BBOG Franchise Infringement: Unveiling The Sinful Motive Behind Ezekwesili’s Righteous Act, By Umar Hassan
When the Bring Back Our Girls campaign started after the kidnap of over 200 school girls over 2 years ago by the Boko haram sect, it afforded a lot of opportunists and attention seekers a medium to showcase their skills. The legitimacy of the cause meant there was only one side and one side only, so it was only a matter of who could perform best where the lights glitter. Anyone who wasn’t taking photos with his placard was taking ones of him crying.
The founder of the BBOG campaign movement, Hajiya Bala Usman has since gone on to become the Managing Director of the Nigeria Ports Authority after spending time as the Chief Of Staff to the Kaduna State Governor, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai. Not a few people thought Obiageli Ezekwesili, a Former Minister and Vice-President of the World Bank was just waiting to be ‘rewarded’ by the Buhari government after its swearing-in. She had been the face and voice of the group and it wasn’t out of place to think a man that trumped the pro-people card all the way to victory was going to surround himself with people like her. There couldn’t possibly be any better promotional stuff than those pictures of her shedding tears. Ezekwesili’s allegations of franchise infringement by African Support and Empowerment Initiative (AFRISEI), an NGO set up by a daughter of the President, Hajiya Hauwa Buhari Bello at an event meant to raise funds further underlines the sinful motive behind a most righteous act.
My people in the north say:” On the day you will have to take your bath, you cannot hide your belly button”. Its all starting to come to the fore. That someone wants to raise money to help rehabilitate the Chibok girls means someone is stealing the shine off Ezekwesili and her people. That someone wants to ensure the girls return home to a better life for them and their parents means getting undue praise to the Ezekwesilis of this world. That is what is really illegal as far as they are concerned. Franchise Infringement is merely a God-sent conduit to deploy their botheration against those they feel want to make heaven without dying.
Yes,the plight of the Chibok girls isn’t top priority. If it was, Ezekwesili would commend Hauwa Buhari Bello and call for more efforts in helping the released school girls who have been subjected to unspeakable trauma over the last 2 years. Buhari’s daughter would be getting a visit from the BBOG group and not threats of a letter from their lawyers. And as far as Franchise infringement goes, Somebody seems to have forgotten the phrase ‘Bring Back Our Girls’ was traced to a hashtag by a lawyer on Twitter.
It wasn’t originally conceived by Hadiza Usman, Ezekwesili or any of the other persons parading themselves as leaders of the movement and he didn’t as much as raise a voice to the use of it because he was supporting a good cause. It is preposterous for Ezekwesili and her gang to now claim ownership of the BBOG franchise just to frustrate a lady looking to help the Chibok girls in her own little way.
Its okay to soak up the good publicity and other attendant benefits of engaging in a good cause, nobody has a problem with that. But it becomes everybody’s problem when you try to balk other efforts aimed at helping the objects of that cause.
Umar Sa’ad Hassan is a lawyer based in Kano.