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Opinion

The Oracle: See How President Buhari Turned Me into Nostradamus, Clairvoyant (Pt. 1)

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By Mike Ozekhome

INTRODUCTION

Today, Nigeria is in a terrible quagmire; a deadly dilemma; a complete cul-de-sac. There is trouble; real trouble. In all aspects of life, Nigeria is sick. Very sick. Critically ill to say she is on an uneasy life–support machine is simply saying the obvious.

Everywhere and everything are toxic. Even the air we breathe is toxic. It reeks of odious and smelly putrefaction from caked blood of innocent Nigerians split open by afternoon baking sun (apologies, Ayikwei Armah: “The beautiful Ones Are Not yet Born”).

Our farmlands are death mines, laden with deadly booby-traps set up by rampaging Fulani herdsmen. They hug AK-47 riffles that spit fire on a daily basis against innocent farmers who have offered no provocation. The once-upon-a-time teeth-stained, kolanut-chewing, smiling and friendly herders moved harmlessly across the highways, footpaths and farmpaths. We, as children growing up in the 60s and 70s, usually came out to sing with our near national anthem rendition, to herald them in. What has happened? I don’t know. Or, do you? They have since turned into vicious, blood-sucking monsters that decimate our local population. Our song in those days was, “Malu koga, malu, koga, daba daba koga; ikpisa yeghe the akhia; edunu kpotha mho abo; ne the gbea kpu pku” (translated: “cows with hooves, cows with hooves; they are led by weak elderly men; men who carry sticks, with which they flog the cows kpu kpu”). We would come out of our huts, hailing them, giving them water to conserve in their pitchers made of cow skin and tied to their shoulders. Those were the good beautiful old days. Not anymore.

Today, however, like in Wole Soyinka’s metamorphosis of Brother Jero in “Jero’s Metamorphosis” (1973), which followed “The trials of Brother Jero” (1963), these once innocent herders have metamorphosed into murderous and remorseless savages, killing, maiming, piling and raping farm owners and peaceful indigenous land owners right on their farms and in their homes, with gusto, eclat and a vainglorious sense of triumphalism.

In our homes and on the roads, Nigerians are no longer safe. In the markets, schools, workplaces, air, train, waterways and forests, death stares the average Nigerian on his wrinkled face. Nigeria has become a grizzly killing ground. She has become the poverty capital of the world, snatching the diadem from India. There is seering agony, mass disenchantment and grave disillusionment. Hunger and abject penury live with us. Melancholy and gnashing of teeth overwhelm Nigerians. Hopelessness and haplessness sleep with us on the same wretched beds. Hot tears, sorrow, pains, pangs and blood remain gods and goddesses in whose pulpits Nigerians worship in their homes. Schools are hurriedly and prematurely shut down, not from fixed holidays; not from unanswered ASUU’s 7 months strike engineered by a clueless government; but to prevent students from being abducted and kidnapped by rampaging armed bandits and kidnappers that operate as a state within a state. The government watches helplessly, wriggling its hands with shocking resignation to fate. Non-state actors now commonly challenge the sovereignty and suzereignty of Nigeria, planting their flags on Nigerian soils, collecting taxes, from, and giving citizens passes and identity cards. Armed bandits kidnap school children and instruct their parents to procure for them, large quantities of tarodo, tatashe, tomatoes, maggi, onions, garri, beans, rice, palm oil, vegetable oil, salt and other condiments. They need the ingredients to feed their children and keep them alive for ransom to be paid for their release. This is glaring evidence of a failed state.

Fighting corruption, a mantra once hugged by this government, during political campaigns, has since graduated from a kindergarten school to a post graduate institution, strutting about unchallenged, like a proud peacock. Government appointees brazenly steal billions of dollars, with the EFCC and ICPC still busy pursuing ruling government’s political opponents. They use the ugly and primitively stolen money to mop up scarce Dollars, leaving to the present horrific artificial shortage of dollars, a situation of one dollar exchanging for about N740. And still counting. Didn’t this government meet the dollar at between M160 – N175 in 2015? Gosh! We are now No.148 out of 180, and the second most corrupt Nation in West Africa. Courtesy, Transparency International’s Anti-corruption Perception Index). Inflation increases geometrically. Debts accumulate daily. We now borrow money to service debts, not payment of the real debt! Next generations have mountainous debts hanging on their necks. The present government has mortgaged our individual and collective future with reckless abandon.

Nigeria has never been so polarized and divided along primordial ethnic, religious and linguistic cleavages.

Nigerians from all works of life appear shell-shocked at a country they can no longer recognise within seven years of Buhari’s disastrous government. Well, I am not one of them. I had seen this ugly situation coming. Like Nostradamus, the man who saw tomorrow; like the Oracle at Ile-Ife that gazes into the future and pronounces a future Ooni, I saw these perilous times coming. I had predicated all these in the very first 50 days of this government.

Buharists, Buharideens, his bootlickers, ego masseurs and obsequious fawning passengers in the corridors of power mocked me. They abused and bayed for my innocent and patriotic blood. But history and current happenings have now completely vindicated me. Oh, thou sweet history. Oh archivist google that never forgets!!! In this piece, I now serve you my predictions, after analyzing Buhari’s first 50 days in office, in a piece titled, “Is president Buhari overwhelmed by serious issues of Governance?” (http://thestreetjournal.org)

 

This piece was written and first published on 19th July, 2015, just only after 50 days of Buhari’s tenure! Now, read on:

IS PRESIDENT BUHARI OVERWHELMED BY SERIOUS ISSUES OF GOVERNANCE?

