Rivers APC Calls for the Arrest of Jerry Needam

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Read Time:2 Minute, 6 Second

The Rivers State Chapter of All Progressives Congress APC, has called for the arrest of Mr. Jerry Needam, Spokesperson of Mr. Felix Obuah and Rivers State Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party for alleging that Governor Chibuike Amaechi was the brain behind the current influx of the suspected terrorists to the Southern part of Nigeria.

According to Mr. Needam in a statement issued in Port Harcourt on 18th June, 2014, “Rotimi Amaechi is responsible for the recent mass influx of suspected Boko Haram members into South-Southern and South-Eastern states of Nigeria.”  

APC in a press release said: “To us, this is a very grave allegation that requires the immediate attention of the security agencies so as to prevent the menace of Boko Haram spreading to the South, having seen the damage the sect has caused to the security and economy of Northern Nigeria. Mr. Needam should help security agencies with further information on how Governor Amaechi sponsored the movement of these suspected agents of destruction down to the South because to us, Governor Amaechi is a fighter against insecurity and not a promoter of insecurity as painted by the demented Aide to the PDP State Chairman. If he fails to do so, he should be cautioned accordingly to avoid such charlatans from doing much damage to the peace of our nation.

“Boko Haram is not something to be joked with. It is a serious issue that should not be frivolously used to tarnish the image of political opponents. For Mr. Needam to accuse a Governor who has been doing his best to sustain the peace in his state since assumption of office in 2007 – rescuing Rivers State from the menace of militants and even ordering two helicopters to assist security agencies in securing our State – of sponsoring the influx of miscreants to the Southern part of Nigeria in order to cause mayhem is very unfortunate.

“It is on record that Governor Amaechi was recently awarded the Best Governor on Security in Nigeria by the Nigeria Security Profile Award (NISPA).   For Mr. Needam to turn round to accuse the same man of promoting insecurity simply demonstrates how empty he and those he is working for are. The security agencies should arrest and get him to substantiate his bogus allegation. Anything short of this would encourage charlatans like him further heat up the polity by making unguarded and frivolous allegations aimed to demonise innocent public officers”, Rivers APC concluded.

About Post Author

Anthony Claret

Anthony-Claret is a software Engineer, entrepreneur and the founder of Codewit INC. Mr. Claret publishes and manages the content on Codewit Word News website and associated websites. He's a writer, IT Expert, great administrator, technology enthusiast, social media lover and all around digital guy.
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Being gay: Upbringing or born that way?

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Read Time:3 Minute, 14 Second

As rapid and wide-spread advances are being made in gay rights, including same-sex marriage, Americans remain divided over whether homosexuality is present before birth or acquired.

The gay rights movement has advanced with head-spinning speed in recent years.

“Hate crimes” now include attacks on individuals because of their sexual orientation. Government and employment benefits now are extended to same-sex couples. The US military has scrapped its “don’t ask, don’t tell” ban on openly-gay service members.

A string of federal judges – most recently in Wisconsin this week – have ruled state bans on same-sex marriage unconstitutional. Nineteen states and the District of Columbia now have what advocates call “freedom to marry.” Gay judges, lawmakers, and other public figures are serving openly.

US public opinion about gays has changed drastically in recent decades on the issues of marriage equality and LGBT acceptance as a whole, possibly related to the fact that three in four Americans say they have a friend, relative, or coworker who has told them that he or she is gay,” Gallup reported recently.

Public support for same-sex marriage has reached an all-time high of 55 percent – more significantly, nearly 80 percent among young adults. Approval of gay or lesbian relations jumped 19 percent between 2001 and 2013 (from 40 percent to 59 percent, again according to Gallup).

Still, Americans are about evenly divided on whether homosexuality is something a portion of the population is born with or, instead, it is a characteristic resulting from upbringing and environment – present before birth or acquired.

Back in 1978, a majority of Americans (56 percent) believed it to be upbringing and environment; just 13 percent thought gay men and lesbians were “born that way.”

Since then, belief here moved steadily toward “born that way,” now accepted by a plurality of the public (42-37 percent).  The American Psychiatric Association removed homosexuality from its manual of mental disorders in 1973, no doubt accelerating the trend.

Still, that 42 percent is less than the 47 percent Gallup tallied in 2012, so public opinion seems to have leveled out.

“Though being gay as the result of genetics or other factors before birth has become a considerably more mainstream belief and is now mentioned by a plurality of Americans, it is still one held by slightly less than half of the U.S. population,” reports Gallup. “This disagreement seems likely to continue as long as the scientific community remains agnostic about the question.”

Meanwhile, the political and legal debate over sexual orientation and gay rights continues.

In Fort Worth this weekend, the Texas Republican Party was to consider a proposed plank to its platform that would "recognize the legitimacy and efficacy of counseling, which offers reparative therapy and treatment for those patients seeking healing and wholeness from their homosexual lifestyle." In other words, supporting the controversial notion that homosexuality is an abnormal condition that can be “cured,” something the American Psychiatric Association rejected more than 40 years ago.

At this point, there are 71 lawsuits in 31 states regarding the “freedom to marry.” Six such cases involving same-sex marriage have reached the federal appellate level, and it may only be a matter of time before the US Supreme Court addresses the issue again. (The high court already has invalidated the federal Defense of Marriage Act.)

In North Dakota, the last remaining state without a court challenge, seven couples have filed a federal lawsuit challenging the ban on same-sex marriage, reports the AP. It challenges both North Dakota's constitutional ban on gay marriage and its refusal to recognize marriages of same-sex couples who legally wed in other states.

About Post Author

Anthony Claret

Anthony-Claret is a software Engineer, entrepreneur and the founder of Codewit INC. Mr. Claret publishes and manages the content on Codewit Word News website and associated websites. He's a writer, IT Expert, great administrator, technology enthusiast, social media lover and all around digital guy.
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Salvation from Coca-Cola and Fanta

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Read Time:6 Minute, 29 Second

“Of what consequence is living water when what you want is Coca-Cola?”

At the Feast of Tabernacles, Jesus stood and cried out, saying: “If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. He who believes in me, as the scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.” (John 7:37-39). However, no one seemed to be interested in what Jesus was offering. No one asked him for a drink of this so-called living water.

