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Friday, March 29, 2019

Opinion: Who should be held liable for incessant building collapse in Nigeria?


Depending on size and complexity, the number of persons that can bring a building project to successful completion can vary from as few as one (sounds incredible but true) to as many as hundreds.

To start with, you might want to ask, how can one person be responsible for bringing a building project to a successful completion? And Ill answer you straight up that it is very possible at least in Nigeria.

If not, words like 'Daleko' or Dalemo which when translated means 'to build alone' wouldnt exist in the Yoruba communal lexicon. And Im so sure similar words exist in the communal lexicon of other Nigerian cultures too.

Therere stories out there of landlords and surprisingly landladies too, though to a lesser degree, who singularly undertook their building project all in a desperate need to put a shelter over their heads.

Except for people with background in bricklaying or masonry as it were, most of them did out of experiencing acute shortage of fund and rarely in a show of Do It Yourself (DIY) stunt.

Further credence is lent to this spin because we have communities whose names were derived from such endeavors. In Lagos and Ogun states, there're Daleko and Dalemo communities respectively. Isnt that interesting?

Even if it's suicidal, it is in the nature of man to at the slightest push resort to cost effective self-help in the absence of accessible alternatives though not mindful of the academic fact that shelter is somewhere up there in the Maslowan hierarchy of needs. However, it still makes existential sense to all and sundry.

Dont blame them alone. The bulk of the blame instead should go to the regulatory authorities who did nothing to ensure these daringly inventive people adhere strictly to relevant housing laws.

Multiplying incidents of collapse building and who should be held responsible?

These definitely are not the best of times in the housing sub-sector of the Nigerian economy with the recent multiple reports of collapsed buildings in different parts of the country. It is always painful because precious lives were continually being lost.

The government in its usual characteristics has responded by setting up a special committee to look into these tragic developments with view to identifying the causes and proffering measures to prevent their re-occurrence. The approach sounds too familiar; and the language de-constructively bureaucratic and lame.

While the step taken by government maybe commended if not something out of the extraordinary, it must, however, be stated that government can do more indeed in terms of proffering lasting solution to the ugly trend by way of criminalizing key and culpable stakeholders who have close connections to any collapsed building to ensure total compliance to due diligence in the discharge of their duties going forward.

This should include regulatory agencies too. There must be dire consequences for personnel in the concerned agencies whose official activities must always come in form of 'stitches in time which save nine' and not a routinely annoying medicine after death post mortem to be carried out after every building collapse with the attendant irrecoverable loss of human lives and material resources.

It has become very important because the collapsing buildings are not just the old ones. Even buildings under construction as well as their more recent counterparts have also caved in over time raising concern over likely breaches of standard building procedures by structural engineers. From what we know, this is an open secret.
Quality of building materials like iron rods, cement, concrete blocks/slabs used and the ratio of their combinations are in many cases suspect.

Building professionals are known to deliberately compromise engineering standards for selfish gains in pecuniary form and feathering of their own nests thereby endangering the lives of site workers and those of future occupants of the buildings they supervised.

This they do of their own greed and sometimes in collusion with desperate building owners who are prepared to do anything in the name of cutting costs.

If theyre not inflating figures of quoted building materials which when bought would be clandestinely moved out of site, theyre either using substandard building materials where possible or aggressively altering the aggregate ratio of combinable elements in a way that surplus would be created for the purpose of corruptly enriching themselves.

All these no doubt will sooner or later negatively impact somehow on the overall quality of the delivered job which could take the form of total or partial collapse of the edifice or strategic components of the building like roof, toilet, electrical fittings becoming seriously faulty no sooner than theyre put to use. Fixing these things normally come at extra cost to the property owners.

Overtime, they've often gotten away with such criminal actions for which property owners and the nation have direly paid and are still paying.

You can imagine a situation whereby site engineers would increase the ratio of sand and gravel to cement, usage of inappropriate and insufficient iron rod gauges and aluminum roofing sheets if they must be used at all. And where possible they completely ignore the use of some for maximum profits to themselves.

Government can curtail the excesses of structural engineers and property owners by way enacting new laws if therere none yet that takes care of that or strengthening the existing ones to punish erring stakeholders.

Once it can be established through forensic examinations of a collapsed building that the engineer(s) singlehandedly or acted in collaboration with the property owner(s) are responsible, they should be in for it.

The era of allowing engineers to randomly gamble with peoples life must be brought to a final close with proactive measures that nip nefarious elements in the industry in the bud.

Efforts should be made by government to also empower institutions and agencies operating in the sector through enhanced training and retraining of their personnel, improved salary and equipment so they can cover more ground unlike whats currently obtained.

Situations whereby building projects would have gone far and in some cases nearing their completion before they realize that breaches have occurred only to begin to serve belated demolition notices are not healthy for the industry.

Private or corporate people who signify their intentions to erect any structure must be taken through the necessary process and must be closely monitored to ensure rigid compliance with what the rules and regulations are as regards the type of building they intend to build during the different construction stages.

Above all, like I said earlier, site engineers must be held liable in the events of collapsed buildings for theyre not supposed to act either independently or collude with anybody to lower standards set for their projects barring occurrence of natural evils like earthquake or tremors leading to the collapse of building theyre or had supervised.

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Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Faith Series: The importance of visitation for Christians and the church



There’s a Yoruba adage that says: Eni ti a o ba fe ni ile e njina.
When translated, it roughly means: ‘it’s the house of one not truly beloved that’s always the farthest’.

What this underscores is the fact that when you love somebody enough their abode is simply considered to be so nearby and the chances of you visiting are very high even though truly they may be living in the remotest and inaccessible parts of the community or city.

Clearly, the anchor word in that statement is ‘love’. Love definitely has a lot to do with all visitations just like all of our other kingdom works.

You should also know this, nonetheless that, visiting others is a gift; a fruit of the spirit make more abundant and revealing in some more than the others.

That’s why you’d find a person paying others visits and at a great personal cost and they would still not stop even when there is no immediate or future sign of reciprocal action from the other side.

