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Friday, August 18, 2017

ADANNA


 

Rarely touch the ground,
Does not look into one's face,
Stays mute in all discourse,
Sneeks in and out,
From newspaper to her monitor,
Gently treading not to cross anyone's path.

Definitely, you yell in other fora,
Be not like silenced girl.
Told to keep her thoughts,
Accepting all said by him.
Be distinct,
Showcase your brilliance,
Keep not your knowledge,
Share with us!

Adanna Okoli & I
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Thursday, August 17, 2017

A short autobiography of the late Professor Gabriel Adebayo Omolewu


 

“I started the academic race at Baptist Day School, Okeho, Oyo, Nigeria in 1944 and had my secondary school education at Olivet Baptist High School, Oyo. I enrolled at the Meteorological Training School, Oshodi, Lagos the week following graduation at Olivet in December 1959. At the completion of the training program in 1960, I was posted to Kano Airport and later transferred to Minna. I took the Scholastic Aptitude Test in Minna and was admitted to Michigan State University and Ohio State University. I was transferred to Lagos Airport in January 1962 to assist me in my travel plans to Michigan State University. Unfortunately, my dad became seriously ill towards the middle of the year. In June 1962, Baptist Hospital, Shaki decided that there was no hope for his recovery and he was discharged and returned home to Okeho. Miraculously, he recovered and lived until he was 114 years old. Since there was nobody else to take care of the school fees of my brother and sister at Mayflower, Ikenne, and my brother, the last born, at Olivet Baptist High School, I cancelled my travel plans to USA.
When two of them completed their high school education, I was admitted to the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. During the second week of my study at the University, the Biafran crisis broke out and all faculty, staff and students who were non-Ibos were escorted out of eastern Nigeria. I married in 1972 and after having two children my wife and I applied to Wilberforce University. Since we were to travel to Wilberforce during the first week in August 1975, we applied for passports in January but we could not get the passports for six months. Early in July, I met with the Chief Passport Officer who promised to issue passports to us the same day if were willing to apply afresh. We hurriedly applied as he directed. He wanted me to wait for the new passports but he said because his messenger would take the forms to Lions Building on bike for clearance, he suggested that I should come the following morning to pick them up. When I got there the following morning, he was very happy to see me. He cheerfully opened his drawers but the passports had disappeared. He became nervous and was sweating in the air-conditioned office. He called his staff together and ordered them to find the two passports. He apologized to me for the disappointment. A few days later, the military government closed the passport office. We gave up the hope of travelling to Wilberforce.
Luckily in October 1975, the passport office was reopened and 300 passports were issued daily starting with the applications as far back as about 1948. One day, our names appeared in Sunday Times for passports to be picked up the following day. We renewed our admissions to Wilberforce University for winter trimester1976 and left Nigeria on January 2, 1976 with my wife five months pregnant.
I graduated with BS in Accounting and studied and earned at Wright State University MBA Accounting in 1980 and MS Economics in1981. I also received DBA, Management in 1986 at international Graduate School, St. Louis, and PhD Education at The University of Akron in 2000. I was waiting for my wife to defend her thesis at Wright State University when Wilberforce University wanted me to help teach the business courses of Mrs. Derisky who went with her husband to the South two weeks into the trimester. The University offered to assist in getting Green Card for me upon accepting the position. A few days later, Central State University at Wilberforce wanted my wife to teach Economics and offered also to assist in applying for a Green card for her. That was how God miraculously opened the doors for both of us in the two Universities. During the thirty two years of teaching at Wilberforce University, I had made presentations at local, state and international conferences in USA and other countries including Canada, China, France, Japan, Russia, South Africa, and United Kingdom. I received, several times, Faculty Merit Bonus Awards for excellent teaching and University Service. I was awarded NISSAN Fellowship in 1991 for excellent teaching. I was recognized in 2002 by Governor Bob Taft, the Governor of the State of Ohio, for developing and Teaching Business Ethics at Wilberforce University.”

