Reno Omokiri, an aide to former President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan has been accused of allegedly blocking a facebook friend and follower, Maazi Ogbonnaya Okoro for countering with facts, a recent “distorted” posts about the Igbo and Itshekiri nation.
According to information available to infonet9ja.com, Okoro had engaged Omokiri in a fierce argument on Omokiri’s facebook page which prompted his removal.
In an account of what transpired between him and Reno, Okoro wrote
“You deleted my comment and blocked me from commenting on your Facebook page cos I told you that your nugget is now lacking Maggi.
“Why did I say that?
“You boasted that Itshekiri had Igbo slaves centuries before the British colonization.
“According to you, after the British banned slavery, you Itshekiri people were forced to set them free. Some returned to Igbo land, others remained with you and gradually formed a new language called **** (you can’t mention) About 200,000 of them are still with you.
“Reno, you went further as a Harvard-Oxford historian you are to say: “I will not reveal the name of this tribe called ****, because I do not want to offend them, but they are in Delta State)”.
“You said also: if they speak, Igbo, Bini, Itshekiri and Portuguese will understand them too. You said they have names like Iweka, Ikenna. You claimed that is how some of your names and also Benin went into the Igbo lexicon.
“You also said because of the sheer number of Igbo slaves you sold at Ogidigben, the Portuguese named the town Escravos.
“Reno, I know that you know it all from politics, religion, social life, relationship, everything about life, God is learning from you because you know it all, that’s why you dislike dissenting opinions.
“I am not here for the attack, but historical reasoning. First of all, I want to ask you questions:
“In what century did the Itshekiri start having Igbo as slaves? When exactly? Oh, you said centuries.
“From your bogus writeup that lacks academic and historical substance, you claimed your people interacted with the Portuguese perhaps in the slave business.
“Reno, the first time the Portuguese came to Nigeria was in the 15th century. They started trading brass and copper, pepper, cloth, ivory. In the the1490s a Portuguese trader wrote that at Benin, copper bracelets were more highly prized than brass ones.
“It was later when the slave trade became the norm in other African countries that the Portuguese involved themselves in that. Their initial arrival was purely for business. They did business with Igbo, Bini and others.
“Again, those captured as slaves were sent to a new world. Bonny was the settlement before taking off. There was a Calabar shore. This was when the British were already here. Itshekiri is out of the picture.
“I am yet to see any researcher who is afraid to mention the names of the people he is writing about because he doesn’t want to offend them.
“You claimed that Igbo slaves the Itshekiri had formed their language. According to you, the name of the language is *****. I know you are well educated and read more than everyone in the world, since when has the name of a language turned to *****?
“Why are you afraid of mentioning the name of the language they formed while living in Itshekiri, after being freed as slaves? That is the height of your intellectual dishonesty. If you know what you are saying, you will not shy away from mentioning the name.
“I studied Linguistics, and historical linguistics is one of my best areas of interest. A new language cannot just be formed like that. That leads us to one of the macro Linguistics known as sociolinguistics.
“There must be language contact. Interaction with people around will affect the language of the people. If they were Igbo slaves freed by the Itshekiris according to your soured nuggets bara ụka, why are they not speaking Itshekiri but had to form their language which is not Igbo, but a different language entirely?
“In your second claim, you said about 200,000 are still with you. The question is, where are they located in Itshekiri land? Who are they? You can’t tell us, Mr I Know All. You are using *****
“Reno, the Igbo in Equitorial Guinea still retain some aspect of Igbo culture and language despite the influence of the tribes around them, how come the Igbo slaves in Itshekiri here, not up to 4 hours from Asaba had forgotten everything about their Igbonness despite having Igbo scattered everywhere and doing businesses in Delta? Isn’t that laughable?
“Reno, you said you are not going to mention names of the tribe of Igbo who were Itshekiri ex-slaves because you don’t want to offend them. Haba…Every society has dark age. What are you hiding?
“Because you know you just talk many times without thinking or carry out research cos you know that many you can deceive with your unmaggi nugget will think you are saying the truth without knowing that your nugget has lacked intellectual nutrients.
“Call the name of the Igbo tribe in Delta or anywhere in Igbo land that was Itshekiri ex-slave, you guys freed them after the abolition of the slave trade.
