MY SERVICE YEARS & SETTING THE RECORDS RIGHT
BY FEMI ADELEGAN
I decided to release a part of my autobiography being compiled for age 70 by the grace of God, to enrich the minds of people, particularly those engaged in the corridor of power to read and be more equipped for tasks confronting them.
I am an author, thinker, writer, publisher, media entrepreneur, & consultant in diverse fields. More importantly, I am an extremely patriotic Nigerian who wants the best for our dear country. With all modesty, I consider myself a highly patriotic Nigerian who is very passionate about the Nigeria project. I usually don’t classify myself as a partisan politician because over the years from 1998, I have refused to accept invitations to get involved in electoral contests because of the way political contests are held in our country. I am fortunate to have served four (4) governors of Osun State from 1994-2000 in the position of Chief Press Secretary. I feel every one of them can attest to my strength of character. I am a thorough professional who sells his skills; and not a mainstream politician. The four governors are as follows:
•Navy Captain Anthony Udofia (retd) a never to be forgotten boss who discovered me – (whom I regard as my senior brother East of the Niger)
•Colonel Anthony Obi (retd) who took over from Navy Captain Anthony Udofia (retd)
•Colonel Theophilus Oladapo Bamigboye (retd) a very blunt senior retired military officer who told the crowd at my first book presentation ceremony in Osogbo in November 1998, that interest groups worked on him to remove me before resuming his military posting from Bauchi to Osun State. He said he took notice of all I was doing as a pure professional and stated publicly that all interest groups should keep off because he found out that I was sincere and truthful.
•I served Chief Bisi Akande in the same capacity of Chief Press Secretary from May 29, 1999 to January 20, 2000. When I went to bid Baba Akande good bye, he said a few things to me which I shared with Uncle Yemi Farounbi. Uncle Yemi said if you kept longer with him, he would have revealed several other things to you. I learnt he told his ADC now DCP Goke Fayoade that: ‘’Femi Adelegan is a good-natured man’’
IN THE POLITICAL TERRAIN
From 2003-2010, I served as Chief Private Secretary/Special Adviser on Policies, Programmes & Plans Implementation to the governor of Osun State. In this capacity, I was the head of the governor’s secretariat and was responsible for the compilation of hefty paperwork on several issues, particularly the development of Osun State and Investment Promotions. By my training, I regarded the constituencies of the governors as mine, in the course of my illustrious career. I am a very cosmopolitan personality who detests falsehood and intrigues. I gave pieces of advice as dispassionately as possible in the overriding public interest. Till today, there is NOBODY who could come out to say I negotiated with him/her for financial gains before performing my duties. I will go ahead to name a few people who expressed this sentiment as different periods:
•My egbon, the Alaye of Odogbolu, Oba Onagoruwa (before his ascension to the throne) who said he wondered if the governor discovered me from the public sector because of the speed with which I carried out my assignments
•Chief Jacob Wood, an investor who came with Sina Agboluaje and I sorted them out within an hour because they came in to see the governor on matters of public interest that could develop the state. Governor Oyinlola never joked with investment matters.
•Tom Iseghohi who said my boss as governor had a lot of admiration for me for the way I carried out my duties but would never tell me. I never knew he came from one of the most important personalities in Nigeria. We later became friends exchanging calls. However, I don’t know where he is any longer.
•I must also state that conversely, there were other people who never liked me or my face and cooked up stories. As a personal staff to the governor, I was supposed to be loyal and dedicated. All sorts of things I never did were ascribed to me. The governor on one occasion asked me why I never showed adversaries his red biro carrying his approval. I always told him that aides were there to shield bosses. It would take a principality to do all these things ascribed to me.
AVOIDED TROUBLE/SHUNNED INFLUENCE: The office allocated to me by the Secretary to Government had been forcefully occupied by another official who wanted proximity to the governor before my movement. I thought the Secretary to Government was the landlord who had the right to allocate offices in the governor’s office. However, the official remove the tag indicating that the space was for my office and aides. I thought that was impunity! I never loved trouble so I moved into another space that was relatively far. For me it never mattered where I worked provided I had a table and chair. I could even stay in Abuja and service my boss in Osogbo perfectly these days of technological advancements. I didn’t have to be seen near him peddling influence before achieving results. The office allocated was directly after the spaces for the ADC/CSO. I avoided those elaborate introductions at official functions and begged not to be introduced. I never liked that aspect of governance because it was too sycophantic. I tried not to be noticed or carry my weight like someone who was influential. Many people never knew what I did but it was quite voluminous. One weakness I have is that I cannot associate with proud people.
