Apes Obey! 2019 Blues By Pius Adesanmi

Many wonder why the nationalists were able to return from London or America, lead political movements or parties and took over Nigeria in their 30s or 40s while four men in their forties – 2 from southwest, one from the southeast, and one from the north – have offered themselves today and have been dismissed by nitpicking Nigerian youths as inexperienced.
The nationalist generation returned from study abroad to a different set of circumstances. They inherited colonial subjects eager to become postcolonial citizens of an independent state. That’s a fundamental condition for the emergence of the broad critical masses they were able to mobilize.
The citizenry they inherited was poorly educated but in a different sense than today’s notion of poor education. The colonial state was interested in enough basic education to turn you into a more useable material for empire. The colonial state was not interested in diseducation to manufacture consent because the District officer or the Governor-General was not going to come campaigning for your votes. Your consent was a given, secured by colonial violence and racist condescension.
Nigeria’s postcolonial elite, in the military and civilian phases of their conquest of the Nigerian, quickly understood that they needed to manufacture consent and also to actively diseducate the citizenry as a path to secure elite capture of the Nigerian state and the Nigerian mind.
In fact, the educational institutions that the colonial state had set up to manufacture a citizenry with just enough basic skills and enough elementary intellectual formation to be serviceable to colonialism became a threat to the Nigerian elite who took over from the nationalists. They thus took cutlasses and axes and went after the Nigerian educational system, its foundation, its philosophy, its bases, its infrastructure.
They have spent the last 30 years destroying education and performing a form of social engineering that would manufacture precisely the sort of mentalities dismissing the candidacy of every youth who offers himself or herself today.
The destruction of the University through criminal under-funding, the systematic destruction of public education via the rot of public primary and secondary schools in the last thirty years, are all purposed and deliberate expressions of the master plan of the Nigerian elite to produce a massively diseducated citizenry that could be purposed for mass consent – the foundation of their class security.
As they destroyed public education, they came up with enabling narratives to lobotomize each generation of Nigerian youth they had to contend with – you are not ready, you are merely leaders of tomorrow (that tomorrow would conveniently never come), you have no experience, etc.
This, in itself, is cruelly and bitterly ironic. The military wing of this devious Nigerian elite were the loudest in helping their civilian fellow criminals to brand the Nigerian soul with this insidious narrative: the delegitimization of youth.
Thus, military adventurers, who seized Nigeria in their 30s, began to build this architecture of youth demonology. The politicians of the Second Republic continued that sing-song until Babangida turned the demonization of youth into the sole purpose of the existence of the Nigerian state.
You are not ready! Repetez apres moi, you are not ready!
And the Nigerian youth chorused: we are not ready!
You have no experience! Repetez apres moi, you have no experience!
And the Nigerian youth chorused: we have no experience!
Of course those performing this drill had destroyed the social sciences in every University in Nigeria so there was no effective counter-narrative. Nobody to narrate what the combined experience base of Nnamdi Azikiwe, Obafemi Awolowo, Ahmadu Bello, etc, was when they were in their 30s and early 40s.
Thirty years of diseducation and manufactured assault on the self- confidence of the youth is what these youthful candidacies have to contend with and figure out how to effectively puncture today.
One funny irony is that those who manufactured the delegitimation of youth to secure class and group interest now understand that it has run its course. They are frustrated with the vision and philosophy of society they constructed and are now at the forefront of youth advocacy.
Olusegun Obasanjo and Ibrahim Babangida spent the better part of their productive decades constructing the myth of the unreadiness and inexperience of the Nigerian youth. Now, they are the two strongest advocates of youth political agency.
Unfortunately for Obasanjo and Babangida, it is not easy to unlearn 30 years of rote learning. So when these two old men scream today:
Youths, you are ready!
The youths chorus: We are not ready!
Youths, you are experienced!
The youths chorus, we are not experienced!
That is why a man like Sowore could have an undergraduate degree from the University of Lagos, a masters degree from a US Ivy League, Columbia University, teach as a contract lecturer and contract instructor in the same Ivy League University for more than 10 years, while building a global media brand, one of Africa’s first online media brands that CNN and Al Jazeera reference for Nigerian news, run a parallel career as a global social movement leader who is solicited annually by social movement organizations in South Africa, Canada, Europe, Senegal, etc, and be dismissed so casually by the youth as inexperienced and deserving only of starting as a Councillor.
If the youth think that all there is to Sowore is student unionism and Sahara Reporters (and what by the way is wrong with that?), it is of course Sowore’s fault and the fault of those who rolled out his candidacy. It is your responsibility to market your multifaceted self and cosmopolitan skills and experiences to the electorate.
I told a youth yesterday that Omoyele Sowore has been a contract lecturer at Columbia University for the past ten years and his jaw dropped. He had no idea Sowore combined an academic career with running Sahara Reporters.
So, somebody who does not have what it takes to stand before pupils at Okokomaiko Community Development Primary School will run to social media and dismiss a Columbia University lecturer as inexperienced.
What I am getting at is the mental block which has prevented the youth from even examining Sowore’s and other youth candidacies beyond knee-jerk and default setting rejection.
You are not experienced!
You are not ready!
Start as a local government councillor!
They are saying the same of Fela Durotoye and even Kingsley Moghalu who was born in 1963!
That is the rote, the cliche that Obasanjo and Babangida taught them to repeat like the colonial chant, apes obey, when the two generals were in the youth demonizing phase of their careers.
Nobody will help you, Nigerian youth, overcome this mental block. You have to overcome it yourself by thinking of other ways in which it affects you.
Consider this scenario:
If you hear that one of you, children of ordinary peeps, has an appointment somewhere in Nigeria’s technocracy or bureaucracy, you are up in arms screaming he is too young or inexperienced.
Then the elite will do the kind of corrupt hiring they have been doing recently in places like the Central Bank, etc. They will parachute in their 20 something year-old children who have only just graduated from Britain or America. In fact, you saw your Governor or Senator or Minister beaming at the graduation ceremony in London or Washington only yesterday because their aides posted the photos on Facebook and Twitter. You even congratulated your “amiable Governor” or “amiable Senator” and abused those asking if he traveled to his child’s graduation ceremony at public expense.
Then that same boy or girl who graduated yesterday is parachuted in and offered a senior position at CBN or any of the Federal parastatals like they have been doing with breathtaking intensity under Buhari.
You scream about nepotism.
You scream about favoritism.
I have never heard you scream that those appointed children are too young or inexperienced.
Why?
You have been conditioned to apply that cliche only to yourselves and fellow children of the poor.
Examine and scrutinize these youth candidacies.
Stop apes obey, default setting dismissal.

