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Adding Value

Adding Value: Nigeria on the Verge of Electoral History by Henry Ukazu

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Dear Destiny Friends,

It is that time of the year again. The whole world has set its compass on Nigeria because of its presidential elections. The Nigerian election is important to the global world because it is the most populous black nation in the world with a population of about 250 million. But it is sad to note that despite the country being blessed with huge human and natural resources, she’s yet to take her position in the comity of Nations.

Nigeria is regarded as the giant of Africa for many reasons chiefly among them are her population and economy. She is considered the biggest economy in Africa with a Gross Domestic Product of $452 billion. With the level of human and natural resources at its disposal, one will begin to wonder why the citizens are suffering? Well, the answer is not far-fetched, there’s poor leadership, and this is why today’s Presidential election is very crucial to every Nigerian.

With joy and fulfilment I write this article knowing that the time has finally come for Nigerians to wake from their sleep to take what rightly belongs to them. Yes, Nigerian youths have finally risen from their slumber to possess their possession.

It’s obvious that since Nigeria got her independence in 1960, she’s yet to get it right. The case of Nigeria is like moving one step forward and three steps backward. When we think we have got it right, we hit the rock again. With so many coups which set the country backward and the Nigerian Civil War which claimed about a million lives, Nigeria has never remained the same again. Since then, there seems to be bad blood, distrust, and hatred against the Igbo because of the civil war. The feelers are like the Igbo caused the war, and as such must pay for it.

This singular act made a certain group of leaders in the North to make it difficult for the Igbo to get into a sensitive position not to talk of the Presidency. Since Nigeria returned into Civilian administration in 1999, the Igbo have not had the opportunity of producing the President and Vice President. This, and more are reasons there’s so much agitation in the Southeastern part of the country.

This is why the 2023 Presidential election is taking a new dimension because for the first time in the history of Nigeria, the majority of the youths in the six geo-political zones are in alignment for change of government. The last time we saw such voting participation was in 1993 when Chief M.K.O Abiola energized Nigerians with his Social Democratic Party (SDP) with a message of hope tagged “Hope 93”. He was able to win sympathy despite having a Vice Presidential candidate who is also Muslim. The election was adjudged to be the fairest in Nigeria, but quite unfortunately, the election was annulled by the then military regime headed by Gen. Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida for reasons best known to him.

Since then, Nigerians have been crying for good government. The bad government in Nigeria has caused Nigerian youths incessant strikes in universities, lack of jobs upon graduation, poor health facilities, little or no infrastructure and most importantly insecurity in the country. This bad government has dominated Nigeria for a while and made the citizens lose trust in her leaders. This lack of trust divided the citizens along religious and ethnic lines. The leaders on their part weaponized poverty and toyed with the ignorance of gullible Nigerians, using religion and tribalism to separate the citizens.

The closest to change in Nigerian came in 2020 during the #EndSARS protests when the youths revolted against bad government. The government was smart and technical enough to know that they are losing money and if the protests and riots are not being controlled, it will cause more harm to the government, they therefore, organized security agents and thugs to cause mayhem on the peaceful protesters and attributed it to the youths. The security agents fired bullets at the innocent protesters. However, the youths sent a clear message; ‘we shall meet at the ballot soon’ and that’s the message the country is about to witness.

You may be wondering what led to this change. Well, the answer is not far fetched, Nigerian youths and progressive thinkers have seen the man who will lay the foundation which will usher the country into the promised land. The man is no other than the former Governor of Anambra State, H.E Peter Gregory Obi. It’s important to note that Peter Obi was Governor of Anambra from November 2006 to May 2007 and from May 2007 to March 2014. He later joined the Labour Party in May 2022 when he sensed that he might not be able to get the party’s presidential ticket due the “monetary politics at play”. He was dismissed as a little fly with no structure to run a presidential campaign that can upstage the two dominant parties; the main opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the ruling All Progressive Party (APC). These big parties fail to understand that the youths are the floaters who decide the election, and they were gradually behind the candidacy of Peter Obi. Several people made mockery of him and his party, but he never doubted himself. He continued to spread his message of hope to Nigerian youths by telling them this is their election and that they are running for election through him. His message penetrated the minds of the youths who have since been looking for a messiah to liberate and salvage them from their suffering. Peter Obi was smart to speak the language of the youths using his verifiable track records as Governor and the message resonated well with the youths.

