By Damiete Braide
John Walker Adetunji-Adeoye, also known as Johnny Jam Jam, is a writer, columnist, public relations expert, entertainment personality, and private investigator. He is the author of a book in two volumes, How We Destroyed Nigeria: Precedence of Doom and safe haven for financial crimes and corruption, which was released last month. In this interview he talks about why he wrote the books, the decline of the reading culture, among others.
On his foray into writing, John said: “I’ve always loved writing. It has always been my hobby. But as I grew older, I was advised never to put my eggs in one basket due to the unpredictable nature of Nigeria’s economic and work environment. You have to do a lot of things to make ends meet.
“Then I created a website called Ascology.com where I started writing about various topics, from entertainment to politics to life issues. Then something happened that changed my professional life. At the time, there was little monetization in online media. So, I started helping entertainment personalities advertise their music, comedy gigs, and movies on my platform and found that I was making more money from that angle. “So, since I was making more money in that area, I stopped writing at ascology.com, which I owned, and started working as a PR consultant for those in the entertainment industry. Ironically, it was through entertainment that I connected with those in the political and corporate arena who were impressed by my works. Thus, life as a full-time speechwriter and writer came alive. Currently, I write speeches for three governors and many business executives.
Asked if he studied speech writing, the young writer said: “Actually, I studied Business Administration. I didn’t take any formal speech writing courses, although I did spend six months training and learning how to become a pro with a few online tutorials, just to update myself as speech writing is a bit different than traditional writing they are accustomed to most writers.
On why he wrote how we destroyed nigeria, points out that the title of the book was carefully chosen. “how we destroyed nigeria It is relevant to highlight the word ‘destroy’ instead of ‘destroy’, because some of us are still optimistic that Nigeria can become a better country. So the activities that we engage in to destroy Nigeria are what the book focuses on. So it’s not like we’ve destroyed Nigeria.”
He further explained that he wrote the book “because we all know what Nigeria is like. When you ask any Nigerian now, ‘Are you satisfied with the situation in the country?’ I don’t think some Nigerians will tell you that they are satisfied with the situation in terms of politics, economy or everything that happens in the country. There is the wave of banditry, kidnapping, Boko Haram in parts of the north, while certain ‘unknown gunmen’ threaten people in the south-east.
“The country itself is no longer safe for the citizens, who now live in fear. So no Nigerian would tell you that he is satisfied with the developments in and around the country. So it inspires me to talk about Nigerian issues, not just because I’m a historian and a private investigator, but because I’m a concerned citizen.”
In his words, “It is a two-volume book. the first book, precedence of doom, talks about the historical activities that led to this current situation. Everything in the first volume of the book tells of the activities and events that led to our current situation. It talks about lawlessness, violence, bloodshed, slavery, serfdom, and the system that Nigeria’s pre-colonial rulers engaged in that has led us to this current mess.
“In addition, the activities of our national founders, by our national founders, I mean people like Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe, Obafemi Awolowo, Alhaji Tafawa Balewa, Ahmadu Bello; we respect them for giving us an independent Nigeria, but their activities got us into this mess. They focused their campaigns on tribalism, and that characteristic has been maintained by current politicians to this day. I also spoke about the roles played by the military dictatorship and how corruption in the judicial, legislative and executive branches of government has seriously affected the country.
“I also spoke about the negative impact of marginalization, ethnic prejudice, and the dark side of religion. I talked about those things in the first volume of the book. Like a former American president, Abraham Lincoln once said: ‘A house divided against itself will not stand.’
Elections are just around the corner in 2023, and I want Nigerians to be united on who they will vote for. We should not vote based on ethnicity. I don’t care if you are Yoruba, Igbo or Fulani. Vote for the correct candidate; vote by competition; vote for honesty, credibility and integrity. These are the things to look for in a candidate. We cannot move forward when we are still divided. We have to be united against the common enemy.
“Simply put, what I want is for Nigeria to move forward. With the first book, I want to see a progressive Nigeria. I want us to be united by a common goal. And what is the common goal? Peace, progress and stability. That is what I want. However, I am more particular about Nigeria’s peace, stability and progress.
It gives an idea of what the second volume of the book focuses on Nigeria as Safe haven for financial crimes and corruption.
“I wrote about the economic cost of dishonesty and how Nigerians manipulated each other. There is also the issue of overpopulation that I addressed. We have situations where unemployed people give birth to multiple children that they have no plans to care for. I wrote about the country’s broken education system and why problems like the ASUU strike could continue. These are the things that I documented in the second book.”