YOUTHS ARE LEADERS OF TODAY AND NOT TOMORROW

Without any iota of doubt, this topic is germane to the current political ,social and economic developments in Nigeria as she is searching for ways and means  to salvage her systems in the quagmire she plunged herself owing to past bad or ineffective leadership.

By the way, who are the youths and which areas can they function well in society or government? Are they tomorrow’s leaders or today’s?

Youths, according to New Lexicon Dictionary of the English Language(Encyclopedic Edition) ”is the state or quality of being young ; the period from childhood to maturity”. Youths can function well in the home they come from,while in school,as an apprentice under a master, in his environment, churches,mosques and in the government.Youths have their parts to play in all the institutions mentioned above and more. But the question is whether they are performing their roles or deferring to the future because of the usual saying ‘that they are leaders of tomorrow’. Anyone who listens to the ranting of the ants will never gets anywhere in life. There is no other tomorrow but today. Youths are leaders of today and not tomorrow; that tomorrow is TODAY.It is expedient to know that life cannot reward you more than the contribution you can make. What you make out of life depends on what you put into it. What necessitated your placement in life was a problem and when you depart the world, you are going to be remembered for two things: the problem you solved or the one you created. You are either solving or creating problem. You cannot be a plus and still a minus. Your relevance as a youth is tied to the problem you solve. You don’t need to wait till tomorrow before you can solve a problem you can conveniently solve today.

The Nigeria I979 Constitution refers to a youth as a person between the ages of 18-35. But what we find in Nigeria are Youth leaders of about 50 years old! Where are the youths below 50? The answer to this, forms part of the problems facing the youths preventing them from taking their stand in Nation building.In broader sense,youths are people who have the energy, vigour and enthusiasm to get things done. It is a state of mind not a function of age;the quality of imagination, resolute in courage over timidity and undiluted appetite for progressive reasoning. The leadership cadres in Nigeria are extremely saturated with aged politicians, technocrats who believe nation building is their exclusive preserve and as such, youths should hold on until their demise to operate. But kudos to President Buhari who gave his consent to the ”not too young to run bill”,which has now become part of our law. This however,does not portends the aged to be out of political or economic seats. Some are still vibrant but they should be at the background as counselors and watchdogs.

It is not only in politics that youths can prove their mettle. Economically and technologically they are vital instruments to make Nigeria great. The inventor of electricity Michael Faraday was a self-taught scientist,who without a degree in electrical / electronic engineering or a degree in Physics gave the world electricity. Faraday had no formal education but embraced self education. What you need is what is within you . A mechanical engineering student should strife to develop a Piston or Radiator . When you start your project, sooner than later finance help will surface The same with a chemical engineering and computing students Develop software or write better programmes for Nigeria and the world that will impact on the people even at the grassroots.

Bill Gates as a teenager gave the world Microsoft and became the world richest. Michael Dell was also a student when he started DELL Computer and became the largest employer of labour and computer manufacturer. Ted Turner (owner of Cable News Network(CNN) ) never had a university degree. As youths , embrace and focus on what you are good at. Give training and re-training a chance and associate with like minds on positive things. Be consistent” A man is but a product of his thoughts” says Mahatma Gandhi. The energy and brightness of the minds of youths acts as torchbearer for national development. The time to do this is now and not tomorrow because there is no other tomorrow but TODAY. Kidnappings ,ritual killings, armed robbery,vote buying during elections ,hooliganism and many other obnoxious vices are termites of progress and not the solutions to our gargantuan challenges.

Finally,Youths must put God first in all they do, a life without God is in crises. Ask God for direction and He will surely lead you. Work hard, pray hard, shun violence and avoid evil associates. When you avoid all these vices,the sky is just the beginning. You will sooner than later be part of policy formulators and executors in your society.
By: Idowu Tunde

A PEEP AT 2017 WORLD POST DAY AS CELEBRATED IN OSUN STATE,NIGERIA

October 9th, 2017 will not be forgotten in a hurry as witnessed in another anniversary of the World Post Day in NIPOST Osogbo District Office.
One of  the key events of the anniversary  was a paper presented  by Mrs Idowu, B.O. ,senior Postal Controller in the District entitled ”Transforming the Post in an Enabling Economy to Align with Global System”.
Brief history of the universal postal union (UPU)was recalled as it came into being on 9th October,1874 as a unique agency for co-ordinating the postal policies among member nations. She referred to the economy of the world being in coma and Nigeria also not left out. She quickly pointed out that Nigeria had course to thank God because ”we are out of economic recession”.
However, she posited that the Federal government needs to focus on the potentiality of NIPOST to make her  function very well in line with global posts.
According to her, NIPOST has been functioning  well in her traditional roles of postal delivery, counter services, private mail bag delivery and the like. Also, new products such as logistics, IPS, sales of online NECO,WAEC registration cards and Electronic Money Transfer(I.F.S.) were introduced and effective but need improvement to generate more revenue.

