Monday, 22 August 2011

Bayo Ogunmupe

Guardian, Monday,
May 25, 2009 – Page 69 – Reviewer:
Minimizing Political Risk for Sustainable Investment: Ikenna Nwosu: Mooregate Ltd; Lagos 2008
 
The Book, Minimizing Political Risk for Sustainable Investment has an interesting rider; Global Paradigm Shifts and Nigeria’s Niger Delta. It is a product of the doctoral degree thesis of Dr. Ikenna Nwosu, a solicitor and advocate of the Supreme Court of Nigeria.
 
It however appears timely more so when the Niger Delta imbroglio has attained a dangerous dimension. The volume deals with the risk involved in mining oil from the crises ridden Niger Delta region.
 
Also, the book highlights the future of private political risk or indeed catastrophic risk in searching for oil in Nigeria. For those who operate in these quicksand of political intrigue, it is pertinent to ask why the transnational corporations are so embroiled or focused their portfolio investments in these risky terrains?
 
This book gives some insights into the beginning conundrums, bringing into sharp focus those intriguing features of political risk and investment. In its general outlook, the volume cuts a picture of a reformist and a pragmatic exposition of the depreciation theory of oil resources in its revolting reality.
 
In all, the book has six chapters, 342 pages, two pages of acknowledgements, six pages of abbreviations and a page of cases and arbitral awards. There are also 24 pages of references, four pages of appendices and an index of 16 pages. In fact the book is too voluminous and would be too expensive for an ordinarily reader.
 
Chapters are and two treat the risks in transnational resources investment and the political risk. These chapters highlight the risks; geological, political, commercial as well as the legal factors shaping investment.
 
Chapters three and four deal with managing risks and analyzing the evoluting global order expanding the frontiers of political risk.
 
Chapters five and six regale us with the expanding frontiers of political risk, the tread in the global management of the dilemma of resources control. The concluding chapter six offered a preliminary assessment of political risk and the findings and conclusions of researchers of peaceable means of solving the clamour for resources control in the Niger Delta Region.
 
As readers plough through the book page after page, one will, but notice its scholastic depth which rubs off on it as a magnificent piece of literary undertaking. It displays the technical virtuosity that is as breathtaking as it is fulfilling. Despite their occasional language barriers, that is to say that they are sometimes incomprehensible, the chapters still come through with erudition and profound effort at learning. It is sympathetic to the Niger Delta Resources Control Militants.

At all events, one finds Nwosu’s epilogue a fascinating reading. In it, he proposes that the solution to the Niger Delta crises will be found through a multi-skateholder engagement process, which he has outlined in the book. Such an engagement process that allows all the interested parties, government, organized private sector, labour, religious groups, environmentalists and others to sit together and solution to the crises.
 
The ideal way to organize such a forum would be through a public-private partnership that is jointly staffed, organized and funded. An organization such as the World Council of Indigenous Peoples could be asked to organize to maximize its benefits.
 
However, it is critical that the process be seen as neutral, one in which the government and the oil industry act as participants, not leaders or promoters. To ensure this independence, a secretariat should be created with wherewithal to effectively resist external pressure.
 
The organizers should focus on developing a policy and institutional support that is consistent with the terms of the conference.
 
No only that, they should facilitate full public participation in the decision making regarding sustainable petroleum and non-oil development projects.
 
Moreover, the organizers should facilitate communication between the host communities and the organized private sector tour, the conveners should provide training and capacity building for the militants, the communities, the OPS and all tiers of government.
 
Five, the organizers should develop a transparent and effective system to measure and report on system performaces.
 
It will profit the stakeholders too to develop a conflict resolution mechanism whose decision would be acceptable to all and sundry.
 
The author, Dr. Ikenna Nwosu holds a Ph.D in Law from University of Dundee, United Kingdom. He was called to Nigerian Bar in 1990 and practices law as member of the International Bar Association. He did not divulge his age, and the number of his wives, and children for polygamy is unusual in Nigeria.
 
Apart from legal practice, Dr. Nwosu is also engaged in consultancy in the energy, natural resources and the investment sectors. His 15 – years research on the Niger Delta crises is reflected in this book. It is resource material for all who are involved in the search for lasting solution to Niger Delta impasse.

