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Food for Living: #EndSARS in Nigeria

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By Henry Ukazu

Dear Destiny Friends,

It is with heavy pain and burden in my heart I write this article. I didn’t plan to write about the #EndSARS movement currently trending in Nigeria and internationally, but I couldn’t help crying when I saw videos on social media on how the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) were killing, molesting, and extorting helpless Nigerians in the name of elimination crime.

It is pertinent to give a brief introduction about the origin of  Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS). The Special Anti-Robbery Squad was a Nigerian Police Force unit created in late 1992 to deal with crimes associated with robbery, motor-vehicle theft, kidnapping, cattle rustling, and firearms. It was part of the Force Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department (FCIID), which was headed by Deputy Inspector General of Police Anthony Ogbizi.

 According to sources familiar with the major reason SARS was formed was when Col. Rindam of the Nigerian Army was killed by police officers at a checkpoint in Lagos in September 1992.  When the information reached the army, soldiers were dispatched into the streets of Lagos in search of any police officer. The Nigerian police withdrew from checkpoints, security areas, and other points of interest for criminals. Some police officers were said to have resigned while others fled for their lives. Due to the absence of Police men for two weeks, the crime rate increased, and SARS was formed with only 15 officers operating in the shadows without knowledge of the army while monitoring police radio chatters.

However, SARS has not lived up to expectations according to Nigerians. Instead of protecting and fighting crimes, they have resorted to going after peace-loving Nigerians who they perceive as fraudsters when they see the citizen with expensive phone, car or living a flashy lifestyle, they immediately believe he or she is a fraudster.

This menace has continued for years and the citizens were crying helplessly for help to the government of the day and to those who cared to listen, but it’s unfortunate to note that their cries fell on deaf ears.

As you may know, when people are pushed to the wall, they are bound to react. You cannot beat a child and expect him or her not to cry. That’s the state of the Nigerian youths.

Let’s be clear on this, Nigerians are clamoring for the reform of the Nigerian Police Force. The #endsars movement is a call to end police oppression and brutality in Nigeria. Looking at the internet, you’ll see Nigerians have shared both painful and heartbreaking stories and video evidence of how members of SARS engaged in kidnapping, murder, theft, rape, torture, unlawful arrest high-handedness, humiliation, unlawful detention, extrajudicial killings, and extortion

On Saturday 3 October 2020, a video started trending on social media showing a SARS police officer shot a young Nigerian in front of Wetland Hotel, Ughelli, Delta State. It was alleged that the police officers took away the young man’s vehicle – a Lexus SUV. The trending video caused a public outcry on social media, especially on Twitter, with the #ENDSARS hashtag attending.

According to Martin Luther King Jnr. “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. Nigerians felt enough is enough and started to react against the system.

This made the Nigerian youths to request five-point agenda from the Federal Government of Nigeria on October 11, 2020. The demands which were signed by ‘A Nigerian Youth’ ask for the immediate release of all arrested during the protests as well as justice and compensation for all who died through police brutality in Nigeria. They also demanded that an independent body be set up within 10 days to investigate and prosecute all reports of police misconduct. The protestors also asked for psychological evaluation and retraining of SARS operatives before they are deployed to any other police unit. Lastly, they asked for adequate remuneration for Nigerian police.

The Inspector-General of Police M.A Adamu said that a new unit, the Special Weapons, and Tactics (SWAT) would replace the SARS, but Nigerians reacted negatively saying no, it’s just a change of name, the culprits are still there.

It’s sad to note Nigerians were more scared of SARS who was supposed to protect them from criminals.

In December 2017, Segun Awosanya took up an online advocacy campaign to demand the end of SARS brutality in the country. The campaign started as a social media campaign originally started from a hashtag created by a Twitter @Letter_to_jack (tagged #EndSARS) to demand Nigeria’s government to scrap and end the deployment of SARS. The public responded well to the hashtag with people all over Nigeria posting their experiences with SARS. The campaign was reported on by international media. By mid-December, the campaign took to streets with protests occurring in Abuja, and today, the movement has grown beyond the founders.

Nigerians globally have taken advantage of the #endsars to demand good governance and accountability. Many Nigerian youths who are tired of the system, they see no plan or hope from the government. Many of them have no jobs and are tired of poor governance. They, therefore, resort to using the #endsars movement to request for a total overhaul of the system and reconstruct Nigeria especially as it relates to hiking in petrol, hike in Power Holding Corporation of Nigeran, provision of infrastructural facilities, reform in Independence National Electoral Commission, education, healthcare, security, tax, immigration. In fact, all we are asking is accountability.

