I was a drug Courier, Baron now a Pastor

BoN during the interview with Pastor Oluremi

………I was a drug Courier  for many prominent Nigerians

……..I later became a Baron

…….Traveled with 400 grams day Ojulope,Ogedengbe and Owoh were killed

…….I was the only child of my mother

…….Now with a Doctorate degree and a Born-Again 

Meeting  the Man of God is interesting. He is a reporter’s delight . Pastor Oluremi Peter is a very popular  and respected Man of God in Owo , Ondo State .His church is one of the most fast -growing churches with a large number of congregants. He is a prayer Warrior and has delivered many from their infirmities.Barren women have good stories to tell . Pastor Oluremi in this interview tells his story of how he met God after many years of carrying drugs.

 Kindly introduce yourself

My name is Oluremi Peter, I am 59 years old

How did you become an Evangelist

” Bearing an Evangelist is a thing of  spiritual , not an in-born thing , the time that the gift began to manifest was about 18years ago. when I went through CAC Seminary  , Ilesha for two years  then became Associate Pastor  in 1999 in Efon Alaaye .To be  an Evangelist is a gift from God .I am a Prophet /Evangelist  by call but ordained as a CAC Pastor in 1999.

 

MY TRAVAILS

I was once a Courier then Baron now Man of God

”This is a very big question . I went through life . At the tender age of 19 I had been self-employed , traveled abroad and doing all sorts of  business . I can say precisely that I am what I am today by the grace of God  as  per  what I had gone through in life.

”I used to say that anybody that  cannot relate with his past is not really a Born Again .

I met God

”Before I met Christ on the 5th of August 1996 I used to be  a traveler to the USA, and several countries. I used to be an international business man, I deal with drugs traveling  to  USA  several places , dealt with hard drugs like cocaine , I swallowed it  to the USA and would escape it.I  would sell it and come back to Nigeria.

I PASSED THROUGH MANY AIRPORTS

”There are several airports  in the world , mostly I passed through JFK Airport severally  in all the trips .God was precisely with  me   until I met God  on the 5th of August 1996. I lived in hotel room for seven years in Lagos  where I met God on that fateful day. He gave me three lashes and I woke up  and with the instruction ”STAND UP, PACK YOUR LOAD AND GO HOME”. I stood up from my sleep , sat down and was wondering what was happening  but the instruction kept on coming ”STAND UP, PACK YOUR LOAD AND GO HOME ”So I stood up packed my things and left the hotel room in Lagos , that was how I found myself in the seminary on the 5th of August in 1996 where I spent two years in training  and by His  Grace has remained steadfast  in His vineyard .

The Man of God telling his story

”I went through a lot of journey of  life .All those period I never knew God , I never had no reason to pray because there was no reason to pray  about . I had money I had influence , there were women around me and I didn’t go to church .Though I am from a very very religious  home .I am the only child of a woman who was a midwife for CAC church for 25years, very dedicated woman .I am a product of grace.

MARRIAGE

”During this period  I was married with children .I had children .Nobody was aware of what I was doing .I never  discussed my personal life with anybody , it was just between me and God.

When I heard such instruction that I should pack my things and go home .I went to my mother in Owo and told her . I said this was my experience … I was later ordained as a Pastor in 1999.

PROPERTY ACQUIRED

” While I was ..to the things of the world …I didn’t acquire much, I made my money and I spent it on women , I lived in hotel  for seven years . I bought cars , I bought land  and enjoyed myself  my brother until the grace of God came into my life.

WHERE ARE THE PROPERTIES

”The properties?. We are talking about 18years ago ?. I lost all of them even my passport was stolen with visa to the USA , England, to Germany was stolen twice. It was dawning on me that the hands of  God was working  and finally struck.

SCHOOL

”I didn’t go to school as such ,  but I have School Certificate which is the only visible certificate  I had before I met Christ. Later I went through a lot of schools of Theology , today I  have  doctorate degree in Theology (Phd) . I don’t have  much education .I speak good English by the grace of God.

‘Its not about being profitable , its never my dream to become a pastor but divine because I remember my mother told me she was barren for 18years and when she met a prophet who told her she would bear a son  and the child would be a servant  of God , must be given to God  Immediately I am being weaned and come of age . So, when I was six years old I was given to a Pastor where I went to secondary school, and went away from the presence of God until I finally met God in 1996. Between 1976,77 to 1996  I never went to church.

TEMPTATIONS FROM WOMEN

”Yes , of course there was and is . Can you take temptation away from this work?, we are only being sustained by the grace of God  , so like you  said  when I was much younger.  I remember I was traveling from Murtala Mohammed  Airport, Lagos  to JFK  when our plane broke up, one wing of the plane broke off,. we had to wait for 18hours in Lagos  and I had about 700 grammes of cocaine in my stomach .Right there one or two women were chasing me , one was going to Texas , she had to stop in New York and went to my place in New Jersey, so the issue of women was a thing of pleasure in those days .Paul said ‘I am what I am  by the grace of God ,he said ‘ yet not I  but the grace of God’. So I want to thank God for His grace in my life.