Democracy as a way of life


By Bayo Ogunmupe

AS we celebrate the third anniversary of our fourth experiment in democracy, it is pertinent to ruminate about democracy as a way of life. From the facts of history, we can confirm that democracy as a form of government evolved over time. It did not appear suddenly somewhere, complete and perfect. It is always a matter of the degree of democracy extant at a particular point in time. Was ancient Athens a complete democracy? No, because Athens permitted slavery in much the same way the Magna Carta could not guarantee total democracy in England, since serfdom persisted and many rights were still denied the commoners. What then is complete democracy? The answer lies in the fact that democracy is more than a form of government, it is a way of life. This is so because democracy should be at work everywhere in our lives; not just in politics and government, but in our everyday habits and customs. We must exhibit democracy in our treatment of people of other tribes and differing religions'. We must show democracy in our attitude towards our fellow workers and neighbours.
A country may have a high degree of democracy in its form of government and yet a very low degree of democracy in other aspects of its life, such as ethnic relations, religious tolerance, equality of opportunity to find a job or attend college of one's choice. The form of government is an important part of democracy but that is not all. Often the most suitable governmental form for a democracy is a republic. That is, a form wherein the holding of office depends on voting rather than on hereditary succession. But if you stopped to think, you can probably name a country where the government was and still is a monarchy rather than a republic. The nation nonetheless has made great contributions to democracy.
We have just been discussing the case of England in the Middle Ages and in the 17th century. It is called Great Britain today. Also, it is interesting to recall that the democratic republic of ancient Athens did not elect representatives. The number of citizens had chances to fill officers in rotation or by lot. This arrangement is known as pure democracy because all voters were included not merely represented in the law making assembly. It is important, however, to be mindful of the things the majority tells the government to do. Would it be democratic if the majority started telling the government to persecute non-indigenes or certain ethnic groups or some religious minorities? In other words, in addition to having their way, a democratic majority must foster the desire to give everyone equal rights and opportunities.
It so often happens that a group captures the will of the majority at a point in time in a democracy. In the regime of President Shehu Shagari, the aristrocracy captured the will of the majority and ruled Nigeria until the Armed Forces took over. The bourgeousie ruled the United States in the administration of Ronald Reagan. And the plebians in turn wrested power from them through Bill Clinton. That is what happens in democracies. Perhaps you can now see why we must put democracy to work whenever and wherever we can. A complete democracy brings ever increasing opportunities of betterment to the whole people, not only in politics, but in education, ethnic relations, healthcare and all that goes to making a good community in which people are happy to live.
Historically, it is not easy to make great progress in every field of democracy at once. Let us reflect on the fact that the United States started with the fullest, political democracy which had existed up to that time, yet it did not abolish slavery until more than 85 years later and then only as a result of a bitter civil war. However, we must remember that there are honest differences of opinion about forms and aspects of democracy. For instance, many Nigerians sincerely believe that under the present circumstances it is more important to have an Ibo president than to have a great president. You cannot be sure of the truth about any political issue. Thus, your opinion must be given in humility. If you are inflexible, you close the door to learning more truth. One person can be right in a group and others wrong. Voting does not determine the truth, it determines the line of action the most people want in the full spirit of democracy. The French sage, Voltaire once wrote to his more radical friend, Helvetius: "I disagree with every word you say, but I will fight to the death for your right to say it." Even though we cannot attain a goal as full and quickly as we would like, it is good to have a goal to aim at. The best tribute we can pay to democracy is to put it to work.
Ogunmupe is a veteran journalist

