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Casualties of Household Violence and Counselling Strategies

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Modern-day Journalism As A Barrier To National Development

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Grace Ego Omoni

In my university days, some stories read in my literature classes still ring a bell today as I hear some other stories in our society today. One of such was that of Henchard, a character in the novel, Mayor of Casterbridge by Thomas Hardy. In that story, this man of poverty and with the mentality that a wife was the property of the man decided to alleviate his poverty by selling off his wife at a funfair to the surprise of everyone. Yet nobody stopped him. He succeeded in doing so for a peanut!

What a catastrophic, wicked and senseless phenomenon! Are you aware that such inhumanity of man is still being perpetrated today in our society unabated in different dimensions by people who you think are of noble character?

I saw Henchard’s wife and child as casualties of household wickedness in high places. As a teacher who interacted with parents, pupils and students, it has become expedient to narrate to the society some heinous experiences of husbands/fathers in respect of women and children in the families and environment.

People go about condemning the government of her insensitivity to the onslaught of terrorists, bandits, religious bigots, armed robbers, killers and the rest of them. Yet we overlook the inhuman evil being done by husbands/fathers to women and children.
Is it not ridiculous that in this modern time, men still do bizarre things to their wives just as parents and guardians engage in modern-day slavery the way the children are being used and maltreated?

You need to judge for yourself as I narrate some casualties (women/children).

In the early sixties, my lady teacher in my village in the riverine area got married to a young man and relocated to a big town in the North. About two years after, my father’s friend rushed to our house with the then popular Daily Times Newspaper. There they narrated how a man stabbed his wife to death. Behold that woman was my former teacher! A causalty of household violence!
A few years ago, a family with two professors and four children experienced so much violence from the man that the woman decided to call it quits.

This so-called professor used the wife as a punching bag times without number. Her salary was her husband’s property and she had no right to buy anything. She was banned from making friends. A particular day came when he beat her to a coma. For more than one hour, the woman remained motionless. Then, the children were very small and all they did was to cry and cry. They watched their father running up and down the compound.

Eventually, he decided to go and deposit her in the mortuary in the big hospital in the next town. As God would have it, Providence smiled on the poor woman and she came back to life as he was driving down. He warned her not to tell anybody. He did this beating times without number after that incident. Many people see him as either mentally deranged or a schizophreniac.

READ ALSO: I’ve No Plan To Honour Adamu Garba With Title – Ooni

Apart from terrorizing the wife in the home, the children lived in constant fear with no care. The salary of the woman was for the home including the children from other women but his own salary was for himself alone.

As a young teacher in the early seventies, there was a particular incident that took place in my school. One day, very early in the morning, there was pandemonium. My older colleagues struggled to prevent a woman and some hefty young men from gaining entrance into a class. It was later I learnt that one of the teachers, a full-grown man with a wife and children had a carnal knowledge of a minor of about six years. How did the mother get to know? As she was bathing the child, she noticed that the child had bruises in her private part. She was in pains and upon being questioned she confessed that this teacher who was her uncle had carnal knowledge of her.

Yet another story is the issue of sexual violence. I was privileged to hear this in our counselling class from a renowned professor. This so-called honourable had several wives but decided to be sleeping with one of his daughters; it was a case of incest. All the wives knew this including the mother of the girl. Nobody had the courage to challenge this monster over his wickedness. Instead, these women used this girl to get what they wanted from their husband.

Any time they needed money, they went to the girl being sexually harassed by her biological father. This went on for a long time until the gods visited her. Every night masquerades pursued her until she opened up to her uncle. Believe it or not , this evil stopped after the father was challenged by his family members!

A fifth case was that of a very wealthy young man whose wife was a lawyer but he never allowed the woman to work but she was his punching bag. He also engaged in verbal violence against this beautiful woman until their grown-up son ran to a psychologist for help. In the presence of this woman, the man boasted that he would chop the wife’s head off with a cutlass because she was her property!

