A Time To Die

Last week, a man travelled over 8,000 miles from Australia to Switzerland for help to kill himself. Self-assisted suicide is

Last week, a man travelled over 8,000 miles from Australia to Switzerland for help to kill himself. Self-assisted suicide is not yet permitted in Australia and after years of campaigning for it to be on the same footing as the right to life in his home country, the man, regrettably, pursued his conviction where he could find it. That man was David Goodall.
David Goodall was not mad. And he was not really sick in the sense in which we speak of sickness for a man of his age. He was also not just your regular Joe, tired of a lonely, sedentary life, and desperate for attention.
He was an ecologist and botanist for many decades and taught in one of Australia’s most prestigious universities until he was fired and recalled after he protested discrimination on grounds of “ageism”.

After marking his 104th birthday in April, Goodall, classified in some circles not just as an old or younger old, but “older old”, decided he had had enough. It was time to die, rationally and on his chosen day. His wish was granted as he sang the last note of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony. When a friend of mine and I first discussed the story, he asked if Goodall had children. I said he did and even grandchildren. One of them, Duncan, 36, who reportedly said he would be by his side when he passes away, said the family respected Goodall’s decision and described his grandfather as incredibly brave. I knew why my friend asked, so there was no point asking him why. In most parts of Africa, it is a taboo to discuss death openly, much less to contemplate the involvement of family in hastening it.
My friend’s motive, I believe, was not only to judge Goodall but also to judge his family’s “complicity” in his death. In matters of life, and especially death, our hypocrisy hardly permits the removal of the moth in our own eyes.

But what is it that we’re afraid to confront. The missed opportunities?, The potential pain of loss?, The inevitability of death?
We worry a lot. What will significant – and insignificant – others say? What will be the impact on those left behind? Not many take time to listen to the older old near the end of their lives to find out the tensions and anxieties they’re going through, and if they’re still in fairly good health, to ask them what might be best for them in the end. What our old and aged go through near the end, especially at the hands of families, only they can tell. Once when Goodall had a fall at home, he screamed and screamed for help and no one came for two days.
If you’re older old (95+) – frail and poor – family may discuss how much of a burden you have become behind your back; and you will not have died before you begin to see that they wish you dead, even though no one is saying it.
If you’re older old – frail and rich – your fortune may be slightly different. Family may complain behind your back but they might endure the inconvenience of nursing your tantrums and frailties while they prepare themselves for any advantages they may derive from your backyard when you’re gone.

The best we can do for the older old, especially towards the end, is to show them all the love and care we can, listen with more empathy and openness to what they have to say as the end inevitably draws near.
An in-depth interview of 25 elderly people in the Netherlands five years ago, revealed five major emotions they often endure near the end: 1) a sense of aching loneliness 2) the pain of not mattering 3) the inability to express oneself 4) multidimensional tiredness, and 5) a sense of aversion towards feared dependence.
I learnt a very interesting lesson from my Great Aunt. She was well off by the standards of the time, still rode her bicycle until her twilight years and must have died at over 90.
The first time she told me that she had bought her coffin and kept it in the ceiling of her house, the sheer spookiness of it freaked me out, until she explained why.
Of course she had no plan to take her own life. But she said, repeatedly, that she sensed that at her death, her family might be too busy squabbling over her possession to find a shroud for her remains.
Not that she had been unkind to them. Even though she had no children and was widowed at a relatively young age, she had brought up relatives as her own children, and a number of them were doing well.
She, however, said if she had learnt any lesson in her long, eventful life, it was the fact that people look after themselves first, however much they claim to love you.

She was no Goodall, but buying her own coffin was her desperate last act of defiance against significant and insignificant others who hardly contributed anything to bring her joy in life but who nonetheless think they have a right to decide how she goes.
In retrospect, I think she wanted to do something that might force, if not her family, then at least a Good Samaritan to give her remains, and perhaps her memory, some dignity and respect.
Traditional beliefs about life after death and foreign religious influences that tend to play an increasing role on choices, have no place for the right to die, however seemingly justified. But not making a decision – or letting God and family make it – does not necessarily guarantee a happier ending, nor does it secure any special place beyond the veil of death as some may think.
It has been reported, interestingly also last week, that in 27 years’ time, science might just be able to “freeze” the ageing process, and perhaps make death from the natural process of ageing optional. If I live till that time, when I would be 80, I don’t know what choice I would like to make: to die or to remain “young” forever?

But as more and more people live longer, healthier, more productive lives – lives often lived for family and significant others with little thought for their own comfort and wellbeing until the end is near – they will, at some point, have to confront the question of whether they also wish to surrender the choice of how they wish to live their final days.
If the younger generation is aggrieved that they’re being crushed by the burden of looking after the older old and the older old are lonely, forlorn and often depressed from feared dependence, why should a final act of defiance, including rational exit at a ripe old age, be a problem?
For Goodall, it was “rational suicide”; for my Great Aunt, it was a coffin in her ceiling. Both acts, at different levels, were symbols of defiance. What’s wrong with that?

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Defence Focus

Commander, Operation Lafiya Dole Meets With Lake Chad Commission Expert A team of experts from the Lake Chad Basin Commission,

Commander, Operation Lafiya Dole Meets With Lake Chad Commission Expert

A team of experts from the Lake Chad Basin Commission, under the auspices of the African Union (AU) has paid a visit to the Headquarters, Theatre Command, Operation Lafiya Dole in Maimalari Cantonment, Maiduguri.
The team, which was led by Dr Eleanor Nwadinobi, a Gender Advisor, was constituted by the AU in conjunction with the Multinational Joint Task Force to proffer stabilisation and revitalisation strategies for the Lake Chad Basin.
Eleanor Nwadinobi stated further that the team was mandated to research and work out strategies in the areas of Humanitarian, Socio-economic, Educational, Governance, Gender as well as Prevention and Countering of Violent Extremism to revitalise and stabilise the Lake Chad Basin.
The team leader also revealed that in carrying out its mandate, it was expedient for the team to visit the Lake Chad Basin Commission member states as she lauded the Theatre Command and troops of Operation Lafiya Dole for the successes so far recorded in the Counter terrorism and Counter insurgency operations against the Boko Haram terrorists.
In his response, the Theatre Commander, Operation Lafiya Dole, Major General Rogers Nicholas, told the team of experts that the security situation in the north east theatre is generally calm as the Boko Haram insurgents have been degraded, adding that the terrorists have resorted to callously carry out isolated suicide bombing and IED attacks on vulnerable and soft targets.
While fielding questions from members of the team, the Theatre Commander lamented that a wrong narrative about the ongoing war on terror is undermining the operation and misrepresenting it in the public domain.
He stated that the Nigerian state is at war and must be recognised as such to enable the effective mobilisation of all instruments of national power to prosecute the war.
“It is high time we reversed the wrong narrative that the ongoing war is between the Nigerian military and Boko Haram insurgents, it is rather a war between the Nigerian nation and the Boko Haram terrorists “, he added.
Gen Nicholas emphasised that other stakeholders must play their roles in the multi faceted war against the terrorists for the attainment of total defeat. He urged the team to be judicious in the execution of its mandate to facilitate the restoration of socio – economic development in the region.

