Jimi :You are here today to discuss FVT. What is it all about?
Segun : FVT is Foundation for Values Transformation. The quality of life in Nigeria is relatively poor when compared with other countries. For example if you look at the recent UN report on human development index, Nigeria is rated 153 out of 187 countries. If you compare this with other African countries, Egypt is rated 112, Ghana our next door neighbour is 135. Despite our enormous human and mineral resources, we are categorised as a poor country. Our quality of life is very poor. If you look at the poverty index, Nigeria is rated as one of the poor countries of the world. 70% of the population lives in the poverty bracket. What is the use of the resources when it can’t guarantee a good life for the people?
Another reason for FVT is that if you don’t share the same values, there will be conflicts. Take for example if a family does not share the same values, there will be separation. Take the Nigerian scenario, with its multi ethnic nature, if there are no common values that would meet our expectations, there will be separations.
Jimi : Is separation such a bad thing? The Soviet Union disintegrated and everybody is happy.
Segun :If you have a separation that goes through the Somalia scenario, you wouldn’t want to go through that. There are warlords everywhere There is the Boko Haram in the north, The ones in the Niger Delta, the East and in Yorubaland. They are controlling their conclaves and it may get to the Somalia scenario.
Jimi :Does it look likely that Nigeria will ever get to that? Is it a possibility? Has it occurred to you?
Segun : In the ranking of failed states according to a US report, Nigeria is ranked number 14 out of the 33 countries that are likely to fail. Somalia is number 1, Central African Republic is number 2. Who says to you that we cannot move up as we have remained that way for 3 years.
Jimi :Why should we believe in the US report? I am not saying that I don’t believe in it but why how can you convince me and my listeners? We hope it doesn’t happen.
Segun :What is the interest of the US in the rating of Somalia? The reality is that Somalia is a failed state. Are they wrong?
Jimi :They are not. What are the specific signs of a failed State which you have seen? People argue that there is turmoil everywhere but why are you afraid?
Segun :Things are happening and people are asking questions. You have the oil scams, no answers. You have the Halliburton scam, no answers. The pension funds being frittered away; no answers. Nigeria is blessed and the expectations are high. You see a few people enjoying the wealth and people get frustrated at the system. Someone comes up with an idea – the people making you suffer that you can take up arms against them.
Jimi :What is funny in this scenario is that those who take up arms quickly join the other group? (the ruling class)Look at the Niger Delta Militants, they are all billionaires. We are talking about amnesty for the boko haram people. Only God knows what will happen. The Oodua Peoples Congress wants to benefit from pipeline protection contracts in the South West. A lot of money will be thrown around. I don’t think that is the solution.
Segun :I think what happens is that some kingpins want to benefit from the situation . It all boils down to our values. Our value system is dysfunctional.
Jimi : How do you describe the leadership in the country?
Segun : They are a mix of colours.
Jimi :Without mentioning any names, describe them.
Segun : I will probably have to mention one person – Fashola in Lagos as a good example. He is being driven by his own personal values.
Jimi :Yes that is me. You shouldn’t get any marks for that. You are stealing my idea.(laugh)
Segun : If Fashola leaves the system and there might be no one to replace him who shares those same values with him …
Jimi :Fashola is just in one state; what about at the federal level? Don’t you want to cite the same example there? Aren’t the values kind of similar?(Laughter)
Segun :It is not that everyone within the national system is corrupt. The problem is that even if you are not corrupt, you may have to compromise them to make progress.
Jimi : The buck stops on one person’s table. How do you rate him?
Segun : The president is a good guy.
Jimi : I am not interested in whether he is a good guy or not; i am talking about efficiency here. When you were in UPS, you would not employ a good guy who read his Bible but could not balance his accounts.
Segun : You are absolutely right. We may have a good guy who comes into the government by accident. If we have the best guy with personal values, if it is not embedded within the system, he cannot do it alone as he will still get bad results.
Jimi :He can set a good example.
