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DORA AKUNYILI SHOULD PROPERLY APOLOGISE TO SOLUDO

By: Law Mefor

 Published August  12th, 2010

One cannot agree less with the position advised in a press statement by the  Con-Soludation Team Int’l, a group of professionals who believe in the philosophy and leadership  qualities of Professor Chukwuma C. Soludo. Professor Dora Akunyili, honourable minister of Information and Communication should properly apologize to Soludo over the insults the former heaped on him for the better part of the month July.

The paroxysms of Dora Akunyili against Soludo are indeed a classical case of misplaced aggression that has to be properly resolved. In what appeared to be a tacit apology from the honourable minster, she claimed she has fired  her Senior Special Assistant Media, Mazi Obi Adindu and sent her Media Assistant, Mr. Julius Ogunro, on suspension over what she described as unauthorized response to Professor Chukwuma Soludo. This action, though apologetic and reconciliatory on the face value, still falls short of what is expected in the circumstance for the unprovoked vitriolic herself and her hired hands had unleashed on Soludo. Dora Akunyili has to properly apologize to put the matter to rest once and for all.

For a fact, certain things are better denied further access to publicity for their shameful nature and the said emotional outbursts of Professor Dora Akunyili, is one clear example. The fact that Professor Soludo has chosen to keep dignified silence and bear the assaults with uncomplaining fortitude does not in any way mean he has taken the puddles hauled at him by his kinswoman for nothing.

For a recap, Dora’s senior sister, whose daughter happens to be Soludo’s wife, with whom she was not in talking terms took ill and was bedridden for long and finally died as a result in a London hospital. All the while, Soludo strengthened the wife and stood by her family in the tragic moments as they fought for the good woman to live till the very end. He was also there for them in giving her befitting burial.

In all this Dora Akunyili who popularly describes herself as ‘humanist’, never showed up or as much as put in a phone call to see how the dying sister was doing; nor asked how the burial would take place, to say nothing of making inputs in the burial arrangements. For the avoidance of doubt, in an open letter to Dora Akunyili, the late woman’s son Engr. Emeka Ezenwanne, accused Dora of setting  up a parallel burial reception next to their compound, which the family had no choice than to dismantle for being abominable.

In other words, Professor Soludo had no hand in the matter since the bereaved woman’s children have since claimed responsibility and Dora has proof implicating Soludo in any way. This is the base for the apology Dora should render to Soludo. 

Also of significance is that Akunyili carried the enmity with her own blood sister unto death and after. This remained a family matter until she brought it into the public domain with her brazen conduct at the burial programme where she came up with the bizarre parallel reception arrangement designed for mere cheap

publicity stunt. This action justifiably enraged the woman’s family and the youths of the town and they took steps to dismantle it despite the onslaughts from the police and army. The brutality they suffered as a consequence in itself was said to be unprecedented.

After this, Dora accused Soludo in a press statement of arranging thugs to harass and embarrass her and her guests. In the said statement, she even alleged her guests received threat text messages. One wonders how thugs got phone numbers of her VIP guests to send them threat texts.

In the said statement was also her rather naïve claim that Professor Soludo holds grudges against her for her antiparty activities in the Anambra guber election last February. She and her aides became even more reckless by bringing the late president Umaru Yar’Adua into it and by attempting to pour scorn on and downgrade the first class reforms that Soludo carried out in the nation’s economy, especially in the banking sector as CBN governor.

In this her pseudo press statement she also alleged that Soludo wanted to be governor to evade prosecution. One wanders how such nonsense makes sense even to her professorial self when the man has walked the streets for 2 years now.

One  important thing  stood starkly out in this rash of releases against Soludo: Dora Akunyili inadvertently admitted her antiparty activities during the Anambra guber polls and rationalized it as necessary  in order to save Anambra state from what they saw as disastrous implications of ‘Con-Soludation’ should she allow Professor Soludo to become the governor of Anambra state. Such impetuosity is unfortunate and the height of impunity for one occupying a central leadership position of a nation’s federal cabinet. 

