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oil wells rigs invest mistakes

by Frank Onuoha

We made history – I like to think it is for good – by beating the South Africans to the race of becoming Africa’s largest economy and the 23rd largest economy in the world. When I read that, I thought “Wow!! Isn’t this lovely?”

It is certainly a good thing that we are making more money, not minding whether we drown ourselves in plumes of 130 million generators or making the list of the five extreme poor in the world. Today I read the statement of United States Deputy Assistant Secretary, Bureau of African Affairs, Bisa Williams, “If you ask me, I would say that corruption is extremely high in this country; there is no other polite way to say this.” She said to Vanguard.

Not that I mind so much of what the US government thinks about us – the tendency to police everyone is ingrain – just that it is the same lingo most of the largest economies we are struggling to compete with, use for us.

One thing she said that is significant is “Nigeria as a country has tremendous intelligent people who do not have to be corrupt, because they have all it takes to be successful.” True, only that being “intelligent” in this country can be akin to “pen-thieving.” Most of the millions that are missing were not stolen by people with heavy weapons or Biological weapons but only pens – whether ball point or Leo Smart.

Now we have been told we have more money than five African countries put together – about $510 billion, of what benefits does it translate to Mama Iyabo who sells Boli and groundnut at Obalende? Does it pay little Iyabo’s school fees who falls among the mass of 10.5 million out of school children? Does it help Mr Ibrahim in Bornu whose shop and house has been burnt down by rampaging terrorist – Boko Haram and maybe Fulani herdsmen? Does it provide solutions to Oga Chukwudi in Onitsha whose containers has been in a state of limbo at the Wharf because the officials at Nigerian Ports Authority are so corrupt or their equipment moribund? Does it guarantee – at lease – ten hours non-interrupted electricity for the Mr Edet in Calabar whose only source of income is his Laundry Business?

What positive impact will the education sector plagued by decades of mismanagement, maladministration and policy missteps derive from $510 billion?

I do not doubt the statistics released by the Statistician General of the Federation and Chief Executive Officer, National Bureau of Statistics, NBS, Dr Yemi Kale, what I regretfully contend is the commitment of his employers – President Jonathan’s administration – to make something tangible and substantially positive with the report. Many Nigerians are witnesses to the persistent bad faith the government have shown towards almost all the groundbreaking reports that had potentials of putting the country to the part of true greatness.

There is nothing great or spectacular about having a lot of money while over 50 million Nigerian youths remain unemployed and 67 million of the population remain below the global poverty mark. Having more money doesn’t make you great overnight. If anything several countries have proven that sitting at the summit as an economic power may not translate to improved standards of living. South Africa which has occupied the position for sometime has the third highest unemployment rate for people between the ages of 15 and 24. That means more than 50 per cent of South African youths. China which is the second largest economy in the world and with a great potential of overtaking their major rival the United State in no-distant time makes up the list of the five countries with the extreme poor people in the world according to the World Bank.

What should also give us cause of concern are the sources of our new found wealth. Going by the rebased 2010 series, the report by the NBS says, “The share of agriculture has decline to 24 per cent. The share of industry to the country’s GDP has also declined to 25.8 per cent, while the share of services to the country’s GDP has increased to 50.2 per cent.” It does tell us that, the culture of mono-economy has continued unabated due to government’s cosmetic approach to revitalizing other sectors of the economy. That our industries contribution to the GDP is declining reflects the inadequate priority being accorded to manufacturing in the country.

With great wealth comes great responsibility. The global torchlight is beaming on us. If there is anything years of sharing the same neighbourhood with acute corruption and gross irresponsibility have taught some of us, it is this “it is too early to roll out the drum.”

In the coming days, what the government does with this sudden wealth will be very “telling”, the question will be, “will it be worth “telling”?

Frank Onuoha is a historian and researcher. He lives in Lagos.

The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author.

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The pastor of a popular Pentecostal Church located along Nnebisi Road, Asaba, Delta State, simply identified as Pastor Sam, is currently on the run after allegedly impregnating a woman and her daughter.

LEADERSHIP gathered that the pastor, who hails from the eastern part of the state, allegedly impregnated the 45-year-old mother of three and her 14-year-old daughter under the guise of conducting prayers for them to deliver them of evil spirits that had been battling them.

It was gathered that the woman and the daughter have been under evil spells after her husband died of inexplicable stomach problems and elders of the Illah community where they live, had consulted seers who accused the woman and her teenage daughter of having a hand in the death.

The duo were said to have been introduced to the pastor around December 2013 and he had promised to reverse every demonic attack on their lives and they have been consulting the pastor until last week when they both took ill and were taken to a private hospital in Asaba by their neighbours, where doctors, after conducting tests confirmed they were both pregnant after which they claimed the pastor was responsible.

Sources said when the news of the pregnancy broke, the pastor who smelt trouble, took off to an unknown destination leaving his church which used to be a beehive of prayer activities, under lock and key.

Confirming the incident, an elder sister of the pregnant woman, one Elizabeth Agu said, “we tried to reach the pastor who they claimed is responsible, through his GSM line but it was switched off and his whereabouts are unknown while the church is also under lock and key,” she added.

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Femi Fani-Kayode, Yinka Odumakin, Walter Onnoghen, Chukwuma-Umachukwu Ume
Femi Fani-Kayode

by Femi Fani-Kayode

ALSO READ: Femi Fani-Kayode: APC’s Strange Dream Of A Muslim-Muslim Presidential Ticket

All the clever rationalisations and justifications in the world for presenting a muslim/muslim ticket will not enable us to escape this ugly tag. As a matter of fact they will simply confirm it. We have a lot of work to do in this respect and permit me to share just one of the things that we ought to do very quickly if we wish to avoid the consequences of our own folly.

We must go out of our way to redress the religious imbalance in our Interim National Executive where you have virtually ALL the KEY positions in the hands of muslims and where it is only the lesser positions that the Christians enjoy.

The charge that there are far many more muslims than christians on the Interim National Executive Commitee is false because the number of Christians and Muslims in that distinguished body are more or less equal. The numbers are not the problem but rather the fact that virtually all the substantive positions on that 35-man Executive Commitee are in the hands of Muslims.

