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State of the Traits: Corruption, Economics, Civilization & Religion

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Corruption

By Nneka Okumazie

If a country has people whose means of income is street hawking, with stuff on their heads, or in their hands, from street to street, or across roads, shouldn’t it be possible that that country can have people willing to work, at varying conditions to bring lots of productivity to that country?

If another country has people who cling to buses, leaping out and on, seeking those heading to their destinations, shouldn’t that country also have people with very open work willingness?

There are lots of unanswered questions about many places in the world, with the kinds of problems they continue to have.

Though most direct answers, emerging from bias, are wrong, it is still important to continue to think of how and why with such situations.

How is it possible to endure something harsh, risky, tough and difficult alone, but impossible to muster it collectively?

Is there something about this disposition that precedes their time?

There is no society in the world without a lot of self-centeredness, but many through time gave it up for the group good.

Doing so is a lesson, an experience and a message seen and passed on, through generations. And in that, for some places explain parts of the progress and difference they continue to make.

There are places that the people know that for all is better, than for one or some.

There are also places where people are for one, and all can rot.

Some people are really clean, they spare no dirt within their homes, or around their possessions, but are careless about what happens in their environment.

Some others ensure to smell good and don’t mind that around them maybe smells hell.

There are people with lots of discipline or principles, enforcing and finding scapegoats around them, but their society is a factory of lawlessness.

There is something about these individual characteristics, unable to be translated into the group’s progress.

The problem of society may just be mutated selfishness.

There has been a lot of buzz in recent weeks about corruption as a factor of a certain failure. There is also the problem of corruption in many countries, with staggering acts.

What if corruption is inherited and blended with collective personalities?

What if corruption would take 500 years to boot from a society?

There may be other reasons and lots of counter examples, but in many of the countries with invasive corruption, it sprawled from long before them.

There are some societies, whose say attitude to funeral can be traced directly to their culture from hundreds of years ago, that regardless of global progress, they infuse new tools, but keep the core of how they do it.

Expenses on funerals, for example, for those who can afford it may be fine, but to have it in a certain way, so that most people go with it no matter how hard it is to fund it, maybe a form of selfishness as well.

Maybe if many, prior, continued to say no elaborate funeral, the wind may have waned in some places.

There are lots of societies whose survival didn’t depend on much courage, or group stuff, or even the fittest, it just came how it came and they lived how they lived. They hardly had many clear fittest.

If people who emerged from such didn’t adjust, they may have machinated selfishness that defies expected progress.

Broadly, it is hard to care about a lot of things, but caring about certain random and remote things can also be part of what some people inherit.

For example, some people care about certain endangered species that some others see and marvel.

This, though may seem detached, may also explain how it runs parallel to why some people just care about justice and fairness no matter the cost.

There are traits that are relevant to different things, but one important trait for a people is group knit.

There has to be continuous projects and works to ensure that in-group selflessness and fairness thrives while checking for most unaligned outbreaks.

The for-group trait – may eventually become reliable as a progressive force.

And for groups in this category, even if new economic ideologies emerge – it alters and goes, no matter how it may be crushing for some in the mix.

There may be countries, say with similar ideologies, but one made it big, while others crashed. Though it may seem like ideologies were enforced, but group bond of a few decades is less compared to the group bond of centuries.

Assuming one of the countries had a stretched block project – setting and setting, building over many years, with everyone adding something aside from those directly involved; the story, the example, the inheritance, may later be harnessed – beneficially to them, while others in their ideology failed.

It is not to say that corruption cannot fester regardless of group, but it does not win in a way that slows them down.

The advantage of a group can also be more people of good courage, though some leaders may abuse it to cause pain. But for knitting groups, courage emerges from many points.

A casualty of selfishness is courage. Most people in selfish societies lack courage.

Some may argue that some in religions – organized or not, cooperate, yes, but most religious cooperation can be tacked as selfish selflessness.

Religion is in the hope industry.

Religion, as a possession, drives hope.