Troops Kill 15 Boko Haram Insurgents

Combined troops of Operation Lafiya Dole and the Cameroonian Defence Forces, have killed 15 Boko Haram insurgents in separate encounters in Southern Lake Chad Basin.
The troops neutralised the insurgents whilst conducting operations to clear remnants of Boko Haram insurgents in the Lake Chad Islands and surrounding villages of northern Born.
A statement signed by the Deputy Director, Public Relations, Theatre Command, Operation Lafiya Dole, Col Onyema Nwachukwu, said troops dislodged the insurgents from their hideout after a fierce battle, killing 11 insurgents in Gomaran village of Southern Lake Chad Basin.
The statement also said in two other separate encounters with the fleeing insurgents in Firgi and Moula, both in Bama and Dikwa Local Governments Areas of Borno State, troops also ambushed and neutralised four Boko Haram insurgents who were fleeing troops’ onslaught in the northern fringes.
“The clearance operations also led to the recovery of one single barrel gun, one dane gun and one locally made pistol. Other items recovered from the dislodged insurgents include four motorcycles, motorcycle spare parts, two tricycles, six pumping machines, and two power generating sets.

“Additionally, the valiant troops captured two Boko Haram flags, a pair of Camouflage uniform, a pair of combat boots, a Camera, a bag of mechanical tools and medications.
“Four men, 33 women and 16 children were rescued by the troops from the insurgents’ hideouts.The rescued hostages are currently being profiled for subsequent hand over to officials of the Internally Displaced Persons’ Camp for documentation and administering” the statement also said.
In another development, an aged Boko Haram terrorist on Wednesday, killed himself in a suicide bomb attack around a telephone mast in Konduga, Borno State. The elderly man, pretending to be weak and feeble, was being searched by men of the Civilian Joint Task Force, when he detonated a suicide vest contained in a bag he was carrying.
Unfortunately, three Civilian Joint Task Force members paid the supreme price in the incident. The wounded have been evacuated for medical attention.

Nwachukwu said this singular incident points to the variation in the tactics of the Boko Haram terrorists in their uncanny resolve to deceptively infiltrate communities and towns to mindlessly attack vulnerable and soft targets.
He said aside using women and children, the terrorists are now engaging the aged in suicide bombing as witnessed in this recent incident, adding that they have also been detected to now appear clean and well dressed to look unsuspicious and enable them gain access to targets marked for suicide attack.
“Some of the terrorists have also been found to now conceal their suicide vests by wearing it on the thigh rather than the waist to appear less bulky and evade detection when searched.
“In view of these developments, members of the public are please urged to be vigilant and discerning as they go about their normal daily routines and activities” he said

NAF Unveils New Base For Combat Search And Rescue Operations In Plateau

The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) has recently unveiled its new Base in Kerang, Plateau State with the commissioning of newly constructed office and residential accommodations for the 205 Combat Search and Rescue Group (CSARG).
The newly commissioned projects include the Group Headquarters Complex, a 10 x one-bedroom accommodation for Non-Commissioned Officers and a 6 x one-bedroom Single Officers’ Quarters.
A statement by the NAF Director of Public Relations and Information, Air Vice Marshal Olatokunbo Adesanya said other commissioned projects include the Commander’s Official Residence and a 4 x 2-bedroom residential accommodation for Senior Non-Commissioned Officers serving in the Unit.
The statement also said the commissioned projects were in fulfillment of the promise made by the Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, during the Ground Breaking Ceremony of the new Unit on 7 March 2017, to ensure timely and adequate provision of infrastructural facilities for the smooth commencement of operation by the Unit.
He further said the 205 CSARG, which had been operating from Jos since its establishment one and half years ago, will now commence operation from the new Base in Kerang.

While commissioning the projects, the guest of honour and governor of Plateau State, Barrister Simon Lalong, commended the CAS for ensuring the provision of the new facilities barely a year after the Ground Breaking Ceremony.
The governor noted that the commissioning of the Base was a further testimony of the Federal Government’s resolve to ensure security of the citizenry and maintain peaceful co-existence, adding that the establishment of the Special Operations Command and the commissioning of projects at 205 CSARG Kerang, was a glowing evidence of the commitment of the NAF leadership to the welfare of its personnel and a reflection of its determination to defend the territorial integrity of Nigeria.
He added that the unwavering desire of the CAS to make the NAF the best Air Force in Africa, was no doubt yielding the desired dividends.

The governor noted that the strategic location of the Unit in Kerang would not only shorten its response time to emergencies but would also improve the turnaround time at providing combat search and rescue for troops and citizens in distress.

In his address, the CAS disclosed that the 205 CSARG in Kerang was established to provide aid and operational assistance to wounded and distressed troops serving in combat units.

Abubakar used the occasion to appreciate the laudable generosity of the governor and the Kerang Community for the provision of 100 hectares of land for the establishment of the new Base.

He further reiterated the NAF’s commitment to the welfare of its personnel and to the wellbeing of members of its host community, as part of its efforts to promote cordial civil-military relations.

The Air Chief assured that in due course, the NAF would establish a hospital as well as primary and secondary schools to cater for the healthcare and educational needs of personnel and members of the host community also promising that the NAF would continue to provide adequate security in the state while maintaining a harmonious relationship with the citizens.

