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The Oracle: When the Apex Court Rumbles, Quivers and Quakes



By Mike Ozekhome

It is not usual or commonplace to see the bastion of justice and the highest court of the land quaking, trembling and quivering. Remember the “Rumble in the Jungle” of the Mohammed Ali vs. George Foreman in the epic heavy weight boxing Championship in Kinshasha, Zaire, in 1974? The Supreme Court had more than that. Ali was stinging like a bee, using the rope-a-dope tactic. The apex court Justices does just that.

How did this happen? A slumbering country had woken up on Monday, 27th June, 2022, to the shocking news of the resignation of the former Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Tanko Mohammad. The Jurist said he was doing so on health grounds. The resignation came about 18 months ahead of his official retirement date of December 31, 2023. Tongues wagged. Because the resignation, though predicated on health grounds, came in just barely two weeks after fourteen (14) serving Justices of the Supreme Court had frontally confronted the CJN over the abysmally poor welfare of Justices of the Supreme Court. He had denied the allegations through Ahuraka Isah, his spokesperson. Irrespective of Justice Tanko’s reason (s) for suddenly throwing in towel prematurely, let me state here that the step he took constituted a reinvigorating breath of fresh air that blew across the dark crevices of the nation’s judicial landscape and democratic space.

The 14 Justices in their “Book of Lamentations”, had insisted that no past administration since the birth of democracy in 1999 had ever treated Justices as shabbily as the then Chief Justice of Nigeria did. This apparent vote of no confidence on Justice Tanko is the first time that such would occur in 58 years of the history of the Supreme Court. Is it that they were crying wolf? Had they tried, but failed, in using inbuilt internal conflict-resolution mechanism in settling the matter? I do not know. Or, do you?


I had earlier written in support of the Justice’s cause, course and protest. Interalia, I had said (; <%22>):

“What I expected the CJN to have done is to have balmed their oozing bruises; bandaged their bleeding economic sores and say ‘’Ok, I have heard you loud and clear. I am going to take up your complaints and champion your cause before the executive and legislative arms of government, arms that have turned themselves into rampaging bulldogs. As the head of the Judiciary which is the third arm of the government, I will make sure that you have more allocation, your welfare enhanced and your life made better.’’ Sikena.

“It was Alexander Hamilton in his Federalist paper number 78, who once said the Judiciary is the weakest of the three arms of government; and that it has neither purse, nor sword to enforce its judgments.

“Are we going to say that the Judiciary should remain forever in doldrums, trampled upon by the two other arms of government? I think not. When I read about the entire annual allocation of the Judiciary, I wept. My heart bled. The entire allocation is like what some governors in this country simply pocket as security votes and walk away as if nothing has happened. The allocation is less than ¼ of what some ministries have in this country; and we have more than 30 ministries in Nigeria. Yet, we are talking about the head of the whole third arm of government – the Supreme Court. Yet we expect these Justices to be aliens from another planet, maybe from Saturn, Mars, Uranius, Neptune, Pluto, Mercury, Venus, or Jupiter, so that they won’t be corrupt. We expect them to act like Archangel Michael or Angel Gabriel, who must not touch money with a ten-foot pole, even when they are hungry and starved.

“So, when we are crying that some Judges are corrupt, we also have to look at it from the angle of the rotten milieu within which they operate. Whilst not advocating for corruption (God forbid; very far from it, because I believe that any corrupt element within the judiciary should be kicked out and dismissed after proper investigation and trial), I also believe that we must not allow a system where corruption becomes so attractive as to form a clear and present danger and become a fundamental objective and directive principle of state policy. We have a proverb in my language, which translates to say that you must keep away the white cloth from the palm oil, just the same way you must keep the palm oil away from the cloth. If you bring an insect-infected piece of firewood into your house, you have requested for a visitation of a colony of lizards. So, you must not complain when you see a colony of lizards descend on you because you asked for it.

“If you starve Judges and Justices, and you make them believe that they don’t matter and will never have a house to retire to, and some justices of the Supreme Court, in spite of the danger inherent in their job are renting houses inside towns, living amongst people, some of whom have been tried and jailed by these same Judges and Justices, then you are begging corruption to embrace them. You are not even giving them enough protection and security.

