JUNE12 MOVEMENT in collaboration with KUDIRAT ABIOLA INITIATIVE FOR DEMOCRACY (KIND) and CHANGE AGENTS OF NIGERIA (CAN) INVITES YOU TO THE CELEBRATION OF JUNE 12 IN NIGERIA…5 Jun
VENUE: M.K.O ABIOLA RESIDENCE, 44/46, M.K.O ABIOLA CRESCENT, OFF TOYIN STREET,IKEJA,LAGOS.
TIME: 9:00AM PROMPT
FOLUKE DARAMOLA (CAN) – 08033017428
AMY OYEKUNLE (CAN)- 08034540311
OLAWALE OKUNNIYI (VETERAN)
JUNE 12 MOVEMENT
PROF. BEN NWABUEZE
ALHAJI BALABE MUSA
PROF. AKIN OYEBODE
MRS GANIYAT FAWEHINMI
MS. ANN KIO BRIGGS
Face of Change Agents of Nigeria: Abolore Rufai, the publisher of Golden Night magazine.Joining Nigeerians to call for Change in Nigeria! Yes! We CAN!10 May
The Nigerian political leadership does not like it when we ask for Revolution. They call Nigerians arsonists when we ask for secession. They don’t want to hear it when we call for resource control. They feel we are not reasonable when call for Soveriegn National Conference. They don’t feel it is necessary when we say let us go confederation in Nigeria. They turn deaf ears when we say they should let us practise true federalism in Nigeria… Then, let us ask them to CHANGE Nigeria! Let us ask them to DEVELOP Nigeria! So that we can stop asking them what they fear to HEAR! Yes! We CAN build an ideal and prosperous Nigeria for the gains of all Nigerians! Yes! We CAN! – message: Olubanwo Adeleke, Change Agents of Nigeria.
CHANGE AGENTS OF NIGERIA: OUR OWN DEMAND FROM THE NIGERIAN POLITICAL LEADERSHIP: Various militant and pressure groups are springing up everyday,making different demands from the Nigerian leadership, born out of the flagrant mismanagement of the nation’s abundant numerous resources and the injustices being done to the people of Nigeria on daily basis- The MASSOB in the South East are desperately asking for secession-they want to have their own country. The OPC in the South West is ‘troublesomely’ positioned to defend and fight for the survival of the Yoruba nation and asking for regional autonomous governments. The Boko Haram revolutionists in the North are asking for an Islamic Nigeria or the North’s political ‘domination’ of Nigeria,hence, fighting to Islamise or dominate Nigeria by force. The MEND etc in the South- South is calling for RESOURCE control and equitable distribution of the nation’s resources. The Civil and Human Rights Community in Nigeria are seriously calling for REVOLUTION in Nigeria through the conveyance of Sovereign National Conference (SNC). But, the Change Agents of Nigeria(CAN) movement is calling and asking for only one thing- Positive and rewarding CHANGE in Nigeria! We want the Nigerian leadership to CHANGE and DEVELOP NIGERIA NOW! This is our demand. This is what we want! Substantial CHANGE in Nigeria. Let’s continue to call for CHANGE in Nigeria!Let’s continue to SING for CHANGE in Nigeria! Yes! We CAN! Message: Olukayode Salako,National Coordinator,Change Agents of Nigeria project.
AN INTERVIEW GRANTED BY MR OLUKAYODE EZEKIEL SALAKO, THE PRESIDENT OF FASHOLAMANIA INDEPENDENT SUPPORT MOVEMENT AND THE NATIONAL COORDINATOR, CHANGE AGENTS OF NIGERIA (CAN), ON THE OCCASION OF HIS 40TH BIRTHDAY CELEBRATION WITH A GROUP OF JOURNALIST IN LAGOS RECENTLY.
QUESTION: Mr. Salako, You clocked 40 few days ago. How do you feel attaining this important age?
ANSWER: Honestly, I feel very grateful to God for His grace to live all my life in Nigeria and clocked age 40 in Nigeria. Obviously, it is not easy or no longer a right to live long in Nigeria any more .So many things are frustrating us here! So many things are sending us to the hospital here! So many things are killing Nigerians here! And so, for me to live in that same Nigerian environment and be forty in good health; sound mind and I can still optimally afford to survive economically here, is a rare privilege. At 40, I feel fulfilled and happy. I feel I am not a foolish man at 40! I am happy I am not a foolish Nigerian at 40! I feel I am not a foolish man to my wife at 40! I feel I am not a foolish father to my children at 40! And lastly, I feel I am not a foolish man to my life and conscience at 40!