GANI, THE ICON

He has always been a thorn in the side of many a government in Nigeria . A tireless human rights campaigner and “senior advocate of the masses”, colleagues, ordinary Nigerians pay tribute to Gani Fawehinmi on finally being recognized by his peers and becoming a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, SAN. But who is he really?
It was a hot afternoon. The teenage pri-mary school boy sat at the bank of a river in Ondo. He had a bowl of gari mixed with water on hand. As he was doing justice to the meal, a senior student came around to bully him.  “Get back to school because the bell had just rung,” the senior student said. But the youngster stood his ground. He would not go until he had finished his meal.
While the argument continued, a snake fell on the young boy’s head. Without any hesitation, the boy grabbed the snake and threw it at the senior, who ran for his dear life. The young boy is now the controversial lawyer, Gani Fawehinmi. That radicalism has continued as the hallmark of Fawehinmi, the radical Lagos lawyer who was made a senior advocate of Nigeria in July. He will be conferred with the title, September 10 in Abuja .
His  path to greatness as a crusader for the public good started in February 1969. For a moment Nigerians forgot they were fighting a civil war. They became engrossed in one of the juiciest scandals in Nigeria ’s history. The young lawyer sued the secretary to the Benue/Plateau State government, the late Andrew Obeya, on behalf of a factory-hand, Abashia who said Obeya had an affair with his wife, Hannatu,in a car parked along the Jos/Zaria Road , Jos.
Although this should normally be a private tussle between two citizens, the state government got involved on behalf of its official. The governor, the late Joseph Gomwalk made efforts to get Fawehinmi to withdraw the case. When that failed, attempt was made to kidnap him. “That also came to nothing,” said Fawehinmi at an interview with Newswatch last week.
He was later clamped into jail under a detention decree that allows people to be detained without trial. To ensure he was kept away, the military government later charged him to court for illegally bringing arms to a local government area.
“I was not tried but moved from place to place in Northern Nigeria . I was in prison for seven months. It was when I was in jail that I heard of the birth of my first child, Mohammed. By the time I was released, the six separate suits I had filed against Obeya had been struck out by the courts,” he recalled.
Two years later, Benjamin Adekunle, popularly called “Black Scorpion” during the civil war era and now a retired brigadier-general, caused the detention without trial of one Amos Ayodeji. Again, Fawehinmi filed a suit in a Lagos high court to secure Ayodeji’s release. He succeeded. In retaliation, Adekunle ordered the detention of Fawehinmi himself.
In 1971, crisis engulfed the University of Ibadan over a peaceful demonstration by the students against the excesses of the university authorities. The police invaded the university killing one of the students, Kunle Adepeju. The nation rose against the Yakubu Gowon regime.
Gowon set up a commission of inquiry headed by Justice Boonyamin Kazeem of the Lagos high court. The students hired Fawehinmi as their counsel. When the report of the inquiry was released, more than 80 percent of the students’ demands were met.
Also in 1978, Fawehinmi sued the federal government for banning the National Association of Nigerian Students and detaining its leader, Segun Okeowo. In the course of the case, Fawehinmi was arrested by the police and charged with stealing a camera.
When he obtained bail, he filed an application of habeas corpus on behalf of Okeowo. He won and Okeowo was released after 43 days in detention. Of course, Fawehinmi was himself acquitted and discharged of his trumped-up charge by a magistrate.
Again, during the regime of General Ibrahim Babangida,the irrepresible  lawyer was detained in a bizarre twist to a case in which he was trying to bring officialdom to book. On June 17, 1988, he was arrested at his Anthony Village chambers together with two old but vociferous men – the late Tai Solarin, a famous social critic and Michael Imoudu, an old trade unionist whose advocacy of socialism in Nigeria has marked him out as a subversive in the eyes of every government since he organised Nigeria’s first general strike against the colonial government at the end of the World War II.
They were arrested at Fawehinmi’s chambers when they turned up at a conference offering alternatives to the government’s structural adjustment programme, SAP. SAP had become very unpopular causing a riot in which 12 people were killed. While in detention, Fawehinmi was flown from prison to prison, “igniting hypertension and ill health for me,” he said.
Fawehinmi also showed himself as a crusader for justice in the murder of Dele Giwa, founding editor-in-chief of Newswatch in 1986. He relentlessly attempted to institute a private prosecution for murder against the nation’s topmost intelligence officers at that time, Halilu Akilu, director of military intelligence and A.K. Togun, deputy director, state security service, SSS. He charged them for the murder of Giwa by parcel bomb. Giwa had been interrogated by the intelligence services two days before his death. Fawehinmi who had been his lawyer and friend strongly suspects that the security agencies sent the bomb.  The lawyer is still pursuing the case at the Oputa panel on human rights abuses.
Fawehinmi has indeed faced many trials and triumphs in his crusade for social justice. He told Newswatch last week that he has been imprisoned 29 times. He has lived in 15 prisons and eight police cells across the country. He has been charged to court 13 times and his chambers searched 15 times.
Because of his human rights crusade for the masses, students of the Obafemi Awolowo University gave him the title of Senior Advocate of the Masses, SAM. All the people who spoke to Newswatch last week said he richly deserves the SAN title now bestowed on him by the Legal Practitioners Privilleges Committee of the Nigerian Bar Council.
Fawehinmi’s mother, Muniratu, in her 80s, supports him. She does not see anything wrong with her son disturbing the government because she believes that if government does what is wrong,  he will surely disturb them. She said Gani resembles his father in character and appearance. She told Newswatch that his father was fearless and if anyone did anything wrong and his father got wind of it, he would make sure justice was done.
