Bekeme Masade-Olowola(Host): Hi guys it’s another Friday, and you are listening to Bekeme the “hostest” with the “moistest” on the Good Citizen radio show. It’s another beautiful Friday I must say, it’s been a great day being all indoors which is all I have been doing for the past 3 to 4 weeks and I must say that it’s been a time for learning for me and my kids. I’ve had time to give them some real home training.
The show is brought to you by CSR-in-Action and is funded by Aspire Coronation Trust aka ACT Foundation which is a grant making organization established in 2016 for non-profits working across all areas of leadership, entrepreneurship, environment and health so basically its clear why they sponsor the Good Citizen radio show it’s because they believe in our cause to encourage good citizenry and unity in Nigeria and basically that’s what we call leadership. Now it’s been a very interesting week like I said because we have seen higher instances of COVID-19 cases across the country, the NCDC keeps on announcing higher number per day, nowadays its anything from 80 something new cases per day and you have to bear in mind that we are still not testing as efficiently as we should be testing, we probably test about 6-7000 cases whereas Ghana which is far smaller than Nigeria has tested about 70000 cases so we still have a long way to go and this is worse off in other states outside Lagos. The other day it was announced that there was a 150 person plus mass burial at Kano and nobody knows what actually happens to them like why, no testing was done before they died and even afterwards and its even more worrisome because most of us had watched the video of Kano residents washing their hands and drinking the water afterwards just to show that they don’t believe that there is COVID-19 or that it can do anything to them and that is really scary and then even more momentous is the passing of Mallam Abba Kyari the chief of staff to the president, may his soul rest in peace, he died last week Friday and was announced on Saturday and we have had mixed reactions although I don’t mean to speak ill of the dead but we have had mixed reactions as many said he was a strong man, he had such a huge influence now the question is not whether he was good or bad but whether he used his influence for good and another troubling thing was the lack of social distancing that happened at his funeral first of all NCDC has said that they don’t release bodies to their families which is a sad thing but I guess it is a necessary precautions but the body was release to the family but there was a “statetex burial” even though we heard that the aids who went for the burial where not allowed back into Aso rock that day and they had to self-quarantine, but the point is why did that even happen if the presidency didn’t know about it, which people where in charge of this process, why was there a total lack of social distancing, people where just clustered around even the media persons weren’t responsible and then we saw a video where this man who was probably a driver at least he was driving a car had worn a PPE went to the side of the road and just dropped it, he took it off and just flung it on the road side and I think he had a change a mind, came back put it in a bag and left it there so what was the point of wearing a PPE, why was he wearing that overall if he was going to discard it carelessly.
Now back to Abba Kyari like I said apparently Mr. Geoffrey the foreign minister was the best man at Geoffrey Onyema’s wedding and he had glowing things to say about him, Mr Onyema being a catholic, Igbo marrying an Anglican Yoruba and then Mallam Abba Kyari being a Kanuri Muslim being the best man, it must have been very interesting but we understand where he was coming from but many people had said that is a private relationship, what about the public relationship and this is where we talk about good citizen and a brother like Chetta had a different thoughts. Now when we as people consider how we want to be remembered we have to be really deep about it. It is not just about living for the people that are nearest and dearest to us but it’s really about beyond oneself because you would not have a choice as to whether you would be talked about when you pass on and that brings me to an article written by my friend Ken Amaechi. So basically he was saying that the manner of governance shown by our leaders needs to be re-evaluated and he says what really, how really is one remembered by when we pass on and he says that there is 3 categories in which persons or institutions can be remembered: collective forgetfulness that is the category most people fall into, you just die and that the end, oh! He once lived if ever they said that and you know, did you live a life of purpose and then close people who think about you and say if only they were here and he also said the matter of negative remembrance that the second category, are you one who pass on and then people would be like ehn! That terrible person, I am so glad and all of that, would you really like to be that person? And then there is also collective remembrance there is also people who fall into that category for the Yoruba’s Obafemi Awolowo is one of such person, we speak about him very fondly and for the Igbo’s there Ojukwu and a few other people for negative remembrance if ever go back to think there is Adolf Hitler and who interestingly would have had close family and close political associate who thought great of him and basically another thing I wanted to point out is that it doesn’t matter whether you are a nice person but It’s important that your public persona also fits with being nice and it all doesn’t matter how well educated you are because you can’t be well educated and behave in an adverse way and we really need to think about how we want to be remembered.