So for what many do, organized religion or similar ideology, they do so to increase their hopes.

Hope is natural to life and integral to capitalism, as trust.

So the abundance of religion in some places does not say they are not mostly selfish.

For the group religion projects, it is not easily inherited – per selflessness, like general projects.

One reason may be because of how it is defined.

A non-organized religion for a certain people, or certain types, can do much but has to be continuously defined to those who would carry on, so not often the group trait – as sought.

It is also possible to say for Christianity that those who truly believe are few that it cannot be passed on just as that to reach group mass – for collective progress.

There are traits that make education meaningless.

There are traits that make it that instead of approaching capitalism as should, makes some seek things illegally.

These traits are common and continue to grow, including for those tuned to compulsive and continuous entertainment.

There are also traits evolving on capitalism that would ruin parts of societies in years to come.

[Numbers 31:53, (For the men of war had taken spoil, every man for himself.)]

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Do Some Politicians Think Their Country is Hopeless?

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Country is Hopeless

By Nneka Okumazie

Money is king, but it mustn’t always rule and it could be the line separating lawful countries and lawless countries.

Is there a possibility that the situation in some developing countries is hopeless? Is it possible that a few politicians know?

The dominant economic system in the world is capitalism. This system, for some countries, had led to progress, while for others, it has led to ruin. There are nations where everyone is looking for money for survival, comfort and for the sake of it, not money as a tool for true progress.

Businesses, projects, etc. to a good extent should have parts dedicated directly to the progress of that country. Others should bear indirect importance.

However, in any country, where businesses or projects bear no direct or indirect contribution to progress, such that it is just for survival or for a profit of no beneficial purpose, the country will be motionless.

There are lots of these kinds of countries where everyone hates government, but no government is more powerful than the system it operates. Most nations are weakened by a system, a collective sightlessness and a lack of courage.

What is the use of so many businesses if they cannot fashion out how to lead their country to progress, beyond just importing to sell things made elsewhere?

What is the value of business education if the knowledge provided cannot coordinate adjustments?

The purpose must not always be capital. The end result must not always be money. There should be designs for long term endeavours with people who would be ready to go with it for the good of their nation.

People of knowledge and potential are abundant in every country, but it is one thing to be smart, it is another thing to be smart and courageous for new paths for progress, and it is something more, to be smart and for that smartness to be ready.

There are many learned people who seem to be doing fine, but whatever they know or can do is not ready – in what it takes to make a difference or bring good change.

Therefore, for many, the perks of where they are are enough, but they have careers that can never take aim – at risk of losing everything – towards real development.

[1 Samuel 17:33, But Saul replied, “You can’t go fight this Philistine. You’re just a youth, and he’s been a warrior since he was young.”]

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7 Ways Tech Can Help to Get You on Track with Your Resolutions

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new year resolutions

The new year is only a few weeks old, but for many, the optimism for fresh opportunities and goal setting that informed their new year’s resolutions may be starting to disappear.

If you’ve already gone off track, adopting technology can help ensure you achieve your goals. Here are seven ways that technology can help you conquer 2022.

