New Telegraph

Why Reading Culture Has Dropped Drastically, By Adeolu

What inspired you to delve into the realm of critiquing leadership and writing books on this subject, specifically pertaining to Nigerian presidents?

I will say my Political Science training and degree from my university days at the University of Lagos and the many good lecturers we had at the time Dr Coker, Professor Derin Ologbenla, Dr Cyril Obi, amongst others, the degree and training had prepared me for the best and worst as you learned about historical and political events around different countries of the world and how it impacts on other society and Africa and Nigeria.

I have realised that different people aspire for leadership positions either as a Governor or President they make many campaign promises to the people and electorate but on getting into the desired position of leadership many fall short of their promises to the people.

I also decided to write books because sometimes you try to get your views into the media through television or newspapers and if it’s controversial and not liked by certain editors or the owner of the media house it won’t be heard especially during the Cameroun dispute with Nigeria on the Bakassi peninsula matter a region owned by Nigeria.

I tried to inform them of the reasons the Europeans were pushing Cameroun to seize the territory but they did not want to listen as I think media houses got directives from the government not to allow any further comments, so I was forced to write a book before the deadline to Appeal the case and that went viral international “Fraud at The Hague” Why Nigeria’s Bakassi territory was ceded to Cameroun book is used in Stanford university.

The book when it emerged sent panic around it made me realize how battered our Foreign Policy had become and how many of our leaders were so afraid of foreign governments in the West.

I guess they did not want to challenge the British and French governments because of personal assets kept overseas.

The Nigerian government had once been threatened by Margaret Thatcher’s government the Prime Minister of Britain at a time saying if Nigeria did not back down on a certain dispute with Britain she would get the British Press to publish all the millions of pounds Nigerian political leaders were hiding in the banks in Britain and Britain had her way and Nigeria backed off.

How do you approach your criticism and writing on leadership?

Is there a specific methodology or framework you adhere to? When I write articles or books I try to do thorough research and I try to give a balanced view of the topic involved in the way I know.

I always try to be truthful and honest. A man or woman who tries to speak the truth many times does not have too many followers and friends.

These are some of the things pulling Nigeria down the elite and people in power are not listening to the truth and are disconnected from the reality of the happening in Nigeria today. They are living in denial.

What factors, in your view, have contributed to the success or failure of leadership within the Nigerian political landscape?Are there any specific historical or sociopolitical contexts that have shaped these outcomes?

The factors that bring success as a leader have to do with the governing style and success. The state of the economy where you look at the social and economic standard and prosperity in a country.

Are the citizens happy with the cost of living and their take-home pay? Are people able to get basic amenities like good housing, standard education, good standard of living of citizens, stability in society good health care, etc justice peace, and equity where citizens are treated equally and fairly.

The number of gainfully employed people in society are factors that shape successful government. When the crime rate is very low and you have good security and peace in the different states and regions in a country that is what will show good governance on the other hand a country can be seen as failing or failing where insecurity reigns and the atmosphere is all volatile and uncertain.

The country or state can be failed when inflation is too high and nothing seems to be in place. The infrastructure if it is down with bad roads etc and refuse is piling up it is a sign of failure so many things are considered when you throw open your borders and allow the free flow of migrants it’s a sign of problems especially if they are doing criminal activities. If a state is bugged down with robbery cases it’s signs of being a failed state.

How do you ensure objectivity and accuracy of your critiques and writings on leadership?

I try to read, observe, and also try to look at various governments objectively. I also study the emerging situations happening in different countries around the world where the internet, social media, and cable television can give good information about what is happening around the world. I also read international magazines to get different views about different events around the world.

Have you faced any challenges or backlash from political figures or their supporters in response to your criticisms or writings on Nigerian presidents?

Honestly speaking, I think I have been lucky that people identify with my views and writing style. I have not been criticised badly or attacked verbally.

Nigerians are very enlightened and educated so they go and read a book I have written and often times they contact the publisher to get my contact details and I get nice words.

Are there any upcoming projects or books that you are currently working on, relating to Nigerian leadership or other related topics?

The unfolding event in Nigeria now puts General Gowon in the spotlight as the current government and President is proposing a retreat to retrace their steps and reverse the federal structure to the original regional government the British government put in place.

The British colonial government had studied the different regions carefully and had merged the northern and southern regions together for their personal benefit which was to control the geographical area easily.

They felt the regional government was best for the complex unification and was best suitable for Nigeria which was their creation. They had understudied the various ethnic composition and arrived at the separate regional arrangements.

How do you envision your role as a critic and writer in shaping the discourse on leadership, particularly in Nigeria?What impact do you hope to achieve through your work?

My writings seem to make some impact judging from the reviews done on shaping the discourse on leadership making a positive impact for those who seek to know.

The people who still read and seek knowledge benefit from books and daily newspaper reading especially when history was cancelled in schools by a certain leader who had dark intentions of trying to rewrite the history of Nigeria.

They started propaganda that Lagos was no man’s land and later they said Lagos belonged to the Benin people they did not elaborate on how Benin through the Oba conquered Lagos at the time and that is downtown Lagos, not the Badagry area.

The Yoruba people are the original inhabitants who called themselves Awori in Lagos. The Oba of Lagos were Yoruba and they were the ones who signed treaties with the British government.

The British met Yoruba people in Lagos on their arrival at Badagry all these things are well documented in many old books so Lagos is the Yoruba region. When the British called it a no man’s land that was colonial politics of defying the inhabitants when they had conflict and disagreements with the British crown.

The impact you have writing books is that it quietly entrenches your name in the system and world. It does not line your pockets or bank account with money but you get a place in the society and world. Writing puts your name out there in the public.

You have written books on Nigeria’s former presidents (Buhari and Obasanjo), any plans to write on President Tinubu and other former presidents and heads of state?

Bola Ahmed Tinubu should stir the hornet’s nest as a tempting one as the book would be full of intrigue suspense action and controversy.

What are your thoughts about poor reading culture?

The reading culture has dropped drastically because of social media. People are spending a lot of time on this telephone thing- IPhone and Android – doing videos and posting messages all day long.

The hours spent if unchecked can be best described as a cell phone prison. There are E – books but getting to monitor this for authors can be tricky unless the author uploaded the book himself as monitoring the readers who open or down load is often not so transparent.

The soft copy are difficult to push unless it’s priced within the range of N5,000 anything way above leaves the books collecting dust in book shelves at bookstores.

There is also a recent challenge in getting paid as sometimes the established bookstores start owing despite successful sale records.

Read Previous

Nigeria Urges ECOWAS To Adopt EU-Style Crypto Regulations

Read Next

Zulum Appoints Chamalwa As DGl Newly Established Borno Mining Agency