A respected and renowned businessman in Shomolu who is an ardent lover of farming and a proud promoter of handiwork has praised and extolled Shomolu Local Government Chairman, Abdul-Ahmed Salaudeen popularly called DULLAR for his deeds and hard work over the past couple of years since he assumed office. He tagged the LG Chairman as a “special leader chosen by God to liberate and empower the youths” and declared Shomolu youths “lucky indeed” to have DULLAR as their Chairman.

Atolagbe Animashaun who is the CEO of Tola Guinea Fowl Ventures, the most popular grilled foods service in Lagos and National Director, Youths Love Inc.- a NGO focused on building Youths who are self-sufficient, productive, fiscally responsible and are a generally more than a definite plus to the society; made this known in a recent talk with journalists. I must confess his enthusiasm and fervor for building legitimately productive and skilled youths are genuine and very contagious.

The King of Awo as Atolagbe Animashaun is fondly and rightly called had recently received state-wide acclaim and accolades when he bagged the award for the best Finger Foods Company late last year and early this year for a particularly sterling interview where he touted the now famous words “Farmers are Not Slaves!” and preached the importance of farming and having a handiwork or skill to our youths and country as a whole. In the interview by esrtwhile FlipTV journalist Boma Al Onyanabo, he went as far as to demand the addition of a brand new subject-Pratical Farming-to the curriculum of all schools across the nation. Addressing the government, he maintained that only by doing so would we as a nation come to resurrect the acceptance and pride in farming by our young ones and future leaders. He has since been recognized as a bonafide lover of the youths, agriculture and farming and a staunch advocate of getting a skill or learning a handiwork-regarding of your educational status or level; graduate or not.

The successful businessman has asked youths in this most recent chat with journalists to pick role models carefully from some of our leaders. Leaders who are hardworking and genuinely love the youths and constantly try to empower them. He said that he knew that there weren’t that many leaders out there who were worthy of being made role models of and emulating, but he charged the youths not to forget the benefits of having the right role models and learning from their successes, failures and mistakes. He made an example of the present Local Government Chairman of Shomolu Abdul-Hamed Salaudeen and brandished the Chairman as a leader and politician to be studied and emulated by the youths of his constituency and nationwide.

In his words:

“Let’s take for example someone who is close to home and who we all in Shomolu here know very closely; our Chairman Abdul Hamed Salaudeen who was given to us by God. He is someone whom I respect and love very much, and one of the few politicians I can sincerely say I have learnt a couple of things from. I know most of our leaders and politicians nowadays are terrible role models for our youths but DULLAR is a shining light amongst his peers and contemporaries.”

“We are not friends or acquaintances but I have been lucky to meet him once or twice(in passing) and he left a lasting impression on me. He is easily accessible, down to earth and seeks opinions and advice constantly from the people around him. He listens and that is a God given gift he is using it well. Any business owner who has established a successful business in any environment in Nigeria knows how crucial it is be sound and well versed politically even if one is not politically active.”

“I have watched the Chairman closely over the years and have identified three key attitudes that I love about him and sincerely implore youths to emulate and practice in their every day lives and see themselves get the acclaim and success DULLAR has achieved and have so far eluded them.

 

1. His Penchant for Love & Peace

“I have been running my business(Tola Guinea Fowl Ventures) in Shomolu for close to two decades and I have examined and watched our leaders to an extent over the years. I have always maintained that the youths of Shomolu are indeed quite lucky and even blessed to have DULLAR as their LG chairman because I know for a fact that he loves the Youths, children and even our elders as well genuinely. They are lucky because they have a role model as a Chairman, one who practices love in all his doings.”

“Looking back, one of the things that he did in his first days in office is the way he brokered peace amongst the Youths in Shomolu. Like I said I have been here in Shomolu since in 1991 and I witnessed the way and despicable manner our youths here related with another, there was almost no love. It was a issue that caused heartache in the hearts of residents because it affected everyone-parents, business owners, workers, entrepreneurs and even the youths themselves. DULLAR came in and faciliated peace among the youths, outsiders wouldn’t understand the value of this peace I speak about. But indigenes and even those who have traveled out now would understand and still appreciate the importance of the peace DULLAR brought to Shomolu. I am pretty confident that’s why our elders and parents love our Chairman till tomorrow, why he can do not wrong in their eyes; he stopped their children from fighting with one another and empowered them to build a live for themselves. This amazing feat wouldn’t not been possible if not the love of the youths God put in his heart even before he became a leader or politician.”

He then encouraged the youths to emulate this love DULLAR has displayed and practices.

“The love being displayed by DULLAR is inbuilt and is unpretentious. I want our youths to learn and practice this genuine love for one another the way our leader loves us. As a businessman, I improved my understanding and practice of love and patience after emulating him and I can tell you confidently that the love of your fellow man cannot be understated and can never bring you harm. I would be remiss if I didn’t use this opportunity to thank and commend the youths of Shomolu for emulating this love and keeping the peace our leader has facilitated; this is one of the highest honors the youths can give our Chairman and I urge them to keep the peace even after DULLAR has left office. I also plead with them not to only practice this love but to also plant the seed and teach the importance of love of our fellow man to their children. If we all practice genuine love from as a people, from politicians to leaders to businessmen to parents to the youths, to each and every individual, I am sure our country would become better than it is. I urge other leaders and politicians to emulate DULLAR’s love and plead with them to spread love not hate among the youths as they are our future leaders. Let’s us not forget that peace, wealth, prosperity and true happiness abound only where genuine love is found. I pray that every leader, parent and youth who practices and preaches true love be blessed and find favor this year.”