Bola Ahmed Tinubu and Mohammed Buhari, APC chieftains pictured in Kano
Bola Ahmed Tinubu and Mohammed Buhari, APC chieftains pictured in Kano

The Christians that are there are either ‘’deputy’’ or ‘’vice’’ to one of their muslim colleagues or the other. Does anyone have an idea what signal this sends? Do they care about the consequences of such a signal? Was this done by design or was it just an innocent mistake? These questions must be asked and they must be answered.

We have been saying all this quietly for a few months now but nothing has happened. No-one seems to be listening and no-one seems to care. Worst still instead of reaching out and allaying our fears we are now being fed with subtle yet insulting and unacceptable rationalisations and justifications for what is essentially politically explosive and electorally suicidal nonsense.

If there is no Christian in Nigeria that qualifies to be President or Vice President and that does not have the noble qualities of ‘’integrity, capacity and competence’’ that were listed earlier then they should tell us and we will know what to do. The whole thing is beginning to move in a certain direction and it stinks.

An illicit and subterranean agenda seems to be unfolding and instead of assuring us that such a thing can never happen or even be contemplated in today’s Nigeria they are telling us to live with it and that, all of a sudden, religion does not matter anymore.

If it does not matter anymore then why not present a Christian/Christian ticket? If it does not matter anymore then why give the impression that you are interested in the Christian vote? If it does not matter anymore then why the resistance in some quarters for a Christian Presidential candidate for the party?

Meanwhile it matters enough to those who want a muslim/muslim ticket to be secretly advocating it and to be openly suggesting it. This is nothing more than an islamic agenda in the making and to those who have such an agenda and who wish to use the APC to effect it I say ‘’that which you want to do, do it quickly and see the result of the work of your hands’’.

Make no mistake about it: I speak the minds of millions of self-respecting and discerning Christians in this country when I say these things and I have consulted very widely before saying them.

I say them because I am a committed and loyal party member who wants the party to fare well in the 2015 elections and who wants them to win. I will not sit back and remain silent when I see such a precious vehicle heading for the rocks and when I see it courting self-destruction.

Only the the irresponsible, the sycophantic and the opportunistic would do that together with those who have a hidden agenda and who do not give a damn about the consequences of this reckless course of action on the fortunes and image of the party.

If those that disagree with me wish to expel me from the party for saying so please go ahead. It will only prove my point. I have a soft spot for the APC and I have tremendous respect and affection for my friends and brothers who established it and who represent the more liberal and enlightened wing of the party.

I am talking about people like our leader Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, our National Chairman, Chief Bisi Akande, Governor Kayode Fayemi, Governor Rauf Aregbesola, Governor Ibikunle Amosun, Governor Abiola Ajimobi, Governor Rabiu Kwakwanso, Governor Murtala Nyarko, Governor Tanko Al Makura, Governor Adams Oshiomole, Governor Rochas Okorocha, Alhaji Kashim Ibrahim-Imam, Senator Joseph Waku, Senator George Akume, Senator Joel Danlami Ikenya, Senator Borriface, Mallam Nuhu Ribadu, Senator Lawal Shuaibu , Chief Sam Nda Isaiah, Chief Tom Ikimi, Chief Audu Ogbeh, Chief John Oyegun, Otunba Niyi Adebayo, Vice President Atiku Abubakar, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamilla, Hon. Yusuf Tuggar, Prince Tony Momoh, Hon. Rotimi Makinde, Senator Femi Ojudu, Senator Jide Omoware, Senator Buki Saraki, Senator Danjuma Goje, Senator Adamu Abdullahi, Alhaji Bello Masari, Mallam Nasir El Rufai, Rt.Hon. Adeyemi Ikuforiji, Senator Olorunimbe Mamora and so many others, all of whom I have been very close to for many years and all of whom are far more to me than just being mere friends or political associates.

These people, together with a number of others, are the heart and soul of the party and they are it’s saving grace. I say this because, unlike a handful of others, they are essentially moderates and liberals and they represent the forces of light within it’s ranks. Yet the truth must be told. And true friends and brothers always speak the truth to one another no matter how bitter that truth is.

If speaking that truth will cost me then so be it. At least I will sleep very well at night with a clear conscience knowing that I have done my very best to steer the party in the right direction and stop it from destroying itself. One thing that I will never do, no matter what, is to allow anyone or any group of people to denigrate or insult my faith or the adherents of my faith and relegate us to the position of second class citizens. This matter must be taken very seriously indeed because the consequences of not doing so will be swift, far-reaching, irretrievable and very grave for the APC.

This is 2014 and not 1993 and today things are very different. Christians cannot and must not be taken for granted and no-one should attempt to sacrifice them on the alter of political expediency. Any party that seeks to do that ceases to be a political party and can be better described as a religious cult. And no Christian worth his salt can or will ever be the member of such a cult.

The choice is for the leaders of the APC to make. If you are a cult then continue on the path of self-destruction but if you are a political party then learn to be fair to Christians and to appreciate their sensitivities.

The suggestion of a muslim/muslim ticket by some and the subtle rationalization of such a repugnant and self-destructive agenda by others is, to say the least, nauseating. It is simply unacceptable and, in Jesus name, we reject it. Like I said earlier, those that are thinking along those lines should perish the thought and stop causing consternation, dissention and confusion. Yet if they choose to continue to do so they should prepare for the consequences.

The desire for a Vice Presidential candidate to emerge from the south-western part of the country is very strong and, if the APC really wants to win, it is the smartest thing to do. Being an unapologetic yoruba nationalist, not only am I at the forefront of that struggle but I also believe in it passionately.

I believe that that is the right and proper thing to do and that that is our due. I also believe that if the person that the leadership of the yoruba APC eventually decide to field as a Vice Presidential candidate is a muslim then the north must field a christian candidate for the Presidency.

Conversly if the person that the leadership of the yoruba APC eventually decide to field as a Vice Presidential candidate is a christian then the north must field a muslim candidate for the Presidency. It really is as simple as that. That is the way out and that is the winning combination and formula.

The way to failure, disaster and ruin is to ignore this counsel and to field a northern muslim as the Presidential candidate of the party and a yoruba muslim as his running mate. A word is enough for the wise.

Yet all hope is not lost. I say this because there are many leading northern muslims who are highly respected elders and leaders within the ranks of the opposition who have been quietly advocating for a northern Christian that can be trusted by them and that is competent and reliable to be the candidate of the APC. They see this as the only way to ensure that the ugly tag of being a sectarian party is finally removed.

They also see it as the only way that Jonathan can be defeated simply because a combination of the northern Christian and muslim vote, coupled with a strong and credible muslim running mate from the south-west that will garner the support of all the yoruba regardless of their faith, cannot be defeated.

