By Femi Fani-Kayode
The day before yesterday, we were told by the First Lady, Mrs Aisha Buhari, that her husband was not as ill as most of us believed and that despite his obvious challenges he has continued to “carry out his responsibilities”.
On the same day, the media went to great lengths to convince us, without providing any pictures, that the President had resumed work and that he had had a series of fruitful and productive meetings with his Minister of Justice and the Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) respectively.
They assured us that he would definitely preside over the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting which was scheduled to hold the following day.
All of these assertions proved to be false. Buhari has now missed his FOURTH Federal Executive Council meeting in a row due to his chronic and debilitating ill health.
Whoever is holding this poor, frail, sick and elderly man to ransom and keeping him in the Presidential Villa, probably against his will, is wicked and ungodly and he or she is committing a grave sin against God and the Nigerian people.
It is clear that the President is no longer fit to govern. It is obvious that his time is almost up. It is self-evident that for him the bell is tolling.
It is incontrovertible that those around him have held him captive and are indulging in what I once described in an essay that I wrote seven years during the last days of President Umaru Yar’adua as “corpsocracy”. The essay was titled ”Corpocracy: A Gift From Umaru To The Modern World”.
Simply put corpsocracy means the rulership of the living by the dead. It is the art of hiding a walking corpse, a comatose zombie or what some have described as the “living dead” in a cupboard in the Presidential Villa, telling the world that it is hale and hearty and then ruling and running the country in its name.
This is what happened during Yar’adua’s last four months on earth whilst he still had one foot in the land of the living and it is happening to Buhari today.
Such was the ruthless and cold-blooded deception that Yar’adua’s inner circle brought into the equation that they managed to convince the Nigerian people and indeed the entire world that a President that was totally comatose and literally brain-dead managed to sign the 2010 budget all the way from dream-land.
They also managed to conjure up a fake but convincing telephone interview with the BBC television service which millions of unsuspecting viewers, including yours truly, watched and listened to from all over the world.
Such was the angst of the management of the BBC when the truth was unearthed and they finally discovered that they had been misled, conned, duped and used that the northern Nigerian woman that organised the so-called “interview”, passing off Yar’adua’s brother’s voice as Yar’adua himself, was expeditiously and unceremoniously sacked.
Her name was Jamilah Tangaza and she was the head of the BBC Hausa service at the time. She was also a double agent of both the MI6, the United Kingdom’s secretive international spy agency and Nigeria’s external spy agency known as the National Intelligence Agency (NIA). One is constrained to ask: what have the Nigerian people not been subjected to or seen?
All these dirty games conducted in a squalid and sordid attempt to hold on to power at all costs. Yet worse of all are the nauseating mendacities that the Minister of Information, Lai Mohammed, keeps churning out. Yesterday he told us that Buhari did not attend the FEC meeting this week because he was “still resting”.
Equally amusing was the absurd assertion from the Minister of Transport, the pot-bellied creek-Haramite known as Rotimi Amaechi, who claims that he “is not corrupt” and that he “does not like money” and who told Nigerians that Buhari was now “putting on weight”, was “much better” and that he was “fit enough to run for the Presidency in 2019”.
Honestly one wonders if these creatures have any genuine love and compassion for their principal because if they did instead of telling us lies about his medical condition they would simply get on their knees and beg him to resign.
One wonders if they have any shame. It is very clear to me that they are all under an accursed hex or Luciferean spell. They have been bound and blinded in body, spirit and soul.
This is a classic case of the Living God hardening Pharaoh’s heart unto destruction. Yet sadly those in power, including Buhari himself, are so obsessed with that power that they cannot see it.
Instead of letting God’s people go and bringing to an end the wickedness, persecution, slaughter and destruction of their perceived enemies, the Buhari administration has gone into full throttle and unleashed even more havoc on members of the opposition and those that they hate.
A few examples will suffice.
A couple of weeks ago when my younger brother Mr Deji Adeyanju, the stormy petrel of Nigerian political activism, together with his equally dynamic colleague Mr Ariyo Dare Atoye, organised protest marches across the country demanding for the release of the great Biafran leader and irrepressible Igbo nationalist Prince Nnamdi Kanu, they were both promptly arrested and briefly detained by the police.
