Friday, 23 June 2017

National Security in Post Military Nigeria

                              By Bayo Ogunmupe
    National Security, Democracy and Good Governance in post military rule Nigeria is the title of Dr Dan Mou's latest book. It is in two volumes; this is volume one. It belongs to the genre of Mou's tracts on Nigerian politics and society after military rule. First published by Author House in December 2016; the book is massive in volume, printed on glossy paper-back. The book highlights that Nigerian security, economy, political and social problems have been intractable since the civil war. It says Nigeria's challenging security, democratic and governance problems would get better depending on what happens to the 71 percent of the population still living below poverty line.
    This is so, despite the billions of dollars realized from crude oil over the past half a century. This volume reveals that one does not have to be a prophet to predict that without good governance, team work and inclusive growth, Nigeria may witness civil disobedience, insurgency, kidnapping  and the breakdown of law and order. Besides, more of her citizens will check out of the country to become migrants. Sadly, Dr Mou's predictions have come true as thousands of Nigerians perished trying to cross to Europe through the Mediterranean.
    However, under such intense pressures, for self preservation, the Nigerian government will be forced by objective conditions to move against groups and classes in the country. Just as it is happening now, as President Muhammadu Buhari is exposing corruption such as the Ikoyigate and the like. Those who have long captured and hijacked the Nigerian state and its resources for their exclusive use are now being exposed.
    National security's first volume has 14 chapters, three parts, 16 appendices and 856 pages. This book shows that Nigeria's social classes which were hitherto very docile, are now very active, even nearly becoming militant. They are now demanding the dividends of democracy. These new militants countrywide have long eluded the 71 percent of Nigeria's population now languishing below poverty line. According to the National Bureau of Statistics, in spite of the billions of petrol dollars Nigeria has garnered as revenue over the years, the majority of the people are still so poor that Nigeria is the worst country for a child to be born in as at 2016.
    This book warns that the demands of the down trodden such as poverty alleviation, inclusive growth and equality before the law, if not met, will culminate in social fragmentation in the years to come. Thus, Mou is looking like a prophet as militancy grows by the day organized by the Oodu Peoples Congress, the Movement for the Actualization of the Sovereign State of Biafra and the Indigenous People of Biafra. Indeed, Mou continues in his testament that within the Nigerian reality, the federal government will be forced to move against the corrupt elite which has ruined the country to the detriment of the Nigerian people. It is only after political, social and ideological reforms have taken place that national security, democracy and true federalism will become internalized by the Nigerian people.
    It is after this projected social transformation that Nigeria would have started on the road to actualizing its destiny's role due to its size and prosperity as the authentic African giant. And we're living witnesses to the collapse of despotism around the world. This has aggravated agitation  for political participation of the youth and the poor.  Just before the publication of this book, participation revolution has engulfed  Nigeria. However, Mou  has addressed here, the form this revolution has assumed within Nigeria. Particularly limited is our knowledge of how and why these agitations  and the demands for autonomy have come to affect our  national security.
    Indeed, this widespread dissatisfaction is bringing about great challenges  to the government. But it is noteworthy that the army voluntarily relinquished power to civilians. They did not wait till we had our own Arab Spring before doing so. More so Mou is able to resolve some mistaken views of Nigerian politics. The first mistaken view is that national security  cannot thrive in a democracy, that is to say only the military can guarantee security. Secondly, that our economic conditions affect national security. Here, Mou asserts that a democratic environment is a conducive place to pursue the goals of national security and good governance. Finally, poor security arose due to weak political institutions and poor leadership. Actually, leadership determines the quality of our national security,democracy and good governance.
    Severe economic conditions such as depression generate cleavages and class based conflicts which undermine security. Each group attempts to capture state power to favour their exclusive  interests. As the prosperity of a nation shrinks, these cleavages increase and the struggle becomes more intense. Corruption also exacerbates instability as public servants engage in primitive accumulation of capital for their private benefit.
    It is such failings that have culminated in Boko Haram insurgency and militancy in the Niger Delta. Mou reveals that in Nigeria good governance means social welfare, consequently,not only corruption is ravaging the country, disparity in income is also subversive of national security. Unfortunately, Nigerians have come to realize the fallacy of prosperity trickling down that will cushion  their suffering. What is more the state managers are restrained by the thieving elite from taking drastic measures  that will provide succour for the people.
      To that end budget surpluses were venerated. It was used to slow down economic development. This practice of hoarding money slowed down industrial growth  and our growth has been declining since 1993. The author, Dr Mou is currently the chair of Centre for Poverty Eradication in Abuja, Nigeria. A graduate of political science of the University of Ibadan, he obtained his PhD from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, USA, retired from public service as Adviser to National Security Advisers of three different administrations in Nigeria. He has written seven books on public policy analysis.

