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Thank You For The Greek Gift.

03 Dec

Maybe some will remember the hashtag #ForJahmira. Maybe not. But two people Japheth Omojuwa and Bukola Ogunyemi were at the forefront of trying to raise funds for my son about a year ago. Against my better judgment, I had accepted help which they INSISTED on offering. I still have copies of the emails exchanged. I still have a memory of the calls made. People who were privy to conversations on both sides are fortunately not dead. The total sum raised was about N77,500.0.

I was reminded quite openly of this good the deed by the one and only Japheth Omojuwa on Friday, 29th November 2013. My sin? I wrote an article which was published on the Scoop earlier that day. You can find the full article here  http://www.thescoopng.com/abigail-anaba-gov-oshiomhole-and-the-widow/ . I have however gone ahead to copy the ‘offending’ excerpts below. Please oblige me:

Which brings me to the question: was this woman treated unfairly? For instance, will she get a fair hearing if indeed she was just waiting for commute? Will her goods be returned to her so she can go trade in the market? Is there any structure on ground to ensure that she will get a fair hearing? It is quite easy to react emotionally, create a hashtag and donate money for the widow, but of even more importance is ensuring that there are places where citizens who feel they have received an unfair treatment from anyone in authority can go and have their grievances aired without fear.
A cosmetic remedy can solve the problem of this ‘widow’ in the video, but what about all other ‘widows’ that were not caught on camera. How many people will you donate money for? At a point, it becomes tiring. But, if there is a strong citizen advocacy group on ground, it is much easier to help people who find themselves in situations like this widow and have a genuine case to make.

In Omojuwa’s books, this excerpt seems to suggest that I do not believe money should be raised for the widow. He believes, as I gathered from his tweets, that I have no moral rights to hold the above opinion because he and his friends raised money to pay school fees for my son.
                                 
I am lost.

Even more amazing is the number of ‘friends’ who joined him by retweeting and tweeting support, some even without reading the article. To these I am even more grateful.

Some time ago, I shared on my TL something on context.  I would rather not say that someone decided to take the words of that article and twist it around to suit himself. I would rather not input bad motives. Yet, it is very curious that the above words can be interpreted to mean ‘do not raise money for the widow’ or ‘raising money for this widow is unnecessary’.

In my first email to Omojuwa, I had clearly stated why I shared my son’s story. Excerpts:
“Let me also say that I shared the story for two basic reasons: first to inspire others who are in similar circumstances and second to be sure I am doing the best possible for him and if not find ways to improve. I am happy that I have been able to accomplish both and I do again thank you for your role in this.”

People have often said you must never accept ‘good’ from people. A couple of my friends would probably say how almost impossible it is for me to accept help from anyone. I did not follow my gut instincts. I should follow my gut instincts more often.

If I had followed my gut instincts, my son will not now be in the debt of someone who believes that because he did you a favour you should no longer have an opinion. I will not be in the debt of someone who holds something against me.

N77,500.0 is certainly not the type of money I would come on Twitter to beg for. But come to think of it, even if I came on twitter to beg for N20Million, does anyone have a right to tell me not to air my views because they helped co-ordinate some fund raising for me? Then again, even IF I had said it was wrong to raise funds for this widow, (which I clearly did not say) does my benefiting from a fund raising scheme translate into supporting every fundraising scheme? Does it take away my right to reason and hold an opinion?
And yet, these same people would blame other people who join government and lose their voice. They will castigate them and paint them useless. These are the very ones that seek to perpetrate the very actions they disdain.

I am not the hypocrite here.

Let it be known to anyone who cares to listen that I have NEVER and will NEVER come on Twitter to beg for bread. It doesn’t mean I am any better than people who have found themselves so unfortunate as to need help. I remember repeatedly telling Bukola how disinterested I was in the entire set up. I never even shared in retweeting or asking for funds. Even when people asked if the fund raising was for my son, I never replied because I had told them in no uncertain terms that I do not want to have anything to do with the fund raising. The only reason I agreed to it was because they were making it seem like people were willing to help make things better while I stubbornly stood in the way. If Bukola  can be truthful to himself and his God he will say how long it took to convince me to accept help from him and his crony. Perhaps, this is why God saw to it that the entire affair was a flop.

