Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Justice as soul of democracy By Bayo Ogunmupe

Justice as soul of democracy
By Bayo Ogunmupe

THE most famous definition of democracy was given by the former U.S. president, Abraham Lincoln. While adducing reasons for taking up arms against his own kinsmen which culminated in the American civil war in 1860, President Lincoln said he had to wage war so that "government of the people by the people and for the people may not perish." This Lincoln quotation has come down as the authentic definition of democracy for more than a century. In cognisance of the celebration of May 29, a memorial for the election of Moshood Abiola as president in 1993, it is pertinent to augment efforts to make democracy work by reviewing the ideological foundations of our society.
Democracy, which is the best system of government in my view, consists today of mutually incompatible ideas which originated with the Greeks. These contradictions after two millennia were reasserted either as precursors or as ex post facto justifications for the revolutions in England, America and France. What space and time have been to nature, liberty and equality have been and still are to democracy. More than any others, these two ideals serve as the basic concepts of democratic government. By compressing its meaning: democracy has been summarised as the form of government which combines for its citizens as much freedom and as much equality as possible. Albeit, liberty and equality are mutually exclusive and therefore incompatible. In fact, it is the inherent contradictions in these ideals which make for much of the problems of democracy in the developing world.
Europe and North America have successfully nurtured liberty and equality to be able to domesticate them. However, liberty or freedom, its synonym, is in opposition to equality. Therefore, when equality and freedom are combined, their contradictions are compounded. Discussions on freedom are often negative. Freedom to act. But action affects another person, sometimes harmfully. If so, is not the person harmed justified in demanding that society should restrain or punish the wrongdoer? In the illustration of this dilemma, it is said that the freedom to swing my arm ends where another person's nose begins. Thus, others have the right to be protected from the injury which the reckless swinging of my arm could cause.
Like liberty, equality has varying connotations. Examples of this choice abound in the field of tax policy. Osun State of Nigeria charges car owners an annual registration fee proportional to the market value of their vehicle. Hence, the fee reduces every year where you continue to own the same car. Some states, however, prefer to charge a flat rate for the privilege of operating a vehicle which is the same for everyone and does not diminish as the car's value depreciates. Which version of equality is appropriate in this context?
Thus far, the exploration of the contradiction between freedom and equality leads us to their resolution in the common phrase 'equality of opportunity'. Here, the two concepts are yoked together in a framework of equalised liberties. We often hear it said that all should start equal in the race of life. If so, what follows as a consequence? Do not the different runners display their inequalities? And is not the winner who demonstrates the most superior skill? Or consider what takes place in an election. Everybody we insist, has the right to seek office. In this respect, all are equal, all are free. More precisely, all are equally free. But since one candidate wins, by so doing that person becomes unequal.
Our new democratic concept of equality of opportunity appears most visibly in the economic sphere. Assume a condition of perfect competition, which we do not now have and which contrary to the projection of Marxists, we have never had in history. Under this model of classical economics, all would be equals initially and would be competing freely on the same footing. What would happen?
The manifest superiority of some, due to their skill, cunning, energy or luck - will result in their outdoing the rest. It follows that they will accumulate disproportionately, large shares of wealth. Not only does this gain enhance their status in society, but it augments their power. Power is a capacity to act, unrestrained by others. It is freedom manifesting itself. In other words, freedom becomes a function of power which a materialistic society translates into monetary terms. What is then left of the equality of opportunity proclaimed with fanfare at the beginning? Indeed, it is because of the contradictions inherent in democracy that in contemporary party politics, the Left has appropriated to itself the virtues of equality, while the Right identifies itself with freedom. The process of achieving democracy therefore, is to seek to attain justice in the society. To do this is to strike a mean, harmonious fusion of the two concepts of equality and freedom.
Now, the Left representing or leading the underprivileged, has sought radical changes in the society. It hopes to reduce the inequalities of wealth and social status, employing the powers of the democratic state both to raise the minimum and to lower the maximum. Its philosophy, intended to appeal to the masses, has viewed the individual as a particle within the social nucleus. On the other hand, the Right reflects the attitudes of conservatives who are well satisfied with unequal privileges which they wish to retain. Their emphasis is on the liberty of the individual which they consider threatened by free this, free that, and the graduated taxes needed to finance them. Early in the history of political philosophy, Plato identified justice as the supreme virtue of an ideal state. This identification is very true. But Plato's particular formulation of justice, built as it was, around inequalities maintained by authoritarianism is objectionable. What distinguishes the others, is that justice consists in the pursuit of equality and freedom.

Democracy as a way of life By Bayo Ogunmupe

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.

