By Tunde Olorunfemi
The ravage of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) across the globe is a sad reminder that past administrations in this country did not pay the necessary attention to healthcare as they should have, particularly mental health. Today, we are all victims of this mental health challenge as the country is coerced into taking lectures from certain individuals who would be under professional care in other climes. These mentally incapacitated activists are of course cheered on by a pose of equally less mentally healthy social media followers, who serve to further deepen the delusion of grandeur that powers their psychopathic lives. Had our mental health system been as robust as it should be then the populace would know that certain individuals should be as a matter of human rights be allowed to rant all they can but never be taken seriously.
It is a greatest injustice that this absence of an adequate mental health framework has saddled Nigerians with the co-convener of Bring Back Our Girls group, Aisha Yesufu, who has deludedly appointed herself the shadow president of Nigeria. Although in reality, her position is more like that of the women leader of the children of anger that dominated the social media space, especially Twitter. Thankfully, even the children of anger have their own opposition, so it was refreshing that one Twitter user referred to her as “Low Budget Aisha Yesufu,” which speaks volumes to the true nature of her so called activism. The portion of her social intervention that is not prompted by a troubled mental state is paid for, and cheaply too.
At a time when people the world over have jettisoned things that set us apart in favour of uniting to save humanity from possible annihilation from COVID-19 and its other fallouts, Aisha Yesufu is again rehashing her moment of indiscretion, she continued to play the crusader against the government of the day even when it is glaring that she has no cause left to fight. Not that she ever had any cause, all her previous campaigns, including the seeming push to demand the release of the abducted Chibok School Girls, have been transactional – purely driven by what she has gotten, what she can get, what she is expecting or what she has been promised.
She admitted herself in an interview with a national newspaper that her greatest driver is a desire to escape poverty. “I knew that I had to work on my financial independence because in this country, anyone who is poor, he is faceless, nameless and voiceless,” Aisha Yesufu once declared. Hers was a childhood of deprivation, hunger and penury so she sees every issue from the perspective of her, not her followers, trying to escape the deprivation she had always known.
If acute hunger and poverty had driven her to trade and profit from human misery in the past, dancing on the graves of COVID-19 victims the world over (and the graves of Boko Haram/ISWAP victims here in Nigeria) under the present conditions is something that could have only been inspired by the devil. She should have known by now that the government should be allowed to focus, given a chance to navigate Nigeria out of the unfolding nightmare that is not the creation of anyone on the African continent. Even a staunch opposition critic like Femi Fani-Kayode made that much point by recognizing that old differences should be buried while the country deals with the danger of the virus. This is poison to the ears of Aisha Yesufu’s likes.
It would have been bearable if this low budget activist had stuck to COVID-19 as her basis for deriding the government while attempting to damage its credibility. After all, she openly insulted the office of the president by jibbing that an address by President Muhammadu Buhari should have been made in Hausa (a language she is fluent in) while she and her followers translate into English – her bigotry is awaiting classification.
But Aisha Yesufu, finding nothing serious to hold against Mr. President in the management of the COVID-19 crisis other than his mother tongue interference, have to seek other means of distracting the administration. Since she has run out of ideas, her activism has always been suspect, and had to return to her old stomping ground, the place where she has made her highest cash-out yet – the military. The fair disclosure she has not made to Nigerians is that her hapless father was unable to keep his job in 1984 when President Buhari came on board as a military ruler. Aisha’s activism consequently has more to do with a vendetta that she harbours because she blames against President Buhari on one hand and the military on the other because the life of deprivation she had growing up. She had in the past admitted that she took time to work on herself to be prepared to take on these entities, the Bring Back Our Girls protests were opportunistic for launching her career and finally breaking her free of the material poverty she blames the military and president for.
Like a villain in a poorly produced flick, she is back to terrorize those who curtailed her fantasized excesses. She now gives her own context to incidents involving the military, which kind of confirms the extent to which she is in bed with the Boko Haram terrorists and their sponsors. The manner in which she has her finger on the trigger, ready to unleash condemnation against the troops and their commanders gives one the sense that she is usually in the know before attacks are carried out. Perhaps Aisha Yesufu is the one Nigerians should appeal to for the terrorists to drop their arms and embrace peace. But to the extent that she can make money off the blood they shed she will never call her killers to order; it makes more economic sense for her to keep attacking the military because that is what pays the bill.
Not even the fate that had befallen her co-travelers in hypocrisy has made Aisha Yesufu to have a rethink. Her namesake, Aisha Wakil (Mama Boko Haram) is on the way to run a full fledge programme in prison – she is an activist whose side hustle included defrauding Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs). Wakili’s approach is no different from Yesufu’s own – pretend to be critical of government while squeezing out the last kobo that can be made from the venture irrespective what pains and hardship it inflicts on others.
But the low budget activist should be pitied above any other response that one would naturally have towards her. It is not easy to be obsessed to the point of becoming incoherent. Like a yo-yo, she has oscillated between the theatre of operation where the military is cleaning out Boko Haram terrorists and the corridors of Aso Rock (figuratively, her physical presence there will necessitate a more intense fumigation than was done to contain COVID-19). When she realized that her lies about military casualty from recent operations against terrorists in the northeast would not provoke even her dim followers, she has had to trawl for videos supposedly depicting soldiers being high handed in enforcing the stay at home order imposed on some states as part of the social distancing strategy to limit the spread of the virus.
Speaking of virus, Aisha Yesufu has proven to a particularly virulent form of infection, one that invades the public space and corrupts the thought patterns of the unwary – inciting them against the government of the day. A virus infects the body, attacks the cells, alters the DNA and tricks the body into behaving in a manner that is inconsistent with what nature intends with so objective of causing widespread organ failure and the termination of the infected organism (person). This is the same modus operandi that Aisha Yesufu adopted since she discovered that she can make money from staging protests. Social media, especially Twitter, is the pathway she uses invade the minds of Nigerians, the poison she spews about the leadership and the military is meant to alter perception about these institutions in the expectation that she can get citizens to rebel against the government of the day with end result that a misguided uprising will lead to the collapse of Nigeria. That is the way of this causeless crusader.
Yet even Aisha Yesufu herself knows that the merchandize she peddles is fake. She is a sick mind preying on others that are equally sick, too sick to discern that the populist airs put on by their heroine is in reality a façade to hide her ultra-capitalist perversion – one who will make money off their efforts and derive profits from their misery even when it means some of them have to die needlessly for her to make the money that eluded her family as a child growing up.
As Nigeria has no framework to sanction Aisha Yesufu for the mental deficiency she suffers, the ball is now in the court of her followers and anyone tempted to listen to her diatribes against the leadership of the country. They should ask her what the cause of her crusade is. They should know if they are mere tools in her quest to insulate herself and her immediate family from poverty or she genuinely has another mission other than making money. They must also find out how much of the lies she is offloading on unsuspecting members of the public amount to errands being run on behalf of the devil.
Olorunfemi an anti-fake news crusader wrote this from Lagos.