“Let me confess that I am aware of some commentators’ argument that it is too early in the day to assess President Muhammadu Buhari’s thrust and style of governance. After all, they argue that he has only spent about 50 days out of the expected 1,460 days of his four-year tenure. That may very well be so. But, a proverb in my Weppa-Wanno, Etsako language (I disagree with some irredentists who try to label my language a dialect), states that, “oto laza le aghua noa khi ukpuwah” (It is the very day a puppy is littered that people would decipher if it would develop a curved tail). In other words, the morning tells the day.

“Although he has himself publicly confessed that he cannot be expected to perform optimally at the same pace, and with the same vigour and strength, as when he was Governor of old Borno State at the youthful age of 33 and later, Head of State at 40, it would be most uncharitable, even disingenuous to accuse him of senility, or anything near it. Far from it, President Mohammadu Buhari (PMB) is still very agile and quick witted. After all, octogenarians (near nonagenarians), such as Chief E.K. Clark, Chief Olaniwu Ajayi, Chief Ayo Adebanjo, Chief Richard Akinjide, San, et al, stormed the Nigerian National Conference in 2014. Their intellectual prowess, coupled with their plenary and Committee contributions to all issues were such as to leave us, the younger generational elements, panting and gasping for breath. Indeed, 85-year-old Alhaji Ahmed Joda, (one of the famous “super permanent Secretaries” of the Gowonian era, step out, Chief Philip Asiodu, Chief Allison Ayida, et al; more on this later), headed PMB’s transition Committee. Not a few Nigerians believed however, that the slow pace of the Committee’s work was ascribable to its gerontocratic leaning. I have no opinion here!

THE BUILD UP OF EXPECTATIONS

“The campaign mantra of the APC was “change”. It was APC’s campaign that former President Goodluck Jonathan had performed woefully, below expectations. The party tagged him clueless, lily-livered, and that he ran a very corrupt administration. Many, nay, most Nigerians, bought this heavy propaganda. Social media activists, especially, took Jonathan to the cleaners, tearing him to pieces, tarring him with the paintbrush of shame, odium and gross underperformance.

“The build-up was high. The anti-corruption mantra was held aloft like a banner of victory. The taming and extirpation of insecurity, root and branch, was orchestrated like a stuck record (remember PMB’s famous “I will lead form the front”). He was believed because he is a retired Military General and former Head of State.

SOME COMPARABLE REMINISCENCES

“The build-up was what was expected of Enugu Rangers vs Mighty Jets football club (of Jos), or Raccah Rovers vs NNB, Bendel Insurance football club of Benin vs IICC shooting stars football club of Ibadan football championship final encounters of the seventies and eighties. I was then in the Secondary school and University. National stadium, Lagos, Ogbe stadium, Benin City, Liberty stadium, Benin City, Adamansigba stadium, Ibadan, Kano stadium, and Jos stadium, Jos, were a must to watch these matches. Nigeria then stood still and on tenterhooks on weekends. A pin drop could be heard in any of the stadia where these legendary clubs played. Fans and spectators figuratively stopped breathing. Ace commentators, Ernest Okonkwo, Tolu Fatoyinbo and Folorunsho Ishola blared, their names. “Chairman” Christian Chukwu, “Mathematical” Segun Odegbami, “Chief Justice” Adokie Amiesimeka”, the Atuegbu brothers, Haruna Ilerika of Stationery stores of Lagos, Emmanuel Okala, Felix Owolabi, Mudashiru Lawal, Bright Omokaro, Friday Elaho, and Joe Erico, amongst others, held sway. Sam Garba Okoye, Ismaila Mabo, Yakubu Mabo, Benedict Akwuegbu, Olayiwola Olagbemiro, Sam Pam, Ifeanyi Onyedika, Ogidi Ibeabuchi, Christian Madu, Jossy Lad, Amusa Adisa, Samuel Ojebode, Joe Appiah, Moses Otolorin, Kunle Awesu, Alabi Aisien, Kadiri Ikhana, Sunday Eboigbe, George Omokaro, Agboinfo, Sylvanus Oriakhi, and Henry Ogboe, reigned supreme.

“Sorry, pardon me, if I digressed too far off as this write up is not about football. It was to show the passion with which the clubs played, and the high expectations of Nigerians. Football in those days was food. It was life. Nothing else mattered. It was the oxygen Nigerians breathed. Glued to small radio sets and the 4 pm black and white television sets, Nigerians watched with bated animation as these clubs slugged it out. Enemies suddenly became friends. All Nigerians were united. No foe.

“That was the same way Nigerians expected PMB to hit the ground running. They expected him to be, not just a magician in the mould of Professor Peller, but also a miracle worker in the mould of Chris Oyakhilomen, all rolled into one. The stakes were very high during the campaigns. They are higher today after his unexpected victory. (To be continued).

FUN TIMES

“WIFE: Good morning my sweet loving, charming, caring husband

HUSBAND: Mama Junior, the money in that drawer is not mine”. – Anonymous.

THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK

A self-fulfilling prophecy is an assumption or prediction that, purely as a result of having been made, cause the expected or predicted event to occur and thus confirms its own ‘accuracy”. (Paul Watzlawick).

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Opinion

Voice of Emancipation: Hiding in Plain Sight

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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

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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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Opinion

Be Empowered to Remain in Power

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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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