A socialist’s view of human rights By Bayo Ogunmupe


A socialist’s view of human rights

By Bayo Ogunmupe


In these days of electioneering campaigns it is usual in modern politics for candidates to emphasise their ideological persuasions. Unfortunately, our politicians have not obeyed these rules of democracy. Instead we have been exposed to tales of the El Dorado their tenures will bring.
For us the people, it is better to set an agendum for the incoming administration to follow. To show that the political, the economic and the social systems in any society are intricately interrelated.  That is the central insight of socialism and it is the basis of a socialist view of human rights.
Indeed, it is arguable that this socialist perspective arose in the course of the struggle over human rights.
Socialism developed, first in Europe as a militant critique of the 19th century bourgeois revolutions, above all, the French Revolution which proclaimed the universal rights of man and then, in practice, deferred them to the rights of private property.
In its 19th century origins, socialism began as a human rights movement, more than an economic movement.  Its initial focus was upon winning minimal liberties for the working class: universal suffrage, trade union right, first and foremost.
In England, the great surge of the people was in the chartist movement, with its demand for universal suffrage.
In Belgium and Sweden, the battle for the vote required general strikes to gain success.  In other places notably in Germany, the fight was directed against a discriminatory voting system.
So it was that Karl Marx – wrote in 1848, in the communist manifesto, that the first step in the emancipation of the working class was in winning the battle for political democracy.
Indeed, I have often thought that one of the reasons for the failure of socialism as a movement in Nigeria and elsewhere is that universal suffrage meant that labour did not undergo the critical phase of the fight for the right to vote.
To socialists, the terms human rights, democracy and socialism are synonyms. All pre-existing societies, Marx wrote in the manifesto, had been based upon the rule of minorities. Socialism was seen as the first movement of the majority in the interest of the majority. It sought not the establishment of a new form of authoritarian property right, but the creation of the first system of truly democratic ownership.
Where the means of production are socially controlled and the people have the fullest right to decide the policies and the personnel of that social ownership, there is democratic socialism. Human rights, the liberty to speak, to organise, to oppose-are thus not merely the prerogatives of the individual in a socialist society, they are the essential mechanism of the social and economic power of the population as a whole.
Without them, socially owned property becomes the private possession of the bureaucracy which runs it and human rights are critically diminished.
To the socialist, the current concentration of corporate power in the advanced industrial democracies is a matter of deep concern.  Yet, as Marx and other 19th century socialists understood, political freedom offers the means, the possibility of transcending those economic and social influences that are exercised by the modern day corporation.
In contemporary industrial society, with its drive toward centralisation and bureaucratisation, democratic freedoms are the only mechanism by which the people can exercise control through their elected officials. Political rights are not merely individual freedoms, important as they are, they are the only means to the social and economic power of the people.
These inter-relationship of the political, economic and social are also relevant to us in the Third World. However, it is only by the United States aiding economic development in the Third World that the US can also further the growth of human rights.
But the American record has been mixed. The response of the Nixon Administration to the former Salvador Allende government in Chile will always be a bad chapter in American foreign affairs. In Southern Africa, however, the American record changed for the best soon after the Carter administration took office.
There was a positive development within the United States with regard to apartheid South Africa. The factor in that change was the human rights movement of American blacks. That movement made it possible for an African American to become the US representative at the United Nations. The civil rights activities of African-Americans forced the passage of AGOA by the Clinton Administration and caused the eventual appointment of General Colin Powell, an African-American as the US Secretary of State, a position only second to the presidency in terms of power and influence.
The National Association for the Advancement of Coloured people organised the Black Congressional caucus, which has been a major force for a democratic foreign policy on Africa. From here, one can clearly see the international aspects of the fight for human rights.
The socialist view of human rights also applies to the former Soviet Republics. Modern history clearly indicates that property is neither right nor left. Nationalisation was employed in the “revolution from above” by Bismarck in 19th century Germany. It is widely used today by military dictatorships. But that isn’t state ownership of production. Even then, who owns the state?
There is only one way for the people to own the state, it is by the right, freely and without fear, to change the policies and the personnel of the state. That power to change personnel is offered by the elections. When the people are excluded from the exercise of these democratic rights or when human rights are denied, that does not simply mean a violation of personal liberty, it is a mechanism for maintaining the class rule of the bureaucracy.
For the socialist then, human rights are both individual and social because the political, economic and social form a whole in the modern world.  In the opinion of Marxists, human rights are the basis of social and economic results and they are the goal of socialism itself.

