The Conviction Of Bala James Ngilari And Its Lesson, By Okoi Obono-Obla

The conviction and sentence to five years imprisonment of a former Governor of Adamawa State, Bala James Ngilari by an Adamawa State High Court for his contravention of the Adamawa State Procurement Law in the award of a N167.8 million contract for the supply of 25 units of Toyota Camry 2.8 to a contractor known only to him is heart-warming and exhilarating.

The transaction was only known to the governor as no other government official knows about the transaction.

The Court rightly found Bala Ngilari guilty of 17 charges levelled against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for awarding contracts without following due process.

The conviction came at the right time when some sceptics have impetuously and hurriedly dismissed the anti-corruption agenda of the present administration as a bluster.

In this war there is no sacred cow. There is no retreat, no surrender! The war must be won!

This conviction undoubtedly is a pointer to the fact that the war against corruption is on course. This conviction is surely timely and indeed a lesson to politically exposed persons in government that there is a day of reckoning after public office.  There is no longer any place to hide.

The trial of the case was fast tracked and lasted for roughly five months. This is unprecedented in the history of criminal trials in a country, where the justice system is scandalously slow and laborious.

The Economic and Financial Crimes arraigned Ngilari on September 21, 2016 for violation of procurement laws in the award of contract of N167.8million to El-Yadi Motors Limited for supply of 25 units of operational vehicles (Toyota Corolla) but by 6th March, 2017 judgment had been delivered.

I highly commend Honourable Justice Nathan Musa for showing such a high sense of commitment, industry, professionalism and diligence.

The Adamawa’s case is a manifestation that if the judicial arm of government is dedicated and up and doing, criminal matters against political exposed persons can still be expeditiously and speedily heard and determined.

Judges should be firm and adopt no-nonsense approach to adjudication. Judges must be masters of their courts and always exercise their discretion judiciously and judicially in refusing applications for frivolous adjournments from defence counsel. Judges should equally not tolerate prosecutors that are slop shoddy and not diligent, prosecutors should be professional and conscientious in carrying out their prosecutorial duties.

With the coming into force of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, 2015 and its objective of ensuring speedy hearing and determination of criminal cases, we should not again be saddled with delays in the determination of cases in our courts if Judges do the needful.

Battered, Bruised and Broken By Olusegun Adeniyi

In the past three weeks, no fewer than a thousand Nigerians have been deported from the United Kingdom, Germany, Italy, Belgium, South Africa and Libya. Meanwhile, we are still awaiting the deluge that will come from the United States given the resolve of President Donald Trump to unleash a policy of “settlers and indigenes” on his country. It doesn’t matter that his own grandfather, Friedrich Trump, in 1905, wrote a letter to the German authorities begging that he and his family be spared the pain and humiliation of deportation.

If you excuse the diplomatic blunder in issuing an American travel warning which is not within her remit, I still believe the Special Adviser to the President on Diaspora, Mrs Abike Dabiri-Erewa has done well on the issue of Nigerian deportees from abroad. But it is time the authorities began to find a lasting solution to the problem of our citizens who, desperate to get out of Nigeria, now find themselves in a bind in foreign lands where they are no longer welcome.

Last week, another batch of 180 Nigerians arrived from Libya to join the 171 colleagues who were brought back a few days earlier by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) after they had spent several months in Libyan detention facilities. Among them were physically and psychologically broken men, malnourished children, nursing mothers and pregnant women. They came back not only battered and bruised but with harrowing stories.

From South Africa, where many of our nationals have in recent weeks been under Xenophobic attacks, 97 Nigerians (95 males and two females) were also deported back home last week by their government allegedly for committing various offences. As it would happen, they arrived on the same day 41 Nigerian girls who were trafficked to Mali for sex and labour exploitation were evacuated back home. On Tuesday night, another batch of 37 deportees arrived Lagos from Italy while many more are still on their way home from Europe and America. According to the Deputy Director, Search and Rescue, National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Dr. Bandele Onimode, these unfortunate Nigerians “are coming back almost empty and this is a lesson to them to settle down home and be useful to their country” while assuring that the federal government “will ensure that they are well catered for.”