Segun :He can set a good example if he has the right values and hold people accountable.
Jimi : Has he set a good example? If you bear in mind that the greatest issue is corruption. How would you reconcile that with the pardon to Alameyeisegha?
Segun : I think that is a minus for him.
Jimi : You are the coordinator of this group. Did you set it up yourself?
Segun :Yes I set it up with other trustees.
Jimi :We will get to the group itself but let’s play some music. It is the discourse with Segun Caulcrick; we will take a break and will be right back.
Jimi: Segun, what will this foundation do? Very quickly
Segun :We want to have leaders that are value driven who will in turn deliver good quality of life to the people.
Jimi : How will you that? Seminars, Radio, TV Programmes, Talk Shows?
Segun : What we have done within the first one year is to do a survey of the cultural values of Nigerians. What are the personal values of the people? What are the values that will drive us in different directions to deliver on our desires? Nigerians aspired to greatness.
Jimi : What were the results?
Segun : The general result for Nigerians is that they are people who are driven to get results. They have pride in what they do; they want to have a relationship with other people.
Jimi :Nigerians are peaceful people and are comfortable with one another.
Segun : Absolutely Right! The apparent divisions that take place are fuelled by some people who want to take advantage of the differences for personal reasons. They sow seeds of discord among the different tribes for selfish reason. You have a guy who hasn’t eaten and you tell him someone else is responsible for his problems and that he should kill him. As a result of the fact that his values are weak, he goes to kill.
Jimi :Apart from sensitivity programmes like this, Is it going to be a mass movement? What else would you be doing?
Segun :The strategy is called deep and wide. Deep in that we will be having units – value vanguards at state levels and local government levels who would be encouraged to explore their own values and then adopt positive values. Beyond that they will cooperate with other organisations at local and state levels. We all want Nigeria to be great and everyone wants a good thing for Nigeria. We are all doing our small things in our different corners so we can engage the powers that be for change. What we are looking at is to have a network for transformation; they are looking for leadership – people to engage the government to bring about change.
Jimi : I want to put this in very simple straightforward language. You have an organisation called FVT. You will have local government and state chapters. Correct me if I am wrong. Isn’t that gradually moving into a political party?
Segun :It is not a political party. It is a social engineering process.
Jimi :If it is a political party, there is nothing wrong with it.
Segun :It is not our objective right now.
Jimi : What do you mean right now? Would it be your objective in the future?
Segun :You can never say nothing can never happen. Change is always with us but our objective right now is to engage the society in social engineering to change our values because the values we see now in the system are not giving us good results. It will be stupid to continue to do the same thing and getting the wrong results and not change. The behaviour you see on the streets comes from the mindset of the people; the way we think is behaviour. As a man thinketh so is he. Where is that mindset coming from? It is all about values.
Jimi :I need to be clear on this; who are the other trustees?
Segun :There are various other ordinary Nigerians. Not anybody you would know.
Jimi :Can you just mention three names?
Segun :You have got Sir Segun George, Frank Halim, Femi Johnson.
Jimi :My friend, Frank. The reason why I am asking is that at first hearing, most people who hear this would think there is a political process in the making. It might not be a political party but there is a political process in the making. Is there going to be a political leaning at some point?
Segun : We don’t have any at the moment.
Jimi – I didn’t mean at the moment but will there be?
Segun – Even in the future you never can tell.
Jimi – Is it a 50-50 thing?
Segun – Our objective for the next five years is to ensure that we buy good values in the society. Whatever political consideration will come up would have to buy into positive values. We cannot do it alone. At some point we would need to engage people who are already working in various groups.
Jimi – Would you be aligning yourselves with people or a political party?
Segun – We are not aligning with any person or party.
Jimi – Anybody who is joining this movement needs to know which direction is headed? The two political parties now are now likely to lead Nigeria anywhere. I used to have a bit of hope in APC but from the way they handled their registration process, I am beginning to lose a bit of confidence in them. I hope they get it back.