CUSTOMERS

”Whenever  I arrived at my destinations  I would go and lodge in an hotel then contact my customers.

”At a time  I was a carrier for some prominent   Nigerians then later I became a Baron  myself, doing it for myself.

DAY OWOH,OJUOLAPE & OGEDEGBE WERE EXECUTED

”You are asking too many questions. I visited a lot of countries . I remember precisely this particular incidence , the very  day that   Idiagbon(the late Major General Tunde Idiagbon) killed Bartholomew , Ojuolape  and Bernard  Ogedengbe , I remember I  traveled that night  to deliver  400 grammes of cocaine  (In Denmark)  for I was already billed for that trip.I watched them being killed , and for the same offence these people committed  were killed for  I still traveled for the same offence  I have a special grace. Ojuolape was the only child of an 85year -old- woman . I felt so bad  about the death of the young man because the man was on bail  that time before the Decree of the ’85 came out , they now rolled it back .Ojuolape was the only child of the old woman , they asked Idiagbon to leave  her son because the boy was already on bail before the decree was enacted  and he was roped in and was killed .It was sympathetic”

WATCH THE VIDEO FOR THE REST OF THE STORY

Why Orlando Owoh was not rich -Musese

 

A great  and notable  man in Owo

……Why Orlando was not rich

…….I’m Muzeze not Musese

……..I’ve never smoked in my life

……..I could have been arrested

….. Story behind ‘Musese l’oko Dupe’

It was a beautiful evening . Meeting the heavily- bearded man  was interesting as he was not difficult to recognize  or locate in Owo , Ondo State. He is a very popular and notable figure , above all he is humble and approachable.

Some call him a philanthropist while some  look up to him as a mentor and  want to drink from his fountain of  knowledge. He is well traveled and exposed. Rich in experience no wonder he is good in counseling for the Solomonic wisdom he possessed . He is contended and believes  in God  . While some would prove too difficult  to be interviewed  but he does not as he was willing to talk especially on the late African Kennery, Dr.Orlando Owoh. No wonder he is loved and more popular even after leaving Orlando as his manager for years.

If you are not careful  and very observant you could go to his younger brother for the interview as both of them wear grey beard .

SEAT OF ELDERS ( IJOKO AGBA)

Sitting comfortably at his Ijoko Agba  section , (Seat of Elders) he said ” this place is not meant for just anybody or everybody, it is for decent old people not for riffraff , that is why we called this place Ijoko Agba”. He said in a very serious and sharp voice that would send  pretenders or roughnecks packing !. Truly , within 20minutes   the place began to receive visitors  having intellectual  discussions  from religion, politics,  among others while reeling with laughter .

 Mr. Samuel Olayiwola Ogunleye  (aka ‘Musese’) was the Manager of the late  High Life  musician Dr.Orlando Owoh.  ‘Musese’ spoke on how he used to pack  the illegal substance -Indian hemp in his stockings for the late musician while he  himself  never smoked  cigarette not to talk of touching Indian Hemp. He spoke about the late musician’s  travails especially the Cocaine saga.

ORLANDO SHAVED  AFTER HE WON THE CASE

He is  a man of  average height and  dark complexioned. His   bushy grey hair  attracts everybody as he ‘celebrates’ it by always  combing it wherever he is. He said ” I cherish my beard and take proper care of it .It makes me  stand out like an albino in the market”, as he said this he burst into laughter.

Asked when he started keeping his beard, he could not remember but said ” When I started working with Orlando was when I started keeping my beard, we have beard in our family , my father had and my brothers too.Our beard is a trade mark  in my family, when they see us they will say this is Musese and this is his brother too.Orlando too kept beard and it was after the trial after he won that   case that he  got rid of  his beard. We were both having beard.

Musese said he does not smoke  or drink alcohol  as many erroneously thought. Though he is over 70 years but  does not look his age , he said ” many don’t know I am as old as that and the secret of my  looking young  is that I don’t do all these things that would make me go old prematurely  .I don’t  smoke  or  drink alcohol but I  drink special  wine.” As he said this , he brought out a special wine , opened it and burst into laughter again.

He continued ” Many thought because I used to  keep  Indian hemp for the late Orlando to smoke  while on tour erroneously  thought I too indulged myself in smoking it , but let me put it to you and set the record straight for the  whole world that I had never for once  smoked Indian hemp in my life”, as he said this he burst into a prolonged laughter , and  continued fiddling with his grey beard he  cherished most.

   IT’S MUZEZE  NOT  MUSESE
 Ogunleye , popularly known as ‘ Musese’ . According to him ” only very few people know his real name as he is only known   as ‘Musese’ the late Orlando’s manager  during his life time . Ogunleye spoke on how he got the nickname , ‘ Musese’, he  replied ” I don’t know the meaning ,and the name was given to me by a lady who is not a Nigerian .She is no more alive now  for I would have asked her the meaning and I  have been given that   name since when I was in primary school.  When I was young I had an Italian pen-pal living in Italy who became  my girlfriend while living in Italy  , she was the one that  gave me the nickname  ‘Muzeze’, but my people  at home did not know how to spell or pronounce it , and they started calling me ‘Musese’ , I tried to correct them but  failed . I later left  it as  they understood it,  ‘ Musese’  eventually became  a household name”.