Even while I am almost certain that is an empty promise, it is nonetheless still comforting to know that the government is concerned about the plights of our stranded nationals who are coming home with traumas. “Several of our girls (who are innocent) are in prison, while many did not survive the gunshots when they (Libyan authorities) were catching (arresting) everybody. Some people were shot at the scene and some others died in prison yards. Many of my friends who went to Libya with us have died” said Miss Gift Peters, one of the female deportees who started out on a journey to Germany that ended in Libya.

I can relate to the stories of many of these Nigerians essentially because of the travails of my younger brother which formed the kernel of my 1st October 2005 ‘Platform Nigeria’ intervention titled “If We Stay Here We Die” which resonated with many Nigerians, given the feedback I got after. But my worry is that we are not doing enough to discourage the mindset among majority of our young people that tend to suggest that the grass is greener on the other side. And we are also not mindful of the fact that we need to control our largely unproductive population.

At a time when multiculturalism is under a serious global threat, it is important for our young people to know that attempting to go abroad is no longer a ticket to the good life that it used to be in the past. It is now almost like a death sentence for majority of those desperate enough to try the land route who may perish in the Mediterranean Sea or rot in some African jails. Even for the educated ones who may seek emigration for economic reasons with valid (tourist) visas, the opportunities for them abroad are shrinking by the day aside the indignities that now await them in the countries of their dreams should they be lucky to get in.

However, rather than blame Europe and America for the growing anti-immigrant sentiment, it is also important for us to reflect and put ourselves in their position. For instance, while the number of poor people continue to decline in other regions of the world, Nigeria and other sub-Saharan African countries currently account for half of the global poor, according to a World Bank December 2015 Report. The irony of it is that it is those same poor countries that are witnessing explosions in their populations, bringing up children whose future are hardly planned for.

About two years ago, Mr. Dimos Sakellaridis, The Country Director for DKT International, one of the largest private providers of family planning products, said a major concern about the rapidly growing population in Nigeria is the fact that jobs, national infrastructures, social services, housing, health care facilities etc. are not also growing at an equally comparable rate. “If you compare Nigeria with developed countries like Italy, a Catholic dominated country or even the Islamic Republic of Iran, which is a Muslim country, you will understand that these countries have maintained same population for several years and this has caused them to organise their lives better and provide for their people,” said Sakellaridis who argued that religion cannot be an excuse for our uncontrolled population growth.

I have highlighted in the past on this page, a 2010 report sponsored by the British Council and coordinated by David Bloom, Harvard Professor of Economics and Demography, titled, “Nigeria-The Next Generation”. The report remains instructive as it states inter alia: “Nigeria is at a crossroads: one path offers a huge demographic dividend, with tremendous opportunity for widespread economic and human progress, while the other path leaves Nigeria descending into quicksand.”

The kernel of that point is to ask: what kind of population are we breeding? Even when I have not conducted any research, most educated and relatively comfortable people in our society no longer subscribe to having many children. They have only the number they believe they can care for. On the other hand, those who are at the bottom of the society have no qualms about having as many children as they like without considering the welfare of those they are bringing into the world. For instance, I have a friend, a professional with a very good job who has three children because, as he said, that is the number he can comfortably care for. Meanwhile, his driver has 13 children from three women!

I predicted on this page several years ago that the 1974 controversial book, “Life Boat Ethics: The Case Against Helping The Poor” by Garrett Hardin could one day become the handbook for policy makers in most immigration departments of Western countries. Now, I have been proved right as most countries close their doors on desperate economic migrants. That was what brought Mr. Donald Trump to power and led to the Brexit vote in the United Kingdom.

