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Thursday, 30 April 2015

Gaffe Of The Month Goes To..... -__-

I came across this video and it is as sadly mortifying as it a tad funny. This Australian news anchor was introducing biracial twins on live tv and then she says something she never should have. Goes to show what goes on in people's minds, really. The look on her co-host's face is priceless though.

Wednesday, 29 April 2015

There's Hope Still.....

When the news broke online yesterday about the Nigerian Army rescuing a large number of women and children from BokoHaram's den in Sambisa forest, I was elated, yet wary. This is because I have been so hurt and disappointed to the point of tears when such news broke previously and it turned out to be false. This time around however, it turns out that indeed those people were rescued although it is not yet totally clear whether the Chibok girls are among the recently rescued victims. 

What matters most to me is the fact this clearly shows that there is hope yet for all those in the captivity of BokoHaram. It shows that we can still get lots of good news from the North East, the best of which would be the final eradication of the terrorist group once and for all. Let's all keep praying and hoping for the return of those held in captivity and for our Chibok girls. Let's all keep our hopes alive that someday soon Nigeria would #BringBackAllOurCitizens 

Taiwo Akinbode Is Back Home! :)

I'm so pleased to write that Taiwo Akinbode has been released from the clutches of the kidnappers. Here's a release from her family:

As abruptly, and unbelievably as it started, it ended.My kidnapped sister has been rescued, and is back home. When all else proved abortive, EXCEPT PRAYERS, it was the services of a private security agent that saw to it that she was released without harm to her, and without a ransom paid. She's being taken care of by our family, and we're positive she'll be back on her feet, stronger, and better for all her ordeal in Jesus Name. The Akinbode family is grateful, and deeply indepted for the prayers, the love, the financial help and otherwise, that ordinary people, (most who do not even know Taiwo), showed towards our trial of faith, indeed the people's voice can be the voice of GOD.   Like Daniel, Taiwo Oluwatoyin Akinbode, was not delivered from the lions den, she was delivered in the lion's den, that our enemy might publicly be shamed again, and GOD may be glorified.

I'm glad it's all ended in praises. I really hope the government would put measures in place to end these kidnappings once and for all. They are very distressing to all involved except for the nefarious perpetrators. 

Tuesday, 28 April 2015

The Law Is The Law

A few years ago, nine men were convicted of drug offences in Indonesia and sentenced to death by firing squad. Alas, they will be killed tonight unless by some rare stroke of luck something changes, which I very much doubt seeing as the Indonesian government has refused pleas from various quarters and countries to upturn the death sentences. The Indonesian government is very strict when it comes to executing prisoners found guilty of carrying drugs into their country and almost everybody knows the risks involved if you get tempted to venture into such business

The pictures circulating showing their visibly distraught families are really moving and you'd have to have a heart of stone not to have an iota of pity for them. That being said, I've seen pictures of drug addicts and I have read stories of recovering addicts and their battles to overcome the addiction and it isn't pretty either. While some people may argue that the drug addicts/users aren't mandated to use these drugs, the fact remains that if the drugs are not in circulation and made accessible to them in the first place, they wouldn't have the challenges that comes with taking them, would they? A country like Indonesia is very clear and explicitly so on the repercussion of bringing drugs into their countries and I believe that if anyone goes ahead to disobey their laws, no matter the juicy promises offered in return, then they only have themselves to blame. 

A grave marking for one of the men condemned to death in Indonesia, Pix Source:

We have lost many people, celebrities and regular people, to drug abuse and I think it is about time a proper and total clamp down on these drugs are effected by all countries. If you don't want to do the time, do not do the crime. Simple.

Whitney Houston's before and after drug addiction pictures.:(

Much Ado About A Barring.......