A woman was asked why she was no longer living with the husband and she narrated ugly experiences of ugly sexual violence such as forcing her to engage in oral and anal sex.

Now rape is an everyday occurrence in the home. The boys, both teens and young men, rape their siblings, cousins and house helps, impregnate and abort with or without the knowledge of their parents; uncles, bosses and stepfathers make the house maids and apprentices their sex objects. These casualties are cajoled and intimidated never to talk. Just recently, at a seminar, a story was told of how a nine-day- old baby was raped. This is not mere fantasy because there have been several cases of sexual abuse in the home.

In one of the trainings we had with school counsellors, a story was told of how a teacher discovered that a male sibling of about ten years had been abusing his younger sister who was about seven. When their parents were invited by the counsellor, they threatened to sue the school. However, the couple decided to interview the children and discovered that it was true!

READ ALSO: Providing Constructive Criticism: A Leadership Series

Another story is that of infidelity. This was a well-known man in the society and legally married to his wife who trusted him so much. However, this man married another woman secretly and had children with the woman. For a long time, she was unaware only for the children to appear on the day of his burial. It was a rude shock for the legally wedded wife of over forty-five years. The psychological torture was unbearable for the woman. This is one of the things that men do to their wives without remorse.

Before giving some counselling tips, there is the need to talk about child labour and how they become victims and casualties.

The writer is not against children assisting parents to cushion the effects of poor economic background in the family. What I am against are the negative consequences. Imagine a child between 6 and 13 years being sent by their mothers to go and hawk in the streets or the expressways. Imagine the risks involved. On our high ways you see them dashing from one vehicle to another. Many of them have been killed in the process while the girls are raped, impregnated, become single mothers at an early age or forced into marriage unprepared.

There was a case of a girl of about 15 years who was always hawking groundnut in the university campus where I worked. I became interested in her because while her age mates where in school, she would be hawking. I made her my customer. That was how we got talking and I found out that she was pregnant. She was a house help to a family in Lagos and got raped, became pregnant and was sent home. The mother forced her to fend for herself. Who is to blame?

Why are parents leaving their children to become vulnerable to a society that is depraved? Get to the market on market days, what do you see? Boys pushing wheelbarrows to receive paltry amounts from buyers and sellers while the girls are all over the nooks and crannies of the markets hawking articles not more than one or two thousand naira.

Some of them end up being raped in uncompleted buildings, lonely corners or are lured by men who promise to buy everything they are selling; after all, the whole thing in the tray will not cost more than one or two thousand naira. What are the consequences? The children become irregular in school. Many times, they are late and in some cases, they drop out of school. Get to the villages during planting or harvest seasons, most of these children are in the farms helping their fathers.

The situation is worse now since unemployment challenges have risen to a crescendo. Parents reason under the premises that it would be double loss for them to continue sending children to school when those they have trained can neither help their parents nor fend for themselves. So you see the predicaments of our children and the tragedy that has befallen women and children in this generation? Women are being brutalised physically, verbally, harassed sexually and economically.

The same goes for our young girls and even boys. The incidence of child labour, physical violence and sexual abuse and rape is on the increase; children are being deprived of formal education and dropping out of school is now on the increase. This has even resulted in the high rise in cyber fraud, armed robbery, thuggery, prostitution, unwanted pregnancies, abortion, drug trafficking and addiction, human trafficking, selling of human parts, single parenthood, Yahoo syndrome and other cases of juvenile delinquencies. In fact many women who are single choose to be so because of ugly experiences of forced sex.

