A Passage to India By FEMI ADESINA OCTOBER 31, 2015 0315 HOURS…

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A Passage to India
By FEMI ADESINA
What do you do during a flight that lasts nine hours and six minutes? You read. You sleep. You wake, and sleep again. You eat. You pray (if you are the praying type). You discuss with your co-passengers. And of course, you ruminate about your destination. What you’ve heard, or read about the place, particularly if you were visiting for the first time.
But first, due credit for this headline. ‘A Passage to India’ is the title of a literature text I read in the university some 32 years ago. It was a 1924 novel by the English writer, E.M Forster. The book was on the struggle for Indian independence from British colonial rule, and the book is today regarded as one of the 100 Great Works of the 20th Century by the Modern Library, while Time Magazine also includes it in its ‘All Time 100 Novels’ list.
A Passage to India. That was what I embarked on, alongside my principal, President Muhammadu Buhari, who was billed to attend the 3rd India-Africa Forum Summit, scheduled for New Delhi, the Indian capital, between October 27 and 30,2015.
What had I heard about India? You probably heard those childhood tales, too. India, the land of potent talisman. India does not take part in world soccer competitions, because the world football ruling body, Fifa, had banned it for life. What was the offense? Well, France had met with a country that nobody knows, in a game of soccer. But instead of depending on natural skills, India deployed its famed talisman. The opponents kept kicking the air, because the Indians had made the ball invisible. While the opponents did all the gyrations, however, the Indians did all the scoring. When the game ended at the end of 90 minutes, India had scored 90 goals.
Blue murder, Fifa screamed! This is unnatural, and would bring the beautiful game into disrepute. So it banned India for life. Well, that was the story we heard as young boys. Believe it, and you’d believe anything.
And what of athletics. The International Athletics Federation had to ban India for life, too. What happened? It was an Olympics Games (nobody seemed to know what year, and who the host country was). India was competing, and ended up winning gold medals in all the races. You would see all the athletes at the starting blocks, and the moment the whistle is blown for the race to begin, Indian athletes would already be breasting the tape at the other end. Talisman at work!
This is unfair competition, the rest of the world screamed. So the athletics federation banned India again. And that was how the country was left to play cricket, hockey and other such games. But the question we did not ask ourselves was; if talisman worked with soccer and athletics, why doesn’t it work with cricket and hockey? At least, India gets defeated in those games. Some imaginations are simply fertile.
Well, we were passing to India, and it was for serious business. India and Africa had found common grounds, and were cooperating for development in what Narendra Modi, Indian Prime Minister calls “partnership beyond strategic and economic benefits.”
We landed in the land of film stars, beautiful damsels (hope my wife is not reading this) and, of course, medical tourism, at nighttime. Straight to Lalit Hotel, where our President and his entourage were to stay. Lalit. You need to hear a bit about the story of the hotel. It was part of the Lalit Hospitality Group, established in 1988 by Mr Lalit Suri, a very successful businessman and politician, who represented his people in the Indian parliament.
Lalit Suri had the Midas touch. The hotel chain was very successful, and can be found today in most major Indian cities. He had great plans for expansion, and was growing steadily towards the goal. But in 2006, while on a trip to London, Lalit suffered a massive heart attack, and died. He was only 59. But his wife, Dr Jyotsna Suri, took up the gauntlet, and is today keeping her husband’s dreams alive, along with their four adult children.
A day before we travelled, a massive earthquake had occurred in Afghanistan, and the tremor was felt both in Pakistan, and New Delhi. But the organizers of the summit said ‘no shaking,’ that delegates had nothing to fear. There were presidents and top government officials from more than 41 countries, and it was, indeed, a great outing for India and Africa.
Wednesday began with a bilateral meeting between President Buhari and Prime Minister Modi. Discussions focussed mainly on three areas: strengthening relations between the two countries, oil business, and helping Nigeria and Africa to develop their potentials.
India would be quite willing to cooperate with Nigeria on the military front, the PM said. She had helped set up the Nigerian Defence Academy in the early 1960s, provided instructors, and also took in Nigerian officers in its military academy. In fact, President Buhari was at the Defense Services College, Wellington, between July 22 and November 24,1975.
India wants Nigeria’s oil on government to government transactions, and President Buhari said the request would be considered in the context of ongoing reforms in the industry.
Back to Wellington. The alumni of the academy paid the Nigerian president a courtesy visit at the Lalit Hotel. Led by Gen V.K Singh, it was time to go down memory lane. The then Lt Col Buhari had been described thus in a confidential report by H.W Kulkam, the Chief Instructor of the College:”Tall, slim, and well-turned out, Buhari is a quiet, unassuming and honest individual.”
Major General S.P Malhotra, Commandant of the College, on his part, had written: “Sober and balanced. Straightforward, simple and mature.” Memories are made of such.
In almost all the countries he has visited, President Buhari always spared the time to interact with Nigerians in the Diaspora, at the grounds of the Nigerian Embassy or High Commission. It was not different in New Delhi.
Ambassador ‘Sola Enikanolaiye, the acting High Commissioner of Nigeria to India had put together an impressive assemblage of professionals, post-graduate students, businessmen, indeed, Nigerians from all walks of life. He reeled out the many ways in which the High Commission supports Nigerians in India, and from the way he was repeatedly hailed, he seems quite popular with the people.
Nigerians asked many questions. The President answered them all. And he gave them his usual charge: be law abiding. Don’t lord it over your hosts. Obey the rules. Be good ambassadors of Nigeria.
From the High Commission, it was time to meet with the CEOs of Indian companies, particularly those who do, or are aspiring to do business in Nigeria. All the big names in pharmaceuticals, telecommunications, construction, manufacturing, power, oil and gas, agriculture, and many other sectors, were there. They spoke earnestly. The President responded frankly. New vistas were opened, promises were made. A very rewarding session, if you ask me.
That parley did not end without President Buhari warning the Indian businessmen not to connive with unscrupulous people to send sub-standard food and pharmaceutical products to Nigeria. To show how dear this was to the heart of the Nigerian president, it formed part of his paper at the plenary session of the summit the next day.
Thursday was the main day, in which 41 heads of government gathered at the Indira Gandhi Stadium for the high point of the summit.
After a colorful opening session of cultural display, Prime Minister Modi took the floor. He underscored the raison detre of the summit:
“The dreams of one-third of humanity have come together under one roof. Today, the heartbeat of 1.25 billion Indians and 1.25 billion Africans are in rhythm.”
He said further:”india is honoured to be a development partner for Africa. It is a partnership beyond strategic and economic benefits. It is formed from the emotional bonds we share, and the solidarity we feel for each other.”
Modi backed his position with statistics. In the past few years, trade between Africa and India has more than doubled to over $70 billion. India is now a major source of business investment in Africa, and 34 African countries enjoy duty free access to the Indian market. The country has equally committed $7.4 billion in concessional credit and $1.2 billion in grants since the first summit held in 2008.
In the immediate future, according to Modi, concessional credit of $10 billion would be given to Africa within five years, while grant assistance will total $600 million.
The presidents spoke one after the other. Trust Robert Mugabe, who spoke in his capacities as Zimbabwean president and chairman of African Union, he used the opportunity to fire darts at the West.
According to him, one-third of the world’s population must be respected, therefore, the United Nations must become the United Equal Nations, with its Charter amended.
Chairperson of the AU Commission, Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, submitted that Africa and India could no longer be rationally excluded from the permanent seat of the UN Security Council, a position supported by almost all the presidents.
One thread ran through the presentation of nearly all the African leaders. This was a good time to promote cooperation between Africa and India. South-south cooperation must not just be political slogan, but an opportunity for the countries to to meet their growing challenges.
“Africa needs mutual partnerships leading to development, rather than aids,” submitted King Mohammed VI of Morocco.
Idris Deby Itno of Chad said India and Africa had had mutual exchanges since time immemorial, stressing that partnership will help achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
President Muhammadu Buhari said India and most African countries have similar historical experiences, and the summit was an opportunity to review what had been achieved since 2008, stressing:”India and Africa must develop new spirit of solidarity to confront challenges.”
He equally brought the message home, saying:”as a government, we have demonstrated our strong determination to change the direction and content of governance, including the management of our resources through accountability, transparency, and result-orientation in governance. We are confident that India, as a tested friend and dependable partner, will always stand shoulder to shoulder with us in the discharge of the mandate entrusted to us by our people.”
With the summit over, and planning to return home, I sent text messages to my friends in Nigeria, saying since I was in the land of talisman, they should indicate the type they wanted. The responses were rib-cracking, but you can’t beat this one from Steve Nwosu, Deputy Managing Director/Deputy Editor-in-Chief of The Sun Newspapers. He wrote:
“Get me a money doubling ring. They call it evergreen pocket. Every money you spend finds its way back to your pocket. Hahahaha.”
No doubt, India and Africa are onto a strong partnership that may be enduring, mutually beneficial, with strong implications for development. That is the true talisman.Ever potent, ever sure.
Femi Adesina is Special Adviser, Media and Publicity, to President Buhari

Intellectuals in Politics IN NIGERIA: The ADENIRAN EXAMPLE – Dr. John Kayode Fayemi

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Intellectuals in Politics IN NIGERIA:
The ADENIRAN EXAMPLE.
Being the text of a Lecture by
His Excellency
Dr. John Kayode Fayemi
Former Governor of Ekiti State, Nigeria
In Honour of Professor Tunde Adeniran
Abuja, NIGERIA

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Introduction

When my elder brother and predecessor in office, Engineer Segun Oni called me two days ago to discuss the possibility of delivering this lecture, I demurred and asked why he was asking me to do this? He was quick to say that it was my friend, Professor Julius Ihonvbere who was originally billed to give the lecture but had been unable to do so at the last minute. Unknown to Governor Oni, I saw Professor Adeniran in Lagos over the weekend and expressed dismay that he did not invite me to his book presentation in Ibadan last week. Professor Adeniran had informed me that another event was in the offing in Abuja and he would be delighted if I could attend. Of course, my reluctance to speak at this important occasion had little to do with my earlier expressed dismay, but more to do with quickly coming up with a lecture that would measure up to the occasion. Upon asking Governor Oni what the lecture topic was, he said I was at liberty to decide on what to speak on. A number of topics clearly beckoned, but I oscillated between speaking on the Future of Democratisation in Africa and exploring the place of Intellectuals in Politics in Nigeria. Given the antecedents and political trajectory of the celebrant, I eventually decided to focus on: Intellectuals in Politics in Nigeria: The Adeniran Example.
The Greek philosopher Plato famously held that the rule of philosopher-kings was the best form of government for his ideal republic. In so doing, he proposed the unity of thought and might; and wisdom and power. The exercise of temporal power was best left to those who possessed the contemplative gifts of philosophers; those who possessed and were possessed by a hunger for truth, wisdom and knowledge; and by those interested in resolving such mysteries as the meaning of existence, what constitutes the pursuit of the good life and other questions of transcendence.
Plato’s prescriptive idealization of philosopher-kings may seem too abstract for our modern times. But in an epoch defined as the Information Age, and characterized by the ascent of the knowledge economy in which the most rewarding currencies are ideas and the capacity to innovate, the platonic concept of philosopher-kings seems as apt as it has ever been. “Knowledge is power,” said William Bacon, and this axiom has arguably never been truer than in the Information Age. The global geo-political and economic pecking order is a hierarchy predicated on access to knowledge. The hierarchy of the world economy consists of four classes. There are primary resource exporters who are rich in natural resources. Most African countries and those of the Persian Gulf are in this category. Following in ascending order are the exporters of manufactured goods; the exporters of capital; and finally, the exporters of knowledge. The U.S. is the world’s largest economy and is also the world’s largest exporter of knowledge._
In our contemporary context, the primary index of governmental capacity is intellectual capital. Governance is a knowledge-based, ideas-centred and data-driven enterprise with service to people as its sole motivation. Today, governments are expected to innovate, to generate creative solutions to the challenges they face. Our readiness to compete effectively in the 21st century global economy is measured by, among other factors, how much commitment we show to knowledge production and intellectual reflection in our political culture and leadership selection processes.
When we call for political campaigns to be conducted around ideas rather than personalities, we are harking back to the concept of philosopher-kings because we want to test how deeply those who aspire to lead us have thought about the issues confronting our societies. When a preference is expressed for technocrats in government as against simply lavishing public office on run-of-the-mill political jobbers, we are casting our vote for a knowledge-based, values-driven and ideas-oriented approach to managing our common aspirations. We want to see governance conducted as a science, yet rooted in a clear philosophy of running nations. We treat technocrats as people who are well-informed and far more than adequately knowledgeable about the problems confronting us.
It is significant that in our societies a profound perceptual gulf has opened between technocrats who are credited with a near shamanistic expertise in public policy and the mechanics of governance, and politicians who are often perceived merely as jobbers trawling through public life for position and power, and who are mainly motivated by the possibilities of self-aggrandizement. While a problem-solving ethic is attributed to technocrats, politicians are seen as Janus-faced, opportunistic and self-serving. The devaluation of public service and politics owes something to this perception.
The concepts of technocrats and technocracies have a somewhat controversial history in Africa though. In the early 1990s, technocrats supported by Western donors and the Bretton Woods institutions, came to power in a number of African nations. The belief in these financial institutions was that these technocrats in African governments, being impartial empiricists, would unsentimentally deliver sustained economic growth and development through trade liberalization and structural adjustment programmes thereby bringing about unprecedented political stability and economic growth. These technocrats had foreign backing but little local support because their liberalization policies and economic shock therapies under the aegis of structural adjustment programmes (as ordained by Bretton Woods’ institutions), were often demonstrably anti-people.
Technocrats in the sense in which we must understand them today are people whose prime qualification for office is their expertise; who have thought deeply about the needs of their people and have devoted their lives to crafting constructive solutions to these problems, not in the restricted sense they have often been used. What we are concerned with is a larger clan than the community of technocratic academics or scholars. We are concerned with the intellectual clan, and not every technocrat or academic is an intellectual dedicated to societal transformation.
Yet there exists a corollary perception in many quarters that the rough and tumble realm of politics is no place for intellectuals; that leadership is about action not reflection or contemplation. According to this perception, intellectuals being men of thought are not suited for the raw exercise of power. Indeed, the epitaph on Karl Marx’s grave in Highgate, London originally contained in his Eleven Theses of Feuerbach has become – albeit wrongly – the popular refrain of such proponents of action against thought: ‘Philosophers have interpreted the world in various ways, the point however is to change it.’ Fashionable interpretations of this statement in Africa is wrong because Marx was both a quintessential philosopher and a classic revolutionary.
A contemporary rendition of Plato’s prescription of philosopher-kings not only discards this false dichotomy between the intellectual and the politician; but advocates a blending of both tendencies. Only as these two tendencies are approached as complementary rather than contradictory can we rejuvenate public service and engender transformative governance. In other words, good politicians may not need to be brilliant intellectuals but they also should not have a contemptuous disdain for the life of the mind. The subject of our recollection today embodied precisely such a hybrid. This is why perhaps the issue for us should not be one of transition from intellection to politics, but the extent to which we are able to achieve fundamental synergy between the two in the quest to add value to our society and our democracy. To speak of the reign of philosopher-kings today is to, in a sense, advocate the marriage of politics and principle; and to yoke public policy to public intellection, it is to talk of the ‘organic intellectual’ in the sense that the Italian Marxist sociologist, Antonio Gramsci used it, one rooted in the challenges of his or her environment. It is a way of saying that we want governance to be defined as the manifestation of thought rather than the raw exercise of power. If a trustworthy axiom of the 21st century is that ‘ideas rule the world’, then we must see to it that men and women of ideas predominate in the political space.
Intellectuals in Politics: African Perspectives
There has always been a powerful intellectual tradition in the cosmology of African politics. In ancient Egypt, Imhotep established the foundations of the disciplines of architecture, medicine, politics and several other sciences. Some of the earliest intellectuals arose in river valleys such as the Nile, Tigris-Euphrates, and the Indus Basin. It was in these regions that these pioneers built the first cities and developed states with centralized administrations, specialized functions, the monopoly of legitimate coercion and the capacity to distribute surpluses. These intellectuals organized the building of pyramids, irrigation systems and housing estates and also developed numbers, languages, calendars, religions, myths, laws, and codes of governance. These civilizations emerged in Africa – in Nubia, Egypt and Abyssinia. Greek and Middle Eastern travellers and scholars later visited Egypt from where they learned mathematics, writing and theology as amply documented by Plato and Pythagoras._
The Sokoto Caliphate established by Uthman Dan Fodio in 1804 was a polity borne out of a revolution of values, and directed by scholar princes with a body of codified ethics rich in philosophical depth and substance. Dan Fodio was an ascetic scholar and wanted to replace the rule of materialistic rulers with that of scholars – a close rendition of Plato’s philosopher kings.
The anti-colonial movement which emerged in the early 20th century and instigated the groundswell of agitation that eventually led to de-colonization, was led by people we may justly refer to as philosopher-kings. The struggle for liberation across Africa was largely waged by intellectuals through pamphlets, books, newspapers, public speaking and campaigns to mobilize Africans to seek their freedom. Of significance to us is the fact that the early anti-colonial movement did not conceive of liberation as an episodic occurrence for different nation-states. Indeed, they did not think of Africa in terms of individual nation-states but as an undivided and undifferentiated whole.
This understanding inspired Nkrumah’s famous caveat upon Ghana’s attainment of independence in 1957 that Africa could not truly be free as long as any part of the continent remained under foreign rule. Pan-Africanism was the worldview of Africa’s liberation movements. It was a worldview that beheld not only a common political and economic destiny for the entire African continent but which also perceived the decolonization struggles in Africa as part of a broader global struggle of black people whether in the Caribbean or in the United States.
In the pantheon of Pan-Africanism, iconic figures such as W. E. B. Dubois, Marcus Garvey, Leopold Senghor, Nnamdi Azikiwe, Kwame Nkrumah, Patrice Lumumba, Frantz Fanon, Kenneth Kaunda, Julius Nyerere, Obafemi Awolowo, Aminu Kano and Abdulrahman Babu among others were fundamentally public intellectuals who understood liberation politics as being first the task of educating the masses, alerting them to their right of self-determination and to their inherent powers and possibilities as free people. Thus, Nyerere was revered by Tanzanians as “Mwalimu” meaning “teacher.” By 1937, Azikiwe had published Renascent Africa, his magnum opus, prescribing pathways to Africa’s political, economic, spiritual and psychological emancipation. It is no accident that he began his journalistic career in Ghana, the homeland of his friend and kindred spirit, Kwame Nkrumah.
Nkrumah marshalled a comprehensive critique of the machinations of colonialism and neo-colonialism on the continent. Senghor preached the philosophy of Negritude – a clarion call for the reclamation of African dignity and cultural pride. Frantz Fanon was espousing the liberating possibilities of nativist revolutionary anti-colonial violence as a necessary means of recovering African selfhood. Nyerere was articulating the virtues of “Ujamaa” – an ethic of familyhood and communal consciousness that he saw as a necessary moral and ideological foundation for not just Tanzania but for post-colonial Africa. Nyerere highlighted the contrast between the African sense of oneness and shared identity with western individualism._
A prominent strand of the tapestry of African political intellection was the freedom-fighter intellectual or the warrior-scholar tradition. Amilcar Cabral, Samora Machel, Eduardo Mondlane and Agostinho Neto belonged to this tradition. Such was the moral force and clarity of their agitation that it not only inspired liberation movements in Southern Africa but also uprising in the heart of the colonizing empire. Their writings were read by radical military officers in Portugal who then overthrew the Portuguese military junta – a development which spelt the end of the Portuguese imperial project in Africa._
The end point of Pan-African eschatology was the dissolution of colonial boundaries and the emergence of a United States of Africa. Thus, self-governance would open the gates for transformation on several planes – economic, social, cultural, technological and political. As Kwame Nkrumah put it in his well- known slogan, “Seek ye first the political kingdom, and the rest shall be added unto you.” Independence was only the beginning, Nkrumah promised, and would lead to “the new Jerusalem, the golden city of our heart’s desire.” Eight years before Ghana’s independence, he confidently declared, “If we get self-government, we will transform the Gold Coast into a paradise in ten years.”_ Such was the ferment of ideas that characterized African liberation politics in the era of decolonization. These exemplars fired the imagination of a continent with the sheer force of their intellect.
Decolonization took place in the context of the Cold War, in a world polarized along ideological lines, between Western Capitalism and Soviet Communism. Mineral-rich Africa was inevitably thrust into the vortex of superpower confrontation and she became a political prize of great consequence for the West and the East. Resource-rich African nations were born into a world that was deeply divided and were caught between the rival behemoths of communism and capitalism. Consequently, Africa’s liberation leaders had a necessarily ideological understanding of Africa’s place in world history within the context of the dialectical tug of war between east and west; as well as the challenges of neo-colonialism and imperialism. They saw their role as negotiating safe passage between both forces and charting an ideological middle course. As Nkrumah put it, “We face neither east nor west; we face forward.”
INTELLECTUAL LEGACIES OF PROFESSOR TUNDE ADENIRAN
This historical excursion has been necessary in order to establish the ideological matrix within which to situate Professor Tunde Adeniran. It is clear from the foregoing that Professor Adeniran belongs to the finest traditions of politically responsible intellectuals in African governance. He neither faces East nor West, but forward as Kwame Nkrumah admonished. In that sense, he followed in the trail blazed by his illustrious compatriot, Chief Obafemi Awolowo. Although the politics of Tunde Adeniran would seem to place him in an indeterminate ideological spectrum, what is clear is that he is an unrepentant patriot and nationalist, and no slave to dogma. Dr Tunde Adeniran as a Professor of Political Science has authored over one hundred publications in form of books, monographs and articles in professional journals on International Relations, Strategic Studies and Policy Analysis. As an international relations and public policy student, I have followed his writings quite closely. In fact, his popular classic, Introduction to International Relations (Macmillan, 1983) was my staple when I undertook my Masters in International Relations at the then University of Ife. Among his numerous writings, I have enjoyed most his writings on contemporary strategic studies. His works on nuclear proliferation, disarmament and development, on international violence and on peacekeeping and the relationship between the OAU and the UN were pioneering intellectual contributions to knowledge in these areas. Although an international relations expert, he wrote extensively on domestic issues as well. His works on Multinational Corporations in Nigeria (with the late Professor Bade Onimode and John Ohierhenuan), on The Vigilante and Nigeria’s Internal Security; on the Dynamics of Peasant Revolt – a conceptual analysis of the Agbekoya Parapo Uprising in the Western State of Nigeria and his Publius: Journal of Federalism article on ‘The Two Party System and the Federal Political Process’ as well as his brilliant case study on The Making of Cabinet in the Presidential System – The Case Study of the Obasanjo and Jonathan Administrations remain essential readings for those interested in the dynamics of politics and public policy in Nigeria.
Being an admirer of artists and a lover of arts, he also takes time off to do some creative writing himself. Among his published poetry are Fate Unearthed, Apropos of Faith, Labyrinthine Ways and Beyond Finalities, while his novels include The Flag-Bearer and The Shadow in Old Buried Cities. I know many of us are also familiar with his excellent work – The Politics of Wole Soyinka. A self-described social democrat who is a big believer in the virtues of personal ambition, hard work and achievement, he also recognizes the duty of the state to create public goods for the most vulnerable and to serve as a helping hand to those who have the will to make something of their lives but simply lack the means. His political journey can be said to link him inextricably to two of Nigeria’s political giants – Obafemi Awolowo and Ibrahim Babangida.
He was clearly part of the intellectual wing of the Babangida regime – a movement which included intellectuals like Olikoye Ransome-Kuti, Emmanuel Emovon, Oye Oyediran, Adele Jinadu, Sam Oyovbaire, Tunji Olagunju, Jerry Gana, Omo Omoruyi, Bolaji Akinyemi, Isawa Elaigwu and other scholars, a number of whom were of Ibadan University’s Political Science Department, the then crucible of actor-practitioners of governance intellection in the 1980s and 1990s. In his service as Secretary/Director of MAMSER, his effort at helping the re-orientate Nigerian politics at the grassroots is still worthy of extensive study and I hope some of his reflections on this is covered in his autobiography. Although Adeniran can be regarded, in a sense, as a mentee to both Awolowo and Babangida, many will agree that he is in style and substance less political than both. Yet, it is fair to say that Professor Adeniran combine some of the best attributes of these two leaders becoming a hybrid of the man of thought and the man of action. Yet therein also reside the contradictions of his political trajectory. A known protégé of Uncle Bola Ige as Oyo State Governor, he soon became an intellectual subaltern of the Obasanjo school with mixed results and many watching from afar would wonder how easy it is for him to oscillate among these seemingly strange bedfellows. Indeed, his sojourn in the PDP even now remains a subject of debate amongst many of his admirers in our own part of Nigeria.
The truth by my own assessment is that Professor Adeniran is unmistakably a gentleman whose professorial mien often seem to make him ill-suited for politics. He is personable and has a knack for making people feel at ease around him. Though calm and unflappable, Professor Adeniran could be passionate about his convictions and occasionally emotional. However, he practises the politics of civility and has been typically courteous to colleagues and rivals alike. He eschews the intemperate jousting, discourtesy and ad hominem attacks that so many politicians favour these days, and prefer to dwell on issues rather than personalities.
By way of legacies as we summarize these reflections, what do all these teach us about the intellectual in politics? To start with, it teaches us that the solution to the current democratic deficit that our country is experiencing cannot emerge by posing intellect as a counterpunch to politics. For autonomous institutions to play a positive role in mediating citizens’ choices, their organic development must be combined in a more nuanced manner and a more systematic way with the use of public and state power. Am I then suggesting that an intellectual necessarily belongs in politics? Put that way, an impression is created that I consider it the duty of every intellectual to engage in politics at all cost. That is not my view. However, it is my profound conviction that our country requires – today more than ever before – enlightened, thoughtful politicians with character and integrity who are bold and broad-minded enough to consider things which lie beyond the scope of their immediate influence and benefit. We need politicians willing and able to rise above their selfish interests, or the particular interests of their political parties or states, and act in accord with the fundamental interests of today’s humanity – that is, to behave the way everyone should behave, even though most may fail to do so. That is why I am here today to give this lecture in honour of Professor Adeniran. There are many in our native land of Ekiti who will be upset that I am standing at this podium eulogising Professor Adeniran. After all, in pedestrian political terms, he is an ‘enemy’ who worked tirelessly to install the current Governor in Ekiti by ‘hook’ or ‘crook’.