Of course acti of continuous visitation cannot become daunting for someone who’s easily discouraged or want their good action immediately gratified.
That said, the act can still be carefully cultivated by anybody who so wishes with little or no compulsion. It’s expected of all.

But as Christian sisters, brothers and the church of God, how do we manage or respond to the need for regularly visitations among ourselves?

Maybe as a Christian sister or brother, you do not find this convenient for the reasons of your busy work schedule; always feeling tired after returning from work, or considered it to be non-important after all you do not look forward to being paid one.
How wrong you’re particularly with the last reason. Life you must be reminded can happens to us all and at any time necessitating the activation of one.

And as the church of God, maybe there’s simply no mechanism in place to sustainably accomplish such an important spiritual task for the members of your congregation. For this, the necessity of visiting others will continue to suffer likewise its benefits.

Let me tell you a personal story. I came to Abuja in late 2018; and I decided to join a local branch of one of Nigeria’s popular Pentecostal denominations.
I won’t mention any name but I’ll give you some clues concerning the church I’m talking about. If you’re smart, you’d easily decode.

The church in question arguably has the largest networks of church branches belonging to any Pentecostal church in Nigeria and perhaps in the world today.
As I was saying, I was received with fanfare in the modes of a special song and warm handshakes from the church elders especially those on the pulpit like it’s done in virtually every church in the land.

I was made to sit on, as they call it, a VIP seat prepared for us kings and queens as respondents to Altar call are usually characterized where my personal details were extracted, documented and I’d strongly believe were entered into their data base.

But believe you me, that’s where it all ended and considering the fact that my joining the worship center wasn’t as a result of any evangelism on their part.

On that day and subsequently, many like me had come and were welcome in like manner yet no efforts were made at checking up on us till date. Not even a phone call or text messagein this respect  did I once received.

So, in a way, it could the reason for the visible fluctuations in attendance during Sunday service and which may have been caused by other reasons too. You never can tell.

Ordinarily, I didn’t alluded much infractions to such oversight from them as one may call it because accepting Christ remains a personal decision everyone will have to make at some point in their life and whether or not visits were extended to you it won’t change anything significantly.

Nevertheless, I believe it still matters. It gives congregation members old and new a sense of belonging and that they are cared for by the church which is the body of Christ.

On one occasion and feeling pleasantly surprised, I heard the presiding pastor complaining when the altar call was made and nobody came out on a Sunday like that.

And like he had never done as far as I can remember, he immediately called out the evangelism department to be up to their responsibility. There was such imperativeness in his voice that was lost as soon as he spewed it out.
This got me seriously thinking about what they’ve been unable to do even with those ones they’ve got from way back.

Sincerely, if they’ve a very active visitation framework, the church auditorium should always be filled to capacity every other worship day even from the number of first time worshipers that I know of, how much more those who I didn’t know.

Every other Sunday, the auditorium is always half filled or half empty depending on what your perceptual philosophy is. I was made to understand by older members of the church that it doesn’t have the culture of visitation as such. But a semblance of it can be seen in demonstration at other parishes of the same church. Why it’s never all-encompassing still baffles me.

So the importance of visitation or checking up on people and more so on ourselves as members of the body of Christ cannot be overemphasized.

Amongst others, it goes to show the person(s) we’re checking up on whether through telephone calls, messages or even emails and any other mechanism adopted that truly they are cared for.

And as for new members of our churches, physically checking up on them in the early stages of their conversion helps to up build and cement the shared genuine love Christians are required to show and the zeal for growth and prove that the reception they were accorded during their Altar call isn’t a fluke.

Checking up on ourselves as Christians enable us to know firsthand the household of every church member whether new or old and help to highlight areas the church can intervene in case of health challenge, marital rift and other existential problem people are prone to encounter in life.

This in addition to the general practice of weekly house fellowship helps to stir up the fire in our heart after kingdom activities.

Finally, checking up on ourselves may reveal what we’ve been up to as  faithful servants of God almighty as can be seen in Gen. 3 9:10 when God visited Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden. In verse 9, ‘Then the lord God called to Adam and said to him, “where are you?”.  And in verse 10, so he said, “I heard you voice in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; and I hid myself.”    

While churches with smaller members will do well with physical visitation, it would however poses an insurmountable challenge for those with mammoth worshipers. In this regards, a combination of alternative methods should be adopted to suit their spiritual and physical needs.

Shalom!
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Saturday, March 23, 2019

How to have your Google Account returned to you due to a forgotten password, or unretrieved lost SIM


Owning a Google account does a lot for you and I.

But hey it’s not the only one out there. And yes, you can switch over to another or even create new one if you wish.

But when you think about the valued connections you’ve in your old Gmail account.

They’re worth reconnecting with. Don’t they?

I know it’s been a long while you last used your
Google account for reasons of either lost or damaged SIM card that’s associated to your Gmail account which you didn’t bothered to retrieve, forgotten password or both.

Perhaps you’ve tried retrieving it but you feel stressed out each time.

Kudos to Google for putting in place stringent measures to protecting your account from experiencing security breaches.

It happened to me. My SIM card got damaged late last year and immediately I switched to another SIM. I had promised myself I’d retrieve it.

But days become weeks and weeks become months yet nothing was done about it.

What’s more? I also couldn’t remember my password. There’re too many of those to grapple with if you frequent the online environment like I do.

While I still use my account because I’ve logged in on a number of electronic devices so I don’t need to log in every time.

But as it I cannot do anything on the account from a public computer because Google will ask for a verification code to be inserted which I wouldn’t have for lack of a phone number that’s associated.

More so, I cannot also log out for the fun of it on my devices. Of course, that would be my nemesis.

The danger there is if anybody gain access to your devices behind you and just push one the buttons of apps you’re using it could lead to such persons getting their hands on personalized contents. And I trust you wouldn’t want that.

If you’re in this state, now don’t worry!

Note: you can only perform this operation in desktop mode.