I will continue to support the looking after of orphans and widows. I will continue to support the giving of alms to the poor. I will continue to support the needy. I will continue to pray that God comes to our aid in our time of need. I will continue to hope that people with a good heart like do not destroy themselves with their arrogance. May God not send you a helper that will turn your helplessness into mockery when it suits him.

I believe that by Omojuwa and his friends coming to make a fool of my son and me for their ‘goodness’ towards him for no just cause, the ‘good’ they did has been invalidated. However, the people who gave freely deserve a just reward for their goodness. So this is what I have done. I have returned the sum of N77,500.0 donated to my son to Omojuwa’s The Alpha Reach account. He can do with it whatever he pleases.

This is my way of getting closure. This is my way of finding peace. God bless us all.

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36 Comments

Posted by on December 3, 2013 in General

 

36 responses to “Thank You For The Greek Gift.

  1. tharev

    December 3, 2013 at 3:55 pm

    Reblogged this on tharev and commented:
    This got me thinking if there is any just cause or free gift in Nigeria…such disdane shame

     
  2. kehinde

    December 3, 2013 at 4:08 pm

    There is no point doing someone a favor (of which it was forced) and you would want to have authourity over the person’s life. You did the right thing by returning the money abeg.

     
  3. Anthony

    December 3, 2013 at 4:17 pm

    Wow!

    Ms. Gail if you will permit me to call you by your first name, it is amazing how people who fight against something become worse than the one they fight against. References Idi Amin et al.

    Your response is a reflection of your goodness and I am glad you did not lose it.

    I stand to applaud you. Keep up being yourself ignore the shots at you because silence tells a lot more stories than the noise from empty barrels.

    God’s Grace to you and your son.

     
  4. Eloka

    December 3, 2013 at 5:01 pm

    I really don’t know what to say but if returning the money has given you closure, then it is ok. I never knew you were the one ‘they’ were talking about- in retrospect, you earned my respect, a lot of it. You have a voice and no one on earth can deny you your thought process, your voice- no matter what favors he/she/they might have done for you in the past.
    This is a lesson to all. Thanks

     
  5. Faisal Abdullah Fagge

    December 3, 2013 at 6:14 pm

    Hmmm! This says a lot about Omojuwa and his refutation…though!

    Stand still and declare your mind, no matter the odds!

     
  6. Akin Akíntáyọ̀ (@forakin)

    December 3, 2013 at 6:35 pm

    In my view, when one has been in the receipt of help, there is a level of moderation and circumspection that should be exercised when that person comments on others receiving similar kinds of help, regardless of how the help was offered.

    That you are returning money is beside the point, it came in useful at the point of need, a need that is now no more there, hence the value of the support has now depreciated.

    Hopefully, Omojuwa will take the money and donate it to those in greater need and will be more appreciative as well as have a quality of reserve and circumspection that does not read like the parable of the ungrateful servant.

    However, in the scheme of things, neither you nor Omojuwa have been mature in tackling this matter and that is unfortunate for I count both of you as friends and acquaintances.

     
    • elsieisy

      December 3, 2013 at 8:55 pm

      Mr. Akin, with all due respect, ur comment is baseless. I saw that tweet from omojuwa but never knew who it was meant for. Even without knowing who it was for, I felt bad. The fact that his team or whatever raised funds for whoever doesn’t deprive them from having an opinion.
      And as for the Gov. Adams and Widow issue, I was highly disappointed at Nigerians and the truth is at this point, only the grace of God can renew this country, cos even those that has a voice prooved to be same with d so called “government”. The only fault Adams had was the statement he made. “Go and die” asides that, his actions isn’t questionable. He’s a gov for crying out loud and even if he’s going to take pity on a widow/widows, that isn’t and can’t be the right place. The fact that you are a widow doesn’t make u break a law.

       
      • Akin Akíntáyọ̀ (@forakin)

        December 3, 2013 at 9:24 pm

        I have made extensive commentary in two blogs about the Oshiomhole-Widow issue and my view after reading the Edo State street traders statute required that the woman be charged to court, nothing in that video recording showed that was the case and thereby the governor himself contravened the law he was trying to enforce.

