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Home / Interviews / My Mission is to Make Ekiti Work For All -Ojudu

My Mission is to Make Ekiti Work For All -Ojudu

 

 

Senator Babafemi Ojudu is the Special Adviser to the President on Political Matters and a Governorship aspirant under the All Progressives Congress (APC).

You were born about some six decades ago. How was growing up like in your own part of the country?
It was fun for us because we were virtually raised on the street. We were involved in everything that went on in the community. There was no restriction. From the age of 8, I could go alone to the farm to join my grand father. And we hunted, we fished, we participated in masquerade festivals, we did practically everything we wanted. We could walk from one end of the town to the other end and not return home till about 10pm. We feared no kidnappers. There was nothing that could excite the young that we didn’t do. We played football, broke our legs and got hospitalized. Even when our parents were disagreeable about that, we took the risk and we got caned. We made friends across religions and ethnic enclaves. Some of our friends were indigenes, some of them non-indigenes who came from other parts of Yoruba land. Some were none indigenes from the north, east and all of that. So we had a pleasant childhood; very round and balanced upbringing. These days, when I look at my kids I recall that the kind of things they cannot do at their age I did several times over. I left school at the age of 16, got a job and was posted to another town of about 60 kilometers away from my hometown to go and live on my own. My dad took me down, rented a room for me and bought me a bed and cooking utensils. Can you imagine? At the age of 16 I lived and fended for myself and even my younger brother came to live with me at some point! I was cooking by myself and waking up going to work without any adult supervision. At the aged of 16! I don’t see any young man or woman of that age, these days that can do all of that now. So we had independence early in life. We took decisions on our own, we are able to do things on our own; we are able to express ourselves without restrictions. It has helped so far.

At what point did you decide on what you want to become in life? I mean, anything in your childhood days that foretold activism, or being non-conformist?
When I was in the secondary school, I had two experiences that shaped my life. One was that a good number of my seniors were into smoking Indian hemp. I don’t know what possessed me one day that I organized some of my classmates and we went to the local stream where they planted the substance, uprooted them and buried them. And when those seniors knew that I led that operation they came for me in the middle of the night and beat the hell out of me. Secondly, you know, there was rivalry between my school Ado Grammar School and another school called Christ’s School. We were rivals in sports, academics and so on. Now there was this big match coming up between the two schools. The prefects as well as the big boys announced that everyone should contribute money to go to a juju man to make charms for us so we could win the match. I was the only one who opposed it. I said I would not contribute any money, that what it takes to win a match is to prepare and work very hard. Once again, they came for me, stripped me naked in the middle of the night and beat the hell out of me. At the end of the day, they were able to gather enough money, went to the juju man and he assured them they were going to win. On the day of the match, we were beaten silly. Our school was beaten 7-1 in spite of our juju. And on the way back from the stadium, our students stormed the house of the juju man, smashed his windows and beat the hell out of him. So those things shaped my life. You can object, you must object when you feel strongly about something or an issue. You must resist the forces that are bigger than you even when it will result in pain.

