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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: Of Fear and Faith

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By Henry Ukazu

Dear Destiny Friends,

Fear and faith are two great rivals in the affairs of man. Where one is found, the other takes a leave. They can either make or mar any progressive being, and anybody who truly wants to succeed must know how to activate and control the inherent powers of these two great forces.

According to Dr. Yomi Garnett, “viewed from a spiritual perspective, fear and faith can be said to be opposites…and what each of them brings to our life is also opposites. Fear can lead to failure, while faith will lead to conquest”.

Question: Do you want to live in fear, or would you like to be associated with a conquered fellow?

One of the major killers of vision is fear,  and one of the enablers of life is faith. When one is possessed with the spirit of fear, it will be difficult for that person to achieve their heart desires, but when one’s spirit is activated with the right amount of faith, even the highest fear will fade out.

One may be wondering, how fear and faith can be positively activated to attract success, ab at the same time be the destruction of man, if not properly managed.

What actually inspires a success-oriented mind? Obviously, several things activate one’s mind. To a lot of people, their greatest fears in life is poverty. These sets of people abhor being poor can mitigate their success in life, and as such they put in all their efforts to succeed.

To some, their greatest fear in life is failure. They can’t imagine the shame and defeat that come with failure, and as such they put in their best in whatever productive work they engage in.

Wen fear becomes extrem, it turns to phobia and dreaded. It’s instructive to note that some people have the phobia of height and flying. Some others have the phobia of pregnancy, traveling on water, approaching, or talking to people due to rejection, making mistakes, threading on new ground, among others.

To conquer this fear however, one needs to activate the inherent power of faith. Faith is the belief in what is not seen but hoped for. Any creative mind that wants to succeed in life must have faith not only in themselves, but in their businesses, academics, personal and professional developmental endeavours.

No great person has ever succeeded in life without faith. They believed in the possibility of their business even when there’s little or no hope of survival. They dared to succeed.

In contrast, fear has been th singular reason for most of the failures men have recorded. Some people even give up before they begin their project because of lack confidence and hope.

In some cases, this fear is projected by friends, family members, mentors or even trusted persons who don’t really know or understand what the person is working on. They just simply believe the project is bound to fail based on the prevailing circumstances or challenges surrounding the person or business.

This is how to activate and stimulate the subconscious and inherent power of faith. Imagine as a young man, you have interest in a lady, but you are wondering how to approach her considering her perceived response. It is not out of place to have a perception of the kind of respinse expected, but then, nothing ventured, nothing gained.

One of the best things the guy can do is to dare to succeed by reaching out to the lady. In the worst-case scenario, the lady might say no. In that case, the man will be satisfied he tried his best because the worst feelings to have in life is the feeling of regret.

Alternatively, the lady might like the guy and just play to the gallery just to gauge the man’s intent and seriousness. If the latter is true, the man is deemed lucky for daring to ask.

As a student, business owner, parent, teacher, government official, or pastor just to name a few; if you have a project or task in mind, don’t allow the fear of failure, disappointment or obstacles to weigh you down, look into the future with bold eyes, and with the mindset of faith in the impossible.

In conclusion, fear and faith are two necessary criteria needed in the journey of life. The ability to nurture both will go a long way in shaping not only our personal lives, but also our professional lives.

Henry Ukazu writes from New York. He works with the New York City Department of Correction as the Legal Coordinator.  He’s the founder of Gloemi. He’s a Transformative Human Capacity and Mindset coach. He is also a public speaker, youth advocate, creative writer and author of Design Your Destiny and Unleash Your Destiny.  He can be reached via info@gloemi.com

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Food for Living: The Power of Faith

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By Henry Ukazu

Greetings Destiny Friends,

“Sorrow looks back, Worry looks around, Faith looks up”Ralph Waldo Emerson

Every journey of life undertaken without faith will surely end in frustration; nothing is guaranteed and there’s nothing worthwhile that can ever be achieved without faith. The reason is obvious; no one sees the end place before they begin a project. For instance, in business, one can never tell how far they can go if they do not begin; it is faith that makes a student believe a 4.0 or 5.O GPA on graduation is possible. It’s with faith an employee believes he will get to the managerial or topmost position in his field of endeavour.

Faith, ordinarily, is the capital to begin any enterprise, endeavour or life’s journey.

Let me make this disclosure, I’m nor referring to the spiritual kind of ‘faith’ in this article, rather I’m referring to the inspirational faith which progressive minds use to achieve the extraordinary.

It’s instructive to note that faith is a powerful force that can transform our lives and help us overcome obstacles. If you have a project or vision in mind you would like to accomplish, if you don’t have extraordinary faith, it will be hard to achieve your dreams.

