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Opinion: Nigeria Will Not Survive the 2019 Presidential Election, By Femi Aribisala

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What we witnessed in the recently concluded election was the death knell of democracy in Nigeria.

For those of us who had hoped against hope, the 2019 presidential election has proved to be the last straw. We are now convinced that Nigeria is a hopeless case. This country is not just a major disappointment; it is decidedly firmly on the trajectory of a future break up.

Today, the silence in the Nigerian political space is deafening. Just look back to 2015 and before, when there was vibrant debate about almost everything under the sun. But now it is “siddon look.” We just had an election that was no election and more like selection. It was even more a mini civil-war, characterised by killings, voter suppression and intimidation, ballot-snatching and falsification of results.

There was even a case where the electoral umpire claimed he was made to declare a false result at gunpoint. But in spite of the bogus outcome of the elections, nobody is fighting anymore. Nobody is burning tyres today or demonstrating in the streets. Instead, people are watching and waiting to see what will happen. Surely, this cannot be the end of the matter.

Phyrric Victory

The so-called victors are jubilant, reading the eerie silence as mission accomplished. However, the omen is bleak and dire. It is always better when people express their feelings freely. That way, you know exactly where they stand. But when everything is bottled up as it is now, then you know we are in for trouble. Sooner, rather than later, the dam will burst.

There is definitely a cold war currently going on in Nigeria today, and it is a lull before the storm.

Only those who have been bought, or political sycophants looking for scraps of the stolen pie, are talking. They are giving back-slaps and high-fives to the phyrric victors. Meanwhile, wisdom and reason have concluded that Nigeria is a lost cause. No point waiting for another farce in 2023. Now is the time for all good people to leave the country; either physically or psychologically.

It is now clear that those who believe they have a future have no part in this failed and discredited state called Nigeria. To your tents, O Israel!

Those who make peaceful change impossible, make forcible change inevitable. But that is not to suggest military intervention is the answer. We have already done that and got the t-shirt. All the military did, in all their years in power, was to drag Nigeria through the mud. There is no point putting any hope in them again, after all, it is the same military men who hijacked the democratic system simply by taking off their uniforms and putting on agbadas.

Things Fall Apart

Seeing the template established in this fraudulent 2019 election, the inevitable conclusion, at least to me, is that this Nigeria cannot survive. The message of the 2019 election is that Nigeria is doomed to disintegration. Things have fallen apart and the centre cannot hold.

The message is that the powers-that-be are determined that we must be satisfied willy-nilly with incompetence. They say we must put up with economic failure. They insist our new status as the poverty capital of the world is to be commended. They tell us returning Nigeria to major debt status is next-level achievement. They tell us to celebrate abject failure as glorious success.

If you were to believe the lie, our leaders have resuscitated the naira. They have nullified power blackouts. They have removed the petroleum subsidy. They have reduced the pump price of petrol. They have created millions and millions of new jobs. Our hospitals are no longer consulting clinics. Life and property is now secure in Nigeria. Our agricultural sector has been suitably revamped.

So a new panoply of ambitious political mavericks came out, talking up public policy, debating the issues, offering new ideas for the renewal of the national mandate. Among these were Kingsley Moghalu, Oby Ezekwesili, Tope Fasua, Fela Durotoye and Omoyele Sowore. I shared their delusion in thinking the Nigerian political system was amenable to change.

Our leaders have achieved self-sufficiency in food production in Nigeria. They have killed corruption in the land. They have rebuilt our roads and bridges. They have defeated Boko Haram and rescued the Chibok girls. They have restored the reputation of Nigeria in the comity of nations. As a result of these glorious achievements, the current government not only won re-election, it did so with a resoundingly bigger majority than before.

Dashed Hopes

All this makes 2019 a major watershed in Nigerian political history. For some reason, hopes were rekindled during the campaigns; only to be dashed ruthlessly. The times are so bad, our situation so worrisome, that many presidential hopefuls came out of the woodwork. It was time to rescue Nigeria. It was time to change the dismal trajectory of the nation’s history.

