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Etymology Of Atiku Abubakar As Stepping Stone For Igbo Presidency



By Magnus Onyibe

As it may be recalled ,a great deal of verbal missiles were hauled at Anambra state governor and former Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN governor, Professor Chukwuma Charles Soludo when he contended in a recently published article titled: ”History Beckons And I shall Not Be Silent (Part1)”, that nobody from the lgbo nation has a chance of becoming president of Nigeria in 2023.

“Let’s be clear: Peter Obi knows that he can’t and won’t win. He knows the game he is playing, and we know too; and he knows that we know. The game he is playing is the main reason he didn’t return to APGA. The brutal truth (and some will say, God forbid) is that there are two persons/parties seriously contesting for president: the rest is exciting drama!“
The masterpiece by Soludo was a realistic and pragmatic analysis of what l would like to characterize as the ‘lgbo dilemma’.

Whereas the frank advise should have woken up the lgbo from what can be likened to a fantastic wonderland dream of presiding over the affairs of our country from Aso Rock Villa in 2023,instead it got a good number of them so incensed that the level of bile directed in rebuke at Soludo was as if he committed some kind of heresy or apostasy.
In order for readers to better understand the anger of the lgbos against Soludo or any other lgbo man or woman who does not subscribe to lgbo presidency of Nigeria in 2023,it is important that we put into context the propelling force for their quest to occupy Aso Rock Villa when the incumbent president Mohammadu Buhari exits next year.
The truth is that the anger of the lgbo that culminated into the vitriolic attacks on Soludo stems from the over half of a millennium years old determination of the tribe to regain their lost pride and glory because they were at the commanding heights of the political, economic and social architecture of Nigeria, pre January 1966 coup by the military that resulted in the death of the first republic (1963-66) and the crash of the lgbo from power in practically all the spheres of life in our country.

Not satisfied with their loss of power, particularly of the political hue in the Nigerian nation, the lgbo sought self determination by engaging the Nigerian state in a civil war from 1967 to 1970 when the country failed to allow her secede.

But at the end of the war rather than achieve their objective of returning to the pre-eminent position that they had occupied pre independence or before the British colonialist exited by granting Nigeria independence from colonial rule in 1960,the region got worse off.

That is simply because a significant number of lives of lgbo people got dispatched prematurely to the meet their ancestors, just as the infrastructure in the eastern region got wantonly destroyed in the course of the horrific war and the situation has not changed much till date.

In addition, the lgbo who lost the war have thereafter become systematically relegated to the bottom or even gotten excluded from the main stream of the political system in Nigeria.
And that is evidenced by the reality that currently, the leadership power equation in the only country that the lgbo can call their own seem to have been skewed against them as none of them is the head of the executive, legislative or judicial arms of government which is largely responsible for the enduring secessionist tendencies currently bedeviling the region in particular, and the whole country at large.

Arising from the above, and being a realist, l would argue that Soludo’s pragmatic assessment of the chances of an lgbo man/woman becoming president of Nigeria in 2023 as he marshaled in his published treatise: “History Beckons And I Shall Not Be Silent (part 1) was on point.

But lgbo appear not to be ready to accept the inconvenient truth, hence Soludo’s advise was discountenanced and he was disparaged and excoriated.

Before the Anambra governor’s matter-of-fact advise that elicited the ire of some lgbo that generated the firestorm that almost literally consumed him, another prominent lgbo politician, Senator Orji Uzor Kalu, the current Chief Whip of Nigerian Senate and ex governor of Abia state had also admonished members of his tribe not to seek to become president of Nigeria in 2023.

Below are his reasons:

“I have no problem with an Ibo man becoming president, but we have to do it with other Nigerians.

“If you don’t do it with other Nigerians, it’s not going to work, no matter how popular you are. This is the president of Nigeria, not the president of Igbo land.”

He was quoted as basically stating that the lgbo must wait for another time when Nigerians would agree to zone the presidency to the east.

It is unsurprising that Kalu’s renunciation of lgbo presidency in 2023 did not trigger as much storm as Soludo’s admonishment which l would like to equate politically with an event recorded in the holy Bible ‘Sermon on the Mount’ which is a narrative of the teachings by our lord Jesus Christ during which he laid out the blue print of his doctrine to be followed by his disciples after he must have transformed from the physical into the spiritual realms.

As the Muslim religion has Abrahamic origins (Abraham is the source of Christianity, lslam and Judaism) which is why lslam recognizes Jesus Christ as lsah – a prophet of God and not son of God which is the belief of we Christians, I won’t be surprised if our Muslim brothers and sisters can identify an equivalent of such narrative in the holy Quran.
According to John R.W. Stott, “The Sermon on the Mount is probably the best-known part of the teaching of Jesus, though arguably it is the least understood, and certainly it is the least obeyed”.

So, Soludo’s solution which sounded like sermon on the mount obviously struck the wrong chord amongst not only some lgbo elites, but also a critical mass of of the hoi poloi who are perhaps living in a parallel universe and as such unable to process the reality that it is not yet time for the lgbo to call the shots from Aso Rock Villa, and the reason the visionary Soludo was largely misunderstood in the manner that Jesus Christ was also misunderstood and disobeyed. For the avoidance of doubt, l am not equating Soludo with our lord Jesus Christ but sermon on the mount was referenced for analogical purpose only.

Perhaps, if the lgbos take the statistics below into consideration, they would probably have a different reaction to Soludo’s wise counsel.

For instance, the total number of registered voters for the 2023 general elections in Nigeria according to lndependent National Electoral Commission, INEC is 93.5 million.
And the total number of registered voters in the entire lgbo land is a paltry 11.49 million.
That makes the eastern region the zone with the least number of registered voters.
It is followed from the rear by the north central with 14.1 million voters.

