Assault On Free Speech Continues, As Okonjo-Iweala Masterminds Sacking of NEMA Image Maker

By SaharaReporters, New York

Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, widely regarded as Nigeria’s “Prime Minister” on account of her complex portfolios in the Goodluck Jonathan cabinet, has engineered the sacking of Yushaib Shuaib, the spokesman of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA).

Shuaib is said to have angered the minister in an article he wrote recently in which he was said to have unraveled the shady deals of the Minister and some illicit activities at the Federal Inland Revenue (FIR).

Following the publication of the article, Okonjo-Iweala, the Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy, is said to have mounted pressures for Shuaib to be sacked or redeployed to another agency outside Abuja.  She went above the Vice-President, who supervises NEMA, to issue orders to the Minister of Information, Labaran Maku, to remove Shuaib.

A source in the Presidency said Shuaib came under pressure to tender an unreserved apology, but that he vehemently rejected them.  He was said to have insisted, on grounds of principle, that anyone who disagreed with his account of the way the Minister is overseeing the activities of the FIR should pen a rebuttal.

The Article that got Shuaib fired:
Still On Okonjo-Iweala Over Controversial Appointments By Yushau A. Shuaib
Posted: March 5, 2013 - 09:22

By By Yushau A. Shuaib
I still wonder how the Coordinating Minister for the Economy and the Honourable Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo Iweala is in the eye of the storm. Her grandiose title is not a mere tautology as some people will assume. Being the first holder of that title in Nigeria’s history, her position could be seen as equivalent to Prime Minister, which gave her the mandate to oversee and superintend over every other ministry, department and agency of government including their budgetary allocations and revenue expenditures. She is invariably the next most powerful cabinet member after President Jonathan and Vice President Namadi Sambo.

 
In the last ten years, this writer is one of her ardent admirers who is impressed by her academic accomplishments and enviable working experiences on the international scene including her contributions to Nigeria’s economic development after her appointment as the first female  Finance Minister and later first female Foreign Affairs Minister by President Olusegun Obasanjo in 2003 and 2006. Though she left the administration unceremoniously over personal issues, her tenure then was a success story.
 
One of the major reasons some of us believe strongly in ability of Dr. Ngozi Okonjo Iweala was the way and manner she carried major players both from the North and the South along while she were Minister of Finance between 2003 to 2006. She were never accused of discrimination or bias against any of the diverse groups of the ethnically charged and religiously polarized nation.  The same will be said of her then principal, Olusegun Obasanjo who, despite some of his shortcomings will never be accused of tribalism. He is a detribalized leader and a nationalist to the core who believe strongly in the Nigeria project.
 
The choice of her nominees into top public appointments and even the composition of her associates cut across every segment of Nigeria including those in her Economic Team like Nasir Elrufai, Nuhu Ribadu, Bode Agusto, Dr. Mansur Mukhtar and Chukwuma Soludo among others.
 
Her achievements too were glaring. We recall that in 2005 she led Nigeria to striking a deal with the Paris Club, a group of bilateral creditors, to pay a portion of Nigeria's external debt amounting US $12 billion in return for an $18 billion debt write-off.  
 
She ensured transparency in monthly federation account allocation by the introduction of monthly publication of the disbursements in selected media. She was instrumental to helping Nigeria obtain its first ever sovereign credit rating (of BB minus) from an international ratings agency. Even when she left the government in 2006, her nongovernmental organisation, NOI Global Consulting, partnered with the Gallup Organization to introduce what may be described as the first credible opinion poll, the NOI poll, into the Nigerian polity.
 
With these at the background, it was not surprising that when she were reappointed by President Jonathan as Finance Minister and when she were shortlisted for the post of President of the World Bank in 2012, she received overwhelming support from all Nigerians. An online publication even claimed that some Northern Mallams were praying for her success in the mosques. Everyone at that period believed that she were a detribalized Nigerian with real-world experience of policy-making.
 
The reason for writing this write-up is to alert her to some disturbing trends as regards some recent appointments into top public offices in Nigeria in view of their economic and political implications. As the most powerful minister and an Igbo Princess from the Niger Delta by virtue of being a daughter of Obi of Ogwashi-Uku community in Delta State, I believe she should continue to live above board.
 