How did you choose journalism as a profession?
When I was in year 3, I was in the habit of taunting my seniors. I was a bit rascally. I used to trouble the bigger boys in my class. I was actually the smallest person in my class in terms of age and size but I would go on the blackboard and draw their noses, their ears, and their heads. They would run after me, chase after me, and all that. The school Principal did not know what to do with me; it was a bit troubling for him. The Principal then is late now – Chief Adejuwon from Ijero Ekiti. One day he invited me to his office. He said, “young man, you have so much energy, you are always causing so much trouble in your class. Ok. Come tomorrow and see me.” When I got back to him, he had bought a transistor radio which he gave to me and said “…listen to VOA and BBC every morning at 5am, write out all that you heard and paste it every morning on the notice board”.That was what I did everyday for the rest of my stay in the school and that was how I got hooked to journalism. So when I finished my school certificate examinations and my dad asked me what I want to become in life, I told him I wanted to become a journalist. Of course my dad wished I study law but I told him I wanted to become a journalist. He said “Journalist ke!”. He also said, “I don’t know how people become journalist”. He now took me to Chief Anisulowo, one of the richest men in the town to advise me. And Chief Anisulowo asked me: “What do you want to be?” And I told him I wanted to become a journalist to write in Tribune and Sketch and he said he did not know how people became journalists, that his own children are lawyers and medical doctors. I said, “no it is that journalist I want to become”. So my father felt so sad and took me back home and then from there I started writing letters to the Editor in Tribune and Sketch and when they got published, it was like I had found gold. I would take it round town showing it to my friends. I moved on from there and started trying my hands at writing Opinions. So, that was what I did until I gained admission into the University. My father still insisted that I must study Law but I said no, I would rather study English. So when I got into the University to read English, I immediately joined the Association of Campus Journalists and was enlisted as a reporter with Cobra, the campus journal that was very popular at that time. So I did that for one year. I am not somebody who likes authority. I love to venture out on my own. I always love to be a pioneer, to do something on my own. So, I started the paper called Parrot. I invited some of my friends and we published Parrot until we graduated. I recently learnt that Parrot still exists in the Obafemi Awolowo University (formerly the University of Ife) till today. So, as I was publishing Parrot on the campus, I was writing opinion articles in The Guardian and whenever one was published, I would travel to Lagos to collect my honorarium of twenty-five naira . You know, that was also assisting me in surviving on campus. I also continued writing letters to the Editor. On a weekly basis I made sure I bought West Africa, Time and Newsweek magazines. I also bought Readers Digest monthly. I and the current Chairman, Editorial Board of The Nation, Sam Omatseye, Tive Denedo, Austin Onuoha and a couple of others would pick up and debate current issues, both local and international till we were tired. You know, we bought journals, we read and we argued and all of that. Then I had lecturer who wrote for national dailies too. We would sometimes look at how they write, almost try to emulate them, sometimes copy them and turn around their phrases to suit our own opinion and all of that. So, then when I finished school and proceeded to serve in Ibadan, I continued the habit of writing for newspapers. Then of course after my service year, immediately after, I was hired by The Guardian to become a reporter/researcher.

At a point you were incarcerated for a long period. Was there any time you regret ever being a journalist?
No. The only time I could say I regretted was in 1992 when we did a comprehensive report on the then President Ibrahim Babangida and he sent his men to storm our office with military tanks and shut the place down. I was working with the African Concord as an Assistant Editor then and I just told myself thereafter, that if I cannot speak my mind, if I cannot write what I think is the truth then I better quit journalism. And then a friend of mine Debo Adeleke, said I should come and join him to sell frozen fish. I went and I started selling frozen fish, but I did that for only six months and I got fed up because I was not realizing myself. I quickly heeded the call of my colleagues and we started the magazine called The News. That was the only point in time, but as regards being detained and regretting no, there was no time. I knew what I went into. In fact the day we launched The News and we addressed the media, I told the media that we were going to do what nobody had done before and the consequences of it would be that we were going to see what nobody had seen before in terms of our experience. And it happened exactly that same way. You know at a point in time 13 of the staff of The News, including myself were in detention. One of them, Bagauda Kaltho was tortured to death in the course of interrogation. Many fled to exile. We published in an environment where we had no freedom. We could not live in our homes and we never had offices. And that today is what is known as guerilla journalism. It has been celebrated all over the world.

At what point did you decide to veer from Journalism into politics and what spurred that decision?
Honestly, I have always been a very political person. My grandparents were so much into politics. The two of them, my grand dad and my grand mother were registered members of the Action Group. My dad was a member of the NCNC. He was a Zikist, one of the young people following Zik around then. In the trouble that engulfed the southwest in the mid-sixties, my grandfather got arrested and detained, just the way I was detained later. So, you see, politics runs in the family and I have always participated. I remember shortly after I quit working with my secondary school certificate, I went to live with a friend to my dad, Prof Banji Akintoye, who was a member of the UPN. He was actually the Deputy Secretary of Unity Party of Nigeria then. I lived with him at a point in time when he was preparing to go to the Senate and I was always attending the meetings, traveling with him campaigning, receiving guests and even receiving Chief Obafemi Awolowo in Ado Ekiti. At that point I made up my mind that one day, I would like to occupy the position that Prof occupied, which was that of the Senator for our district. I later made that dream a success. At the university I was very active politically. I sponsored and managed candidates for the positions of President and Vice President of the Students’ Union. I was a member of the Youth Wing of Unity Party of Nigeria. So when I got into journalism also, I got involved maybe not directly into politics but tended towards activism. I was a founding member of the Committee for the Defence of Human Rights (CDHR), first Secretary of the Campaign for Democracy (CD) led by Alao Aka-Bashorun and Beko Ransome-Kuti at that time. So this has been the trajectory of my life ever since.

