and provoke those you criticize in your pieces," among other puzzlingly barefaced attempts to police the thoughts and erase the stylistic identities of columnists.

 In his call to tell me my column had been stopped in late 2018, the Editor-in-Chief was frank enough to confess that those priceless gems of wisdom were directed at me and were meant to protect Buhari and his government from my unceasingly critical scrutiny. Note that no such memos were ever sent to columnists when Obasanjo, Yar'adua, and Jonathan held sway—and whom I didn’t spare.

It's obvious that the authors of the memo have zero understanding of what a newspaper column means. There's nowhere in the world that newspaper columnists are told how to write and how not to write, what to write about and what not to write about. That's offensively unprofessional infantilization of accomplished professionals.

Each time I read the "guidelines," which used to be sent every few months, I always felt like I was in kindergarten—or, more appropriately, that a kindergartner was teaching me a subject I had a PhD in. I frankly would have left on my own even if my column hadn't been stopped. It had become clear to me that Daily Trust was no longer a legitimate newspaper that provided a space for a broad diversity of viewpoints; it's now a pro-regime propaganda house irrevocably committed to featherbedding Buhari's ferociously escalating monocracy.

In the service of this agenda, the paper has had occasions to refuse to publish columns that it considered too critical of the Buhari regime. Let me give just one recent example.

Sonala Olumhense is a storied, fearless, evenhanded, widely read syndicated columnist whose Sunday column Daily Trust has been publishing since Goodluck Jonathan was in power, perhaps because he used to be very critical of Jonathan even though they’re both from the same geo-cultural region. (In other words, Daily Trust likes people who’re critical of “their own,” but resents me for being critical of “my own.”)

Olumhense’s December 1 column titled “As nepotism soldiers on” only appeared in the Punch; Daily Trust declined to publish it because it's a witheringly searing critique of Buhari’s growing, unprecedented nepotism, which I wrote about in my November 23, 2019 column titled “Government of Buhari’s Family, By His Family, and For His Family.” Daily Trust couldn’t stomach it. This has happened to other columnists, such as gifted satirist Tunde Asaju who has been instructed not to write about Buhari’s family again and to discontinue his brilliantly witty, irreverent anti-regime satire.

A newspaper with such compromised standards has no moral right to preach to another paper about professional journalistic neutrality—or about journalism at all. Daily Trust’s practice of telling its columnists what to write and how to write is one of the most audaciously egregious vandalism of journalistic ethics I’ve ever encountered anywhere in the world.

Daily Trust's motto used to be, "Trust is a burden." Obviously, over time, the burden of trust became too ponderous for it to shoulder, so it dropped it like it's hot. Now it wants every newspaper in Nigeria, including the Punch, to be like it: a servile, ignorant, unreflective, and uncritical comforter of fascism.

Thursday, December 19, 2019

Impeachment: Response to an Ill-informed Law Lecturer called Sylvester Udemezue

By Farooq Kperogi, Ph.D.
Twitter: @farooqkperogi

I usually don’t respond to responses to my public interventions. The only times I do so is if a response not only drips wet with intolerable ignorance but also has the potential to replicate its nescience among unsuspecting learners. The response of one Sylvester Udemezue—whom I was told is a law lecturer at the Nigerian Law School—to my widely shared explanatory piece on the difference between “impeachment” and “removal from office” fits this bill.

The man wrote a tortured, rambling, grammatically awkward, and logically impoverished rant as a riposte to my article that he could have written in just one paragraph.

And that paragraph is this: “If the word ‘impeach’ is used in the Nigerian constitution (by its makers) to mean ‘remove from office,’ it follows from our discussion above that there is nothing wrong in the interpretation/use of ‘impeach’ in Nigeria by Nigerian media practitioners and by the Nigerian populace to mean ‘removal from office.’ Accordingly, it is totally incorrect, and it may even be described as a form of display of acute ignorance, for anyone to say that the makers of the Nigerian Constitution have ‘passed their ignorance … to the Nigerian populace.”

Forget the dreadfully poor grammar and ungainly structural monstrosities of the article, especially for a law professor: this is astonishingly infantile logic. My argument is that the drafters of Nigeria’s 1999 constitution misused the word “impeachment” throughout the document. The misusage can't be vitiated by the fact of its being in the constitution. It’s like saying a factual error in a newspaper ceases to be an error if the newspaper sanctifies the error as fact.

