To my dear future wife

dear

Hello, my future wife.

This is the first of the epistles I promised myself I would write to you. May be we have met or may be have not but whatever way, Allah knows best. Whether you are reading this before we meet, or stumble upon it after, I want you to know a few things.

The reason why I am writing this today is because sometimes I can’t stop thinking about you, and I can’t stop myself from imagining how happy we will be insha Allah. Let this letter be a promise to you that I will do my best to be the man I want to be for you and for us.

I may not know yet all of the difficulties that come with life time commitment, but one thing I am certain of is that together, we can build a great family and by His grace also make a difference in this society we have found ourselves. With you by my side, I picture my life with the person I will commit to: you.

I have read, seen and heard about couples who are a continuous source of education and inspiration on how I want our relationship to be. So here and today, I vow to try my best to do the following:

I promise to do my best to make you beam daily, so count on my surprises. Your smile will be my priority. I promise I will always look at you with the same adoration as I did the moment I realized I loved you. I promise to hold your hand when we’re 80 years old with the same liveliness that I did when I hold yours for the first time insha Allah.

I vow to challenge you to challenge yourself for the better; to make you think differently. I promise to try to feed off of your illuminating energy that will inspire me to do the same with myself. I will do my best to ensure that being bored never crosses your mind.

Even in grief and darkness, I promise to show you the different shades of the dark, and to help you find the tiny rays of light that are always there if you seek them. After all, there’s always worse than worst and better than best; everything is relative.

I promise to strive to be a role model for our children insha Allah. I want both you and them to see me as a source of motivation. I want to inspire them in the same way that my father inspires me. With you, I’m certain that our children would’ve the best upbringing any father would ever hope for his children.

I want to use this medium tell you one of my many hobbies which is travelling. I want us to travel and explore the world together insha Allah. I promise to have new stories and experiences to share with you, and maybe I’ll retell the best ones again if you insist. Among the places I want us to visit insha Allah includes:

I want us to visit Saudi Arabia for pilgrimage (hajj and lesser hajj). Pray at the Grand Mosque in Mecca and the Mosque of the Prophet at Medina. Visit the hilltop towers and also the capital city of Riyadh. Spend the last ten days of every Ramadan in the holy city insha Allah and also visit other historic and spiritual sites.

I want us to visit Turkey. Our first stop would be Aspendos theatre which boasts one of the best preserved ancient theatres of antiquity. It was built in 155 AD during the Roman Empire. Then Patara beach which is one of the longest stretches of sandy beach found anywhere in the Mediterranean. From there, we head to Bodrum Castle which was built in the 15th century. It is one of the world’s best preserved monuments dating back to medieval times. Then we move to the Blue Mosque with its six minarets and sweeping architecture. The Sultan Ahmed or Blue Mosque is a great edifice. Next is Hogia Sophia which is located in Istanbul. It was constructed in the 6th century. A masterwork of Roman engineering, the massive dome covers what was for 1000 years the largest enclosed space in the world. Explore Istanbul, Ankara and other cities in Turkey as well.

I want also to visit the United Arab Emirate. I want us to see the Burj Khalifa which is one of the famous buildings in Dubai. Not only is it the world’s tallest building, but it also lays claim to the title of the tallest freestanding structures in the world. Then we move to Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, a mammoth modern mosque of incredible beauty. It is a blend of modern and old. It doesn’t fail to dazzle all who enter with the lavish use of gold, mosaic work and glass work, marble in gigantic proportions and blindly white stones contrasting dramatically under the Emirate blue sky. Then Hajar Mountains which scythe through the desert, creating the jagged and wild heart of the U.A.E with its twisting roller-coaster roads with spectacular scenery along the way connects the region’s tiny villages. Then to the amazing Sharjah Arts Museum which is dedicated to the diverse arts in the country. Then to other tourist sites like Al-Bidyah mosque, Abu Dhabi towers e.t.c.

United States is one place I hope we visit. First would be Hartsdale, New York where Malcolm X was buried to pay respect to one of my mentors. Then we move to the White house in Washington DC which was built in 1792 and 1800 and first used by President John Adams. Our next stop would be the Denali National Park and preserve which is located at Alaska and contains Mount McKinley, the highest mountains in North America. Then we visit other places like Harvard law school, Maya Angelou’s home, Disney world, James Baldwin’s home, Imam Siraj’s mosque in New York, United Nation building in New York, The United States Supreme Court, The Congress and other places.

