#LiterallyWhatsHot: Can You Share Intimate Secrets With a Total Stranger? – “Confessions of a Kenyan Uber Driver”

We have just one life, and we have to live it to the fullest, else, in old age we will

We have just one life, and we have to live it to the fullest, else, in old age we will live everyday in regret. That’s why if you have an unrepentant cheat for a partner, you should move on. You deserve to be happy. That’s why if you work round the clock, you should take breaks and spend it on a vacation. If you love the sea, take weekend breaks at the beach. Most importantly, just remember to live.

It is sad though, that a lot of people are trapped in the kind of life Charles was bent on freeing Daniel from. And it is unfortunate Charles had only discovered life, as it should be, at the point he did.

Confessions Of A Kenyan Uber Driver starts with Daniel, an Uber Driver having a wife and two kids there in Nairobi, Kenya. His life is a normal boring routine, struggling day in and day out just to make ends meet, until the night he gets an unwanted request from a passenger who wanted to be picked up at the Department of Defence Headquarters. Little did Daniel know, this ride was going to take longer than planned, and it is the ride that changes his life for good.

How do you pick up a total stranger and end up sharing intimate secrets with him? How do you pick up a stranger who poses a threat to your life, if you even dare to disobey him, but still, he is the best thing that has happened to you since you can remember?

This 30 minutes, off the hook page turner will leave you sad, angry, frowning, surprised, laughing and leave you with lots of wows. But most importantly, it will leave you thinking about your own life, the things that hurt you and the reason why you should throw off your shackles and start living life to the fullest.

The author, Charles Chanchori, is mostly referred to as the man behind Kenyan stories. He is a Lawyer, Writer, Poet, and Biking Enthusiast. And he did a splendid job with this one. The writing style is easy to follow, dialogue is smooth, exciting, and very natural. The editing is clean.

What I love more about this book is, the lessons are presented in a hilarious or threatening way. But it sticks. Believe me, you wouldn’t read this without making conscious efforts to start living life, instead of slaving away.

You should get a copy of Confessions Of A Kenyan Uber Driver today on OkadaBooks.

Karo Oforofuo is an experienced freelance writer, an author of several fiction books, and a blogger at Pelleura, where she entertains readers with mouth-watering stories, real-life experiences, relationships and business articles. She also specializes in helping authors, who want to start and grow their reader base, through consulting sessions. When she’s not working, she’s busy reading the next best paranormal romance novel or writing one. Check out her novel “Strange Man at Iri”

Jean Clare Oge Igwegbe: The Constant Struggle Between Ambition & Contentment

We are taught that we should constantly strive to change the world, to be the best version of ourselves, bring

We are taught that we should constantly strive to change the world, to be the best version of ourselves, bring value to people, and create goal after goal. And if we reach one dream, then we go find a new dream. On the other hand, is the belief system that is the age-long “be content with what you have and find peace where you are.” Be happy, they say. Accept who we are.

What is the right approach? Are these two mutually exclusive? How do we live a life that recognizes and honours the value of each of these seemingly contradictory schools of thought. Will I be regarded as weird if I am more naturally pulled in one direction?

As I battle with a burning desire to kick things up a notch in certain areas of my life, and yet still long to relish the peace and serenity of contentment, I have had to ponder over these questions on some days.

Fairly recently, I was having a conversation with a lady who owns a little kiosk outside my office. She sells groceries and has been doing that for over 10 years. This particular woman seems to be very happy with her life. She is constantly in a cheerful mood and often greets every customer with a smile. During the day, I see some of her customers happily seated on a bench while she chats with them for hours on end.

She clearly appears to love what she does. She seems content. But while the enthusiasm and cheerfulness she brings to her business is admirable, I can’t help but think: with her consistently positive attitude and willingness to strike up a conversation with almost anyone, could she be doing more with her life? Could she be happier? Could she have more of an impact on the world if she did something outside of what she is currently doing?

On the other hand, I thought to myself, since I neither know her story nor her background, I am in no position to ask these questions.

Perhaps she could even be making a far greater impact through something different from what I see. Nonetheless, I can’t help but think there must be millions of people just like her around the world – people who are seemingly not living up to their potentials but seem to be completely content with their life.

There will be some of us who either lean to one side of the pole or the other, because most of us never seem to maintain the perfect balance of both. This is especially so as we get deeper into the social media age where it is increasingly becoming more difficult to cultivate a contentment culture. Often times, we barely have the time to smell the flowers in our gardens because there’s a new flower about to bloom in our neighbour’s garden that appears to smell better.

This constant struggle between ambition and contentment is a conflict that I think we all have to face sometime in our lives.

In my efforts to regain my peace of mind each time I ponder, I realise that the contradiction lies in our misunderstanding that being content means not wanting to achieve more, that being ambitious to achieve more is a sign that one is not content. This is definitely not the case. In reality, both qualities are honourable and are keys to living a happier life. From a definition point of view, there isn’t much of a contradiction between the two concepts. The states of being “ambitious” and “content” seem to serve different aspects of our drive to be the best – one is driving us (ambition), the other is making us enjoy the ride (contentment). Therefore, ambition and contentment don’t have to be mutually exclusive. Both can be in your life, but they cannot share the same space. One has to drive, and one has to ride.

