A policy group in Nigeria says Reno Omokri, a former social media aide to former President Goodluck Jonathan is ridiculing the former number one citizen of Nigeria.
The Global Economic Policy Initiative, GEPIn, said it was wrong for Mr. Omokri to be peddling lies and issuing statements on behalf of President Jonathan.
President of the group, Mr. Bernard Okri said that the world will be laughing at Mr. Jonathan for trying to undo the abject poverty which he thrust Nigeria into by falsifying figures.
“Mr. Omokri has a record for impersonation, identity theft and blackmail but who would have thought that he would do it to his former boss and former President of Nigeria,” Okri quizzed.
“In an attempt to slander Vice President Yemi Osinbajo on the poverty figures that he quoted while addressing the Council of Foreign Relations in New York City he dented the reputation and goodwill of his former boss.
Okri stressed that Prof. Osinbajo was right when he said the poverty level in Nigeria as at 2010 was over 112 million, which was over 67 per cent of Nigeria’s population at the time.
Quoting the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), he said about 112 million Nigerians, which is about 67.1 per cent of the country’s total population of 167 million were living below poverty level.
He said Nigeria only became the poverty capital of the world because the Peoples Democratic Party which had been in government impoverished Nigerians and looted all the resources.
“In 2010, over 112.47 million Nigerians were living on less than a one dollar a day. The NBS data showed that 67% of Nigerians in 2010 were living in “absolute poverty” – this figure had risen from 54.7% in 2004.
He added that the NBS report revealed that Nigerians considered themselves to be getting poorer at the time. “According to the report in 2010, 93.9% of respondents felt themselves to be poor compared to 75.5% six years earlier,” Okri added.
He said it was a shame that Mr. Omokri could not do a simple Google search to confirm the statement of the Vice President before jumping on Twitter and even issuing a statement.
“This is a disgrace to President Goodluck Jonathan, he has made him the laughing stock of the world, I think he deserves better than to be dragged in the mud by Mr. Omokri. A simple Google search would have saved both of them this embarrassment,” he said.
He, however, urged Mr. Omokri to apologise to President Jonathan, Vice President Osinbajo and all Nigerians for dragging the name of the country in the mud.
“He (Omokri) has record of telling lies and he is a very fraudulent person. Nigerians still remember Wendell Simlin, the name Mr. Omokri stole in his bid to blackmail then former CBN governor, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, accusing him of sponsoring Boko Haram but he was busted.
“Only last week I read that he was using the name of abducted Dapchi school girl, Leah Sharibu, to make money for himself by selling shirts and a book he wrote in her name.
“He has a past and most us know that he relies heavily on this type of fraudulent activity to survive, things have not been easy for him since the PDP left government,” Mr. Okri.
He urged Nigerians never to believe or take anything Mr. Omokri says seriously. “We should engage in constructive criticism if we really want Nigeria to succeed, persons like Mr. Omokri exude bad vibes, Nigerians should not believe anything he says.”