It Is Time For Change: Buhari to Tour Aso Villa with President Jonathan on May 28th

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As preparation are on top gear, President-elect, Gen. Buhari will tour Aso rock villa with outgoing President, Goodluck Jonathan on May 28th, a day before he will assume power as President of Nigeria and move into the villa.

 On the same day he will also receive handover notes from the outgoing administration and other ceremony will also take place. Governor Gabriel Suswam of Benue State revealed this to newsmen after the Council of state meeting at the Presidential Villa today May 12th.

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JUST IN: Former President Of Nigeria Son Dies

Chukwuma Bamidele, the son of late Nnamdi Azikiwe, Nigeria’s first president, is said to have died on May 10, Sunday.

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          Late Nnamdi Azikiwe

Azikiwe’s first son passed away at the age of 75, The Nation reports with reference to the family source, who pleaded for anonymity.

The source disclosed on Monday that Bamidele had been battling with respiratory ailment for years adding that the ex president’s child spent his last moments at Borromeo Hospital in the commercial city of Onitsha.

Before his death, he was addressed in Onitsha as the Owelle, replacing his late father in 1996.

Years back  in an interview with Daily Sun, the Owelle of Onitsha said that his father’s ideology had out-lived its usefulness and added:

Every era carries with it peculiar problems and solution and what was necessary at that time might not be needed in our own era…
“My father was a pan-Africanist and a strong advocate of one and indivisible nation. I also preach it myself, but I advise Nigerians to play down on those things that divide us while emphasizing the things that unite us.”
Source:  naij.com

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Expectations Nigerians as General Muhammadu Buhari prepares to take over as President and Commander in Chief

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    Gen. Muhammadu Buhari

Former President, General Muhammadu Buhari’s victory represents a significant moment in Nigeria’s political history. For one, the General has become the first opposition candidate to win a Presidential election in one of Nigeria’s most keenly contested elections. The incumbent President’s defeat is the first time in the history of democratic elections in Nigeria that a sitting government has failed to win a second term.
Since independence, Nigerian leaders have made many promises to its citizens and Nigerians on their own part have had great expectations from their leaders. Unfortunately, these expectations have always been met by disappointments and unfulfilled promises. The election of General Buhari was preceded by various campaign promises to voters and many of Buhari’s supporters and non-supporters alike would no doubt expect him to live up to his campaign promises.
One of the factors that contributed to the emergence of General Muhammadu Buhari as the President-elect is not unconnected to his past accomplishments as a former military Head of State from 1983-1985. In his legacy as a military leader, he is remembered for initiating the War against Indiscipline (WAI), reducing ineffective bureaucracy to the barest minimum in the civil service, and curbing corruption and drug trafficking. This legacy presented him as a viable alternative to the incumbent President who has been accused by many for adopting a soft approach to issues of corruption and impunity.
In spite of his popularity and election success, the President-elect would have many challenges ahead as citizens already look to him to solve the myriad of problems facing the country. Firstly, voting patterns at the just concluded polls indicate that there are still underlying religious and regional divisions within the country. For instance, while the President-elect won few votes in the South East and South-South geo-political zone that have a predominant Christian population, he amassed votes from the North East and the North West geopolitical zones that have a predominant Muslim population. The President’s victory in five states in the South West geo-political zone has also been credited to his Vice President who is from one of the States in the region (Ogun State).
Secondly, the endemic security situation in the North Eastern part of the country is one that requires immediate attention by the incoming administration. Given his legacy, expectations are very high that his Government will tackle the issue of corruption. Already, some analysts have suggested that his Government might commence on this issue by dealing with the mismanagement of funds in the army and probing into the opaque operating accounts of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC). It will be recalled that among others, the incumbent President was criticised for condoling corruption after he suspended the immediate past President of the Central Bank Of Nigeria, Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi over his allegations that $20 billion was missing from the coffers of the NNPC.
In an era of soaring unemployment, infrastructural decay, social inequality, economic downturn and wanton disregard for social justice, General Buhari would be leading Nigeria in one of its most challenging times. Yet, for most Nigerians a change of Government had become imperative. In order for the “change” mantra to be meaningful and have impact in the life of Nigerians, the President-elect must find a way of tackling the insurgency in the North East, seek to run an all inclusive government as a means of reducing the divisions in the country and revive an economy that has gone into descent since the drop in oil prices. While the President Elect has called on Nigerians to not expect miracles, only history would tell whether Nigeria’s present choice has met its great expectations.

