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Pendulum: The Threat Against Broadcast Media in Nigeria 



By Dele Momodu

Fellow Nigerians, I was supposed to give the speech, largely reproduced below, two days ago in Ibadan, but I was in Accra, Ghana, so opted to speak via Zoom. The occasion was the seminar  on Broadcast Media and National Security organised by the Foundation for Ibadan Television Anniversary celebration at the Press Centre in Iyaganku. Unfortunately, man proposes but God disposes, as the saying goes. The event was to start at 10.00am in Nigeria and 9.00am in Ghana. I was very ready but the event itself was not ready in Ibadan. And when it finally took off, the highly distinguished speakers took the stage for a very long time. Since I had other engagements in Ghana, I couldn’t give the speech eventually. Being a topic that is very topical and germane to our present situation, I decided to edit and publish it on this page. The revised version now appears below.

“It is most pleasing to be part of this celebration. The celebration is heartening for rekindling memories of a legacy, and eye opening, for reminding us of the promises of the future, if we learn from our past. It is a celebration that helps recollections of the past and engenders reflections towards understanding the present and aids us to interpret what the future portends. It teaches us loads of lessons on the vision of leadership, the strength of implementation, and the purpose of governance. It could also tickle our imaginations on the ambivalence of the present government, for not getting things right, despite the salutary seminal wisdom that should have been gained from past experiences.  Added to this is why things seem to have been easier and better in the past, except for a few aberrations, and if at all we can do anything to correct our preference for the past over the present, regarding performance and accomplishment.

The noble efforts of the organisers are remarkable, and it is the reason we would not let an opportunity for evaluation slip past. The event can create a prospect for conversations around the progress the broadcast media has made, or has not made, and how the operation of the industry is affecting governance, or our growth and development effort.

I thank you most profoundly for the privilege of speaking on the topic, Broadcast Media and National Security, just as I look forward to a robust conversation on the subject and on related matters. It is trite to acknowledge that the Foundation for Ibadan Television Anniversary Celebration (FITAC), for helping us travel the memory lane, recollecting the historic commissioning of the Western Nigeria Television Station (WNTV), in Ibadan, October 31, 1959, by the legendary Premier of the then Western Region, Chief Obafemi Awolowo.

That feat was the first in Africa, and a step in advancing information dissemination from the audio-visual prism, and when media and communication was still ascending. Chief Awolowo established the station on the back of early developments in technologies of communication. Before then, the world had been a witness to the print media, the telegraph, the radio, the telephone, and then the Black-and-White TV. The world was yet to imagine the coloured television, satellite broadcasting, the Internet, and international mobile telephony. It was also a time when we were still imminently expecting political independence, and when you would imagine that technological and political circumstances were unfavourable to  innovations.

Regardless, the late sage pulled through the psychological and physical barriers to see tomorrow. In seeing the day after, he envisaged the flux of instruments of communication and the need to not just ensure the region’s integration into global communication patterns and peculiarities, but to share exposure to information, awareness and education, through a nascent audio-visual device. It is why Chief Awolowo’s great legacy will remain everlasting, and the more reason his vision will always be a lesson for remarkable and memorable leadership.

It is also the reason this celebration is worth our while, consistent with the importance of contextualizing processes, as a precursor to further efforts. I congratulate us once more, on this auspicious anniversary, just as I salute your wisdom for asking us to practically look at the relationship between Broadcast Media and National Security.

To do this examination, we should understand that the broadcast media is a media genre, entailing the electronic spread of information, using signals, audio, and video to a diverse audience over disparate places and spaces, and on different scales. The technique can include print, emails, texts, and nowadays through the digital and the internet media. The context of broadcasting has grown in sophistication from the simpler variant of audio-visual rendition of news to involve a convergence of methods like print, texts, emails, and on a variegated platform. The growth is easy because of the rise in technologies of communication and humanity’s predilection for creativity, in the bid to cope with nature, minimise the disadvantage of distance and to share real time information over locations, in picturesque formats.