        As far as my original comment is concerned, it addresses a whole range of issues from the whatever informed the writer’s decision to express her views in that way much as the generality of the views were valid.

        This through to whatever actions she took in the end are addressed in those four paragraphs. That we see things differently is a matter of perspective, I don’t follow crowds.

         
    • highlandblue

      December 4, 2013 at 11:14 am

      I think Abigail has been very moderate in expressing her views. And very mature too. I am yet to see otherwise. I think this comment was unnecessary.

       
  7. @sojitweets

    December 3, 2013 at 7:35 pm

    Hmmmm…

     
  8. @sojitweets

    December 3, 2013 at 7:49 pm

    In my view, dear @forakin you miss the point…can’t place my finger on it now. But I know you missed it

     
  9. Gboyega Bamgboye (@mcgboye)

    December 3, 2013 at 8:52 pm

    Absolutely sad narrative, and I give the writer 100% for the manner of closure. This has been my problem with people who proclaim themselves as change agents, who think their views are sacrosanct and who cannot stand contrasting opinion. Mr Forakin missed the point completely. His comment was almost scolding the writer, and he probably would have preferred that the writer sulk in private.
    Like I’ve written in several media, the people who want to change Nigeria need the change more than the present old cargoes. If Omojuwa thought Anabagail’s article wasn’t proper, I’m sure he had means to him/her (I don’t even know the writer’s sex) and could have made his point in private. But he felt belittled, and like the ultimate twitterlord he is, felt compelled to react publicly.
    The funny part in all this, the article wasn’t against donation.

     
    • Akin Akíntáyọ̀ (@forakin)

      December 3, 2013 at 9:30 pm

      I make no bones about the fact that I am scolding both the writer and her supposed assailant.

      There is no doubt that Omojuwa can be abrasive, but that does not make him a bad man, people can be so passionate about causes to the point of odium, it is the nature of Nigerian theatre.

      However, we must not now take this forum to vent at Omojuwa from here, if you have issues with him, address them elsewhere, I would rather both parties to this matter reflect on their actions and find ways to make peace – none is without fault, and I am not going to weigh their faults on scales.

       
      • Queen Ocholi

        December 4, 2013 at 5:19 pm

        Oh so you know “people can be so passionate about causes to the point of odium”? Why crucify Oshiomhole then? Cos I think the gov said “go and die” out of his passion for the right things to be done at all time.

         
  10. Vivian O

    December 3, 2013 at 9:46 pm

    @forakin your comment “… read like the parable of the ungrateful servant” says everything about your version of charity.

    She’s shown a great deal of reserve and circumspection in this matter, and is entitled to her views.
    Many people, myself included, think these individual acts of “contrition” can’t (and shouldn’t) take the place of systemic overhaul.

     
  11. Lanre Ajakaiye

    December 3, 2013 at 10:10 pm

    Keep your head up Abigail. There was absolutely nothing worthy of abuse in your article about the widow, and this article is also in order. There a couple of lessons to be learned from this but I dont need to school you on them. I have no doubt you have drawn your inferences and learned your lesson already.

     
  12. gboukzi

    December 4, 2013 at 5:02 am

    Uncle Akin,
    I almost cannot believe you said this. I’m convinced you missed the point of the two Abigail articles. In the first one, what I thought she was saying is what many of us have been saying for a long while now; that we need a more enduring form of crowd-sourced help, and as such, maybe we need to create a pool where people can periodically donate into, and from where monies will be taken to assist people who need help from time to time. Reading that article, that’s what I thought she was saying, and that’s a sentiment that some of us totally share.

    As for returning the money, I’d do the same. The fact that you helped me when I needed help, does NOT in any way mean that you would think I have not right to a contrary opinion. If you saw Omojuwa’s tweets that day, you’d see that’s exactly what he was saying; that Abigail should keep quiet because she once received help from HIM (Yes, that’s how he sounded), never mind that it was a crowd-sourced initiative. If this happened to me, and matters came to using the help to spite me in public, I’d desperately wish I could give it back, so I can have my right to an opinion, contrary or not, back. That’s exactly what Abigail did here, and I do not for the life of me, see anything wrong with it.

