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“Interference”? Which “Interference”? By Akeem Soboyede



I’ll start with the “love-fest”, so to speak: Bayo Onanuga, ex-African Concord editor and co-founder of TheNews magazine group is a senior journalism colleague I have long admired, and very much so.

As a fellow journalist, he has stood as a beacon to many in the profession for many years, with his brand of courageous and fearless journalism serving as an exemplar to which many in the profession have long aspired, including my good self.

Bayo Onanuga’s quality, courage and foresight as a journalist is uncommon and very exemplary. Anyone (like yours truly) who witnessed and / or was somehow thrown into the thick of the struggle to preserve and enthrone democratic norms in the unfortunate aftermath of the annulment of the June 12, 1993 presidential election won by Bashorun MKO Abiola will not quickly forget the exceptional courage and endless zeal for pursuit of the truth demonstrated by Onanuga and the other journalists he led directly then at TheNews and subsequently at Tempo magazine. This was during the titanic struggle to actualize the mandate then military dictator Ibrahim Babangida and his co-traveller / successor Sani Abacha frenetically sought to deny MKO Abiola, especially in the early days of that annulment.

Such is the respect and admiration—even love—that I had, and still retain, for Onanuga as a person and a senior journalism colleague that years after I passed on an opportunity in the mid-90s to work for a newspaper floated by him (Onanuga) and others at the time, I carried for a long time the “guilt” of “disappointing” this journalism titan I still hold in much awe, despite the fact that I had very good reasons then to choose not to work for my hero and pursue another opportunity that presented itself at the time.

Decades later, just as Bola Ahmed Tinubu is on the cusp of being sworn-in as Nigeria’s duly-elected President, an achievement denied MKO Abiola about 30 years ago, it is really disappointing that this journalistic hero of Nigeria’s democracy journey has chosen such an auspicious moment to let down many who look up to him. Onanuga, who currently serves as the Director of Media and Publicity of the Presidential Campaign Council of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), a party that has just run a successful presidential campaign, put more than a foot in his mouth when he recently tweeted that members of the Igbo ethnic group in Nigeria, specifically those residing or domiciled in Lagos, had to stop their “interference in Lagos politics”.

Hear Onanuga, in full: “Let 2023 be the last time of Igbo interference in Lagos politics. Let there be no repeat in 2027. Lagos is like Anambra, Imo, any Nigerian state. It is not No Man’s Land, not Federal Capital Territory. It is Yoruba land. Mind your business”. Even worse, after the first wave of criticisms hit his first incendiary comments, Onanuga doubled down on his divisive ethnic vitriol, in the process disappointing those admirers who initially believed his Twitter account had been hacked or that he had been defamatorily-misquoted. Hear Onanuga, again: “Let me make myself abundantly clear: the views I express on Twitter are my personal views. I don’t owe anyone any apology for addressing the existential threats of our people. I am after all, first of all a Yoruba, before being a Nigerian”.

The re-affirmation of vitriol by Onanuga came even after one of his counterparts on the same Presidential Campaign Council of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Festus Keyamo, literally threw Onanuga under the bus and denounced his ill-conceived diatribe against the participation of members of the Igbo ethnic group in the politics and electoral process of Nigeria’s most populous and richest state, Lagos.

Onanuga’s unfortunate statements undoubtedly has roots in the tension-soaked run-up to the just-concluded governorship election in Lagos State, where the ruling All Progressives Congress has held unquestioned state-wide power during the past 24 years. This hold seemed to come loose, however temporarily, when Bola Tinubu lost the presidential election conducted there on February 25th to the presidential candidate of the Labour Party, Peter Obi, who also happens to be a member of the Igbo ethnic group. This moment, when the APC in Lagos literally saw its political life flash before its eyes, unleashed a gubernatorial campaign like no other in Lagos from late February up to the election for the governorship seat that held in the state this past March 18th.

