ADEGBOYEGA ADENEKAN: BETWEEN PROFESSIONALISM AND SENSATIONALISM: HOW DO WE GET JUSTICE FOR THE CHILD AND SOCIETY AT LARGE?

I have followed with keen interest since its inception the accusations levied against the above-named teacher and I think I owe my conscience, the precious African Child and the society at large a very urgent duty to share my professional view on same.

That our precious children are under the siege of child sexual abuse today like never before is visible to the blind and audible to the deaf.

That I have spent the last 2 decades of my life defending the rights and protection of our precious children, even when it was not popular to do so speaks for itself for those who have followed my work.

That all hands of every men and women of conscience must tirelessly be at work to prevent and protect our precious children, must become a noble anthem in our daily existence must not be ignored for another second.

I am for the precious African child till the end of my day, but more importantly, I am for JUSTICE…The purpose of Justice is to create a just society for all…It is my honest opinion that it is only in a just society that the rights of our precious children can find expression. It is therefore my submission that anyone who is for the interest of the child must first be for justice…

I have read reports that have been circulating the picture of the accused as a rapist. I do not think it is right. Under our criminal justice system, an accused before the court is considered innocent until proven guilty and convicted by a court of competent jurisdiction…I think hastily going ahead to convict a man, who is still standing trial before a court of Justice in the court of Social Media is to say that least unjust, unprofessional and sensational.

I do not think this helps the cause of the child for protection in any way… While I believe in Naming and Shaming, I do not believe or accept a kangaroo approach to same. Since we have not been constituted as a court, we can only name and shame a person, who has been convicted by the court.

This approach of taking the laws into our hands because we have access to the Social  Media destroys the fabrics of our society and fan the dangerous ember of disorder and chaos…It is not in anyway a good example to our precious children.

Though, I lost my virginity and the essence of my sexuality and innocence at the tender age of 6 and was thereafter thoroughly messed up, God has helped me not to harbour anger and hatred against my abuser and my caregivers, who created the loophole. They were also victims, who need help.

While I agree that abusers must face the full wrath of the law and salute the noble efforts of the Lagos State Government in leading a revolution in this area, it is my well considered opinion that the ultimate solution to the protection of our precious children from all forms of abuse does not ONLY lie in the hand of the justice system.

By the time we are approaching the justice system, a child is already abused. I do not think there is any punishment meted to a convicted abuser that can bring spiritual, physical, emotional and medical remedy to the child…Why? A child is not created for any form of abuse… Therefore he/she must be protected by every means necessary from all forms of abuse.

That is why I have been interested in the principle that ENLIGHTENMENT is Superior to ENFORCEMENT™. Enlightenment requires an holistic approach to solving the problem of child abuse like every other social problem…I have taken time to share my views on the foregoing and I will skip it as discussion for another day.

I think I should rest my case here as I call for a higher level of activism and maturity in our representation of the best interest of the child. We don’t need SENSATIONALISM to make the case for the protection of our precious children. We only need GOOD CONSCIENCE, CONSISTENCY, the RIGHT NARRATIVE and STRATEGY and BEST and GLOBALLY COMPLIANT PRACTICES.

Please, if you believe in this message I urge you to share. Thank you and do have an INSPIRED day.

Yours IN THE BEST INTEREST OF THE PRECIOUS AFRICAN CHILDREN,

Taiwo ‘ODINAKACHUKWU’ AKINLAMI (The Preacher)

T: 2348033620843, 08056979605 W: http://www.taiwoakinlami.com B: http://www.taiwoakinlamiblog.com T: @taiwoakinlami

 

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TIP 124: YOUNG PEOPLE, VALENTINE, SEX, LOVE AND ALL THAT (1)

“I need you to understand that if love is sweet, responsibility is the spice. I charge you to live responsibly this season and at all times.

My dear and precious young ones. I am glad to be with you today. I am through with our journey and I just feel I should leave a word with you on this matter of Valentine’s Day.

It is important I discuss it because valentine is a day that is usually abused by young people like you. Young people give themselves to huge immorality in the name of love. Permit me to share with you two major facts about love. The first is that love does not destroy. Love builds. Love does not take away your dignity. Love empowers you. Love does not make you trade the glory of your future for today fleeting pleasure.