Indonesia is another place too I hope we visit. The Lake Toba on the Island of Sumatra is an immense volcanic lake about 100 kilometers long and 30 kilometers wide. It is the largest resurgent caldera on Earth. Then we move to Tanjung Puting National Park which is located on the Island of Borneo in the Indonesian province of Central Kalimantan with many local tour companies offering boat tours to view wildlife and visit the research centers. Other places include the Baliem Valley, the Komodo National Park etcetera.

Visiting England won’t be a bad idea. I want us to see the famous London Bridge, No. 10 Downing Street (office of the Prime Minister), Buckingham Palace, the West Minister (Parliament), Emirate Stadium (home to my club Arsenal fc), University of Oxford but most particularly to the historic Oxford Union where leaders like Malcolm X, Winston Churchill, Margret Thatcher, Lee kuan Yew among others have once appeared there for a debate. Visit cities like Liverpool, Manchester, Sheffield, Birmingham, Swansea and many others.

Then we visit India. I want to us to visit the grave of Indian Nationalist Mahatma Gandhi, the famous Tahj Mahal(Crown of Palaces) a white marble mausoleum located at the on the Southern bank of the Yamuna River in the city of Agra. It was built by Emperor in 1632 to house the tomb of his wife Mumtaz Mahal. I want to also Chennai, Ramesharam, New Delhi, Mumbai, Hydrabad and many other cities.

In Iran, I have read about the Amir Chakhmaq Suare which was built in the ninth century in Yazd. Also I want to visit the Eram Garden (Garden of Paradise) in Shiraz which is typical Persian garden with waterway that leads towards the historic Qayam house. Shiraz is the city of love and Persian poetry and home to many historic sites including the tome o Hafez, a well-known Persian Poet from 14th century. Saadi another celebrated poet of the 13th century is also buried in Shiraz. I want us to also visit Tehran and Ramsar resort which is a popular resort on the Capital Sea.

I want to visit President Vladimir Putin’s Russia. I am big admirer of President Putin’s style of leadership. So I want to see to Moscow, St. Petersburg, Samara, Kazan, Rostov, the annex Crimea and many others cites in the former Soviet Union.

After reading the Autobiography of the great Lee Kwan Yew titled “From the third world to First”, I think we should visit Singapore to see for ourselves how Prime Minister Yew was able to transform his country into one most developed countries not just in Asia but in the world.

I want us to visit of South Africa. The beautiful Sun City Resort known regionally as Africa’s Kingdom of Pleasure situated about two hours’ drive from Johannesburg, Blyde River Canyon, Victoria and Alfred Waterfront, Robin Island where Madiba Nelson Mandela spent 27 years in prison. Other cities like Port Elizabeth, Cape Town, and others.

Well these are few among many places I hope we visit together in years to come by His grace. I promise to follow up this letter with others just tell you about my other hobbies aside from travelling. Take care of yourself till then.

Sincerely, Your Future Husband

 

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What could my love do for you?

love

Just be happy, my love,

to sigh with me by your side

My love kills the mosquitoes of your room

When you’re not around,

my love endures the loneliness of your home

My love will be the Muhammad to your Khadijah

My love will be the Romeo to your Juliet

My love for you is in the Sun, Moon and the Stars

My love promise to be that one decision you will never regret

My love promise to hold you forever and make you feel safe

My love will be by your side and never let you fall

My love will take on the world with you side by side

My love for you gives me California dream at night

My love will lullaby you to sleep every night

My love will be honest and faithful to you and only you

My love will never make you sad or make you shed any tears

My love will put a smile on your face

My love would you cook you meals

Just be happy my love,

to sigh with me by your side

To Adamu Adamu: UNIJOS and the sorry state of our educational system.

adamuI congratulate you on your appointment sir. You are one my most admired and respected journalist/columnist because my dad and I don’t miss your column on fridays. I believe you are the kind of reformer we need in the education ministry at a time like this when our educational system in shambles and a disgrace.

Nigeria is still uncertain where it is headed. In other words, her destination is still unknown. The Nigerian world has blamed the woes of Nigeria, and in particular that of the educational sector, to the many years of military misrule. There is the common feeling that the military neglected the universities because of their opposition to military rule. But with the re-emergence of civil rule the nation’s educational institutions are still in shambles today, with university professors still not being paid on time. (Some may argue that the universities have started to claw their way back to normalcy with the reprise of civil rule – not democracy. See Bollag Feb 1, 2002). But that remains to be seen!

I’m a 400 level law student of University of Jos and since I got into the University in 2011, I have never experienced a hidge-free session. In my 100 level, ASUU went on strike for 3 months. In 200 level, ASUU went for six months strike. In my 300 level, we had a students protest which turned bloody and the school was shutdown for 3 months and now in 400 level, ASUU(internal) has embarked on another strike for almost 3 weeks now.

