One indispensable role education plays in the life of every individual is that it helps people become better citizens and know the difference between good and bad. Thus, they are able to shape a better society. If the foregoing is anything to go by one might be tempted to think all the efforts Professor Farooq Kperogi expended in acquiring education may have been a colossal waste of precious resources, time and energy.
Though the ‘naughty’ professor has since earned a crown as a prince of mischief, his latest attempt through his deluded writing to ignite the very sensitive issue of religion has further proven that Kperogi could as well be ‘Naughty by Nature,’ just to borrow the name of the American hip hop trio from East Orange, New Jersey.
In his recent article, Kperogi alluded to the fact that if Vice President Yemi Osinbajo becomes Nigeria’s president, he would Christianise Nigeria. Obviously, he meant it for evil, to soil a hard earned reputation built on integrity, diligence and hard work. To Kperogi’s greatest disappointment, he has ended up raising the issue of Osinbajo’s presidency for Nigerians to discuss. The outcome has been overwhelming. In fact, Kperogi now stands a better chance of explaining to charlatans that Osinbajo, a Professor of Law of Evidence, is the best man to succeed his boss, to whom he had been 100 percent loyal in the last seven years.
Kperogi thought he could just spin his usual literary stunt with a view to make Nigerians hate a man that men of goodwill are clamouring to succeed his boss. He was wrong. This time around, the hatchet job backfired. He couldn’t contain the vituperations and verbal assaults of enraged Nigerians. If I may ask, why did Kperogi turn off his comment section? It was to avoid the angst of many Nigerians.
How can any sane person phatom such a ridiculous and divisive publication? It is simply clear: he is only doing the bidding of his paymasters who are perpetually in the mud and would do everything to malign the towering testament of Osinbajo’s character in order to drag him into the mud like them. Their frustration is simple. Nigerians have rejected them; hence, they see Osinbajo’s towering popularity as a threat to their dead ambition.
Kperogi tried fruitlessly to paint a false picture that Osinbajo has a Christianization agenda in making appointments. Ordinarily, one would have ignored Kperogi and his cunning fables but for the sake of some gullible Nigerians. For the records, the constitution of Nigeria empowers the president to solely handpick presidential aides and by virtue of that, President Muhammadu Buhari appointed all the aides working in the office of the vice president. Many of whom are Muslims, including the deputy chief of staff, Mr Ade Ipaye.
The positions following the deputy chief of staff in the order of hierarchy are the special advisers in the office of the vice president. The VP has five special advisers and three of them are Muslims: Senator Babafemi Ojudu from Ekiti State, Mrs Mariam Uwais from Kano State, Engr Ahmad Zakari from Jigawa State. The senior special assistant on Legal Matters in the VP’s Office, Dr Balkisu Saidu is also a Muslim. The director of Protocol and also senior special assistant on Foreign Affairs is Ambassador Abdullahi Gwary from Yobe State. Those in charge of welfare and health in the office of the vice president are mostly Muslims and from the North.
VP Osinbajo has been invited by the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA), the highest Muslim Council in Nigeria, to speak on a number of occasions. In the past, Emirs and Muslim leaders have spoken glowingly of Osinbajo, with the Emir of Daura labelling him a symbol of loyalty and trustworthiness, “When you (Osinbajo) talk about loyalty and trustworthiness among the political class, you stand as an example worthy of note,” the royal father stated.
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) said they had confirmed that some of the names listed as Muslims working in the VP’s office are not fictional, adding that the most senior staff working with Osinbajo, a senior pastor with RCCG, are Muslims. “An innocent man should not be crucified simply because he is a Christian. We insist on truth, fairness and objectivity,” MURIC said.
Kperogi’s latest drumbeat is akin to that of an anarchist who is never happy where there’s prevailing peace and order. Having tried severally, through concocted and mischievous falsehood to bring down the Buhari-led government or instigate Nigerians from Atlanta, Kperoogi’s haven of satanism, he has turned his attention to whipping up religious sentiment against an innocent man.
Bereft of where to unleash his diatribe, he chose Osinbajo this time around, forgetting that the man in question has something close to an unblemished record. Let me borrow from the submission of Haruna Abdullahi (Haruspice). He said, “Using the balloon of religion to stain the character of a good man is not far from punching the air. Kperogi’s sadism ends where it starts. It has no lethal effect whatsoever. The people are far more liberated and enlightened to fall for the theatrics of Kperogi whose stock in trade is attacking those he can never be like.
An Osinbajo in a Mosque in Kano would have the warm welcome of Muslim faithful than a kperogi in the same Mosque. The spent regurgitator of grammar should look for something better to improve his waned fortune instead of promoting a dangerous agenda aimed at tarnishing the sparkling image of Vice President Osibanjo.
Kperogi should stop running because no one is pursuing him. A man should not live all his life ingrained in hate, bigotry and mischief. His writings are fast becoming bland, drowsy and infantile. He should learn to outgrow this jejune disposition. Like I opined somewhere, in the committee of right-thinking members of the society, a writer is judged on not how brute his pen has been but on how fair, compassionate and reasonable his pen has been. A writer that sees nothing good in others and always writes to condemn where condemnation isn’t necessary is not only a pen bully but also a persona using condemnation to deflect necessary scrutiny of the life he leads. If a writer’s life is good and smooth, his pen would certainly see the goodness of others.
What Christian agenda a man whose chief of staff is a Muslim would want to promote? This same diatribe was used against Osinbajo’s boss, President Muhammadu Buhari; yet the man was able to outlive the unfair onslaught against him. Politics shouldn’t be such a dangerous game where people are unfairly hacked using the axe of religion.
We have not rest our case yest. Next time when Kperogi comes to the media space with beer parlour talk, it shall remain our duty to continue to remind him of the need to think before talking.
On our part, we will continue to stand firm in defense of our credible leaders, and we won’t allow anybody, no matter how big or small, to destroy the unity of our great country Nigeria even if it requires seeking legal reddress. Blackmail of any form, including the type Kperogi is peddling in the media to instigate crisis among the Muslim and Christian faithful with a view to breaching national security should not be condorned anywhere.
-Ibrahim is director, Communications and Strategic Planning, of the Presidential Support Committee (PSC).