The former Chairman of the Presidential Task Force on Power (PTFP), Engr. Beks Dagogo-Jack in this interview with Energy Correspondents explained the rationale behind his exit as PTFP Chair. Etuka Sunday chronicles his reactions. Excerpts:
That is the reason for this media briefing sir?
I am resigning my position as the Chairman of the Presidential Task Force on Power, effective October 19, 2014. I did so after wide consultations with my principals and with those I have relationship with. This was done in good faith because I shall be presenting myself as one of the aspirants for the office of governor of Rivers State on the platform of the PDP for the 2015 elections.
So it is only proper and by the constitution of our party that nobody seeking such office should be in government employment later than 20th of October. I am making this public through the media today but in fact I have done it officially.
In the interim and based on the succession plan that we have here, Engr. Clement Oke, who currently is the Senior Performance Monitor for the Fuel to Power Team shall be the acting chairman of the PTFP.
Is it not dangerous delving into politics considering the fact that you either win or loss?
There is no mission which will improve society that is not risky. No challenge designed to take people from level one to two that is risk-free. So I do not plan to worry about the risks. I commit to the mission and will deal with the risks as they come.
What is the legacy you left as chairman?
You are asking me to write my report card but it is always better for other people to write it. But what I will say is that we did not allow the electricity reform to go the wrong way. We insisted that it stays on course and we remained focus. We didn’t get dissuaded and didn’t allow people to change the minds of the leadership so far as the
reform is concerned. We supported the system and very soon the power situation in Nigeria will be what we want it to be.
Did you just change your mind to run for an elective office or have you been nursing this for a while?
You seek some clarification somewhere from your question. By the way I was brought, people get called to serve. So if they call you to serve and the station they call you to serve is of a political nature, they
believe that you have what it takes to do that work. I am really different from people who seek office so that their status will change so that they can do things the way they want. But I am not one of them. If I’m called, I will respond and when I respond I will put my best on the table.
If I don’t have the capacity for the position you called me for then you are making a mistake.
So when I was coming into this, there was a wealth of expression of interest and desire at different levels saying you can do this. We see an opportunity by putting you forward there to give us a different level of service. I responded, but not immediately because there were lots of consultations.
I agreed that if you all believe that I can provide this level of service, I will give it a shot but it is politics. So I must go through the political process and compete with other people and beat them.
It has been in the news that some government functionaries are interested in governing Rivers State and that state has been characterized with a lot of political brouhaha. Do you see the political landscape in the state as pliable for you as a person?
I appreciate where you are coming from but I also sympathize with the circumstances that brought us to that location where we are today. The truth of the matter is that the people we are striving to serve when you win an election are not animals.
The place that we want to rule is not a jungle. So why are the people trying to rule behaving like they are in the jungle?
For if the people you want to rule are not animals and the area you want to govern is not a jungle, why are you behaving like an animal?
It is difficult for me to understand because it is human beings that you are trying to rule and the places you want to govern are societies full of different classes of people and different tribes. So why do we treat the area as a jungle and treat the people we are trying to serve as animals.