BRING BACK OUR GIRLS…

Under our watch, posterity is being decimated, lives are being cut short and our future is at risk.

Under our watch, posterity is being decimated, lives are being cut short and our future is at risk.

At a critical time in the economic and political history of this country when the masses are craving for change and a better life, that expectation is about to be cut short by a few enemies of the state and the Nigerian people.

We must not relent as a people, our resolve to conquer the enemy must remain strong and unshaken and most importantly let us maximize the potency of our diversity,unite and fight this common enemy.

Our leaders must therefore be on their toes, put their minds to optimum use, and as a matter of necessity stop this madness. It would be worthy to note that our territorial integrity is being threatened and this must not be allowed to happen.

I must say this, we are already in a state of war and should start living with that mentality until we win through to absolute victory.

God bless Nigeria!

NIGERIA:HOW DID WE GET HERE?

We shall overcome; Lord save our Nation and heal our land!

We shall overcome; Lord save our Nation and heal our land!

Oh my dear country Nigeria, why have you turned and going down this dreadful path, from whence hath thou fallen almost at a point of oblivion. The success of almost 54 years is almost crashing within just 3 years. Even the civil war couldn’t break us, why is this one now bringing us paralysed to our knees. Without doubt we are a great nation; in size we stand tall, in resources we are abundantly endowed, in personnel we always produce the finest of men and women, by all standards our potential are optimal enough to make us a world power. Instead we have been on a downward trend, stagnated by the making of our hands, we have over the years orchestrated our own failure. The very essence of life and existence, our leadership has failed us, so every other thing has no choice but to keep crashing. Poverty is on the increase, power is epileptic, thr citizenry is confused, unemployment is skyrocketing, crime is the order of the day, yet we have people who are suppose to be in control.

Over the years, we have had some rough times, the 1965 and 1966 pogrom that culminated into 30-month a civil war and after that we dusted ourselves and moved on as Nigerians. The death toll of those times went up to over 3 million people, yet we are still one as Nigerians. Other trying times have come and gone; 1993 election crises, the Niger Delta militancy and a lot more We have all lived and existed through them.

The most recent trial we are facing now is the Boko Haram menace that has lingered for 3 years now. Quite a number of reasons have been given for their terror but as it is right now, these people are killing senselessly with no reservation or even come out to state their grievances. In fact they have actually declared a war against the Nigerian government and the Nigerian people, so the government should see that way also. We are at war already. I wouldn’t want to believe that they are stronger than our entire military and security personnel or even over 170 million people. The government must at this time involve, import and maximize every tactic and techniques in fighting terrorism and security issues. If we have to involve foreign nations or mercenaries, then so we must. The government must act based on the words of the constitution that seeks to promote the good of government and welfare of all persons in our country. This is not time to play politics because if we are not careful, this crises will get to a point where people will now start relocating. Our territorial integrity is already threatened and this we must defend at all cost.

If these people are actually here then finding them shouldn’t be a problem. We can search them out and make them face the consequences of their actions. And if they are from foreign lands, we must make our stand known to these countries, even if it means showing the might of our military. Nigerians deserve peace and security in their land and no nation can deprive us that.

Finally, if the government really wants this nation to be one by next year, now is the time to act and end this madness. Every technology for combating terror must come to play here and everyone must be willing to cooperate.

May the souls of those lost in previous attacks rest in peace. They are the victims and heroes of this war we are fighting.

TO LOVE…

“Sometimes we search this world for gold, when all we really need is a hand to hold…” -Dianna Ross

This is something people experience everyday, some live it and really enjoy it, while some others feel it is over-rated. To me it is the most widely sung word in the history of contemporary music. It has a way of making men and women do the unthinkable yet there are some others who believe is just a mirage and an expression built on fallacy.

Yes I have taken a chance at it, in fact we all have especially that love for family and friends. We have one way or the other received love from other people. “I am in love”, “I love you”, “I fallen in love”, are the common expressions of men and women. Whichever the case, it just points to the fact that you have been important to someone or you have someone you regard so.

When you experience it, you tend to give your all for it to last. You give your time,money,energy, resources and even your life. Some people feel like butterflies running in their stomach when in it, you find people whose cheer alone radiates the feeling of being loved.

Love gives you some sort of security, you enjoy companionship, you give out all without feeling it. You can be stupid for love, crazy for it,die for it and even kill for it.

In order not to paint it all rosy, it can also hurt, put you through pains, make you do stupid things. Yes it could push you to the limits. There is nothing as painful as giving an unappreciated love. Being blind in love can be possible but sometimes reality dawns on you then you accept that love can actually see. After all it is what you see that prompts your giving love. Being hurt in love sounds unrealistic because you actually should be happy in it, but sometimes things get beyond your control; that’s when people say love is stupid, I hate being in love or a proclamation of hate to the one you once loved.

Love is indeed beautiful when it is right and genuine. I love my boo, *winks and family and I love you out there.

For the love of the season shown to us by Christ I say Happy Good Friday and Easter…

Emeka D. Azubuike.

CDA

The Uncertain Generation: An NYSC Experience…

The would be assets of our Nation are gradually turning into huge liabilities as the days go by...

The would be assets of our Nation are gradually turning into huge liabilities as the days go by…

Having been in school for all these long years (like 19yrs) preparing and equipping oneself on thriving and facing the challenges of the future. The National Youth Service Corps program is always something most graduates look up to, especially the orientation course of 3 weeks. On a personal note I cherish what I passed through within those three weeks and thank God for what he yet opened my eyes to observe and ruminate upon.

Ooh it was filled with about 2900 graduate from higher institutions of learning both within and outside Nigeria. Youths who have undergone the stress of studying and passing exams with so much hope of landing a good paying job and start living the much talked about and anticipated future. To me all I could think about throughout was how the future is now the staring us all in the face, the question now is how many of us are ready to embrace it? Yes and yes I met quite a number of people, interacted with some and most of them can be categorized as men and women who are just so satisfied with the status quo of life, society and events. Most still wanted to continue the cycle of fun they just came out of school with, irrespective of what faces Nigeria as a Nation (an unemployment rate of 23percent , and most within age 18-25yrs).The age bracket form about 70 percent of the 170 million people that make up Nigeria.

In the course of the orientation, we had people come to talk to us on professional exams, jobs, entrepreneurship and all. One thing I asked myself was this; if I enroll for a professional exam does it really guarantee much, for the case of getting a good job or starting a good business. Everyone of them had something to say just to give all of us hope for the already waiting future but of course not everyone showed interest. Ours is a unique generation that the older generation has left to wonder away for so long. They have been allowed to decide the fate of the nation for so long unfortunately mostly in the wrong direction. They still remain the past, present and future leaders while the 70s and 80s generation remain mostly dormant.

Every year Nigerian universities churn out graduates in varying disciplines and what we are told everyday is that there are no jobs, to me that at all is not a laudable excuse for a government to give. The common one now is the privatization of varying government owned institutions and infrastructure that I still ask, if everything is privatized what then will be the role of government? The government is too large an institution to just be regulators of an economy alone. Government has the full capacity to create millions of jobs more than any private establishment.

I am not being a prophet of doom here but one can imagine the number of these corpers who might not get job to do after their service year, those who might get frustrated and resort to crime, God help us! My fear will always remain the same that we won’t have a power vacuum in the next 20yrs to come.

If peradventure, these present youth don’t build capacity and gain experience then we might be heading to a precipice in no time.

GOD BLESS NIGERIA!

Emeka D. Azubuike
Currently serving in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja,Nigeria.

Youth Development, as a Holistic Approach to Youth transformation in Africa.

Youth Development, as a Holistic Approach to Youth transformation in Africa.