Due to its peculiar features, broadcasting media may invalidate distance, provide a sense of immediacy, and grow the feelings of co-presences. The multiple opportunity to watch, listen, read and revert, exemplifies the Broadcast Media as another tool for governance, and a determiner and instrument of national security. Though the concept of national security has been defined in different ways, it envisages the extent to which a sovereignty nation prioritises its safety, besides the steps taken to guarantee this. National Security is therefore about stability in the polity, progress, the predictability of a socio-political and economic system, and the measures deployed to actualise them.

The broadcast media is on the other hand a veritable tool of governance, for helping the diffusion of information, the ingraining of awareness and the provision of knowledge on issues. Doing this is significant for edification, the creation of citizen understanding, and the fostering of inclusion, integration and involvement. A salutary process of using the media genre in the manner that is consistent with a constitutional expectation of satisfying the wellbeing of the people through good governance would outline the Broadcast media in the positive light.

Deploying these media alternatives for hate, division, inciting violence, and much else means an improper use of the media variant. For its power of picturesque rendition of information, in real time and across distances, the broadcast media can be effective in instantaneous communication, and including the dispersal of message intent. It can also be otherwise if the intent is mischievous, unsalutary and unsavoury. What matters is motive and the control system.

In a free society, the broadcast media can stimulate thoughts, be used as simulation of present and future propensities and expand understanding for the appreciation of governance and the course of national security. This is less so in an unfree system, where thoughts are controlled and only in line with the authority’s whims and caprices. This challenges and implicates the human element in the application of Broadcast Media character to the maintenance or substance of a national security ecosystem. In cautioning against the negative application of the character regardless, we need to understand that the media is, overall, a marketplace of ideas. In this market, we welcome all, subject to interests and the mechanisms for sieving content. An appreciation of this, especially in a democracy, is often always helpful for national security.

Deviations are a prerequisite for multiple opposition, dissenters, unrests, and a shrinking of the civic space. That space is the public sphere, the space of ventilation, where citizens are symbolic participants in the governance process.

The media, particularly the broadcast media has a vital role to play in the political sphere of any nation, more so that of a developing nation like Nigeria. When properly deployed the broadcast media is to be used as a complement to national security. For example, in the halcyon days of military coups, it was the broadcast media that was the essential tool and ally of the successful or unsuccessful coup plotter. Capture and control  the airwaves and you were guaranteed success. Fail in this mighty task and you were doomed as Lt. Colonel Buka Suka Dimka discovered to his chagrin in February 1976.

However, in Nigeria the converse seems to have been the case mainly because the broadcast media has been largely controlled by the State. Even when there have been private entities and practitioners competing with the government-controlled media, the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) has stepped in to whittle the independence of these private organisations and thus diminish and belittle freedom of speech and democracy.  Several instances abound, but those that I will briefly mention are the attacks on AIT with regard to their coverage of the 2015 elections and their portrayal of the then APC Presidential candidate, now President Buhari, the recent debacle involving Channels Television on account of the disclosures by Retired Navy Commodore Kunle Olawunmi about the sponsors of the terrorist group, Boko Haram, and the protection they enjoy in this present dispensation, and of course the notorious manner in which government tried to manipulate the broadcast media during the EndSARs protest. The positive side was the influence of social media, a genre of the broadcast media, in standing firm and resolute to inform and to defend our collective national security interests during that particular protest.

The media has then turned to being seen as a demonic body capable of scuttling the nefarious activities of whoever is our leader at the time, because of our penchant for demonstrating allegiance to personalities rather than the country and its institutions. It is this proclivity that has contributed to the great morass of inefficiency and incompetence that we find ourselves in where our national security is concerned.

The national security challenges which we now face is legion, scary and potentially damning and cataclysmic for our country. Now is the time to utilise the instrument and instrumentality of the broadcast media to disseminate information and educate the people about the national security threats that we face and implore the people to stand firm and cooperate in rooting out the terrorists and bandit, evil perpetrators of this nefarious and dastardly activities. We have the advantage of the social media network which is a new adjunct of the broadcast media family. Their reach is simply unbelievable and mind-boggling. Social media is a veritable tool to be sued in fighting the war against insurrection, terrorism and banditry. It can however only be meaningful deployed by a government that appreciates its attributes and not one that is willing to shut it down because it cannot stand the scrutiny and criticism that emanates from this genre.