To appreciate the message, I want to republish some parts of the rather interesting theory so that the relevant authorities in our country can begin to appreciate the challenge before us as we strive to reposition our economy while at the same time thinking of policy options on how to control our population. It is a compelling choice that we must make. In Hardin’s words:

“If we divide the world crudely into rich nations and poor nations, two thirds of them are desperately poor, and only one third comparatively rich, with the United States the wealthiest of all. Metaphorically, each rich nation can be seen as a lifeboat full of comparatively rich people. In the ocean outside each lifeboat swim the poor of the world, who would like to get in, or at least to share some of the wealth. What should the lifeboat passengers do?

“First, we must recognise the limited capacity of any lifeboat. For example, a nation’s land has a limited capacity to support a population and as the current energy crisis has shown us, in some ways we have already exceeded the carrying capacity of our land. So here we sit, say 50 people in our lifeboat. To be generous, let us assume it has room for 10 more, making a total capacity of 60. Suppose the 50 of us in the lifeboat see 100 others swimming in the water outside, begging for admission to our boat or for handouts.

“We have several options: we may be tempted to try to live by the Christian ideal of being ‘our brother’s keeper’ or by the Marxist ideal of ‘to each according to his needs.’ Since the needs of all in the water are the same, and since they can all be seen as ‘our brothers,’ we could take them all into our boat, making a total of 150 in a boat designed for 60. The boat swamps, everyone drowns. Complete justice, complete catastrophe.

“Since the boat has an unused excess capacity of 10 more passengers, we could admit just 10 more to it. But which 10 do we let in? How do we choose? Do we pick the best 10, ‘first come, first served’? And what do we say to the 90 we exclude? If we do let an extra 10 into our lifeboat, we will have lost our ‘safety factor,’ an engineering principle of critical importance. Suppose we decide to preserve our small safety factor and admit no more to the lifeboat. Our survival is then possible although we shall have to be constantly on guard against boarding parties.

“While this last solution clearly offers the only means of our survival, it is morally abhorrent to many people. Some say they feel guilty about their good luck. My reply is simple: ‘Get out and yield your place to others.’ This may solve the problem of the guilt-ridden person’s conscience, but it does not change the ethics of the lifeboat. The needy person to whom the guilt-ridden person yields his place will not himself feel guilty about his good luck. If he did, he would not climb aboard.

“The harsh ethics of the lifeboat become harsher when we consider the reproductive differences between rich and poor. A wise and competent government saves out of the production of the good years in anticipation of bad years to come. Joseph taught this policy to Pharaoh in Egypt more than 2,000 years ago. Yet the great majority of the governments in the world today do not follow such a policy. They lack either the wisdom or the competence, or both.

“On the average, poor countries undergo a 2.5 percent increase in population each year; rich countries, about 0.8 percent. Because of the higher rate of population growth in the poor countries of the world, 88 percent of today’s children are born poor, and only 12 percent rich. Year by year the ratio becomes worse, as the fast-reproducing poor outnumber the slow-reproducing rich…”

What the foregoing suggests, as I have written in the past, is that it is no longer easy for our nationals to run abroad in search of the proverbial greener pastures that are not there anymore; even for the citizens of the host nations. The only solution is for us to put our house in order. That also entails having to rethink the issue of population control. It is in our collective interest.

Death of Onukaba

The late Mr Onukaba Adinoyi-Ojo was running from armed robbers when he met a most gruesome death last Sunday on what has become one of Nigeria’s most treacherous roads. And there can be no better tribute to the accomplished journalist than the one paid on Tuesday by my brother, Dr. Reuben Abati. In Onukaba, Nigeria lost an illustrious citizen and a fantastic human being.

Incidentally, while I had a good relationship with Onukaba, as to be expected of people in the same profession, it was not journalism that drew us close. It was our children; or rather, their (former) school. When my family returned from the United States late in 2011, my wife decided that our children should not return to the school they were attending before we left Nigeria. That was how they ended up at Funtaj International Primary School, Asokoro, where the late Onukaba’s daughter was also attending. And with both of us doing school runs most days of the week, it was natural that our paths would cross with several opportunities for interactions.