Furthermore, that ,” to post post into prosperity, transformation  must take place’ ‘She defined transformation as  complete change in someone or something; which means that transformation ” we are clamouring for, could come through us (as NIPOST staff), the government ,in terms  of policy implementation and financial commitment and also our customers patronages who are our partners in sustainable development of our services”. Therefore, according to the paper presenter, to transform the post in an enabling economy, the following panacea must be explored and effectively put in place:
– More investment in infrastructures and stronger government commitment to the postal sector, in order to enter the  digital age more easily
– Efforts should be intensified  to making NIPOST join the league of organizations issuing vehicle license, driving license and international passport as it is done in advanced countries.
– NIPOST should monitor both legal and illegal courier services.
-There should not be any digital gap between urban and rural areas, which means internet facilities must be installed in all offices .
– All staff should be marketers and marketing focused.
-Positive change ,must  start with staff; change your orientation and think positively.
-Every product should be adequately valued eg. EMS, Logistics, Postcash  etc; tell people about NIPOST products and be customers friendly.
– Do NIPOST business as your personal business. Let your slogan be ”if NIPOST succeeds it means Iam a success”.
Mrs Idowu rounded off the presentation by concluding that to transform the post in an enabling economy to align with global system is possible  if there is improvement in infrastructures, innovation and better addressing system.
Finally, she said’ NPOST is firmly focused on the future and taking steps to
modernize ,grow her capacity and range of services but also not forget to motivate NIPOST staff in terms of better remuneration.

SELF IMPOSED COLONIZATION OR 'CIVILIZATION'?

Every nation of the world has its culture or tradition of naming her new born baby. Among the white race, their style of naming is quite different from that of the Africans .A white man can name his child, Stone, Wood, Green, White, Wall and what have you. With the Africans, especially Nigeria and Yoruba race in particular; names given to children at birth are very significant and depend on the circumstances at birth.
In Yoruba grammar, a name can be spelt as the bearer of such name wants it. For example, the name-Abimbola can also be spelt Abinbola,Olayiwola can be spelt Layiwola without altering their meanings. This applies to a host of other Yoruba names. The examples of Yoruba names given above and their orthography(spelling) have meanings in relation to the circumstances of birth or lineages such people originated from. Their spellings notwithstanding, have not altered the meanings attached to them and they are not ambiguous or misleading.
To go to the pre-occupation of this piece, something ugly, demeaning and frustrating has crept into the way Yoruba people spell their names nowadays. They have changed the original and generally acceptable way of spelling Yoruba names which will portray them as Yoruba people. We don’t know what is the matter with these set of people, who still believe that until they interpolate English alphabets into their Yoruba names, they are not yet civilized. The question is –Is this civilization or self imposed colonization?
The alarming rate at which these Yoruba people change their names at will especially on facebook, twitter, etc is too worrisome. Please go through the following to see how insulting and misleading the spellings are: OLUWAFEMI- changed to-HOLLUWAPHEMY,OPEYEMI to-HORPEYYEMMY, ABOSEDE to-HABOZEDEY,OLADAYO to HAWLERDAYOH, the list is in exhaustive.
The above Yoruba names put in English spellings are not only wrong, but misleading not only to the young Yoruba folks but to foreigners interested in the language. It is too misleading to Yoruba folks who are just getting to understanding the Yoruba language and how names are correctly spelt.
Where are we heading to in Nigeria about our culture? What is wrong with these set of Yoruba people who had thrown away our culture and language for the foreign one? An Englishman or woman would rather acquire a Yoruba name instead of bastardizing it. A glaring reference is the late Yoruba culture Icon, SUZAN WENGER. Because of the affinity and respect she had for Yoruba culture, allowed herself to be called ‘’Adunni Orisa’’.
Yoruba language is gradually going into extinction viz-a-viz her culture and these set of people are not helping matters. They are enemies of culture and Yoruba race in particular.
China, is one of the fastest growing countries in the world in terms of technology.Yet, they use their indigenous languages as language of instruction in their schools. The same can be mentioned of Japan, one of the highly industrialized countries in the world. What is wrong with Nigerians? We don’t value what we have but prefers looking outside. It is high time the language experts and the education ministry did something about this ugly trend .We should value our language and culture and not trying to be other people. We should desist from being English more than the English people. Those involved in mutilating our language should have a re-think.

