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Food for Living: Your Blessing is in Your Hands

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By Henry Ukazu

Dear Destiny Friends,

One of the world’s favourite singers, Teddy Pendergrass, in one of his hit tracks, It’s so good loving somebody when somebody loves you back, posited that one of the best feelings in life is to have a requited love; to be loved by the person you love. The feeling is unimaginable by every standard. Without mincing words, there is an uncommon strength love gives us. When there is mutual love among couples, they are bound to attract unimaginable blessings.

This article, however, is not about love per se, rather, love is used here to show how blessed we are when we have people who genuinely love us for who we are, despite our limitations. For instance, the love of a child by her mother is priceless.

When we talk of blessings, most times we think the creator of the universe will come down from heaven and bless us, we fail to understand that human beings are the real blessings. Someone once jokingly said, if God wants to bless you, he sends a man/woman to bless you, but if the devil wants to destroy a man, he visits him with a woman. The morale of this story is that human beings can either make or mar you. You cannot underestimate the importance of having the right people in your life, especially if you are married, have a business, or working on a project.

Sometimes, we think opportunities will come from heaven, but the truth is that the opportunity we seek is right in our hands. Sometimes, we think human beings will come through to us just because we are in need. The truth is that it is very rare to see people who can assist others without demanding anything in return. In most cases, people will only give you money when you have value, in terms of a product or service, to offer them.

It is imperative to note that one of the killers of opportunity is the poverty mentality. This is the major reason most people lose opportunities. These set of people think blessings, favours, opportunities and many more will come to them, they fail to understand that it doesn’t work that way. Sometimes, you will have to go out to search for the opportunities that is obviously searching for you.

Let me share a personal story. A couple of years ago, a young man named Sodeeq Abdulakeem Sulyman reached out to me via twitter to be his mentor after reading one of my articles. I felt honored, but was curious to know why he reached out to me, he said he has been reading my article and saw consistency in addition to the attitude and mindset I use to write, and that it appealed to his values. I gladly accepted the opportunity to add value into his life. It may interest you to know that this young man proved to be an exceptional being. It didn’t take long to make him the Chief Operating Officer of my company (GLOEMI). The interesting thing about this relationship is that we have worked on several projects, and we now work like a family. If this young man didn’t reach out to me via twitter, who knows if our paths wouldn’t have crossed. Do you see that your blessings are in your hands? You can apply the same strategy to win people.

Most times, we look for people to give us work, connect us to a resourceful person or even mentor us. The mistake we make is we don’t take time to add value to our lives. When you add value to your life, it will be easier for people to locate and connect with you. Value can be academics, skill, information, networking, right attitude or understanding.

Let’s take a case study of understanding. There was a story of two wealthy men who were taking a walk, Mr. A saw a poor man and said to Mr. B, let’s help this man, Mr. B said, it makes no sense because this man is not interested in anyone assisting him. If you help today, tomorrow he’ll return to this position. Mr. A said, he’ll give it a shot. He called the poor man and told him he’ll give him bread and that he should eat the bread alone. The man agreed. The rich man went to the bakery and told the pastry chef to add a $10 million check inside the bread and he gave it to the man. The man went home and informed the wife of what happened, the wife was happy he came back with a nice, delicious bread, but she queried him saying, only him can’t eat the bread alone when he has a family. All effort to make the woman understand proved abortive. They began to raise their voices and one of their neighbours heard the noise and asked if everything was okay, they explained the situation to the man, out of pity, the man bought the bread from them at a decent price since he observed they needed money and the wife was happy. When their neighbour went home, he was happy to see a $10million check and he quickly cashed the check and didn’t inform the couple.

On a subsequent day, this poor man was back on the street looking for support, the wealthy man saw him again and asked him if he ate the bread alone, he explained to the man what happened. The wealthy man told him he’ll give him another chance but this time around, he sternly warned him not to share the bread with anyone. The poor man was happy for the second chance, and promised he won’t share the break with anyone. When he arrived home, he explained to the wife what happened. But the wife wouldn’t accept the excuse which led to an altercation. Their neighbour came around and asked what’s the issue again, the couples explained their side of the story to the neighbor. The neighbor offered to pay double of the price he bought the first bread, the man refused, and the wife was infuriated. The neighbour increased the price again and again and the man refused, the wife out of annoyance accepted the money and told their neighbour to take the bread. Guess what, this time, there was a $20million check in the bread. The point of this story is that whatever we are seeking is also seeking us. The poor man lost a golden opportunity because of the poverty mentality.

Just like your life is in your hands, your blessings are in your hands. Therefore, take time to evaluate the people in your life, the strangers you meet on the street and the information circulating around you. In all these, if you can manage and nurture them, you’ll attract the desired blessings because success in life is more of a strategy as opposed to hard work.

Henry Ukazu writes from New York. He’s a Human Capacity & mindset coach. He’s also a public speaker, youth advocate and creative writer. 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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CP Alabi Confirms Lagos on Lockdown over Security Threats

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The Commissioner of Police in Lagos State, Abiodun Alabi, on Wednesday said that there was a partial lockdown of the state by security agencies due to the threats of attacks by unknown gunmen.

Alabi disclosed this in Lagos during the Lagos State Stakeholders’ Forum on Police Accountability quarterly meeting and awards.

Alabi gave a keynote address on ‘Police Community Partnership: Panacea for Effective Police Performance’ at the event supported by Open Society Initiative for West Africa.

Alabi said that the partial lockdown was for a purpose, stressing that the police and other security agencies in Lagos were ready for any intruders.

