Saturday, 13 August 2016

Why I am Afraid for my Children & Nigeria---Gen. David Jemibewon | + How I fell in love with Dupe Jemibewon

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The GDA & The General in a Very relaxing mood'

In this second part of the exclusive encounter with elder statesman and ex-Adjutant General of the Nigerian Army, Major General David Medayese Jemibewon (CFR, Mni) the former Military Administrator of Western Nigeria and former Minister of Police Affairs lament the down ward slide his country, Nigeria is presently undergoing in the hands of bad political leaders and social engineers. For once, the General angrily declared “Nigeria is undergoing a process of underdevelopment”.  
General Jemibewon who was appointed Military Administrator of the Western States of Nigeria between August 1975 and March 1976 and later became the first Military Administrator of Oyo State after Oyo, Ogun and Ondo states were carved out of the old western states between March 1976 and July 1978 under the military regime of General Olusegun Obasanjo later became a Minister of Police Affairs between 1999 and year 2000 under the Civilian regime of President Olusegun Obasanjo. He is reputed to be the minister who created what is now known as the Police Service Commission (PSC). The General, who is now the Rector of Jemibewon International Academy Iyah-Gbedde is not only sad for the future of Nigeria which he describe as ‘BLEAK’ but equally sad that his generation has created a country his own children and grand children will never like to live in.  Enjoy the excerpts with your Africa’s Number 1 Celebrity Encounter blog, Asabeafrika.
The General with his darling wife, Madam Modupe Jemibewon
Talking about politics, when you were Military Governor of old Western states, you built roads and durable infrastructures but today what do you have to say about Project Nigeria, especially when you hear about the kind of money that is being looted out of the country by politicians, and issues such as padding of budgets in the National Assembly?
I am telling you, I am not sure we are making progress in Nigeria, I do not think so. It is sad. But let me make it clear. It is not necessarily caused by this government or the leadership of this government. The situation had been so hopeless from what we now read in newspapers before they came. And they too probably didn't know the magnitudes of the problems. There are no roads, no hospitals; the few hospitals that are available have no drugs. Or the drugs that available are fake drugs. I do not understand. Nigerian Airways is dead, National Shipping Line is dead, I don't know. People are opening universities every day, some of these universities are not better than secondary schools, why? Why? In some countries, they limit the number of doctors they produce in one academic year, the purpose being to make what they produce quality. They have a ceiling to the lawyers they produce because they want to produce sound lawyers. The same thing goes for engineers and so on. Today we have graduates some who may not be able to spell even their surname. My thought was that creation of states was to bring some form of competition among the states. In those days, the Western states wanted to be in the forefront of development, the east decided to catch up with the west and the north too. And that was how we had Ahmadu Bello University, Obafemi Awolowo University of Nigeria, Nsukka and so on. But today what can we say is the developmental competition? We started hearing bail out!!! What does it mean? Is it meant to generate resources and from there drive an income process to re-pay the source of the bailer? (Shakes his head sorrowfully) There are lots of problems.
General David Jemibewon to Asabeafrika....'I am afraid that if i go, none of my kids might see reason with me to come and stay here and run the school'
Buhari is good for the job…
But I think the leadership that we have there now, has great foresight but age is not on his side, even if he wants to work hard, nature is such that the capacity he had 24 years ago or 30 years ago, is no more there. So, I have great sympathy for him (President Muhammad Buhari). But as for capability and the vision to succeed, that one is there for him.

General David Jemibewon to Asabeafrika...'The Quality of Leadeship has dropped in all endeavors in Nigeria'
Are you sure sir?
Ha, I am very sure. I am positive. I know him very well. He is a decent man. He is a man who does not tolerate corruption and he is hard working. But I have used myself as a case study severally in the sense that the strength I had and my determination to succeed and do the right thing while I was Governor in Ibadan and now, is different. I don't have the energy anymore. And even the people one will ask to come and work with one today, are not the best materials, compared to 25 or 30 years ago. That is what I am saying! Even in your own profession, the quality has gone down. So in this country, quality has gone down in every sphere. If you are coming from Abuja and going to Lagos by road, you will see more than a dozen of signboards of universities. Now tell me why quality won’t go down, because to even employ people to run these new universities is still going to take place within the university system. So, someone who shouldn't have become a professor in the next five years goes to a new university and he is made a Vice Chancellor.

