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Opinion: Atiku, Adamawa and One Tree As a Forest



By Tunde Olusunle, PhD

I received an invite early last year from the editorial team which was putting together a diamond birthday festschrift in honour of my very good friend and brother, Sunnie Ododo, a professor of performing arts and incumbent chief executive of the National Theatre. The proposed publication was titled: Sunnie Ododo: One Tree A Forest. My first reaction was: How can a single tree arrogate to itself the toga of being an infinite woodland? I interrogated the title again and again, before it began to make sense to me. Yes, Ododo is a bundle of variegated talents and competencies, embedded in one person. He is a scholar, dramatist, poet, technical theatre exponent, culture administrator, author, editor and more. Those who conceived of the title, I was then convinced, must have taken into account these multipronged intellectual and creative dimensions of their subject. It is against this backdrop that I have adapted that title for this treatise.

A few months ago, on August 23, 2022 to be specific, I wrote an article with the same title as this. It was intended to be the first instalment in a series of expositions on the largely unknown attributes of Atiku Abubakar. Atiku, Nigeria’s Vice President at the onset of Nigeria’s 23-year old democratic sojourn, needs scant introduction. He is a globally recognised figure and the presidential flagbearer of the nation’s foremost opposition party, the Peoples’ Democratic Party, (PDP). He is one personage who has been seriously and severally misconstrued, pilloried, even demonised in parts, because of inadequate information about the man and the multi-dimensionality of his being. This therefore is not an effort in the deodorization of the Waziri Adamawa, who is figuratively, an essential cologne in his own right.

The unfortunate demise of Atiku’s ultra-loyal longserving aide and office manager, Abdullahi Nyako a few months back, however, impacted the planned sequel. We had a relationship while he was here. May his soul rest in peace. In that preceding effort, I discussed Atiku’s trademark, broadminded pan-Nigerianism; his religious moderation and liberalism, and his keen eye for qualitative talent-hunting. I espoused his little known proactivity as a person and a leader; his uncommon humanity and humanness, even his witty, humorous side. In addition to these, Atiku as an institution, has other strands to his overall makeup which will continue to engender dialogue and disputation. Atiku’s recent 76th birthday on Friday November 25, 2022, inspires a return to the topic and its further enunciation.

Unknown to many, Atiku is a faithful connoisseur of arts and literature. Onukaba Adinoyi-Ojo of blessed memory, journalist and playwright, and aide to the former Vice President, found out that part of him when Atiku was in office. Waziri indeed sponsored the stage production of some of Onukaba’s plays, notably Tower of Burden and The Killing Swamp, published in 2005 and 2009, respectively. The plays were performed by the cultural troupe of the Federal Capital Territory Administration, (FCTA) and Arojah Theatre, a private theatre concern. Atiku did not only fund the production of the plays, he attended the premieres, which were usually staged at the famous Yar’Adua Centre in city centre, Abuja. Atiku indeed endowed a prize with the Association of Nigerian Authors, (ANA), the “ANA/Atiku Prize,” for the production of “children’s literature.” He funded this for several years, until the unfortunate demise, nearly six years ago of Onukaba, who was the liaison between him and ANA.

On a visit to Yola early 2017, I was graciously received at the airport by a good friend and professional colleague from the south east of Nigeria, Dan Okereke. I was going to be in Adamawa State capital for a few days for an assignment. I took in the atmosphere on the tarmac of the airport as I alighted from the Arik Air plane which we flew. There was Max Air and Azman airplanes on ground, either preparing to takeoff or landed just before ours. “This is inspiring,” I told my host as we drove out of the airport to the city. “I never imagined there was so much air traffic into Yola,” I intoned. “Things have changed considerably in recent years,” Okereke told me. Air Peace and Aero Contractors are other airlines which fly this route,” my host explained further. “You’ll be surprised about the pivotal role Atiku Abubakar played in this revolution,” he spoke further.