On The Path Of Winners BY BAYO OGUNMUPE How To Protect Your Wealth


On The Path Of Winners
BY BAYO OGUNMUPE
How To Protect Your Wealth

THE first key of abundance means letting go of what you have enables God to release what He has. That exchange guarantees you abundance in income and investment. The second key is that in the process of possessing your abundance you have to engage satan in a battle of faith.
  By knowing and trusting the will of God, you are transformed into a giant killer, the one Satan runs away from.
  We have now come to the third key to abundance. It is how to protect your abundance. It is the one who is wealthy till the day of death that is successful. The one who allows himself to be ensnared by the devil, losing his riches midway is called a failure. Actually he is worse than a mediocre, who was too timid to try at all. Thus, the great man does not allow his treasure to be devoured by his enemy, the devil. God provides both the protection and possession of your treasures.
  But we are in a disposable world. From diapers to dishes, people go through life throwing things away. After two years you are bored with your car and you trade it for ones with more bells and whistles. That’s why Nigeria is flooded with second hand goods, from American jeans, through cars, books, handsets, to 10 year old Thailand rice. Preaching during church service to mark the Queen of the Commonwealth’s diamond jubilee anniversary recently, the Archbishop of Counterbury decried the high rate of divorce today. Seventy per cent of those who make wedding vows break them and toss their mates aside. Nowadays, when couples face the slightest confrontation – such as keeping late nights, they begin looking for an exit. One fellow quipped: “When my wife is forty, I’m going to trade her in for two twenties.” All too often it isn’t a joke.
  Which is why you should protect your treasures. The favour of Allah is contingent upon our action. They conquer who believe they can. There are conditions God attached to our greatness. He said, I will bless you if you do what I command. “If thou shalt harken diligently unto the voice of Jehovah thy God, to observe and to do all his commandments which I command thee this day, that the Lord thy God will set thee on high above all nations of the earth,” Deutoronomy 28:1. Jehovah does not have any problem transferring the wealth of the wicked into the hands of the righteous. He promises, “Ask of me, and I shall give thee the hearthen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession,” Psalm 2:8. God is not worried on how much money you won. He wants to know about your productivity. He knows you are investing in your future.
  There is no guarantee life will be easy. The problem of being in the valley, that is of being poor, is that we think we will be poor forever. And when we reach the top of the mountain that we shall never be down again. Thus, we need to realize that circumstances are part of God’s process of bringing us into his realm. If every moment was a bed of roses, the scriptures would not have told us to rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep,” Romans 12:15. The overall plan of Jehovah is to prosper us and do us no harm. But you must not allow anything to threaten your harvest, not people, not opinions, not thoughts, not doubt. Jehovah shammah, the winner of battles will stand by  you as you tell your enemies, “stop, don't ever come closer.” Jehovah will provide protection that even Satan won’t know your address. God provides both prosperity and protection. His favour is contingent on your attitude and action. What you produce is more important than what you own. There may be temporary setbacks, but God’s lasting plan is for your abundance. Never shy away from attackers. God is your sentry, watching over what He has entrusted to you. Defend your treasures from the enemy. Allow God to be your refuge and fortress, Psalm 91.
  Our champion for today is James Byrnes, the U.S. Democratic Party politician and administrator who, during World War II, was popularly known as assistant president for domestic affairs, in his capacity as U.S. director of war mobilization, 1943-45. He was U.S. secretary of state between 1945 and 1947.
  A self-educated lawyer who never went to school. He entered politics in 1908 as public prosecutor in South Carolina. Byrnes served in the U.S. House of Representatives for 14 years and 10 years in the senate where he emerged as the majority leader. As a member of President Franklin Roosevelt’s Brain Trust, he helped pilot numerous New Deal measures through parliament.
  Byrnes was a key figure in launching important defence preparedness legislation on the eve of World War II.
  After serving briefly as a justice of the U.S. Supreme Court (1941-42), Byrnes was appointed head of the office of War Mobilisation. He was thus vested with power over production, procurement and distribution of goods, manpower allocation and economic stabilization. After attending the Yalta Conference of the Big Three: Roosevelt, Winston Churchill and Joseph Stalin in 1945, Byrnes resigned. He was however recalled by President Harry Truman who succeeded Roosevelt. He was appointed the U.S. Secretary of State. Thereafter, he accompanied Truman to the Potsdam Peace Conference of the same year.
  Byrnes’ experiences in dealing with the Soviet Union over German unification converted him from an advocate of peaceful cooperation to a hardline fighter in the Cold War. He urged the United States to maintain a military establishment in Europe to checkmate the Soviets. That heralded the birth of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO). He resigned from the cabinet in 1947 in a disagreement with Truman.
  As an illustrious native of South Carolina, Byrnes was drafted and served as governor of his state from 1951 to 1955. This walking encyclopaedia died in his home, Columbia, South Carolina in April 1972, aged 93 years.

