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Oby Ezekwesili’s ‘relevance mania’
By Frederick Nwabufo
Oby Ezekwesili has remained a news staple in the country. Among the miscellany of yesterday’s men and women, she exudes the most coruscating charm. And she is like a pop-star with an affective reckoning.
I would compare Ezekwesili to Madonna, queen of pop, who for decades has kept her magic for controversy. Government will come and go, but Ezekwesili will not go out of season. She works her “relevance industry” well.
In the build-up to the 2015 presidential election, the former minister stood apart. She did not stutter in addressing the failures of the Jonathan administration. And I believe her position impacted greatly on voters in the election. I must add, she has also not spared the rod for the Buhari administration.
Ezekwesili’s words and actions hold great potency, perhaps, owing to her personal achievements and indisputable integrity. Her helming of the Bring–Back-Our-Girls (BBOG) movement gave the group the needed oomph to trudge through the mine-field of Jonathan’s government. As a matter of fact, she and members of the group did a self-less, thankless and immense job with the citizen movement. More than 100 of the abducted Chibok girls have been released owing to their campaign.
However, it does appear that the BBOG movement is scaling down its activities. If this is so, it is not out of place. The group has been on the advocacy for the rescue of the Chibok girls for more than three years. I presume one of the longest citizen advocacies in the annals of the country. Lethargy is bound to set in.
My worry is that Ezekwesili has amplified another movement (the Red-Card Movement), but which is lacking in sensibility and purposeful mission. From what I have gathered, the mission of the amorphous group is to kick out the PDP and the APC. Ezekwesili once served under a PDP government. This is by the way. The point is; that the PDP and the APC as parties share an umbilical cord of impunity is just a reflection of our society and its people. No political party in Nigeria is unblemished. Give KOWA party the government and it will do worse than the APC. This is because people make political parties; if the people do not change the situation will remain the same. This is why I urge the former minister to invest more of her time in teaching leadership to the Nigerian youth – as she does occasionally. Her amplification of the vapid “Red-Card Movement” makes me think she is on a relevance chase.