The titanic Chief Awolowo recognised more than  60 years ago, even before then, and much afterwards, that broadcast media and national security are complementary features and institutions to be deployed for greater national development and unity, through information and education and was not to be used as a tool of repression and suppression leading to his multi-levelled and varied legacies in the media space. The onus is on present leaders to learn from the lessons of the past to grow our democracy, trigger development and consolidate our national security. The time to act is now. I congratulate us all, once more, on this anniversary, just as I wish us all joyful celebrations.

God bless you all.

God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”


Exactly four years ago yesterday, September 3, 2017, I met the prayerful woman of God, remarkable Evangelist, effervescent Personality and global Philanthropist IYA ADURA REVEREND MOTHER ABIMBOLA ESTHER AJAYI in the city of London, after an introduction from a gentleman called MR ABIODUN PASEDA.

This meeting would soon cause a major revolution amongst the spiritual sect popularly referred to as the “White Garment Churches” in Nigeria and beyond. Ovation International was engaged to wage and stage a blistering media and public relations campaign around the world towards changing the negative narrative associated with this variant of African Christianity.

Her determination and stupendous hard work made our job easier. She has always been a woman with passion on  a mission to preach the Gospel of Christ in a distinct and different way. She wanted to touch the hearts and souls of myriads of people of diverse nationalities and cultures not just by preaching to them but by touching their lives with acts of grace, generosity and care.  She had a clear vision and mission about what she wanted to achieve, and this coupled with her humongous capacity to fund this vision meant that it was so easily achievable within a short period of time. We played our part in showcasing her to the world and she was warmly welcomed and received.

IYA ADURA, in four years has become a global phenomenon. Her generosity and kindness to not only members of her church in particular, but mankind in general is exemplary and legendary. This has endeared her to millions of fans worldwide. Her model and breed are rare and refreshing.

Tomorrow, IYA ADURA is set to change the landscape of Christendom on Victoria Island Lagos.  The beachfront edifice aptly named LOVE OF CHRIST GENERATION CHURCH CATHEDRAL will blow your mind. Built by the construction giant, CAPPA & D’ALBERTO PLC, the Cathedral is an architectural masterpiece which even before its opening has already become a tourist attraction… I am convinced that it will also command the attention and devotion of the Faithful. IYA ADURA is proving to be a blessing once again. Hearty congratulations to her and her team at the Cathedral.

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Pendulum: Why I Have Faith in the Supreme Court




By Dele Momodu


What is the argument on the other side? Only this, that no case has been found in which it has been done before. That argument does not appeal to me in the least. If we never do anything which has not been done before, we shall never get anywhere. The law will stand still while the rest of the world goes on, and that will be bad for both.” Lord Denning, Master of the Rolls (1899- 1999) PARKER v PARKER.”

Fellow Nigerians,

I’m not a Lawyer. But I’m surrounded by friends who are Lawyers. I enjoyed seeing Lawyers in their wigs and gowns and was tempted to read Law after my first degree at the University of Ife, now Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife. Unfortunately, or fortunately, depending on how you view my trajectory today, my application was bounced by the egg heads at the Faculty of Law, despite my first degree which, in some universities, would have been a prerequisite for my entry into a Law degree program. That is a story for another day. I simply accepted my destiny, with equanimity.

Since I had a fascination for Law, I privately engaged in picking and reading legal textbooks, especially anything to do with Jurisprudence and a bit of Company Law. I was particularly fascinated by the landmark cases of the iconic Jurist, Lord Denning, and how he broke rank with the traditional rules and previously held presumptions in English Law, by taking the road less travelled. I enjoyed, and relished, his radical views and witticisms. The above quote of Lord Denning is very relevant to my current topic about the Supreme Court of Nigeria.