Unwanted water

“Clarus, which water was he talking about?” “He said living water.” “What kind of water is that?” “Frankly, Gringory, I don’t know.” “Is it as good as Coca-cola?” “Actually, I think he was talking about spiritual water.” “What do you do with spiritual water? Can you serve it to your friends at a party?” “I doubt it.” “I don’t think Jerusalem is ready for that kind of water. Of what consequence is living water when what you want is Coca-Cola?”

God says: “My people have committed two evils: they have forsaken me, the fountain of living waters, and hewn themselves cisterns- broken cisterns that can hold no water.” (Jeremiah 2:13).

According to Jesus, there are two types of water: natural water and living water. Of the two, the prescribed choice is living water. Jesus says: “Everyone who drinks of (natural) water shall thirst again; but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life.” (John 4:14). What precisely is Jesus’ living water? It is the Holy Spirit.

Hard choices

Christians suppose all Christians have the Holy Spirit. We presume that we receive the Holy Spirit at the point of our conversion. We declare we are born again once we answer an altar call. However, most of us fail Jesus’ litmus test because we continue to thirst. If we truly have the Holy Spirit, we would not thirst again.

But what kind of life would we have if we never thirst again? How then would we be entertained? Surely a person who does not thirst must be dead. Such a person would no longer be able to enjoy life. We want to be able to thirst, but to have a constant supply of delectable drinks whenever we want them to satisfy our thirst. We want to be able to hunger, but to be able to satisfy our hunger readily with lavish plates of food. Therefore, we reconfigure a more palatable construct to Jesus’ statement. We insist we have the Holy Spirit, in spite of the contradiction whereby we continue to thirst for the vainglories of this world.

We really need to sort out these contradictions with the Lord beforehand. Otherwise, he might mistakenly send us to the wrong heaven. Who wants to get to heaven and find out that it does not have the good things of life? Who wants to get to heaven only to discover he cannot enjoy sex there? Who wants to go to a Promised Land that does not have the leeks and cucumbers of Egypt? Who wants to trundle through life having to eat manna every day instead of Kentucky fried-chicken? Surely, the heaven that is truly heavenly is the one where we can have our cake and eat it too.

Spiritual Life

Let no man deceive you: the life Jesus offers is the spiritual life. He came that we might have a full and enriching personal relationship with God. That is why he gives us God’s Holy Spirit as down-payment. “But Lord Jesus, we don’t want spiritual life. We want physical and material life. We want the life of eating the best foods and drinking the best drinks. We want the life of living in the best houses, driving the best cars, and having the best jobs. We don’t want the life of carrying our cross and denying our self.”

For the children of Israel, the route to a Promised Land flowing with milk and honey turned out to be a wilderness. There was no pipe-borne water, no television, and no edikaikong soup. Therefore, they mumbled and grumbled and wanted to go back to Egypt.

Alas, many Christians are caught in similar conundrum. We have been seduced by the “prosperity gospel.” Nevertheless, we are out of pocket; unemployed, without accommodation or unmarried. Therefore, we are also mumbling and grumbling through this wilderness of life; just as the Israelites did to disastrous effect.

Esau did not value spiritual life. What is the value of spiritual life when a man is hungry? What is the value when he is horny? Esau did not value his birthright. But someone else did. Esau traded eternal life for a plate of rice. He traded eternal life for a night of passion. It was just one sexual fling, but he caught AIDS. It was just one night of illicit sex, but Bathsheba became pregnant. But much later, Esau came to appreciate his birthright. On his father’s deathbed, he sought it carefully with tears. But, alas, it was too late.

We die in sin not because we cannot obtain eternal life, but because we reject it. We don’t want it. It is costly and we don’t want to pay the price. Jesus says: “any of you who does not give up everything he has cannot be my disciple.” (Luke 14:33).

Forbidden drink

One day, the Lord said to me: “Femi, I want you to stop drinking Coke and Fanta!” I have never fought the Lord with as much ferocity as I did on that one. Coke and Fanta were my favourite drinks in the world. They were non-alcoholic, non-intoxicating and relatively cheap. Why then should I have to give them up?

“Show me,” I insisted, “show me in the bible where it says a man should not drink Coke. How is it a sin to drink Coke? Why are you so determined to take everything away from me?” “What if I told you to give it up for me?” asked the Lord. “But why would you even ask such a thing of me? I thought you were my friend,” I pleaded. “I also thought you were my friend,” the Lord replied. “Okay, I will reduce the number of bottles I drink in a day.” “No, I want you to give them up completely.”

Jesus says: “My Father loves me, because I lay down my life.” (John 10:17). I am ashamed to admit it took me no less than two years to lay down this aspect of my miserable life.

One day, the Lord told me to go and pray for a boy who was paraplegic. When I got there, the mother asked me if I would like to have a drink. I asked for Fanta Chapman and when I took a sip of it, the drink bit me on the lip. (Proverbs 23:32). I know that might sound strange to you, but there is no other way of describing what happened. I knew immediately that the Holy Spirit was behind this.

I have not taken any Coke and Fanta in the last sixteen years, and I will never take Coke and Fanta again as long as I live.

About Post Author

Anthony Claret

Anthony-Claret is a software Engineer, entrepreneur and the founder of Codewit INC. Mr. Claret publishes and manages the content on Codewit Word News website and associated websites. He's a writer, IT Expert, great administrator, technology enthusiast, social media lover and all around digital guy.
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Yayale advocates amnesty Boko Haram

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Read Time:2 Minute, 18 Second

Former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Alhaji Yayale Ahmad, said yesterday that the Federal Government should grant general amnesty to the members of the Boko Haram sect if they meet the conditions that gave rise to pardoning Niger Delta militants in 2009.

Ahmad, however, expressed doubts whe-ther the sect members would ever come out and establish real contacts with the government with a view to facilitating genuine dialogue.

Ahmad, who was part of late President Yar’Adua’s team that midwifed the Niger Delta amnesty package in 2009, pointed out that unlike the Niger Delta militants who had a clear and definite demand, the sect’s agenda was unclear and confusing.

The former defence minister pointed out that the way Boko Haram members were operating had also made it difficult to establish contact with its leadership for any meaningful dialogue.

