Joseph Udofia: In Defence of Agagu

“Why didn’t they transport Agagu’s carcass by road. Why air?”

This is a question posted by a friend on a social media platform. Another rose to his defense saying that “Agagu should have constructed good roads during his tenure as Governor of Ondo State”. These questions and comments capture a bulk of comments posted by many on social media platforms. Many were quick to say that the money used to fly the corpse will have made more impact if used to repair the road from Lagos to Akure. One asks “Is the road from Lagos to Akure, a state road”?
The road from Akure to Lagos links up with the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, a federal road. The road was never under Agagu’s jurisdiction during his six-year stinct as the Governor of Ondo State.
However, the Akure wing of the roads was under his care. Late Olusegun Agagu served as Ondo State Governor between May 2003 and February 2009. Considering the thousands of vehicles that ply the road, and our poor maintenance culture, if that road was in good shape four years ago, it would no longer be in good condition, save an intervention from the incumbent Governor, Olusegun Mimiko. So why blame Olusegun Agagu?
To make matters worse, many suddenly realized that Olusegun Agagu served Nigeria as the Aviation Minister. Many didn’t realize this, two weeks ago when he died, but were quick to showcase their prowess at history, or say, using Google, when they suddenly emerged with that fact. Tweets like “Agagu was a former Aviation Minister”- though ambiguous could mean one thing: “Good for him. He embezzled funds meant for catering for the Aviation sector and has to bear the brunt. Nemesis has caught up with him”. If so, then God should not listen to your pleas of forgiveness as fate should also orchestrate your death as retribution for the errors you made in the past.
A time like this calls for sober reflection. Nigeria just marked its 53rd year of Independence amidst turmoil. Boko Haram insurgents, industrial actions, epileptic power supply and plane crashes. One can only pray and hope for the best for the country and actively contribute his quota towards national development. This is no time for gibes or jokes. “Agagu is a Liverpool fan, he never walks alone” apparently saying that Agagu had to pull along others to the great beyond is uncalled for. If one’s friend, family or loved one was a victim of the plane crash, the funniest joke will have no iota of humour.

Let us thus cease to speak evil of the dead, and pay tributes to a man who served his fatherland, while praying that God grants the nation, family and friends, the fortitude to bear the loss.

Joseph is a passionate Nigerian contributing his quota to national development via creative writing. ff on twitter @joeycynosure

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