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From the Desk of the Publisher Chief Edward Osuchukwu Ihejirika is truly a Nigerian icon who represents a major bridge to our past.

University of London was obtained as a correspondent student in the University of London.

At ninety years, Chief Ihejirika experienced colonial Nigeria years before the attainment of independence in 1960. He told me in an interview in Cerritos California in the house of his son -in-law Attorney Tony Madu & Daughter Dr. Ivy Madu that he is pained by the progressive retrogression that Nigeria has experienced in nearly all areas of development since independence.

Chief Ihejirika was variously Headmaster St. Joseph’s School Kaduna 1947-1948 a position he held at the age of 21 becoming the youngest Nigerian school headmaster in colonial Nigeria. He was also headmaster at St. Teresa’s School, Ikenanzizi from 1949-1950. He also taught in New Bethel College, Onitsha from 1951- 1952 and Government College, Ughelli from 1952-1956. Some of his students at Government College, Ughelli were Retired General David Ejoor, his Godson in Baptism and former Governor of the Mid-West, Mr. Sam Amuka-Pemu, Publisher of Vanguard Newspapers, Peter Enahoro (Peter Pan) among many others.

Born on 1st Sept, 1926 in Alaike, Ikenanzizi, Obowu, Okigwi Division of Owerri Province Eastern Nigeria. Alike- Ikenanzizi is in present day Obowu Local Government Area of Imo State, Nigeria. Young Edward attended: St. Enda Catholic School, Ikenanzizi from 1930-1937. St. Joseph’s Catholic School, Kaduna from 1937-1942 obtaining his first school leaving certificate there in 1942. He proceeded to St. Thomas’s College, Igbuzor from 19431946 obtaining his Teachers’ Higher Elementary Certificate in 1946. He also obtained his Teachers’ Senior Certificate in 1948 and a Bachelor of Arts degree in the 2nd Class Honors in History from the University of London in 1952. His degree from the

He then went on to become a Provincial Education Officer in several locations including Ikeja, Lagos, Akure, Warri and Benin from 1956-1973. From 1973 to 1977 he was Chief Inspector and Director of Education Midwestern, Nigeria from where he retired in 1977. Since his meritorious retirement, Chief Ihejirika has been living in Benin City where he runs a successful agricultural business. Chief Ihejirika met his wife Lolo Eunice in 1948 and they were married in 1950. Their

marriage of 66 years has been blessed with very successful eight children, several grandchildren and great grandchildren.

We also take a look at how the election of Donald Trump will affect American immigrants in my incisive article- IS THIS THEIR AMERICA? This edition is classic Life and Times with all the staples you have come to experience in your award winning magazine. From all of us at Life and Tines, we wish Papa Ihejirika a happy 90th birthday and also congratulate him and his wife of 66 years., Lolo Eunice on this glorious wedding anniversary. We also wish all of you our faithful readers and advert patrons a very merry Christmas and a prosperous 2017. Chike Nweke Publisher/CEO Winter/2016


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CONTENTS 3. From the Desk of the Publisher 8. Cover Story Chief Edward Ihejirika. an icon @ 90 38. People and Places The Glamour of Life & Times fiesta 2016 60. Beauty of the Moment 62. People and Places Umuada Ndi Igbo, Raleigh NC Induction 68. Issues Is this their America? 72. People and Places Candy Weds Eldon 82. Youth Daring to live your dreams 86. Health & Wellness Vitamin D: Not just for bone health

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8 60 38

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CONTENTS

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90. People and Places ANOC-Day & Iri Ji ndi Igbo in Southern CA 96. Spotlight Imo State 100. Life Issues Finding Inspiration 102. Spotlight Swaziland- A Royal experience 106. Iruka's Corner Lies I Told 108. Religion Have You Received Your Own God’s Christmas Gift?

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Cover Profile

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Cover Profile Chief Edward Osuchukwu Ihejirika was born on 1st Sept, 1926 in Alaike, Ikenanzizi, Obowu, Okigwe Division of Owerri Province Eastern Nigeria. Alike- Ikenanzizi is in present day Obowu Local Government Area of Imo State, Nigeria. Young Edward attended: St. Enda Catholic School, Ikenanzizi from 1930-1937. St. Joseph’s Catholic School, Kaduna from 1937-1942 obtaining his first school leaving certificate there in 1942. He proceeded to St. Thomas’s College, Igbuzor from 1943-1946 obtaining his Teachers’ Higher Elementary Certificate in 1946. He also obtained his Teachers’ Senior Certificate in 1948 and a Bachelor of Arts degree in the 2nd Class Honors in History from the University of London in 1952. His degree from the University of London was obtained as a correspondent student in the University of London. Chief Ihejirika was variously Headmaster St. Joseph’s School Kaduna 1947-1948 a position he held at the age of 21 becoming the youngest Nigerian school headmaster in colonial Nigeria. He was also headmaster at St. Teresa’s School, Ikenanzizi from 1949-1950. He also taught in New Bethel College, Onitsha from 1951- 1952 and Government College, Ughelli from 1952-1956. Some of his students at Government College, Ughelli were Retired General David Ejoor, his Godson in Baptism and former Governor of the Mid-West, Mr. Sam Amuka-Pemu, Publisher of Vanguard Newspapers, Peter Enahoro (Peter Pan) among many others. He then went on to become a Provincial Education Officer in several locations including - Ikeja, Lagos, Akure, Warri and Benin from 1956-1973. From 1973 to 1977 he was Chief Inspector and Director of Education Midwestern, Nigeria from where he retired in 1977. Since his meritorious retirement, Chief Ihejirika has been living in Benin City where he runs a successful agricultural business. Chief Ihejirika met his wife Eunice in 1948 and they were married in 1950. Their marriage of 66 years have been blessed with eight children: Dr. Adaugo Okorocha Dr. Arthur Ihejirika (Late) Engr. Chima Ihejirika Dr. Ivy-Joan Madu Arc. Edward Ihejirika Attorney Fred Akala Ihejirika Mr. Caesar Nachi Ihejirika Mr. David Izu Ihejirika several inlaws and grandchildren. In this interview with our Publisher - Hon. Chike Nweke, Chief Ihejirika and his wife talk about their lives, their career, raising up their eight successful children, the secrets behind their long marriage and their hopes and dreams for Nigeria. To: CHIEF EDWARD OSUCHUKWU IHEJIRIKA Please tell us a little bit about your early background and your growing up years? My parents Fred and Mary, both of whom were literate in Igbo and partly English, put my sister Elizabeth and me to school very early. For me schooling was very tedious and long and included three years of Infant school before I got admitted into elementary school stage which was unending, but had to end! Then, each year anyone failed the proWINTER 2016

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Cover Profile motion examination he or she repeated the class and kept repeating it. For how long? Nobody would say, so the option was to work hard and never fall into that category. Furthermore, because of the constant flogging we were receiving from the teachers, especially as boys, schooling was indeed scary. It was parental pressure that kept me at school or I would have run away like some of my classmates. Teachers were thus one of my earliest antipathies and if I later on became a teacher, it was as my cross to carry for want of a better career. My supposed cleverness pointed in no other direction. Only a few children went to school in those days and the school environment was very hostile; and in spite of my change of school in 1937 from St. Enda’s Catholic School, Ikenanzizi, to St. Joseph Catholic School, Kaduna, the whipping continued. You were educated in Eastern, Northern, Midwestern and Western Nigeria, what significant experiences did you have during your

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school years and how did education in these different environments shape your world view? The different backgrounds gave me all the knocks I needed for early maturity and I was ready not only to go around Nigeria, but into the world. I became accustomed to working even in alien environment where perhaps I knew nobody as was once the case in Germany. I picked up no significant prejudices because basically all people are the same. On the other hand, because of the adjustments I was obliged to make to accommodate changes in local environment, my moves cost me some of the joys of childhood and the company of my parents. I wept on occasions. You were reported to have been the youngest headmaster of a school in colonial Nigeria when at age 21 you became headmaster at St. Joseph’s School Kaduna (1947-1948).What challenges did you face on taking such a leadership position so early in life? All the teachers under me were older than I was and most of them had

taught me in the same school before I went to college. I could not be bossy with my eyes open, I had to learn to maneuver and give them the respect due them as my former teachers. I never had any confrontation with any of them, not even Eugene Oragui. I had a very painful and unforgettable experience with Mr. Oragui. When I transferred mid-year in 1937 from St Enda’s School Ikenanzizi to St Joseph’s Catholic Kaduna, I arrived with my transfer certificate to continue in Standard 2, the headmaster instructed Mr. Oragui to admit me into Standard 2, but he refused. He told the headmaster that I was too young for his class. I had to be sent to repeat Standard 1 which I had already completed and passed in 1936. It was devastating for me. Additionally, some of the senior school boys were my own age, or older, and disciplining them was not easy, but we managed. My differences were with the Irish School Manager, Rev. Fr. Green. He denied me enough professional room in which to operate. We quarreled, and I was on the move.

