Michael Ade-Ojo: BOSS
Distinguished Businessman, Philanthropist Par Excellence
t is often said that what matters in the act of building businesses is not how big one starts, but how right. The truth is told of many who started with the right men-
tality even with little or no resources, and made it to enviable height. All such people did was dream big, employ determination, and inject plenty of hard work, and the rest, as the
By Eric Elezuo
saying goes, was history. And such is the success story of Nigerian Dollar multi-millionaire Michael Ade-Ojo, the founder and CEO of the Elizade Group of Companies, who
started with next to nothing and through a dint of hard work, catapulted himself to the height where only millionaires are found. He was an early starter who at a very tender age, became a street vendor, and started selling charcoal, food, and firewood to help make ends meet. Chief Micheal Ade-Ojo was born on June 14, 1938 at Ilara-mokin, a town in Ondo state into the family of the late Chief Solomon Ojo and Mrs. Beatrice Ademolawe Ojo. Although born in a time when there was little to no financial aid for the less privileged, and parents believed a lot lesser in education, he still successfully made it through high school, and later got a degree in Business Administration from the university. He attended St. Michaelâ€™s Anglican School, Ilara-Mokin, Ondo State, before proceeding to Imade College, Owo, where he stayed between 1954 and 1958, and obtained the West Africa School Certificate. He proceeded to the University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN) in 1961, and obtained a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) degree in Business Administration in 1965. After his graduation, he joined the work force at CFAO motors; a French distribution company. This same company paid the tuition for his last two years in the university owing to his dexterity. In 1966, while still working as a salesman for CFAO motors, he successfully sold 20 trucks to the Electricity Corporation of
Nigeria, but to his dismay, his manager took credit for the sale. In frustration, he protested, but instead of the review of the situation, he was sacked by the end of the year. He was not the type to suck over spilled milk, and so he moved on immediately after, and got a job at British Petroleum (BP). The quality of good salesmanship is hardly hidden, and his was very prominent. Therefore, within three months of his employment, he increased the sales of his local division by 25%. But like a case of de ja vu; just as he was unfortunate with his previous employment, his new boss took credit for the outstanding growth, and this left him aggrieved and lost. While in Lagos, during his annual British Petroleum (BP) holiday, he decided to take a daring step to approach the RT Brisco Group; an importer and distributor of trucking and automobile equipments. He made them an offer to sell their equipment for a commission on every successful sale. After careful consideration, the RT Brisco Group decided to give him a trial. In just four months after he sealed the deal with Brisco, he sold about 40 cars. The commissions earned from the total sales, were overwhelmingly higher than his yearly salary at BP. This motivated him to quit his job, and pursue his dreams. In 1971, he started the company, Elizade Independent Agencies (EIA), with his wife, Elizabeth Wuraola Ojo. The name Elizade, was de-
rived from both his wifeâ€™s name, Elizabeth, and his name, Ade. His company focused on the distribution of automobiles in Nigeria, especially Japanese cars.
brand in Nigeria. He later went on to acquire 100% of RT Briscoe in Nigeria, and subsequently acquired more shares, to make his total holdings in Toyota Nigeria Limited, sum up
tors Nigeria Limited, Elizade University, Okin Travels Limited, and a host of other investments. Ade-Ojo is also on the board of directors of several Nigeria banks and
Equipments). The story of Micheal Ade-Ojo is one of impeccable success. It shows an individual who not only mastered his craft, but also knows
but a man whose big fingers are in many pies, growing them successfully. Chief Ade Ojo is a recipient of a number of awards both at home and
He acquired the license to import Toyota Cars, with the name, Toyota Nigeria Limited, and single handedly, made the
to 74%. Today, his conglomerate consists of Toyota Nigeria Limited, RT Briscoe Nigeria, Elizade
other companies such as Ecobank, First City Monument Bank, and SMT Nigeria Limited (the official distributors of Mack
when and how to take advantage of opportunities before others start to notice. He stood above obstacles and frustrations
abroad. He was awarded the national honour of Officer of the Order of the Niger (OON) in 2005. Chief Ade Ojo has attended several top management development courses including the Chief Executive Programme of the Lagos Business School. He is happily married to Taiwo Ade-Ojo; a woman he married in 2012 after the death of his first wife, Elizabeth, with whom he began his business empire. Ade-Ojo is blessed with prolific children, among whom is Deola Sagoe. Sir, for your dexterity, and ability to hold your head high in the midst of uncertainty; building a business empire that can only be envied, you deserve to be our Boss of the Week. Congrats!
car brand, the most Auto Land, Classic Mo- trucks, Volvo trucks, & and became, not only a sought-after automobile tors Limited, Crow Mo- Volvo Construction great vehicle sales expert,
APC and the Hanging Promises
By Eric Elezuo
rior to the 2015 General Elections, there was general apathy towards the then ruling party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as a result of what many people perceived as lack of direction and ‘cluelessness’ of the administration, especially with the President, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan. The Jonathan administration was buffeted from all angles including by civil society groups, the elites, the press, educationists and industrialists as well. The bad blood was flowing so freely that former mili-
towards moving the country forward. Chief Obasanjo capped up his frustration of the Jonathan administration with the tearing of his PDP membership card, signaling the end of his political participation. Again, the disillusion of five governors or rather five former governors of the party, further put paid to the ambition of the then ruling party, as they, in 2013 dumped the party and formed a faction which was readily available to listen to the former Governor of Lagos State, Asiwaju Ahmed Bola, when he initiated his merger plans.
Party (ANPP). The mega party became All Progressives Congress (APC). The APC presented hope to most Nigerians, who were easily swayed, having gone through an imagined 16 years of hardship in the ‘corrupt’ clutches of the PDP. And the slogan ‘change’ was born, and with massive propaganda from high places, it was obvious that Nigerian democratic history was heading for a massive re-orientation. With their new found tempo, and with majority of Nigerians following and acknowledging former
fulfilled the pledges and promises that helped catapult them to power has remained a burning issue. Let’s consider the promises and the extent of fulfillment. To reduce fuel pump price to N45 per litre in the first year of our administration The price of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) known as petrol was N87 when the APC train promised Nigerians that the price was fuel will be reduced to N45 within the first one year of the administration’s life. However, in less than one year, the price catapulted to N145. Not only has the price
the price of the product will come down, but Nigerians are bracing up to finally and officially buy the product at N180 and N200. Free education at all levels. While attempting to get the attention of youths, who form the bulk of voters, and their parents, the APC promised to make education free, not only at the primary level, but all levels. As at today, parents are still paying their wards’ fees, except for Lagos State which has implemented the free education policy at the primary and secondary school levels even before the campaign.
tary head of state and twoterm civilian president, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, publicly denounced President Jonathan, his administration and the PDP. He followed up his criticism of the government with a long letter titled: Before it is too Late, where he outlined the alleged corruption that had bedeviled the administration, and the fact that the administration had no solution
Consequently, there was a birth of a new mega party comprising the break way PDP, a part of the All Progressives Grand Alliance represented by Governor of Imo State, Rochas Okorocha, and his Imo counterparts, Tinubu’s Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN),Muhammadu Buhari’s Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) and the then All Nigeria Peoples
Head of State, Muhammadu Buhari, who became the presidential flag bearer, the stage was set for an upset. Therefore, to further boost their chances and rubbish the almost dying Jonathan administration, the APC made promises which further swayed Nigerians to their side as they campaigned across the country. The party came to power afterall, but how far have they
climbed the roof, the product has remained a scarce commodity with endless queues at various filling stations on a daily basis. Blames have been traded among the government, Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), various marketing associations including IPMAN, DAPMAN etc., and the general public. As at today, there is nothing in sight that shows
To worsen situations, even the Almajiri schools which the Jonathan’s administration initiated and built have quietly died off the radar. We will pay five thousand naira each to 25m jobless Nigerians every month The APC estimated a total of 25 million Nigerians without jobs at the time of the campaign, and promised that a token five thousand will be paid to each pending
Cover Story when a suitable vocation is found. In addition, the party intimated that the minimum workers’ wage will be increased, claiming that about three million additional jobs will be added every year. However, three years into the administration, a cross section of Nigerians have said that they are yet to feel the impact of any job creation nor has there been anyone claiming to have received the five thousand naira largess. Not to forget that the Labour Union is still at loggerheads with the government over minimum wage palaver. This is in addition to the failed promise that graduates will be paid allowance after youth service until they find a job to engage in. We will expand electricity generation to 40, 000 megawatts electricity happens to be one area that every administration in the country has failed in so far. So it was not surprising that Nigerians gracefully followed when the APC came with the promise of expanding electricity generation to from close to nothing to 40,000 megawatts within a short period. This was even substantiated when Mr. Babatunde Fashola, the then governor of Lagos State, said that ‘a serious government should be able to fix the power problem within six months’. The message was too good to believe, and with the pedigree of Fashola in Lagos State, believing the APC’s promise wasn’t a problem. Nigerians believed it, Nigerians were sold to it, but today, power situation seems to have gone from bad to worse as the country is still battling to hold on to a paltry 4000 megawatts. To stabilize global oil price at 100 dollar per barrel The oil market was in its lowest ebb at the time the campaign for the 2015 election was at its peak. The Nigerian market was the worst hit, or so it seems as it depends over 90 per cent on crude export for its foreign currency. Leveraging on the fact that oil was down to as low as N45 per barrel, the APC promised that if elected into office, the administration will stabilize oil price at $100 per barrel. Yes,
the price has come a bit to between 45 and 50 dollars per barrel, it is still a far cry to the $100 promise it made the Nigerian people. To provide free school feeding including fruits daily for all public primary school pupils. As a catch phrase for winning the 2015 elections, the APC took its campaign to the children, pledging to provide free affordable food including fruits on a daily basis for all primary school pupils across Nigeria. The project is still in the pipeline
will be crushed and all kidnapped girls returned to their families. Three years after, close to 90 Chibok girls have returned either through negotiation or walking home on their own – none has returned as a result of military might or intelligence. However, while the army celebrate either decimating or completely defeating the sect, their actions are still rampant, especially in the North East area where they have held sway. In addition, kidnapping has increased
to build one new refinery every year in the first four years of the administration and stop importation of refined fuel in the first year of the administration. Today, the country is still importing fuel as none of the existing refineries is working to full capacity. No one is even talking about the promised yearly additional refineries. To end trip overseas for medical treatment for every Nigerian before the present, medical tourism had been the order of the day, prompting government to
first year of the administration. The biggest of the promises the APC made was its desire to stamp out corruption at all levels irrespective of who is involved. To the average Nigerian, corruption is being fought from many sides, but not from all sides. A lot of people, including members of the ruling party like Senator Sani Shehu, have accused President Buhari of one sided fight. It is believed now that one is corrupt so long as he is not in the ruling APC.
three years after To crush Boko Haram and end insurgency in the first three months in office and bring back all missing girls in their captivity As many that belong to the camp of the APC in 2014 saw it as laughable that the administration of Goodluck Jonathan found it difficult to arrest the Boko Haram menace and rescue the over 200 Chibok girls abducted from their school on the eve of a major West African examination. Consequently, they pledged and promised that within three months of coming into power, the Boko Haram sect
with the newest of them – herdsmen killing becoming the order of the day. This is one promise Nigerians are seriously looking forward to having fulfilled as lives and property no longer hold value among the rampaging killers. Special interest on Refineries The party in their promises also laid serious emphasis on the ailing and non-productive refineries, saying it will revive all the three refineries in Port Harcourt, Warri and Kaduna, to full productive capacity within one year in office. In addition, the party promised
lose millions of naira in treatments abroad. As a palliative measure, the APC pledged to rehabilitate all hospitals to international standard as well as build new ones to stem the tide of Nigerians, especially government officials, going abroad for medical treatment. Today, not only has the promise gone dim, the president himself had spent a total of 150 days in London for treatment. At the twilight of Dr. Ekwueme’s life on earth, the Buhari administration promptly ferried him abroad for treatment. He died there. Wipe out corruption in the
However, once the said person cross carpets to the APC, he becomes a saint, and is welcomed in fanfare. A cross section of Nigerians who spoke to the Boss agrees that the promises were good when they came, but it is at the moment still hanging in a balance. As there is only one year before the next election, and about six months before the campaigns begin in full force, only time will tell when the APC promises will be fulfilled. Nigerians wait!