Segun : From the political angle, we need to have those leaders vying for political positions irrespective of the party they join. The binding tie is the shared good values. It is not our objective for now to form a political party.
Jimi : There is a need for people to have a clear direction as to where all these things might lead to. Would you ever be involved in politics?
Segun :Never say No!
Jimi :Yes is yes and No is no! A straightforward answer. I would gladly support you as I have known you all my life. Time is not on your side (Laughter).
Segun : On my death bed, in twenty or whatever time, the greatest thing I would like to see is Nigeria being ruled by accountable leaders who would deliver good quality of life to the people. You are a rich man and they can kidnap your child at any time. It would get to a point where you would have to pay a ransom to walk on the streets.
Jimi :Yes it is coming to that
Segun : I was talking to a former Super Permanent Secretary and he said it would get to a point that it won’t be safe to walk on the roads without paying a ransom even in five years time.
Jimi : This time last year nobody knew that kidnapping would be this bad. I doubt if there is anybody who either hasn’t been involved or doesn’t know someone who has been kidnapped. It is not going to abate for as long as we go on like this because of the level of corruption and bad governance. Kehinde Bamigbetan said his kidnappers were engineering graduates who were discussing politics with him.
Segun :It won’t change if we as a whole keep quiet. What is the motivation for someone to change who collects the rent for your house and keeps paying up peanuts and you keep quiet?
Jimi :One of the problems with many Nigerians is that we are not deep thinking people. We always think within the rabid paper of the box. Look at the programme – if it was a hip hop programme, we would have sponsors falling all over us. They won’t touch this with a mile long pole; everybody wants to play safe. It is the kind of country we are in. This is what is going to lead to good governance and business for the corporate world. Nigerians should realise that this rain would not fall on only one person’s head. Thank God for the little resistance people like Fela, Tai Solarin and Gani put up. Nigerians would have been in slavery in their own country because what is happening is worse than what happened in South Africa under apartheid. Less than a million people were holding close to two hundred million people to ransom and doing as they like. I was reviewing papers last week Thursday. How I am supposed to be reviewing a story where two first ladies are in court? That is how degenerate we have become. My friends in the print media say that most people prefer soft sells to the serious papers. My friend, Tunji Lardner said last week that everybody aspires to run to the wrong side of town. The hall is small and full but people still run there. Everybody wants to be part of this corrupt system and it is a pity. I wish you luck in your endeavour. Sometimes in this job, I am asked all sorts of questions and frustrated.” Are you sure you won’t be a Reuben Abati someday?”,and i ask is it what I do that is important or the things that one says that should be acted upon?
Segun : Things can’t continue like this.
Jimi :It cannot.
Segun : Twenty years ago, the quality of life was bad but it wasn’t like this. Just imagine ten years down the line, if you call these good old days, then what is good life?
Jimi :Sometimes one feels nostalgic for the days the military were in power because if this is what democracy is, then what is the military rule?
Segun : Democracy is still better than military rule any day, anytime.
Jimi – I am not an advocate of military rule but nobody under military rule would steal 27 billion naira.
Segun :One of the surveys we had was that it takes accountability to change the country. It is what comes down to the values of the society because we don’t have accountability. Take Ore road for instance. Somebody was given money to fix the road but it went down the drain and nothing happened. In some other countries that kind of person would be in jail but in Nigeria, he is a leader.
Jimi :Mr. Fix It! If we were to put everybody involved in corrupt practice in government in jail, ……(Laughter). It looks as if we as a people have a kind of tolerance for corruption because I don’t understand our people. Somebody’s father dies or wants to wed, he dupes people, borrows, begs, steals just to make an impression for one day. Look at the way we organise our parties! Does it sound sane to you? Even those you expect to know better have joined the fray. Am I right or wrong?
Segun :You are absolutely right! Opulence without conscience! It boils down to the values of the society. You can have an angel come to Nigeria today. If he is to participate in the political system, he is going to lose his values.
Jimi :Not even in the political system! Even at social levels, look at the things you hear. Let us cheer up. What would you like to listen to?