The drive from the airport into the city, about 10 kilometres, became something of a prefatory excursion about Yola. We were headed for the AUN Hotel, abutting the American University of Nigeria, (AUN), where Okereke had graciously made a hotel reservation for me. I had not been in Yola since my years in the Olusegun Obasanjo/Atiku Abubakar years. Obasanjo compulsively paid state visits to virtually all the 36 states, checking on how democracy was impacting Nigerians across the broad spectrum. It was such an enriching experience accompanying the former President on those trips. One’s vistas about the country in its totality, our people, cultures, tongues, worldviews, sociocultural congruences and ethnographic interrelationships despite our diversities, was tremendously bolstered. I preferred to travel with the “advance party” at the time. It accorded one the opportunity of acclimatising and becoming what the Igbo people call a’ma’la, the variant of the Yoruba shon of the shoil, before the arrival of the main body, the president and his entourage, to deploy the peculiar lingo of the State House protocol department.

It was such a delight soaking in the eye-catching north eastern city, with its relatively well laid out roads, spread in the serene savannah belt, passing by those roundabouts with striking Fulani cultural motifs. I won’t forget in a hurry that iconic concrete sculpture which hoists a gargantuan traditional bowl, popular with vendors of fura and nunu, fermented milk and cereal mix, up there in the midday sky. There was yet another roundabout with a life-sized, white-coloured cow, a prompt announcement of the place of animal husbandry in the socioeconomic constitution of the Fulani. Jibrilla Bindow was the governor at the time and my host educated me about his endeavours in the development of infrastructure in the state. Okereke returned to his thesis: “Atiku could jolly well have established the AUN on the Lagos-Ogun-Oyo corridor of the country, given higher literacy levels in those parts, and the potential for higher subscription, and by extension, increased profitability. But then his vision was to have a world class citadel in this part of the country, which will be a window to the world.”

Since the establishment of the AUN in 2004 therefore, Yola has become an unsung international hub. Staff of the institution are drawn from at least two dozen countries. These include the United States of America, (USA), which has traditionally produced the President of the university since inception; Canada; the United Kingdom, (UK); India and Pakistan. The African component of the university faculty come from South Africa, Ghana, Niger, Kenya and Uganda, among others. Korea, Vietnam and Romania, are some other countries whose flags are flown in the AUN community. The student population is as megalopolitan. There is something of an informal working relationship between AUN and the francophone component of the Economic Community of West African States, (ECOWAS), whose wards from Cote d’Ivoire, Senegal, Benin, Togo and so on, attend the university.

The Paul Kagame Programme sends Rwandan students to be trained specifically in petroleum chemistry, polymer science and oil and gas. Before now, the Jacob Zuma Foundation sent 20 select indigent students on an annual basis, to be educated in AUN. AUN is also popular with Nigerians in diaspora who desire that their wards acquire requisite African social capital, within such a globalised community. The student community is drawn from about 20 countries across the world, a statement to the universality of the institution. The Yar’Adua Foundation, chaired by Atiku, equally scouts children from poor homes from all the 36 states of the country yearly, who are granted scholarships. There are of course several other students who are on Atiku’s direct sponsorship.

As recently as a few weeks ago for instance while on a visit to Bayelsa State, he committed to funding the education of two children of a brave victim of the floods, Ernest Peremobowei, who got drowned after rescuing five flood victims. AUN is the melting pot, the international brand, an essential university as authentic universitas, which Atiku has brought to be, in the Yola-based prototype. Against the preceding background, students, parents, university teachers, spouses, families of expatriates, resource persons, are in unending coming and going, going and coming, in and out of Yola. On a visit to AUN in 2018, former Managing Director of the Daily Times, Dr Yemi Ogunbiyi, noted that the initiative is “Atiku’s greatest gift to humanity.”

Beyond the AUN, however, Atiku’s investments in the production and service sectors, constitute a critical bulwark to the socioeconomy of Adamawa State, maybe the North East. From ABTI schools which provides western style education for children from creche through senior secondary school; through Adama Beverages, (established in 2006); to Adama Plastics, Atiku’s hands seem to be in many pies. There are also Gotel radio and television; Standard Microfinance Bank and Rico Gado Animal Feeds and nutrition plant, his business engagements, just spawn and sprawl.

