ADENRELE Lekan-Salami is the last born of late Chief Lekan Salami, a prominent philanthropist and Asiwaju of Ibadan land, in this interview with Mega Icon Magazine, he disclosed his aspiration and ambition to become the Olubadan of Ibadan land and other sundry issues.
As a farmer, and an international business man, Aderenle has contributed constructively, effectively and positively to the society. Excerpts:
Can you briefly introduce yourself?
My name is Adenrele Lekan Salami. I am the last born of Chief Lekan Salami from Oyo State.
People are aware that a stadium was named after him, but what do you think they should know about your father?
The beauty of it is that I was just three months when my dad died. So, I never really met him as a father, but the legacy he left behind, helping people, helping the poor, the young, the old, sending people to school has left much more than meeting him as a father. What I can say is that he was a philanthropist, he loved sports, he did so many things that when I steps into places and people ask me are you the son of Lekan Salami?
I will say yes! They will tell me that Lekan Salami can never gives birth to a son that is as young as this and I would be like well, I was just three months.
Growing up and knowing the kind of figure your father was, how do you feel?
I feels motivated. He motivates me to do a lot of things. I think I want to leave much more legacies than where he stopped. I want to carry on. People always tell me that I looks like him. But, I want to do much more than he has done.
You are a farmer and an international business man, how has it been?
Its been tough. The terrain where we work is difficult and I do a lot of things, but with God, everything has been possible. I have gone far out of the country, I have seen how business is done. The terrain is difficult but what keeps us going is God.
I have met a lot of people while doing business. Once you can push on, you will definitely get it right.
Some people are trying to lure you into politics. How true is this?
I would say I am not interested in politics. People that know me knows what I am interested in. People call me Asiwaju Olubadan and that was the last title that was conferred on my father before he died. And I think I want to go a step further by becoming the Olubadan of Ibadan land one day.
Kings that have been becoming these days are very young and I feel if I get it at a very young age I will be able to move Ibadan to where is going to be.
A lot of people have asked me about politics because of the NGO and foundation I am running. but basically, I believe we need to push the Lekan Salami name more in Ibadan.
The NGO is just doing what my father left, helping people and really, my major aim is to become the Olubadan of Ibadan land if God’s willing.
Tell us more about your NGO and how have you been funding it?
I get a lot of monies from friends. I have been having funds from my friends, family and I am doing this because I know what it means. People looked at me that I am a son of a big man, but I never knew what it means to be son of a big man because I didn’t grow up with silver spoon.
I grow up looking for people to send me to school. I wasn’t sent to school by my father’s money. I know what it means to have receive favour. I said something on my wedding day that I didn’t miss my father, but I have a father that could do much more that he could do and that’s my brother, Tokunbo Salami.
He did so much for me, making sure that I went to school and that is the greatest gift anybody can give. So on that note, I am also willing to send people to school and doing that you have done a lot for them, from there they can get where they can work. A product of the education I had and not son of a big man.
How have you been using that education to help your community, especially Ibadan?
We are doing a lot of project in Ibadan now. We have gone to different schools around Ibadan giving them note books, school bags, paying people’s school fees.
I went to a school around Adeoyo and I was surprised that most of the students don’t have writing materials, it could be as not having a notebook, even the biro to work . A lot of schools we go there and do feeding, give them food. You know in the North where I am based, you have to use food to lure people to school. Anything that will make people go back to school. Our major aim is feeding, education and youth empowerment because we believe that if someone is not hungry, he can live for the next day, and if you go to school you can make a future for yourself.
You said earlier that you are aspiring to be Olubadan of Ibadan land, any plan to transform Ibadan?
I have made contacts both far and wide and I belief if I becomes Olubadan, I will use these contacts, we can transform Ibadan. I always tell people there is nothing that cannot be done. What does Lagos have? They have the port and in Ibadan we have land, agriculture is the best thing in Nigeria today and if we are not fully involved, we might miss it.
Our youth go about begging for money when they can actually make that money working for something. So, its been use of lack of opportunity and will power for our people to project them into the business. My major focus will actually be on youth empowerment. You have less problem with having thieves all around the country.
Your view about Oyo state government’s decision to review Olubadan chieftaincy arrangement?
Its a welcome development. It is something I have been praying for and I can say may be it is prayer well answered. I think we need to review the status.
I know its very traditional and I might not been too much on the tradition but I can say Ooni of IFE today, his father is still alive while he is still the king. Yes, we need the father figure, the elderly to be behind us, but we need more vibrant Youths to hold key positions, so its a welcome development by the government.
‘In today’s Christianity, we are religious, not spiritual’
Prophet Olumayowa Ayobami Gbadero is the visionary of the Sanctuary of God for Salvation and Fruitfulness Ministries. In this interview with OLAIDE SOKOYA, he speaks on passion for the liberation of the country and his vision for Christianity in the country.
What is your take on the many challenges facing the country?
Going by the many challenges in the country and concurrent calamities in the society, no one can claim he or she is satisfied. I think the main issue is the problem of leadership; our leadership system is bad. Many that are in the leadership position of the country don’t have the mind of God. They are not doing things as if they will give account to God. They would say different things when they were aspiring for positions and act differently when they are in power and this has caused a serious problem, especially for the younger generation.
What can the church do to make things right in the country?
Recently, I was on my social media handle to charge all church leaders to act like the bold prophets in the Bible, prophets including Nathan and Joshua, among others, who didn’t talk to individuals excepts the government and leaders. So, I am also using this medium to once again call on all ministers of God to say the heart of God to our leaders and everyone holding sensitive positions in the country. It is important clerics speak the truth and stay by it irrespective of what it may cost. What the sage, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, did and stood for in his days is still a reference point today. This is our main responsibility and God will be delighted and have mercy on the nation if truth is yielded to.
