Sunday, 12 November 2017

Nigeria on the precipice



                            By Bayo Ogunmupe
    This is a valuable book on issues, options and solutions to the Nigerian political crisis. Nigeria on the precipice contains lessons for emerging multiethnic and democratic societies. Written by Michael Owhoko, the book tells the story of how the British created Nigeria in 1914 without regard to the cultural differences and the incompatibility of the northern and southern protectorates of Nigeria. This was why Nigeria has been wracked by problems ever since. According to Owhoko, two groups are laying claims to the control and domination of Nigeria.This culminated in a military coup on 15 January 1966.
    That was followed by a counter coup led by the second group six months later. The Nigerian civil war fought between 1967 and 1970 was part of the violence that has crippled the nation. With the persistent call for a change from unitary system to true federalism, it is certain that Nigerians are not satisfied with the current system of government. Nigeria on the precipice is a small book. Published this year by iUniverse, Bloomington, Indiana, United States; it has seven chapters, an introduction, a conclusion and Endnotes swelled the book into 104 pages.
    The first two chapters deal with the historical development of nigeria and her contractual federal system of government. So far our leaders have not responded to the seething discontent pervading the country. The author advises that they should hold a referendum to decide which system of government to adopt. The proposed referendum is a sine qua non if nigeria is to avoid plunging into the precipice. Owhoko avers that only a referendum would enable the government regain the trust of the people impugned by endless looting  and insincerity of past leaders.
    In the opinion of the book, if our leaders don't start paying attention to the demands of the people, Nigeria will  continue to be plagued with insurrection, instability and the consequences of Britain's divide and conquer strategy. Even the National Youth Service Corps, a one year programme designed by the federal government to engender national integration, has failed to achieve its objective. Rather than foster unity, the programme has become a conduit pipe to loot the national treasury; it is also creating awareness of the deep animosity incompatibility of cultures existing in the country.
    What is more, attempts by presidents Olusegun Obasanjo and Ebele Jonathan to restructure the federation failed due to sabotage induced by entrenched interests that currently benefit from the status quo. These interest are the power brokers controlling the political leadership with network of conspiracies to frustrate any attempt to restructure the country. However, I disagree with the author that Britain was mischievous in amalgamating Nigeria's two protectorates in 1914, knowing that it would not work due to the heterogenous nature of the country.
    Nigeria is failing due to the unwarranted ambitions of the Fulani and the Igbo to control and dominate Nigeria. Which was why unitary government was foisted on Nigeria by General Johnson Aguiyi Ironsi. The consequence has been the alienation of the natural resources from their owners. Now that it is apparent that neither the Fulani nor the Igbo has the capacity to dominate Nigeria we should restructure to true federalism and the restoration of the revenue allocation system of the First Republic.
    Without doubt, the federal system of government has been accepted as a viable system of social contract in Nigeria. It is also known that every federation varies slightly in structure and operation based on history and peculiar needs. For a federation to be viable, the federating units must be autonomous. Neither the state nor the centre is inferior to the other, but autonomous and interdependent. The federal system practised in Nigeria during the first republic fitted perfectly into our diverse ethnic and cultural composition.
    The regions were autonomous, with both the regions and the centre deriving their powers from the Constitution. The powers, duties and responsibilities of each tier were clearly spelt out under the exclusive, concurrent and residual lists in the Basic Law. Were it not for the 1966 coup which altered the system, Nigeria would have been transformed and grown into an enviable power in the comity of nations. Another feature of federalism of the first republic was the composition of the regions.
