by Yakubu Dati
The law courts which he has been making the rounds of, have ruled against him twice in recent times.
My Dear Yakubu
I have chosen to respond to your diatribe as a matter of long-standing policy. I believe no serious writer should allow media advisers get away with serial murder. In your own case, and as a big man in your Aviation Ministry, I expected a more informed response from you. But since you’ve chosen, like others before you, to abuse the messenger instead of attacking the message, I will try to educate you on how not to be a spin doctor.
You betrayed a lack of judgment and decorum by starting your rejoinder with an attack on Ovation as a magazine for “flamboyant persons” from the South West. You are probably too busy cooking the latest lies in your Aviation kitchen that you find it hard to read a simple lifestyle magazine. You would have known that Ovation is not a parochial magazine but a pan-African one reporting the lifestyles of African newsmakers in Africa and the Diaspora for over 17 years. We therefore do not dwell only on the lifestyle of Nigerians not to mention dwelling on a sub-region of the country. No magazine would have survived that long if it indulged in the petty discrimination or censorship you wish to tag the magazine with. We tell stories with beautiful pictures and leave our readers to judge. Today we publish 364 pages monthly, in English and French. How mean can you be to reduce such gallant efforts of your fellow-citizens to a community journal?
Regarding my relationship with the late Chief MKO Abiola, you said I claimed to know the man more than his children. Please, quote the source of your hyperbole. Of course, I knew Chief Abiola well, and it is a public knowledge that he openly declared me his adopted son. Incidentally, I will be joining a crew from Los Angeles this afternoon to speak about Abiola in a forthcoming documentary. Abiola’s Crown Prince, Kola Abiola, personally invited me.
You wasted your introduction on jejune extrapolations that bore no relevance to the meat of your message. The examples you gave were blatantly false and only revealed desperation to justify your high-faluting title and remuneration as Co-ordinating General Manager, Aviation Parastatals. No wonder the whole place is littered with parasites.
I will leave you to stew in your own juices of lies but point out the salient contradictions in your illogical reaction. If what you tried to write was a satire, you failed to deliver. Media Advisers stick to the facts but you chose to mix a cocktail of false, cheap, tawdry ingredients. I’m not surprised that it gave you verbal diarrhoea. There was nowhere I said Aviation Minister, Princess Stella Oduah took Chief Harry Akande’s land. It was revoked by the Obasanjo government. You’ve now told us that Chief Akande’s inability to deliver on his promise was the reason for the revocation. Now listen to your own statement:
“What most members of the public do not know is that the dispute between FAAN and AIC does not have anything to do with ownership of land where the proposed AIC hotel was to be built…” Mercifully, you told us it had to do with the award of 48 million dollars awarded by the arbitral tribunal in 2010 which FAAN contested and won in the Federal High Court. However, you failed to say what the Court ruled as regards Akande’s right to use the land or the reason AIC is being offered alternative parcels of land.
The same Akande that you said could not honour his promise, according to you, was offered another piece of land: “FAAN has even gone out of its way to offer AIC other sites for the construction of the said hotel within the airport premises but this has been turned down by AIC…” How generous of FAAN.
Equally important, you failed to tell us the progress of the case in the Nigerian appellate courts.
Something is not very right about the deals going on and you’ve raised more suspicions than ever. It’s the same way the media aide to your Minister rushed to Press and said the controversial bullet-proof cars were bought for the protection of Her Majesty. Would it not have been better to keep quiet or offer apologies to Nigerians instead rubbing pepper on fresh wounds? Must you guys defend every insane act?
I had said nothing about the bullet-proof car saga or the drowning cacophony about unprecedented physical transformation at your magical paradise called MMIA. The reason was simple. I didn’t want to give you guys the pleasure of adorning me with your tribal rags. Little did I know that a simple plea, asking government to have pity on Akande, would still drag me down your clannish alley! You guys know nothing better than to play the ethnic card.
What a shame!
– Dele Momodu
This post is published with permission from Dele Momodu.
Op-ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija.