Colchester boy, 8, steers car to safety after mum has seizure

Celebrity Gists, Facts, personality, relationship
Lauren Smith and Ben Hedger
Ben Hedger steered his mum Lauren Smith’s car to safety after she had a seizure

An eight-year-old boy took control of a car at 60mph and steered it to safety across a busy dual carriageway when his mother blacked out at the wheel.

Ben Hedger was on his way home from school with mum Lauren Smith when she had a seizure on the A120 near Colchester, in Essex.

The Ford Ka hit the central reservation and realising the danger, Ben put on the hazard lights and guided the vehicle across the lanes to the hard shoulder.

His mum said she was “so proud”.

Miss Smith, 27, who lives in Colchester, lost consciousness at about 15.45 GMT on Monday.

“When I started having the seizure at first I grabbed the wheel and was steering erratically so because of that we moved from the left lane into the central reservation and crashed into that,” she said.

“We were scraping along and that is when Ben realised he needed to do something.

“He put the hazards on, grabbed the steering wheel and steered us to the hard shoulder where we continued along until the car stalled.”

Miss Smith said Ben had not realised how serious his actions had been.

“He realised something was wrong with me but he didn’t realise he had done this amazing thing.

“He said he just did what he had to do otherwise we would have died.”

After pulling the car over, Ben tried to use his mother’s phone to call the emergency services before another car stopped and helped them.

Miss Smith, who came around after five to 10 minutes, said she had never had a seizure before and had to be told about what had happened by Ben, the emergency services and a fellow driver.

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Do You Have These 6 ‘Mindful’ Skills? Or Are You Distracted?

News, relationship

Information is abundant. The proper application of information (i.e., wisdom and understanding) is scarce.

The following skills are essential to quickly filtering through the endless universes of information, choices, and distractions that now lay before us in a digital and global world.

  • Mindfulness — the awareness of CONTEXT and of changes within that context (patterns, themes, connections, predictions).
  • Discernment — the ability to recognize and anticipate the consequences of the patterns around you — and to know WHAT TO DO as a result.
  • Action — the common and outdated view that beliefs determine behavior is wrong — rather, it is your behavior that shapes your beliefs, personality, and identity. Having a bias for action and immediate implementation is how rapid learning occurs. Experiential learning is far more powerful than gathering information. Experience is emotional — and emotion, not rationality, is what changes mindsets and behaviors.
  • Expectancy — according to the “Expectancy Theory of Motivation,” three things must occur for a person to have high motivation for achieving their goals. You must believe you can do what it takes to achieve your goal. You must believe that you know how to achieve it (you have the proper methods). Finally, you must believe that the rewards of the particular goal are personally meaningful. Another word for expectancy is faith — the belief in your ability to seize or create a future outcome.
  • Feedback — failure is feedback. You shouldn’t and can’t avoid feedback if you want to learn. When you have “transformational learning experiences,” your worldview is disrupted. You replace old ways of seeing with new and better ways. The faster and more consequential the feedback you get, the more in flow you will be.
  • Adaptability — according to Charles Darwin, it’s not the smartest or the strongest that survive, but the most adaptable to change. Most people believe that children are more adaptive than adults. Children, after all, can learn multiple languages at one time, if given the opportunity. Adults seem to become more rigid and less adaptive. Or so the thinking goes. The truth — children have more to adapt to. They’re required to learn and figure stuff out in order to survive in society. As you grow older, you have less to learn in order to survive in society and to meet the expectations of the norms around you. Yet, if you were to continually put yourself into higher and more demanding situations, you could adapt. You could adapt faster, actually, than children, because you already have so many deep and powerful connections made. The key, is being willing to let go of the models which are no longer effective at the higher stages of adaptability. If you want to adjust to new norms, you’ll have to adapt to them. And you can.

The remainder of this article is a brief dive into how to master these six keystone skills.

The “keystone” is the center stone in an arch which holds the rest of the structure together. Without the keystone, everything falls apart. In the book,THE POWER OF HABIT, author Charles Duhigg explains that “keystone habits” lead to the development of multiple good habits. They start a chain effect in your life that produces a number of positive outcomes.

Keystone skills, similarly, are those half dozen skills which facilitate the development of other skills. They are foundational to living a life in alignment, to having confidence and clarity, and to becoming a powerful learner and leader.

If you develop these six skills to mastery, there is little you won’t be able to do and become in your life.

  • You’ll be able to quickly discover the signal in the massive sea of noise.
  • You’ll make powerful, intuitive, and quick decisions.
  • You’ll take immediate action on the most important and relevant information.
  • You’ll expect the best outcomes to occur — which will create self-fulfilling prophecies.
  • You’ll get immediate and consequential feedback to what you’re doing — which will keep you humble and engaged.
  • You’ll adapt immediately based on the feedback you get, which will keep you adjusting and improving what you’re doing and how you’re doing it.

How To Develop Mindfulness

“The hefty price for accepting information uncritically is that we go through life unaware that what we’ve accepted as impossible may in fact be quite possible.” — Ellen Langer

In her important book, MINDFULNESS, Harvard psychologist, Ellen Langer, explains that mindfulness has two components:

  • Awareness of context — of what is around you
  • Awareness of change within your context — patterns, changes, connections, predictions

In our individualistic culture, we have a hard time being mindful. We have a hard time recognizing the power of surroundings and situations.

This is a big problem because we, as people, are shaped by what is outside of us. We like to believe we are the masters of our fate. But our situation and environment are far more powerful. As Dr. Mashall Goldsmith has said, “If we do not create and control our environment, our environment creates and controls us.”

Once this realization takes hold, you become far more aware of what (and WHO) is around you.

You become more sensitive to the energetic effects of people, places, and things. This heightened sensitivity is mindfulness. Because not only do you notice how your surroundings influence your body, mind, and emotions — but you notice shifts in your surroundings. Not just from one situation to another, but the broader world as a whole.

You notice patterns and changes in society and how most people operate. You see things before most people do, because as Ellen Langer explains, most people mindlessly and reactively walk through life.

They are unaware just how much their environment is shaping them. They are unconsciously becoming something they wouldn’t want to be.

Thus, the benefits of mindfulness are:

  • You can make powerful decisions about outside influences that shape your behavior and identity
  • You can predict where you as a person, and society as a whole, is going

How To Develop Discernment

“Being quick to observe is an antecedent to and is linked with the spiritual gift of discernment. And for you and for me, discernment is a light of protection and direction in a world that grows increasingly dark.” — David Bednar

Being mindful is all about OBSERVING what is around you. It’s about noticing subtle cues, and about thinking critically about what you’re noticing.

Discernment means you’re aware of the IMPLICATIONS of what you’re observing. It means you can PREDICT where certain behaviors, actions, ideas, and environments will take you.

When you development discernment, you can make powerful choices, because you have both information and intuition. You can’t have discernment without first observing and paying attention.

This will require you to become a very, very good listener. To pay attention to what you’re hearing and what you’re seeing. To become a student of life.

Intelligence is the proper application of information and knowledge. Most people are not intelligent because they don’t apply what they learn. They aren’t hyper-critical about what they let influence them. They haven’t developed a framework and set of values for determining what is a waste of time and what isn’t.

Your discernment for people, information, choices, and consequences will continue to develop as you enhance your standards for yourself. Your life is a product of your standards. You get in life what you’re willing to tolerate.

According to the famed Peter Drucker:

“In a few hundred years, when the history of our time will be written from a long-term perspective, it is likely that the most important event historians will see is not technology, not the Internet, not e-commerce. It is an unprecedented change in the human condition. For the first time — literally — substantial and rapidly growing numbers of people have choices. For the first time, they will have to manage themselves. And society is totally unprepared for it.”

