Thursday, 17 December 2015

Why I will never raise any of my kids in Nigeria— London Big Boy, Johnson Olukotun | …Knocks down President Buhari’s economic team

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Dr. Johnson & Mrs. Oluwabunmi Olukotun
In this second and concluding part of our exclusive interview with London based Homeopathy expert (Treatment of Bumps and Keloids) Dr. Johnson Abiodun Olukotun, the versatile ex-Naval officer turned footballer turned Acne Doctor reveals some of his deepest pains for Nigeria a country he claims to know like his palm and why none of his children would ever have the grace of being raised in Nigeria except something is speedily done to reverse the way the society is sliding at the moment. 
Dr. Olukotun registered his anger at so many things that has made Nigeria a “No-Come Area” for many Diaspora black of Nigeria descents and why the country needs a total overhaul of its political echelon before it could be taken serious in the comity of nations. The highly travelled Dr. Jay as fondly addressed who is presently studying law in the UK equally shared his soft spots with us including his best meal, best sport, role model, best tourist country and so many other interesting things you don’t know about him. Enjoy the exclusive only on Africa’s number 1 Celebrity Encounter blog Asabeafrika.
Dr. Jay appreciating a local poet who sang his Oriki @ Ode-Aye, Ondo State, South West Nigeria

If you have a chance to meet the Nigerian President now, what are you going to tell him to do to change the nation for better?
If you want me to be frank, for Nigeria to remain a reasonable entity we must go back to the days of regionalism when the southerners look after themselves, the Easterners look after themselves and the northerners take care of their own situation. I don’t know how they are going to divide it, may be the Arewas, the Oduduwa and I don’t know the name the South East call themselves now. They will need to arrange it in such a way that we will have a federal purse where the regions will be coming to drop certain percentage of whatever they earned from their various regions. Now, when you have a regional government and your own person from your own region is so wasteful about your resources, you will know how to handle him. I remember when I was in Portharcourt in those days, when they give an indigene a responsibility and he fails to deliver, you will see a mob embarked on him; in fact they will finish him. After they have done one or two cases like that, there was a change and that was how Portharcourt came to become one of the best cities in Nigeria at the time and we call it “The Garden City”. Very clean and well managed, I don’t know of today. Politics have spoiled everything. We politicize everything in this country, for this present administration I can’t see any success. I am sorry.
“I read it just now before you came for this interview on the Facebook and I was shocked, if such thing could be coming from Pastor Tunde Bakare who is one of the allies of President Buhari then I don’t know which hope we have again”.
Dr. Johnson Olukotun with his Bundle of Joy, Elizabeth Arinola Olukotun
How do you mean?
You see when you look at our president; let us remove the age barrier, a 72 years old man? How many seventy something years old leaders do you know around the globe that is performing? That is number one. Secondly, the tension and challenges of the job is so enormous that he cannot handle it, and the way he could have been successful was to have surrounded himself with some good technocrats. Now, when I look at the ministerial list, he is giving three portfolios to (Ex-Lagos State Governor) Babatunde Raji Fashola. The portfolios are power which is a major-major problem in Nigeria, housing another major-major-major problem in Nigeria and works, can you imagine? These are three major areas that we are really lacking behind, how could you give such three major portfolios to one particular person? How do you expect him to perform? But people were shouting, people were hailing him and I looked at my people and I say ‘Oh my God! How could we all be sleeping and facing one direction? Why is somebody not looking the other side of the road?’ You understand? So, that is a great failure. His teams of technocrats are not the best. We have brains abroad we have people who are doing very well in their various endeavors; we should stop putting a square peg in a round hole. So, I am praying for Nigeria that someday, somebody will rise up with a vision.
Dr. Johnson Olukotun with Nigerian born British based Real Estate Expert, Dr. Dapo Williams
You mean you lost confidence in President Buhari’s team?
Don’t deceive yourself, he cannot perform. In fact I was reading something on the Facebook today; one of his allies Pastor Tunde Bakare said Buhari has no capacity to lead Nigeria to the Promised Land. I read it just now before you came for this interview on the Facebook and I was shocked, if such thing could be coming from Pastor Tunde Bakare who is one of the allies of President Buhari then I don’t know which hope we have again. He was at a point in time the Vice President to General Buhari in one of the elections. So, I don’t know what we are talking about again, I don’t know what we are talking about. So, there is no hope don’t let us deceive ourselves, it is the same old game. They are just messing us around.
Is there any hope for Mr. Johnson Olukotun to return home and settle down for business and new life?
I have been nursing this ambition for long time. 2004 I made the first attempt; I was duped by my own people.
“We have a lot of people in the Diaspora that are aspiring to come back home to come and start something but if you hear stories of how people had been duped by relatives and business partners, you wont feel good about inviting any one of your own to Nigeria”
Dr. Johnson Olukotun with London based Evangelist Obafemi Aboluwodi
Did you just say duped?
All the goods that we brought we couldn’t market it ourselves, we appointed some sales agents and they killed the business. Some people even ran away with our vehicle and till tomorrow we didn’t see them. I came back again in 2008 to look for opportunity, we wanted to go into production but when we calculated the amount of diesel we will be using to produce and the pollution we would be causing to our business neighborhood we dumped the idea, we are conscious people who are aware of the environmental hazards that these things could cause our community. This year again I have been around looking for the opportunity of what I could do, it is not about making money, it is about being part of the system and impacting lives. If I want to be greedy and make money I know what I could do in Nigeria. That is why you see the Chinese coming to Nigeria, the Indians are coming, they are taking advantage of the number, the population. If I am selling anything for N1 and I send 200 girls out everyday they are coming back home with two, two hundred Naira. Two-Two hundred naira in hundred places, it is about twenty thousand for me and I am not paying any tax on it and that’s how I will be making it everyday. Nigeria is the easiest place to be rich quick. All you need is the brain and the capital. But when you look at the environmental hazard, your life will be shortened by at least 25 years coming back to Nigeria. The pollution you will be inhaling everyday, the dangers on the road, the horrible traffic, the illness that you will develop in your body. So, I will rather be coming home for holidays and keep wishing you guys’ good luck. Whenever you come over there we will host you so that whenever we come here you can guide and show us around.
Dr. Johnson Olukotun with Lagos Business Woman, Princess Toyin Kolade of Fisolak Group of Companies
Are you serious?
No, joke apart, I just had a new born baby. I don’t pray for my child to grow up in Nigeria and I am not prepared to leave my child in London. So, I have to stay with her for another twenty years, by twenty years time I will be 73 going to 74. So, that is not the right time to come back home. I will by then be a grand dad looking after my grand children, taking them home to know their roots and doing so many other things.
Is this your very honest view about Nigeria or you are just kidding?