A few years ago, he launched “Food Merchants Ltd,” otherwise known as Chicken Cottage, his organisation’s intervention in the fast foods sector. Mid-2021, Atiku commissioned a new Woven Sacks Factory, and a Shrink Laminate Plant, in Yola. The sacks factory has capacity to produce nine million sacks annually and is “designed to serve as backward integration” and eliminate dependence on sacks typically sourced from Lagos. The microfinance outfit has empowered thousands of women in a deliberate poverty-mitigation scheme. Atiku also owns a private security outfit which provides guards services primarily for his various interests, and for desiring organisations and substantial real estate in Yola.

Put together, Atiku’s interests provide sustainable employment for several thousands of people from the north east, Nigeria and neighbouring countries. Aside the governments of the six states in that geographical zone, Atiku is the sole largest employer and provider of livelihoods for people. He has always expressed his unhappiness about seeing able-bodied people idling away when they can be productively engaged. His underlying philosophy is welfarist, the desire to keep people’s hands busy, so as to keep the proverbial devil away from otherwise engaging those hands. Strictly mercantilist considerations, as guided by feasibility studies, would have advised more commercially vibrant destinations, mostly obtainable in the south of the country, for these initiatives.

More than in fiscal terms, Atiku’s warchest, his real capital is in the friendships and relationships he has cultivated over time and space. Former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, (SGF), David Babachir Lawal, recently made a revelation about the presidential flagbearer of the All Progressives Congress, (APC), Bola Ahmed Tinubu. Lawal said Tinubu declined from touring the South East and South South, ahead of the presidential primary, early June, because he was sure his fate had been sealed in both zones. Not for Atiku. His contact list bubbles with friends and associates across generations and social strata, from every crevice and corner of the country. A Ben Obi from Anambra State succeeded an Akin Kekere-Ekun from Lagos State, as Chairman of the Board of Trustees, (BOT), of AUN. Atiku is a man whose tentacles crisscross the breadth of our huge geophysical, sociocultural mass, and beyond.

Tunde Olusunle, PhD, poet, journalist, scholar and author, is a Member of the Nigerian Guild of Editors, (NGE).

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Open Letter to FCT Minister, Chief Nyesom Wike By Richard Akinnola II




Dear Hon minister,

First, a disclosure. You may not know me but we have met on two occasions in the house of our mutual respected Oga, first as a minister of State and second as a Governor, but l doubt if you can recognize me now. I’m one of your admirers and critic.

As a two-time Governor of Rivers state, you did well in terms of infrastructures, for which l often commend you. I however, sometimes disagree with you, particularly what l consider your streaks of high-handedness against those who disagreed with you politically.
I’m writing this letter, with the hope that don would send it to you, after watching your media interview with particular reference to your protégé and successor, Sim Fubara, a guy l have never met. No doubt, he wouldn’t have emerged as Governor without your imprimatur. I don’t have the details of your disagreement and I’m not even interested. What I’m interested in is you to rise above the alleged offence.

Take a deep breath and have an introspective view of your political trajectory since 1999.
*1999-2007: Obio-Akpor LGA Chairman
*2007-2011: Chief of Staff, Rivers
*2011-2015: Education Min. (State)
*2015-2023: Governor, Rivers State
*2023-till date: Minister of FCT
And you are just 55!
I stand to be corrected, nobody from Rivers State has been so politically favoured and blessed by God as you are, not that you are the most politically-savvy politician from the state but it’s just the Grace of God. I plead with you, don’t take such grace for granted.

As Governor of Lagos state in 2010, Governor Babatunde Fashola told me something that has stuck with me till today, regarding power and leadership. There was a three-month old strike by doctors in Lagos over pay increase. I stepped in to mediate between the doctors and State, which by the grace of God, l was able to pull through after extensive negotiations with the doctors and the strike was called off to the relief of millions of Lagosians. In the course of the mediation, Fashola told me that some people asked him to fire all the doctors but he made this profound statement: “Restraint is a powerful tool in leadership; the fact that you have the power to do something but chose to look the other way.” That statement has stuck with me till date. Why do you think American presidents, despite the temptation to press the nuclear button, when their interests are threatened, rather exercise restraint by refusing to go that route. It is leadership restraint.

