Friday, July 31, 2015

Buhari and The Burden of Patience

It’s approximately two months since Muhammadu Buhari took the oath of allegiance as the number one citizen of this nation at the revered Eagles Square. Perhaps, his speech is best remembered for the now famous quote ‘I belong to everyone and I belong to no one.’ However, as he might have found out, talk is cheap and in an era where it was a cloud of expectations that fanned the embers of his elections, the detractors and many Nigerians have not been impressed with his start.

It will be foolhardy to pass an assessment on the Buhari administration just yet, as one expects the jury to still be out for at least two more years or so. However, the early indications have served as pointers on what to expect.

Undoubtedly, the biggest criticism that has trailed the early days of Buhari’s administration has been his ‘seeming’ delay in appointing his cabinet. A school of thought argues that he had since March 31st to start firming up his list but his delay indicates that perhaps he is ill-prepared for the job. However, the apologists say that he might indeed have a list but looking to clear the backlog of filth, before he gets his team on board. Moreover, they maintain, events since the election victory might have made him to have a re-think on the men and women he had earlier enlisted. However, while both sides of the divide have its merits, it is important to say that two months without a ministerial list is not a treasonable offence by the president, as some will like us to believe.

Another major criticism that has trailed the president’s first 60 days has been around his early appointments. In a nation still sharply divided across ethnic and religious lines, any of such high profile appointments by the nation’s number one citizen is bound to be subjected to such scrutiny. While meritocracy should never be sacrificed for mediocrity in the name of federal character, one expects President Buhari to know better. The best man for the job should always get the job but a caveat will suffice here: You can find the best man in no one part of the country alone. Ours is a fledgling democracy and the government of the day must recognize that it still requires adequate tendering and their actions and inactions will be telling to this development.

What is more? The EFCC under Ibrahim Lamorde since Buhari’s ascension has appeared to have found its foot again. To be fair to the renewed vigour of the anti-graft agency, it is only normal that the beehive of its activities will happen after every change of government as the immunity clause that often protects such lofty offices will then have been stripped. Juxtapose that with the ‘Fight Against Corruption’ mantra of the Buhari administration since its electioneering days, then one will expect all the anti-graft agencies to be firing on all cylinders. However, criticisms that have been meted to this fight have been one of political undertone. The PDP has been selling the dummy to anyone that cares to buy, that the ruling government has been using the EFCC to target its members. While selective judgment is never a great way to fight corruption, it evades the real question. Are those the EFCC are after guilty of the offence they are been charged with? Are they truly corrupt? Were they a party to the financial malpractice? In a democracy that is serious, that should be the discourse. It is no gainsaying that corruption in its totality has raped our nation for so long with reckless abandon. The fight against corruption must start with some people and if those persons happen to be in the opposition, it shouldn’t matter. However, going forward, the Buhari administration must recognize that Nigerians are well aware of the track records of the politicians and henchmen that surround him. It will be an incomplete fight against corruption if it is not holistic and all inclusive. It goes without saying that strengthening the anti-graft institutions in power and resources will determine how far this fight goes.

A worrying development that has snowballed since the Buhari administration commenced, and that must be cited is the enhanced bombings and killings in the North East by the Boko Haram sect. What is even more curious about this is that the previous government of Goodluck Jonathan appeared to be winning the war in the twilight of its administration, if what we read and hear in the news were anything to go by. How this administration was not able to consolidate on this seemingly victory remains a grey point. Having said that, protection of lives and properties remains the primary raison d’etre of the government, and while the method of achieving that is the prerogative of the government, all the people want is for this to be achieved. Security is everyone’s business but the government must show some effective leadership in this space.

In conclusion, some of the criticisms that have trailed the early days of the Buhari administration have been unfair and misplaced, but absolutely understandable. It was crystal clear from the onset that Nigerians would not be patient with the new government. The government was conceived under the clout of expectations and the change creed was it biggest selling point. Thus, it must grapple with that burden of expectations for as long as it remains in power. While many Nigerians will have to manage their expectations and tell themselves the home truth that this entity will take a while to be fixed, the government must show a bit of urgency in its efforts in fixing this country. The nation is bedeviled with a plethora of ills and patience is not a language best understood in this part of the world, especially in a desperate time such as this.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

30 Great Movie Quotes That Will Inspire You

1. Woody once risked his life to save me. I couldn’t call myself his friend if I weren’t willing to do the same. – Buzz Lightyear, Toy Story

2. You can’t live your life for other people. You’ve got to do what’s right for you, even if it hurts some people you love. - The Notebook

3. Ohana means family, family means nobody gets left behind. Or forgotten. – Lilo, Lilo and stitch

4. The very things that hold you down are going to lift you up. – Timothy Mouse, Dumbo

5. Venture outside your comfort zone. The rewards are worth it. – Rapunzel,Tangled

6. You control your destiny — you don’t need magic to do it. And there are no magical shortcuts to solving your problems. – Merida, Brave