I had four (4) confidential secretaries who complained that I was a slave driver working from about 8.00am till 6.00pm. Yet, I attended to visitors with a stern instruction that nobody be made to complete a visitors’ form to see me as I was there as a public officer. There were people like Prof. Muhib Opeloye, then Commissioner for local governments who lamented, about two months before our exit that he never knew my contributions to governance as Chief Private Secretary were that important. He used to walk across my corridor to approach the main office. He probably would have done a favour for one or two people from me who were qualified. From then, Opeloye never went across, without coming into my office to say hello to me.
EXITED WITHOUT BLEMISH
I exited top sensitive positions that I was privileged to hold without blemish, and I was regarded as a very valuable material by my successive bosses in government. It is in recognition of my sterling qualities that Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola invited me to be the Principal Secretary to the National Secretary of the Peoples’ Democratic Party upon his election in March, 2012. I was in that office till about March 2013, shortly after Prince Oyinlola was sacked from office. In that capacity, I NEVER agreed to be induced financially and I kept a level head and never mixed because of the nature of my duties that demanded strict compliance to instructions, loyalty, faithfulness and dedication to duty. One young chap from the office of Dr. Sam Sam Jaja — the Deputy National Chairman visited me in the office periodically. It was from him I heard that people were not comfortable dealing with me or asking me to do some things because they never knew if I was a security man. I was quiet and calm in my approach to management.
For instance, the list of nominees for board appointments forwarded through the PDP National Secretariat was fixed by me. Only four (4) changes were made by the National Chairman and the National Secretary. My name was not on the list and I handled my assignments dispassionately and painstakingly. I couldn’t tarnish my reputation by swapping names on the list. As directed, NOBODY saw the list of appointees that was kept in my iron cabinet in my office for three (3) months until December 26, 2012, when I was instructed to deliver the list to the then Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Senator Anyim Pius Anyim. That was not the first time I would be given such an assignment on trust. Governor Oyinlola in June 2003 directed me to distribute political positions on the basis of federal constituencies in Osun State. I adhered to his instructions that NOBODY MUST KNOW; AND NOBODY KNEW. My loyalty, expectedly, earned me many enemies.
POST PDP NATIONAL SECRETARIAT YEARS & BEATING ABOUT THE BUSH
I never submitted any report on anybody to security agencies. This situation of rejection that I could not fathom continued and I got increasingly worried because I was being deprived of chances to be considered for contracts/consultancy jobs etc Nobody offered to assist me, but I kept on believing God that all would be well. I started beating about the bush thinking about what could lead to suspicion if my thoughts are correct that I could have been profiled. I am an easy going person who faced my duties diligently. I hate intrigues and have never joined in intrigues. I thought it would be helpful I make these clarifications that if I was being suspected of playing any role in the past. But I can beat my chest to say I am a Nigerian who is committed to nation building, particularly peaceful conducts. This year, the situation got to a point that I was disturbed psychologically and also suffered emotional trauma because of unbelievable reactions to me from some quarters I hitherto considered impossible.
My major concern has been my inability to pin down the reasons why I have been encountering rejection in several places, in particular federal government Ministries and some of their Parastatals, specifically from about 2015 -till now. As a patriot, I wrote policy papers on what I believed could contribute to national development. I am more perplexed by the fact that very top officers after our first meeting in the Ministries stopped attending to my calls and avoided me. Some even refused to grant me audience in 2016 because of the belief that I was a PDP loyalist. And the issue that I was processing could contribute significantly to the development of Nigeria. Because I am a businessman in the areas listed above, I feel some deprivations. Up till today, I have been personally responsible for attempts to unravel these unfortunate developments that appear to me as mysteries because I keep an open mind and damages done to my reputation and business are huge. I have always felt I have done no evil.
As a patriot who wants the best for Nigeria, I have done a lot through publications on my communication channels to reflect Nigeria positively in the international community and have through unsolicited actions written extensively on the chances of Nigeria becoming a great nation. With every humility, I am a bundle of ideas, particularly with regard to improvements in governance of the public service. I contributed policy papers when the Muhamadu Buhari administration was coming in in April, 2015. Voluntarily, I campaigned vigorously for Nigeria’s candidates for international appointments that eventually came our way. (Please check my website: www.terrificheadlines.com) Additionally, my channels don’t entertain publications that are not in the national interest, are vitriolic, or I consider improper due to attacks on themselves by politicians. I always prefer not to join the fray.
