Dr. Doyin Okupe
If former President Obasanjo had his way, Dr. Doyin Okupe would not have gotten back to Aso Rock Presidential Villa, talk less been appointed Senior Special Assistant on Public Affairs to President Jonathan. President Obasanjo removed Okupe as his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity around 2005, calling him all kinds of unprintable names.
He loathed him since then, and since then too, the two prominent sons of Egbaland had been estranged. While on the job as Obasanjo’s SA, Okupe took on many prominent Nigerians who criticised Obasanjo and his policies. He attacked (that word again) those who dared to cross Obasanjo’s path, giving them a measure of his sharp tongue. Now back at the Villa even in spite of Obasanjo’s alleged opposition to his appointment, it would seem Okupe is now paying Obasanjo back in his own N5000 note. What goes round truly comes round as they say. Or how else would one view Okupe’s undermining of Obasanjo’s eminence, calling him an “ordinary citizen” on account of his criticism of the planned introduction of the N5000 note, a criticism Okupe agrees the former president is entitled to. Just hear Okupe: “Obasanjo is an ordinary citizen.
He has the right to speak on issues of national importance, but his views are not sacrosanct. But Obasanjo has the right to his opinion.” And what is the hoopla all about? Obasanjo had at a forum in Lagos last week said the N5000 denomination would kill production and affect small businesses badly. After Okupe, a blue-blood from Iperu-Remo in Ogun State, blasted Obasanjo over the denunciation, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor Sanusi Lamido, equally a blue-blood from Kano, also drew his own blood. Who is more modest in taking Obasanjo to the cleaners? Hear Sanusi on the former president’s criticism: “This is an interesting country because my uncle or my father who was (is) our former head of state, General Obasanjo, who we all know is a very successful farmer, is a very bad economist; especially for saying that the introduction of higher denomination will cause inflation and improve hardship. Obasanjo introduced N20, N100, N200, N500 and N1000. He had introduced more higher denomination currencies in Nigeria than any other head of state.”