The use of the term impeachment to mean “charge (a public official) with an offense or misdemeanor committed while in office” isn’t an exclusively American English usage as Udemezue misleads his readers to believe. The term is universally understood as such in the educated anglophone world. The fact that, by his admission, Udemezue didn’t know this until I pointed it out doesn’t change that fact.

As an everyday word, “impeach” simply means to call someone’s honesty or truthfulness into question. In fact, lawyers, including Nigerian lawyers, routinely “impeach the credibility of witnesses” in the court. I am assuming that Udemezue practiced law before teaching it—or perhaps still practices it as he teaches it. When he had cause to impeach the credibility of witnesses in legal disputations, did he always cause the witnesses or their lawyers to be removed from judicial proceedings—or to be automatically declared guilty—without the judge’s judgement?

If impeachment means accusation of impropriety and not a final judgment of impropriety in even demotic speech, why is Udemezue all bent out of shape because I pointed out that the Nigerian constitution erred in equating impeachment with removal from office? What sorts of people are teaching our law students?

If this is any comfort, many Americans also wrongly equate impeachment with removal from office because impeachment rarely happens here. To underscore the prevalence of the misusage of the word—or at least a potential for this— in the US, The Associated Press Stylebook, which we like to call the bible of American journalism, has an entry on the word.

Here’s the notation of the word in the AP Stylebook: “impeachment: The constitutional process accusing an elected official of a crime in an attempt to remove the official from office. Do not use as a synonym for conviction or removal from office” [emphasis original].

Related Article:

The Hypocrisy and Unprofessionalism of Daily Trust’s Editorial on Punch

By Farooq Kperogi, Ph.D.
Twitter: @farooqkperogi

In a professionally unusual editorial in response to Punch Newspaper’s editorial, the Daily Trust said today that “PUNCH went overboard” in describing “an elected government as a ‘regime’ and to refuse to recognize the president by his statutory title.” It characterizes this as “an attempt to delegitimise an elected president and the government he heads.”

Daily Trust’s editorial is at once hypocritical and unprofessional. Let’s start with hypocrisy. Daily Trust doesn’t even pretend to be neutral when it comes to Buhari. It’s unapologetically in bed with his regime. This is a newspaper that stopped my column simply because it said I’d been abidingly critical of Buhari.

In private conversations, both Kabiru Yusuf, the paper’s chairman, and Mannir Dan-Ali, its Editor-in-Chief, admitted to the facticity and unimpeachability of my critiques of the regime. Kabiru even once called me the “conscience of the nation” in 2016 after the presidency was compelled to officially respond to my column on the colossal costs of Buhari’s London medical trips.

Yet my column was stopped for no other reason than that I was too consistently censorious of the Buhari regime. Before then, I had received several official communications from the Editor-in-Chief subtly and not too subtly importuning me to either stop writing about Buhari or to “tone down” the stridency of my critiques of his regime. That’s a worse betrayal of the basic principles of journalistic integrity than Daily Trust is incorrectly accusing Punch of.

And I am not alone. Every columnist in Trust has been told, often officially, sometimes impliedly, and at other times explicitly, what to write and how to write—often on issues that involve Buhari. The paper has also had occasions to refuse to publish columns that it considered too critical of the Buhari regime. Let me give just one recent example.

Sonala Olumhense is a storied, fearless, evenhanded, widely read syndicated columnist whose Sunday column Daily Trust has been publishing since Jonathan was in power, perhaps because he used to be very critical of Goodluck Jonathan even though they’re both from the same geo-cultural region. (In other words, Daily Trust likes people who’re critical of “their own,” but resented me for being critical of “my own.” What’s the definition of hypocrisy?)

Olumhense’s December 1 column titled “As nepotism soldiers on” only appeared in the Punch; Daily Trust declined to publish it because it's a witheringly searing critique of Buhari’s growing, unprecedented nepotism. Trust couldn’t stomach it. This has happened to other columnists, who now self-censor their thoughts about Buhari.

A newspaper with such compromised standards has no moral right to preach to another paper about professional journalistic neutrality—or about journalism at all. Daily Trust’s practice of telling its columnists what to write and how to write is one of the most audaciously egregious vandalism of journalistic ethics I’ve ever encountered anywhere in the world.

In any case, Punch’s editorial decision to prefix “Major General” to Buhari’s name and to call the government he heads a “regime” is merely a stylistic choice, which newspapers all over the world do periodically. The Associated Press, the New York Times, the Washington Post, etc. update their style guides every year--and publish the changes--in response to changes in language use and in the political environment. It’s a newspaper’s inviolable prerogative to change its editorial style.

There’s nowhere in the Punch editorial that the paper even implied that it won’t be fair in its reporting on the Buhari regime. 

