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Can Yorubaland escape the basic problems that plague Nigeria if our wish of forming a country of our own is achieved? Tola Adenle

August 29, 2014

Nigeria

A little background to the following two mails that are worth sharing

The  following two mails are the last in a chain that date back to before the recent elections in Nigeria’s Osun State and while the daily stats through wordpress.com show Nigeria as being second to readers from the United States of America, the most popular subjects do show Nigeria as Number One.  I therefore concluded long ago that Nigerians in Diaspora are my Number One readers from over a hundred countries where readers come. 

Many of us have had the privilege over the past two years of listening in on discussions of various subjects by a group that include Drs. Opawoye, Ajetunmobi, Messrs Dele Daramola, Adetoye Adeyemi, and others, including religion, corruption and others.  They were always civil, respectful of others’ opinions even when huge gulfs might separate opinions.  The discussants would differ from time to time but some core participants were almost always present who would rest a week or so before finding something else to discuss.

Then suddenly, some months ago, the subject matter changed to the coming elections in Osun State and I started receiving mails from names that were not among the usual discussants. I read them for a while before I decided to just open, decide whether it was worth being read in the first paragraph before setting them aside as they became so political that they would qualify as coming from a campaign headquarters.  I must mention that the usual verbal combatants, with the exception of one or two did not participate in subjects on revelations of how PDP and government agencies were planning to rig the elections, et cetera.  

Professor Falade and Dr. Ajetunmobi, two souls unable to stay away from contributing to just about any discussion on Nigeria, would, however, sometime step in, Falade veering towards spiritualism and the Christian religion while Ajetunmobi would go philosophical offering copious references to experts AND religion (Christianity & Islam) to question, nullify or agree with a contentious point.  Whenever mails came from either of the two, I would read.</p

The mail in my mail box yesterday was jarring in its incredibly cringing I am-here-too Nigerian way of sycophancy, and since more than a stone seems to have been lobbed my way, I decided to reply to the part that concerns me and not to the mostly non-arguments contained in the letter.  

Owing to posting errors I have made, I’ve copied Dr. Akute’s mail and mine intact as my mail to the recipients of his were shown. I used Word document I had saved instead of copying from my mailbox to avoid the time-consuming process of copying from my mail directly and then ran into errors. I keep learning at this trade! ERROR GREATLY REGRETTED on this important issue.

TOLA/

 

 

FROM OLUSOLA OLUSOGA AKUTE

” … But don’t let their hack writers and columnists harass us with transformation stories in Singapore etc for they contribute in no small measures to our present travail …” – Akute

I have taken the liberty of forwarding the article from Prof. Osinbajo(SAN) a Redeemed Christian Pastor, to some of my friends who might have drunk deep from another video on” Islamisation” of Nigeria posted by another Redeemed Pastor OR is he their quest ? Here is hoping for a balanced digest.

In the recent past any time I drove from Lagos to Ibadan and saw the stark difference between the two my heart sank and I wondered aloud when will Ibadan shed its rural image and is that even possible? Thank God, not any more! Truth be told, Ajimobi has changed all that in the last two years and gave us hope. Ibadan is not Lagos yet in terms of aesthetics, planning and infrastructure but we are on the march!

The virulent critics now regale us with stories of insurmountable debts and contracts going to a single politician in Lagos. Pray what of those who accumulated debts for us in the past and yet nothing to show for the debts! Any serious Government with an eye for lasting achievements must accumulate debts (the US Govt. is my witness!) I am yet to see Ajimobi or his boys stopping Okada riders or Danfo drivers on the beautiful roads he constructed because they are not elites. Surely “Abiyamo l’ota agan, Sisesise l’ota ole” (the fertile woman is an enemy of the barren as the hard working guy is the enemy of the lazy person)

When these Satanic critics got their chance, what do we have ?———-Billboards of various sizes, shapes and styles, miscreants in Govt., rival thugs engaged in mayhem, and killings on the streets and same installed in offices in the secretariat ! Yes don’t forget her Excellency office (and as God is our witness her Excellency never occupied the office!) If that is all the people want to go back to (a rule of the mobsters), fair enough we’ll all have a long wait. But don’t let their hack writers and columnists harass us with transformation stories in Singapore etc for they contribute in no small measures to our present travail.

