“A leader . . . is like a shepherd. He stays behind the flock, letting the most nimble go out ahead, whereupon the others follow, not realizing that all along they are being directed from behind.” — Nelson Mandela

Rauf Aregbesola, technology
Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola 

Ogbeni Rauf received a clutchful of awards recently, in recognition of his tireless and sterling work in his capacity as the then Governor of Osun State. He received the gongs from the Nigeria & Africa Development Indicators Monitoring (NADIM) Foundation founder, Prof. Taofeek Ibrahim.This makes the ninth of such awards including picked up:NADIM 2018 Outstanding Leadership Award: Overall Best State Development Award in Nigeria, first/Best State in Births that have a Reported Birth Weight p157, NDHS 2013,1st/Best State in Birth Average of Larger in Weight p157, NDHS 2013.

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Like my father, I too, I am a great fan of the Ogbeni and have been following this political and social trailblazer over the years.

First a disclaimer; No, I have not met him and No, this is not a party political.

I admire him because he always leads by example and led so well that he inspired millions by his examples.

He invested in his people particularly in education, creating employment opportunities and changing a generation’s mind-set. O yes, he did.

From my archive:

Rauf is the real deal.

There are times when it seems pointless talking about the obvious and after a while it does get to you and it has got to me that I refuse to slip into the doldrums of doom and negativity. I assure you it is very hard when you talk about the shenanigans of our government and lives of the masses.

As they say, misery likes company but I refuse to be drawn into its company so instead, I went seeking for what is right with Nigeria. What is working and working well.

I have been for some time watching with interest the pragmatic and determined administration of the Osun State Governor Rauf Aregbesola.

We have all borne witness to the transformation of Osun State and it is not the window dressing that is favoured by many of the governors.

No, this is the real thing and the man knows what the country needs; better leadership, commitment and dedication. As those who are familiar with my column,  I have always been a great supporter of our young people and have always written for the need for our government to invest in young people. Well, Aregbesola has and now he has surpassed expectations, with the second batch of the OYES!, the Osun State Youth Empowerment Scheme, he has been able to provide a positive direction and employment for the young people.

The members of the second batch of the O’YES cadets were recruited from all the local government areas in the state and they are expected to serve across the state as traffic marshals, sanitation coordinators, Green Gang Paramedics and teaching service between year 2013 and 2015. This is job creation on a state wide level. This is definitely,a long term investment; the state invested two years pay and pays a salary and then on graduating these cadets are provided with appropriate uniforms, (police academy, please take note), kits and equipment all were sourced from the markets around local government council area; another genius move. This is the economic ripple effect; everyone benefits.

It makes sound economic sense because, majority benefits ,not the few and better still, the economy improves. The governor, according to him: ‘the O’YES programme was designed as a stop-gap scheme to train the youths and imbue them with positive work orientation and ethics such as self-sustenance, resourcefulness, character and competence, and to give them the self-confidence to forge ahead and overcome life’s numerous challenges’.

I must also let you know that O’YES is not about youth employment alone. It is also about re-inflating the economy of the state.

You see, when you you invest in people, you enable them to achieve their true potential; they will take pride and commitment in their work, their personal lives and this will rub off on their families and the rest of the people around. This is real hope been able to envision the future potential and growth.

On his trip to the US, he showed that he is forward thinking, in Osun state,they provided school children with hand computer tablets tagged colloquially: “Opon Imo” across the public institutions.

Education is an investment for the future, he knows that and he is looking beyond his tenure. This makes a change from the grandstanding and blinkered politicians who rather use our youths as rent – a – mob, leaving them with no future prospects as long as they have feathered their nest. Ogbeni can see further than his tenure and history will attest to this.

If I am gushing, excuse me, I have not had much to gush about in months, well, actually in years. The governor of the State of Osun, is a fine example that there is hope in Nigeria and that it is possible to re-energise our future by investing in the moment.

Our young people deserve a better Nigeria and if they are not being given the opportunity then we should be using our democratic right to elect those who have shown their dedication and commitment for the interest of the people and the country.

If we want a better Nigeria and one that is for everyone, then we should not vote on tribal, religious or any other divisive excuses, the distractors may use. We can ill afford to fail our children and we cannot afford to fail Nigeria. We deserve better and for those who are spiritual, for once pray and act with your conscience.

Let us have more good governance and less of the absurd and the ridiculous empty promises and grand standing.

I know who I want to emulate: the man who is active, focused, driven, innovative and disciplined; the man who sees solutions where others make excuses. If most of these so called leaders could look beyond their self aggrandisements and self importance, they will do well to look across their state and work for the people and not from their own pockets. They say the good, that people do, live long after them but those that only for themselves alone, it dies with them. This is sadly the case for many of these self serving so-call leaders.

Can we forget and forgive?