Excellencies, Distinguished Ladies and Gentleman, I come from the school of our immortal sage, Chief Obafemi Awolowo who urged upon the deep to call to the deep. Professor Adeniran belongs to the deep and we must always drink from his fount of knowledge. Particularly now that our politics has become so dependent on the moment, on the fleeting moods of public opinion or media. Never before have politicians been so impelled to pursue the short-lived and the short-sighted, rendering strategic thinking and planning almost irrelevant. It often seems to me that the lives of many politicians proceed from the soundbites on the evening news on television one night, to focus groups’ opinion poll the next morning, to their image on social media and newspapers the next day. I am not sure whether the present era of mass media encourages the emergence and the growth of politicians of the stature of, say, an Obafemi Awolowo, a Dan Masani Kano or even a Tunde Adeniran; I rather doubt it, though there can always be exceptions.
In short, the less our time favours politicians who engage in long-term thinking, the more such politicians are needed, and thus the more intellectuals – at least those meeting my definition – should be welcomed in politics. Such support could come, among others, from those who – for whatever reason – never enter politics themselves, but who agree with those who do, or at least share the ethos underlying their actions.
Although Professor Adeniran might have paid a heavy political price for staying true to this conviction, I still hold strongly to the view that if someone wants to make progress in politics, he must pay attention to the general condition of the human mind rather than the fleeting obsession with positions. I am convinced that the purpose of politics does not consist of fulfilling short-term wishes alone. A politician should also seek to win people over to his own ideas even when unpopular. For politics must entail convincing voters that there are things which the politician recognizes or comprehends better than they do, and that it is for this reason that they should vote for him and place their fate in his hands. People can thus delegate to a politician certain issues which they – for a variety of reasons – do not sense themselves, or do not want to worry about, but which someone has to take up on their behalf.
Of course, all seducers of the masses, demagogues, potential tyrants or fanatics, have used this argument to make their case; the Nazis and the Apartheid intellectuals did the same when they declared themselves the most enlightened sector of the population and, by virtue of this alleged enlightenment, arrogated to themselves the right to rule arbitrarily. It must be said that there are intellectuals who possess a very special ability for committing this evil. They elevate their intellect above everyone else’s, and themselves above all human beings. They tell their fellow citizens that if they do not want to understand the brilliance of the intellectual project offered to them, it is because they are of dull mind, and have not yet risen to the heights inhabited by the proponent of the project. With Professor Adeniran’s cultivation of the virtues of modesty and humility, it is not very difficult to recognize how dangerous this intellectual, or rather quasi- intellectual attitude is.
A good politician need not be an intellectual but he should be able to explain without seeking to seduce; he should humbly look for the truth of this world without claiming to be its professional owner; character and integrity should be more important to him than academic brilliance; he should alert people to the good qualities in themselves, including a sense of the values and interests which transcend the personal, without giving himself an air of superiority and imposing anything on his fellow humans; he should not yield to the dictate of public moods or of the mass media, while never hindering a constant scrutiny of his actions.
In the realm of such politics, intellectuals should make their presence felt in many ways. They could – without finding it shameful or demeaning – accept political office and use that position to do what they deem right, not just to hold on to power. Or they could be the ones who hold up a mirror to those in authority, making sure that the latter serve a good thing and that they do not begin to use fine words as a cloak for evil deeds, as happened to so many intellectuals in politics in our continent and elsewhere.
One idea that we strenuously reject is the notion that intellectuals are so unsuited for the rough and tumble of politics that it ought to be off-limits to them, which has come to be taken as license for separating politics from intellection. To address this impression, intellectuals need to continuously ground their work in the concrete and material conditions of the people and eschew abstraction and aloofness – the two traits for which we are most criticized. The challenge is significantly one of communication. The purpose of public intellection is to translate rarefied ideas into the vernacular and non-verbal communication of the masses; to bring these ideas into the mainstream without being condescending. As political actors, intellectuals must take ideological arguments and translate them into tangible policy options that demonstrably have an impact on the lives of ordinary people, and as I say ever so often, work with the people, not just for them.
Intellectuals are sometimes derided for being idealistic and contemporary public discourse entertains a dichotomy between the ideal and the practical, with intellectuals frequently lampooned for being unrealistic dreamers. This dichotomy is false. Where conventional wisdom insists that the ideal and the practical are at odds, Nkrumah urged us to “think as men of action and act as men of thought” thereby postulating the complementarity of the ideal and praxis. In reality, truly transformative politics such as Africa needs requires a rebirth of idealism. Pan-Africanism carried a strain of idealism that fired the early nationalists. We must recover that capacity to capture the political imagination and passion of the multitudes. These are energies that can only be induced by idealism.
‘Prof’, as I fondly call him, has stayed true to himself as a scholar and a politician. Through trials and tribulations, through intellectual peregrinations and political vicissitudes, he has displayed love in hateful circumstances; faith where there is doubt, hope in times of despair; light in darkness and joy in sadness. He has been an instrument of peace – even with all of his foibles and frailties. A public intellectual par excellence, advocate, mentor to many of us, scholar-teacher, servant-leader, exemplar worthy of emulation; a great son of Africa. Honouring Professor Tunde Adeniran is not an exercise in sycophancy, it is an opportunity to bear witness to what we have lost in our own local terrain in the despicable search for the so-called stomach infrastructure. He is a true exemplar of progressive politics, decency and decorum. Honouring him is a testimony to the type of leadership that Africa needs and which younger African politicians should emulate. This of course imposes on us a duty of deep reflection even as we celebrate him on his birthday. Happy birthday Prof. The struggle continues.