I Feel Happiness, Peace Each Time I Render Assistance – Nma Ofili, Founder, Foot-
prints Community Healthcare
he world of philanthropy has witnessed a rising influx of social entrepreneurs in recent times; some with genuine intentions to make significant social impact while some are simply looking to make a quick buck. But among the prolific philanthropists is a young Nigerian, who has found solace in London, from where she dishes out her kindness to Nigerians from all walks of life, especially the nursing mothers and pregnant women with her Footprints Community Healthcare. Her name is DUCHESS NMA OFILI, a midwife by profession. In this interview with the Boss, she explains that giving back to the society and ensuring that women, especially the pregnant ones go through healthcare without stress is a passion that she must sustain among others. Excerpts: The choice of midwifery, how did it come about? Is it out of passion or just what was left for you to do? Midwifery career to me is out of experience and passion. It is a passion that came to me as a teenage mum as well as experiencing everything about losing a baby during childbirth; it is one experience I wouldn’t want any woman to go through. I chose midwifery to actually make sure nobody experience my worst experience. Would you be willing to share these experiences? Okay, as a teenage mum I really did not know what it meant to be pregnant. I was very young, and had issues of diabetes and a large baby without much support. I had my son without any proper midwifery attention, with poor diagnosis and poor treatment. That was in Nigeria. But when I had my other children, I had better
By Eric Elezuo
treatment and attention; and that was in the UK. And I saw the difference, and decided to help bring the difference down to our people in Nigeria. What was growing up like for you? I grew up in Imo state as one of my parents’ seven children. We were privileged to have privileged parents and they were able to afford most of the things we needed including sound education. My nursery education was at one of the top schools in the area then, Alvan Ikoku Nursery school. After my primary school, I moved on to Ikenegbu Primary school
ucation. Did you do anything spectacular like singing to win the scholarship...? It was actually a Bible quiz, and somebody in the church was impressed at my performance, and he offered me a three years scholarship - from JSS1 to JSS3. After my secondary education, I gained admission into the University of Abuja to study Sociology. I studied Midwifery when I finally moved to the UK in 2003. So, how has the study of Sociology helped you to perform better in midwifery? It has given me an
am much able to understand people's behavior and how to attend to their needs. You have a foundation, what is it all about? Yes, and the name of the foundation is Footprint Community Healthcare. It depicts leaving your brand, image or whatever you can do behind wherever you go. I believe that in whatever one does, he needs to leave something to be remembered for as footprints. So, I am trying to leave my own footprints in the sand of being of help to pregnant women and women in general. All experiences I’ve had helped me to coin the word "foot-
running, and has touched a lot of lives. The interesting thing is that everywhere Footprint has gone, it has left a footprint. What is the human resource composition of Footprint like? Footprint is made of a great team of volunteer nurses, especially pediatric nurses, volunteer doctors, midwives and healthcare givers. What is the scope of its activities? Is it limited to Nigeria, African-oriented or world-inclined? We've been to Ghana, so it is not limited to Nigeria. it has its root in Nigeria but has spread to
and finished as one of the best students. I must mention that I also won a scholarship during a church programme to assist my ed-
edge in the social aspect of living and made me more prolific in carrying out my job. I have combined sociology with midwifery and I
print". And Footprint Community Healthcare at the moment is a fully registered body. It was registered four years ago, and it is up and
Ghana, Sierra Leone and even the UK, because we are recognised in the UK and do extraordinary things. We have left our comfort
Interview zone in the UK to visit slums in diverse places for the philanthropic work. I've been to Bwari Local Government Council in Abuja, and for three weeks in February 2015, I visited most primary healthcare centres and clinic, donating blood pressure machines. I also trained some of their healthcare professionals on emergencies. I was also at Kirikiri Prison in 2016 in partnership with Steven and Solomon Foundation, which is run by Chief Gabriel Giwa Amu. We collaborated and looked after pregnant women and the post-natal women in prison. I think we attended to up to 25 women on that day. We donated delivery kits, mentored them and taught how some of the kits are used. In 2017, I partnered with Girl Project and others, at Ajegunle where we ran a mobile anti-natal clinic and attended to approximately 45 young mothers. We cared for them, gave them anti-natal clinic, shared out delivery kits and also empowered them on other skills. Recently, I was in Ijebu-Ode hospital in partnership with Focus on Disability run by Enilari Paseda Abiodun, and we attended to approximately 50 pregnant women, gave them antenatal care, and donated delivery kits. How did you manage to be a professional midwife and an NGO person? I'm not only a professional midwife; I'm a student, as well as a mother. I survived on the saying 'never let your dream escape you because there is always a way out.' It's a very difficult task but by God's grace, I've been able to pull through everything. I'm able to manage my NGO and do my things using my annual leave which is almost two months in a year. I packed my works, set a target and use my annual leaves. I'm a global healthcare specialist; I did my Diploma in Global Health, and did my Masters in Public Health and Pro-
motion. I am a mother and a wife. My husband and children are behind my success 100 percent; they love what I do. How does your family cope with your absence from home most times? First of all, my kids grew up seeing me study, so, they've always known mom to be a busy woman. I
I'm awake; we talk morning, afternoon, and night. I also have my family and inlaws around who support me to look after them. In addition, I have the best of friends who have always supported me. I think just lucky or rather blessed. What exactly do you want to prove with your NGO and the work you do?
know they say "train a woman, you train a nation." It's just that pregnancy is a very delicate point in someone's life. Does that explain why you take your services to rural areas, the slums, where you think they cannot get specialise medical attention? Women and chil-
always go to the library to study, and I've always told them that this is my dream and this is my passion; and this is what I want to do. And they've always supported me. I also have a 100 percent understanding husband; I will give the world to him because he has always been there for me. When Iâ€™m out, he works round his schedule. He knows I'm saving lives. I talk to my kids everyday
My goal is to make a change and improve maternity in Nigeria. Nigeria has been labelled as the second country with most maternal deaths, and it's a shame that we cannot utilise what we have here. Little things do make an impact. My little delivery kits prevent a lot of things like infection, and these are called convention investing. So, I'm trying to make that little impact and change a few things. You
dren should have access to good health services because this will enable them gain good experience and engage in productive activities, find formal social empowerment and help with economic situation. I believe that a woman who has benefitted from a good health service has one of the best experiences in the society. My goal is for them to have that good experience and positive impact
during the pregnancy childbirth. And I am glad to say that in my six years, Iâ€™ve not had a cause to witness death of a woman in labour or any form of sad news What you do is capital intensive, how did you get your funding? It's all personal funding. I use my salary as a midwife in the UK and I do a lot of extra hours, which is approximately okay to get engage. But I'm hoping one day I will get sponsorship. But doesn't that affect your personal and family life, if you have to commit your income to the betterment of other people? It does, but this is something I have dedicated myself to do. What are the challenges you have experienced in six years of caring for others? The challenges I have encountered lies with unaccountable health care professionals. The second is poor infrastructure and the third sourcing real health care professionals to take up those challenges. I just need everybody to join me and do this. Some people are using their NGO to make money thereby making genuine people like us difficult to believe. This are some of the challenges I have. How were you able to surmount the challenge of unaccountable practitioners? I do a lot of empowerment for them. I speak, teach and make them understand what they are doing. I have also tried to reach out to Nursing and Midwifery Association in Nigeria, here, to get them to start making health practitioners accountable. I've also tried to speak to some of the nursing and midwifery students about the implications of not being accountable. I believe in accountability because in the UK, we are accountable at all times, whether off or on duty. With the Nigeria factor, do you think that can be changed? If we keep pushing
it, it will. It is a matter of changing the mindset of the people and you can only change the mindset of the people when the government is made to get involved. So, if the government can get involved and make a great impact the mindset of the people will change. Where did you see footprint in the next 5 years? Up there. What exactly did you want to be dishing out in the coming years? I am looking at making changes in the policies and guidelines of the
fact, people have said I have the qualities of a leader. How do your relax last? My relaxation is unpredictable. I watch movies and create time to read books. I love partying and anywhere there is good music. What kind of books do you read? I read empowerment books. They make me believe that I am not going to let anything stop my dream. In addition, when we have a forgiving heart, we have unlimited success. What are the qualities of
her once; during the anniversary of Focus on Disability Foundation, and I've always followed her work. These are people that I love to see and really want to be like them when I grow up. My mother is my other mentor. She has never believed in lack, and so, she was always looking after people that are not her children. There are other great mentors like Kebbi State governor's wife Dr. Zainab Audu. She is someone I emulate a lot; she is all out there for humanity. There is also Dr. Eniola Makanjuola, a woman who cares and
pared to what those I mentioned. If they can keep pushing because I know they started from somewhere, I will also keep pushing. So, what food gives you the almost pleasure? I love Moi-moi and puffpuff. Do you have any advice for teenage mothers? Don't let that hold you. I always preach to them about pursuing what they wanted to do. Pregnancy is just a phase and being a young single mother is just a phase. I try to make them believe that
ways have a focus and determination. What general advice would you give to humanity? kindness brings a great love; practice it What feeling do you have each time you offer assistance to somebody? Happiness! Peace, especially. Most people need to discover this. You need to discover what makes you happy and pursue it Why is it that most people don’t get to know there is an inner joy you get for doing good? That’s because they
Nigerian Medical Profession because if we make some quality changes in procedures and legal aspect of every medical profession, we would surely get to our destination. Will you be involved in politics if given the opportunity as it can give you leverage to do your jobs better? If the opportunity comes, I will never say no. I come from a political family and I've been president in some organisations. In
a giver? Is it natural or artificial? It is natural. I've helped so many that I can hardly remember. For example, Mother Esther Ajayi is a giver. She never believes in withholding. She can give you her las penny and her faith will multiply it for both you and her. Since you mentioned Esther Ajayi, would you say she is one of those you look up to? She is one of the people I look up to. I've met
wants to see the young grow. Abiodun Paseda is another. Biodun is someone who will always be there for you. His passion for those living with disabilities is over the moon. He is outstanding; God bless him. I must also mention Koko Foundation which keeps feeding people every day. However, some of my friends have told me that I am a mentor to them based on what I do with women, but I don’t think I've done anything com-
they have responsibility and if they don't sit up for that little child, the child will also stop. So, I pushed them and encourage them, and tell them don't let this put you down. Definitely, the best man will always come. It has happened to me, it going to happen to you. What about those that are not with child yet? I always tell them keep your head straight, let your career be your focus, keep studying; just do what you love doing best but al-
don't understand that the world is moving in a global phase and you need to find your peace. The peace I have is just in me, and it is natural. You need to discover yours. I don’t regret nor bother to remember that I have given something to someone. Have you ever been angry before? Yes I have, but I always apologise afterwards because there is nothing in anger.
How To Communicate With People Who Disagree With You By Michael Grothaus
e’ve all been there: those times you need to argue your point of view to someone who you know disagrees with you. You immediately go to your keyboard and start to type out that 280-character tweet, the Facebook reply, or a paragraphs-long email. Surely the reason, logic, and sheer power of your written words will convince whoever it is who disagrees with you to see your point of view? But new research suggests these written arguments may not be the best approach. That research was conducted by Juliana Schroeder, assistant professor of management of organizations at the Haas School of Business, University of California, Berkeley, and her colleagues. In Schroeder’s study of almost 300 people, participants were asked to watch, listen, and read arguments about subjects they agreed or disagreed with, including abortion, music, and war. They were asked to judge the character of the communicator and the quality or veracity of the argument.
Schroeder’s team found that the participants who watched or listened to the communicator were less dismissive of their claims than when they read that communicator’s same argument. Schroeder’s findings have obvious implications for all forums for communication, especially those in the workplace. The idea for her study came from a newspaper article about a politician, she told the Washington Post: One of us read a speech excerpt that was printed in a newspaper from a politician with whom he strongly disagreed. The next week, he heard the exact same speech clip playing on a radio station. He was shocked by how different his reaction was toward the politician when he read the excerpt compared to when he heard it. When he read the statement, the politician seemed idiotic, but when he heard it spoken, the politician actually sounded reasonable. Schroeder’s research also found the participants who listened to or watched the communicators talk
were also less likely to dehumanize them–a phenomenon where we subconsciously belittle or demonize the cognitive capabilities and moral attributes of people who hold views other than our own. So whether it’s convincing a stranger that #MeToo matters, discussing politics with a friend, or explaining to other board members why your vision of the company is the right one, here are three tips to communicate effectively to give your argument the chance of being truly understood.
1. WORK BACKWARDS FROM ANOTHER PERSON’S KNOWN BELIEF We live in a world of digital, primarily text-based, communication. While that is great for convenience (you can read a message when you want to), Schroeder’s work suggests that’s horrible for times when you need to convince people who disagree with you, as people are more prone to dehumanize you when you communicate in writing. “The intuitive tendency to dehumanize oppo-
sage,” said Schroeder via email. “One reason for this seems to be that variance in communicators’ natural paralinguistic cues in their voices (e.g., tone) can convey their thoughtfulness.” While this may be impossible to do with the anonymous masses on Twitter or impractical with all of your Facebook friends, in the workplace, speaking to someone in person often involves nothing more than walking a few doors down to their office. And that’s exactly what you should do if you need to convince that boss or colleague of why your blueprint for the company or project is the right one.
nents stems, in part, from the fact that we’re unable to directly experience another person’s mind compared to our own,” Schroeder told me. “Instead, we have to work backwards from another person’s known belief (say, ‘Gun control is bad’) to his or her unknown thinking or reasoning. A seemingly nonsensical belief, the inference process goes, comes from a nonsensical mind.” Of course, sometimes we have no option but to communicate via text. If this is the case, it’s imperative to be extra attentive to your choice of words and phrases. Using non-emotive, fact-based, to-the-point arguments are the best way to combat the reader’s natural penchant to dehumanize you.
2. OPT FOR IN-PERSON COMMUNICATION IF POSSIBLE Ideally, you’ll want to always choose to convey your argument in person if you can. “Hearing a message from a political [or other] opponent can humanize the opponent, compared to reading the same mes-
3. VIDEO CONFERENCING IS BETTER THAN EMAIL But even if you don’t work in the same building as your colleague, or live in the same state or country as one of your Facebook friends you’re arguing with about gun control, you’re not out of luck. It’s now easier than ever to communicate with people by voice or video call. So before sending an email or posting a message, open Skype or Facebook Messenger for an audio or video call so the recipient of your message can hear the variance and paralinguistic cues in your voice. Only as a last resort should you try to communicate with someone who you disagree with over social media. Twitter’s limited text allowance and social media users’ short attention spans make arguing your point an uphill battle.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR Michael Grothaus is a novelist, freelance journalist, and former screenwriter represented worldwide by The Hanbury Literary Agency. His debut novel EPIPHANY JONES is out now from Orenda Books.
HRM Oba Adedapo Tejouso's Star-Studded 80th Birthday Celebration
Story: Michael Effiong
beokuta, the capital of Ogun State, South West Nigeria literarily stood still yesterday when Osile OkeOna Egba, HRM Oba Adedapo Adewale Tejuoso celebrated his 80th Birthday at the expansive Obasanjo Presidential Library Complex. As a man of regal style himself, the celebration which was planned and executed by his children, was a statement in class, colour and glamour. The clout and connection of the Tejuoso family came to fore magnificently with the array of celebrated Nigerians that graced the occasion.
Proceedings began with a Thanksgiving Service where there was a session of soul-lifting songs, choruses and prayers for the celebrant. Pastor Tunde Bakare delivered the sermon, commending the celebrant for his indefatigable work in the vineyard of the Lord despite his traditional responsibilities and status in society. There was a lively cake cutting session officiated by Pastor Ituah Ighodalo. Joined by his beautiful wives and celebrated Nigerians, the obviously elated celebrant cut his cake after the entire congregation spelt the words: Jesus Christ!