By Owoseni Abraham

As I returned from the BMC youth forum last week, a forum instituted to celebrate the Common Wealth Youth Week in Nigeria, it dawned on me that Nigeria, is at the verge of the envisage transformation, with regards to young people. The thematic focus of the conference was on employability skills, life skills and the proposal of other value systems in ameliorating the allied youth challenges, with unemployment being the loudest.

I came to a conclusion that , the much awaited change is knocking at the door. So the question remains, “will you open the door for it to come in?” This emphasizes the focus of this article-Presenting Youth Development as a holistic approach to youth transformation in Africa.

With a youthful population of about 80 million, and a vibrant and energetic crop of young folks, Nigeria stands to be a blessed a nation, if only this national demographic distribution can he maximized and positively managed. If well properly harnessed, the population of youths in Nigeria, will be a formidable weapon for national development and transformation.

I have come to discover, that this can only be brought to bear, by a conscious growth process known as Youth development. Recently, I did a research work on youth development, and the allied structured programs, that can aid the development of youths!

Youth development is the ongoing growth process in which all youth are engaged in attempting to meet their basic personal and social needs to be safe, feel cared for, be valued, be useful, and be spiritually grounded, and to build skills and competencies that allow them to function and contribute in their daily lives. (Pittman, 1993). This definition accurately describes youth development as a process that all young people go through on the way to adulthood.

Owoseni Abraham is a youth development strategist and a public speaker. An architect by training and man who truly loves the Lord. He is presently undergoing the compulsory National Youth Service Corps program in Lagos State,Nigeria. You can reach him on twitter @AbrahamOwoseni

CDA

RE-VISITING TED CRUZ’S NIGERIAN SPITE

RE-VISITING TED CRUZ’S NIGERIAN SPITE

By Ukah Macdonald

It is just as well that United States Senator, Ted Cruz, eventually did the honours civility required of him and apologized for his utterly silly remark about Nigeria whilst attempting to leverage on the challenges besetting President Obama’s health care reform infrastructure a few weeks ago to undermine the White House. This writer recognizes that his categorization of Cruz’s comments as “silly” could even arouse debate, the sort that would revolve around the accuracy of Cruz’s references to Nigeria. After all, there truly have been and still are Nigerian e-mail scammers; the damage done by that nefarious collective on this nation’s image would continue to unfold in debacles not dissimilar to this one.

My contention is that Cruz’s comments are silly because he is supposed to be, well, a statesman. (Perhaps I forget that the preposterous drama he and his fellow Tea Party wackos in the United States legislature had wrought in the weeks leading up to that infamous speech in Texas essentially denies him any appellation remotely related to statesmanship.) It is a regular feature on the menu of political speechmaking to project humour, especially intelligent humour. And, depending on the context, statesmen could extend the frontiers of this literary license beyond national boundaries. True statesmen, however, realize that they are bound by an unwritten code of civility to watch what they say, lest they set off needless and absurd diplomatic spats. Tacitly insulting a domestic political opponent is one thing and might even make for good fun if the insult is elegantly delivered; insulting an entire nation is quite another. Ted Cruz failed to make this distinction and it may be immensely reflective of how unfit he is to be a Washington top shot. More about that later.

The swift move by the Nigerian diplomatic mission in the United States to demand an apology from Cruz is in order. Crucially, it is the most appropriate response that any diplomatic officialdom should put up given the circumstances. The corresponding offer of an apology by Cruz should do enough to sate the egos of the Nigerian nationalist instinct. Nigerians at home and in the diaspora were not coy about expressing their dismay by whatever medium they could. Certain segments of this angry constituency, perhaps temporarily forgetting the prevailing configuration of global power and the limitations they place on nations that do not belong in the higher echelons, demanded that the Nigerian officialdom do something, anything substantive to undermine the Texas Senator’s career.

Beside the quixotic nature of this demand lies the failure of those making the call to recognize that the blustering Senator essentially denigrated himself as he spoke. To any electorate operating at deeper levels of thought and perception, Cruz’s comments, alongside the antecedents that have made him popular in recent months, would offer a sufficient profile of him as unfit to lead. It should be somewhat disturbing then that he is already being touted as a potential flag-bearer for the Republican Party in the American presidential elections in 2016. But it isn’t, not to those who are acutely aware of the deteriorating conditions of global political leadership. Stacked up against their heroic predecessors, many of whom they quote copiously and mischievously to convey duplicitous messages, many of today’s world leaders are just not worth their salt. The malady is pervasive and global.

The underpinning arrogance that was betrayed by the careless remark offers rationale for an interrogation of humanity’s propensity for prejudiced profiling. That propensity remains a recurring decimal especially in the elitist conservative echelon of western society. This is the class that the likes of Cruz represent. But there were other pathetic actors in this spectacular drama sketch that remind us that the tendency for such profiling is not exclusively elitist.
Cruz spoke to a patronizing crowd. One can’t fathom that all those in that congregation were elitists. It was interesting to listen to the crowd as they gratuitously acknowledged Cruz’s epigram. The average congregant at that Texas gathering is bound to the likes of Cruz by the yarns of ideology, political opinion and similar tendency to condescend towards supposedly lesser civilizations. However, one distinction that could be made between Cruz on one hand and the crowd on the other is the wealth of information that each group possesses, information on which basis one might evaluate their roles in the drama.

Cruz is a political office holder and that accords him certain privileges, one of which is access, however limited, to comprehensive intelligence on the world beyond America’s shores. Those who produce this intelligence are adept at what they do; their intelligence briefs on the Nigerian condition would bother on more substantive issues than the criminal activities of a small segment of the Nigerian populace. That is a second reason why Cruz’s conduct on the matter is reproachable: he is positioned to know better than to magnify that small component of the Nigerian story whilst making a major political statement.

The crowd he spoke to does not however enjoy this privilege. They can raise their awareness on the dynamics of the Nigerian condition and thus modulate their responses to blusters like Cruz’s by leveraging on the components that constitute the impressive infrastructure of the Information Age – mass media, the internet, social networking. It however takes genuine interest to do this. Outside academic, missionary, non-governmental and mainstream political cum intelligence citadels, the required levels of genuine interest can hardly be found.

The message is the comparative ignorance of those in the crowd. This ignorance features regularly in the testimonies of those in the diaspora who return home to share their experiences in the West. “They don’t know jack about us” is a popular refrain you get from Nigerians who have been to these lands and returned when asked the relevant question. If it should be of any comfort, this phenomenon of ignorance sits oddly with the growing awareness in these parts of the world about the cultural construct of western societies, facilitated by the aforementioned horsemen of the Information Age.

Owing to the socio-cultural power and influence of western societies, especially America, mainstream media keeps us conscious of the mechanics of societal interaction in these societies, thus inundating us with more information about them than we care to ingest. One is more likely to find a precocious Nigerian teenager capable of naming all of America’s 50 states as well as their capitals and governors than he is to find an American youth capable of doing likewise in Nigeria’s case. Now that doesn’t have to bespeak superiority in the intellectual capabilities of the Nigerian teen over his counterpart. It is just a consequence of prevailing conditions in the global information exchange. Perhaps a growing counter-hegemonic current!!! The irony is that this current, if it intensifies, would have been generated by the technocratic elite of western societies, the ones who control corporate media and the internet and who continue to churn out products targeted at whetting the appetites of the global consumer society.

As for our domestic yahoo yahoo problem and its tendency to bring embarrassment upon the nation, we can only minimize the scourge, not eradicate it. The enterprise has grown out of the willingness of some to attain better material conditions and by sheer avarice in other cases. The former can be catered for if Nigeria begins to make broad-based economic advancements; the latter, I’m not so sure.