The main reason for my epistle to you today is simple and straightforward. Many Nigerians seem to have given up on our Judiciary. There are at least two monumental cases ongoing at the Supreme Court of Nigeria in the Presidential election appeals that were separately filed by Atiku Abubakar and Peter Obi against Bola Tinubu and INEC. Many people have called to ask why my principal, Atiku Abubakar, is wasting his time and resources on pursuing a fruitless case. None of them ever said he never had a good case. They merely gave the usual conspiracy theories as to how corrupt the Judiciary is in Nigeria, as well as the war chest of Bola Tinubu, which he’d never been known to shy away from deploying to maximum advantage. While it may be true that bribery and corruption is of a pandemic status in Nigeria, I still believe there are good people, and Judges, in Nigeria. We should therefore resist this campaign of calumny against our Judges. I have personally thrown this question at Atiku Abubakar a couple of times and he told me very firmly that he believes in the rule of Law. He mentioned how he’s been saved several times by taking his matter to the Judiciary.

The doubting Thomases in Nigeria often predicate their skepticism on the fact that no Presidential election appeal has ever succeeded in removing an incumbent President. While this may true, I believe there is always the possibility of a first time in every situation, and this is the origin of statistics.

At least, we have the reinvigorating example of Sidi Dauda Bage, a Retired Justice of the Supreme Court of Nigeria who said in the case of SALEH v. ABAH & ORS (2017) LPELR-41914(SC)

“This Court must take the lead, in righting the wrongs in our society, if and when the opportunity presents itself as in this appeal. Allowing criminality and certificate forgery to continue to percolate into the streams, waters and oceans of our national polity would only mean our waters are and will remain dangerously contaminated. The purification efforts must start now, and be sustained as we seek, as a nation, to now ‘change’ from our old culture of reckless impunity. The Nigerian Constitution is supreme. It desires that no one who had ever presented forged certificate to INEC should contest election into Nigeria’s National Assembly. This is clear and sacrosanct. More compelling as a judicial determination had been taken by no less a technical panel sitting in, at least, a panel of three judges as Election Tribunal with constitutional mandate to determine such issues as they relate to elections and its outcomes, including eligibility. This has also been affirmed by the trial Court in this appeal. On these issues, our duty is to apply the Constitution and the law in its start, original form undiluted by ‘colourated’ interpretations.”  (Pp 26 – 31 Paras E – B)

There is yet another superlative example: “THE POWER OF THE SUPREME COURT TO RECEIVE FRESH EVIDENCE:

Section 22 of The Supreme Court Act provides, inter alia, that *“The Supreme Court may, from time to time, make any order necessary for determining the real question in controversy in the appeal, and may amend any defect or error in the record of appeal, … and generally shall have full jurisdiction over the whole proceedings as if the proceedings had been instituted and prosecuted in the Supreme Court as a court of first instance and may rehear the case in whole or in part or may remit it to the court below for the purpose of such rehearing or may give such other directions as to the manner in which the court below shall deal with the case in accordance with the powers of that court.”*

(2008) JELR 48885 (SC), Onnoghen JSC (as he then was) held:

“Order 2 Rule 12 (1) of the Supreme Court Rules which guides the court in the applications of this nature provides, thus: “A party who wishes the court to receive the evidence of witnesses (where they were not called at the trial) or to order the production of any document, exhibit or other thing connected with the proceedings in accordance with the provisions of section 33 of the Act shall apply for leave on notice of motion prior to the date set down for the hearing of the appeal.” It is settled law that it is within the discretion of the court to decide whether or not to admit further/additional evidence on appeal. It is also settled that for the court to exercise that discretion one way or the other, it must act not only judicially but also judiciously. It is in an effort at attaining the standard of exercising its discretion judicially and judiciously that the courts have set down certain principles/conditions as guides. *The principles are: 1) the evidence sought to be adduced must be such that could not have been with reasonable diligence obtained for use at the trial; 2) the evidence should be such that if admitted would have an important, not necessarily crucial effect on the whole case, and, 3) the evidence must be such that it is apparently credible in the sense that it is capable of being believed and it need not be incontrovertible — see UBA Plc v. BTL Ind. Ltd. (2005) 10 NWLR (Pt. 933) 356 at 370–371. The above conditions must co-exist for the court to exercise its discretion in favour of the applicant.”