People aren’t prepared for the world we now live in because people haven’t developed mindfulness and discernment. As a result, they experience decision overload and decision fatigue — hence willpower is no longer a useful skillset in today’s world. Instead, you need to mindfully create your environment. You need to make one decision that eliminates a thousand decisions. You need to continually hold yourself and those around you to a higher standard.

How To Take Positive Action

“A mind that is stretched by a new experience can never go back to its old dimensions.” — Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.

Dallin Oaks once said, “We should be careful not to exhaust our available time on things that are merely good and leave little time for that which is better or best.” Your life and who you become is entirely shaped by the quality of your decision making.

  • Your behavior shapes your identity and personality. You are what you DO.
  • If you have five minutes, how are you going to use that time?
  • If you have two hours, how are you going to use that time?
  • If you have five books to choose from, which book will you choose?
  • If you have five friends who you will become the average of, which five friends will you choose?

Your answer to everyone one of those questions determines the person you will become, the life you will live, the happiness you have, etc.

If you aren’t mindful and discerning, you won’t make powerful decisions. However, it all starts with one simple decision to act powerfully. According to research by Stanford psychologist, BJ FOGG, small wins create enormous ripples of confidence.

Confidence is a byproduct of positive action.

Inspiration and creativity are byproducts of positive action.

Your beliefs indeed influence your behavior. However, your behavior far more profoundly influences your beliefs. When you behave a certain way, your beliefs about that thing change.

If you start making even small progress toward a goal, you’ll begin to believe you can make more progress. If you act poorly, your beliefs about yourself will become negative.

Your personality isn’t what shapes your behavior. Instead, your behavior shapes your personality.

Personality is a byproduct of choice — although for most people that choosing was made unconsciously, reactively, and mindlessly. Most people are the negative product of an undisciplined and unintentionally-designed environment.

Your personality is the momentum and pattern of prior decisions. Although it may seem like “you,” it is not. Only the present and past version of you. If you change your behaviors and environment, you will change yourself.

As you become more mindful and discerning by making positive actions, your beliefs, behaviors, and personality will change.

You absolutely can get to the point where you proactively and consciously transform yourself. You can go from introvert to extrovert. From shy to incredibly articulate. From dull to creative.

Do most people make such profound change? Of course not. They’re not required to. They’re not demanded to. They don’t expect to. They don’t feel the fear and do it anyways. They don’t create powerfully emotional experiences that disrupt their core — allowing them to see and act differently than was their past.

Learning can be defined as making a PERMANENT change in your cognition and or behavior. It’s not LEARNING if it doesn’t lead to a change in how you see and live in the world. Gather information is not learning. Doing the same thing over and over and over isn’t learning. You must have emotional and transformational experiences that change how you operate and see the world. You must grow in understanding and INTELLIGENCE.

How To Develop Profound Expectancy

“You cannot expect to achieve new goals or move beyond your present circumstances unless you change.” — Les Brown

According to psychology’s Hope Theory, hope reflects your perceptions regarding your capacity to:

  • clearly conceptualize goals
  • develop the specific strategies to reach those goals (i.e., pathways thinking)
  • initiate and sustain the motivation for using those strategies (i.e., agency thinking)

Ideas are cheap. Creating plans and executing those plans is rare.

Very few people implement what they learn. You can read hundreds of books, attend seminars, and get expensive coaching — but none of that will matter if you don’t put any of the ideas into practice.

We live in an information world. People’s heads are full of information. It’s never been easier to access. Yet, few people’s lives make dramatic transformation because few people discern which information is crucial, develop plans for executing that information, and immediately applying that 80/20.

As you begin acting toward your goals and getting small wins, your confidence will increase. You can’t have confidence without positive and goal-consistent behavior.

Eventually, and rather quickly, you can develop “expectancy” that your goals will happen. This “expectancy” can become a resolve and deep commitment — where you know before the fact that what you want, you will get. Napoleon Hill explained it this way: Whatever the mind can conceive and believe, the mind can achieve.

Knowing something and BELIEVING it are two very different things. Believing in something takes a willingness of the heart.

Many people know what they should do, but they don’t believe it enough to actually do it. They don’t truly believe in themselves and their ability to change. Their lack of belief stops them from taking the needed actions to create that change. Instead, they become cynical or justifying.

How To Set Your Life Up For Immediate And Consequential Feedback

“This automatic feedback is another reason extreme athletes have found flow so frequently, but what if we’re interested in pulling this trigger without help from the laws of physics? No mystery here. Tighten feedback loops. Put mechanisms in place so attention doesn’t have to wander. Ask for more input. How much input? Well, forget quarterly reviews. Think daily reviews. Studies have found that in professions with less direct feedback loops — stock analysis, psychiatry, and medicine — even the best get worse over time.” — Steven Kotler

Feedback is how you change your mind. Feedback is how you change your behavior. Feedback is how you get into flow.

The more your life provides immediate feedback for your behavior, the faster you’ll learn. If your behavior isn’t consequential, you’ll continue negative patterns.

When you take bold actions, you get feedback much quicker. For example, when you share your goals publicly, you get different feedback from when you keep them private. When you invest a large percentage of your money into your values and goals, you’re far more accountable to those goals. Failure means a lot more.

Necessity is the mother of invention. The more your environment and situation demands you to perform, the more you’ll rise to the occasion. Psychologists call this the “pygmalion effect.”

It’s your responsibility to create an environment that demands you to show up. All you have to do is start acting. Start being more honest. Start seeking more responsibility. Start being more proactive. Powerful actions change situations. Powerful action changes relationships. Powerful action changes your trajectory.

How To Become Adaptive And Fluid

“If something is presented as an accepted truth, alternative ways of thinking do not even come up for consideration.” — Ellen Langer

Children are adaptive because they have to be. They haven’t developed habits of avoiding change. They seek learning and understanding. They are constantly getting feedback from the world around them.

Yet, adults eventually stop adapting as much. Instead, they over-adapt to the environment around them. They stop putting themselves into situations that force them to change. This reflects a lack of mindfulness, action, and confidence.

Once you’ve developed confidence in your ability to learn and adapt — in your ability to mindfully mine and discern new situations and environments — you’ll be far more willing to jump into new and demanding situations. You’ll be willing to fail and be humbled. You’ll seek more feedback.

You’ll act. Because as you act in new a profound ways, you’ll quickly adapt to your new situation and it will become your “new normal.”

Viktor Frankl explained in MAN’S SEARCH FOR MEANING, “Yes, a person can get used to anything, just don’t ask us how.” You can get used to living in a concentration camp. You can get used to living far more powerfully. Whatever is required, you will learn and adapt. Yet, eventually life doesn’t require much but the status-quo for most.

As a super-learner, your job is to take immediate action, get feedback, and adjust to the feedback you get. When you stop adapting to new things, you stop learning. Over-adapting is the path to apathy and boredom.

Find that child inside of you and never stop learning. Kids learn to walk because they have to. They learn math and reading in societies where it’s required. They learn whatever the norms of their environment require them to learn. Once learned, they stop learning as much. Unless they continually change their environment and situation. Hence, when the student is ready, the teacher appears. When the student is truly ready, the teacher disappears.

Lessons are repeated until learned. Most people stop learning their lessons because their situation supports them in their current decision-making. They are justified in what they’re doing. They don’t mindfully see the patterns of their behavior and the behavior of those around them. They don’t develop discernment and immediate implementation. Their personality gets stuck and they thoughtlessly believe they can’t change — that who they are when they were born is who they must be when they die.

Conclusion

Have you developed these six skills?

  • Mindfulness
  • Discernment
  • Action
  • Expectancy
  • Feedback
  • Adaptability

The world is becoming increasingly intrusive. If you don’t learn these skills, you’ll be shaped by an environment that was created for you, not an environment that was created BY you.