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The Legacy Of President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua And The Expectation Of Gen. Buhari, President-Elect

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At a slippery point in time in Nigeria’s history and indeed the history of Africa, where decent leadership is elusive and desperation triumphs; where the people have given up on integrity and the possibility of upright anti corrupt leadership.

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  * The late President Umaru Yar’adua, right, and President Goodluck Jonathan

A time where many ask, what can be better, and is it possible to deliver more for the people and less for the cabal; it becomes valuable to revisit the leaderships of our past and study if possibly there were better legacies, better examples to compare, and greater natures of human beings to emulate and seek in the present-future.

Looking not too far into the past, in fact in this very 4th republic, and from this very currently ruling PDP party, the much overlooked, abbreviated regime of late President Umaru Yar’adua comes to the fore, and has recently re-featured in the national immodest crises of the ‘missing’ $20bn and other malpractice in the Federal Treasury with the recent announcement by the Federal Government that cash is been source from external source to pay workers, for which external auditors have embarrassingly been requested to help Nigeria address. A characteristic of a good legacy is when your valued words and actions of the past are raised as measures and standards in determination of the problems of the future. Late Umaru Yar’Adua in this regard, as invoked in the national discussion, left a good and important legacy.

Late President Yar’adua was elected to power in 2007, sponsored by another and two time Nigerian president, Olusegun Obasanjo. Umaru Yar’Adua was in office from 29 May 2007 – 5 May 2010 when he passed after a chronic illness. Considering Yar’Adua’s reign requires a brief review of the era before him, that he came to replace.
The democratic regime of Olusegun Obasanjo was very flamboyant and prestigious. It was Nigeria’s first return to democracy after 16 years of imposed military dictatorship.

Two of the common credits of the OBJ regime were the reduction in foreign debt and the establishment of GSM mobile phone networks in the country. Other things OBJ is remembered for is his campaign of privatizations and establishment of an anti-corruption agency, the EFCC. As OBJ’s regime is reviewed in cognizance of its real features and its future results, as well as the economic and political dynamics of the time, a few things are notable.

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OBJ rode the oil price waves. OBJ’s regime was not particularly economically unique, it more accurately was in favorable times and the economic growth was concordant with catapulting global oil prices. Oil prices were $16 in 1999 at the start of his tenure and rose rapidly to double that, $35 in September 2000. By August 2005, oil sold at $65 and by October 2007, oil prices were $90/barrel. Obasanjo rode these prices in an ‘oil cruise.’
Contrary to popular narrative, it was late Abacha who introduced GSM to Nigeria.

Abacha awarded the first GSM license to Motophone before he passed. When Motophone refused to bend to Obasanjo’s requests for 50% shares in the company as reliable sources detail, Obasanjo cancelled their award and then awarded 27 licenses of his own to companies he brought.
One more issue to discuss that was a hallmark of the predecessor administration was the privatization agenda. Obasanjo built his friends and sponsors of his party, the PDP; the likes of Dangote and Otedola were handed chunks of Nigeria in a privatization frenzy. Transcorp was formed to further facilitate the complete handing over of Nigeria’s assets to private cronies of the PDP. As Obasanjo failed to secure his third term bid, he quickly auctioned off Nigeria’s oil refineries to the same cabal.

Other not so favorable aspects of the OBJ years, including the ‘skewed’ use of the EFCC, the billions allocated for repairing power plants, the ‘missing’ recovered Abacha loot and the like have been thrashed suitably in the media.
The rich got stupendously richer during Obasanjo and the poor got poorer. The gap between the rich and poor have since in the 4th republic widened to levels never before seen. From 2004, midway into the Obasnajo tenure, to date after 5+ full years of Goodluck Jonathan, according to Nigeria’s statistics Bureau, NBS, Nigeria’s destitute, living under a dollar-a-day have doubled to over 100 million, the highest number of any African nation and one-tenth of the world’s total destitute.

Enter Yar’Adua, 2007:

Yar’Adua had an uphill task. The first president to publicly declare his assets, Yar’Aduawas referred to as ‘go-slow,’ possibly because at the time, people did not realize what cards he had been handed and also actually due to his attention to details and due process. He was coming in when oil prices were dropping during the global recession and Nigeria’s economy faced testing. The Yar’Adua government had to stabilize the economy against dropping oil prices and decreased production as a result of Niger-Delta terror.