    It was based on linguistic grouping. That provided a huge advantage due to the assemblage of people with similar attitudes, social values and political beliefs. This makes it easier for them to live together under an inclusive government. The federating units also had constitutions, regional police and coats of arms. They also practised the fiscal federalism which was acceptable to both tiers without any observable agitation.
    Then, fiscal federalism was as follows: There were revenues collected and retained by the centre. There were those collected by the centre but credited to the regions, according to derivation or consumption. Also there were revenues collected by the centre but allocated to a distributable pool account and shared between the regions in the percentages of 42 to the north, 30 to the East, 20 to the West and eight to the Midwest. There were revenues collected and retained by the regions.
    Of particular interest was revenue distributed to the regions on the basis of derivation, which was 50 percent of proceeds generated from rents and royalties of mineral resources. Regions where these resources were found  were paid and enjoyed 50 percent. The remaining 50 percent was retained by the centre for national development. Until Providence raised oil and gas from the Niger Delta, the minorities of the Niger Delta earned zero income from derivation.
    But instead of continuing with 50 percent derivation, it was abandoned. However, pressure from the Niger Delta forced President Shehu Shagari to increase derivation to 1.5 percent. This was raised to three percent by President Ibrahim Babangida. However, the 1999 Constitution  gave 13 percent. Reversion to 50 percent was refused till today. Lack of sincerity and courage to revert to the old order is part of the problems  of Nigeria. There is obvious conspiracy of silence from the big tribes to deprive the  Niger  Delta people from enjoying 50 percent derivation proceeds from oil and gas: resources that were deposited in their land by God.
    The violent overthrow of the government of Tafawa Balewa in 1966, brought in the unitary system of government. Through Decree 34 of 1966, the new leader, General Aguiyi Ironsi replaced federalism with the unitary system of government. The pattern of killings in the coup justifiably called into question the sincerity of the plotters. In executing his new system, Ironsi provoked fears of Igbo domination of Nigeria. These fears first led to the pogrom against the Igbo in northern Nigeria. 
    Fears of Igbo domination were reinforced by the Igbo domination of the economy,bureaucracy and commerce. Ironsi never initiated any policy to allay the fears of the other ethnic groups. In reaction to the loss of power, a counter coup was hatched by which  Ironsi and Colonel Adekunle Fajuyi were killed and Colonel Yakubu Gowon was thrust into power. These coups abrogated derivation and introduced ethnic consciousness into the country.
    So far, we have related the origin and reasons for agitation for reconstruction in Nigeria. If Gowon had reverted to federalism  and 50 percent derivation, our story as a nation would have been different. But the legacy of injustice from Ironsi, Gowon and their successors fuelled instability in Nigeria. Apparently, the current system isn't working and cannot deliver on the aspirations of Nigerians. Therefore what are the rescue measures needed for Nigeria's renewal?
    For Owhoko, conducting a referendum is the solution. Through a referendum the book avow, the people can decide which system of government to adopt. Thus, the way out of the imbroglio is that a referendum be activated to resolve Nigeria's contending political logjam. Indecision by the government is pushing Nigeria beyond the cliff where it currently stands. With a referendum, the government would not only make headway on overcoming the problems,it will also regain the trust of the people.
    The author, Michael Owhoko is a media and public relations practitioner. He had mostly worked in the banking, oil and gas and media industries. He earned degrees in political science, mass communication and is the publisher of Media Issues, an online newspaper. He is also the author of The Language of Oil and Gas and Career Frustration in the Workplace. Nigeria on the precipice is essential reading for journalists, legislators, politicians and anyone seeking to rescue Nigeria as the much desired messiah.

