HABA GOVERNOR MADAKI
The Triumph November 13, 1991
Temper in men occupying esteemed powerful positions makes such
leaders misuse their public responsibilities and to wallow in an orgy of frustration by castigating their subjects recklessly
or those they see as threats to the whimsical ambitions. The men in power view such actions atimes as blatant exhibition of
some kind of ideology.
One writer rightly said that good professional soldier-officers
are brought to assume sensitive political offices ill-prepared which they are mostly temperamentally unsuited for..
This brought me to a recent news story in the Tribune newspaper
entitled “Madaki Raps Buhari,” of October 31, on a front page and reported by Etosa Iroh that Governor John Madaki
of Katsina State was said to be rapping former Head of State, General Muhammad Buhari with an unsavoury languages on an allegation
that he (Madaki) requested for N20 million from the General who is the chairman of Katsina Development Fund, but that the
former head of state refused to release the money on the grounds that the fund was not scheduled for the project Madaki had
For this, the governor went to the extent of threatening to sack
the chairman if he failed to grant him the fund.
The accusation as explained by the governor put people in doubt
if the state chief executive could indiscriminately utter such disheartening statements against the personality of the former
head of state, General Mohammed Buhari.
We are all living witnesses that Buhari and his lieutenant, Tunde
Idiagbon were never at any time accused of corrupt enrichment from public funds during their regime. As such General Buhari
could not have gone so low to start stealing now. How can he be accused of attempting to mismanage the fund of a state which
was just a local government when he ruled several states as the commander in chief? This brief explanation is to assure the
people of Katsina State that General Buhari means no harm to the public treasury/endowment entrusted in his safeguard.
It is also clear that the governor was irked and saw no reason
for Buhari’s intention to call for the committee meeting over the release of the fund. He expected that as a military
governor all his requests must be approved and granted without recourse to laid down rules and procedures.
If Buhari, a chairman of a very sensitive committee could not
summon a meeting to dole out such huge sums of money to the governor, how would he account for it once the people ask him?
Indeed, Buhari did the right thing by calling for the committee to deliberate on it before any disbursement.
Nothing is more becoming of a great man than courtesy of forbearance
said in a politeness which has to do with saying the kindest utterance in the kindest manner.
A LETTER TO GOVERNOR FELIX IBRU
The Triumph December 1992
Sir. Frustration and disappointment coupled with other unmanageable
psychological conditions stared us on the face as we kept trooping to NYSC Secretariat to lodge complaints of rejection or
no-accommodation from the organisation we were posted to serve. Most of us particularly those with nobody to squat with, in
the state capital, slept at motor parks, police stations, on the bare floor of St. Patrick’s College Assembly Hall and
the lucky ones amongst us used their first monthly allowance to lodge in shabby hotel rooms?
The unwholesome situation was not only agonizing for the corpers
who have nobody in the state to accommodate them, it was most unfortunate way to be welcome into the community after departing
Sir, to be more precise, the major problems of the youth corpers
particularly those deployed to places like Asaba, Warri, Sapele etc. have been lack of adequate accommodations. Let’s
not forget the issue of high cost of living since our monthly allowance cannot even meet the high cost of transportation.
Many of us come from distant states and have nobody in Delta State to turn to for assistance. Though we come from far away
and met this bitter experience, we are even ready to serve in humility, endure the hardship and sacrifice to the development
of our fatherland. We are equally ready to utilise our youthfulness, vigour and vitality in the improvement of this new state.
We cannot shy away from what is enjoined upon us after swearing the call to serve our nation. But our desired dream to serve
towards the betterment of our present society won’t materialise without being provided with modest accommodation where
we can crack our brain on what to do.
This letter could not have been channeled to His Excellency, Governor
Felix Ibru but for the fact that he has demonstrated a leadership quality during our period in the camp by increasing our
feeding allowance and solving most of our problems. Indeed the Governor has doggedly championed the improvement of corpers’
Without mincing words, I am aware of how well you perform your
duties but still, sir, you’ve the responsibility to take care of us. Sir, kindly make it your resolve to put your best,
bearing in mind that you need to leave a good precedent for any incoming executive to emulate. A scenario where girls unwillingly
open up for every Tom, Dick and Harry, where poor corpers have to sleep in hotels, and other disgusting places just to serve
their fatherland are sad notes in the present democratic dispensation.
For the above, Sir, I implore you to use your good office to provide
accommodations for all the corpers in the state through acquisition, erection and renovation of houses. We can’t deny
the fact that the state is one of the newly created states and indeed it is a beautiful place to serve but circumstance should
not be allowed to dampen the corpers’ enthusiasm.
MORE GREASE TO YOUR ELBOW
Delta Today, February 1992
I read with interest the stories published in the 6th edition
of your educative and informative publication, Delta today. The stories are well composed and grammatically sound with catchy
headings. I did admire the beautiful lay-out design of the newspaper too.
It beats my imagination that a publication, in its 6th edition,
could attain such success in a short period of time.
As I wish you more grease to your elbows, I will like you to improve
on the quality of the journal in terms of variety.
Though I only came across the 6th edition, most of the contents
of this edition were news stories. I will like you to introduce a poetry corner, fiction column, sports news and kids’
page. By introducing the aforementioned varieties, the paper will surely appeal to everybody.
Wishing you more success.
Thank you for your kind and encouraging commentary about the quality
of Delta Today newspaper. The lack of information about what is happening in our new state necessitates the decision to publish
news stories for now. Our first and second editions had sports news. We even had a column, Nigeria Today for national news
which we also removed to allow people know more about the present situation of things in Delta.
