Friday, April 26, 2013

Ribadu/Fashola: The Dream Presidency?

As the permutations towards a feisty 2015 general elections begins in earnest, one is left to fantasize, and hope over what might be. It is a no-brainer to suggest that the PDP led government for fourteen years have done little to restore and ill our land. Instead, shrewd politicking, insane bickering, corruption syndrome and a bastardized system is all they have bequeathed to us. The debate over the assessment of Goodluck Jonathan led administration might be premature, but the signs are ominous. Like him or loathe him, a Nuhu Ribadu led administration is one that holds promises, especially with a sidekick like Babatunde Raji Fashola. Many have criticized Ribadu on the premise that his spell as EFCC boss was used to witch hunt the enemies of his then boss, Olusegun Obasanjo. While that looks plausible on first thought, a more reasonable question to ask as Gani Fawenhimi did ask is: 'Were those involved in these selective judgments truly culpable'? The answer is glaring. It is not for nothing that Ribadu earned international acclaim, and it is no mean feat to be the chief crime fighter in a nation that is infamously referred to as one of the most corrupt on earth. Lagos state governor, Babatunde Raji Fashola clearly needs no introduction. His transformation of Lagos is staggering, and the watershed has been remarkable. Fashola is a proven politician cum administrator. Nigeria needs those that can work their socks off. He has been able to restore some level of sanity to an erstwhile notorious Lagos. Looking at his rate of work, one wonders if he ever takes time to rest. Moreover, the duo of Ribadu and Fashola are progressives. They might not be the Joshua to lead Nigeria into the promised land, but they could serve as the Moses to initiate and fast track the liberation process. To add another perspective, the pair will also garner the needed appeal from a larger part of our polarized society. Nigeria is simply tired of the dead woods. The unrelenting cabal has toiled with Nigeria enough, that is why a Buhari led presidency is never a great option. It is not an outrageous utterance to suggest that Nigerians are simply tired, fed up, irritated, and incensed with the continuous retrogressive PDP led administration. A change is needed, and swiftly too. However, a Ribadu/Fashola presidency hinges on the survival of the APC. It remains to be seen if this long awaited opposition party of strange bed fellows can sheath their old swords, and work assiduously to usher in a new lease of life. As Presidential Public Affairs Assistant, Doyin Okupe, prophezied, APC might not survive past 2014. It is left to them to answer the garrulous presidential aide accordingly.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

