Talking about the church, what would be your advice to the church in terms of how to cope with this period?
You know, by the nature of how the church is, the word ‘Cope’ may not be acceptable to most of the people in the church. They believe that you are to dominate the environment so I will not use the word ‘Cope’ to describe what should happen, but what I will say is, in terms of looking at it from the possibilities that this season has brought to us. Let me give you an example, I grew up in Ibadan, and a lot of my parents’ friends who are retired stay at home and of course, they belong to the endangered species to Covid-19 based on their age bracket. So, they don’t even go to church. Now, we have a programme on Channels Television that runs from 10 am to 11 am, so when I visited my mother last week, she said she and her friends watch the program. She said to me and my friends that’s how we do church now. And from that, I saw the possibility of reaching particular demography that I wasn’t reaching before. So, even on that particular programme now, I’m going to introduce the singing of Hymns because there are lots of them who come from the Anglican and Methodist backgrounds. What I’m saying is that there are lots of opportunities, lots of possibilities during this season. The truth about the matter is, we cannot do church the way we used to do church again. We are in a new dimension. Everything has gone digital, we are all more or less in a digital space now. People are getting more opportunities to interact with each other and get to bond intimately. And the opportunities created are boundless. Look at Kodak, for instance, they are now going into pharmaceuticals. Before now, when you hear Kodak, what comes to your mind is the camera, but Today, things are different. People are beginning to realize there is real wealth in that digital space. So, really, this is a time to experiment, find ideas and what works for you and investigate those things so that we can create hybrid communities because that’s where we’re going. I mean, the best selling shopping centres now are digital. They’re not physical. Fifteen years ago, you couldn’t conceive that.
In what ways do you think this will affect Leadership and Governance in Nigeria?
It would’ve revolutionalised selection of leaders. In fact, what is going on in the world today, like somebody said, it is people that are out there in the public glare, that people are likely to elect into positions of leadership? In other words, you have even someone like Donald Trump who was elected and he was on stage with people that had far more experience in governance, that could articulate positions on foreign policy, that he was not even aware of some certain policies, he was not even aware that UK had Nuclear Power, that it was clear that he was ignorant of some certain things that were basics for being elected into positions of such magnitude. So, people are now electing people that they know, celebrities that they can trust. Now, in Nigeria, because of the hindrances that people are not as educated, the literacy level is not spread that way and the penetration of some of these things such as the digital space is not that deep but it will significantly affect whoever gets elected, shaping policies. It will affect things in the middle class significantly. I think it will reduce ethnic and tribal sentiments, maybe not in the next five years because the younger generation of this country who are socializing in that spaces are not as ethnic conscious or as tribalistic as the older people in the post-independence era where people are defined according to tribes. They are developing more identity in that social space. Your address is no longer your physical location, your address is where you are at. Right now, even embassies are asking what’s your social media handle and all of that because your identity is being defined more by that than saying where do you live physically. So, there are real changes that are going on. I lead young people so I know there’s a massive shift going on. I know there are conversations going on in places where the powers that be can’t control what’s going on. Back then, if you controlled the major newspapers in the country you could control what was going on in the minds of the people. That meant you could regulate things. But that disruption is going on out there because people are putting all sorts into the media space, there are conversations that are not being monitored, not being inspired by power brokers, so you’re likely to see things emerge that people may not have real control over. By 2023, I can assure you that if you’re going to lead this country successfully, you would have to be really smart. Even if you want to steal money, you will have to be sophisticated about it and about things that you are doing because anybody can put any document out there, like what is going on in the NDDC. I mean, you can’t shut yourself up somewhere, everybody puts it up there and it has an effect on your family. People see your children in school and ask, was that your father I saw on television that was acting funny? So, it’s beginning to become more embarrassing.