Photo: Adekoya Adegbite and Ken Ehimen
Later, there was a first-rate reception at a wonderfully-decorated marquee within the same complex. Evangelist Ebenezer Obey and Sir Shina Peters thrilled guests till well into the night. Guests included Senator Ita Enang, who represented President Muhammadu Buhari, Senator Babafemi Ojudu, who represented Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, Senate President, Dr Abubakar Bukola Saraki who led 20 other Senators to the event in support of their colleague, Senator Lanre Tejuoso, eldest son of celebrant, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, Ogun State Deputy
Governor, Chief (Mrs) Yetunde Onanuga, The Otunba Adekunle Ojora and Wife, The Erelu Ojuolape, Chief Ayo Adebanjo, Alake of Egbaland, HRM Oba Adedotun Gbadebo, Chief Rasak Okoya and Wife, Chief (Mrs.) Shade Okoya, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila, Prince Bola Ajibola, Prince Tokunbo Sijuwade, Chief Demola Seriki, Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor, Pastor Tunde Bakare, Pastor Ituah Ighodalo, Mr. Foluso Adeagbo, Mr Kojo Williams, Dr. Kweku Tandoh, Mr Yomi Badejo-Okunsanya and Wife, Oyinkan. Pic by koyaadegbite and Ken Ehimen
The Oba Tejuosho Children and Grandchildren
HRH.Oba Adedapo Adewale Tejuoso & His Olori www.thebossnewspapers.com
Senate President Bukola Saraki & Senator Ita Enang with Celebrant & His Oloris
Senator Ita Enang , Chief Aremu Olusegun Obasanjo & HRH Oba Adedapo Tejuoso
HRM Oba Adedapo Tejouso
Senator Bukola Saraki , Chief Olusegun Obasanjo & Senator Lanre Tejuoso
Pastor Tunde Bakare & Wife
Bishop Emmanuel O. Adekunle , Arch Bishop Julius O. Abbe , Bishop Tunde Akin - Akinsanya
HRM Oba Kehinde Olugbenle & HRM. Oba Adewale Akanbi (Oluwo Of Iwo)
(L-R) Bishop Ayo Oritsejafor & Arch Bishop Adebayo
Hon. Justice Olatokunbo Olopade & HRH Oba Adedotun Aremu Gbadebo (Alake Of Egbaland)
Bashorun Dele Momodu & Pastor Itua Ighodalo
Chief Bukola Okunowo & wife with Olori Yetunde & Olori Olabisi Tejuoso
HRH. Oba Adedapo Tejuoso , Chief ( Mrs) Yetunde Onanuga & Sen. Lanre Tejuoso.
Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor
The Otunba Adekunle Ojora
Bashorun Dele Momodu Greeting HRH
Hon. Adeseye Ogunlewe , HRH.Oba Adedapo Tejuoso ,Senator Lanre Tejuoso
Hon. Lanre Tejuoso , Chief & Chief (Mrs.) Julius Adewale Adelusi
Micheal Effiong & Hon. Bimbo Ashiru
(R-L) Mr. Segun Awolowo & Prince Tokunbo Sijuwade
Chief (Mrs.) Nike Akande
Chief Sunny Asemota
Mr. Paul Apata
Prof. Pat Utomi
Aremo Olusegun Osoba with Chief Ebenezer Obey
Mr. Patrick Doyle with Bashorun Dele Momodu
Former Governor Kano State, with Aremo Olusegun Osoba
Oba (Dr.) Adedapo Adewale Tejuosho and his Oloris
Chief & Mrs. Ademola Seriki
Prince Tokunbo Sijuade with Bashorun Dele Momodu
Mrs. Bola Ajibola
Sen. Dino Milaye
Prince Bola Ajibola
Mr. Yomi Badejo Okunsanya with Bashorun Dele Momodu
Mr. Yomi Badejo Okunsanya, Mr. Bimbo Ashiru with Chief Demola Seriki
Mr. Segun Awolowo with Bashorun Dele Momodu
Mrs. Wosilat Seriki with Chief (Mrs.) Sade Okoya
Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor with Pastor Tunde Bakare
Sir Shina Peters, Michael Effiong, Bashorun Dele Momodu with Mr. Folusho Adeagbo
At The Colourful Aje Festival In Osun State Events
Story by: Bamidele Salako Photo: Segun Lawal
t was an exquisite display of Nigeria's rich cultural heritage as the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi, Ojaja II, hosted the world at the annual Aje Festival - a yearly celebration of the deity of wealth, that sees culture adherents gather in Osun State to seek the blessings and prosperity of the deity in their endeavours.
At the celebrations, the Ooni said that the survival of African people rests heavily on the sustainability of Africa's traditions and culture saying government and the people must collectively utilize culture as a way to greatly record productive economic advancement. The spiritual leader of the Yoruba race worldwide observed
that Nigeria is abundantly blessed with cultural tourism potentials capable of turning the country to a viable economic nation. He urged the Youths to be industrious so as to fulfill their destiny and not to take the short-cut route to success. The Ooni prayed, "As we are gather here today to celebrate
AJE the festival of wealth, the Almighty Olodumare(God) will answer our prayers, he will abundantly give us peace and economic progress in Ile-Ife, in the State of Osun, in Nigeria, in Africa and. the world at large." In her speech, the Iyalaje of Apapa, Lagos and the Chief Promoter of 2018 Aje Festival, Princess
t was an exquisite display of Nigeria's rich cultural heritage as the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi, Ojaja II, hosted the world at the annual Aje Festival - a yearly celebration of the deity of wealth, that sees culture adherents
The Adifalu Awo of Ife
gather in Osun State to seek the blessings and prosperity of the deity in their endeavours. At the celebrations, the Ooni said that the survival of African people rests heavily on the sustainability of Africa's traditions and culture
saying government and the people must collectively utilize culture as a way to greatly record productive economic advancement. The spiritual leader of the Yoruba race worldwide observed that Nigeria is abundantly blessed
with cultural tourism potentials capable of turning the country to a viable economic nation. He urged the Youths to be industrious so as to fulfill their destiny and not to take the short-cut route to success.
Aje Festival Promoter, Princess Toyin Kolade
Shina Peller & Aje Festival Promoter, Princess Toyin Kolade
Chief Peter Fatomilola & Ronke Ademiluyi
Oba. Joseph Moronfoye Okunlola-Oni & Oba Adejimi Adu Alagbado
Mrs. Toyin Fashayin, Princess Temmy & Engr. Marcus Adedini
Taiwo & Kehinde Ejiogbe
Odofin Femi Egbede, Chief Adeniyi Bamkole, Mrs. Iyabo Bamkole & Princess Latifat Momodu
Ooni of Ife,Oba Enitan Adeyeye Ogunwusi Ojaja II, Aje Festival Promoter, Princess Toyin Kolade & Oba Micheal Ajayi
Royalty: Meet Ten Top Obas
he monarchs of the Yoruba Kingdom (Obas) literarily serve as ‘Alashe Ekeji Orisha’ (He who wields authority second-in-command to the gods). They are in charge of making laws, peace maintenance within the town and protection of the town against invaders and any other danger. The Oba institution has been in existence since creation, and they stand as the god mortals can see. Consequently, they wield unimaginable powers among their subordinates. Here we bring you top Yoruba obas. •OONI OF IFE
in Yoruba Land
Oba Ogunwusi received his Staff of Office from Osun State Governor, Ogbeni Raufu Adesoji Aregbesola on Monday 7 December 2015 at Enuwa Square, IleIfe in the presence of several dignitaries from all walks of life including the Vice President of Nigeria, Prof Yemi Osinbajo. The new king promised to unite the Yorùbás under a peaceful and prosperous reign. On June 12, 2016, Ọọni was presented with the key of the City of Sumerset, Franklin Township in New Jersey and honoured with the proclamation of the town of Franklin alongside his wife
Compiled by Eric Elezuo
names including Kabiyesi (the King Who No One Can, Alashe Ekeji Orisha (He Who Wields Authority, Second-in-Command to gods). Oba Adeyemi was appointed the chancellor of Uthman dan Fodiyo University, Sokoto and he held the position from the year 1980 to 1992. In the year 1990, he was appointed Amir-ul-Hajj by the then military head of state, President Ibrahim Babangida, in recognition of the role he plays in the consolidation of Islam in Nigeria. He is a holder of the Nigerian national honor of the Commander of the Order of the Federal Republic
ated from the University of Ibadan in 1965, were he obtain a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1969. He joined the army in 1969, and attended the Command and Staff College, Jaji from September 1978 to August 1979. He eventually became a Principal Staff Officer to MajorGeneral Tunde Idiagbon, the Chief of Staff at the Supreme Headquarters, Dodan Barracks, from January 1984 to September 1985. He retired from the army as a Colonel. He was elected as Alake in August 2005 ended a six-month period of uncertainty about who would succeed the for-
from 1951 to 1956. Between 1957 and 1958 he took up appointment with the then Audit Department of the Western Region, Ibadan. The prince resigned his appointment in 1958 to pursue further studies in accountancy in the United Kingdom, which was the colonial ruler of Nigeria at the time. By a letter dated January 4, 1960 referenced CB. 4 1/333, the Permanent Secretary in the Western Region Ministry of Local Government conveyed to the Local Government Adviser in Ijebu Ode approval of the Western Region Governor in Council, the appointment of
Alafin of Oyo
Ooni of Ife
Awujale Of Ijebuland
Alake of Egba-Land
Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi Ojaja II, Ooni of Ife was born October 17, 1974,he graduated from the Polytechnic of Ibadan In 2002,as accountant, he led the Federal Government of Nigeria delegation to Canada that enhanced alliances through a partnership with the government of Ondo State on solid mineral. On October 26, 2015, Adéyẹyè was selected as a king-elect out of 21 contenders to the Ọọ̀ni stool in an announcement by the Governor of Ọ̀ṣun State, Ọ̀gbẹ́ni Rauf Arẹ́gbẹ́ṣọlá. As a prince from the Giesi Family whose turn it was to produce a king, he beat out a number of competition including his elder brother.
Olori Wuraola Ogunwusi (Yeyelua). •ALAAFIN OF OYO Oba Lamidi Olayiwola Atanda Adeyemi III popularly called Oba Adeyemi, also known as Iku Baba Yeye (The One who can command death or pronounce same upon his father or mother or he who is parent to death),he was born on October 15, 1938. He is the current Alaafin of Oyo. Oyo is the traditional empire of Yoruba land, which situates in the current Oyo State of Nigeria. the old Oyo Empire has been said to have existed without interruption for a period of about 600 years. In the olden days, the Alaafin was an absolute ruler. He is also called by other
(CFR). It was him who installed the late Bashorun Moshood Kashimawo Olawale Abiola (MKO) as the Aare Ona Kakanfo (Field Marshal or Generalissimo) of the Yorubaland on January 14, 1988.
•ALAKE OF EGBALAND Oba Adedotun Aremu Gbadebo III was born, 14 September 1943, into the Laarun Ruling House. He is a grandson of the sixth Alake of Egbaland, Oba Gbadebo, who ruled from 1898 to 1920, and is a nephew of Oba Gbadebo II. He attended the Baptist Boys’ High School in Abeokuta and Ibadan Grammar School, then he gradu-
mer Alake, Oba Oyebade Lipede, who died on 3 February 2005.He scored 15 out of 23 votes in an election conducted by the Egba kingmakers, defeating eight competitors including his younger brother, Adeleke.
•AWUJALE OF IJEBULAND Oba Sikiru Kayode Adeton was born 10 May 1934, Prince Adetona, variously attended Baptist School, Ereko, Ijebu Ode; Ogbere United Primary School, Oke Agbo, Ijebu Igbo; and Ansar-Ud-Deen School, Ijebu Ode between 1943 and 1950. For his secondary education, he was at Olu-Iwa (now Adeola Odutola) College, Ijebu Ode
Prince Sikiru Kayode Adetona as the Awujale of Ijebuland with effect from that date (January 4, 1960). It became the lot of Ijebu notables like the late Ogbeni-Oja, Chief (Dr.) Timothy Adeola Odutola, Bobasuwa, Chief Okunowo; and Asiwaju, Chief Samuel Olatubosun Shonibare to arrange for the home-coming of the King-elect. On January 18, 1960, the Head of the Ijebu Ode Regency Council, the Ogbeni-Oja, Chief Timothy Adeola Odutola formally presented the new traditional ruler to the whole world. •SOUN OF OGBOMOSO His Royal Highness Oba Jimoh Oladunni Oyewumi Ajagungbade III
JP,CON,Soun of ogbomosoland was born on May 27,1926- a month after the of another birth monarch,Queen Elizabeth II of England.His father was His royal highness Oba Bello Oyewumi and is mother was Alhaja Selia Adunni Olatundun Oyewumi. Prince Oladunni started his elementary education at St Patrick School ,Oke Padre ,Ibadan.Through God is intervention an unexpected opportunity opened for the ambitious Prince to travel to Jos .He arrived Jos on May 17, 1944. In Jos Prince Oyewumi pick up a business career and worked as a textile trader for so many years, he got married to his most senior wife Olori Igbayilola Oyewumi. By
as Soun of Ogbomosoland after the passing away of the former king.ninety four members whom were of the gbagun ruling house met and two candidates emerged to contest for the vacant stool but it turned out that 90 out of the 94 decision makers favored the candidacy of Prince Jimoh Oladunni Oyewumi, with such majority support the then Prince Oladunni who became the Soun to the delight and acceptance of his people. Ki ade pe lori, ki bata pe le se. AKIRUTAN OF ONDO. Fredrick Obateru Akinruntan (born 1950) is a Nigerian monarch, the traditional ruler of Ugbo Kingdom, a town in Ilaje, Ondo State, southwestern Nigeria, He is the fourth child of a
the claim that his family had occupied the seat for over 200 years. The then-King lost the case and Obateru was appointed as the King in 2009, in accordance with the culture and traditions of Ugbo Kingdom. Obateru established Obat Oil in 1981. Today, the company has more than 50 gas stations across the six geopolitical zones of Nigeria and the company owns one of the largest tank farms in Africa, a modern storage facility able to store 65 million liters of petroleum products. In March 2014 Forbes estimated his net worth as US$300 million. Obateru is ranked by Forbes magazine as the second richest King in Africa and the richest in Nigeria. He surpassed King
early education began at St. Patrick’s Primary School, Akure before he proceeded to Ondo (Anglican) Grammar School, Ondo. In his burning quest for Higher education, he sought and gained admission into Methodist Boy’s High School, Lagos for his Higher School Certificate Education where he got groomed for admission into the medical school of the highly prestigious University of Ife, now Obafemi Awolowo University, where he bagged B.Sc (Hons) in Health Sciences, Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MBChB). The highly ambitious young Prince did not stop his educational campaign at Ife, he proceeded to the University
with which the Kingmakers had carried out the selection process, approved the selection. He was installed and presented with staff of office in December, 2006. •OBA OF LAGOS Rilwan Babatunde Osuolale Aremu Akiolu was born October 29, 1943, He attended Ansar-Ud-Deen College, Surulere, Lagos and studied Law at the University of Lagos (Akoka campus), receiving his Bachelor of Laws degree (LL.B), After his high school education, He served for 32 years in the Nigeria Police Force. After entering the force in 1970, He served in various capacities and was promoted to the post of Assistant Inspector General of Police in 1999. He was
Akirutan Of Ondo
Soun Of Ogbomoso
Owa of Obokun
Oba of Lagos Ewi of Ado Ekiti
Osamawe of Ondo Kingdom 1958, the wealthy prince had started showing interest in estate development and property acquisition and in that same year the Prince met a European who so much admired his entrepreneurial ability that he offered to take him on a business vacation trip to the continent of Europe .upon which they travel to France ,Paris and United kingdom. 1973 when the Oyo state governor invited the Gbagun ruling house to present candidate for the appointment
family of eight but lost his father in 1964 when he was 14 years old. In 1982, there was a prophecy that Obateru would become the Olugbo of Ugbo Kingdom, a prophecy he never took seriously. Shortly after this prophecy, a chieftaincy title peculiar to him as the next Olugbo was conferred on his younger brother. This resulted in a lawsuit against the then-Olugbo by another royal family in the same lineage who demanded that he should be dethroned with
Olubuse II, the Ooni of Ife, with $225 million and the Swaziland King Mswati III by over $200 million to become Africa's second richest king in 2014 behind Mohammed VI of Morocco. •OSEMAWE OF ONDO KINGDOM His Royal Majesty, Oba Dr. Victor Adesimbo Adenrele Ademefun Kiladejo, the 44th Osemawe of Ondo Kingdom was born some 55 years ago in Ondo town. His Royal Majesty
of Liverpool in U. K. for post graduate studies in Reproductive Health. In all the institutions he attended the future monarch exhibited exemplary and sound leadership traits. In 2006, he was selected the 44th Osemawe of Ondo Kingdom to mount the throne vacated by his predecessor, Oba Festus Ibidapo Adesanoye, Osungbedelola II, who joined his ancestors earlier in the year.The Ondo State Government, impressed by the transparent and fair manner
active until his retirement in 2002. He is a member of the Nigerian Institute of Management and Fellow of the Nigerian Law School. On May 23, 2003, Akiolu was selected by the kingmakers of the Lagos traditional kingdom and confirmed by the Lagos State government as the 21st Oba of Lagos; he was capped the next day, and was crowned on August 9, 2003. He has served in this position since May 2003, when he succeeded Oba Adeyinka Oyekan.
