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Food for Living: Break Barriers, Create New Vistas

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By Henry Ukazu

Greetings Destiny Friends,

Setting a record is the joy of every progressive mind, organisation, government and business. It cannot be overemphasized that everyone wants to set a new record. Records are being set daily in different sectors all over the world. For instance, Coronavirus has set new record of global health pandemic in USA and the world general because of the “new normal” it introduced. The new record has affected all businesses including but not limited to corporate organizations, hospitals, entertainment industry, and even the family circle is not left out. You can decide to set a record for yourself. To set a new record, one must be ready to break barriers and create new vistas, and as easy as it appears, it takes guts and extra-ordinary energy to achieve. During the course of this article, we shall be discussing practical examples on how we can set a new record for ourselves.

Setting a new record can be likened to having a new friend. Your circle of friends can either make or mar you. This is because they can either challenge you to do better than yourself or lead you to downfall. Despite having great friends/network around you, the greatest record one can ever set is overcoming himself. You may be wondering how can one overcome himself? Overcoming oneself simply means to do better than you did yesterday. It’s quite unfortunate many people compete with their friends within their network, family, and colleagues forgetting the fact that the  best way of competing is engaging in healthy competition. Competing with oneself entails doing better than what you did the previous day, week, month or year.

It is interesting to note that those who you spend your time with will in some way determine how your life will be. Let us take a case study of married couples, once they are married, there’s a great possibility that either the husband or the wife will influence their spouse either negatively or positively. Furthermore, you cannot hang out with chicken and expect to soar. It is always good to look at your friends and see what they are doing and where they are heading to. Ask yourself, where will I be in five, ten years or more? What will make me feel fulfilled? In order to set a new record, you must exceed expectations by going over and beyond. By so doing you’ll be on the path of setting a new world record depending on your expectations. Moral: Choose your friends wisely.

Having said that the greatest form of competition is healthy competition, it is worthy of note that healthy competition is applicable where family members and friends inspire each one to succeed as opposed to trying to dim the light or trying to outsmart another person in a greedy manner. In setting a new record, it is important to know the kind of record you’ll like to set. Some people like to trend for negative reasons while some like to trend for positive reasons. The choice is yours.

Furthermore, there are certain qualities a rational mind must have if he desires to set a new record. One of the qualities is determination. You cannot take away determination from record setting. Some of us have some bad habits which needs to be thrown into the garbage bin. These negative habits can be the limitation factor why we fail to reach our peak. If you have colleagues who are only interested in having fun without balancing it with work, it will surely rob off on you.Avoid them. Spirits are transferable by way of association and influence. Hangout with successful people and you will be successful because the possibility of learning how they live their life is guaranteed.

Set boundaries.

If you are going to reach your highest potential in life, you need to set boundaries and limitations for friends and family members. People need to know what you stand for. If you don’t stand for anything, you’ll die for nothing Question: What will you like the world to remember you for? In the journey of life, you need to identify with the right people. It’s sad to note that sometimes, due to vested interest, progressive minds seem to associate with people who don’t value or identify with their vision. They are merely after what will they gain from them. They are therefore, concerned about their income, relationship as opposed to their mission and vision. These unholy associations are most times geared towards getting sponsors and potential partners to relate closely with. If you ask them why identify with such people, they would snap, ‘what if I lose my business?’ And I ask, what if you lose the vision, perception, image, brand and mission of your company?

Environmental Factors

According to John Quincy Adams, “if your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more and do more, you’re a leader”. If you truly desire to make in a difference, you must make sure you look past your environment. You don’t have to be limited by your environment. You have to be willing to separate yourself from whatever limits your thought process. You need to know what limits you from succeeding. Your greatest desire is to grow and you can do this by conquering new grounds. You don’t have to be stuck in what your environment offers you, neither should you be concerned of what community is saying. The law of the group says, ‘we associate with people with the way we see ourselves’.

As mentioned earlier, your vision and goal are what should rule your mind and life. If your community and friends won’t affect you positively between now and the next wenty years, there’s no reason why you should be around them. Your greatest concern should be the quality and not the quantity of people you have in your life. One loyal and impactful friend is better than ten general friends.

