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Open letter to Osun PDP members

Dear democrats and comrades, I find it really hard to bottle up on how I am feeling over our loss at the Supreme Court. I felt extremely bad for a number of reasons.
First, I nearly lost my life at Alekuwodo fighting for the party to win. The ruling party and her dreadful boys almost overran us but we stood and faced the intimidation. Some of us were beaten with charms and wounded but thank God we are still alive.

Secondly, I have been a loyal member of the People’s Democratic Party for the past 16 years and I was hoping that a victory for the party would compensate many of us who have stayed through thick and thin but another 4 years now stares us in the face. Thirdly, we would have won at first ballot and averted the waste of money at the courts and dire disappointment. We had every reason to win and we should have won.

Furthermore, the hopes of the suffering masses of Osun was dashed. My pains are enormous and I am going to let out my mind the way I feel. Anyone is free to disagree with me but this is my truth and sincere feelings.

After the judgement was delivered but justice denied, I have read a few comments from our leaders. I will take the liberty to replicate one sent to me here. This is it: “Chairman (Dr Deji Adeleke), your presence here and reactions to comments are the tonic needed to keep hope alive and give life to dampened spirits. ‘No retreat no surrender’ from you is the key word and by the Grace of God, in no distance time, victory will be ours.”

Sincerely, messages like the cited one which was attributed to Prince Diran Odeyemi are necessary to raise the hope and spirit of every concerned member. That our Osun based national officer has finally come out of hiding and found his voice is great. I know he would feel aggrieved and his bootlickers too would not be happy if I ask where he was when we were shouting our lungs at the coalition centre and putting our lives on the line for the party. Even if that is the case, at this point, we should not hesitate to speak up and be worried about leaders who talk and talk but vanish to thin air when it’s time for action. When your enemies are strategic and determined to achieve their goal by all means possible, you have got enough reason to be true to yourself and walk your talk.

Dr Deji, responded well to our challenge and I appreciate him. His words are indeed very encouraging but can never assuage the painful sore in my heart and replenish the dashed hope. I will explain to you so that you can understand that we just lost a won and sealed battle.

– We got a candidate with serious deficits

If we talk we shall die. If we don’t, we shall die. So, it’s better to admit and speak the truth and die with a clear conscience. Thanks to Senator Dino Malaye!

The greatest disservice Dr Deji did to our party was presenting senator Ademola Adeleke knowing fully well that he didn’t have the academic and intellectual capacity for the job.
If we won’t deceive ourselves any longer, a member of the family was the one who first blew the whistle and let the cat out of the bag before the ruling party and others picked it. If we had presented a better candidate, (I know no one is perfect) we would have won at first ballot. Osun people were with us and their only expectation from us was to present an efficient, not a trifling, candidate with the capacity to perform and restore ease to the suffering masses.

– Keep your friends close and our enemies closer

It’s sad that PDP parted ways with Otunba Iyiola Omisore and lost his huge followers to the Social Democratic Party. Notwithstanding, the outcome of the first ballot gave us a second chance, going by the political atmosphere against the ruling party. But, the opportunity for a golden goal was bungled too. No thanks to those who talked down the simple but logical step to prevail on the political giant. They confidently fumed that we were going to win with or without the short but mighty gladiator and his supporters at the crucial period.

– Leaders failed us

Our leaders failed us. When the Ogunbiyi & Adeleke feud started, it should have been nipped in the bud. Sincere, genuine and frantic efforts should have been made to reconcile both sides. The leaders failed to speak out and meditate for so long. I almost felt that our national chairman, Prince Uche Secondus did not wish our party well in the State.

– We won the votes but lost the seat long ago

Most people’s loyalty is to the aspirants and not to the party as such they cannot see anything wrong in their deeds and actions. This is a big shame and it must be corrected. It is even a bigger shame that we won no fewer than 14 local governments during the governorship elections but struggled to defend and hold on to just three seats at the state House of Assembly.

Besides, I wonder why some of our senatorial, House of Representative and House of Assembly candidates could not raise fund to support their own elections but fought tooth and nail to get the tickets as if the race was automatic. How H.E Atiku Abubarka support funds developed wings and vanished into the deep pockets of some people sucks and still hurts.

– Youths, get a life

My utmost sympathy is to myself and my fellow youths who laboured tirelessly for the party and will have to wait for another four years. I advise my colleagues to get a life, look for a job or acquire skills. Politics is not a profession. Second and third address matters. The havoc done by some of the so-called social media warriors in an attempt to impress their bosses and curry financial favours from them cannot be underestimated. Many caused bad blood, wrote and posted lies and made people hate each other within the party to our collective loss.

– Hon Soji Adagunodo did his best but, yes it’s not enough

I would have been the happiest person on earth if our chairman had achieved his dream of producing the Governor. Sad, sad and sad but such is life. In life, you can only win some battles and lose some. No one has ever won all. Hon. Adagunodo has done his best. Even though it was not enough and the battle was lost, one will not be wrong to say that he gave a good fight and stood his ground for the party. Those plotting to remove him should fear God and have mercy on the suffering members of the party who are always at the receiving end and bear the brunt of any crisis and foolish animosity within.

– The 3 Musketeers

At the heart of this terrible situation we have found ourselves are three musketeers. They were the ones who sent a thief to the farm and still called the farm owner to come to catch the thief. Sadly, they didn’t lose anything. No political dealer lost out outright in the struggle. We the members and a few leaders with good intentions are the losers. I hear that they have started plotting for 2022 already without reflecting on how, where and why we got it wrong. I can only pray God to have mercy on us and again, urge concerned youths to get a life of their own.

– As we prepare for the future

As usual, the dealers have started shopping for governorship aspirants less than 48 hours after losing a major court case. Obviously, they are looking for who to milk again and live on during the years ahead and may be out for another goose chase. No sane members should rest on his or her oars but rather get a life while hoping and praying that the jobless dealers who have no interest of the party at heart receive sense and realise that winning the governorship seat is the ultimate joy and not the instant money and largesse that they foolishly care about, not minding, as recently learnt, that our next set of candidates must possess basic leadership qualities and meet the expectations of the people of Osun if we are truly willing to make a difference.

If care is not taken, I see the party making the same mistakes second and third time. Virile, its time to take stock and move on. We have done our best for the House of Adeleke. The family and all of us have our share of disappointment but God will reward everyone accordingly

As we prepare for the future, I leave you with what the Israelites said to Rehoboam in 1 Kings 12:16, ”So when all Israel saw that the king hearkened not unto them, the people answered the king, saying, what portion have we in David? neither have we inheritance in the son of Jesse: to your tents, O Israel: now see to thine own house, David. So, Israel departed unto their tents.”

The dice is cast and our consciousness should be awakened. This is PDP and not DPP! The party should be open to innovative ideas and accommodate all. Where “I” is replaced with “we”, even “illness” becomes “wellness.” God bless PDP. God bless Osun State. God bless you.

Habeeb Adewale,
Concerned PDP member from Osogbo, Osun State.

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Marketing tips in terms of story selling

It’s about time Entrepreneurs learn the art and act of marketing or should I say marketing in terms of story selling.

Honestly, you don’t need to read a book to understand story selling, it’s just simple logic, reasoning and clues from day to day selling/advertisement of products and services.

Let me just say that as an entrepreneur, “captivation” is a very important business in selling your products and services.

Captivationg forforme means “wowing your customers”, keeping their jaws on the ground or taking their breathes away.