The life and Times of Godâ€™s Own General, Billy Graham (1918 â€“ 2018)
raham is reported to have persuaded more than 3 million people to commit their lives to Christianity and his preaching was heard in 185 of the world's 195 countries, according to the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. "He was probably the dominant religious leader of his era; no more than one or two popes, perhaps one or two other people, could come close to what he achieved," said William Martin, a former historian at Rice University and the author of "A Prophet with Honor: The Billy Graham Story."
The creation of a ministry Graham built his ministry by bringing the gospel message of tent-revival preachers into the modern media age, using any tool at his disposal -from telegrams to telephones to satellites and the Internet -- to "win souls for Christ." In doing so, Graham formed a bridge between the itinerant preachers like Dwight Moody and Billy Sunday who once crisscrossed the country in search of lost souls and contemporary Christian pastors like Joel Osteen, Rick Warren and T.D. Jakes. "He saw himself as using new media to deliver a very old message," said Randall Balmer, an expert on American religious history at Dartmouth College. T hat message, as Graham said during thousands of altar calls, was that salvation is offered to one and all, black and
white, rich and poor, men and women, sinners and saints, so long as they believed in Jesus.
the careers of other Christian preachers. Money, sexual temptation and hubris topped the list. Their pledge to avoid all
setting 57th appearance in the top 10, according to Gallup. "In my favorite poll, I believe it was the
Crusades and cathedrals Avoiding the types of public scandals that befell other prominent preachers was key to Graham's long-running success, said Martin. In 1948, at the beginning of his rise to fame, Graham and his tight circle of traveling evangelists gathered in California and catalogued the sins that had destroyed
three came to be known as the "Modesto Manifesto" and was later adopted by other ministers looking to avoid public disgrace. In return for his scandal-free life, Americans regularly put Graham at the top of "most-admired" people polls. In 2013, he tied for fourth among most-admired men with former President Bill Clinton. It was his record-
Ladies' Home Journal, he was chosen second only to God in achievements in religion," Martin said. Missionary work
Graham began his missionary work in 1944 by speaking at rallies for the Youth for Christ Campus Life ministry. Five years later, he branched out on his own, holding a tent crusade in
downtown Los Angeles. Originally scheduled for three weeks, the crusade drew such large crowds that it was extended to seven; a radio disc jockey, a small-time mobster and an Olympic athlete were among those who accepted his altar call under the "Canvas Cathedral." The next year, Graham founded the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. The crusades, which soon became the signature feature of his global ministry, frequently blended well-known hymns, preaching and patriotic displays. "His sermons contained just the right mix of patriotism and reproof," said Molly Worthen, a religious historian at the University of North Carolina. "He urged Americans to stand strong against 'godless communism' but also criticized American hubris." Graham told an audience in Charlotte in 1958 that, "We have an idea that we Americans are God's chosen people, that God loves us more than any other people, and that we are God's blessed. I tell you that God doesn't love us any more than he does the Russians." Graham's crusades mobilized hundreds of volunteers not just from his own evangelical movement but also from liberal Protestant congregations and Catholic parishes. His inclusive message -- he said that theological differences were less important than Christian comity -- angered some fundamentalists, who fulminated when he shared the stage with
News Catholic or liberal Protestant ministers. The traveling messenger Graham was seldom still, holding crusades in more than 80 countries, according to Martin, often for weeks and months at a time. He missed the birth of his first daughter, Virginia, because he was away on a preaching trip, the biographer said. At other times, he failed to recognize his own children because he had been away from home so long.
Graham led a 12-week crusade in London in 1954 and a 16-week revival in New York in 1957, which drew tens of thousands to Madison Square Garden. At the time, Graham praised New York's religious diversity, saying, "Almost every religion you can think of in the whole world is represented." His "last crusade" in June 2005 in Queens, New York, drew a total of 230,000 people. In addition to his traveling crusades, Graham hosted a weekly Sunday radio program called "The Hour of Decision" and wrote an advice column, "My Answer," that was distributed by Tribune Media Services. In 1956, he founded the magazine Christianity Today, a leading publication among evangelicals.
Presidents and critics William Franklin Graham Jr. was born November 7, 1918, and raised on a dairy farm near Charlotte, North Carolina. He said he made a personal commitment to God in 1934 after hearing an evangelist preach in the Southern city. He graduated in 1940 from the Florida Bible Institute, now Trinity College, with a bachelor's degree in theology. Graham was ordained that year by a Southern Baptist church in Florida. A few
years later, he took over a Chicago radio program, "Songs in the Night." While in Florida, Graham met relatives of V. Raymond Edman, president of Wheaton College in Wheaton, Illinois. After they told Edman how impressed they were with Graham's preaching ability, Edman arranged for him to attend Wheaton.
Graham graduated in 1943 with a bachelor's degree in Anthropology. At Wheaton, he met fellow student Ruth Bell, his future wife. She was the daughter of the Southern Presbyterian missionary and surgeon L. Nelson Bell, and Ruth had spent her childhood in China and Korea. The couple married in 1943 and moved to Montreat, North Carolina, two years later. They had five children: Virginia Leftwich, Anne Morrow, Ruth Bell, William Franklin III and Nelson Edman. Graham was said to have enjoyed the recognition that came with providing counsel to several U.S. presidents, and he also became a de facto chaplain to Washington's elite. Graham urged Dwight Eisenhower to run for president in 1952 and served as an unofficial adviser to the former general after he was elected. He also became close friends with President Lyndon Johnson and preached at the former president's funeral. President George W. Bush credits Graham with helping him change from a lukewarm Christian with a fondness for beer to a serious and committed evangelical.
Critics accused Graham of becoming too involved with politics. His association with President Richard Nixon led to embarrassment in March 2002, when tapes of private conversations between Nixon
and Graham revealed the evangelist joining the president in making antiSemitic remarks. Graham apologized. "After Watergate, Graham understood that he had been used to support Nixon and his policies when the White House was more interested in his support than his love," said Martin, the biographer. Some critics
Graham preached that racial segregation was unbiblical, he was criticized by some civil rights leaders for not being more involved in the movement. A week after the deadly bombing of a church in Birmingham, Alabama, in 1963, Graham told fellow evangelicals: "We should have been leading the way to racial justice but we failed. Let's confess it,
also charge that Graham was not active enough during the civil rights movement. But during at least two crusades in the early 1950s in Tennessee and Mississippi, Graham literally removed the racial barrier - taking down the ropes that separated blacks and whites - according to Martin and Cliff Barrows, Graham's longtime music and program director for the Evangelistic Association. "Billy himself went and took the rope down and said, 'We don't have segregated meetings, whatever their reason for segregating them. They can sit wherever they want to.' And he took a stand for his belief that every man is equal before Christ and the gospel was for everyone." At his Madison Square Garden crusade, Graham asked the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. to deliver a prayer. Although
let's admit it, and let's do something about it." Among the honors bestowed on Graham were the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest civilian award, in 1983; the Congressional Gold Medal in 1996; and an honorary knighthood from Britain for his contribution to civic and religious life.
In 2005, Graham opened up to CNN about his wife, Ruth. "I don't think I could have ever married anybody that would have been more helpful to my work and ministry than she has been," he told Larry King.
She died in 2007 at the couple's home in Montreat. "Ruth was my life
partner, and we were called by God as a team," Graham said in her obituary. "No one else could have borne the load that she carried."
Ruth Graham was buried at the foot of a crossshaped walkway in the Prayer Garden on the grounds of the Billy Graham Library. The couple had agreed that they would be buried side by side. Asked what he'd like people to say about him when he died, Graham said, "I want to hear one person say something nice about me and that's the Lord, when I face him. I want him to say to me, 'Well done, thou good and faithful servant.'" Graham died on February 21 2018 after a protracted illness just few months to 100th birthday. He will be buried on March 2.
Former Presidents Bill Clinton, George H.W. Bush and Jimmy Carter were on hand for the dedication of the Billy Graham Library in Charlotte in June 2007. In addition, the Billy Graham Center on the campus of Wheaton College has an archive, museum and library dedicated to the study of evangelism, as well as an Institute of Evangelism and other efforts aimed at promoting evangelistic work throughout the world. The love of his life Culled from CNN
WHY WE ARE NOT WINNING THE WAR AGAINST CORRUPTION The
By Dele Momodu “Power is like fire; it can lected, levels change im- vere need and chronic
keep you warm and it can burn you. It can cook you a meal or raze your house. It can purify gold or calcify a human being. Ensconced deep within its core are elements of good and evil. It all depends on the choices you make when you handle it.” - NEWTON C. JIBUNOH Fellow Nigerians, I have some serious posers to raise today and I promise to answer them myself. One, how come every Nigerian is a saint, who pontificates about leadership, until he gets power and misbehaves worse than those he used to criticise? Two, why is corruption so endemic in Nigeria? Three, are we one of the most corrupt people on earth, and if so, why? Four, why is it impossible or difficult to fight and defeat or reduce corruption in Nigeria? Five and finally, what is the way forward? Every Nigerian I know attacks and abuses every one of our leaders as corrupt, greedy, reckless and irresponsible. But is it not strange that our leaders did not just drop from the skies? They were born as normal human beings, went to similar schools like the rest of us, were raised by their parents, went into politics purportedly to serve and help their people, many of them as paupers who had no jobs and could barely feed themselves and their families. But as soon as they get elected or se-
mediately. Instead of being servants of the people, what we see is a complete transformation and transfiguration. They become, and behave like, overlords and, in some cases, even warlords! The people serve them and not vice versa. The same man who, once upon a time, criticised leaders and even heaped curses on them is now a parasite feeding fat on his people. And acting in a worse manner, with no qualms or shame whatsoever. Why is corruption so endemic in Nigeria? We all miss the answer by jumping to the conclusion that it is because we are selfish and greedy. Every human being has some measure or dosage of selfishness and greed in his blood, the quantity is what differs. I’m yet to see any of the critics who got to power and did not partake in the sharing of public resources or rejected his own share of the incredible remunerations and perks that our leaders attract and enjoy. It is usually a revalidation of the thesis of the Brazilian author, Paulo Freire in his seminal book, Pedagogy of the Oppressed, that the oppressed man loves and respects only one man, his oppressor, and he has only one dream in life, which is to join the class of oppressors, in order to fulfil his own fantasies. The reason corruption has become endemic is simple and straight-forward. It begins from se-
want. Most of us were born poor, abysmally poor, struggled to go to school, graduated into unemployment, and joined the rat race. Even when we eventually get the jobs, it is not usually what we craved and desired. Although, I must immediately stress that, this was not the case many years ago particularly up to about 1984. At that time, it was a shame to be labelled as corrupt, a stigma that nobody wanted to attract to himself. People even took their lives if they were found wanting in this regard. It was more honourable to starve than to be a thief or worse still to be caught stealing from the public purse. However, things changed from the mid1980’s. A new mindset began to prevail. It suddenly did not matter too much if you were caught dipping your hands in the Treasury. Government and other public officials began to openly flaunt their ill-gotten wealth, the perennial season of anomy (apologies to Professor Wole Soyinka) from which we have never recovered had begun. What happened? It is not that people became poorer at the outset of this era, although eventually this also happened, but in reality it was our leadership at the time that brazenly took corruption to another level and the mass of the people who were already impoverished and looking for a way out suddenly fol-
lowed suit. From then on, the available jobs became jobs that can hardly keep our bodies and souls together. Month in, month out, most of us are already in deficit before the middle of the month. In Nigeria of today, many are easily and readily turned into beggars who have to seek extras from anywhere and wherever to make ends meet. Thus, when opportunities surface in form of political appointments, it is difficult to resist the temptations of stealing some, if not all of the divine favour, as many see such bazaar. Essentially, every adult operates his own government in the jungle that our city life has become. The amount of pressure this puts on an average individual is best left to the imagination. Mass unemployment has made lives even tougher. Those who went to school with the hope of finding jobs to do afterwards would soon wake up to reality. There is nothing for them. Those with brilliant ideas cannot activate and actualise their dreams. There is no credit system to assist in fertilising their brains. Most civilised societies thrive on credits and overdraft. Ours is totally dependent on cash and carry system that takes no prisoners. I doubt if 80 percent of those who live abroad would ever be able to buy their homes without mortgages or buy cars without loans. Meanwhile, their
Pendulum Nigerian counterparts see how their old schoolmates and friends who went into politics suddenly acquired amazing wealth without much ado or stress. These are some of the reasons corruption is very attractive and extremely endemic in our clime. It has also become a crime not to have money in Nigeria. Are we the most corrupt people on earth? The answer is a big NO. Nigerians are among the most hardworking people on earth. Most of us work 24/7 but without commensurate results or rewards. Some combine several jobs and juggle this and that to survive in the forest of a thousand demons. Those who let others give us the tag of the most corrupt people on earth are, in reality few and far between. They are people who stole in arrears and in advance. They stole more than they or their families, and even generations unborn, would ever ordinarily need. Speak to any politician about what it takes to attain power, you would be shocked to hear how much he spent and what he sold, including family properties to gamble on politics. It does not end there. Even if he is lucky to win his election, he is permanently under pressure to service his constituency. It is impossible today for the ruling government to probe and prosecute most of its members without hitting a brick-wall or running into big trouble. Apart from the fact that there is the conundrum that these crooks funded the elections that brought the Government into power, there is the irony that it was done on the basis that there would be a quid pro quo, some payback! Indeed, the fight against corruption was therefore compromised from the outset. Once those in opposition realised that this sword of Damocles was actually hanging over the government’s head, it became a way out for those who feared for their proprietary interests. Now, all known criminals, including all those under EFCC trial, have hastily abwww.thebossnewspapers.com