The reason behind this recent strike according what we learnt is because of some unpaid allowances to the lecturers and other issues as raised by ASUU to the school management. We have heard rumours of several meetings between the two parties but all to no avail. We the students who are always at the receiving end are left broken and helpless as we can’t even pour out of grievances and frustration because like the saying goes, when the elephants fight, its the ground that suffers. I pray for a Nigerian university with no ASUU strikes.

Recapitulating the status of education in Nigeria in the 1960’s and comparing it with what obtains today, one would agree that the standard has truly fallen. Things have really fallen apart as Chinua Achebe (1983) would say. Professor D. Akunjili at one time captured this ugly situation in these words. “Our present educational system is a disaster that has stifled creativity and hampered the emergence of excellence”(2007). Which means that our educational system is already a disaster and the incessant strikes is only making it worse.
As we speak no Nigerian university is among the 1000 best Universities in the world which tells anyone who cares to know that our educational system is indeed a disaster. Nigerians are in Benin Republic, Togo, Ghana, Kenya and other countries getting sub-standard education and importing it back to us to give us a taste of the disappointment that my brother calls “Nigeria in trouble” simply because we have failed to provide them with a better learning environment.
I agree with Prof Abiola Awosika when she noted that “our problems are many” adding that “I shudder when I think of what we need to do to overhaul this educational system”. I join my voice in calling on President Buhari to declare a state of emergency in education like he promised to do in the petroleum sector because any nation with an educational disaster like Nigeria is a danger to itself.

I wish you the best Mallam as you tackle the problems facing our educational system and I pray you succeed. I have followed your column for years and you’ve written on different issues facing Nigeria and proffering solutions to them. Now Nigeria has given you the opportunity to write your name in gold by changing the sad tales of our educational system.

But for now please intervene in the University of Jos strike issue for an immediate solution because myself and thousands of my colleagues are tired of staying at home while our other colleagues in other schools are in currently school.

Corruption in our judiciary

cjn

i read a piece by on Daily Trust titled “Corrupt Judges: Does our Chief Justice need help?” published on 27th September 2015 which elaborate the extent of corruption in our judiciary and the need for adequate solution in order to address it. Last Monday, Justice Mahmud Mohammed, the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) admonished senior lawyers in the country to stop making “unguarded” utterances about corruption in the judiciary without identifying the corrupt judges. Somehow, the CJN sounded as though he himself does not know his judges that are corrupt. I just hope I misunderstood his Lordship. While waiting for more comments that could illuminate the subject, I reached out to two small pamphlets in my personal library dealing with statements on corruption in the Nigerian judiciary. After reading over some of the statements, I opted to make today’s article a simple literature review of the pamphlets so as to remind us all of some relevant stories most of which are credited to judges themselves. 

In 1993, Justice Bassey Ikpeme of the Abuja high Court ruled in favour of the unregistered Association for Better Nigeria (ABN) that the famous June 12 Presidential election should not hold. The Judge breached the relevant law of the time that court proceedings were not “to affect the date, time or the holding of the election or the performance by the electoral commission of any of its functions.” It remains instructive that the ruling took place at midnight on the eve of the election. Three days later, the then Chief Judge of Abuja, Justice Dahiru Saleh issued a bench warrant for the arrest of the then Chairman of the Electoral Commission, Professor Humphrey Nwosu for non-compliance with the ruling of Justice Ikpeme. Saleh discountenanced the decision of a superior Justice Oguntade then of the Court of Appeal that: “where a court makes an order in contravention of a statutory provision which forbids it from making such order, the order so made is null and void and no appeal need be filed against the order.”