Lastly, I need you to understand that if love is sweet, responsibility is the spice. I charge you to live responsibly this season and at all times. Do not be deceived, as I have said before on this page, your body as a child (any one below 18) is not made for sex; your mind cannot handle sex. Therefore do not be distracted. Make the pursuit of your future, your priority today and always.

The word ‘love,’ I must say is one of the most misunderstood and misused words among young people the world over today. As far as many of you are concerned, engaging in premature sexual relationships with the opposite sex is the ‘greatest sacrifice’ that can be made in the name of love.

While accepting that nothing but love should be the only sane reason why a relationship as intimate as sexual should exist between a male and female, it is my deep belief that love as the basis of sexual relationship cannot be properly considered without looking at the purpose(s) for which sex was created by God in the beginning, which equally extends to and explains the parties between whom it (sex) is expected to be practiced.

It must be understood that ‘when the purpose of a thing is not known its abuse is inevitable,’ says Dr. Myles Monroe.

As we have established earlier in other related discussions, one of the reasons sex exists is for procreation. Now, who are the parties entitle to engage in sex for the purpose of procreation? I deeply believe that procreation is strictly a business between a male and a female who are legally married.

I also believe that sex represents a covenant relationship and celebration of genuine devotion between male and female. Under the English family law, sex is considered as the final seal of a marriage contracted under it. The process of an English marriage is incomplete until it is consummated. To consummate a marriage is for the husband and wife to have sex after the wedding.

Having defined the reasons for the existence of sex it becomes clear that the place of love (mutual and intense affection) as the motivation for sex cannot be contested. One fact that is not equally contestable is that such love (mutual and intense affection) that leads to sex is subject to growth, trust and intimacy. Thus affection does not just happen between a male and female. Even when it begins to exist it does not become mutual and intense in a day or short time. It is never a case of two people meeting themselves at a night party or on the street and same day, two or three days later they claim to be crazily in love without knowing anything about one another.

I think I should round up here. I will bring this whole journey to a glorious end tomorrow. Do have an INSPIRED day.

The THINK Factor

What exactly do you think about valentine? What has been your personal experience and that of those around you during Valentine’s Day? Take time to really reflect and share your thoughts in your S.A.F.E™ 4 YOU Personal Journal

Extracts from my book for Teenagers and Young Adults: S.A.F.E™ (Securing A Friendly & Protective Environment) for YOU: 125 Daily Tips, presented to the public on Monday, November 20, 2017.

I am Taiwo ‘ODINAKACHUWU’ AKINLAMI, Total Childhood Management and Child Development Expert, 2348033620843, 08056979605 W: http://www.taiwoakinlami.com B: taiwoakinlamiblog.com T: @taiwoakinlami E: Principal@taiwoakinlami.com

THE SOBER REFLECTIONS OF A DYSFUNCTIONAL ADULT ON A PILGRIMAGE

Take it from me, in many ways that I have come to understand and accept, that may even be beyond what I understand; in ways that I may never understand and may never be able to explain, I am a dysfunctional adult, who found God’s grace to fight and win my many battles of life.

What I lose to my dysfunctionality or dysfunctional state is unquantifiable…Take if from me, I am not a normal human being and it is not a cliche…Daily, I carry the cross of my truncated childhood…As I advance in age and understand how this life works, I continue to discover that the foundation of my dysfunctional adulthood was laid and solidify in childhood…My fate, having been sealed in childhood in the hands of unschooled, but sincere caregivers, who were themselves victims of their own childhood, I arrived at adulthood totally unprepared for the enormous responsibilities thereof…

20 years ago, I encountered Christ and began to learn on the job of being an adult… I hope we know that any time someone tells you he/she is learning on the job, someone is paying the school fees. I, with the help of Christ have been paying the school fees of learning on the job of life and I tell you my dear friends, no school fees can be more expensive anywhere in this whole wide world than this…The curriculum is also a very difficult one, if not seemingly impossible…It is mainly to unlean the programs installed by truncated childhood and reinstall the serenity of spirit,
sanity of mind and innocence of intent, which were gratuitously bestowed on me by my perfect Maker…

