I read the king who danced naked more than two decades ago and it never ceased to baffle me why people will be so afraid never to tell a king his fault to the extent he will be naked and his advisors will say he is wearing the best apparel. This story was brought to the fore of my mind two days ago when I watched Rome (the series film) and subjects were clapping for Mark Anthony who was pathetically practicing a duel with his Aide camp, Veronius. Nobody could whisper to his ears that he was a mockery of himself and far gone in spirit to replicate the feat of the able general that nations dreaded and Romans loved. It was at that moment I pitied royalty. It was definitely hard to separate praise-singers from truth-tellers.
Just yesterday the twitter world was agog by a seemingly offensive statement that one of their own made on television; Japheth Omojuwa. He was quoted by Channels Television on their Rubbin’ minds to have said that “our noise on social media is achieving more than Gani (Fawehinmi) did” Immediately he got out of set the mudslingers were at work and for the first time since following him on twitter I saw a flustered JJ trying to explain that he did not and could not say such a thing against the venerated activist Gani Fawehinmi. Friends and enemies came to his aid and @omojuwa even got his much needed I love you no matter what everybody says you said. But did he really say what they say he said? He interjected with the words that ‘what did Gani achieve with his street protests?’ His staunchest critic on twitter on the issue @ogundamisi agrees that channels headlines is misleading but in a moment of thoughtlessness and invincibility Japheth Omojuwa challenged a predecessor’s groundbreaking work. In the days of the Senior Advocate of the People street protests and the media (that is if you are even given access) were the only ways of airing your grievance and getting across to the polity. They were okay for that time just as animal transportation was okay two centuries ago. They served their purpose and even helped guide us into the present day jet age of speed and comfort but in no way are they irrelevant or less important than modern day transportation. Same goes for Gani’s street protests and Omojuwa’s social media activism.
Who then is Japheth Omojuwa with the twitter handle @omojuwa and 62, 000 plus followership?! Na god? @liltem_ asked and @AwoMike replied “I tire o!.” I met him on twitter and so I will talk only from that angle. The signs have been there that an incidence like yesterday’s will be witnessed shortly. The aura of invincibility had clothed our dear omojuwa and it was only a matter of time before he miss-stepped or miss-spoke. When Nasir El-Rufai said that his two daughters with MSc certificates were jobless I thought @omojuwa will have something to say on the subject but not only did he gloss over it but he sent a link for us to read Fani Kayode’s article on the subject that taunted our sensibilities on joblessness. Joblessness is not when my father has different companies to gainfully employ me or the clout to get me a job anywhere but I am just not working. Joblessness is different from being unemployed as Nasir El-Rufai’s daughters are suffering from the latter and not the former. Joblessness is when I don’t have a job despite the fact that I desperately need it and I have two kids and a wife to feed. @omojuwa brushed the matter aside so no wonder Bello El-Rufai, the son of Mallam El-Rufai, came to his rescue on twitter on this present issue.
However, more irking was the manner in which @omojuwa attacked his followers when they asked that he comment on the extra-marital escapades of the ‘revered’ Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, directly calling some brainless and unlettered. This was exactly how kings treated their subjects who were not in conformity with their views; they made them look like idiots. Wouldn’t it have been better that @omojuwa said “no comments” or “this is a personal matter which I will not delve into” rather than taking it out on his followers? And the only reasons he gave to us were that Sanusi Lamido Sanusi is a Kings College Old Boy and that if not for him we would have been exchanging N500 for a dollar. Dear Omojuwa if not for your old boy’s personal vendetta more than 5,000 Nigerians would have still been employed in the banking sector coupled with the chain reaction that takes place anytime a Nigerian bread winner loses his job. Besides you don’t really know if we would have been exchanging a dollar for less than the N160 obtainable now if someone else was on that seat. The SLS sexcapades, if true, may not be an issue here but abroad it made one David Petraeus resign from his job as CIA chief.
Omojuwa was nose-diving and yesterday was a jolt out of the blues for him. I hope he accepts that although he was quoted out of context his statement had every right to be construed as they were. He should not be a king who wishes to be loved and feels so bad that his friends never came to his aid rather they told him their mind albeit publicly. He should gather himself together and continue what he has been doing but in a conscientious way knowing that it could take a minute and an offhand statement to bring him down. I once told him on twitter that I like the way he accepts correction and I hope this will be no different as it is a test of the nature of his greatness.
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