We must go back to strengthening our values to curb ritual killings, youth decadence, Prince Adekunle Adebayo Ayoola
In this interview by Bankole Taiwo, Prince Adekunle Adebayo Ayoola, an APC chieftain and Founder, Omooba Obaruwa Foundation speaks on varied topical issues ranging from the import of the ongoing Ukraine/Russia war on world peace and trade, the quest for Gov Abiodun’s second term as well as the need for the youths to backtrack on vices that will eventually lay in ruins a fulfilling future among others. Excerpts
With your vantage position as a Nigerian turned Polish national and residing in Warsaw, Poland could you please help assess how Nigerians living in your neighbourhood country of Ukraine are getting necessary help with this raging Russian war, it was reported that Poland is not showing much support for those fleeing from the war in Ukraine. What is your take on this?
Kudos to the Nigerian in Diaspora Organisation (NIDO) that was midwived by Association of Nigerians in Poland under the able leadership of Dr Omotade Omotosho with incredible support of many Non Governmental Organisations that have been donating foods, bed spaces and even share their apartments to accommodate all victims of Russia’s aggression against Ukraine.
We have been confronted with lots of logistics challenges because of the distance from the Ukrainian border the people will have travel to get to the capital, however with many Nigerians and friends of Afryka, Global African Dialogue among others lending helping hands, we were able to arrange a convoy that help first set of arrival in Poland border. I must commend the Polish authorities for helping and allowing citizens of other nations cross the Shegen borderline because Ukraine is not a member of European borderless states. And as far as I am concerned I have also not seen the Polish treating anyone running away from the ongoing madness in Ukraine shabbily, the Polish has welcome over thousands of people and many more are pouring in every day, you know this is a humanitarian crisis of an unimaginable magnitude? So there may be hitches here and there but so far, Poland has been awesome and fantastic with the way it has handled the refugee crisis so far.
Tell us about the evacuation efforts of Nigerians and Africans since you are directly involved
Nigerian Embassy has really been very helpful and lots of religious organisations also are using their influence to get lots of our people back home and as you are rightly aware, the federal government sent a powerful delegation to Poland to assist our mission here and make sure that no one is left behind, sincerely most of the evacuees were truly happy that the government came to help at this time of a big challenge of economy crunch occasioned by Covid-19 and now getting worse with Russia invasion of Ukraine.
Will this Ukraine-Russia war be over soon?
We all hope and pray that reason will prevail on time, however the war might drag on for a while because Eastern Europe has a strong attachment to their nations and Ukraine will never surrender to Russia because they have seen the light and can not return to their vomit because Russia’s Democracy is not as the same Democracy that gives right and freedom to all, this is the first time none Russia ally is sitting as Ukraine President but Russia don’t want none of this. My fear and concern is for the EU as a body not to abandon Ukraine at this critical period of Nation-building and standing up for the ideal of their country.
What is the import of this war to world peace and global trade?
The war has again disrupted all the efforts to achieve world peace and global trade. We should not forget that the world is yet to recover from the reverberating effect of Covid-19 and now we have a full scale war in our hands to deal with, it’s really unfortunate. We will all face the consequences whichever way it goes, and this may also transform into a blessing for Nigeria if we can get our gas pipeline through Africa to Europe and let this become alternative to Russia natural gas that Putin is using now as threat on EU because as we speak, about 70% energy needs of the whole of Europe is being supplied by Russia. I sincerely wish Nigeria could use this opportunity to develop its gas industry because of its readily available market in Europe.
What is the takeaway for Nigeria and Africa in this ongoing crisis between Ukraine and Russia, I mean what lessons can we learn from this?
Peace and Unity of purpose should be our focus and develop a strong diplomatic synergy between States so we can seat at a round table to solve our problems than going to war, and Africa should seek a strong partner with countries that will help in developing our gas industry so that we can be major supplier of gas to Europe while Russia is isolated.
Your foundation recently embarked on campaign against drug abuse, cyber crimes, ritual killings among others across some secondary schools in Ogun, can you please shed more light on this?
