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Friday, 30 November 2012

Fate of our Fathers

Nigeria celebrated its 52nd Independence Anniversary last October. We are very close to the centenary mark of the Amalgamation of the Nigeria State. This is just two years from now. It’s in the year 2014. Many generations have emerged and are exiting the colossal Nigeria. Some are living relishing their bounty while some are regretting their identity as Nigerians. Those who looted the treasury were cut up in most cases. Those that are still around are in big trouble, they are never at peace. This is because the curse of the Lord is in the house of a thief. Hasty wealth is trendy in the country of our birth and its most vulnerable platform is in our political sphere. But in all these circumstances and challenges, the most pitiable persons among of us are our fathers.

They believe that their generation is wasted. They are part of the problem but not all of them. They are in their latter years and they are facing their graves. They stand the chance of entering the graves unfulfilled. They will exit the scene without really fulfilling their part of the assignment to make the Nigeria State enviable. What is their fate?

They will go six feet beneath unfulfilled. This is not because there are no opportunities to make things right but they believe it’s too late for them to start. But the truth is ‘it’s never late to start anything good’. Even if they are at the very end of their sunset years, they must endeavour to do what they can to rewrite the beautiful Nigeria story. Therefore, to all fathers that are sensitive to their legacy, they must endeavour to do well. They have a role to play, a gap to fill and a lesson to impart to the emerging generation. If they do not, even their ‘so called’ resting place is not secured. On a light note, their fate is not sealed; they are left with a choice.      

God Bless Nigeria!!!

Friday, 23 November 2012

The Nuisance of Omo Onile in New Lagos

Omo Onile literally means ‘Owner of the land’. From a straight Biblical point of view, God is the owner of every land. Bible states explicitly ‘the Earth is the Lord and its fullness there of’ {Ps24:1}. However, human kind over the ages has given credence to foremost settlers as rightly owner of territories and geographical locations. This suggests there are Citizens and land owners, Aliens and sojourners and Nomads as in some places in Africa. If an individual decides to settle in a location, not as a sojourner, he will make enquires about his choice of abode and look for the rightful owners to purchase a plot of land or more. He will pay price and then proceed to develop his land with ease and peace into something habitable.

This is obtainable in most places in Nigeria. But the case is not the same in Lagos, South West, Nigeria. There are some scoundrels who parade themselves as ‘Omo Onile’. It doesn’t matter if the price of the land is fully paid, they will harass the new land owner, and in most cases assault and threaten them. What is going here? I had the experience recently and I was really disgusted at this unconstitutional act. Even if we don’t really have respect for constitution in Nigeria, this inhumane act must stop. However, they know how far they can go in some cases. They don’t harass the very rich that is influential. They also avoid sites of Armed Forces because they know how the story will end if they do. Who will help those who are not connected in high places?       

I believe this harassment of ‘Omo Onile’ is an abuse of fundamental human rights privilege in Nigeria. However, it can be curtailed because its prominence is in Lagos, South West Nigeria only.  It must stop! It’s not negotiable. The truth is some of us will not take any claptrap. They should never dare us with it. Omo Onile beware...don’t go near my’s under construction! Therefore, Lagos State Government is hereby encouraged to do what is right. An Omo Onile extra charge is unconstitutional and it cannot be justified. It is inhumane and it must stop.  

Nigeria Lives!!! God bless Nigeria! 

Friday, 16 November 2012

Legacies of Fathers

We ardently talk of our fathers in Christianity. A hymn goes likewise ‘faith of our fathers living still’. Their legacies and humbling records are undeniable. What can we say about fathers in Nigeria? This doesn’t suggest fathers in a generic sense but our ‘so called’ heroes past. They are fathers. They had played their part for glory or gloom and they left the scene alone, by themselves. The legacies come to our mind whenever we want to proffer solutions to the challenges we are facing presently. It also comes up whenever we are asking ourselves, why we are where we are.   

In South West the scramble to be identified with Awolowo is intense. Every politician wants to be known as a true Aworist. This as it were is not a mere saying but they are known by their results. ‘Only fools doubt proofs’, my father of Faith quipped. Awo’s remarkable legacy in South West Nigeria is the policy of free education. On a sad note, Education in virtually all the state of South West is now insanely luxurious. Tertiary Education is now all time high in all the states except Ondo State. What Awo endeavoured to make free is now very expensive. Where then is the legacy?

Didn’t the fathers tutor suitable successors? What has gone wrong? Even though, our past is important, we can’t dwell in it. If the legacies of the father can’t be built on, we can create an enduring foundation. Their political systems did not last to and influence our generation on an enviable note. The foundations of these systems are questionable. In most cases, they are simply alternatives to Military rule that was prevalent on the continent of Africa. They were not designed to impact the total man. Our task now is to build what will stand the test of time. We must not build the kind they built. We must build what will really last. We don’t have a choice but to build enduring systems because our children will not ask us about the legacies of our fathers but we will do with the opportunity that history permitted and time allotted.    

Nigeria lives! God bless Nigeria!

Friday, 9 November 2012

I'm From Ondo State

There is this world view in South West Nigeria that people from Ondo State are inherently stubborn. The belief received a boost at the just concluded gubernatorial election in the state. The affair is intensely three sided. There is a scenario of a party in power that wants to do more. Another party wanted to integrate. The third party wanted a feasible redemption.

The main contenders approached the issue with a consciousness of the history of the Old Ondo in the mid 70’s to early 80’s and recent events in the new democracy. The prominent isn’t the volatile nature and sensitivity of elections in the state. What is really at stake is that no governor has ever been returned elected after a first term from the polls. Papa Ajasin was returned by the tribunal. Adefarati tried to come back but was defeated by Agagu. Agagu forced his way in through mercenaries but was eased out by the rule of the law. Before last Saturday, every diligent student of history was contemplating the outcome. Will Iroko break the jinx? Will Ondo state be integrated? Can PDP govern in the State again?

The rest is now history but some things came to play that most outsiders can’t really understand. First, the electorate of Ondo state rejected imposition. They could have given ACN a chance if Olu Agunloye was their candidate but Akeredolu is seen as Tinubu’s pawn. Ondo’s resilience said no to ACN’s incursion and ‘fabled’ integration. However, this resilience came afore in the person of Mimiko. He dared the status quo and rebelled against the trend. In Nigeria’s context, the actual belief is ‘if you can’t beat them, join them’. If he had joined ACN immediately when coming into power, the election wouldn’t have generated this order of contest and conquest. It would have been predictable, he could have lost and he would have under-delivered because of godfathers. Mimiko dared the drift and Iroko has evidently emerged as a force to reckon with not only in Ondo politics and South West but in the whole of Nigeria. He’s from Ondo, so also are some of us. When we are ready we will take over.

The lesson learnt is: It can never be too late to do what is right. You don’t have to join the multitude to make a difference. There is nothing impossible in Nigeria. We can say no to whatever we want to say no to. Therefore, if you ever come to a point where you can see a path, stand where you are and create a path. I’m from Ondo, Mimiko has left a trail for us to follow, let’s go there and see, if we don’t want to follow, let’s create another. I’m from Ondo, Ondo people don’t take twaddle!