The Crisis Within A Nation That Is In Conflict Of Competition With Itself By Jimi Bickersteth

The gap between the”no crisis,” between a Senate, bitten by the anti corruption bug as they get rough-and-tumble,creating a boiling cauldron, daring the Executive;spoiling for confrontation, and unbecoming in its use of uncouth language, as it  cast aspersions on the person of a minister and by inference, the people and their president.The Yorubas will say “Kí ló kù ,léhìin yíó bà ìyáà e”,-once vanity is raised one should expect the gauntlet to be raised.

Aso rock from the look of things,  appears to smother things,could be a mind game or politics, but going by what our egbon and my boss ,the Hon minister of information said, about”no crisis”,not only draws a wide grin but also multiple thumbs down. The spark, one of the most beautiful qualities of true friendship is to understand and to be understood otherwise, there will be no love lost no love found. But with the zero-tolerance of Aso rock, that is not allowing any inch of space for any flaws at all,the stage appears set for a conflict of resolution.

The nation’s been plodding on through life with blinkers on.The truth and the fact is that the nation is competing against a battalion of buffed-up hunks at its legislative chambers looking good enough to turn the nation upside down;and watching these ‘poor guys’ with their scrawny and punchy figures and oddly distributed body compete for a nation and its president, is clearly out of their league, depth and grasp.

Yet, they expect the Cassius Clay taunts to engender sympathy in the people,most of whom at the risk of sounding rather brut-al are sweating like they’re out there in a Turkish prison. The nation has lined up behind its president. Nigerians want to hawk on the floor at this ‘good’ way to distract Mr president. The mirror is good but too many people have a warped view.

The NASS is overstating its abilities and overselling itself, but should note that Nigerians are experienced and perceptive people, they’re getting bored already and will spot the boasting.  ‘Why can’t the nation see us?” our poor heroes seem to be saying. To which I might respond,’Why can’t you skip amendments for a freaking change. ‘ All of these average Jones become masters of self-delusion :simply because they are reverred honourables,they consider themselves worthy of our affections. In a way,they’re perfect representatives of the Nigerian people and could contribute to society, without threats, threat so condescending and emasculating. You think riding the executive hard is actually more polite than be polite.

Every one of us wants to be considered above average. But we’re not. We are a generation most of whom have escaped the hardships of the military, where they have beat our egos to submission. We are out growing the permissiveness, and the nation is saying to the lawmakers spoiling for immunity clause, that it is one thing to break rules and extant laws because you don’t know any better. Quite another to scoff at regulations of which you are fully aware. Know that you know them, and feel free to break them. If it works, it works. Stylish and smart men never get hung up on a bunch of rules,go defend this thistle.

In between the steaming relationship between the Senate and Aso rock, is a nation who was with them at their lowest and still with them when they were both looking not very lovable, and for this teeming mass of people,it is appearing as if it is better to leave the relationship broken than either side of the divide hurting itself to fix it, and especially now that the fire has gone out of the Senate ,because of the compromise of integrity.

If the nation must rise from the ashes of yesterday’s maladministration,and a nation that could be likened to a bird with iridescent feathers, displaying a spectrum of colours that shimmer and change due to interference and scattering as the participants and stakeholders and observers changes, there must as of necessity be a tug of war, not of  armed struggle or attrition, but one of an alliance forged in the crucible of war and on the table of democracy, ojú bòrò ò gbomo lówó
Èkùró-figuratively,no faint heart wins a fair lady.

The president’s health challenges,{never mind, he has wilfully challenged any of us to a bout of wrestling, and he sounds like he’ll win the contest,} in this season of “Change” has portrayed what the system have made of our institutions, and one hopes that the past state governors, now senators and some in the president’s cabinet, are watching the decay they have bequeathed on the nation, in the failure, neglect and negligence in developing our hospitals and medicare practices and in fact all facets of our national life, psyche and character in revolutionary ways that should have shaped the course of health sciences, corporeal needs and health care delivery right down to the next generation.

Whether the president’s ailments necessitates that extensive treatment or was it borne out of sheer force of habit and simply a gold standard, as we ship our leaders  abroad and turned them to medical tourists, to receive “quality” medical care, often at a fraction of the price they would have to pay at home and what their conditions of service stipulates is a matter of conjecture and commentary for another day.