Jimi : How do I become a member of the FVT?
Segun –:Go to www.fvtafrica.org and complete a membership form. It is open to all; no discrimination.
Jimi :How do we meet?
Segun : We will be having the champions seminar on the 23rd of May strictly by invitation.
Jimi :I am a very strong advocate of handing governance to the younger people – 40’s and 50’s. The man whom the buck stops at his table needs to be intellectual.
Segun :You are absolutely right. Most people in the advanced countries of the world are ruled by young people. I was talking to a friend in Canada and he said nobody under 60 should be a minister. At most they should sit back and be advisers. Whether you are in your 30’s, 40’s or 50’s its all about values.
Jimi :Our friend in Lagos didn’t want a commissioner below 45 but his boss imposed one or two people. You need a lot of intellectual energy to govern. I like intelligent people like Fashola even though I have never met him before. When your president stands up to talk, he should be someone who would inspires you even if he is lying through his teeth. You don’t need a president who is half asleep.
Segun :I don’t think we should discriminate in leadership. What is important is the competence of a leader and his values.
Jimi : It is not discrimination. We need to set parameters. Governance is no longer about popularity. This country needs a strong technocrat to bring it out of this mess.
Segun :That technocrat can be a young person; can be in his 50’s or 60’s
Jimi :In this country of almost 200 million people, there are enough young 40’s to 50’s we need a new break. Someone who doesn’t have much ties with the old system otherwise we would be back to square one.
Segun :There must be a process to bring those people. If they can get in some groups and get together and their competence as leaders are enhanced with the right values. By the time they get to the top positions, we know that we would have the right person. We were lucky with Fashola and we never knew he could drive changes in Lagos because he has the right values and he is below 50.
Jimi : Maybe that is why I am so inclined.
Segun :I guess you are saying we should have more of that because if you have someone in his 70’s, he doesn’t have much energy.
Jimi :He would have to take his blood sugar level in the morning, take his blood pressure in the afternoon, go to bed early. Yes! Especially in a country that is not systemic where everything has to be done hands down. You need a lot of intellect and energy.
Segun :You need someone with a lot of energy and you would get that in the 50’s range.
Jimi :How do you determine intellect? Is it by academic qualification? Do you think we should have a minimum academic qualification? Has that worked?
Segun : You can have a doctorate degree and be incompetent? It has nothing to do with qualifications. It has to do with training. I am not an expert in that area.
Jimi : Do you have an example?(laughter)
Segun : I can’t think of any and tell you offhand(laughter again)
Jimi We are in a bigger problem than we imagined!
Segun :The good thing is that if we pool our efforts together, we will create a change. People are doing things in their various corners. We need to come together to harness them and have a common voice and say this is what we want. The Nigerian Constitution has values that should guide us and our laws. One of those values is religious tolerance and this is one of the things that should guide us.There are a lot of values that are good within our constitution but are not taken seriously. Some of our banks that failed had them on the wall only as plaques. It is just the same way we have good values in our constitution but they are not transposed into the reality of life and that is what we need to do. If we can get the group together to act with a common voice and engage the politicians in embedding those values, we will be better for it.
Jimi :How are you going to be funded?
Segun :So far it is the trustees because of their commitments who have taken us this far in this past one year.
Jimi :That is remarkable.
Segun :We want to appeal to other Nigerians. We have people in the independence era who are hoping that Nigeria would be a great country who could contribute. They can fund this in their later years and with ideas. We have the youths who have a stake in tomorrow. The Elders are in their 80’s and are gone. Obama was funded only by the rich. What will happen in 20 years if things don’t change? Are we going to have a Syria or Somalia in our hands? They can also come in and fund it. If America can have a black president, there is hope; if Fashola can turn Oshodi around that you can pass through in 5 minutes, there is hope in our lifetime.
Jimi :On that note we have to go. Segun, thank you for coming. Go out there and have a lovely week. For God’s sake support us in this cause.