Twitter was on fire on Monday as Ovation publisher and renowned journalist, Dele Momodu, and a former social media aide to ex-President Goodluck Jonathan, Reno Omokri, engaged a staffer in President Muhammadu Buhari’s media office, Lauretta Onochie, over comments on Acting President Yemi Osinbajo’s performance.
Momodu had in his weekly column in a national newspaper titled: ‘Before President Buhari returns Home,’ praised Osinbajo for bringing positive developments to governance in the absence of Buhari, who is on an extended sick leave in the United Kingdom.
Momodu also said that Osinbajo was doing what Buhari had failed to do in 20 months of his presidency.
A public affairs commentator, Japhet Omojuwa, responded on Twitter by decrying what he felt was Momodu’s attempt to separate Buhari from Osinbajo since they were elected on a joint ticket.
“I actually find it shocking that some people are trying to separate uhari from Osinbajo. Common sense: it was a joint ticket.”
Yet again, Omojuwa wrote: “We didn’t vote them separately. We voted them in a joint ticket. It is to the president’s credit that he doesn’t have a mannequin as vice-president.”
Onochie then pitched in by throwing a jab at the publisher: “Dele Momodu must borrow some common sense from some of our youth who are educated and now the meaning of ‘Team.’ Here is one…”
She listed some points on her idea of a team in another tweet.
Momodu then fired back with a series of tweets: “Good morning Madam. I’ve been flying so just reading your tirades and vituperations against me. You picked on a wrong customer.
“It takes a complete ignoramus to comment on an article he/she has not read or understood; when & where did I separate BUHARI/OSINBAJO?!
“I know you want to do what you’re paid to do but if sent on a slave errand you should behave like a freeborn and know how to join issues!
“I’m not a professional activist like you and so your opinion of me is complete fallacy; I freely supported Buhari because PDP was no option!
“You did not have to hide behind one finger to attack me; I’m not a member of APC in order to maintain my freedom of speech and association!
“In my article, I praised Buhari for having a deputy like Osinbajo who obviously in our usual tradition couldn’t do what he’s doing now!
“I said parents would be proud of a child who’s upholding the family legacy; only mischief makers would get angry that I encouraged Osinbajo!
“In fact you are the one getting angry and separating BUHARI/OSINBAJO just because I said something positive is beginning to happen!
“What common-sense should I borrow from a rude person like you; where were you in 2015 when the GEJ guys attacked us like you’re doing now!
“Do you think I cannot advise BUHARI like I did to GEJ; my support was never a blank cheque and only a loyal friend will tell you the truth!”
Onochie then responded with a poser: “Advise? Oh God, you are totally, still missing the point. I’ll have to start all over again. You do not understand “team”. That’s the point.”
But Momodu gave it back to her, saying: “Pls start; I’ve plenty of time for you today; a rude person like you can only represent government in a country where merit means nothing!”
There appeared to be a let-up for some hours until another commentator, Muritala Omotayo @owoexplode weighed in against the flamboyant journalist: “
@DeleMomodu, u missing a point like @Laurestar rightly said. You shouldn’t be part of the people writing in support of one man. Its a “team.”
Momodu quickly retorted and clarified that he “encouraged Buhari to empower Osinbajo more when he comes back home; I thought my English was simple enough, alas!”
He went on: “We played our part honourably and nobody can erase that fact!
“It is always easy for the eaters to forget what the hunters did for the meat to enter the pot…”
At this point, the debate then appeared to have widened as some commentators took sides with Momodu. They praised him for writing such an insightful piece.
Omokri then joined the fraywith a word of advice for Momodu: “Egbon @DeleMomodu, you shouldn’t have responded to that woman. She’s insulted me but I never respond to her her. Responding is what she wants.
“Egbon @DeleMomodu, be guided by Proverbs 26:5: “Do not answer a fool according to his folly or you yourself will just be like him.”
He went on: “What she wanted was to be associated with you in a fight. It brings you down and raises her up. Lose loe for you, win for her.
“You Egbon @DeleMomodu have met @Mbuhari personally and one on one. I assure you she has not even enjoyed that privilege.
“The more you @DeleMomodu respond to her and others of her ik, the more they attack you to gain relevance. Just leave trash for LAWMA!”
But Momodu responded by saying: “I seriously don’t mind granting her that moment of fame out of the generosity of my heart!”