Since we are on this topic I am constrained to make reference to a rather strange and curious event which took place just last week and which has some relevance to this discourse. The Sultan of Sokoto, who is the leader of the muslim community in Nigeria, led a delegation to President Goodluck Jonathan to complain about what he described as the ”under-representation of muslims” at the Constitutional Conference.

The President, in an uncharacteristically frank and candid manner, hit back immediately by asking the Sultan why it was that the muslim governors of the north-west do not sponsor members of their christian community to pilgrimage in Jerusalem in the same way that they sponsor the members of their muslim community to Mecca.

He urged the Sultan to tell the governors of the north-west to sit up and do the right thing by being fair to all. This was excellent counsel from our President and he has won many new converts and friends by asking the Sultan a pertinent question and telling him the simple truth.

Frankly I never knew that President Goodluck Jonathan had it in him and I am pleasantly surprised. If the christian population in the core north could be treated with such contempt and so unfairly by the core northern governors I really do wonder what their plight would be under a muslim/muslim President and Vice President. Perhaps those that tell us that ”religion does not matter” could enlighten us about this.

Permit me to end this rather long contribution with the words of a young, keen and insightful mind by the name of Miss Ayobami Animashaun. In my view, Ayo has put the case against a muslim/muslim ticket in a succinct, compelling and simply brilliant manner. In an interesting and somewhat heated facebook discussion on the 29th March 2014 she wrote as follows:

‘’The Presidential ticket in Nigeria is usually shared between the North/South and Muslim/Christian. To have a South/South or North/North or Christian/Christian or Muslim/Muslim for now will be a complete and total failure in the Nigeria we live in today. If it is true that a Muslim/Muslim ticket is currently being considered by APC then this is evidently the handy work of President Goodluck Jonathan’s ‘’prayer warriors’’! He shall have a very easy ride back to Aso Villa in 2015. I am an APC supporter but should the party field a muslim/muslim ticket I shall be jumping ship over to PDP for sure.

Someone within APC isn’t thinking right! 99% of Nigerians are extremely religious, and I am one of them. I make no apology for that. This country has over 85 million christians and for anyone in the APC to say they cannot find one out of 85 million to be on their ticket is extremely insulting to us. Take it or leave it, that is how I feel. I have indeed spoken the minds of many.

No self-respecting christian would support an all muslim ticket in Nigeria today. Neither would muslims accept a christian/christian ticket and neither should we expect them to do so. We already hear people openly refer to the APC as the Boko Haram and the Janjaweed Party. Presenting a muslim/muslim ticket would only confirm this. That is absolute logic!

Some say only a tiny percentage of our people care about religion or the faith of the candidates on the Presidential ticket? That is complete and utter bollocks! We will all be here to see the outcome of this folly! Meanwhile I will re-consider my support for the APC, because I cannot continue to be associated with people that are religiously insensitive!

This is a party whose key substantive officers in the National Executive Committe are ALL “muslims”! Meanwhile we are in 2014. Did I see someone compare 1993 to today? That was 21 years ago for goodness sake and so much has happened between Christians and Muslims in Nigeria since then. I am not religiously intolerant, I am simply being politically realistic in the climate we have in Nigeria today.

Trying to sound politically correct can only score you little brownie points on a small facebook thread. It is not common sense to come up with a Muslim/Muslim ticket in a multi-religious, multi-ethnic, multi-cultural state where over 50% of the population are Christians. To do so not only makes no sense but it is also politically suicidal.

Go to the Christians of the North Central, the North West and the North East and tell them that you are presenting a Muslim-Muslim ticket and see if they do not stone you! Go to the South-South and the South-East and tell them that you are presenting a Muslim-Muslim ticket and see if they do not spank you. Go to the South-West and tell the Yoruba Christians that you are presenting a Muslim-Muslim ticket and see if they do not insult you. If you like, go ahead and try it!

This will not be the first time that arrogance and the lust for power overides sound judgement and wise counsel. I am seeing something very ugly behind the mask of the APC now and it is called religious bigotry.

My advice to you is to rid yourselves of it otherwise no self-respecting Christian would support you. No matter what you say or do, no one can use the back door to islamise Nigeria’’.

Miss Ayo Animashaun has spoken courageously and she has voiced an inconvenient and bitter truth. I need say no more. I rest my case. God bless Nigeria.

Femi Fani-Kayode is Nigeria’s former minister of aviation. He is a member of All Progressive Congress (APC).

The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author.

Painless weight loss? If you’re desperately trying to squeeze in workouts and avoid your favorite high-calorie treats, it can seem like there’s nothing pain-free about it.

Yet while eating healthier and slipping in exercise does take some work, it really doesn’t have to require heroic effort. Making just a few simple lifestyle changes can pack a big weight loss punch over time.

WebMD spoke to weight loss experts and everyday people who’ve figured out a few painless ways to lose weight — and keep it off. Here are their top tips on how to lose weight without sweating it too much.

1. Add, Don’t Subtract

Forget diet denial: Try adding foods to your diet instead of subtracting them.

Add in healthy goodies you really love, like deep-red cherries, juicy grapes, or crunchy snow peas. Slip those favorite fruits into your bag lunch and breakfast cereal; add the veggies into soups, stews, and sauces.

“Adding in really works, taking away never does,” says registered dietitian David Grotto, RD, LDN, author of 101 Optimal Life Foods, but do remember to keep an eye on overall calories. And don’t forget to add in something physical, too, whether it’s doing a few dance moves before dinner, shooting hoops, or taking a quick stroll.

2. Forget About Working Out

If the word “exercise” inspires you to creative avoidance, then avoid it. Maybe the trick to enjoying a workout may be to never call it working out.

“There’s some truth to that,” Grotto tells WebMD, and once you start your not-calling-it-exercise plan, Grotto says you’ll discover “the way good health feels knocks down the roadblocks that were preventing you from exercising in the first place.”

So burn calories and invigorate muscles by beachcombing, riding bikes, grass skiing, making snow angels, hiking, washing the car, playing Frisbee, chasing the dog around the yard, or even enjoying great sex. After all, a rose by any other name …

3. Go Walking

Walking when the weather’s nice is a super-easy way to keep fit, says Diane Virginias, a certified nursing assistant from New York. “I enjoy the seasons,” she says, adding that even when she’s short on time she’ll go out for a few minutes. “Even a five minute walk is a five minute walk.”

