Dr Okonjo-Iweala: A leader Worth Emulating

By Uzoma Ngozi

The direction of Nigeria’s socio-political environment saddens my heart. Politicians from all sides have decided to adopt a destructive political system that is inimical to the progress of the country.

Hardly can one identify in our political system a genuine technocrat.

Among the so-called politicians, it is very difficult to identify those genuinely interested in Nigeria. Everyone seems concerned in what comes to their pocket at the expense of the citizen. This is the reason when people with genuine intentions are identified, they should be celebrated and not crucified.

Although, celebrating them has become a challenge in the country because destructive criticism, partisan politics and godfatherism are major challenges that have made it difficult for the dissemination of real facts about these set of people.

One woman that has been destructively criticised in the system is Dr Ngozi Okonjo Iweala. This courageous woman of substance, who stands for the right values has been criticised by partisan politicians and political godfathers who in one time or the other had to be stopped in their conduct of sharp and corrupt practices.

When the country was faced with huge challenges during her time as Cordinating Minister of the economy in the last administration, Okonjo Iweala positioned Nigeria by helping her build her capacity which empowered the country to initiate appropriate fiscal and monetary strategies which was used to contend with the crisis and the potential risks.

As a thoroughbred technocrat, she made sure that the government considered sundry fiscal measures, including setting a target of increasing the non-oil revenues at about N480 billion which was actualised within three years as well as introducing tax reliefs for capital market operators to mitigate the negative effect of the dwindling earnings from oil exports on the macro economy. Her effort was not left unrecognised by the international community as she kept bagging awards upon awards.

Partisan politicians and godfathers, however, constantly created controversies and problems, to make Nigerians doubt the credibility of genuine technocrats like Okonjo Iweala so that she could be pressured to resign.

They tried to discourage her from national service with propaganda after another.

I am yet to see some facts and evidence put forward against Okonjo Iweala. All I see are people I call political desperados who will stop at nothing until they see that they have destroyed the reputation of this innocent woman.

If you recall, you will remember what these political desperados did in 2012 just to discourage madam Okonjo from rendering her service to the nation. She stopped them from raiding the treasurer through phantom payment of subsidy.

So what did they do? They kidnapped her mother Prof. Kamene Okonjo. The 82-year-old retired professor of sociology at the University of Nigeria was then released six days after the kidnap.

This was all in a bid to discourage madam Okonjo from her service to her father land. One of the major demands of the kidnappers was that Madam Okonjo should resign from her ministerial position but she did not succumb.

Then came the battle from state governors to forcibly share the Excess Crude Account which was resisted by Okonjo Iweala who constantly call attention to the need for Nigerians to save for the raining day.

If not for her doggedness and fight against the pressure from state governors, who knows whether the Excess Crude Account would have been emptied by now.

Now that Okonjo Iweala is out of government, why are some detractors still after her? After all they promised Nigerians change, so they should go ahead and implement their change without lying to Nigerians.

It will interest you to know that while they keep propagating lies against this woman of substance, Madam Okonjo-Iweala keeps bagging more awards. She was recently named along with other 4 influential and powerful women in the 2016 Power with Purpose award.

The prestigious award recognises outstanding and influential women with leadership focus who have helped in engineering recognisable change in their community and the world. Madam Iweala keeps getting the awards as a result of hard work while her critics are barely known beyond their criticism corners.

Uzoma Ngozi is an entrepreneur and a social commentator who resides in Lagos. Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/uzoma.ngozi.52

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