I am not kidding, that is my life. I am having a good life in the UK. I am having a very good life in that society.
But few days back some Nigerians were deported from the UK and there is a wide opinion against such decision?
I am a British Citizen I have a British Passport, my kids are British citizens. The people who are deported are people who came in there illegally. If you have the opportunity to perfect your papers through the right channel nobody is going to deport nobody. We have equally been in that kind of situation before, they need to find their level and regularize their stay. I will be so mad to leave a well organized society to come and live in this type of society; you wouldn’t do the same, Gbenga. In fact, don’t let us joke about it.
“I have travelled all over the world but there is a small town in Portugal called Barcelos it is in the province of Porva-De-Darzim, that is where I have been to that I have really enjoyed and it is very, very cheap and good place”
Dr. Johnson Olukotun with a young friend, Hon. Ola Fasanya @ Ode-Aye
Is it that bad?
We have a lot of people in the Diaspora that are aspiring to come back home to come and start something but if you hear stories of how people had been duped by relatives and business partners, you wont feel good about inviting any one of your own to Nigeria. Like one of my friends came and bought a house in Omole Phase One and as they were about to settle down, that same week, armed robbers came, broke into the house and he swore that he will never ever return into the country again because he missed death just narrowly. They gave him a severe cut with a cutlass on his shoulder that he is still carrying up and down till today. So, I am so lucky that since I have been coming, God has been so faithful with me. I have narrowly escaped some fatal accident on Lagos-Ibadan Express road two times and since then, I don’t travel at night. Whenever I travel, I travel at day time and after 6pm I don’t move out of my hotel room again till I will go back. So, it is a fearful country.
Dr. Johnson Olukotun being Praise sing by a native poet who gave him his Oriki
That means you are deeply pained about your country Nigeria?
I am mad. I am seriously mad. When I go around and I see a lot of talents wasting away and there is nothing we can do about it, there is absolutely nothing we can do about it. We only pray that God will heal this nation because it is the same thing all the time, if you keep doing the same thing, you can’t expect a different result except you are a mad guy. We keep doing the same thing, doing the same thing, doing the same thing all the time, we politicize everything. We will see some good guys with vision but we will never allow them to get there. But these are the type of people we need in this country, where are people like Donald Duke? We don’t hear of him no more, we have some good governors that have performed in their states; we don’t hear of them no more. All our good guys are forcefully taken away from the scene. And then, Nigeria is a place where mediocre rule over intellectuals.
Who is your role model?
Role model? Let me say I have read the biography of great people like Richard Branson, I have read the story of Bill Gate, these are people  who had weaknesses when they were growing up, they used their weakness to build an empire for themselves. I can’t call them my role models because I read a lot of books about many other people…
Maybe mentors
They are not my mentors. I just read their books not everything they do is applicable to me. I read a lot of books about people, I read a lot of documents and I read a lot of things that interest me. I can’t say one particular person is my mentor or my role model; I don’t have a role model.
Dr. Johnson Abiodun Olukotun with Prophet (Dr.) Marcus K. O. Tibetan
Why I am studying Law
I learnt you equally enrolled for a law program in the UK? How are you going to cope with your kind of business?
That is my retirement course, you know from my childhood I used to be very, very argumentative and you will struggle to win any argument with me and people were saying ‘you should have been a lawyer’ not until one particular time when a bailiff, I don’t know if you know a bailiffs, they are the people who run after people to collect money forcefully, money that is owned to the government. There was a time I was issued a parking ticket which I contested and they brought a form that they were tired of me writing them, you know our people don’t like writing. So, when I fought with these people by writing letters they got tired of me and they just asked the bailiffs to come and pick my car and because I know the law, before a bailiff could pick your car they need a warrant from the court that will empower them to take that car. So, when the bailiff was about to take my car, I called my neighbor who is a 76 years old British, I said ‘Tom, I want you to be my witness, I am asking this young man to serve me the warrant from the court that empowers him to take my car, if he should take my car away from here he is taking it illegally and I am going to sue his company, he needs to serve me a warrant of execution’. So, as soon as he took away my car I went straight to the court and I filled an injunction and the court ruled that my car should be returned to me immediately and that if he has anything against me, he should come to the court. I am not supposed to go to court. So, that was how my car was returned and then we started the court process but in my court proceeding I said ‘my car was illegally removed’ so, the issue of ticket is no longer there now ‘Why did you remove his car illegally?’ This is a well organized country unlike here in Nigeria where people are wrongly judged, our judges are corrupt, our judicial system could be one of the best in the world but it is wrongly practiced here in Nigeria, so many people are wrongly punished. Some people die of anger inside of them because of wrong justice and nobody will fight for you unlike in the UK, this is a black man from Nigeria taking a British Company to the court and the judgment was given in favor of me.  That is what is called the rule of law. And since then I started helping some black people that has similar problems and at a point somebody told me ‘Dr. Jay, why don’t you go and study law and get the certificate to practice it with your experience’ and I said ‘Oh, that is a good one, if I have to start reading law at the age of 52 going to 53, why not?’ and that was how I enrolled to go and study LLB and by next year October I am going to bag my LLB and I will come back to Nigeria to do my law school and let’s see maybe I will have a change of mind to relocate to Nigeria as a old lawyer (Laughter)
Tell me your hobbies?
In my youth day I used to play football, play table tennis I love athletic I love boxing and up till this moment I still do a lot of sports, I play some football on Saturday mornings just to keep feat. So, I do a lot of sports.
What is your favorite meal?
There is nothing you are looking for in the UK that you cannot get including Bush Meat.
I can’t believe you?
Gbenga I wish you could come and visit us one of these days, we have stock fish we have Ponmo. London is a small Lagos including fresh vegetables like Gbure, Ewedu, and Ugwu, everything fresh. It arrives every morning fresh. We have pounded yam, Olu-Olu even though it is a steered one that is why I ate a lot of physically pounded yam during this my visit. But you know what, it doesn’t taste well again, I am used to the steering one (Olu-Olu). My most favorite food is Pounded Yam with Efo Riro with some nice fresh fish.
You have equally travelled round the world which country is your most favorite holiday spot?
I have travelled all over the world but there is a small town in Portugal called Barcelos it is in the province of Porva-De-Darzim, that is where I have been to that I have really enjoyed and it is very, very cheap and good place. Not that when you make the most expensive holidays that you enjoy it. I have been to Portugal a lot because I have a friend there who could drive me around, we used to live in Germany together; another foreign country I love is Spain because it shares a border with Portugal and sometimes we drive across the border across to Spain. I think I enjoy going to Portugal more.