Recently the Yoruba Unity Forum (YUF) made some disturbing allegations of ethnic cleansing of Yoruba in federal appointments by the administration of President Goodluck Jonathan. Wife of the sage, Chief HID Awolowo and the retired Bishop of Akure, Rt. Rev. Bolanle Gbonigi in Ikenne Ogun State after the meeting of the forum accused the administration of systematically excluding the Yoruba nation from the federation in terms of appointments without justification. They called on the government to redress the “systematic discrimination” against the Yoruba nationality in federal appointive positions without delay, saying that the Yoruba have been getting “crumbs” from the administration.
 
No sooner than the Yoruba allegation was made that the Northern Senators Forum (NSF) also publicly lamented gaping marginalization against the North over appointments and promotions in the military. According to these distinguished Nigerians, there are lopsidedness in employment and postings in the Nigerian Army in favour of the Igbos, which is clearly in the breach of the principle of Federal Character.
 
She should be aware that many Nigerians are referring to a book, 'Chinua Achebe Teacher of Light' which she co-authored where she expressed bitterness about how her tribe was dealt with before, during and after the civil war and insinuating that now that she is in authority, she is determined to correct all that she perceived as injustice against her people. Some even insist that what she is doing now is promoting regional and ethnic agenda to the detriment of other groupings in Nigeria by manipulating appointments.
 
To drive the point home, her name has been lately mentioned as collaborating with another Igbo top ranking appointee in government to ensure the reinstallation of Ms Arunma Oteh as Director General of Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) despite the glaring allegations against her and consistent calls by the National Assembly for her removal. Okonjo-Iweala stood her ground, damning all and today, Oteh remains in the position.
 
While the debate on Oteh's saga was yet to subside, a coalition of youths, led by human rights activist and President of Civil Rights Congress, Shehu Sani, queried the rationale behind the appointment of a new Chairman for the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) when a northerner, Kabir Mashi was already in the position and improving the revenue base of the agency, especially VAT collection for the Federation Account. Under Mashi FIRS has continued to record steady increases in the collection of taxes that it closed the 2012 financial year with a total collection of N5 trillion where N1.8 trillion (36.07 per cent) came from non-oil taxes.

The group claimed that the committee that Okonjo-Iweala set up was a smokescreen just to give a semblance of due process and fairness whereas it was populated mainly by her Igbo kinsmen. They added that “We don’t believe there is transparency in the process, and we caution the President against the excessive ceding of his own power to the finance minister.”
 
They publicly criticized her of playing an ethnic game with many of the appointments made in the country since she returned to the saddle. Some of the other positions, they alleged, which were created and filled during this period include those of Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON), Sovereign Wealth Fund, Nigeria Communication Commission (NCC) and even the recent appointment of a 40 year old lady as Director General of National Pension Commission (PENCOM).
 
People are wondering at the coincidence of only Igbos beating every other person at competitive interviews conducted by her nominated international consulting groups. The only semblance of federal character principle in some of those institutions is the appointment of ceremonious but temporary chairmen who are merely figure-heads, with mandates for mere advisory roles.
 
The use of catchy phrases such as "best brains," “foreign trained,” and “foreign-based” to deprived qualified, competent and experienced Nigerians to aspire to top positions is quite inimical to the progress of our nation. The erroneous impression that some competitive and sensitive positions can only be filled by unique intelligent tribes must be corrected.
 
Experiences have shown that in practical situations, some so-called foreign trained and bookish first class graduates could not do better than other Nigerians who have the competence and experience to prove their worth in most difficulty terrains.
 
Dr. Okonjo-Iweala should also note that blatant disregard to the sensitivities and sensibilities of others while arrogantly promoting only people from her tribe may expose them to hatred with potentially explosive consequences such as those experienced in the 1960s when most federal positions were occupied by a particular tribal group.
 
For those of us who still respect the Hon Minister of Finance and Economic Development, we strongly believe she should dissociate herself from current allegations of ‘biafranization’ of top public offices in Nigeria. We are in democratic government where policy issues should not be done in dictatorial manner of ‘we-are-now-in-power’.
 
I therefore urge her to ensure that appointments into important positions should be done in credible and transparent manners that can withstand public scrutiny. I believe strongly that only those that mean well will dare to tell the truth on the general feeling in the country.

 
Yushau A. Shuaib
yashuaib@yahoo.com
 
 

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Assault On Free Speech

Assault On Free Speech Continues, As Okonjo-Iweala Masterminds Sacking of NEMA Image Maker

First, let me say that I am disappointed that SaharaReporters published this story under the above headline.
Mr. Yushau A. Shuaib irrespective of his unfounded claims ENGAGED IN CONDUCT UNBECOMING OF A CIVIL SERVANT IN NIGERIA - A DISMISSABLE OFFENCE.
I think he is very lucky to get away with a SACK.
Lastly, this write-up was a very disingenuous effort by Mr Shuaib and his pay masters to tarnish the good name & reputation of the Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo Iweala.