NYSC AT 40: ANOTHER MILESTONE


Despite the multitudes of controversies that have bedevilled the NYSC Scheme, it is a great feat of achievement that the scheme has survived through all these years. The National Youth Service Scheme was established in 1973 by General Yakubu Gowon. Its introduction was part of efforts by the then military government to unify and integrate every parts of the country after the 30 months bloodbath that was the Nigerian Civil War. Since 1973, graduates from all parts of the country have been posted to novel environments in a compulsory one year service to fatherland. Without mincing words, the scheme has made outstanding and exquisite feats over the past four decades, and any call to scrap it is not just preposterous, but entirely baseless. Indeed, the most remarkable achievement of the programme is the unifying and integrating factor it has brought to our largely divided nation. Owing to the scheme, youths across the country has been able to imbibe different cultures and appreciate the values and norms of diverse tribes and ethnic groups. It is not an exaggeration to say that the language barrier has been brought to its bearest minimum due to the NYSC programme. It goes without saying that inter marriage between people of different tribes have been fostered because of it. In a nation with over 250 ethnic groups and numerous languages, the NYSC scheme provides unity in this diversity. In addition, the scheme has continually provided viable manpower for overall development. It has been said, and not without reason, that rural development that has been witnessed in different parts of the country can be traced to the intellectual provision that the Corps members provides. Perhaps, it should be mentioned that the Corps members are a form of cheap labour which can always get the job done. Thus, by rural and urban development pioneered by Corps members across the county, the disparities in development between different states are curtailed. What was more? Education in itself entails individual adventurism, and the NYSC scheme affords a sublime platform towards achieving this. This adventure prepares the mind, body and soul of graduates towards embarking on the outer world. Moreover, the scheme has been so designed to drill and improve the discipline of youths, through the mandatory three weeks of orientation camp. Furthermore, it does not require a stretch of the imagination to see that the NYSC programme has grossly provided employment opportunities for its many staff across the federation. Though the stats are not absolute, we know that thousands of people are gainfully employed by the scheme across the country. However, employment is not just limited to the NYSC officials. Some of the Corps members have found themselves as adhoc staff and officials during such programmes such as census and elections at all levels. Suffice it to say, some corps members have found meaningful employment in their states of service after their programme. Thus, the examples of corps members that have found employment after service at their posting states, is too numerous to rehash here. This has dual benefits. One, it solves the unemployment puzzle to an extent, and improves the Gross Development Product (GDP) of the state in question. Consequently, the NYSC scheme has truly helped in terms of population redistribution. As a nation, some states would have further suffered from population congestion, if not for the NYSC scheme. The scheme ensures that youths are evenly distributed. Hence, reducing the growing menace of population explosion witnessed in some states. As a scheme that is truly pragmatic, the NYSC programme has evolved some restructuring and implemented innovations to improve it. One of such is the entrepreneurial initiative being introduced in all the orientation camps across the federation. This training has armed youths on knowledge on how to not just be job seekers, but also job employers. Some of these trainings include bead making, soap making, tailoring, shoe making, barbing etc. It is salient to mention that the scheme has also been refocused under the dynamic and effective leadership of Brid. General Okorie Affia to meet four pertinent sectors of the nation. These are education, health, agriculture and rural development. The scheme has also introduced distress phone calls lines to increase efficient communication between corps members and officials across the nation. Having said that, there is still room for improvement for the NYSC scheme to ensure greater output. Security of Corps members should always be a priority and more pragmatic ways to improve the programme must be encouraged. Any calls from different quarters to dismiss the scheme must be vehemently kicked against. In conclusion, thumbs up to the NYSC scheme for forty remarkable, outstanding, and illustrious years. Long may it continue!

From Omojuwa To Gidi Traffic: Nigeria’s Strong Twitter Hemisphere


Never mind Reuben Abati’s diatribe on the growing army of Nigeria’s social media (twitter), which he described as ‘twittering children of anger.’ It was one of his vain attempt to take a swipe at what he perceived to be a bitter ‘watchdog’ on his and his principal’s job. The obvious is this; Nigeria’s twitter sphere has and is providing a great platform that words might not adequately gauge. In more ways than one, this social media provides myriads of platforms. From breaking news to traffic reports, and to every ‘unimagined’ discussion, Nigeria’s twitter sphere has carved a nitch for itself. To this unbelievable watershed, some names must be mentioned. @omojuwa certainly needs no introduction as long as twitter is mentioned. His political activeness and consistent portrayal of vast understanding about Nigeria’s political terrain is a wonder. Make no mistake about it; it is not in another’s power to judge what his true motives are. However, it won’t be an exaggeration to state that many Nigerians due to his tweets are better politically conscious and knowledgeable. And there are many that deserve mention along this line. @eggheader, @rosanwo, @nedunaija, @ged,@chude, and @gbengasesan, to mention but a very few indeed, are all equally amazing. But the country’s twitter world is not just about the burden and thrills of politics. @gidi_traffic is another who has built a strong reputation on this hemisphere. He/she (we would never know what gender) through this account, has simply been a problem solver of all sorts for many. If it is not traffic, it is weather, or exam tips or marital advice or other ridiculous subjects one can conjure. Then, there is @tweetoracle. A polarising, sarcastic and larger than life personality, he adds a unique taste to our twitter hemisphere. @colinudoh is a sport doyen on this sphere, while @alibabagcfr is simply peerless. The list of Nigeria’s making impact with twitter is too numerous to rehash here. Nigeria’s twitter globe has truly come of age. The platform is not just a social media for many of us, it is a meeting point. A place where ordinary people can tell their everyday experience, in a liberty and tone they crave. It’s a place of intense scrutiny for our fledging and often, inimical democracy. Thus, it is very rude for anyone to suggest that the aforementioned names and their likes all earned their reputation on the pages of twitter, without which they are nobody. Such statement borders on sheer ignorance and a smack of irritating arrogance. These individuals have earned their names, and that truth cannot be easily dismissed. No doubt, our twitter hemisphere will continue to witness a flourish; whatever that means to you.