In other words, while selling your goods to your potential clients, remember, at the end of all your adverts, story telling and marketing, you want to get a “wow, breathing taking or amazing” in return.

Let’s use this as an example, when a client says “Sell me this pen”, think about it, relax, remember, you want amaze your clients.

Popular answer would be “this pen is the cheapest in Africa, it is very affordable, the ink lasts for 30 years”, trust me the next thing going on in your clients head is “so, what?

Every other pen is cheap, every other ink can last” and the next thing that follows in their mind is “you’re not different from the others, you can even sway me or convince or tell me why I should use this pen, all you’re concerned about is the price?”.

Entrepreneurs, take my advice, next time this is what your response should be or this is what my response would be, “ the secrets to your success or fortunes/ wealth is writing your way to it.

Everyday we are thinking of the next big idea, the next big deal, how to make sure your products takes lead in the market and by so doing different ideas pops into our head at different intervals, maybe at church, a wedding or on your bed, take this pen and write it down, write down every piece of information that comes into your head, the informations may be distorted but keep writing.

Like Albert Einstein or Isaac Newton, they did take notes while embarking on their various researches and in the end all notes gave birth to theories, formulas and the likes which is still in use till this moment. i

It might take a while to understand all your notes, but it would be worth it to take my pen and put down your thoughts, problems and possible solutions because in the end it will unlock a brand new big, bright and beautiful Idea that will, in all ways, lead to your success”.

Go on to add a little bit of wit and say “I know you have amazing and creative thoughts running through your head already , but my pen might be the one thing you’re lacking right now” and bam! the deal is done!

You might be a shoemaker, a hair vendor, a caterer, an advocate, whatever it is, it takes more than I am simply the best or I have over 1000 clients to land certain deals, sometimes or most times it takes story selling, not fake stories, but stories that inspire, are reasonable , breathtaking, and also quench the thirst and hunger of your prospective client.

If you are a hair vendor, give them reasons why they should rather wear a certain hair instead of the initial one, might be shape of their faces or anything, those who have Naomi Campbell’s kind of face, let them know the style that would work better.

If you make shoes, let them know they can walk in style and why their shoes can speak for them even before they a utter any word in a positive manner!

Goodluck and Cheers to a better future!

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ON SUICIDE: The new Nigerian stage play

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My friend and Radio brother, Tosin wrote about Suicide and its increasing rate. I had been silent on this issue but I have to make this clear because it’s disturbing.

Refresh your Home page on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and major blogs in Nigeria, you would have your eyes fed with sad tales of suicide and post-suicide victims. While still grappling with why they took their own lives, your eyes will also be decorated with the suicide notes they left behind, some in fine writings at that.

Even though Popular Culture and Media, and its social nuances have brought us closer to the world and the idea of the Post-Modern (or if you so wish) your own idea of being Modern in a Post-traumatic Nigerian State, I find it erratic, yet heart-smelting to say that Suicide amongst Nigerian youth is a product of what we consume online and the Nigerian dystopia is enough inspiration to buy a rope or ‘Sniper’.

In the whole of last year, and with the gory statistics of those who had committed suicide this year, the blame had allegedly been pinned to Buhari’s harsh regime. I find this as a shift-blame/blame-shift mechanism.

Sadly, we are trapped in a nation where there are hardly National Rehabilitation Centres or even Forensic teams who would look into the issues and cases of suicides. Don’t be forced to ‘replace your tea with water’ when you discover that in the real sense of it, only 40% of the Suicide cases might actually be true. What if serial killers are out there strategically killing their victims then staging their death scenes and the actual death as a ‘suicide’?

I confidently put it to you that Suicide is a serious issue, that which the right persons are not paying attention to. Your President is in Saudi Arabia at the moment, I don’t think it concerns him (Maybe, when he returns from his 35th ‘Ajala’ excursion)

Suicide is not the way but can be the way to those who are having the thought(s) of it. Let’s help our friends, families and colleagues. Talk to people, monitor (sudden/irrational) changes in behaviours and what have you. Show love.

We have work to do.
God will not stop you from killing yourself; He has given us Choice already. Be guided.

NB: If the government comes for me after this post, don’t be sober, be glad truth prevailed.

Written by Badiru Kehinde

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Miracles, plot twists and last-day drama to come – what a week of football

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By Eni Aluko, contributor at TheGuardian UK

This week, football has improvised the perfect movie script, full of fight, heart, desire, determination, tears of anguish, tears of joy, unsung heroes taking centre stage and the impossible becoming possible.

This movie is a true story that ended with two English teams reaching the Champions League final, proving that maybe the Premier League is the best in the world after all.

Now it goes into its final weekend with Manchester City one apparently inevitable win from the title while just behind them Liverpool, after Tuesday night’s miracle at Anfield, can make up for any domestic disappointment at the Champions League final in Madrid next month.

With City determined one day to complete their transformation under Sheikh Mansour with victory in Europe’s top club competition and Liverpool desperately seeking their first league title for 29 years, I suspect that if the two teams had been offered their choice of either of those positions at the start of the season, City would immediately have taken Liverpool’s and the Reds would have delightedly snatched City’s.

Belief fuels era of remarkable Champions League comebacks | Jonathan Wilson

But what a journey they have taken to reach this spot. On Monday Vincent Kompany was in tears at the Etihad Stadium after his incredible shot sealed victory for City over Leicester. On Tuesday there was hardly a dry eye at Anfield after Liverpool’s astonishing comeback against Barcelona. Mo Salah might not have been able to play but he even gets his T-shirts right: the slogan he was wearing, “Never give up”, said it all.

On Wednesday, we saw Lucas Moura demonstrate that being allowed to leave by PSG last January and his lack of playing time since does not restrict his ability to achieve a superhero hat-trick in a Champions League semi-final.

I am sure I was not the only player watching Liverpool’s victory over Barcelona on television who identified one big emotion in themselves: jealousy.

Some of those jealous players might even play for Manchester City, the team that are probably about to win the league at Liverpool’s expense. I was jealous of Liverpool fans, able to watch that team and call it their own. I was jealous of Trent Alexander-Arnold’s youth and ingenuity, the way he walked away from that corner before turning back to set up the fourth goal.

And I was jealous of all the players who shared that experience, and who are part of a team blessed with such spirit and drive. A quote from Jürgen Klopp’s pre-match team talk later emerged: “I think it’s impossible, but because it’s you we have a chance.”

What more can you ask of a manager than to come up with things like that, and what more can you expect of a team than to actually live up to it?

Then came the tears of joy in Mauricio Pochettino’s post-match interview the following night that left me choked, understanding that after five years in the job, unable to buy players in the previous transfer window, he and his team had gone way above and far beyond expectations.

It shows that this game is not all about technique and that character, will and emotion also have a massive impact. There can be no other explanation for the fact that Lionel Messi, one of the greatest players of his era and of all time, was so massively outshone by Gini Wijnaldum and Divock Origi.

Tuesday was not the first time that I have seen Messi, when his back is against the wall either for Barcelona or for Argentina, somehow look sorry for himself. When his teams need leadership and look to him, sometimes he seems just to have a blank expression.

Compare that to the character shown by players such as Origi and Tottenham’s hat-trick scorer, Lucas Moura, who bore huge responsibility on their shoulders in the absence of Mo Salah and Harry Kane.

One of the things that made Liverpool’s achievement all the more impressive was that this is the same squad that were seven points clear at the top of the Premier League in January, that looked certain to win the title, and have probably messed it up.