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Islamic Sermon On Ramadan

Islamic Sermon On Ramadan By Nazeef Ahmad. In the name of Allah, the most beneficent, the most merciful. All praises

Islamic Sermon On Ramadan By Nazeef Ahmad.
In the name of Allah, the most beneficent, the most merciful.
All praises and adorations are due to Allah. May His peace and blessings be upon the noblest of the children of Adam, the leader of the prophets and messengers, the seal of all prophets, Muhammad.

After that,
Sha’ban is one of the months in Islamic calendar with unique and exceptional features and virtues. Although, it is not one of the sacred months but high and magnificent importance was accorded to it by the messenger of Allah.

Allah days
(Surely the number of months with Allah is 12 months in Allah’s ordinance since the day when He created the heavens and the earth, of these, four being sacred; that is the right reckoning).
The messenger of Allah lived as a sinless being, a man whose future shortcoming was accorded pardon and forgiveness by Allah.
Allah says
‘Surely, we have given you clear victory,
that Allah forgives you your past fault and the future and complete His favour to you.’
The prophet, peace be upon him, was an epitome and an embodiment of perfection.
In his lead in striving in the act of worship in the month of Sha’ban, in sahihul bukhari and Muslim, Aisha Allah, be pleased with her said ‘I have never seen the messenger of Allah fasting a full month except in Ramadan and I have never seen him fasting much in any month except in the month of sha’ban.’
Bukhari 1969, Muslim 1156
Also in bukhari 1970 he used to fast in all in shab’an.
Also, in the report of imamu Ahmad and annasaai from the hadith of usamah, may Allah be pleased with him, said. “Oh messenger of Allah, I don’t see you fasting in any month the way you fast in shab’an, the prophet peace be upon him said, “that is the month many people incur loss ie between Rajab and Ramadan, it’s the month deeds are raised to Allah and I will love my deeds to be raised while I am fasting.’
From the above hadith, every Muslim is highly encouraged to participate actively in good deeds. Some of which are:

1. Fasting
2. Recitation of the glorious Quran.
3. Qiyamul lail.

5. Preserving the five daily prayers.
6. Visitation to orphanage homes.
7. Visitations to graveyards.
8. Helping the less privileged

9. Engaging in any act of good. (Every act of goodness is charity)
We pray Allah forgive our imperfections and reward us handsomely.

*You And Ramadan*
In the name of Allah, the beneficent, the merciful.
All praises and adorations are due to Allah alone, The Affable, The Evident and The praiseworthy.
The month of Ramadan is indeed a month of mercy, forgiveness and happiness.
Fasting on the other hand has immense benefits. Some of them are:
1. Special To Allah
Allah the First and Last said ‘Fasting is mine and I only give the recompense of it.
Allah in the above hadith specifically called fasting HIS because of its surreptitiousness.
2. Obligation
Fasting in the month of Ramadan is fardun ‘aynun.
Fasting is an obligation, which is carried out by every Muslim who has attained the age of maturity, sane and capable of fasting.
Allah the Exalted said ‘whosoever of you witnessed the month ie Ramadan should fast.’
The messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said ‘Islam is built on five pillars, testification that there is no deity worthy of worship except Allah and Muhammad is the messenger of Allah, to establish the five daily prayers, to give alms to the poor, to go for pilgrimage and to fast in the month of ramadan Bukhariyy and Muslim.’
3. The Reward Is In Manifold
The reward of fasting is only known to Allah, The All Knowing. He said ‘The deeds of the son of Adam are multiplied by ten then by seven hundred except fasting’ The reward is indisputably more.
4. The One Fasting Exemplifies Patience And Forbearing.
The instruction to the fasting person is to completely shun arguments, abuses, curses, and scurrilities.
Allah The Exalted said, ‘if one of you is fasting, he should avoid scurrilities, if he is abused by someone, he should say I am fasting, I am fasting twice’

5. Entering The Paradise Through Arrayyan

The hadith of umar tells us that the paradise has a total of eight doors. One of these doors is called Arrayyan meant for people who fast.

It was reported by Bukhari and Muslim that the messenger of Allah said,
‘Verily, in the paradise there is a door by name arrayyan, those who fast enter through it on the day of judgement, no one enters through it except them, it will be said ‘where are those who fast? They will stand and enter the paradise through this door, when they have entered, it will be locked.’

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7 Tips For Raising Kids Who Tell The Truth

Maybe John said he got a B on the test when it was really a D. Maybe Mary said she

Maybe John said he got a B on the test when it was really a D. Maybe Mary said she put away her laundry when she just shoved it under the bed. Whether it’s a little fib or something bigger, lying can be one of the most frustrating issues for parents. And to boot, punishment often makes the situation worse. However, there are solutions that will help you create an environment where kids feel safe telling the truth.
Creating an environment where kids feel safe telling the truth not only cuts down on lying day to day, it helps your child build character traits that will serve her throughout adulthood.
Try these seven tips to bring out the truth in your kids.
1. Keep calm and parent on. When your kids misbehave or make a poor choice, use a calm voice to discuss solutions to the problem, and avoid punishment and lectures. If your kids worry about being yelled at or punished when they mess up, they won’t want to come to you with the truth.
2. Don’t set up a lie. If you see toys scattered, don’t ask Jerry if she’s cleaned her room – you’re just giving her a chance to lie. Instead, use a “when you do xyz, then you can have abc approach”. If you know Jacob hasn’t touched his homework, ask, “What are your plans for finishing your math homework?” This can help head off a power struggle and allows your child to save face by focusing on a plan of action instead of fabricating an excuse.
3. Ask instead of accuse. If you catch your child in a lie, try to understand why she felt she couldn’t be honest so you can better encourage her to tell the truth in the future. Accusing or blaming only makes things worse. Open up a conversation gently, saying, “That sounds like a story to me. You must be worried about something and afraid to tell the truth. Let’s talk about that.”
4. Celebrate honesty. When your child tells the truth in a difficult situation, commend her for coming to you truthfully. Tell her, “I appreciate you telling me what really happened. That must have been difficult for you, but thank you for telling the truth and taking responsibility.”
5. Delight in do-overs. Think of mistakes as a way to learn how to make better choices. When we stay calm and avoid yelling or punishment, our kids will be more likely to admit their slip-ups in the future. Brainstorm things they’d do differently next time and if someone else was affected by the situation, find ways to make it right.
6. Show the love. Let your kids know you love them unconditionally, even when they make mistakes, and they’ll feel safe opening up to you in the future. Be clear that you don’t like their poor behavior, but tell them you will never love them any less because of their mistakes.
7. Walk the talk. Remember that your kids are always looking to you and learning from your actions. Those little white lies we tell – like saying we are on our way… when we are just heading to the bath– just shows our kids that it’s okay to lie.
These tips will help start your family on a path for a more honest household, but it does take time to build up trust. Be patient. However, if your child continues to lie often or lies with the intention of hurting others, you may want to consider coaching support or other professional help.