She added that it was God’s time for Gani to become a SAN. She said they had denied him the title in the past because of his radicalism. “As a mother, I feel worried and bad whenever Gani is detained, I caution him sometimes. But I cannot stop him from doing what is right,” she said.
Adebayo Adefarati, governor of Ondo State said that Gani had not changed much, that Gani was his “boy” in secondary school. He described Gani as a very rascally boy who was very bold. “Where his seniors were afraid to talk, Gani will stand up and tell you what he feels about a situation,” he said.
Adefarati said that Gani had always been fearless, which was why his seniors advised him to study law.
Adefarati said after Fawehinmi was named a SAN,he wrote him a letter of congratulations, “where I  noted how extremely productive he had been. That Gani had contributed immensely to the practice of law in Nigeria is widely acknowledged,” he said. “All I can add on Gani is to acknowledge his courage and sagacity in public affairs. If more Nigerians had Gani’s courage, Nigeria would have been the greater for it,” he stated.
Newswatch watched Gani in his chambers and among his associates for two days. He arrives office at about 11.00 a.m. each day. A deluge of calls, letters and heavy mail are found waiting for his personal attention. Later in the afternoon, political associates, members of the National Conscience Party, clients seeking legal advice and legal assistance stream into the chambers. Despite its remoteness from the city centre, the chambers is a beehive of activities as late as midnight every day.
Yet, Fawehinmi attends to everyone, including foreign visitors, those from the remote corners of the nation, from his native city of Ondo , lawyers from other chambers seeking legal consultation and from people seeking financial assistance from him personally.
In the basement of his chambers are case files of thousands of cases he has handled and the current ones which he is handling. Named litigation section, it also houses bound copies of all the newspapers in circulation in Nigeria , including foreign ones.
Fawehinmi told Newswatch that his guiding legal principle was taken from the words of Nigeria ’s first lawyer, Sapara Williams who admonished every lawyer  “to live for the direction of his people and the advancement of the cause of his country.” Because of his passion for justice, having been imprisoned and beaten by the police unjustly in life, Fawehinmi compassionately renders free legal services for the members of his self-defined constituency – the poor, the oppressed, the cheated, the ignored and the persecuted.
He has indeed changed the course of legal practice in Nigeria . Never in the history of law has one man done so much for the legal profession. He practises law, writes law and publishes law. His Nigerian Weekly Law Reports, NWLR, comes out regularly with more than 250 pages every week. He is the editor-in-chief and founder of the NWLR. He is author or editor of various law reports and journals totalling 20.
Fawehinmi has also won landmark judicial pronouncements and cases in Nigeria . In December 1987, the Supreme Court determined the right of a private prosecutor to institute a private prosecution for murder. The credit went to him. “There are so many constitutional cases, which I am personally the plaintiff establishing so many principles,” he said.
Other notable cases won by Fawehinmi in the course of his crusade for justice in Nigeria include: Fawehinmi versus Shonekan; an action which exposed the illegality of Ernest Shonekan’s interim national government, ING, after Babangida “stepped aside.”
Edwin Anikwem, deputy head of Fawehinmi Chambers, told Newswatch last week that  “Gani Fawehinmi inspires us very much here at chambers. He is very caring, kind.  He gets work done.”
Some people claim that Fawehinmi is a slave driver, but Anikwem denied it. “I dare say, he is no slave driver. But he does not suffer fools gladly. Working with him is an experience. He motivates us to attain greater heights. We have come to imbibe his philosophy of using law for the betterment of society,” he said.
He continued:  “This runs in the veins of every member of staff of his chambers. Gani encourages people to succeed as a lawyer. He makes everything available to you, money and materials. There are many advantages in working with him. For instance, we benefit from information on law available in his chambers and his sister companies. Moreover, it is the only place I know where you are considered on merit. He gives you opportunities to excel. He is a driver in the sense of getting maximum efficiency, of obtaining perfection. Gani is very thorough as a professional. He is an exacting leader.”
For Tunde Adeleye, presiding bishop of the Anglican Church, Calabar diocese: “I appreciate Fawehinmi’s contributions to social criticism. I also appreciate his boldness. He has suffered greatly in the hands of government. His defence of the poor, the needy is commendable. I see him as a formidable social critic, man of learning and one who has become an icon and philanthropist.”
Odia Ofeimum, social critic and chairman, editorial board of TheNews magazine had this to say on Fawehinmi: “Whether he gets the title or not, every Nigerian in the law profession knew that Fawehinmi was bigger than whatever he could be given.  In fact, the very system of having SAN was doing itself a favour when it finally had Fawehinmi applying to become a SAN. That he is getting it after so many people he is intellectually superior to, actually shows a man who was more prepared to give than to receive. You don’t need to be a lawyer to appreciate Fawehinmi’s genius as a barrister. He has become a personification of radical law in Nigeria . Through his law reports, Fawehinmi has advanced the course of law more than any other lawyer in Nigeria . He has a strong sense for the defence of public morality.
“But Fawehinmi is not always right. I remember during the struggle for June 12, he took some positions which surely he will reverse today. He was requesting for the soldiers to intervene. That was extremely naive. There are other times when, honestly,  you would wish as a social critic, Fawehinmi was a little slower in responding to an issue because that way he would be able to get all the information before acting.”
Ofeimum went on: “Fawehinmi has not been a great builder of organisations. He has built a fantastic law firm tapping the skills of other lawyers. But as a politician, there are so many things which he does which I consider inimical to the survival of his political party. Thus, he is a better advocate than administrator.
