Published:25 Oct, 2011

2nd left: Reno Omokri, 3rd left Mallam Nasir Elrufai

By Mohammed Salihu

Which kind of ‘friend’ will come to your house in the middle of the night to apologize for writing falsehoods about you in newspapers and explain that he was only doing it to get appointed as Special Assistant to the President on Communications? I will answer this poser shortly.

I read Reno Omokri’s articles ‘Getting better and not bitter’ and ‘Again on El-Rufai and bitterness’ in response to some veritable questions asked the Jonathan administration by former FCT minister Nasir El-Rufai, I found both quite revealing: sycophantic in tone, full of lies and exaggerations, and clearly intended to be seen as the work of a very patriotic Nigerian. Both were quite frankly, utterly idiotic.

“Let me state that I do not believe that his (El-Rufai’s) piece is an accurate account of current realities in Nigeria,” declares Omokri in his first piece. And in the second piece he went on to imply, disingenuously, that El-Rufai was criticizing the government for selfish reasons (for not getting what he wanted) by declaring ”so what happened in the intervening period? You guessed your answer right- bitterness as a result of unfulfilled expectations.”

In both articles, he muddles the issues raised – even irrefutable facts about the state of our economy without providing any logical explanation. Having decided to be mischievous and misleading – just to suppress the truth, he rattled around all the valid points and analysis provided by El-Rufai. He even attributes the problems to previous governments, while suggesting that what was needed to restore the country to normalcy was for El-Rufai to keep quiet and support President Goodluck Jonathan while the mismanagement goes on.

The new crops of political jobbers like Reno Omokri are very much in the mould of Daniel Kanu’s Youths Earnestly Ask for Abacha YEAA. Reno lacks the framework to make sense of events and has therefore chosen to ignore reason, honesty, loyalty and even simple friendships. He ‘eats’ by attacking with hysterical exaggeration, any analysis that should serve as a wakeup call for his paymasters and indeed, the rest of Nigerians. Awful, but understandable

The positions most people take depend on their personal interests. And oftentimes, people have less than honorable motives in assuming the positions they assume in public. My short political encounter with Omokri was a big eye opener. When I first met him last year in the United States, he wanted us to come together to be the arrowheads for the political activities of a man he considered more fit than anyone else to manage the affairs of Nigeria – Nasir El- Rufai. I did not know why he felt that way then and why he now considers the same man to be unbecoming of a statesman.
He frantically sent me this email:

Dear Mallam Salihu,
We need to have a long term plan to change the mind of skeptical Nigerians and show them a new way of leadership. Contrary to what a lot of people believe, such a plan should be simple not complicated.

We need to build a grass root movement like the one built by Joe Trippi with the Dean campaign in The U.S and with the Tsvangirai campaign in Zimbabwe. This has to be a long term strategy. Our task is therefore to use web based tools to solidify our base which is the educated youth and middle class who see Mallam El Rufai for what he is and have a favourable opinion of him and we have to follow a template that worked well for MKO Abiola by using philanthropy and humanitarianism to penetrate the psyche of the ordinary grass root Nigerian who is suspicious of politicians in general and views MallamEl Rufai as an elitist.

My plan is simply this, to return to Nigeria sometime in the near future and use Mallam Nasir’s Council for Youth Empowerment to wake up sleeper cells that I have planted over the years in Nigeria and organise them into an army of volunteers who will immediately go to disaster areas such as places which have experienced floods, building collapse, multi car accidents, epidemics (like the Cholera epidemic/Zamfara lead poisoning outbreak) etc and in the name of the Council and it’s founder Mallam Nasir provide some form of community service to the victims. They will also go to Motherless babies homes and orphanages as well as leper colonies.