If such is the case, you’ll stop developing and over-adapt. You’ll get stuck. But you don’t have to get stuck. You are fluid and adaptive. You’re actually more adaptive than children — if you choose to be. If you’re willing to purge and uproot old patterns and paradigms with new ones.

If you’re willing to change, you can change. But you can’t see yourself in isolation. You are part of the system around you. The change must be holistic.

Chief Ayo Adebanjo celebrates 90 years

Celebrity Gists, News
[Photo News]: Chief Ayo Adebanjo celebrates 90 years

Oyo State Governor, Senator Abiola Ajimobi; wife of the celebrant, Chief Christiana Adebanjo; celebrant, Chief Ayo Adebanjo; and former Governor of Ondo State, Dr. Olusegun Mimiko, at the 90th birthday ceremony of Chief Ayo Adebanjo, held at his country home, in Ogbo-Ijebu, Ogun State.

Simi at 30: A Career filled with Stunning Achievements!

local news, News, Nigeria

Simi celebrates her birthday today with this beautiful photos

Simisola Bolatito Ogunleye (born April 19, 1988), professionally known and referred to as Simi, is a Nigerian singer and songwriter. Simi started her career as a gospel singer, releasing her debut studio album in 2008 titled Ogaju.

Her career came into spotlight in 2014 after she released “Tiff”, a song which was nominated in two categories at The Headies 2015 and further brought her to mainstream recognition. Simi is currently signed to X3M Music under which she released her second studio album Simisola.

Happy birthday to her from Team LST.

 

 

source: nai

Mariah Carey Talks New Love, Why NYE Performance Was a ‘Chaotic Mess’

Celebrity Gists, international News, song

During a rare home visit, the superstar singer answers her critics and gives a glimpse into her creative process

In a rare interview, Mariah Carey discusses her new relationship, her New Year’s Eve performance and why she’s “incapable of being in the real world.”James Dimmock/ E! Entertainment

The first thing you expect to see when you walk through the security-access gate of Mariah Carey‘s sprawling rented estate in Beverly Hills, where she moved in just weeks ago, is something excessive. And there it is: two towering pillars of pink, magenta and metallic-colored balloons, swaying in the early afternoon breeze on either side of the main house’s entrance, a holdover two days out from Valentine’s Day. It’s not surprising, really – she loves to be festive. After all, she’s become the reigning queen of Christmas with her evergreen “All I Want for Christmas Is You,” and even celebrated the holiday a second time in January 2016, just a week after getting engaged to billionaire James Packer.

Fast-forward to now and Carey started off the year by clearing the cache. She broke off the engagement with Packer in October, and documented some of it on her audacious reality series Mariah’s World, where she connected with her current boyfriend, dancer/choreographer Bryan Tanaka. During Rolling Stone‘s February 16th visit, Tanaka is looming around the estate, pattering after his pup, a tongue-wagging four-year-old pitbull named Mila whom he quarters off in the pool area next to the two-story guest house where “Dem Babies” – codename for Carey’s five-year-old twins – are hanging out. It was just a week prior that Carey released her YG-assisted single “I Don’t,” a sort of musical purging of her ex, emphasized by a music video in which she burns the $250,000 dress that she planned to marry him while wearing.

It makes sense that she would want a fresh start, particularly in this secluded, overgrown Los Angeles home, complete with a tennis court and next-level jungle gym, that’s valued at $100,000 a month and features nine bedrooms and 10 bathrooms. But she’s clearing her mind and separating herself from the clutter, particularly the storm cloud that currently hovers over her career: a performance on New Year’s Eve that was widely acknowledged as disastrous, one where she sputtered through her hits “We Belong Together” and “Emotions,” which sent her on both a media and social media hiatus in the time since.

“I don’t even want to bring this up too much, but whatever, we’re obviously talking about it, the New Year’s Eve situation – that couldn’t be helped,” she says, talking to Rolling Stone inside her home. In person, she’s glamorous, her hoop earrings studded with glimmering diamonds, gold buttons accenting her black dress, a butterfly ring cozying up to her gleaming silver nail polish. She stares at you directly in the eyes the entire time she talks, except when she rolls her eyes at a question she doesn’t love, in classic Mimi form.

Her explanation for NYE today matches the statement she released shortly after the fiasco, to combat Dick Clark Production’s refutation that they ignored her request to fix a problem with her in-ear monitors prior to the show. “It’s just something where if I can’t explain it to the entire world, then they’re not going to understand it, because it’s not what they do. Just like I wouldn’t understand somebody who had a desk job and how to do that. I couldn’t. I literally am incapable of being in the real world and surviving.”

It’s a rare press day for Carey, her first in the near months since the clock ticked into 2017, and a day after she debuted “I Don’t” on Jimmy Kimmel Live! For the performance, she was singing without a backing track, her vocals mint; it was largely hailed as a triumphant return to form. Some even said that she “redeemed” herself, an admittedly condescending assessment that largely discounts her 18 Number One singles and earned accolades, like becoming the third-best-selling female artist in the U.S. behind Barbra Streisand and Madonna. She’s had decades and decades of stellar performances throughout her career – “Don’t add that many decades,” she says – and only a handful of public mishaps, none of which got nearly as much attention as the New Year’s Eve mishap.

So how does she deal with controversy in 2017? “I used to get upset by things,” she says. “This was out of my control, and had everything not been such a total chaotic mess, then I would have been able to make something happen. Even the dancers should have stopped dancing and helped me off the fucking stage. I’m sorry. It was a mess, and I blame everybody, and I blame myself for not leaving after rehearsal.”

Her focus turned to family, particularly cultivating her relationship with Tanaka. It seemed relatively fast that they started publicly cozying up following her split from Packer, but their friendship stems back to 2006, when he was a dancer for Carey on tour, and culminated in a widely circulated clip from Mariah’s Worldwhere he asks if she really wants to marry Packer in what many speculated was a scripted scene. Most recently, Carey posted an Instagram picture of them knee-to-knee in a bathtub on Valentine’s Day; she still considers their relationship mostly sealed off.

As it stands, Carey seems to be relishing her freedom as a musician to record at ease. “I Don’t” is a standalone single that reinterpolates and samples Donell Jones’ “Where I Wanna Be” in Carey tradition. She’s been ahead of the curve in that way – some of her best remixes mine from songs like “Pure Imagination” for “I Still Believe” and Ghost Town DJ’s “My Boo,” which she swept up for the remix to “H.A.T.E. U” and saw a resurgence last year thanks to the Running Man Challenge. “The thing is, right now, it is a trend, and a trend that I’m very familiar with, making songs go around working with different samples, that’s what I do. Doesn’t matter if you’re inspired by songs from the 1980s, 1990s.”

Carey has no plans to record the follow-up to 2014’s sorely underrated Me. I Am Mariah… the Elusive Chanteuse, though she’s hashed out “conceptual stuff” with DJ Khaled and Travis Scott in the studio. Instead, she says, she plans on recording singles when she isn’t on the road with Lionel Richie on theirupcoming joint tour. She’s particularly intent on making her home an actual home – it feels somewhat empty, a fireplace accented by a few pictures of her in a red skin suit on vacation with her twins, and a bare hallway leading to where she’s spending the day doing interviews. “People who have an opinion about me, some of them feel like, ‘Oh, she’s not entitled to the same rules as someone else,'” she says. “I try my hardest.”

Mariah Carey said she was “mortified” by her disastrous New Year’s Eve performance, which was marred by technical difficulties. Watch here.

‘I’m definitely interested’ — 2baba says he’s ready to join politics

2019 Elections, Africa, personality, Politics, Power

tubabaInnocent ‘2baba’ Idibia on Tuesday indicated his interest in vying for political office.

Speaking with journalists in Lagos, Idibia said he is keen on affecting lives positively and would soon pick up the challenge of a political position.

