This could easily be a long-ass read, but we shall try to break it down and properly.
Nigeria twitter and indeed social media has been on fire- almost literary speaking, in the past week. Nigeria twitter is always on fire- half the time for seriousness and the other half for bother line silliness, but one thing is certain; that the app has become a hub where Nigerians speak up on every and anything, especially on governance. And because of the blue verification tick people know who is saying what, and especially where/who their opinions should be directed at when it concerns public offices.
On EASTER SUNDAY 12 (I know, right), Bello El Rufai, son of Nasir El Rufai– Kaduna State governor who also was the former Minister of Nigeria’s Federal Capital Territory from 2003 to 2007 caused a storm on twitter. It was a storm that in the following days would grow into an unstoppable Tsunami.
Bello was arguing with a twitter user @thanos_zer after the latter told Bello he wasn’t fit to criticize America’s Donald Trump while Nigeria’s government wasn’t doing right by its people, especially under the APC political party, of which Nasir El Rufai is a founding member. The user had described Nigeria’s president as an absentee one. At some point in their exchange, triggered by Thanos’ comments about Bello being a ‘Daddy’s boy’, Bello replied with below the belt tweets that would extend beyond his opponent, open old wounds, promote existing unhealthy tribal sentiments and make Nigerians visit the country’s deep cultural maltreatment of women- the one good that came out of it all.
This would not be the first time Bello would attack people and their mothers over the internet that he presumed wrongly to be of Igbo extraction. The confirmation tweets below are worrisome as they are disgusting.
Bello has had his fair share of controversy. A twitter user Sugabelly took his friends years ago to court and won over a sordid tale of sexual assault. In light of Bello’s recent tweets, she voiced her opinions and he had a vulgar response. His seemingly regular trademark.
As news of Bello’s Sunday 12th rants caught on, first lady of Kaduna and Bello El Rufai’s mother, Hadiza El Rufai was quickly informed of her son’s crass comments via twitter where she is active, giving Kaduna English and French language classes amidst other activities. Her response and catch phrase “All is fair in love and war” shocked many Nigerians, reinforcing that the apple truly doesn’t fall far from the tree.
The very next day she seemed to have realized the gravity of the situation and came back with ……
Former Education Minister and Bring back our girls advocate, Oby Ezekwesili was one of those who jumped in to caution Bello eary in the saga. It seemed both families had once been quite close, with Bello tweeting in the past about Madam Oby’s kindness to his family and her suitability to be a leader. On the 12th however, she was quickly and publicly shunned by both mother and son on the social platform. Soon, the print and other media began to get involved. Like some people, you may agree that this is better than Game of thrones.
NIGERIAN WRITERS REACT
In another part of the country, Obi–Young Otorisieze, an Editor with Brittle Papers, an important Nigerian/African literary website was very upset, like many others with Bello and Hadiza El Rufai. As the pen is a writer’s weapon- or these days- the laptop, Obi penned an article on the matter calling the First lady out. His boss Aniehi Edoro felt the write-up was potentially libelous with an outrageous headline and wanted the article edited. Obi did so grudgingly but it wasn’t enough. He got fired, the article got edited, Nigeria twitter caught on more fire, BP gave their statement, the inferno increased.
The popular opinion is Brittle Papers has been compromised as Hadiza El Rufai, who herself is a writer has been featured on the site. People felt there was Brown envelope involved, and to protest the censorship of Obi’s article, some of Nigeria’s new writing talents pulled their work from their site. Some authors from other demography and geography followed suit. Fast rising writer Chibuihe Obi, from Nigeria returned his prize money from BP for his work.
In El Rufai land meanwhile, Nigerians wouldn’t relent on the offending tweets and on the 5TH DAY after the media war began, Bello eventually “apologized”. It was not well received. This led to more fighting and division in some Nigerian literary, art spaces and the country.
How effective is Bello’s apology if it cannot address his clear obsession and hate for Igbos who he keeps maligning and attacking at any given chance?
How real is his apology when it doesn’t answer some fundamental questions about Bello’s upbringing and Nigeria’s unstable “unity”? Does Bello echo thoughts of the average Nigerian Northerner about Igbos who have historically been killed many times in that region of Nigeria ?
If Bello, a political office holder can speak so badly in reference to women, on several occasions shouldn’t we imagine what the attitude of the average Nigerian man who isn’t exposed to his “education” and wealth is with women and implement how to truly better the rights of Nigerian women? Who can forget that a seating Nigerian senator Elisha Abbo, publicly physically attacked a nursing mother in a sex store.
Like Bello he later “apologized”.
Why have Nigerians allowed themselves to be walked over and can’t unite and insist on not recycling criminals in representing them for so long? It does seem the tides are changing, because the people are angrier about the contempt with which people in governance, and their families treat them even in the midst of their unending looting and blatant irresponsibility.
To end this long ass article, watch this video of Bello’s father being probed for allocating state properties to his family over a decade ago, and tell us why again Bello was so enraged at being referred to as a Daddy’s boy, that he threw every caution to the wind. Truth does hurts.
Article by Ruki M.