RIGHT OF REPLY
RECENTLY, Mallam Modibbo Kawu, a columnist with Vanguard Newspapers wrote an article entitled, “Bukola Saraki in Maiduguri: Tentative first steps for 2019 presidency”. For those of us who know the writer pretty well, that compilation of fictions, fantasy and alleged hearsays that his article represents is not unusual. What is strange is that the desperation of a Modibbo to rubbish and pull-down everything that involves the Senate president, Dr Abubakar Bukola Saraki, appears to be limitless.
For Nigerians who have vague knowledge of the man, Modibbo Kawu, he is a proud chieftain of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP ) in Kwara State. In the run up to the 2015 general elections, he did not only write articles to preach for the continuation of the era of corruption and cluelessness under the Goodluck Jonathan-led administration, he also emerged an accidental public speaker. Jumping from one youth programme to elders’ meeting to deliver lectures on continuity of transformation agenda, perhaps, after being oiled by his paymasters. He, in collaboration with his allies, did everything within his capacity to arrest the change train but Allah was, and still, on the side of Nigerians whose resolve for change crushed the shenanigans of the Modibbo Kawu’s of this world.
It should, therefore, surprise Kwarans and Nigerians that the same Modibbo Kawu is now claming to love President Muhammadu Buhari more than Senator Bukola Saraki. Haba! Modibbo’s article is obviously his direct reaction to the visit of the Senate delegation led by the Senate President himself to Maiduguri, Borno State’s capital. It is instructive to note that the visit was sequel to the resolution of the Senate after an elaborate debate during its plenary session. The Senate delegation visited the insurgency ravaged zone to get an on-spot assessment of the zone and particularly on conditions of the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs). But the only interpretation of a Modibbo to such visit is an imagined 2019 presidential ambition. It is yet not understandable how a supposed columnist will author an article on such visit without addressing the widely reported Senate resolution that birthed the visit, or atleast, mention or acknowledge it. The article revolves round fictions and hearsays without any fact whatsoever. That is bad journalism. Anyway, that is if Modibbo thinks what he practices is journalism.
It behoves on a Modibbo to tell Nigerians if he is now a comedian or marabout as he claimed to know so much about 2019, four years ahead, so that he can be put where he deserves when it comes to debates on contemporary issues and events. I find the reaction of Senate Majority Leader, Senator Ali Ndume, who himself is from Borno State, to Modibbo’s diatribe very touching and important as it underscores the essence of the visit. He said, “ let it be made clear that we from Borno State feel very sad that while we complain that the issue of Boko Haram and the carnage they are inflicting on our people is not getting the kind of attention it deserves from key individuals and non governmental bodies, somebody still felt we did not deserve the first visit by a delegation of the Senate in six years when the Boko Haram problem started.
“The Governor was moved to tears while addressing our delegation about how the people feelneglected and how they felt that if the situation is the zone now were to occur in another area, the elite from all over the country woulf have been on pilgrimage there to identify with the victims. The Governor felt the visit by the Senators was very inspiring and comforting.
Inspiring and comforting
That is the same visit this columnist who chose to settle personal scores is trying to rubbish.” Some people believe Modibbo’s intention is to fuel crises within the APC family in Nigeria with the hope of ultimately gaining from it. I do not disagree. However, whatever might be Modibbo’s intention(s), it is bound to hit rocks. He understands.
Not too long ago and before the inauguration of the eighth National Assembly, the same Modibbo wrote a piece headlined, “The Nurudeen factor in Kwara Politics”. The piece was full of half-truths and lies just as his recent articles. Modibbo must have been terrified by the seeming clear coast for the emergence of Senator Bukola Saraki as the Senate President and he thought, though unwisely, that fueling a crises between President Muhammadu Buhari and Senator Saraki would help his agenda. In the piece, he presented Alhaji Nurudeen Muhammed, an APC Chieftain and a former Commissioner for Finance, as the single most important factor in Kwara politics and by extension in the overwhelming victory President Muhammadu Buhari recorded in Kwara State during the presidential election. Nurudeen is also a chieftain of the defunct Congress for Progressive Change (CPC). Modibbo later embarked on a futile attempt to water down and rubbish the contribution of Senator Saraki to President Buhari’s victory. As usual, I dismissed the piece as the writer’s regular lies.
As the pioneer State Chairman of Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) in Kwara State and a person who God used to lay the foundation and build the structure of CPC in Kwara State, I know quite well and I am in the position to know. The same Nurudeen who Modibbo claimed was responsible for Buhari’s victory worked tirelessly to ensure the emergence of a presidential aspirant and former governor of Kano State, Senator Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso as the presidential flag bearer of APC while Senator Saraki mobilised party delegates across the North Central states to massively vote for President Muhammadu Buhari at the presidential primary election held in Lagos.
The same Nurudeen was even reported to have got juicy contracts from the presidential aspirant he supported. Nurudeen knows the facts and the facts can not be denied. This short reference is a peep into the world of a Modibbo. Modibbo’s recent article should not have been found on the pages of a reputable Vanguard Newspaper. It fails all parameters of responsible journalism. It is now crystal clear that a Modibbo hates Senator Saraki as much as he envies the same Saraki. He has only deployed Vanguard Newspapers as a tool to advance his hatred.
Trend of hatred
The management of Vanguard Newspapers should do a thorough and professional review of all articles written by Mr Modibbo Kawu as related to Senator Saraki, a trend of hatred and pattern of sheer jealousy that negate the concept of public trust will be established. When a supposed columnist continually subjects his platform to public ridicule and odium, it calls for serious concern and he constitutes a threat to such platforms. Like Senator Ndume rightly noted, newspaper columnists are “trustees for the public by the virtue of their access to newspaper pages and that they do not abuse the public trust”.
No matter what a Modibbo writes about Senator Bukola Saraki, it little matters. He wrote stories against Senator Saraki before he became the governor of Kwara State in 2003 and Modibbo, obviously, has not stopped. A Modibbo has done worse things.
He has not only breached public trust with his fictions and lies, he has also deployed falsehoods, fictions, fantasy and distorted accounts to portray Senator Saraki as evil. Modibbo deserves no Vanguard Newspapers again. Vanguard Newspaper itself must take decisive actions if it desires to be taken serious by the people of Kwara State and Nigerians.
Sulyman Buhari is the Publicity Secretary of All Progressives Congress in Kwara State.