Thank God for social media, we are all learning Law on the go. The world is watching us and our Judiciary in particular. It is sad that our Executive arm of government is already on trial. Our Legislature is considered reckless, unpatriotic and irresponsible by many citizens and non-citizens alike. I do not know why and how they have fallen so low in the eyes of the same electorates who supposedly voted them into the hallowed Chambers. To make matters worse, the Nigerian media, which ordinarily should be the fourth estate of the realm, is also under severe attack of being compromised and divided across ethnic considerations and pecuniary gains by the government of Nigeria. This is the tragedy of our nation. So, to who then do we turn in this season of anomie? Atiku Abubakar had to approach the American Judiciary before he could unravel what should not take up to one hour to confirm at home, if the government agencies agreed to do their jobs according to international best practices.

Even foreign analysts are now painting lurid pictures of Armageddon, the final battle between the good and evil elements in our country. This should worry all of us. The Judiciary today can restore instant global prestige and adulation to our country. The Judges can automatically improve our economy by not kowtowing to the overbearing appurtenances of power, by not delivering technical judgments but being seen to ensure real justice. They can bring back the sinking influence and relevance of their profession.

A CBS newsreport that went viral yesterday should tell us that outsiders, apparently, understand the issues at stake more than us, and they appear even more concerned about the impending catastrophe, if adequate care is not taken. The explosive interview was granted by Gregory Copley, an expert in Defense and Foreign Affairs, an Editor and Publisher, to John Batchelor.This brutal analysis of our predicaments is worth listening to, reading, and digesting, if you can find it online…

Please, join me, in saying the Lord’s prayer, if you wish…

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Pendulum: The Truth Tinubu Must Be Told




By Dele Momodu

Fellow Nigerians, once again, this is not the best of times in our dear beloved country, Nigeria. After we had thought, gladly and gleefully, that no government could be worse than the recent Buhari administration, we are now confronted by yet another monstrosity. In less than two months in power, Tinubu’s government started collapsing whatever positive legacy Buhari left behind. Yet, we would have assumed and expected a President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to be far better prepared and more visionary than Buhari and his lacklustre team was. Unfortunately, this hasn’t been the case. While I’m not about to give an overview of Tinubu’s wobbly stewardship so far, and so soon, I’m constrained to put my thoughts and unequivocal opinion on the ongoing Tinubugate on paper. I’m doing this in my personal capacity as a Nigerian citizen and as a true and truthful friend of Tinubu. I believe only a true friend can look you straight, eyeballs to eyeballs, in the face, and tell one of the world’s most powerful men, the Gospel truth.

I have no doubts in my mind that the majority of Tinubu’s so-called friends and ubiquitous hangers-on are pretentious hypocrites. Tinubu has also not helped himself by encouraging both royals and puppets alike to worship at his feet and turning him into a demi-god. I’m convinced that they serve him no useful purpose. I will establish this fact in a minute.

The Tinubugate did not begin yesterday. It started after Tinubu returned from exile and metamorphosed into the Governor of Lagos State in 1999 and instantly became the biggest beneficiary of our epic battles in exile during the NADECO days. In all honesty, we were all happy that he was amply compensated for his salutary efforts.

But unknown to us, trouble was brewing. We didn’t know how or what led the legal luminary, Chief Gani Fawehinmi, to exhume all manner of “false declarations” contained in the forms submitted for Tinubu’s gubernatorial bid. On October 11, 1999, just months after Tinubu contested and won his election, Chief Fawehinmi’s powerful interview was published on the cover of Newswatch magazine, with the screaming headline: WHY TINUBU MUST GO – Gani Fawehinmi. The fearless Lawyer also granted another interview on the cover of The Source magazine, with an even more acerbic headline: “TINUBU IS A CRIMINAL – Gani, and a rider below: Deserves 10 years in jail! On top of the same magazine was published a worrisome story: The Tinubu Story: THE SOURCE UNDER THREAT. This was the first tell-tale sign of the new and toxic Lagos State to come, a Lagos of one man, one permanent ruler, reminiscent of the Sicilian Mafia, which we privately rechristened the “Cosa Nostra” of Nigeria.
Some members of our “exile confraternity” were naturally alarmed. But we were somehow timid and, thus, carelessly dismissed Gani’s case as, at the very best, alarmist and unnecessarily meddlesome. A few of us who were very close to Gani Fawehinmi knew it would be difficult and of no effect, to approach him and try to persuade him to drop the case. The other sad revelation was when some of Tinubu’s commissioners started fretting and sweating profusely. God is my witness. Many of them, out of panic, about the imminent impeachment of Tinubu, were, stylishly, dissociating themselves from their boss. We heard all kinds of gibberish, from some of them, who are even in government today: “we brought our integrity into this government, we can’t allow anyone to tarnish it…”