One of our mandates on my channels is the promotion of peace and unity. I commenced my campaign for peace and unity that I feel is divine in December 2014 when it appeared the approaching general elections could consume the nation. I wrote to traditional rulers and key religious leaders to call their ”children” to order. I conveyed my messages by emails. I never published the letters till early 2015. We project only balanced reports that promote peace; locally and globally, particularly in multilateral organisations that are representative of nations of the world. A content analysis of my websites could be done. I did a few publications on the imbroglio between Prof. Ibrahim Gambari and Dr. Oladapo Fafowora when the Chief of Staff was appointed and was being reflected negatively in the media. I know both of them personally and thought there should be no problems. Fafowora for whom I have the greatest admiration because of his brilliance knew me as a small boy; while I was introduced to Gambari by my good boss, Chief Theophilus Bamigboye in 2014. (Again, check my website – www.terrificheadlines.com) On account of my intervention, many friends disagreed with me and discontinued reading my pieces. I wrote on conviction; explaining what was required of diplomats. A diplomat represents Nigeria under the indirect supervision of Mr. President and is bound to project the image of the government that appointed him/her or get out of the way.Any diplomat who is not comfortable with the position of government on any issue cannot come out to attack his employers. He/she must resign to be able to do so.
WHY MY FEARS OF PROFILING ON ACCOUNT OF FALSEHOOD?
Sometime in 2013, shortly after being sacked as Principal Secretary to the National Secretary of the PDP, a position that I lost as a result of the intra-party conflicts that swept off the then National Secretary whom I served, a well-wisher informed me to be careful because I was being maligned and identified as the writer of letters considered vitriolic against a sitting president by an influential Nigerian. I wasn’t perturbed because I knew I never acted in that manner, as alleged. But it is possible that this might have gone into my records with security agencies since nobody would ask me. Three years later, I examined the spate of rejections and started running around to establish the cause/s of these incidents that were making it relatively hard to fulfil my obligations as the head and breadwinner of my family. I felt I was suffering a collateral damage due to my relationship with the person that I served. The story was concocted so the boss would not be allowed to return to office after the Court of Appeal ruling that returned the National Secretary to office. But the judgement was hanged because of the perceived closeness of the national secretary to two prominent Nigerians that were dreaded. As a Christian, I knew God would clear me at the appointed time.
All my life, I have never functioned as a mainstream politician. I have never sought or campaigned for an elective office. I am an organized person who handles assignments without being beclouded by personal interests. After quitting the PDP, I met brick-walls everywhere I went with intent to seek reasons for my rejection to be able to proffer solutions. I made it known on my channels several times that I am NOT an enemy of any government or individual. I am a professional doing my work. I made my stand known publicly at my book presentation ceremony held in Abuja in April 2018. I got wind of the interest of the First Lady, Her Excellency, Hajia Aisha Buhari who was to attend. The First Lady earned my respect for treating a matter from an ‘’ordinary me’’ previously unknown to her for the common good. She wrote a beautiful letter of commendation to me because one of my books on illegal migration tallied with the objectives of her NGO. I believe God spoke for me. Mama Buhari won our position of Woman of the Year 2018. Gen Abdulsalami A. Abubakar GCFR was chosen as our Man of the Year on account of his peace initiatives.
I was later informed that the First Lady delegated the responsibility of attending my book presentation ceremony to one of her female aides who however, never attended. Nation-building shouldn’t be about such mundane issues. Chief Bisi Akande, an Alliance for Democracy chieftain appointed Dr. Yemi Farounbi a PDP chieftain as Chairman, of a strategic Grade A Parastatal because he wanted good results that he needed and got good results. I started to examine what could be responsible for these rejections. A friend advised that I should try to see any top politician who could vouch for me because of wrong insinuations and assumptions about my roles in the past, since I could be considered as being in an opposition political party. By my nature, I respect elderly people, but I cannot be tied to anybody’s aprons. I am an independent-minded person. My successive bosses knew this fact. I tried on my own, but could not penetrate. Today, APC believes I am in PDP; and PDP believes I am in APC. I have been turned into a principality.
I had no intention of reporting anybody at the two security agencies that I contacted, but to pursue my business interests and state my own position, in case I had been profiled. I INDEED NEVER REPORTED ANYBODY. I have shown the proof because I know what people could do. Most times, I wonder why people must attempt to bring down others in order to sustain their relationships with big bosses. They will answer to God’s query in the fullness of time because God hates such acts. A top security chief who speaks Yoruba would certainly remember that someone crossed his path while returning from the gents at the Banquet Hall of the State House at the public presentation of the first book on the achievements of Mr. President.
The intention was to seek an audience. He walked briskly away, though jovially and courteously, because professionally, it was risky for him to be discussing with me — someone he never knew intimately with no other person in attendance.I laughed hilariously.
