Saturday, 30 January 2016

Disparity: The Rich and the Poor; Nigeria as a case study.

Disparity: The state of the Rich and the Poor; Nigeria as a case study.

by John Pam

The man’s stomach gurgles, he gets up from his bed and looks at the clock unable to sleep due to hunger pangs. He decides to stroll around maybe he can get some food. He gets to the junction and sees some flashy cars parked in front of a night club people popping Moet in the parking lot. Yaron Maikudi had not been able to sleep because he had just moved into his new flat and the touts in the area made him jittery because he could not mingle with them neither had they installed his electric fence yet so he felt unsafe. So he went to the club where he felt a bit safer among the crowd. Maybe even pop a Moet or two. This is our country of today. The margin between the haves and have-not(s) continues to increase.
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The poor man cannot sleep because of hunger for he has no fear of being robbed of possessions he does not have; the rich man cannot sleep because he knows the poor envy his lifestyle and the moment they get the opportunity they will harm him to get what he has. A child who says its mother will not sleep will itself not sleep says an African proverb. How long until we open our eyes and see that because someone else refuses to take responsibility it does not excuse us from doing something to remedy a terrible situation. All the trouble in Nigeria has never been about ethnicity, religion etc. but it is merely is result of the privileged taking advantage of those who have nothing of their own.
The status quo has become chopping and let me chop. In the Niger delta oil saga it was merely greed that led to the youth carrying guns to demand their right to be treated as humans when the oil companies would never act in such a manner in a first world country. Religious and ethnic crises boil down to the privileged paying off certain individuals to create discord when a situation is unfavorable to them and for someone who has to live from hand to mouth, five thousand naira is a lot of money to give someone to let out his frustration at how the country is on someone even though it’s an innocent.
But are any of us really innocent? for at each point when we choose to look the other way rather than do something or act like a sycophant to gain some advantage we inevitably become guilty of the next blood bath. Heaven helps those who help themselves it is said. You do not have to love your neighbor but understand that its natural for your neighbor to feel envious if you are driving two hummers and he can barely afford to feed. You don't do good to your neighbor because you are a saint but because if you don't he/she might become bad. Your act of goodwill might be what prevents that person acting in a way which creates the kind of society we do not want. So be good to your neighbor so he or she does not turn bad for in the long run society is a reflection of our collective actions cheers.

Pics courtesy Google.

Friday, 29 January 2016

things you probably don’t know about Africa

things you probably don’t know about Africa

Africa is a huge continent made up of 54 countries and over a billion people. But did you know that in Ethiopia, clocks are upside down with our 6:00 at their 12:00? This, and the 12 other incredible facts we’re about to impart are sure to turn you into the captain at your next trivia tournament…

1. Africa and Europe are separated by less than 9 miles at the Strait of Gibraltar, which separates Spain from Morocco.

The view of Morocco from Spain across the Strait of Gibraltar.
The two countries are discussing constructing an undersea rail tunnel to connect the rail systems on the two continents.

2. In South Africa you are legally allowed to attach flamethrowers to your car in order to deter car jacking.


Seriously. Can we just say, we’ve got no stats on the success rate of this technique and *definitely* wouldn’t recommend trying it!

3. Timbuktu, Mali is home of one of the oldest universities in the world, established in 982 CE.

Sankore Mosque, part of the University of Timbuktu in Mali.
By the 12th century, the city was such an intellectual hub that National Geographic has referred to it as the Paris of the medieval world.

4. The world’s biggest frog is found in Equatorial Guinea and Cameroon.

African Goliath Frog

Named the Goliath frog, it can grow up to be a foot long and weigh up to 8 lb.

5. The word “Crossword” in Kiswahili, a language spoken mainly by people in eastern and central Africa is “chemshebongo” which, when translated, means “boil brains”.

I suppose after trying to do the Sunday New York Times puzzle your head might feel like exploding!

