​Father’s Day, Evans and the Rest of Us (2)

Welcome to my page again today to complete a piece, which conclusion I reserved till today.

Now, here is where Evans comes into the mix. As I think about fatherhood and I saw the picture of the children of Evans(allegedly posted by their mother), the recently arrested billionaire kidnapper crying in the company of their mother, claiming to regret their father’s sins and requesting for forgiveness, I began to think what a legacy of abnomality. Call it an audacity of hope, audacity of foolishness or show of shame, your conclusion may have pitched its tent in the very heart of the truth.

And I asked what lessons is his life teaching his children as a father? What legacy is he leaving for his children? Did he think about the consequences of his actions vis a vis his five(5) precious children? So, is he a father in the real sense of it?

I think as we celebrate Father’s Day, we must ask ourselves a genuine and soul-seaching question to which we must find credible answers, reaching to the deepest side of our collective conscience: would our children be proud or humiliated about your actions or omissions either now or in the near and far future, even if you are in your graves?

My street is adjacent to the street where Evans lived and was arrested and less than two minutes walk from my residence in Magodo. I have taken actual notice of the opulence of the house, thinking it was a rewarding product of dignity of labour. In December 2016, I testify that it was the most decorated house in the area. I was again opportuned to witness his arrest first hand. He was arrested without a fight from the police. He was caught so cheap like Lawrence Anini, in a manner not commensurate with his celebrated invincibility and smartness as a king to reckon with in the underworld.

I saw him manacled, looking sober and carried into a police vehicle not through the lenses of a camera but with my korokoro eyes. It was indeed the end of the road and the end of an era all rolled into an eventful one for an alleged notorious kidnapper.

As he was arrested and paraded the second day I kept musing to myself that there is no fast lane in life. Life answers to processes and procedure carefully outlined by the Creator of all things in the Holy Writ. Again as I see his children, I ask what does a father truly owe his children, opulence and comfort or the best he can afford through dignity of labour, under God without compromising his integrity, dignity and honour? I ask what would the children have preferred a quiet and a life of contentment or this stupendous opulence, ending in classic who of unquantifiable shame and undue exposure to public ridicule?

On Saturday, June 17, 2017, the Discovery for Men and Discovery for Women under the leadership of my father in the Lord, Pastor Taiwo Odukoya hosted a perfect gentleman in our Secret of the Journey Series, Mr. Olu Onakoya, first, a quality and humble man of God, second, an successful family man and third an accomplished professional, who retired at the age of 57 as the first Nigerian to attain the position of the CEO and Chairman of Mobil Nigeria. He shared many invaluable secrets with us but I am most blessed by one of his conclusions. He said I am leaving for my children a legacy of integrity, noting that he would be 66 in October and there are no complications in his life at all. He warned us to avoid the pleasure and wrong decisions of today, which may lead to regrettable complications in our old age when we need our peace most as our most invaluable retire benefit and a priceless gain of our labour as family and career people.

That last submission hit me as my core takeaway from the program. As I told my wife later, I want to be able to make his kind of declaration as his age and beyond, even when I appear before my Maker.

As a father, I think in terms of generations in terms of decision and time. Decision, here refers to my belief that generation does not only answer to time but also decisions. I mean a man can decide to break away from an old generation and genealogy, which promises nothing but error and by a decision create a new one pleasing to God and embedded in His Glory. This generation by a decision becomes the foundation for a new generation defined by time.

As a father, I think posterity above prosperity. The means is more important to me than the end. Yes, a righteous man leaves an inheritance for his children’s children, says the Holy Writ. Yet, the Holy Writ defined the first and superior grade of inheritance and says, ‘a good name is to be desired more than silver and gold. A good name, which is a product of positive value system under God is preferred as the best legacy God’s estimation.

As a father, I see myself an a forefather and an ancestor in years to come. Therefore, it has become my unalloyed commitment under God to live my life today in a way that my children, their many generations to come and humanity will be proud of.

I am conscious of the fact that the ones yet unborn are watching me. Therefore I must embrace caution to build an invaluable legacy of an unimpeachable integrity under God.

So help me God.

Do have an INSPIRED Father’s Day.

