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Life Coach: Thinking Outside of the Box

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By Lamide Adenuga

The term ‘thinking outside of the box’ is actually an American colloquialism, but in recent times it has become an epitome, a poster child for a concept which clearly suggests that there are certain folks who are neither bound, nor tied down with a traditional line of thinking, idea, or concept. These people are as a matter of fact innovative, and forward-looking enough to employ new methods to accomplish old tasks. They have reached an elite status of interest, so their characters and personality are very desirable because they are transcendents and not mere followers of the traditions of those that preceded them. At this point, I need to tell you that the truth is; it ain’t easy to think outside of the box. It was the intellectual egghead, Albert Einstein, who said thinking is hard work, which is why so few of us do it.

You must think outside of the box, and begin to look at the possibilities you can explore with your life. You might attract a great deal of criticism when you don’t fit in, when you don’t do things the way others do them, they will speak ill about you. But to be really successful, you need to go where no one has been before, and do what no one has done before, having in mind that criticism is not necessarily a crisis, but often times it is a doorway that opens up and ushers you into a new dimension of thinking.

The thinking process is the incubator from which the creative power is released. It opens you up to a new world of ideas, a world without limits or controls, without borders or boundaries; a world where everything is possible. Everything we see in our world today and we call tangible, touchable, existent and real, first existed in the thought life of somebody’s mind. The chair you are sitting on, this book you are holding in your hands right now, your handset that’s on the table right in front of you, even the table itself, were things that first existed in someone’s mind.

When you can think creatively, you will be able to solve problems, advance your own career and community. Do not let anyone despise or laugh at your thinking, because as you begin to think things that are not there, you need to understand that the thinking process is the first step in your life to a revolution that will be incredibly significant.
Free your mind, let your thought processes experiment, explore with your creativity.

Lamide Adenuga is an author and an International Conference Speaker who believes that the right mentality can power anyone to success; an ideas man who is out to transform people and places he comes in contact with.

He is a Business Development Consultant/Business Management Consultant, a well sought out for motivational and inspirational Speaker, and a Business Coach to entrepreneurs, aspiring entrepreneurs, business owners and business starters. He is also an Angel of strategy and organization and has featured on Radio and Television shows severally.
Lamide is a Public Relations Specialist and has written articles in various newspapers, journals and magazines. He is a Personal Effectiveness columnist in OVATION International Magazine. He is also a Television host with his Motivational telecast, “MAKING THINGS HAPPEN” on WAP TV.

Facebook – Lamide Adenuga Speaks. Twitter – LammyMotivates

FOR BOOKINGS AND ENQUIRIES, Please call +234-8032454647

BONUS VIDEO;
This video is motivating people worldwide. You can either play now and pay later, or you pay now and play later, either ways, you still gotta pay. IT’S GRIND SEASON!

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Opinion

The Oracle: Nigeria in Search of Enduring Political Structure: Imperative of Structural Reform (Pt. 8)

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By Mike Ozekhome

INTRODUCTION

In the past 7 weeks we have been on this treatise. Last week, we discussed our past experiments with constitutional democracy, contrasting our colomiatera Constitutions with those of the period since independence. We then suggested two options for the way forward: a sovereign national conference and a brand-new Constitution and concluded it with a comparative review of some foreign countries, such as Iraq, Kenya and South Africa.

In today’s episode, we shall continue the dissection of the foreign dimension by considering the experiences of Iraq, Bangladesh, Morocco, Egypt, Eritrea and Tunisia, before rounding off with the American example of people’s Constitution. Please enjoy the last part of our treatise.

A NEW CONSTITUTION: HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVES (continues)

IRAN

THE DECEMBER 1979 IRANIAN CONSTITUTIONAL REFERENDUM
A proposed new Constitution which would make Iran an Islamic Republic, introduce direct elections for the presidency, create a unicameral parliament and require any constitutional changes to go a referendum was proposed by the Iranian Government. To bring this about, a constitutional referendum was held in Iran on 2ndand 3rd December, 1979. The new Islamic constitution was approved by 99.5% of voters at the Referendum.

