We love to blame most of our miseries on the older generation – the corruption, the greed, the rot and decay, and the rise in ethnic politics; everything that has held us back. It’s okay to beat that generation over the head with our woes, but I’ve been thinking of what my world, my professional world, would have been without these folks; that is, the good folks among them that we often lump with the bad. I’ve told the story before of how Olatunji Dare helped to give me my first writing job and how after meeting Ray Ekpu and shaking his hand at the lying-in-state of Dele Giwa in 1986, I refused to shake anyone else for the rest of that day to preserve the fragrance and memory of that contact. There’s yet another man from the older generation of writers that I owe more gratitude than I could repay: Egbon...
If a war foretold does not take the cripple by surprise, the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Ibe Kachikwu, is in a situation worse than physical handicap. He’s a victim of his own naivety but his appointer could be in a bigger dilemma. The warning shot was fired one year ago when Kachikwu was removed as Group Managing Director (GMD) and kicked upstairs as junior minister. He was cosseted in a nice office, given plenty of room to travel and such other pleasures that deaden any sense of danger. Maybe he didn’t want to rock the boat. Or perhaps he thought that with time, everything was going to be all right. But how wrong his optimism – or innocence – has turned out to be! As GMD, Kachikwu had side lined Maikanti Baru, the highest-ranking insider and quintessential corporate vulture, that patient bird. If Baru’s appointment as Kachikwu’s successor didn’t...