In the social arena, they will tour both private and public universities and organise the students to clean up their environments and renounce cultism as well as provide them with tokens such as books and condoms to reduce the risk of HIV infections amongst the student population. We will also get inexpensive eye glasses and over the counter medications from bargain stores in the U.S and give these to rural communities. This will be followed immediately by intense media spotlight which I will personally direct. The end result is that subliminally, we will affect the minds of Nigerians such that when they think of the name Mallam Nasir El Rufai, they will immediately think of his volunteers and their good work because EVERYTHING that is done will be acknowledged by my people to be done under the inspiration of Mallam El Rufai.
Reno. “

El-Rufai has never told anyone that he has ambitions to be president. In the run up to last April’s elections, there was intense pressure from many quarters for him to contest the presidency, but he maintained that all the other contestants were his friends and would not want to run against the, especially Nuhu Ribadu. Upon hearing this, it became clear that Reno wouldn’t be sailing on the El-Rufai boat, so he quickly jumped ship, and even deleted me from his Facebook account. When I confronted him about it he had this to say:
Thank you for your email. You are my brother and I appreciate you. I was forced into the deletion because it was leading to an expose of private details. I will re add you but let us avoid getting too deep
in our disagreements.
Best regards,


I am not surprised that Reno has become the attack dog now that GEJ is captain of the ship. When looters fear that their racket is being imperiled by a powerful figure using inspiring messages, they looters will obviously try to destroy that figure and his reputation using any means at their disposal. Reno is willing to do just about anything to get into the pot.
I urge Reno to learn from history. All men that did his kind of hatchet job got nowhere. For the paymasters, Reno can be sacrificed as collateral damage. He is being used as a pawn in their spinelessly orchestrated effort to perpetuate their sinister acts. He is inconsequential and will be easily discarded when the need arises. And as to why Reno takes particular pleasure in smearing the man he once believed best suited to be president, an email he sent to El-Rufai in October 24, 2010 and copied me will explain:

Dear Mallam Nasir,
I am playing with an idea in my mind. I am thinking of taking time off (a sabbatical so to say) and coming to Nigeria as a free moral agent to try to influence the direction of the 2011 elections. I am convinced that if I am on the ground my influence will be greater. I would want to arrange something on the ground similar to what Trippi did in Zimbabwe and organize private citizen groups and equip them with technology and skills to monitor the elections clandestinely and relay video and oral reports to the world media in real time and force the government and the INEC to be honest and conduct free and fair elections. One thing holding me back is that I will need accommodation in Abuja. I have been exploring options but Abuja is even more expensive than the U.S and landlords are demanding 2 years rent in advance. Respectfully sir, I was wondering if you could help in this regard.

El-Rufai was unable to pay Reno’s house rent; from that moment on, he became an enemy. Today, from the comfort of his suite at the Transcorp Hilton (paid with taxpayers’ money), Reno can come up with all the falsehoods he dreams of; he has to be seen to be doing something. I wanted to end this piece by saying something about mediocrity, but Omokri and his team aren’t mediocre. What’s going on is something different and worse: we’re seeing the desire for political positions outweighing principles; we’re seeing vague prejudice (that just so happens to serve the interests of demagogues) trumping very honest analysis.

And this answers the poser I raised at the beginning of this piece: All the insults, misrepresentations, exaggerations and outright lies being told by Reno Omokri is geared towards one thing: securing the position of Special Assistant to the President on Communications. He has confessed as much to his ‘friend’, Nasir El-Rufai!

Mohammed Salihu is an Abuja based Project Engineer and Consultant and can be reached on

  • zillaboy

    DECEIT. No wonder

  • @lammyng

    i have always known that this Reno guy has nothing to offer. he is very good at deleting people who confront and engage him from his facebook and twiter pages. He should go and ask from the likes of AONDOAKA and MAURICE IWU….they were used and dumped. I can see him been DUMPED in the nearest future

  • idoko ayegba

    i have always had the impression that t Reno is a fraud…f from his days at command sec school lagos to his so called v.p at trippi associates..its just unfortunate that we are so gullible we hardly read bw the lines…nwe just accord a small boy the status he doesnot deserve..i feel pained when he is referred to as nasir friend…they are not on the same tha we know ..