One God-given tool I believe would help is to cultivate the attitude of being thankful with whatever phase we attain and whatever goal(s) we achieve. I tend to worry so much about things I want to achieve that I sometimes forget about the things that I have now which were once things I hoped for. Yes, we all have “big” things that we want to accomplish in life. We, however, shouldn’t be unaware of the many incredible blessings that we already have in our lives. If ever I start to feel the angst of discontentment or as though I’m taking my blessings for granted, all I have to do is remember the years in my life when I felt like I was in a dark place. There is nothing like absolute darkness to magnify the brilliance of light.

Another related tool is to change the way we view success. We tend to always measure success by looking at where we are (actual) vs. where we think we should be (ideal). We need to start measuring our successes by looking at where we were at some point in the
past compared to where we are today. In doing so, we would be measuring progress, thereby putting us into a state of gratitude as opposed to frustration. Because in a state of progress, we are still moving, and we are still growing.

The most important thing is to find that balance. Be grateful for the steady, seemingly mundane day-to-day life offers. Maximize its potentials while you work towards bigger goals and towards being a better person than you were yesterday, rather than bask in the euphoria of always wanting more.

Photo Credit:© Duncan Marshall | Dreamstime.com

East Africa Com Tracks Region’s Slow But Steady Tech Growth

East Africa Com serves to bring together stakeholders within the East African tech scene. Photo – Twitter Every year, stakeholders

East Africa Com serves to bring together stakeholders within the East African tech scene. Photo - Twitter

East Africa Com
East Africa Com serves to bring together stakeholders within the East African tech scene. Photo – Twitter

Every year, stakeholders in the East African tech scene converge on Nairobi for East Africa Com, the region’s flagship tech conference, to discuss progress and roadblocks in the region’s tech revolution.

The story of this year’s event was one of quiet progress, with discussion over the obstacles that remain when it comes to establishing cities like Nairobi, Kampala and Dar es Salaam as African tech hubs, and ensuring that technological development benefits all parts of society.

While the likes of Kenyan tech pioneer Dr Bitange Ndemo and ICT secretary Katherine Getao kicked off the event by hailing the extent of tech transformation in the region, others were more cautious when it came to the state of play.

Oren Tepper, vice president for sales in Africa at satellite operator Spacecom, said the provision of affordable connectivity was being hindered by the fact that satellite firms and mobile operators had yet to find affordable ways of working together.

“There is a conception that satellite connectivity is expensive. The challenge is to bring the cost per bit to as cheap as possible,” he said.

“There are a lot of upfront costs. So we need to find innovative business models to enable us to bootstrap projects and reduce costs.”

An operator shopping list

The mobile operators themselves are also looking for better working relationships, but with government. A panel on the regulatory environment for operators in Kenya convened representatives from the Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) and the country’s three telecoms companies.

It agreed good progress had been made, but regulators can still do more when it comes to assisting development.

Paul Kukubo, board director at the government regulator, said Kenya had one of Africa’s most vibrant telecoms markets, while the recently-introduced policy of mobile money interoperability was an example of forward progression in the sector. The regulator, he said, had to continue to look forward.

“There are so many emerging issues – AI, data, what a network looks like in 2018, or 2025.  How do we create a regulatory environment? Our mindset now is a bit more futuristic. We don’t want to regulate for yesterday, the world moves on,” he said.

Kenyan operators want the world to move on in a certain way, and came to the event with a shopping list for government. Alice Kariuki, group regulatory director at Airtel Africa, said there were issues around how infrastructure is accessed by operators, and called for a stable tax environment.

“They don’t always have a consistent policy. When they face financial pressures they will target the telecoms space,” she said.

Karuki also said the region as a whole was lagging behind when it came to laws for data protection.

“We appear to want to have a European model before we have something to protect us. We need to have legislation that grows with the challenges as opposed to waiting for the perfect model,” she said.

Stella Wawira, head of public policy at Telkom Kenya, said the cost of spectrum was too high, and urged the CA to come up with a policy that encourages investment, a view echoed by Mercy Ndegwa, head of regulatory and public policy at Safaricom.

“We want an environment that allows for competitive investment. We want a framework that allows for consumer interest to thrive,” she said.

A bright future

Hindrances aside, the conference discussed a number of exciting developments, in spaces as diverse as internet of things and blockchain, that could contribute to the development of the region.  Startups also had their chance to impress, with nine innovative solutions from the region pitching their wares to an audience of investors, telecoms operatives and other stakeholders at the inaugural Disrupt Africa Live Pitch Competition on day two.

The startup-related section of the event also saw representatives from the corporate and startup worlds agree that, though progress had been made, more needed to be done in terms of facilitating partnerships between corporates like mobile operators and banks, and smaller, more innovative startups.

Uber also had its chance to share its vision of a brighter future, with the company’s East Africa general manager Loïc Amado introducing Uber Movement, its data-driven service aimed at facilitating smarter cities. He also said the company’s carpooling service will help get cars off the road in Africa.

However, he believes that the self-driving cars Uber is trialling will truly make an impact.

“This is going to be a gamechanger. It is still very early days, but shared self-driving cars would reduce the number of cars on the road by 90 percent,” he said. “We can turn a ride into a shared ride and start reclaiming our cities today.”

