Sunday, 23 March 2014

Let Nigeria Learn From Brazil


Let Nigeria Learn From Brazil

BY BAYO OGUNMUPE
A GOOD leader must set goals for himself and the nation he leads. Which is why the Nigerian leader should create a niche for his country in the comity of nations.
  Although we are currently grouped with the MINT countries, we should strive to a better position particularly within the group being occupied by our contemporaries. We are now grouped with the MINT nations of Mexico, Indonesia, Nigeria and Turkey. All things being equal, Nigeria ought to belong to the BRICS countries of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.
  It is only natural that if we cannot be counted among the G7 economies: Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, UK, USA, we should be with the BRINCS, then there being Nigeria. If we are to badger into BRICS, we should imitate its leading light-Brazil. More so when we share similarities. We are a former colony like Brazil. In fact, Brazil’s facts file is entrancing. Brazil has a population of 201 million as at 2011. She is 86 per cent urbanized. Their citizens speak Portuguese as the official language while Spanish and English are widely spoken as well.
  But unlike Nigeria, Brazil is 74 per cent Roman Catholic and 15 per cent Protestant. Brazil is a federal republic with a presidential system. She has 25 states compared to our 36. Brazil became independent in September 1822, it became a republic in 1889. Education is compulsory up till the age of 14 and there is 90 per cent literacy in Brazil. She has the largest crude oil reserves in the world.
  The nation which already meets many of its energy needs through biofuels reported huge offshore oil finds in 2007. Brazil is on its way to displacing France as the world’s fifth largest economy, coming after the United States, China, Japan and Germany. Its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is larger than those of the other Latin American countries combined. Brazil’s GDP grew by seven per cent in 2010. Brazil’s aerospace firm: Embraer is the third largest aircraft manufacturing company in the world, coming after Boeing and the Airbus.
  Brazil is a very peaceful country, never having fought a way or skirmish since 1870. Compared with fellow BRICS countries, Brazil’s zero allocation to defence differs from Russia’s $76.7 billion; India’s $46 billion; and China’s $126 billion. Basically, the BRICS are developing countries but who are believed to be at a similar stage of development but still considered to be more developed than Nigeria’s MINT group. In fact the BRICS are expected to overtake the G7 economies by 2027.
  The BRICS occupy a quarter of the world’s land area and more than 40 per cent of the world’s population in 2010. However, they accounted for only 25 per cent of the world’s gross national income. Another acronym: MINT coined in 2013 lumped Nigeria with Mexico, Indonesia and Turkey as nations in similar level of development. Though Brazil isn’t in the first world, because 90 per cent of her roads are unpaved and with pervasive slums, yet she does have plans to move up.
  Unlike Nigeria, Brazil is quick to adopt new technologies. Her 90 per cent literacy lifts her tops in Information and Communications technology, compared to Nigeria’s 60 per cent literacy. Brazil’s network equipment comes from different sources: Cisco Systems (U.S.), Juniper (U.S.), Huawei (China), Alcatel (France). However, the U.S. National Security Agency’s leak through Edward Snowden, has caused Brazil to re-examine its ICT strategies.
  Snowden’s allegations are that the United States is snooping on other countries. This prompted Brazil’s President to cancel a state visit to Washington in protest. What is more, Brazil is now empowering local communications companies for its network procurement. Brazil is now putting her resources in small scale internet companies. Thus, the winners are Brazil’s Datacom and Padtec, both of which already have business relations with the state owned Telecommunications Brazilian.
  Brazil’s local content policy is geared towards ensuring protection against back-door security holes, a potentially leakage source for foreign made products. What is more, there are innovations coming out of Brazil in this new millennium. Embraer, Brazil’s aerospace firm flies own home grown technology, a feat that China is trying to achieve. Brazil is now on the path of building her first geostationary satellite, enhancing the country’s remote-imaging and weather prediction capabilities.
  Brazil also prides herself with her online voting and banking facilities. Her information technology sector earned her $37 billion in 2012. Stefanini, Brazil’s telecommunications giant operates in various countries including Canada, China, India, Italy, Japan and the United Kingdom. Stefanini is expanding all over the world. It established a new software centre in China last December.
  Apontador is Brazil’s leading geo-location service company. It is developing tools which enable other companies see how users interact with their products. Predicta is also well ranked in Brazil as a tools developing company. The main point is that Brazil is aggressively pursuing the development of local technology as against Nigeria’s over-dependence on importation. In fact by comparison, taken seriatim, literacy level is the catalyst for development. Brazil is advancing because of her 90 per cent literacy rate. For Nigeria, our 60 per cent literacy rate and over 14 million unemployed put our nation out of touch with development reality.
  Thus, like Brazil we should open our doors for industrial development through a coordinated small and medium scale industrial strategy. Wherefore, we should enunciate a Marshall Plan in which various programmes are combined to achieve full employment. For example, both small scale enterprises enhancement loans scheme of the National Directorate of Employment and AMPLE group investment scheme should merge under the proposed plan. This plan must target import substitution schemes as means of full employment. This is the way we can move to the next development level by imitating Brazil’s small and medium scale development programme.
  Ogunmupe is a columnist with The Guardian

