The Wendell Simlin/Reno Omokri scandal is still creating ripples across Nigerian blogosphere and social media landscape. This time, we see Linda Ikeji being taken to

Wendell-gate, Linda Ikeji, bloggers and choices

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The Wendell Simlin/Reno Omokri scandal is still creating ripples across Nigerian blogosphere and social media landscape. This time, we see Linda Ikeji being taken to task over her publishing of Reno’s veiled response. A number of individuals have since proceeded to castigate her over this.

The arguments on both sides are interesting. But I am interested in only one thing: what appears to be a growing trend of certain individuals trying to define what other people should do with their lives and platforms, and the consequent mob effect when they do not. Blogging is premised on the foundation that the blogger publishes things of interest to them. I published the Wendell Simlin story for the technology angle to it. That is because technology interests me. I didn’t have to publish it. I could also have decided that it was too controversial for me to carry. My choice as a blogger.

I remember in times past how people have expected me to publish certain stories and voiced that expectation. But a blogger is under no obligation to publish everything that comes their way. Trying to harass someone because they published this or did not publish that is bullying. It is a violation of their right. In Linda’s case, she has never claimed to be an activist or a newspaper house. She is a blogger. I am not sure why anyone thinks it is okay to harass her for publishing an article written by Reno. Her choice.

I am convinced that many of our activists and social commentators are even more intolerant of dissent and non-conformity than the generation that they seek to get rid of from the corridors of power. I may not understand why Linda Ikeji chose to take the position that she has taken on this subject. However, I am sure that she does not owe me an explanation. She does not owe anyone an explanation or an apology. It is her blog. She is not a public servant. I respect her right to take that position. Everyone else should too.

I remember when TechCabal did an Atiku story some time ago. I didn’t understand it, same way I don’t understand a whole lot of other things in this life. Instead of raging at Lord Banks and denouncing him, I expressed my confusion and asked a question about it. I am not sure that I fully understood the response that he gave me. But I was satisfied that he had exercised his fundamental right to expression in publishing the article. I do not have to always understand. We do not always have to understand. But we must respect the rights of others. We might even learn a thing or two.

Sincerely, I am tired of the very self-righteous and self-conceited attitude of believing that someone is wrong just because they do not line up with our own position. There are lots of shades of grey in life. I see more and more how certain voices sit as independent judges over the lives and choices of others. It is distasteful.

Disagree with Linda Ikeji if you want, and that is all good. But when we start thinking that the public court of opinion is the beginning and the end of all issues, we are very much deluded . And when certain individuals arrogate to themselves the exclusive right to determine what is right and wrong with the choices that others make, they are in danger of damnation.

And we – we shall only end up with a different set of dictators from those we stood against.

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  1. My issue with LIB: She claimed that she didn’t publish the Reno-Wendell story ‘cos it ‘could be true or false and she can’t be pressured’. While I respect her right and liberty, I find her excuse ridiculous considering the fact that she publishes gossips, rumour, leaks, scandals etc. And all of these ‘could be true or false’ too. Linda needs a more intelligent lie/excuse.

  2. Oh, how I wish a lot of people will develop the capacity to ignore a lot of things. I read the introduction and a few lines of Reno’s article, hissed and closed the screen. I had better things to do with my time.
    It is her blog and she should not have given that lame excuse. Just publish and move on.
    I have noticed that mob action is the way we do things around here. I have also learnt not to involve myself too much in it. No single citizen of this nation can be 100% patriotic. We shift our positions depending on whether it is favourable or not.
    Anyway, I am close to 40 now and don’t have time for frivolities. (Almost as old as Uncle Yomi). We never learn sha, and we will be discussing this kind of issue again. I’m out.

  3. Firstly, I don’t really understand why Japhet Omojuwa has formed an habit of blackmailing, intimidating and accusing anyone that isn’t on ‘his side’ on every petty issue of being sponsored or bought over.

    We all know his affiliation to El-rufai and the now defunct CPC. He is a PAID agent of ELRUFAI. But no one comes public to criticise him. Because everyone feels its his choice. Moreover, what’s wrong with collecting money to publish a story on an entertainment blog? What does TVC and Radio Continental do? Are they not paid and setup to do APC/Tinubu’s propagandas?
    Pls let allow the young lady be, she’s now a self-made successful lady, and suddenly everyone scrutiny is now on her. More ladies should be encouraged, mentored secretly corrected and not given a PhD(pull her down) and the slightest opportunity.


  4. That’s EXACTLY my grouse with her. I found that excuse, lame. And I expressed my reservations about that excuse. Every other thing she did, to publish or not is her business, not mine or any other person’s.

  5. Dear @TweeterCabal, its so glaring you have beef for Omojuwa, I think you should also provide evidence of him being a paid agent of El Rufai, If you followed the twitter conversation well enough, you’d realise that Omojuwa was actually on Linda’s side.


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