Nobody Can Intimidate My Daughter —Okonjo-Iweala's Dad


The father of the Minister of Finance, Professor Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala,Professor Chukwuka Okonjo, has said that her decision to serve the country is a sacrifice she has undertaken to save the country from economic downturn.

He believes that the present attack she is being subjected to is because of her principled stand on the issue of removal of subsidy from petroleum products. But he insisted that nobody can intimidate her.

The octogenarian retired don, who is the Obi of Ogwashi-Uku, a community in the Anioma axis of Delta State, told P.M.NEWS in a chat in his palace that his daughter’s traducers are only chasing after shadows as she would forever stand firm on her convictions about the evils of oil subsidy.

“Who is ultimately benefitting from the oil subsidy? Is it the acclaimed commonman or the well-to-do people? Of course you and I know that the main beneficiary of the oil subsidy is the rich people.

So, they are fighting tooth and nail to ensure that it is not removed.

“Ngozi has a noble ideal and she is bold enough to fight for something she is convinced is good for her fatherland. No amount of threat or intimidation will deter her.”

Obi Okonjo praised his daughter for what he called her uprightness coupled with her mastery of the solutions to the economic problems facing the country.

“She was brought up to be straight-forward; not to steal any piece of meat from the soup pot. She has made all of us here proud with the way she is carrying out her national assignment.

“Of course, everyone knows that she earned far more at the World Bank than what she gets now in Nigeria but her love for her fatherland, her patriotic zeal has been the reason she has accepted to be here in Nigeria.

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“Look at what happened the last time she was Minister of Finance during the Obasanjo regime. She used her influence as a respected personality in world economy to ensure that Nigeria gets a debt relief from the international community, Paris Club, etc.

“She did not request for bribe or gratification. She exhibited the good upbringing she was given by us (the parents).

“But you saw what happened? As soon as she was out of government the positive results we got through her yeoman’s effort was frittered away and our debt profile started mounting once more.”

Obi Okonjo lamented what he called the total neglect of the rural communities as against the concentration of infrastructure and other amenities in the cities.

He condemned the country’s policy makers’ adoption of the British principle of placing premium on the development of major cities to the detriment of the rural communities.

“About 80 percent of the people in Nigeria live in the rural

communities. But what is the norm is that development is concentrated in the capital cities where just about 20 percent of the population resides.

“We do not have regular power supply and even potable water here in Ogwashi-Uku. Ensuring that these issues are addressed is my main priority. If these issues are addressed then all the diseases associated with poor living conditions would be a thing of the past here,” he said.

—Isaac Olamikan, Benin

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