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By Ahmed Yahaya Joe on facebook
This is Commander James Stockdale on 2nd September 1965. A week later on the 9th of the same month the Navy fighter pilot was shot down over Vietnam after his plane received a barrage of anti-aircraft fire. He parachuted to safety but captured.
As a Prisoner of War he had to endure multiple fractures due to repeated torture and beatings, sleep deprivation, lack of medical attention and solitary confinement for 8 years. Upon his release in 1973 the US Navy named its school for Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape after him. His story in captivity was summarized into what is now known as the Stockdale Paradox which is to “retain the faith that you will prevail regardless of the circumstances but at the same time confront the brutal facts of your reality” The Stockdale Paradox has universal application in balancing optimism with reality, intuition with planning, faith with fact. It is all about being supremely rational in all situations. Being emotional and losing focus are never options. It is therefore against that background that no judicial process in Nigeria as presently superintended will ever unseat Buhari.
With the benefit of hindsight in 2007 and 2011, Buhari spent 24 and 30 months respectively in various courts in pursuit of his mandate. Under the current acting CJN who will certainly be confirmed by the next APC majority senate Atiku Abubakar could spend 48 months. The mountains of evidence of electoral malpractices in the recently concluded presidential elections to be produced in open court will certainly undermine the integrity of the process. But what the courts would decide and how long it will drag is yet another ball game.
In conclusion Goodluck Jonathan did not challenge the outcome of the 2015 polls not because he didn’t have a legal basis to but because there were other political undercurrents. Similarly this time around the PDP flag bearer went into a wrestling contest with one arm tied behind to his back by not reconciling the fundamental differences between APC returnees and PDP stay puts ahead of the polls. Simply put the opposition suffers from lack of internal cohesion. The need for an electoral post-mortem including a SWOT Analysis from the ward to the national levels cannot be overemphasized. If there is anything the Stockdale Paradox has zero tolerance for it is wishful thinking. The signs and symptoms of a massive second coming failure are glaring. President Buhari will be in dire need for scapegoats for the inevitability of Murphy’s Law to catch up with him. The APC will also require a series of major distractions to blame on the opposition. So very soon the chorus of “corruption fighting back” will resume in full force. The gloating and taunting will continue then harassment and various forms intimidation. The opposition therefore requires clarity, purpose and direction with effective counter narratives to weather the storm for the next 4 years. Let us buckle up!
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UK & USA Reject Presidential election results, threatens to remove Buhari .
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The U.K and USA has rejected the Presidential election held on Saturday.
The Urhobo Kingdom (UK) representing Irodo community in Delta State And the UKwani Student Association (USA) also threatened to scatter the INEC office in Irodo and UKwani, two small communitIes where only about 100 and 300 people registered to vote
Happy new month with blessings
By Ahmed Yahaya Joe on facebook
When Hilary Clinton lost the US presidential elections in 2016 she wrote down her thoughts on what played out. She entitled her musings ‘What Happened’ which became a major bestselling book. While she attributed her loss to various factors she did not spare herself from blame. In her own words the most difficult part was when she had to attend the swearing-in ceremony of her rival Donald Trump.
Mrs. Clinton’s attitude is highly unusual but commendable. In the coming weeks if not months much will be said about our own presidential elections but what lessons can we all learn despite our deep seated political differences? To start with the cost of organizing the 2019 cycle of elections is N242 billion which recorded a total voter turnout of less than a total of 30 million voters for the presidential elections in a country of 198 million citizens. From matters arising from the February 23 polls the next election cycle must have more of technology introduced and less of cumbersome paper work. The diaspora needs to also be factored in. There are over 260,000 documented Americans of Nigerian descent in the US. In the UK they are actually 201,184.
Put together including those elsewhere in the world our compatriots abroad are actually more than those that voted in the FCT last Saturday yet these same Nigerians remitted a total of US$21 billion back home in 2017 alone. Hilary Clinton dedicated her book to her campaign staff which she all named and thanked. She did not hide her resentment and explained how she had been coping since her loss. She also broke some furniture, smashed various household items and flung objects at her husband. It was all in a bid to get psychological closure. Moving closer home: how should Atiku Abubakar handle the results as declared by INEC? I have just read President Buhari’s acceptance speech and I am wondering how his supporters can look Nigerians in the face and still claim he is a man of integrity. Will they ever accept like Umar Yar’adua did that the process led by Mahmood Yakubu was credible?