The former Head of Service of the Federation said: “In the case of the Niger Delta, it was possible for the government to establish contacts with their leaders, who were not in the creeks. They had a definite demand and territory, which made it easy for us to know that they wanted.

“But in the case of Boko Haram, they say they are in the Northeast but they are invisible. They are so invisible that you can hardly trace them even though they may be in your household.

“Secondly, the Boko Haram demand is not economically-based or a call for economic emancipation. Their demand is a religious one, which even the constituency of Boko Haram actors, Islam, is uncomfortable with.

The former SGF, who described the current security challenge in the nation as a dilemma, pointed out that it would be very difficult for the Federal Government to acquiesce to the demands of Boko Haram since the constitution does not authorise it to dabble into the religion of any Nigerian.

On how to stem to spate of insurgency across the country, Ahmad called on government at all levels to give more attention to gathering for the people instead of promoting personal interest at the expense of the majority of the citizens.

“The government must do more to cater for the youths in order to entice them to keep off evil ways and embrace what is right for the society. The only way to do that is through job creation, poverty alleviation and massive education of the people,” the former government scribe said.

On how President Jonathan can succeed and move the nation forward, Ahmad said that the President should learn to be a statesman and a father to the nation by being bold enough to look critically at his team and get advisers who can advise him patriotically.

About Post Author

Anthony Claret

Anthony-Claret is a software Engineer, entrepreneur and the founder of Codewit INC. Mr. Claret publishes and manages the content on Codewit Word News website and associated websites. He's a writer, IT Expert, great administrator, technology enthusiast, social media lover and all around digital guy.
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78% of Nigerians buy petrol above N97 per litre —Survey

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Read Time:2 Minute, 18 Second

ABUJA — Opinion poll conducted by an independent firm, the NOIPoll Limited, has revealed that over 78 per cent of Nigerians bought petrol above the official pump price of N97 per litre between January and March, 2014.

Black market thrives as fuel scarcity hits Lagos. Photo: Bunmi Azeez

It said the results of the petrol price monitoring polls conducted in the first quarter, revealed a significant 47-point increase in the proportion of Nigerians who bought petrol above the official pump price from 31 per cent in January to 78 per cent in March 2014.

The poll revealed: “The result obtained in March 2014 represents the highest proportion of respondents who purchased petrol above N97 in the 15 months of conducting the Petrol Price Monitoring Polls which started from January 2013.

“The quarterly average Q1 shows that the majority 53 per cent purchased petrol above the official pump price of N97 with the highest obtained in the North-East and South-East zones; while 44 per cent purchased at the official price.

“This quarter’s figure represents the second highest on the purchase of petrol above the official price, after peaking in Q1 2013 58 per cent. More findings revealed that on average, 64 per cent of Nigerians bought petrol from major marketer filling stations in the first quarter of 2014.

“However, monthly trend analysis shows a downward trend with a substantial 32-Point decline from January 78 per cent to March 46 per cent in the proportion of Nigerians who purchased petrol from major filling stations. These findings highlight the adverse effect of the crippling fuel scarcity experienced across Nigeria in the first quarter of 2014.

“In January 2012, the Petroleum Products Pricing  Regulatory  Agency, PPPRA, along with government announced an increase in the price of petrol from N65 to N141 as a result of the removal of subsidy for the reason that over a trillion Naira was spent in 2011 on subsidy.

“Subsidy has been defined as money given by the state or public body to keep down cost of commodities. Some people see it as a form of protectionism or trade barrier because domestic goods are made affordable artificially. Within the Nigerian petroleum pricing context, subsidy would then mean selling petrol below the cost of production or importation.

“The removal of the fuel subsidy led to days of protest by Nigerians led by organised labour and civil societies who were unhappy about the perceived hardship this action would cause Nigerians and the lack of notice by the government to carry out such plans. In line with this, the government as a stop-gap measure partially removed subsidy, thereby bringing the official pump price of petrol to N97.

About Post Author

Anthony Claret

Anthony-Claret is a software Engineer, entrepreneur and the founder of Codewit INC. Mr. Claret publishes and manages the content on Codewit Word News website and associated websites. He's a writer, IT Expert, great administrator, technology enthusiast, social media lover and all around digital guy.
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Nigeria is not poor, but has people with poverty of ideas ”EEEFY IKE

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Read Time:13 Minute, 31 Second

Eeefy Ify Ikeh is the Chief Executive Officer of Style is Innate, an outfit that is into hand-crafted jewelries made with exotic stones and exotic skin bags from Nigeria.

A multi-talented lady, Eeefy is a successful model, actress, author, motivational speaker, presenter and a designer, all rolled into one. In this chat with Vanguard, she speaks on her love for Nigeria, saying that unless Nigerians learn to love Nigeria and work to make her great, Nigeria will continue to move round in circles. Excerpts:

What brought about your outfit, Style is Innate?

Actually, Style is Innate – the designs, jewelleries and exotic skin bags, was inspired by my youth movement, called Patriotic Movement. The organisation is set out to promote peace, unity, patriotism and to raise change vanguards among Nigerian youths.

There is crisis in the country like in other parts of the world, not just in Nigeria but we have to fix our own. You can’t have fire burning in your house and you are trying to quench the fire in another person’s house, you quench yours first so the need to heal and build the nation was what inspired my creativity.

How can the youths help build Nigeria when they have been neglected for so long?

Yes, it is true that Nigerian youths are repressed and they are complaining a lot because of their struggles, but instead of waiting for someone to help you out of that struggle, you have to try to help yourself and pull yourself out of the hole. What if somebody doesn’t come by, what are you going to do?

The government you are expecting to do their work well, unfortunately, has disappointed you, but what about the responsibility you owe yourself? Government owes you the responsibility to provide the foundation upon which you can structure your life, your parents owe you the responsibility to ground you, to instill certain discipline and morals in you, but you, as an individual, owe yourself the responsibility to develop yourself.

You have a purpose that you must fulfill and with or without anyone, you must try to fulfill your purpose in life. Part of it is looking within, discovering your talents and developing them to the appreciation of people; that is how you can translate it into money.

Leading by example:

Now, I had to lead by example; I could not go out there and deliver messages that I don’t know the source or that I don’t really understand; you can’t give what you don’t have.

