I will not join the multitude in deliberately committing evil, neither will I be part of the minority which shy away from speaking the truth, the whole truth nothing but the truth.
Hence, this article which I am writing with the fear of God and commitment to the ethical dictate of the pen profession.
Mrs. Sally Mbanefo has been a subject of vitriolic media attack right from the very first day her name was announced by the federal government as a replacement for Otunba Olusegun Runsewe.
Not that Mrs Mbanefo is not competent, nay, going through her resume and investigating her precedent at working posts, she is not only fit but an asset to the nation rather it was the manner and ridiculous way which Otunba Runsewe’s appointment was terminated while on active assignment of the Federal Government in far away Dubai.
This writer was in fact an arrow head of people who led a heavy voice of criticism against the act of the Federal Government not because of the personality of Sally Mbanefo, but the undignified manner with which Otunba Olusegun Runsewe and another Yoruba man who was the Director of Nigerian Broadcasting Commission (NBC) were removed before the end of their respective tenures. As for Otunba Runsewe, he had almost eight months more into the end of his second term tenure of four years each, having spent seven years and four months out of eight years.
Making the announcement a painful one then was the fact that Otunba Runsewe had led a large delegation of NTDC staff including, drivers, office assistants and some of the tourism writers, including the writer and journalists to attend the Arabian Travel Market (ATM) taking place in Dubai where some of the investors who visited Nigerian stand raised the fear of assignment instability of Nigerian’s tourism administrator.
And we have not left the market when the fears of the investors were not only confirmed but that the man who had allayed their fear was removed with ignominy on the second day by the Federal Government!
And the man that was removed is not only an accomplished journalist/publisher but a wonderful personality who is not only a philanthropist to journalist and journalism but one, who gave his best according to his own vision by creation of huge awareness about tourism in term of publicity.
Definitely, only a fool will expect someone like Otunba Runsewe with his looming image which was even larger than tourism himself to be removed without rumbles.
Even, if there were no natural rumbles, as human too, one does not expect Otunba Runsewe or his followers not to be throwing stones.
Particularly with the background of personality discord between the former occupier’ of the Ministry of Tourism, Adetokunbo Kayode, who had made futile effort of getting rid of Otunba Runsewe and the brazen enmity between the present occupier Chief Edem Duke who finally succeeded in removing him and appoint a “supposedly stooge” in person of Sally. So, the first sin of Sally Mbanefo is the fact that the Federal Government was unkind enough by appointing her to replace a huge personality who spend over seven years as a DG and whose fame, good deeds and large heartedness have cultivated to him large troop of followers, admirers, loyalists and praise-singers who enjoyed tremendous patronage and support and survival from him within the NTDC as a corporation and within the travel tourism journalists, some of us who so much depended on his largesse to live, buy car, build houses, junket over the world and social support on etc.
Expectedly this group of people will not be happy and will forever curse the day Otunba Runsewe was removed and unless the person who is stepping into the post is ready to carry on with business as usual and wear the behavioural garb of Otunba Runsewe’s, there is no way things will be smooth for the occupier.
To many of the journalists and Otunba’s admirers, Sally was the fellow who pushed Otunba Runsewe out as if she has the authority.