  1. Stay motivated, ask Assistant: One way to make sure that you stay on track with your set goals is to stay consistently motivated. Using your mobile device or phone, simply ask Google Assistant: “Hey Google, how do I stay motivated?” You will get a list of suggestions on how to regularly review your goals, how to find mentors, how to surround yourself with positive people and how to exercise among other motivational tips.
  2. Set reminders, be punctual: If you’re looking to be more punctual this year, set reminders so you don’t lose track of time. You can easily create reminders with the help of Google Assistant. Using your mobile device or phone, simply say, “Hey Google, set a reminder”, or “Hey Google, remind me to attend a meeting at 7am.” Google Assistant will go on to set a reminder and send you a notification when it is close to the time. This way, you can be sure that you will always be on time.
  3. Eat healthy, count calories: Are you planning to start your healthy eating journey? You can search for healthy diet recipes for satisfying meals. You can also watch a variety of videos on YouTube to learn how to make healthy foods at home. Also, you can check the amount of calories in single-ingredient foods by simply asking Google Assistant. For instance, you can say, “Ok Google, how many calories are in bananas?” This way, you are conscious about what you eat, whether you are trying to lose weight, gain weight or simply maintain a healthy lifestyle.
  4. Keep in touch, meet friends: The COVID-19 pandemic limited social activities like travelling, seeing friends and going out. Even with the recommendations now to ease COVID-19 travel restrictions, connecting virtually is still the adopted norm to keep in touch with friends. If you vowed to be more sociable this year, you can connect with friends and family using Google Meet. Just set up a time to meet and share the link with your friends to join. Using Meet allows you to save time and the hassle of planning actual physical hangouts. Most of all, it is flexible as you can join meetings on the go from your mobile devices, on the Meet app or Gmail.
  5. Learn something new: If your goal for 2022 was to increase your knowledge on a subject matter, learn new interesting things or develop a skill, YouTube videos are a treasure trove of knowledge. For instance, you can watch videos that teach you how to play an instrument, cook like a pro, learn video editing or photography. There are lots of videos on YouTube that can help you take the initiative to learn without the assistance of anyone. If you plan to accelerate your digital skills as well, for your business or career, the Google digital skills for Africa program offers free online training.
  6. Fitness goals, workout devices: Improve your workouts by connecting a fitness device to your Android phone. There are a host of devices from fitness watches, to heart rate monitors or foot pods that will pair with thousands of apps available in the Play Store, to help you reach your fitness goals. Throw in a YouTube playlist of your favourite songs, and you’re sure to get your heart rate up in no time.
  7. Explore new destinations: Whether you are planning to travel out of the country or just to explore more local destinations this year, Google Maps helps beyond just providing navigation, getting alternative routes and real-time information about traffic jams. You can also search for exciting places such as restaurants, parks, tourist attractions, cultural sites, beaches and natural areas that you would like to visit.

For your resolutions to be successful, they should follow the SMART principle and be specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and timebound bound. Technology provides the tools for you to tackle your goals in the smartest way possible.

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2023: North Central, PDP and the Coming Victory

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PDP anambra election

By Jerome-Mario Chijioke Utomi

History does matter and has shown clearly that ordinary calculation can be upturned by extraordinary personalities. Working under this assumption, it will not be considered an overstatement to conclude that the People Democratic Party (PDP) is set to upturn the present political calculation in Nigeria.

For the sake of clarity, it is important to underline that the above assertion is not anchored on, or a function of the below-average performance of the current federal government which daily manifests in areas such as; ‘continued state of insecurity in the country, the persistent and ceaseless flow of Nigerians blood on a daily basis in many parts of Nigeria, the near-collapse of the security situation in Nigeria, their inability to manage the nation’s economy and develop the oil-rich but socioeconomically backwards Niger Delta’.

Rather, the present intervention is predicated on far-reaching decisions, people–purposed steps and result-oriented actions and inactions recently taken by the party, the PDP.

Essentially, the party aside from demonstrating that it owes its growth and success in the forthcoming 2023 general elections to certain causative factors, Nigerians with discerning minds and development professionals now believe that PDP has finally become reputed for being development-focused and ready to provide good governance.

If it continues on this pedestal, it will definitely lead to victory in the forthcoming 2023 general election and see the Party form government at the centre, they concluded.

To validate that this claim is not misleading, this piece will not only add context to the discourse but spread out with examples of developments.

First and very fundamental is the recently held seamless, rancour-free and credible convention by the party, an exercise that led to the emergence of a former Senate President, Iyorcha Ayu, from Benue State, North Central zone as the party’s National Chairman.