I have been in the laboratory of change in the last 20 years, a sacrificial and self-inducted guinea pig, trying to cooperate with God to undo the impact of wrong upbringing… It has been a great work and walk with the Lord and these days, I hear Him whisper to me that MY STRENGTH IS MADE PERFECT IN YOUR WEAKNESS…

Why does He say this to me? It is because He recognises that the impact of an abused childhood is eternal. His intervention only helps the one who carries the cross of abused childhood to be all that He created him/her to be despite the cross he/she carries…The one who carries the cross of abused childhood must first find Him and accept the albatross laid on him/her by his/her childhood before he/she can access this help…Many are today, who never find my Lord and many are, who find Him but never bring themselves to acknowledge the damage done to their humanity from childhood and therefore remains in Him and with Him but never seek His help in the dimension, I explained above.

What is the basis of my reasoning in the foregoing paragraph? Well, I think from my personal experience and careful study of God’s value system, He did not create any man or woman to experience childhood abuse or any form of abuse at all…Imagine that when by injury a mark is made on the body of a person that such mark can never disappear, irrespective of the expertise of the one who treated it…As it is with the physical body, so it is with the soul of man, the seat of his mind, will and emotion… Once it is tampered with negatively, the scars are forever…The best of therapy is not designed to return an abused man or woman to status quo ante…It is designed to help man to make the best of his/her existence despite the impact of his/her childhood abuses… There is no emotional intelligence promptings that can replace damaged emotions from childhood…There are no spare parts to replace damaged emotions, truncated self esteemed and lost personal identity…It is only in God that there help and it is gradual…As it takes time for physical wounds to heal, it takes more time for inner wounds to first be properly diagnosed and begin to heal… Matters of the heart are often deep matter whether unto joy or unto sorrow…I guess that is why the Holy Writ says, ‘each heart knows its own bitterness, and no one else can share its joy.’ Proverbs 14: 10

It is my irresistible conclusion that any solution to human problem, irrespective of its category, which doesn’t take into cognisance his/her childhood experiences will never be complete…We are today a sum total of all that our childhood offered us…That is why I say, ‘childhood is forever.’
Who we are today is our psychology and the author and the finisher of our psychology is our socialization. Thus I often say ‘socialization is superior to psychology.’ Yet we have so much respect and concern for what people do and how they bless or hurt us but we have little or no concern for how they were raised or erased…What a classical case of a world burried in its own self-inflicted illusions, demanding from itself what it did not invest in and seeking rigorously to reap where it has not sown or the futility of hoping not to reap what it has sown…

This is the world in which the dysfunctional Preacher lives and tries to make sense of the mess created by his truncated childhood. As The Preacher, looking face to face at age 50 and embarks on another pilgrimage of seeking meaning and bringing the impact of a troubled childhood under yet more control, attending yet another destiny fixing meeting in the mountains of Colorado Springs, United States of America, he remain sober and resolute that no child shall be abused under his watch…

He remains resolute that the greatest gift our world can give to a child is to preserve his/her childhood…In fact, it is the greatest gift we can give to humanity, now and yet unborn…His story remains his greatest motivation…

Do have an INSPIRED day…

I am Taiwo AKINLAMI, The Preacher, sober and reporting from the place of pilgrimage and spiritual retreat. Do have an INSPIRED week.