Thursday, 14 June 2012

On the Path of Winners By Bayo Ogunmupe How to possess divine riches


On the Path of Winners
By Bayo Ogunmupe

How to possess divine riches
POSSESSING God’s abundance is the second key to wealth. God told the children of Israel. “And it shall be when thou art come in unto the land which the Lord thy God giveth for an inheritance, and possessest it, and dwellest therein,” Deuteronomy 26:1. In the olden days, land was regarded as wealth. So in the scriptures land was known as a store of riches. And God’s abundance is there for the taking.
  But nothing happens by accident. God does His part and He expects us to do ours. We will illustrate this with the story of Joshua and Caleb, two of the 12 men sent by Moses to spy out the land of Canaan. The majority report signed by 10 of the spies was frightening. With fear in their eyes, they exclaimed. “And there we saw the giants, and we were in our own sight as grasshoppers,” Numbers 13:33.
  Joshua and Caleb did not see it that way. They declared: “Let us go up at once, and possess it, for we are well able to overcome it,” Numbers 13:30. God didn’t drive out the Amalekites, the Hittites, the Jebusites and the rest of them. It was Joshua, Caleb and the other Israelites who were inspired by Yahweh to chase the giants from the land. God promised that the territory would be theirs, but they had to possess it. Which means your thinking needed to be transformed. You are not grasshoppers but giant-killers.
  The evil one has walked into your home and has stolen your treasure. It doesn’t belong to him – and never has. You don’t need to feel guilty about attacking him to retrieve the bounty. It was yours to begin with. Getting rich is like that. You have to struggle for it. It won’t fall on your laps like manna from heaven. You gain riches through fighting wars. That’s why you need to equip yourself for combat. You will fight the conflict on many fronts. You will have to wrestle against principalities, against powers, against rulers of darkness, against wickedness in high places. Here is your battle gear. One, have your loins girt about with truth. Two, put on the breastplate of righteousness. Three, your feet must be shod with the gospel of peace. Four, above all, you must put on, “the shield of faith wherever ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked,” Ephesians 6:16. Five, protect your head with the helmet of salvation. Six, in your hand hold “the sword of the spirit which is the word of God,” Ephesians 6:17. It is then that you are ready to possess the riches which is your birthright.
  In the course of your pursuit of abundance, after getting it, you have to be on the alert for life, so that you do not allow Satan to ensnare you into penury. People refer to the nation of Israel, but it isn’t as much a nation as it is an army. It has always been that. Even now in modern Israel. The country doesn’t have a traditional fighting force of volunteers. Instead, everyone is a member of the armed forces. The minute young men and women graduate from grammar school, they immediately start their training to be soldiers.
  In Nigeria soldiers serve by choice not by coercion. In Israel, every able-bodied adult in the nation is permanently on reserve, ready to be activated at a moment’s notice. That is the heritage from Jehovah. We are warriors with enemies to overcome. Military training eliminates fear because fear stifles us from fulfilling our destiny. Fear is the reason we don’t pray. Fear causes 90 per cent of our failures.
  God gave a direct order when He said: “Fear thou not,” Isaiah 41:10. He also tells you why you no longer need to worry. “For I am with thee, yea, I will help thee: yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness,” Isaiah 41:10. You can only counteract fear with faith, because fear cannot coexist with faith in the same heart. They are mutually exclusive. Absence of faith is often exhibited by my co-workers anon. When they receive alerts of their pay on Friday afternoon, their faith is sky-high. But by Saturday morning when they balance their accounts, fear has replaced their expectations. Here is a matter I wish to etch into your consciousness. When there is doubt concerning God’s will to prosper you, perfect faith cannot exist. This is because when the will of God is manifested, faith comes alive while fear dies.
  Moreover, ignorance hinders faith. “By knowledge shall the chambers be filled with all previous and pleasant riches,” Proverbs 24:4. Just as the knowledge of God’s will leads to abundance, ignorance leads to poverty. It is God’s will to abundantly bless you financially. Which was why Abraham was not just rich. He was extremely wealthy. Yet he used his resources wisely. But Allah’s abundance isn’t granted to lavish on yourself alone. It is given to establish the fellowship of the faithful throughout the world. You are blessed in order to be a vessel to loosen abundance upon the earth to help enlarge God’s fellowship on earth.
  Finally, for you to possess abundance, which is your right, you must have these three factors: Faith, believe and prayer. Faith casts out doubt. With believe you can move mountains. After directing us to have faith and believe, Jesus added: “What things so ever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them,” Mark 11:24. But sin hinders prayer. You cannot expect God to answer your prayers if you are iniquitous, greedy and lascivious.
  Our champion today is Cyprian Emeka Uzoh, the Nigerian inventor, engineer and winner of the 2006 Inventor of the Year from the New York Intellectual Property Law Association. When he left Nigeria for the U.S. in 1975, Uzoh’s simple goal was to acquire education. Although he was able to achieve his aims of getting first and doctorate degrees there, today he has etched his name in gold for his inventions in electronics.
  Uzoh has more than 150 patents in semi-conductor technology. This technology, which enabled the introduction of copper in the making of chips has revolutionalized the industry. It provided low-cost methods of depositing reliable copper films within integrated circuits for circuit wiring.
  Uzoh was its principal inventor. He was responsible for the electroplating technology. He also invented methods of preventing copper from contaminating semi-conductor fabs. After working for IBM for a decade, Uzoh moved to ASM Incorporated. He is a corporate fellow in the industry. He hails from Ojoto, Idemili South Local Government Area, Anambra State of Nigeria. Before leaving for America, Uzoh attended Christ the King College, Onitsha. He obtained his school certificate and higher school certificates there.

