BabT

Olorunfemi Babatunde

Valentine Message: Be Perfect as your heavenly Father is Perfect

Have you heard anyone say, “I am not God; I cannot be perfect, only God is perfect?” Each time I hear it from a friend, I remind them of Jesus teaching in Matthew 5: 48 “Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.” By calling us to perfection, Christ calls us to Love. What then is Love? The answer is found in 1st Corinthians 13:4-13.

“Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away.”

By calling us to perfection, is Jesus Christ asking for too much? At Mass today, being Ash Wednesday (the beginning of Lent, forty days fasting for Christians), Catholics across the world are reminded that “you are dust and to dust you will return”. It doesn’t matter how much cash reserve you have in your bank account or assets you can boast of – they will pass away. The only thing that will not end is the love you give and show. How much love do you have in your reserve, what is your Love net worth?

Never forget that you are a gift to our world. How much of your gift are you blessing the world with? Don’t spend your life time doing nothing about your talents and gifts; let them embolden you to act, to love, to give and grow.

In the Pursuit of your dreams, let love be your guide. I will close my message with Jesus teaching as captured in Matthew 5-43-48

43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’  44 But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, 45 that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. 46 For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? 47 And if you greet your brethren only, what do you do more than others? Do not even the tax collectors do so? 48 Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Nigeria: A Nation Without Conscience?

“Make straight the way of the Lord” cried John the Baptist, forerunner of Jesus Christ. His earthly assignment was to call the people of Israel to repentance and prepare them for the coming of the Messiah. The bible records John as a righteous and fearless man. These rare attributes eventually saw him beheaded – He died for what he lived for and believed in.

For me, writing about Nigeria is sometimes painful, yet a patriotic exercise. I liken it to a parent who has given up on an errant child but decide to try one last time. I have reached a point where my hope for a better Nigeria is hinged only on HOPE. At the moment, the pointers to a prosperous Nigeria are largely elusive.

Nigerians are not unawares of the problems plaguing the nation. At the root of our many problems is lack of good leadership. Proper diagnoses of our leadership problems do not spare the followership of faults. We have a followership that is active in talking, finding faults but missing in action when it counts – at the polls. Are you 18 years old or more? Do you have your voter’s card? Don’t tell me votes don’t count in Nigeria – it’s the lamest excuse to give and I find it unacceptable.

During election, we all seem to focus on the “big” positions – Presidency and Governorship; we forget that every piece in the puzzle count. Going forward, we must ensure to give importance to Local Government Chairmen, Councillorship and House of Assembly elections.

We risk nursing a population that revel in trivialities on social media and lose contact with reality. It is an eternal truth that politicians who are well connected with the grass root and understand the language of the people are the ones that are victorious at the polls. How can technology be deployed by well-meaning and good intentioned political office hopefuls in engaging the grass root? Are there politicians and mobile App developers thinking in this line? Is there a value that can be delivered to the farmer, petty market woman, aging and students through a mobile app? or all we can do is throw banters on Facebook and WhatsApp while nursing a pitiable space for the unborn generation?

What values do you espouse as a Nigerian? As a Man of God, do you teach the truth from the pulpit without fear of who the truth pebbles hit? Do you charge your members who hold leadership positions in government to deliver on their mandates? Do you call them to meetings or write them letters appraising their performance and admonishing them as Apostle Paul would have done? As a doctor in a government hospital, do you sacrifice your duty for your private practice leaving the fate of dying men/women in the hands of interns? As a Youth Corp member are you impacting knowledge at your place of primary assignment or you made yourself a god to be served? As a Civil Servant, how devoted are you in the discharge of your responsibilities? As a teacher, how are you shaping the future of learners under your care?

It is true that the world is becoming a global village, should we not care about our side of the village? Search your mind for what you are contributing to the current state of the Nigerian nation. Like John the Baptist can you say you were sent to the people of Nigeria by God for a purpose? Can you say you are living for what you believe in? What are you living for? What do you believe in? We all must treat Nigeria as good parents treat their Children, giving, loving and working selflessly to ensuring a great future for them not minding the cost and price paid.

The soul of this nation is a summation of the consciences of her citizens. We all cannot be playing victims of failed leadership when those positions are occupied by our brothers and sisters and will probably be occupied by us and our sons and daughters sometime in the future. Take this piece as a call for examination of conscience and call to repentance. Lets give Nigeria a chance to be the Great Nation God destines it to be. Arise o Compatriot and lets make our Nation the pride and bride of Africa.