7. Oh yes the past can hurt. But you can either run from it, or learn from it.– Rafiki, Lion King

8. When life gets you down do you wanna know what you’ve gotta do? Just keep swimming! – Dory, Finding Nemo

9. You must not let anyone define your limits because of where you come from. Your only limit is your soul.” – Gusteau, Ratatouille

10. It is not our abilities that show what we truly are… it is our choices. - Dumbledore, from Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

11. Fairy tales can come true. You gotta make them happen, it all depends on you. – Tiana, Princess and the Frog

12. Don’t ever let somebody tell you you can’t do something, not even me. Alright? You dream, you gotta protect it. People can’t do something themselves, they wanna tell you that you can’t do it. If you want something, go get it. Period. - Chris Gardner, The Pursuit of Happyness

13. The flower that blooms in adversity is the most rare and beautiful of all.” – The Emperor, Mulan

14. You think the only people who are people, are the people who look and think like you. But if you walk the footsteps of a stranger, you’ll learn things you never knew you never knew.” – Pocahontas, Pocahontas

15. You can’t force someone to like you. It takes time for friendship to grow. – Cody, Suite Life of Zack and Cody

16. To laugh yourself is to love yourself. – Mickey Mouse, Mickey Mouse

17. When there’s too much to do, don’t let it bother you. Forget your troubles. –Snow White, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

18. Our lives are defined by opportunities, even the ones we miss. - The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

19. Put your faith in what you most believe in. – Tarzan, Tarzan

20. A little consideration, a little thought for others, makes all the difference. – Eeyore, Winnie the Pooh

21. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us. - Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring

22. I know every mile will be worth my while. I would go most anywhere to feel like I belong. – Hercules, Hercules

23. I don’t regret the things I’ve done, but those I did not do. - Empire Records

24. Get busy living, or get busy dying. - Andy Dufresne/Tim Robbins, The Shawshank Redemption

25. If you are looking for ransom, I can tell you I don't have money. But what I do have are a very particular set of skills, skills I have acquired over a very long career. Skills that make me a nightmare for people like you. - Bryan Mills/Liam Neeson, Taken

26. If you’re going to try, go all the way. Otherwise don’t even start. This could mean losing girlfriends, wives, relatives, jobs. And maybe your mind. It could mean not eating for three or four days. It could mean freezing on a park bench. It could mean jail. It could mean derision. It could mean mockery, isolation. Isolation is the gift. All the others are a test of your endurance. Of how much you really want to do it. And you’ll do it, despite rejection in the worst odds. And it will be better than anything else you can imagine. – Factotum

27. To find something, anything, a great truth or a lost pair of glasses, you must first believe there will be some advantage in finding it. - All the King’s Men

28. Only if you find peace within yourself will you find true connection with others. - Before Sunrise

29. Some people can’t believe in themselves until someone else believes in them first. – Sean Maguire, Good Will Hunting

30. Being perfect is not about that scoreboard out there. It’s not about winning. It’s about you and your relationship with yourself, your family and your friends. Being perfect is about being able to look your friends in the eye and know that you didn’t let them down because you told them the truth. And that truth is you did everything you could. There wasn’t one more thing you could’ve done. Can you live in that moment as best you can, with clear eyes, and love in your heart, with joy in your heart? If you can do that gentleman – you’re perfect! – Coach Gary Gaines, Friday Night Lights

Saturday, July 11, 2015

5 Things You Should Be Able to Smile About in 5 Years

1. The fact that you didn’t talk yourself out of doing your thing.

Walt Disney once said, “Around here, we don’t look backwards for very long. We keep moving forward, opening up new doors and doing new things, because we’re curious – and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.”

This is one of my favorite quotes. It inspires me to write and create. And to move on to my next piece of work, even when I catch myself judging my last piece of work as “not good enough.”

“I thought this was a great article. Why aren’t people reading and sharing it?” Or I’ll feel like I fumbled through an article only to watch it receive 50,000+ shares on Facebook. Regardless of which outcome I’m dealing with, I’ve realized one thing: As human beings, we are often terrible judges of our own work. We are just too self-critical to see the truth most of the time.

And not only that, it’s not our job to judge our own work. It’s not our job to compare it to everyone else’s work, or to how we thought others would perceive it. There’s no use in doing that.

Instead, it’s our job to create. Our job is to share what we have right now in this moment. Our job is to come as we are and give it our best shot.

There are people in nearly every career field who make each day a work of art simply by the way they have mastered their craft. In other words, almost everyone is an artist in some way. And every artist will have the tendency to judge their own work. The important thing is to not let your self-judgment talk you out of doing your thing and sharing your creative and unique gifts with the world.

Just like Walt said, the key is to “keep moving forward.”

2. Memories of persevering through some of your story’s greatest challenges.

Sadly, most people give up on their life stories far too early. They come out of school or college wanting to change the world, wanting to build an enterprise, wanting to make lots of money, wanting to start a family and live happily ever after. But they get into the middle of it all and discover it’s way harder than they anticipated. They encounter many setbacks, and they can’t see anything over the distant horizon anymore. So they wonder if their efforts are moving them forward. None of the trees behind them are getting smaller and none of the ones ahead are getting larger… at least not fast enough. So they take it out on their family and friends, and themselves, and they go aimlessly looking for an easier path that doesn’t fulfill them.

