Senator Olufemi Lanlehin, a lawyer and a former lawmaker, who represented Oyo South Senatorial District on the Senate, speaks to OLUFEMI OLANIYI about his fatherhood expertise
The place had been you when your spouse gave delivery to your first little one?
I used to be hanging across the hospital. I knew she was going to offer delivery. There’s a due date all the time given to pregnant girls, so, I knew she was due for supply. I used to be round within the hospital on the time.
Did you go contained in the labour room together with her?
No, I didn’t. It wasn’t modern at the moment, however I used to be round on the hospital.
What was the sensation like?
It is extremely tough to elucidate that. I used to be very expectant and was trying ahead to once I would have my first little one. I used to be later advised my spouse had been delivered of the infant and had been cleaned up. Later, I used to be allowed to go inside to see the infant and I used to be allowed to hold the infant. The sensation is indescribable – very thrilling, very exhilarating and really sobering. When you’re a child, your child, who you understand you’re going to be utterly answerable for, for no less than some years, it sobers you up. Loads of issues will undergo your thoughts about taking accountability for her or him aside out of your spouse.
What precisely made you to be sober?
I realised that this can be a human being who is completely helpless and can’t do something by herself. You might be completely answerable for her. All selections pertaining to her upbringing and wherewithal, every part pertaining to her is determined by you. You should be extra mature, extra reflective and in taking selections, you have to weigh issues far more correctly. It sobers you up.
Did the sensation change when your spouse gave delivery to your others kids?
No, the sentiments didn’t change. I used to be as excited because the earlier deliveries; the thrill by no means lowered. However the first one was totally different. The primary one was distinctive within the sense that it was the primary time and so many issues would undergo your thoughts. At the moment, there have been no issues by way of wherewithal, by way of setting, availability of colleges to ship your kids, as there have been so many good selections. I by no means had the considered sending my kids overseas as a result of I used to be not educated overseas. We had the selection of going overseas to check however who would journey overseas in these days to highschool once we had superb colleges right here? We had first-rate universities, within the like of College of Ibadan, College of Nigeria, Nsukka and others. You had been positive that your kids would have a great schooling in these universities as soon as they had been in a position to meet the necessities. That was the state of affairs till very these days when issues modified.
What elements decided the variety of kids that you’ve got?
There was wasn’t something particularly however at the moment most individuals wished three or 4 kids. The precise quantity was decided by you and your spouse. My spouse wished 4, I wished three and finally we now have 4 kids.
Did you’ve gotten a favorite little one, particularly once they had been rising up?
Not likely, however I’ve just one woman and you can not however have affection for her. The boys had been harder and rougher and had been into taking part in pranks. As a woman, she was cooler, all the time round the home and extra round her dad and mom. They’re all superb kids however you understand that women are normally calmer. At each level, you understand the place they’re, averagely. Ladies are far more, in a means, particular.
Did any of your kids faculty overseas?
All my kids schooled in Nigeria. I’ve quite a lot of confidence on this nation. Rising up in Nigeria was an exquisite expertise, so I wished my kids to go to Nigerian colleges, meet Nigerian kids from different locations, work in Nigerian institutions or business ventures and transfer on. That was what we did. After we accomplished our secondary faculty schooling, we went to larger establishments and after that we knew that we might have jobs and the issue was making your best option. We had been all the time taught to work onerous, to be diligent, and to be trustworthy. Our expectations got here to go and we moved forward. That was why I advised my kids, ‘Work onerous, be trustworthy, go exams and transfer forward,’ and it got here to go of their lives additionally.
You’re a lawyer and a politician. Is any of your kids toeing that path?
Two of my kids are legal professionals, the woman and one of many boys. All of them schooled right here (in Nigeria) besides one in every of them that went for a post-graduate programme overseas. They schooled right here in Nigeria they usually all loved it. They went to public colleges. The faculties had been superb. I went to a neighborhood authorities main faculty in my time and the colleges then had been superb. I went to Ibadan Grammar College, a public faculty. The youngsters of the Premier, audio system, cooks, gardeners and labourers had been all there. We had been all there and combined very nicely. No person cared to know the standing of your dad and mom. We might go to 1 one other’s homes. Although some homes had been not so good as others, we nonetheless went spherical and loved ourselves. You knew that in the event you had been sensible and clever, even in the event you had been from the poorest household, you’ll nonetheless get forward. Individuals made phenomenal success of their careers despite the fact that they got here from very poor background. That was by no means a downside however we dwell in a society now the place we don’t know the place we’re heading, and it’s saddening.
Are you able to examine the way you had been raised to the way you raised your kids?
I gained’t say there was an enormous distinction as a result of my father too, as on the time we had been rising up, was into commerce and likewise politics. More often than not, he was on the market working. Ditto for me. You recognize, as a younger lawyer, it is advisable work very onerous and at the moment you understand that while you work onerous, you’ll get the results of onerous work. You recognize that while you begin a case and it lasts for one 12 months or one and a half years, then your charges are paid and you’ll transfer on.
