Happy sunday my to all my esteemed readers. May the joy of today never elude anyone. Amen. Now guess what guys?…. …… Reuben Abati is back. He has finally moved on. Good for him. His latest piece about Wole Soyinka’s upcoming book reminds me the Reuben Abati we used to know. I was a big fan of his columns (Fridays and Sundays) in Guardian Newspaper before he accepted to serve as Special Adviser to Goodluck Jonathan on Media and Publicity (A major mistake if you ask me). The first time I read his article was in 1999 when I stumbled upon an old newspaper in my Father’s Library. The article published on Friday January 24, 1992 (Guardian Newspaper) was titled “The poverty of Politics”. I still remember the last lines of the article. “Political climates, after all, are created by the personality of Politicians with a decided effect on the fate of the community. Pugilism and violence are, however, natural instincts which men must express in spite of their social status. Our Politicians may continue to mount vigils and exchange physical and verbal punches only in so far as that ensures the success of the
transition to civil rule “.
In 2010, as a student of LAUTECH I wrote a rejoinder to his
article” Lautech: two governors and a University “. In my article, I commended him for his understanding about the nagging issues confronting the school and also challenged him on some issues raised.
His last column (Sunday June 5,2011) before he was appointed
was an interesting read. Titled ‘A season for sycophants ; their
tricks and tactics’, Reuben wrote about how Nigerians will do
anything to gain access to the corridors of power or the
attention of the man in power. He wrote about how the newly
elected politicians are now being addressed. Like ‘Dear Brothers, the visionary of our time, the great leader, a distinguished Patriot, the paragon of Democracy, victory well deserved, resounding Victory, the cleanest and the most legitimate, a worthy son, gender is no barrier, demonstration of his visionary leadership…. Bla Bla Bla. That was Reuben Abati we once knew.
We saw another Reuben Abati in the corridors of Power. Most
times, some of his previously written articles were quoted
against his stand and the government he now serve. A good
example was the one he wrote in against Patience Jonathan in
support of Amaechi. Another one was his piece on Subsidy
Removal (Soon we shall all be Trekking, Sunday, march 01,2009). You can never blame him for that. The job of a
columnist Is different from that of a spokesperson. A columnist who doesn’t mingle with the political class and who doesn’t look for favours from them will always “Say it the way it is”. The job of a spokesman is different; he’s employed to defend the government and paint it like “Government of Saints by Saints” .
In that case, his boss is always right. By why didn’t RA reject the offer to serve? For a Man of integrity and Principles, going into Public engagement in Nigeria is a huge risk. One will be lucky to get out unscathed. But do we really care about integrity again. There was a time when parents will never advise their kids to marry someone who’s seen a thief but these days, no matter how you make your money, some are ready to dance and celebrate you as long as you drop some ‘shekels’ for them. When a government has openly rewarded a National thief, what about others.
In an interview with Duro Asedeko in December 2012, he stated that he has no regret serving in Government. In truth, it’s not easy and almost impossible to reject such offer. Maybe he should have done some things differently but his job was also made difficult by Doyin Okupe, Reno Omookri, Femi Fani
Kayode (both as Opposition and supporter) et Al. Most times, he was in news debunking claims and rumors. The media war
against Dele Momodu was unnecessary and he should have
avoided such. He went petty to the extent of saying Dele
Momodu’s wife never voted for him. That was not the Reuben
Abati we knew.
The Reuben Abati we knew will write and write and yet will not offend. He has a way of presenting his language in honey and make it sweet. You never get bored of reading him. As a former Public face of Guardian and a government
Spokes Man who added the job of Chief Photographer to his
duties in Aso Rock (a medieval style that has also been adopted
by his Successor, Femi Adesina), RA certainly has many things to write. Some of us who enjoy reading his columns will continue doing that, the same way people enjoy pepper soup, Isi Ewu, Nkwobi and Love-making.
Timi ‘Gifted’ Boyinde,
Political Analyst and Writer
Sunday, November 8, 2015
Thanks Timi for sending this in.
Are you on the same page with Timi on this subject or you believe otherwise………..Why not share your opinnion with us. Kindly leave a comment and share the links with your friends . Gracias.