Posts Tagged ‘reuben abati’

Rise of Naija Frivolous Journalism

March 11, 2009

The easiest persuasive method to manipulate anything Nigerian – particularly the press – is the bandwagon effect. It’s like a whirlwind the way it sways the media and its superstars: columnists, presenters, producers, broadcasters, and even the deejays.
Reality show, for instance, was first sold Nigerians by Guiness’ brainwashers in 2003. Pronto! Every station is now flooded with series of stupid, obscene, poverty-induced realities of Nigeria and Africa.

Much earlier, there was – and now, has been – a frivolous brand of print journalism, especially in newspaper columns like Reuben Abati’s Friday Guardian, and backs-of-book of the likes of Dele Omotunde’s TELL and TheWeek mags.
I think I like Dele’s B-O-B. He admits it’s a borrowed idea adapted to the Nigerian situation. But he writes in so satirical and almost libelous a manner that he makes his points brazenly obvious in spite of the legal implications .He doesn’t lose his point while amusing us.
Abati was equally humorous and sarcastic in his heyday. But others? Affected tribes of copycats.

But don’t forget. Abati, too,has lapsed into frivolity now. Remember his piece : Queen Okoye: Raped by Police? It read like he was releasing his sadistic semen through the amorous dialogue. Would he have trivialized the story if his wife or mother had been so gang-raped?

Honestly, good humour has its place in journalism. But it’s got to be original, relevant, objective, and focused. No waste of time and space on trite jokes that trivialize important issues like rape, human rights abuse, corruption, and other socio-economical vices.

The entertainment role of the press, overplayed as it is now in Nigeria, merely portrays the media as frivolous and defocused, especially in this dispensation ridden with irresponsibilities – of Yardie and his cohorts. It’s here in the Nigerian media you see too many chiefs , but not enough Indians: legions of columnists who ought to be undergoing training in the use of the inverted pyramid now spinning out crap called columns by the hour. To gain readership, some of them go bald-headed for sparkless humour and unnecessary trumpery.

Nigerians are tired of suffering, and smiling just on reading some comic relief on Fridays and Sundays. Call it any dumb name you fancy – infotainment, edutainment or whatever. They need a serious press that reports, informs, and investigates; they need a press that won’t just be popular but also effectual, hard-hitting, and result-oriented; they need a press that knows it’s not yet uhuru in a state bestridden by Obasanjo and his PDP.

Kogi Journalists Stripped – So What?

March 4, 2009

Does it really hurt that the Nigerian Union of Journalists is the only professional body that absorbs blundering journalists and mediocre writers? No, it doesn’t. Not even when its members are stripped or humiliated by government or individuals.
Let their headlines scream blue murder (as above). Nobody would
heed them – not even in Kogi – of all states in Nigeria – where a pack of state house correspondents were disgraced by a visiting banker 19th of February.
But …probably, the Human Rights Watch or some other number-
crunching groups might be interested just in the statistics – not in the calamity – of battered journalists under the nose of the rule-of-law-chanting Yar’ Adua in Nigeria.

For countless reasons, Nigerian journalists are out and away less than human beings. They’re cheap – dozens a penny – and unorganized. They’ve got no fat bank accounts like Reuben Abati’s, Osa Director’s, Bayo Onanuga’s – all top, Abuja-rich editors.
Bait them with brown envelopes, they’ll go to hell to cover anything – trivia like you shitting out your bowels, or pissing around your toilet, or your great grandson learning to call you daddy.
That’s a Nigerian journalist for you – beggarly, impoverished, frivolous, tame, and insecure.
That’s why Atiku – that hopeless turncoat – will slap the daylights out of them, and smash their grimy cameras. OBJ, too, will curse their grannies, and remind them of their unemployablity and grinding poverty.
Now tell me why a blinking CEO of one micro-finance bank wouldn’t crush their balls, in style, when he couldn’t find his Nokia phone after a press interview.

Ibrahim Idris was just trying to be too nice by allowing his savage yesmen to do the stripping. He could have done it better.
The banker also knows all that a typical Nigerian journalist has are ink and grammar – bad grammar mostly. Nothing to file a suit no matter how he, a cash machine, dehumanizes them. Even their toothless bulldog, the NUJ, can only bark in an angry headline and a couple of paragraphs forcing Idris to apologise only.

It’s high time these journalists knew that every idiot – politician, banker, jackboot, danfo-driver – is aware of their sorry status; that they’re incompetent, free-for-all, brown-envelope-driven, and disorganized.
And as such nobody respects and recognizes them as professional
persons or body that deserves much support when people bullshit them.

By the way,how much butt-kicking does the NUJ need to be as professional and respectable as the NBA, NMA? Or even as the NURTW?

Reuben Abati’s Unpardonable Gaffe

February 15, 2009

To blunder is human – natural. Is it so for super-human writers like Dr. Reuben Abati of the Nigerian Guardian?

About two months after Sahara Reporters blew the gaff on land
allocation in Abuja,Abati still hasn’t owned up his overt sin – his snobbish silence where his integrity is publicly challenged. He has chosen to do what Jesus did before Pilate – keep an all-knowing calm punctuated with ‘Thou sayest’.
So Abati is a god. If you see him in flesh and blood, then he’s a pontiff – unquestionable and infallible.
And to all the internet warriors and blogmaniacs badgering him to talk, go hang yourselves because Abati won’t talk.

I’m afraid Abati might self-destruct if he carried on this pig-headedness .
Check out his writings on Fridays and Sundays ever since this Abatigate broke out. You’ll observe his creative juices have gone sour. His writings are pedestrian, incoherent,and boring.

Sometimes he’s gratuitously amorous (as read in Queen Okoye: Raped by Policemen), or voyeurish in some others.
OK.I learnt he used to churn out obscenity for The Hints before
he crossed over to The Guardian. Now his erotic muse makes him snoop around god-forsaken places to gather materials for his columns. The wit, the punch, the humour that used to sell his writing to his readers are gone.

That’s what blunders can do to a genius.

What everybody – his fan, his fanatic, his foe – wants is some
explanation to clear the air. Not this barren humour or escapist journalism. Except he comes down to our level – the mere mortal level – to explain his part in the Modibbo land generosity, the angel of creativity won’t come back to his study. I swear!

And if Abati – the live wire of The Guardian – begins to rust , then the end might be pretty near.
Maybe we’d hope Alex Ibru – who’s solely interested in where his bread is buttered – would kick his groin and make him talk very soon. Or better still he’ll give him the axe.