5 Reasons Why That Next Lawyer Always Seems Better Off…

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Read Time:5 Minute, 26 Second

 In its purest form, our profession is no friendlier than a cock-fight or a gladiators’ pit. Every player has at some point tasted the sands of defeat. Therefore, no one lawyer can beat his chest as the quintessential bench-mark when at certain points in his career; he may have been bloodied by some wiry minion. The competition is so stiff that we continually look over our shoulders to gauge the next man’s every move. The young lawyer begrudges the old of his stability and massive client-base; the old is scared of the revolutionary upheavals that the young are brewing in those computers and tablets, while fuzzily shaking his head when they chant alien phrases like Digital Rights and Cyber-legislations.

The corporate lawyer envies the litigation-lawyer for his seamless grasp of procedure; while the litigation guru goes green at sighting his corporate colleagues safely ensconced within the limited challenges of secretarial duty.
We regularly schedule conferences and seminars, ostensibly to impact the legal network. But those are really avenues to measure progress (or hopefully, stagnation) across the competitors. How much exposure has he attained since the last visit? Any new mega-briefs or transactions? The mandatory requirement for the Practice-synopsis of Key-note Speakers is a subtle web to catch these details. And being the megalomaniacs we all are, nothing is ever left to the imagination. So, we leave the conferences either more vain, or more bitter; depending on how well our achievements fare in comparison to those of the next lawyer.
Burrowing into our typical psyche (i.e. extreme disdain for 2nd-place); I have attempted hereunder to identify certain error-zones that may be counting in favour of the next man:

1. Headlines Versus Details
Every lawyer prides himself for being an avid reader. But maybe, that virtue sometimes proves hurtful. You try to devour every single detail in a book. You measure numerous precedents in every routine brief, and rigorously research for every client-interview. Expertise, you call it. But this other lawyer who doesn’t work half as hard, soars. He doesn’t dive deep, but beats through every surface. He skims for headlines and key-words, while you burrow painstakingly through every syllable. You are heavy on thoroughness, while he is on sensation. When it matters most, he can give decent overviews; expertly implying that he is constrained by available time. The sufficiently impressed client buys him in, and it is only when his earnings are assured that he digs deeper. Odds are, he may even outsource the digging to you, for a stipend; while he skims through other opportunities.  Your knowledge pays you, but his masterful use of time pays more.

2. He is Less Law, more Business
Knowing all the law is a historical impossibility. Thus, the next best thing is – how much you know beyond the Law. A small-time auto-technician knows every car part; but the business man earns bigger from assembling them as commercial wholes. Pretty soon, the world will grow wise to the fact that lawyers bring absolutely no extra value to a transaction between gentlemen. Oh, we try to shackle them with terms and conditions (or more frighteningly: covenants). And we never fail to insert that arbitration clause which is not intended to oust the court’s jurisdiction, of course. But maybe the parties have just not figured out that “disputes” are merely disparate views of a tangible subject. Therefore, they do not need a lawyer to resolve them; they simply need experts in that relevant field. Also, they don’t need to be called disputes. Simply refer to them as varying opinions. When this happens, lay-experts (as opposed to legal-experts) will be ushered in to resolve contentions; and Agreements will subsist happily ever after. That next lawyer may be more successful because he has grown capacity beyond the law; and in certain technical business areas, he lends an extra limb. Do not say you haven’t been fore-armed…

3. “The Philosophers’ Football Match” Syndrome

Few of us may be familiar with the famous comedy sketch by a British group, Monty Python, depicting well-known philosophers as footballers on a field. Socrates, Marx, Archimedes, the whole squad. Yes, you guessed right; they wandered aimlessly the entire game. Every proposed move was weighed, challenged, reviewed and discarded. At the end, nobody kicked the ball. Some lawyers are always on the verge of something big: an adventurous merger; a new public lecture-series; a capacity building partnership with some global investor; blah blah blah. Once the idea emerges, it is massively debated and measured in-house. Series of SWOT analyses and feasibility assessments are performed; meanwhile some upstart elsewhere spontaneously acts on his own Eureka moment, and voila! He lands on TV, soaking up endorsements and huge fees. You watch his interviews with an upturned nose, spotting little imperfections in his Initiative. Meanwhile, your own ideas are still undergoing brutal mutilation within the barricades of your project-file, and you remain anonymous.