That notwithstanding like Hilary declared in the conclusion of her book – “Keep going”. Simply put remain vigilant.
As I was saying before the elections: many relationships have broken down with so many friendships destroyed. Was it really worth it? Life however can always be summarized in just 3 words – it goes on. That is why for me the elections are over. I can now fully resume my hustling because I have got bills to pay. But for those of you who want to continue the political acrimony permit me to introduce you to Hiroo Onoda, a Japanese soldier who was deployed to fight the Americans on Lubang Island of Philippines in 1944 during the Second World War.
When the army base the 22 year old Onoda was serving was captured his good self with 3 others refused to surrender instead they retreated deep into the jungles. However by 1945 Japan had surrendered. The 4 soldiers noticed a lull in fighting and repopulation of the island but they nevertheless held on by eating stolen rice, coconuts and meat from stolen cattle from the isolated settlements of Lubang. The victorious Americans from intelligence reports were aware that the 4 were still carrying on the fight so they dropped leaflets from aircraft. They included photographs of the surrender ceremony, current newspapers from Japan and copies of letters from their various families. The relevant authorities also announced from loudspeakers the war was over but the tenacious soldiers did not bulge. They dismissed all those efforts as fake. Not until 1950 when one was killed by the Philippine army. Another in 1954. By 1972 another had surrendered with a message from Onoda that he would only be relieved from duty by his superior. So his commanding officer retired Major Yoshini Taniguchi had to be tracked down in Japan and sent into the jungles of Lubang. As soon as the now 52 year old soldier recognized his former boss he saluted him. He was then ordered to stand down and Onoda finally agreed to surrender. He rejoined civilization in his uniform that he had carefully preserved, carrying his rifle and remaining 500 rounds of ammo with his service sword after 30 years of active service. He is seen here handing over his prized blade to the then president of Philippines Ferdinand Marcos at the Malacanan Palace in 1974. The Samurai eventually left for Japan. He died in 2014 at his retirement farm house at the ripe age of 91. Coming nearer home the 2019 presidential elections will no doubt produce many like Onoda in Nigeria no matter the outcome from the INEC presidential collation center. The struggle continues.
By Ahmed Yahaya Joe on facebook
50 years ago in 1969 Neil Armstrong became the first man to step on the Moon. Irrespective of who wins the presidential elections what lesson can we as Nigerians learn from the Moon landing? In 1957 the Soviet Union launched the first unmanned satellite to orbit the earth. By 1961 the Soviet Yuri Gagarin became the first man to orbit the world. At the end of the same year the Iron Curtain had launched 5 space shuttles. The Americans had none. That did not stop the American president JF Kennedy from declaring to his compatriots that “This nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before the decade is out, of landing a man on the Moon and returning him safely to the earth”.
It was a tall order because the Americans had not even launched any manned satellite by then. That however happened in 1962 when the American John Glenn in 4 hours circled the world 3 times from an altitude of 162 miles. The normal cruising height of a commercial aircraft is 6 miles high. In 1969 Apollo 11 landed on the moon and successfully returned to earth after 8 days, 3 hours, 18 minutes and 35 seconds. The call sign when the shuttle landed on the Moon was: The eagle has landed. On the main screen at the Mission Control Center on earth Kennedy’s 1961 speech was scrolling followed by the words: Task Accomplished. The space race that started in 1957 was finally won by the Americans in 1969. The Space Center in the US was named after the Kennedy. The then US president was Richard Nixon his Republican archrival. The longstanding political bitterness between the 2 men did not affect the US space program despite the fact that the Democrat Kennedy had died in office 6 years earlier. The event was televised worldwide and broadcast on radio to millions of others including in the Soviet Union. Fast forward to Nigeria, a pathetically dysfunctional country where 60 years after national independence we are still eyeing each other through the prism of ethnic identity and religious affiliation. A country where State of Origin and not State of Residence is the major meal ticket cannot land on the Moon.