In conclusion, the higher you go, the more selective you have to be. Not everyone needs to be in your circle of lifestyle. You grow up to meet and associate with people, organizations, countries and leaders of thought and industry who identify with your values and vision. That is the notion you should have. You don’t have to relate or associate with people because they are related to you by family or blood. The best way to go around it is to treat them with respect while relating with them from a distance. They may feel bad, but guess what, you’re not responsible for others happiness; you’re responsible for your own happiness.

Food for thought: If you don’t get the wrong people out, the right people won’t come.

Henry Ukazu writes from New York. He works with the New York City Department of Correction as the Legal Coordinator. He’s the author of the acclaimed book Design Your Destiny – Actualizing Your Birthright To Success. He can be reached via henrous@gmail.com

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PCP Congratulates Obaseki, Edo People on ‘Deserved’ Victory

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By Eric Elezuo

The People’s Coalition Party  (PCP) has congratulated the Governor of Edo State, Mr Godwin Obaseki and the people of Edo State for the victory at polls during the just concluded governorship election.

The party’s message was contained in press statement signed by its chairman, Don Anthony Harmattan, and made available to PointBlank.ng.

The chairman noted that the victory has demonstrated the resilience of the Edo people and that votes must count in elections

“It is a demonstration of the will of the people to actualizing their dreams in the midst of oppressors, money bags and Political God fathers who take advantage of the weakness of Nigerians to rig their protegees and stooges into office. This election has proven that when people are united and resolute, no one can take their mandate away from them. Indeed it is a victory for our democracy,” the statement read.

The PCP sees Obaseki’s victory as an eye opener to what may likely happen in 2023 while asking Nigerians to tie the line of Edo People in flushing out politics based on godfatherism.

“I wish to let Nigerians know that with this defeat of oppression, extortion and God fatherism in Edo State, 2023 will be a year of victory for Nigerians. Nigerians must unite and toe the part of the Edo People to defend their votes,” the statement said.

The chairman also commended President Muhammadu Buhari ‘for being the first to congratulate Obaseki’ and encourage others to do likewise.

“Together, our democracy will be stronger and yield dividends for all Nigerians irrespective of tribe and religion,” the statement concluded.

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Akin Fadeyi Foundation, ABUAD in New Partnership Against Rape, Cyberbully

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Afe Babalola University Ado-Ekiti has partnered a non-governmental organisation, Akin Fadeyi Foundation, to fight sexual-based violence and cyberbullying.

The partnership was unveiled in a statement on Friday jointly signed by ABUAD Students’ Affairs Officer, Mr Babatunde Wahab, a lecturer at the institution, Dr Olumide Olugbemi-Gabriel, and the Founder/Executive Director, Akin Fadeyi Foundation, Mr Akin Fadeyi.

The statement is titled, ‘Afe Babalola partners FlagIt App to combat rape and cyberbully.’

Speaking on behalf of ABUAD President and Chancellor, Chief Afe Babalola, as well as the institution’s management, Wahab commended AFF’s FlagIt App for helping to contain the menace of sexual abuse and cyberspace criminality in general.

The FlagIt App is a mobile application developed by AFF to report corruption, particularly the activities of rapists and cyberbullies in society.

ABUAD decried that criminality among the youth was growing at an alarming rate, noting that emerging criminal tendencies and trends were being enabled by advancement in Information and Communications Technology and a corruption-ridden larger society.

“This is why we are excited to see the confidence and speed with which FlagIt rose to the occasion in support of the victims, who are now on the road to getting the needed closure and justice,” Wahab said.

“The onerous task you perform as well as the great efforts which you put into it have been experienced first-hand with your recent involvement in cases of coordinated cyberbullying attacks launched by some unscrupulous persons against some female students of our institution.”

Wahab extolled the manner the AFF and its FlagIt were handling the documentation of criminal tendencies and persons, offering at the same time ready evidence in the pursuit of justice.

“It is in view of the aforementioned that I, in my capacity as Students’ Affairs Officer together with my partner, Dr Olumide Olugbemi-Gabriel, who specialises among others in gender-based oppression and exploitation of women/girls shall be glad to partner with your foundation to stem the rising tide of criminal offences, especially domestic violence, sexual assaults and all forms of cybercrime within and outside ABUAD,” he said.

In his remarks, Fadeyi described the partnership with ABUAD as “a very exciting development.”