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Agricbusiness And Youth Empowerment

Agricbusiness is the business of Agricultural Production; it includes crop production, animal rearing, seed supplies, Agrochemical, farm machinery, processing and

Agricbusiness is the business of Agricultural Production; it includes crop production, animal rearing, seed supplies, Agrochemical, farm machinery, processing and packaging, marketing, retail sales and distribution. The ultimate result for any agricultural related activity is profit.
With the decline in the oil sector, Agriculture is becoming the most important sector in the Nigerian economy ie The Future but not without challenges, both natural and man-made. It has the capacity to employ large number of Nigerians, including rural women and youths and contribute large percentage to the country’s GDP.
Nigeria remains a net importer of food, for many reasons. First of all, the majority of the agriculture-focused operations in the country are small-scale, with limited innovation regarding inputs; harvesting, processing and packaging, distribution, and access to markets. The vast majority of people engaged in agriculture and operating at the grassroots level, has limited access to training and finance, which are among challenges faced by Agribusiness in Nigeria.

Meanwhile, engaging youths in various communities into Agricbusiness today, will establish the prospects for sustainable socio- economic development and peace in the nation. Youths, who represent majority of the population in Nigeria, and today, should be visibly contributing as political actors, innovators, entrepreneurs and peace builders, are faced with disproportionate social, economic and political barriers, which prevent them from unleashing their full potentials. To utilise Nigerian youths as potential agents of change, requires involving and empowering them in developmental skills and programs that can advance their immediate environment through Agropreneurship which has the capacity to engage a large number of them at all levels.

Youth empowerment is different from youth development because development is centered on developing individuals, while empowerment is focused on creating greater community change by relying on the development of individual capacity. If our youths are empowered to engage in Agro-Allied related businesses in their localities, there will be a change in the socio-economic activities in our communities because there is no community or local government area without a unique agro product. Farming activities will be boosted and as a result, jobs will be created and revenue generation for the farmers, agricbusiness entrepreneurs and government at all levels.

Agricbusiness, such as food processing and packaging business, is the business of adding values to agro produce by packaging and branding it such as-: Cassava; Gari (Gari Ngwa, Otukpo gari, Edu gari, Ijebu gari), Starch, Abacha, flour); Yam: Yam flour, tubers (tying it with a rope in 2-5 tubers with a branded name such as Gboko white, Giwa white, etc); Plantain (flour, chips, bunch); Local Rice (rice flour for tuwo shinkafa, kunu geda, rice grains); Beans, beans seed, beans flour (for moi-moi, akara, soup); Soya-beans- grains, drink, powder and snacks etc; Crayfish- wet or dry, even powdered; Pepper :(sokoto, nsukka) powder and be used as an active ingredient for making spices such as yaji; Potatoes (Irish/local): chips or seed. Egwusi and Ogbono, Soup thickener. Tomatoes:; Tomato Paste or powdered and fresh; Onions: powdered, flecks or fresh in a net bag. Ginger and Turmeric: Fresh, powdered, used to prepare ginger drink, as an ingredient for spices production; Palm oil- packaged in gallons and sachet. Meat- any kind of meat can be processed in different ways depending on the available market such as dry, powdered, baked etc; Garlic- paste or powdered, will bring about reduction in Agro produce wastage.

However, if youth empowerment is focused on creating greater community change by relying on the development of youth capacity and involvement in adding value to produce in their community, the National Assembly of Federal Republic of Nigeria (NASS) Agricbusiness Challenge Concept can produce 469 Agropreneur youths in our communities going by the number of Senators and House of Reps members in Nigeria, which will go a long way in promoting and encouraging youths’ participation in Agricultural related businesses thereby creating jobs and revenue, food security and sustainable development.
Profitablity Of Food Processing Business

The returns on this Agricbusiness are quite attractive because Agro-produce processing business is a business with soaring return on investment in Nigeria today, going by our population and improved standard of living. With less than #1,000,000, you can comfortably start this business anywhere in Nigeria, even in your house, all you need is weighing machine, sealing machine and packaging material which will not cost you more than #200,000 depending on the scale you want to operate.
But you are advised to process or package only locally sourced foods to avoid over head cost, as Dollar rate to Naira is becoming higher every day and cost of Agro-commodities are on the increase in the market. People are now patronising locally processed food with the entrance of international supermarket brands in the country; gradual improvement in the power sector, new malls being constructed according to international standard and the steady transformation of informal markets into more formal and modern facilities which are setting new bars by providing a wide choice of shopping experiences in a modern, customer-oriented building. Food processing and packaging is all about adding value to raw Agro produce produced in our local communities.

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A Look At The Restructuring And Herders’ Issues

During the April 30 press conference between Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari and his United States of America (USA) counterpart, President

During the April 30 press conference between Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari and his United States of America (USA) counterpart, President Donald Trump at the White House in Washington DC, one of the issues raised by Trump was about the “killing of Christians” in Nigeria, obviously to appeal to his Christian far-right constituency. Buhari had the golden opportunity to address this issue before the global audience but he decided to be diplomatic. He should have told the audience that there is no religious conflict in Nigeria and that if anything, more Muslims have lost their lives since the insurgency started and that loss of life anywhere is not condoned by every genuine divine religion.
President Trump was obviously referring to the so-called “Fulani” herdsmen conflict in Nigeria. Personally, I have taken a critical look at this issue and because I do not belong to any political party let alone aspiring to any office, one can afford to look at these issues dispassionately.

Ordinarily, one is not a conspiracy theorist but as an analyst one can look at indicators and patterns. Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar was very correct when he took exception to giving ethnic tag to these acts of criminality. It is unfortunately being politicized also.
The Fulani have presence in thirty four countries across the African continent. They have never been associated with killings anywhere except in Nigeria, of recent. Something is definitely wrong somewhere. The Fulani who are known to be tending animals are now being tagged as killers of fellow human beings; and only here in Nigeria! And if indeed they are the ones committing the crime, they are the only ones being identified with their tribal name. Meanwhile, most of the pictures of herders being shown carrying guns on the social media are those of East Africa who fight wild animals and occasionally rebels with their guns to save their cattle.