On the Path of Winners By Bayo Ogunmupe


On the Path of Winners
By Bayo Ogunmupe

How to possess divine riches
POSSESSING God’s abundance is the second key to wealth. God told the children of Israel. “And it shall be when thou art come in unto the land which the Lord thy God giveth for an inheritance, and possessest it, and dwellest therein,” Deuteronomy 26:1. In the olden days, land was regarded as wealth. So in the scriptures land was known as a store of riches. And God’s abundance is there for the taking.
  But nothing happens by accident. God does His part and He expects us to do ours. We will illustrate this with the story of Joshua and Caleb, two of the 12 men sent by Moses to spy out the land of Canaan. The majority report signed by 10 of the spies was frightening. With fear in their eyes, they exclaimed. “And there we saw the giants, and we were in our own sight as grasshoppers,” Numbers 13:33.
  Joshua and Caleb did not see it that way. They declared: “Let us go up at once, and possess it, for we are well able to overcome it,” Numbers 13:30. God didn’t drive out the Amalekites, the Hittites, the Jebusites and the rest of them. It was Joshua, Caleb and the other Israelites who were inspired by Yahweh to chase the giants from the land. God promised that the territory would be theirs, but they had to possess it. Which means your thinking needed to be transformed. You are not grasshoppers but giant-killers.
  The evil one has walked into your home and has stolen your treasure. It doesn’t belong to him – and never has. You don’t need to feel guilty about attacking him to retrieve the bounty. It was yours to begin with. Getting rich is like that. You have to struggle for it. It won’t fall on your laps like manna from heaven. You gain riches through fighting wars. That’s why you need to equip yourself for combat. You will fight the conflict on many fronts. You will have to wrestle against principalities, against powers, against rulers of darkness, against wickedness in high places. Here is your battle gear. One, have your loins girt about with truth. Two, put on the breastplate of righteousness. Three, your feet must be shod with the gospel of peace. Four, above all, you must put on, “the shield of faith wherever ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked,” Ephesians 6:16. Five, protect your head with the helmet of salvation. Six, in your hand hold “the sword of the spirit which is the word of God,” Ephesians 6:17. It is then that you are ready to possess the riches which is your birthright.
  In the course of your pursuit of abundance, after getting it, you have to be on the alert for life, so that you do not allow Satan to ensnare you into penury. People refer to the nation of Israel, but it isn’t as much a nation as it is an army. It has always been that. Even now in modern Israel. The country doesn’t have a traditional fighting force of volunteers. Instead, everyone is a member of the armed forces. The minute young men and women graduate from grammar school, they immediately start their training to be soldiers.
  In Nigeria soldiers serve by choice not by coercion. In Israel, every able-bodied adult in the nation is permanently on reserve, ready to be activated at a moment’s notice. That is the heritage from Jehovah. We are warriors with enemies to overcome. Military training eliminates fear because fear stifles us from fulfilling our destiny. Fear is the reason we don’t pray. Fear causes 90 per cent of our failures.
  God gave a direct order when He said: “Fear thou not,” Isaiah 41:10. He also tells you why you no longer need to worry. “For I am with thee, yea, I will help thee: yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness,” Isaiah 41:10. You can only counteract fear with faith, because fear cannot coexist with faith in the same heart. They are mutually exclusive. Absence of faith is often exhibited by my co-workers anon. When they receive alerts of their pay on Friday afternoon, their faith is sky-high. But by Saturday morning when they balance their accounts, fear has replaced their expectations. Here is a matter I wish to etch into your consciousness. When there is doubt concerning God’s will to prosper you, perfect faith cannot exist. This is because when the will of God is manifested, faith comes alive while fear dies.
  Moreover, ignorance hinders faith. “By knowledge shall the chambers be filled with all previous and pleasant riches,” Proverbs 24:4. Just as the knowledge of God’s will leads to abundance, ignorance leads to poverty. It is God’s will to abundantly bless you financially. Which was why Abraham was not just rich. He was extremely wealthy. Yet he used his resources wisely. But Allah’s abundance isn’t granted to lavish on yourself alone. It is given to establish the fellowship of the faithful throughout the world. You are blessed in order to be a vessel to loosen abundance upon the earth to help enlarge God’s fellowship on earth.
  Finally, for you to possess abundance, which is your right, you must have these three factors: Faith, believe and prayer. Faith casts out doubt. With believe you can move mountains. After directing us to have faith and believe, Jesus added: “What things so ever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them,” Mark 11:24. But sin hinders prayer. You cannot expect God to answer your prayers if you are iniquitous, greedy and lascivious.
  Our champion today is Cyprian Emeka Uzoh, the Nigerian inventor, engineer and winner of the 2006 Inventor of the Year from the New York Intellectual Property Law Association. When he left Nigeria for the U.S. in 1975, Uzoh’s simple goal was to acquire education. Although he was able to achieve his aims of getting first and doctorate degrees there, today he has etched his name in gold for his inventions in electronics.
  Uzoh has more than 150 patents in semi-conductor technology. This technology, which enabled the introduction of copper in the making of chips has revolutionalized the industry. It provided low-cost methods of depositing reliable copper films within integrated circuits for circuit wiring.
  Uzoh was its principal inventor. He was responsible for the electroplating technology. He also invented methods of preventing copper from contaminating semi-conductor fabs. After working for IBM for a decade, Uzoh moved to ASM Incorporated. He is a corporate fellow in the industry. He hails from Ojoto, Idemili South Local Government Area, Anambra State of Nigeria. Before leaving for America, Uzoh attended Christ the King College, Onitsha. He obtained his school certificate and higher school certificates there.