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Cover Profile Please tell us about the different positions you held in different parts of Nigeriaas one of Nigeria's foremost educationists before you became Chief Inspector and Directorof Education Midwestern Nigeria? My next move was back home as Headmaster of St. Teresa’s Catholic School (Formerly St. Enda’s) Ikenanzizi for two years from 1949 to 1950, at the end of which year I married. We then moved. Our moves were to become exceptional and it took us to Onitsha where I taught at New Bethel College from 1951 to 1952. Upon my graduation with a B.A. degree (Second Class Honors in History) of London University in June that year, I was forthwith recruited as Education Officer into the British Colonial Civil Service in Nigeria on October 9, 1952. My initial posting was to Government College, Ughelli, where I taught English language, History and Latin from 1952 to 1956. I then had my first field posting as Provincial Education Officer, first to Akure, Ondo Province, where I succeeded Mr. S. O. Sangowawo who was retiring from service; and I was there from 1956 to 1957 when I moved on to

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Ikeja, Colony Province to replace Mr. P.N.C. Molokwu who also was going on retirement. My stay in Colony Province from 1957 to 1959 was very stormy owing to the work I did on impoverished schools. My predecessors, White and Black, had done nothing. I got some of the worst ones totally rebuilt! And then in 1959 I had taken charge of the registration of voters and virtually had to run! I had taken on too many challenges and some called me a mad man and after cooling my feet for a few months at the Ministry of Education Headquarters in Ibadan as the Officer-in-Charge of Educational Publications, I was back to Provincial work. I was transferred to Benin-City in 1960, Ondo and Warri in 1961, and then back to Benin-City. It was a lot of going around and it was probably punitive and in fact Edith my eldest daughter who was at school in Ondo wanted to remain there and in 1961 refused to move with the rest of the family to Warri until I pleaded with her. I received a double promotion in 1961, but no matter, I felt that my years in the public service were wasted and I knew it, and I began to plan for early

retirement. My transfer to Benin-City in 1961 proved to be permanent. It became the capital of the new Midwestern Region in 1963. Mr. S. F. Edgal and I were the most senior officers and I was ready to concede to him as native son in the running for the office of Chief Inspector of Education, but Premier Osadebey and his henchmen refused to look at either of us and he took the unusual step of hiring Mr. C.M. Ebert, a retiree in his own country, all the way from Australia as the first Chief Inspector of Education. Mr. Ebert was unhappy about the situation and was ardent that I should succeed him. I was sent away to Australia for three months for this purpose, but with the on-rush of the Nigerian/Biafra Civil War soon after my return, I could not stay back in Benin-City waiting for a promotion! And here is another angle to it. Long after Mr. Ebert had gone back to his country, the office of the Chief Inspector remained vacant throughout the civil war and it was precisely a day after my return to Benin-City that Mr. Edgal was promoted Chief Inspector! I felt sorry for him for waiting so long.

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Cover Profile He never supervised my work or gave me an assignment, not even once. From 1974-1977 you were Chief Inspector and Director of Education Midwestern Nigeria. How did you achieve this great feat so soon after the Nigerian/Biafran war?Did you experience resistance in the performance of your duties in this position? I was an innovator, known to educationists all over Nigeria and after the Civil War, I was immediately resettled in office unlike many other Igbos, and when the Military Governor, Colonel S. O. Ogbemudia personally discovered the level of my talent, he threw in my way all the educational challenges he could think of, and we began to collaborate and it made Benin-City the hub of visiting educationist from all over. The highlight was when Dr. Ukpabi Asika, the Administrator of East Central State, sent Dr. Adiele, his Commissioner of Education to Benin-City to request that I be released for Special Duties for six months in Enugu to help him re-engineer his Ministry of Education. In return, the Administrator would send to the Governor a good number of University lecturers for his new University, the University of Benin. Dr. Adiele met me in my office and I was willing, but Governor Ogbemudia and his Commissioner of Education, Chief Edwin Clark, refused the exchange. {By the way, I was on the recruitment tour to London for the first Rector of the University of Benin, Professor Hill, in 1971 and we were very well received at the prestigious Actenum Club. It shows the collaboration I am talking about between Governor Ogbemudia and me, a collaboration that continued in the reign of his successor late General George Agbazika Innih who became my very close friend for the rest of his life. Unfortunately, the Permanent Secretaries hated me but could not come close to the work I was doing.}

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When I retired from the public service in 1977 prematurely for personal reasons, not one but six Directors were appointed to replace me. Was I being flattered or was there another angle to it? You were reputed to have crafted the policy for the 6-3-3-4 educational system in Nigeriaas Chief Inspector of Education in Mid-Western Nigeria.What led you to this policy formulation and do you think that the policy has been well implementedto date? I was not yet a Chief Inspector when I was appointed a member of the Simeon Adebo Education Committee which was set up by the Federal Military Government of General Gowon in 1973 to review the education system and bring it up to date. My opposition to the British Colonial system of education was well known. I suffered from it and was always carping at it, unlike many of my educational colleagues who accepted it with docility. We were at a preliminary evening meeting at the then University of Ife where, as the first to speak, with Chief Adebo presiding, I made a long speech in favor of an education that was rooted in our potentials as Africans and not based on second-hand information from foreign sources, which we are unable to handle and assimilate. I spoke for education from the ground up that was there at our finger-tips and was therefore creative and reflected our local conditions as all basic education should be. I also urged that we should abandon the rote learning of the old colonial system which was barren and timewasting and delayed early intellectual development which is critical to the rest of life. Of late developers, only a few succeed, I pointed out. My speech was applauded and every other speaker agreed with me. That was the apparent take-off of the 6-3-3-4 education system, at least philosophically. Chief Adebo was very pleased and he came in at this point and asked me what name I would recommend for the new system. As I already men-

tioned this in the course of my speech, I said we could call it the 6-3-3-4 education system until a better name be found, if necessary. The report that eventually came out after several other meetings were resumed in Lagos greatly disappointed me as if nobody really understood me. My original ideas were missing from the report. Add to this, the new system was not implemented until after I had retired from the public service and as I was never again consulted, I had absolutely no way of influencing the outcome. The new system may therefore not have given us our full potential in education. To Mrs. Eunice O. Ihejirika How did you meet your husband and when did you get married? A kinsman and a family friend Herbert Okonkwo, told me that a certain Headmaster from Northern Nigeria was looking for a wife; and he asked me if I was interested. Knowing that most Headmasters were middle-aged or older, I demurred and did not give Herbert a positive answer. Why should he be interested in me, an old Headmaster who should have been married long ago? This was what I said to myself. To Herbert, I said “well, until I see him!” Weeks later on a Saturday while I was a teacher at Catholic Girls’ School, ItuEzinihite, Mbaise; Herbert came in company of a lady and three gentlemen and the youngest of the group was the Headmaster in question, and handsome! I was blown off my feet and two years later, on November 26, 1950, we were married. You have been married for 66 years and have been blessed with eight children,several in-laws, grandchildren and one great-grandchild. Please tell us a little bit about your children and the secret of your very long and happy marriage. We maintained an open house until old age and all visitors were welcome WINTER 2016


Cover Profile including off course relatives, in-laws and friends. We did not send out invitations, the visitors came as they needed us. I was a sort of “universal hostess” and during the civil war our home swarmed with refugees and the needy. I headed a large voluntary organization – The Women’s Voluntary Service – that organized and delivered food, medicine and clothes to war displaced people, the aged and the poor. Through this our children learnt service to others and the community. After the civil war my husband and I helped many Igbos returning back to BeninCity and with our contacts we helped them to resettle among the Binis. All this helped our children also because as they grew up and traveled out, they received help when they mentioned our name. As we were busy with ourselves we were also busy with others even with total strangers. That is the secret of our success. Please tell us your experiences of raising your very successful children. Did you have to stay home to raise them? We succeeded with our children because we invested heavily in them. This boosted their confidence and left them in no doubt about our commitment to their welfare. Even when I was in England for three years, my husband

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took care of my daughter Ivy who he home-schooled and he took care of the other three children. We loved them equally and although we paid more attention to younger ones, we were even-handed in dealing with them and showed no partiality as between boys and girls for example. I resigned from teaching as soon as I married to give my full attention to work within the family and I have been busy ever since even today as I went from mother, to grandmother and to great-grandmother. Having served Nigeria in the colonial era and post-independence, do you recognize the Nigeria you see today? What are your hopes and dreams for Nigeria? In fact, I have lived through three distinct lives in one, thanks to a long life. The Colonial era was peaceful. There was no politics, no sudden wealth to make anyone go crazy, and public workers were dedicated and fully employed and there were no local issues to distract them because in most cases they worked far away from home. The post-independence era and the haggling for positions brought riff-raffs than normal into the system of governance, and a rogue won his election sooner than an honest man. It made Nigeria unfit for democracy and made democracy itself a tall order for most

Nigerians. The post-civil war (or post-military) era in which we now live, is beyond description. It turned the country’s legislatures into a huge dump, a very mighty dump, into which the country’s fortunes are shoveled perennially to points of no return. Call it a graveyard, and we are talking about the same thing. There is waste but no growth. We talk but don’t know what to do. What advice will you give to young couples about staying happy in marriage and raising successful children? To be happy, the couple must be friends and playmates from the very beginning. Friendship lasts longer than romance. Disagreements are inevitable, but never bring outsiders, not even your own parents into your quarrels. And never quarrel in the presence of your children or you will pay dearly for it years later. Your children succeed as much as you want them to succeed by your own efforts. Never discourage a child. If you have no money, pray for him. Don’t steal. It does him or her no good. A thieving father is hard to swallow. I know some childless marriages, childless but unintended, that have been very happy.

