Till he died, Naguib Mahfouz, Egyptian writer, wondered, “How beautiful it would be to see a man wrestle with his illusions and vanquish them.”
Interestingly, however, the rich take their pleasures sadly, after the fashion of whatever seems to be trendy.
Mahfouz was undoubtedly a believer. Among other things, he understood Michel Foucault, late French philosopher’s grief as he noted that, “The world projected in the fantasy of delusion imprisons the consciousness that projects it.” Both Mahfouz and Foucault would probably find in Segun Awolowo, the former Executive Director, Nigeria Export Promotion Council (NEPC), an interesting subject in man-made delusions, were they to be alive today.
Segun Awolowo Jnr, the grandson of the late Sage, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, was recently dragged and chastised like an erring schoolboy, over a post he made about former president Olusegun Obasanjo on Instagram.
He had visited the former president in Abeokuta, and had gleefully announced the details of his visit in the post. This was expressly accompanied with some pictures he took with Obasanjo and his wife, Olufunke.
Segun Awolowo described Obasanjo as “a visionary leader and a mentor”, and garlanded him in several other fanciful adjectives.
As usual, a motley of impressionable followers swarmed around the post and showered Segun Awolowo with a pot-pouri of praise for such a “historic” visit.
However, out of the twenty comments dropped on the post, one comment turned out to be the sour grape which deflated the ballon of pride Segjn Awolowo must have worn when he was being eulogised by his followers.
His ‘tormentor’ was no other than Dr. Eyimofe Atake SAN, the highly cerebral corporate lawyer, who rarely engages in banters on social media platforms on Instagram. He gave Segun Awolowo the much needed tutorial and explained why his allusion to Obasanjo as a visionary leader is an aberration. Delving into the inglorious role the former president played by truncating Obafemi Awolowo’s presidential bid, Atake dismissed Segun Awolowo’s fallacious-infested statements with a tone of veiled derision.
Segun Awolowo must have realised it would be furtile to engage his tormentor in an argument. He simply switched on his ignore button by snubbing Atake.
Full Text of Segun Awolowo’s Post
Today I had breakfast with a visionary leader and mentor, the formidable former President Olusegun Obasanjo at his residence in Abeokuta. A big thank you to Mrs Obasanjo for the sumptuous breakfast.
We discussed fond memories of my years of service under him – I started out my career in government as his Special Assistant on Traditional Institutions and Legal matters. My years with him prepared me for all the roles I would come to play in the quest for National development.
We discussed my tenure as the Executive Director/ CEO of the Nigerian Export Promotion Council. I presented him with the updated version of the Zero Oil Plan & special supporting publications, he was particularly impressed with the progress we’ve made thus far.
It was indeed an interesting morning with Baba as we discussed future plans for our great country Nigeria.
“A mentor is someone who sees more talent and ability within you, than you see in yourself, and helps bring it out of you.” — Bob Proctor
Anyone who has had the honour of working with him will emphatically agree that this statement truly embodies the essence of baba; I can only say that I’m proud to have been a firsthand witness.
* Full Text of Eyimofe Atake’s Response
I don’t know Segun. A “visionary leader” would NOT have done everything possible to prevent Chief Obafemi Awolowo GCFR, SAN from being President of Nigeria. At least a visionary leader would have given Chief Awolowo a fair chance. Historical records are there and speak for themselves. Not only that, this “visionary leader” encouraged us to vote for Yar’dua, Jonathan who didn’t want to lead and Buhari who’s not in the best of health. Very “visionary” indeed. Why didn’t he encourage us to vote for Awolowo? Instead he did everything to prevent Awo from being President. Just thinking aloud.