*To retrieve or sign in to your old Google account, you will need to open another Gmail account if you don’t yet have one for future account retrieval purposes.

*Once you’ve done that, proceeds to your Gmail sign in page and type your email address and click on forgotten password.

*Google will prompt you through a number of options or dialogue interfaces available to confirm if truly you’re the real owner of the account in question.

*Wait until the prompts is should verification code be send to your backup account then click yes.

*Go to the backup account and fetched the six digit code and paste it into the space provided and click continue.

*Additional information will be demanded of you (which are optional anyway) through a dialogue box asking you to state what your reasons are for being unable to sign in to your account.

*At this juncture, Google will ask you to wait for between 1-3 hours for it to process the request. I bet you wouldn’t have to wait for that long.

After the processing is done, what you get next is your old phone number popping up with a request to change it to the current one.

Type it in and click done.

*Another verification code will be send to it which you will fetch and paste to complete the process and you’re done.

Hope this helps?

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Thursday, March 21, 2019

Nigerian women in politics and boardroom: prospect, challenge and solution

*Oby Ezekwesili of the Allied Congress Party (ACP) appearing at one of the presidential debates in Abuja. Photo credit: Channels.

While some say it’s straight forward enough; others believe it’s all complicated.

Women from the foundation of the world seem to have had their work cut out for them as natural home makers.

As real or allegorical it may sound the story of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden comes handy here because there and then womanwas assigned a supportive role.

Man was the sole lord of the boardroom and outdoors activities. He wins the bread, protect his family from predators human and animals alike and his decisions cannot be faulted or questioned.

Henceforth, conflicts and competitions you may say were in many ways minimized or absent.

And women by design are the most nature smart set of people you can think of, brimming with bundle of intuitions and wired primarily to care for their husband and children; and never to venture into the rugged and rough and maybe dangerous terrains fit and reserved for the men naturally.

This does not necessarily portray it as a man’s world as many would argue; but a world where God has apportioned responsibility in many ways along gender and not ability rightly or wrongly.

How times have changed.

We now live in a world of many remarkable evolvements and adjustments that keep challenging the status quo.

In the beginning for instance, it was about human dignity and right; then mutates into gender right and equality advocacy especially in the west the more human beings have grown beyond just being able to count on their fingers to knowing infinitesimal numbers and capacity for existential solutions becomes laser edged.

Over the course of time, therefore, womenfolk have made series of bold attempts and incursions to transit from being just natural home makers, inner room empresses and queens or tent dwellers if you like booming and grooming babies to the economic boardrooms and political foregrounds where key decisions and battles for society’s well being are made and fought out.

This is as a result of more and more women getting the necessary education and training that could enable them take up roles that were hitherto reserved for men. And there was an instant paradigm shift the world over.

They assertively argue that unlike men, they were natural or born managers of human and material resources including men themselves, a thought aligned with one of the many theories on leadership.

So much that behind every successful man, there’s a good woman. The saying goes.
They made it clear what a man can do; they can do better. And nobody can dispute they’ve achieved great successes and incrementally too over the decades if not centuries.

The first ever of such women of sterling quality was Debora, the mother-in-Israel to the Jewish nation. She judged Israel. Judges 4:4

Since then, we’ve had many. Their modern day shining lights include Margaret Thatcher the two times British prime minister popularly nicknamed the ‘Iron Lady’ for her steely grasp of British and global political dynamics, Corazon Aquino and  Violeta Chamorro being heads of government of the Philippine and Nicaragua respectively either blazing or trailing the blaze of political glory.

Today, we still have them in governments with the likes of the German Chancellor Angela Merkel and British prime minister Theresa May to mention a few.

And they can also be found in boardrooms of Brentwood institution like the current world bank's president Kristalina Georgieva.  And the list keeps growing as well as their influence and power.

But it’s not entirely a western world’s affair.

In Africa, and Nigeria especially, long before the European colonialists’ incursions, there was the warrior Queen Amina at Zaria in the present day Kaduna state whose exploits are well documented.

There was Moremi Ajasoro at Ife, who put her life on the line when a mysterious tribe from the east regularly come raiding to helping her people snatch victory from the jaw of death as she plays the Trojan horse.

Chief Mrs. Efunsetan Aniwura, the Iyalode of Ibadan who was notorious for her no-nonsense stance also comes to mind. She will always be remembered as a woman of remarkable wealth, connections and power.

Worthy of mention too are Madam Efunroye Tinubu, the first Iyalode of Egbaland; and another political firebrand equally from Egbaland, Chief Mrs. Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti whose memorable political activism guaranteed Nigeria’s first universal adult suffrage.

Lately, there was Dora Akunyili of blessed memory; and are Oby Ezekwesili, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Ibukun Awosika and billionaire businesswoman Mrs.Folorunso Alakija to mention a few immensely educated, successful and professional women representing the modern force of change, style and exemplary leadership in politics and institutional boardrooms in Nigeria and on the global stage.

Mention also must be made of Grace Alele-Williams holding the record of being the first woman to ascend to Vice Chancellorship of a Nigeria University.

But down the years, the number of Nigerian women in representative as well as appointive politics has continued to decline notwithstanding the conviction they warehouse equal leadership qualities just like their male counterpart.

Prospect

Clearly as students of history would know, all the examples given above represent a groundswell of impeccable success Nigerian women have achieved with a few trials they had through a dint of hard work and commitment to professional ethics, and optimism going into the future is that they can do more if increased opportunities are made available to them.

Each of them was and is a stand out profile in excellence both in public and private life.

And they would dwarf their male counterpart in a fair contest of core competence and intellectuality so much that today they are held both in high esteem and easily suggested as rallying point and benchmark for women aspiring for public and private service in Nigeria.

Challenge

The Scorecard of women participation in the just concluded general elections in Nigeria revealed that there’re only seven of them elected into the ninth national assembly; the same number present in the outgoing eight national assembly.
Six of them came out in the last general elections in Nigeria especially at the presidential level.