Permit me to recall a story which you yourself regaled your audience with at the 70th birthday reception you held in honour of Dr Peter Odili. You said that when you wanted to contest for the Chairmanship of Obi/Akpor local government in 1998, you approached Dr Odili, whom you were meeting for the first time and sought his support. He obliged by giving you his support and according to you, he gave you the first financial support towards your ambition, even when he himself was campaigning to run for the governorship of Rivers State. You became the Chairman and when you wanted to go for a second tenure, some political actors removed your name and according to you, you ran to Dr Odili who was then the governor and he saved your political career by reinstating your name.

Fast forward to when you completed your tenure as the Chairman of the local government, when your erstwhile friend, Rotimi Amaechi who just became the Governor, appointed you his Chief of Staff and that administration commenced a process to humiliate Dr Odili by setting up the Rivers State Truth and Reconciliation Commission where your benefactor, Odili was the target and was put in the witness box.
Later when cracks began to emerge in your relationship with your boss, Amaechi, you ran back to your benefactor, Dr Odili to apologise for how your administration humiliated him. As a large-hearted person, he forgave you and that began a wonderful relationship till date. Why am l making references to these incidents? If Dr Odili could forgive you and took you back, why can’t you also forgive your political offenders, including Fubara, particularly since God has been so good to you?

Anyone who has transversed Ada George road, Port harcourt and seen the humongous, palatial estate you reside in, that takes a substantial part of that road, would know that you are not lacking materially. Coupled with that, you are a minister in the current government and your wonderful wife is a judge. What else does any human being want?

My brother, please calm down and let go of your ego and learn from history. Who would have thought that a whole General Shehu Yar’Adua (rtd) could die like a chicken inside prison; who would have imagined that a whole Bashorun MKO Abiola, the then richest man in Africa could spend five years in detention and die in custody, despite his international connections; who would have imagined that Major Hamza Al-Mustapher, the de facto Head of State during the junta of General Sanni Abacha, a man even Generals genuflected for, would spend 14 years in prison? Please, pause and think. This life is ephemeral. As the book of Ecclesiastes 1 states, life is vanity.

In Oyo state, there used to be the strong man of Ibadan politics, Lamidi Adedibu but his house in Molete, Ibadan is now desolate after his death. Adedibu was law as far as Ibadan politics was concerned. He was feared by all political actors across the nation. Before him, there was Busari Adelakun, otherwise known as “Eruobodo” in Ibadan politics. They have all been consigned to the dustbin of history. Learn from these because whether you like it or not, you would also pass away one day like all mortals.

God has been so good to you. Though I don’t have the details of your feud with Fubara but you claim he is an ingrate but this same “ingrate” took bullets for you as your Accountant-General when the EFCC was investigating your government. If you didn’t have confidence in him, you wouldn’t have put him forward to succeed you. Please, rise above political offences and be a leader. May it not be counted against you that since 1999, your successor would be the first Governor of Rivers state to be impeached. No garland for such feat. It would be a pyrrhic victory and your new political masters in Abuja would even be wary of you. You are new to Tinubu’s school of politics. Don’t get carried away.
May God guide you right.

Richard Akinnola
(Your admirer and critic)

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Voice of Emancipation: How to Achieve Yoruba Sovereignty (Pt. 3)




By Kayode Emola

Many people would have us believe that achieving Yoruba sovereignty is a gargantuan task, yet the reality is that it should not be as difficult as they make it appear. In part one of this series, I outlined how we first got into this mess, through the combination of unfavourable trade alliances and the sheer determination of the Europeans to colonise our lands for their personal gains.

Just as we are in this mess through the colonial powers’ determination, we ourselves must be doubly determined to remove ourselves from it. This is not an abstract idea that we can notionally support without any concrete action. Rather, we must be actively striving for our freedom, determining metrics by which we can measure our successes. Without such measurement, how can we ascertain whether we are truly making progress or, instead, retrogressing?

