Thursday, 8th June 2023

Our leaders and the wheel of fate

By Dare Babarinsa
14 September 2016   |   4:07 am
This week, we are again giving space to you our esteemed readers for your reactions on articles that have appeared on this page in recent weeks. Please note again that we would not publish anonymous letters.
President Muhammadu Buhari Photo credit: ERIC PIERMONT/AFP/Getty Images)

President Muhammadu Buhari Photo credit: ERIC PIERMONT/AFP/Getty Images)

This week, we are again giving space to you our esteemed readers for your reactions on articles that have appeared on this page in recent weeks. Please note again that we would not publish anonymous letters. Anyone who has a contribution should please do so with his or her name.

Thanks for your didactic article (Five Leaders and the Wheel of Fate). Your conclusion is pristine, just that I am afraid we as a nation seem doomed to fail. For what nation has a plethora of solutions to its governance problems as Nigeria has on the pages of our national dailies yet keep fumbling on all fronts? My take is that your article reinforces the call for history to return to the curriculum of our schools. May be then and only them will the upcoming generations learn not to repeat negative history.
Sam Owerri (08033460422)

Five Leaders and the Wheel of Fate: This is a beautiful and educative write-up.
Sunny Uzoma Ohuaka, Oshodi, Lagos (08023171129)

Sir Dare Babarinsa! I love your write-ups but your analysis on Five Leaders and the Wheel of Fate appears judgmental. Your comment on Ojukwu to me, I quote “For him, the only alternative to peaceful resolution was war,” is not fair to a departed hero. The dead should not be accused more so wrongly. I think we should mount pressure on the Federal Government to encourage the study of history in our schools so that people will have balanced information without biases.
John Igu Kalu (08037574173)

Sir, you are not courageous enough to blame General Yakubu Gowon for jettisoning Aburi Accord. Is it because the man is still alive? You blamed Ojukwu and said he was ambitious. Could you have guaranteed the security of the delegates in Lagos when General Aguiyi-Ironsi was slaughtered in the dead of the night in Ibadan, after assurances of security? You failed to blame anyone for doing nothing to stop the genocide against Igbos, which was the corollary of secession and ultimately the war, just to promote your veiled agenda of misinforming younger generations of the events of those days. Anyway, that is your account but know that everyone will give account of his or her role someday.
White Obia, Lagos (08083000343)

Bless you Sir for your write up and great conclusion. I only wish Nigerians digest this piece and restructure our minds/ polity, especially our leadership which is very crucial to the advancement of this great nation. More grease to your elbow.
Tunde Oloko, Lagos (08023333474)

Uncle Dare, your piece, In Edo, Solidarity is not Forever, is unequalled by any write up. Please keep up this type of work. Kudos.
Frank Onyeibe, Lagos (08172067765)

Sir, I am endeared by your instructive use of facts of history to remind our nation of a purposeful past rendered purposeless by the present political charlatans who ride our nation on the horse of selfish opportunism and greed. Thank you Sir. Just wondering if you have put the bank of knowledge and experience into books now that history as a subject has been deleted from our curriculum? May God bless you Sir.
Biodun Bello, Abeokuta (08169187070)

NOTE: Babarinsa is the author of House of War, a definitive history of Nigeria’s Second Republic among other works. His book, The Nigerian Century, on the first 100 years of Nigerian history since 1914 till date is on sale nationwide. Another book, One Day and A Story, an account of Babarinsa experience as a journalist with the defunct Newswatch magazine, would be presented in Lagos on October 10, 2016.The great piece you wrote on Adegoke Adelabu is one for the ages! Thank you.
Molara Wood (07034086014).

Only few people practice the ideology of our national heroes like Adegoke Adelabu.
Feyi Akeeb-Kareem, Ogwashi-Ukwu, Delta State, (08098245620).

Dear Dare, I am texting this message of congratulation and gratitude to you for the excellent reminder of our glorious past containing stars like Adegoke Adelabu.
Mrs Omobolanle Onajide (08034020159).