Majority of Nigerians who have been arrested across the world, particularly Europe and North America for credit card fraud or advance fee fraud otherwise known as 419 are Yoruba but no one calls them “Yoruba” yahoo boys. Kidnapping as a crime was introduced into Nigeria by the Igbo but no one makes a headline like “Igbo Kidnappers”. In fact, over 90 percent of Nigerians in jail or awaiting execution across the world are Igbo – for crimes ranging from drugs, armed robbery or supplying illicit drugs that destroy the youth of those communities. But they are not known as Igbo criminals but “Nigerians”.
Many of those so-called “herders” arrested so far and paraded by security agents are not even Fulani. One cannot imagine how an illiterate Fulani cattle- rearer can identify and differentiate a Catholic clergy and target him for killing as recently happened in Benue. In any case, most of the cattle- rearers are not extremists as far as religion is concerned. And there are many Fulani Christians in Nigeria and indeed around the world. There is no single ethnic group in Africa and, indeed, across the world that has not interacted or intermarried and are at peace with the Fulani. How can a people who take tender care of animals be said to be so cruel to fellow humans? And, when and where do they get training to handle guns?

There have been perennial disputes between farmers and rearers of animals from time immemorial. Scarcity of land and water has exacerbated these disputes but there have always been traditional mechanisms of resolving them. Of recent, due to some people’s hatred for Buhari, the issue of herders conflict has been magnified into a major national security threat. Just as the Biafran secessionist threat is subsiding, armed “herdsmen” are attacking communities with the widest publicity given to those areas bordering the proposed Biafra enclave- Kogi, Benue and Taraba states by what is called internet warriors. What is happening in Zamfara, Katsina and other parts of the north hardly get that kind of publicity.
Government is put on the defensive because those in charge are not doing their job effectively. Fulani leaders are put on the defensive because under a supposed “Fulani” Nigerian president they are attacked in the media, attacked physically and even their means of livelihood, cattle, are being rustled and killed. They cannot defend themselves and the government cannot defend them so that it is not seen as siding with “Buhari people”. They do not control the media, social or traditional, so the narrative is being controlled by others, mostly hostile to them. They cannot fight for their rights because they will be seen to be attacking a government supposedly headed by a “kinsman”. It is a clear case of slapping one and not allowing the person to cry.
While all these things are happening, the restructuring agenda reared its head again. It is seen by its advocates as the almighty formula that will solve all Nigeria’s problems. No one has so far defined what it means, what it implies or how it applies to the given circumstance and condition of Nigeria. It is different things to different people but it is clearly targeted at a certain people and these people will be foolish to accept it and they are indeed not fools at all, for they have centuries of statecraft experience.

This time round, the highly articulate Ohanaeze Ndigbo President, Chief John Nwodo, invited a Yoruba, a Niger Delta and a Middle Belt representative each, for a courtesy call on Senate President Bukola Saraki to demand for “restructuring” of Nigeria. At least there is progress since they recognize the National Assembly as the legitimate representatives of the people and not any so called “ethnic nationality” as unit of the federation. Nwodo made a passionate appeal for “restructuring” Nigeria, whatever that means to its protagonists.
But, every time they invite others and exclude some, those excluded know that the gathering is targeted at them. They keep portraying an Orkarian agenda – Middle Belt and South against the North, and the Middle Belt is defined as any Christian northerner. This is hardly an agenda for moving the nation forward or for making progress. It is an exclusive and divisive agenda carried forward from January 15, 1966. And this, coming from people who are desirous for the support of Northerners to rule Nigeria in the future!
In case Chief Nnia Nwodo has forgotten his history, he should be reminded that every Igbo who has ever played any important role in Nigeria’s history was born in the north. Azikiwe was born in Zungeru, Niger state; Nzeogwu was born in Kaduna; and Ojukwu was born in Zaria. General Ironsi who became first military Head of State even speaks Hausa fluently although his father was a Sierra Leonean and only his mother was Igbo. Is this mere coincidence?

And if he doesn’t know the history of the north, he ought to be reminded that the integration process runs deep. Gen. Gowon has a Fulani grandmother; Nenadi Usman has a Fulani mother and husband. The first and only Premier of the North, Sir Ahmadu Bello has a Bachama mother. Speaker Yakubu Dogara’s mentors are all Fulani, and the Yoruba are indigenous to the north.  In fact there is hardly any homogenous area or even family in the north. So it is difficult to play divisive politics and succeed, because it is difficult to define any identity apart from a northern one in the north and expect people to support you. Anyway, history is always on the side of the oppressed.

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APC: The broom of a broken family

This has been a dizzying season in Nigerian politics. In the ruling All Progressives Congress(APC),the crisis, the divisiveness and mud

This has been a dizzying season in Nigerian politics. In the ruling All Progressives Congress(APC),the crisis, the divisiveness and mud throwing that have racked the party, indeed should trouble the mind and hurt the hearts. It’s like the forklore called the ‘Witches’ Dance’  that has made shame a sort of passé to the party members. Nigerians are watching in astonishment: what’s going on?    

It’s all about the outcome of the recent APC Ward and local government Congresses across the states. From South East, to South South,South west to North west and North East, there were unprecedented disputations. Some party faithful were reported killed, many injured. Yes, politics has been described as “hardball” sometimes, but the fractious and parallel Congresses we saw a few days ago across the state chapters of APC foretell a more dangerous consequences nine months before the general elections next year.

Ordinarily, ward Congresses of a political party ought to kick-start a process of transparency and internal democracy of that party. It is designed to give party members at the grassroots equal opportunity in the choice of those who will be party delegates that will in turn select candidates for elective offices at both state primaries and party national convention. These events are not  devoid of controversies/ disagreements, but such events shouldn’t degenerate into the kind thuggery and outright mayhem that the party hoodlums visited on the  ward Congresses in many states. It was a “thorough embarrassment”, to use the words of  Chief George Moghalu,National Auditor of the party.