Yet, Yar’Adua had been handed two catastrophic problems by the predecessor Obasanjo government. Movement for Emancipation of the Niger Delta, MEND was wrecking havoc in the Southern creeks and Boko Haram had similarly evolved in the north east. Under the Obasanjo regime, Nigeria’s national security boss, NSA Aliyu Gusau, a Babangida dictator regime henchman and the man behind most of Nigeria’s sad history of military coups—who together with Babangida organized the 1983 coup and displacement of the Shagari civilian regime, in which they put army senior Buhari in charge and also behind the 1985 coup in which he removed Buhari and the 1993 coup in which he removed Shonekan and replaced him with Abacha—had failed to abate the problems in the north and south. According to reports, Gusau had actually told president Obasanjo when he asked about Boko Haram, then called, ‘Nigerian Taliban,’ that ‘no such group existed,’ despite attacks by the group.

Faced with these unique, entrenched challenges, Yar’Adua selected a National Security Adviser, Major Gen. Sarki Mukhtar, who is remembered for opposing Abacha on coup plotter treatment in the 90s, and had the commitment and wherewithal to intelligently and appropriately combat the two terror problems.

The Yar’Adua administration with NSA Mukhtar immediately approached the MEND crises with an understanding of the pressing situation. An Amnesty was worked out for the agitating youth who had reduced Nigeria’s oil output by almost half, and Nigeria invested billions in training and rehabilitating these youth. Peace that eluded Obasanjo was restored to the creeks.

Faced with a different terror uprising in the north, Yar’Adua with his apt NSA Mukhtar swung into action, again properly considering the dynamics of the northern question. Poverty is predominant in Nigeria’s north, however poverty and/or misguided fanaticism is no excuse for terrorism and murder of innocent civilians and security officers. The nation’s security men were sent to sack the Boko Haram camps in a swift and efficient operation. In one of the few times in recent global history, the terror mastermind, Mohammed Yusuf himself was caught and killed as ‘he attempted to escape.’ Over 700 Boko Haram terrorists were massacred in the operation of July 2009.

Having established calm and restored security to Nigeria, late Yar’Adua continued with managing other pressing crises he had inherited from the previous administration.
Another battle Yar’Adua had to face was the recovery of Nigeria from the cabal.

Obasanjo had literally sold Nigeria to private friends of his and his party. Tycoon Dangote had been selected and favored by president Obasanjo not only during his second appearance in civilian regalia but from his first show as military dictator when he gave Dangote exclusive importation rights. With the sale of Nigeria’s refineries to Dangote and Otedola, Dangote owned as much as half of Nigeria’s assets, which included Nigeria’s cement plants, a telecoms licence and mining concessions. Bashani Aminu had revealed as relayed in Wikileaks, that Dangote once gave Obasanjo a 35 million dollar private jet as thanks for his fruitful partnership.

In July, 2007, barely two months into office, Yar’Adua summoned the Bureau for Public Enterprises (BPE), to query the sale of Nigeria’s refineries to Dangote and co. And to the praise of Nigeria’s Labour Congress (NLC) Yar’Adua overturned these privatizations for being corrupt. Yar’Adua was next going after the Transcorp purchase of Abuja Nicon Hilton. Though Obasanjo had put Yar’Adua into office against Yar’Adua’s wishes, he having objected to contesting on health grounds, Yar’Adua was determined to rescue Nigeria from the paws of the cabal, even his sponsors, Dangote, who financially sponsored his campaigns and Obasanjo who orchestrated his selection.

But this was not even the half of Yar’Adua’s war against corruption. There was the kerosene subsidy scam, through which the fourth republic stole and still steals 10 million dollars every day from the Nigerian masses. Yar’Adua who was battling with a chronic allergic disorder and had intermittent kidney failure, took this matter as no joke and not a matter to delay on. Within his short tenure, he went hard and firm against the subsidy fraud, sending 4 directive communications to immediately seize the fake subsidy that ‘was not reaching the beneficiaries, the Nigerian masses.’ Yar’Adua’s Principal Secretary, Mr. David Edevbie conveyed the directives.