MUSESE OKO DUPE VS ITALIAN LADY
Musese  said  when he went to  Italy  to meet the lady ( he could not remember her name again) that gave him the nickname , his girlfriend at home  (Dupe) was writing him .He said  “Before leaving here( Nigeria )  I was going out with  a lady called Dupe  whom many thought I would marry. She used to write me  while in Italy   while the Italian lady too  was exchanging letters with her thinking she ( Dupe ) was my sister as I introduced her .But  while staying in  Italy I was  receiving Dupe’s letter  as well unfortunately the bubble burst when the Italian lady discovered  the letters and found out that Dupe was my girlfriend .The Italian lady later   reported  me to the authority that was how I was deported back to Nigeria  in 1971. When I was deported from Italy I went to Ibadan  to settle down .

                            

WHO COMPOSED  THE SONG MUSESE LOKO DUPE?
Asked  to comment on the waxed  record of ‘ Musese loko Dupe‘ ( Musese is Dupe’s husband ) , “this is another story”, the septuagenarian    declared as he does not want to talk about it again, but when pressed further he said     “It was a talking drum of Chief Ebenezer Obey that  its beat sounds  like that , it was not meant for us ( Musese and Dupe).  But when she ( Dupe)  was celebrating  her birthday in the 70s ,my friends  mischievously translated Chief Obey’s talking drum to it . I think it was in  ‘Ajo Mo re Oluwa  si mi dele’s’ album”.

DUPE DIED LONG TIME AGO
Asked where the Dupe is now, but the grey bearded grandpa said in a voice laden with emotion ”Dupe  died  long time ago , it was unfortunate we did not marry .She was my girlfriend. She was attending   St. Louis Grammar School, Owo while  I was a student at  Imade, Owo , Ondo State”, he continued ”Dupe’s  parents accommodated me when  I was living in Lagos .They were great people . But we did not marry and that is life”, he said , shaking his head intermittently.

HOW I MET ORLANDO
Asked to talk of how he met and became the Manager of  the late Musician,Dr.Orlando Owoh,  the grey- bearded man went down memory lane   ” On  my deportation  from Italy  I went to Ibadan to settle down .Anytime  my older brother who was serving in the Nigerian Army in Kaduna  comes home he would bring  Orlando’s records .My street  was very close to   Orlando’s own , while I was living in Omodigbo Street  Orlando was  living in  Oremeji”.
He continued ” There was a man called Orimaro he was a palm wine tapper and that was where we used to go and drink anytime I go to Orlando’s place …myself , my late friend , Kanakana Olympio was in   Custom , we all lived very close . And anytime Orlando was around we would go to Orimaro  to play .One  day we asked Orlando what his problem was , and he said there was no Owo native  who had ever come to help him financially or whatever .And he said he  had nobody from Owo to manage his band .He ( Orlando ) then  asked  me to come and manage him ,that was how I  became his Manager “

A man of  Culture, during Igogo festival

ORLANDO’S MANY OBSTACLES
Musese who spent over 30years as  the Band Manager of  the late Musician said it was not easy with the late ganja singer , ” He had so many obstacles , he was a great man … When I met Orlando he had no instrument , he had  nothing. And when  I came ( from Italy ) I still had some money with me and we started hiring  instruments , he (Orlando) appreciated it and was telling everybody  about what I did” , Musese said .

WHY I SUPPORTED ORLANDO’S SMOKING

In spite the fact that he does not smoke he still supported  and defended Orlando’s smoking of  the  ‘weeds’ . Musese  with voice raised declared ” I  supported him smoking of  Indian hemp .Yes, he was smoking ‘Igbo’,  so what? .But  for me I don’t smoke and had never tasted it in my life”.
He continued “I discovered that  Orlando’s smoking  of Indian hemp did not affect him , anytime he smoked he knew what he was doing . Orlando has a secluded area in   Decca’s studio’s compound where he used to go and smoke Indian hemp .When we were supposed  to start  recording by 9pm , he would not come into the studio until around 2am  but would have been quietly  be with his guitar alone smoking his weeds and strumming his guitar .But when he enters the studio he would just be recording without rehearsal .
” I don’t smoke  but I drink  beer  anytime I have money but if I don’t  have I don’t .I don’t buy Igbo for Orlando , he always have in stocks. When traveling  with him and was in my knicker I would put it ( Indian hemp) in my stockings for him .Those who knew us together then knew I don’t smoke .He was a great man. I spent over 30years with him as a Manager before he died”.

