What Is Next For Abati?
SIR: Dr. Reuben Abati, the spokesperson for the outgoing President Goodluck Jonathan is a person we will not love to hate. His place in the history of Nigeria seems unassured and cloudy. A revered literary gymnast who soared in reputation and gave all the youths of the 90s sense of hope of a new Nigeria. His command of literary ideas in politics, economy and current affairs enhanced the sales of tabloid and equipped some of us in our famished quest to be like him in the literary world. His artful gymnastic and his dark horse in the editorial board of The Guardian was phenomenon.
Abati’s dexterity and prowess in communicating his principles, ideas and opinions on the state of the nation were legendary. Principles, ideas and opinions that are now very irredeemably questionable in the minds of his then numerous admirers. When the news of his appointment filtered into our ears, it was a complete rude shock and disbelief. We knew we were losing one of our own to the political wilderness.
This writer wrote him a missive and got one published in this medium for him to come back to us; that the government of the day was not sincere with its incompetency to see us through our mundane problems in Nigeria. Our Abati refused in spite of the overwhelming facts and signs on ground.
I remember I had a heated argument with a brother when he staunchly defended Dr. Abati, that he took the appointment to effect change within having been a constructive critique of the previous failed administrations. Instead of our icon of inspiration then to change the administration, the administration succeeded in changing him and his hard earned reputation. He forgot the burden of history and the Nigerian political ides of March, he got subsumed in the ugly history of our bruised country. I wept in the museum of Abati’s literary arts and now grieve what history and the future will have for him.
• Yahaya Balogun, Arizona, USA.