Financial inclusion

Fintech is another space that is developing quickly, with Anuj Tanna, director of mobile financial services at Telkom Kenya, saying the industry was “in a good place right now”.

“We are at a very mature stage compared to other markets in sub-Saharan Africa,” he said.

“We are seeing expansion above and beyond simple basic services like money transfers and payments, where we are leveraging platforms and ecosystems to drive further financial inclusion within the market. It has given a chance to developers and startups that are trying to solve problems.”

Tanna said different players should understand exactly what their individual roles were, and that the sector needed do more to tackle closed ecosystems.

“We are layering products, and that is natural. When you have the rails in place you want the products to bring different services to customers as well as additional revenue streams,” he said.

“The real thing that’s dawning on everyone is that there’s been a lot of progress but most transactions are still cash-based. There’s still so many hurdles when it comes to providing these products. A tech solution is not always a solution that is going to translate into customer behaviour.”

Tom Jackson is co-founder of Disrupt Africa, a news and research company focused on the African tech startup ecosystem.

The post appeared first on Moguldom.

Tech Entrepreneur & Digital Marketing Guru Editi Effiong of Anakle is our #BellaNaijaMCM this Week

This week, our #BellaNaijaMCM feature shines the spotlight on Editi Effiong, the Founder/CEO of Anakle Limited, one of the leading

This week, our #BellaNaijaMCM feature shines the spotlight on Editi Effiong, the Founder/CEO of Anakle Limited, one of the leading tech businesses in this part of the globe. It describes itself as “a digital agency, building experiences for online and offline audiences.”

He is also the founder of Anakle Labs, which he describes as “an investment company and incubator for technology businesses.”

Editi’s story is an interesting one. Out of curiosity, he taught himself how to use a computer with the system in his friend’s house. Later on, his parents got a desktop PC for his family. With the desktop computer in his home, Editi learned how to use MS Paint, MS Powerpoint and MS FrontPage (which he said changed his life).

Prior to this, he had learned how to use free web services to build WYSIWYG websites. How did that happen?

An 18-year-old Editi and his friends were waiting for one last friend with whom they had planned to leave the house together for an outing. When the friend arrived, he apologised for his lateness and told them he was building his website.

Editi told TechCabal that that was his “lucky day.” He had been curious as to how websites were built, and here he was, standing with someone who is already doing so. He asked the friend how it’s being done, and he shared the information. Editi proceeded to try it out himself.

In a matter of days, his website was done. And it was a website advertising a web development business which he said was birthed after his friend’s revelation days earlier. Mind you, he didn’t even know how to code!

In one week, Editi got his first client who paid N8,000 for a new website he built without spending a dime. A month later, the same client paid N12,500 for another website.

At this point, Editi knew it was not a drill. It was happening. He was on to something and he needed to move fast!

He decided to write a 9-page proposal with his “company’s” letterhead changing “I” to “We” in its content. Editi detailed the importance of websites and how his company can help businesses get their websites ready. He also had business cards which he printed on cardboard paper and cut neatly with scissors. He sent this document to some companies and in a few weeks, got a call.

A hotel in Calabar needed his services. Prior to seeing the person in charge, Editi had decided to charge N75,000 for the job. On getting there, he changed his mind, and ended up signing the deal for N300,000. Yet, no coding experience.

Using MS FrontPage, Editi produced a demo, and then proceeded to learn HTML. He got his first laptop from that job.

Having worked as Country Manager for XEQ Technology, and then as Product Manager for Thompson & Grace Group, Editi decided to start Anakle in 2010. The brand specialises not just in web and app development, but also digital marketing, social media & online reputation management, as well as user experience design.

Anakle is well known for creating viral campaigns on social media, chief of which is the Brideprice App of 2014, the Call Your Mum App of 2015, and its Things Come Together ad for Wikipediain 2017.

Anakle also gives back to the society through its Forward by Anakle platform that organises training bordering on digital marketing, user experience design, photography, among others, for SMEs in the country. It also shares digital marketing advice on its blog.

Editi also recently built a computer lab for the primary school he attended in the 90s.

Editi has been featured on CNN, BBC, and CNBC.

We love stories of how people have created businesses from virtually nothing, or with little resources. Editi’s is one of them, and we celebrate him today.

Money Matters with Nimi Akinkugbe: Don’t Plan for a Royal Wedding If You Can’t Afford One

What a wonderful weekend I’ve had watching every last detail of The Royal Wedding. The dress, the music, the pipe

What a wonderful weekend I’ve had watching every last detail of The Royal Wedding. The dress, the music, the pipe organ, the choir and orchestra, the flowers, the pomp and pageantry!

If you grew up on Grimm’s Fairy Tales, you were conditioned to dream of a fairy tale wedding perhaps to a real prince. Parents are often under a lot of pressure to give their children the ‘perfect’ wedding; this can be extremely expensive. To avoid getting overwhelmed by all the expenses, look carefully at the cost implications and prioritize right from the start.

Many couples get carried away with the idea of the wedding and do not stop to contemplate the actual marriage. Sit down with your fiancé and talk about your goals and what you would like to achieve in the next year, five years and beyond, such as starting a family, buying a new car or paying a deposit on your first home. Write these goals down and keep them in view as you discuss the wedding plans. This should help you keep things in check as you prepare for life’s journey together.