Think the FAMILY…Thin the CHILD…Think TODAY…Think the FUTURE™

(C) 2017 by Taiwo ‘ODINAKACHUWU’ AKINLAMI (The Preacher) All Rights Reserved T: 2348033620843, 08056979605 W: http://www.taiwoakinlami.com B: http://www.taiwoakinlamiblog.com T: @taiwoakinlami

​Father’s Day, Evans and the Rest of Us (1)

I think this piece may not be an easy one to knock out of my mind…As I prepared to enter the labour room of birthing this piece, I perceived a turbulent labour experience but I believe God His support to see me through.

The foregoing fear is predicated upon the facts that I am trying to bring together topics that are best described as strange bed fellows under one roof of discussion.

So, having warned you ahead of time, let me get to the business of creating rhythm out of the cacophony of thoughts.

It is Father’s Day and I celebrate my dear late dad, Alfred Usiola Ayininuola Akinlami. My father was a good man, generous and lover of life. He did not achieve too much in the area of parenting but his mistakes were very honest ones. He only parented after his KIND, after his own upbringing. It is my firm belief is that we treat children the way we see them. We treat them the way we were seeing growing up. And if we were not properly treated or left on our own, the possibility that we will treat our children same way can always be predicted with oracular precision, except we take conscious effort to redirect our lives under God.

Yet from my father I learnt a lot from his mistakes. He died at 82 in 2009 and he remains in my thoughts as the vehicle who conveyed me here to be an unusual blessing to my world. Happy Father’s Dad as you rest in peace.

On Tuesday, February 16, 1997 I met another Father. He is my father in the Lord, who has since then laboured tirelessly and sacrificially till Christ be formed in me. To Christ and him, I owe my life as it is today. Words fail me to give expression to how much I appreciate him, though I can be a man of many words. Pastor Daniel Taiwo Odukaya, a father in more than a million ways, I celebrate you sir. Happy Father’s Day sir.

My Father of the Year is my twin brother, Kehinde Olubunmi Akinlami. I celebrate him for being there for his children, building healthy relationships with his children and always being there for them in words and deeds. He is not only his children’s hero but their delight. He is strict but not abusive; he is tough, yet approachable and friendly. He is at best in using his authority as a way of communicating values through quality relationship with his precious children. He is at total peace with his precious children and I testify that they are at peace with him.

Considering where we came from, I am so glad and amazed at how he has reinvented himself through the help of God to raise his precious children in the positive ways, we were not privileged to be raised.

He has by the grace of God made a commitment not to repeat the errors of our parents in raising his precious children, Oluwaseyitafe and Eyitomilayo. He is a leader of a NEW GENERATION, raising new STANDARDS under Christ. Kehinde Akinlami, Happy Father’s Day, you are a practical example to me that we can rise above our background and give our children a hope and a future we were denied of, noting that Change is an ever present possibility for anyone, is ready to take responsibility.

Fatherhood fascinates me and I have discovered it to be an institution where as a father, you have nothing to offer but your values through example as a source and sustainer, first to your children and humanity. I have also come to understand that there are many who have children but yet are not fathers and there are also many without children, who are yet fathers.
Therefore it is my conclusion that you are not a father because you have children. You are  only a father because you can give your children the priceless legacy of positive values through an unimpeachable example of a life, being well spent.

I think I should wrap this up here today. But you have not talked about Evans…Yes…That is a very keen observation and you are very right…Please permit me to bring him into the mix tomorrow.

I am conscious of Reader’s Fatigue, which may be a jolly good accompaniment of long treatises l am often tempted to write.

I will be here tomorrow to bring this piece to an end. Do have an INSPIRED Father’s Day honouring Fathers and Father Figures(including mothers, who played the roles of fathers, eloquently well in the lives of their children due to sundry reasons, ranging from good, bad to ugly) in our lives.