I recognised the risk. What if I said he was asking me to do an unlawful thing? I knew while in government that such top security personnel also had people –very junior to them whom they don’t know — also writing reports on them for the attention of superior officers. My attempts to secure audience to discuss my proposal on security breaches and how my media organ could collaborate with security organisations never succeeded. I had thought that I would be invited for further consultations and defence of my proposal like the agency did in 2014, when I went inside the NSA’s Office and defended a proposal on security breaches in a discussion with one of the Directors – One Mrs. Abdulrahman. The proposal was submitted at the instance of the Centre for Black Culture & International Understanding. But people might have told lies against me that my intention was to report an influential Nigerian. Nobody questioned me on this matter.
UNITED STATES PRESIDENT
I met President Joe Biden in his Wilmington, Delaware office in 1993 when I was on a Fellowship on a one year exposure in the country. When the applications for the United States Visas by my wife and children were rejected in 1993, one American Rotarian introduced me to Joe Biden’s office. I tabled my case before him and complained bitterly that my wife and two children satisfied the conditions for issuance of US Visa but they were unjustly treated. Senator Joe R. Biden (as he then was) wrote a letter seeking the intervention of the US Ambassador in Nigeria for a review. I also pleaded family issues. That was all. Our protests were upheld and my wife and children joined me on vacation in the United States. I have since 1993 NEVER had any direct or indirect contact with Biden.
BIDEN/KAMALA HARRIS CAMPAIGN
When Joe Biden was running for election as President of the United States, some Nigerian-Americans in the United States composed a campaign jingle for him. The jingle was forwarded to me by a good friend, Stan L. Straughter who is an African-American who is passionate and has a positive outlook about developing Nigeria, Africa and African Diaspora. Upon conviction, I honoured the request of the friend who came with an advertisement by some Nigerians in support of Biden GRATIS. I thought I should repay him for his kindness and I was also convinced that he was a better alternative to President Donald Trump. We (Adelegan/Straughter) interacted further on the last United States Presidential elections, particularly those drumming support for the Biden/Kamala ticket. I never collected ONE DIME from anybody. I HAVE NEVER BEEN SPONSORED BY ANYBODY OR ANY ORGANISATION IN THE UNITED STATES, EXCEPT THE UNITED NATIONS IN 1986.
ADVERTISEMENT OF PLAN TO ATTEND PRESIDENTIAL INAUGURATION: It is true I wrote on my website that I would attend the US Presidential inauguration in January 2021. I initially thought about the possibility of covering the event and also conduct some interviews over there. However, I must state that the major purpose of writing that piece on my website was to make my adversaries more annoyed and angry, and possibly jump into the lake. I never had the funds to travel during that COVID-19 emergency and my business wasn’t even strong to undertake such a venture. NOBODY invited me for the ceremonies and NOBODY offered to provide funds or donated funds for me to attend.
While building my audience on Instagram, I decided to be tagging very important personalities – locally and abroad, because I thought my audience would grow with this arrangement because thousands of people are linked to them. I also tagged prominent artistes with large followerships. In Nigeria, you would find names of prominent Nigerians on my Instagram handle and I used to tag them in order for their teeming followers to see my posts and also visit my Instagram page. My conviction was that people would recognize my channels because those well-known personalities have huge followerships. I have NEVER sent any personal message to those people by INSTAGRAM, aside what I broadcast to other people on my network. Even in Nigeria, those ‘’big people’’ don’t know me in spite of serving in prominent positions in governments. As at now, I have concerns. I don’t know if my Instagram handle has been infiltrated like my other social media channels. All my active service years, I was never an influence peddler and I never hanged around to be noticed by any politician. I have also NEVER had any political sponsor who gives me money to destabilize the polity. I don’t entertain thrash such as abuses etc on our channels. This is verifiable. In doing so, one has to be cautious not to give undue advantage to any side. This could cause great problems and attacks against one. Our websites were constructed for certain purposes. News gathering and reporting is NOT one of our preferences but we bend backwards, sometimes to use some stories.
OFFICIAL RELATIONSHIPS WITH EMBASSIES/HIGH COMMISSIONS
I used to have an official working relationship with many Embassies/High Commissions in Nigeria on account of my schedule in the government of Osun State. Prominent among these were the United States, United Kingdom and Peoples Republic of China. I engaged the Political & Economic Affairs Department of the United States Consulate in Lagos for official issues when I was Special Adviser on Policies, Programmes & Plans Implementation to the governor of Osun State (2003-2010) Most of the sensitive functions for the progress of the State were handled by my table because the governor believed I would achieve results. My mandates then included interactions with foreign missions in Nigeria and Nigeria’s missions abroad. My duty was to project the government in good light, defend the state government on allegations made against government as filtered to them. There were no discussions of issues outside occurrences and allegations made against government by the opposition, particularly after the 2007 governorship elections, which I had to neutralize by presenting the government side to the visitors. The opposition gave us a tough time after the 2007 governorship elections. We met at one of such fora organised in the United States as which allegations and counter-allegations in Osun State were made at the event organised by a Yoruba group — Egbe Omo Yoruba.