When you compare the south-east registered voters numbers which is about half of the 22.67 million registered voters in the north-west region that is the highest,it would be clear that the eastern region is a dwarf or Lilliputian politically compared to the north-west which is a giant ,since it has the largest registered voters cache in our country.
And that makes the north-west the battle ground for all the leading political parties and the south-east a less consequential part of the country for sourcing votes by politicians and therefore on the fringe in the reckoning of political strategists.

Given the scenario described above, those clamoring for lgbo presidency should also take notice of the fact that Wazirin Atiku Abubakar of PDP is from the northern region where the bulk of the voters reside,and it presupposes that he has a home base advantage.

Also by juxtaposing the south east minuscule and insignificant number of registered voters against that of the south-west region which is 18.3 million,the eastern region’s jeopardy would come into greater relief.

More so ,if it dawns on the proponents of lgbo presidency in 2023 that the south-west is also APC torch bearer Bola Tinubu’s enclave and supporters base.
But the Igbos driven by ethnic nationalism are wont to argue that members of the tribe being itinerant people are spread all over Nigeria.

As such their voting power is more than the 11.49 million ascribed to the zone.

But so are members of other major tribes scattered across the country -Yoruba,Hausa/Fulani ,ljaw, kanuri,Tiv, kalabari,Urhobo,ldoma and lbibio,lgbira,lgala,Angas etc.
Perhaps,other ethnic nationalities outside their ancestral birth places are not as many as the lgbos that are challenged by land mass and are also very mercantile,hence they are very dispersed nationwide,but a lot Nigerians of all tribes are often well dispersed across the country too.

Another dilemma that the lgbo nation is contending with in its quest for the presidency of Nigeria is the fact that, of the six (6) geopolitical zones in Nigeria, only the south east where the lgbo is the dominant tribe is comprised of a mere five (5) states.

The zone has the least number of states because all the other five (5) regions have at least six (6) states each, with the north west region even having seven (7) states.
The realities above are the major handicaps that should compel the lgbo to seek collaborations with with either north-west or south-west regions where the critical mass of voters are located,in order for their dream that a member of lgbo ethnic stock would become president of Nigeria would manifest.

But rather than think critically,they have been fantasizing about an lgbo person becoming president of Nigeria in 2023 without taking into consideration the political calculus or equations outlined above.

Can those claiming that political structures would not matter in election 2023 also deny the fact that the number of registered voters in specific regions of the candidates would count, and a consequential presidential candidate must have a solid voter base ?

Yet, most politically naive lgbo have elected to remain in self denial by being sentimental instead of analytical.

Without looking beneath the inherent superficialities, they are counting on votes from the youth demography and those who are discontented with government either due to a prevailing culture of nepotism or insecurity of lives and properties as well as the high level of poverty ravaging the masses under the watch of the current administration to catapult an lgbo man into the presidency.

There is not enough space and time to put in array all the thistles and thorns that have buffeted Nigerians in the nearly eight (8) years of APC maladministration. But suffice it to say that while those ignoble hallmarks of misrule are significant factors that can influence some voters to desire to punish the ruling party at the polls,they are not enough to swing the presidential pendulum to the side of the lgbos because the region lacks the critical mass of voters and failed to secure an alliance with a high voters value like north-west or south-west.

Worse still, since it has been established that most Nigerian registered voters reside in the north-west and south-west, it follows that they seldom know Peter Obi and the LP platform.
More so because Obi and LP were basically unknown quantities nationally, until less than a year ago when the political platform and its candidate became a third force in 2023 presidential race that was hitherto looking like a two horse race.

To gain better insight, apart from Obi not having a political base like Atiku that practically has the entire north glued together by not only his robust political pedigree but religion and language; and Tinubu that controls the south-west leveraging his long time political antecedents, well funded political machines and the monarchical system existent in Yoruba land, readers only need to interrogate the voting pattern of Nigerians as captured in INEC’s historical records to discover that the category of the electorate that exercise their franchise the most are folks in the rural areas.

They are not the necessarily the smattering of youth and city slickers who are clamoring for Obi presidency and a handful of discontented adults seeking a new political order.
The category of Nigerians described above are not whom the lgbo nation should anchor their hope of being the tribe ruling the roost in Aso Rock Villa in 2023.
For crying out loud,most of our mothers, fathers,aunts and uncles in the villages are the ones who often step out to vote in throngs and they hardly know Peter Obi.
And they were likely not captured in the opinion polls,particularly the ANAP/NOI polling of which the pollsters have admitted they conducted by phone which by its nature is prone to manipulation therefore deeply flawed.

It is unfortunate that the pollsters seem to be ignoring those factors outlined earlier, either by omission or commission, hence they have ended up with their wrong calculations and false hope about the notion of lgbo producing the next president being a realizable objective without serious collaboration or alliance with voters from any of the two main zones (north-West and south-west) that are home to significant number of voters.

Had the attempted partnership between the LP and Dr Musa Kwakwanso’s New Nigerian Peoples Party, NNPP come into fruition with Obi as the presidential candidate of the coalition, the probability of an lgbo president in 2023 would have been higher. But without such an arrangement, Obi’s quest for the presidency would most likely be an exercise in futility.

The above reality is the justification for the recent comment by a prominent lgbo billionaire and power broker, Chief Arthur Eze who reportedly stated in the media, last week, the 24th of December that he had made it known to the LP Presidential candidate, Peter Obi that his ambition is inordinate was emphatic that he is not part of Obi’s plan.