Five years later, when the judiciary had opportunity to determine election petitions in respect of the local government elections of 1998, government was forced to disband the election tribunals because as the then Chief of General Staff, General Oladipo Diya told the nation, “petitions, allegations of bribe taking and even confessional statements by some members of the election tribunals threatened to undermine the credibility of the judicial process.” Justice Kayode Esho a retired Justice of the Supreme Court was probably more apt when he opined that “the election tribunals were turning judges into billionaires.” His learned brother, Justice Chukwudifu Oputa at a point stated on national television that there are dishonest lawyers “who after charging their normal fees, charge extra for the judge. If so, which judges are involved? The initial belief that corruption in the judiciary was limited to the lower courts was dispelled by Justice Samson Uwaifo of the Supreme Court who at his valedictory session, in 2005, revealed that corruption “had gradually crawled to the high courts and would appear to have had a foothold among a noticeable number of judicial officers there.” This seems to explain why the work of the Kayode Esho panel, reviewed by another committee headed by Justice Bolarinwa Babalakin, also a former justice of the Supreme Court, saw to the sack of as many as 28 serving judicial officers.
No one could have felt a greater pain than our current President Muhammadu Buhari when Wikileaks revealed that the court victory secured by his opponent concerning the 2007 election was purchased.  The only stories that came thereafter had to do with numerous ex-parte orders restraining INEC from recognizing some candidates nominated for elections by their political parties in 2011. With more election cases to contend with than the election itself, the then chairman of the commission, Prof Attahiru Jega had to formally draw the CJN’s attention to what he called an “emerging trend in the political process where ex-parte orders are granted at the top of a hat by judges”.  No wonder, a report titled: “Department of State’s Country report on Human Rights practices for 2011”, which was submitted to US Congress by the then Secretary of State, Mrs. Hillary Clinton, said that “Nigerian judges frequently failed to appear for trials, often because they were pursuing other sources of income. This appears to explain why the Court of Appeal in 2012, went to sleep for months till a few hours before the deadline for handling the Adamawa governorship election petition.  Then, on the last day, the court arrived in Yola, sat, wrote and delivered a judgment in a manner akin to how decisions affecting some local communities are made and pronounced by their Igwes in the famous African magic series.
It was thus an interesting valedictory speech one year later, when, a retiring Justice of the Supreme Court, Justice Stanley Shenko Alagoa, admitted that some judges collect bribe from politicians and traditional rulers to pervert the course of justice. Alagoa disclosed that politicians often resort to intimidation and harassment in their uncanny bid “to influence judges to depart from their sacred oath of office and the path of honour and rectitude.” His learned colleague Justice Olufunmilayo Adekeye made perhaps the same case which seems to colour the roles of judges in the matter as passive. Interestingly, with all the allegations about politicians attempting to induce judges, we are yet to hear of any judge who ordered the arrest of anyone seeking to offer him bribe, which is itself an offence.
Now that the CJN wants senior lawyers to name corrupt judges so that they can be dealt with by the National Judicial Council, we, ordinary citizens are yet to appreciate how the NJC deals with cases. For instance, who exactly did that body deal with over the squabbles at the very top associated with the Sokoto governorship election petition? A clear answer to this type of question can do two things. First, it can make people have more confidence in the judiciary. Second and more importantly, it can establish that the judiciary, like every human organization has its bad eggs who are not necessarily more than the large number of men and women of proven integrity that should deservedly be honoured all the time.

LSS Election 2015: M.M. Adamu Declaration Speech

me

In the past one year, Comrade C.J. David has been governing our dear Law Students’ Society but in few weeks to come, a fresh election for the office of President and other executive offices would be conducted as our constitution demands.
I want to be the recipient of the baton. This is not a decision I take lightly, but one that I arrived at after a careful and persistent consideration as well as the need for a servant leader who places people over politics and service above all else. I took the decision to run for President of our great society in 2015 after a great deal of thought. I consulted widely with my family, friends and close political associates in the faculty and beyond.

I am running for President because I believe I can add value to the governance of a Society I love so much. My love for the Society and it’s people knows no limit. I love the diversity, the can-do spirit, and I believe in what LSS can be. And my passion to serve compels me once again to stand for what is right for all Law students, to make LSS what it can be. I offer myself as a Lawsite who is concerned about the state of the society and ways to make things better for my fellow students.

During the course of my consultation, I met with and heard from many fellow  Law Students across different levels about how we can continue to build the LSS of our dream. They told me about their expectation on how LSS can help in providing Law students with all the requisite information and programs that would make their stay in the faculty worth while.

Leadership to me is about making a difference. The challenges we face going forward are enormous. We all know these challenges because we face them every day in our daily lives as students of the Faculty. I promise you all that we are desirous of making a difference. My earned experience as student who is desirous to make an impact in his immediate constituency, it gives me a unique understanding of the critical issues of our time. I know how student union works. I also know how to attract programs that will add values to all Lawsites. I am ready for the challenge of building the LSS of our dream.

I have an agenda for the next one year to meet the hopes and aspirations of Law Students. If the great Law Students give me the privileged opportunity to be President, I shall implement a pan LSS agenda that offer viable solutions that specially reflect the views and wishes of all Law Students rather than those of special interests. I will focus on initiating programs that will make us better Law students who can compete with our colleagues from other Faculties of Law.