Macdonald Ukah is a graduate of Economics from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. He is currently a Senior Research Assistant at Edward Kingston Associates, Lagos.

CDA

APC and the strange dream of a Muslim/Muslim ticket

APC and the strange dream of a Muslim/Muslim ticket

By Femi Fani-Kayode

I thank my brother Kayode Samuel for his contribution and I shall take his advice and direct my counsel to the leadership of the APC and to the Nigerian people in general. That is the purpose of this essay and so important is the subject matter under consideration that I would urge as many as possible to find the time to read it from the beginning to the end.

Chief Akin Osuntokun, the Bashorun of Oke-Mesi, the former Special Advisor to President Olusegun Obasanjo and the highly celebrated columnist for Thisday Newspaper is one of my closest brothers and friends even though we tend to disagree on virtually everything. He is a very complex and interesting person who has a penchant for speaking the bitter truth. He is blunt to a fault and brutally frank and he manages to give as good as he gets in any argument.

I respect him immensely for a number of reasons, one of them being his unquestionable loyalty to his friends regardless of their circumstances, political views and party affiliation. Simply put, he is capable of maintaining a good relationship even with those that he disagrees with politically. I say this because most of Akin’s friends like Mallam Nuhu Ribadu, Alhaji Kashim Imam, Mallam Uba Sani, yours truly and a host of others have left the PDP yet we still meet virtually every other night as a group and slug out politics and current issues.

Even though Akin is invariably the lone voice in a hostile sea at such meetings, he always holds his own and stands his ground in a most admirable and spirited manner even when things get rather heated up. His loyalty to and support for President Goodluck Jonathan and his administration is second to none and I have often wondered how difficult things would have been for us if Akin and his likes were the ones speaking for this government. He is an intellectual par excellence and one of the most under-utilized assets that the PDP has in its armoury. Yet I often marvel about how well he stomachs the attacks and intellectual ripostes that he suffers from those of us that are no longer in his political party but that have the rare privilege of still being in the inner circle of his friends.

That is what makes Akin special. That, together with the fact that more than any other person that I know, he can tell his friends the bitter truth about themselves and point out their mistakes. You can count on him for that. And the strangest and most uncanny thing is that nine times out of ten he has been proved right.

Today I shall take a cue from my brother Akin and tell a few bitter home truths to my own friends and political associates in the APC. Whether this will break or enhance our friendship and association remains to be seen. I hope that it does not have any negative consequences for our relationship but if it does I have absolutely no regrets. After all the greatest gift and virtue that a true friend and brother can offer is truth and wise counsel. That is what real friends are supposed to do even when that truth and counsel is unpleasant and painful to hear.

The subject of my counsel is the suggestion by some that our party the APC should consider fielding a Muslim/Muslim ticket in the 2015 Presidential election. Even though the party leadership itself has not expressed such an intention and even though the matter still remains in the realms of speculation, as someone recently pointed out, I can confirm to you that quite a number of people within the party are discussing it privately and are actually considering it. As a matter of fact some are openly advocating and canvassing the idea. Whether we like to admit it or not this is the subject of heated discussions in many party circles today with some party leaders being for it while others are against it.

Consequently the party would do well to issue a statement on the matter and tell us whether they are in a position to rule out such a course of action or not. If they refuse to do so the speculations will simply continue and, like an insidious cancer, the matter will eat away at the very soul of the party and eventually squander its fortunes. It is in order to avoid this and for that very reason that I deem it fit, wise and appropriate to make my views on the matter known to the world, regardless of what the consequences of doing so may be for me. The outcome of this exercise and the reaction to my counsel will determine whether I am indeed in the right political party or not.

Let me start by stating loudly and clearly that I have nothing against Muslims. As a matter of fact, I am very proud of the fact that I have both Muslims and Christians in my family. So strong is the Muslim influence in my extended family from my mother’s side that I, together with all my siblings have at least one Muslim name. Mine is Abdul Latif, which I am told in Arabic means ”servant of the All Gentle”, and I am very proud of it. This is a name which my friend and brother Dr. Hakeem Baba Ahmed, in an attempt to crack a joke about me and my ”one eighth” Fulani bloodline, mischievously reduced to ”Boda Lati” in one of his celebrated articles and I am still trying to find it in my heart to forgive him for that.

I also have many friends from both the southwest and the north who are Muslims and who can testify to the fact that I have nothing against Islam. I am talking about people like my dear brother Senator Musiliu Obanikoro, our current Minister of State for Defence, who I not only grew up with in Lagos but who I also cut my political teeth with in 1990 when we both joined the defunct NRC and people like Governor Tanko Al Makura of Nasarawa state who formed and led the youth wing of the defunct NNC with me in 1989.

The reason that I have gone to great lengths to point out my strong links and family ties with the Islamic faith is simply to prove that I have nothing against Muslims and that the great faith of Islam is part and parcel of my proud and noble heritage.

Yet despite my deep respect for and affinity with Islam and in spite of my fondness for all those that have espoused that ancient and noble Abrahamic and monotheic faith, I would be the first to say that it would be most improper and politically inexpedient for anyone to suggest the idea that any political party in Nigeria today should present a Muslim/Muslim ticket in next years Presidential election.

I have said it privately in countless political meetings and I will say it publicly today. Please mark it- the biggest mistake that my party, the APC, can make is to field a Muslim/Muslim ticket in the 2015 Presidential election. If we do that we will not only offend the Christian community but we will also loose the election woefully. This is not 1993 and whether we like it or not we must accept the fact that religion plays a major role in our politics today. This is not the ideal but it is the reality that we have to accept and live with.

Our party must have both a Christian and a Muslim on the ticket if we want to be taken seriously in the Presidential election. I implore those that think otherwise to sit down and think this through properly. We must not present a Christian/Christian ticket as this would be insensitive to the feelings of Muslims and we must not present a Muslim/Muslim ticket, as this would be insensitive to the feelings of Christians. I for one would NEVER support a ticket that presents two members of the same faith no matter what the consequences would be.

This country belongs to both Muslims and Christians- we are all one and we must ensure that we do not hurt the feelings or the sensitivities of one another either advertently or inadvertently. As they say ”the road to hell is paved with good intentions”. Let us be mindful of our actions, deeds and words, no matter how well intentioned they may be, and let us ensure that we do not confirm the terrible stereotyping that those that are against us are trying to label us with.

Unlike some who only joined the political fray a few years ago, I have been in politics in this country for a total of 24 long years and during that period of time I have learnt a thing or two. The first lesson that I have learnt and which must be appreciated is the ability to distinguish between an ideal and reality. It is laudable to pursue an ideal and we must do all that we possibly can to enthrone it but it is disastrous to ignore the realities on the ground no matter how unsavoury or distasteful that reality may be.

The ideal, which we all desire and which we all seek to enthrone, is to play the type of politics in our country which has no recourse to religion and where a man or woman’s faith is entirely their own affair. Yet the reality is that to ignore the religious sensitivities and differences of the Nigerian electorate is a manifestation of, at the very best, political naivety of the highest order and, at the very worst, dangerous, self-depreciating and self-destructive ignorance. Simply put, religion SHOULD NOT be a factor in our politics but in reality it IS a factor.

To those who say that the APC will produce a Presidential and Vice Presidential candidate that have ‘’integrity, capacity and competence’’ and that the religious faith of those two candidates does not matter, I have only the following to say. The ‘’integrity, capacity, competence’’ and all those other laudable qualities are virtues that can surely be found in adherents of both the Muslim and the Christian faith.

They are not the exclusive preserve of the adherents of one faith alone. You can find Muslims that have these qualities and you can find Christians that have them as well. It therefore makes perfect sense to present one of such people from each of the two major faiths as a Presidential and Vice Presidential candidate respectively.