How To Regain Your Glory


On The Path Of Winners
By Bayo Ogunmupe

How To Regain Your Glory
WHATEVER life has taken from you, God can restore to you more abundantly. He may not give you exactly what you want, but He will give you what is best. Even when you fall under His corrective hand through disobedience, if you repent, Jehovah will reinstate you to a place of glory. You say, ‘But what about the time I have wasted, the opportunities squandered?’ ‘Behold the Lord’s hands is not shortened, that it cannot save, nor His ear heavy, that it cannot hear!’ Isaiah 59:1.
  After wasting all that he had inherited, the Prodigal Son returned home, penniless and embarrassed. All he wanted was three square meals and a job in the servants’ quarters. But the moment he said forgive me, his father called for the best robe, the fattest cow, the newest shoes, and a ring of son-ship restoring him to his rightful place as a member of the family. Even under the crushing weight of the Draconian laws of the Old Testament, God said,; if a man steals an ox or sheep he shall restore five oxen for an ox and four sheep for a sheep, Exodus 22:1. Now if God would do that for those on the wrong side of the law, how much more will He do for those He has redeemed? So you can go to Jehovah with confidence, knowing He is a God of restoration. One day the Amalekites burned down King David’s hometown, taking its families captive. In that scene of devastation, David and his men wept their eyes out. But said to David, ‘Pursue, for you shall surely overtake them and without fail recover all,’ 1 Samuel 30:8. That was how David got back all they had lost. Thus Yahweh is not only a God of restoration, He is also a God of abundance. God who created time can give you more of it.
  When God blesses you, it will not come from a rationed supply. Ever since Adam and Eve blew it in the Garden of Eden, God’s desire has been to restore to Homo Sapiens, all that we lost. So go to God today and let the restoration to glory again. Being justified gives you the right to stand before Allah and claim his best. So, believe for more gain that expected, because our God is a God of retoration√•. ‘Your God will come with recompense,’ Isaiah 35:4.
  What you give up in order to serve God is nothing compared to what you will get back, God can give you a hundred fold what  you have sacrificed in order to serve Him. ‘Be strong, do not fear! Behold your God will come with vengeance, with restoration. He will come and save you,’ Isaiah 35: 3-4. God can give you back any losses in overflowing measure: And the ransomed of the Lord shall return and go to Zion with singing, with everlasting joy on your heads. You shall obtain joy and gladness and sorrow shall flee away. Stand on His promise: ‘And the desert shall rejoice and blossom as the rose, it shall blossom abundantly,’ Isaiah 35: 1-2. Rejoice, the Almighty is a God of restoration, so your best days are ahead of you.
  Dr. Alexander Maclaren, the great Scottish preacher, attributed everything he knew to one habit: spending an hour each day alone with God. Sometimes he allowed others into his study, but they were never allowed to speak. God gave you your talent, but it is your job to develop it. And it isn’t that complicated because your gift usually relates to something that excites you. Think about it. God made you. He put that desire into your heart. Knowing that helps you understand why the things you find rewarding involve your innate talents and abilities. It is natural for a dog to hunt. Coop him and it will lie around without enthusiasm. But it is going hunting, he comes alive. That is because God designed dogs that way. They have that passion inside them.
  And for humans, when we are doing what we know we are called to do, enthusiasm and excitement erupt in us. On the other hand, when you are doing something not natural, it is always a struggle. If you try, train, practice and push, you still cannot master the skill. Then you should recognize that it may not be your forte. Though we must persevere by learning hard things, but life should not be a constant struggle. When you are fulfilling your purpose, the most noticeable result is how rewarding it feels to stir up the gift of God in you by utilizing your natural talents.
  As they wrestled together, the angel of Jehovah asked Jacob, ‘What’s your name?’ Jacob answered, ‘Jacob.’ Then the angel said, ‘your name will no longer be Jacob, which means deceiver, but Israel, which means’ a prince with God,’ because you have struggled  and overcome,’ Genesis 32:27. God forced Jacob to look at his true identity. He wrestled him into a revelation of who he was -  not what others said he was. You are not who others say you are. You should determine who you are before God. You are more than your past and education, you are more than your circumstances. You are an overcomer. So dry your tears, square your shoulders and begin walking in your God-given identity, as the champion of Nigerian prosperity.
  Our champion this week is David Sarnoff, the American pioneer in the development of both radio and television broadcasting. Sarnoff was born in February 1891 at Minsk, Russia, as a boy he spent several years preparing for a career as a scholar of the Jewish Talmud. He emigrated with his family to the United States in 1900. He settled first in Albany, then in New York City. While at school, he supported his family by vending newspapers and singing liturgy in a synagogue.
  In 1906, he left school to become a messenger in a telegraph company and with his first salary bought a telegraph instrument. He soon became proficient in Morse operations, thereby finding work as a radio operator for the Marconi Wireless Telegraph Company. After service at sea for several years Sarnoff became operator of the most powerful radio station in the world, created by John Wanamaker atop his Manhattan department store. There in April 1912, Sarnoff picked up the distress call from the sinking Titanic, he remained at his post for 72 hours receiving and passing on the news.
  Rewarded by the Marconi Company with rapid promotion, he became a director of the company and in 1916 first proposed a radio music box or commercially marketed radio receiver. This proposal took several years in gaining acceptance. But as the manager of Radio Corporation of America in 1921, he demonstrated the profitability of broadcasting during the boxing match of Jack Dempsey and Georges Carpentier (July 2, 1921), the broadcast created a sensation. Within three years the corporation sold more than eighty million dollar worth of radio sets. In 1926, Sarnoff formed the National Broadcasting Company (NBC).
  By then, Sarnoff had perceived the potential of television. In 1928 he launched NBC television and demonstrated the new medium. Its development was delayed by World War Two where Sarnoff served as a Brigadier, on the staff of General Dwight Eisenhower, the supreme Commander of Allied Forces. He became president of Radio Corporation of America in 1930, chairman of the board in 1947, retiring in 1970. He died in New York in December 1971. He was pioneer of radio and television broadcasting in the world.