Surely, even the blind can see that we cannot go on like this. Surely, these crop of current Nigerian leadership will be thrown out by a despondent electorate. It was time for a new page; a new departure. What we needed was our very own Mercutio proclaiming a plague on both the houses of our delinquent political establishment of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

So a new panoply of ambitious political mavericks came out, talking up public policy, debating the issues, offering new ideas for the renewal of the national mandate. Among these were Kingsley Moghalu, Oby Ezekwesili, Tope Fasua, Fela Durotoye and Omoyele Sowore. I shared their delusion in thinking the Nigerian political system was amenable to change. I believed with them that we are all fed up with the status quo.

So they formed new parties, toured the country, pumped flesh, marshalled new agendas; only to meet their Waterloo at the discredited polls. They obtained, or were awarded, an insignificant fraction of the millions of fabricated votes. So completely were they crushed that there is even talk now of making it difficult, if not impossible, for other parties to contest in future elections apart from the tweedledee and tweedledum of the APC and the PDP.

Failed Nigeria

The message of our Caesars in Abuja is without ambiguity: there is no room for change in the politics of Nigeria. Under no legal circumstances will those who have ceased power by deception and subterfuge willingly relinquish it for the sake of some nebulous construct called democracy. To hell with power to the people, they insist in one accord. Power belongs to the professional politicians in Nigeria, and forever so shall it be.

The Nigerian electorate itself is no better inclined. God says in the scriptures about the Israel of old: “The prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests rule by their own power; and my people love to have it so.” (Jeremiah 5:31).

The 2019 elections show that a substantial number of Nigerians, especially in the North, are convinced this failed country called Nigeria is the best that Nigeria can be. Indeed, if the verdict of the doctored polls were to be believed, then most Nigerians are very much in love with this malignant Nigeria.

They love a Nigeria that is poverty-stricken, where our leaders are thieves, armed-robbers and pen-robbers, where beggars and vagabonds roam the streets, where the illiterate and the uneducated are the champions of public policy, where human life is worthless and people are massacred in numbers every day. Nigerians, according to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), adore a Nigeria where truth has fallen in the streets and justice is an orphan.

Death-knell of Democracy

Never again. If there is anything to be learnt from the experience of the failed new idealists who ran for president in mushrooming parties this time around and lost their shirts, it is that Nigerian politics is a complete waste of time. The electorate has apparently never believed in the polls. They know their votes will not count. They know the only time politicians have any regard for them is during election campaigns.

The system has been rigged so that every election in Nigeria will now be determined by those who have filled the voting register with underage voters. So doing, your chances of being elected to high office are excellent if you are an incompetent, a crook, or a thief to boot. Otherwise, you don’t stand a chance.

So, if they can get a small bag of rice or garri from the charlatans running for office, or maybe even just N1,000 for their thumbprint, that will do just fine. If you can give them even more, so they can attack polling booths in opposition strongholds and make away with the ballot boxes, they are ready. If you can give them lunch, so they can incite a riot, so an election being lost is declared inconclusive, they will do it. Thereby, the victor becomes the vanquished.

As a result, we will not see the idealism of 2019 come 2023, should this misnomer we call Nigeria still exist by then. The newcomers are once bitten, twice shy. Even now, by the time we came to the gubernatorial elections, after the farce of the presidential, Nigerians had lost all interest in democracy. Most people did not even bother to come out to vote again.

Of course, this did not prevent states like Kaduna from recording more fabricated votes in the gubernatorial election than even Kano did fictitiously in the presidential election. In short, what we witnessed in the recently concluded election was the death knell of democracy in Nigeria.

So what is the answer?

Goodbye Nigeria

More and more people are going to vote with their feet. The industrious and the enterprising are going to seek greener pastures elsewhere, having concluded that Nigeria is a lost cause. They will go to Canada, to Australia, to those countries where merit is rewarded and excellence is the watchword. The smart ones who stay behind will start insisting on the dismemberment of this bogus contraption called Nigeria.