“I told him to drop his ambition, and wait for next time. “When he told me about his ambition, l asked him the states he thinks he can win in the west and in the north -he told me, but l was not convinced. l told him he can not win; so that he would not waste his time and money”

Incidentally, in various opinion pieces that l have been writing and publishing in the mass media in the past two years, l had already identified and analyzed all the bogeys or stumbling blocks clogging the path of the lgbo man’s quest for becoming president of Nigeria without being propelled by the presently moribund presidential power rotation or power shift principle. They can all be found in my website

By obviously ignoring the wise counsel of critical lgbo stake holders like Chukwuma Soludo and Arthur Eze, as referenced earlier, clearly Mr Obi must be relying on opinion polls that have been forecasting that president Buhari would be handing over to him as his successor on 29 May 2023.

Another probable factor which may be at play for the lgbo (with Obi as the arrow head) to be nursing the false hope that they would be producing the next president would be that his strategists are likely working from the answer to the question, instead of the other way round.

Equally significant is the rather surprising revelation that the lgbo are still counting on the presidential power rotation principle which is a gentle man’s agreement hashed out during the unimplemented National Conference held under former military head of state, late general SANNI Abacha’s regime in 1995. It was basically a political power sharing formula that is still being relied upon by the lgbo to justify its claim that it is the turn of some of their ethnic stock to rule Nigeria.

That principle which is not enshrined in Nigeria’s statutes book has been jettisoned or at best suspended by both the ruling All Progressives Party, APC and main opposition peoples Democratic party, PDP, yet the lgbo appear to have remained fixated on it and seem not ready to purge themselves of the mind set.

Given the present dynamics of politics in Nigeria, only the APC or PDP are the political platforms that can produce the president of Nigeria.

And the lgbo is unfortunate that the two parties have no member of the stock as their presidential flag bearer.

So the chance of an lgbo man taking charge in Aso Rock Villa from 29 May 2023 is practically zero.

The conclusion above does not imply that l have not taken cognizance of the recent emergence of Labor Party, LP as a third (3rd) force in Nigeria’s political space with Mr Peter Obi, former Anambra state governor on the platform of APGA 2007-2014 who was also in 2019 the running mate to Wazirin Atiku Abubakar as presidential flag bearer on the platform of PDP which contested against incumbent president, Mohammadu Buhari of APC.

But, since it is an inconvenient truth for the typical lgbo man that has been seeking to return to the top of the pecking order of leadership of Nigeria resulting in a destructive three (3) years civil war that is believed to have claimed the lives of an estimated three (3) million Nigerians with the lgbos as the main victims, Soludo’s kinsmen who are apparently blind sided by their legitimate, but unrealizable ambition, have chosen to deem the realistic prognosis as an art of betrayal of his people for which he was ‘roasted ‘by lgbo intelligentsia, especially the social media denizens, also known as Obidients and architects of the famous #Endsars protests that had the potentials of revolutionizing Nigeria in 2020.

Fortuitously, Wazirin Atiku Abubakar has emerged on the scene like a knight in a shining amour to offer the lgbo the rescue that they have been craving by giving them the opportunity via his current quest for the presidency for one of them to be his running mate as vice president.

By so doing he is according the lgbos the honor and privilege of being the stepping stone for lgbo nation into Aso Rock Villa: “I am going to be a stepping stone to an Igbo president in this country. I have shown it in my action, because this is the third time I am running with an Igbo man. If you really want to produce a president, then, vote Atiku-Okowa ticket.”

Having established the etymology (in plain language the origin) of the words stepping stone deployed by Wazirin Atiku Abubakar in his lofty proposition to Ndigbo,it is fitting that we interrogate or take a cursory look at the emotional quotient that the lgbo nation has invested in accomplishing its mission to occupy the number position in Aso Rock Villa.

The emotional feelings that are oftentimes elicited by an lgbo person not becoming president of Nigeria is so potent that when current lmo state governor, Chief Hope Uzodinma of APC via a political abracadabra (controversial court ruling) supplanted, Emeka Ihedioha of the PDP who had earlier been declared winner and sworn into office as lmo state governor; and Uzodinma in trying to take control of the state that was originally largely PDP as governor on APC platform, reportedly called in the military to keep the peace, all was let loose.

That decision to call in the military that was necessitated by the rising spate of violence and break down of law and order in the state, resulted in Uzodinma’s country home being set ablaze with all the appurtenances including a Rolls Royce car burnt down.

Having taken into consideration the above circumstances, as far back as two (2) years ago, l had been writing a series of articles with the aim of averting the minds of lgbo people to the rough road that it has to travel to get into Aso Rock Villa in 2023 and l had pointed out that it was a mission impossible without presidential rotation principle being upheld.

And I had long arrived at the conclusion because it is simply mathematically impossible for an lgbo person to become President of Nigeria without having a prolific political base and aligning with people from the north-west or south-west of Nigeria to make it happen.

Mr Peter Obi, incidentally is from the south-east which is a politically disadvantaged region probably as a consequence of the civil war triggered by the decision of lgbo leadership at that time to secede in 1967-barely six (6) years after Nigeria’s independence and three (3) years after becoming a republic.

Worse still, the south-east can not be said to have a political base, simply because there is no evidence that he is enjoying the sympathy of any of the main or even fringe political parties or incumbent governors-from Anambra, Enugu, lmo ,Ebonyi to Abia states.

Yes, he has the backing of the lgbo social-cultural group Ohaneze Ndigbo, but it is not a political machine, but a mere sociocultural platform. In fact, it is as impotent politically as Afenifere in Yoruba land and Arewa in Hausa/Fulani part of our country. Incidentally, Afenifere in the south-west, touting its forthrightness is in sympathy with lgbo and therefore in support of Obi in his vaulting ambition.

