Vote for Competence

Close your eyes for a moment and just imagine that Professor Kingsley Moghalu, Nigeria’s brightest mind running for office, actually won the presidential elections. APC and PDP had had interesting but gruesome campaigns that decimated each other’s voter base such that the popular vote went to a third force—The Young Progressives Party.
You may think it wishful thinking but this was the exact case when an unknown Sir Michael Otedola emerged Governor of Lagos State in 1992 after Chief Dapo Sarumi and Professor Femi Agbalajobi went head to head in a bitter contest that weakened by their political bases.
Drawing parallels with the political climate of Lagos in 1992 and today’s national interplay may seem outlandish until you realize that the same political actors back then are still very much around today. More worrisome is the fact that these actors have not changed at all. They touted one-man agendas back then, lording their choices on the electorate and this is what they have continued to do, even today. In 2019, they are going to tell you that you have no choice but their ‘strongman’ who has failed on matters of economy, security, education, jobs, healthcare and even disaster management. They are going to showcase him as the slayer of corruption, even though corruption has been more institutionalized under the current arrangement than the last. One may argue that past administration was corrupt and this is true, but Jonathan opened employment opportunities to all Nigerians with fairness and the level of publicity that has not been seen during the current administration. Employment into the Central Bank of Nigeria , Federal Inland Revenue Service and many other government agencies since 2015 have been characterized by the kind of cronyism of any criminal organization.
Like a beautiful woman with self-worth issues, susceptible to falling for ‘bad guys,’ Nigerians have continued to abide ‘vagabonds in power’ as music maestro, Fela Kuti put it.
Plagued by all kinds of  self-sabotaging emotionalism, we have set our country back nearly 50 years with the kinds of leaders we have let through the doors at Aso Rock since 1999. The fact that Nigerians are five times poorer in terms of the state of the economy is a testament to the fact that we do not know how to choose our leaders.
A leader  does not have to share your faith, social affiliation or even, race to lead our country. When we choose a leader, we do not have to like him. And even though we have allowed sentiments guide the decision of who became president in the past, we must not do so now because Nigeria’s survival depends on it.
We heard Jonathan ‘had no shoes’ and we voted for him in 2011.  We heard Buhari was ‘Mr. Zero-Corruption and we voted for him in 2015.  In hindsight, these were bad choices comparative to the quality of intelligent people in Nigeria. As Soren Kierkegaard once said, ‘Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.’ Understanding what we did wrong on both occasions to help us do better in future elections is vital. We did not vote for competence but incompetence.
Competence should be all that matters my people, not sentiments. And if there is anyone more competent than Kingsley Moghalu then let us vote that person. Incompetence is why Nigeria is where it is today. Incompetence is why currency devaluation, unemployment, insurgency and pervasive poverty have worsened the lot for many Nigerians. We must own and correct this mistake in 2019 by voting for competence.
Many Nigerians pray to God to save Nigeria and make it a better country; and God has answered. Just like good and evil, He has set before us competence and incompetence. If we choose competence, many will live better, but if we choose incompetence, more will die.  Don’t beat about the bush with your vote this time around. Don’t give four years of your life for N5,000 as some did during the gubernatorial  elections in Ekiti and Osun States. Don’t vote for people whose school certificates are in question, vote for someone who was a professor at one of the best universities in the world.  Vote for competence. Vote Kingsley Moghalu for President.
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Houses and An Inheritance: The Role of the Father


In a world where men are steadily barraged by the question of their identities, one can almost understand why so many men are so resigned. The socioeconomics of parenting particularly in the developed world has led to a rise in stay-at-home dads.  

Or maybe because women have proven to be more emotionally intelligent in the workplace, we are seeing a sustained trend of women taking the breadwinning roles at the home front.We have also witnessed more dereliction from fathers, which I must presume, comes from a place of angst at a world that has so much changed.

But it isn’t how much the world has changed as it as it is about how a lot of men have morphed away from the idea of who a man is. I mean, a real man.

Now, I would most certainly write a book were I to describe a man–not the one I am, but the one I see in the Bible; the one I aspire to be–but that’s not the reason I wrote this post.

 Like the never-ending line drawn across the horizon, the man I see for myself is an unnerving image which is why I like to look at him pixelated, in tiny bits so that my focus does not become blurred by it’s his resplendence.

Proverbs 19:14 is a pixel that I am newly accustomed to. It says,

‘A house and self-sufficiency are a father’s inheritance, but from the LORD comes an insightful wife.’