ESCAPE FROM 'GULAG'

The exact date and month I cannot recollect now, but I guess it was around June/July of the year 2005 when I came to Lagos for the greener pasture.My inability to put this in print ever since that time was deliberate as I decided to allow a breathing space on the story to hide my identity so as not to allow the high-muck-a-muck ‘specialist’  to feed on my innocent blood.

The day was bright and promising. I have just returned from work as a guardian to teenagers in a boarding house where one of them was sick  and decided to take him to a nearby ‘Clinic’ in the highbrow estate in Ikoyi,Lagos. One spectacular thing about this ‘infamous clinic’ is that it has no signpost(and not planning to have one)because of the reason best known to the owner despite others in the neighbourhood having signposts in their various hospitals/clinics.

Most of the time,this lone ranger ‘doctor’ was not always in his clinic but allows patients to be admitted on menial ailments just to make his money. What they do is to place the patient on drips for the doctor to attend(if fortunate) to him two or three days later!

On that fateful dayas usual,he was not in the office. Idid all the registration/documentations for the boy and was diagnosed of typhoid(by the nurses) and put on admission. I was visiting the boy on regular basis at the hospital and the boy’s complaints each time was not able to see the doctor. Surprisingly, he was discharged the third day and was left to leave the hospital alone to go home and come back for his injections! I met the boy in the hostel  when I returned from work and wondered why he left the hospital. He narrated his travail and vowed not to go back to the ‘clinic’ despite having injections to take. I calmed him and let him realised the implications of not completing the dose of prescribed injections.. He obliged but did not fail to recollect all the trauma he went through:bad ventilation,mosquitoes, bad food and a host of others.Mind you, he had not yet seen the doctor but only nurses.

The following day,in company of my superior officer,went to the clinic for a comprehensive report on the boy’s ailment and whether it was true he had been discharged ‘but the doctor was not available. We left the clinic but my boss left a message for the doctor to send his bills to the office for payment if it was true the boy had been discharged.

I repeated the visit the third day with the boy and yet the doctor was in the office but was quickly called on phone by his receptionist and surprisingly, in a jiffy made his way to his clinic and ushered us into his office. He gave a stern instruction to his receptionist not to allow anyone  in and put the door under lock with key and put the key in his pocket!! I was flabbergasted.It was like a criminal in the dock giving evidence before the jury! To safe time, I opened the discussion by thanking him for his ‘efforts’ treating my boy and the information that he had been discharged. That we came together for him to receive the remaining injections.I did not forget to remind him that he should forward his bills to my office as earlier said.

To anybody who has witnessed a snake spit his venom before, such would be better imagined how strangely this ‘doctor’ began to vomit fire! To my consternation,he laced me with virulent and vituperative words for almost an hour! We became(me and the patient) a prey to this vampire ‘doc’ who did not stop with his display of shame and callousness but descended on my boss(in absence) as well.He posted horrible words at my boss-to use his words”I want you to to tell those useless people who sent you here so that they can come here to meet me…I will show them the stuff Iam made of….” When I could no longer stomach his unwarranted  insults,threats,vituperation and scurrilous remarks on my personality and that of my boss,called him to order(forgetting that I was in a ‘dungeon’) afterall,we were his customers and customers ,no matter what happens ,as business etiquette is concerned are always right and we have not committed any crime to warrant such negative response. I cut in boldly and said”Mr man, I am not here to fight but to thank you and to see to the fomal discharge of the boy admitted in your hospital”. He became furious the more. He became ferocious.He rose from his seat and pounced on me like the infamous and inglorious Orji-the notorious cannibal of Lagos in the early 90’s. This self acclaimed Doc(as I later learnt that he is not a qualified doctor but married a nurse) stood;held me by the tie and pronounced that he would kill me.! Hear him”-You called me Mr man,who is your Mr man? I can kill you now and nothing would happen”. This was unbelievable in a civilized society with a supposedly ‘literate’ being who we all believe are engaged in humanitarian service. No wonder his office has no signpost!