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

DAVIDO AND 2 YEAR OLD DAUGHTER IN A CLUB: CRITICAL MATTERS ARISING FOR THE URGENT ATTENTION OF ALL

The news is making the rounds that Davido visited a night club with her 2 year old daughter.
The question being asked is whether it is morally right or not.
Well, I will not speak to the morality or otherwise of taking a 2 year old to a club. But I will like to ask the following simple question: is a club meant for children? What exactly in a club is a child supposed to or designed for a child to engage in or be engaged or excited with? Dancing adult musical contents with all the lewdness we have come to know them with today?   Smoking pot, tobacco or cigarettes? Second-hand or Third-hand smoking? Drinking alcohol? Strip dancing? Indecent exposure to softcore or hardcore pornography?
Now, considering, the absorbent mind of the child, according to Maria Montessori, can the social and psychological impact of such exposure be quantified on the child’s mind and childhood?
Now, which club doesn’t have age restriction? Or is age restriction not relevant for a club and it is relevant for film houses as to what films children can be exposed or not exposed to?
The issue here is not with Davido. The issue is with the system available at the PUBLIC level to protect the precious African child. Davido’s action is a sad index of the bigger picture of a STATE and her society that do not know the child and the globally celebrated requirements for his/her healthy development, spirit, soul and body, do not respect the child, his/her individuality and pay attention to his/her dignity of human person.
Davido’s action is not in a anyway peculiar. The standard of morality we demand from him is same we must demand from parents, who play adult content and lewd music for innocent children at their parties or at parties where children are present. It is the same standard of morality we must demand from schools, who do not only play adults and lewd music for their pupils and students but also invite the singer to their schools, presenting them to the children as role models. It is the same standard of morality, we must demand from parents, who expose their children to age restricted materials on print, electronic and new media(internet and social media). It is these same standard we must demand from corporate organizations, who organize children programs and invite singers of lewd lyrics as entertainer for children and the parents, who take their children to such events.
Davido, probably doesn’t even know better. If we must hold Davido accountable, we must hold those who are supposed to know better accountable first. I mean educated parents/guardians, institutions of learning, who are supposed to provide intellectual and moral compass to the precious under their care? What about Government, who should play the role of regulations? I have attended government programs for children, countless times, where the case of exposure of children to lewd musical contents was the arrogant practice.
You see until, we recognize that children do not belong to the parents but the STATE and we begin to hold the STATE accountable to play her roles of REGULATION through ENLIGHTENMENT and ENFORCEMENT in the protection of children, things we continue this chaotic and reactivate way.
Yes, the parents/guardians are primary caregivers but their care is to be regulated by the STATE…Where the STATE fails to provide or adhere to REGULATIONS, through ENLIGHTENMENT and ENFORCEMENT, we will continue to a pitiable situation, where parents/caregivers provide care according to their children according to their uninformed whims and caprices and that is VOLATILE and that may not always be in THE BEST INTEREST OF THE CHILD.
In the climes where primary and secondary caregivers provide the best of care for their children, it is largely a product of REGULATION, through ENLIGHTENMENT and ENFORCEMENT. Not right thinking STATE leaves the CARE of children solely to the SANITY or otherwise of the primary and secondary caregivers. It is subject to REGULATION, except we are advocating that primary and caregivers should create their own colonies, where they are LORDS OF ALL.
I hope we will begin to hold the STATE accountable in most creative and peaceful ways this NEW YEAR.
Do have an INSPIRED day.
Think the CHILD…Think TODAY…Think the FUTURE™

(C) 2018 by Taiwo ‘ODINAKACHUKWU’ AKINLAMI (The Preacher) All Rights Reserved T: 2348033620843, 08056979605 W: http://www.taiwoakinlami.com B: http://www.taiwoakinlamiblog.com T: @taiwoakinlami

2017/18 AND THE NIGERIAN CHILD: INVITATION TO THE PREACHER’S SOBERING REFLECTIONS

It is the eve of the New Year and I am compelled to do brief reflections on my work with children and their caregivers in Nigeria. 

Permit me to submit that I am signing out of the year 2017 on a sober note. By the grace of God, I make bold to say that we covered some grounds this year but my soberness today is that there are much more grounds to be covered as it relates the children’s Rights and Responsibilities, CARE and Protection, Childhood Preservation and Family Strengthening
In my article, written to mark Nigeria’s 57th flag Independence, published in the Vanguard newspaper on September 30, 2017, I submitted as follows:
‘How do I wish our precious children happy independence, when as it is today the families, community and state are yet to accept that abject poverty is the greatest threat to the protection of our precious children and have no concrete plan for SOCIAL PROTECTION, which ILO began to propounded since 2014 as the number solution to seemingly insurmountable inequality in our world today, particularly as it affects our precious children?’
I concluded that piece on the following sobering note,  ‘hmmm, how…how…how? I don’t seem to wrap my mind round rolling out the drums but to call for deliberate actions aimed at ending the sufferings of our precious Nigerian children and END VIOLENCE AGAINST THEM in THEIR BEST INTEREST and the PRESERVATION of our PRESENT and FUTURE of our great nation.’
As we sign out of 2017, the situation has not changed. 
Let me dwell on education as a an example of one of the challenges that the precious Nigerian children face. 
It is no longer news that Nigeria has the largest number of children out of School in the world, put by President Muhammad Buhari to be 13.2. Majority of those who are in school are not receiving relevant education, capable of  helping them to be useful in the labour market. As a matter of fact, the educational sector, both private and public is in dire crisis as it is not regulated and lacks uniformity in curriculum, training of educators, remuneration of educators, conducive 