Prepare a budget
A good first step to keeping costs under control is to prepare a budget. Make a list of everything you can think of; include pre-wedding events, the traditional and religious wedding ceremonies, the wedding reception and the honeymoon. What matters most? Build in a contingency fund for unplanned expenses; there will always be some.

Costs will usually include invitations, the wedding dress, hair and make up, outfits for bridesmaids and groomsmen, church fees for choir and musicians, DJ, band, reception venue, caterer, wedding cake,
photographs, videographer, florist, guest favours, hotel, transportation, pre-wedding entertainment, honeymoon etc. An event planner takes so much off you and they are usually able to negotiate with a network of vendors for significant discounts, extras or to waive certain fees.

In Africa, a marriage is much more than a union between two people; it is a marriage of two extensive, extended families. One of the biggest cost factors is likely to be the number of guests that will attend,
often without formal invitation. If your average cost per person for food, drink, and rentals is N10,000, removing thirty people from your guest list will save you N300,000.

A buffet menu tends to be cheaper than a plated one. Guests have come to expect and enjoy a good selection of mouth watering “small chops” that are filling and are reasonably priced at between N600 – N2,000 per head depending on the menu.

Drinks are a major cost, particularly if spirits, fine wines and champagne are on the list. Even where you bring your own drinks, corkage rates can be prohibitive. A way to limit bar costs is to provide guests with basic drinks including water, fruit juices and soft drinks and drink tickets specifically for alcoholic drinks; after using their tickets, guests can purchase additional drinks with cash should they wish to do so. This is fairly common in other societies, but may be sniffed at here!

Guest favours need not be expensive; a small meaningful memento of sentimental value will do. Large wedding cakes are a huge waste as desert is usually served at the wedding. A wedding planner mentioned that about 50% of the wedding cake goes to waste as half the guests have left before it has even been cut and shared! Apparently, you can still achieve the glorious look of the multi-tiered wedding cake billed to impress, if you replace some of the tiers with “dummy” cakes!

What is most important to you? The ring, which you will wear, hopefully for decades, your wedding dress, or the photographs and video that capture the memories? You can buy an inexpensive yet beautiful ring, and then upgrade as a sentimental gesture on a future anniversary and as you refine preferences. Bridegrooms and groomsmen routinely rent their outfits, but most brides will gasp at the thought of renting the dress of your dreams at a fraction of the cost of a new dress!

Start early and plan ahead
In an ideal world, parents should have been setting aside funds for family weddings as with other major goals such as funding your child’s education. Once you have passed the education funding hurdle, this is
likely to be the next big spend.

Invest according to your time horizon. For a wedding that’s just less than a year away, funds should be placed in a bank fixed deposit or a money market mutual fund. If the expected marriage is still over five
years away, you might invest in a portfolio of blue chip stocks or property for the prospect of long-term capital growth. An equity fund offers flexibility, diversification and professional management. Remember that investing comes with risk so be sure to seek professional advice.

Who pays for what?
In the past, the bride’s family was expected to cover most of the costs. Nowadays both families tend to play a role and the division of costs is largely dependent on each family’s financial standing and of the bride and groom themselves. It is less about protocol, but rather, about circumstances and common sense, that should dictate who pays for what. Determine what the budget is and try to stick to it.

Attempting to split the bill between two families can be complicated so there must be absolutely clarity about how much each is willing and able to support. The couple and their families should meet for a frank discussion as early as possible. Don’t feel bad if you are the brides’ parents and can’t afford to pay for the entire wedding. Don’t be railroaded into wiping out your retirement savings just to keep up appearances.

Sometimes the family that is contributing more might feel entitled to more control and make the others feel like the poorer relations. Avoid strained relationships ahead of the wedding. Be sensitive, as money
conversations can be awkward.

For late in life marriages, as the couple might have been working for many years, they should be able to finance their wedding themselves. As often this can come with “baggage,” discussions should include,
health insurance and even prenuptial agreements.

Here are some things to avoid.

Don’t jeopardize your retirement plans
It is nice to always want to put your children first, but you can’t afford to sacrifice your retirement to fund your children’s weddings.

Avoid borrowing to finance a wedding
It is never wise to begin a marriage carrying significant debt. Try to avoid going into debt unless there is an expected inflow.

You don’t have to invite everyone you know; invite only those people who are most important to you. You will upset some people.

Yewande Zacchaeus, CEO of Eventful Ltd, a leading Nigerian event planning company says, “Most of the weddings we organize range from 1,000 to 2,000 guests. Our African heritage of large circles of family and friends, who simply must be invited to the event, does make weddings extremely expensive. We now recommend a small engagement and a larger wedding or a large engagement and a small intimate wedding, as a practical way of reducing costs. We keep telling our clients, there is life after the wedding day!

It is about the marriage and not the wedding.

Financial concerns are a leading source of tension in relationships and have some part in most divorces, yet most couples go into marriage without ever broaching money matters. It may not be romantic, but it is important. Don’t let the wedding ruin your marriage.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Oluwadunsin Deinde-Sanya: When You Find Them All

This is 5:39a.m, and I am swimming in thoughts. I have listened to Adekunle Gold‘s Ire over hundred times, but

This is 5:39a.m, and I am swimming in thoughts.