Truths that will save your heirs

                          By Bayo Ogunmupe
    Owing to our growing knowledge of nutrition, children grow up very fast nowadays. Before you know it, they are out there in the real world; you are left hoping you've done enough for their workaday encounters. As parents, often we feel concerned about our ward's well-being and education. In fact from research we've discovered the well-being and education of wards as heirs are more important to parents than anything else. With heirs running all over the place asking questions about everything under the sun, we are compelled to share so many truths for the well-being of the future generation of Nigerians.
    Thus, here are some useful canons that can transform the world of the coming generation. One, learning how to think is more important than learning what to think. Your future is determined by the decisions you take in the present. Which is why you must take wise decisions. Your present situation in life was determined by your past decisions. So it is important to learn how to think. Two, life is not a bed of roses, but you get stronger as you play along. Allow yourself and heirs the freedom to experience things on their own  terms. Let heirs learn from life firsthand. Journeying through life on your feet is a learning process. You become stronger, become more confident learning from experience.
    Three, a major disappointment in life results from misplaced priorities and expectations. Our expectations balloon with each passing day. Approach life with a positive mental attitude. Four, worry is an enemy of personal growth. It steals your joy and keeps you busy doing absolutely nothing. With worry you use your imagination wrongly by thinking of the evil that may befall you, whereas, what you imagine becomes your reality. Use your imagination to express the way you wish to be.
    Five, being grateful makes you happier and healthier. A lifelong pursuit of happiness means finding meaning in life. Having a clear-cut goal enables you to keep track of your life and add meaning to it. The pursuit of happiness is far more elusive, if it is not based on any particular circumstance or goal. What you can really pursue is meaning; living a meaningful life. Six, the right journey is in the destination. The most beneficial experience is not in actually achieving what you want, but in seeking it. It is the journey towards your goal that matters because goals move forward  with you as you chase them.
    An example of a moving goal is the pursuit of the Nobel Prize. It is awarded yearly. It is the world's greatest award and it determines how creative a people are. Nigeria with a population of 180 million has one Nobel laureate. Compared to Israel which has 8.3 million people and with nine Nobel laureates. From this comparison you can affirm that Nigerians are not as creative as they believe they are. That is why we are in the governance mess that we are. As you pursue such goals, your life becomes more meaningful and you learn along the way. Within such a journey, passions are realized, love is found, strength and sagacity are gained. You cannot gain any of that without firsthand living. Which is why the right journey is in the destination.
    Finally, the most effective road to victory is to embrace what you want. Never think of what you do not want. By focusing on what you want you abandon the negative. Action speaks louder than words. Children are never good at listening to their parents but they never fail to imitate them. Let your heirs watch you set good examples in all that you do. Then reinforce actions with verbal guidance. Ultimately, what you want in life comes from what you really do in life.