Perfect Payback For Lecturer Who Failed Me For 6 Years In The University

My first day in the biology laboratory was a dreadful one. During a briefing session a day before we were to have practical during my 100level, We had been told that it is a customary to always put on the ‘laboratory coat’ each and every time we have practicals, hence whosoever without the laboratory coat will be punished.
I’d no money as at that time to buy laboratory coat, and the first practical came just too soon. I couldn’t borrow as my only friend in the school then was Asiwaju Olalekan Godson Ayodeji. Anyway, I knew breaking the rule of not putting a ‘laboratory coat’ was a bad idea but I was young and wrong to take that risk.
I had no choice than to enter into the laboratory room to get engaged with my fellow departmental mates.
Not quite long after I entered the lab, one of the biology lecturer who handled biology practical came around. He spotted few of us without the ‘laboratory coat’ and decided to play a fast track on us, he wanted to get hold of us. I was fortunate to be sitting near the entrance door, so I got away.
He was able to lay hands on few guys unaware but everyone of us that escaped went into his black book. He called our class rep then, and collected our matric numbers. Printed them and pasted them in his office. It was printed boldly.
That was how myself and other guys that ran away failed Both the practical and the actual Biology course that year.
Personally, I sat for the same courses for good 6years; making it 6 different times entirely.
On my third year of rewriting, I summoned courage to visit him in his office. I went to see him to plead with him, he didn’t know me, he only knew of my matric number. So I’d to take the bull by the horn to explain what had happened. He laughed wickedly and angrily sent me away, I returned the next day. He told me, if I return again then it would be very bad and I won’t like it. I left him for a week. I consulted my advisor, Dr. Mrs Adigun. I explained everything to her… She told me, I should give him time, and to return to him after sometime. That he may consider my ‘show of repentance’. So I didn’t return for like a month.
Then one day, I was returning from a friend’s place Osisami Babalola Enitan on Friday after I had gone to play chess, I saw him also returning from the mosque. We both met along the school former fine-art department, just by the way that leads to Alata eatery, Under G.
I quickly used the opportunity of meeting him just coming from the mosque to plead yet again. He treated me like ‘poo’
He still went on to fail me even in my 400level. On my final year, I went to him, then I was married. I took my pregnant wife to plead with him. He walked us out and told us never to come again. He promised to report to the school security. So we left.
He failed me for 5 years consecutively. It was hard for me.
I wept for days.
I told my parents, and few friends.. It prevented me from going for NYSC with my class 13′ set.
Then I turned to God. Yes, I was guilty and I deserved punishment but that was too much. I prayed ‘no be small’. So many different phases of life, most times it is always our fault that we find ourselves in difficult situations but immediately we get to seek God for help, he surely always provide us a solution to all of our problems. I seek God’s face and he never fails.
That biology course was taken away from him and was given to someone else, it was given to another Dr. I can never forget him.
I registered as a spill-over student, and sat for it, I borrowed 4 other courses to boost my CGPA, I collected my result and my biology 101, 102,104 and 106 were all A(s).
That was how I got cleared.
Moving forward, During my service year, after I redeployed from Abia state to Oyo, I was posted to the West Africa examination council. (Waec) Ijokodo, Ibadan. Great place with wonderful people. On my great work ethics, being dutiful and so diligent during my service year, I was given the green card and permitted at all time to work during their examination and marking exercise each and every time I so wish. Oluwafemi Martins my great boss, one of the great people I had worked with.
Coincidentally, I was officially sent to Ogbomoso marking venue as an assistant subject examination officer to partner my Waec daddy
I was handling Biology and chemistry subjects.
For the ones who don’t understand the whole drama during the Waec marking exercise.
We give out the examination scripts to qualified teachers or graduates with the certification in their specified subjects for marking and recording during a stipulated period of 21/23
So that day in April, there was a long queue of Examiners waiting to submit their CV. Then this Dr. lecturer that failed me for 5years was on the queue too, I’d spotted him.
My wonderful Waec daddy was beside me, he asked while I was smiling, I simply told him that something funny will soon happen, and when it was this Dr’s turn, He greeted and called me “sir” (bending his head). I quickly stood up to greet him too. But I was so surprised, he didn’t recognize my face. Apparently, he would never have thought and believe and to be possible for the young man in front of him to be me.
So I pretended as if I had nothing in mind too, I was going through his CV when he started pleading that he really needed my help concerning this marking stuff, he told me he came along with his daughter who is a gate crasher ( these are people who are new to the marking system) and his wife who also had marked for a long time but needed to mark too.
He told me Ladoke Akintola university of technology had been on strike for over a year and nothing seemed fine, no salary. No money and nothing at all. I should help him. At that point I told him to call his wife and daughter. He did. I then asked him; “Sir, Is it truly that you do not recognize my face?”
He said, “ehn! It’s like this face is familiar o but you know there are many people like that I can’t remember. I can’t really remember where and when I had seen your face”. I told him to try, that I will only help him if he can remember where we had met and when..
He didn’t remember so I helped him out with my surname, I told him. “This is Akeju, the guy you failed for consecutive 5 years. The guy that brought his pregnant wife to beg you but still, you sent us away”.
At that point, he was dumbfounded. He left without saying a word. His wife and daughter were confused and everyone on the queue too. His wife asked what the matter was, I told her to go and ask her husband.
Shortly, His wife and daughter returned. He had explained everything, they knelt down and asked for forgiveness. I smiled and asked them to tell him to come back. He had gone home. In the evening he did returned.
He asked for forgiveness, and I did forgave him. More than he had asked for, I granted him all of his requests. We were not permitted to give more than a packet packed of scripts but I gave him more than one. Just for him to make more money. He wept uncontrollably.
Matthew 5:44 “But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you”.
I only know of the way of doing good even unto them that do me evil.
Till I left ogbomoso, he was always calling because I had put enough food on his table and not only him, but also for his family during that difficult period they were going through.
It’s left to him, if he will change or not.
Our tomorrow isn’t promised.

http://fabinfos.com/must-read-story-perfect-payback-for-lecturer-who-failed-me-for-6-years-in-the-university/

RESTRUCTURING: THE LESSON FROM ORKAR’S COUP.. .

Some people will jump at this with sentiments and unguarded emotions. The question will be “why now?”

The answer is simple. It was a military regime which believed ans enforced unitary form of government and Gideon Orkar and his fellow coupist could not have been pardoned because they committed treason against the state.

In a bid to embolden my assertion, i am coming up with an old post of mine with some adjustment to make it relevant to the topic of discourse.

Exactly 28 years ago, thereabout this time, mortar shots were fired, shot were fired, gunfire and duel was hot.

There was a pronouncement by a soldier, Major Gideon Orkar, there had been a coup, and in his words “Fellow Nigerian Citizens, On behalf of the patriotic and well-meaning peoples of the Middle Belt and the southern parts of this country, I , Major Gideon Orkar, wish to happily inform you of the successful ousting of the dictatorial, corrupt, drug baronish, evil man, deceitful, homo-sexually-centered, prodigalistic, un-patriotic administration of General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida”

The bravery or gallantry of Major Gideon Orkar and his co-traveler was never in question.

The coup was almost successful, bearing in mind the had to bring the execution of the coup back by one week. They had to seize armoury with their service pistol or assigned side arms, I believe it was a part of his coup speech that failed the coup.

Just like the earlier expedition to break up this country, the Civil war and secession led by Late Ojukwu, the failure on this coup can be hinged on the same error or misgivings.

Below is what I believe made the coup a failure:

“In the light of all the above and in recognition of the negativeness of the aforementioned aristocratic factor, the overall progress of the Nigerian state a temporary decision to excise the following states namely, Sokoto, Borno, Katsina, Kano and Bauchi states from the Federal Republic of Nigeria comes into effect immediately until the following conditions are met.

The conditions to be met to necessitate the re-absorption of the aforementioned states are as following:

(i) To install the rightful heir to the Sultanate, Alhaji Maccido, who is the people’s choice.

(ii) To send a delegation led by the real and recognised Sultan Alhaji Maccido to the federal government to vouch that the feudalistic and aristocratic quest for domination and operation will be a thing of the past and will never be practised in any part of the Nigeria state.

By the same token, all citizens of the five states already mentioned are temporarily suspended from all public and private offices in Middle Belt and southern parts of this country until the mentioned conditions above are met.

They are also required to move back to their various states within one week from today. They will, however, be allowed to return and joint the Federal Republic of Nigeria when the stipulated conditions are met.

In the same vein, all citizens of the Middle Belt and the south are required to come back to their various states pending when the so-called all-in-all Nigerians meet the conditions that will ensure a united Nigeria.

A word is enough for the wise.”

By 6pm when the insurrection and rebellion had been crushed, I look back and see that my countrymen has not learned enough…or didn’t learn a/any thing at all.

While we say to those pushing for the break-up/balkanisation of this country should come to terms that such project will fail, it must be stated that some fundamental issues must be discussed. Issues such as regional autonomy, state police, form of government, resource control, convocation of constitutional convention(to draft and adopt a new constitution) and judicial reforms. These are the cardinals of RESTRUCTURING.

I am bold to say with restructuring, all the issues raised by Gideon Orkar which still plague us as a nation till we speak will be addressed and put to rest. The perceived imbalance in our nation will be removed either instantly or gradually.

This is not an approval of Gideon Orkar’s action and never will i agree with it, but until those pushing for the balkanization of our dear country accept that there was no coincidence or error(s) in the almangamation of Nigeria, that it’s no mistake, the better for them.

In a nation that believes so much that everything that happen is “God’s will”, then Nigeria is a “God ordained” project.

The lesson here is that we should stop blaming a region for the woes of this country or trying to excise a region from the country, and work together towards and for the greatness of the country.

This is my humble submission.

God Bless Nigeria…

 Credits: Yemi Saka

Let’s Honour God

Let’s Honour God
(Tract written by Pastor Dolapo Adelakun)
 
1 Timothy 3 verse 15 says…… But if I tarry long, THAT YOU MAY KNOW HOW TO BEHAVE YOURSELF IN THE HOUSE OF GOD, which is the church of the living God, the pillars and ground of the truth.
 
Let’s honour God when we come to his house. There is a behaviour that is right for the house of our God and there are also behaviours that are not suitable in the house of God.
 