General David Jemibewonto Asabeafrika...'I fell for my Wife, Dupe's Voice on Radio'
General David Jemibewon to Asabeafrika....'I am afraid that if i go, none of my kids might see reason with me to come and stay here and run the school'
Nigeria is undergoing a process of underdevelopment…
When you look at the Nigerian situation, do you nurse any fear for your grand children?
I do give it a thought, but I do not want such thoughts to dampen me. I can only continue with prayers. But beyond prayers, one thing I think that I have observed in this country generally, we are undergoing the process of underdevelopment. Here I am, I told you what happened before I decided to start a school. I have five children and I told you that my first wife died last year, my children are grown up. I have a second wife, we have just one child. For my first wife's children, one is in England, she is a lady; she is here now. The other children are in Lagos. Two boys and two girls, my mother died; it’s only the first son and first daughter that came. The first two children; and I cannot blame those that didn't come because they are just forming their families. I look at this school; it is already giving me headache. Who takes over the school when I am no more here? My last son is married to a Chinese-American. You see, he has been here on few occasions. With the under-development that we face here, do you really see my grand children coming here? No. That question is applicable to my children and grandchildren. The two elder ones that came for this occasion now are leaving first thing tomorrow morning. They have not been here for years, I am here because I was born here, I have been living here, I have attachments to this place and the connection is still here. So this may not directly answer your question but you can deduce my answer. I am supposed to tell my son that he should forget Lagos and come and sit down here? Even if I do that, can I guarantee that my grand children will come and stay here and live permanently?

General David Jemibewon with his Lovely Dupe and eminent Nigerians
Aunty Dupe...The Woman who stole Uncle Dave's Heart with her voice
My daughter from my second wife since the age of 3, she has been in the United State of America. I wanted her to have the best education. She is 29 now. After finishing her first degree in America, she came home to serve in the NYSC program before going to the London School of Economics for her Master degree and she has been here working in the last two years. When I tried to influence sending her to her aunty in America, the mother felt very bad that I was attempting to throw away the daughter. My wife's father had to intervene. But today we are all happy because she spent only three years in the university without us being there and she made a First Class. We brought her here. She also went to South Korea where she went to go and do something similar to our Youth Corps for a year, when she finished; she was employed in a university there.
General David Medayese Jemibewon receiving Deputy Governor of Kogi State, His Excellency Simon Achuba in his Iyah-Gbedde home, Kogi State
General David Jemibewon to Asabeafrika...'If i tell you that at 76 i  am looking for a Role Model to motivate me that means i have failed myself'
We brought her here, we tried to convince her. In a way, we have made her a citizen of the world. So now, am I going to force her to stay here? Do I know where she is going to marry from? I cannot force my daughter as to who she should marry. And it doesn't matter who she marries, will her children agree to come and sit down and manage things here? And I can tell you, it is not only me that has this kind of problem. From the way things are, our country is being under-developed. At least the rural areas are highly underdeveloped because children of people, who are comfortable, will not settle in these rural areas. But I am happy for one thing that my son, though based in Lagos, is into agriculture. I give him my total support with his friends, who are not even limited to their state of origin.

“I look at this school; it is already giving me headache. Who takes over the school when I am no more here? My last son is married to a Chinese-American. You see, he has been here on few occasions. With the under-development that we face here, do you really see my grand children coming here? No. That question is applicable to my children and grandchildren”
General David Jemibewon to Asabeafrika...'I can not force my daughter to marry anybody at this age. The Choice is hers'
General David Jemibewon to Asabeafrika...'Nigeria is in a big dilema and something needed to be done asap'
Nigeria is a careless nation…
I have traveled with a Chinese before who said he wanted to look around Nigeria and he said that if the Chinese people can be brought here, they will generate big economy from our empty bushes. Sir with the way the oil is doing in the global market and the blowing up of oil facilities by the militants; don’t you think we are now over due for a rapid Agro economy?
Truly, I don't have an answer because we have been careless and negligent, otherwise we should have known that oil is a commodity that is exhaustible. We should have used the money we made from oil to build infrastructure, roads, rail way, for me, sometimes I look at it when you see the number of Dangote trailers and I tell myself that ‘this is what train should be carrying’. So I don't know and that is why I just said that the future is bleak. There was a time when there was a lot of money but now, the money is gone. And I am not too sure; anyway, even if we go into agriculture, by now, I expected that we should be manufacturing tractors. There was a factory in Bauchi producing tractors at a time, there was a machinery factory in Enugu, there was the factory in Kano, then the Peugeot factory in Kaduna and the Volkswagen Centre in Lagos, now tell me, to do all these things again, the money is not there. I think we should bring this interview to an end because the band is outside, and people are still outside there, dancing, and expecting me to join them.

General David Jemibewon to Asabeafrika....'It is a pity that at every ten kilometers from Lagos to Abuja you now see one University or the other. This is educational corruption'
General David Jemibewon to Asabeafrika...'What what Nigeria is saying now, i can see that the future is bleak'
How I keep fit @ 76
You look so fit even at over 70 and you were just dancing wholeheartedly today, and I remember asking you this question in Orin-Ekiti last year during the funeral of your father-in-law that how were you able to juggle it, burying your first wife and father in-law almost  the same week in Lagos, Ibadan and Ekiti and  after burying your first wife in Lagos, you came to Ibadan from  where we moved to Orin and you sat for eight hours for the wake keep and so on, where do you get your energy?
Number one I must say your reference of last year is true but it was difficult for me then, I must say with God I survived that moment, in the past I used to be involved in exercise, playing squash. but I later had an accident and since then, I have not been playing squash, so what I do in recent times is to control the amount of food I eat, and I eat quality food, in fairness, my wife is kind and makes sure that I eat the right thing, I know she is particular in getting the right kind of cook for me. You find out that some people say they have cooked in restaurants but at the end you find out that they lied. I have great sympathy for her because she brings in one cook today maybe in another one month; we have to look for another. So I don't eat much and that keeps me fit. Not quantity but quality food. Unfortunately I don't do exercises anymore.