But guess what? They all pulled out on or before the eve of the day of presidential and national assembly elections after the first postponement for various reasons.

In turn, except for one which in this case was Oby Ezekwesili, the five others ended up endorsing either the incumbent or his main challenger.

None till date has been elected as a state governor in Nigeria. The best is being deputy governors.

What does this say of a country teeming with not only high population of women but one with remarkable intellect, grace and deployable?

The obstacles in the path of Nigerian women prospecting or aspiring to greater height, whether in public or private sector are multifaceted.

Perhaps a quick and brief outline of some would suffice here. There are cultural, financial, religious and educational factors militating against the chances of Nigerian women with political or leadership ambition.

Like a sore thumb that cannot be covered or gloss over, the Nigerian society is one in which male dominated world view still predominates.

The average Nigerian man sees the woman of ambition as a threat, a dangerous rival not to be supported. They hold that she would not be submissive to her husband and the home front will suffer if she becomes the public figure.

But these have proved to be false in many cases. Indeed, we’ve had women in the past who hold powerful public and private offices and were still good mothers and responsible housewives.

Besides, religious belief which holds that she was created to support the husband and cared for her children is still rampant and may likely not go away anytime soon.

There’s also the challenge of huge capital outlay in Nigerian politics which women by the virtue of their low economic status simply cannot keep up with.

Another is the issue of rivalry and petty jealousy among the women themselves. Many of them would rather their husbands get the political positions than their fellow women.

If not, how is it that a people with the largest population cannot muster enough supports for one of their own to emerge as a political leader? Women are fractious lot and don’t always believe the other is any better so the commitment is not there to themselves.

Another fact is that Nigerian politics is nocturnal a lot at times involving travelling outside of their family place of resident and at short notices too. Therefore, some men and husband are averse to these political arrangements which may necessitate their wives not being around to perform their roles as mothers even if they wanted to.

Violent environments of Nigerian politics can also be a reason discouraging many of its women from active political participation.

And last but not the least is the problem of education. While it could be said a lot of Nigerian women have an education; many more still needed to be sent to school to increase their chances of success in life.  

Solutions

In spite of the not too good narrative of women participation in Nigeria so far, a lot still can be achieved.

In no particular order, the increasing number of Nigerian men would have to have a paradigm shift in their belief system which currently sees the women of ambition as a threat to social order where they are supposed to be the head and not the tail.

Women must take it upon themselves to get an education and not accept stereotypical roles the society has assigned for them with destructive aggressions.

They must also make sure they’re positioned for leadership as partners in progress and not allow themselves to be perceived as rivals or competitors to the men.

An affirmative action in form of legislation can also help to lessen some of the high thresholds for women participation in Nigeria’s politics like financial outlays or fixed percentages of positions is set aside for them especially in the legislature.

This clearly is following in the footsteps of some advanced societies of the west especially who have successfully brought more of their women into both elective and appointive politics thereby putting a check on the selfish human nature.
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Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Opinion: How feasible is ending open defecation in Nigeria by the year 2025?


Minister of Water Resources Adamu with other dignitaries at a media workshop in Abuja..

From time immemorial, if anything is in doubt about Nigeria it’s not like coming up with compelling vision statements.

But at the end of the day most if not all would’ve become paper tigers that have teeth and claws but cannot hunt down their prey.

Like everything Nigeria arguably, the starting is always great but finishing poor.

As such, today the country’s administrative shelves sparing no governments military or civilian are replete with great ideas on paper and even when they managed to get off it they only become white elephant projects sooner after.

If it’s not water, it’s housing or health or any one of such myriads of existential necessity for all by some distant time in the future.

There’s no end to protracted envisioning by the Nigerian state even if the urgency of the matter stares all in the face.

The latest addition to these fanciful collections is ‘ending open defecation in Nigeria by 2025’.  Sounds great, right!

It all started sometime in March, 2017 or thereabout when Minister of Water Resources, Mr. Suleiman Adamu, paid a visit to Benue State and Gberndyer community in Mase town of Gwer-East Local Government Area in particular, and observed a community-led total sanitation.

Adamu, who was highly impressed at the level of compliance displayed by the community, cheerfully expressed the hope that Nigeria would achieve open defecation-free (ODF) status by 2025.

To achieve this, the Minister said the Federal Government has launched the Partnership for Expanded Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (PEWASH) program designed as a national collaborative instrument among government at all levels.

He said this was targeted at addressing the rural component of Sustainable Development Goal (SDGs) 6.1 and 6.2 targets, which was a national roadmap of making Nigeria Open Defecation Free by 2025.

Again, as recently as tail end of the year 2018 and in March, 2019 respectively, the Federal Government renewed its commitment to put an end to problem of open defecation in Nigeria by year 2025, through the Minister of Water Resources Engr. Adamu Suleiman.

The minister said the ministry had to adopt the model practiced by India, (there we go again with adopting another global best practices which have in most cases prove problematic in application here) attributing the commitment to reason the state of emergency on water and sanitation was also launched.

Speaking at a recently organized 2-day Water Sector Media Workshop in Abuja, the Minister emphasized that that FG launched Open Defecation Free (ODF) road map in 2016 and by 2017; only one local government was totally declared open defecation free.

He identified this LGA as Obanliku out of 774 local governments in the country.

He, however, described the outcome as scandalous but noted that there are several other communities that are open defecation free in the country after Obanliku was declared. He put the figure at paltry 10.

His words: “Our target is to end open defecation in Nigeria by 2025 and if we are growing at this rate, that is in two years, we will be able to do ten local governments in two years and I think there’s a problem and that’s why we have decided to borrow the model of India that has succeeded in tackling open defecation.

“We have only 47 million people and India has about 500 million people practicing open defecation. By November this year, we ought to have reduce it to zero within four years, India were able to bring out about 400 million people out of open defecation”.

“If they can do that in four years, why can’t we reduce or eliminate those 47million people by making sure we have more rigorous campaign and that is why, in the next few weeks, you will hear a lot of activities especially on open defecation.” The Minister added.