QUESTION: Looking back how has your growing up been?
ANSWER: My growing up was full of denials and challenges. That is why I have always said it that I am simply a product of God’s grace manifesting in my destiny. So far I have been a product of His grace, because I never thought I could be all I am today. I started very low in life. At age 7, I had known I had to work before I could meet my needs. So, I have engaged myself in creative thinking all my life. I have grown up never to depend on any uncle or aunty before can survive. So, I started with Kayus Art, drawing and making rubber stamps etc in Ile Ife. And at the same time, would hawk anything in season for my late mother, including fire wood. A little above that age, I was a bus conductor etc in Ile Ife, assisting my mother to feed her children. all of these and few others I did while growing up, until my mother died in 1984. My mother then was like the bread winner of the family. So, after her departure, things became better worse. So I still had to do so many things to survive and also to help my siblings to live and go to school .I came into Lagos to continue the same condition of life and today, it is the story of how God has delivered me from poverty and compensated me for all the denials of my growing up. Today, at 40, the best I can tell my God is that I am grateful. I feel very fulfilled and loved by God. At 40, he has giving me good health. I am a very healthy man. I am mentally, psychologically, physically and spiritually endowed and sound. I love ice cream, even at my age, and shoes today, simply because I didn’t have access to ice cream and good shoes when I was growing up. Many of my friends were born with silver spoons in their hands, but Olukayode Salako was born only with his bear palms and brain- I was not born with any spoon at all.
QUESTION: Mr. Salako, what has motivated you so far to have lived the way you have lived, working so hard even as a child?
ANSWER: Poverty! Poverty has been the motivating factor! Growing up as a child was challenging and full of denials. What we were looking for to buy drugs for my mother the day she died was just about 500 naira. My mother might have been saved if there was 500 naira to buy drugs for her when she suddenly fell ill. Since then, I decided within myself that I will deliver myself from poverty. I decided to fight poverty and to a considerable extent, I have won the war. So, the only thing that has motivated me and that has been driving me, encouraging me to continue to push forth in life is still that lack and want that was part of my upbringing. And today, at 40, the only thing I am still afraid of is poverty. I am afraid of going back to where I came from and that is why I continue to think creatively and work hard to continue to survive in Nigeria. Honestly, a lot of things oppressed me when I was growing up.
QUESTION: What can u say or point at as your achievements at 40, Mr. Salako?
ANSWER: God has been a lot to me. That I am who I am today is enough an outstanding achievement. To god be the glory, there is nothing I deserve at this age that I don’t have access to. There is nothing my mates have or can boast of that God optimally has not given to me. I can afford to survive in Nigeria; I am happily married and blessed with fruits of marriage. I am married to my own wife and not another man’s wife. I survive through some of the best vocations in the world. I am both physically and mentally healthy. So, all of these are enough achievements that a grateful man must celebrate at 40.
QUESTION: Your project, Fasholamania, brought you to limelight. Where is Fasholamania now?
ANSWER: Fasholamania is still about the only pro-Governor Fashola project that is still surviving in Lagos today. I have always said it that Fasholamania will continue to exist for as long as Governor Fashola continues to govern well – for as long as he continues to do well in both his private and public activities. So, Fasholamania Independent Support movement will continue to be there on standby to continue to appreciate, support and encourage Governor Babatunde Raji Fashola for as long as his government continues to impress Lagosians.
QUESTION: (CUTS IN) But, the activities of your movement have been silent since the Governor came back for second term. Why is it so?
