President Jonathan & reading habit, Iweala, Dowden, etcetera

November 5, 2011


by Dr. A. Ajetunmobi



I endorse the Madam’s concerns regarding the near-absence of real economic growth and infrastructural development in the country, in spite of having a President who has been described by Edo state governor, Adams Oshiomhole, as a “per Nigeria mandate” leader, apparently in comparison with previous leaders who were normally crowned by Northern oligarchs and politicians/military personnel connected with them..

However, I still think it is right to bring Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala back into the government fold, not least, to help change the way the national economy is being run. Although Nigeria needs more than a clever financial wizard, her appointment, to me, is not a political cowardice on the part of President Jonathan. Let’s take Greece for example, the country is currently sliding down the precipice of economic crisis, yet what Greek people are reportedly yearning for now is a named technocrat, Lucas Papademos, a former vice-president of the European Central Bank (ECB) whom they think can help Greece address both the causes and symptoms of fiscal crisis the country is facing. Like Greece, Nigeria should also be desperate for a technocrat, be it in the person of Dr Okonjo-Iweala (or is it “Okonjo-Wahala,” as she herself claimed she was nicknamed?), or someone else, because the country cannot isolate itself from the malign effects of the global economic crisis.

On Adamolekun & Dowden’s papers, if President Jonathan actually cultivates the taste for wide reading and is always in the mood for literary endeavours, I think he should be praised for that. For instance, Governor Fashola of Lagos state, whom many think of his performance as worthy of note, is reported to be in the habit of reading books to align himself with his new challenges. Late sage, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, once said at 11th Ile-Ife Book Fair in 1987, that any person that is starved with books would suffer intellectual malnutrition, stagnation and atrophy.

A. Ajetunmobi


I’ll make my response brief so that this does not become a debate between two.

1.  I read my first novel, Jane Eyre in 1958 as a 12-year old in Primary Six, thanks to an older sister already at St. Anne’s, and books have since remained a vital part of my being.  I have also promoted reading in my writings and have volunteered time to teaching kids individually and even to schools as recently as the last schl year at primary school level.  Now, in a country where tons of money are routinely raised at book presentations though not many are read, how could anyone be against Nigeria’s president announcing he has read Dowden’s – or any other books?

Inviting a coterie of public lecturers for fees is very different from Jonathan reading books.

2.  I’m surprised at Dr. Iweala’s name becoming prominent in this discussion even though I’ve written a lot about her not being needed to revive the economy.  It would be nice for critics like me to be proved wrong at the end of her tenure.  Her point of view is same as the West’s and this cannot help us.  Technocrats are v. useful but Greece is different from Nigeria.

3.  All the Dowdens of this world would not help Nigeria if all the Adamolekuns AND v. bright civil servants of which there must be quite some are not helpful because their recommendations are not heeded and/or used.

4.   As I’m already way in over my head, I’m off this subject.

Thanks for widening the scope of the discussion.

TOLA ADENLE, Ibadan, November 5, 2011



Nigerian newspapers and online news sources
  • 234 Next News site
  • Bella Naija Magazine
  • Business Day Newspaper
  • Daily Champion Newspaper
  • Daily Independent Newspaper
  • Daily Trust Newspaper
  • Elendu Reports News site
  • Emotan Blog
  • Huhu online News site
  • jhova blog Blog
  • Leadership News site
  • Linda Ikeji Blog
  • National Daily Newspaper
  • Nigeria Plus News site
  • Nigeria Village Square News site
  • Nigerian Observer News site
  • Osun Defender News site
  • PM News Newspaper
  • Punch Newspaper
  • Sahara Reporters News site
  • Sun Newspaper
  • The Guardian Newspaper
  • This Day Newspaper
  • Tribune Newspaper
  • Vanguard Newspaper

    Emotan 77
    Former publisher of the women's bi-monthly, Emotan (1977-1984) and op-ed ... now publishes her writing here

    Bridging Loans. Get a decision today
    We have access to unlimited funding, assuring competitive levels of capital per deal.

    Abuja food delivery, call +234 803 369 4078, +234 809 833 944
    Afang, edikan ikon, egusi, oha, okro, white soup, jollof rice, yam porriage, moin-moin, white rice & stew ...

    Home interiors inspired by Heritage African fabrics
    Handmade cushions, bedding, apparel and more

    Hand crafted cards by Christiangraffiti
    Inspirational notecards and greetings that touch the spirit and pierce the soul