Now let’s do the sums. If only ten out of the existing 774 local governments in the country has according to the minister achieved open defecation-free (ODF) status in over three years of this administration then it means at the same rate only 30 overall would’ve attained same status by 2025. After all, 2025 is a little over six years away from now.

Whereas ordinarily from the numbers given, eliminating the environmental malfeasance should be a walk in the park for Nigeria. But it's not looking like it.

Despite his optimism, which is not out of place, as it’s normal for every human being or state to be optimistic about achieving laudable goals and objectives but they must be in consonance with the reality of prevalent work ethics around it.

Yes, Nigeria has an estimated 47 million people spread across 774 local governments areas who practiced open defecation, yet in three years only 10 local governments of them has crossed to the other side.

Compared to India, a country with dependable statistics with 500 million people practicing open defecation and yet helping 400 of them to achieve open defecation-free (ODF) status in four years is definitely a brainer.

There we are definitely speaking of a country whose leadership and people understood the magnitude of what confronts them and have joined forces to stamp it out in record time. Such efforts can only be described as super human.

Let’s not try to be clever than we truly are as a people. The two scenarios are not the same and can never be the same. Nigeria is Nigeria and India is India.

From what we know, across the major cities and towns and villages in Nigeria people practice open defecation for the reasons of non-availability of toilets where they live, are travellers with no dedicated place to defecate, and as construction workers in a place like the FCT where almost everywhere you turn buildings are emerging out of the landscape and the surrounding bushes literally serve as toilets.

That’s not all. We all have many unplanned communities springing up all around us with no toilet facilities to cater for their inhabitants. Clearly open defecation is the next available option.    

So to do a good job of the task at hand, the executors of this new projection must start with or by compelling landlords and landladies across the country to begin to erect or upgrade toilets facilities in their properties to foreclosed people from openly defecating anywhere and everywhere.

These they sometimes indulge in at the death of the night and in some cases in broad daylight as seen in the sprawling city of Lagos.

Idea of paid and compulsory public toilets should be urgently re-considered in major cities because from experience they were once part of our life but disappeared for no reasons.

And where possible the government should build toilets facilities in ghettos if they’re still allowed to exist side-by-side many of our illustrious settlements. Otherwise not doing so will make a mockery of the whole plan.

In spite of these suggestions and others the government must have had, the likelihood the vision statement will end up like its forebears is quite high.

It’s not being pessimistic. It’s the reality of our situation where vision statements have become mere tuneful campaign slogans by successive governments either to buy time or portrayed themselves as working even when they lack the wherewithal to accomplish such.

More so there’s always the lack of will power on the part of successive governments to see to their completion probably because they’re not the conceiver. One can only pray and hope this vision statement will not go the way of its equally fanciful predecessors.

But chances are it would and there's little or nothing anybody can do about it unless drastic measures like never seen before are taken by government at all levels towards a vision so important to the environmental wellbeing of the nation.
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Sunday, March 17, 2019

So you want to delete your Facebook page? Here's how in four easy steps.


Facebook no doubt is one of, if not the most popular social media platform in the world.

According to statista, the number of daily active Facebook users as of the fourth quarter of 2018. was found to be 1.52 billion. Other sources also gave figures in some cases a little lower or more. It's still safe to say it has the largest number of active users of all social media platforms.

But as your online activities evolve, the need to delete your current Facebook account or page (s) may become an option.

Or put differently, the need to delete one of your Facebook account or page maybe one you want to strongly consider at some point in your social media journey.

That’s exactly what happened to me recently.

Everybody has their reasons for this, and mine is:

I’ve two Facebook pages which I can’t confidently say fully represent my professional brand on a social media space like Facebook.

In addition to being of poor designs, the purpose for which they were created has evolved and more so because I’ve also never promoted any of them.

Those are my perfect alibi for considering their deletion.

The thought became an emergency last year when Facebook suddenly change their algorithm which blocked access to it of automated third party content promotions tools across multiple social media like IFTTT which I use on this blog, leaving Facebook account owners with small businesses using it for traffic generation with the only option of cumbersome manual sharing.

With this, only big brands with financial muscle for ads can survive real time.

Unfortunately, I belong in the former category. I’m just a small ambitious blog.  And immediately, traffic to my blog went from Hero to Zero and I was left gasping for breath. And that has left me angry.

In response, my initial plan was to delete my account altogether which I did set in motion.

A week or so into requesting for deletion, I had to rethink my choice strategically and came to a conclusion to delete the pages instead, go on to create new one that will help reposition my brand for more awareness, of course with the intention to promote it this time around.

It’s only normal if you want to grow your business or brand on a social media behemoth like Facebook.

That’s the reality of today. Whatever is or are your reasons to want to take action like this, come with me.

Now let's get down to the real deal.

To delete your Facebook page (s), all you need is to be an account owner with Facebook.

Step 1. Log in to your Facebook account and proceed to click on the pages link at the top of your profile or home page.

Step2. Click on the page's icon. When it becomes fully display, look for setting at the top right of the page. If you can’t find it, it might be because you're accessing it from a mobile device. So, at this point you just might need to switch to desktop version.

Step3. In the next page that popped up, look for general which is at the top the charted page. Scroll down the list on its menu and click remove page; and then click on delete page name.

Step4. Click on delete page and then OK.

And you're DONE!

Hope this helps?

 


  
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Sunday, March 10, 2019

Opinion: A vote for the price of a Maggi

Nigerian electorates queuing up to exercise their civic duty.

Nigeria general elections of 2019 will go down in history as one with the most aggressive campaign in terms of advocacy against voting buying or selling real time.

From Lagos to Abuja to Kaduna to Kano and indeed every nooks and crannies of the country, independent advocates in turns have mounted the air waves with no hold barred discussions, songs and dramatic releases targeted at taming the monster called vote buying or selling if you like.

Celebrities across industries were not left out.

