Why I am Afraid for my Children & Nigeria—Gen. David Jemibewon | + How I fell in love with Dupe Jemibewon

The GDA & The General in a Very relaxing mood’

In this second part of the exclusive
encounter with elder statesman and ex-Adjutant General of the Nigerian Army, Major General David Medayese Jemibewon (CFR, Mni) the former
Military Administrator of Western Nigeria and former Minister of Police Affairs
lament the down ward slide his country, Nigeria is presently undergoing in the
hands of bad political leaders and social engineers. For once, the General
angrily declared “Nigeria is undergoing a process of underdevelopment”.  

General Jemibewon who was appointed Military Administrator of the Western States of
Nigeria between August 1975 and March 1976 and later became the first Military
Administrator of Oyo State after Oyo, Ogun and Ondo states
were carved out of the old western states between March 1976 and July 1978
under the military regime of General
Olusegun
Obasanjo later became a
Minister of Police Affairs between 1999 and year 2000 under the Civilian regime
of President Olusegun Obasanjo. He
is reputed to be the minister who created what is now known as the Police Service Commission (PSC). The General, who is now the Rector of Jemibewon International Academy
Iyah-Gbedde is not only sad for the future of Nigeria which he describe as ‘BLEAK’
but equally sad that his generation has created a country his own children and
grand children will never like to live in.  Enjoy the excerpts with your Africa’s Number 1
Celebrity Encounter blog, Asabeafrika.

The General with his darling wife, Madam Modupe Jemibewon
Talking about politics, when you were
Military Governor of old Western states, you built roads and durable
infrastructures but today what do you have to say about Project Nigeria,
especially when you hear about the kind of money that is being looted out of
the country by politicians, and issues such as padding of budgets in the
National Assembly?

I am telling you, I am not sure we are making progress in Nigeria, I do not
think so. It is sad. But let me make it clear. It is not necessarily caused by
this government or the leadership of this government. The situation had been so
hopeless from what we now read in newspapers before they came. And they too
probably didn’t know the magnitudes of the problems. There are no roads, no hospitals;
the few hospitals that are available have no drugs. Or the drugs that available
are fake drugs. I do not understand. Nigerian Airways is dead, National
Shipping Line
is dead, I don’t know. People are opening universities every
day, some of these universities are not better than secondary schools, why?
Why? In some countries, they limit the number of doctors they produce in one
academic year, the purpose being to make what they produce quality. They have a
ceiling to the lawyers they produce because they want to produce sound lawyers.
The same thing goes for engineers and so on. Today we have graduates some who
may not be able to spell even their surname. My thought was that creation of
states was to bring some form of competition among the states. In those days,
the Western states wanted to be in the forefront of development, the east
decided to catch up with the west and the north too. And that was how we had Ahmadu
Bello University
, Obafemi Awolowo University of
Nigeria, Nsukka and so on. But today what can we say is the
developmental competition? We started hearing bail out!!! What does it mean? Is
it meant to generate resources and from there drive an income process to re-pay
the source of the bailer? (Shakes his head sorrowfully) There are lots of
problems.
General
David Jemibewon to Asabeafrika….’I am afraid that if i go, none of my
kids might see reason with me to come and stay here and run the school’

Buhari is good for the job…
But I think the leadership that we have there now, has great foresight but age
is not on his side, even if he wants to work hard, nature is such that the
capacity he had 24 years ago or 30 years ago, is no more there. So, I have great
sympathy for him (President Muhammad Buhari). But as for capability and the
vision to succeed, that one is there for him.

General David Jemibewon to Asabeafrika…’The Quality of Leadeship has dropped in all endeavors in Nigeria’


Are you sure sir?
Ha, I am very sure. I am positive. I know him very well. He is a decent man. He
is a man who does not tolerate corruption and he is hard working. But I have
used myself as a case study severally in the sense that the strength I had and
my determination to succeed and do the right thing while I was Governor in
Ibadan
and now, is different. I don’t have the energy anymore. And even
the people one will ask to come and work with one today, are not the best
materials, compared to 25 or 30 years ago. That is what I am saying! Even in
your own profession, the quality has gone down. So in this country, quality has
gone down in every sphere. If you are coming from Abuja and going to Lagos
by road, you will see more than a dozen of signboards of universities. Now tell
me why quality won’t go down, because to even employ people to run these new
universities is still going to take place within the university system. So,
someone who shouldn’t have become a professor in the next five years goes to a
new university and he is made a Vice Chancellor.

General David Jemibewonto Asabeafrika…’I fell for my Wife, Dupe’s Voice on Radio’
General
David Jemibewon to Asabeafrika….’I am afraid that if i go, none of my
kids might see reason with me to come and stay here and run the school’

Nigeria is undergoing a process of
underdevelopment…

When you look at the Nigerian situation,
do you nurse any fear for your grand children?