How To Nurture The Leader In You


On The Path Of winners
BY BAYO OGUNMUPE

How To Nurture The Leader In You
WHAT do you think of the word service? Our false definition of the word is reflected in the Sarcastic Beatitudes by John Phillips, who also wrote a paraphrase of the New Testament Bible: ‘’Blessed are the pushers for they get their way. Blessed are the hard-boiled for they never get hurt. Blessed are those who complain, for they get all the attention. Blessed are the blas√©, for they never worry about sin. Blessed are the slave drivers, for they get results. Blessed are the greedy, for they get what they want.’’
  Which is why Jesus introduced himself as ‘’The Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life,’’ Mark 10:45. And Jesus practised what he preached. He says, ‘‘He who is greatest among you shall be your servant.’’
  Caleb wasn’t into safe living, for as a youngman he came back from Canaan standing with the minority. He said with God on their side they will take it. At 85, he was still slaying giants and claiming mountains. That was because he had a leadership spirit, the incurable optimist. The great essayist, Richard Edler wrote: ‘’Safe living generally makes for regrets later in life.’’ You were given talents for your own greatness. You were born to nurture your dreams for all they were worth. Leaders don’t allow themselves to be pressured into thinking your talents are for hire. They were meant to bring you joy and fulfilment, you are not limited by your Intelligence Quotent – (IQ). You can only allow yourself to be limited by your will. Fate or destiny begins where free will ends. Life’s battles don’t always go to the fastest. The man who wins is the man who believes he can win. The spirit of Caleb is the can do spirit. It is the spirit of leadership.
  Think carefully about ‘‘walking with God.’’ In whose company are you walking? Since you are angling for higher status, the higher your calling, the lower you must become in your own eyes. Apostle Paul had one of the greatest callings in the world. Can you imagine the Bible without the Epistles? We would know far less about church functions without Paul.
  If you believe God has called you to leadership, your response should be to fall on your face before Jehovah. That is how every great leader in scripture responded. When an angel appeared to Zacharias telling him he would have a son named John, Zacharias fell to the floor and didn’t move, to the point that people wondered if he was dead. Prophet Ezekiel said that in the presence of Yahweh and at the vision God gave him, he collapsed on the floor. God had to tell him to get up saying: Son of Man, stand upon thy feet and I will speak unto thee, Ezekiel 2:1.
  When John the Revelator saw Jesus standing in the midst of seven churches, he wrote: ‘‘And when I saw Him, I fell at his feet as dead,’’ Revelation 1:17. Those who exalt themselves are humbled by God. Those who humble themselves are those whom Jehovah raises up. Humility isn’t debasement. It just means thinking of yourselves less. ‘‘The discerning heart seeks knowledge,’’ Prov. 15:14. If you are talented, you may have difficulties when it comes to staying teachable. Gifted people often act like they know it all. That makes it hard for them to keep learning. Being teachable isn’t about competence. It is about attitude. It is the hunger to discover and grow. It is the willingness to learn, unlearn and relearn.
  When you stop learning you stop leading. Only as you remain teachable will you keep growing and continue making an impact. Beside being an astonishing painter, Leonardo da Vinci was a genius in more fields than any scientist of any age. His notebooks were centuries ahead of his time. He anticipated helicopters. In one, he wrote that inaction saps the vigour of the mind. You don’t need to have the talent of Leonardo. You just must have the right attitude. To remain teachable, the most important skill is for you to continue learning. Life long learning is the prescription for greatness.
  Our champion this week is James Callaghan: in full – Baron James Callaghan of Cardiff. Born in England in March, 1912, Callaghan became British Labour Party politician who was prime minister from 1976 to 1979. Owing to poverty, he entered the civil service as a tax officer at age 17. By 1936 he had become a full time trade unionist.
  After serving as a lieutenant in Naval Intelligence in World War II, he entered Parliament in 1945 representing the Welsh constituency of Cardiff South. Between 1947 and 1951, Callaghan was a junior minister at the Ministry of Transport. When Harold Wilson became prime minister in 1964, Callaghan was named Chancellor of the Exchequer. In 1967, he helped secure the system called Special Drawing Rights, which created a new kind of global money.
  Callaghan resigned as chancellor when he was forced to devalue the Pound Sterling in 1967. He then served as Home Secretary till 1970. In Wilson’s second ministry in 1974, Callaghan served as Foreign Secretary and in 1976 upon Wilson’s resignation, Callaghan succeeded him as Prime Minister. But during his ministry, as a moderate within the Labour Party, Callaghan tried to stem the tide of the demands of the trade unions. When a series of strikes paralyzed health care, he was dubbed complacent, and was dethroned by a vote of no confidence in the Parliament, the first since 1924. When his party was defeated in 1980 he resigned as party leader and was replaced by Michael Foot. He was created a life peer in 1987 and published an autobiography: Time and Chance in 1987. He died in 2005.