Great and visionary leaders had absolute faith and believe in themselves and their projects. They were not deterred by the vicissitudes of life. As a matter of fact, they were inspired by their challenges because it enabled them to work hard.

According to NapoleonHill, in his book, Think and Grow Rich, “whatsoever the mind can conceive, believe, it can achieve it”. This tells you how powerful the mind is. It should be noted, success and failure start from the mind. If you believe you can do something, you will do it and if you believe you can’t do anything, trust me, you can’t do it. Even the Book of life states 1 John 4:4 that “…greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world”.

What is faith? Faith is the confident belief in something that is not yet seen or fully understood. As mentioned earlier, without faith, it’s impossible to achieve any commendable feat. Uninformed minds think faith is having everything ready before they begin a project. They have this mindset, if all the t’s are crossed, and i’s are dotted, what’s left is do the necessary. They fail to understand that done is better than perfect when perfect is not done. Sometimes in life, you don’t wait for the coast to be clear before you can soar. 

Just imagine the ship thriving despite waves in the ocean and the plane flying the wind in the air. That’s simply how life works. We don’t give up due to the challenges of life. Sometimes, it’s through the challenges we are fashioned. It’s just like the gold and petroleum which must be processed before they become refined products. So also, we must pass through some challenges in order to be processed, refined and appreciated.

Furthermore, when one has faith and believes in a project, the universe has a way of bringing interested minds, who are either passionate about the project or cause to support the being.

One may be wondering how faith works, imagine being hungry as a student, one will not feel the hunger too much if one knows he has food in his refrigerator. Now compare that scenario to when there’s no food. My late mother will always say, the most painful part of being poor is, if one does not have money and doesn’t know anyone to borrow from. Trust me, it can be heartbreaking.

 The importance of faith cannot be overemphasized, faith gives us hope, it strengthens us, it brings blessings, and it inspires hope and confidence.

The power of faith can enrich one’s life in many ways. Here are some of the ways faith improves our work and life.

1. Faith Improves Your Daily Work

When you love what you do, you will be inspired to spend some time developing your project. Faith impacts what you do, how you do it and how you live your life.  With faith, you will be intentional. Faith keeps you going. If you want to do any task, you need to have faith that you will accomplish it. If you have faith, you feel motivated to get things done because the faith will serve as a propeller.

2. Faith Helps You in Difficult Times

There is a popular phrase, “whatever doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.” If you have faith, you will have hope, and hope will help you endure difficult times and uncertainties in life. Times can be bad, and you may find yourself drowning in despair. But never lose hope. Even when you lose your job, suffer the pain of losing a beloved, don’t have enough money, or face any other challenge, having faith means to release control to a greater power, the universe or God.

3. Faith Encourages Others

Do you know your faith can inspire and encourage others? Have you wondered how creative-minded people come up with new ideas or directions to take after failing multiple times?  They have faith that they can achieve their goal. No matter what comes their way, they remain focused and motivated, even after facing backlash from people. Their example can encourage others to follow the same path. You too can be the same way by having faith. People around you will learn from you. They will follow your lead. When you have absolute faith and believe in a project, people will notice.

4. Faith Gives You Courage

Courage helps you do the things that scare you. It plays a significant role in motivating you to act on something despite the risks or dangers involved. If you have courage, you show more strength in times of pain or grief. Courage comes directly from faith. For instance, you gather the courage to go on a job interview. You think you won’t get the job, but there is always a chance you will. You have faith in yourself and your abilities and take a bold step in going after the job, which can lead you to success.

5. Faith Helps you Discover Purpose

The ups and downs of life can take a toll on you. In some cases, it leads you to question why you’re here. But when you do, faith can save you from falling. It guides you to move in the right direction and helps you discover your purpose in life.

In conclusion, we all travel by air and trust the pilot to take us to our destination safely, we all use the sea and trust the captains to arrive safely, we all have faith that when we turn on the light, it will lighten up, why can’t we trust the creator we have not seen? When you trust the creator, believe in your project and believe in yourself, trust me, you will not only get to the promised land, but you will also exceed expectations.  According to Ralph Waldo Emerson, “All I have seen teaches me to trust the creator for all I have not seen.

Henry Ukazu writes from New York. He works with the New York City Department of Correction as the Legal Coordinator.  He’s the founder of Gloemi. He’s a Transformative Human Capacity and Mindset coach. He is also a public speaker, youth advocate, creative writer and author of Design Your Destiny and Unleash Your Destiny.  He can be reached via info@gloemi.com

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Food for Living: Be the Best Version of Yourself

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By Henry Ukazu

Dear Destiny Friends,

It is a known fact that everyone wants to be the best in any field or activity they engage themselves in. But truth be told; being the best is not easy; it takes a lot of hard work, perseverance, consistency and patience. One must put in the work to bear the name he wants to be reckoned with because nothing good comes easy, apologies to the legendary Bongos Ikwue.