What the 2019 election tells me, in no uncertain terms, is that the future of Nigeria lies in the breakup of Nigeria. It is not what I want. It is not what I desire. But it is there in the cards.

I have written on several occassions that Nigeria should remain united. I said again and again that Nigeria cannot do without the Igbo. I have shouted in the wilderness that Nigeria cannot do without the North. But I have now reached the conclusion that, under the present circumstances, the breakup of Nigeria is inevitable. It is just a matter of time.

This is not a prediction: it is a warning. It is a call to arms. It comes from the realisation that the Nigerian political system has now been programmed so that every election will now be decided by those whose votes can be bought with 30 pieces of silver.

The system has been rigged so that every election in Nigeria will now be determined by those who have filled the voting register with underage voters. So doing, your chances of being elected to high office are excellent if you are an incompetent, a crook, or a thief to boot. Otherwise, you don’t stand a chance.

I congratulate all those who won infamous victories in the just concluded elections. But “send not to know for whom the bell tolls, it tolls for thee.”

faribisala@yahoo.com; www.femiaribisala.com

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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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Food for Living: Why You Need ‘Real’ People in Your Life

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By Henry Ukazu

Dear Destiny Friends,

No man is an island is an oft-quoted line that has proved overtime the indisputable fact we all need people in our lives. The creator of Heaven and earth in His wisdom created man and woman. He knows Adam couldn’t do all the work and that was why Eve was created to be his help mate. In our journey through life, we need people. We need help mates. These people can be friends, family members, life partners, colleagues, business partners, mentors, mentees, leaders, destiny helpers, parents, etc. It is imperatively important we take time to find such people and when found, nurture them like precious pearls, and do everything in our power to keep them because such beautiful souls are priceless.

According to an African proverb, if you want to go fast, you go alone, but if you want to go far, you go with a team. In every sphere of life, you need the right people. For instance, one of the best things that can happen to any company is to hire people who are competent in the work they do in addition to being passionate about the work. One of the best forms of marriage is marrying your best friend who shares the same belief, vision, and understanding with you. One of the best things to happen to anyone is having a family, and true friends who support him despite limitations.

It is undisputable fact that human beings are the oil and lubricant we need to succeed. This is because they spice up our life with various varieties; they make life very interesting with the fun they bring on board.

One of the greatest assignments life has given to us is to search for genuine friends who will be there for us in good and bad times. That is why it is critically important to be intentional about the places you go, the people you relate with and the book you read.

In our contemporary society, we have seen and experienced people who have betrayed our trust, love, loyalty, etc. This set of people may never believe they could do such, but the irony of life is that circumstances don’t say who you are, they reveal who you are. According to a former Governor of Lagos in Nigeria, Babatunde Fashola SAN, “may your loyalty never be tested”. Indeed, one of the hallmarks of friendship is loyalty. That is why when you have a friend or partner who is loyal and faithful to you never you thread on the patience of the person, neither should you take the person for granted.

As fondly stated in social parlance, it takes a community to raise a child. Success in life is not a one-man’s effort. Yes, you can achieve success on your own when you need to prepare for an exam, do a particular work or even improve your personal and professional life, but even at that, sometimes you need mentors or even friends, who can inspire you to be the best version of yourself. If you truly want to succeed in life, you need a team, but more importantly, you need the right team of people who not only understand the work at hand, but also believe in you and are passionate about the work.

Having the right people in your life is truly priceless. The world is filled with fake people who I call fair weather, parasitic friends. The people in your life matter a lot because you need them to climb the ladder of success. You need people who will defend your name when you can’t defend yourself. You need people who will recommend you for opportunities. You need people who can serve as mentors and burden bearers. You also need people who genuinely pray for you, and assist you even without you knowing them. Some of these people might not even need your appreciation or seek payback in the nearest future. They just do it because that’s who they are, or they just believe or find favour in you. They are the real people you need in your life.

