Thursday, March 27, 2014

PETER OBI: A SUCCESS STORY


It is popularly said that some are born great; some achieve greatness, while some have greatness thrust upon them. Governor Peter Obi of Anambra state is a rare combination of the three. His track record is not just exquisite but a model for effective governance. He encapsulates an embodiment of humility, and his selfless service to humanity is absolutely seamless. He is as focused as Christopher Columbus, as courageous as Nelson Mandela, as triumphant as Nnamdi Azikiwe, yet as simple as Mahatma Ghandi.

Born on the 19th of July 1961, Peter Obi attended Christ the King College where he completed his secondary school education. In pursuance of the golden fleece of knowledge, he went to the prestigious University of Nigeria, Nsukka for his tertiary education, where he bagged a Bachelor of Arts degree in Philosophy in 1984. Perhaps, a degree in philosophy helped to broaden his perspectives on issues and mould an impeccable character in him. From the word go, Peter Obi has always had an innate knack for business and the DNA of an entrepreneur. He became Chairman of Next International Nigeria Ltd, Chairman and Director of Guardian Express Mortgage Bank Ltd, Future views Securities Ltd and Chams Nigeria Ltd, to mention but a few. His sterling feats in the world of business confirms that Peter Obi is not your everyday politician, whose primary purpose for seeking electoral offices, is to amass wealth. In truth, he already had enough to take him a lifetime before his foray in politics.

His early days in politics were hallmarked by a myriad of upheaval and a battle for justice. Peter Obi first contested for the governorship elections in 2003 under the platform of the All Progressive Peoples Party (ANPP), but for the shenanigans of crude politicking, his rival, Chris Ngige was declared the winner of the polls. Like a dogged fighter he is, Obi challenged the daylight robbery in court and after three years of litigation, Ngige’s victory was overturned by the Court of Appeal on 15th March 2006. Obi assumed office two days later. However, the godfathers and the political forces that BE, diabolically devised a scheme that impeached him from power on the 2nd of November 2006, and installed his deputy, Virginia Etiaba. Again, Obi was not daunted by the blue murder. He returned to court and was reinstalled again on the 9th of February 2007. After the 2007 elections, Andy Uba assumed the governorship office, but Peter Obi was in court contending that his mandate was not over. On the 14th of June 2007, the Supreme Court upheld this stance. His second term began on the 7th of February 2010, after he humbled Professor Chukwuma Soludo at the polls. Without mincing words, Obi’s litany in politics was a case of standing up for what is right, irrespective of whose ox is gored. Perhaps, his biggest political achievement is in demystifying the sacred cows that held Anambra state to ransom hitherto his becoming governor. Not only has he shunned thuggery and politics devoid of morality, he has become an astute disciple against it. We all know of the infamous chronicle of Chris Uba and Chris Ngige. There were times when the state was ruled by the godfathers and kingpins, while political office holders were at the mercies of these immortal few. Today, the myth of godfatherism has been brought to its barest minimum, and the people’s voice has regained its spark.

It is not for nothing that governor Peter Obi was the first serving governor to be appointed a Special Adviser to the President on Finance. It is also on record that he was the first serving governor to be appointed into the Presidential Economic Management team. Peter Obi practically brought untold development to the people of Anambra state. It is staggering that he has built about 801km of roads across the state during his stint in government. The roads are very cleanly tarred, and the days of plying nightmarish death traps called roads are truly over in the state. To promote wealth creation through commerce and other businesses for which Anambra is known, Obi built the Onitsha Business Park, a modern concept in business concentration; the Nigeria Stock Exchange building, Onitsha; the Internally Revenue generated office; the Brown Sugar Factory at Omor, to mention but a fraction.