6. The official title of Idi Amin, the Ugandan dictator, was “His Excellency, President for Life, Field Marshal Al Hadji Doctor Idi Amin Dada, VC, DSO, MC, Lord of All the Beasts of the Earth and Fishes of the Seas and Conqueror of the British Empire in Africa in General and Uganda in Particular”.

7. People living in what is currently Swaziland were the world’s first miners.

Ngwenya mountains – site of the world’s oldest mine.

In the late 1960s a hematite mine was found in the Ngwenya mountain range along with 300,000 artifacts and stone-made mining tools that were later dated to be 43,000 years old!

8. Mozambique native, Graca Machel, is the only women to have ever been first lady of two different countries (Mozambique and South Africa).

9. Sudan has more than 200 pyramids, double the number found in Egypt.

The Meroe pyramids in Sudan.

 The Meroe pyramids were part of the Nubian Kingdom of Kush and are up to 4,600 years old.

10. Almost half of the gold ever mined on Earth has come from a single place – Witwatersrand, South Africa.

11. AND, that without the discovery of gold here, a little place called Johannesburg would probably never have been established.
Aerial view of Johannesburg

12. From 1977 to 2011, Libya was the only country in the world with only one colour for its flag, with no insignias, design or other details.
The Kingdom of Libya’s flag.

Libya’s current flag, introduced in 2011 after the overthrow of Gaddafi’s government, is a red-black-green triband featuring a white star and crescent. However, before then the Green design was chosen by Gaddafi since it symbolized both Islam and his political philosophy (after his Green Book

Thursday, 28 January 2016

Child marriage has been outlawed in Zimbabwe!

This is indeed a first step in the right direction for Africa on child marriage...especially in Africa!
Image result for images of child marriages in africa Image result for images of child marriages in africa

AMAZING: Child marriage has been outlawed by Zimbabwe’s top court

On Wednesday, Zimbabwe’s Constitutional Court made the commendable decision to outlaw child marriage. This is a good first step in the right direction when it comes to achieving gender equality and eradicating sexist laws, which can severely limit a woman’s progress by taking away their ability to make their own life choices.
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The case was bought after two former child brides, Loveness Mudzuru and Ruvimbo Tsopodzi, took the government to court in an attempt to challenge the discriminatory nature of Zimbabwe’s Marriage Act, because it set the minimum age at 16 for girls and 18 for boys.
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In Zimbabwe, nearly a third of girls marry before they are 18, with 4 percent marrying before they’re 15. Throughout the developing world, child marriage often exposes girls to domestic violence, cuts short their education, increases their risk of contracting HIV, and traps them in a cycle of poverty. Despite all of that, it is still seen as a culturally acceptable practice in too many places. 
Fifteen-year-old Mantegbosh (far left) is now in school in Ethiopia and unmarried thanks to DFID support. (Photo credit: Sheena Ariyapala/Department for International Development)
This decision to outlaw marriage to anyone under the age of 18 is especially relevant in the wake of the UNICEF report at the end of 2015 that predicted child marriages in the continent of Africa could double unless changes to laws are made.
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Speaking to Thomson Reuters Foundation about the ruling, Mudzuru, who was married at 16 and had two children before she was 18, said, “I really am happy that we have played an instrumental part in making Zimbabwe a safe place for girls.”
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The court ordered that “No person, male or female, in Zimbabwe may enter into any marriage, including an unregistered customary law union or any other union, including one arising out of religion or a religious rite, before attaining the age of eighteen (18).” Creating a standard legal age of marriage between men and women is a positive step in the right direction. The Zimbabwean government must now work with local communities to enforce this law and work towards changing societal norms that approve of child marriage to ensure that girls in Zimbabwe have the same opportunities as boys.
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“This is a great day for gender equality, women’s rights and children’s rights and the fight against poverty,” commented Veritas, a local NGO which sponsored the application.
We know that Poverty is Sexist—raise your voice and help us tell world leaders to make more changes like this one.
Written with information sourced from Reuters.