READ ALSO: I’ve No Plan To Honour Adamu Garba With Title – Ooni

Counselling Strategies

  • Parents need to have a positive orientation about their children’s welfare.
  • Decide on the number of children you will be capable of bringing up.
  •  Parents should be more responsible in the training of the children and should not send them to work to fend for themselves.
  • Female children should not be sent out to hawk or to work as house helps.
  •  Mothers should be more vigilant to ensure that the relationship between father and daughter or between brothers, uncles, nephews and cousins does not result in sexual intimacy.
  •  Parents especially mothers should be their children’s best friends especially with the females.
  •  Girls should be given the tips for saying no to sex without being rude.
  •  Parents teach your children to be contented with wealth and material things.
  •  Have time for interaction with your children in the home.
  •  Parents, provide for your children. Do not exchange their education for transients for better days are ahead.
  • Report cases of rape. Take the child to the hospital immediately. This will reduce the high rate of sexually transmitted infection including HIV/AIDS as well as unwanted pregnancy and abortion.

For cases of domestic violence, women should

  •  Ensure that they are economically viable. Be independent financially.
  • Love should not blind you no matter how wealthy your man is. Do something that can bring in money to the house.
  • Support the home financially especially with providing the children with their little demands
  • Do not get into marriage without knowing your spouse’s idiosyncrasies. Do not take his fits of anger during courtship for granted.
  •  Encourage constant friendly communication with your husband.
  • Do not take threats for granted
  • Report cases of beating and intimidation to the appropriate quarters (welfare offices).
  • Your life is precious; when your husband is showing signs of aggression, protect yourself by leaving the scene.
  • Discuss in detail how best to handle your finances.

Casualties are not only found in hospitals and in accident scenes.Women suffering from domestic violence, female children who are so vulnerable to the males and children used for child labour by parents, guardians and apprentices are all victims or household causalities.

Nongovernmental organizations especially those dealing with gender-based violence, religious bodies, teachers, counsellors and the government are to put all hands on deck to end or reduce to the barest minimum the issues discussed in this article.

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Opinion

Modelling Success: Dr Adedeji Adeleke And Adeleke University

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Dele Jegede In Conversation With Prince Yemisi Shyllon
Prof. Toyin Falola

By Toyin Falola

Success is a broad concept that has been widely researched and discussed for many years. While there is no specific formula for achieving success, certain principles are commonly observed among individuals deemed to be successful. Success transcends mere material wealth or professional achievements; it is a phenomenon shaped by intrinsic belief, goal setting, dignity, and respect for divine will. Dr. Adedeji Adeleke, a Nigerian businessman and philanthropist, exemplifies the principles of success through his life and impact on individual and societal growth and development, serving as a beacon of inspiration to many and reflecting these values through his accomplishments.

Success is believing in one’s capabilities and potential. Successful people have an innate sense of self-efficacy, confidently believing in their ability to take actions that will lead to the attainment of set goals. Such a belief is a powerful source of motivation, as it pushes one to remain consistent even in the face of adversity and to approach tasks proactively and with a positive outlook. Successful people also understand the significance of setting clear, specific, and attainable goals.

It is worth noting that while the path to success is often super-frustrating and challenging, it is achievable with well-defined goals and persistent efforts. As such, one must continually aim forward, transition step by step, and ultimately weave together a remarkable success story through various engagements by preparing detailed actions that translate into bigger ambitions. The journey to success begins with unwavering self-belief, which is not merely about confidence; rather, it is a deep-rooted conviction in one’s ability to achieve their dreams. This resilience is required to face life’s ups and downs with a positive mindset, seeing opportunities where others see obstacles.

Success is not only due to human will and actions but is also influenced by environmental factors that can pose significant challenges. These factors can become potential stumbling blocks if the individual does not believe in the power of their dreams. Dr. Adeleke’s story is indeed one of belief in self and in the guiding influence of divine will. Despite the numerous challenges he encountered on his way to achieving his set goals, he believed in himself and his immense potential, also trusting in the divine purpose for his life. This propelled him forward, enabling him to build a legacy that cuts across different areas, including education, business, and philanthropy.

Accepting divine will means a careful, responsible acceptance without succumbing to extraneous rules or laws that rob us of our confidence and authenticity. This perspective fosters humility and gratitude and an acknowledgement that our achievements are not solely ours but are also gifts and opportunities that come from a higher source. Dr. Adeleke exemplifies humility and a powerful sense of purpose. Despite his immense success, he remains grounded and attributes his accomplishments to divine guidance.

