Much Ado About Reuben Abati.

It is amusing how many people are today crying foul over the perceived antics of the current Press Secretary to the Nigerian President, Dr. Reuben Abati. I really don't know what they want the poor man to do. I mean what could a man do in his situation!

Reuben was, according to many sources and pundits a fine gentleman and a brilliant journalist who headed the editorial board [or something like that] of the Guardian Newspaper before he was appointed the 'point man' for the present administration. It is okay for a man to rise to the top of his profession and to be appreciated enough by his country to allow him work for the ultimate newsmakers in the country - namely the government. I wrote elsewhere that the job of press secretary or government spokesman in Nigeria is a hazardous job for principled men or those who pretend to be so. An appointment to serve the government of Nigeria brings out the moribund acquisitive, desperate, and survivalist instinct in most people. The reason is not farfetched. The government itself operates under siege and the Nigerian state is under a perpetual state of adumbration. A nation without a well articulated domestic or foreign policy, whose sole aim is to maintain power and the status quo cannot produce excellence or encourage stellar performance from its citizenry. This is the reason why so many stellar men become stale in the course of time once they taste the nectar at the center of flower of state.

If you ask me, Reuben took up his appointment with the government in "good faith" such as many of us would do in a hurry. But the Nigerian state is a immovable behemoth that defeats reason and renders intellect abominable. Governance in Nigeria settled into a routine since 1960s and has not changed. Anytime some form of reform is promulgated or courageously acted upon, certain interests within and outside of Nigeria have managed to scuttle it. Reuben Abati is not in possession of the powers needed to change Nigeria, he can only go through the motions of patriotism despite his antecedents as speaker of truth to power. Reuben currently rubs shoulders with the "high and mighty" and such associations, needless to say, tend to soothe the revolutionary spirit. A revolutionary that is assimilated by power gradually loses his prickly, sensitive intellectual barbs that made him feel the pain and frustrations of his fellow men - instead, he grows a pachydermatous exterior that makes him wonder what it was like to 'feel' in the first place.

The office of spokesman for the government means that whatever is wrong or right with the government becomes your problem - you perpetually have the sword of Damocles hanging by the thinnest of threads over your head. When Reuben was appointed, I noted that the last spokesman for the previous administration of Yar'adua; Segun Adeniyi, became the butt of criticisms over how he handled information management. Segun failed to douse suspicions about the state of health of his principal and the impasse on who should be in charge of the Nigerian state in light of the obvious incapacitation of the President.

Ralph Fiennes who took on the onscreen role of Amon Goth (Nazi war criminal] had this to say about the corruption of otherwise good men; "Evil is cumulative. It happens. People believe that they've got to do a job, they've got to take on an ideology, that they've got a life to lead; they've got to survive, a job to do, it's every day inch by inch, little compromises, little ways of telling yourself this is how you should lead your life and suddenly then these things can happen........"

While I do not liken Dr Abati to a war criminal, when all is said and done, he can claim that he was only doing his job or obeying orders.



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Re: Much Ado About Reuben Abati.
Justan234 posted on 02-04-2012, 14:33:05 PM
He could have chosen not to take the job if he had the capability to see the offer for what it was. The problem is there are too many Nigerians who talk but can't walk the walk. It's why the few like solarin, soyinka etc would continue to stand out.
Much Ado About Reuben Abati.
Joseph Rotimi posted on 02-04-2012, 14:39:58 PM
It is amusing how many people are today crying foul over the perceived antics of the erstwhile Press Secretary to the Nigerian President, Dr. Reuben Abati. I really don't know what they want the poor man to do. I mean what could a man do in his situation!Â

Reuben was, according to many sources and pundits a fine gentleman and a brilliant journalist who headed the editorial board [or something like that] of the Guardian Newspaper before he was appointed the 'point man' for the present administration. It is okay for a man to rise to the top of his profession and to be appreciated enough by his country to allow him work for the ultimate newsmakers in the country - namely the government.   I wrote elsewhere that the job of press secretary or government spokesman in Nigeria is a hazardous job for  principled men or those who pretend to be so. An appointment to serve the government of Nigeria brings out the moribund acquisitive, desperate, and survivalist instinct in most people. The reason is not farfetched. The government itself operates under siege and the Nigerian state is under a perpetual state of adumbration. A nation without a well articulated domestic or foreign policy, whose sole aim is to maintain power and the status quo cannot produce excellence or encourage stellar performance from its citizenry.  This is the reason why so many stellar men become stale in the course of time once they taste the nectar at the center of flower of state.Â