  • crazy man

    Salihu,why do you prefer to be a liar. Your said email exchange with reno,included lead poisoning in zamfara state. I did understand that the said email exchange took place before the election. I now ask when did lead poisoning reported in that state.

  • fatima

    I wonder why the last comment was deleted. Anyway, in response to him, The Zamfara Lead poisoning started since march 2010 and it was reported in international and local media since 2010. So, Mal Salihu doesn’t seem to be lying.
    I have no words for Reno except that he has shown gross incompetence and bigotry. He deserves to be fired and he must apologise for his foolishness.

  • fatima

    I wonder why the last comment was deleted. Anyway, in response to him, The Zamfara Lead poisoning started since march 2010 and it was reported in international and local media since 2010. So, Mal Salihu is not lying or fabricating anything.
    I have no words for Reno except that he has shown gross incompetence and bigotry. He deserves to be fired and he must apologise for his foolishness.

  • NupeMan

    It has always been clear to those seeking a better life for Nigerians that PDP is a scam that is rocking Nigeria to its grave. It is becoming clearer that some youths in this country (in the mould of reno omokri’s) are towing the line of their lootocratic benefactors. Thus we need to be more vigilante and know that whilst we plan to kick these “leaders” out, we must keep our omokriatic youth in check and finally we must tread carefully so as to make corruption unattractive to the next generation of Nigerians.

  • Paboye

    why do u delete comments omojuwa? because u are used by the mall am. Junk journalism rubbish

  • Japh

    @Paboye whatever your name is, stop acting the script of a retard. what comment was deleted? None so far. Plus I reserve the rights to delete whatever comments put this blog in bad light like your obvious conscienceless lies above. The BBC website and other notable web pages put comments in moderation and allow to go online if they decide it’s fair enough. A comment was moderated and has since been allowed on long before you came here to call me a journalist. The fact that someone writes does not make him a journalist. And if you can read a little you’d see I didn’t write the piece above. You’ve earned your name in the spotlight now that I have answered you directly. Now go. And don’t be fooled to think that if you say any stupid thing about me on my blog I’ll not delete it if I so wish. No comment has EVER been deleted on this blog. Including comments like yours that are obviously orchestrated by the bigots and liars in government. And if you think this is junk journalism, you are by inference a junk reader for reading through. You took 2 minutes of my time, congratulations. Now poooof and vamooose

  • Japh

    @fatima. Thank you for updating the facts. When the comment referred to something that happened as having not happened it was moderated and held up. It has since been published. Thank you for helping to debunk the liar above.

  • Paboye

    @Jasp.i see you react like your masters, you guys should leave Mr Reno Alone , tell your oga its not by force.

  • Olaotan

    @Japh I have read now read some of your articles(I am aware this wasn’t yours) and I like them. However,please remain proffessional when responding to critics whether they make sense or not else you become like them!
    @Mohammed Salisu..please continue exposing individuals like this as they are the real danger to progress.
    It is not where one stands in times of peace that matters but…..

  • Lugard

    No wonder, I have always imagined the planet Reno Omokri came from on twitter. Now that I have seen this, I do understand better. Thank you Mr. Salihu for the write up. Stuffs like this are worth sharing. Thank you also Mr. Japhet for publishing this. Nigeria still have a wonderful bright future ahead.

  • ewoma

    @japh. I believe everyone has a right to criticize and say what’s on their mind, but I have notice a lot of hatred and cause language in your statement even on twitter. We should learn to show respect for authority and criticize constructively.

  • ewoma

    Sorry for the typo error, I meant curse not cause

  • fesoborn

    Ben Carlson once said ‘ read and learn everything but think for yourself’. Each time I read articles on a personality am always careful not to judge either the writer or the personality that the writer writes about. Though I have my own reservation on the person of both El-rufai and Reno, I think Mr Salihu’s article is revealing and indeed tells a lot about El-rufai and Reno. Our future as a nation is fraught with gloom and inevitable failure with the calibre of people that some of us think might lead us to the land of utopia in the future. Happenings in the country recently have made me doubt each and every Nigerian that I hear and see fight for US (masses). @Omojuwa…Good work. Pls endeavour never to derail (hope you understand what I mean)

  • Kunlesaki san

    I am skeptical so I won’t pass judgements. However I will remember the names and the allegations.
    That aside, that line about acting the script of a retard was…profound.


