THE QUESTION OF FELA DUROTOYE

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He has a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science and Economics with a Master’s Degree in Business Administration. He started work at Phillips Consulting in 1998 and soon became the head of the Customer Service Group. While at Phillips Consulting, he designed several customer service training programmes.

He set up VIP Consulting, helping companies do a culture transformation.

Now, he has/had several outfits that he manages/managed;

Visible Impact is a social enterprise set up to tackle social and environmental challenges and limitations with the aim of building desirable societies.

Project RAISE (Revive Academic Excellence in Schools and Educational Institutions) is a platform that hopes to make Nigeria the world’s centre of academic excellence by 2025.

Gemstone Nation Builders Foundation seeks to inspire, empower, motivate and raise leaders of excellence at every level of the society who will be committed to the process building of Nigeria into world’s most desirable nation to live in by 2025.

Speaker’s Corner is a platform established to empower and mentor upcoming speakers to realise their dreams of becoming the world’s most sought after speakers who will influence their nation positively.

The Future Leader Program is a mentoring platform with the aim of connecting aspiring young people to someone already doing great in their field of interest.

True Nigerian Project is aimed at infusing our nation with specific patriotic values.

The successful Mushin Takeover of 2009 which was said to be the largest non-governmental urban renewal project in Nigeria’s history.

In addition, he is nicknamed, “Mr Nigeria” because of his love for Nigeria.

This is the man who my Nigerian youths are calling “just a motivational speaker,” “has no political experience,” “no one knows him” and ridiculous of all, they say he should go and start from the bottom.

Funny people who don’t read or do research.

When I read some of the things that learned youths write, I feel like weeping because we should know better really.

So I decided to address – in my own little way – the issues that people whine about.

He is just a motivational speaker and so does not have anything to offer. I have no more words for people who say this than please read more or at least, research a little. It is a popular saying that Nigerians are lazy readers but surely, it is not so bad that we can’t be concerned when it concerns our country.

FD is NOT just a motivational speaker. He is so much more. I have tried to lead with some of the things he has done, but the internet is your friend; read.

About him not having anything to offer, I am not God really, so I can’t tell you otherwise. But wise people make decisions on precedents. I mean you went for this present one without much precedents, surely, you can go back to look at FD’s precedents before making such a fallacious blanket statement.

It all boils down to taking your time to read.

All these motivational speakers don’t win elections. Yeah, true. So was it a “taboo” for a Black man to become the President of the United States but guess what? There was a change in status quo.

I mean come on, who would have a thought a Trump will win the presidency in the US. When the race started, I sincerely just considered him comic relief. But he shocked us all and went on to win.

Status quo can change. Revolutions happen. The French Revolution of 1789, which abolished the French monarchy and established a republic was triggered by increase in the price of bread … yeah, you read right … bread. Of course, there were other remote issues like a terrible economic depression but that was the event of the increase in the price of bread – which was like a staple food of the French – was the last straw.

So change is not impossible except of course, we are comfortable in this cycle of incompetence.

Whoever gave us this silly idea that is not written on any stone that things must always continue to go the way they used to in the past?

Motivational speakers might not win elections in the past but nothing is stopping them now, especially not when y’all keep putting the same clueless people there.

He does not have experience. I mean, I am not the only one that thinks this is just wrong, right?

He does not need to have been a local government chairman before he can be said to have experience in leadership. The supposed experienced people in government have after all not been able to provide us with leadership. All these years, we have only had rulers and not leaders and these are the people with “experience.” I wonder what kind of experience that is, that only provides us with rulers. The supposed experience has not helped them in any way.

Surely, FD does not need that kind of experience. He is a man who successfully led different projects over the years and dedicates his life to build up other leaders. Do you know how many organisations consult with him based on leadership alone? No, you don’t, because you don’t bother to find out. You just prefer to come on social media and speculate.

If not, you won’t be whining about him not starting from councillorship.

People don’t know him, only the elites do. Really though, how is this your business? Why don’t you do your part and let him worry about the people not knowing him?

You think someone like him has reached this height and does not have a plan on how to reach Iya Basira in Bodija Market?

Let’s even assume he doesn’t. Do we know the power of social media at all? Do we know how influencing we are and can be?

I had the opportunity to sit with Kelechi Amadi Obi when we invited him for a programme when I was in Unilag and he was talking to us about the power of social media. He said a lot on how we can use it to drive change and change our narrative as a nation but we are more interested in using it for trivial matters.

He really gave me food for thought then. I mean a kidnapped child was returned home because of social media hashtag.

Imagine what we can do to determine who rules us through a hashtag. Do we understand how when we start talking about something here, somehow it gets to our parents and our mother can somehow have a discussion with Iya Basira in Bodija market while haggling the price of dry fish and influence her decision as well?

No, we don’t. We rather leave our future and that of our children to the hands of “they” as though “they” will hand over the government to us without a fight. We don’t want to even try to change anything.

Market women don’t know FD, so I’m not voting for him even though I believe in his vision.

Read that about three times, so it can sink in how ridiculous you sound.

Don’t get me wrong. I am not asking you to vote for FD. We are running a democratic government and the beauty of it is in opposition.

Humans are prone to be complacent without challenges and that’s one of the things that affected Buhari with his supporters making everybody who criticised him a hater or wailer – as they like to say.

Of course, he got comfortable. I would too when I know I have a large group of sycophants who will applaud everything I do.

So no, I am not asking you to vote for him. I am asking you not to be deterred if you believe in his vision.

Don’t write him off over inane matters that don’t hold water. All the points above make no sense if you believe in his mandate.

I personally believe in him and I strongly believe even if he doesn’t win, he would succeed in creating a shift in the political narrative … and even that is something. Things have been going on for too long in the hands of “they.” It is time to shake “they.”

It is all about taking and giving a chance. I mean, if we can give old, decrepit men a chance, then we can give one to Fela Durotoye.

 

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