Today, my devout, decent down-to-earth, decisive darling; dreaded even by deviants who dabble in deeds detestable, is leaving the fraternity.
Her exit from the inky fraternity is a blow to the fourth estate. The ripples are extensive and far-reaching. I feel it more personally than anyone else could imagine.
I knew the light was lit and ready to shine the very day Sumiatu Shaibu introduced us. But how far could I have imagined the illumination of the light? I guess I couldn’t have.
The virtues we both learned those days were manifest in her career. Products of the Military barracks... When you come from the Burma-Camp barracks, you develop two rare virtues - fearlessness and discipline.
Has the world not seen the two virtues in her? GIJ saw it. She was successful there. I saw her there also, and still knew the light I saw lit, will shine. But did I know when? I guess not.
The world may want to know how come after her national service, she retained maintained at the prestigious Graphic Communications Group Limited. That was a privilege that hardly availed itself. I have the answer. A giant like GCGL couldn't dispense of a talent jacketed in discipline, hardwork, and dedication.
I believe if those who hired her many years ago, did an audit of her contribution to GCGL, they would have a balance sheet that will be beaming with pride. The pride of saying - 'I hired her or I proposed her for hiring.” What more could justify her esteemed place at GCGL than receiving the highest recognition as the crème de la crème of journalists in 2014?
Who wouldn't want to say 'I know her', 'she is my friend', 'she is my mate', 'she is my sister', etc? Everyone would like to associate with a fine brain and a rare character, that's almost irreplaceable!
She has left footprints that are difficult for those that follow to fit in. Society will miss her powerful contributions to its development through the media but I know she'll stop at nothing to make an impact in other ways.
After many years of dedicated service, it's hard for even her detractors, to point to acts that taint her integrity. Just as I'm not surprised when a child acquires a trait from her parents, I have no doubt her unmatched integrity traces from the barracks.
Sometimes, she acts as a lone ranger, other times, she acts as the woman of the multitude - this is a confirmation of how an independent mind she is.
Nothing passes from her hands without facing the integrity test. Once she’s convinced, she’s for it. Once she’s for it, she’d defend it. Once she defends it, then, I know it's good even before I take a look. Her double-edged sword is boundless. It cuts whoever stands in the way of justice and in the way of the collective good of society.
If I had the power, I'd institutionalise her. If I had the power, I'd immortalise her legacy. If I had the power, I'd make her a festival for celebration. Not because of our barracks days, but because, she does what I do and I do what she does. We both do what we do for society. What she does cannot be done without valour. Credit to the barracks.
The light I saw lit, sixteen years ago at the barracks, is Mabel Aku Baneseh. Mabel, much as I wish you would have stayed on for us to combat the decaying systems together, I know your resignation is for the best. It's a sad distin!
Good luck in your next adventure.
Onipa b3y33 bi, w'amb3y3 ne nyinaa.