Think the FAMILY…Thin the CHILD…Think TODAY…Think the FUTURE™

(C) 2017 by Taiwo ‘ODINAKACHUWU’ AKINLAMI (The Preacher) All Rights Reserved T: 2348033620843, 08056979605 W: http://www.taiwoakinlami.com B: http://www.taiwoakinlamiblog.com T: @taiwoakinlami

THE DAY OF THE AFRICAN CHILD: SO…SO…SO MANY QUESTIONS ON THE SAFETY OF IN-SCHOOL AND PRECIOUS NIGERIAN CHILD…

June 16 is the day of the African Child and I, The Preacher think it is very significant as it helps us to call attention to the so many seemingly insurmountable flights of the precious African Children.
The African Union through the African Committee of Experts on the Rights and Welfare of the Child declared the theme of the 2017 Day of the African Child as ‘Accelerating Protection, Empowerment and Equal Opportunities for Children in Africa.’

When we consider where the African child is today, one is tempted to submit that the 2030 vision of achieving Protection, Empowerment and Equal Opportunities for the African child may be considered ambitious or even audacious.

The following are the key statistics of the state of the African Child as supplied by UNICEF:

1.  In Africa, mortality rates among children under five decreased by 54 per cent between 1990 and 2015, but still half of the world’s 5.9 million under-five deaths occur in Africa.

2. Pneumonia, malaria and diarrhoea account for 36% of all under-five deaths in Africa.                                                    

3. Africa has the highest rate of stunting among under-fives; it is also the region with slowest progress in reducing stunting since 1990. 

4. In 2014, there were an estimated 2.3 million children under 15 years living with HIV in Africa.

5. Over half of the world’s out-of-school children (33 million) live in Africa. 

 6. The population in Africa with access to an improved drinking source more than doubled from 1990 to 2015. 

7. There has been major progress in the last decade in the use of insecticide-treated nets among children.

The question we must ask is if we are committed to the foregoing goals upon which we mark the Day of the African Child today, what practical steps are we going to take to achieve this laudable but ambitious goals in view of the present state of the precious African Child?

While I leave the foregoing question in all of our collective conscience, I will dwell briefly on the state of the Nigerian child and make what I consider to be fundamental recommendations.

Again, attempting to dwell on the state of the Nigerian Child may be an overtly ambitious task considering the enormity of the issues and the sparing nature of the available time and space.

In view of the foregoing, permit me to focus on the safety of our precious Nigerian Child within the school system, particularly the Boarding School System.

Security has become a major issue as at today, particularly with incessant kidnapping of children within the school system. The last one is the kidnapping of six (6) students of Model College, Igbo Nla, Epe, Lagos State since May 25, 2017.

The pertinent questions we must be concerned today as we mark the day of the African Child, which one of the focus is to achieve protection for the precious African Child are as follows:

1. How safe and secured are children today in our schools, day and boarding?
2. What safety, security and protection measures are professionally put in place to ensure the well-being of our precious children in our school?
3. Considering the way daredevil kidnappers force their ways into schools to abduct our innocent and precious children could there be any preventable measures professionally put in place to both prevent and respond adequately to these unprecedented aggression against the serenity of our institution of learning and the innocence of our precious children?
4. If we cannot vouch for a professionally compliant measure to prevent and respond to aggression of our institutions of learning, particularly our Boarding School system, should we declare that the government and her agencies have failed in their responsibilities to secure lives and property of the Nigerian Citizens, particularly our most precious children?
5. If the government and her many agencies cannot show us an effective and tested blue print for securing our precious children in schools, can we conclude that the educational sector in Nigeria is under siege and therefore in a state of emergency when it particularly comes to safety and security of our precious children within the school system?
6. If by the foregoing facts we agree that the educational sector is in a state of emergency, what drastic measures are we all taking to address the state of emergency in the best interest of the precious Nigerian Child or do we fold our arms, resign to fate and wait until there is another attack culminating in kidnapping of our precious children?
7. If by the foregoing facts we agree that the educational sector is in a state of emergency, is it not time to reconsider the whole concept of boarding schools in Nigeria, whether they should continue to exist at all or exist in their present form, particularly as it relates with their location, noting that location may set them up as soft targets to attackers?
8. If by the foregoing facts, we are in agreement that the educational sector is in a state of emergency should our concern only be in the area of promulgation of laws prescribing the strictest punishment for offenders, considering the fact that criminal punishment, which is the fulcrum upon which the entire gamut of criminal justice system is build, draws its strength from deterrence as the lead goal of punishment, noting that criminal punishment has been discovered to be the weakest form of deterrence?