4. Delayed Gratification

Lawyers must be paid. I support hostility towards free-service requests. But, that next lawyer may be growing big, ironically from delayed payments. Yes, oozing tailored professionalism; you brandish your Scale of Fees to the client on a take or leave basis. That way, you earn no more than you ask. That next lawyer adopts a different approach. “It’s Ok, don’t pay” He tells the broke client who has smart ideas. He rather requests for an equity stake, a Board appointment, a collateral Retainer upon success of the current Deal. Of course, it is a risky approach. You may lose all in the face of a rascally adventurer. But if he strikes gold, he can’t say it’s all mine, when your fees are pending.

5. It May All Be in the Mind…

Who is to say the next man is better? Richer maybe, more famous too.  But are your clients happy? Are your primary bills paid? Do you promote the course of Justice? Real satisfaction is intangible. It is not measured by plaques and awards. It is surely not measured by wealth; because making money takes less imagination than being a lawyer.
I think the next man is only as good as you want him to be when he meets you in the fight-arena.

The End

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: Them and Us – A Diaspora Perspective

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Read Time:8 Minute, 31 Second

There has always been an ostensible competition between Nigerians in the Diaspora and Nigerians back home, particularly due to different ways in which we perceive moral standards, cultural values and good governance.

In recent years, Nigerian legislators storm the Western countries, mainly the United Kingdom, United States of America, Canada, etc; to inform the Nigerian Diaspora of the need to engage in the development of our great country, Nigeria.

What one finds very disturbing about capacity building of Nigeria is the fact that the word ‘sustainability’ is tacitly considered insignificant by those who are at the helm of affairs. In any advanced and forward thinking nation, within a framework of an undertaking, there is a mechanism in place to ensure its continuance.

However, if for some unforeseen contingency, it is deemed to change direction; focus will be on how to ensure that the overall vision is achieved.

With this preamble, I relate it to the event held at Chatham House (an independent policy-focused and Research International Affairs organisation, based in the UK) on 27 February 2013. The topic was the Review of Nigeria’s 1999 Constitution: Diaspora Consultation.

As usual, it appeared to be one of those Talk Shops organised by Nigerian Legislators (from Nigeria) which will have no positive impact because the so-called ‘consultation’ of the Nigerian Diaspora is baseless! The fundamental reason is because to date, the Nigerian Diaspora is yet to have a voting right.

Perhaps one should revisit the issue of Diaspora Voting which was an item on the Agenda of the National Political Reform Conference (NPRC) in February 2006. At the time, series of events were organised by various Diaspora organisations in the United Kingdom which campaigned for the right of every Nigerian to vote, irrespective of residence or abode.

Little did we all know that it was yet another time-wasting exercise! Seven years later, we are still debating Voting in the Diaspora! One cannot but fathom what necessitated another consultation with a group of people whose contributions have no relevance to the Constitution of Nigeria!

Amongst the panellists from Nigeria was Rt.Hon. Emeka Ihedioha, Deputy Speaker & Co-chair, Joint Committee on Review of the Constitution & a member of the House of Representatives – who delivered the Keynote address.

Also, were Hon. Abike Dabiri-Erewa – Chairman, Diaspora Committee, House of Representatives; Senator Ahmad Ibrahim Lawan – elected Senator for Yobe State and Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee; Hon. Garba Datti Muhammad – Deputy Minority Whip and Mr Clement Nwankwo – a Nigerian Lawyer and Executive Director of Policy & Legal Advocacy Centre (PLAC). The Moderator was Dr Titilola Banjoko – who has contributed immensely to the Nigerian Diaspora community in the United Kingdom by establishing international development programmes such as Africa Recruit and FindAjobinAfrica.

The 43 key issues for review subsumed Section 77(2) of the Constitution (Diaspora Voting Rights), reservation of certain percentage of Elective Offices for Women, Creation of additional States, Immunity from Prosecution, Tenure of Local Government Councillors and Chairmen, Provision for people with Disability, amongst others.

For the purpose of this article, my main focus is on Diaspora Voting Rights and Women’s Representation in Nigerian Politics. Rt. Hon. Ihedioha, an ebullient and eloquent speaker did not mince his words when asked by a member of the audience if he felt that the Constitution would be amended in time so as to accommodate voting in the Diaspora by the year 2015.

He unequivocally explained the stages involved in the enactment of Diaspora Voting, consequently, declaring that it was very doubtful prior to 2015. I could not believe that for once, I would hear a Nigerian lawmaker tell the truth!

He did not believe he had to mislead the audience even though it was obvious that majority, if not all the Nigerian Diaspora, wanted to hear that by 2015, we would have the right to vote.