Other teams, having had to come to terms with that kind of disappointment, would not be fighting the way Liverpool are fighting now. They did not let that failure define them or defeat them, and instead that same side will now be defined by a brilliant victory over one of the greatest teams and probably the greatest player in the world.

Tottenham go into today’s home game against Everton knowing a place in the top four, their key objective this season, is virtually guaranteed. Had Tuesday night gone differently Liverpool would have gone into their match against Wolves knowing that a brilliant season was likely to end 90 minutes later with nothing to show for it. I am sure they will still feel devastated to have let such a fabulous opportunity to end that long wait for a title slip through their hands, if the incredible form they have shown domestically since August in the end brings them nothing in return.

But what might have been a miserable atmosphere will now be a celebration, and perhaps – who knows – Anfield might yet witness its second miracle of the week.

‘Wow’ factor puts Trent Alexander-Arnold centre stage for Liverpool
Sunday is a last opportunity to watch two of the great teams in modern English football history complete one of the most remarkable league campaigns.

City’s win over Leicester was their 13th in a row in the league; Liverpool have lost one league game all season. The table tells me City are the better side, and they remain on course for a domestic treble.

For all the praise Liverpool have got and deserve since Tuesday, however great their fans, their manager and their players, after 37 games they remain second.

But if I had to pick a team of the year from the Premier League, it would be Liverpool. It has to be.

Pep Guardiola’s side faltered in Europe where Liverpool have succeeded, and for all the grit and skill they have shown in somehow conjuring winning goals in game after game during the title run-in, I don’t believe that Manchester City could have achieved what Liverpool achieved against Barcelona or what Spurs did against Ajax.

Watching the unbearably tense final moments of both semi-finals I was stunned and nearly in tears. Regardless of what team we support they were two nights that, if only for a few hours, made us fall in love with football all over again.

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OPINION: Before you vote Buhari for a second term

By Temidayo Ayodele
Nigeria-President-Muhammadu-Buhari-presenting-2019-budget-at-National-Assembly-Abuja
Without a doubt, Nigerians’ experience of President Muhammadu Buhari during his days as a military leader spurred high expectations of his government to be the ‘fixer’ Nigeria always wanted.

He was perceived to be a military dictator-cum-democratic hero in a country where corruption was on the rampage, the economy was deteriorating and a country held hostage by the Boko Haram insurgency groups and other security challenges.

Prior to his election, Buhari promised us that his government will give corruption a ‘no nonsense’ approach. He told us that the Naira that was at N147 to the dollar then will be N1 equal through programmes earmarked to revive the economy. And lastly, Buhari assured us that we would be sleeping with our two eyes closed because insecurity would be death with.

Buhari also promised us that the price of petrol products would drop from N87 to N60.

Three years since his election, the reverse is the case. I’m disappointed. A lot of Nigerians are disappointed likewise. Petrol price is now almost doubled at N147.

The fight against corruption under Buhari is partisan and witch hunting of opposition. Naira is now N360 against the dollar and Boko Haram has killed over two thousand Nigerians, while over 500,000 have been displaced due to increasing insecurity challenges.

Maybe the warning signs against our expectations were there but many of us didn’t see it or we just wanted ‘somebody else’ asides former president Goodluck Jonathan and the People’s Democratic Party (PDP).

Who would forget how Buhari (PMB for short) was a big media darling? How excited we were of displacing a government and a political party adjudged to be corrupt with a “man of integrity and high values”. We are not to be blamed for trusting Buhari to sail our ship to the promised land. We just wanted to leave Egypt.

Like the Israelites were displeased with Moses, we are in a similar dilemma. Socially, economically and politically, a few of us can relate to the blurry future that awaits us should PMB remain in the helms of affairs.

I plead with my fellow Nigerians that chanted ‘Sai Baba’ in 2015 to listen to words of the elders, which says, “A dog that is about to go astray will not listen to the hunters whistle”

Ironically, one would expect that a man who had previously contested and lost in an election three times will understand national issues better after previous losses.

It is disheartening to note that a man who the people voted to lead them comfortably led a government for 6 months without ministers. His excuse was that he was scouting for the “right” persons. What did Nigerians do? We did nothing and as usual, we moved on!

Besides all other inadequacies in governance, Buhari is undoubtedly nepotic, tribalistic and divisive leader.

“I hope you have a copy of the election results. The constituents, for example, gave me 97% (votes)- (they) cannot, in all honesty, be treated on some issues with constituencies that gave me 5%. I think these are the political reality,” Buhari said in an address at the United States Institute of Peace (USIP) on 22nd of July 2015.

While some may argue that Buhari’s statement is merely political reality, I think it is careless to say as a leader of over 190 million people. It also portrays PMB’s intent of being a leader who is not willing to unite us a people. Hence, the talks of PMB running an uninclusive and lopsided government is evident in words and in deeds.

Another matter of concern is President Buhari’s medical fitness. Buhari is 76 with a rich history of medical vacations, including the historic unofficial vacation of 104 days in the United Kingdom. The responsibility of leading the most popular black nation on earth is beyond Buhari’s strength.

The consistent derail in Buhari’s physical and mental strength cannot be overemphasized. Twice at the his re-election campaign rallies in Delta and Ekiti State, Buhari committed some politically unforgivable blunders.

In Delta State, he pronounced the APC governorship candidate Ogboru as the presidential candidate, despite correction, he doubled the blunder, saying the governorship candidate was the senatorial candidate before assimilating the corrections after a third attempt.

Similarly in Ekiti State, the same blunder was not just committed, but toppled when Buhari fell off a walk path at the rally and had to be helped up by escorts. Buhari is not fit to lead us for another four years.

A man of his age ought to be resting with his family. However, a few ‘powerful’ Nigerians are imposing Buhari on a larger population for their selfish and gains.

It is no longer news that since his election as president in 2015, Buhari was never in charge of governing Nigeria as he was elected to, instead a few people.

Buhari’s wife, Aisha, on two occasions attested to this when she said he husband was not in control of Nigeria, but ‘two powerful people’.

Conclusively, President Muhammadu Buhari, you have run a good run, we thank you for all you have done, please return to Daura and get a much-deserved rest.We love you.

As we go to the polls again, we have to be wise, conscientious and logical in committing the next four years of our lives to the hands of any individual.

Your vote counts. If it does not, politicians won’t lobby to buy it. Your vote is your future, do not trade it for anything.

The time has come to determine which path our ship will sail for the next four years. Together, let’s sail Nigeria to the promise land, to the land flowing with milk and honey. God bless Nigeria.

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Ambode’s current troubles are beyond performance and he may not get that 2nd term

If Lagos Governor Akinwunmi Ambode survives the next couple of weeks and nicks the second term ticket he so badly craves, he’ll survive anything.

Ambode-and-Tinubu

Such is the groundswell of opposition against him at the moment.

And much of that opposition is coming from within his own party, the APC. All of Ambode’s current travails are self-inflicted.

“Not even Bola Ahmed Tinubu can save him right now”, one source said of Ambode’s September to forget.

Like everyone already knows, Ambode has fallen out with Tinubu who stuck out a neck for him to get his first term. Tinubu isn’t pleased that Ambode went about the task of dismantling and rolling back a few contracts once he took over the reins in 2015, the grapevine says.

The Lagos Waste Managing Authority (LAWMA) and PSP operators were also shown the door by Ambode in preference for Visionscape—a so-called smart waste company that has only compounded the waste problem in an over-populated city.