sconded from their former political Parties to join APC, in order for their sins to be glossed over or even buried permanently. I can imagine the frustrations experienced by the EFCC and ICPC bosses who are usually handicapped and constrained from bringing many cases to their logical climax because of the mixed signals being sent by government. All told, corruption is such a complex web, at least in Nigeria. It is noteworthy, that the corrupt always started as petty thieves in need of succour. Perhaps, if their needs had been nipped in the bud, those needs would not have graduated into pure unadulterated, unrelenting and all-pervading greed. There are several simple and legitimate ways of doing this without giving in to the cankerworm of corruption or creating a beggarly nation. I love the American system of offering tips for services. It helps to cushion the shortfalls in inadequate incomes. It also ensures excellent service delivery because the nicer you are, the higher your tips. No American leader would ever condemn Americans as a nation of killers just because more homicidal lunatics have killed more human beings than in any other countries in the world. Let Nigeria kill corruption from the bottom and see if it would not reduce at the top. It is natural for people to seek and fight desperately for what they lack but want passionately. Every Nigerian loves the good life which he can hardly afford. It is obvious that waiting for peanuts at the end of every month would never guarantee that good life. Even those who have jobs don’t get paid regularly. He would have to slug it out anyway necessary or possible. As one erudite Judge says, a government cannot demand loyalty, trust and integrity from its work force if that government itself displays no loyalty, trust or integrity towards them by paying them, even the meagre salaries owed to them,
when such salaries are due. Integrity, loyalty and trust are, in essence, an issue of mutuality and reciprocity for both the government or employer and its workers. Failing this, corruption becomes one of the easier options, willy-nilly. Similarly, there is the proven and tested method of giving bonuses and performance related pay. It is frustrating when one knows how much you have contributed to the growth of your organisation, be it the public or private sector, but only the bosses get to receive the benefits of your hard work. The likelihood that you will want to take your own bonus, regardless, is very real and does happen Unfortunately, we all focus our total attention on 36 Governors, 60 Ministers, less than 50,000 political appointees, while studiously ignoring the millions in the private sectors who wreak havoc slowly but surely and steadily. We simply accept as normal the policeman who collects bribes. A journalist who blackmails, torments and terrorises people would still write articles on behalf of the masses who regard him as their friend and defender. A journalist who is notorious for collecting “brown envelopes” would still misbehave like a pot calling kettle black.” Is it impossible to kill or reduce corruption in Nigeria? It is not an impossibility. As rampant and pervasive as it is, Nigerians are still largely and mostly honest people. We need to work on those things enumerated above that have made corruption very attractive. There must be a multi-prong approach to killing it. We do not have to reinvent the wheel as different countries are known to have worked assiduously and truly succeeded in curbing the menace. We need to borrow some useful ideas from them. We should never feel too cocky to learn from others. The way forward is to combine forces and efforts. The
executive must be willing and ready. The economy must improve drastically. We can preach from now till kingdom come, but an empty stomach would always rumble and grumble. Mass poverty is the greatest tester and tempter of faith. The Executive and the Legislature must work harder together to create an enabling environment and justice for all. In this regard, the notion that these politicians are legitimately stealing the country blind, by voting humongous salaries for themselves, must be erased and eradicated. The Judiciary must be encouraged, at all times, to do justice without fear or favour. We have witnessed too much intimidation of the Judiciary in recent time and this does not augur well for the fight against corruption. The trial and conviction of alleged offenders on the pages of newspapers and on social media is also very wrong and terrible. No Nigerian should be pronounced guilty summarily without being tried and found guilty in a proper court of Justice. Above all else, what is greatly needed is for the creation of strong institutions rather than strong personalities. The idea that corruption can only be fought buy one corruption Czar or one person as President must stop. Indeed, that in itself could breed corruption for nothing corrupts more than power. As the saying goes, absolute power corrupts absolutely. With strong institutions, all the safeguards and checks already put in place by our Constitution and other enabling laws can thrive. Things will work, seamlessly, regardless of whoever it is we have at the helm of affairs. We can rid our country of this cancer. It is benign and not malignant! The way forward is by dedication to those principles of honesty, integrity and, in particular, shame, which served our forefathers well in the past.
The Nigerian Politics of Latter-Day Saints By Fisayo Soyombo
he title of this piece was inspired by the Jesus Christ Church of Latter-day Saints. Some name condensation has occurred here — strictly for the purpose of equation with the ‘latter-day saints’ currently unrestrainedly straddling Nigerian politics. Otherwise, the full name of the church in question is: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (also known as the LDS Church or, informally, the Mormon Church). Founded by controversial figure Joseph Smith, the LDS is a nontrinitarian church that began in the United States in 1830 as the restoration of the original church founded by Jesus Christ. However, it’s string of questionable doctrines — LDS teachings, for example, are based on the Bible, the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants, and the Pearl of Great Price — have left the rest of the Christendom analyzing it as a variation rather than a restoration of the old church. Smith’s killing, at 48 in 1844, by an armed mob was the culmination of a two-way crisis, a part of which was his attempt to marry the wives of William Law, his trusted counsellor, and Robert Foster, a General of the Nauvoo (in Illinois) Legion. In Nigerian politics, something similar but not exactly identical is playing out. One
or two individuals are talking, permutating, planning to restore Nigeria to the era of the same democratic ideals they either tried to destroy or failed to actualise in their prime. In church parlance, I present to you these latter-day political-space saints. Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida (IBB) — Senior Pastor Were we to name a spiritual head for the church of sanctimonious Nigerian politicking, the choice would be Ibrahim Babangida, former military dictator who foisted himself on the country for eight years after overthrowing Buhari in a coup in 1985 (Add traitor, if you want, because he was Buhari’s Chief of Army Staff at the time of the coup.). IBB earned this exalted position at the pulpit of political sainthood because he “shared my thoughts with fellow compatriots” in the form of a press statement opposing a second term for President Muhammadu Buhari and admonishing the electorate to vote in “younger blood” in 2019. In the very intent of IBB’s speech lies the reason it should never have been uttered. If we were a society with a precious sense of history, IBB would have permanently lost his place in the class of Nigerians who should be “sharing their thoughts” on democracy.
After all he did to democracy? If there’s a former military ruler who has earned the rights to share his thoughts on democracy, that sole honour belongs to Abdulsalami Abubakar, so far the only soldier to have tasted power and relinquished it. Had Abubakar acted like IBB, perhaps Nigeria would still be stuck in the chaotic era of military rule spectacularly defined by the lack of free speech that IBB took advantage of last week. Unfortunately, IBB missed chances upon chances, particularly in the final three years of his tenure, to transform from a former garrison commander to an elder statesman. As many times as the occasion presents itself, we, the people, must not pass up the opportunity to remind IBB of the irrevocable damage he inflicted on democracy by canceling the freest and fairest election in the country’s history. The simplest level of viewing the damage is to remember that our democratic maturity is forever set back by six years. As far as robust democracies go, we’re currently where we should have been in 2012! Full marks to IBB. Olusegun Obasanjo — Officiating Minister It is absolutely understandable if anyone thought OBJ should have been Senior Pastor, after all
it was he who first fired a “special press statement”. Okay, he doesn’t get the Senior Pastor role but he gets a senior role all the same: Officiating Pastor — officiating because he didn’t just fire a letter bomb, he has been active ever since; he has gone on to propose a Coalition for Nigeria Movement and followed it up with a launch during which he registered as a member. Unlike IBB, the problem is not exactly that Obasanjo cannot commentate on the state of the country; it is his attempt to rewrite history by pretending that all of the country’s current problems postdate his 1999-2007 presidency, plus his failure to practise what he now preaches when he had the chance to. Obasanjo speaks of “corruption and financial crime in the inner caucus of the presidency”, but ask any former or current legislator to name the individual who has helped the most to perpetuate a culture of corruption in the legislature and there can only be one name on their lips: Obasanjo. The answer remains unchanged if the question is to name the ex-civilian leader who is the least qualified to advise “brother Buhari” to proceed on a “dignified and honourable dismount from the horse”. To both questions, the explanation is that shortlived third-term bid of then President Obasanjo. The choristers In one final group of this latter-day political church are those egging IBB and OBJ on — the ones solemnly playing the background music rendering the sermon more soothing to the congregants. They are the likes Olagunsoye Oyinlola, former Osun State Governor; Donald Duke, former Governor of Cross River State; Dupe Adelaja, former Minister of State for Defence; Ahmadu Ali, former PDP Chairman; Akin Osuntokun, Obasanjo’s former spokesman; and Gboyega Isiaka, a two-time Ogun
State governorship aspirant who is set to run for the third consecutive time in 2019. All of them say they will work from the background; no political ambition. Oyinlola says “what we are trying to do is [act] like a guardian angel; it is you [the youth] that must decide who is to do what and at what level”. Duke adds that “the new vanguard will lead but we step back and perhaps guide and share our experiences which may serve as guide to the new generation”. But nothing could be farther from the truth. This coalition is an association political office-seekers and ‘godfatherism aspirants’ simply latching on to Buhari’s underperformance to realise their inordinate crave for power. Messages but no worthy messengers To be clear, Obasanjo and IBB have said nothing but the truth; there is an overwhelming consensus among the party neutrals that Buhari has fallen immeasurably short of the expectations and the promises of 2015. To have such voices echo the same thought is very useful. It is just worrisome that those who were part of the problems of the past are springing up to anoint themselves heroes, the danger for which would include future scenarios such as Goodluck Jonathan publicly reprimanding an incumbent for corruption in, say, 2030. Ordinarily, IBB in particular shouldn’t even be commentating on national politics again. But this is Nigeria, a country perpetually in lack of true heroes; there is an abundance of messages but nearly an extinction of genuine messengers. Now we’re stuck with latter-day saints and false prophets masquerading as messengers of hope. Pathetic.
Soyombo is the Editor of the International Centre for Investigative Reporting (ICIR). This article originally appeared on the ICIR’s website, icirnigeria.org.
BIRDS: Wonders of Creation
"Do they not see the BIRDS controlled in the atmosphere of the sky? None holds them up except ALLAH. Indeed in that are SIGNS for a people who believe"-Quran 16:79 The awesomeness of God is most often exemplified by the wonderment of His creations: Starting with the gnat, ants and their colonies, bees, elephants, Hippos and the birds that ply the skies. The wondrous nature of their endowments is so incredulous that we are often forced to see them as miracles. What is the science behind the homing birds? The science behind the eels and the salmons that engage in reverse breeding and dying places is still a mystery. How do we explain the similarities between some species of dinosaurs and the hen? These are some of the mysteries of nature. Despite all our advances with human flight, we don’t come close to matching the wonder of birds and their feathered flight. Though we have dreamed of humanpowered flight since the ancient Greek myth of Daedalus, it has only been a dream. Leonardo da Vinci (1452–1519), brilliant as he was, made the same mistake as his predecessors. He assumed flapping their wings keeps birds aloft. But kites can fly for hours, and they don’t flap! The science of flight took off in 1799, when Sir George Cayley proposed that humans could fly by making a separate power source to thrust the craft forward, while fixed wings would provide the “lift.” His design was essentially a kite mounted on a stick with an adjustable tail. Wilbur and Orville Wright finally made a motor light enough to thrust a plane through the air. Their inaugural flight on December 17, 1903, lasted a grand total of twelve seconds over 120 feet. Can you imagine! But birds don’t fly like this: They don’t have a
separate engine. Their wings provide both the thrust and the lift. Scientists have identified the basic equations of aerodynamics to enable planes to fly, but they still can’t get the math to work to explain what birds do, let alone knowing how to imitate God’s flying machines. To survive in so many different habitats, the world’s 10,000 or so bird species have evolved into a spectacular diversity of forms. They range in size from the ostrich, which can reach nine feet in height and is widespread in Africa, to the aptly named bee hummingbird, found only in Cuba. Their bills can be massive (pelicans, toucans), tiny (weebills), or as long as the rest of their body (sword-billed hummingbirds). Some birds—the painted bunting in Texas, Gould’s sunbird in South Asia, the rainbow lorikeet in Australia—are more colorful than any ﬂower or butterfly. Dippers walk alone and underwater, on the beds of mountain streams; Roadrunners kill rattle snakes for food by teaming up on them, one bird distracting the snake while another sneaks up behind it. Bee-eaters eat bees while Leaf-tossers toss leaves. Thick-billed murres can dive underwater to a depth of 700 feet, peregrine falconsdownward through the air at 240 miles an hour; while a cerulean warbler may migrate to Peru and then ﬁnd its way back to the tree in New Jersey, USA where it nested the year before. Birds build intricate homes and raise families: They take long winter vacations in warm places. But most of all birds fly: Yes, they ﬂy. Eagles’ effortlessly ride thermals; hummingbirds pause in midair; quailburst into ﬂight heartstoppingly. Taken all together, the ﬂight paths of birds bind the planet together like 100 billion ﬁlaments, tree to tree and
By Babatunde Jose
continent to continent. There was never a time when the world seemed large to them. After breeding, a European swift will stay aloft for nearly a year, ﬂying to subSaharan Africa and back, eating and molting and sleeping on the wing, without landing once: Alahu Akbar! Young albatrosses spend as many as 10 years roving the open ocean before they ﬁrst return to land to breed. Incredible! A bartailed godwit has been tracked ﬂying non- stop from Alaska to New Zealand, 7,264 miles in nine days: While a ruby-throated hummingbird may burn up a third of its tiny body weight to cross the Gulf of Mexico. The red knot, makes annual
migration of four ruddy turnstones (Arenaria interpres) from Australia to their breeding grounds in Siberia. The turnstones were found to fly non-stop from Australia to Taiwan, a distance of about 7600 km, in just six days. One of the birds flew back to Australia on a route across the central Pacific, clocking up a total of 27,000 km for the round trip. Out of the many birds Allah created there is one called the ‘Bar-Tailed Godwit, it has the longest non-stop migration of any bird. It flies a distance of 11,500Km continuously. It migrates from Alaska to New Zealand in 9 days. Subhanallah. For food, it preserves half of its body weight before migration.
