IF, ONLY IF!

Imo-AccidentLast week, two days ago precisely, 19 persons perished in a single road accident at Njaba bridge, Orlu road in Imo State – https://www.naijanews.com/…/33188-19-people-burnt-death-imo….

I know that if any of us had the power to stop it from happening the person would have done everything possible to stop it. Anything! Nobody had the power to do that. But, are we are we really helpless? No. We are merely careless, more reactive than proactive. We wait until bad things happen (and we wail over it), rather than prevent bad things from happening altogether. Road accidents can be avoided, yes, many of the accidents can be avoided through proper safety measures and practices. We can reduce accidents on our roads, especially during festive periods through education and sensitization.

Leadership Development, Innovations & Dynamics Initiatives (LDIDI) (www.ldidi-ngo.org) is flagging-off a road safety campaign, tagged “Speed Kills People; Take It Easy” on December 15, 2017 and expects everyone to be part of it. So many messages on t-shirts, banners, digital flyers; audio and video messages have also been prepared for this noble project. With an education-based initiatives like this, we can collectively reduce accidents on our roads this yuletide period and beyond. http://www.nowchild.com.ng/ldidi-to-reduce-road-accidents-…/

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All it takes is little financial and time resources from everybody that cares. Buy a t-shirt (N5, 000 only), produce and mount a banner or signage (for same amount as t-shirt). You can also donate or sponsor one of the messages being planned for the project….and if you can, be available at Jibowu Bus Terminal in Lagos – 6 am prompt wearing the approved t-shirt or carrying a banner with any of the road safety messages. If you can afford to buy a t-shirt or produce a banner for someone who can’t, but, can be physically available for the campaign flag-off, why not do that?

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And I dare ask you, if this was all you needed to do, to prevent an accident like the one on Njaba bridge, wouldn’t you do that and even more? Wouldn’t you have done that to save ONE life? Many accidents would still happen on our roads if the right measures – right road safety education, attitude and practices are not implemented. The good news is that we can PREVENT accidents. Join us in this crucial project.

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HOW? The least you can do is share this for awareness. Tell someone who matters that “speed kills people and that he or she should take it easy”.You could also drop your “penny” or give your time.

Thank you.
Ike Ezugwu (President, LDIDI)

“Why Nigerians Should Support LDIDI Road Safety Campaign” – Ike Ezugwu, LDIDI President.

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Christmas and New Year celebrations are around the corner! People will travel from different parts of the world to their various states, towns and villages to celebrate with their loved ones. This period is usually busy on Nigerian roads with intense business activities which ultimately culminate in travels, family re-union, festivities and fun. It is also a period that records greatest number of accidents happens on the roads. It is also characterized by carelessness on the road by road drivers who flout traffic rules and regulations – over-speeding, texting and making calls while driving, drink-driving, unqualified drivers, over-loading of vehicles, etc.

According to the National Bureau of Statistics (March 23, 2017), Nigeria recorded 11, 363 road accidents in 2016. The report further said that speed violation was reported as the major cause of the accidents in 2016, which accounted for 33.86 per cent of the total road accidents reported. A total of 30, 105 Nigerians got injured in the accidents in 2016. (Source: Vanguard).

National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) also reported that no fewer than 2, 673 people died in road accidents in Nigeria between January and June, 2017. This implies an average of 15 people died each day in the first six months of 2017 in road accidents across the country. (Source: Premium Times).

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The figures are scary!

We need to take it easy!

We have to do something!

In view of the above, Leadership Development, Innovations & Dynamics Initiatives (LDIDI) decided to embark on a special road safety intervention tagged “Speed Kills People, Take It Easy” with the hash tag: #SpeedKillsPeople and #TakeItEasy. Speed Kills People, Take It Easy is not just a speed management campaign but a total road safety initiative of Leadership Development, Innovations & Dynamics Initiatives (LDIDI) to help reduce accidents on our roads this Christmas/New Year period. It helps Nigerians learn about the dangers of speeding and the consequences. Through this programme, we aim to reduce the number of road accidents and associated deaths and injuries this year. Though Speed Kills People, Take It Easy focuses primarily on speeding it also highlights other major risk factors like use of phone (calls and texting) and seat-belt use while driving, especially during festive periods.

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Speed Kills People, Take Easy is targets the festive periods of Christmas and the New Year and scheduled to commence on December 15 and end on January 15, 2018.