BANGLADESH

THE 1991 BANGLADESHI CONSTITUTIONAL REFERENDUM
A constitutional referendum was held in Bangladesh on 15th September, 1991. Voters were asked “Should or not the President assent to the Constitution (Twelfth Amendment) Bill, 1991 of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh?” The amendments altered the existing Constitution and reintroduced of Parliamentary system of government. It also abolished the position of Vice-President and provided that the President be elected by Parliament. 83.6% of Bangladeshis voted in the referendum, with a turnout of 35.2%.

MOROCCO

THE 2011 MOROCCAN CONSTITUTIONAL REFERENDUM
A referendum on constitutional reforms was held in Morocco on 1st July, 2011. It was called in response to a series of protests that spread across Morocco which had begun on 20th February, 2011, when over ten thousand Moroccans took to the streets in massive demonstrations demanding democratic reforms. A Commission was set up to draft proposals by June, 2011. A draft was released on 17th June, 2011, which brought about fundamental changes upon people’s referendum.

EGYPT

EGYPT’S NEW CONSTITUTION AND REFERENDUM

In October, 2012, the Egyptian Constituent Assembly announced that its first draft of a new Constitution and launched a public awareness campaign called “Know your Constitution”, to educate the public. On November 29, 2012, the Egyptian Constituent Assembly of finalized the drafting process of a new Egyptian Constitution. One week later, on December 8, 2012, Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi issued a new constitutional declaration announcing that the constitutional draft would be voted on in a national referendum.

In accordance with article 60 of the Transitional Constitutional Declaration of March 2011, a special Judicial Commission was formed to supervise the referendum process and monitor vote counting. The referendum took place in two rounds on two different dates: December 15 and 22, 2012. The majority of Egyptians thus voted in favour of the newly drafted Constitution in a popular National Referendum, a Constitution that brought about profound reforms.

ERITREA

CONSTITUTION MAKING IN ERITREA
The Eritrea’s Proclamation 55/1994 established a Constitutional Commission which organized popular participation in the process of a new Constitution.
The Commission members and more than four hundred specially trained teachers instructed the public on constitutional issues and related political and social questions using local vernaculars. The process took three years to solicit the views of a broad cross section of Eritreans. The participation of a majority of Eritreans gave the people a “sense of ownership of the Constitution.”

TUNISIA

CONSTITUTION OF TUNISIA
Tunisia’s first modern Constitution was the fundamental pact of 1857. This was followed by the Constitution of 1861, which was replaced in 1956, after the departure of French administrators in 1956. It was adopted on 1st June, 1959 and amended in 1999 and 2002, after the Tunisian Constitutional Referendum of 2002. Following the revolution and months of protests, a Constituent Assembly drafted a new Constitution in 2014, adopted on 26th January, 2014 after a referendum.

THE AMERICAN EXAMPLE OF A PEOPLE’S CONSTITUTION
As a great contrast to the 1999 Nigerian experience, when America became independent from Britain in 1776, it held a Constitutional Convention under the leadership of George Washington, between May 14 and September 17, 1776, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. 55 delegates represented the autonomous Confederates, with a view to creating a “more perfect union”. Broad outlines of a new union were proposed and hotly debated. This was how the American people achieved a federal system of Government, separation of powers among three branches of Government (Legislative, Executive and Judicial); bicameral, legislature; an Executive presidency; and Judicial Review. The Constitutional draft was signed by 39 of the 55 delegates on September 17, 1787; and thereafter released to the States and the American people to debate and ratify. It was this people’s Constitution that threw up great founders, such as George Washington (first president); Alexander Hamilton, James Madison and John Jay (the Federalists), Thomas Jefferson, etc.

The 1999 Constitutions lacks these. It is not autochthonous or indigenous Being imposed, it worsened the unitary nature of government, and concentrated enormous powers at the centre. While the 1979 Constitution had 67 items on the exclusive legislative list, and 12 items on the concurrent list, the 1999 Constitution increase this to 68 on the exclusive list, but retained only 12 items on the concurrent list. This indicates an unacceptable unbearably strong centre and very weak federating units.