There's been a whole lot of buzz from Nigerians as a result of the recent barring of staff of the Africa Independent Television (AIT) from covering all activities of the President-elect, Gen Buhari until certain pending issues, which include claims of breach of ethics and standards against the tv station, have been cleared up. These issues mostly arose during the campaign where it was pretty obvious to everyone that the tv station were being paid to broadcast filthy smear campaigns against the APC party, The Jagaban and The General/his family. While I do not condone what the AIT did, I believe the move by President-elect is a very wrong one so early on. He did not have to stoop to conquer, especially seeing as it was clear to most people which side of the fence the AIT were sitting on. 

I think he should have held the Nigerian Broadcasting Commission responsible for allowing those documentaries to air, knowing how incitive and mostly untrue the contents were. He should also have waited until the courts ruled appropriately since the case against AIT is already in court. This singular act does not portray him in a good light knowing that people still have their fears about his past as a military dictator. 

This is a democracy and we are all entitled to freedom of speech, and as such the President-elect needs to realize this before paranoia about a clamp down on expressing our thoughts and views are spread all over. Perhaps if the President-elect's media team had also taken time to further expatiate on the claims that that barring was as a result of some "family and security concerns", then that would have been understandable. If it was a particular person or group of persons that convinced him that barring the AIT staff was the way to go, then I see a similar and disastrous trend as was evident in those surrounding the outgoing president forming afresh. The fact that President Obama did something similar in 2011 does  not mean it would work in President-elect's favour in this case. Let's not forget that Fox News is one of the harshest critics ever of President Obama. 

Monday, 27 April 2015

Help Us Bring Taiwo Akinbode Back Home


Last week, a friend contacted me and said his friend's sister had been kidnapped in Port-Harcourt. He asked that we pray along with the family for her release and I did. I had no clue she was an old friend's twin sister. I only just found out today that it was Taiwo Oluwatoyin Akinbode, gospel artist Kenny K'ore's sister that was kidnapped. I have been out of sorts since I found that out. 

The poor lady was deceived into thinking she was going for a job interview when she left Lagos State for Rivers State on the 16th of April, 2015. Up until today 27th of April, she has not been released by her captors. They have demanded for  ransom of =N=5 million before they will release her. Even though the police and a bunch of other law enforcement agencies are involved in the case, they have not been successful in securing the release of Taiwo nor apprehending these ruthless kidnappers. 

If you can recognize the lady in the picture or have any information or assistance to render the family which will help in getting this young lady home safely, please contact the family on this number: 08073479563.

I cannot even begin to imagine how traumatic the past 10 days+ has been for this family. My sincere prayer is that this ends in praise for the family and loved ones. I pray she would be released soon and I really hope the government would find a way to crackdown on these kidnapping cartels. 


I was toooooooo busy to post much yesterday because it was my hubby's birthday and our 7th year wedding anniversary. Wow, I can't believe seven years has flown past so quickly but then again, time really doesn't wait for anyone. Many thanks to all those who wished us well and stopped by the house.

I don't know if its the post-anniversary buzz or the bright colored top I'm putting on today, but I just feel strong and eager to take on the world this week. I feel refreshed and renewed and that's the mental attitude I'm sticking with this week and beyond. You should too. Say to yourself; 

'Nothing will steal my joy and happiness and success this week. I will rise above everything that tries to get me down'

Feel better? Good, go for it. :) 

Have a splendid week ahead dearest blog readers. 

Sunday, 26 April 2015

Natural Disasters

Just when I was trying to understand how the people of Chile are coping with the erupting volcano, the volcanic ashes and its implications, I was hit with news of a massive earthquake in Nepal. Almost two thousand people have died and several injured and still trapped beneath the rubbles. Several historic building were also affected but of course those can be rebuilt, unlike the lives that have been lost. The earthquake was so bad that it also triggered an avalanche on Mount Everest which has also led to the death of at least 18 people. It's power and effect were felt in surrounding countries like India, China, etc.

The thing with natural disasters is the lack of control man has over it. It is really scary and as much as I'm glad we don't have those on this part of the world, I genuinely feel for those who are at the mercies of the forces of nature. May the souls of the departed rest in perfect peace.

Saturday, 25 April 2015

Be A Survivor, Be Inspired.