Even though my senior by some years both in age and in the profession, Onukaba treated me like a friend and an equal. When I heard about his sudden death on Monday, I could not but shed tears. I pray God to comfort the family he left behind.

International Women Day 2017: Remembering Patience By Imam Imam

International Women’s Day is a day set aside by the United Nations to highlight achievements of the womenfolk, as well as commemorate their struggles for basic rights. I always chose a day like this to pay tribute to women whose different roles have molded me into who I am today.

Looking back, many have achieved the status of ‘jewels of inestimable value’ with the responsibilities they’ve shouldered, knowingly and unknowingly, in shaping my young mind into appreciating the world and its people in its true colours.

In the formative years of my life, somewhere between the ages of seven and 12, I came into contact with Patience Gilbert. Like most of my neighbours and colleagues, we were then students of Demonstration Nursery and Primary School, the staff school of the then Government Teachers College (TC) in Yola Town, then capital of Gongola State.

I left Demonstration Primary School in 1989, but 28 years after I last saw Patience, I am still savouring the impact she has had on my life, and, I am sure, many of our classmates would still be appreciating her for her brilliance. Patience was among the smallest in stature in class, but at the end of every school term, she stood taller than every one of us for her academic brilliance.

Patience had always emerged the top of her class every term from primary one until primary six, well, except for one term. How she managed to do that still beats my imagination considering the class had one of the brains in the history of the school.  The only one time I recall Patience wasn’t top of the class was sometime in the second term of our Primary 4. I beat her to second position, and for the whole day since the result was released by our class teacher, Patience wept, and wept, and wept, uncontrollably, until her mother was summoned by the school authorities to console her.

The fierce competitive spirit in her, despite her small stature and despite being a boy-dominated environment, made a lasting mark on me. To right the wrongs of that second term in Primary 4, no one ever got close to her ‘dear’ first position until we left primary school.

During school term, Patience always served the role of a supplementary teacher by coming forward to share her knowledge with the class whenever the need arose. Many students met her in her spare time to ask questions about lessons taught, and she never failed to offer help in that regard. I’ve met many women in the course of those 28 years since I last saw and heard about Patience, but any time I remember her kind and warm heart, I smile.

I have two daughters, and I have always regaled them with the story of Patience and how she left each and every one of her classmates, their father inclusive, in her trail, which each one of us marveled at her brilliance.

At that young age, all we cared for was getting higher grades in class. I don’t know where Patience is at the moment, but if I could see her today, I will bring my daughters to her and tell the story of how she inspired me and my classmates to be better students. I will tell the story of how she deployed her brilliance, at no cost, to help less endowed classmates reach the finish line with a smile on their faces. I will tell the story of how a very young girl dominated her environment and set the pace for all to follow, and I will tell the story of how one of my biggest rivals in class was also my best friend, I will tell my daughters to aspire to be like Patience: daring, conquering, fearless and ultimately, a caring human being.

Happy International Women’s Day.

*Imam (@imamdimam) is a Sokoto-based journalist

50 Years Of Statehood: Kwara Has Every Reason To Celebrate, By Abdulraman Salami 

As the government and good people of Kwara State look forward, with gratitude to God, to the 50th anniversary of the creation of our state, those who delight in dragging the name of our state in the mud are already hard at work questioning and condemning our very existence as a people.

They are saying we have no right to celebrate our own achievements, no matter how modest they may be.

Apart from the sporadic recall of certain points in Nigeria’s national history, the piece titled KWARA FIFTY YEARS OF FAILED STATECRAFT as posted and shared on social media represents another attempt to denigrate Kwara State and its people – the stock in trade of those who see nothing good in the state for as long as they don’t control the polity or hold the reins of power.

The writer of the piece, Akogun Iyiola Oyedepo,  made veiled attempts to smear some leading figures and iconic institutions that represent our collective aspirations as a hardworking, peaceful and indisputably cultured people.

His beef with the government and people of Kwara seems to be the very thought that we chose to mark the Golden Jubilee of the creation of our state.

