(Opinion) What I Have Written, I Have Written By Frank Meke
The headlines above are words of Pontius Pilate ( Quod scripsi Scripsi), and it was a dismissive message to the Jewish priests , who from all indications were envious of Christ Jesus even unto death. I was sitting quietly on the bus trip between Johannesburg to Durban two weeks ago when those words came through like amplifiers to my head. I just wondered, thought about tourism in Nigeria, the reports I had done, years of being consistent, thirty years, still going strong, hoping and believing that it shall be well worth the sacrifices, lonely nights through the nooks and crannies of our 36 states and again through the borders of Africa to Europe, America and Asia, amazed at how people and nation, through travels do connect, yet still far apart.
I did remember making homes out of aeroplanes, living in the sky, my dear wife and children, praying that I return home safely, the various opportunities by good friends, in power and right places, always encouraging me and seeking for my hands in support of their dreams of transformation of Nigeria’ s diverse cultural tourism economy.
I have written so much, so much that also got many spoilers of our tourism opportunities livid and angry. Some of them took me to court, and some worked so hard to organise witnesses with their witnessing in confusion. Some of these unfriendly minders of our tourism economy hold management meetings with how to bring me down as top agenda. Instead of strengthening their hands in making changes and giving us hope, these sons of Belial would rather choose to hire egocentric nonentities, braggadocios,the Brutus and Judas of our time to stand in gap for their thieving and failures.
What I have written about them, I have written. There is so much corruption in Nigeria’s tourism and those who think that the flavour of foods is just enough to call many people to an owambe party should be prepared for the day of accountability.
Those who put statistics of unending deception to confound the wise should know that records usually have a date with scrutiny and forensic investigation. The more they haul stones at me, the more I bark at their deliberate subterfuge and sabotage of our tourism dreams. They have disvirgined our tourism and we have no joy to show for it. What I have written, I have written. It’s President Tinubu’s turn and we await his response. Is President Ahmed Tinubu our messiah? I am waiting for renewed hope and I pray for him. We must think through it. It is no rocket science to get those who have got the gut to change our tourism narratives. There are few, yes, men who break records, and achievers.
We also have those who move through the corridors of power, praise singers, those who spend hours at breakfast tables, and those who are vain and empty. They waste our time, resources, and opportunities. Empty heads, drunkards, and party lovers , not knowing what is theirs and what belongs to all. They seek to lead and be appointed but leave nothing for posterity. We don’t want the likes of Lai Mohammed. We shall frown at the Folarin Coker’s, and many others following in their footsteps.
We are tired of rascalities in tourism. I am tired and may God crown my efforts, the efforts of many of us who have spent days and years shouting from the rooftops that tourism is good, that its gains are better than oil. Again, those thoughts were not mine. They belonged to irrepressible 0tunba Segun Runsewe. What I have written about him,his gifts and guts to deliver, remains. Runsewe dares and conquers. He suffers no fools, focal and a game changer. He is being around and hating him, Runsewe floors you with a flurry of achievements to your stupor.
He has an army of disciples. There is an Ado Yahuza. He is a transformer, the power surge, given to interpretation of the new gains of culture as a vehicle to national attitudinal change. In two years, Ado Yahuza has touched where it really matters, our children and their future, Nigeria centrism, our culture and its power. Our unity, peace, and security depend on the pillar of our cultural diversity and influence. Ado Yahuza, I have written what I have written.
There’s also Ahmed Mohammed Ahmed. He is bringing back our dances and songs back to national awareness. Heard about the National Troupe of Nigeria? Ahmed is silently working hard, moving around the country, looking and picking up talents and they are young. He is recreating a dance economy and our young persons will soon bring us laurels as of old. The type of the late Hubert Ogundes, and we are watching. The dance currency is about to happen, and we shall see it. I have written what I have written.
Have I written that Lai Mohammed is the worst Minister of Tourism in Nigeria? Take it to the bank. He is. Unfortunately, he had the best opportunity like no other to make hay. Quod scripsi, scripsi!
My library. One of my great pastimes is book reading, followed by travelling and watching soccer. I used to be a deadly striker and played college football during those good days of Principal Cup competition in Lagos. Back at my library, last week, I stumbled upon a book, a biography of great columnists written by Femi 0′ Kolawole. It was titled the “Patriots.” It was humbling to be counted among great columnists in Nigeria, such as Chief Afe Babalola, the founder of Afe Babalola University, who had put in over 50 years, writing on how legal processes could enrich our developmental strides. Chief Afe Babalola writes for the Nigerian Tribune. The Patriot chronicled many other great columnists, too, many of them giants of our journalism. Have you read my book, the Race to Nikki?
My library, unknown to me, has grown so big, with books sharing my bed, so much that the books share a greater part of my wife’s room, spilling over to the parlour and I thought to crate them to my country home where a special purpose large space is left to accommodate them. Apart from books from others, the library would also feature the books and pamphlets I have written.
Watch out for these upcoming new tourism game changing individuals: Susan Akporiaye, President National Association of Nigeria Travel Agencies and CEO Topaz Travels, Nkereweum Onung, President, FTAN and CEO Remlord Group, Gbenga Sumonu, Femi Oluwashina of Awori Tourism and others too early to mention so that glory killers don’t go after them. I will tell you their stories, yes, about Oluseye, Bolaji Seun and other young tourism persons. I have written what I have written.
- Frank Meke, a Media and Tourism Consultant is based in Lagos.