Photo Credit: therenaissanceng.com

My Grouse with the Fathers and Charge to the Sons

Whispers of America, Gods own country….” shifted my focus to the average height chocolate skinned teenager soliloquizing in the bus. She continued “I will get the American Visa one day, my application may have been turned down, I will try again!” she ended her reflection with, “America, Gods own country”.

I have witnessed the young and old alike give testimonies of how God helped them secure Visa to escape the Nigerian Nightmare. On a daily basis, thousands of Nigerians are praying, fasting, wishing and hoping that one day they will obtain a Visa to their dream country. Sad as this development may seem, it is our reality, the Nigerian reality.

I will not dwell on how we got here or who is to blame. However, I am baffled how a Nation with over 180 million inhabitants manages more evil, greedy and selfish citizens than the good and sensible ones – our choices during elections and how we allow leaders divide us along ethnic and religious line buttresses this position.

For successive governments, free and qualitative education is too much luxury to bequeath the Nigerian child, stable electricity remains elusive to the Nigerian entrepreneur and citizens. I sometime ask myself, “What is the Nigerian dream?” You have an answer? What values and vision drives and bind us as a Nation? The absence of a Nigerian dream explains why foundational cracks of mistrust, ethnicity, and greed surfaced, thrives and continue to dwarf our growth. These narratives must change.

We must not toe the path of our fathers; successive leaders who hold back the development of this nation with the “National Cake theory”, “Chop I Chop formula”, “Padi Padi syndrome” and the “Man know Man policies”.

How do we chart a new course for our Nation? Should we expect a Messiah? Should we take on the traits of the long awaited Messiah? My charge to you, young Nigerian; you are the hope and lifeline of Nigeria.

Coincidentally, I am publishing this article on the 87th Posthumous Birthday of Chinua Achebe. Chinua Achebe put Nigeria on the world map for writing and his intellectual prowess. Like Chinua, we must put Nigeria on the world map for excellence. It is no surprise to see him honoured by Google – did you see the Google doodle today? (It’s pictured in the image posted with this article). It may also interest you to know that Chinua Achebe is one of the personalities whose indigenous names are recognized by the Microsoft Office Word dictionary.

The potentials and abilities of the Nigerian youth are never in doubt. As individuals and as a collective, we must begin to channel our talents, resources and intellect towards changing our narrative and moving this nation forward. Let us join hands to save Nigeria from ethnicity, religious extremism and corruption.

The black man (in my opinion) is catastrophically self-centered. We can change this mindset by contributing our quota to the nation’s development, knowing well that building a prosperous Nation is the best present we can gift the upcoming and unborn generation.

2019 is around the corner, ensure to be part of the electoral process and join to hold our leaders accountable and responsible for their representation.

To Nigerians living in the Diaspora; NEVER forget your roots. The developed nation you now call home was built by humans. Therefore, do not fail to contribute your quota to the making of a prosperous Nigeria.

I am positive that Nigeria will wake up from her slumber someday; the day you and I decide that we are the long awaited messiah of change and begin to do things right within our sphere of influence. LET’S DO IT. YES, WE CAN!

A LEGACY OF MASS GRAVES

Can someone tell me “MASS GRAVE” is a movie and not reality? These scenes are well cut for a horror bestseller. A city turned into mass graves with millions of inhabitants buried alive. Some buried up to the knee, waist while others buried to their neck. I look on helplessly, unsure of what to do. Caught between rescuing the victims, staying safe from the executioners and finding out who these heartless humans are. As I entertain these thoughts, I feel uneasy, my feet heavy.

Face to face with the unmasked Marksmen, I am determined not to go down easily without giving a fight. This piece is one of my arsenals for survival, a cry to individuals, inhabitants and passerby’s who are yet to be buried alive, those half buried and half dead;  a bid to rally them to form an army. Can we fight? Can we escape the trap? Can we live wholly again and rescue those at the point of death?

Anger and sadness well up as I play back heart wrenching scenes. In February 2015 Professor Ahmed Mustapha Falaki a Professor of Agronomy and Director Institute of Agricultural Research (IAR) of Ahmadu Bello University (ABU) Zaria and also former Country Director of the SASAKAWA Project in Nigeria lost his life in controversial circumstances to a Police Officer and mobs in Fala village of Tudun Wada LGA, Kano State. He was said to be mistaken for a Boko Haram Terrorist, even when he produced his ABU identity Card and Driver’s license for identification.

