I am not "Aliyu Tilde", Goodluck Jonathan's Facebook Hero
By Dr. Aliyu U. Tilde
A friend of mine in Lagos, Yakubu Garba Tilde, sent me this text message on Sunday evening, 7 November, 2010:"Assalamu alaikum. Just read the article "Nigerian Youth Becomes Facebook Hero" in today's Sunday Trust. Your straight forwardness and sincerity on content and source is commended. Yakubu Tilde."
Naturally, I became curious, knowing that I have not posted anything on Facebook for the past one month and the discourse I just wrote, Discourse 310 which is not posted yet, is one of the greatest indictments ever written on a sitting Nigerian President. I bought a copy of the Sunday Trust and read the story on page 49.
The story was culled from Sierra Express. It is about a Nigerian youth, Aliyu Tilde, who lifted a material from Reno Emokri 's Breaking the Generational Curse and pasted it on the wall of President Goodluck. Goodluck picked that quotation and used it in his Facebook to describe himself: "I like what a youth, Aliyu Tilde, said on my wall and with his permission I have reproduced his words. Said he: "There are only two types of people In Nigeria - good and bad - and not - northerners and southerners - we are all one in the final analysis." The story said "nine hours after his response the topic became one of the most discussed subject on the website. It gennerated 2,517 comments and 3,076 likes as at 5th November at 12.15am. David Ekweoba believed to be a Nigerian even goes further in his post by suggesting that 'I recommend Aliyu Tilde to be made EFCC chairman." In a chat with Sierra Express on facebook, Tilde confessed to lifting the quote and Goodluck too "later acknowledged the original author of the piece."
It became clear to me that there is mix up or someone is using my name to promote the campaign of Goodluck Jonathan, reaping heavy sums while I continue to yawn under the shade of a tree. So later in the night when the data signals of MTN returned I opened my facebook, which I have not done for a while, to check whether there was anything to that effect. Nothing. See me see trouble. I quickly wrote this short disclaimer there, saying, "I just read in Daily Trust that a Nigerian youth called Aliyu Tilde has become a facebook hero when he wrote on GE Jonathan's wall that "there are only two Nigerians, good and bad..." Please note that I am not that hero. One, I am not a youth. I'm 50. Two, Goodluck, with his recent developments, is not my favourite. Three, I haven't posted anything on facebook for a month or so now. I congratulate that 'Aliyu Tilde'."
As I slept the night "in sublime unconcern for the words which wander abroad", to borrow from the bakandamiya of al-Mutanabbi, my friends started commenting on my thread. They all expressed a sigh of relief. I woke up to read their comments. I was really surprised at how Nigerians are now using the facebook so instantly. The need to write this disclaimer occurred to me immediately such that the information will not just reach my facebook friends but also readers of my weekly discourses on various sites on the Internet. The following clarification is therefore important.
Unless someone comes up with all the necessary credentials (photograph, certificates, address, history, etc) to prove that he is Aliyu Tilde the hero, I strongly put forward the accusation that the Jonathan campaign group or some sympathizers of the President have resorted to impersonation in order to boost his popularity. Here is my evidence.
I was once alerted by one of my readers in the UK, Bello Salihu, that a Facebook page was opened in my name using the exclusive email address (firstname.lastname@example.org) I created when the usual one (email@example.com) became always stacked with spam. The difference between the two is just a dot after my first name, aliyu. I used the new one to post my discourses to readers for about three times or so before I discovered a way of blocking the spams and reverted to using the usual one. It was from there that the email address firstname.lastname@example.org was cloned by someone to open a facbebook page, in addition to the one I opened using my normal email addresss earlier but which I have not used much.