ANSWER: You are very correct, but that does not mean that Fasholamania has stopped existing. The activities of Fasholamania were conspicuously loud during the first term and the second term election period all because that was the period Governor Fashola’s government needed strong support and encouragement to survive. It was a face in the life of the government when the forces of destabilisation were strong and almost pulling the government down, if not for the help of God and the intervention of different agitators and pressure groups, which stood up at that time in strong support of the action governor. Fasholamania, like few other coordinated groups, mobilised and rose in support of the survival and continuity of the Governor’s administration. Our strategies were very strong and effective and, at the same time, so civilised enough to convince any one that the conveners of the movements are not opportunists or political apologists, who were out to attract the attention of the governor to give them money. We did so many things to register our strong support for the fantastic job the administration of Mr. Babatunde Raji Fashola was and has still been doing in Lagos…
QUESTION: (CUTS IN…) But why are the activities of the various pro-Fashola groups no longer in prominence or is it because the government has stopped giving the groups money to operate?
ANSWER: Well, I can only speak for Fasholamania, because it will be wrong or unintelligent of me to start speaking on behalf of other groups. Let me say it again for the umpteenth time that the Lagos State government or Governor Fashola did or has not under any consideration or circumstance given Fasholamania any money to operate or do anything for him or his government. Fasholamania has not received any kobo from any quarters, either as a compensation or appreciation from the governor or any of his family members. I want to say it through this medium again that throughout the over four years Fasholamania has existed, it has been solely sponsored by me, Olukayode Ezekiel Salako. I am saying it emphatically that 95% of all the money we have spent to run Fasholamania have been from my personal bank account and not from the Lagos State Government or the governor or even any of his friends or benefactors. And to answer the question of why our activities have been low around this period, especially since the governor came back for second term, the fact is that every project that must continue to survive must always get the economic support and encouragement of the proprietor. The Fasholamania movement is all about the governor of Lagos State. It is all about supporting and promoting the ideals of his government so that it can be a common phenomenon and governance as well as leadership yardstick in Nigeria. And realistically, fasholamania will always need the proprietor, Mr. Fashola to identify with us. That will always be a good source of encouragement to continue to run and expand fasholamania more and more. If we have to spend over four years promoting a very good leader and even his own people are afraid to identify with that cause, in spite of the fact that they find the project necessary and laudable, one would naturally begin to think twice. Many of the pro-Fashola groups can no longer survive because the proprietor or any of his people is still not identifying with them to give them moral and energetic encouragement. In Fasholamania’s case, everybody around the governor, especially those realistic Lagosians who agreed that the governor and his team have completely reclaimed Lagos for mega-city evolution and development, like and appreciate the idea. But, unfortunately, for reasons best known to them, were not forth-coming in the area of economic support. Many people preferred the project should have been done for Ashiwaju Bola Tinubu. As very popular as the Fasholamania project has been, people will always tell me it is a waste of time and money, floating any support project for the governor. They will always say the right person that deserves that support is the Ashiwaju. So, lack of identification on the part of the Governor and economic supports anywhere, could be a factor affecting the survival of many pro-Fashola groups today. Honestly, if Fasholamania will continue to exist, survive and expand, Governor Fashola must show the encouragement by identifying with it. Because it is all about him and the promotion of his efforts as a fantastic leader of the present Lagos State that is impressively working.
Another reason our own activities in the fasholamania movement have been low around this time is the fact that the detractors of Governor Fashola, who were disturbing his government during the first term, are now allowing him to govern Lagos peacefully and progressively in this second term. So far, we have not seen any group like the’ True face of Lagos’ or ‘untrue face of Lagos’ or all of the bullshit! so- called politically motivated and sponsored ‘integrity groups’ coming out this time round to fight the governor or continue to distract him. Politically, Lagos State is relatively peaceful around this time. So, there would not be any need for any pro-Fashola group to continue to agitate. The best we can continue to do for the government now is to continue to beat the drums of support for the government. The government honestly is still doing well.
QUESTION: The feeling around town is that Governor Fashola’s performance rating has dropped drastically in this second term. What then is your own assessment of his government so far?
