Two Years After Oyedepo’s Akwa-Ibom Visit
WHEN I was nominated by the immediate past President of Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Mr. Okey Wali SAN, into the Board of National Orientation Agency (NOA), I discovered that one of the ways by which both NBA and NOA could partner was in the effective enlightenment of members of the public on the necessity to use information tool for galvanizing Nigerians to the next level. I penciled Dr David Oyedepo to present the lead paper on “Information as a Powerful tool for Nigeria Transformation to Glory.” His Excellency, The Governor of Akwa Ibom State was contacted through his officers to speak on “The Role of Good Public Governance as an Effective Tool In Building Citizen Confidence” while His Excellency, the Governor of Osun State was to speak on “Bridging The Gap – Duties of Public and Private Institutions In Information Dissemination and Feedback.” The Summit suffered its shock when the NBA pulled out and NOA leadership, after having given oral commitment, developed cold feet.
Dr. David Oyedepo gave everybody a surprise when he insisted that he will personally attend the Summit and instructed me to be his Research Fellow on the topic. I felt uneasy. What can I write that will match His Grace’s expectations: A man that has written over 93 books many of which are bestsellers, and Founder of two World Class Universities.
Excerpts of what he delivered at the Summit are as follows:
“What you don’t pursue you can’t possess. Information is a requirement for the pursuit of your good intentions and most importantly your visions. Information is a very powerful tool in the school of visions. All Nations and Companies were developed by their people.
These are contributors and people who did their best to move the Nations and Organisations they worked for, forward. To be transformed as citizens, we must first be informed as citizens. It is not nations or organisations that develop people, it is people that develop nations and organisations. In every Nation and Organisation, there are great people, great names and great contributors. The Transformation programme of this Administration must begin with the development and deployment of qualitative resourceful information to the people.
To be involved as citizens, we must first be informed and this is what makes us to transform. Information is one of the most vital ingredients in the race for realisation of destiny. Get the most resourceful material in your area of endeavour and very soon you will see yourself at the top. There is a story of two young men .One of them after graduation from High School went to study over 700 books within three years while the other took up employment in a restaurant as a manager. After three years, the one who read over 700 books was earning close to $ 200,000 dollars per hour doing consultancy work for major companies in the World while the other who took up employment was earning just a little over $ 200 dollars per hour. What brought about the difference in their income is the information they acquired and put to use. The more informed a man is, the more transformed the man. Particularly, you need the right kind of information. You cannot be committed to what you are not informed about.
We need to move from the level of agricultural produce or producer of raw oil to manufacturers of refined products. I came here (Uyo) in 2004 and what I saw now is a different world entirely as there are things you can see, touch and feel. What has happened is a great transformation.
We need to invest in our citizens to engage in acquiring information. Our citizens must have a direct access to basic information about what will be beneficial to the citizenry.
• Adeniyi Oshinubi was a Legal Consultant to the 2014 National Conference.