It’s customary in journalism to distinguish between news and views. Although the two words rhyme, they couldn’t be more different in meaning. Daily Trust doesn’t even have enough professional maturity to respect the right of its columnists to express views that depart from those of its owners and shareholders.

And how does a newspaper’s stylistic choice to call attention to the habitual subversion of democratic ethos by a government, which Trust itself grudgingly admitted to, “delegitimize” the government? That’s woolly reasoning. A newspaper has no judicial power to confer or deny legitimacy to any government. Buhari won’t cease to be “president” because Punch calls him a Major General. Nor will Nigerians stop to recognize the government he pretends to head because Punch calls it a “regime.”

Punch merely used its symbolic power to dramatically call attention to Buhari’s serial perversion and rape of justice. Instead of writing an editorial about another newspaper’s editorial, why not write your own independent editorial to lend symbolic authority to your favorite tyrant's autocracy? Punch isn’t THE Newspaper of Nigeria; it’s one of several newspapers in the country. Why fixate on what it chooses to do with its symbolic resources?

It bespeaks crippling professional insecurity, even inferiority complex, for one newspaper to take another’s editorial seriously enough to respond to it in an editorial.

Related Article

Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Impeachment Does NOT Mean Removal from Office

By Farooq Kperogi, Ph.D.
Twitter: @farooqkperogi
Impeachment doesn't mean removal from office, but it's often a prelude to removing a public official from office. To impeach is to “charge (a public official) with an offense or misdemeanor committed while in office.”

In other words, it means to formally accuse a public official of a crime. In the United States, it is only the House of Representatives that has the power to impeach the president.
The next procedure after impeachment is trial and then removal or acquittal. In the United States, only the Senate has the power to try and remove or acquit a president who has been impeached (by the House of Representatives).
Only two presidents have been impeached in America’s history, and both were acquitted by the Senate. They are President Andrew Johnson (America’s 17th president who was acquitted by just one vote) and President Bill Clinton (America’s 42nd president). Donald Trump will be the third president to be impeached, but he won't be removed because his party constitutes the majority in the US Senate. (I wish he would be removed).
Nigerian newspapers interchange “impeach” with “remove from office” because they are copying the drafters of the Nigerian constitution who don’t seem to know what “impeachment” really means.
In the only two passages in the Nigerian constitution that the word “impeachment” appears, it is used as if it meant “removal.” Section 146 (3) (a) of the document says, “where the office of vice president becomes vacant – by reason of death, resignation, impeachment, permanent incapacity or removal in accordance with section 143 or 144 of this Constitution….”
Again, in Section 191 (3) (a) of the constitution the following sentence appears: “where the office of deputy governor becomes vacant – by reason of death, resignation, impeachment, permanent incapacity or removal in accordance with section 188 or 189 of this Constitution….”
Well, an office can’t possibly become "vacant" by reason of “impeachment.” Just like people don’t go to prison simply because they have been accused of an offense, a vice president’s office can’t become vacant simply because he or she has been impeached. That would be a perversion of justice.
Impeachment simply means accusation, and accusation alone is never a basis for conviction. To convict an accused person, you have to try him or her first. Plus, conviction is not the only possible outcome of a trial. An accused (or impeached) person can be acquitted after trial, as was the case for the two US presidents that were impeached.
Curiously, the Nigerian constitution never uses the word “impeachment” in relation to the president and state governors; it instead talks of the procedures for the “removal” of the president and of governors from office.
The people who wrote the 1999 Nigerian constitution are clearly not sufficiently educated about the meanings of the terminologies they deployed in the constitution. And they passed on their ignorance to the Nigerian news media and to the Nigerian populace. 
A version of this was first published here on May 14, 2014 in my now rested "Politics of Grammar" column under the titled "Q and A on the Grammar of the Nigerian Constitution, Politicians and Word Formation."

Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Sowore a Boko Haram and a Shiite?

By Farooq A. Kperogi
Twitter: @farooqkperogi

The latest story from Premium Times is that the Buhari regime is investigating Omoyele Sowore over links to Boko Haram, Shiites and the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB)😂

Honchos of the Buhari regime are clearly a bunch of degenerate retards! There's no way to sugarcoat it. Shiites and Boko Haram are ideological polar opposites. Boko Haram terrorists self-identify as Sunnis who hate Shiites with a murderous passion.

How can Sowore, a secular humanist and cultural Christian, have any links with both Boko Haram and Shiites, groups that don't even see eye to eye? To advance what cause? And IPOB? Oh my God!