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It is important to observe that speeding is considered one of the main risk factors for fatal crashes. Studies reveal that the relationship between speed and injury severity is particularly critical for vulnerable road users such as pedestrians and cyclists. “There is extensive evidence from around the world that road safety campaigns complemented by the strict enforcement of laws can dramatically decrease reckless behavior on the roads”. This road safety campaign, along with increased FRSC patrols and police enforcement, will reduce the number of road traffic crashes and unnecessary fatalities and injuries on our roads during the festive period.

 

The whole idea is to make enduring impact and save lives and property. I urge everyone to be committed to this project in whatever way possible.

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We must all be involved in this campaign! Why? You don’t know the driver that will convey your family members, spouse, children, friends, colleagues, neighbours to their destinations this period. You are not even sure the driver has enough education and knowledge on safety issues. You don’t know! Many drivers don’t know enough to help them cope with the challenges of the job at this period. They, therefore, get overwhelmed by the pressure!

This is why we must all be involved. We would be reaching them with road safety messages and education that will help them drive safely and take our beloved ones to their destinations in good piece and time.

For this campaign, we need a lot of human and material resources to pull it through. You too can help by joining the campaign. Kindly visit our website, www.ldidi-ngo.org and choose how you can support the campaign and the organization. May God bless you as join us as we make impact.

mma

Ike Ezugwu

President, LDIDI.

 

 

 

 

LDIDI to Reduce Road Accidents with ‘Speed Kills People, Take It Easy’ Campaign

By Nahimah Ajikanle Nurudeen

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The Leadership Development, Innovations & Dynamics Initiatives (LDIDI) will on December 15th, 2017 flag off ‘Speed Kills People, Take It Easy’ Campaign as part of it advocacy towards reducing the spate of crashes on Nigerian roads.

The initiative which was born on scary revelations by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) on March 23, 2017, that Nigeria recorded 11, 363 road accidents in 2016 and high rate of speed violation as the major cause of the accidents in 2016, which accounted for 33.86 per cent of the total road accidents reported. A total of 30, 105 Nigerians got injured in the accidents in 2016. It was also reported that no fewer than 2, 673 people died in road accidents in Nigeria between January and June, 2017. This implies an average of 15 people died each day in the first six months of 2017 in road accidents across the country.

The Director General of LDIDI, Ike Ezugwu described the figures as scary hence, the need for people to take it easy. He said, ” In view of the above, we have decided to embark on this special road safety intervention tagged “Speed Kills People, Take It Easy” with the hash tag: #SpeedKillsPeople and #TakeItEasy.” According to him, ‘Speed Kills People, Take It Easy is a speed management campaign of LDIDI to help reduce accidents on our roads this Christmas/New Year period. He said through the campaign, LDIDI will help Nigerians to learn about the dangers of speeding and the consequences.

Ezugwu explained that, “Through this programme, we aim to reduce the number of road accidents and associated deaths and injuries this year. Speed Kills People, Take It Easy focuses primarily on speeding but highlighting other major risk factors: use of phone (calls and texting) and seat-belt use while driving, especially during festive periods.”

He noted that campaign was slated for festive periods of Christmas and the New Year because it is usually busy on Nigerian roads with intense business activities which ultimately culminate in travels, family re-union, festivities and fun.

Ezugwu said further, “It is also a period that records greatest number of accidents happens on the roads. It is also characterized by carelessness on the road by road drivers who flout traffic rules and regulations – over-speeding, texting and making calls while driving, drink-driving, unqualified drivers, over-loading of vehicles, etc.

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“Speeding is considered one of the main risk factors for fatal crashes. Studies reveal that the relationship between speed and injury severity is particularly critical for vulnerable road users such as pedestrians and cyclists. “There is extensive evidence from around the world that road safety campaigns complemented by the strict enforcement of laws can dramatically decrease reckless behavior on the roads”. This media campaign, along with increased FRSC patrols and police enforcement, will reduce the number of road traffic crashes and unnecessary fatalities and injuries on our roads during the festive period.” He urged LDIDI members to show commitment to the laudable initiative.

Ezugwu said,”The whole idea is to make enduring impact and save lives and property. I urge everyone to be committed to this project in whatever way possible. We need a lot of materials and human resources at this time to pull it through. A lot of work has also been done with various technical partnerships on the way. While we may not task members with the responsibility of funding the campaign, I request that

People register as soon as they can so that funds will be made available to support efforts already on ground. To keep the organization running some members have continued to foot the bills and carry out operational duties. Donations are welcome.”

