…. Says It’s A Case Of Reckless Solecism, Impactless Sloganeering, Dubiety, Pseudo Patriotism And Criminal Hocus Pocus Of An Elitist And Big Business Interests.

The recent Press Release as issued by the Academy of International Affairs, led by nigeria’s former External Affairs Minister, Prof. Bolaji Akinyemi, has continued to draw flaks from very concerned citizens including the public, who have variously, wondered where the former Minister and his associates had been, while the country’s natural resource and treasury were plundered at will, by the big business ventures managing the nations crude reserve.

In a press statement reacting to the comments by the Akinyemi led Academy of International Affairs, Chief Executive Officer of Reynold Gibson International Company Limited Lagos, Otunba Toyin Babalakin who can best be described as a very concerned stakeholder and Patriot, lambasted the former Foreign Affairs Minister and his group for the unsavory comments made in the press release.

According to Otunba Toyin Babalakin in the statement, copies of which were made available to newsmen in Lagos on Saturday, he said: “In this country, we are gradually becoming aware of the works of Professor Bolaji Akinyemi, but thus far, we can only situate it from the point it took off, only after this nation had moved on in its formative epochs in the creation and transformation of Nigeria from a colonial dependency, through the optimistic era of drum and trumpet nationalism, to the period people like Bolaji Akinyemi began to be involved in framing its international thoughts which period largely saw more of national fragmentation, and the emergence of a largely distorted national narrative.”

“This has continued to belie the facts of our national integration in which the dynamics of identity politics created competing versions of domestic hegemonies in a manner that almost destroyed the gains of the pyrrhic victory which gave this nation independence in 1960.”

Babalakin fuming said
“At his age and time, one would have thought that Professor Bolaji Akinyemi will enter a national historical discourse as a responsible senior citizen to help it in its search for national affirmation.”

“But he appears not to have chosen this noble path as the press release he hideously framed through a proxy Academy of international Affairs, perhaps concocted by him, to drive a neo colonial new world order that promotes big business agenda, against the recent award of pipeline surveillance contract to Tantita Security Services limited, by the NNPCL, seem to suggest otherwise. “

Babalakin further explained that
“…. a word of witness – set in a thoroughly historical context will soon show the characteristic helplessness of his press release, which in diverse moments only accentuate the structure of the domination of the class he represents.”

“Truth is, no one needs to be unenlightened by the methodology of Prof Bolaji Akinyemi. While he should have emerged as one of the hidden figures of our national life, critical to getting this nation on the path of innovation and sound political and economic rectitude, he has chosen the rather undesirable role to be boring; an attitude that saw to his premature ouster as Nigeria’s Minister of External Affairs in 1987.” He was noted to have said.

“Exactly what is the purpose of Prof Bolaji Akinyemi to request President Muhammadu Buhari to reject the pipeline surveillance contract awarded to Tantita? When superficially analyzed, it reveals a very disturbing fetishistic trend and unravels a concealed tendency through which Prof Bolaji Akinyemi realizes his values and reproduces the domination of his class.”

According to Otunba Babalakin “the illusion of the autonomy of this Academy, as well as the process by which they undertake their vicious enterprise, partly instantiates the translation of domination into hegemony, for this illusory autonomy masks the actual social relations and power relations which drive the purpose for the press release.

“To illustrate, the evident hostility of the character of his press release makes it urgent to ask under what purpose was the press release made to serve? Where was Prof Akinyemi and his cronies in the Academy of International Affairs when eighty percent of oil revenues found its way to private pockets; when the nation began to face dwindling foreign reserves and our subnational entities began depending on Paris Loan Refund to pay workers’ salaries and engage in critical infrastructural developments in their subnational entities? “

“Without wasting time in making difficult conjectures, it is apparent that the egoistic pursuit of wanting to determine who gets what, where and how, seemed to be the inalienable inspiration of this touted academy of retired senior citizens who live by dehumanizing other patriotic intentions.”