This is especially so given the fact that Nigeria is a multi-religious, multi-cultural and multi-ethnic country which suffers from severe religious tensions and periodic sectarian violence and which has at least 80 million Christians and Muslims on both sides of the divide living side by side. We are already sitting on a keg of gunpowder and to ignore one side of the religious divide and treat them with contempt and disdain may be the trigger that causes that keg to explode.

Presenting a Muslim/Muslim ticket for the 2015 Presidential election ticket, no matter how cleverly rationalised, defended or justified in the pursuit of an ideal or in the name of ‘’political correctness’’, will be a terrible insult to the 80 million Christians that are part and parcel of this country and it would result in their voting, en masse, for another party. My candid advice to those that are thinking that way and that are moving in that direction is that they should perish the thought and that they should do so very quickly.

As far as I am aware the APC is not an affiliate of Al Qaeda and neither is it a Boko Haram party, a Janjaweed party or a Muslim Brotherhood Party. I have had cause to say so and to defend the intellectual integrity and what I consider to be the multi-religious and secular ethos and composition of the party on numerous occasions. And of course it is a pleasure, a duty and a privilege for me to do so simply because that is what I honestly believe and because I happen to be a secularist myself. Like millions of others from all over the world I believe that religion ought to have no place in the running of the affairs of any country.

However that does not mean that we ought to ignore the very delicate religious balance that we have in Nigeria or that we should play havoc with it. To do so would be disastrous for the fortunes of the party and for the future of our nation. As a matter of fact we would be opening the gates of hell and we would be courting catastrophe. Anyone that doubts that should consider the ugly events that are unfolding in the Central African Republic today or that took place in the Sudan before the country broke into two. We must never allow such things to happen in Nigeria by any act of commission or omission.

As far as I am aware, the APC is a party for both Muslims and Christians. It is a vehicle for change and not one that seeks to give the impression that Christians don’t matter or that they are second-class citizens. If I am wrong then those that claim to know better or that believe that they own the party should please tell me. If it is a party where faith and religion has no place, as some would have us believe, then they should please let us know. We have an image problem, which we need to deal with.

Permit me to share just one example of the factors that have sustained that image problem. We have a leading member of the party from Borno state that has been consistently accused of being the sole founder and originator of Boko Haram.

In fairness to the individual concerned, the allegations about his personal involvement in these ugly events remain unproven yet all the same they remain serious and grave and they cannot be ignored for much longer. He must provide direct answers to these serious allegations so that, if they are all false, we can make it our business and duty to defend him. Until then, being in a political party that harbours and attracts the sympathy and support of such a person puts some of us in a very awkward position.

If such things do not make some people uncomfortable they certainly make me very uncomfortable. This is especially so given the atrocities that Boko Haram has perpetuated against both Christians and Muslims in our country in the last three years. Whether we like it or not we must go out of our way to try to let the world know that we are not a party of Muslim fundamentalists and closet Islamists and if we choose not to bother to do so, it simply means that we are arrogant and that we have lost touch with reality.

CDA

A STAKE IN THE NATION

We can't all have stakes separately but we can have collectively...

We can’t all have stakes separately but we can have collectively…

Many at times when I sit and think about my Nation-our geographical location, size and population, diversity in culture and ethnicity and a whole lot, I wonder if these are blessings or curses for us. This year we as a Nation are still in the euphoria of the celebration of being united for a 100 years as a country or one Nigeria, the question people have been asking and pondering upon is if the amalgamation has actually been of great benefits or more losses as we try to evolve to a great, free, equitable and an egalitarian society.

The whole idea of Nationhood has different meanings to different people, but among the underlying characteristics of a Nation are these; shared vision that is bought into by every citizen, government or leaders that are mostly in agreement with its citizens and a free and egalitarian society where all are made to benefit. In one of his interviews, Emeka Ojukwu rightly and confidently stated that Nigeria as a country has never been a Nation where everyone is made to feel important. Obafemi Awolowo believed Nigeria was just a geographical location of diverse group of people. Nnamdi Azikiwe on his own part believed at independence that Nigeria became a Nation because after many years of British rule, the amalgamation in 1914, there was a general belief that the diverse groups that make up the Nigerian entity became a Nation at independence. Many more people have had a lot to say about the question of our Nationhood.

In this piece, I would like to draw your attention to a phenomenon because is already one, that every person, group has demonstrated and still do that really questions our true Nationhood. Coming from history lane, during the constitutional conferences leading to independence, Nigeria was offered independence before 1960, but due to the position of the North we didn’t have it then. Then the times between 1965 to1966 that culminated into our first coup d’etat, some group of army officers mostly of Ibo extraction decided to make history by making their voice heard in deciding the course of our history. Also barely 6 months later another group of Northern officers carried out a reprisal coup that yet again brought people who felt they could chart another history for Nigeria. The months that followed was characterised by the pogrom of Ibos all over the North. Even though that was condemned by many, it yet brought an opportunity for another group (Eastern region) to move for a secession and divide the supposed Nigerian nation. After a bloody 30 month war, we still remain the country Nigeria but not sure if as a Nation.

Nigeria I can say confidently is not a Nation as of today when we are celebrating our centenary rather she is just made up of groups, tribes or even nations seeking for the good of the groups where they belong. The percentage of people who would truly answer first as Nigerians today is low rather what we have in abundance are persons of selfish gain who don’t care about the well being of another citizen who might be from another group. If it is not the Ijaws and Niger Deltans today who lay claim to the oil wealth, it would be the North who believe so much in their size and population or the Ohaneze Ndigbo, or Afenifere and so many other groups that just want a share of the national cake. Nationhood would continue to elude us until we come to the realization that everyone is a major stakeholder in the story called Nigeria and how this story turns out depends on us all.

Every group with their respective visions, goals and grievances must come together to develop an ideal Nigerian Dream. Like I will always say since we can’t divide into 250 Nations, we must then work to build one, true, prosperous and united Nigeria. Our diversity shouldn’t turn out a curse but rather a blessing. It should propel us all to rub minds and reach a good and reasonable conclusion not to be in disagreement.
We cannot all have stakes for all the ethnic groups separately but we can surely have a stake called the Nigerian stake for everyone’s benefit.

CDA

The Objectivity and Subjectivity of the Word in Leadership

Leadership all through the ages and of human civilization has proved to be the bedrock of change, influence, social and economic development. It is what determines the outcome of families, groups, organizations and Nations. Whenever something is not working optimally, the first point of reference is the leadership; what have they done, in what direction and what can they do to be better.

It is commonly described as influencing a group of people, families, organizations and Nations in achieving a worthwhile goal. In essence, it involves an influencer or leader and the followers or a team. The greatest leader that lived and passed through this world, our Lord Jesus Christ portrayed rare leadership virtues. His style of leadership was comprehensive and dynamic. Jesus was a servant leader (washing the feet of the disciples), at some point he had to be authoritative/ autocratic (in flogging the people from the temple), at some point bureaucratic (give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar); in fact He was a true reflection of dynamism in leadership. The ultimate goal or essence of His leadership was that after His sojourn of about 3 years in ministry, men and people were transformed i.e. His dynamism in other leadership styles resulted in transformational leadership or outcome.