Providing answers to the foregoing mind boggling questions must be reserved for a stakeholder forum of all interested parties within and outside the educational sector in Lagos State, drawing participation from both the private and public sectors. Interested parties here refer to all who are duty bound to see to the protection of our precious children within the school system.

The mandate of the School Safety and Security Stakeholders’ Forum (SSSF) will be to hinge a long-drawn, robust and informed conversation, with a view to professionally and experientially providing best-interest-of-the-child compliant answers to the outlined questions and many more that may arise in the course of her deliberations.

It will be recalled that I, The Preacher made a call for the foregoing first in 2015 or 2016 at the wake of attacks on our school in Lagos State. I return today to make this call again and hoping this time that the call will receive the attention it deserves from all the quarters concerned.

As we celebrate the day of the African Child today, I encourage us to speak for the safety, security and protection of the precious IN-SCHOOL Nigerian Children today.

Think the FAMILY…Thin the CHILD…Think TODAY…Think the FUTURE™

(C) 2017 by Taiwo ‘ODINAKACHUWU’ AKINLAMI (The Preacher) All Rights Reserved T: 2348033620843, 08056979605 W: http://www.taiwoakinlami.com B: http://www.taiwoakinlamiblog.com T: @taiwoakinlami I: 

THE DAY OF THE AFRICAN CHILD: SO…SO…SO MANY QUESTIONS ON THE SAFETY OF IN-SCHOOL AND PRECIOUS NIGERIAN CHILD…

June 16 is the day of the African Child and I, The Preacher think it is very significant as it helps us to call attention to the so many seemingly insurmountable flights of the precious African Children.

The African Union through the African Committee of Experts on the Rights and Welfare of the Child declared the theme of the 2017 Day of the African Child as ‘Accelerating Protection, Empowerment and Equal Opportunities for Children in Africa.’

When we consider where the African child is today, one is tempted to submit that the 2030 vision of achieving Protection, Empowerment and Equal Opportunities for the African child may be considered ambitious or even audacious.

The following are the key statistics of the state of the African Child as supplied by UNICEF:

1. In Africa, mortality rates among children under five decreased by 54 per cent between 1990 and 2015, but still half of the world’s 5.9 million under-five deaths occur in Africa.                                                 2. Pneumonia, malaria and diarrhoea account for 36% of all under-five deaths in Africa.                                                                 3. Africa has the highest rate of stunting among under-fives; it is also the region with slowest progress in reducing stunting since 1990.                                                         4. In 2014, there were an estimated 2.3 million children under 15 years living with HIV in Africa.                                                     5. Over half of the world’s out-of-school children (33 million) live in Africa.              6. The population in Africa with access to an improved drinking source more than doubled from 1990 to 2015.                           7. There has been major progress in the last decade in the use of insecticide-treated nets among children.

The question we must ask is if we are committed to the foregoing goals upon which we mark the Day of the African Child today, what practical steps are we going to take to achieve this laudable but ambitious goals in view of the present state of the precious African Child?

While I leave the foregoing question in all of our collective conscience, I will dwell briefly on the state of the Nigerian child and make what I consider to be fundamental recommendations.

Again, attempting to dwell on the state of the Nigerian Child may be an overtly ambitious task considering the enormity of the issues and the sparing nature of the available time and space.

In view of the foregoing, permit me to focus on the safety of our precious Nigerian Child within the school system, particularly the Boarding School System.

Security has become a major issue as at today, particularly with incessant kidnapping of children within the school system. The last one is the kidnapping of six (6) students of Model College, Igbo Nla, Epe, Lagos State since May 25, 2017.

