Sunday, September 1, 2019

Now That FESTUS KEYAMO Has Been Made A Minister By FUNKE AWOLOWO

Many years ago, I came into my country needing all the help I could get. There I was with two wonderful sons expectant of the beautiful future awaiting them in Nigeria.  What had happened was that the UK system was fast becoming an avenue for stereotyping young black boys giving them little expectations to rise above a certain level.  This, of course, does not mean the education was below standard but it meant the lower echelons had to struggle to play catch-up as this was clearly a high brand class system. Most of the grammar and public schools were streamlined to the barest minimum in terms of educational opportunities and career.  To maintain my standard I was counselled to go for the viable alternative and try Nigeria.  The fact that family ties could provide the alternative by the intervention of caring relatives especially being a single mother.

Yes sometimes we have to stand by our decisions not relegating our responsibilities to others, all the same nobody really does it alone basically.  So here am I again amidst counsellors who actually advised me to optimise my opportunity by finding out, how certain things can work for my good in terms of inheritance.  I was prone to that evidently after it was clear no one was really interested in assisting me. The office of direction was the Maryland shopping centre. I had to figure that out,  as they actually refused to escort me there.

I had already received in the past whilst in England various cheques, some expired and other mails as regarding the position of things. So based on this,  I knew I was a beneficiary,  so bam here I was in his office, the popular activist Festus Keyamo. Faced with a very fiery young man. I told my story and gave him the copy of the will as written by my Grandpa, Chief Obafemi Awolowo.  He was very attentive and professional, I could not but notice the fact that he was surprised and pensive as well. Being not much of a talker with strangers, however, we spoke at length and before my departure, he was very much abreast with things. I was not convinced that he would take up the case until he asked me for my phone number and I told me I did not own a phone. He exclaimed Madam a whole you, and I explained that I had to pay School fees and that was the least in my list of priorities. That was it, he said in a rather strong emotional voice,  God will help us and I will do my best, I had to fight the tears as I was deeply embarrassed.  

I was there with no money and he was ready to take up my matter and talk about finances later. At some point, we talked percentage and even that was subject to my readiness and choice. I was soon to learn of so many who turned up in his office, without any complicated protocol or harassment.  I was really shocked when one of his opponents in the recent TV interview on channels accused him of coming with so much security.  Indeed God gives to everyone time and seasons.  As we proceeded to court my confidence was enhanced and the backup legally inspired my children and I greatly.  At no point did I get an inkling of being judged. Meanwhile, I was getting some bad press but as soon as they could meet me in person many changed their judgement.  

I recall once when one of the reporter's after coming back from Ikenne gave me some feedback, I was around as we had a case that day. I just had to respond and tell my version and this was based on the fact that my lawyer believed in me. Many like that such as the errand boys in politics searching for refuge, the Chief Bola Ige case, even some menacing destructive people taking advantage of his availability.  Clearly, some of these people could have been killed easily with no one to defend or fight for them.  In the absence of Keyamo kicking a force.

That brings me to the question cleverly asked at the floor of the Senate to inquire and find out what will happen to the helpless,? with him engaging with his new portfolio.  Frankly really one can not fully appreciate the veracity and intensity of the question. Only those who know and have faced such can fully grasp the gaping gap this will create.  Definitely, we are ripe for a legal aid system that provides for the unprotected and the underprivileged. We also need more saviours. Many say most of the voices have been compromised, sincerely anyone with a sense of fairness can not continually play to the gallery for long. Based on what I know and have experienced mine and am sure many others have very high expectations. 

Emphatically we look forward to a realistic,  practical and developmental approach as we rejoice with the Niger Delta people.  The success of your son is not a fluke but deliberate,  we really hoped for an attorney general in him for our nation, for now, you could well do a lot with one of the best minds in our dear nation. The display of intellectual prowess and in-depth knowledge of Law has kept our nation in much applause, we expect the best. The struggle that could have cost him his life has birthed a seasoned humanitarian.  Congratulations Minister Keyamo.  Nobody is perfect,  today we all are celebrating that sacrificial side.

As Nigerians wait expectantly for the Niger Deltas solution.  I pray that God grants you the wisdom, strength, and wherewithal to make a difference.

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