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Lai Mohammed: When will Bola Tinubu appologise to Ibe Kachikwu?

Lia Mohammed: When will Bola Tinubu appologise to Ibe Kachikwu?

In a country that has always refused to look back, if only to find out where the rain began to beat us, we have always failed to learn the les­sons that history should teach. Another result of that catas­trophe is that we lack societal and institutional memory. So, there is no agreed version of the struggle for independ­ence; that is why those who struggled and wished for na­tional independence at the earliest opportunity and date possible, and those who de­layed it till they could do it no more, are all bundled to­gether as heroes of the same independence struggle. That is also why those who craved national unity, and could have staked their very lives for it – the Raj Abdalas, Nduka Ezes, Kola Baloguns, Moku­go Okoyes and Ikenna Nzimi­ros and the other members of the Zikist Movement fought for one united independent Nigeria are totally forgotten while crass regionalists are spruced up as nationalists.
Just a few weeks ago, Ashi­waju Bola Tinubu attacked Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, the Group Managing Director of Nige­ria National Petroleum Cor­poration (NNPC) and Minis­ter of State for Petroleum just because Kachikwu had given a date, some viewed as to far, for petrol queues to disappear. Particularly galling to Tinubu was Kachikwu’s quip that he was no magician. Of course he had meant that there must be some very practical steps that must be followed before the nation’s petrol needs could be met.
The Asiwaju accused Ka­chikwu of treating Nigerians with levity and insulted their sensibilities and that public servants were put in place to serve, and that if Kachikwu could not meet those public demands, he should resign. Great words, those!
And…and a section of the media rose as one to excori­ate Kachikwu, just because Bola Tinubu had spoken. All that Kachikwu had been do­ing since he was appointed into office was not consid­ered. So too the problems he had been struggling to sur­mount. So too his energy, pur­posefulness and sincerity. The worst cut came from Mr. Wale Fatade; he advised Kachikwu, who had excelled at Harkness Commons (the front court­yard of Harvard Law School by which many often use to refer to the real thing): “He could also get a pocket Eng­lish dictionary for easy refer­ence”.
Why? The pretense was largely because Kachikwu’s re­organization of NNPC caused some Energy reporters to mis­lead their Editors into report­ing that NNPC had been un­bundled and ceased to exist as it had been chopped down into smaller independent en­tities. That the man who made the announcement still re­mained the behemoth’s Group Managing Director should have tipped off the journal­ists to seek clarification, be­cause that would have indi­cated that NNPC was still in existence. Would Kachikwu’s reorganization be effective? Was it needed? Was it wor­thy of applause or was it con­demnable?
No, that was not the con­cern of the likes of Wale Fat­ade. All that concerned them was that the Asiwaju had spo­ken against Kachikwu and so all must join in demonizing Kachikwu.
I wasn’t too bothered really by Tinubu’s words, especially as he made it plain that he was speaking on behalf of the Ni­gerian people who deserved nothing but impeccable ser­vice from their public officials. I thought a new day had ar­rived when politicians would remember that just as St. Au­gustine told members of his Hippo, North African, diocese that he first became a Chris­tian like them before he be­came a Bishop for them, they became Nigerians first just like us, before they ever be­came politicians for or against us. So I decided to watch out for more flogging of Ministers into line by a self-appointed National Headmaster of Ni­gerian Politics – a post Chief Olusegun Obasanjo had ap­propriated to himself.
Then recently, a chance came to test how devoted Bola Tinubu would be at his new post. That was when the hard-arguing Information and Communications Minis­ter, Mr. Lai Mohammed Mo­hammed, showed remarka­ble insensitivity to the plight of Nigerians. After the news leaked that his Ministry was taking N13 million loan from a parrastatal under it, to en­able an unstated number of persons attend an inconse­quential conference in China, he said that Nigeria was broke. That was while asking Nige­rians to bear with the Buhari administration over the hike in petrol pump price.
If Lai Mohammed knew Ni­geria was broke, why would he need N13 million just to at­tend a non-remarkable con­ference? And why did the Ashiwaju not give him the sort of public whacking he administered on Kachikwu? And if now the entire admin­istration has agreed that it would take “magic” to meet Nigeria’s petrol needs without increasing its pump price and the same Headmaster Tinubu has joined in asking Nigerians to accept this new burden as it was inevitable without magic, why has he not apologized to Kachikwu? Why?
Well, politics appears to be thicker than nationalism!

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