UPDATED: Buhari’s aide, Tolu Ogunlesi, under fire for calling Nigerians ‘animals’

A Presidential aide who manages President Muhammadu Buhari’s social media accounts has come under public criticism after excoriating Nigerians who criticised the president’s viral photograph with Naomi Campbell as “animals.

“Naomi Campbell met Nelson Mandela more than once. He hugged her, called her his “honorary granddaughter”. She visits Nigeria for a fashion festival and meets President @MBuhari, and some of you animals are slandering her,” Tolu Ogunlesi said on Twitter Friday, and further emphasised that: “YOU’RE RAVING MAD WITH NOBODY TO TELL YOU.”

Mr. Buhari on Friday morning met with Ms Campbell, a British model, on an inspection tour of the Eko Atlantic real estate project in Lagos.

The assessment was part of Mr. Buhari’s visit to Lagos for the 66th birthday events of Bola Tinubu.

The State House was the first to post Mr. Buhari’s encounter with Ms Campbell on Twitter at noon Friday, in one of the rarest sightings of a leader widely seen as modest and taciturn.

Two hours later, the model, known for her controversial involvements with African rich men, returned the recognition with a tweet, although she ambiguously described it as a “private launch.” She initially said she was there at the instance of Mr. Buhari, but later deleted the tweet after online uproar.

Ms Campbell’s apparent inconsistency together with the State House’s reluctance to release details of the meeting prompted many to question whether the president knew the model’s history prior to the encounter.

While Ms. Campbell, 47, is based in the UK, she’s known to have been involved with rich men from Africa spanning decades.

In 1997, she met with Charles Taylor, a former Liberian warlord currently serving a long sentence for war crimes and crimes against humanity, at a parry organised by former South African President Nelson Mandela.

Mr. Taylor allegedly gave Ms. Campbell a bag that contained diamonds worth millions of dollars and believed to have been mined illegally.

When she testified in the trial of Mr. Taylor at the International Criminal Court, Ms Campbell acknowledged receiving “small, dirty-looking stones” from the former Liberian president’s staff.

The testimony earned her a worldwide ridicule.

Also, in recent years, Ms. Campbell has been rumoured to be dating Kola Aluko, a Nigerian oil dealer currently on the run for alleged fraud.

The duo had been sighted cruising in Mr Aluko’s luxury yacht across the world.

Ms Campbell, who later said she was in Nigeria to participate at the Arise Fashion Show in Lagos, became an instant subject of partisan bickering between Mr. Buhari’s critics and supporters, with some opposition voices implying that she might have been paid for her brief appearance and photo op with the president.

A presidential aide clarified Friday evening that Ms Campbell only ran into Mr. Buhari at Eko Atlantic and sought to have a handshake and take pictures with the Nigerian leader.

Apparently angered by the criticisms, especially against Ms. Campbell as he later stated, Mr Ogunlesi, 36, posted the controversial tweet shortly after 11:00 p.m. Friday.

A few minutes later, he posted another tweet as a response to the initial wave of criticism from many who found his outburst distasteful, doubling down on his description of critics as animals without clarifying those the insult was directed at.

