Say It!—A Christian Hack for Living Better

If you are Christian…

Say it aloud. Say that you have been lifted out of poverty because you have. Say that you have been lifted out of debt; out of defeat; out of bondage and disease. Say it!

If you don’t say it, you won’t see it. Say that the Lord is your wisdom and your sanctification and your redemption and your righteousness.

Refuse to observe lying vanities by keeping mute. Refuse to shudder at the petering bank statements and demand letters, that give a contrary narrative of who you are.

Hold fast to your proclamations for you also have to exercise patience after you have done the will of God.

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Fear Is Illogical


Fear is an unfounded expectation about the future that makes you act in a manner that is often beyond reason.

Some people are such a petty sight when the lights go out or a little coakroach saunters into view. And if you try to rationale their behavior it is founded on an idea that something could leap out of the dark to chew them up or that the coakroach could overpower them so much that it could find its way down their throats; an inordinate fear that really would only be possible in the movies.

The problem is, while the cases I mentioned grow on people-men and women included-from childhood, other fears like losing one’s job or investment can usually come from unfounded like superstition and wrong perceptions.
I remember a true story that occurred a few years back in Nigeria that nails home my point. One January Sunday in Lagos, sometime after lunchtime, when the day began to quieten as people prepared for the new work week, an accidental detonation  occurred in the armory at the military base in Ikeja, the capital of Lagos, leading to a series of nasty unexplained explosions at the time. Some people panicked in the pandemonium and without rationalizing their actions jumped into a 12 feet deep canal in hopes that they might escape whatever had caused the explosions almost 25km away. About 600 people died that day, needlessly because of fear.

Had they rationalized where the explosions had come from, maybe some of the dead would still be here today. But fear is always illogical…and that is why it is a choice.

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

Victoria-Island-Lagos

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.

Questions Lagosians Should  Ask About Our Transport System

China-Bridge-Reuters

               Courtesy: Reuters

‘The important thing is not to stop questioning,’ Albert Einstein once commented, ‘…never lose holy curiosity.’

Every working day of every week in Lagos, an estimated five million people commute twice by car, bus and trailer across the Lagos Lagoon via three bridges—one of which is the 11.6 km Third Mainland Bridge. These people, mostly residents of suburbs  generally referred to as the Lagos Mainland,have to travel for up to three or four hours every morning to their jobs on the more metropolitan Lagos Island because of the heavy vehicular traffic. Then, at the close the work, an even more vicious gridlock of vehicles ambles out of the city’s commercial centre, resulting in some folks reaching their homes as late as midnight for a commute that could have lasted thirty minutes had Lagos been possessed of a robust bridge network or high speed rail system like some of its ‘demographic’ peers: Beijing, Brasilia or Johannesburg.

Some people have often said that necessity is the mother of invention, to which I promptly disagree. Impoverishment by itself has never led anyone to create anything. Rather, the questions individuals asked of themselves, of others and their environment more often than not, have led to discoveries that created some of the inventions we enjoy today.

For instance, it was Steve Jobs’ curiosity that made him drop in on calligraphy classes, allowing us to use different types of fonts today. You see, computers didn’t have features that allowed for different types of fonts until Apple started building its own computers. Microsoft and other computer operating system makers simply copied this feature and today, every computer on the planet can allow you to alter the fonts with which you write.

Why is all of this important, someone might ask. It is important because asking questions is what provides answers.

Imagine how much time would be saved if Lagos had seven or more bridges linking its Mainland to the  Island. Time that could be spent on creating something valuable; being a more present parent by not having to leave home so early or come back so late because of traffic;  time enough to set up a side gig that fulfils you in ways that the quest for money cannot.

Or imagine that it only took you ten minutes to commute from Oworoshoki to Lekki by high speed rail. Wouldn’t life be grand? Wouldn’t it allow you drop your kids at a near by school before taking off to work if living in Oworonshoki and working in Lekki were your circumstances as is for so many?

I ask these questions because questions change things. They push the human race forward. They query the status quo. If life is about constant change, then questioning gives us the power to make the changes we want to see.

There is also the carbon emissions question that no one seems to be asking. Wouldn’t more bridges or high speed rail reduce the damage we are currently doing to the atmosphere above us? It definitely will. Reducing commute time will significantly lower emissions which for us, and this should now be a priority.

South African-American billionaire and electric car maker, Elon Musk recently made a comment that, ‘unless there’s sustainable transport the future is going to be terrible.’ The question of how future generations are going to cope with the current transport system in Lagos should now matter a lot to us because it will directly impact on our national economy as a whole. And then, there is the Apapa port  trailer/tanker question that beckons a resolution in the short, middle and long term.

When we decide to saturate the public space with these and many other questions about our transport system, the answers will show up.

Remember, the important thing is not to stop questioning…never lose holy curiosity.