Power Holding Company of Nigeria at it again!

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Read Time:3 Minute, 10 Second

Ha! Man don suffer for this country oo!” exclaimed a commuter in the CMS-bound bus by name Comfort as the bus crawled through the usual heavy Lagos traffic.

“My sister, you are not the only one. We are all suffering. Is it the unbearable heat, high cost of living, deplorable roads, rogue politicians? Where do I start from? See as people dey sweat like Christmas goats,” complained Iyabo.

“The heat is not peculiar to Nigeria abeg,” retorted Abu. “It’s everywhere. That is the result of the climate change we are experiencing the world over – extreme weather conditions like extreme heat and extreme cold. Unfortunately, we are the cause of that through our activities.”

“Yes, it may be global but other countries’ governments have a way of dealing with it to ameliorate the effects on the people, but not the Nigerian government,” countered Iyabo.

Said Comfort; “My grouse is with the electricity utility company, Power Holding Company of Nigeria, PHCN. They are adding salt to injury. I thought they had repented.” “Repented from red to black or from what to what? I think the correct name is Please Hold Candle, No light,” joked Abel.

Continued Comfort; “Could you believe that they brought our February bill on February 6? What type of nonsense is that?” “We were accusing them of inefficiency and now they are trying to be efficient and you are still not happy. Na wah for Nigerians,” said Ify.

“Over-efficiency dey worry them, period!” said Charles.

“I got mine at about the same time, I think on the 7th of February. I mean, it’s crazy. How can I pay for services not rendered?” asked Iyabo.

“Don’t be melodramatic. They will provide the services,” said Ngozi.

“How did they know the amount of electricity we were going to consume for the month?” asked Comfort, to which Charles replied thus: “The usual outrageous estimated bills. They don’t read metres at all. They just sit in their cosy offices and cook up figures and send to people.

Before you say Jack Robinson, they will come to disconnect you for not paying the bills. Na money dey insult person. Otherwise, I would have installed full solar system and PHCN can go to hell. Make dem no worry. Very soon, people will be so frustrated as to go back to the days of jungle justice where they kill and maim PHCN officials at the slightest provocation.”

Said Comfort; “The most annoying part was that two days after bringing the bills and urging us to pay, there was power outage for almost two weeks. I made a pot of vegetable soup with the little money I had and had to keep warming and re-warming the poor soup until it began to swear for me. We did not have light until about two weeks later.”

Said Iyabo; “Thank God I did not bother to pay. Many people went to complain about the crazy bills and they were told to either pay or have their lines cut. Imagine the insult!”

“No be small insult. A neighbour who lives in a single room was given a bill of N9,000. Our bill jumped from N6,000 to N15,000, meanwhile we hardly stay at home and we make sure we turn off lights when not in use,” said Comfort.

“The only solution is for people to get the pre-paid metres. But they stopped issuing the metres because it became difficult for them to cheat consumers. May God save us in this country,” said Charles.

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: Our plans against the cabal – Keyamo

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Read Time:9 Minute, 52 Second

FIERY Lagos Lawyer, Mr. Festus Keyamo is disturbed by what he perceives as the slow pace of development in his native Delta State and has established a group, Delta Forces United, DFU, to rally the grassroots  for a change, which he says he is willing to champion as governor.

In this interview, he speaks on the politics of Delta State and why he is leaving the comfort zone for the murky waters of politics. Excerpts:

What motivated you to establish Delta Forces United?
Well my motivation is not far-fetched. I am a freeborn of DeltaState. My early life was all about DeltaState. My childhood classmates, friends, acquaintances and even childhood antagonists are all from DeltaState. I have my early impressions of how DeltaState was. I also grew up full of ideas as to how to improve my state.

Even though I hail from Effurun in Uvwie Local Government Area, I was born in a crowded compound (what we call today, face-me-I-face-you) along Post Office Road in Ughelli. I first went to an ‘akara school’ somewhere around Afiesere, and then proceeded to OharisiPrimary School, Ughelli. Thereafter I went to GovernmentCollege, Ughelli, where I did my O’Levels and Advanced Levels.

I then proceeded to the then BendelStateUniversity, Ekpoma, to read law. It was only after my university education that I went to Lagos for my LawSchool programme. Thereafter, I began my career with late Chief Gani Fawehinmi. I therefore have an umbilical cord connected to my roots in DeltaState that I cannot sever.

However, because of the pursuit of livelihood since I graduated more than 20 years ago, I did not participate actively in the political process.

Some self-serving, narrow-minded people have decided to divide the state into ethnic groups and to share power and resources along ethnic lines instead of addressing the real issues affecting the development of the state.

I have decided therefore that I will not fold my arms and watch professional politicians destroy my state because of ethnicity.

Therefore, Delta Forces United is a political platform that will, sooner or later, find a political party that shares the same progressive ideologies and work together with it.

Do you have the financial capacity to pursue these objectives?

No single private individual has the financial capacity alone anywhere in the world to run a huge political campaign, except the money is stolen money. Even as rich as Mitt Romney in the US general elections, he had to go cap in hand to raise funds. So, running a political campaign is all about urging people to believe in you, your party and your programmes and urging them to make useful contributions to the cause.

Did you establish DFU to pursue your governorship ambition?