MONUMENT OF WASTE 1



The world today celebrates superficiality and excess, placing greater value on material possessions and frivolities. We often concern ourselves more with what others think of us, what we own, and our outward appearance, and less with that which pleases Allah the Almighty, which would do us the most good in this life and the next. Many of us are caught up in materialism and fail to appreciate the bounties Allah generously allows each of us to secure in this life: We are vain, proud and loud in our ways. In street parlance; Eficy!  In the process, we waste our time obsessively accumulating and consuming more “stuff” than we need, and wastefully tossing the excess aside rather than sharing what we have with those who are less fortunate. If you are so caught up in showing off your latest car, outfit, or diamond rings, how can you concentrate your efforts on helping those in need? Where does Allah and His injunctions currently rank in your life? As it is with individuals, so is it with nations. Nations too engage in waste; which is even more colossal.
Food, for example, is a valuable resource often taken for granted. According to a research published on the internet, Food waste—which represents a third of all food produced globally—is a major area where the Earth’s resources could be used more responsibly. Before food is even purchased, losses occur due to improper handling, quality deterioration during transport, and inadequate infrastructure for cooling and storage: This is particularly true in our clime where we lack the requisite technology. Fruit and vegetables losses during this stage have been estimated at 2-20 percent in developed countries, and at 24-40 percent in developing countries. 
Consumers in high-income countries discard up to 30 percent of fruit and vegetable purchases and trim products up to 33 percent by weight during household preparation. 1.3 billion tons of food are wasted every year; this amounts to US$1 trillion dollars of wasted or lost food. Just one quarter of all wasted food could feed the 795 million undernourished people around the world who suffer from hunger. Food waste in rich countries (222 million tons) is approximately equivalent to all of the food produced in Sub-Saharan Africa (230 million tons). A European or North American consumer wastes 15 times more food than a typical African consumer. Lack of technology and infrastructure is the main cause of food waste in Africa, as opposed to household food waste in the developed world. Food waste in Europe alone could feed 200 million hungry people.
Many of us are blessed to be able to walk into our kitchens at any time and open a refrigerator full of food throughout the year. Having the blessing of such abundance can easily result in waste if we fail to remind ourselves often that this is a blessing from Allah the Almighty. It is sinful to waste such a generosity, and we as believers are expected to make good use of our resources and not be wasteful or excessive.
Islam encourages moderation in all things. Anything over and above is considered a waste. Allah says:
It is He who produceth gardens, with trellises and without, and dates, and tilth with produce of all kinds, and olives and pomegranates, similar (in kind) and different (in variety): Eat of their fruit in their season, but render the dues that are proper on the day that the harvest is gathered. But waste not by excess: For Allah loveth not the wasters. (Quran 6:141)
These limits have been set for the reason that all Muslims, in light of their social positions and wealth, have a responsibility towards the human society in which they live. If people were to be wasteful and extravagant, they would be harming that society and shirking their human responsibilities; in addition, they would develop and cultivate negative personal characteristics which would be destructive to them on an individual level. 
Imam Sadiq (a) has mentioned the following in a tradition: 'How many a poor people who might be more extravagant than the wealthy! It was asked of him: How can this be so? Imam Sadiq (a) replied: The wealthy individual spends out of what he has but the poverty stricken individual spends beyond his financial position.'
An individual who wastes in regards to the public treasury, his life, and his day to day expenditures with full knowledge and awareness is considered as being far from the reality of religion and he cannot be considered as being on the straight path (the Sirat al-Mustaqim)
A nation can only be considered powerful if, besides believing in Allah and declaring Him to be one, it has a strong economy; and its economy will not be powerful unless its savings and reserves exceed what both its population and government tend to consume, whether they be individuals or groups. This is mainly because a nation’s savings and reserves in terms of its nutritional resources as well as its total produce do represent its real power to be handed down to the future generations. If only we could heed this admonition.
The improper use and waste of resources pulls humanity towards corruption and societal destruction. This can even reach the point where an individual stops caring about the needs of others and only cares about himself.
Another social consequence of waste, is the decline of governments. Ibn Khaldun, one of the Muslim sociologists, has mentioned that whenever a government would become afflicted with Israaf and extravagance, it would soon fall into decline. Allah said:
In the end We fulfilled to them Our promise, and We saved them and those whom We pleased, but We destroyed those who transgressed beyond bounds.  (Quran 21:9)
Barka Juma’at and a Happy Weekend

Lastline: Today 27th October, we congratulate our brother Chief Oladele Fajemirokun on his installation, as the Baba Oba Ifewara, his ancestral homestead. Chief Dr. Dele Fajemirokun is also a recipient of many chieftaincy titles amongst which are: Bajulaiye of Okeigbo; Bobagunwa of Ifewara; Obaluaro of Ado Ekiti; Fiwajoye of Ipetu Modu; Amuwajoye of Mopa-land: And recently, installed as the Atayese of Ondo Kingdom.  Ajepe o!
Babatunde Jose
+2348033110822