“On Bola Tinubu, the Lagos State governor, Fawehinmi over reached himself. His emotions got the better of legal knowledge for not knowing that Tinubu has immunity and that the issue of Tinubu’s integrity bordered on morality not legality.”
Ebele Eko, a professor of English and deputy vice-chancellor, University of Calabar believes if Nigeria has had more crusaders of Fawehinmi’s ilk we might have been spared that many years of military rule.
Ugochukwu Egesi, physician at the University Teaching Hospital, Calabar, said “Fawehinmi is the greatest advocate on the lawyers’ roll in Nigeria .”
In the opinion of Ogbadu Zakari of the federal inland revenue department, Lagos , “Gani Fawehinmi is truly the advocate of the masses for his penchant to defend the poor freely. But if he wants to rule this country, he must be ready to accommodate other people’s views. He should respect the viewpoint of others because no one has a monopoly of wisdom,” he said.
Williams Adebayo, a legal practitioner based at Ojodu, Lagos , said this of Fawehinmi: “Gani is a very successful lawyer and human rights crusader. His profound knowledge and understanding of the law has enabled him to use the law and the courtroom as instruments of protest and social change. Today, his success has been in the advancement of justice and the enhancement of human rights.”
In 1994, Fawehinmi formed the National Conscience Organisation as a human rights movement. “As an organisation, National Conscience is fighting for the economic rights of the down-trodden in Nigeria . The National Conscience transformed into a political party in October 1994 in defiance of a military order banning the formation of political parties,” Fawehinmi told Newswatch.
According to Fawehinmi, the National Conscience Party, NCP, was formed with two main objectives. Firstly, to rally public support for the actualisation of June 12 presidential victory of Moshood Abiola in 1993. Secondly, to provide a platform for the emancipation of Nigerians from economic, political, social and cultural slavery.
In pursuance of his political goals, Fawehinmi promises to be more committed to the ideals of justice. “First, justice is in two parts, you have legal justice relating to the courts and social justice relating to the masses. Social justice cannot be attained without economic fundamental rights. Nigeria today has no respect for the economic rights of the mass of our people,” he said.
Henry Akunebu, a lawyer, believes Fawehinmi has built a great name for himself and that politics should be his next vocation. “He has so distinguished himself as an advocate and defender of the poor that no Nigerian can boast of any higher ties with the Nigerian people. If he plans well, the presidency of Nigeria is within his grasp in the near future,” he said.
In the opinion of Akunebu, “if Fawehinmi is serious in his presidential ambition, he should reach out to other parts of Nigeria . He must establish a newspaper, radio or television in order to propagate his gospel of justice to the masses. It is essential that Fawehinmi reorganises NCP so that people other than Yoruba can take up its membership.”
Ayo Obe, lawyer and president of the Civil Liberties Organsation, CLO, told Newswatch, “that the recognition of Fawehinmi as a SAN is a well deserved honour.” But she doesn’t see it changing his crusading spirit. “I don’t see the honour changing him. I think Fawehinmi will continue to be SAN and senior advocate of the masses together.”
Brady Nwosu, a Lagos-based political consultant commended Fawehinmi for his courage, steadfastness and dogged devotion to noble ideals. “Gani Fawehinmi is a special gift  to mankind, particularly to Nigeria . He remains a personality in law you cannot ignore. Fawehinmi has long remained a lone voice in Nigeria ’s devious political firmament,” he said.
Olufemi Adekoya, a lawyer, described Fawehinmi as a brilliant, ferocious and rugged legal practitioner. “You know, it is not enough to be a lawyer, you must be willing to risk your life in the course of your profession. Fawehinmi is the only man in this country that has put his life on the line in the course of practising his profession,” he said.
Adekoya told Newswatch that Fawehinmi was the first human rights activist in Nigeria , which was why students gave him the title, senior advocate of the masses. He said he hated Fawehinmi’s excesses. One of which was his recommendation, on television  that Obasanjo should reduce the price of petroleum to six kobo per litre, which was  unrealistic.
The lawyer also explained that sensational advocacy was unethical and that it should be avoided. But in the opinion of Adekoya, Fawehinmi is always emotional in the matter of Dele Giwa at the Oputa panel which was an unprofessional act. He said the SAN was delayed because of Fawehinmi’s style of advocacy.
Fawehinmi is also a philanthropist. Because of his experience of financial deprivation as a student, he instituted his own scholarship scheme in 1971. Every year 40 students receive scholarship awards from him.
For Fawehinmi’s family life, you need to visit his serene home at Ikeja  GRA. His home stands on a large expanse of land covered with flowers. There are three buildings in his courtyard, two duplexes and a guest chalet. Fawehinmi lives alone in the first building. His family lives in the other.
He has two separate areas for rearing chicken and goats. They are about 90.
The walls of his sitting room are covered by glazed newspaper headlines of Fawehinmi‘s travails. He told Newswatch the windows were not covered so that Abacha’s henchmen would not miss their target if they wanted him. He said his desire for the safety of his family informed his decision to live all alone, separate from the family.
Tolulope Fashipe, Fawehinmi’s younger sister, said her brother is a wonderful person.  She said Fawehinmi treats her with loving kindness and that he is a good family man. Fashipe said she is very happy for Fawehinmi, for the SAN honour.
For Fawehinmi’s elder brother, Wahid, a general merchant, “Gani is the dean of the family. He is just like our father, hates injustice. As a brother, he is very supportive, a good family man, responsive to our needs at all times.”
Ganiyu Oyesola Fawehinmi was born on April  22, 1938 , at Ondo, Ondo State . He was educated at Victory College , Ikare; the University of London, England and the Nigerian Law School , Lagos .
He was called to the bar in 1965. He has practised law since then. He also wrote columns in the Daily Sketch, the Nigerian Tribune, and The Chronicle.
Fawehinmi won the American Bar Association Award in 1996, and Bernard Simons award from the International Bar Association in 1998. He was given the traditional title of Lomofe of Ondo in 1978. He is married to two wives and has 14 children.