So I had to first research the nation to know and to understand Nigeria and her resources so I can disseminate the right information to the youths I was trying to inspire. In the process, I discovered the exotic leathers – ostrich, snake, crocodile, cow hides etc. I used them to design bags and shoes.

Nigeria is blessed:

We are always importing these things. When I came to Nigeria and saw these things, I was actually very angry because I thought I was spending thousands of dollars in the US on bags made out of exotic materials, meanwhile, I have it at my backyard in Nigeria wasting away because people don’t know the value and where they do, the finishing is not good.

We do everything in such lackadaisical manner and I am like ‘for crying out loud, we could also learn to create quality bags from our own materials and export.’ Why do we have to import everything? How can you build your nation when you are importing almost everything and depleting the nation’s foreign reserve?

So I started creating the bags and then I saw the stones! Oh my God! We have precious stones like topaz, garnet, moonstone, agate, tourmaline, emerald, corals, pearls, turquoise, amber, glass bead, camel bone, cow horn, rubies, just name it. I discovered all these in Nigeria.

What is wrong with us? I mean, these things cost so much money in the western world because I spend a lot of money buying them. Here, we have the stones but we don’t have the machines.

That is what I say to government and the private sector, why can’t we build this industry? How can you become successful as a nation unless you can build industries to provide employment for the people? We have the human and natural resources that we can cultivate and nurture to fruition to build industries, so why can’t we do it?

Change of attitude:

I told myself that we can do  it but I have to start from myself. The change starts from you, from within and then it is projected into the society. I had to change my own attitude, how I see Nigeria, what I want for Nigeria and how I can contribute. My thinking had to change so I became patriotic – nation before self – and that is why I am doing this.

I am saying to the Nigerian youth, listen, if employment is not there, you can create it, look, I did it. I started with N15,000. A lot of people say, oh, but I don’t have a sponsor. Almost everybody has a Blackberry phone in Nigeria, the money you spent to buy Blackberry how about you buy the little phone that goes for N3,500, make a sacrifice because let me tell you something, growth is about sacrifice.

You sacrifice your careless and extravagant lifestyle, your luxury, greed, friendships and all kinds of stuff, for growth. So if you normally spend N100,000 on your hair, stop. I always say to the girls that want to wear Brazilian hair… ‘darling, I don’t have any problem with you wearing Brazilian hair, but the problem I have is this:You don’t even have a future because you don’t have a career, no goals, you don’t even dream and you are not working towards anything that would sustain your future but you are wearing a N100,000 hair, you don’t impress me.’

The N100,000 you spent to buy the hair can be channeled to something else that would propel your success. It takes focus, discipline and consistency. In the face of trial, you must be persistent, that is part of growth. That is how you can appreciate the success when you achieve it.

So I like to lead by example because that’s what leadership is about. It’s about nurturing, creating, building, harnessing. What I do is that I discover these materials and create something from them.

I started with N15,000, bought stones and made one necklace, people appreciated it and I made another and another. Every little money I have, I invested in the business. I sacrificed a lot. I have seven empoyees. In the US, I would go to a store and spend $4,000 to $5,000 to buy one bag but here, I am not shopping, I am investing money in making the bag.

Why should I always buy? Why can’t I produce and sell? Dolce & Gabbana, Prada, Chanel, Armani, Versace, all of these designers are human beings that conceived a great idea and worked to implement it. They are not different from me. If they can do it, Eeefy can do it. All I have to do is make sacrifices, change my attitude, cut down on all the crazy lifestyle, focus and I will get it done.

Go through the struggles and challenges and grow; that is what life is all about. One day, I will succeed because when people see you being consistent, they will begin to appreciate it and help and then you grow. If they can produce these designs and people go to Italy to buy them, one day, people can come to Nigeria to buy because it’s all about healing and building our home, it’s all about loving and protecting Nigeria and that’s the responsibility of every Nigerian child. That is why I am doing what I am doing. Anything I discover in Nigeria and I can conceive a lucrative idea around it, I pick it up; I am that aggressive.

I pick it up because it is not about the party anymore, it’s not about the yanga, no, because all of that is lacking in substance. It’s about what I can produce, about being significant to society and not a nuisance, it’s about helping the youth and society. I am very excited about Nigeria because with the things I see in Nigeria, I get angry when they say Nigeria is poor. Nigeria is not poor, what Nigeria has is people with poverty of ideas.

Looking within:

Nigeria is a wealthy nation that needs people to start to think and implement. Nigeria is not poor but Nigerians need to start to identify and harness the talents that we have. We have so many talented youths but nobody is paying any attention to them and they themselves are not paying attention to their talents. I did not know I could write, but I have written four inspirational books. I never studied journalism or psychology but when you read my books, you would think I studied those two at least.

It’s all about looking within. We think that wealth is external but it is internal. You have to look within, discover it and develop it so that people can appreciate it. If you do not bring it out, people will not see it to appreciate it. You need to cultivate the courage to conceive ideas and pursue goals. You need courage to say: ‘yes, I can do it. Let me be calm and tranquil in my spirit and think of what I can do. Let me start to dream. You have to learn to dream. Great success is achieved through dreams and the dreams must be implemented.

You can’t just stop at dreaming, you must implement and when you face challenges, it’s okay, you have to keep pushing, that’s why we talk about being persistent; you have to persevere. It would only build the character in you. It will help you with sustenance, you have to have gone through the valley to appreciate it when you are on the highest mountain because if they hand everything over to you, you will have no appreciation for it because you did not even know how it came about; you did not work, shed tears or sweat for it, so how will you begin to appreciate it?

 

Attitudinal change:

The struggles are okay, we just need to learn to change our attitude. The kids here have very bad attitude. They are very argumentative, they are very eager to defend everything; very defensive spirit and I say to them: ‘darling, don’t try to defend it, you are talking to Eeefy. I used to spend $3,000 to make a wig so you are talking to the wrong person.’

I used to spend huge sums of money on clothes, shoes, bags etc. But now, you won’t catch me going to buy all that. I am creating so that others can buy.