Looking back now, can you say you have been able to make some impacts?
Oh sure I did. When I look at it now, I know if we had not put up the kind of resistance we did at that time (under Abacha) may be we would not have democracy today. We fought very hard and suffered severely for it. That has become part of history now, and that for me was some kind of accomplishment in spite of the sacrifices we made in the course of doing that.

You were in the Senate. You were a member of the Senate from 2011 to 2014 but you refused to rerun after your first tenure, why?
Well, I didn’t for several factors. One was that when I was in the Senate, I had no job satisfaction. Yes, I woke up, got dressed and went the chambers, but I felt dejected and sad because I was going to do something that was not goal oriented. I looked at what was happening around me I was not happy. Often I wanted to raise issues, I wanted to talk, but I was not allowed to talk by the then President of the Senate, Senator David Mark. He would just not recognize me. I would draft bills and motions, very innovative ideas, but they would not allow them to be heard or listed. You know, again because my paper had in the past been very critical of David Mark and he held that grudge against me over the years and he saw me as troublesome and as also representing the voice of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu in the Senate. In fact he once remarked to a friend that any time he saw me holding the phone to my ear, he knew that it was either I was informing Bola Tinubu of what was happening in the Senate or that he was informing me of what to say in the Senate. It was that bad but that was not true. I am an independent-minded person. So he did all of that and I was only allowed to speak at some point when I shouted “point of order! point of order!!”. And I had so much to say; so much I could contribute from my 28 years experience reporting governance. A lot of things happened that I knew and would have loved to report were I still a journalist. So I was overwhelmed and became almost depressed. I just told myself, by mid-term that I was no longer interested and won’t be running again. Plus the pressure back home that you must buy vehicles for everybody, that you must pay the school fees or build houses for everybody, take care of the personal needs of everyone who voted for you, build roads, drill bore holes, provide electricity. These certainly were not the functions of lawmakers but the people do not know that. Those kinds of demands and pressures often push people to go and do what they are not supposed to do. It pushes them to go and do deals, parade ministries looking for contract and turning oversight functions to tools of blackmail. I just told myself I won’t get involved, I won’t take what does not belong to me. That I was not going to destroy my own name. And so, every day I woke up and I read papers- people calling lawmakers thieves, nation wreckers and all that, it got to me and, you know, I just decided, maybe enough is enough and I won’t go back. So when the time came that people should rerun, I just said no. I won’t be part of it.

You cannot really change anything in politics unless you are an active player. You have been neck deep in Ekiti politics since the creation of the state and particularly since the beginning of the current democracy in 1999, why did you prefer to play from the touchline until recently?
I am throwing myself fully into it now because I believe that there are things that are possible. The possibilities are enormous in terms of doing things to improve the lives of people. And the people seem not to be aware of those possibilities, either because of ignorance or because they are greedy or because they allow their ego to control them. There are so many things that can be done which leaders are not doing. What is the essence of governance if not about service to the people? Politics is about service to the community and service means you throw yourself 100% into it – your mental acuity, your physical capability, and you come out with results. And that is possible everywhere, whether in a small community, or a bigger Nigeria, or wherever. So I’ve been watching, I’ve been sponsoring people, I’ve been promoting people, I’ve been seeing people get into power, I’ve been very critical of the way they handle power and I say okay, is it not time I went there myself to show an example of what purposeful governance is? And that’s why I am throwing myself in this time around.

The incumbent governor Ayodele Fayose of Ekiti State is believed to be very popular among your people. How were you able to defeat him when you both contested at the senatorial election?
Of course that is the perception out there because he has a loud mouth that makes so much noise and he is full of drama. You know, if you dig deep and plan very well and strategize, this guy is easy to defeat. And I keep telling people. All I did when he contested against me was to do good thinking, good strategy, work very hard, touch every village, campaign very hard, at the end of the day my strategy overwhelmed him and I defeated him in a manner that he could not even go to election tribunal to challenge the election result. And that is still possible today. That is what we are going to do again.After chasing him out of power the last time our party became somehow complacent and that resulted into him having a comeback but we are going to throw him out again by God’s grace.