Truth will come to light … at the length, the truth will be out.-William Shakespeare

Pardon has gone to Sheu Yar’Adua, Oladipo Diya, Tajudeen Olarenwaju, Fadile and host of others

Even the deceased Abdul Kareem Adisa benefited. Their pardon was belated but welcome all the same; they can now join others in the mainstream to make their contributions.

Now, the pardons threw up controversy on those who benefitted that should not have been considered, not to talk of been pardoned. One of them is former Bayelsa State Governor, Diepriye Alamieyeisegha. His conviction was so recent and reminds us of what we wanted to forget. He was a convicted thief. He absconded to England and disguised as a woman to arrive in Nigeria. So what has he done to show us he has turned a new leaf?

The first set were strictly political offenders, according to Sani Abacha. Now we will have new economic saboteurs from the ranks of bankers, policemen who think nothing of impoverishing other policemen and some couldn’t care less politicians. These people should reckon with our sensitivities; we cannot forget and we will definitely may not forgive.

We do not forget Tafa and we are about to make a hero of Ibori. The next time around, he may gain a pardon. GEJ speaks highly of him. You know what they say: Show me your friends and I will tell you who you are -Kola Animasaun


What will Kanu do?


“When suffering knocks at your door and you say there is no seat for him, he tells you not to worry because he has brought his own stool” -Chinua Achebe

For Kanu’s supporters and followers who are seeking his arrival and permission to bury his mother,hey should know better;that the trouble is with Kanu and with Kanu alone.

If he ever comes back to Nigeria, he has a case to answer.



“The zoo called Nigeria cannot jail me. I will fight till the last day. Binta Nyako court failed to ask the Nigerian Army why they invaded my home? Nigerian court is a Kangaroo court. I did not jump bail, I left because the court failed to protect?


I am coming back to Biafra land soon and I will bring hell with me, the way it has never been seen before,” Funny that, one minute, he condemns a whole nation, next it is hell and brimstone. So whatever next?


Kanu is like that – a one man army wrecking crew!


“When suffering knocks at your door and you say there is no seat for him, he tells you not to worry because he has brought his own stool” -Chinua Achebe


As the dust settled on the current communiqué from the proscribed self-styled IPOB generalissimo, Nnamdi Kanu, the insults and disagreements once again are resurfacing, like the mischievous Loki, Kanu has once again opened up the divisive scab. Agreed, he is not fully responsible (the fault line has always been there) but his rhetoric is a dog whistle for the impressionable and mischief makers.


Kanu sure knows how to make an appearance after a muted hiatus.


The trouble with Kanu is that, he cannot help it, he wants to feel relevant. He made all the noise and then hightailed it at the first sight of trouble. He sold so many a dreams but did not whole heartedly subscribe to it.


When it came down to it, he bailed; he left town and the casualties of his incitement laid scattered .Of course, conspiracy theories of his disappearance were rife: that he was kidnapped, killed and so on.


The fact that there were no evidence to any of the conspiracy theories, did not stop those wanting to make capital of the unrest and continue to fan the embers. Over the months however, the voices of dissent grew quieter and people went back to their daily lives.


Crucially, there were no further skirmishes or reprisals of note once Kanu disappeared.


Until now when Kanu decided to broadcast his presence via his radio station that he is abroad. Like the master of hype that he is, he appeared by the Wailing Wall in Israel, festooned in all Israeli prayer: wearing kalir hat and wrapped up in a tallit (fringed four-cornered prayer shawl), you could be forgiven to think he has had undergone some religious conversion.


No, it is all an act to look and appear righteous; pious and holding a book while appearing to pray and holding on to the Wall. He ensured that he played to the full effect of the camera. This man is not modest; he was milking it for all its worth as he was addressed as the supreme leader of the Biafra.


He did not address the burning question of how and why he escaped or why he broke his bail conditions and the sureties of those who put up the bail money or those that died or incarcerated, protecting his ideals and rhetoric.


Why has he chosen to address his followers now and not before. Why the long silence and why had he not eased the worries of his wife, family and followers much earlier or was it right to let people think the worst while he made good his escape? Some cynics may think that he feared that he will be usurped as Atiku Abubakar named his running mate, Peter Obi, for the coming election? He may have feared he will no longer be relevant


So Kanu wants us all to know: “I’m in Israel,” and “I have returned full-time and I am coming home and I will bring hell with me,” and he went on that his group is not interested in anything else other than for the government to set a date for a referendum: “We will not relent till referendum is conducted. We stand for the truth. It’s referendum or nothing else,” he noted.


In the interview, Ojukwu said that “There is no doubt that some people want me to play the oracle, but I do not look like an oracle. I remember telling the people that I am not a politician, but it is their (Igbo) well-being in the North, West and elsewhere that forces me into their defence, but if they want me to stop they should withdraw and come to the East; and not every time you would shout and complain that you’ve been massacred, that their shops have been destroyed and looted you look for me. So, for as long as they are out there they need protection from here, which was what I said”


What will Kanu do now, to be honest, it really does not matter now. That boat has long sailed.


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