I was terrified at this juncture. What filled my heart went beyond his wild moment.I was seeing poisoned injections,acidic knives or even forceful application of killer drugs on us. I kept calm and did not struggle or respond  to all his threats and violent words,afterall,he who fights and runs away lives to fight another day. He had made up his mind to eliminate us and cover his tracks-he confirmed this in his statement of wrath,maybe he’s a professional at this.

Ask me what my boy ,the patient was doing? He was shivering,mouth agape and flabbergasted. He couldn’t believe what he was seeing. It was like a theatre of the absurd left for the two of us to watch alone.

My boy was looking at the two of us like a dodo but suddenly with tears in his eyes, he summoned courage and muttered some sympathetic words-”Please Sir, leave him for my sake” These few words worked like magic and the butcher withdrew  his ‘knife’ and the day was saved from the vampire under the cassock of a medical doctor.He brought out his office key from his pocket and opened his office door for us ,having held us hostage for almost one hour! As we escaped from the ‘ doctor’s’ gulag, WE BURST INTO A VICTORY SONG AND PRAISES TO GOD that saved us from untimely grave.

Please take a cue from the above scenario; take somebody along whenever you want to visit a clinic or any stranger and let somebody be on the standby for you,awaiting your coming out . If you are arrested ,somebody will go back home to report.

By Idowu Akintunde.

To

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Idowu Akintunde <akintunde.idowu@gmail.com>
Date: Thu, Jul 13, 2017 at 3:24 PM
Subject: ESCAPE FROM ‘GULAG’
To: idowu akintunde <akintunde.idowu@gmail.com>

The exact date and month I cannot recollect now, but I guess it was around June/July of the year 2005 when I came to Lagos for the greener pasture.My inability to put this in print ever since that time was deliberate as I decided to allow a breathing space on the story to hide my identity so as not to allow the high-muck-a-muck ‘specialist’  to feed on my innocent blood.

The day was bright and promising. I have just returned from work as a guardian to teenagers in a boarding house where one of them was sick  and decided to take him to a nearby ‘Clinic’ in the highbrow estate in Ikoyi,Lagos. One spectacular thing about this ‘infamous clinic’ is that it has no signpost(and not planning to have one)because of the reason best known to the owner despite others in the neighbourhood having signposts in their various hospitals/clinics.

Most of the time,this lone ranger ‘doctor’ was not always in his clinic but allows patients to be admitted on menial ailments just to make his money. What they do is to place the patient on drips for the doctor to attend(if fortunate) to him two or three days later!

On that fateful day as usual,he was not in the office. I did all the registration/documentations for the boy and was diagnosed of typhoid(by the nurses) and put on admission. I was visiting the boy on regular basis at the hospital and the boy’s complaints each time was not able to see the doctor. Surprisingly, he was discharged the third day and was left to leave the hospital alone to go home and come back for his injections! I met the boy in the hostel  when I returned from work and wondered why he left the hospital. He narrated his travail and vowed not to go back to the ‘clinic’ despite having injections to take. I calmed him and let him realized the implications of not completing the dose of prescribed injections.. He obliged but did not fail to recollect all the trauma he went through:bad ventilation,mosquitoes, bad food and a host of others.Mind you, he had not yet seen the doctor but only nurses.

The following day,in company of my superior officer,went to the clinic for a comprehensive report on the boy’s ailment and whether it was true he had been discharged ‘but the doctor was not available. We left the clinic but my boss left a message for the doctor to send his bills to the office for payment if it was true the boy had been discharged.

I repeated the visit the third day with the boy and yet the doctor was in the office but was quickly called on phone by his receptionist and surprisingly, in a jiffy made his way to his clinic and ushered us into his office. He gave a stern instruction to his receptionist not to allow anyone  in and put the door under lock with key and put the key in his pocket!! I was flabbergasted.It was like a criminal in the dock giving evidence before the jury! To safe time, I opened the discussion by thanking him for his ‘efforts’ treating my boy and the information that he had been discharged. That we came together for him to receive the remaining injections.I did not forget to remind him that he should forward his bills to my office as earlier said.