He said that there were stop-and-search points at different places that had become part of the security architectures in the state to combat any likely intruder.

The Lagos police boss who said that though the number of police personnel in the state were inadequate, added that with community/police partnership, the current number could tackle all crimes and criminality.

Alabi said that the force was committed to accountability, where those with excellent performances would always be rewarded amongst the personnel, and sanctions would be meted out to erring and unprofessional ones.

He noted that all the statutory duties of the police were about the protection of lives and properties.

He called on the various community stakeholders: traditional rulers, community leaders, religious leaders, and transporters to always engage the police in their areas for better policing.

The CP urged communities not to be afraid of giving information about crimes and criminality in their areas to the police and other security agencies.

He also implored them to always be interested in the activities of the police and see the police as their family members and not mere friends.

Earlier, the Coordinator of SFPA, Mr Okechukwu Nwanguma, said that the forum was established in 2018 as an outcome of CSOs and other stakeholders’ engagement with police command in Lagos on issues of police accountability.

Nwanguma, who is also the Executive Director of Rule of Law and Accountability Advocacy Centre, said the forum had been and would continue to offer formalised and structured engagement with the various complaints and disciplinary units in the society.

He added that it would also stand as the liaison between the police and communities in Lagos state.

“Accountability is not an easily acceptable issue in the NPF. This is why we are happy that the current police leadership under I-GP Usman Baba has embraced and priotised accountability as an essential means of rooting out corruption and abuse in the force,” he said.

Nwanguma commended the Inspector General of Police for punishing those involved in various unprofessional conducts in the past, stressing that this action was an indication that the IGP was ready to combat corrupt practices and unprofessional conducts.

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Navy Personnel Accused of Sodomy Dismissed

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A Nigerian Navy personnel, SLT VN Ukpawanne, has been dismissed for allegedly committing sodomy with a teenager (name withheld).

Ukpawanne was arraigned before a court-martial set up by the Nigerian Navy in Delta state on four counts.

He was said to have been found guilty of disobeying standing order, attempting to commit sodomy; disgraceful conduct and wrong use of drugs.

The offences were said to be punishable under sections 57, 95; 93; 65 (1) of the AFA CAP A20 LFN 2004.

In a memo sighted by our correspondent on Tuesday, the officer was awarded one-year loss of seniority, six months imprisonment, another six months imprisonment and lastly one-year imprisonment for all four offences.

The memo with Reference: NHQ: 08/68/93/A/Vol.XVIII/399 was titled, ‘Confirmation of court martial punishment -SLT VN Ukpawanne NN/4440’.

It read, “Sequel to Reference A regarding NHQ approval and Confirmation of Court Martial Punishment for the officer named above who attempted to commit Sodomy amidst other offences on 27 Oct 21 with one teenager, (name withheld), close to Sapele Stadium, On 15 Aug 22 at about 1035, the officer was officially paraded and his sentences were read accordingly.

The charges against the officer include the following:

2004: Disobedience to Standing Order – punishable under section 57 of the AFA CAP A20 LFN 2004.

2004: Attempt to Commit Sodomy – punishable under section 95 of the AFA CAP A20 LFN 2004.

2004: Disgraceful Conduct – punishable under section 93 of the AFA CAP A20 LFN 2004.

2004: Wrongful use of drug/Controlled Substance – punishable under section 65 (1) of the AFA CAP A20 LFN 2004.

Accordingly, the officer in violation of all sections listed above was awarded one-year loss of seniority, six months imprisonment, another six months imprisonment and lastly one-year imprisonment for all four offences.

Pertinently, all imprisonment sentences are to run concurrently.

“The dismissed officer is currently awaiting medical clearance from the Naval Medical Centre before handing over to Sapele Correctional Center for commencement of imprisonment term.”

The Punch

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First Set of Winners Emerge in Union Bank’s Save & Win Palli Promo 2 

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Leading financial institution Union Bank of Nigeria has rewarded the first set of winners in the second edition of its Save & Win Palli promo. 

The first live draw of this season, which took place at Union Bank’s Head office in Lagos, saw 50 customers win cash prizes of ₦105,000 each. The winners were selected randomly through a transparent, and electronically generated draw supervised by relevant regulatory bodies.

Save & Win Palli Promo is a nationwide campaign aimed at rewarding customers with cash prices and other exciting gifts worth over N55,000,000. The goal is to encourage and promote a healthy savings culture. The promo is open to new and existing customers who save a minimum amount of N10,000 monthly.

Savers who qualify to participate in the monthly draws stand a chance to win N105,000 each, while 5 winners will go home with N500,000 each in two of the quarterly draws. One lucky customer will snag the star price of N5,000,000 during the grand finale set to hold in December alongside other consolation prices.

Speaking concerning the draw, the Head of Retail Deposits at Union Bank, John Obichie, said: “Union Bank is pleased to reward our customers through initiatives like this that encourage them to save. This promo was introduced to support our customers during these trying times and to reward them for being consistent with their saving habits.

The savings promo which kicked off in July will run until the end of the year and will see more winners emerge during the monthly, quarterly and end-of-year draws so there’s still a chance to participate and win!

If you are an existing Union Bank customer you can continue to top up your savings in multiples of N10,000 monthly to increase your chances of winning.

Prospective customers can download the UnionMobile app on their mobile phones to open an account or they can simply walk into any Union Bank branch. To reactivate existing accounts, returning customers can call the 24-hour Contact Centre on 07007007000 or also visit any of Union Bank’s branches across the country.

For more updates on the Save & Win Palli promo, follow Union Bank on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

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