Opinion: Punch Newspapers, Kperogi and their Hypocritical Lamentations by Ikechukwu Eluigwe

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Opinion: Punch Newspapers, Kperogi and their Hypocritical Lamentations
How sincere is he who, having an elephant before him, uses a dog to give an example of a very large animal? How sincere is he, who having a dolphin before him, uses a frog to give an example of an aquatic animal? How sincere is he, who having a lion before him, uses a pussy cat as an example of a fierce predator?
There are examples we use to buttress a point that will actually reveal more to a wise audience than just what the example was meant to buttress. Punch Newspapers have been in the news because of their lamentation over Buhari’s draconian rule; before then, Farooq Kperogi had rendered his own lamentations over the same thing. In their lamentations, they both sought to validate their positions by giving examples of Buhari’s despotism. And something strange happens: the no-mention of the greatest victims of Buhari’s desperation.
How excusable is it that examples of victims of Buhari’s brutality is being given and there is no mention of Nnamdi Kanu, IPOB and other Biafran agitators? How is it possible that a fellow who made so much news because of his incarceration, despite being granted bail severally by different law courts, who had rallies that saw hundreds of thousands and millions show up, who gave instruction and Igbo markets all over the nation shut down, whose home was a scene of military invasion complete with aerial bombardment, armoured tanks, etc, at whose home scores were gunned down, who hundreds of his followers have been murdered in cold blood and sprayed with acids, complete with videos, pictures and even an attestation by Amnesty International… how is it possible that a sincere random list of Buhari’s murderous mania will skip Nnamdi Kanu, IPOB and other Biafran agitators? Some of the names Punch used to show Buhari’s despotism are names most Nigerians have never heard about, yet the name every villager knows is conveniently forgotten -a case of using a dog as an example of a very large animal while an elephant is right before you!
Professor Farooq Kperogi, on his own, enumerated those he believes need laws to protect them for being exposed to hate, victimization, assault, arson and murder, yet he conveniently excluded the Igbo -the greatest victim of such. Fulani herdsmen made his list of those in need of special laws to protect them… yes, Fulani herdsmen! Hausas and every northerner deserve special laws to protect them; but the greatest victims of arson, assault, hate speech, murders, riots, progrom and even a genocide do not deserve any laws to protect them. When Igbos called him out, this is the defense he gave.
“Many Igbo commenters are crossed that I left out Igbos in my list of vulnerable groups that need hate speech protection. They are right to be disappointed.
“However, I couldn’t include every group. That was why I called it “an “incomplete list.” This is a newspaper column with a word limit, which I actually exceeded by over a hundred words. I thought identifying “Christians in the North” as a vulnerable group takes care of Igbos because most people in the Muslim north who kill Igbos at the slightest provocation can’t tell Igbos from other ethnic groups in the South. It is their Christian identity that stands out. But I agree that Igbos are an endangered group in the Muslim North.”
Can you see the defense? Can you see how it smirks of casuistry and sophistry? Motion without movement? A supposed explanation that only went on to defend the absurd omission! It does not take intelligence to unravel the hypocrisy, it takes just a little bit of history and current affairs. Now, let’s examine his defense in the light of history and current affairs. Have Igbos been victimized only in the north? Have Igbos been victimized only by Muslims? When the Igbo faced the greatest progrom ever were Christians not part of those slaughtering them? When they faced genocide during the war, were Christians not part of those whose speeches threatening to annihilate the Igbo were put in print? In Tiv land were they were once attacked and killed, and their properties looted, is it a Muslim land? In the Southwest were they have faced all sorts of threats, and actual assault during the last election, was it coordinated by Muslims? Obasanjo who said the Igbo will never rule Nigeria in 150 years time, is he a Muslim? The derogatory word “Nyamiri” used to identify targets of slaughter during riots in the north, is it a word identifying Christians or Igbos? During those riots in the north, in which Igbos are killed and looted, how many Fulani, Hausa, Nupe, Kanuri Christians are equally killed and looted? Do the northern rioters kill Ejiro, Boma, Effiong, Osaretin during the riots because they are Christians or because they are assumed to be Igbo? We all know that they are killed because they are assumed to be Igbo.
So, can you see the disgusting hypocrisy when Kperogi can include Hausas for a protective bill, and defend his inclusion because ALL NORTHERNERS are assumed to be Hausa (that is, Kperogi is saying that all northerners deserve special protection), then comes back to excuse his omission of the Igbo in the list of those deserving protection by claiming Igbo is subsumed in his mention of Christians in the north -as though it is only in the hands of Muslims and northerners that the Igbo have suffered. Mind you, I am not canvassing for any special protection of the Igbo; I am only calling out the hypocrisy of those canvassing such.
If a fellow would rather use a frog as an example of an aquatic animal rather than a dolphin playing before him, truth is that he has issues with the dolphin. The dolphin would be a fool to think that any campaign done by this fellow with regards aquatic animals has his interests factored. If a fellow would rather use a pussy cat as an example of a fierce predator right in the presence of a lion, then the lion might as not well exist as long as this fellow is concerned. The lion would be a fool to think that this fellow will ever fight for his interest. In this Freudian slip of the tongue -this is even worse because it is written material- both Punch newspapers and Professor Kperogi have shown that they have issues with the Igbo; and that we might well not have existed. They have shown that if Buhari’s craze was limited to the Igbo, Nnamdi Kanu, IPOB, Biafra agitators and anything Igbo, they will not have cared -in fact, Buhari can go ahead and consume us. Only a foolish Igbo will think that these people are fighting for his interests. Things like these are reasons why some of us will cleave and defend ethnic cleavage; maka na onye ajuru, anaghi aju onwe ya! Truth be told, if not that it is no wisdom to cut the nose just to spit the face, we would have simply joined the Buhari wagon now that it seems to be on a collision course with these recent lamentors and have our pound of flesh; but we won’t, we are much wiser than that.
These cries of Buhari’s despotism coming from these ones are no altruistic cries -probably, cries for loot! Any Igbo, who out of expediency must cry with them, should cry with a wireless microphone that can assure him great distance from them.
As Published by Ikechukwu Eluigwe on Facebook
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