If there is anybody eager to rewrite history just to intone falsehood and malign a group of people, it is the squit called Reno Omokri.
It is not clear what informs his choice of being an ethnic profiler. But whatever his reason, be it complex (inferiority) or the need to generate traffic on his X handle (formerly known as Twitter), or both, one thing is certain: he has chosen for himself an unenviable task that offers no good reward.
Perhaps he does not know or should be reminded that profiling an ethnic group with the intention to malign it has never been a profitable trade for anybody either now or in the past. At best, it inflicts on the profiler pain and humiliating losses, and nothing has changed to suggest it will reward better now.
Contrary to the thinking of many that replying Reno is conferring credibility on his concocted lies, not doing anything at all is confirming his lies. Ethnic profiling is an insidious campaign which, if unchecked, may lead to regrettable ends. It is not clear why he chose to walk the path profilers and indeed blackmailers like, Adeyinka Grandson, threaded with humiliating consequences. He probably does not know how unpleasant an experience it is to defecate in an overgrown bush.
Rewriting Nigerian history is not a fairly easy task. But it is more difficult when the intention is to stand fact on its head. The account of the Nigerian Biafran war does not need revisionism, especially of the type Reno has offered as a way of sucking up to certain interests. According to Reno the 30-month Nigeria-Biafra war which started as a police action July 6, 1967, at Garkem, Cross River State, was a war between the North and the East until the Biafrans invaded the Midwest. What a mischievous revision?
It is doubtful if Reno is not affected by cognitive dissonance which makes him incapable of coordinated thought and action. The war as fought was between Nigeria (not Northern Nigeria) and Biafra (former Eastern Nigeria). It was never a war between Northern Nigeria and Eastern Nigeria until Biafra invaded the Midwest (Edo and Delta states) as claimed by Reno. Maybe he read a different history book and may have to explain to his readers what informed the earliest involvement in the war of army commanders of Yoruba, Jukun, Tiv, Igbo, Annang, Anga, Tapa, Ibibio, Ijaw, descent etc against Biafra.
Prior to Biafran motorised invasion of the Midwest on August 9, 1967, led by Col. Victor Banjo, a Yoruba, officers like Col. Benjamin Adekunle, commander of Nigeria’s 3rd Marine Commando; Col Olusegun Obasanjo who received the instrument of surrender; Col. Alani Akinrinade, Col. Godwin Alabi-Isama, Col. Shittu Alao (Nigerian Airforce Chief who died in the war), Col. Joe Akahan (Nigerian Army Chief who also died in the war), Col. Philemon Shande ( who lost his life during operation Owerri, Aba, Umuahia, OAU), Col. Emmanuel Sotomi (under whose command at Obollo Eke, Major Nzeogwu died), Captain Cyril Iweze, Lt. Ike Nwachukwu, among others, were already doing battle for Nigeria. They were not provoked to join the war because they witnessed Biafran brutalities against the people of the Midwest and Ore, Ondo state when both areas were overrun by Biafrans.
Slavish and unmindful of the lessons of history, he laboured to absolve the 2nd Division of the Nigerian army under the command of Col. Murtala Mohammed of the guilt of the October 1967 massacre at Asaba. He pretended to be ignorant of the Asaba massacre and the beheading in Benin prison of Col. Henry Igboba, a Midwestern army officer when that area was retaken by the Nigerian Army.
Very eager to undo himself, he wrote in another piece he entitled “There would have been a Second Civil War if Peter Obi had won at the tribunal,” that Major Wale Ademoyega, one of the five Majors who masterminded the January 15, 1966 coup, was involved in the planning and not execution of that Nigeria’s first coup d’etat. He went further to allege that no Igbo army officer was killed during the coup even when Col. Arthur Unegbe was not spared the bullets by the January boys. He equally glossed over the involvement of Captain Adeleke, Lt. Fola Oyewole, Lt.Fola Olafiminha, Lt. Bob Egbikor, etc. and mentioned only Major Kaduna Nzeogwu, Major Emmanuel Ifeajuna, Major Chris Anuforo and Major Don Okafor just to intone the colouration of an Igbo coup.
He claimed that if Obi had won at the Presidential Tribunal members of the Obidient movement would have brought a second civil war to Nigeria without substantiation. He has continued to stoke the fire of hatred against tribes according to how it affects his selfish interest.
The fact that he has no job presently is not enough reason to malign a people in order to ingratiate himself with the presidency. Since the presidency of Goodluck Jonathan where he served as an aide he has not been able to come to terms with joblessness. He has as yet to accept that his services are no longer needed in the presidency.
Reno is a PDP card-carrying member who hardly talks or writes about his party or its candidate in the February 25, 2023, presidential election. Rather he has chosen for himself the yeoman’s job of magnifying Tinubu, mortifying Obi and ignoring Atiku.
The butterfly Reno who thinks himself a bird has continued to perch on subjects he has neither the competence to understand nor treat. He seeks nectar among trees, but will soon realise that he does not possess of the strength to fly very high. He needs greater effort than those who threaded the brazen path if he must stay the course. But I doubt.
Ejike Anyaduba writes for Abatete, Anambra State.