When Edgar first mentioned the idea of this retreat, I was very certain I would not attend, as I generally have little or no interest in anything that promotes talk above action. I changed my mind when I saw the tentative list of attendees and knew some by reputation as serious-minded and achieving elites of corporate Nigeria. I was not disappointed when I met them at the train station (a source of pride to many of us and an assurance that we can get some things right when we put our minds to it). There was a general air of camaraderie, and the networking opportunity was immediately apparent, at once infectious and encouraging. During the train ride, there was general laughter and wit as Comrade Moses ran commentaries during their fun game of “Whot” and it was refreshing to hear his sports “thrash talk”!!
We arrived at the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library (OOPL), Green Legacy Hotel to be met by an easy and stressless check-in process. The first impression is of a big hotel, but somewhat in need of a face-lift or upgrade. The highlight of my day, of course, was our private visit to the man himself, President Obasanjo. Meeting him in such close quarters, listening to his stories, and encouraging us in the way that he did, gave me a warm feeling and instantly left me in no doubt that I was in the presence of a brilliant mind, one whom some have referred to as a god, the Egbora of Egba land. Thank you so much, Edgar, for making me part of that small group.
Our visit to the Presidential library/museum the next day reinforced my belief that Obasanjo is a brilliant man. The record-keeping was incredible, and the sheer volume of information deserves to be in a more public domain. I wonder what would happen if all our presidents kept these kinds of records and made them public. We would all be a lot more educated about our past.
During the 2-hour session we engaged with President Obasanjo, he artfully dodged certain questions and answered several sincerely and intelligently, including the one I asked about what 3 things we needed to get right to have a domino effect.
restoration of our nation’s glory. His answers were: security, education, and the economy.
Suffice it to say that it was a weekend well-spent, even though my insomnia played kasala with my head! I thoroughly enjoyed meeting so many unique and accomplished people. You can be sure I’ll be in touch. God keep us. I would love very much to be part of any think-tank and action group that comes out of this. Please involve me.
Thank you to all the organizers, Emem, Edgar, and Vitalis!! To the other facilitators, Ore, Tope, Nonny, and Femi T (especially for giving us a good time at your brother’s beautiful lounge), you did great and my retreat was special because of you.