In any case, when the same Buhari regime captures Boko Haram terrorists, it doesn't kill or jail them; it "de-radicalizes" them and "re-integrates" them into the society by enrolling them into the Nigerian military!

A senior military commander even told the media recently that Boko Haram members can become "president" in spite of their mass slaughters of innocents. And a recent presidential press statement said Boko Haram members are merely "militants," not terrorists.

But they want to kill a man who didn't kill anyone, who merely called for a civil insurrection against a decaying, inept government that has failed the nation. This regime is the most unfunny joke that ever existed!

Abubakar Malami: The Druggy AGF and Minister of Justice

By Farooq A. Kperogi
Twitter: @farooqkperogi

Everyone should carefully watch videos of Abubakar Malami, the inarticulate and ignorant Attorney General of the Federation. You'll notice that his eyes are ALWAYS bloodshot, his body almost always shakes uncontrollably, and his limbs invariably move involuntarily.

Those are telltale signs of a drug addict. He's always in a state of hyper-arousal dissociation, in his own druggy little world. That's the kind of person Buhari (or, more appropriately, Abba Kyari) has entrusted with the task of enforcing the laws of the nation.

Any surprise he can come openly and say he can't ask the DSS to release Sowore even when the courts have said he should? He doesn't know his job. He doesn't live in our world. He lives in a drugged and drunk alternate universe. Nigeria is in worse trouble than it realizes.

Ministership for Sale: Up to N2.5b Per Slot

By Farooq A. Kperogi
Twitter:@farooqkperogi

First posted on Facebook and Twitter on July 28, 2019

I declined to comment on the ministerial list Buhari sent to the Senate for two reasons: I was deeply distraught by what I heard about the process that produced it and I wanted to confirm the info from trustworthy people who should know.

Four different, dependable, and independent sources who don’t know each other but who’re close to the corridors of power were eerily united in telling me that except for a few ministerial nominations (notably those of Adamu Adamu, Ali Isa Pantami, Mohammed Musa Bello, Raji Fashola whom Buhari himself personally penciled— and those that were conceded to Tinubu) every other post was literally auctioned off to the highest bidder.

One Jeddy Agba from Cross River State, a Diezani protégé who defected to APC to avoid EFCC scrutiny, was said to have given Abba Kyari up to N2.5 billion for his nomination. I was told that, at a point, the incredibly rapacious Abba Kyari, in fact, removed Musa Bello’s name from the list and sold the spot to someone else. Buhari somehow found out and recalled the list. Bello is the son of Buhari’s very close friend. That was what inspired his saying that he’d only appoint people he “personally” knew. Of course, as usual, he lied.

If people are required to pay hundreds of millions of naira as a precondition to be appointed ministers, it means they’re being invited to a corruption bazaar. They’ll have to raid and pillage the national treasury to recoup their “investment.” My sources said Buhari knows that Abba Kyari and his boss, Mamman Daura, auctioned off ministerial slots to the highest bidders, and he is at peace with it. This didn’t surprise me because Buhari is himself an unmitigated but carefully managed fraud.

Nevertheless, Nigeria had never descended to this low watermark of shamelessly undisguised fraud. One of my sources said, “The rottenness is unprecedented and no society or country can survive this level of fraud, crime, and sleaze.” This confirms what I’ve always said: that Nigeria can’t survive a Buhari second term. There’s no way it can.

Apart from intractable insecurity and mass deaths, Buhari’s second term is also shaping up to be an unprecedentedly raucous celebration of corruption, injustice, depravity, and debauchery. It’s going to get ugly, really ugly. Get ready!

Saturday, December 14, 2019

Buhari Doesn’t Rule Nigeria. His Wife Confirms It

By Farooq A. Kperogi, Ph.D.
Twitter: @farooqkperogi

When I publicly voiced my concerns in 2018 that Muhammadu Buhari was too cognitively and physically ill to have the capacity to govern Nigeria and that the country was being ruled on his behalf by an unorganized and unelected gaggle of corrupt cronies and family members, some people didn’t believe me.

But his wife’s unprecedentedly stinging public censure of presidential spokesman Garba Shehu and Mamman Daura, Buhari’s nephew, on December 11, 2019 provides evidentiary grounding for what most of us have always known and said: that Buhari is too weighed down by dementia and physical infirmity to even control his immediate family, let alone rule a country of nearly 200 million people.
In my January 19, 2019 column titled “Buhari’s Physical and Mental Health is Now a National Emergency,” I noted the following:

“On November 23, 2018, for instance, I tweeted that a doctor who has met Buhari during a personal, non-medical visit told me he was troubled that Buhari appeared to evince tell-tale symptoms of dementia (of which Alzheimer's disease is a type), which is often characterized by repetitiveness, unawareness, mental deterioration, impaired memory, diminished quality of thought, slurred speech, and finally complete helplessness. That’s why neurologists call dementia ‘failure of the brain.’

