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#DukeOfSomolu: Bello Adoke Mohammed – How not to write a memoir

Very unlike me; this was one public officer I never really connected with. I saw his personality and tenure as grey and dull. In fact, if you ask me in five years time, I would have conveniently forgotten about him or what role he played in the Nation during his time.

So, when I started seeing snippets from his memoirs, I really did not loose sleep. This was very far from Obama’s book or Bill Clinton’s momentous work and at best it would be an exercise in self explanation and puerile self defense of a stale and meaningless time in government stymied by all sort of controversies and scandals.

Well, the highly respected public commentator and former Presidential spokesman Dr. Rueben Abati was the one that gave me the Book to go through because the author had treated the Malabu episode which he knew I was interested in.

The book itself is carefully and beautifully made. Published in New York you would expect nothingnelse   but that is where it all ends. I am sorry, I could not go passed through the trivial musings of one who is seemingly suffering from a persecution syndrome. He opens the book with his random thoughts on suicide. He tells us how he considers taking his life in the face of calculated attempts to smear his reputation and the accusations. But thinks otherwise as he considers the baggage the cowardly act will leave on his family and admirers.

Something from this first chapter ticks me off. The artificiality of this opening. The fakeness and shallowness of the opening and the futile attempt at using ‘suicide’ to curry our interest and pity all fall flat and makes me feel like throwing the book away. The needless drama.

As I progressed it got worse. The next story was the drama between him, Aandooka the then Attorney General and business man Babalakin. He claims that Babalakin had come to him that the other person had complained that he, Adoke was after his job. Aaondoka was said to be crying like a baby. What could be more annoying than this kind of gist from full grown men. It goes further into the sewage. So he confronts the cry baby who tells him that it was actually Babalakin that came to him with the gist. Mbok, idle housewives and market women will not go this route talk less of Senior Advocates.

By this time, I had lost all interest in the book, as I see the author struggle to give himself the stamp of poverty that is much needed to get social credibility and a ‘rags to rich story’. Na lie o. This one had a noble middle class pedigree with the father being a senior police officer with official quarters n Ikoyi. The father according to him was even force public realtions officer in Rivers state. So if his people did not deem it fit to give him the very essence of quality life its not because of poverty but as a result of their attitudes and possible wickedness to each other.

Abi how do you explain, his father giving him a note to the Commissioner of Police in Kano for him to be taken care of in Kano and that one refusing him entry or the relation at 1004 refusing him accommodation as he gained admission in Law school. The one that really rankles me is the Senator relation he was living with in ikeja and yet he was always short of cash and will be trekking from Ikeja to CMS before getting a bus to VI.

Please this last one made me almost tear the book. Blatant lie and for only those who do not know Lagos. How can you walk from Ikeja to CMS daily, even the ones that do the marathon we know how many hours it will take to do that route talk less of someone going to school and living with a Senator and the Senator will be seeing him doing this and will be watching. Plsssssssss.

With these inconsistencies in the early part of the Book, I begin to dread how he will handle facts in the more serious matters he has addressed in the book. I have begun to doubt even without reading his positions on Malabu, Halliburton scandals and other such very crucial episodes he has dared to treat.

My humble take is that even without finishing the book, this was a poor attempt at white-washing his reputation and I would really suggest that he should do another work this time with a large dose of sincerity.

I will not finish the book and will not recommend it to any serious follower of recent Nigerian political development.

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Joseph Edgar
Joseph Edgar is an Investment banker and Columnist with Thisday and DailyTimes newspapers. He is witty and is a hilarious writer.
http://insidemainland.com