Culled from Voice of Yoruba Newsletter, Newsletter OF Egbe Omo Yoruba of Greater Miami Valley
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Tuesday, August 15, 2017

GABRIEL ADEBAYO OMOLEWU, DBA, PHD: THE BRAVE, BLESSED AND BENEVOLENT

 
Late Professor Gabriel Adebayo Omolewu

Professor Gabriel Adebayo Omolewu, today would have been your Eightieth birthday; we would have loved to roll out the drums in Ile Aragbada, Isemi-Imoba, Okeho, Oyo State; Lagos, Nigeria where many of us his extended family reside and Xenia, Ohio, United States of America where his immediate family resides. Unfortunately, you bowed to the call of your maker on July 24th 2017 and you were interred on July 29th 2017. With all sense of appreciation to God, you lived a great life.

I am your son on many sides. I am privy to these archival information that your father, late Pa Samuel Aiyedogbon Omolewu and my paternal Grandfather, late Pa Joseph Owolabi Irantiola Ologbin were members of the same society, Egbe Agba in Araromi Baptist Church, Oke-Ogun, Okeho. Before, the eventual creation of Ife-Oluwa Baptist Church where he was a church leader. Equally, on the maternal side, you were my Grandpa’s classmate, Revd John Adegoke Okesiji, JP, at the Olivet Baptist Boys High School, Oyo, Nigeria. So, I am definitely sure that when you caught wind of my parent’s relationship, you would be extremely glad because you know the pedigree of both families. Despite the distance, you remained a father to hundreds of people till you died.

Your journey in life was not without storms and, in fact, torrential storms. You bravely conquered all the storms. Academically, I heard a story that you were a student at the University of Ife where he resumed with the 1966/67 set but by 1968 he left the university because of some challenges. However, he gallantly scaled the hurdle by completing a four-year curriculum in Wilberforce University, Ohio in two years and he graduated with a degree in Economics; he finally proved the world that any determined man has the potential to reach the peak by having two Masters’ degree and a Doctorate of Business Administration and a Doctorate of Philosophy in Education. I am sure that some people would be of the opinion that it was a mental disorder.

You were the forerunner of many young people from Okeho who desired to seek greener pastures in Lagos. With a sense of brave, you defiled this Yoruba proverb, ibiti agba ba dagba de lomo a ba by proceeding to the United States of America in 1976 with your nascent family, during your stint in Lagos, you were a Senior Tutor at Premier College. I would not forget to add that you still created the opportunity for them to join you in the United States. This is rare because many people would assume that the single opportunity that has been created is enough or the ‘golden fleece’ should be for his family alone.

You were a nationalist as far as Okeho is concerned, you were thousands of nautical miles away but close in thought and heart. Before your children became finally independent, you brought them to your country home on various occasions. They knew the community where you were born and raised, they came to their grandfather’s house, and you made them see another side of life. In order to understand that thus far they have enjoyed luxury and peradventure, they had been told that Africa is a dark continent; they would be able to correct that notion.

With a mindset of creating opportunities for others, you established Omolewu Academy in your private home in Okeho. You knew what it meant to be a seasoned Educationist and you were ready to make it affordable by subsidizing it. Also, after the death of your father Pa Samuel Aiyelogbon Omolewu on the 22nd of November 1999, you established an Educational Funds for Medical Students in Okeho, not less than 15 medical students benefited from this good gestures.

You did not stop at that level, you should have been one of the pioneers of American education in Nigeria. You wanted to use your net worth to network an international tertiary institution of repute that would have finally brought Okeho to the world after the renowned Iseyin-Okeho Rising of 1916. You bought 312 acres of land from Imoba Community with the intention to build the university but due to many reasons, you were unable to achieve this dream till you yielded to the call of the Master.