learning environment and learning aids. 
We just seem to have accepted as normal the fact that pre primary, primary and secondary education are in the hands of the private sector. There are over 18,000 private schools in Lagos State where I live, competing with 1,700 public schools. Many parents are under extreme pressure today to send their children to school. Those, whose parents struggle to send to schools today can be said to have conditional access to education. These children are often sent out of school because of the inability of the parents to meet up with the obligation of paying school fees. 
My father was middle level staff at the defunct National Bank of Nigeria (NBN) and my mother was a petty trader in Erekesan market in Ado Ekiti, where I grew up. My education was never a social and economic burden for them. I often say to people that I was public child. I went to public primary and secondary schools and public University. I enjoyed the Free Education program of the UPN. My school fees per session in Lagos State University was N90(ninety) Naira. That is same LASU that the fees went as high as 250,000 about 15 years after my graduation from the higher institution. 
The story of today’s parents is different. I am conscious of the fact that we should encourage parents to only bring to this world children they have the social and economic capacity to look after. Yes, but who should propopse and enforce that? It is still the State, like nations like China has done. 
It is important to note that millions of Children in the North-East Nigeria are orphaned and unaccompanied in IDP camps. Many are denied of food and heath facilitates. The Boko Haram crisis has make that part of the country difficult for children to live in. We hear about the N1 Billion daily that the government of the day plans to spend on fighting Boko Haram but we do not hear about what is to be spent to rehabilitate these precious but poor children, whose only sin is that they were born in Nigeria.
Few years ago I had shouting march at with a director of Child Development from one of the states of Nigeria at conference on the issue of Child Labour. The director wanted us to address the issue of Child Labour without addressing the issue of poverty of the parents, who sent their children on the streets. The director didn’t want to accept any culpability on the part of the Nigerian State. Obviously, the director was not aware or pretended not to be aware of the position of International Labour Organization(ILO) since 2014 or thereabouts that Social Protection must be pursued as the leading solution to fruitfully tackling Child Labour globally. I ended my contribution by asking just one question: how many of those who were in the conference, considering their obvious comfortable or average state in life would send their children to the streets to engage in Child Labour?  
I was at a press conference few years back where a top state government functionary was announcing the program of the state government against child abuse. After unfolding the beautiful program, I asked just one question. I referred to densely populated and poor areas of the state, where abuses are more rampant and asked, if is not possible for people to give what they do not have, how do parents, whose entire existence is abuse rise up to protect their children from abuse. 
The challenge we face today is that we live in a state without respect for dignity of human person. How does that state respect the rights of children and create a conducive environment for their peaceful development? 
Here is my final submission, I have never been a rabble rouser and I do not intend to become one in the years ahead. I am not a critic or an enemy of the state. I only preach the Gospel for the protection of the precious Nigerian Child. 
Having been in the trenches since 1997, I understand the difference between short-term and long-term interventions. The short-term interventions must never be an end but a means to an end, the end being  long -term interventions, which aim is to create a conducive and structured environment for the Total Childhood Management and Child Development. The long-term interventions must have their eyes on holding government accountable to the responsibilities of the WELFARE and the SECURITY of the citizens under the Social Contract and the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. 