 ORLANDO’S COCAINE PALAVA
Musese did not forget one  of the biggest challenges his late boss faced while alive .Musese said  the cocaine saga that made Orlando sang of his  Alagbon Experience is real  , Musese recollected how it all happened , he said “the day he was arrested I was not in Lagos , if I  was  not around I would be   arrested too.That day when I got the message I had to come down to Lagos  from  Kano  before I got there they were already at Alagbon.I heard about the whole story , how he was arrested , Osennenpen too,infact those who were around him were arrested .If I happened to be around I would have been  arrested too. I was very lucky  that I was not around  for if I were to be around  I would have been taken away , nobody would have believed I don’t smoke or sniff Cocaine for   I was the closest  person to Orlando among the boys , though  I was his manager . The Nigeria security officials  went to Sunny Ade  to ask whether I smoke but he only knew I only drink”.
He continued ” They ( security men ) went to Chief Edebo  who lived in Ibadan to ask too but  they missed me for I took a footpath to Chief Edebo’s house while the chief told  me they came for me from Alagbon .   They even thought  I was giving Investigation Police Officer ( IPO) money  but instead it was IPO in charge of our case that was giving me money , it was a highly celebrated case”.

HAS HE EVER ADVISED ORLANDO TO STOP SMOKING INDIAN HEMP?
“No”, the old man said emphatically , and added ” Orlando was never a troublesome person .On   why he didn’t ask  Orlando  to stop  taking  ganja , but he responded ” he is like Fela. Some people take it ( Indian Hemp) and go  mad but when these people take it they would be singing sense and be active.”
 When asked to compare the two with the late Bob Marley    he said ‘ I have never met Bob Marley when alive.
” It was only Orlando who  Fela  allowed to play at  his (Fela’s) Africa  shrine .And he ( Fela ) used to say he does not want cocaine or  heroine at his shrine. He once said if it was only Igbo ( Indian Hemp) that Orlando was accused of    (during his arrest of being in possession of cocaine ) he could have come and fight for him when he was jailed.”
Pressed further on who among the two ( Orlando and Fela)  could win in a competition of smoking Indian hemp, the old man declared without mincing  words that ” Fela  was greater than Orlando in smoking  of Indian hemp” .

ORLANDO’S BEST RECORD

Asked the most difficult question he confessed very difficult to answer when asked to tell the best records of Orlando, he confessed ”I cannot  say this is the best record but I  prefer Ero Ki mama mi, infact i cannot say, the one that sold most  and  i cannot say  this one or that is the best record except those who are recording them like Decca people and those people were recording for like Alhaji Shanu Olu, Prince Daile, Jolaosho who can say how much they are selling Orlando records but they will never tell us”.

NO MUSIC AGAIN!

Musese complained bitterly about the present crop of musicians , he said ”Precisely  I don’t know what they are playing nowadays  for instance they don’t have anybody to emulate, you see if he knows you are being emulated he would be going ahead while you will be coming behind. What these boys are singing nowadays have no meaning .In those days musicians would sit down, song writers  would do their  job . Orlando as a person would not write anything .There was a time he told me that whatever he was going to sing had been written on the blackboard, that is inside the studio.He would not put down anything .Music would come to him immediately he entered the studio.These boys nowadays I don’t know what they are singing, I am sorry to say there are musicians and there are musicians . What they are singing today had no meaning .When Fela sings it has meaning, when Haruna Ishola sings , Sunny Ade sings they have meanings .  I k Diaro  he waxed a record in 1962 , Gbam gbam la ngbo a o mo bi ibon ti ndun, olori dori re mu o,konikaluku  biye sara , oro Nigeria yio o ko ma baa dogun, we have never had anything like Biafran war by then when he sang this song ,then he was warning , he was warning  .But listen to what these boys are singing nowadays”.

GOVERNMENT CAN CONTROL THEM

”It is the government that can stop them , if anybody is going to the studio let them produce their demo, and if it is good ,okay,  fine but if it is  not good let them forget it and ask them to re wax , they should be stopped.You cannot say because you are a musician and be producing rubbish.If this can be applied  these musicians would sit tight”,  the man said in annoyance .

MY PRESENT BUSINESS

After the death of Orlando , Musese went  into another business , he said ”I am on my own .I am no more in the music line since Orlando is no more .I am in Owo here , I  have a small beer parlour here called Seat of Elders, I know the type of people that come here , people of like -minds , my old friends .The seat of Elders means , Ijoko awon agba , people coming here are responsible” 

WHY  ORLANDO WAS NOT RICH
Musese said it was true that the late Musician, Orlando was hardworking ” If anybody say Orlando could have been richer than how he was I would believe it because Orlando was such a person that if you are in need  at that time if he had it he would give you whatever the amount you are looking for  Orlando would give it to you .It is God’s work. T o me personally, Orlando was not reckless but that is the way God wanted him to be  because Orlando would not like to see anybody suffering , that is way he was. When you get to somebody and beg him for 1,000 naira and the person is having 10,000 naira but   telling  you he didn’t have those people get rich quickly because they  cannot spend. And Orlando would have been richer if the people we are recording for are …. like I said we didn’t know how many they were selling records , when they sell about 1,000copies they would tell you they sold only 200copies and there is nothing we can do about it .We cannot go to the market and be asking how much they sold. That is the problem we have all over the place , that is Nigeria recording companies for you for they are there to cheat!. Again ,Orlando   did not place value on money  for  I can tell you this  also that the producers we have in Nigeria are rip-off because our producers are nuisance , when they make  100,000 naira they would falsify the figure , they are not trustworthy , that is why Orlando never made it before he died .Another  factor was overgenerous , he was generous   to a fault  for he was after other people’s welfare .He would not eat alone , and he had a lot of people living with him at his own expense. No wonder some people like a – one time governor of Osun State  Prince  Olagunsoye Oyinlola ,   Abiola of  Ilesha , Die the Matter, The king of  Ipe Oba Apata, the Olugbenga of Ugbe , Ayesoro  a car  dealer in Akure stood by him  by him when he was alive “.