Actually today what we are talking about is using star power to foster peace, how can star power be utilise to foster peace, s there really a guarantee for world peace , we had to talk about peace now because of what is going on around the world, there is defiant, social unrest, activisim and other sources of conflict and its apparent everywhere both in the city and local communities and that why today the United Nations is actually celebrating the International day of Multilateralism and Diplomacy for peace it is celebrated every April 24th since 2019 and its celebrates the re-affirmation of the UN charter and its principle of resolving disputes amongst countries through peaceful means it means that we have to be collective In decision making and diplomacy to achieve peaceful resolution because if you really think about it some of our community dispute, family disputes if only people would just stop and gather and talk through really then a solution is just lurking around the corner.
Now here in Nigeria as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and with the enforced lockdown by the government to curb the spread of the virus we still have recorded instances like social unrest, thefts, communal disturbances and we have had a letter of some 1 million boys group which I now hear was a hoax, however even though that was a hoax there are other such gangs threatening such community of Lagos, and I have heard people talk about the fact that their men had to through the night outside, groups of 50-100 men in neighborhood just gather around making a lot of noise to discourage banditry and it is causing sleeplessness. I mean we are already facing a lot, with COVID19 and now we are talking about people sitting outside, it is really a sad situation, I mean for some it is a reprieve from the heat that may be in the house because we still don’t have electricity at some point and there was talk about government negotiating the discuss as to how people might be given free electricity but you know we have known inconsistency in electricity, how’s that going to happen, even if I said that there is a fact that we live in a tropical zone and I still haven’t found out a cure to the mosquitoes that disturb us and therefore malaria, yes you might be getting fresh air but then the mosquitoes are ravaging your body as you stay outside, so we must consciously gather our mental health because we really have just one life. Another example was a case that many of us got to watch as well, of two men fighting in their yard at Enugu state, apparently their wives had had a misunderstanding and Divine and Nonso started fighting: if Divine and Nonso had gone to work where would they have had the time or the strength to listen to and get involved with that squabble and fight to the bloody extent that they injure themselves fatally apparently they both died before getting to the hospital, I mean normally you go to work and come back so tired and of course the frustration of having to deal with food, many of us earn daily and then we are saying stock up, stock up what? And then if they did, they would also be concerned about where the next food will be coming from, all of those frustrations, and then having to be cooked up and also having to deal with some neighbors you shouldn’t be dealing with, we have to be very intentional about managing our frustrations, anger, emotions because they can lead to something terrifying, needless to say the lockdown is promoting a lot of conflicts, it is promoting frustration, depression, violence, anger we really need to be strong and vigilant because we also hear that domestic violence is on the rise so women who are typically victims are now being forced to stay home with abusive husbands, partners and again there was a woman running out of her housing saying she don’t want anymore and the man chasing her on the street and another woman try to protect her, it is crazy and you know what this could mean, its means that more women and children are having to go through a lot of pain, people who typically are just managing each other at least couples are now forced to live together as they don’t have a choice, while some are seeing it as an opportunity to mend broken relationship some may have gone too far not having the maturity and right council to be able to managed this, so it is leading to a lot of conflicts, some who are victims themselves because I don’t see why a person who is not a victim would be that brutal to another person, what is the point of attacking another human being in whatever way, what do you gain if you yourself are not damaged in some way. we are now saying, it is popular all over the world, this is something the US does a lot, is there opportunities for using celebrities to raise awareness for crisis and conflicts, I know that many of you are laughing where you are as you would refer to our dear Funke Akindele aka Jenifa’s case, you know she made a fall path and she is repentant of her sins, she is not the first to have done it besides it doesn’t mean that celebrities cannot help so we wanted to see whether there is some way that we can get celebrities. Celebrity have lots of fan who listens to them and if they behave in some way then their fans would want to emulate them and other areas even if normal times, areas affected by conflict, disasters celebrities are often accessible to these places and use their celebrity status to create awareness to draw attention to this problems as ambassadors or advocates and then often times goodwill representatives, they fund raise and many of them take it personal and becomes ambassadors.