This is the time to do a roll call of people who are genuinely serious about Yoruba independence. The fight for self-determination must demonstrate an irrefutable desire for our own independent country outside of Nigeria, and to do that we need to put concrete measures in place. This is not about holding endless zoom meetings that lead nowhere, but rather ensuring that these meetings are backed by action, with direction and clear plans for how and when we get to our destination.

We in the self-determination struggle must have a clear understanding of where we are and where we are going. I hear too many arguments about which direction we should be traversing and how to circumnavigate the rough terrain of Yoruba independence. The truth is that those who are for one route or an opposite route are mistaken. We must be opened minded about our direction and all the options must be on the table and prepared for.

Take for instance, some people will say we want diplomatic route, and some people will say we want to get Yoruba nation forcefully. There is no such thing as diplomatic route or military route as those expressions are just gimmicks and grammars to keep us in check. There is only one route and that is the determination of our hearts and minds to liberate our country. Every other fantastic word being used is just an illusion of the mind.

Therefore, to begin our journey all we need do from the beginning is to plan how to get to our destination including self-defence. During the planning phase, this will highlight how long or short we realistically believe that the journey will take. The planners should be able to put a time limit which should be limited, not more than 2 – 5 years that Yoruba independence must be achieved and put measures in place on how it can be achieved, which I believe its realistic including whipping up sentiments among our people back home.

Once the planning on how the journey is to be executed which should be done by only a selected few, this information can be trickled down to the masses in the form of implementation. The planning should include how funds can be generated both from individuals who truly believe in the cause and from organisations or sympathetic governments around the world that are willing to listen to our plights.

Take for instance, when Israel was attacked on 7 October this year, Israel was determined to free the last citizen taken as hostage by HAMAS. This was an uncompromising position Israel set out for itself from the onset not mincing words or trying to compromise. Israel was determined to free their citizens and declared war against HAMAS and today we can see that they are winning the war and hostages are being released.

Thanks to the Israeli government resilience and determination, the freed hostages are being reunited with their families. That is the type of determination those at the forefront of the Yoruba must have if we are to make any headway on our journey.

Once those at the forefront are resolute and determined, then we need to take a roll call of those who truly believe in the freedom of Yoruba. By this, I don’t mean people who would just turn up for zoom meetings. I mean all the ordinary man on the street who are suffering from the hardship Nigeria has meted out to everyone and is determined to leave Nigeria to embrace their Yoruba identity.

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Journey into SELF: Your Mind, a Weapon, Your Brain, a Powerful Machine!




By Tolulope A. Adegoke

“The ultimate goal of every exploration is to discover something or unravel mysteries, and maximize those things in order to conquer: fears, flaws and limitations; thereby advancing one’s self for the benefit of those around us, especially our nations and generation(s). Your mind is a weapon; your brain is a powerful machine that aids in the explorations of the ‘empires’ that lie within the cores of your being for exploits beyond measures, such that it is on the basis of how far your inner eyes can see, so you are bound to become whatever, whenever and however your goodly and Godly heart desires are. The alignment of the Spirit, Soul and Body are channels for the openings of portals within and beyond realms. They are gifts for accessing from God that which makes us to be “Made Above Nature” for fellowships, also custodians of the deep things of God, wired as carriers of His essences and presence on this earthly plain, primarily for His glory!” – Tolulope A. Adegoke

By the activation of the process of what is termed to be self –exploration, the prodigal son in the Book of Life came back to his senses and went back home. He came to himself and arrived at the juncture of self-realization by a process – the process of self- exploration.

How far a man conquers the world is a function of how well he conquers himself; hence, the greatest journey, the most prestigious journey, the most rewarding journey any man would ever embark on is the journey of self-exploration. The ultimate goal of every exploration is to discover something(s) or unravel mysteries, and maximize those things to conquer: fears, flaws and limitations; thereby advancing one’s self for the benefits of those around us, especially our generation(s).