No sidewalks in your neighborhood? Try these tips for slipping in more steps:

  • Trade your power mower for a push version.
  • Park your car at the back of the lot.
  • Get out of the office building and enjoy walking meetings.
  • Sweep the drive or rake the leaves instead of using a leaf-blower.
  • Get off the bus a few stops earlier.
  • Hike the mall, being sure to hit all the levels.
  • Take the stairs every chance you get.
  • Sign up for charity walks.
  • Crank the music and get your heart rate up the next time you mop or vacuum.

It all adds up. If you walk twice a day for 10 minutes and try a few of these tips, you may find yourself with a low-impact, 30-minute workout easily tucked under your belt.

4. Lighten the Foods You Already Love

One of the easiest ways to cut back without feeling denied is to switch to lower-calorie versions of the foods you crave. A pizza tastes just as good with reduced-fat cheese, and when you garnish low-fat ice cream with your favorite toppers, who notices those missing calories?

And while you’re trimming fat calories, keep an eye on boosting fiber, suggests registered dietitian Elaine Magee, RD, MPH, author of Tell Me What to Eat If I Suffer From Heart Disease and Food Synergy.

Fiber helps you feel satisfied longer, so while you lighten family favorites, you can easily amp up the fiber by adding a cup of whole wheat flour to your pizza dough, or toss a handful of red bell peppers on the pie.

Don’t forget to lighten the drinks going with that meal. Try switching from high-calorie favorites to diet soda or light beer, or maybe add a spritz of seltzer to your wine.

Hate low-cal drinks? Mix your preferred drinks with a splash of the low-cal option, then increase the ratio as your taste buds adjust. And don’t forget to keep pouring that ultimate beverage, says Magee: water!

5. Because Hydration Helps — Really!

Down some water before a meal and you won’t feel so famished, says David Anthony, an information technology consultant from Atlanta. “Drinking a glass of water before a meal helps me watch what I eat. … I don’t just hog everything, since I’m not so hungry.”

Magee, who also writes the “Healthy Recipe Doctor” blog for WebMD, adds that for the compulsive snacker it’s a great idea to keep no-calorie beverages at hand “as a way to keep your mouth busy and less likely to snack on junk food.”

Going to a party? Grab a low-cal drink in one hand and keep it there. Not only does it make it harder to graze the buffet, but you’ll also be less tempted to sip endless cocktails, too.

Finally, keeping your body refreshed with plenty of water may also help your workout, says Anthony. Staying hydrated means “I can exercise more, and longer, than if I don’t drink water.”

6. Share and Share Alike

With the massive meals served at so many American restaurants, it’s easy to go Dutch — with the dinner plate.

“When we go out, I often share a meal with my wife,” Anthony tells WebMD. “We’ve been known to split a dessert, even a pint of beer. That way, we don’t feel stuffed, and we save some money.”

You can share more than just a meal out. Why not double up on a bicycle built for two? Go halves on the cost of a personal trainer? Maybe split a gym membership?

“When you’re trying to eat better or get more exercise, you can be more successful if you do it with a partner or group,” says Grotto. “The community, the partnership, whether online or in person, it really helps.”

Twice the motivation, without twice the effort — a steal of a deal.

7. Tune In, Tone Up

The American Heart Association knows what we love: television. And they also know we need to get more exercise. So why not combine the two, they ask?

Try dancing to the music when you tune into your favorite music show, or practice some stress-relieving cardio boxing when your least favorite reality contestant is on camera.

During commercials pedal your stationery bike, walk the treadmill, or slip in a little strength training doing bicep curls with cans of your favorite fizzy beverage as weights. Or get inspired to really focus: Put in a high-energy exercise DVD and get motivated by the pros onscreen.

It doesn’t matter exactly what you do, so long as you’re up and active. Aim for at least 15 minutes, says the AHA. But who knows? If you get really engrossed, you just might outlast the last survivor.

8. Size Matters

Eating less without feeling denied is as close as your dinnerware.

That’s because while a small portion served on a large plate can leave you craving more, a smaller plate gives the visual signal that you already have more.

“People go by physical cues,” when they eat, Grotto tells WebMD. We know we’ve had enough because we see the bottom of our bowl or plate. “A smaller plate full of food just feels more satisfying than a large plate with that same amount of food on it.”

And don’t forget smaller bowls, cups, and spoons. For example, try savoring a bowl of ice cream with a baby spoon. Not only does the pleasure last longer, but your body has time to register the food you’ve eaten.

9. Get Involved, or at Least Get to the Table

When your weight loss efforts lead to boredom or too much self-focus, get occupied with something else. “I eat more if I’m bored,” says Virginias, “especially if I’m eating in front of the TV.”

So take a break from the siren-call of the tube, and get occupied with things that have nothing to do with food.

For some, that might mean becoming involved with local politics, discovering yoga, or enjoying painting. Or maybe you want to help a child with a science project, repaint the bedroom, or take a class. The key: Have a life outside of weight loss.

Already busy enough? Then at least eat your meals at the table. “The TV is distracting, and I’m just not conscious of eating,” Virginias tells WebMD. “Once I’m at the table, with a place setting, I’m much more aware of what I’m eating.”

10. Lose It Today, Keep It Off Tomorrow

Finally, be patient. While cultivating that virtue isn’t exactly painless, it may help to know that keeping weight off generally gets easier over time.

That’s the result of a study published in Obesity Research, where researchers found that for people who had lost at least 30 pounds — and kept it off for at least two years — maintaining that weight loss required less effort as time went on.

So if you crave the results reported by successful “losers” like these — improved self-confidence, a boost in mood, and better health — cultivate patience. You may find your way to sweet (and nearly painless) weight loss success.

11. Bonus Tips

If 10 tips for painless weight loss (or maintenance) aren’t enough, how about trying some of these ideas from WebMD’s weight loss community members?

  • Eat at the same times every day (including snacks). Sure you can’t do this all the time, but some people find that knowing when to expect their next meal or snack makes them a lot less likely to graze. Our body appreciates rhythms, from seasons to tides, so why not give it what it craves?
  • Make only one meal. Instead of making something high-cal for the family and low-cal for yourself, get everyone on the same healthy-eating page. Weight loss and maintenance is easier when everyone’s eating the same thing — and you’re not tempted to taste someone else’s calorie-dense food.
  • Remember that little things add up. So keep eating a little fruit here, some veggies there, continue grabbing 10 minute walks between meetings. Weight loss is a journey guided by your unique needs, so hook into what works for you — and do it!

