Ex-Presidential Aide Commends Author Ondoma For Standing Out Among Youths
Dr. Tunde Olusunle, a former ex-presidential aide to Olusegun Obasanjo commends John Freeman Ondoma, author Twelve Hints of Success & Greatness and What is Life for being examplery among young people in the society.
Dr. Olusunle noted that Ondoma has demonstrated leadership among young people by choosing to document his experience in the two books especially at a time when the aggressive quest for survival has pushed a lot of youths into crime and criminality.
The member Nigerian Guild of Editors, NGE and Association of Nigerian Authors, ANA spoke on Tuesday at the launching and public presentation of the books Twelve Hints of Success & Greatness and What is Life at Savannah Suites hotel in Abuja.
Dr. Olusunle who was the reviewer and presenter of the books said the author is a symbol of reassurance that there are youths who are committed to making a difference instead of walking the path of perdition.
He said, “Let me first commend Ondoma for taking the initiative of coming up with these publications at a time like this in our national life. In a milieu where young people lust after the good life and engage in untoward crimes and criminalities, it is reassuring that there are youths who are committed to exerting themselves, rather than towing the path of perdition.
“Reports of young Nigerians arrested in parts of the world for drug-related offences; fraud, both locally and internationally; primitive ritualistic practices, cultism and and gangsterism, regularly, assault our collective sensitivities.
“To rejig our memories, the Ishola Oyenusis of the early 1970s; the Lawrence Aninis of the 1980s and Shina Rambos of the 1990s, were young men when they strayed into armed robbery. This is not forgetting the more recent Ramon Abbases (Hushpuppies); the Chukwudumeme Onwuamadikes (popularly known as Evans) and the Ejiofor Felix Enwereakus (fraudster, kidnapper and drug baron respectively) who are also youths.
“Ondoma, however, has elected to be different and to pursue the enervating route of hard-work, commitment and innovation, and the concomitant perspiration, and should be commended.
“In Christian epistemology, such people will be described as having gone through the eye of the needle, or coursed the narrow path. Indeed you need to listen to Ondoma’s life trajectory, aspects of which he shares on the pages of these books to appreciate the motivation for his desire to want to share vistas from the collectivisation of these experiences, in these books.”
A clergy, Rev. Fr. George Ehusani who was father of the day tasked Nigerian youths to begin to harvest the ideas of older generations and chronicle the later’s experiences for proper documentation as a way of seeking solutions to problems confronting the nation.
Fr. Ehusani, the Executive Director Lux Terra Leadership Foundation faulted the past generations for not imbibing a culture of record keeping which according him leaves the contemporary generation with the only option of starting anew.
While commending the author for the efforts and sacrifices that eventually saw him pen down his experience, the clergy said, “Look at our traditional African medicine for example. The reason it is not making progress is that people die with their knowledge. So we have not been able to develop it properly.
“People should begin to spend less time on the phone. They should learn to read so that they can write. They should begin to meet old people to narrate their life story for documentation. They should not die with their knowledge.
“People who are 80 and above, still bright in the mind, we should be meeting them to write the stories of their lives. They should tell what their fathers and grand-fathers told them.
“These are what the white men give us about their story and our people travel to Europe to learn the story of Europeans. Meanwhile we have our story and nobody can tell your story better than yourself” he said.
Chief host of the event and chairman Association of Nigerian Authors, ANA Abuja chapter, Halima Usman applauded Ondoma who was formerly her vice during her first tenure in office for always volunteering to support other people’s course.
She described as seamless the cordial working relationship that existed between herself and Ondoma which she said helped the chapter in achieving great successes.
“Since he left office as the vice chairman, he has maintained his total support towards the Association despite his very busy schedule. He is one of the people we are very proud of in ANA Abuja” she added.
The author, John Freeman Ondoma in his remarks urged youths in the country not to see various life challenges they are passing through as excuse to venture into anti-social activities and crimes, saying it will worsen their situation rather than providing solutions.
Ondoma, the immediate past vice chairman of Association of Nigerian Authors, ANA Abuja chapter said opportunity abounds in every challenge, charging young people to discover the numerous potentials deposited in them to excel.
He said the inspiration behind writing of the two books came from his difficult and challenging experiences, adding that despite several reasons to give up, he persevered.
“Beyond sharing my experience in these books, I also want to pass a message across the global space, that as humans, we should use our lives and talent for the betterment of mankind.
“Facing difficult situations is not an excuse to let things slip our finger. In our challenges, there abound opportunities one can leverage on.
“I am also encouraging the youths not to see crime as an option. That there are difficulties or they come from a less privileged background is not enough reason.
“I was born and brought up in a seemingly rough environment and likes, yet I did not at any point allow myself to be involved in crime because I want my life to be of positive impact to anyone I come across” he said.