Akogun Iyiola Oyedepo dismisses Kwarans as lacking in vision and knowledge; says the whole state is a grave yard. He also slanders all the members of the anniversary committee.

He raises unsubstantiated issues for which he blames Lugard, Gowon, and every Kwaran except himself.

The whole world is aware that the masterminds of the counter coup that ushered Lt. Col. (as he then was) Yakubu Gowon into power did not conduct a plebiscite before deciding on the number, ethnic composition and even the need (or lack of it) to create the twelve states, that the writer complained of, in 1967.

The same can also be said of the decision by Lord Lugard to create what is today known as Nigeria back in 1914.

However, he failed, albeit deliberately, to disclose to his readers that the same State that he sees nothing good about today made him and gave him everything he has.

He failed to mention that he benefitted from the same state that he is now struggling to demonise.

He failed to mention that he played roles in public positions at crucial times in the same history that he now seeks to denigrate and dismiss.

Akogun failed also to mention that he was actively involved in the affairs of this state as a Commissioner; that he was also at a point in history a member of the legislative arm of government saddled with the responsibility of legislating for the progress of the state.

If indeed, nothing good has happened in the last fifty years as he claims, then, he is as culpable as any of those he has indicted without facts.

Kwara, like all its peers, has had its share of the effects of protracted military rule which eventually ended in 1999.

With a total of 19 governors (military and civilian) in its 50 years of existence, the state is on record as one of those with the highest turnover of governors. And it cannot be denied that each of them have proud records of varying achievements within the limits of priorities, time and resources available to them.

But for differing reasons, even the most developed states have areas where they are lagging behind. Therefore, that we, as a people are not yet where we aspire to be, or that we have widespread yearnings for further progress cannot be reasons to despondently dismiss everything else that our leaders past and present have achieved. After all, development is a continuous and gradual process.

Real Kwarans have no reason to complain or cry over the ethnic plurality of our state.   Indeed, we can hold our heads very high at 50, that notwithstanding our ethnic differences, Kwara continues to accommodate various ethnic groups from all parts of Nigeria.

We all have found a home in Kwara State. Not even the most ardent hater of the success of our state can validly contend the record that we in Kwara State have continued to live without any serious ethnic, political, or sectarian crises.

We have lived; we are living; and will by the grace of the Almighty continue to live peacefully together as the State of Harmony, our diversity notwithstanding.

Yes, we may not boast the nature and extent of resources available to some other states of the nation, we are happy and hopeful because peace is a desideratum for the entry and thriving of big businesses like KAM Industries Limited, LUBCON Limited, Dangote Group, TUYIL Pharmaceuticals, among others.

Mass Media companies, public and private institutions of learning, major financial/banking institutions, hospitality businesses, agro-allied ventures, are among the discerning players in the real world who can see and tap into the diverse opportunities that Kwara has to offer.

Our vast and fertile land mass, generous annual rainfall, numerous mineral resources that far outstrip crude oil in extent and values, rich cultures with irresistible destinations for tourists, an upright and hardworking population, added to the fortune of being equidistant to all parts of Nigeria by air, road and rail, are further reasons why we are happy and hopeful of a greater tomorrow for Kwara.

We have every reason to be happy because in fifty years of existence, Kwara has never ceased to sparkle like a stellar in the fields of sports. We have produced numerous superstars and champions in boxing, table tennis, football, weightlifting, athletics, badminton, wrestling, among others.

We are happy and proud to be Kwarans because even many more are doing our state proud within Nigeria and in the Diaspora in diverse fields like academics, law, medicine, engineering, music, theatre, creative writing, business, and other professions.

What is man without God? We are happy and grateful that Kwara ranks among the best in the practice of world religions. Indeed, the state has a long list of prominent religious pioneers and leaders who are well known around the world, Christians and Muslims alike. They are also key players in our development story as a people with the spiritual guidance and employment opportunities they provide vide various faith-based initiatives.

Salami writes Abuja

Akeredolu And The Burden Of Moral Leadership In Ondo State, By Musa Kosemani

“Tell the Senator he is not a member of the APC. Everyone involved in anti-party activities can’t come back through the back door, they would have to go back to their various wards to reapply for APC membership cards. They should also do the needful”.