As the President of Law Students’ Society, I won’t kick the can down the road. I will confront every challenge that come our way because I understand the urgent need to give Law Students the great leadership they deserve. Doing all these will not be easy. But I believe it is do able. That is why I have decided to join the race to be the next President. I do here by seek your support to make this dream a reality and I assure you I won’t let you down.

I am ready to take up the unfinished business of building a LSS of our dream and making it greater because “THIS IS A TIME FOR GREATNESS”.

So join me. Together, we can make the new LSS possible. I care!!!

God bless LSS, Faculty of Law and God bless University of Jos.

A sad state of our nation

SONlogo

The enormously popular talk show, ‘Berekete’ on Wazobia FM, Abuja, told the incredible-yet-true story of a hard-working and respected school teacher somewhere in Plateau State who hanged himself. He hadn’t been paid salary for seven straight months. He came home to find that no-one had eaten and two of the children had medical prescriptions for which there was no money. He sneaked out without talking to anyone. After a long while, news came home that he had strangely been caught with a stolen goat.
On his day in court, the teacher confessed to the offense. The reason he stole, he told the local judge, was that he hadn’t been paid for seven months and when he got home to see what he saw, he just couldn’t stand it. The judge allowed him to go home on bail on self-recognition given, as he said, the good impression the entire village had of the otherwise respected teacher. All were shocked to find his body dangling from a tree the morning after. He couldn’t live with the shame.

This is the sad reality of us as a nation where a father cannot feed and cloth his children, cannot afford to send his children to school, pay their hospital bills and other necessaries. No functional institutions, insurgency in the North-East, ethnic crisis in the North-Central, ravaging poverty in the North-West, kidnapping in the South- East, Oil theft in the South-South, and arm-robbery in the South-west. This is our sad reality as a nation.

I strongly believe for Nigeria to work, Nigerians must have an attitudinal change towards our fatherland. We must have a rethink and national consciousness. It was Nelson  Mandela that said “If God is angry with a people, he gives leadership to the worse of them”. I believe new Nigeria is possible where every Nigerian will be proud to call him/herself a Nigerian. But that new Nigeria can only be possible when we have the collective will to make this change a reality -through seeing ourselves as solution to Nigerian problem or by electing those who are willing, able and desirous to bring the desired change our country needs. WE ARE NOT THERE YET. BUT I BELIEVE WE ARE STILL NOT FAR. MAY GOD BLESS NIGERIA!!!

The way you are

the way you are

One among many things I learnt from Dale Carnegie is that we must learn to appreciate our colleagues, friends and subordinates at work but most particularly to me, we must learn to appreciate and commend our spouses to remind them what they mean to us and how much we care about them.

In his book “How to win friends and influence people”, Carnegie told us a story of a member of one of his classes of a request made by his wife. She and a group of other women were involved in a self-improvement program. She asked her husband to help her by listening six things he believed she could do to help her become a better wife. He reported to the class that: ‘I was surprised by such a request. Frankly, it would have been easy for me to list the six things I would like to change about her – my heavens, she could have listed a thousand things she would like to change about me – but I didn’t. I said to her “Let me think about it and give you an answer in the morning.”

The next morning I got up early and called the florist and had them send six red roses to my wife with a note saying ‘I can’t think of six things I would like to change about you. I love you the way you are.’

‘When I arrived at home that evening, who do you think greeted me at the door: That’s right. My wife! She was almost in tears. Needless to say, I was extremely glad I had not criticized her as she had requested.’

‘The following Sunday, after she had reported the result of her assignment, several women with whom she had been studying came to me and said, “That was the most considerate thing I have ever heard.” It was then I realized the power of appreciation.’

Carnegie has reminded us of the importance of showing to people how we appreciate them for being them. All of us do have our flaws because we are imperfect but what we all need are people that would accept us just the way we are. Just as Maya Angelou opined “I am human and nothing human is alien to me.”

From Carnegie I also learnt that flattery is not always the best thing to do but its most preferable to show appreciation to such people. Forget flattery. Give honest, sincere appreciation. Be ‘hearty in your approbation and lavish in your praise’ and people will cherish your words and treasure them and repeat over a lifetime – repeat them years after you have forgotten.

As long as we live, as long as we continue to exist, every day we strive to be better than we were yesterday. We learn to make improvements in ourselves for the betterment of ourselves, those close to us and the society general in order for us to better in whatever we want to be –to be a better son, husband, and father and in other spheres of lives as well. I do here by recommend the Dale Carnegie pill to all and sundry.