WHY DID YOU LEAVE ORLANDO?

Many did not know the circumstances why he left Orlando’s Band , but the septuagenarian cried  ”I never left him!. What happened then was that he was given a contract in Ondo State then during Baba Adefarati era as a governor so, they said the money of the contract was so small , he was expecting something like 2million and above and this contractor  was given about 650,000 and he refused to do it , and I was asked to return the papers for that contract , when I  got to my friends  who knew about it said why didn’t I do the contract and that if I should return the paper it might annoy the government , may be they have some other bigger thing to give me  and I now came back to Lagos to tell Orlando , will you allow me to do it , and he said ” if you can do it” , that  was what brought me  down to Akure but unfortunately …. I never succeeded in that contract  .Aside that as at that time  my house rent was pilling up in Lagos .Orlando said I should come back and I said I cannot come back, let me remain here ,Even at that time , he was planning  after the ,Ero festival ( Age grade festival) at Ifon because he was one of those who was to participate in the Ero festival then , so I was here in case there is any engagement for him  I would let him know  and we would  be going together .But I just decided to remain here . I was fed up of Lagos .I never had any misunderstanding ,Osenenpen is there to testify to this.I was here , he was there.

OONI OLUBUSE ‘s ROLE
The role  of the Ooni of Ife , Oba   Okunade Sijuade Olubuse  remains evergreen in the memory of the Manager especially when  Orlando was in jail , he said “many were behind him,  I would say a big thank to Kabiyesi, the  late Ooni  of Ife  who stood by Orlando  while  in prison ,I have never seen any person or king  like him . Anytime  we were from the court , Ooni ‘s palace was always first point of call .Kabiyesi  shall be forever remembered for his great assistance.He really stood by Orlando”.

ORLANDO’S  BAND NO MORE
Though Musese is no longer with the Band , he however added that the Boys had gone  their different ways as the band members are no longer together  ” I am no longer with them .Most of the boys had decided to be on their own .  They might not be able to manage  the Band and they left” , he stated .

WHY HIS BURIAL WAS CONTROVERSIAL
What still pained Musese is the way and where the late Musician was buried , according to him, he had wanted Orlando to be buried in Ifon, in Ondo State his country home, he said ”  I was  the chairman of the Burial Committee with Oblazo .After about series of meetings  we went to the late Olusegun Agagu the then governor of Ondo state , there was this Commissioner from Ifon whom Agagu asked to take over .They had completed  Orlando’s building in Ifon  but only the  roofing  left  to be done, we went to Lagos to see the Orlando’s wives ,they said Orlando should be buried in Lagos”.

ORLANDO’S HAPPIEST MOMENT
Bing very close to Orlando , he knew  when he was angry and happy , Musese said ” He is always happy .He has no time .When we quarrel he would say ” You are calling yourself a Manager but you are a ‘damager’, he easily forgives and forgets”.

I WEPT  WHEN ORLANDO DIED

In tears ,Musese said his saddest moment was when Orlando was arrested while his  happiest moment was  when he was released .But sadly , he narrated how he heard the news of Orlando’s death, he said ”Infact I  never expected him to die when he died  and we never thought he would die , although the thing affected him three times , we never thought that was going  to be  his  end.When he died  there was nothing we could do.I  think he died around 10 o’clock in the  night that day. It was Olu Osennepen who phoned me  immediately that Orlando had passed on that night and I wept for I never knew I would not see him again.”
MY EARLY LIFE
Musese went down memory lane  and spoke of being athlete,a Splinter , ” I represented 100 meters when Queen Elizabeth came to Nigeria in 1956.Up till 1970 , I represented Imade  College . I was the Senior Boy at All Saints’ Modern  School  , that was 1963/ 64 .I  remember some of  my friends and classmates like Chief Akin Aruwajoye ,Justice Olateru Olagbegi ( retired ) were my classmates, this I remember very well”.As the interview was going to an end , the Elders’ Forum [Ijoko Agba] began to receive visitors and while some came for counseling , Musese said ” you can see and testify to what I told you, this place is always full with good ,knowledgeable and intelligent people”

ADVICE ON DRUG

Musese advised musicians as he did not support drugs , he advise that  if you are taking drugs and it enhances your performance and don’t misbehave, good But if it affects you please don’t take it , he counselled, ”think deeply, know what you are doing  if you know it doesnt help , please stop it ”

”the meaning of Alampasu”

 

……..I didn’t know my parents

…….Meaning of Alampasu,

…..They rumoured that..