Thank you

Dr. Kayode Fayemi
Abuja, NIGERIA
October 29, 2015

PHOTONEWS: PDP Senators Stage Walkout In Defiance Of Amaechi’s Confirmation | Sahara Reporters

A dramatic two-week ministerial screening and confirmation process for Mr. Amaechi culminated today after a long closed door meeting with high level Senate officials and ended with PDP members leaving the Senate Chambers.

Source: PHOTONEWS: PDP Senators Stage Walkout In Defiance Of Amaechi’s Confirmation | Sahara Reporters

PHOTONEWS: PDP Senators Stage Walkout In Defiance Of Amaechi’s Confirmation
A dramatic two-week ministerial screening and confirmation process for Mr. Amaechi culminated today after a long closed door meeting with high level Senate officials and ended with PDP members leaving the Senate Chambers.

 

 

A new national airline

MORE than a decade after liquidation of the Nigeria Airways, the healthy discourse on the possibility of a new national carrier has only underscored the significance of the quest and the need to balance best business practices with national interest.

Source: A new national airlines

 

MORE than a decade after liquidation of the Nigeria Airways, the healthy discourse on the possibility of a new national carrier has only underscored the significance of the quest and the need to balance best business practices with national interest.

President Muhammadu Buhari’s directive to the ministry to get a committee to review modalities for floating a viable, competitive carrier is a good statement of intent in the national interest that should be followed by a sound business management plan.

Therefore, the submission of a report on the matter the other day is a step towards the realisation of a dream but the renewed quest should not prevent all from looking back at past mistakes and charting a new path for the proposed airline with unhindered input from the private sector. Ordinarily, given the experience of Nigeria over the extinct Nigeria Airways, any so-called ‘national’ enterprise is another avenue for waste, looting and sundry brigandage. And with previous attempts at revamping Nigeria Airways Limited (NAL) collapsing the way such did, what would be the assurance that the new carrier would fly? The fear, indeed, is that no evidence exists that greed, corruption and decadence which attended most of the nation’s government-owned enterprises have been adequately addressed.

Mismanagement has undoubtedly been the lot of public companies and government business which either never flourished or are looted to the bones by their managers even when they did. Many became bottomless pits for public funds, prompting their eventual commercialisation or outright privatisation.

However, the president’s signals suggest a new faith in a new national airline with all its attendant benefits, hence his directive to the committee to proffer suggestions on the proposed enterprise. The panel was charged to consult with the international community and private sector on carrier based on public-private partnership. Moreover, the Assets Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) was to determine the debt profile of domestic airlines which would guide the panel in its recommendations while determining the best model for the new airline.

The panels’ invitation to 74 stakeholders from airline operators to aviation agencies, service providers, financial consultants, institutional investors, aircraft and parts’ suppliers and staff members of the defunct NAL at least showed some effort at seriousness and the “far-reaching recommendations” made according to the team leader raise hope of a positive development. Yet, history tugs at the heart-strings. After the unfortunate liquidation in 2003 of the 32-year-old national airline, the nation has tried but found it extremely difficult getting back on track with another carrier, even with attempts at partnership with other successful brands.

With a depleted fleet from 32 aircraft in 1984 to a low of three in year 2000, one option opened to the Nigerian government was partnering with a big European airline for which Air France, Lufthansa and Swissair were considered. All fell through. The International Finance Corporation which was commissioned to assist in the process of restructuring and privatising withdrew its advisory role in 2001, citing the unwillingness of NAL and the government to carry out necessary measures capable of making NAL attractive to potential investors. Various other allegations of looting and mismanagement flew alongside IFC’s complaints.

By 2001, safety concerns had grown to force UK authorities to bar Nigeria Airways from operating into its territory. Long before then, the carrier had accumulated significant debts that outstripped revenues from mid-1980s. By late 1986, 1000 jobs had been cut with pressure from government to further reduce the 8500 staff strength in an operating environment of staff-aircraft ratio of 500:1. By April 2000, employment was 4516 just as aircraft numbers shrank amid routes’ rationalisation. The Nigerian predilection for abuse of anything that belongs in the commonwealth played a role too. Free tickets to staff and family members and privileged government officials combined to ruin the company’s fortunes and there was no doubt that NAL was destined for extinction. It went into that spectacularly.

Certainly, Nigeria has not had an enviable history of any public enterprise and this seems to support the contention of anti-new carrier proponents.
In setting about floating the carrier, if it must, government still needs to listen to opposing stakeholders and address their fears. The government may even have to enunciate policies and create an environment that promotes a private sector-driven national carrier.

Also, based on the high-flying performance credentials of exemplars like Kenya Airways and Ethiopia Airlines, there may be need to study and adapt their business models and in the course of time operate to surpass their achievements. Fixing the sector also calls for the involvement of technocrats, aviation professionals of integrity at home and in the Diaspora. World-class facilities for Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO), competently manned, must be on the priority list. Above all, if the committee’s report is accepted, the whole process must be devoid of legal encumbrances capable of aborting the new venture.

STILL ON DONALD TRUMP, THAT SERIAL BANKRUPT, BILLIONAIRE US PRESIDENTIAL CANADIDATE…

 


I was a massive fan of Donald Trump, moreso that a junior brother of mine gave me one of his earlier publications as far back as 1989. However, I have watched his actions, and listened to his tirades against every race that is not American over he years, and can easily conclude that the only perfectly functionally functioning part of his brain is the investment / entrepreneurial side, and sadly to the detriment of every other functionality needed to maintain balance.

Make no mistake about it, Mr. Donald Trump is never going to be a fan of anything non-white. This is no brainier in the least. All you need to do is chatting the trajectory of his vitriolic utterances over the years, especially politically.

After the Obama Presidential Elections seven years ago, it was safe to conclude that Mr. Trump has problems with colour, and especially when that colour isn’t white. My reaction then was to shred the Donald Trump Signature ties I have in my wardrobe, and only retaining one. Don’t bother to ask me why please.

But frankly, can we really be honest on the latest tirade emerging from Mr. Trumps seriously vitriolic statement about the Africans in the USA? Perhaps, what Mr. Trump needs to learn is the art and act of political correctness, alongside the ability to deliver facts and figures diplomatically.


Here him…

“African Americans are very lazy. The best they can do is gallivanting around ghettoes, lamenting how they are discriminated. These are the people America doesn’t need. They are the enemies of progress. Look at African countries like Kenya for instance, those people are stealing from their own government and go to invest the money in foreign countries. From the government to opposition, they only qualify to be used as a case study whenever bad examples are required. How do you trust even those who have ran away to hide here at the United States hiding behind education? I hear they abuse me in their blogs but I don’t care because even the internet they are using is ours and we can decide to switch it off from this side. These are people who import everything including matchsticks. In my opinion, most of these African countries ought to be recolonized again for another 100 years because they know nothing about leadership and self governance.. .
I promise to make America great again by restoring our dignity that we have since lost through Obama. The more reason why I still believe that he, and his Kenyan brothers and sisters should be deported back to Kenya to make America safe”


Statement attributed to Donald Trump by africlandpost.com


Sadly, we just have to check if some of what the Billionaire has posited might be factual. While, we leave that for another day, we might as well state emphatically that any of the eligible non-white voters resident in the U.S., and not making the effort to cast his or her vote when the time comes, just in case Mr. Donald Trump emerge as the GOP Candidate, has no reason whatsoever complaining, or perhaps putting on the garment of anger. No one needs imagine what he will do with reference to policies, just in case he becomes the U.S. President. In the U.S., anything can happen.