The government spent/spends millions of dollars everyday subsidizing kerosene that was/is sold to the masses at unsubsidized prices in an elaborate, cheap scam. In this scheme Yar’Adua met on the ground, and that is by all means one of the most gigantic fraud scams in recent world history, the government states that it imports 10 million liters of kerosene everyday at the cost of N156/liter. It then claims to subsidize this to N40.9/liter to be sold at N50/liter to the masses. The NNPC now sells the kerosene to a handful of cabal portfolio marketers at the N40.9/liter and allows them sell it at N150+/liter to the masses, an unsubsidized price, raking in a whooping N100 on the liter for 10 million liters a day and billions of dollars a year [Reference CBN governor Sanusi’s ‘missing’ $20bn alert].

President Yar’Adua on June 15, 2009 gave a clear directive that NNPC should cease subsidy claims on kerosene. Kerosene fraudulent subsidy claims run up to the tune of N300 trillions per year. This was going to hurt Obsanjo and his cabal cronies.
But Yar’dua was not stopping here, late Yar’Adua gave executive orders to the EFCC to go after anyone, bar none. Obasanjo was in his crosshairs. Obasanjo panicked!

Ambassador Maitama Sule revealed that Obasanjo was scared Yar’Adua would soon come after him and AC’s Garba Shehu said Atiku warned Yar’Adua that Obasanjo was plotting to remove him for his “treachery.”
WeeklyTrust in their one year tribute, remeber him thus:
Yar’adua deconstructed power. He was not intoxicated by it, a fact that even his critics had attested to. He operated within the realm of the law. He didn’t pay lip service to the rule of law and due process he preached. The courts regained the freedom they lost during his predecessor’s tenure. They handed down verdicts that cancelled political victories even though his party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) was the victim.
Despite his ill-health, he pioneered laudable projects across the country. He initiated the dredging of River Niger, a project that was abandoned for decades. He started the reinvigoration of the abandoned rail system. He brought Sanusi Lamido Sanusi to head the Central Bank, thereby saving the country from a looming financial crisis.
He was bold enough to reverse President Olusegun Obasanjo’s decisions considered to be against the national interest. He saved the country’s three refineries from being auctioned to businessmen, who could not establish theirs. The nation’s comatose telecom giant, NITEL was not auctioned at least during his time.

He fought corruption in his own ways. He pioneered the policy of returning unspent funds to the national treasury at the end of the fiscal year even though the policy regrettably died with him. He prosecuted and jailed those believed to be above the law. His party chieftain, Chief Olabode George was convicted during Yar’adua’s adminitration. He did not create political enemies who he needed the anti-graft agencies, notably the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to humiliate as Obasanjo did.
After his assumption, he saved the jobs of over 160, 000 federal workers pencilled for sack under various pretences. Not only that, he released the N10 billion Lagos State local government councils’ funds which Obasanjo sat fat on despite court orders. Yar’adua went ahead and reversed the increment of Value Added Tax (VAT) from 10 percent to five as well as the hike in fuel price from N75 to N65.

There are many more instances of Yar’Adua’s stunning and committed actions in total war against corruption. But as he waged this war he suddenly took seriously ill. Yar’Adua suspected he was poisoned. As relayed in Wikileaks cables, Professor Ukandi G. Damachi, an insider and confidant to Babangida and other Nigerian top elite, claimed that late Yar’Adua suspected he had been poisoned by his kitchen staff who he inherited from the former president, Obasanjo.

This belief was grave enough according to Professor Ukandi G. Damachi, that Yar’Adua fired all the kitchen staff and replaced them.
Suspicion of poisoning has been rather common in Nigeria’s story, and Shehu Musa, Yar’Adua’s elder brother, was believed to have been killed by poisoning in jail as also it is believed late president elect MKO Abiola was.

Yar’Adua’s wife, Turai is also reported to have believed her husband was poisoned, and this was done to speed up his death. [Fresh Facts, May 2010: “They Killed Yar’Adua”].
When the Goodluck Jonathan administration took over, during a valedictory session in Yar’Adua’s honour, a motion to investigate the conditions of Yar’Adua’s death was raised by senators who alleged that the circumstances leading to the death of Yar’Adua were suspicious, but this motion to probe did not pass the floor and so this possibility was never investigated.