In another scene, an officer of Nigeria’s secret police, the State Security Service (SSS) was caught on tape at a public function polishing the shoes of Abdulrahman Dambazau, Nigeria’s Minister of Interior. An indication of the unfortunate abuse perpetuated by supposed leaders. One is not unawares that some politicians and men of authority unlawfully assign security personnel to their girlfriends and concubines who make them wash their undies and perform other unsavory tasks. These are men and women commissioned to maintain law and order in the society and charged to protect lives and properties.

On Friday, December 23, 2016 Grace Onaivi left her school, Kogi State University for Lokoja, the state Capital to celebrate the Christmas and New Year holidays with her family. She answered her father’s call about 5pm the same day assuring him of her safe arrival to Lokoja. Grace did not get home, her decomposing corpse was found on Thursday, December 29, 2016; legs, hands, eyes and mouth tied. Hindsight tells me that a properly trained and equipped police will have rescued her alive.

It’s an impossible task to outline the evils carried out on Nigerian soil on a daily basis. I dug into the history books to find out how we got here; a quest to know if we ever got it right in the past and attempt to identify where we derailed. My findings revealed that Nigeria never got it right from independence. My heart bleeds to know that the foundation of our nation stand on faulty and shaky grounds.

The leading actors have failed to salvage a dying Nation. A tale of one step forward, several steps backwards. Actors propelled by greed and self-centeredness instituted a culture of mass graves, they have not stopped digging. A situation that made it impossible for them to manage the events and circumstances that lead to the civil war.  At the wake of oil discovery, they moved to Oloibiri, Niger Delta, they began digging mass graves for the inhabitants. Today the Nation battles Marksmen tagged Fulani shepherds and cattle rustlers. At every turn, Mass Graves are being dug, citizens buried alive.

The life expectancy of Nigerians (Male 53.4, female 55.6) and every measure of economic stability of the Nigerian nation maintains a steady decline. Who will think that the exchange rate of the Naira to the Dollar was N1.00 to $1.53 in May, 1977 but today (2017) it is approximately N315 at official rate and N490 at the parallel market.  A trend that alludes to the success of the marksmen and their strong determination to make Nigeria a hell for the citizenry.

The Nigerian citizens have not fared better. They have largely fallen for the ploy of the con men, divided along religious, ethnic and political lines. Accepting a fate of poverty, injustice or at best swearing allegiance to the powers that be and joining them in the harvest of death.

We, Nigerians, are not oblivious of our problems. Evil men veiled as leaders will stop at nothing to divide and loot this country to nought.

Are there still sane Nigerians on the Nigerian soil? Where are you? Can we get elected leaders, our representatives to halt this pogrom? How many deaths are too many to get us to think, unite, resist and fight (if need be)? Must we wait for the next harvest of deaths? How many deaths are too many? 180 million?

To the government of the day, if the efforts put at silencing the Biafran agitators are committed to ensuring good governance at all levels, the agitation will have long died a natural death. I call on the Buhari administration to rethink the idea of tasking one man with three ministries – Power, Works and Housing.

My final advice to the Buhari administration is to commit to appointing qualified persons to occupy the available portfolios. What will it benefit our nation to have incompetents occupy critical government positions; individuals with questionable antecedents who have not shown themselves worthy in character, knowledge and ability? Should we sacrifice competence and merit for mediocrity on the grounds of tribal, ethnic and party affiliations?

My message to those sponsoring and nurturing a culture of bloodshed in Nigeria and attempting to create an artificial heaven and safe haven for themselves and members of their families; what goes around comes around. You will someday be visited by misfortune, die humiliating and excruciating death, here on earth and in the hereafter. The deaths you fertilize and catalyse will not go unrewarded. No solution and immunization has yet been found for cardiac arrest, mysterious and disastrous ‘gifts’ brought by Karma. You may laugh now but I can assure you it will last only last for a time.

I choose my fights carefully and remain undeterred by the obstacles placed on my path and those of fellow Nigerians. Armed by the truth, common sense and goodwill for the citizenry, I will not relent in my efforts to contribute to a better Nigeria and urge all well-meaning Nigerians to tow the same path.