Sent from my iPad

FG seeks secret trial of ex-NSA, Sambo Dasuki

FG seeks secret trial of ex-NSA, Sambo Dasuki

Source: FG seeks secret trial of ex-NSA, Sambo Dasuki

 

“The fresh charges are that the accused was on July 17, 2015, at his house, No. 13, John Khadiya Street, Asokoro, Abuja found in possession of various range of firearms without a requisite licence an offence punishable under Section 27 (1)(a) of the Firearms Act Cap F28 LFN 2004.

He was also accused of retaining $40,000, N5 million and another $20,000 in the same house and same date contrary to Section 15 (2)(d) of Money Laundering Prohibition Act 2011.

Besides, the accused was said to have on July 16, 2015, at his residence at Sultan Abubakar Road and Sabon Birni Road, Sokoto retained another $150,000 and N37.6m being part of proceedings of an unlawful act contrary to Section 15 (3) of the Money Laundering Act 2011”.

God makes kings, says Ooni-elect

God makes kings, says Ooni-elect

Source: God makes kings, says Ooni-elect

  • image image

Adeyeye is the new Ooni• I am coming to the throne to set a good example
• Predictions on my son have come true, says father

FOLLOWING his emergence as the Ooni-elect, only coronation-rites away from occupying the pre-eminent monarchical stool among an estimated 60 million Yoruba worldwide, Prince Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi, yesterday said his ascension to the throne was a divine call, as “only God chooses kings.”

The Ooni-elect who spoke to The Guardian in an exclusive interview yesterday, expressed his appreciation to God, who made his emergence so peaceful.

He spoke against the backdrop of several efforts to thwart the process that led to his emergence which had led to uncertainty in the ancient town since the passage of the last Ooni, Oba Okunade Sijuade Olubuse II, on July 28 this year at Saint Mary Hospital London at the age of 85.

Kingmakers who had thought the new Ooni would be announced 42 days after the death of Sijuade were wrong as several interest groups raised allegations against either the families due to produce a new Ooni or Prince Adeyeye Ogunwusi himself when, they somehow found out he was the candidate to beat.

Before his selection was announced, Prince Ogunwusi had told The Guardian of his shock at the allegations, saying he was never involved in any sharp practices, stressing that he believes “it is God that actually appoints kings.
“My brother, can people be this bad?! How can they be maligning my character with all these spurious allegations, which I am not aware of or connected with? Well, I believe that in a matter of days, everything would be over and that the will of God will be done,” he had said emphatically.

Two months before, when some friends expressed concern over his bid for the throne, he simply thanked them but said: “This is beyond me; it is a divine call and I cannot do otherwise. This is the biggest challenge I have ever faced in my life.”

Through it all, the Ooni-elect even as a candidate never failed to express his confidence in God, in the integrity of the kingmakers and the government of Osun State.

‘Predictions have come true’
The Ooni-elect’s father, Prince Ropo Ogunwusi, who suddenly finds himself, socially and culturally lower than his offspring, expressed happiness at the fulfillment of predictions long ago that his son would one day wear the crown.

He called on others who contested with the new monarch to forget the past and begin a new fiesta by joining hands with the Ooni-in-waiting in building new Ife to the joy and satisfaction of all.

Thoughts after

A few hours after his emergence, Ogunwusi said he was very happy that the process turned out peaceful, despite several challenges.

Speaking with The Guardian yesterday, he said: “I thank God that it was peaceful all the way. This is dedicated to God and Nigerian youths, particularly, our youths in Ife. With my emergence, our young people now have a voice in nation building and development.

“In the course of my aspiration to be the Ooni stool, I faced stiff opposition, but I thank God that at the end of the day, it has turned out this way and I give glory to God.”

Prince Ogunwusi, who as of yesterday was in Ibadan, would be entering Ife triumphantly today or tomorrow.

In his acceptance speech, the Ooni-elect said: “I am not coming to the throne to pass judgment on those that have maliciously wronged me. I am coming to the throne to set a good example and show the world that I am truly called by God to lead Ile-Ife into a state of tranquility, conscientiousness and prosperity.

“It is my ardent prayer that the Lord will continue to guide us all and bestow us with great wisdom to carry out our incumbent tasks. I use this opportunity to call upon all the sons of Ile-Ife that were alongside with me in the race for the stool to heed to my call that we work harmoniously to align our goals for the sake of posterity and Ile-Ife. Together we shall not lose sight of the values and tradition that have made us the greatest nation of black people on earth.”

Goodwill for the Ooni-elect
Meanwhile, Senate President, Abubakar Bukola Saraki, yesterday congratulated Prince Ogunwusi and advised him to concentrate on further solidifying the role of the Yoruba people in national unity.

Saraki in a statement by his Special Adviser (Media and Publicity), Yusuph Olaniyonu, wished the Ooni-elect a long and peaceful reign, sound health and many years of service to his people.

Saraki assured the new monarch that the Senate, under his leadership, would continue to hold the traditional institution in high esteem, considering the role they play in ensuring peaceful coexistence among the people, promotion of worthy cultural values in the society and sustenance of national traditions.

Also, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Yakubu Dogara, has congratulated the new Ooni-elect.

In a congratulatory statement signed by his Special Adviser on Media and Public Affairs, Turaki Hassan, Dogara ‎said the role of traditional rulers in nation building could not be over-emphasised and that such institutions must be restored to their former dignity if Nigeria was to make any meaningful progress.

The Speaker urged the Ooni-elect to emulate the works of the late Oba Sijuade whom he said left an indelible mark in the history of Nigeria as a peacemaker and a bridge between different peoples of the country.

While assuring of the cooperation of the House of Representatives, Dogara said the legislature was open to the wise counsel and invaluable support of the Ooni-elect in its quest to effect change and reposition Nigeria for enduring peace, security, accelerated growth and development.

The Speaker also appealed to the ruling houses in Ife and citizens of Kingdom to unite behind the new Ooni and give him the much-needed support.

Also, Lagos State Governor Akinwunmi Ambode, yesterday, urged the new Ooni of Ife to prioritise unity of the Yoruba.

Ambode, in his congratulatory message, said the stool remains the rallying point of the ethnic nationality and should among others be used to strengthen the bond among all its people.

Ondo State Governor, Dr. Olusegun Mimiko spoke in a similar vein in a congratulatory message.

Addressing reporters over the appointment, the Laadin of Ife and Secretary of Ife Traditional Council, Chief Adetoye Adewole, affirmed that, the choice of Ogunwusi was ordained by the gods of the land.