they do these? The peregrine falcon is the fastest animal on the planet. During steep dives to catch food, it can reach speeds up to 200 mph (320 km/hr). No wonder God pointed to the hawk when He wanted to humble Job about the wisdom He displayed in nature that man can’t imitate: “Does the hawk fly by your wisdom?” (Job 39:26). It may be many moons—if ever—before we make a machine that flies like a bird. Scientists still can’t even understand how birds do it, let alone imitate them. As they learn new things, they copy a few details here and there, but not the whole package. You never see a plane beating its
round-trips between Tierra del Fuego and the Canadian Arctic; one has ﬂown more miles than separate the Earth and the moon; 384,400 km.Hummingbirds are among the smallest of flapping birds. And they're the fastest flappers, beating their wings up to 80 times a second: They are the only birds that can fly backwards. Researchers from the Victorian Wader Study Group and Deakin University in Australia tracked the
The swift spends eight hours per day nabbing insects’ midair; some birds, like the great snipe, can fly nonstop at speeds of 60 mph (97 km/hr) for 4,200 miles (6,760 km). Swifts are the fastest birds ever recorded in level flight, reaching a maximum of 106 mph (171 km/h):Peregrine falcons are twice as fast, but they reach these world-record speeds by dive-bombing, not flapping their wings. How do
wings just like aswift, or soaring as effortlessly as a hawk, or flitting through the woods like a robin. What a testimony to the skill of the Creator, and what a challenge for humans to keep studying His handiwork! Barka Juma’at and a happy weekend and to our Christian friends; aku oungbe! +2348033110822
Premier League And Carabao Cup Final Review: Manchester Vs London The
By Samuel Ajayi
ootball lovers all over the world are drooling over what’s shaping up to be a Super Sunday of blockbuster football in England – gourmet fare for neutrals and fanatics alike as two of the biggest clubs in Manchester tackle two of London’s finest. Who will prevail? The Boss takes a close look at their chances. MANCHESTER UNITED VS CHELSEA, OLD TRAFFORD, SUNDAY, 4.30PM GMT The premier league sees a return to league action of Manchester United and Chelsea as the Theatre of Dreams plays host to a crunch top-of-the-table clash between both clubs who were incidentally involved in midweek Champions League games against Spanish opposition. In what could be a potentially crucial game in terms of Champions League qualification, a win for Chelsea will see them go level on points with the Red Devils on 56 points as only three points currently separate the duo. Even with a Chelsea win, United will remain above
the blues on goal difference as it would require a significant victory where Chelsea triumph by a seven goal margin for the blues to leapfrog their opponents on the log. The Londoners will be in high spirits riding on the heels of a strong performance against the might of Barcelona on Tuesday in a game where a Christensen
error was required for the Catalonians to steal a draw and a vital away go through Messi after Willian had fired Chelsea in front following two first half shots that struck both uprights. Punters had predicted a Barcelona victory even though the blues were playing at home but Chelsea found their famed defensive resoluteness in con-
fronting their illustrious European foes. The headache for Conte would be whether to stick with the same line-up that caused Barca a few problems in Europe on Tuesday, with Eden Hazard deployed in a less favoured role as a makeshift striker or to reintroduce wobbly striker, Alvaro Morata with Hazard reinstated
Conte’s response: "I think when there are these types of comments, comments where you try to offend the person and don't know the truth, then you are a little man. "In the past he was a little man in many circumstances, he's a little man in the present and for sure he will be a little man in the future. I consider him a little man and I consider him a man with a very low profile." Head-to-Head Manchester United – 76 wins Chelsea – 53 wins Draws - 49 Predicted line-ups
prevailed 2-1. Manchester City saw themselves helplessly crash out of the FA Cup recently in a shocking 1-0 loss away at Wigan. This final represents Pep Guardiola’s opportunity for a first major trophy with City and a win would certainly serve as major fillip going into the final crucial months of the season. ROAD TO THE FINAL (courtesy of EFL) Arsenal Round Three: Arsenal 1-0 Doncaster Rovers Round Four: Arsenal 2-1 Norwich City
Manchester United starting XI: De Gea; Valencia, Smalling, Bailly, Young; Pogba, Matic; Martial, Lingard, Alexis; Lukaku Chelsea starting XI: Courtois; Azpilicueta, Christensen, Cahill; Moses, Fabregas, Kante, Alonso; Willian, Giroud, Hazard Conte on Mourinho: Prediction: "I think he has to see himself in Manchester United 2 - 2 the past - maybe he was speak- Chelsea ing about himself in the past. Maybe, sometimes, I think that ARSENAL VS MANCHESsomeone forgets what's said in TER CITY, WEMBLEY STAthe past, which is his behaviour. DIUM "Sometimes I think there is, I North Londoners, Arsenal FC don't know the name, but de- will be locking horns with runmenza senile... when you forget away league leaders, Mancheswhat you do in the past." ter City at Wembley in this Mourinho on Conte: year’s final of the Carabao Cup "What never happened to me - – the only trophy the gunners and will never happen - is to be have yet to win under manager, suspended for match-fixing. Arsene Wenger. It will be a reThat never happened to me and peat of last season’s FA Cup will never happen." semi-final in which the gunners
Found Five: Arsenal 1-0 West Ham United Semi-Final First Leg: Chelsea 0-0 Arsenal Semi-Final Second Leg: Arsenal 2-1 Chelsea (Arsenal win 2-1 on aggregate) Top scorers: Eddie Nketiah – 2 Theo Walcott, Danny Welbeck, Granit Xhaka – 1 Manchester City Round Three: West Bromwich Albion 1-2 Manchester City Round Four: Manchester City 00 Wolverhampton Wanderers (Man City win 4-1 on penalties) Found Five: Leicester City 1-1 Manchester City (Man City win 4-3 on penalties) Semi-Final First Leg: Manchester City 2-1 Bristol City Semi-Final Second Leg: Bristol City 2-3 Manchester City Top scorers: Leroy Sane – 3 Kevin De Bruyne, Sergio
in a preferred wing or midfield role where he can do more damage. United will however be looking to reduce a massive 14point gap between them and their local rivals, City, who take a break from league engagements this Sunday. They had a torrid time in Spain against Sevilla where it took some other-worldly saves from De Gea for the Mancunians to return home with a point. `Fans will be looking to see how the both managers get along during the game following an extended exchange of words between the duo a while back.
Alvaro Morata was the scorer as United lost by a lone goal at Stamford Bridge in November and anything less than three points could see the Blues leapfrogged by a Tottenham side facing Crystal Palace away from home at midday. War of Words
Aguero – 2 Bernardo Silva – 1 LEAGUE CUP HEAD-TOHEAD Arsenal 5 Manchester City 2 Draws 1 (Arsenal won the replay 1-0) Arsenal lead the way historically, but the two Manchester City wins have been the two most recent meetings.
ALL-TIME HEAD-TO-HEAD Arsenal – 97 Manchester City – 51 Draws – 45 Sergio Aguero netted the only
goal in a 2011 Round Five tie at the Emirates, and ran out 3-0 winners a couple of years earlier thanks to Carlos Tevez, Shaun Wright-Phillips and Vladimir Weiss. Vincent Kompany, Jack Wilshere and Aaron Ramsey featured that day, and all three are in line to play in this year's Final. Arsenal's last win came in 2004, when Daniel Karbassiyoon's fine strike proved decisive in a 2-1 triumph at the Etihad. Recent Meetings In the Premier League, Manchester City ran out 3-1 winners in the only meeting so far this term, with De Bruyne, Aguero and Gabriel Jesus on target. The Gunners have definitely got the edge at Wembley, though. They won the FA Cup Semi-Final 2-1 last season, and eased to a 3-0 Community Shield triumph back in 2014.
This Is When Your New Year’s Resolution Will Fail
By Stephanie Vozza
re New Year’s resolutions simply an exercise in futility? By the first week, 27% of us abandon our goals. At the twoweek mark, 31% of people quit, and just over half of us make it to the one-month mark, according to Statistic Brain. It seems staying power is a rare commodity, but we could be setting ourselves up for failure in the way we set our goals, experts says. “Resolutions fail because they’re different from real commitments that are rooted in deeply held values, interests, and beliefs,” says Jeff Zwiefel, COO Life Time. “Commitment is the real driver and motivator behind lasting change.” To last, a resolution should be something that moves you down to your very soul, says Daryl Gioffre, author of Get Off Your Acid: 7 Steps in 7 Days to Lose Weight, Fight Inflammation, and Reclaim Your Health and Energy. “When the challenging times come up, you have a purpose wrapped around your goals so strong that you will find a way to obtain the goals, as opposed to abandoning them like so many do,” he says. Just because most people fail at sticking to a resolution doesn’t mean you can’t be in the minority who succeeds. Here are seven things you can do to improve your chances of making the change. 1. FOCUS ON GOALS INSTEAD OF ACTIVITIES Too often resolutions focus on activ-
ities, says organizing and time management expert Julie Morgenstern, author of Never Check Email in the Morning. For example, “I’m going to go to the gym three times a week.” “I’m going to go on a diet and lose 20 pounds.” Or, “I’m going to break my email habit.” “Those are just activities, and there’s a bigger purpose of why you want to do that,” she says in this YouTube video. Instead, make a resolution to diet or kick your email habit and focus on the end goal, such as maximizing your health or being more engaged with people in your life. “The activities to get you there can change,” she says. “The goals stay steady. They’re your rudder for 2018.” 2. THE STEPS TO SUCCESS SHOULD BE SMALL The key to sticking with a resolution is to implement one small change at a time, says Gioffre. “Start with one or two habits, then once those become natural and you don’t even have to think about them, consider adding on a few more,” he says. “As soon as one thing is habit and part of your everyday life, it’ll be easy to add something new.” Small goals that can be achieved over time are best, says Zwiefel. “Break it down into pieces,” he says. “People fail when they set unrealistic goals.” 3. FIND A QUICK WIN Most people make resolutions in a bubble of self-disgust and over-op-
timism, says Michelle Segar, director of the Sport, Health, and Activity Research and Policy (SHARP) Center at the University of Michigan. “Then the bubble bursts within weeks by real life’s needs and urgencies,” she says. Instead of making resolutions for habits they believe should pay off in the future, redefine your resolution with a more immediate win. “Humans are more motivated by immediately experienced goals than ones they have to wait to receive,” she says. Make sure the quick win isn’t too hard or too easy, adds Alex Stajkovic, assistant professor of management and human resources at the Wisconsin School of Business at the University of Wisconsin. “Easy goals are not motivating, and goals perceived to be beyond our ability may cause cessation of effort,” he says. 4. EDUCATE YOURSELF AROUND YOUR GOAL A lot of misinformation exists around common resolutions, especially when it comes to health and wellness, says Zwiefel. “There is no such thing as a quick fix or a magic bullet approach,” he says. “Consumers have been historically bombarded with media headlines that are conflicting soundbites.” Take the time to gain knowledge about the resolution you’re making, as well as the steps you need to take to achieve your goal.
Talk to people who have accomplished what you want to do. “Having great resources will help you stick with your plan,” Zwiefel says. 5. FIGHT BOREDOM WITH VARIETY Sometimes resolutions are broken because the repetition of new habits becomes stale. If your goal is fitness, for example, mix up your activities, suggests Zwiefel. “Variety is key,” he says. “Do 10 minutes of the treadmill, 10 minutes on an elliptical, and 10 on the bike. Small things add up to much bigger results and create the building blocks for success.”
6. CHANGE YOUR LANGUAGE The words we speak create what we experience in life, and describing your goals incorrectly can derail you, says May McCarthy, author of The Path to Wealth. “We believe we are setting good New Year’s resolutions with statements like, ‘My goal is to make more money,’ ‘I would like a new job,’ or ‘I want to lose 20 pounds,'” she says. “You will never meet your goals with statements like those.” Modify your statements with gratitude for what already is, says McCarthy. “For example, if you were to say, ‘I want to make more money,’ you will be forever wanting more, because you are declaring that you don’t have enough,” she explains. Instead, decide exactly how much money you would like to have and rephrase your goal. For example, “I’m grateful that I have abundance in my life. I am fully supported and provided for at all times in all ways and love being financially free.” 7. EXPECT TO MAKE MISTAKES Every resolution maker makes mistakes and breaks their promise. The key is not to throw in the towel. Research published in Psychology Today states that 71% of people who were successful in keeping their resolutions slipped in the first month, the same rate as did people who were not successful. “The people who were successful didn’t quit after making a mistake. And in many cases, they doubled their efforts after the slip. This demonstrates that persistence is also key,” the article states.