“A friend whose dad has dementia and who has also met Buhari in the recent past had earlier told me Buhari reminded her of her dad whom she forced to retire, adding, sadly, that Buhari’s dementia is way worse than her dad’s is. She was, and still is, concerned that Nigeria has no president. She's right, and the evidence stares us every day. Buhari barely has any awareness of his existence, much less the requirements of being president…

“People around the president are intimately familiar with his considerably diminished sentience and his notoriously declining short-term memory. As a consequence, he is being taken advantage of by several people close to him. Aso Rock insiders say Buhari doesn't remember anything, so no one even obeys his instructions--if he gives any at all. The last person to see him gets him to do whatever they want. Someone from the Presidential Villa told me it’s precisely because of this fact that governors frequent the Villa several times in a week; they are in a race to be the last people to see the president before he takes decisions and signs off on them.

“If you think with Buhari as president Nigeria has a president, you should sue your brain for non-support; you're NOT thinking! We have a national emergency on our hands. Buhari appears infirm both in mind and in body. Without a doubt, other people are ruling on his behalf, and his own wife hinted at that when she said her husband’s presidency had been hijacked by a three-man cabal.”

Aisha also told TVC’s “Journalists’ Hangout” that she doesn’t have private conversations with her husband. “There is no pillow in the villa,” she said. “No, because we are always busy listening to one story or another. I think the people he puts in the cabinet, they should just sit up and do the needful. That is why it is not good to have godfatherism.”

A lot of people were flustered by the revelation that she has no access to her husband. But I am not. I actually hinted at that in my October 22, 2016 column titled “Aisha Buhari and the Evil Aso Rock Cabal.” Here’s what I wrote:

“This [her BBC Hausa interview chastising her husband’s government] can only mean that although Aisha is formally married to President Buhari, she is actually isolated from him. This is consistent with what I’ve heard from inside sources about the relationship between the first couple. Buhari is held hostage by an evil, sneaky, corrupt, vulturous, and conniving cabal that ensures that his wife doesn’t see him even in the ‘kitchen,’ the ‘living room,’or ‘the other room.’

“The BBC interview was Aisha’s vigorous ventilation of pent-up anguish against a cold, calculating, and corrupt cabal that has made Buhari a stranger to his own wife.”

And I had written about Aisha’s December 11 revelation that Garba Shehu and other Aso Rock media aides have no access to Buhari and take directives from Mamman Daura and other unelected Buhari cronies and family members.

In my August 26, 2017 column titled "Garba Shehu,Presidential Villa Rodents and Bad PR," I wrote the following, which Aisha just confirmed:

"First, it’s obvious that both Adesina and Shehu don’t have a robust, direct access to the president. Directives don’t seem to always come directly from the president to his media aides. It’s usually, it would appear, from the president to a tortuous labyrinth of surrogates before it gets to the media team. Most of the times, it’s actually influential people connected—or thought to be connected—to the president who dictate what the presidential media team says to the public.

"I recall an incident in late 2015 that left me in no doubt that the president’s media team members don’t enjoy the respect usually accorded to presidential spokespeople. I was having an argument with someone close to the Buhari presidency over something, and he suddenly said, 'I will tell the president’s media team to issue a statement to clarify this.' A few hours later, a statement was issued expressing the exact sentiments of my interlocutor who isn’t even officially a part of the government. That blew me away.

"So, basically, the presidential spokespeople are mere errand boys of Buhari’s shadowy surrogates and a motley crowd of official, semi-official, and unofficial power brokers who pull the levers of power in the presidency.

"No public relations person, however smart he might be, can function optimally in the kind of politically toxic and factious environment that the Buhari presidency exemplifies."

I warned Nigerians in the run-up to the 2019 election that if they voted APC, they were voting Mamman Daura and Abba Kyari, not Buhari who is barely aware of his own existence. People who thought I was merely being mischievous are now coming to terms with what I said.

For selfish reasons, Aisha won't reveal the true state of her husband’s mental and physical health, but she's opportunistically railing against someone who is taking orders from people who hold the real power. As they say, nature abhors a vacuum. If Buhari can’t exercise power, others will exercise it on his behalf and in his name.