Adewole described the Ooni-in-waiting as a man of dignity with impeccable character, stressing that he was single-handedly fished out by Ifa oracles and gods through divination.

Also, the Lowa Adimula of Ifel, who is the chairman of kingmakers, Oba Joseph Ijaodola, said due process was religiously followed before the selection and recommendation of the newly appointed monarch was made to the state government for its official endorsement.

Oba Ijaodola noted the choice of Ogunwusi came after a painstaking and rigorous exercise taking into consideration the enormous task before the kingmakers. He said Ogunwusi was the best among other candidate, saying the Ooni –elect possesses the qualities expected of a personality to occupy the throne.

Also, former Special Adviser to Governor Rauf Aregbesola on Youths and Special Needs, Mr. Biyi Odunlade, an indigene of Ife, described Ogunwusi as an intelligentsia of note with outstanding achievements.

Odunlade urged those who contested with Prince Ogunwusi to see his emergence as divine, saying all of them should join hands with him in taking Ife to greater heights.

Omo Oba Sikiru Adetona Ayedun of Giesi Ruling Family (Moniki –Lugba} who is one of the contestants congratulated the Kabiyesi-elect, saying as the 51st Ooni, Ife people would rally round him to enhance rapid development of the town.

‘‘I equally wish you a memorable and eventful coronation in advance. Igba re atuwa lara. (Meaning your tenure would bring peace, comfort and development)

‘Goldfish have no hiding place’
True to the proverb: “Gold fish have no hiding place” young Ogunwusi’s penchant for excellence could not be hidden from the world.

Often described as ‘an astute entrepreneur’ driven by turning ‘impossibilities to possibilities,’ his powerful imagination had somehow, set him on the throne of his fathers, long before yesterday.

Nuggets about the Ooni-elect
*The 40-year old prince is of the Ojaja Royal compound of Agbedegbede in the Giesi Ruling House. He is a prince in the Ojaja Royal compound of Agbedegbede in the Giesi Ruling House and the 5th direct descendant of the Giesi family.

*The Ooni-elect attended The Polytechnic, Ibadan, where he obtained a Higher National Diploma (HND) in Accountancy.

* He led the Federal Government delegation to Canada in 2002 for strategic alliances and partnership with Ondo State Government on solid mineral potentials of the state. This would lead to the formation of Amalgamated Mining and Exploration Company Limited, owned by the state government.

* The newly appointed monarch facilitated the biggest Lead and Aluminum recycling plant set up in Nigeria by National Steel Company of India in Ota, Ogun State.

* Prince Ogunwusi is the founder of Essential Homes, a real estate project that delivers affordable upscale homes to middle and low income earners.

* The Ooni-elect employs over 300 youth at the Inagbe Cocowood Factory and has over 450 direct employees in his various companies.

* Prince Ogunwusi is on the Board of Imperial Homes Mortgage Bank Limited, (formerly GTHomes), GTBank Plc and FinaTrust Microfinance Bank Limited.

* He is a member of several professional bodies, which include; Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN), an Associate Accounting Technician and a certified member of the Institute of Directors (IoD) Nigeria as well as Global Real Estate Institute (GRI).

* Prince Ogunwusi has carried out real estate developments for several monarchs, which include: HRM, Oba Saheed Elegushi, Kusenla III, Elegushi of Ikate Land, his predecessor, the late Oba Sijuade, HRM, Oba Oyekan, Onilado, of Ilado Inagbe Island, Lagos, HRM, Oba Adedapo Tejuoso, The Oranmiyan Osile Oke Ona of Egba Land, Abeokuta, HRM, Oba Oloruntoyin Saliu, the Oloworo of Oworonsoki, Lagos, HRM Oba Akinloye, Ojomu of Ajiran Land, Lekki,

HRM, The Olofa of Offa, Oba Mufutau Muhammed Gbadamosi, among others.
* He is also actively involved in the development of over 2,500 housing units with various consortia of developers within the last eight years.

* In Nigeria, he set up and fostered strong trade relationships through the Association for International Business (AIB) with presence in over 200 member countries across the globe. One of the achievements of this body includes the trade facilitation between the United Arab Emirates (Jebel Ali free Trade Zone development) and the Federal Government of Nigeria through the Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission (NIPC).

The first phase of the product (The Southpointe Estate, Lafiaji Road, Lekki, Lagos State) started in February 2014 and has been successfully delivered within a year with approximately 60 per cent occupancy recorded.

*The new monarch has a clear track record of community development starting with his hometown.

Four years ago during his mother’s funeral, the community was without electricity but he embarked on a ‘Power Project’ to install transformers and light poles that generated electricity, which till date is serving people of that community. This power project is also being extended to other parts of the town.

*To actualise his dream of developing one of the best resorts in Nigeria, he, within a year, led a team that opened up a remote jungle called Inagbe Island in Amuwo Odofin, Lagos as a result of which Inagbe Island has been turned into a whole new community offering spectacular world-class relaxation and recreational facilities.

Earlier this year, Prince Ogunwusi disclosed his plans to take Ile-Ife to greater heights by rebranding the ancient town and replicating the grand resort in Ile-Ife.

*Alongside his vibrant personality, he is very down to earth and enjoys being in the midst of his workers with whom he interacts very closely.
Prince Ogunwusi, the philanthropist

As a philanthropist, Ogunwusi has sponsored less privileged children and youths in his hometown of Ile-Ife and in Lagos where he lives. He at present, employs of over 300 indigenous youths at the Inagbe Cocowood Factory – Essential Homes Furniture brand, which is the first of its kind in Nigeria using 100% indigenous raw materials for production. He has over 450 direct employees across his various companies, and over 3000 indirect employees.

Ogunwusi is a Director on the Board of Directors of Imperial Homes Mortgage Bank Limited, (formerly GTHomes), which is a leading National Mortgage Bank and former subsidiary of one of the biggest banks in Africa; GTBank Plc. He is also a Director at FinaTrust Microfinance Bank Limited; one of Nigeria’s foremost Microfinance Banks focusing on SMEs and micro credit facilities. He is the Founder, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Gran Imperio Group, which is the holding company of the real estate and construction, manufacturing, facilities management, leisure and tourism companies in Nigeria.

Prince Ogunwusi attended Sobuola Memorial Nursery and Primary School, Ibadan and completed his primary school education at Ibadan District Council (IDC), Akobo, Ibadan. He then proceeded to the prestigious Loyola College, Ibadan in 1985 and from there to Saint Peter’s Secondary School, Omi Okun Ile Ife.

He has a Higher National Diploma in Accountancy from The Polytechnic, Ibadan, where he started cutting his teeth in outstanding entrepreneurship, even as a student.

Ogunwusi has a daughter, Adeola Aanuoluwapo Ogunwusi.