Introducing Nigeria’s Gospel Sensation: Nic The Incredible!

Relatively unknown, but alarmingly talented, the name ‘Nic The Incredible’ is one that would surely leave an imprint on the sands of Nigeria’s gospel music for years to come. An upcoming guitarist, artist and producer, Nicholas Daniel is currently carving a nitch for himself. An alumni of Kogi State University (KSU), he is spurred to use his God-given talents for the glorification of God, and the strengthening of humanity. You can reach him via the following contacts: Facebook----- Nicholas N Daniel Twitter------ @nichovicinity09.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

9 Power Quotes for Times of Struggle

1. Growth and Change “And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk ittook to blossom.” ―Ana├»s Nin Discontent is the principal necessity of positive growth, but only if you do something constructive with it. Without deviation from what you’ve been doing, progress is not possible. Don’t be someone who goes throughgreater lengths to avoid change than you do to obtain what you desire. You must define and embrace the necessary changes that move you forward. Your life will begin to improve when you defineprecisely what ‘improve’ means to you. The agonies and frustrations will start to ease only when you have something real and positive to replace them with. Be specific. Happiness is not a goal, it’s the result of a life well lived. The question is: How do you want to live going forward? To effectively move away from an unfavorable situation, you must decide exactly where you wish to go. Create a formidable intention for yourself, and feed that intention with the passion and energy that’s in your desire for change. Go beyond your discontent for what is, and instead focus on imagining and creating the best of what’s possible. Clearly know where you wish to go, and then take the first real step that gets you there. Read 1,000 Little Things . 2. Problems and Opportunities “What is the difference between an obstacle and an opportunity? Our attitude toward it. Every opportunity has a difficulty, and every difficulty has an opportunity.” ―J. Sidlow Baxter Truth be told, you have to create more opportunities than you are handed in this world, and you have to design them with your own blood, sweat and tears. The effort, however, is well worth it. There’s no shortage of problems waiting to be addressed. When you see problems piled on top of problems, and when there seems to be no end to the work that must be done in order to resolve them, what are you really seeing? You’re looking at a mountain of opportunity. You’re looking at a situation in which you can truly make a difference. You’re looking at an environment where you can reach great heights by raising the stakes and pulling the reality of what’s possible along with you. When you look at a problem, but see opportunity instead, you become a powerful source that transforms grief into greatness. 3. Hard Work and Achievement “It shouldn’t be easy to be amazing. Then everything would be. It’s the things you fight for and struggle with before earning that have the greatest worth. When something’s difficult to come by, you’ll do that much more to make sure it’s even harder – or impossible – to lose.” ―Sarah Dessen There is no shortcut to a great achievement. There is no substitute for doing the work. Meditate on this every day: “I will do the work.” As Einstein once said, “Genius is 1% talent and 99% percent hard work.” You must run to be a runner. You must write to be a writer. You must actively work on a business venture to learn how to run a successful business. By all means, find ways to be more efficient in your work. But make no mistake that it takes diligent effort to build something worthwhile. There are certainly some success stories out there about people who excelled rather quickly, but you will usually find they had put in years of related work long before anyone was paying attention to their seemingly rapid success. In other words, their current state of achievement is simply all those years of work coming together flawlessly in the present. Put in the required effort. Plan your work every morning, and then diligently work your plan every day. Read Do the Work . 4. Focus Whenever you want to achieve something, keep your eyes open, concentrate and make sure you know exactly what it is you want. No one can hit their target with their eyes closed.” ―Paulo Coelho Lack of focus, not lack of ability, is the most common problem that holds people back from their potential. We all have strengths and difficulties, and we all have the same twenty-four hour days and seven-day weeks to work with. If you find it difficult to deal with where you are, or how life is treating you, it’s time to change your focus. Start focusing on what you want going forward. Set a specific goal, keep your routinecentered on it, and you’ll find the strength to move steadily in a positive direction. When you focus on the right thing, even the difficult steps will seem easier. The burdens of the moment become much more bearable when you connect with the purpose behind them. Your time, energy, and resources will get used no matter how well you focus them. By choosing to focus properly, you get the highest return for the efforts you invest in yourlife. 