But back to the present. When the people voted”Change,”the big call is for PMB to turn all the past, with its sad hours,weakness, stupidity and shallowness of thought, its wasted opportunities as light in confidence and hope upon the future. To turn it all in fuller truth and light, light literally and figuratively, so as to make each trifle of this present a new past;it will be joy to look back to;each trifle a grander, nobler and more perfect preparation for the future.
The president should uncommons the house, even as he assumes more air of authority, {notice the difference between that and dictatorship, }if he wants to get anything done. It’s far better, if he takes the initiative,be circumspect and take full responsibility for his outlook. This will put him in control and will empower him to do something,even as he continues to work to display humility, insight, patience, it’s worth it. As he inspires the people and make them passionate about fulfilling dreams.

Although so far so good PMB is reacting to the numerous crisis with characteristic sang-froid, that has enabled him simmer and calm the heat in the polity, and complementary therapies to the damage control ,conflict and crisis management maturity of the information minister,even as he for all its worth confirms that there is no crisis. The present and the future we can make from it, is ours, the past has gone back,with all its messages, all its records to the people who loaned you this golden moments.

PMB should note that happiness is the greatest paradox in nature, it can grow in any soil, live under any conditions, it defies environment. Happiness may coexist with poverty, suffering and sorrow, and consists not  of having but of being,not of possessing, but of enjoying. Of the people enjoying the fruits of their labour and eating of the good,the goodness and food of the land.

But what we have today because of the state of hopeless helplessness, is contented spirit masquerading as a greatly overrated virtue. It is a kind of diluted despair;it is the feeling with which the nation continues to accept substitute,without striving for the realities of the great circuses all around us;making trained individuals swallow vinegar and try to smack lips as if it were wine. A mental and moral chloroform that deaden the activities of the individuals to rise to higher planes of life and growth-a death knell to the people’s peace,progress and wellbeing.

The Nigeria nation confronted with the daemons of statehood and the dilemma of federalism, should no more be contented with anything less than the best efforts of its leaders can possibly secure for it. The nation could only be contented with each step of progress under PMB merely as a station, discontented with it as a destination. The nation should merely be contented with what he has,but never with what we are .

The ability to change is critical to success, however, change really does worry people, as things tend to go bad before they get better. There was a survey of 1999 people where their greatest fear was not death{that came about 5th on the list}, but change. Change is the most frightening word in the English language for most people. The key is for government to through an agency or directorate of change with the mandate to redirect the fear of change into a new adventure,

The tension gripping all of our ‘polithievecians,’ ‘legislatheives’ and ‘executhieves’ on account of the change regimen is understandable,in this power must change hand era. They are bound to loose their hold on power. There is the power of change-change brings power with it . Change is the lesson of our age, and we have to learn to anticipate change either as leaders or the led or from the position of disadvantage or advantage and move with it.

Although certain core values certainly do not change;gravity says what goes up must come down. However, the wind is constantly moving and changing without which Man cannot live. The same with the sea, with its tides and currents, so the birds, animals and fish all adapt to suit. The creative intelligence has designed the phenomenon change as the only thing that is permanent in nature, it was not PMB or APC.

But the NASS and PMB do not need to change the world to improve our lives, wasted efforts that would be. If only they will improve on living conditions, good health care system, good housing scheme, qualitative education producing employable graduates and entrepreneurs. Improve agricultural policies that would lead to increase and improved yields in food production,the people would be better off and so would the nation.

The people have heard and seen enough and suffered from the surfeit of classical ‘May Your Roads Be Rough,’that they desire leaders who are sufficiently motivated themselves to be able to turn problems into possibilities. This tough times can teach us to grow,to learn and to overcome overwhelming odds and to get back on the path to progress.

On this score, it has become imperative to recover all the loots and filthy lucre at home, be it in soakaway, abandoned landed property or and abroad. There is no victory at bargain prices,leaders are just to learn that apart from being firm,  strong and thorough,they need to further deepen their appreciation of their responsiveness to enhance their performance.

The nation and PMB in particular should not be disillusioned nor despair, with all the goings on . Timbers that are firm do not warp, literally in yoruba ,”Ako igi ò gbodò soje” ,twist or pull apart under pressure,the strength of timber lies in a tightly woven grain. The frigid winds of those perpetrators of illegality and faux pas and looters and padding, may at times whip up choppy waves and distraction.;it is the duty of the government to garner people into the mode that the road to success is always under construction, even as they demolished the augean stable of graft, fleece and corruption.