*USE OF PHONE:*
It is dishonour to receive or answer calls in the house of God. All phones are to be switched off once you enter the house of God. This is Church protocol. When you dishonour God by answering calls in his house, it is a sign that the presence of God means nothing to you. Have you ever paid a visit to a VIP? Do they allow you to use your phone? Can you sit in front of the president receiving and answering calls? You know you won’t do that so why are you doing that in the house of God?
It’s even worse when the preacher is answering calls on the pulpit or his protocols going in and out of service to receive calls. God and men cannot be speaking to you at the same time.
 
*READING NEWSPAPERS:*
Coming to service to read newspapers is also a dishonour to the house of God. While the minister is preaching, some are busy reading newspapers. You could have stayed back home to read your paper instead of desecrating the house of God.
 
*EATING:*
I have been to quite a number of churches while growing up and I have seen this irregularities. Distributing food packs while the message is going on is dishonour to God’s house. I was in a Church where food packs were being distributed while the preacher was still preaching. I thought the preacher was going to stop this but he just continued as if nothing was wrong. To worsen it, the church ushers serving, climbed the altar to give the pastors their portion and they were grabbing it. They then moved to the choir and you could see a noisy grabbing of food packs. The message was still on and the preacher still said nothing. What disrespect to the presence of God. Food packs are to be distributed after service and outside the sanctuary. Some even started eating right inside the service. This is a great error that needs to be corrected. All these disorderly acts will hinder the power of God. You cannot come to my house and start eating anywhere? Let’s be jealous over God’s house. Let’s defend it and honour it. That is where our miracles and breakthroughs come from. When we desecrate it, it loses its power. May we not be in church and remain poor and haggard?
 
We must do things right in the house of God if we want to enjoy the power of God.
 
*WALKING ABOUT:*
When you come for service, avoid walking about. If you must go out during a service, make sure you sit near the entrance. Do not distract people with your movement.
 
*SPRAYING IN CHURCH:*
It was like a midnight dream. I went to a church where the members were spraying themselves money during praise worship. Some even climbed to equally spray the pastor. I thought I was watching a Nollywood script. What abomination in the house of God! If I am shocked, can you imagine how God would feel?
 
*SELLING INSIDE CHURCH:*
I was in a Church some years ago on a visit and beside me was a woman sitting with a stylish designer bag. The moment they called for offering, she asked if I would like to buy perfumes. Right there she opened her bag and brought out three perfumes. I was dumbfounded. Inside church? I could not believe this. I was angry. I spoke harshly to her for selling inside church. It is very embarrassing how Christians belittle the house of our God. In the days of Jesus, he chased them out with whips. I think we must start doing the same and not allow any rubbish to go.
 
*COLLECTING CHANGE FROM OFFERING:*
This is also an embarrassment. How can you be asking for change from your offering? Is the Church a supermarket? Bring the denomination you want to give and leave the church honourably. I was in aChurch and I saw ushers dipping their hands into the offering bowl giving people change. It was a sad sight to behold. No one should put his hands into the offering of God’s people. The offering is sacred. Do not allow the ushers to desecrate the people’s offering. This is why such offering are never enough to do God’s work. It has been desecrated.
 
I was in a Church where people were lining up in front of the pastor’s office after service. I thought they were lining up for counselling and I was pitying the pastor. I said, don’t they want the pastor to rest but my friend said, they want to collect change. Collect change? I was baffled. How do you even know if some of them are lying? This is wrong. The Church is not for money changing. Some sincerely do not know it is wrong. When I corrected my mum, she said she did not know it was wrong. She promised not to do that again. I just had a burden to write some of the things we sincerely do wrong in the house of God.
 
*LITTERING THE CHURCH:*
Train your kids not to throw dirty things in the church premises. If there is no dustbin around, keep your dirty things and go and dispose them in your house. Teach your children never to drop biscuit and sweet wraps on the floor in Church until they locate a trash bin. Leave the church and it’s premises clean and tidy.
 
*DRESSING TO CHURCH:*
God is the KING OF KINGS so it automatically means the church is his Palace. Be royal in your dressing. Don’t dress indecently or shabbily to the Kings Palace. Decency and Royalty are the Church requirements. God told Moses to make Aaron’s HOLY GARMENT for GLORY AND FOR BEAUTY.
Every of your outfit to Church must be marked by beauty and glory. Ask yourself: Is this outfit beautiful? Does this outfit give glory to God? Read Exodus 28.
 
*LATENESS TO CHURCH:*
William Shakespeare said: It is better to be three hours soon than a minute late to any event. Have you ever had an appointment with a VIP? Do you go late? Every Church Service is an appointment with God.
 
When we tolerate all these dishonouring acts in Church, the Church will be riddled with sickness and poverty. Let’s be jealous for the house of God like Jesus was. Let’s make the presence of God real to people. Excellence is required in the house of God. It is well with the Church of Jesus and it is well with us all as we do things right.
 
If you’ve been blessed by this write up, please share with fellow believers especially Pastors and elders of Churches. May the zeal of God’s house overshadow every other ephemeral things distracting us
 
 
 
 

100 SOLID ACHIEVEMENTS OF THE BUHARI-LED ADMINISTRATION*

*100 SOLID ACHIEVEMENTS OF THE BUHARI-LED ADMINISTRATION*

POWER, WORKS AND HOUSING

1. “Despite 60% less revenue, we have, by stopping grand corruption, made the highest capital spend in the history of the country in the sum of about N1.3 trillion. We are, for the first time, taking on the game-changing infrastructure projects.” – VP YEMI OSINBAJO

2. The capacity of the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) to transport energy has grown to 7,125 MW as at December 2017, up from about 5,000MW in 2015.

3. The road projects being funded by the 100 billion Naira Sukuk Bond raised in 2017 are ongoing. Each geopolitical zone got 16.67 billion Naira.

4. (QUOTE) Minister of Power, Works and Housing: “More power is coming to Nigeria in 2018, from Azura (450 MW); Katsina Wind (10 MW); Gbarain (115MW); Kashimbilla (40MW); Afam III (240MW); Gurara (30MW); Dadin Kowa (29MW); Kaduna (215MW) to mention a few… not [including] mini-grids and solar systems in various stages of development.”

5. Impact of the 1st Phase of the Federal Government’s Energizing Education Programme (EEP), planned for 2018. The EEP, being implemented by the Rural Electrification Agency (REA) aims to provide dedicated and reliable electricity to a total of 37 Federal Universities and 7 University Teaching Hospitals across Nigeria. The University of Lagos has been enjoying this.

6. From the Niger Delta Power Holding Limited (NDPHC): The Niger Delta Power Holding Company, (NDPHC), jointly owned by the Federal, State and Local Governments, has commenced the construction of an US$18m power transmission and transformation substation, in Lafia, Nasarawa State, to improve power supply across the country, particularly in Abuja, Nasarawa and neigbouring states. The substation is scheduled for completion and inauguration before the end of 2018.

7. From the Rural Electrification Agency: The #EnergizingEconomies Initiative of the REA aims to provide 24/7 electricity to economic clusters across the country which have a high impact on the economy. Its first phase, the deployment of solar home systems to 500 shops in Sabon-Gari Market in Kano State, has just been completed. Future deployments planned for Ariaria Market in Abia State, Somolu Printing Community in Lagos State, and Sura Shopping Complex also in Lagos.

8. “We are also building, after 40 years, the Mambilla hydro project, while work on the Second Niger Bridge is going on daily.” – VP YEMI OSINBAJO

SECURITY & RELATED MATTERS

9.Release of N2 billion take off grant for the Maritime University as part of measures to address agitations in the Niger Delta region.

10. Release of 106 Chibok girls, as well as over 16,000 persons in Boko Haram captivity.

11. Tackling insurgency, decimation of Boko Haram in the North East.

12. Recovering 14 local governments and territories previously under Boko Haram control in the North East, rebuilding lives of citizens there; about one million displaced persons in the NE have returned to their communities in two years of this administration.

13. Curbing the incidence of kidnap across the country. (Arrest of kidnap kingpins and dismantling of kidnap cells across the country)

14. Restoring morale of the Nigerian military; re-organizing and better equipping the Nigerian Armed Forces with prompt payment and various incentives.

15. Purchase of 12 Super-Tucano aircrafts worth $600 million to aid the Nigerian military’s current operations in the North East.