LEADERSHIP AND PROSPERITY OF NATIONS




By Chief.Bayo Ogunmupe

A REVIEW
THE benefit of experience has shown that great prosperous nations have attained prosperity via good institutions, sound socio-economic policies, and virile system and ethics. But in many underdeveloped countries, good policies and institutions have not translated to prosperity.
    Nigeria, for example, has promoted a litany of supposedly sound socio-economic policies in the last two years, yet there are no indications that the nation is getting out of recession. It goes to show, therefore, that beyond the numerous formulas for prosperity rest the significant role of leadership.
   It is on the basis of this unimpeachable truth that Dr. Kriz David’s book Leadership and Prosperity of Nations is timely and desirable. The book projects the idea that what separate poor nations from prosperous nations is the quality of leadership. In the foreword to the book, Rev. Sam Adeyemi, one of Nigeria’s strongest voice on the subject of leadership, corroborate Dr. Kriz David’s position thus: Clearly, leadership makes the difference and the prosperity and abundance of nations and communities are created by men and not by spirit.”
   Leadership and Prosperity of Nations comprises seven chapters. The author in the first three chapters laid the foundation for the search for prosperity of nations; the pathway to prosperity; and systems dynamics, theories and assumptions of social change that establish the leverage points for prosperity of nations.
   In the first three chapters, the author explored the diverse criteria for determining the prosperity of nations, providing data and presenting indices for economic freedom. He explored different research methods on why nations fail and the different approaches applied in resolving the crisis of failure of nations.
   To drive his message home, the author did a comprehensive study of ten prosperous nations, and he presented lessons we can learn from the different transformation stories of prosperity. The ten nations researched in the book are: Hong Kong, Dubai, Malaysia, Singapore, Switzerland, The United States of America, Denmark, Finland, South Korea and Indonesia.
   He highlighted these nations are established on the value system that places premium on human lives, promotes equality, economic and social freedom of all citizens and high standard of living. Also, that, what these nations have in common include: leadership with foresight; high premium on learning and the respect for rule of law which establish strong institutions that promotes meritocracy, quest for excellence and do not harbor corruption.
   The next three chapters of the book, chapter 4, 5 and 6, identify the three leverage points leaders of poor nations like Nigeria can explore to secure prosperity of nations. What Kriz proposes in the first instance as the leverage points for prosperity appears ordinary and common place, but upon a careful study, the reader is stunned by the indelible truth about why many nations like Nigeria have wallowed in the dark, searching for prosperity that has remained elusive.
Before explicating these leverage points, Dr. Kriz David made it very clear that prosperity in the context of this book is not necessarily about a nation with good roads, regular power supply, clean drinkable water, good salary for workers, food for citizens, and happiness for the few – these things are available in part in many poor and failed nations like Nigeria.
   Prosperity in the context of this book is a complete experience. It is the endless pursuit of total happiness and comfort for all. This type of prosperity reflects positively in all aspects of the people’s social and civil lives – the culture, career, business, family, education, infrastructure, health, leisure, environment – all such things that make life beautiful.
   In presenting the leverage points of prosperity, Dr. Kriz David also established that prosperity in a nation cannot be sustained when solutions to the challenges of societies are addressed to the symptoms. All prosperous nations dig deep and adopt holistic approach of problem solving to secure unbreakable prosperity for their nation. This, perhaps, is the reason supposedly small countries like Denmark and Switzerland will never be trapped in the quagmire of failed States.