This is such an inspiring video by renowned actor Tyrese Gibson and I felt the need to post it and encourage some people out there. I have been through so much in my life but one thing always gets me thorugh the situations and it is the testimony I envision at the end of each test. I see challenges as tests, temporary hurdles over which I must scale to get to the finish line. It's never easy at all, but it is always worth it in the end when I share my testimonies and inspire others by it. It keeps me surviving and WINNING. :)

Watch and share the video below, you can't tell who is in dire need of the encouraging and inspirational words. 

Friday, 24 April 2015

We Cannot Continue Like This...

The rise of maternal mortality rate in Nigeria is really worrisome to me. I have struggled to write this post and make sense of the situation around but it gets harder by the day. I don't know precisely how the present maternal mortality rate measures against the previous ones but I know that between December and now, I know at least four women who have passed away while giving birth. This shouldn't be so in this day and age and as such should be looked into as quickly as possible. Our babies are losing their mothers, avoidably mostly, as fathers are rendered devastated and confused widowers. 

According to a recent World Health Organization (WHO) report on ‘Trends in maternal mortality: 1990-2013’ Nigeria has been classified as 'one of the 10 countries of the world that contribute about 60 per cent of the world’s maternal mortality burden'. This is rather embarrassingly high and as easy as it is to detach oneself from the reality of these statistics, they aren't just mere numbers but actual human beings being affected as victims. I know there are a great many factors responsible for the high maternal mortality rate in Nigeria, some of which are the flawed mentality of the patients and/or their families concerning religion, ignorance, poverty and so on. A lot also borders on outright recklessness and avoidable errors by the medical personnel. This is by no means a doctor-bashing post, for I know that there are doctors who are very passionate about their profession and patients and who have made a lot of sacrifices to become doctors. The truth is that our medical system needs a complete overhaul starting from the 'mass production of poorly trained doctors' and nurses, to the shortage of adequate medical teams and medical equipment

We need more doctors and nurses to speak out on why these blunders are occurring, when they occur and what can be done to avoid them. I think the less cover-ups that goes on after these losses, the better for us all to make proper amends and learn from these mistakes. We simply cannot keep losing young women to avoidable deaths like these, we cannot afford to raise a generation of motherless babies. Something needs to be done ASAP. It makes me pause and wonder how those in the rural areas are coping if the city hospitals cannot even help in reducing these high mortality rates.  :(

Two nights ago, an old friend buzzed me up and when I asked where on earth he had been all this time, he told me he had been in and out of the country. Then he dropped the bombshell of having lost his wife during childbirth a few months ago. She underwent a Cesarean Section and then bled out afterwards. The baby lived, but his dear wife did not make it. He sent me a picture of the wee baby and I wept in shock at the loss. May his wife's soul rest in peace. 

The late pretty Remi Ajatta. Rest in Peace dear.
Then yesterday, I noticed a friend of mine in Luton was distressed and venting on her BBM so I asked her what was going on and once again, I was told the awful news of her friend's passing. Remi had died in a hospital in Abuja while giving birth and tragically, her baby did not survive either. Two of my followers on Twitter drew my attention to her demise again this morning and one went as far as showing me the newly widowed husband's Twitter handle. As I read through his timeline, I simply could not hold back my tears as he expressed his grief about losing his wife, avoidable. Remi had had her first daughter abroad, relocated to Nigeria, gotten pregnant, tried to go to the United States to have this second baby but according to him, the hospital delayed getting her documents ready until the last minutes when she clearly could not fly anymore and so she had no choice but to give birth here in Nigeria and now she is no more. 


He claims Remi died due to the negligence and gross incompetence of the hospital and vows to get her justice. He has already contacted a lawyer after the hospital refused to release the wife's file to him. I pray he finds peace and justice and I pray Remi's soul rests in perfect peace. Since this morning, I have heard about so many other cases of clinical errors leading to deaths or near-death experiences. I have had my fair share as well. 

We cannot continue like this. Something needs to give.