Empowerment of parents and other caregivers is as far as I could concerned part of short-term interventions, if the goal is to encourage parents and other caregivers to carry on without the support of the state in their children protection and development efforts. Until the goal of an empowerment efforts of parents and other caregivers goes beyond the foregoing and extends to mobilising  them to hold government accountable for their WELFARE and SECURITY, which has great impact on their social and financial ability to provide the best of care for the precious children, such empowerment efforts will not bring lasting relief nor be part of strategies for long-term interventions. Above all, such efforts will represent nothing but impotent tokenism. 
Also, providing individual support through personal efforts and institutional support through NGOs, FBOs and CBOs for indigent, abused and neglected children must be encouraged and applauded as short-term interventions. But beyond providing material and intellectual support directly to children and their primary and secondary caregivers, initiators of the foregoing efforts must be interested in a more permanent solutions of engaging the State and her apparatus by playing the roles of regulatory bodies, who provide enabling environment for child protection and development by developing systems, policies and regulations. To act as if the state does not exist or does not have a social contact with the people will amount to noting but excusing the state and embracing tokensim. 
The challenge with tokenism is that it is often not sustainable. Where it is sustainable, it does not provide solutions to the majority and the solutions tokenism provide for the minority is often weak in quality. Tokenism is often built around people, whose greatest asset is passion and not a system. Above all, tokenism makes heroes of the initiators at the expense of the people, whose cause and interests they claim to represent. Their social and economic conditions get better while the situation of the people do not experience tangible and enduring change. 
Yes, family is the number one ring of protection and it must be strengthened and I do a lot of that. But it will amount to tokenism ending the intervention there, without identifying the other three rings of protection and the inevitablity of their roles in protecting the child. The other three rings are the community, state and international community. It is globally settled that these three rings have a primary responsibility to empower the family to effectively play the role of protection.
In 2018, TA Academy will continue her empowerment programs but she will more than ever before pay attention to helping primary and secondary caregivers to understand the roles of the state and her functionaries in child protection and how to hold them accountable. 
We will focus a lot on working with like-minded individuals and organisations to  peacefully and respectfully engage the State and her apparatus, bringing credible suggestions for Systems and Policies for the protection of our precious children. We will not delude ourselves to think and submit to primary and secondary caregivers that that all they need to raise their children is personal determination and motivation. We will acknowledge the laudable roles of foregoing but we must move beyond same. 
I see an interesting but challenging year ahead for the precious Nigerian Children, their primary and secondary caregivers and those who defend their right. 
I really hope that 2018 will help us to evolve a conversation that will lay a solid and inevitable foundation for the narrative of what it takes to raise happy and balanced children through the instrumentality of child protection.
I may not today have enough tangible reasons to with the precious Nigerian Children Happy New Year, but I wish them an INSPIRED New Year.
I am Taiwo AKINLAMI and I am Sober on my Knees on the New Year’s Eve…
Think 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