“The society must not appear to be telling the Justices to either take it or leave it; to either kow-tow and agree with their present perilous, impoverished, sorry situation, or they resign. It should never be like that. I expect the CJN to engage them more and pacify them. I want to believe that before they wrote that letter, they must have complained severally, and serially quietly in secret, in the underground, without being heard, or their complaints being remedied. That must have been why they went so formal by writing that historic letter.”


No. the Judiciary has not been left naked, because the next most senior Justice of the Supreme Court, Justice Olukayode Ayoola, has since been sworn in as the Acting Chief Justice of Nigeria in line with section 231(4) of the 1999 Constitution. He will act for three months pending when, cateris paribus, he will be made the substantive CJN, in accordance with section 230(1) thereof.


Whatever reasons Justice Tanko Mohammad had for resigning (whether due to poor health as he said, or due to the ricocheting effect of the protest letter by 14 Justices of the Supreme Court which greatly embarrassed the Judiciary and country), the important thing is that he must be praised for his courage, masculinity and wise counsel in honourably resigning. Resignation from office is a very scarce commodity in this part of the world, where public officials hold on to office no matter the odious perception by the Nigerian people. Justice Mohammad will therefore be remembered in history as a CJN who walked away from his lucrative office, whilst the ovation was loudest, albeit, being subjected to gradual muffling. He has entered the pantheon of the few historical figures who threw in the towel whilst in office.


As an historian and Archivist, I love situating my discourse in historical perspectives. It helps to open up the topic under discussion. Let us therefore take a look at history to see some instances of Justices and government officials who had stepped down from office for the greater good of the people.

In 1795, John Jay, a foremost Federalist, resigned as the US Chief Justice, to become the Governor of New York.

In 1800, Oliver Ellsworth, US Chief Justice, had to resign on grounds of illness and unpopularity, after negotiating the Convention of 1800.

In 1913, Woodrow Wilson resigned as the Governor of New Jersey to become the US President.

In 1955, Winston Churchill, the Second World War hero, resigned as the Prime Minister of the UK due to poor health, but remained in the House of Commons.

In 1963, Harold MacMillan resigned as Prime Minister of UK, after the profumo scandal (the third consecutive resignation of a Prime Minister under the watch of the present Queen Elizabeth II).

In 1967, Gamal Abdal Nassar of Egypt resigned as President, UAR. However, he later retracted his resignation. Sweet power, always an aphrodisiac and intoxicating liquor!!.

In 1969, Charles De Gaulle of France resigned following a defeat in the French referendum.

In 1974, Richard Nixon resigned as President after the infamous watergate scandal that rocked US history.

In 1981, Hussein Onn resigned as Prime Minister of Malaysia due to poor health.

In 1984, Pierre Trudeau, the then Prime Minister of Canada, retired from politics due to unpopularity.

Bill Clinton in 1992, resigned as the Governor of Arkansas to become the United States President.

Sylvio Berlusconi resigned as the Prime Minister of Italy in 1995.

In 1997, Zhan Videnor resigned with his entire government as Prime Minister of Bulgaria.

John Major as Prime Minister of the UK in 1997 resigned as leader of the conservative party.

Tony Blair, as Prime Minister of the UK, stepped down in 2007 as leader of the labour party.

It was the turn of President Hosni Mubarak of Egypt in 2011 when he threw in the towel resigned due to the Egyptian revolution.

In 2016, David Cameron resigned as the UK Prime Minister and leader of the Conservative Party due to the Brexit vote which allowed the United Kingdom to leave the European Union.


Justice Ariwoola was one of the 14 Justices who had protested to Justice Tanko Mohammed about the sorry state of Supreme Court Justices. He therefore obviously knows where the shoe pinches, and where the roof leaks. He has now been given the opportunity to become the change agent he can decide to be. Therefore, the task ahead of the learned Justice is mountainous, but not unconquerable. He has to distinguish himself from past Supreme Court administrations, the last of which he joined other Justices to frown at. He has to give Nigerians something refreshing different and new, which they will be happy about, amidst the failures of the present government. He must change the narrative of modern-day Nigerian leaders who only think for them, themselves and theirs alone. Yes, leaders whose principles of life centre on I, me and myself.

