What should ordinarily have passed as a military- civilian relationship, especially in this period of the fight against insurgency soon degenerated into an exchange of words between the Spokesperson of the Defence Headquarters, Major-General Chris Olukolade and a former Minister of Education cum co-convener of the BringBackOurGirls movement, Mrs. Obiageli Ezekwesili.
Ezekwesili had sent out a tweet to the Nigerian Army, the Defence Headquarter and General Olukolade to ask if they are all aware of the outcry of some residents of Biu, Borno State suggesting they are under attack.
Recall that the town was under the attack of the Boko Haram insurgents group on Wednesday, but was repelled by the Nigerian troops leading to the killing of at least 11 of the insurgents and the arrest of five others.
But Olukolade in his response to thinks Ezekwesili should have reached him in other ways rather than true twitter.
@obyezeks Pls stop spreading fear like BH desires. Nigerian Mothers who have Kids in BIU shouldn’t die from High BP caused by your alarms!”
He added: “I understand Madam
@obyezeks is expressing concern for Biu on twitter. We updated you that we repelled BH forces there & are engaging them..”
“History: More people died from drowning themselves in the Sea than the Ikeja Cantonment explosion in Lagos because of Alarms like
Olukolade’s statement seem not to have gone down well with Ezekwesili who responded saying “How alerting
@GENOlukolade &the military on the cries we @BBOG_Nigeria are getting from BIU residents is “spreading fear” totally beats one.”
It was at this point that Olukolade described the tweets by Ezekwesili as an attack on troops and Nigeria, a comment Ezekwesili described as petty as more exchange of words ensued between them.
See some of Olukolade’s tweets
“The unwarranted attacks by
@obyezeks on Troops & Nigerians who have lost their KIN in the Military to war against TERROR will not deter us!”
@obyezeks This is funny from you and deceptive. Stick to the issue. I never talked about your movement. I said stop Lies and Scaremongering!”
“”there is no attack on BIU!!! where are you getting your info from???” Another verified report from Konye Bisong
@obyezeks STOP the Alarm!”
Olukolade ended his tweet presumably with an appeal to Ezekwesili unite with them and move Nigeria forward.
@obyezeks you are my Sister. You know how to reach me, Take it easy. Let’s Unite and Move Nigeria Forward. Accept my Esteemed Regards!”
See some of Oby Ezekwesili’s tweet
“Such PETTY ACT of making ME rather than the MESSAGE, the ISSUE by dear
@GENOlukolade speaks to the DEEP CHALLENGES of our KEY INSTITUTIONS.”
“Now WE KNOW how PETTINESS has DEFINED the ATTITUDE of those who are PROSECUTING the COUNTER INSURGENCY EFFORT. Thanks
@GENOlukolade for it.”
“No AMOUNT of OVERT and COVERT attacks from public officials like
@GENOlukolade will compel ME to BECOME SILENT in the FACE OF EVIL. Never.”
“For those without CONTEXT on the exchange with
@GENOlukolade , I got his attacks for simply ALERTING him of LATEST URGENT CRIES out of BIU.”
“Deep VENOM that a KEY member of our Security Leadership has thrown @ a CITIZEN for innocent alert. IT IS VERY REVEALING.
“You must know that I shall send YOU an ALERT tweet again (GOD FORBIDS) WE receive DISTRESS CRIES from CITIZENS. It is a CIVIC DUTY.”
“Due to DEEP HOSTILITY of the Government toward
@BBOG_Nigeria we decided that every communication will be in the OPEN. That’s why I TWEETED.”