I have listened to Adekunle Gold‘s Ire over hundred times, but my earphone are plugged in again. I am nodding my head to the lyrics of the song, and practising a choreography in my head. I am shooting a video for the song in my mind. I am seeing a group of 6 people – 3 ladies and 3 men. They are dancing in Yoruba attires; swaying their hips and legs, with smiles on their faces. I am one of the dancers.

I am seeing so many things; the song seems to be opening the lids of my heart.

I am seeing the bigger picture.

I did not want to write this, but these emotions are too strong. Writing calls me; it keeps me awake when the sky is blackened, when my ancestors are sleeping peacefully in their graves. Writing whispers to me when the night owls have gone to rest their old limbs. Writing tells me this pen is a blessed curse, it is heavy and can only get light when the world hears my thoughts.

And so I am writing.

I am thinking of an average Nigerian youth; the struggles we go through while growing up. I am thinking of our journey in life. Some of us move like headless chickens, without a sense of direction. We hit all the walls and rocks. We are restless – wanting to do all things, just in case one of them will lead us to Canaan. 

I am thinking of the gala seller I saw last year August; he is a mechanic now. In January, he was selling soft drinks. He is uncertain of about life; laying his hands on so many things – just in case one hustle would blow.

Now I am screaming in my head: why can’t we know what we’ll be in the future? At least, we’ll be saved from beating about the bush. When we know, at least we’ll just take the straight route, move towards our future.. without hitting too many rocks, or moving in circles. At least if I knew I’d become a writer, I wouldn’t waste my time farming snails. If I knew I’d be an artist, I wouldn’t have studied engineering.

I have too many questions rumbling in my belly; they are gushing out my heart like loud farts.

Sshh, quiet.

This thought strolls in like a bringer of peace. It says to me “the day you know your future, is the day you become God.” And for the first time in many years, my restless thoughts bow; their thirst a little satiated.

Have you ever known what you wanted to be in future? Are you where you want to be? Have you figured it all out? For me, the answer is no.

I was that child who never knew what she wanted to be in future. From wanting to be a neurosurgeon to an astronomer, then an archaeologist, to many other things that I can’t remember. It’s so odd that writing stared at me right from when I was little; it sat patiently, waiting for the prodigal daughter to be back home – I am back, mother. But I am not fully back. Fear of the unknown and uncertainty still clouds my eyes and heart.

Ah, uncertainty. This is what buckles the knees of so many youths. We think and think of a particular idea, wanting to be totally sure, and then in the process of overthinking, fear comes and whispers “don’t, little one, don’t – you’re not ready yet.”

Baby, don’t listen to it, this voice would torment you and call you little one for the next ten years. You would not grow, because you are seeing yourself as too little – not in age, but in intelligence and ability.

This article is not for those who have figured it all out, or those who have always known what they wanted and gone for it, (before y’all come and start chanting ‘aspire to inspire to acquire’ or whatever.) This is for people like me, who are so seeking for this inner fulfilment and are trying to untangle and understand so many things in life. This is for those of us who have so many questions playing ten-ten in our little bellies.

So, maybe you are meant to be to be a sculptor and you think you are wasting your time doing all other things? Don’t feel bad. All these things are just preparing you for tomorrow. You need to clear the bushes if you want to pass a smooth road, free of snakes.

I am still figuring what this thing called life is. I am still wondering how my future will be; I know you are too. So, I shall tell you what my mind whispers to my soul. It says “you cannot know the future baby, the day you know it, is the day you become God.” So I am quiet.

But before the future comes, let me tell you this: the future cannot be placed in your hands when they are still feeble. You might tremble, let it fall and crumble. The reason why you lay your hands on so many things is so you’ll garner enough skills and experiences.

Life would teach you when you experience it, and the future would not come when you haven’t experienced life – when you are not ready, because you wouldn’t give eba to a new born baby. So, no matter what you do or what life throws at you, just keep moving forward – it doesn’t matter how little or big the steps you take are – learn, get stronger, get bolder.

Life has a wall clock, and life would always be punctual. Don’t be scared, the future will surely come – when the right time comes. You will make money, you will become great, you will find love. You will find them all – all what you crave.

I am still listening to Ire, and I am saying Adekunle Gold’s prayers: that I return home, that I shall not just be an escort to other people in this world, that I shall not become useless.

This is what the future says to you; come back home baby, come back. Home beckons; home is within you and within you lays the goodness and peace you so crave. You are the future; and the world awaits your entry.

P.S – When you find them all, please pull a brother up. The world only becomes better when we practice empathy and make others rise with us.

This is straight from the heart, from me to you. Love.

It is now 7:22. My ink dries up.

Photo Credit: © Mikedesign | Dreamstime.com

IPOB: Jewish worshippers dare police

■ Vow not to leave Nnamdi Kanu’s home ■ Say their persecution will attract religious war From Okey Sampson, Aba

■ Vow not to leave Nnamdi Kanu’s home

■ Say their persecution will attract religious war

From Okey Sampson, Aba

Lady Ima Hallelujah Nwachukwu is the leader of the Jewish worshippers, who some of her members were arrested by the police in Umuahia, the Abia State capital.