Tinubu is also not pleased that Ambode isn’t following the Lagos masterplan that was put together by Tinubu and his eggheads between 1999 and 2007.

But beyond Tinubu, the 57 local councils in Lagos have all but rejected Ambode. And because council chairmen wield enormous grassroot influence and answer to Tinubu who controls the patronage network in Lagos, camp Ambode has been understandably jittery.

Not only is Jide Sanwo-Olu the anointed candidate of godfather Tinubu, the council chairmen have been mandated to “deliver him” for the APC during the primaries and during next year’s general elections. It is little wonder that these chairmen purchased the N22.5million nomination form for Sanwo-Olu and declared to the media that Ambode’s reign is over.

During one late night peace meeting convened by the Oba of Lagos to save Ambode and ensure he gets the second term ticket, the powerful council chairmen told the traditional ruler off and rudely asked him to mind his business.

Alao-Akala-Akinwunmi-Ambode-Bola-Ahmed-Tinubu

Beyond biting the hand that fed him, Ambode hasn’t really posted a stellar performance as governor, given the state’s enormous resources, humongous internally generated revenue and sizeable allocation from the center.

Lagos currently boasts some of the worst road surfaces in the country, there is so much fanfare about big projects that are never completed, articulated trucks have been parked on major roads for a year with the governor looking so powerless in the face of all the gridlock, clogged drainage channels have remained that way to compound the city’s flood problems, inner city roads have virtually collapsed, Lagos is back to being filthy and smelly, there is little innovation from Alausa to solve the city’s perennial traffic woes, bedlam and chaos; and area boys (otherwise called street urchins) have been having a field day extorting from commercial motorists with not a soul to challenge them.

The lawlessness in Lagos, which was on the verge of extinction during the Babatunde Fashola era, has all but returned.

But maybe Ambode needs more time to sort out the city’s many challenges. Maybe Tinubu should really stop choosing his successors and let the electorate and party delegates decide for themselves for once. Maybe Tinubu’s overbearing influence in Lagos helps no governor and leaves them confused. But Ambode hasn’t helped his own cause with his below par performance either.

The groundswell of public opinion tilts toward his replacement because he has impressed only but a few. When Fashola fell out with Tinubu and was almost denied a second term by Bourdillon, the people stood by him because he was performing. At the time, Tinubu knew better than to mess with the people’s choice. Ambode is neither pleasing his godfather nor getting the people behind him—all of which leaves him in a precarious position.

Lagos is a special state thanks to its sheer population and premier economic status. It deserves a governor who isn’t as tone deaf as Ambode, who thinks on his feet, who is innovative and who fixes problems as they arise. Ambode goes to sleep until the problems become mountains he can no longer fix.

Should he brave the odds, ride the storm from Bourdillon and somehow manages to nick the second term ticket on the APC platform, Ambode should spend the first few weeks of his new term assembling a better team and promising himself not to be as disastrous and ineffectual as he’s been in his first term.

Godspeed Ambode, you’ll need all the prayers you can get right now.

Source: PulseNG

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‘’Don’t Marry a Fool Or The Son Of A Rich Man’’ – Ibukun Awosika

-By Oba Samuel

Graduands-Charged-on-Self-Discovery-as-Covenant-Produces-238-with-First-Class_large_shadow

One of the finest private Universities in Nigeria-Covenant University Ota which is owned by the Living Faith Church, A.K.A Winners’ Chapel held their 13th Convocation ceremony recently where 238 students emerged with First Class among the 1522 students graduated by the University.

The event which was tagged ‘’The Release of Eagles 2018’’which was for the award of First and Higher Degrees and presentation of prizes, also saw the University churning out 365 graduands from her School of Postgraduate Studies.

The high point of the occasion was when the Keynote Speaker, Mrs.Ibukun Awosika, the Chairman, First Bank of Nigeria Plc, towards the conclusion of her speech advised the graduands to take their choice of life-partner seriously.

“One of the biggest decisions you can make in your life is to choose the man or woman you marry, people take it lightly but it can make or break your life,” she said.

With all the ambition and vision you have, with all the dreams your parents had for you, it can be derailed if you marry the wrong person. So, don’t play with it, don’t marry a fool.”

Have a sense of who you are and when you have a sense of who you are, you will understand who is fit for you as the Lord leads. It’s not about naira and kobo, it’s not about silver and Gold. The son of a rich man is not a rich boy because only the one that has the cash flow has the money.

They will organize a big wedding but it is not for you but for their own image.T hey will give you a big house and many cars from day one.

All the cars will get old at the same time and if you don’t have the capacity to maintain them, you are already in trouble.

Marrying the son of a rich man is not the solution, marry the bone of your bone who can help and support you, an enabler who can help you to emerge. He might not look like it now but have it at the back of your mind that people manifest in seasons.’’



		
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3 Reasons Miracle Won BBNaija 2018 | Do You Agree?

 

The 85 day long reality TV show, Big Brother Naija has come to an end and a winner has been announced. The handsome pilot and suave personality, Miracle emerged the winner.

Truth be told, Miracle’s victory is beyond luck. There were some things he did right and things that worked for him, that got him massive votes. Let’s examine them.

1. ‘Fine boy’ factor

Researchers have found that physical attractiveness greatly influence investor backings, where good-looking men are more persuasive and 36% more likely to be successful than unattractive men.

How does this relate to Miracle you may ask, Miracle is the dude most ardent female fans of BBNaija have a crush on.

From our findings, most of his fans are mostly females who are more attracted to his charm than to his intelligence.

2. The Celebrity influence

Why are you bothered about Don Jazzy’s favourite BBNaija housemate?

Why are you bothered about Liz Anjorin’s favourite BBNaija housemate? This is as a result of the influence celebrities have on pop culture.

The likes of DJ Xclusive, Desmond Elliot, Don Jazzy, Inem Peter and others supported Miracle.

This celeb endorsement and influence gave Miracle more edge and leverage compared to the other housemates.

Even some of the evicted housemates like Ifu Ennada and Rico predicted that Miracle will emerge as the winner.

3. Miracle’s successive wins

Everyone loves to associate with a win. Amazingly, Miracle holds the record for most wins in the Payport arena games with three wins, therefore guaranteeing him another N1 million at the end of the current edition of the reality TV show.

He was also rewarded with N1 million and a year supply of Pepsi products , an all-expense paid trip to Dubai for winning the Pepsi ‘Refresh The Mix’ challenge.

Everyone loves a winner. People gravitate towards successful people. This must have contributed to Miracle’s victory.

Congrats to him once again 🎊🎊

 

source:naijaloaded

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5 simple guide to help you save for your child’s education

It is important to remind yourself that irrespective of how hard or difficult the situation may be, a good education is the right of every child.

  • The idea of saving for a child’s education is promising enough to immediately get one started.

But with the economic situation, it is difficult for one to make a move.

However, it is important to remind yourself that irrespective of how hard or difficult the situation may be, good education is the right of every child.

In other words, a child’s education is a must; and saving for that education beforehand takes the pressure off you in the coming years.

So if you’ve ever thought about saving or  planning for your child’s education but really don’t know how to go about it then you should see below the following steps.

Saving for your child's educationHere are five simple guide to help you save for your child’s education

1. Know what you can save by cutting your coat according to your size.

Get a clear picture of your income and identify what can be erased with ease from your expenditure and start the saving with that.

