DELE OGUN is a Londoner, Nigerian-born intellectual, lawyer, presenter, international speaker and commentator on current affairs, a polymath and author.
He practices law as his profession but writing is his passion.
His first published works were a few lines in the Letters pages of the Times Newspaper but today, he not only writes books, he has his own publishing company, the appropriately named Lawless Publications.
His recent book A FATHERLESS PEOPLE is centred on Nigeria and the British-colonial leadership.
Yes, you guessed right!! Our guest on the SyncityNG Literary Lords and Ladies show is DELE OGUN.
We had fellow notable guest writers the last time on the show. If you missed the interviews, you can read them here and here.
Good evening, ladies and gentlemen! Welcome to the show. Hello, sir. Pleased to have you here.
Thank you. Pleased to be here.
A bit of humour here: How’s the London weather? I hope it’s not too cold? And the newly wedded royal couple?
It’s quite warm here tonight. I don’t know about the Royals though, lol.
What influenced the decision to name the book “A Fatherless People”?
The research convinced me that what we’ve had are leaders who have been batting for themselves and/or for outside interests in such a way that makes the masses politically fatherless.
Launching this book close to the 2019 elections seems…brave. People have been arrested for less, here.
Why the book launch now?
The timing was dictated by the research work (20 years) and the writing (5 years), not by the political timetable. It is a book for the next 100 years not for the next 4 years.
The state of the nation’s affairs has been abysmally poor for ages; long after independence. Why is the book still blaming the British?
If an architect built your home with defective foundations even 100 years ago and the structure faults are only now being uncovered and exposed you must hold that architect by the neck.
Even if the architect hands you the blueprint and asks you to re-build your home yourself?
Well, what Fatherless exposes is that the blueprint was hidden from Nigerians and not handed over and what the book is doing for the first time is exposing that long-hidden masterplan to the light. So the clock of responsibility is only now ticking.
Tell us some of the emotions you went through while writing this book. How did you feel writing this tell-all book?
My emotions were mixed because having lived and worked with the British for most of my life, I know that the crippling of Nigeria/Nigerians which Lugard engineered would be something most Britons would be disgusted by if they knew. Good Britons love fair competition.
Someone once said a black man doesn’t read. Is writing a book the best way to pass the message? Why not vie for a political office instead?
The book exposes many myths and that black people do not read is one of them because our people are buying it in numbers. Those who run for office without first understanding can bring no light onto our problems. I am content to be the one who brings the light to the darkness.
I am intrigued by this cover. I can identify some of them. Why the choice of these leaders?
The first level figures are the religious leaders; Dan Fodio, Crowther, Al-Kanemi. Those in the middle are the colonial architects; Goldie, Lugard, Robertson. The third tier are the local military architects; Babangida, Obasanjo and Abacha.
The 2019 elections are upon us. What lessons from this book do you want the aspirants to take home?
They cannot solve the problem with Nigeria without first understanding it. Until they have read the book, they are like emperors with no clothes.
We’ll be taking in questions from our audience now. The first one is from Mystique Syn and she is asking, “How did people in the West receive A Fatherless People?” and “Where can we get the book? I need to know why the author blames the British 58 years after independence.”
For the first question, from the reviews on Amazon we’d say very well.
The second one coming in from TJ Mohammed is a response to your earlier statement, “If an architect built your home with defective foundations…”
He says, “We rather than the British were the problem. Ghana was handed independence before Nigeria but they’ve gotten their act together. The British or the West are just willing partners.”
How do you respond to that, Dele?
I explained that Ghana’s ethnic mix is much more manageable than Nigeria’s 371 ethnic groups. Even then they have not moved on much further.
Thank you. That will be all from the audience. What an explosive session! Elections are in a few months and I highly recommend the book A Fatherless People. Any last words, sir?
Only the truth can set us free.
This interview originally happened on twitter. Follow the #SyncityNGLLL to be a part of the conversation.