TZLAR

Tuesday, June 4
[url=http://www.jpwatchago.tk/RobertaScarpa%20%E3%83%AD%E3%83%99%E3%83%AB%E3%82%BF%E3%82%B9%E3%82%AB%E3%83%AB%E3%83%91%20%E8%85%95%E6%99%82%E8%A8%88-162/]ロベルタスカルパ 時計[/url]
ロベルタスカルパ 時計

Chosen Tribe

Igbos are Nigeria problem. They are too tribalistc and domineering. Go to any prison in this universe you will find an Igbo man or woman there. Go to your Biafra banana republic, we don't need you anymore in Nigeria.

Re-Assault On Freedom of Information

Just to correct the wrong notion on reportorial line for Shuaib- every press officer in the federal service is under the information minister and subject to posting and recall. Vice President Sambo has no business with a press officer.
He can therefore, be posted anywhere within or outside Abuja.
If we take a conscious note of postings in this country, many northerners will lose their jobs because they occupy seats for other zones against the federal character principle. Leave Okonjo-Iweala alone!
Constance Meju

What is it about the Igbos?

What is it about the Igbos? They are no exceptional being and the Ngozi you are talking about is just an opportunist. You being a PHD holder does not make you either a leader or good manager. A man has made an allegation, instead of you to seek clarification and investigate, you are busy playing tribal sentiment. DR Ngozi or what ever you call her is a discredited professional considering her role in subsidy saga

Time will tell

Enough of this brouhaha about Okonjo Iweala , I will like to know her qualification to serve Nigeria,
I mean her moral justification , did she ever partake in the national youth service ?
We are still suffering from her Benetton/imf backed debt payment package. Nigeria is the only nation in the world that paid her debt
and there was no strengthening of the currency.

Prosperity will judge her, she was a major minister in the failing government of GEJ and there will be no excuse on her part in the future.
I will not await another after my service best seller like El-rufai.
Until she comes out to exonerate herself I will like to believe all this insinuation about her personality to be true.

CALCULATED ATTEMPT

Any PR consultant worth his/her salt should know that when you make public statements particularly of a political nature that your employers might disagree with; that he/she is wandering in "the wilderness of the fatherless" and that they will be disowned.

I think while his write up might have been offessive to the honourable minister, I doubt if she had anything to do with his sacking.

I think Yushau A. Shuaib knows what he is doing. The write up could have been intentional, written to "show his colour" to certain people he probably intends to "re-allign" with. This is his new CV.

Now he has been sacked lets watch and listen to his pronouncements and appointments from now on.

I predict that very soon his star would start shining brighter for the reason of this his write up.

re:lets face the fact

Hi Dr. Chris, you fall into the same hole as Yushau A. Shuaib by not substatiating your claim of domination of FCDA by northern muslims by a credible source yet you want Yushau A. Shuaib to publish the names of MDs of failed governmet companies. Perhaps you should have written a rejoinder that will give you more space to show your research prowess.

HABA

Having read the above piece on Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala by Yushau A. Shuaib and a lot of the responses, I cannot but say that the writer's unsubstatiated claims lacks veracity and therefore should be seen as a mischivious attempt to soil the honourable minister's image.

it is also very painful to read how deeply ethnic centered we still are judging by your responses to the article.

@ Folorunsho

Folorunsho or whatever you call yourself should be banned from making comments on net. Your write-ups are always full of wrong tenses. Go get yourself registered in any of the night schools for adult literacy in your neighbourhood and learn to write correct sentences. At worst let your friend Shauib teach you the little he knows. You come to his defence when you are illiterate. You should start from 'a' for apple. Olodo!

@ Shuaib

Dear Shuaib, you have only shown your level of ignorance and irresponsibility. How dare you write this kind of rubbish against a government you are part of and expect not to be fired.
That is a clear indication that you were not qualified to occupy the position in the first place. Secondly you forgot it is no more time of impunity when ignoramuses like you held sway. I suspect you knew you will be relieved of your position for incompetence and invited attention to yourself by your write up. Well now that you have been fired go home and learn the civil service rules and reapply. Mumu!