OUR CONCLUSION
The unity, development and peaceful co-existence of Nigeria as a country are currently imperial. Our diversities in area of culture language, tribe, and religion, must be seen by all as a Dolly Parton’s Coat of Many Colours, blessing and not a curse, because variety they say, is the spice of life. Concerted effort must be put in place by formulation of policies and reforms that would help promote national integration and peaceful co-existence. However, one of the strategies that must be pursued to ensure a far-reaching national integration and peaceful co-existence are to create a meeting point that would ensure and enhance integration between one ethnic nationality or tribe and another. One of the ways by which this noble idea can be
achieved is by putting up a strong advocacy and support for intertribal and interreligious marriage.

Philosophers, many say, have understood the world, but the problem is to change it. Albert Einsten’s dictum is apposite here: “we cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them” Hippocrates the father of medicine once told us that desperate diseases requires desperate remedies. An economy based on oil and other depleting natural resources is fast becoming obsolete. The global economy is already in the 4th Industrial Revolution or digital age, dominated by Robotics, Artificial intelligence, Machine learning, Virtual reality, Augmented Reality and others. At the moment, Nigeria is largely bypassed and still grappling with the most basic aspects of the old economy. But given its geographic- demographic conundrum, Nigeria has to leapfrog the industrialization value chain or stagnate. Yet its institutions are those woven around the distribution and consumption of oil rents and the old economy. A system designed for consumption cannot be expected to become efficient for competition and production in the 21st century. Sadly, many people miss this point. As Professor Claude Ake once put it, Nigeria operates a disarticulate economy, where we produce what we don’t consume and consume what we don’t produce.

For a change since the military incursion into our body politics, let us sit down and craft a new Constitution that not only provides for a stable, equitable and just polity but even more so focuses on the incentive structure to usher a competitive and productive economy of the future.
Reforms at the meta-level would entail either embracing our discarded Prime Minister system of government or dismantling and re-coupling several of the institutions that help or hinder us, including a serious re-examination of the 36 state structure as federating units vis-à-vis their fiscal/economic viability or their consolidation into six or more regions with economies of scale and higher investment rates; multiple vice-presidency representing respective regions other than the region of the president, each with supervising powers over certain ministries to ensure equitable representation at the federal cabinet (the Central Bank has four Deputy Governors for instance); principle of equality of regions; multivariate judicial systems with state/regional appellate courts up to regional supreme courts while the federal supreme court becomes the constitutional court— and this is to decongest the centralized system and guarantee speedy dispensation of justice; introduction of commercial courts for speedy resolution of commercial disputes; institution of merit and equal opportunity principle; etc. This will carry the majority along.

Devolution of functions between the central and federating states/regions should be guided by the principle of subsidiary. According to the European Charter, subsidiary means that: “Public responsibilities shall generally be exercised, in preference, by those authorities which are closest to the citizen. Allocation of the responsibility to another authority should weigh up the extent and nature of the task and requirements of efficiency and economy.”

This principle is not observed in the 1999 Constitution. For a Constitution that proclaims a federal structure, the exclusive and concurrent lists constitute an atypical concentration of powers at the centre. Currently, the federal government is burdened with hundreds of parastatals and agencies trying to inefficiently micro manage the entire Nigeria, with the recurrent expenditure of the federal government exceeding total federal revenue. Every penny of capital spending by the Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN) is borrowed, and its fiscal position is precarious. Put starkly, not one kobo of oil money is invested in infrastructure by the FGN: it is all consumed by the obtuse federal bureaucracy. The federal government should loosen its hold on policing, electricity (power), railways, ports, aviation, business incorporation, taxation powers, regulatory functions, etc. This will generate the economy.