Also, there are other habitual spendings that are not really necessary: Do away with them and channel their money to the saving kit.

2. There should be no limit to your savings.

You might have more than one child and the prospect of saving for them all might seem ridiculous, especially if your financial income is not as big- as big should be.

However, you should bear in mind that there is no limit to your savings. You can save as much as you can if you really want to save.

All you need do is to set a target for yourself and see to it that you find every possible means to make it work. Of course, it will be hard but with sacrifice it is possible.

Saving for your child's education 
3. Create a savings account

You must try as much as you can to constantly remind yourself that you have a limited time to save after opening a savings account. Because that is the only way you can actually come up with something reasonable.

Discipline yourself to save on the account everything that will concern the education of the child. From tuition fee to feeding, as well as transportation to accommodation.

Of course, there’s no way you can tell the exact amount as the cost of things changes with time. However, you can always estimate and by doing so, you will surely have a direction.

4. Make use of the family resource

This might sound ridiculous but it will pay off in the long run. Encourage grandparents, godparents and other family members to add their contribution to the plan instead of Christmas and birthday gifts.

Suggest to them that contributing to the education of your child, which is also their child, is the best legacy they can give.

Admittedly, this idea might sound ridiculous. It might even look embarrassing to those with high shoulders. But It’s your child’s godparents and grandparents we are talking about here, right? And it’s your child’s education we are also talking about.

Saving for your child's education5. Involve the child

There’s no better way to introduce your child into the world of savings than this. Educate the child about the importance of saving as you encourage him/her to contribute to the scheme, however small their contribution maybe.

The idea is to give the child a sense of involvement and not to make him/her source for funds.

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Only Black Panther Can Stop Boko Haram by Fredrick Nwabufo

Black Panther And The Debt We Owe Black Americans, By Bunmi Fatoye-Matory

 

Boko Haram has brandished its fangs in the most daring way this week. Attack after attack, but with a new onslaught trouncing the old one in audacity, gruesomeness and fatality. 

Between Thursday and Friday, Boko Haram launched coordinated attacks, like Hitler’s blitzkrieg, on Adamawa, Yobe and Borno. The insurgents hit two villages in Madagali local government area of Adamawa state reportedly abducting some locals and killing innocents.

This piece was written by Fredrick Nwabufo and was first published on TheCable. The views and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of TRIOTINAIJA.COM.NG

 In Borno, the insurgents attacked a military base in Rann, killing four soldiers. They went further to hit a camp of internally-displaced persons in the area, killing four UN workers. 

In Yobe, a female suicide bomber strolled into a mosque; detonated her death merchandise, killing a worshipper. It is has been a week of bloodshed and horror.

Black Panther And The Debt We Owe Black Americans

On February 4, Rogers Nicholas, theatre commander, Operation Lafiya Dole, said Boko Haram had been “completely defeated”. He also said: “We have broken the heart and soul of Shekau’s group.” He few days later, Dapchi schoolgirls’ abduction happened. 

How did a “completely defeated” Boko Haram rise like the phoenix from the ashes in weeks?

I must say, the military has become superlatively effective with propaganda. Terrorism, everyone knows, is asymmetrical; it is disingenuous and embarrassing for the military to make categorical statements on the war – soon after which the insurgents will scandalised it with another daring attack.

The war against Boko Haram is already in its eight year, and it may linger for more years, if not decades. Why? Boko Haram is powered by a deadly ideology. And that ideology cannot be extinguished by the fire of artillery. Also, the insurgency will linger because there are 10 million out-of-school children on the streets in the north, some of whom lessen the pain of their quotidian and famished existence with hard drugs. 

At the risk of saying it ad nauseam, the possible antidote to this problem is education, but more importantly, de-emphasising religion in our national life. Religion should play little or no role in our public lives. But when governors spend millionaires of naira building vulgar churches and mosques instead of investing prodigiously in education, you wonder if they are really ready for a solution to the security problem.

In the movie, ‘Black Panther’, T’Challa, the Black Panther, rescued some abducted girls from insurgents in Sambisa Forest by the strokes of his claws. It was a telling scene for me. Perhaps, we need the Black Panther to rescue the Dapchi girls in captivity and to stop more abductions. 

As it is, we are not ready to do the needful, besides military campaigns, to solve the Boko Haram problem. We need a superhero.

This piece was written by Fredrick Nwabufo and was first published on TheCable. The views and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of TRIOTINAIJA.COM.NG

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How Son Of Globacom Boss, Paddy Adenuga Nearly Acquired Chevron Netherlands At 29

Paddy Adenuga, a young Nigerian and billionaire son of Dr Mike Adenuga, Globacom boss, has revealed how he tried to acquire one of the biggest oil companies in the world, Chevron Netherlands, at the age of 29, without the help of his family.

Paddy-Adenuga-600x431

Paddy and his billionaire dad Dr Mike Adenuga
Paddy and his billionaire dad Dr Mike Adenuga

Read the story below:

A LION IN THE NORTH SEA: THE BATTLE FOR CHEVRON NETHERLANDS

It was October 2013, two years had passed since I had left the family business in Lagos, Nigeria and moved to London, England to start my own oil trading company. My time in the family business, as a director in the telecoms division and upstream oil & gas company was challenging to say the least but engaging and ultimately rewarding. However, I have never felt comfortable with sitting back and getting a golden pass through life. Whilst the easy thing to do was to be a “good boy and good son” and enjoy all the luxuries of being in a family business – I decided that striking it out on my own once again was the best course of action.

I’ve always loved the oil & gas business, like many other Nigerians. However, what I love about the business, particularly the exploration and production (upstream) side, was the mixture of strategy, operational capability, technical know-how, politics and business acumen which all had to be married with a gambling spirit and sheer luck to be successful. In my decision to move to London, I decided I would only be in the oil & gas business as long as it didn’t pose a direct conflict to the family’s interests. There is striking it out on your own and then there is just being plain foolish. Luckily for me, I had stopped being foolish by then.

The modus operandi of my oil trading business was simple. I kept an office in Lagos with a small team of five to run operations and logistics. I converted one of the bedrooms in my townhouse in London into a study. My team in Lagos under my guidance would get oil trading contracts and I, sitting in London, would either market these contracts to the global oil trading houses to execute in Nigeria on a joint venture (JV) basis or in some instances, I would find the capital to execute the contract from end to end. This formula proved effective and it was good enough to pay my bills and afford me an above modest lifestyle.

One of the traits I took from my parents is that I am highly ambitious and find it hard to sit still. There always has to be a new conquest, a new mountain to climb, or, as is the case most times, a new business to go after. Oil trading was my day job but was never exciting to me except for when I got paid. After days and weeks in London plotting my next move, I came up with an idea and a plan. In the world of upstream oil & gas, especially in Africa, companies that were operators, actively producing oil & gas in commercial quantities that wanted to invest or participate in the oil business were the darlings of the industry. They were like the prettiest girl in high school and every guy wanted her to come to the prom with him.

Most of the oil producing nations in sub-Saharan Africa such as Nigeria, Angola, and Equatorial Guinea would always require any investor into oil & gas assets in their country to either be an oil & gas operator with production on stream or be partnered with an operator, deemed a “technical partner”. This logic makes sense. If you are going to buy prized national assets, you should have the know how to develop and operate them or at least be partnered with an entity that does. I decided that I was going to use a Trojan Horse strategy. I had read ancient Greek literature when I’d attended military academy in Texas and it served as inspiration. I would acquire an oil & gas operating company in Europe (the Trojan Horse), where the political barriers and costs to entry in comparison to Africa would be significantly lower. I would then use this newly acquired company, which would now be of Afro-European in heritage, to become a technical partner to many local and international investors in the upstream oil & gas business in Africa. This company would be the first of its kind and likely the most sought-after oil & gas company on the African continent because of its unique DNA and ownership. After thinking of this idea, I took myself out to a bar a few blocks from my house and ordered myself a nice strong drink. I felt like a genius.