Wednesday, 27 January 2016

Nigeria needs moral leaders to kill corruption —Buhari

Nigeria needs moral leaders to kill corruption —Buhari

Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo (left), receiving an award as Grand Patron of Save Democracy Group Africa, on behalf of President Muhammadu Buhari, from former Deputy Senate President/National Council Chairman, Save Democracy Group Africa, Senator Ibrahim Mantu, at the summit of the group, in Abuja, on Monday. With them is the Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki. PHOTO: NAN

PRESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari, on Monday, said Nigeria can only tackle corruption successfully if it gets moral leaders who will not steal the commonwealth.
The president, who made the submission in a speech presented on his behalf by Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo, at the opening ceremony of the National Political Summit in Abuja, said for the country to sustain its democracy and gain respect across Africa, it must evolve moral leaders.
The summit, organised by the Save Democracy Africa, headed by the former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Honourable Ghali Umar Na’Abba, had as its theme: 2015 General Election: The Gains and Building Positive Political Culture for Sustainable Democracy in Nigeria.”
According to the president, “every step to the balance of a stable democracy is worth it. My support for sustained dialogue amongst political stakeholders and key actors in our country will help in speeding up the political evolution of our country, grow our politics, building understanding and definitely help our people.
“For the Save Democracy Group Africa, as the name implies, has one objective of positively impacting the different culture in Africa, politics at the end must serve the people, the task of nation building primarily rest on the political elite, the strength of democratic institutions also rely on the commitment of that same elite to the success of these institutions.
“I say selflessness and self respect because it requires a deep understanding of one’s role in the destiny of one’s people and those yet unborn to hold political power and yet allow one’s self to be subject to the rule of law and other restraining rules and conventions.”
Also peaking at the summit, Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki, said Nigerians were no longer attuned to excuses from public office holders, adding that the countrymen would vote out any leader who fails to perform.
Saraki said the Eighth Senate, under his leadership, would ensure that there was no longer room for diversion of public funds.
According to him, the National Assembly would work with the executive to fight corruption in all sectors, adding that discretionary spending of government resources, unbudgeted expenditures, procurement abuses and diversion of public monies must stop.
“The 2015 general election has changed Nigeria for good. Its implications will continue to redefine the Nigerian political space for sometime to come. For the first time, the voice of the Nigerian people was definitive and unmistakable. They wanted change.
“For those of us who, by this election, have been entrusted with shaping the destination we travel from now, there is a clear and distinct warning, the change demanded by Nigerians from the 2015 election are not without consequences. The victory was won out of turmoil and strife. It was an election won on the belief that Nigeria, together, is our best chance of becoming the greatest of all black nations,” he said.
Saraki added that Nigerians had called on their leaders to stamp out corruption, improve governance, accountability, transparency, service delivery and human right protection, adding that the National Assembly was ready to roll out an array of reforms to ensure accountability.
In his presentation at the summit, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Honourable Yakubu Dogara, said the decision of the legislature to stop the third term bid of former President Olusegun Obasanjo was the greatest achievements of the Nigerian legislature.
He said the decision by the lawmakers helped to save Nigeria’s democracy from going the way of some emerging democracies in Africa, adding that the legislature had contributed immensely to the stability of Nigeria’s democracy.
He said the 2015 general election was a success as technology impacted greatly on the exercise, adding, however, that there was the need to amend the Electoral Act to accommodate electronic voting.
“Perhaps, the greatest achievement of the legislature in Nigeria was the unanimous rejection of the third term bid of former President Obasanjo,” he said, adding that the National Assembly was vehement in its rejection of a proposal to elongate the tenure of the president to 12 years.
Meanwhile, a former interim leader of the Government of Liberia, Professor Amos Sawyer, has said Nigeria needed to build on the outcome of the 2015 elections.
Speaking on the topic: “Building positive Political Culture for Sustainable Democracy in Africa,” Sawyer, at the summit on Monday, said the 2015 presidential election in Nigeria was historic, adding that its success averted breakdown of law and order in spite of tension prior to the poll.
Elder statesman, Alhaji Yusuf Maitama Sule, who also spoke at the event, said if Nigeria as a country must get it right, it must revisit and revive the past and produce leaders that would not steal.
In his opening remarks, the Director- General, Save Democracy Group Africa, Dr Ifedi Okwenna, had stated that the summit would be an annual event, adding that the concept was put together in the absence of credible platform for continuous dialogue in Africa.—buhari