I)MEETINGS: It is important to state there were no one-on-one interactions. A Political Officer was followed by a Political Specialist – A Nigerian. So, at least one other person was always with us. I have had no further consultations all of these foreigners after quitting Nigeria. I dealt with Political Affairs Specialist, Gbenga Amusan a Nigerian, who had to be in attendance and later Mrs. Titi Alade. I later learnt in 2011 when I accompanied members of the Osun State House of Assembly to the US Consulate in Lagos that people playing the role that I played in official relationships were referred to as RESOURCE PERSONS at the Embassy and Consulate of the United States. That was how the Consulate visited the 17 states down south on official assignments. Not only Osun State. They also lobbied state government officials to attend their official functions. I maintained same relationship with the Embassy of the Peoples’ Republic of China, the French Consulate in Lagos, and the British Deputy High Commission in Lagos.
OSUN STATE GOVERNMENT UNDER GOVERNOR OYINLOLA WAS HIGHLY REGARDED
II) I handled introductory letters signed by only the governor to Embassies/High Commissions and all letters to these missions were signed by the governor in order to avoid fraudulent activities and were on-passed to me for further necessary actions. Osun State government was commended as one of the states that never gave the United States Mission in Nigeria a headache by sponsoring intending travellers who should not be on government list. Some other states were accused of smuggling names into notes verbale by way of sponsoring illegal emigrants/stuffing Note-Verbal with names of people who should not be there for pecuniary considerations. A Training Consultant who handled overseas training programmes abroad for Osun State government officials later told me how highly regarded I was in the Consulate as an honest and forthright personality. His name is Mr. Derin Adewumi and he lives in Lagos. I remember that I was called from the Consulate a few times to clarify the status of government officials who went for visa interviews in Lagos.
III)I was also in charge of Diaspora Relations and relations with foreign Missions in Nigeria and Nigeria’s Missions abroad. I carried out my duties with utmost dedication and commitment. I was made to supervise the investment promotions desk by the governor. There is NOBODY who could come out to say I requested for gratification or (what is jn it for me) from him/her before carrying out my duties. I published this challenge on my media channels several times. Nobody has come out till now to contest my assertion. People came into my office and got immediate attention. Among those who expressed positive sentiments on my work habits included Oba Onagoruwa of Odogbolu who wondered if I was recruited from the private sector because of the instant manner I attended to his requests; Chief Jacob Wood, and one Tom Iseghohi, former CEO of Transcorp Plc who told me that then Governor Oyinlola had good report about me, but would not say it to me.
IV) This was the same posture I adopted as Chief Press Secretary between1994-2000. No media chieftain, or Governor’s Office Correspondent can come out to say I requested or shared money with them/him/her. This is one issue that causes disrespect between Chief Press Secretaries and media practitioners. This attitude helped me a lot and they held me in the highest esteem.
UNITED STATES CONFERENCE OF BLACK MAYORS
Without being immodest, I would say I am a very proactive person with charged adrenalin all of the time, working for the progress of Osun State and Nigeria. I wanted results not for myself but governments in which I served. Sometime in 2009 or thereabout, I got to know in the media that officials of the United States Conference of Black Mayors were in Nigeria. We were in Abuja with the governor on an official trip. I realized that it was a good opportunity to get the Mayors for collaboration with Osun State government and the Conference of Mayors because Osun was utilizing culture to widen its economic base. I worked on the Internet and forwarded emails to members of the association on the visit and the American Embassy in Nigeria. That initiative yielded positive results. Osun State was then utilizing culture to widen its revenue base.
They had planned to visit the South-South the following day but were advised against the trip by the American Embassy in Nigeria. I got them to meet with then Governor Olagunsoye Oyinlola at the Osun State Governor’s Lodge, Abuja. That was the commencement of the association’s relationship with Osun State government. We seized that opportunity to convince the Mayors to hold their conference in Osogbo, Osun State. Osun State won the hosting rights for the Conference of World Mayors at its conference held in Las Vegas in 2009/2010. Soon, arrangements for the Global Conference of World Mayors commenced. A few of the members of the association attended the First Conference of Black Nationalities held in Osogbo in August, 2010. The conference was celebrated by UNESCO that issued a letter of commendation to the Osun State government.
