A new book by Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, former Minister of Finance, titled ‘Fighting Corruption is Dangerous: The Story Behind the Headlines’, is set to be released on Thursday by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) press.
Okonjo-Iweala, who is currently Board Chairman of Gavi, says her intention in writing the book is to expose some “corrupt and vested interests” who continue to “muddy the waters and pretend as reformers”.
She pointed out that writing the book was a dangerous mission, as the title implies, and that corrupt persons described in it “may attempt to attack me and my family physically and reputationally as they have done before”.
“But keeping quiet allows these same vested interests to muddy the waters and pretend to be reformers. Vested interests thrive in opaqueness and confusion,” she wrote on her Twitter handle on Monday.
“Nigerians deserve transparency on the way governance, budget, and financial management processes work. Until they understand this and demand better nothing much will change.
“Development practitioners need insights into what it means to grapple with corruption from the front lines. And our young people need hope. They need to know that if they have the courage to fight they can win.”
The book is available fr pre-ordering on www.politics-prose.com.
Okonjo-Iweala was one of the shinning lights of the Goodluck Jonathan administration, where she served not only as Finance Minister, but also as the Coordinating Minister of the Economy.
During her time in government, Okonjo-Iweala famously secured a debt cancellation of $30 billion which Nigeria owed the Paris Club.
But she also suffered personal attacks in her bid to get the then government to stop subsidy. Her 83-year-old mother was kidnapped, her abductors insisting that Okonjo-Iweala resigned.
“I told the President that we would stop paying (fuel subsidies). What happened? They kidnapped my mother, 83 years,” Okonjo-Iweala said during an interview with French television, Le Monde
“During the first three days, their only demand was my resignation. I was supposed to go on television and announce my resignation.
“This was one of the worst moments of my life. Can you imagine what happens in your head if you have to be responsible for the death of your mother?
“I will not go into details, but you must understand that in a country like this… in the fight against corruption, we must be prepared to pay a personal price.
“My father asked me not to resign. The President asked me not to resign. At the end, everyone began looking for her, and the kidnappers released (her).”