He, however, failed to say what office he was eyeing or what political platform he would pitch his tent with.

“Politics affects everything I do,” he said. “So, I am definitely going to be interested in politics. I will soon participate as a contestant and speak the truth at all times.

“I hope and pray that good men will rise up and make a difference in this country because we need more patriotic people in all aspects of life.”

The Benue-born artiste decried the incessant farmers/herdsmen clashes that have negatively impacted his state.

“There is so much we’ve been saying about this crisis, but nothing much has come the way of the victims,” he said.

“We just need more people to support and join hands to continue extending relief materials to affected people. This is the most important thing we can now do; bring succour to the victims.

“I feel terrible not because it also happened in Benue State, where I hail from, but because it is also happening almost throughout the federation. “It does not have to happen to someone you know before you speak up about it.”

In January 2017, 2baba announced a nationwide protest against the policies of the federal government.

After coming under intense pressure to shelve the demonstration, 2baba announced the cancellation.

He had said: “It has become clear that the One Voice protest scheduled to hold in Lagos and Abuja is under serious threat of hijack by those whose interest do not align with our ideals.

“The point I intend making is not worth the life of any Nigerian. It is motivated by the need to demand a better deal for the ordinary Nigerian.”

Bello’s chief of staff: Some people out to defame me

2019 Elections, Politics

kogi cos 1Edward Onoja, chief of staff to Yahaya Bello, governor of Kogi state, says some people are bent on tarnishing his image.

Onoja said this while reacting to reports which said he led soldiers to break into an office.

He position was contained in a suit he filed at a high court in Kogi state. Onoja named Michael Elombah, publisher of elombah.com, and two others as defendants in the suit.

Onoja is seeking a sum of N100 million as damages for alleged defamation by the defendants.

“The allegation is in the extreme because nothing as maliciously reported and published by the defendants took place. That Onoja laboured assiduously over the years and made great sacrifices to build his character and career,” court papers read.

“That Onoja is a distinctive geologist, prudent treasury manager, banker par excellence and a savvy oil and bank professional.

“That Onoja by his past endeavours and present employment is a well-known community leader, a successful politician across his native Igala land, particularly Olamaboro local government area where he hails from, and a ranking official in Kogi state government.

“That consequent upon the defendants’ libelous and malicious publication, Onoja has been inundated with calls and contacts from within and outside Nigeria by all manner of people who denounced the chief of staff as rascal, lawless and unfit for public office.

“That the defendants’ publication was really meant to defame him.”

Thereafter, S. O. Otu, judge handling the case, ordered the defendants to appear before him within 30 days beginning from April 10.

Also, Onoja dismissed a report that he and his family were involved in a car crash as “fake news”.

Bello’s chief of staff said that he was not given an opportunity to refute the story by some media houses who ran the story.

“Fake news is also becoming a tool of trade to preach manipulating lies with the intent of spreading hatred against humanity, causing ethnic unrest, and worst of all, inciting inexcusable violence to boot,” he said.

Wale Odunsi, a deputy editor at Daily Post, had accused Onoja of threatening to kill him over a report.

 Cableng

100 Shades of Ufuoma McDermott!

Africa, Fashion, personality

100 Shades of Ufuoma McDermott! Movie Star celebrates Wedding Anniversary with New Photos

Nigerian actor and former model Ufuoma McDermott celebrated her 8th wedding anniversary to husband Steven McDermott yesterday. The couple got married in 2010 and have two lovely kids, Kesiena Alize and Isio Jared.

ufuoma23.jpg
To mark the anniversary, Ufuoma McDermott had a photo session shot by Ebenezer Dada which she tagged #100ShadesOfUfuoma.
She captioned a photo with

ufuoma

Today is my official #WeddingAnniversary
This day 8 years ago, my husband and I, together with a few friends signed the dotted lines at the Ikoyi registry.
8 years gone. 80 more to go

 

ufo

Tuface “Tu Baba” Idibia to run for political office

international News, local news, Politics, song

Multiple music award winner, Mr Innocent Idibia, is set to swell the ranks of entertainers seeking political offices. Speaking on Tuesday in Lagos, the R&B crooner and songwriter said it is about time good people intervened in Nigeria’s politics. He however, did not reveal under which political platform and at what level he would be seeking to actualise his political aspiration.

Nonetheless, Mr Idibia said he was interested in affecting lives positively and would soon pick up the challenge of a political position. He also urged youths to get more involved politically. “Politics affects everything I do. So, I am definitely going to be interested in politics. I will soon participate as a contestant and speak the truth at all times.

“I hope and pray that good men will rise up and make a difference in this country, because we need more patriotic people in all aspects of life,” he said. Also, Idibia called on Nigerians to come to the aid of victims of the herdsmen and farmers clashes.

 “There is so much we’ve been saying about this crisis, but nothing much has come the way of the victims. We just need more people to support and join hands to continue extending relief materials to affected people.

“This is the most important thing we can now do; bring succour to the victims,” he said.

The musician said people need to be sensitised on safety precautions during times of crisis. Idibia also appealed to the Federal Government to do the needful by ensuring permanent solution to the crisis.

“This thing is going on for too long, repeating itself over and over. There has to be a solution, the victims are not goats they are humans and should be taken care of.

“I feel terrible not because it also happened in Benue State, where I hail from, but because it is also happening almost throughout the federation.

“It does not have to happen to someone you know before you speak up about it,” he said.

INVESTIGATION: Senator Foster Ogola in certificate scandal

local news, Politics

A Nigerian lawmaker, Foster Ogola, has taken his spot on the infamous list of prominent Nigerians with certificate scandals attached to their names.

A few weeks ago, a confidential report was made using the Leaks.NG platform hinting that the senator, currently representing Bayelsa West senatorial district, has fake credentials from an unaccredited university in Nigeria.

“Sen. Foster Ogola has a fake PhD. His official profile on the NASS Website says he has a PhD from GMF Christian University. There is no official site for the university and it is not accredited by the NUC. There is also no research paper or thesis to his name online. Although he got the degree in 2012,” the report alerted.

On his official National Assembly profile, the senator is credited with having a PhD in Christian Leadership from the GMF Christian University Lagos, the same course he reportedly has an MSc. in from the Imo State University, Owerri.

Upon enquiry by the International Centre for Investigative Reporting (ICIR), it was revealed that the federal government has not licenced the GMF Christian University, Lagos, where Mr Ogola claims to have earned his PhD from in 2012.

NUC reacts

The Director of Corporate Communications of the National Universities Commission (NUC), Ibrahim Yakasai, was contacted on the validity of the institution.

“We have never heard of that name,” he said.

A copy of the commission’s weekly bulletin provided by Mr Yakasai showed a list of 57 illegal universities operating in the country; GMF Christian University was not among, buttressing the fact that the commission is even not aware of its existence.

The director also said that since 1999, the NUC has approved 74 private universities in the country and ‘’any certificate obtained from the GMF Christian University or any other degree mill will not be recognised by their authority.”

Other discoveries made by Leaks.NG coalition informed that the GMF Christian University still has no website offering information on the institution or its courses and there is no information on the Christian Leadership course the embattled senator purports to have a PhD in.

PREMIUM TIMES reached out to Mr Ogola, who is the Vice Chairman of the Senate Committee on Information Communication Technology and Cybercrime, to speak on the allegations levelled against him including attending an illegal university and obtaining a fake certificate.

In response, he said: “Kindly clarify for me if Premium Times does exist, to entertain allegations from third parties, whose identities are not mentioned, especially, when they are criminal in nature.”

Rather than answer the questions raised, the lawmaker stated that the allegations could be a product of “mischief makers with a potential to foment distraction from weighty matters of state.”