He said, “Since we launched the FlagIt App as a mobile application to report corruption, we’ve been uncovering the nefarious activities of rapists and cyberbullies in our society. This has been accompanied by such audacious impudence of trading with or threatening to expose explicit pictures of victims who attempt to resist the pressure of blackmail. This is another troubling element of our systemic decay as a nation that we have confronted swiftly.

“This partnership with Afe Babalola University Ado-Ekiti bears testimony to the traction our activities have gained and we indeed commend the Chancellor, Aare Afe Babalola; the Vice-Chancellor, Prof Smaranda Olarinde, the Students’ Affairs Officer, Mr Babatunde Wahab, and Dr Olumide Olugbemi-Gabriel for their unwavering commitment to working with us to stamp out gender-based violence and exploitation of women/girls in ABUAD and the nation as a whole.”

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How Hushpuppi laundered U.S. Unemployment Benefits – FBI

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Fresh evidence from the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) has revealed how Ramon Abbas, popularly called Hushpuppi, a Nigerian Instagram sensation, was involved in laundering unemployment benefits meant for citizens of the United States.

The scheme is one of the insurance programmes provided for workers who become unemployed through no fault of their own and meet certain other eligibility requirements. The joint state-federal programme provides cash benefits to these workers.

Hushpuppi, who was arrested in UAE over money laundering and cyber fraud allegations, is currently facing charges in the U.S.

He is accused of facilitating computer intrusion, Business Email Compromise (BEC) fraud and money laundering and has been arraigned in an American court in California. His trial begins on October 13.

He pleaded not guilty to the four counts of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, money laundering conspiracies, international money laundering and engaging in monetary transactions in property derived from specified unlawful activity.

Nevertheless, in the affidavit filed on September 14, with the United States District Court, Central District of California, Andrew John Innocenti, an FBI agent trained on foiling cybercrime indicted Mr Abbas in the outcome of his investigation.

Mr Innocenti said he discovered that Hushpuppi, using his email address, registered on a website whizzlog.com (“Whizzlog”) which is a marketplace for buying US Bank Logs and money laundering.

He said although, based on his training, sophisticated cybercriminals do not use their personal email address in registering on such websites but Hushpuppi did.

“ABBAS email address contained registration contamination from Whizz Log. It also contained numerous confirmations and receipts of bank logs he purchased. One of such messages read “Your order was successful. You have purchased (the “Financial Institution”) bank log with a balance of $9,839.44. Purchase Price: $955. The bank log details are in your account. Login to your Whizz Log account to view.”

“From the example above. I observed ABBAS buys a bank log with a balance of over S9,000 for as low as $900. This prompted me to visit the website whizzlog.com for more findings.”

After creating an account, the FBI agent discovered that Whizz Log sells only accounts which have been used to claim unemployment benefits. “Hackers who have claimed unemployment benefits of victims in the United States sell them off in bulk on Whizz Log.”

The prices of bank logs on Whizz Log range from $600 to S1,000 and balance in accounts sold ranges from $4,000 to as high as $12,000, he noted.

For easier payment, the bank logs are available for purchase instantly and payment is made using Bitcoin.

“Cyber criminals who purchase the bank logs can launder the money off through various means. The favorite means on Whizz Log is to buy Bitcoins with the balance in the bank log Whizz Log specifies if a bank log is “BTC Compatible” or not.

“Based on my training and experience, a bank account is “BTC Compatible” if you can buy Bitcoins from within the bank log. Some banks allow clients to directly purchase Bitcoins from their online bank account. Such banks are “BTC Compatible”. A buyer of a “BTC Compatible” bank log would login to the account, navigate to services provided by the bank and select to buy Bitcoins. He can use the whole balance in the account to buy Bitcoins. The Bitcoins will be sent to the criminal within minutes.”

While going through one of the bank accounts bought on the website, Mr Innocenti found that the account was recently opened.

“All the credits into the account were from the Department of Unemployment Assistance totaling $7,302.15,” he stated.

Since Mr Abbas had pleaded that he should be prosecuted with complaints rather than a grand jury indictment, this new evidence will be added to the previous ones.

If found guilty and convicted, the popular Instagram sensation could spend the next 20 years in prison.

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