The Word of God, the Bible is a book of truths, mysteries, ideas, power and in fact a wise man said it is the oldest book with the latest news. It is in application in all areas of life, through all ages, under any circumstances, no verse in this Book has a private interpretation (2Pet. 1:20-21). It is therefore a dynamic book that can address any need of mankind. This talks therefore about the objectivity and subjectivity of the Word. I will be focusing on drawing light from the Word on leadership today. This old rugged book can and still addresses issues on leadership in this 21st century.
One of the greatest concepts on leadership I have been privileged to be taught about is in Jud. 9:8-15.This talks about the trees who wanted to anoint a king (leader) and olive tree was appointed to lead and it said, “Should I leave my fatness, wherewith by me they honor God and man and go to be promoted over trees? They went ahead to the fig tree asking it reign over them and the fig tree said; “Should I forsake my sweetness and my good fruit, and go to be promoted over the trees? The vine was also given this opportunity to lead and it said; “Should I leave my vine, which cheers God and go to be promoted over the trees?
Then they approached the bramble, Come thou and reign over us. The bramble said to the trees, if in truth ye anoint me king over you then come and put your trust in my shadow, and if not, let fire come out of the bramble, devour the cedars of Lebanon. Great story isn’t it?

The first three trees (olive, fig and vine) were concerned more about adding value than occupying a leadership position. They were happy to be making lives better with what they have and also content and satisfied with it. From the trees we understand you don’t need a position to influence people but a heart for people, one that longs to see people become better than they were. You can still be in the remotest place or village and impact the lives of people. The good book says when there is no vision (leadership) my people perish (Pro.29:18). Leadership is less of the leader but more of the people. The people are the essence and subject of leadership and should be a major beneficiary.
Still on the trees, they proceeded to the bramble, come reign over us. This small tree said that the other big trees should come and put their trust in it and its shadows and if not let fire from it consume the cedars of Lebanon. Bad and irresponsible leadership comes because men and women who don’t value themselves are entrusted with a huge task to care for others. The bramble in essence wanted other trees reduced to its level, he wanted to be their lord, and he wanted only to be the best among them while they are reduced to nothing.

Let’s get more subjective and objective here.

The above illustration about the trees can be likened to the politics of present day Nigeria and Africa. One where the leaders want everyone to be under them by incessant abuse of power and authority. Leaders who ask us to go to hospitals, schools and places they won’t go ask their children to. These people are focused on what they will get; their prestige, and well being against adding value, uplifting lives when it is obvious that Africa is on the vestibule of change and in dire need of it also.
What Africa needs at this point of her history are people that can be likened to the fig tree, vine and olive trees, who are concerned more with adding value, who lead change without occupying any position, men and women of like minds that will act based on their convictions with the truth not just public opinion.

King David, who today is still celebrated in Israel, was indeed a man after God’s own heart. He longed to please God every day, yes, even though he fell to temptation sometimes, he had the good conscience to come back and ask for mercy. A repentant heart and a man of skill and integrity. The man David as described in Ps. 78:72 led God’s people first by the integrity of his heart; he had a clear conscience, one that puts God first in all circumstances and by the skillfulness of his hand. He was a shepherd boy, a songwriter and skillful player of the harp. He had track records of results or antecedents of successes before confronting Goliath as a shepherd boy.

A man should not be given the opportunity to lead until he has proved himself worthy in little things, someone who have been able to achieve success not from governmental booties, corruption and fraud. Politics today is like a business especially in Africa but the life of David tells us of a man who was diligent in keeping the sheep with all seriousness, zeal, valor and wholeheartedly. David on his death bed confessed by the move of the Spirit that leading men must be in the fear of God, talking about justice and integrity. Leadership and integrity go hand in hand and its importance cannot be overemphasized. Pro. 11:3, talks about how a man’s integrity will guide him i.e. his actions are controlled by it, it protects him from evil because his enemies will love him. 2Sam. 23:13-17, narrates of how David yearned to have a drink and when he cried out, his men rushed to the camp of the Philistines (three of them), i.e. they risked their lives that a good leader can live. A good man will always have people speak out for him, defend him in his absence and also willing to die for him.

I wonder if such a thing can happen in Nigeria and Africa today amongst our politicians. Imagine them walking on a street filled with disgruntled citizens, guess the answer to that question is obviously obvious.

Nehemiah, a cupbearer and exile in a strange land was committed to the work of restoring glory in his homeland rather than feed on the pays, food and entitlements of the governor. He also made sure that his subordinates (ministers and governors) did same. Their entitlements were given back to the people. He never robbed them once. (Neh. 5:14-18)

Daniel was relevant in a strange land for 60 years. Every government needed him to solve problems for them. He was a man of knowledge, who understood by books, a spiritual man who cares more of God’s opinion against the opinions of the kings of Babylon. In Africa, is it possible to see men/ women stand up against a president/governor when he is getting it wrong; who will tell the truth that is most evident, not hypocrites and men with evil conscience? Despite all, I know there are such men, good men/ women who love this continent, but they need to start speaking against evil. It shouldn’t be allowed to thrive when the good still live.

The Word of God is the best book I have come across; rich in the truth i.e. everything therein is relevant and will continue to be till Jesus comes. Facts can become obsolete but the truth shall be forever. It is applicable in life situations and leadership is one of such area.

Leadership is key to any meaningful transformation; once the head is corrupt the whole body would be too. Africa needs such leaders right now; not a crowd just a man in some cases who will groom others and make them be like he is. In leadership, I believe a tree can actually make a forest; just a man on fire for God can confront and bring down every networks and altars of corruption.

CDA

THE CAPITALIST SYNDROME

THE CAPITALIST SYNDROME

The issue of wealth accumulation and a laissez-faire economy is not new to mankind and recent civilization. From the advent of agricultural production, industrialization, and manufacturing, men have sought to en masse wealth through the harnessing of the elements of production (land, human/labour, capital, etc). One concept that is a driver of this concept of capitalism is the division of labour or social division of labour by Karl Max. It is seen in the agricultural sector, manufacturing and in a wide range of industries today. If you ask me I would say men are creating wealth through fellow men. Global capitalism is not new concept even in this 21st century because it is through entrepreneurs, businessmen and women, investors in a sector/industry that the world has been able to produce the kind of wealth in circulation today.

Capitalism is a system in which goods and services, down to the most basic necessities of life are produced for profitable exchange, where even human labour-power is a commodity for sale in the market, and where all economic actors are dependent on the market. (Ellen Meiksons Wood, 2003).

With the collapse of communism in the Asian countries and the enthronement of capitalism, it would be right to say that capitalism has had more influence, created more wealth and increased the gap between the producers and consumers and also made the world highly competitive. It has made the world to be like a wrestling ring where only the winner takes the prize. Unlike socialist economy, where the government is solely in charge of managing the resources of a particular Nation, capitalism empowers or creates an avenue where people could venture into any area of their choice with the motive of making profits, taking into consideration the market forces.

What then happens in developing countries like Africa, come parts of Asia and other regions where there are few entrepreneurs and their governments do little for them?

In as much as the capitalist syndrome has created wealth, made millionaires and billionaires, it has also created low and middle income earners simply because some governments have relaxed, or chosen to be just regulators of the economies. In Africa today, the level of involvement of government in industrialization is minimal and this is making them more or less dormant and inactive but rather in the areas of managing institutions and bureaucratic processes; and bureaucracy contributes little compared to widespread industrialization, manufacturing and diversification of the economy. Capitalism should and must not make the government of Nations dormant and inactive. The government is too big to just be regulators in economies of over 100million people. In as much as government checkmates capitalists, they should venture, invest, create jobs and ultimately create a dynamic economy.

KINGS AND PROPHETS

KINGS AND PROPHETS

Jer. 1;3, it came also in the days of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah king of Judah, unto the end of the eleventh year of Zedekiah the son of Josiah king of Judah, unto the carrying away of Jerusalem captive in the fifth month.

The continuation of this passage to verse 10 talks about the raising and appointment of a prophet at a time when Jerusalem was besieged and taken into captivity. Down to the last verses of eighteen and nineteen espouse on the kind of personality God has against the whole land, against the kings of Judah against princes, politicians, presidents, governors, prime minister and men and women in high places. Therefore prophets are placed above kings; they are the consultants to the kings when a nation is in peril, captivity of a few, cabals that won’t let go, enemies and the capitalism of other Nation against God’s own nations and people. Kings run to them for advice, direction when the trusted advise of their special assistants fail.