But l wonder how the sociocultural group can harness Yoruba votes for the LP and its presidential candidate.

Do the lgbo have legitimate and justifiable reasons to jostle for the presidency of Nigeria?

The answer is in the affirmative.

That prospect would more than any policy of government enable them get reintegrated into Nigerian nation after the civil war fought, won and lost some fifty two (52) years ago.
But as things currently stand, only an Atiku Abubakar presidency with lgbo man as vice president is the out-of-the-box thinking formula that can make it happen.

It is disappointing that the so called three (3 Rs) Reconstruction, Reconciliation and Reintegration of the lgbo into the Nigerian nation which is a policy introduced by the general Yakubu Gowon regime that prosecuted and won the war (1967-70) has been largely implemented in breach. That is one of the reasons that the polarizing fault lines of division have been widening and amplifying the exclusion of lgbo in the political leadership of our beloved country at the centre due to actions and inactions of the incumbent regime which is exactly why the separatist sentiments of the easterners have persisted.

Having laid the foundation for the establishment of the proposition that Wazirin Atiku Abubakar would be the stepping stone for lgbo presidency, l would like to crave the indulgence of readers to allow me republish a relevant portion of one of the several articles that l wrote and first published nearly two years ago in both traditional and online media platforms titled: ”Nigeria Presidency 2023: Where Are The lgbo Candidates”

Here we go.

“The political inactivity in lgbo land with respect to the presidency of Nigeria in 2023 is quite the opposite of the preparatory activities towards the forthcoming November 6, governorship election which both president Buhari and lNEC chairman, Mahmood Yakubu have vowed must hold on schedule, despite the IPOB threat.

Somehow, the quartet of Andy Uba of APC, Val Ozigbo of PDP, Chukwuma Soludo of APGA, and Ifeannyi Uba of YPP representing the main political parties have been ramping up their campaigns.

Given the scenario above, and if the lgbo are really not politicking for the presidency like their Yoruba and Hausa/Fulani counterparts, (which is evident by the reality on ground) the prospect of lgbo presidency in 2023 that may already be in peril, needs to be given a shot-in-the-arm through a strategic partnership that would provide required political structures and financial muscle .

That is what informed my proposal in the earlier referenced article: “How To Become The President Of Nigeria ln 2023”that the lgbo should align with Atiku Abubakar as PDP presidential candidate in 2023 to achieve the dream of lgbo presidency in 2027.

My proposal is underscored by the belief that it would be unlikely that the former Vice President Atiku Abubakar who has become a veteran in presidential contests since 1992 with enormous practical experience , would seek for re-election in 2027, if elected president in 2023 via an lgbo alliance and PDP support.

Unless other northern contenders like Aminu Tambuwal or Bala Mohammed are willing to serve only one term and hand over to an lgbo Vice President, which is a highly unlikely scenario simply because of their relatively young age compared to the former Vice President who would be 75 years next month, lgbo quest for the presidency of Nigeria may remain a mirage.

In my view, a partnership with Atiku Abubakar as a pathway to Aso Rock Villa remains the most viable trajectory for an lgbo man/woman to become president of Nigeria in 2027 on PDP platform .That is because, Atiku Abubakar is liberal , broad minded, business savvy and has links by marriage to all the three major ethnic groups-Hausa/Fulani, Yoruba and lgbo in Nigeria. It implies that Atiku Abubakar presidency would likely be more inclusive than nepotistic-a trademark of the current government in power that is fueling the current gale of separatist movements.

The point being made here is that under Atiku Abubakar’s watch as president, separatism would be consigned to the dustbin as inclusiveness becomes a major policy plank in government. With inclusiveness becoming a centre point of public policy in Nigeria ,secessionist tendencies would die a natural death in the manner that Niger delta militancy ceased after the late president Umaru Yar’dua took strategic steps to stabilize the volatile region via his offer of Amnesty to former militants after meeting some of their demands.

The existential reality in Nigeria’s current political equation that is not balanced , no thanks to Fredrick Lugard.

That truth is that the lgbos need help to actualize their quest for the presidency of Nigeria. As Atilla the Hun advised “choose your enemies wisely and your friends carefully.”
It should be obvious to the average lgbo that they can not ascend the throne in Aso Rock Villa seat of power by themself as they lack the numerical strength and political tentacles . And they must accept that their mastery of business can not overnight be translated into the political savviness that is required for someone of lgbo extraction to become the number one(1 )citizen presiding over our country in Aso Rock Villa from 2023.

So an alliance with the former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar whose political fortune has been built since the time that he first contested against the late MKO Abiola in Social Democratic Party, SDP primaries held in 1992, remains the most viable political catapult that can propel the lgbo nation into Aso Rock Villa, after Alex Ekwueme’s partnership with Shehu Shagari for the presidency of Nigeria (1979-1983).

It is disappointing that Ekwueme’s vice presidency is the last time the lgbo enjoyed worthy political significance in a country that they have indisputable ancestry.
Frankly , without adopting or resorting to the application of the type of cold calculations that l am advocating, the lgbo’s demand for someone from their ethnic stock as number one occupant in Aso Rock Villa would very likely remain a mirage and mission impossible as it would continue to be elusive beyond 2023 and even 2027.

As a follow up article to “How To Become President Of Nigeria”, l wrote another piece titled : “A Citizen’s Guide on How To Become President of Nigeria” also published on the back page of Thisday newspaper on October 22,2021 and other mainstream newspapers, including Daily lndependence, Vanguard as well as online platforms. And the following points were brought to the attention of readers:

“Although presidential power play is largely about popularity, it also significantly utilizes conspiracies and alliances as the oxygen and blood for positioning popular candidates for victory in presidential polls.”

