If ever you were one of Joseph Edgar’s phone contacts, one of his unmissable brand equity is his daily uncountable broadcast messages with deliberate typos that make up his brand, apprising you of his latest exploit or connections, or a new joint discovery of his favorite Afang soup and many more.
Strangely enough, for one not given to entertain too many broadcast messages on his phone, Edgar’s unending broadcast broke through this as I not only got used to them but became a fan. The truth is, his writing prowess reeks of a highly cerebral one bordering on satirical gestures.
It was one of such messages on November 19, 2021, that heralded the news of an intending “Weekend With OBJ’ as he titled it. He also included the itinerary culminating in a strategic session with former President Olusegun Obasanjo. Incidentally, two days before this, Joseph, alongside some members of the DOS Production crew and I, had paid a courtesy visit to the widow of Lagos state Late Alhaji Lateef Jakande, as a prequel to his upcoming stage play, Babakekere, slated for March 2022 in honor of the late governor at the request of the Lagos state government and had FC Accessories as the first sponsor for the play.
Being already acquainted with Joseph’s trajectory and his go-getter spirit, I already knew the weekend trip with OBJ was a done deal. Thus, it wasn’t a surprise last weekend was a reality at the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library, (OOPL) Abeokuta.
As it were, given other pressing engagements and as agreed with Edgar, I couldn’t be with the whole crop of the highly distinguished delegates that left for Abeokuta from the Mobolaji Johnson Train station, Ebute Metta, Friday morning. However, I was kept abreast of all activities through the WhatsApp group created for this purpose. You could tell everyone looked forward to an eventful weekend.
Having missed out on some activities on Friday and the early part of Saturday, I caught up with the rest of the delegates by afternoon. I arrived just in time to meet the second group while on a tour of the Presidential Museum. From the beautiful cascading artworks that welcomed you from the staircase and ushered you into the main museum that housed historical events of the life and times of Chief Olusegun Obasanjo spanning his birth, his educational trajectories; his days as a military officer cum military head of state; his incarceration; his days as a democratically elected President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and his years post being President, while not leaving out his world breaking travel mileage that has been put at par with being to the moon and back seven times, and many more events that have earned him the enigma that he is today.
Needless to say, as we walked through this iconic and historical space, one couldn’t but wonder the myriads of experiences and scenarios that have shaped the enviable legendary status life has bequeathed Baba Obasanjo. In short, the Presidential museum holds an iconic status in the annals of history. And one that everyone who loves and appreciates historical antecedents must visit at least once in their lifetime. I plan to make another trip there. This time, in the company of my wife.
Three o clock, Saturday was initially billed for our interactive session with Baba Obasanjo, but this didn’t materialize till about 4 pm, having been held back by some PDP bigwigs that paid him a courtesy visit that same day.
Eventually, at 4.00 p.m, when Chief Olusegun Obasanjo stepped into the hall where we were all seated awaiting his arrival, after offering his sincere apologies about timing, the business for the day ensued without further delay.
Right from his first statement, you couldn’t miss out on the wisdom, experience, and wit laced with humor that oozed from Baba Obasanjo while not being oblivious of the strength he still exudes at such an advanced age. Like one of my big brothers, Wale Adenuga had said recently on an Instagram post, where he mentioned three senior citizens he was intrigued by and admired their work ethic; President Obasanjo, Prof Wole Soyinka, and Pastor E.An Adeboye.
After his opening remark that bordered on Nigeria yesterday, Today and Tomorrow, one was acquainted with Baba angst at the present state of the nation and was quick to point out the main things that are crucially the bane of our dear country: Leadership, Education, Security amongst other things.
The questions from some of the delegates further availed us of the depth of Baba’s wisdom, his love and desire for the nation as a united entity rather than as a divided one.
Our strategic interaction with President Olusegun Obasanjo ended on a good note. At the end of the session, Femi Tejuosho and I had the privilege of acquainting Baba with the FC Accessories FITI Lagos lifestyle by presenting him a specially curated gift for him and his wife from the FITI Lagos Collection. So, watch out next time you experience Baba Obasanjo, and don’t be surprised if he is living out any of these lifestyles: The #CuffLagos, #PocketLagos, #PinLagos, or #PullUpLagos and his wife live out the #WrapLagos lifestyle too. FC and Joseph Edgar made it happen.
While the rest of the Saturday evening gave way to more camaraderie amongst delegates, the following morning being our last day at OOPL afforded us the opportunity to a special session where appraisal of the whole weekend was better contextualized with some special purpose vehicles committees instituted to help actualize our contributions to the polity.
Suffice to say, quite an enlightening and fulfilling weekend. The coterie of great minds strewn across different sectors that made up the delegates present at Abeokuta over the weekend, a detribalized lots, goes a long way to mirror the hope still available for our dear nation. Should such mindset be replicated in different pockets of other groups, then Nigeria would and can still indeed be great again.
The conversation to building back the Nigeria of our dream continued later in the afternoon when we checked out of the Legacy Resort Hotel of the OOPL and headed for the Professor Wole Soyinka Station Abeokuta till we disembarked at the Mobolaji Johnson Train Station at Ebute Metta as the hope rising in each hearts of the delegates on the Business Class coach was highly palpable.
No doubt, the weekend couldn’t have been a reality with all the parties that made it happen. At this juncture, let me express my sincere appreciation to Joseph Edgar and the whole crew that made the weekend a success. To Vitalis, MD of Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library was a great host to us, Emem, who was the magic worker through you the weekend. Last but not least, heartfelt appreciation goes to all the delegates that made the weekend very iconic. To all of us, my prayer is that we would all witness the Nigeria of our dreams as we take on the responsibility of making our dear nation great again.