Princess Debo Odutola’s World of Ankara Made High Class TPS Bags, Accessories
he Millennium Home, Oniru Estate quarters of the Odutolas was a beehive of activities during the week, when the talented creative designer, Princess Debo Odutola, presented her craft to the press. A passionately creative mind, Mrs. Odutola made diverse items using strictly sourced materials from Nigeria. The items which were made of Ankara materials ranged from exclusively beautiful handbags, travelling suitcases, foot wears, wall frames, throw pillows, dishes, and couches among others. “Everything I use is strictly made in Nigeria. I buy my materials from our own Mushin market, and they are of the best quality,” she said. Describing how she got involved in the handicraft business that has made her a different person today, in terms of fame and fortune, Princess, as she is fondly called, said that the vision for the project better known as TPS Luxury, kicked off about three and half years ago, and has overtime being updated to suit the times. She said that she discovered that Nigeria’s local print, Ankara, can be used for a variety of things, and they come out looking beautiful, and so she tried her hands on it, and the result is the exclusive and mag-
By Eric Elezuo
nificent products. The bags which ‘don’t come cheap’ are specially hand made with materials such as crocodile skin, and are all named in celebration of distinguished Nigerian women – women who had carved a niche for themselves in their various areas of endeavours. Among the names are Folorunsho Alakija, Dr. Stella Adedevoh, Mrs Agaresse Arase, Dame Abimbola Fashola, Lady Debola Williams and many others. “My intention is to make women look dapper, and only TPS bags can achieve that,” she quipped, adding that her products are made seasonally to keep abreast of the times. The woman of skills also celebrated her 12 years old son, David Odutola, whom she said was performing the function of the Marketing Director. In his remarks, David praised the dexterity of his mother, Princess Debo Odutola and affirms that their selling point is the clear-cut finishing attention that every of the product gets, in addition to being 100 per cent hand made. Sold online, the prices of the products differ depending on the mood of the user, and the occasion intended. TPS Luxury bag is a must for every woman of class!
Princess Debo Odutola, Funmi Ajila with members of the press
GOD’S WILL IS SALVATION
By Pastor Emmanuel Iren
learn about God, especially in our day. The prevalent culture will suggest otherwise. Many prayer warriors try night and day to have all their enemies killed- people for whom Christ died. The opening text however, lets us know that that’s not the character of God. Paul was informed us of the character of Ezekiel 18:32 - For I yourselves, and live God: “Who will have have no pleasure in ye. God never takes all men to be saved,
2:4. That’s God’s desire for ALL men. This includes the ones you sometimes wish you can whisk away. The Lord says to you: “But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;” Matthew 5:44 We must always seek
for them too. Can you imagine if someone else prayed for your death before you came to the Lord and that prayer was answered? God doesn’t have to kill your enemies to protect you. We must stop futile attempts at maligning the image of God by presenting Him as some desperate Killer. No, our Father seeks the sal-
the death of him that pleasure in the death and to come unto the the salvation of even vation of all. So must dieth, saith the Lord of any one. This is knowledge of the the most terrible of we. GOD: wherefore turn something crucial to truth.” 1 Timothy sinners. Christ died
Kainji Lake National Park:
Amalgamation of Exquisite Beauty
he premier National Park was established by the amalgamation of two former game reserves-Borgu and Zugurma in 1976 and the legal instrument setting it up was promulgated in 1979 (i.e. Degree 46 of 1979). The park was subsequently reconstituted under Acts 36 of 1991 and 46 of 1999 now Cap (act) 65 of 2004 which established additional National Parks in Nigeria. Kainji lake National Park is located in the northwest central part of the country between latitude 9°40’N and 10°30’N and longitude 3°30’E and 5°50’E in Niger and Kwara states ,500km from Lagos and 385 km north east of Abuja the Federal Capital. An effectively Protected National Park with a total area of 5340.82sq/km separated into two distinct non-contiguous sectors namely Borgu sector with an area of 3970.02 sq/km and Zugurma sector with an area of 1370.80 sq/km respectively. The Climate exhibits wet and dry seasons April to November and November to April respectively. The mean annual rain fall is 1100 to 1200mm about 200 days. Temperature ranges between 10oc and 30oc (Mean is 30oc) and the average relative humidity is 53%. T he Park is a typical inselberg landscape with round hills wide pediments/plains separating
them and incised river channels slopping down towards the River Niger valley. Some of the Rivers in the Park include Oli Menei, Doro and Manyara Rivers etc. The park boasts rich and abundant flora and fauna resources as well as ecosystem in both sectors and it is a delight to embark on games view safari given the abundance of its wildlife resources as it is home to animals of diverse nature and birdlife. One of the rarest animals at the park is the kobe antelope, which is endemic to the park and it has become its symbol. Some of the animal species include baboons, duikers, hippopotamuses, hyenas, roans and warthogs. Others are patas monkey, lion, python, Nile crocodile, leopard, hyena, buffalo, cobra, green snake, bush buck, tilapia, green monkey, genet, doves, guinea fowl, reed buck and ground horn bills. The park can be accessed easily by air using Abuja or Ilorin airports and by road from any part of the country. The road connections are quite good depending on which part of the country you are coming from. Driving from Abuja to the park is less than six hours through Minna, Lapai, Bida, Mokwa and Kainji while driving from Lagos to the park is more than eight hours via Ibadan, Ogbomosho, Ilorin and Kanji.
Short Story: “Case Of The Stockholm” By Jerry Chiemeke
t was getting to the third hour, but there were no signs of slowing down in the way Justice R. A. Smith paced up and down his living room that late evening, with thrice the restlessness exhibited by a man whose wife was at the labour ward. For him, there was no reason to relax. No, not when he had not received any positive feedback, with respect to efforts made in securing the return of his only daughter. It had been exactly four weeks since the last time he set eyes on Jessica, a penultimate year law student at one of the nation’s leading universities in the South-south, four weeks since she had gone out to shop for new pairs of black skirts, four weeks without the apple of his eyes. His cooks had been faced with less and less work to do over the past couple of days, as their master had seen no reason to advance towards the dining table. Being the Chief Judge of the state, Justice Smith was not particularly a man given to much emotion. He it was who had pronounced a death sentence on three suspected criminals barely two days after he miraculously came out unhurt from a bullet-riddled Kia Rio, and was it not he who, six years earlier, had gone ahead to preside over a sitting, four days after his wife had succumbed to ovarian cancer? But this was different. This state of af-
fairs had moved him, so much that the National Judicial Council just had to grant him compassionate leave. For the first time since ascending to the Bench, Justice Smith actually exhibited signs that he was human after all, shedding quiet tears at regular intervals. At first, he had called the bluff of the abductors when they demanded for sixty million naira, bluntly refusing to negotiate and calling on his contacts at the state police headquarters to launch a full-scale rescue operation. But after learning from his daughter’s captors of the death (by throat-slitting) of Nina, Jessica’s best friend who had been with her at the shopping mall and who had been grabbed by the abductors before she could escape, defiance gave way to fright. He had requested for assistance from the Commissioner of Police, and the latter responded by sending him the best midranked badges from the state headquarters, Inspector James Olaitan and Sergeant Mark Braimah. Sgt. Braimah, renowned for his prowess at negotiations, had expressed delight at the assignment, all too happy to be of help to the man whom he worked with as an aide for six years, until departmental transfers were effected three years earlier. Braimah did not particularly enjoy working with Inspector Olaitan, often regarding the latter as “rigid”
and a “goody-two-shoes who would take forever to get his next promotion”, but the Commissioner had given his orders, and besides, it was Justice Smith involved. After days of negotiations, counter-offers, threats and counter-threats, sixty million had been downsized to twenty million, and the ransom was to be paid that evening. It was for this that Justice Smith was restless, and taking hold for the first time of the rosary given to him a decade earlier as a gift by his departed wife, he hoped that it wouldn’t take long before Jessica walked in through those electronic doors. He was however not unaware of Inspector Olaitan’s intentions to swoop on the abductors once their location could be deciphered, the latter having made several attempts to trace their calls. ***
There was excitement in the building as the clock drew closer and closer to 8pm. The generator had been powered. These young men, who were seated round a short table, busy with a game of cards, were in an extremely joyous mood. They had every reason to: it was less than thirty minutes to pay day. Weeks of hard work, diligence, precision, skill and bargaining would soon pay off in a matter of moments. It was to be their biggest pay cheque (or bundle) yet, and finally it
seemed that their line of trade was profitable after all. Everyone was drowned in that orgasmic feeling. Well, almost everyone. Austin was not particularly caught up in the excitement, and chose to sit in a (relatively) quiet corner of the abandoned warehouse which served as their “home”, preferring to be alone with his thoughts. He wasn’t exactly good at playing cards anyway, so he decided to mull over what his life had become over the past seven months. Yea, seven months since he got acquainted with Tega, Tejiri, Kparobo, and Harry, and chose to join them in the “forced accommodation for cash” trade. He didn’t have much of a choice; the reality of unemployment even after obtaining a Master’s Degree in Sociology two years earlier was maintaining a vicegrip on him, and the pressure to step up and be a man for his widowed mother and five siblings had become unbearable. His story was slightly different from those of the others; Tega and Tejiri were brothers who had seen their community suffer from the activities of Chevron Nig. Ltd without any meaningful compensation, Kparobo was an exmilitant who could no longer depend on his postAmnesty monthly stipends and who had found it difficult re-integrating into society, while Harry was a Cambridge University
dropout who had cocaine as a major part of his diet and joined the trade just for the thrill of wielding guns and torturing abductees. Each had his function as a member of the crew; Tega and Tejiri did the grabbing and capturing, Kparobo was the voice of intimidation on the phone and equally did the ransom bargaining, Harry was the man when it came to guns (which he had a strong appetite for) and the many phones which were disposed of after each threat call, and Austin was the one who gave a human face to each operation, looking after each hostage until they were released or alternatively dealt with. Austin’s part of the job often exposed him to intense conflicts with his conscience, conflicts which came to a head three months earlier when the body of a strangled Fr. Aloysius was flung into one of the nation’s Eastern rivers even after the ransom had been received, Kparobo being the one who had applied the cable wire to fatal effect on that occasion. At such times he would seek solace in his guitar and iPhone, the latter serving him with alternative soft rock tunes. The crew’s present job was tasking for him in more ways than one, as he had to make the experience less traumatising for Jessica, while protecting her from Tejiri and his high libido. For him, the operation could end already. He just wanted to get his cut from the anticipated ransom and ditch the group. He had seen enough.
*** Smelly, one month-old hair. Pimple-littered face. Skin broken from quick baths with untreated water. Excessive weight loss. Clad in a Northern-style flowing gown for the past couple of days owing to an inadequate wardrobe. There was nothing from the present situation to warrant even a false smile. But a genuine one had lit up Jessica’s face for the better part of twenty minutes, and it didn’t seem
to be in a hurry to go away. No, it was not because of her high chances of regaining her freedom later that evening. Even that still bore a significant level of uncertainty. It was the warmth that ran through her soul whenever she thought of the sociologist that just walked out of the room after treating her to not-sowell-prepared noodles. Like a shy lover, she caressed the part of her face which he had gently touched before returning to the crew, and as she lay on the bug-infested mattress provided for her, it was all about Austin in her mental space. Those Land law cases could go to blazes. There was something about this guy who had catered to her for the past four weeks, something she was yet to place a finger on. Whether it was the sound of his voice whenever he said “you’ll be fine”, or the way his smiles made the crappy meals taste a lot better, or his muscles which were on show when he knocked down Tejiri for trying to have his way with her, or how he saw to it that she changed clothes at least every five days, she couldn’t quite figure out. What she had been to deduce however was the fact that Austin was more than just another cash-hungry, bloodthirsty kidnapper, if he could at all be described as a kidnapper. It had been totally terrifying for her at first when she was brought into this abandoned warehouse that adjoined a thick dark forest, and horror took a whole new dimension when she watched Harry’s knife glide across her best friend’s throat, all for the purpose of “sending a message”. Things felt considerably different now; the place smelled less terrible, the bug bites felt less painful, damn, she felt a lot less scared. All because of this six-footer who had made her “feel at home”. They engaged in intellectual conversations relating to their disciplines, they had arguments on which artistes really made good music and whether Switchfoot was a gospel rock band, and when he treated her to acoustic renditions of Dave Matthews Band’s “Crash Into Me” and Coldplay’s “Green Eyes” on his guitar, she knew she had lost it, gripping him and taking his lips into hers. There was a lot she felt like doing for him and with him once she regained her freedom. She knew he wanted to ditch the group, and she wanted to use her father’s influence to help him secure a job, if possible at the university where she currently pursued her law degree, so she could see him all the time. She wanted him to join her on her annual summer vacations in Amsterdam, so he could pull her heart-strings with his guitar all day long. There was also that crazy idea in her head; why couldn’t he kill the rest of the crew after the
ransom had been paid (she’d love to watch Harry and Tejiri die), take the money and run away with her, like Salman Khan did in those Bollywood movies? They could start a new life someplace else. Even more strangely, she wasn’t all so eager to return home that evening, and sometimes she was tempted to sympathise with his present “career choice”. All her plans would have to wait however. Yea, like Austin often replied whenever she quizzed him about the future, she had to get out of there first. ***
“They messed with us! Austin, get the cheese! Tejiri, grab that b***h! We’re out of here!” The hostage-for-cash exchange had been a bust. The crew had stipulated that two people show up with the ransom at a very remote location, however, Harry had recognised one of them as a policeman with whom he had conducted a transaction in weapons months before and raised an alarm, but not before opening fire. After Harry had made sure he put the two men to permanent sleep, they put a gagged Jessica in the boot of the car and drove off, Austin clutching the big brown envelope. They were in for a big surprise when they returned to the warehouse: the police had located them! Apparently, Kparobo had spent a little too much time on the phone when the last threat call was made, allowing whoever was at the other end to trace them. “Damn! F*** GPS! F*** Goggle Maps!” Harry swore repeatedly. “Guys, we got this. Tejiri, get that girl out of the boot and don’t let her go. Tega, let’s hold off these bastards. Kparobo, I nor wan see you, na you f*** us up! Austin, you know what to do.” Kparobo was a pretty good runner, and it didn’t take long for him to lose the cops, as he sprinted through the adjoining forest. Unfortunately for him, he had reckoned without hunting practices, and when his right foot got caught in a trap meant for wild game, he just couldn’t disentangle himself from the metal, and his screams allowed the chasing officers to guess his direction and further restrict him with handcuffs. Dragging excess human baggage along while trying to evade the police was never going to be easy for Tejiri. Then again, Jessica was not an exactly co-operative hostage, kicking and trying to scream through her gag at intervals. This slowed him down, much to his frustration, and in time, he found himself face to face with Inspector Olaitan. He did a very poor job of trying to make a human shield out of Jessica, and once the bullet left Olaitan’s pistol, Jessica was left
with a stained dress, stains caused by fragments of Tejiri’s brain tissues. Harry gave a good account of himself in the lower bunker of the warehouse, shooting down as many officers as possible. Numbers were always going to count though, and he ultimately ran out of ammunition, meaning he had to face them with bare hands. He successfully dodged an array of bullets, got to a silver box at a secluded corner of the room, and drew out a long machine gun, which he often told the crew “will come in handy on one such night”. This was his Scarface moment, and he would not be denied. He loaded the gun, waited for the policemen to come closer, and screamed: “Oya na, make una take greeting from this my small paddy for here!” The gun worked like a grenade launcher to devastating effect, taking down six of the onrushing cops at once, and destroying a part of the wall. Four more shots multiplied the damage, but his bullets weren’t unlimited. All he was left with were words, taunting the officers and their weapons, but words could never have the effect of sticks and stones, and a shower of bullets brought down the man who had tried to voice Tony Montana. As if on purpose, Harry was left unrecognizable by the shooting policemen. In spite of his torch, Inspector Olaitan was having a hard time finding his way round the outer walls of the warehouse. The thick darkness put him at a visual disadvantage, and before he could react, Tega had lunged at his abdomen with a pointedge knife. Olaitan wouldn’t go down easily though, and the two men engaged in a fierce struggle, the former buying enough time for his colleagues to come to his aid and knock Tega down with strikes from batons and gun butts. They left him conscious enough to feel the pain from a bullet in his left leg, while they tried to patch up Olaitan and reduce the bleeding. Austin, revolver and envelope in hand, had better luck than Kparobo negotiating through the thick vegetation, and his legs got him to what could be termed the end of the forest, as he spotted a fastflowing stream where he stopped to lap up some water and take a breather. He probably underestimated the stamina of the policemen who were hot on his heels, as he sat down for a really long time, and was jolted back to reality when his eyes caught the beam of several flashlights, with voices ordering him to raise his hands. That part of the forest got lit up enough for him to see a rescued Jessica from the distance, and when she got close enough, he winked at her, threw the envelope in the stream, put the nuzzle of the revolver in his mouth and pulled the
trigger. “Why, Austin? Why? Why?”Jessica screamed, as she broke free from her rescuers and held Austin’s motionless body in her arms, sobbing uncontrollably. “We discussed a lot of ideas and made plans! I was going to get you a job! I was even going to get my Dad to use his influence to get you state pardon if things got so bad. You didn’t have to do this to me. First Nina, how I lose the most intelligent and honest person I’ve ever met! You never killed anyone, and the first person you use a gun on had to be yourself! How do I live, Austin? How?” She was eventually pulled away by the impatient policemen, and in time they got to where vehicles had been parked, some bearing the effects of gunfire. As they drove back, a small discussion ensued between two constables who had been part of the rescue mission.