Let us digress a little. One of them, extremely close to Tinubu, was the first to tell us about “the falsification of Tinubu’s age, the identity of his original parents from Iragbiji, his forged academic records”, and so on. This chain-smoker claimed absolute knowledge of Tinubu’s life. He told us in my Accra home that anyone who tells Tinubu the truth is instantly marked down as an enemy, so he has stopped telling him the truth. With this kind of mindset, you can imagine what quality of advice Tinubu gets regularly.

Then, out of the blues, my very daring and loyal friend, Tokunbo Afikuyomi, decided to bite the bullet on behalf of Tinubu. What he did was reminiscent of the “lamb of God who took away the sins of the earth…” He, like a kamikaze soldier, took absolute responsibility for the errors contained in Tinubu’s files. Miraculously, Tinubu was saved, and we were all relieved. Everyone is asking me how has Tinubu compensated Afikuyomi, and my answer is I don’t know.

It is noteworthy that Festus Keyamo had jumped on the bandwagon of those seeking to impeach Tinubu at that time. This is another story for another day. I cannot wait for my memoirs to be ready in order to put names and faces to the main dramatis personae.

Let’s now fast forward to the year 2002. There was a popular magazine known as The Week. It planned a cover story on Tinubu. Somehow, the story leaked out to then Governor of Lagos State. Tinubu immediately, and with automatic alacrity, reached out to the Publisher of the magazine, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, and pleaded that the scandalous story should be dropped. Out of love and respect for his friend, Atiku reached out to The Week magazine Management and got the story to be stepped down. The Editors were miffed by this development, and in the aftermath, led to the resignation and exit of the Editor, Mr Simon Kolawole.

The meat of my epistle today is that there are many didactic lessons to pick from this Tinubugate. Tinubu eventually left office in 2007. But he never really left Lagos alone. He became Nigeria’s ultimate godfather, who determined, almost to the pin, who gets what. Many of his acolytes knew he was capable of turning them into emergency Billionaires and were ready to stand ramrod on his mandate. This, I believe, is the crux of the matter.

Now, why do I blame Tinubu and his die-hard fans? Two major reasons are carelessness (or is it negligence?) and recklessness. Why would a man who left office since 2007, 16 long years ago, fail to clean up the records that nearly got him impeached in the first instance? And given the fact that he couldn’t have personally handled those documents himself, why did the hordes of minions claiming to love him till eternity fail to deliver a world-class file for his documents?

The Laws of Nigeria never insisted that a Presidential candidate must attend a university. In the last 16 years, Tinubu should have ensured his personal documents were thoroughly checked to be squeaky clean before submitting them to INEC. If necessary, he could have easily gone back to school (Atiku still went to school recently to update and upgrade himself) and try to erase all the previous controversial details. As for his conflicting dates of birth, he should have settled for a preferred birthday date, like President Olusegun Obasanjo did. It can never be a crime that a child’s parent did not record or obtain his birth certificate. As for claiming to have worked for Deloitte and others, he should have limited himself to “I have worked for big multinationals globally and they truly enjoyed my services and valued my contributions” without mentioning specific companies and dates.