It would enable the people to change from a life and feeling of misguided action they have been subjected to as violent storms release their fury on sailors traversing the sea to one of purpose and hope. This being the case, intelligence, honesty and transparency should continue to be the leaders oars and centrepiece of their purview, as they attempt to minimise the sad countenance, tension and oppression of most vulnerable. A nation can only be blessed only if its leaders treat the lowly and the poor with kindness and consideration;ever wondered how the USA, UK, France and Germany lately Japan and Korea and China remains blessed even with their colossal investment in capital expenditures and monumental debts. #
Jimi Bickersteth
Jimi Bickersteth is a super blogger and writer.
He can be reached on Twitter

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“My Great Kaduna Competition: Top 15 Contributors Emerge

The General Public may be aware that following the government decision to adopt the Crowd-Sourcing approach, entries were invited for the “My Great Kaduna Competition.” The competition was made open to interested persons across the world to contribute to the Kaduna State Development Strategy, 2016-2020. Additional incentives on the competition were provided for competitors which included the following:

  1. Top 3 submissions to win an IPAD and dine with the Governor and his Team;
  2. Top 15 submissions to dine with the Governor and his Team;
  3. The names of all contributors to be mentioned in the Kaduna State Development Strategy 2016-2021 when finalized.

In order to objectively assess the submissions from respondents, Governor Nasir Ahmad El-Rufai formed an Assessment Committee with membership drawn from the private sector, government and development partners. The 15-man Technical Committee was led by the Rector of the Kaduna Business School and had in its membership representatives of Civil Society, International Development Partners and line MDAs. The Committee was inaugurated on the 21st of September, 2015 with a timeframe of two weeks to complete its’ assignment.

The Committee’s major task was to screen and select top 15 submissions on any topic that can lead to development of Kaduna State utilizing a true and fair assessment process. The aim of the approach is to get the input of people so that the State Restoration Plan for the next five (5) years would be seen to include the views of the people.

A total of 478 entries from the respondents were assessed and rated using agreed and detailed selection criteria. A total of top 25 contributors were selected from the 478 entries and subjected to rigorous analysis and refinement to arrive at the final top 15 contributors.

The presentation from the top 15 contributors can be broadly classified into cutting edge innovation, across the following sectors: Environment, Education, Energy (Solar Power) and Broadband Connectivity. Other include Transportation, Smart City, Tourism and Housing

The Honourable Commissioner, Ministry of Budget and Planning, Muhammad Sani Abdullahi wishes to on behalf of the Kaduna State Governor announce the final top 15 contributors, their scores, their sector of interest and topical areas with the table below:

Table 1.

S/N Name Scores Sector Innovation
1 Lwahas Nandom Adoniram 91.86 Environment Converting Waste to Wealth
2 Tsura John- Wya 90.00 Environment Utilizing the Untapped Mineral Resources (Quarry)
3 Dr. Abdulkarim Lawal Mayere 85.71 Power Creating Energy Efficiency for cost savings
4 Shekari Rijo Shekari 85.45 Education Improvement of Primary Education
5 Kalu Aja 83.00 Power Solar Power Generation
6 Mosi Mosugu & Walter Eyetan 75.86 E-Governance Effective Broadband Connectivity
7 Fatima Iliyasu (Balarabe) 75.19 Agriculture Value Chain Activities and Market Potentials
8 Felix Obite 74.75 Regional Dev’t Smart City Initiative using clusters
9 Joy Ajuluchukwu 73.83 Transport Modern Transport System & City Decongestion Machanism
10 Abubakar Muhammed 73.36 Transport Traffic Decongestion & Revenue Generation
11 Ojoago O. O. Naomi 67.75 Education Effective Standardization of Government Schools
12 Engr. G. A. Adoga, MNSE, MNIAE 66.14 Agriculture E-Monitoring (Tracking) System
13 Faisal Bukar Mallum 61.58 Tourism Tourism and Economic Development
14 Engr. Abubakar Ahmad Magaji 60.36 Regional Dev’t Housing Decongestion & Land Utilization
15 Engr. Yunusa Ali Sa’id 56.22 Education Improved e-Learning/Teaching Softwares (3D)


All the winners would be contacted with details as regards to the dinner date with the Governor and his team.