The same thing happened to them again in Abuja a few days later after they organised yet another demonstration, this time calling for the release of two online bloggers and journalists, Mr Austin Okai and Miss Kemi Omololu-Olunloyo.
It didn’t stop there. Two days ago, the Southern Kaduna’s Peoples Union (SOKAPU) went on a march in Unity Square, Abuja protesting about the continued mass murder, genocide, butchering and ethnic cleansing of their Christian brothers and sisters and people by Buhari’s kinsmen, the Fulani militias and herdsmen.
Amongst their ranks was the courageous, refreshing, young, articulate, brilliant and bright rising star of Nigeria’s Middle Belt zone, Miss Ndi Kato.
Sadly, instead of being treated with sensitivity and compassion and being given assurances that the killings would stop and the killers would be brought to justice, they were insulted, beaten, brutalised and dispersed with batons and tear gas by the Nigerian police.
When elements of the Bring Back Our Girls (BBOG) group led by Mrs Aisha Yesufu joined them as a mark of solidarity, they were brutalised and dispersed as well.
Worse still Aliyu Babangida, the former Governor of Niger State, Sule Lamido, the former Governor of Jigawa state, Ibrahim El Zak Zaky, the leader of Nigeria’s Shiite Muslims, Sambo Dasuki, the former National Security Advisor to President Goodluck Jonathan and countless other opposition leaders and opponents of the government remain languishing in detention cells and prisons all over the country whilst plans are afoot to frame up and arrest numerous others like the Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu.
This is clearly a government and a President of “no going back”. Like Shakespeare’s Macbeth they are “so far steeped in blood that should they wade no more, returning would be as tedious as to go over”.
Yet the price for their chosen path, their sheer cruelty and callousness and their sanguine disposition is very high.
It is not just a matter of Buhari possibly dying in office as a consequence of whatever it is that has afflicted him but also what the aftermath of his death will bring.
Baba Bisi Akande, a leading member of the APC and one of the most revered and credible figures in the country, has already fired a warning shot on behalf of the Vice President and the south-west by saying that nobody should mistake 2017 for 1993.
For those that are too young to know what he is saying is that if Buhari dies, no-one should dream of scuttling Professor Yemi Osinbajo’s succession and thereby deprive the south-west of the Presidency like they did in 1993 when Chief MKO Abiola’s mandate was annulled by the northern military simply because they did not want a southern President.
This is a timely and useful intervention by Baba Akande but sadly it has fallen on deaf ears. The cabal and the ultra-conservative core north (which is the constituency that Buhari represents) has already made up its mind.
As a matter of fact, the spokesman of the Northern Patriotic Assembly issued a prompt response to him yesterday and warned him and other “leaders from the south-west” to desist from making what they described as “such immoral and despicable statements”.
Again at the instance of the northern elders and leaders, the APC Youth Wing issued an even sterner warning and advised Akande to “go for a psychiatric test” for suggesting that the ill health of the President was taking its toll on the nation.
As far as these people are concerned, the Presidency of Nigeria belongs to the north and whether Buhari lives or dies, it must stay there.
Worse still their view is that if they cannot have it then nobody will. That is the beastly mindset of those that we are contending with. And those that suffer from it will certainly come to an equally beastly end.
The truth is that President Muhammadu Buhari, his evil administration and those that they represent are venal and malevolent. They have been rejected by the Living God.
His is a government of compulsive liars, sadistic tyrants, blood-thirsty psychopaths, closet kleptomaniacs, ethnic supremacists, radical Islamists, skull and bone diviners and voodoo merchants.
The fact of the matter is that whether they like it or not we are entering the end game. Everything is coming to a head. The next few months will be instructive and critical and much will happen that will surprise and shock the world and the Nigerian people.
To the spiritually sensitive and discerning one thing is clear: this dispensation is almost over. The beast is dying. The flesh is rotting. The vultures are gathering. The sky has turned black and a new era approaches.
