Nigeria Can Be Tiring and Dangerous – Olufemi Adeniregun

May our readers meet you?

I am Olufemi Adeniregun. I’m in my 50s, an economist by profession but a property developer by livelihood. I live in Lekki phase 1, Lagos, Nigeria.

What was growing up like?

Growing up was fun. It was full of family influences, in Lagos and Nigeria that was a bit sane. I schooled in Surulere, Ogun state and Federal Government College, Imo State. I grew up within a huge family set up. I had loads of brothers and sisters, uncles and aunties, cousins and external family members my father had brought to Lagos to live with us. Church was a must go – I even sang in the choir. We had both Muslims and Christians in my family and as neighbors. We also had traditional worshippers. Back then religious differences were non issues. My material grandfather was a force to reckon with. He was also the patron of the only Baptist church in our community then.

What’s your nationality?

I have a dual nationality. Both Nigerian and British.
Where are you now

I’m in Lagos, Nigeria.

We understand you were outside Nigeria sometime ago, which countries did you go to?

I lived and schooled in England – London, Archway and Stevenage. I then moved to Canada in the province of Ontario. I lived in Toronto and Mississauga for five years.

Why did you leave your country?

I left Nigeria tp school in England as a young boy.

Could you compare Nigeria with the countries you’ve been to?

I, obviously, can’t compare Nigeria to all the countries I’ve lived in, schooled, worked and traveled to for business. Those other countries are well advanced and practice good democratic governance.

Why did you go back?

After almost 30 years away from Nigeria, I felt it was time to return to contribute my own quota and experience to help Nigeria to grow.

We understand you’ve been involved in politics, how has it been?

I always feel we are all politicians. When I came back to Nigeria, things weren’t just right. So, I decided to help, at least, the people around me and my community. I then realized that to help considerably, I had to join a political party and run for office. So, I joined CPC in 2010. I contested for a House of Representatives seat. It was a good experience because it opened my eyes and mind to the way politics is played in Nigeria. The first shocking experience for me was that the same people one was trying to help make their own lives better were associating with politicians who did not have any good intentions for them
They gave material things in exchange for the poor people’s votes. As a result, the people were kept in bondage for the next four years of their cycle in office. I tried to educate them and let them know it is wrong. However, and sadly too, that’s the game. I was also threatened by the community leaders of those I was trying to help and bring good governance to. Politics in Nigeria is not sane. It’s neither normal nor nice. But then, Nigerians must still get involved.

What can you say is the problem with Nigeria?

Nigeria’s number one problem is the general lack of education. The steady downward trend of killing and trashing our education aren’t helping things at all.
Second, our political class is not people-oriented. They see people as slaves and followers and not people to work for.
Third, our constitution is not a document for the people or by the people of Nigeria.
We need to go back to true federalism and stay away from this military style of unitary system.

Do you regret going back home?

It’s 50/50 feeling for me. The fact that I could just get up and travel from Nigeria to the UK or any other country in the world makes it easy and less stressful for me when when things get cumbersome. Nigeria can be tiring and dangerous. One has to really be a master of the game. You are your own LF chairman!

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