Enemies of the Nigerian Economy. By Bayo Ogunmupe


Enemies of the Nigerian Economy
By Bayo Ogunmupe

            When the Islamic Development Bank rated Nigeria the third fastest growing economy in the world last April, it elicited widespread interest and approval.  This classification was based on Nigeria’s GDP figure of US$64 billion.
            According to the report, with a growth rate of seven per cent in 2011, Nigeria stands behind Mongolia with 14 per cent growth and China with eight per cent rate of growth.  Indeed, with elation, Nigerian government officials were quick to tell the nation that we have graduated from a low income country to a medium income one because of the improved per capita income which according to the Federal Ministry of Planning, has increased from $1,200 to $1,400.
            As it was to be expected, this generated divergent opinions, ranging from repudiation and excited acceptance.  However, economists insist that the classification is misleading and capable of goading members of the federal executive council and the National Assembly into self delusion since the reality everywhere does not support the false statistics being bandied about.
            Meanwhile, we export only oil, both in crude form and sometimes, refined quantities as well.  But in spite of the huge sums of money realized from oil, how do we explain our budget which is always in deficit?  Indeed, economists explain economic growth to mean the capacity of an economy to supply increasingly diverse goods to its population based on advanced technology with necessary institutional and ideological adjustments.
            There are three dimensions to growth.  One, the gradual and consistent rise in output over time.  The measure of output is the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), which is the aggregate of an economy’s annual value of output of goods and services within a given period of time, usually a year.
            Two, the availability of relevant technology and infrastructure as conducive factors of growth.  The quantity and quality of technology in a country determines the power of the economy to produce and supply goods and services to the people, otherwise the economy like ours, will be import dependent.  However, import driven growth usually dislocates other fundamentals such as the purchasing power of the currency.
            Indeed, the most critical of the dimensions of growth is the nature, quality and power of the institutions driving growth.
            Thus, no meaningful growth will occur in an economy if fiscal institutions are weak.  Available data show that Nigerian output has been on a gradual rise now, particularly since the ascent of Lamido Sanusi as the Central Bank governor.  Despite obvious challenges, economists aver that the GDP revision will see Nigeria where Argentina was when she joined G20.  It isn’t surprising therefore that our policymakers are positive that by 2020, Nigeria would join the league of 20 most advanced economies.  Thus, all things being equal, we are on the right course to prosperity.
            But can we say that the Nigerian economy is growing.  The GDP rate of growth is often touted as an indicator of the general health of the economy.
            A consistent rise in the rate of growth of GDP shows that an economy is buoyant.  This, will be reflected by an increase in employment, a rise in the purchasing power of the people and a higher standard of living, since such conditions don’t operate in Nigeria, it means the economy isn’t growing.  When an economy isn’t growing, it will be declining, in other words, a decreasing rate of growth leads to rise in unemployment, as witnessed in Nigeria since the advent of the meltdown of 2008.  Thus, the economic condition in Nigeria is moving opposite of positive growth.  As a result, Nigeria is declining economically in spite of our huge revenues from oil.  This decline in our well being is attributable to the activities of the enemies of the Nigerian economy.
            First of such activities is the failure by government officials to produce regular electrical power to service the economy.  This failure has been deliberate, and is being done for personal gain either for money or such that a generator supply company may continue to operate.  Such other enemies of the nation are those who want to curb the autonomy of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).  In any event, the present CBN model that price stability is its main objective, is based on a huge body of empirical evidence regarding the positive impact of central banking independence on economic performance, especially in achieving lower inflation rates.  Central Bank autonomy also boosts fiscal discipline without any additional costs or sacrifices in terms of output or reduced growth.  The shift towards central banking independence has become the norm since the banking crisis of 2008, and we should follow suit or fail.
