By Tunde Rahman
Shaka Momodu again last Friday walked the path of the inflamed mercenary with the verbal ooze he dared to call a journalistic article. Shaka seems troubled on all sides by ghosts and ghouls, which he claims show the evil spirit of others. In reality, these troubling spirits are solely internal to him. He is obsessed with Asiwaju Bola Tinubu to an unnatural degree. Such obsession is usually the by-product of unrequited admiration turned into resentment and evil imagining. Poor Shaka, he blabbered almost every insult known to man and not a dent was made by all of his exertions. Shaka, the stones you wanted to throw were too big for your petty hands. Try as you might, it was inevitable that you would not reach your target. All you did was crush your own feet. Yours was but the desperate heave of a mind shattered by hate and envy.
The things that you wrote show that you have abandoned all pretence at journalism. You are hurt to the quick by the achievements and status of Asiwaju Tinubu. In reality, you are the newspaper equivalent of a stalker. You probably have a picture of Tinubu on your ceiling above your bed so that his is the last face you see before entering the nocturnal realm of Morpheus. You probably have his picture on your favourite Egusi soup bowl so that you see him every time you dine.
What you have written is beyond propaganda. As you have done in the past, you have engaged in slander. You are so angry that you must have demolished several keyboards pounding out your torrent of hatred. Yet, in the end, what you wrote says more about your state of mind than it will ever say about Tinubu. Yours was but a desperate heave by a desperate soul.
It is obvious why you wrote the two-page ugliness when you did. You and the shadowy masters behind you were sent aghast and placed on your heels by the show of genuine support and respect accorded Tinubu on his birthday, and particularly exhibited at the colloquium bearing his name. Your masters fear that this same support and respect would follow him even more if he decided to announce his candidacy for president. You all were agitated by fear because you well know that neither you nor the political operative whose bidding you perform can ever attract such attention.
While Tinubu’s presidential candidacy is unannounced and a subject of ample speculation, one thing is beyond speculation: that is if you should announce a colloquium in your name and advertise it non-stop for ten long years, you would have but two attendants in the end- you and the ghouls that inhabit your mind. Thus, you must disparage Tinubu for doing yearly what you can never come close to in an entire lifetime of unanswered cravings.
Through your piece, you danced long if not very well for your masters. Although a clumsy and over the top effort, no one can fault your expenditure of energy. You truly wasted yourself. Shaka, you accuse Asiwaju of “overbearing influence and corruption”. You focus your venom on Alpha Beta, a firm engaged in tax consultancy with the Lagos State Government, based on allegations made by its erstwhile and discredited Managing Director, Mr. Dapo Apara. The firm is engaged in a legitimate business with the Lagos State Government. Its work has brought tremendous benefit to the state and its people. By increasing IGR, the firm has helped increase the state budget, enabling it to engage in programmes and projects vital to development that otherwise would not have been done. Shaka, why do you leave out this part? Despite the unprecedented length of your writing, you also left out that Alpha Beta also has other states and international clients, engaging them on the same basis by which they have contracted with Lagos. Guess those ghosts and goblins in his mind kept my dear Shaka from writing the truth.
Also, they seem to have convinced Shaka from revealing that there are petitions against Mr. Apara and that those petitions are more convincing and evidence-based than his claims. The company books have been audited and the books have been deemed in order. No wrongdoing has been found on the part of Tinubu in the matter because no wrongdoing has been committed. All this shows that Shaka has downgraded himself from being at least a semblance of a journalist to being an unabashed merchant of lying gossip. If Momodu is so confident that Apara is right, then Momodu should write an equally long piece convincing the fugitive Apara to return to testify and to withstand the testimony against him. No, he rather believes Apara argues this from afar because he is afraid the conclusion will not match his narrative.
Only recently, the founding EFCC Chairman, Mallam Nuhu Ribadu, asserted that Obasanjo tried to clamp Tinubu but to no avail. According to Ribadu, “One state we investigated most during my tenure as EFCC Chairman is Lagos. We sent information to all our allies in the Metropolitan Police, the FBI, etc. I remember I told the National Assembly when EFCC could not get any wrong about Tinubu in Lagos. I said we must wait for the international community because they were also doing their own investigation. We were all waiting to expose Lagos corruption but even the international community didn’t indict him; they found nothing. That is why Lagos under Tinubu was the only state EFCC didn’t charge to court.” Momodu, I guess the demons in your eyes rendered you blind to the Ribadu statement!
Shaka shamelessly brings Asiwaju’s son Seyi into the picture, claiming that Seyi should not have a successful advertising business. First, Shaka overinflated Seyi’s position among the outdoor advertisers in Lagos State. He does not have a dominant or even the leading position. Yet, Shaka bears down on the young man for wanting to make a place for himself. It is crazy to chastise the boy for wanting to be successful. Guess Shaka would be elated if he were a failure. However, if the boy failed or merely sat at home, Shaka would lambast Tinubu for having a spoiled, indolent offspring.
Second, Shaka claims Tinubu should be prevented from running for the presidency because of his role in the election of President Muhammadu Buhari. Shaka’s illogic on this point is audacious even for him. Yes, I admit we have stiff challenges. Despite the problems, a lot has been done diversifying the economy especially revitalising agriculture, completing important infrastructural projects abandoned under the PDP, investing into social programmes like N-power, Tradermoni, Marketmoni, etc to help the most vulnerable segments of our society. The Buhari government has worked hard to improve life in the world of complex reality. This is more than can be said of the crazed scribe Shaka who has immersed himself in the waters of unrestrained fiction.
In addition to the fictional nature of his assertions, Shaka’s position has outrageous implications. By his logic against Tinubu, then the people who voted for Buhari should also not be allowed to vote in future elections as well. Shaka does not want democracy. All he wants is to have his own way. Yet he levels criticism at those who work within the democratic context. Shaka is a full-fledged hypocrite.
Whether he likes it or not, Lagos stands as a success story. The foundation for that success were the Tinubu years. The cabinet Tinubu formed constituted many of the best and brightest of the state. They planned well. Worked hard, Accomplished much. Tinubu’s cabinet was a composite of knowledge and competence from across the country. This inclusive tradition continues. Today, an Arewa, Alhaji Kabiru Ahmed, is the Commissioner for Waterfront Infrastructure Development while Sam Egube from Delta is the Commissioner for Economic Planning and Budget.
There is even a more appalling part of Momodu’s gibberish. This rented pen, this writer for easy hire, levies personal attacks about Tinubu’s mental acumen. Such is the case with a dwarf telling a tall man he is too short simply because the tall man cannot reach to the clouds. Asiwaju has proven himself again and again to be a person of deep intellect, Whether it is his track record as governor or national leader of the party or whether through his many public statements ranging from economic policy to the herder crisis, Tinubu has shown remarkable vision and insight regarding the matters of the day. Most of his ideas are far beyond Shaka’s myopia. Even if Shaka could manage a constructive idea, rest assured that Tinubu would have more original thought of a better version of it. Tinubu seeks the greatness of an entire nation. Shaka just wants to be a great journalistic hack. Never the twain shall meet. We should thank God for that.
*Former Editor, Thisday on Sunday, Rahman is Media Advisor to Asiwaju Tinubu