(via WebMD)

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Femi Fani-Kayode, Yinka Odumakin, Walter Onnoghen, Chukwuma-Umachukwu Ume
Femi Fani-Kayode

by Femi Fani-Kayode

“The last notable Christian-Christian ticket was Awolowo-Umeadi in 1979 and the last notable Muslim-Muslim ticket was Abiola-Kingibe in 1993. You can figure out the rest. But let the optimists know that reality always trounces wishful hope in political contests. Chief Femi Fani-Kayode’s advice that we get real must be directed where it truly belongs – to the leadership of the APC’’- CHIEF KAYODE SAMUEL, FACEBOOK, 29th MARCH, 2014.

I thank my brother Kayode Samuel for his contribution and I shall take his advice and direct my counsel to the leadership of the APC and to the Nigerian people in general. That is the purpose of this essay and so important is the subject matter under consideration that I would urge as many as possible to find the time to read it from the beginning to the end.

Chief Akin Osuntokun, the Bashorun of Oke-Mesi, the former Special Advisor to President Olusegun Obasanjo and the highly celebrated columnist for Thisday Newspaper is one of my closest brothers and friends even though we tend to disagree on virtually everything. He is a very complex and interesting person who has a penchant for speaking the bitter truth. He is blunt to a fault and brutally frank and he manages to give as good as he gets in any argument.

I respect him immensely for a number of reasons, one of them being his unquestionable loyalty to his friends regardless of their circumstances, political views and party affiliation. Simply put, he is capable of mainitaining a good relationship even with those that he disagrees with politically. I say this because most of Akin’s friends like Mallam Nuhu Ribadu, Alhaji Kashim Imam, Mallam Uba Sani, yours truly and a host of others have left the PDP yet we still meet virtually every other night as a group and slug out politics and current issues.

Even though Akin is invariably the lone voice in a hostile sea at such meetings, he always holds his own and stands his ground in a most admirable and spirited manner even when things get rather heated up. His loyalty to and support for President Goodluck Jonathan and his administration is second to none and I have often wondered how difficult things would have been for us if Akin and his likes were the ones speaking for this government.

Bola Ahmed Tinubu and Mohammed Buhari, APC chieftains pictured in Kano
Bola Ahmed Tinubu and Mohammed Buhari, APC chieftains pictured in Kano

He is an intellectual par excellence and one of the most under-utilized assets that the PDP has in their armoury. Yet I often marvel about how well he stomachs the attacks and intellectual riposts that he suffers from those of us that are no longer in his political party but that have the rare privilege of still being in the inner circle of his friends.

That is what makes Akin special. That, together with the fact that more than any other person that I know, he can tell his friends the bitter truth about themselves and point out their mistakes. You can count on him for that. And the strangest and most uncanny thing is that nine times out of ten he has been proved right.

Today I shall take a cue from my brother Akin and tell a few bitter home truths to my own friends and political associates in the APC. Whether this will break or enhance our friendship and association remains to be seen. I hope that it does not have any negative consequences for our relationship but if it does I have absolutely no regrets. After all the greatest gift and virtue that a true friend and brother can offer is truth and wise counsel. That is what real friends are supposed to do even when that truth and counsel is unpleasant and painful to hear.

The subject of my counsel is the suggestion by some that our party the APC should consider fielding a Muslim/Muslim ticket in the 2015 Presidential election. Even though the party leadership itself has not expressed such an intention and even though the matter still remains in the realms of speculation, as someone recently pointed out, I can confirm to you that quite a number of people within the party are discussing it privately and are actually considering it.

As a matter of fact some are openly advocating and canvassing the idea. Whether we like to admit it or not this is the subject of heated discussions in many party circles today with some party leaders being for it whilst others are against it.

Consequently the party would do well to issue a statement on the matter and tell us whether they are in a position to rule out such a course of action or not. If they refuse to do so the speculations will simply continue and, like an insidious cancer, the matter will eat away at the very soul of the party and eventually squander it’s fortunes.

It is in order to avoid this and for that very reason that I deem it fit, wise and appropriate to make my views on the matter known to the world, regardless of what the consequences of doing so may be for me. The outcome of this exercise and the reaction to my counsel will determine whether I am indeed in the right political party or not.

Let me start by stating loudly and clearly that I have nothing against muslims. As a matter of fact I am very proud of the fact that I have both muslims and christians in my family. So strong is the muslim influence in my extended family from my mother’s side that I, together with all my siblings have at least one muslim name. Mine is Abdul Latif, which I am told in Arabic means ”servant of the All Gentle”, and I am very proud of it.

This is a name which my friend and brother Dr. Hakeem Baba Ahmed, in an attempt to crack a joke about me and my ”one eighth” Fulani bloodline, mischevously reduced to ”Boda Lati” in one of his celebrated articles and I am still trying to find it in my heart to forgive him for that.

I also have many friends from both the south west and the north who are muslims and who can testify to the fact that I have nothing against islam. I am talking about people like my dear brother Senator Musiliu Obanikoro, our current Minister of State for Defence, who I not only grew up with in Lagos but who I also cut my political teeth with in 1990 when we both joined the defunct NRC and people like Governor Tanko Al Makura of Nassarawa state who formed and led the youth wing of the defunct NNC with me in 1989.

The reason that I have gone to great lengths to point out my strong links and family ties with the Islamic faith is simply to prove that I have nothing against Muslims and that the great faith of Islam is part and parcel of my proud and noble heritage.

Yet despite my deep respect for and affinity with Islam and in spite of my fondness for all those that have espoused that ancient and noble Abrahamic and monotheic faith, I would be the first to say that it would be most improper and politically inexpedient for anyone to suggest the idea that any political party in Nigeria today should present a Muslim/Muslim ticket in next years Presidential election.

I have said it privately in countless political meetings and I will say it publicly today. Please mark it- the biggest mistake that my party, the APC, can make is to field a Muslim/Muslim ticket in the 2015 Presidential election. If we do that we will not only offend the christian community but we will also loose the election woefully. This is not 1993 and whether we like it or not we must accept the fact that religion plays a major role in our politics today. This is not the ideal but it is the reality that we have to accept and live with.