What is wrong in pursuing a healthy ambition? Is the Governorship seat the exclusive preserve of a few well-known corrupt politicians? Why can’t we encourage people who have done well in their chosen fields to come and manage public resources? Anyway, like I said before, the DFU will seek to collaborate with any political party that shares our goals and if within that arrangement I am chosen to lead the party in the governorship election, I will readily oblige.

How do you hope to undo the PDP machine in Delta?

There is nothing to undo at all. There is nothing called the “PDP political machine” in DeltaState. There is no machine at all. All you have is just a small clique hanging unto power at all cost. People don’t want these characters who call themselves PDP political leaders. How they hang unto power is by sheer brigandage. Therefore, our job is to mobilize the people to resist this brigandage.

How do you react to claims that the governorship should be zoned to Delta North?

Delta North is that area of the state that has a collection of different ethnic groups that speak some different languages close to the Ibo language. They have some of the most intelligent and friendly people among them. And on a lighter note I married from that part of the State. So my first son is partly Urhobo and partly Ibusa. First of all, I have never heard in my life that the Asaba man sees the Kwale or Obiaruku person as one and the same with him. I have never heard that the Agbor man sees the person from Onicha-Ugbo as his brother over these years. So all of a sudden, because of political expediency certain so-called political leaders from that region are seeking to deceive the ordinary people on the streets by preaching that they are all one; only for them to grab political power and dump that platform.

But to answer your question frontally, whatever power sharing arrangement certain persons had must have been an internal PDP arrangement. I am not PDP. DeltaState is not synonymous with PDP. But even the President of Nigeria, Goodluck Jonathan, said that there is nothing like zoning within the PDP. He explained it to mean that when the position of the Chief Executive either in the State or National level is determined by competence, then the other positions below are zoned. Are they now contradicting their President? To take the argument further, if Delta North are saying it is “their turn”, they can only be saying it is their turn to pick the PDP ticket since it is a PDP arrangement. So PDP can give them their ticket if it likes. I know that they have very competent people from that zone that can fly the PDP flag.

And so do other zones have extremely qualified people too who can fly the flags of other parties. But a PDP ticket holder does not translate into a governor automatically. You still have to face the electorate. A PDP ticket holder cannot climb the rostrum and tell people to vote for him because he is from Delta North.

Talking about what is just and fair, so how just and fair is it to deprive other political parties and the teeming masses of Delta State who were never part of the PDP arrangement from fielding competent candidates whose programmes may be superior to that of the PDP ticket holder? And to put the nail on the coffin, it is said that one good turn deserves another. If indeed there was an agreement to shift power from one zone to the other in 1999, how come aspirants from Delta North have always contested for the gubernatorial elections without stepping down for anyone?

For example, since 1999 till 2011 several persons from Delta North actively participated in the gubernatorial primaries of various parties and the general elections. So how come they are asking others to step down for them now?

What is your assessment of the PDP government since 1999 and Governor Uduaghan’s performance so far?

Let me tell you one thing you may not know, my governor, Dr. Uduaghan as a human being is a complete gentleman. You can easily see that he is an accidental politician, not a conventional one. Essentially, he is just a professional in his chosen field of medicine. But as a politician I can’t say how well he has handled it. Because I feel at times he is overwhelmed by the negative political trends in the State and that affects his judgment in many areas. And I also think that the State, under the leadership of the PDP, has performed far below what is expected of it. This might be as a result of misplaced priorities, mismanagement of resources or outright stealing. But when we get there we shall look at the books and correct whatever has retarded the progress of our State.

How do you hope to snatch power from numerous money bags dotting Delta’s political landscape?

The mistake some people make is that they always equate political power with the richest. That is their warped thinking. Some people never equate it with the most sellable candidate with a track record. Of what use is your money if people decide not to vote for you? Except you are saying that we should all resign to fate that elections would always be rigged by money bags. Of course we need money to campaign and sell our programmes, but we will mobilize the people to resist the influence of money bags who have stolen their money. We will tell them to take their money but to come and follow us.

How can we improve governance in DeltaState?

There are two key areas to which any incoming government in DeltaState must pay attention: The first is security which will open the doors to so many investments in the State. Without a secure environment, no State can develop. The second is to boost small and medium scale industries by direct government intervention to take many of the jobless boys off the streets and reduce the crime rate. Of course, the State also needs massive infrastructural development here and there. We will look at all these.

What is your take on NJC’s decision retiring two justices and asking for Thalba’s probe?

Fantastic! I commented that same day, praising the NJC. We also need to flush out more bad eggs from the judiciary.

Could you comment on Supreme Court’s ruling saying that Wabara and Fabian Osuji should be tried?

The only comment I have to make here is that it took too long for the case to travel all the way to the Supreme Court. That is why some days ago I sent my proposal to the National Assembly to amend the constitution to eliminate delays in criminal trials, especially corruption cases. And basically I am telling them to outlaw stay of proceedings in criminal cases.

What is your view on the formation of the All Progressive Congress, APC and its chances at the 2015 polls?

I listened to General Buhari last week when he said, the only way to defeat the PDP is by a grand alliance of opposition parties and I agree with him totally. It is important that the country has an opposition party nearly as big as the PDP so that we can have a true alternative to the misrule of PDP.

Is your group likely to work with APC?

They are not out with their manifesto and constitution yet. We are looking for a platform with progressive ideas, and if they come out with something near to this, we may work with them.