Africa obviously is held bound by some personalities- young and old, male and female that have sworn that this endowed and blessed continent will not advance and keep advancing. These men and women are found at all levels of governance, in every sector of the economy. They don’t have to be rich to be known but everyone who fails to work towards the progress of our continent can be counted among them. They don’t give a damn about the well being of others but their care is towards families and friends of like minds and orientation. We know these men and where they can be found but what of the consultants, the ones placed over them, the ones with onerous responsibilities of safe guarding the nation.

Where are the prophets of the land?

They are the mouth piece of God, those who will tell kings what the plan of God is for their nations. Those who will stand in the gap in prayer that the kings might lead well and prosper the nations. I don’t want to believe that Africa is lacking these men or women or have they chosen to turn a blind eye, pursue selfish gains, and turn their back on their responsibilities to their nations? When kings misbehave, prophets are sent to the kings but when prophets do, what happens? Will God come down and warn the kings or prophets?

Calamity rages the nations of Africa; we are in dismay, being robbed in broad daylight. The youths are being forced to ungodly gains just because the kings and prophets have kept quiet. In fact, things have fallen apart, as prophets now run to kings for help and for selfish benefits.

We need prophets that will stand for the truth and also tell the truth to the kings no matter how bitter it might taste.

Africa needs to tread another part of dignity and honour, kings must work, prophets must speak the truth, but when they fail, then another generation must rise to take over.

What then role is the role of that generation?  

ISSUES FACING WOMEN:FEMINISM

ISSUES FACING WOMEN:FEMINISM

By Adeyanju Pinheiro

The modern society has turned the word ‘feminism’ into a dirty one. Many people think it means hating men, when it really means a fight for equality. It’s about everyday life: – equal pay, equal access to jobs, freedom from sexual harassment and violence, how girls and women can get access to high-quality education.

Gender inequality has been a dominant topic of everyday discussion and it manifests itself in numerous dimensions due to the dichotomous nature of gender. Many factors account for Gender Inequality in our society: although, men and women are physically different, it is the social, economic, political, legal interpretation of these differences that lead to inequality between them.

It is universal or at least almost universal that in the traditional setup of a home, the man goes out to work and provide for the home, while the woman takes care of the home. There is nothing latently unequal here. However the inequality airs its head the way our society responds to issues arising from the family setup. Ours is a culture where whatever a husband does, irrespective of the hurt against his wife, he is almost always scot-free, but if the table turns round, the wife would almost always be chastised, and most of the time, demonized and ostracized from her community. This particular attitude makes many of these husbands feel unaccountable on how they govern their homes.

Violence against women across the world, and how it is continually apologised for, excused, and legitimized is a major issue. A young girl forced into “marriage” is a little more than contracted pedophilia. The DFID says women in war zones are in more danger than soldiers. Whether it is the husband who beats his wife for wearing a short skirt, or the clan which forces a woman to undergo female genital mutilation, the intention is the same: to prevent women exercising sexual choice.
Why do we continue to retain some of our culture that subjects women to unequal treatments? Culture is dynamic, and any cultural practice that hinders pursuit of happiness while it promotes unfairness of any group of people must give way for a new easy way of life. Religion is another medium used to justify unfair treatment of women. Though most of women’s roles in the home may be said to be in the “supporting” cast, but never did any religion say woman is unequal to man. We must cease using the difference in roles to arrive at unfair and unjust treatment of our women in this jet age.
The fact that the male offspring is preferred to the female which is often regarded as the lesser alternative is shameful. Though there’s absolutely nothing wrong with wanting a male child but setting them apart is annoying. I find it shameful to see men who believes the birth of their son is worthy of more celebration than that of their daughter for the simple fact that ‘its a boy’. This angers me; because though successful in her endeavours, such females will always feel like she is fighting men or she will cower under imaginary idea that she’s a little less than a man.

I think essentially we need to see more women in power, across politics, media and business. We would like her to not be put down for her gender when she speaks out for herself. We don’t want her to be called a man-hater just because she talks about her beliefs. Most of all, we don’t want her to live in a society where rape culture still exists. I would love to see women represented in the media as people who say, do and think interesting things, rather than primarily being there to be looked at and judged.

Developing an enabling environment for change to tackle root causes of inequality and discrimination is paramount in order to reinforce changes in societal attitudes towards adolescent girls and women. We must have a world free of inequalities where human rights are respected and where women and girls are empowered to participate fully and effectively in the decisions that affect their lives and livelihoods. Women must speak up and their voice must be heard!

CDA

Knowledge is power. Information is liberating. Education is the premise of progress, in every society, in every family.
-Kofi Annan

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JUXTAPOSING GEORGE BUSH AND GEJ’S DECISIONS ON TERRORISM

JUXTAPOSING GEORGE BUSH AND GEJ’S DECISIONS ON TERRORISM

In a world like ours that seeks and longs for peace and harmony, there is always panic and pandemonium when this eludes a particular generation for too long. Peace as it is said is not the absence of war, and it is the ability of parties involved to resolve conflicts that guarantees peace. Violence is always the aftermath of what follows when peace is not present. It can come in various forms; robbery, molestation, genocide, pogrom, rape, etc.

A well-known threat to the world’s peace today is the act of terrorism. It can be said to be anything that inflicts pain on a group of people in whatsoever forms or means. When terror beckons on our doors do we just fold our arms and watch it rage on? There are certain people who have been privileged to see to the security and well-being of other people. The leadership of any nation or organization is vested with such onerous responsibility.

The issue of terrorism is obviously a major issue of discourse in Africa right now especially Nigeria where the dreaded Islamic sect, Boko Haram is waging a war on the Nigerian people. Also, terrorism has been seen in the United States of America and to a large extent they have devised means to counter and protect their people.

In this piece I would be highlighting the decisions of George W. Bush, a former president and those of Goodluck E. Jonathan, Nigeria’s incumbent president. It is worthy to note that the Boko Haram crises in Nigeria came into limelight in 2009 and therefore whatever points that will be raised will be based on when Goodluck Jonathan became president. In that regard the US was on the 11th September 2001 attacked by a terror group known as Al-Qaeda. These two instances are major areas where terrorism took hold on these two nations.

Addressing the Nation

After the 9/11 attacks on America, George who was in a school then was informed by his Chief of Staff (Andy Card), according to him it was a moment of clarity because people were going to watch how he reacted. Without much debilitating on that same day he addressed the American. This of course is no big deal for some people, actually this response if for nothing else will strengthen the will of the people who their government will and can protect them from further terror. It will go a long way to console those who must have lost loved ones in those attacks.

In his words “The resolve of our great nation is being tested. But make no mistake we will show the world that we will pass the test”.

Coming back home to Nigeria we have had cases of attacks on innocent Nigerians citizens and for those days or even never at all hear any word or nationwide address by the Commander-in-Chief. This might sound trivial and simple but it matters and should be the prerogative of the president to address his people on a prevailing challenge. Most times what we hear is the statement by his Media Adviser and I keep asking how busy could he get not to find time to address his people and give them some hope and reason to be called Nigerians.

Key Decisions

After the 9/11 attacks, George Bush recognizing the ongoing threat by the radical extremists deployed all elements of national power to wage a global war on terror. On December 13 2001, three months after the attacks President Bush announced the withdrawal of the US from the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty, bedrock of US-Soviet nuclear stability during the Cold War era. He said “I have concluded the ABM treaty hinders our government’s ability to develop ways to protect our people from future terrorist or rogue state missile attacks. This led to the design of a National Missile Defense project to detect international ballistic missiles and destroy them in flight.

