Monday, February 24, 2014

Sanusi: A Lesson For Posterity

He might not be the most shining light in a system strongly hinged in thick darkness, but his tale is an epistle that reminds us of how herculean, and probably how improbable it is to fight a culture laced with cancer.

From day one, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi left no one in doubt that he is a man who is not ready to be one who will play by Robert Greene first law of power (Never outshine the master). He made it known that there will be no sacred cows. It is salient to note that the job was never one that he coveted. He had only become the Group Managing Director of First Bank of Nigeria, before the president dangled the carrot before him. Thus, he is not your regular power seeking Nigerian. There is an anomaly with a system that disposes of it’s best minds. It is not for nothing that Sanusi Lamido Sanusi was named London’s Central banker of the year and Africa’s central banker of the year in the past.

The shameless messenger of Aso Rock, Dr Reuben Abati, will have us believe that the presidency dispensed of him for financial recklessness, misconduct and violations of the laws of the land. Yes, Sanusi might have been wrong for throwing money around to organisations in the name of corporate social responsibility, but let us not throw the baby away with the bath water. At least, he did not spend these funds purchasing two BMW cars worth over 250 million naira for himself. Rather, he gave to victims of Boko haram and casualities of the flood scourge. For Goodluck Jonathan, this action has reinforced that he might not have the radical personality of Olusegun Obasanjo, but he surely beats baba in terms of his rulership of shrewd impunity. I have since seized to buy into the cheap talk that our president cannot harm a fly. You will be wrong to mistake clothed impunity for cowardice and humility. We know better. How Jonathan cannot wait till June when Sanusi’s tenure will elapse to get rid of him, is beyond many of us.

In conclusion, it is pitiable that anyone will laud the suspension of Sanusi Lamido Sanusi. Some argue that he was acting the script of the broom opposition. Others are of the opinion that he was carrying out an Islamic agenda and some few are incensed that he ever conceived the thought of introducing the 5000 naira note that did not see the dawn of the day. For the purpose of an argument, such criticisms might not be entirely baseless. However, it a mark of our battered and crude democracy, that anyone who disagrees with the government of the day, becomes (to use Reno Omokri’s term) a fifth columnist. Those that accuse Sanusi of being bedfellows with the likes of Nasir El Rufai and Bukola Sakari, have to get a perspective. Sanusi attended same Kings College with Saraki, while himself and El Rufai, have been childhood friends. It’s unfortunate that for many, anything and everything must be seen through the lens of political and religious sentiments. It is a shame that we forget too quickly in this part of the world. This was the same Sanusi who rescued our banks from the fa├žade his predecessor masked them in. Don’t be deluded, Sanusi is being hanged by the forces he had dared to step on. He has ruffled many feathers, a handful of them are kingpins of the Jonathan administration. In their vindictive book, it is that page where they now take their own pound of flesh. And there is the damning feather ruffling of the NNPC forces. Men for which NNPC have remained an apt example of the failed Nigerian dream. Be it 48, 28, 12,10 or 20 billion naira, it goes without saying that one of Sanusi’s prodigal sins, is to dare to thread into this path where angels feared. Perhaps, it is the calculations of the power brokers and the prima donnas that suspending him is a needed distraction of the probe. Indeed, ours is a tale of a people that even though we were robbed in daylight, we are too preoccupied with enough troubles that we let the looters go in peace.

It is instructive that Sanusi Lamido is heading to court not to regain his job, but to ensure that the impunity that ousted him from power is not meted out to his successor. Sadly, this is a battle he might likely lose. In the early days of his reign as CBN governor, BBC Hardtalk while having him as a guest on the show asked rhetorically: Can you win against the system? Victory is relative, and to have dared the cancerous system, is to have won the battle over fear. A victory that posterity will surely leverage on.

Monday, February 17, 2014

15 Things You Need to Stop Wasting Time On

1. Distractions that keep you from special moments with special people. – Pay attention to the little things, because when you really miss someone you miss the little things the most, like just laughing together. Go for long walks. Indulge in great conversations. Count your mutual blessings. Let go for a little while and just BE together.

2. Compulsive busyness. – Schedule time every day to not be busy. Have dedicated downtime – clear points in the day to reflect, rest, and recharge. Don’t fool yourself; you’re not so busy that you can’t afford a few minutes of sanity.

3. Negative thinking about your current situation. – Life is like a mirror; we get the best results when we smile. So talk about your blessings more than you talk about your problems. Just because you’re struggling doesn’t mean you’re failing. Every great success requires some type of worthy struggle to get there.

4. The needless drama around you. – Be wise enough to walk away from the nonsense around you. Focus on the positives, and soon the negatives will be harder to see.

