The Review of the Book, titled: The Privatization of National Peace; A Personal Discuss of Nigeria’s Cataclysm And Decay, written by Abiodun Okunola, As Reviewed by Ayotunde Okunowo, Today Fri. 19th August 2011, at the Audio-Visual Auditorium, OOUTH, Shagamu, Ogun State, by 11:00am.
Book title; The Privatization of National Peace; A Personal Discuss of Nigeria’s Cataclysm And
Author; Abiodun Okunola.
No of Pages; 124
Publishers; Denedec Nig Enterprises
Place of Printing; Lagos, Nigeria.
Foreword by: Senator (Dr) Femi Okunronmu.
Almighty God; The Most Merciful and Benevolent,
The Father of The Day,
The Special Guest of Honour,
The Distinguished Guest of Honour,
Our Guest Lecturer,
All Notable Invitees
Charming Princes & Beautiful Princess.
1 If Abiodun Okunola were to be born many years before Christ; he would probably have been the biblical Jeremiah, that could have written the Book of Lamentation, for the review we are about to undertake is a faculty sharpener to the numerous anomalies of this nation; Nigeria. For those who are quite familiar with my tread of discussion, the least dialogue you can find on my lips, is about the state of the Nigerian nation, for it is often such an endless debate and we may find ourselves in opinion battle, from when the cricket’s cry to when the cockerel shall crow. I would not then, by my habit and custom, spend too much time redressing the known, as if they were unknown. This book simply says it all! Just this Sunday, I was opportuned to be in a conversation with a former Head of State; Gen Yakubu Gowon (Rtd), and I could sense without medical aids and auxiliaries, that a deep intonation of profound sorrow, on the sorry state of our dear nation, is evident on the rich and poor alike.
2 This book we are about to review, has come out very timely, an era when the Boko Haram Sect is threatening in the north and the militant boys in the south. It is an accurate, precise, exact and truthful masterpiece. It provides the answers to numerous questions our general logic could not demystify. If you want to know why the taps are dry, why electricity is epileptic, why the cats do not mew like one and why the birds do not cry as supposed- a book like this is the outright testament! The peace of the nation Nigeria has been so tattered and abashed that, children no longer trust their parents, wives divorce their husbands unreasonably for material gains, the police who are supposed to be the chief custodian of security are themselves the very thief, the doctors have deserted the hospitals for lack of viable auspices. The teachers are only happy to teach the students who are sad to learn. Caution has been thrown to the winds and aspersions to the dogs. Our fathers are robbers, our mothers-prostitute; our wives are easily led away, at the smell of money, just as birds are taken captive with painted grapes. Schools are mere walls, and our teachers do not know a thing, but out of all these political shambles, Okunola Abiodun, has successful made a useful use of his life.
3 There are four basic essence of life; to live to love, to learn and to leave a legacy; the author this day, has completed his own cyclic assignment in his enchanting days of youth; for a century or so from now, the author may no longer be, but his book is sure to live after him. I congratulate you once more on this landmark achievement. You are a man of an admirable personality, highly versatile in thought, skilled in observation, noble in character, vast in knowledge, unprecedented in kind and with an imposing personage. There are two advices I always give people in life, one should write a book worth reading, or should live a life worth writing about.
4 Without being too curious of purpose than to forget ceremonies, what qualifies me as the reviewer for today is largely unknown to me but it’s best known to the author, maybe because I have been reviewing books more often lately, or because, I’m a voracious reader and philosophical thinker, who reads more books than he eats, or maybe because I was favored by fortune to have been appointed, by the African Refugee Foundation, as the Honorary Consultant On Peace Education. But whatsoever it may be, I would not demerit the confidence reposed in me.