Maxims that will change your destiny

                             By Bayo Ogunmupe
    In your lifelong pursuit of excellence, your willingness to work smart, go the extra mile will open doors for you. The best way to help your ward is teaching him to endure some discomfort. This is because the best things are hard to come by; and if you shy away from difficulty and discomfort, you will miss out from lessons. Mastering a new skill is hard. Building a business  entails courage. Writing a book is tiresome. Marriage and parenting are hazardous. Staying in shape and maintaining physical wellness are hard. But all of these are amazingly compelling and well worth every bit of effort you can muster. When you become good at doing hard things, then you can do anything you put your mind to.
    However, in life, uncertainty is inevitable and must be embraced in order to achieve your life ambition. Acting within the spectre of uncertainty forces you out into the open where opportunity is waiting. Thus, learning to live with uncertainty early in life is indispensable for your greatness. Starting a business for example, could be very worthwhile, but if you are scared of uncertainty,you will skip it and miss the bounties therefrom.  Continually cowering in the face of uncertainty spells doom for prosperity and entrepreneurship development. 
    Indeed, lack of initiative holds more people back than intelligence ever could. It does not matter if you own the intelligence of a genius, you cannot change anything or make progress without diligent efforts. There is a huge difference between knowing how to do something and actually doing it. Knowledge and intelligence are useless to a person unwilling to take action. Always praise your ward for making effort by taking action, not for his intelligence. When you praise your child for his effort, not his intelligence, you are bringing attention to something he can control. This is immensely beneficial because it teaches him persistence; that progress through hard work is possible. This gives him confidence, for he then sees himself "in control" of his success in life.
    Conversely, emphasizing his God given intelligence takes the sail out of your child's control; providing no good formula for responding to failure. In turn, your child may begin to think of his innate intelligence as an end in itself; making him to disregard the importance of initiative, courage and effort to learn and grow. But not everything in life goes as planned. Tell your ward that failure isn't a bad thing. Unexpected obstacles may crop up to shift perspectives and strengthen his resolve to pursue success. Besides, the career destination your heir is in love with may not be feasible after all. For example the esteemed diplomatic career I trained for, was truncated by military rule. But my subsequent shift into journalism and academics and journalism was no less satisfying.
    Focusing less on the future but more on what you can do now, will be beneficial no matter what the future brings. Read inspiring books, learn and practice useful skills to build yourself into an Internet guru. Be adventurous by seeking real world experiences. Cultivate healthy relationships for such efforts will assist you in any future circumstances that come your way. Incredible distance can be covered over time with tiny steps. Most people fritter away their time on frivolities such as watching television, social media and football. A year of the rigmarole invested in practising painting, website designing or writing a blog will earn you accolades as an opinion leader or man of learning. 
    Besides, goals don't make things happen, only rituals do. As a parent, your goal must be to be a great role model while your ritual should be the time and effort you commit to setting good examples for your heirs each day. As an entrepreneur, your goal is to build a great enterprise while your ritual is your daily work ethic combined with your marketing, management and sales strategies. You will triumph over evil if your life is founded on integrity, you hang around people of character and you are generous to others.

Strategies for gaining your miracle

                          By Bayo Ogunmupe
    Life is like chess, you can only move half the time. The other half you have to wait for the other person to make his move. Half the time, God is waiting for you to make a move. Wisdom gained from experience is the key to success in public life. Coming together is the beginning; keeping together is progress and in working together everyone achieves more. But half the time you wait for Allah to make His move. And that's very difficult if you're impatient.
    Perhaps you're single, waiting to meet Mr right. It is frustrating. When is he going to walk into your arms? Perhaps you are praying for a job, or working on your start up. Or you are waiting for your first baby and so far, despite all, your prayer has not been answered. And yet you are waiting. Do not  stop waiting. Summarize the operating system in the world as follows: If you are in control, work. If you are not in control, wait. You must work passionately  or wait patiently. But this is easier said than done. Nice in theory, difficult to apply.
    These strategies are difficult to apply because many people confuse the two worlds of working and waiting. More often we do the opposite. We wit when we are in control and work when we're not in control. For both, it is disastrous. What is to be done? You must work passionately or wait patently. I have met people who wait and wait; even when they can do something about their situation. I have met students who complain to God: "Lord why did you make me fail my exams?" even when many weeks before the exam, all they did was playing around. I have met people who complain to Jehovah, "God why do I lack money?" even though they never save; never invest and don't develop themselves.
    A major weakness of religious fanatics is that they hate hustling. They never work with with passion believing their religiosity will compel miracles from heaven. I am not only a critic I am a teacher of finance and prosperity. Conversations with a brother-in-law, an Internet expert and employee of Google, forced me to acquire financial intelligence. Which is why I encourage you to be crazy at your work; keep improving yourself by reading, attending seminars and finding mentors.
    And after doing all you can, stop. I have met workaholics, who work and work; even when in an area where they are no longer in control. These are perpetual worriers. Here is my definition of their malady:worry. Worry is the seeking to control what you can never control. It is like seeking to control your kids, your spouse, your relatives and friends. Stop trying to control everyone. You can only inspire, influence and instruct others. Thereafter, let go,  leave them to God, otherwise worry will kill you.
    Remember the Babel people  were impatient, which was why they fell from grace. The people at the Pentecost waited for nine days; they received the Holy Spirit, and from there stood firm and walked on to spread the gospel of Jesus. Work smart, work passionately; but at a point wait patiently for your dreams to come true. Of all the gifts we have as humans, the one most outstanding, giant-like, standing above the others, is our creative abilities. It is responsible for the technological progress we enjoy today: air travel, the world wide web, facebook and the global system of mass communication. Therefore, think smart, think creatively.