I pray that the good hearted Nigerians triumph in the end. Evil may last for many years; the truth will overtake it someday. As long as we breathe, we must keep hope alive and commit to a better and prosperous Nigeria.

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TO REALIZE YOUR FULL POTENTIAL – RESIST THE ENEMY WITHIN

I have seen it all, what exactly is one living for? If not for my children…, once they grow up to fend for themselves, I’ll consider my assignment on earth done. I would have completed my course and be in good stead to bid the world farewell.

The mindset expressed above, is typical of the average Nigerian. To think that child tending is the primary reason for one’s existence is limiting. Parents are exceptionally proud whenever their children come top in class, there is nothing bad about this, but what if we help all children come top in their areas of strength, interest and aspiration? Beyond caring for your children, how about the other children? What if we shift focus from “Me, Myself, Mine & I” to “Us, Nigeria, We, fellow Humans”.

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation commits to combating poverty and malaria in Africa, the founders are not of Africa descent. Mark Zuckerberg, founder of Facebook, recently revealed plans and commitments of Chan Zuckerberg initiative towards curing “all diseases in our children’s lifetime”. I agree that it is an ambitious plan but should humanity strive for less? Mark has also voted a sizable percentage of his wealth towards making the world a better place.

Beyond colonialist maneuvering and manipulations, our mindset as Nigerians has played a big role in dwarfing our potentials. Our frontline position in the comity of consuming nations and a choice dumping ground for all manner of inferior products is a testament to our limiting mindset. Over five decades, stable electricity has remained elusive to a nation who prides of intellectual giants in every field of human endeavor. I am not in doubt that we have the human and natural resources to surmount our many problems. What I find deficient is the will power.

To birth the Nigeria of our dreams, we must flee self-centered and selfish endeavours for daring goals that will leave our society better than we met it. We need to dream big as a nation and as individuals. Let’s begin to task our minds on how to solve our collective problems, including those of neighbouring African countries. It is not impossible for Nigeria to be the food basket of Africa. It is in reaching for the skies that we find our greatest strength and reach our full potentials.

What can your contribute to a better world, a better Nigeria? I suggest you start by patronizing made in Nigerian products. Also look inwards to question the motive behind the things you do. Is it all about you, your children and family?

computer-training-beneficiaries-emure-ekiti

Some of the Beneficiaries of my computer training – Ijaloke Grammar School Emure Ekiti (NYSC 2010)

As for me, Olorunfemi Babatunde, I have a 10 years goal, to train at least One Million Nigerians in basic computing for free or at subsidized rate. The targeted beneficiaries are public school students. I trained 30 students in computing fundamentals for free during my National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) days at Ijaloke Grammar School, Emure, Emure-Ekiti, this was made possible by the support received from the Towns elite club, Ayodele Cephas, a computer training center owner who allowed me to use his facilities to train the students and the Principal of Ijaloke Grammar School whose support enabled me revive and re-equip the schools abandoned computer room.

In the near future, I will be reaching out to individuals and organisations to support “Project One Million” – computer training initiative targeted at One Million Nigerians who cannot afford computer education. You may consider sponsoring your relatives, church members, neighbours to be beneficiaries. Individuals and organisations willing to support this initiative can reach me on 08120252692 or via mirthfemi@gmail.com for further information.

Through my start up, Appswheel Wheel Koncepts (Appswheel), I am committed to supporting young Nigerians, Africans with their ICT needs – web designing, copy writing, digital marketing, ICT consulting– all at minimal fee (targeted beneficiaries are Youth Corps members and aspiring entrepreneurs). Individuals in this category should contact me on 08120252692, send an email to mirthfemi@gmail.com or meet me on Fridays, at an location in Bode Thomas Street, Surulere, Lagos. Please endeavor to schedule a meeting before visiting.

By reading this piece to this point, I am convinced that you can make a positive difference in our world. When our time is up, may it be said that we ran a generous race. Let’s connect @ www.olorunfemibabatunde.com, provide your email address in the subscription box to get future stories in your mailbox.

THE NIGERIAN TEST TUBE, SOCIO-ECONOMIC AND POLITICAL REACTIONS

Nigeria has witnessed several political midwifing and reactions. The most recent being the reaction that produced Muhammadu Buhari as President.  The reaction was in stages, the first phase was between political parties, Alliance for Democracy (AD) and Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) which produced All Progressive Congress (APC). The reaction that produced APC was exothermic in nature, the heat and energy that accompanied it resulted in the melting and collapse of the once formidable Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), the then ruling party christened largest political party in Africa reduced to naught. Have a look at the equations below:

AD + CPC = APC

APC + PDP + Other Political Parties + Nigerians = Buhari + (Recession?)