5 Distinguished audience, the work of a reviewer is always a very hard job, for often times, authors expect you to ring pleasing pleasures into their hearings without pointing out one or two loopholes, in the writing. For those who have been to the Court of Justice before, a stature that readily greets you is that of a woman, known as Justitia, also called Themesis; The Roman Goddess of Justice. She has her eyes blindfolded by a scale and a sword in hand. The significance of this my passionate listeners and author, is that law does not see. I’m therefore constrained to exercise my sober reflection of judgment. I therefore solicit that my frankness be pardoned, for the few minutes allotted to me. No matter the nearness in blood, justice must not be pervaded, for he that comes to equity, must come with clean hands.
6 This book, which is a maximum of attainable and communicable truth, is written under the span of seven hours, or so the writer makes us to believe. Each and every chapter, seven in all, was written under an hour each. A catastrophic event of a single day, as pointed out in the author’s preface, catapulted him from a mere writer into an author. Judging the end from the beginning, one may be tempted from the front cover design. The overall presentation of the book is hypnotic in fascination.
7 By habit, custom, method and fashion, I’m in the first chapter of the book which chronologically was written by 1am in the midnight. It simply carries the title; Freedom, Freedom, freedom, in the pattern of the bell of the man who sells bend-down-select in Oshodi market. In here, the author is quick to relate histories to the present. He also made references to the words of various erudite scholars, who have at one time or the other, made prognosis about the Nigerian Nation. He mourns the Nigerian leaders for the lack of foresight as well as their absenteeism in leadership skills. This chapter, although, the longest in the book, is written, in such a literary candour, that one may not pray it ends soon. The author goes on to say that “Nigeria’s decline is inevitable, if electoral responsibility is enshrined in the hands of umpires, who call a ball that went over the bar-a goal”
8 The second chapter which was written at 2am, carries the title; The Dance of Poverty In A Wealthy Economy. The writer opines on how poverty has eaten deep into our consciousness, that we consider comfort and luxury as aliens. He lamented on how many Nigerian families goes to bed empty every night, and even quoted a world statistics, that roughly 1.02billion people go to bed hungry every night. From my personal experience, an average Nigerian does not eat good foods, wears good cloth, nor use good things. Our sense of financial freedom has been so narrowed by custom and influenced by caution. Eat the speckled apple first is taught to be the highest wisdom, but one thing we fail to realize is that we would never catch up with the good apples, for they would have been speckled before they are reach. In my growing up years for instance, there were some sets of clothes I dare not wear, save on Christmas and New Year days. But distinguished audience, I ended up not wearing such clothes for more than once, because by the time I were to put then on again, I would have overgrown them! Talking more about poverty is an oversimplification of a known fact. The book deals with it in technical precision.
9 By 3am, which invariable stands for the third chapter, the writer succinctly put the title as:
Education- A Feast of Insolence. If I were the author for instance, this would be my longest chapter. Ladies and Gentlemen, I’m particularly happy, that the author and I are of the Olabisi Onabanjo University extraction, for if not for the incessant strike actions and desecrated ideals, that characterized the institution, the writer and I may not have found ourselves. Listen to the words of the writer, “In our university today, a student is only sure of his year of admission and cannot predict his year of graduation. Six to seven years (If not ten years as we have in OOU), are being spent studying a four year course” (Emphasis mine). He goes on to say, “The important role that research plays in social development should be acknowledged. The point of departure is that both the researcher and the researched should be transformed and the researcher should completely identify so as to make them more independent in order to contribute to social reformation” The question however is that, how many Nigerian universities are worthy of the above? My holistic view about today’s education is similar to that of Sir Ralph Waldo Emerson, when he said “We are shut up in schools and college recitation rooms, for ten to fifteen years, and come out with a bellyful of words, and we do not know a thing”.
10 The time now is 4am, and the golden phrase is: The Nigerian Economy- Hunger in the Midst of Plenty. In here, the writer starts his lamentation my diagnosing, the decay which has eaten deep into Nigerian Parastatals, particularly on the selection of Ministers, Commissioners, and Head of Industries. He stresses the need that appointments must not be compensatory but rather by competence. He exemplifies that the government’s predilection and predisposition by importing even the smallest household commodities, are the inconceivable absurdities, that further weakens the Nigerianeconomy. The book stresses the fact that if wealth were to be created by physical struggle and exertions, Nigerian workers would be the wealthiest of all nations. Conclusively, he advocates that a special ministry of industry be created, which shall concentrate on a few key sectors in order to achieve the greatest short term impact (sic).