It’s interesting to note that, a couple of years back, Peter Obi has been speaking on a Christian socio-political platform which advocates good government, “The Platform”. His message inspired the participants who were mostly youths.

By the time Peter Obi left PDP, his message had already infiltrated the town, and people were beginning to buy into his ideas and vision. Peter Obi based his campaign on character, competence, capacity, trust, and verifiable record. This, according to him, is what youths should look out for in a candidate. He further told them to hold him accountable when he becomes president.

Such audacity seems to be strange to the citizens. They haven’t seen such before and they immediately keyed into his campaign by taking it personal and began organizing rallies, sensitizing people, and supporting with whatever they can. While this was ongoing, the big parties were gradually beginning to see something different. From dismissing Peter Obi’s party as three people tweeting in a room who are only popular on social media, to a fringe party which might get sympathy votes. It’s now crystal clear to them if all goes well, the Labour Party is likely going to win Southeast, South-South and North Central, then Southwest will be a battleground between APC, PDP and Labour Party.

Peter Obi picked Yusuf Datti-Ahmed as his Vice-Presidential candidate and majority of Nigerians loved the combination because they represent a new breath of air for Nigerians. Both are accomplished technocrats, who made their name and money before getting into political office and have remained so after they left politics.

Now, let’s talk about the presidential candidate of the PDP, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar; he has been contesting the Presidential election since 1993 when he stepped down for Chief M.K.O Abiola. In 1999, President Olusegun Obasanjo nominated him to be his Vice. They later had a misunderstanding which later made Obasanjo use scathing remarks against him as a corrupt man. That stigma has been with him ever since, and many youths and progressive minds believe he is old and as such should leave the stage for the energetic candidate like Peter Obi. Former Vice President Atiku picked the Governor of Delta State, H.E Ifeanyi Okowa, who is Christian as his Vice-Presidential candidate, but at the end of the day, the youths are the ones that will decide the election.

For Bola Ahmed Asiwaju, his biggest albatross is his health. Majority of the citizens feel he’s very sick, corrupt, and old and as such he might not be able to deal with the rigorous duties associated with the office of the President. The idea of picking a Muslim as his Vice-Presidential candidate also affected his chances of winning the election. This is because Nigeria is usually divided along religious lines so isolating the Christian didn’t go well with them.

The interesting question on the minds of the citizens is what’s the possibility of Peter Obi winning the election. Before I state my permutation, it is important to note that to win the Presidential election, a party must win 25% in 24 States. Here are my thoughts. If Atiku can pick more 25% in the South, he becomes the President

If Obi can pick at least 25% in 6 States in the North, he becomes the President

If Tinubu can pick 25% in 8 States in the North, he becomes the President

Finally, pay attention to curve balls. The unexpected might win. Twisters and disruptors are the candidates to watch. Peter Obi will do very well in the south. Tinubu might win the south.

From the look of things, APC will struggle in Oyo and Osun and will take Ekiti, Ogun, and Ondo.

PDP will make a strong showing in Osun and may take it. Edo is definitely a Labour Party state.

APC will struggle in Kwara and not make a dent in Delta, Akwa Ibom- for presidential, Cross River, Bayelsa, and Rivers

Wike is a major handicap for APC in Rivers and is more of a liability than an asset.

Labour Party will do very well in Benue, Taraba, and Plateau.

PDP is holding down NE as Governor Shettima is a boy scout beside Atiku.

Kogi is shaky and can go either way. The Gov of Kogi is a liability and loose head.

Labour Party will take the whole of Southeast, and Soludo will be embarrassed. APC is already unraveling in the region with the suspension of Orji Kalu hours to the election. It may struggle to have a good showing in Ebonyi, but it won’t be enough to shake Labour Party in that region

Kano will be split between Kwakanso and Gadunje, further weakening Asiwaju’s chances, and PDP will take Northwest because of Tambuwal.

The power of incumbency is shaky for APC as the money redesign policy, BVAS, and other policies have shown that the incumbent president is going for legacy rather than being a party man.