On the other hand in Nigeria President Goodluck Jonathan perhaps has taken some decisions in tackling terrorism, one of which is to sack his National Security Adviser after he made a statement that the insurgence was caused by the President’s party. He is also good at convening the meeting of security chiefs and other security personnel. Another key decision he has taken was to declare a State of emergency on May 14, 2013 in the states that were affected by the insurgencies.

While waging the war on terror, George Bush took the fight to the enemy by capturing and killing hundreds of terrorists including the mastermind of the 9/11 attacks Khalid Sheikh Mohammed. In Afghanistan, the United States and her allies removed the regime that harbored the terrorists who plotted the 9/11 attacks. This resulted in the freedom of 25 million Afghans.

In Iraq, the United States led a coalition to remove the dictator who murdered his own people, invaded his neighbors and threatened the US. This also led to the freedom of 25 million Iraqi people. Today Iraq has the most progressive constitution in the Arab world and has also become an ally in the war on terror.

These decisions are of course bold steps taken so that the American people might be safe.

In Nigeria also, the President attended a meeting organized by the French President and we are told that he (GEJ) agreed on the decisions taken at the end of the meeting. Could it mean that our President doesn’t have the courage to take decisions that will curb this menace? I will leave you to choose your answer.

Moreover, it had to take a lot of lives being lost in Nigeria before the President could come out and wage a total war on this terror group. On the list of recent development is the floating of 30 million naira support fund by the Federal Government for victims of terrorism across the country. I don’t know what you are thinking but does it mean there are no proactive steps to give us lasting peace and defeat these enemies of the State? Is the government just going to provide funds to meet the needs of the victims rather than fight the enemy with the might of the State?

In the US all we heard was that some critics were against a war in Iraq as a step to fighting terror, but in Nigeria our President is yet to take a decision that will be opposed by people. Instead partisanship is what he and his aides do, accusing opposition parties of a challenge that concerns us all.

George Bush as president visited Iraq to see the US troops there. I don’t know if Goodluck Jonathan has visited the affected States, soldiers or the victims of the attacks.

In the case of America it involved a foreign nation and they took the war to them. Our case these people are in our territory, our home soil yet the government finds it difficult to act.

Timely decision is what makes a great leader but when one lacks this, then the people he is leading are in trouble. Is high time the government of Nigeria assess themselves, look at the intelligence they have on these people and decide on what major steps to take.

By now we should all know that our territorial integrity and unity is already threatened.

Thanks for stopping by and going through the post. Please you can share your thoughts on this issue and also don’t forget to subscribe to the magazine by email, that way you won’t miss any post as they are published. Thanks and God bless!

Emeka D. Azubuike

CDA

WRITING BUILDING NEHEMIAH’S WAY

WRITING BUILDING NEHEMIAH’S WAY

The art and skill of writing has not always been much of an inherent talent in me. Growing up in my primary school days, composition or essay writing in fact was one of my nightmares and this to an extent was the same up until my high (secondary) school days. I never imagined I was going to author a book one day.

Then coming to the university, I was introduced to a culture of intensive reading and study of literature (outside academic books). I consumed mostly religious and leadership books that a friend had to reckon with me that one day I was going to write a book.

In December 2011, I discovered what blogging was and decided to cash in and share my thoughts on issues especially leadership since I already built capacity in that area. This continued for another 2 years till date.

Sometimes in 2012, I was privileged to find myself in the midst and company of burgeoning minds, people who were laying a foundation for their future God’s way. They were doing a particular thing called Feedback on the vision work and businesses of everyone.

This period was when I deliberately started studying the book of Nehemiah in the Bible and my mind was discovering a lot just from the few chapters I had read. So I decided to share it with my new family (Missionary Business Fellowship, now Divinity Today Ministry), because I thought it was part of the feedback session. Of course, it was not. I was really eager to share what I was discovering from the good book.

Then it struck, without wasting time on using my pen, because the ideas were overflowing I started writing the book; Building Nehemiah’s Way. I enjoyed the experience and process because it was so stress free since I was developing the ideas from a different content.

Building Nehemiah’s Way focuses on the leadership of Nehemiah in the Bible in rebuilding the broken walls of Jerusalem. Within 52 days of rebuilding and after I was able to discover principles he applied to achieve this great feat. These principles are easy to apply and work out.

“The principles you know is one and the ones you apply is another”.

I can assure you that these ones will work for you when followed to the letter. The journey to writing this book has been most fulfilling and you can share that fulfillment by getting this book for yourself.

This of course is my first book and you can get it here; http://goo.gl/8jr0gW

You can also get the book by scanning the following  QR-code; expecting to hear from you regarding the book. Thanks and God bless!!!

You can equally get the book by scanning the QR-code... Great read!!!

You can equally get the book by scanning the QR-code… Great read!!!

 

Sincerely yours,

Emeka D. Azubuike

BANKS AND THE ECONOMICS OF SCALE

BANKS AND THE ECONOMICS OF SCALE

The financial and banking sector in any country is regarded among the key sectors and the driver of change, economic development and benefits. Even the scriptures tell us that money makes the world go round and over the civilization of man, new and better ways for managing funds have been developed i.e. the banks and other financial institutions.

The success of any bank is measured based on assets, scale of deposits from customers, access to loans and customers, and the rate of transactions that take place daily. In Nigeria for instance, the top five banks own 60 percent of the banking sector assets and they include Zenith Bank, Access Bank, First Bank, Guaranty Trust Bank and United Bank for Africa. This in no way is some good news because the big banks would most likely deal with multi-nationals or even the government. This means that the middle class lenders would be dominated and only has to deal with middle class borrowers.

Also, are the mid-lenders able and capable enough to handle a teeming population like that of Nigeria?

Ronak Gadhia, an analyst at security house, Exotix said: “Nigeria is highly under penetrated. There’s a lot of scope for growth. Out of the population of 160 million there are only about 30 million bank accounts, some of which represent duplicate customers.” This is a lot of deficit for a country that prides itself as the largest economy in Africa based on the rebased GDP. The sectors contribution to real GDP in the third quarter of 2013 declined slightly to 2.84 percent as against 2.92 recorded a year earlier.

Considering the size of the population, this of course is a very low percentage. It should have been more than that but can only be determined by certain factors. I will be highlighting some factors that will contribute to an increase in the scale of activities of banks.

Increased Customer Base

Like earlier stated the number of the population who own an account is really on the low side compared to the nation’s population. As a developing nation with a high middle and low class citizens, there is a high probability that most of the population is not yet aware of the benefits and importance of banking. They don’t see the need to entrust one’s money with people you don’t know. Imagine over 100 million of the population have an account, you can imagine how much the banks would be generating in terms of profits and the resultant effect on the macro economy. There is need therefore for more awareness and campaigns especially in the rural areas. Their confidence needs to be reawakened in the whole financial system. The banks on their own should improve their services to attract more customers and also able to keep them.

 Job Creation and Employment

The state of the economy is very critical at this point in our history; high level of unemployment is really an issue of concern- and proactive steps and decisions need to be made in that regard. Creating jobs is not an easy task and it is not also impossible. It is well very feasible especially in a nation like Nigeria with so many resources.

A very easy and feasible approach to this is in industrialization of the nation,venturing into the manufacturing of products. The place of research never ends, we need to explore the potentials of our vast resources and put them to optimum use. Most of our import products can be manufactured here and exported to other countries, subsequently creating more wealth.

By creating jobs you put more unemployed people into paid employment and banks would also have an increased customer base. There is no doubt what positive effect that industrialization, manufacturing and diversification will do to our economy. The effect will be tremendous indeed.

