Buhari’s Biafra fever, Twitter and iron fist By Chido Nwangwu, Publisher of USAfricaonline.com
The great thing about today’s multimedia of communications Is the magic of organic spontaneity. Information and news can be shared, instantly. Yes; you no longer have to wait for the BBC, CNN, NTA, TASS, and for all it is worth, for Nigeria‘s Information Minister Lai Mohammed to spin, manage, package and relatively define what you read, how and when you consume the news and information!
A few hours into the morning of Wednesday June 2, 2021, the world’s number one micro-blogging site, Twitter, deleted Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari’s tweet where he referenced the 1967 to 1970 NIgeria-Biafra war. He intended to and did deliver a chilling threat to deal with “misbehaving” Nigerians in “the language they understand.”
Buhari warned on Tuesday June 1, that “Those of us in the fields for 30 months, who went through the war, will treat them in the language they understand.” Nigerians responded on Twitter and other social media platforms in massive numbers and expressed their disagreement with the threats by the president.
In a clear and deliberate reference to activists and agitators, primarily, in the east central/south eastern part of Nigeria, the former retired army general, unwittingly, instantly demolished one of the fanciful claims made by his artful media special assistant, Garba Shehu, on the Al Jazeera channel during the 2019 election that Buhari is/was “the father of the nation.”
The fundamental fact and objective truth remain, as some of the distinguished gentlemen and women from Buhari’s part of the country has attested to: Mr. Buhari’s actions, incendiary comments, discriminatory, clannish and nepotistic appointments polarize Nigeria.
Consequently, Buhari’s made-for-television narratives and previous pretenses to a basic level of statesmanship has vanished!
Against his own interest, what do I know; maybe in his preferred interest, Buhari’s first and consistent goal in history is to be the unapologetic defender, activist and champion of the Fulani west Africa hegemony and their herdsmen.
Those who have made 6 years of exculpatory excuses for Buhari’s understandable incompetence and potentially (repeat) genocidal threats were awakened, briefly, by the Twitter reprimand against him.
Buhari’s vexatious temperament and rage were barely concealed. He said it, basically, that his fellow retired, senior officers and rank-and-file soldiers and allies such as the iniquities drenched Britain are readying to do (more) to the 42 million Igbo in 2021 what they did in 1967; and continue to do in different ways to this day! Apparently, the leopard never sheds its spots. Thankfully, even the most carefully-crafted spin and falsehoods collapse in the merciless digital vortex of social, global and instantaneous communication! Remarkably, the asymmetrical landscape of communication can mortally damage the credibility of leaders and the direction of many countries. The social media has the capacity to catapult events to distant places.
With such power and influence of multimedia exposure via the ubiquitous internet and extranet platforms, people have pierced the walls of impunity and high-handed bigotry!
Twitter’s statement on Buhari’s threat has minimized his credibility and cover when the corporation stated “This tweet violated the Twitter rules.” USAfricaonline.com review of those rules show, in part, posting and sharing tweets which threaten to reflect “behavior” such as “Threaten violence against an individual or a group of people; engage in the targeted harassment of someone, or incite other people to do so; nor promote violence against, threaten, or harass other people on the basis of race, ethnicity, national origin, caste, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, religious affiliation, age, disability, or serious disease.”
Evidently, with the rise of the social media of communication, the world has become the broadcast platform for anyone with digital instruments such as the iPhone, any mobile device and fixed desktop devices.
Finally, Buhari who had the rare privilege of having served as a military dictator with an iron fist (December 1983-August 1985) and as a reluctant democrat (since May 2015) is, again, squandering history’s rare opportunities to be remembered for some important legacy beyond the dominant narrative deriving from his (in)actions and policies as, allegedly, the unseen grand-patron of some of these medieval jihadists who purport Nigeria as some form of inheritance. Those familiar makers of mayhem, subterfuge and banditry who insist that our ancestral lands and farms must yield unrestrained access to their cows to graze wherever and whenever they wish! Please, someone should awaken President Buhari from “continuity” with his Biafra fever…. *Dr. Chido Nwangwu, the author of of the forthcoming 2021 book, MLK, Mandela & Achebe: Power, Leadership and Identity, serves as Founder & Publisher of the first African-owned, U.S-based newspaper on the internet, USAfricaonline.com, and established USAfrica in 1992 in Houston. He is recipient of several public policy and journalism excellence honors, civic engagement and community empowerment awards and has appeared as an analyst on CNN and SKYnews. He served as an adviser on Africa business to Houston’s former Mayor Lee Brown. @Chido247