Leaving the wife part out, even though I am thankful to God for the gift of an insightful wife myself, a man is responsible for the gift of a house and riches to his child. It isn’t enough to teach them God’s ways or send them to school, you’ve got to provide a house and  start up capital for the next generation not because it is what a man should does but because it is part of who a good man is…to his children (see Proverbs 13:22)

Don’t say your parents left you nothing and so, you too would leave nothing to your own kids. 

A good man leaves an inheritance to his children’s children not because it is what he does but because it’s who he is.

Never Question God’s Love

Sometimes, we put out our faith for something. And for every intent and purpose, we even get to a point where we know how it is going to happen; this thing we are believing God for.

But then, it doesn’t happen as planned and we are tempted to get offended. Don’t! 

In that hour, it is time to worship God; to recognize that God’s love for you cannot fail; to reaffirm in your heart your unwavering trust in the love that God has for you.

The Bible declares that we love Him because He first loved us (1 John 4:19). Faith may fail according to the Bible but God’s love for you never fails.

Never question God’s love for you! Worship Him, don’t complain…

How To Get Anything You Want


In Christ, you can have everything you have ever imagined; a beautiful family, happiness, health and wealth; and here is how:

By meditating on God’s Word about whatever it is that you want.

Trust me, the Word of God contains the anointing. And a quick definition of what the anointing is; is that it is a substance of God that destroys burdens and removes yokes (according to Isaiah 10:27) capable of delivering to you God’s intent in any situation, location or context. 

Sickness is a yoke, and so is debt, the inability to find a spouse or pay bills when they fall due. It is a burden to have to endure depression, business failure or failure in your marriage. Everyone knows this because of the pain that comes with such circumstances.

Now, the Lord Jesus Christ (the manifested Word of God) came for one purpose alone: that we who believe in Him should have His life and live it to the fullest (See John 10:10 and 1  John 3:8); and not be subject to pain of defeat.

That said, to meditate on God’s word in the Christian context means to ponder, mutter, devise, confess and shout it until your spirit is bubbling up with it in your prayer and general conduct. It is how you bring the anointing, that yoke destroying, burden removing substance into your affairs. 

So whatever you are faced with, get into the scriptures, make a list of what God’s anointed words say about it from the Bible and begin to meditate upon them.

In ending this piece, allow me to quote two scriptural references as the it is biblical rule that in the mouth of two or more witnesses, a matter is established (See 2 Corinthians 13:1 and Matthew 18:16)

  1. Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful (Joshua 1:8)
  2. Meditate upon these things; give thyself wholly to them; that thy profiting may appear to all. (1 Timothy 4:15)

Everything you have ever wanted, if meditated on for long enough, will be manifested to you. Don’t struggle like the rest of the world. You are different. 

Take time to study Matthew 6: 31-33. Meditating is the way to seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness.

Shalom!

The Measure of Intelligence, Redeeming Nigeria from Moral Precipice and the place of Public Policy

Intelligence is often measured by way of standardized IQ tests which in a sense, is parochial. I bring up this argument in my recently published book, The Code: A Simple Story about Raising Great Women. And while I broach the subject of how we measure intelligence from a broader perspective; as a means truly understanding the strengths of our girl-children in order to harness it, my underlying premise aligns with the popular quote, often attributed to Albert Einstein which says:

‘Everyone is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.’

How true! In my book, I devote a chapter to the eight original intelligences as described by Harvard professor, Howard Gardener in his book, Frames of Mind, adapting them to parenting; how moms and dads share the responsibility of understanding which of the eight their children have high quotients in, as means of helping these kids develop until they reach some sort of genius.

The eight intelligences, more popularly referred to as the Theory of Multiple Intelligence include;
· Linguistic intelligence (word smartness)

· Logical-mathematical intelligence (number/reasoning smartness)

· Spatial intelligence (picture smartness)

· Bodily-Kinaesthetic intelligence (body smartness)

· Musical intelligence (music smartness)

· Interpersonal intelligence (people smartness)

· Intrapersonal intelligence (self-smartness)

· Naturalist intelligence (nature smartness)

If you look very closely at the quick definitions I put in parenthesis beside the eight intelligences, you may agree with me as to the veracity of my argument. Simply put, people are smart differently and standardizing the measure of intelligence in for of IQ tests is nothing short of an anomaly. We just aren’t smart the same way. Some people are word smart and others are music smart. Even music maestro, Fela Anikulapo-Kuti alluded in part to this phenomenon when he said;

‘Book sense different from belle sense’

That said, I have been studying a rare form of intelligence, called Moral Intelligence; a smartness of right from wrong. And while this article makes no judgement as to political views or religious leanings, a recent piece of legislation regarding granting amnesty to economic saboteurs in Nigeria perturbed me into writing this piece and raises the question as to whether there are morally intelligent people in the country’s political leadership.