I realise that my beauty is lacking in substance, that’s just for instant gratification; it’s not going to sustain my future, it’s not going to retain the positive attention that I want. I need to develop myself internally; I need to create things that people can appreciate, then it will make the beauty more appealing to people. And that is why I want the Nigerian youths and especially the women, to understand that they play a major role in nation-building.

But the youths feel that government has failed them…

We talk about government creating an enabling environment, but who is the government? We are the government we are so eager to condemn. We produce the government. Today’s citizen is tomorrow’s leader. Yesterday, the president didn’t have shoes, today, he is the president. Today, I am just Eeefy, if it’s God’s will that tomorrow I become some minister or governor or even president, what would I say? Oh, now I am governor, I will act differently? No, the principle that I used in my life as an ordinary citizen, is the same that I will employ when I become a leader.

That is why I preach patriotism. If you fall in love with Nigeria, you will take care of her. If you drink and throw the bottle in a trash can and not on the street, when you become a governor, that same principle will be employed on a higher level. So, that is why I say to Nigerians as you are eager to condemn government, remember that the change you desire will start with you so that tomorrow if you become a governor, you will do something better, you will act as a leader is supposed to act.

Work of a leader:

That means you will create, nurture, build, harness talents, build industries etc. Those are the things you need to do as a leader not just sit down and amass wealth.

So our problem in Nigeria is not for government alone to solve, it is for all Nigerians. It doesn’t matter where you live, I live in America but I came here to do this because I am a Nigerian.

Even though I am a naturalized citizen of America, I am who I am because there is a Nigeria so I am first a Nigerian, and as a Nigerian citizen, a youth and a woman, it is my responsibility to heal and build the nation and every Nigerian has to feel the same responsibility because it takes a collective effort to resolve a national challenge.

The president and governors can’t do it alone, yes we employed them to work but in order for us to heal their mistakes, we have to heal ourselves first so that we can produce better leaders tomorrow.

Crises:

First we had to deal with militancy,now it is Boko Haram. What are we fighting about? The kidnapping, shooting and all the bombings would not induce good governance and effective leadership in case Boko Haram is a plot to make Nigeria ungovernable for the president.

Another question: Is Boko Haram a plot to impose Islam on Nigeria? Are they trying to cause armageddon in our country? I want to know because I don’t think the perpetrators will succeed.

Nigerians need to understand that Boko Haram is a menace that we must collectively condemn otherwise we will deter the growth of this nation because our women and our children are dying. Women play a major role in nation-building so manipulating, abusing, kidnappping, raping, exploiting and marrying them off at will, is destructive to the growth of the nation. A broken woman is a broken nation. I want to know what kind of country, leaders or children we are going to produce through a broken woman. If the mothers of the future of this nation are broken, the nation is broken.

Nigerians must understand that. Patriotic Movement commends government for the efforts so far but we plead with government, relevant organisations and international bodies to come together to fix this war. It is war and Nigerians please don’t get it twisted. It is not a problem for government alone; it is our collective problem so we must come together to fight this war. There is power in synergy. It takes a colletive effort to resolve a national challenge.

We are celebrating 100 years of amalgamation but we have not even learnt to co-exist. How can we operate from injustice, lack of human rights, and treat each other with so much hate and unpatriotism and expect good governance and effective leadership?

Every state in Nigeria is rich but we need to discover the wealth. Every state in Nigeria can heal herself from within but we need think-tanks, visionaries, nation-builders, people that can plan and implement, harness talents, people with innovative ideas, youthful exuberance, people that appreciate and understand humanity, that believe in justice and human right in government.

About Post Author

Anthony Claret

Anthony-Claret is a software Engineer, entrepreneur and the founder of Codewit INC. Mr. Claret publishes and manages the content on Codewit Word News website and associated websites. He's a writer, IT Expert, great administrator, technology enthusiast, social media lover and all around digital guy.
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Domesticating of Fulani nomads in Nigeria

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Read Time:5 Minute, 18 Second

After the spate of mayhems committed by insurgents masquerading as Fulani herdsmen in the South West, North Central and isolated communities in the Niger Delta, an expanded security meeting of the federal and state governments has resolved it is time to end the madness. Part of the plan, we hear, is to persuade the cattle Fulani to exit their nomadic lifestyle and embrace the ranching option, a policy an official inappropriately called “domestication”.

Also, the old grazing pathways and reserves, which were created as part of the agricultural strategies of the defunct Northern Region will be revived so as to keep the free-roaming herdsmen, who are involved in the pastoralist branch of farming away from their counterparts who cultivate crops.

Before I go further, let me point out that there has been this controversy over whether the “Fulani herdsmen” killing, maiming, robbing, sacking villages and setting fire to people’s property after chasing them into the bush are actually “Fulani herdsmen” or insurgents, criminals and mercenaries masquerading as such. If you ask me, I will say the latter is the case.

Why would a genuine Fulani cattle-rearer saddled with his precious cattle which he often values above human beings, carry weapons and launch attacks on communities where he grazes his animals on a daily basis? They do carry weapons but that is usually for self-defence against cattle rustlers. Going on the offensive means they do not want a peaceful atmosphere to graze their cattle. It can only mean that the gun-wielding “Fulani herdsmen” are agents of some political forces out to terrorise their victims for some unexplained reasons; either in vainglorious attempt at land grabbing or territorial expansion. Otherwise, why is it that is mostly minority hamlets populated chiefly by non-Muslim groups in Kaduna, Plateau, Benue, Nasarawa and Taraba states that are targeted?

This puzzle must be solved by the security agencies and the real identity of the armed insurgents exposed and dealt with. Otherwise, the innocent, genuine Fulani nomad, who has droven his livestock through the terrains of the West African sub-region for ages with little friction, will become a target of assault wherever he goes if the awareness grows that he is a danger to their hosts.

Secondly, we must be very careful in coming up with the solution to the dilemma posed by the cattle rearers. There must be a broad-based consultation before the grazing reserves in the North are reopened. Due to population increases, there will need to be a revision of the grazing routes to avoid conflict with farmers and landowners. I would rather suggest that the vast lands in the North should be mapped to reserve some areas as cattle or livestock parks, just as we have forest reserves. There must be memoranda of understanding with communities owning these lands to spell out terms of use. This will allow the herdsmen to know where to go with their cattle and what rents they must pay the owners of the land. The same thing must also apply further South. Any community that does not want its land given to cattle herdsmen must not be forced to do so.