On the unaccredited GMF Christian University, the senator was asked if there was an exemption from the NUC on the Christian Leadership course which Mr Ogola purportedly has a doctorate degree in.

“When did students or products of universities become accrediting bodies?,” the lawmaker said obviously not addressing the question.

In an attempt to verify GMF Christian University’s existence and understand how it operates in Nigeria, a member of the Leaks.NG coalition, TheCable, paid the academy a visit.

TheCable traced the Gospel Missionary Foundation (GMF) Theological University to 165 Isolo road, Cele bus stop, Egbe-Ikotun, Lagos.

It was revealed that the controversial university lies on the first floor of a two-storey building. Besides the one and only lecture room, which was empty at the time of visit, there are about three other rooms serving as offices.

Hope Obioha, the registrar and wife of the president of the university, Daniel Obioha, who claimed to be a professor, received the reporter who went there under the guise of a prospective student.

She took the reporter to her office where she introduced him to the university and the courses it offers.

According to the materials given, GMF Christian Theological University was established on May 4, 1988 and is registered by the Federal Government of Nigeria.

It says it seeks to fulfil its commitment to ‘‘individual special ministry calling, through graduate education, professional development and spiritual formation in all its activities including teaching, nurturing, worship, service, research, publication and missions.”

Mr Obioha and his wife established the university. When asked if the NUC has accredited the university, the registrar said that they do not operate like a secular university, hence, the university is not registered under NUC.

She presented the “accreditation certificate” of the university by some international bodies. Checks revealed that all the bodies that gave the debatable accreditation do not have an online presence.

However, one of the materials she released contains the graduating list from 2013 to 2016.

It is worthy to note that 2012 is the year Mr Ogola claims to have obtained his PhD in Christian Leadership.

Additionally, the Christian Leadership course was not reflected in the list of courses offered by the illegal university at doctorate level.

On a second visit to the GMF Christian University on March 13, the centre was empty again as the man who introduced himself as a lecturer said it was examination time.

He said while the full-time students attend lectures on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, the part-time students go on Saturdays alone.

He was reluctant to release the list of those who graduated in 2012, but the reporter obtained a Skye bank account of the university in order to pay for the admission process for a “diploma in theology.”

At the end of both visits, TheCable was still unable to establish the veracity of the senator’s claim that he attended the school and has a PhD. in the Christian Leadership.

The Premium Times Centre for Investigative Journalism (PTCIJ) was unable to find any Christian Leadership course offered by any school in Nigeria.

Daniel-Dino-Melaye

On March 30, a member of the House of Representatives, Nse Ekpenyong, was arraigned at the Federal High Court, Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, for the alleged forgery of a polytechnic diploma.This report was put together by Leaks.NG, a coalition of news and civil society organisations, which provides a platform for Nigerians to submit evidence of wrongdoing by public office holders in Nigeria.We have permission to publish.WhatsAppFacebook315TwitterEmailLinkedInPrintTelegramGoogleSkypeMoreDOWNLOAD THE PREMIUM TIMES MOBILE APPNow available on TEXT AD: To place a text-based advert here. Call WillieAll rights reserved. This material and any other material on this platform may not be reproduced, published, broadcast, written or distributed in full or in part, without written permission from PREMIUM TIMES.More in Headline StoriesChampions League: Barcelona, Manchester City Crash OutBuhari makes 23 new appointments including rectors for six polytechnics (FULL LIST)Abacha Loot: Controversy trails requested payment of $16.9 million to AGF Malami’s lawyersBuhari in NASS [Photo Credit: Linda Ikeji’s Blog] ” data-medium-file=”https://i0.wp.com/media.premiumtimesng.com/wp-content/files/2017/09/Buhari-in-NASS.jpg?fit=526%2C315&ssl=1″ data-large-file=”https://i0.wp.com/media.premiumtimesng.com/wp-content/files/2017/09/Buhari-in-NASS.jpg?fit=604%2C361&ssl=1″ style=”margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: none; font-weight: inherit; font-style: inherit; font-size: 14px; font-family: georgia, ‘times new roman’, times, serif; vertical-align: baseline; height: auto; width: 245px;”>Buhari writes Senate, makes 26 new appointments (FULL LIST)Special anti robbery squad of the Nigerian police force used to illustrate the story. [Photo credit: Pulse.ng] ” data-medium-file=”https://i0.wp.com/media.premiumtimesng.com/wp-content/files/2017/12/SARS1.jpg?fit=465%2C349&ssl=1″ data-large-file=”https://i0.wp.com/media.premiumtimesng.com/wp-content/files/2017/12/SARS1.jpg?fit=604%2C453&ssl=1″ style=”margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: none; font-weight: inherit; font-style: inherit; font-size: 14px; font-family: georgia, ‘times new roman’, times, serif; vertical-align: baseline; height: auto; width: 245px;”>Bribe-seeking SARS officers force Nigerian writer to hide in bank toiletCommonwealth Games: Nigeria wins three gold medalsTop NewsIke Ekweremadu, Deputy Senate President ” data-medium-file=”https://i2.wp.com/media.premiumtimesng.com/wp-content/files/2015/12/Ike-Ekweremadu.jpg?fit=526%2C296&ssl=1″ data-large-file=”https://i2.wp.com/media.premiumtimesng.com/wp-content/files/2015/12/Ike-Ekweremadu.jpg” style=”max-width:100%;” />

Afenifere Hands Buhari Condition For Support In 2019-Olu Isaac

Politics, Uncategorized

Unless President Muhammadu Buhari government yields its demand to restructure Nigeria before 2019, the Afenifere socio-political group has threatened to show the president the door in the next election.

buha1In a statement by its spokesperson, Yinka Odumakin, the Afenifere said unless the country restructures, its citizens won’t stop counting dead bodies on a daily basis.

The group said this after President Buhari declared his interest to seek re-election in the 2019 general elections

Afenifere said, “Do we want to be counting dead bodies every day, do we want to live in a country where everyone is now a beggar except a few who are in government and who have access to public funds? Restructuring is about making Nigeria productive, to make the country to secure.

“So, if we want to have a Buhari for another four years, then we do not need a psychiatrist to know that something is wrong with us. If this government wants support from the vast majority of Nigerians, it should address the issue of restructuring before the elections, if it does not, it cannot be trusted to do it after the elections.”

Trump Denounces F.B.I. Raid on His Lawyer’s Office as ‘Attack on Our Country’ – MICHAEL D. SHEAR

international News, Politics

Trump

President Trump on Monday in Washington. He lashed out against his top law enforcement officials on Monday night. Credit Tom Brenner/The New York Times

WASHINGTON — President Trump angrily unloaded on his top law enforcement officials on Monday night, complaining that the F.B.I. “broke into” the office of Michael D. Cohen, his personal lawyer, and assailing the early-morning raids as a “disgraceful situation” and an “attack on our country in a true sense.”

The president repeatedly said the raids were part of a “witch hunt” against him that has been conducted since he took office, and he mused about the possibility that he might soon fire Robert S. Mueller III, the special counsel in the Russia inquiry.

“We’ll see what may happen,” Mr. Trump said as he began a meeting with senior military officials to discuss responses to a chemical attack in Syria. “Many people have said you should fire him.”

The president railed against Jeff Sessions, the attorney general, for recusing himself in the Russia investigation, and he blasted the F.B.I. for failing to investigate Hillary Clinton “where there are crimes.” He also lashed out at Rod J. Rosenstein, the deputy attorney general, who is overseeing the Russia investigation.

Mr. Trump delivered the emotional tirade hours after federal officials raided Mr. Cohen’s office and hotel room, seizing business records, emails and documents, including information related to payments that Mr. Cohen made to a pornographic film actress.

