Ojo Maduekwe; A friend remembers

Dr. Wale Okediran

Dr. Wale Okediran


We’ve all heard the maxim: To avoid arguments “don’t discuss politics or religion.” But take a closer look at that maxim and ask your-self if it is possible to avoid religion and politics in our contemporary discourse. Apart from the two themes being very central to the life of any nation, public debate is essential in a democracy. Without it, truth doesn’t rise to the top.
This was the debate that went through my mind on that auspicious day many years ago when I received an invitation from Chief Ojo Maduekwe, the then Special Adviser to President Olusegun Obasanjo on Legal and Constitutional Matters for “an evening of coffee”.

The reason for the invitation from the late Ex-Minister of Culture and Tourism, Ex-Minister of Transport and Ex-bicycle buff, Ex Special Adviser, Ex Minister of Foreign Affairs and Ex Ambassador to Canada was my piece ABUJA AND OTHER ILLUSIONS (the Guardian November 25, 2003). In that piece I had among other things pointed out the difficulties of being a Federal Legislator in a climate of poverty and ignorance. I also mentioned the several misconceptions people have about Abuja and those in power especially as it relates to corruption, which I concluded is not limited to politicians but also firmly entrenched in the civil service system. Also worrisome is the frequent friction between the legislative and executive arms of government, which I considered unhealthy for our democracy.

I concluded by insisting that some of the excesses and expectations of the electorate have contributed in no small measure to the corruption of the political class. In his response to the article, Chief Maduekwe had agreed with my postulations. As he put it, “What came out of your excellent article was an inspiring and robust …Read More

Source:: PM Newspaper