Yushan A. Shanib should thank "one Nigeria" That's all

If not because of useless “one nijiria” will this least productive, quota system, basic studies mallam that has NEVER passed any standardized examination in his life ever sit in the same room with Ngozi. Not a chance. This guy is dumbing people like Ngozi down and making everybody less productive. You have chosen to lie and you are fired. You can’t mess around with Ngozi. If you are serious, demand for investigation into ALL federal establishments and publish them here for all to see. Igbos are not afraid of competition and every Nigeria knows that. Go to USA, check out MBA, NFL, Soccer etc.; Ngozi did not put those Igbo boys and girls there. Thank your one nijira.

The Sacking

Oh, ok...having read his article, I now see why the brother was sacked.

@ Oleku, I really pray that

@ Oleku, I really pray that Ndigbo should get that Biafran State. You know why? That is when your suffering will start. Then , you will know that it takes more than prosperity (the love of money as in the case of the Igbos) to keep a country together. Then, you will also realise that you have no leaders. Ode! As much as I would have loved the Igbos, some of you are so tribalistic! You all need to get over your complex that makes you see everything from a tribalistic point of view.

NOI the over rated tribal champion......

Okonjo was always a Prima donna that is looking to undermine colleagues and take over turf.

http://www.leadership.ng/nga/articles/47545/2013/02/12/why_okonjoiweala_...

She was micro managed by OBJ and later relieved of the Finance ministry. I have met her and found her to be vacuous and self absorbed.

"incompetence" should be fired across the board

Anyone who cannot do their job should be fired immediately. That is how serious countries operate, and Nigeria is not allergic to demands for performance. That said, majority of the "dumbos" in strategic positions in the country should not have even been there in the first place, talkless of allowing them to continue especially looking at what their gross incompetence and negligence has caused the country. And this include folks like Jonathan, 98% of ministers, 98% of National Assembly members, 99% of Governors, 99.999999% of respective states' National Assemblies and local government council. They all need to go, and that should happen right away, in the company of Yushaib Shuaib. Again, our "it is my turn to chop" structure of government should be rejected, as the consequences are what we see in Nigeria today - Boko Haram, armed robbery, kidnapping, and stealing across the land. Yushaib Shuaib, please go home and try some other career.

Merit or Quota System

Let Nigeria carry out census in the civil service and let us see who is marginalized, Is it Igbos that caused the lopsidedness?. For the love of country, should we follow the path of merit or the quota system that has rendered this nation a laughing stock. I am not Igbo but the truth is that The Igbos are a tribe that deprive themselves to achieve goals. If we allow merit the Igbos would always do well. It is a bitter truth we do not want to accept.

We have a serious problem in

We have a serious problem in this country, if young people like Shaibu are spewing up such tribal statements. It meaans no progress has been made after 100 years of co-existence. It is sad that he still views Nigeria as conquered territory where spoils of war are shared routinely amongst the conquerors - North, east, south and west. The tragedy of it all continues to haunt and dimnish us.

Please Shuaibu, I beg you in the name of God to stop promoting ethnic hatred and start looking at things from the standpoint of development. Say no to mediocrity and a resounding yes in having the brightest and bestest superintend over our economic growth.

Ethnic palavar

I hope your intention is not to stir the gullible hearts of Nigerians towards anger and violence. Tribal issues are very delicate topics in this part of the world. Ngozi worked so well with Obasanjo that the slightest insinuation that she is biased about tribe makes me wonder if this is not a sponsored article.

Sahara reporters... you

Sahara reporters... you people always have something negative to say about Ngozi.

gele = handbag

people should not deceive by her ridiculous appearance and boring way of speaking. beneath all the funny headgears of raggedy abada, this bloated woman is double agent of US financial industry. OBJ first imposed her as "controlling minister", and now she runs jona show while her "oga at the bottom" struggles how to keep the PDP boys in line for third term.

NOI has disclosed to cristina ama-na-pour that abuja wants "out" of electricity business. it makes sense, seeing the big opportunities for failure and embezzlement when government privatized supply of PMS petrol. just like mrs. thatcher destroyed british rail with corrupt privatization also. gele equals to handbag.

neoliberals like thatcher and NOI will not rest until everyone on earth is either a billionaire or pauper.

MARGINALISATION, TRIBALISM,

MARGINALISATION, TRIBALISM, MAN NO MAN, NMAMADU, MY PERSON...ETC

Are these issues supposed to be at the front burner in a nation that wants to be among the best in 2020? The answer is No.

If Okonjo Iweala likes let her fill the place with her kinsmen (women?). If shuaib likes, let him talk about marginalisation as if his "own people" (norther muslim?) are saint and not practising same.