A NATION OR A JUNGLE: THE LAMENTATIONS OF THE PREACHER (2)

I, The Preacher live in some level of comfort and has made some friends in high places in his country and beyond her shores. The Preacher runs organisations, respected locally and internationally in his chosen field of endeavour, where by God’s grace, he is a leading light and a pioneer, with many well sought-after products and programs, making disciples of children, young people, men and women from all walks of life in their thousands and owing no man nothing but LOVE.  

The Preacher stands before the kings in his industry and beyond, The Preacher being a king himself, a co-creator in the industry, where he plays today. Having risen from abject poverty and abused childhood to a level of comfort and transformed adulthood, The Preacher represents an emerging true story of grass to grace. The Preacher lives in his ‘palace,’ in a highbrow area of the city and his office is located in the area too, where he operates like a Local Government Chairman, providing electricity, water, security, other social amenities at very prohibitive cost with his fellow well-to-do inhabitants, often referred to as residents.  
By the grace of God his organisations give some support to some indigent children and their caregivers to deplete the number of 10.5 million Nigerian child shut out of school, engage in pro bono legal and social services to indigent Nigerians, irrespective of their tribe and religious affiliation, borrow what we can afford to those who seek to borrow from us and gives gifts, according to our ability. 
The summation of The Preacher’s life today is that he lives does not live a life of just-enough. Knowing that the life of a man does not consist in the abundance of his possession, The Preacher lives in contentment and aspires for greater level of relevance, not for the purpose of satisfying stomach infrastructure as that has not been an issue in the last ten years, but for the purpose of being a blessing to the humanity around him and beyond. 
Despite all that I, The Preacher has enumerated above, the more I discover the infinite nature of the potentials, deposited in me by the Creator in His unfathomable magnanimity, the more I discover that Nigeria as it is deliberately structured today does not have what it takes in terms social, economic and political infrastructure to help The Preacher give unfettered expression to his highest aspirations first as a citizen and second as a conscious soul. I daresay that as it is with The Preacher, so it is with every conscious citizens in this clime today. 
This discovery of The Preacher as explained above imposes a heavy burden of concern, first for him and his children and millions of other so-called citizens, who do not have the kind of opportunities open to The Preacher and exposure thereof and are therefore forgotten as aliens and pariahs in their own native land. 
While The Preacher and his family may think of changing their location to developed climes of the world or go there from time to time and find better expressions to his true potential and legitimately too, but that is not the case for the majority of our people, who live and die in pitiable, yet avoidable instalments in their own land. 
Clear to the mind of The Preacher is the fact that one rich man or woman in the midst of legions of poor people is himself, a poor man or woman. Real wealth is democratised wealth, which opens majority of the members of society to access to basic needs of life like shelter, food, health, education, social security, work etc. The real wealth is called Social Protection, which root is found in the fundamental human rights of every citizen and respect for same first by the state, laying good example for other members of society to follow. 
To this heavy burden there are many options, the first, which may be in the best interest of self-preservation is to supress the burden, look another way and pretend everything is normal and continue to life in an unusual manner. The second is to book one way ticket and check out like Andrew, either to launch a social media attack from there or rest in your mind in false peace. The third is to become a spectator of those, who dare to engage the system, coming to them in the night like Nicodemus, who came to Jesus in the night, assuring them of your support, but stand fully aloof, passive and unconcerned during the day. The fourth one is to become disgruntled and angry and begin to launch virulent attack on the system and her representatives under the delusion that anger is a tool of social change, agonising instead of organising and encouraging so much motion without movement. The fifth is to ride on the success of the last, which secures the attention of the system, you may begin to trade your burden for the fleeting pleasure of Naira and Kobo. 
The sixth is that you may join the league of those who seek to seize the reins of power, without asking the critical question of how does your victory alleviate the suffering of the people, forgetting that seizing power is one thing and securing the services of altruistic members of society, who have the capacity to serve the people is another. The seventh is that you may embrace patience, anchored on social and political maturity, sit down with the drawing board, with like minds, designing credible and tested alternatives to all that you have observed to be wrong with the society, place it on the fulcrum of a social, economic and political ideology, peculiar to the people, their yearnings, hopes and aspiration and begin a long-term and peaceful mobilization along the lines of the articulated alternatives and ideology. 
The goal of the last option is to involve the majority or a tangible number of the people in their own emancipation. History has shown that the best of transformation, which answers to sustainability happens when the people are deliberately involved in the process, seeing same evolving from them as inevitable part and being in control of same. 
I, The Preacher gravitates toward the last. Permit me to end my lamentations here today.  This continues another day with the ‘THERE IS SOMETHING IN ME’ phrase, which The Preacher abandoned today to lay out his motive for his lamentations. 
Do have an INSPIRED weekend. 
I am Taiwo ‘ODINAKACHUWU’ AKINLAMI (The Preacher) T: 2348033620843, 08056979605 E: principal@taiwoakinlami.com W: http://www.taiwoakinlami.com B: http://www.taiwoakinlamiblog.com T: @taiwoakinlami  IG: @taiwoakinlami

​A NATION OR A JUNGLE: THE LAMENTATIONS OF THE PREACHER (1)

I, The Preacher, I am conscious fellow…I mean I am socially and politically conscious and concerned…