ANSWER: To those of us who can be realistic enough, Lagos is still working progressively and satisfactorily well. This is definitely not the way Lagos State was handed over to Governor Fashola. This is not the way Lagos city was before now. The present government has changed so many things. The present government has indeed transformed Lagos. And I believe the process of reforming and transforming the socio-economic environment of Lagos for better is still on going and will continue to be a process of progressive governance in Lagos State. Many of us still know and agree that Governor Fashola is still performing and moving Lagos faster forward effortfully every day. The evidence of his good efforts is still manifested in all the beautiful things we see evolving in the Lagos environment every day. I have not yet seen any sector of the Lagos economy that is still not adequately receiving the attention of the government. Many more roads are still been constructed everyday, while the existing ones are been repaired and beautified constantly. Infrastructurally, Lagos is getting better and becoming more and more attractive. That Ikeja city mall that has just been opened is simply an evidence of Western life in Nigeria. It is a proof that jungle life has disappeared from Lagos. We now see more and more foreign nationals trooping into Lagos to comfortably live and invest in Lagos. That more foreign nationals can feel secured to come to Lagos is evidence that there is still ideal governance in Lagos. That so many beautiful things we see when we travel to Western countries are now manifesting in the Lagos environment is evidence that the government of Mr. Babatunde Raji Fashola is still working to improve the lot of Lagos.
QUESTION: But Mr. Salako, Mr. Babatunde Fashola is no longer as aggressive as he was doing during his first term in terms of contract awards, projects executions and commissioning…?
ANSWER: I want to agree that the aggressiveness we saw in the efforts of the governor during the first term has disappeared and I think he is just governing now according to instruction and preference of his political party. We all know that what we saw in the first four years of this government was the passion of an ideal and concerned Nigerian leader who knew that so many things were wrong with Lagos State; got the opportunity to govern and was ready to go all out to correct them or reverse the situation no matter whose ox is gored. Stubbornly and resolutely, he went into the process of reclaiming Lagos from an acute state of insanity, lawlessness, insecurity, environmental and infrastructural disorganisation and decadence and the like, all on his own as we observed at that time. So many political interests did not like it. So many enemies of the state rose against his good intentions and tried so hard to bring his government down. But today, Lagos is better for it. Even all the people that ganged up against him are now enjoying dividends of his efforts. Relatively to a considerable extent, Lagos and Lagosians are now enjoying security, sanity, prevalence of law and order, environmental organisation, cleanliness and aesthetics, infrastructural development as well as socio-economic growth and prosperity. Lagos is now peaceful and manifesting the characteristic attributes of an ideal mega city. Everybody is now enjoying Lagos and can now sleep with their two eyes closed unlike before when we keep vigil to stay secured or before we can sleep. So, many of the reclamation, reformation and transformation work Lagos needed was majorly done during his first term. And because it was new to Lagosians then, we had to jump to the streets, singing his praises and beating the drums of supports. Lagos was reclaimed for transformation then, but now, we are all getting used to good and effective leadership and governance, so there is no longer any need to be making a noise about it. Good governance in Lagos State is now what people are used to. So, we no longer need to continue to shout about it.
So, if the man is seemingly also less aggressive this second term, it might be because he had done all the major operations he needed to carry out during the first term to reclaim Lagos. Or he is governing according to how his political constituency wants it to avoid trouble this time or perhaps for other reasons I might not know because I am not in Government. But we all know now that he might have been governing the way the ’True Face of Lagos’ want, so, no fighting this time round. Or have you heard that anybody is fighting or writing petition against the governor now? Deception! Greed!! Self-centeredness!!! Materialism!!!! These are what we are celebrating in all the political parties in Nigeria.
QUESTION: You are talking as if this government has solved all the problems of Lagos…?
ANSWER: My brother. There is no government that can solve the problem of any society completely. I am not an illiterate person. So, I know what I am talking about. Governor Fashola, governing Lagos permanently cannot solve all the problems of his family let alone Lagos State. The human society is dynamic, so it is not static. New challenges, problems, evolve every day that must always need solutions. New human beings are being born every day, coming with needs. That in itself is a problem. So, there is no government in the world, who can completely solve the problems or provide the needs of his people. The needs of providing security, employment and material needs of the people completely will always be a challenge to any government anywhere in the world. So, for anybody to expect Mr. Fashola to solve all the problems of Lagos within the life of his government are sheer mental illiteracy. He can’t do it; He can only alleviate it.
QUESTION: Lagos still has problems that need the urgent attention of the government. What do you think these problems are and how should the government tackle them?