To anybody who has witnessed a snake spit his venom before, such would be better imagined how strangely this ‘doctor’ began to vomit fire! To my consternation,he laced me with virulent and vituperative words for almost an hour! We became(me and the patient) a prey to this vampire ‘doc’ who did not stop with his display of shame and callousness but descended on my boss(in absence) as well.He posted horrible words at my boss-to use his words”I want you to to tell those useless people who sent you here so that they can come here to meet me…I will show them the stuff Iam made of….” When I could no longer stomach his unwarranted  insults,threats,vituperation and scurrilous remarks on my personality and that of my boss,called him to order(forgetting that I was in a ‘dungeon’) afterall,we were his customers and customers ,no matter what happens ,as business etiquette is concerned are always right and we have not committed any crime to warrant such negative response. I cut in boldly and said”Mr man, I am not here to fight but to thank you and to see to the formal discharge of the boy admitted in your hospital”. He became furious the more. He became ferocious.He rose from his seat and pounced on me like the infamous and inglorious Orji-the notorious cannibal of Lagos in the early 90’s. This self acclaimed Doc(as I later learnt that he is not a qualified doctor but married a nurse) stood;held me by the tie and pronounced that he would kill me.! Hear him”-You called me Mr man,who is your Mr man? I can kill you now and nothing would happen”. This was unbelievable in a civilized society with a supposedly ‘literate’ being who we all believe are engaged in humanitarian service. No wonder his office has no signpost!

I was terrified at this juncture. What filled my heart went beyond his wild moment.I was seeing poisoned injections,acidic knives or even forceful application of killer drugs on us. I kept calm and did not struggle or respond  to all his threats and violent words,afterall,he who fights and runs away lives to fight another day. He had made up his mind to eliminate us and cover his tracks-he confirmed this in his statement of wrath,maybe he’s a professional at this.

Ask me what my boy ,the patient was doing? He was shivering,mouth agape and flabbergasted. He couldn’t believe what he was seeing. It was like a theatre of the absurd left for the two of us to watch alone.

My boy was looking at the two of us like a dodo but suddenly with tears in his eyes, he summoned courage and muttered some sympathetic words-”Please Sir, leave him for my sake” These few words worked like magic and the butcher withdrew  his ‘knife’ and the day was saved from the vampire under the cassock of a medical doctor.He brought out his office key from his pocket and opened his office door for us ,having held us hostage for almost one hour! As we escaped from the ‘ doctor’s’ gulag, WE BURST INTO A VICTORY SONG AND PRAISES TO GOD that saved us from untimely grave.

Please take a cue from the above scenario; take somebody along whenever you want to visit a clinic or any stranger and let somebody be on the standby for you,awaiting your coming out . If you are arrested ,somebody will go back home to report.

By Idowu Akintunde.

VALENTINE DAY

Valentine Day is a unique day that is celebrated on February 14th. People in the United States, Canada, Australia and most European countries celebrate Val’s Day.

In Nigeria and other African countries, Valentine day has also been embraced and celebrated with pomp and pageantry.

Many people send greeting cards called Valentine’s to sweethearts,friends and family members. Some people send flowers or Candy to their wives,husbands,friends or sweethearts. Many Valentine candy boxes are heart shaped and adorned with red ribbon.

I recall with nostalgic how Valentine Day was celebrated during my secondary school days in the early60s-70s. Some days before February 14th,wrapped papers with the inscriptions of names of all students and staff would be passed round the school for all to pick a name. The name of the one you picked became your Valentine. On the Val Day itself,everybody would sit in a circumference on the school’s pitch or playground as the chief organizer opened the show ,mentioned his own name and requested to know his Valentine. His Valentine would emerge and they would exchange gifts or handshake. And this would go round until everybody was able to know and met with his or her Valentine. It was all fun lazed with light refreshment and we all looked forward to the D.DAY.

No one knows for sure how Valentine’s Day started. The idea of sending greetings on Valentine’s Day goes back more than a hundred years ago. Some people think this idea may have come from from events  in the life of saint Valentine, a Christian Saint.

One story says that Valentine was a friend of many children. The Romans put him in prison because he believed in Jesus Christ and would not pray to Roman gods. The children missed Valentine and tossed loving notes to him through the windows of his jail cell.This story may explain why people send messages on Valentine Day.

Valentine cards were first sold in the early 18000’s. Many of them were blank inside, leaving a space for the sender to write a message.

Kate Greenaway, a British artist, became famous for her Valentine’s in the late 1800’s. Many of her cards had pictures of happy children and lovely gardens.Valentine’s include both humorous and romantic cards. Special ones are printed for sweethearts and for husbands,wives and relatives.