With your experience in the vineyard, how would you assess Christianity in the country?
In today’s Christianity, we are religious and not spiritual. There is a difference between spirituality and religiosity. Many people now pretend to be genuine Christians so as to appear so to others and even their pastors. They go to church and do all sorts in the church premises as camouflage, but deep down, they know they are not for Christ. They only go to church as a cover up. Some now even pray without any purpose because they see people pray and prayer is not just said by what you feel. When you are spiritual, the Holy Spirit will give you a hint on how to make prayers that would be answered.
Why did you choose to be a pastor?
I didn’t pick this as a profession, God called me and the call has been on before my birth. My late grandfather was a man of God. He was the first seer of the Cherubim and Seraphim Church, Murtala, Ilorin, Kwara State. I learnt that my grandfather prophesied that one of his grandchildren would take after him. The same revelation came forth to my parent when I was born. I grew up loving to be in the house of God and I joined virtually all the societies in our church. Then I did not know I was going to be called. It was after my graduation at The Polytechnic Ibadan where I studied Public Administration that God told me I had left what I was supposed to do. Many men of God I came across, including Prophet Timothy Obadare, confirmed and urged me to heed the call. I eventually heeded the call and the experience has been awesome.
The country will clock 59 in a few days.What message do you have for Nigerians?
It is only about giving a message of hope to Nigerians I have taken up the responsibility to intercede for the country and citizens. The programme, which has become an annual event tagged: “Bethel Encounter 2019,” has a lot to do with our Independence Day. This is where we seek the face of God on behalf of the country. God told me that I should do exactly what Jacob did that changed his name to Israel on Nigeria’s Independence Day. I am confident Nigeria and the citizens will have a new experience as a result of this year’s programme, which will hold on September 30 to the dawn of October 1. Nigeria is in the hands of both leaders and citizens, so, we cannot afford to fold our arms without making efforts to liberate the nation.
Uses WhatsApp the most, has eight hours of sleep… here’s how Barkindo spends his time off
Mohammed Barkindo, secretary-general of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), says WhatsApp is the most used mobile application on his phone.
In an interview with Bloomberg’s Francine Lacqua, Barkindo also said he is an evening person.
Here’s how OPEC’s secretary-general who recently began his second term in office spends time away from the work.
How many hours of sleep do you get a night?
Normally between seven and eight.
What time do you set your alarm to wake up?
For 6 a.m. to pray al-Fajr.
Are you a morning or evening person?
Do you have an essential morning ritual?
My prayers. And a glass of water.
What’s your typical workout?
It is more a mental workout for me.
What’s your favourite sport or sports team?
Football. The Nigerian national football team, the Super Eagles.
Which app is in heavy rotation on your phone?
What’s your go-to lunch spot?
Le Couscous in Vienna.
Who is your favourite author?
I have always loved reading Shakespeare. And the great poet and scholar Rumi.
What’s your favourite place to go on vacation?
It has to be returning to my home city of Yola. It’s where I can see family, relax, recharge, and reconnect with my roots.
What living or historical person do you truly admire?
Dr Rilwanu Lukman, the former OPEC secretary-general. The most decent person I have ever met.
If you had to take a year off, what would you do?
I think I would go back to university. To research and write.
What is your biggest fear?
The breakdown of international institutions and the global order.
If you were 20, what business would you get into?
It would be the oil and gas sector, with a focus on technologies that can help reduce emissions.
Do you ever expect to retire?
Yes, but to return to academia.
SGB Rejuvenates Education In Oyo State, Says Bamgbose
Reverend Muyiwa Bamgbose, an educationist, and the Proprietor, Education Advancement Centre (EAC), Ibadan was a member of Education Committee set up by Oyo state government under the leadership of former Governor Abiola Ajimobi.
In this interview, he told the story of the School Governing Board (SGB) , how it was birthed and successes recorded
As an Educationist and one time member of Education Reform Committee set up by Oyo State Government, how will you tell the story of School Governing Board (SGB)?
The story of Oyo State School Governing Board is the story of the birthing of a renaissance! It is a story of turning disadvantage to advantage through resourcefulness. Where there is is a will, there is always a way!
I had the privilege of serving on the committee that birthed the concept and can talk about the feeling of fulfilment that comes with achieving purpose. Everywhere I have had the opportunity of interacting with representatives of the SGB, the feedback has been exciting.
Before the advent of the SGB, the public education system was plagued with decay and lopsided distribution of resources die to the fact there was ‘no ownership’ of the provided resources. We went round this state and saw unbelievable deplorable situations. What was more pathetic was the attitude of the people and students themselves. Everyone looked up to government for provision, direction and implementation while government looked up to the federal government.
The fact of the situation is that the resources abounded among the people , to help secure the future of their community , alma mater or institution, but there was no sense of belonging. Business mist not continue as usual if we are to avert a looming disaster worse than the failures in WAEC.
What makes the School Governing Board system unique in Oyo state?
While the School Based Management System is not new, the Oyo State SGB is a variant with a significant difference with the adoption of a subtle but powerful innovation that recognised the role of core- stakeholders. It sounded alien to the known schemes , and I can say there were fears and mistrust about the intentions. Some notable groups fought against it but thank God at the end, everyone saw reason and embraced ‘true change’.
In the short period of operation, we thank God for notable testimonies of development. I want to say without any doubt in my heart that what we see is just a tip of the ice-berg. The success of the SGB is much more than these facilities, and resources. It is the impact it will have on our future, collectively.
The positive competitive spirit among the SGBs will lead to greater manifestation of the wealth of this state and even this region.
In a simple word, what is your advise to your constituency on the new face of education in Oyo state?
Like Malcolm X said, “Education is our passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to the people who prepare for it today”.
The best is yet to come.
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