BY YOHANNAH BAKUT
Sir, I am strongly compelled by recent developments at the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), particularly the recent appointment of Dr. Babatunde Victor Adeniran as Group Executive Director, (Commercial & Investment) of NNPC, to write you.
Ordinarily, in seasons such as we are today where government is in dire need of people of like minds; true prefects of their classes with unassailable character and hallowed pedigree to reposition NNPC as well as the nation at large, a private letter would have been ideal but because as the saying goes, when a well-behaved child returns home with double honours, it is no longer his immediate family members that celebrate but the entire community. Therefore, to me, celebrating this great step in the right direction as exemplified in Dr Adeniran’s appointment would not be properly captured in a private letter hence an open letter has become inevitable.
But more than anything else, an open letter would expose the antics of mischief makers, as well as ensure that they are put in check or better still, confined to the waste bin where they rightly belong. Conversely, too, as NNPC begins a fresh start at recovery driven by competence and experience translated into putting as they say, round pegs in round holes such positive moves would be applauded to further deepen the ongoing re-organization. Never forget sir that the subject matter of the NNPC borders on national concern as opposed to personal interest that can only be handled in the open since it affects every citizen of Nigeria.
Yet I must sincerely apologize for forcing my way to your table, particularly as I am in the know of the enormous responsibilities before you – personal, professional and national – deserving equal attention in the face of very limited time. Sir, beyond commending you for taking a bold step defined by Dr Adeniran’s appointment, this letter also aims at drawing your attention to the seeming well-orchestrated and scripted campaign of calumny against his person by some individuals and disgruntled groups, which mean no good for the corporation and the nation at large, especially the faceless organization known as Civil Society Network Against Corruption (CSNAC).
While everyone has a right to his or her opinion in a democratic government such as ours, it touches on record patriotic poverty and disdainful absurdity to place personal interest far and above national interest. All over the world today, visionary leaders with thirst for excellence run with their First Eleven and never with a Reserve Team, much less, a Feeder Team, which undoubtedly, is what CSNAC, a strange and alien organization, is suggesting by their ill-advised media campaigns against Dr Adeniran. Or, how else would one interpret the fact that an organization without history could suddenly wake up from the blues to advertise desperation for cheap attention as well as present self-serving negative campaigns to Nigerians as if they were in national interest. This, sir, combined among others, to make this open letter inevitable.
Sir, in times like ours where people of rogue minds easily dissolve into groups for selfish as opposed to general good, one can only be suspicious of CSNAC and treat its moves with a pinch of salt in order to avoid walking into booby traps eyes wide open. While intrigues and counter intrigues, blackmail and name-calling are normal in all fledgling democracies, it smacks of narrow-mindedness taken to a ridiculous height, to unjustly impugn on the integrity and character of a man whose career records are unassailable and meet the standard First Eleven required to turnaround the NNPC for national good.
At the risk of sounding patronizing, sir, I recall the enormous contributions of Dr Adeniran as Senior Technical Adviser on Oil and Gas Commercial, to Total E & P Nigeria Limited spanning over 22 years. While as humans, we may have our shortcomings, there is no doubt that the NNPC and the nation would need this massive experience in its repositioning drive. Therefore, for all well-meaning Nigerians, what matters most is national interest and positive result than recourse to negative tendencies that deprive the nation of the services of high-potent professionals as Dr Adeniran.
Unfortunately, everybody cannot think in the same way as exemplified by CSNAC’s ill-advised and mischievous campaign borne out of inordinate attraction to the filthy lucre of politics and lack of patriotism. Interestingly, Nigerians are in the know of moves like the CSNAC’s always deceptively dressed in the toga of uprightness while it is actually base greed and ego massage aimed at attacking common ideals.
Sir, there is no gain emphasizing fact that Nigerians are looking up to you to provide leadership in this critical time, but more than anything else, to be responsible for your decisions since at the end of it all the buck stops on your table.
I, therefore, enjoin you to follow your conviction, stand your grounds and insist on working with the First Eleven of proven, tested and excellence-driven persons, including Dr Adeniran so they can provide a strong pillar of support in your drive to reposition NNPC for optimal performance and accountability. And, as you do this, you must strongly resist distractions and ignore such self-serving groups like CSNAC that would in the character of sponsored groups still turn 90 degrees to call you names in time of challenge.
Finally, Sir, always remember that Nigerians are with you in prayers knowing your vision and passionate desire to contribute your own quota towards achieving a dream Nigeria where hard work, excellence, probity, fairness, accountability and justice reign. This is defined by the celebration that followed your appointment as NNPC group Managing Director
So, you can see that this is not your battle alone. Let paid propagandists perform their trade, but let good reason prevail. For, in all things, the God who made the change possible by approving your appointment will fight for you and against those who want to keep NNPC and Nigeria down for selfish reasons. Thank you for your time and may God continue to be with you.
Yohannah Bakut writes from Kaduna
BY YOHANNAH BAKUT