Sunday, May 16, 2021 2:00 pm
By Femi Artdagunodo
Congratulations to those who will or have already created the plan B option. Nothing sharpens a man’s mind like reality. But there are other realities closed to even the most educated or exposed. I pray they encounter reality early.
To some of us, there is a variety of reasons the much touted plan B is not attractive, especially when you consider the language with which Pastor Paul Adefarasin proposed it to the civilized world. To me, any plan B that does not call for the collective effort of all Nigerians for the survival of Nigeria and a freely obtainable life of peace and harmony of its people is dead on arrival.
That Yorubaland and its masses of enlightened people have survived and prospered despite the shenanigans of Nigerian politics and the selfishness of the dominant political elite is largely due to the providence which God made manifest through the political ascendency of Chief Obafemi Awolowo, a single human being whose influence and excellent policies ensured that we the descendants are not lacking in wits, exposure, education and native wisdom.
It is due to this that I can also say that for every spoilt, overfed, vanity chasing and self-appointed public speaker, there are thousand of sober, wiser and family value champions in Nigerians who will deploy endless native intelligence to steer Nigeria away from the direction of destruction these non realists are pulling it with their nihilistic rhetorics.
Billionaire American photographer, Peter Lik is not in government at any level in that country, but he has promoted the good of his country beyond it’s shores and deep into the homes and private reserves of the high and the might across the world.
His example constitute one of the main reasons I as a creative photographer emulating Lik do not want any upheaval in Nigeria that could lead to a state where the Hitlerian scorched earth propositions that Pastor Adefarasin passed to Nigerians get adopted and actually practiced.
Peter Lik lives off the peace and harmony of America. As a photographer whose creativity and business success has surpassed that of any photographer in the world, Lik will never pray for or want war on the American landscape.
The guarantee for his 100 Million Dollars Photography business would be in tatters if peace eludes America.
Landscape photography thrives on peace, prosperity and especially happiness. Only happy and peaceful people patronize artists. It is only when the pressure of survival is not unvearable that anyone can spare money to purchase ornamental arts like photo frames. Art itself, especially the art of landscape photography is only possible when the environment, the forests, the roads, the deserts and the riverside’s are safe.
I know of no existing record that Lik was sponsored or is on any grant by any American government agency. All he depends on is the peace and security of the American countryside’s and the hospitality and welcoming friendliness of other Americans he meets on his various travels to u countable locations in search of the ideal photograph. All I know is that he has evolved to become the author many of the best selling photographic frames in America today.
His works are collected by Presidents, statesmen, monarchs and captains of industry around the world. Peter Lik has been my mentor for many years and I have been grooming myself to become the Peter Lik of African Photography. I know I am not too far from that mark, and that is why I will oppose any act of national arson that is aimed at burning down Nigeria.
I know many people living in America today are hearing about Peter Lik from me for the first time.
Not everyone knows much about many people living just next door, not to mention the me of a renown, successful, photographer who sold his photograph of the Antelope Canyon in Arizona for an obscene amount of $5.6 Million Dollars!
If America has gone to the dogs or abandoned by her 250 million people after the Al Quida attacks of September 11, 2001, where would today’s proponents of Plan B be speaking from?
Nigeria is already such a beautiful country, which is made even more beautiful by the human and cultural diversity she is endowed with.
I understand why it is very difficult for political and social theorists to see or accept that the preservation of prospects for something as supposedly common and mundane as photographic image can act as a catalyst for national harmony. Unlike elsewhere including Nigeria, America integrates everything including ice creams and hamburgers as part of the narrative of their tourism that in turn boosts its economic development.
People who have become so educated that they are no longer willing to be instructed might find all these irrelevant and try to dismiss them, but they will only be further displaying their ignorance about how countries attain greatness.
Anytime people watch beautiful shot movies, praise Hollywood and lament the inadequacies of our own version of the legendary Hollywood, they would do well to spare a thought for the Nigerian landscape which, like the American landscapes should be serving as the beautiful backgrounds, the likes that made the early days of Hollywood Western movies pop.
What some of us are clearly against is the destruction of our land and the decimation of our natural heritage including it’s humanity, Flora and fauna by a hoard of nomadic people who thrive on shifty accommodation and leaking flotilla.
Like America we should be preventing anyone from turning Yorubaland into a war zone. We don’t want war in Nigeria under any guise. The theory that of something does not get from bad to worse, it will not return to good is outmoded. And the reasons are not far fetched.
Any exhortation from anyone, however highly placed to the effect that Nigerians should relocate elsewhere or take refuge in other countries when such relocation is not necessitated by lofty schemes like tourism, further education, research trips, academic exchange, missionary journeys or official or diplomatic missions is an act of high treachery. By the same token, I add that any proponent of that accursed mentality that destruction is a necessary prerequisite for construction is not just ignorant, they are also selfish.
Again, here is Peter Lik whose country has never allowed a war to be fought on its soil. A country which has taken on the thankless job of a self imposed role of the policeman of the world. But America has managed to stay secured through the admixture of an unequalled spirit welfarism and nationalism in her citizens. A Peter Lik, some of whose works I displayed here along with my own in this article, will neither ever say Americans should leave America
Along with his creative art photographs, Peter Lik has sold the American dream across the world. His works appear in the most exotic, high brow hotels across the world. There, leaders from across the world who Lodge in these five star hotels encounter the beautiful sides of America that are evocative of the American dream anyone can aspire to.
It is my wish to promote Nigeria in the Peter Lik style. I already set my foot on that path because I already have an enviable collection of landscape photographs of a few places in Nigeria. The landscapes of Ekiti state constitute one of my richest repertoire.
Like Peter Lik, I have sold good works at my photo exhibitions. A highly places Nigerian recently informed me that one of my works entitled “Ina Ran” presently adorns the wall inside the prestigious TransCorp Hilton Hotels in Abuja.
Only the peace and harmony of this country, which is something collectively beneficial to all Nigerians is what can continually guarantee the progress of my art.
Like the church pastors who keeps using their exhortation to regale us with how beautiful heaven is even when they have not seen it. I too think if this country is preserved along with everything that is good in it, I have a high prospect, like Peter Lik to show the world a country like Nigeria, which as home, is sweeter and more beautiful than anywhere else I have heard of, even America.
-Femi Artdagunodo is the Special Assistant to Governor Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti on photgraphy