I do give it a thought, but I do not want such thoughts to dampen me. I can
only continue with prayers. But beyond prayers, one thing I think that I have
observed in this country generally, we are undergoing the process of underdevelopment.
Here I am, I told you what happened before I decided to start a school. I have
five children and I told you that my first wife died last year, my children are
grown up. I have a second wife, we have just one child. For my first wife’s
children, one is in England, she is a lady; she is here now. The other children are
in Lagos. Two boys and two girls, my mother died; it’s only the first son and
first daughter that came. The first two children; and I cannot blame those that
didn’t come because they are just forming their families. I look at this school;
it is already giving me headache. Who takes over the school when I am no more here?
My last son is married to a Chinese-American. You see, he has been here on few
occasions. With the under-development that we face here, do you really see my
grand children coming here? No. That question is applicable to my children and
grandchildren. The two elder ones that came for this occasion now are leaving
first thing tomorrow morning. They have not been here for
years, I am here because I was born here, I have been living here, I have
attachments to this place and the connection is still here. So this may not
directly answer your question but you can deduce my answer. I am supposed to
tell my son that he should forget Lagos and come and sit down here?
Even if I do that, can I guarantee that my grand children will come and
stay here and live permanently?


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General David Jemibewon with his Lovely Dupe and eminent Nigerians
Aunty Dupe…The Woman who stole Uncle Dave’s Heart with her voice

My daughter from my second wife since the age
of 3, she has been in the United State of America. I wanted
her to have the best education. She is 29 now. After finishing her first degree
in America,
she came home to serve in the NYSC program before going to the London
School of Economics
for her Master degree and she has been here working
in the last two years. When I tried to influence sending her to her aunty in America,
the mother felt very bad that I was attempting to throw away the daughter. My
wife’s father had to intervene. But today we are all happy because she spent
only three years in the university without us being there and she made a First
Class. We brought her here. She also went to South Korea where she
went to go and do something similar to our Youth Corps for a year, when she finished;
she was employed in a university there.

General
David Medayese Jemibewon receiving Deputy Governor of Kogi State, His
Excellency Simon Achuba in his Iyah-Gbedde home, Kogi State
General
David Jemibewon to Asabeafrika…’If i tell you that at 76 i  am
looking for a Role Model to motivate me that means i have failed myself’

We brought her here, we tried to
convince her. In a way, we have made her a citizen of the world. So now, am I going
to force her to stay here? Do I know where she is going to marry from? I cannot
force my daughter as to who she should marry. And it doesn’t matter who she
marries, will her children agree to come and sit down and manage things here?
And I can tell you, it is not only me that has this kind of problem. From the
way things are, our country is being under-developed. At least the rural areas
are highly underdeveloped because children of people, who are comfortable, will
not settle in these rural areas. But I am happy for one thing that my son,
though based in Lagos, is into agriculture. I give him my total support with
his friends, who are not even limited to their state of origin.

“I look at this school; it is already
giving me headache. Who takes over the school when I am no more here? My last
son is married to a Chinese-American. You see, he has been here on few
occasions. With the under-development that we face here, do you really see my
grand children coming here? No. That question is applicable to my children and
grandchildren”
General David Jemibewon to Asabeafrika…’I can not force my daughter to marry anybody at this age. The Choice is hers’
General David Jemibewon to Asabeafrika…’Nigeria is in a big dilema and something needed to be done asap’

Nigeria is a careless nation…
I have traveled with a Chinese before
who said he wanted to look around Nigeria and he said that if the Chinese
people can be brought here, they will generate big economy from our empty
bushes. Sir with the way the oil is doing in the global market and the blowing
up of oil facilities by the militants; don’t you think we are now over due for
a rapid Agro economy?

Truly, I don’t have an answer because we have been careless and negligent,
otherwise we should have known that oil is a commodity that is exhaustible. We
should have used the money we made from oil to build infrastructure, roads,
rail way, for me, sometimes I look at it when you see the number of Dangote
trailers and I tell myself that ‘this is what train should be carrying’. So I
don’t know and that is why I just said that the future is bleak. There was a
time when there was a lot of money but now, the money is gone. And I am not too
sure; anyway, even if we go into agriculture, by now, I expected that we should
be manufacturing tractors. There was a factory in Bauchi producing tractors
at a time, there was a machinery factory in Enugu, there was the
factory in Kano, then the Peugeot factory in Kaduna and the Volkswagen
Centre in Lagos, now tell me, to do all these things again, the money is
not there. I think we should bring this interview to an end because the band is
outside, and people are still outside there, dancing, and expecting me to join
them.

General
David Jemibewon to Asabeafrika….’It is a pity that at every ten
kilometers from Lagos to Abuja you now see one University or the other.
This is educational corruption’
General David Jemibewon to Asabeafrika…’What what Nigeria is saying now, i can see that the future is bleak’
How I keep fit @ 76
You look so fit even at over 70 and you
were just dancing wholeheartedly today, and I remember asking you this question
in Orin-Ekiti last year during the funeral of your father-in-law that how were
you able to juggle it, burying your first wife and father in-law almost  the same week in Lagos, Ibadan and Ekiti
and  after burying your first wife in
Lagos, you came to Ibadan from  where we
moved to Orin and you sat for eight hours for the wake keep and so on, where do
you get your energy?

