He is not the president, or governor, or senator. But as a leader in Nigeria, his name – Otunba Segun Runsewe – has become a household item. It may not be easy to find any other who is as convinced about the huge possibilities in Nigeria and passionately works to achieve it. From where does he derive the energy? From God, and the fear of failure, he says. But there are valid reasons to believe there is more to it. This is a brilliant man who loves people and life and sees possibilities even in the most hopeless situation. Such a man can achieve anything he sets his mind on. Enjoy this exclusive walk through the mind of vintage Otunba Segun Runsewe:
By OSA AMADI
There has been a lot of talk about using arts and culture to bring unity and peace in Nigeria. Do you think there can be unity and peace without justice?
Well, when you talk about unity, our unity is an issue that is non-negotiable. We remain one. Let me tell you this: there is no way we will not have disagreements. But we need to sit down and agree, and let the past be gone. We have to be patient with one another, tolerant, and accept one another based on our own cultural values.
You asked me about using culture to bring peace and unity. All over the world, there is one latest strategy used in the search for peace and unity, and that strategy is cultural diplomacy. With cultural diplomacy we will be done; and resolve a lot of issues amongst ourselves.
Is it right that we have not exhausted this strategy of cultural diplomacy and other forms of peaceful resolution before resorting to use of force and bullets in silencing the agitations?
But you saw what happened. For the very first time, the Eastern governors rose from a meeting and said they believe in the unity of Nigeria. Although the call was a bit late, that is the right thing to do. For me I commend the eastern governors for that comment which will now necessitate that everybody must sit down and discuss and move this country forward.
It appears that wherever you go, things will start working there, and when you leave the flame will die down. What is the solution to the problem of continuity in governance, policies, and legacies left behind by predecessors in Nigeria?
For me I believe it is just the grace of God. I just move and believe in one strategy. That strategy is the fear of failure. I fear failure a lot. So whatever I am assigned to do I want the best out of it. And I have found out that with God, prayers and faith, things will work out. I do continue with whatever good policy or legacy those who came before me had left behind and try to improve on them. It is a decision every progressive leader needs to make. It makes for the progress of a country.
Is Nigeria deficient of efficient and passionate leaders like Otunba Segun Runsewe?
It is not. But the few people like us must get the others to be on track.