What is the legal position of lawmakers elected on ACN, CPC, ANPP platforms? Can they transfer their mandate to APC without raising legal scruples since their original parties are not in crisis?

The 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria has already taken care of that situation. Those who cross to other political parties as a result of merger arrangements do not lose their seats.

100 years after amalgamation does Nigeria have cause for celebration?

The only cause we have to mark the event is that we are still together as a nation but I do not subscribe to any lavish celebration. I will not waste tax payers’ money on such an event when we have a lot to do.

What is your take on clamour for national conference and autonomy for Local councils? What is the way forward for the country?

To get a truly people’s constitution, we need a national conference sooner or later. We cannot run away from this. And we also need full political and fiscal autonomy for the Local councils, but with very effective anti-corruption bodies to checkmate their activities because corruption at that level of government is very humungous.

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 dwindling population of genuine role models in Nigeria

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Read Time:5 Minute, 18 Second

When one of world’s foremost storytellers, Prof. Chinua Achebe, declined for the second time a national award conferred on him this time around by the current administration of President Goodluck Jonathan, most so-called eminent Nigerians failed to learn the simple but powerful lesson embedded in Achebe’s refusal to “join the bandwagon.”

Indeed, one of Jonathan’s town criers and halleluyah chorus boys who, due to slave mentality and unthinking loyalty to his boss, is fond of making reckless statements against critics of his boss, alleged that Achebe, living in the United States, has lost touch with what was happening in Nigeria.

Remember, in a terse statement rejecting the award, Prof. Achebe  had argued that since the bugbear of chronic misgovernance and insecurity that characterised Chief Olusegun Obasanjo’s presidency was still present in Jonathan’s administration which made him reject the award the first time, he was constrained, as a matter of principle, to reject the “honour” again from President Jonathan.

There is no doubt that Nigeria has been progressing in fits and starts since the incumbent President took over power effectively in 2010. In terms of execution of his administration’s “transformation agenda,” it is clear to any honest observer that the President and his cabinet, together with members of the National Assembly, have achieved relatively little compared with the amount of resources spent in maintaining the apparatus of government.

Two examples are sufficient to justify the claim above. First, the current administration has failed to move against corruption where it hurts most, that is, the larceny committed by former heads of state, governors, ministers, and so on. Second, the level of electricity supply and insecurity nationwide is terribly unsatisfactory – indeed the problems here are worsening – despite the President’s pledge to improve power supply and distribution expeditiously supply and defeat terrorism and kidnapping perpetrated by Boko Haram and other undesirable elements.

Thus, most probably, Achebe must have taken a long hard look at current events in the country and, correctly in my opinion, decided not to lend credibility to the game of musical chairs played by the federal government. Prof. Achebe, as a fallible human being, might not always get it right while responding to the complex issues confronting contemporary Nigeria. But as a thoughtful man of courage who speaks his mind even when it is “politically incorrect” to do so, he is a credible role model for Nigerian youths.

To even suggest that because Achebe lives in the United States therefore he is out of touch with happenings in Nigeria betrays a dishonest forgetfulness of the globalising capabilities of modern information technology. More to the point, many Nigerians domiciled in Europe and America are more informed about the country than a significant number of educated Nigerians living in our towns and cities because of highly developed usage in the West of reliable social media powered by the Internet.

Therefore Achebe lives in America, but he certainly is better informed about Nigeria than Nigerians living in the homeland who do not have enough money to buy local newspapers and newsmagazines on a regular basis and have very limited access to news from various electronic media like radio, television and the Internet because of epileptic electricity. That said, I really admire Achebe for making it abundantly clear that he has zero tolerance not only for incompetent leadership but also for politicians of questionable character.

The same cannot be said for some other highly respected Nigerians. Take Chief Emeka Anyaoku, for example. His claim to fame and respectability stems mainly from several years of holding the position of Secretary-General of the Commonwealth, from where he retired with grace and dignity.

Chief Anyaoku chaired the 2012/2013 Post Graduate Lecture given by Prof. Ade Adefuye at the University of Lagos, and the moderator and guest lecturer both tried to outdo each other in pouring encomiums on the former Secretary-General.

From the way he speaks English and mannerism, one can conclude that Chief Anyaoku is a refined gentleman. However, the retired diplomat appears mingling with politicians of questionable character, a situation that many of his admirers find disconcerting.

To some extent the same is true of Prof. Wole Soyinka, one of the best playwrights and humanists to emerge from the Black world, not just Africa. Soyinka’s courage in confronting military dictatorship in Nigeria is beyond dispute. Of course, his contributions to scholarship are acknowledged worldwide. But some of us that admire the playwright from a distance are puzzled whenever we see him in the company of politicians we think have with strong odour of corruption around them.

Nigerian politicians do not just use “fronts” to launder stolen funds; they also use clever means to burnish their dirty image by clinging to eminent Nigerians, in futile hope that people would forget their bad character and begin to respect them as well.

It usually happens like this: politicians of questionable antecedents either establish a foundation or finance an existing one, probably in the name of a revered deceased politician or accomplished professional, where they sit on the Board of Trustees.

Then they cultivate the company of respected personalities either by instituting awards for them, organisiing birthday-related events, making big donations during public presentation of books written by such individuals, and generally footing the bills for sundry personal expenses of the latter.