Being the best in life is not just about people, it also extends to products, schools, hospitals, businesses, sports, etc.

To understand how the best works, imagine a football coach about to play a final match; will he use his second team or first team? A serious coach will surely go for his best team if he wants to win the match. Again, imagine, someone who is sick, they will look for the best of doctors to treat them even if that person is an enemy, if they truly want to be alive.

Let’s consider the definition of best. The new website Dictionary defines best as “something of the finest quality”. A closer look at the word “finest quality” will explain why every employer employs the best persons for a job. When you work with people who are talented, gifted and at the same time intelligent, the rewards and blessings are priceless.

I have been privileged to work with some intelligent folks, and I will say without equivocation that Abdulakeem Sodeeq Sulyman, Ohimai Amaize and Ebuka Uchem are some of the best exceptional beings on planet earth.

Again, there’s no doubt, we all want to be the best, the question we need to ask is. Are we ready to do the needful? According to Usain Bolt, “I trained 4 years to run 9 seconds and people give up when they don’t see results in two months.”

Now, you see it’s not easy to be the best in life?

Before you can be the best version of yourself, you must uncover your essential values, interest and passion that define who you are in life and the world.

Once you’ve identified the person you want to be, you can plan how to become the best version of yourself.

The benefits of being the best in life cannot be overemphasized. Being the best makes one unique, attracts fame, and makes one rich and successful.

One may be wondering how to become the best version of himself?

The first duty of a progressive mind is to know himself. No one, who doesn’t know himself can succeed or be the best in life. It’s like being successful in your craft. You can make money without loving what you do, but you can’t be successful without loving what you do. When you love what you do and what you do loves you, therein lies your authentic success.

Another way to be the best version of yourself is by being unique. According to Oscar Wilde, “be yourself because others are taken.” In our contemporary society, we see a lot of people trying to imitate other people just because they feel they are succeeding in their professions, business, or craft. These uniformed minds don’t know everyone is different. When you know what’s unique about you, you won’t spend time trying to be like another person. The person you are trying to imitate made himself by understanding himself.

Again, it’s like someone who is passionate about a cause or business. When you know what you love, it’ll be easier to develop interest in learning more, and trust me, there’s a certain level of spiritual blessing and ingenuity that comes to one who is working according to their purpose and passion. Other people might be engaging themselves in the business or craft, but their level of success and favour won’t be like yours. That’s why you can imitate someone’s style, but you can’t imitate their creativity.

Your ability to know what’s unique about you will make you make the right choice. It will help you to  focus on what’s important, you won’t be distracted by the noise around you; you will meditate, spend your time wisely and network with the right people.

According to Dr. Yomi Garnett, “to get the best, one must do three things: resolve to think only the best thoughts, work for the best and entertain and expect the best results”.

Even the Bible knows the value and importance of seeking the best. In the book of life, the word says, “….whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable-if anything is excellent or praiseworthy-think about such things”.

When one is so focused on achieving positive results, the person won’t be concerned about focusing on trivial things. Most of the great people that made an impact in the world had a powerful mindset and they devoted their attention to noble activities.

Being the best does not come easy. One will have to go through pains just like gold and oil will have to go through a furnace to be refined.

Being the best is like working on a purpose, for which the journey and process of refinement might not be easy. Here, people might laugh at you saying you don’t have money, you are wasting your time and so on. Some might even say, you will die wretched working for purpose and advise you to be wise. Here’s my advice; regardless of the negative opinion or thoughts you may have, if you are truly convinced in your purpose, don’t give up. Maybe you are being tested. You may get a temporary side job to support yourself or family while working on your craft, but don’t lose focus on the big picture.

The moral here is, don’t worry about being famous or making money, the most important thing is being the best. When you are the best in what you do, your enemies will seek you, leaders, kings, queens, and influential people will seek you. According to Anastasia Soare “You have to become a master of your craft, and everything else will come”.

In conclusion, as you sojourn through life, affirm positive thoughts to yourself every day by saying, I am the best. Also, endeavor to give your best in whatever you are doing, even if you don’t succeed, be glad you did the best.

Henry Ukazu writes from New York. He works with the New York City Department of Correction as the Legal Coordinator.  He’s the founder of Gloemi. He’s a Transformative Human Capacity and Mindset coach. He is also a public speaker, youth advocate, creative writer and author of Design Your Destiny and Unleash Your Destiny.  He can be reached via info@gloemi.com

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