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Re: Dialogue with the self, template for nation building


SIR: Tobi Idowu’s review of Professor Dele Owolawi’s book, Dialogue with the self, published in The Guardian Wednesday, January 30, 2019 was well written indeed. He did a first-rate job. I have read the book, Dialogue with the self twice.
Dialogue with the self is a book that should be on the book shelves of every political person and in the libraries’ of every educational institution in Nigeria. It holds true that only thinkers can create a near perfect state. Nigeria needs thinkers in government for the creation and dissemination of governing philosophies, knowledge, enlightenment and common sense.

The people of the city of Niyod as illustrated by Owolawi aren’t perfect people but they show the will to build a perfect model city. The will is what we lack in Nigeria to do anything positive. For instance, there aren’t cases of religious fanaticism in that city. They believe in spirituality and not religiosity. The latter celebrates signs, symbols and customs instead of values. All religions have common values and spiritual persons do not need to diminish the light of other people in order for their light to shine more brightly, they all work together for the common good. It might have been very hard for the people to live in peace were it not for thinkers in the city, sages with the energy to let people know that what binds them together are more than what separates them. In his book, readers will find motivating quotations from many religious leaders/prophets, quotations which encourage hard work, communality, justice, self-restraint and more. This is a book that readers have to read again and again with energy that knows no bound for self-discovery and must have an open-mind so as to believe in the humanism of the collective man.

At major parts of the city citizens find speech-marks on billboards to remind them of values of the city, these speech-marks changes from time to time. The book will serve as a guide to forming a strong political system and governing agenda and then throw out the era of ‘big man’ politics where politicians aren’t answerable to the people but to themselves.”Touching base” with the people for whom governance should be directed in Nigeria is not yet a novelty but Owolawi opines that the city of Niyod belongs to the people and so Nigeria should belong to Nigerians indeed not a select few. Women issues aren’t shown the seriousness it deserves in Nigeria. The City of Niyod frowns at this discrimination and includes women in governance; women are represented in all walks of life. In that city people are not covered in false glory and ranks are not celebrated. Never do you hear politicians addressed as “your excellency and honourable’ respect is earned by a dint of hard work and achievement. I learned a lot on how to preserve the environment for the next generation and the importance of listening to good music such as classical music to enliven the soul. Talking about the soul I asked Owolawi how one can liven up the soul and he sent me this reply, “see through the soul instead of the eyes. Seeing through the soul gives a panoramic (what I called the ‘moon’) views of life whereas seeing only through the eyes is limited or incomplete (the ‘crescent’).”
• Simon Abah wrote from Abuja.

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