Peter Obi came into governance at a time when the public had lost confidence in the educational structure in the state. From secondary schools to tertiary institutions, it was a case of maladministration and avarice. That trend has since been reversed by the governor. Not only are the schools now well equipped, the teachers are now better qualified and motivated in discharging their duties. As a way to ensure accountability and efficiency in the educational system, Peter Obi takes out time to visit schools on a monthly basis. Indeed, it is worth noting that Peter Obi cured a pandemic that was the order of the day in the educational sector. He returned schools taken for over 40 years away from the missionaries back to them, as a way of ensuring fairness and effectiveness.

The tide of transformation has also swept through the health institutions in the state. He has built over an astonishing 200 health centres in the state since he saddled the mantle of leadership. Today, state owned health institutions have gained accreditation and have been well furnished with state of the art facilities. The modernization of the Amaku General hospital which has been touted to be the first teaching hospital erected by a state government was Obi’s making. Same goes for the Umueri General hospital that was burnt and lost to the communal disturbances of 1995. A frugal and prudent manager of resources, despite meeting the coffers of the state in red, he has since transformed the economic fortune through his enviable economic agenda. Not only is the account of the state now in a healthy position, he has invested heavily and saved a lot without incurring foreign debts. Little wonder he was voted THISDAY Newspaper’s best governor on Public Finance Management.

It goes without saying that as a testimony to his sterling leadership he was made the chairman of the South-East Governors Forum, a position he led with unmitigated dexterity. The accolades and recognition that the governor has gotten since he assumed office is unbelievable. Peter Obi is another name for simplicity, but there is no weakness attached to his brand. In every one of the 21 local governments, projects worth billions have been carried out. In the area of Sport development, Peter Obi has been a pace setter. The mini stadia in both Onitsha North and South Local government have helped rekindled the spirit of sportsmanship in the state. Without exaggerating the bounds of reality, Peter Obi has been arguably the busiest governor in the country. As long as the issue concerns the people, he doesn’t know when to stop. His determination to deliver the dividends of democracy to the people of the state is not only unrivalled, but has become something of a sweet obsession for him.

Penultimately, words will not be adequate to fully quantify the sublime legacy of Governor Peter Obi. No doubt, he has etched his name in the annals of history. Long after he is no more, his footprints shall speak volumes and posterity will always summon courage from a life of undettered hard work, concerted convictions, unflinching courage, indelible strength and potent leadership that Peter Obi embodies. He shall remain a reference point for generations to come. For governor elect, Willie Obiano, he has a very large shoe to fill and indeed, Peter Obi is a tough act to follow. However, one can take solace in the fact that it is the hallmark of a good leader to naturally replicate himself through his successor.

Long live Peter Obi, the Okwute Ndigbo!
Long live Anambra state!!
Long live the Federal Republic of Nigeria!!!

Monday, March 17, 2014

30 Must-Do’s While You’re Young Enough to Read This

1. Accept every unique piece of yourself. – The secret to happiness and success is the acceptance of yourself. You will never become who you want to be if you rely on everyone else to qualify you. Own yourself completely, just the way you are, flaws and all. Once you love and accept even the worst possible version of yourself, you are free. So always go with yourself, never against yourself. Be who you were created to be and you will set the world on fire.

2. Make yourself a priority. – Truth be told, there are only a few people in this world who will stay 100% true to you, and YOU should be one of them. Prioritize your own needs into your daily to-do’s.

3. Take positive action. – Don’t sit back and let things happen to you. Go out and happen to things. You are what you do, not what you say you’ll do. Stop saying “I wish” and start saying “I will.” Turn your cant’s into cans and your dreams into plans.

4. Do the work. – 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. Always remember that the task ahead of you is never greater than the strength within you. Do what’s right, not what’s easy. Your dreams are worth it.

5. Focus on priorities. – Don’t be busy; be productive. The purpose of life is to live a life of purpose. Make your time and presence count. Focus on what matters and let go of what does not.

6. Take calculated risks. – Why not go out on a limb? That’s where the fruit is. You know this. In life, if you don’t risk anything, you risk everything. All growth begins at the end of your comfort zone. So take a step in faith today. You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.