With the death of Yar’Adua, his deputy, Goodluck Ebele Jonathan took over the presidency and things pretty much went back to how they were in the Obasanjo years… or actually worse. Boko Haram recouped and resumed in full swing, MEND and MEND related terrorists including a revised form as oil bunkerers, high sea pirates and pro-presidency thugs, got reactivated to hold the nation to ransom, with terror reigning supreme from north to south; and fraudulent, non-people beneficial cabal-privatization (cabalization) and corruption were the order of the day.

Unlike the Obasanjo administration, recognized for utilizing the EFCC at least for witch hunting the corrupt in bad taste with the president, the EFCC was practically retired to petty cases and authority grand robbery with impunity reigned.
I believe one can admit late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua to the fold of late General Murtala Mohammed and Idiagbon/Buhari, whose regimes were marked by total intolerance to corruption and also marked by their assassinations during rule and after (as happened in the case of late general Tunde Idiagbon who was poisoned in Abuja in early 1999, paving the path for the return of Obasanjo by NSA Gusau and Babangida).
Nigeria’s political parties, APC, PDP and the rest can yet find another Murtala, Idiagbon/Buhari or Yar’Adua to restore sanity, decency and global respect to the nation. Finally, with the emergence of Gen. Buhari as President -elect, expectations are high to reposition Nigeria to regain her lost legacy.
Source:  niaj.com

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Photos of some men at the West African Fashion instinct Award 2015

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The “West Africa Fashion Awards” held on Saturday 22nd March 2015, at the Oriental Hotels, Lekki. The aim of the West African Fashion Awards is to showcase West African designers and present awards to those who have made outstanding contributions to the fashion industry during the year. The ceremony is organized by fashion instinct and has 18 award categories.
The main awards include that of Menswear Designer of the year , Women-swear Designer of the year, Fashion Event of the year, Style award and Outstanding Contribution as well as awards to the ‘most-fashionable’ celebrities in various fields.

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PICTURES OF SOME WOMEN FROM WEST AFRICAN FASHION CEREMONY 2015

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The “West Africa Fashion Awards” held on Saturday 22nd March 2015, at the Oriental Hotels, Lekki. The aim of the West African Fashion Awards is to showcase West African designers and present awards to those who have made outstanding contributions to the fashion industry during the year. The ceremony is organized by fashion instinct and has 18 award categories.
The main awards include that of Menswear Designer of the year , Women-swear Designer of the year, Fashion Event of the year, Style award and Outstanding Contribution as well as awards to the ‘most-fashionable’ celebrities in various fields.

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2 + 2 = 5 FIND OUT

In business, Synergy is perhaps best described as the “2 + 2 = 5 effect”. An entity should indicate how it might expect to benefit from synergy by moving into new product-market areas. For example, instead of making just one product, making two different products with the same equipment and getting better utilization of the equipment as a result. Selling two products with the same sales force, instead of selling just one product.
Synergy can therefore provide extra benefits from making and selling two products instead of one, or making and selling a product in two different markets instead of one. This can give entity clear signals, to outsiders and to its management, about successful strategy development.

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ACHIEVING COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE IN BUSINESS.

When developing a corporate strategy in business, the organization must decide upon which basis it is going to compete in its markets. This involves decisions on whether to compete across the whole market place or only in certain segments. This is referred to as competitive scope. A further consideration is the way in which the organization can gain competitive advantage, that is anything that gives on organization an edge over its rivals and which can be sustained over time. To be sustainable, organizations must seek to identify the activities that competitors cannot easily copy and imitate.
Organizations must assess why customers chose to use one organization product or services over another. The answer to this question can be broadly categories into two reasons:
1. The price of the products/services is lower.
2. The products/services are perceived to provide better added value.
Decisions on the above questions will determine the generic strategy options for achieving competitive advantage known as “Generic” because they are widely applicable to firms of all sizes and in all industries. The three types of generic competitive strategies that enable organizations to achieve competitive advantage are referred to as “low-cost strategies” or differentiation strategies” or focus strategies. For example, organizations can compete on price-based strategies serving prices to sensitive segments of the market place or they can choose to purpose a differentiation strategy which seeks to be unique on dimensions valued by buyers, such as product design, branding, product performance and services levels, and on the focus side, the strategy is about focusing on a particular buyer group, segment of the product line, or geographic market. The entire focus or niche strategy is built around serving a particular target fully.
To outperform other companies in the industry or market, the company has to follow any of the above said three strategies. Total commitment and supporting organization arrangements are necessary for effective implementation of any of these three strategies.

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