Ours is where a sitting president cannot give any cogent answer to the Almajiri problem because it might acknowledge his predecessor from the South in building special purpose schools in the North. Nigeria today needs a leader like Kennedy who will dream while awake and a Nixon that will cast aside political bitterness. The main leadership challenge in Nigeria is how to manage our diversity. What has happened the last few years is that Ijawization was simply replaced with Northernization. It is now time to break the jinx by externalizing our aggression like the Americans did with the Soviet Union. Nations develop when they have rivals to surmount. If there was no Japan there wouldn’t have been the Asian Tigers led by South Korea. India needs Pakiskan to excel and vice versa. Without Taiwan’s rivalry China would still be backward communist nation. Even under Murtala Mohammed the emancipation of Angola, Mozambique, Rhodesia and Apartheid South Africa was our rallying point. Without external rivals nations cannibalize themselves as we have been doing for decades. Leadership imagination is very crucial in turning the tide. Nigeria therefore needs a president that can think outside the box by creating an external rival that will unite us in a common purpose and direction. We can then land on the Moon instead of fighting each other.
A young, well qualified Nigerian Officer left the job in Lagos and emigrated to Canada for better prospects and applied for a salesman’s job at Vancouver’s premier downtown department store. It was the biggest store in the world: you could get anything there.
The boss asked him, “Have you ever been a salesman before?”
“Yes sir, I was a salesman in Nigeria
The boss liked him and said, “You can start tomorrow. Learn fast and do well.”
The first working day was long and arduous for the young man, but he got through it.
Finally 6 pm came around. The boss duly fronted up and asked, “How many sales did you make today?”
“Sir, I made ONE sale!” said the young salesman rather happily.
“Only one sale?!” shot back the boss. “No! No! You see, most of my staff make 20 or 30 sales a day.
If you want to keep this job, you’d better be doing better than just one sale.
By the way, how much was your sale worth?”
“$933,005.00”, said the man.
“What?! How did you manage that?” asked the flabbergasted boss.
“Well,” said the salesman, “this man came in and I sold him a small fish hook, then a medium hook and finally a really large hook.
Then I sold him a good fishing rod and some fishing gear.
Then I asked him where he was going fishing and he said down the coast.
So I told him he’d be needing a boat, so I took him down to the boat department and sold him that 20-foot schooner with the twin engines.
Then he said his Volkswagen wouldn’t be able to carry it, so I took him to our automotive department and sold him that new Deluxe 4X4 Blazer.
I then asked him where he’ll be staying and since he had not decided, I took him to camping department and sold him a six-sleeper camper tent.
Then he said I should throw in about $200 worth of groceries and two cases of juice.”
The boss took two steps back and asked in astonishment, “You sold all that to a guy who came in for a fish hook?!”
“No, sir,” answered the young man, “he came in to buy sanitary napkins for his wife and I convinced him that since he will be bored with his wife being in periods fishing is the best remedy for boredom.”
Boss: “Where did you work?!”
“Hustled in Maryland Junction Traffic in Lagos sir.”
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On Made in China 2025.
On several occasions I run across these Chinese kids here in Georgia Tech, what surprises me is the type of courses they study. Almost all of them under Chinese government scholarship here to study in Americas best universities are studying courses that have to do with the future.
They study artificial intelligence, systems science and engineering, and hard core courses for tommorows World, their social lives are zero and they always hold sophisticated telephones. Very suprizing, but China is a country that thinks ahead and every Chinese is a potential suspect.
Have you ever heard of the concept, made in China 2025? It is Chinese Development blueprint that had sent fear around the world. It is meant to transform China from a labor intensive economy that makes toys, cloths, pharmaceutical to one that engineers advanced products like robots electric cars, and space explorations.
The Chinese are believed to be the most determined species of the human race. Once they set their minds to achieve a goal nothing stops them.
Earlier today, I listened to a commentary where the presenter clearly stated that the Chinese state would not mind stealing technology and intellectual property just to meet their goal.
I also read elsewhere, that Chinese kids are sent in droves to study unique courses like artificial intelligence, information systems, system science, robotic engineering, systems engineering in American schools. Surprisingly this is a deliberate state policy. You never see a Chinese student on scholarship studying arts, social sciences or religion.
What is most troubling is that they study these courses in America and United Kingdom top ivy leagues. They are here on full state sponsored scholarships.
While the economies of the world including the United States are exporting production distribution and exchange in an era of globalization, China is pursuing an agenda of localizing production.
They promote a policy to get almost 70 percent of their production value chain domiciled locally. This is very dangerous because in the future the entire world will answer to China in terms of production. My concern with China is how can a country and a people get it so right? Always ahead of the rest. Always scheming at a time our own kids are holidaying and eating barbecue in foreign restaurants.