ANSWER: As I said earlier, there will always be problems in every facet of any human society. But, some problems come with peculiar nature and can always affect the way people live in a society. Lagos State as an over populated city, no doubt, will always exist with many of the problems. But it will always be the duty of an ideal government to put up a resistance, by using the instrumentality of the law to check the excesses of the perpetrators and properly regulate how people live in the society. The Lagos State government is already tackling many of the problems satisfactorily. But, the areas I will still want to experience satisfaction are in the ones being perpetrated by the okada operators. One of the major problems facing Lagos now is the frustrating and lawless activities of the okada riders. Many of them are very lawless and criminally orientated. Their believe is that they are not supposed to obey any law of the state as okada riders. They just want to ride their okada anyhow and send more people to the hospital or motuary every hour. This I feel is a big problem still confronting the state and can only be tackled through strong resolutions and measures. I will always believe that with proper transportation system put in place, Lagos and Lagosians can survive without Okada as a means of transport. After all, we were surviving before Okada came. Another problem I also still see manifesting in Lagos conspicuously is the menace of environmental pollution, which is manifesting more in the physical and noise pollution. Noise pollution is very rife in Lagos now and much of this perpetrated by worship and music record centres. It is an aberration in the Lagos of the 21st century for some people to fix speakers in the public, disturbing the peace of the people. Why must anybody force me to listen to what he only has interest to hear, especially in the public? To me, noise pollution is a crime to the survival of any ideal environment. And physical aspect of the environmental pollution is being perpetrated by those mentally infected Lagosians who litter the streets with waste and paste posters indiscriminately to desecrate our walls. I would be happy to see the government do more to stem these anti-civilisation tendencies.
Let me also add it here that the character and orientation of most Lagosians are frustrating the government. The way many Lagosians want to continue to live in Lagos is one of the main problems of the state. The mentality of many of us is that Lagos is a no man’s land and so anything goes in Lagos- up till now, so many people come into Lagos with the mind -set of coming to do anything at all cost to survive. They feel there is no law that should be obeyed in Lagos. That is why many people behave here like animals and barbarians everyday. You go out there and see the way many Lagosians behave especially to the laws of the state and public facility. People deliberately break the laws and vandalise public facilities. Tell Lagosians ‘Do not urinate here by government.’ People will go and urinate there. The first person you will see that will queue to urinate of even defecate there is a police man, followed by a magistrate, then a KAI official, a politician before other Lagosians can now begin to break that law. It is a big problem when the same people asking for an ideal society are now still the one abusing and killing that society… this is a problem! Lagos will always have more and more problems, but these, among few others, are the ones the government must continue to fight head on.
QUESTION: Mr. Salako, you sound so attracted to Governor Fashola. Why are you so fond of him and has he in any way compensated you for working so hard for the support and promotion of his government over the four years?
ANSWER: Governor Fashola is 100% my kind of a leader. And I have never pretended or being hypocritical about it. One unique characteristic attributes of the man is civility and sincerity. He is highly civilised, sincere and responsible. My strong attraction to him is in just the conviction that he has conscience and he has been governing Lagos with the best of it. All we need in this country is more Fashola and we can only but continue to celebrate more and more achievements and progressive developments in Nigeria. I am highly attracted to Governor Fashola because he is an ideal leader. He is endowed with high sense of values and responsibility- peaceful, law abiding, intelligent, hardworking, visionary and focused. He is the type of a governor Lagos State will always deserve or else Lagos can go back to that jungle and socio-economically mad and disorganised society it used to be known for. What I want to continue to celebrate in any government is what I see in that Ikeja Shopping mall; those beautifully constructed and painted state roads; those world class recreational facilities and garden parks; those modern and classical school structures and public health facilities and the like that this present government is progressively making to happen in Lagos. What I have been celebrating about Governor Fashola’s government is the fact that he has been governing Lagos state well .This man’s government realistically has reclaimed Lagos State from the state of acute insanity to a state that is now attracting the love, attraction and patronage of all and sundry within and even outside Nigeria.
QUESTION: And has the governor recognised and compensated your group in any way for all these efforts?
ANSWER: I have not done all I have done in the Fasholamania project so that Governor Fashola can call me and give me money. I just appreciate his kind of politics, leadership and governance. And I decided I was going to build a project that will be well positioned to give deserved support and encouragement to the governor. So, the idea of fasholamania was just to appreciate, support and encourage Governor Fashola to continue to do more for Lagos and not to seek his attention so that he can give us money, contract or appointment. That was never the motive of establishing Fasholamania. I see the project and its promotion as my own contribution to the growth and development that Lagos State deserves. So, the governor has neither given me or fasholamania, as a group, money to either run Fasholamania or as compensation.