Unknown to these highly-regarded individuals, the moneybag politicians are using them to earn respectability by association. For many Nigerians that admire Chief Anyaoku or Prof Soyinka, seeing their idols sitting side-by-side with cash-and-carry politicians in a newspaper or television channel implies acceptability of the politicians involved as men deserving respect also.

In my opinion, individuals whose achievements – intellectual, moral, spiritual or professional – have earned them the status of role models in the society should not be hobnobbing with people of ill-repute. This is because the youths in every society need role models and mentors to emulate. But when those who should play such a role keep bad company, then there is a problem; the young ones would be confused and disappointed. Worse still, they might become cynical and hypocritical, preferring Machiavellism to genuine effort towards exemplary conduct.

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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Employment agents & the Nigerian factor

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Read Time:7 Minute, 24 Second

A friend’s married daughter and her husband were shocked when their guard came to tell them when they returned from work,  that the  nanny to their two children had  begged him to allow her smuggle a male relation, who she claimed had come from their village to look for a job, into her room in the Boys’ Quarters.

The guard agreed initially but when the man actually showed up that night, he  had to come confess to his employers.  When confronted, the nanny rudely told them that she hadn’t done anything wrong, since it was to her room she had invited the man, and not to the main house.  Her employers contained their anger, but told her to go remove her relative from outside the house immediately.

In anger she moved out that night.  The agent who brought her was quite shocked by what happened.  He confessed he hadn’t researched the lady well, but that she looked humble, hard-working and honest. The couple decided to use another agent, and they invited me to come help vet him and the nanny he  was bringing to them.  I had hardly taken my seat when the agent, a lively soul, gave me his call card, saying I might need his services at a point, or have friends and relatives who might, as he also supplies other categories of domestic workers.

“Thank you.  Oh, you’re a deacon, are you?  And of this highly-acclaimed church?” I asked

“Yes, madam,”he answered, clearly pleased that I noticed. “I’m of  province ……   I’ve been a deacon for several years now, and by the grace of God, I hope to become an assistant pastor in future, and then rise.  I got born-again, er, let me see now – er while in secondary school.  That was many years ago.”

If he expected applause from the couple, he didn’t get it, as my friend’s son-in-law observed quietly, ‘Most employment agents are deacons, born-again, and of that particular church.  I suppose that’s to make people trust you guys.’

“My brother, maybe, but I’m a genuine deacon of that church, and an honest agent.  You can go ask of me in my church.  They will tell you that I’m honourable.” defended the agent.

“You may actually be,” said the other with a short laugh.
We then got down to business.  His fee was twenty thousand naira payable in one instalment.  There’s a replacement if the nanny leaves or is sacked within six months.  After six months of service by the help, he wouldn’t be liable to replace her.  It would be a fresh start.”

“Deacon, I’m uncomfortable with that rule. What you’re in fact saying is that it is possible that we  require your services every six months, and we have to pay twenty thousand each time. That seems unfair to me..” I told him.

“It shouldn’t be, madam.  It’s not as if the girl is here to work for six months only. It’s up to her.  I have two people in Lekki who have been with their madams for more that two years now.  Six months guarantee for a replacement is the normal agreement. ”

“Alright,” said my friend’s daughter with a sigh. “What do we pay the girl?”

“Thirty thousand if you’re not feeding her, and twenty-five, if you are.  She will go to church every Sunday, and have one full Sunday off every month.”

The couple agreed and the girl was called in.  She seemed respectful, sober and looked eager to work.

She worked well and the couple were pleased with her.   A week from the end of her first six months, she told her employers that she had got admission into a higher institution.  How? When?, asked the astonished employers.

She completed her remaining week well, and even went to work on the morning she was leaving.  The couple gave her money and several gifts and she left.  The agent supplied a replacement for a reduced fee of fifteen thousand naira.  She wasn’t as pleasant and hardworking as her predecessor, but she did her best.

As she was completing six months in mid-December of that year, she said she would be going home for Christmas.  She never returned.  The couple rang the agent, but this time, not to ask for another help, but to tell him he was fraudulent in his trade, as it seems he has the habit of moving his wards to other employers every six months.  He denied this, and claimed he hadn’t done any wrong; and that the decision to leave was the girls’.

Someone introduced the couple to yet another agent. He too said he’s a deacon of a branch of the same church the other agent claimed to belong to!  He was quite dynamic about his job and took several girls to be viewed by my friend’s daughter at work, before they settled on one. He had told them his fee was ten thousand naira on telephone, and that there was no ‘expiry date’ on the girl’s tenure.

A sigh of relief!   When he took the girl to their house, however, and saw that they weren’t paupers, he raised his fee to fifteen thousand naira on the spot, and said he would collect something every month out of the girl’s twenty-five thousand salary.  The girl’s work was just average, but the couple treated her well and she seemed happy there.

Then the bombshell after barely three months!  She told the couple that she would be leaving at the end of the month to go prepare for JAMB!  She was very sorry when the couple got quite upset and asked why she took the job without telling them that.  She said she had told the agent that she would be available for three months only, and he had told her not to mention that to the couple!  So, the search continues since the couple need help in the house.

Many years ago, you got jobs/workers by word of mouth, and people helped to link you up with those who needed that sort of job. It was a fairly safe process because you would know the source the job-seeker came from.  Consultancies which help screen /select workers for companies began to spring up in the early seventies, but these positions were at first for professionals who were graduates of higher institutions.  With time, some included lower offices/domestic workers in their books, but soon, people saw it as an avenue to set up their own business, and so, agents now abound in all nooks and corners in most cities.