Our party must have both a christian and a Muslim on the ticket if we want to be taken seriously in the Presidential election. I implore those that think otherwise to sit down and think this through properly. We must not present a christian/christian ticket as this would be insensitive to the feelings of Muslims and we must not present a Muslim/Muslim ticket as this would be insensitive to the feelings of Christians. I for one would NEVER support a ticket that presents two members of the same faith no matter what the consequences would be.

This country belongs to both Muslims and Christians – we are all one and we must ensure that we do not hurt the feelings or the sensitivities of one another either advertently or inadvertently. As they say ”the road to hell is paved with good intentions”. Let us be mindful of our actions, deeds and words, no matter how well-intentioned they may be, and let us ensure that we do not confirm the terrible stereotyping that those that are against us are trying to label us with.

Unlike some who only joined the political fray a few years ago, I have been in politics in this country for a total of 24 long years and during that period of time I have learnt a thing or two. The first lesson that I have learnt and which must be appreciated is the ability to distinguish between an ideal and reality. It is laudable to pursue an ideal and we must do all that we possibly can to enthrone it but it is disastrous to ignore the realities on the ground no matter how unsavoury or distasteful that reality may be.

The ideal, which we all desire and which we all seek to enthrone, is to play the type of politics in our country which has no recourse to religion and where a man or woman’s faith is entirely their own affair. Yet the reality is that to ignore the religious sensitivities and differences of the Nigerian electorate is a manifestation of, at the very best, political naivety of the highest order and, at the very worst, dangerous, self-depreciating and self-destructive ignorance. Simply put, religion SHOULD NOT be a factor in our politics but in reality it IS a factor.

To those who say that the APC will produce a Presidential and Vice Presidential candidate that have ‘’integrity, capacity and competence’’ and that the religious faith of those two candidates does not matter, I have only the following to say. The ‘’integrity, capacity, competence’’ and all those other laudable qualities are virtues that can surely be found in adherents of both the Muslim and the Christian faith.

They are not the exclusive preserve of the adherents of one faith alone. You can find Muslims that have these qualities and you can find Christians that have them as well. It therefore makes perfect sense to present one of such people from each of the two major faiths as a Presidential and Vice Presidential candidate respectively.

This is especially so given the fact that Nigeria is a multi-religious, multi-cultural and multi-ethnic country which suffers from severe religious tensions and periodic sectarian violence and which has at least 80 million Christians and muslims on both sides of the divide living side by side. We are already sitting on a keg of gunpowder and to ignore one side of the religious divide and treat them with contempt and disdain may be the trigger that causes that keg to explode.

Presenting a Muslim/Muslim ticket for the 2015 Presidential election ticket, no matter how cleverly rationalised, defended or justified in the pursuit of an ideal or in the name of ‘’political correctness’’, will be a terrible insult to the 80 million Christians that are part and parcel of this country and it would result in their voting, en masse, for another party. My candid advice to those that are thinking that way and that are moving in that direction is that they should perish the thought and that they should do so very quickly.

As far as I am aware the APC is not an affiliate of Al Qaeda and neither is it a Boko Haram party, a Janjaweed party or a Muslim Brotherhood Party. I have had cause to say so and to defend the intellectual integrity and what I consider to be the multi-religious and secular ethos and composition of the party on numerous occasions. And of course it is a pleasure, a duty and a privilege for me to do so simply because that is what I honestly believe and because I happen to be a secularist myself. Like millions of others from all over the world I believe that religion ought to have no place in the running of the affairs of any country.

However that does not mean that we ought to ignore the very delicate religious balance that we have in Nigeria or that we should play havoc with it. To do so would be disastrous for the fortunes of the party and for the future of our nation. As a matter of fact we would be opening the gates of hell and we would be courting catastrophe. Anyone that doubts that should consider the ugly events that are unfolding in the Central African Republic today or that took place in the Sudan before the country broke into two. We must never allow such things to happen in Nigeria by any act of commission or omission.

As far as I am aware the APC is a party for both Muslims and Christians. It is a vehicle for change and not one that seeks to give the impression that Christians don’t matter or that they are second class citizens. If I am wrong then those that claim to know better or that believe that they own the party should please tell me. If it is a party where faith and religion has no place, as some would have us believe, then they should please let us know. We have an image problem which we need to deal with.

Permit me to share just one example of the factors that have sustained that image problem. We have a leading member of the party from Borno state that has been consistently accused of being the sole founder and originator of Boko Haram.

In fairness to the individual concerned the allegations about his personal involvement in these ugly events remain unproven yet all the same they remain serious and grave and they cannot be ignored for much longer. He must provide direct answers to these serious allegations so that, if they are all false, we can make it our business and duty to defend him. Until then, being in a political party that harbours and attracts the sympathy and support of such a person puts some of us in a very awkward position.

If such things do not make some people uncomfortable they certainly make me very uncomfortable. This is especially so given the atrocities that Boko Haram has perpetuated against both Christians and Muslims in our country in the last three years. Whether we like it or not we must go out of our way to try to let the world know that we are not a party of Muslim fundamentalists and closet Islamist and if we choose not to bother to do so it simply means that we are arrogant and that we have lost touch with reality.

ALSO READ: Femi Fani-Kayode: APC’s Strange Dream Of A Muslim-Muslim Presidential Ticket (Part 2)

Femi Fani-Kayode is Nigeria’s former minister of aviation. He is a member of All Progressive Congress (APC).

The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author.

Alheri Sule manually harvests ground nuts on her family's farm outside of Kuje. In the rear is her mother Riyatu. (Undated Photo)

As you read this Nigeria is currently the largest economy in Africa after it rebased its gross domestic product GDP. This was done taking into cognizance the growth that has occurred in certain industries that were not there in 1990 the last time this was done. This means that sectoral growths like that witnessed in the telecom sector were not there in 1990. To provide a very simplistic context as at the time the last rebasing was done, there were no retail outlets for mobile phones –the likes of Computer Village, there were no whole sale and retail phone card vendors and the huge market that comes along with it, most importantly the massive investment in the sector by Telcos and the attendant profit from the sector was not there in 1990.

This economic exercise has also taken into consideration the massive ingenious growth that has taking place in the informal sector as trite as it may sound, there is more money exchanging hands in traffic snarls today than we had in 1990.

