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OF LAYCON AND GOVERNOR DAPO ABIODUN’S GESTURE

When Mahatma Gandhi remarked: “In matters of conscience, the law of the majority has no place”, he must have had me on his mind. I do not aimlessly follow the crowd; rather, I weigh my options before making a decision. Why? If you do not know where you are going, you’ll follow them to where they are going. By implications, you’ll get lost. Yes, it is easy to get drowned and lost in the cacophony of this world.

Any objective person who took the trouble to pore through the controversial action of Governor Dapo Abiodun on honouring Olamilekan Moshood Agbelesebioba who is popularly known as LAYCON, which has predictably generated a “cacophony from hired and unhired attackers”, would come to at least three conclusions. One, Mr Dapo Abiodun is a Governor who is deeply passionate about the youths, in spite of the fact that he might have his human failings. Two, he is happy that the name of the state has, again, surfaced both nationally and internationally for positivity. Three, he believes that a youth who brings honour and attention to the state— positively— deserves the attention and honour of his state government in order for his fellow youth to emulate his culture of excellence— that made him one of the brightest students in his department upon his graduation from UNILAG— and his trait of patience that restrained him from engaging in a fisticuffs when he was in the Big Brother house.

Morever, given the raging storm of reactions and counter-reactions that has greeted the Governor’s action, at least three conclusions are evident. One, many of those who comment on or react to the event have actually not read the Governor’s press release. Two, Nigeria is deeply polarised and many people only view issues not on their merit but from their parochial political, ethnic and religious standpoints. Three, the future is ominous if nothing is done to douse tension and reduce the skyrocketing sentimental blood pressure.

Like the unnecessary furor that greeted the publication of “There was a Country: A Personal History of Biafra” (2012) by the late resplendent raconteur, Chinua Achebe, the level of public discourse has been reduced to its lowest ebb. There is no rigour and misreadings are now the rule rather than the exception. It was after reading the work that one came to realise that many claims about the book are incorrect and that rather than play to the gallery, it is always good to seek one’s truth. But the constraint is that we are not a reading nation, we are only a talking/chatting nation.

Though many people have excoriated the Governor for rewarding LAYCON whom most of them used their thousands of naira— hard earned money— to vote in order for him to become the winner of the reality show, BBN. Fascinatingly, the coming of LAYCON to Ogun State was hugely attended by a large number of Youths from within and outside of Ogun State— acceptance.

On his passion for the Youths of Ogun State, the Governor wrote on his Facebook Page, “We have appointed the winner of the Big Brother Naija Lockdown, @itslaycon Youth Ambassador of Ogun State in addition to house and cash gifts.

I relayed this development today, when I played host to Olamilekan Moshood Agbelesebioba AKA Laycon in my Oke-Mosan office in Abeokuta.

The appointment and gifts are a celebration of Laycon’s good character, intellect and virtues which were proven to the whole world on live TV as better choices than vices.

A proud son of Ogun State, Laycon displayed the essence of focus in the face of temptations and provocations. This is the true Ogun State spirit, and it indeed confirms that this earned him his academic achievement at the University of Lagos.

Entertainment and academics mix finely for a good result. So I urge parents to let their children explore outside the classroom. We are therefore now finalising plans to establish in Ogun State, an Entertainment Village for artistes and artists to nurture their skills and talents.

Ogun State Youths are a blessing.
Congratulations, Laycon.
#BuildingOurFutureTogether #ISEYA“. This submission is incontrovertible: And the meat of the matter is situated in his paragraphs 3 and 4 where the Governor noted that: “The appointment and gifts are a celebration of Laycon’s good character, intellect and virtues which were proven to the whole world on live TV as better choices than vices.” And that he “ displayed the essence of focus in the face of temptations and provocations. This is the true Ogun State spirit, and it indeed confirms that this earned him his academic achievement at the University of Lagos.” Visibly, LAYCON got the appointment and gift on the grounds of excellence and his “Omoluabi” ethos— which are enough traits to change and motivate the youths to return to excellence in whatever they do and uphold diligence as a virtue too.

By and large, at the background of this much ado about Governor Dapo’s action is the failure of communication, bordering on interpretation. In their book, “Using and Understanding English” (1959 p.26), G. B. Birk and N. P. Birk identified the problem associated with the situation under focus. “Wars and frictions between nations and groups are often caused by an ignorance of the true relationship between words and things. Individual misunderstandings are largely the result of similar ignorance and the consequent failure to interpret and communicate effectively, and even the personal and psychological ills of man can be cured by a language therapy which consists in part of putting freely into words one’s deepest fears, desires and inner conflicts, and so being led to analyze them consciously and rationally and perceive their real meaning,” they wrote.

The real import of the Governor’s gesture should not be sacrificed at the altar of “argumentum ad hominem” (argument based on attack on person) because it is a logical/genetic fallacy. Though I don’t like the BBN programme because of its seeming reinforcement of the ubiquitous, asphyxiating bubblegum fashion. However, I still respect the franchise of its galactic audience nationwide. I mean their choice of what to view.

Conspicuously, the world is approaching cultural homogeneity, through electronic colonialism and supra connectivity. Since our perception field is littered with immoralities in view of unrestricted flows of the aforesaid, we must learn to sieve or cherrypick. And the young man, LAYCON, has proven changed the perception of a large number of youths that there is a form of success to be enjoyed should one maintain the culture of excellence— academically— as most of his voters voted him because of his intelligence which is a pretext to his book brilliance.

In a country where there is a dearth of role model and a large number of youths are now chronic users of narcotics and chairmen of criminal acts, making an ambassador— in conjunction with a property and cash gift —out of a youth, like them who they also love, is a way of—luring the youths— remoulding the youths of the state.

Finally, Our today is yesterday’s future, yet today’s future will still be filled with surprises. The emerging convoluted world could only be survived with total education and wisdom. Therefore, the Governor did not goof. Rather, his— action— is a good gesture.

Folorunso, Fatai Adisa, a Corps Member, writes in from Abeokuta.
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