Upon assumption of duty, President Muhammadu Buhari body language and anti-corruption crusade showed signs of positive energy. The attendant hunger, pay cuts, sky rocketing prices of goods and services, alarming unemployment rate that now characterize the life of the Buhari administration questions the potency of body language in reducing the entropy of the Nigerian nation.

History has it that Nigeria resulted from the fusion of tribes intended for administrative convenience by the British colonial masters. The independence granted Nigeria in 1960 forced the colonial masters to abandon their experiment. An experiment that saw a mole of Yoruba, Hausa, Igbo tribes mix with moles of other tribes.

Successive administrations who have ruled Nigeria since independence have continued the experiment. Some of the results produced so far include, bloody and bloodless coups, civil war, annulled election, religious bigots and extremist, high illiteracy level, leaders who offer stomach infrastructure as dividends of democracy, citizens with “short memory syndrome” who allow negative history to repeat itself.

It therefore calls for concern, the quality of ‘scientists’ experimenting with the Nigerian socio-economic, political test-tube. We have had products like Structural Adjustment Program (SAP), Better Life Program (BLP), Family Support Program (FSP), Family Economic Advancement Program (FEAP), National Economic Empowerment and Development Strategy (NEED) National Poverty Eradication Programme (NAPEP), Vision 20-20, Youth and Entrepreneurial Empowerment Scheme (YouWIN) and recently N-power. How it is that successive governments have not been able to sustain economic programmes of its successors? Can this development be linked with incompetence, greed, culture of mediocrity, lack of unity, no sense of focus or lack of willpower?

Having lived my life in Nigeria’s test tube, witnessed and survived experiments led by greedy and unpatriotic elements dubbed leaders across various organs of government, I am bothered what they aim to achieve by creating a society with so many ills – epileptic power supply, poorly equipped hospitals and non-functional systems. How long will they catalyze the Nigerian reactions with ethnicity, corruption, religious sentiments and mediocrity?

Are you a docile or active citizen? What is your position on matters that bother on Nigeria – the fence? Do you care to cast your vote for credible candidates when it’s time to choose our leaders and representatives? Do you join efforts with other citizens who call out to elected leaders for an account of their representation? We can choose to fold our arms and not get involved in the electoral process and governance but we cannot choose the dire consequence of decaying infrastructure, frightening crime rate, extreme hunger, gross disregard for citizens’ rights, and government of stomach infrastructure. There is no end to the negative consequences of abuse of your vote and civil responsibilities.

The belief that the Nigerian socio-economic, political reactions can be reversed gives me hope. If we all join forces to vote in credible leaders in future elections, we would succeed at installing competent ‘scientists’ with the experience, integrity, goodwill and purposefulness needed to make Nigeria great.

Original article first appeared on sharpjournal.com

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#IStandwithNigeria – Calling out the Minister of Education

During my Junior Secondary School days at Federal Government College Ugwolawo, I remember an Introductory Technology assignment that required me to cut bar soaps into geometrical shapes. I’d not be surprised if the present JSS 3 students are still labored with such mundane tasks. JSS 3 students have the capacity to take on programming and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) subjects.

I offered Computer Science subject in my Secondary School; I graduated as a qualified computer illiterate. The story has not changed in government owned schools. This development is worrying for many reasons. The Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) organized by the Joint Admission Matriculation Board (JAMB) is now administered as a Computer Based Test, what is the fate of students whose first contact with a computer is on the examination day?

I am at loss why it takes a Bachelor and Master degrees for many Nigerian graduates to learn sewing, and make up – why can’t our education curriculum be reviewed to teach these skills at Junior Secondary School?

I studied Mechanical Engineering from a highly rated Federal Government owned University, during my time (2005 – 2010), a sizable number of the equipment/machines used for carrying out lab experiments were either non-functional or outdated; this development saw graphs, lab and technical reports prepared for non-performed experiments.