I registered a new upstream oil & gas investment company offshore and called it, The Catalan Corporation. The name didn’t really have a meaning, it just sounded nice and had a confident, stately demeanour to it. To keep costs at a minimum, I decided to put together an advisory board that consisted of Vance Querio, the COO of Addax Petroleum at the time and an industry professional and my mentor (who will remain nameless for good reason), one of Africa’s biggest business giants. Vance was all too happy to join and signed on quickly. I called my mentor and before signing on, he wanted a face to face meeting for me to explain my plan and ambitions for Catalan. He asked me to meet him in the early spring of 2014 at a health spa in a small Swiss village outside of Zurich. I have to admit the drive from Zurich to this little village tucked within the Swiss mountains still remains one of the most beautiful sights I have ever seen. The spring sun had begun to melt the snow on the mountains and in the distance; you could see the melting snow turn into giant waterfalls pouring off the mountains. It was like an oil painting come to life.

I eventually met with my mentor and after explaining my idea to him and that him being on my advisory board would not only give my burgeoning company credibility but help us raise cash, he agreed in totality and went further to tell me that I should tell anyone and everyone that he was not only on board but was going to give our company his full support. We drank some tea together and the next morning I was off back to London. My little plan for Africa oil & gas was coming together, finally put into action by two African men in a Swiss village. You couldn’t make this stuff up.

On the plane flying back to London from Zurich, even though I had just gotten my mentor on board, I felt that there was someone missing. A few years prior I was the spearhead of my family’s acquisition drive for OML 30 (this is another whole story in itself), one of Shell Nigeria’s most lucrative oil blocks that was up for sale, I met a brilliant English banker named Edgar. Edgar had more than 30 years of oil & gas operations and finance experience. He was respected by the industry on a global basis and having him on board would be the final piece in the puzzle, the icing on the cake. I called Edgar immediately I landed and asked if we could meet for lunch, my treat as always.

I pitched Catalan to Edgar and how if we pulled this off it would be the grandest of coups. Edgar was highly intrigued but stated that he wanted hard cash upfront from the onset. Whilst the others were all too eager to come on board and make their money via sweat equity or cash incentives when we had a target company in our sights, Edgar wanted to be paid money and a substantial amount before putting pen to paper. I was confused by his behaviour. I told him who the others were that were on Catalan’s advisory board but he wasn’t having it, either he would be paid his princely sum to attach his name to Catalan or no deal. I was 29 at the time and was still head-strong and prideful. How could this guy develop such an attitude? I thought we were friends. I suppose Edgar knew his value and wasn’t going to mortgage it on a promise of monies at a later date. As much as he liked my Trojan Horse idea, he just happened to like money more. I balked at his request in annoyance. I paid for lunch, told him no way, and stormed off home. This was a big mistake on my part that would rear its ugly head later.

I appointed two of my most trusted confidants as directors in Catalan and with that the company was set to go. I designed the logo for Catalan – a coat of arms with a cross in the middle. I am after all a devout Catholic and a strong believer in God, so why not have my faith represented on my company logo? I then called my friend Nicolas Lavrov, a web and graphics designer and over the course of a week we put together a sleek and polished company profile which me, my directors and advisory board began emailing out to interested parties. A few weeks later, I got an email from Richard Kent of Jeffries. Jeffries are an investment bank that work closely with multi-national oil companies (the majors) on the acquisition or divestment of oil & gas assets on a worldwide basis. Richard had gotten a copy of my company profile and wanted to have a meeting. I wore one of my finest suits and hopped into a taxi to his offices in London City.

Richard and I talked extensively about my background and my ambitions for Catalan. I explained to him the type of company we were looking to acquire, ideally an oil & gas company in Europe, preferably operating out of the North Sea with a strong daily production and enough reserves to warrant further investment in development. I also told Richard how much we would be ready to spend for the first acquisition – between USD 50 million and USD 100 million. We would finance our acquisition via reserve based lending and would likely raise cash equity of thirty percent of our purchase price with a Bank raising debt of seventy percent to help the balance of the purchase price. I had described the “goldilocks” company Catalan needed to acquire. With that said, Richard told me to give him some time to find the best deal for Catalan.

A few weeks later Richard called me, “I have the perfect deal for you Paddy!” US oil giant, Chevron, had decided to sell their entire upstream, exploration and production business in the Netherlands and had appointed Jeffries to manage a bid process for the sale of Chevron Netherlands. The sale included their production platforms in the North Sea off the Dutch coast, their office buildings, around a thousand or so native Dutch staff, and their crude and gas pipeline evacuation infrastructure. Even the Chevron coffee and tea mugs were part of the sale. Richard was right, this deal was perfect and the ideal Trojan Horse with which to enter the Africa oil & gas terrain with from Europe. He informed me that this would be a competitive bid against other companies to acquire Chevron but thought that Catalan and I stood a good chance. I told him I was interested and that he should send all the necessary paperwork over. Something within me believed I was going to win this bid and with that in mind I was going to throw everything at it. If I won this bid, I thought, there would be stories written about me for a long time to come.

Chevron are by nature, prudently selective with which companies they invite to bid. So the fact that Catalan was chosen was a big deal to me. I felt like for once in my 29 years, I wasn’t being judged solely by my last name but for my skill, merits and ability. I got the first bits of information from Chevron on their Netherlands assets and I began putting together a team of hired hands to act as my management team for Catalan’s bid. I appointed Dutch law firm DeBrauw as my lawyers, Canadian firm Canaccord Genuity as my finance managers, RPS Energy as my technical managers, and Moore Stephens as my accountants. I informed Chevron of my management team and they asked for a few weeks to open the data room and kick off the bid.

Whilst Catalan and its hired management team waited on Chevron, I decided to be pro-active. From previous my experience with OML 30, not engaging government regulators enough could prove to be unwise. I decided that I needed to meet with the government body in the Netherlands responsible for managing their oil & gas affairs. After all I was a young Nigerian man, trying to buy prized, national Dutch assets. I, more than anyone, needed to be ten steps ahead at any given time. My lawyers put me in touch with Jan-Dirk Bokhoven, the managing director at the time of the Dutch state-owned oil company, EBN. Jan-Dirk and I spoke on the phone and agreed a date to meet at EBN’s head office in Utrecht, a one-hour drive or so outside of Amsterdam.

I had never been to the Netherlands before. I took the first flight from London to Amsterdam and arrived a little after 7am. The hotel sent a car to pick me and on my ride into Amsterdam the most fascinating thing I saw was that the Dutch rode bicycles everywhere. When parents take their kids to school, they pop them onto the back of a bike and ride on. I had never seen an entire city on bicycles. It was like something out of the twilight zone. A few hours later I changed and drove to Utrecht on a warm and sunny morning. The ride to Utrecht was stunning. The skies were a picturesque baby blue and there wasn’t a cloud in sight. On either side of the motorway there were golden fields of farm land and further beyond, wind turbines spun in synchronicity. The view was so special to me that I asked the driver to stop on the side of the motorway so that I could get out and appreciate the scenery for fifteen minutes or so. The driver thought I was odd.