From my personal view, the legislator had taken time to evaluate the current state of affairs in the country, what had been (or not) done to amend the Constitution and the stages involved before the enactment in the House.

Furthermore, crucial consideration had to be given to the logistics – where and how the elections would be conducted and the need to devise a relevant watertight strategy in order to avoid or at least minimise election malpractices to which we have been so accustomed in Nigeria. Hon. Abike Dabiri-Erewa spoke passionately about engaging the Nigerian Diaspora and how she facilitated freedom for some Nigerians in Diaspora who had suffered injustice in other countries.

She also gave an insight to other nations’ Constitutions which had made provisions to accommodate the rights of their citizens based outside the shores of their home countries and how Nigeria could replicate their model. In addition, she mentioned that it was very crucial to create a database for the Nigerian Diaspora in order to ascertain the actual number of people living outside the shores of Nigeria. How admirable and commendable of this lady.

However, I was not impressed for the simple reason that in January 2009, Nigerian Diaspora Database was launched in London and the event was well-attended including the Honourable herself. Since that time, there has not been further development and the population of the Nigerians in Diaspora has always been a guess work.

However, this is not a surprise given that even in Nigeria; there is no viable census of the populace. It is fair to say that Nigerians are natural sceptics, as many people will not want to have their personal details registered on this ‘Diaspora’ database, not because they are illegal immigrants but for the fact that there has never been a full disclosure regarding the custodian of such database, its justification, frequency of updates and monitoring.

There is also the issue of Data Protection. As the interpretation of this legislation (Data Protection) differs from one country to another, how will it be effectively managed especially if the database is held by a government parastatal in the Diaspora (e.g. the Nigeria High Commission in a foreign country) or via a third-party such as a Diaspora organisation?

In the early days of the NNVS (Nigerian National Volunteer Service) Conference – established for the engagement and participation of the Nigerian Diaspora – which was (and still is) held annually in July in Abuja, under the aegis of Ambassador Joe Keshi (at the time); the purpose of having such database by Diaspora organisations was to meticulously select individuals with specific skill-set for suitable projects in Nigeria.

To my knowledge, majority of the Nigerian Diaspora have now lost confidence in the database which is meant to stem the Brain Drain of Nigeria’s resources outside its shores and engage in Brain Gain! The Honourable Chairman ended her address by encouraging the Nigerian Diaspora to attend the imminent Diaspora Conference in July 2013.

As for me and many other Nigerians in Diaspora who have worked assiduously in the past – utilising our personal resources to ensure that the vision of developing our nation and rebuilding its shattered image – will no longer wish to be partakers of such initiative.

Some Nigerians in the Diaspora actually perceive some events organised abroad by Nigerian legislators as nothing more than a ‘holiday package’ – at least they are seen to be doing something worthwhile which unfortunately, have done little to encourage capacity building of Nigerians. Conversely, Nigerians in Diaspora cannot be bothered since the main bone of contention – Diaspora Voting – has not been considered as pivotal in the Constitution of Nigeria.

During Dabiri-Erewa’s address, she advocated for fair gender representation in the Constitution so as to encourage women to be more active in politics. Ihedioha and other panellists acquiesced to her assertion but the Honourable was reminded that at times women were their own worst enemies.

Unfortunately, even though I am a woman, I have to agree with this most especially when Ihedioha informed the audience about the only female (Mrs Sarah Jibril now the Senior Special Assistant on Ethics and Values to the President, Jonathan Goodluck) who contested at the 2011 PDP Presidential Primaries in Nigeria and had only one vote whilst the rest of the contestants had several hundreds!

The appalling single vote was the female contestant’s! I also recall an event organised at the Commonwealth Club in London tagged ‘Women as Agents of Change’ which had the current British Home Secretary, Honourable Theresa May, as the guest speaker. She stated that once a woman has achieved the height of success through the assistance of other women, instead of encouraging others to join her, she would quickly fold the ‘ladder of success’. Subsequently, she would be the only visible success story because of lack of competition.

Ideally, if we women want to be taken seriously, there should not be any competition between us but to focus on working effectively as a cohesive team to make a change that we so desire in our nation.

I am of the opinion that there should be fair representation but selection should be based on hard work, competence, commitment but certainly not because of the need to fulfil the equal opportunity policy (yet to be fully recognised in the Constitution of Nigeria).

I commend all the Nigerian female Legislators but I cannot but ask the question – how many women have these legislators (female) employed to work with them? Perhaps, more importantly, how have the male legislators who are much larger in number, promoting and encouraging the women folk to be part of the legislative process?

How many women have risen to the position of a governor or even a state deputy governor, without having the role being usurped by the First Lady of the State? How many female senators do we have?

Unfortunately, given that type of mindset or myopic perception, every member of that organisation is labelled as ‘desperate’ albeit, there is in some cases, an iota of truth as a result of some misdemeanours of a minority. Fatusin writes from UK

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: Bakassi, our history & future

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Read Time:6 Minute, 7 Second

The word ‘dunce’ was freely used by teachers during my primary school days, when you showed ignorance in any subject, even in what the teacher hasn’t taught you, but which is in your text books, or has appeared in the newspapers ..

At College, it gained some sophistication and ‘dunce’ became ‘blockhead’. Whichever the case, if you had an atom of self-respect, you made sure that you avoided what would earn you that name, otherwise, it could become your middle name. So, you had to be one step ahead of the game, and you read as widely as you could (text books, newspapers, etc) and memorized and crammed details about important people, places and evel1ts, both local and international, into your head. Apart from being booed by the class for failing to provide the right answers, you could get caned in front of the class too, if your non-performance is a habit.

There were no calculators, or, internet search engines, etc. to help get answers, yet, as much as possible, you had the answers at the tips of your fingers, just in case you got asked.

While there’s been a huge relief that corporal punishment and forced learning have been much watered down or even eliminated in our educational system, knowledge of any sort has taken a deep dive. Modern day parents, teachers and their wards, seem perfectly happy to be ignorant about everything; except, of course, things that have to do with making money, sports, reality shows, or having a nice time out there. Many citizens are oblivious of history-making events.

This doesn’t seem to ring true, when more things are happening in all areas of life now than ever before, and the world has become a global village through communication – the GSM, internet, radio, television, satellite cable television, and we have more audience participation. Yes, but our knowledge lacks depth, especially if you’re one of those who like a deep understanding of events.

Maybe it’s because some of us are from the era when History and Geography were taken seriously as an important part of our life, and taught separately as subjects in class. Drawing the map of Nigeria, West Africa, Africa and the world was a regular assignment, and you knew the names of world capitals and heads of state, by the time you completed your secondary school education. These days, I doubt if all students of higher institutions in the country know all our state capitals and the governors, and the history of our country.

When a friend’s undergraduate son strolled into their sitting room as we were discussing a national newspaper’s lead headline, ‘Why we lost Bakassi to Cameroun, by Duke’, and we were wondering whether the matter could surface in future, his father asked him how much he knew about it.

“Ah, dad, one can’t know all these things, now. It’s not part of our learning world. We concentrate on our syllabus – what we need to pass the relevant examinations. Times have changed, sir. Only those doing Journalism should bother with world events. I’ve heard Bakassi mentioned, but I wasn’t curious. Why should I be, dad?” he asked.

“You see the ignorance of our future leaders?” scoffed the dad. “He’s heard of the name, but didn’t feel it was necessary to know about it, even if it’s googling it on the internet. Young people’s lack of curiosity in important matters, never ceases to amaze me. “

“Dad, I’m studying Accounting. This name Bakassi is not important to it, is it?” “But it used to be part of our home state. It’s not that far from Calabar.”

“Used to be part of Cross River State? What happened to it, dad? Okay, okay! Can I use your Blackberry to google it?”

“You may google it, but the account in this paper by an ex-governor on why we lost it to Cameroun, may also help, since it involves efforts made by Nigeria to keep it. Here. Whatever the course you’re taking at the university, you should know the history of our people. You may find yourself a leader some day, who knows?

How would you rule well, if you have no grip of history and geography of the people? Anyway, it isn’t entirely your fault. It’s the educational system. If such an important event took place in our days, our teachers would have made it the topic of the day and discussed it at length

in class. Getting people transferred from one country to another one, is not an every day occurrence.” This is true. Future generations are going to wonder how it happened and why we allowed it, and the efforts we made to retain it. On the internet, I had read that on ’10 September 1884, Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom had signed a Treaty of Protection with the king and chiefs of Akwa Akpa, known to Europeans as Old Calabar.

This enabled the United Kingdom to exercise control over the entire territory around Ca1abar, including Bakassi. However, documents released by the Cameroonians, in parity with that of the British and Germans, clearly places Bakassi under Cameroonian Territory as a consequence of colonial era Anglo-German agreements. Even after Southern Cameroons voted in 1961 to leave Nigeria and became a part of Cameroon, Bakassi remained under Calabar administration in Nigeria until ICJ judgement of 2002.’

