A new book by Lt. General Alani Akinrinade, a former chief of defence staff, was launched today in Lagos. The event which held at the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs, Victoria Island, Lagos, pulled a large number of distinguished Nigerians in various fields, including serving and past government officials. The 469-page work titled My Dialogue With Nigeria is a collection of interviews and lectures delivered by the soldier turned activist for over three decades and was edited by Soji Akinrinade, a former editor-in-chief of Newswatch magazine who is now a director with MayFive Media Limited, which published the book. The work takes the reader into the world of the General, revealing his thoughts, passion, and frustration at different points in time. And the reason for his frustration is Nigeria, the country he served dutifully and helped prevent its break-up when he and many others in the military fought to ensure that renegade soldiers did not succeed in carving out the Biafra Republic from Nigeria between 1967-1970. Nigeria, Akinrinade says in the series of interviews, has simply failed to deliver on its promise for reasons not unconnected to its nature and for this reason, canvasses for the restructuring of the country. It’s a call that resonates through most of the interview and which has made the Yakoyo born General one of the most consistent voices for the restructuring of Nigeria.
Prof Adebayo Williams, the book reviewer, described General Akinrinade as one of the most illustrious Nigerians ever and said that My Dialogue With Nigeria is a “book that has been awaited for three decades,” but which nonetheless should be seen as a pre-memoir of the General. “We must await a more detailed memoir,” he said.
Ray Ekpu, Chief Executive Officer of MayFive, said the book is a “celebration of an exceptional man” who stands out for his “frankness, courage, integrity and humility” and whose courage and persistent views is “borne out of his conviction that Nigeria can be great, that it can be a nation that works instead of one that wobbles.”
Many others guests which included Michael Gbadebo, the Alake of Egbaland, Maiden Ibru, the Guardian publisher, Bisi Akande, former interim chairman of All Progressives Congress, Michael Ade-Ojo, Rauf Aregbesola and Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, governors of Osun and Ondo state respectively; Generals Aliyu Gusau, Ike Nwachukwu, Alabi Isama, Mohammed Magoro and J A O Olopade who served as chairman of the occasion among others, extolled Akinrinade’s qualities, describing him as principled, blunt, detribalized, humble, kindhearted and reliable.Follow Us on Social Media