Number one I must say your reference of last year is true but it was difficult
for me then, I must say with God I survived that moment, in the past I used to
be involved in exercise, playing squash. but I later had an accident and since
then, I have not been playing squash, so what I do in recent times is to
control the amount of food I eat, and I eat quality food, in fairness, my wife
is kind and makes sure that I eat the right thing, I know she is particular in
getting the right kind of cook for me. You find out that some people say they have
cooked in restaurants but at the end you find out that they lied. I have great
sympathy for her because she brings in one cook today maybe in another one month;
we have to look for another. So I don’t eat much and that keeps me fit. Not
quantity but quality food. Unfortunately I don’t do exercises anymore.

General David Jemibewon to Asabeafrika….’Nigeria has been very careless over the Years not to see that oil will crash someday’

The General & Gentle Man…Angry with the way things have turned up in Nigeria


I think you are 75 now?
I was born July 20, 1940, I celebrated 76 year on 20th, the problem I have now
is that July is my birthday but in the last two years, July has not been fair
to me, my first wife died July 22, now this year July 20th we went to Lagos for
the anniversary and my mother died a day later July 21st. So I don’t know about
next July now but there is nothing I can do about it.

The General and his surviving sister, Mrs.Janet Owadokun with his mother, Late Mama Rachael Emife Jemibewon
My living & dead hobbies….
It appears to me that you so much love
music, which other hobbies do you have?

I enjoy music a lot and the truth is that I do not have any preference at all.
Maybe when I get intelligent people to talk to, I like having conversations, I
used to write but I am lazy now. But I have good friend and I thank God for
that.

The General giving his late mum her last salutation


Do you have a role model?
Maybe in the past but if at 76 I am looking for somebody to be my role model to
motivate me, and then it would mean I am already a failure. And what makes me
pleased is that if I am associating with you and you are doing well, I feel
very pleased for you.

General David Medayese Jemibewon paying his last respect to his mom, Mama Rachael Emife Jemibewon
How I met and fell in love with Dupe
Jemibewon (Nee Ajayi)

I noticed this special rapport between
you and your second wife whom I haves known for the past 15 years, to
understand your chemistry better. Can you tell me how you chased her? Tell me
the story of your love life?

I am not sure I ‘chased’ her and she didn’t ‘chase’ me either, rather I will
prefer how I court her (laughs), I met her when I went to Ibadan as a governor, I
had a lady friend but not boy friend or girlfriend relationship as such. One
day she came to say hello to me. Her sister was classmate with Dupe
my second wife and they are still friends till today. Through her, I met many
girls but particularly I like Dupe out of those many girls. I went
to her house where I met them and I took interest in Dupe. That was how we
started. The intention was not to get married because I knew I was already
married. Just after that meeting, I had a programme on WBS (Western Broadcasting
Services) and during the programme, I heard a voice and I knew it was her
voice. That voice, I don’t know how it happened. From hearing that voice I
started having a special likeness for her.

General David Jemibewon to Asabeafrika…’Nigeria is in a process of underdevelopment’
The General networking during his Mum’s funeral rites at Iyah-Gbedde, Kogi State


How has the marriage to her been?
It has not been easy for both of us, because she also happens to be the first
child of her parents, they are Catholics and like any parents they would have
wished she didn’t have to marry someone who was already married, but then it is
not everything you wish that happens in life. That is the way I will explain it.
And since we started, Gods has helped us and we have had a cordial relationship
and we have just one daughter, and we thank God because we have been able to
groom her well, she went to a Catholic University and she made a
First class, what does anybody want again?

The GDA, the General & a Media Colleague, Mr. Paul Ukpabio of The Nation Newspaper

The General with the GDA & his loving daughter, Omolola Jemibewon


What would you love to say to those who
left their duties across Nigeria to honor the memory of your mum
Mama Rachael Emife Jemibewon here in Ayetoro Gbedde?

This is Iyah
Gbedde
, the bigger settlement up there is called Ayetoro. I am between Iyah
and Ayetoro,
it is interesting really because all the time I was in primary school, my
village used to be up there; we had to pass through here every Sunday
to come to school and go back every Friday. I have
chosen as a young boy that if I have money, it is this area that I will have my
house. When God answered my prayer, by 1966-67, I built my first house here and
my village moved from where it used to be to come here. I chose this area for a
house and much later, added the mass land area for farming but I am having
problems now with the farm which is in court now, but we are finding a way
whereby we can reach a settlement. It has been on now for some time, but in
recent times, it looks like it may soon be over. We were to go to court (In
July) but they heard that my mother died and they asked that we move it
forward, and few days ago they came here to express their sympathy. So, I will
take opportunity of that gesture and still appeal to them that we settle out of
court.

The GDA and Omolola Jemibewon, General’s adorable daughter and London School of Economics expert
Mama’s Hearse bringing her body home for final rites
Mama’s Casket as Prayer in front of eminent Nigerians  and her children


Thanks for Speaking with Asabeafrika!

Thanks for
coming around.

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