Professor Omolewu, you were a devoted Baptist all your life. From First Baptist Church, Isia, Okeho, Oyo State to Araromi Baptist Church, Oke-Ogun, Okeho to Yaba Baptist Church, Sabo, Yaba, Lagos and from First Baptist Church, Xenia, Ohio where you were a former member and Deacon to Dayton Avenue Baptist Church, Xenia, Ohio. With your ardent Christian faith you summoned the courage to live life after the demise of two sons, Daniel Omolewu in 2011 and Jacob Omolewu in 2013. These were two fatal blows that had crushed the faith of others.

You were blessed with good life no matter short it looked to us because you passed the Biblical 70 years of age. you were blessed with lofty heights in the Wilberforce University, your Alma Mata; you received many laurels such as Faculty Merit Bonus Awards for outstanding teaching and University service; you were received NISSAN fellowship for excellent teaching; you were recognized by the Governor of the State of Ohio for developing and teaching Business Ethics at Wilberforce University and you were recognized by the Wilberforce University Alumni Association for your 26 years of dedicated service to the institution. You wrote many books that will continually be relevant in the area of Business Management that would be used by many generations. You were successful on many fronts; you broke many jinx and records.

I will end this short note with my personal experience, in 2008, I made an attempt at gaining admission into different University in the United States. I was applied to the University of Wisconsin-Madison; he made the first payment of $45 but because the details of the applicant and that of the person who paid was different, the payment could not be reconciled. He made another payment. Unfortunately, the admission was denied. We kept in touch, he wished me well at all times whenever we exchanged e-mails. He told me that he was coming to Nigeria that year and during his last trip to Nigeria in 2015, we were in touch on phone. What more would I want from a father?

Professor Gabriel Adebayo Omolewu, you were the precarious angelic child who set the pace for many people with a crown that brought joy to many faces. This is the honourable exit of a global citizen from Okeho, we will definitely miss your patriotism. Your unfulfilled dream is a passionate dream to fulfil. We would ensure that your footsteps is eternal engrained in Okeho and your dream will become a reality just like that of Martin Luther Kings, Jnr.

Your son,

Olutayo IRANTIOLA
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Friday, August 11, 2017

FINICKY vs BLASÉ



Uko Aje,

You need not run away, I just asked “how do you do?” in Swahili language of Kenya. Truthfully, how do you do? I come here sparingly recently but my mind is always with you. The beauty of life is to maximize every hour that you have, as such, when there are constraints, you will know that you have put your best foot forward in the past. Today is a good day!

As I customarily do, I will start with a story. There was an old man, he was not so rich but quite comfortable. He had two cars and he was handling these cars with utmost care. In fact, he did not allow his son to drive any of his cars until he returned from the mandatory National Youth Service Corps (NYSC). After a while, he took ill and passed on. These cars were used to roughly by his nephew after his death. Let’s consider, Finicky vs Blasé.

Finicky is a state of being very detailed about how certain things are done. A finicky person is usually a person of very high standard. Such people have a mindset of how his vicinity should look like and such people usually have a very strong retentive memory remembering the nitty-gritty about a lot of things. Finicky people are disliked because they do not leave any stone untouched in their daily living. As a matter of fact, careers that deal with human lives require people to be finicky, or else, human lives will be wasted indiscriminately.

Blasé is a state of living life as it comes. The nonchalant attitude of such people typically reflects in many ways. They have a dirty environment and it makes no meaning to them. They are loved by people because they don’t give a damn about how things pan out. What they lack many times is organizational skills and this is very crucial in other areas of life.



In all, we all need to strike a balance. A finicky person is perceived as domineering many times while a blasé person leaves everything to chance. There is a cost to both types of personality, however, we really need to weigh the pros and cons of both personality. A lot of people hide under the guise that they cannot change but, interestingly, there is a school of thought that does not agree to the postulation.

If it is considered as a temperament, activate helpful temperament that has been dormant in you and you will be glad you did!

Have a nice day.

Cheers!


