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Sound Sultan: The Poetic Ambassador on Migration UN never had

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‘Motherland’, referring to Nigeria in his song, at the time of its release, was so timely and its messages even till the present day is rich and timeless as it could be passed off as an Immigrant travel guide. The early part of the song had reminded us about how Chinedu had borrowed some money to fund his trip to Chicago. It further adds: how Nnamdi had also sold off his car to facilitate the trip of a beloved to America. In the middle of it all is also the emotionally drained lover or spouse left behind, whose wellbeing and fragile mind is left hanging in the balance, sadly in some instance, some partner never returns.
The song perhaps appears to have critically observed the obsession of many immigrants whose inordinate or misplaced quest for survival believes that immigrating to the West or other European countries is a critical means by which survival is sought, hence Sound Sultan’s ‘Motherland’ came in handy: offering some counsel, suggesting that sometimes, a sojourner may have to beat a retreat by returning to his ancestral home, Motherland, given the fact that sometimes, in a bid to survive in a foreign land, the unpredictability of such adventures may unavoidably require one to do so.
As often the case with many immigrants from Nigeria and by extension many others from African countries, who had at one time or the other undertaken such adventurous trips in search of greener pasture abroad, even the period leading to their departure also comes at a great cost and sacrifices as some families sell off assets and other prized possessions to fund such trips, unsure whether the risk would eventually pay off or not.
While the craze in search of the golden fleece rage on, some Africans in their desperation may have also thrown caution in the air, leading to situations where thousands have reportedly died in the wake of risky voyages across Mediterranean or Sahara wastelands, as hundreds have also fallen prey to wild beasts, transnational armed syndicate and human traffickers who deal in drugs and sex slaves, having promised many unsuspecting victims an elusive eldorado life, waiting for them in Europe. Many African households have believed some of these false narratives built into their psyche for many years and it has become so difficult to undo.
The Late singer was never opposed to the idea of people seeking better opportunities or greener pastures outside the country, but rather also reminds them about home and the need for them to apply cautious optimism where applicable, in their quest to traveling overseas.
Notwithstanding, the home would still be home regardless of the prevailing circumstance which may have forcibly led to one’s uneventful return.
This writer believes, Late Olarewaju Fasasi fondly called Sound Sultan, as a social crusader, an iconic singer using his musical crafts as a vehicle to remind us about the need to be introspective, also feels compelled to note that ‘Motherland,’ mirroring the life of most Immigrants and some of the challenges often associated with it, brings to the fore also a social problem and the need for concerned International Organizations like UN and its relevant agencies to do more in terms of advocacy and policies in reversing the tales of woes of many migrants.
Though UN’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development recognizes for the first time the contribution of migration to its sustainable development, thus, 11 out of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) contain targets and indicators relevant to migration or mobility for which parts of its Agenda’s core principle is to “leave no one behind,” not even migrants.
The SDGs’ central reference to migration is made in some of its major targets, which is to facilitate orderly, safe, regular and responsible migration and mobility of people, including through the implementation of planned and well-managed migration policies. Other targets directly related to migration mention trafficking, remittances, international student mobility, and more. Moreover, migration is indirectly relevant to many more cross-cutting targets.
UN, more recently, through International Organization on Migration, a leading partner on the inter-governmental organization in the field of migration works to ensure the orderly and humane management of migration, to promote international cooperation on migration issues, to assist in the search for practical solutions to migration problems and to provide humanitarian assistance to migrants in need, including refugees and internally displaced people.
In 2016, IOM entered into an agreement with the United Nations, becoming one of its specialized agencies.
However, the above plans and efforts of UN appear commendable but today’s realities in some part of Europe and other Asian countries, judging by their immigration policies at present largely remains a far cry from the much advertised SDG’s policies.
While many Africans battle so hard to grapple with harsh realities and hostilities of their host countries ranging from racism, prejudice, little or too rigid legal documentation processes for immigrants, and biting chances of economic survival, many have also become susceptible to illegal drug dealings which in most cases often result in cruel fate or even avoidable deaths.
The sad news on the passing of Sound Sultan, one of Nigeria’s notable songwriter, artist, producer, and comedian, who few days ago was reported to have lost the battle to a cancerous related aliment around the throat, brings with it feelings of pain, grief, and national loss. By national loss, Nigeria just lost a voice and a social crusader reputed for his numerous campaigns against bad governance, injustice, corruption, and bad leadership a major clog in the wheel of Nigeria’s progress. He will fondly be remembered for his many statesmanly roles towards mobilizing the citizens through his several songs on how to constructively hold them accountable to their constitutional functions.
To the memory of the Late Singer, President Muhammadu Buhari also pen a glowing tribute to him for his contribution to basketball development in Nigeria. He was even reported to have co-owned a basketball team. D’ Tigers, Nigerian Men Basketball National team would also honor the late singer by wearing T-shirts bearing the late singer’s name and image on it, for his roles in promoting the sports. Coincidentally, his death would also leave a lasting memory following D’Tiger’s phenomenal triumph over the US Men Basketball National team, a feat no African team had ever done, the same day he was said to have died.
The Motherland crooner died at age 44 in the US and his remains have since been buried in the US, same day, according to Islamic rites, leaving behind his three kids and his beloved wife.
By Segun Adesokan