All I can remember of the 1961 event is that we got to the classroom one morning and our teacher told us that the map of Nigeria has been altered, and he showed us the deep curve in the south-east to reflect that part of the country, opting to join the Cameroons. Years later, Sardauna province in the north also opted to join the Cameroon.

We were conscious of these alterations to our map then as pupils, because our teachers made it a point to let us know. Later, they were included in our history books. I hope we still have historians in the country who are compiling present-day events, and the government is funding their researches. Foreigners shouldn’t be, like it was in the past, those who are documenting events in our country.

Our descendants have the right to know the country and its past, and how the leaders handled issues of their day.

Everything about Bakassi should be well-documented and included in our history books. Leaders of another generation in Nigeria, may want to re-visit the issue, and successfully bring back the people into this country, who knows? They need to have a clear-cut account of what really happened in the different eras.

Schools should have well-equipped library which pupils should be encouraged to use, and there should be weekly current affairs classes where topical issues are discussed and debated upon, in order to create national awareness in young people. Merely singing the national anthem and reciting the pledge, are not enough for this.

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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Achebe’s farewell to Nigeria and Biafra

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Read Time:4 Minute, 22 Second

ONE  was not too sure if the foremost literary stylist from  Nigeria and Africa foresaw  his passing on so soon?  With his most recent slightly vituperative literary outing titled, There Was A Country, a literary-cum-historical bombshell on the Nigerian civil war in which he lampooned the persons of   certain key figures of the fratricidal bloodbath such as Chief Obafemi Awolowo, the vice chairman of the Gowon regime who propounded the theory that starvation was a legitimate weapon of war and General Yakubu Gowon, whom he accused of spearheading   a genocide  against the Igbos.

The author of the celebrated novel, Things Fall Apart and the number one in the African Writers Series. That novel which was written in the late fifties became an instant classic. It was based essentially on Igbo culture and the predictable conflicts they had with the coming of the White Colonial Masters. It was a book that turned out to be a world beater and enshrined his name in letters of gold. As a writer with a very sensitive use of the English Language, he largely popularised the use of  Igbo proverbs in every chapter of his breath-taking  and enthralling novel, especially the unforgettable:  ‘’Proverbs are the palm oil with which words are eaten”

After that he came out with several other novels like No longer at Ease in 1960, The Arrow of God in 1964; A Man of the People in 1966 and his later day novel Anthhills in the Savanah’ and his not too successful book of poetry titled Beware Soul Brother capturing the civil war years during which the Biafran girls were deliberately put on the war front to lure sex-starved federal troops to their sudden death through amorous relationships with the soldiers.

After relocating to the United States during the war, he committed his enormous talents and skills to propaganda purposes on behalf of  the Republic of Biafra, using the Radio Biafra and other channels.

One was old enough to listen to the golden voice of the ace broadcaster from CrossRiversState, the late Okokon Ndem, who read powerful and emotion-laden news talks against Nigeria.

If you listened then to the Radio Biafra, a kind of roving radio, the Republic of Biafra won the war in the airwaves while the federal troop gained the upper hand on the killing fields of Abagana and Ulli Ihiala. Chinua Achebe’s attempt to join the political stage was a disaster as he pitched tent with the late Mallam Aminu Kano’s Peoples Redemption Party, PRP. It was during those trips to Kano that he  had the accident that disabled him and consigned him to a wheel chair for the better part of 42 years.

When he came out with his There Was A Country, many Nigerians from the Yoruba ethnic nationality reacted in anger to the bombshell against their demi- god, Papa Awolowo.

They accused Achebe of suffering from senility and argued vociferously that if ever there was a friend of the Igbos, it was the Yorubas as Pa Awo reportedly went to the East to persuade Ojukwu to abandon his secessionist ambition, and declaring  that if the East was allowed to go, the West would follow suit.

For 42 odd years, Chinua Achebe had carried the burden on his soul. And perhaps, foreseeing the end was near, he decided to ruffle the political waters of his former country Nigeria by refusing National Honours of CFR twice and decided to stay put in America, his adopted father- land.

For most of us who had missed his creative prowess for these many years, the motor accident he was involved in symbolically truncated his creative Muse and those of other budding writers who had made their marks in the African Writers Series which he founded.