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Happy anniversary Papa and Mama and happy 90th birthday Papa. We hope you are enjoying yourselves as you celebrate this important milestone. Sorry we cannot be there, but our hearts are with you. Long life is a blessing from God and as such, we are always mindful to give thanks. There are many sayings in the English language, but none more true than the expression, “time will tell.” Time is the looking glass through which we evaluate everything. It is true of the material world and it is equally true of human relationships. The longer any relationship lasts, the more enduring and worthwhile it is said to be. Reaching one’s 90th birthday is a marvel that so few people can attain.

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The same can be said of being married to the same person for 66 years, but reaching age 90 while being married to the same person for 66 years is very rare. Taken together, they form a verdict in the court of time. They speak of something special. They speak of something to be taken seriously. They speak of something too precious and too valuable to be let go. That is what this anniversary celebration means to us. If we live long enough, we will see the day when the average lifespan will be 120 years, but the same cannot be said of marriage. If we live long enough, we will see the day when marriage will be a relic of the past. In fact, it is quickly becoming outdated.

Why is that? Why is it that longevity of life and longevity of marriage trend in opposite directions? Some will argue that this is because we live in a throwaway society. Others will say that because of the transformative power of technology, we no longer need each other as we did when we were an agrarian society. While these may be contributing factors, I will posit that the root cause is indeed a moral one. We live in a society where commitment and honor are no longer virtues. We live in a transactional society; a society where the words that we speak, the promises that we make, and the covenants that we enter into, are merely disposable instruments to serve our selfish needs. To illustrate the age of selfishness

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that we live in, consider what is happening before our eyes. For the promise of a loaf of bread and the return of manufacturing jobs to the rust belt, half of the country is calling for the expulsion of 12 million of God’s hungry, frightened and downtrodden men, women, children, orphans and widows. They have forgotten this most Catholic of admonitions, that “what you do for the least of these, you do unto me”. It is reminiscent of crowds once chanting, “crucify him.” It happened in our Lord’s time, it happened in Nazi Germany and it is happening here today. Who would have thought that their champion would be no other than a narcissistic racist man, who has bragged of abusing women? If we have learned anything from this, it is that people will sell their souls for a loaf of bread and it matters not if it is to the devil himself. Papa and Mama, you did not sell your souls to get here. You did not join any secret societies for longevity of life. Instead, you lived the Chris-

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tian faith. Like your parents before you, your legacy has not been that of silver or gold but that of Christian charity. All your lives, you put yourselves at risk to help the sick and downtrodden. In the 50s, you saved many thousands of villagers in Igboland from certain death, by inoculating them from smallpox. That was only one of the countless things that you both did for your neighbor. I am sure that today, if it was in your power, you would lay down your lives to defend and shelter the millions of downtrodden unwanted immigrants, like many saints did in Europe for their neighbors, during the great war. Yours has not been a blind quest for El Dorado. On the contrary, your life’s mission has been to walk down from the mountain, to gather those who cannot walk, and to help them up. Your mission has been to keep faith with the faithless, to hope with the hopeless, to touch the untouchables and to endure the unendurable.

not ask for a long life. I know that after the passing of our prince, Chikwem, you questioned what you were still doing here. Mama, I know that because of the heavy burdens that you carried, you have not always considered a long life to be a blessing. You have been given a long life because your work is not yet finished. You have been given a long marriage because there are so many young people who still need to learn from your example. You have been given a long life because you have so many grandchildren who adore you. Now that you have great grandchildren, be prepared to be here 50 more years. Again, congratulations and Happy Anniversary!

Papa and Mama, I know that you did

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Papa and Mama Tops, Odibochi, Obi Gold, Odiukor na Mba, congratulations on the way you have lived your lives and by so doing shaped our lives. Far from being honorary you have honored people and put others first, helping as many people as you could, whether family or not. You both were instrumental in physically rescuing people during the Nigerian civil war, due to the signs of the times insisting that people flee the Pogrom well ahead of time, carrying strangers in your car across enemy lines to safety, championing the fight against malnutrition and maternal mortality. You have always been a strong advocate for education, especially women education, you have always been a visionary, a motivator (Saints are ordinary people doing extraordinary things), a cheerleader, witty, sensitive, tactful. If I had heeded all your advice my live would have been on wheels, the type that Mama used to zip through the highways of Benin and the East, in her most recent toy. Your other

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motto was to try to reinvent a better wheel, you were always building one machine or the other with your team of welders and carpenters. You “retired” to begin farming (fruits, vegetables, chicken, fish, turkey, Guinea foul etc. for the market and for hotels in the area) and your farms live on supporting all and sundry. You are still not retired, helping raise grandchildren. You have said “it is over once one is no longer relevant” and this motivates you to do almost everything you need to do yourselves, mama still rushes forward wanting to relieve me of a heavy load as I try to haul it into the house. Sure there were bad times. You two are not the who-dun-it or vengeful unforgiving type but how-do-wedo-it and mend it type. A straight arrow does not have need to gossip or give lip service. You are free-spirited and lighthearted, whimsical, jocular, sharp. You both have class and charm. Papa as a child your early morning whistling while listen-

ing to BBC and daily routine of doing your laundry yourself used to be very soothing. I was sure to look forward to the flavor of the Sunday specials. What about the home sporting activities. Those were the days. Continue to take your power walks and naps, continue to keep yourselves busy in the house and in the garden, to read, write and do puzzles, to watch EWTN and to hold hands. May the awesome Lord continue to hold your precious hands and bless your remaining years. Your grandma Nneola, grandparents Kwuluba and Ihejirika are surely proud of you their Opara, Ezeakolam Madukwe, and so are we, your children, grandchildren, great grandchild and in-laws. May your days be bright and blessed. Ivy-Joan Erinma Madu

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Citation to Chief and Lolo E. O. Ihejirika on the occasion of their 66th Wedding Anniversary

pen to be, we celebrate your 66th wedding anniversary and the good long lives the Almighty God has given you.

To our beloved parents,

It is with great joy we celebrate. It is a wonderful happening. Vicariously, we bask in your life story and achievements, and we thank God for the wonderful things he has done in

From across the oceans, in the UK and Nigeria, and wherever your children, grandchildren and great grandchildren hap-

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your lives, and in ours because of you. Grandpa, (Chief, Dikenze of Alike) congratulations on your ninetieth birthday! It is a great age! We thank God for keeping you healthy and strong. With mother, you have led through adversity. You have pioneered in many facets of human en-

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deavor from poetry, education, and mentoring, to agro-enterprise, engineering works, and the progressive ideals that served as the basis for your inaugurating ‘The Good Neighbours’ in Benin City. In a 1978 speech, you gave at your alma mater, St. Thomas’ Teacher’s Training College, Ibusa, you challenged graduating students with the ideals of work, sacrifice and love. It was and still is inspiring. You have persevered. We salute you! Grandma, (Lolo) you are so truly blessed. You have been a tireless advocate of compassion, hard work, sincerity, and all the values to which we hold very dear. As a child, I watched you care for the malnourished and dying at the refugee camps in Ikenanzizi during the Biafra civil war. Truly, there are so many who survived the horrific war and are alive today, who would not be but for the nurturing and care you gave in your very determined way. You’ve borne everything with fortitude. Mum, you are a hero! It is always, with such incredible joy and delight that we sing to you the song by Prince Mbarga song, 'Sweet

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pecially your grandchildren who are all striving. A Sweet mother I no go forget dark period appears to be you for the suffer wey you approaching in the world. But, by the example of your suffer for me. lives, together, you taught When I dey cry my mother us go carry me To abhor injustice; to treasure public service; to strive She go say my pikin wetin and innovate; to believe in you dey cry yeah yeah ourselves and God given talents to face adversity Stop stop! Stop stop!! Stop with fortitude and grit. To stop!!! have faith and hope in Jesus Christ. Make you no cry again oo Mother'!

When I dey sick my mother go cry, cry, cry She go say instead wey I go die make she die She go beg God, God help me, God help me, my pikin oo If I no sleep, my mother no go sleep If I no chop, my mother no go chop She no dey tire ooo Sweet mother I no go forget dey suffer wey you suffer for me yeah yeah Sweet mother eeeeeeeeeeee Sweet mother oooo....eeeee. We pay homage to our great grandparents and ancestors who went before you, for without them we would not be celebrating now.