In this interview, she spoke about his group, denying that they are terrorists as police would want the world to believe.
While saying that Nnamdi Kanu’s home is their place for the keeping of the Sabbath, she equally warned the Abia State Commissioner of Police not to do anything that would trigger religious war in the state. Excerpts:

Let’s know your name and why you are in Umuahia
My name is Mrs Ima Hallelujah Nwachukwu, leader of the Jewish worshippers in Umuahia. We are in Umuahia to keep the Sabbath, to worship God.

We decided to do that in Nnamdi Kanu’s home because he is a Jewish man, one of the leaders in our kingdom. This palace (Kanu’s house) is our home and we cannot run away from our home. Over 100 of us came from different parts of the country for this Sabbath keeping.

Is it true that while you were observing the Sabbath, police arrested some of you?  

Yes, they (police) beat some of our brothers mercilessly in our place of worship and tore their cloths before arresting them. Nine of our members were arrested by the police and tortured.

What did police say was your offence? 

They said we are terrorists that we came to terrorise the Commissioner of Police (Anthony Ogbizi). We are not carrying any gun or dangerous weapons, but police in Abia State said that our Kapa and attire frighten them.
They said our attire is the gun we are using to terrorize the commissioner of police. I don’t know when somebody’s attire has become a dangerous weapon that can be used to terrorize the commissioner of police. How can we terrorize the commissioner of police when we don’t know him or his address?

They say we are terrorists, if that is true, how could we have come with our children whom they attacked and some of them are still in the hospital? Can terrorists go to terrorize a place with men of over 90 years? Since we are terrorists, why did they not arrest all of us when we went to the state police command headquarters for the release of our arrested members? I ask this question because we all are in Abia for the same purpose.

Could it be that your people were arrested because you came to Nnamdi Kanu’s home to worship?

Jewish religion, is it a new thing in this country? I think when Nnamdi Kanu was granted bail; the court ruled that one of his sureties must be a Jewish religious leader, that means the court recognises the existence of that religion. The funny part of the whole thing is that when we went to the SCID, a day after the arrest of our members, they said we were no longer terrorists, but surprisingly, the same day, they clamped them into prison.

Would these arrests deter you from accomplishing what brought you to Abia State?

Not at all, at present we do not have any other place of worship except here (Nnamdi Kanu’s home), so, this place will continue to be our place of worship. We have our Synagogue here; it is truly our worship centre. If the police like let them arrest all of us, it will not deter us, but all we want the world to know is that we are not terrorists, but worshippers of Yahweh.

What’s your take on the arrest of your members by the police?

Well, the commissioner of police knows the consequences because what he is attracting is religious war. He tagged us terrorists, he has to prove it, he will prove it. The CP ordered for our arrest because of hatred, anger and envy. But there will be no retreat and no surrender.

What’s your advice to your members?   

They should be courageous and not be dismayed for Yahweh Ellohim of Hebrew is with us and we shall conquer at the end.

The post appeared first on The Sun News.

Cult war: only son of 65-yr-old man killed in jos

Gyang Bere, Jos Life is now an absolute daily agony for 65-year-old Yakubu Jah, whose surviving male child, Philip Yakubu,

Gyang Bere, Jos

Life is now an absolute daily agony for 65-year-old Yakubu Jah, whose surviving male child, Philip Yakubu, was caught in the crossfire of a battle between two rival cult groups, Red Axe and Black Axe, in Kabong community, Jos North Local Government Area of Plateau State.

The violent and tragic clash which happened penultimate Saturday left four persons dead, including Philip. The brutal killing of 29-year-old Philip has enveloped the family in sorrow. People in the community are now tense and petrified as revenge attacks and killings by the rival groups have made the place unsafe.

Yakubu, who described the slaying of his only surviving male child as the worst fate that had befallen him, said the tragic incident left him more devastated after losing other sons in earlier years.

On the fateful day, Philip was at home in the evening and chatting with his parents, when his phone rang. Within seconds he left the house, to play with his friends at the market square, which is not far from the house.

Sadly, a fight between the two rival cult groups spilled into the place where Philip and his friends were playing. In the ensuing confusion, he was stabbed severally with a knife on his chest and neck. The panic caused by the fight made people within the vicinity to hurriedly lock up their shops and flee as the sound of sustained shooting rent the air.
The residents who were out either for relaxation or to purchase foodstuff, mostly women and young girls, scampered for safety.

Philip who was bleeding profusely was rushed to Bingham University Teaching Hospital for urgent treatment but he died before reaching the medical facility. His corpse was subsequently deposited at the morgue after doctors certified him dead.
Meanwhile his father who was at home and preparing to eat dinner couldn’t believe what happened to his son, who had gone out just one hour earlier. When he was alerted about what happened to the son and before he could get to the hospital, he was told that his son had died.

Expectedly, shock and disbelief covered him like a blanket. As the enormity of his loss sank in, he was thrown into temporary confusion.

Recalling the incident, Yakubu said: “If I had the premonition that my son would die, I would not have allowed him go out when he received that phone call that made him go to the place of his death. His friends said it was a military man that called him out of the house, but I don’t know who actually called him. I don’t know where to start now, this boy has been very supportive in the family, he has been killed, I couldn’t believe the story which sounded like a movie until when I saw the corpse at the mortuary the following morning. I am finished.”