There something in me that does not accept the debilitating poverty to which the mass of our people are subjected to today, simply by the reason of their citizenship…
There something in me that does not want to celebrate pockets of so-called achievements of individuals and organizations in Nigeria, which does not in any way translate into lifting the majority of our people from the doldrums of social inequalities and abject poverty…
There is something in me that does not want accept any more, the impotent mantra of the practitioners, sponsors and protagonists of motivational speaking that it does not matter your Social background and economic environment you can make it, forgetting that your social background and economic environment has unusual impact on you. Please how does the foregoing mantra help 10.5 million Nigerian children, who are excluded from access to schools, except to agitate for their inclusion by all means necessary?
The most celebrated motivational speakers are not from Africa…They are from developed countries, particularly America. As a matter of fact, motivational speaking as we know it in Nigeria today is largely influenced by America. America is a developed country where the state and its government have taken appreciable responsibility for the personal development of their people and have put in place working system and structures to bring their yearnings, hopes and aspirations of the people to fruition…For example, America is called the land of opportunities, where people are empowered to live in pursuit of personal and general happiness. In America, social consciousness is encouraged to create Public Will for people-oriented causes. 
I therefore think that it is an unforgivable fallacy for us to situate and transplant everything the American or European motivational speaker is saying to Africa and Nigeria without considering the context in which he is saying it, the people to whom he is saying he is saying it and our own peculiar context here and the state of our people here. It is important to note that when the American motivational speaker speaks or writes, he/she does not cite African examples or use African personae or places. This may be a clue that it is not everything he or she is saying that is meant for us. Since it is the responsibility of those who receive information to process it, the motivational speaker from a developed clime cannot be held responsible for our inability or refusal as Africans to understand that principles may be a universal commodity but for its application to answer the requirement of wisdom, it must respect the peculiarities of the space and the people, where the principles are to be applied…
It has been said that there is no motivational that can make a carpenter to perform surgery…This example means motivation is beyond telling people that determination is all they need to achieve their dreams, where they are able to dream. For a dream to become a reality, there must be articulated and tested process, sustained by an operational systems. In the case of the dream of a citizen of a country, these process and operational systems must be encouraged, created or support by the state and her government…
Let me declare unequivocally that when you live in a state like Nigeria, where the State as represented by successive governments has refused to pay ACTUAL NOTICE to the hopes, yearning and aspiration of the people, it is not enough to dream and hope to see the dream come to reality like in other climes, where the state and her government pays ACTUAL NOTICE. In Africa, the state pays what I call MENTAL NOTICE to the aspirations of her people. To pay MENTAL NOTICE is to be aware somewhere in the forgotten region of your mind that you govern a people, for whom you are responsible for their WELFARE and SECURITY. To pay ACTUAL NOTICE is to think ahead of the needs and threats to the citizens and make adequate preparations to meet those needs and mitigate or obliterate those threats well before they arise…
Let me say at this point that any attempt to claim that we want to motivate the people in the Third World or Africa to achieve their dreams, without addressing the uncivilized and abandoned social, political and economic state of our continents and her peoples WILL NOT WORK…At least alluding to it or mentioning it may be the beginning of introducing the people to a conversation we need to have in Nigeria. 
I even consider it, a game of deception and at highest level of candour, a fraud of a massive magnitude, to which the judgment of history will be justifiably scathing. If we continue this way, what we will continue to see is people paying in cash and kind for the programs and events of the motivational speaker without too obvious and enduring results. On the other hand the life of the motivational speaker gets better. 
Despite our massive consumption of motivational materials, the candid question is how many world-class home-grown global brands do we have in Nigeria with our so-called wealth of wisdom. The book that I read says, wisdom is known by her children. Our greatest contributions to the global economy till today is still CONSUMPTION, pure and simple. 
It is my persuasion that it is impossible for an average Nigerian, whose all of his hopes are in this country to find full expression for their God-ordained potentials to achieve same. 
There is something in me that rejects a concoction of motivational capsules, (which has no respect for a people’s social realities) built on expiring anaesthetic of false hope of a utopian Eldorado, which when it wears out as it surely does(from time to time) puts the people in the worse state than when they received it. 
The lamentations continue another day because there is something in me that has finally rejected SILENCE as a tool of self-preservation. 
There is something in me saying it is time to start meaningful conversations, aimed at creatively engaging all of us and the system, which seek to divert our attention from the reals issues to shadow chasing. 
We cannot continue invest the best of our mental and financial resources into finding the cure of ringworm when festering and contagious leprosy is left to hold uninterrupted sway, eating off every part of the body, and rendering same useless to the owner and his/her neighbours, who may soon, very soon suffer same fate, to the detriment of the larger society. 
Do have an INSPIRED day. 
I am Taiwo ‘ODINAKACHUWU’ AKINLAMI (The Preacher) 

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