You are running as governor of Ekiti State in the next election, what informed that decision?
Yes. Each time I go home and I see the poverty, the squalor and the disease in my state I am never happy. I have traveled all over the world and I have seen what development looks like around the world. These developments were brought about not by ghosts, not by angels of God – they were brought about by human beings and some of these human beings I have related with and they are not smarter or more intelligent than myself. So why can’t I then I mobilize people of my ilk to also bring about change in my society? And that exactly is what we are trying to do now. We have a movement of like minds both within and outside Ekiti, in other parts of Nigeria and other parts of the world. In America, Europe and Asia, we have Ekitis all over. We are all coming together to use Ekiti as a showcase where we can get things to work as they are working in other developed or developing nations.

What are you going to do differently?
We are going to mobilize our people to be productive. Right now, I can tell you 80% of our people are not productive. If you go to Ekiti today, you can’t find any industry that hires 50 persons. Beyond the civil service and the teaching profession, there is nothing happening there. Even the food we eat in Ekiti is not cultivated by us. The food we eat is cultivated by the Igbiras from Kogi, and the Igedes and Tivs from Benue. So most of our people wake up every morning and roam the streets. People finish school they can’t find job to do. We have master’s degree holders who are riding commercial motorcycle all over. You want to build a house you have to look for artisans from Akure, Ibadan, Togo and Benin Republic. That does not make us happy. We want to go in there to mobilize the energies and brains of our people and do something productive in different areas. Particularly in the area of agriculture, we want to do something that will marvel the rest of the country. We have made contacts with entrepreneurs all over who are ready to come and invest in a big way. Just last week I received some key entrepreneurs from China in my office and they told me the possibilities. They gave an example that China consumes over 80 million tonnes of cassava chips per annum. That Nigeria has been able to meet only 80 thousand tones of the 80 million tones that they consume, that they can turn the whole land in Ekiti into cassava farms and that they will bring resources to do that and when they do that, then we pay them back by what we export to their country. So beyond that, there are possibilities in every area. There is nothing that does not grow in Ekiti land. For example banana, plantain, tomatoes, yam, corn, vegetables like okra or whatever. We also cultivate rice, palm tree, cocoa. In the sixties the cocoa income that Awolowo used to develop the western region, to implement free education and built up the capital in Ibadan was largely taken from Ekiti. There was a cocoa belt in Ekiti state. All those farms have grown old now. We are going to revive them and we are going to start planting new set of cocoa. We will not, like Awolowo did in those days, send those cocoa beans out raw. We will add value. We will process them so that we will earn more money from doing so. Ekiti is well located in between the north and the south. Every produce coming from the north, we will find a way of setting up processing plants, agro-allied industries where we add value to those products. If you bring emaciated cows from the north, we’ll get companies that will buy them from you, put them in grazing reserves, fatten them and turn them to double the size of what you are bringing before we take them to the market in Lagos. We will have meat-processing plants in Ekiti that can process and then distribute across the country. Several other ideas like that, we are already working on and seriously too we are not waiting till we are elected. We have committees that are working on these things both within and outside Nigeria. That underscored the reason why I traveled to North America for 14 days last month, going through 17 airports and meeting Ekitis across America. These are people of different professions and different callings in life who are already brimming with ideas and enthusiasm to come back and replicate what they know over there in Ekiti state.

The psyche of the people have been substantially eroded with time, how do you intend to make them embrace your seemingly lofty objectives?
That is an area of challenge for us. One will have to live by example. We will not live extravagant lives. We will not just be desk people. We are going out there on the field, on the farm, at construction sites, showing examples that “look, hard work pays”. The problem we have now is that people do not believe that hard work pays. They think that money just flows and people should have their share of the money without doing anything. But when they see us working just like them, tiling the land, being on construction sites, going to the farms, supervising things and all of that, they will join us. Our people are not bad people. They are not difficult as we are wont to think. But over these years they have not been accustomed to a leadership that will mobilize them to action, mobilize them to do what is right and show personal example. But when they see a good leader, a leader they can emulate, who does not say one thing and does another, they can emulate, they will follow. And by the time we begin to show good example, by the time we begin to see people who go into farming riding good cars, living a good life, then they will know that laziness and indolence do not pay. So these are the kinds of things we want to do. We are going to locate farm settlements in the 16 Local Government areas of the state where everything that has to do with modern life, good accommodation, water and electricity will be provided. If you want to watch CNN, you find available there, and then you have equipment, modern farming equipment to work with, not cutlasses and hoes. We will assist with high yield seeds and practices and also help preserve and locate the markets. We will also encourage them to find time to go on holidays to wherever they want to go. When they begin to look at this life, the kind of life everybody can be proud of, everybody will follow us. I was in Israel some years ago, about four years ago and I spent some time in a farm cultivated by some chaps, the oldest of whom was 32years. They had about 800 hectares of land planting watermelon and tomatoes and grossing 12million dollars per annum. They were just five young farmers. Why would anybody not be proud of such people? I mean these are the kind of examples we are going to show. We will send out our young people to these places to go and get trained in modern farming. We will send them to places like Silicon Valley to go and understand the way innovation works. They will see the rest of the world. They will be able to emulate what is good and do away with bad habits. Then we are going to engage their energy in sporting activities. I want to borrow from late Brigadier Ogbomudia who established the Afuze Sports Institute. At that point in our national life Afuze was the place where we drew our young athletes from to participate in the Olympics. We have talented young men and women who can sprint, who can box, who can wrestle, who can play lawn tennis, who can swim, who can do long distance races. We want to wake up their energy. We want to be able to facilitate their being able to realize themselves as human beings who are talented. When we add all of these together we would have begun to build a nation that is going to be productive. We will make sure that there is one thing or the other happening every week in our state that people can come and look at or watch from all over the world. We will turn the government house that is built on the hills into a Museum of Yoruba Culture and History. People can come from Brazil, America, from wherever to come and look at Yoruba culture. These are the kinds of things we want to embark upon.

