Intervention does not know which of the two students in this photograph with former Vice- President of Nigeria from 1999 – 2007 and proprietor of the American University of Nigeria, (AUN) Alhaji Atiku Abubakar is Asuku Onukaba but it is because of Asuku Onukaba that the picture strikes a chord. That is not to say that Chinemenma Emma-Ugorji, the second graduand in the picture doesn’t interest us. Everyone matters to us but, in this context, Asuku is the referent because of professional entanglement with Asuku’s late father, Onukaba Adinoyi-Ojo. And the late Onukaba was a brave, great guy, as a person, a journalist and a politician.
For one, he never stopped to check on those close to him. He would still call even if you didn’t call him back. A year may pass and you think he might have wiped you off his call list but, one day, you will get his call. And then he died before anyone could say Onukaba.
There is thus something gratifying in knowing that one of his children and probably all of them are getting good education. The one in the cover picture here went to the American University of Nigeria. it is generally regarded as doing well.
The gesture of paying for the education of the children of two of his late staff is something for which Atiku Abubakar cannot be denied credit and public acknowledgment. The former Vice-President could have invented a million reasons for not doing it. There is nothing in the social world that cannot be rationalised. That Atiku did not, for any reasons, hold back should be appreciated, particularly that if he did, those who should contribute to the education of such children are either not well off to do so or would have had to do it with great difficulty.
Other rich members of the society might be equally doing great symbolic gestures here and there around the country. But Intervention can only publish those it knows about, especially those it finds out by itself. The cover picture here might have been circulated by Atiku Abubakar’s media establishment but it is doubtful if the former Vice-President himself knows about Intervention, much less ask us to publish. That is how we prefer it.
This picture is particularly a very moving picture because of the context mentioned and thus stands as a testament to the complexity of life.