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Friday, April 07, 2017

Letter to Dr Agoro, Since You are Not President…


Dear Dr Agoro, Since You are Not President…
It has become so obvious that leadership in this part of the world is seen as an avenue to display all manner of excesses, abnormalities and a glaring disregard for the law. Nowhere in the world, except in Africa and particularly Nigeria, would you find that such a person would exhibit questionable tendencies and go scot-free. The national laws in those climes are sacred and binding on all the subjects. In Africa, laws are assumed to be ‘sacred’, but only apply to the average citizens but, trampled upon by the high and mighty, who believe they have all it takes to either make or mar the legal process.
  
You need not be told to step aside if accused of any wrongdoing, especially in public service, for the course of justice to take charge. But the case is different here, where, even when caught or found guilty, the accused finds a way to defy the law. Worst still, the accused prefers everything halts or goes down for his or her sake, giving pandemonium a leeway.   

But that is an aside.

Dr Olapade Agoro’s comments in his interview published in the Independent dated April 2nd 2017 caught my attention and I would like to point out a few things. First, it is quite obvious that Dr Agoro needs someone to call his attention to the wrong information on Dr Okonjo-Iweala he so boldly disseminated in the name of granting an interview.

Dr Agoro said the former minister was dropped by former President Chief Olusegun Obasanjo before been picked up by his successor, Goodluck Jonathan, and she messed up the economy. As I recall, Dr Iweala served first as a finance minister in Chief Obasanjo administration before she was reassigned to the foreign affairs ministry from where she tendered her resignation. These facts are the direct opposite of Agoro’s claim that she was dropped. Even during her first tenure in that capacity, the former minister’s achievements stood tall, not unexpected anyways, as she had held a high-rate office at the World Bank.

The man in question cannot be so forgetful of the contributions of the former minister to the Nigerian economy: the role she played in the financial reforms to include debt cancellation, the institutions of the Debt Management Office (DMO), Nigerian Mortgage Refinancing Company (NMRC), Development Bank of Nigeria (DBN), Sovereign Wealth Fund (SWF), Treasury Single Account (TSA), publication of monthly states allocations, to evince financial accountability and disclosure, which was widely commendable as steps in the right direction.

Our memories still hold her counsel to the federal government, state governments and other stakeholders of the need to save against possible future scarcity, which was not heeded by the powers that existed at the time when there was surplus. Dr Agoro should seek more reasons Chief Obasanjo chose to speak well of the former minister. After all, did we not read in his book that he thought her qualified to be President Buhari’s running mate? Has Agoro ever received such commendation?

The personality of Dr Agoro does not make him even qualified to speak on issues of governance, in whatever capacity. History has it that Agoro who, was one time the substantive holder of the Atapami of Itapa Ijesha, had long been deposed in 1983 and the title abolished by the paramount ruler of Ijeshaland, Oba Adekunle Aromolaran for Agoro’s dubious acts. Yet, he still brags himself as holder of the title. Dr Agoro’s recalcitrant actions have prompted the traditional ruler to involve the police to help stop him from further unruly actions that could jeopardize the peace of the local community. The City Mirror News has the story under the headline: ‘Atapami of Itapa-Ijesha: Police Investigate Dr Olapade Agoro on Breach of Peace’ dated September 19th 2016.
Come to think of it, that same Agoro is the chairman of the National Action Council and a former presidential candidate. Where on earth could this have been possible, if not in Nigeria? In this clime, history is merely an account, which has no recourse when it comes to the choice of leadership. If not, who would have accepted his party’s nomination or picked him as a presidential candidate? In America for instance, your history can make or mar you, and that is because references to or inferences from it would be made concerning anyone to adjudge whether he or she is worthy or not for any public position. Former President Obama’s case is a good reference. His opponents or those who raised issues about his father’s origin or citizenship status could only let go of him after due revisit to history had cleared him. Same was with the incumbent President Donald Trump, who was accused of sexual assault or how he questionably related with women in the past. History indeed played its full course in these two cases.

Yet, here we are; on the one hand, Dr Agoro said the Senate President Bukola Saraki ought not to remain on seat in the face of his trial by the Code of Conduct Bureau for his alleged false declaration of assets; on the other hand, Agoro himself has had his fair share of ‘police trouble’. Is Agoro better than Saraki?

On the case of the acting head of the anti-graft agency, Mr Ibrahim Magu, Dr Agoro’s opinion is likened to someone who’s playing the role of a comedian to say the least. How could you if you were ‘Mr President’ like you said reappoint Magu after relieving him of his job as EFCC’s boss? Is that not showing you do not have a sense of direction? Would that not suggest to everyone you needed help if at most, you do not ‘win’ the wrath of the legislators or majority of Nigerians? You cannot in any way be the president neither can you be an adviser to someone in such position, else pandemonium will reign.

Dear Dr Agoro, inasmuch as it is clear that you are obsessed with occupying the number one office in this country, it is as unattainable for you as a man trying to use a ladder to get to the moon. Simply put, you are not president.

*Ola Sunday is a public commentator, who resides in Lagos. You can send comments and feedback to the email: olasundayy@gmail.com

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