President Buhari says only moral elites can deliver dividends of democracy

President Buhari says only moral elites can deliver dividends of democracy

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NAN-H-96 Summit Abuja, Jan. 25, 2016 (NAN) President Muhammadu Buhari says the dividends of democracy can only be delivered by an elite who is prepared to offer exemplary moral leadership. Buhari stated this while declaring open the 2016 annual National Political Summit organised by the Save Democracy Group Africa (SDG-Africa) on Monday in Abuja. Buhari, represented by the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbanjo, said that it also required as elite that ``understands that leadership is a high calling. ``Delivering such promises requires a leadership that is prepared to make sacrifice of self and parochial interest for the good of the people. ``No matter how simple this may sound, democracy can only deliver on its promises grounded by a moral elite who is prepared to offer exemplary moral leadership. ``A leadership, who is prepared to place the nation and the people above self, prepare to serve without making profit or wealth in any way,’’ Buhari said. He said that the task of nation building rested on political elites as well as the strength and success of democratic institutions also to a large extent, depending on the selflessness and commitment of the same elites. ``It entails selflessness and indeed self-restrain, because it requires a deep moral understanding of ones role in the destinies of millions of ones’ people and those yet to be born to hold political power and yet allows oneself to be subject to rule of law and restraining institutional rules and conventions. ``The deformed position of a person without understanding in power is to maximise position for private, family, ethnic and religious advantage. ``That attitude encourages corrupt behaviour, disrespect for democratic institutions, impunity and ultimately the state lose the capacity to maintain law and order and to deliver economic and social goods to the people.’’ He said that leaders of the nations of the world that managed to deliver decent democratic gains to their people had first conquered selfish desires to use power for personal or parochial gains. ``Democracy by itself cannot heal the terrible defect in the human condition that makes a politician demand and take bribe, steal the resources which are meant to provide drugs to hospitals, schools for our children and road for us all. ``We are all witness to some of the revelations of the ways some of the political and military elites in the last administration corruptly handled billions of dollars of funds meant to procure arms and equipment to protect the territorial integrity of Nigeria. ``How do you explain the callousness that enable leaders to seek to benefit from civil conflicts?’’ The president, however, expressed the hope that the summit would lead to the evolution of moral leadership in Nigeria. ``My challenge to this distinguished body therefore is seek answer to the question of how to ensure leadership in Nigeria and indeed Africa is culture-realistic, selfless and committed to the common courses that will up light the people.’’ Buhari commended the SDG-Africa for his investiture as the Grand Patron of the group and conferring the Life Time Democracy Award on him. ``I think they are giving me this award as some form of compensation for three times and indeed the four time of my trying to be the president of this country.’’ He also commended the group for honouring Nigerians who had contributed immensely and selflessly to the development of Nigeria’s democracy. Buhari said that the theme of the summit ``2015 General Election: Consolidating the Gains and Building Positive Political Culture for Sustainable Democracy in Nigeria’’ was very apt. He said that every step on the part of virile and sustainable democracy was worth studying, even as we celebrated. ``My support for this summit is hinged on the need to promote continuous and sustained dialogue among political stakeholders and key actors in our polity and across party lines. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the highlight of the summit was the presentation of the Nigeria Hero of Democracy Award on Former President Goodluck Jonathan. A Posthumus Award for Good Democratic Governance was also conferred on late President Musa Umaru YarÁdua. Chief Olusegun Obasanjo was also presented with President of Nigerian Shield of Democracy Award among others.