The greatest challenge is how to get some of the elite whose privileges are provided by the existing system to support its dismantling into a system that is potentially beneficial to ‘society’ but perhaps disproportionately harmful to their interests in the short term. In other words, we are faced with the same kind of conundrum as some western countries with their welfare system. Having designed and implemented it for generations, it has grown into an unsustainable octopus of inefficiency but reforming it is not easy. In the US, millions of voters are hooked to the feeding bottle and its government keeps postponing the day of reckoning by borrowing to keep the system alive (the US, with the global reserve currency can afford to borrow for a while from the rest of the world but Nigeria cannot). Everywhere, such a distributional system has acquired a huge and powerful constituency, and the political cost of dismantling and re-coupling is not trivial. There is also an intergenerational issue involved. The present beneficiaries don’t care if the same benefits do not extend to the future generations: they just want to have their share and go, and let the future generations take care of themselves. Nigeria cannot continue to share the national cake without caring how it is baked.

The end

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Opinion

Voice of Emancipation: Yoruba Nation Campaign: Momentum for the Struggle

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By Kayode Emola

Five years ago, a revival of the call for Yoruba independence started. People began to clamour for the formation of a Yoruba nation outside of Nigeria. Meanwhile, many folks who either did not believe at all, or were only half-hearted about the idea of complete independence, nonetheless still advocated for a devolved Yoruba nation within Nigeria. Ultimately, whichever camp one falls into, we all agree that the present-day Nigeria does not serve the majority of its people and therefore requires a major overhaul.

We must seriously consider our approach to this task, as we do not want to end up like the Israelites, wandering in the wilderness for 40 years even though God had told them to go and possess the Cannan land. We must avoid the pitfalls that can set us back, and be open to embracing new ideas in pursuit of our aim. Most importantly, we must remove from among ourselves this mentality of “I have to be at the centre of affairs before major decisions can take place.”

I believe Nigeria is not capable of stopping us if we decide to pull out of this unhealthy union that has plunged the majority of our people into poverty. However, our campaign is hampered by a lackadaisical attitude which I believe is born out of fear. Until we overcome this fear, we may never take the plunge that will either make or break this campaign.

In 2022, heightened levels of activity could have led to the birth of the new nation; however, the selfish ambitions of a minority held us back, trapping us in the situation we are today. It still baffles me that over 5,000,000 Yoruba people can sign a petition to leave Nigeria, yet we struggle to even get 100 people to attend meetings where serious strategizing on how we can achieve our independent nation can take place.

In fact, I doubt if there are even 100,000 people across the entire world who are ready to commit their time, energy and resources to achieve this noble cause. It feels like the majority want to sit back whilst someone else puts in the work to realise Yoruba independence, and merely reap the fruits of another’s labours once it is completed. This was exactly what happened with the Israelites: less than 20% believed they could vanquish the Canaanites, and so this prophecy self-fulfilled, prolonging their time in the wilderness.

Why do numbers of supporters’ matter? Because it sends a strong signal to the authorities that we are determined to exercise our inalienable right to self-determination. That being said, we don’t need the entire Yoruba people to subscribe to the idea before we begin to make impact. The Israelites were held back as a result of listening to the voices of the majority. I believe we should listen to the voice of the progressive few who truly know what they are doing and be guided by them at all times.

Consider Iceland, a country of less than four hundred thousand people and little or no natural resources, and yet it is one of the wealthiest nations on earth. This country relies mostly on imports for their everyday goods, although they do also export seafood and aluminium products.

If this small country of Iceland can build a system that works for their people, then I propose that we the Yoruba people who believe in independent Yoruba nation outside Nigeria must begin our own system of governing ourselves. Quite a few people have been mooting the idea of Customary Law government which is recognised by the United Nation and currently being practiced in Northern Nigeria for over 100 years.

If northern Nigeria is permitted to practice their customary law government giving them the powers to create their religious (Hisbah) police, then I believe we the southerners must take our destiny seriously. It is now time to take roll call of those who truly believe in the Yoruba nation struggle and are willing to pursue it with all that they have and not just mere say.

