6 Straight Days of #SAFE4MEMovement Encounter on Drug Abuse: Day 1

DRUG ABUSE AND ALL THAT: A CALL FOR A DEEPER LOOK: AN INTRODUCTION

First, let me thank most profoundly Dr. Mrs. Yinka OGUNDE, one of the most committed persons to society and the well-being of our precious children, I know today, for bringing this matter to the fore again and inspiring me to put my pen to this digital paper despite my struggles with my health in the last 5 days.

In our Instructional materials: S.A.F.E™ 4 YOU presented to the public on November 20, 2017, at our Conference to mark the World Children’s Day, we dedicated 5(five) Tips on Drug Abuse and provided profound solutions to the issue, borne out of our many years of field experiences and results…

Permit me to declare upfront that our young people are tempted on all sides by all manner of vices and the list is becoming endless, and they include both popular and unpopular vices. Since we are not in their world, permit me to declare to you sadly that we may never know all the vices they are tempted with no matter how much try and if we will ever know, we will have to dedicate resources to deliberate research.

But one thing we must be clear about is that there is no one vice that is more deadly than the other…All vices that our children are tempted with today either reduces their God-given potentials or destroy same. It is important to note that there is no vice that the young people embrace in isolation. Once a young person is exposed to one vice, he/she finds himself or herself involved in many others.

That is why it is my personal philosophy to address all the vices together and trace then to one source, having worked with young people since 1997 when we start a drug and cult free clubs in secondary schools in Lagos State. The factors which make a young people to succumb to one vice is probably the factor that makes him/her to succumb to all, noting that if he/she can succumb to one, he/she may succumb to all.

It is my well-considered opinion that as many as these vices are, it will amount to chasing shadows to conclude that the vices are the real problem. The vices are not the real problem. I mean they are not the root. They are the fruits. The root and the real problem is the value system we inculcate or omit to inculcate in our precious children and young people. The real problem is our own value system as the handlers of these precious young ones as we can only always give what we have.

This is my argument also about the craze of our young people and the just concluded #BBNaija, where the show, without any positive moral content garnered 170 million votes and yet did not raise concern for many of us, who are genuinely concerned about the socialization of our precious young ones. What we condone or refuses to condone is as a result of our DOMINANT VALUE SYSTM and SOCIAL NORM. Also, what a society rewards, it multiples.

Honestly, I do not think it is going to get better in this ravaging post-truth global culture, where populism is the measurement of what is right and morality has been flung out of the windows of human conducts and interactions.

Another real problem, which is also traceable to our value system, is how we treat our precious young people. We often subject them to sundry forms of abuse. The first impact of abuse is to dehumanise. What is does it mean to dehumanise? ‘Make Somebody Less Human: to make somebody less human by taking away his or her individuality, the creative and interesting aspects of his or her personaility, or his or her compassion and sensitivity towards others’ (Microsoft® Encarta® 2009)

So in most cases, engagement of our precious young people in the vices we are concerned about is traceable to reaction to abuse. It is also important to note that one of the attributes a precious young person needs to confront and repel vices is resilience. Now, it is this resilience that abuses (physical, emotional, sexual and neglect) attack. Never expect a promising and precious young person, whose self-esteem completely depleted and who now lives in the shadow of himself/herself to resist any form of temptation to embrace a vice. In fact such young person goes in search of what vice to embrace since his life has no meaning and compass by the way he/she has been treated or ill-treated.

Thus our solution, which began with the release of our Instructional material is to help our young people and their caregivers to develop moral stamina through the inculcation of what we call the POSITVE VALUE SYSTEM. And what is this POSITVE VALUE SYSTEM? It is simply appealing to our basic sense of what is right or wrong, first according to common sense and second according to obvious moral code of human existence and interactions, with a commitment to always considering the consequences of our actions and omission to self, immediate family, community and the world at large.

The foregoing is the wisdom behind our #SAFE4MEMovement, which slogan is #VALUERevolution, which we are kicking off on May 25 and 26, 2018 to mark this year’s Children’s Day celebration.

Please note that from today, Friday, April 27, 2018, I shall be sharing on here daily all the 5 nuggets shared in the instructional materials mentioned above.

Permit me therefore to begin to share with you the 5 nuggets from tomorrow.

Please young people join me tomorrow and invite your friends.

Thank you…Welcome to a #VALUERevolution.

Do have an INSPIRED day.

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​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™

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