Why do you think you will win this election?
I believe I have the passion. I have the commitment. I have the ideas. I am dogged, courageous; I am a go getter, never say die. Above all my intentions are pure, patriotic and God sees my heart. I am not going to this because I want to enrich myself, not because I want my ego massaged. I am going into this purely for service. The people are aware of that. They know me. They know I do have the courage to challenge everyone that stands on my path except God. I respect all but I fear no one. We are going to fight this battle and win, insha Allah.
If you win, what legacy do you want to pass onto the people and the person that takes over from you as governor?
A legacy of development. I will pass on a legacy of prudence. I have told my people. When I lead, they will know that bigmanism is not governance, being arrogant is not governance, being haughty is not governance. You can be humble and still govern well. These are the kind of legacy I will pass on. This idea of wanting to come to Abuja from Ekiti, you go and charter a plane for thirteen thousand dollars (4,600,000 naira) to take you from Abuja to Ekiti for 1 hour, I do not believe in it. It is a complete waste. And then you are driving on the road, you have about 30 vehicles, burning gas and wearing out the vehicles and personnel and all of those things. It is a waste, sheer waste of resources. These are some of the things we want to discourage. I will discourage them in myself and discourage in people working with me. But I will then institute a long lasting work ethic that you cannot be a lay about around me. You must be ready to work very hard before you can earn your pay. That is very important. Any nation that is not productive is bound to die as we are dying now. Our people are not productive they want to ride good cars they are not producing anything. I see people claiming to be rich, they have private jets and you ask them, what are they producing? Nothing. They are just agents. Rent seekers. That we are not going to allow in that state.

Your party, the APC is fragmented in Ekiti. How do you see the party getting together before the election? Is there love lost between you and your friend Kayode Fayemi whom you also helped into political limelight in the first place?
Let me say this, our people are bent on returning to power, they are very desperate to go back to power. And in that circumstance they just need somebody who can unite them to achieve their purpose. And I think I have the capacity and the talent to be able to unite them to attain that goal. So all the so-called lack of unity that people are talking about is because a leader has not emerged that will unite them. I have been going round preaching unity, love and it is resonating with them.By the time we complete our primary election, everybody will come together and run with unity. On the talk about my relationship with Dr. Kayode Fayemi, I don’t think we have any fundamental problem. We disagreed on principle. People are bound to disagree on principle. It is nothing personal. Whenever we are ready and somebody picks the ticket, we all will work together. I am ready to sit down with him on the table and plan how we are going to develop Ekiti state. I don’t harbour any ill feeling against anybody.