Personally, I think it’s a good thing to have agencies which can provide such workers, because it gives the person you’re employing a sort of background, as agencies are meant to thoroughly research the lives and background of those on their lists.

But sadly, like most things in our dear country, the Nigerian factor of greed, dishonesty and the urge to make a fast buck or two, has set in, and I’m told many employment agents barely know those they’re placing in employment. Some only ask the job-seeker to bring a relation as guarantor, and that’s it. Those guarantors could be people picked at random, and who are not relatives, and false addresses are supplied the agents.

There’s no doubt that some agents are as honest as they can possibly be in Nigeria, but some teach the job-seeker to lie and tell half-truths about their background and circumstances.

We do need employment agents, but there’s urgent need to sanitize the industry, so that agents can be seen as being honest people of integrity, who can provide workers who won’t bring us stress and heartache. All employment agencies should form and register associations at state or local government level; having rules and regulations for a good code of conduct which should be fair to all concerned; the employer, the employee and the agents themselves.

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: Ladies, lies and leadership

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Read Time:5 Minute, 30 Second

“You may fool all the people some of the time, you can even fool some of the people all of the time, but you cannot fool all of the people all the time.”- Abraham Lincoln

The lady doth protest too much! So the president’s other half, Patience in her inestimable candid humility would like the Senate and the House of Reps to pass the budget of N4 billion earmarked for her “pet” project- The Ladies Mission House. This edifice she tells us will be left for the people of Nigeria and she in her words “will not carry the building with her when her tenure ends”.

Her tenure? Who does she think she is? I mean, did the people of Nigeria vote her in or did they vote for her husband? Suddenly this “fascinating” woman has developed the taste for power.

It seems she has declared herself the mistress of all she surveys. She has rewritten her past even if it is in bad taste and disrespectful to most Nigerians. She does not seem to have a control valve, nor does her husband who indulges her to use the wealth of Nigeria as her play things.

In a country where the mortality rate is distressingly low and the majority of the population are barely making a crust, she has the temerity to display such opulence and wealth. In the presence of the who is who of stupendous wealth and power they gather in the court of their empress to pay their respects and rub shoulders with like-minded people.

While  the  men  of  the  cloth and women politicians and the  rest  of  the  sycophants fall over themselves to  be  at  her beck  and  call.  What? Surely no one wants to attend this show of opulent debauchery? If their conscience served them well they should have politely declined the invite.

What they have done with their presence is to endorse the disgraceful show of excessive living while majority of Nigerians are struggling to make ends meet. Could she not find a cause that could make so much difference in the lives of our people? Does she know over one million children die every year and 14% of childbearing age dies giving birth?

If she does feel deeply about the people, then you would have hope that she will do whatever she can to make a change in the lives of the young and women in Nigeria. Does  she  know  that  life expectancy  for a  male  in  Nigeria  is 48.95  and  for  female is 52.02? Most would not even  live  that  long  without  affordable  access  to  good  health  care. Nigeria is  not
working  and  the overpaid  and  underworked ruling elite are  complicit  to  the  present  state  that  Nigeria  is  in. So pardon me, I fail to see her purpose other than aggrandizing, flaunting   wealth and power.  What really has she done? She is either clueless  or  unfeeling,  either  way,  she does not  really  care  about  ordinary  Nigerians and  she  clearly  does  not  care  about Nigerian  women.

Resurgence of Lazarus

The resurgence of Lazarus by the fragrant  lady  as  she  describes  it, made her want to rededicate her life to the less privilege. Of course, like any other megalomania she throws a party for her subjects. So this  politician with no portfolio has decided that she wants the biggest prize  of  all, a  building   for  her  mission  and  we  should  be  lucky  that  Nigeria has  this  opportunity she  tells us,  no  consultation, no nothing what Patience wants, Patience gets.

While she makes and throws down nonsensical tirade one after the other, the   president watches, without flinching and offers her offer no real direction as to where this runaway train is going to stop. Her   proposed Ladies Mission house will be like the Basilica of Yamoussoukro.

A hare brain while elephant  dreamed  up  by  the then  president  of  Ivory  Coast, President Félix Houphouët-Boigny. The  man  used up $300million of  their countries’ meagre resources to build some outrageous buildings that were not exactly suited to the climate, but which very much suited her ego. It is all about ego, wanting to build a monument to herself .

Her justification that other first ladies had done similar project: built hospital, a women centre. So how impertinent are the senate to deny her the means to build her memorial? She argues that it creates employment for the youth. There are no consultations of why the building is needed.

And for good measure she slammed the men that if it were a male project it would have been granted and approved.No, this lady is deluded. In this  trying  times people need the means to work their way out of poverty and no purpose other  than  to  satisfy an overblown ego.

If  that  was  not  enough  to  entice  women  she  had  promise them, 70 per cent of women in Nigeria  will  be  employed  by March.  How is that possible? She tells her listeners that  they too can  be  presidents, governors of the country  one  day.

Her  side kick, PDP through the National Women’s Leader, Dr. Kema Chikwe, has laid  it  out  for the  gullible, that the president  is  very much  a  woman’s  president who  will  increase womens’ participation  by   50% by  2015!

She said: “We are even more confident that when President Goodluck Jonathan returns in 2015, women would be talking about 50 percent, no longer 35 percent. As we give him unequivocal, undiluted, unreserved and unlimited support and as we march with him to 2015, PDP women will reach the promised land.”