Monday, 25 January 2016

How the world feels about some moral issues

These Charts Show How The World Feels About 8 Moral Issues

What people find morally acceptable and unacceptable depends on where they live in the world.

The charts below from the Pew Research Center's Global Attitudes Project show people's views on eight topics, often considered moral issues: extramarital affairs, gambling, homosexuality, abortion, premarital sex, alcohol consumption, divorce, and contraceptives.

Pew surveyed 40,117 respondents in 40 different countries in 2013 to obtain the data.

The first graphic below gives the median response across the world. People were the most disapproving of extramarital affairs, with 78% calling them morally "unacceptable," while 14% of respondents, the lowest in the survey, felt contraceptive use was "unacceptable." Topics like premarital sex and alcohol use were most the polarizing.

The rest of the charts, ordered from least-accepted topic to the most, show a breakdown of how various countries responded. The colors correspond to specific regions: green represents Asia/the Pacific; mauve, Europe; light blue, Latin America; peach, the Middle East, bright blue, North America; brown, Sub-Saharan Africa.

As Pew noted:
"Generally, African and predominantly Muslim countries tend to find most of these activities morally unacceptable, while in advanced economies, such as those in Western Europe, Japan, and North America, people tend to be more accepting or to not consider these moral issues at all."

Extramarital affairs

More than half of people in all but one country — France — consider having an affair immoral.


In Africa and the Middle East, large majorities label gambling "unacceptable." In France, Canada, and the U.S., however, fewer than one quarter feel that way.


More than 90% of respondents in seven countries (Egypt, Ghana, Indonesia, Jordan, Palestinian territories, Tunisia, and Uganda) say homosexuality is unacceptable. Europeans, however, are much less likely to say the same.


Half or more of respondents in 26 of the 40 countries believe abortions are morally unacceptable. People in Sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America, and mostly Muslim countries in Asia and the Middle East lean more toward calling it immoral, whereas Western Europe, Australia, Canada, and Japan feel the opposite or indifferent.

Premarital Sex

Muslim countries largely believe that sex before marriage is unacceptable, while about 10% or fewer respondents in Germany, France, and Spain say the same.


Opinions on alcohol use vary across the 40 countries, but predominantly respondents in Muslim countries find it problematic. Fewer than 10% of respondents feel drinking is morally unacceptable in Britain, Canada, and Japan.


Even in conservative Middle Eastern countries, few consider divorce morally "unacceptable." The highest percentages of those who feel it is, however, come from African countries, such as Ghana (80%), Uganda (76%), and Nigeria (61%).


Contraceptive use is the most widely accepted of all the topics included in the survey. In 17 countries, the percentage of people saying it's morally "unacceptable" is in the single digits, and only in Pakistan, Nigeria, and Ghana did more than half of respondents feel that way.

Pew Research Center

Sunday, 24 January 2016

Is Freedom Free?

Free Freedom!