Justice Ariwoola must understand that public confidence in the Judiciary has waned tremendously. It has hit rock-bottom. The Judiciary has almost lost its significance and relevance as the third arm of government, without which the country cannot course forward. Consequently, there is the need for urgent reforms and rebuilding of public confidence in battered and tattered house of justice. The surgical operation is the urgency of yesterday. Not one of today or tomorrow.

The first task is for Justice Ariwoola to demand for an urgent review of Justices and Judges’ salaries, emoluments and welfare packages. This is crucial because the impartiality and fairness of the justice system begins with the Judges themselves. A positive review of their salaries and welfare packages would significantly curb perceived situations of bribery, corruption and cases of selling justice to the highest bidder.

The next task for the cerebral grey- boarded Justice is to ensure total independence of the Judiciary. The judiciary needs its independence, not in words, but in deed; to be able to freely exert itself on matters, both national and grassroots, without fear or favour. The judiciary must never be a mere toothless bulldog and appendage of the Executive. Though often regarded as the weakest the three arms of government, this was never the intention for the law makers. The judiciary must advocate and insist on its own budget and complete control of its own financial affairs, without interference from the Executive or Legislative arms of government.

There should also be an oversight in the manner in which the Judges dispense justice. Aside from the overwhelming backlog of cases due to gross shortage of Judges, manual handling of cases and the numerous suits being filed daily, the issue of forum-shopping, judge-shopping and refusal by Judges to hear urgent cases for political reasons further add to the slow dispensation of justice.

Therefore, there ought to be supervisory oversight in the way and manner Judges handle their cases. The notion of Judges being the lord and master of their courts should be cast into the garbage heap of history where it rightly belongs. A new era of checks and balances of Judges by a review and supervisory committee should be ushered in immediately. The Supreme Court and other superior courts should allow a situation where their judgments are subjected to rigorous public scrutiny, incisive academic review and fair criticism by intellectuals, the academia and members of the public. This will keep them on their toes.

Of course, it follows from this recommendation, that there is also the need to strengthen the recruitment process by which Judges are appointed. There must be provision of incentives to encourage applications from high-heeled private legal practitioners, including SANs, for positions on the Bench. Justices Augustin Nnamani, Chukwudifu Oputa and Teslim Olawole Elias, are such examples. They emerged as some of the best Jurists ever on the Nigerian Bench. Public confidence in a free, fair and impartial judiciary can only be promoted when the when the recruitment process itself is fair and transparent. This process must be subjected to the time-tested principles of transparency, accountability and public scrutiny.

It is now common knowledge that some staff of the Supreme Court registry deliberately sits on cases they do not want heard, while fast-tracking other preferred ones. This trend must be halted immediately. The new acting CJN should call for all existing files, and he will be shocked as to how some old political cases have been shelved away to gather dust, while some fresh ones are being given accelerated hearing. I am a victim of this unwholesome practice, where I have been forced to write reminder letters for a mere assignment (for hearing) of a sensitive political case filed nearly 3 years ago. Yet,some new ones filed over a year later had since been heard and disposed of. There is the perception that huge money is involved in this unwholesome practice. Perception is reality. Justice Ariwoola should timeously act to stop this administrative rot.

If these few recommendations are put in place by Justice Ariwoola, the Judiciary will surely take a turn for the better. I do appreciate that Rome was not built in a day, and that the reforms in the Judiciary cannot happen overnight. However, proactive and prompt steps in ensuring quick dispensation of justice would quicken such reforms and drive the Judiciary towards the right direction. This, would definitely make Justice Ariwoola’s legacy one not to be forgotten in a hurry. Justice is rooted in confidence. And when that evaporates, then we will experience a recession into the Hobbesian state of nature where life was short, brutish, solitary and nasty, occurs.

May God forbid.

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Voice of Emancipation: Hiding in Plain Sight




By Kayode Emola

What is happening to the Yoruba Nation Struggle? Is sovereignty still an attainable possibility? These questions and many more are on the lips of enthusiastic Yoruba begging for answers whilst awaiting the birth of their new nation. Rightly so, given that many of us in the trenches promised that there would be no 2023 election in Nigeria, as we would have already left the country. Alas, it is less than a month before the 2023 general election is scheduled; only a miracle will be able to thwart the election now.