One other sector that readers can relate to is that of Nollywood and its multiplier effect on the economy, week in week out, thousands of films are churned out, there has been a massive investment in filming equipment, in cinemas, in retailing home videos, ventures like Iroko TV that allows Africans in the diaspora to stream movies for a fee have also come into existence. Thus this huge market has sprung up with its base in the Nollywood industry; this has catapulted the industry to a 9 Trillion Naira industry. This too was not there in 1990, when the last rebasing of the GDP was not done.

However, what was there in 1990 and still is there today, albeit in greater numbers is the poor Nigerian to whom rebasing the GDP means nothing. The tribe of poor people in Nigeria has experienced growing numbers in droves since then through the middle 90s today to make up more than half of Nigeria’s population. Thus the growth has remained insular, affecting only a tiny percentage of the upper-class and denying the generality of Nigerians the growth the economy has said to be enjoying.
The coordinating Minister of the Economy Dr. Ngozi Okonjo Iweala is not unmindful of the misgivings of Nigeria’s poor as regards the new status of the economy, she reiterated much when she said though Nigeria might be 26th by GDP size it was 121st globally by per capita income. The latter shows that there is a huge disconnect somewhere.

With its attendant youth bulge and the dwindling of opportunities by day, the rebasing will mean little to millions of young people under 35 who make up the bulk of the population. Amongst them are graduates, amongst them are unskilled and unlearned individuals all striving for a sense of belonging. No greater illustration than the recent hundreds of thousands of young job seekers who besieged stadiums around the country to write Nigerian Immigration Service entry exams in which 21 people lost their lives in a stampede while trying to write entrant exams in which available slots were less than 6,000. The latter shows how endemic the lack of jobs and opportunities has become in Nigeria.

More telling is the near total collapse of education and health sectors in Nigeria, for the quality of life enjoyed by citizens has a direct correlation to their health sector, the same cannot be said about Nigerians as they besieged general hospitals around the country in search of medical care from ill motivated medical personnel equally faced with ill equipped hospitals. Public education from Primary to tertiary has become a shadow of its self since the last rebasing of the GDP in 1990, today we are witnessing a the sustainable collapse of primary school education in several states of the federation, where basic furniture are lacking, where there are no teachers to teach pupils and students, today we have become witnesses to the grand failures of our children and wards in the exit examinations either at the primary school level or at the secondary school stage.

What then does rebasing the GDP mean to the Nigerian on the street? Nothing. What does it mean to the garment maker in Aba, whose business continues to be affected by contraband garments imported into the country? What does rebasing the economy mean to the farmer in Duguri village of Bauchi who cannot afford to treat the snake bites that bedevils his community? Or the farmer in Benue state who has no insurance against rampaging floods or the border town of Wawa in Niger State who are sometimes forgotten by government, what does rebasing Nigeria’s GDP mean to all these people.

There’s the multitude of the urban poor living in some of the world’s worse slums -contending with equally poor health and education facilities, bad road networks, multiple taxation, poor power supply and under employment just to name a few. We have rebased our GDP, now is the time to rebase this endemic poverty. There has never been a greater time in history to reduce Nigeria’s 112 million poor people than now.

Alkasim Abdulkadir is a multi-media journalist, he has worked as a Producer for BBC Media Action and as a news contributor for CNN, Aljazeera, France 24 and Guardian UK. He is Contributing Editor at The Trent.

The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author.

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photos oscar pistorius
Oscar Pistorius, puts a handkerchief to his face while listening to cross questioning about the events surrounding the shooting death of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, during his trial in Pretoria, South Africa, Friday, March 7, 2014. | AP/Theana Breugem

Oscar Pistorius broke down in the witness box today as he apologised to Reeva Steekamp’s parents for shooting her dead at the start of his long-anticipated testimony at his murder trial.

With his voice trembling and at times inaudible, the Paralympian addressed the model’s mother, June, in the court, telling her: ‘I was simply trying to protect Reeva’.

He said: ‘There hasn’t been a moment since this tragedy happened that I haven’t thought about your family.

‘I wake up every morning and you’re the first people I think of. The first people I pray for.

‘I can’t imagine the pain and the sorrow and the emptiness that I’ve caused you and your family.

South African Paralympic track star Oscar Pistorius wipes his face during his trial in Court in Pretoria
Strain: The amputee buries his head in his hands as the court hears evidence of Miss Steenkamp’s injuries
Grieving: Miss Steenkamp's mother, June, (back right with glasses) watches on from the public gallery as Pistorius sits in the dock (front) during the trialGrieving: Miss Steenkamp’s mother, June, (back right with glasses) watches on from the public gallery as Pistorius sits in the dock (front) during the trial

Isolated: Oscar Pistorius has cut a lonely figure since his trial started on March 3, saying little since his 'not guilty' plea besides the occasional 'yes, milady' to Judge Thokozile Masipa
Reeva Steenkamp's mother June

‘I wake up every morning and you’re the first people I think of’: A trembling Pistorius apologised to Mrs Steenkamp (down) and her family for killing Miss Steenkamp at the start of his evidence.

‘I was simply trying to protect Reeva. I can promise you that when she went to bed that night she felt loved.

‘I have tried to put my words on paper many times to write to you but no words would ever suffice.’

Pistorius said he is taking anti-depressant medicine and that he has sometimes woken up in terror and suffering panic attacks.

He told the court: ‘I’m scared to sleep. I can smell blood and wake up terrified.’

He described one episode in which he woke up in a panic.

‘I climbed into a cupboard and I phoned my sister to come and sit by me, which she did for a while,’ he said.

‘I’m just in a complete state of terror,’ he said. ‘I fall asleep and wake up like that.’

Tough testimony: Pistorius (back right) covers his eyes as prosecutor Gerrie Nel (front )cross-examines pathologist Jan Botha about a wound on Reeva Steenkamp's back, which is shown on monitors in courtTough testimony: Pistorius (back right) covers his eyes as prosecutor Gerrie Nel (front )cross-examines pathologist Jan Botha about a wound on Reeva Steenkamp’s back, which is shown on monitors in court.

Graphic: Pistorius covers his ears as the court hears details of Miss Steenkamp's bullet wound to the hip, shown above on monitors in the court roomGraphic: Pistorius covers his ears as the court hears details of Miss Steenkamp’s bullet wound to the hip, shown above on monitors in the court room.

Fatal shooting: The court is shown a close-up image of the bullet wound to Miss Steenkamp's hipFatal shooting: The court is shown a close-up image of the bullet wound to Miss Steenkamp’s hip. 