The raids were in part the result of a referral to federal officials by Mr. Mueller. Mr. Trump called Mr. Mueller’s team “the most biased group of people” and said that it contains mostly Democrats and some Republicans who worked for President Barack Obama.

“I said, that is really now in a whole new level of unfairness,” Mr. Trump said of the raids involving Mr. Cohen.

How France Exploits African States

international News

Former French colonies have to deposit 50% of their foreign exchange reserves at the Bank of France. They can only access 15% of the money in any given year. If they need more than that, they have to borrow their own money from France at a fee.

france “We have to be honest, and acknowledge that a big part of the money in our banks come precisely from the exploitation of the African continent.” “Without Africa, France will slide down into the rank of a 3rd world power” Former French President Jacques Chirac .

France still holds national reserves of 14 African countries since 1961: Benin, Burkina Faso,Guinea-Bissau,Ivory Coast,Mali, Niger, Senegal,Togo,Cameroon,CAR, Chad, Congo-Brazzaville, Equatorial Guinea & Gabon Reason: Payment of infrastructure built by France during colonization.

When Sékou Touré of Guinea decided in 1958 to get out of french colonial empire, and opted for the country independence, the french colonial elite in Paris got so furious, the french administration in Guinea destroyed everything in the country. 3000 French left the country, taking all their property & destroying anything which couldn’t be moved: schools,buildings, cars, medicine, research institute instruments, tractors crushed and sabotaged; cows in the farms were killed, food in warehouses were burned/poisoned.

The purpose of this outrageous act was to send a clear message to all other colonies that the consequences for rejecting France would be very high fear spread trough the African elite, & none after the Guinea events ever found the courage to follow the example of Sékou Touré.

“Without Africa, France will have no history in the 21st century” — Former French President François Mitterand.

Jeff HARDY @andsjeff

Kenedy is interesting some of Europe’s biggest clubs, including Bayern Munich and Paris St Germain

sports

Bayern Munich, Paris St Germain and a number of English clubs have asked to be kept informed if Kennedy is ever made available for sale.

The Brazilian winger has made a huge impact at St James’ Park since arriving from Chelsea on loan in January, with Newcastle fans hoping he can be signed on a permanent basis.

But Sky Sports News understands Bayern and PSG have both asked to be kept aware of any developments if Chelsea agree to let him go – although no bids have been tabled to date. Kenedy has two goals and two assists in eight appearances since joining Newcastle on loan from Chelsea in January

Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery are both out of contract in the summer, and Bayern are keen to find long-term replacements for their talismanic wingers.

Since moving to Newcastle three months ago, Kenedy has scored two goals in eight appearances and helped Rafa Benitez’s side move ten points above the relegation zone, with just six games to play.

The 22-year-old has found first-team opportunities far easier to come by at St James’ Park than he has at Chelsea – he has made only 27 appearances since moving to Stamford Bridge in August 2015.

But with Antonio Conte’s future still in doubt, Kenedy may bide his time before committing to a move away from Stamford Bridge.

Kenedy.jpeg

BREAKING: Attacks AAUA Student Protest in Ondo State on Order of Akeredolu

local news, Politics

Akeredolu.jpg

Police on order of Governor Rotimi Akeredolu  has disrupted the peaceful protest by students of AAUA, the students were protesting the hike in their tution from ₦25k to ₦180, reports reaching me says the police are shooting spirodically, injured students rushed to the hospital

President Muhammadu Buhari announce his intentions to vie for elections in the 2019 Presidential elections.

international News, local news, Politics

sarakii.jpg

The President has also asked party members to grant waiver to the National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Chief John Odegie-Oyegun and other members of the National Working Committee, NWC, who want to recontest in the party’s Congress. Speaking at the National Executive Council, NEC, meeting ongoing at the APC Secretariat CBD, Abuja, the President also appealed to members of APC NEC to grant weavers to the party’s national chairman, Chief John Oyegun and other National and State Executive members wishing to seek re-election.

NEC meeting which is ongoing and  is being attended by the Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, Senate President Bukola Saraki, Speaker of the House of Representatives Yakubu Dogara and 24 APC state governors.

More Reports soon….

Another Nigerian Youth Stabbed To Death In London- CHECKPOINTCHARLEY

international News, Uncategorized

An 18-year-old Nigerian, Israel Ogunsola, was stabbed to death on Wednesday night in Hackney, London.

Ogunsola is said to have approached Police with his knife wounds shortly before 8 pm on Wednesday, following the attack, SkyNews states.

Officers rushed to his aid in Link Street, in the east London borough.

Paramedics and staff from the London Air Ambulance attempted to save his life but he was pronounced dead at the scene less than half an hour later.

This is coming shortly after the son of a Nigerian lawmaker, 26-year-old Abraham Badru, was shot dead in the same area in London.

Two 17-year-olds have been arrested on suspicion of murdering Ogunsola, the Metropolitan Police said. They were held on Wednesday night.

The teenager’s father, Dele Ogunsola, who lives in the nearby Jack Dunning Estate, confirmed on Thursday afternoon that his son had died.

The deceased, who was studying computer programming, was described by his dad as “academically brilliant.”

The father of London’s latest knife crime victim today demanded that the “bloodshed must stop,” saying that his son was just cycling to meet friends when he was stabbed to death last night.

Mr. Ogunsola, 55, a customer services administrator, said: “My son was a well brought up boy who respected everyone and was liked by all and sundry.

“The bloodshed must stop. London’s streets are so dangerous. Young people are being slaughtered every day.

“If it means bringing back more stop-and-search, then so be it. We have to tackle this problem and the government needs to do more.”

Emergency rule: Marafa is being mischievous, envious – Zamfara govt

international News, local news

Zamfara state has fired back at the senator representing Zamfara central in the senate  Kabir Marafa over his recent call for the removal of  Abdulaziz Yari as the executive governor of the state.

Senator Marafa had earlier clamoured for the removal of governor Yari when he raised a point of order at the plenary of the senate calling for the adoption of former president Olusegun Obasanjo’s approach in addressing the killings in the state.
But in their reaction to the statement, the state government through the commissioner for Information, Culture and Tourism Alhaji Sanda Muhammad Danjari Kwatarkwashi said for Senator Marafa to make such calls he was only being mischievous and envious.
“As for the clamour for emergency rule in the state by senator Marafa we are at lost as to what his motives actually are. He has unlimited access to governor Yari why can’t go and advice him. Senator Marafa did not even find it expedient to go and condole with the people there,” he added.
Alhaji Danjari further said that after the recent unfortunate killings in Bawar Daji village governor Yari has directed that any civilian caught wielding rifle illegally should be shot at sight and that was part of the numerous measures taken by the state government to ensure that peace has returned to the state.
“Our simple assessment is that Marafa is up for mischief against governor Yari and is envious of the position Almighty Allah has bestowed on governor Yari. Marafa is on a race against time. The people of the state are waiting for him to come and test his popularity in 2019,” he added.

REIGNING DAILY WITH CHRIST- Pastor Jide Ogunsakin

Church, God, local news, Words

Thursday April, 5

HUMILIATE YOUR ADVERSARIES

MEMORY VERSE:

Who art thou, O great mountain? BeforeZerubbabel thou shalt become a plain… (Zechariah 4:7).

TEXT: 1st Samuel 17:45-47

Genuine praise givers are praiseful not because they don’t have challenges, but because they know that their challenges are nothing before their God. Amazingly, the more they praise, the more their challenges are being humiliated. The devil is always trembling before praise givers because he cannot predict or understand them.

pow

Power of Persistent by Pastor Jide Ogunsakin – +2348063134845

There was a story of a man who was given a sack letter in the office. The devil thought he had succeeded in stealing his joy but surprisingly, the man rushed down home, gathered his family members and said, “let’s celebrated God I have just been promoted.” They all dance and danced praising God until they got exhausted after which he handed over the sack letter to the wife to her astonishment. Not too long after, he was called upon and was offered a better, bigger and much juicier job. Wow!!!The devil couldn’t stop the praise in his mouth so he couldn’t hinder the blessing in God’s hand from getting to him.

