LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT, INNOVATIONS & DYNAMICS INITIATIVES

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LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT, INNOVATIONS & DYNAMICS INITIATIVES is a Nigerian non-governmental, non-political, non-religious and not-for-profit organization. Through Conferences and other intervention tools, we make positive impact in the areas of leadership development, youth empowerment, democracy and good governance, peacebuilding, rights advocacy, health and wellness and value orientation.
AIMS & OBJECTIVES

  • Promote peaceful co-existence of Nigerian citizens, their unity and potentials of young people for a better Nigeria.
  • Develop and promote 22nd Century leadership initiatives and skills for greater self attainment.
  • To organize and facilitate the above objectives through conferences, seminars, workshops, publications, advertising, public relations, etc.

VISION
To be Nigeria’s foremost leadership education NGO.

STRATEGIC PLATFORMS
To strategically employ all necessary platforms – education, information and communication initiatives towards achieving a better informed and peaceful youth population that is adequately empowered with skills and capacities to deal with the challenges of the 21st century and beyond. Promote initiatives and campaigns that target changes to policies that negatively affect young people’s needs and personal development and their contribution towards good of the country.

MEMBERSHIP CLASSIFICATION, REGISTRATION, FEES & BENEFITS

  1. CLASSIC MEMBER

ONE-OFF REGISTRATION FEE OF N20, 000 AND A MINIMUM ANNUAL CONTRIBUTION OF N10, 000.

  1. RUBY MEMBER

ONE-OFF REGISTRATION FEE OF N50, 000 AND A MINIMUM ANNUAL CONTRIBUTION OF N20, 000.

  1. DIAMOND MEMBER

ONE-OFF REGISTRATION FEE OF N100, 000 AND A MINIMUM ANNUAL CONTRIBUTION OF N50, 000.

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BENEFITS TO MEMBERS

  • Fulfillment that comes from opportunity to give and donate towards a cause that will make a change.
  • Opportunity to serve and contribute as Volunteer towards rebirth/rebuilding of the Nigerian society.
  • Networking platforms: Meetings, Roundtables and Retreats, media events, Fun opportunities to connect with colleagues, Open Days, etc.
  • Issuance of the organization’s ID Card and Reference Letter, Certificate or Plaque that attests to membership/registration as member of LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT, INNOVATIONS & DYNAMICS INITIATIVES.
  • High level advocacy opportunities as Volunteer in the organization’s projects.
  • Free in-house demand-driven trainings/workshops/Seminars for capacity building.
  • Access to our Members-Only informative and educative social media group and platforms.
  • Online promotion of member’s organization and businesses via our website, email blasts, social media and shared/promoted videos.
  • Enjoy ample discount on publicity on the organization’s website, newsletters, Facebook page, Twitter page, cards, flyers, calendars, directory and other publications.
  • Access to Publications and other documentation: Through our information resource center, members can access various publications, magazines, journals, books, CD-ROMs, research papers, video and audio tapes on relevant/topical issues and conference documents.
  • And more.

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JOIN US
Please join LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT, INNOVATIONS & DYNAMICS INITIATIVES in creating a new Nigeria where citizens are well informed and engaged; equipped to become better individuals, and adept at understanding and ameliorating the factors which precipitate conflict and agitations. By joining us, you also avail yourself a unique opportunity to contribute towards charity and help people and positively reorder lives of the needy for posterity.

No marriage is made-in-Heaven.

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No marriage is made-in-Heaven.
There is no marriage in heaven; none is also made there.
We make marriages.
Whatever we sow, we reap.
Successful, happy marriages are made by just two persons – husband and wife. 
Once they, individually and jointly, stop working at it, cracks develop and if not properly managed, it crashes.
Simple truth.

– Ike Ezugwu.

Winners of Rising Star Writing Competition Receive Their Prizes In Lagos.

The winners of the second edition of the Rising Star Writing Competition have received their various prizes during an Award-Giving Ceremony in Lagos by the organizers of the competition, The Writers Corner on September 27, 2017. The event, which took place at Annes Luxury Suites, Munri Akinola, Victoria Island, held under the distinguished chairmanship of Prof. Oluwatoyin Ogundipe, Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academics), University of Lagos, ably represented by Dr. Olushola Adekanbi, also of University of Lagos. Dr. Adekanbi was supported by the following dignitaries – Chief (Mrs.) Ify Nwosu, wife of the Managing Director of Greenlife Pharmaceuticals – sponsors of the competition; Dr. Uju Murphy, Managing Director Zarazit Collections; Mr. Derrick Osondu, Marketing Manager Greenlife Pharmaceutical Ltd; Ms. Omotayo Adeola, Writer and Producer; Mr. Nglass, Managing Director, Music and Speech Ltd.;  Mr. Doyin Akinlade,  Managing Director, KKB Show; Mrs. Funmi Adefuye, Chief Executive Officer, Sparkling Minds Institute and Mr. Ike Ezugwu, Managing Director, Vuvuzela Communications Limited.

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The First Place Award in the Secondary Category, 43 inch Hisense Television and Certificate went to Kolom Oden-Ikpi, a 15 year old SS2 student of Yaba College of Technology Secondary School, Lagos while 9 year old, year 4 pupil of Corona School, Ikoyi-Lagos, Master Peter Adobamen went home with 32 inch Samsung Television and a Certificate.

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The Second Prize Winner in both the primary and secondary categories received a Lenovo laptop and a certificate each. They winners are Nkpolara Adriana of Louisville College, Ijebu-Itele, Ogun State and Valerie Akpobome of St. Saviours School, Ikoyi – Lagos. Third Place prize for secondary category of Tecno Android phone, (Phantom 6) went to Pelemo Nyajo of Starville School, Abuja while Ogunsipe Oluwadamilola Emmanuella of Livingsprings Schools, Awoyaya, Lagos also got Tecno Android phone, (Phantom 6) for in primary category.

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Also, all the ten Honourable Mention Winners (Four from the Secondary Category and Six from the primary) got 20 inch Samsung Television each. They are: Chidera Okoye – Nnaeze, Louisville Girls High School, Ijebu Itele, Ogun; Aremu Oladimeji; Princenton College, Surulere, Lagos; Aboloko – Erica Oghenejite – Breakthrough Academy, Ojodu- Akute, Ogun State; Itafame Rosaline Gift Esseoghene – School Masters Academy, Ajah, Lagos;  Demilade Toluhi, Temple Preparatory School, Ilupeju Lagos; Tofunmii Bankole – The Fountain School, Surulere, Lagos; Racheal Unachukwu, Corona School  Ikoyi, Lagos; Olafiore Olamuyiwa – Greenspring School  Anthony Lagos; Okpalaoka Somtochukwu Chizuru, Corona School Gbagada, Lagos and Chidinma Cristabel Dominic from Demmykitties School, Surulere, Lagos.

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While thanking the schools and children that participated in the writing competition, Uche Udoji (Mrs.) remarked that all the children that participated keenly contested for the prizes and did very well. She pointed out that by writing, they are all winners. She encouraged children to keep writing. She said: “a professional writer is an amateur who did not quit”. Mrs. Udoji also urged parents and teachers to attach more importance to writing, especially creative writing.

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The Writers Corner Coordinator, while giving God the glory for the success of the competition in the past editions, thanked the sponsors of the project, Greenlife Pharmaceuticals and the Bank of Industry for their support. She specially recounted how the managing Director of Greenlife Pharmaceuticals embraced the project proposal because of his love for children and their development. He solicited for more participation and involvement of corporate bodies in the competition. “We need more support to make the competition more competitive and more rewarding to participants. We want more children to go home with prizes” she added.

Always remember that if you can read you can write; therefore, READ, READ, READ and WRITE, WRITE, WRITE.

  • Ike Ezugwu in Lagos.

Young Writers Win Big at the Rising Star Writing Competition

Joint

The winners of Rising Star Writing Competition have been released by the organizers of the competition, The Writers Corner. In the Junior Category, nine year old Master Peter Adobamen of Corona School, Ikoyi  – Lagos is the First Place with a poem while nine year old Miss Valerie Akpobome of St. Saviours School, Ikoyi – Lagos took the Second Place with her poem. The Third Place position went to Miss Ogunsipe Oluwadamilola Emmanuella, an 8-year old year three pupil of Livingsprings Schools, Awoyaya, Lagos.

In the Senior Category, the First Place went to Master Kolom Oden-Ikpi of Yaba College of Technology Secondary School, Lagos. He is a 15-year old SS2 student and came tops with his short story. The Second Place Winner in the Senior Category is a 14-year old, SS 1 student of Louisville College, Ijebu-Itele, Ogun State, Miss Nkpolara Adrina with a short story. 15-year old, SS 2 student of Starville School, Abuja, Master Pelemo Nyajo, took the third Place prize with his short story.

Six pupils won Honourable Mention prizes in the Junior Category. They are: DEMILADE  TOLUHI- Temple Preparatory School,  Ilupeju Lagos; TOFUNMII BANKOLE- The Fountain School, Surulere, Lagos; RACHEAL UNACHUKWU- Corona School  Ikoyi, Lagos; OLAFIORE OLAMUYIWA-Greenspring School  Anthony Lagos; OKPALAOKA SOMTOCHUKWU CHIZURU- Corona School Gbagada, Lagos and CHIDINMA Cristabel Dominic  of Demmykitties School, Surulere.

In the Senior Category, four students also won the Honourable Mention prizes: CHIDERA OKOYE-ANAEZE, Louisville Girls High School, Ijebu Itele, Ogun; AREMU OLADIMEJI,  Princenton College, Surulere, Lagos; ABOLOKO-  ERICA OGHENEJITE , Breakthrough Academy, Ojodu- Akute, Ogun and ITAFAME ROSALINE GIFT ESSEOGHENE of School Masters Academy, Ajah, Lagos.

The awards and prizes shall be presented to the winners on Wednesday, 27th September, 2017 at Annes Luxury Suites, Muri Okunola Street, Victoria Island, Lagos.

Announcing the results of the recently concluded edition of the annual competition, Mrs. Uche Udoji, CEO, The Writers Corner and Coordinator of the competition observed that the competition was keenly contested by pupils and students from various primary and secondary schools pan Nigeria respectively.

“Just like in the first edition, the second edition was keenly contested as there were many wonderful and incisive entries from children in different schools across the country.  However, just a few entries can be openly rewarded with prizes. Some of the key criteria used included the writer’s ability to humanize nature, the extent to which the work relates and affects the human person;  the beauty, flow and rhythm of language; poetic license and tone for poetry entrants; structure and organization of work; format and style and spelling and appropriate use of  punctuation marks. It is important to note that in Rising Star Writing Competition, every participant is a winner”, she said.

Mrs. Udoji also thanked the sponsors of the competition, Greenlife Pharmaceuticals, The Bank of Industry and Tripplesea Group for helping make the second edition a reality. She also called on other corporate organizations in Nigeria to support the competition. “We sincerely hope for more participation and support in the coming editions of the competition.  We look forward to more robust involvement by schools and corporate institutions in the coming edition as well as greater participation of pupils and students from public and private schools across Nigeria”, she added.

The Rising Star Writing Competition and Awards is an annual children creative writing competition and awards organized by The Writers Corner Lagos in collaboration with Vuvuzela Communication Limited to help to develop children’s creative writing skills.

The awards and prizes shall be presented to the winners on Wednesday, 27th September, 2017 at Annes Luxury Suites, Muri Okunola Street, Victoria Island, Lagos.

 

 

Master Peter Adobamen of Corona School, Lagos and Master Kolom Oden-Ikpi, an SS2 student of of Yaba College of Technology Secondary School, Lagos win the second edition of Rising Star Writing Competition.

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Nine-year-old Master Peter Adobamen of Corona School, Ikoyi and Master Kolom Oden-Ikpi, an SS2 student  of Yaba College of Technology Secondary School, Lagos emerged First Place Winners in the junior and senior categories respectively. Master Adobamen won with his poem on the theme, “The Beauty of Nature” while fifteen-year-old Master Oden-Ikpi, emerged overall winner in the Senior category with his short story on the same theme.

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Also, in the Junior Category, nine-year-old Miss Valerie Akpobome of St. Saviours School, Ikoyi – Lagos took the Second Place with her poem while the Third Place position went to Miss Ogunsipe Oluwadamilola Emmanuella, an eight-year old year three pupil of Livingsprings Schools, Awoyaya, Lagos.

In the Senior Category, the Second Place Winner is Miss Nkpolara Adrina, a 14-year old, SS 1 student of Louisville College, Ijebu-Itele, Ogun State, with a short story on the theme. Master Pelemo Nyajo, fifteen-year old, SS 2 student of Starville School, Abuja took the third Place prize with a short story.