How did we get it wrong? Why haven’t we got out of Nigeria by now? I don’t think this is the appropriate time to start apportioning blame. However, I do believe that if we don’t learn from the mistakes of the past, then we are bound to repeat them again and again. We must be mindful that a house divided against itself cannot stand. Therefore, those hell-bent on causing schisms amongst the advocates of independence are not only impairing their work, they risk jeopardising the entire struggle if care is not taken.

The solution to the Yoruba question is hiding in plain sight, yet it is so simple that only a few can decipher it or see how to implement it. Rather than focusing on the practical steps to get us out of Nigeria, some people are now being cajoled by meaningless slogans. Consider the claims of the Ominira Yoruba 2022 team, that if 5 million people signed a petition in support of independence, Yoruba would be able to exit Nigeria and nothing could stop it. The petition surpassed its five million target and yet nothing happened.

So Ominira Yoruba 2022 announced that they would make a declaration of independence and this would be the catalyst that would bring us our own nation. Yet no plan was put in place on how this was to be implemented aside from flippant announcements on Facebook and other social media outlets. When this failed to materialise Yoruba Nation, they then came out with Reclamation, and following its fruitlessness, then Occupation. The truth is that, no matter how catchy a slogan we produce, if we don’t have a concrete plan on how to get Yoruba out of Nigeria, we will continue on this trajectory of big grammar inside empty cannon.

The first step in achieving anything in life is to ask if anybody in the world has done the same thing already. If so, you can learn from them and apply their methods to your situation. If there are none, then by all means go ahead and invent the wheel, do some trial and error and work out a strategy to get you to the finish line. However, in this situation, there are many countries whose precedents we can learn from, including Norway/Sweden, South Sudan/Sudan, Czechoslovakia and finally, former Yugoslavia etc.

Whilst some of these countries exited peacefully, some had extremely violent departures. However, the key element was that they were determined to exercise their right to self-determination. The unifying feature that they all shared was that they all declared their independence from the larger, and dared to face the consequences. For some countries like South Sudan leaving Sudan it led to a long and bitter civil war; in contrast, when Norway left Sweden, the latter accepted the declaration of the former and they parted peacefully.

If the only option that allows for every indigenous nationality to exit Nigeria is through the declaration of independence, then the simplest and most logical route would have been to bring everyone together in consultation. In this scenario, any declaration of independence by one indigenous nation in Nigeria could be followed immediately by simultaneous declaration from other regions. This would dissuade the Nigerian government from attempting to take a stand against these nations or starting a war that they could not possibly sustain.

In light of this, what should we now do? We need to organise ourselves into formations, working towards the greater good. Those in the diplomatic circles need to intensify their diplomatic outreach to those countries around the world that will be sympathetic to indigenes’ independence. Whilst those in humanitarian circles need to embark on massive campaigns with humanitarian agencies, explaining the reasons why Nigeria must be dissolved

If we all come together with this resolve, then Nigeria would have no option but to let us go because we would have the support of our people and the international communities. Undoubtedly, we will not achieve unanimous acceptance from every country, or even across own our people; but those who do believe in the cause must press on until victory is achieved.

Therefore, my advice to those still being deceived by slogans and jamboree is this: open your eyes and see that, unless we do the work, no amount of camouflage or deceit can bring us out. We need to be ready to be open-minded, to put in the effort required to achieve success. Yoruba nation *will* come, but not by lies of ¬_”a tí gbá”_ (“we have collected it”) or “God has done it”.

Even if God has said Yes, if we fail to put in the necessary work, we will remain on this mountain for a very long time. The year of 2023 still has a long way to go: we can work towards something meaningful, or we can continue to deceive ourselves that Yoruba nation will be served to us on a platter of gold with no effort on our own part. A word is enough for the wise.

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Adding Value

Adding Value: The Power of Imagination




Dear Destiny Friends,

Success and failure start from the mind. The human mind is like a rubber, the more you stretch it, the more it expands. The human mind is the brain, if you don’t use it, it won’t work. We all have the power to change the course of our life without allowing us to be victims. This is because the greatest power God gave us at creation is freedom and choice. Just like you have the power to think positive thoughts, you also have the power to think negative thoughts. It should be noted that whatever you focus on expands.

