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Food for Living: The Risk of Success



By Henry Ukazu

Greetings Friends,

Great minds who have truly achieved genuine success have one great trait- risk taking. They are risk takers. They know very well true success involves a lot of work and these have their ups and down which add up to their success story when they break even or break through. As rational beings, we are always cautious in life because we don’t want to make mistakes. Sometimes, we are anxious about what the future holds, and other times we tend to follow our instincts. One thing is certain however, we are all taking risks because we are not guaranteed anything even if we dot our Is and cross our Ts. The truth is nobody is guaranteed anything in life because anything can happen within a twinkle of an eye.

Every great person has one guiding philosophy, and that is, it makes no sense to think little; if you must think, think big. Ben Carson in his book, Think Big, made us to understand that our dreams are valid and can come true if we play by the rules and work smart and hard. Carson is one of the greatest surgeons in the world. After he made history in the world by successfully separating a Siamese twins, the world literally stood still for him. It should be noted that performing that surgery wasn’t really easy. He had to put in so many hours of research and risk before he was success reckoned with him.

Risk is a very important part of success in business and life generally. One needs to take reasonable risk to succeed. It will be right to say life itself is a gamble, and if life is a gamble, then we must take the risk (gamble) to succeed. It’s worthy to note that the fear of taking risk is risk itself. We all have taken risk in one way or another; at one time or another. In business, we explore some path which might be unconventional; in a relationship, we relate and live with people we don’t really know. In health, we literally take pills and believe it will heal us in addition to putting our trust in doctors with the hope they will “heal” us. Even the food we eat is risk because we don’t know who prepared it and how it was prepared. You can literally see that life indeed, is a risk.

In order to discuss the rationality of our risk, we shall be looking at the component parts of risk and how we can take advantage of risk to succeed. During the course of this article, we shall be focusing more on the advantages of risk, and how risk can facilitate our success.

We are always inspired by people who go beyond the norm, and push the boundaries of possibility. This is because they live in the realm of possibility and greatness. They are not afraid to live beyond their boundaries. To them, there is no such thing as failure; only experiments that didn’t work! Risk-takers are marked by a sense of adventure and passion. They care little for the accolades of the crowd. They are not afraid to “boldly go where no one has gone before.

You may have heard of the terminology, take the risk and join the millionaires. If I may ask, what do you stand to gain if you don’t take risk? I guess you will literally be in the same position. So why not give it shot? Do you know that the fear of taking risk is risk itself? According to Mark Zuckerberg, “the only strategy that is guaranteed to fail is not taking risks.” If you refuse to take any risk in your life, you will pass up every opportunity in front of you in favour of a stable, certain future. That stability may be comforting, but it won’t provide you with growth or advancement in any dimension”.

Henry Ford would never have invented the automobile if he had paid attention to his critics. David would never have defeated Goliath if he had allowed his own family to discourage him. Personally, I took a risk in publishing my book without knowing what will be the outcome. I had fear of typographical errors, grammatical errors, layout, content, graphics and the general production of the book. To a great extent, I was thinking what will people think about my book? The list is endless, but guess what, it came out really good and it has become the biggest achievement in my life which has given me the biggest opportunity and fame.

There is no major success without risk. Many people have goals. Only a few ever achieve them. Very few people have the gut to take the risk to truly succeed. Every major breakthrough in history – in business, science, medicine, sports, etc. – is the result of an individual who took a risk and refused to play safe. Their innovation is the result of their adventurous spirit. They invent, achieve, surpass, and succeed because they dare to live beyond the realm of normal.

Let’s see some of the advantages of taking risk in life.

·  Great, otherwise unforeseen opportunities often come from risk-taking. You must truly dare to succeed.

·  Taking risks shows confidence and helps you stand out.

·  We learn from risks — and those lessons may lead us on an important, new experience. If you try something new and you didn’t succeed, don’t think you failed, rather see it like you had an experience.

·  Success won’t fall in your lap — you have to pursue it by stepping out of your comfort zone.  Moral: You don’t achieve your dreams by playing safe. Successful people thread uncommon paths many people dare to take.

·  Embracing risk-taking helps you overcome a fear of failure. In life, you either succeed or fail. It’s either a yes or no answer. If you don’t take risk you might not succeed, if you take the risk you might succeed, so either way, it’s good to take the risk and experience the outcome.