Worthy of commendation is that this success was achieved at a time when other parties in the country, including the ruling party, are still experiencing challenges organizing their convention, Mr Iyorchia Ayu-led National Executive Committee is already hitting the ground running with respect to repositioning the PDP into a credible vehicle for RESCUING and REBUILDING Nigeria which, according to the PDP, has been battered by a bad economy, insecurity, unemployment and other social ills by the incompetent and inept APC administration.

From the above flows the second factor and actor propelling the belief of a PDP likely victory in the forthcoming general election in the country. This particular ‘concern’ has to do with the fresh in-road made by the party in the North Central part of the country. This current ‘onslaught’ is spearheaded by Samuel Ortom, the Governor of Benue state.

Ortom, as we know, is the only PDP Governor in the whole North-Central political zone. That notwithstanding, he has achieved so many feats and firsts for himself, the state and the political zones. He has promoted tirelessly the party not just in his state but the political zone.

Today, through his ceaseless effort, meetings and consultation with PDP stakeholders from the zone with support coming from the new National Chairman, political alignments and realignments across all the states of the zone is now the order of the day.

The North Central has more or less become a PDP zone as those who were initially deceived in 2015 and have remained in darkness appear to have finally seen the light and known the truth. They are now willing to switch to the PDP in readiness for the 2023 general election.

The people of the zone seems to have come to terms that behind every major socioeconomic and security failure in the last seven years in the country, lies a failed decision by the government at the centre, and behind every failed decision lies a government that failed its people- a government that did not carry out its duty properly, and having made the wrong decision or delaying the process.

Beyond the party’s achievement in the North Central, there are in fact other glaring reasons that will work in PDP’s favour.

This piece/intervention may not be alone with the above position. The communiqué issued by the PDP Governors Forum after their recently-held crucial meeting on Monday, January 17, 2022, at the Rivers State Government House, Port Harcourt, not only speaks volumes but supports this position.

The party spoke the mind of Nigerians.

Fundamentally, let us begin to address the content of the PDP Governors’ communiqué by repeating some points already made in the areas of insecurity, economy among others, as it says something new and different.

Beginning with the economy, the party said in part; The Nigerian economy has continued to deteriorate and Nigerians have become numb and accustomed to bad economic news as exemplified by the inconsistent and differential exchange rate regime, high-interest rates, unsustainable unemployment figures and borrowing spree some of which have not been applied to important projects, and other bad economic indicators.

In particular, it is clear that the APC Government is a massive failure when compared with the records of PDP in government. The PDP handed over a $550 billion economy (the largest in Africa), but under APC, Nigeria is the poverty capital of the world.

In 2015, under PDP, the exchange rate was N198 per Dollar, it is now under APC almost N500 to a Dollar; In 2015, the unemployment rate was 7.3% under PDP, it is now 33%, one of the highest in the world under APC; In 2015, the Pump price of Petroleum was N87 per litre, it is now N165 per litre and climbing under APC. Debt servicing now under APC takes over 98% of the Federal budget. The tales of woe are endless.

Undoubtedly, this piece and of course the world is in agreement with the above analysis by the party.

And among all the reasons, deep-seated is the prevailing harsh economic situation in the country, a state of depression, and proliferation of insecurity in the country which today typifies Nigeria as a country in dire need of peace and social cohesion among her various socio-political groups. Over the years, myriads of socio-political contradictions have conspired directly and indirectly to give the unenviable tag of a country in constant search of social harmony, justice, equity, equality, and peace.

On insecurity in the country, the PDP spoke what has been on the minds of Nigerians as they (PDP EXCO) lamented the continued state of insecurity in the country, the persistent and ceaseless flow of Nigerians blood on a daily basis in many parts of Nigeria, the near-collapse of the security situation in Nigeria. The strategies to confront terrorists, kidnappers, bandits and other criminals are still a major problem of the APC administration.

The situation says something more.

To be continued.

Utomi Jerome-Mario is the Programme Coordinator (Media and Public Policy), Social and Economic Justice Advocacy (SEJA), a Lagos-based Non-Governmental Organization (NGO). He could be reached via Jeromeutomi@yahoo.com/08032725374.

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