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

SEVEN LAWS OF POWER by Bayo Ogunmupe


Seven laws of power
By Bayo Ogunmupe
ALWAYS dream of power by shooting higher than you can reach. Don’t bother to be better than your contemporaries and predecessors, just try to be better than yourself. This is why I am introducing you to these laws of leadership. To me, leadership, success and power mean the same thing. So, learn to use them interchangeably.

God has built laws into His universe. These laws are no respecter of persons. Often bad people harness the right laws for the wrong purposes, while good people assume that sincerity and diligence are sufficient for success. But while evil people get the right results for wrong purposes, the good fail because they aren’t harnessing the right laws. So, I want to tell you seven laws that are absolutes in the struggle for success in life. Following them assures you a tremendous adventure; you can ignore them at your peril, finding them working against you.
One, learn to be excited about your work. This is an invincible law that upholds work as the progenitor of success. This law isn’t about work as we usually think of it; it is getting excited about whatever you are doing for a living. However, work, wherever you find it, implies only one kind of thing: detail, monotony, preparation, striving, and weariness. That is what we all have to overcome, no matter what our work is.
However, the first law of leadership requires me to get excited about the miserable job I have right now. At sixty years of age, I have been learning that life isn’t doing what you like to do. Real life is doing what you ought to do. There is nothing that can make you more excited about your work than a sense of its importance and urgency.
Fires of greatness in our hearts can be kept burning only by developing this sense of urgency and importance in our work – the work we are doing now.
Two, the second law of power is use or lose. Jehovah gives everyone certain attributes – intellect, talents and then He says, “If you use what you have, I’ll increase it, but if you don’t, you will lose it.” Thus it is use or lose law of success. A way of not losing your God given talents is to be sincere to yourself in every sphere. When you have a job to do, do it. Another rule is to be loyal to yourself, your ideals and be loyal to your family and business partners, including your boss. Loyalty is something you give without getting anything back. And in giving loyalty, you are getting more loyalty. Without loyalty, nothing can be achieved. The biblical servant who multiplied the one naira given him by his master was made ruler over ten cities, whereas the servant who did not put his naira to use lost that which he had.
Yet another rule of retaining your talent is discipline. It is a quality you achieve little by little. You submit yourself to authority, a job, a goal, by discipline you gain greatness through perseverance.
Certainly, there is no other way to get more of what you need than by using what you have. The third law of power is production to perfection. This law says if you are not making something happen today, you would not know much about perfection tomorrow. He that leaveth nothing to chance will do few things poorly, only that he will do very few things.
The fourth law of power is give to get. My maternal grandfather was a practitioner of Olodumare, God in Yoruba belief. He was neither Christian nor Moslem. He taught us to give without hope of getting in return. He was more truthful than present day parents. If you give gifts to the well-to-do, you will only receive what you traded out. You will not get anything from God in return, because you are only trading with gifts. If you give to someone unable to help you, then God can repay you for your kindness. If you are giving to get, you are not giving spiritually, you are trading. Learn to give without hope of anything in return. No one was ever honoured for what he received. Honour has been the reward of what he gave. If you give to the one who can not pay back, what you get from God in return is a greater capacity to go beyond where you are. That is a law of success.
Five, the fifth law of success is exposure to experience. In the beginning, God gives everyone a psychological key ring. And He made a law that says, “Every time you expose yourself to experience, I’ll give you another key of experience for your Key ring.” Soon the key ring begins to be filled with experiences, then we begin to know how to pick the right key to unlock the situation we face. The person who has no experience fumbles around trying to find the key. As you accumulate experience you use those keys over and over again, unlocking doors into success and fortune. However, there’s no way to gain experience other than through exposure. So, in all thy getting, get experience in other to gain and retain power.
The sixth law of power is flexible planning. This is another phrase for Napoleon’s extrapolatory thinking. Since whatever can go wrong will go wrong, so plan on your planning going wrong. Be flexible by having alternative plans. A person is nothing until he is harnessed to teamwork and disciplined to guidance. Your situation may be uncongenial but it shall not long remain so if you but perceive an ideal and strive to reach it.
The seventh law of power is prayer, prayer without ceasing. Through prayer you get motivated for success. No one can fight his way to the top and stay there without exercising the fullest measure of grit, courage, determination and prayer. Everyone who wins does so by firmly resolving to succeed in life; he then procures enough persistence to transform his resolution to reality. Without persistence no one ever wins any worthwhile place among his fellow men. Finally, we need to pray so that we can prevent the devil from ensnaring us. Moreover, prayer is God’s appointed way for obtaining things. The secret of all lack is neglect of prayer. We have not because ye ask not,” James 4:2. These words contain the secret of the poverty and helplessness of the average Nigerian – neglect of prayer. Mercy is what we need, grace is what we must have or all our lives will end in failure. Prayer is the way to gain them. Prayer with thanksgiving to Jehovah and the petition for forgiveness is the panacea to winning life’s battles. Many things seem at war with these laws of power. But practice will prove their authenticity.
Our champion for today is Jose Ortega y Gasset, the Spanish philosopher and humanist who greatly influenced the cultural and literary renaissance of Spain in the 20th century. Ortega was born May 1883, in Madrid, Spain the second of four children by Jose Ortega Munilla and Dolores Gasset.
Ortega studied at Madrid University and in Germany. As professor of metaphysics at Madrid in 1910, he published Adam in Paradise; Quixotes Meditations (1923) and Modern Theme. He saw individual life as the ultimate realty, reason as a function of life and for truth he substituted the perspective of each individual. He shared the preoccupation of his generation with Spain’s political problems. He founded the periodicals, The Sun and The Review of the West. He went into exile between 1936 and 1945. He returned from Argentina to Spain in 1945 and in his Revolt of the masses (1929) he characterized 20th century society as being dominated by masses of mediocre who he proposed should surrender social leadership to the minorities of cultivated independent men. He died in October 1955.

The trouble with Nigerian universities by Bayo Ogunmupe


The trouble with universities in Nigeria 
Monday, July 28, 2008 - By Bayo Ogunmupe



THIS book of 144 pages is an indictment of the Nigerian university system. It describes vividly the decline and decay in the nation's university system. It prescribes copious ways to halt this deterioration of the sorry state of affairs.

Chapter one of this nine chapter book dwells on the meanings of the words of the book's title: University, Ivory, tower, and ivory tower. It also gave us a brief history and genesis of the university.

Chapter two peeps into the Nigerian university system. After a survey of the evolution from the Academy of Plato through Aristotle's Lyceum to the school of universal learning, Okecha taught us how universities were formed in Europe in the 17th century AD. Then, the system by which Socrates taught Plato, Plato taught Aristotle became obsolete. The second chapter therefore delved into the evolution of the university in Nigeria. The poor rating of our universities is the subject of chapter three.

It has been alleged that the system of branding of Nigerian universities by the National Universities Commission (NUC) contributed to the deterioration in academic standards of the institutions. This is because most of the staff of these colleges lacked the experience and research competence to run the various universities of technology and agriculture which NUC brought on stream in the 1980s.

In chapter five, the decay of the Ivory Tower is discussed in detail. Here, the author enumerated various factors responsible for the decline of academic standards in the universities. 

Chapter six entitled Doctorates for Sale, see the vendors in Nigerian universities, educate the tall order of the NUC, that every academic schooled obtain a doctorate not later than December 2009. The problems arising from the enforcement of that directive are highlighted. The author also has suggestions to prevent unrest on our campuses. It is unfortunate that the NUC order will further deepen the deterioration of academic standards in our universities. 

For the seventh chapter, the conditions of service in the universities are its main preoccupation. It avers that the remuneration and conditions of service of academics are nowhere comparable to those of political office holders, the private sector and the judiciary. Thus, that academics are poorly paid in comparison to others has been laid bare by the author.

The focus of chapter eight is the academic industry; that is to say creativity and research in tertiary institutions in the country.

The importance of brainpower in the enhancement of growth and development of our economy is herewith highlighted. Thus, we must here avow that the gross underdevelopment of Nigeria has been caused by the neglect of our universities. University dons could not undertake research because of poor pay, absence of research facilities in the colleges and the restiveness prevalent in institutions today.

Chapter nine offers up to forty suggestions on how we can overcome the decline and decay of our university system. This book contains vital information on the Nigerian university system. Moreover, reading it is a rewarding experience particularly for some whose children have to attend a university in the future.