Yet even in sickness, death and decay the tyrant and his followers revel in deception, treachery, doublespeak, blood-lust and wickedness.
My advice to them is to humble themselves and FEAR GOD before it is too late!
My counsel to them is to let this sick and elderly man resign in peace and allow him to go home to take care of his health and make his peace with God.
My appeal to them is to be sensitive to the Spirit and to recognise the fact that he has been struck and mortally wounded by the sword of the Lord.
My prayer to them is to accept the fact that he has been pierced with the arrow of God, he has been hit by the east wind of destruction, he has been afflicted with a deep spiritual wound and he is suffering from God’s judgement: it is time for him to GO!
How Retirement Can be Enjoyed, Not Endured: The Imperatives!
By Timi Olubiyi, PhD
The current landscape of retirement in Nigeria will change in the next couple of years as the ageing workforce is becoming increasingly visible in businesses, government, politics and in sports. Besides, with or without employment retirement phase will surely come for every individual.
However, persistent high rates of unemployment have been a serious concern in the country over the years, without any visible unemployment benefit, insurance or social policy. The reality is that many in this unemployment category will equally be reaching retirement age and will be transiting in a few years.
So, the impact of unemployment should be seen as long term and life-long, because it affects living standards even in retirement when active age and work-life has been passed with no palliatives or supports.
It is not uncommon for employees, politicians, entrepreneurs and the unemployed to live more than 20 years after the retirement age of 60years but the issue is usually the sustainability of wellbeing, livelihood, lifestyle, status, and social demands. The longer the time spent in retirement, the harder it becomes to be certain about the adequacy of resources to keep the livelihood and lifestyle going.
For those that care to know, individuals will need to have enough funds, assets that generate steady income, family support or investments saved to last even beyond 20 years.
Unfortunately, with a recent survey in Lagos State amongst the cluster of entrepreneurs and older adults majority may not have enough to meet and maintain their standard of living particularly livelihood, in an era of uncertainty, increasing inflation and harsh economic environments and much more at retirement.
This piece presents insights from business owners and businesses around Lagos State the economic capital of the country on retirement planning.
A follow-up survey in the Computer Village Ikeja area of the state was carried out, where respondents (entrepreneurs) indicated that they will only be willing to grow and expand their businesses at the expense of retirement planning, how ironic? Few mentioned that the only motivating factor that can increase their confidence in retirement is if their businesses succeed.
One of the key findings in the survey was that only a fraction of businesses are aware of the importance of pension and retirement plans. It was a stiff struggle identifying businesses with adequate arrangements of pension for staff, owner-manager or the business operator.
Even though a retirement plan through pension arrangements can help ensure that business owners and their staff have enough funds to live on in their later years, this all-important scheme is found missing in the majority of small businesses in Lagos State.
Recall small businesses are over 90% of existing businesses in the country and provide significantly for the majority of homes and families in terms of employment, sustainability and livelihood. Many entrepreneurs are so busy growing their businesses that they put off planning for retirement, this growing trend is not only worrisome but disturbing. Surprisingly as important as a retirement plan is, ageing business owners and operators rarely consider it imperative.
The survey further indicated that the majority of the businesses especially the self-employed do not have retirement savings plans, and 40% of business owners in the survey are not confident that they will be able to retire before the age of 65.
Nevertheless, the good news is that those small business owners have more options available to them than traditional 9 am to 5 pm office employees, yet this advantage is not explored. Because it presents an option of flexibility in the date of retirement.
Retirement can either be considered early or later, in some cases business owners might choose not to fully retire. The flexibility gives entrepreneurs the option to determine exactly when to stop working, yet the majority continue to operate without ceasing.
Indeed, according to the survey, 70% of the self-employed and entrepreneurs in computer village do not save regularly for retirement. The reason adjudge to this phenomenon is that they do not receive a steady salary pack, so many of these hardworking individuals forgo retirement plans. The survey further highlights that some of the small business owners have the mind of selling their businesses to fund their retirement and relocate to the village when the time arises.
However, the risk of this option is that entrepreneurs and small business owners can overestimate the value of their businesses and eventually run at a loss. Counting entirely on the sale of the business to fully fund a long retirement is highly risky due to unforeseen circumstances.