5. The desire for everything you don’t have. – No, you won’t always get exactly what you want, but remember this: There are lots of people who will never have what you have right now. The things you take for granted, someone else is praying for. Happiness never comes to those who don’t appreciate what they already have.

6. Comparing yourself to everyone else. – Social comparison is the thief of happiness. You could spend a lifetime worrying about what others have, but it wouldn’t get you anything.

7. Thinking about who you were or what you had in the past. – You’re not the same person you were a year ago, a month ago, or a week ago. You’re always growing. Experiences don’t stop. That’s life.

8. Worrying about the mistakes you’ve made. – It’s OK if you mess up; that’s how you get wiser. Give yourself a break. Don’t give up. Great things take time, and you’re getting there. Let your mistakes be your motivation, not your excuses. Decide right now that negative experiences from your past won’t predict your future.

9. Worrying about what everyone thinks and says about you. – Don’t take things too personally, even if it seems personal. Rarely do people do things because of you; they do things because of them. You honestly can’t change how people treat you or what they say about you. All you can do is change how you react and who you choose to be around.

10. Self-deception. – Your life will improve only when you take small chances. And the first and most difficult chance you can take is to be honest with yourself.

11. A life path that doesn’t feel right. – Life is to be enjoyed, not endured. When you truly believe in what you’re doing, it shows, and it pays. Success in life is for those who are excited about where they are going. It’s about walking comfortably in your own shoes, in the direction of YOUR dreams.

12. Everyone else’s definition of success and happiness. – You simply can’t base your idea of success and happiness on other people’s opinions and expectations.

13. Those who insist on using and manipulating you. – What you allow is what will continue. Give as much as you can, but don’t allow yourself to be used. Listen to others closely, but don’t lose your own voice in the process.

14. Trying to impress everyone. – One of the most freeing things we learn in life is that we don’t have to like everyone, everyone doesn’t have to like us, and that’s perfectly OK. No matter how you live, someone will be disappointed. So just live your truth and be sure YOU aren’t the one who is disappointed in the end.

15. All the fears holding you back. – Fear is a feeling, not a fact. The best way to gain strength and self-confidence is to do what you’re afraid to do. Dare to change and grow. In the end, there is only one thing that makes a dream completely impossible to achieve: Lack of action based on the fear of failure.


Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Rivers State: Life After Mbu

It was a climax that was inevitable and largely predicted by the politically sane class of our fledgling democracy. At some point, it looked like erstwhile Rivers state commissioner of police, Joseph Mbu, was playing god with his position. His excesses were becoming nauseating, and it was only a matter of time before he went into perennial irrelevance. It is instructive that all those he was doing their biddings, couldn’t save his face from the shame that accompanied his redeployment. Mbu’s story is another tragic plot for political sycophants and eye pleasers to learn from: The principal can always dismiss the subject when push comes to shove.

Without stretching the bounds of demands, it is obvious that the new commissioner of police in Rivers state, Tunde Ogunsakin, has his job well cut out. There is no elixir to merry over at such times. The new CP has promised to ‘be fair to all.’ While such statements could suggest a new lease of life for the state, one wonders if his job is really to be fair to all or do what the police primary mission is: Protection of life and property. He should lose less sleep in trying to be fair, because fairness in itself is relative. Try as hard as he might, the detractors will always produce their merchandise at the rumour mill.

Ogunsakin’s deployment to the state should in no way be perceived as a victory of some sorts for the Ameachi faction. The governor and his supporters have not been without blemish in the quagmire, and the new CP should be careful of even Ameachi himself. When all is said and done in politics, it’s boils down to interest. Perhaps, it is not an exaggeration to say that politicians are shameless hypocrites who speak from both sides of their mouths. A reference will suffice here: Rivers state governor, Rotimi Ameachi, recently said that the PDP has failed Nigerians. He might be right; however, he should quit trying to con anyone. This was the same PDP he was elected as speaker of the Rivers state House of Assembly and served for eight years. Indeed, it is the same PDP he has been in as governor until the recent imbroglio. It is easy to haul stones when we are at the other side of the divide. He might be a changed man now, but let him and other ex-PDP vandals spare us all of their many sermons of how the PDP is the worst thing that has happened to Nigerians since the Civil war.

For Tunde Fashakin, his first duty will be to try and redeem the soiled and largely battered image of the Nigerian police in the state. Restoring confidence will not come overnight, but he must give the many people of Rivers state a reason to believe that they can live again without a cloud of impunity hovering over them. Ogunsakin’s resume suggests that he is one of the finest products of the force. He enlisted into the Nigerian police force as a cadet assistant supritendent of police in 1982. He was also a former director of operations in ICPC. Ogunsakin was in charge of the Special Fraud Unit (SFU) at the Force Criminal Investigation Department (FCID) before his new role. Thus, it’s a precedence that tells us of a man who will give the people of Rivers state a peaceful and lawful environment. However, until words and C.V translates into action, there is less reason to start shouting uhuru.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

20 Things To Let Go Before Your Next Birthday

Let go of what isn’t helping your soul smile and grow. – Life is to be enjoyed, not endured. Follow a path that moves you. You are always free to do something that makes you smile.