Six pupils won Honourable Mention prizes in the Junior Category. They are: DEMILADE  TOLUHI- Temple Preparatory School,  Ilupeju Lagos; TOFUNMII BANKOLE- The Fountain School, Surulere, Lagos; RACHEAL UNACHUKWU- Corona School  Ikoyi, Lagos; OLAFIORE OLAMUYIWA-Greenspring School  Anthony Lagos; OKPALAOKA SOMTOCHUKWU CHIZURU- Corona School Gbagada, Lagos and CHIDINMA Cristabel Dominic  of Demmykitties School, Surulere.

In the Senior Category, four students also won the Honourable Mention prizes: CHIDERA OKOYE-ANAEZE, Louisville Girls High School, Ijebu Itele, Ogun; AREMU OLADIMEJI, Princenton College, Surulere, Lagos; ABOLOKO-  ERICA OGHENEJITE , Breakthrough Academy, Ojodu- Akute, Ogun and ITAFAME ROSALINE GIFT ESSEOGHENE of School Masters Academy, Ajah, Lagos.

Announcing the results of the recently concluded edition of the annual competition, Mrs. Uche Udoji, CEO, The Writers Corner and Coordinator of the competition observed that the competition was keenly contested by pupils and students from various primary and secondary schools pan Nigeria respectively.

“Just like in the first edition, the second edition was keenly contested as there were many wonderful and incisive entries from children in different schools across the country.  However, just a few entries can be openly rewarded with prizes. Some of the key criteria used included the writer’s ability to humanize nature, the extent to which the work relates and affects the human person;  the beauty, flow and rhythm of language; poetic license and tone for poetry entrants; structure and organization of work; format and style and spelling and appropriate use of  punctuation marks. It is important to note that in Rising Star Writing Competition, every participant is a winner”, she said.

Mrs. Udoji also thanked the sponsors of the competition, Greenlife Pharmaceuticals, The Bank of Industry and Tripplesea Group for helping make the second edition a reality. She also called on other corporate organizations in Nigeria to support the competition. “We sincerely hope for more participation and support in the coming editions of the competition.  We look forward to more robust involvement by schools and corporate institutions in the coming edition as well as greater participation of pupils and students from public and private schools across Nigeria”, she added.

The Rising Star Writing Competition and Awards is an annual children creative writing competition and awards organized by The Writers Corner Lagos in collaboration with Vuvuzela Communication Limited to help to develop children’s creative writing skills.

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The awards and prizes shall be presented to the winners on Wednesday, 27th September, 2017 at Annes Luxury Suites, Muri Okunola Street, Victoria Island, Lagos.

 

So much fuss over Nigerian feminists and feminism

gender equal opportunity or representation

By Ike Ezugwu.

Apparently, there is this misplaced rancor “within the Nigerian social media space” over the meaning and application of the terms feminism and feminist on one side and the perceived ignoble activities of feminists on social media. A huge misunderstanding has taken over the already chaotic social media space and this needs to be addressed. Failures or misfortunes in the marriages of some “feminists” have also been attributed (ignorantly and falsely) to their feminist posture in family and business. be that as it may, feminism, no matter the guise or garb, has become a moral revolution that cannot be ignored. Today, notwithstanding our efforts to cling to our valued “customs and traditions”, we have all become feminists…though at different levels.

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Let me start with the meaning of Feminism. Feminism, just like feminist, is a noun. It means “the advocacy of women’s rights on the ground of the equality of the sexes”. Merriam-Webster defines feminism as “the theory of the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes, the belief that men and women should have equal rights and opportunities….” The term feminism can be used to describe a political, cultural or economic movement aimed at establishing equal rights and opportunities. Who then is a feminist? A feminist is therefore a believer, promoter or adherent of this moral revolution, feminism. “Although the terms “feminism” and “feminist” did not gain widespread use until the 1970s, they were already being used in the public parlance much earlier; for instance, Katherine Hepburn speaks of the “feminist movement” in the 1942 film Woman of the Year.”

Feminism has been studied by various authors and social scientists over the years. One historical account by Simone de Beauvoir holds that “the first time we see a woman take up her pen in defense of her sex” was Christine de Pizan who wrote Epitre au Dieu d’Amour (Epistle to the God of Love) in the 15th century. Heinrich Cornelius Agrippa and Modesta di Pozzo di Forzi worked in the 16th century. Marie Le Jars de Gournay, Anne Bradstreet and Francois Poullain de la Barre wrote during the 17th”.

Experts have also divided the history of feminism into three waves. The first feminist wave was in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, the second was in the 1960s and 1970s, and the third extends from the 1990s to the present. So many feminist theories have emerged from these feminist movements over the years. This is manifest in a variety of disciplines.

Many Nigerian youths have also pointed accusing fingers at the feminists within the Nigerian social media space, citing failing marriages as consequences. These commentators, (not qualified here as) anti-feminists say the Nigerian feminists are taking the theories too far – a form of extremism, radicalism that should be checked. Though not misplaced, the apprehension is somewhat misplaced. “Radical feminism considers the male controlled capitalist hierarchy, which it describes as sexist, as the defining feature of women’s oppression”. The Nigerian radical feminists hold our culture and cultural prejudices responsible for sexist-based ills in marriages and outside it. The attention of radical feminists in Nigeria is tilted towards making Nigerian women and naturally the general public appreciate the loopholes in the sexist cultural practices that hinder women. They believe that women can free themselves only when they have done away with what they consider an “inherently oppressive and dominating patriarchal system, as evidenced in our cultural and traditional practices. Radical feminists, all over the world, feel same way. They believe that “there is a male-based authority and power structure and that it is responsible for oppression and inequality, and that as long as the system and its values are in place, society will not be able to be reformed in any significant way. Some radical feminists see no alternatives other than the total uprooting and reconstruction of society in order to achieve their goals”.

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I do not think that Nigerian feminists (old and emerging) are advocating or prescribing anything bad or socially retrogressive. They are merely drawing our attention to the immense potentials the world holds; if only the women can be given equal rights and justice to contribute deploy their full potentials. An average Nigerian girl child should grow with a sense of equality (and responsibility) with her male counterpart. The difference in their success and attainments in life should not be based on biological differences between male and female or limitative cultural dictates of our time. Each child, male or female, should have equal rights to develop and contribute. It is our duty to ensure this. After all, Nigeria is a signatory to The Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW). “This is an international convention adopted by the United Nations General Assembly. Described as an international bill of rights for women, it came into force on 3 September 1981. Several countries have ratified the Convention subject to certain declarations, reservations and objections. Iran, Sudan, Somalia, Qatar, Nauru, Palau, Tonga and the United States have not ratified CEDAW”.

*Credit to all the Dictionaries utilized. Also to Wikipedia and all other online resource platforms from which materials for this piece were taken.

The Writers Corner Boss Expresses Satisfaction Over Level Participation In Rising Star Writing Competition, As Entries For 2017 Edition Close.


The Writers Corner Boss expresses satisfaction over the level participation in Rising Star Writing Competition, as entries for 2017 edition close.

…Continue reading

First-Ever Handwriting Fun Fair Held in Lagos by Sparkling Minds

Ike Ezugwu

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Sparkling Minds, a Lagos-based handwriting support and solutions company, organized a first-ever, fun-filled Handwriting Fun Fair at Apapa Amusement Park on May 27, 2017 (Children’s Day) to celebrate Nigerian children as well as draw attention to the art of handwriting and its importance.

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During the fun fair, school children and adults at the venue had a rare opportunity to showcase their handwriting skills. The participants wrote while cruising on rides and some of them were able to sustain their legible handwriting despite writing in motion. Writing was done on tables as well. Besides the handwriting challenges, the children participated in many writing games like the ‘mystery box’, ‘Mrs. A says’ and the ‘turn me over letter search’. Toddlers and adults were not left out as some of them had opportunity to showcase their handwriting abilities.

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The Managing Partner and Chief Handwriting Instructor of Sparkling Minds, Mrs. Funmi Adefuye remarked during the event that Sparkling Minds is on the look-out for the Next Handwriting Hero, a handwriting competition for children billed to commence soon. She urged the children to keep practising neat and legible handwriting, while getting ready for the coming competition. Beyond the annual Handwriting Fun fair, Mrs Adefuye listed the core competence areas of the company to include:

  • Promotion of handwriting and its instruction in educational and corporate institutions, as well as for personal home study.
  • Offering handwriting instruction and materials to all children and adults.
  • Hosting THE NEXT HANDWRITING HEROES COMPETITION, an annual handwriting competition for children.
  • Hosting CHILDREN HANDWRITING FUN FAIR (PENS & PENCILS) annually to draw attention to the importance of handwriting and its instruction in schools.
  • Recognizing individual and corporate efforts towards the promotion of handwriting and its instruction in Nigeria.
  • Tracking and communicating technical trends in the development of handwriting, its instruction and materials.

A Journey, I for long, longed for

Poem

I didn’t see you coming, yet, when you came, I embraced you with all I have

In return, you consumed me and communed with my soul intricately

You awakened my soul and caused it to reach for more

You planted an unquenchable fire in our hearts and brought bliss to our souls

and peace to our longing hearts

Now, my strength returns and I feel the vigour of my loins, the full weight of desire

I can move mountains and cast them as pebbles

I have conquered all the conquerable and courage has enveloped me

At last, the conqueror is conquered

Take me home to your sanctuary

Let me put my head down on your laps and savour the incense of bliss

Though I come and come, don’t let me go

Don’t wake me up

It’s a journey, I for long, longed for.

  • Ike Ezugwu.

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What Old Age Has To Do With Love.

Photo by RANDY FIEDLER/Advocate staff SENIORS WEDDING 3) Dorothy Eby and Stuart Brown seal their wedding vows with a kiss as pastor Leigh Smithson watches at Redwoods Retirement Residence Saturday. for storyBy Ike Ezugwu.

So many old men and women are busy falling and living in love. They quietly love, having beautiful butterflies, hitting it hard and fast! Again, they are having damn romantic and surreal relationships out there! Am sure young people don’t notice because the older guys and ladies retire to their nests and spoil themselves with love. Yes, there is a major shift with age but really it has very little to do with love.

Many young people don’t even know what they want in a relationship. They don’t know what love is. They fall so easily, they misread signs and signals…and they abandon the ship so quickly. Surprised? Don’t be. Young people lust more than they love. They are so unfaithful because they are learning too early with themselves as guinea pigs. They are equally distracted by kids and family. They are still active at work and have little or nothing special to massage the itching of the heart.

With age, falling in love or even love generally changes as we get older. Maturity takes over. Patience and tolerance and the ultimate knowledge that none is perfect reign in old people’s love relationship. But really, older people take time to fall in love. It takes more to turn their heads and tickle them. Everything just has to take time to develop. Love becomes a process, determined and deliberate…gets properly defined and situated. Hey! Don’t get it twisted. Don’t confuse falling love with craving for sex. No, don’t. Falling fast and hard may be rare at old age but it does really happen. I can assure you of that. In this situation, the old guy knows when it’s real and when it’s not worth his penny. He falls fast, he strikes fast! Yeah! There are so many hot, randy old men and women out there! Can you spot one when you see him or her? Wait, who is an old man or woman? It’s all in your mind.

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But, don’t you dare point your finger at me or in my direction. Enjoy your youth but prepare for the full circle as you mature. Love is sweet, sweetest at older age.

  • Ike Ezugwu

#CrazyRandyOldMan

Photo Credit: Photo by RANDY FIEDLER/Advocate staff SENIORS WEDDING. Dorothy Eby and Stuart Brown seal their wedding vows with a kiss as pastor Leigh Smithson watches at Redwoods Retirement Residence Saturday.

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Mrs. Uche Udoji urges parents to register their children and wards in Rising Star Writing Competition.

IMG-20160211-WA0041-1The Chief Executive Officer of The Writers Corner, Lagos, Mrs. Uche Udoji, has called on parents and guardians to ensure that their children and wards take part in the on-going Rising Star Writing Competition. Mrs. Udoji made this call during an interview with our editorial team in Lagos. Highlighting the importance of participation in the exercise, Mrs. Udoji said the competition will help children develop their writing skills, build confidence to creatively express themselves under a competitive platform. She also said participating students and pupils stand a chance to win great prizes like laptops, television sets, tablet computers, among many others.

Rising Star Writing Competition & Awards, an annual children creative writing competition, have announced the take-off of the second edition of the competition. Entries opened on March 1, 2017 and end on June 23, 2017.  The organizers of the competition recently extended the close of entry for the competition from May 20, 2017 to June 23, 2017, to allow for more entries and afford more children the opportunity to enter for the competition.

The maiden edition of the competition and awards was a huge success with children from schools across the country winning various prizes – Television sets, laptop computers, UPS, books among others. The competition which is organized by The Writers Corner in collaboration with Vuvuzela Communications Limited is to help develop children’s creative thinking and writing skills. The competition is open to Nigerian children aged six – eleven (Primary) to twelve – seventeen (Secondary) whether resident in Nigeria or abroad. Non-Nigerian Children resident in Nigeria are also eligible.

The writing can be either a poem or a short story exploring the theme “The Beauty of Nature”. The word limit for a short story is 600 and 250 for a poem. Winning entries shall be published in Rising Star Creative Writing Annual (an Anthology of Children Creative Writing).