7. Keep on stepping. – Focus on the small things you can do right now, not the big things you can’t. SMALL changes can make a BIG difference in the end. When in doubt just take the next small step. Sometimes the smallest step in the right direction ends up being the biggest step of your life.

8. Give yourself all the approval you need. – If you want to achieve greatness, stop asking for everyone’s approval. You don’t need anyone’s approval to be happy or to follow your heart.

9. Fight hard for what you believe in. – Great strength comes from overcoming what others think is impossible. And sometimes you have to lose the battle to win the war. So if you believe strongly in something, fight for it. In time things will fall into place… maybe not today, but eventually… maybe not exactly how you planned, just how it’s meant to be.

10. Allow life to happen like it’s supposed to. – You can’t force things to happen; you can only drive yourself crazy trying. There’s a time and place for everything. So don’t force what’s not yet supposed to fit into your life. When it’s meant to be, it will be. Work hard, be patient.

11. Embrace every experience for what it’s worth. – For everything you have lost, you have gained something else. In fact, sometimes life doesn’t give you what you WANT because you NEED something else. And what you need often comes when you’re not looking for it.

12. Be mindful in tough times. – Keep calm when things go wrong. You may feel weak, but your spirit is strong. Remember that there are two kinds of pain: pain that hurts and pain that changes you. But when you accept life, instead of resisting it, both kinds help you grow.

13. Admit your frustrations and face your fears. – Sometimes what you don’t want is exactly what you need. Sometimes what you’re most afraid of doing is the very thing that will set you free.

14. Enjoy yourself. – Be positive and smile right now, not because everything is good, but because you can see the good side of everything.

15. Give yourself short morning pep-talks. – One small positive thought in the morning can change your whole day. Make this a ritual.

16. Look around in appreciation of your remarkable life. – Good or bad, just smile. You have a lot to be thankful for. Never forget it… Don’t be negative when you have so much to be positive about. Life is “give and take.” Give thanks and take nothing for granted. Believe it, right now someone is praying for the things you take for granted.

17. Take guilt-free breaks. – How freeing would it be to not feel guilty about the things you “should” be doing every single second? Yes, it’s healthy to work diligently on meaningful goals, but don’t berate yourself for not doing more than you’re able to. Find your balance between activity and recovery. Learn to let go and relax when you need a break.

18. Delete the needless excess. – When things aren’t adding up in your life, start subtracting. Life gets easier when you delete the things and people that make it difficult. Remember that giving up doesn’t always mean you’re weak. Sometimes it means you’re strong enough and smart enough to let go and move on in the right direction.

19. Let the people who are already gone, GO. – Some people pass through our lives in a shorter time frame than we had hoped to teach us things they never could have taught if they stayed. Recognize this when it happens, and accept it.

20. Enjoy the company of those who lift you higher. – Know that it’s less important to have more friends and more important to have real ones. Sooner or later, you just want to be around the people who make you smile. So spend as much time as possible with those who help you love yourself more.

21. Listen at least as much as you talk. – In the end, there is only one rule for being a good talker and a good friend: listening. In other words, we do not always need a mind that speaks, just a patient heart that listens.

22. Let love win. – Love conquers all. Share your love. It doesn’t need to be perfect. It just needs to be true.

23. Learn to forgive without resistance. – Never let an argument last, never hold a grudge; both will make your heart heavy. Forgiveness is one of the primary keys to happiness. When you choose to forgive those who have hurt you, you take away their power over you. So go ahead and say it: “I forgive you.” Even better yet, go ahead and forgive those who have yet to hurt you, and you won’t have to worry about it should the time come.

24. Act out of untethered kindness. – Your beliefs alone don’t make you a better person, your behavior does. Use your voice for kindness, your ears for compassion, and your hands for charity, always. Learn to give without any reason. Make doing so a daily ritual.

25. Uphold your strength of character. – Character is how you treat those who can do nothing for you. So today, and every day, do something nice for someone who will never be able to repay you.

26. Give the strangers around you a chance. – Be friendly. A simple hello could lead to a million things. And there is a purpose for everyone you will ever meet. Some will test you, some will teach you, and some will bring out the very best in you.