It’s quite unfortunate that many of us don’t know how we can use our mind to attract opportunities, if properly stretched. For the human mind to work at optimal capacity, it must be capable of using the power of imagination. According to Napoleon Hill, “whatsoever the mind can conceive, believe, it can achieve it. The right question we should ask ourselves is if we are using the power of our imagination.

Imagination takes several forms. The human mind can be artistic in nature, it can be creative, and it can also be challenging. The mind will only work on how you program it. If you program your mind to think like a leader, it will be activated, if you program the mind to overcome challenges it will be activated, if you program the mind to either think positive or negative thoughts, it produces the desired fruits for you.

You may be wondering where the power of imagination comes from? The power of imagination starts from the mind. To understand how the mind works, you have to look at the brain. The neocortex and thalamus are responsible for controlling the brain’s imagination, along with many of the brain’s other functions such as consciousness and abstract thought.

One may ask, is imagination the same thing as intelligence?  One can imagine something, but don’t take proactive steps to implement it, but the man who takes actionable steps can be regarded as an intelligent man because he got the inspiration and knows what to do. According to Albert Einstein, “The true sign of intelligence is not knowledge but imagination”. This is a fact because the true intelligence level of an individual is not dependent on the facts a person knows but on how he applies them creatively to solve problems in the world.  Albert Einstein further stated that “Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited to all we know and understand, while imagination embraces the entire world, and all there ever will be to know and understand.”

The power of imagination cannot be overemphasized. One of the distinguishing traits between wealthy men and the poor men is their mindset. A big difference between a rich mind and poor mind lies in how they process information. While rich and wealthy minds have a positive and growth mindset, poor men have a negative and fixed mindset. While the growth mindset sees problems as opportunities to make impact by solving them, fixed minds see problems as obstacles to making impact. While rich and wealthy minds spend money to invest, poor minds spend money to impress. While rich and wealthy people spend after saving, poverty-stricken minds save from the remnant of their expenses.

This power of imagination works in different ways. Sometimes, it comes like a vision, a revelation. inspiration or even feelings. This imagination can be something you would like to change, or a cause you would like to work on. When you get this prompting, the best thing you can do is commit it to prayer and believe in it especially if it’s a revelation or vision you have been shown. It might look so big and impossible to attain. Whenever you feel this way, just know that you must activate your growth mindset.

Wealth creation starts from the mind. If you want to be successful in any craft, you must envision it in your mind. Most of the great people if not all the great people we celebrate in the world utilized the power of imagination to create a product. If you want to be rich or start a business, you need to take the bold step, if not, you’ll remain where you are.

Nobody can stop a person whose time has come. Nobody can stop you; you are the only one who can stop yourself if you doubt yourself or tell your dreams, vision, or ideas to the wrong person. The wrong person in this case can be your parents, friends, mentors or even your spiritual leader. Don’t get me wrong, these people may not be bad people, they may not understand the calling or vision you had. They may not even see you as the person capable of doing it because you don’t look it. They may be speaking from their experience which may not be your reality. Let me tell you, if God wants somebody else to get the revelation or inspiration, he will put the imagination in their mind. Just to encourage you, God does not call the qualified, he calls the unqualified and then qualifies you.

In conclusion, the power of imagination is a very powerful and creative tool a progressive mind can use to excel in life if properly activated. This is because nobody knows you more than you know yourself.

Henry Ukazu writes from New York. He’s a Human Capacity & mindset coach. He’s also a public speaker, youth advocate and creative writer. He works with the New York City Department of Correction as the Legal Coordinator. He’s the author of the acclaimed book Design Your Destiny – Actualizing Your Birthright To Success

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Be Empowered to Remain in Power




By Tolulope A. Adegoke

“When you “become” what money loves, you naturally command the attention of monies. Ask yourself, what does money love? Money cherishes VALUES! When you stop becoming valuable, what “values” attracts would stop coming to you! You simply fit into what soothes your actions, and into what your consistent attitudes deserve! So, you must keep “becoming” for what you desire or deserve to keep chasing after you! To “become” in this context means to “MANifest”! Chase excellence, and success would chase you pants down! Accept yourself in order to understand your being, so as to carve a soothing niche for a better version of “you” which you desire or deserve to become. Any other “you” in circulation is a counterfeit! Square up your shoulders and tell yourself “I deserve to succeed and God helping me, I will.” Remember, the sky is never your limit, God is!”Tolulope A. Adegoke, PhD., MNIM, FIMC, CMC, CMS

 Commitment has been described as dedication, steadfastness, allegiance, faithfulness or loyalty to a course, and individual, group or a supreme being. It is about giving one’s self to a course with success as the only option. Commitment binds you irrevocably to a course you believe in until success comes. It is not the same as mere involvement, but dedication to seeing a course(s) completed or fulfilled to cause an effect or impact either within one’s self, others, corporates and the world at large.

