A few years ago, Mr. Agi Peter, a young vibrant and the shrewd chartered accountant, the youngest ever Bursar of the University of Calabar since its inception in 1975, brought to the table his ‘paradigm shift’ mantra which was geared at the entrenchment of the world best practices of financial ethics in the institution.
It was aimed at cleansing the financial sharp practices in that famous academic citadel. The rot in the financial section of the institution was much and the stench so pungent like ammonia (R-717). But the Herculean-like Agi must pick up the gauntlet. He did so with so much youthful vigour and enthusiasm. While discharging his duty, he adhered strictly to the principles resolutely without minding whose ox would be gored or bating his eyelids. Not a few were pleased because everyone was accustomed to cutting corners. He was accused of financial impropriety and embezzlement by the management of the institution.
A Committee was constituted — a kangaroo panel of inquiry to inquire into the financial allegations levelled against him. He saw prejudice billowing from the inner recesses of the Committee. Hatred and all shades of anger written on the members’ faces. He wouldn’t submit and subject himself to such carefully chosen members of a Committee which was tied to the apron strings of the man at the helm of affairs. Their report was written before its formation. Therefore, he avoided them like leprous fellows. And, he was shown the exit door.
He kicked and galloped like a stallion seeking for redress. They pursued and tried in vain to restrain him. Of course, it’s an exercise in futility to shoe a running horse. He knew his hands were spick-and-span. He remained fearless and unwavering as we know, clear conscience fears no accusation. They employed the services of those practicing yellow journalism. It worked to a large extent in feeding the gullible with fake stories.
In those years, there was no day that went unnoticed without denying the internet of its peace. The social media, information domains — almost all, were choked and engulfed with, sponsored, doctored, jaundiced, scathing, sarcastic, vitriolic, hateful, searing, libellous, defamatory and calumniatory reports, opinions and epistolaries by various interested individuals and sensational public affairs practitioners against the then embattled Bursar, Mr. Peter Agi.
Bloggers were hired, recruited, paid and given the marching order to flood the internet with such deleterious write-ups just to weaken Mr. Agi’s hand; dampen his sight, puncture his manly ego, cause his morale to sag, break the elasticity of his spirit, reduce his reputation before the estimation of his admirers and the general public; and finally deck him with the toga of an incompetent, fraudulent and bad financial manager so that the limb of the law and its sister agencies such as the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission (ICPC) would hurriedly arrest, prosecute and persecute him.
The blogger-in-chief and purveyor of such pieces was one Inyali Peter. He was the disburser of the bloggers brown envelopes from the administration of the then Vice Chancellor, Prof. Zana Akpagu. Mr. Inyali and his paymaster didn’t know what the future portends; that was why they wobbled and fumbled. Just three years after the orchestrated administrative prejudice; discrimination, harassment, intimidation, humiliation and war of attrition meted on Mr. Agi under the overseeing of the mercurial VC, neither him (Prof. Zana) nor Inyali would have the ball to ask for forgiveness from Agi now that the Court has vindicated him of all alleged crimes. Socratic irony.
Today, Zana is no longer the Vice Chancellor as his tenure has expired a year ago and Inyali Peter ran out of the institution unchased giving credence to the Preacher’s saying of “the wicked flee when no one pursues”; see Proverbs 28:1. The defeated dog slinks off with its tail between its legs, says the old English idiom. Metaphorical effect.
Mortals fumble because they don’t know what the future portends. Had they known, they wouldn’t have used the coercive apparatuses of the law inordinately against an innocent man. The school authority paid millions to the men in black to incriminate him. They paid the learned men in wig and gown to make sure he was indicted and probably jailed. The money was taken from the university’s savings box. Was Agi guilty? The answer is negative. At least, the court has said so. So, why was he being chased? Probably to give room for someone to have easy access to the treasury. O’ people are wicked.
Wicked people everywhere. When Agi was shoved off, even some of those that wined and dined with him; slept with him, ate pork and beans with him like the American professional wrestler, Dusty Rhodes would say, later denied and deserted him. They said he was too stubborn; full of himself, too zealous about his job and blablabla! Some of these guys are from Yala. I interacted with a few.
Somehow, or maybe, there’s an atom of truth in their insinuations. However, change is constant, says Heraclitus of Ephesus, the Greek philosopher otherwise, called “The Obscure”. Agi should choose his allies. He must purge himself from bad allies. Cassius would produce the dagger; Casca would carry it, and Brutus would, I mean, he’ll use it. Agi must beware of allies such as Brutus, Casca and Cassius. But keep Mark Anthony close. If not, he would like Caesar groaned, “Et tu, Brutus?” See Julius Caesar Act III scene I.
Peter Amama Agi, I say to you, ‘arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the lord has risen upon you’ (Isaiah 60:1)
Mr. Ogar Emmanuel Oko is a Public Affairs Commentator, Public Relations Officer of Ijegu Ojor and Publicity Secretary (Niger Delta Activists Forum).
NB: Opinions expressed in this article are strictly attributable to the author, Ogar Emmanuel Oko and do not represent the opinion of CrossRiverWatch or any other organization the author works for/with.
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