With this spirit, we will face the challenges to come, from the convulsions and paroxysms that abound in the world we are in today. It is our tribute to you, that as our parents, you have shown us the possible. Thank you. Nkechi, Emeka and Erinma send love and greetings to you. May the Grace of our Lord keep you strong in love, health, joy and happiness. Amen. Nkuelu Edward Ihejirika London, United Kingdom

Mama and Papa, you are witnesses to so many transformations in the world. There are incredible challenges ahead for us, and es-

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The most influential persons in my life have been my parents -Edward Ihejirika and Eunice Ihejirika (nee Ugwuh). The sixth of eight children, I was born a few months before the beginning of the Nigerian civil war. Born 3 months premature, the doctors said I was unlikely to survive, and as such condolences rather than congratulations were expressed to Mom and Dad. Rejecting the dismal prognosis of my survival, Mom, full of hope and determination, worked tirelessly to ensure I survived and thrived; so much so that by the time I was three months old I had grown bigger than other babies my age. By my first birthday, I had become one plump, fat cheeked baby. When the civil war broke out, Mom took us all to the safety of our ancestral village. Anticipating that very difficult times were approaching, Mom took steps to become self-reliant in order to ensure our survival. Mom started farming. She cultivated food crops, planted vegetable gardens, and raised a batch of egg-laying 'agric' chickens. At the time WINTER 2016

that Mom started these farming activities, food was not in short supply in Biafra. The war was going well for the Biafran forces and everyone thought or hoped that an armistice would be reached within a short time; as a result Mom's advice that everyone should start farming, fell on deaf ears. The war progressed past the one-year mark, food and other supplies started becoming harder and harder to come by as the land and sea blockade of Biafra by the Nigerian army and navy became increasingly tighter; but thanks to Mom's foresight and hard work, we did not lack for food. In fact, as refugees started to stream into Etitti from other parts of Biafra that had fallen to the Nigerian army, Mom began to operate a kitchen using her own resources to provide meals to the refugees taking shelter in our village, some of whom had already started showing early signs of severe malnutrition (otherwise known as Kwashioko). This was well before Charitas and other international relief agencies started providing relief to Biafra. Because eggs were almost impossible to find, Mom was able to trade eggs from her small chicken

farm in exchange for cornmeal and other relief supplies, which enabled her to continue providing daily meals to the refugees; more and more of whom congregated around our compound in the village, turning our home into the defacto relief center, and establishing Mom as the leader of the relief effort in Etitti. When the international relief agencies finally arrived, since our compound was already an established relief center, it became one of their food distribution centers, feeding thousands of people particularly children every day. Thousands of refugees continued to stream into Etitti, and Mom's relief kitchen continued to operate until the last days of the war, our area being one of the last to fall before Biafra surrendered. Through foresight, hard work, organization, and resilience, Mom kept us and our kin from starving, and helped many thousands survive that terrible war. After the war ended we returned to Benin City, to the rubble of what remained of our lives before the war. A beaten and decimated tribe, with no currency except the 10 Pounds per famLIFE & TIMES WINTER EDITION 27


ily issued under General Gowon's “No victor No vanquished� policy, every Ibo person knew that recovery was going to be difficult, but was happy to have survived the war. Upon our return to Benin City, Mom helped us adjust and recover from the ravages and trauma of the war. With a strong sense of self-reliance, Mom started a bakery and then a poultry farm in Benin City, quickly achieving such success that it was difficult to believe that we had just returned penniless from the war a few short years before. From Mom we acquired the attributes of perseverance, indomitable spirit, and fortitude. Dad was the driving force in our family, and a strong source of inspiration and aspiration to us all. As a young lad, Dad left our ancestral village to go live with his uncle James and his family in the northern city of Kaduna. The journey started with a 30 mile bare-foot trek from our village to the city of Umuahia, followed by a 3-4 day train ride to Kaduna. It was his first time outside our village, and his first time away from his parents and older sister. It was on this journey that he saw many things for the first time -a house with a zinc roof, an overland (motor-car), city houses. About 5 years later Dad got his first footwear -a pair of slippers, which Uncle James bought for dad on his first trip back to the village. Uncle James was a policeman in Kaduna, and a man of prominence in the Ibo community in Kaduna -an elite. He was visionary, progressive, adventurous and ambitious. Uncle James saw that education was the key to advancement in those rapidly changing times. Uncle James urged his children in that direction. He put his children to school. He also put Dad to school. Even though Dad had completed Standards 1 and 2 at St. Peters Elementary School in the village before coming to Kaduna, the school made him restart Standard 1 because since his hand could not reach over his head to touch his ear, he was considered too young to even be in standard 1. Uncle Jame's admonishments to his children to seriously pursue education seemed to fall on deaf ears, but Dad listened. Much to Uncle Jame's credit, Dad was able to complete Standard 6, and became the youngest teacher in that same school in Kaduna. At that time standard 6 was the highest level of education must people in Nigeria ever attained. However, not satisfied with Standard 6, Dad quickly sought admission to St Thomas College, Ibusa (in midwestern Nigeria) -one of only a 28 LIFE & TIMES WINTER EDITION

handful of teacher-training colleges in Nigeria at the time. Upon graduation from St. Thomas college, Dad became the headmaster of St. Peters Elementary School -the youngest headmaster at the school where his education originally began. Again not satisfied with his accomplishments, Dad took and passed the matriculation exam into Cambridge University of London; becoming the first person in all of Etitti to do so. Upon graduation from Cambridge University London, Dad became the first university graduate in all of Etitti, and became one of the first few Nigerian university graduates at the time. Upon graduation from Cambridge, Dad joined the federal civil service. In 1959/1960, Dad in his then capacity as the chief educational officer for the Queens Protectorate (Lagos state) in the then Western Province, Dad served as the elections officer for Lagos Island during Nigeria's first national elections, and was responsible to ensure that voter registration was unimpeded and successful, and that the elections in that area were free and fair. During his tenure in the federal civil service, Dad served at several posts, and represented Nigeria overseas at several United Nations conferences and international forums including UNESCO. When Midwest State was created, Dad was serving in Benin City, remained there to help set up and run the Ministry of Education for the fledgling State. After the civil war broke out following the slaughter of Igbos in the north, Dad stayed in Benin working at the Ministry, after sending Mom and us children to the safety of our ancestral village. Dad was a prominent and easily recognized man in Benin, owning 1 of only 2 Mercedes Benz cars in Benin City at the time. As an Igbo man of such prominence at such a perilous time in a sharply divided Nigeria, Dad was marked and at risk of elimination. However he stayed in Benin, relying on the calm and safety afforded by the presence of Biafran troops then occupying the city. Without warning, Biafran troops withdrew from Benin in the middle of the night. Early the next morning Dad, seeing no Biafran soldiers anywhere, immediately headed on the road towards the East and almost ran into the approaching Nigerian army, but for the warning of a truck driver fleeing from the opposing direction. Dad was fortunate to get out of Benin Citythat morning through the west, with a bunch of other fleeing Igbos clinging to the sides, top and back of his car, and thus was

able to escape the ensuing slaughter of the Igbos that could not make it out. Dad returned to Benin City after the war ended, and was glad to be able to rejoin the civil service, despite loosing seniority and position. Dad continued working with the Midwestern State Ministry of Education for many years after, even as the state transitioned to become Bendel State. In the course of his educational work in Nigeria, Dad was a leading light and visionary. Not only did Dad represent Nigeria internationally on many occasions, Dad was the one who envisioned and proposed the 6-3-3-4 system of education that is currently being used throughout all of Nigeria up till the present day. Dad proposed the 6-3-3-4 system because he felt that an educational system that only provided a path to university education was not working for everyone, and that it was necessary for the system to provide a vocational pathway to those students whose interests or avocation did not include university education. Dad retired from public service in 1979, and together with Mom, grew Mom's poultry business into one of the top 4 agricultural enterprises in Nigeria until the Nigeria great recession and austerity measures of the late 1980s and 1990s. From Dad we acquired a can-do spirit; a spirit of enterprise and adventure; and a belief that with faith and persistent effort, all things can be achieved no matter how humble the beginning. Mom, Dad, as parents you have done a great job. You have raised great children, all eight of us; and have helped raise wonderful grandchildren, all 22 of them; and have been blessed with the birth of your first great grandchild. All are strong, motivated and hardworking, and this is a testament to the good work you both have done despite the difficult times. We are ever grateful to you Mom for all that you have done for us and all that you have endured on our account. You have remained our steadfast advocate from our childhood, through our rebellious teenage years and all the years since then. We love and cherish you. You are the best. Dad, we love and appreciate you, and are grateful for the kindness, guidance, opportunities and leadership you have afforded us in life. You too are the best.

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We're blessed to know that we are loved By two people wise and true, Who love us as we are Those people, of course are you. You listen not just when we smile, But even when we grumble, Although you sometimes have to say We shouldn't always mumble. We want you to know we love you too; We really do adore you. We appreciate the things you do, And thank God daily for you

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The warm reception both of you gave to me at our first meeting in December 1988, in Benin when I was introduced by my future wife was not only warm, but loving. That kind and loving relationship has continued to this day. You don’t see me as just a son-inlaw, you treat me as one of your children.

our children and have always been there for them through tough times and times of celebration. Your presence in the lives of our children have helped them in no small way in their successes. For these and many other things we are indebted to both of you because you have forgone your pleasures to be there for us.