Thursday, 23 April 2015

Being AllHeartsAlways Is Refreshing

A video from 2013 just popped up and it is very heartwarming. It shows a man talking to a woman selling roses on a New York subway (train) about her goods. She tells him she has 140 pieces of roses and each costs a dollar. He gives her $140 cash and asks for just one thing; that she gives away every single rose for free to random people and then go home and do other things for the rest of the day. 

The woman bursts into tears as the realization of the gesture hits her, while the man asks her not to cry because "it's a happy day".  He then gets off the train and leaves the passengers in awe at the kind gesture. Bless his heart.

Being #AllHeartsAlways is often easier than we think but the effects are always so beautiful and powerful. Go on, give it a shot. :)

#BlogFeature - This Thing Called Change

Here is another  thought provoking article by Vivian Beulah Igbokwe. She has been featured as a guest writer on my blog a few times recently. Read, be enlightened about your communities and please do share with every one you know. You never know just how far this might go in getting the change we seek.



There's been a lot of cry in my state, Abia, for change. That seems to be the watchword on all our lips these days. The old men are preaching it, the young people are willing to fight  for it. And for a season, we all seemed to have a consensus candidate: the man we all felt had the capability to take us into the promised land.
But I'm scared for this thing called change. How many of us are truly ready for it?

For a while now, I've been actively observing the political climate in my state, and have on one occasion being a part of a historic political moment in my state. For the first time, our people came out in mass to protest the result of the governorship elections. Wooh! Those were heart touching moments. I was there on Sunday evening when even children protested till very late into the night. I was there till Monday evening when it was obvious that nothing was going to come out of our wait; when we heard that Channels Television announced that there was a stalemate, whatever that meant. I was there when the crisis broke out and the policemen started beating and harassing people who were protesting peacefully. I heard the gunshots. I took cover. I was there when it all ended.

As I returned home that evening from Umuahia, I felt like a war hero (lol). I felt part of an important moment in our common history. I listened to the women selling things on the road side chat in joy filled voices "Otti has won." I smiled and also chuckled. I couldn't wait for that statement to be true. I closed my eyes and envisioned clean roads, good hospitals, good schools-Otti simply had to win.
So, you can imagine my disappointment in the salon the next day when I went to make my hair. The salon issues unisex. Excitedly I said "it's no longer business as usual in Abia State." And that was the Barber's cue. He went on and on abusing Otti, how he's not from Ngwa (I thought he was), how the people of Arochukwu had rejected him that he's not their son,  how he has many political godfathers some from the North, how he would rob us dry...l was speechless.

I thought every normal person in Abia would be happy to have Otti as our leader considering his achievements and connections. I told the Barber that I was tired of seeing our graduates migrate to another state in search of jobs; that Otti was going to bring an end to that. But I was on my own.
An old man joined in the discussion and castigated Otti the more. I also found out from the discussion that many Abians didn't go out to vote. Their "director" from Radio Biafra told them not to. How can our people be this gullible? Biafra?

I question our readiness for this thing called change. As a people, we must make up our minds on what we want. As for this thing called change, it will definitely come to us, whether we like it or yes. But the trend it takes, negative or positive, forward or downward decline, depends on us.

Saturday will soon come upon us but we must ask ourselves if we are ready for this thing called change.

Article by:  Vivian Beulah Igbokwe.

Twitter :      @club7teen 

Wednesday, 22 April 2015

Laugh It Off, Though I'm Kindda Serious O! :D

I found the form below online and I am so framing it and I plan to use it in future for my prospective son-in-laws. Don't bother asking if my hubby filled the same before marrying me o. Just print and fill out the forms for your sons in advance. LOL.

