Farooq Kperogi: The Front-man For Fake News, Falsehood And Fanciful Fallacies

By Bala Ibrahim

Although I had long resolved not to respond to the comments of Farooq Kperogi, the US based media academic, who takes delight in concocting and publishing stories that suit his imagination, which are often accompanied by apologies, my conscience keeps pricking me, whenever I read his dross without dragging him to the cleaners.

As a lecturer in journalism, who is expected to prepare students to be objective, Farooq’s penchant and passion for partiality, are at parallel with the principles of fairness, and a proof of his predisposition to prejudice, or a man with high propensity to proclivity. These are qualities in complete conflict with the calling of a committed columnist, commentator or correspondent. Doing that from the shores of the US, the acclaimed custodian of Human Rights, makes matters worse.

Reading through his latest article today, published on his column in the Nigerian Tribune, titled, “Backstory Behind Aisha Buhari’s Gunfight”, I couldn’t but continue to ponder, on his poor understanding of power and politics, particularly how the puzzles are peculiarly played in the Presidential Villa of Nigeria. Farooq would save himself a lot of embarrassment, if he takes time to read the memoirs of those who lived or worked in the famous Aso rock, as the villa is nicknamed.

Farooq’s article begun thus “Well, Aisha’s attempt on the life of Sabi’u “Tunde” Yusuf, a 30-something-year-old former recharge card seller in Daura, who is now the third most powerful Nigerian after Buhari and Mamman Daura, was a consequence of her frustration at not being able to take over power after Abba Kyari’s death. Abba Kyari was the face of the cabal made up of Mamman Daura, Samaila Isa Funtua, Babagana Kingibe, and former DSS boss Lawal Musa Daura. Kyari was almost literally Buhari’s babysitter, which, as you would expect, made him Aisha’s sworn enemy, although Aisha got a heck of a lot of placatory concessions and favors from him”.

While for some reasons, I wouldn’t want to go into Aisha’s issue, I would start by addressing the fault in Farooq’s description of Sabiu Yusuf, alias Tunde as, “a 30-something-year-old former recharge card seller in Daura”, which clearly buttresses his poor understanding of the meaning of destiny.

Destiny is the designed mankind’s high, necessarily followed by every person, without regards to age, professional background, academic qualification or race. The same destiny that takes a reporter to the US, can take the recharge card seller to the villa, provided it’s ordained by God. And God needs not consult anyone before taking that decision.

I equally don’t want to delve into the over flogged issue of the cabal, particularly because one of the most featured names in the so called Buhari cabal, that is Mallam Abba Kyari, is late. By my training and religious upbringing, Iam discouraged from talking about the dead, especially saying something bad.

Farooq may be frustrated by the silence of the other living members of those he has been attacking, who out of maturity, seem permanently determined to refuse glorifying him with a response. This, and perhaps his failure to get their support for something personal, may be responsible for the repeated and aggressive salvo against them. This is in contradiction with the “five R’s” of media relations, particularly as it relates to the R’s of being Respectful and Responsible.

I equally don’t want to go into how Professor Ibrahim Gambari came to become the replacement of late Mallam Abba Kyari, as the Chief of staff to President Muhammadu Bubari, but if we go by the antecedents of the President, we can easily deduce that he is not a person that submits to media blackmail. To say Buhari was compelled to appoint Professor Gambari through “social media manipulation” is everything but the truth.

If my memory is not failing, I can recall how in his time as Head of State, Buhari ordered the replacement of a Col. Archibong by another Col. Archibong, on his way to assuming office as the then Military Governor of Cross River State, simply because the information had leaked to the press, who hurriedly published it. There was also the famous case of Gen. Haladu and Gen. Hananiya, as Nigeria’s Defense attaches in London, an issue that resulted in the promulgation of the infamous decree Number 4, captioned, the Protection of Public Officers Against False Accusations. The reckless members of the press were the victims.

Although things have changed with his return as a democratic President, but Buhari is still not a man that simply surrenders to the pressing pressure of the press, more so, when it comes to sensitive appointments.

Had Farooq taken the time to read and understand the message of Segun Adeniyi, in his book, Power, Politics and Death, which touched on the behind the scenes intrigues during the reign of former president Umaru Musa Yar’Adua’, he would have gotten a better grasp of the inner workings in the villa.

There is nothing new under Buhari, as far as power play in the Presidency is concerned. And as an Associate Professor in Journalism, Farooq should know the imperative of making postulations painstakingly pertinent, and not always putting them so pettish.