It is heartwarming to celebrate and congratulate Dr Reuben Abati’s daughter Elizabeth Eyitayo, who just graduated with first class in one of the prestigious universities in the United Kingdom. Nigerians are blazing the trail everywhere! All our achievements are worthy of celebration. Unfortunately, Our rescuers are our enemies. As a nation, we are still on a journey to nowhere.
Congratulations to Reuben Abati’s family and to all Nigerians. Dr. Abati is a man who influenced my passion for writing and publication. I greatly appreciate my initiation into his literary museum. Kudos to Elizabeth Eyitayo Abati and other Nigerians who make us proud in the diaspora. The joy of all parents is to see their children triumph in all areas of human endeavor. Eyitayo Abati just did that for us and for her parents.
Like father, like daughter in the scholarly world. When we see outstanding meritorious achievement, we must acknowledge and celebrate it. The achievement of Abati’s daughter; just like other Nigerian citizens in the Diaspora, is what all Nigerians should celebrate with enthusiasm. Our eyes should be closed to the antecedents of the brilliant father in Abati. Reuben Abati has trained and equipped his daughter to join other formidable intellectual Nigerians who make us proud abroad.
Sadly, Reuben Abati wined and dined with the Nigerian political vultures; he soiled his hands; he hurtled into a government whose motive was to loot the country red. We yelled; we cried for Abati to “Come back to us,…” (in my Guardian publication of Monday, August 6, 2012). Abati nauseatingly ignored and fenced us against the establishment. He traumatized our collective memory. While we lost Abati’s intellectual acuity to the ghouls, we mourned his expunge from our constituency and his exit from our literary consciousness.
Sadly, some of his avowed-die-hard-fans in those days have resolved never to read his work of art again. I still admonish some of us, the disgruntled admirers of Ruben Abati to reconsider our avowed decision. Literally, we will be doing ourselves intellectual disservice not to read Abati’s publications again. As a worshipper of the Muse, this writer still believes in Abati’s exceptional natural capacity of intellect, as shown in his creative and original works in art. Abati is undoubtedly a brilliant guy. Abati was also a First class graduate from the University of Calabar about 30 years ago. I lost my respect for his decision (not his intellectual prowess) not to quit a government of looting. An exit or resignation he should have considered when the ovation was loudest. But I respect his artful gymnastic and skillfulness in literature and scholarship.
Retrospectively, Abati is a cannon fodder in our individual journeys of life. We must make amends when we make mistakes to avoid pitfalls or loose our integrity. When we make decision to dine with the devil, we must be armed and weaponized with a long spoon to avoid conscription into the club of the anti-people.
Let’s celebrate the achievements of our own citizens, instead of the celebration of mediocres and NASSty rogues in Abuja. We must be careful of every decision we make in life. We must unite and be steadfast in our nationalistic pursuit for Nigeria’s revival.
Again, Congratulations to the Abatis.