The survey also found that many business owners would appreciate guidance when it comes to retirement because they lack knowledge of it. It is important to note that before death, especially under normal conditions in life, there is a phase called old age; a period where entrepreneurs have almost exhausted intellectual values and strength. Consequently, there is a need to prepare for such a phase of life with adequate retirement planning and possibly business succession.
Retiring is a real-life changing phase with far-reaching implications, dreadful stories most entrepreneurs would not want to hear or discuss this reality but unfortunately, there is nothing one can do about it; it is bound to come one day. Business owners cited cost and lack of resources to administer the plan as the leading reasons why they do not have a retirement plan in place.
Please note if you are a small business owner reading this, you are likely busy running your business and have not had the time to research the best retirement option. While retirement may not be on your mind currently as an entrepreneur, the sooner you start planning for this all-important aspect of your business the better. Here are simple steps entrepreneurs and small business owners can take right now to prepare for retirement in my opinion.
A good start is by implementing the 10% rule which is a lot easier than you can comprehend. Achievable by simply setting up an auto-transfer system with your bank, that is automatically transferring 10% of all your earnings out of your business account into your savings account every month. Then you can place the accumulated fund into a low-risk investment at intervals and allow compounding interest to grow your fund.
This applies whether you are an entrepreneur or not. It is a simple trick to grow your wealth and support a retirement plan. Real estate investments can also help give succour in retirement, but professional guidance needs to be sought.
Another approach is to develop an exit strategy in your business, that is, have in mind right now what will happen to it when you retire, when you intend to eventually quit and set up strategies to guarantee retirement income. One other important factor to consider is what will happen to your business when you retire. Will you pass it on to family or sell the company to another business or owner? Will you have someone currently working for you take over?
A simple retirement model can give you a simple leeway, but you have to plan for it and stick to it. Because retirement age varies so drastically, small business owners need to evaluate their lifestyle, savings, and the company’s overall performance to determine an ideal retirement option.
In conclusion, a bit of research, adequate planning, and seeking advice can help with achievable retirement goals. A professional can also help streamline your business and help with the necessary details required to have a comfortable retirement. Good luck!
How may you obtain advice or further information on the article?
Dr Timi Olubiyi, an Entrepreneurship & Business Management expert with a PhD in Business Administration from Babcock University Nigeria. A prolific investment coach, seasoned scholar, Chartered Member of the Chartered Institute for Securities & Investment (CISI), and Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC) registered capital market operator. He can be reached on the Twitter handle @drtimiolubiyi and via email: firstname.lastname@example.org, for any questions, reactions, and comments.
5 Ways to Get Your House Dinner Party Ready
If you’re having friends over for drinks or a dinner party, try some of these tips to get your home ready before guests arrive.
Tidy up fast
If guests are simply popping in for drinks or having a quick meal, don’t worry about tidying up every nook and cranny. Just make sure the main areas that they’ll see and be moving around in, like the sitting room, kitchen and bathrooms, for example, are clean and neat. Declutter living spaces like the sitting room. Bookshelves are often the messy-looking clutter culprits, housing all kinds of knick-knacks and photos which somehow found their way to be among the books. Next, turn your attention to any other shelves, windowsills or table tops that need a quick clear out, so that the room feels clean and comfortable.
A time hack if you’ve had little, to no advance notice that guests are unexpectedly about to arrive, is to do a quick whip-around and tidy up by popping anything you don’t want on show into a laundry basket that you can hide in the cupboard. It may not be the most elegant solution, but it’s a fast one!
You may not have noticed the accumulation of kids’ fingerprints on the walls, pet stains on the carpet and stubborn grimy marks in the oven. Now that you’re looking at your house through a guest’s eyes, the need to freshen things up suddenly takes top priority. Start off by making sure the area outside your front door is tidy and clean. Next, dust off all hanging lights, like pendants and chandeliers, and wipe light switches clean. In the kitchen, stack groceries neatly inside cupboards and wipe your oven interior down, just in case guests decide to come through to the kitchen to offer a helping hand.
