CHILD RIGHTS /PROTECTION, CHILDHOOD PRESERVATION and FAMILY STRENGTHENING: UHURU?(1)

The Preacher began this year on January 5, 2016, working with Mandate Private Schools, Obadore, Lagos, under the exceptional leadership of highly esteemed Rev. & Rev.(Mrs.) Attah, establishing Child Rights/Protection and Childhood Preservation System. We surely had a good start and also gained membership into our iProtect Academy.

By mid-month, The Preacher was at the Annual General Meeting of the Office of Quality Assurance of Lagos State Ministry of Education, under the distinguished leadership of Mrs. Ronke SOYOMBO, preaching for 2 days, the gospel of Child Rights/Protection and CHILDHOOD PRESERVATION to her distinguished evaluators and principals within the public school sector.

In the last two Saturdays we have held our I’MDSSMARTTEESST Parents Forum and Appreciation Seminar…

Our first program was for parents of pre-teens and teens, who attended our I’MDSSMARTTEESST program in 2016…By the abundance of the discoveries we made in our interactions with those precious and innocent children, we felt it was critical to meet with their parents to share our findings and recommendations for immediate intervention for the best interest and protection of the precious children…Friends, things are happening…Please take it from me if I say things are happening…The age-long saying that ‘vigilance is the price of liberty’ has never been as relevant as today…

Our Appreciation Seminar ran in two fully attended sessions appreciating distinguished individuals and organizations, who found our solutions worthy enough to invest invaluable time and resources in same…This has become a yearly program, where we give to our distinguished and highly esteemed clients, what we consider as the best gift we could give to the best people in our lives, our clients.

At the Appreciation Seminar, I, The Preacher shared, Child Rights/Protection, CHILDHOOD PRESERVATION and Family Strengthening: The Taiwo AKINLAMI Way. From the response we received, it was uniquely original, practical and thereby helpful…Well, I am not surprised at the generosity of positive responses we were lavished, noting that it has taken me 20 years to figure out the Taiwo AKINLAMI Way as African Solutions to the protection of our precious African children, authored by an African.

Third week into the year, The Preacher has sat in the Child Protection Sub-Committee of the Lagos State Government, saddled with the onerous responsibility of advising the agencies of government on the implementation of the Executive Order on Child Protection, signed by His Excellency, Mr. Akinwunmi AMBODE on December 16, 2016 in pursuant to the Child Rights Law of Lagos State(2007).

I, The Preacher sat on the table to bring expertise to the drafting of the policy in dual capacity. First as a leading Subject Matter Expert and Secretary General of the Child Protection Network, Lagos State, an initiative of UNICEF. Having worked with the Lagos State government to develop the policy, which the Executive Order validated, I can testify to the thoroughness of the processes, which culminated in the promulgation of the Executive Order.

I, The Preacher considers as a major advancement in the cause of protecting our precious, this Executive Order, which makes Child Protection Policy compulsory for all private and public Child-focused organizations in Lagos State.

But does the promulgation of the Executive Order signal uhuru in matters relating to the protection of our precious children in Lagos State? I shall make a most passionate and professional attempt to do justice to this self-imposed task next week.

I hereby request to honorably take a bow, reminding you that Enlightenment is Superior to Enforcement. I charge you to Think the CHILD…Think the FAMILY…Think TODAY…Think the FUTURE…

(C) 2016 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

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REMEMBRANCE OF AYOKA MUTIATU AKINLAMI: MEMO FROM A PAINED SON

My dear mother, caring, committed, and sacrificial, today(Monday, January 23, 2017) marks the 8th year since you departed this sinful world at the age of 67…

As I remember you today I remember what grave hazards come with living in a Third World country like Nigeria…As I remember you, I remember the state which has no respect for human life and no iota of commitment to invest in any form of Social Services for her teeming ‘citizens.’ As I remember you, I doubt if the teeming majority of the inhabitants of the Third World could be referred to as citizens….

