Turkey: Where Uba Gaya, Others Got it Wrong
I had thought I would be replying to the story of one TaofeekLawal on his story about Turkish espionage in Nigera, in the LEADERSHIP of February 13, 2017. Just as I was about to get to that, up popped that of Suleiman Uba Gaya, a former editor with LEADERSHIP and now the deputy president of the Nigerian Guild of Editors (NGE).
No, I would not say I was dismayed, for we have all got our opinions – I want to believe what Uba Gaya said in that interview was his opinion and not that of some other ‘feeder’, like Taofeek Lawal’s.
Many would wonder why we are letting issues about Turkey almost become a brawl amongst us. I do not. If there is any espionage undertaken by Turkey here in Nigeria, it is that which we allow to be undertaken. Nigeria is not a nation of riff-raffs; just as we have governed ourselves since independence, we can hold our own against any nation on earth. Why we let ourselves be overwhelmed by issues relating to another man’s country, no matter how well-forged the bilateral relationship we have with that nation is, is beyond me.
We have got issues which can result to the separation of a country into 10 different new break-aways, yet, here we are agonizing over another country who has got her own issues. As Nigerians, have we lost it? By all means, if Turkey is undertaking espionage in my motherland, I would be a sworn enemy of that move, but where that move is only the figment of the imagination of a few people, it would behoove on them to stop belittling Nigeria. If Turkey is, indeed, undertaking espionage here, would the government hear it from the citizens or her security outfits? There you go.
True, as Gaya pointed out in an interview, he is talking from the point of national interest and security. But, as a journalist and editor, you are not expected to take sides on the Turkish matter. Even as Cemal Yigit often denies, the degree to which Fethullah Gulen and his Hizmet movement have flooded our beguiled nation with their businesses has been unequalled; not even by the Chinese. Now, this is fishy. It is either that they have ulterior motives or they love this country so much. No man loves another man’s country so much, least of all Nigeria. Something is truly amiss. But this is where we must apply the principle of the wheat and the chaff. The wheat here is the businesses and the chaff is the undertone of the businesses. Now, if these businesses are here as honest ventures, they must remain, irrespective of what that country’s government thinks. If, however, there is an ulterior motive to sow discord and polarise an already polarised country, we must clamp down on that move, by all means.
We cannot stand and watch our country be destabilized, just because we are in need of a few investments from Hizmet who do not mean us well. If they are bringing a variation of a religion which would make us worse than we are, by God, we do not need it. Religion has not served us well. We are still corrupt, bigoted, myopic, ignorant and lacking in will-power, despite being one of the most religious nations on earth.
Nigerians say “no to Hizmet” and the religion which comes with its investments, but we welcome the investment. These are not the days of the crusades of calumny, so we cannot accept this; no one can colonise another in this 21st Century. Not when we are fully awake with our wits around us.
But then, it could be that Uba Gaya and Taofeek, as Muslims, are scared of the Maarif Foundation which they know nothing about, because they do not belong to that sect. Clearly, though, they have put their thoughts in the open maliciously and we all have reason to worry now. I smell religion here and it does not make the average Nigerian comfortable. Religion is not our forte and, one more time, it is coming to scatter us to the four winds again…God forbid. While we are ruminating on the allegations against Maarif Foundation made by Gaya and Taofeek, Nigerians must bear in mind that they have much more to fear from Gullen and his Hizmet movement which are all threatening to sow a seed of discord amongst us.
–Bichi, a member of the Nigerian Youth Entrepreneurship Fund (NYEFUND), wrote in from Madalla, a suburb of Abuja.
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