As a journalist in Washington Post, Karen Attiah put it “ A country that allows state security agents to kill and abuse people with impunity is not a mature democracy.

It’s interesting to note that, Nigerians have never been united like this before. Their unity, love, purpose, and energy is so endearing. They have no clear leader. According to Professor P.L.O  Lumubake, Director of Kenya School of Law “The day Nigerian wakes up, Africa will never remain the same again”. Truly, Nigerians have woken up from their slumber to possess their possession.

It’s sad to note that despite the peaceful protest by Nigerians, the police force has been seen to shoot the protesters and, in some States killed some citizens. Despite losing lives, Nigerian youths still forge ahead with the slogan, we move! They have truly shown their leaders, they are accountable to them, they are literally saying enough is enough, we say no to corruption and bad leadership, they have shown our leaders that they can no longer be neglected, treated as a second class citizens, and as such, they have forced the government of the day to dialogue with them. There have been cases of sponsored thugs who tried to disrupt the peaceful protest, but protesters were able to unite and fight back. They sent a strong message “we know our rights and can’t’ be taken for granted”.

In conclusion, I call all lovers of peace, good governance, and youths to join the #endsars movement because “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.

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 and President of gloemi.com. He can be reached via info@gloemi.com

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Food for Living: Just Begin

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By Henry Ukazu

Dear Destiny Friends,

We are familiar with the slogan of Nike, which says “Just Do It”. It sounds easy at face value, but in reality, it portends a lot. This simply means that if it is easy, everyone will be doing it. The starting point of any worthwhile endeavor or task is very tasking. It’s just like laying the foundation of a house, where a lot of concrete goes into the ground to hold the pillars.

As humans, we have so many plans, ambitions, dreams, goals, and wishes which we desire to accomplish either at a specific time or before we leave the surface of the earth. Some of us even have great vision, but the question we need to ask ourselves is, am I ready to do the needful.

It is sad to know that many of us have great ideas which follow us to the grave. If I may ask, will you be happy to go to the grave with your talent, dream, money, and the blessings God, your creator has bestowed on you? Many people don’t know they have an assignment to perform on earth, and that it is their responsibility to fulfill their purpose. However, they failed to take the bold step, and consequently remain in their comfort zone.

No doubt, the beginning of any endeavor can be challenging. Challenges come to everyone; even sailors experience waves while at sea, but they don’t give up. Challenges come to everyone both in their personal and professional lives. If you want to start a business, you definitely need funds, experience, the right people, and logistics. Even if you have the funds, you will definitely have one form of concern. You’ll quite agree with me that there’s the fear of the unknown lurking around because business on its own is at risk.

As a student, you are afraid of beginning a course/major; just begin. As a full grown adult, you have the fear of getting married. As a person who loves to travel, you are afraid of traveling due to the fear of space, height or flying; I say, just begin.

One of the reasons many of us fail to begin any task is fear. But we fail to understand that when we begin, the universe has a way of meeting us halfway. Just that you know the universe conspires with you to bring your desires into manifestation. When you speak, the walls hear your words, the ground stamps and confirms it and the air carries it. As a single man, do you have an interest in a lady, approach her, send her that message, express your thoughts to her and let her know what you think/feel about her. You may be surprised to know she likes you and maybe waiting for you to take the first step.

Let me share a secret with you; did you know that when I began to write my first book, I had no clue of what to write, but because I took the bold step of writing the topics, ideas began to flow, the more I write, read and engage with people both online and in real life, the more I began to see more concepts to incorporate into my work.

Do you know you are the solution and answer to many people’s requests, challenges, and prayers? The world has not gotten one-tenth of your ideas

Do you know that many ideas go to the coffin just because of perfection? You can never have a perfect time to begin a project, that’s why it’s necessary to take the most important step which is ‘begin’.  You’ll be surprised to know how you’ll improve in a month, year, or even a decade, when you look back.

Do you know you can literally begin an institution just by beginning a project or following up with an idea? The world celebrates Steve Jobs just because of his ingenious ideas in technology. The world celebrates Nelson Mandela because he fought for justice against the apartheid policy. Martin Luther King Jr fought against the injustices in America against the Blacks. The interesting thing about these great men is that they didn’t just conceive an idea, they took the leap of fate, and had massive follower-ship. I ask you, what are you waiting for?

It should be noted that you cannot improve on any task you haven’t started. Isn’t it true that most people learn to dance on their feet and not when they are on their chairs? That tells you, you must get up to dance if you really want to enjoy your dance. In order to run, you must stand up. So in the journey of life, you may not have everything you need, but you have all that is needed and necessary to begin just where you are. The world is literally waiting for you. Just start.

