Monitoring clerics’ sermons, answering back, creeping signs of desperation

August 23, 2011

by Tola Adenle  

A recent news report by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that officers of the State Security Service (SSS) in Kogi State have started “to monitor preaching in mosques and churches as part of measures to prevent religious crisis in the state” is, at best, chilling.   1984 may belong in the last century but it brings to mind Orwellian could-that-ever-happen book of same title in which the state ensures it knows what each citizen does – and even thinks – through a stifling state apparatus.

The SSS under President Jonathan in the year of our Lord, 2011, may believe it’s found a way to fight the scourge of Islamic militants that had fertile ground to germinate under retired General, President  Obasanjo but rather brings to mind the equivalent of Soviet Russia-era KGB officials or other state agencies roaming the vast USSR to enforce the no-religion law on Sundays.  Nigeria’s SSS officials now have to be dispatched to churches on Sundays and mosques on Fridays “to check inflammatory preaching”.

What a breach of freedom of basic freedom!

Dr. Ngozi Okonjo Iweala and Wazobia Reports

It is difficult to believe that “serious” Nigerian newspapers would pick up a report on and report it as something to be taken seriously by all Nigerians rather than a very mirthful and satirical look at the issues that continue to hold Nigeria back in various ways.  Wa-Yoruba for ‘come’;zo-Hausa for ‘come’,bia-Ibo for ‘come’ even warns visitors to the site “for serious news, go to!"

Among the site’s current top stories is How former President Obasanjo purportedly tried to sell Nigeria during privatization – yeah – Nigeria the country!

“… There have been accusations and counter accusations of bribe giving and bribe taking and at least one instance of claim of bribe refusal – because the bribe amount offered was so little it was considered an insult.

“But perhaps the most shocking exposé so far is the revelation that former president Obasanjo attempted to package the whole of Nigeria as one singular business concern and sell the country to the highest bidder …”


Well, not enough to dissuade Ms. Okonjo Iweala from issuing a denial of her purported resignation by that site which has brought smiles – nay, much laughter – to its readers of which this writer is one.  And it has nothing to do with the site adopting emotanafricana blog – just as it has adopted – as a serious blog.  At the top of every post from my blog that it carries daily, it has this caveat:  “WARNING:  This page has content that IS NOT satire !!!”

Now, in spite of also describing itself as a blog that “uses humour to draw attention to societal issues … maybe someone … will continue to think about the message long after you’ve brought laughter into their day …” – it is more than embarrassing to have Nigeria’s Minister of Finance, Dr. Iweala, issue a denial that she has not resigned her position! Horrible expletives have been hurled at the blogger, including being a proxy for the usual “they” who did not want the woman to take up the position, blah blah blah and now, do not want her to stay.

The signs of the times in Nigeria are not good:  desperation is a child of fear but what in the world is driving fear into President Jonathan’s administration in which clerics’ sermons are monitored and websites are combed for enemies of administration and its officials.

Meanwhile, two former heads of the country are busy hurling expletives at each other on newspaper pages about who did what, who is the bigger fool, blah blah blah.  Well, for their information in case they still have not got it:  neither Ibrahim Babangida nor Olusegun Obasanjo, Generals, both – can walk down Broad Street, Lagos without bodyguards.  I’m sure General Obasanjo remembers very well his encounter with what could have become mob action when his car DIED at the Ibadan segment of the so-called Lagos-Ibadan expressway soon after his presidency.



Nigerian newspapers and online news sources
  • 234 Next News site
  • Bella Naija Magazine
  • Business Day Newspaper
  • Daily Champion Newspaper
  • Daily Independent Newspaper
  • Daily Trust Newspaper
  • Elendu Reports News site
  • Emotan Blog
  • Huhu online News site
  • jhova blog Blog
  • Leadership News site
  • Linda Ikeji Blog
  • National Daily Newspaper
  • Nigeria Plus News site
  • Nigeria Village Square News site
  • Nigerian Observer News site
  • Osun Defender News site
  • PM News Newspaper
  • Punch Newspaper
  • Sahara Reporters News site
  • Sun Newspaper
  • The Guardian Newspaper
  • This Day Newspaper
  • Tribune Newspaper
  • Vanguard Newspaper

    Emotan 77
    Former publisher of the women's bi-monthly, Emotan (1977-1984) and op-ed ... now publishes her writing here

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