You were another costly, yet avoidable victim of the ineptitude of the Nigerian State…You suffered a stroke and your will to live and the mercies of God kept you for 5(five) years…

You made it and had begun to manage to find your feet again…We rejoiced greatly at your miraculous recovery, thanked God and saluted your strong will to live…Then from nowhere, your personal private doctor, who is supposed to be experienced changed your drugs abruptly without following due medical procedure. This we later found out reading the instructions on the new sets of drugs he recommended and consultations with other doctors…Then a week after he changed your drug in a most unprofessional manner, you suffered another stroke…

You were taken from one government hospital to the other all the way from Obadore, where you lived with my younger sister and her husband, Mr and Mrs. FAGBOHUNLU, who took very good care of you…Finally you could only be admitted in Gbagada General Hospital after many hours of travelling…That was in the dead of the night…When my wife and I came to see you in the early hours of the day, you were barely hanging on to life…Yet I saw that strong will to live in your deemed eyes…At this time you had lost your voice completely…You could not utter a word…You look at me intensely as if there was something you wanted to say…You were a woman of many words…

You were at the Emergency Ward at the Gbagada General Hospital but the only thing that convinces us that it was an Emergency Ward was the inscription, which hung aimlessly on the entrance…There was nothing there to respond to any form of emergency…There were no even bed sheets on the beds…

As at the time I arrived, you were not yet attended to in any significant way…You were just there battling alone for your life…The state stood aloof, passive and unconcerned….The Emergency Ward caught a pitiable picture of an abandoned ward in a war-torn country…All of a sudden I felt I was in a war-torn country….I figured that an ordinary ward in Somalia might even look better…

Immediately with consultation with my other siblings, I requested for you to be discharged and transferred to LUTH for what we thought would be better medical care…We made some contacts to LUTH….When our request for discharge and transfer was granted, we found that the Gbagada General Hospital had no ambulance that could take you…In your critical and dire state of health, my car became a makeshift ambulance as I drove you to LUTH with my heart in the very tail end of my mouth with no medical personnel attached to go with us…It has been one of the longest journey I have ever taken in my life…

We arrived at the Emergency Ward of LUTH…It was a little more equipped than Gbagada General Hospital…At least, they had one or two oxygen cylinders rotated among desperately in need patients…Arriving at the ward and completing all the registration processes, I thought you would have immediate care but it turned out not to be so…After waiting endlessly, I approached the doctor on duty and complained that you had not been attended to…She simply said to me in a most perfunctory manner, almost devoid of any milk of compassion, expected of her professional calling or human feeling, few words I can never forget, ‘you are in an Emergency Ward…All these cases you see here are all emergency cases and I am the one attending to them…Let your patient hold on and take her turn…One emergency case is not superior to the other…’

Helpless and disappointed, I resigned to prayers, fervently hoping and believing God for the best…When it was your turn, you were restless and seriously struggling…In my ignorance and concern, I advised that you should be given a sleeping injection so that you could sleep…The doctor on duty rejected my ignorant advice, telling me that your chance of surviving a second stroke was 50/50 and that giving you a sleeping injection may be fatal…I agreed with her reasoning as it made so much sense to me… I left the hospital and my younger Sister, Idowu FAGBOHUNLU, in whose commendable care you have been offered again to spend the night at LUTH with you…She later told us that you became restless again in the night and another doctor on duty requested her to go and buy a sleeping injection, which a doctor counselled against earlier…Not knowing what the conversation was earlier in the day, she out of her usual care for you went to buy the sleeping injection as instructed…You were given the injection in the night…That was it…You never woke up again…You died in the morning, a helpless victim of the insensitive state, her outdated medical system and her unprofessional personnel…Yet nobody has been brought to book…Both the very senior doctor, who changed your drug in a most unprofessional manner and the one who injected you unto your death would not still be practising if we are in another clime, where ALL LIVES MATTER…

Your death and the circumstances thereof is replete of countless negligent medical practices, which are still with very much with us today in a deeper and higher dimension…

My greatest joy today is that you accepted Jesus Christ as your LORD and PERSONAL SAVIOUR before you departed..

In taking up the system and in honour of your memory I developed a program called ‘Rediscovered Citizenship,’ aimed at calling attention to the fact that citizenship doesn’t exist in Africa and if it does it exists without any traditional benefits attached to same…’Rediscovered Citizenship’ also seeks to establish the link between CITIZENSHIP and PATRIOTISM, concluding that until AFRICA can boast of CITIZENS, it amounts to ROBBERY to demand for PATRIOTISM…I have since disseminated the program to some of our people and will do again this year…

You are an INSPIRATION why I must accept the responsibility to give my strength to Nation Building, embracing every peaceful means possible to tilt the system in the favour of the people…To let the people know that by the dictates of the Social Contract and the Constitution of Nigeria, the WELFARE and the SECURITY of the PEOPLE shall be the PRIMARY AIM OF GOVERNMENT…

Sun re o mama rere…I look forward to seeing you at the glorious feet of Christ…Rest well…Rest well RIGHTEOUS ONE…Rest well my MOTHER, Ayoka Mutiatu AKINLAMI. We miss you…