……My son ran away for 7 years

TOMI ALAMPASU AT HOME

The building has become the cynosure of all eyes as many people now point to it, to describe who the owner. The building which was not completed before had been completed, thanks for the success story of Dele Alampasu the son of the owner of the building, Tomi Alampasu , father of Nigeria Under 17 goal keeper who won the World Cup for Eaglets some years ago.

Meeting Tomi Alampasu is interesting as he was happy , jovial and was filled with praises of his son, Dele Alampasu. As the man who is in his 60s brought out drinks for visitors  , he said” I thank God that I have become a popular man now since my son became a celebrity , I thank God”, as he said  he cleaned his nose ,no thanks to catarrh, he had.  However , he used his snuff to blow it away, and said ” I am happy Oga journalist , I have been expecting you, ”

I DIDN’T KNOW MY PARENT

Tomi Alampasu said he did not pray for his children to experience the hardship he went through, he said ” I did not know my parents. I was told they died in the Nigerian Civil War, this is painful. I only knew my cousins and uncles, but I never set my two eyes on my parents for I was told they both died in the war”, as he said this be blew his nose and tears flooded on his cheeks.He continued  ”So when my son became a celebrity it was a thing of joy for me . I am happy that he is doing well in my lifetime. Suffering is not the best my brother ”.

         

I SEARCHED FOR MY SON FOR WEEKS
Tomi Alampasu said  his son left home for weeks and did not come  back home yet did not know his whereabouts .He at a time went out looking for him. ”Later I was hearing rumour that I had used him for money making ritual , they said how would I say I didn’t know where my son went for weeks. But I kept my cool until I found him and everybody knew I did not use him for money making ritual” [ he burst into laughter].
      According to Alampasu, he sent his son to school but he came back one day and said he wanted to learn welding of which he happily accepted and put him  where he could learn it ,” but for some days I didn’t see him , and I started looking for him , infact I wanted to arrest his boss.
 ”Thank God that I saw him at last , but when I saw him he was in a  football boot and I  had to  plead with  him to  come back home but he did not.I became confused .Later he ran away from home for seven years and I did not see him.He ran away from home and I began to search for him.The seven years was hell  as I was disturbed searching everywhere for him”.

    SUCCESS AT LAST
Asked how he eventually saw him , the man gave a heavy sigh and said “He left home for seven years before we  eventually set eyes on ourselves but my people used to see him in football  kit either while he was on his way  for training or was going  somewhere to lay his head .Then I was molding bricks to eke a living , in addition to my using my motorcycle for commercial purpose .When nothing was forthcoming I started on full time riding a commercial motorcycle , Okada to  make  money .One day , he (Alampasu) came to play at Odewale,( football field)and at another place called Iso(football field) he then went ahead to drop his phone number at Ajegunle Bus stop our Okada commercial terminal,  in fact  when he passed  bye   I did not recognize him again ,  and he too could not recognize me , his father again.He later called me on phone to come and sign for him.
“The day I went to meet him he asked me to come and sign some documents as his father for his visa , I asked what for? , and he said it was a thing of joy .I then packed my Okada somewhere and went to sign for him , in fact it was another man who assisted me to take my Okada home .Later he didn’t spend up to two weeks before  he went to Abuja from where he called me and said he had been invited to Abuja , I advised him to be of a good behavior .But I must confess to you that I did not regret his running away now for he  eventually brought good result!”

  I  HAVE ABANDONED OKADA

Alampasu said he has abandoned his Okada he uses for commercial purpose since his son had warned him to stop, he said ” My brother , okada business is not easy , it is a hard job and there is no money in it. I did it for many years including bricklaying  but since my son , Dele has warned me and advised me to stop Ihave put a stop to it”.

I WAS IN ASO ROCK
The Goal keeper’s achievement  opened doors for his father to have access to Federal and state government houses , he said , “Could you believe that  I saw the former Lagos state governor  Mr.Babatunde  Fashola (SAN) one on one and former President Ebele Goodluck Jonathan and I shook hands with them in Lagos state office and Aso Rock in Abuja ? .All through my son who won the cup .I have never met anyone of them except through the television.I was excited when  I saw my son  sitting and shaking hands with the head of State President Dr. Ebele Jonathan   and  Governor Babatunde   Fashola the   then Lagos State Governor   .Who am I to meet these people?, What qualification do I have ? .  Me , an ordinary person? . But I thank God my son  made it, and I am proud of him” .

Asked whether he too plays football, but the man who was excited said ” oh yes, my son took after me, I  used to play football when I was young and in the military but since I left several years ago I  had stopped . Infact I was acting too , I was in theater group  but all these  belonged to the past now”,

According to him , each time he sees his son on television and reads it in newspapers he feels happy  and proud of him , he said  ” sometimes  ago when he came to visit me  at Itoki , Ogun state ,he came in an entourage  ,  while you people (journalists)  were with him asking questions , I felt like carrying him  on my back like a baby .All  the Nigerian newspapers  carried  the news that he came to my house , the radio stations carried it too!”

ADVISE FOR PARENTS
The man Alampasu said “Everybody  has his own destiny ,one should not imitate anybody . what I am rejoicing for today is  another person’s  regret. Whatever our children are doing they should be allowed to do it since they are not  into  crime .We should stop controlling our children’s future . If I had known that footballing  will lead to my son’s greatness I would have encouraged him since instead of criticizing him”.