The truth simply spoken, is that the intra-party crisis in the APC has  revealed an awful reality: that the ruling party holds such a sorry message for Nigeria. It’s a message of how not to govern a country. The present conflict within the party is not all about survival of democracy. It’s all about individual and group struggles to control the party structure at the states’ level. Power is indeed an amplifier. APC in power for just three years has shown its colossal inability to manage success and bring about the desired change that it promised.
The party is laboring to do so because, from the outset, it didn’t have a clear vision where it wants to take Nigeria. Its prologue is now becoming its epilogue. When a party lacks vision, it ultimately lacks the stuff of political life to move the nation forward. Every passing day,this has become sadly evident and embarrassingly  alarming. If care is not taken,if the party leadership does nothing to halt the present drift, APC stands the risk to become more “clueless” than the brush it tarred  the Jonathan PDP with. Worse still, the APC is also confronting challenges of a more immediate sort from the aggrieved, breakaway force of the former ruling PDP,now for political convenience, is called the nPDP.
What all of this foretells is that majority of the people today are losing trust in the APC. The party leadership should hear this: Trust means leveling with the people. It doesn’t mean all things to all people, but being the same to all people. It’s therefore safe to bet that, with elections nine months away, it will be difficult for the party to heal the divisiveness and the firestorm that have racked the party. The firestorm in the party’s plate is by all measure, an ill-wind. To get out of this self-inflicted wounds and avoid the likelihood of electoral humiliation next year, requires a new leadership that has vision. Unfortunately, I don’t see that right now.
What we have now as APC is a broomstick of a broken family, whose  members would prefer to destroy their father’s inheritance rather than share it. This is because the party has failed to know how to manage electoral success. It has also failed to learn from the textbook of failure that its predecessor in power,the PDP, left behind.

Like the PDP, APC is squandering public trust because it it has come far short on leadership, competence and effectiveness. Meaning well for the country is not enough. Raw power is not enough.And power for power sake is a dead end. The ruling party is suffering from that phenomenon in psychology known as “folie a deux”, in which strong, overbearing officials are making others in the party to accept their delusional inclinations. Take a hard look at the state chapters of the party,the governors want to lord it over others, they want to control the party structure at all cost. There is no unity of purpose, no common desire for some renewal of purpose, no shared interests.

That’s what you get when a party sees the acquisition of power and position as an end in itself. It is made even worse because APC is a fusion of congeries of political interests. That’s why it is finding it hard to manage the reality and scale of power. The burden of national unity at federal and states it controls is weighing it down. But,it shouldn’t have been so if the party from the beginning understood how to shape a new vision. Ideally, a ruling party shapes a new vision through the collection of scattered hopes of the country, past and present.

As  historians will tell us,history belongs to the careful and prudent. It doesn’t belong to those with the impetuosity to ignore the lessons of history,especially lessons learnt from failed democracies. The question to ask is: Has APC learnt these useful lessons? I don’t think so. As long as the party fails to  learn these lessons, the current crisis will get worse before it gets better.

This inability to learn is one major reason the party has been plagued with internal squabbles for over a year now. That’s why the reconciliation committee chaired by the national leader of the party,Bola Tinubu is yet to make any headway in reconciling the aggrieved members of the party.

Reading through Tinubu’s advertorial on the crisis-torn ward congresses,you can feel his pain. The hurt in his heart mirrors where the APC is headed. He said there are people  in the party who disdain the notion of Congresses and democracy. Such people, he says, are driven by inordinate pursuit of self- interests which has caused them to seek to divert the party from its democratic ways.

Altogether, it’s the way out of the truth for APC to continue to delude itself that it can retain power without first cleaning its own mess. It must truly resolve the problems that issued forth from the ward and local government congresses in such a transparent and fraud-free manner.

It should not succumb to pressure from either state governors or party chieftains. Failure to do so,the broom that swept it into power,is handy to sweep it out of power,come 2019.

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Mothers’ Club

It all started as a joke. Mobola had announced to the girls that her son, Ope, had just told her

It all started as a joke. Mobola had announced to the girls that her son, Ope, had just told her he thought Mimi was the one. In other words, after foraging through dozens of skirts, Ope had finally made up his mind to settle down.

At last.

About time.

Long overdue.

Thank God oooo.

It was a chorus of sighs of relief.

Ope is cute and he knows it. He’s successful and well bred. He also has a great job. He’s a director in his father’s oil service firm. So, getting the girls was not a problem. Indeed, getting the girls to pull out their claws from all over Ope has been the problem. These girls just love what they love and Ope with his cute innocent manners took full advantage. He walked through them like hot rod through wax. Until Mimi. Now, at age 34, Ope has said he was all ready to quit the bachelors’ club and his mum is saying No.

‘Mobola, you sound like a witch right now. You do not want your son to settle down?’ I told her point blank.
‘I thought you were getting worried that he was going to end up a cranky old bachelor? What is wrong with Ope marrying Mimi? Joke was looking closely at Mobola as if she was trying to figure out what the ailment was that had Mobola in its grip.

Annette rose to her full 5ft height, hands on her petite waist. Her worry is different.

‘God will not allow you to ruin my chance to plan a blue chip wedding. Imagine all the colours, primary and secondary, jostling for space and attention at Ope’s wedding, the cake, the aso ebi, the food…. Ah and above all, all those loaded oil and gas guys in one room. Please, Mobola, God will not spoil your joy, don’t even think of pouring sand in my sugar.’

Annette is 49, pretty, divorced life-of-the party and according to her, a bride-waiting-to-happen-for-the second-time. See, her vested interest is not just about Ope’s happiness, it about her second missionary journey.

But why was Mobola resisting Mimi as a prospective daughter-in-law?

Mimi is too beautiful.

‘W-h-a-a-at?’ We all chorused.

‘How is a beautiful bride, daughter-in-law a problem? She will give you grandchildren that will turn heads everywhere. What is the matter with you, Mobola? When did it become a sin to be beautiful?’ I struggled not to choke on my avocado.

‘When you are about to bring trouble to my doorstep, that’s when.’ Mobola retorted.

‘Pray explain how does shopping, gisting, going all over the place with your beautiful daughter-in-law become a tragedy?’ This Mobola sef, I muttered.

