Nigeria must shine, says Amb Oguma at 55
By Jon Egie
In spite of the vicissitudes facing the political and economic life of Nigeria, “Nigeria must shine”.
Ambassador David Oguma, an oil and gas magnate and business mogul gave the assurance in an interview in Benin City during the occasion of the celebration of his 55th birthday which coincided with the celebration of Nigeria’s Independence Day, October 1, 2015.
He said whatever has been going on in Nigeria was the handiwork of God, stressing that it really doesn’t matter whether one was a Muslim or a Christian, the important thing is “Nigeria is moving forward”.
He called for patience from the citizenry saying “impatience is not a virtue, we must be patient because before now there was no direction, no vision but today there is a vison and I tell you the truth, Nigeria must shine”.
Ambassador Oguma, without prejudice, sued for support to the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari harping that whatever the President is doing is in order and will move Nigeria forward.
“Buhari has nothing to gain right now, he does not bother even if he dies tomorrow so far he sets a pace for this country” Amb Oguma remarked.
He said he and some other Nigerians doing business abroad had often been ridiculed and ashamed when they travel out because of the sour political and economic life pattern of the Nigerian State.
“We prayed put this man, put this man and this is where we are. We should be grateful to God who has kept this country united. The vision is now in place and all Nigerians must unite to like the Americans ask: what can we do for our country rather than having every one asking: what can I put in my pocket?”
Comparing himself as an individual to Nigeria as a nation state, he said in his 55 years of existence if he noticed a mistake it was easier for him to capture and quickly correct it but for Nigeria, it has taken a long time because of the mind-set of the citizenry and hence called for attitudinal change from the propensity to ‘share the money’ to what we can contribute to the growth and development of Nigeria.
Feeling fulfilled at 55, Amb Oguma informed that happiness is not dependent on any external factor but is governed by an individual’s mental attitude.
“It does not matter how many kids you have, how much wealth you have, this man favoured you-that one did not favour you, this man crossed your path, no! Happiness is governed by your mental attitude”.
He thanked God for his life because at every stage he has always seen the hand of God directing.
“Today as I am celebrating I have asked God to show me the way for the New Year in my life and He has never disappointed me. My journey is so smooth, no trouble, no competition.”
He observed that the Nigerian youth has a twisted mind-set and as such everyone in the society, including the government has a role to play in the rescue of the Nigerian youth especially, a rescue by the hand of God to effect attitudinal change.
Speaking on the menace of Boko Haram, Amb Oguma who is also a security expert said Boko Haram insurgency has a pool of manpower supply from the army of unemployed youths in Northern Nigeria suggesting that as soon as government and concerned citizens create the enabling environment for gainful employment of the youths, Boko Harm insurgency shall melt away.
“Even as we are here now, there are some boys outside my gate, they are very hungry. I told my wife they should be the first people to be given food because the hungry man is an angry man. Go and kill those boys just go and kill, they do not even know why they are going to kill. They were not born criminals. In those days when we were in Warri you see DSC bus and a guy will say bros, I dey morning duty, another will say I dey evening duty, they were all occupied. But now they are not occupied, nothing is going on so the best means by which they can survive is what that they find themselves. Insurgency is not permanent and the solution is not by arms and military confrontation, to kill and not to kill; build institutions, let every young man have what to do and they will never have time for that bull shit”.
Asked if he believed in President Muhammadu Buhari as a sincere patriot to the Nigerian cause, Amb Oguma restated that PMB has a vision for Nigeria that is devoid of ethnic colouration, to liberate Nigeria from the shackles of poverty.
“I do believe that PMB is able to correct the ills of the past and I think that he is very sincere, without personal ambition, to correct the ills of this country.”
He lamented that in spite of the fact that Nigeria is the 5th largest oil producing country in the world, since June 27, 2014 no refinery in Nigeria has been working but right now the refineries are working.