16. Ensuring continued peace in the Niger Delta through consistent funding of the FG amnesty programme for ex-militants.

17. Introduction of an improved mechanism for distribution of aid to IDPs in the North East through the establishment of the Special Intervention Programme of the Federal Government. (Door-to-door strategy)

18. Securing Benue And Ending Farmers Herders Clashes:

. January 31: President Muhammadu Buhari wrote a letter to the Senate titled “Re: Report on the Review of the Security Infrastructure on Nigeria on the Emergency Visit to Benue,” enumerating several courses of action that had been taken by the Federal Government since the farmers- herdsmen crisis began.

February 1: Vice President Yemi Osinbajo presided over the meeting of the National Economic Council Working Group on the Herdsmen/Farmers conflicts in parts of the country at the Presidential Villa. A number of State Governors are members of the NEC Working Group. Governors of Adamawa, Ebonyi, Plateau, Kaduna, and Zamfara States, and Deputy Governors of Benue and Oyo States were present. Also in attendance were the Ministers of Agriculture and Interior. At the end of the meeting, the Working Group constituted a Sub-Committee to visit frontline States, and hold consultations with stakeholders on how to end the conflicts. The Sub-Committee will visit Benue, Taraba, Zamfara & Adamawa States, to understand the different conflict dynamics and develop long-term solutions.

Sustainable Public-Private Solutions:
One of these long-term solutions is the implementation of the recommendations and outcome of the National Conference on the Transformation of the Nigerian Livestock Industry held in Abuja from September 11 to 15, 2017. The conference, organized by the Federal Government through the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, had in attendance stakeholders across the academia, agriculture/development institutions, security agencies, representatives of farmers and herdsmen associations, community and religious leaders. One of the Conference recommendations is the modernization of Nigeria’s livestock industry through the establishment of Ranches:

These Ranches will be Public-Private Partnerships, involving the Federal and State Governments, local communities, and private investors.

They will offer Land, Water, Pasture and Security, and include facilities for production of livestock, fodder and pasture, grain for livestock feed, as well as processing and service facilities.

Funding will come from a variety of sources including a proposed ‘Anchor Growers Scheme’ to be developed by the CBN and modeled after the existing Anchor Borrowers Scheme launched for smallholder farmers in November 2015.

ECONOMY

19. We used to spend almost $3 billion on rice importation, now rice importation has been cut by 80%. Reduction in rice imports has a result of government’s policies that has encouraged massive rice production across Nigeria.

20. More support to State Governments than any other government since 1999.
“As at September 2017, total support (excess crude account koan and budget support facility), excluding Paris Club Refunds, is in the order of #876.3billion, and if we add Paris Club Refund Refund, we have disbursed #1.91trillion.” – VP Yemi Osinbajo

21. Central Bank of Nigeria: Nigeria’s foreign reserves have risen to $41 billion as at February 8, 2018, from $40.4 billion as at early January 2018.

22. The Ministry of Finance has so far released N1.2 trillion under the capital expenditure component of the 2017 Budget — which took effect from June 2017. In terms of capital spending, the 2017 Budget is on course to eclipse the 1.3 Trillion Naira released in the 2016 Budget — the highest ever in Nigeria’s history.

23. From the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS): Tax revenue collected totalled N4.03 trillion in 2017, 82.38% of the N4.89 trillion target set for the Service by the Federal Government during the period, and N720 billion (22 percent) more than the N3.31trillion generated in 2016.

24. From the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN): Nigeria’s manufacturing sector is outperforming some of its African peers with capacity utilisation moving up from 44.3% in 2016 to 55% in 2017 while the Nigeria’s Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI), as measured by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) expanded for the tenth consecutive month in January 2018, at 57.3 points.

25.From the Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission (NIPC): Nigeria secured US$66.36 billion worth of investment commitments for 112 projects across 27 states and the FCT in 2017. The oil and gas sector currently account for the highest announced investments with deals worth $25.26bn, 38% of the total.

26. The Development Bank of Nigeria (DBN), conceived by the Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN) in collaboration with global development partners as a wholesale bank to support MSMEs in Nigeria, and licensed by the Central Bank in 2017, has so far disbursed 5 billion Naira to three National Microfinance Banks — Fortis Microfinance Bank Plc, LAPO Microfinance Bank Ltd and NPF Microfinance Bank — for on-lending to more than 20,000 MSMEs across Nigeria.

27. Ministry of Finance: Nigeria is set to issue a US$2.5 billion Eurobond; a follow-up to the US$3bn Issuance in late 2017. Transaction Advisers have been appointed for the Issuance.

28. From Bloomberg: “Net foreign inflows to Nigerian equities totaled 337 billion naira ($940 million) last year, the first time flows have been positive since at least 2013. December was the best month since Bloomberg started compiling data at the beginning of 2014, with net inflows of 140 billion naira, signaling a switch in sentiment toward equities in Africa’s biggest oil producer.”

29. As part of efforts by the Federal Government to block revenue leakages (about N100 billion was discovered as tax revenue shortfall by contractors between 2012 and 2017), on January 9, the Ministry of Finance ordered vendors of Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) to display their Tax Identification Numbers (TINs) on their invoices before payments are effected by the MDAs.

30. The Nigerian Ports Authority: The Nigerian Ports Authority has declared total revenue of N299.56bn for the 2017 fiscal year. The 2017 revenue exceeded the previous year’s N162.20bn by 84.65 percent and is the highest ever generated by the agency.

31. From the Debt Management Office (DMO): N196.3 million was raised through the first auction of the Federal Government Savings Bond issued in the second week of January 2018.

32. Buhari administration’s Social Investment Programmes reach over 7 million Nigerians

33. The correct figures of the total Federal Government support to states so far stands at N1.91 trillion and not N1.19 trillion as reported in some media reports. A breakdown of the disbursement comprises N876.3 billion for excess crude account loan and budget support facility while the balance of N1.034 trillion is for the Paris Club refund.

34. From the Social Investment Programme (SIP): Over 246 million meals have been served to date to primary pupils across 20 states in the country, since the National Home Grown School Feeding Programme (NHGSFP) kicked off in December 2016. The total figure is expected to reach 313 million meals by the last week of February 2018. Also, the school Feeding Programme now feeds 6,044,625 pupils in 33,981 public primary schools across 20 states.

35. The Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) has so far recorded over 280,000 beneficiaries in 21 states, while about 300,000 Government Enterprise Empowerment Programme (GEEP) interest-free micro-credit loans have been disbursed nationwide.

36. N-power scheme, which is targeted at providing jobs for unemployed young graduates, has recruited 200,000 youths, and will increase that number in 2018.

37. Recall that as a direct outcome of the work of PEBEC and its operational arm, the Enabling Business Environment Secretariat (EBES), Nigeria in 2017 moved up 24 places to 145th in the World Bank’s ‘Doing Business’ report, and for the first time the country was recognized as one of the top 10 most improved economies in the world.

38. Total Direct Beneficiaries from all the SIP Programme is 7,812,201

· Secondary Beneficiaries – 1,500,000, mainly farmers and cooks

· Total actual spending in 2016 and 2017 = 15.58% of the budget

39. Implementing the National Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) to aid economic recovery, taking the country out of her worst recession in 29 years, despite fall in oil prices.

40. N1.2 trillion expended on capital/infrastructure projects nationwide, a milestone in the nation’s history.

41. Effective implementation of the Treasury Single Account, and increasing government revenue by over N3 trillion as well as entrenching transparency and accountability.

42. Implementation of the Bank Verification Number (BVN), thus tackling corruption by plugging loopholes for siphoning of public fund and tracking of illicit funds through multiple accounts

43. Ease of doing business: the Federal Government signed into law two bills from the National Assembly (Acts are the Secured Transactions in Movable Assets Act, 2017 (otherwise known as Collateral Registry Act) and the Credit Reporting Act, 2017) which has facilitated access to more affordable credit for Nigerians, fast tracked budget submissions and promotes Made-in-Nigeria products.

44. Establishment of the Presidential Quarterly Business Forum to enhance interaction and private sector participation in the development of the economy.

45. Institutionalizing E-governance setting the foundation for the creation of a truly digital economy.

46. Creation of opportunities for youths to leverage innovation in technology through the introduction of the Aso Villa Demo Day (AVDD) through which over N700 million has been disbursed to young entrepreneurs.

47. The revitalization of the Made-in-Nigeria campaign. (Emphasis on consumption of local products gain grounds)

48. Implementing reforms in the civil service which has led to the elimination of over 30,000 ghost workers, thereby saving the country billions of naira monthly.