Your critics say you don’t play stomach politics. Is it true?
If I don’t play stomach politics I won’t be talking about agriculture. What I do not like is to glamourize poverty. My parents were poor. I wouldn’t have imagined my parents being given a sachet of rice and then somebody asks my father or mother to hold it up and then you take their photograph and circulate all over the world. It is humiliating. I wouldn’t humiliate anybody, any Ekiti person or any Nigerian for that matter. Part of the problem is that what we are looking for in Sokoto is in the pocket of our Shokoto. If you have land, a very fertile arable land, why must you go hungry? Why must anybody leave Omuo- Ekiti, the Northern-most part of Ekiti to go to Ado-Ekiti and look for one sachet of rice? The cost of transportation from Omuo-Ekiti to Ado-Ekiti, the round trip, is enough to buy several sachets of rice but people will run to Ado-Ekiti just because the governor is giving a sachet of rice. Why don’t you then assist the people to learn how to fish, rather than give them fish? We will make real that Chinese proverb that says “ teach me how to fish rather than giving me fish”.That is what I believe in. One day I went to Ekiti, that day was the day Fayose was distributing rice to people. People came from Ikole, Omuo, Efon, Otun, everywhere all over to queue for rice. By the time the exercise was concluded, it was late that day, many of them could not get transportation to go back to their towns and villages. They slept in the open in Fajuyi Park. That for me is inhuman. It is humiliating. How do you say you want to sew Christmas dresses for children of civil servants when you refused to pay their parents’ salaries? If you pay the teacher’s salary, if you pay the civil servant’s salary, won’t they be able to feed their families and sew Christmas dresses for their own children? But when you don’t pay them and you then took 250million naira from government coffers and then put some five tailors for demonstration in government house and brought in about 10 children and took their photographs, it is just a way of cheating the people and embezzling money. We sent people round Ekiti during the Christmas festival to go and check how many children got the dresses. They could not find anybody. So we have been swindled by a con man who believes that we are all fools. We are not fools and we are going to open the eyes of our people. We are going to be transparent, so that people can see that really we love them and not just taking them for a ride.

You were on tour of the US recently, what informed that trip and what was your experience like?
Well, you know the best of Ekiti are all over the world. In Ekiti when you get educated, your parents will sacrifice and give you very good education but you cannot find something to do in Ekiti. What they then do is to look for greener pastures whether in Ibadan, in Port Harcourt, in Abuja or in London, Washington DC, Los Angeles, or in Germany, South Africa or wherever. So a good number, a large body of Ekiti professionals are living abroad and we feel that it is incumbent on us to mobilize their energy, their resources, and their experience for the battle ahead. They are part of the movement. So I had to go out there to mobilize them for the purpose of what we are trying to do. We were well received. They were happy and they are already making a lot of contribution. Let me also tell you this, it is not in itself original. In the twilight of 19th century, there was a war between us and the Ibadans. That war went on for seventeen years. The Ibadans were all over the place attacking Ekitis, sending ‘Ajeles’ to harass and rape our women and all of that. When we could not stand it again, some of our fore bears then ran to Lagos to meet our diaspora in Lagos. Those in diaspora made contacts all around the world and they bought new weapons and took them to Ekiti. When the weapon got to Ekiti and people started using the weapons, that was where we got the name of Kiriji war because of the sound of the weapons. The weapons were sounding Kirijimm!, Kirijimmm! We were on the verge of defeating the Ibadans when the white man came, separated us and then dominated us both. So, it is the same thing we are doing now – we are suffering now in Ekiti, there is poverty, there is squalor, and there is disease. The Ekiti at home cannot solve that problem alone. We have to call on the energies of our brothers and sisters abroad. This time, we are no longer going to bring weapons, we are going to bring innovations, creativity, ideas, so that they can bring all of those things in assisting us in bringing about development.

Who is Senator Babafemi Ojudu?
A very simple person. But you know, because of my physique and appearance people think I am so difficult. Some people say I am arrogant yet I am the simplest person you can find on the face of the earth. I mean, I don’t have any airs around me. I don’t. You can see where I am. No luxury of any kind. Babafemi Ojudu is someone who believes in humanity, who thinks that things should work, who believes in himself and in others. And one of the reasons again why people think I am difficult is because I have self-confidence. I don’t beg. Whatever is mine, I am content with it. And my grandfather told me that the reason they he gave me the Muslim name Abdulganiyu is that see, “you are going to be an Oloro, you won’t be an Olowo”. In Yoruba, Olowo means the wealthy, the rich, Oloro means the content, one who never lacks. I never lacked because whatever it is that is available to me I am satisfied with. So, and that is me but people love people who can grovel, who are sycophants, who can be begging for things. I don’t do that.
How do you relax?

I listen to music. I love jazz. I have a lot of collection of jazz music either in hard copy or in soft copy.
I listen to them when I am sleeping, when I am awake and then I read a lot of books. I don’t travel without buying books. I don’t go anywhere without holding books. I read a lot of biographies and autobiographies of great men and not so great men across the world.

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