The world is filled with peoples. Anybody can be involved. Being involved in an activity that involves other people does not make you part of a team. As a matter of fact, it only takes a number of people involved in working together to have a group. You must understand that a group is absolutely not a “team”. The difference? In a group, people are involved in activity(s). In a Team, people are committed to a process and a goal. The difference between commitment and involvement is known by the difference in the “omelette and “corned beef”. In the making of omelets, the chicken is involved, in the corned beef, the cow is committed!

Commitment is the secret to the success of the postage stamp. To get the letter to its destination, it must first commit to the envelope. After that, the rest is a matter of time. A train gets to its destination because of its commitment to the rails.

Commitment operates in five major levels which would be expatiated below:

  1. Commitment to God (The Creator that gives to all that gives and receives)
  2. Commitment to a Course for a Cause

iii.              Commitment to Process

  1. Commitment to People
  2. Commitment to yourself

Commitment to God

Those who have discovered themselves in God have no problem committing to Him. Those who sideline God in success ventures will find out soon enough that it is the pathway to “frustration” and an insignificant “death”.

Commitment to a Course for a Cause

You must always remember that, you were never created to simply pursue wealth and all trappings of the worldly successes. After all your bills are paid, and you have a spill-over, what next? Highly successful and effective people, first of all, find a higher course for a greater cause for which they were willing to lay down their lives if need be, then throw themselves wholly into it. The principle is that, if death does not scare you, the possibility of failure cannot! As the Bible rightly said, “those who keep their lives lose it, while those who lose it, find it!” The other name for it is significance or relevance. Make money in order to enhance your platform(s) for significance or irrefutable relevance. At a recent time, Bill Gate has committed time and resources to finding solutions to the scourge of HIV/AIDS and poverty eradication in Third World countries. What he did caught the attention of Warren Buffet (who wasn’t reputable for charity), the World’s Second richest man at that time. This made him donate the sum of $37billion (US Dollars) to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. When asked why, he answered, “Because they know how best to give it away better and faster than I can.”

Commitment to a Process

Everything in life evolves. The only tree that grew to full stature in one day died the same day! Ask Prophet Jonah in the Bible. If you cannot commit to a process, you will forfeit the promise.

To master your skill in life, there is always a process of apprenticeship. Permit yourself to fail…but don’t remain a failure. The Olympic medalist who won the 100-metre dash in less than 10 seconds was only celebrated for what he had invested years of consistency and hours of practice to.

Tiger Woods had played golf as a child and he had always nurtured a vision to win every championship in golf. So he started to work towards that, easily.

The father (being a good Lawn Tennis Player) of Serena and Venus Williams (The World Lawn Tennis Champions) had coached them to always win since they were very young.

What the world celebrate today in these people is actually the process they had committed too long before they started winning laurels.

Commit to Yourself

Budget for self-development. Your greatest investment is the one you make on your personal development. When you are right, everything around you will be right!

Things don’t happen because you chase them to happen, rather they happen become you have become a center of attraction that commands the necessary attention. For instance, when you “become” what money loves, you naturally command the attention of monies. Ask yourself, what does money love? Money cherishes VALUES! When you stop becoming valuable, what “values” attracts would stop coming to you! You simply fit into what soothes your actions, and into what your consistent attitudes deserve! So, you must keep “becoming” for what you desire or deserve to keep chasing after you! To “become” in this context means to MANifest! Chase excellence and success would chase you, pants down! Accept yourself in order to understand your being, so as to carve a soothing niche for a better version of “you” which you desire or deserve to become. Any other “you” in circulation is a counterfeit! Square up your shoulders and tell yourself “I deserve to succeed and God helping me, I will.” Remember, the sky is never your limit, God is!”

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