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Opinion

The Yoruba Nation Global Directorate rebuttal to the Yoruba Appraisal Forum

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The Yoruba Nation Global Directorate, the Yoruba government in exile, has lambasted the group otherwise known as YAF being the Yoruba Appraisal Forum for visiting some prominent Yoruba Royal fathers to mislead them with their anti-people position in Yoruba struggle.

In a statement issued by the Directorate Director, Princess Adeola Atayero Olamijulo, YAF said like the proverbial ‘agbalagba to nsare l’orere, bi o le nkan, nkankan ni lati maa lee.’

She said Yoruba people needed to observe closely who are their sponsors?

They need to honestly tell the world who are the drummers of these Uromis dancing on Yoruba socio-political waterway?

It will be recalled that few days ago, the YAF paid some Yoruba Obas a courtesy call. The Royal fathers in their response advised against self-determination and asked the agitators to tow the path of peace with the federal government.

Prince Olamijulo said YAF, are like, the name they bear. They appeared to have appraised the Yoruba nation, it perceives as a commodity to be sold to the highest bidder.

She said: Let us examine the major points of their advocacy:

1. that the Yoruba should continue to endure the current Fulani-induced meta-crisis in Nigeria.

2. That advocacy for Yoruba self-determination may lead to war with the rest of Nigeria.

3 That the prevailing clamor for Yoruba self-determination efforts is fueled by selfish interests of some politicians.

4. That Nigeria was the architect of economic success of the South West.

5. They urge the Youths to seek the available gainful employment rather than agitate for autonomy.

6. That YAF needs to answer the question, whose actions are provocative and war laden?

7. Who is misappropriating the power entrusted to them: the government impostors implementing the Fulani national interests instead of the true Nigerian national interests?

8. Who is the aggressor who is the victim? Who is killing, maiming, raping, and scorched-earthing who?

Princess Atayero Olamijulo claimed that the Yoruba are on the receiving end of the atrocities. Yet, YAF is asking us to stay-put, till it is too late to be viable.

She positioned that normally, if faced with danger, humans have the options to fight, flee or succumb.

What is YAF asking the Yoruba nation to do?

Will the Yoruba remain and submit to Fulani supremacist control? or will they take flight and disperse to the sea or the desert, Or turn global waka-abouts and live in virtual nation state, located only in their collective epic memory; while the Fulani occupy and enjoy the land and the valuables therein that Yoruba and their ancestors built up for ages?

Is YAF asking the Yoruba to take the submission option to appease the Fulani and become their slaves or manure to fertilize their usurped land?

YAF apparently is exhibiting the pathological state indicative of the protracted abuse they suffered in Nigeria over time. They now identify with their chronic abuser, a function of Stockholm syndrome. YAF, seems apparently bribed by the preserver of the status quo, who obviously derive immense benefits from the present chaotic state in Nigeria.

Let us appeal to YAF sponsors to stay away from confusing our traditional rulers. They should desist from smearing our royal fathers with their pathological state of mindset.

We should let sanity prevail. Let us draw a lesson from history. The stalwarts in quest for Yoruba freedom should take a cue form history.

We cannot continue to appease the Fulani nationalism aimed at destroying other ‘Nigerians’. Rather, we should resist it. It will boomerang on the Yoruba Survival Thrust if we pursue an appeasement strategy.

Appeasement of the aggressor never succeeds in human history: The Chamberlain 1938 appeasement policy to Adolf Hitler, led to World War II, gory warfare.

Princess Olamijulo recalled that the Native Americans successive appeasement to the invading Europeans led to the demise of the Native American (NA) nations. NA yielded their treasured land to the European settlers, adopted their religion, spoke their language, and way of life to appease the Europeans, yet, to no avail. What did they get in return: annihilation! The Yoruba have no choice, but to fight for self-determination. Any other suggestion will doom our group survival.

We can also draw further lessons from recent history of the other struggles for self-determination in Zimbabwe and South Africa. In Rhodesia, Iain Smith, illegally enacted white minority regime via the ill-fated Unilateral Declaration of Independence- UDI, from Britain, 1965.

