Public service in Nigeria always comes with a heavy price. It’s either you are accused of looting the treasury or you are maligned by your family that you did not looting to help them. Being a Politician or Public servant in Nigeria involves super courage and developing a very thick skin.
Only the First Republic politicians are saints in the eyes of our generation!
To be a politician in Nigeria today, you must be somebody who doesn’t care for the future of your children! Unlike in the past, the internet does not help matters.
All the negative news are stored in archive for your unborn generations.
Very sad. When you hold an important office, be wise!
Don’t confuse friends of that ‘office’ for your ‘real’ friends.
They‘re not your friends. They are friends of the OCCUPIER of the office. Even if Satan is on the seat, they will befriend him. They are OFFICIAL FRIENDS
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Alhaji Lai Mohammed was a private person with wonderful children. He cherished his family name. But his sojourn to the ruling party and being in government don’t make the public see any of the good virtues he posses.
Nature brought us together in 2006 when AD and PDM formed alliance. They followed Asiwaju Bola Hammed Tinubu from AD and we left PDP with Alhaji Atiku Abubakar to form AC in 2006!
I left Politics as interim spokesperson of AC when Atiku returned to PDP and Alhaji Lai Mohammed took over as spokesperson of AC.
But today, I dont think Alhaji Lai Mohammed will be able to redeem his image and clean the rubbish they wrote on internet about him for the rest of his life .
Few years ago, his son approached me that he would love to rent one of my block of flats in Lekki Phase 1. I was so happy to rent the place to him and his family because he will join other celebrities’ children who already occupied the place .
But few hours after he left, the occupants of the house called me to a meeting, protested and threatened to pack out of the estate; that they dont want to stay in the same estate with him.
I quickly arranged with the facility manager to refund his money.
Having Alhaji Lai Mohammed’s son in my house would have been my joy. I have known his father for about 15 years.
But you can see what public service can do to a very private person.
Even, Alhaji Lai Mohammed confirmed that his grandchildren were asking him if it is true that his real name is ‘Lie’ Mohammed. Ooh my God! I would have resigned my appointment that same day.
What is more important in this world than family name? Nothing to me, absolutely nothing. I was in Dublin when Gbola Oba called me that he saw my name on television as commissioner appointed by Ex-Governor Alao Akala.
I put a call to late Late Baba Adedubu thanking him but tactically rejected the appointment. I stayed away from Nigeria for almost two years because of pressure.In 2007, Alhaji Bashir Dalhatu took me to the late President Yar’Adua for a visit.
When we got there, he engaged the former President in a long conversation in Hausa language, I don’t know what they were discussing, I sat in front of them watching their lips.
After few minutes, Alhaji Dalhatu addressed me as Honourable minister. I quickly told him that I have a brother, Abdullahi Arisekola Alao who will be suitable for the job because he is living in Nigeria.
His name was submitted to the Senate and Alh Danjuma Goje and Chief Teslim Folarin tried their best to make sure that Senate cleared him. But unfortunately, as was the position of Aare Arisekola then. None of his children should ever join politics or participate in government. The reason was best known to him. May his soul rest in peace. Aare called Alhaji Guzau and travelled to Abuja to see President Yar’Adua. He replaced Abdullahi’s name with Chief Remi Babalola.
I have always dared public service like a plague
Life of a public officer in Nigeria is like what Yoruba always refer to as “Abiku”. Hardly can you come out of it with your integrity intact . And in fact, if you do, EFCC is waiting to destroy any legacy you left behind by accusing you of stealing an exaggerate amount of money when you were in the office.
Public service is a terrible experience in Nigeria.
If you want to keep your family name, be careful.
Wole Arisekola writes from Ibadan, Southwest, Nigeria