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.

Who Is Preparing for this?

By 2020, there will be 20 million self-driving cars. And by 2030, Artificial Intelligence (AI) would have eclipsed nearly 2 billion jobs. Jobs as diverse as catering and article writing are set to be taken over by robots.

With the world population on a steady rise, one is poised to wonder what cataclysmic problems the impending surge of technologically-induced unemployment is set to reek. The steady lure of profits from globalization to technology for world commerce is going to have a sudden impact on people, like a sledgehammer on an ant, when the day comes, but not today.

Today, technology is advancing at mind-boggling speeds so that employers are now in need of employees with computer science skills.

According to LinkedIn, about 96 percent of jobs across the globe expected to be filled this year alone require some knowledge of computer science from cloud computing administrators to digital marketers.

This means that young people going into university to study courses like accounting, banking, journalism, agronomy and general surgery may be out of work before they even graduate.

The career guidance department of many schools have a task at hand. PTA’s really need to start giving attention to STEM ( Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) education from as early as kindergarten so that children learn to solve problems and adapt solutions to real lite situations using STEM.

In many parts of Africa, policy makers are yet to formulate policy for integrating STEM into in-country curricula which could spell doom if parents, teachers and the students themselves don’t take the initiative.

Management guru, Peter Drucker once said, ‘ the only way to prepare for the future is to create it.’ Don’t wait for the government, wherever you are.

Prepare yourself for the future.

2018: Information vs Knowledge [Must Read]

Information and knowledge have never been the same thing, even though I don’t know why we approach their acquisition alike. Perhaps, the education system is responsible for this gaffe. We sit down in class, church or seminars and just soak in the information without learning anything. And then wonder why we’re the same every year.

Information is passive. You listen. And many times than not, we listen for the sake of listening. And if we find subject boring, we simply shut it out and move on to the next activity, easy and simple.

Knowledge on the other hand, is active. You have to do to know. And I know this sounds contrived but this is the secret of the ages. It is why all the sermons you heard or the books you read made very little difference.To you, they were just information and not knowledge; a collection of stories to listen to and forget afterwards. You took no notes. You could rehearse the information from the notes you had taken and so you learnt nothing.

In 2018, go everywhere with a notepad and a camera. Be ready to capture new things coming to you as information. Knowledge is first acquired by taking notes. And then, acting on the information you got.

The moment you commit pen to paper something happens in your subconscious that triggers actual learning to take place. This is the background that all teachers of goal setting do not really mention. It is why a goal committed to paper in your own handwriting is ten times more likely to be achieved than a goal that stays a mental note.

If this is the only hack you apply in 2018, I think it would go a very long way in helping you become a better person.

After all, the Chinese say, ‘the palest ink is better than the best memory.’ While the former focuses on knowledge, the latter surrenders to being informed.

A Drivel for Writers

The moment I lost my desire for fame and money, writing actually regained its meaning to me. I reclaimed my mantra which simply states, that ‘On writing, there are no rules.’ Forget about all the ‘six steps to better writing’ tips or the ‘how to be a writer’ articles that tickle your fancy from time to time because writing can be as dynamic as there are people–and still be Pulitzer award winning stuff.

So remember, there are no rules even though, some things stay true; like characters and situational plots; reading avidly and using what you read to find your own voice.
On writing, it is certain to note that you cannot become a writer, talkless of a good one without copious reading. It’s almost as though the maestros have their say in who succeeds and who doesn’t as JRR Tolkien does in the works of GRR Martin or as Achebe in Adichie. The writer is a protege of sorts; a reincarnation of some scribbler past. This, otherwise, he is nothing.

To become a good writer you must live life on the edge, they say; take risks; meet people; travel and read as much as you can. Read everything from spiritual scripts to lame poetry. Somewhere in all of it, you will hear your own voice. It will bleed out of you; in the bathroom; on the road and sometimes, at your desk, looking at the screen right in front of you as you plod the keypads.

Maybe to you, I have listed a bunch of rules while telling you there are no rules to writing. There is one rule: Write everyday. If you ever wonder how some people come up with five hundred thousand words, this is how.

And please, writer’s block is not such a problem. It happens to the best of writers. But wait a minute, isn’t it an excuse we tell ourselves because there is nothing eventful to write about. Make an event of everything. Like the one about your eyes following these words as I come to a final full stop.

Drivel if you must but remember, there are no rules to great writing–only one. We only know it to be good or great when we read it. So write it.

What Many Men Modernism Hath Killed

Many a man modernism hath killed.The Hitlers, the Hoovers and then, the Vanderbilts. Men of power; men of grace; men of fame. Attempting to live forever, their eyes staring starkly at their legacies.
Many great men modernism hath killed.The Guevaras, the Gräfenbergs and of course, Hemingway. Men earnestly plodding through this winding world wandering; mostly floundering forward with no way.

Only had they their existence with a true centre. Then their worlds wouldn’t have so quickly been shattered. 

Sheltered living. Yes…in the shadows of a much bigger man. I should think it was probably how men were supposed to live. 

Of a truth, many men modernism hath killed. Men professing wisdom foolishly; like a shirt misbuttoned. Free men trying so hard to be free in their own minds, taking upon themselves the drudgery of ‘trying to be’ when they already were. Ailing men, looking to find themselves, who knew not of the one thing needful: 

Yeshua, a man from a small town called, Nazareth and his indistinct claim to be God.

Indistint is too easy, like a target you could never miss. But man, scarred by his need not to feel lost; to be in control and by his undying love for novelty, is tripped by the low bar. What men modernism hath killed? A sea of tombstones, walking…but dead.

POOR- Passing Over Opportunities Repeatedly

Several years ago…in fact the very first time I recognized God speak to me, part of what He said that day was:

The greatest resource in the world is people. Invest in people.

The people around us–wherever we find ourselves– are our opportunity. And how you take this statement can draw a line to demarcate what side of the divide you fall into–whether you are rich…or poor.

A great preacher once said that the secret of success is to find a human need and reach out to meet it. Success is not in the vaults of a central bank or in the deep recesses of the earth where oil and other minerals are dredged. Success is with people; lodged in their needs.

Think about it, people around you need capital; need food; need housing or a place to do business. They need groceries, water, a place to workout…or someone to teach them a skill. And maybe you are the person to meet their need if you’d just take a deeper look at them when you pass by in traffic, at work or in your neighborhood.

When next you pass by someone, catch yourself and look him or her in the eye. See the opportunity if you can and if you can’t, just salute the divinity in that person and move on. But never pass over people as if they are nothing because to do so, is to settle yourself behind the divide of that line that reads POOR.

Poverty is not the absence of money but the absence of ability-the ability to recognize opportunities.

Little wonder someone came up with a meaning for the acronym, P-O-O-R to be Passing Over Opportunities-Repeatedly.