July 19, 2018

What’s all the fuss about Kachikwu’s letter – Niran Adedokun

What’s all the fuss about Kachikwu’s letter – Niran Adedokun

Abeg, I am tired of Nigerians and their drama.

Okay, so a letter written by Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, to his senior minister and President of Nigeria, President Muhammadu Buhari got leaked last week and we started to fall over ourselves in excitement.

In the letter,  Kachikwu accused Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, Dr. Maikanti Baru, of insubordination, illegality and what have you.

What I fail to understand is what Nigeria is likely to gain from the ridiculous situation playing out around the nation’s cash cow- the NNPC.

Beyond an attempt for Kachikwu to save face and call out a subordinate who, possibly with the support of some more powerful, forces has decided to routinely malign him, what else is there?

Although we have heard all sorts of narratives trying to blur the lines of clarity from sympathizers on both sides of the divide, I do not understand why any of these surprises the junior minister.

At a time, not too long ago, he wasthe most powerful man in the oil and gas sector in Nigeria. From the professional point of view, it seems that a lot of people think he used the opportunity to the advantage of the country but then, Kachikwu had his time.

He was taken out of  the NNPC and made junior minister, to assist a minister who is also president. So even if they made himchair of the board, he should have realised that he is only a delegate of the president in that position. To make the matter worse, this same board that the junior minister insists he is chair of has the compliment of Mallam Abba Kyari, a man who is believed to be one of the most powerful people in the country currently in his capacity as chief of staff to the President cum Minister of Petroleum Resources, yet Kachikwu thinks he is in any position to complain?  The forces dealing with Kachikwu are obviously more powerful than himself and Baru, the man he is telling on.

What tires me about people, especially Nigerians, is that they do not seem to know how to stop dancing when the music has stopped. The Honourable Minister of State should have seen the handwriting on the wall to the effect that he had been promoted out of relevance  since he was removed from the NNPC and moved on to something more profitable for him.

I understand that line about wanting to give their lives to bring sanity to Nigeria but is there really any semblance of sanity in this sector two years on?

Are the refineries now functional as we were promised? Has the era of subsidy regimes gone with the past as we were told it would? With all he said to the President in the letter that was systematically leaked last week, can we say that the accountability that you claimed he was going to institute in the sector has become entrenched?

If the minister cannot truly say that he has achieved any of these in a sustainable way until date, hanging on to that position where he has received so much disrespect from a statutory subordinate, where it has become herculean for you to get the attention of the same President with whom he wined and dined a few months back, is ill advised, if I am allowed to say.

The only point I take away from Kachikwu’s letter and which tells of the need for urgent reconsideration is the strange fact that a junior minister does not have access to his superior for months on end. It is so bad that a letter did not even get to him until it was leaked more than four weeks after it was dispatched. Abi, no one noticed that letter was dated August 30th?

I do not think government can run well in situations where cabinet members cannot have audience with their boss as often as they need to. That is one thing needs to change, because a country will not make progress that way.

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