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OP-UNEDITED | Our President as Minister of Oil

Favour Afolabi

The worst part of the current fuel crisis is “You can’t question the Minister of Petroleum” even on the subject of “Numbers, Facts, Strategy, etc” because his lovers would say “You’re bitter because he won the elections.”

This is why oyinbo people created “separation of power” – they knew “Too much Power corrupts absolutely” – and they saw that in Politics/Leadership there would always be the time to “rest Politics for tact and development of the polity.”

So here is another debacle we are faced, the most sensitive Ministry in the Nation is being manned by a ‘Career Politician’ who also happens to be the President and No 1 Leader of the Ruling Party, so how you would ever be able to have a dispassionate, open-hearted conversation on the industry without being seen ‘to be playing Politics against him?’

Which again brings back to the fore the warnings folks like me gave against this “OBJ-styled President is Minister of Petroleum style” – the leading economist, financial scientists, businessmen, civil society voices should have spoken very loudly against this move but nowadays our polity has become a place where “Our Intellectuals would rather deafen their conscience that is enriched with a lot of exposure for political correctness” and when a move like this backfires, rather than admit it was a bad decision, they’ll still come to the public defending same on the altar of some ill-contrived reasons “why such a decision should be allowed to stand.”

They’ll labour for days in the public space defending the indefensible – they’ll concoct statistics and figures to justify such lies – publish Op-eds to try to further push these empty positions – please, in what OPEC or Non-OPEC state does the President/PM also happen to be the Minister of Petroleum? In which other nation does the No 1 Man also happen to the one in charge of the ministry or department producing the most income to that state? Even in the Emirates-nations like Saudi, UAE, Kuwait, etc, they still have Ministers of Petroleum, many who though related to the Royal Family are super-educated in IVY League Schools and are many times alunmnis of financial institutions like Goldman Sachs, Blackstone, etc and have had the requisite grounding to man these jobs; in our case “we have chosen on the path of blind celebration of an individual god in picking the most-political politician Nigerian to be the Minister of Petroleum” and while we do this, we will also expect other nations to take us seriously – we would expect investments in the oil sector that those other nations doing things the right way are competing for – then when it all comes falling flat on our faces, we’ll come back to say “it’s all the fault of PDP’s 16-year misrule!”

This is really a sad day for Nigeria – that of all of our Oloyinbo-blowing folks at home and abroad, we couldn’t get a single one of them to be the Minister of Petroleum but had to go for “the same messiah” that we picked as the President; for me, Buhari didn’t keep this job because “he wanted Transparency in the sector” because he’s done the very opposite of that rather “he kept this job for the sole purpose of POWER” and nothing more – this was his best way to expand the Powers he’s just secured – keep the Political Power, the Military Power, and Economic Power – all to yourself, welcome to the possible birthing of another “African Political Colossus” that always ends up being more relevant than the nations they lead in the scheme of things.

Congrats again to our dear Nigerians in this regard.


Favour can be contacted on Twitter via @favourafolabi


Inspired by Steve Biko’s ‘I Write What I Like‘, OP-UNEDITED is the citizen opinion segment of SIGNAL. All opinions posted on the OP-UNEDITED page are unedited and the raw opinions of the writers.

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