There Was A Country was sufficiently emotive for him as he lamented not only the loss of Biafra during the war, but also the loss of Nigeria in which he was perhaps, No longer at Ease with. Before he died recently, he eventually came to terms with the failed Biafra and Nigeria. If Achebe had called many more Nigerians names for the misfortune of the Igbos in Nigeria, we should forgive him because writers are generally idealistic and illusionists, writing from the realms of fantasy and some bit of propaganda.

That last testimony to the Biafran war, to me, was a belated application to return to fatherland. On the flip side of the book, he must have regretted the fact that the country he fought for deploying his literary talents ended up in smoke, even if it lasted just 30 months before the walls of Biafra started cracking and falling. There Was A Country was the epitome of his literary cup of bitterness against his country. It is safe to assume that the ghastly accident he suffered cut short his prolific writing skills and subsequently fuelled his bitterness before he bowed out gracefully. And with the avalanche of testimonies and obituaries on this icon of the literary world, Achebe did not die, he merely but gloriously transited to the great beyond.

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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Had Mandela Been Nigerian…

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Read Time:2 Minute, 17 Second

NELSON Mandela Rolihlahla Mandela, much loved 94-year-old icon of the anti-apartheid struggle is in the news again over his health.

The world wants to see him back on his feet again. We wish him a quick recovery while we ponder what would have happened if he had been a Nigerian leader, former or present.

At his age, rumours of his death have become routine. Two years ago, the South African government was castigated for concealing his illness for as long as it thought necessary. Criticisms about the media gag could have forced government to finally issue a statement.

It detailed the patient’s progress, respecting his privacy, but allayed public fears about the state of the former South African President, who has distinguished himself with his care for humanity. Worries about his health are global, with millions of internet users searching the web for the latest information on Mandela.

Mandela’s medical treatment in South Africa raises important points in the light of the secrecy of our governments, the penchant of government officials for medical facilities abroad, and the consistently deplorable state of our health services. Are Nigerians told about ailing public officials who are flown abroad at public expense?

Why do our officials neglect our health facilities and government officials only visit them at commissioning or to commiserate with victims of major emergencies? How would our health system work when those who supervise it do not use it?

Mandela would not be flown to any foreign hospital. He had series of tests in South Africa, under the guidance of “The Defence Force which is responsible for all medical requirements and care of current and retired presidents,” according to a government statement, issued when he was ill in January 2011. Nothing has changed. He is still being treated in South Africa under the watch of the Defence Force.

How do our leaders, past and present feel, when they read these lines that indict their parochial policies? Do they realise the security implications of their medical treatment abroad?

Concerns over Mandela reflect global adoration for a man who gave so much to free South Africa from apartheid. Mandela was jailed for 27 years for plotting an armed struggle against South Africa’s whites-only government. His release facilitated processes that ended apartheid and the first all race elections which the African National Congress won in 1994 and Mandela became President. He voluntarily stepped down in 1999.

Nigerian leaders should have cause to worry about Nigeria. They are not building a country that will adore them as it adores Mandela, nor one with facilities that can treat its leaders even if they suffer something as minor as a headache.

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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Achebe: A Personal Loss -Dora Akunyili

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Read Time:49 Second

SIR: As we say in Igboland when an extraordinary person dies, the iroko has fallen. I feel a sense of personal loss because Prof. Chinua Achebe was not only from my state, Anambra, but was also one of my heroes and role models right from my days at the University of Nigeria Nsukka (UNN), where he taught until the road accident that made him to relocate to the USA, where there are better facilities to enable him to continue to work.

I attended UNN and later taught there before I joined public service. I therefore feel a deep sense of personal loss by his death. It is like losing a part of me.

Prof. Achebe’s death leaves a void not only in Nigeria and Africa but also globally because he is one of the best novelists the world has ever produced. He will be sorely missed but we take solace in his rich legacies.

Prof. Dora Akunyili, OFR,  Abuja.

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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GOD IS DEAD

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Read Time:1 Minute, 32 Second

In the 19th Century AD, a well renowned German philosopher, Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche, sensing an approaching period of nihilism in Europe, was influenced by the incontrovertible fact that the belief in the Christian God had drastically declined to the point he could confidently say that "God is dead". Nietzsche was unable to see the connection between 'being' a Christian and 'living' a Christian. He could not find God among the Christians of his day because majority of the Christians were not living the Christian life.