In Nigeria today,Val Day had been adopted and taken seriously. Lovers meet on February 14th every year to” show their love” for one another. Cinema houses, Malls are visited. They hold hands ,go for shopping and end up in one another arms. Some may be lucky to meet new friends  on Val’s day. Many of the Val’s cards they give read”BE MY VALENTINE”

As you mark this year Valentine Day on February 14 ,remember to show love to your friends and neighbours. Beware  of lust and don’t borrow  unnecessarily to celebrate Valentine day-It is just a day.Husbands,wives,you are to show love and care always to your spouse and not just on February 14 alone. May the brotherly and sisterly love continue. Remember and love your country Nigeria too by doing the right thing to change it for better.

Happy Valentine Day.

By-Akintunde Idowu

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MEDIA AS CONSCIENCE OF THE NATION

The history and pattern of media could be traced  to Nigeria subordination to imperialism . Prior to that period, ancient or traditional forms of inter-personal
and mass communications such as drums,town criers etc were employed as instruments of mass enlightenment and mobilization among various people of what we now know as Nigeria.
The role of the media cannot be over-emphasized not only in Nigeria but in the world. The media, always referred to as the forth estate of the realm is needed in the polity to preach change and educate people on how to go about national development. They are the conscience of the nation.

AREAS OF CONCERN:
1. USE OF MEDIA STRATEGIES-Nigeria as the father of the African countries  needs the media to propagate national developments especially development at the rural levels. The media can help in nation building by effectively making use of national communication policies that spell out functions,politics, uses, ownership, control or regulation of the mass media,so that it will be employed sorely for national development. The media need to make use of communication or media strategies as information campaigns to change people’s beliefs, attitudes and behaviours for development purposes.
2  .SHUN POLITICAL PROPAGANDISTS
According to Jika ;1984” there are bourgeois or reactionary journalists who studiously continue to defend and propagate reactionary views , ideas,values and positions and who are used as fronts for ideological propagation of bourgeois values. Such journalists are megaphones and propagandists of the status quo. They are  apologists of bourgeois domination. Apart from raising non-issues to fundamentals,primordial sentiments are elevated over and above issues of class” The aim being  to confuse,obfuscates and becloud issues.
Nigeria media  should shun those politicians and money bags who want  to pocket them on the altar of Nigeria’s development.Politicizing developmental reportage is counter productive. In journalism, we were taught that the name of the business is ”publish and be dammed.” This is in order to put any government on its toes. Thanks to the freedom of  information law?  Accurate and adequate research , digging deep into the fabrics of governance will prevent overzealous and corrupt politicians and civil servants from dipping his/ her hands into the mud.
3. YOUTHS AS AGENTS OF CHANGE
Our media should focus  more on the youths in this dispensation of change and righting the wrongs of the past. They are  to hammer more on the youths and adults to developing  positive attitudes toward work.  It is an understatement that many of our youths no longer want to  use their  God-given talents but want cheap money or ‘national cake’. Yet  they want to own  fantastic buildings all over the country and overseas ,hence all sorts of cases such as ”baby factories, drug trafficking and kidnapping. The media are to bring this awareness  to people  that,everybody is inclusive when it comes to nation building and not the government alone.In fact,youths have vital roles to play in nation building as catalyst in the positive change ideology of the present government.Notwithstanding,we still have vibrant youths that are very intelligent,knowledgeable and are ready to do legitimate work.  Some are innovators who need only to be assisted.
4.GOVERNMENT ROLE
Human Development Report(1990) defined human development as ”a process  of enlarging people’s choices” that are created by expanding human capabilities”The media are trying in this area with various articles,interviews,discussions on radio and television stations. More efforts should be geared  towards making the government do what  the poor people want that can better their lives.’ Apart from higher income ,poor people put a high value on adequate nutrition,access to safe drinking water, better medical facilities, better schooling for their children,affordable  transport, adequate shelter,secure livelihood ,productive and satisfying job” The government should not  serve itself  but the people that put them in government,if truly,democracy is ”government of the people,by the people and for the people”. Not only the salaries and allowances of  the elected senators and representatives are to be constantly adjusted or reviewed but also that of the civil servants;the peasants farmers making palm oil  in our villages should also be encouraged by providing good roads,  seedlings and other  vital  materials   for  them.