11 The 5th chapter is simply termed: Corruption and the Corruptionist, this chapter is so sweet, deep and subtle, that if for any reason one may not buy the book, but should buy it because of this. Corruption, I need not elaborate, is the chief priest of this nation. The author says most of the country’s resources are being siphoned, rather than utilized. Ladies sleep with lecturers for marks, while the males pay their way through. Our police are only good in arresting twenty naira notes. It is in this Nigeria, once upon a time in the festive period, that I have seen police officers arresting goats without arresting the owner! If anybody is under this edifice today, who has at one time or the other mismanaged public funds, I advise you as in the words of Shakespeare, to confess thyself to high heavens, repent what is past, and avoid what is to come. Corruption does not worth a thing. It is better to settle for bone in peace, than to fight over an elephant roasted whole. Two things are constant in life, you will never get all that you want, nor want all that you get. If you want to know the way out of corruption, the book has it concentrated and intensified!
12 If only our leaders are delighted in learning and practical in application, the 6th chapter under the headings: A call for National Redirection, is enough a masterpiece to set Nigeria free from its internal dissensions. I would personally withdraw further comments on this chapter, on economic considerations, and so as not to be too nice to a fault.
13 The last but not the least, so we always have it said, but the last chapter of this book, however happens to be the least. It has the name: Some Who Gave Everything for the Dawn of Democracy in Nigeria. Here, the writer, with relevant quotations, lists the names of those who deserted their peace and family for the glory of this nation-Nigeria. I bet you all, no patriotic Nigerian would run through the list that would not have the secret desires of his name being there one day.
14 Ladies and Gentlemen, as I said in a previous book review, no book is too precise as not to see what to add. And also that no book is too perfect that you wouldn’t see what to wipe out. Even a verse in the holy bible-the most perfect book (Isaiah 59:19), was erroneously translated from the original Hebrew text to English lexicology. A misplacement of comma, gave the verse two dissimilar interpretations:
When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the spirit of Lord shall lift up a standard against him
When the enemy shall come in, like a flood, the spirit of Lord shall lift up a standard against him
As good as the book is, there are some works done against friction. For instance, the author
while talking about loans, erroneously wrote the word Sorties for Sureties, thereby committing
an error of malapropism in English expression. In a similar vein, the author while acknowledging Senator (Dr) Femi Okunronmu, lost control of his nominal verb agreement.
15 So far so good, so good so memorable, I congratulate the author on this landmark achievement. I say without fear of contradiction that this book is a mantle of content which wraps us in a pervasive silence. It literary satisfies the hungry curiosity of the mind. It combines the power of intellectual metamorphosis with subtle indications of great mental agitation and persuasive oratory candour.
16 Distinguished audience, my humble task is done and my eyes are towards home. The way to lasting peace is that one should live without pretending, love without depending, listen without defending, and speak without offending. There are many things worth waiting for, there are few things worth dying for, but there is nothing worth killing for. A book like this is meant for the world, to be read by millions, believed by the humble and practised by the wise.
17 Post tenebra spero lucem; after darkness, there is light!
18 Lets together be on our feet to give the author a standing ovation!
19 Many thanks, good wishes and warm regards.
20 Ayotunde O. Okunowo
Shagamu, August, 2011
+234 (0) 706-361-2736
*Author, Thirty Things You Must Do Before You Are Thirty.
*Honorary Consultant, Peace Education, African Refugees Foundation.
*Outstanding Personality In Education, Ogun State Government of Nigeria.
+234 (0) 706-361-2736
+234 (0) 805-732-0099
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