They took out time to carefully outline the many dangers the practises portend which include mathematical breakdown of reward per second, minute, hour, day, week and month to the bought electorates and the democratic culture in the long term.

They also aim swipes at elements on both sides of the mutual divide because where there’re no sellers; there won’t be buyers vice versa.

On the surface of it, the messages of these multitudes of electoral advocacy groups appear well received by all and sundry; and could serve as sufficient deterrent to a significant number of intending dealers if not all.

But it was as if all the efforts fell on deaf ears at the end of the day if event surrounding the elections so far are anything to go by.

With the first round of elections concluded well over two weeks ago with regards to the presidential election.

Talks were rife concerning incidents of vote buying even at the polling stations in contravention of relevant electoral laws banning such and prescribing punishment ranging from imprisonment to fine.

Videos evidence have also emerged of agents of various political parties holding wads of Naira notes with the sole aim of inducing and indeed paying voter who is willing to play ball.

There were also videos of persons thumb printing away at the ballot papers to be stuffed into the ballot boxes while electoral officers and security personnel looked away.

Doubts still exist if anybody has been arrested in connection to this alleged electoral malfeasance from the presidential election held on the 23rd of February 2019.

On the 9th of March, 2019, the last round of elections went down in different parts of the country to determine who becomes governors, ward councilors, local government areas Chairmen (in FCT especially) and members of states legislative assemblies.

And guess what, a vote goes for the price of Maggi! And it’s so, perhaps because women (mothers to be precise) were at the forefront of the door-to-door purveying of the ads messages to this effect.

This took place on the day of the election.

That's not to say men too are not involved. They were and they should apparently because elections in Nigeria is incomplete without them. They are a major stakeholder.

Maybe theirs would not take the peanut nature like women. On the eve of the election, discussions of men seen in small groups would've nothing at the center besides elections matters. And sure money is involved. Trust men; they will speak in thousands and more.

Whichever way, what's bad is bad and should not be euphemised to make it sounds appealing to ears.

And it’s unlikely somebody would ever be arrested because the instrumentality are just not there in terms of sufficient policing personnel and political willpower of relevant and respective stakeholders who would be the beneficiaries at the end of the exercise or process.

Women, according to unconfirmed reports, could be heard motivating their neighbors (women like themselves) who are unwilling to go and vote for whatever reasons to go and do so for party A, B and C for they stand to be paid five hundred naira concluding it would at least help pay for some cubes of Maggi which is a popular brand of condiment in Nigeria. And response was said to be massive..

By and large, the occurrence and re-occurrence of this illegality is a clear demonstration of how lowly many of us have become and the length we’re willing to go in trading off our future from the cheap value we attached to our vote and political participation in respect of choosing our leaders.

We can blame poverty or ignorance or any of such age long whipping boys for as long as possible; but it’s still a choice many are making consciously. And it would not stop as far there’s a buyer and a seller.

Still on the governorship and state assembly election of Saturday 9th, February, 2019, overall there was massive voter apathy which many have blame on the outcome of previous presidential and national assembly election.

In spite of this, violence incidents were recorded in several states in the country notably Kogi, Akwa Ibom, Kano and Abuja. There were also unconfirmed reports of ballot box snatching and deaths.
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Saturday, March 9, 2019

Faith Series: The most acceptable form of worship before God as Christians


Worship is an integral part of Christian faith and indeed every religion on the surface of earth. In fact, our Christian walk is not complete without it.

Worship takes different forms.

As we’re often encouraged by the scriptures and the anointed servants of God, it among others includes attending a bible believing church, giving thanks in everything and every day more than our requests are, confessing and asking for forgiveness of our sins as we forgive those that trespass against us (after all,
the bible likens our righteousness to a filthy rag) glorifying his name at every opportunity, singing his praise in the sanctuary with all kinds of musical instruments, witnessing for him among the believers and unbelievers alike, and obeying the laws and statutes of God.

What a long and intimidating list that was!

Nevertheless, they’re by no means impossible to attain as faithful ones of God who strengthens and empowers us through his son Christ Jesus to accomplish every good work which he has assigned to us under the sun.

Like I said, every single one of them is important. However, one is more important than the rest functioning though not in isolation but as an embodiment of all.

Before I hit on what that worship form is, let me quickly highlight one anomaly thing that’s common among some Christians in this generation and with particular reference to Nigeria.

And this has to do with the restrictive or selective nature of our worships.

Worship from what can be seen around us has become so synonymous with that which happens in and around the church premises alone.

There’s this perceptible air of holiness among worshippers when in the church that seems to disappear immediately they stepped out into the street, the marketplaces and political spaces.

It’s not uncommon to see Christians visibly coming from the church curse and use swearwords with reckless abandon when they’re offended while in traffic or in other forms of existential engagements.

It doesn’t end there.

Many have been seen engaging in street level brawls amid verbal pyrotechnics that if (J) is removed from Jesu, the Yoruba translation of Jesus, what’s left is ESU. And ESU for the benefit of non-Yoruba speaker means devil.

This goes to show how some Christians easily alternate between the two different parallel divides of good and bad. That’s a scary stuff.

From that illustration, it’s clear that some Christians are unable to maintain their holy worships attitudes beyond the church premises. And that’s a challenge.

What then is the most acceptable form of worship before God?

The most acceptable form of worship before God is ‘showing brotherly love and doing goods to all men.’ Hebrews13 vs. 2-3

It’s a gross spiritual mistake that some of us could imagine that worship starts and ends with anything and everything we do in the church because right there and then we’re in his holy presence and must be seen to be gentle, humble and generous among other virtues before the throne.

Whereas worship actually begin when we go out of the church and into the world where we’re most required to put up our best worships attitudes to his glory and honor.

This is because God expect us to be the best we can as the worthy ambassador of the word and worship everywhere we go.

More so, God must be seen to shine through us with the abundant gifts of the spirit and laws whose anchor is LOVE.