His philanthropic efforts include huge contributions to education and community development, demonstrating his commitment to giving back and serving the greater good. Dr. Adeleke’s story indicates that true success is a harmonious blend of self-belief, goal setting, and submission to a higher purpose. It is about striving for excellence while remaining humble and purposeful.

From Dr. Adeleke, we learn that the idea of success is personal and varies from individual to individual. It is not defined by societal standards or criteria but by one’s own goals and values. Through inspired actions, individuals can realise that success is achievable for anyone who believes in themselves, sets clear goals, and respects divine will. Modelling success requires more than ambition and hard work; it involves an inherent belief in oneself, discipline in setting and pursuing goals, and a humble recognition of the divine influences in our lives. Dr. Adeleke’s life is a testimony to this whole process of success, demonstrating that success is both an internal and external journey.

Dr. Adeleke exemplifies that success is achieved through belief, goal-setting goals, and respect for divine will. He has shown that his achievements stem not merely from external factors but from nurtured internal qualities. For everyone to be successful, they must follow these prescripts and approach their goals with belief, intention, and reverence toward the divine. Belief provides the motivation, while goal setting charts the course. Goals, when clear and well-defined, act as a blueprint and a guiding light, directing actions and decisions and making the path to success easier. Goals break down the seemingly insurmountable journey into manageable steps, making the path to success more navigable.

Remarkably, Dr. Adeleke’s success in business and life is proof of his strategic mindset and commitment to setting goals. His achievements with Adeleke University and other ventures illustrate how his endeavours have successfully evolved through effective planning. Milestones play a crucial role in goal planning and maintaining focus, and Dr. Adeleke’s invaluable achievements in different spheres of life epitomise that setting realistic goals and pursuing them with dedication and hard work yields significant rewards.

 

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Opinion

Sogolo’s Moral Values And Social Change In Nigeria (5)

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Readers’ Showers Of Encouragement
Prof. Tony Afejuku

By Tony Afejuku

Our reading of Professor Godwin Sogolo’s mature opinions on our moral values and human situation in general terminates today.

Read it!

Moral Imperatives of the 4TH Industrial Revolution (4IR)

The 4th Industrial Revolution is already transforming the way we live, work, and interact. One of the key areas in which moral values will have a significant impact is in the development and implementation of emerging technologies – artificial intelligence, automation, big data analytics, genetic engineering, etc. These technologies have the potential to revolutionise industries and societies, for good! But, they also raise complex ethical dilemmas and challenges. For example, the fear is that the widespread use of artificial intelligence and automation in the workplace would lead to job displacement and economic inequality. While these technologies have the potential to increase productivity and efficiency, they also have implications for workers’ rights, fair distribution of wealth, and human dignity. Moral considerations for justice, equality, and respect for human rights must be the guiding principles in the development and deployment of the new technologies. 

Furthermore, the collection and analysis of massive amounts of personal data raise concerns about privacy, consent, and the potential for surveillance and manipulation. Moral values such as privacy, autonomy, and informed consent are essential in ensuring the protection of individuals’ rights and freedoms in the digital age. As technologies continue to advance, it is important to consider the implications they have for our value systems, and to address potential ethical dilemmas before they become widespread. That assessment falls within the purview of the humanities in general, and philosophy in particular.

Another important function of moral values in the 4th Industrial Revolution is to address the socio-economic implications of the new technologies on employment, income inequality and social cohesion. Moral values such as compassion, solidarity, social justice, etc., are essential in ensuring that the benefits of the emerging technological progress are shared equitably, and that vulnerable populations are not left behind.

