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Politics - May 27, 2020

Walking a slippery terrian

Excerpts (Pp. 112 -114) for the benefit of LIARS in high offices!

” One day, Governor Agagu came to the Executive Council Meeting and calmly took his seat. After the usual official prayers, he alerted members of Council about the intolerable rate at which classified information was finding its way out of the system. All eyes immediately turned in the direction of the Secretariat of which I was administrative head.
” ‘Yes, Cabinet!’ the Governor called, ‘what do you have to say?’
” I cleared my throat
” ‘Your Excellency, as a young officer, I had worked here in the Cabinet Secretariat in the early days of my career in the Civil Service. I was here during the Ajasin – Omoboriowo crisis and knew that the crisis began with the leakage of classified information. I was not in the Cabinet Secretariat during Chief Adebayo Adefarati but I know that his problem also began when classified official information began to make the rounds in newspapers. When I got posted as Permanent Secretary, Cabinet Office, the very first thing I did was to call a meeting of my workers to warn them against leaking classified information. I do believe they listened; if they did, I do not expect any of them to have given out classified information. But I can only speak for myself.
” ‘Your Excellency, going by the experience of Chief Ajasin and Chief Adefarati, your own moments of crisis may well have come. When I read in the newspapers stories about Council’s decisions, I was going to talk to you privately but I might as well tell you what I did not have the opportunity to discuss with you privately: your moment of crisis has come!
“There was silence. The first reaction came from Chief Tayo Alasoadura, Commissioner of Finance.
” ‘Now, that the moment of crisis has come, what next? How are we sure the leakage was not from …?’
” The Governor cut in, before the Commissioner could go on.
” ‘Leave the Cabinet Secretariat out of this!’ the Governor said. ‘I had gone to Abuja on a Thursday. A memo we had taken on a Wednesday, here in this Council, was presented to me on arrival in Abuja, live! I know there are one or two disgruntled members of this Council and this shows in their attitude in Council.’
” Thereafter, a discreet investigation into the leaks commenced. If ever I had any respect for Dr Olusegun Agagu as Governor, I did on that occasion. He had lived above the pettiness of some of his Council members and seen through their treachery. He did not spare them. He told the truth. After the meeting, on their way out of the Council Chamber, some of the members discussed in hushed tones…
” ‘They’d better leave the officials alone. We knew how we got our information when we were in the opposition. The channel is still open.’ “

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