By Tolu Ogunlesi
The killing of Osama bin Laden has shown just how obsessed Nigerians are with generating conspiracy theories about matters that do not concern them. When the citizens of a country that consistently fails to correctly identify its own terrorists feel no sense of irony or shame in challenging one that takes its internal and external security seriously, you know it’s time to change the channel.
Do you find it hard to believe Nigerians were actually loving the sounds of their own voices as they issued all sorts of messages calling on President Obama to release visual evidence of the death of Osama bin Laden?
I’m appealing to all newly-elected governors to please add mass payment of Blackberry/DSTV/HITV subscription fees to their annual WAEC/JAMB fee payments — we urgently need to find stimulating distractions for Nigerians, so they can keep their irritating opinions to themselves next time Serious Nations of the World are discussing law enforcement matters.
The videos that apply to us, and that we’ve already seen — e.g. of that woman who, during the recent elections, was busy thumb-printing ballot papers like she was running a race against an approaching apocalypse — what have we done with them? Instead we forward those in chain emails (“Come and see INEC wonder!”) and then sit back to tie wrapper and postulate from chewing-stick-stuffed mouths: “Eh, unless Obama show us video, me I no dey believe say Osama don die o.” “Aha now, why the man no wan show us video sef?”
I continue to be baffled by our genius for failing to see the obvious indictments screaming at us in all of these. To evade detection by his technologically-sophisticated pursuers, Osama bin Laden lived for years in a compound without internet or telephone lines. MEND’s Jomo Gbomo, on the other hand, is in regular email contact with the Nigerian authorities and the media. I can imagine the national security adviser hissing and clicking on ‘SEND TO SPAM’ every time an email appears from Mr Gbomo.
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