Dr. Jay blesses a Musician who sang for him at Ode-Aye with wads of Naira notes

So, what is going to be your greatest advice to a group of a thousand ambitious Nigerian Youth in a ball room?
They will just get my area of strength. My most interesting gift in life is empowerment and that is what I do most of the time, wherever I go I empower young people, I encourage them, not only encourage them, I place in their hands keys to unlock their destinies. Because of my wealth of experience I have motivated a lot of people. In my short stay in Nigeria I was at the CCC, Elisha cathedral with Prophet Dr. Marcus and he gave me the rare opportunity to address the congregation. After 30 minutes of addressing them, I could see the excitement in them because I told them every one of you had got potentials. Don’t die without fulfilling your dreams. Don’t let the situation of the country kill your morale, have a plan for yourself.  Don’t say you don’t have the money, draw a plan and you will see that a way will crop up. I spoke to electricians, I spoke to welders, I spoke to building contractors, I spoke to traders and I gave them some tips that could enhance their businesses. Many of them haven’t got a business plan. Many of them haven’t got a contact list of people they are meeting everyday. Many of them don’t even know where the next job will come, I now advised them on what to do. And I told them, that your integrity will set you apart. Because without integrity people can not rely on you, I told them that ‘you have to be a man of your word’. Don’t let the system corrupt you, the entire system is corrupt already don’t be part of the corrupt system. Stand out and let people say ‘this man, ti e yato’ and I was so surprised that many young men in the compound started coming to tell me their dreams and I started to advise them individually.

Gbenga Dan Asabe

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