If you ask me, Reuben took up his appointment with the government in "good faith" such as many of us would do in a hurry. But the Nigerian state is a immovable behemoth that defeats reason and renders intellect abominable. Governance in Nigeria settled into a routine since 1960s and has not changed. Anytime some form of reform is promulgated or courageously acted upon, certain interests within and outside of Nigeria have managed to scuttle it. Reuben Abati is not in possession of the powers  needed to change Nigeria, he can only go through the motions of patriotism despite his antecedents as speaker of truth to power. Reuben currently rubs shoulders with the "high and mighty" and such associations, needless to say, tend to soothe the revolutionary spirit. A revolutionary that is assimilated by power gradually loses his prickly, sensitive intellectual barbs that made him feel the pain and frustrations of his fellow men - instead, he grows a pachydermatous exterior that makes him wonder what it was like to 'feel' in the first place.Â

The office of spokesman for the government means that whatever is wrong or right with the government becomes your problem - you perpetually have the sword of Damocles hanging by the thinnest of threads over your head. When Reuben was appointed, I noted that the last spokesman for the previous administration of Yar'adua; Segun Adeniyi, became the butt of criticisms over how he handled information management. Segun failed to douse suspicions about the state of health of his principal and the impasse on who should be in charge of the Nigerian state in light of the obvious incapacitation of the President.Â

Ralph Fiennes who took on the onscreen role of Amon Goth (Nazi war criminal] had this to say about the corruption of otherwise good men;Â "Evil is cumulative. It happens. People believe that they've got to do a job, they've got to take on an ideology, that they've got a life to lead; they've got to survive, a job to do, it's every day inch by inch, little compromises, little ways of telling yourself this is how you should lead your life and suddenly then these things can happen........"

While I do not liken Dr Abati to a war criminal, when all is said and done, he can claim that he was only doing his job or obeying orders.

Read full article
Re: Much Ado About Reuben Abati.
Mutti posted on 02-04-2012, 14:39:58 PM

It is amusing how many people are today crying foul over the perceived antics of the current Press Secretary to the Nigerian President, Dr. Reuben Abati. I really don't know what they want the poor man to do. I mean what could a man do in his situation!

Reuben was, according to many sources and pundits a fine gentleman and a brilliant journalist who headed the editorial board [or something like that] of the Guardian Newspaper before he was appointed the 'point man' for the present administration. It is okay for a man to rise to the top of his profession and to be appreciated enough by his country to allow him work for the ultimate newsmakers in the country - namely the government. I wrote elsewhere that the job of press secretary or government spokesman in Nigeria is a hazardous job for principled men or those who pretend to be so. An appointment to serve the government of Nigeria brings out the moribund acquisitive, desperate, and survivalist instinct in most people. The reason is not farfetched. The government itself operates under siege and the Nigerian state is under a perpetual state of adumbration. A nation without a well articulated domestic or foreign policy, whose sole aim is to maintain power and the status quo cannot produce excellence or encourage stellar performance from its citizenry. This is the reason why so many stellar men become stale in the course of time once they taste the nectar at the center of flower of state.

If you ask me, Reuben took up his appointment with the government in "good faith" such as many of us would do in a hurry. But the Nigerian state is a immovable behemoth that defeats reason and renders intellect abominable. Governance in Nigeria settled into a routine since 1960s and has not changed. Anytime some form of reform is promulgated or courageously acted upon, certain interests within and outside of Nigeria have managed to scuttle it. Reuben Abati is not in possession of the powers needed to change Nigeria, he can only go through the motions of patriotism despite his antecedents as speaker of truth to power. Reuben currently rubs shoulders with the "high and mighty" and such associations, needless to say, tend to soothe the revolutionary spirit. A revolutionary that is assimilated by power gradually loses his prickly, sensitive intellectual barbs that made him feel the pain and frustrations of his fellow men - instead, he grows a pachydermatous exterior that makes him wonder what it was like to 'feel' in the first place.