“Eyaah! That girl really loved that guy o”, said one to the other.
“Whish kain love?” replied the second. “It’s just a case of Stockholm’s Syndrome, a situation in which a kidnap victim tends to form an emotional bond with his (or her) captor. ” “O boy, you na scholar o! How you take know this thing?”
“E clear say you been dey sleep for class when dem teach us Psychology for police college”. The police had reasons of their own to mourn by the time they returned to headquarters. Inspector Olaitan had given up the ghost in the car, apparently losing too much blood. His last words had however directed them to the Secret Files’ drawer of the State Criminal Investigation Department, where they recovered the file marked “Jessie” and found a detailed investigative report on the circumstances surrounding the abduction. The report linked Sgt. Braimah and Edet Nsa (chief cook to Justice Smith) to the crime, and the two, alongside Tega and Kparobo, were charged with conspiracy, kidnapping, extortion and murder. Jessica was never the same after that night. Her hair was left undone for weeks, she went for days without meals or even a bath, her reading table was filled with papers which had Austin’s portraits on them, she sulked continually, and when she was called to give evidence as first prosecution witness months later, she wore the look of an emotionally damaged young woman whose healing would require divine intervention. Author: Jerry Chiemeke
Nigeria’s Musical One Hit Wonders
he Nigerian music industry is fast rising with international recognitions, and so many collaborating for hit perNone formances. would've have predicted the height of the present industry, with the likes of Tuface Idibia, Davido, Wiz Kid,
Reekado Banks, Tiwa Savage, Temi Alade, Burna Boy, and many more making waves in their chosen genre.
they released their first album have remained in the doldrums. They are better known as one hit wonders. Where are they today, what has become of their career? Below are some one hit musicians:
By Eric Elezuo
Dikeh, but all to no avail.
KELLY HANDSOME After escaping the EFCC with his song “Maga don paaay, shout alleluyah” he disappeared to only God knows where. Last he DEEBEE was seen was at MI and 2baba's Buckwyld and This is not a surprise at that the title of the song The singer had tried Breathless some years back.
all; he is the crowned king of one hit wonders club. This is because after releasing “Collabo” in 2008, he went
ZULE ZOO Remember Zule Zoo of the song Kerewa fame? Their acrobatic dance steps and the originality of their songs were among the unique features that made this group a household name in Nigeria at one time. Kerewa was however banned in Nigeria for its obscene theme and Ibrahim Hassan and was added to his name. many avenues to get Michael (the duo that However, nothing has back into music, includ- made up the group) later been heard of him since ing working with Tonto both went solo. then. He’s probably collaborating with other activities at the moment.
KAS Born Kas Jonathan, Kas’s ability as a producer was never in doubt. He studied music production at Islington College in the United Kingdom. What ultimately let Kas down was his inability to write actual music. Kas’s second single, Fimile, was his one hit, and is arguably the biggest of all one-hit wonders. Fimile was so big, it brought together two of Nigeria’s biggest artistes at However, there are mu- into oblivion even as the the time, D’banj & sicians who ever since track became successful 2Face to do a remix.
linked romantically with sev- her own standard was the 2006 Bizzy Body collaboration with eral older P-Square. She is busy appearwomen. ing in just every video in town. TY BELLO WEIRD MC It was ‘Ijoya’ from her 2006 Stepping out of her photoAfter Da storm album that got graphing comfort zone, TY
BABA FRYO Baba Fryo's Dem Go Dey Pose was a massive hit in Nigeria in the mid-90s and it made him an instant household name. His stardom waxed strong in Nigeria’s entertainment industry her serious attention. After Bello attempted to wow the from 1999 to 2003 but sud- that, it appears the only mean- music world with her ‘Greendenly, the Afro-reggae artiste’s ingful thing that came close to land’. Then she must have refame and fortune disappeared into thin air. The last time anything was heard of him was on when he was reportedly beaten by policemen, handcuffed and dragged like a common thief to Isashi Police Station, along the Badagry Expressway in 2012. SOUL E Soul E’s Baba Dey Here is the unforgettable track from his first album titled Naija is Blessed that shot him into the limelight. His real name is Emmanuel Ifechukwude and in the heat of his reign on the music scene, he was reportedly
leased that she stepped out of line, and relapsed into oblivion. Nothing has been heard of her again musically.
STEREO MAN (EKWE) Once a Glo Ambassador, Sunday Osakuni’s story is a ‘riches to rags’ one. His hit song E Dey Pain Me made waves a few years back, and raised his career which came plummeting like a heavy mass of metal after he was invited by detec-
tives of Force CID Panti, Yaba in Lagos, following an allegation that he strangled and killed his estranged wife, Rukayyat Idris sometimes in April 2012. He never recovered.
BIGIANO He is the 'All of Una Must Shayo' fame. He was the dance hall musician that rocked the airwaves in 2008. Many years after, he remains the shadow that was. In 2013, he announced his comeback, but that proved to be a fluke as there was never a comeback.
CHUDDY K He is Delta State-born, but Ajegunle-bred. Chukwudi Ken Agali, better known as Chuddy K, is nowhere to be found since releasing the hit Gaga gaga going crazy. In 2016, he came out from oblivion to attack a reporter who referred to him as a flash in the pan, and relapsed again. In 2017, he came out again with cock and bull stories of affiliation with a certain record label in South Africa, promising to get back on track soon, with his Ekelebe song, but ‘otu awu leeshi’. He is nowhere to be found. The music will not also forget the likes of Sean Tizzle, Marvelous Benjy, Klever Jay, Rymzo and many others who flashed through in the pan and fizzled out like butter in hot oil.
EME Record Label is Now a Media Agency - Bank W
fter nine years of discovering talents in the Nigeria music industry, Bankole Wellington aka Banky W has revealed that his Empire Mates Entertainment (EME) record label is now a Media Agency. The Media Agency, which quietly shut down the record label arm, will has its strenght in Creative Marketing, Advertising, Public Relations, Brand Events/Activations and a talent management. This development was, however, made known by Banky W through his verified Instagram handle, giving a history of how it came about, why and how
far they have gone with discovering of talents in Nigerian music industry. Read the full statement; "Empire Mates Entertainment (EME) was started by @captdemuren & I, way back in 2001/2002 – in my dorm room at my University in NY. The reason we used the word “Empire” was because Tunde and I were crazy enough to dream that we could build a company that would eventually become an Empire.. one that would serve as the launching pad for not only my career goals in music, movies and other interests… but one that would also serve as a stepping stone for other talents to become more suc-
cessful and achieve their goals as well. We started the record label part of it right there in my room, which we relocated to Lagos around Vals day 2008 – and we thank God for guiding and crowning our efforts thus far; we’ve played our little part in helping discover/boost the careers of a number of talents in the Music business (some of your favourite Artists, Producers & Engineers..) and we are forever grateful for the opportunity to live out our dreams by giving others a platform to shine as well. In January of 2017, after 9 years of being in the Nigerian Music Industry, we decided it was time to quietly
close the Record Label Arm of our business. Essentially, we have restructured our business.. and instead of operating just as a record label, we have expanded and changed our focus a bit… we are now a full fledged Media Agency that focuses on Creative Marketing, Advertising, PR, Brand Events/Activations AND a talent management firm. This switch in focus has been amazing and fulfilling...behind the scenes, we have been able to impact the launching and marketing of a number of brands and companies the way we did artists... but even in the talent management side, we are no longer restricted to working with just Music Artistes. We still work with Musicians, but we also work with OAP’s, Actors and are evaluating sports management as well. The goal was always to find talents and brands we believe in, and partner with them to help them become more successful… now we have expanded to do that for more than just the Music business. We are excited about our client portfolio: the corporate brands we rep, as well as the talents. At the
moment, our clients are: @djxclusive83, @ebuka, @toolzo, @adesuaetomi, and of course yours truly Mr W. (And a few corporate brands as well) Talk to us for all things Marketing/Advertising/PR/Media/Entertainment. We shoot tvc’s and documentaries just as great as we do music videos. We launch brands and products as well as we have launched Artists. Need some help with your digital marketing? Need an ad campaign? Influencers for your next launch? Finding the right brand ambassadors for your product? We are your one stop shop for the marriage between corporate Africa and Entertainment. For a simple reference, it’s kind of like how Jay went from Rocafella to Roc Nation. Just.. same name, new targets. @theofficialeme_ is our IG page, and for booking any of our clients pls holla at us directly.
Grateful for our past, and excited about our future.. this is EME. God bless you all and thanks for the support."
Toni Braxton Teases Engagement To Birdman
irdman and Toni Braxton might be ready to tie the knot. Months after Braxton's sister Tamar sparked rumors of the couple eloping, the Grammy-winning singer addressed the situation in a preview for the upcoming season of WE TV's Braxton Family Values. In the clip, Braxton announces she's engaged and shows off a new ring to her family. She and Birdman have been romantically linked since 2016 but have often been coy about discussing their relationship. This reality TV teaser has popped up just a few weeks after
Braxton denied being married to Birdman in an interview with Angie Martinez. During the January appearance on Martinez’s Power 105 radio show, Braxton dismissed her sister's claims but was mostly concerned with the semantics of labeling her relationship with Birdman. "Tamar told the world we're married and we eloped," she said. "We are not married. I promise you. Maybe I wouldn't be so explosive about it, but I wouldn't deny it. I wouldn't say 'I'm not married,' if someone asked me. I'm not married." Birdman and Braxton's ap-
parent engagement comes in the midst of a busy time for the couple. The Cash Money Records cofounder just dropped his first documentary, *Before Anythang: The
Cash Money Story*, over the weekend. Meanwhile, Braxton is gearing up for her new album Sex & Cigarettes , which is due out in March.
Tinubu and Oyegun?
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hen President Muhammadu Buhari appointed Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu to head a consultation, reconciliation and confidence-building efforts” committee to settle all lingering problems among All Progressives Party (APC) members ahead of the 2019 General Elections, his intention was to have a united family strong enough to ward off whatever opposition that may come their way. But the reverse seem the case as the more Tinubu makes attempt, the more complaints flood the committee’s table. “ Prior to the formation of the committee, the members of the party both at federal and state levels were on one another’s throat, each claiming superiority and ownership of the territory where he originated. Even the President was not spared as so many party members including Tinubu himself has one or two things against him. But for the benefit of hindsight, the assignment kicked with many asking the question who will reconcile the reconciler with those he is at loggerheads with, chiefly among them, the party chairman, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun. The alternation between the two political heavyweights has been on long before matters begun to degenerate. Over a year ago, prior to the Ondo State governorship election, both Tinubu and Oyegun had supported different candidates. While Oyegun rooted for Rotimi Akeredolu, who later emerged governor, Tinubu presented Mr. Segun Abraham. In the battle for supremacy, Oyegun had his way, and created a sour grape atmos-
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phere for the two party chieftains and their followers. Since then, there has existed an uneasy calm in both camps. Today, however, another trouble is brewing as the former Governor of Lagos State has written to the party chairman, accusing of plotting to truncate his reconciliatory efforts. In the letter which Tinubu copied Buhari, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, Senate President Bukola Saraki and Speaker Yakubu Dogara, he highlighted his frustrations at the activities of Oyegun, which run contrary to his own assignment. It read in part: “Disappointment greeted me when I discovered that you had swiftly acted in contravention of the spirit of our discussions. Instead of being a bulwark of support as promised, you positioned yourself in active opposition to the goal of resuscitating the progressive and democratic nature of APC.” The letter which has all the trappings of an attack is sure to elicit a venomous response from the chairman, and continue to deepen the already deep feud between the chieftains. All most APC members are saying is ‘physician heal thyself’, and that poses the question who will reconcile the reconciler; who will reconcile Tinubu and Oyegun? It would be recalled that Senator Shehu Sani had intoned at inception of Tinubu’s assignment that if Tinubu fails, APC has failed. Does this therefore, signify the end of APC as both men are heading towards parallel assignments
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Published on Feb 25, 2018