God is love as exemplify through his son Christ Jesus who died for our sins on the cross so that we might have life and have it in abundance. He became poor so that we can be rich. He was homeless so we can shelter over our heads. He was hungry so we can eat the best there are of the earth and be full. He was thirsty so we will thirst no more.

The best worship is not all what we do in the church if we’re unable to replicate same both in private and public doing our best to demonstrate brotherly love and doing goods to all men whether they’re Gentiles, Greeks, Jews, Fulani, Itshekiri or Izon.

And just as Christ Jesus said, the moment we feed the hungry, clothe the naked, house the homeless, give water to the thirsty, lift the fallen and trodden down, we’ve done them to him.

Those clearly are the greatest worship attitudes and attributes anybody can possess. Perhaps many have forgotten that our God neither eat nor drink no matter how sumptuous the meal is. Thanks are all that he asks of us.
Hebrews13:15

A good worship attitude should enable us to stay above all forms of deceptive pressure especially in the marketplaces and political spaces where it’s common knowledge many Christians now emulate non-Christians in keeping different measuring standards, importing and selling of substandard goods and services, breaking their oaths of office and illegally profiting from supplies meant for the disadvantaged like the displaces and homeless among us comprising mostly of the vulnerable groups such as women and children. Hebrews13:5

In our case, the good ends which God has promised us must not and cannot be justified by any kinds of means. Only Godly means are acceptable.

So while we sing with the soulful of voices and dance with most skillful of dance steps, pay our tithes, gives befitting love, freewill and vow offerings to the Lord in the sanctuaries built for him; we must know it doesn’t end there because the entire world is in fact his sanctuary where he demands the very best of worship from us.

The more we worship him in truth and spirit, the happier he becomes with us.

May God increase us in wisdom and understanding to continue to worship him with brotherly love and doing goods to all men even if nobody seems to see us or can stop us because of our exalted positions! Hebrews 13:16

We must endeavor to live in the knowledge that God sees the most hidden things and will reward every of our inappropriate worship attitudes in due time. 
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Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Opinion: The Election that marked the end of an Era


When I wrote the article titled ‘ending Obasanjo’s era as constant catalyst in Nigeria’s political history’, little did I know that heavens was on my side and that the call resonate with the Nigerian electorates.

Nigeria presidential election held on the 23rd of February, 2019 has been won and lost.

The incumbent, President Muhammadu Buhari true to predictions and against all odds especially of the shenanigans of men like Obasanjo playing gods time and again with the political destiny of Nigeria, was returned elected.

The election in retrospect can be described as one which resoundingly put an end to the era dominated by an ostensible oblate called Obasanjo and his ilk for the various infamous roles they’ve played in Nigeria democratic sojourn and its march towards nationhood.

It also underscore once more that political contest is neither won on the pages of newspapers, Radio waves, and Television with all its glamour because they’re permeated largely by nonvoting angry mobs of enlightened yet biased Nigerians spewing person centric hateful rhetoric nor on social media because those who determine where victory pendulum swings come in insignificant number there at least in Nigeria where every election is local.

Obasanjo and co had their chances and what did they do, nothing, at least to set the warped foundations straight in terms of democratic values, culture and building strong institutions!

Instead, there were repeated rallying cries from the god in his pantheon at the Ota farm for a change of guard in Aso Rock Villa for various guilt he has laid on the incumbent President and it was often said his words will not returned to him empty.

Indeed, experience and history has backed him that it would be another fait accompli after all he has been directly or indirectly involved in who becomes the President of Nigeria on a good number of occasions.

His faithful also at some points alluded to the fact that his support for Buhari in 2015 was instrumental to his emergence as President.

Now imagine if things had gone the way of his noisome permutations yet again, he would’ve been gloating in his gruffly voice that he has ensured the defeat of another of his many stubborn and ungrateful political god sons.

And his status and ratings as a political demiurge would’ve hit the roof thereby increasing the number of people that will see him as somebody not to be toyed with. 

Perhaps this time, he has overreached on his luck-luster career as both a former military head of state and forth republic political trail blazer, a god-in-council with final say in the political life of the people.

And we will not forget how he was handpicked by the power brokers to reap where another of his kinsmen has toiled till death on the front line of a hard fought political battle to re validate his stolen mandate.

Riding on the back of flawed elections and meandering among deceptive alliances, broken oaths, official highhandedness and untrammelled individualism, his presidency unexpectedly came to an end with reported failed cravings for extension.       

But effectively all that larger than life influence has failed to have any meaningful bearing on the outcome of this election just concluded.

The people have decided who they want by committing to Buhari because they believe he’s eminently qualified for the task of leading Nigeria from the rotten past of entrenched corruption and through the wilderness ahead into the new dawn of shared prosperity across board.

Politics like sports generally is a game of numbers and the President was able to get the needed number. It doesn’t matter what the margin was.

Recalled that the main opposition almost played to the gallery by questioning the numbers right at the collation center; there and then sending forth a protest letter purportedly from its national chairman Chief Uche Secondus to the Chief Returning Officer and not to the secretariat as require by law, to this effect. The duo of Festus Keyamo (SAN) who's the spokesman for the Buhari Campaign Organisation, and INEC chair however checkmated it.

And to imagine this is the same numbers which had time and again sustained them in power while they held sway.

The election itself might not rank where we ought to be but it’s equally not where we were before. To insist it’s a complete sham and so discountenanced is like saying the baby should be thrown away with the bathwater.  

Yes, there were pockets of violence and deaths as a result of premeditated plans by desperate politicians who will stop at nothing to comprise the system to have their time in office.

This is simply because it’s not so much about service and other fantastic ideas warehoused in received democratic philosophy but essentially about political picnicking at the expense of the public.

The card readers malfunctioned in some places.

Some electorates were also disenfranchised reportedly by the electoral officials capriciously varying the application of relevant electoral rules and regulation.

But in all, there’s no iota of doubt the incumbent won the election fair and square; and was duly returned. And anybody that’s not satisfied knows how to go about getting their redress.   

However, those wish to ride on the waves of interest and not evidence based reporting are having a field day and will see what they want to see.