Government Policy

Is a pity that our nation is gradually drifting to a capitalist economy and the government now plays the role of mainly regulators of the economy; personally I don’t buy that idea. A government is too large an institution to just be regulators,they must play active roles.

The Central Bank of Nigeria as the major regulator of banks could make policies that as much possible favour the banks so that it doesn’t turn around to affect the customers. Definitely banks will always want to make profit from their transactions but with better policies we won’t be having a situation where the people are being exploited in the name of policies.

Every government policy I believe must favour the will and plight of their people.

As it is right now the banking sector is under explored as it were, the population of potential customers and depositors is really vast and anyone who ventures into it today is very much sure to make profit. Financial institutions are not just there to receive and give money day in day out. They can invest in the economy, add value, create wealth for people and themselves too.

There is nothing that drives the economy like funds, therefore we need more financial institutions and professionals who would help us to a highly dynamic economy.

THANKS FOR READING THE POST, YOUR COMMENTS AND CONTRIBUTIONS ARE WELCOME. DON’T FORGET TO SUBSCRIBE TO THE MAGAZINE BY MAIL AND ALSO TO OUR NEWSLETTERS. YOU ARE WELCOME

 

WHAT IF YOU HAD NO HOME TO RETURN TO?

WHAT IF YOU HAD NO HOME TO RETURN TO?

By Oluseyi Oduyomi

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Corporate Responsibility Social or corporate conscience can be defined as but not limited to a form of corporate self-regulation within any business model whereby the business observes and ensures an active compliance with the spirit of the law, ethical and international standards. The aim of which is to take responsibility for actions positive or otherwise through its business activities on the environment, consumers, communities, employees, members of the public and even the global community.
It is the responsibility of these companies and businesses to ensure that in their quest for massive financial gain and profits immeasurable, that their employees and working environments are safe and hazard free.

It is also important for these companies to educate their employees on their rights and benefits as employees and the obligations that they also have to their employees as employers. This provision of awareness is also corporate responsibility; these are the obligations and responsibilities of the corporate employer or body to the employees and lower-level management. Proper gear and updated equipment must be provided at all times, correct goggles, gloves  ,boots and protection amenities must be provided promptly. All accidents that occur at the workplace or in the process of a work activity should be under the responsibility of the employers within the legal or contractual stipulations which often includes medical care.

The corporate body also has a responsibility to the consumers- see Donoghue versus Stevenson, the corporate body must remain within the legal and ethical parameters in the production of consumables and products going out into the consumer market. The corporate body has a responsibility to ensure that the contents are not hazardous to the consumers, quality of products and packaging are up to standard. There is also a responsibility to the stakeholders to manage and engage in business activity for their gain and not their detriment, to provide constant updates and information with regards to their shares, dividends and general analysis of the company’s current, pressing or future aims.

However, the most pushed-aside of all these responsibilities are the responsibilities to our environment, our home, our trees and our land. We too soon forget to speak-up for the animals and things that cannot speak or fight for themselves, we do not defend them but the truth is without them we would not have the resources that we have today. The truth is we need them more than we know. Businesses not only have the economic responsibility of being profitable and the legal responsibility to follow the laws or ground rules that guide their ability to achieve economic requirement but are also under ethical responsibility to achieve these goals in the least detrimental way to the daily living of the citizens on the land and the natural eco-system of that land. Also, in situations where these responsibilities have been breached, these companies are under obligation and legal responsibility to restore, repair, settle or finance the reconstruction of the polluted environment. Simply put they are to ensure that they clean-up their mess as well as possible for the natives, plants species, animal species and the wider global environment.

Hi furthermore, in order for cooperate responsibility to exist and thrive, it is important that the host nation or host environment be aware of the right to protect the environment that they live in and to be willing to hold both local and international businesses accountable for their actions. Institutions, environmental groups, commissions and tribunals should be created and held to investigate and pursue reports and claims of environmental hazards, pollution and destruction. The host-nations of these multinational companies must invest in media and educating the citizens on taking pride in their environment without which accountability would be futile. You cannot protect what you do not know that you have, it is important to ensure that the people know that their environment is their right and they have a right to protect their livelihood. The environment stands for food, water, income, culture and is home to many indigenes and it must be protected.

Our Nigerian anthem states ‘’the labour of our heroes past shall never be in vain” let us not forget the efforts of men like Ken Saro Wiwa, let us not forget what he stood for and died for…he died trying to make international and multinational oil companies in Nigeria responsible for the environmental, social and even economic destruction that these companies succumbed their surrounding lands to and the socio-economic problems endured by the indigenes or native people of that environment. Allowing our environment to be destroyed and taken apart for selfish economic gains is like allowing our lands to be raped, plundered and not having the courage to hold the culprits accountable due to a weakness in our own character.

What home do we then return to? It is not enough to allow_ strangers into our home and allow them to help themselves to our belongings but we ourselves must start to take pride in our home as well. What kind of home would YOU like to return to?

***Thanks for reading and stopping by; feel free to share a thought on this issue and any other issue in the magazine. Also to get posts directly via mail, you can subscribe below by putting your email address..

You are welcome!

Quote of the Day

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If you just set out to be liked, you will be prepared to compromise on anything at anytime, and would achieve nothing.

-Margaret Thatcher 

Quote of the Day

Quote of the Day

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If a man is called to be a street sweeper, he should sweep streets even as a Michaelangelo painted, or Beethoven composed music or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pause to say, ‘Here lived a great street sweeper who did his job well.
-Dr. Martin Luther King Jnr

RESIGN IF YOU CAN’T WILL IT…

RESIGN IF YOU CAN’T WILL IT…

The corporate world of the 21st century is now very fascinating and intriguing also. People work tirelessly and enjoy the rat race of waking up in the morning. They endure the long traffic, work for hours; some still endure the traffic a second time or more and still continue the following day for many years without any other plan.

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Is either you are in fully or you are completely out for good...

On the other hand, there are persons who are privileged to be in certain positions and in white collar jobs, enjoying the serenity and conduciveness of an office whether open or private yet they find it difficult to treat their customers right and well.
They act as if one is forcing and cajoling them to do the job or as if they are not being paid for it. This kind of attitude is found mostly in financial institutions where you should act all nice to persons who entrusted their money to you.

I wonder why as early as 8am or 9am a customer service operative should be putting up a straight face in a conducive and well aerated working environment. The day has not gone past noon and you are acting up like a restless bulldog, displaying all the bad attitudes you have developed since birth.

In fact the voice you hear on the phone is different from the attitude you get over the counter; living different lives in one.

Not to talk of the way some workers delay you as if they are doing the favour alone, even as you patronise them. If you are not being paid or taken care of then that is well understandable but when you are enjoying certain privileges that you willingly accepted then you should learn to make that organisation grow. This you do by treating the customers as you would treat a friend.
It is irritating when you see young graduates give attitude just because they want an increase in their pay. My friend some people where there before you and you must respect the law of little beginnings.

Boys don’t turn to men overnight neither do girls turn to women by putting on make-ups. Working in an office is not compulsory after all there are people who work in the field, sites that operate oil rigs in Niger Delta; come rain, and come shine.

They sweat it out and still have time to interact and be happy just to make sure that you have light in that office.

So you have no excuse to put up an attitude or better still you have a choice to resign if you can’t will it at work.

Quote of the Day

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A good head and a good heart is always a formidable combination. But when you add to that a literate tongue or pen then you have something very special.
-Nelson Mandela

Quote of the Day

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Storytellers are a threat. They threaten all champions of control, they frighten usurpers of the right-to-freedom of the human spirit- in state, in church or mosque, in party congress, in the university or whatever.

-Chinua Achebe

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