The crucifixion and death of Jesus Christ on Good Friday was actually the 'death of God' because Jesus is both God and man. Jesus died in His human nature, but the divine nature is immortal. We could only say that 'God is dead' based on the principle of Communicatio Idiomatum (This is strictly for theologians).

However, Jesus lives on. He lives in the Church and in the lives of true Christians. Many Christians in our present world proclaim the death of God by their lives. No matter one's position or status in the Church, if one's life does not make others to see Jesus in him/her, then that person is definitely one of the disciples of Nietzsche. As we meditate on the Paschal mysteries of Jesus Christ, let us always be ready to rise to the challenge of living out the Christian faith, and thus, we could confidently sing with Diana Rose, "He lives in me".

Beloved, let us wake up to the challenge of being true Christians by letting others to see Jesus in our lives. You can be the only Bible someone can read and become converted in spirit. Be a true witness of the gospel. God is alive because He lives on.

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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Insecurity in Nigeria – What The President Can Do

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Read Time:2 Minute, 29 Second

DURING 2010 Bauchi attack, there were complaints about a break down of intelligence. Residents insisted that it was worse. There seemed to have been outright ignoring of petitions people filed with the security agencies about Boko Haram. Not much seems to have changed as clinical execution of recent jail breaks testified.

A strong scent of sabotage swirls round these jail breaks as well as the attacks. We warned in 2010 Boko Haram could attack other prisons, in other cities. Did government act?

“We are saddened by the insecurity in Tafawa Balewa local government area of Borno State and the continuous killings in Jos, Plateau State,” Minister of Information Labaran Maku said then.

“Mr. President, Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, is very concerned and has vowed to beef up security in the country. The Inspector General of Police, Hafiz Ringim, in collaboration with other security agencies, is doing everything possible to fish out the evil perpetrators. The Federal Government is ready to bring them to justice because security agencies have been deployed to these (crises) States and the work is going to be round the clock.” Where are the results?

The myriad of internal problems aside, Nigeria was paradoxically on the threshold of economic ascendancy by 2010. She was ranked the 39th strongest and the third fastest growing economy in the world.

With the terrorists taking on foreigners and the internal upheavals their attacks are capable of causing, Nigeria would have to deal with its security challenges quickly, before her economy suffers more adversity.

The focus might be on terrorists in the North East, but other crimes like armed robberies are on the increase. The attention on bombings have made the security agencies to ignore the rising incidents of attacks on our highways even in broad daylight.

Almost all points of the Lagos — Ibadan Expressway are unsafe no matter the time. The Benin — Sagamu Expressway has many points where armed robbers freely operate. Highways leading to Abuja, from different parts of the country suffer similar attacks. Kidnapping is becoming more wide spread. More needs to be done at the level of intelligence gathering. Some past security breaches left Nigerians wondering about the roles of the various security agencies. Intelligence gathering should include solutions to the challenges.

The President must attend to the elongating queue of the unemployed. He should embark on programmes that can create jobs. Government’s actions and spending should reflect a concern for the people, many of who are suffering.

Among the things that the President can immediately do is past paced development of infrastructure to enhance the security of lives and property.

Nigerians want peace. They know that security is critical to attain the greatness that awaits our country. They would embrace the search for peace, when government is willing to seek their partnership through programmes that reflect “that the security and welfare of the people” are “the primary purpose of government.”

Source: Vanguard

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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Tackling Insecurity in Nigeria

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Read Time:2 Minute, 21 Second

IN the search for solutions to the security challenges Nigeria faces, government should not rule out any options. Government’s openness would win it new friends and partners in a fight that is proving increasingly more daunting with the opposition so desperate that it aims at taking more lives.

Nothing can justify the wanton loss of lives and property and the shrinking control of government over parts of the country. What began in Bauchi almost four years ago as attacks on police and civilians, has spread to almost every State in the North, claiming thousands of lives.

Arsons, bombings, killings, prison breaks, kidnappings have become routine; hardly a day passes without killings in parts of the country. Damaturu, Gombe, Maiduguri, Mubi, Potiskum, Yola, have held headlines for bombings. The incidents spread to Abuja, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Kogi, Niger, Sokoto States, joining the perennial killings in Plateau State. The most embarrassing of the incidents remain the bombing of the nation’s 50th independence anniversary in Abuja and the targeting of elite military and other security offices.

Places of Christian worship, entertainment centres, schools, markets and most recently the motor park in Kano have been targets. The attacks on the Police Headquarters, the United Nations offices in Abuja and storming of the police detention facility in Abuja to free detained Boko Haram members all emphasise the extent of the insecurity.