A man will be stuck in ‘yesterday’ no matter how well read he is or how well he has explored the world around him, if he neglects to travel through himself; that is, to explore the industries that lies with him. Empowerment for change of levels or development does not come from travelling round the world; it comes from travelling through one’s self. Africa as a continent and government of its nations, for example, craves to attract Africans in diaspora to come back home to make Africa better is an unnecessary move. Africans that will develop Africa are not those that have travelled round the world, they are simply those that have ‘travelled into the industries that lies within their earthen vessels’. The prodigal son is a testimony of this fact; despite how well-travelled he was, he still fell from grace to grass, from a Hero to zero, but he got connected to a program of restoration when he embarked on the journey of self-exploration.

Self-exploration is the art and act of outgrowing childish dependences on individuals, as an individual, a people, a nation or continent, in acknowledging and celebration of the cultural values of developing and assigning one’s natural or innate potentials or gifts to the benefits of others.  If you cannot lean on your inner grace (as given by God), you will end up becoming an unnecessary burden unto those around you. Treasures lies within everyone. To be honest, self-explorers out-grow and outshine childish nature of dependence on others. They do not just sit down and wait for others to make things work for them or better; rather, such category of people gets up and work-out things for the better by accepting responsibility for the well-being of peoples, or corporates or nations without any need of compulsion.

 Self-explorers meet needs, they do not waste time thinking of who to call on to help them meet their needs when in need. Therefore, such a man or woman waits on him or herself, because he believes in what the Creator, God Almighty has embedded in him or her, which are consciously and continuously worked upon to become better and more useful to God, society at large and not only to himself! We should be observant enough to know with empirical evidences that major life’s activities are usually done or carried out in seclusion. In quietness lies the truth. My daily mantra goes thus: ‘calm, quiet, available and useful is my soul before God Almighty, My Maker!’ For example, real banking transactions are carried out in the strong room and an organization’s behaviour is cultivated and strengthened and accounted for in a secluded company boardroom. Also, medical operations are usually carried out in secluded places known as the hospital-theatres. So, self-exploration is carried out in the empires of the mind!

 Self-exploration involves securing personal independence for self-realization and self-productivity, which requires a secluded or serene atmosphere and the culture of practiced silence. Because, in silence lies the truth! A man that does not engage in silence is bound to perform below his potentials! The prodigal son as a powerful case study here was launched to self-realization and fulfilment of his potentials simply by engaging in silence; listen to the account from the Book of Life: (Luke15:15-16)

15“And he went and joined himself to a citizen of that country; And he sent him into his fields to feed swine, 16And he would fain have filled is belly with the husks that swine did eat; and no man gave unto him.”

The prodigal son celebrated this truth: “…he sent him into his fields to feed swine.”

17“And when he came to himself, he said how many hired servants of my father have bread enough to spare, and I perish with hunger. I will arise and go to my father, and I will say unto him…am no more worthy to be called thy son: make me as one of thy hired servants.”

As we can see, the prodigal son became alone with pigs, he was disconnected from men, such that he had nobody to come to his aid or depend on. He became alone, disconnected himself from clubbing, from hanging out with sluts and macho guys. He indeed disconnected himself from distractions (the noises), so as to gain attention to the call of destiny!

 Even, Albert Einstein, one of the greatest scientists ever lived was bearing witness with the prodigal son’s engagement to silence, when he revealed that:

“I am truly a ‘lone-traveller’ and never belonged to my country, my home, my friends, or even my immediate family with my whole heart. In face of all these ties, I have never lost a sense of distance and a need for solitude, feeling that increase with the year.”

What the above simply means is to practically engage in silence beyond locking yourself in a room, disconnected from all manner of human and mechanical noise. It simply means disengaging your mind from all manner of desires, lust, pursuits, values and associations that are not loyal, subject or beneficial to the discovery, development and deployment of your God given or innate potentials.

“In quietness and in confidence shall be your strength.” Says the Holy Book of Life!

The Hero called Michael Jordan, the man whom God had in mind in blessing and entertaining mankind with the basketball skills. The game of basketball would have become boring without the legendary exploits of this rare gem. With a divine sense of understanding, there are reasons beyond the visible that made Michael Jordan such a timeless star, which has helped to inspire a lot of individuals across the world and lured many of us study several respective versions of his biographies.