The Africans opposed and a series of negotiations with the intransigent racist regime failed.

The Africans, led by Joshua Nkomo and Robert Mugabe, opposed Smith regime via the Patriotic Front insurgency.

When the opposition were gaining diplomatic and military success, to buy time, the illegal regime sought alliance with the traditional ruler, Chief Sikireta Chirau, the cleric pacifist, Bishop Abel Muzorewa and politician, Ndabaningi Sitole Smith renamed the country Zimbabwe Rhodesia, to reflect the alliance. The PF team were smart to refuse and the rest is history. The independent nation of Zimbabwe was born.
Identical situation happened in South Africa.

When the efforts of the African Congress alliance were about to yield fruitful result, the apartheid regime forged unholy alliance with the Zulu and other tribal chiefs, to slow down the apparent progress ANC was making diplomatically and to a lesser extent, militarily via insurgency. Chief Gatsha Buthelezi, lured by conservative Boers, introduced what he called, Ndaba initiative to dialogue between the Africans and the racist regime of South Africa. The ill-conceived ploy failed. The ANC triumphed and Apartheid disbanded.

Princess Olamijulo advised that the Yoruba freedom fighters should not relent their efforts. Victory is near and certain, because, Otito nii leke iro, Truth shall prevail. Lori otito la gbe ijangbara Yoruba le. Awa laa l eke, bi ojuoro ṣe n leke omi. Ase o

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Tech

Redefining Education in The Developing World by Nelson Tosin Ajulo PhD

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Education has been identified as the ultimate route to escape poverty. It is widely held that if you attend school, graduate, and get a lucrative job, your economic status will automatically be boosted or improved. This is still the case in today’s competitive world. However, it is hugely dependent on the nature or type of education you are receiving.

Sadly, the type of education delivered to African students and many other developing nations can not get them out of poverty. This is why we have millions of young graduates out there that are not employable.

The World Bank reports that youths account for more than 60% of all of Africa’s jobless population, and a large chunk of them are taking to crime, internet fraud and other anti-social activities to make ends meet.

According to the Accra-based African Center for Economic Transformation, a policy think tank, almost 50% of current university graduates in Africa do not get jobs.

For the African Development Bank (AfDB), it reports that of Africa’s nearly 420 million youth aged 15-35, one-third are unemployed and discouraged, another third are vulnerably employed, and only one in six is in wage employment.

The crucial challenge here is a disconnection between the education these graduates are getting and what the labour market needs. So what they need to get them out of extreme poverty and get them the much-needed job is quality education.

What is quality education? Quality education is the education you receive that would enable you to compete in the global marketplace. Any education outside of this is irrelevant.

Quality education is not necessarily about attending university for four years and afterward graduating. Even if you leave with a distinction, and your skills are not in demand, you will find it very difficult to get a job.

No apologies. Countless people are used to this type of education that is primarily theoretical. Unfortunately, governments and educational institutions across these developing countries are yet to understand or realise it. They keep pumping funds into this weak education system and expecting a different outcome. This is impossible. As long as there is a mismatch between the education received by students and what is in demand in the global marketplace, this problem will continue to linger. And if not addressed, youth crimes would persist in the fragile society.

Hence, governments and educational institutions must understand this and give youths quality education. Education that would empower them with skills that would get them well-paying jobs. These are digital skills, and they are currently in high demand. Skills like software development, cybersecurity, product design/development and UXUI designer, among others. Today, you do not need to attend a university where you would spend four years plus intermittent industrial actions to become a junior software engineer and earn money.

A platform like Zwart Academy, the edtech arm of the Zwart Talent Foundation, offers quality education to young people between the ages of 15 and 22 by equipping them with IT skills that will quickly get them out of poverty earn them their desired lifestyle.

Zwarttalent does this by training young people within the earlier age bracket in digital skills for six months. Upon completing the intensive and efficient training, they join Zwarttech for a one-year internship to work on projects and gather practical experience. After completion of the internship, they are connected with international IT jobs and start earning. The training comes at no cost. The students only need to commit their time and energy throughout the training and internship.

Importantly, you must have observed that the Zwarttalent approach is quicker, faster and well-planned. For example, it takes less than two years to become a software engineer, and there is no cost implication until the engineer starts working. This means that they can quickly get out of poverty, and the crime rate would significantly and drastically decline.

The developing world is faced with such myriads of challenges. It is also critical that sustainable solutions are deployed to tackle them. Therefore, it is only reasonable to learn the right kind of education to allow young people into poverty. With this, we can create a just, equitable and fair world. The governments and educational institutions must adjust to these realities and support or partner with an edtech like Zwart Academy to offer safety nets for young people.