Dear Honourable Minister, I will not be surprised if you do not have any idea of the ratio of students to teacher in Government owned secondary schools. Have you ever considered that an ICT based solution can easily solve the dilemma? Olasunkanmi Akintoye, a 2012 graduate of Industrial Chemistry from the University of Ilorin, Nigeria and Computer Information Systems Master’s degree holder from the Florida Institute of Technology developed a computer program that can meet this need. How is your ministry deploying ICT to collect valuable data required for making informed decisions and formulating effective policies?

Mallam Adamu Adamu, Minister of Education

Mallam Adamu Adamu, Nigeria’s Hon. Minster of Education:

Hon. Minister, qualitative education is the bedrock of sustainable development. Are you aware of the challenges confronting education in Nigeria? Have you developed a blueprint to tackle them? Can you please share your action plan with Nigerians?

Nigerians want to know what you are doing to deliver our Educational System from total collapse.

I look forward to getting your feedback.

Note: Dear Nigerians, this is one way we can explore to take back our country from directionless leadership. Let’s call out our representatives to share their plans and activities with us. Where they are found wanting, they should give way for competent hands who can deliver the leadership needed to take our country out of the woods.

Image Credit: Ken Summer – https://www.flickr.com/photos/sporaxis/7930150066

LIFES TRIPOD – HOPE, FAITH & LOVE

Looking up with outstretched arms, Adeyemi prayed, “Dear Lord, in few years from now, I’d like to be a celebrated Web programmer”.  Having spent hours learning codes and reading about accomplished ICT personnels, his lifetime dream is to become the Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg of Nigeria.  Hope and Faith at work.

“Hello Adeyemi, have you seen the advert from Orbit Technologies Ltd”, asked Ngozi. “Tell me about it”, requested Adeyemi. She handed him her phone… an advert on www.ekocitymagazine.com read, “interns are needed for a 6 months intensive software development coaching, interested applicants are required to….”. Giving off a smile in appreciation of Ngozi thoughtfulness he echoed, “You know how much I value your friendship. Thank you”.

Jagaban (22 years old) is the founder of Orbitview Technologies Ltd. While studying Economics at a Nigerian private University he learnt how ICT products are being explored to disrupt established services. He made a resolve to use his connections to create opportunities for young Nigerians who are willing to learn coding with an aim of empowering them and building a software development business.

Adeyemi application read,

Subject: Internship Application

Dear Sir,

I write to apply for the position of a Software development intern in your esteemed organization. This is in response to your advert on ekocitymagazine.com. I have a strong passion and lifelong dream of becoming a Software Developer.

I have basic knowledge of Hypertext Markup Language (HTML), Cascading Style Sheet (CSS) and Javascript. Kindly find attached list of web projects I have executed.

I will be grateful if my application is given a positive consideration.

Adeyemi Chibuzor

Two months later, Adeyemi got a mail, “Congratulations! You have been selected to participate in the …….” THE END

Which facet of Hope tells your story? Hope to Become (Adeyemi) or Hope to create (Jagaban)?  You can be the answer to other people’s prayer. 

Life is rooted in Hope, Faith and Love. These three interplay to keep the world pulsing. How and where do you fit in the Hope, Faith and Love equation?

Faith, Hope and Love…… the tripod that captures man’s existence. 

Note:This article is a work of fiction. Names used are not associated to any individual.

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MY FACEBOOK ROMANCE AND MESSAGE TO MARK ZUCKERBERG

Hi Mark, I hope you find your eyes on this letter. I felt so sad that I was not opportune to meet you during your Nigeria visit. I read it on your timeline that you were in Nigeria and wondered why and how I did not get wind of your visit. I had always wanted to meet you, my heart soured to know that my first chance to meet you had slipped. I searched the web to confirm if there was any prior mention of your visit, the only notice of your visit was on a Nigerian tech info website. I discovered that some entrepreneurs had been pre-registered to meet you.

I joined Facebook in 2008 and have since become an addict. I must say that Facebook has been a blessing to the world and has helped connect family and friends. Beyond connecting family and friends, I was attracted to Facebooks business empowerment offerings, I soon became a Facebook entrepreneur, helping small business owners advertise their products using Facebook sponsored ads. I have recently applied to become an Express Wifi retailer in Nigeria.