 If Nigeria weren’t the dysfunctional theater of the absurd that it is, the revelations from Aisha Buhari would be regarded as a national emergency. 

The National Assembly would have constituted an independent team of medical experts to examine the state of Buhari’s physical and mental state. If he is found to have dementia, as I strongly suspect he does, he should be declared incapacitated and removed from office. That’s what Section 137 (c) of our constitution requires.

Friday, December 13, 2019

CJN Ibrahim Tanko Muhammad's Cringeworthy Answer to the Intimidation of the Judiciary

By Farooq Kperogi
Twitter:@farooqkperogi

Watch illegal CJN Ibrahim Tanko's dizzyingly incoherent verbal blizzard in response to a question about the intimidation of the judiciary to know why Buhari (or, more appropriately, the Aso Rock cabal) illegally made him CJN: he's a know-nothing bumpkin who has no business being a lawyer, let alone be the Chief Justice of Nigeria.

He had only three credits in his WASC, showed that he had not the faintest clue what a "technicality" meant during his senate confirmation hearing, and now this!

Simpletons like this are easy to manipulate. That's why the cabal told him what to say when Atiku sought the Supreme Court's intervention to reclaim his stolen mandate. He threw logic, evidence, and even jurisprudence out of the window and affirmed Buhari's daylight electoral robbery. That was why he was put there. That was why Walter Onnoghen was illegally removed. Being incompetent and compromised is now the greatest qualification to serve in the Major General Buhari regime.

This intellectually impoverished yokel is an utter embarrassment to the nation and an even greater embarrassment to us from the North. There are way smarter lawyers and judges from the region than this airhead, believe me.

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Garba Shehu/Aisha Buhari Spat Confirms What I Wrote in 2017

By Farooq A. Kperogi
Twitter:@farooqkperogi
Many people who have followed my writing know that Malam Garba Shehu was my journalism teacher at Bayero University, Kano, for whom I still have a lot of respect in spite of our political differences. However, I had said in the past, like Aisha Buhari just confirmed today, that neither he nor Femi Adesina has any direct contact with Buhari.

In my August 26, 2017 column titled "Garba Shehu, Presidential Villa Rodents and Bad PR," I wrote the following, which Aisha just confirmed: "Most of the times, it’s actually influential people connected—or thought to be connected—to the president who dictate what the presidential media team says to the public.
"I recall an incident in late 2015 that left me in no doubt that the president’s media team members don’t enjoy the respect usually accorded to presidential spokespeople. I was having an argument with someone close to the Buhari presidency over something, and he suddenly said, 'I will tell the president’s media team to issue a statement to clarify this.' A few hours later, a statement was issued expressing the exact sentiments of my interlocutor who isn’t even officially a part of the government. That blew me away.
"So, basically, the presidential spokespeople are mere errand boys of Buhari’s shadowy surrogates and a motley crowd of official, semi-official, and unofficial power brokers who pull the levers of power in the presidency.
"No public relations person, however smart he might be, can function optimally in the kind of politically toxic and factious environment that the Buhari presidency exemplifies."
The truth is that Buhari has dementia and doesn't know his left from his right. The real people ruling Nigeria now are Abba Kyari and Mamman Daura whom I've learned are no longer as chummy as they used to be.
I warned Nigerians in the run-up to the 2019 election that if they voted APC, they were voting Mamman Daura and Abba Kyari, not Buhari who is barely aware of his own existence. People who thought I was just being mischievous are coming to terms with what I said. Aisha won't reveal the true state of health of her husband, but she's railing against someone who takes orders from people who hold the real power

Saturday, December 7, 2019

Buhari’s Plan to Kill Sowore, Social Media Bill, and Aisha Buhari’s Hypocrisy

By Farooq A. Kperogi, Ph.D.
Twitter: @farooqkperogi

Minutes before I started writing this column, I watched disturbing videos showing officers of Nigeria’s anarchic DSS physically assaulting Omoyele Sowore in the process of illegally re-arresting him after a judge had ordered, for the umpteenth time, that he and Olawale Bakare be released from detention. The brave judge was also scared away by gunshots.

The videos emblematize Nigeria’s descent into the very nadir of fascistic absolutism. Buhari’s monocratic excesses are turning out to be more toxic than I had feared.

Before he was violently rearrested, Sowore said on camera that operatives of the DSS had told him he would never leave their gulag alive if he didn’t compromise. They want to murder him for demanding that the systemic dysfunction in Nigeria that holds vast swathes of people down be radically overhauled so that the country can work for everyone, not just a criminally and undeservedly favored minority.

