Often discussions in fora constitute thread(s) and one gets the full picture of a statement only by exposure to the full text of the entire thread. Consider for instance this piece of statement incorporated into a write up of Mr. Sabella Ogbobode Abidde:
For Opubo G. Benebo, “when I first read about the blowing up of the house of Jonathan Goodluck, I remembered something one sports figure in the USA once said: How long do you call a man a dog as well as kick him, before he finally acts out a dog and bites you in the leg or worse?”
Without exposure to the full thread it leaves the impression of Opubo G Benebo, which would be me, condoning an attempt to hurt Jonathan Goodluck. Interestingly though, Mr. Sabella Abidde had had time enough to repost the rejoinder on NigeriaInAmerica.com all these while but has failed to do so. So the presentation, which has not been given a balanced view then ,almost becomes disingenuous.
The truth of the matter is that there are times observations are made without preference or bias, but made simply as a matter of fact. So in that spirit of being simply an observer of life was the statement of the famous sports figure cited. In effect that statement ascribed to Opubo G Benebo was made with no opinion about Jonathan Goodluck and also not reflective of a position having been adopted on what was happening to him. So the remarks about the situation, was just an unvarnished observation of life. Without any doubt, some reasonable people will find this assertion and observation of life, as have been stated, as incongruent and therefore curious. Indeed, reasonable peoples would find rather curious as asserted because of the apparent similarities of circumstances about Opubo G Benebo and Jonathan; so perhaps it would be informative to begin by eliciting these similarity of circumstances: There exist the following situations:
· Jonathan is branded “non-Core-Ijaw” and that reason has been advanced as one of the factors for his being hated so fiercely, but then as Sabella Abidde knows very well, Opubo G Benebo is himself a “differentiated Ijaw” or not a “Core-Ijaw” as had been made clear to him when he was on the Ijawnation Forum where presumably Sabella Abidde is speculated to still participate. The truth of the matter though is that, in the final analysis, “we are who we are, and nothing changes”.
· Opubo G Benebo has also labeled Asari Dokubo and Kerley George as terrorists and worse, even as Jonathan has done; and as Sabella Abidde also would recall part of the reason for Opubo G Benebo being thrown out of Ijawnation forum was because of his counter-position to Asari Dokubo and his ( Opubo’s) resolve to meet him fire for fire, including his disposition to use whatever weapon he could produce based on his training as a chemical reactor engineer couple with his exposure to particle/radiation physics.
So the question “what gives”? to the observation made in relation to Jonathan Goodluck as cited by Sabella Abidde, presumably, provides the basis for the curiosity; and that question, yields the assertion that there are still some differences between the posture Opubo G Benebo and that of Jonathan Goodluck. Consider that
· Unlike Jonathan who branded all the “militants” criminals, Opubo G Benebo embraces the reality even as he has also written at different times previously, that the situation in the Niger Delta is quite flux, which is to state that within the collection of “militants” there are those who are genuinely focused on the Niger Delta issue, there are those who are simply taking advantage of the situation, there are those who are indeed criminal elements, and there are those sent in there by the ilks of Obasanjo and his thieving goons to misrepresent the genuine Freedom Fighters. It is therefore unwise to brand everybody there as a criminal.
· One must have a rational basis for branding anyone or anyone group criminal; and unlike Jonathan who failed to explain his rational for the broad based statement, Opubo G Benebo generally brand as criminals those who have raised their hands against their own kith and kin, and other Ijaws whether Core-Ijaws or “Differentiated Ijaws” such as he is, even as Asari Dokubo has done to his cousins, to the Kalabaris and even most detestably to the Okirika peoples;
· Even if not always stated clearly publicly, Opubo G Benebo is particularly vexed, for anyone to kill someone else under non-combat situation, and such people he actually brands as murderers even as he had called Chief Professor TJT Princewill, Amanyanabo of Buguma and his son Tonye Princewill, and had called Asari Dokubo a murderer and continue to maintain that position because of this same reason among others about which he has written extensively before, and which Sabella Abidde has been also fully aware of based the postings on Asari Dokubo beginning at Ijawnation forum;
· Finally also unlike Jonathan, Opubo Benebo does not stand on any platform of governance, so his pronouncements do not carry as much weight, if at all any, as does the pronouncements Jonathan Goodluck.
Conceivably one could go on and on showing similarities and differences of the circumstances, such additional elicitations would result in no additional awareness, and Sabella has already got the drift.
Reiterating, the Niger Delta is quite flux, and it is difficult to know from afar who is indeed a Freedom Fighter and who is not, because there are indeed genuine Freedom Fighters amongst the militants, and it is unwise to so brand everybody, hence being judicious in our pronouncements matters.
Jonathan Goodluck ought to be more judicious and stop making it possible to stereotype all Ijaws both the “Core-Ijaws” and the Differentiated Ijaws”, both the mix of “militants” and the non-militants; after all, ethnicism as racism is all about stereotyping the others.