They talk of ‘stomach infrastructure’– Yes the people are fed rice, tuwo or amala for a day and are starved for the remaining 364*4days! So at the end of the day, they (the people) are denied ‘stomach’ and physical infrastructures———-Head or Tail they are losers!

There is no kidding—the home truth is that the present crop of leaders in the S/West irrespective of their religion have delivered and surpassed their predecessors but we can prevail on them to do more with constructive NOT destructive criticism. Some of them of course should come down from their Olympian heights and bond with the people like Gov. Aregbesola did whilst hoping the shenanigans from the central Govt, is curtailed.

I hope Pro. Osinbajo gave his article a wide publication like the ‘video’ Pastor –electronic and newsprint
OO.AKUTE

——————–
FROM TOLA ADENLE

Reference above from Dr. Olusoga Akute’s above mail, it is just possible that somebody else has written as extensively as I did on Singapore about a year ago a write-up/write-ups that I must have missed about whom Akute penned above, and in which case this mail is therefore irrelevant.

I wanted to allow this mail to just pass because with the season of politics upon us, another essay I had already started to write about the incredible changing from one party to another that may eventually see Nigeria become a one-party state, a situation that would necessarily warrant even more far-out sycophancy than Nigeria is used to, seems to call for another day; otherwise, I would seemingly be addressing people indirectly and many wild claims/conjectures would go unchallenged. For example, what or who does the “they” in “they contribute in no small measures to our present travail” refer to: “the transformation stories in Singapore” or the “hack writers …” Crazy!

Before I go further, if other “hack writers and columnists” happened to have been written on, or about the incredible strides Singapore made under the former President Lee, however, I would welcome it/they being drawn to my attention and I would tender my apology to all who got Akute’s letter and this subsequent reply right away. Anonymous writings have never had any place since I was welcome about two years ago to the multiple groups in the forum that this latest discussion group is part of but this is the season of politics when more than caution gets thrown to the wind.

And of course, it is well-known that I have written on indebtedness in Nigeria and the Southwest since 2002 in The Comet on Sunday:

We may get “the rush that credit card holders do when they go out charging everything they like” but it’s always short lived as I wrote way back in 2003 in above paper. Some of those essays – and I stand firmly on my belief about the negative result of the central government’s massive loans and bond issues AND the Southwestern states even though I’m no economist. The essays can be accessed on my blog through the search box by anyone who’s interested.

The Naira’s pulverization that sees one pound Sterling now going for N287, et cetera against other major currencies partly stems from the massive loans which has led to the unimaginable poverty of our people. I do not see things getting better as long as the credo continues to be “borrow me credit” to use that funny English Language murder by a communication company’s come-thither bait to the poor who cannot control their usage of mobile phones.

I bought and read the two-volume books on Singapore about a year ago and took it upon myself to send some highlights to each of the Southwestern States governors, including Ondo’s Dr. Mimiko of the Labour Party whose achievements in the State during his first term was why it was impossible for anybody to dislodge him in 2012, a fact I mentioned in multiple essays long before the election because I happened to live at Akure from September 2011 to November 2012; I’ve never had anything to do with the government there, nor was I out there chasing contracts as is common in this clime. Naturally, though, I was and will always be interested in how the state is run.

Some weeks back, I watched Kenya’s President Kenyatta – son of Jomo, (as if we all did not know but I was a teacher) list one of President Lee’s two books, the autobiography, as the greatest book he’s ever read when asked by an interviewer; he – Kenyatta – believes that it is a template that many leaders like him could borrow from. I can understand why nobody who reads any of the two books – or both – would not be wowed by the way President Lee took a backwater Third World state to First World within a period of 30 years.

Anybody, including those who are lucky to be given the mandates to rule any developing country, must, I believe, have others who they would like to emulate – or should – as the Great Awo had his, including Mahatma Ghandi. During his presidency, I know that retd. General Obasanjo reportedly said that he did not need the advice of those he chose as advisers in various areas! It is only in Nigeria that a politician can say or believe that he needs no input from anybody even while claiming to rule millions of people – and get away with it.