27. Stay in touch with reality. – Lies only exist if we believe in them. The truth shall indeed set you free in the end. Whenever negativity creeps into your conscious, ask yourself: Is it true?

28. Learn from the past, but don’t live in it. – Don’t stress about the closed doors behind you. New doors are opening every moment and you will see them if you keep moving forward. Sometimes you have to accept the fact that things will never go back to how they used to be, and that this ending is really a new beginning.

29. Worry less. – Stop over thinking and worrying. Life is too short for that. Worry and rumination are the worst enemies to living happily in the present.

30. Pay attention to the present. – Realize that the source of most of your frustrations and anxiety are the result of living in the past, or future. Right now is life – the only life you have. Don’t miss it.

(MANDG).

Monday, March 10, 2014

POETRY: It’s Called Life!

It’s called Life
This tale of puzzling content
This litany of precarious events
This story of uncommon plot.

It’s called Life
This cunny fellow
This episode of Karma
This myriad of mysteries.

It’s called Life,
This insensate rhapsody
This plethora of indecipherable scenes
This panorama of uncertainties.

It’s called Life
This movie of untellable ending
This troubadour of many traverses
This journey of masked surprises.

It’s called life
This impromptu teacher
This mystic friend
This witting fellow.

It’s called Life
A road we all travel once
A trip we all must make
A fleeting trip
Many go into it encumbered with luggage
Others travel with many distractions
Few travel lightly
A fraction arrive at the coast
It’s called Life.

Monday, March 3, 2014

7 Powerful Beliefs that Will Free You from Negativity

1.What other people say about me is their problem, not mine. – Don’t take other people’s negativity personally. Most negative people behave negatively not just to you, but to everyone they interact with. What they say and do is a projection of their own reality. Even when a situation seems personal – even if someone insults you directly – it often times has nothing to do with you. What others say and do, and the opinions they have, are based entirely on their own self-reflection.

2.I am free to be ME. – Can you remember who you were before the world told you who you should be? Happiness is found when you stop comparing yourself to everyone else and what they want. Stop living for other people and their opinions. Be true to yourself. You are the only person in charge of your life. The only question is: What do you want to do with the rest of it?

3.Life isn’t perfect, but it sure is great. – Our goal shouldn’t be to create a perfect life, but to live an imperfect life in radical amazement. To get up every morning and take and good look around in a way that takes nothing for granted. Everything is extraordinary. Every day is a gift. Never treat life casually. To be spiritual in any way is to be amazed in every way.

4.It’s okay to have down days. – Expecting life to be wonderful all the time is wanting to swim in an ocean in which waves only rise up and never come crashing down. However, when you recognize that the rising and crashing waves are part of the exact same ocean, you are able to let go and be at peace with the reality of these ups and downs. It becomes clear that life’s ups require life’s downs.

5.Even when I’m struggling, I have so much to be grateful for. – What if you awoke today with only the things you were thankful for yesterday? We tend to forget that happiness doesn’t come as a result of getting something we don’t have, but of appreciating everything we do have. Stress thrives when your worry list is longer than your gratitude list. Happiness thrives when your gratitude list is longer than your worry list. So find something to be thankful for right now.

6.Every experience is just another important lesson. – Disappointments and failure are two of the surest stepping-stones to success. So don’t let a hard lesson harden your heart. When things go wrong, learn what you can and then push the tragedies and mistakes aside. Remember, life’s best lessons are often learned at the worst times and from the worst mistakes. We must fail in order to know, and hurt in order to grow. Good things often fall apart so better things can fall together in their place.

7.Not everything is meant to stay. – Change can be terrifying, yet all positive growth and healing requires change. Sometimes you have to find the good in goodbye. Because the past is a place of reference, not a place of residence. Be strong when everything seems to be going wrong, keep taking small steps, and eventually you will find what you’re looking for. Learn to trust the journey, even when you do not understand it.

(MANDG).