All Hail The Incorruptible Judge, Prince Ajibola@ 80


All Hail The Incorruptible Judge, Prince Ajibola@ 80 

Admirers are waiting to celebrate the former World Court Judge at The Hague, Prince Bola Ajibola (SAN) as he joins the octogenarian club few weeks from now.
  By Tunde Eso 
THE world is thrilled as the former World Court Judge at The Hague, Nigeria-born Prince Judge Bola Ajibola (SAN), is set to celebrate his 80 years birthday few weeks from now.
 The legal luminary, aside being a former Head of the Nigeria High Commission to Britain, is an international adjudicator, a mediator, ambassador, a humanitarian, a devout Muslim, and an accomplished proprietor of Nigeria’s great citadel of learning, Crescent University, Abeokuta, Ogun State.
  Ajibola has made his impressive footprints on the sand of time,having written his name boldly in gold and on the wall of history. The president of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) has been a good role model for those who seek to be inspired by his exemplary life.
 Apart from being the longest-serving attorney general and minister of justice at a stretch, Ajibola remains the only Nigerian who selflessly served his fatherland for over six years-between 1985 and 1991-as a minister without taking home any salary.   He rather painstakingly paid back to the Federal Government 35 per cent of his regular monthly salary, 25 per cent of it to the NBA and 40 per cent to charitable/humanitarian organisations all over Nigeria, including the Association of the Blind, Red Cross, Red Crescent, Muslim Aid Group, disabled societies in Lagos and Benin among others. During the aforementioned period, he engaged the services of three legal practitioners that he was paying on his own at the Ministry of Justice for the publication of the Nigerian Weekly Law Report. As a man of integrity, Ajibola remains an incorruptible jurist  on the bar and the bench.
 In his days as attorney general and minister of justice, people looking for favours of his office would send in expensive wristwatches, clothes, jewelry, wall clocks and other valuables. On quarterly basis, the items were often sold at trade fairs, while the proceeds were often returned to the Federal Government coffers on his directive.
Once, a printing contractor who had been patronised by the ministry of justice brought a new car into his compound as a gift. On his knowledge, Ajibola quickly phoned the man to take  away his car or risk a jail term.
Unlike many Nigerian public office holders who amassed billions of naira and concealed them in foreign accounts, Ajibola, after retiring from the world court at The Hague, decided to sell all his assets both in Nigeria -starting from Bola Ajibola Street in Ikeja, Lagos- and abroad in fulfillment of his pact with God to found a university—Crescent University, Abeokuta, to cater for the next generation. Whereas his colleagues at the World Court retired to bliss, he chose to retire to contentment and enduring impact on humanity through education.
 In his national and international legal as well as arbitration assignments too numerous to mention, the incorruptible judge is synonymous with integrity, industry, credibility and discipline, the demonstration of which had been evident since his days as president  NBA.
 At the time he served at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) to the time he led the Nigerian delegation to the Cameroon-Nigerian Mixed Commission, he successfully prevented the anticipated war between Nigeria and Cameroon with his foresight, as some powerful nations of the world were ready to support Cameroon in case the matter resulted in war. By and large, Nigeria generally gained more in the area of maritime delineation, which enabled the country to gain virtually all its claim on the offshore and the onshore. Although Judge Teslim Elias had written a legal opinion that Bakassi was a peninsular belonging to Cameroon, Ajibola made tremendous efforts to prove that Bakassi belong to Nigeria.
   As an elder statesman,  Ajibola was appointed to chair the delegation of not only his home state, Ogun State, but the South Western states and later the entire south of Nigeria to Conference of Political Reforms in 2005 where divergent views of various groups were discussed. The delegation successfully secured the N10b billion Lagos allocations from the Federal Government.
He has won dozens of awards and honours both within and outside the country. He also emerged the winner of the prestigious Sardauna Leadership Award in 2010.
Ajibola has put smiles on many faces as he donates secretly to refugee camps, motherless babies’ homes and hospitals.
Born on March 22, 1934 in Owu, Abeokuta, Ogun State, to Oba Abdul-Salam Ajibola Gbadela II, who ruled Owu between 1949 and 1972, Ajibola attended Owu Baptist Day School and Baptist Boys’ High School both in Abeokuta between 1942 and 1955. He obtained his Bachelors Degree in Law (LL.B) at the Horlborn College of Law, University of London, between 1959 and 1962, and was called to the English Bar at the Lincoln’s Inn in 1962. He retuned to Nigeria to practise law, specialising in Commercial Law and International Arbitration.Ajibola said his secret of longevity has been in the service of God.
In spite of his achievement, Ajibola is sad that Nigeria is not making use of history judiciously. “Nigerians have ignored the appreciation of the past, no regard for history,” the former temporary President of the United Nations General Assembly said. “We are not making good use of our past, in fact, we don't study history in schools any longer. So, we don't have memory; we don't think; we don't project rightly. It is very sad because if you don't have your pasts, how do you relate the present to arrive at what you intent to attain in future? If we don't take cognizance of our past, we are deluding our selves to see any bright future.
 “I will give you good examples. The Americans looked into the past by looking back on the walls of Jericho, using that to make use of the power of sound. They have scientifically exploited the power of the sound to the effect that they were able to destroy people far away in the sea in order to destroy their efforts to do piracy.  And this invention enables the Americans to set up University of Robot, and they got robots to carry out jobs in Mars so that they will not harm human beings. It was robot that gave Americans the indication that there was water in Mars. If they had not looked back, how would they have gotten all that?     
 “There were days of Obafemi Awolowo and others who gave us the inspirations to move ahead. Our future is deemed, and it is sad we are behaving reckless. We are backward as a country because we are not looking back to history to predict the future. It is very sad.”
Ajibola was a member of the Permanent Court of Arbitration at The Hague, member of the International Chamber of Commerce Court of Arbitration, member of the International Maritime Arbitration Commission, Paris; member of the Panel of International Arbitrators of the London Institute of Arbitrators and  member of the International Advisory Committee of the World Arbitration Institute, U.S.A.
 The inspirational judge said Nigerians must be given the opportunity by private electricity investors to discuss tariffs, instead of imposing exorbitant tariffs on the citizens, and urged government to support both public and private schools to  fast track growth in  Nigeria.
A lover of nature, Ajibola’s country home in Abeokuta is a mini-zoo, as all kinds of birds and animals can be found there. He is married and blessed with five children, all lawyers.





                      Quote
Nigerians have ignored the appreciation of the past, no regard for history,” the former temporary President of the United Nations General Assembly said. “We are not making good use of our past, in fact we don't study history in schools any longer. So, we don't have memory; we don't think; we don't project rightly. It is very sad because if you don't have your pasts, how do you relate the present to arrive at what you intent to attain in future? If we don't take cognizance of our past, we are deluding our selves to see any bright future….There were days of Obafemi Awolowo and others who gave us the inspirations to move ahead. Our future is deemed, and it is sad we are behaving reckless. We are backward as a country because we are not looking back to history to predict the future. It is very sad.