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Winners in each category shall receive the following prizes:

First Place Winners A TV set, Certificate of Award, books, special appearance at the Rising Star Writing Awards Ceremony and a chance to have the award-winning entry published in Rising Star Creative Writing Annual. Second Place Winners shall get Tablet Computers, Certificate of Award, books, special appearance at the Rising Star Writing Awards Ceremony and a chance to have the award-winning entry published. Third Place Winners shall receive Android phones, Certificate of Award, books, special appearance at the Rising Star Writing Awards Ceremony and chance to have the award-winning entries published while each of the Honourable Mention Winners shall go home with a UPS, Certificate of Award, books, special appearance at the Rising Star Writing Awards Ceremony and a chance to have the award-winning entry published too.

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According to Uche Udoji (Mrs.) the second edition of the competition, has been made possible by Greenlife Pharmaceuticals, Blue Gate (Tripplesea Group) and Bank of Industry.

IMPORTANT INFORMATION ON HOW TO ENTER FOR THE COMPETITION:

Download the form, fill it out and return the scanned completed form (with details of payment of Entry Fee – N2,000)  to risingstarwritingawards@gmail.com. You can also type out the required information (as requested in the form) and mail to us. The child’s entry should also be mailed to us via the same email address before the closing date, June 23, 2017.

By Ike Ezugwu

Appraising The Lagos@50 Campaign

By Chido Nwakanma

rasheed-gbadamosi-02Pix: Chief Raasheed Gbadamosi with Prof. Wole Soyinka at the formal launch of Lagos@50.
The Lagos@50 outdoor advertising campaign would seem to have wound down two weeks to the climax of the subject of the campaign. It left in its wake many conversations and controversies that helped to drive it.

The inclusion of Prof Pat Utomi, Olubunmi Cardinal Okogie, Stella Okoli of Emzor Pharma, the Ebeano duo and other non-native Lagosians in the Lagos@50 campaign removed disquiet in some quarters and raised the ante in the discussion of the campaign. Still, there were those who quarrelled with what was tagged its elitism.

The very elaborate campaign to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Lagos State presents an interesting case study in public communication. The Lagos@50 campaign is a 50-day long effort involving events, various programmes and direct messaging through advertising.

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Some context is necessary. Lagos is not merely one of Nigeria’s 36 states. Lagos is primus inter pares. It stands alone and apart, owing to its history, its current size and its net worth. Lagos was the combined commercial and political capital of Nigeria up until 1991. It remains the business capital of West and Central Africa, and certainly one of the principal cities of Africa.

Lagos has set the pace for Nigeria in several areas, from medicine to media, commerce to communication, politics to governance and everything in between. Lagos was where the Nigeria Media grew its sinews, where broadcasting commenced with Rediffusion relays of BBC broadcasts and where advertising took form.

Rivers State in the South-South is also celebrating 50 years. So it should. Lagos is the focus because where Lagos goes, other states soon follow. Kudos, therefore, to the Lagos State Government for this elaborate campaign. Note that in the Communication Darwinism of the Information Age, everything communicates, the stated and the unstated. A melange of activities, events and direct communication featured in the messaging of Lagos@50.
Entertainment is a fundamental element of the Lagos@50 campaign. It has featured Wakaa! The Musical, Fela, the Broadway Musical in Concert, a Boat Regatta and the Lagos International Jazz Festival. There have been fashion shows, film shows in the first four divisions of the state, viz Ikeja, Epe, Badagry and Ikorodu. The arts and culture predominate. The workshops that feature as part of the celebration are arts-based, being Onidiri, the art of human adornment, led by Jimi Solanke and Gele, by Nike Okundaye. There would be a comedy festival, more dances by skaters and even dance and comedy challenge.
Lagos@50 gives a nod to education. There are literary and debate competitions for primary schools and Junior and Senior Secondary Schools. There would be a two-day conference on the theme, “Lagos: From Mega to Smart City” on May 25 and 26. There would be a colloquium on various areas and a special legislative session.
All of these are communication events and elements, make no mistake about it. Communication as communication, however, took the form of the outdoor campaign mainly. The ubiquity and character of the outdoor campaign made it the focus and primary platform for the Lagos@50 messaging.
The goal of this campaign seemed to be to make the celebration of the Golden Jubilee of Lagos people-centric by highlighting significant players in the evolution of the state. The theme is “Enhance the heritage. Advance the Future”. It started off, however, on a limiting footing with a focus on artists and the entertainment world. A gale of criticism followed, and the implementation team upped their game by extending the recognitions to persons in various other fields.
In consequence, the campaign acquired some distinct characteristics. First, is the fact of the advertising being almost exclusively an outdoor campaign. Outdoor as the primary driver of a campaign is unusual and upends convention. Conventional wisdom in marcomms sees outdoor advertising mainly as reminder media. Lagos@50 showed that it is possible to run on outdoor as primary and even sole vehicle.
DSC_6850Why is this so? As in real estate, location is an important consideration for out of home media. Lagos is prime real estate, an appealing location for outdoor. Lagos offers the population and the density to ensure effective reach and high opportunity to see. The boards took advantage of the massive traffic on the major roads of the city. They were thus highly visible.

 

One of the oft-cited benefits of outdoor advertising is cost effectiveness. There are no figures yet to know how many hoardings the managers of the campaign deployed and what it cost. For the impact it made, however, it is clear they would have required considerable air time and print insertions to come anywhere close.
Lagos@50 was scalable and showed remarkable flexibility and adaptability. The campaign managers reacted positively to criticisms and complaints, making adjustments and additions.
A further positive for the campaign was extending the messaging of the theme campaign launched last year, “Our Lagos”, the story of an inclusive Lagos as the melting pot of West Africa.
Outdoor is, of course, the medium that offers round the clock exposure. It runs 24 hours a day, all week. There is no editorial, programming or photographs around the boards. In the compact environment of Lagos, outdoor is a winning medium.
Outdoor became an essential part of the marketing mix in Lagos since the introduction of the Bus Rapid Transit and its dedicated buses. The moving billboards on the buses conveyed their messages effectively.
A significant drawback for the Lagos@50 communication effort was the absence of integration. The outdoor campaign featured an extensive list of eminent personalities picked for roles across various fields of endeavour. Outdoor has its limitations, so there was no information on the characters. From this point, the campaign would have benefitted from integration. There was none. There was neither a public relations campaign to storify and share the attributes that made the persons icons of Lagos nor even one on the main website of Lagos@50.
The outdoor campaign is over. Measurement would be regarding how well it served the communication functions. According to the UNESCO International Commission for the Study of Communication Problems (1980), critical communication purposes are information, socialisation and motivation. Others are debate and discussion, education, and cultural promotion. Then there are entertainment and integration.
The Lagos@50 campaign sparked debate and discussion. Through other measures, the LASG has done cultural promotion and lots of entertainment. Information, socialisation and motivation would happen through the citizen activities such as the school’s debate, the colloquium and the musical events.
The campaign at the end made a significant impact. It created buzz and drew attention to the fact of a major celebration. It was left to the campaign managers to strengthen it with other elements in the IMC cookbook. The key missing element of the campaign is integration. Integration refers to the provision to all persons and groups of access to the variety of messages that they need to know and understand each other and to appreciate others’ living conditions, viewpoints and aspirations. That would be the true conversation on Lagos and the communication of Lagos.

18486129_10155272372319054_8783045754304198040_nThere are some quibbles. As Nigeria did when the Federal Government marked our centenary, there is no plan in the outlined programme to leave lasting mementoes. It is all about singing, dancing, eating and talking. Just merriment. Lagos is not planning to build e-libraries to mark its 50th year or even to improve the appeal and experience of its tourism. An e-library in each of the first four zones would be a lasting monument with relevance and applicability.
Nor did the LASG consider using the Lagos@50 celebrations to jumpstart tourism. For instance, the trek at the Badagry Slave Route could do with some improvements such as Ogun State did with the Olumo Rock climb. It is time for a Lagos City Tour, same as you have a London City Tour or a New York City tour. There are enough places of historical import for the many persons who come to Lagos and need education on the history of Nigeria’s much beloved and significant city-state.

ambodesThe lack of permanent reminders seems to be a recent development and is a departure from the behaviour of the then Federal Military Government that left the Festac Town housing development and the National Theatre as mementoes of the jamboree of the World Festival of Black Arts and Civilisation in 1977.
Governor Akinwunmi Ambode is making marks in other areas and has shown adaptability and a listening ear. Maybe Lagos would still do something as a permanent reminder of the Golden Jubilee of its creation as a state. True to type, the ink was just drying on this submission when I saw that the LASG had baptised the about-to-be-commissioned Ajah bridge as “Jubilee Bridge”. Good thinking and good communication.

 

Organizers of Rising Star Writing Competition for Children extend entry to June 23, 2017

By Ike Ezugwu

The organizers of Rising Star Writing Competition & Awards, earlier scheduled to close on May 20, 2017, have extended to June 23, 2017.  According to Coordinator of the competition and Chief Executive Officer of The Writers Corner, Uche Udoji (Mrs.), this is to allow for more entries and afford more children the opportunity to enter for the competition.

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Rising Star Writing Competition & Awards, an annual children creative writing competition, have announced the take-off of the second edition of the competition. Entries opened on March 1, 2017.  The maiden edition of the competition and awards was a huge success with children from schools across the country winning various prizes – Television sets, laptop computers, UPS, books among others. The competition which is organized by The Writers Corner in collaboration with Vuvuzela Communications Limited is to help develop children’s creative thinking and writing skills. The competition is open to Nigerian children aged six – eleven (Primary) to twelve – seventeen (Secondary) whether resident in Nigeria or abroad. Non-Nigerian Children resident in Nigeria are also eligible.

 

The writing can be either a poem or a short story exploring the theme “The Beauty of Nature”. The word limit for a short story is 600 and 250 for a poem. Winning entries shall be published in Rising Star Creative Writing Annual (an Anthology of Children Creative Writing).

Winners in each category shall receive the following prizes:

First Place Winners A TV set, Certificate of Award, books, special appearance at the Rising Star Writing Awards Ceremony and a chance to have the award-winning entry published in Rising Star Creative Writing Annual. Second Place Winners shall get Tablet Computers, Certificate of Award, books, special appearance at the Rising Star Writing Awards Ceremony and a chance to have the award-winning entry published. Third Place Winners shall receive Android phones, Certificate of Award, books, special appearance at the Rising Star Writing Awards Ceremony and chance to have the award-winning entries published while each of the Honourable Mention Winners shall go home with a UPS, Certificate of Award, books, special appearance at the Rising Star Writing Awards Ceremony and a chance to have the award-winning entry published too.

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According to Uche Udoji (Mrs.) the second edition of the competition, has been made possible by Greenlife Pharmaceuticals, Blue Gate (Tripplesea Group) and Bank of Industry.

IMPORTANT INFORMATION ON HOW TO ENTER FOR THE COMPETITION:

Download the form, fill it out and return the scanned completed form (with details of payment of Entry Fee – N2,000)  to risingstarwritingawards@gmail.com. You can also type out the required information (as requested in the form) and mail to us. The child’s entry should also be mailed to us via the same email address before the closing date, June 23, 2017.

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Why Governor Ugwuanyi chose to put Enugu State in the Hands of God.

By Ike Ezugwu

7We have raised our hopes and our cities high
We have followed fragile dreams
But only One could take the measure of our goals
And we’ve stumbled over the trials of life
And we’ve wrestled the unseen
But only One can calm the storm inside our souls

In the hands of God we will fall
Rest for the restless, and the weary
Hope for the sinner
In the hands of God we stand tall
Hands that are mighty to deliver
Giving us freedom

When our strength gave way to the weight of guilt
‘Til we strained for every breath
Only One could lift our shame and make us well
And when all is finished and we face
The fearsome power of death
Only One has overcome the gates of hell

You’re amazing
You’re amazing, You are
And we praise You, Lord
For what Your hands have done

“In The Hands Of God” – The Newboys

6After being declared winner of the Governorship election in Enugu State, Hon. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi must have had his thoughts filled with great amazement, fear or apprehension over the enormity of the task at hand. He probably had asked God if He actually meant him or someone else. He also probably had reasons to ask God if he wasn’t making a mistake by electing him for the leadership of Enugu State. God must have answered him in the affirmative: “I have chosen you”; yet he felt it would be beyond him to do alone. He needed God to go with him! “The truth is, we all fall short of the glory of God, and we walk humbly by his grace, for God does not call those who feel equipped, he equips those He calls.” Everything God does is according to the “gratuity of God”. What did the young man, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, do after all? He put it all in God’s hands! He was to publicly declare this on the day of his inauguration as Governor, Enugu State, May 29, 2015. Not many people at the Okpara Square, including my honorable self, could feel the import of the speech made by His Excellency at that moment. It seemed just a slogan or pay-off line for one great communication campaign. However, neither his eloquence nor the applause could dim the import of the declaration that he was handing Enugu State over to God.