 

2. His Hardworking Attitude

The King of Finger Foods went to reveal the second thing he loves about DULLAR and wants to youth to emulate and practice immediately.

He said:

“Another thing I noticed and admire about DULLAR is his hardworking attitude and I want our youths to pay particular attention to this. He is extremely focused on the future and his focus is selfless and positive-focus differs from person to person and leader to leader but DULLAR’s focus is worth emulating because he’s focused on building a good name and legacy for his children through his actions and hardwork. Going back to his hardworking attitude, regardless of his post and status he’s regularly seen on the streets monitoring things and speaking to residents. Unlike some leaders and politicians who spend the bulk of their terms and time in power sitting and lounging in their air-conditioned office cut off from their people; DULLAR meanwhile is always ready to get on the road and get things happening. He got my attention initially because I noticed he was as tenacious, focused and is a real hands-on boss like myself.”

“Now what made me like and cherish him is the fact that he has made it a point to ensure that the youths of his constituency are hardworking and skilled regardless of their educational status or level. He has tried to imbibe his hardworking attitude in the youths and enable them make a better life for themselves. He has empowered youths by training them in various skills and handiworks, helping to ensure that his youths are not jobless and skill-less at the same time and do not fall into a life of crime. This is quite priceless to me and I respect him greatly for that because he understands that we have to engage our youths, keep them busy and off the streets and goes out of his way to reach out to them because he genuinely loves them”

“I hereby urge the youths to know and remember if they have forgotten that hardwork is Paramount, regardless of your status or post do not stop working hard in whatever you do and I promise you success in life. Your hardwork and tenacity now would determine the kind of name and legacy you will leave behind. A name that would make your generation proud and pave way for them. Just like General Idi Agbon, a man I respect so much even in death. A name that would be respected by people from all works of life.

 

3. His Attitude of Service

The final thing I want youths to emulate from DULLAR is how he serves. Forget the title Chairman, DULLAR is a servant of his people. Permit me to bring in Idi Agbon once more, forget his shortcomings, he understood the meaning of service and getting dirty for one’s work, which was why he was quite invaluable to Buhari. Remember that even when getting a certificate, one more serve the government before being recognized as a bonafide graduate. That underlines the importance of service in life as a person.

Whatever you serve now and get dirty for is what will create a name for you now, a legacy for you later andz make your children proud of your deeds. There a couple of songs from the old days that we have forgotten and these songs are sources of unending, timeless wisdom. These songs helped make us know then that not everyone had to be a doctor, banker or teacher; these songs helped us realize that shame and pride in work is counterproductive. It also made us understand that getting a certificate without having a skill is nothing but folly. I would like to remember a song we sang every day in school during my days then, it made me realize that the money and wealth we are looking for is in that work that we are trying to avoid. It goes like this:

Owe kiko lasi Oko ati ada

Ko e pe oh, ko e pe oh,

Ise agbe ni ise ile wa

Eni ti o ni ise oma jale.

 

Which can be loosely translated to English as:

 

Getting Educated, without having a skill

Is getting incomplete education,

Farming is the job of our land

A jobless man will steal.

I want to youths to read, digest and live this song. This song is almost prophetic, it is almost 50 years old yet all the lines of this song are still valid and true.

You can not achieve anything in this life if you don’t serve and serve diligently. Let’s go take schooling for example, what youths don’t know that you are serving your course and career when you spend time in school. Going to learning a skill from a “Oga”, you can not really learn a skill or handiwork if you don’t serve your Oga and work.

The astute businessman wrapped it up with this epic conclusion, he said:

“Those who know know intimately know that even though I am very well informed politically, I rarely actively participate in politics or single out politicians to laud or criticize. I made an example of DULLAR not because I am politically inclined or have an endgame, I did because of my love of the youths and because we all can attest to the fact that the Chairman is worthy of emulation. Quote me anywhere on this: if a young man or woman practices acquires these attributes listed below such a youth would most assuredly lead a life of posperity and fulfilment.”

1. Love, not just of yourself but of your fellow man.

2. An hardworking, focused and passionate attitude in any chosen career or field.

3. Readiness to serve, as service comes before success.

“Understand young man or lady that having these three attributes is not enough to do it irrespective of how important they are. There are other notable attributes which worthy of mention and paramount in the make up of any young man or woman. They are: Respect, Patience, Long-suffering, Humility, Contentment and Discipline.”

I pray for that our leaders be blessed with wisdom and their hearts filled with love so as to enable them lead us well and ruin our future, I also pray for the youths too with love and wisdom to learn from the mistakes of their elders and leaders and embrace hard-work and discipline to avoid selling their futures in pursuit of fast money.

Boma Al Onyanabo