Overall, I see a tie or a very slim victory for either Obi or Atiku. In the case of a tie, Obi will decide the presidency. The prayer is to avoid the courts as they have lost credibility and may not do justice in the event of their deciding a winner for us. This is the most colourful election ever, and I wish you all well.

In conclusion, will the youths and progressive minds come out to vote and defend their votes? Is Peter Obi going to make history? This will be a very interesting election and a lot is at stake, especially as President Muhammadu Buhari is appearing like a man who wants to redeem his name by giving the country a credible election. How far this will go will be tested at the polls. For now, I’m wishing all the candidates success, especially H.E Peter Obi. Amen.

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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Adding Value

Adding Value: Succeeding with Grace and Favour by Henry Ukazu

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Dear Destiny Friends,

Everyone needs a support system as they journey through life. This support system can come from any source; family member, friend, associate, colleague, mentor, mentee, boss, spiritual leader, or even a stranger. Without a strong support system, the journey to life will be an arduous task.

It’s imperative to note that we live in a wicked world where not everyone wants to see you succeed. They fail to understand they are not the creator who destined everyone to succeed at different times and seasons. These set of people have the Pull Him Down (PhD.) mentality, and don’t want to see the success of their perceived enemy.

Success is not limited to any shape, size and colour, it only produces results, and that’s what people care about.

It’s worthy to note that nobody achieves genuine success without favour and grace. Favor is like a perfume, which when sprinkled on someone, the aroma will attract people to them.

Overtime, I have come to the sublime realization that when you shower people with favour and love, it has a way of coming back to you in ways and manners one may not understand. However, some uninformed people think that when they have money, they are blessed and favored.

I agree that money is necessary for success, but there are certain levels of blessings that money cannot buy, and this form of blessings come with favour and grace, especially when one is not qualified to have it. Just to give you an example; there are people money cannot buy, and so, one’s prayer should be they agree to work with you because they are literally priceless.

In life, we all need the blessings of our parents, mentors, boss, and authentic spiritual leaders to speak into our life. This is because no matter how hard you work in life, there’s a limit you can go, especially when you don’t have a favor following you. You can have favor, but favor comes in different ways. For instance, if you are destined to be an Accountant, and you decide to study Law or Business Administration just because you feel they are lucrative courses or you just like the name, you might “succeed” but may not get the true fulfilment.

To understand how this works, at creation, everyone has an assigned angel following them. This angle is designed to help you succeed in your place of assignment.

Did you know there are people who have been positioned to assist you in your place of assignment?

So, imagine if you decide to study Law while your destiny helper is an Accountant, you might be frustrated having a boss, who is an accountant or even a colleague who is making life unbearable for you despite having money. This ordinarily might not happen if you have studied Accounting. In fact you’ll thrive with relative ease in the profession and might be offered more lucrative offers just simply because the universe is working in your favour.

To understand how the grace of success works, when you have it in your journey, you will attract favour from men, you won’t have to work as hard as your counterparts, your product will receive recognition even though it might not be the best. In the journey of life, most of us struggle too much and get little or no result, while some of us work less and get more results. One may be wondering why. Well, the answer is not far-fetched. I call it the spirituality of success because the universe has a way of connecting people when they are working according to its purpose.

Let me share a practical experience: In 2019, I met a great mind, Sulyman Sodeeq A’akeem who reached out to me on X According to him, he has been following me on the app. He requested me to be his mentor, an offer I gladly accepted, especially when he showed me a series of quotes he got from reading my articles.

When we began to relate closely, he shared touching information based on his trajectory in life. We didn’t spend more than six months relating closely, I made him the Chief Operating Officer of my company when I saw enormous and ingenious talent in him. For a lack of better word, he is extremely resourceful. He’s simply awesome! I call him an ideal hand for every progressive mind interested on resourcefulness.

Fast forward to four years, many people have a disdainful attitude towards him and look up to him for succor. The moral of this post is that not only did I bless him, but I also became the greatest recipient of his knowledge, wisdom, loyalty, profound articulation and understanding and most especially, honesty and steadfastness. The interesting part of our friendship and brotherhood is the grace that has found both of us. It’s instructive to note that, I’m not the richest nor the best to work with, neither is he the best of the most resourceful, but we tend to have bonded and mutually benefited from each other because we greatly share similar interests and values. I call it grace and favour.