49. Massive investments in agriculture, e.g, Anchors Borrowers Programme to improve local produce, improving fertiliser distribution and access across states through the Presidential Fertilizer Initiative.

50. Completion of over 33, 000 Hectares for Irrigation Projects that have increased water availability in key food producing states.

51. SIP: Ongoing Government Enterprise and Empowerment (GEEP) Scheme; commenced in November 2016 in collaboration with the Bank of Industry, where soft loans ranging from N10, 000 to N100, 000 have been given to over 189,000 market women and traders across different states.

52. SIP: Home Grown School Feeding Programme, where almost three million schoolchildren have been fed, while tens of thousands of cooks have been engaged in their respective states.

53. SIP: Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) scheme, under which about 25,000 less privileged Nigerians so far are now being funded with the monthly N5,000 stipend in 9 pilot States (Bauchi, Borno, Cross Rivers, Ekiti, Kwara, Kogi, Niger, Osun and Oyo). More beneficiaries are expected to be added in more states.

54. The establishment of MSMEs Clinics, a small Business support programme to support entrepreneurs and small businesses in different states.

55. Establishment of One-Stop-Shops to support policies on Ease of Doing Business.

56. Phasing out subsidy for petroleum products, elimination of fuel scarcity and queues in petrol stations.

57. Implementation of the FG Niger Delta new vision, a comprehensive road map to improve livelihood and social infrastructure.

58. Improved power generation nationwide adding $500million to Nigeria’s sovereign wealth fund and about $87million to its excess crude account.

59. The creation of the N30billion Solid Minerals Development Fund.

60. Encouraging the patronage of local contents and increasing export in agriculture.

61. Signing of Executive Order 001 which is the promotion of transparency and efficiency in the business environment – to ensure that public servants offer prompt service in a predictable and transparent manner, and sanction undue delays.

62. Signing of Executive Order 002 which is on prompt submission of annual budgetary estimates by all statutory and non-statutory agencies of the Federal Government including incorporated companies wholly owned by FG.

63. Bailout of cash crunch states; about N689 billion to 27 states of the federation to pay salaries in 2015 which has never happened in the history of the country.

64. Complete refund of Paris loan deductions to states (unprecedented).

65. Modification of the tax system so that it is more efficient.

66. Reforms at the nation’s seaports (Issues with cargo clearance at the ports addressed)

67. Improved duration (under 48 hours) for visa approval especially for investors.

68. Resuscitation of the nation’s refineries which are now working at 50 percent capacity for the first time in over a decade.

69. Eleven of the dead 33 fertilizer plants have been resuscitated while four others are to be revived shortly and this has profound impact on the ongoing revolution in the agricultural sector.

70. Cancellation of the Joint Venture cash calls with oil multinational companies operating in Nigeria (For the first time in the history of the industry) which has led to savings of billions of dollars lost to fictitious contract payments.

71. The new development bank of Nigeria (DBN) is finally taking off with initial funding of $1.3billion (provided by the World Bank, German Development Bank, African Development Bank, Agence Francaise De Development) to provide medium and long term loans to MSMEs.

ANTI – GRAFT WAR.

72. Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC): The Commission recovered in excess of 500 billion Naira in 2017, including 473 billion in Naira, 98 million in USD, 7 million in Euros, and 294,000 in Pounds Sterling.

73. Improving Nigeria’s international image and regional cooperation with neighbouring countries in fighting insurgency.

74. Anti-corruption war: Prosecuting alleged corrupt public officers and recovering billions of naira of stolen public funds; the successful establishment of the whistle-blower policy.

75. Signing of Executive Order 004 – Voluntary Income Asset Declaration Scheme (VAIDS). This aims to increase tax awareness and compliance, and reduce incidence of tax evasion.

76. Signing of agreements with a number of nations to provide Automatic Exchange of Information.

77. Signing of the Extradition Treaty between Nigeria and United Arab Emirates (UAE) toward strengthening Nigeria’s anti-corruption campaign.

78. Establishment of PACAC – a think-tank that has provided leadership, direction and also built capacity of personnel in the fight against corruption.

TRANSPORTATION

79. Improving transport infrastructure (rail and road); construction work ongoing on the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway.

80. Reforms in the airports (reconstruction of the Abuja airport runway and ongoing work at the Lagos airport). Completion of Abuja – Kaduna Railway among others.

81. On February 5, President Muhammadu Buhari signed Instruments of Ratification of Bilateral Air Services Agreements between Nigeria and the Governments of the People’s Democratic Republic of Algeria, Democratic Republic of Congo, the People’s Republic of China, the State of Qatar, and the Republic of Singapore. The execution of these instruments will significantly improve Nigeria’s aviation links with the respective countries, and will open up new flight routes that the planned National Carrier can benefit from.

*Key milestones in Aviation within the last year:

82. March – April 2017: Reconstruction of the Abuja Airport runway, within budget and on schedule.

83. September 2017: The Murtala Mohammed International Airport in Lagos earned International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) certification, for the first time ever. Shortly afterwards the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in Abuja was also certified. The certification means that the Airports’ facilities and operations meet international best-practice standards.

84. November 2017: The International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) awarded the Nigerian College of Aviation Technology (NCAT) in Zaria, Kaduna State the status of a Regional Training Center of Excellence.

85. 21- 23 November 2017: Nigeria hosted the world at the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) World Aviation Forum In Abuja. This was the first time the Forum took place outside the ICAO’s headquarters in Montreal, Canada.

86. 7 December 2017: Nigeria signed a Bilateral Air Service Agreement (BASA) with the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in Colombo, Sri Lanka.

87. 15 December 2017: Emirates Airline resumed flights to Abuja, suspended in October 2016. The Airline also resumed its second daily flight to Lagos.

88. December 2017: Nigeria retained its Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Category 1 status, after a routine audit. This status, first awarded in 2010, means that Nigerian-registered airlines can fly into the United States, and US airlines are allowed to fly to Nigeria.

89. 29 January 2018: Nigeria joined other African countries to launch the Single African Air Transport Market (SAATM) at the African Union Headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Benefits of the SAATM include more opportunities for an increase in the number of direct flights between African countries, which will increase customer comfort and convenience, reduce travel costs, shorten journey times, and create more jobs for the aviation industry.

90. January 2018: Aero Contractors launched its Maintenance Repair and Overhaul (MRO) facility in Lagos. With the MRO facility, aircraft C-checks — one of the most comprehensive levels of maintenance carried out on an aircraft — can now be done locally on Boeing 737s — the most popular model used by Nigerian airlines — saving Nigeria an estimated $90m annually.

OTHERS

91. Eradication of polio disease in the country.

92. Eradication of deadly Ebola virus disease.

93. The introduction of the One Primary Health Centre per ward programme of the Federal Government.

94. Minister of Health: “By the end of the April, eight million Nigerians stand to benefit from basic health care through the first phase of implementation of the Basic Health Care Provision Fund, BHCPF.”

NIGER DELTA

95. MARITIME UNIVERSITY, DELTA STATE:

· The new Maritime University in Okerenkoko, Delta State, has now commenced operations, inviting job applications for academic staff.

· The take-off of the Maritime University was one of the major requests tabled before the Federal Government when the Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, went on a series of tour to all the Niger Delta states during the year, following President Buhari’s meeting with leaders of Pan Niger Delta Elders Forum (PANDEF) last November.

96. Investment in Ibaka Deep Sea Port:

· The Federal Government has budgeted N1 billion towards the development of Ibaka seaport in Akwa Ibom.

97. Investment in Bonny-Bodo Road Project: The N120 billion Bonny-Bodo road project was flagged-off in October 2017 by the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, SAN. The 34-kilometre road project, linking Bonny Island to the mainland was first mooted about 40 years ago.

· When completed, the 34-kilometres road would connect several major communities in the Niger Delta region and boost socio-economic development and improve the lives of people in the Niger Delta region.

98. EXPORT PROCESSING ZONE (EPZ):

· The Federal Government approved the establishment of the Export Processing Zone (EPZ) comprising the Gas City Project at Ogidigben, and the Deep Seaport in Gbaramatu, Warri South-West local government area, Delta State.

· When fully operational, these projects are expected to boost socio-economic activities and improve the security landscape of the Niger Delta region.

99. Nigerians now celebrate freely during festive periods without any fear of bomb blast or any attack by Boko Haram – it was an impossible dream years ago before this government came on board.