I AM NOW RECOGNIZED
Level has changed for Tomi , hear him “Before I became popular  I was the only one living  here , nobody even recognized me , but now  the way I am being greeted  has changed , those who were not greeting me before are now greeting me and  those who were not my friends before have become my friends .Before,  nobody recognized me , but now people greet me and say this is Alampasu’s  father , this is Alampasu’s father (shaking his head), when I was still riding my Okada for commercial purpose I  would come in quietly but now it is a different thing as I am seen and recognized”.

MEANING OF ALAMPASU

When asked  the meaning of Alampasu, the man laughed , and said ”you know names have meanings, deeper meanings, Everybody has names, and all names have meanings , even the Bible gave spiritual interpretations to names , I am an Egun man, I am from Badagry. My son’s name is Dele Alampasu, and Alampasu means a warrior that cannot be defeated or confronted. That is that . Names are spiritual and you know what it means . I thank God in His infinite and help me to pray also”, as he said this , he took his snuff, sneezed and shook hands with this reporter and asked ” please let me know when you publish this story o. i want to read it ”.

I am from Parakoyi family-James Lawal

 

…… Pastor T B Joshua donated to our Zoo

……When nine classrooms burnt

…….I am from Parakoyi lineage

…….I’m grateful to my wife

        The day was special. It was a bright day  as  the weather was at its best. The atmosphere was also different as the field was full of visitors and guests while the blaring of  music  took over the place. And the question was  ”what could be happening  after this school hours? ”. The answer was not  far fetched with the sight of the ”Birthday Boy”  who is  the school proprietor cum Principal whose dressing said  it all.

 

         This day he was dressed in an embroidered  Yoruba traditional Dansiki  outfit unlike other days when he would wear Caftan or Suit  during  the office hours. One  can hardly recognize him as the  School Proprietor for he dresses simply  during the school hours .But for today, his dressing was special.He is celebrating   his birthday in the land of the living!.

Popularly called Uncle Lawal  by his students .He is a man of few words, the Proprietor of Greater Tomorrow International (GTI), Arigidi Agbaluku , Ikare -Akoko speaks with our reporter.

 

He is the Proprietor and Principal of Greater Tomorrow International College Arigidi/Agbaluku  , Ikare – Akoko. The school he founded since 1992 where not only academic pursuit is being pursued  but a place where   morals are  also taught. The school where  integrity is their watchword and honesty their sing -song  no wonder parents send their children and wards  there from abroad  to study in a school built like a University. The school is equipped with a first class educational  materials and the first to be using computers in Ondo- State .His students call him Uncle  Lawal while his peer group and friends   call him Chief . Some of his friends call him Chief Lawal,all in all he answers to all these with total humility and with smile. That is Chief James Olatunbosun Lawal, the Proprietor and Principal of Greater Tomorrow International College(GTIC) , Arigidi, Ikare Akoko

BIRTHDAY DAY

On that day,  his mode of dressing was totally different  as he did not wear suit, Caftan or a ‘T’ Shirt which could have been his normal dressing for school period  and be in the class or office.While many were surprised  of what he wore that day  . Yet many were not surprised as he himself  spoke about it later that his school gave him a surprise birthday gift.

MY DAY

Asked why he dressed in native attire on that  day , but the man replied ”today is my birthday as I added another year to my age. I did’nt prepare or  plan for it but my staff said it is  compulsory for them to celebrate my age with them , I have no option than to obey them”, he laughed

Tortoise in the zoo

    MY   JOURNEY SO FAR

     Lawal confirmed that   the journey has not been easy but he however gave  thanks to God , he said ” I  thank God for everything  for what  had happened over the years ,from the date of my birth  it has  all been struggle  and we give thanks to God .we can look back and say thank you God”, he said , looking at this reporter and shaking head.

     MEANING OF MY  NAME,

   In  Yorubaland , where names have meaning the Chief said his name Olatunbosun is pregnant with meaning like other Yoruba names, he said  ” infact I am from Parakoyi family background , we are parakoyis of the  days of yore .You should know that  the parakoyis are the wealthiest families in the  Ikire town , kings of traders , and known all over , far and wide .Its natural that people from that family will bear the name ‘Ola’  and from there we have Olatunbosun.

    I AM FROM A PRIVILEGED FAMILY BUT…

        Lawal, could not hide his feelings as he dropped a bombshell,that he was from a privileged home and had seen the two sides of life,  he said   ”  I am just like any other child , having come from a privileged  home , only to fall back to be humble , and it has been two wayside , from grace to grass and grass to grace”. He counseled that  no situation is permanent in this world and one should not take ”yes” for failure and should be strong.

WHY I RESIGNED  FROM MY FIRST JOB

Lawal who was a gifted teacher had at a time quarreled not with his boss but with the style of   administration in public school where he cut his teeth in the profession. He said  ”I started my teaching career from Ondo State Basic College  after my National Youth Service Corps (NYSC)   and worked for less than two years , it was a public school.  The style of administration  did not enable me to conform with most of these public schools , their style   and their ways of doing things , and I criticized my boss a lot , that was what led to Greater Tomorrow International College . I had to resign  and move to become a private teacher . By training  I am a trained teacher , I  have passion for teaching and I  know an ideal school , I knew  and saw what was going on and that was why I pulled out”.