Let go of the baggage you know you need to leave behind. – As we grow older and wiser, we begin to realize what we need and what we need to leave behind. Sometimes walking away is a step forward.

Let go of feeling like you aren’t making progress fast enough. – No matter how many mistakes you make or how slow you progress, you are still way ahead of everyone who isn’t trying.

Let go of the idea that you have too much to lose. – In the end, you won’t regret the things you’ve done nearly as much as the things you didn’t do when you had the chance. I’d rather have a life of “OH WELLS” than a life of “WHAT IFS.” Wouldn’t you agree?

Let go of worrying about everyone else’s opinions of your life. – When writing the story of your life, don’t let someone else hold the pen.

Let go of your tendency to avoid problems. – You cannot change what you refuse to confront.

Let go of all your empty complaints. – If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change the way you think about it.

Let go of the excuses. – If you really want to do something, you’ll find a way. If you don’t, you’ll find an excus

Let go of lazy attitudes and routines. – You can’t underestimate a person who always works hard. Be that person.
In life, you don’t get what you wish for; you get what you work for.

Let go of making the same mistakes over and over. – You can’t make the same mistake twice. The second time you make it, it’s no longer a mistake, it’s a choice.

Let go of the fantasy of perfection. – If you want to get really good at something, let go of the notion of perfection and replace it with the notion of endless playful exploration.

Let go of believing the best is behind you. – Your life isn’t behind you; your memories are behind you. Your life is always right here, right now. Seize it! Choose to let each of your experiences today be a gateway to an even brighter tomorrow.

Let go of thinking you should always get what you want. – Not getting what you want is sometimes a wonderful stroke of luck.

Let go of the notion that life is fair. – If you expect the world to be fair with you because you are fair, you’re fooling yourself. That’s like expecting the lion not to eat you because you didn’t eat him.

Let go of thinking others have it better than you. – Truthfully, nobody has it easy; everybody has issues. If everybody threw their problems in a pile for you to see, you would likely grab yours back in a heartbeat.

Let go of the expectations that are holding you back. – The quality of your life is always 10% of what happens to you and 90% of how you respond to it.

Let go of thinking there is a perfect time. – You can’t keep waiting for the perfect moment – it doesn’t exist. You must dare to do it today because life is too short to wonder what could have been.

Let go of the need to always feel comfortable. – If you want to make an impact, big or small, get comfortable with being uncomfortable. All growth begins at the end of your comfort zone.

Let go of thinking you have to know everything first. – You don’t have to have it all figure out to move forward. Just do the best you can until you know better. Once you know better, do better.

Let go of the “all or nothing” mentality regarding success. – Appreciate the grey area between the extremes of success and failure – the journey, the experiences, etc. And above all, never let success get to your head or failure get to your heart.

Monday, February 3, 2014

My Years: A Story Of Untold Grace

Sometimes, words fail me.
Sometimes, my mind cannot situate it.
Sometimes, my head cannot figure it.
Sometimes, my heart cannot fathom it.

It's been a score and some years since I arrived on the stage of the world.
A world that was hostile in many ways.
Life's script was a hard tale, and it's prologue was a harsh start.
But like an evergreen actor, I mastered the script and wrote my own lines.
Yet, it was not enough to gain mastery of the story; the acting had to be sublime.

And there was life's stage; overwhelming with intimidating flurry of unpredictable lightings that poured on me.
I had mastered my script, but it wasn't enough to make me the world's finest actor.
Then I learnt, that knowledge is never enough, we always need something more.

As I stand at this point of my life, gazing at the memorable past and anticipating a future of possibilities, I am grateful for entirely everything. I am forever thankful for the shoulders I have stood on so far.

Yet, I am aware of one truth: My life has been a tale of God's unrestricted grace in the life of a man. The journey has been a story of how God's favour can change everything. For me, it has never been about the destination. Rather, it has always been about the things I have been learning along the way of life. It's about the lessons, the seemingly small progress, the little knocks, the daring scars, the daunting tasks. It's about the precarious days, the bitter experiences, the small movements, the gradual pace, the unnoticeable growth. It's about the betrayal of friends, the mockery of relations, the hostility of the world, the trails that sometimes beats us and the things we learn along the way.

Truly, your gifts can take you far, but when God has decided to bless you, there is no telling how far you can go. Grace and favour makes all the difference. As I mark another year to my life, I take no credit for anything, but I give all the praise to God. However, make no mistakes about it, my best days still lurks ahead!