Otunba Babalakin then retorted that, “It is instructive we ask how did it miss the Academy of International Affairs; a group that claims it was established for open and private debate on the emerging new world order, not to make any open denunciation of the criminal way the last surveillance contractor Messrs. Ocean Marine disposed itself in managing the entire ecosystem of that contract- they neither questioned the big business attitude of that corporate entity nor called for any judicial inquiry into the amount of oil that could not be accounted for under its watch.”

“We argue that it is either that the Academy is brazenly provocative and seek to protect its crony or that it is astonishingly ignorant.
Bolaji Akinyemi cannot in all good conscience own up to his claim that the contract awarded to Tantita Security Services amounts to an exercise in futility nor can he advance any singular proof that any component of Tantita had been involved previously in any scandal relating to oil theft. The much he has done, is to advance a wide ranging scheme of speculations, in the way he always does, to cover his real intentions in the matter.” Babalakin stated.

Speaking further in the press release, Otunba Babalakin expressed his further doubts as to the purpose of the Akinyemi led Academy of International Affairs by asking; “What has become apparent in the recent rescue effort of Messrs Tantita, far from the madding hallucination of the Academy of International Affairs, is the discovery of a four kilometer remote pipeline put there by big business interests, which findings, may have distorted the projected new world order over the which the retired senior citizens of the academy gloat about but in the process, got their egos ruffled. Beyond this, we also know about the capture of a bunkering vessel laden with over 600, 000 Mt of stolen crude. This finding was brought to our notice by the public interview granted to BBC Hausa by Mr Bala Wunti, who is the GGM National Petroleum Investment Management Services, which helped to underline the fact that many powerful vested interests, using confused civic façades may have had their partnerships in these criminal activities scuttled.

He went on to state that
“We are further aware that after five years, the Federal government cancelled a previous contract it once gave to Messrs Global West Specialists’ Vessels Limited, a company said to be sponsored by Chief Government Oweizide Ekpemupolo, due to the pettiness and unreasoned actions by the same hideously driven clan of big businesses, it took the Managing Director of Nigerian Maritime and Safety Agency (NIMASA) Dr Bashir Jamoh to tell Nigerians in July 2020, that that contract boosted NIMASA’s operations and revenue. His position was canvassed ostensibly against the backdrop of the dwindling fortunes of the Agency undertaken by Messrs Ocean Marine Limited who are perhaps favorable to Bolaji Akinyemi.

The Chief Executive Officer of Reynolds Gibson Nigerian company limited insisted that
“While we hold nothing against Professor Bolaji Akinyemi and the Academy he represents, we would advise him to understand that there is always the need to adjusts ones’ lofty aspirations to social realities – the emotionalism, irrationality, selfishness and opportunism implicated in his press release coupled with the fact that he knows the underlying issues and the limited materials available for, and the powerful vested interests opposed to novel ways of achieving social and economic reconstructions.

“We admit without conceding that it is usual to find some people only on the wrong side of reason, at the seedy confluence where healthy cognitions and logical thoughts are anathemas.

“To these categories of people, topical issues are adjudged, like an invidious chore, through lenses tainted only by unmeaning perceptions. While we respect the rights of all peoples and groups to criticize, criticism must not become another substitute for vendetta and unreasoned activism.” He counselled.

“We recognize that individual and collective criticism help us to keep our objective in view, to avoid confusing end and means, appearance and reality, tactics and principle. This is a soft option.

“By its ill-advised deposition, the Academy has exhibited clear signs of pent up anger tantrums. They have shown that they yearn only for political pickings, and that sentiments and emotions are stuffed up to their gills. While we do not ask for any appearance of detachment, especially in a confessional age when we post every idea, urge, impulse and image that pops up in our imagination, it is important we exhibit patriotism and keep our own counsel through being fair and just and never let it slip the imagination that we should not be biased against what will offer so much possibilities for a tottering national dynamics.

The Lagos High Chief in the statement, concluded that, “Surely nevertheless, there is no risk in criticizing one another. The escalating tide of mutual criticism can provide a sense of involvement in a significant way. But this significance is negotiated through arbitration. Rather than wage wars of abstract vendetta against each other, we need to forge links and use these links to keep each other honest, to sustain our sense of purpose, gain clarity, and make the best of our limited resources against foes and tasks that seem more formidable with each passing day.

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