Who is afraid of Irukera? Bickering surrounding success of the Consumer Protection Council of Nigerian (CPC) garnered in recent times leaves much to be desired. They have brought its director general, Babatunde Irukera, under unfair public scrutiny and spotlight. In place of resounding accolades, Irukera and CPC have come under intense hammer and unjustly maligned for every bad reason. One cannot but come to a conclusive question, who is afraid of Irukera’s string of success with the CPC?
By default, one expects every pragmatic and realistic person, irrespective of whatever, upon consecutive victories which Irukera and his team recorded these past months, at the risk of their lives, expect commendation from all quarters instead of inanities. However, it is understandable that, people in any democratic society are free to align with whatever opinion or school of thought they so choose to. Needless to say, when these opinion and thoughts are anti-majority of the people, then there is need for a serious cause for worry.
When an informed section of a society, a people who ought to be in the fore of rebuilding a charred economy, brazenly and audaciously, with gusto become irredentist to businesses that disrespect, and violate the rights of downtrodden consumers, for obvious reasons of either being direct beneficiaries or subterfuges for political foes of the DG, in a bid to coerce him into stopping the onslaught against fraudulent businesses or cowing him into assuming a political position, then it has gotten to a crescendo when the masses would have to fight for him.
Achieving this feat are no mere tea parties. Toes must have been stepped upon, nerves must have been frayed. However, if we must extricate ourselves from the grip of the impious few, who have brought us to our knees as a nation, and who are hell-bent on subverting any move made by government agencies or person, to salvage the country from their clutch, we must collectively stand our ground and take a stand. When Irukera and his team visited Akwa Ibom to confiscate and stop illegal importation of contaminated rice, it was discovered that a top government official of the Federal Ministry of Justice was complicit. Instructively, such typifies all CPC’s onslaught against fraudulent business owners.
Multichoice has been a pain in the skins of Nigerians that won’t just go away. It was only but a matter of time before somebody or a government agency taught them a lesson and put them in their place. They are notorious for violating the right Nigerian subscribers, without blinking an eyelid. Their customer service is the poorest I have seen in contemporary time. They stampede new entrants into the cable business market, silence competition because of a large financial muscle so as to remain top while monopolising the sector and arbitrarily increasing tariff without corresponding increase in demand. Nigeria has become Multichoice’s wash-hand-basin. Just about anything goes. While they claim it’s a free market, which should be devoid of government interference, in the truest sense they have no competition base on the aforementioned, hence they increase price arbitrarily.
Without the Consumer Protection Council, consumers would be eating poisoned food, consuming dangerous drugs, cheated and short-changed by business owners haphazardly. It is, therefore, Babatunde Irukera’s job, to see to it that Nigerian consumer’s right is protected and enough becomes enough.
A seasoned politician, Babatunde Irukera was in 2015, a gubernatorial aspirant under the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC). He later jettisoned that dream in the collective interest of his party to coordinate some parts of President Muhammadu Buhari’s campaign around 33 states of the federation. A great team player, he was partly instrumental to the landslide victory the APC recorded in Kogi State in 2019, reconciling factions within the party and building consensus towards the APC’s victory.
Professionally, Irukera has carved a niche for himself home and abroad. Member of Nigerian Bar Association, American Bar Association, International Bar Association, Washington State Bar Association and American Society of International Law. Founding and Managing Partner of Simmons Cooper Partners, he has had a very successful legal career, winning many leading and landmark cases, many of which are in the U S; major cases which are reference points i.e in employment discrimination cases in the US and also cases in England.
It is therefore preposterous and debilitating, to see comments like “CPC is his launch pad for media hype…. Irukera wants, to be Senator and he’s looking for media attention,” nothing could be further from the truth. Babatunde Irukera’s successful career before venturing into politics, has put him in media spotlight for over three decades, and as such, does not need to use his success stories at CPC as any media launch pad or to score any media gain for an alleged political agenda that has not even been birthed, which are mere permutation of his people, but quite obvious if not calculated, to see him jettison such, if he has such ambition.
Who, therefore, is after Babatunde Irukera for doing his job diligently? Political rivals, who perceive him as gaining too much prominence and relevance or fraudulent business owners and their cronies in high places? Or paid political vuvuzelas jingoists, paid to cyber bully Irukera? If yes is the answer to these pertinent questions, what are their motives? To silence and deter him from riding the society of fraudulent businesses who encroaches on the consumers’ rights and privileges?
An unregulated economy with unmodified behaviours would soon consume the populace. These, Irukera and his team would not watch happen.
“For us at the CPC, make no mistake, all the sponsored stories, mischaracterisation, mudslinging and personal attacks are wrongs in a ladder to effective enforcement. We will not let up, the only response is for business, manufacturers and service providers to respect the contract and social pact with consumers and ensure fairness. Or else, we will be in your face, we will be in your business, we will use every tool to modify your behaviour, including naming and shaming where necessary. And for the vast majority of businesses who balance profit with service, and truly intend to, and indeed serve, we commend you, we are grateful on behalf of a nation and are thankful that you exemplify the gold standard of how things should be, irukera said.