Those weeks of campaigning were soaked in enormous ethnic baiting and vitriol, mostly directed against members of the Igbo ethnic group in Lagos. The Labour Party’s candidate in that governorship election, Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivour, was cast as an Igbo Trojan horse being controlled by others to take over the prime real estate of Lagos State from its Yoruba “indigenes” to whom it rightly belongs.
So, even though Onanuga’s irascible tweets could be likened to a “loud, written sigh of relief”, coming as they were when it seemed certain Rhodes-Vivour would be defeated in his bid for the Lagos governorship, they were certainly not the appropriate “words of celebration” from this otherwise-very rational and courageous journalist whose career has served as an inspiration to many. Onanuga of all people is very familiar with the role certain Igbo personalities played (I’m sure he won’t now characterize those as “interference”) in the struggle to actualize the mandate given to MKO Abiola in the aftermath of the June 12, 1993 presidential election. Surely, names like Rear Admiral Ndubuisi Kanu, Commodore Ebitu Ukiwe (incidentally both former military governors of Lagos State), Chief Ralph Obioha, Dr. Chukwuemeka Ezeife, Professor Anya O. Anya, Chief Empire Kanu and others should mean something to Onanuga. These were all distinguished Igbo personalities who were co-founders of the National Democratic Coalition (NADECO), the body used to prosecute the titanic battle to actualize MKO Abiola’s June 12 mandate, and whose members all suffered significant personal losses and inconveniences—even numerous attempts on their lives—when the fearsome Sani Abacha regime ruthlessly hunted and haunted those NADECO members, without caring about their ethnic origins.

I have no doubt the likes of the late Rear Admiral Ndubuisi Kanu now turn in their graves at Onanuga’s diatribe against members of the Igbo ethnic group in Lagos.

There’s also this interesting titbit: soon after Bola Ahmed Tinubu won the APC presidential primaries in June last year and clinched the party’s ticket for the recently-concluded presidential election, I came across a news item about a very rich Igbo personality who had announced the donation of two private jets to Tinubu’s nascent presidential campaign. I then also quickly noticed that the same Igbo individual had been my student many years ago when I taught undergraduates at the University of Lagos (he remains the richest undergraduate student I ever taught during my stint as a teacher in College! I will equally refrain from mentioning his name here for reasons of his privacy). One wonders now if Onanuga’s malevolent missive against the Igbo can be extended to persons from that ethnic extraction who lent a much-needed helping hand to Tinubu’s (ultimately-successful) presidential campaign.

Then there are the numbers too, which is an important feature of any participatory democracy such as the one Nigeria has been trying to build since the onset of the Fourth Republic in May 1999. Although figures from Nigeria’s National Population Commission (NPC) appear scant or even non-existent on that specific demographic, authoritative projections put the percentage of the Igbo population in Lagos at between 30 to 45 percent, with larger concentrations in certain parts of the Lagos metropolis than others. Having been born and bred, so to speak, in Lagos myself, I know for a fact that the number of Igbos domiciled in Lagos is anything but insignificant. Despite the “historical tensions” many ascribe to the dynamics of Yoruba / Igbo interactions in Lagos, I recall that for the many years I resided as a child and young adult in my father’s house in the Mafoluku-Oshodi area of Lagos (starting in 1972, when I was soon to be a four-year old), the percentage of tenants that resided in the house was almost always 60 to 40 percent, in favour of the tenants of Igbo origin.

My father definitely had nothing against his fellow Yoruba but the statistics of his tenancy almost always favoured Igbo tenants. That, in itself, is instructive of a reliable projection regarding a steady increase in the Igbo population of Lagos over that timespan, and which further validates the numbers that place the Igbo population in Lagos at very significant levels. Significant enough, infact, to make Onanuga’s bombastic assertion about Igbo “interference” in Lagos politics all the more wince-inducing and baffling. Surely a potential voting bloc of almost half in a state’s total voters’ pool cannot be told to refrain from “interfering” in the very important process that determines those who rule over them and make important decisions on their behalf every four years. To paraphrase a part of Onanuga’s words, the same privilege of active and unfettered participation in the political process of those states would be argued for Yoruba residents of Anambra, Imo, or any other Nigerian state where residents of Yoruba origin constitute 30 to 45 percent of the state’s population.

Everyone knows (or should know) that 30 percent of the voting bloc in a state can enter into an alliance with like-minded members of another voting bloc to produce a political leadership acceptable to all in a state (or country). Surely, the likes of Onanuga would not characterize that as an unwanted “interference” in the political process by members / representatives of a particular voting bloc that utilized its numbers to legally attain power?

Or was Onanuga’s outburst spurred by far more personal issues and agenda than he might be reluctant to let on? One can only wonder.

Alas, the old saying has proven itself true again: your heroes often disappoint you in ways you’d never anticipate, so make sure to always avoid meeting them and admire them only from “afar”. Still, for all of us out there who will always respect and remain in awe of Onanuga’s achievements as a journalist—especially his towering role in the entrenchment of the democracy all Nigerians now enjoy, irrespective of ethnic or other backgrounds—we will continue to believe that this recent glitch in the remarkable trajectory of a wonderful career would prove to be only a temporary disappointment.

Afterall, Bayo Onanuga is only human, like the rest of us.


Soboyede is a journalist and attorney

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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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