5. Positive Thinking “Our thoughts about what we are and what wecan be precisely determine what we can be.” ―Anthony Robbins The reality you live through daily is a process of your thinking. You are essentially who you design yourself to be – most of what you experience is the direct result of your own creation. This reality cannot be changed without first changing your thinking. Yes, there are lots of inherent events in life that occur completely independently of you – birth, death, loss, sickness, aging, and unexpected changes of all kinds – but these life events do not have to cause ongoing confusion and suffering. They happen, you experience a little stress, you adjust, and you move forward. The problem occurs when you don’t adjust and move forward, when your mind clings to these events in a negative light and intensifies their significance into perpetuity. If your mind does this, of course, itcompletely overlooks the subtle feelings of excitement, adventure, love, and joy that come from the essence of overcoming a new challenge. Bottom line: 99% of the time the discontent and frustration you feel is entirely your own creation. If you dwell on the positive thoughtsand possibilities at least as much as you dwell on negative thoughts and painful emotions, life’s challenges help you improve your reality. Read Learned Optimism . 6. Mistakes “Freedom is not worth having if it does not include the freedom to make mistakes.” ―Mahatma Gandhi No matter what you’re going to make mistakes; it’s an unavoidable truth. But the good news is, if you follow your heart and intuition, the mistakes you make will be steps in the right direction. Just because you fail once at something doesn’t mean you’re going to fail at everything. Keep trying, hold on and believe in yourself. Keep your head held high,your chin up, and above all, SMILE, because the most beautiful part of it all is that there’s so much left to smile about. Life is what you make it. It’s a wild rollercoaster. Just when you think it can’t get any worse, it does. And then just when you think it can’t get any better, it does. Every day is a beautiful mystery. Let go of yesterday’s mistakes and enjoy the mystery asit unfolds today. 7. Acceptance “For after all, the best thing one can do when it is raining is let it rain.” ―Henry W. Longfellow What you must realize is that you don’t really need more time; you just need to appreciate life in the current time. It’s a beautiful and bitter way of thinking all at once. If you don’t have what you want now, you don’t have whatyou want, but you still have a lot . Be thankful for what is; and also be thankful for what has not yet come to you, for that means there are still many possibilities available to you. Find peace in the thought that you can’t ever have it all or know it all. You are always just a fraction of the whole. For if you weren’t, there would be nothing more to experience. Value what you know, and also value the countless things you don’t yet understand. For in what you do not understand, there is the joy of growth. Life will always be incomplete and a bit asymmetrical. Realize this and embrace it. Behappy and sad at the same time, be hungry and thankful at the same time, be nervous andexcited at the same time, and be okay with it. 8. Confidence and Beliefs “Sometimes beautiful things come into our lives out of nowhere. We can’t always understand them, but we have to trust in them. I know you want to question everything, but sometimes it pays to just havea little faith.” ―Lauren Kate Believe in yourself through tough times. Believe in your capacity to succeed. Believe that your relationships are worth the effort. Believe that people make mistakes on their way to greatness. Believe that people can be foolish and intelligent, selfish and generous, and stressed and happy all at once. Believe that very few people hurt others on purpose. Believe that there are many roads to what’s right. Believe in your intuition, especially when you have to choose between two good paths. Believe that the answers are out there waiting. Believe that life will surprise you again and again. Believe that the journey is the destination. Believe that it’s all worth yourwhile. Read 1,000 Little Things . 9. The Present Moment “Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come. We have only today. Let us begin.” ―Mother Teresa Regardless of what’s happened in the past or what might happen in the future, it’s being here now that’s important. We can gain experience from the past, but we can’t edit it; we can hope for the future, but we don’t know if it will ever come. This moment – right now – is your life. Say yesto it. Don’t ignore it by pretending that you’reliving in some other time and place. You aren’t – doing so is impossible. The only life you can live is the only life there is – the moment you are in right now. Ignoring this fact is reckless. Ignoring it is denying reality, and denying reality is rejecting the entire process of living. Start paying attention to the present. Start paying attention to your life. Right now, say yes to the life you‘re living and notice how it starts to flow WITH you rather than against you. (MANDG).