The question now is, what kind of risk are you suppose to take? The major difference between great minds and ordinary people is that great minds take a calculated risk. They explore so many options available to them by testing the waters with one foot by questioning their minds: What’s the best-case scenario? What’s the worst-case scenario; What’s the most likely scenario? These are what sets great and ordinary people apart. They don’t follow the bandwagon. They create their own path. One of my inspirational mentors who took a calculated risk is Tony Elumelu. He was the driving force behind the rise of the United Bank of Africa. He has proved his passion for risking by empowering successful applicants to this foundation program (Tony Elumelu Foundation) with $5,000 non-refundable seed capital to grow their entrepreneurial business. Great risk takers may act and sound silly in the eyes of men, but deep down their heart, they have an idea of what they are working on. Their strongest strength comes from the fact they are passionate about what they are doing and therefore they go the extra mile.  But what sets successful people apart from others is that after they have conducted their research, they ACT! They take the leap.

Financially, successful people are not afraid to invest in themselves. I once read an article of a great entrepreneur who took the risk to pay a huge sum of money to learn from an investor coach who is very big on marketing. Ordinary, that was a huge sum of money he paid because the organizers of the event would have disappeared or  package a program which might not have more to offer just the usual sweet talk from marketers to promote their business, but guess what, after three months of studying the product, his profit rose to about 200% every quarter of the year and in three years, he began to earn millions of dollars. This is another great example of the power of investors.

My question is, are you willing to take a risk to succeed?

Henry Ukazu writes from New York. He works with 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.

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Ahead Ekiti APC Primary: Seven Gov Aspirants Withdraw, Call for Cancellation



Former Minister of Works, Senator Dayo Adeyeye, and six other governorship aspirants on the platform of the All Progressives Congress have withdrawn from the party’s primary election in Ekiti State.

Others, who withdrew, according to a statement on Thursday, are a former governorship aspirant, Kayode Ojo; Demola Popoola; Femi Bamisile; former House of Representatives member, Bamidele Faparusi; National Assembly member, Senator Opeyemi Bamidele; and Afolabi Oluwasola.

They alleged that the primary election committee is made up of loyalists of Governor Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State, claiming that the governor is attempting to impose former Secretary to the State Government, Biodun Oyebanji, as the Ekiti APC governorship candidate.

This is as some members of the party protested against the process of the governorship primary election scheduled to take place on Thursday (today).

The statement read, “The seven aspirants herein received with rude shock and dismay the purported list of local government election committee and ward election committee made up solely by party members and political appointees that had before now openly endorsed the candidacy of Biodun Oyebanji the immediate past secretary to the state government.

“It is on record that the government of Governor Kayode Fayemi has given its unwavering support to the candidacy of Biodun Oyebanji, it is common knowledge that the Governor and most appointees of the governor are openly rooting for and supporting Biodun Oyebanji’s aspiration to become the flag bearer of our great party.

“What is more disturbing is the fact that a simple glance at the names of the persons appointed as members of both committees would reveal that it is made up of appointees of government who are all supporters of a candidate in the primary election they are appointed to superintend on.

“The seven candidates herein are loyal, faithful and committed party members who are sincerely concerned about the chances of the party in the forthcoming 2022 governorship election where an imposition is allowed to override a democratic primary election for determining its flag bearer.

“We request that both the local government election committee and ward election committee that were constituted on the list already in circulation be disbanded and replaced with names that would reinforce internal democracy and uphold the aims and objectives of the party.”

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Senate Passes Bill Empowering FG to Seize Illegally-Acquired Assets



he Senate has passed for second reading, a bill seeking to allow the Federal Government to seize assets acquired by corrupt public officers, terrorism financiers, among others.

The legislation is titled, ‘A bill for an Act to Make Comprehensive Provisions For Seizure, Confiscation, Forfeiture and Management of Properties Reasonably Suspected to Have Been Derived From Unlawful Activities.’

The sponsor of the bill, Senator Suleiman Kwari, in his lead debate, said the proposal passed first reading on March 16, 2021, and was also listed among the versions of bills of interest contained in the recent communication from the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), to the National Assembly.

Buhari had last week appealed to the parliament to pass three anti-corruption bills on proceeds of crime, whistle-blower and witness protection.

The Senate had on Tuesday passed the Witness Protection Bill for second reading.

Kwari said the main objective of the bill was to provide for the establishment of a department in the relevant organisations to manage forfeited assets.

According to him, the department would provide for an effective legal and institutional framework for the recovery and management of the proceeds of crime, as well as civil forfeitures in non-conviction based sentencing.