The statement above is credited to Akeredolu during a dinner after his inauguration as Governor of Ondo State. (See Punch, February 27, 2017 p. 12, titled Akeredolu accuses Ondo Senator of disloyalty). Coming from a supposed political leader, the statement is both misguided and unfortunate. It is also an arrogant display of immaturity by a self styled SAN. Anyone familiar with the flawed processes that saw his emergence both as a candidate and later as a Governor would have advised Akeredolu to be more mature and careful especially on issues he is less morally qualified to talk about.

Benefiting from being imposed with impunity on more qualified candidates in the 2012 election and being the principal actor, beneficiary and a product of a controversial, flawed and heavily monetised primaries with deep moral scars on APC, Akeredolu should have been advised to face the challenge of reconciling aggrieved members of the APC who showed their moral conviction and anger against the criminal manipulation of the election processes in his favour.

Hence, rather than face the reality of the deep division within the Ondo State APC which he caused, he is casting aspersion on a Senator who almost single handedly resuscitated the party (ACN) in 2012 after Akeredolu’s woeful and disgraceful public exhibition of gross incompetence and inability to articulate his campaign programmes convincingly in a televised debate which illuminated his intellectual bankruptcy and legal emptiness.

The platform, the APC,  of which Akeredolu now benefited as Governor through a fraudulent process was built and sustained by the Senator he arrogantly accused of working against the party.

The Senator he is accusing or threatening with anti-party activities has contributed much more than Akeredolu in building the APC in the state. Until very recently, Akeredolu is seen as a “stranger” in APC. In a comment in The Nation  (July 3, 2016 p.45) an analyst described Akeredolu as “a tragic manifestation of a man’s self-centeredness and egomania. Here was a “stranger” who was imposed with impunity on more qualified candidates (in 2012)”.

Akeredolu should be reminded even at the risk of possible metacognitive aberrations and dysfunctions, that the senator in question represents and symbolises, more than him (Akeredolu), the hard core values of honour, humility, honesty, integrity and the rule of law which since inception had defined the operational ideology of APC in Ondo State until the basterdization and premature obituary of these values in the electoral processes which saw the emergence of Akeredolu as Governor.

Akeredolu’s “success” at the gubernatorial primaries and his “victory” in the governorship election have left a deep moral scar on APC in addition to making Ondo State a shameful reference point for the most monetised gubernatorial election in Nigeria history.

In just one stroke and all alone, Akeredolu’s misguided political misadventure in Ondo State has caused disaffection among leaders of the party both at state and national levels. It has also left a legacy of mega mess as regards the electoral process which he and his sponsors must contend with in the party. Akeredolu has in addition left the party deeply divided on ideological and moral grounds.

Given his narrow political base in the Ondo State chapter of APC, evidenced by his controversial victory in the primaries election and the fact that he pulled only 244,000 votes out of 1.6m votes in the gubernatorial election, Akeredolu should have been humbled by the results. Because of this factor and in addition to the disaffection he has caused among the national leadership of the party, rational Nigerians expect Akeredolu to seek peace and reconciliation. He needs to widen the political base of the APC and reposition it to face forth coming elections in a process which must involve all the leaders of the party. I hope the illusion and euphoria of transient power and arrogance will not becloud his assessment of the magnitude of the challenges that stare at him as Governor of a State which traditionally has been a reference point for progressive, honest and credible politics.

Hence, the health of the party must first be restored by an ideological mechanism that must include an unreserved apology to all members of the party at all levels by Akeredolu and his foreign sponsors. They have polluted both the party and the State. The aggrieved members who showed their moral uprightness and commitment to core values of honour, honesty and integrity should be persuaded back to the party unconditionally.