We must persuade the Fulani nomads to do away with the rumoured assumption by them that, because they have been allowed to drove their cattle through other people’s lands for ages without let or hindrance it now gives them the right to claim “ownership” of those lands. That is a recipe for eternal conflicts, and being people without access to land, the Fulani herdsmen will be the ultimate loser. We don’t want any section of society to lose out. After all, the Fulani cattle and livestock are part of the food needs of the society and the herdsmen are providing an important service too. We must be ready to accommodate each other, but the Fulani must do away with their ancient imperial mentality, which some of them exhibit even in politics and governance. It has been a source of friction between them and other Nigerians. Usman Dan Fodio’s Jihads and amassment of the Sokoto Caliphate is a thing of the past and no community will be willing to surrender their lands to infiltrators under whatever guise. This reality must sink in once and for all.

On the other hand, it is high time that the people of the        Southern zones reawakened their own agricultural enterprises. It is not only the North that should engage in large-scale agriculture. The South has unwittingly abandoned their evergreen agricultural commonwealth and allowed the North to supply their food, both crops and animal products. That is highly anomalous and dangerous. A lot of young men and women who should be in the farms are loitering the streets of the major towns in Lagos, Abuja, Port Harcourt, Aba – you name it, peddling worthless imported goods in the traffic. They are wasting their lives cultivating poverty rather than go back to their villages and engage in modern farming and become wealthy like the American farmers under our new agricultural deal.

More pathetic is the fact that the various animals and crops that are peculiarly Southern are now beginning to go into extinction due to lack of people cultivating them for consumption. We have the Southern forest goats, which are stronger and more nutritious than the long legged savannah goats from the North we are forced to consume. We also have the native chicken and the short legged cows which in Igbo are called efi(as in Ogbu-efi, a prestigious Igbo title given to one who kills this type of cow to announce his arrival as a man of substance in society. That prestige was never for those who kill the ndama cows of the Fulani).

There is nothing wrong in encouraging people to go into ranching of the native Southern goats and cows in the South as well as the ranching of the Northern goats and cows in the north. People can always choose which animal product to go for. Fulani cattle breeders can go into pacts with land owners, even in the South, pay rents and breed their cattle, always avoiding droving their cows through farmlands.

It is possible for us to live peacefully and prosperously here in Nigeria, provided we adopt positive and realistic mindsets towards one another, eschewing asinine imperialistic antics.

About Post Author

Anthony Claret

Anthony-Claret is a software Engineer, entrepreneur and the founder of Codewit INC. Mr. Claret publishes and manages the content on Codewit Word News website and associated websites. He's a writer, IT Expert, great administrator, technology enthusiast, social media lover and all around digital guy.
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I am a traditional African man -Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje.

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Read Time:3 Minute, 58 Second

Acting star Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje tells Hazelann Williams that he’s ready to settle down

HAPPILY, WE can say that black British actors are making big waves in the US film/TV industry, and riding high on the American surf is Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje.

Rising to prominence with his infamous role as Simon Adebisi in the hit HBO series Oz, the London born actor has gone on to star in a plethora of Hollywood movies, including The Mummy Returns and The Bourne Identity.

Recently back from across the pond, the 44-year-old returned to the UK for the filming of the new BBC spy thriller Nemesis, in which he stars. Ever-busy, Akinnuoye-Agbaje will also feature in the upcoming British film, Best Laid Plans.

But underneath his heroic exterior, the talented actor says that he is a conventional man who is looking for a wife.

“At the heart of everything, I’m a traditional African man,” said the star, who was born in north London to Nigerian parents. “I’m much closer now in terms of being ready for marriage. I wasn’t before; I was just enjoying life. But the more success I get, the more I’d like to share it with someone.”

With an acting career that spans almost 20 years, the former model, who has a Masters degree in law, says he has no regrets about leaving his legal career and pursuing his dream of becoming an actor – something his mother still sees as “a phase.”

“Education is a form of enlightenment,” he says. “I may not use my law Masters specifically in the field of law, but I use it throughout my life. I didn’t study as a traditional actor or go to RADA, but in 20 years I have had good opportunities. It’s the focus that has allowed me to achieve.”

“But my mum is always asking me when I’m going to be through with this acting phase,” he laughs. “I tell her it’s not a phase, but I might do a PHD to please her!”

Looking back, the Screen Actors Guild award winner says he had to leave the UK and relocate to America, as he would not have accomplished all he has if he’d stayed in his Britain.

“At the time, England was too limiting,” recalls the talent, who starred alongside 50 Cent in the 2005 film Get Rich or Die Tryin’.

“It was racist on many levels and the ceiling was so low I couldn’t see myself getting to the level I wanted, especially being an African; it wasn’t something favoured in the industry.”

“Knowing the opportunities weren’t available is what led me to America and it worked out. Now, I come home as a star and can work with the best.”

Feeling fortunate to have played many acclaimed roles, including Mr Eko from the groundbreaking ABC series Lost, Akinnuoye-Agbaje is now ready to become the lead man.

“Some of my characters have been devilishly criminal, with no boundaries and I loved it. I loved acting as Simon Adebisi [in Oz] and being Majestic in Get Rich or Die Tryin’, but I would also like to be the love interest or to star in a rom-com, as opposed to being the tortured criminal. There are a plethora of roles out there.”

Now, in an ironic role reversal, Akinnuoye-Agbaje’s role in Nemesis, will see the British star playing Deacon Crane – the only American in the new BBC spy drama, due to hit screens in autumn.

“He’s the team leader of a group of spy assassins; an ex Navy Seal and the only American in an all British cast. You’ve never really seen this type of character on British TV before. Black actors usually play baddies or sidekicks, but he’s the boss. He’s in control, like a black James Bond.”

In addition, Akinnuoye-Agbaje will star alongside This Is England actor Stephen Graham in Best Laid Plans; a tale of a friendship pushed to its limits, which will hit cinemas next month.

If anyone wondered what keeps the north Londoner so resolute in an industry that is known for being highly pressurised and often ruthless, it is, in one word, Buddhism.

