Before she travelled to the United States of America (USA), Alhaja Omolola Adiamoh was one of the famous On-Air Personalities (OAPs) that rocked the airwaves in the Broadcasting Corporation of Oyo State (BCOS). She was recently in Nigeria where Rulers’ World‘s OYEDAPO OYEWOLE engaged her on the condition of workers abroad and Nigeria. She also talked about the invasion of the Capitol by protesters after America’s Presidential election in November 2020 among others.
You’ve had the opportunity of working here in Nigeria before travelling abroad. How will you compare workers in Nigeria to those in foreign countries?
If we want to compare our country with what they do in other foreign countries, especially in America, it is incomparable because when you work in America they value and pay you for the services rendered as you get paid either on an hour or weekly basis, depending on the arrangement with the employer. It is not like when I was here in Nigeria, we were working, had fame but not paid much. You cannot compare the money with the fame while the fame was there but the money was zero.
Over there, they have a payment range whereby an average worker is paid 13 dollars and 50 cents per hour, but Nigerian workers are paid monthly. And here you can only work eight hours but over there if you work for eight hours you can also work overtime for let us say 16 hours and this can be three or four times in a week depending on one’s capacity.
But what I know is that you cannot compare our country with other international countries. The government at all levels in Nigeria should at least improve on what they pay to workers in order to improve their living standards.
What are your views about the way politics is being practiced in Nigeria and America viz-a-viz the invasion of the White House after the last presidential election?
I think what happened between the political parties during the presidential election in America happened for the first time. From history, according to Americans, something like that happened about 100 years ago and they did not expect it. It was so bad that everybody was scared that how could something like that happened. Since I got to America, I think I witnessed the election of Barrack Obama and during his election, there was nothing like that and that was why it became a big surprise to every one of us that people could invade the Capitol and demonstrate there.
While the people can demonstrate, as America is regarded as the bastion of democracy, but not to that extent as we witnessed. Many countries look up to America and have been good examples to these countries. But when this happened, Americans themselves said it would never happen again. Everywhere, there are have good people and we have bad people, but the way they have their own rules and regulations used to calm a lot of people down. If you want to protest on any issue, the freedom is there but because of the way they arrange their security, you will not just go and protest. So it was like America had overslept or thought something like that could never happen. Though one can say that they prepared, the preparation was not enough because they never believe people could go inside the Capitol but now they believe with a vow that it will never happen again.
What is your take on the current situation in Oyo State compare to how it was before you travelled?
One area that I am impressed with is the way the government is paying the retirees. Before, the way retirees were treated was nothing to write home about but Governor Seyi Makinde came on board and changed the story, paying them regularly and cleared the backlog of arrears. Similarly, government workers are getting paid on or before the 25th of every month and as well as approving their overdue promotion. So I’m happy about that.
He has also embarked upon developmental projects like the remodeling of Adamasingba Sports Complex to an international standard and road projects currently ongoing.
What can you say about an average Nigerian politician?
I think politicians in the country need to have it at the back of their minds that they will give an account of their stewardship whether here on earth or hereafter. It is also important that they need to use whatever position they are in to improve the lives of others in their environment and the common people around them. For me, Nigerian politicians should try to emulate somebody like Hon. Akeem Ademola Ige, who is like a brother to me. I know him more than 15 years ago when he was the Chairman of Ibadan South East Local Government Area, then I used to be a presenter at the FM radio station of the Broadcasting Corporation of Oyo State (BCOS) and people really liked him. He’s a very respectful person and whatever he promises that he’s going to do he will do. He did a lot at the local government then. Thereafter, he was elected into the Oyo State House of Assembly and his story is still the same. I am impressed with the way people are talking about him, that he is trying and doing his job as a politician to improve the lives of others wherever he finds himself.
It’s not easy to satisfy everybody but when you have 100 people and you are able to satisfy at least 75 to 80, I think you have done well. So Hon. Ige is one of the few respected and responsible politicians that I will want others to emulate if they want their names to be written in gold.
What will be your advice to other Nigerians that may want to also travel abroad in search of greener pasture?
I think it is because of the way things are in our country where we have our kids graduating yet they don’t have jobs. A lot of graduates in the country are engaging in menial jobs such as driving taxis, tricycles (Marwa) and motorcycle while some are employed as security personnel. So if they have the opportunity to travel outside to a country like America, there is nothing bad in that because America is a land for everybody. They can give it a trial. If you are a graduate, your parents and siblings will be looking up to you to bring something to them in return for what they have spent on you. Even if you have not been giving them money, they will at least expect you to be useful to yourself, and if you are a man they expect you to get married and take care of your wife and kids. But if you are struggling as a taxi driver, Marwa or okada riders, while they can make it on their own too. But if there is an opportunity to improve one’s living standard, there is no crime in giving it a trial.
There is a saying that there is no place like home. Are you planning to relocate back to Nigeria soon?
The truth is there is no place like home. But the way we are doing our things here is also the way they are doing theirs over there; you work and retire. When it gets to the time for me to retire I plan to come back home because there is nowhere like home and whenever I come home I will live in the midst of my family and friends. You cannot compare this with the situation in America because over there you go to work, come back home, go back to work and come back home.
Though you make friends there you cannot compare them with your friends at home where you see your people, eat your own food, mingle with your kids. Unlike over there where everybody is busy and you do things by yourself. In Nigeria, I can call my sister’s kids to do some stuff for me which is not like that over there except you have your family with you there. Whatever it is you cannot compare home with any other place.