So the UN have something called the peace ambassadors, they are leaders from all works of life dedicated to building a world community of peace through the education of the peace principles and as can be found in the federation booklet towards achieving universal peace. And today notably we would welcome to our show our very special guest who is a UN ambassador for peace in Nigeria, doing us proud both locally and internationally Sound Sultan. So Sound Sultan is a Nigerian rapper, singer-songwriter, actor, comedian, recording artist and of course a United Nations Ambassador for peace. He is regarded as one of the pacesetters of modern hip hop music in Nigeria. He was actually born Olanrewaju Fasasi on the 27th November 1976. According to him, Sound Sultan was given to him by his elder brother and sister. He attended Stepping Stone Nursery and Primary (1981–1987) school before moving to Federal Government College Ogbomosho (1988–1993) to attain his secondary school education before acquiring a degree in Geography and Regional Planning from Lagos State University in 1999. At some point he was very well known for his first single Jagbajantis and it became an instant hits in Nigeria and he was signed on to Kennis Music, that deal expired in 2007 and so he teamed up with his equally popular brother Baba Dee to start Naijaninja’s which is a franchise that parents a record label, production outfit and a clothing line. In 2009, he married long-term girlfriend Chichi Morah, from the Igbo ethnic group and she took up the name Faredah upon marrying sound sultan and got converted to Islam and they have three children.
Welcome to the show sound sultan and congratulations of being six years of being UN ambassador for peace in Nigeria and can you enlighten us or shall I say educate us further as to what your status as a UN ambassador for peace entails? Are you still one? And if so are there any perks?
Sound Sultan: Thank you for that, as musicians the UN peace ambassadorial title is just for you to use your voice, use your position, use the attention on you to always proclaim peace and also when you are being called upon to represent, you have to be there. There are several instances where we have been called to represent in several places but the most important one is the one back home and we always do some school tours, a lot of sensitizing through our social media just to make sure you maintain peace and be one of the people that try to propagate unity and understanding because those are the things that lead to peace. We were called by the Queen some years back to go represent the common wealth inauguration,
Host: For the Second question, You went to Federal Government Ogbomosho, a unity school with students from different parts of the country, I went to a federal school as well and I know what it can be like and different people from different socio-economic backgrounds and for you to survive and survive well you have to understand tolerance to a large extent and you are also married to a women from the east who was a Christian. Could you suggest some community initiatives that people could pioneer to promote peace and unity in the country? It is popular among people from our parents’ generation where you would find people just cohabiting in peace and unity not caring where one is from, not caring about one’s class or about one’s religion and all of that. And so do you think that there is something that we need to know that people at the grass roots needs to know in order to more accepting of other people.
Sound Sultan: Yes I went to federal government college, it’s a unity school and the student from many parts yes definitely, that is one of the things that I feel has shaped me as an individual from a country with multi ethnicity like Nigeria, to understand everybody from different part of the country, to understand the traits, the culture and how they react to situations and also religion. I think that the most important thing the government needs to do is to revitalize the unity school, pump in money into the unity schools to make them of standard, if the standard becomes good it may compete with the so-called privileged private schools. Parents would be confident to put their kids in there and that way we are building a future of Nigeria that brews understanding. I feel like sometimes leadership promotes disunity, whether its by party or religion, ethnicity or tribe. The people themselves should know that we have been broken for long. Some people are being brainwashed by a certain leader from their side stating the other parts don’t want them so that there would be disunity an there would be no drive to fight for the oneness and forward moving of Nigeria. So imagine if an Hausa man, Igbo man and Yoruba man all work together to say enough Is enough to corruption and then everyone goes in one accord. That disunity is what is not making us claim our rights.
Host: That’s an interesting point about leaders sometimes promoting disunity so it is currently a case where some leaders sometimes take advantage if that is what you are saying of the fact that some people are gullible and they just basically brainwashed by another and they just continue to perpetrating whatever evil they want to perpetrate so citizens have a responsibility to be discerning and be on the lookout, you can’t just follow blindly. That is why we are human beings; God gave us the ability to discern and to be objective.