   Promoting the three leverage points of prosperity further, Dr. Kriz David affirms that attaining enduring prosperity is not a flash in the pan. It is based on systems thinking that is built methodically over time. And that when this holistic process is genuinely and diligently followed through, the result become the Singapore we know today, the Dubai we love to visit today, the Hong Kong that has remained the hub of international business today, and the Indonesia or Malaysia that have become the cynosure of international trade.
   What is clear in all these is that prosperity will elude us if we consistently focus on the symptoms. We have indeed focused on the symptoms for 57 years in Nigeria and for many more years in other African nations. The result in many African countries is colossal failure in leadership and governance. What we have in return – an impoverished citizenry and a future of hopelessness and despair. The three pillars of prosperity recommended by Dr. Kriz David are FAITH, LEARNING and LAW.
Faith as a pillar of prosperity is not religion. It simply means the tenets upon which a nation is found – the virtues and values upon which the sovereignty of a nation or society is built. Without it, the nation has no direction for prosperity. Every nation should have faith as pillar of its national philosophy.
   One of the prominent examples of the adoption of FAITH for national prosperity is Singapore. Singapore proclamation of independence in 1965 makes clear its article of faith:
Singapore shall forever be a sovereign, democratic and independent nation founded upon the principles of liberty and justice and ever seeking the welfare and happiness of her people in a more just and equal society.
    Now I ask, on what article of faith does Nigeria’s economic policy, education, law, system of government and the likes rest? What are the values that shape our leaders, their socio-economic projects and projections, their health policies, housing and agricultural policies? None! We are a nation that dabbles into human and capital projects principally to secure short-term solutions. Sooner than later we find ourselves in an endless cycle of failure and backwardness.
   According to Dr. Kriz David, the very firm foundation upon which prosperity lies for nations is the article of faith. Great prosperous nations are guided by clearly and aptly crafted article of faith, which is foregrounded in some virtues! The process of attaining national prosperity may take a while, but if pursued rigorously through the pillars of the indelible truth and virtue that defines the existence of the truth and virtue that defines the existence of that nation, the resultant prosperity is endearingly and progressively consistent. This is the truth about all great nations such as the USA, Great Britain, Singapore, Australia, Malaysia and so on.
   Kriz, in this book posits that regardless of tongue and tribe, creed and clan, Nigeria as a nation, requires an article of faith upon which the prosperous ideal of our leaders would bear their root. This, indeed, is the fundamental error of leadership that has deprived us of prosperity through the years.
   The two other pillars of prosperity of nations, LEARNING and LAW, may not require details mention here, given the constraint of space. Suffice it to say, however, that learning or productivity system, human and social capital, the rule of law, the constitution, system of government, institutions and all other avenues that defines prosperity of nations draw inspiration from the declaration of faith.
   In the final chapter of the book titled, “through the Lens of the Futurists”, the author brought to bear his profound experience as an accomplished futurist and uncovered the crucible of leadership in Nigeria. He presented Nigeria as a nation going through trying times on account of the burden of leadership. Identifying and assessing socio-economic indicators such as insecurity, factionalized elite, a growing feeling of oppression, ethnic and religious intolerance, poverty, uneven development and huge economic debt, Dr. Kriz David cited the 2017 fragile state index that identified Nigeria as a failed state.
   The book ended with Dr. Kriz David’s proposition for the preferred future for Nigeria. On the problem of corruption, insecurity, poor standard of education, healthcare and inadequate power supply that have bedeviled and crippled Nigeria, Kriz identified INEQUALITY as the bane of the state and argued that the absence of an “article of faith” remains the root cause of the failure of leadership in Nigeria. He holds the view that The Declaration of Faith will solve the problem of inequality in Nigeria.
   Leadership and Prosperity of Nations is a book for everyone desirous of the prosperity of nations and the pursuit of happiness.
                  