However, The Nigerian University is a must read for private university proprietors, governors as founders of state universities, the presidency to enable them learn how to handle federal universities, and state and federal legislators to enable them enact good education laws.

Steve Okecha, the author was educated at Government College, Ughelli, Delta State, Ahmadu Bello University, and University of Uppsala, Sweden. He was leader, Organic Research Group, ABU before moving to Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma, Edo State, where he is currently Professor of Chemistry. Also, he had served as Deputy Vice Chancellor and Provost, Delta State University, Abraka, Dean of Graduate School; director of AAU's Consultancy Services; he is married with five children.

A book review by Bayo Ogunmupe


Minimizing Political Risk for Sustainable Investment: Ikenna Nwosu: Mooregate Ltd; Lagos 2008
 
The Book, Minimizing Political Risk for Sustainable Investment has an interesting rider; Global Paradigm Shifts and Nigeria’s Niger Delta. It is a product of the doctoral degree thesis of Dr. Ikenna Nwosu, a solicitor and advocate of the Supreme Court of Nigeria.
 
It however appears timely more so when the Niger Delta imbroglio has attained a dangerous dimension. The volume deals with the risk involved in mining oil from the crises ridden Niger Delta region.
 
Also, the book highlights the future of private political risk or indeed catastrophic risk in searching for oil in Nigeria. For those who operate in these quicksand of political intrigue, it is pertinent to ask why the transnational corporations are so embroiled or focused their portfolio investments in these risky terrains?
 
This book gives some insights into the beginning conundrums, bringing into sharp focus those intriguing features of political risk and investment. In its general outlook, the volume cuts a picture of a reformist and a pragmatic exposition of the depreciation theory of oil resources in its revolting reality.
 
In all, the book has six chapters, 342 pages, two pages of acknowledgements, six pages of abbreviations and a page of cases and arbitral awards. There are also 24 pages of references, four pages of appendices and an index of 16 pages. In fact the book is too voluminous and would be too expensive for an ordinarily reader.
 
Chapters are and two treat the risks in transnational resources investment and the political risk. These chapters highlight the risks; geological, political, commercial as well as the legal factors shaping investment.
 
Chapters three and four deal with managing risks and analyzing the evoluting global order expanding the frontiers of political risk.
 
Chapters five and six regale us with the expanding frontiers of political risk, the tread in the global management of the dilemma of resources control. The concluding chapter six offered a preliminary assessment of political risk and the findings and conclusions of researchers of peaceable means of solving the clamour for resources control in the Niger Delta Region.
 
As readers plough through the book page after page, one will, but notice its scholastic depth which rubs off on it as a magnificent piece of literary undertaking. It displays the technical virtuosity that is as breathtaking as it is fulfilling. Despite their occasional language barriers, that is to say that they are sometimes incomprehensible, the chapters still come through with erudition and profound effort at learning. It is sympathetic to the Niger Delta Resources Control Militants.

At all events, one finds Nwosu’s epilogue a fascinating reading. In it, he proposes that the solution to the Niger Delta crises will be found through a multi-skateholder engagement process, which he has outlined in the book. Such an engagement process that allows all the interested parties, government, organized private sector, labour, religious groups, environmentalists and others to sit together and solution to the crises.
 
The ideal way to organize such a forum would be through a public-private partnership that is jointly staffed, organized and funded. An organization such as the World Council of Indigenous Peoples could be asked to organize to maximize its benefits.
 
However, it is critical that the process be seen as neutral, one in which the government and the oil industry act as participants, not leaders or promoters. To ensure this independence, a secretariat should be created with wherewithal to effectively resist external pressure.
 
The organizers should focus on developing a policy and institutional support that is consistent with the terms of the conference.
 
No only that, they should facilitate full public participation in the decision making regarding sustainable petroleum and non-oil development projects.
 
Moreover, the organizers should facilitate communication between the host communities and the organized private sector tour, the conveners should provide training and capacity building for the militants, the communities, the OPS and all tiers of government.
 
Five, the organizers should develop a transparent and effective system to measure and report on system performaces.
 
It will profit the stakeholders too to develop a conflict resolution mechanism whose decision would be acceptable to all and sundry.
 
The author, Dr. Ikenna Nwosu holds a Ph.D in Law from University of Dundee, United Kingdom. He was called to Nigerian Bar in 1990 and practices law as member of the International Bar Association. He did not divulge his age, and the number of his wives, and children for polygamy is unusual in Nigeria.
 
Apart from legal practice, Dr. Nwosu is also engaged in consultancy in the energy, natural resources and the investment sectors. His 15 – years research on the Niger Delta crises is reflected in this book. It is resource material for all who are involved in the search for lasting solution to Niger Delta impasse.
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Ogunmupe: The Winning Power Of Discipline


Ogunmupe: The Winning Power Of Discipline

By Bayo Ogunmupe

PEOPLE often ask me if I know the secret of success and if I could teach others how to make their dreams come true. My answer is: you can succeed if you could work and pray. It is persistence in your work that will gain you success. Your persistence as well as other skills you can develop, will enable you to recognize your mistakes and learn from them. Moreover, you can use persistence to dodge the traps laid before you in order to keep you from succeeding. If you don’t quit, you can’t be beaten.

Also, discipline is crucial. Discipline is the learned ability to do the same thing over and over again. It requires discipline to perform tasks you don’t like. Discipline is that ability to form a pattern of making yourself responsible for yourself and forming framework upon which you can build a career. Concentrate on getting by allying with mentors and your master mind group.