Governor Ugwuanyi knew, from the beginning of his reign as Governor that “the pieces of fish available to him” would not be enough to meet the expectations and yearnings of the people of Enugu State. However, he didn’t want to dissipate energies seeking solutions where none existed. He simply handed it over to God and left the rest up to God. When the Federal Allocation to states is not sufficient to impact on the lives of the people, Governor Ugwuanyi placed it all in God’s hands and earnestly worked in the direction set by God to get results. The former Senate President and Chairman of the Constitution and Electoral Reform Committee, Senator Ken Nnamani, echoes this when he said that “Enugu State is lucky to now have a governor who has respect for everybody irrespective of political differences and has equally transformed the state with the meager resources at his disposal occasioned by the prevailing economic crunch in the country”.

Ultimately, the story of Five loaves and two fish illustrate for us the miracles that happen when place our lives in the hands of God. This applies to all aspects of our lives as well as in leadership. God wants us to place our gifts, resources, energies and talent in His hands; not forgetting our challenges and pains. “Many times we cling to our challenges, grief; we cling to our bitterness and we cling to our anger in such a way that we cripple ourselves.” By placing Enugu State in the hands of God, Governor Ugwuanyi has not only sowed for bountiful harvests but have also handed all our troubles, those things eating away at our souls, robbing us of the joy in our lives….

When the Fulani Herdsmen attacked Nimbo in Enugu State, stories made rounds of a Governor that would rather shed tears and call for prayers than call for reprisal attacks on everything and everyone Fulani. Governor Ugwuanyi, ended up offering a way out of chaos and war. While still working to strengthen security, peaceful co-existence in the state, he handed the state over to God, the All-powerful God. David Washburn  in his beautiful piece, “In The Hands of God” captures the beauty of handing it over to God: “When I hold a basketball in my hands, it’s merely a basketball, but when you place that same basketball in the hands of Michael Jordan, it turns into collegiate and professional championships. Put a golf club in any of our hands, and it’s merely a golf club, but when you place that same golf club in the hands of Tiger Woods, it turns him into the best golfer in the world. A paintbrush in my hands might result in a pretty good picture if it’s paint by numbers, but when a paintbrush was placed in the hands of Renoir, it turned into incredible works of art. A gun placed in the hands of a hunter is a tool used for sport or obtaining food, but when placed in the hands of a terrorist, that same gun becomes a weapon of destruction. How is it that the same instruments and the same tools can bring about such differing degrees of results? Quite simply, it depends upon who is holding them and how they’re being used.”

Governor-Ifeanyi-Ugwuanyi-of-Enugu1It is very true that Governor Ugwuanyi has excelled, performed creditably well in less than two years in office. He has maintained unwavering focus and determination to get it right, ensured equity and justice in his developmental projects, ensured character, integrity, all-inclusiveness, accountability, transparency and prudent management of the state’s lean resources. The Governor is not, and should not be unmindful of those (within and without) who come at night to sow weeds amidst the seeds. Enugu State is blessed and is in the hands of God…indeed!

*Ike Ezugwu is a Lagos-based Advertising Practitioner and public affairs commentator. He is from Enugu State, Nigeria.

Second Edition of Rising Star Writing Competition For Children Takes Off

PosterThe organizers of Rising Star Writing Competition & Awards, an annual children creative writing competition, have announced the take-off of the second edition of the competition. Entries opened on March 1, 2017 and closes on May 20, 2017. The maiden edition of the competition and awards was a huge success with children from schools across the country winning various prizes – Television sets, laptop computers, UPS, books among others. The competition which is organized by The Writers Corner in collaboration with Vuvuzela Communications Limited is to help develop children’s creative thinking and writing skills. The competition is open to Nigerian children aged six – eleven (Primary) to twelve – seventeen (Secondary) whether resident in Nigeria or abroad. Non-Nigerian Children resident in Nigeria are also eligible.

 

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13292927_10204948798880252_1034434945_nHatesin 2

The writing can be either a poem or a short story exploring the theme “The Beauty of Nature”. The word limit for a short story is 600 and 250 for a poem. Winning entries shall be published in Rising Star Creative Writing Annual (an Anthology of Children Creative Writing).

 

GS 4 F3 Anjola 1SEASON TWO FORM

Winners in each category shall receive the following prizes:

First Place Winners A TV set, Certificate of Award, books, special appearance at the Rising Star Writing Awards Ceremony and a chance to have the award-winning entry published in Rising Star Creative Writing Annual. Second Place Winners shall get Tablet Computers, Certificate of Award, books, special appearance at the Rising Star Writing Awards Ceremony and a chance to have the award-winning entry published. Third Place Winners shall receive Android phones, Certificate of Award, books, special appearance at the Rising Star Writing Awards Ceremony and chance to have the award-winning entries published while each of the Honourable Mention Winners shall go home with a UPS, Certificate of Award, books, special appearance at the Rising Star Writing Awards Ceremony and a chance to have the award-winning entry published too.

13152847_10153807442643863_70565443_n

Mosquitoes strike deal with Insecticides

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Mosquitoes in Nigeria, under a newly inaugurated body, Mosquitoes Association of Nigeria (MAN) have struck a deal with members of Insecticides Association of Nigeria (IAN) yesterday in Canal Estate, Okota Lagos. Underlining the deal is an agreement that all Insecticides in Nigeria should curtail their attacks and murder of Mosquitoes by reducing their (harmful) active ingredients and their effectiveness. The Insecticides are to make their smell more pronounced to human nose but actually of little or no consequence to the well being of Mosquitoes. The Mosquitoes, guaranteed of their safety under the deal, are to increase their population in multiples, engage in more deadly attacks on Nigerians – women and children inclusive. This, according to the deal will drive the demand for Insecticides up and induce higher price for all brands of Insecticides. It will also guarantee more human blood for the mosquitoes and ensure maximum life span for Mosquitoes.

The leader of Insecticides Association of Nigeria, Dr. Aygon Aid, assured the Mosquitoes of maximum cooperation and total compliance by his members while Prof. (Mrs.) Anophelos Anophelia, on behalf of the Mosquitoes in Nigeria vowed to inflict more horror on Nigerians and drive the sales figures of Insecticides up. She also assured the body of mass reproduction of Mosquitoes in trillions to meet the projected population.

A joint-Committee was also set up to harmonize the issues and reach out to Anti-Malarial Products in Nigeria (AMPN) with a view to bringing them into “an envisaged tripartite union of the three bodies. The committee is to report back to the central body in three weeks time.

 

Report filed in by Ike Ezugwu. It is a satire induced by mosquito bites he encountered in Lagos.

The Point Plan for Raising Happy, Healthy Children Every Parent Should Know.

Ritanny Chinny J.

090414-frugality-kids-hmed.grid-6x2I want to tell us about an essential vitamin you’ve probably never heard of. If you’re a parent, guardian or plan to be one, it might be more important to your child’s growth than all other vitamins combined. And only you, a parent or guardian can provide the required dosage. I believe every adult remembers the Bible verse that enjoins us to teach our children the way they should go, so that when they grow they shall never depart from it. It’s an eye popping fact that is often ignored by many. High social status or financial stability is a good enough reason for a parent to oblige a child everything that he/she demands for. Refusing to grant these requests, when the need arises does not mean meanness or wickedness on the part of the parent or guardian. Strictness or being firm on refusing a child some demands is required in parenting. I know for a fact that in the near future the kids would understand, thank and appreciate you for that.

Since I have gotten your attention, let’s talk! As a child growing up, when I misbehave, if I screwed up my parents would talk to me, and other times, they did spank me. It’s called ‘serving the dish according to merit’. In some cases, some parents are quick to spank their kids and wards where all they need is talking to the child and correcting him/her. This is wrong. Children are HUMAN BEINGS, not ANIMALS.  Physical punishment should be the last resort, not the first; and MUST be administered with love not rage that leave scars on the growing skin . Strike a balance and serve each dish according to its requirements. These children are very intelligent and they are getting wiser daily so talk with them but don’t let them play you!

What is this ‘Vitamin N’? It’s the word “NO”. For instance, if your child sees candies stacked on a supermarket shelf and starts screaming and pointing at them and you, the parent, give her a piece of candy to shut her up, you are not doing your job. THEY MUST NOT HAVE ALL THAT THEY SEE! Instead, say NO very calmly and tell her that you will get them for her some other time or explain to them that they to save the money or that it’s not good for their teeth… come up with something or better still, just say “NO, because I don’t think you should.” You mustn’t explain yourself. In the context of the tale, has anyone seen how clotted so many people’s houses are these day?  You know of the many wants of toys and sweets children have? It’s killing them and YOU are not helping either! It’s a social problem. More and more children are suffering from Vitamin N deficiency. And they, their parents, and our entire culture are paying the price.

Let me illustrate further with a story that’s quite typical. A father, I’ll call him Bill, gave his son, aged five, pretty much everything the little boy asked for. Like most parents, Bill wanted more than anything for his son to be happy. But he wasn’t. Instead he was petulant, moody, and often sullen. He was also having problems getting along with other children. In addition, he was very demanding and rarely ever expressed any appreciation, let alone gratitude, for all the things Bill and his wife were giving him. Was his son depressed, Bill wanted to know? Did he need therapy? His son, I told him, was suffering the predictable ill effects of being over-indulged. What he needed was a healthy and steady dose of Vitamin N.

When the point of diminishing returns is passed (and it’s passed fairly early on), the receiving of things begins to generate nothing but want for more things. One terrible effect of this is that our children are becoming accustomed to a material standard that’s out of kilter with what they can ever hope to achieve as adults. Consider also that many, if not most, children attain this level of affluence not by working, sacrificing, or doing their best, but by whining, demanding, and manipulating.

The line between needs and wants is, indeed, a very blurred one yet must be maintained. Speaking from experience as a family psychologist, I am not against giving a child a treat as at when due; because there’s also an issue when we don’t live up to acknowledge and celebrate our children. So, being less than properly indulged means these kids are also going to be less grateful. To them, it’s “why should I work if all I work for will be taken from me?” So in the process of inflating their material expectations, we also teach children that something can be had for next to nothing. Not only is that a falsehood, it’s also one of the most dangerous, destructive attitudes a person can acquire.

Be very careful with lobbying with your child; instead of teaching your kid to accept the idea that they won’t get what they want all of the time, you teach them that they can get anything through hard work. This is a very vague explanation but I’m sure you’ll understand. A kid is a blank slate, our duties as parents is to embed what is essential and uproot the junks through good discipline and great role modelling. I hate helicopter parents; these are sets of parents who are very passive and wouldn’t agree with the concept of good parenting, but instead, see their children as friends and are scared of giving the N Vitamin because they don’t want to fallout with them. I weep for these parents because the end goal will box them in!

This may go a long way toward explaining why the mental health of children in the 1950s – when kids got a lot less — was significantly better than the mental health of today’s kids. Since the ‘50s, and especially in the last few decades, as indulgence has become the parenting norm, the rates of child and teen depression have skyrocketed.

Children who grow up believing in the something-for-nothing fairy tale are likely to become emotionally stunted, self-centred adults. Then, when they themselves become parents, they’re likely to overdose their children with material things – the piles of toys, games and gadgets – one finds scattered around most households. In that way, over indulgence, a deficiency of Vitamin N, becomes an inherited disease, an addiction passed from one generation to the next.

This also explains why children who get too much of what they want rarely take proper care of anything they have. Why should they? After all, experience tells them that more is always on the way. I think another good method is rewarding their wants by having them complete chores. Not just a chore that can be finished in a day but rather in a week or even month. Example: A child asks ‘Hey (parental figure) can I get a (insert popular gaming machine/video game/toy item)?” Respond with the proposal, “Well if you (insert task/chore) for the next (insert reasonable time frame of days or weeks) then I’ll buy you (insert item of want).’ I think this’ll help condition them on how the world works in the working environment. Work for “X” amount of days and receive rewards for said work. Not only that,  it makes them feel accomplished once they receive said reward after doing such work.

Children deserve better. They deserve to have parents attend to their needs for protection, affection, and direction. Beyond that, they deserve to hear their parents say “NO” far more often than “YES” when it comes to their whimsical desires. They deserve to learn the value of constructive, creative effort as opposed to the value of effort expended whining, lying on the floor kicking and screaming, or playing one parent against the other. They deserve to learn that work is the only truly fulfilling way of getting anything of value in life, and that the harder they work, the more ultimately fulfilling the outcome.

imagesIn the process of trying to protect children from frustration, parents have turned reality upside down. A child raised in this Topsy-turvy fashion may not have the skills needed to stand on his or her own two feet when the time comes to do so. Here’s a simple rule: Turn your children’s world right-side up by giving them all of what they truly need, but no more than 25 percent of what they simply want. I call this the “Principle of Benign Deprivation.”