Tackling beliefs that hold you back





                          By Bayo Ogunmupe
    It is impossible for you to get rid of all your negative thoughts and feelings. You can only change your response to them. During a recent research in the Caribbean, a marine biologist placed a big shark into a holding tank. Then, she released several bait fish into the tank with it. Expectedly, the shark quickly darted  around the tank, attacking and eating up the bait fish. The following day, the biologist inserted a strong piece of transparent fiberglass into the tank, partitioning it into two. She then put the shark on one side of the fiberglass and a new set of bait fish on the other.
    Again, the shark was on the attack. But this time the shark slammed into the fiberglass divider and bounced off. Undeterred, the shark kept repeating this behaviour every few minutes to no avail. Meanwhile the fish swam around unharmed in the second partition. Eventually, hours later, the shark gave up the chase. This experiment was repeated a dozen times over the next few weeks. Each time the shark got less aggressive, making fewer and fewer attacks at the bait fish, until eventually, the shark got tired of hitting the fiberglass divider. Thereafter, it stopped attacking altogether.
    The biologist then removed the fiberglass divider, but the shark refused to attack. The shark had been trained by its experience to believe a barrier existed between it and the bait fish; so the fish swam wherever they wished, free from harm. Like the shark, many of us, after experiencing setbacks and failures give up and stop trying. Like the shark in this story, we often believe that because we were unsuccessful in the past, we will always fail. Thus, we continue to see barriers in our heads, even when no real barriers exist between where we are and where we want to go. Let this be your wake up call.
    We all are imbued with incredible power by God inside us. But we also have our fiberglass dividers- self limiting  thoughts and beliefs that hold us back. Sometimes it a childhood experience or previous failure. Indeed, it might be something we were told when we were younger. Other times, it is just a lack of self confidence that gradually sneaks upon us over the years. In any case, here is what you need to know and remember.
    One, much of what you believe about your failures and limitations are bunkum. Sadly, we encounter insignificant rejections that drastically altered our mindset for years to come. We should never allow bad experience deter us from pursuing our goal. Once you identify specks of a self- limiting toxic belief, you should start attacking it.You start taking steps forward daily that counter the specks. Tiny victories garner more confidence, gradual momentum; bigger victories, greater confidence, until your thoughts and reality change for good.
    Two, your brain inaccurately matches patterns from the past with the present, which has given you many false beliefs and excuses. All too often you let past rejections dictate every move you make. This is a common damaging thought pattern human beings succumb to. You under-value yourself by believing some opinionated fanatic who once said you are a second rate brain. That made you look around thinking things will never work out in your favour.
      Update your belief system based on how your circumstances have changed. You must practice thinking better about the past and present, so you can ultimately live better fro now on. Three, feeling stuck and incapable is just a feeling, not a fact. Just because someone can do it  does mean you can do it also. You can only be prevented by negative thinking, not any intrinsic human weakness. It is easy to find excuses, but other people who also have considerable obstacles and who have done it anyway.
    Feeling incapable is only a feeling, not a fact. So never assume you are stuck with the way things are. Life changes every second so can you. It is never too late to live a life that makes you proud. Learn this, that there is no age limit on changing your goal. This is because goals don't make positive changes happen, only rituals do. So map out actions you can take to create change. And be specific on what you can do.