The problem arose from the fact that Facebook, technically, does not pay attention to ownership of names. So anybody can open a facebook in the name of another person, as fans commonly do for their celebrities, unlike email domains which will block you by saying that the name is not available, meaning someone is using it already. Facebook would however allow you to use any password at subscription, not necessarily the password of the original email address. I know another Aliyu Tilde Facebook that was opened by a true fan on mine and he duly informed me, making three facebooks now bearing that name: the original one by me, another by my fan, and the third, possibly, by a pro-Jonathan person. Bello alerted me then on the fake page because it contained hate comments about IBB and claimed I was living "in Washington" and "interested in women" (I wonder which normal man is not!) He said he knows it was not me; that is why he is advising me to do something about it. I did.
I went to the fake Facebook page bearing Aliyu Tilde and, behold, there was a large picture of IBB on which was written "Evil Genius". I tried to delete the picture, but I could not because I did not know how to use facebook very well. Ah ah.(As my readers know, I have for long held differences with IBB regarding governance but I do not hate him personally) I asked my facebook friends for advice. They gave me some. I was able to change the wordings of the mission statement that appeared below the picture. Later, I realized that I could change the password of the facebook, being the owner of the email. I changed it and got an exclussive access to the account of the page. The reader may go to www.facebook/aliyu.tilde.com and ascertain this history from the content of the book since it's inception.
Unfortunately for me many people have subscribed to the fake facebook which I now own properly. So even as I closed it temporarily, I reopened it knowing that it is now safe and I can continue to add more friends rather than reverting to the original one I opened long before which I never used actually. That is why the comment which Jonathan quoted is not there on it. The imposter might have opened another Aliyu Tilde facebook after realizing that he could no longer use the first one he created. My cyber guru friends should please help me sort this mess out. Or was it from that young fan of mine, or the bad guy has cloned my email again? I can't tell because I could not access the page from where Jonathan got his quotation.
I have been advised to paste my picture on the facebook or add Dr. before my name or PhD after it. I don't like parading titles unnecessarily. I hate pictures too. I thought writing my name in full name - Aliyu U. Tilde - as I started doing in my articles since Bello alerted me on the fake Facebook was enough. Now, with this development, I have to paste my picture, boroboro, plainly.
This matter raises a lot of questions about safety on the cyberspace. Three weeks ago when I wrote Poor Northerners! I mentioned how someone in 2005 invented an email address in my name and that of Mohammed Haruna by altering our existing email addresses and used it to post hate mails and articles regarding southerners on the Internet. Clearly he was an Obasanjo man. Dat one don pass. Now anoda wahala don come from a Jonathan man. We need to tighten our security on the Internet, it seems.
I sincerely doubt that there could be another Aliyu Tilde. Well, I may be wrong, but I doubt very much. All the Tildes that I know so far in public domain are from my village. I alone bear the first name Aliyu. There are two other Aliyu Tildes, both my former teachers in the primary school: one bearing Aliyu Saad Tilde, my uncle and headmaster, now a retiree; and the other, Aliyu Tukur Tilde, our present village head and my in law. There could be some among the Fulani in Guinea from where our ancestors came and where there are villages bearing Tilde. But there the name is written 'aliou', being a French speaking country. The one that wrote that 'heroic' quotation, however, was Nigerian, not French.
Ladies and Gentlemen, the Jonathan campaign has clarifications to make. I welcome the idea of being the EFCC boss after the tenure of my sister Farida. Ha. Mahaukaci ya hau kura. The first people I would send straight to jail would be the First lady and her husband, for as al-Mutanabbi once said, "whoever makes a lion a falcon for his hunting, that lion will hunt him among the things he hunts."
Let the fake Aliyu Tilde know that all day is for the thief, one day for the owner. If I court any presidential wrath and I am declared wanted by the Nigerian authorities, which I believe would come soon, the SSS may not know which Aliyu Tilde to catch. They may grap him. That day he will swear and confess to his impersonation. I will then swear that I am not the Aliyu Tilde they are looking for: Na him. Mumu. E no sabi campaign better sef. E de chop money while e leave me suffer for village. Carry am go, jare!
8 November 2010