Application Form For Marriage
I _______________ hereby apply to marry your daughter Miss____________. I am _____ years old.
Please answer the following questions honestly.
1. Are you a Christian ? Yes/No
2. Do you have a degree or diploma? Yes/No
3. Are you still a virgin? Yes/No
4. Are you working? Yes/No
5. Do you have a car? Yes/No
If your answer to any of the above questions is NO, do not continue. Leave my house and don't look back.
If all your answers were YES, Then continue...
1. In 50 words or more, Describe the disadvantages of cheating in marriage.
2. With the aid of a diagram, Explain how you can give respect to your father-in-law and mother-in-law.
3. Suppose your wife says "Honey, I need money for my hair at the saloon", what would be your answer?
4. Explain any TEN causes of divorce.
5. What does the term 'good husband' mean to you?
6.Do you have both dad and mum together? Yes/No
If No explain why?
7. Were your parents legally married? Yes/No
If YES for how long?________________________
If the time of their marriage is less than your age, Explain why you were born out of wedlock. _________________________________________
8. Explain the meaning of ''COME HOME EARLY" As used by women (100 words)
9. Give any THREE reasons that can cause a man to sleep outside his house.
10. In case of divorce, Who do you think is the owner of the kids between father and mother?
Answer the following by Yes or No.
1. Do you drink alcohol? Yes/No
2. Do you smoke? Yes/No
3. Are you short-tempered? Yes/No
1. When can you be free for interviews?___________
2. When is the best time to interview your dad?_________
3. When can I interview your mum?___________________
4. When can I interview your congregation Elders?______________
5. Please stick your passport size photo below which will be put in the newspaper to check if you have other girlfriends.
Sign here: ________________
Sign again: _______________
Thank you for showing interest in my daughter. Your application will be processed in a year's time.
You will be acknowledged only if you emerge successful.
As you are waiting...
*Please don't call me!
*Don't visit me!
*Don't contact my daughter!
If you do, you will be disqualified!
Leave your details in case I need to ask you more questions;
Postal Address: _________________________
Email: __________________________________
Phone: _________________________________
Facebook: ______________________________


Have a fabulous day ahead dearest blog visitors. :)

Tuesday, 21 April 2015

The Pitiful Eyesore Amidst Plenty

I came across the pictures below on Facebook last night. Apparently the clearly upset man who put them up claimed that was the lavatory at the General HOSPITAL, Oturkpo in Benue State in which his father was admitted. 

I'm greatly appalled by such a horrible situation and I feel awful for the patients that have to be subjected to such in this day an age. What galls me the most is that David Mark, a current senator representing the Benue constituency and presently the senate president is from Benue state!!!! How can a country so blessed and rich, subject her citizens to such pathetic yet avoidable squalor?

Senate President David Mark
A few Facebook users took up the guy who posted these  pictures on the state of the hospital, asking him not to bother complaining since he was a staunch supporter of the Peoples Democratic Party and of President Goodluck, on whose watch little or nothing was done to improve and provide better basic amenities for the residents of the State. I don't think they (we all actually) were pointing their accusatory fingers at the right person. I think the governor of the state and those on board of the health sector in that state should be held accountable for this eyesore and incompetence.

Oh and by the way, the picture below is allegedly a house belonging to Senator David Mark and yes, that's a helipad on his rooftop. 


Monday, 20 April 2015

The Power In You.

Perhaps I saved a life today. Perhaps it was a fluke. One thing is clear to me now, in cases of emergencies that involves life or death, our natural instincts kick in long enough to do right. If it doesn't for you, then you need mental help.

One of my greatest fears while growing up was of snakes. I loathed snakes and their slithering ways and this loathing brought about a paralyzing fear of them in me. Yet, I recall the first, second and third times I have had to kill snakes that threatened the safety of young human lives. As petrified as I was, I had to do it because no one else could sum up the courage to. I had to face my fear of snakes to protect others from coming to harm because I knew that any bite would lead to death given that there were no antidotes close by. Sigh. 