Dare, the Adelabu memorial is a worthy adventure. An adventure because of the MAN. If Nigerian politics is played by the commitment, valour and service of Adelabu, the question of how Nigeria should be governed wouldn’t be as strident as it is now. My spirit is in Ibadan in fraternity with the comrades of Alhaji Adegoke Adelabu.
Right-Honourable Isah Kawu (

Thanks for your wonderful piece, entitled, Adelabu and the Quest for Gold.” If you ask me, the historical masterpiece is a teachable lesson on the essence of exuding selfless service and sterling leadership qualities in public affairs. I totally agree with your conclusion that “those who fail to write their names in the minds and hearts of the people are soon consigned to the dustbin of history.” More power to your elbows in your insightful historical write-ups that are geared towards contributing in building a new Nigeria that will work for her struggling people.
Okechukwu Emeh Jr, Abuja (08036895746).

Thank you so much Sir for your wonderful write-up, Even the Gods Don’t Drink Palm wine, on the back page of the Guardian newspaper. Wow! Thank you for helping us realize so many things in our environment we can take hold of to develop our land and people. God bless you Sir. I wish every Nigerian will read this.
Ikechukwu Geoffrey (08067328858).

I am drunk on the wine the gods refuse to drink! As we palm-wine drinkers say “may your days be long, may you walk and never stumble.” Great piece on “Even the gods don’t drink palmwine!” May the ink of your pen never run dry!
Ademola Babatunde Opetuga, Lagos (08033019858)

Your piece on the back page of The Guardian is a very reflective analysis of where profligacy has taken us as a nation. But are we yet out of the woods? Another pertinent question to ask is why the highly revered gods drink palmwine instead of foreign spirit would when we are planning to import grass for lowly consumables like cattle? We have forest everywhere but we also import newsprint.
Tive Denedo (09056130113)

Dear Dare, I read your post, “Even the gods don’t drink palmwine.” It made my day! Thanks for being so brilliant.
Bosomo Michael (08141119777)

Re: Even the Gods Don’t Drink Palmwine. Well written Uncle Dare! Before the discovery of oil in Nigeria, agricultural activities constituted about 40 percent of our GDP. Immense agro products trading across local and international markets generated much revenue and attracted numerous foreign investments.Afterwards, much focus has been on oil trade, and we couldn’t blame the authorities enough for managing the revenues corruptly. Thanks to the moguls who are all into ‘oil and gas business.’ There is barely little leftover for the slow-footed.

So many individuals are willing to embrace local farming. Therefore the Federal Government should develop and conduct agrarian reforms to support local farmers. Some die-hard state governors have made it a ‘do-or-starve’ affair through the reduction of precious time wasted lounging on office swivel chairs by indolent citizens.
Quite truthfully, most fabrics manufactured abroad are of poorer quality in comparison with locally made ones. Local producers need adequate finance and high tech equipment in order to increase efficiency and product quality.

The ‘Buy Naija Campaigns’ by Uncle Ben Bruce are commendable and I earnestly hope more distinguished Nigerians will emulate his actions and be more patriotic. All those Nigerians who have sworn never to use local products will soon suffer bareness and hebetude in foreign trenches. No better alternatives exist. Right now, these fuel price increment rumour bearing zika-virus infected mosquitoes and floppy forex bugs are biting down hard.

I enjoin Nigerian youths to participate in agricultural development programmes. The adoption of good agricultural practices and proper farming systems will increase the quality of produce obtained from local farms to meet international standards for export.
E. Uzoamaka, Lagos

Thanks for your piece, Even the Gods Don’t Drink Palmwine. Chief Obafemi Awolowo was not in government but he got his statistics right on the Nigerian economy. He got his data from the CBN releases and bulletins. You will also remember that the NPN National Chairman, Chief Adisa Akinloye and co went to London to debunk what Awo said. They even described him as a prophet of doom. But a few reasonable members in the NPN brainstormed on what Chief Awolowo said and discovered that he was right.

Consequently, you will also remember the next national budget following Awo’s revelations was what they christened Austerity Budget. My view is we are not just entering economic recession. We have been in recession as far back as 1979 when the “best candidate may not necessarily win” president was installed.
Olapade Agbaje (

Just finished reading your article. So apt; as it really explains the real problem our dear country is facing. No blame game but serious issues discussed, how I wish everyone will tend to change and patronize our own made products and stop calling them local.
Olawale Babs Ibitoye (

This post is a rejoinder to two  articles written by The Guardian columnist, Dare Babarinsa.  You can read them here and here.

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