    I think Nasir has once published this mail he claims Reno sent to him. You see, Reno and Nasir share similar ideologies. Why would someone criticize Reno now for shifting grounds over Nasir’s integrity? Didn’t Nasir too labeled Buhari has perpetually unelectable and months later he said Buhari is the savior? Nasir and Reno should be locked up. Some fresh air please….

    *I don’t think it’s proper for someone to come here and insult Japh. is a journalistic brand. Whether what is published here seems good or bad to you, address the issues raised.

  • Muyideen

    Av always had doubt about the background of this Reno guy. Wat a shame. @ japh i appreciate your response .

  • Sola

    Hi Japheth(Hope I got the spelling right). I’m a big fan of you/your website and what you are doing through the platform. Although I don’t always agree with the way you express your views; the views expressed are usually in conformity with mine, just expressed, sometimes in harsher language. Thanks for reposting this article as this is my first time reading it. But like some of the other respondents have commented. You do not need to use the same “strong” language used by some of the other respondents. But all in all, thanks for reposting this article. And more power to your elbow!!!!

  • David

    You can take a man out of the jungle, but you can’t take the jungle out of him. @omojuwa, no matter how you try to disguise urself as something you are not, ur true colours always shine through. You are a typical Nigerian, no better than all the ones you condemn on your site and on twitter. Pls learn to be a professional and stop hurling insults at people who comment on posted articles. You just showed the kind of low class, unprofessional git that you so much like to hide. But we see you!!!

  • Ifeanyi Peter

    Reno has no conscience and no principle. His loyalty is to his pocket and the source that keeps it loaded. It’s an insult on El-Rufai when people “mistakenly” call such a “commodity” his friend.

  • victor

    Why exactly am I not surprised? I am used to such things. Remember Femi fani Kayode? Before he got that appointment? Remember him during the appointment? Remember him now? When you work for the PDP, you loose everything that makes you morally sound and become a total idiot. If Reno really sent those mails, then He is a coward and something lower than a man.

  • ayodeji

    Just thinking aloud, kudos to Prof. Wole Soyinka for publicly admitting that his generation is a failure! Just wondering now, how many more of failure of generations are we still going to witness in our dear loving country? Why do we so lack the spirit of being progressive outwardly towards Nigerians @ large and less towards our immediate benefits? D internet is filled with loads of articles of people getting back at 1 another while those “up there” swims in the pool of decadence!!! The only glance taken towards the ground is to boost selfish ambitions. Trust in God is the only worthy thing to think of now cos even our acclaimed men of God all lives far off from the speculation of the “scriptures” and take full advantage of their congregation, its all heart achening!!!

  • Sam

    No be this @omojuwa guy when collect ipad3 from Arik lock-up after all the ginger when him dey ginger? LMAO. Reno, Elrufai,Omojuwa and Salihu the mumu man wen write this article are all the same – problems of this country. Elrufai should better apply for job somewhere oh bcos his joblessness is becoming a problem to all Nigerians. By the way whether we all like it or not, GEJ will finish his tenure to 2015 regardless of all the criticisms and i’m not sorry to say in a free and fair election in Nigeria, GEJ will defeat Buhari over and over and over again. If una doubt, bring Buhari in 2015 again. If CPC and ACN merge and they bring out a credible candidate, we shall support and sweep out PDP. Till then,i’m a patriotic Nigerian and will continue to pray and support our current president.

  • Debby

    Reno might be sounding like he’s on a mission to smear El-Rufai but that doesn’t mean he’s talking falsehood. I believe there are truths in his assertions, let El-Rufai debunk them.

  • rabi


  • ese

    This piece is so below the belt , its meant for gossip/entertainment websites . @japh learn to take respond like the journalist you are without sounding all’gutter’

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