    Abigail wanted closure, she was hurt and I’m sure she must have cried at least twice; when Omojuwa was making reference to her helplessness in her son’s case that made her come to Social Media to seek help, and when she was writing this. Please do not fault her efforts at seeking closure, and freeing herself of all forms of entanglement, and a low self esteem. Please don’t knock it. We all seek closures in different ways, she had chosen this way and, if it indeed gives her closure, we all should not take it with a pinch of salt.

    Also, with this behavior, Omojuwa has probably effectively scared other people with issues requiring help away from voicing out, because they will think “so, that’s how I’ll disagree with him one day, and he’ll go and tell the whole world that I came to seek help”. That’s extremely sad because, no matter how little, we have seen Social Media rise up and help the situations of people in need.

    As a side note: you elderly people who are his friends need to caution Omojuwa. His megalomaniac and narcissistic tendencies are getting out of hand. Life is way more complicated. He needs to calm down.

     
    • Akin Akíntáyọ̀ (@forakin)

      December 4, 2013 at 10:51 am

      I would advice you to wait for Omojuwa’s response to this issue before you ride into the sunset.

      And like I said before, if you really do have issues with Omojuwa, address him personally, do not use this platform to kick him.

      I will add no more to this conversation until after Omojuwa has responded after which I hope we are all accorded a time of serious sober reflection.

       
      • gboukzi

        December 4, 2013 at 11:12 am

        Okay. But I assure you, sir, I’m addressing this issue, and I do not have any personal axe to grind with Omojuwa. We’ll wait for his response (if it ever comes), and see. For me though, the first thing out of his mouth, should be an apology. Because, I don’t think anything justifies using Abigail’s need to spite her. That’s low. Very low.

         
      • Oluwatomisin

        December 5, 2013 at 12:04 pm

        @forakin, you are just about the only sensible person in here and I’ll advise you ignore comments henceforth.

        @omojuwa is popular and successful so the obvious hate is expected but no single one of you here is appreciating the FACT that he helped when she REALLY needed the money. Bunch of airheads.

        @anabagail has every right to be upset as a typical Nigerian with an empty ego but the truth is, common sense dictates you exercise restraint on topics you’ve benefitted from or at least ALWAYS make your point clear enough to avoid different interpretations. Returning the money makes no difference because it had already served the purpose it was intended. If Omojuwa is arrogant as everyone here says, what do we call Anabagail’s reaction?

        Like @forakin rightly said, if anyone has got an axe to grind with Omojuwa, be brave enough to face him. Stop hating by proxy.

        My verdict : They both were wrong

         
  13. yelecapri10

    December 4, 2013 at 12:11 pm

    Hmmmm.. So, Omojuwa used tweets to try to silence Abigail’s opinion but she should not have used her own medium of getting closure? I’m getting us…
    We didn’t all wait for Oshiomole’s response and went on all to say all sorts but we have to wait for Omojuwa’s response before reacting to her post?
    While i don’t have any issues with Omojuwa, (infact, i’ve respected how he’s bn able to make Social Media work for him and others are learning from him), his tweets that day were the saddest i had ever had to read. A lot of us wouldn’t even lift a finger to want to help anyone but we’ve seen how Social media has changed lives. Because someone started out to reach for someone else for help.
    “You pple shld just (be) calm and wait till Oshiomole apologises to that woman and sets up a shop for her…” Those were my exact words when i saw the hashtag and shortly after i saw Abigail’s post, read it and totally agreed and RTed it. We all have our errors, some of us, quick to reach conclusions, some of us just ffg the crowd. The best of us are patient and they explain these things to us. Omojuwa cld have asked her when he saw the post about what she meant. Not coming to humiliate her on Twitter.
    I don’t even know which one got me angry: the fact that she would have cried dt day and yday when she wrote this, or the fact that she needed help for her son, this response or the amount that was raised seeing that we could have done more. It’s sad what we do to ourselves when we are not patient. We should all practice what we preach or at least try to practice what the Holy Books preach. The change we seek is within us. Until we change ourselves, we can’t change someone else.
    Abigail, i wish your son will be in great health for all times and you will never have cause to weep anymore.