It makes me wonder how people would mob a thief or an African foreigner or a fellow migrant just because. I simply cannot understand why others would stand and watch such unjust horrors meted out to others without defending them and saving them from death. I can never understand it, and I would never be on such a side as to stand and do nothing while a person dies even if it costs me mine. -_-

Perhaps I saved a life today. I was called to aid a colleague who couldn't breathe. Her airwaves were blocked and she was gasping for breadth. Upon seeing her, my natural instinct kicked in as I took in the scene before me. Her face had been splashed with water but that hadn't helped, clearly. She couldn't talk nor breathe. It was scary but rather than panicking, adrenalin and instinct to help her breathe kicked in. Out of the blues I recalled a first aid technique I had come across in the past. 

When someone is having a panic attack and can't breathe right, you get a paper bag, scrunch it up a bit and try to get them to breathe into it. Obviously we didn't have paper bags just lying around waiting for such a scenario so my senses triggered an alternative and an A4 envelope struck me as an appropriate replacement, so I demanded for one while I got her seated and tried to help her relax by rubbing her back and talking to her softly. As soon as I laid my hands on the envelope, I scrunched it up, leaving a small gap at the top and I placed it across her mouth and coaxed her into taking small breadths. She did great and within a minute, she could breathe better and even speak a little. I was relieved and still a tad euphoric that she could breathe again. I went into auto-pilot and started cleaning and arranging the entire area. Then I went back to my desk as reality hit me and I immediately plugged in my earphones, played some music to calm my nerves and started writing this post, lest I burst into tears. :)

One advice I would give is the need for everyone to learn the basic first aid techniques because you just never know where it would come in handy. I intend to brush up on my CPR skills as well by reading some more and watching videos on how to go about it online.  

If I learnt anything today, it's that no knowledge is ever lost.

A Pleasant Surprise..... :)

I dare you not to be moved by this lovely video. A couple decided to keep the news that they were going to birth twins a surprise to their friends and family until the arrival of the cuties. Then they recorded the different reactions to the revelation and it is just incredible. I'm totally doing this if I decide to have another kid and it turns out to be twins or triplets. Hehehehe. #OkBye. :D

Have a splendidly prosperous week ahead. :)

Sunday, 19 April 2015

#BlogFeature - A Letter To The President-Elect

Here's aarticle by someone whom I've admired his writings for a long time now. His name is Feyi Fawehinmi and he is always thorough while dishing very crucial information, but you see after reading this post of his, I felt the need to share it here and I hope President-elect gets to read it and takes up the quality advice.  Kindly read and share because you never know just how far this might go in opening the eyes of others as to what our expectations should be for a better Nigeria.