100. Work is at various stages of completion on these strategic roads with immense socio-economic benefits:

a. Rehabilitation of Ilorin-Jebba-Mokwa-Birnin-Gwari-Kaduna Road;

b. Dualization of Oyo-Ogbomosho-Ilorin Road;

c. Rehabilitation of Gombe-Numan-Yola Road;

d. Dualization of Kano-Maiduguri Road

e. Rehabilitation of Sokoto-Tambuwal-Jega Road and Kotangora-Makera Road that transverse Sokoto, Kebbi and Niger States;

f. Rehabilitation and Reconstruction of Enugu-Port-Harcourt Road;

g. Rehabilitation of Enugu-Onitsha Dual Carriageway Road;

h. Rehabilitation of Aleshi-Ugep Road and the Iyamoyun-Ugep Section in Cross River State;

i. Rehabilitation, Reconstruction and Expansion of Lagos-Ibadan Dual Carriageway Road;

j. Construction of Loko-Oweto Bridge over River Benue in Nasarawa and Benue States; and

k. Construction Gokanni Bridge along Tegina-Mokwa-Jebba Road in Niger State.

• The Bonny-Bodo Road is being jointly funded by the Federal Government and Nigeria LNG Limited. This project was conceived decades ago but it was abandoned.

This Administration restarted the project and when completed, it will enable road transportation access for key communities in the Niger- Delta region; and

The Apapa Wharf-Toll Gate Road in Lagos State is also being constructed by private sector investors in exchange for tax credits.

The Buhari Osinbajo led administration is very much committed to achieving 95% of what it has promised. Nigerians all around can testify to all of these achievements in a pace of less than 3years.

GOD BLESS NIGERIA

The Feet of Grace

TWO LUNG SURGERIES, A LUNG TRANSPLANT AND DOUBLE LEG AMPUTATION LATER
An Interview With The Fabulous Dr. Irene Olumese, Founder of The Feet of Grace Foundation
About me…
My name is Dr. Irene Olumese, wife of Dr. Peter Olumese and mother of Peter and David. I am a Christian, I believe in God, I love Him passionately, and it is nothing compared to the way He loves me! I worked with United Nations Children’s Funds (UNICEF) for 15 years in three countries; Nigeria, Ghana, and Egypt. I love to read and sing – I call myself a one-woman bathroom choir.
My story…
I got married in 1992 and was expecting a baby and in January 1993, but I lost my baby at 32 weeks. This stillbirth was traumatic, but the word of God comforted me. 2 weeks later, I got appointed into UNICEF, and then I went for training with officers in Kaduna, Nigeria; it was Easter 1993. At the training, I started coughing. I remember vividly that we were in the training hall on Good Friday, and this cough just went on and on. I came back to Lagos and treated it, but it just wouldn’t go.
After a couple of months of using one antibiotic after the other without any improvement, my doctors wanted a full work up, and the X-ray showed a shadow in my chest. My doctors began to investigate further and realized that I needed to have surgery. In June 1993, I had a cardiothoracic surgery to remove a cyst the size of my fist, the doctors said. So when that came out, we felt that was the end of the cough. No, the cough didn’t stop, it continued, and it got worse. I had my first son in 1994; then I saw there were other symptoms that were coming up. I was having allergies of unknown origin; my eyelids just dropped, my pupils fully diluted and the doctors said this looked like a myasthenic syndrome – a degenerative disease of the neuromuscular junction and it causes a weakling of the muscles. My facial muscles were weak; my eyes were drooping and all that. However, no matter what the doctors said, as soon as we stepped out of the doctor’s office, my husband would ask “who’s report do you believe?” and I would answer “I believe in the report of the Lord’. We just used the scripture to counter everything said. In the course of these events, I had my second child in 1997 while I was working to finish my doctorate.
By 1998, I was working as a full-time officer in UNICEF, I was nursing a child, and working on Ph.D. which I finished that year. One day in October, I had a complete relapse again. While washing my baby, my hands just went flaccid; and my baby just dropped into the bowl of water, my chest became heavy. This was already five years of non – stop coughing. It was the kind of coughing where you cough so hard that your bladder threatens to open up. The cough was so bad that I ended up in the intensive care unit that month. That was when the doctors concluded that the diagnosis was bronchiectasis. This is a disease in which the walls of the airways become damaged resulting in accumulation of secretions in the lungs and recurrent chest infection. When they told me I said no, I wasn’t ready to accept that.
I went to the US for a second opinion, but the doctors there also confirmed exactly what my doctors in Nigeria said and even added more. This is because the respiratory disease is now combined with the myasthenia, a degenerative disease,was progressively debilitating. They said within 5 – 10 years I would be wheelchair-bound because the disease just leaves every muscle so weak that the individual is not able to do things by themselves. I refused to accept that prognosis. So I started the medications, and the medication was pretty expensive. While worrying and complaining, a dear sister of mine said to me, ‘why don’t you thank God that you have a job that can pay for the drugs and medical insurance?’. So that was how we were able to manage the problem. Shortly after I returned to Nigeria, I had to move from Ibadan to Lagos to work while still dealing with the problem.
In 2002, I got posted to Tamale, Ghana but had to be in Accra once a month. Hence, I did a lot of traveling back and forth; it was pretty hectic and stressful. The weather was also not kind to me, but I was able to manage it for two years until one day when both of my lungs collapsed suddenly while in Tamale. The medical facilities available could not manage the problem. My office called Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso but they also did not have the required medical facilities for this purpose. They could not fly me down to Accra because of my compromised respiratory condition. I was taken down from Tamale to Accra in an ambulance without an air conditioner, without oxygen and it was such a long journey. We only stopped to refuel in Kumasi, and at this point, I asked myself ‘will I make it to Accra?’
We eventually got to Accra where I spent six weeks at the 37 Military Hospital. They tried to drain my chest, but the situation wasn’t improving. I was in and out of the high dependency ward. At that point in time, my office decided that I should be evacuated as an international staff; they were not ready to take further risk. The point of evacuation was to South Africa because I’m an African, but because my husband worked in Switzerland, he insisted that I should be evacuated to Switzerland. In June 2003 exactly ten years after the first cardiothoracic surgery, I had to have another cardiothoracic surgery to clean out my lungs after all that had happened. At that point, I had to make a decision about my work; I decided to go on a special leave without pay.
I settled my children down in Switzerland because they had been with me in Ghana. Later in November 2003, I returned to Ghana to pack my things without finishing my contract. The next few years were really tough years. Financially it was difficult because I had taken a loan to buy a house with my husband, secured by our two jobs and all of a sudden, we only had one source of income that had to pay for my huge medical bills, children’s international school fees, house and the loan. I did everything I could; I sold Mary Kay makeup, I sold pots and did whatever was possible for me to do but I could not get a professional job. The money did not even come near what we needed, but at least I had a sense of making some contribution.
In 2006, God provoked a recommendation on my behalf, and I was able to go back to work again. This time in Cairo, Egypt. I stayed there for three weekends and came home on the 4th weekend every month. During that period, Cairo was very hot and dusty; it was not good for the respiratory system (all this while I was still coughing and medicating). It got quite severe one day while I was traveling from Cairo to Geneva, and I had a relapse on the plane. I just couldn’t breathe. I came out of the plane and had to be taken in an ambulance to get to the Airport Clinic. Later I went to my doctors for a check-up. At that point, my doctors told me that my lung functional capacity is depressed, and therefore, I needed to have supplemental oxygen. It meant that I needed to have oxygen supplied by an external source, in my house, at work and wherever I was. They felt that it was not right for me to go back to work in Cairo. The project I was working on in Cairo was already challenged by so many problems, and I felt that I couldn’t abandon them in the middle of it. So I asked if I could be allowed just to go and finish that particular project and then come back. They insisted that I must ensure that there was an oxygen cylinder in my office, an oxygen concentrator at home and one that I can spray on in between the house and the office before they allowed me to return to Cairo to finish the project.
I trusted God for favor, and our family friends in Cairo just took it upon themselves to make sure everything was in place. We finished that project at the end of December to the glory of God, and I returned to Switzerland. I got back to Switzerland January 2008 and went from a ‘26-hour’ day agenda to a snow-white agenda. I had nothing else that I could do with myself except to medicate and nebulize to keep my lungs clear of infection and to cough and cough all day long. Just taking care of my health was a full-time job, and because we didn’t want to bring somebody else in to care for me. It was just my husband, sons and me for the next couple of years.
By 2010, the situation had become so bad that at this point the doctors said there were no more medical options and that I needed to be on the ventilator in my own home. They said that in the night because the lungs will become so weak, I may forget to breathe while sleeping, so I had a ventilator at home to breathe for me at night. I lost weight – from 83kg to about 50kg thereabout. The doctors told me the only option I had left was to have a lung transplant. Of course, lung transplant meant somebody was going to have to die for me to live, and I struggled with that. I didn’t know how to pray for somebody to die so I could live. I went before the Lord and said, ‘this is too much.’ His word comforted me, but I asked for one request, ‘Lord whoever this person is going to be, let him/her know You and have a relationship with You, so that I can see him/her in heaven.”
After three years of waiting, I got a call on a Saturday that they had found a suitable donor and I went in for the surgery. I didn’t wake up until five weeks later. Apparently, after the surgery, I developed post-surgical complications, and my system started shutting down, so they had to induce a medical coma. When I woke up from the coma, I was very confused; I had a lot of frightening experiences while I was in a coma. I couldn’t vocalize because I had a tube in my throat attached to a machine that was breathing for me. I didn’t know they were not hearing me. I got so angry because they were not answering my questions.
The doctors came to me, and my husband told me “You had very good lungs, they have stayed. Your body didn’t reject them.” But, because of the complications I had during the surgery, there was poor blood circulation to my hands and legs. This meant the death of the tissues had occurred and they would need to amputate both my legs and my hands. At that point, I had had enough. I just said ‘Lord, just take me home.’ I was not going to be a burden to my family, without hands and legs. What was the point of lungs anyway?
In those two weeks, a friend of ours gave us a word that ‘God will give me the feet of grace that will take me to places my natural feet cannot take me, places beyond my imagination.’ Two weeks after I came out of the coma, I was back in the theatre again, and at the end of May, my two legs were amputated below the knee. To the glory of God, I recovered the use of my hands, life came back to it, and I began to learn to write again. For three months, I was still going to clinics to have the dead tissues, evacuated from the wounds.
I asked God what next? I survived a lung transplant. I am an amputee, what was I going to do next? He impressed on my heart that I am to inspire hope and by taking my story everywhere He would open the door to me. I knew my assignment was clear. And since He had told me long ago that He had called me be an Inspirational Speaker, I knew years later; this was where it was going to be.
The other part was to enrich lives. I wondered what I was supposed to do to enrich lives? While I was going through my rehabilitation, I began to wonder how amputees in poor communities managed. Because to date, we had spent $35,000.00 on mine. I began to make investigations on who supports amputees in the poor communities in Nigeria where I had influence. By the end of that year, I knew I had to have something to do with this.
My life now…
We set up a foundation called “The Feet of Grace Foundation,” and this is the third year of its operation. We do an Annual Charity Walk, every April – commemorating my second chance at life and in memory of my unknown benefactor. By the end of 2017, we have provided support to 20 amputees in the form of prosthetic limbs, wheelchairs, scholarship and seed funds to women to restart their businesses.
I also started learning how to bead while I was in the hospital as I recovered the use of my hands. I just wanted to able to contribute something no matter how little to the family income considering how much my medical expenses had depleted our finances. My husband never complained, but I just didn’t feel happy not being a contributing partner. My book also got finished in the process, it is the story of my life, and it is called, “Grace in the Storms” ( https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/9785279073/ref=mp_s_a_1_2_twi_pap_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1521740297&sr=8-2&keywords=Grace+In+the+storms also available in Challenge Bookshops in Ghana). It was written to do exactly what I do; to inspire hope and encourage people who are going through life challenges. I speak at women conferences and churches as well.
My advice to women…
Never give up on hope. You see if you give up on hope, it’s a death sentence. Don’t let the enemy have the last laugh. God has to have the last laugh. Jump on adversity like a springboard, and it will take you to the next level. Thank you.
Interview by: Ama Duncan, Corporate Trainer and Founder of The Fabulous Woman Network
Source: The Fabulous Woman Network Facebook page