Yes, you are right, my NGO, Omooba Obaruwa Foundation recently started its sensitisation programme against drug abuse, cybercrime, ritual killings, cultism among other antisocial vices across across the secondary schools in Ogun State. I want to say that my heart terribly bled and it’s still bleeding when I heard the unfortunate report of some 17, 18, 19 years old boys who killed their girlfriend for money ritual last month in my dear Ogun State. I wept uncontrollably for this poor girl and her family, that such evil could be packaged for her by her so called boyfriend. I was even baffled that boys of 17, 18, 19 could perpetrate this horrendous criminal act. And what I had observed is responsible for all this act of savagery and wickedness is nothing but the collapse of our strong moral values. It’s like nobody wants to care again, the rush for money over everything is troubling. Our youths have now taken to cybercrime, internet fraud as one quick way to get rich. I heard many parents are even the back bones of several of these youths who are also into drugs and cultism. This is terrifying because it is this same set of youth that we refer to as the leaders of tomorrow in the country. We can’t continue this way and not think that something so disastrous is waiting for us in the future, we are really sitting on keg of gunpowder. We must please go back to upholding those strong values of hardwork, diligence, uprightness, contentment, the ethos of Omoluwabi. We must keep on hammering it to the ears of our young ones that money is not everything and that they don’t have to take to crime before they get rich. They must also be told that there is deadly repercussions for all these dirty acts. The government must also sit up and begin to work for the betterment of its citizens. Some are of the opinion that the failure of the government in not being able to provide basic things of life for the people is making many youths of nowadays to want to explore other avenues to get rich quickly at all cost so that they can be seen to have wiped off poverty from their family.
What is your charge to the youth as a whole?
The former Vice President, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar had challenged them by his recent outburst that no youth is contesting against him in PDP, so the youth should use the same strength and energy they dissipate on the reality TV show like BBNaija to mobilise and support candidates that can build them up socially, economically and politically.
So, rather than just sit down at one corner and be whining and complaining about the country not moving forward, let our youth get on board progressive politics now, this is getting involve in a political movement that will right many things we are not all happy about in the country. I equally want to urge our youth to avoid this get rich quick syndrome, it’s deadly and killing. They should avoid cultism, cybercrimes, ritual killings and those vices that could ruin their tomorrow. They should embrace hardwork, be diligence, be focused, be innovative, embrace entrepreneurship and stay prayerful too.
As a chieftain of APC, what is your take on the forthcoming national convention? What do you think the party should do to ensure the right leadership emerges from the convention?
Well, it’s good if the party will go ahead with its national convention by March 26 as it has been reported. However, I will expect that the party will ensure that only those who have the interest of the party at heart are picked for its different offices. Rather than imposition, I would really want a situation where the field is left open for people to really contest for these offices and not that these things will just be drop on the laps of the people on the platter of gold. The party should be mindful of the forthcoming 2023 general elections and should therefore ensure that those pick for the party leadership are really those that are quite popular, I mean those that the majority of the party believe that they have the capability for the tasks ahead. Having said that, I also want to say that I believe in the national chairmanship aspiration of Alhaji Abdullahi Adamu, the former governor of Nasarawa State. He is really mature with wide experience and I want to believe he has all it takes to take APC to higher height.
Last week, one of the Media aides to Gov Dapo Abiodun and even his cousin from Iperu Remo, same town with the governor, Modele Sarafa-Yusuf declared her intention to contest the 2023 governorship race, how do you react to this?
I want to say that this is the beauty of democracy. Democracy is a form of government that allows everyone to aspire for political positions no matter how impossible some people may view such aspiration. So, Aunty Modele Sarafa-Yusuf has all the right in the world to say she will like to take over from her boss come 2023 as long as she is ready for the tedious tasks ahead. However, I have come to see her declaration as nothing but a comic relief. I, mean, I don’t want to believe that she meant business very seriously, I think she just wants to make headlines and be counted among those who have ever reported or recorded to have signalled interest in the in the seat of Ogun State governor. But if on the other hand, the veteran broadcaster really mean business, then we shall meet on the field and let the pedigree and achievements of both Gov Abiodun and his aide, that is Modele Sarafa-Yusuf speak. She is by no way a threat to the second term of the governor as far as I am concerned. With all the good works of Gov Abiodun, I have that assurance that the second term of Gov Abiodun is a walk over already. This is also not to say that I don’t wish Modele Sarafa-Yusuf all the best in her bit to become the first female civilian governor of our dear Gateway State.