Mr President,
I really don’t understand what it means to ‘stand on existing protocol’. Nevertheless, I will go ahead and stand on existing protocol.
1. On the day that Deng Xiaoping became leader of China in 1978, he was just under 75 years old. Between 1980 and 2010, China lifted 680 million people out of poverty. There can be no doubt about it — Deng Xiaoping’s reforms which opened up China’s economy played the biggest part in the stunning transformation of that country.
At a mere 72 years old; age cannot be an excuse for you. You’ve wanted this job for so long anyway. Now, it’s showtime
2. Between 1870 and 1910, over a million Swedes (around 20% of the country’s population at the time) abandoned Sweden for a new life in America. They left a country that was a pretty poor and dark place and suffering repeated crop failures, for the chance of a better life in America.
In 1870, Sweden had a GDP Per Capita of less than $1,500 — not far from where Nigeria was before our GDP rebasing. Today, their GDP per Capita is over $60,000. By the numbers, it has gone from a poor country to a very rich country in just over 100 years.
All of that transformation — from a country people were fleeing to a magnet for immigrants today — happened while Sweden has been a democracy. It is fashionable for people to yearn longingly for an authoritarian ruler in the fashion of Lee Kwan Yew who will drag his country to prosperity. But just as it is never reported on the news when aeroplanes land safely, no one really talks about countries that have gone from poverty to wealth while being democracies.
The excuse that being a democracy makes it hard or impossible for economic reform and development cannot be valid. It can be done. And you must stay within the powers granted you by the constitution – they are there for a reason, mainly to protect the people from the raw naked power of your office.
Nigeria has chosen the path of democracy. There is no longer room for any type other of government. This is what we have and it is what we will develop with, come hell or high water.
3. A few days after General Park Chung-hee took power in South Korea in 1961, he began to arrest a number of businessmen and crony capitalists under a law known as ‘Special Measure for the Control of Illicit Profiteering’. An old prison in Seodaemun which had been used by the Japanese during their occupation of South Korea, was converted to a special prison for crony capitalists and businessmen who had benefitted immensely from the previous government.
To all intents and purposes, it was an anti-corruption crackdown by General Park. But that was only half the story.
A few months after taking power, General Park published a book titled ‘Our Nation’s Path: Ideology of Social Reconstruction’. The book promised a ‘miracle on the Han River’ and building up South Korea into a ‘mammoth economic strength’.
Taken together, General Park did not launch an anti-corruption just for the sake of it. He did it to bully those who might otherwise have been enemies of progress, into supporting his vision of turning South Korea into a ‘mammoth economic power’. The threat of prison was enough to turn rent seekers into manufacturers and exporters in short order.
Yes, a big part of why you have been elected is to get a handle on the corruption which has decayed our country and now threatens to bring the whole structure down. But simply waging war against corruption without a vision of where the country should be going will become no more than a moral crusade. Being tough on corruption will give you a massive chance of pushing through the reforms needed to unleash the animal spirits of the Nigerian economy and put the country on the path to economic development.
General Park’s grand vision was to turn South Korea into an exporting economy. By the time he had finished dealing with the crony capitalists under the guise of anti-corruption, the results were good enough for him to declare, in 1964, every November 30th as ‘Korea National Export Day’. Today, there are few countries on earth you will visit where you won’t find Korean phones, electronics, cars or even ships. And General Park has been dead since 1979.
Chart a new course for this country so that the crooks you want to set straight (most of whom are much younger than you), simply don’t go and hide somewhere waiting for you to leave the scene so they can return the country to ‘business as usual’. If you punish a particular type of behaviour, you must promote an alternative that will be there long after you have left office.
4. The fact that an idea has been tried several times and failed woefully each time does not mean that someone will not attempt it again. Failure, after all, is relative – that something has failed millions of Nigerians does not mean that it has not been an unqualified success for the select few benefitting from that failure.
Between 1958 and 1961, around 36 million people died of hunger and physical abuse in China as a result of the Great Famine brought about by Chairman Mao’s ‘Great Leap Forward’. Partly to cover up the failure of the policies that led to that famine, Mao doubled down and launched the Cultural Revolution which ran from 1966 to 1976 and persecuted millions of real and perceived enemies.
Yet, after Mao died and Deng Xiaoping took over, there were still many many people who wanted to continue his failed policies perhaps because changing course would mean an admission that they had failed. It fell upon Deng to find reformers and back them with all his political will. Some felt the economic reforms were too radical, others felt they were too timid. Chen Yun was a respected economist that Deng could not afford to alienate – he fell into the former camp of those who were skeptical about reforms. But there was also Zhao Ziyang who was very critical of Mao’s policies and was a proponent of bold agricultural reforms. He received the backing of Deng and his agricultural reforms were so successful that Chinese people came up with a saying ‘yao chi liang, zhao Ziyang‘ translated as ‘If you want to eat, look for Ziyang’. The people who had previously starved to death under Mao, knew exactly what they were talking about.