We must not build in vain

                      By Bayo Ogunmupe
    "We must not build in vain" is the title of the opening address of the Grand Administrator and director, Supreme Board of AMORC, Dr Kenneth Idiodi at 2017 Lagos conclave of the Rosicrucian Order, AMORC, held on 13 May, 2017 in Ikeja, Lagos. The seminar was attended by hundreds of AMORC members and thousands of their friends. In his address Dr Idiodi said socio economic development was a most welcome theme for Lagos zone's conclave, coming as it did during these austere times in Nigeria. He said because of the enormous blessings that God has bestowed on Nigeria in human and material resources, our country has often been described as the jewel of Africa.
    According to Idiodi, Nigeria should have been an advanced nation by now with multiple highways and fly-overs crisscrossing the land; elegant suspension bridges hanging over valleys and rivers; high speed electric trains running on railways and sub-ways below; clean mega-cities efficiently administered with uninterrupted power supply and adorned with beautiful environmentally friendly buildings; world class educational institutions churning out acclaimed scholars; vast farms producing  quality food; industries of all types producing equipment and various devices  for the populace; tourist friendly recreational facilities bustling with activity and a place where peace, security, prosperity and opportunity abide.
    The grand administrator continued, "when you visualize this and compare it to the present situation in Nigeria, the contrast is so stark that it is pitiful. And why is it that Nigeria has failed to become the pride of Africa and the black race?"  The blame falls on all of us as citizens.  There isn't any justification to place the blame on our leaders. Our leaders are the products of this society. The problems of the leadership are rooted in this society.
    "And this is why Rosicrucianism is of vital importance in the world today. The greater the number of individuals equipped with the techniques of resolving personal problems, the better the society will be  and of course the better nation. "The Rosicrucian path incorporates both metaphysics and mysticism. Metaphysics is that which covers intuition, visualization and healing techniques. Mysticism is simply the process by which you may experience the conscious union with your creator, Divine mind, universal intelligence or what some Rosicrucians call the God of their Hearts."
    This is done by learning and applying natural laws which allow you to experience Cosmic consciousness. The Rosicrucian Order does not define the deity. It leaves you free to discover this by reflection. Soon a deep yearning for self improvement and moral rectitude develops in the Rosicrucian student  as progress is made along the path of self mastery. Chief Idiodi concludes by saying, "the pursuit of health, wealth, happiness  and peace are the main goals essential for national prosperity."
    Rosicrucianism for socio economic development as the theme of the conclave was amplified by Dr Augustine Agugua of the Department of Sociology, University of Lagos in his lecture. Therein he discussed a heart rending scenario upon which Nigeria was adjudged the worst  country for a baby to be born in as at 2016. For the welcome address on behalf of the Lagos Zone of the Ancient and Mystical Order Rosae Crucis (AMORC), its chairman for the 2017 planning committee, Chief Amobi Nwokafor thanked everyone in attendance, rejoicing over the tumultuous presence of members and well wishers. Chief Nwokafor further disclosed that the global events today, particularly the current economic recession in Nigeria  necessitated that "we  develop the capacity to frequently engage our minds in activities that will shape the thinking of of the members of our society." 
    Nwokafor said that it was for that purpose that the Rosicrucians convened the gathering. he said it was part of their contribution to the socio economic development of Nigeria. He intimated us of Dr Agugua's Improvement Agenda for the Socio economic  development  of Nigeria. As he had predicted, after the lecture, our lives were never the same again.