 

In GTIC  zoological garden

    I STARTED WITH TWO PUPILS

Lawal said his beginning was not smooth as many didn’t know , the man who had passed through life said easy does it and slow and steady wins the race, he said he does not believe  to be in a hurry in life. ”My own life is a testimony  to all. I started with two pupils , Kindergarten, but thank God the Kindergarten has grown to International school where every parent is proud to bring their children and wards’‘.

         BAD MEMORY

    For Chief Lawal, he had experienced the good, bad and the ugly. The bad memory of his five classrooms that went up in flames still baffles him, he said” I cannot easily forget how I felt bad seeing  this, there was a time when  our four classrooms were burnt . Painfully  about 90 days later addition five classrooms got burnt too., these have been my nasty experiences , but we thank God nobody was in the class and unfortunately it was in the night”.

ROAD TO OUR ZOOLOGICAL GARDEN

On how he came about  the zoological garden, the Proprietor said  apart the fact that he is in love with animal especially hearing stories of morals from animal Kingdom and the stories of  Crafty and deceitful Tortoise husband of Yannibo , he said ” in addition to that when the government regulator came here and said the government has made it compulsory for all  secondary schools to  have an entrepreneur subject , then  we chose animal husbandry. Some animals were stated on the curriculum and we are lucky to get some of these animals. We were then lucky as Pastor TB Joshua  of the Synagogue Church of God in Lagos donated some animals to the school , these animals  like Donkeys, camels, monkeys, ostrich, and goats,  and many more’.

”We found it also necessary to have all these animals for students to see with their eyes how these animals look like, We don’t have zoo in Ondo State and students need to see some of these things.It is part of education, how will you feel when these children only see  elephant, goat, monkeys, camel , donkeys on books only?”

FROM UNCLE TO CHIEF

In the school, he is called Uncle by his students and he is happy as he said , ” it makes the students get closer to him ,” Yes , the students call me Uncle and makes them  to be free with me , but they have  stopped calling me Uncle , I  am no longer Uncle but  a Chief.I am now a chief.( burst into laughter). Nothing  is constant , I am now authentic Baba Ijo  of  St. Thomas Anglican Church, Ikare ”

WHY  WE HAVE CHURCH AND MOSQUE IN SCHOOL

In the GTIC  are Church and a Mosque  by each side, on this the man ,Lawal said ”We have diverse people attending the school from Christian and Moslem background .We must be able  to tolerate  these two religion and teach our children about religious tolerance  that is why we have mosque  and church in the  same school premises and by each side. We want our students to be tolerant by the time they leave this place to see their brothers and sisters that they are one and should be tolerant of each other’s religion and   we should let them know we are serving same God”.

WHY I LEFT LAGOS  FOR ARIGIDI

While  many are moving to the urban cities only few stayed behind ,But Lawal said his own choice was borne out of choice and determination, he added  ”there is nowhere you stay that is not good , and cannot conquer the world, wherever we  are we can build it to our taste. I left Lagos for Ikare  long time ago to settle and fulfill my ambition I believe  in dream and  I believe I can actualize my dream , in my setting and most preferably my environment. My leaving Lagos for Ikare  resulted to  GTIC. and I have no regret , I thank God”

WHY WE STARTED COMPUTER EARLY

The school , GTIC  is among the few   using computer for JAMB examination in Ondo state and the Principal argued that one must be among the first, he said ” I always traveled abroad to see how things are being done in both primary and secondary schools  in the civilized countries like the USA, UK, France, Japan. You see we need to be exposed and invest in research. I always traveled to know the latest and update our academic curriculum activities. Everybody should learn how to use computer and should be computer-literate , in these days if you are not  computer literate you can’t achieve anything, all over the world all primary schools in the United Kingdom, America and France where I travelled to are using computer  that was why we started  long time ago .”, he said with full confidence.

HOW I START MY DAY

While many start their  day by  jogging around the field  but Lawal says ” when I wake up   I will first of all  pray. After my prayer , I will  go to the classroom , it is our culture here  in GTI, that between 6 and 7 Mathematics should be taught. I will go and teach mathematics and also make sure our Mathematics teachers are in the class, we need to teach these children how to wake up early and do all these things, Mathematics refreshes brain especially early in the morning”

MY BEST FOOD

Lawal says his bestDodo , wear suit, to school and caftan

what makes me happy

when i see my student progresing outside and doing well, that i have contributed to hiumanity

WHAT MAKES ME SAD

Lawal describes life as a place where talents are being given and distributed willingly  by God and  should be optimally used . He bared his mind on  what makes him sad , saying  when   he sees people roaming around not using their talent God has given him , he said ”I am always sad seeing people  wasting their time and not using optimally”

 He gave reasons why he gives out , he said ”we should live a life of giving in all our obligations , not only money, but support to achieve their potentials”.