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Your Habit Determines Your Habitat!

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Odunlade‘DOCTOR’ ISHOLA OYENUSI: THE METAMOPHOSIS
OF NIGERIA’S MOST DREADED ROBBER<strong

In life, people don’t choose their habitat, they only need to choose their habits and their habits create their habitat! Fyodor Dostoevsky once said “It seems, infact, as though the second half of a man’s life is made up of nothing, but the habits he has accumulated during the first half”. What will eventually bring a man down from a great height is actually the habit that followed him there! One of the greatest coaches of all times, Vincent T. Lombardi said, “Winning is not a sometime thing; it’s an all the time thing. You don’t win once in a while; you don’t do things right once in a while; you do them right all of the time. Winning is a habit. Unfortunately, so is losing”. You can’t be a winner with losers’ habits! Successful people are simply those with successful habits.

“The heights that great men reached and kept, were not attained by sudden flight, But they, while their companions slept, were toiling upwards in the night”. – Winston Churchill

King Philip of Macedonia was the father of Alexander the Great; he built a vast empire from the Mediterranean Sea to India. King Philip employed the great Philosopher Aristotle to teach the young Alexander and prepare him for the greatness that awaited him; Aristotle nurtured him into becoming a worthy prince and a great general. In 334BC, Alexander fought against the ‘undefeatable’ Darius, the King of Persia and overthrew him. Alexander went further to seize power from Pharaoh and he was himself crowned Pharaoh, he eventually found a city in Egypt and called it Alexandria.

At the age of 32, he had already conquered the whole then known world. But he lost grip of moral purity and he was conquered by an undying habit. As a result of moral decadence, the conqueror of the world empires became a victim of his own lack of self-restraint, hence he lost the battle over life due to indiscipline and lack of restraint. Though he attempted to establish unity of culture in the empire, and the modern city of Alexandria in Egypt still testifies to this. But just at the height of his power he was broken, not by the military might of any nation or by any weapon of war that he could not withstand, but by the enemy that lay within him – he was destroyed by a habit he refused to give up.

Alexander died at the age of 33, and all his dreams and aspirations died with him! His whole life was summed up satirically: “Alexander the Great, the man who conquered the whole world but could not conquer himself! “

“A person isn’t an assortment of body parts. A person is a collection of habits” -Jarod Kintz

One of Nigeria’s greatest robbery infamies is that of the story of an unrepentant and invincible robber by the name ‘Doctor’ Ishola Oyenusi. Oyenusi name has been etched and immortalised in the history of classical robbery in Nigeria as one of the most violent armed robber, a criminal who unleashed boundless and unrestrained terror on many Nigerians. Like the celebrated legendary story of Ali baba and the forty thieves, Oyenusi became the first celebrated armed robber in Nigeria and also the pioneer of conventional armed robbery. In 1970s, Oyenusi was in no doubt the undisputable king of merciless robbers and fearsome bandits and was eventually dubbed as Nigeria’s most dreaded armed robber. His atrocity, ferocity and audacity were unprecedented in the stories of armed bandits and moral ‘out laws’ that had previously ravaged the commercial city of Lagos. His reign of terror instilled so much fear and trepidation in the mind of the people while security forces were demoralised at the sound of his name.

Oyenusi’s road to perdition started with the habit of pilfering and stealing at a very tender age, his greed for other people’s things went unchecked with time but he was oblivious that his juvenile crimes will one day set him up for an ill-fated end. He was caught and imprisoned when he was just 21years of age. He then escaped and was imprisoned again. He mysteriously escaped again and was imprisoned again! He escaped about eight times and when the prison walls could no longer hold him, he decided to become an armed robber with an aura of invincibility. The die-hard robber got into robbery back in 1959 and committed his first major robbery when he snatched a car along Herbert Macaulay Road in Yaba, Lagos, and killing its owner in the process, it was later learnt that the dastardly act was carried out just because his girlfriend was broke and needed money to buy her make-up!

In order to perpetuate his act, he eventually extended his operations into a brutal syndicate that terrorised the entire length of Lagos. He held sway in the city of Lagos with exalted impunity but eventually ended his journey with six of his other gang members whom he had led to their doom and last robbery at the WAHUM factory at Ikeja, Lagos on the 27th March 1971. In the end, the man also known as ‘Dr. Rob-and-kill’ and his gang of six met their brutal end at the hands of a 14-man firing squad on September 8, 1971 at the Lagos Bar beach in victoria Island. Out of the 14 armed men, 7 of them were asked to aim only at Oyenusi! He was rumoured to have eaten ‘immortal concoctions’ but the avalanche of bullets numbered to be a little bit above ninety eventually put his immortality to the test. His execution was celebrated by relieved Nigerians who trooped out enmasse to the Bar Beach to witness the end of a man who had held the country to ransom.

“The chains of habit are too weak to be felt until they are too strong to be broken”
Samuel Johnson
We are living in a country where stealing and corruption have become the order of the day. So many people are going into politics for the wrong reasons! We must collectively come together to end this malignant spread of stealing and corruption. The deplorable involvement of youth in scams, stealing and corruption must stop; we must tackle this menace of youth engagement into this unholy and mad rush for riches without labour. We must combat the plague of corruption from the foundation.

Youths must take the path of honour and decency to earn their wealth. We have many ‘Oyenusis’ as politicians, corrupt and rogue leaders, civil servants and custodians of tax payers’ monies and public funds.

There is no difficult habit, we only have unwilling minds. One of the greatest philosophers that ever lived, Niccolo Machiavelli said categorically, “Where the willingness is great, the difficulties cannot be great”. It is psychologically true that what you can endure, you cannot change. Change that habit or one day it will ultimately seal your fate!

“You can suffer the pain of change or suffer remaining the way you are.” -Joyce Meyer

As a concerned and patriotic citizen, I sincerely want to advice the federal government to redesign the Nigerian economy to be less dependent on the proceeds from the Nigerian oil by diversifying the economy.


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