Nigerian journalism: Guardian’s Reuben Abati & Co. “interviews” Late President Yar Adua

Of the 3,852 comments when I checked in on the [New Jersey, USA] Gov. Christie’s response to a reporter in a recent online story – a response that shows he is the actual “idiot”:

http://news.yahoo.com/christie-calls-reporter-idiot-stupid-press-conference-140949551–abc-news-politics.html

the one by “Colin” reminds me of the “I don’t give a damn” response of President E.G. Jonathan to a simple question on declaration of his assets:

“Colin”
Christie is an elected official, but seems to think the First Amendment only applies to questions he approves. Why bother creating a sham of a news conference? Why not just have an interview with a journalist who can toss softball questions at him? Next time all the reporters should boycott his “news conference” and let him talk to himself.
Unlike the case in Nigeria, however, I’m sure Christie, who spoke in an intimidating tone – even if in jest – at a Romney Primary event early in the year how he would “be back” to deal with anyone not in the Romney camp – must be ruing what he blurted out while apparently not thinking as US politicians are held accountable not only for their deeds but their words. And while Christie’s youth and huge state makes him favorable to Mitt Romney as a VP hopeful, we all know that Romney won’t add to his baggage which is already enough to fill a freight train. Still, his political future cannot but be affected by this kind of short fused temper.

Well, in Nigeria, rulers are lords who more than remind you of how the masses must lie prostrate with faces down as the rich passed in their carriages during the period before the storming of the Bastille.

Here is the cringe-inducing intro of the “interview” for readers of The Guardian (Nigeria).

“It was a coup of sorts when President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua agreed to speak in an interview with The Guardian. It would be the President’s first major newspaper interview since he took office almost two years ago. We had hoped for a short session, given his renowned shyness from such an exercise. But a big surprise it turned out to be when Yar’Adua sat down and spoke for more than three hours.

Looking sharp in a white simple dress, the interview, slated for 2.30 p.m. did not start until well after 4 p.m. But once the session began, there was no stopping him and his passion for Nigeria was palpable in every word.

The President enjoys talking. About Nigeria. His faith in his seven-point agenda was so deep the boundless excitement he exudes when explaining it was infectious. Like the teacher that he was, he wanted every point understood beyond his explanation. Facts and figure reeled off his memory. The result was an almost endless answer to some questions. His voice, though gentle, had a bell-like jingle to it that seemed to emphasise his authority on the subject of discussion.

Comfortable in his skin, Yar’Adua’s sense of humour was touching.

The “interview” team was led by Dr. Reuben Abati, now a [George Orwell’s Animal Farm Squealer] reincarnation of a spokesperson for the Nigerian president –

Abati & Co:
“You’re looking good, Mr. President” elicited the response: “Thanks. But I know I am also looking trim.” And before the hearty laughter that followed ended, he quipped: “Well, it is not possible for a President of Nigeria to look chubby in the face of the enormous challenges before the nation.”

As the late president, Alhaji Yar Adua is resting with God, I respect the dead about whom I already wrote several times while on The Throne the kind of essays considered “not wishing a president well” by those who gain from Nigeria and Nigerians’ collective misery.

I’ve had my say and must allow Dr. Abati, media aide to President E.G. Jonathan and his former aides at The Guardian, have theirs.

For more of the hard-hitting and ground-breaking questions of the “coup of sorts” interview, readers can check out the link below and form your own opinions about late President Yar Adua’s “responses”:

ReubenAbatiAndAdesinaAndOlojaInterviewYAR ADUA

 

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