I Want My ‘Old’ Abati Back–By Segun Dada

I Want My ‘Old’ Abati Back–By Segun Dada


 

” A man who claims he is honest may just be a thief who doesn’t have an opportunity yet”, my Father used to say. Dad was (and still is) a mentor from whom I drew invaluable nuggets of wisdom.

The Reuben Abati I grew up to know was the Chairman, Editorial Board of The Guardian Newspapers. He was a very brilliant scholar cum journalist who contributed immensely to nation-building through his unique style of discussing topical issues in his columns. Here was a man whose approach of using dialogue, narratives, essay and satire to deal with serious national issues had made his columns captivating to many readers. Most of his articles were laced with humour and drew him wide readership.

This was a man who made me crack up my piggybank (aka Kolo) every other week to purchase copies of The Guardian, Daily Sketch, Democrat, Nigerian Tribune and Daily Times just so that I could get a chance to read him. In instances where my savings weren’t enough, I had to depend on the cuttings of his articles my father would bring back from his office. I frequently used the words I coined from his columns in conversations with my peers and the elderly ones alike, and they were always in awe of my wisdom and oratorical skills. Dr Reuben Abati has lost a fan in Olusegun Dada.

Everyday, I miss that Reuben Abati and every day I mourn his sudden demise. The old Abati is dead, it appears; and sadly so. The new Dr Abati we see today is a drowning man: a man driven by greed, avarice and filthy lucre. When I watch him these days on the TV or read his heavily soulless articles, I see a man clinging desperately to anything that could see him stay on his new job as the President’s spokesman. He looks as dead as ‘dodo’.

Would we ever see the Old Abati again? I doubt that very much. There goes another talented writer. There goes my mentor. There goes my Father’s best Columnist. There goes truth and the peoples’ champion. “Conscience is no longer nurtured by truth”, to paraphrase the indelible words of Uthman Dan Fodio from the masthead of The Guardian—the flagship of the free press Abati once shone brightly for.

But if anyone could bring back my old Abati, I may well mutter my thanks, albeit grudgingly. I don’t want this impostor who calls himself ‘Abati’ no more. This could be his clone: a very pedestrian and asinine one at that.

The Writer is on Twitter @DOlusegun 

 

Culled from ekekeee.com

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