Wednesday, 14 December 2011
2011 What a Year! Note to my friends By Kayode Ogundamisi
“It’s easy to stand with the crowd; it takes courage to stand alone”
Dear Friends and Compatriots
Please permit me to wish every one of you a Merry Xmas and a happy 2012 in advance. May God watch over our family and protect each and every one of our loved ones from harms way, I thank God for the good people I have met both here on social media network and some in “real life” it’s been a privilege to share the social media platform with you all, in 2011 we have been able to rub minds on issues confronting our homeland Nigeria. Sometimes we agree, many times we do not agree but I believe, we all do share one common bond and that is the desire for a better existence, not just for ourselves but for our country. I pray for the leaders both here in the Diaspora and particularly in Nigeria. May God open the eyes, ears and mouth of public office holders and Nigerian leaders, that they may see the anguish of our people, that they may ear the cry for justice, equity, security, peace, good governance and transparency, that the leaders may speak the truth at all times and that the evil ones amongst us will not only be brought to justice but made to pay for crimes committed.
2011 has been a very eventful year. Elections in April led to the untimely death of hundreds of innocent, helpless Nigerians. Many more are being killed till date from terrorist acts, bad roads and consequences of bad governance.
Sadly in 2011 we lost a face book friend, Wole Ekundayo, Mr Ekundayo did not only engage on facebook. He made himself physically available during public protests in London. He never stopped demanding for a united front against bad governance in Nigeria. Calm unassuming and always working behind the scene, Wole loved his country but never got the chance to see a better Nigeria. Later in the year the death of Yasmin El Rufai and news of the death of my childhood friend Joy Gbum reached me. That of Joy was particularly painful as I had not seen or heard from her in 16 years. When I finally got in touch with her family, I was told I came 2 years late as she died from implications from breast cancer in Nigeria. I miss Joy dearly for her kindness and loyalty. I encourage my female friends to go for check ups regularly. I pray for the bereaved amongst us that God will comfort them, that their hearts may not forever be troubled and that they find refuge and strength in God.
2011 has also been quite challenging for me as an individual, both in my private and public life but more challenging for many in my country of birth Nigeria. As usual our resilience which is the hallmark of every Nigerian has seen us through.
I am proud of the work of www.saharareporters, its editors, contributors and bloggers. I am hoping 2012 will be a turning point for citizen media in Nigeria and that the voice of the powerless in Nigeria will continue to be represented.
In 2011 I together with some compatriots raised funds to support the candidacy of General Mohhammed Buhari in the last presidential election. I was privileged to have met some upright Nigerians during my involvement in that campaign and that gives me hope that all may not be lost with my country of birth. I learnt one lesson during joining that campaign, leaving my comfort zones in the South West to the Core of the Northern part of Nigeria and that is poverty is indeed without tribal mark, that poor Nigerians from all walks of life irrespective of the language they speak, the God they serve are confronted by the same enemy and that is a segment of humanity who would rather many are poor and oppressed whilst they smile and usurp the commonwealth of ALL.
The campaign also strengthened my belief in true federalism, that we must encourage the nationalities in Nigeria to move at their own pace, we must never shy away from our differences, we must never be to scared to discuss our differences but we should be guided by the fact that even within those differences we share a common goal and that is to make Nigeria a better place for ALL.
My solidarity greetings to compatriots who exchange views for and against on facebook, twitter, Canary BB and Canary blog. I wish you all the very best and wish you a very Merry Xmas and a Happy 2012 in advance.
God's blessing and see you all God willing in 2012.
Kayode Ogundamisi is a commentator on Nigerian and international affairs, he was involved in the Nigerian pro-democracy struggle, Ogundamisi survived a trumped-up charge of treasonable offence against the military government of General Babangida, he was detained in Jos prison in 1991 and released after intensive local and international campaigns against the government charging him and 12 other students before a military tribunal. Ogundamisi was a frontline member of the National Association of Nigerian Student and a former secretary general of the University of Jos Students Union in Nigeria and the O'dua People’s Congress.
Ogundamisi currently shuttles between his base in The United Kingdom and his Country of Birth Nigeria where he runs a programme on self-empowerment. He is the convener of the Liberty Forum UK and his involved in engaging local communities and community and social empowerment.
He graduated with a B.SC in Political Science from University of Jos. The Nigerian Institute of Journalism and a Master’s in Public Administration from the Ogun State University and Masters in International Relations from the London Metropolitan University. He is a volunteer campaigns fellow for the German human rights group IMRV Bremen.
Ogundamisi was appointed by the UK government as a board member of the United Kingdom Independent Monitoring Board (IMB) a position he held for 3 years. Ogundamisi is very active on the social media, with his commentary blog "The Canary" under the twitter handle @ogundamisi and he writes sporadic independent op-ed articles for major Nigerian media outlets.
Ogundamisi is the host of the diaspora community socio political programme “PolitricsWithKO” on Europe’s first ethnic oriented television Channel BEN-TV broadcasting on BSKYB 238 and Startime Africa/Freeview Channel 244.