‘Okay, I’ll spell it out. A girl with Mimi’s face and body is good as a girlfriend, not a wife for my son. Every man will want her. Her bosses, the neighbours, even my son’s friends. She is an endangered species. She is temptation on two feet.  I know Mimi is a good girl but what about the bad guys, the wolves who’ll lust after her like dogs on heat? Imagine what that will do to my son, their marriage. It will be like planting a mango tree by the road side. Everybody will want to pluck. They will use sticks, throw stones, even their shoes at it, anything for a piece of the action. It’s not about whether Mimi can control herself, it is about what all those men wanting my son’s wife will do, what they are capable of doing. Yeah, I’d want my grandchildren to be beautiful but I do not want to get my son killed because one crazy man wants his wife at all cost.’
Even Annette looked pensive after that homily by Mobola.

Mothers, they think deep, look far into the future where their children are concerned. I know most men will think Mobola is overthinking things but she does have a point but I guess only mothers can see it. We are selfish that way. Like Mobola, most mothers confronted with a shapely, beautiful Mimi in their son’s life are too worried, selfish to imagine or ask themselves: what if Mimi is my daughter? If we all take Mobola’s stance, who will marry our beautiful daughters? But that is not the thought on the mind of a mother whose concern is his son’s welfare. The issues of her very beautiful girls being at a disadvantage because of their good looks is a matter for another day.

Crazy as it may sound, Mobola does have a point here. I remember this story of a man who fell victim of ‘magun’ in his own bed, in the warm confines of his own wife’s bosom. Incredible, right? A diabolical man somewhere had set the ‘magun’ trap on another man’s wife and the husband fell into it. He died, untimely, because his fine wife refused to cheat on him with a desperate and obsessed evil louse.

But one man’s meat is another man’s poison. Kate, my friend from Warri is all about her daughters-in-law being loaded on both sides, if you get my meaning. As far as she is concerned, a woman should have appreciable knockers and knock-out hips. ‘Otherwise nothing go fit am.’ She is a fashion designer, so I guess her point of view is understandable.

That started a line of discussion. For fashionista and health freak Annette, it was a shocking revelation when she said she would resist any woman with a tattoo, pieced nose or nose ring from becoming her daughter-in-law. Wow! For my friend, those things signify deep-seated sense of inadequacy or inferiority complex.
‘ I think a girl who has to go under the pin or knife so early in life to enhance her look or got a tattoo will be difficult to satisfy. She will always be in search of some elusive thing.’

Yours sincerely took classes in sociology and psychology in the university but I’m still trying to decode

Annette’s logic but true, I do not like tattoos. A little stud on the nose, yes.

What about a prospective daughter-in-law with a kid?

She’s after one.

Used material, second-hand goods.

‘Why didn’t she marry the man who impregnated her or why didn’t he marry her? I hate long stories. I’d rather have a daughter-in-law without such a telltale evidence of where she’d been.’ Annette quipped.

I do not totally agree with her because she seemed to be insinuating that a woman who’s had a baby from a previous relationship has a longer past than the one who isn’t. If your son’s fiancée has had a baby, isn’t that evidence that she is fertile? The baby is proof, if you ask me but since you didn’t ask me, I’d ask you if you can vouch for the length of the past of the one that appears brand new. You cannot tell if a woman has incompetent womb or none at all just by looking at her face or waist. We couldn’t agree on that point.

What about your son’s girlfriend who’s bleaching her skin or the one who says she is ‘just a social drinker’? Will she make it to the altar with your son?

Mothers, they worry about everything. Once they start with what colour of baby bath  set they’d prefer, they never stop until they take their last breath.

Happy Mothers’ Day, girls. Go on, pop something. You have earned it.



From my mail box

Zamfara State registered 28 pupils for national common entrance, so what? By the next five years, the same Zamfara would have produced the next Attorney-General and Chief Justice of the federation while Ondo and Ekiti states would have radical lawyers.

Funke. I am a devoted reader of your back page column in the Sunday Sun and you got it right with the piece, ‘Enduring or resisting this rape.’ How can a whole statelike Zamfara produce only 28 pupils for common entrance? Where is that their former governor who is now a senator? Shouldn’t he be able to produce more than 28 candidates from his village alone? Well, maybe he wants to keep them in perpetual darkness so that he and his cohorts will remain the only iroko trees in their state.
-Ekwems Mike, Onitsha


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You may be naked on the Social Media

Recent revelations of harvesting and sale of data by social media platforms have raised concerns about your exposure. This piece

Recent revelations of harvesting and sale of data by social media platforms have raised concerns about your exposure. This piece cited by Dr. Joseph Mercola shows the kind of data Facebook and Google may have on you:

In a March 30 article for The Guardian, Dylan Curran takes a deep dive into the data harvesting going on between Facebook and Google, and for anyone concerned about their privacy, the results are disconcerting to say the least. Here’s a summary list of the kind of information these two corporations collect, track and store on each and every single user:

Detailed location tracking

If you have a Google-enabled device on your person that has location tracking turned on, it will store the exact details of where you are at any given moment, and this data accumulates from the first day you started using Google on the device. To review the details of your own data, see this Google Maps Timeline link.
Complete search histories on all devices

Google keeps tabs on everything you’ve ever searched for, on any device, including search histories you’ve deleted from an individual device. To check your own search data, see Google’s MyActivity page.
Personalized advertisement profile

Based on your data profile — location, gender, age, work and private interests, relationship status, income, health concerns, future plans and so on — Google creates personalized advertisements that might interest you. Have you ever done a search for a particular product or service and suddenly found yourself flooded with ads for that precise thing? That’s your data profile at work. To see your personalized ad profile, see Google’s Ads Settings.
App usage

Do you use apps and extensions? If so, Google knows which ones you’re using, how often, when, where and with whom you’re interacting when you do. To see your app usage data, check out Google’s Security Permission Settings.

YouTube history

Much can be gleaned from the types of videos you’re interested in, and Google keeps tabs on every single one you’ve ever searched for, watched and commented on. To review your own data, see your Youtube Feed History page.

Facebook interactions

Like Google, Facebook records, tracks and stores every single thing you do on Facebook: Every post, comment, “like,” private message and file ever sent and received, contacts, friends lists, login locations, stickers and more. Even the recurrent use of certain words is noted and can become valuable currency for advertisers.

When Curran downloaded all of the information Facebook has stored on him, he ended up with a 600MG file, or roughly 400,000 word documents. For individuals who start using Facebook at a young age, the lifetime data harvest could be inconceivably large. To view and download your Facebook data, see Facebook’s Download Your Info page.