The 4th Industrial Revolution has the potential of either exacerbating or mitigating the ecological challenges that we currently face, depending on the strength of our moral values and the decisions and actions of individuals, groups, businesses, governments, etc., in connection with the issues of environmental sustainability. Technologies relating to renewable energy, smart grids and circular economic models offer promising solutions. But, they require a commitment to moral values such as environmental stewardship, intergenerational responsibility and sustainability. It is important to prioritise these values so as to minimize the negative environmental impact of the new technological advancements in furtherance of sustainable development.

In adapting to the new technologies, we must bear in mind that moral values also guide issues relating to personal ethics and the well-being of the individual. The constant connectivity, information overload, and digital distractions that come with the 4th Industrial Revolution pose serious challenges to the issue of personal identity and mental health of the individuals in matters of inter-personal relationships and group interactions. We need to develop faith and confidence that the human ingenuity that created the new technologies is also able to devise means of controlling its negative consequences. For instance, if you ask ChatGPT to provide information on how to prepare a nuclear bomb, the response will be that it cannot help because it is dangerous and illegal. That is how values can assist in controlling the negative and disastrous effects of the new technologies. What the people need are moral values such as empathy, compassion, mindfulness and digital responsibility, essential for cultivating a healthy and balanced digital life that puts premium on the collective interest.

Finally, although I have emphasized the role of Philosophy in this discussion, I must add that other disciplines in the humanities also have their unique roles to play in the 4th Industrial Revolution: the classical studies and history can provide models of  personalities, social institutions and historical events that have propelled human civilisations in the past: linguistics and the languages perform communicative functions that give the individual an understanding of human relations and the working of social institutions, while the creative, visual and performing arts recreate human models, personalities and events, both real or unreal, thereby informing and inspiring the people. And, of course, the discipline of religious studies helps the individual in coping with the vicissitudes of our confusing world, further complicated by the flux of unending changes.  Together, the humanities are designed to prepare the individual to understand, control and adapt to the new changes. Already, Western nations, led by the United States of America and some European nations, have shown the moral and political will by working together on ways of controlling and adjusting to the changes that will accompany the 4th Industrial Revolution. Very recently, the American President, Joe Biden, announced a joint project with Microsoft to setup an AI control Centre in the US. Africa, especially Nigeria, cannot afford to miss out, again, on the journey of moving to the next level.

Conclusion

Historical antecedents, years of bad governance, misplaced values and ill-conceived education system, have led to a state of moral crisis in Nigeria. The social ills have had the most severe impact on Nigerian youths who, today, lack the moral foundation needed to transform the animal (Aristotle’s tabula rasa) into a human person. Not only is a large proportion of our youths denied access to basic education, the few that are lucky to have access, have been taught nothing but techniques that are bereft of positive moral values and integrity. It is obvious that Nigerian youths are ill-prepared for the arduous and compelling demands of a changing world. Surely, there is an urgent need for  retooling  our educational curricula, with emphasis on the inculcation of moral values in our youths, to save the nation from descending into the Hobbesian state of nature, anarchy  and more importantly, to enable our society to  keep pace with the changes that are coming with the 4th Industrial Revolution.

Concluded.

Afejuku can be reached on 

08055213059.

 

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Opinion

Aáwé’s Day Of Glory And Development Challenges

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The Alawe of Aawe, Oba Cornelius Taiwo Oladokun

By Tunji Olaopa

July 5 2024 was a historic day in the political and cultural annals of Aáwé town. That day was the memorable culmination of more than thirty years of a struggle to achieve the status of a beaded monarch for the Alaawe of Aáwé, Oba Cornelius Taiwo Oladokun. And the Oyo State Governor, Engr. Seyi Makinde, made this feat possible by the singularly courageous act of cutting through the red-tape of political shenanigans and prejudices to underscore historical imperatives that have to do with the cultural status of Aáwé as a significant Yoruba community in the southwest. Aáwé has always been a town that has been shaped by sociocultural and political conflicts and circumstances. And so, it becomes inevitable to connect this current breakthrough with the trajectories of so many others that situate Oba Taiwo Oladokun right within the dynamics of the Aáwé forebears and the Aáwé mystique.