I pray for you today, whatever the devil has stolen from you, it shall be restored unto you hundred folds as you praise God wholeheartedly today. God has never failed, He won’t start with you! Be blessed!

FOOD FOR THOUGHT:

The wall of Jericho crumbled at the appearance of praise and every other wall can still fall thereby.

PRAYER:

Father, thank You for being there for me. Oh Lord, turn around my captivity today and give me a new song to sing in Jesus name.

READ THE BIBLE IN ONE YEAR

Deuteronomy 2:24-37, 3, 4:1-14 Luke 10:25-42,11:1-4 Psalms 41:7-13

 

Where Is the Nigerian Opposition? By Reuben Abati

international News, local news, Politics

Less than a year to the next general elections in Nigeria, the biggest deficit in the political process leading to that moment is the absence of a robust, virile and effective opposition.

The role of the opposition in a democracy is to question, criticise, challenge, and audit the governments of the day – local and national – and make them more transparent and accountable, and even if these twin-objectives may not be immediately achieved, the opposition exists nonetheless to put the people in power “on their toes”, as it were in the people’s overall interest.

This is the underlying principle of a parliamentary system of government, and even in other forms of government including a presidential system, the opposition provides checks and balances, it is a kind of alternative government, a counterweight, providing such balance that could safeguard the integrity of the political process. But, of course, what is at stake is “the conquest of power”: the opposition provides the people with a choice and ultimately seeks to wrestle power from or out of the hands of the incumbent and present a different vision of social and economic progress.

In doing this, the opposition may be constructive – in this regard it could even work with the ruling party or government to promote the national interest. This was the case under Prime Minister Narasimha Rao of India, who once sent opposition leader Atal Bihari Vajpayee to the United Nations Human Rights Commission in Geneva, as leader of the Indian delegation, to defend the government on its human rights record in response to allegations by Pakistan.

Rao’s party members, who felt he had no business working with the opposition, criticised him as loudly as they could, but the prime minister felt it was more important to be bi-partisan and project a picture of national unity. It is not a strategy that has endured in India’s divisive politics. But what is known is that in other jurisdictions, members of the opposition in parliament sometimes vote on a non-partisan basis on key issues before the parliament. This may occur when the rivalry among the political parties is peaceful and there is a broad consensus that the country is far more important than the boundaries imposed by partisan politics.

For the most part however, opposition politics can be disruptive, and apropos, the strategy of the opposition is not to construct anything or offer any value but to “oppose, oppose, oppose” by any means possible to wear down and pull down the incumbent government. Physical violence, blackmail, abusive words, post-truth imagery and fake news are part of the arsenal of the disruptive opposition.

In Nigeria at the moment, we neither have, in my estimation, a constructive or a disruptive opposition. Whatever we have that may look remotely like any form of opposition is weak, uncoordinated, and ineffective. Our political parties are internally polarised, politics has become evil, our political leaders do not know where to draw the line, the ruling government is having an upper hand, it is committed to an unrelenting, overzealous persecution of the opposition and progressive ideas. The last time we witnessed what looked like organised opposition, even if it was disruptive, was ironically through the All Progressives Congress (APC). In 2013, a number of political parties formed a synergy with civil society groups to become the All Progressives Congress, and adopting an “oppose, oppose, oppose” strategy, they managed by 2015 to get the ruling Peoples Democratic Party out of power. It was a major turning point in Nigerian politics since the return to civilian rule in 1999.

But the PDP was not prepared for its new role as the leading opposition party, just as the new government, led by the APC, was equally unprepared for governance. This sudden reversal of roles caught Nigeria’s main political actors napping. The APC at the centre found it difficult to even appoint ministers: it took six months to come up with a list. In one or two states, the governors acted as sole administrators for up to a year. There are about 80 registered political parties in the country, but these are at best relatively unknown parties. The main political party, the PDP, has been largely in disarray since it lost power.

Most of its members have defected to the new ruling party, many of its founding fathers now prefer to be known and addressed as statesmen, and the party’s strong mouthpieces have all been cowed into silence by a ruling party that is wielding power like a whip. The PDP came out of power mired in corrosive in-fighting and blame-sharing that robbed the party of its soul. It was later “kidnapped”, and then rescued, but it is not yet in strong enough shape to stand up to the ruling party, offer alternative views or organise itself properly. Who is even the national leader of the PDP? Close to the next general elections as we are, nobody is quite sure. What exactly does the PDP want to do? It is not so clear either. Is the PDP still interested in power? If it is, it is not showing the kind of determination that the APC projected in 2014.

There are PDP members in the legislature at the federal and state levels, but their voices have not been loud enough. Nigerian politics has not been ideology-driven for a while – that is one explanation, but it is also possible that the remaining PDP members are hedging their bets and secretly planning to join the APC. This is the case because the ruling APC is now in charge of state resources – and that is a major attraction for Nigerian politicians, besides, the APC, not knowing how to govern, has been functioning more as an opposition party. It has spent the last three years hounding PDP members and the Jonathan administration, and making it difficult for anyone to come up with progressive, opposition ideas.

It had to take Microsoft’s Bill Gates to criticise the Economic Recovery and Growth Programme (ERGP) of the federal government before the PDP realised that such a document existed. The new PDP, failing in its role as an opposition party, cedes the initiative to the APC and merely reacts through statements that do not even make much impact. In the states across the federation, opposition members often forget what their role in the legislature is supposed to be as they join the queue of lawmakers trooping to the Government House to collect favours from imperial governors. At the federal level, APC Senator Dino Melaye has functioned more as an opposition leader than any PDP senator, with his persistent interrogation of executive policies and actions. One or two PDP senators, along with some other APC members, in comparison, have since acquired a reputation for going to the Red Chamber to sleep during plenary sessions! There is no quality debate as such in our parliaments, more or less, and so the debate about Nigeria has shifted to morning shows on radio and television, oftentimes conducted by ill-equipped analysts and the hysterical crowd.

It is the country that pays the cost when the opposition is asleep, and one political party is allowed to ride roughshod over everyone just because it is in power and office. When members of the APC claim that there is no alternative to President Muhammadu Buhari, I guess they are not saying there are no persons who are better qualified than the president; rather they are saying they cannot see any organised opposition that could pose a threat to the continued stay of the Buhari government in power beyond May 2019. And by conduct, they even make it clear that whoever challenges the APC should be prepared to face the consequences of doing so. The APC mastered bully tactics as an opposition party. It continues to rely on the same tactics as a ruling party.

The gap that has been created by the absence of an effective opposition in Nigerian politics since 2015 is gradually now being filled by thought leaders. Sometime in 2016, I wrote a piece titled “Where are the public intellectuals? in which I challenged the Nigerian intelligentsia generally to rouse from its slumber. That slumber is perhaps understandable. The Nigerian intelligentsia bought into the APC project in 2014 and 2015, and wanted the PDP out of the way by all means. Not too long ago, confronted with the failings of the APC as a ruling party, this special class has since recanted.

I dealt with that in “The season of recanting” (January 16) but since this other article, the political space has since become more interesting with the interventions of persons like Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, General Ibrahim Babangida, General T.Y. Danjuma, Professor Wole Soyinka and the emergence of groups like the Obasanjo-led Coalition for Nigeria, the Agbakoba-led Nigeria Intervention Movement (NIM), the Ezekwesili-led Red Card Movement, and the Concerned Nigerians Movement, led by Charly Boy Oputa. The main battleground in recent times, however, has been the Nigerian social media where young Nigerians have been quite loud in expressing their dissatisfaction with the Buhari administration. The social media proved to be a strong weapon of mobilisation in the hands of the APC before 2015, now it is its main nemesis.