He said, “This bill further makes provisions for restraint, seizure, confiscation and forfeiture of property derived from property unlawful activities; any instrumentality used or intended to be used in the commission of such unlawful activities; and for non-conviction based procedure for the recovery of proceeds of crime.

“The bill’s other objectives are to strengthen the criminal confiscation procedure by ensuring that the total benefit from a person’s criminal activity is calculated and an equivalent amount, where recoverable, is confiscated on behalf of the Federal Government.

In his submission, Senator Smart Adeyemi, stated that it had become expedient for government to go after anyone who cannot account for how they acquired their properties.

“In supporting this bill, Mr. President, I hold the view that the people who have acquired their properties legally and with good funds have no cause to fear,” he said.

The Deputy Majority Whip, Senator Aliyu Sabi-Abdullahi said, “I think it is our duty to support such a law, but it must not be done in a manner that at the end of the day, when you have somebody that does not mean well, you have given him a weapon to go after his perceived enemies. I think that is where caution has to come in.”

Senator Stella Oduah, who is under the radar of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, however, kicked against the bill.

Oduah said, “For very brilliant senators such as us, we cannot be seen to pass a bill which we haven’t thought through and that is not in line with best global practice. We shouldn’t play ostrich with this bill. We are going to create a situation where conflict of interest within establishments will continue to exist. Subjectivity in handling issues will be the subject of the day, and innocent Nigerians will be made to be victims of this law, and laws are not supposed to be like that.

“Laws are supposed to stand the test of time. This bill will not stand the test of time because it will be very subjective.”

President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, after the second reading, referred the bill to the Joint Committee on Anti-Corruption and Financial Crimes; and Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters.

The joint committee was given four weeks to report back to the Senate in plenary.

Meanwhile, a bill seeking to broaden the functions of the Public Complaints Commission also scaled second reading on Wednesday.

The Punch

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Conduct Fresh Probe into Kyari’s Link to Hushpuppi, PSC Tells IGP Baba



The Police Service Commission has directed the Inspector-General of Police, Usman Baba, to deepen investigations into the connection between the suspended erstwhile head of the Intelligence Response Team, Abba Kyari, and an internet scammer, Abbas Ramon, commonly known as Hushpuppi.

The commission, it was learnt, gave the IG two weeks to turn in the report which would be reviewed by the PSC Standing Committee on Discipline.

The directive to the IG was sequel to the advice from the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, SAN.

A four-man Special Investigation Panel headed by the Deputy Inspector-General of Police in charge of the Force Criminal Investigations Department, Joseph Egbunike, had earlier probed Kyari, a Deputy Commissioner of Police.

Kyari had been suspended in July 2021 for alleged involvement in a $1.1 million Internet fraud allegedly perpetrated by Hushpuppi and four others; AbdulRahman  Juma (Abdul); Vincent Chibuzo (Kelly); Rukayat Fashola (Morayo); and Bolatito Agbabiaka (Bolamide).

The Federal Bureau of Investigation had alleged that Hushpuppi paid $20,600 to two bank accounts allegedly provided by Kyari on January 20, 2020.

Kyari denied wrongdoing.

The PUNCH gathered on Wednesday that the AGF said the facts contained in the police investigation report were not strong enough to convict the DCP.

Malami was said to have informed the commission that the police investigation on Kyari was not water-tight and that more facts were needed to establish the relationship between the ex-IRT commander and Hushpuppi, who is awaiting sentencing after striking a plea bargain deal with the United States authorities.

Based on the AGF’s advice, the commission was said to have asked the IG to carry out a further probe into Kyari’s relationship with Hushpuppi.

A senior official, who confided in our correspondent, stated, “The advice from the AGF is that the case needs further investigation; that the evidence produced on Abba Kyari was not enough to convict him despite the fact that they have established a prima facie case against him. But the facts cannot convict him in the court of law.

“So, the police report was returned and the IG was asked to set up a special panel to look at the case. We have given them just a short period of two weeks to turn in their report.

“The final report is expected to return to the standing committee which will review and send recommendations to the plenary where the final decision on Kyari will be taken.”

Meanwhile, spokesman, US Attorney Office for Central District of California, Thom Mrozek, has said Hushpuppi would be sentenced on February 14.

According to BBC Pidgin, Mrozek, however, did not state the jail terms, which is expected to be between 10 and 18 years.

“He may be subjected to removal from the United States once he completes his prison sentence,” he said.

The Punch

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