When all is said and done, the most character-building two-letter word in the English language is NO. Vitamin N is very essential because not even the society can manage what its deficiency will spring forth in the generations to come. Plan well and spend more time with your children. Bond with them and build trust.  The benefit of your time gives them memories for a lifetime which will anchor them through storms of life like bulling, low self-esteem and the rest. Stop using money to buy your way out – thinking that showering them with gifts will make up for those times you are absent. #JustWakeUp.

Getty_9_year_old_boy_father_doing_dishes_LARGE_HeroImages-56829cbc3df78ccc15bf2b8bDispense it frequently. You’ll be happier in the long run, and so will your child because it an unfortunate state in the first world where almost everything is considered “child abuse”; where to give your children the requires amount of Vitamin N could lead to the Government hauling your kids away and you’ll be charged with Child Negligence and the children making a joke of their parent by turning to societal nuisance with all sorts of anti-social behaviour.

Why You Should Invest in The Billion Coin

TBC

The Billion Coin is Cryptocurrency (digital money) and widely considered the “future of money”. It is a new form of money that will bring about a revolution in the already collapsing world’s economy.

The under-listed reasons make a strong case for The Billion Coin and other cryptocurrencies.

TBC is inflation-proof

TBC is not controlled by any central bank

TBC offers lowest transaction cost.

TBC can be used to transact business across borders without going through any intermediaries

TBC can be converted to fiat currencies

TBC offers high return on investment.

TBC allows you to earn income beyond the shore of your country

TBC can be traded like other currencies

Why wouldn’t you get involved?

Join, make money and change your financial future.

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Comment: Everybody should be able to cook in the family

Ike Ezugwu

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Everybody should cook!
Cooking food is not a girl’s job or responsibility. Boys should be taught how to cook too. Gone are the days when men looked up to women for their meals to be prepared. Whoever is closest to the cooker, should cook.
Guys, it’s better you get a wife and if need be, hire a cook. You mustn’t find the two (wife and cook) in one person. Your wife could be more effective doing other things for the family and society than cooking food for the family.
Let’s get our priorities right.
The world has moved on.

Blow Whistle, Get 5% of Loot: Buhari Promotes Corruption While Fighting Corruption.

Ike Ezugwu

President-Muhammadu-BuhariWhistleblowing simply means “the disclosure by a person, usually an employee in a government agency or private enterprise, to the public or to those in authority, of mismanagement, corruption, illegality, or some other wrongdoing”. A whistleblower (also whistle-blower or whistle blower), therefore, is a person who exposes any kind of information or activity that is deemed illegal, unethical, corrupt, or inappropriate within an organization – whether private or public.

Many countries recognize the importance of whistleblowing and the public value has been appreciated in various forms. For example, in the United States, “federal and state statutes and regulations have been enacted to protect whistleblowers from various forms of retaliation. Even without a statute, numerous decisions encourage and protect whistleblowing on grounds of public policy. In addition, the federal False Claims Act (31 U.S.C.A. § 3729) will reward a whistleblower who brings a lawsuit against a company that makes a false claim or commits fraud against the government.”

Persons who act as whistleblowers are often the subject of retaliation by their employers and those with interest in the corrupt practice exposed. States know this and go to a great length in protecting whistleblowers.

cORRUPTION WINS AGAINKemi-Adeosun1

Reports say that “in the early 1990s, commentators were claiming that men were more likely than women to blow the whistle on improper conduct. Some analysts suggested the reason for this perception was that men seem to seek financial gain for whistleblowing. During the early 2000s, however, a number of women became involved in high profile acts of whistleblowing – for reasons other than fame and fortune”.

In 2001, Sherron Watkins, a vice president at Enron Corporation, informed the company’s board that Enron’s accounting practices were improper. Enron later suffered a major collapse—largely as a result of its accounting practices—that led to the company’s Bankruptcy and to the indictment of the company’s auditor and chief financial officer. The following year, Cynthia Cooper, an auditor with WorldCom, told the company’s board that WorldCom had covered up major losses of $3.8 billion through false bookkeeping. Like Enron, the accounting failures led to WorldCom’s bankruptcy. During the same year, Coleen Rowley, an FBI staff attorney for more than 20 years, sent a letter to FBI director robert mueller, indicating that the FBI’s national headquarters had mishandled an investigation of Zacarias Moussaoui, who was later believed to be a co-conspirator in the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. Rowley later spoke before the intelligence committees of the House of Representatives and the Senate about her accusations.

Time magazine dubbed 2002 the “Year of the Whistleblower,” and named Watkins, Cooper, and Rowley as its “Persons of the Year.” Their stories fueled the observation that women are more likely to become whistleblowers not for the potential for fame and financial gain, but out of a sense of duty. Although Watkins, Cooper, and Rowley were each subjected to rather harsh treatment by their respective employers following their disclosures, they became national celebrities by “speaking up when no one else would.”

Blow whistle get 5%

The Nigerian government has reportedly approved a policy that would see it paying whistle-blowers to encourage the reporting of crimes and other scandals. Premium Times reports that part of the highlights of the new policy is that whistle-blowers whose revelations lead to recovery of money would be entitled to up to five per cent of the recovered sum. Vanguard Newspaper further reports that “the Federal Government has approved payment of not more than five per cent of the recovered loot to any successful whistle blower, who provides relevant information leading to the recovered funds. The Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, made this known when briefing State House correspondents on the outcome of the Federal Executive Council meeting presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari in Abuja….”

Mrs. Adeosun said The Council approved a Whistleblowing policy aimed at consolidating the ongoing anti-corruption campaign embarked upon by the present administration. She disclosed that the policy would soon be supported by a bill already receiving due attention of the National Assembly.  The Minister assured that adequate measures are being taken to protect and safe guard the lives and identities of whistle blowers. “If you whistle-blow in public-spirit and in good faith, you will be protected. “If you feel that you have been treated badly because of your report, you can file a formal complaint. If you have suffered harassment, intimidation or victimization for sharing your concerns, restitution will be made for any loss suffered.” She added.

Will financial rewards for people who confidentially report corruption not expose us to more corruption? Wouldn’t it expose corrupt government officials to greater corruption since the 5% for the allocated could be given to an anonymous whistleblower or a ghost?  Can a corrupt Government play by the terms of the letter and stick to the dictates of her won statutes? I doubt so. I ask again, motivated by the financial gain more than anything else, wouldn’t Nigerians make whistleblowing a business? Before now, at least in Nigeria, whistleblowing was an act of love-for-the-state/society and not motivated by personal financial gain. Buhari has consciously or otherwise made it a business. Blow the whistle and earn 5%! Who blew the whistle on the Abacha Loot? Who blew the whistle on Dasukigate? Five percent (5% ) of all the recovered loot gone within a twinkle of an eye!

This is corruption in whistle.

 

 

Moving Nigeria Forward: Can We Understand and handle the Truth?

Aleke Ugwuagbo.

BUHARI, notwithstanding, NIGERIA is the best that happened to us as a country. As an Igbo man, for the love of NIGERIA, I shelve my feelings towards our relationship with BUHARI.
NIGERIA as a nation is bigger than any component of the whole. LET’S look forward. BUHARI to me should he be indiscriminate in his fight against CORRUPTION is our Messiah. He has the rare gutsy will in his attempt in trying to “Lift the OLYMPUS”. Desiring to be PRESIDENT, he he came with a purpose to fight the NIGERIA’S malignant tumor, cancer of CORRUPTION. CORRUPTION has eaten into the fabrics of most NIGERIANS….the everyone is doing it phenomenal contagion and which has become a syndrome.
Those that are steeped in the business of corruption loathe him and these include his own people.
If NIGERIANS desire to get out of this quagmire of mess, we MUST get back to what made us prosperous and great in the first place. Let our youths, regardless of academic background get back to our suburban areas and farm.
We ought to look closely at the progress being made at….Ebonyi, Anambra, and Adani sector of Enugu states. These areas with their humongous shares of unemployed graduates have resorted to agrarian farming. It’s evidently obvious that these are in the BLACK BOOK of BUHARI and therefore STARVED of their own shares of the ” Federal government Pie”. These areas, with Anambra state making industrial progress remain undaunted.
Let the YORUBA youths go back to one of what put NIGERIA on the map…cocoa, kola nut farming, palm produce. From the West, palm tree plants were exported to Malaysia, Asia. Today, NIGERIA imports palm oil from these areas. What a shame? Let the Tiv people go back to feeding Nigerians with yam tubers. Let Abakaliki rice farmers strive to export rice. Let NIGERIANS again see the ground nut pyramids springing up. Let us see more hides and skins for export. How about reviving fishing as a means of gainful livelihood at the Lake Chad Basin? Let’s abandon the present status quo of lousy living and embrace working for our living RATHER than stealing to live. With the present technological dispensation, we don’t have to work harder, just smarter. It’s obvious that the mineral WEALTH alone can no longer satisfy our insatiable and increasing appetites.
If and when BUHARI is no longer in power, WHOEVER succeeds him should be tougher on fighting CORRUPTION than he is. BUHARI’S main problem is that those that are around him are the worst CORRUPT. With these people fanning the embers of corruption, BUHARI is chasing the mirage and likely to be disappointed and DISILLUSIONED. Lady AISHA opined this way and was CAJOLED by the Cabals that believe that women should be seen and not heard.
It is High time that BUHARI cleaned house if he hopes to succeed in undertaking this arduous task!
Let’s look inwards to see ourselves as part of the problem. We may find out that largely, BUHARI is not our problem. Collectively, we are.

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Rangers’ Victory at Nigeria Premiere League and Its Implications for Enugu People.

rangers2015.jpg.pagespeed.ce.Qpjjm6R1q8“Holy-Holy-Holy-Holy!!!

Enugu Rangers, another Champion!!!”

This chant used to be a regular feature in Enugu and the entire South East and South-South Nigeria in the ‘70s and ‘80s. Then, every weekend held up fun and opportunity for Rangers fans and football lovers in the region to celebrate “yet another” victory of Rangers, the “flying antelopes”. However, with time, the flying Antelopes became endangered species and for thirty two years, Enugu Rangers never won the Nigerian Premier League. Today, the glory has returned and we shall sing “holy-holy-holy, Enugu Rangers, another Champion” come Sunday, October 2, 2016 at the Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium, Enugu.

Enugu-RangersEnugu Rangers emerged as the Champions of the Nigeria Professional Football League for the 2015/16 season after beating Ikorodu United 2-1 at the MKO Abiola Stadium on Sunday, September 25, 2016. This is the club’s first victory in the competition in 32-years. Rangers will be crowned Champions after their match with Rivers United, of which the outcome will, more-or- less, have no consequence. According to Premium Times, “Rangers with the win in Abeokuta have 60 points and a much superior goal difference than any other contender. Even if Rangers lose their last game at home next weekend against El-Kanemi, Rivers United, the only team capable of getting to 60 points, will have to beat Akwa United by as much as a 5-goal margin to overtake Rangers at the top. Rivers United have not beaten any team by such margin this season” and it is unlikely that it will happen on the last day of the League. It is also important that with this victory, Rangers will represent Nigeria in the CAF Champions League next season – “a competition the club has had 2 appearances in, from 2006 to 2013”.

6The journey back to glory has not been an easy one! Kudos must therefore be given to Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi and his Government, the management team of rangers, the management and staff of the club, the supportive fans and most especially the present crop of glorious players of Rangers.  Football as with other sports has the potential for social change “when systematically included in processes of social change” as we have in Enugu State.  It has the power to unite people and cultures all over the world. As a team sport, it also “promotes fairness and tolerance, leapfrogs gender boundaries and fosters mutual understanding, thereby contributing to the positive development of personality and character”.

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Enugu (Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium) will now be host to international clubs participating in the CAF Champions League alongside Rangers. Being the “home ground” of Rangers this will impact on the lives of the people of Enugu in many positive ways. Enugu will be on the map once more with its attendant visibility globally; her tourism potentials shall be boosted as more visitors to the state shall be recorded; local economy shall be boosted too while the social impact of this remains huge. There is no doubt that sports, especially football, is a particularly important pillar in our society. It helps rally the people for collective goal and good – irrespective of gender, religion, tribe or ethnicity. Through its impact on social policy and social integration, sports can make an important contribution to achieving sustainable development objectives of the country – especially at this time of economic recession and re-orientation efforts of the federal government. “Football, as a team sport can also foster mutual understanding and strengthen social ties and reengineer and promote positive values, sportsmanship, fairness and tolerance”.

It is important to also note that, beyond the financial and moral support from the Enugu State Government under the leadership of our sports-loving governor, Rt. Hon. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi; for Enugu State Government, “sport represents an important policy tool for achieving her development objectives”. Development of sports in the state, as the Governor is earnestly doing, can contribute to achieving the state’s policy objectives in health promotion, youth empowerment, prevention of youth restiveness, violence, education, gender equality, good governance and environmental awareness”. This is just the beginning of glories to come to Enugu State through sports.

  • Commentary, written by Ike Ezugwu.

