Thoughts On The To Build A Nation Tour: A Response to the Jide Akintunde Rejoinder

The ne’er-do-well has not become rich he is kicking the princess, what will he do if he becomes rich? (paraphrased)

 Ogboju Ode Ninu Igbo Irunmole -D.O Fagunwa

On Friday the 8th of June 2018, I attended Young Progressives Party presidential aspirant, Prof. Kingsley Moghalu’s To Build A Nation Tour, UI edition, and I decided to share a few thoughts on it the next day. On Monday the 11th, I found that Jide Akintunde, the Official Spokesman for Prof. Kingsley Moghalu and and his To Build A Nation Initiative had written a rejoinder to the piece on Facebook. Of course there is nothing bad about a rejoinder to an opinion piece, and everyone has the right to defend themselves if they feel they have been misrepresented. However this particular rejoinder is worth a response, especially as it is an attempt to trash my opinions and to misrepresent what I wrote and my thoughts on how Prof. Moghalu has been going about his presidential campaign.

Some well-meaning individuals told me to leave the rejoinder alone, and not to respond to it. However I am from Ibadan, and the only thing we know to do better than eating soft Amala with Gbegiri is how to give the appropriate reply to people who are trying to trash us with words. Also the Yoruba say: “If an eye continuously brings out rheum, you remove that rheum and show it to that eye.” There are several points in that article where in a bid to attack me, Akintunde shoots himself and his principal in the feet, and he should be made to realize it before he ruins his own image and that of his principal further. And also unlike him and his principal, I don’t have a potential electorate to appease and therefore I will not be bullied, trolled, or attacked into silence. So I have sat down to give Jide Akintunde and by extension Prof. Kingsley Moghalu the chewing out they both richly deserve. I didn’t want to mention Prof. in the piece, but as Chinua Achebe, whom I am sure Prof is familiar with says: “it is one finger that brings oil, to soil the others.”

First of all, I don’t understand why Akintunde is being paranoid. Kingsley Moghalu is neither the  the first nor the only electoral candidate I would attack in a blog piece. I attacked Senator Teslim Folarin and Engineer Seyi Makinde in this piece about the 2015 Governorship election in Oyo State. A few months ago I attacked Fela Durotoye in this piece. None of them have sent their watchdogs to “rejoinder” me into silence. Again I’ll grant Akintunde his touchiness and paranoia given that he is paid to be suspicious of people trying to “trash” his principal. However one would think he would read the responses to his principal’s campaign with an open mind, and try to fix up when he can, instead of reacting to every criticism with the hostility of a dog barking at the moon.

Again Like I didn’t in the Saturday piece, I will not say much about the lateness issue (even though Akintunde is trying to make it as if it is major part of that article, which gives the impression that he didn’t even read it). I can write a whole new piece about how a man who can’t effectively manage a tour schedule is not the kind of person that will bring about the “new Nigeria” that is different from what we currently have, but Prof. Kingsley Moghalu has apologized for it, so I will give him that, and not go on about it.

On his point about me saying that Prof. Kingsley Moghalu has never worked in Nigeria, Akintunde goes “he went to the Nigerian law school” and also “He worked with Newswatch from 1988-1991.” Let me remind Akintunde that Prof. Kingsley Moghalu is fifty five, his total years of experience “working”(apart from schooling) in Nigeria assuming we start from his employment in Newswatch in 1988 and add his “appointment” as a deputy Governor in the CBN is nine years. That’s only a little more than one fifth of his working life, and one eighth of his life. How does he want claim that he understand the realities of a working class Nigerian when he spent only four years as one?(no a deputy Governor of the CBN is not a working class Nigerian, for the slow ones at the back) I think Akintunde should just not have mentioned that part instead of talking about it and looking even more ridiculous. Again it goes back to what I said about him and his team being sloppy and unserious. If I had a single sheet of paper containing these facts that Akintunde is now spouting at me from a Facebook post, I wouldn’t be making these “factual inaccuracies” (or at least I wouldn’t be making them with a clear conscience), but more on that later.

