Why Kwara lost out of Nigeria Investment Promotion Commission Board- Femi Ogunshola - 9japarrot


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Saturday 8 February 2020

Why Kwara lost out of Nigeria Investment Promotion Commission Board- Femi Ogunshola

Why Kwara lost out of Nigeria Investment Promotion Commission Board- Femi Ogunshola

 True Life Story

You know some people have this feeling that Kwara for them is a conquered fiefdom, a ‘selective’ patrimony, a private company where only them and their children hold the key to any goodies coming to the state.

That was what gave away the slot meant for Kwara on the Board of the Nigeria Investment Promotion Commission (NIPC).

When you are committed to a course please never give up in the midst of threat and intimidation, something good could be in the offing. I was unwaveringly committed to the Buhari/Osinbajo presidency, this I did with passion and it almost cost me my means of livelihood as I got a call from the Goodluck Jonathan Presidency that all my activities supporting Buhari/Osinbajo were being monitored. This sent jittered down my spine, but came out of it and redouble my campaign.

A colleague, covering the presidency was also sent to warn me to desist from my campaign against GEJ, but I remained undaunted, dogged and resolute to the course, Nigeria was in dire need of change and the change I was committed to bring to fruition in my little way. My Journalism background gave me the leeway. This a spirited Buharist saw and promised a pay back.

December 2017, I was in my village, Ayedun, Oke-ero local government, seated outside my compound when I got a call announcing my name on the Board of NIPC, mum was the word. I rushed to Abuja and off I went to the Ministry of Trade and Investment where I immediately met with the Director of Procurement who welcomed me with open arms.

Unfortunately, the Director was sick and I had to relate with the deputy director, a very reasonable, committed woman who exhibited unusual commitment to duty and provided the needed help. She collected all the necessary documents needed to facilitate my swearing-in.

However, the man who thinks he has the exclusive right to anything that bear Femi Ogunshola sent hoodlums after me, (this was confirmed by one of the boys he withdrew support for in the race to the APC House of Assembly primary, apparently they fell out), I got call at 11p.m, threatening my life if I ever lay claim to my name and surface at the ministry again.

Prior, I have enjoyed a robust relationship with the secretary of NIPC, welcoming me to the commission as a Board member.

But it was sad as she cave in to manipulation, from one of the relative of the man struggling to manipulate his way in because they live in the same estate in Abuja and his brother must have his way to NIPC.

Get this right, the man claiming monopoly of Femi Ogunshola was then a full-fledged member of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), serving as commissioner representing Kwara in one of the Federal Government agency.

Suddenly I got a message from a Secretary who had become so friendly that “Sir, you are no longer the Femi Ogunhola, we apologise for any inconvenience”, I remained undaunted and immediately called a friend, a Lagos politician and Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s boy who hitherto had provided unalloyed support for this course. He stood by me, provided succor and did everything to stop the manipulation.

Miffed by the antics of the man, the Deputy Director summoned me to her office, on getting there, there was no hold back, she was magnanimous to reveal to me that except I made a deft move, one man who claimed to bear my name just came to lay claim to the board.

“Do you know anyone at Secretary to the Government of the Federation’s (SGF) office,” she stated. She said that was the only place such crisis of identity could be rectified. I contacted our own minister, representing my state who said I should go and seek redress in court because the Femi was never part of us, “so he wants to reap where he never sowed,” that was Alhaji’s word.

The inauguration was scheduled for the following day, how can I go to court at that hour of the day, I nonetheless called a lawyer to prepare, but pronto, I reached out to Charles Femi Folayan, he is a great guy, he wasted no time by leading me to one of his friend at the SGF’s office, and there we met the Permanent Secretary in charge of General Service.

After much explanation armed with the copy of the punch publication where all the six members on the board bear title, it was only my name that appeared with “ Femi Ogusnhola.” The members as listed in the newspaper are as follows

1.      Rt Hon Babangida S,M Nguroje OFR

2.      HRH Raphael S, Sambo

3.      Maryam Ado Gwaram

4.      Hon Ali Sani

5.      Femi Ogunshola

6.      Barr Lowo Obiesan

The Perm Sec said it couldn’t have been the man claiming the name but my very humble self and I should immediately go and continue my documentation. Thanks goodness, the Legal Adviser to the SGF sauntered into the perm sec’s office and was asked to look into the matter, he said “the slot is yours” (referring to me), the man is presently working as a commissioner representing kwara, so it cannot be him.” The man still has few months to go while struggling for this?

