By Femi Adesina
You have probably seen something on social media, which I consider a parody of lie merchants against our country. We will talk about it in a minute.
But let me take an early digression to recall the story of a teacher we didn’t particularly like when we were in secondary school. The man could wield the whip, ehnnnn. And when he decided to give you a knock on the head, you began to swallow your own mucus. Fast fast.
So, the obstreperous boys, who didn’t want any form of control, nicknamed the teacher Aji pogun iro. The person who lies at least 20 times a day.
Boys will be boys. I doubt if we ever caught the teacher at a single lie, but just because we didn’t like him, we nicknamed him Aji pogun iro. We usually had so much fun calling him that name behind him.
Back to our topic. Some people hate their country so much, that they tell a minimum of 20 lies against her daily. And they use the digital media, particularly the variant called social media. There, you have no checks, no balances. An ‘army of anything goes’ operates there.
Now to that parody of lie merchants. A man is seen with a bouquet of flowers, kneeling down before a lady. He says:
“Abeni, please agree to marry me, or I’ll die. You are my joy, my honey, the salt of my life.
“If I don’t see you, I can’t eat. I can’t sleep. And peradventure I sleep, I dream of you like a crazy man.”
As he spins his yarn, a male voice interjects periodically: Lori iro. Lori iro. Meaning, Big, Fat, Lies.
The lady was probably getting convinced, and about to say ‘I will do’ when a heavily pregnant woman appears on the scene, and shouts:
“Who am I looking at? My husband!”
A shocked Abeni exclaims: “So you are already married!” And she gave Aji pogun iro a dirty slap. He saw stars. End of story.
The man with the voice then takes centre stage, chanting lyrically: Iro po, iro po. O ti po repete. Lie lie lover, lie lie lover, meaning, Big Fat Lies, Big Fat Lies, Too Many Lies. Lie lie lover.
And I say, Big Fat Lies, Big Fat Lies against Nigeria, and against a President doing his honest best for the country. And anybody loyal to the President also becomes a butt of lies, undue hatred, odium, misinformation, disinformation, opprobrium.
We were at the 76th Assembly of the United Nations in New York between September 19 and 26, this year. We returned home without any incident, landing in Abuja about 4 am.
Few days later, a perpetually lying online newspaper published that on the trip back home, the presidential jet developed a technical fault, and we made emergency landing at a place called Sable Island, where we were held up for three hours, before resuming the journey.
Holy Moses! I was on that flight! Nothing of such happened. How did a fecund but sick mind conjure that lie? Lori iro. When did journalism become a cocktail of lies? And to what end? Shame, big shame.
I got a number of phone calls from people who wanted to rejoice with me that we escaped what could have been a crash. I let them finish talking, and would say: Lori iro. They would be shocked, then curse the lying blog, and go off the line.
A high rise building unfortunately came down in Lagos recently, killing a large number of people, including the developer. Pronto, that lying online medium published that the Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, was a partner with the developer, who was his bosom friend. Lori iro.
The VP, a professor of law, demanded a retraction, or he would go to court. But these liars have no honor, nor any sense of shame. They never correct nor retract their lies. It is second nature to them. No wonder the Good Book says when the Devil lies, “he speaks his natural language. A liar and father of lies.” Lori iro.
There’s another Liars’ Gazette, which makes it a point of duty to tell at least 20 lies against the country daily. Aji pogun iro. The former boss of the suicide journalist behind that online publication once described him to me as “a danger to today and to tomorrow.” When he lies, he speaks his natural language.
Recently, Dr Chike Akunyili, husband to that deceased Nigerian heroine, Dora, was gruesomely killed in the Southeast, apparently by murderous separatists. What did Liars’Gazette say? Dr Akunyili killed by Fulani herdsmen! No shred, not even a scintilla of evidence. They are just bent on throwing the country into a turmoil, and the more heinous the lie, the more it serves their evil purpose.
It was the same Liars’ Gazette that went to town in October last year, during the EndSARS protest, publishing that President Muhammadu Buhari had agreed to scrap the SARS police team early, but his media adviser, Femi Adesina, prevailed on him not to do so. Lori iro.
What the Liars’ Gazette wanted to do was to turn the public against me. It succeeded for a while, going by the volume of vitriol and hate messages I received initially. But it is said that if lie travels for 20 years, truth catches up with it in one day. Soon, the truth came out, and the liar was left standing small and looking stupid.
I was special guest recently at the unveiling of a book, 101 Fake News on EndSARS, written by a young investigative reporter, Dahiru M. Lawal. The book is published by PR Nigeria, and how I wish every citizen of this great country can get a copy. In 203 pages, the author chronicles all the lies that accompanied the EndSARS protests, which began as a laudable outcry against police brutality, till the Devil took over, and things took a murderous turn. Lagos was almost completely burned down, and scores of policemen and other security agents lay dead round the country. The truth of that saga is still being unraveled by probe panels round the country.
Lies are being told daily against the President. He’s Jibril of Sudan, the real Buhari is long dead. A cabal runs the country for him, he can’t even talk again. He’s a tyrant, and tramples on the human rights of Nigerians. He’s not even achieving anything. Blah blah.
And don’t think it’s only inconsequential people who are behind these lies. Even serial election losers join the fray. When an opposition party speaks, just tell yourself; Lori iro. Because it lies daily. It speaks its natural language when it spews untruth. When some pastors, and some imams preach, it is Lori iro. They lie against the President, and against the government he leads. Simply because they hate their country, hate the citizens, and even hate themselves.
But I’ve got news for such people. As God wills, President Buhari would continue to achieve for the country.
Infrastructure works would continue, the insecurity war would be won, the economy would continue to revive, and corrupt people would endlessly march straight to jail. And then, by May 29, 2023, the President would land safely. Amen.
Every other thing, as conjured by evil hearts, the Lie Lie Lovers, would be Lori iro.
Adesina is Special Adviser to President Buhari on Media and Publicity