In light of the above reality, which ethnic nationality or nationalities in the Nigerian Union is the lgbo building alliance or conspiring with, overtly or covertly ? None”
So by and large what Chukwuma Soludo was literally clobbered on the head for saying, what had already been identified long ago in my articles before he articulated them more forcefully like a professor that he truly is. And before anybody levels a hasty and mischievous allegation of being anti lgbo against me, l implore readers to obtain and read my latest book : Becoming President of Nigeria. A Citizen’s Guide (May,2022)

A quarter of which is four (4) of the twelve (12) chapters tome is dedicated to making a case for lgbo presidency in 2023.

But after painstakingly identifying and interrogating the odds stacked against the lgbo nation in the present political structure of our country, l came to the conclusion that the most feasible pathway for the lgbo to ascend to the apogee of power in Aso Rock Villa soon is to quickly get on the PDP train and piggy-tail Wazirin Atiku Abubakar by ‘donating’ to him their votes in exchange for an lgbo person as vice Presidential candidate that would take over from him in four(4) years time,2027 when he completes his first tenure.

The lgbo leadership did not heed my nearly two years old advise and my brother, current delta state governor, Dr lfeanyi Okowa who saw the opportunity and could not resist it by letting it slip off, seized the moment.

And he has identified himself as an lgbo man and no one can deny him that identify.

As it is often with contestation for political power, Okowa did not wait to be given power, he seized it.

So the rest is now history.

Incidentally, before l made a case for the lgbo to make a beeline to the presidency via partnership with former vice president Atiku Abubakar, l never discussed it with him even though l have had the honor and privilege of knowing the Wazirin Adamawa over a long period of about two decades courtesy of my long association with my former boss and brother, ex governor of delta state (1999-2007) Chief James lbori who facilitated my sojourn into politics since 2003 as a commissioner in his cabinet.

It did not surprise me that my proposition for my lgbo brothers/sisters to hinge their mission to Aso Aso Rock Villa on Wazirin Atiku Abubakar’s presidency in 2023 was tagged by my friends and foes alike as ‘Magnus formula’ and of which l received more than a fair share of knocks by the same media mobs that tried to maul Professor Soludo for telling the lgbo nation the home truth.

About two (2) years after the idea was first mooted, I am delighted that the PDP presidential candidate, Wazirin Atiku’ Abubakar has finally validated my proposition made to the lgbos ‘several moons ago’ (as a typical lgbo person would put it) by personally making the pledge to them during his campaign stomp in Awka, Anambra state capital on 15 December,2023 that his presidency would be a stepping stone for lgbo presidency of Nigeria.

Again, leaning on or drawing from the legendary lgbo wittiness, ‘ndigbo now have the yam and the knife‘ and they can not pretend not to know what to do with the yam and knife.
And in case they have forgotten, Atiku Abubakar is providing the palm oil with which they can eat the yam after cutting for themselves a generous portion of it with the knife.
One thing that the lgbo must keep in the most critical part of their mind is that who they cast their votes for on 25 February next year can make or mar their chances of realizing their life long ambition to call the the shots in Aso Rock Villa.

And Wazirin Atiku Abubakar offers the best pathway.

Magnus Onyibe, an entrepreneur, public policy analyst, author, development strategist, alumnus of Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University, Massachusetts, USA and a former commissioner in Delta state government, sent this piece from lagos. To continue with this conversation, pls visit

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Opinion: Respect Us or Leave by Femi Fani-Kayode




“Don’t stay in Lagos, and benefit from the leadership, infrastructure and economy Lagosians built over time, yet carry resentment towards them. You threaten violence and de-market Lagos on social media. You have options. Behave or relocate!” – Reno Omokri.

Let me open this short contribution by saying that I completely agree with the views expressed above by Pastor Reno Omokri.

Let us hope that those he is attempting to offer such wise counsel appreciate and accept it before it is too late and things fall apart.

I am constrained to go further by saying that I also share the views of my dear friend, brother and colleague at the Tinubu/Shettima PCC, Omo Oba Bayo Onanuga, who reflected the views and thoughts of millions of our fellow Yorubas when he expressed deep and legitimate concerns about the attempt by the Ibo community in Lagos to take over our land and claim it as theirs.

This is something that they themselves would never tolerate members of any other ethnic nationality to attempt to do in the east and neither would any of us try it.

The truth is that if you insist on living in someone elses land or territory you must respect them. And as they say, respect begets respect.

If you must live amongst us kindly refrain from poking your fingers into our eyes simply because we gave you the space and afforded you the opportunities that you have refused to offer us in the east.

We do this because we are a decent, civilised, kind-hearted, peace-loving and just people who believe strongly in the ethos of charity, plurality of community, efficacy of racial and religious harmony, peaceful-coexistence and full and unfettered integration.

That does NOT however mean that we are fools. Our history proves that we are slow to anger but irresistible in battle. It is not wise to provoke us or raise our sleeping sword.

Being too kind, accommodating and charitable has its price and it appears that we the Yoruba may have learnt this the hard way.

Opening up your home to a stranger and being your brothers keeper is one thing but giving him your head and all that is dear to you on a platter of gold is quite another.

The truth is that the Ibo in Lagos are no longer welcome by the people of Lagos. And unless they change their attitude quickly and drastically it may well be better for them to go home.

As a consequence of recent events and the outrageous and insulting “Lagos is a no man’s land” battle cry and mantra which many Ibos in Lagos espouse and constantly bellow and mouth, many of our people believe that Alaba International Market, Computer Village, Trade Fair and other places that they have occupied and taken over should be evacuated and vacated and converted to schools, deep sea ports, housing estates and amusement parks.

