OPINION: Of Pipers, their tunes and their Paymasters

“For those who know Mr. Omatseye well, for despite his impressive intellectual endowment, he has been beholden to the rechristened Bola Ahmed Tinubu and his filthy lucre for most of his life.”

By Alex Amaechi Ugwuja

There is no better way to explain Sam Omatseye’s aspersions on the impending political revolution in Nigeria than the oft-stated aphorism that who pays the piper calls the tune.

Though it is really shameful that Mr. Omatseye, a first-class brain and award-winning journalist, has elected to employ his being to the service of national ignominy, political loathsomeness, ethnicity, and most importantly, supporting the reactionary forces that have kept Nigeria shackled and dragooned to the present state of hopelessness, this may not be surprising for those who know Mr. Omatseye well, for despite his impressive intellectual endowment, he has been beholden to the rechristened Bola Ahmed Tinubu and his filthy lucre for most of his life.

There’s none of his seemingly sterling achievements that do not bear the fangy hands of BAT. I am sure that unlike most of the pro NADECO journalists that fought Abacha, Mr. Omatseye’s anti-Abacha struggles was not for the enthronement of popular democracy in Nigeria but for Tinubu’s ‘agbado democracy’.

Omatseye’s ill-considered opinion in the Nation Newspaper of 1 August 2022, in which he marshaled his fading writing skills to link Nigerians’ rejection of poverty, insecurity and governmental ineptitude to the Igbo question, and wherein he sought to cast the popular acceptance of Peter Obi as a reconfiguration of Nnamdi Kanu’s quest for Igbo excision from Nigeria, does not only showcase his demented state of mind but also his willingness to incite and fan the embers of the sort of ethnicity that pushed Nigeria to the war of 1967-70 – from which it apparently is yet to recover.

One may not have been required to respond to Sam Omatseye’s bigoted and criminally inciting opinion on the Nation’s opinion space of 1 August 2022, if not for the fact that many unwary readers might take the balderdash as quotable truth.

Omatseye’s opinion is not anything near the truth, neither has it anything worthwhile to offer to its readers, apart from the unoriginal attempt to fan the embers of sectionalism and ethnicity in the already deeply fragmented country. Omatseye’s poll lacks originality of thought and ideas – this is not a new development, though.

Omatseye has alleged that Southeast Nigeria has remained calm because the Igbo has swapped icons – from Maazi Nnamdi Kanu to Mr. Peter Obi.

This major pillar and other supporting pillars of Mr. Omatseye’s argument are as false as the APC has attempted to hoodwink Nigerians since 2015. If anything is closer to the truth, it is that IPOB question has gone beyond what the APC and their agbado brains bargained for.

We will not allow a Manichean jingoist to goad us to a fruitless historical back-winding, which will only remind of hurts, blames and counter-blames. We are wiser than this antic. As the late sage, Chinua Achebe, reminded us: those who are unable to recall from where the rain started beating them may not be able to note whence it stopped.

Mr. Omatseye cannot from the BAT-enabled prison that he calls a home at VI Lagos, discern that the Obidience Movement is beyond any ethnic faction – it is a movement of a people atrophied by the APC for 7 years plus; a movement of a people who in self-discovery found that they have been taken backwards, rather than advancing their material wellbeing; it is a movement of a browbeaten people, who have found and anchored their hopes on a man, who to them is different from the pack – a man who has offered them better promises and who has a track-record of delivering on his promises.

No one has bagged any lies about Mr. Peter Obi; we recognise that he is not perfect, he is not the best but he is far better than the wolves who furnish Victoria Island homes for the likes of Mr. Sam Omatseye, while 99.9 per cent Nigerians suffer untellable hardships.

•Dr. Ugwuja is of the Department of History and International Studies, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka.

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