PR Unit

Ministry of Budget and Planning, Kaduna State.

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Participate In The Climate Games Nigeria Competition And Win Cash And Prizes Worth N150,000

The Climate Games Nigeria competition is organized by the Heinrich Boell Foundation and is open to all interested persons.

The competition is aimed at inspiring young Nigerians to discuss climate change and adaptation solutions as they affect them in their lives as the Global Climate Talks tagged COP21 takes place in Paris, France from 30th November to 6th December, creating a debate that links the global climate talks to Nigerian reality.

To participate, individuals should send in an entry of a short story (1000 words maximum), short video (3 minutes maximum) or a picture story that shows the effect of climate change in their environment around any of these four themes:




Gas flaring

The winner of the competition wins an all-expenses paid trip to participate in and speak at the Abuja Climate March on 30th November, 2015, have their entry published on the website of the Heinrich Boell Foundation and win a cash prize of N50,000.

The more creative and informative your entry is, the higher your chances of winning.

The competition runs from 10th – 22nd November, 2015.

All entries should be sent to

For more details, call 0809 990 5175 or visit


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BBC World Service And British Council Launch 25th International Radio Playwriting Competition

Writers from around the world are invited to submit their scripts as the 25th International Radio Playwriting Competition opens for entries today.


The global competition, hosted by BBC World Service and the British Council, in partnership with Commonwealth Writers and co-producers The Open University, offers the unique opportunity for playwrights to use the medium of radio drama to reach an international audience.


The competition has two first prizes – one for writers with English as a First Language and another for writers with English as a Second Language. Both winners will attend an award ceremony in London and see their plays recorded for broadcast on BBC World Service.


A third award – the Georgi Markov prize – celebrates the most promising script from the competition’s shortlist in honour of BBC World Service journalist and writer Georgi Markov (1929-1978). The winner of this prize will also travel to London for the award ceremony and spend two weeks with BBC Radio Drama and BBC World Service.


The previous competition attracted entries from a record 86 countries. To mark the 25th competition, The Ravens by Alana Valentine – the winner of last year’s English as a First Language prize – will broadcast again on Saturday 3 October on BBC World Service.


Mary Hockaday, Controller, World Service English, said: “This competition gives writers around the world the opportunity to have their radio plays heard by a truly global audience. International stories and compelling story-telling in all its forms – whether drama, news or documentaries – is at the heart of the World Service. I’m really looking forward to hearing what this 25th competition inspires”.


Neil Webb, Director Theatre and Dance, British Council said: “I am delighted that the International Radio Playwriting Competition continues to provide a platform for talented writers from around the world and I look forward to this year’s entries”.


Lucy Hannah, Programme Manager, Commonwealth Writers said: “The power of storytelling combined with the reach of radio make for a winning combination. We value our ongoing partnership with the International Radio Playwriting Competition and look forward to the new insights into the world that it brings each year”.


Dr Derek Neale, Senior Lecturer, The Open University Faculty of Arts said: “Creative Writing is a vibrant subject area at The Open University, with courses from beginner and undergraduate, to MA and PhD level. We are thrilled to collaborate with BBC World Service in this important and unique competition, encouraging and supporting talent internationally.”


The shortlisted scripts and judging panel will be announced in due course. Previous judges have included Dame Eileen Atkins, Doris Lessing, Wole Soyinka, Lee Hall and Indira Varma.


The International Playwriting Competition welcomes scripts from anyone outside the UK, whether established or new writers. The dramas need to be 53 minutes long and can be on any subject. The closing date for entries is midnight (GMT) on 31 January 2016. Further details on the competition, including T&C’s and how to enter, are online at:


Social media users can keep up to date with the competition on Facebook and join the conversation on Twitter using the hashtag #BBCPlay.


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Update On “My Great Kaduna Competition”

The My Great Kaduna competition which was adopted by the State Government to crowd source the state development plan and development strategy has since come to an end. The Ministry of Budget and Planning under the leadership of Mr Muhammad Sani Abdullahi received various submissions from different stakeholders. The submissions were classified by their various sectors as follows;

Health ~ 10
Agriculture ~ 29
Justice ~ 1
Finance, Budget and Planning ~ 13
Infrastructure ~ 24
Water resources ~ 3
Submissions without contacts ~ 21
Education ~ 33
Governance ~ 64
Social development ~ 18
Commerce ~ 19
Environment and Natural resources ~ 20
Cross cutting round all sectors ~ 249

A total of 504 submissions were received. 433 soft copies and 71 hard copies.