 

Enugu State and The Herdsmen: Truth, Mischief, Responsibility and Campaign of Calumny in Onyema Uche’s Social Media Attacks.

By Ike Ezugwu

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Focus

On the strength of the offerings of the Social Media platforms and the emerging campaign of calumny against the people of Enugu State and her leadership by Onyema Uche on Facebook, I wish to pen this piece.

Background

In recent times, I have read, with surprise and unbelief, false rumours, bizarre stories, opinions and updates shared on social networks, to discredit institutions, government and public officers, private persons/businesses and political opponents. I have also come across institutionalized campaigns of calumny, based on falsehood, aimed at political opponents and parties. There is little regard for truth, decency, equity and justice. Sometimes, with all my knowledge and information at my disposal, I get cracked and confused. The Social Media evil-men/women are ubiquitous – scattered across the globe, traversing the continents- yet not limited by time and space.

We were told that Social Media represents “the democratization of information and the equalization of influence.”How true it is! With availability of Social Networks, anyone can create, publish, and distribute ideas, observations, news, and information without any hindrance, vetting or censorship from anybody. Content – true, false or malicious – can now travel wide and wild around the world through a myriad of connected channels and people. Anybody can become his or her own CNN, Fox News, NTA, whatever news network. There are no longer gatekeepers and press councils to regulate or edit anything! Anybody can abuse anybody and fly with it! You can call anybody any sort of names, peddle rumours and lies…and nobody stops it! This is the challenge in the freedom and opportunity offered by Social Media.

Invasion of privacy is now a common occurrence. Nothing is private as there is no more privacy for anybody. Whatever you are doing or saying these days are as open as anything. People sleep and wake up wondering what had been written at night about them or in response to their posts. We are all in the limelight and nobody is free! Devices are everywhere to capture the most secret of everybody and everything. Truth is no longer sacrosanct as everything now goes. Lies fly faster these days and reputation built over a lifetime can now be eroded in minutes with malicious posts on Social Media. Don’t forget…Google captures it all – the good, the bad and the ugly. Families, relationships, destinies have been ruined, quashed as a result. However, “what works against us can also work for us”. Public forums of the Social Media also represent our opportunity to tell our own stories, interact with communities, steer perception, engineer conversation and action in our favour.

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Now this….

The world and the Social Media have been awash, for some time now, with stories and rumours on attacks and menace of Fulani Herdsmen in various Nigerian communities. Attacks have been recorded in many states of the country with varying casualty figures. The Federal Government and States involved (potential victim-states too) are seeking proactive and palliative measures to get things right and avert further attacks and encroachment of the herdsmen on farmlands and villages.

However, Enugu State and Enugu State Governor have been the focus of may “E-Rats” and “Hate Commentators”, for reasons other than magnitude or severity of attack, laxity in proactive response cum intervention or response but based on an orchestrated campaign of calumny targeted at the Government of Rt. Hon. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi and the people of Enugu State by political opponents and haters of Wawa people.  It is important to observe here that the herdsmen attacks have occurred in many states – Benue, Kaduna, Lagos, Ekiti, Enugu, Anambra, Imo, Ebonyi, among many others. It is and remains a national issue. One is tempted to ask: Why is Enugu singularly singled out for public discussion and unwarranted attacks on the Governor – especially by Igbo folks (whether in Nigeria or in Diaspora)? Why are the standards not the same? Onyema Uche has taken it upon himself to write every now and then, article on Herdsmen Attack in Nigeria with well-defined purpose to attack the Enugu State Governor. There is no comment or post from him (especially to a Facebook Group, Ndigbo in Diaspora Organization) that is not targeted at the Governor of Enugu State or Enugu people. He is not alone but appears to be the new face of the 5th Columnist exhuming falsehood from the pit of hell to smear the good people of Enugu State and her leadership. I made bold to engage him on the matter and he had nothing to offer in terms of historical and other material facts claimed in his numerous articles.

While I personally do not frown at constructive criticism and positive engagement on matters of governance and leadership of the state, it pains and touches me when other brothers and sisters from other parts of Igbo land take a derogatory stance on my people. I did tell Mr. Onyema Uche, on his thread-of-calumny that his obsession to discredit Governor Ugwuanyi and water-down the good works he is doing in Enugu has made him embark on a grievous attack on Enugu and her people– an act I strongly abhor and will fight with truthful information and communication.

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  • Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi

Response

We do not have to despair and raise our hands in surrender as a people. Those of us with access to Social Media platforms must continue to present to the public truthful, decent and timely information; uphold ethics of truth and remain resolute in protecting our land and our people. We must continue to uphold our State in prayers and put everything “in the hands of God”. To fast, pray or be broken by the things that break the heart of God (Bob Pearce) cannot be a weakness but strength. Even Jesus wept….We cannot afford to fumble by given up in despair. The challenge now is how to remain calm and conversational in the face of provocation, false and dubious commentators, hostile engagement and confrontation. We must answer their hate with love. We must maintain our cool, employ civility and professionalism in every conversation and communication geared towards fighting misinformation-agents? The good news is that truth must always prevail!

Long Live Enugu State!

Long Live Wawa Land!

 

  • Ike Ezugwu is from Enugu State and Founder “Speak Out For Wawa”.

Recession: Aliko Dangote’s kite on NLNG

By Chido Nwakanma

aliko-dangoteNigeria’s leading industrialist Alhaji Aliko Dangote last week flew a kite. He advised the Federal Government to sell Nigeria LNG Limited (NLNG) to raise cash.
It is a curious proposition. NLNG is the best investment Nigeria currently has. It runs smoothly and delivers dividends to its four shareholders.
Shareholders incorporated NLNG in 1989 “to harness Nigeria’s vast natural gas resources and produce Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) and Natural Gas Liquids (NGLS) for export”. It has wholly owned subsidiaries in Bonny Gas Transport (BGT) Limited and NLNG Ship Management Limited. It bought ships and runs them.
Its six trains can produce 22 million tonnes per annum of LNG and 5 MTPA of NGLS (LPG and condensate) from 3.5 billion (standard) cubic feet per day of natural gas intake. The natural gas comes through a pipeline cutting across 100 communities.

img5bigNigeria’s politics has hobbled construction of a seventh train for close to four years now. It would have raised production to 30 million metric tonnes per annum. The company supplies about 80% of the annual domestic LPG (cooking gas) consumption.
Ownership of NLNG lies between the Federal Government of Nigeria, through NNPC, 49%; Shell, 25.6%; Total LNG Nigeria Ltd (15%) and Eni, mother company of Agip, 10.4%.
This is the point. Nigeria alone does not own NLNG. The planners deliberately skewed the shareholding structure in a manner as to give a slight majority to the technical partners to minimise political interference and allow the firm operate successfully. It has worked well thus far. Dividends from NLNG have become crucial to the federal purse.
Aliko Dangote is no ordinary citizen or average business person. When he speaks, governments in Nigeria, and now across Africa, pay attention. When Citizen Dangote, a potentate, flies a kite such as this, every one must pay attention for its import. Could it be for good or ill. What does it portend? Could it be that this Federal Government would unilaterally change the structure of the company and “sell it” off to willing investors, with Dangote Industries as a prime candidate? Or merely sell its 49% stake? Does an astute investor like Dangote not know that Nigeria alone does not own NLNG?

NLNG
Furthermore, what kind of advice is it to say to Nigeria please sell your most viable investment to raise cash? The investment is already delivering cash. So what would be the point of divesting? Why not divest in so many other entities that return sub-optimal results? When you sell your stake in NLNG today and the dividends no longer come to Nigeria, what would you sell in two years time?
While experts say selling assets is a good move, they usually prescribe sales of non-performing assets. Not your prime assets with good track record.
There is more to this kite. These are the kinds of statements and policy choices that are driving away investors and making existing investors jittery. The witch cried last night. Will the child die today? It does not sound right to my ears. Clarification needed.

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  • Chido Nwakanma, a Communication Strategist and Public Commentator wrote in from Lagos, Nigeria.

SAVE ENUGU-NGWO COMMUNITY FROM EROSION!!! The Federal Government should act NOW!

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The Editor-in-Chief of Nowchild Blog has written a petition to The Presidency, Federal republic of Nigeria on erosion menace in Enugu-Ngwo Community in Enugu State. According to Mr. Ezugwu, “with this petition reaching The Presidency, properties and lives will be saved in the community. Many homes have already been displaced and if an urgent intervention is not carried out, serious human crisis is imminent”.  The petition can be found on https://www.change.org/p/the-presidency-save-enugu-ngwo-community-from-erosion-the-federal-government-should-act-now

Please, sign it and save lives.

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The Role Of The Youth In Nation Building

By Chima E. Obieze

WHO IS A YOUTH?
Some define youth as the period between childhood and adulthood. This definition has been faulted by many and I agree completely. This is because adulthood starts at 18 and to me that is when youthfulness starts. However, what is important is that it is the period where every aspect of man works most effectively starting from his brain, his organs and body system. Youth is a time of resourcefulness, energy, vitality, strength and vigor. It is the most useful period of a man’s lifetime. Most great men world over, became popular for struggles they led and achievements they recorded in their youth. Jesus Christ lived only for 33, Alexander the great, our own Ojukwu, Bill Clinton of America, Mandela, J.F. Kennedy, to mention but a few. Youth is therefore the best time to serve your nation.

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WHAT IS A NATION?
A nation can be defined or explained to be a group of people bounded together by culture, religion, tradition and geography, who come together and decide to unite as one to fight for a common goal which is usually the preservation of their sovereignty, security of lives and property and provision of social amenities for their citizens. Nigeria became a Nation in 1914 and gained her independence in 1960. The Nation Nigeria has since 1960 gone through several trials and tribulations. However, we still hope that in time, through the efforts of her youth, we will get to the promise land.

THE STATE OF OUR NATION
There is no doubt that Nigeria as a nation is not in the best shape presently. From 0ur economy, to security, down to corruption, our education system, among others. It is even more painful that the bulk of the burden of all these falls on the youths. According to Michael Oputeh “Any nation that deprives its youth the necessary enabling environment to participate in nation building process does so at its own risk. This is because youth are the foundation of any society”. The prevailing unemployment situation in the Nation is regrettable. Our over dependence in white collar jobs is also not to be encouraged at all. Youth constitutes over 60 to 70% of Nigeria and about 80% of them are currently either unemployed or under-employed. The continued stay of old politicians within the corridors of power is also something that is worrisome. This is because this denies the younger generation the chance to contribute their bit to the development of our nation.

ChimaThe mass unemployment, corruption and government failure have also given rise to many crimes and social vices – fraud, kidnapping, armed robbery, extremism, ritual killings and so on. The last recruitment of the Nigerian Immigration Services reveals a lot on how desperate and jobless our youths are. We no longer have room for vocational and technical schools, where our youths and students can be trained on basic skills and handwork.
In all this issues, the people of this generation, my generation, have a lot to do. In the words of the prolific singer, R. Kelly “There are miracles in life I must achieve, but first I know it starts inside of me”.

 

  • Barr. Chima Obieze

ROLE OF THE YOUTH
PREPARATION: I am one of those who believe that there is no such thing as LUCK. I believe what we call luck is where preparedness and opportunity meets. Only someone who is prepared can arrest an opportunity when it comes. The youth of Nigeria will need to work on themselves seriously if they must make any meaningful change. We must work on our orientation. We must work on our character. The saying goes that … “ambition may get you to the top but only character can keep you there”. We must also guide our reputation and conduct for posterity sake. The book 48 Laws of powers said… “So much depends on reputation; guard it with your life”. The youth must strive on her own to be the change they want in Nigeria. It can be inferred without fear or favour that our elders have little or no plans for the youths of this nation. That is why we must on our own strive to take over. Not by the use of violence, coercion or crime but by showing that we are ready, by distinguishing ourselves in our respective fields of endeavors, by showing courage, grit and determination. Getting good education is immeasurable. However, our education must not necessarily be about class work and passing examination (my Facebook story about me and my son). We must make every experience educational. Good grades in school shows you are good, but your disposition and orientation beyond that, is what will make you great.
In the words of Bill Gates… “In college I failed in most subjects but my friends made all A’s, now my friend is an engineer at Microsoft and I am the owner of Microsoft”. That is why we must be innovative. In all honesty, we must not all be in politics. We can become leaders in our respective callings. If your calling is to be a man/woman of God it’s a call to serve your followers. The C.E.O of a company leads all the staff and investors. If you own a school you lead both students and teachers. If you are a teacher you lead your students. If you are just a staff you can lead the other staff, but by all positive means, strive to be different.

