Governor Murtala Nyako and Journalists: God Forgive Nyako

by Femi Sobowale

After reading Dr. Reuben Abati’s article on Governor Murtala Nyako and the press, I feel very sorry for the governor of Adamawa State. As a fellow Muslim, and given that we are in the Holy Month of Ramadan, when all Muslims worldwide are enjoined to be more tolerant towards fellow human beings irrespective of their religious leaning, one finds it unbelievable that a person of Nyako’s status can descend so low as to curse journalists for a true story about his family, that has been in public arena for some time.

Being a public office holder, Nyako ought to realize that his conducts, both private and in public are subject to scrutiny by everyone, especially the press which act as the watchdog in the society. One is concerned about the way public figures like Nyako react to issues of public interest, especially when they find themselves at the receiving end of the divide. Has it not occurred to Nyako that, Adamawa State is not his private farm where he decides who goes in and out at his command? A good leader should be prepared to take the shots, even to his personal comfort when the chips are down.

Nyako’s coming as a democratically elected governor received the warm embrace of people who knew him from his days as the no-nonsense governor of Niger State, with the hope that one of the finest military officers is among the newly elected governors, and that the state will be better for it. Having served the country in various capacities, up to the head of the Nigerian Navy, Nyako has been known to conduct himself honorably, at least to the Nigerian public.

Now that the governor has decided to surprise all, with his latest diatribe against the press about a true story on his wives fighting for positions, causing unnecessary distraction, at the expense of Adamawa public, one wonders when Nigeria and indeed Nigerians will truly benefit from the dividends of democracy they deserve. The issue is not about having many wives as Nyako can have the number that suits him, but courtesy demands that Nyako’s private life does not affect his duties as governor. It is therefore his responsibility to ensure that he controls his wives to prevent unhealthy rivalry as the one been reported.

Having said that, it is instructive also that the Nigerian constitution does not recognize the office of a first lady, and that giving it a prominence as we do in the country now is laughable, and should be condemned. In a civilized society, the first lady is essentially involved in activities that complement her husband’s efforts towards caring for the most vulnerable in the community, such as women, children, and the elderly. But unfortunately in Nigeria, the office is mostly used to showcase how well dressed a governor’s wife can be, with the ultimate aim being to show other women that she has arrived, as if her life is a special creation of God.

Giving publicity to frivolities has been the bane of the Nigerian society, and somehow, rather disturbingly, most Nigerian politicians have been more involved and guilty in this regard. They look forward to praise-singing, even when their activities are not in consonance with their oath of office. To them, the public trust they enjoyed before reaching political offices, is nothing but a misplace one if their conducts during their tenure are to be assessed. If that is not the case, how can one explain a situation where a governor flared up on an issue that borders on how not to run a state in the Federation of Nigeria, at this age and time? It is shameful, and the other governors in the country should save their member by calling Governor Nyako to order through their association – the Nigeria’s Governors’ Forum.

As to the apology purportedly given when the governor’s chief of staff invited the journalists to “nominate one of them to speak on their behalf”, I trust the Nigerian Press, they know who can speak for them, and definitely the apology giver is not one of them. For the gentleman, he has the right to personally apologize, but not on behalf of the entire members of the Fourth Estate of Realm. Governor Nyako’s conduct with journalists in his house to say the least is not acceptable in a democratic setting.

The governor should be reminded that his position in the state is at the blessing of the people and not the barrel of the gun as he is used to. Cursing journalists whom you invited to dinner in the Month of Ramadan is unbecoming of a true Muslim, and someone who benefited immensely from God’s blessings by reaching the pinnacle of his profession. My advice to the governor is to publicly apologize to the invited journalists in particular and the Nigerian Press in general for his unnecessary arrogance.

And lastly, I enjoin Nyako to enroll in anger management course in an apparent move, and probably to prevent future occurrence. God forgive Murtala Nyako. AMEN.

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sadiq January 28, 2009 - 7:25 am

this is called justices in islamic, lets us prayer for all of us not only him alone, because God gives leaders according to the people.

Rilwanu Napali June 2, 2008 - 3:51 pm

Admiral murtala nyako is ours people of adamawa, lets help him with prayer, Allah take him to the straigh path, so that he will make our state great and better

amin umar ilelah February 15, 2008 - 2:59 am

being a public figure does not mean that pple shd poke nose into ones private is even against the constitution of nigeria that tries to safeguard the privacy of its citizens.


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