“I respect PMB because when he saw that the refineries were not working to full capacity he decided to still continue with subsidy and importation of crude for a period. He gave a timeline saying he can still pay this money and something must be done and things are being done today. Meaning by January 2016, we will be importing 15 percent and by March 2016, we will not be importing fuel, we will be exporting fuel.
“Today you can drive into any filling station, fill your tank and give kudos. I have been consulted on what should be done and I am still working. It did not work like that before. Now we have a round peg to a round hole. Ghana confessed recently that they are now having gas in full, Ghana is so satisfied with this administration and they are begging Nigeria if we could even increase their cubit meter of gas. That tells you that something is working.”
For a general piece of advice, he urged Nigerians to fear God and realise that they did not find themselves in the world by accident.
Amb Oguma further charged Nigerians to key into the vision of the PMB’s government since they cannot just wake up and say they want to make Nigeria great.
“Before if you saw a sachet of pure water on the street you kicked it, today we should advise, pick it up. Some see that empty sachet of pure water as waste, let Nigerians have a change of attitude to see that empty sachet of pure water as money. It is not waste but something that can be transformed to money.
“Let us ask ourselves the question, what can I do for this country and let us not stress on what the country can do for me—clean shoe for me, buy food for me, share the money.”
Earlier in a brief thanksgiving fellowship, Amb David Oguma testified that labour and hard work is good but that many days of labour cannot equal one day of favour from God. He defined peace as not the absence of war but the presence of God in one’s life.
“We are all created to be great and I have discovered that God does not call the qualified but the unqualified,” he said.
His wife, Mrs Grace Oguma in her own testimony prayed that “Dave will still be my husband in the next life”. She described the celebrant as a man who does not accept failure, “he is hard working, a very hard man and if you do not have patience you cannot live with him but God has given me the grace to live with him”.
She expressed gratitude to the friends of David Oguma who put resources together for the celebration of her hussy’s 55th birthday.
Pastor Sunday Enofe of Winners Chapel, Benin City who conducted the brief house fellowship, in an exhortation said Dave has known how to provoke the favour of God and led the friends gathered to join voice in asking God to increase the favour and stay connected with God. He urged all to provoke the favour of God by the picture they see, noting that King David saw 70 years as life span of man and he lived for 70 years, Moses saw 120 years and he lived it.
In a vox pop among the friends of the celebrant, Prof. George Eriyamremu of the Department of Biochemistry, University of Benin said Amb Chief David Oguma works very hard, appreciates humanity, carries everybody along and he is a true ambassador of peace.
“If you go to him for charity you will have it and if he comes to you to ask for advice, he appreciates. He is very religious, when people start making money and relegate God to the background it is as if the money is coming from somewhere else, it is only God that gives and he appreciates that in his own life.”
Mr Dafe Oghenokaro described Amb David Oguma as a complete gentleman, “a man of few words, full of action, a philanthropist who is quick to forgiving people who offend him. He carries people along and he is afraid of seeing people suffer. He is a lover of his family and humanity.”
Hon Etosa Edugboi, a business man and farmer said he has known Oguma for a few years “but it is as if I have known him all my life. The beauty of it is not about when you encounter a person but the quality that the person brings to bear among relationship and friendship. He is friend that is not only magnanimous, full of capacity and sagacity but a big brother, a philanthropist, a quintessential fellow and above all a God-fearing man that goes with the time and season; a complement of men in their various spheres and age and a man doing good; he reaches out and he is a jolly good fellow. May God comfort him, increase him, magnify him and satisfy him on every side.”
Chief Oweh Brinemugha said he has known Amb David Oguma for a very long time, “he is a man of transparent honesty, unwavering principle of discipline, a path finder of noble ideas, an encyclopaedia of knowledge; he is a man that I am so proud of.”
And for HRH Ubreye Peter Asabilly, Amb David Oguma is not just a friend, “I will say he is a brother and those of us who are fortunate to know him call him brother. I feel glad in knowing somebody like him. He impacts positively on the lives of people and his goodness exudes. On this occasion of his 55th birthday, I wish him many happy returns. “