OPINION: My prayers for Kawu Modibbo. By Abdulwahab Oba

Date: 2016-05-31

Surfing the net for a write up, I came across an opinion piece written by one Kayode Zubair entitled: Pray for Modibo Kawu, Pity Bukola Saraki. Cutting some forms of amusement more out of the apparent ignorance displayed by the writer than the rivulets of jagged intellect and infantile reasoning etched in every paragraph, one could only but sympathize with him.

Unfortunately, however, not only is the piece suffering from the double tragedy of pitiable sycophancy and hollow mentality, Zubair reminds one of the saying that those who do not understand the rhythm of political panjandrums end up being beaten silly like the drums themselves.

Ordinarily, one would have ignored this hogwash of an opinion, especially when engrossed with giving a synopsis of Governor Ahmed's achievement in the last twelve months, but for unsuspecting readers and followers of the politics of Kwara State, who, on a face value, could be taken in by the warped ideas conveyed by Zubair and so build up the idea that Saraki or his supporters might have been opposed to the appointment of Mr Is'haq Modibbo Kawu as the new Director General of the Nigeria Broadcasting Corporation (NBC) by President Muhammadu Buhari.

Eminently qualified for appointment like many other young men and women from the state, it is therefore, the height of idiocy for anyone, including the Zubairs of this world, to imagine there are people praying for Kawu to fail, either because he comes from an opposition party or his views are perceived as eccentric.

While it is not in dispute that Kawu, an eminent son of Kwara, has paid his dues as a journalist and well-deserved of his new appointment, it could only point to needless mischief for anyone to discount fact that it was Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki, as governor of Kwara State, who first gave him his major break in public office by appointing him the General Manager of Kwara Television. This is why it smacks of warped reasoning fused with bizarre ignorance on the part of Zubair to suggest that anyone could have prevented him from advancing in his career as a journalist.

Having known Modibo Kawu through the years and followed his career trajectory, including his time as General Manager of Kwara Television, editor, chairman, editorial board of Daily Trust and his columns in some newspapers, one feels a huge sense of gratitude to Allah, who often graciously over-looks our inadequacies as humans to bestow on us privileges and opportunities. For the avoidance of doubt, I have visited his Abuja office and residence in Ilorin , especially at the infancy of the current administration. I have also hosted him several times at Government House in Ilorin and Abuja lodge.

Truth is, by Kawu's appointment, the All Progressives Congress, APC, led government of President Buhari, has demonstrated that it has large heart and ready to work with anyone desirous of contributing to the well-being of Nigerians and the nation at large. But more than anything else, his appointment like several others cutting across party lines, has proved avowed critics of the APC government wrong and gone a step further to mark a clear departure from the past where appointments were reserved exclusively for party men and women, whether or not they are able to differentiate their left from their right in terms of understanding of the job. Kawu is round peg in a round hole.

Indeed, coming from the opposition People's Democratic Party (PDP) to reign in a government he openly chastised and grievously accused, willy-nilly, every week on end in his column, Kawu certainly counts among the privileged few in Nigerian politics for whom table was garnished and made ready in the home of their real or imagined enemies. Or, how else could anyone define good luck for someone, who did not just work against the APC in Kwara state during the elections, but also made no secret in words and actions that given the chance, the party's name would be obliterated from history books in Kwara state yet literarily crowned before break of dawn.

This, perhaps, explains why though clearly Zubair attempted to skew the facts to fit and fuel his parochial sentiments with the grand motive of furthering division amongst Kwarans, one agrees that Kawu truly needs prayers. Why not? Prayers are needed so that the good intentions of the APC federal government in appointing Kawu, a card-carrying member of the PDP, to head NBC would come true.

Over the years, Kawu though entitled to his personal views, has shown weakness in overcoming the disappointment and anger arising from his personal and private relationship with the Senate President, elevating such to a pretentious collective struggle. Happening more than a decade ago, Kawu's reaction to everything about Saraki had typified a reprobate mind, ready to concoct a lie, blackmail and attack anything and anyone associated with the Senate President. Every time one reads his column on Thursdays, it comes with an awful impression that Saraki is Kawu's day and nightmare, or, perhaps, the only thing he sees before bedtime and at rising! Yet, Mr President had ignored all this, in the interest of unity in the state and nation in general.

For the unsuspecting, Modibbo had once vowed, forgetting Allah, to bring down the Senate President for daring him. So, Kawu not only needs to pray fervently for Allah to purge him of hatred for others for whatever reason, but needs our urgent interventions in form of prayers so he can genuinely transform from a 'me' to 'we' public officer in line with the philosophy of the APC government.

Not just that, he also needs prayers so as to cast down every false imaginations or manner of behaviour that tends to see nothing good in what others do, except one is involved. It is this needed change of mindset that would possibly enable the urgency of guarding against little foxes that crawl in indiscernibly to engender greed and selfishness, but more than anything else, to lay off every weight of hate for a perfect fusion into the malleable vision of the APC government.

For someone with vitriolic and intolerant political views, prayers is all that is needed so he can maximally contribute in the task of rebuilding Nigeria in a government he has never seen anything to cheer about. This has become necessary given the enormous responsibilities attached to and challenges inherent in his new office. For, to succeed as all Kwarans and Nigerians at large wish, Kawu needs to jettison all manners of mischief, vendetta, blackmail, and above all, divisive mentality that has lined his career tracks for decades. This is because it is only the absence of those that can mark a true departure from what used to be to the maximizing of his skills in information management as the new NBC boss.

Curiously, while Zubair breathlessly extolled Kawu's decade-long professional ingenuity and hard work, which in his estimation yielded fruits in the form of appointment as NBC boss, he has pity for Saraki. More curio user is his apparent poverty of understanding, which made him to conveniently ignore the fact that it was Saraki, who, while the likes of Kawu were busy working for the PDP, sabotaging the activities of APC and painting the government of the day in Kwara in bad light, galvanized support leading to the party's electoral victory at the federal, state and council levels in the state.

Again, in his twisted imaginations, Saraki's invaluable contributions and labour for the growth and development of not just the APC in Kwara State, but across the country, counts for nothing now that Kawu's sins, have been forgiven with a party thrown in his honour in the form of appointment as NBC boss. Really, how Zubair and his sponsors of this grossly misplaced piece wished they were God!

Truth, no matter how it is viewed, remains that while no one begrudges Kawu of his appointment having distinguished himself as a journalist, it cuts the semblance of the proverbial Agama lizard, who, after miraculously surviving a life-threatening fall, challenged his god to a wrestling contest, for anyone to weigh and compare Saraki to Kawu on any scale, whatsoever. In fact, it is the height of delusion common with the likes of Zubair, to even imagine it let alone buy into such pitiable manner of reasoning.

I pray that Kawu succeeds in this new assignment to the benefit of our nation and the glory of our state. May you surmount the challenges of digital broadcasting in Nigeria among other numerous challenges.

Congratulations, brother Kawu Modibbo.

Oba, Chief Press Secretary to the Kwara State Governor, writes from Ilorin.

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