Ajulo is the Chairman of the Zwart Talent Foundation

 

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Opinion

FIRSTBANK’S SPONSORED INITIATIVE ‘’FIRST CLASS MATERIAL’’ CONTINUES TO EMPOWER AND CELEBRATE NIGERIAN YOUTH

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First Bank of Nigeria Limited, Nigeria’s premier and leading financial services provider has again reinforced its commitment to Youth Empowerment and Entrepreneurship through its sponsorship of the docuseries ‘’First-Class Material’’ from the stables of Linda Ikeji TV 

 

Arguably Nigeria’s most valuable bank brand, FirstBank continues to pride itself as indeed the Bank of many firsts. First Class Material is a docuseries designed to celebrate Nigerians who are excelling in various fields of endeavour whether academic or non-academic. It is a program that aims to chronicle the success stories of Nigerians who are distinct and exemplary in their achievements and importantly, a testament to the greatness of the West African country. This docuseries aims to make education, vocational training and skill acquisition trendy, attractive and fashionable to the nation’s human capital by celebrating and rewarding innovators and trailblazers in various sectors. First-Class Material is a celebration of notable First’s by Nigerians which underscores what FirstBank stands for. The essence of the programme is to have many more people informed and encouraged by the successes, thereby having these feats emulated in their chosen endeavors.

 

First-Class Material aims to change the narrative about Nigeria and Nigerians by highlighting the great work Nigerians are doing in different fields, including Academics, Technology, Arts, Music, entrepreneurship, and many more. It also aims to inspire others to aspire to excellence and to see hard work, legitimate work, and diligence as something rewarding and deserving of emulation. FirstBank was the official sponsor of the maiden edition of First Class Material by Linda Ikeji TV and based on its success, the Bank is now also sponsoring Season 2 which will commence 3rd week in August. 

 

This innovative partnership would have viewers exposed to Nigerians across the globe that have carved a niche for themselves by being exemplary and influential in their chosen endeavours and career path. Success stories of notable firsts and trailblazers would be highlighted, with viewers encouraged to go beyond limits and leave no stone unturned at making their dreams a reality. Like the first season, which showcased exceptional individuals, the forthcoming season promises to share truly inspiring stories of great feats and accomplishments by some of the most unassuming Nigerians, in the country and dotted around the world. FirstBank’s goal is to inspire the youth and encourage them to make informed choices, critical to securing their future whilst impacting mankind and society at large.

 

FirstBank, historically, has had diverse interventions in promoting thought leadership and promoting initiatives that will stimulate the advancement of skill acquisition and capacity building for the Nigerian Youth to equip them for a bright future. The Bank’s sponsorship of the Programme is in tandem with the noble objectives of the bank which includes building and instilling values into its customers. FirstBank’s core values of people, passion and partnership very much align with the vision of the First Material towards building the youth to become tomorrow’s leaders. With over 127 years of continuous banking operations, First Bank of Nigeria Limited (FirstBank) is giving a good account of itself in this regard not only as a true financial powerhouse but also as a life enabler, helping Nigerians live better and achieve their dreams.

 

Apart from the First Class Material initiative and in the furtherance of the Bank’s long term commitment to promote youth development, professional excellence and education, FirstBank has also in the past and currently actively supporting various activities and initiatives in the youth segment. The bank partners with Eventful Nigeria Ltd for Fashion Souk, a platform that creates an opportunity for players in the fashion industry to exhibit and sell their wares to the thousands of event participants. The bank, also in a bid to ensure the sustainability of the industry, recently introduced fashion design loans specifically designed to offer financial support to the participants in the textile industry.

 

Through its [email protected] initiative, FirstBank consolidates all its efforts in the arts, supporting the entire value chain of the creative arts, providing much-needed financing and advisory support, showcasing and facilitating the successes of the industry, and enabling customers to explore and access the wealth of opportunities the creative industry has to offer.

 

Achieving these and a host of many others have been implemented through strategic partnerships with organizations like the British Council, Duke of Shomolu Productions, Live Theatre Lagos, Freedom Park, Terra Kulture, and the Cross Rivers State Government (Calabar Festival), among others.

 

With the sponsorship of similar socio-cultural initiatives in the creative arts industry like Moremi, Makaliki, Oba Esugbayi stage drama, October 1st (a movie), the Calabar Festival and the recently concluded, The Voice Nigeria (Season 3) the Bank remains exemplary to expose the youth to a wide range of opportunities that are integral to the realization of their dreams, as they contribute to the continued socio-economic development of their immediate environment and the country at large.  

 

Indeed, FirstBank remains a noble brand close to the heart of the youths and the deliberate efforts made by the bank has indeed been a catalyst of socio-economic growth of Nigerian youths and the nation as a whole.

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