It is the Vital Obiter, the Diary of a Roving Public Lawyer and I fling my diary back to 1988. I was 18 and I had just completed my secondary school education. I approached my loving and late mum, Mrs. Mutiatu Ayoka AKINLAMI on behalf of myself and my twin brother to plead our case. We wanted her to plead with her immediate elder brother, Chief Gani FAWEHINMI to take up the responsibility for our education and also grant us the grace to relocate to Lagos to live with him.
My mother listened to my plea quietly and accepted to speak to her brother.
But we would have to wait until he visited Ondo town where we lived.
On his next visit, my mother made our case to her brother on her knees in our presence. My uncle, a good and generous man, did not see the need for the drama of my mother kneeling down and surrounding herself with us to make a request for what he already considered a duty in his magnanimity. So while my mother yet spaketh, he announced his acceptance of her request.
Lagos, here we come!
We were received by my Uncle’s first wife, Mrs. Ganiat Ibukun FAWEHINMI. She is a woman with a heart of gold. Needless to say, she took care and raised us just as her own children.
The routine was to wake up in the morning, eat sumptuous breakfast at Ademola Close, GRA Ikeja; search for JAMB school that we would attend, come back home for a delicious lunch, watch movies, eat kingly dinners, watch some more movies and go to bed.
Somehow, I wanted something more. I saw that my uncle was out of the house first thing in the morning most of the times. One morning, I woke up very early, got ready and was approaching the gate when I saw his car leaving the compound. I ran after the car, caught up with him and requested to follow him.
That was how my journey of being exposed to Social Empowerment/Development Advocacy began. I followed him everywhere, his offices, the court rooms, press conferences, street protests, gates of prisons, meetings of the day and of the night, travels, carried his detention bags and was learning some basics.
In 1993, I was detained for 9 days at three detention centers, DMI, Bonny Camp, SSS Office, 15, Awolowo Road, Ikoyi and finally at Alagbon, Cell 2, known as Kalakuta Republic. I was a young political prisoner, having been apprehended by at CMS Busstop, Lagos Island, canvassing support for the June 12 Struggle, sharing leaflets, published by my uncle, Chief Gani FAWEHINMI.
Ladies and gentlemen, since 1988, I have worn only one cap. It is the cap of SOCIAL EMPOWERMENT ADVOCACY, which goal is to achieve SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT. Since then the cap has changed in colours and sizes, but it remains on my head, stoutly fixed, not without the brandmarks of sorrow, tears and blood and some flagrance of God’s satisfying blessings. For me, ‘the world is a marketplace; sacrifices are it’s reward.’
I beat my chest to say that I have worn this cap in an unimpeachable manner by the grace and mercies of God. I have never hobnobbed or fraternized with the enemies of the people’s social development. Intentionally, I have not also been a beneficiary of the system’s largesse. I make bold to say, I have never taken advantage of any of the ones for whom I wear the cap; no, not one, not once!
I have worn the cap as a Student’s Unionist, both at local and national levels, including becoming a National Mobilization Officer of the NANS and running for the presidency of the association.
I have worn the cap as an ardent rebel; I told my dearly beloved uncle, contrary to his earnest expectation that I would not pick up a job with his law firm, reputed to be the biggest law firm in Nigeria then.
I have worn this cap as a Child Protection Expert, who now owns the intellectual property to his own ideology and methodology on same subject matter, known as Securing A FRIENDLY and PROTECTIVE Environment™ for Children.
I have worn the cap as an advocate of involving our precious children in their PERSONAL SAFETY and SELF-PROTECTION, culminating in publishing the S.A.F.E™VILLE Family Comics, the first of its kind in Nigeria and arguably Africa, since March 2019.
I have worn the cap as an advocate for clean and VALUE-BASED Entertainment for our precious children as a necessary and noble alternative to the morally bankrupt entertainment contents out there today, using our S.A.F.E™VILLE Family Comics, S.A.F.E™VILLE ONE DAY CLUB and S.A.F.E™VILLE Children’s Parliament as vehicles.
Now, I wear the cap as a co-founder of the Power Parenting Company, an organisation, existing beyond the shores of Nigeria.
In Nigeria, our primary mission is to connect the dots between PARENTING and SOCIAL PROTECTION. We want to introduce PARENTING as a FOUR-DIMENSIONAL RESPONSIBILITY, which is the global view.
It is our case that THIS FOUR-DIMENSIONAL RESPONSIBILITY has been reduced to a ONE-DIMENSIONAL RESPONSIBILITY in Nigeria and we have accepted it as normal.
A car that is designed by the manufacturer to run on four tyres is running on one and instead of acknowledging its gross disability and make efforts towards fixing it, we keep dressing it and sit in it to take us to our destination.
Due to our ignorance of the impact of the state on its functionality, we expect the car to function excellently. Sometimes, we embark on a journey of self-delusion that the car is in order and fit for purpose. Many of us complain about the functionality of the car but we care less about its state.
It is time to understand the FOUR-DIMENSIONAL operations of Parenting. This we shall do and much more and liberate parents from their unnecessary burden and guilt.
On Saturday February 29, 2020, I will be wearing this cap in this dimension at the joint program of the Power Parenting Company and S.A.F.E™ for Children Society, tagged, PARENTING ACCORDING SOCIAL PROTECTION™ and I invite you to join me and the team…
Send me a DM to participate.
Here is your Dearly Beloved Roving Public Lawyer, Taiwo AKINLAMI
(C) 2020 Taiwo AKINLAMI
Do have an INSPIRED day.