QUESTION: So, the governor is not the one behind Fasholamania and he is not the one financing your activities?
ANSWER: You are correct. I am the founder and the sole financier of the project. In fact, we have not received support from any quarters so far.
QUESTION: You must have spent a fortune sustaining this project alone for over 4 years? You like to give the estimate of what it has cost you to sustain this project?
ANSWER: I have committed well over 25 million naira in over 4 years that I can provide a proof for. My time and emotional commitment are even more.
QUESTION: Now, let us talk about your new project, Change Agents of Nigeria. What is the idea about and what does Nigeria stands to benefit from the activities of this project?
QUESTION: Change Agents of Nigeria (CAN) is our new project and it has a national appeal unlike Fasholamania that seeks to support only Governor Fashola and his government. We are passionately developing and promoting CAN to start championing the call for the course of the change our nation deserves. The reality around this period is that Nigeria critically needs change and development now never than before and there should be a movement of the Nigerian people that must be positioned to incessantly call for that change. What I have observed is that various pressure groups have been making different calls and demands in Nigeria that evidently are not sinking into the consciousness of the country’s political leadership. The Federal government appears never in tune with these demands. The MASSOB in the South-Eastern part of Nigeria has been desperately asking for an Igbo nation. The Niger Delta Millitants, MEND and co. are calling for resource control and the equitable distribution of the resources of the wealth of their region. The OPC in the South West are stubbornly positioned to defend the survival of the Yoruba region and also calling for regional autonomous governments. The Boko Haram is calling for an Islamic Northern region and political domination of Nigeria. The Civil and Human Rights community in Nigeria have been frustratingly calling for the urgent conveyance of the Sovereign National Conference (SNC). Others have been calling for the practice of True Federalism as the right Federal government system for the country and many more on the demands of calls and agitations like that. But the Nigerian political leadership seems not comfortable with all these demand. We now feel we should then start asking them to change and develop the country. The feeling is, if you don’t like all the demands Nigerians are making, then develop the country! Then, change the country so that Nigerians can continue to enjoy their country! Then, change Nigeria so that Nigerians can start making ‘unrealistic’ demands and asking ‘foolish’ questions. This is the idea. Nigerians now, like never before, under a coordinated formal arrangement, an effort and strategy want to start asking for change in Nigeria. We want to start singing for change in Nigeria. We want to start drumming for change in Nigeria! And Change Agents of Nigeria will always be ready and well positioned to champion the cause of this demand of necessity. Our strategies are going to be more of persuasive and advocation rather than being revolutionary or militant. Just the way a child will continue to disturb his father every day, crying and persuading the father to buy him that toy until he buys it for him, this is exactly how we are going to be building Change Agents that will start asking the political leadership to persuasively change and develop Nigeria. We plan to paint and brand the whole of Nigeria with the necessity of this national demand. If other questions are not going down well with you, then change the country! While the like of Safe Nigeria Group can continue to agitate to safe Nigeria from collapsing, we will continue to ask the Nigerian leadership to Change Nigeria in a very intellectually engaging and persuasive manner. And we believe, with God on our side, the efforts of this project will contribute in no small measure to the building of a new, ideal and prosperous Nigeria we all deserve and will continue to want.
Our activities and messages shall conspicuously manifest on the streets of Nigeria. We are going to be seen and heard on the television, radio, billboards and social medial networks; in rallies, conferences, schools, worship centres; preaching and spreading the gospel of change in Nigeria. We are going to be asking Nigerian leaders untirelessly to change Nigeria! We are going to be asking it in their consciousness every minute to develop Nigeria! And we are not stopping until they indeed change Nigeria.
QUESTION: And how do you plan to sustaining, maintain and expand it financially. Or are you still going to be the one that will be financing it?
