“It’s not even been a year, and you want to leave already?” – A quick letter to Aunty Ngozi
Aunty Ngozi, for the good of Africans and black people world over (and those that really care about us), you must not take up that position, even if you are found to be the most qualified for it
Dear Aunty Ngozi,
Good afternoon. Hope everyone is well at home. How is the weather and NEPA? Unfortunately, I am not of the multitude suit-wearing protégées from your time in World Bank (WB). I am just a fellow younger African, hence the calling you Aunty; I hope you do not mind. I have been hearing much regarding your nomination by the African ttiumverate(Angola/Nigeria/South Africa) for the World Bank Presidency about to be vacated by “whatshisname”. Congratulations are in order as your nomination of itself has broken down walls, and we will take our compliments where we can.
First, a woman is being nominated as top “man” for an institution where women are still regarded as a quota to be met; and an African one at that. Lest we forget, you were able to convince the Afro-triad (Angola/Nigeria/South Africa) to all back your nomination, which is a miracle. As I said, your nomination has paved the way for more Africans to be nominated for high-level positions in these. Unfortunately, that is where my congratulations have to end. Aunty Ngozi, for the good of Africans and black people world over (and those that really care about us), you must not take up that position, even if you are found to be the most qualified for it.
Contrary to how this might come across, I am actually one of your greatest supporters. It is because of the “care” I have for you that I will tell you some hard truths, unlike all the sycophants around you just waiting to be able to join your front office. Being that we are both Ivy league educated, let us do it the Ivy league way. I will lay out three simple points, to support my plea with you to stop your quest for the WB presidency.
1. Prior to becoming the Grand Economic Overseer of Nigeria, you held previous positions in the WB as Managing Director and Vice President of the institution. In those positions, can you state any concrete sustainable solutions to Africa’s deep problems that you initiated or oversaw that are still in existence and actually making a macro-difference on the continent today? We both know the WB is not the institution that will resolve anything on our continent. So unless, you are attempting to go there to care for the Eastern Europeans and Asian countries, one sees no reason for your prompt exit from Nigeria. As former WB president Paul Wolfowitz showed us already, the WB presidency is actually not that productive nor powerful; and is just a cheerleader for the institution. I am not sure a cheerleader is what Africa needs right now. We still have not made it to the playoffs, why waste energy and resources on cheerleading?
2. Nigeria (ergo Africa) needs you. We admit it and are begging you to stay and do good work for us. Before you came as Financial Overseer, you made all sorts of demands and Baba Jeje (GEJ) gave in to have you back. It has not even been a year and you want to leave already? Haba mana, aunty, which one u dey? Your history of coming like the messiah and then running off when it is easy for you does not bode well at all. Please think about the example that you are setting for your thousands of per-diem protégées who are learning and doing the same thing to our continent. During your first stint, you did such a fine job that Nigeria no longer owed external debts (robbing talkatives of palm-wine gist), the FG’s accounts became saner and more transparent, and “due-process” became a meaningful word in the ministries. But as soon as you left, most of these were turned upside down. Now, you are back for your second stint and all Nigeria has gained so far was your ill-fated scheme, along with Mallam “I want to be Emir” Sanusi, to rob the poor of fuel to cook. It is okay, the country forgives you as it did the first time you were finance minister. I know you have plans and ideas to turn the country around. Biko, stay and implement them. As further proof of your need to stay, I heard the Nigerian House of Representatives have supported your candidacy. Apparently they would appreciate it if you left last week. You and I know that support from that witless and corrupt bunch is a sign that one is definitely taking the wrong step. In addition, if you perform as brilliantly as I expect, I will personally start your Presidency campaign come 2014; Sango be my witness.
3. Last but not least, Obama. Aunty mi, in case you did not know, there is a US election this year. Hence the reason Barack has been forcing foreign dignitaries to go watch basketball in backwaters like Ohio and Florida. Not to belittle your aspirations, but Barack Obama winning this re-election means more to Africa, Black people and the World more than your becoming World Bank President will ever mean or do for us. Your becoming WB president could put a wrench in Obama’s plan. Should you beat Dr. Kim to the presidency of the WB, Professor Obama will look weak and the Republicans will make mincemeat of him. Please Aunty, even if all my previous pleas have meant nothing to you and you still want the Presidency of the WB by force, can you not wait until after the US elections?
As I promised, I will only make three points, I will stop here and implore on your sensibilities to forsake this self-centred gambit. I hope you will continue to serve Nigeria and Africa with as true a heart as you’ve always claimed.
About the author
‘kola Afolayan is a freelance design, ideas and innovation “barnist” with previous extensive international development, policy and legal experiences in Africa and the Balkans.