When you have the grace of success following you, you will attract favour like a magnet. Whether you are in business, academic, pastoral ministry, or marriage, you will receive mercy wherever you step.

You might be the least in a company, you may not even look or have all the qualifications or experience, but when favour locates you, the rules will not only be broken for you, you will see people agreeing to work together just to make sure you succeed.

Did you know that when favour is at work, people will buy your books and share it among their friends and network as an author; your business will be referred to people of interest, people will unusually trust and like you. When people google your kind of business, despite seeing other people doing what you are doing, they will be attracted to settle for you for reasons they can’t understand or explain. When you have favour and grace following you, it will be easier for your talent to be unleashed.

While most people work hard, strategic, and smart people understand the role luck has to play in order to actualize their vision.

According to a renowned Economist and philanthropist, Tony Elumelu, luck played a big role in making him who he is today. While he acknowledged the role of hard work, he knows truly well, there’s a limitation to hard work because luck can trump hard work.

Did you know that if you can do everything in life without anyone assisting you, you are not favored. You should be able to get to a stage in life where people will naturally assist you in doing somethings for free. For example, if you are a success, you don’t need to pay for all the services you get.

In conclusion, as your journey through life, be intentional in seeking favour because it will save you numerous stress.

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

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Adding Value

Adding Value: Push Yourself Harder by Henry Ukazu

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Dear Destiny Friends,

Life is indeed a journey! It’s a adventure everyone will continue to explore until they eventually bow out. But in order to explore life, and by extension, the world adequately, one has to explore many options, and that is where being tough and pushing yourself hard come into play. This is because when one door fails to open, it’s only wise to try another door, and yet another door.

There’s no area of life’s adventure that has proved so easy no matter the angle one is exploring from; as a child, youth, parent, clergy, entrepreneur or career professional. It’s worth understanding that anyone celebrating or at the top today never had it easy, and will never continue to have it easy. They must remain tough on the terrain and continue to push themselves harder with productivity. Everyone has experienced one challenges or another in life, but while one may think that theirs is more serious, they can never tell what the next door neighbor is experiencing.

Being tough or hard on yourself doesn’t in anyway conote negativity, it’s so positive that it inspires one to improve in productivity.

In my native Igbo belief, we say that all lizards lie prostrate, but no one can tell which one has a belly ache. This is literally true because just like our faces are different, so also our problems. Hence the reason one must treat other people with empathy.

Life can be tough; in fact, being alive on its own is tough. Not everyone likes to see you alive, not to talk of doing big things. Not everyone is happy seeing you in a position of honour. Trust me, it is difficult to stay alive because you must battle many wars to stay afloat. Just imagine being a family man/woman taking care of the bills with little or no support from your partner. Just imagine starting a business and trying to secure contracts or attract clients/customers. If you are a student, some people will feel jealous of your potential achievement and the corresponding success it will bring to you. The list is literally endless.

According to Dr. Yomi Garnett, an accomplished author, “there’s an inverse relationship between you and life. When you are tough on yourself, life will be infinitely easier on you. Conversely, when you take things easy, life will become very tough for you. The path of self and spiritual development is a very long and arduous one, but it’s a journey worth taking.”

This is so true because if one is interested in living and experiencing a soft life, one must be intentional in doing the hard work which entails being hard on yourself.

My late dad, Chief Lazarus Ukazu, use to say that “any name you want to be called, you must work hard to earn it”. Success does not come to you on a platter of gold; you must till the soil, read books, be above board at your place of work/assignment, invest in your business, learn new trades, skills and leave your comfort zone. All these entail being tough on yourself.

We are all capable of achieving success because we all have the seeds of greatness living in us. It is sad to see people who just live their life by luck. They are not eager to pay the dues which is likely to catapult them to the next level if judiciously implemented and executed.

As rightly stated by Dr. Garnett, when you are tough on yourself, life will be generally “easier” for you if you play by the rules of the game which will enable you to live the fame you desire. When I published my first book, I didn’t really know what’s ahead of me, nor did I know the book would bring me relative fame and opportunities. I can vividly remember the sleepless night and risk I had to undertake during the process of writing and publishing the book.

