Kennena Eloka, a Canada-based indigene of Anambra who is also a prominent supporter of Peter Obi, has berated members of the Yoruba ethnic group as being from a ‘lineage of traitors and cowards’ during a rant on ClubHouse, an audio app that became popular with Nigerians and others around the world during the 2020 pandemic restrictions.
Mr Kennena’s rant, which echoed tribal slurs that have now become a staple of the Obi campaign, came during a heated debate with other users of the app who are Yorubas and expressed a rejection of Obi’s presidential aspiration, according to an account of the event.
Reacting to their non-support of his preferred candidate and other culture-related issues, Mr Kennena took to the comment section in the room hosting the conversation and published a series of menacing threats containing tribal slurs.
One such comment read: “You will continue to be in our shadows, you lineage of traitors and cowards. Very soon, you will be landless in your own backyard. So not only will your generation be coward and traitors, they will also be landless and the Fulanis you guys always complain will then enslave you.”
His particular claim that the Yorubas will always “be in our (Igbos) shadows” was similar to the content of the purported WhatsApp broadcast Obi uncritically amplified in an interview in which the support of Bola Tinubu, the candidate of the APC, among the Yorubas was attributed to a fear that an Obi-administration will aid the supremacy of the Igbos.
Obi was severely criticized by many for amplifying divisive rhetoric which, critics claim, broadly reflected his campaign’s dangerous exploitation of the country’s faultlines, particularly religion and tribalism, to obtain an edge in what increasingly appears as an unlikely bid for the presidency.
Mr Kennena, who tweets from the handle @Eloka51, is a known supporter of Peter Obi and has previously drawn controversy with tweets blaming the Yorubas for the perceived ills of Tinubu and other leaders from the ethnic group.
In 2019, responding to a news report on the political tussle which saw the exit of former Lagos governor Akinwunmi Ambode, Kennena questioned “Why have Lagos/Yoruba intellectuals allowed Tinubu become a god?”
More recently, he blamed the “Southwest Intelligentsia/Elite” for an op-ed written by Sam Omatseye, a non-Yoruba, which criticized the Obi campaign and the sudden quietness of the southeast despite a previous loud agitation for the independent state of Biafra.
In 2017, he made a contentious claim which was again critical of the Yorubas: “Funnily, Anambra voted ACN (Ngige) a Yoruba party against APGA an Igbo party. Again, can the SW vote APGA against ACN.. I dare say No.”