Breaking The Curse Of poverty


On The Path Of Winners
BY BAYO OGUNMUPE

Breaking The Curse Of poverty
LIKE we have discussed earlier in this column, poverty is a spirit and a curse, we cannot avoid addressing this spiritual dimension to poverty. Events occur in the spirit realm before they happen in the physical. The spirit realm controls the physical realm.
  Most happenings in the physical are being manipulated from the spirit world, which is why poverty is the result of curses emanating from the spirit world. God cursed disobedience in Deuteronomy Chapter 28 from verses 15 to 20.
  ‘‘Why will a man disobey God and invite all those curses into his life?’’ You may ask. The answer is that the spirit of poverty manipulates a person’s life by making him walk contrary to God’s commandments, such that the curse of poverty can be enforced on him.
  The disobedience of Adam to the laws of God brought the curse of poverty, as the consequence of sin. Lack, hardship and poverty never existed in the Garden of Eden until Adam disobeyed Jehovah. It took the sacrificial seed of Noah: Genesis 8: 20-22 to break the curse upon the ground. Noah’s seed broke the curse and established the eternal curse-breaking principle called the principle of sowing and reaping. Disobedience to this law has kept the curse alive.
  It is the spirit of poverty or the curse that makes you to be stingy towards God and your fellowman. It is the curse that makes you disobey God’s economic principles. It is the curse that makes you unfaithful to God. It is the same reason that your pride and arrogance have alienated helpers from you. It is the spirit of poverty that keeps you lazy. It is the curse that keeps you away from the information that can change your story. So it makes you satisfied with ignorance. Which is why poverty is a curse that must be broken.
  ‘‘But Christ has rescued us from the curse pronounced by the law. When he was hung on the cross, he took upon himself the curse for our wrongdoing. For it is written in the scriptures, ‘‘Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree.’’ Through the work of Christ Jesus, God has blessed the Gentiles with the same blessing he promised to Abraham; and we believers receive the promised Holy Spirit through faith. The law and God’s promises’’ – Gal. 3: 13-14.
  Jesus paid the price for our redemption and as covenant children of God, the curse of poverty is rendered powerless over us except we invite and permit it in our lives – through ignorance, unfaithfulness, laziness, pride, sin, disobedience and bad habits, attitudes and lifestyles. ‘‘Like a flitting sparrow, like a flying swallow, so a curse without cause shall not alight,’’ Pro 26:2. No curse can prevail without a cause, so refrain from curse – inviting habits.
  Before we examine the last cause of poverty, I wish to emphasize the need for you to re-consider the following truths: if you wish to succeed in life, you must fight ignorance, with passion; resist laziness, avoid unfaithfulness like a plague; avoid pride, then there will be no room for curses in your life. Ignorance of the law is no excuse. Priests who are to teach us the investment mindset are ignorant of it. Those who know it want to keep it away from the people so as to keep them in religious bondage. ‘‘The labour of the foolish wearieth everyone of them, because he knoweth not how to go to the city;’’ Ecc. 10:15. People labour in vain because they don't know how to develop investment mentality, and apply investment principles to get the best out of their labour.
  If you desire to become rich, you must make a conscious effort to develop the mindset required to make it happen. There are five toxic mentalities, which hinder your growth in life. You must eradicate them. The first toxic mindset is the nomadic mentality. This mentality is a kind of vagabond spirit that controls people. Like nomads, it keeps you roaming the country without any fixed location or vocation. You go from job to job; place to place, business to business without focus and consistency. You lack the staying power and concentration to hone a niche for yourself in one place. It was not until Abraham settled in one place that he became the father of faith.
  Even though Jehovah promised him (Abraham) Canaan, he still had to buy into it by labouring to activate the promise before possessing Canaan. Abraham paid for land, a land that Yahweh promised him – Genesis 23: 1-20. The second hindering mindset is the consumer mentality. To always consume without producing is the hallmark of those harbouring the consumer mindset. ‘‘There is desirable treasure and oil in the dweling of the wise. But a foolish man squanders it,’’ Pro 21:20. Many live a prodigal lifestyle of wasteful spending and end up in shame, poverty and hardship.
  Our champion this week is Angela Merkel, the German stateswoman and chancellor since 2005. Born Angela Dorothea Kasner, better known as Angela Merkel, she was born in Hamburg, West Germany in July 1954. Trained as a physicist, Merkel became Germany’s first female chancellor and a leading figure of the European Union, following the 2005 national elections.
  The daughter of a Lutheran pastor and teacher, Angela grew up in a rural neighbourhood of Berlin in the then German Democratic Republic. She studied physics in the University of Leipzig, earning her doctorate in 1978. Then she worked as a chemist with the Central Institute for Physical Chemistry between 1978 and 1990.
  In 1990 she joined the CDU and soon after was appointed to Chancellor Helmut Kohl’s cabinet as minister for women and youth. Following Kohl’s defeat in 1998, she was named secretary general of the CDU. She was elected party leader in 2000, but lost the CDU candidacy for chancellor in 2002 to Edmund Stoiber. In the 2005 election, she narrowly defeated Chancellor Gerhard Schroder, winning by just three seats and after agreeing to a coalition with the Social Democrats (SPD), she was declared Germany’s first female chancellor.
  Merkel is also the first former citizen of the German Democratic Republic to lead the reunited Germany. She made headlines in October 2013 when she accused the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) of tapping her cell phone. Merkel chided the U.S. saying, ‘‘spying among friends is never acceptable.’’ Later reports revealed that the NSA may have been snooping on Merkel since 2002.