PREPARATIONS FOR THE WORLD CONFERENCE OF MAYORS
The marketing of the World Conference of Mayors event slated to hold December 2010, commenced in earnest. A team of the Mayors was led to the Presidential Villa for a courtesy visit to Vice-President Namadi Sambo by the Osun State Governor, Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola. Speaking against the backdrop of upcoming summit of mayors, Sambo said the meeting would afford the Black Race an opportunity to partner for development. He used the opportunity to urge the Conference of Mayors to facilitate partnerships and investments in power generation, transmission and distribution in the Nigerian economy. Speaking at the event, Prince Oyinlola, said that the purpose of the visit was to formerly, intimate the Presidency on arrangements made to host the World Summit of Mayors, being jointly organised by the United States National Conference of Black Mayors, the World Conference of Mayors and the Government of Osun State. The one week event was slated for 2nd to 8 December 2010, with the theme “Global Engagement of Local Leadership for Universal Progress.” Because the Oyinlola administration was sacked by an Election Petitions Tribunal on November 26, the conference could not hold as scheduled but was reprogrammed to hold in March, 2011 by the administration of Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola.
V) Someone called to ask if I knew how to contact Bill Clinton! I know he is not a rumour peddler but perhaps heard the rumour. I told him I have NEVER had any contact with Bill Clinton or his wife. I have NEVER met any of them. They ought to know that in modern times, you could surf the Internet and possibly all the information you require and also get contact details of prominent people, particularly all over the world. But most people are lazy intellectually and are not proactive. All they are interested in is money. I did that for CBCIU in 2015/2016 like I always did when I served on the board of the organization. I don’t use INSTAGRAM much and I don’t know if the handle also got infiltrated recently by undesirable elements who have at various times entered by social media accounts illegally. I got frustrated at a point such that I contemplated closing down the business until I could get money to fully finance the project and pay staff recruited. I have had to put the notice CAVEAT EMPTOR on my pages. This is not good as it affects patronage. Those doing these obviously know what they are doing to shut down my business and possibly implicate me.
I HAVE NEVER CARRIED OUT ESPIONAGE ACTIVITIES AGAINST MY COUNTRY; NEITHER HAVE I GONE OUT TO PRESENT NEGATIVE REPORTS ABOUT NIGERIA. I HAVE ALSO NEVER ATTENDED ANY MEETING ABROAD TO BRING DOWN THE GOVERNMENT OF THE FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA.
AS A PATRIOT
I am a great patriot who has the interest of Nigeria at heart. Whoever could claim that I have ever worked against the interests of Nigeria at any time is challenged to come out and say so. I was, by virtue of my responsibilities a Salesman/Marketer of Osun State and Nigeria as part of our investment promotions drive. It is to the credit of God Almighty that I was assigned responsibilities on trust because of my ability to achieve results. Among the key projects that I worked on strenuously included the following:
•Livingspring Minerals Promotion Company. I was responsible for the bulk of the paperwork that led to the establishment of the company. I heard the rumour that ill-intentioned people voiced opinions that I made a lot of money on the procurement of the mining licences. I laughed because I was never an accounting officer throughout my tenure in government. I am due for a huge commendation for working under the supervision of the then Secretary to State Government Alhaji Fatai Akinbade to deliver the project. For several days, I never slept. Only Osun State, of the 36 states in Nigeria was successful in the bidding sessions organized by the Bureau of Public Enterprises.
•I was surprised a few months ago, when someone said he was calling from the Bureau of Public Enterprises, Abuja, from mobile no 08098306009. He said something like he was Director of Human Resources at BPE. As at then, he said he was in Osogbo, Oke-Fia and was asking me questions about the mining company. But I live in Abuja. I told him to direct his questions to the current government because the mining company was floated by government. I left government in year November 2010. I later heard that a busy-body was conducting investigations into how the place was established! I was NEVER an accounting officer and NEVER had authority to approve ONE KOBO while in government.
•On Centre for Black Culture & International Understanding, Osogbo; an international NGO: Then Governor Olagunsoye Oyinlola, late Prof. Babalola Borisade and my humble-self commenced the sketch of the project in the governor’s office. Between 2007 and 2009, my office coordinated the delivery of the project and I was part of the team that wrote the Feasibility Report, and successfully defended the project at UNESCO headquarters, Paris, France. I resigned from the Board of Trustees effective 31st December, 2019.
