Okonjo-Iweala, Ibori and Oke: Good, Shame and Hope

Three people have exponentially affected Nigeria’s news burden recently: Okonjo-Iwella, Ibori and Oke. It is indeed a curious mix: Nigeria has remained before public gaze and each has contributed to the image building, destruction or hopeful appreciation of our country.

Good: Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala

One woman dared face the mirror on World Bank. If merit were the real basis of choosing the occupant of that high job, Aunty Ngozi obviously fits the shoes. However, it’s all about politics and the international ‘under- development’. The High Priest of World Bank should take care of the under-‘privileged’ nations. However, the ‘children’ of these nations should not fantasize ever becoming the high priest.

One thing stands out, NOI has significantly queried that position. If the WB’s focus is really about development, then it’s headship should reflect that. It is no longer permissible to hide under a tacit agreement between Europe and US to continually rotate the prime post of these institution. NOI has shown that were there really a level playing ground, Dr Kim will never hold that position.

And it took a Nigerian woman to do just that. For long have been burdened by the single story about Nigeria. A land of thieves, bombs and scams. Yet from this slime did a rose bloom. I do think that NOI’s candidacy outdid the ‘Re-brand Nigeria’ projects lumped together.

Shame: James Ibori

A politico-entrepreneur displays all that is not well about Nigeria. How on earth could a single individual be blinded with a viscous greed? Unfortunately it took the UK judiciary to bring Ibori to justice: what a shame! I recognize the elation of Nigerians that Ibori has been cast into jail. Nonetheless it’s a joy wrapped in grief.

I weep for my country, for a nation that has many more Ibori’s and who rampantly violated the public good. For a state where impunity is the norm, one would understand the stance of the Ibori’s of this world. Despite our endless chant of being able to govern ourselves, it took the UK to catch Ibori.

A man who it is alleged to have anointed and installed a former president of Nigeria. We have always celebrated criminals and worshiped them. Shameful, very shameful!

Hope: Oke (Ighiwoto Okeghene John)

Oke’s case is profound mix of angst and hope. That in 21st century, a young man would have lost his life to diabetics. Oke lives in a country where one man (Ibori) appropriated so much wealth to himself. In a country where there was a ping-pong between regulator and legislator about money gone amiss. This is the same country where Lagos was shut down because a dude was celebrating his birthday! Where bankers loot the funds they’ve been entrusted to safeguard. With countless NGO’s dedicated to diabetics cure and prevention..

Nonetheless, Nigerians are amazing. Asides the validity of the shift from the powerful to the power of the networked (social media): #SaveOke is a demonstration of unity. A oneness that provoked a response, that some people did rise and aided the other.

Yet in this despondency rises the singular determination of others not to give up. From this stench of depression a story of hope and redemption was created:

Nigerian Bloogers and Tweeps #SaveOke

The #SaveOke campaign was ignited by some Nigerian bloggers – spare headed by Linda Ikeji to save Oke’s life. This cyber advocacy is one more proof of the rising power of social media in Africa’s most populous country.



  1. I definitely agree on Ibori and the young chap but not on the same page with you on the issue of the presidency of the World bank. No high Priest – to use you analogy which is apt-who is worth his salt would liberalise his shrine particularly the inner chambers and entrust its headship to an outcast who is not his progeny.Characteristically,we mouthed our indignation over the issue of merits in the selection process of the president but here at home nepotism and godfatherism holdsway in our every life .He who comes to equity must come with clean hands.This high level hypocrisy would not take us any where.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s