The office of spokesman for the government means that whatever is wrong or right with the government becomes your problem - you perpetually have the sword of Damocles hanging by the thinnest of threads over your head. When Reuben was appointed, I noted that the last spokesman for the previous administration of Yar'adua; Segun Adeniyi, became the butt of criticisms over how he handled information management. Segun failed to douse suspicions about the state of health of his principal and the impasse on who should be in charge of the Nigerian state in light of the obvious incapacitation of the President.

Ralph Fiennes who took on the onscreen role of Amon Goth (Nazi war criminal] had this to say about the corruption of otherwise good men; "Evil is cumulative. It happens. People believe that they've got to do a job, they've got to take on an ideology, that they've got a life to lead; they've got to survive, a job to do, it's every day inch by inch, little compromises, little ways of telling yourself this is how you should lead your life and suddenly then these things can happen........"

While I do not liken Dr Abati to a war criminal, when all is said and done, he can claim that he was only doing his job or obeying orders.



..Read the full article
Re: Much Ado About Reuben Abati.
Arotejd posted on 02-04-2012, 16:39:04 PM
Mutti: Sorry for the "erstwhile" mistake - It has been corrected.
Re: Much Ado About Reuben Abati.
Shinycoin posted on 02-04-2012, 18:30:40 PM
How could a man who spent the better part of his adult and professional life criticizing an institution end up becoming the spokesperson and the mouth piece of that institution and still hope to be taken serious or retain any measure of credibility?

Reuben Abati lost his credibility and self respect among millions of Nigerians who read him faithfully, when he chose to dine with the devil, eyes wide open, despite the obvious counsel to the contrary, he got from well meaning Nigerians.

What foot would Abati stand with, when he leaves govt, go back to his old profession like Segun Adeniyi did, and dare to criticize any future govt?

Abati would be ridiculed by any serious group of individuals and called a hypocrite and a liar, if he ever shows his face anywhere govts are being castigated.

For thirty pieces of silver, Reuben Abati sold his soul to the devil, became the devil's mouth piece and advocate, bending over backwards to explain govt position on every issue, when in the past, this same Abati would have been at the fore front of govt critics, proffering rational, objective, and well meaning alternatives to govt policies.

Reuben Abati, like Segun Adeniyi have lost the respect of millions of Nigerians and he has a serious credibility problem.
Re: Much Ado About Reuben Abati.
Bill Carson posted on 02-04-2012, 19:10:25 PM
It is nice to see that all the Abati PhD fan club members are now seeing what lone voices (like myself) saw many long moon ago and voiced it on NVS when it was very unpopular to criticise Abati. I can always spot a Charlatan from a thousand miles and Abati is a big fat Charlatan.
Re: Much Ado About Reuben Abati.
Patcho posted on 02-04-2012, 20:47:17 PM
I'm really surprised Nigerians thought Reuben was writing for them. He was growing his resume and why not? In fact, were Reuben more conservative in his analysis and narrations, he would have been called up sooner to serve. That he had to be side-lined till GEJ time is an indication that he was pedestrain.

Tomorrow now, they will come and say that Sonala was writing for the people; that he was criticizing; that bla bla bla....
Re: Much Ado About Reuben Abati.
Olootu posted on 02-05-2012, 07:57:13 AM
Thank you jare Patcho. Most of these so called 'public commentators' are actually oiling their CVs and waiting for the best oppurtunity that makes itself available. They all criticise as if they would do otherwise if given the same position. Let them tell me who had managed that position and came out unscratched; from Chukwumerije to our iron lady Dora or even Alastair Campbell of the Blair era. A job of a govt Spokesman could be likened to a criminal's attorney; you make most of the points that favour your client and 'manage' the ones that do not, even when you are not comfortable with the situation. People in Abati's position would sometimes find themselves in urgly situations where all they could do is to 'spin'.
Re: Much Ado About Reuben Abati.
Prof penkelemess posted on 02-06-2012, 15:07:40 PM
Bill C,

the man got a doctorate in .. COMEDY !

and basta !

that is Berlusconiesque.

Patcho,

this is your usual seff again

and thanks for that.

Prof you-know-who

PS:

my mind is frozen at 18 centigrade below zero

as KONGI would say,

and he is ALWAYS right !!!
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