That is the level of anger and view of millions of our people today and we ignore those views at our peril.

They also believe that we should act fast and make the necessary changes in our attitude to non-Yoruba settlers and aliens and reflect on our propensity for being too “woke” and too liberal in our dealings with them.

This view was ably reflected by Rotimi Adeosun when he tweeted the following a day after the Governorship election in Lagos on 19th March.

He wrote,

“Congrats to putting an end to the issue of real ownership of Lagos. Going forward, let there be a review of the following: Land ownership and rent law.
Elective and appointive policy. Ethnic concentration of markets. Limits to liberalisation culture. Teaching of Yoruba history. Be wary of usurpers!”

Points taken and forceful, compelling and lucid they are too.

In his own contribution one Legendary Joe again reflected the mood when he tweeted the following:

“We voted in Lagos today not along political lines but along the lines of heritage. We voted for our pride. We made a statement that our liberal nature should never be abused. What we won’t attempt in yours, do not force on us. We voted to retain Lagos”.

These are insightful and incisive contributions and they must be taken very seriously.

They can best be described as wake up calls and the propositions and counsel that are being suggested and offered must be considered by all the relevant stakeholders in Yorubaland generally and Lagos particularly before it is too late.

Clearly thanks to the insulting ways and disrespectful tone, words and attitude of those that came from the east to settle amongst us yet covet our land and seek to destroy everything we value and stand for, Yoruba nationalism has come alive again.

Our gullible liberalism and naive wokeism has resulted in a dangerous, hard line and pronounced backlash which is fuelled by anger and which cannot be easily managed and contained.

Our people are now counting the cost of our innocent yet disastrous open door policy and disposition as a direct consequence of the excesses and provocative actions of the Ibos in Lagos.

And what is that cost?

If you really want to know let’s go back in time a little.

Permit me to take you on a walk down history lane.

When Nnamdi Azikiwe, the NCNC and the Igbo State Union tried to take over Yoruba land in the 1952 Western Regional elections he lost to Obafemi Awolowo and the Action Group by a very narrow margin.

I believe it was by two seats in Parliament and Action Group was saved from a Zik victory only because they went into an alliance with the Ibadan Peoples Party which gave them a majority of two in Parliament! That is how close it was.

Had it not been for that Zik, an Igbo man, would have been elected as the first Premier of the old Western Region and the Yoruba would have eventually lost EVERYTHING including their language, culture, heritage, land and values.

After his defeat Zik packed his bags and said the following famous words: “I shall return to the east from whence I came”.

Thereafter he went back to the old Eastern Region to be elected Premier.

71 years later the story appears to have repeated itself.

The Ibo, this time led by one Peter Obi, a shady and manipulative trader who was fuelled, strengthened and emboldened by his relative success and gains during the presidential election in the state two weeks earlier, tried to forcefully take over Lagos in the 2023 Governorship election by intimidation, threats and propaganda and by fielding a young and impressionable man by the name of Chinedu Rhodes-Vivour who neither speaks nor understands Yoruba, whose family derives from Sierra Leonne and Opobo in Rivers state, who has strong sympathy for IPOB, who was part of those protestors that wreaked havoc and set Lagos on fire during the Endsars riots and who, like his misguided, violent and aggressive supporters, claimed that Lagos is a “no man’s land” as his candidate.

Thankfully they failed and the young man was roundly defeated by Jide Sanwo-Olu, a young, diligent, hardworking, civilised, decent and focused administrator and bona fide Yorubaman.

It is now time for Peter, Chinedu and all their Obidient supporters to follow Zik’s noble example, tread the path of honor and either respect us and live with us in love and peace or go back to the east “from whence they came” .

They will do far better there.

We in the South West must do a lot of soul-searching and educate the liberals in our midst about the dangers of being too kind, too charitable and too accommodating to the alien land grabbers and usurpers that have infiltrated our territory.

We can show them charity, love and kindness but this must never be at the expense of our values, identity, dignity, culture or heritage.

We must endeavour to ensure that history does not repeat itself again, that this terrible cycle of our Ibo brothers repaying our good with ingratitude and subterfuge stops and that they never have the temerity and effontry to claim that Lagos, or indeed any other part of Yorubaland, is theirs again.


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Adding Value

Adding Value: The Rules of Success by Henry Ukazu




Dear Destiny Friends,

Everything in life has rules and processes. There is every tendency that one may hit the rocks if for any reason he fails to adhere to the set rules and processes. It is only on rare occasions that the luck or “grace factor” can come to one’s rescue. In legal matters, one must understand the laws, rules and exceptions to win a case. In mathematics, one must know the formula while in medicine, diagnosis is a prerequisite to ascertain the cause of any illness.

The focus of this article is on the necessity of soft skills in achieving success. Note that rules bordering on success are not exhaustive; they are more like basic and insightful ideas one can explore if one is determined to succeed.

Just like there are many ways to kill a rat, there are also many ways to succeed. However, one thing is certain, one must follow and adopt relevant principles. Principles are universal, and once rightly applied, one is bound to reap the benefits. I will be sharing some of the principles a diligent, progressive and success-prone mind can adopt.

While reading, working hard and smart on your business are important, it is imperative to note that learning a skill, developing your talent and gifts are equally important success magnets a rational mind must adopt. Some of these success principles which I call success magnets are built into soft skills among which are building capacity, having a good reputation, being diligent, consistency, networking, personal relationship, good attitude, good communication, problem solving skills, creativity and empathy.