Philip who was the fourth child in the family of five and left behind three children – Pam and Davou, eight and five years respectively. The youngest, Bitrus is two years old and was abandoned by the mother one year ago.
Philip lost his elder sister in a mysterious manner several years ago while the elder brother, Luka, died in 2015 in a fatal car accident. As if that wasn’t enough, the younger brother also died after a brief illness in 2016, leaving behind two girls.
According to the father, he was yet to recover from the rude shock of losing his children only for him to be hit again with the sad news of the death of Philip, the bread winner of the family.

His words: “I don’t know why my children always die in these circumstances. I lost the first child many years ago in a brutal manner, and the elder brother died through accident in Delta State. Somebody gave him a vehicle to drive without my knowledge and he had accident and died. Now Philip has been killed by his friends.

“People have always encouraged me to seek for justice but if I remember how they died. I don’t want to go into that, particularly regarding the death of Philip because it will be a waste of resources and precious time. Some people even spread the rumour that he was a cultist. I don’t know about that, I have left everything to God.”
Sunday Sun gathered that the fight between cult groups continued throughout the night of the day that Philip was killed. Four corpses were recovered the next morning which was Sunday. One was found by the police at Goodluck Jonathan Way, Gada Biu, two were recovered close to the jungle at the river bank while the corpse of 32-year-old Shedrack was found in his room at Jenta Makeri.

However, on Tuesday, May 8, panic spread through the community, when a cult group dressed in black claimed that Philip was their member and insisted that the family should release his corpse to them for burial according to their norms.
Sunday Sun learnt the boys came out in their numbers as early as 8:00a.m and marched to Bingham University Teaching Hospital Jos, where they created a scene as they demanded for the corpse from the family.

The cult group, which was made up of young boys and girls, threatened to unleash terror on innocent members of the public, and even attempted to burn a popular hotel, which is said to belong to the leader of the rival cult group. To save the day, teams of the Special Task Force (STF) in charge of internal security in Jos and its environs rushed to the area as just as the Nigerian police and men of the Department of the State Services were called in to join in restoring normalcy and pave way for the burial which took place behind Government Secondary School, Kabong.

James Markus, a close friend of Philip wailed uncontrollably at the burial. “I grew up with Philip in this community and I left him that fateful day less than 30 minutes before he was killed,” he said, sobbing.
Village Head of the Area, Da.  Nyam Maurice, expressed worry over the ugly incident and called for sustained security in the area to guarantee safety of lives and property.

Da. Maurice explained that this was the first time the community had recorded such an incident.
He vowed to take stringent measures to avert future occurrence of such bloody clash.
Police Public Relations Officer of Plateau State Police Command, ASP Matthias Terna Tyopev, confirmed that a corpse was found on Sunday morning at the flyover bridge at Goodluck Jonathan Way in Gada Biu while two other corpses were also recovered.

On the day of the burial, he said the police and other security agencies were at the scene to avert further break down of law and other. “We have beefed up security within the area and environs to curtail further killings in the area,” Tyopev said.
Spokesman of the Special Task Force, Major Umar Adams, said some hoodlums tried to take advantage of the crowded environment during the burial of Philip to unleash terror on innocent people. He said the STF personnel mobilized to prevent more loss of lives.

The post appeared first on The Sun News.

Oghogho Osayimwen: The Struggles of a Nigerian Foreign Student

Has life ever happened to you when you leave home to pursue your dreams in the land of the unknown?

Has life ever happened to you when you leave home to pursue your dreams in the land of the unknown? Then, you are not alone.

It started when I stepped off the 55-minute fast train from Manchester Piccadilly to my destination. It was then I realised I was crazy.

Confusing; wasn’t it my decision to pursue a post-graduate degree abroad? I had a jacket to protect me from the horrifying cold, in one hand, and a cup of hot coffee in the other hand. My cousin got the coffee without knowing I’d never had coffee my entire life. My braids nicely packed, I traced my steps to my new dream and new life, the University in South Yorkshire.

I was a week late. Orientation had been concluded. But, as a typical Nigerian, I was unperturbed, as I believed I would always join in the race.

My first day was interesting. I met new people of different races. But I also met a dead-wall: the freezing cold. Yorkshire is cold! I remember saying out loud to myself, “Can’t I just have some Nigerian weather already?”  I thought I needed a new life, but I never knew what awaited me! A quick advice here: be brave when life calls, and most importantly, remain brave through the entire process.

Life is in stages and some of these stages make us strong. We learn to withstand curve balls thrown at us at different points in our lives. I mean, it takes a collective effort of your body, heart and soul to scale through some seen and unforeseen hurdles.

Hold on! The process will only make you stronger. As the semester progressed,  I adjusted to my environment and the culture of the people.  I had the pleasure of enjoying a very organised society . However, I didn’t have the pleasure of spending money as much as I desired; graduate school can be very expensive, especially when your expenses are in pounds sterling. As a very close friend describes it, it’s “the only currency with a first and surname.” Truthfully, it has to be respected.