“From those posts of yours, you claimed that Jaja of Opobo was bought by the Ijaw and they made him king.
“Really? Should I burst your bubble?
“It was Obua Ajukwu of Oguta who took Jaja from Ụmụduruọha, Amaigbo now in Imo State to Bonny when he was 12. The slavery he was taken to was apprenticeship type. He earned his way out of it.
“He rolled with the Ijaw and was enculturated according to the Ijaw rituals and subsequently rose to head the Anna Pepple House merchant fraction of Bonny Island.
“As he was leading, they took over the trade in the Bonny region until there was a dispute with the Manilla Pepple House led by Oko Jumbo.
“In 1869, he formed Opobo which was later known as a Kingdom trading the highest palm oil courtesy of Jaja. This brought the attention of the British government to enlist it under their British Territory. He blocked access for the British to monopolize the market. Berlin Conference of 1884 forcefully designated Opobo as British territory.
“Dear Reno, Ijaw did not make Jaja of Opobo king neither did they buy him as a slave as you claimed. He formed a kingdom of Opobo about 26 miles away from the east of Bonny.
“I am back to hear the name of the Igbo tribe in Delta that was ex-slave to the Itshekiri. Is it Ọgwashị Ukwu—the progenitor was of Nishi (Nri). Is it Igboụzọ— the progenitor was of Isuama Igbo.
“Before you respond, go read up about the pre-colonial Igbo society from the notable world-renowned historians—Professor Elizabeth Isichei, Professor Ọnwụejeọgwụ, Professor Kenneth Dike, Professor A. Afigbo and many more.
“You don’t trust Nigerian authors, right?
“Then go read up “Among the Ibos of Nigeria”, by. G.T. Basden. Professor Elizabeth Isichei is a white woman, married to Igbo. Professor Kenneth is the first Professor of history in Nigeria and the first black Vice-Chancellor of the University College, Ibadan.
“Reno, I ask again, when has the name of people and language turn to *****?
“You think history is about PDP and APC where you can use any propaganda to pass anything. You think it is about political and societal criticism. You think it’s about giving daily Bible quotes and unsolicited relationship and marriage advice with your insulting attitudes.
‘Dear Reno, I have cleared my conscience. You can now go ahead and block me on Twitter just as you did on Facebook.
“That is how intellectual co. wards behave. If you wish to, I am ready for an open debate on pre-colonial Igbo history. Let’s do this.
“This is not about noise making. You wake up every morning to have an opinion over what you know and what you don’t know. I am not taking this personal. Not because you blocked me.
“But because I want to clear the air and state obviously that if you are not mentioning the names of the so-called Igbo ex-Itshekiri tribe who now live among you with a population of 200,000, form their language, live in Igbo land and Delta, then you are telling the world how a world-renowned notorious liar you are.
The block button is there, do your thing.
“Don’t expect silence when you decide to sell false narratives about the Igbo. The time of silence has gone.
“I am still waiting for your response. I recommend also, buy more Maggi for your nuggets because it’s really lacking condiments.
“Reno, I challenge you for an open debate on this topic.
“But before then, mention the names of those of your Igbo ex-slaves and the language they formed. Tell us the data you used to carry out your research that 200,000 of them still live amongst your people. What is even the population of Itshekiri?
“If you are unable to do this, I’m sorry, I can’t take you seriously. I paused.
© Maazi Ogbonnaya.
Twitter handle @maazi_ogbonnaya”
In defence to his action, Reno Omokiri wrote “My dearly beloved followers, yes, I do block some people. I do not block those who disagree with me. Far from it.
“However, if you insult me, or call me a liar, or use uncouth words, I will block you and I make no apologies.
“This is my house. I ought to feel comfortable here. And if you make me uncomfortable, you are gone.
“Many Northerners follow me here. They disagree with me. How many have I blocked.
“Disagree without being disagreeable.
Disclaimer: infonte9ja.com shall not be liable to Opinions, Articles or Features that doesn't emanate from any of its staff and management. We also wish to reiterate that such personal or sponsored opinion, article or feature does not reflect the views of the publishers of infonet9ja.com, but the writer's
For publication of your news content, articles, videos or any other news worthy materials, please send to email@example.com | For Advert and other info, you can call 09061217047 or send a WhatsApp Message to 09061217047
“Thank you and may God bless you.”