•I was the coordinator of the compilation of paperwork for the Livingspring Free Trade Zone, located in Osogbo. I never rested but worked tirelessly, and never ran after financial gains. One gentleman who was contacting my desk by email on the Free Trade Zone from the United States told me long after his papers were processed that he was surprised I never remembered his name. I told him I didn’t need to know him since I passed his papers to the appropriate quarters. My work habit never opened doors to contractors who never knew my office. Prominent politicians outside Osogbo also never knew me.
•At the headquarters of the Peoples’ Democratic Party, Abuja in which I served as the Principal Secretary to the National Secretary, I never agreed to be compromised. Someone proposed to give me N3 million for two copies of my book on governance that same day. I said if I took the money, I was duty bound to tell him the movement of the boss the following day if he requested. If I never cooperated, assassins could come in. I was directed to compile the list of board members forwarded to the national secretariat for further processing for onward delivery at the Villa. For 3 months, I kept the list of names in my cabinet in my office. I never permitted anybody to influence me.
BAPTISMS BY VIOLENT PEOPLE
•The first attack that I had that I suspected had political undertones was when my wife and I were abducted in broad daylight on the outskirts of Osogbo on our way back from Ibadan in March 2007. We were driven for about an hour on the Ede-Ejigbo-Ogbomosho road for about an hour before were requested to come down. A gun was placed on my stomach but providence saw to it that they never shot at us.
•Sometime in 2008, my official residence in Osogbo was violated with the vandals/suspected assassins leaving a note that read: ‘’You better resign now …. Otherwise’’
•In 2011, armed robbers/assassins forcibly entered my private residence in Osogbo with guns. They made me lie down with a gun put on my head. But God Almighty never permitted them to shoot.
•In 2012, on relocation to Abuja, suspected assassins started trailing me and harassed me on phone. I was then a politically exposed person. I was directed to report to the DG (DSS) and the Inspector-General of Police. A female Commissioner of Police who was assigned the matter told me three days later that the callers were traced to Port Harcourt. She schooled me in the art of decoy and said I should beware of fellow politicians.
•Suspected assassins and evil people never called again until about 2018 when they resumed. I kept a clear head; not wanting to report their activities for some reasons.
YEAR 2018 VISIT TO THE UNITED STATES & INTRIGUES
The Board of Trustees of the Centre for Black Culture & International Understanding in year 2015 approved the second phase of a conference titled: Conference of Black Nationalities to be held in Brazil. It couldn’t hold for some reasons. The board then approved that the conference should hold in Atlanta, GA and arrangements commenced. The choice of Atlanta was strategic – black population and opportunities for sponsorships/support by the government of the State of Georgia, Office of the Mayor of Atlanta and several organisations like CNN, Coca-Cola etc.
I made the trip to Atlanta in 2018, after consultations with a Nigerian-American resident of Atlanta GA who could have been requested to follow up consultations as a consultant. I met the gentleman in year 2010 while he was seeking an appointment to see Governor Oyinlola in Atlanta at the instance of late Prof. Ade Adefuye, then Nigeria’s Ambassador to the United States. I have utmost respect for Nigerians in the Diaspora and made sure to cultivate them and encouraged them to work with Osun State government. I always assisted them officially in seeking audience
Before my arrival in Atlanta in 2018, we agreed for him to meet me at the George Bush International Airport to convey me to my hotel. He also requested me to stay in his guest house and pay the money I would pay to the hotel. I declined and informed him that I am a very private person who cherishes my privacy. He never showed up. It was at that airport that I got the longest evaluation/interrogation on my visit by the US Immigration. I got into Atlanta down with flu. That did not deter me from working. According to our schedule, we were to visit the Office of the Mayor of Atlanta the following day of my arrival. I never saw him as agreed, but I decided to hold the meeting in his absence. It was a successful meeting, in spite of the fact that I was terribly down in my hotel but managed to work. It was from that moment I started thinking about reviewing my status as a board member. I threw in the towel one year later for personal reasons and in my own interest.
ENDORSEMENT OF MY BOOK PUBLICATIONS: Like several other people, my friend/brother saw books authored by me and commented that nobody would ever believe that I am not an Obasanjo/Oyinlola acolyte. That is the comment everybody makes. But how many people would one answer that I am a thorough professional married to my job and never attended to political issues. I use names that could sell my books to write Forewords & Preface because they serve as ENDORSEMENTS and those names would make readers create interest in my books.
After our consultations, he commented that: ‘’Awon enia ma buru o! Awon enia ma buru o!’’ (People are very terrible; people are very terrible) that confirmed my suspicion that some people moved against me, possibly from Nigeria. He never told me why he said that in spite of my asking him to please narrate what they said against me. He said some people gave him an information that a consultant had been appointed to undertake the assignment! FALSEHOOD. But he later apologized profusely and wrote, requesting to be appointed a consultant who would go round on advocacy visits for the planned conference. He most probably would have succeeded tremendously because he is well connected. But the damage had been done and before I left the United States, I got emails and phone calls by some organizations for me not to bother to follow up.