I finally met Jan-Dirk at his offices with his head of operations, Thijs. I could see in both their faces, looks of confusion and reverence at the same time. How could a 29-year-old Nigerian have found himself in a position to buy Chevron’s business in the Netherlands? I told Jan-Dirk and Thijs of my intentions and that I took this bid seriously and wanted to make sure that I did everything right in the eyes of not only Chevron but the Dutch government. They both assured me that I was on the right track and that if there was any issue, they would let me know. I spent a few more days in Amsterdam, met up with a few friends, and enjoyed the Dutch nightlife and hospitality. I flew back to London.

Chevron finally opened the data room for the bid and provided all information needed for all companies to put in a bid. I put my team, my directors, and Vance Querio on the task of reviewing all the documents with a request that we have a bid review meeting in a few weeks. Tarica Mpinga of Canaccord Genuity served as the lead of the management team. Tarica called me that the team was ready to present their findings and proposal on the way forward. I went over to Canaccord’s offices and for once saw my team assembled in front of me. Here I was, in my late twenties, in a massive boardroom, with a management team of fifteen people presenting to me. I felt like I had arrived.

While acquiring Chevron Netherlands was mostly for an Africa oil & gas play, Catalan had to deal with the reality of the company’s books, resources, and liabilities. Chevron Netherlands by production was attractive, producing 9000 boepd broken down into 8000 barrels of gas per day and 1000 barrels of crude. The off-shore production facilities were top class, the gas reserves were attractive with ample room for development to increase production numbers, the management team of Chevron Netherlands were the best the industry could employ, and the crude and gas evacuation infrastructure and sales contracts were solid. The Catalan management team presented me the bad news. The oil reserves were seen as weak and having very little production life even if new wells were drilled. The biggest problem however was the abandonment liability which had been projected at first glance to be in the USD 300 million region. This became the thorn in the flesh of entire bid process. Essentially the Dutch government required all operators to restore their areas of operation back to how nature intended – which meant all infrastructure had to be removed at the end of production. The cost of this is what is termed “abandonment liability” or “abandex”. Catalan’s management team felt that because the abandex was so high, it negated an aggressive bid price and moreover Catalan would struggle to raise cash to pay for Chevron Netherlands.

Unperturbed, I corralled my management team on a road show. We would meet with as many Banks, investors, and oil trading companies as possible to pitch Catalan’s bid and Africa strategy for Chevron Netherlands. The team and I spent countless hours in meeting after meeting but to no avail. The abandex amount and weak oil reserves of Chevron Netherlands were too significant that it blinded people from the Africa strategy entirely. Alas it was clear that this would have to be a cash deal with no bank debt or oil trading dollars. Despondent, I called my mentor for a way forward. We spoke extensively and as I expected, he was the only one that saw how important Chevron Netherlands would be as a technical partner-operator in Africa. We agreed that between myself as a small cash contributor, himself, and a few other investors we could raise cash of USD 50 million as a maximum bid price. That night I went back to that bar not far from my house and ordered an even stronger drink. This bid could not slip away from me.

Chevron sent an email to Catalan advising when they expected bids to be received. The Catalan team once again huddled in Canaccord’s offices to work on a bid submission document, which would include Catalan’s offer and bid price. We deliberated for hours and the management team insisted that because of the high abandex amount that no cash should be offered. Essentially Catalan would agree to absorb the entire abandex amount and would pay a notional “$1” for the company. This would be a liability absorbing deal, allowing Chevron to clean out and move on. The team advised that Catalan put in this offer but as a way to play hard to get, we would commit to the gas abandex but stay quiet on the oil abandex. I was convinced at that moment that we would have the winning bid. The team prepared all the necessary paperwork, which I signed, and hand delivered to Jeffries offices to the manager of the bid process. After submitting the bid documents, I went to my church, St. Mary’s. I always like going to church when there is absolutely no one there. I prayed for God’s blessings and good graces.

Jeffries and Chevron confirmed they had received Catalan’s bid and would need two weeks or so to review all bids and come back with an answer. In the meantime, I gave a break to my management team and spent all my free time now on my kung fu training with my master, Shifu Heng-Wei. Kung Fu was not only for my fitness but for my well-being and spiritual balance. It was my greatest stress-relief. On a Tuesday afternoon, whilst Shifu and I were in the middle of an intense kung fu session, my phone rang. I knew it was about Chevron. One of Richard Kent’s deputies was on the line. Chevron had reviewed my bid and were “confused” on my position in respect to the oil abandex and wanted a re-submission clarifying Catalan’s position on both oil and gas abandex. I immediately re-convened my management team at the boardroom and began debating our response to Chevron. I saw this as a second chance opportunity from Chevron to submit a more aggressive bid. My management team argued that I should keep the same bid and state now clearly that Catalan wanted nothing to do with the oil abandex. I countered that we needed to be aggressive and should take the entire abandex and offer cash of USD 50 million so that we could acquire Chevron Netherlands uncontested and plough quickly to our Africa strategy.

The Catalan management team thought I was crazy. Surely, I was 29 and now undeniably stupid. How could I look at that enormity of an abandex amount and now want to offer hard-earned cash on top of that? They believed I was frequenting my local bar too often and having one too many drinks. They pleaded with me that I follow their proposal. We argued further and eventually as a compromise, we agreed that we would take all of Chevron Netherlands oil & gas abandex but would still offer a notional $1 bid price. In my heart of hearts, I felt that a cash offer was needed to win but my management team, for which I had paid a respectable amount for their services, had convinced me otherwise. They were professionals I thought and they had my best interest at heart. The team printed out the documents for which I appended my signature and re-submitted. Again, I went to my church, when there wasn’t a soul in sight and prayed to God for his guidance and blessings.

Chevron confirmed that they had received Catalan’s revised bid document and would need another 2 weeks to come back to me on whether we won the bid or not. One night as I stayed up watching CNN at home, I had another idea. If I was able to find out whom the other bidders were for Chevron Netherlands, I could coerce these bidders to drop their respective bids and join me in a new multi-bidder venture. With this, Chevron would have no choice but to sell Chevron Netherlands to Catalan and the other bidders in a new joint venture (JV) company. This was to be my insurance policy in case Catalan’s solo bid failed. As I said, I am the underdog here by a country mile; I always had to be ten steps ahead of everybody else. I arranged a conference call with my management team and charged them to find out who the other bidders were for Chevron Netherlands. I also pulled out my diary and began making phone calls. At this point I didn’t care what the rules were, this was business – either hunt or be hunted and I believed Catalan led by me, was an apex predator, even if Chevron was one trillion times bigger than Catalan. Fortune favours the bold and I fancied this as David versus Goliath.

One by one, Catalan began finding out who the other bidders were. Mercuria, an oil trading company I had done business were in the running but then pulled out. Dana Petroleum looked at the assets but were also out of the running. Tullow Oil was also out of the bid out of the fear of the abandex costs. I scheduled another call with my team and asked everyone to re-double their efforts to find active bidders. The clock was ticking and I was keen to find the other bidders before Chevron replied to my bid. I was too late however, on a Friday afternoon in early summer of 2014, whilst I was out drinking rose wine with friends at the Arts Club in London, I got an email from Chevron. They had rejected Catalan’s bid and had deemed our bid unsuccessful. I felt like sinking into the ground. I hastily said goodbye to my worried friends and ran home. I couldn’t believe it. How could Chevron say no to me? This bid was destined for me to win. I was meant to be the Alexander the Great of Africa oil & gas and barely into my thirties.