Useful as these interventions, this reawakening of the civil society, may seem, the value is limited except there is a formal opposition that is specifically organised for the “conquest of power” at the polls. There is a growing consensus among these groups that both the APC and the PDP are of no use, they have not yet identified an alternative political party that can engage the ruling party but I believe the point is not lost on the actors involved that elections are won or lost not on twitter but by political parties actively organised for political action. Opposition politics involves branding, strategy, organisation and pro-active action. Nigerian opposition parties seeking to dislodge the APC can work together to form a political coalition as the APC did in 2013, and even if they do not win in 2019, the country’s political process would be better enriched by a constructive and strong engagement from the opposition that any ruling government deserves.

The current infidelity of the average Nigerian politician is the biggest obstacle that I see. Most Nigerian politicians do not necessarily go into politics because of what they can contribute, but because of what they intend to take out of it. The APC would continue to insist on its self-ascribed invincibility if the best that other political parties can offer is to apologise. The PDP chairman recently apologised to Nigerians for whatever the PDP did while in power for 16 years. I don’t know whether that is meant to be a strategy or a confession but the meaninglessness of it has been exposed by the vicious responses from the APC and how the PDP has found itself having to struggle to put in a word. The Nigerian Opposition when eventually it awakens and seeks to engage the APC must realise that the APC has a tested opposition machinery, which found itself out of depths in the context of governance, but which in an election season could assume its emotional memory state, and with the resources now at its disposal, including power, prove to be deadly.

Opposition politics is not rocket science and nobody has to travel to India, the UK or the United States to master it. In Nigeria’s First and Second Republics, whatever may have been the problems of that era, this country had a rich culture of opposition politics. Chief Obafemi Awolowo of the Action Group and later the Unity Party of Nigeria, as an opposition leader, confronted the ruling government with hard facts and figures and an alternative vision of how Nigeria could be rescued. Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe, Malam Aminu Kano and Alhaji Ibrahim Waziri – opposition figures at various times – also stood for something. Whoever wants to rule Nigeria or any part thereof should be prepared to tell us exactly what he or she wants to do and how and when. If we have not learnt any lesson, we should by now have realised that a politician wearing Nigerian clothes, taking fine photos, eating corn by the roadside, over-promising, pretending to respect women and children, distributing cash and food, claiming to be a democrat, dancing to impress, and sometimes projecting himself or herself as nationalistic, may not be what we are made to see. Nigeria needs a different breed, new faces, new ideas, a new way of politics.

The most important external variable to the success of your business is whether or not you had great parents. But you can’t do anything about that. The next most important? Having the right deals in place, at the right times. No one has the team, the resources and the reach to succeed by themselves. Well-constructed partnerships, carefully structured joint ventures, and timely endorsements help a start-up build its brand, credibility, momentum and customer base.

Business success is based on the kind of deal and agreements you reach while doing these businesses. Multi-million Dollars business has been known to fail based on small errors in negotiations. When you make a deal, the deal should favour you and the other party or else one of you might pull out of the deal when they meet better options from other parties.

The best possible outcome in any deal making or negotiation is when both parties feel that they have gained more than they have given away, and more than if they had not entered into a negotiation in the first place. Conflict arises after agreements whenever people leave a meeting feeling quite unsatisfied with the outcomes. This means you have to create a bigger pie than the one that is being discussed. You are a dry cleaner; to build your business you need to create personal touch beyond cleaning peoples clothe. Several dry cleaners have clothes mending departments that help replaces lost buttons, small tears and other challenges to the cloth. Many do home pick ups and deliveries. I even know a mobile car wash firm that visits your house to clean your car. They are adding values to their products and the customers are exposed to better services.

Either you are looking for a job, selling a product or trying to win a contract; people tends to concentrate only on the benefit at hand and never looked beyond these to create newer benefits that could enhance current situations. In every situation where we need to influence the other party the ball is always in our court to make the meeting so valuable that the other party will always remember our offer because it goes beyond his plan before sitting with us. Let them leave the meeting with newer and more productive suggestions and your name will always be on the lips of the other party.

In job interviews, the stated qualifications are there, but the interviewer is looking for something unique, that extra thing that will stand the final candidate out amongst the crowd of applicants. Being prepared through understanding of the other party needs is important. Study widely and reflect on the undeclared needs of the other party before any meeting.

Understand the real needs of the client and fit your pitch towards what will satisfy that need

When Bill Gates was trying to establish Internet Explorer as the dominant browser against strong competition from Netscape, the industry-standard browser – based on what was, at the time, superior software. AOL was looking for a technically outstanding browser and Netscape was the obvious partner, with Microsoft’s prospects for winning over AOL in favour of Explorer looking bleak.

However, when studying the needs and desires of AOL, it became apparent to Gates that AOL’s ultimate goal was to increase market share, and he was able to use this knowledge to reframe the negotiation. Instead of ‘who has the best browser?’ the negotiation became about ‘who can best help AOL achieve its ultimate goal of increasing market share and profits?’

Microsoft then made two big offers. It offered to provide an improved Explorer to AOL free of charge and, also, to bundle AOL’s client software with the next version of its Windows operating system; the AOL logo would sit next to the MSN logo for Microsoft’s own online service. No longer would AOL have to spend $40 to $80 per customer by sending millions of promotional disks through the post. Gates effectively changed the set-up for the negotiation.

Bill Gates Goals:

  • Establish Internet Explorer as the most dominant browser in the world.
  • Upstage Netscape the already established browser in the industry

AOL Goals:

  • Technical out standing browser for its expansion project

Bill Gates offer avoided discussing the issues about the best browser in the market, but offered AOL something they really wanted; a bigger market share at no cost to AOL to win the deal.

INTRODUCE NEWER VALUES

Always look for other areas to add value to your interviewer or the other party, don’t get stuck on the main issues at play. Look at other values that could improve the relationship. In 2016 when my company was negotiating for the contract with Civil Defence to train over one million private security guards in Nigeria. There were over 10 international training companies competing for this consultancy, Mine was the least qualified based on the fact that our company was barely six months old and we were bidding against well grounded and tested firms from England and US.

Our presentation was basic and based on the paper experiences of the directors and no   reference, the only thing that got us the job was the fact that we introduce a free 3 days training for the Civil Defence itself as part of our presentation. We refused to discuss our competence, as we know that we have no clear advantage here, but come and see what we can do and pronto the job was for us.

While negotiating with the government of an African country to run for them a customised version of the Oxford Programme on Negotiation. Oxford University Executive Programme (Said Business School) offered the cabinet secretary a free place on the programme so that he could determine its suitability. The value to him of this offer was five days of executive education worth £7,500, free of charge except for his airfare and accommodation. The cost to the School of having one extra person in the class was zero, as it makes no material difference to Oxford whether they are teaching 35 or 36 people. Rarely will the difference be this pronounced, but value can be created whenever two parties perceive different values and costs for the same item.

Deal With Emotions.

Most decision making are illogical and emotionally based. Jim Camp attest to the fact that decision making is mostly based on emotions of the parties involved. Being logical might not be the solution to getting the best deals. We have to always acknowledge and never fail to address the “big elephant” in the room. A June 2014 work on Emotion and Decision Making” submitted to the Journals on Annual Review of Psychology by Jennifer S. Lerner, Harvard University; Ye Li,  University of California, Riverside; Piercarlo Valdesolo, Claremont McKenna College; and Karim Kassam, Carnegie Mellon University, concluded that “emotion and decision making go hand in hand”.    Understanding and managing parties emotions will surely enhance easy discussions and understanding, thereby making agreements easier.

 

Negotiation