4.RADICAL JOURNALISTS
There are radical journalists who identified  themselves with the ideas, values and aspirations of the marginalized classes and who despite intimidations by powers  that be on their practices, continue to express and champion pro-revolutionary  ideas, values and positions. But these  brilliant,conscientious and  bold journalists should not forget to always  let those youths(and adults) involve in damaging  people’s properties and calling them  government properties know that directly or indirectly, they will have a bite  of the hardship  they are trying to create for people.They are impoverishing the poor more.The media should let them know that violence and destruction are not  the solution  to bring their desired  change in their environments and the country as a whole. The media, along with other institutions such as political structures,cultural institutions,churches and mosques are super structures of any socioeconomic  system  and are to be utilized  to bringing  the desired positive change in our society.
CONCLUSION
Journalists are poorly remunerated. As a result of lack of resources or mismanagement and little or no professional motivation, not much of investigative journalism is seen these days.This aspect of journalism  profession has always been the most hazardous to pursue,even in  this critical time of economic doldrums. Efforts should be made  to look into the salaries of journalists,provide insurance cover,pension and gratuities for them (especially  the private media practitioners). These incentives will encourage those on active service and the budding ones preach the ideas of national developments with boldness,  making their consciences and ethics of the profession their guiding lamp-post in deviant of personal interest.

By Akintunde Idowu

Idowu Akintunde <akintunde.idowu@gmail.com>

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WEIRD BUT TRUE

In the Holy Bible-Galatians 6:7says,”Be not deceived. God is not mocked;for whatever a man sows,that shall he also reap”.

Find below men and women who in the past used words to despise God and the repercussions:

1.JOHN LENNON(Singer) many years ago,during an interview with an American Magazine,said”Christianity will end ,it will disappear. I do not have to argue about that. Iam certain. Jesus was OK,but his subjects were too simple,today we are more famous than Him”(1966).Lennon,after saying that the”Beatles” were more famous than Jesus Christ,was shot six times.

2.CHRISTINE HEWITT-(Jamaican Journalist and Entertainer) said,”The Bible,word of God was the worst book ever written”.In June 2006, she was found burnt beyond recognition in her motor car.

3. In Campinas, Brazil,a group of friends, drunk,went to pick a friend ………The mother accompanied her to the car and was so worried about the drunkenness of her friends and said to the daughter,holding her hand who was already seated in the car:”My daughter,Go with God  and may He protect you”. She responded, ”only if He (GOD)  travels in the Trunk, cause inside here…..it’s already full”.Hours later, news came in that they were involved  in a fatal accident  and everyone in the car died and the car could not be recognized.However, surprisingly,the Trunk was intact. Inside the trunk of the car was a crate of eggs,none was broken!

4. TANCREDO NEVES(Ex-President of Brazil),during the presidential campaign,said,”if he got 500,000 votes from his party,not even God would remove him from Presidency”. Truly, he got the votes,but he fell sick a day before being sworn in as President,he later died.

5.CAZUZA(Bi-sexual Composer,Singer and Poet)- During a show in Canecio(RIO deJANEIRO),while smoking his cigarette,puffed out some smoke into the air and said:”God, that’s for you’. He died at the age of 32 of Lung Cancer in a horrible manner.

6.MARILYN MONROE(Actress)- Billy Graham visited Marilyn Monroe during one of her presentations of a show. He said”the spirit of God had sent him to preach to her. After hearing what the preacher had to say,she said:’I don’t need your Jesus”. A week later, she was found dead in her apartment.

7. BON SCOTT(Singer) The ex-vocalist of the AD/DC.sang in one of his:songs:”I’m going down all the way,down the highway to hell”. On the 19th of February 1980, Bon Scott was found dead;he had been choked by his own vomit.

8. The man who built the TITANIC(a ship) after the construction of the Titanic ship,a reporter asked him  how safe the Titanic would be? In an ironic and emphatic tone he said:”Not even God can sink it”. The truth is that the TITANIC set on sail but sank that same day.

Make a reflection on the above and bridle your tongue.

WHY PAST AGRICULTURAL PROJECTS FAILED IN NIGERIA

Farming is an age old profession. The genesis of farming could be traced to the garden of Eden(in the Bible)where God put the first people on earth-Adam and Eve.It has been practised by past  generations and will continue to be by generations yet unborn. It is the most rewarding but highly neglected occupation in Nigeria.

At independence,farming was a hereditary career handed over to the son by the father.. A child followed his father to the farm and watched him did the job and learnt the rudiments of farming in the process. That was only for subsistence in nature and farming was done with crude implements -hoes and cutlasses.

INTRODUCTION TO SCIENTIFIC FARMING

Today,civilization or education has brought a lot of changes to agriculture. Science and technology have introduced mechanized farming and instead of hoes and cutlasses,mechanized devices such as tractors,mowers,and other machines  are employed to weed,cultivate and harvest farm produce. However,majority of our farmers in Nigeria still depends on the obsolete implements which are are wearisome and frustrating. Full mechanized farming is mostly practised by the elite farmers who have access to the corridor of powers and use their political leanings to monopolise the machines.