            Indeed, experience has shown that nations with independent central banks attract more investment because indices such as GDP, exchange and interest rates tend to be stable thereby enabling investors to make long term investment commitments.  Thus, it is no accident that the period when Nigeria achieved a superior economic growth coincided with when the CBN became more independent of political maneuvering.  Thus, those seeking to alter the CBN charter are part of the enemies of the economy.   Lamido Sanusi isn’t going to be CBN governor for ever.  Don’t change the CBN Act because of jealousy.  What we need is a law regulating donations.  Because we know they want to destroy CBN because it donated N100 million to the victims of the Kano bomb blasts.  We share the feeling that the manner governors, ministers and the presidency is doling out money to the public is wasteful and unacceptable.
            Finally, many of the flawed growth patterns in our economy involve fiscal distress, contrary to the prevailing wisdom of today, some degree of Keynesian demand management in this transition to a sustainable growth pattern isn’t in conflict with restoring balance to the economy.
            Thus, the real enemies of the economy are those who stoke unrest by refusing to employ enough policemen for Nigeria.  Being about 168 million in population Nigeria needs 1.68m policemen. 
            Unfortunately, we can only boast of377,000 cops, a number which is less than one third of our needs.  Any wonder Boko Haram has unleashed terror on the country three years on?  Perhaps, the only way to stop the enemies of the country is to change the personnel of government every four years.  This can be achieved by changing the ruling parties in each state and the federation every four years.  Stability is critical to the economy because terror scares away investors from the country.       
              
           

season of honour for Uzoh


SEASON OF HONOUR FOR UZOH

Honour, they said is only bestowed on those who deserve them. Obinna Chukwudum Uzoh, Lawyer, Politician, Businessman and Philantropist per excellence and Chairman/CEO, GOCUZ Group Limited do not only deserve the multiple of honour being accorded him but he also merited them.

Come Saturday, the 21st of April, 2012, Uzoh will be honoured with the National Youth Award by the Catholic Youth Organisation of Nigeria, CYON, the umbrella body of all Youth Groups in the catholic church.

In a letter signed by the President of the organization, David Dzalla, the award on Uzoh is in recognition of his contribution to the church and as a model to the young people. The award ceremony will form part of the event that includes the launching of the Association’s 500 Million Naira Youth Centre. The event is scheduled to hold at the Shehu Musa Yar’adua Centre in Abuja.

It will be recalled that on Sunday, 15th of April 2012, Uzoh was also given a Merit Award and conferred the Grand Patron of CYON, Nnewi diocese. The event which was presided by the Bishop of Nnewi, Most Rev. Hilary Okeke, saw other prominent sons of the State that includes Governor Peter Obi and the State Commissioner of Works, Architect Ilozumba equally honoured with the merit award.

Also, on Friday 20th of April 2012 in Awka, Anambra State, Uzoh will be conferred with the Patronship of UNIZIK 94.1 FM, a campus radio established to meet the listening demands of the grassroots, within and around the University Community. The conferment will form part of the event marking the 5th Anniversary of the Station.

In the letter conveying the award to Dr Uzoh, signed by the Vice Chancellor of the University, Prof. Boniface Egboka, the Board of the UNIZIK 94.1 FM decided to confer the patronship of the station on Uzoh after carefully chronicling his numerous philanthropic gestures on several occasions, the latest latest being your donation of church building to the catholic faithful of your community, Ihiala. This good gesture got the acclaim of many Nigerians and UNIZIK 94.1 FM was there to cover the event. According to the letter, Uzoh being media friendly, his selection will help the station attain the desired height.