The pertinent questions we must be concerned today as we mark the day of the African Child, which one of the focus is to achieve protection for the precious African Child are as follows:

1. How safe and secured are children today in our schools, day and boarding?
2. What safety, security and protection measures are professionally put in place to ensure the well-being of our precious children in our school?
3. Considering the way daredevil kidnappers force their ways into schools to abduct our innocent and precious children could there be any preventable measures professionally put in place to both prevent and respond adequately to these unprecedented aggression against the serenity of our institution of learning and the innocence of our precious children?
4. If we cannot vouch for a professionally compliant measure to prevent and respond to aggression of our institutions of learning, particularly our Boarding School system, should we declare that the government and her agencies have failed in their responsibilities to secure lives and property of the Nigerian Citizens, particularly our most precious children?
5. If the government and her many agencies cannot show us an effective and tested blue print for securing our precious children in schools, can we conclude that the educational sector in Nigeria is under siege and therefore in a state of emergency when it particularly comes to safety and security of our precious children within the school system?
6. If by the foregoing facts we agree that the educational sector is in a state of emergency, what drastic measures are we all taking to address the state of emergency in the best interest of the precious Nigerian Child or do we fold our arms, resign to fate and wait until there is another attack culminating in kidnapping of our precious children?
7. If by the foregoing facts we agree that the educational sector is in a state of emergency, is it not time to reconsider the whole concept of boarding schools in Nigeria, whether they should continue to exist at all or exist in their present form, particularly as it relates with their location, noting that location may set them up as soft targets to attackers?
8. If by the foregoing facts, we are in agreement that the educational sector is in a state of emergency should our concern only be in the area of promulgation of laws prescribing the strictest punishment for offender, considering the fact that criminal punishment, which is the fulcrum upon which the entire gamut of criminal justice system is build, draws its strength from deterrence, noting that criminal punishment has been discovered to be the weakest form of deterrence?

Providing answers to the foregoing mind boggling questions must be reserved for a stakeholder forum of all interested parties within and outside the educational sector in Lagos State, drawing participation from both the private and public sectors. By interested parties here I refer to all parties saddled with statutory, political, social and moral responsibilities to provide CARE and PROTECTION for our precious IN-SCHOOL children.

The mandate of the School Safety and Security Stakeholders’ Forum (SSSF) will be to hinge a long-drawn, robust and informed conversation, with a view to professionally and experientially providing best-interest-of-the-child compliant answers to the outlined questions and many more that may arise in the course of her deliberations.

It will be recalled that I, The Preacher made a call for the foregoing first in 2015 or 2016 at the wake of attacks on our school in Lagos State. I return today to make this call again and hoping this time that the call will receive the attention it deserves from all the quarters concerned.

As we celebrate the day of the African Child today, I encourage us to speak for the safety, security and protection of the precious IN-SCHOOL Nigerian Children today.

Think the FAMILY…Thin the CHILD…Think TODAY…Think the FUTURE™

(C) 2017 by Taiwo ‘ODINAKACHUWU’ AKINLAMI (The Preacher) All Rights Reserved T: 2348033620843,08056979605W: http://www.taiwoakinlami.com B: http://www.taiwoakinlamiblog.com T: @taiwoakinlami E: Principal@taiwoakinlami.com

CHILDREN’S DAY: SAVE IT OR SCRAP IT! SAYS THE PREACHER!

Dear most precious Nigeria Child and the caregivers, who love them dearly, I wish you a most happy Children’s Day. It is my fervent prayer that the Lord, who created you as a precious gift to your generation, will keep you and grant your caregivers wisdom to be committed this noblest cause on earth.

I approach this day with very sober reflection and almost gave up sharing my thoughts on this day. Rhetoric, particularly when they come with hot air, looking like motion without movement is never an area of interest for me. Marking a day and abandoning all the issues, which face our most precious children in their legions to roll out the drums and profit from same at the expense of the children is never a joy for the crusader in me.

The question I keep seeking answer for in the deepest recesses of my concerned conscience is that how does this whole noise about Children’s Day change the state of the Nigerian Child. How does this day set aside become a reference point in the children’s diary of change? What are direct and calculable impact of past years of marking Children’s Day for the beneficiaries, our darling precious children, made in the image and the likeness of God?

Looking around me, I see more shylock profiteers on the scene, claiming to mark Children’s Day than those who are genuinely committed to calling attention to the state of our precious children. How do you explain organisations, who claim to celebrate Children’s Day with children but invite entertainers, who are reputed to serving their listeners raw lewdness as lyrics, profanity as the soul of the rhythm and immorality as the core of their contents? What is the work of regulatory bodies that they will not stop such show as it is not in the best interest of the child? Considering the rampancy of sexual abuse and immorality among our young people today, should Children’s Day be the day of all days that children’s sexuality be further perverted with inappropriate pieces of entertainment they are exposed to at shows and carnivals, organised by profiteers all over the nation of Nigeria.