Laws that will transform your life

                          By Bayo Ogunmupe
    Our lives can be seen as a box; when we do good, we fill the box with good things and vice versa, when we do something bad, we fill it with bad things. Throughout our lives, we randomly pull something out of that box. The more good things you do, the more likely that you will pull something good out of the box. Most of the choices are not conscious choices, everything is left to chance. This means that doing good deeds will not always  be rewarded; and doing bad deeds will not always be punished.
    There is something much more significant and important. That important thing is how you choose to live your whole life. Really, if you want something to happen in your life, you should actively act to achieve it. This is something you forget at some stages in your life. You cannot always hope that things will just happen as you want, without necessary effort. You should never rely on things happening spontaneously without propelling them with action. You should always control yourself.
    Indeed, it is yourself you can only control. You cannot control what others do. But you bear full responsibility for your own actions. Your life is your own creation. You decide which direction to take while you are the sole controller of your destiny. Failure will continue to persist in your life until the lesson is learned. One of the rules of karma is that until the lesson is learned, we will continue to make the same mistakes. The story will continue to repeat until you learn something. This is true for both nations and individuals.
    The successes that happen to us have value only when we have worked to achieve them. The true value of things does not come from how much we have spent on them; but of how assiduously we worked to get them. The biggest personal victories are those that are beneficial to everyone. If you get rich, it is good for you, but you are just an individual. The greatest victories are those that benefit the whole community. Dedication to the good of a nation brings positive karmic influences which in turn provides a tremendous popular support.
    And the most important universal law of abundance is being happy all the time. The energy of happiness is very powerful and does erase bad karma. Bad karma can be cleaned through making others happy. Meditation, visualization and chakra cleaning can also erase bad karma. To be happy, invest time, energy and money into yourself everyday. Happiness comes as a side effect of learning new skills, challenging yourself and helping others. Adapt and stretch yourself to accommodate new ideas and new information.
    When you invest in yourself, you develop higher levels of creativity and you can never lose the battle for prominence. And over time you will change the trajectory of your life, since you are the product of what you know. The more time, energy and money you invest acquiring pertinent knowledge,  the more control you have over your life. The one lie you learned when you were young is still holding you back. Starting all over again isn't an option. That is the great lie that is hindering your progress.  
    The idea that starting all over as being bad is baked right into our educational system. We send children to universities at 18; telling them to choose careers that  they will be happy with for the next 40 years. But what if you choose wrong? And that is what often happens. Over time through bouts of failure and hardship, you learn the truth through experience. Then you change to new career paths. The truth is that no one wins in a game of chess by only moving forward. Sometimes, you have to move backwards to put yourself in a position to win. This is a perfect metaphor for life. Often, you feel running into a dead end. That is actually a sign you are not on the right path. Gradually, life teaches us U turns are allowed. So, turn around when you must.

Health habits of happy people

                              By Bayo Ogunmupe
    There are many ways to heighten your happiness. Actually, health is wealth. It is important to take care of your health. Good health creates happiness. No matter what, your health should be your first priority. Sadly, the moment it comes to taking care of ourselves, we procrastinate. Do you know that those tired, sunken eyes might not be due to lack of sleep or overwork? It could be prolonged dehydration. Those unexpected bolts of pain on your leg and back could be as a result of calcium deficiency.
    That giddy feeling and persistent headache could be low levels of haemoglobin. Put simply, you may look healthy from outside, but sickness often starts from inside. We should always keep in mind that sound health starts from within. Ignoring a problem only aggravate it and leading to further complications. So, whenever you feel changes within you, seek for help to restore your health without delay. Remember a law of medicine, prevention is better than cure.
    The steps you take to maintain your good health, definitely act as good and effective mechanism against most illnesses. They also contribute to your gaining a long and healthy life. Therefore, the best thing you can do for your happiness is to take care of yourself and your personal health. No matter how busy you are, find time to take care of your health. Regular checkups and tweaks in your diet and lifestyle will help you more than you ever think.
    What are the real health challenges you can face? If there is none, glory be to God. But if there is, tell a doctor or pharmacist without any further delay. Thereafter, savour the joy of simple pleasures. The best things in life are free. They are governed by Mother nature and appear right in front of you at various locations and times. Holding hands with someone you love, taking part in such moments frequently bring unpredictable bursts of happiness.into your life.
    Look for health and happiness in the right places. When we were young we looked for happiness in drugs, sex and alcohol, parties, fast cars and extreme sports. When we got older, we looked for happiness in more mature ways- a stable life partner; romantic getaways- walks along the beach; jazz music, the cinema and a night at the bar with friends. Surely some of these things make us happy and sane. They raise our health and happiness temporarily.
    Since humans have a baseline of happiness, certain events heighten our outlook: like an unexpected windfall. But the answer is for us to raise our happiness level, enjoying the moment but never ignoring our long term goals. What will you be proud to have accomplished or failed to gain, five years from now? To deepen your happiness, perform random acts of kindness on a regular basis. Pay a stranger's bus fare. Buy your office girl flowers, just to say thank you. Help an elderly with her groceries.
    Nothing is more rewarding than putting smiles on the faces of your neighbours. Always help others whenever you are able, you get what you give. When you make a positive impact on the life of others, you are making a positive impact on your own life as well. Share time with people you care about. The quality of your personal relationships correlates directly with your overall sense of worth and happiness. In the midst of life's chaos, we forget to do the little things that remind us we're part of something greater than ourselves.
    We need a certain amount of contact with others to feel fully human and alive. You need only a certain number of friends to be happy. You don't need many friends. Accept things when they are less than perfect. When in a fix during decision making, make an educated guess on the next logical step. Your failures along the road to your goals are opportunities to learn and grow. The world does not reward perfectionists, it rewards those who get things done. Which is why you should invest time, money and energy on yourself everyday. Happiness is a side-effect of learning new skills and bettering yourself.