Date Published: 10/14/09
The Trials of Ambassador Tunde Adeniran By Hakeem Babalola
He was supposed to represent his country in the United States of America, one of the so-called largest economies on earth, or perhaps in heaven too. And he was to replace retired Brigadier-General Oluwole Rotimi, who on February this year was asked to resign from his position as ambassador for "gross insubordination". The retired General had been recalled following his running disagreement with the Foreign Affairs Minister, Chief Ojo Maduekwe, over issues bordering on activities of the mission, protocol, hierarchy and policy.
It seems the retired General had underestimated the power of political play and the huge influence that the Chief commanded in his PDP circle. The powerful Foreign Affairs Minister eventually orchestrated the exit of the former Oyo State Governor during Murtala Muhammad regime. For them it is all about power even if such power is being channelled into a wrong and improper direction. They just want to be seen as the ones who hold the ace, even when it is obvious they do not know how to play the cards. But that is not my concern here.
Since then no substantive ambassador has been posted to the U.S. And then, "out of 102 Nigeria mission centres and 80 Nigeria ambassadors abroad, Mr. President selected Professor Tunde Adeniran to be Nigeria ambassador to the strongest economy and the largest democracy of the world". A farewell dinner was organised in Abuja in honour of the professor. In fact, he was billed to leave for the United States on the first week of September. And in fact, he was told to return home at the Nnamdi Azikwe International airport Abuja where he had expected to set on his ambassadorial honey journey. Hum, man proposes, God disposes.
At the party, the man was described as a politician with a difference in his chosen career, and everyone had hope that he would make Nigeria proud in his new assignment, having served the country in Germany in the past. Even the Ministry's Permanent Secretary Ambassador Joe Keshi urged Adeniran to mobilise his energy to put Nigeria back to its enviable position in the comity of nations. Some of his former students at the University of Ibadan have also attested to the fact that the professor is an "easy-going, likable and brilliant personality," adding that he had a fantastic record in Germany as an Ambassador.
The professor was preparing to transport himself to the God Own country when his tribulations began. News gradually filtered around that America had rejected him. "What is wrong with this Obama people," I yelled. What is their grudge against the Giant of Africa? What are they up to this time around? Why should America reject one of the best brains in the country as our ambassador? Best brain?
I mean this is a man being described as a professor with a different, a classy Ekiti man, a Political Scientist, who have received many honours and winner of many distinctions. So what could have happened for him to be rejected by the World Policeman called America? This is malicious and we should protest. But then I remember that the United States has never rejected our choice of ambassador. So what could have gone wrong this time around!
"Abi our professor don 419 them there before?" I thought. "God forbid bad thing. Or abi our dear professor too don siphon our money like most of his associates in the PDP?"
Then the absurd story of Prof. Tunde Adeniran came into the open. His rejection had nothing to do with fraud or money laundry. The man is neither a criminal nor inept. He scaled through on those issues. Thank God. I say thank God because one can never predict these “men of honours” when it comes to integrity. They have a special way of tarnishing the image of their country. Even President Musa Yar’Adua is still embarrassing us by his incessant trips abroad for medical purpose. Imagine Mr. President visiting Saudi Arabia to open a university amid ASUU strike at home! Does this guy really know what moral soundness means?
Anyway, we have heard that Almighty God has a way of unleashing the sins of the father upon his children and not the other way round. But our professor has made history. Adeniran’s son's character was a great trial for him. Reports further say he was rejected by the United States government over alleged criminal charges against his son, Adedamola, 20, who was arrested in Baltimore for gang rape.
But this American government is funny sha. Ha, if it were to be in Nigeria where the families of VIPs are untouchable, Adedamola would have been set free without prosecution. His papa would have telephoned the IG (Inspector General of Police), and the matter would have been swept under the carpet or is it now rug! And the police would probably have tormented the victim for daring to report the incident.
Wait a minute please. So the law is somehow powerful in that land called America! If it were to be in my country, Adedamola’s crime would never prevent his father from occupying Aso Rock where majority of those who determine our polity behave like rogues. I really do not mean to be harsh here but I simply can't control my sentiment when it comes to our friends at the corridor of power.
Hum, Murphy law broadly states: "Anything that can go wrong will go wrong". The adage is true for Ambassador Adediran whose problem was further compounded with another personal bizarre story. According to reports, Adediran was accused by a man, Dr. M.O Oluwamukomi, a lecturer in the dept of Food Science & Technology, Federal University of Technology, Akure, Ondo State, who claims the ambassador stole his three sons and changed their surname to Adediran. Dr. Oluwamukomi, was said to have tabled the matter before the US government. Gosh, what is going on here?
The ambassador is also said to have two wives in the USA. On this I shall argue it is his fault. Or perhaps the other man had used juju on him. You know, something like you can snatch my wife, but not my children. The experience is excruciating to bear. Otherwise the Minister of Education under Obasanjo should have known better, having schooled in the USA. I mean the professor should have repatriated one wife, after all, he knows or I assume he knows that American law forbids polygamy.
Professor Adeniran may be an intellectual but in a way he is ignorant of so many things. In order to impress his two wives, he displaced a deep lack of judgement. He is another example of Nigerian public officials who prefer to die abroad rather than their home town. He had already transported his family to the United States of America even long before his nomination as ambassador to that region.
Of course, he may have nine wives in Nigeria if he so desire. He should have planned to shuttle between Nigeria and America on a daily basis in order to satisfy both wives. Since there's no other competent person in the whole of Nigeria, we wouldn't mind at all if he had decided to spend our money in this manner. Aren't we used to it?
Consequently, the US government need to be reminded that Adediran is a citizen of the most populous black Africa. As a result, he should have been allowed to promote his culture in America. After all, America claims to cherish cultural diversity. So why can't Adediran exercise his rights by possessing two wives? It is against their culture quite right but they should have respected Adediran's, which allows him to keep two or more wives.
Seriously, kin ni o ma nse awon asiwaju wai na? (What is always wrong with these our leaders?). And why did the Nigerian government waited for the USA to reject the ambassador? I think the Federal government should have withdrawn his nomination much earlier. Obviously, this is another case of faulty placement. And I quite agree with Dr. Mahmud Salihu Umoru, former Nigerian ambassador to the United States, who advised the government to always look deep into the moral and family sides of individuals before appointing them into positions of authority . But I tell you this: the same thing will happen tomorrow.
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