The Perm Sec replied “I have had to cancel those who are currently on appointment and still found their name appeared as Board member.” He then called the Perm Sec of Ministry of Trade and Investment who supervises NIPC, directed us to see him, it was already 10p.m, we drove off to Area 1 where his office is located. Unfortunately we could not meet him but met the SA and perfected the way for us, calling the Deputy Director to swear me in as the Board member NIPC from kwara.

On March 1st 2018, I got to the venue of the inauguration at Nicon Luxury Hotel, Abuja with my team and immediately the Deputy Director, Trade and Investment sighted me, she startedsinging “winner oo, oo, oo winner, winner oo, oo oo, Femi Ogunshola you don win ooo…. Don’t be shocked that when the roll call was made, the man contesting the Board with me disappeared; he could not attend the inauguration because the like of Mr Bolaji Abdullahi and other APC member from Kwara were in attendance. He was aware they will query his attendance and he wouldn’t want any of that.

But the man, whose tenure was ending at the commission and looking for another opportunity to be on government payroll sent a desperate message to the Director of Procurement who is now back on his feat purportedly coming from former Gov Ahmed Abdulfatai. I just heard please Femi Ogunshola should see me.

I knew something was amiss, having seen him and showed me the content of the message, I told him it was concocted and not from Gov Fatai. Then he asked me to call the Perm Sec who ordered him to inaugurate me.

Scaling the hurdle with a mindset of letting the trouble lie low I never bothered to raise some of the harrowing experience coming to the inaugural meeting of the board.

I never knew free drink had been declared in Ifelodun with the news of a new appointment into the Board of NIPC on the platform of a party he was never part for  supporters but dream now aborted with emergence of a relatively unknown Femi Ogunshola from Oke-ero, the smallest LG in the state. He would not have none of that.

At the Board meeting I was made the Chairman of Recruitment and Establishment with few recruitment to commence immediately. The executive Secretary was being bamboozle by the Secretary not to recognize me, but she refused, pay me my allowance, a sum of N343000.

The chairman of the Board, Hon Babangida Nguroje, OFR and former deputy Speaker of the House of reps was already in love with me ditto other members. We have had meetings on how things could be better.

Moved by the reality of his exit from government patronage, he went to approach the SGF Legal Adviser, claiming the slot belong to him. I received a message from the Secretary asking m not to attend the next meeting, but I never called but went to see the Perm sec that had provided total support.

He too was shocked that he saw a letter asking for the true identity of the Femi Ogunshola and he never knew when he signed the letter suspending me from attending meeting till investigation was concluded. Meeting the legal adviser, he was kind enough to tell us that the other Femi just left his office and showed him a copy of where the name surfaced.

Lo and behold, the name was transported to Ogun state, this was despite series of media reports about Kwara getting the slot but here come the name in Ogun state, wow!

The drama just started, the Perm sec urged me to wait for investigation, the NIPC went to see former Gov Ibikunle Amosun asking for the identity of Femi Ogunshola, but to their chagrin, Amosun told them they have no such name.

The perm sec said he had taken the issue to the SGF to rectify it so I could return, but till date the place remain vacant. I was asked to bring my representative at the national assembly to see the SGF but behold no one was willing to do it.

This is a clarion call to Kwara youth that no one will fight their battle, those in the saddle are unwilling to exit, they want to continuation of the political patronage, if they cannot get it their children must be fixed.

I want to appreciate Charles Ofemi Folayan, he provided unusual support during the struggle, he knew the man was not in our party but wanted to reap where he never sowed and went out of his way to provide support. I have had the opportunity of explaining this to my Senator, but I know better. Mr Olabode Towoju showed an untiring commitment to ensure the Board did not go away from me, he was in constant touch with the minister in far away America to seek his assistance to no avail.

 I know I am a relatively unknown entity, too young to get such a big slot but between myself and the man who wanted to force his way into NIPC board who is enjoying the privilege today? He has sabotaged my effort and the few advantages that could have accrued to my dear state on the Board of NIPC as the chairman, committee on Recruitment and establishment was aborted.

I must honestly thank all the members of the Board, up till 2019 they were still on my case that I must come back; they were actually angered by the Secretary move to write the SGF without their consent.

In the midst of the crisis, I was asked to meet with someone from Sen Bukola Saraki  who said I must write an undertaking, pledging loyalty to the ex senate president to have my Board member restored, but since I have never liked the politics of Saraki, I back off. Power belong to God, I will never mortgage my life because I needed to serve my country. I am a free born.

Let me rest my case here as certain things are not meant for public consumption.

Thank you

Femi Ogunshola writes from Abuja

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