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death of nigerian economist sam aluko
DrMarty | March 5, 2012 at 03:12 amby
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He was respected beyond the borders of Nigeria for his steadfast and vocal opposition to the murderous policies of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank, both of which are squatting in Abuja today, still directing Nigeria's failed economy.
Professor Aluko was the embodiment of what sociologist David Riesman called the inner-directed personality. Once Professor had proved to himself that he was right, he would not succumb to peer group pressure nor be a slave to popular opinion.
He also did not hesitate to speak out to criticize government officials of his nation when he knew their policies were wrong, which often got him in trouble.
When Professor Aluko accepted the chairmanship of National Economic Intelligence Committee (NEIC) from 1994 to 1999 under General Sani Abacha, he was severely criticized, even rebuked, by many shortsighted Nigerians.
Ironically, he refused a position in the elected government of President Olusegun Obasanjo, years later, following Abacha's death. He accepted the chairmanship of the NEIC in the Abacha regime because he was given the freedom to improve the economy, which he fully intended to do, with no concern for what people thought of the head of state.
Professor Aluko continued to insist that the economy was better under Abacha than in subsequent governments, to the consternation of Obasanjo, who reacted foolishly by attacking Professor Aluko as senile, which he certainly was not.
In fact, it is reported that in the final days before his death, Professor Aluko wrote a memo to the Ondo State government on how to the improve revenues of the state.
Unlike the majority of people in society today, Professor Aluko always acted on the basis of principle, even when it caused hardship to himself and his family. He was immoveable once he set his mind on a course of action and, as everyone knew, he was incorruptible. He was always motivated by the good he could do for society, and never for personal gain.
Unfortunately, today, with terrible conditions afflicting countries throughout the world, and especially, the horrific conditions of life for over 70% of Nigeria's 160 million people, the absence of a Sam Aluko, with his powerful intellect, will have an enormous impact on us all. Until the end, he remained upset about the current state of affairs in Nigeria.
[Professor Sam Aluko was born August 18, 1929, in Ekiti State; studied economics at the London School of Economics between 1955 and 1959; taught economics at the University of Ife (Nigeria) and the University of Nigeria at Nsukka from 1959 to 1966; visiting scholar at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard University (USA) 1962; appointed Professor of Economics at the University of Ife in 1967; served as Economics Advisor to the Government of Ondo State, 1979-1983.]
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