Jide Akintunde should not lie to us or offend our sensibilities by arguing that Kingsley Moghalu merely came to talk about “Active Citizens for Quality Leadership” and not to campaign for his presidential aspirations. If Akintunde wants to lie to Nigerians that a glaring campaign trip is merely a “talk”, the lie is on his conscience, not mine. Also He should not attempt to create a strawman out of my argument about Professor Yemi Osinbajo being detailed during his campaign is a sign of my support for him. Let me inform Akintunde that the “old” generation of Nigerian politicians, might be corrupt, unfeeling or even cruel, but they are not sloppy. They are meticulous, they know their numbers, and they always have detailed literature about their campaign at hand to share with electorate. They have banners, fliers, and posters. They don’t tell Nigerians “buy my books if you want to know my solutions” Their websites are up to date and they share periodic information with their “electorate”. When they are campaigning, they pay attention to the people they are trying to persuade, they make everybody feel like they are part of that collective. They engage them, they don’t send their spokespeople to attack people who have reservations about their campaign on Facebook and they certainly don’t send social media trolls to frustrate  a young Nigerian student, who is merely trying to express her opinion. If Jide Akintunde really believes that he can succeed in using the cheap strawman fallacy to twist my piece as one praising Vice President Osinbajo, then I doubt he has enough intellectual capability for that spokesman job he is doing. Honestly Prof, if you are reading this, you need a far more competent spokesman.

Then on the point of Kingsley Moghalu, not “being able to cajole, threaten, or appease.” I invite Jide Akintunde and Kingsley Moghalu himself, to explain logically (and with facts, figures, and historical context) to Nigerians how the YPP, a party that has no candidates (at least that we know of) at Governorship, House of Representatives or even Senate level wants to provide this “visionary and technocratically- competent leadership” without being opposed. Does Kingsley Moghalu really believes these things he is going on about? Or is he just throwing meaningless big words about because he is a professor and he thinks Nigerian youths are stupid enough to believe him? If he truly believes these things then he is even worse than I think he is, because a man who has been Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, shouldn’t have his head this far up his own ass. For context I challenge everyone reading this to take five minutes to look up the To Build A Nation’s Initiative’s website. You will see the swathes of empty pages. You want to give us “technocratically-competent’ leadership. Your team can’t even update your website. What in hell is Kingley Moghalu professor of? Comedy? Also if Akintunde think Presidents of the advanced nations that Kingsley Moghalu wants Nigeria to emulate, don’t appease, threaten or cajole, then He has too little knowledge of international affairs to be speaking for a presidential campaign. He does not even need a google search. A look at Donald Trump’s twitter feed is enough.

I know have gone for far too long on this, but I should add this. I like Jide Akintunde’s explanation that the reason that Kingsley Moghalu didn’t share campaign literature at his event is because his solutions are contained in his book(s). At least we know that if he doesn’t win the presidency, he can at least sell his books. Or maybe this whole presidency thing is just a publicity stunt to get us to buy his books anyway. He might be lacking in knowledge of the Nigerian Working class realities, he might be a cloudcukoolander, but at least He has good business sense. So He is not entirely bad. Did Akintunde seriously not run that line past anyone sober enough to tell him that not only does it not make the least bit of sense, it also projects his principal as a crook? So I have to buy his book(s) in order to see why I should vote him for president? Even Yahoo boys haven’t taken being crooked that that level yet. Did that line not sound retarded to even to Akintunde himself when he wrote it?

I will not close without saying this. Let Kingsley Moghalu stand in front young Nigerians and tell us “with his chest” that what we deserve for waiting five hours in sweltering heat to listen to him speak is for him not to engage us. Let him tell us that when we express our reservation about his ideas, what we deserve is for social media trolls to drag us on social media, and when we write pieces about what he needs to fix in the race towards 2019, what we deserve is for his spokesman to write half-assed posts calling us haters and “people who want to discredit him.” That way we know that he just more of the same people we have seen so far, and not worth wasting our votes on.

To Jide Akintunde, it is really bad form to create an impression that your principal as an unserious and sloppy person, cloudcuckoolander and a crook in one Facebook post. Maybe you need lessons in proper branding (by the way I know one or two people who will give you lessons for a nominal fee), or maybe you just need to get out more. Anyway good luck to you and to Professor Kingsley Moghalu and the Young Progressives Party in 2019. Y’all will need it.

Meanwhile I am looking forward to your next piece trying to rubbish me. I am really getting the hang of this back and forth. Cheers

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