The North Is An Orphan

By Abdulmumin Giwa
Although Nigeria has been divided into six geo-political zones, as the name suggests, to suit the Nigeria’s politics, Northern Nigeria is made up of 19 out of all the 36 states in Nigeria. For religious, cultural and historical reasons and even other reasons, the North is more populated than the raining parts of the country and this fact is supported by official statistics arrived at after the national census conducted during the President Obasanjo regime.
Although there are many minority languages and tribes in the North, the region is predominantly dominated by Hausa/Fulani. The other two major tribes in the country are Yoruba in the Western and Igbo in the Eastern parts of Nigeria.
It has also been under a post-colonial Empire established by an Islamic revivalist called Sheikh Uthman bn Fodio. Some parts of the post-colonial empire extend to Niger Republic which shares boarders with Northern Nigeria.
The north has turned out to becoming a toothless bulldog which can only bark but cannot bite, in fact the degenerate state of the North is such that it cannot even bark.
It has lost true advocates and honest patriots. Most of those that had the opportunity of becoming something in the North were very selfish and greedy to the extent that they hardly contribute to the development of the region and its people.
It has become the victim of very many destructive plots that include terrorism, kidnapping, cattle rustling, ethno-religious disputes and crises, all of which have swallowed unaccounted live and property.
Those in the helm of affairs in the North appear to be very wicked that they hardly have any form of posterity projects for the people.
It is such that the North cannot contest with other regions in many aspects of development that include education, economy, industry and infrastructure. Not even the two important industries of the region made up of farming and animal husbandry have been set on developmental goals by its leaders.
The instituted poverty rate in the country is more in the North than in the other parts of the country. Around 2008-9 the poverty rate as stated by some officials of the Central bank of Nigeria was almost 60% in the North. These figures would certainly be worse today especially with the recent economic recessions that have led to the closure of many businesses thereby raising the figures of unemployment.
Virtually almost everything jointly owned by the North are disgracefully non-functional, whether in the banking sector, property, media and several others.
Things even worsened with the advent of the current regime which has not come with any project whatsoever for the North. Northerners are the worse hit by the economic tragedies bedeviling the nation due to inconsistency in the management of the nation’s economy.
More and more youths are becoming jobless and out of school without any projects for their development. So many bodies have been invented in different sections of the northern society in the name of the North.
In the religion section they have the Supreme Council of Islamic affairs, there is the Northern Elders Forum, there is the Northern Governors Forum, and several others. Some of them are even perpetrators of division and disintegration of the North. They hardly even comment on socio-political issues in the country in the interest of the North.
For example, just of recent about 115 young girls were taken hostage by terrorists from a school in a village called Dapchi. The mentality of those in the north was that they were waiting for the Christian Association of Nigeria CAN to speak out for them as they spoke out during the President Jonathan’s regime when Chibok girls were also taken hostage.
The irony here is that Chibok girls were mostly Christians while Dapchi Girls are mostly Muslims but CAN spoke out against President Jonathan who is also Christian. But on the other hand Jama’atu Nasril Islam JNI, another organization predominated by northerners’ major religion Islam could not speak against President Buhari even as the Dapchi girls are Muslims simply because Buhari is a Muslim.
Another set-back in the north is the stupid mentality of determining who is doing the correct religion due to a deliberately instituted religious intolerance. This mentality is enhanced by sectarianism which is also politicized.
For example, Buhari the President, El-Rufai the Kaduna State governor, Buratai the COAS, Daura the DSS Chief are all northerners but the unfortunate thing is that they all joined hands together to kill over 1000 northerners in Zaria simply because they differ in jurisprudential understanding of the Islamic religion with those they killed. They are Sunnis and think those who practice Islam the Shi’a way are not good Muslims and so they now have the opportunity of power to eliminate them. So they used the Nigerian Army to murder them over a period of two days from 12-14th of December 2015 while everyone watched and in some cases even jubilated.
What is worse is that they even used killings for political benefit. El-Rufai is boasting proudly that the Shi’ahs don’t vote so ;he has nothing to lose and to their Wahhabi opponents especially the Izala sect he is now their hero and they will now vote for him next time he wants to become a governor. In fact even while forming the Judicial Commission of Inquiry JCI to investigate the Zaria massacre, El-Rufai joined hands with the Izala sect and allocated two seats to them to prove his loyalty.
It is such that all the politicians in the north have enriched themselves with public funds leaving the impoverished people of the region without help coming from anywhere. They thought they could get that help and assistance from Buhari but were disappointed as there was no integrity to show as claimed.
I heard a Cambridge professor of history describing the main victim of the Zaria massacre whose three children were killed in the army killing spree as the most influential man in the north. The only true and honest person that not only loves the north but even other Nigerians who definitely will one day save not just the orphaned north but the suppressed and exploited Nigeria. By all parameters, he is indeed the true savior of the suffering Nigerians as he has given his all to save it from virtual destruction.