The more I study the Chinese, the more I fall in love with these guys. They have leaders that think. They have leaders that plan for tommorow. More interesting, even children as young as five years in China know in every transaction they have to eat up their opponents or be eaten.
The big question: Can we ever have a country built on values? Unfortunately, this is our biggest handicap in Nigeria. Our leaders think only of themselves. Selfish and greedy, and some of our young people think only of what they can scoop out of these greed.
Vision 2020 we planned, this is 2019, nothing to write home about. Even the government themselves are busy politicking and killing themselves with no regard to attain the goals of vision 2020. Open a discussion with a federal minister on how his ministry plans to meet the vision 2020 goals he has no idea what you are talking about.
Our hospitals are still consulting clinics, women still give birth at home without medical support, our roads in disrepair, our schools abandoned and our politicians clueless.
Is there hope for our country that we can ever plan and execute with precision like the Chinese?
Sometime I wonder, do we embrace the Chinese and be recolonized or do we continue to align with the west?
These young Chinese kids in Western schools studying robotics and artificial intelligence are the ones to compete with our own kids 20 years from now at a time our educational system and universities are dead and lecturers still going on strike. I fear for my country and our future, to be candid I fear!
Princewill Odidi, a Development analyst write from Atlanta.
You’ll all love this one from Ahmed Joe’s post on facebook.
He always puts up a friendly fight with real bullets…
Well? It is that time of the year for sharing. End of year bonus, gifts, welfare and so on. Even tight fisted people feel charitable. And no matter the state of the economy there is always an abundance of meat, rice and even “hot” to go round as can clearly be seen. Many of us also buy clothes and other things we don’t need to impress people we don’t like. It is also a period when there is a spike in Federal Road Safety warnings on “If you drink don’t drive”.
Then there is the double edged sword of “drink responsibly”. Truth is that humanity has always searched for various means to induce “temporary insanity” by cheaply feeling “high”. The problem has always been in controlling the dynamic. A trailer driver neighbor recently gave me another insight about inducing “guts” when driving cross country particularly at night. He claims they see “things”. I am yet to discuss with any sailor if such “clear eyes” are needed on the high seas thus the maxim of “drunken sailors” but I have sure met many hard drinking pilots. Now is also a season for agricultural harvest and rural prosperity.
Ever wondered where most of the trailer loads of grains from the North end up across the South? In breweries. I once asked about the religious and moral implications of that including VAT proceeds from the sales of the end products. I never got a clear cut answer.
John Grisham in his 1996 bestseller ‘Runaway Jury’ put the tobacco and alcohol industries under the microscope. It is all about abuse. Too much of everything is bad. Which still brings us back to the ability to control usage. Grisham however exposed how nicotine content is manipulated to induce addiction which translates to more profits for the cigarette industry. The Russian government recently admitted it could not successfully ban Rap without driving it underground thereby causing more harm on their youth, instead it would take over control of the musicians “to properly navigate them”. So what is the verdict: to drink or not to drink?
Sir Winston Churchill was once asked about this using whisky as an example. Here’s how he answered:
“If by whisky you mean the devil’s brew, the poison scourge, the bloody monster that defiles innocence, dethrones reason, destroys the home, creates misery and poverty, yea, literally takes the bread from the mouths of little children; if you mean that evil drink that topples men and women from the pinnacles of righteous and gracious living into the bottomless pit of degradation, shame, despair, helplessness, and hopelessness, then, I am opposed to it with every fibre of my being.
” However if by whisky you mean the oil of conversation, the philosophic wine, the elixir of life, the ale that is consumed when good fellows get together, that puts a song in their hearts and the warm glow of contentment in their eyes. If you mean good cheer, the stimulating sip that puts a little spring in the step of a gentleman on a frosty morning. If you mean that drink that enables man to magnify his joy, and to forget life’s great tragedies and heartbreaks and sorrow. If you mean that drink the sale of which pours into our treasuries untold millions of pounds each year, that provides tender care for our little crippled children, our blind, our deaf, our dumb, our pitifully aged and infirm, to build the finest highways, hospitals, universities, and community colleges in this nation….then my friend, I am absolutely, unequivocally in favor of it. This is my position, and as always, I refuse to compromise on matters of principle”