Saturday, 9 June 2012

On the Path of Winners By Bayo Ogunmupe First Key to your abundance


On the Path of Winners
By Bayo Ogunmupe

First Key to your abundance
THE first key to your abundance is the process of exchange in your life. This means as you sow so shall you reap. This also means everything in your life involves a trade-off. In the giving of abundance, it is not for you and me to decide how much is too much. That is God’s business, not ours.
  You must be aware that, a father isn’t a father just because he can sire a child. No. He must be able to provide and protect. So is it with God. Jehovah says: “I am your father and am responsible for you. I have a plan for you.” Which is why! I tell you on the authority of heaven that Yahweh will chart the course for His abundance to be released unto your life. God wants you in abundance more than you want to be there. IF you have a need, that is the proof that the supply has already been given by God. Jehovah said that through Jeremiah who declared that He wants you to prosper and not to fail. “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil,” Jeremiah 29:11.
  Here is how God’s process of exchange works. Before you can receive what is in God’s hand, you first have to unclench your fist and offer the Lord what is in your hand. There are some people who have to be pulled from the world kicking and screaming. They can’t stand the thought of giving up their personal possessions and material resources. The prospect of a life of abundance eludes them, because they are tied to their worldly possessions.
  In order to experience abundance, our attitudes have to change. Righteousness is what God does with us. Holiness is what we do. God deals with our character, we deal with our conduct. Jehovah expects us to subdue our minds and emotions. Ultimately, glorification takes place in our new mental domain where every need – financial and spiritual is met. That was why Jesus urged us to pray for Jehovah’s will to be done “in earth as it is in heaven,” Matt 6:10. Heaven’s resources dwell in earthen vessels and what is in heaven now and prepared for us in the future, can be part of our daily life. As believers, it is our birthright to experience heaven’s blessings here on earth. There is no limit to God’s abundance. Economists talk of a new world order, when you move into Jehovah’s faithful realm, you can have unlimited abundance. You are no longer bound by the world’s restrictions. But if God is willing to give everything He has, He expects us to do the same.
  Speaking about Abraham’s descendants, God said: “I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee, and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed,” Gen. 12:3. Sadly, I see people everywhere who are the mirror image of Esau. They are ruled by their appetites and emotions. They sell their souls for a bowl of soup and are destined for lives of continual hunger. The Bible said of Esau: “For ye know how that afterward, when he would have inherited the blessing, he was rejected. For he found no place of repentance, though he sought it carefully with tears,” Heb 12: 17. Think twice before you make the wrong choice. The covenant blessing is our birthright as children of God. Never let it go. It holds the promise of God’s continual supply. Abundance is the reward for a faithful soul. To qualify for abundance you must transform your soul thus. Your soul has three areas: Your mind, your will and your emotions. Transform your soul by one, changing your mind through a positive mental attitude which gives you a new view of your resources. As a child of provision, “let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus,” Phil. 2:5.
  Two, submit your will to God. Two of the greatest barriers to blessing are stubbornness and conceit. Those who believe they have all the answers, seldom leave much room for God. “Submit yourselves therefore to God,” James 4:7.
  Three, control your emotions. When self-discipline is combined with abundance, the results can be phenomenal. Thus, you should know that you cannot have everything you want when you want it. You must know that it is not money but “the love of money,” that is the “root of all evil,” 1 Timothy 6:10. Sex is not sin if inside the covenant of marriage. When we seek to fulfill a desire even a Godly desire, in a way not prescribed in law, we are guilty of iniquity. So, let God’s line of authority to totally govern your life, then you will experience abundance. You will be contented by what you own.
  Our champion today is Michael Spence, the winner of 2001 Nobel Prize for Economics and the current chairman of Hoover Commission on Growth and Development. He was Philip Knight Professor of Economics and dean of the Stanford Business School after teaching economics as professor at Stanford between 1973 and 1975. From 1975 to 1990, he was professor of economics and business administration at Harvard University. As professor, he was awarded Kenneth Galbraith Prize for excellence in teaching in 1978 and John Bates Clark medal in 1981 for a significant contribution for economic thought and knowledge.
  From 1984 to 1990, Spence was dean of Harvard College, and also overseeing the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. Among his many honours, Spence was fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, winning the David Wells Prize for outstanding doctoral dissertation at Harvard University in 1972. His latest book is The Future of Economic Growth in a Multispeed World. He is an authority on economic growth and development in developing countries. He is one we can turn to for the correct diagnosis of our economic ills as a nation besieged by Haramite terror.