Nigerian Army, the siege of a nation







                            By Bayo Ogunmupe
    The Federal Republic of Nigerian Army, the siege of a nation, is the title of the autobiography of the retired Major General Mohammed Christopher Alli, a former chief of army staff. It chronicles the activities of army officers in Nigerian politics and society since the first military coup of 15 January 1966. This is an eyewitness account of the events of 1966, the civil war and 1984 when the military made a re-entry into Nigeria's political arena. The author showcases his close involvement in the administrative and intelligence matters as a member of General Sani Abacha's caucus.
    Thus, Alli was strategically positioned to expose several myths about military rule and the workings of Nigerian politics. This book radically alters perspectives on the options available to Nigerian military leaders of Alli's time while in active service. Chris Alli was a much decorated officer, who received professional training at the Nigerian Defence Academy, Warminster in the United Kingdom; in Pakistan and the National Defence College of India. In a distinguished career, he rose to the crucial position of chief of army staff.
    Alli saw action as a battalion commander during the Nigerian civil war. As an officer, he held various appointments at infantry and brigade levels. Later, he became Nigeria's Defence Attache to Zimbabwe; military governor of Plateau state, the director of Military Intelligence and the General Officer Commanding,One mechanized Division, Nigerian Army. The siege of a nation is a fairly big book, it has 17 chapters, 408 pages, a preface of two pages, 74 pages of photographs and six pages of indices.
    Although General Alli does not classify his book, in literary terms, the book only qualifies as an autobiography, and a wholesome one at that. It is a volume of reflections as a participant in the events set rolling by the coup of Major Chukwuma Nzeogwu culminating in the election of General Olusegun Obasanjo as president of Nigeria 40 years after in 1998. Obasanjo's administration marks a millennium of the military domination of Nigeria started by Lieutenant Frederick Lugard, the first colonial governor of amalgamated Nigeria in 1914.
    Since 1914, very few commanders in chief of Nigeria have not been either serving or retired soldiers. Thus, let Alli internalize it that events and history of one's lifetime alone may constitute the ingredients of one's autobiography. Such events may be legitimately be told as part of an autobiography. For his origins, Chris was born on Christmas Day in 1944. Instead of being named Noel, he was named Mohammed Baba Alli. At baptism and confirmation both Christian and Catholic rights, he took the additional names of Christopher and Emmanuel. He was born to Malam Alli Adakwo Alaburah and Mrs Rebecca Ojumori Nanashe Abayomi.  After migrating from Lokoja, they lived in the market town of Onitsha, along the Niger River, Anambra state.
    Malam Alli was a muslim from Koton Karfi in Kabba Province of present day Kogi state of Nigeria. It is now a local government headquarters, an administrative enhancement that has not translated to any meaningful development in a modern age. Alli settled in Onitsha to earn a living and escape the drudgery of rural life and the intimidation of local superstitions, witchcraft and fetish practices which continue till today among many communities and tribes.
    Chris Alli's mother, Nanashe Rebecca Ojumori Alli, nee Abayomi was from the Ogbeun ruling house  of Agbaja also in Kogi state. Her Oworo clan has a relationship with the Ebiras of Koton Karfi and the Yorubas of the middle belt. While her husband remained muslim, she was a devout Christian: a cohabitation common in the north central and south western states of Nigeria. Malam Alli spoke Igbo, Hausa, Yoruba, Fulfude and his native Igalla dialect fluently. A huge proportion of Onitsha people has Igalla ancestry and origin; many of whom speak Igalla fluently till today.
    Chris left Metropolitan College, Onitsha in 1962 with a first division in the West African School Certificate. but in his search for a post college placement he was unable to obtain a job at the Eastern Nigerian Broadcasting Corporation. Then, his father took him back to Koton Karfi to the Ohimege its emir. But the Ohimege had no job for him other than taking him to the then Premier of Northern Nigeria, Sir Ahmadu Bello. But Sir Ahmadu sent him to his minister of Establishments, Alhaji Mohammed Mustafa.
    For six months he was unable to gain a job. While being tossed here and there by the minister, he secured a job personally as a laboratory assistant in Kaduna with Kirkpatrick and Partners. Later, he applied and was appointed an Archive assistant in the National Archives. However, in October 1964 he went on parade as a cadet-in-training at the Nigerian Air Force. It was with the German Training Team of Advisers. The Nigerian Air Force had been established by an Act of Parliament in 1963.
    After an attempt to enter the Police by Chris had been opposed by his father, Chris reached a pact with his younger brother, Michael Suleiman Alli,never to confide his moves to anyone else other than Michael. That was why he hid his enlistment in the Air Force until he got to Germany as a base operator-in training. Sadly, Michael died of cancer while studying at the Ahmadu Bello University not long after. When he wrote to inform his parents from Germany; they ere overjoyed  replying with a 20 pound postal order which went missing till date. But Chris received the letter.
    Paradoxically, fortune smiled on Chris in 1967 when the civil war broke out. Tired of guard duties at the Air Force, he applied for a short service commission in the Army and was given. He completed the six month officer cadet training in October 1967. Unfortunately, by 1994, of the 56 officers commissioned, only two were left, Alhaji Abdulsalami Abubakar and Chris Alli. His other course mates either died in the war or were retired or executed in the aftermath of one coup or the other.
    For his ideology, Alli encapsulates his ideals as three elements. One, the guidance of a person's life is by the Almighty God. He believes a person has no control over his destiny. Two, God endows you with intelligence, good physique, health, the five senses and the sixth sense. Finally, Alli believes God brings you up in an environment which has considerable impact on your life. Your environment provides you the circumstances and opportunities  to facilitate your growth and development.
    The first 10 chapters of this volume reveals the poverty in Nigeria, the ethnic hegemonies and the induction of the armed forces into politics. The author is able to establish that the division between the government and the governed stunted Nigeria's prosperity in terms of development. Poor leadership has led to the degradation of every organ of government particularly the judiciary.
    Chapters 10 to 15 deal with political engineering to the extent that by the close of the millennium, Nigeria drew closer to disintegration than unity. The desperate ambitions of the Igbo and the Fulani to use the Armed Forces co control the nation led to the annulment of June 12, 1993 presidential election won by Chief Moshood Abiola. The concluding chapters dwell on the consequences of election annulment. Alli belongs to the group of Nigerians who believe in the evolution of a new Nigeria; which will halt the crisis of confidence bedeviling the nation. I agree with him that this is the viable path to equity and fairness in Nigeria. But we need a new edition of The siege of a nation, first published more than a decade ago.