Your love for God and service to humanity is exemplary and worthy of emulation. You have supported us in bringing up

You have been very supportive of me since the loss of my father 15-years ago, and recently at the death of my mother.

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Your advice and encouragement I very sincerely appreciate. I have come to learn a lot from your simplicity and love for people. We have seen both of you age gracefully even when you go through some challenges associated with old age, you still find reason to be grateful to God and remain cheerful. I pray that the good Lord will continue to be with you and shield you like the apple of his own eyes. Amen WINTER 2016


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Beauty of the Moment

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People & Places

Bride: Candy Kehinde Awosika

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Friends and family gathered to celebrate the love of Candy Kehinde Awosika and Eldon St. Patrick Lewis at the Serenity garden, Torrance Marriott South bay as the two sweethearts took a vow 'to live together for better for worse till death do them part" on Saturday January 17, 2015. The ceremony was officiated by Pastor Charles Charthern and as he blessed the couple, he told them to stay strong together no matter what adversities they face in life. Guests were treated after the ceremony to a fine reception at the Zen lounge at the Torrance Marriot... WINTER 2016

Los Angeles, CA Saturday January 17, 2015

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Youth

In my stay so far on this earth, one man that has inspired me so much is the US President Barack Obama. Not just by his intelligence, or the fact that he is the first black man to be president of the United States, but the courage and the conviction to pursue his dreams. There is a story of when Barack was dating his wife, Michelle, she asked her brother to go with him to a basketball game in order to form an opinion of him. During the game, Barack’s future brotherin-law asked him what his ultimate life goal was. Barack replied, “To be the President of the US”. The answer sounded so crazy to Michelle’s brother that he refused to mention it to his sister, seeing that she liked the young man so 82 LIFE & TIMES WINTER EDITION

much and he didn’t want her to leave him. It was inconceivable to him that a black man would become the American President. This was not just the opinion of one man. The generality of black Americans did not see it happening then. Yet, all these did not deter Barack as he went on to have one of the most exciting political campaigns in history and make history as the first American President. This story of a man with conviction of what he wanted to be and what he was passionate about, combined with courage and determination is one I constantly remember to keep me motivated. I have come to realize that most, if not all people have dreams and

ambitions that sound crazy to others. They sound crazy either because no one has done that before or because others around them do not have the size of their dreams. It ends up putting in us a latent fear of failure so strong that we do not even try to reach for our dreams. Eventually, we scale down the size of our dreams to be in conformity with what the world around expects of us. We then end up living mediocre lives, beyond our potentials; or we live unfulfilled lives even if we are in comfort and wealth. It is really a sad thing to watch; even worse to experience. I believe that in every person, God gives us passions and dreams which are linked to a purpose. WINTER 2016


Youth

The purpose for this purpose is that we use our passions, talents and dreams to serving others. For me, an easy way to discovering what my purpose was this 3-step test: 1. What is that one thing or collection of things you do that comes to you very naturally, in no matter raw a form? 2. What are those things that when doing, you lose all track of time and can do for hours without end even without the promise of pay? 3. Whenever you dream about yourself in the future, (and we all do), what is that thing or what are those things we continually see WINTER 2016

yourself doing? These 3 steps culminate in a job or vocation that achieves your purpose by benefiting others. This might be a job that is not in existence right now or one that very few people around you are involved in. But here is the catch: when God puts those dreams and passions in your heart linked to a purpose, only you feel those passions and envision those dreams. People around you can only notice it, and that is for those who are discerning. That is why it is very easy for them to discourage you about reaching for your dreams. In spite of this, I believe that no dream is beyond being achieved.

Infact, my desire for everyone is that they live to pursue their passions and achieve their dreams. Whenever I meet, hear or read of someone pursuing his or her passions, I get energized myself. But dreaming is not enough – one must also work towards achieving them. You cannot be passionate about being the best cardiologist in the world and spend most of your time playing Football Manager rather than engrossing yourself in medical knowledge. Also, you cannot delude yourself about being passionate about for what you have absolutely little or no talent in. that is why the first of the 3-step formula to discovering your purpose starts with taking LIFE & TIMES WINTER EDITION 83


Youth note of that which comes to you naturally. You have to start where you are to begin to pursue your dreams. If it requires education and reading, throw yourself into it. Find people who are also on or close to your career path and learn from them, either by personal interaction or by reading what they have written. Find a mentor who will help you develop. But most importantly, do not wait until you have everything in order before you start to put into practice what you have learnt and what you desire to do. Remember, perfect is the enemy of done. As you start, you will learn from your mistakes and gain experience more than what books can teach you. Pursuing your dreams is also more a function of what you should not do than what you should be doing. You have to make the radical decision to say

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no to engaging yourself in activities that do not fit into your dreams, and would just be a drain of your energy and a distraction. You have to focus on what you are doing. My last point deals with how to overcome discouragement from those around you. Once you are convinced of what you want to do and where you want to go, talk about it a lot with those closest around you. This not only shows them how serious you are, but also commits yourself to that path. It is said that 9 out of 10 times you voice out your plans and intentions, you go on to achieve them. The next thing is to immediately start working out your dreams, no matter how rough it is initially. If your dream is to one day have a world-class animation studio, start with making roughly animated cartoon sketches on your PC. If your desire is to one day have a world-renowned youth

football academy, start with involving yourself with a neighbourhood soccer team. These things go as an indication to those around you about how serious you are. It also visualizes for them what you have been seeing in your mind for a long time, and starts to win their support. Whatever dreams and passions you have held in your heart for a long time is divinely put for a purpose. Do not let it go to waste. Dare to reach for it. Do not let the fear of missing the ball keep you from playing the game.

Remember, the impossible is most times simply the untried. Mark Amaza runs MINDcapital, a branding and business model development focused on small and mediumsized businesses. He is also an online columnist and blogger.

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Health & Wellness

by Olufemi Y. Saliu, M.D. I walk, I drive, and I work daily shielded from sunlight, the major driving force behind vitamin D production in humans. My day begins at dawn when I drive to my office in downtown Los Angeles. My whole day is spent in the operating room suite. At dusk, I go home without any exposure to the sun. When I finish work early, I work out at the gym, not at the park. Upon reflection, I believe this lifestyle puts me at risk for vitamin D deficiency. Because of the many medical problems associated with it, I expressed my concern during my annual medical checkup in February, 2016. The doctor tested me and notified me that I have vitamin D deficiency. 86 LIFE & TIMES WINTER EDITION

After the appointment, I began taking a big dose of vitamin D once a week for twelve weeks, and then started taking a tenth of that dose every day. This health experience motivated me to review the current literatureonvitamin D deficiency. Studies show that darker skinned people need more exposure to sunlight than lighter skinned people to have the same degree of vitamin D production. This is because melanin, the skin pigment, absorbs so much of the UVB radiation needed for vitamin D production that production is decreased by up to 99%. Applying sunscreen – used to prevent skin

cancer – does the same thing to a light skinned person by absorbing UV radiation. Staying mainly indoors and dressing to cover sun-exposed areas of the body due to cold weather or religion increases the risk of deficiency. Furthermore, the capacity to synthesize the vitamin in the skin decreases with aging. Intestinal conditions that decrease vitamin D absorption, such as malabsorption syndromes and bariatric surgery, also result in the deficiency. In addition, obesity, or BMI over 30, is associated with an increased risk of deficiency due to trapping of vitamin D in the fat tissue. Other than through exposure to sunlight, man derives vitamin D WINTER 2016


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from food fortified with the vitamin and oil-rich fish, such as salmon, mackerel, and herring. Oil from fish such as cod liver oil is another good source. The source of the fish is important. Wild caught salmon contains about 500-1000 IU of Vitamin D in 100g while farmed salmon contains only 100-250 IU of the vitamin in 100g. This is because the natural diet of wild salmon is richer in the vitamin than the processed diet of farmed salmon. It is well known that vitamin D deficiency leads to reduced intestinal absorption of calcium and phosphorus resulting in mobilization and depletion of the minerals from the bones. This leads to rickets in the young, and osteomalacia and osteoporosis in the elderly, increasing the risk of fractures. The recent discovery of vitamin D receptors in the majority of tissues and of enzymes that convert the vitamin from inactive form to active forms shows that vitamin D has functions beyond optimizing the bone health. Chronic conditions that result from vitamin D deficiency may include cancers, autoimmune disWINTER 2016

ease, infectious disease, insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes, hypertension, coronary artery disease and heart failure. Unfortunately, the modern day lifestyle does not expose us to sufficient amounts of light to meet our needs. In addition, the amount of vitamin D in our diets is barely enough to meet the requirement for optimum bone health. To prevent chronic disease, more vitamin D is required. Because individuals have different lifestyles and diets, vitamin D needs vary from person to person. You need to have your serum level of vitamin D checked in order to truly know your nutritional needs. However, unlike blood sugar and cholesterol, vitamin D is not routinely checked by doctors. As a result, when you go for your annual medical checkup, you need to emphasize your risk of vitamin D deficiency in terms of your lifestyle to your healthcare provider. Based on what your serum level is, the doctor will determine how much supplement is needed. You may not need

any supplement. In that case, taking vitamin D supplements would be dangerous. Excessive intake of vitamin D has side effects, such as kidney stones, so allow your doctor to decide if you need supplements, and how much you need. We have come a long way from the age of the caveman. The caveman made a living hunting and gathering food, exposed to the sun. The modern digital man makes a living shielded from the sun in offices, homes, cars, trucks, trains, and airplanes. The caveman ate natural food rich in vitamin D. The digital man eats processed food poor in vitamin D. We have always known that rickets, osteomalacia, osteoporosis and fractures result from vitamin D deficiency. Studies now show that the deficiency may result in chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes, hypertension, and coronary artery disease. So, evaluate your risk. If you habitually work from home, you may be at risk. If you are always on the road in your car or in your truck for business, you may be at risk. If you are always clothed from head LIFE & TIMES WINTER EDITION 87