IT’S FRIDAY, BUT SUNDAY IS COMING

. ..
…. “It’s Friday…
Jesus is praying.
Peter is sleeping.
Judas is betraying.
But Sunday is coming’.

It’s Friday…
Pilate is struggling.
The council is conspiring. The crowd is vilifying.
They don’t even know that Sunday is comin’.

It’s Friday…
The disciples are running like sheep without a shepherd.
Mary is crying.
Peter is denying.
But they don’t know that Sunday is comin’.

It’s Friday…
The Romans beat my Jesus.
They robe Him in scarlet. They crown Him with thorns.
But they don’t know that Sunday is comin’.

It’s Friday…
See Jesus walking to Calvary.
His blood dripping.
His body stumbling.
And his spirit burdened.
But you see, it’s only Friday.
Sunday is comin’.

It’s Friday…
The world is winning.
People are sinning.
And evil is grinning.

It’s Friday…
The soldiers nail my Saviour’s hands to the cross.
They nail my Saviour’s feet to the cross.
And then they raise him up next to criminals.
It’s Friday.
But let me tell u something:
Sunday is comin’.

It’s Friday…
The disciples are questioning.
What has happened to their King.
And the Pharisees are celebrating their scheming has been achieved.
But they don’t know: It is only Friday,
Sunday is comin’.

It’s Friday…
He’s hanging on the cross feeling forsaken by His Father.
Left alone and dying.
Can nobody save Him?
Oooh, it’s Friday,
But Sunday is comin’.

It’s Friday…
The earth trembles.
The sky goes dark.
My King yields His spirit.

Its Friday…
Hope was lost.
Death had won.
Sin had conquered.
And Satan celebrate – laughing.
But it was only Friday

Its Friday…
Jesus was buried.
A soldier stand’s guard.
And a rock rolled into place.
But it’s Friday, It is only Friday.

Little did they know Sunday was coming’.”

But Sunday came… Oooh that fateful Sunday
The gate of hell broke loose,
The glory of God came down,
The mighty stone rolled away. The King of glory arose,
Ohhh death! where is your sting?
Jesus has conquered!
Gloryyyyyyyyyyyyy

Jesus is alive for ever! Glory

And Now he lives
He is alive in me
He is alive in you
He is alive in us
And he reigns forever more

​THE KISS OF THE MARRIED WOMAN THAT EVENTUALLY SCATTERED MUGABE’Ś KINGDOM. A LESSON TO ALL MEN.

Now, it’s difficult to piece together what is going to become of Zimbabwe after now, however history gives us a peek at the key actors in the drama currently playing out.
Now, this is the story you dont’t know.
Mugabe the deposed President of Zimbabwe, Constantine Chiwenga the Head of the Zimbabwean Military and Mnangagwa the sacked Vice President of Zimbabwe are all friends, very good friends, they are comrades. The three men were in their 20’s when they entered the bushes and took part in the liberation struggle to free Zimbabwe from white rule. Mugabe who was initially the Sect General of ZANU PF, became the head of state, the other two men were equally given plum positions of power and have continued as the 3 musketeers presiding over the destiny of Zimbabwe for 37 years.
Sometime in the 90’s – Mugabe, the first musketeer fell in love with his personal secretary who happened to be another man’s wife at the time, the lady’s name was Grace and she became his mistress. While Mugabe was still married Grace had children for him. In 1996 they became man and wife after the death of Mugabe’s first spouse.
But Grace was no ordinary mistress turned wife, she was not ready to take a backseat, she turned herself into Mugabe’s political confidant, she used the bed and made her way to the very centre of Zimbabwean politics straining the relationship between Mugabe and his two comrades.
Mnangagwa the 2nd musketeer after many years of loyalty became Mugabe’s Vice President in 2014, paving the way for his eventual hold on power should Mugabe retire, resign or die. But Grace had other ideas she wangled her way into ZANU PF’s politburo and began her move to take out Mnangagwa and take power from her ailing husband.
In August 2017 Mnangagwa accused certain persons in the party of trying to poison him and made references to Grace. This didn’t go down well with Mugabe, how could anyone accuse his beautiful Serengeti Rose flower. What Mugabe forgot was that boys are allowed to fight but the brotherhood must stay strong and united. In a move that shocked everyone (but didn’t shock his beloved Grace) , he removed Mnangagwa from the position of Vice President, Mnangagwa not sure of what Grace will do to him fled to South Africa.
Now  comes the 3rd musketeer Chiwenga Head of the Zimbabwaean military, a friend and brother of both Mugabe and Mnangagwa, “this is all the fault of one woman”, he is probably thinking in his mind, ” we were one until this woman came. I trust Mnangagwa to takeover, I don’t know this woman; by the way, where was she when we were sleeping in the bushes before the liberation”.
Chiwenga sends a warning to Mugabe advising him to put his house in order, the first time he has ever spoken this way to his senior comrade. Thinking Mugabe will take the signal, call him, negotiate and talk things over a cup of tea. NO! Mugabe does the exact opposite, he sends his Minister of Information to tell the Army General to stay out of State matters, Mugabe then finalises plans to sack Chiwenga perhaps to pave an unhindered route to the throne for Grace.
The military chief thought this had gone too far his brother and comrade in arms had drunk deep from the strange woman’s bosom, it’s wasn’t him acting any longer , so he rolled out his tanks early this morning. He’s therefore right when he says,”this is not a coup” ; when you really look at it, 3 friends have only fallen out over the inordinate ambitions of a woman.
Latest reportś say Mnangagwa the 2nd Musketeer is on his way back from South Africa, i’ve just read a report he’s going to be installed interim President. The 1st Musketter Mugabe is under house arrest. The 3rd Musketter is in the saddle promising calm and quick elections. The 3 men have held Zimbabwe under lock and key for 37yrs, this is nothing but a change of baton. Zimbabwe needs a real revolution out of the hands of the veterans of the liberation struggle. No doubt in the 21st century Zimbabwe is the frozen out Animal Farm in George Orwells celebrated work.
Meanwhile the woman Grace, who started the whole katakata, I hear has fled the country leaving her beloved husband who sacrificed everything, to face an uncertain fate.
16m Zimbabweans could not remove Mugabe but a woman did.
Mama was always right when she always told me, “son – be careful who you fall in love with and eventually marry”.
A lesson to all men!!!