You may be wondering how one applies these soft skills? Let’s start from the area of building capacity. In any area you would like to get prominence, you must endeavor to learn as much as possible to gain credibility. When you have developed capacity, it will be easy to apply soft skills.  It is sad to note that sometimes, some people put the cart before the horse, and think the universe will favour them. No, you must understand the process. No serious mind will give you an opportunity when you are yet to develop capacity. When you develop capacity, it will be easy to apply the soft skills.

Even if you haven’t developed capacity, you can creatively use soft skills to learn how to develop capacity if you have a good communication skill, great mindset and attitude.

These soft skills might sound ordinary, but trust me, they are very fundamental. This is because, even with theoretical and practical knowledge, if you don’t have these soft skills, you might appear unattractive. But if you have these soft skills, you can learn both theoretical and practical knowledge.

It is easy to say ‘I want to succeed’, but when we are exposed to the diligent and consistent work we must do, we’ll rather remain in our comfort zone. Trust me, I have been there, but I refuse to stay there because I have since understood that there’s no gain in playing little when you can play big.

On a personal note, I normally do all within my reach to give my best shot by preparing for the best and expecting the worst to the extent it goes south. As you may know, nothing is guaranteed in life, no matter how hard you work, or how much trust you may have in your work. You can do all you are expected to do and still fail. Yes, you can have theoretical, practical and social skills and still fail. In such a situation, just know that your time has not come yet.

It’s important to note that there’s no substitute for excellence.  It’s either the work is good or not. To achieve excellence, endeavor to spend one percent of your time in an area of your life you have a strong interest in or whatever you are passionate about. By doing, you will develop expertise.

Another great rule for success is surrounding yourself with greatness. By this, I mean people who are exceptionally good in what they do. They might not be in your areas of interest, but if they are, that’s a plus. These people might be younger or older than you, they must have certain traits or values you admire, but more importantly, they should bring out the best in you.

Most times, in our quest to make an impact in life, we tend to focus on hard work which is good, but experience and life has taught me to focus on what ignites your spirit and soft silks can be the game-changer. When you channel your energy on where you are celebrated, you will understand the importance of value. Imagine working with someone who doesn’t understand the value you bring to the table, all your work will be considered as mere service, but someone with a heart of service, gratitude and appreciation knows the importance of value when they see one. This is the simple reason why most employers and resourceful beings make conscious efforts to retain certain people despite the noise outside.

When you are successful, there’s this level of happiness and fulfillment that comes to you. This success comes to you because you have done something unique like having mentors or role models. Let’s take a minute to discuss mentors and role models, and their importance.

If you will agree with me, success leaves clues where it derived its strength and foundation. There’s nothing in life that doesn’t have a foundation. As you journey through life, find mentors and role models who have already achieved what you would like to achieve. Just like you study what the happiest couples have done to stay together for decades if want true love; you can also learn from the experience of those whose marriage didn’t work, they might give you one or two advice that might be more beneficial to you than couples whose marriage never broke up.

If your dream is to be the best lawyer in your city or State, study what the best lawyers in your city or country did to achieve their reputations. If you want to be a World Champion, study the lives of World Champions, and learn how they did it. If you want to be a millionaire, find millionaire role models who you would like to be someday. If you want to be an entrepreneur, find a few entrepreneurs who inspire you and study how they achieved what they have. Without a doubt, mentors and role models are your shortcuts to unleashing your greatness. By learning from the experiences of others, you will increase your possibility of succeeding, and avoid unnecessary mistakes.

Give and Give: This principle is mind-blowing. As humans, we are naturally selfish, we do care for ourselves most times more than others do. Don’t get me wrong, you need to care for yourself first. However, for the purpose of this principle, I want you to know that you will get what you want faster when you help other people to achieve what they want. Life is not about you, neither is it centered on you . The average man seeks what he can receive from the world. The extraordinary man seeks what he can give to the world. When you assist other people without having an expectation, they will be glad to go the extra mile for you if they have an appreciative mindset. And of course, a lot of people do!

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

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The Irrefutable Power of Commitment




By Tolulope A. Adegoke

“Everyone who is called great due to his or her attainments and heights of greatness, having achieved strange order of blessings didn’t just emerge there on a platter of gold but at a Cost! In truth, the cost of every greatness is SACRIFICE, but the sacrifice is incomplete without unwavering (levels of) COMMITMENT. Therefore, it is not easy to be EASY…when life’s challenges scream at you, you must consistently engage your shield of FAITH”! – Tolulope A. Adegoke, PhD., MNIM, FIMC, CMC, CMS

The most dangerous and underrated man is not just the skillful or talented man, but the COMMITTED man! The soul of a committed man does not die! Even his deeds live after him (posterity)…his deeds are open doors unto many lives and destinies…Jinx must have been broken by his tenacious lifestyles…

Men of SKILLS may become overly confident and wavering, but a committed man sticks to one thing at a time, then, gets things all done with patience, focus and tenacity (ensures he breaks through); but the combination of the two (Commitment and Skills) settles it all in grand styles of honours. Though, he may experience hunger, financial issues; he may encounter very strange types of human beings, but that will not still move or break him. Of course may feel frustrated at some point, but grace will find his soul from melting like the sheer butter in the rays of the sun and his faith gauge from dropping. It may get to a point that he would find himself in between two worlds, but surrounded by nothing… In all, he must have learnt greatly to be firm and strong in trials, to be patient enough to wait on God in his struggles, to be wise enough to discern, to bridle his/her tongue the more, to worship God the most in all, even in the thickest rejections of men, and to gaze on Him (God) even when his/her health is failing, but to keep loving innocently when hatred, envy and jealousy merges up to intimidate the Royalty and loyal strengths that he carries and represents. Then, all of a sudden, when such being gets to the point of sinking, God intervenes and delivers him/her from them all…

Committed beings may bend for a while, but will never break because they have a “bounce-back power” called Grace… which is a divine dew of ease on them as lubricants and healing- an indication of God’s resuscitating agenda from His throne of mercy that depicts Him saying: “I am with thee, I will help thee, I will guide and guard thee…”

Truly, it is the grace of God that completes a “course” and a “cause” to getting the CROWN!