My spouse was with the youngsters extra, elevating them however they knew that I might be dwelling earlier than they go to mattress and I might be up earlier than they go to highschool. The way in which I used to be raised and the way I raised my kids had been mainly the identical. The virtues our dad and mom raised us with had been mainly the identical we raised our youngsters with. However now they’re adults who’ve kids themselves.
Once I was rising up, all of us knew what these throughout the similar group had been doing. We knew what these in enterprise had been doing. Everyone knew what precisely their neighbours had been doing and the place they had been making their cash from. We noticed the worth they had been including to the group. We knew the addresses of their factories and those who had been within the civil service, we knew them. However now, folks come from the blues and turn into very wealthy. What issues now could be the cash; the way you get the cash, the place you bought it from and what you’re doing, no person cares about that. Simply have cash and you’re made.
Do you consider the nation can nonetheless return to that period with the way in which issues are going now?
Now we have no selection however to return to the great previous days or the nation will implode. If you see the large variety of unemployed people who find themselves roaming the streets, you’ll know that there’s a massive drawback at hand. I’m positive you may think about the extent of anger in these folks. Vengeance is brewing of their hearts and we are able to all see this now. Individuals who have been uncared for, folks whose cash has been stolen, those that consider the nation shouldn’t be truthful to them are very many.
What do you inform a youth who has come out of the college and for 4 years, he has no job? Will you inform him to be affected person? He has been ready patiently. Will you inform him onerous work pays? He studied so onerous and made a great grade. He has spent all his life working onerous and he sees the people who find themselves referred to as the leaders in enterprise, public service, politics doing nearly nothing however residing in humongous wealth and including no worth to society. What do you assume goes on within the minds of these youths?
You get up within the morning and you’re bombarded with unhealthy information from morning until evening. If it’s not mass abduction in Kaduna, it will likely be in Niger or Zamfara; or assaults in Oyo and the East. We can not proceed like this; else this nation will implode. That’s if it’s not already occurring. We have to arrest the state of affairs and it must be finished urgently. Now we have the assets, pure and human assets and all we have to do is to get a system that rewards onerous work; the place folks can work and eat. You place your contributions into the system and the system takes care of you. However what is occurring is that folks don’t put something into the system however they’ll achieve from the system. The youngsters are watching. So many are disadvantaged and they’re indignant. That’s the reason we should return to the way in which issues had been finished earlier than. Our leaders should reverse the pattern. A lot energy is concentrated within the fingers of the manager and when one man has such large energy, everyone grovels at his toes. It was not so once we practised the parliamentary system of presidency.
How did you self-discipline your kids throughout their rising up days?
Most instances, I attempted to speak to them. I don’t like spanking them however sometimes I gave them one or two strokes of the cane on their butts. That was once they had been very younger. However once they entered secondary faculty, I used refined threats and recommendation they usually complied. It was not very tough to boost them and I thank God that they’re good kids.
How did you reward them once they did nicely?
At any time when they carried out nicely of their educational work, I might give them what they requested for. You recognize kids like good attire and so, I might give them. After they got here again from faculty and I noticed that they did very nicely, I might reward them with issues they wished to purchase. After they had been returning to highschool, I might improve what they’d take again to highschool. Most of them had been in boarding faculty and boarding colleges, which had been authorities colleges, had been very okay then. We additionally took them out once they carried out nicely of their schoolwork, like once they we within the college, we took them on summer time vacation journeys.
What traits will you say your kids took from you?
I believe it’s the ardour for the opposite particular person. Honesty is one other one. I take a look at issues from the opposite man’s view and see how they may really feel. It isn’t simply me. I thank God my kids have taken that trait of getting compassion for the opposite man. Their mom has that as nicely, so I can say they took it from each of us.
What do your kids take into consideration your involvement in politics?
I believe they’re simply attempting to come back together with me. So long as it makes me blissful, they tolerate it. To a big extent, I’ll say a few of them are disenchanted with Nigeria’s political state of affairs. They see it as a dog-eat-dog setting.
Is that this to say your kids dislike politics?
I don’t assume so; one or two of them had ventured into politics however finally, one stepped again. The opposite one remains to be out and in of it. However I all the time inform them that if good males keep out of politics and go away it to the not-so-good males, issues will likely be a lot worse than it’s. That’s the reason folks like me, who’ve a service to render, should keep in there. However the state of affairs is unhealthy and my kids ask me, ‘Can any good man keep on this sport?’ However I hold telling them that we are able to’t abandon the system within the curiosity of our nation; we don’t have some other place to name ours. However what they see round discourages them from politics. However they present curiosity in up to date points. Politics scares them as a result of they assume it’s a dishonest vocation. They simply say, ‘Daddy, you may go, we are going to hold praying for you.’
What are these belongings you consider your kids can by no means be caught doing?
Will probably be very tough for them to covet different folks’s issues. They know that honesty is the very best coverage.
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