Gold Coast 2018: Team Nigeria Finishes In 9th Position, Hosts Australia Are Champions

Gold Coast 2018: Team Nigeria Finishes In 9th Position, Hosts Australia Are Champions

Team Nigeria finished in the ninth position in the final medal standing at the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games which ended on Sunday, Completesportsnigeria.com reports.
It was a step down for Team Nigeria who finished eighth at the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games.
At the end of 2018 Games, Team Nigeria got nine gold, nine silver and six bronze medals, with a total of 24 medals won. Team Nigeria won 11 gold, 11 silver and 14 bronze medals at the 2014 Commonwealth Games.
Aruna Quadri won Team Nigeria’s last medal at the 2018 Games after clinching silver in the men’s table tennis singles event, losing to Ning Gao from Singapore on Sunday morning.
South Africa was the highest placed African team as they finished in the sixth position with 13 gold, 11 silver, 13 bronze medals. Kenya were 14th with four gold, seven silver, six bronze, Uganda 15th with three gold, one silver, two bronze, Botswana occupied the 16th position on three gold, one silver, one bronze and Namibia with two gold ended in the 19th position.
Cameroon who had one silver and two bronze finished in the 32nd position, Mauritius were in joint-34th position with one silver while Ghana and Seychelles who only won one bronze, were joint-39th in the medal table.
Hosts Australia, were the overall winners at this year’s games after amassing 80 gold, 59 silver, 59 bronze to bring their medals total to 198.
England who were champions at the 2014 edition, came second with 45 gold, 45 silver, 46 bronze, India clinched third spot with 26 gold, 20 silver, 20 bronze.
Canada came fourth with 15 gold, 40 silver, 27 bronze and New Zealand finished fifth after securing 15 gold, 16 silver and 15 bronze medals.
The next edition of the Commonwealth Games in 2022, will be hosted in Birmingham, England, from July 27 to August 7.

GOLD COAST 2018 FINAL MEDAL TABLE
Rank Country Gold Medal Silver Medal Bronze Medal Total
1 Australia 80 59 59 198
2 England 45 45 46 136
3 India 26 20 20 66
4 Canada 15 40 27 82
5 New Zealand 15 16 15 46
6 South Africa 13 11 13 37
7 Wales 10 12 14 36
8 Scotland 9 13 22 44
9 Nigeria 9 9 6 24
10 Cyprus 8 1 5 14
11 Jamaica 7 9 11 27
12 Malaysia 7 5 12 24
13 Singapore 5 2 2 9
14 Kenya 4 7 6 17
15 Uganda 3 1 2 6
16 Botswana 3 1 1 5
17 Samoa 2 3 0 5
18 Trinidad and Tobago 2 1 0 3
19 Namibia 2 0 0 2
20 Northern Ireland 1 7 4 12
21 The Bahamas 1 3 0 4
22 Papua New Guinea 1 2 3
23 Fiji 1 1 2 4
24 Pakistan 1 0 4 5
25 Grenada 1 0 1 2
26 Bermuda 1 0 0 1
26 Guyana 1 0 0 1
26 British Virgin Is. 1 0 0 1
26 Saint Lucia 1 0 0 1
30 Bangladesh 0 2 0 2
31 Sri Lanka 0 1 5 6
32 Cameroon 0 1 2 3
33 Dominica 0 1 1 2
34 Isle of Man 0 1 0 1
34 Mauritius 0 1 0 1
34 Nauru 0 1 0 1
37 Malta 0 0 2 2
37 Vanuatu 0 0 2 2
39 Cook Islands 0 0 1 1
39 Ghana 0 0 1 1
39 Norfolk Island 0 0 1 1
39 Seychelles 0 0 1 1
39 Solomon Islands 0 0 1 1

MARRIAGE IS HARD WORK (Dr. Olukoya)

MARRIAGE IS HARD WORK
(Dr. Olukoya)
➖➖➖➖➖➖➖➖➖
Many years ago, I used to interpret the saying “Marriage is not for small boys” to mean small boys in terms of age, until I visited a female mentor that has been in marriage for 47 years.
I asked, so what is the secret of your over 47 years in marriage?

Beaming, she retorted; My son, the expectations you bring into marriage will either spell its doom or success. I married my husband without expectations of enjoying his money or buying cars for me, but with time, my patience, hard work and God-fearing attitude yielded results of getting cars, houses, taking care of our children and all that.

You see, if a married lady keeps on nagging in the house, she pushes the spirit of her husband from the home. If you make the man unhappy, you make the house uncomfortable.
So, I married without high expectations from my husband but simply to make him happy always.

Yes, for the past 47 years, I would be the first to get up from bed and the last to go back to bed. I bath the kids, do devotions with them, prepare breakfast for my husband and boil hot water for him to bath. I iron his clothes he would take to work, kiss him and wish him the best in his daily endeavours.
I asked my old woman, so then what does the man do in return? She laughed all heart and hearty and replied; You see, this is the mistake you young ones make in marriage.
YOU DO SOMETHING FOR YOUR HUSBAND OR WIFE AND EXPECT SAME REWARD FROM HIM OR HER, THIS IS WRONG!
When it becomes your attitude to only please your husband or wife always, the other person responds naturally. Indeed, if nothing touches the palm tree, it doesn’t rattle.
She continued, my son, never carry “how rich or poor your family is” into marriage. After all, you knew very well the status of your family and decided to marry that man or woman.
Love only compels/leads would-be couples into marriage but it doesn’t sustain marriage. Rather, understanding, patience, communication and most importantly, forgiveness sustain every marriage. High expectations are the symptoms of divorce in marriages.
Sometimes you hear, I want to marry a mother, a business partner, God fearing person etc. You cannot get all your expectations in one person. With time and depending on your relationship, you may get some. So minimise your expectations in marriage.
To cut the long story short, as too many cooks spoil the broth, she concluded on the mistakes a couple should resist at all cost in marriage:
1) Never say you have made your wife or husband somebody from a nobody. It hurts. God only used you as an agent for transformation, give the glory to God.
2) Let the man be head of the home no matter the financial, economic,
physical and emotional health situation prevailing in the couple’s life whilst the woman exercises diligence in the use of the tongue.
3) Having children should not be the ultimate objective in marriage. They are given to enhance your marriage. When God delays in giving you a child, have every reason to live a happy marital life.
4) Sex is a major morale booster after a hard day’s stressful life. Try to be sexual beings and not “Angels” in that marriage
5) Resort to God often and less to men to solve your marital disputes.
6) Let the women ” Make up” their characters much more than they make up their body.
Indeed, marriage is not for small boys because small boys struggle to forgive, demand everything speedily, lack the patience to wait, have so many friends etc.
Make every effort to let that marriage work and may God help us.

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