The amputee runner is accused of killing Miss Steenkamp deliberately by firing four rounds from a 9mm pistol through a locked toilet door after an argument.

The track star has pleaded not guilty to her murder, saying he mistook the 29-year-old law graduate for an intruder hiding in the toilet at his luxury Pretoria home.

Earlier, the Paralympian was overcome with emotion during graphic forensic testimony about the death of the model from the first witness called by the defence.

He sobbed loudly and threw up into a bucket as had happened during previous sessions last month when the court heard details of Steenkamp’s autopsy and reviewed pictures of the blood-stained toilet and bathroom.


The Paralympian wept court before his defence team opened its case today, calling Prof Botha in an effort to cast doubt on the prosecution’s assertion that the model ate no more than two hours before the runner killed her.

The evidence from Prof Botha is critical to the defence because Pistorius has claimed the couple were in his bedroom by 10pm on the night of the shooting.

Any indication that they were awake much later could undermine the Olympian’s account of the sequence of events.

Prof Botha told the High Court in Pretoria that the timeframe of digestion was difficult to assess because of variations in many factors, including the volume of food consumed, its calorie content and the psychology of the person who was eating.

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File Photo: Court Room
dog, court, France, murder trial, labradorIt is not the first time a dog has been called as a court witness in the country [STOCK IMAGE] [GETTY]

Tango, a nine-year-old Labrador, is believed to have witnessed his master being killed during a fight in the city of Tours in the Loire Valley.

As a means of identifying the alleged murderer, Tango was called to the stand, where the suspect threatened him with a bat.

The idea was that Tango would start barking, or show some other sign that he recognised the killer.

In a preliminary hearing earlier this month, a second dog of the same breed and age called Norman also summoned to undergo the same test.

It led to protests from the suspect’s lawyer, Gregoire Lafarge, who said: “So if Tango lifted his right paw, moved his mouth or his tail, is he recognising my client or not.

“I find it very troubling for the French legal system. If a judge ignores the demands of reason and surrounds himself with experts who are unreasonable, well the system becomes very dangerous.”

However, the entire episode turned out to be a total failure, with neither Tango nor Norman showing any interest in the man with the bat, or in the rest of the court proceedings.

It is not the first time a dog has been called as a court witness in the country.

In 2008, a dog named Scooby created legal history by appearing as a witness in a murder case.

The animal’s 59-year-old owner had been found hanging from the ceiling of her Paris flat.

Police believed it was suicide but her family say that it was murder, and Scooby was in the flat at the time of the death.

During a preliminary hearing in the city, the pet was led into the witness box by a vet, but his barking proved inconclusive.

Despite this, French judge Thomas Cassuto praising the animal for his “exemplary behaviour and invaluable assistance”.

(via Express)

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South African Paralympic athlete Oscar Pistorius takes notes in the dock on day eleven of his trial for the murder of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, at the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria, on March 17, 2014. Pistorius is on trial for murdering his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp at his suburban Pretoria home on Valentine's Day last year. He says he mistook her for an intruder. (Photo Credit: DANIEL BORN/AFP/Getty Images)

Oscar Pistorius killed Reeva Steenkamp on Valentine’s Day last year. Of that, there is no doubt.

But was it murder?

One of South Africa’s toughest prosecutors, Gerrie Nel, fought for most of the month of March to prove it was.

Starting Monday, one of the country’s shrewdest defense lawyers, Barry Roux, will try to convince a judge that it wasn’t.

The verdict will hinge on two questions:

Did the Olympic sprinter know his girlfriend was behind the door in the bathroom of his house when he fired four hollow-point bullets through it in the middle of the night?

And if he did not — if he thought she was a burglar, as he insists — did he act as a reasonable person would have?

Critical testimony will come from the only living person who was in the house at the time, the “Blade Runner” himself.

Pistorius is likely to take the stand for the first time Tuesday or Wednesday to tell the story he has been telling for more than a year now.

He woke up in the middle of the night, went to his balcony to bring in a fan — or two fans, in his most recent version — heard his bathroom window opening, took his gun, went to the bathroom and fired through the door when he heard a noise in the toilet.

“It was pitch dark in the bedroom, and I thought Reeva was in bed,” he testified when he applied for bail in the days after the killing.

In that version of the story, Pistorius emphasized that he “felt a sense of terror” when he heard the noise, that he “felt extremely vulnerable” because he was not wearing his prosthetic legs, and that he “has been a victim of violence and of burglaries before.”

And, he said, “We were deeply in love and I could not be happier.”

If Judge Thokozile Matilda Masipa believes that story, Pistorius could be acquitted of murder. She could find him guilty of the lesser charge of culpable homicide — similar to what would be called manslaughter in the United States — or find him not guilty at all.

The defense is likely to rely on three types of experts to support Pistorius’ story:


Pistorius fired four shots. Three hit Steenkamp: one in the hip, one in the arm and one in the head. The shot to the head probably killed her almost instantly.

But when did that shot hit her? The prosecution says it hit her last. That means she would have been able to scream between shots — potentially giving Pistorius a moment to realize his mistake and stop shooting.

Roux rejected the prosecution’s order of shots in a heated exchange with police Capt. Christian Mangena, the prosecution ballistics expert.

Roux said the defense ballistics expert would show that the order of shots was different, and that Pistorius fired the four shots in two quick bursts — two “double taps.”

Mangena said it was “impossible” for the pattern of wounds on the body to be the result of two double taps, ultimately leaving Roux sighing dismissively and promising that his ballistics expert would explain.

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Chinaemerem Ibezim, Chinaemerem Ibezim devotional, Spirit and Life Devotional

Romans 13:9 NKJV “For the commandments, “You shall not commit adultery,” “You shall not murder,” “You shall not steal,” “You shall not bear false witness,” “You shall not covet,” and if there is any other commandment, are all summed up in this saying, namely, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”

We can try forever to define love; well, love is of God and it determines what we do or do not do, first to ourselves and then to other people. As believers, we are not only instructed to love, we were also given God’s nature of love. Hallelujah!

Jesus said, “Therefore, whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.” (Matthew 7:12). It’s called the Golden Rule. Permit me to rephrase it, “Whatever you would do to yourself, whether you have done it or not, do same to others.”

We should never be selfish or afraid to express genuine love for other people. Love goes beyond not hurting people around you, it’s about doing good to others whether they deserve it or not. You are encouraged today to love, not just as you love yourself, but as Christ loved us.

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