Will Nigerians and the world watch idly while Buhari’s agents murder a man who committed no crime? Why is there no groundswell of national rage toward the unjustified criminalization of Sowore by a government that mollycoddles murderous Boko Haram terrorists, that “de-radicalizes” and “integrates” captured terrorists into the military who then cause the mass slaughters of our military men?

I know why. It’s because Sowore is an equal-opportunity tormentor of oppressors. Goodluck Jonathan sympathizers are as angry with him as Muhammadu Buhari supporters are. And since there are numerically insignificant people in the middle, that is, who are neither Jonathanians nor Buharists, he is left in the lurch.

Jonathan partisans on social media try to exploit the amnesia of Nigerians to claim that Sowore is only the victim of karmic retribution for opposing Jonathan’s administration, which putatively granted Nigerians unfettered freedom of speech. Well, several people, including Sowore, are being tried now using a repressive law that was signed by Goodluck Jonathan.

The Cybercrime Act, which Jonathan signed into law in 2015, prescribes a three-year jail term or a fine of 7 million naira or both for anyone convicted of “causing annoyance, inconvenience, danger, obstruction, insult, injury, criminal intimidation, enmity, hatred, ill will or needless anxiety to another.”

One of Sowore’s offenses, according to the charge sheet from the government’s prosecutors, is “That you Omoyele Stephen Sowore… did commit an offence to wit: you knowingly sent messages by means of press interview granted on ‘Arise Television’ network which you knew to be false for the purpose of causing insult, enmity, hatred and ill-will on the person of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”

As you can see, the charge against Sowore was taken straight from Jonathan’s Cybercrime Act. And this leads me to the fascistic social media strangulation bill being sponsored by Senator Mohammed Sani Musa of Niger State. The bill, like the ignorant “hate speech” bill being sponsored by another Niger State senator by the name of Aliyu Sabi Abdullahi, duplicates Jonathan’s ridiculously suppressive Cybercrime Act, which already criminalizes “causing annoyance… insult… enmity, hatred, ill will or needless anxiety to another.” What more do these dolts want?

Last week, Senator Musa said on national TV that the principal inspiration behind his sponsorship of the bill was to punish people behind the previously wildly trending social media rumor that Muhammadu Buhari was going to get married to Ms. Sadiya Umar Farouq, who masquerades as “minister” of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development even though the real minister is Fatima Mamman Daura, Mamman Daura's favorite daughter, who works as a director there.

Well, Aisha Buhari herself confirmed the wedding rumor during her interview with BBC Hausa on October 13, 2019. “Wacce aka ace Buhari zai aura ba ta yi zaton ba za a yi auren ba,” she told BBC Hausa. Rough idiomatic translation in English: "The very woman Buhari was supposed to marry didn't expect that the wedding would not happen."

 In other words, according to Aisha, the wedding rumor had basis in truth and Sadiya, in fact, was prepared for the wedding until it was called off because of the unexpectedly unusual social media attention it generated.

People close to Aisha told me it was actually Aisha and her social media handlers who instigated the social media hype over the wedding in order to embarrass Mamman Daura and ultimately thwart the wedding. And they succeeded.

Nonetheless, the same Aisha Buhari who confirmed that there was indeed a plan for Buhari to get married to his former mistress, Sadiya Farouq, reportedly told TVC’s “Journalists Hangout” that the rumor was fake. “I didn’t take it seriously because even my husband didn’t know what was happening,” she said. “Both of us didn’t know what was happening; they just decided to bombard social media with it. They are now taking to social media to bring down the government itself.”

She was clearly told to say that to manage the damage that my revealing her BBC Hausa media interview to the nation caused. Note that Aisha is barely literate. Her “degree” from the Kaduna satellite campus of Ambrose Alli University was fraudulent. It was acquired after the NUC had banned satellite campuses of universities, which were basically diploma mills, from issuing degrees. She used the illegally acquired satellite campus degree to get admission into NDA to study for a “master’s degree.”

Apart from being illiterate, she’s also a dissembler who exploited her opportunistic fight with the Aso Rock cabal to buy herself undeserved national sympathy. But she’s unraveling now after settling with the cabal. Nigerians should ask her to reconcile what she told BBC Hausa on October 13 and what she told TVC on December 5—if she’s intelligent enough to understand the question, that is.

By the way, Senator Musa, the sponsor of the social media bill, is the same APC party man whose company INEC contracts to produce card readers and PVCs for elections since 2015. That is ethically questionable. Of course, such a morally stained wheeler dealer would want to shut down social media under false pretenses to conceal his shenanigans.