By Nahimah Ajikanle Nurudeen

In Truth, of Truth APC in Enugu is in a Cold Room

By Onyekachi Ugwu

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The reason APC appears to exist in Enugu state is the mere fact that the Ex Governor of Enugu State Dr Sullivan Chime joined the party and it was expected that having been governor of the state for a period of Eight years he would have brought enormous good will to the party. Well that is a good thinking but THE BITTER COLA IS NOT AS SWEET AS IT SOUNDS IN THE MOUTH. We know the crisis that bedeviled the party with his entrance. Not only that he did not join the party with known and astute politicians, political pundits soon realized that APC has become a hive of strange bedfellows with entrenched animosity that rubbished the known political line that “it is not about friendship but interest”.
Let’s not be deceived…. Strange bedfellows are strange bedfellows and that is why there remains internal crisis in the party.

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Or how would anyone contemplate that the soured relationship between Dr Sullivan Chime and Okey Ezeah can be abated by mere membership of same political party? Are we not same people who hold that birds of a feather flock together? They are not of a feather. So much water has passed under the bridge. Or do we begin to believe that Sullivan Chime and Dr Sam Onyishi can ever drink from the same cup? Any brand that features the two of them as brand Ambassadors is bound for exit from the market. I recall how Dr Sullivan denigrated and derided Dr Sam Onyishi during the run up to the 2015 governorship elections and followed up on that with threats to the latter’s business. The animosity is deeply entrenched and to uproot it would be Titanic. Strange bedfellows indeed.

Or do we begin to talk about Rt. Hon Eugene Odo Ogwu, the disgraced and impeached speaker of Enugu State House of Assembly who regardless of standing out as a boyi boyi Speaker doing his masters bidding was mauled by his master? His master was Dr Sullivan Chime. But we know the story of how Rt Hon Eugene ended his meteoric rise to power and influence in Enugu State and suddenly became like flotsam on the rubble all because one man had the wherewithal to decide his fate. And decided it and booted him out as a Speaker of the House of Assembly.

Sullivan gave Eugene Odo Ogwu the unkindest cut in his political carrier and today the later is living in the shadow of his past. Can water and petrol mix in the same pot? Hell No. That’s their case in APC. Even River Venue and Niger which met at Lokoja has refused to merge into one despite thousands of years of rubbing each other’s palm.

Then comes Sen. Ayogu Eze. To Dr Sullivan, Ayogu was a marked politician who needed to be caged. Donning the cap of imprudence, Ayogu had invited the then President Jonathan to his native village Umuida to honour his mothers burial in a show of influence. Dr Sullivan swallowed hard and was head bowed. To add more gas to the raging fire, Ayogu flew over the Seat of Power with Dr Sullivan as Emperor in his chartered helicopter. That was ambition demonstrated in a vaulting fashion. Adrenaline rends Sullivan’s body and like an enraged Lion he poised to decapitate Ayogu Eze and he did satisfactorily. Ayogu took to his heels and has not allowed his feet to grace the soil of Enugu State in a long time.

Is Ayogu headed for APC? Most likely. And he is going to be in the same boat with Dr Sullivan Chime. God help the King. The paddles broke before the sail.

Of Jim Nwobodo and Sullivan Chime it is a dog eat dog stuff. Let me not even go too far. The contested landed property situate at Independence Layout near EFCC is a sore point. It raged like storm throughout the tenure of Sullivan. DO WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT denials of other pecks due to the statesman?. And both are in the same party? The journey is jinxed and stalemated.

While the feuding continues, WHO AMONG APC can hold the ground for them?

Ken Nnamani? Enugu South youths, Mothers and fathers know better. Simply put a lot laundering is needed as well as appeasement of the gods of the land. But the gods have decreed that for complete appeasement, 20 years timeframe is needed. That is like eternity.

Gbazeagu Nweke Gbazeagu? Chei…. Of a time period starting from 1990 – 1998 this Oji River born politicians who ran for Governorship of this state held sway as a champion of military oligarchy who found favour in the eyes of Sani Abacha. He was literally addressed as His Excellency as he was headed to becoming the anointed Governor of Enugu State. But Abacha died and the bird found a safe house inside a cage. That’s where he has been politically, occasionally popping out his beak through the wire mesh for a whiff of the wind. Put correctly…. Long John Silver is one legged while Captain Pew is one -eyed. That’s a bad combination for warlords. Just take the remaining eyes and cut off the remaining leg and the journey is ended.