As with all intelligences, I hypothesize that moral intelligence is both inborn and can be honed. And that in creating a society that is morally intelligent, the government, by way of its education and national orientation policies can emphasize moral instruction as a means of improving the overall moral intelligence average of the country.
Without doubt, some people are morally smarter, without the input of any religious or moral instruction while others aren’t. We have all come across the truthful hedonist or the degenerate religious leader who fails to practice what he preaches. The multi-dimenionslism of human beings speak to one thing: People can in character lead double live based on their moral smartness. And so policy makers, in public and private sectors, have the onus of looking for ways of measuring and funneling  the moral intelligent  into leadership…by way of robust human capital development policy.

Effort is King


No matter how smart or talented you are, effort is king. You may not be gifted or talented and yet, you may become super successful, particularly if you make up your mind that no one would outwork you in your chosen vocation. 

Frankly,  most people would discard talent because it is no indicator of success. There are far more talented failures in the world than people willing to put in the time and effort that bring results. 

In my line of work, people are quick to praise results over effort forgetting that there could be no results without it.

Then, there’s religious confusion about effort and its value. In Christianity, there’s the ‘faith vs works’ debate which has let many people accuse Christians of being sloppy with their work–which in part, I can familiarize with. But this ought not to be. Part of being the light of world entails having an extraordinary work ethic. 

In his letter to the Corinthian church in the Bible Paul mentioned* how his extraordinary work ethic was a product of grace–labouring more than his contemporaries–and not the opposite. 

But today, certain people lazy around with the idea that God’s grace is some kind of gift that requires they do little to achieve a lot. Nothing could be more a departure from the truth as this.

Certain, effort, clarity and perseverance are parallel truths on the pathway to success but of the three, effort is king.

*1 Corinthians 15:10

What Problems Am I Solving?


Every day, I see people–great, loving, wonderful human beings-struggle financially; live from paycheck to paycheck; stay glued to cul de sac jobs where they work at for decades. Sometimes, these folks are just unable to find work  because the job market is tight. What’s true though is  that being Mr. Nice Guy doesn’t pay bills.

Money only comes to people who are -in one way or the other- solving problems. Every job on earth is designed to solve a problem or set of problems in exchange for money. 

I find that making money is often the primary or sole motivation for many people, but it never satisfies like if actually aligning yourself to fix a problem would. 

A person of faith, realizing how important motivations are, cannot be downplayed because with the right ones, anybody can become an enterprise that meets  a need, employs others and takes in profits by the millions.

So what are the motivations that can help you solve problems and change your earn ability forever?

Love


Love can. The Bible is a book that teaches humans beings to love God, love themselves on the basis of their love for God and then, love their neighbour as they love themselves. It means that if I love my neighbour as I love myself, I am immediately a problem solver. Part of the being a human being is self-preservation. And this attribute, parlayed into the biblical teaching on love can help  you create products and services that people around you need to live better. In essence, all wealth is created by love for others, because loving is giving, solving problems and helping to preserve others, even at the prospect of getting paid.

Hope


Hope is expectation. And several times, all through the Bible, it teaches how having hope can be important. The Bible teaches us to expect profit from all labor. It teaches that the expectation of the righteous including, solving problems in exchange for profits, can not be cut off; the God’s plan for us is to give us an expected end of good. Hope means that success is guaranteed me no matter the business I choose to engage in.

Faith


Faith is taking action based on the hope of success. It is the confident assurance that you believe the guarantee of success that the Bible gives to believers. You start that food business or any other business with the expectation to succeed. Faith is the cherry on the top. It is actualizing the motivations of hope and love. 

As you re-fire and relaunch  out this final half of the year, it is important that you let love, hope and faith drive you to solve problems and create value for others. 

Let the drive to help others, not the quest for money underpin your business venturing. 

If you are finding it difficult to get a job, make one. Your destiny is in your grasp. It is my firm belief that God created you to solve a problem in this world so step up and be counted.

Maybe you can cook, clean, audit, plan or manage money well. Remember this: 

You are the answer to someone’s cry; the solution to someone’s problems.

What you need to do now is get a sheet of paper and write on the top of that page this question:

What problems am I solving? 

From that point, start attempting to answer this question with as many thoughts that come to mind by writing down the things you are good at. Reread the three Bible motivations for solving problems and let it drive you to start a business or reorganize the one you already have.

May the rest of the year turn out in your favour.