Akeredolu has neither the moral authority nor the political legitimacy to dictate terms and conditions to APC members who are manifestations of the core values of APC. We hope the Governor knows the difference between victory and success in electoral political processes even as Albert Einstein reminds us that in times like this, individuals with great ideas and spirits have always encountered mischievous and morally bankrupt oppositions from docile and mediocre minds. Our state still yearns for a moral political leadership which embodies and exemplifies APC’s core values of honour, decency, honesty integrity, the rule of law and ideological uprightness all of which are captured by the Yoruba concept of Omoluabi.

Dr. Musa Kosemani is the Coordinator of Progressives Unite Against Imposition (PUAI), Ondo State chapter of APC.

Entrepreneurial Mindset: What You Need To Succeed In A Competitive World By Femi Royal

Listen up! Having an entrepreneurial mindset is not an issue; I guess the foundation should be about having a good understanding of who entrepreneurs are and what entrepreneurship is.
Entrepreneurs come in all shapes and sizes, some with amazing inventions and impeccable innovations others with tweaked ideas or variations on existing inventions as the case may be.
Entrepreneurs are everything from a Doctor, Lawyer, Barber, Cobbler etc. A few get into entrepreneurship accidentally after losing their job and some others have decided to follow their passion, build a system around it and garner profit through that means, some others don’t want to do corporate anymore, they want to be their own boss and dictate the way their day turns out.
Generally speaking, many entrepreneurs start small with little or no capital and some others get supports from Angel Investors, Venture Capitalist even before they launch their business.
The good news is that anyone can be an entrepreneur, I mean someone who has discovered a lacuna in the society and has decided to bring up an innovative idea to bridge this gap, anyone! From a school-drop-out to a maverick manager, all that is of paramount importance is passion, determination, networking and more work.
Please note that, you do not need to go through a business school, read the best books and blogs to succeed in business even though they are important, you need to invest in perspiration, get to work, take action, learn on the job, make your mistakes, learn fast, brace up and win.
Always endeavour to do something new or tackle something old, sometimes it might be difficult to introduce a novel idea but however difficult, it could be best to tweak an existing innovation and you smile to the bank as a result.
Do you yourself the pleasure of chasing a passion rather than cash. Let the love of what you do consume you because wanting to be rich doesn’t guarantee wealth.
Ask the right questions today and always. Make Google your best companion, heap quality mentors around you and when things seem difficult, always seek out alternatives. You cannot be outdated that way.
Understand that business is all about people and relationships so Network as if your life is dependent on it. Forge social connections with people.
Broaden your perspective, never be limited in any way, get inspiration from everything you do, everyone you speak to and anything you engage with, expand your scope by every means possible.
This is just the kind of mindset that celebrated Entrepreneurs embrace and you would do yourself the pleasure of personalizing this article such that it permeates through your heart and mind, the resultant effect is such that, you and your conceived idea inevitably grows and attain the height of greatness.
Aliu ‘Femi-Royal
Business Adviser?

The Saint Farooq Kperogis Of This World And The Emerging Commercial Intellectual Writers/Activists, By Mu’awiyyah Yusuf Muye

Sir Winston Churchill once said, and I quote “Criticism may not be agreeable, but it is necessary. It fulfills the same function as pain in the human body. It calls attention to an unhealthy state of things.”

An American politician named Frank Clark also pointed out that “Criticism, like rain, should be gentle enough to nourish a man’s growth without destroying his roots.”

Since the assumption of this administration into Office, a lot has happened, happening and a whole lot will happen in the course of their stewardship, good, bad and ugly. Hopefully, we will eventually avoid the last one, but in every government, in every situation, the first two are always inevitable.

A nation without critics to check the excesses of its public officials is doomed, but in the same breath, a nation with critics with personal agendas who lack wisdom is equally doomed.

Since the coming of this government, a lot of critics have emerged as expected. What is been hard to swallow is how some critics allow their selfish agenda to becloud their sense of reasoning. One of those critics is Professor Farooq Kperogi, who have been the hardest non-partisan critic of President Buhari, atleast as far as we know for now. But the way and manner in which the Professor of journalism and emerging media have gone on and on about criticising the President in a misguided way has made a lot of people that used to respect him, questioned his sincerity and even the danger his style of journalism portrays for our society and aspiring journalists.