It has been discovered that Michael Jordan’s winning edge is his mastery of the ageless art of silence. He once wrote this powerful piece online:

“When I am out there, no one can bother me. Being out there is one of the most private parts of my life…during the game; for a few times in my life, I feel untouchable…I mean that about a game being like meditation period for me. Anytime I am playing serious basketball, it’s like meditation.

Sometimes even in the middle of the game, I am able to think about things as loud as it is; it’s almost a quiet time for me. I know that basketball game can be very exciting, but for me the game is one of the calmest parts of my life.”

Michael Jordan’s winning edge no doubt is his discipline to play the game on the platter of silence, by being united- spirit, soul and body-with the game of basketball; not minding external applauds or distracting forces which surrounded him- the process with such force that would break any unfocused man. By this, he is able to initiate and maximize communication and application with the unusual and inherent basketball energy he is endowed with.

Silence is the strong force that connects the physical into the spiritual, if properly harnessed to yielding the manifestations of possibilities. Silence, therefore, is the art of being immune to distracting-external forces in order for one to initiate or propel or maximize communication with inherent and invisible resources endowed in man by God. But the art of silence has been neglected by vast majority of mankind; yet it is as important as the art of prayer. Surprisingly, those that are master of the art of ‘prayer’ without mastering the art of ‘silence’ make little or no contribution to human existence. But, those that master the art of ‘silence’ enjoy the grace to maximize, expand, explore, exploit and contribute meaningfully to the advancement of humanity!

Attesting to the reality of this fact, Bishop David O. Oyedepo revealed in his book titled: “Maximizing your Destiny” that:

“Quietness enhances the quality of thinking. Quietness enhances productive reasoning. I cherish quietness and I will do anything to have it…that is why although we have many rooms in our house. I sometimes have to put certain guest in the hotel, to avoid the noise they will make in my home. Quietness is precious to me. It has great spiritual value…”

A prolific and industrious writer, Samson Adah Paul wrote this mind blowing piece that reminds me of the Divine creation techniques:

“When God Almighty saw the need to create woman for man, he did not inspire man to employ the ‘art of prayer’, he simply inspired man to connect to the art of silence…”

“And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept; and He took one of his ribs…and the rib which God had taken from man, made He woman.” [Genesis2:21]

Silence informs! It is the factory house of progress and development. Any quest for progress and development that is pursued without the art of silence will ever be in vain. Samson Adah Paul writes again: “Africans that will experience the fulfilment of the ‘African Dream’ will have to be masters of the art of silence. Mind you, silence in this context is not about being mute and dumb, it’s rather about being immune to distracting external-forces in order for one to initiate and maximize communication with the inherent resources endowed in man by God.”

Some sensitive aspects of Thomas Edison’s life have been a great lesson and positive example to me as a person after series of comprehensive study about him. I discovered too that his greatest strength was his mastery over the art of ‘silence’. His life showed impeccable discoveries and exploits, but were all as a result of paying attention to necessary matters; it is much more a function of withdrawing attention or refraining from unnecessary matters. He refused to submit to his medical science advancement for the treatment of 100% deafness which he suffered from birth on one ear and 80% deafness on his other ear. Edison rather preferred to bear the burden of deafness, for him to become better; because to him, that was an advantage. He wrote this mind-blowing piece:

“Even though I am nearly deaf, I seem to be gifted with a kind of inner hearing which enables me to detect sounds and noises that the ordinary person does not hear.” Edison did not consider hearing disability as pain but as gain which helped to strengthen his concentration levels in the areas of discoveries and impeccable inventions, thereby serving as a plus to humanity, rather than living on the guise of excuses! This, I call the Journeys of Our Beings to ‘Being’ whatever our hearts desires, whenever and however! It is a journey less travelled by a majority across the world, but mostly practised by the ‘One Percent’ of the ‘One Percent’ (Geniuses)!

Dr. Tolulope A. Adegoke is an accredited ISO 20700 Effective Leadership Management Trainer. 


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