Opinion: ‘Calamity’ Yobo bids Eagles farewell (A rejoinder)

by Emmanuel Nwachukwu

Joseph Yobo of Nigeria Kabiru Abubakar@BackpagePix

The media is looked up to by the nation to inform, educate, enlighten and most importantly help shape public opinions and policies. Hence, the media must be sound, reasonable, responsible, articulate and respectful. 

After weeks away from writing articles to concentrate on my paid employment and young family, I had to cut short that sabbatical a week before time after I saw this embarrassingly shallow article published by a national media outfit ThisDay Newspapers  [Read Here].

The article was supposed to be a farewell or tribute to retiring Super Eagles skipper, Joseph Yobo after leading the national football team to a narrow and rather undeserved defeat in the hands of France in the ongoing 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

That round of 16 game was coincidentally Joseph Yobo’s 100th game for the senior national team, a feat, that takes him to the hallowed chambers of centurions, a feat that thus earned him legendary status. In saner climes, Nigeria would roll out the drums and honour a man that has devoted his life to bring glory and honour to his fatherland. In countries where value for hardwork and national duty is sacred, the media would stop at nothing to eulogize and immortalize that man. I honestly would not have expected our poorly organized and rudderless sports authority to do anything sane, but, credit to the NFF, they got a chance to honour Joseph Yobo before the World Cup match against France. Even when the obviously derailed FIFA denied the world the opportunity to say thank you to the latest entrant to the sacred chamber of national team centurions, the NFF refused to be deterred, they honoured their own in their own little way. This shows  that a prophet can still have honour in his own home. But, this is Nigeria, somebody or a group of person would always break the bounds of sanity and common sense. Someone would be bold enough to publicly display their lack of values and respect in public circles. Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you, ThisDay Newspapers, a very big but disappointingly empty drum with its noise aimed at rubbishing a man greater the writer of the and editor of that disgraceful article can ever be.

One would expect a seasoned and keen football follower would be given the responsibility to write that article on Yobo, but, it’s either ThisDay lacks any with an idea of the game, or those who do are probably busy dancing and swimming with Brazilian beauties, hence, the job was given to just anyone. That, must be the reason why “a non playing captain” of a title winning side suddenly became such a big news for the writer. Probably, his football dictionary defined a football calamity as a captain that started 1 of 6 games but came in regular to steady the team defence and always motivated the boys in the dressing room and the bench. The writer was probably too informed to know that tactics and not armband determines who plays, when, were and who! It does appear that that game against France was the 1st time the writer saw a player score and own goal, hence, to him/her, that amounts to an offence for which Yobo should be stoned to death.

The media is looked up to by the nation to inform, educate, enlighten and most importantly help shape public opinions and policies. Hence, the media must be sound, reasonable, responsible, articulate and respectful. The media must realize it owes itself and the people the moral debt to always look at issues dispassionately but more importantly patriotically. Obviously, either the writer and editor of that article published by ThisDay don’t have or understand all those, or the firm needs to look at its core values again. What exactly was the motive behind that article? To say goodbye to a legend and thank you for a century of hardwork and patriotism, or to insult and drag the name to a patriot in the mud.

Journalism is a career that has brought giant strides and so much national pride to many, but, it’s with deep sense of regret, disappointment that I say shame on the writer of that article.


Emmanuel Nwachukwu tweets from @Emma_dele


Op-ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija.


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