Posted by Emmanuel Francis
Image result wey dey for freedom images
It is interesting to note that most of society is free. There 
is a percentage of the populous that is incarcerated for 
crimes against society. So too, are there people who 
live in political cultures that do not value the freedom 
of its' people. 
Image result wey dey for freedom images Image result wey dey for freedom images
Nevertheless, the majority of the people in the world live
in relative freedom. They can choose whom they marry, 
what they do for a living, and where they live. Most 
societies allow their people to move around freely 
without restraint. As long as an individual is obeying 
the laws, that person has wide latitude in conduct.
The freedoms offered by governments are physical 
freedoms that all its' law abiding members enjoy. 
However, many operate in a "prison like" atmosphere 
regardless of what they are given. This prison does 
not exist on the material plane. Rather, it is a creation
of the mind. It is manufactured from an individual's 
belief system. These beliefs become people's jailers.
Most will tell you that they can think for themselves. 
To suggest that they are incapable of creating their 
own ideas is met with an overwhelming attitude to 
the contrary. All their success, experiences, and 
intelligence give a sense of independence. They 
mistakenly believe that their belief systems is of their 
own making. Unfortunately for them, it is not.
A fundamental concept to creating the life that you 
desire is to create a belief system that works for you.
Contrary to what most think, our beliefs systems are
shaped by the influences around us. Teachers, parents,
friends, co-workers, and institutions all have input into 
the beliefs that we live by. Have you ever noticed how 
children's ideas often reflect those of their parents? 
This is so common that political organizations poll school 
children during Presidential elections because they 
accurately reflect the sentiment of the adults.
The governments of the world are masters at shaping
the belief system of its' people. Through the use of 
propaganda, public opinion is swayed based upon 
the desires of those in power. 
This is often done in the name of nationalism. A group 
of people is established as a threat to the society. 
Events are shown to validate this viewpoint while creating
the emotional dislike towards that group. Thus, the 
government is free to act as it see fit with the full support 
of its people. Unfortunately, most people do not have 
firsthand experience to form a solid conclusion. Of course, 
they will defend their belief even though that are not certain
where it came from.
It is common for people and organizations to manipulate 
other's beliefs for the sake of control. The government is
one example. Some religions throughout history has 
acted in a similar manner. They used threat of an angry 
Deity and eternal damnation to control the masses. There 
were numerous instances where the Church of England
was the most powerful organization in Europe. With a 
following that is under control, it is much easier to maintain
influence. Naturally, there are many denominations where
this is not the case. So, too, are their many people who's 
lives are enhanced by their religious affiliation. 
Unfortunately, this is not true in all instances.
The key to a belief systems is creating one that works for
you. As an adult, you have the freedom to believe anything
that you desire. Spending time questioning where some
of your beliefs came from is healthy. It is also effective 
to determine whether they still work for you. If they assist 
you into being happy, joyous, and free, then they are 
worthwhile. However, when they instill pain, perhaps it is 
time to rethink them.
Ironically, the beliefs that seem to cause the most chaos
in people's lives come from those who love us the most. 
Many individuals suffer from psychological disorders due
to the influences of their parents. Things such as low self
esteem, abandonment, and sexual issues all come from
our upbringing.
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Typically, one who suffer from any of these, was made to 
feel guilty and shameful. Their worth was shown to be 
tied to their performance which never was good enough.
Mistakes were not forgiven but something to be used as
a weapon to make the other feel worse. All this was done
as a form of control.
Leap forward 20 years and you find that a person who 
grew up in this atmosphere often still carries these beliefs.
Even though recent experiences will prove to the contrary, 
the individual still hears the words of the parent. It affects
the relationships with friends, lovers, coworkers, and 
Without some help, the person is often incapable of 
healthy interaction with others. There is a degree of 
sickness in all that is done. Thus, the individual turns
to other things to fill that void that exists whether it is 
drugs, alcohol, sex, or food. 
However, if the belief system was viewed as insane,
the person might be apt to change it. Simply altering a
few of the basic beliefs one holds regarding oneself
miraculously changes life.
The more that we can accept that it is likely that what 
we believe came from other, the better our chances are
of attaining freedom. There are many things that were 
taught to us by others growing up which serve us well. 
This is especially true if we were raised in a loving 
home. However, society being as selfish as it is, there 
is much that stands in our way of happiness. Analyzing
our belief system gets to the root of what motivates us.
A system that contains a great deal of fear will cause 
one to often act out of that fear. The opposite is also true. 
To create 'our' life, it begins with creating 'our' own 
belief system.

To Your Success
Hubert Koh
Founder and Chief Success Officer,