Prince Oyinlola was enraged and wondered who could have done that type of wicked act. A letter signed by the Chairman, CBCIU, Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola to counter the damages done was later forwarded to everywhere I went officially, to assure them that my visit was official and I was a representative of CBCIU. Not too long after that, all the prospective partners/sponsors stopped responding to communications from CBCIU. I never knew the extent of damages done; but I feel sure it was extensive because all organisations that were enthusiastic about the project stopped responding to emails. This was an event that could have brought glory to Nigeria as well as promote investments through culture, and obviously Foreign Direct Investment. I don’t know why but a staff of the Centre in Abuja had cautioned me against being too transparent in handling some official matters. Before I departed, copies of the 36 letters that I took along to the United States were forwarded to Osogbo for proper documentation so the information about my itinerary was open for anybody to see.
MY MEDIA CHANNELS – NO DONATION OR PURCHASE OF BOOKS ON MY CHANNELS
I am a media entrepreneur. My outfit, TERRIFIC HEADLINES, is a non-partisan, non-political organization based in Nigeria; operating purely as a professionally and ethically responsible information outfit; with associate online communication channels with wide global reach. Strategic communication is important to promote a better understanding of economic policies that demand collaboration/solidarity and support between Government and the citizenry. TERRIFIC HEADLINES is an online news organization that features highly educative, entertaining and insightful issues and events. Its parent organization is TERRIFIC INVESTMENT & CONSULTING LTD. We operate as a nonpolitical organization, and are, therefore, conscious of our responsibility of ensuring fairness, justice and ethical responsibility. We identify and promote conscientious commentators, creative counsellors, and sincere intellectual advocates of change. TILL TODAY, no sales have been recorded through my books on the PAYMENT GATEWAY. No donation has also come into my personal/business account. WHOEVER HAS DONATED OR PURCHASED BOOKS ON MY NETWORK SHOULD COME OUT TO SAY SO.
HOSTS OF OUR WEBSITES – NAMECHEAP
I wrote this company several times each time I suspected sinister intentions might be going on. I usually told them to record my complaints on their records because I am a transparent person who doesn’t like problems.
TERRIFIC HEADLINES AS AN NGO:
There is paucity of funds to run our activities, most of them for the common good has forced us to convert one of our websites www.couplesofvirtuesandvalues.com, to an NGO. We also write constructively on www.terrificheadlines.com, My health is getting impaired because of my stressful working habit. It has always been a battle between me and my wife who wakes up to switch of the lights while I am on the computer. You are free to visit our websites to check what we have done. I feel proud to state that we most probably have done more than any other media organization, promoting NIGERIA MADE PRODUCTS & SERVICES, a mission to which we are STRONGLY COMMITTED. Instead of encouraging us, people, surprisingly many who know us closely continue to peddle TOTAL FALSEHOOD. If this falsehood is not checked, it will continue to injure not only my reputation, but also my means of livelihood.
I am NOT an evil person and would never do evil to anybody. I don’t fight my own cause. NOBODY has pointed at one evil I did all my life. Rather, I have saved people who ganged up against me from quagmires in which they were put by evil people. I was also fond of asking for positive benefits for others from Prince Oyinlola without informing them. It is very easy to mislead leaders. All sinister intentions, particularly by outsiders were blocked by me because my conscience would never permit me to allow such to pass. This is one reason many hate me. Oga Oyinlola wondered aloud in one-on-one discussions with me ”why people are too envious of you.” I told him it possibly was the grace of God that I carry and the evil spirit that drove the envious people. I told a junior colleague who contacted me long ago that I always prefer for God Almighty to fight for me. What if I hold a stick and God is holding an iron rod to use as punishment for wrongdoing against HIS child. That means I have cheated myself. His words in Psalm 105: ‘’Touch not mine anointed..’’ is still very potent. God gives us sinners a long rope to repent before applying the big stick. And nothing happens without His knowledge.
Even here in Nigeria, I run away from trouble. How would I go abroad to tarnish Nigeria’s image? I am pursuing the MADE IN NIGERIA PRODUCTS & SERVICES policy passionately because I believe we need that type of policy. I have no time for all peddlers of falsehood.
Truth will always triumph. I am NOT against nobody. I AM NOT AGAINST ANY GOVERNMENT & I AM NOT AGAINST NIGERIA.