If, on the other hand, the quote above is really supposed to refer to me, I can see how easy it would be for me to qualify as a “hack writer” in a country filled with people who would like their voices heard in any form of way no matter what they would have to do to earn the amplification. And by the way, if above does refer to me, above writer would not be the first to describe me as such: two former governors, Osun’s Oyinlola and Ogun’s Gbenga Daniel, one of whom I believe is now in the “progressive” camp, publicly wrote such in the not distant past. And there are people out there today in what is left of a two-party state, working closely with top politicians who did read and know of such absurd accusations that border on insanity.

Please be informed that I am going to put this on my blog so that any possible response by those to whom I’m addressing it in the first instance can be sent there through the ‘comments’ column .

I will end this mail with two quotes from Ghandi which I used last year for another occasion:


“The only tyrant I accept in this world is the ‘still small voice’ within me. And even though I have to face the prospect of being a minority of one, I humbly believe I have the courage to be in such a hopeless minority.
” – Ghandi

And the second one which Mahatma Ghandi calls the “seven social sins”: politics without principles:

“Seven social sins: politics without principles, wealth without work, pleasure without conscience, knowledge without character, commerce without morality, science without humanity, and worship without sacrifice.”

While I’ve always been very politically-inclined (I started my sort of political journey as Secretary-General of the Technical College Students Union, now Ibadan Poly in 1967; then Asst. Secretary of the All Nigeria Union of Students Associations – ANUNSA (’68), it is a trait I have in common with some siblings which we must have inherited from our father’s courageous stands on social issues in his community: fairness, justice, and looking out for others. Even after his brother was beheaded by egungun, he remained undaunted in guarding the tiny village church around the turn of the last century. I’m not as brave as him or I shouldn’t have taken to staying indoors throughout my 27-month staty at Osogbo once someone pointed out a purported PDP killer from March 2009 to June 2011.

With the careless but NECESSARY bit about Oyo’s Governor Ajimobi thrown in for good measure, by the way, I must mention I was so excited about the new Agodi Gardens that I went there around Easter so that I could take pictures to fit “My adopted hometown (Ibadan, Nigeria) has something not even Lagos can boast of” even though I did have my “still small voice” warn me not to do it as the season of politics would send a message I did not intend. Knowing it was for the public to enjoy during those Easter picnics, Ileya outings, et cetera, I decided to do it. “Fortunately”, it was not opened but I still did try daily till the Thursday after Easter before giving up.

Those who try to shield presidents, governors, et cetera from knowing the truth about what they should know, what society is thinking, how their governments are perceived – wrongly or accurately, are not helping the evolution of democracy in Nigeria, especially in Yorubaland.

I owe no apologies for these points of view.

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3 Comments on “Can Yorubaland escape the basic problems that plague Nigeria if our wish of forming a country of our own is achieved? Tola Adenle”

  1. emotan77 Says:

    FROM MY MAIL BOX
    From O. Akute

    Iam afraid Madam l never had you in mind nor for that matter anybody in particular. I have not been privileged to even go through your blog and therefore have no reason to impugn your character. Also iam full of admiration for what Lee did in Singapore and I wish to God it can be replicated in Nigeria. Iam sure Madam you are aware the Singapore miracle is well known in Nigeria
    “Hell have no fury—-“. You could at least find out a little more from me before all the venom!
    I would have loved to apologise but I have you not in mind!

    Like

    Reply

    • emotan77 Says:

      Dear Dr. Akute,

      Despite my decision not to give the write-up a one by one response, especially when sent to my mail box instead of putting it in the comments section but I need to send a reply to yours.

      Anything written for public consumption does not need finding out on a personal basis before a response is given; anything I write implies that I am able to stand up for it and defend it if the need be.

      As we’ve never really met, my “fury” cannot nor should it be compared to the sexist saying of the “fury of a woman scorned” as I’ve not been jilted or whatever.

      Doctor, I should greatly appreciate your sending the reference(s) of those who have written about Lee’s Singapore as you referenced it. As I mentioned in my response, we generally do not have writings that cannot be referenced in the discussion groups in which I have participated or been an ordinary siddon look, to quote late Chief Bola Ige.

      This is nothing personal, Doctor.

      Sincerely,
      TOLA.

      Like

      Reply

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