In the end IT IS 6 FEET. Some don't even get the honour of been covered properly while some have massive concrete slab thrown over them as if the living are saying "may you never come this way again"

Naija

Integrity my foot you are a finance minister over the most corrupt govt in nigeria you are talking of integrity nonsense

You are absolutely wrong on

You are absolutely wrong on your allegation against the CBN governor Sanusi Lamido, that is the one i am interested in, I am an igbo,ethnicism apart the truth is, the present CBN governor has done more to sanitize the economy than any past CBN helmsmen including Soludo. This is a man who ensured that banks stopped the hideous crime of deceiving and defrauding depositors by posting imaginary paper profits, a fraud that was shielded under Soludo's regime.Now you can go the ATM centres and withdraw as much as you like without being charged a dime under whose leadership was this implemented? We should check our facts before going public and not be blinded by ethnicism.

Igbos be proud wherever you

Igbos be proud wherever you are...we are a chosen Race just like the jews. Why won't Nigeria hate us? The world also hated the jews...Remember they seized our properties by tagging it 'abandon' and gave us only 20£ after the war but today we have multiplied it into billions of pounds with our hardwork and resilience. Other crawl and beg for food from us. Why won't they hate us?. Nobody likes you when you prosper more than them but nobody can stop us not even suicide bombers, closing of our businesses in the guise of sanitary enforcement or any gov't policy. Whom God has blessed no man can curse. Ndigbo be proud of yourselves and get ready for the actualisation of the soveireign state of the Biafran nation. Goodbye Nigeria!

Shuaib

This Shuaib is simply paranoid and should be examined by ten psychiatrists. The man is crying wolf when there is none. May your road be rough for insulting a respected Biafran in the person of Okonjo-Iweala who has shown ability, capability, agility, transparency competence and utmost credibility. You even deserve worse than sacking. Fool. Son of a harlot.

Okonjo-Iweala - A bubble waiting to burst

I read the article when it was first published but didn't attach any significance to it. It was so harmless that I thought it was sponsored by the Minister's image makers.As for me, Mrs Okonjo-Iweala is a bubble waiting to burst. When a public officer start appointing only people from her clan to key positions, you know she has things to hide. Her unusual reaction to this apparently harmless letter is a pointer to this. Time will tell.

But my question is: whom do we trust? We value Nigeria-born foreign trained experts but here is a former MD of the world bank who is yet to rise above ethnic chauvinism. CEO,Nigeria Stock Exchange; MD, Securities & Exchange Commission; Minister of Finance; MD of Nigeria Sovereign Wealth, Chairman FIRS are all Igbos. Suppose the next government decide to do justice by removing this people, an accusation of ethnic cleansing will rent the air.

A wimpy president vs sleazy, tired and over-rated Okonjo-Iweala

I have said it before and will repeat it here: The Igbos, starting with the tired, sleazy and over-rated Okonjo-Iweala are taking advantage of the wimpy and spineless Jonathan to pervert and corrupt the federal civil service structure in Nigeria, amongst other inequities. Most of our minorities in the Niger Delta are sidelined in favour of 'Biafrans' in key appointments. If our weak bro Jonathan thinks that by foolishly allowing Igbos to corner strategic jobs, they would continue to rig elections for him like they did in 2011, he is gravely mistaken. In 2015, Nigerians, starting with us true Deltans, will NEVER allow any evil-minded elements to rig elections and get away with it. Igbos should abandon their undemocratic tendencies and join progressives and stop supporting all manner of illegalities, scams and evil.

STOP ALL THESE RIDICULOUS ARTICLES....2

This is a woman that ensured transparency in the monthly federation account allocation by the introduction of monthly publication of the disbursements in selected media. She helped Nigeria debt relief for Nigeria from the famous Paris Club.
So we can understand it when bigots like Yushau A. Shuaib try to defame her and label with allegations that is not confirmed.
Oh kudos to SR for a job well done in their ridiculous job of trying to discredit famous public officials that ought to be praised for their good deeds.

STOP ALL THESE RIDICULOUS ARTICLES....1

What is it that SR mean by assault on free speeches? There are speeches that inflicts harm on the images of a human being and in the same vein they are libelous. Going through this article i can authoritatively say that this speech doesn't deserve freedom.
Dr. Ngozi Okonjo Iweala has made Nigeria proud and her achievements are so glaring and in the midst of all these she has never been accused by anybody of being bias and unprofessional rather many people admire her because of her professionalism nd detribalized leadership.
Evidence shows that her choice of nominees for top public appointments has cut across all
ethnic cleavages.

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