Agent Provocateur! Like the Battle of Troy, the woman at the root of the conflict between Tinubu and Kachikwu revealed

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Agent Provocateur! Like the Battle of Troy, the woman at the root of the conflict between Tinubu and Kachikwu revealed

Agent Provocateur! Like the Battle of Troy, the woman at the root of the conflict between Tinubu and Kachikwu revealed
March 27
11:36 2016

•APC leader reminds petroleum minister that he is an ordinary ‘public servant’
•Condemns his insubordination to the Nigerian people
•The untold story of Tinubu’s beef with Kachikwu

Beneath every clash of giants, a wonderful tale of power and ego subsists – the plot and trajectory of each story however, attains a life of its own or copiously re-enacts the intrigues of historical conflicts dotting the landscape and annals of human politics. Thus the recent bashing of the Minister of State for Petroleum, Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu, by two-time governor of Lagos and All Progressives Congress (APC) national leader, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, echoes deep seated animosity reflective of the intrigues that led to the fabled Trojan war. Like the Battle of Troy, a woman is at the roots of the conflict between Asiwaju Tinubu and Kachikwu. Her name is Onikepo Animashaun, a former Permanent Secretary in the Lagos State civil service. Although she lacks the enchanting beauty and poise of the fabled Helen of Troy, she incites as much intrigues as the mythical character.

Thus when Tinubu flayed Kachikwu recently, in a public reaction to the latter’s tactless utterance on the lingering fuel scarcity, the APC national leader was simply expressing his long-held beef with the Minister of State for Petroleum.

Kachikwu recently told State House correspondents in Abuja that despite the government’s efforts, the fuel situation might not improve until the next two months. He said he was not a magician and did not have a magic wand to eliminate the fuel queues, a comment that drew angry responses from various segments of society, but which the APC remained silent about.

Apparently unable to contain his loathing for the petroleum minister any longer, Tinubu chose to lampoon him in a public statement titled: “Kachikwu Needs to Know That Respect and Good Performance Will Do What Magic Cannot.”

The APC leader stated that the minister was answerable to Nigerians and not the other way round. Referring to the minister, Tinubu said he believed a member of the President Muhammadu Buhari-led government “has strayed from the progressive calling required of this administration.”
“Much public ire has been drawn to the statement made by the Minister of State (for Petroleum Resources) Ibe Kachikwu that he was not trained as a magician and that basically Nigerians should count themselves fortunate that the NNPC under his stewardship has been able to bring in the amount of petrol it is currently doing.

“Perhaps the statement by Kachikwu was made in a moment of unguarded frustration or was an awkward attempt at a joke. Whatever the motive, it was untimely and off-putting. The remark did not sit well with the Nigerian people; they were as right to feel insulted as the minister was wrong to have said such a thing.

“The fuel shortage is severely biting for the average person. They are forced to remain in lines far too long — for too much time — to pay too much money for too little fuel. This is no joking matter. Livelihoods and people’s welfare are at stake.

“With so much on the line, Kachikwu’s flippancy was out-of-line. He was basically telling Nigerians that they should be lucky that they are getting the inadequate supply they now suffer and that they should just be quiet and endure the shortage for several weeks more.”

Asiwaju Tinubu stressed that Kachikwu’s “flippancy” caused Nigerians to panick. “It insulted the people by its tonality. He spoke with the imperious nature of a member of the elitist government the people voted out last year and not the progressive one they voted in,” he added.

What the pundits think
Political pundits are of the opinion that Tinubu’s tongue-lashing of Kachikwu may be connected with the appointment of Onikepo Animashaun as GM, Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC). It would be recalled that Animashaun was sacked by Governor Akinwumi Ambode soon after he assumed office. But astonishingly, Animashaun was promptly given employment by Kachikwu few weeks after she was sacked by the Lagos State governor. Her appointment caused tongues to wag within State and Federal civil service and APC political circuits. Many are of the opinion that, Animashaun’s employment by Kachikwu is a flagrant disregard for Governor Ambode’s judgment and the political machinery of Asiwaju Tinubu from which he emerged.

Tinubu was allegedly upset that Animashaun was recommended by Pastor Tunde Bakare, and backed by former Lagos Governor Babatunde Fashola, without reference to him before being appointed. He reportedly asked Kachikwu to reverse the appointment but the minister told him that it was a bit too late in the day to do that as Lagos State government did not raise any objection or make any adverse comment to her appointment as GM and that if they do, then the NNPC management would reconsider her appointment.

When this was brought to the attention of President Buhari, the President allegedly stated that anyone appointed by due process could only be removed by due process and not because of opposition from certain individuals. Following the President’s take on the issue, the Lagos State government then wrote a letter to the NNPC stating that, it did not support Animashaun’s appointment.

It was gathered that Animashaun countered that by presenting a letter of commendation from Lagos State government for her exceptional and meritorious services to the state which earned her an award as one of the best performing permanent secretaries. This emboldened Kachikwu to confirm Animashaun’s appointment and disregard the Lagos government’s petition.

Tinubu was said to have insisted that Animashaun must be removed if Kachikwu was to know peace. Presidency officials, therefore, believed that yesterday’s statement authored by Tinubu was one of the first salvos in that direction. They believe so because they wondered why a small comment by Kachikwu on fuel scarcity would attract a strongly-worded statement by Tinubu, a national leader of APC, when he has unfettered access to Buhari to lodge his complaints on any issue.

The world of politics is indeed a jungle echoing to the calls of ruthless combat, vicious jealousies and pitiless intrigues. There is no gainsaying Asiwaju Tinubu, two-time governor of Lagos and the All Progressives Congress (APC) national leader, understands the tilted rule of aces that wins battles in the long drawn-out war of the political terrain. But Kachikwu, former Chevron head honcho and the Minister of State for Petroleum, had been walking in the jungle of business all of his life. He has been fighting tooth and nail in jousts that would probably manifest as forms of relaxation for Asiwaju Tinubu. Pundits suggested that he applied more tact in his future interjections, particularly on sensitive issues as the biting fuel scarcity.

Rather than react directly or indirectly to Tinubu’s condemnation of him, Kachikwu should instead swallow his pride, take it in good stride and seek to resolve the nation’s lingering fuel woes. For over one month, the public has been suffering the unavailability of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS). This has resulted in long queues of vehicles and crowds of buyers at the few filling stations selling the product at prohibitive prices.

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  1. lala
    lala March 30, 16:44

    Why dont Tinubu like this woman….well she was Tinubu’s woman, then Fashola came and was also hitting it, thats the genesis of the figth between Tinubu and Fashola.

    Also Baba iyabo has also hit it and thats why she could not be removed from NNPC. Not all that long story you wrote.

    Reply to this comment
  2. Janet Bobo
    Janet Bobo July 25, 05:05

    Hello, the whole thing is going nicely here and ofcourse every one is sharing facts, that’s genuinely good, keep up writing.

    Reply to this comment

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