We must target at least a million people who are devoted to the struggle and are willing to help set up the customary law government, giving it the legitimacy it requires. After all, the current British Prime Minister and his immediate predecessor were not voted by the country. They were elected by a handful of people who are their political party faithful. The people who voted the British Prime Minster were less than two hundred party members who subscribed to be a party member.

If we can be able to set up a system whereby people can subscribe even with a little monthly token, as little as a dollar, then a million people would bring a million dollar to the cause. With this revenue, those tasked with representing our people can begin the developmental programmes that will propel us into becoming a formidable force to be reckon with.

I know some people may see this idea as foolish. But if we have over 70 million Yoruba people, even if over half of them live below the poverty line, then we should not struggle to find 1 million people to kickstart our new nation. For if we cannot find 1 million people, or even half of that number, then maybe we should just bury the idea of Yoruba independence and simply embrace being slaves in Nigeria forever.

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Adding Value

Adding Value: The Test of Character by Henry Ukazu

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Dear Destiny Friends,

The test of character is having the ability to meet challenges – Walter Anneberg

In life, one test everyone will surely experience, is the test of character. Our character will surely be tested. It is therefore, instructive to note that circumstances don’t say who we are, they reveal who we are. The character of a human being is manifested when they face challenges. This is why the best qualities of strength, courage, love, persistence, and loyalty are manifested when one faces betrayals, disappointments, failures, and challenges of life whether it is small or big.

When you face challenges, it is advisable to respond positively and constructively. When you react negatively, it shows how your mindset works, knowing that according to Walter Annenberg, “The test of character is having the ability to meet challenges”.

It is easy for people to say, I will do this, I will do that, I won’t do this, I won’t do that etc., when they have power, but when they are faced with trials or opportunities, their true being will manifest.

Some schools of thought opine that one can hardly advise these four sets of people: a woman in love, a rich man, a religious bigot and a member of a political party.

Do you know your character can manifest when you experience challenges? To show you how character works, imagine that as a driver, a passenger or stranger forgets a million dollars in your car, what would you do in such a situation? Again, imagine when you see a million dollars on the ground, and no one is there around to claim the money. What will you do  in such a situation? Will you return the money or give it to the appropriate authorities? If you decide to return the money, that again, is the test of your character. When you keep the money, that shows how your mindset works. Again, circumstances don’t say who you are, it reveals who you are.

Furthermore, one of the ways to know a great man is by looking at how he treats those who can do nothing to him. The true being of the man will be shown via his humility, kindness, respect, and more importantly, his understanding of life. This is because, according to Charles Beard, “the two great tests of character are wealth and poverty. How you act when you have money is quite different from how you act when you are poor.

Ultimately in my humble opinion, the three tests of character are” adversity, temptation, and power. As human beings, we’ll surely have one form of adversity or the other, and this adversity can come in the form of various temptations. Our prayer should be, God, grant me the grace to overcome the temptations and adversity of life.

Furthermore, a man can’t say he’s strong until he’s able to withstand the temptations of a woman in addition to being able to control his anger when his wife annoys him.

According to Abraham Lincoln, “any man can stand adversity, but if you really want to test his character, give him power.” I will add money and women. If he’s able to control and manage them very well without them managing and overpowering him, he is a man of repute and influence.

It’s one thing to be generous, loving, compassionate, etc. when life is rosy for us, but quite another to maintain noble attitudes when things are no longer going our way. Adversity, it seems, has the power to bring out the best or the worst in us because circumstances don’t say who we are, rather, they reveal who we are.

In conclusion, if you are passionate about a cause, one of the ways to determine if you will be successful about the project is through your ability to forge ahead with the right attitude and character when adversity and temptations bring up their ugly heads, and I pray when you finally get to the top, may God grant you the grace to bring up a virtuous character that will attract and humble the world.

Henry Ukazu writes from New York. He works with the New York City Department of Correction as the Legal Coordinator.  He’s a Transformative Human Capacity and Mindset coach. He is also a public speaker, youth advocate and creative writer Design Your Destiny and Unleash Your Destiny.  He can be reached via info@gloemi.com

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