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    John Iramp
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    Nigeria: A Cardinal’s Ordeal


    opinion

    “Sanctae romanae ecclesiae cardinalis” is the full Latin title of the ecclesiastical prince of the Roman Catholic Church who, by virtue of being a member of the College of Cardinals, is entitled to vote and be voted for as Pope and successor of St. Peter. Nigeria has three living Cardinals: Francis Arinze, Olubunmi Okogie and John Onaiyekan. Of the three, only the Archbishop of Abuja, John Cardinal Onaiyekan, is still in active service as.

    Through his involvement in interfaith initiatives, Onaiyekan has helped engender a lot of amity in his fatherland. In recent years, his partnering with Sultan Mohammed Sa’ad Abubakar to find common grounds between Christians and Muslims in the country, especially in the heat of Boko Haram terrorist bombings of churches in the North, helped douse the fire of religious strife that could so easily have been ignited.

    Simple and absolutely without airs, Onaiyekan has lived up to his calling as priest and shepherd, avoiding the stormy Nigerian political mud-space like the plague. But as it has turned out, his refusal to be dragged into politics has not inoculated him against the raging social media virus where respectable voices are borrowed by the children of Satan to say despicable things about political opponents.

    They first did it to Nobel laureate Wole Soyinka with the hope of setting the Igbo against their Yoruba compatriots. They failed. Then, they did it to legal scholar Itse Sagay hoping to use his voice to tarnish the anti-corruption war of the federal administration. They failed. Now, in their desperation, they went for John Cardinal Onaiyekan to whom they attributed allegations that suspiciously look like the same ones levelled against Buhari and his government by the opposition PDP.




    My heart goes out to Cardinal Onaiyekan. The cowards at dailywatchng.com <http://dailywatchng.com/&gt; and igberetvnews.com <http://igberetvnews.com/&gt; could not use their father’s names to post their evil thoughts on the internet. They chose to borrow Onaiyekan’s name and voice to indict the president on human rights, the change agenda of the present administration, the trial of pro-Biafra campaigners, the clash between Shiite elements and the Nigerian army, and the saga of ‘Dasukigate’ beneficiaries now under prosecution.

    Apparently there’s a well-funded campaign by indicted looters and others yet to be arrested aimed at destabilising the Buhari administration by attempting to drill holes in his greatest asset: his incorruptibility. His accusers wouldn’t have been so vicious if there was a scandal or two they could hang on the taciturn president but they can’t find any. So, they hide behind the anonymity of the social media and employ the names and voices of revered personalities to say unsavoury things about the president.

    The social media could be used to positively transform Nigeria to the land of our dreams, which is why I totally reject the attempt by backward elements to sponsor a bill aiming to gag the ungated media. The fact that a few misguided demons in the service of filthy lucre routinely misuse social media to fan embers of discord does not mean that we should throw the baby away with the bath water.

    The ball is squarely in the court of the security agencies. There is no amulet to prevent lunatics from using the social media for unlawful ends. But there ought to be consequences for such behaviour. Some years ago, when a Las Vegas man posted threats against US President Obama on Facebook, the FBI knocked on his door. Tyrone Paul Ponthieux, 55, was arrested on a sealed criminal complaint charging him with threats against the president among other infractions. It is a serious crime to even contemplate harming the President of the United States.

    Again, among several other such incidents, there was the case of 20-year-old Joaquin Amador Serrapio Jr. who was arrested by federal agents for allegedly threatening to kill President Obama during a presidential fundraising trip to South Florida. The idiot’s messages were made on a Facebook account under the alias “Jay Valor.” He probably thought he was anonymously safe when he wrote, “If anyones going to UM to see Obama today, get your phones out and record. Cause at any moment I’m gonna put a bullet through his head and you don’t wanna miss that, Youtube!” But he could not hide from the security agents who ferreted him out of his hole of presumed anonymity and dragged him before the law.

    Our police force must strengthen its cybercrime department urgently to cope with this novel threat to social stability. There is no email message, twitter posting, Facebook account, Youtube streaming or any other social media posting that cannot be traced – and the earlier we start doing that, and exposing the faceless monsters behind these crimes, the better for the nation.




    Going forward, our security agencies have to simulate the grimy minds of the cyber-terrorists. If you don’t out-think them, they will reduce you to fighting fires after the deed. Watch out, they may soon hack into the social media accounts of the Sultan and put anti-Buhari sentiments into his mouth, hoping to set Muslims against the president. Also, you may soon be confronted with a bold newspaper headline saying, “You are a Devil, Pastor Adeboye tells Buhari”.

    Again, don’t rule out the possibility of fake interviews with Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo indicting his boss. Or Chief of Staff Abba Kyari; or even elder statesmen like Alhaji Ahmed Joda and Dr. Alex Ekwueme ‘attacking’ the president. The goal of these lowlife rejects is to tarnish Buhari’s image.

    If they could embarrass a man of the cloth, a cardinal of the universal church as they have done, can anyone be presumed safe from their pestilence?

    The security agencies have their work cut out. When an infant perfects the art of dying, the parents must perfect the art of burying. It’s time to bury these criminals for good.

    Happy New Year

    I hear tomorrow’s prophetic whispers in the wind: It shall be well with Nigeria in 2016 and beyond. Happy new year to you all!

    Opinion – “Sanctae romanae ecclesiae cardinalis” is the full Latin title of the ecclesiastical prince of the Roman Catholic Church who, by virtue of being a member of the College of Cardinals, is entitled to vote and be voted for as Pope and successor of St. Peter. Nigeria has three living Cardinals: Francis Arinze, Olubunmi Okogie and John Onaiyekan. Of the three, only the Archbishop of Abuja, John Cardinal Onaiyekan, is still in active service as.

    [See the full post at: Nigeria: A Cardinal’s Ordeal]

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