     
  14. tonypox

    December 4, 2013 at 12:25 pm

    The only appropriate response from him would be an apology if he chooses to. What I don’t get is asking us to wait for his side. His side? He expressed that with his tweets last week. What other thing does he have to say? Is this the first time he has gone abusive on people on twitter? No! The fact that he continues doing this means two things to me: 1. He doesn’t get talked to or 2. He doesn’t listen when talked to. I have nothing against him, but what he did was low and uncalled for.

     
  15. Stacy

    December 4, 2013 at 1:11 pm

    I also think Omojuwa’s tweets on subject were abrasive. You know when you help others, when you show compassion, even the bible says one hand shouldnt know what the other is doing? Akin, this isnt a personal attack on Omojuwa. Why should Abigail reach him in private, when he attacked her on twitter (his preferred social medium).
    I dont get all this hypocrisy. Omojuwa tries to portray the image of a classy blogger/twitter activist blah blah, but just now, he referred to members of the HOR as ‘wankers’. Is that for lack of a better term?
    He is probably a good guy, I dont know him, he probably is. But, I suggest he discusses this with Abigail and Abigail opens her mind up to a fair discussion with him. Indeed, he did her good at her time of need, but he threw stones at her because of the good he did and tried to suggest subservience because of the good done.
    I’d hate to have anyone I know receive any favours from anyone who’d come back and hack them for it, for any reason.

    Well …what do I know? And I sure aint waiting for Omojuwa to ‘respond’ to make my comments. Is he also the founder of the Internet?

    Make peace guys, not war

     
  16. @madamneka

    December 4, 2013 at 1:20 pm

    @yelecapri10 God the spirit has spoken through you!!

     
  17. feathersproject

    December 4, 2013 at 1:32 pm

    “It is unwise to be too sure of one’s own wisdom. It is healthy to be reminded that the strongest might weaken and the wisest might err” ― Mahatma Gandhi

    Madame Anabagail, you’re a strong woman. May your healing be complete…

     
  18. Queen Ocholi

    December 4, 2013 at 5:09 pm

    I’ve said this before that the highest scam in the world is in so called ‘charity’.

     
  19. P dayo

    December 4, 2013 at 6:46 pm

    No doubt, certain levels of wisdom come with age. @forakin, I respect your wisdom of scolding both sides and seeking peace.
    I empathise with Mrs Anaba and can only ask that she allows ‘this’ to settle and get back to being fellow ‘overlords’ with omojuwa.
    Mark my words, he will apologise (if not already as I’m typing this).
    You guys are an awesome lot on twitter and money should never bring asunder else, the wishes and divinations of the folks you take to the cleaners are just being realised.
    Finally to all the other twitter celebs who have chosen to take sides and not settle a dispute, hear me well: “Your comment on this post will definitely not earn you 7years jail term!
    Get back to tweep friendlies pls!
    @mog_dayo

     
    • bukola

      December 4, 2013 at 9:36 pm

      He will apologise ONLY because Aunty Oby Ezekwesili tweeted at him saying that he owes Gail an apology big time. He had already ‘threatened’ to give a robust reply to Gail. The egotistic one and his so called friends that spur him on instead of telling him the truth. akin didn’t quite scold both sides fairly. He had clearly taken sides with omojuwa and added the last bit as sprinkles. but Akin isn’t the matter here so will let him rest. omojuwa is with his ill intentions using charity as a stepping stone and striking Gail with his charitable stone.

       
  20. Ahmad Salkida

    December 5, 2013 at 7:05 am

    Very sad. Anabagail I am with you in prayers!

     
  21. Akin Akíntáyọ̀ (@forakin)

    December 5, 2013 at 7:20 am

    To everyone who has commented or made up their minds after reading this blog, I now ask you to go and read Omojuwa’s side of this long story and reflect deeply.

    I hope that between the tales of these two people on the cards of life we are dealt there would be a teaching moment, a humbling moment, an understanding moment and a compassionate moment.

    Shalom!

     
    • tonypox

      December 5, 2013 at 12:46 pm

      Errrr…..sorry sir, but in wading in, did you communicate with both parties since i believe you know and interact with both of them or did you just speak with one party? to be honest, what i gather is that you had also taken sides even before omojuwa’s so called ‘side of the story’. i read his side of the story and that for me is no apology. my happiness is that Abigail has found closure with what she did. if returning the money is a slap on the face of the donors, then using the fact that donations were made for her son to insult her is also a slap on the face of the donors.

      well, what do i even know?