With a never-give-up attitude, I hunted for jobs. Yes o, jobs – not just one. Two can barely help you maintain a decent lifestyle in England, especially when your Father did not retire from the military or is a Nigerian politician full time. In no time, my bank account was blinking with the powerful figure “£0”. Never in my life had I experienced that. At this point, outstanding school fees, house rent, general expenses, everything kept calling my name. Guys, I had to hide my face, because even my name didn’t have the power to rescue me from this season of my life.

The struggle is real for manyNigerians studying abroad. If you doubt me, casually ask any graduate with a foreign degree.

With two jobs, a challenging graduate programme, and a rigorous 17 months of my life, the season taught me to be more audacious, confident and most importantly, made me realise my heart is beautiful. I was able to survive on £0.

For all those times I slept on the bus from exhaustion and travelled past my stop, all those times my bank charged me for negative balance, for every time my hands froze and eyes hurt upon receiving demand letters from the finance department regarding outstanding fees, for the days I fasted because food was not in sight and water became my best companion, and for the blessed day I spent the night out in the cold, due to funds (if I had the powers, I would have turned snow into physical cash). It was worth every bit. Thank you, England. Thank you, Grad school. At last. A Nigerian survived! I survived.

If you are planning on pursuing your educational dreams in England or a foreign country, stay bold and take the step. You will survive. The process makes you better! You will survive. You are a Nigerian.

AMCON Seizes Stella Oduah’s Assets Over N20bn Debt

A court in Lagos yesterday granted the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) request to take over the assets of

A court in Lagos yesterday granted the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) request to take over the assets of Sea Petroleum Oil & Gas Ltd whose chief promoter is former minister of aviation, Senator Stella Oduah following a debt of N20 billion the firm has failed to repay.

The seizure order was granted by Justice M.S. Hassan of the Federal High Court, Lagos Division.
The court, in granting the injunction, ordered the inspector general of police, assistant inspectors-general of police, and the commissioner of police in charge of Lagos State, their deputies and all other police officers under them to assist the receiver and the bailiffs of the Federal High Court in the enforcement of the orders.

In compliance with the order of the court, AMCON through its Receiver, at about 11am yesterday, simultaneously took possession of the assets of Sea Petroleum & Gas Ltd and its affiliated companies.

Princess Oduah, a serving member of the 8th Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, has been having a running battle with AMCON over her inability to settle a huge debt of nearly N20 billion.

It was learnt that AMCON had purchased the Eligible Bank Assets (EBAs) of Sea Petroleum & Gas Ltd from Union Bank Plc sometime in 2012, but despite the efforts made by AMCON to reach an amicable settlement, the senator and her co-promoters remained unyielding.

Having exhausted all avenues of peaceful resolution, AMCON took the matter to court.
The order also affects Princess Stella Oduah’s other business interests for which AMCON had since appointed Moyosore Jubril Onigbanjo, SAN, as Receiver over the assets: Sea Petroleum Oil & Gas Ltd, Sea Petroleum and Gas FZE ,as well as Star Tourism and Hotels Ltd.

The court also ordered the freezing of the funds of Sea Petroleum & Gas Ltd and its affiliated companies and principal promoters held anywhere by any entity or persons in Nigeria. It also authorised AMCON and its Receiver, Onigbanjo, to take over all assets pledged as collateral for the facility by Sea Petroleum Oil & Gas Ltd.

Justice Hassan specifically ordered Sea Petroleum Oil & Gas Ltd and its affiliated companies to hand over the company’s business, which sits on over 9,000 square kilometres of land in the fastest developing area of Lagos State along the Lekki-Epe Express Way; two Tank Farms of 500 metric tonnes capacity; a property at Maiyegun Tourism Zone, Lekki Peninsula Scheme II, Lagos Island, and a filling station complex at kilometre 14, Lekki Epe Expressway, Ikota, Lagos State.

The court order also listed a host of other assets across the country including Plot 2, block 12C, Babafemi Osapa Crescent Lekki, Lagos State; Block 5, house 4A Mobolaji Johnson Estate, Lekki, Lagos State; Office/filling station at Jakande, Lekki, Lagos State; Office complex 1,2 and 3 km 14, Lekki-epe Expressway , Ikota, Lagos; Filing station Complex at km 14, Lekki Epe Expressway, Ikota Lagos; Staff residential Quarters, Ikota, Lagos; E25-E36, Gat Oboh Drive, Millennium Estate, Oniru, Lagos, and F3-F5, SPG Road, Millennium Estate, Oniru, Lagos; SPG Agungi 2 Lekki, Lagos.
The rest include Office/Filling station complex at Funmilayo Ransome Kuti, FCT, Abuja; Gas plant at Karu, FCT, Abuja; Filing station Complex, Lugbe, FCT, Abuja and Agriculture Farm at Kuje, FCT Abuja.

LEADERSHIP Weekend reports that AMCON under managing director/CEO, Ahmed Kuru, has insisted that there will be no sacred cows in its bid to recover the huge debts in the hands of a few Nigerians.

To deal with the situation, however, AMCON has in recent times increased the tempo of its recovery activities using firmer negotiation strategies as well as utilising the special enforcement powers vested by the AMCON Act to compel some of its recalcitrant debtors, especially those that are politically exposed and business heavyweights, to repay their debts.

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