ANSWER: I don’t start anything I cannot maintain. My believe is that God will use my activities in the Fasholamania movement to compensate me for the ones I will do in Change Agents of Nigeria. Strategies are in place to finance and sustain this project not even by only me. A lot of well-meaning Nigerians are already identifying with the objective of this brand. Many people that have spoken with me are very much interested in helping to build the promotion and survival of CAN in and outside Nigeria because they believe it is a necessary project around this time. This is a project of necessity for all Nigerians and it is the same Nigerians that God will use to build the veracity of its existence and purpose into the heart of our leaders. It is a project that is right and ideal for Nigeria now. It is a project that the time has come and that is ideal for Nigeria around this time. The idea is timely. If calling for revolution is wrong, then let us continue to call for change in Nigeria vehemently. And that is what we have been building change agents in Nigeria to be doing.
QUESTION: Mr. Salako, what type of change is this movement going to be calling for around this time?
ANSWER: Nigeria needs the change of repositioning the country from a society riddled with bad image to the one that can start attracting the love, trust, confidence and patronage of other countries and their nationals. Nigeria needs change in every facet of Nigerian life. Almost every aspect of the Nigerian economy needs serious surgical diagnosis. So many things are wrong with us here and will need this change in all the areas where Nigeria as a country has been badly affected. For the fact that there have to be probes, counter-probes and task forces set up everywhere in almost all the sectors of the Nigerian economy, is an evidence that so many things are wrong with our nation. There is no light in Nigeria. We are going to be asking them to give Nigeria light. The right to basic amenities of life is a luxury or non-existence in Nigeria. Nigerians have been denied of the right to an ideal life. We are going to be asking them to give us life in Nigeria. Systems that work in other countries, don’t work in Nigeria. We are going to be asking them to give us systems that work for Nigeria and Nigerians. Nigerians are dying of preventable diseases, dirty water, stress and frustration in Nigeria every hour. We are going to be asking them to give us convincing reasons to continue to live in Nigeria. To all of us who have lived all our lives here, Nigeria is not doing well. Nigeria is sick! Nigeria is not working. And so we are calling for change in Nigeria. So, the type of change we want in Nigeria is the type that can always make Nigerians proud and fulfilled to be Nigerians.
QUESTION: Briefly Mr. Salako, what do you think is wrong with Nigeria?
ANSWER: The bane of our problem in Nigeria is consciousness for the acquisition of materialism so that we can be recognised and celebrated in the society. Nigeria is a society where a man is a nobody if he does not have money. What we value here in ourselves is the amount of money we can exhibit. It is the society of the- rich- enjoys- all reality. Those who have so much wealth are the real valuable human beings in Nigeria. That is why everybody is now conscious of making money at all cost so that they too can be recognised and celebrated. Who does not want to be celebrated? That is the question. Even in the family, the child that is successful is the only and best child in the family. And that is why in Nigeria today, everybody is competing and struggling to acquire wealth so that they can gain relevance, influence and power. This is an aspect of our culture of worshipping materialism and only people who come from rich homes that has put us into this unfortunate corruptive situation. Now, almost every Nigerian is very corrupt all because of running after relevance. Until we stop worshiping material acquisition, Nigeria can never solve the problem of corruption. Put a Nigerian, including a ‘pastor’, in charge of an economic system, all he would be looking for is how to exploit, explore, frustrate, and destroy that system for his own personal gains. That is why there is no sector of the Nigerian economy today where corruption is not manifesting, including worship centres. Nigerians are too self-centered, materialistic and survival conscious! Today, so many politicians are struggling to be the next Ashiwaju of Nigeria. Today, many Nigerians are defrauding the system so that they can become the next Dangote of Africa. Today, so many of us are killing the systems we are heading so that we can be recognised in our family…
Until we stop giving recognition to only those who have money in Nigeria; Until we stop celebrating only those who have mansions and latest brand of cars in Nigeria etc, we will only continue to live in frustration in a country which the second name is corruption.
Let there be light in Nigeria;the light of socially acceptable orientation and character manifestation; the light of equity and social justice; the light of social welfare benefits for all. Let there be light of peace, security, sanity, environmental and infrastructural development in Nigeria. Let there be light of respect for dignity of human life in Nigeria…Until all of these can be achieved, Nigerians can only but to continue to celebrate more and more problems and corruptive tendencies in their country.
JOURNALISTS: Thank u, Mr. salako fot this fascinating session.
MR. SALAKO: Thank you for coming to interview me.