FEATURE ARTICLE

Friday, December 7, 2018
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Arizona, USA
THE METAMORPHOSIS OF REUBEN ABATI

Reuben Abati

"Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power." -Abraham Lincoln

n my article editorialized by board of The Guardian Newspapers on 24 May, 2015 on Abati titled: "What is next for Abati?" I asked this pertinent question out of my concern and existential curiosity! My question with posterity seems to have now been adequately answered!

Dr. Abati is now in the fraternity of men of yesterday! When a man you once admired in the comity of literati and activism sinks into the abyss of time, how then do you explain to those who care to listen to your sour and agony in the literary arena? When your former muse gets lost into the murky Nigerian politics, you become nostalgic and insolent with his intellectual prowess.

How are mighty fallen? To see the power of pen perishing in the murky water of Nigerian polity is not only painful but unimaginable? Dr. Reuben Abati was a gifted literary gymnast. Why Abati backslided tells us the fallibility inherent in a man who once hid his real self in our literary community. The "whys" in all our mourning for loss of his numerous fans, who cherished his writing skills is a question that posterity will adequately answer for us, if at all, the question isn't being answered now!

If Dr. Abati could fraternize and dine with men he once criticized with the mighty power of his pen and literary gymnastics, then those of us he unknowingly moulded through our imitation of him should pour libations at the entrance of his habitat, so that we will not fall victim of his pretense and political opportunism.

The only thing that is constant in life is change! Beware of whom you choose as your mentor because "man is not what he thinks he is, he is what he hides." - Andre Malraux

I don't need any political or religious naysayers or soothsayers to tell me that the duo---Kashumu and Abati in their gubernatorial ambitions in Ogun State, if actually it's true will fail woefully. Otherwise, the society we so cared for is at edge of a doomsday or returning to yesterday!

Corrupt politics is a poison to weak minds and the society. Corrupt politics destroys careers, it destroys integrity, it destroys accomplishments and values. Money and fame are ephemerals, and they're situated in nothingness. Integrity, values and principle build the legacy of man. Our once pragmatic and quintessential Abati is now an active participant in the comity of men of yesterday. Life indeed is not fair!

Seriously, if Dr. Abati had joined African Action Congress-AAC, we would have come to realm of reality to give a man we once fancied "second chance" to redeem himself. But the party (PDP) Abati has pitched tent with shows a man who is irredeemably destined to dwell in the fouled Nigerian political wilderness. It seems his chance to redeem or come back to limelight is irredeemably unimaginable and ensconced in obscurity.

Though, this writer isn't a fan of APC either, (PMB and Osibanjo are just a representation of my choice). After the forthcoming 2019 general election, I fear if my former muse (Abati) will not go into political oblivion when the people's collective choice shortchanges him into our political victory.


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