His excellency, the Executive Governor of Kaduna state, Mallam Nasir Ahmad El-Rufai approved the setting up of a committee to screen the submissions received from the general public. The committee is being led by Dr Dahiru Sani (DG Kaduna Business school) and other members of the committee include;
Chris Umbese ~ DFID Sparc
Rebeccah Sako ~ DFID SAVI
Representatives from the 13 ministries
Emmanuel Bonnet ~ Aid Foundation
Amina Kazaure ~ Vision trust
Representative from Kaduna Chambers of Commerce, Mines and Industries
Permanent secretary, Ministry of Budget and Planning
Director, State Planning (Ministry of Budget and Planning) who is serving as the secretary of the committee
Deputy director, state planning
5 staff from the Ministry of Budget and Planning as the secretariat.

The committee is to submit it’s selection and report by 12th of October, 2015. All members of the committee donated their time free of charge for this important assignment.

Muhammad Sani Abdullahi.
Honorable Commissioner, Budget and Planning,
Kaduna State.

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Nigerian Stock Exchange Opens Essay Competition For Secondary School Students

The Nigerian Stock Exchange (The NSE or The Exchange) officially kicked off the 2015 edition of its annual Essay Competition on Friday, September 18, 2015, with the call for entries to secondary schools across the country. The topic for this year is: “Explain the importance of financial education and describe how The Nigerian Stock Exchange can help you become financially savvy”.

Since it began in 2000, the competition has inspired over 20,000 young people in over 2500 schools across Nigeria to showcase what they have learned about financial and capital markets. The overall goal of the NSE Essay Competition is to develop a culture of wealth creation among Nigerian youth by “Catching Them Young”.

The NSE Essay Competition is one of the NSE’s financial literacy and inclusion initiatives aimed at building a financially savvy generation. According to the CEO of the Exchange, Mr. Oscar N. Onyema, OON, the NSE Essay Competition is not only designed to test the aptitude and knowledge of the students but it has become a mechanism for boosting financial inclusion in Nigeria by enhancing investor education and financial literacy. “I am particularly elated that we are privileged to champion this value-adding programme targeted at promoting sound financial literacy amongst our youths”.

The Head of Corporate Division of The NSE, Mr. Bola Adeeko stated that “the objective of this initiative is to expose the younger generation to the operations of the stock market; allow them develop a culture of medium and long-term investment habit; encourage the students to consider career choices in the securities market and related professions and fill the gaps between school curriculum and practical approach to investing in the stock market; and to encourage critical thinking amongst students to help reinforce financial and capital market concepts”.

“In line with the philosophy of the competition, the 1st, 2nd and 3rd Prize winners will be given Equity Investments in quoted companies, scholarships for university education and laptops. Their respective schools will get varying quantities of PCs and printers. Furthermore, seven National winners will be rewarded with consolation prizes of Laptops”, said Adeeko.

Miss Chiamaka Sophie Onuh, a student of Nikkyt High School, Aba, Abia State, emerged winner of the 2014 edition of the competition, same feat she achieved in the 2012 edition.  The 2013 edition was won by a physically challenged student, Master Mahmud Abdullahi from Government College, Azare in Bauchi State.

The impact of The Nigerian Stock Exchange is commendable as the Exchange continues to record increase number of participation and overall, high level of interest which has altogether created greater awareness of the dynamics of the stock exchange.


  1st place 2nd place 3rd place
Student ·         N250,000 worth of shares

·         N500,000 scholarship fund for University Education

·         Laptop

·         Certificate of Achievement

·         Close the Market for the Trading Day.

·         N200,000 worth of shares

·         N400,000 scholarship fund for University Education

·         Laptop

·         Certificate of Achievement

·         Participate in a Closing Gong Ceremony

·         N150,000 worth of shares

·         N300,000 scholarship fund for University Education

·         Laptop

·         Certificate of Achievement

·         Participate in a Closing Gong Ceremony

School ·         Trophy

·         Three Sets of PC and a printer

·         Trophy

·          Two Sets of PC and a printer.

·         Trophy

·          A Set of PC and a printer.


How to Enter

?         Download the? 2015 NSE Essay Competition form from

Essay Deadline:?? October 30, 201?5

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