Today, I ask you, what is that task that you are feeling reluctant to start? What is that business, idea, vision, book, music, dream, passion, etc. you are feeling uneasy to begin? I say to you, just begin and see how the universe will conspire to work in your favour

Henry Ukazu writes from New York. He’s a mindset coach and public speaker. 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 and President of gloemi.com. He can be reached via info@gloemi.com

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Opinion: It’s Your Turn

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By Tolulope A. Adegoke 

“Just like eagles, turns the storms that come their way, into propellers which aides them to their desired heights and PEAK of greatness; they get up daily to confront and fight against what other birds flee from in the form of storms and other intimidating factors which they strive and thrive on to be where they ought to be and not being where they ought not to be by the standards and forces that power their natural senses, innate abilities and purpose of existence which has exceptionally marked the eagles out to be worthy of emulation, idiomatically speaking.  It is worthy of note, that you must wake up, dress up, build up your guts, conquer your fears and excuses, take charge and win, because it’s your turn to thrive and live – the journey to the PEAK starts from within!” – Tolulope A. Adegoke

All the exemplars of greatness we have considered so far in previous articles are great conquerors who refused to allow their backgrounds to put their backs to the ground. They became champions because they did not give up. They passed through the incubation processes, the heat of times (empowerment) and subsequently came out strong as shining lights, as winners in their generation.

I urge you, friend, don’t give up on that dream; don’t belittle those potentials that you are carrying. Time is a very humbling factor that must be regarded, considered and worked with if you surely and honestly desire global impacts. Crawl! Walk! Run! Fly! Soar! But don’t just remain on a spot! You must not stay idle. God Almighty requires us to optimise, empower and harness our gifts for the benefits of mankind and to our lifting, comforts and above all, to His glorification forevermore! 

Remember that you are here on earth on a mission of wonders, to deliver unusual possibilities to peoples, corporates and nations, thereby handing over a better world to the coming generation. Remember also that we all shall surely give accounts to the Giver of the life and the gifts that we carry, as soon as we are through here on earth!

Knowing this, I charge you, leave your comfort zone. Aim higher, and work late nights on your dreams, visions and potentials. Acquire relevant knowledge through diverse profitable means. Study relevant books on your areas of interest. PUSH till the doors open. Learn at the feet of the masters (your God-sent mentors or teachers). Stay ever-humble; remain loyal to God and to fellow men; pray hard; meditate in serenity; seek silence; rest well; feed fine; network (meet people); start small; relate with respect and honour, and help others to find their feet.

Chase excellence; perfect your talents into skills (products); understand business terms and administration; invest your time; manage your energy, activate your visions; work on paper (Habakkuk 2:2). Read, study, embrace joy, and maintain happiness, even in whatever storm you may be going through. Be grateful. Work with time. Flow beyond the rhythm of the present so as to secure the future!

It is my expectation and the expectation of God that you will join all the great men and women we have previously discussed here and many more that you may be familiar with. These people, like eagles turned the storms that came their way to propellers that catapulted them to their PEAK of greatness, while others see storms as obstacles or limitations.

Remember, every other number – no matter how huge – started from zero. Zero may connote the difficulties you are going through at the moment, but there is a lot you can make out of it if you do not allow it to overwhelm you. Revisit the success tips that the above people have proffered, as well as the ones you have read here so far. Begin to apply them with all seriousness. Soon, God will locate you with His favour and your story will turn to GLORY!

Here is a drive and charge from me to you to further encourage and guide you and those around you on this plane called earth and the journeys that come with it, in order to maximize your potentials and the opportunities that come with time and chance. It is titled: “A Teachable Spirit & A Heart of Deliverance”

“When you’re learning how to be humble, you have to be willing to listen, learn, and grow and be open to suggestions and corrections from other people.

You don’t know it all, and you can’t act like you know it all, either! So, here is my daily mantra for all seasons: calm, quiet and available is my soul before My Maker, God Almighty!

I shall remain teachable,

I shall not be foolish to be full of Myself!

I shall seat at the feet of my God sent masters to learn, so as to soar beyond the skies,

I shall remain humble for life!

I shall recognize my helpers and glorify God in them, I shall make peace with all men,
I shall keep working on my gifts/potentials with the utmost focus on blessing lives, globally.
I shall never look down on any man I come across,
I shall keep being at my best for God (Divinity) and people(Humanity).

I won’t give up, until I fulfil my destiny,
I won’t let go until I am exhausted,
I am simply a tool in the Mighty Hands of my Creator, He uses me according to His perfect Will, to fulfilling purposes, all to His Glory!
Through me, the world shall continue to see the irresistible wonderfulness of my Maker. He shall continue to increase in and through me… I refuse to be a ‘wander-fool’!