Today, the book made the New York Times to interview me. I became a regular guest on television because of the book. I got to meet Captains of industries and leaders of thought. Why am I saying this? Life has been fair to me by blessing me with opportunities. It’s important to state that I was tough on myself when I was working on the book. As a matter of fact, I can vividly remember that at a point in time, I was out of job. I used the time to concentrate and do befitting research for a book of that nature. Moral: When you pay your dues, people will pay your bills.

Question. What dues are you willing to pay so that people can pay your bills?

In conclusion, today, I charge you to be intentional in being “hard” on yourself so life can be relatively soft on you.

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

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Adding Value

Adding Value: Develop Your Talent by Henry Ukazu

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Dear Destiny Friends,

Hard work beats talent, it has been said in many quarters, but the opinion, for all intent and purpose, is still subject to individual confirmation.

On a personal note, hard work can only beat talent when talent is not put to use, especially if that talent is not developed to its full potential, and equipped with the right techniques that can take an individual from amateur to professional.

What really is talent? Talent is an uncommon natural skill or ability to be good at something. It’s instructive to note that talent is not taught; it’s a natural ability to see or do something in a certain way.

Everyone is endowed with talents, but the sad reality is that not everyone takes time to hone and develop them. Do you know your talent is your gift to the world? You may be wondering how that works? Did you know that at creation, God gave everyone a gift, and that gift is talent? It’s sad however, to see people who haven’t developed the art of using their gifts to serve the world.

Sometimes, we complain of not having a job; sometimes we look elsewhere for a job not knowing we are the job we are seeking. Did you know your gift is your job? When you know how to cultivate your talent by nourishing and garnishing it, there’s a population that will need your service.

But one of the greatest challenges most people have is the inability to market their talents to the right audience.

When you are super talented, Presidents, kings, Queens, captains of industries, and leaders will seek your service. This is because everybody likes the best. Corporate companies and organizations love working with talented people. Talented people spend more time acquiring new skills, improving their relationships via strategic networking, gaining new knowledge and perspective to life. They also know how to balance work and life because they realize what works for them and what doesn’t.

It’s instructive to note that despite being blessed or gifted in a particular way, if one fails to nurture and develop the talent, it will gradually fade out into oblivion. This is because whatever is not being managed is lost. To understand how nurturing works, imagine if great soccer and athletic players like Lionel Messi, Christian Ronaldo, Austin Okocha and Usan Bolt don’t train; their skills will naturally loosen up. That’s simply how talent works, whatever you don’t manage well is forever lost.

Maximizing your strength comes from knowing your talent. The mistake most people make in life is trying to do many things at the same time as opposed to concentrating and mastering one thing. Being jack of all trade and master of none is not the best way to succeeding in life. It’s always good for the world to know and celebrate you for a particular thing. When they do, you can now diversify your interest and resources among your networks. A great way of mastering your strength is by focusing on your talent. You can do this by maximizing your strength while working on your weakness.

It is instructive to note that talent is priceless. You can’t beat the place of talent in the life of a progressive mind. You can make a name for yourself with your talent. The world is in dire need of talented people. When you are talented, you will be unique. You will unapologetically be yourself. A typical case of talented people are the Late Michael Jackson, Dolly Parton, Austin Okocha, Henry Ukazu, amongst others.

To determine your talent, look at what you enjoy doing with relative ease, look at what you are successful at; evaluate what you are good at. Remember, what you are good at is quite different from what you enjoy doing. You might enjoy singing, but singing is not your forte. You might be skillful in doing a particular work, but it doesn’t mean you are talented in it.  When talent is at play, you will do it with relative ease, whether paid or unpaid.

In conclusion, it should be noted that your honour is in the discovery of your place of talented assignment. Your relevance is in your call to service, and your recognition, income and resources will come from working on your area of assignment.

Today, I charge you to take a deep reflection about yourself, and discover and fulfill your assignment. don’t spend your life doing so many things, endeavor to focus on what aligns more with your interest by applying the pareto principle.

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

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