Saturday, February 4, 2012

Interesting Read: Dele Momodu Takes On Reuben Abati

Dele Momodu & Late Chf. MKO Abiola
Note, these are excerpts from the original articlea and rejoinder:
"A day after D-Day, the joke on Twitter, Facebook and online (the essential scourge of our time) was that Dele Momodu got only one vote at the polling booth in his ward, and that even his wife who followed him to the polling booth voted for someone else – Goodluck Jonathan, most probably. But he has trudged on since then like a man of faith, proclaiming his undying faith in Nigeria." - By Reuben Ababti

"...why would Reuben ever drag my wife (a woman who had fed us all in our poverty-stricken days) in the mud? This is the only reason I'm responding to his diatribe. He knows in his heart that Nigerians are too smart to accept his assessment of Goodluck Jonathan. I expected a journalist and lawyer of his standing to check his facts but he was in a hurry to cast aspersions on my wife by subscribing to the rumour that she did not vote for me on election-day. Channels Television and BISCON Tv accompanied us to the voting centres and can bear witness to what happened that day.  My wife and I voted in different Wards within the same school. Why won't a wife I married properly vote for me?

Beyond that, INEC recorded over 26,000 votes for me nationwide despite not having unrestricted access to public funds like Dr Abati's boss. I would want Reuben to tell the world if indeed he and his two wives voted for President Jonathan. I doubt it, unless he was a fake critic. I can't think of Obama's spokesman bringing the wife of a journalist into an argument. Is this what power does to otherwise sensible men? How would posterity remember Reuben? I guess: A man who voluntarily set fire to everything he ever wrote. Shame!" By Dele Momodu

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“Momodu has proven to be one of those over-subscribed men who appear to be in all places at all times and capable of doing anything to the best of their abilities…” - Reuben Abati's Introduction to Dele Momodu's book, DELE MOMODU, PENDULUM inn 1997. While I was in exile in London, one clear year before Dr Goodluck Jonathan joined politics. As I remember the Reuben of those days, I weep for Nigeria.

Reuben remains for me one of the finest products of journalism, a man I foolishly thought would add some finesse to the lacklustre occupiers of Aso Rock Presidential Villa. But the Reuben I see today is a shadow, a pitiable sight, of the old Reuben. How else can I describe Reuben’s crass crudity in his response to my last article, In Search of A Radical President? While I grant him the right of reply, it was cruel to have brought my dear and innocent wife, Mobolaji, into the whitewash of his boss.

I was aware he was under fire from everyone. His friends are grumbling aloud that this is not the Reuben they used to know. There are also rumblings from his employers that he was not pulling his weight and I have been one of his sympathisers. His employers are suspecting that he’s worried for his battered reputation, and thinking he might dump them if the heat gets too hot. They need not worry because our friend has crossed the Rubicon. He’s at a point of no return.

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