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to toe for any reason, you may be at risk. For the sake of your bone health and general health, talk to your doctor. References: 1. Okazaki R1, Ozono K2, Fukumoto S3, … J Bone Miner Metab. 2016 Nov 23. [Epub ahead of print] Assessment criteria for vitamin D deficiency/insufficiency in Japan: proposal by an expert panel supported by the Research Program of Intractable Diseases, Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare, Japan, the Japanese Society for Bone and Mineral Research and the Japan Endocrine Society [Opinion]. 2. MF Holick, NC Binkley… Evaluation, treatment, and prevention of vitamin D deficiency: an En88 LIFE & TIMES WINTER EDITION

docrine Society clinical practice guidelin - The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism , 2011 press.endocrine.org - DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1210/jc.20110385

1956. doi:10.1016/j.jacc.2008.08.050

3. Michael F Holick and Tai C Chen Vitamin D deficiency: a worldwide problem with health consequences1,2,3,4 Am J Clin Nutr April 2008 vol. 87 no. 4 1080S-1086S 4. John H. Lee, MD?; James H. O'Keefe, MD?… Vitamin D Deficiency An Important, Common, and Easily Treatable Cardiovascular Risk Factor? J Am Coll Cardiol. 2008;52(24):1949-

Dr. Olufemi Saliu, MD is a board certified anesthesiologist in Los Angeles, California that has been in medical practice since 1985. He has a special interest in writing about and educating people on healthy nutrition & wellness WINTER 2016


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People & Places

Hawthorne, California ANOC day featuring Iwa Ji (Iri Ji) Festival in S. CA September 10, 2016 The Association of Nze, Ozo and Chief in the United States, (ANOC )-USA, compromising of membership from all the seven Igbo Speaking States of Nigeria held it's ANOC day featuring Iwa Ji (Iri Ji) Festival on September 10, 2016 at the Hawthorne Memorial hall, Hawthorne California. Iwa Ji (New Yam Festival) is the Igbo Traditional Thanksgiving Festival, when we give thanks to God for a bountiful Harvest from Farm Products. Join us to celebrate God’s blessing by witnessing how the Igbos celebrate the New Yam Festival. Highlights of the occasion include a dramatization of the Iwa ji ceremony , the outing of Enyi ANOC . It was a showcase of the pomp & pageantry of fine Igbo culture

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Spotlight

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Spotlight Imo is one of the 36 states of Nigeria and lies in the South East of Nigeria with Owerri as its capital and largest city. Located in the south-eastern region of Nigeria, it occupies the area between the lower River Niger and the upper and middle Imo River. Location Imo State is bordered by Abia State on the East, River Niger and Delta State to the West, Anambra State on the North and Rivers State to the South.The State lies within latitudes 4째45'N and 7째15'N, and longitude 6째50'E and 7째25'E with an area of around 5,100 sq km. The main cities in Imo State are Owerri, Orlu and Okigwe. Rivers and Lakes The Orashi River has its source in Imo State. Imo River, being the major river in the State, drains through Abia State, where it is joined by Aba River from the North, and Akwa Ibom State into the Atlantic Ocean.: There are Njaba River, Oguta Lake, Utu River and Awbana River in the State. Otamiri Riverand its 9.2 km length tributary, Nworie River flow in the State.: There are other rivers and creeks in the state including Onas Creek in

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Ohaji/Egbema, Okitankwo River in Umudi, and Ohia and Efuru Rivers in Okigwe.: Natural Resources The state is rich in natural resources including crude oil, natural gas, lead and zinc. Economically exploitable flora including iroko, mahogany, obeche, bamboo, rubber tree and oil palm predominate. Other natural resources found in the State are white clay, fine sand and limestone. Besides Owerri, Imo State's major towns are Isu, Okigwe, Oguta, Orlu,Atta Ikeduru, Akokwa, Mbaise, Mbaitoli, Mbieri, Orodo, Nkwerre, Ubulu, Ngor Okpala, Omuma, Mgbidi, Awo-Omamma, Izombe and Orsu, Mbano Oil and Gas Exploration There are over 163 oil wells at over 12 different locations in the State. The main petroleum companies operating in the state are Addax Petroleum, Chevron Corporation, Royal Dutch Shell and Agip. Some of the established oil-rich and producing Local Government Councils include Ohaji/Egbema, Oguta, Oru East, Iho, Oru West, Obowo and Ngor Okpala.[7]

Trade and Investment Opportunities Many trade and investment opportunities abound in the peaceful State including Oil and Gas Exploration, Chemical Plants, Brewery Plants, Hydroelectricity and GasFired Power Plants, Grain Milling, Starch Production, Cashew Product Industry, Fruit and Vegetable Juice Concentrate Production, Integrated Multi-Oil Seeds Processing Plant, Ceramic Industry, Inland Waterway Transport, Integrated Palm Produce Industry et al. In addition to presence of oil and gas investors, independent global brewer, Heineken through its subsidiary Nigerian Breweries has significant investment in Imo State.The company manages the world-class Awo-omamma Brewery, a multipleline brewery plant. Many more opportunities in oil and gas are yet to be fully exploited.The Federal Government has been called to inspect newly discovered oil-rich council areas for possible exploration in order to increase the presence of the federal government in the State and the region, which would enable economic develop-

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ment and job creation. Establishment of industrial parks and processing zones to harness the huge agricultural produce and minerals would give a major boost to the State's economic growth and industrialization. No doubt, production centers would employ large number of labor. Oguta Lake, Palm Beach Holiday Resort in Awo-omamma and a host of other tourist sites along the banks of the 26 km-length Njaba River present hotspots for tourism. Agriculture The economy of the State depends primarily on agriculture and commerce. The chief occupation of the people is farming. However, with a high population density and over farming the soil has been degraded and much of the native vegetation has disappeared. Their cash crops include oil palm, raffia palm, rice, groundnut, melon, cotton, cocoa, rubber, maize, etc. food crops such 98 LIFE & TIMES WINTER EDITION

as yam, cassava, cocoyam and maize are also produced in large quantities. Climate The rainy season begins in April and lasts until October with annual rainfall varying from 1,500mm to 2,200mm (60 to 80 inches). An average annual temperature above 20 °C (68.0 °F) creates an annual relative humidity of 75%. With humidity reaching 90% in the rainy season. The dry season experiences two months of Harmattan from late December to late February. The hottest months are between January and March. With high population density and over farming, the soil has been degraded and much of the native vegetation has disappeared. This deforestation has triggered soil erosion which is compounded by heavy seasonal rainfall that has led to the destruction of houses and

roads. History Imo State came into existence in 1976 along with other new states created under the leadership of the late military ruler of Nigeria, Murtala Muhammad, having been previously part of East-Central State. The state is named after the Imo River.[16] Part of it was split off in 1991 as Abia State, and another part became Ebonyi State. Imo state was created at Ngwoma and the meetings for the state creation which began after the Nigerian Civil War ended in 1970 were chaired by Chief S. E. Onukogu. Government The state has a three-tier administrative structure: State, Local and Autonomous community levels. The three arms at state level are the Executive, the Legislative and the Judiciary. The executive arm is headed by an elected Governor who is assisted by a deputy governor, commissioners and executive advisers. WINTER 2016


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The legislative arm is headed by the Speaker of the State House of Assembly who is currently speaker Rt. Hon. Ihenacho Ihim and his deputy, Rt. Hon. Ugonna Ozurigbo. The remainder of the house is made up of elected legis-

lators from the 27 LGAs of the state

appeal and is headed by the Chief Judge of the state

The judiciary is made up of the high court of justice and customary court of appeal and is headed by the Chief Judge of the statet of

This is a list of administrators and Governors of Imo State since its creation.

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Life Issues 8 short years ago, most of us were filled with excitement; the air abuzz with hope. We were all overjoyed by possibilities; inspired by an event that we never thought we would live to see: the election of a black man as president of the United States. As the election season unfolded, we were all enveloped by the audacity of one man’s decision to give his all. The post-election season, even for those who didn’t vote for the man, was underlined by a positive energy:

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change was coming and things were going to be different. And different it has been Many of us can say that it hasn’t quite been what we thought. The dream of bipartisanship was quickly replaced by the nightmare of getting two very different sides to work together. Over time, the hope slowly eroded and was replaced by a completely different feeling, one that culminated in the last few months: fear.