Commitment to ideals is the essence of leadership. Aside of persistence and discipline, commitment is one more factor of success in life. Commitment means doing something over and over again until you get it right. It means sticking to something when it would be far easier to let go. Leadership today is to be accessible to supporters. Good ideas as well as talent come from the bottom up. Do not wall yourself off from those who can help you get to where you are going. Every battle needs foot soldiers. However, until you truly love what you do, you will never get where you want to go.

Maybe your peculiar idea of success may entail the ability to develop new methods of doing business, perhaps starting a new career or business or promoting a novel economic policy. Whatever philosophy you subscribe to, the most important thing is to become an expert in whatever it is you do. Be the best you can be. Sometimes, to be successful, you have to break a few rules. Barrack Hussein Obama broke two rules before becoming the 44th President of the United States in 2009. He broke the colour bar. He is an African American. He broke the religious bar, his grand father was a Moslem.

Keith Rupert Murdoch and his newspapers and television channels called him a terrorist during his presidential campaign. But with sheer miracle of achievement Obama not only became U.S. President, he won the Nobel Peace Prize of 2010. Also, he took out Osama bin Ladin.

Happiness through self realization is one of the real attractions for winners, not wealth. Happiness does not just happen to you. It comes through your actions, perceptions and timing. Happiness comes from the realization of your dreams. But to succeed in spite of odds requires the setting of unrealistic goals. Being overly realistic can be the kiss of death to your dreams. The only place to be realistic is about your time-table. The only way to make it happen is to surround yourself with people who share your goals. Then visualize for results, plan ahead for success.

Despite the wonders of the internet age, reading is still the best way to find out how other people live, other systems work.

In reading, you increase your awareness of language and vocabulary. These increase your chances of winning and influencing people. Reading enables you to develop a winning image. In surveys done using photographs of the same person in various attire, the subjects were typified as being blue-collar, executive or not based merely on the clothing they wore. Know this and use this knowledge to build your wardrobe. To make impact, always dress for the occasion. It is not only important to dress well, it is essential to be noticed in a quiet way. People want you to look pleasant rather than be self-confident and authoritative. The rule is that you should never wear more than three colours at one time. Maximise your appearance by being assertive. Being assertive does not mean stepping on toes. It means taking charge of your life. Avoid having others make important decisions for you.

You should always play to win. Only losers say it isn’t important to win. To get your way in anything, you must know and understand the players. Needs must always come first, wants come later. Approach players with playoffs they may be looking for. One may want only to improve his position. Another may want recognition, yet another may want to feel a sense of belonging. If you are dealing with a board, or group of people. You will need to analyse each member. You will need tact and compromise. This situation is much different from being a supervisor. The best way to succeed as a supervisor is to build a winning team. However, part of a supervisor’s job is to criticize. In this, the rule is to praise in public and criticize in private. But if your team member did anything exceptionally well, make sure that as many people as possible knew about it. Always give credit where credit is due, then good creative ideas will never dry from your teammates.

Our champion for this week is Keith Rupert Murdoch, the Australia born American media mogul, founder and chief executive of the global media holding company, The News Corporation Limited, which governed News Limited (Australia) News International (U.K) and News America Holdings Incorporated of the United States.

Murdoch’s corporate interests centered on newspaper, magazine, book and electronic publishing, television broadcasting and film and video production. Murdoch operates principally in the United States, United Kingdom and Australia.

The only son of Sir Keith Murdoch (1886-1952) a famous Australian war correspondent and publisher. Born in March 1931, Murdoch began with one newspaper in Adelaide, he acquired and started other publications in his native Australia before expanding News Corp into the U.K, the USA and Asia. Although his current media interests are still mainly in print, they are restricted by cross-media ownership rules.

Murdoch’s first foray into television was in the U.S, where he created Fox Broadcasting Company in 1986. In the 2000s, he became a leading investor in satellite television, the film, the internet; he purchased a leading American newspaper, The Wall Street Journal.

Early in life, Rupert had been groomed by his newspaper magnate father who sent him to the elite Geelong Grammar School. He later read politics, economics and philosophy at Worcester College, Oxford University in the U.K. He supported the Labour Party in Britain. When Murdoch was 22, he replaced his father who died suddenly. As managing director of News Limited in 1953, he added to his family business by buying the Sunday Times in Perth, Australia. He established himself as a dynamic business operator by acquiring Sydney’s afternoon tabloid, The Daily Mirror and the New Zealand daily, The Dominion.

While on an Australian Safari in 1964, he read of a takeover bid for a Wellington paper by the British based Canadian newspaper magnate, Lord Thomson of Fleet. He on the spur of the moment launched a counter-bid which the 32-year-old Murdoch won. Thereafter, he launched The Australian. In 1972 he acquired The Daily Telegraph from Sir Frank Packer, who later regretted selling it to him. That year Murdoch threw his power behind the Australian Labour Party under the leadership of Gough Whitlam who later became Prime Minister.

In Britain, Murdoch acquired The Sun; The Times and The Sunday Times. Then his papers supported Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher. Later Murdoch switched his support to the Labour leader, Tony Blair who in the subsequent election won with a wide margin. Murdoch’s British based satellite network, Sky Television, owing to debts, accepted a merger with British Satellite Broadcasting in 1990. They have dominated the British TV market ever since.

In the USA, Murdoch acquired San Antonio Express – News, founded Star, a supermarket tabloid in 1973. He became American citizen to enable him own media in 1985. He has also expanded to Hong Kong. The Bahamas and Islands in the Pacific. Murdoch has dined with every American President since Harry Truman. He has been married three times, has six children and is worth more than six billion dollars according to the 2010 list of Forbes richest