Garba Shehu, Omokri Fight Dirty, Publicly Wash Dirty Linens
The Senior Special Assistant on Media to President Muhammadu Buhari, Malam Garba Shehu has engaged Mr. Reno Omokri, a former aide to former President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, in a recent war of words.
Trouble started when Mr. Omokri lashed out against Malam Shehu for condemning the Peoples Democratic Party [PDP], as well as the immediate past president, Goodluck Jonathan.
Omokri reminded him that he was part of the party for 16 years, haven served under President Olusegun Obasanjo and continued to serve till the Jonathan administration.
He, therefore, argued that Shehu has no moral justification for attacking an administration he was part and parcel of.
In reaction, Shehu took to the social media to address what he termed the “lies” of Reno Omokri
“Pastor” Reno Omokri is forcing me to do what I don’t do. I don’t react to published criticisms. I have spent my entire career in the media and as one who criticizes others; you must be ready to take criticism.
This is about exposing a liar masquerading as a pastor. By the way, I have known and worked with exemplary pastors who are decent and from whom you learned more of the etiquette of truth telling.
Take for example Pastor Emeka Izeze and his brother, Pastor Ifeanyi, or his friend, Pastor Segun Babatope. And lately, Prof Yemi Osinbajo, the Vice President and Pastor Femi Adesina.
For those Reno tried to mislead, yes it is a fact that I worked in the media office of a PDP administration.
Not for five years as the new-day pastor published but only for six months at which point it was announced on NTA news, to my surprise, that my letter of resignation had been accepted when I hadn’t written any.
I learned of course that I was fired because the head of the country at that time, who believed that every published criticism was sponsored by an insider, read the weekly magazine, The News, and didn’t like what was written about him.
Another point the “Pastor” keeps making is that he was my colleague at that time. No, he wasn’t. His boss was.
The Reno I knew was a Personal Assistant (PA) to a Principal Officer like me. He didn’t attend meetings and didn’t receive official briefings as we did but ran errands for his boss.
Not being a principal officer by status, he could not have had an office opposite my own. He may, however, have perched on a stool in one of those offices but I didn’t take particular notice of which one. He was, however, very personable at that time.
“Pastor’’ Reno lied by calling me an AGIP [Any Government in Power] – meaning an unprincipled person ready to serve any government in power. The period he was referring to was one in which my ex-boss ran into bad political weather and some of us around him were scapegoated.
I was locked in DSS detention many times, my houses in Kano and Abuja broken into and valuables, including cash some of which were never returned were seized.
I was going to court for two years and for the most part of which I didn’t have a passport.
In the course of that trial, the judge presiding called back my lawyers, Niyi Akintola, SAN and Rickey Tarfa, SAN, after an adjournment to say that “I didn’t mean that he should be kept in DSS detention. I said he should be taken to Kuje Prison,” and that’s where I was kept.
Under detention in the DSS I was stripped down to the pants and photographed head to toe. All that didn’t make one to capitulate.
When they lost to Muhammadu Buhari in the party primaries, the candidates in that race, Governor Rabi’u Musa Kwankwaso, Waziri Atiku Abubakar, Rochas Okorocha and Sam Nda-Isaiah surrendered their media assets to the winner who had the grace to ask me to lead the media team.
When we won, he (then President-elect Buhari) invited me to serve as one of his two spokespersons and I pledged 100 per cent loyalty to him and that’s where I am. This cannot be AGIP by any standards.
Reno should stop lying, if only to help the pastoral calling to retain its good name. Otherwise he should quit the ministry.
In his counter-reaction Omokri wrote:
Garba Shehu is Symptomatic of the Buhari Administration: Dishonest, Blame Oriented and Morally Pliable
My attention has been drawn to attacks on my character by Malam Garba Shehu, spokesman to President Muhammadu Buhari.
Not content with his ad hominem attacks on former First Lady, Dame Patience Jonathan, Garba has turned his attention to me. I congratulate him.
For historical purposes, let me state that It was Garba who first came for me after I proved him a liar for his claim that any attempt to vote out the All Progressive Congress and vote in the Peoples Democratic Party In next year’s elections would mean that Dame Patience will benefit as a ‘looter’.
I proved that not only was this not true, but that Garba Shehu himself is a part and parcel of the PDP.
In his statement calling me a liar, Garba claims that I alleged that he was a Special Assistant in the Buhari Administration for five years.
That claim is either a function of dishonesty or semi literacy because I never made such a claim. I said that Garbs was a Special Assistant in the Obasanjo administration and served that government and the PDP for years. This is a fact and no lie from Garba can change that.
Next up, I thank God that Garba Shehu DID NOT deny writing anti Buhsri statements. But how could he, when I have proof? I must commend him for his honesty in that regard.
Let me now take up Malam Garba Shehu’s other points one by one and expose him for the liar that he is.
Yes, in 2003 when I returned from England, I was a Personal Assistant to a principal officer in the Obasanjo administration. I was a young man in my 20s and I distinguished myself as my boss attested to. I never claimed to be otherwise. However, my office was opposite Garba Shehu’s office as I wrote previously. I thank Garba Shehu for saying I was “personable”, but the truth is the truth. I remind Garba that that principal officer is still alive and well as are other witnesses.
But even if Garba Shehu denies that his office was opposite mine, at least he was forced to admit that he worked at the Presidential Villa at the same time I did for a PDP administration.
Since that is the case, what moral standing does Garba Shehu have for today writing and releasing statements against the same Peoples Democratic Party administration and officials that he once served as an SA Media?
Garba Shehu says he is not an AGIP (Any Government in Power), but then the facts contradict this. What do you call a man who now issues statements for a man and a party he once attacked against the men and party he once praised?
I CAN NEVER DO THAT! Garba is the dog that returned to his vomit.
Between Garba Shehu, a man who serves the people he once attacked and myself, a man who had remained loyal to my party in and out of power, who has moral authority?
If those things Garba once wrote against Buhari are true, then why is Garba Shehu serving Buhari today? If those things which he wrote were lies, then why did Garba Shehu write them? I await Garba Shehu’s answer.
And to show how much of a liar Garba Shehu is, he is toddy claiming that the visa on arrival policy of the Nigerian government is an achievement of the Buhari administration.
This policy was a policy initiated by the Jonathan administration and the Buhari government has no hand in its formulation. However, when a government is desperate for achievements, it will clutch at straws.
Again, Garba Shehu claimed the Nigerian Maritime University in Okerenkoko, Delta State as an achievement of his achievement-less government. Such desperation! A simple Google search will prove this claim to be a fallacy.
The fact is that nobody in the Buhari administration can take the #BuhariChallenge and name even one project that the Buhari government has initiated, started and completed in the last three years.
This is the reason why paid vuvuzelas of the Buhari administration will keep directing their fallacious tongues at people like me who expose their desperate lies.
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