Labaran Maku: The Pretended Activist of the Early 80s

Labaran Maku: The Pretender-Activist

I regret my admiration of Labaran Maku, the seeming bitter minded and deceiver Nigerian Minister of (partial) Information. My regret stems from the recent partial transmission of events at the recently (poorly conducted and) concluded Special National Convention of tje PDP at the Eagle Square in Abuja.

In the 1980s, Labaran Maku, then a student activist in the University of Jos, was a darling of students across the country. Later as a journalist with a defunct newspaper, he showed his vibrancy in his submissions mainly on governance, attacking the military regimes of that time.

So it was with great happiness I received the news of his appointment, by Abdullahi Adamu, then Executive Governor of Nasarawa State, as Honourable Commissioner of Information and later his Deputy Governor, in Nasarawa State.

This is briefly how much I have followed the steady rise of this fortunate opportunist from his days of students activism to his unpopular political participation at the national stage.

As Minister of State for Information under the indefatigable Professor Dora Akinyuli, he remained at the background. Little did I know that he was a green snake in a camelion-like lawn: a poison to be avoided.

I realized that he was only bidding his time to show his true colour as a noise maker and a loud mouth that he has  manifested himself to ne. I grew up to understand that empty barrel makes the most noise. Labaran Maku is such empty barrel, and unfortunately so.

As Minister of Information, I am taken aback that in his effort to play a good house boy; he decided to mortgage the integrity of the Nigerian Television Authority, an institution owned by the Nigerian people and operative upon the collective resources of all Nigerians.

I have no grudge with AIT which co-towed in this unfortunate dimension of disseminating partial information because it is a privately owned institution, with Dr. PO Odili as one of its sponsors.

But as a stakeholder in the NTA, being a bona fide citizen of Nigeria, I find the action of the NTA, possibly engineered by a bad bellied phone call from  a Minister of (national) Information, who chose to behave like a village town crier, appalling and very despicable.

As I watched AIT news and the pretended interviews they covered of the “anything goes” Jerry Gana, “cymbal sounding” Godswill Akpabio, the Senate President and some unimportant “waka pass” PDP members at the venue of the special convention, in which they also featured the speeches by Mr. President and his Vice, I felt a certain pity for the ordinary Nigerian.

Not been impressed with AIT’s telecast, I switched to the NTA, only to be abused and misinformed. I believe that any information outfit, which aims at growth and professionalism, should know what constitutes “real” news to the people.

To refuse to cover the free for all combat at the Anambra State delegates stand and the walk out staged by a former Vice President and seven serving Governors, together with their delegates is, to say the least, most unfortunate.

In the face of this discomfited happenstance, and if Labaran Maku has any remnant of moral decency in him, I am expecting him and the Head of the NTA, whoever he is, to, with immediate effect, resign their position, in the overall interest of all true hearted Nigerians.

How can few men manipulate a national and peoples’ owned media outfit to project their narrow mindedness? President Jonathan should by now realize that he has shown to be a puppet in leadership.

During the Olusegun Obasanjo administration, there was never a time that he retracted his commissions or apologized for decisions he took. I have indeed lost count of how many times President Jonathan has eaten back his vomit and apologized to Obasanjo, all in his bid to stand in the 2015 Presidential election.

Obasanjo acted severally with impunity but he did these with dexterity and leadership. He had a strong hold on his party and held the members together. Never at any time did any member of the ruling party contemplate that what we witnessed in the defunct Alliance for Democracy (AD) in the early 2000s, and still happening in the All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA) today, will happen also in the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP).

Thanks and no thanks to a clueless Party Chairman, a desperate Party leader and a set of greedy political appointees, many of whom can only thrive in lobbying for appointments. They cannot win in any election.

So it was unfortunate that what should have been great news for all Nigerians was unprofessionally swept under the free flowing gowns of Labaran Maku and the Head of the NTA; people who to me, have continued to waste   public funds on themselves and their personal interests.

I think it is time Nigerians arise to take this country’s leadership from these men before we hit the precipice and flounder as a people. I salute the courage of Atiku Abubakar, whose resources, together with other well-meaning Nigerians, was used in giving the PDP the life it has so despicably abused.

Those who knew next to nothing, and who were snoring on their beds as political newborns, while men were burning the midnight candles to see to the building of a nationalists party, are now acting as if they know anything other than stuffing their pockets with cursed money.

I am concerned for the man who has shown to be ruled by his wife and who has, by an unfortunate amnesia, surrendered the leadership of my country to “a mere domestic appendage” as classified by the reverted Nobel Laureate. I read how his messengers in
governance suggested that he sets them up as bull dogs to make their States of origin ungovernable.

That he has refused this advice and chose to dialogue, is one of the wisest decision he has taken of recent, and if he is as wise as I suppose he is, he would by now realise that these men, all mean him more harm than good. I am awaiting his relieving them of their positions in government.

How can the PDP grow when they are stepping on the heads of the fathers of the party. Where is Solomon Lar today, where is Audu Ogbe, Ibrahim Babangida, Theophilus Danjuma, Titi Ajanaku, Remi Adiuku, Dapo Sarumi, Kahirat Gwadabe, Tunde Adeniran, Ibrahim Bunu, Emmanuel Iwanyanwu, Alex Ekwueme, Orji Uzoh Kalu, Victor Attah, Barnabas Gemade, Akpan Udo Edehe, Udoma Udo Udoma, Ahmadu Ali and so many others, who made the PDP the envy of all parties, where are these illustrious men and women in this matter?

This is then the beginning of the end for an enviable political platform: since they have not known their day of redemption, their house is now left to them desolate. I am told that those who forget their history are condemned to repeat it. I also know that the best experience is to learn from other peoples’ experience because it makes prevention better than cure. This is the lesson his backyard men have not learned.

This is so because while illustrious men were taking notes from the AD and APGA, they were licking the cooking pots they were given to wash in the backyard of national development.

I blame Olusegun Obasanjo for all these men because he set the stage for what is happening today. I still see his image as he stood on the rostrum in Ado Ekiti, talking to the late President Yar’Adua on his hospital bed in Germany, asking him if he was dead.

I should advise him to make that call again. I conclude in his own words during one of the annual lectures in honour of the late Shehu Musa Yar’Adua: “when we talk about the will of God, we should also realize that there is also the will of man”. Goodluck Jonathan’s Presidency is usually seen as the will of God, but who will quickly forget the will of Olusegun Obasanjo in producing this crop of leadership?

Let those who come to equity come with clean hands please. God bless all Nigerians.


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