       
    • Alvin Clein

      December 5, 2013 at 2:57 pm

      From the beginning you have tried unsuccessfully to defend Omojuwa. I have read his so called ‘robust response’ and there is nothing to justify his degrading and belittling tweet about mrs Anaba. I don’t know the relationship you have with him, or if you are among his gullible admirers that see him as a super human that doesn’t err, or if you are playing an ethnic card here, but all I know is that Omojuwa is an egoistic being that wants everybody to bend to his opinion.

       
  22. saymalcolm

    December 5, 2013 at 10:16 am

    I made an observation during the Ese Walter saga. In one of Omojuwa’s articles, he harped on how he was a faithful giver to Biodun Fatoyinbo’s ministry. He went as far as specifying that he gave offering in “hard currency”. I saw this as being petty and I didn’t fail to make this comment on the article but of course, it wasn’t allowed.

    Reading this article has further buttressed my belief that the social media despite being a tool for positive projection of self, is also a springboard and mask for hypocrites hungry for wealth and fame.

    It made me realise that many of these vocal social media activists are no different from the people they criticise. It seems to be a rational way of thinking in Nigeria that help given is a sale of your right of opinion. This is wrong. So wrong.

    Twitter is a funny world that we should all be wary of.

     
    • elsieisy

      December 6, 2013 at 8:40 am

      OK! Ok! Ok! The truth is that I’m short tempered but I try, I swear I try to mind what I say to people and how I say them. So I’ll keep trying. Will read Omojuwa’s version soon but then, don not forget that Omojuwa and his crew INSISTED on helping this lady. She didn’t run to them for help. Then from his bragging rights of giving offering in hard currency, who cares? U can give in Gold for all I care. But at the end of the day you could raise just 77k+ for a woman in such great need. Why didn’t ur hard currency come in handy then. You preach what you don’t believe or even act. His actions doesn’t bother me, cos to me, he’s just a tweep I follow that has a right to his own opinion. I only smh for those that can die for his opinion. He actually thinks for those set of people cos they ve no analysing brain of theirs. Yes he comes out right in some certain issues but he’s human. Omojuwa should calm down. As far as am concerned, he’s same as the leaders he struggles so hard to oppose.

      And as for @olwatomisin, your studpidity is even more obvious than @forakin’s that feels he can play with our head here with stupid phrases. Maybe u can when u speak like our Hon. Patrick but like ds? Try again.

       
  23. holamiju

    December 19, 2013 at 3:55 pm

    Wow! Wow! Wow! I didn’t know there had been a rumble in this twitter jungle so recently… This story is a sad one.

    Unfortunately, it is hard to not take sides after reading this but as wisdom requires, one should still endeavour to read what the other guy had to say.

    What Anagail felt cannot be denied. You see, one can’t control one’s gut feelings about an issue, you can camouflage it but you feel is what you feel! It is very easy to come here and chastise her (or the other guy) without being privy to the internal struggles she (or the other guy) suffered before putting her pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard as the case maybe).

    I have often said that life is a dance, my dance to my music may offend you but be rest assured I’m only following my music. If you listen to my music, you may just find yourself dancing the same way.

    Let it be known, nobody is a monopoly of wisdom and no one has the keys to opinion-heaven, everyone should feel very free anytime, anywhere to express their opinions about anything and anyone (and be ready for the consequences too!) without anybody (except their consciences/moral compass/constitution) restraining them.

    I see many people on social media who follow the crowd and want to be part of the happening ‘elite’ just for the sake of fame. They have lost their voices and have become echoes. They could have become icons but are now mere shadows chasing fumes.

    I am not sure I have any lessons for either party, they have taken home their lessons already.

    Shalom.

    P.S. @Stacy: I was abso-freaking-lutely blown away by your comment: “Is he also the founder of the internet?”

     
  24. jupius2000

    December 21, 2013 at 12:34 pm

    Reblogged this on D JUBLOG and commented:
    This article brought to mind every negative thing I’ve come to associate with accepting gifts. You see, I’m one of those people who hate to be beholden to anyone. If I was in Abigail’s shoes for instance, I’d be obliged to swallow my opinions.

     

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