A committed man must never claim to be “Self-Made” but “God-Made,” because “it is not by power nor by might, but by the Spirit, thus saith the Lord of hosts!”

A committed man is a recipient of immeasurable mercy, grace and favour from God and Man, including the creations of God and Man.

The final speeches of champions that are usually captured on the global set which marvels the world of such impeccable excellence and rare greatness are most of the time given through pools of background tears waits on God for interventions, several spites, dejections and rejections from the ordinary people who in the end applauds them for the rare level of excellence and the greatness that manifests through them (champions).

Be like the rose flower, it commits to its own growth even in the midst of thorns…yet, the thorns shield the rose flower from being plucked ordinarily by small minds…

The ‘thorns’ represent your challenges, while the ‘rose flowers’ connotes your greatness… You are rare species of God’s creation, therefore, I charge you to MANifest!

Be like the Eagle that weathers the storms to soar even beyond the clouds, while other birds are in their hideouts [comfort zones]. Remember, the “comfort zones syndrome” keeps you out from setting records!

Be like the ants, they are futuristic and goal-oriented…

Be like the pride of lions, they know who they are and are always committed to protecting this great value!

Challenges may scream at you, but WORK, FAITH, GRACE and PATIENCE would see you through if you would be committed to the right things at the right times, at the right place. It is important to note that: “Commitment is LEVERAGE!” Commitment gives you Bounce Back Power[BBP]! Don’t just envy success, but envy SACRIFICE! Never settle for convenience over DESTINY! You are way too blessed to ever dare to settle for an empty life.

Jean Chatzky has this to say:

‘Resilience isn’t a single skill. It’s a variety of skills and coping mechanisms. To bounce back from bumps in the road as well as failures, you should focus and be committed to your vision or desires [on emphasizing the positive]’.

The Law of Reciprocity

Any relationship or dealings that has no real reciprocity will die…Reciprocity is the order of life! Strong people will keep giving to you for a long time and eventually, if they do not see it coming back in a similar capacity, they will eventually become convinced that the investment does not worth a return…

If you do not learn to ‘give’ like you learned to ‘get’ (receive) in every area where there is no reciprocity, it will die!

Anything that takes more than it gives will eventually destroy the giver…it is not only biblical but scientific and ecological! Even God commanded the farmer to let the ground rest for a while for it to be revitalized with nutrients! Plants emits oxygen for man to live, while man exhales carbon dioxide for plants to live…it is a ‘give and take’ world system! It is a real-world of COMMITMENT!

I will not take anything from you unless I add something to you! I will be an asset and not a liability! If I stay at your house, you will miss me when I leave! I am going to add something to you before taking anything from you! If I join your church or organization, you will feel My impacts that something has been added to you! When you get me, you get help! In fact, I am an answer to your prayers!

The only number that doesn’t add to the sum total of the equation is a zero that lacks help to upgrade or maximize proper/reasonable effects!

What do people get when they get you?!

If you can describe it, define it and deliver on it, you will never be without them! Everybody wants assets, while liabilities get left behind!

You must be Committed to God, Family, “Church” [gathering of the saints] and to your DREAMS!

You cannot get people to believe in your Dream until you believe in it yourself!

Stop asking people to invest in things when you have no investment! Stop asking people to deliver to you when you are unwilling to go into the wild for yourself! Nobody is going to put into your dream before you put (invest) into it…you have to invest in what you dream for! A golf club is just a golf club until you put it in the hands of the likes of Tiger Woods, then the value shoots up! It’s the same set of club, but all you had was commitment… The same thing goes to our individual dreams…when a dream gets into the hands of a committed person [to the dream], who has been working when they were five and swinging it when they were six, nine and when they turned twelve…O yes! You will get a great return on it because somebody had invested on it!

Do you have anything that you are dreaming, that you are willing to be committed to enough to see it happen?! Or you go on [the] wishing well of life, wanting to receive on credits something that you are not willing to pay for?!

You must be committed to your dreams! I have never met anybody who became incredibly successful in any area of their life until they have suffered, sweated and sacrificed, kept their focus and fought through tears, trials and tests…so if you have a dream and commit to it, it will surely come to pass…though, the vision tarries, wait for it! It will happen! It may take a while, you may even have to take classes, you may even have to start the business in your house, but it will happen! My God is not just ALPHA, but He is also the OMEGA! He is not only the BEGINNING, but He is also the END! God started it, He will finish it! YES, He will! But your own part of the deal must have been completed by being committed to your Dreams before He [God]commits Himself into your course, to creating a CAUSE!

Anybody can dream it, but you can never see it until you are willing to be committed to it! Bishop T. Dexter Jakes gave an example of himself that, as at the start of his ministry (The Potter’s House), he started from his house. Sometimes, he worshipped alone, then gradually things began to change as he stayed committed to his dreams… God only concentrates on COMMITTED people! He is not a joker!

I further dissected the word ‘commitment’ as follows:

To Be Committed means:


Be come it! That is, be the best description or example of your Dream, then fulfil it by taking the required steps without wavering!

Thank you all for reading.

Dr. Tolulope A. Adegoke is an accredited ISO 20700 Effective Leadership Trainer

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