As for parentage, I would have told the world about my humble background and poor parentage. It is nothing to be ashamed of, and it is not a crime to be adopted and acquire the name of one’s foster-parents. Everyone knew how Chief MKO Abiola played the role of a father figure in my life, including travelling all the way to Ijebu-Igbo and Ijebu-Ode for my wedding in 1992, but that never stopped me from celebrating my poor parents. And if there were peculiar reasons for obliterating ones original family history, that can still be easily explained. A public figure cannot afford to keep too many secrets. For far too long, Tinubu has blatantly refused to open up his private life to the members of the public. The repercussions of this stifness have been hugely calamitous to him and his immediate family. With more openness, this could have been avoided.

Let me now go to the specific handling of the Chicago scandals. For me, Tinubu and his noisy supporters have made matters far worse than it should have been. Only his blind and shameless supporters will continue to argue over a saga that started over five decades ago. All of us who knew the truth and looked the other way brought this calamity upon our country. And it is grossly unfair.

Instead of Tinubu standing up as a man to offer sincere and unreserved apologies to Nigerians, his “brood of vipers” are busy insulting the long-suffering people of Nigeria, and studiously rubbing salt and pepper on our festering wounds. This is most unfair. This can only aggravate the anger of our citizens, especially the youths.

The first thing Tinubu should do is to climb down his high horse and experience reality for once. No man, no matter how powerful, can achieve everything by force, all the time. The popular story of EFUNSETAN ANIWURA, IYALODE IBADAN is very instructive. Power is transient.

I’m certain there is a hand of God in this latest eruption about Tinubu’s record, which has refused to go is no longer about Atiku, Obi, Kwankwaso, Sowore and others. This is about Nigeria. Atiku has played his part honorably at home and abroad. What he achieved in Chicago was a monumental victory for our democracy. Because of Atiku, many Nigerians will have their pride restored. The burden has already been transferred to all of us. Whatever the outcome of the Supreme Court case, it is obvious to me that a new era beckons for us all except for those who choose to be voluntary slaves.

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Pendulum: Dr. Mike Adenuga Jnr: Refreshing Lessons for Generations




By Japheth J. Omojuwa

This is neither a tribute to nor a piece in praise of Dr. Mike Adenuga Jnr. Presidents have defied protocol to offer praises, even across the ocean. Kings have broken tradition in offering tributes and titles, captains of industry have queued behind themselves sharing memorable and inspiring accolades to a timeless icon who did his best to moderate the celebrations. Even if one defied these and decided to try against reason, King Sunny Ade’s Fayeyemi tribute is matchless and inimitable, and I could never reach Chief Ebenezer Obey’s depth and artistry in celebration of the man. Thus, there is nothing left to be said in form of praise or tributes that could surpass those already offered by these great men and women.

I have not come to praise the man; I have only come to address the spectators who were held spellbound by the spectacle and were left wondering what could be so great about a man whom most of them have never seen and only ever get to hear of. Often, when one gets sucked into the attraction of the show, the lessons get lost.

This once, we cannot afford to miss the lessons. The stories that contributed to the making of the man provide vital context for his greatness and offer a rich source of learning and inspiration for generations to come. When these stories are left untold, myths and falsehoods can fill the vacuum, perpetuating disempowering beliefs that hinder progress and growth. For instance, some may believe that wealth can only be acquired through unscrupulous means or cronyism.

When President Emmanuel Macron of France wrote in his tribute, ‘you are humble enough to often publicly declare that the confidence of several French companies at the beginning of your entrepreneurial adventure was instrumental in building the success that is yours today’, among other French alliances, he was making reference to the man who explored for more capital through the banks. A much harder way than through the disempowering stories that people tell to explain wealth they do not understand and in the same breath excuse their own misfortune.

The moniker, ‘The Bull,’ is not merely a name with a golden insignia; it reflects some of Adenuga’s most essential characteristics. The Bull is traditionally seen as a symbol of wealth and subterranean powers. It does not just make an entry; it makes an unforgettable one. It does not recognize defeat; any appearance of defeat is a retreat that often proves costly for those who stand in its path. These traits find expression in the success story of Globacom, which is a testament to Adenuga’s tenacity and determination.