To this class of people, the election is free, fair and credible where their preferred candidates won but falls terribly short of standard where their preferred candidates didn’t. What a way not to be fair to the system!

There’s another class of people so dissatisfied and disillusioned with the process owing either to the fact that their presidential candidate didn’t win eventually or were disenfranchised who have decided to shred their Permanent Voter Car (PVC) vowing never to participate in future elections like Obasanjo before them, whose excuse was his elevation to a non-partisan Statesman. 

Not so exemplary an action for the faceless bunch you might say; but we can forgive them for being naive and acting on childish impulse. 

Of the self-promoting elder statesman, are we to say he was a victim of old age or what? 

More so for renaging on his avow non-partisanship in this presidential election by supporting the main opposition candidate, Atiku Abubakar after their relationship went sore as President and vice President and appearing dead all this while to reconciliation with brusque finality.

They’re angry to see supporters of the winning incumbent President in wild celebration and wish they should be stopped as if they don’t have a right to the expression of their emotions just like them who are going a-sorrowing provided they didn’t constitute or conduct themselves in manners that interfere with the smooth running of the various elements of the society.

Going forward, there’s a genuine need for stakeholders in Nigerian democracy, like the Chief Returning Officer of the presidential election, Professor Mahmud Yakub reckoned earlier in one of his speeches immediately after the postponement of 16th February, 2019, to have a serious conversation on future elections in Nigeria.

For all the flaws this election has thrown up, it's easy to fault the electoral umpire and to raise inquisition that it has acted in collusion with the government in power but failed to see the dangerous role political class has played.

In the days to come, I foresee the realignment of progressive forces in the country just like Chief Obafemi Awolowo has predicted that when progressives take hold of the center there will be a gradual realignment of progressive elements.

That said, I think the President needs to urgently act upon all he has said in the speeches accepting his declaration as winner of the election, and at the collation center where he was presented with the certificate of return by the INEC secretariat.

Now is the time for the President to confidently and courageously shepherd Nigeria and Nigerians through into the foreground of greatness and plenty where nobody will be left behind.

Nigeria definitely is no longer a country for the privilege few but for anybody and everybody who is ready to take their destiny in their own hands by constant self-development, repositioning themselves for opportunities and creating their own economies.

Politician are used to deeping their hands into our commonwealth to build their economic empires; and the artisans and other professionals who are chanced to work on such estates have believed in error they’re being done a favor.

With that no longer possible, they’ve resorted to foul cries and cheap blackmail through twisted narratives of the standard statutes of officialdom to have their way. Thank God it hasn’t worked and will never work.

While there’s no government anywhere that’s completely good or bad; even in the advance society of West or East there’re still beggarly and never-do-well elements, and you might argue they come in dismissive number, so Nigerian youths must continue to align and realigning themselves with the positives and opportunities in the system wherever they find themselves.
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Friday, March 1, 2019

Poetry: In Memorial


I bet nobody out there can dispute it
When I say parenting is a role;
And what a huge role this is for no dodgy souls;
It is also not something to be emotively measured
By the dichotomy of sex that vex sometimes;
But about who put their soul more in the role;
No disrespect to mothers world over
For all the love and attention you showered your babies;
Is it about the pains of pregnancy or childbirth, especially?
For which you naturally edged it from the heavens;
Is it about being a bundle of delicate intuitions?
Even though it is largely unknown and untapped;
But it takes a little extra that not everybody can give;
That's why I love more who does it betters for me unabashed;
Of course, that clearly is my dad! Like all real men,
Always, he was likewise pregnant with my mother;
Because he felt and cater to her pains, irritableness and anxiety;
Once more, blessed be his benevolent soul in glorious ascent;
He was a gallant battler whom I will forever adore
For his ridiculous parenting ethics;
Parenting for him was an exercise in unrestricted joy;
And not an endured tour of routine domestic shores;
It was all encompassing I should say,
That no one could measure it round about;
But is there a child with a father and not mother?
Then, Mother, forgive and forget
What may look like my contemptuous overlook;
And for this long,
I could easily have been taken for a son ungrateful;
That, among men, I should talk less and less of you,
Like you are nobody;
Yet, there is no deity, say the Yoruba, like a mother;
And I cannot begrudge them their proudly mother's sentiments;
Now if but in the graces of poesy,
I must hasten to bring you this long deserved expiation
For a goddess that you are;
You brought me safely into daylight;
And so deserve more than some accolades;
You could have flushed me out
Like one of those monthly circles;
As restless sea washed up the dead and unwanted
From its stream beds upon the sandy shores;
Your love till date is unsurpassed by any woman I know;
From the break of day till dusk your ways are fair;
Your works are well cut out for you too;
And you perfectly reigned in;
You are my sweet guardian angel;
Watching my unpredictably tottering steps
Lest I fatally stumbled;
I was a bundle of joy
Continually fastened on your back with *Aran Strap;
Indeed fruitful you are,
If tabooed to count and number your children for you;
It would, however, be remembered
Your womb brought them forth
In hundreds of ten thousands;
And marching on they are
To possess the gate of their enemies;
But how I wish you live long enough, Mother, to see
Many of your children's children;
For beautiful and lovable they are to behold
And your love would not have been withheld from them;
To see your clothes bathed with expensive perfumes
And adorned with the finest of precious stones;
Your feet stride with lion skinned shoes;
To give you rides in choice luxury cars;
And your last days spent in the most splendid of houses;
To my regrets, this is where your fate
Is eternally bonded with your beloved half;
In whom I must say, unequivocally, love and care
For children, his children are most perfected!
Yet, it was in him
                                              The talks of children being insurance for old age perished



*Dedicated to the memory of my mother,Mrs  Olaluwe. She died in 2005.

Glossary of difficult words: *Aran is an expensive fabrics popular among the Yoruba of the South West, Nigeria. it is usually referred to by mothers to indicate how much they treasure their kids.

Criticism of the piece is welcome from anybody who's got a knack for poetry.
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