Today, it is a sad fact that our children know everything about sex but almost nothing about their sexuality. Therefore, they are more sexually active than we can ever imagine. Yet, this sad reality seems not to bother us, even in the day we claim to set aside for children.

Unfortunately ignorant caregivers, who should play the role of regulatory bodies in the protection of the precious children under their care, are not often aware of the issues and how to defend the precious children under their care.

As it is today, Children’s Day is fast cutting the worrisome picture of another Valentine’s Day where unguarded celebrated, set up misguided youth for sexual immorality and abuse in the name of celebrating love.

There are many of the issues facing the Nigerian Child, which will not be addressed today or come near the front burner of public of private debate. They include the fact that over 10.5 million Nigerian Children are out of school; over 1 million Nigerian children live as internally displaced people; that according to UNICEF in her Children’s Day message, ‘millions of Nigerian children suffer some form of physical, emotional or sexual violence. According to a 2014 survey by the National Population Commission, with support from UNICEF and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, six out of ten Nigerian children experience at least one of these forms of violence before they reach 18.’

Permit me to conclude my thoughts today on our researched solutions to dealing with matters that have to do with children, including celebrating a meaningful Children’s Day, which put the best interest of the child in the front burner.

I have in the last 20 (twenty) years led a Social Revolution for the protection of the precious African Child, TOTALLY ANCHORED on The iProtect™ Approach (TiA), which core ideology addresses the INEVITABLE impact of The HUMAN FACTOR and our DOMINANT VALUE SYSTEM (CULTURE) as Africans on the welfare of our precious children and the private and public institutions saddled with the sacred Responsibility of providing adequate CARE and PROTECTION.

The challenge with the protection of our precious children in Africa is that we are yet to reckon with our dominant value system, which governs every area of our lives as a Third World people, who are said to either live in underdeveloped or developing countries of the world. The sad thing is that when it comes to protection of our children, we assume so many realities and begin the discussions from our assumptions and not our realities, comparing ourselves to developed countries. In our assumption we fail woefully to reckon that the foundation of the developments of the developed world is fist human capacity development, which plot is carefully set at their developmental plans for their precious children.

Permit me to submit in conclusion that in Africa, we take only take mental notice of children and not actual notice. Mental notice is never deliberate; it is an accidental affair, often authored by circumstances not within our control either by virtues of our ignorance or negligence.

Actual notice speaks of conscious efforts of caregivers, aimed at achieving adequate care. What is CARE in the context? It is to anticipate the needs and threats to a child and make adequate preparation to meet the needs and mitigate the threats before they arise.

The crisis today is that we only take mental notice of a day like Children’s Day and not Actual Notice, hence it is handled the way it is being handled.

I think it is high time we stood up for what is right and ensure that all things at all times are done in the best interest of the child. I think it is high time we organise programs at the family level to have time for our children and show our precious children love. Love to our precious children means attention and appreciation. While our children to receive our love, 365 days of the year, it is important not to ignore same on a day set aside to celebrate them. I think it is high time we refused to make our children available as puppets in the hands of profiteers, masquerading as Corporate Social Responsibility conscious organizations and children entertainers. It is high time that as individual and concerned Nigerians to begin to lead private and public discussions within our areas of influence calling attention to the many flights of the Nigerian child and the solutions thereof in days like these and other days.

It is time to SAVE Children’s Day in the best interest of our most precious Nigerian Child or SCRAP it…But as for me and my house we will celebrate the most precious children under our privileged care on a day like this and every other day of the year. We have sent an agenda bring out the glory of our Children’s Day and make it pro-children all the way. As for me and my house, it is time to SAVE the Nigerian Children’s Day in the best interest of the child and not to SCRAP it…Do we have a supporter in YOU DARING CAREGIVER and our most precious children? Do have an INSPIRED Children’s Day our precious Children and the most caring Caregivers, who love them dearly.