Developing The Mindset That Creates Success


On The Path Of Winners
BY BAYO OGUNMUPE

Developing The Mindset That Creates Success

WHENEVER you have the opportunity to occupy a place of responsibility, what is required of you is to be faithful so that you can be honoured. One of the greatest impendiments to success is pride. Proud people refuse to follow advice that can deliver them from poverty.
  People who are proud over-estimate themselves. Hence, they avoid starting small in their businesses because they suffer from delusions of grandeur.
  Let us travel through the Bible to receive its wisdom: ‘‘Whoever secretly slanders his neighbour, Him I will destroy. The one who has a haughty look and a proud heart, Him I will not endure,’’ Psalm 101:5. Thus, because of God’s disdain for the proud, the door of divine blessing is closed against them. Proud people always end up in the shame of poverty. ‘‘A man’s pride will bring him low, but the humble in spirit will retain honour,’’ Pro 29:23. Pride brings a man down, which is why it is a major cause of poverty.
  ‘‘You are proud because you live in a rock fortress and make your home high in the mountains. ‘Who can ever reach us way up there?’ you ask boastfully. Don't fool yourselves. Though you ascend as high as the eagle, and though you set your nest among the stars, from there I will bring you down,’’ says the Lord, Obadiah 3, 4. The opposite  of pride is humility. This means in order to attain success in life you must develop the mindset of humility. It is the way of Jehovah to diminish the full and enlarge the modest. It is the way of humans to overthrow the full and replenish the modest. God brings down disaster on the full and bless the modest. It is the way of man to hate the full and love the modest. Humility displayed in a position of honour increases the radiance of that honour, displayed in a lowly position, men will not seek to brush it aside.
  Therefore, the modest man encounters good fortune in all his undertakings.
  In life, the positive and the negative are constantly interchanging. Applied to our situation, it means that a humble man should sometime change his manner by gathering strength and taking the offensive. It will be necessary he defends himself against those who would take advantage of his humility.
  Obeying God and lawful order is the second attitudinal mindset of champions. Disobedience is the opposite of obedience. How many of you would have his employee disobey him and yet gain promotion? I doubt if any of you would promote such a disobedient employee. How come then, you expect to disobey God and still get His blessings? Disobedience has kept many people away from God’s abundance.
  There are two dimensions to disobedience. One, disobedience to the commands of God and two, disobedience to God’s wealth creation principles. ‘‘If you are willing and obedient, you shall eat the good of the land. But if you refuse and rebel, you shall be devoured by the sword,’’ for the mouth of the Lord has spoken,’’ Isiah 1:19. Here are two conditions upon which you could partake of the good of the land. One, be willing and two: be obedient. Unfortunately, many people are willing but a few are obedient to God’s commandments. Willingness isn’t enough. You must obey the laws and principles of wealth creation.
  ‘‘If you obey and serve Him, they shall spend their days in prosperity, and their years in pleasures, but if they do not obey, they shall perish by the sword, and they shall die without knowledge,’’ Job 36: 11-12. Thus, poverty is the result of disobedience. People presently claiming to serve God are only doing so on their own terms. But serving without obedience is an offence. Serving and obeying gains you divine prosperity and a lifetime of pleasure. Therefore, obedience is the panacea to Jehovah’s blessings.
  ‘‘If you fully obey the Lord your God by keeping all the commands I am giving you today, Jehovah your God will exalt you above all the nations of the world. You will experience all these blessings if you obey the Lord your God,’’ Deu 28: 1-2. Read Deuteronomy 28 verses 14 to see the list of blessings attached to obedience. Certainly, you cannot be obedient to the commands of God and still remain poor. ‘‘But if you refuse to listen to the Lord your God and do not obey all the commands and laws I am giving you today, all these curses will come and overwhelm you,’’ – Deutoronomy 28:15. On the following verse 16 is the gory list of curses disobedience can bring to your life. You cannot disobey and enjoy all that Jehovah wants you to be.
  You are advised to read the entire 15th chapter of First Samuel to get the full import of Saul’s journey of disobedience. It is better to obey God than to bribe Him with the proceeds of your disobedience. Many think they are obedient because they don't realize that: one, delayed obedience is disobedience; two: partial obedience is disobedience, three: adjusted obedience is disobedience and that incomplete obedience is disobedience. Poverty is a spirit and a curse. Many are poor because they live in disobedience to economic principles and wealth creation laws.
  Our champion for today is Robert (Bob) Levinson, the American private investigator and retired deputy director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) agent. He was taken hostage on March 9, 2007 when visiting Iran’s Kish Island while researching a cigarette smuggling case. He is currently the longest held hostage in American history. Born in March 1948, Levinson was kidnapped exactly two weeks before the 2007 Iranian seizure of Royal Navy personnel to be interrogated and used as a bargaining chip in investigations with Washington.
  In December 2013, the Associated Press reported that their investigations revealed that  Levinson was working for the CIA. However, U.S. government said Levinson was not an employee of the government at the time of his capture. In December 2007, Christine Levinson, wife of Robert and her son Dan, traveled to Iran to learn more facts about Levinson’s disappearance. They met Iranian officials in Tehran and visited Robert’s hotel on Kish, the Hotel Maryam. But they got no clue to his whereabouts.
  Pressed by Charlie Rose in an interview for CBS news, in September 2012, former Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad ‘‘did not deny Iran still has Levinson in its custody, and hinted that there had been talks about a prisoner exchange.’’ And President Barack Obama met with Christine Levinson at the Oval Office in March 2012 to assure her of governments determination to secure his release from Iranian officials. Levinson’s current status is that the father of seven, suffers from diabetes, gout and hypertension, his whereabouts are still unknown. His passport has never shown up in any other country.

On The Path of Winners By Bayo Ogunmupe Getting Ready For Your Time


On The Path of Winners
By Bayo Ogunmupe
Getting Ready For Your Time

THE first person i know in history who prepared for his future through reading is Abraham Lincoln. Due to poverty, he attended formal education for less than two years. He was admitted to the bar through apprenticeship and study. Five months before receiving his party’s nomination for President, he sketched his life:
  ‘’I was born on February 12, 1809 in Kentucky. My parents were both born in Virginia of undistinguished families. My mother who died in my tenth year was of a family of the name of Hanks. I grew up in Indiana. When I came of age, I did not know much. I could barely read, write and cipher, that was all.’’ But Lincoln made extraordinary efforts to attain knowledge while working on a farm, splitting rails for fences and keeping store at New Salem, Illinois.
  When he was accosted by his friends over his devotion to reading, Lincoln replied that he would prepare himself for when his time would come. And indeed, his time came and he successfully gave account of himself by saving the United States from disintegration during the U.S. civil war. He also defined democracy as the government of the people by the people and for the people. He emancipated the slaves in the United States. The second person is Baron James Callaghan of Cardiff who entered the civil service at 17 owing to poverty. Self educated, he later became British Prime Minister from 1976 to 1979. Another is Adolf Hitler, dictator of Germany (1933-45). Hitler, not being able to gain education because of poverty, read anything which came on hand while eking out a miserable existence as a third rate artist. He enlisted in the German army in World War I, and was wounded. His life took a higher turn thereafter. Also, a natural law propels a man to the level of his knowledge and competence. However a person may be propelled above his competence by his contemporaries. That accounts for many failures in public office.
  Getting ready for future greatness is exemplified in the Bible by Joshua, secretary to Moses. God said to Joshua: ‘’Moses my servant is dead. Now then get ready to cross the Jordan River into the land I am about to give you. I will give you every place where you set your foot, as I promised Moses,’’ Joshua 1:2. Are you standing today at the crossroads of change? If so, observe two things in Joshua’s story: One, when his time came to lead, Joshua was ready. Until then, he faithfully served Moses and found fulfilment as a second fiddle. He didn’t push and didn’t play politics. He just prepared himself. Then God promoted him.
  Two, Joshua went further than his mentor. Moses’ leadership ended where the Promised Land began. Under Joshua’s leadership, Israel would move into it, possess it and become a great nation. Everyday he had spent in the wilderness equipped him for this moment. God never wastes experience. Everything you’ve been through, including things you didn’t understand, are preparation for what God has in store for you.
  Ever wonder how Joshua felt stepping into Moses’ shoes? He needed assurance, so God told him: three, ‘’I will give you every place where you set your foot; meaning just step out in faith and claim it. It is yours as long as you are willing to take possession. Four, ‘’No one will be able to stand up against you all the days of your life,’’ Joshua 1:5. Yes, you will face criticism and come under attack. There were 31 kings, seven nations and giants waiting for Israelites in Canaan. But every battle you fight is just an opportunity for Jehovah to show Himself strong on your behalf.
  Five, ‘’As I was with Moses so I will be with you,’’ Joshua 1:5. If you are anxious about the future, recall God’s faithfulness to you in the past. At the end of his life Joshua wrote: ‘’Now, I am about to go the way of all the earth. You know with all your heart and soul that not one of all the good promises Jehovah your God gave you has failed. Every promise has been fulfilled,’’ Joshua 23:14. And the God who came through for Joshua will come through for you. Thus, the bottom line is: Everything works for the benefit of those who love God, and of whom God has called for the fulfilment of His plan – Romans 8:28.
  Our champion for today is Muhammad, in full: Abu Alqasim Muhammad Ibn Abdallah Ibn Abmuttalib. Born in 570 A.D in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, Muhammad died on June 8, 632 A.D. in Medina, birth place of his mother. According to tradition, Muhammad was the man to whom the religion of Islam was revealed. Thus, as the founder of Islam his life is of monumental significance in the history of mankind.
  Early in life, his merchant activities resulted in his marriage in 595 A.D. to the wealthy widow Khadijah. He received his prophetic call in 610 A.D., beginning his religious activities with renegade followers of Jesus Christ.
  At this time in western civilization, only the Jews were known to believe in one God. Jesus was a Jew and his disciples created a sect from Judaism namely Christianity. In the fourth century, Christian Era, at the Council of Nicaea (325 A.D.) the doctrine of Trinity was accepted by the Christian church. It divided the Christians forcing a dispersal of the church.
  Then the Unitarians merged with the followers of Muhammad. Opposition in Mecca forced him to emigrate (hijrah) to Medina in 622. He defeated his opponents at the battle of Badre in 624. By January 630, Muhammad had conquered the Saudi  peninsula, entering Mecca with great honours. On his death he left Arabia united and ready for the spreading of Islam to Syria and Iraq. The Quran Islam’s holy book was compiled after his death by the third Caliph, Uthman Ibn Affan in 650 A.D. from the foregoing you can see that both Islam and Christianity are sects of Judais