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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When spouse becomes a ‘victim’ of office romance

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Read Time:3 Minute, 27 Second

Most times, many marriage relationship challenges are rooted in blessings that are not well managed. Promising careers, good pay, rapid promotion and better working conditions offer tempting opportunities for extra-marital affairs and such can become a threat to relationships and marriages.

Office romance epidemic is one of the many pitfalls of relationships. When spouses find it difficult to draw a line between human affection and natural law of attraction, office romance springs up. If care is not taken, it gets out of hand and leads to negative consequences.

It is not surprising that proximity, travelling together, long hours at work, etc oil office romance. Many spouses spend much of their lives at work and end up sharing more time and intimacy with their co-workers than their mates.

Apart from the fact that this can ruin a very good relationship and turn you into a total stranger to your family, you get to be the talk of the office community. And no matter how you justify it, an office love affair can affect your productivity level.

If you are single but in a steady relationship headed for marriage, toying with an office fling could lead to a life of marital agony, especially if your office lover is aware of your relationship.

If you are married – whether you are happy in the marriage or not – you should never consider office romance as an option. You may think the grass is greener on the other side but trust me, grass is grass whether in the valley or on the mountain top.

Why must married spouses aim at dressing well to please someone at work? Why must you linger in the parking lot hoping that a particular co-worker will ask you out for lunch or take you shopping?

Before you justify yourself and act defensively, ask yourself, “Can I do this in front of my spouse?” “Can I show this text messages to my mate?’ ‘If I’m caught with this co-worker, will I have to lie about our involvement?” If you have to lie about it or not feel comfortable, then it is best avoided.

It is not unexpected for a worker to feel attracted to a colleague of the opposite sex and even harbour romantic or sexual thoughts about them. When this is inevitable and obvious, consider a transfer to a different department or branch or maybe you should outrightly change job or quit.

No job is more valuable than your marriage. It is easier for someone to think he or she is free from an office affair but watch out for these signs.

*You are friendlier with your colleague than your spouse; you day dream about your fellow employee often; you are not interested in being sexually intimate with your spouse; instead of enjoying passionate sex with your spouse, you give excuses.

*You spend less time with your spouse and give up everything just to be in the office. When confronted with the apparent closeness with a fellow employee, you easily say, “we are just friends.” You find yourself anticipating when you can talk to or be with your colleague again.

*You prefer to share deep intimate feelings and problems with your colleague rather than with your spouse under the pretext that he or she understands you better than anyone else.

*You find reasons to give him or her gifts; you are even comfortable talking with him or her for hours and even deep into the night.

*You tell yourself that the other person has a problem and you are the only one he or she trusts to be there for him or her.

*Your colleague seems to understand you better than your spouse does and you can’t wait to hear his or her opinion on crucial personal issues.

*Hiding under the excuse that your spouse is too judgmental, you keep your friendship to this fellow employee a secret from your spouse.

These signs are evidence that you are having an office affair. You may be courting disaster in your relationship or marriage.

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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Best ways to advertise self, products on Facebook

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Read Time:2 Minute, 14 Second

There are so many advantages of having lots of friends and contacts on a social media website such as Facebook. It gives you the opportunity to sell your ideas, interact and publicize your brand. What’s more, it’s mostly free! So it has got to be quite disappointing when your friend requests go unanswered and your status is starved for likes, when no one seems to care about your carefully carved comments or your award winning pictures and everyone ignores your banners and posters. If Facebook is just a place to catch up with a few old friends and family, then this piece is not for you. So whether you’re advertising yourself or your brand, here are some ways to put your best foot forward when going about it:

The Profile picture phenomenon: A picture is worth a thousand words, so you can imagine what the person on the other end might be reading when you scan a low quality picture taken back in the 1980s. You’re also unlikely to attract friends and customers when you have no profile picture at all. Using the picture of a celebrity also makes you look unreal and uninteresting. Use a profile picture taken with a good camera and give it your best smile. If possible, upload the soft copy directly instead of scanning. Get a good designer to produce posters and banners for you. It will cost less since you’ll bypass printing.

As you do unto others: Ding Dong! If you hardly ever like people’s comments, very few people are going to like yours. Same goes for those of you who are very selective about the friend requests you accept. If you’re only interested in being friends on facebook with your friends on real life then stick to your phone book. Accept all friend requests but only keep casual personal information on your page. Also be genuinely interested in the conversations of others and invest profitable feedback.

Consistency: Whether it’s on your personal page or fan page, go online as often as possible. Update your status regularly, and if you have the time, chat with a few friends. Keep your page as lively as possible.

Let your words describe your personality: Facebook is in some ways like real life-You’d be judged by your words, so even if you don’t always make much sense in real life, double check what you say online. If you’re lost, go for sensible quotes of great men that you can identify with. So work on yourself. Communicate, spell right, and be friendly.

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: Attacks on my book’ll not change facts – El-Rufai

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Read Time:1 Minute, 6 Second

FORMER Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai has said that attacks on him following his newly published book, would not change the message of the  book, saying the contents were facts that happened.

He said this against the backdrop of criticisms from some former public office holders, who described the contents of the book as misleading.

El-Rufai, who said this, yesterday, in Lagos at the public presentation of the book entitled: ‘The Accidental Public Servant’, disclosed that the concluding part of the book would soon be published.