Accompanied by uncertainty, this fear has gripped us and propelled us into a place of darkness. Ok that sounds rather dramatic. But the reality of it is that many people in the world right now are afraid. Ethnic groups are afraid of each other; genders are pitted against each other, nations are at war, religious beliefs have become a reason to become a target. And thanks to our technological advances, fear can

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Life Issues

literally be spread around the world in a matter of minutes.

the waves of uncertainty, I serve an unwavering God.

Ok let’s dial it back a bit. I found myself this year in a new territory. My usually optimistic outlook had been replaced with endless thoughts about how the world was going to hell in a kerosene-soaked basket. My mind took various trips, replaying scenarios of an unlivable world. I often had to pray myself back to reality and to realize the tormenting power of fear. My bible became a solace for me; I became intentional about listening to positive messages, especially those about how to deal with fear. I found my faith again. My heart stopped racing, the lump in my throat disappeared, and the general malaise that was becoming a norm subsided. During this season, I have learned how important it is to be a part of a faith community, and more importantly how imperative it is to be plugged in at all times. My prayer life has never quite been as strong as it has been in these last few weeks; and I’ve come to accept that while it is easy to be swept by

More than ever, I realize the importance of the Christmas season. That while we have shifted focus to gifts and self-serving activities, it is the perfect time to be reminded of God’s goodness. I started thinking about the power of one; years ago, one man inspired us to do more, today one man has many confused and dazed, unsure of their next steps. In both situations, it only took one person. My thoughts focused on what I, as one person, can do to influence my inner circle, my community, my little world. I started to appreciate how important it is for us to constantly bring a positive influence around us; that all it takes is one of us to get it going.

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someone else’s day brighter, to encourage and to believe there’s more out there. In the midst of our Christmas parties, picking up extra shifts and gift exchanging, let’s inspire others and in the process, be inspired. I encourage you to lift your countenance, count your blessings and strive to make a positive change for even one person. Be inspired, and have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. "Those who do not move, do not notice their chains" - Rosa Luxemburgt move, do not

Years ago, we sought inspiration in one man; he didn’t deliver. Not because he was no longer inspirational, but because we didn’t do our part. Inspiration doesn’t require a presidential position, or money. It simply requires a willingness to try, to make

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Country Profile

Swaziland A royal experience

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Country Profile

Swaziland, a small, landlocked monarchy in southern Africa, is known for its wilderness reserves and festivals showcasing traditional Swazi culture. Marking its northeastern border with Mozambique and stretching down to South Africa, the Lebombo Mountains serve as a dramatic backdrop for Mlawula Nature Reserve’s many hiking trails. Nearby Hlane Royal National Park is home to diverse wildlife including lions, hippos and elephants. Geography Swaziland, which is about 85% the size of New Jersey, is surrounded by South Africa and Mozambique. The country is largely mountainous. Government Absolute monarchy.

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History Bantu peoples migrated southwest to the area of Mozambique in the 16th century. A number of clans broke away from the main body in the 18th century and settled in Swaziland. In the 19th century these clans organized as a tribe, partly because they were in constant conflict with the Zulu. Their ruler, Mswazi, appealed to the British in the 1840s for help against the Zulu. The British and the Transvaal governments guaranteed the independence of Swaziland in 1881. South Africa held Swaziland as a protectorate from 1894 to 1899, but after the Boer War, in 1902, Swaziland was transferred to British administration. The paramount chief was recognized as the native authority in 1941. In 1963, the territory was constituted

Fast Facts Population: 1,138,000 Capital: Mbabane (administrative); 70,000—Lobamba (legislative and royal); 4,400 Area: 17,363 square kilometers (6,704 square miles) Language: English, siSwati Religion: Indigenous beliefs, Roman Catholic, Muslim Currency: Lilangeni Life Expectancy: 45 GDP per Capita: U.S. $4,800 Literacy Percent: 82 ECONOMY Industry: Mining (coal), wood pulp, sugar, soft drink concentrates Agriculture: Sugarcane, cotton, corn, tobacco; cattle Exports: Soft drink concentrates, sugar, wood pulp, cotton yarn Kingdom of Swaziland Ruler: King Mswati III (1986) Prime Minister: Barnabas Sibusiso Dlamini (1996) Land area: 6,641 sq mi (17,200 sq km); total area: 6,704 sq mi (17,363 sq km) Population (2014 est.): 1,419,623 (growth rate: 1.14%); birth rate: 25.18/1000; infant mortality rate: 54.82/1000; life expectancy: 50.54; density per sq mi: 176.8 Capital (2011 est.): Mbabane, 66,000; Royal and legislative capital: Lobamba, 11,000 Largest city: Mbabane, 66,000 LIFE & TIMES WINTER EDITION 103


Country Profile

a protectorate, and on Sept. 6, 1968, it became the independent nation of Swaziland. Since 1986, King Mswati III has ruled as sub-Saharan Africa's last absolute monarch. Political parties are banned and the king appoints 10 of the 65 members of parliament as well as the prime minister. King Mswati can veto any law passed by the legislature and frequently rules by decree. In 2002, hundreds of thousands of Swazis faced starvation. Two years of drought as well as bad planning and poor agricultural practices were blamed for the crisis. The government came under criticism for buying the king a $50-million luxury jet—a quarter of the national budget—while famine loomed. In 2002, the country's judges resigned en masse in protest of the 104 LIFE & TIMES WINTER EDITION

government's refusal to comply with court decisions. In April 2003, the government information minister announced that the media were banned from making negative remarks about the government— criticism of the king's new luxury jet in particular would not be tolerated. In 2004, a third year of drought befell the country. International donor agencies and human rights groups condemned the king's plans to build new multimilliondollar palaces for each of his 11 wives (12 by 2005) while his people faced starvation and the country's AIDS epidemic spiraled out of control. About 30% of the population is infected. Although the king signed the country's first constitution in Aug. 2005, the document essentially maintains the status quo: opposition parties remain banned and the king retains ultimate power

Monetary unit: Lilangeni Current government officials Languages: English, siSwati (both official) Ethnicity/race: African 97%, European 3% Literacy rate: 87.8% (2011 est.) Economic summary: GDP/PPP(2013 est.): $6.259 billion; per capita $5,700. Real growth rate:0%. Inflation: 6.1%.Unemployment: 40% (2006).Arable land: 10.08%. Agriculture:sugarcane, cotton, corn, tobacco, rice, citrus, pineapples, sorghum, peanuts; cattle, goats, sheep.Labor force: 424,100 (2011).Industries: coal, wood pulp, sugar, soft drink concentrates, textiles and apparel. Natural resources:asbestos, coal, clay, cassiterite, hydropower, forests, small gold and diamond deposits, quarry stone, talc. Exports: $1.603 billion (2013 est.): soft drink concentrates, sugar, wood pulp, cotton yarn, refrigerators, citrus and canned fruit. Imports: $1.545 billion (2013 est.): motor vehicles, machinery, transport equipment, foodstuffs, petroleum products, chemicals. Major trading partners: South Africa, EU, U.S., Mozambique, Japan, Singapore (2004). Member of Commonwealth of Nations Communications: Telephones:main lines in use: 48,600 (2012); mobile cellular: 805,000 (2012).Radio broadcast stations: AM 3, FM 2 plus 4 repeaters, shortwave 3 (2001). Radios: 170,000 (1999).Television broadcast stations: 3 plus relay stations (2007).Televisions: 23,000 (2000).Internet Service Providers (ISPs): 2,744 (2012). Internet users: 90,100 (2009).

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Iruka's Corner

by Iruka A. Ndubuizu I have a January birthday, so every year I spend the month of December reflecting on the past twelve months and setting my intentions for the next twelve. There is no point in living if you are not constantly growing,so I ask myself what I could have done differently. Interestingly, my thoughts always revolve around working harder, loving more, giving more often, traveling, and cherishing existing relationships while fostering new ones. This year, I took a job out of state and relocated without my family to a city where I did not know anyone! Moving to another state was not something I had ever thought about or considered;however, an incredible career opportunity presented itself, and I felt compelled to explore it. After all, I did not want to wake up one day and regret not taking the chance. The older I become, the fewer regrets I allow myself. The mere idea of pursuing the job was both scary and invig106 LIFE & TIMES WINTER EDITION

orating. Ultimately, I resigned from a place I had worked for almost fifteen years, packed up and drove eight and half hours to start a new job. I went from always being surrounded by family, friends, and a supportive community to living alone. All of a sudden, I had so much time on my hands. I instantly went from a life where I was constantly juggling competing demands from friends, family, work and my various community involvements to doing absolutely NOTHING. Just work. With my usual Pollyanna attitude, I set out to embrace my new city. I have always loved the beach and now I live less than 3 miles away from one of the most beautiful ocean fronts in the world. “Beach gazing� quickly became my favorite past time, and sitting or walking on the beach is and always has been a great avenue to clear my thoughts. Needless to say, I have more clarity than I have had in years. I have learned that

in all my busyness, there are things about my life and myself I never stopped to address. I have been asking myself if I liked being busy or if it was just a way to prevent myself from introspecting. I am still exploring the answer to this question. In all the quietness, I became more intentional. Time was on my side. No commuting in traffic. No cooking. No working long hours. No community events to attend. No rushing. My phone rang less. I could have a thought and ruminate on it for hours. No interruptions. No distraction from unpleasant thoughts. I had no choice but to deal with them as they dropped in my consciousness. They had to be handled. No escape. As time went by, I became more comfortable with my thoughts. It was time to face the truth. I had to. I soon realized that I have been lying to everyone around me about who I am, which did not bother me as much as WINTER 2016


Iruka's Corner

realizing that I have been lying to myself. They seemed subtle, but I may have done a lot of damage to myself along the way because of those lies. I was shocked to learn that I have a very long list of the lies I told myself and I am still assessing the damage. Below are a few of them –

say I am okay when I was anything but? Was it fear that I might be pushed away that made me declare I did not need anyone? Did I decide not to care because I was so sure I would be rejected? Did I hide my disappointment by claiming those disappointments did not matter?