Olutayo
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Thursday, July 27, 2017

NAFDAC ET AL CAN HALT THE EMBARRASSMENT TO NIGERIA BY DOING THE RIGHT THING

After the country was embarrassed by the foods and drugs agencies of other countries, the National Agency for Foods and Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC) addressed the media some weeks ago that Nigerians should stop embarrassing the country while trying to export farm produce and processed food. This is rather reactive rather than proactive and this has raised a lot of questions among Nigerians.

In a place like Lagos, different radio stations grant interview to organizers of various seminars wherein they claim to teach people on how to export different food items to other countries. Does this mean that any NAFDAC officer has never heard about these programmes for once or the Public Relations unit of the agency do not monitor the media Pan-Nigeria?

I do not doubt the availability of standard and international laboratories of NAFDAC but I doubt the effectiveness of these laboratories. Even locally especially herbal drugs that has passed through this said laboratories cannot be totally sacrosanct. Also, there are a lot of bottled water that have been certified by the organization and it is not fit for human consumption.

In my search for information about how farm produce are certified before bring exported, I found out that there is no standard way of testing. The requirements of the products differ and the specifications of each country differ. I would like to know if NAFDAC has a catalogue of the specification of all the destinations where these products are exported to across the world.

Equally, the NAFDAC approval that is granted to edibles, like Knorr, a food seasoning and products of the Nigerian Bottling Company is not accepted overseas. As such, the international accreditation done locally does not guarantee the external certification by other agencies. People would not take the claims of NAFDAC seriously because of these experiences.

How free is any transaction with a government official in Nigeria? This is a very cogent question that needs to be answered by those working in Government ministries and agencies. The Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) reiterates that driving license is N6,500 but I am yet to see people who did it at that rate. The cheapest I have heard from people is N15,000 without receipt. The culture of kickback, kick-forward and kick-in-between while trying to get the produce certified in the civil service way would either kill the entrepreneur or make him loss business.

Before the era of the late Professor Dora Akunyili, NAFDAC was a toothless bull dog in Nigeria. During the days of the Midas’ touch of Professor Akunyili; those who manufactured drugs sat up and Nigeria was better for it. NAFDAC was everywhere from the dailies to the electronic media. They were either confiscating, destroying or sensitizing Nigerians about a particular product that should not be consumed. We have returned to the dark days when Nigerians were guinea pigs used to test fake and unhealthy products.

The Ministry of Agriculture cannot also be exempted from all the issues. Many farm settlements have died either a natural or artificial death because the extension workers are not supportive enough; many improved seedlings have been ceded to the family of the extension workers. In fact, the fertilizer that was shown to be purchased by the state government on television have been given to their associates who have the wherewithal to manage their farms.

Also, there is no education about the use of pesticides. Farmers do not know how to apply pesticides; farmers intuitively apply these chemicals. As such, by the time the crops are harvested, they are unfit for human consumption and exportation.

There are professionals in the area of Agricultural Engineering. These are the corps of people that should help with advanced farm tools and implements that would change the crude ways of preserving farm produces and other commodities that need be exported. If truly, the process used in producing dried fish and meat is not healthy then the onus lies on them to manufacture equipment that will help us to be healthy as Nigerians. Moreover, these are even ways of improving on our traditional ways of life.

The Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC) needs to double up in her efforts to ensure that Nigerian remains a country that can export farm produce and other processed foods to other countries. The agency can help in working closely with other multi-lateral institutions to developing homegrown solutions before making it available for export.

The Nigerian project is in progress and there is a lot of synergy that is needed across agencies, ministries and the private sector. We need to develop a structure wherein all loopholes are blocked. There should be laboratories at all the Ministries that has to deal with human lives. Either in Nigeria or other countries, human lives is the fulcrum of development. We cannot continue to trivialize good health for profiteering sake. We all need to work together to make our country great while we are not limited in the volume of export to other nations of the world.

Olutayo IRANTIOLA


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