Each time I read an article written by Dele Sobowale, and I have read more than a few, I often find myself asking, whose side is he on? What exactly is he talking about? Never have I read one man’s work filled with so much controversy, bickering, and misinformation like Sobowale’s. Is his real motive to spread angst by misinforming Nigerians and spreading half-truths? Is he one of those divide-and-conquer thinkers who love to spread lies and rumours often brandishing them as truth? I am led to think so.
Sobowale, our “Area Boy of the Media” swings so fast and so frequently on the opinion pendulum that anyone who dares become an ardent reader of his work is left dizzy. Today here, tomorrow there. Nothing sticks where Sobowale is concerned, except his inability to take a definite stand, and interestingly, his obvious dislike of Nigeria’s former Minister of Finance and Co-ordinating Minister for the Economy. I mean, through all the changes and metamorphosis Sobowale’s opinions have undergone, he remains constant in his childish spite for Mrs Iweala.
Despite his claims that everyone receives the same treatment from him, Sobowale has shown that his ‘Frankly Speaking’ column is no more than a vehicle for working the bidding of his paymasters. And like the true area boy that he is, he deploys all the resources at his disposal to ensure that the “Chairman” is satisfied with his work, not minding if he has to stoop low and pit one tribe against another or one religion against another. He may as well say that everyone receives the same treatment from him to the extent that his pockets have been lined.
Without any thought for the people of this country, of the many challenges we have faced as a people; of the issues that constantly fight to tear us apart rather than keep us united, our dear Dele has often used tribal sentiments to cause chaos and unleash psychological mayhem on unsuspecting readers. Stella Oduah, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, and others have been accused of tribalism at one point in time or another by Sobowale who often goes the route of penning diversionary articles full of unguarded statements and baseless accusations to serve his purpose. As I recall, Sobowale once accused Okonjo-Iweala of ethnic chauvinism at a time when Robert Orya, who by the way is a Tiv from Benue state, was appointed MD of NEXIM, saying that she favoured the Igbos for appointments.
From the days of the Jonathan administration, especially nearing the election period when he turned the heat up, Sobowale has written numerous articles calling for the head of Dr Okonjo-Iweala, or at least for her resignation. Quite recently, he wrote another article charging EFCC to bring her in for questioning over the several cases of misappropriation of funds by government officials. Now, some of those investigations are months old, and if the relevant anti-graft agencies had seen the need to invite Okonjo-Iweala in, I am quite certain they would have done so. They need not wait for a Dele Sobowale to tell them what to do, after all, what does he know about their investigations save what they have chosen to make public. But that is only one matter. My first reaction after reading the article was to ask who had lined the pocket of this lackey this time around? After all, the Sobowale I know, as opinionated as he may sound, has no original idea save what he has been instructed to trumpet.
Which brings me back to my first question: whose side is Dele Sobowale on? Need I say more?
Undung Pam is a social commentator contributing from Jos, Plateau State.