So a couple of weeks ago we talked about the for par made by Funke Akindele when she and her husband went against the lock down laid down by the government, now we are talking about this because obviously we have you on the show, as a celebrity and we are saying how can you promote peace on the show. So, do you consider it a big deal? Do you think that people’s reactions where fair?
Sound Sultan: With all due respect nobody is above the law and I think everybody makes mistakes. the people that were clamoring for them to be brought to book where online users that likes to bash you and the same energy, they used to bash Funke, they didn’t use it when they see other people doing it. I feel its double standard. I am not saying what Funke did was right but at least she apologized but whatever they told them to do I felt they were just being used as scape goat because of their popularity and the buzz it would generate. Having said that there have been other people that have publicly violated the rule especially government people where they themselves didn’t observe social distancing and the crowd there was even more than Funke’s husband birthday so let’s not be doing double standard, let’s use the same energy to bring those other people to book too.
Host: I totally agree with the points that you have raised Sound Sultan, truly even people who came for the party where forgiven but somehow she was made a scapegoat and really we can’t keep on dragging a dead horse, she is apologized and people really need to learn. Now that the government has broken the rules themselves with what happened at Mallam Abba Kyari’s burial, so what then happened? Anyways at this point we would have to take a short break and we would be right back on the Good Citizen radio show with Bekeme.
We are back on the Good Citizen radio show, this is Bekeme, back to the matter at hand with sound sultan, so as a parting note what is your advice to your fans and the government for promoting sustained peace in their respective abodes and in the country in its entirety.
Sound Sultan: As a parting note I want to say, this is Sound Sultan, My Album is out although it is not on the road yet so you can go get my album “8 Wonder” it features a whole lot of big names like Tuface, Wizkid, falz, Jonny Drille, Tenny Makani, Olu Maintain, Small doctor, Peruzzi you guys needs to get the album. For everybody that is home please stay at home, let’s try to kill this corona virus because it is looking for where to spread, let’s not give it an avenue for it to spread because Nigerian will be overwhelmed. If America, Italy were overwhelmed what then do we say about Nigeria. We don’t have enough ventilators, so the best thing is to stay indoors and wait this out.
Host: Thank you so much Sound Sultan.
Sound Sultan: Good Citizen, Good Citizen Radio show, na Sound Sultan be this, enjoy yourself.
Host: Wherever you are, please stay home regardless of what you think our leadership is not doing right, if you say that your leaders isn’t doing something right and you start doing the wrong thing you are complicit and as bad as the person you are criticizing, they say remove the log in your own eye before removing in another’s so please please stay home we don’t have enough equipment to look after people who get sick and let us prove to people who say they see death all over Nigerians that we won’t die like chickens, we owe ourselves that responsibility and also that Sound Sultan latest music is out “8 wonder” featuring Tuface, Wizkid, Falz the bad guy, Jonny Drille, Tenni Makaniki, Mr Reel, Olu maintain, Small Doctor amongst other big names so look out for it. Thanks again Sound Sultan for coming on our show, thank you all so much for listening to our show, it is really encouraging when we get feedback on social media and other platforms telling us how well you have enjoyed the show and that you are learning from it, please keep the encouragement coming, it is gratifying that people finds what we are doing useful and you can continue visiting our social media handles @goodcitizeng for giveaways questions that we might have every Monday.
We are still continuing our food drive and we are looking for partners and if you are in some way encourage and motivated to give something please give something to families who might need help, we are giving out food packages to families of between 10 and 13thousand and we are giving cash gift too people as well of 5000 naira, you can get In touch with us on 09062634111 if you want to support this drive in some way.
This show happens every Friday at 8pm on Inspiration 92.3fm so you can find out if you are a lucky winner or tune in to listen to the show and to enjoy, leave your comments with us all the time, we are happy to have them. I am your host Bekeme, you can follow me on social media @bekemeo on Instagram and bekemeolowola on Twitter, thank you to Inspiration FM and of course a big thanks to ACT Foundation for giving us support on this show and well-done to the great team at CSR-in-Action for making this an enjoyable show every Friday at 8pm. I hope you all manage to find peace during this period, I wish you all a good evening and have a great upcoming week, and God bless you. Bye Bye.