To know a passionate being, look at how they invests their time. For instance, volunteers are some of the most passionate people on planet earth, if they don’t believe in a project, they’ll find it hard to support the cause. When volunteers believe in you or in an organization, they invest their time and resources in the project

Take time to find the real people in your life, and endeavor to appreciate them for their selfless and genuine care.

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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Food for Living: You Are Called to Be a Blessing

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By Henry Ukazu

Dear Destiny Friends,

The greatest blessing the whole world is being a blessing.”  Jack Hyles

It is generally believed that the joy of life is not a function of how happy one is, but how happy others can be because of them. If you are asked, what’s the best investment you can have on earth, what’s likely going to be your response? If you are a minister of God, you are likely to say, God, a real estate developer might say properties, a doctor or health practitioner might say, good health. A believer in education might say education, a life coach might say investing in yourself. The list is literally endless.

But for the purpose of this topic, I will say the best investment anyone can have is to invest in human beings. When you invest in human beings, the reward is priceless. Have you ever noticed that there’s a kind of joy that comes to you when you realize you are the reason why someone is smiling? How will you feel when you are the cause of someone’s pain?

Would you love to be a blessing or a pain to someone?

I have since come to the sublime understanding of life that the giver’s hand is always on top, and the receiver’s hand is always beneath. I have also realized that when you spray perfume on someone, it always leaves a fragrance on your hand. I’m sure you must have have notice. That simply tells you that your blessings are around you. It’s just like lighting the candle of another person with your candle.

It is a fact of life that you’ll get what you want faster when you help other people to achieve what they need. When you show love, empathy, kindness, and genuine interest in people, they are bound to appreciate by showing gratitude to you when they see the positive change you have brought to their life if they have a conscience. This principle of life will only work in your favor when you give genuinely as opposed to giving to receive the adulations of men.

To be a blessing to others come in different forms. You can literally be a blessing by saying the right words, giving a helping hand, being a good servant leader, employee, being a mentor/mentee, selfless or even praying for someone. In being a blessing, you don’t need to have money to give, though money is important. Being a blessing cost less because it cost literally nothing to be kind. For instance, it doesn’t cost anything to say thank you, please, I’m sorry, etc. These words are very powerful if used in the right context because it is capable of evoking emotions in the minds of people.

We live in a cruel and inhuman society where people don’t literally care for others. They literally look for themselves, family members, and close associates. They are just basically concerned with their interest. They fail to understand that whatever goes around comes around. It should be noted we are all strangers and visitors on earth, at the end of our transient moment, each and every one of us must surely live on this sinful earth to our creator where we are expected to give account for our life.

One of the painful feelings anyone can have when the end of life is near is to live in regret especially when you realize that you didn’t do much for the people you are supposed to assist. For instance, if as a married man, you squander your money on ladies’ and on frivolities activities instead of investing in properties, viable businesses, etc; and supporting your families, friends, and associates, you will have a deep pain in your heart. Imagine being a politician or leader and you fail to make good policies or develop your community by building infrastructures, providing education, health faculties, power, and the basic human need for your people, and towards the end of your administration you realize you have done literally nothing, the kind of regret you’ll have if you have a conscience will be unimaginable

To be a blessing is the easiest thing you can ever do. Do you know you can just pray for your friends, family members, meet someone’s needs by just giving someone hope by offering good thoughts with encouraging words, and giving your time? Do you know you are blessed to bless others? Yes, you are literally blessed to be a blessing to others. Do you know that when you focus on being a blessing, God makes sure you have abundance? According to Mark Batterson “when God blesses you financially, don’t raise your standard of living. Raise your standard of giving.”

Being a blessing is like saving money because you save money for money to save you. When you bless others, the universe has a way of blessing you in ways and manners you won’t understand.

In conclusion, do you have anything you are hoping to get? If yes, consider showing kindness to people selflessly and see how the universe will work in your favor by attracting the opportunities you desire into your life.

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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