General David Jemibewon to Asabeafrika....'Nigeria has been very careless over the Years not to see that oil will crash someday'

The General & Gentle Man...Angry with the way things have turned up in Nigeria
I think you are 75 now?
I was born July 20, 1940, I celebrated 76 year on 20th, the problem I have now is that July is my birthday but in the last two years, July has not been fair to me, my first wife died July 22, now this year July 20th we went to Lagos for the anniversary and my mother died a day later July 21st. So I don't know about next July now but there is nothing I can do about it.

The General and his surviving sister, Mrs.Janet Owadokun with his mother, Late Mama Rachael Emife Jemibewon
My living & dead hobbies….
It appears to me that you so much love music, which other hobbies do you have?
I enjoy music a lot and the truth is that I do not have any preference at all. Maybe when I get intelligent people to talk to, I like having conversations, I used to write but I am lazy now. But I have good friend and I thank God for that.

The General giving his late mum her last salutation
Do you have a role model?
Maybe in the past but if at 76 I am looking for somebody to be my role model to motivate me, and then it would mean I am already a failure. And what makes me pleased is that if I am associating with you and you are doing well, I feel very pleased for you.

General David Medayese Jemibewon paying his last respect to his mom, Mama Rachael Emife Jemibewon
How I met and fell in love with Dupe Jemibewon (Nee Ajayi)
I noticed this special rapport between you and your second wife whom I haves known for the past 15 years, to understand your chemistry better. Can you tell me how you chased her? Tell me the story of your love life?
I am not sure I 'chased' her and she didn't 'chase' me either, rather I will prefer how I court her (laughs), I met her when I went to Ibadan as a governor, I had a lady friend but not boy friend or girlfriend relationship as such. One day she came to say hello to me. Her sister was classmate with Dupe my second wife and they are still friends till today. Through her, I met many girls but particularly I like Dupe out of those many girls. I went to her house where I met them and I took interest in Dupe. That was how we started. The intention was not to get married because I knew I was already married. Just after that meeting, I had a programme on WBS (Western Broadcasting Services) and during the programme, I heard a voice and I knew it was her voice. That voice, I don't know how it happened. From hearing that voice I started having a special likeness for her.

General David Jemibewon to Asabeafrika...'Nigeria is in a process of underdevelopment'
The General networking during his Mum's funeral rites at Iyah-Gbedde, Kogi State
How has the marriage to her been?
It has not been easy for both of us, because she also happens to be the first child of her parents, they are Catholics and like any parents they would have wished she didn't have to marry someone who was already married, but then it is not everything you wish that happens in life. That is the way I will explain it. And since we started, Gods has helped us and we have had a cordial relationship and we have just one daughter, and we thank God because we have been able to groom her well, she went to a Catholic University and she made a First class, what does anybody want again?

The GDA, the General & a Media Colleague, Mr. Paul Ukpabio of The Nation Newspaper

The General with the GDA & his loving daughter, Omolola Jemibewon
What would you love to say to those who left their duties across Nigeria to honor the memory of your mum Mama Rachael Emife Jemibewon here in Ayetoro Gbedde?
This is Iyah Gbedde, the bigger settlement up there is called Ayetoro. I am between Iyah and Ayetoro, it is interesting really because all the time I was in primary school, my village used to be up there; we had to pass through here every Sunday to come to school and go back every Friday. I have chosen as a young boy that if I have money, it is this area that I will have my house. When God answered my prayer, by 1966-67, I built my first house here and my village moved from where it used to be to come here. I chose this area for a house and much later, added the mass land area for farming but I am having problems now with the farm which is in court now, but we are finding a way whereby we can reach a settlement. It has been on now for some time, but in recent times, it looks like it may soon be over. We were to go to court (In July) but they heard that my mother died and they asked that we move it forward, and few days ago they came here to express their sympathy. So, I will take opportunity of that gesture and still appeal to them that we settle out of court.
The GDA and Omolola Jemibewon, General's adorable daughter and London School of Economics expert
Mama's Hearse bringing her body home for final rites
Mama's Casket as Prayer in front of eminent Nigerians  and her children
Thanks for Speaking with Asabeafrika!
Thanks for coming around.

Gbenga Dan Asabe

Africa's Number One Celebrity Encounter Blog


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