Spiritual Keys To Answered Prayer


On The Path Of Winners
BY BAYO OGUNMUPE

Spiritual Keys To Answered Prayer

ASK and you will receive that your joy may be full – John 16:24. When your prayers are not being answered, ask yourself these questions: One, how is my relationship with Jehovah? If I regard iniquity in my heart, God will not hear me – Psalms 66:18. Anything that adversely affects your relationship with God also affects your prayers. Friendship gives you favour, intimacy gives you access. The one who watches the wind will not sow seed and the one who looks at the clouds will not reap – Ecc 11:4. So, if you ask Jehovah what you desire, it shall be done for you.
  Second, how strong is your faith? Without faith it is impossible to please God, for he who comes to God must believe that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. God’s deepest longing is to be believed. When you pray, put your heart and soul into it. Your priority should not be getting your needs met, but building your relationship with God.
  Three, am I showing patience? Until God’s time finally comes, He might test your patience. Joseph was tested by the very promise God gave him. Can’t you hear satan whisper, ‘’I thought your dream said you were supposed to be prime minister; what are you doing in prison?’’ But Joseph saw God’s promise fulfilled in God’s time.
  Be patient in trouble, and prayerful always – Rom 12:12. This generation has been dubbed, the microwave generation. The reason was, we charge through life like we are on fire. But God has His own timetable and it cannot be rushed. So when He puts you on hold: watch your words. Like a rudder on a ship, what you say determines your direction and helps stop wrong thoughts from infiltrating your mind. The mind is a garden, thoughts are the seeds, harvest will be either flowers or weeds. Ask Jehovah to help you control your emotions. Be patient and prayerful always.
  Complaining magnifies problems. Prayer turns negative energy to a powerful force for good. He who is of a merry heart has a continual feast, so said King Solomon of ancient Israel. Laughter dispels tension, lightens the burden and fills your soul with joy. Appreciate the chance to learn. The Chinese view problems as prospects. In their culture, the symbol for problems and opportunities are the same. The diligent makes use of everything, so learn from your experience regardless of how hard it is.
   Remember, most of the world’s greatest discoveries and breakthroughs resulted from crises. Love unconditionally, problems are caused by people and under pressure you might be tempted to lash out. Learn to see people through God’s eyes. Overcome evil with good. Be courteous and maintain your dignity when you are under pressure.
  Let patience possess your souls. Make peace your priority. Look for life’s breakthroughs from unexpected sources. When you commit thy ways unto Jehovah don’t be surprised when the people and the circumstances He sent to your life aren’t what you expected. God spoke to Balaam through a donkey and used the Burning Bush to gain Moses’ attention. Never be in such a hurry about anything. Ever notice that the faster you go, the more behind you get. Jesus said, ‘’By your patience possess your souls.’’ God’s timing is best. He may be withholding directions to cause you to seek Him more intently.
  Don’t try to skip the relationship and get on with doing. God is more interested in a relationship with you than He is interested in what you can do for Him. Don’t be too proud to ask for help. Solomon said – with humility comes wisdom – Prov. 11:2. But the ultimate source of wisdom is God. If you need wisdom talk to God in prayer, ‘’For Jehovah gives wisdom; from His mouth come knowledge and understanding. The wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy – James 3:17. ‘’I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go, i will guide you,’’ Psalm 32:8.
  What it takes for your prayers to be answered are one, commitment. Real leaders don’t quit, they couldn’t even if they wanted. Two, you must be creative. Adversity has the effect of eliciting talents which in prosperous circumstances would have lain dormant. Problems unlock your creativity. Finally, you must be compassionate. You must love the people, rather than crowds. Don’t be greedy for worldly things, it is idolatry.
  Our champion this week is Constantine the Great, also known as Saint Constantine, Roman Emperor from 306 to 337. He became sole emperor of both the East and the West of the Roman Empire from 324 to 337 A.D. Constantine was the first Roman emperor to profess Christianity. By doing so, he profoundly influenced world history. His conversion set Christianity on the path that led to the formation of Christendom. Thus, the religion became the strongest social and political agent ever to influence the course of human history.
  As emperor, Constantine claimed via a dream that the Christian God assured him of assistance in the battles to keep his empire. In 313, Constantine granted freedom of worship to Christians believing that they could unify the empire. Then he held the pagan title pontifex maximus or chief priest and thought himself overlord of all religions. As a Christian, Constatine was appalled to find disputes over doctrine in the church.
  With him the church had acquired both a protector and master. Constantine organised the First Council of Nicaea in AD 325 at which the doctrine of trinity was ratified.
  The result of his alliance with the bishops was a church part Christian and part pagan. This was because the emperor’s goal was religious pluralism, not the pursuit of truth. To please both religious camps, he adopted a stance of conscious ambiguity in his governance, while championing Christianity, he kept a foot in paganism. Constantine postponed his baptism until a few days before his death in 337. He held back in order to retain the support of both Christians and pagans. Thus, the church Constantine legitimized became very powerful, but one that thus turned its back on Christ, and embraced the world. What this means is that we should not take the teachings of any denomination for granted but that we should examine them in the light of the Bible, 1 John 4:1.