Government’s efforts at halting the insurgency have met with varying degrees of successes, coupled with the inevitable criticisms that flow from allegations of human rights abuses in areas security agencies have mounted operations against the attackers.

Doubtlessly, government has to do more. People would measure the success by the stop in the loss of lives and the ability of Nigerians to move freely in all parts of the country. More collaboration is required with various interests in the country to achieve peace. External assistance could be required as cross border interests appeared involved in escalating the fight.

The President’s recent visit to the North East, the epicentre of the attacks should be followed up with more actions that can assure Nigerians that the war against terrorism is being won. The President should be seen as offering more than warnings and threats to the terrorists.

As he fights, he must be willing to embrace those who want peace. He has to strengthen the security systems to ensure that suspects are secured for trials. The spates of prison breaks to free criminals and suspects are embarrassing. The bids to explain the breaks are repulsive.

Where else do they explain persistent jail break that are freeing terrorists suspects in the North East and those arrested for kidnapping in Warri? The 2010 Bauchi jail break freed more than 700 inmates; more than 100 were members of the Boko Haram awaiting trial.

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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The way out for Nigeria

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WHEN I saw the Failed State Index done by the United States Think-Thank Fund for Peace and which ranked Nigeria as 14th under the alert section, I was overwhelmed with sadness as this shouldn’t be so for the giant of Africa. Under the surge of emotion I was prompted to write this little piece on what I feel should be the best  way out of Nigeria’s challenges.

Prominent and most troubling of these challenges is the Boko Haram terrorism presently afflicting the nation. The activities of this extremist Islamist sect have seriously undermined the peace and tranquillity of this great nation and it is my belief that if nothing is done urgently, we shall soon see the rise of more terrorist groups. Not only is terrorism threatening the continued existence of  the nation, the rate of robbery and other violent crimes  is on the increase. We can’t go about our business without the fear of our lives.

It is obvious that we need good leaders who have a different set of values. We need leaders of impeccable character and integrity. Enough is enough of leaders using what belongs to the nation for their personal use. One thing that is prominently lacking in Nigeria is integrity.

Our leaders have failed to show and exhibit this quality, so the citizens have no choice but to follow the examples of those leading them. That is the reason for the increase in fraud cases.

Everybody now wants to have a share of the “national cake” and this should not be so. We need leaders who will deliver their agenda for the nation and not just use it for campaign purposes only. Until our leaders begin to live in transparency and integrity, true democracy can never be practised.

God said whoever desires to be great must first learn to serve. Greatness is not about how much wealth you can amass for yourself but in how much you can give out. That is another thing we are missing in this nation.

Everybody wants to amass wealth but very few people are willing to live for the betterment of others. I believe very strongly that if the mind-set of the youth is changed toward true service to the nation and her people, Nigeria would be out of the turmoil in no time.

This mind-set will help reduce the stink of corruption as public servants will no longer occupy offices just for their own benefit, but will use every opportunity to empower their followers in every way. Let us not forget that Jesus washed the feet of His disciples. We need to learn that being the president or governor doesn’t make you the number one citizen but the number one servant. Service is one of the fundamental keys to greatness and a nation built on service to its people will always prosper.

Also, I believe that the issue of amnesty being given to terror groups shouldn’t be one up for debate. Amnesty giving will only lead to more terror groups who have seen that being a terrorist will only lead to wealth with little or no consequences.

I believe that the state should carry out her responsibility properly and secure its citizens and fish out those who are responsible for the violence within. I believe that the Boko Haram violence was influenced by the perceived reward accorded the militant group MEND whose members went scot free after killing so many innocent citizens.

The best this nation can do for the innocent that have been lost is to let justice prevail by jailing every identified and arrested member of the group. The security agencies should be empowered to carry out their job diligently and end this nightmare of terrorism in this nation.

Nigeria should never negotiate with terrorists as doing so can only but encourage more terror groups to spring up.

Lastly, we are all Nigerians and as such everyone should be charged with the responsibility of looking out for the other. If we do not create language barriers or geographical barriers, we would be on our way to becoming the giant of the world. Let us not dim the potential that we have in this nation with unnecessary ethnic and religious battles.

Every Nigerian should be viewed as a brother and in our entire endeavour let us work towards making Nigeria as a better place to live in. We should develop love toward one another, as love covers a multitude of sins. Just like our anthem says, “peace and unity” remain the basis for moving Nigeria forward. God bless Nigeria!!!

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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