If you really can’t afford any time to do these chores, be thankful that you live in the digital age. Save yourself major stress by hiring an efficient, trustworthy cleaner from SweepSouth Connect to get the house sparkly clean, or help with time-intensive things like windows, cabinets, the fridge and oven.
Try these quick decorating tips to create a dinner-party feel fast:
Your entrance area: Set the mood for guests as they walk in by placing a scented candle close to your front door. If you have a console table, turn it into the star of the show with a quick, but stunning display of different sized glass vases filled with flowers. For a party feel, lay a row of sparkly fairy lights on top for instant night-time glitz.
Sitting room: Dress up your home with faux fur cushions and sumptuous fabric throws over the backs of couches. Next, find a corner where you can create a statement, and put a cake stand on top of a small table, adorned with tea-light candles and dainty flowers.
Gorgeous little touches
Try these style ideas for instant effect:
Style your table in a flash. Raid your garden for some green foliage, slip it into napkin rings with crisp white serviettes, and put a name place card on top – easy!
Crafty? Place flowers on your table that you’ve given a light spray of craft glue to, then dip these into glitter.
Tie sprigs of greenery to the backs of chairs with a pretty ribbon.
Time for treats
Easy entertaining tips for added glamour:
Welcome hungry guests by readying a plate of little snacks on a console table as they arrive.
Serve your drinks from a silver or golden tray for a smart, glamorous touch. Tie coloured ribbons to the bottom of Champagne flutes – it will help guests keep track of their glasses.
Who doesn’t love an easy-to-create cheeseboard? Laying out the ingredients is simple and you can buy them ahead to store in the fridge for days. Wow guests with a variety of at least three different cheeses. A safe choice would be a rich blue cheese, a hard cheese (like an aged Gouda) and a creamy Brie or Camembert. Where there’s space on the board, pop in crackers, grapes, and nuts, and you have a cheese board that’s all-out fantastic.
Remember that a warm welcome and loving atmosphere will trump all else. Regardless of how prepared you are, or how much you have to offer guests, just put on a great playlist to set the mood, then relax and relish the evening.
Diversifying into Foreign Assets – All You Need to Know
Many Nigerian investors may think that investing in a foreign currency asset is an exotic venture for ultra-high-net-worth investors. On the contrary, diversifying into foreign currency assets may be easier than you think and offers both short-term and long-term benefits.
Over the past few years, a growing number of savvy investors are putting their money into vehicles that offer exposure to low-risk dollar assets. This allows them to better manage the currency risk associated with a volatile exchange rate. They are doing this by investing in instruments like Eurobonds.
Eurobonds are debt instruments that are denominated in a currency, such as the US dollar, other than the home currency of the country or market in which it is issued. Nigeria’s federal government and several companies have issued Eurobonds that are currently traded on international financial markets.
Though the Eurobond market was previously dominated by investors from large banks and financial institutions, it has now become more accessible to everyone. Individuals are able to invest in Eurobonds directly or indirectly by investing in mutual funds created for this purpose.
Among the main benefits of investing in Eurobonds is the diversification of your investment portfolio. It is never a good idea to put all your eggs in one basket, it is better to spread your investments across several asset classes or issuers.
In addition to the returns that you could potentially make from the investment, you also benefit from the protection against a possible depreciation of the naira relative to the US dollar. If the naira depreciates against the dollar, then the return that you make on your investment in a Eurobond actually increases in naira terms.
Investing in a Eurobond is a relatively medium-risk investment option for those seeking exposure to assets denominated in foreign currency. Eurobonds offer fixed coupons or interest payments. The return on the investment is, therefore, more predictable. What you can make from a Eurobond also beats the interest that you will earn in most dollar domiciliary accounts in Nigeria.
Consider the FBN Dollar Fund offered by FBNQuest. It is a medium to a long-term investment fund that provides income and capital appreciation by investing in US dollar-denominated instruments issued by the Nigerian government and reputable corporate institutions. It is well suited for and adaptable to any investor type. The Fund offers attractive returns, safety, and liquidity to investors.
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