Facebook Advertising

Photo Credit: http://3.bp.blogspot.com

I studied the Facebook help resources to master campaign best practices and ads optimization techniques. External resources obtained on socialmediaexaminer.com and jonloomer.com were helpful. Over the years, I have kept pace with Facebook offerings, products and tools, they include, Business Manager, Live rail, Atlas, Power Editor, Workplace, Free Basics, Instagram ads, Express Wifi, blueprint Certification resources amongst others. I also follow the activities of Chan Zuckerberg Initiative with keen interest and thrilled by your commitment to creating a better world through your interest in education and health related concerns. The most recent is the audacious effort to cure “all diseases in our children’s lifetime”.

Given the foregoing, I have every reason to be in love with Facebook. The realization that the passion and energy behind Facebook is not driven by monetary gains but a resolve to meeting humanity most basic needs and advancing human interaction and relationship across borders warm my heart. Your efforts at beaming the internet to all the people of the world is phenomenal. I am particularly thrilled by the investment and technology that Facebook represents.

As a Facebook entrepreneur, I provide support to small business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs in Nigeria. I urgently need to get this message to you, “many Nigerian small and medium scale business owners can no longer afford to promote their products and services via Facebook ads”. This is largely because Facebook does not receive Naira payments. The Dollar-Naira conversion rate continues to widen, more so, Facebook charges Nigerian advertisers at parallel market rate.

Mark, kindly allow Nigerians make ad payments in their local currency – the Naira. By allowing Naira payments, you will be supporting and saving my business and those of several others from collapse. It will also lead to the revival of businesses that have already collapsed due to inability to market their products and services.

Nigeria is currently battling economic recession, millions of jobs are being lost on daily basis. Entrepreneurship and self-employment is no longer considered an option in this part of the world; it is the only viable choice left to millions of unemployed youths. Accessibility to Facebook ads will go a long way in creating jobs and keeping the Nigerian entrepreneur afloat.

Mark, I sincerely hope you read this letter and look forward to getting a positive feedback from you and your team. My warm regards to the Facebook team, Priscilla, Max and Beast.

You can reach me via https://m.me/olorunfemib, email: babt@olorunfemibabatunde.com and Mobile: +2348120252692. Let’s connect on LinkedIn www.linkedin.com/olorunfemib. My website: www.olorunfemibabatunde.com

 

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I AM NIGERIAN

There seem to be no sign of redemption in sight, yet I refuse to give up on the land of my birth. We would get it right someday. When will this happen? In my generation? 900 years’ time like one of my geologist acquaintance suggested?

After reading Chinua Achebe’s, “There was a country” and drawing from my interactions with many Nigerians, it’s evident we make light our strength, we abuse our strength to stagnate growth.

The idea that Nigeria is a contraption, handiwork of British colonialist and therefore a forced marriage of irreconcilable elements must be rethought and “re-engineered” for Nation building . The commercially viable mineral deposits underneath our soil are not in conflict. If “unselfishly” mined, processed and managed, they guarantee wealth for every Nigerian. Why then are we in conflict?

Researches are ongoing in many parts of the world, technologies are being developed to connect the globe – Mark Zuckerberg Facebook is a dominant example. I am at a lost why some Nigerians in this age and time are wearing themselves out to pull the nation apart. Particularly, the segment of Biafra advocates who are calling for WAR. I recommend such individuals to get a copy of Chinua Achebes, “There was a country”.

If Nigeria must work, her constituents must see her as a whole and tackle her development from a holistic viewpoint. NO TRIBE SHOULD SEE ITSELF AS SUPERIOR TO THE OTHERS. Such mindset at best keep us close to the Stone Age – we have been here for too long.

The concept of quota system, federal character is not out of place in its entirety as long as there is a plan to replace it (quota system) with meritocracy in the long term. This is achievable by investing in education; bringing all the regions at par educationally. How long will this take? 50 years? 100 years? A journey of a thousand miles is said to begin with a step, just as tiny drops of water make an ocean. When shall we make the necessary investment that will lift us from our self-inflicted problems?

Nigeria will be the giant it should be when we all begin to play our part in nation building. This will only happen when we discover that our diversity is strength. When we bury mindsets that position our tribe as superior over another. We must unite against visionless and thieving politicians, leaders who exploit religion and ethnicity to enslave us in our own land.

One reason to still have hope in Nigeria is that there are a few good men and women, and the belief that Evil never triumph over Good.

Nigeria the land of my birth;
I pray for peace upon thee
May your seeds unite
May they not greed, grind to a halt
May they love wisdom and apply it
May justice, peace and progress find rich soil to bloom
May generations unborn be proud to bear your name

Nigerians Unite!