To make the newspaper appeal
to everybody it is our intention in future to introduce columns for feature, titbits, sports, horoscope fashion, trado-medicine
and others. Once again, thanks.
WRITING FOR THE MEDIA*
Email Message April 22, 2002
I get your email address from your latest article in a national
newspaper and find it compelling to send you this email on my little view and request.
I have read some of your comments, opinions
and views on several national, social, political and sometimes frivolous issues. They are very educative, informative and
at times sound controversial. I don’t know why you are against the Miss World Competition, even though your argument
is simplistic. Why you dislike the elders while sounding ungraceful. You may sound patriotic sometimes but why being sectional
in projecting yourself like America-A Muslim Perspective, Bola Ige- A Northerner’s View, The Youth’s Heartbeat.
I wonder whom you are representing and whether you are paid to praise and condemn as well.
I am sending you this email to seek for your kind advice on how
I can write articles and get published easily in the media. I will be glad to know if it requires Registration Fee. Though
I have read some of your articles, I will be glad if you can send me some of the collection through this email address.
Wishing you good luck in your crusade
Mary O. Joseph
*Above is a sample of some of email messages one receives in the
course of writing
Point April 19, 1993
In his article, “Who will it be?” (POINT MARCH 29,
1993) Kudo Eresia-Eke appeared to be a soothsayer as he rightly predicted the outcome of the national conventions of the two
political parties. He predicated inter-alia that “Tofa may just be it for NRC” and “Abiola, Kingibe and
Atiku in that order for SDP.” Indeed, his analyses and the comprehensive cover story by Etim Anim and Fred Gusha
made an interesting reading and clearly pointed to the readers who would make it among the numerous aspirants.
As you successful pointed to the readers who the flag bearers
would be, kindly point to the attention of the party stalwarts to what is expected of them in their campaign tours. Point
out to them why they should not do anything capable of returning us to the dark days of Election 83.
OPEN LETTER TO DELTANS
Sunray, August 5, 1993
As a corps member serving in Delta State, I feel compelled to
comment on the state of the young state. It’s been long I have been planning to communicate you personally but unfortunately,
I didn’t have the means of reaching each and every one of you. I then resolved to use this widely read medium.
Recently, the Special Adviser on Information, Chief Paulinus Akpeki,
in a documentary programme titled ‘Delta Today’ on NTA Benin, said the state is very peaceful and its people are
accommodating and hospitable. Nobody would dispute this assertion, even if the person is a visitor to the state.
One is impressed by the cosmopolitan nature of the state, with
abundant mineral resources. Delta is known as a strategic state in the country in terms of its industrial base, population
and land areas. Farming is a profitable business in the state and efforts are being intensified in the area of livestock products
for the purpose of beefing up the nutritional needs of the state and the country.
Be that as it may, the spate of open letters, litigations, petitions,
and communal confrontations emanating from sections of the state is anti-productive and is likely to discourage the spirit
of those who want to contribute immensely to the betterment of the state.
The recent sporadic clashes between the Urhobo and Itsekiri in
Warri during a traditional festival is quite unfortunate. As one journalist puts it, whether it is the Urhobos who are deliberately
attempting to marginalise the Itsekiris, their neighbour in Warri, or vice-versa, remain a moot point.
The most serious political problem confronting the state is that
of deliberately sponsored antagonisms between the two ethic groups. Right from the creation of Delta State, the crises between
Urhobo and Itsekiri have kept on dominating news headlines. This problem has eaten so deep that both the government and the
people seem to have forgotten about other important and serious issues in the state.
It is quite worrisome that the crisis is not a border issue, not
even over farmlands or on other resources but on the title of the paramount traditional ruler of Warri. This is a matter that
could be sorted out through a day’s dialogue.
As a true lover of Delta State, I appeal to those involved in
these crises to cultivate the spirit of tolerance and accommodation, which is essential for peace and development. It is necessary
to call on the state council of traditional rulers to provide a forum to discuss the differences, for a lasting solution.
Deltans, your state has come of age. And it is your responsibility
to work for its development and to improve on the poor state of communications in the state. I call on the state government
to establish a newspaper and install more booster stations for the Delta Broadcasting service so that it can reach out to
every section of the state and preach the message of peace, love and harmony.
WORDS OF PASSAGES
Nigerian Tribune July 5, 2002
Reading your (Mr. Lasisi Olagunju, News Editor) poetic dirge “Words
of Passages” I really feel very sympathetic with you and the entire family over the great loss of your father. Like
an orphan, the tremor of losing one’s parents could be very painful especially when the bereaved person recalls the
inspirational guidance and parental love received during their life time. From all indications - the words in the piece that
flutter subconsciously depict the close attachment between the writer and the late father.
It is easy to discern the attributes of parents from the comportment
and accomplishments of their offsprings. The way and manner Mr. Olagunju Jnr. handles his schedule as News Editor of the widely
read Tribune titles and with his regular Friday column “My View,” testify to the fact that he has a good upbringing
founded on humility, amiability, godliness, uprightness and sound journalistic judgement. These qualities no doubt can be
credited to late Pa Olagunju Snr.While I join other numerous
admirers of Mr. Olagunju to wish our Papa eternal rest in Aljanat Firdausi, I also pray that those of us whose parents are
just nearing sixty would see them live beyond octogenarian ages, which Papa had successfully exceeded. Congratulations for
being a worthy son and long life to all of you left behind. Please accept our sympathy.