“Buddhism to me is life. A person without faith is lost. It operates as an anchor and keeps you focused. It allows me to go into a cut-throat business and still follow decisions I hold to be honest.”

“It opens your heart and allows you to access emotions you can’t otherwise experience. It makes me happy.”

Best Laid Plans is in UK cinemas from February and is released on Blu-ray and DVD on February 20.

About Post Author

Anthony Claret

Anthony-Claret is a software Engineer, entrepreneur and the founder of Codewit INC. Mr. Claret publishes and manages the content on Codewit Word News website and associated websites. He's a writer, IT Expert, great administrator, technology enthusiast, social media lover and all around digital guy.
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Malaysia cannot succeed unless equal opportunity given to non-Muslims, says Obama

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Read Time:3 Minute, 36 Second

Malaysia must ensure non-Muslims in the country also have equal opportunites as its Muslim majority if the Southeast Asian nation wanted to continue prospering, United States President Barack Obama said today of his landmark visit, 48 years after the last American president paid a visit.

"Malaysia won't succeed if the non-Muslims do not have the same opportunity,” Obama said in a townhall meeting for Asean youths at Dewan Tunku Cancelor in University of Malaya in Kuala Lumpur today.

Obama said non-Muslims in Malaysia are currently facing hostility, and some have felt oppressed.

"There shouldn't be reason to discriminate, and you have to make sure that you are speaking out against this in daily life.

And as you emerge as leaders, you should be on the side of politics that brings people together rather than drive them apart," Obama said to cheers from the crowd.

Obama said this today when answering a question from a Myanmar youth on factors of cooperation that can bring Asean together given its diversity.

He pointed out that the biggest source of conflict and war and hardship throughout the world was due to people treating those who were not like them differently.

He said the situation in Myanmar right now was that the country was going through a transition after decades of oppressive government, and it was now trying to open things up, which he said is to be lauded.

"However, the danger now that they are democratising, is that there will be groups inside Myanmar that might organise themselves politically around religious or ethnic identities instead of principles of justice or rule of law and democracy.

And you can actually see conflict that would move Myanmar in a bad direction," he said, adding that one of the problems in Myanmar was that the rights of its minority Muslim community were not protected.

Obama then added that the situation was not unique to Myanmar, and that in Malaysia, which had a majority Muslim population, there were instances where those who were not Muslims found themselves experiencing hostility.

He also said that even in the US, historically, the biggest conflicts arose around race, but over the course of generations the situation had improved, to the point that he could be elected as a president.

"All of us have within us biasness and prejudices against people who are not like us or people who are not raised in the same faith or come from different backgrounds, but the world is shrinking and getting smaller.

"You could think that way when living separately in villages and tribes and did not have contact with each other.

“But with the internet and smartphones, cultures all colliding, no country is going to succeed if part of its population is sidelined and being discriminated against," he added.

He then went on to say that similarly, Malaysia would also not succeed if non-Muslims were not given the opportunity, while the same would happen in Myanmar if the Muslim population was oppressed.

"Malaysia won't succeed if non-muslims don't have equal opportunity, Myanmar won’t succeed if the muslim population is oppressed.

"No society is going to succeed if half your population made up of women are not getting the same education and employment opportunities as men too," he added.

As such, he called on youths to embrace culture and be proud of who they were, while also appreciating differences in languages, food and how differently one worshipped God, adding that these were things to be proud of and not a tool to look down on a person.

He also called on the new generation to stand in "other people's shoes and look at things through their eyes".

Obama said that almost every religion teaches the basic principle of "do unto others as you want others to do unto you" and to "treat people the way you want to be treated".

"And if you are not doing that, then we are going backwards instead of going forward and this is true for all over the world," he told the 700-strong crowd of youths and civil society representatives

About Post Author

Anthony Claret

Anthony-Claret is a software Engineer, entrepreneur and the founder of Codewit INC. Mr. Claret publishes and manages the content on Codewit Word News website and associated websites. He's a writer, IT Expert, great administrator, technology enthusiast, social media lover and all around digital guy.
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Nigeria Democracy In Search of Democrats

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Read Time:9 Minute, 28 Second

Fellow Nigerians, there is no place where democracy is desperately seeking and pleading for attention than our dear country. I will explain and demonstrate what I mean in a jiffy. Nigerians love the good things of life but oftentimes hate the process needed to attain them. We are a nation of miracle-seekers; the reason religion is very attractive here without commensurate piety and Godliness. A man who has just stolen his latest billions is not ashamed to run to his church and Pastor to offer a tithe on his loot. You recognise the important folks in your church as they scramble to take direct positions in front of the pew. Nowhere is ever too sacred for these guys. Their security goons with fully loaded guns often block the front, back and side views of the hapless congregation. This show of pump and power has become a veritable part of the Nigerian man’s appurtenances of office.

That supposedly meek Alhaji who has just slaughtered the treasury of the State is a regular visitor to the Holy Land. He never misses his spiritual obligations of praying five times a day with full ablutions to boot. The same man sits at ungodly hours with members of the Mafioso planning and plotting how to throw his country into a senseless orgy of violence and total mayhem. At that convenient moment, he forgets that Islam is supposed to be a religion of love and peace. A true Muslim is expected to be simple, humble and humane. Like his Christian counterpart, he’s not supposed to lay treasures on earth. His manner of death and unpretentious burial presupposes that he brought nothing to the world and he shall take nothing when he departs. Why then do we make all this fuss about power when we always act like we own God more than the Pope? The reason is simple. An average Nigerian loves God but his thoughts and deeds are far from His words.

If you’re a Christian, you must be familiar with the Biblical injunctions. The toughest and commonest of them all are: Love your neighbour as yourself; thou shall not steal; thou shall not kill; thou must forgive your enemy seventy times seven times; thou shall not lie, and so on and so forth. How many of us ever make any effort, much more strenuous attempts, to obey these commandments. Yet we all wish to enter the kingdom of God. We live like ostriches and still wish to walk tall like peacocks. In fact, one of the admonitions I find most confusing is the one that says: “Judge not lest you be judged…” Matthew 7:1. How’s that possible in our modern world, where everyman is a judge in his own cause? That’s why I chose to advise the people in authority rather than dismiss them totally. Let it be on record that I did my best to offer legitimate even if unsolicited counsel.