I am not ashamed of these choices I have made, of these steps I am taking…
I shall remain happy and joyful for life! It is not my life, it is my Father’s… God in a MAN (Me); with this, I’m boundless, unchained, unbothered, and limitless.
I am not ashamed nor afraid of this mission, due to this vision…

I shall remain truthful, smart and grateful!

I shall ensure that my impacts are felt across the world, yet, down to earth so as to be launched into the yonder beyond the skies where the realms of impacts flourishes, continually…

I shall never give up, I shall build my castles in the skies and leave my footprints in the skies…

Yes! There are footprints in the sky… Only visionaries can see them…
The strength of an eagle lies in its flights and vision!
I remain humble, so as not to tumble and fumble!
In humility lies the true strength, lies true vision and flights into the yonder!
I shall remain swift and completely obedient to the end… In obedience lies my chances of honour and grace.

I shall ride on the wings of the Holy Spirit to surmount all challenges and oppositions…
I won’t focus on the cross, but the crown… Not the tests but the testimonies, not the price but the prize… Not the grains but the gains, not the hisses but the ease, not the pests but the rest that is to come after all work has been completed…I shall have my crowns of Glory, sitting in Glory and splendour, glorifying my Creator, my Master for keeping me thus far without giving up on me, against all odds!”

This, is when a tool becomes ‘The Tool’!

We are nothing but tools in the Mighty Hands of the Creator- To fulfil His perfect will on Earth: to love, fix, build, solve, touch, bless and impart. His brand is at stake in your life, don’t mess it up! Only your sacrifices would commit His integrity to work with and for you.

Do not envy the success, envy the sacrifice!”

Thank you all for reading.

Watch out for the Book titled: “The Power of an Empowered Zero” (Awakening The Giant Within You!) byTolulope A. Adegoke. Foreword by Dr Yomi Garnett (CEO/Chancellor, Royal Biographical Institute, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania U.S.A., U.K., Abuja, Nigeria.) Edited by Ola Aboderin.

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Badore Chieftaincy Tussle: Court Orders Parties to Maintain Status Quo

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A Lagos High Court has ordered parties in the chieftaincy tussle of Badore community in Eti-Osa Local Government Area of Lagos State to maintain the status quo ante bellum pending the determination of the suit.

Justice E. I. Alakija (Mrs) made the order in Suit No: LD/7185GCNW/2020 between three claimants and four defendants.

The claimants are: Alhaji Salia Owolabi Yisa, Alhaji Waliu Adeniran Moye and Alhaji Musaliu Buari Jatto for themselves and on behalf of the Ilu Committee and Community of Badore Village.

The defendants are: Mr. Rasaki Abdullahi Jikoji, Alhaji Muyu Yusuf Jikoji, Mr. Kamoru Abdullahi Jikoji and Mr. Saheed Abdullahi Jikoji.

The claimants had sought an order of interlocutory injunction restraining 1st defendant Mr. Rasaki Abdullahi Jikoji from parading himself as the community’s head, following his election by the chieftaincy family as Baale of Badore in line with the historical procedures of the settlement.

Mr. Jikoji’s election followed the June 15, 2020 death of the immediate past Baale.

The claimants averred that the 2nd Claimant Alhaji Waliu Adeniran Moye was also approved as the Baale of Badore by the Eti-Osa LGA on September 2, 2020., adding that he was installed as Baale before the suit was filed.

But the defendants opposed him via November 2, 202, 14-paragraph counter-affidavit deposed to by Prince Adeola Rasaki Jikoji.

They prayed the court to dismiss the claimants’ application for “gross disrespect” of the court, arguing that they filed their suit on August 19, 2020 while the claimants, during the pendency and with full knowledge of the suit, installed the 2nd Claimant as Baale on September 16, 2020.

In her ruling on March 22, Justice Alakija agreed with the defendants argument that the 2nd Claimants was installed while the suit was on, contrary to legal procedure.

She held: “In the light of the facts before the court, the submission of counsel, it is evident that the act of the 2nd Claimant approval/installation were carried out during the pendency of this suit.”

The honourable Justice also ordered all parties to maintain the status quo ante bellum pending the conclusion of the suit challenging the selection of Rasaki Abdullahi Jikoji as Baale.

In his reaction, the Baale-elect, Prince Rasaki Abdullahi Jikoji advised all stakeholders to refrain from transacting business on behalf of the Chieftaincy and Badore community with the Ilu Committe and other claimants pending the final determination of the case as the family will not consider such transactions valid on the long run.

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