Webcam access

Your built-in webcam on your phone, tablet, laptop or computer can also be accessed by various apps. To learn more about app permissions, see “How to Master Your App Permissions So You Don’t Get Hacked — The Full Guide,” by Heimdal Security.

As noted in this article, “For a long time, app permissions were something the regular PC user had no idea about. When installing new software on a computer, we were never asked if application X could access our web camera, our list of contacts, etc. … App permissions may seem like a nuisance, but the better you know how they work, the safer you can keep your data.”

Event tracking

By tracking your Google calendar entries, combined with your location data, Google knows what events you’ve attended, when and for how long.

Your fitness routine

If you use Google Fit, all the details about your fitness routine and workouts, down to how many steps you’ve taken on any given day, are recorded and stored.

A lifetime of photographic evidence

Twenty years ago, photos were a private matter, reminisced over in photo albums and displayed around the home. Today, people’s lives are on public display online, and Google captures it all. When combined with facial recognition software and other technological identification applications, including metadata detailing the time and place of each snap, your photos are a treasure trove of private information.

A lifetime of emails

Google also has every single email you’ve ever sent, received and deleted

Deleted files and information

You probably delete files and information every now and then for the sake of safety, right? You might decide to delete that list of passwords from your phone, for example, in case you lose it or it gets hacked. Well, Google still has all of that information.

As noted by Curran, showing a screen shot of his downloaded Google data, “This is my Google Drive, which includes files I explicitly deleted, including my resume, my monthly budget and all the code, files and websites I’ve ever made, and even my PGP private key, which I deleted, that I use to encrypt emails.”
If you’ve done it or researched it, Google and Facebook have a record of it

Like Facebook, Google allows you to download a copy of the data they have stored on you. Curran’s personal data cache from Google was 5.5GB big, equal to about 3 million word documents. Essentially, your Google account contains a detailed diary of everything you’ve ever done or planned to do, and where you were when you did it. To download your own Google cache, see Google’s Takeout page.
How Is Your Personal Information Being Used?

Google has “your bookmarks, emails, contacts, your Google Drive files … your YouTube videos, the photos you’ve taken on your phone, the businesses you’ve bought from, the products you’ve bought through Google … data from your calendar, your Google Hangout sessions, your location history, the music you listen to, the Google books you’ve purchased, the Google groups you’re in, the websites you’ve created, the phones you’ve owned, the pages you’ve shared, how many steps you walk in a day,” Curran writes, noting his own data cache included:

“… every Google Ad I’ve ever viewed or clicked on, every app I’ve ever launched or used and when I did it, every website I’ve ever visited and what time I did it at, and every app I’ve ever installed or searched for.
They also have every image I’ve ever searched for and saved, every location I’ve ever searched for or clicked on, every news article I’ve ever searched for or read, and every single Google search I’ve made since 2009. And then finally, every YouTube video I’ve ever searched for or viewed, since 2008.

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Make your marriage sizzle again

Dear readers, Can your marriage life sizzle again? Should you allow the toll of raising your family put out the

Dear readers,

Can your marriage life sizzle again? Should you allow the toll of raising your family put out the fire for good? You can use these five tips to get you started on your way to love lane again. Although these may not seem so romantic, they are the basics for the romance to kick in. You see, at this point, you may be feeling completely out of love with your spouse. The idea is for you to get back to the nitty gritty of things. Once you begin to like your spouse again, it will be easy to become romantic and get back into full swing.
Remember your manners

Just because you have been together for so long does not mean that you should stop being polite to each other. Always say “Please and thank you” and learn to be gentle and courteous. Don’t assume that your partner knows how much you appreciate the work he or she does — say the words. And take time to say a proper “goodbye” with a kiss before taking off for work in the morning. Little and simple gestures like these go a long way in showing your appreciation for each other.

Keep the relationship running by making deposits

In our financial lives, if we spend and spend and not make any deposits, what happens to the account? It becomes “over drawn” and our transactions are declined. Well, look at your relationship the same way. If we keep spending without any deposits, it is going to run dry and we can no longer transact anything. So, let’s begin to think of everything that our spouse brings into the relationship. How do we reward them? It is simple enough: by making deposits into the relationship. When we think about our checkbooks, we realize that if we keep spending, deposits must be made. Yet too often we don’t think about all the things our partners do for us, and so we forget to put something back into the “relationship bank.” Spontaneously tell your significant other that you’d like to make a “deposit” back into the partnership, and what task or favour you can perform to show your appreciation. Maybe your partner has been silently asking for help with the laundry or the cooking or the shopping. Well, it is time for you to “make a deposit” by assuming some or all of those tasks. May be your deposit could be massaging his or her feet, what does it take? It only just takes commitment and love. Now, go for it, make a deposit today.

Find a perfect song

At times, we cannot really express what we want to say but a song might say it for us perfectly. Wherever we are in the relationship high, mid or low level, there is a song out there that describes our feelings. When you hear that song, get the name and stop by the record store to pick it up or just search for it on Youtube. Be sure to share it with your spouse. It just might make all the difference.

Buy a worthy gift

We all love presents but we especially love gifts that are meaningful. Pick up something that you know that she will truly cherish. So, since she loves Oprah Winfrey so much, buy her the Oprah biography that just got published. This gift would resonate with her so much because you actually gave some thought about what she would love plus the fact that you had to be one of the first 100 to order it. Yes, she would love you for it. May be she has been dreaming of visiting Costa Rica, and sine you can finally afford it, go ahead and book a weekend getaway for her and her sister who is her best friend. Yes, what a selfless gift; she will cherish it forever. We often forget that gifts are supposed to express something. Whether it is for a holiday or just a nice gesture, think carefully before buying a gift.

Be creative

Think like a kid again. It is important for you to device fun things for both of you to do after hours. So assuming that the kids go to sleep at 8pm, arrange for the local restaurant to deliver ice cream, pizza and wings. Don’t forget to buy your favourite bottle of wine and then slip into that new gown he gave you last Valentine’s Day. Pop some soft romantic melody into the stereo and invite him to dance. First, he might be taken aback because you both have not done this for a long time but watch his surprise and playfully guide him to the dance floor. Cherish the moment and promise that you will do your part to bring back the years of romance.
■ Dr. NJ

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