It was an afternoon to remember when a ‘few good men’ set out on a journey to the south-east end of London in search of a family who have put Nigeria on the delightful tune of the entire United Kingdom Media establishment in recent times. The Nigerian brilliant Quadruplets, Tayo, Tobi, Tosin, Tolu and their extra-ordinary Mother, Julianah Balogun-Oke, played host to Champions for Nigeria on the 20th September, 2008 at their modest home in Woolwich, London. It was akin to the journey of the three wise men who went looking for Jesus, carrying with them gifts and glad tidings of joy. Champions for Nigeria (CFN) went on a mission with the aim of presenting Medals of Outstanding Achievements to each of the Quads in recognition of their achievement in the last A’ level results in the UK and to wish them more successes as they carry on the journey of life endeavour in their respective Universities (Cambridge, Manchester, Goldsmith College, London and Queen Mary).
Given that all these was made possible by the singular effort of a true Nigerian Mother, Champions for Nigeria, in line with our tradition of promoting genuine excellence and trumpeting our unsung Nigerian heroes, we collectively awarded the Quads Mother, Julianah Balogun-Oke a Plaque of Extra-ordinary Achievement as a Champion Mother who against all social, economic and prejudicial odds, has single-handedly raised these Nigerian Ambassadors of Intellectual and Moral Sportsmanship in an area and society endemic for youth crimes, gangsterism, gun and knife violence, black under-achievements, teenage pregnancy and abuse of illicit drugs.
It was an evening to remember as our Global Coordinator, Mr Akintokunbo Adejumo, led the team of Dr Dapo Williams, Dr Olayiwola Ajileye, Mr Bernard and Mrs Helen Imarhiagbe, Mr Ephraim Adinlofu, Barrister Emmanuel Ilegogie and Hon Ayo Adeluola to meet and interact with this remarkable family and celebrate a true Nigerian Success story in the Diaspora. The atmosphere was that of excitement and felicitation that after all, something good can still come out of Nazareth, that regardless of the misdemeanour of few bad eggs, Nigeria and Nigerians are still a force to reckon with in the world at every level of human endeavours. It was a proud moment for us all on behalf of Nigeria and a proud moment particularly for their mother who, in a recorded interview, took us through the memory lane of how her journey began, how she weathered the storms, how she kept the vision and managed the numerous challenges of having to make sure that the Quads could rise to this zenith of academic excellence to make Nigeria proud. The Quads were pleasantly excited and encouraged that a Nigerian organisation has come all the way to honour their hard work, even though they have been on the radar of over 20 UK media establishments from the word go, and at almost every milestones in their lives as evident by numerous newspaper cuttings and pictures that adorn their humble home in Woolwich. So it was a unique day for them to see a group of Nigerian professionals under the aegis of Champions for Nigeria, coming out to do them this honour. They received the medals with pride and appreciation with a promise to continue along this path of honour and pride for the good of a nation of their parental affiliations.
Anyone with a patriotic perspective about Nigeria would identify with this singular gesture from Champions for Nigeria, as it evidently exemplified the group’s dedication to the promotion of Nigeria’s good name in pursuit of excellent leadership for our motherland. This is an achievement that has never been recorded before in living memory and Champions for Nigeria has taken the frontline initiatives to give due accolades to this remarkable, disciplined and humble Nigerian family, so that the labour of our heroes and heroines may not be forgotten or thrown in the dustbin of history. This is a true Nigerian success story that the world should know about, that the various arms and elements of Nigerian government should reward and recognised on a national or state level, given that Julianah Balogun-Oke and her shinning Quads are very rare in their species and are truly Nigerian.
It is on the back of this that we gladly informed the proud family of the intention of the progressive Governor of Lagos State, Barrister Babatunde Fashola (SAN), when Champions for Nigeria intimated his Excellency of this notable family, have directed his aides to arrange for an award and recognition ceremony in the coming months in order to accord them executive recognition. This is an attestation to the inspirational leadership role Governor Fashola has been playing in respect of good governance and promotion of excellent Nigerian values and endeavours. Champions for Nigeria salute the courage and vision of the Governor of Lagos State in seeing the patriotic angle of this outstanding Quads achievement in the UK. We hope that the Federal Government of Nigeria will take a cue from these and do likewise in order to provide a good platform of encouragement to all Nigerians, home and abroad, that the Government of Nigeria, and indeed the people of Nigeria, would not leave unrecognised, individual or collective action or inactions that would bring pride and honour to the nation regardless of where you live.
Once again, Champions for Nigeria would want to congratulate Julianah Balogun-Oke and her Quads for doings us proud. Long Live Nigeria!