Musa’s shamelessly plagiarized social media bill targets Nigerians not only at home but also abroad. The bad luck for him is that even if he succeeds in passing it into law, it won’t affect Nigerians who live in the US. In 2008, the state of New York enacted what is called  the Libel Tourism Protection Act, which “prevents litigants from enforcing foreign libel judgments in the state unless a New York court finds that the jurisdiction issuing the judgment provides the same free speech protections guaranteed under the U.S. and New York state constitutions.”

A federal version of this law was passed as “Securing the Protection of our Enduring and Established Constitutional Heritage (SPEECH) Act” in 2010. Since Nigeria does not have the same free speech protections as America, there’s not a snowball’s chance in hell that the social media bill will have any effect on those of us who live in America.

That was why I was shocked when Aliyu Sabi Abdullahi reported a US Embassy Political Officer by the name of Jerry Howard to have said that the hateful, ignorant, needlessly duplicative “hate speech” bill he is sponsoring in the Senate is “impressive.”

I doubt that Mr. Howard actually said that. But if he did, he would be guilty of what former President George W Bush once called “the soft bigotry of low expectations”: a form of benign prejudice that sets a low bar for people thought to be inferior.

America has no hate speech laws. The US Supreme Court has consistently ruled that hate speech laws are unconstitutional. The cure for hate speech in America is more free speech or, as Justice Louis Brandeis put it, "more speech, not enforced silence." Why should what is bad for America be “impressive” for Nigeria?

In any case, the bill Senator Abdullahi is sponsoring isn’t even hate speech in the proper sense of the term, as I showed last week; it’s a mix of defamation (which is already covered in Nigeria’s extant laws) and a sly protection of corrupt government officials from critical citizen commentary.

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Buhari's Lieocracy

By Farooq Kperogi
Twitter: @farooqkperogi

First shared on Facebook and Twitter on November 17, 2019

The news media first reported that 35 Yemi Osinbajo aides had been fired by the "Presidency." But his media aide, Laolu Akande, said it was a lie. Then Garba Shehu, Buhari's media aide, said it was true and added that the purge was part of a plan to cut the cost of governance.

The sacked aides, however, said they weren’t paid by government; that they were seconded to Osinbajo’s office by donor agencies, thereby undercutting Shehu’s rationale for their firing.

Finally, Buhari returned from London and said the sacked aides were only "redeployed" to other ministries and that we shouldn’t read any ethnic or political meaning to it. But how do you "redeploy" people to ministries who weren’t formally employed by government in the first place?

This is a government by lies, lies, and more lies. Call it lieocracy, if you like.

Monday, December 2, 2019

Aisha Buhari Would Be the First Victim of Social Media Law

By Farooq Kperogi, Ph.D.
Twitter: @farooqkperogi


If the fascistic social media strangulation bill being sponsored by Senator Mohammed Sani Musa of Niger State (BTW, why is Niger State the source of all the fascistic bills in the Senate?) becomes law, Mrs. Aisha Buhari, who fancies herself as “First Lady,” would be its first victim. Here’s why.

Last week, Senator Musa said on national TV that the principal inspiration behind his sponsorship of the bill was to punish people behind the previously wildly trending social media rumor that Muhammadu Buhari was going to get married to his dabino-stealing (former) mistress, Ms. Sadiya Umar Farouq, who masquerades as “Minister” of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development even though the real minister is Fatima Mamman Daura, Mamman Daura's favorite daughter.

Well, Aisha Buhari herself confirmed this wedding rumor during her interview with BBC Hausa on October 13. “Wacce aka ace Buhari zai aura ba ta yi zaton ba za a yi auren ba,” she told BBC Hausa. Rough idiomatic translation in English: "The very woman Buhari was supposed to marry didn't expect that the wedding would not happen." In other words, according to Aisha, the wedding rumor had basis in truth and Sadiya, in fact, was prepared for the wedding until it was called off because of the unexpectedly unusual social media attention it generated.

People close to Aisha told me it was actually Aisha and her social media handlers who instigated the social media hype over the wedding in order to embarrass Mamman Daura and ultimately thwart the wedding. And they succeeded. I hope Senator Musa will come for her when he succeeds with his fascistic social media bill.

By the way, Senator Musa is the same APC party man whose company INEC contracts to produce card readers and PVCs for elections since 2015. That is ethically questionable. Of course, such a morally stained wheeler dealer would want to shut down social media to conceal his shenanigans.