On The Path Of Winners BY BAYO OGUNUMUPE


On The Path Of Winners
BY BAYO OGUNUMUPE

Unlock Your Prosperity With Faithfulness
THIS column is about wealth creation and how millionaires made it. But have you heard about the ‘’wealth of experience’’ of people? Indeed, experience is wealth. No matter the nature of your experience in life, you cannot buy it with money. Your experience of today, is your tomorrow’s wisdom. And the Bible says wisdom is greater than power. Because our leaders lack experience which translate to wisdom, we are wallowing in poverty despite Nigeria’s oil wealth.
  Knowledge creates wealth. Have you noticed that millionaires trade their skills, knowledge and wisdom for money? The skills, knowledge and experience you have are latent wealth. Your wealth is tied to your wealth of experience. Which is why we should examine the causes of poverty. The first cause of poverty is ignorance. ‘’My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge and because they have rejected knowledge, I also will reject them from being my representatives. Because they have not applied my laws and have forgotten my principles, I will also forget their children,’’ so sayeth the Bible.
  Do you know that knowledge is power! But just as knowledge is power, ignorance is deadly. Ignorance has been the root of poverty in many lives all over the world. Like Moses was ignorant of the power of his rod, the widow, the abundance in her pot of oil and Adam and his divine connection, so has a man’s ignorance being the root of his poverty. For example, a man travelling out of his country to seek the Golden Fleece: he sold all he had to buy the ticket for the trip. However, he locked himself in his cabin with two bottles of water and a packet of biscuits for the journey. After a few weeks, there was a knock on his door inviting him for the final arrival banquet. He was too weak to open the door. By the time the door was forced open, he was dying-due to hunger and dehydration. When asked why he never showed up to eat during the journey, he answered that it was because he had no money to pay for the food. The shocked captain revealed that the ticket he bought entitled him to three free meals daily – throughout the journey, you can see all he had lost through ignorance.
  When many don’t know what they can do, they remain poor. There are many poverty promoting mindsets, habits, attitudes and lifestyles. Two, laziness is a cause of poverty. King Solomon of ancient Israel was the richest and wisest man who ever lived. He was richest because wisdom leads to riches. In the Bible books of Proverbs and Ecclesiastes, Solomon revealed how laziness is a major cause of poverty. Lazy people are full of excuses. The characteristics of lazy people that make them poor include but are not limited to the following:
  Lazy people always blame others for their state of poverty. They have a victim or entitlement mentality. Lazy people are prone to stealing, cut corners and are often truant in their responsibilities. They steal from people through corrupt enrichment. Lazy people are always greedy, coveteous and with  delusions of grandeur. They are always idle, they love sleeping and watch too much television. Lazy people waste time on unprofitable things. They are always stingy because they want to keep all they have to themselves alone.
  Being too lazy to act promptly, lazy people always procrastinate, they are also prone to drug and alcohol addiction. They are often party freaks and sex freaks because they don’t have high self esteem, they don’t value time and themselves. Listen to words from King Solomon the wise: ‘’He who has a slack hand becomes poor. But the hand of the diligent makes rich,’’ Pro 10:4. The hand of the diligent will rule, but the lazy man will be put to forced labour – Pro 12:24. Laziness casts one into a deep sleep and an idle person will suffer hunger – Pro 19:15. Do not love sleep, lest you come to poverty. Open your eyes, and you will be satisfied with bread, Pro 20:13. Laziness makes your life end up in decay.
  Our final cause of poverty or failure is unfaithfulness. In my life’s experience, I have met with unfaithfulness everywhere. ‘’The integrity of the upright will guide them, but the perversity of the unfaithful will destroy them,’’ Pro 11:3. Unfaithfulness leads to destruction. The unfaithful lusts for other people’s belongings. Unfaithful people are wicked, they can do anything to get their way. Faithful people are very dependable and reliable. Unfaithfulness forced me out of teaching. I met it within both students and teachers. Students abhor study and knowledge but crave good grades and first class. They can bribe or maim you to get their way. In journalism, you cannot for long forgo a good copy.
  Unfaithfulness isn’t the way to become rich. If you are unfaithful in little, you will be unfaithful in much; which is why Jehovah makes sure you don’t handle much. We are forced to live among unfaithful people such that corruption has deadened our conscience. Our champion for this week is Janet Louise Yellen, the American economist and newly appointed chair of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve Bank of the United States. Previously she was President and Chief Executive of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, California; Chair of the White House Council of Economic Advisers under President Bill Clinton. Also she was professor Emerita at the University of California, Berkeley’s Haas School of Business. On January 6, 2014, the United States Senate confirmed President Barrack Obama’s nomination of Yellen to be chair of the Federal Reserve Board of Governors. She was sworn in February 2014 as the first woman to hold the position.
  Yellen was born in August 1946 to a Jewish family in New York; the daughter of Anna Blumenthal and Julius Yellen, a physician. She graduated first class in economics from Brown University in 1967. She received her doctorate in economics from Yale University in 1971 for a thesis titled: Employment, output and capital accumulation in an open economy: a disequilibrium approach. She was supervised by James Tobin and Joseph Stiglitz – both Nobel laureates in economics. See, good teachers rear great students.
  Yellen is married to George Akerlof another Nobel prize winning economist. Her son Robert Akerlof teaches Economics at the University of Warwick, United Kingdom. Yellen was an assistant professor at Harvard between 1971 and 1976, and an economist with the Federal Reserve Bank between 1977 and 1978. President Obama had appointed her as vice chair of the Federal Reserve Bank since 2010. Yellen thus simultaneously began a 14 year term as a member of the Board of the Federal Reserve that will expire on January 31, 2024. That is how a serious people run their government.