What I have been calling the Aáwé mystique derives from Aáwé’s pragmatic mix of critical enlightenment, communal investment deriving from social capital, and educational commitment that facilitate the capacity of a small town to forge its own path within the context of complex sociocultural ferment from then till now. Aáwé’s strength lies in the generational, communal and diasporic investment that birthed great names that contributed to Aáwé’s image of resilience and progress. Even though Aáwé is a small Yorùbá town, it carries the weight of great achievements — the aggregation of its diverse indigenous pool into a developmental capital that propels continuous advancement in social, cultural, economic and political terms. Aáwé’s indigenous pool is made up of the expatriates abroad who invested in educational advancement and those, equally educated, who stayed behind to keep up the chain of communal commitment and advancement.

This mystique is founded on an even more fundamental governance principle that takes the grassroots seriously as the basis of a distinct and peculiar development founded on subsidiarity and social capital. These two principles form the basis of local governance that embeds governance and development in traditional institutions and the will of the members of the grassroots. I have provided these sociological and political narratives to underscore two points. The first is to underscore the rationale behind the doggedness and courage of His Royal Majesty, Oba Cornelius Abiola Taiwo Oladokun. This kind of struggle and sacrifice to realize the transformation of the status of the monarchy at Aáwé could only further elevate the status of the town and the historical forbearance of Aáwé’s forebears. The Kabiyesi is only following in the footsteps of the Aáwé ancestors who kept up the trajectory of historical and cultural responsibility to the town and to posterity. The new beaded crown is therefore a testimonial to the historical resilience of Aáwé as a small town that withstood the complexities and intrigues of being situated within the context of larger Yorùbá historical circumstances that had the capacity to swallow it up.

More importantly, therefore, beyond the pomp and circumstances of the coronation, I am reading the entire event as Aáwé’s Nehemiah’s moment. At a very critical juncture in time, the biblical Nehemiah came to that conscious moment when all circumstances became propitious for him to take on the challenge of harnessing the will of the people and the resources of the land to reconstruct the walls of Jerusalem. I am convinced that Aáwé has reached its own critical moment when there is a conjunction of history, vision and possibilities; it is a moment to rehabilitate the shared vision that has never failed to unite the Aáwé homeland and the Aáwé diaspora, or the Aáwé people and its distinguished elites towards a sustainable developmental future. Given the committed efforts of Aáwé’s ancestors to the Aáwé mystique, there is already in place a vast demography of generational capital — in terms of human capital and available resources — that creates a space of possibilities. What must then be added is a context for the sharing of opinions and blueprints for moving Aáwé forward. And it is the responsibility of the Alaawe to facilitate the flowering of the space that accommodates different shades of opinions and scenarios within leadership large-hearted seminal spirit; especially the peculiar one, required to manage a demographic of people with perhaps one of the largest professors and professionals per capital in the world, for moving Aáwé forward.

Like Nehemiah, these needed conversations and discourses need to be had around the urgency of taking Aáwé to the next level of composite development. There is no questioning the visible and tangible level of infrastructural achievements that dot the landscape of Aáwé as a result of self-help efforts. And they are though few, but too numerous to be mentioned, from the Oba’s palace to the Odo Sogidi tourist center, and from the police post to the bank. We must also not fail to mention the industrializing spirit of the late Chief (Sir) Anthony Amoje (the Otun of Aawe and his Amo Sanders), Chief Debo Omotoso (the Asiwaju of Afijio and his Bond Chemicals), etc. These self-help and industrial activities tell a tale of communal and collective responsibilities to the perceived need of a community that has always been aware of itself. However, by reason of this significant event of the crowning of the Aáwé monarch, we are challenged to rethink Aáwé’s development status and to take the self-help initiatives a fundamental step further. This is to the extent that the existing self-help efforts provide the enabling motivation to ground real development that transforms the well-being of the Aáwé people.