Journalists these days both local and international have formed the habit of reporting issues without research or investigation. They just report based on sentiments depending on their agenda or from which divide a brown envelope is handed to them. This is quite ironic, considering that the three arms of Governments (Executive, Legislators and Judiciary) are supposed to be kept on their toes by critics and Media, but when these same media people are compromised because of their personal or Partisan affiliation, it then becomes a cause for alarm.

In 2015 after President Buhari assumed office, our Dear Professor Kperogi wrote a piece titled “6 Reasons Why Incoming Buhari Government Fills Me With Hope”

In the piece,  he praised both President Buhari and his now media aide, Garba Shehu, laying down things we should expect and not expect from this government. In his own words, “the incoming Muhammadu Buhari administration won’t be perfect by any means. It will disappoint us in some areas, betray us in others, even annoy us sometimes, but I am confident that, after all is said and done, this incoming government will represent a qualitative departure from the legalized banditry that has passed for governance in Nigeria for so long. There are at least 6 reasons for my hopes,” he concluded before going into the details of the reasons.

I am personally glad President Buhari hasn’t disappointed. Going by Professor Kperogi’s forecast, there is nothing that has happened in this government and is still happening that Mr Kperogi didn’t predict and which we unanimously believe is as a result of the excesses of the past and successive administrations. The question thin is so what CHANGED for Mr kperogi that he has turned into a vicious critic? Is it possible that Mr kperogi was expecting an appointment or brown envelopes from the Government and seeing that it’s not forthcoming has resorted to chastising the government and switching up his style of criticising President Buhari to get noticed? I personally have pondered for sometime now on why Mr Kperogi has chosen to be some sort of nuisance in his write ups, but I think I have finally come to the conclusion that Mr Kperogi might not be the Angel he is protraying himself to be. After all, he admitted himself in the article above that he had to blackmail his way into Obasanjo’s government by writing scathing Articles against the government before he was appointed into the then Presidential Communication Unit (PCU).

Mr Kperogi has repeatedly bragged that he is comfortable and contented in his position at the moment, but his style of writing begs to differ. He has consistently held on to the issue of the so called Buhari Media Centre in which he claims the organisation is a covert centre aimed solely at engaging in propaganda, but Mr Kperogi has refused to name one propaganda this organisation has peddled. He also claimed that the members are unknown, but it has been proven to him time after time  that members of the so called BMC always indicate in their profiles that they are belong to the group and having the aim similar to the work Mr Kperogi did in PCU during Obasanjo’s tenure.

The members of the so called BMC like Ayourb, Barrister Abdullahi, Johannes Tobi, Ayo Akanji to mention a few have been appearing on television and radio programmes, defending and shedding lights on the policies of Buhari Administration as well as rebutting the lies and propaganda peddled against the Buhari Government by the corrupt agents of past administration and characters like Mr Kperogi himself. So what else does he want? Except there is something of course he is not letting the general public know, his actions have become an act of desperation and a ploy for attention to either get appointed or get monetary reward, an expectation I believe will never see the light of day because Buhari as I know him is not the kind of person to give bribe or give in to blackmails.

Mr Kperogi claims the so called BMC members open anonymous accounts on social media to write propaganda for the government and attack those that write against the government in comment sections, but has refused to provide facts to back up his claims or even mention those handles and yet he calls himself a Professor of journalism. May be Mr Kperogi needs to go back to school of journalism to refresh his knowledge of profession.

There are many Farooq Kperogi’s in Nigeria today who feel the best way to warm their way into the government is by writing scathing articles or forming lies against the government. Some of them are either sponsored by our past corrupt elites who are having a hard time now or are motivated by their own selfish agenda after they dine with people in government, but become as silent as a catacomb.

The new lucrative business in town is to pretend to be activists or intellectual activists who peddle blatant lies just to advance their selfish agenda. I call them Emerging Commerc