By Adamu Tilde
There is a growing effort to deodorize the consistent, recurring and habitual attitude of Dr. Kperogi to peddle fake news and share concocted stories and lies. The truth is: Kperogi is a purveyor and enabler of fake news, no amount of revisionism and whitewashing can change this fact. A cursory look into his both Twitter and Facebook posts can attest to it. Herein are seven (by no means exhaustive) professorial lies:
1. September 2016, Dr. Kperogi had it from an impeccable source that the Aso Villa Clinic 2017 budget was more than the combined budget of all the 16 Teaching Hospitals in Nigeria. When his attention was drawn to the factual error of his statement, it earned Garba Shehu the tag of an illiterate spokesman. The sad thing is Garba Shehu was Kperogi’s teacher during his undergrad. Dr. Salisu Shehu, I vividly recalled, tried to make him see reason why it was inappropriate to talk that way to his teacher…well, he was also tagged a glorified quota-system professor.
2. Dr. Kperogi concocted a well-spiced lie that President Buhari spent 6million pounds to treat ear infection in London. It was a barefaced lie. Dr. Mustapha and Dr. Ibrahim Gumel tried in vain to make him recant his position or confirmed it (beyond reasonable doubt) as the case may be, he did neither of the two, despite Garba Shehu’s clarification.
3. Dr. Kperogi had it also from an authoritative sauce, sorry, source, that the botched Nigeria Air Logo was designed at the cost of 183 million Naira. He cited a none-existing firm in Bahrain as one of the ‘Transaction Advisers’ as his source. When his attention was drawn to the inaccuracy of the information, and the fact that the said firm was not even among the listed and certified ‘Transaction Advisers’, Dr. Kperogi adopted a deaf and dumb posture. He neither apologised nor recant his position, despite impeccable evidences brought to his attention.
4. In his self-appointed position as the Chief Executive Officer of holding President Buhari’s administration to its feet (a worthy course I must admit), he shared a Kannywood movie scene where one actor, wearing Nigeria’s Army camouflage uniform, were shown crying over the death of his colleague, as Nigeria’s Army fighting Boko Haram in the Northeast. Again, when he was accused of peddling false information, his defense was: he was busy and could not run a reverse search of the picture on Google. So much for due diligence by a journalism professor.
5. Few months after President Buhari was declared winner of the 2019 general elections, Dr. Kperogi wrote a WhatsApp message and sent it to himself. In the said message, he concocted a lie only a person of his moral and intellectual standing can believe. He said and I quote: a friend in the security sector expressed concern over your safety as a result of possibility of a plot by the Buhari regime/cabal to assassinate you in the state. Curiously enough, as a US citizen/resident, Dr. Kperogi didn’t report that threat to the FBI.
6. At the heat of the 2019 elections, Dr. Kperogi yet again concocted another fat lie to heat the polity. He was so certain of his lie. He declared with all sense of certitude that President Buhari has FINALLY murdered Col. Sambo Dasuki. Again, when he was accused of sharing fake news he mentioned a Whatsapp audio as his source.
7. In its investigative report, fact-checking social media influencers who shared fake news during Nigerian general elections, International Centre For Investigative Reporting, Dr. Kperogi’s name appeared twice, sharing unverified, fake videos as an authoritative evidence of rigging by INEC during the 2019 elections. Against all overwhelming pieces of evidence, Dr. Kperogi instead of being remorseful and apologise for sharing fake videos, tagged the report as “….a tendentious, poorly written, inaccurate screed”, having “crying factual poverty and malicious ignorance”. Incredible! If Dr. Kperogi isn’t a purveyor of fake news I don’t know who is.
You see, you don’t need to like Buhari for you to uphold facts. All you need is to be a decent human being who is principled and capable of carrying out due diligence before making pronouncements. And the fact that Dr. Kperogi is today being ridiculed, villified and laughed at has nothing to do with his unending but never rewarding tirades and tantrums against President Buhari but everything to do with his approach and mode of engagement. We expect some level of decorum, honesty and sincerity from a person of Dr. Kperogi’s standing. This, I think, isn’t too much to ask.