Don’t be one of these people.

As Winston Churchill once said, “Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm.”

Good things don’t come easy. True strength consists of what you do on the third, fourth and fifth tries.

Know this!

Never give up on your story. Don’t ever give in. Don’t ever stop trying. Don’t ever sell out or sell yourself short. Life is tough, but you are tougher. Your journey isn’t supposed to be easy, it’s supposed to be worth it. To never struggle is to never grow. It doesn’t matter what’s happened or what you’ve done; what matters is what you choose to do from here. Accept the circumstances, learn from them, and take another step forward, every day.

3. Moments of appreciating what you have, right now, right where you are.

The universe is always talking to us… sending us little messages, causing coincidences, and serendipitous events, reminding us to stop, to look around, and to believe in something special, something more.

But this special something isn’t somewhere else. It’s right where you are.

Sometimes you have to stop searching, and just BE. You aren’t missing anything anywhere else. You’re missing the goodness in front of you.

Let me assure you, you could run around trying to do everything, and travel around the world, and always stay connected, and work and party all night long without sleep, but you could never do it all. You will always be missing something, and thus it will always seem like something amazing might be happening elsewhere. Focusing on this is obviously futile.

Hustle, work hard, and seek adventure, but do it with your eyes wide open and focused on your present step.

You have everything right now. The best in life isn’t somewhere else; it’s right where you are, at this moment. Notice it, and make it memorable.

4. The peace of mind that comes from letting go.

The more you talk about it, debate it, rethink it, rehash it, cross-analyze it, get paranoid about it, track it, respond to it, contend with it, complain about it, immortalize it, cry over it, kick it, insult it, gossip about it, pray over it, put it down or dissect its motives… it continues to fester and rot in your mind.

It’s time to accept that it’s over! It’s dead! It’s gone. It’s done. It’s time to bury it because it’s stinking up your life, and no one wants to be near your rotted corpse of bad memories, or your decaying attitude. Be the funeral director of your past life and bury that thing once and for all!

Holding on is being brave, but letting go and moving on is often what makes us stronger and happier in the end. Give yourself this gift so you can grow and smile again.

5. Your own acts of selfless giving.

My personal heroes are everyday visionaries and dreamers, those beautiful people among us who try to make the world a better place than when they found it, whether in tiny ways or enormous ones. Some succeed, some fail, most have mixed results… but it’s the effort itself that’s heroic, as I see it. Win or lose, I admire those who fight the good fight.

I challenge you to take a page out of their book. Because, win or lose, it’s this act of fighting for something greater than yourself that makes your story an inspiring one in the long run.

As Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, “The purpose of life is not to simply be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well.”


Monday, July 6, 2015

Poem: Half-Time, Full Triumph!

Its mid-year, and time have travelled, events have unraveled, situations have happened but we have triumphed!

He told us it was going to be a year of notable success, of notable victories, of uncommon feats. We look back and true to type, it has been a myriad of unflinching success. He told us it was going to be a triumphant year, he told us it was going to be hallmarked with notable achievements, today, look at us. He told us that in the world this year we will have tribulations, but he reminded us to be of good cheer, for we won the race before we even started. We conquered before the rest of the world knew what was happening.

And as our minds wonder in hindsight, as our thoughts peruse the last six months, as our memory does a flashback, and as we reflect on what has been, we are grateful. Grateful for a triumphant half, where we have smashed records, walked on water, flew on eagles wings and defied the odds.

In the first half of the year, his word has been our fortress. We have received insights that have made us supermen! From the epoch making Fire conference to the unleashing of uncommon wealth at the 8 days of glory, he has set us on new pedestals that no man can ignore us.
And make no mistakes about it.

In these last six months, life has happened. The storms have beaten on us. People have despised us. Events have challenged our convictions. Friends have mocked at our belief. Life challenges have come in a plethora of ways. But yet, like an iroko tree who knows no fall, we have remained unshaken, unbeaten and undeterred. They marvel at us. They wonder how we can be going through diverse storms and still keep a smile, and still keep a cheerful countenance and still keep a winning heart. Some of them have said we are no ordinary men. They are right, we are no ordinary species. We are God’s finest, the ingenuities of his craft, his sublime offsprings. In short, supermen! We look back at the challenges of the past six months and we say, bring on more. For in them, our triumph has been evident to all men!

We come with a magnitude of gratitude. We come with an altitude of beatitude. We come with a vastitude of solitude. This God, our heart beats, it beats only for him. His faithfulness defiles our comprehension. The boundary of his love knows no limit, and of a truth, he has been good to us.

It’s only six months gone; yet, our mind boggles in sweet relish on what is ahead for us. For if at halftime the score line is already 7-0, imagine what will happen at fulltime. This success is more certain than the dawn of the morning. Our victory is more assured than the rising of the sun and our monumental triumph is more real than the chair you sit on. It’s half-time and it’s already full triumph. Imagine what will happen, when it is fulltime!

Written in commemoration of CE Mid-Year Thanksgiving Service!