His words: ‘’I hope this book will inspire others to write books because the country deserves to know how the government works and worked.

“I did not write about their girlfriends, I only wrote about what happened in government and my experience.  And this is what I think we should be doing in this country.

“They have been attacking me on the issues in the book, but they will not change anything in the book because those are things that happened.”

Also speaking at the event,Pastor Tunde Bakare of Latter Rain Assembly, challenged those, who are uncomfortable with the book to write theirs, adding that Nigerians need the book to fix all that is wrong with the nation.

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: A homesless generation

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Read Time:6 Minute, 36 Second

Housing is very vital to the human life; for without it, we are no better than the animals whose roof is the sky. Sadly, the sky has become a roof for many city-dwellers in our country, so to say, as homeless people of all ages sleep under the bridges, in market places, in uncompleted buildings, on pavements, and slabs on the roadside. How did Nigerians, particularly those from areas noted for their pride of their ethnic group, family and roots, get to this deplorable situation? Population explosion, mass migration to the urban areas, loss of jobs and consequently of rented premises, all contribute to this.

One leaves hometown for a better life in the cities, to improve one’s circumstances and render financial help to other members of the family back home, so, when things don’t work out well, it’s very difficult to accept failure, and have to return to the life that one was escaping from. Some of such people may then prefer to rough it out on the streets, waiting for their circumstances to improve. This situation could persist for long, and if no tangible help comes, they may become permanently destitute, exposed to all sorts of health and criminal hazards; becoming a problem for the society. Miracles and breakthroughs do happen, and some may actually become home-owners later, who knows?

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Whatever one’s circumstances in life, one needs some place to call one’s own at a point, even if it’s a lowly one. Once you’re free of escalating house rent and threats of eviction by landlords, and you have your own roof, other problems in life can be bearable and manageable, by the grace of God.

When we didn’t have the population explosion that we have now, and some people didn’t mind spending all the days of their lives in the family house, housing wasn’t the major human life problem that it has become in this country. Parents with just one house, divided up the rooms among all the children. Those children who could build a house of their own, moved out and rented out their inherited rooms, while those who couldn’t, lived in theirs and passed them on to their own children.

You can imagine the chaos where several children with their own separate families all inherit a few rooms from their parents! Leaving home to go rent rooms/apartments in your own home town thus becomes necessary! A thing that was like an abomination many years ago! You couldn’t be a tenant in your birth place! When you left home then, it was to move into your own house.

With the hard economic crunch, how possible is this for the majority of the populace who can barely make ends meet, and who struggle to meet payments for their rented rooms?

Some of our readers believe that the government at all tiers can do much, if they want to, to help the masses become home-owners, or, become government tenants.

“Madam, thank you for drawing attention to housing in our country in your piece ‘A homeless generation.’ Actually, there was a time when some governments were concerned about housing for the masses; to the extent that they built affordable accommodation for citizens to buy e.g. the Jakande era. My family bought a three-bedroom flat at the Amuwo Odofin Housing Estate for seven thousand naira at the time. It’s the only place we have to call our own, and also where I raised all my children. As a retiree, I can’t see myself building a house at this stage of my life; neither can I see my children, some of whom are still job-hunting, building their own houses yet. Those who are married are in rented accommodation. But for that Jakande’s move, we would still be tenants. – Thanks. Pa Solomon, Lagos.”

“Helen, thanks for your write-up. Playing politics with people’s welfare (housing) is not acceptable at  all. Yohanna .. “Before getting into power, some Nigerians would say all the right things that would promote a good life for the citizenry, but when they get into power, they do nothing. Your write-up was to the point, but can our rulers say that they don’t know that it’s time that housing is given priority again?

“Do they need to be told again and again that they should address this government wrong problem? What about them? Isn’t the acquisition of their own personal houses the first thing they engage in even before they properly start their jobs? Houses, not only for themselves, but for members of their families, and generation to come. But Nigerians can choose not to vote into power again, any ruling party which fails to make houses available and affordable to the masses. We have that power. Let’s use it without fear or favour.”

“Mrs. Ovbiagele, with regards to your write-up of January 20th, concerning the balloting out of the Satellite Town houses. General Obasanjo, at the time, also invited government parastatals and corporate bodies to come acquire land in the Satellite Town area, and build houses to sell or let to their workers at affordable prices. The NNPC, NPF, some oil companies, and a few other agencies took the advice and built quarters for their workers. I remember mentioning this to the managing director of a large manufacturing foreign company I was working for at the time. I suggested that it would help our staff. He brushed me off, saying that they weren’t in Nigeria for that. I think that state governments should make land available to multinational companies to do this for their workers, and closely monitor the project till the very end; which should lead to sales of houses to workers at affordable prices. Thanks. – Ben, Abuja.”

“Madam, every government at any given time, should make housing a priority. Many of us cannot afford the cost of building a house of our own, due to the high costs of building materials. Even if you have a plot of land from your family, where would you get the money to build when banks are no longer giving loans for such purpose? But the government can build at a reduced cost, as they would know how to get the materials cheap. We can then go look for money to purchase from them. Funsho, Ibadan.”

“Auntie, the rich in this country are so greedy that if there are houses for sale at government estates, they would turn it into a business venture by buying several to go re-sell to other people at much higher prices. This defeats the purpose for which the government built the estate. There should be a way by which the government edges out the rich from the sale, and sell to the low-income group.”