She has indeed offended civility and her office as an officer of the government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria by dancing naked in the marketplace. More importantly, what she has done in the so-called show of remorse still smacks of politics and deception. Many even say checks can confirm that the so-called aides she claims she relieved of their duties are amorphous and therefore phantom. This also means that Dora Akunyili was at least privy to the press releases she now distances herself from after inflicting the envisaged damage on Soludo’s name, and may have actually authored it. The names as Mazi Obi Adindu and  Mr. Julius Ogunro may therefore be nothing but pseudonyms she used to embarrass Soludo. It stands to reason because the faceless men are at best, existing in her fringes and worse still, may not exist at all.  If this is true as alleged, then, it is sad and bad indeed.

Come to think of it,  Professor Soludo even by proxy has never directly or  indirectly accused Dora Akunyili anywhere of upstaging him or aspiring to be governor or manipulating the process to be selected as the PDP consensus candidate for the ill-fated guber election, though she has now  admitted same in the press statement  she made through her aides. 

It should be granted that Dora has the right to aspire  to be anything but many think she has now formed the habit of riding the Tiger and she may end up in its belly as many did.

The strong woman may have been under enormous pressure for her conduct at the sister's burial and afterwards. She should expect the anger being expressed in some quarters  because those who procure ant-infested firewood can never escape the visit of lizards.  

The allegation that Dora Akunyili was more interested in making political gain out of her sister’s death and burial rather than contributing positively in making the burial hitch-free is indeed heavy. The deceased sister’s son, Con-Soludation Team Int’l and Soludo’s media aide maintain she would not miss her deceased sister sorely, since she never visited her when she was bedridden both in Nigeria and London with all the ample opportunities to do so. 

The allegations and innuendoes she heaped on Professor Chukwuma Soludo in her various press statements are unsubstantiated and unwarranted as she is not in any contest with Soludo. Professor Akunyili is a public servant and the image maker of Nigeria, the largest black nation on earth and should comport herself in a manner that will court less controversy.

She appears to be garnering the unsavory reputation of creating enmities where there should be none. Her quarrels with the late Adedibu, late Umaru Yar’Adua’s  kitchen cabinet and branding the entire Igbo race ‘drug fakers’ during her screening for a ministerial slot in the President Jonathan cabinet without proof are some notable examples of her  conduct that courted unavoidable controversy  as a public officer.

For Dora to surround herself with those who could think and  write as crassly as the duo she purportedly sacked,  is in itself unfortunate and she should be bold enough to accept the responsibility for their irresponsible conduct in the line of due. .

Professor  Dora Akunyili was quoted as saying,  “I feel very embarrassed and saddened by this release issued by my SSA without permission from me. The release is too demeaning and I can’t talk about anybody in that manner no matter the level of provocation.”  We adjudge this halfhearted apology and categorically state that her apology to Professor Soludo should be undisguised, direct and unreserved.

This flimsy attempt to divert attention from the issues and reduce them to the mundane and politics only deepens the bad blood, which has already been noted is uncalled-for.

Many are justifiably proud to be associated with Professor Chukwuma Soludo for his celebrated uncommon courage and vision in consolidating the Nigerian Banks to the point that at least 2 of our banks, each, is bigger and better than  all the 89 Nigerian banks before the exercise put together! It is also a fact that without the successful banking sector consolidation, there would have been no bank in Nigeria following the global financial meltdown.

The Professor/honourable minister of information should therefore tender unreserved apology to Professor Chukwuma Soludo for the embarrassment he suffered, undeserved, in her hands in the last weeks and take further steps to mend fences with the man she once called ‘Charlie Banyi’ (my own) and work generally for peace in Anambra state and the nation, Nigeria.

 

·        Law Mefor, an author and journalist, is Director, Centre for Leadership and Social Research, Abuja. 234-803-787-2893;  e-mail: lawmefor@yahoo.com




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