In the end, the anti-reform crew got to Ziyang but by then it was too late to reverse his reforms.
Mr President, you must never run out of political will with which to back the Ziyangs in your government. The change we need in Nigeria goes beyond simply changing the government or ruling party. We desperately need reforms of our laws and how our government sets about tackling the issues plaguing the country. Reform will never be easy (an outgoing minister even reckons some things are unreformable in Nigeria), but you must try. And you must never stop. You must find and protect your Ziyangs before the enemies of progress get to them.
We must acknowledge that we are backward, that many of our ways of doing things are inappropriate and that we need to change
Those were the words of Deng on the day he took office. The result is there for all to see.
5.  You have wanted to be President since 2003. The problem is that, depending on how one looks at it, the problems you wanted to solve in 2003 are now bigger and more complex. It is now when the problems – of insecurity and corruption and economic mismanagement – have gotten out of hand, that Nigerians have, perhaps in desperation, called you.
There are several things this tells us. One is that as long as the problems were ‘manageable’, Nigerians did not need your services. People who behave in this way are likely to get impatient very quickly. It has only been about 2 weeks since Fulani herdsmen attacked a community in Benue State, killing 80 people. It is this same state that you, a Fulani man, just won in the election. Our country is desperate to do better and it has called on you to do the job.
The job is going to be incredibly difficult bordering on the impossible and frankly, it would have been better for you to have been elected in 2003 when some of these issues hadn’t compounded to where they are now.
And yet, as of today, there is nothing stopping you from ending your time in office as Nigeria’s greatest ever leader. The slate is currently blank.
Draw inspiration from another man who, by the time he had finished his 8 years in office as his country’s President, was freely being referred to as ‘the best President ever’ by his countrymen. He increased the average number of years each child spent in school from 5 to 8 years. The number of homes with a functioning and proper connection to the sewage system increased from 37% to 51% under his watch and the number of homes with washing machines went from 24% to 44% of the country’s total. The percentage of the population living in poverty dropped from 32% to 15% in his 8 years in office. That percentage drop translated to 20 million people who were able to move up out of the indignity of poverty and participate in the country’s economy.
Like you, he only won the presidential election at the 4th attempt in 2002 after trying and failing in 1989, 1994 and 1998.
His name of course is Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva.
There is a tide in the affairs of men. Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune. Omitted, all the voyage of their life is bound in shallows and miseries. On such a full sea are we now afloat. And we must take the current when it serves, or lose our ventures.
Abū Ḥāmid Muḥammad ibn Muḥammad al-Ghazālī has been called the greatest Muslim scholar in history by very serious people. One of his most celebrated works was his ‘Book of Counsel for Kings‘ in the classic Arabian tradition of ‘mirrors for Princes’. Here’s a quote:
nothing is more damaging to the subjects and prejudicial and sinister to the King than royal inaccessibility and seclusion; and nothing impresses the hearts of the subjects and functionaries more than ease of access to the King. For when the subjects know the King is easily approachable, it will be impossible for the officials to oppress the subjects and for the subjects to oppress one another
In the same tradition, another Muslim scholar, Nizam al-Mulk wrote to the Sultan of Shah in 1091 describing how Persian monarchs ensured they did not deviate from the work of serving their people:
According to the books of our ancestors, Kings would hold court out of doors, seated on horseback atop a tall platform so as to distinguish from among all the people gathered in the plain those who were suffering oppression and to give them justice. The reason for this custom was that once a King retires to a residence where doors abound, and barriers and vestibules and hallways and gates, men of ill-will and perversity can bar people’s entrance and keep them from lodging complaints with him.
How you choose to govern such that you are not captured behind doors and vesitbules and hallways and gates, will require plenty of wisdom. But it must be done. Some say this is one of the main reasons you have just kicked Goodluck Jonathan out of office. It will be utterly depressing if you fall victim to the same disease.
I am not aware that it is possible to campaign in back to back elections on the theme of change. That is, though you have won the elections by campaigning for change, in 4 years time, you will be on the receiving end of the change message while you convince Nigerians of the need for continuity. ‘Twas ever thus, Mr President.
My friend Osita Nwoye – a believer long before I was one – and one of the most committed people to your cause I have ever met put it best a few days ago:
I got some ‘congratulatory’ messages too and all I did was tweet and make a few phone calls on your behalf.
Now that we have seen that it is possible to unseat a President from office for non-performance, I am afraid that this has put a limit on the amount of intellectual dishonesty that is possible in your defence even by your die-hard fans.
I wish you all the very best. ‘Life is to be entered upon with courage’ as Alexis de Tocqueville once said.
Article by: Feyi Fawehinmi
Twitter: @DoubleEph