“Decent housing is part of human right. The government should bring down the costs of building materials, so that most Nigerians can afford to build. It’s terrible being a tenant all one’s life. It isn’t enough for government to try to control rent. It doesn’t work anyway, and it isn’t fair on the landlords, considering the high costs of building/maintenance. Rent is the main source of income for many house-owners in the cities. If you insist on government-controlled rent, you get thrown out, or, are denied accommodation. As I am now, I can’t even afford to build in my village.

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: Fashola’s unserious attitude to tenancy law

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Read Time:5 Minute, 28 Second

The first time I visited the United States of America, one programme that I loved to watch on TV in my hotel room was American Justice. It was a documentary on how security agents went after criminals and got them arrested. But the most interesting aspect was the one in which criminally-minded people were sought, enticed, arrested and jailed. That way, many paedophiles, rapists, drug dealers, armed robbers and other criminals were smoked out and imprisoned.

Some police officers would go online, pose as minors (of 13 or 14 years old) and start chatting with adults. They would make it clear to such adults that they were below the age of consent. Soon the adult would start sending sexual messages to them. They would even exchange phone numbers and start communicating on phone. Days or weeks later, the officers would tell them that their parents would travel for the weekend, leaving them home alone. The paedophile would latch on the bait and promise to come visit them for a raunchy weekend. All this while, all the conversations would be recorded.

Once the paedophile arrived the building, he would announce his arrival and confirm if his victim was still home alone. Once he got the all-clear, he would burst into the house with great expectations. Some would undress completely by the gate and run in naked into the waiting arms of law enforcement officers. They would be video-taped and have no way of denying planning to commit the crime. The person would get a summary trial and be sent straight to jail.

This same method is used to arrest drug dealers, robbers and others. It was used to arrest and jail Grammy-award winning reggae musician, Buju Banton (real name Mark Myrie), for 10 years in 2011. An agent provocateur posed as a drug dealer and approached him for drug trafficking. He got involved in the discussions. When enough evidence had been got on him, he was arrested, tried and jailed by a Florida, USA court for 10 years, his global status notwithstanding.

This is a wonderful method of preventing crime in society. A government that is concerned about crime does not just wait for it to be committed; it prevents it and arrests those who have the potential to pose a threat to society.

Given the status of Governor Babatunde Fashola as a well-travelled and exposed man as well as Senior Advocate of Nigeria, one had expected that this approach would have been adopted in fighting all the lawbreakers in Lagos State in various arms of his government, including the Lagos State Civil Service, his commissioners and others.

But the law that we want to focus on is the Lagos State Tenancy Law that was introduced with much fanfare in August 2011. When it was introduced, Lagosians hailed Fashola as a Daniel that had come to judgment, a man that had come to save them from the asphyxiating conditions given by Lagos landlords. But almost two years after, it is obvious that the tenancy law is a fairy tale full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.

Highlights of that law include that no landlord should collect more than one-year rent from a tenant; if a landlord employs the services of an agent, he and not the tenant should pay the agent a commission or a fee; a tenant who paid an annual rent initially would subsequently pay a rent every six months instead of annually.

Because of the shortage of accommodation in Lagos, tenants have always been at the mercy of the landlords. A landlord would collect a two-year rent or more from a new tenant in addition to 10 per cent agency fee and another 10 per cent agreement fee as well as another fee called caution fee. And almost annually, the rent would be increased. If he could not pay, he would be given a notice to quit. Most times, the landlord would obtain an order from a court without the tenant’s knowledge, and then gets the tenant’s property thrown out on a day he is not around.

Some lawyers have been making efforts to execute the new tenancy law, but there are many challenges. One is that most tenants who are looking for accommodation in Lagos are usually desperate because there are few alternatives. For one to get a defaulting landlord implicated, one has to pay the rent first, so as to have the evidence to use against the landlord in court. Not many people have such money to tie down, pending the determination of the case.

But if the Lagos State Government had wanted the tenancy law to be effective, it would have sent agent provocateurs all over Lagos to pose as prospective tenants. If some two or three landlords had been arrested and penalised, the message would have gone round and many landlords would be eager to obey the law to avoid any form of trouble.

When the Lagos State Government of Fashola wanted to introduce toll fares on the Lekki Expressway, it had its way despite all the opposition from Lagosians. When it wanted to increase the school fees of students of the Lagos State University from about N25,000 per annum to about N300,000, it also had its way, in spite of all the opposition against it. In the same, the government of Fashola recently banned commercial motorcycles from all major roads in Lagos despite the outcry against it. It is therefore surprising that the same supposedly determined governor has not made any serious effort to ensure that its tenancy law is obeyed. The reason could be that the government is not directly affected by the problem. The party loyalists and stalwarts of the governor could be landlords that benefit from the status quo, and an implementation of the law would not augur well for them.

But one of the things that have made Fashola stand out among the governors in Nigeria is that without making much noise, he gets things done, and he is keen on ensuring that laws are kept irrespective of the status of those involved. One then wonders why he has treated the tenancy law with levity. He will not seek another term in 2015, but being a governor should not be his biggest dream in Nigeria. He will be increasing his brand equity and positioning himself for highest posts if he ensures that the tenancy law becomes effective as quickly as possible, thereby saving millions of tenants from anguish and hypertension.

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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