The I’MDSSMARTTEESST™ Principle: Young People, Experimentation and The Challenge of Handlers (2)

Delightfully, I am back to take this self-initiated discussion further. I have been thwarted by many reasons from keeping my commitment to be here weekly…Please my dear readers I beseech you by the mercies of God to pardon my unannounced break in transmission.

In my first salvo, I laid the foundation of this copious discussion. I rounded off with a promise to shed light on some fundamental principles, which I believe to be critical to the purposeful existence of the higher institution of learning.

Permit me to begin today’s discussion with the subject matter of freedom and how it helps to shape the culture of a university or higher institution vis as vis the purpose for which it exists or ought to exist.

Freedom may mean many things to many people but I think within the context of an intellectual community, it means a person’s discovery, acceptance and understanding of his/her dignity of human person and originality and an unfettered commitment to defend same, even with the last drop of his/her blood. A free mind is a conscious mind and a conscious mind will always prefer the sting of death to the roses of bandage.

Freedom in this context is the yearning of every uncorrupted human soul. Even at the highest level of corruption and debasement of the human soul, the yearning for freedom flashes through the consciousness of the human spirit in moments when a man’s humanity fights for restoration of its own accord.

The core value or operating force of every institution of learning, including tertiary is the commitment to freedom as carefully encapsulated above.

Freedom is an affirmation of a major ingredient without which an institution of learning is robbed of her soul. And once an institution is robbed of her soul, it is robbed of her essence. Therefore she may still exist in structures, building and in name, yet she only exists in her own shadows and incapable of fulfilling her purpose.

Freedom is the foundation of everything the institution of learning does, learning, discipline and all. Therefore,
this freedom in not an advocacy in lawlessness but as the only instrument of order in all forms of human interactions. It is important to note that any peace and obedience secured through the suppression of the human spirit and soul is a pyrrhic victory. By the worth and the inherent pricelessness with which of the soul of a man endowed by the Creator, it cannot be traded for anything, not even an exchange for the whole world. Whatever gain a man or woman makes at the expense of his/soul remains an eternal loss.

Freedom must therefore be a culture sustained by a system.

By the reason of my work within the school system, pre-primary, primary, secondary and tertiary, I have by keen observation come to the irresistible conclusion that freedom has been sacrificed on the altar the so-called Nigeria Factor. The sacrifice of freedom is cemented by the stinking libation of the ignorance, nonchalance or expediency of the parents/guardian, operators of the institutions of learning and the society in general.

With freedom out of the way, our precious children graduate from the institutions meeting everyone and everything but themselves…The graduation ceremonies are nothing but magnification of their skills, with little or no attention to the strength or weakness of the character of the graduands…

We collectively forget that skills remain useless or even a liability in the hands of a man or woman. What is the worth of skills to man or woman, who is a stranger to his own spirit and soul, when the spirit and soul of man or woman are the operating system and inevitable anchors of all skills.

I think I should round up here to continue my journey next time.

Remember Enlightenment is Superior to Enforcement. I charge you to Think the CHILD…Think the FAMILY…Think TODAY…Think the FUTURE.

(C) 2017 by Taiwo ‘ODINAKACHUKWU’ AKINLAMI…All Rights Reserved │T: 2348033620843, 08056979605 W: http://www.taiwoakinlami.com B: http://www.taiwoakinlamiblog.com T: @taiwoakinlami E: Principal@taiwoakinlami.com

The I’MDSSMARTTEESST™ Principle: Young People, Experimentation and The Challenge of Handlers (1)

It is often a frustrating experience for me, living and operating in the Third World, particularly Africa, where globally celebrated standards and best practices in most fields of human endevour are sacrificed with brazen impunity on the sacrilegious altar of mediocrity, yet with rousing accolades of the majority.

My frustration stems from the fact that those who are mostly without globally acceptable rules of engagement are institution, whose lives should depend on same. These are institutions, which should not be able to define their existence without adherence to best practice and a value system, predicated on freedom, in all of its expressions and inevitable excesses.

The tragedy today is that these institutions, which are without requisite value system, are now saddled with the sacred responsibility of providing direction for young people, particularly as higher institutions of learning.

