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.

Change Your Social Orbit

Your social orbit says a lot about where you are headed in life. ‘Show me your friend and I will tell you who you are,’ goes the saying about how associations underpin identity. 

I heard a story this morning that drove home the need to constantly upgrade quality of people we associate with. 

Pa Joseph Kennedy, a leader in the Irish American community of his day, one-time US Ambassador to Great Britain and father to three of America’s iconic political leaders, John Fitzgerald, Robert Francis and Edward Moore was in the habit of hosting world leaders at his home and allowing his children-from a very young age-interact with these highly influential people. And though it may seem that the Kennedys were  the most influential political family of their time, it didn’t happen by accident. 

Think about it, the three Kennedy boys help offices between themselves as House Representative, Senator, US Attorney General and the President of the United States of America. Pa Kennedy’s diligence at managing the social orbit of his children played a huge role in the maverick political contributions of his sons to the free world; from putting a man on the moon to the Voting Rights Act of 1965 that enabled black Americans the right to vote.

If for the Kennedys managing their social orbit was the secret, it can be yours too. Forget about the past and live like you have a bright future ahead of you, because you do.  And the best way to live your life with zest and power is to associate with people of zest and power. 

You are in the wrong company of friends if you are the smartest, wealthiest or most influential. The way upwards is to band with people that stretch you; who in some way, can teach you to do better. 

Friend, if your identity is tied to your social orbit and you are now seeking to reinvent yourself, your business or career, then it begs to say that only one thing is needful:

Change your social orbit

Stories of My Fatherland: The Chronicles of Chief Justice Adetokunbo Ademola


Courtesy of

If you have ever been to Victoria Island in Lagos, or to Wuse in Abuja, it is almost certain that you would have lavishly found some many semblances between both locations in their respective cities. Dotted by prime housing, banks, eateries and shopping malls, Victoria Island and Wuse share deeper commonality- major roads named after one Adetokunbo Ademola.

As a matter of fact, Sir Adetokunbo Ademola was Nigeria’s first indigeous Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Nigeria. Born in Abeokuta on February 1, 1906 to the prominent Oba Ladapo Ademola II, the Alake of Egbaland, Adetokunbo was tutored at St. Gregory’s College, Obalende and King’s College, Lagos. Having rebelled against his father’s wishes of becoming a medical doctor, he went on to study law at the University of Cambridge from 1928 to 1931 and was called to bar at Middle Temple in London in 1934 – the first African ever to achieve such a feat at the Bencher’s Inn.

Young Prince Ademola returned to Nigeria in 1934 to pursue a career in law working first as a crown counsel at the Attorney General’s Office and later, as an assistant secretary in the southern secretariat in Enugu, Eastern Nigeria.

Adetokunbo Ademola practised law from 1936 till 1939 when he was called to the bench as a Magistrate of the protectorate court. In 1949, He became the third Nigerian ever to be appointed a Puisne Judge. Upon the granting of autonomy to Western Nigeria; Sir Adetokunbo Ademola became the first Chief Justice of Western Nigeria in 1955 thus becoming the first indigene to head a judiciary in pre-independence Nigeria.

With the imminence of an Independent Nigeria, Sir Ademola was again appointed the first Chief Justice of the Federation in 1958. He was knighted by the Queen of England in 1957 and conferred with the national honour of Grand Commander of the Order of the Niger in 1958.

Worthy of note was Sir Ademola’s extremely influential role in keeping Nigeria from disintegration at the coups of 1966. After the counter-coup that ousted Aguiyi Ironsi, an Igbo Military Head of State, Gowon and his colleagues had thought to secede from Nigeria on the grounds that “the basis for Nigerian unity was not there.” What had not been told was that Ademola and the British High Commissioner had saved Gowon and Nigeria from the mistake of balkanisation by meeting with the northern leaders and successfully arguing that since the Northeners had taken political control and were now in government; they had no reason to leave Nigeria; the result being that the northerners stayed in Nigeria.

Chief Justice Adetokunbo Ademola served on several advisory boards and international committees including the United Nations International Public Service Advisory Board, the International Commission of Jurist and the International Olympic Committee among others. A Hall at the Nigerian Law School was also named in his honour. 

Sir Adetokunbo Ademola died on 29 January 1993 aged 86.

So when next you drive on a major road named after Sir Adetokunbo Ademola,  I guess it might make more meaning to you that there once lived a Nigerian who believed and laboured for a Nigerian unity that should even mean more to us today.

Stories of My Fatherland: A Thing or Two About Lagos Once Upon A Time


Did you know that Lagos was at one time a colony of the Benin Kingdom ruled by Edo viceroys?  Conquered by Oba Orhogbua, son of Oba Esigie sometime in the sixteenth century, Lagos was originally called “Eko” by the Binis meaning, war camp. History has it that the Bini Invasion of Dahomey and modern-day Togo (in today’s Benin Republic) were largely planned and executed from Eko.

Oba Orhogbua understood the importance of controlling the coastline from Lagos all the way to Accra, having undergone training at a naval school in Portugal. Albeit, his primal motivations were continuing with his father’s (Oba Esigie) kingdom expansion plans while maintaining a grip on their very viable trade in slaves, oil palm and gun powder.

Oba Orhogbua commenced his campaign sometime around 1582; laying siege and taking Lagos. He however returned home almost immediately due to a falsely rumoured mutiny back in Benin, sending his grandson, Prince Esikpa, the first Eleko of Eko to administer the colony.

Beginning with Esikpa, bodies of the first few Elekos were returned to Benin for burial as were the Chiefs of Badagry.

Shortly after the amalgamation of Nigeria, an Eleko crisis erupted in Lagos with the indigenes demanding a restoration of their traditional monarchy prior to Bini annexation. In response, Oba Eweka II sent Iyase Obaseki and Obazuaye in 1915 to mediate between the Eleko and the indigenes, and to explain that there was a direct blood link between the royal families of Lagos and Benin.

Till date, both royal families of Lagos and Benin relate very closely. The performances of rites such as the coronation of new Obas in Lagos are not without the consultation the Benin establishment. And until about 200 years ago, the Binis actually determined who was installed as Oba in Lagos. History also has it that the heads of dead Obas of Lagos were taken to Benin for proper burial as far back as the 1750s.

Eko was later named Lagos being a derivative of the original Lago di Kuramo given by Portuguese explorers in the seventh century.

Places like Iga-Idugaran(which translates to mean , pepper farm in Bini Language) where the palace of the Oba of Lagos is situated; Idumota, Idumagbo and Eleko Beach in Badagry  all point to a time once, when Lagos was  vassal to Benin.

Albeit, once upon a time.

Meet the Nigerian Who Beat Hurricane Carter

Dick Tiger

               Courtesy of

“One, Two, Three… Ten”, the referee cried, as the bell went off, signaling the end of the bout. It was the tenth round. And this boxing match had lingered an age in Rubin “Hurricane” Carter’s mind. He had been felled three times by this African from Nigeria in front of a home crowd at Madison Square Garden, New York. His aggressor, Richard Ihetu also known as “Dick Tiger” was one of the greatest boxers ever to come out of Black Africa. Capturing both the World Middleweight and World Light-Heavyweight titles during his career, Ihetu won 60 out of 82 fights with 27 of them, via knock-out.  19 of his fights ended in losses and 3 in a draw. Continue reading “Meet the Nigerian Who Beat Hurricane Carter”