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FORMING ALLIANCES
There is a saying; “Two good heads are better than one”. Our bright and best brains have to begin serious preparation NOW by forming alliances with each other. But it must be like-minds. Iron sharpeneth iron, so the connection or network must be with men of like-passion. The aim must be to develop ideologies in line with an overall National blueprint/master plan. During the anti-colonial struggle, some Nigerian and African youths used this strategy to support the fight for independence. Some of them formed the famous Nigerian Youth Movement (NYM) and the Zikist Youth Movement (ZYM). They were prominent in Trade Unions and other Nationalist political parties of the period. Some were active journalists who made alliances with other reliable nationalists. In 1962, it was the then Nigerian University Students (NUS) who prevented the Nigeria government from signing a secret and unjust agreement, called the Anglo-Nigerian Defence Pact. That law would have allowed the British to leave their soldiers permanently on Nigerian soil despite our independence.

646524_OJUKWU-relaxed-best-picture-aloy-ejimakor_jpg13f5180565844fca7d299bd82ed57c6eIn the 60’s and up to the 70’s, the youth were at the very center of governance in the country. At age 19 or so, late Amb. M.T. Mbu was Nigerian’s High Commissioner to UK and he was Minister of Navy at 20 plus. At his early 30’s, late Chief Obafemi Awolowo was already in his bloom in the Western Region of Nigeria and became the Western Leader before 40. Azikiwe, Akintola, Gowon, Murtala Muhammed, Obasanjo were all Heads of State in their 30’s. Young people were permanent secretaries in civil service and military governors.

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SETTING UP STRUCTURES
Fighting for change is all about affiliations and setting up bodies or structures. After setting up alliances, the next thing will be to create structures with which to pursue your common goal. It may be a movement but not the clandestine ones that eventually metamorphose to a cult with time. Just one that is built on the fear of God, patriotism, trust and the resolve to cause positive change. For instance, in 1943, a group of young men (mostly in their 20s and 30s) who felt the African National Congress (ANC) in South Africa has lost its fires frequently met to discuss ideas to bring back the strength of the party. They felt the party had become the preserve of tired, nonmilitant, privileged South African elite, who are more convinced with protecting their own rights than those of the masses. The general consensus or feeling was that it was time for action. The move was what led to the formation of a YOUTH LEAGUE which lite up the fires of the party and spurred the leadership to a positive direction. Their proposal was at first resisted but in the end, it succeeded. The famous manifesto read… “The congress Youth League must be the BRAINS-TRUST and POWER-STATION of the spirit of African Nationalism”. May I inform you that, within years, the leaders of the Youth League, including Nelson Mandela, became executives in the main ANC. The importance of building structures cannot be over emphasized; most great governments are usually the product of a team assembled as a structure for the purpose of Nationalism and Patriotism.

POLITICAL PARTICIPATION
This is my favourite part. I have said this in many of my public lectures and speeches. The time to be part of the action is now. This is no time to sit on the fence.
The Nigerian Youth must move away from the sidelines of political commentary and analyses into mainstream political work by joining and invading political parties, this is not for everybody though, but for those whose vocation and calling is in politics. We must be politically aware. We must make time to feed ourselves with vital information about our nation, government and other vital issues. This is no time for nonchalant attitude.

1908182_902167323158396_4237353229029013490_nThe leaders of Nigeria and indeed our elders have shown too much apathy to the plight of the youth. This is even the more reason we should take our destiny into our hands. According to Plato… “One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors”. It is also said that “the only thing necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing”. (The story of the chicken refusing to attend meeting).
I believe that the youth of this generation have a great mandate… As Nelson Mandela posited … “To overthrow oppression has been sanctioned by humanity and it is the highest aspiration of every free man”
In 1985, IBB was the president and head of state of Nigeria. I should be in nursery school at the time; we were taught that we were the leaders of tomorrow. Twenty five years later the same IBB said unequivocally in an interview with BBC Hausa Service that the youths are not prepared to take political leadership in the country. What an irony. But we the youths of Nigeria can make a very positive mark and a great point. This is because statistics show that Nigeria is a nation of youths. Over 70% of our populations are under 35. This is a rude awakening and a clarion call on the Nigerian Youth in the area of responsibility and mass involvement in politics.
CONCLUSION
I hope that this discussion or presentation is not misconstrued to mean that the past leaders of Nigeria have all failed. The position is simply saying that they have done their bit in their time and generation. Now they must allow people of this generation to mount the saddle of leadership and make their mark.  Yes, we need the wisdom of the old, but they must bow to our vigour. It’s about time for my generation to stop seeing themselves as too young to take up political leadership in this country. We must NOW get prepared, form alliances, and structures, join political parties and begin to TRANSFORM things from within. Enough of Facebook, Twitter and other social network criticism. Let’s join the fight and make our mark.
The truth is that our nation needs us at this time. That is an open reality. Some persons may try to discourage us, kill our dreams but we must persist against their resistance. We too are Nigerians. From every sphere of life we operate, press, legal practice, medicine, student, teaching, engineering, administration, banking, accounting etc. we must begin to make our marks and build affiliations. We must know that for our nation to draw meaningful inspiration from the bursting strength and vigour of the youth, the youth need to reposition themselves as agents of positive change. So help us God!!!.
END NOTE
I am concerned that as a man of character and principle I have made a pledge to Nigeria at least for the past 15years and so of mu life. You are also guilty of this pledge. I PLEDGE to Nigeria my country. Many of us do not know what we mean when we make this pledge, or when we sing the National Anthem. It is a commitment. So do not say it if you cannot keep it. Do not sing it if you cannot honour it. When we pledging all those hard words we gave no conditions, whether the economy is good or bad we pledge, whether security is good or bad we pledge, whether we eat or not we pledge. If we start today to respect our promises to Nigeria, then Nigeria will be great again.

“Ask not what your country will do for you, ask what you will do for your country” – J.F. Kennedy.

 

 

Note: The author, Hon. Comr. Chima E. Obieze (esq.), Chairman, House Committee on Agriculture & Natural Resources, Enugu State House of Assembly wrote from Enugu.

 

Rumoured Herdsmen Reprisal Attack: Aku Community, Others Hail Governor Ugwuanyi Over His Swift Response to Their Distress Call.

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The people of Aku in Igbo-Etiti Local Government Area of Enugu State; the principal of St. James Boys Secondary School, Aku, Rev. Fr. Patrick Ujah and the Divisional Police Officer DPO of the council area, SP Ifeanyi Nwoye have commended the Governor for his proactive approach to the herdsmen menace in the state and his prompt response to their distress call.

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On Thursday, September 15, 2016 Vanguard had reported that “an Enugu State-based Fulani herdsman, Alhaji Sodu has claimed that over 100 cows belonging to him were missing as a result of an alleged attack on a Fulani settlement in the state. He also accused the youths of Aku community in Igbo-Etiti Local Government Area of masterminding the attack, adding that a herdsman sustained three gunshot wounds following the incident while three others were claimed to be missing. Herdsmen attending to their cows Herdsmen attending to their cows Sodu gave the name of his injured son as Wareri, 17, while Musa, Buba and Mohammed were said to be missing”. Wareri was taken to The Refuge Hospital, Enugu for treatment. It was also reported that the Chairman, Enugu Constituted Security Committee, Brigadier General Fred Eze (rtd) visited the hospital.

14330123_329569510719954_8026784272849526259_nAccording to Vanguard, “Sodu appealed to security agencies to quickly arrest the masterminds of the attack. He said: ‘I am too old now to go into the forest in search of my three sons. I am appealing to security agencies to rescue my sons unharmed. The youths have slaughtered seven of my cows. Over 100 cows are missing now’.

Brigadier General Fred Eze (rtd) appealed for calm adding that the committee was on top of the situation. His words: “We want to allay fears generated by this incident. The Army has moved to forestall any breakdown of law and order. The Garrison Commander, O.T Akinjobi dispatched a search party for the missing kids while another combined team of Police and Army have equally moved into the area to avert any breakdown of public peace. Brig. Eze assured that the “incident is already under investigation and authorities will unravel the remote causes of the incident and ensure that appropriate actions are taken.”
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In spite of these assurances, Governor Ugwuanyi, still received a distress call from the Principal of St. James Boys Secondary School, Aku, Igbo Etiti, Rev. Fr. Patrick Ujah, that the herdsmen have planned a reprisal attack on the community. Governor Ugwuanyi promptly visited the community to monitor the situation and take appropriate measures. The Governor met the Principal of the school in the school compound and summoned the Divisional Police Officer DPO of the council area, SP Ifeanyi Nwoye for briefing over the planned attack from herdsmen. The DPO told the Governor Ugwuanyi that everything was under control, assuring the governor and Aku community that all the relevant security agencies were on ground to protect the area. “The people should not panic. You all have our phone numbers and should reach us if there is any suspicious activity or movement by any person or group of persons,” the DPO told the community.

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Enugu State under Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi from May 29, 2015 till date: An “Onye Enugu” Viewpoint.

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Ugwu Nnaemeka Stephen

“…. It can only be God, for it is He who rescues the poor from the hardship and inherits a throne of honour. God has appointed me for a mission to bring good news, messages of hope, peace and development to our people, to mend broken hearts, to proclaim liberty for every WAAWA man (an woman) caught in the prison of poverty and underdevelopment, and this I owe you and God to fulfill…” – Gov. Ugwuanyi’s Inaugural Speech on May 29th 2015.

His Excellency, Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi assured Ndi Enugu on that day that he will be guided by his four point agenda:-

  1. Employment generation
  2. Enhanced social services and good governance
  3. Rural development
  4. Security and justice

He also vowed to, “deploy government services to create fair and equal opportunity for every willing citizen to make a living and create wealth, educate our children, and enjoy life in a peaceful and secure environment.

If you are familiar with Enugu state politics, you will know that here has always been a loggerhead and bad blood between the political godfathers, the sitting governor, federal law makers and state house of assembly. You can also agree with me that no meaningful progress or success can be achieved in a chaotic and turbulent state.

But as a seasoned progressive leader, Governor Ugwuanyi brought everybody together as a team to work for a greater Enugu. He was able to balance the power equilibrium and dynamics, through his unassuming democratic depositions and excellent interpersonal skills. Consequently, he has had les distractions and the state and federal lawmakers are all focused on delivering democracy dividends to their various constituencies.  He harmonised all the interest groups, stake holders, leaders of institutions and religious bodies in the state, thereby reducing acrimony and backbiting, thus ensuring tranquility in the state. He believes in an all-inclusive government when he extended the hand of fellowship to opposition party in the state.

To find a way to generate income to the state considering the global oil price crash and ever-diminishing federal allocations to states, governor Ugwuanyi shortly after assumption of office constituted an 11-ma n Economic think-tank composed of political leaders, industrialists, technocrats, investors and religious leaders. The Committee was charged with the onus of assisting Enugu state on the path of sustainable growth and development.

The governor organized and hosted the first ever Economic Summit, termed Oganiru summit in Enugu. Oganiru Summit which was held on 12 – 14 April 2016 had in attendance local and foreign investors, captains of industries, businessmen and foreign nationals some of whom are the Minister for Power, Works & Housing, Mr. Babatunde Raji Fashola (SAN), his counterparts from Ministry of Industry, Trade & Investment, Okechukwu Enelamah; and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama. Dr. Pascal Dozie, Founder and Former Chairman, Diamond Bank Plc; Emeka Ene of Oildata Energy Group; Ndidi Nwuneli of AACE Foods and LEAP Africa; Prof. Margee Ensign of the American University of Nigeria, Yola; Prof. Barth Nnaji of Geometric Powers Ltd; Lazarus Angbazo of General Electric; Nicholas Okoye of Anabel Group; Chief Allen Onyema of Air Peace Nigeria and many other notable business leaders and captains of industry.

In Oganiru Summit the governor profiled the 14-stagnant/moribund state-owned enterprises for possible commercialization and privatization to the investors. Oganiru summit had already yielded its first fruit as a Chinese firm CAMC Engineering Company Limited visited the governor last month with plans on investing in the Staple Crop Processing Zone in Enugu.

In infrastructure, Enugu state government on 6 September 2016 approved the award of contracts for 35 capital projects comprising the construction of roads, bridges, school and boreholes across the 17 local governments areas of the state. The contracts will gulp the sum of N2.1 billion.

Some of the completed infrastructural developments in the state include

  1. Amaneke-Ngwo-Nsude-9th Mile bypass
  2. Airport Roundabout-Orie Emene-St. Patrick’s College-Eke Obinagu road.
  3. Holy Trinity Street Independence layout
  4. Bishop Michael Eneje Street Independence Layout
  5. Nawfia street Independence layout
  6. Mbanefo Street New Haven
  7. Secretariat Road by GRA
  8. Court Avenue by New State Secretariat
  9. Abakpa Nike Road

Some ongoing projects include

  1. Opi-Nsukka dual carriage road
  2. Ohom Orba Junction-Imilike Ani-Ezimo Uno-Ezimo Agu-Imilike Ogbodu Aba-Obollo Etiti-Obollo Afor(Udenu ring road)
  3. Orie Emene-Adoration Ministry road
  4. Enugu Road (Nsukka) Junction-Umuezebi-Nru Junction-University of Nigeria gate
  5. Amankwo-Ameke-Amah Brewery Junction-9th Mile bypass road
  6. Post Office roundabout-Odenigbo roundabout-Ogurugu road-Ikenga road
  7. Obechara road Junction-Umuakashi-Mechanic Village-Ikenga Hotels Junction road
  8. Injaba River quadruple cells bridge Amagunze

Even in the face of dwindling economy, he is prudent enough to “…extend development to the frontier of rural areas…” Numerous communities in Udi, Uzo-Uwani and Igbo-Etiti LGA are benefiting from the 15km Inter-town Connection (ITC) 2.5 MVA Injection Sub-station at Ezi-Nze in Udi LGA. The above project will also provide power for the Adada Dam Project, a precursor to the Greater Nsukka Water Scheme.

