I Accept My ‘Online Sack’ In Good Faith – Ibrahim Sheriff


It has been some 24 hours after my purported ‘sack’ was first broken and announced online, first by a blog owned by the Special Assistant on New Media to Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq (Fidelinfo.com), at around 8am of Thursday, 4th February, 2021. I’ve tarried all day to be sure that I was truly sacked by my employer, Rt. Hon Salihu Yakub Danladi, but 24 hours after, yours sincerely has received no notification – verbal or written, that points to it.

But I know I have been sacked by domineering government forces, who had always been intimidated by my professional and conscientious opinion on issues, at least something in the very inside of me tells this much. For the Governor’s aides to have so gleefully broken my sack online, even if I was never an official employee of either the Governor or the Kwara State House of Assembly, it tells a lot.

Since the purported ‘sack’, I have endeavoured to interact with my very good principal, a young, brilliant, smart gentleman in whom I am forever pleased. The issues have been ironed and put in proper perspectives. Nevertheless, I know that it’s time to go, at least to free him of the needless burden and move on with the rest of my life.

So, I accept my social media ‘sack’ even if phantom in absolute good faith. I bear no grudge against anyone. I particularly bear no grudge against the Governor’s aides who did not have the decency to wait an extra minute before announcing my ‘sack’. I hope they all are happy now. Now that I am moving on with my life, I pray they do too, with theirs.

However, for the avoidance of doubt, I believe I owe my friends, old and young, who have been genuinely bothered by the broken news of my ‘sack’ by the Governor’s aides, some modicum of explanation of what the real issues are.

For over a decade, I have been in active societal politics and aside whatever justified my appointment with the Hon. Speaker, my modest contributions to the 2019 general elections was one of it. I must therefore remain grateful for that privilege and religiously uphold the ideological tenets upon which the political struggle was mounted.

I was engaged on the 18th day of June, 2019 by Rt. Hon. Yakubu Danladi as a Media Aide. It was a relationship made in heavens. Here was a young man who had thrust on his lap a sudden responsibility of leading the 9th Kwara State Legislative Assembly with almost no prior legislative experience, and there I was, a die-hard Otoge crusader, who was passionate out of a sense of duty to my State, to manage the public communication strategies of that exalted office. The challenge was, I had limited exposure on Public Relations myself. So, 2ge4!

But God on our side, we delivered. In my service delivery, I tried as much as possible to ensure a delicate balance between my responsibility to a principal who trusted me so much and believed in my capacity, and my personal interest. I discharged my duties in absolute good faith to the unwritten rules of loyalty and confidentiality in officialdom. I challenge anyone who has anything to the contrary to come in the public and reveal it. I did this purely on personal moral grounds, and not because I had any conditions attached to my engagement.

But there would come a time when one’s principles are tested. When those principles would clash with one’s every day experiences. The way and manner one reacts to it is the true test of one’s integrity. One of such days was Wednesday, 3rd February, 2021 at the Kwara State Banquet Hall, Ilorin.

I was at the Banquet Hall on a formal invitation of Senator John Danboi, the Chairman of the APC Membership Registration Exercise. I was there early with the hope to pick a front seat. But despite that we arrived on schedule, the entrance to the event was under locks and keys till way after 2pm. There were a lot of people, party stakeholders who were standing in the sun to enter the hall. But they were all locked out for reasons best known to the organisers.

It was in the middle of this that the Caretaker Chairman of the APC, Bashir Omaja Bolarinwa, dashed in. How he came, where he came from, I would not know. But as he made for the door, a woman suddenly appeared from among the crowds, charged at him, grabbed his shirts and locked it. It was all obvious that the woman was on a mission, either to kill BOB or strip him naked. Every person with good conscience had to come to BOB’s rescue. Everybody forgot party affiliations at that moment to do what we felt was right and moral. And we did rescue him from the firm grip of the violent woman.

At that point, it dawned on all the rescuers, including me that the only place safe for BOB was inside the Banquet Hall itself. If we had acted otherwise, I can bet it, BOB would not have made it out of the Kwara Banquet Hall alive. It was that terrible!

This was the same cruel treatment meted on my friend and political ally, Olayiwola Karatu upon his arrival at the venue of the meeting earlier before Hon. Bolarinwa. Karatu was attacked because of his alignment with Mall. Lukman Mustapha. It took efforts to rescue him from the miscreants.

This is the part I played at the Banquet Hall, no more, no less. This is what I would have done for anybody else. I would have done same for Gov. AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq if I found him in that sorry situation. So, it was not about BOB, it was about what was right and moral, what was decent.

And that scenario was perhaps what our friends in the Government House saw on video that made them announce my ‘sack’ online. They were so recklessly desperate they forgot I was never on their payroll. This is the unfortunate political situation we have found ourselves, and we’ve been asked to live with.

But I accept the ‘sack’ in good faith nevertheless.

I did it for my boss, Rt. Hon. Engr. S. Y. Danladi. I did it for his peace, for I knew that he had been under immense pressure way before now to ‘sack’ me for not sucking up enough to the powers-that-be. Ironically, he had braced all odds and stuck to his guns in protecting me from the hawks all through, till the very last minutes. That’s why it took the Governor’s aides themselves, and not my boss, to announce my sack online.

Going forward, I shall again, have the freedom to express my objective opinions on sociopolitical issues as a member of the Pen Profession and pursue my passionate academic career with all the commitment it deserves.

To my beloved Engr. Danladi, my friend, my brother, my confidant, my boss, thank you for standing by me all through. I might have accepted my ‘sack’ from your official services, but I remain forever at your service, private or public. I cherish every moment I have spent with you, and I will do again, and again, and again, forever. THANK YOU SIR.

To our Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazak, as a young man growing up, I learnt certain values. We learn to play fair. We learn not to hit people. We learn to clean up our own mess. We learn not to take what isn’t ours. And we learn to say we’re sorry when we hurt somebody. These are basic values that we learned as children. And we teach our own children these lessons. They are, in fact, the fundamental building blocks of a civil society. Without basic rules of common respect, we would experience chaos and anarchy.

But what happens when you find that as an adult, the rules aren’t always straightforward and tidy? What do you do when your job requires you to do things that may make you feel out of integrity with yourself? What happens to your conscience when this happens? How do you look yourself in the mirror every day and keep up the pretense that everything is OK?

For most people, this is not an everyday dilemma, but it can be a problem for some people. It is for me. I feel a serious ethical issues in having to wage wars on people that stood with me shoulder to shoulder during the Otoge struggles. It is my conscientious conviction that people that almost paid the ultimate sacrifices to ensure our collective struggle was a success doesn’t deserve to be hated.

Life presents us with choices every day. Some of them are easy. In fact, many of them are no-brainers. We have to make hard choices, and we have to weigh the consequences of our actions on ourselves and others. The only hard choice that posterity asks of you now as a leader of a people that have had a long walk to freedom is to be fair and just, because after this life, there is another life. A life where there would be no one to manipulate to personal advantages. What kind of an account would you give as the leader of all of us?

It’s never too late

To everyone who stood by and supported me in the cause of diligent discharge of my duty to the Hon. Speaker, even without gratifications, especially, the Kwara Assembly Press Corps, NUJ Correspondence Chapel, media houses and Kwara Online Media Practitioner (ASKOMP). I equally appreciate the concerns of friends and political associates from far and near whom have called to ascertain the veracity of my purported sack. May Almighty Allah stand by you all alway s.

Ibrahim Sheriff .A. (Gold)
Former Special Assistant on Media to the Speaker, Kwara state House of Assembly.
Friday, February 5th, 2021

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