Unfortunately, we’ve chosen to turn many dictionary words and their meanings upside down. I think many years of military rule have finally taken their toll on us. Love has fled our land to other climes and most of us are doing nothing to woo her back. Brothers are turning against brothers. Sisters are bitching against each other. We sulk like babies over everything. Our nerves have become so raw and tender that we snarl over primordial issues. We have allowed money, ethnicity and religion, in that order, to tear us asunder. The immediate cause of my lamentation is the recent release from death row of former General Sani Abacha’s Man Friday, Major Hamza Al-Mustapha. 

Some young friends had complained within 24 hours of Al Mustapha’s release that I had not commented on the judgment which most of them considered a miscarriage of justice. But it was not exactly true that I had not commented. I did but not in the elaborate manner they expected. My comment on Twitter was simply that God was the ultimate Judge. My reasons for this simple observation are even simpler.  One, whatever may be hidden from man is very clear to God.

Two, I had not availed myself of a copy of the judgment and it would be foolhardy of anyone to arrive at conclusions based on hearsay. Three, no sensible leader of thought and moulder of public opinion would ever disparage a judgment of a Court law and those who occupy esteemed positions in the Judiciary even if he feels they have erred in the duty and responsibilities. The courts remain the bastion and the last hope of the people. We should not demolish a house because of the presence of a few irritants.

If we do, all the good people inside would perish. I cannot even say that these particular Justices can be referred to  as irritants, simply because they have delivered a judgment that we may find unpalatable. Four, I personally feel the case had dragged on for too long and had become politicised and ethnicised like everything Nigerian. Five, if the judges feel the prosecution did not make enough effort to present a cast-iron case; I’m humble enough to acknowledge my limitations in matters and principles of law, and must therefore defer to their inexorable reasoning. Six, I will never support a kangaroo court treatment for anyone even if that person killed my mother and father. Seven, and lastly, we should know that legal matters are often tricky and if we doubt the decision we have the choice of challenging cases to their final destination but then we must accept the verdict at that final stage.

The tenets of democracy are tough and sometimes painful. There are too many dos and don’ts. Your freedom stops where mine begins. We’ve never really enjoyed the dividends of democracy in Nigeria. The same old warriors are still in charge manipulating all of us like the roulette wheel. It is the oldest casino game and we are their veritable instruments. Until the day something major happens, by whatever miracle or stroke of all, we shall continue this circus show of musical chairs. There is nothing to suggest that we’ve learnt anything tangible from our past. It is the same old song and chorus. It is as if there is a special liquid they inject into Nigerians that makes us lose our sanity the moment we lose power. I’m totally paranoid about that injection. I ask if one day I will become a stark raving lunatic animal like those before if ever I find my way to government and power. There are not too many good examples to suggest otherwise.
Even those on the periphery of power seem worse. No one talks about developing the nation. All we see are people tearing at each other’s throats. If we dismiss some as suffering from illiteracy, we cannot say the same of full-fledged Professors who threaten our corporate existence in the name of power shift. Let me be very direct. I was very disappointed when I read comments credited to Professor Ango Abdullahi that power must return to the North in 2015 at all costs and by any means necessary. He even boasted that the North has the numerical strength to win elections permanently.  I do not know where he got his figures from but that is a matter for another day.
What quickly came to mind were the following.  One, was how’s this man any different from those soldiers of fortune threatening that Nigeria must die if President Goodluck Jonathan does not win in 2015? Two, has Professor Abdullahi not given fillip to the argument of the militants and also enough notice for them to assemble their weapons of mass destruction? Three, which North is he referring to, North West, North East, North Central? What gives him the confidence that all of them would now vote as one, if they ever did before? Four, even if the North deserves to have another shot at the presidency, must it be put it so crudely and arrogantly as to provoke the South? Five, I don’t care where our next President comes from. Whosoever wishes to govern must be prepared to go through the electoral process. There is nothing in our Constitution that says power must rotate from North to South and vice versa. Every Nigerian has the legitimate right to aspire to the highest office in the land. The zoning agreement he claimed they had with former President Olusegun Obasanjo is not binding on the country. That was a private concoction between the convoluted Generals and their civilian allies in the People’s Democratic Party.  That Party is not, and can never, equate to Nigeria.

Democracy can never thrive in Nigeria with bullies screaming their heads off all over the place. The first thing we must kill before it kills our country totally is this tribal nonsense.  Even those in national positions are not able to think beyond the village they’ve done nothing to turn into a Dubai or Hong Kong. They speak with forked tongues, beating the drums of war yet talking about false peace.  Tribalism is their only qualification for appointments and election. The irredentists know for sure that having power in their zone will never translate to much gain for their community in general. They only live on the perpetual hope that they will have some access to the national cake with their kinsmen in power. That is the tragic reality. The religious malaise is just as bad.  Both tribal, parochial sentiments and religious opinions must be exorcised from our national consciousness.

As Nigerians, we must make up our minds that we are ready to put an end to the anomalies that have kept us backward and downtrodden. We must decide if this present shade of democracy is what we want or something else. Our intolerance of each other has reached atrocious levels. If Obama was a Nigerian, he would never have been able to contest Local Government elections let alone the Presidency. Yet were we not the ones that partied the loudest on his election as the first African American President. What have we learnt from that miracle to lead us to a desire to perform ours?

We are all celebrating the great Madiba, Nelson Mandela, today but is any of our leaders ready to pay such a personal sacrifice even at just the lower level of reducing the profligacy that has consumed us all? Are we ready to forgive our political enemies and march forward in a new season of true and total reconciliation? We obviously love the good things we see elsewhere but are never able to replicate same at home.  It is high time that we made the necessary personal choices and sacrifices.  Our nation will remain comatose and eventually die if we continue on this lethargic, apathetic path.  The prediction of the doomsday merchants will have come to pass, not because it was meant to be but because we let it be.
Our journey is definitely longer than we know.

About Post Author

Anthony Claret

Anthony-Claret is a software Engineer, entrepreneur and the founder of Codewit INC. Mr. Claret publishes and manages the content on Codewit Word News website and associated websites. He's a writer, IT Expert, great administrator, technology enthusiast, social media lover and all around digital guy.
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