His government procured 20 tractors scattered in the 17 LGAs to be hired by farmers at every subsidized. He also acquired 750 hectares of land to distribute to youths and women with viable commercial agricultural plans in the State; each beneficiary to be allocated 3 hectares.

Governor Ugwuanyi still maintains the free maternal health and child careprogram of the last administration. The Ultra-Modern Medical Diagnostic Centre in Enugu inherited from the previous administration is nearing completion. Work is ongoing at the new 200-bed Ultra-Modern Specialist Hospital at Amalla, Orba in Udenu LGA. He had shown his kind disposition towards the less privileged through his various visits to the hospitals and homes scattered all over the state, among which are Abandoned Children’s Home at FSP Medical Centre, Poly Sub-District Hospital Asata, ESUTH Park Lane, Bishop Shanahan Hospital Nsukka, etc. Arrangements have also been concluded for the construction of new specialist hospitals in the three senatorial zones of the state.

The key to success in governance lies in knowing the areas to concentrate more efforts. Enugu state is civil service driven. As a result the governor prudently utilized the bailout funds from the FG to clear all outstanding pensions and subventions owed to all the ministries, parastatals, agencies and departments in the state. Subsequently, Enugu civil servants always sing “Godwin” at the end of each month. That’s not all he also provided water, electricity and other ancillary services at the New Secretariat Complex. Enugu State Deputy Governor’s Office, Office of the Secretary to the State Government and other sensitive office buildings are all completely restructured. Tarmac work is currently ongoing at the parking lots. The governor recently handed over keys to civil servants from Level 01 – 10 in the state who are the beneficiaries of the government subsidized 100 housing units at Elim Estate Ibagwa Nike Enugu. The 153 disengaged staff of ESUT have all received the full payment of their outstanding salaries and other entitlement. On June 3, 2016 the Trade Union Congress conferred him with the award of “Most Labour Friendly Governor” at its Triennial National Conference and Award Night.

The governor has released N3billion to an Administrative Committee headed by the Deputy Governor, Her Excellency, Hon (Mrs.) Cecilia Ezeilo for the renovation of 276 primary and secondary schools in the state.

In his anti-corruption drive, he set up an 11-man on Local Government Audit and Biometric Data Capture chaired by the Speaker of Enugu State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Edward Ubosi. The committee among other findings revealed the existence of 3916 ghost workers in the state. This revelations showed that the state will henceforth save N161,494,570.00 monthly and N1.934bn annually. The governor in his quest to boost IGR and block revenue leakages dissolved the sate IGR Board and set up a new board headed by Chukwuemeka Anthony Odoh, a seasoned administrator, banker, journalist, financial expert and business man.

In a bid to ensure the sustenance of the relative peace enjoyed in Enugu, the governor procured 20 vehicles shortly after his inauguration to the security agencies in the state and had continued to support their operations.

But the peace and tranquility of Enugu state was rattled vigorously by the menace of the Fulani Herdsmen. The tragedy that befell the residents of Nimbo Community in Uzo-Uwani LGA on 25th April 2016 left a scare that can only be healed with time. The incident left about 5 people dead, scores injured and properties worth millions destroyed.

Worthy of mention was the governor’s reactions during the period. Crying at the scene of mayhem of such magnitude is never a sign of weakness, rather is a sign of humane-ness. World leaders are known to have shed tears when lives are lost. Even in the bible when Jesus Christ leant about the death of Lazarus, he wept; John 11: 35. After crying, Jesus Christ went to work and raised Lazarus from the dead (this example is in no way comparing our Lord Jesus with Governor Ugwuanyi). Shedding tears shows emotional connection and identification with his people. That he feels what they feel. Governor Ugwuanyi swung into action immediately he left Nimbo. Nimbo incident is the only Fulani Herdsmen related attacks that had had arrests made in recent times. It attracted the attention of both the local and international community. Questions were being asked for the first time by both the ruling and opposition parties in Nigeria. The governors of APC, South East governors, PDP governors of South East, South East Council of Traditional Rulers, various groups and leaders paid solidarity visits to Enugu state. This was to a great extent dependent on the maturity exhibited by the governor in handing the incident. The peace-loving governor was able to douse the anger and tension generated by the attack, which could have easily escalated, leading to more loss of lives and destruction of properties, farm produce and livestock. The whole world united and mourned with Ndi Enugu. His call for prayers and fasting brought at the denominations in the state together for the first time for prayers and provision of material support for the victims. May the souls of the dead rest in perfect peace. Amen.

Nothing can be equated to life. Nothing we can say or do can or would bring back those lives, but our actions and word must speak #Ozoemena (let it not happen again).

The way and manner the FG that controls all the security apparatus in the country handled Nimbo tragedy and other Fulani Herdsmen related attacks left us with many unanswered questions; but that is a topic for another day

Consequently, the governor has reactivated the Neighbourhood Watch Association in all the communities and committed the first N100million seed money for their operations. The governor also set up a Judicial Commission of Inquiry to unravel the causes of the incident and make recommendations on averting future occurrence.

After the daredevil struck again on 26th August 2016 at Ndiagu Attagwu Akegbe Ugwu Nkanu West LGA Killing a seminarian and two women.

Worried by this, Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, on 6th September 2016, inaugurated a Security Committee. The committee is chaired by a high-ranking military veteran, Brigadier-General Fred Eze (rtd) who was also appointed as the Special Adviser to the Governor on Security Matters. It also comprises members of the Enugu State Executive Council, members of the Enugu State House of Assembly, Security Agencies, Local Government Council Chairmen, representatives of the Fulani, Shuwa Arab and Hausa communities in Enugu State, representatives of Cattle Market Traders, Traditional Rulers, Presidents-General of Town Unions, Neighborhood Watch Associations, representatives of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) and Student leaders in Enugu State.

Due to calls against harassments by touts who claim to collect revenue for the state government in major cities in Enugu, the governor suspended the payment of fines for traffic offences reinforced the ban on cash payment of taxes, rates and fees to the government. Recently, he appointed a woman activist Mrs. Amaka Anajemba as the new MD of ESWAMA to curb the harassment by the agents of the Agency.

The Enugu SME Centre at Okpara Avenue have successfully assisted over 700 entrepreneurs in securing loans from partnering banks and extended professional and technical assistance to 2500 others through mentorship and coaching programs.

The governor also supported our darling team Rangers of Enugu, the Antelope. He had cleared all the outstanding salaries and remunerations to the players and staff of Rangers FC. He also provided a new 30-seater bus and Kia Cerato Salon car to the team and gaffer, Mr. respectively.

Your Excellency, Ndi Enugu are saying “Daalu” Deeme” “Daaruo” (Thank you), but just like Oliver, we still want some more.

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We are not satisfied yet. Enugu youths are among the most creative set of individuals in Nigeria. Most of us have business/enterprise ideas and 21 century innovations that will put Enugu state perpetually in the map. But we are scared of intellectual theft. Engage the youths, through a credible platform to tap into that potential. We expect more work in terms of security and infrastructural development at the Four Corner, 9th Mile Corner, Obollo Afor and Emene. These locations will bring massive IGR boost when harnessed. Enugu needs an IT hub; the development and revenue potential is massive too. We need to see Adani Rice in the various markets in Nigeria.

Ndi Enugu truly believe that Enugu is in the hands of God

 

 

  • “Onye Enugu” – means a person from Enugu.
  • Ugwu Nnaemeka Stephen writes from Imilike Enu (Facebook – Emeka EK Ugwu) – Twitter –               @Emekaek

 

 

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Gov. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State shuts down Opposition with Quality Performance.

Ike Ezugwu.

Governor-Ifeanyi-Ugwuanyi-of-Enugu1

 

7Gov. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi’s excellent performance in Enugu State makes viable opposition very difficult. It seems there is only one political party, PDP, in the state. Also questionable is the ability of All People’s Congress (APC), the supposed leading-opposition party in Enugu State, to effectively challenge the incumbent, Rt. Hon. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi and the PDP at the “Guber Polls” come 2019.  Governor Ugwuanyi keeps shutting the space with his performance as the days go by. It is important to note that if “taking over power from an incumbent is dependent upon the interaction between the Opposition’s political skills and the political circumstances that they face”, APC’s situation in the state is bad.

1First, no other party than the PDP seems to exist in Enugu State now. The parties are probably waiting for election time to get closer so they can assemble like-minded critics of the PDP government into their political fold for the election campaigns? This is as wrong as it is tactically deficient. However, the situation is understandable when we consider that APC or any other political party has any seat in both the executive and legislative arms of government at state and local government levels. The structures for viable opposition are simply not available. Again, the present economic quagmire in the country makes it very difficult for APC as the attendant hardship and hunger are easily attributed to the failure of APC-led Federal Government to pull the right policy strings. The perceived performance of APC at the center seems an albatross on the state-chapter.

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 APC’s foremost uphill task in terms of unseating Gov. Ugwuanyi and PDP is the governor’s performance so far. He is believed to have done so well by the people. How will the Opposition convince Ndi Enugu that “Change” is needed in the state come 2019?  It is on record that Enugu State is one of the few states in Nigeria where governance and statecraft are still running at optimum levels. The state government is developing infrastructures, paying salaries and substantially meeting the needs of the people in spite of the present economic recession in Nigeria. How would the opposition disprove this? Yet they have to convince the people that visible works of the governor don’t exist or should not count. How?

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Yes, the performance of the incumbent government remains a major challenge of the APC in Enugu State. They opposition needed a trigger in form of “an economic crisis, policy failure, party divisions or scandal – to exploit. It seemingly came, but it didn’t. The poor exploitation of the Fulani herdsmen massacres in Enugu for cheap political leap, failed. It couldn’t yield the intended panic, disloyalty, frustration and confusion. The fact that the National Media as well as the “New Media” could rightly situate the “responsibility to maintain peace and order and protect every Nigerian” on the President of Nigeria, The ruling APC and the federal security agencies – Police, Army, DSS, etc did not do the efforts of their “E-attack dogs” any good. Inciting the bruised public to reprisal attacks or imputing cowardice to the wisdom and tact exhibited by the governor by a section of the E-attack-dogs failed to yield the required confusion. The people mourned their dead and remained behind the state leadership during the trying periods.

4Where is the opposition in Enugu State politics?

Who is the Leader of the opposition in the state? Where has the party made an input or impact since the last elections? Has the party demonstrated credibility in any form tangible – through performances in the Federal Executive, Federal Houses, or even through people-advocacy and socio-political intervention in interviews, rallies or speeches? Has APC issued any statement on the state-of-the-State at critical moments like the Nimbo, Akegbe Ugwu massacres? Where is the party’s leadership? Identifying who is to blame seems more straightforward in the eyes of the apologists of APC in the state (not the party itself). The resort to anchoring the Opposition’s views and critique on “social media posts, twits and commentaries” highlight a party in disarray than one with a good sense of being and knowledge of what constitutes viable opposition.

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The Opposition is bedeviled with credibility issues

The ranks of the Opposition elements in Enugu state lack character and credibility in their attacks. Oftentimes, their argument is flimsy rather than concrete. What is “perfectly sensible” to these negative-critics often elude majority of the people. They hardly strike any emotional chord with the people. Take for instance, “insulting” the governor or labeling the victims as cowards on social media over terrorist attacks on the state smacks of ignorance and lack of humanity, taste and class. At moments like these it remains a huge mistake to think that logic and rationality will win out and persuade people to turn against the government. One may inadvertently trigger confirmation bias, a situation in which people become further entrenched in their own ideas. Effective communication appeals to people’s emotions, tapping into universal human values and desires. It is best to appeal to both hearts and minds when you want to build and sustain commitment.

Which way to go for APC in Enugu State (this may apply to other political parties)?

The opposition party has to re-position itself and contribute to governance meaningfully – through constructive criticism and provision of alternative policy ideas where they feel things are not going well). Viable and people-oriented opposition remains critical in governance. The party has to visibly re-position and commit to good governance rather than assembling e-rats and equipping social media attack-dogs to fight-find faults even where none exists. The party has to understand that genuine challenges of governance cannot be taken as faults and should not dwell so much on fault-finding. A sensible opposition knows this and in many cases tries offering solutions to the challenge at hand. They pay attention.

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  • Written by Ike Ezugwu with some Online photos of the Governor’s projects in the state.

 

 

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