Nigeria has become a theatre of research possibilities. Daily the nation drifts from the mini theatre of the serious to the auditorium of jesters and comedians. This period clearly reminded many of the very successful Biafran propaganda that even leaves will at the appropriate time rise up and do battle for Biafra.
The frenzy and conviction demonstrated by those folks working in Radio Biafra remain unassailable till date and it was this that doubly encouraged both civilians and combatants in Biafra. The spirit never ached and the war surprisingly lasted for 30 solid months. A propaganda may not be necessarily false but the force in message delivery in most cases count as the key. Are we seeing the rebirth of Uche Chukwumerije and Okoko Ndem in their capacity as media orators for Biafra? The oratory skill of these men was not lost on any modern strategist and IBB, the survivalist and Nigeria’s first and only military president made the best out of Chukwumerije as an information minister in Nigeria’s darkest period in history. Today, a new kid is on the block and he is not joking. He has made the most out of his oratory magic and the world is listening.
Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, the garrulous and loquacious ill trained commander of the separatist Biafran group, IPOB started it. It indeed started like a whisper and then it grew and blossomed; nurtured by the anxiety of citizens and before long, the greenery and lushness of the newly planted tree grew like the lilies of the field watered by the twin rivers of Niger and Benue and a multitude of tributaries of fertile imagination. Sundry theories of cloning and fresh perspectives on being an impostor with the skill and ability of recognizing a clone and the impostor emerged. Kanu began slowly by alerting Nigerians of an impostor in Aso Rock and after he fled in the aftermath of the python dance, he ignited the media space of a ‘double’ Buhari from Sudan after the death of the real Buhari who was buried in Saudi Arabia. Even the deaf and dumb are not in the dark on the analytical depth and strength Mazi Kanu has employed to convince the world on what still remain a hypothesis. My intervention here is not on the reality or otherwise of the Kanu-powered hypothesis of doubling or cloning a 75 yr old man. Rather, it is on what will happen in reckless rapidity in the coming weeks of electioneering campaign leading to the 2019 electoral contest. It has indeed started.
Our achievements has a way of finding us out for good or for bad. His Excellency Orji Uzor Kalu has become the first victim of this rave of the moment namely cloning or doubling. Having returned over the weekend from a repeatedly postponed surgery in Germany, the social media outlets in the last 72 hours feasted on the news that he had passed on after the surgery in Germany. And that an impostor from the Gambia flew in to act as double for the astute businessman. I remember speaking with him on phone at about 11am and I clearly remembered what he said to me; his vocal presentation phone jabs and mannerism was not in doubt for anyone that knows him. Yet, political jobbers, or so I believe, scared of his rising profile remained ill at ease for his return.
I will not be able to say who is at the centre of all these but before the death scare of OUK, a few regular media outlets released the info of a planned one million man march billed for 16th December 2018 against a recuperating man. His offence according to them was that he cannot deliver Abia North to his party!! It is possible that when this didn’t fly, the impostor option became a thrilling alternative.
As I pen this at the moment, some individuals affirm that the real Mazi Kanu died in the unfortunate and avoidable python dance and that the one dishing out repeated broadcasts from Jerusalem, Israel is an impostor from Togo. This confirms my fear that this indeed is the season for impostors.
Be on the look out for impostors around you. As for me, I will not be surprised if after ASUU strike, my students may insist that I am an impostor from Congo having passed on during the strike on account of government’s policy of ‘no work, no pay’ and that the man before them teaching the history of the Middle East is an impostor. Let us all pray for ourselves, for the probability is high that even our wives and husbands could declare us impostors leading to grave family challenges.
May we commit this in prayer….Amen.
Prof. Victor Ukaogo, professor of History and International Studies, University of Nigeria, Nsukka.
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