Fejiro Oliver

“Posterity makes the judgment. There are going to be a lot of surprises in store for everybody”

Irwin Shaw

History is the reward for those who write their names on the sands of time and leave legacies for generations unborn to recount. The best of history is that with inventions, record breakings and exceptional services to nationhood.

Prof., you will agree with me that your years of Professorship could never have placed you on the map of Bayelsa State when the first hundred names are mentioned but today, providence has placed you on the map. All thanks to the magnanimity of Senator Godswill Akpabio who recommended you to President Muhammadu Buhari to be appointed as the Acting Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC). Like they say in the street, you don blow be that.

As a Medical Doctor, you have distinguished yourself and climbed the zenith of the academic community. You have probably given life to people in the theatre as well as taken life (as legally allowed in the medical profession). Death and life you have seen in the hospitals and must have realized that life itself is vanity and utterly wasted if not used to bless humanity.

Your grace and connection did not give you this very powerful position. I have seen people who held your position become irrelevant after leaving power and I have seen people with same position climb to greater heights and still remain relevant in our polity. The choice to be either of them is yours to make.

If it was connection, your predecessor, Mrs Joi Nunieh had it. As a matter of fact, she was close to the first family. Zahra Buhari is like a goddaughter to her. Such a lady had access to the powers that be but she was consumed in her arrogance and choice of people she surrounded herself with. When I raised the issue of NYSC forgery against her, she raised army of blackmailers against me and the group that called for her sack, asking us to prove our allegations. We knew what we were doing, but with the NDDC money, she felt she will always have her ways. Today, the end has justified the means.

The same set of person(s) who she used against us are making efforts to be with you after claiming that she was the best thing to happen after bread and butter. The same people who accused Godswill Akpabio and Cairo Ojugboh of using me to raise the certificate forgery against Joi Nunieh are scheming to warm your way into your heart. Is Joi Nunieh not the messiah for NDDC that they claimed she is?

Prof. Daniel, the success of your tenure will be determined by those you surround yourself with. Like the Statue of Liberty, you must tower above everything that your predecessor allowed around her and this should start with pushing away every blackmailer and acclaimed cashtivists masquerading as activists, whose intent is to blackmail you and those around you.

Let those who stood with her then have integrity to stand with her in her trying times and not use you as a meal ticket. Let those who defended her certificate scandal be bold enough to encourage her in the Lord that all will be well. That is what true friends are meant for, not fair-weather ones, who stay with you during the rosy days but bolt away during the thorny days. It should serve as a thought to ponder about that if they could leave Joi Nunieh in less than a week to flock around you, they will also leave you the very minute you are replaced. Hustle continues.

Your two Executive Directors, Dr Cairo Ojugboh and Mr Ibanga Bassey Etang should be your General Officers Commanding and allies, not enemies as your predecessor turned them to. There is a reason why they are designated as Projects Director and Finance Director. It is not just a title but a responsibility which they must be seen to be carrying out. To sideline them is to create enmity within the board. Luckily for you, the Project Director is a Medical Doctor like you, who speaks your professional language, hence the bonding that will naturally occur. The mistake of the last administration head in seeing herself as the lord of the manor and sidelining her colleagues should be avoided by you. You are dealing with men of high political experience who have controlled millions of Naira not boys.

It is my wish that you do not only succeed in carrying out the forensic audit but succeed on time so you can leave the stage for a substantive board to take over. Your predecessor came and plotted to delay the audit in order to waste time and stay longer until she was kicked out. You already have a respected name and all that is needed is to crown it in honor and glory as the man who gave the commission a new name and handed over a clean NDDC to a new board. You can do it.

While your predecessor was disloyal to Akpabio, I do not see you as one who will silently fight his benefactor. The first law in 48 laws of power stating ‘do not outshine the master’ is well practiced in the medical profession which would have been embedded in your heart. You will recall as a young medical doctor, during ward rounds on how you remain loyal to your ‘chief’ and ‘consultant’, while carrying out your duties, which is similar to what obtains in the political sector. Let the politicians play their games while you navigate the NDDC out of the murky water of corruption that has bedeviled it over the years.

You have a date with history to either listen to sycophants that will surround you since you were appointed or listen to men of good conscience that will speak truth to you even if it hurts.  Do not in action, words or imaginations ever pull close those who saw to Joi Nunieh downfall, soaking her with lies of what is not, encouraged her while the truth was thrown at her. To do so is to prepare the way for your failure and exit. To do so is to imitate her footsteps, which I have just the words of Friedrich Schiller for you, which is “Posterity weaves no garlands for imitators”

Even the bible you read clearly warns of the little foxes that spoil the vine. The foxes are around you; chase them away, faraway that you may reign in peace. Keep them close and battle for your survival. They are the proverbial rat that will bite you and still blow the injury pretending to give you soothing relief. Be wise my dear Prof.

These little things matter…

Fejiro Oliver, an investigative journalist can be reached on +2348022050733 (SMS ONLY). He tweets with @fejirooliver86 and IG Handle @kingofqueendom

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