The greater tragedy is that their abnormality has become normal to their observers and customers, who register their young people with them. In fact, most observers are not aware of global standards. Therefore, they have no benchmark upon which to demand best practices. Even where by virtue of their exposure they are aware of the benchmark, they believe it cannot be insisted upon in the Third World. As far as they are concerned, this is the Third World and anything and everything should be allowed to go.

In the Third World, the hope for change is often dashed on the popular altar of assumptions, as there are no commitment to research and development. Therefore everyone seems to do what seems right in their unproven judgement. As it is with the jungle, where every entity defines their rules, stick to same and promote same as sacrosanct, riding on the ticket of the seemingly insurmountable ignorance and fear of the majority, so it is in the Third World.

There are no regulatory bodies, properly so-called in the jungle Where they seem to exist, they exist for the survival of the operators, who often claim to work for the interest of the people.

I, The Preacher, do not come today as a prophet of doom, but as a keen observer of my clime. Therefore, I shall turn my searchlight on the higher institutions of learning, particularly the private sector.

Having observed the operations of most of them and enjoyed interactions with their products, I have come to the irresistible conclusion that most of these institutions have never been in touch or have lost touch with the historical and pivotal essence behind the existence of a higher education, particularly the university.

It seems to me that the ultimate interest of most institutions of learning in not their products, their students but preserving the name of the institutions, even it means sacrificing the collective destiny of their students.

They run the institutions as gulags, where young people are permitted to be everything but themselves. The commitment to inculcate the right values system in the young people, submitting to professional processes, which options are clearly defined to be in the best interest of their students and the true essence of a university education has been replaced with fear, intimidation and scapegoatism, which are antithetical to everything institutions of learning represent.

Where an institution seeks to exercise dominion over the lives of her students, instead of authority, then there is oppression. Unfortunately this oppression is beautifully wrapped as a gift of discipline. It is only that the recipients of the so-called gifts are not pointed in the direction of correction and better behaviour. They do not by their interactions with the institutions and their disciplinary measures submit to values as none is presented before them. They are only subdued under the weight of oppression, which has become what the institutions of learning do with their authority.

Dominion over a person achieves suppression of the human will while authority achieves the activation of the human will and the dignity therefore to seek and fulfil the best of God-ordained human aspirations by providing quality direction, first by example, then by instruction. God did not give a man dominion over another. Whatever entity, like human, who is endowed by God with a will cannot be dominated, but can only be directed.

Those who manage to cope with oppression in most of our private Universities, embrace adaptation as an inevitable tool of survival, become green snakes under green grass, waiting patiently for the day of emancipation, which the university refers to as the day of graduation. Those who cannot cope break the rules and they are often shown the way out. The dismal outcome of the encounter of most young people with most private higher institutions in Nigeria is everything but genuine transformation predicated life skills.

Permit me to round up today by saying to both private and public universities that a university is created for matured and great minds to study and research. According to Wikipedia, a university is an institution of ‘higher education and research, which grants academic degrees in various academic disciplines. Universities typically provide undergraduate education and post graduate education.’ Besides, the university is the thinking arm of the modern society providing solutions for socio-political and technological challenges of the society. Thus the society is said to ‘benefit from the scholarly expertise generated from these institutions.’

By the foregoing submission, the university is a free community where the individuality and originality of those admitted into it must be allowed to flourish within clearly defined boundaries, which do not in any way negate the purpose for which the institution is established.

What is the definition of freedom and how does it help to shape the culture of a university life in truth and deed? What are the other inevitable ingredients that may help institutions of learning to better help their students and fulfil their mandate? I hope to shed lights on the foregoing as I share along the line of I’MDSSMARTTEESST™ principles.

Remember Enlightenment is Superior to Enforcement. I charge you to Think the CHILD…Think the FAMILY…Think TODAY…Think the FUTURE.

(C) 2017 by Taiwo ‘ODINAKACHUKWU’ AKINLAMI…All Rights Reserved │T: 2348033620843, 08056979605 W: http://www.taiwoakinlami.com B: http://www.taiwoakinlamiblog.com T: @taiwoakinlami E: Principal@taiwoakinlami.com