Buhari/Osinbajo: What I owe my country | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Buhari/Osinbajo: What I owe my country

Posted: Apr 19, 2015 at 12:02 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

By Kelly Ovie Umukoro

The Presidential, National Assembly and State elections might have come and gone,  the lessons embedded in them will remain with us for some long time to come. One of such takeaways, which has refused to leave the headlines is the spirit of statesmanship, and if you like, sportsmanship exhibited by President Goodluck Jonathan, through the ‘early concession’ of defeat even while results were yet to be fully collated.

The courage and maturity of Mr. President became more appreciated in the face of the Godsday Orubebe theatrics which was divinely quenched by yet another statesmanlike posture of Professor Attahiru Jega, the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

So, what do I owe my Country,  as the much-sought-after change seems to be here? It is to suggest that while the man-hunt for the team which will pilot the affairs of the state is one, a 50 percent should be considered for what I called non-core partisan people. I owe my beloved country,  with all her disappointments, to scout,  seek and suggest names of men and women who have been seen to put country before and above self. A handful of whom one has come across in one’s unbroken twenty years of journalism practice.

People, who according to Warren Buffet, World third most wealthiest man, consider state before self, while trying to define who is a success in one of his writings. In defining success,  Buffet writes: “True success comes from working for a purpose greater than your own well-being”. The list of men and women who, in my measured opinion, consider nation before self can never be exhaustive, but rather advisory.

Ms. Bola Soremi, Initiator of an NGO called Ladies Affairs and Gender Equality. One Lady who has been consistent in practically helping young ladies, women to achieve life-held dreams at personal and her family inconvenience, deploying her family fortunes,  together with earnings of her siblings to cater for accident victims, train girls on the need to embrace chastity and other virtues of the nobles. She has brawl, brain and the third ‘b’, yes, she is beautiful.

Others on my shoplist include Senator Adegbenga Sefiu Kaka; Professor Oluwafemi Olaiya Balogun; Professor Oladapo Afolabi; Mr. Rotimi Adebari; Chief Lawrence Ayinde Osayemi; Mr. Edward Balogun and Dr. SAJ Ibikunle,  even at 80 years plus!

Rotimi Adebari,  first black Mayor of Portlaoise,  Republic of Ireland is not just of Africa descent like President Barrack Obama of the United States,  he is a Nigerian genuinely concerned about the goings on in his fatherland, even to a fault. What did he do to get elected from the crowd in the UK: selfless community service.

After Adebari is a President Buhari-like character, I mean Senator Kaka, who currently represents Ogun East in the National Assembly. “I do not know why people should mill around your House if you had done the needful by way of needs-aligned empowerment, “ was how he responded to a poser about the “serenity of his Ijebu-Igbo home, despite being a politician of note”.

A curious journalist, who expected to see a politically befitting architectural masterpiece,  with people milling around,  scampering for left overs, asked the question on sighting the 26 year old only house owned by Kaka.  Looks like the conventional detached duplex you can see anywhere. The Senator misses no weekend and public holiday in the house,  God forbids, he forbids too.

Professor Oluwafemi Olaiya Balogun,  he was who shut down his farm (arguably the largest individual owned farm in Kwara State), for four years so as to concentrate on steering the ship of the Federal University of Agriculture,  Abeokuta ( FUNAAB), as the 4th Vice-Chancellor between 2007-2011. A man of very rough beginning in life himself,  he identify people in that same bracket of life to impact on their lives.

He could be sometimes rough in handling equally rough issues as VC, but often times, he was tough and thorough, thereby bringing the University to World reckoning by being ranked 2nd in Africa under his watch. His administrative wizardry and financial engineering prowess once caught the attention of  the TETFUND, which gave his institution extra money for projects as ‘dash’ for qualitative and timely delivery of earlier projects.

His petite appearance notwithstanding,  he carries a Lion heart, which made him to step on toes, irrespective of the size of such toes. But the bruised toes were healed to the betterment of the institution, members of staff and the reformer VC himself.

Yes, to everyone in the FUNAAB project then, because I saw a letter of commendation from the then Minister for Education,  Professor Rukayyat Rufai, extolling the management acumen of Balogun. It was    Just in line with the Presidential Visitation Panel report of Professor Onazi Ochapa, which advises federal government to make VCs understudy Balogun, in addition to recommending that a National Award be given him.

In one of the serial send-forth for him in 2011 by the unions, directorates, faculties and even the Ogun NUJ, an obviously overwhelmed Students Union Government official said: “  I feel like having Baba Baloo( his sobriquet on every mouth) as my Biological father; I feel like being just a Balogun today. Only God and perhaps former President Olusegun Obasanjo knows where the Itoko-Abeokuta born reformer is now.

I owe my country to humbly submit that while is it not morally save to deny a dog a bone-meat snatched in a contest, it is expedient to think that the remaining bone-meat be jealously guided by the owner. A fifty- fifty composition of the recovery team to steer Nigeria to safety is being advised, to be filed by the political class and the technocrats, the former can be polled from amongst Nigerians by a firm of management Consultants, or consortium, if we fancy that. This I owe my Country. God has blessed Nigeria, let’s bless her by our contributions.

•Segun Adeleye wrote in from House 106, Apo Scheme, FCT.