A Crooked Lies was Thrown at Comptroller Joseph Attah, Mr Joseph Oboshi Attah was the former PRO of Nigerian Custom Service and early this year he was promoted as the new customs Area Comptroller, Kebbi State.
Maybe not many of you know the man, Comptroller Joseph Oboshi Attah ksm, fcilrm, dsm (Barayan Doma). That is understandable for people living wide of the mark of Doma LGA and Nasarawa state. But for some indigenes of Nasarawa State and the people of Doma, including its immediate environs, he is a seasoned philanthropist, a disciplined man of fairness, an unshakable upholder of the laws of the land, not just as a law enforcer but as a man who is a custodian of his people’s traditional customs in a religiously diverse community and state.
But as with such great men as he has earned himself to be, thanks to the years of dedication and unrelenting hardwork that he remained dodged over time, a successful administrator of law, and untiring helper of the needy, there comes a time when aspersions, rumours and even image-soiling comments are thrown in the public about him, ill-meaning elements in the society, such as this period but he remain humane.
Even as we all know that at every turn in an achiever’s life there spring up hurdles and obstacles which try to hinder his growth, I wish to dispel the idle talks making the rounds about Compt Attah’s action of not just accomodating family members who have in the past converted to Christianity but aiding encouraging the said decisions. To these talkers, one ought not to pay the least attention but at times silence might be taken to mean admission. For them, in their conceived mischief, he ought to have turned his own kinsmen away when their own closest people have chosen religion over the bonds of blood and family.
They fail to recall that Compt Attah has equally experiencd times in the past when Christian kindred had converted to Islam, and he had neither condemned them nor abandoned them. Rather, he had done what’s best: embraced them instead, continued to see them as part of his family because he knows that we don’t choose our family but we may decide which religious rule we live by or how we worship God. How then does it amount to ill-will when a man chooses to understand that there are choices to be made in a family of religious multiplicity where adults are bound to come to different realisations about faith and God?
The sad and disappointing truth is that most of the naysayers are not even as close to the man as to warrant such conclusions as they hastily arrive at.
One reason why I decided I was duty-bound to clear the air which their lies have made foggy and unclean is, I have lived with Compt Attah’s Family for most of my life and he had not and has never hinted for once the matter of religion in the way they portray him; rather, he has enjoined peace, love, kindness, tolerance and unity – virtues which they obviously lack and have refused to imbibe, given their unaccommodating utterances and actions.
How does one hold with importance the lies of people who decide a man is no longer a man simply because he no longer believes God in the same way they do? How does one justify the condemnation of a man solely on his choice of node of worship? I bet it won’t be the best way to see a man, to see him not by his character but by his association with GOD. How are we the ones fighting God’s battle?
We are humans before anything else, however we worship God, and Compt Attah seems to know this so well than his detractors. Barayan Doma, in his kindhearted gesture to humanity, which he believes surpasses any worldly difference there may exist, be it tribe, ethnicity or religion, has helped many people irrespective.
While we seek to discount the hardwork of a good man we should understand that we would all be paid in our own coins one day. It would have been a really sad thing for Compt Attah to have allowed a man in dire need of help suffer, when he has the means to assist him, simply because some haters of peace think that was what was right. That would have dented his image before God and his own conscience.
I think if a man seeks evangelism as they portray him to do, building a church should not be far from his decision. This is really hilarious, and it would really be sad if it holds any water in the eyes of any well-meaning members of the public.
The same man that has a devout Muslim as PA and another as Oderly. Why has he not picked someone of opposite faith given the delicateness of such position??? Why has he not tried to convert me, who has lived under his roof, has been treated with kindness, regarded like his own child, enjoyed fatherly support for the past decades?? Is he religiously biased when his Orderly is a Muslim when there are christians with good enough, if not better, skills? I bet you cannot answer these questions comfortably if you have not decided to be objective and face the fact that all these allegations are failed attempts at soiling the image of a good and religiously tolerant man.
That I, Mubarak Ibrahim Mustapha, has lived under Compt Attah’s roof nearing decades now, eaten from the same plate with his family and at the same table, that I have prayed and fasted at the appointed time, that his family has celebrated Eid with me as they have observed the Christian festive season as required, that I have not for once been uncomfortable under his roof, being a Muslim, neither have I been under pressure to renege on my Islamic faith renders, among other things, their malicious rumour of whatever move or action of converting his non Christian kinsmen in order to assist them as nothing short of being a figment of his accusers’ hallucinating imaginations.
And to begin to delve into the many times Barayan Doma has assisted both Muslim and Christian members of not just his immediate family but the larger community is to make light of his kindness and discount his many and countless act of benefaction to the needy. Besides, this is not a post to praise a man’s years of endless contribution to his community, rather, it is a post to disestablish a falsehood that, if not nipped early, may flower in the hearts of those who do not very well know the father of many whose sole crime has been, so far, to alleviate the suffering of his needy kinsmen.
But the truth shall always prevail.