I mentioned that part of the Aáwé mystique is the available demography of people and resources that have been accumulating for a long time. This implies that there is really no need to reinvent the development wheel in putting Aáwé on the map. Starting from the Egbe Omo Ibile Aáwé to the Aáwé Development Plan: The OPTICOM Approach — and the ongoing but relevant Chief Emmanuel Adisa, the Asiwaju of Aawe-led attempt at developing an Aáwé Vision 2050, a blueprint that encompasses Aáwé Economic Renaissance and Restructuring for Economic Activities and Revitalization — speaks to the larger intention to take Aáwé beyond its present status in terms of leveraging local governance principles. For instance, Professors Ojetunji Aboyade and Akin Mabogunje’s OPTICOM — from optimum community — represents a unique experimental approach to grassroots mobilisation for community development. It is an attempt at establishing interactive platforms between researchers and grassroots producers in a unique synergy that facilitates the critical flow and fusion of knowledge and expertise. The OPTICOM thesis rests on the assumption that traditional structures possess the inherent capacity, borne out of centuries of adaptability and resilience, to bear the weight of responsible policy initiatives properly managed by equally responsible and development-sensitive leadership.

A revitalized OPTICOM approach, adapted to current development challenges, will provide the framework for transforming individual efforts into cooperative endeavors. For example, Aáwé farmers could be given the opportunity of re-organizing into enhanced cooperative societies and the building of entrepreneurial networks that could connect them with multi-sourced credit and infrastructural supports within a structured agro-processing industry value chain. This feeds directly into the poverty alleviation component of the Opticom model that is meant to reduce the burden of individual efforts that do not usually amount to much outside of cooperative capacities. This also speaks to Aáwé’s small and medium enterprises whose tenacious capacities as cottage industries not only delimit Aáwé’s comparative advantages, like the ebu ose (black soap) industry, but also remain the key to the creative industrial and economic transformation of Aáwéland. When the late Prof. Mabogunje consolidated this component in the celebrated experiment in Ijebu Development Initiative on Poverty Reduction (IDIPR), its success had the critical support and the transformational leadership inspiration of the HRM the Awujale of Ijebuland, Oba Sikiru Kayode Adetona. This is then the crucial benchmarking of traditional governance structure and development achievement that Aáwé needs to emulate.

The development drive in Aáwé is also tied further to the dream of connecting Aáwé to the world, especially through age-long struggle to facilitate the establishment of a tertiary institution, as well as the urgent construction and rehabilitation of Aáwé’s network of roads and highways. Three highways are crucial in this regard—the Aáwé-Ife Odan, Aáwé-Akinmorin and Aáwé-Iwo roads. These are significant contributors to the industrialization of Aáwé. At the sociocultural level, Aáwé is also embedded in a historical and cultural axis under the sway of the Alaafin of Oyo. This places a heavy burden of wisdom and diplomacy on the Alaawe to find the right amount of relational skills and diplomacy that will make the peaceful coexistence between the different interests within Aawe town and those in diaspora on the one hand, and with our neighbors on the other, the centre-point of Aáwé’s development. And given that the days of imperialist expansion are long gone, what we are left with is a scenario of mutual and peaceful coexistence within the context of regional advancement that Aáwé itself can benefit from.

Therefore, even before the euphoria of the crowning ceremony wears off, it is time to commence the process of communal dialogue instigated by the Alaawe, the council of chiefs, Awe Development Corporation, the numerous egbe omo ibile Aawe, the Aáwé elite at home and in the diaspora, and the Aáwé people themselves. It is high time Aáwé took its place in the comity of places that deploy local governance through the political and sociocultural sophistication of their traditional governance structures to connect their people to human flourishing. This is a critical junction when the broken walls of Aáwé’s development trajectories needed to be rebuilt. And I believe the omens are auspicious sufficiently for us to re-start the formidable engine of progress.

Olaopa is a Professor of Public Administration, and Chairman, Federal Civil Service Commission, Abuja.

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