LACK OF CONTINUITY OF GOVERNMENT POLICIES

In all Geo-political zones in Nigeria,there are suitable form of one agricultural products or the other. Now that oil has failed us,each of the state of the federation is involving and diverting attention to agriculture.Perhaps, one of the major constrains of Nigeria’s development apart from corruption in the polity can be attributed to lack of continuity of development policies on the part of the government and its indigenous development agencies..As such, numerous development programmes have suffered  still-birth owing to abandonment by successive administrations.Some of the development programmes that are now relics of history include:OFN,GREEN REVOLUTION,DFRRI,FSP,FEAP,PAP etc.

In 1970s, General Gowon’s National  Accelerated  Food Production Programme and General Obasanjo OFN both concentrated on extending cultivable areas through large scale mechanized farms which were run inefficiently. The productivity problems of Nigeria’s peasants who accounted for over 90% of total agricultural output were ignored. The Shagari administration continued this agriculture  programme but with a different tag-Green Revolution tailored towards agricultural development. What happened to it after Shagari’s era?  Total neglect for quick to get oil glut.

As mentioned above, in Nigeria,successive governments have been known to have advocated a mass return to the land on the part of the youths of this country. They have posited that the destiny of this country is with the youths going back to the farms,hence the slogan”Back to land”.  A critical examination of this reveals that the whole exercise is nothing short of delusion because it was not properly handled. No amount of television agriculture propaganda or campaign to score cheap political points will make the youths go back to the land  unless the governments take pragmatic approach  to bring  a change to the use of obsolete agricultural implements used on farms. Farming should be made as attractive  as pushing a pen. Most of the agriculture graduates are complaining of lack of patronage or discouragement in taking farming  as their professions. Only few ones are lucky to be trained by governmente lucky to be trained by governments.  Loans are difficult to come by and they still use crude implements and made to employ labourers on the farms with huge wages paid to them leaving them with little or no profits.

BENEFITS TO EXPECT FROM FARMING

There are numerous advantages in farming. Farmers get a lot of food from the farms freely which in turn will save a lot of money  that could have been spent to buy them  in the markets. Such money saved,may be used for other domestic purposes. As a professional or government, there is the opportunity to be involved in large scale farming. Produce from cash crops or arable farming can be utilized  in the country and also export to foreign countries.This will earn us foreign exchange and positively affects our GDP There will be food in abundance at affordable prices both for the rich and the poor.

SUGGESTIONS

—Efforts should be made by governments to provide enough tractors for rentage at rock bottom fees  and provide adequate seedlings for the established  and would-be farmers.

— Loans should be made available to young and willing graduate farmers who want to be involved in farming

—Farmers should not be heavily taxed as it has been the practice in the past to encourage them on the farms.

—Governments at the Federal and local levels must create a monitoring team who will see to the genuine distribution of farming implements,seedlings and even loans to the ready farmers and youths.

—-There  should be price  incentives and guaranteed profitable producer backed up by well run countrywide buying organisations for farmers who  choose to engage with them.

—-Wide Silos and other storage  facilities should be developed.

—-There should be a reduction in waste and inefficiency by governments handling the distribution of local and imported fertilizer to private organisations.

—-Some of the governments reserved lands could be leased out to farmers and young graduates .These lands are usually used for low cost housing estates which mostly are not affordable by the middle-level workers meant for because of the high prize tag on them
—-Also , the rubber plantation in the East,groundnut pyramid  in the North and Cocoa plantation in the South-West should be REVIVED.to boost our local consumption and foreign reserves.
CONCLUSION
The government should stop playing politics with farming. Farmers in Nigeria  are still poor and regarded as voiceless in the scheme of things,be it business, politics and what have you. This is not so  in advanced countries such as Ceylon,USA,India, China etc.These countries are prosperous because they take farming and farmers seriously.
The country, Nigeria is suffering in the midst of plenty because of past governments  lip service or lackadaisical attitude towards it because  of  cheap oil glut that has now back pedaled and snowballed us to square one.Nigeria should be  able to achieve self sufficiency in such produce  as: :yam,maize,cassava,beans,rice etc and even export surpluses within a reasonable period of time if some of these suggestions are taken seriously for implementation.
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