By Omoniyi Salaudeen
TRULY, indeed, the rich also cry! This crunch time has come as a social leveller. Though in varying degrees, both the high and the low are having a feel of it. It certainly exempts no one. The face of hunger knows no colour, age or religion. Hardship is a common currency in a situation like this. But the sure way out is for all concerned to devise a convenient way of managing the situation; after all, tough time, they say, doesn’t last but tough people do.
Thus, for Ahmed Gulak, a former political adviser to Ex-president Goodluck Jonathan, his own unique way to get going is to laugh off the frustration of the present circumstance. Ordinarily, as one of the state actors who had only left the stage a year and some months ago, one would have expected some level of calmness and reservation in the face of the present challenge. But he just couldn’t hold back his emotion when he was asked to account for his leisure time. This is what he had to say: “Well, under the present circumstances, do I really know whether there is a relaxing period? Outside there, the conditions are tough. When you come home, the conditions are worse. Nigerians are just persevering under the excruciating atmosphere of our economy. I believe not only we but majority of Nigerians- 99 percent, are experiencing this excruciating condition.”
To stay afloat and maintain a stable mood, however, he says he prefers to relax by listening to comedy to relieve the frustration of the economic crunch. “When I have time to relax, I listen to comedy and laugh away my frustration,” he said. In spite of the hopelessness of the situation, Gulak urged Nigerians to continue to pray God for the turnaround of the economy.
“We will continue to pray that the country will get out of it,” he added.
As it is often said, ‘a healthy man is a wealthy man.’ Thus, there is always a need to keep fit in order to sustain a healthy lifestyle. After the hurtling and bustling for survival, Gulak said, he would always go out of his way to do some exercise at least once in a while. His words: “Sometimes I jog around or mount the treadmill to assist my system. But nowadays, almost 24 hours, you occupy your brain and your body to see how body and soul can survive.”
In any field of human endeavour, mentoring is a critical aspect of development. Reflecting on his political career and the man he cherished most as his role model, he declared: “Globally, I give reverence to Nelson Mandela of blessed memory.
He was resilient; he persevered under a damning situation. After 27 years in jail, he came out, got elected through the ANC and emancipated his people. He had the opportunity of going for a second term, but he asked his friend to continue from where he stopped. Mandela is my idol politically.”