The law of cause and effect



                            By Bayo Ogunmupe
    The law of cause and effect is also known as the law of karma. Every action generates a force of energy that returns to us in like manner. This means that whatever we sow, is what we reap. And when we choose actions that bring happiness and success to others, the fruit of our karma is happiness and success. As a spiritual law, karma is the eternal assertion of human freedom. Our thoughts, our words and deeds are the threads of the net which we throw around ourselves. According to Deepak Chopra, in his book: The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success, karma is both action and the consequence of that action; it is cause and effect simultaneously, because every action generates a force that returns to us in like kind.
    Thus, if you want to create happiness in your life, you must learn to sow the seeds of happiness. Therefore, karma implies the action of conscious choice-making. You and I are essentially infinite choice makers. In every moment of our lives, we are in that field of possibilities where we have access to an infinity of choices. Some of these choices are made consciously, while the others are made unconsciously. However, the best way to understand and maximize the use of karmic law is to become consciously aware of the choices we make in every moment.
    Whether you like it or not, everything happening to you at this moment, is a result of the choices you have made in the past. Unfortunately, a lot of us make choices unconsciously and therefore we don't think they are choices- but yet, they are. If I were to insult you, you would make the choice of being offended. If I were to pay you a compliment, you would most likely choose to be pleased or flattered. Certainly these are choices. Therefore, most of us have become bundles of conditioned reflexes that are constantly being triggered by circumstances into predictable behaviour.
    There is only one choice out of the infinity of choices available to you in every second, that will create happiness for you and those around you. When you make that one choice, it will result in a behaviour called spontaneous right action. Spontaneous right action is the right action at the right moment. It is the correct response to the situation as it happens. It is the action that nourishes you and everyone influenced by that action.
    This is a mechanism that the universe has to help you make spontaneously for correct choices. Your body experiences two types of sensations: the sensation of comfort and the sensation of discomfort. At the moment of your choice-making pay attention to your body. If your body sends a message of comfort during choice making, that is the right choice for happiness. For some, these messages come in the solar plexus, but for most people it is in the area of the heart.
    Certainly, the heart knows the correct answer. You can use the law of karma to create money and affluence. But you must be consciously aware that your future is determined by the choices you are making in every moment of your life. Always be conscious of the choices you are making  so that you can make spontaneously right choices.
    For your past karma influencing you now, there are things you can do about them. One is to pay your karmic debts. The law of karma says no debt in the universe ever goes unpaid. There is a perfect accounting system in this universe. Secondly, you can transform your karma to a more desirable experience by making your experience useful to your fellow men. By doing this you look for the seed of opportunity and then tie that seed with your purpose in life.
    This is achieved by always transmuting your adversity to a benefit. Thirdly, to deal with karma is to transcend it. This can be done by paying off your karma consciously through right action. Every action you make is a karmic episode. You put the law of karma into effect by making commitments of making conscious choices of right actions. Whatever action you make generates good or bad consequences. As long as karma is evolutionary, for both yourself and anyone affected by you; then the fruit of karma will be happiness and success. Remember, karma is inexorable; it is as certain as gravity. It is a spiritual law, nothing can save you from its operations. As you sow, you reap.

The business of living your dream


  
                            By Bayo Ogunmupe
    Building a life of service is the essence of living. With service to others, you will attain riches far beyond your wildest dreams. The mindset of service to humanity will bring you wealth, contentment, peace and happiness. Begin this by giving to others without expecting anything in return. And keep your deeds to yourself. Resolve from today to make service to others your obsession. Do not allow your situation to be an obstacle. "it is not good for a man to be alone," so sayeth the Bible book of Genesis. This means you must support others always. You serve humanity better by allying yourself with other like minded people.
    Life is a business, you cannot thrive in it alone. The parable of talents comes handy. A travelling merchant gave his three servants his goods for handling while he was abroad. To one he gave five portions. He gave the second two, while to the last he gave one portion. Upon his return, he demanded his servants account for the money he had given them. The first two servants had doubled their money. But the third servant returned to the master the single talent he had given him. The master was upset with him because he had not utilized his gift, but had hidden it.
    This parable teaches the importance of maximizing every opportunity you are presented with in life. It implies all life is business. And you must serve your customers for profit and service. Thus, your dream must be pursued as a business in expectation of fulfilling your vision of serving others. It is the same way in marriage. Your spouse expects fulfilment in return for her investment in you. If her relationship with you isn't yielding the expected return, she might want to reallocate her resources elsewhere.
      But the keys to happiness in marriage are, one: " Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your mind," two, "Love your neighbour as yourself," Matthew 22:35-40. Once you obey these two laws, you are bound to have a happy marriage. In accomplishing your dream, you need the same resources as would need to build a business. You need knowledge, good health, labour and skills. Also, you need the ability to leverage your resource, the know-how of others; how to create a platform from where to launch your vision.
    Your task is to let the world know your vision. Then, the world will help you get what you want. People and companies cannot help you unless your plans serve their purpose. Bill Gates is the richest man in the world because of his unceasing love of humanity. He shared his Microsoft success by producing two other billionaires, Paul Allen and Steve Ballmer. He made his company the one with the largest number of millionaire-employees, with robust ownership stakes in the company. Serving others is the secret of his success.
    However, for you to accomplish your dream, you must exude integrity. Integrity which means honesty and truth is the foundation of greatness. Wealth with integrity produces peace of mind. Integrity is manifested in how you see yourself, your skills and vision. Indeed, champions need to recruit others to supply the resources and know-how. In the pursuit of your goals never violate spiritual laws and the rights of others. Never enter a transaction that does not benefit all concerned.
    Integrity is a constant, never a variable. Be prepared to stand alone when integrity is concerned. Avoid following the herd, time will prove you right. Whenever you sacrifice your integrity, you have sacrificed your dream.