Then comes Minister Onyeama… Well he is a core technocrat and his apathy towards mainstream politics is visible. They are just disturbing the perfect gentleman. But can he bite politically….. No. Gentlemen are gentlemen. That leaves us with Osita Okechukwu….. But outside Eke what else? Spare myself the stress of penning anything joor. But sure enough he can’t hold sway. From ACN – CPC – APC all he angles for is appointment and he has got one. That’s just the terminal of his political influence.

And there in Ezeagu is Ozo Joe Mmamel. A good politician. Charismatic. Rugged too and does great battles but WHAT CAN A BIRD with one WING DO? He is the only man standing out among those who boarded the ship of APC with Dr Sullivan. He alone cant win the war for APC.

So what is the hues and cries about? Is it about Chief Baywood Ibe? Relax men. Great guy he is but…. It takes something greater than being a great guy to shake the political tradition of Enugu State.

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Source: Facebook Timeline of Onyekachi C Ugwu

 

Before you blame our people on the failings of our democracy….

Agreed, Democracy is a difficult and intricate system of governance.

How much do our people really know about Democracy and democratic governance? How prepared, knowledge-wise, are they to handle the intricacies of Democracy? Before you blame the average Nigerian electorate, ask yourself how much the electorate actually knows about the whole exercise.

Many politicians and elected government officials are not really bothered about how educated our electorates are, as long as they can get them to vote and get them elected. They care less about the level of knowledge that leads to the so-called election. Nigerians vote during elections without knowing why they are voting and who they are voting for. They don’t also know what to expect from the people they are voting into offices. Little wonder then, they see their statutory “dividends of democracy” as benevolence of those in power. Little wonder Governors and Presidents are applauded for everything they do. This also explains why our elected officials become demi-gods once they get into office.

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Seriously, let us ask ourselves these simple questions (below) and attempt providing answers. You will be amazed how ignorant our people, Nigerian electorates, are.

  • What does being a country mean?
  • Who is a citizen of a country and what are the benefits?
  • What are the duties and responsibilities of citizens?
  • Why do we have to elect our leaders ourselves?
  • Why do we practice DEMOCRACY in Nigeria?
  • What difference does Democracy make?
  • What are the basic expectations of the Nigerian people under a democratic rule?
  • What are the duties and responsibilities of elected political officials?
  • Why do we have political parties? Can’t we practice democracy without political parties?
  • What do they mean by “Doctrine of Separation of Powers”?
  • What are the differences in roles/responsibilities of the Executive, Legislature and the Judiciary?
  • How do these three arms relate in a Democracy?
  • What are the duties/Responsibilities of President, Vice-President, Governors, Deputy Governors, Senators, Members of House of Reps, Ministers, Boards, etc?
  • What are the responsibilities of INEC?
  • What are the duties/responsibilities of INEC?
  • What are we supposed to do during elections?
  • What? What? What?

So many questions and little or no answers!

Democracy thrives best on knowledge. The knowledge base of a people goes to determine, to a large extent, the success of Democracy. An ignorant population, in the hands of corrupt politicians, make nonsense of democracy.

According to Nelson Mandela, “Education is the best weapon to change the world”. But, what kind of education are we talking about here? Effective education! We are concerned here about Education that teaches the heart and the mind. We are concerned about Education that enlightens the individual and dispels ignorance.  That which us better individuals, better people.

Do we desire a change in Nigeria, especially in our political lives, leadership/followership? If we sincerely do, we must embrace education, mass education of our people. We must hold ourselves accountable for the change we desire. We must educate and re-educate our minds! We must reverse all the negative teachings! We cannot also continue to leave everything in the hands of Governments. We must take the responsibility to get it right ourselves. This is the responsibility Leadership Development, Innovations & Dynamics Initiatives (LDIDI) has taken up. We want to make change through education! We are non-governmental, non-profit, non-religious, non-political organization, dedicated to expelling ignorance through education, information and enlightenment.

New LDIDI Logo for website

Join us and contribute your quota to this noble cause. With so little from each of us, we are able to do so much collectively. We can make impact! We can change Nigeria for good.

Ike Ezugwu

(DG, LDIDI)

LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT, INNOVATIONS & DYNAMICS INITIATIVES

Make a change

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.

LDIDI Logo

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

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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.

Poem

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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.

iigrow old together

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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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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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.

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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?

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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.