By Uche Amunike
Former Minister of Education, Dr Oby Ezekwesili has made a reprimand to the Chairman of Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM), for making a comment which she described as ‘messy’ on Twitter, in reply to a comment directed at her by a tweeter user.
The NIDCOM boss had given an update on a situation that happened in a university in India which also had Nigerians as students. She partly said: ‘Calm has returned to the campus. A few injuries were recorded, and further investigations are ongoing. The Nigerian mission had made it clear that the Indian authorities would be held responsible if anything happened to any of the students.’
‘There is already a written commitment by the Indian Authorities to protect our students. Any student feeling threatened should please report to the Nigerian mission in Delhi immediately.’
In response, a tweeter user with the name, @sensegiver 1, posted, ‘She should go to Indonesia and see how Nigerians are treated. Mumu (slang for foolish) woman supporting a failed government. She’s equally part of the failure. Eye service!’.
In response to the tweet, the NIDCOM boss posted: ‘Ode! You go to Indonesia, carry drugs, do cultism, and come begging to be rescued from death sentence . Thank God for NDLEA (National Drug Law Enforcement Agency) now saving people like you from death row.’
Her response to the tweet was what made Oby Ezekwesili react thus: ‘Dear Abike, What is this? Kai. This is messy. Please clean it up. Quickly. Please.’
Abike Dabiri-Erewa immediately retorted in response to Oby Ezekwesili: ‘I’m done on this. But out of respect for you, I will ask, ‘Clean what up?’
‘It’s okay or some untrained, uncouth guy to refer to me as ‘mumu’, and I can’t call him ‘ode’. I’m not a public official that cows to bullying, please.’
Another tweep, @FS_Yusuf_ tweeted: ‘ ‘Ode’ isn’t the issue here. Look at the stereotyping you dropped there. As a diplomat, you are the last person to do such thing. Please.’
In response, the NIDCOM Chairman stated: ‘Read with your two eyes open. And with a bit of sense . Don’t be too ‘obediently’ biased and beclouded. We’re you with us when we went up and down Indonesia begging them not to kill our people sentenced to death for drugs?’
The exchanges between the 60 year old Abike Dabiri and, not just the respectable former Education Minister, but also other tweeter users, generated mixed reactions from far and wide. Majority of them berated her for spewing such uncouth language, being a diplomat, while some others tweeted in her defense.
In her defense, @BayoAdedosu tweeted: ‘They think they have the monopoly to attack people saying after all you are government official…anyone that talks anyhow will receive full measure of his own pill. They commit crimes in another man’s country expecting to be rescued by the same country they rubbish.’
@Adebambo_A tweeted: ‘You guys are freaking weird, For months, years that @abikedabiri has been tolerating you guys insults and name calling but that one time she had to put someone in his place you guys now know she is a public servant. But you fools want to insult and call it freedom of speech.’
@Daniamiuamr5 also rose to her defense: ‘But what the problems with her reply? I have read it many times and no one is talking about the insult to her personality! Pls, ma don’t clean anything up! I beg you’