“I am okay” “I don’t need anyone” “I don’t care” “It doesn’t matter”

I am grateful that I no longer feel the need to defend myself from my truth. No more assurances and convincing required. It is not necessary. I am vulnerable. My vulnerability no longer embarrasses me. I can now handle pride, fear, rejection, and disappointment without lying. I am reminded of W. Somerset Maugham, who asserts that “if it is necessary sometimes to lie to others, it is always despicable to lie to oneself.”

I actually said these so much that I almost believed them. I now know that I say them to make myself feel better. They are my self-preservation mantras. I tell them to myself when people disappoint me or when things do not go my way. Rather than accept or admit that I am hurt or need help, I downplay the significance of negative situations that affect me. I now realize that these are merely defense mechanisms I have adopted over the years. But, defense from what? The answer is actually too painful to accept. It feels good to finally admit that I am not always okay, I need people, I do care and it really does matter. I cannot honestly tell you why I have perpetuated these lies all these years. Culture? Upbringing? Habituation? Training? Was it pride that made me WINTER 2016

So as I set my intentions for next year, I resolve to be more of my authentic self. I am thinking less about working harder, loving, giving, traveling, and cherishing relationships;rather, I am focusing on not being afraid of expressing myself and my truth. I will

ask for help even though I may not get it. I will extend a hand even if it may be rejected. I really do care and it matters to me. I am exposed and it is okay. After all, I am vulnerable!We all are. Do not be afraid of your vulnerability. We are conditioned to view our vulnerability as weakness and as such we tend to hide it. This, however,can lead to delusion. Be honest with yourself and embrace your truth. No more lies. Ask for help,even if it may not be forthcoming. Jump, even when you are not sure someone will catch you. It may be risky. Do it anyway. Do not focus on the outcome, but on the fact that you are daring to live without guarantees.Try it, so you can truly realize who you are. Imagine how freeing this can be. Believe me, it’s worth it.

Iruka A. Ndubuizu is a “contract guru”, attorney, entrepreneur, consultant and trainer. She is an Assistant Director for Contracts Administration at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia and the Founder of Eureka Consulting, LLC (www.eurekaconsultingllc.com). You can reach her at info@eurekaconsultingllc.com; 678.224.1960.

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Religion

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Religion

“For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.” (Isaiah 9:6) “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men”. (Luke 2:14 ) “I’m telling you these things while I’m still living with you. The Friend, the Holy Spirit whom the Father will send at my request, will make everything plain to you. He will remind you of all the things I have told you. I’m leaving you well and whole. That’s my parting gift to you. Peace. I don’t leave you the way you’re used to being left— feeling abandoned, bereft. So don’t be upset. Don’t be distraught”. ( John 14 – 25 -27 ( The Message ) If there is anything our world has always needed and desperately craves WINTER 2016

today, it is peace – peace in marriages, peace in the classrooms, peace on the playgrounds, peace in the workplace, peace in the movie theaters, peace at the restaurants and even inside the church! Terrorists have struck fears into the hearts of the world’s inhabitants and it appears no one is beyond their reach. People go out and never return. Families travel and never return. Children go to school and never return. It is not confined to one specific country or a specific race or religion. Everyone is a fair game. The world established the League of Nations to help bring about peace among the nations but it was a colossal failure. Many wars were fought still. The name changed to United Nations. But it is clear that the United Nations is a united nothing. A fiasco. An international joke. Wars not only continued, terrorism and impoverishment of nations were added to it bringing about monumental refugee problems.

Why? Why are all the efforts to usher in peace failing ? Because there can be no true peace until the Prince of Peace comes. But you can enjoy peace even in the midst of all these turbulence and tempests of terror. All you need is the Prince of Peace Himself to come into your life. A patron asked a painter to paint a picture of peace. First, he painted a quiet-looking deserted street bereft of any hint of disquiet. The patron rejected it. Then he painted a field of gently swaying beautiful daffodils in a sunset by the seaside. The patron turned it down. Finally he painted a tempest roaring through a farmland and trees being uprooted and branches breaking and being hurled off by the wind. In the “eye of the storm” is a tiny bird perched and sleeping away in the midst of the tempest on a half broken branch of a tree! “Yes ! Yes!! Yes!!!” Screamed the patron. “This is peace! This is peace!! This LIFE & TIMES WINTER EDITION 109


Religion is peace!!! Indeed, seeing a tiny bird sleeping in the midst of a tempest on a half broken tree branch passes all understanding. I present to you this Christmas Jesus Christ, the Gift of peace that can offer you “the peace of God that passes all understanding” Philippians 4:7. The Gift of Peace with God

his enemies to be at peace with him.” The Gift of Peace with Man Do you know that the Prince of Peace can actually make your enemies to be at peace with you? Believe it or not, that cantankerous and obnoxious

Romans 5:1 says we have Do you know that the Prince of peace with God through our Peace can actually make your Lord Jesus Christ. This enemies to be at peace with you? means that we are reconciled back to God because the barriers of hostility and enmity that separated us from God have been removed by the person and work of Christ. For he himself is our peace, who has made the two one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing spouse, neighbor or child can be wall of hostility, Ephesians 2:14 . On made to be at peace with you. that glorious night when Jesus was born, the angels sang, "glory to God in Proverbs 16: 7 says “when a man's the highest, and on earth, peace. ways please the Lord, he maketh even

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You do not need to be in hostility with those who are hostile towards you. Once you have the Lord Jesus as your Lord and Savior, peace with all men is your heritage. In the Old Testament, Jacob had run away from home because he stole his brother’s blessing by deceiving their father Isaac with the help of his mother Rebecca. Esau, his brother therefore swore to kill him so he fled for his life to live with his mother’s brother. He was there for at least fourteen years and God prospered him. His prosperity triggered envy from his Uncle and his children to the extent that the Uncle pursued him to force him back after Jacob had left him. God appeared to Laban, the Uncle, in a dream and warned him to steer clear of Jacob and leave him in peace. In fact he must not as much as offend Jacob in speech! ( Genesis 31:24). God was Jacob’s Peace. When Jacob heard that his brother Esau was coming with 400 men to meet him, he was scared to death knowing what he did to him

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Religion years ago and how vengeful his brother was. He divided his family into different segments and kept those that he loved most at the rear thinking that evil was determined by Esau towards him. But the Prince of Peace had gone ahead of him. When Esau both brothers finally met, Esau “ran to meet him and embraced him, ad fell on his neck and kissed him, and they wept.” ( Genesis 33:4). God was His Peace. When you make Jesus your Peace, He will be your peace even in “little” things. He cares so much about you that even “the very hairs of your head are numbered” Luke 12:17. For example, an elderly woman wrote a letter to God a week before Christmas but she had no money for stamp or envelope. She made an envelope herself that looked ragged and messy. The postal worker found it while sorting out letters. Out of curiosity he opened it and read that the writer was in great distress and lost all sense of peace because she had lost all her savings of about $150 to online theft. She had no

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money for food or anything else for Christmas. Fellow postal workers heard about it and took contributions of $100 for the woman. The money was mailed to her that same day in a plain envelope, with no note or anything. A week later, the same postal worker noticed another unstamped letter that had been addressed to God in the same handwriting. In it, he found a brief note: “Dear God, Thank you for the $100 that you sent me for Christmas, which would have been so bleak otherwise. P.S. It was $50 short, but that was probably those thieving workers at the post office. “ I present the Prince of Peace to you today. He is the Christmas Gift from God to you this season. Have you received Him?

Oladipo Kalejaiye holds a Ph.D degree in law and was a litigation attorney in Nigeria, Europe and the United States for over 17 years. He entered into full time ministry in year 2000, and currently serves as the pastor of International Christian Center, Los Angeles ( You can contact him by Email: Pastor@iccla.com, Web: www.iccla.com, Facebook: iccla/facebook, Twitter: @DipoKalejaiye)

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