Many exited at the point the government cancelled their mobile telecom licenses. Instead, The Bull charged on, refusing the small battle of a legal pursuit and instead focused on the big prize at the end of what was going to be a protracted bidding war for GSM licenses. Adenuga had to call on his grit again when the prize he won came without the trophy. The government had its cake and ate it. The Bull’s bouncebackability came into play again because well over a year later, he got the license that was fairly won in an open bidding process. When the stories get told, you cannot have a single blot on his shield. The Bull played by the rules, even when the rules were shifted against him, his staying power meant his team returned with victory. A hard-fought one but The Bull stayed invincible.

Other companies would have been happy to just start and do a continuous chase of those who had gone ahead of them, Mike Adenuga’s Globacom defied the norm by starting out with a paradigm shift that remains unmatched in Nigeria. Instead of chasing the competition and playing by their rules, by crashing the price of SIM cards and starting out with per second billing – others said this was not possible at the time – the competition had to bend to his game. The horses that started the race earlier were now doing the chase.

Adenuga’s Globacom dragged the industry on the path of perfect competition with his early moves, he then differentiated immediately by offering services the first and second movers had not even thought of. They were left competing with him at one end in a game whose rules he had redefined by his paradigm shifting bullish entry. He left himself alone without competition at other ends, advancing and flexing with technology above what was on offer. Translated to Yoruba, o ti ilekun mo won, o fi kokoro pa mo.

One reference the tributes intersect is his humility. Humility is an interesting phenomenon. You cannot be poor and be said to be humble. Poverty and humility appear to be parallel lines, yet they find intersection because poverty is already a humble position. Albeit a position that appears to be without the choice of the bearer. When it is said that a person is humble, one must pay attention. When you are so rich with means and power but appear to be unconscious of that elevated state of being especially in your dealings with people, that is humility. Some go out of their way to be seen to be humble. That defeats the purpose. Feigned humility is not humility. The Adenuga tributes refer to the sort of humility that the man himself would only come to see in the description of the people who experienced it. The humility of a man who just is.

Attention seeking appears to be humanity’s contemporary collective de rigueur. That could be explained by the ubiquity of the Internet and its appurtenances. Contemporary culture has now birthed a world where billionaires want to evolve into bloggers even as blogger aspire to be billionaires. We have built a universe and culture where staying relevant has become a daily endeavour, yet in all of that world, we all aspire to Mike Adenuga. The one who would rather not be seen, the one who finds comfort and apparent fulfilment in not being heard. Yet the one who has impacted people and institutions so much he brings life to another moniker of his, The Spirit of Africa. A reference that captures the essence of his values and the fact that one needs not be seen to make change happen, one needs not speak to be heard. And to make great impact, intentions and action are greater than fugazi moves, vain aesthetics and puerile drama.

The rich, in observing the tradition of noblesse oblige, have often committed to philanthropy. The Mike Adenuga principle goes above that sense of obligation because giving is entrenched in his persona. In a world where many keep records of those that they helped that never returned to say ‘thank you’, the millions opportune to be blessed by The Spirit of Africa do not get a chance to. Because his generosity leaves no room to collect appreciations. The giving and the changed lives are the essence of it all.

Conversely, you won’t find a person with a higher sense of appreciation, even for the little things.

Writing about personalities can be enjoyable, but there are times when addressing important issues should take precedence. This piece is not solely about an individual’s personality, but rather the enduring values necessary to navigate a constantly changing world. While exploring Dr. Mike Adenuga’s achievements could fill volumes, the focus here is on some of the values that propelled him to success and how we can apply them to our own daily challenges. As we confront new and complex problems, the lessons we learn from those who have gone before us can be invaluable. Dr. Adenuga’s life offers a powerful example of how these values can lead to great rewards, and this is a message that deserves to be heard by this generation and beyond.

He exemplifies E pluribus unum, and of him, there are lessons to be learned for generations to come. This is the legacy one must have a sense of appreciation for. Dr. Mike Adenuga Jnr. GCON, CSG, CdrLH at 70 has left lessons for us in these Platinum number of years, we cannot afford to lose sight of these precious gems.

Japheth J. Omojuwa is the author of Digital: The New Code of Wealth and founder of Alpha Reach

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