All weekend, I re-traced my steps. I called my management team, my directors, my advisory board, and my mentor to understand where we went wrong. Vance Querio told me that it looked like I had fallen in love with Chevron Netherlands and it was time to walk away. I said no way, I was too deep in love and I couldn’t turn back now. I made up my mind that I was going to find the remaining active bidders, coax them into joining me, and leave Chevron with no choice. I called my management team for a meeting on Monday and they were soundly reassured that I was mad. The game was up and here I was, trying to bring back life to Catalan after a deathblow. The show was not over and we were going to be victorious. I left the meeting with a sense of purpose. That night I went on a dinner date and bumped into an older friend of mine, Remi. I had always looked up to Remi. Remi is smart, successful, and highly intelligent. I felt like him and I were very much the same person and that he was me, just twenty or so years down the road. Remi asked me what I was up to with work and why I wasn’t in Lagos running the family business. I coyly changed topics as I didn’t want any Nigerians knowing what I was up to, certainly no one in “high society” or the political elite. Even though Remi was a great guy, I couldn’t take the risk. Chevron Netherlands was my Trojan Horse and it was on a strictly need to know basis. We will get back to Remi later.

The next day I called Jan-Dirk of EBN and told him that I was going to make a USD 50 million re-bid for Chevron Netherlands but this time I wanted to do so with the other bidders as part of a JV. I was going to use all the cash I had agreed with my mentor to go for one final strike. Jan-Dirk at first was unsure that this was possible but when he heard my sense of urgency and willingness to put down cash, he invited me to back to his offices in Utrecht and felt there could be a solution. The next morning, I dashed off to the airport and flew back to Amsterdam. I landed early as I usually do and by this time I had gotten used to the city being on bicycles. I remember pulling up to a red light and seeing twin Dutch toddlers on the back of their mother’s bike waving at me. These Dutch and their bicycles.

I met with Jan-Dirk again and this time he was more forthright and eager to help out. He then dropped a few bombshells on me. First off, EBN, the Dutch state oil company, were an active bidder for Chevron Netherlands and were specifically interested in the oil side. I was shocked. The second bombshell was that they had put in a joint bid with an indigenous Dutch oil & gas producer called Oranje-Nassau Energy (ONE). Thirdly, EBN knew that apart from itself, Catalan and ONE, there was one more active bidder that wasn’t European or African for that matter but had no leads. Jan-Dirk pledged that EBN would join my new JV but that I had to meet the Chairman of ONE, Marcel, to get his buy in. In my presence, Jan-Dirk called Marcel and arranged a lunch meeting in London with Marcel and the managing director of ONE, Alex.

Back in London, I met with Marcel and Alex at a prestigious members club that both Marcel and I were members of. Marcel and I hit it off very well and found that we had a lot of mutual interests in common, more so he knew my mentor and on the strength of that would be happy to enter into a JV with Catalan and EBN. However, Alex, was slightly reticent. Alex, it seemed wasn’t too pleased that I was charming his Chairman right before him and wanted to put the brakes on this budding bromance. If he wasn’t careful this young Nigerian could even end up taking his job if this JV worked out. It then became a battle for control now between Alex and I on the fate of the JV. Alex proposed that the Catalan management team meet EBN and ONE at ONE’s offices in Amsterdam the following week to discuss the structure of this new JV and how we would formally propose to Chevron that we wanted to bid together for Chevron Netherlands. I agreed to this meeting. I would come with full force.

The following week, the Catalan team and I arrived in Amsterdam. I ensured that we arrived in style. I had the hotel arrange for five, brand new, jet-black Mercedes s-classes to ferry the Catalan management team to ONE’s offices. I wanted Marcel and Alex to know that we meant business and this wasn’t a Mickey Mouse affair. Marcel and Alex received us at the entrance of their offices. We certainly made an impression, it looked more like a state delegation had just arrived at ONE’s offices, ready to discuss oil & gas diplomacy.

We were taken up to their main conference room where we were introduced to the rest of ONE’s management team. Our meeting was to discuss two major points. First, if the JV was to be successful, how would we carve out the Chevron Netherlands empire? Secondly, if we were to agree to the first point, how would we approach Chevron and manage the bid process? The meeting became slightly contentious. EBN did not attend the meeting and didn’t need to. They made it clear that they were focused on the oil side of Chevron Netherlands and would only come in for the oil. ONE was also no small fry, they produced 60,000 barrels of crude and gas a day from their assets in the Netherlands and worldwide. They were not only keen on the gas coming from Chevron Netherlands but wanted operational control. This would leave Catalan as a mere financier/investor with no management control.

Tensions were flaring with no headway being made. I looked at Marcel and knew that he and I were both frustrated. I motioned to him for us to meet outside the conference room. Marcel waved to Alex to join us and I asked Tarica to step outside with me. The four of us walked over to Alex’s office for a man-to-man resolution meeting. I made it clear to Marcel and Alex that Catalan’s main objective was to use Chevron Netherlands as an Africa operator and would make our fortune from “selling” our technical know-how to wealthy, local investors in oil-rich producing nations with Angola and Equatorial Guinea as prime targets followed by Nigeria. However, Catalan would need to have management control of Chevron Netherlands as we know potential African partners would want to see the Afro side of an Afro-European oil company in control. Marcel agreed and Tarica re-emphasised my point. Alex however was keen for ONE to be an active player on the gas side as they saw the gas production and potential as the key driver for being involved in the first place. We agreed that Catalan would have management control but would let ONE drive the gas affairs in the JV with EBN doing the same for the oil. The empire had been carved. Lastly, we agreed that we would write a joint letter to Chevron notifying them of our intent to form a JV and permission to submit a joint bid for Chevron Netherlands. The four of us walked back into the main meeting and marshalled out the next steps to our respective teams. Marcel saw me off and we both felt like we were on the verge of something great. I spent a few more days in Amsterdam and revelled in the Dutch nightlife. I even bought a bicycle. On one fine Amsterdam afternoon as I rode my bike through town, I thought to myself, “I am about to be a Nigerian Dutchman”.

When I arrived off the plane from Amsterdam to London, I got a rather unnerving email from Alex of ONE. He was back to that power-playing game of his again which was becoming highly frustrating. Alex had written me stating that before EBN and ONE would agree to write a JV letter to Chevron they needed to see financial statements from Catalan, a substantial amount of money had to be put in an escrow account, and he listed another laundry list of conditions precedent (CP). I was surprised he didn’t ask for my birth certificate and my mother’s driving license. I thought to myself “Na wa o, this Alex bobo really has it out for me.” Alex had done this largely to checkmate me and show that he was the authority on the JV. It was all well and good for his billionaire Chairman, Marcel to say he was okay with it, but it was Alex that was responsible for managing the JV and not some young upstart. On the taxi ride back home, I thought to myself, it would take too long for Catalan to meet all of Alex’s CP’s and in that time Chevron could have announced a winner as I was well aware that there was another bidder still out there that we didn’t know of. Also, Alex was effectively making Catalan bid for ONE’s partnership. He would make Catalan sweat to earn partnership rights with ONE and EBN and then we would sweat further to convince Chevron of our JV. I decided this was a dangerous road to go down and I would not cave into Alex’s demands. If there was anything I excelled at in military academy two decades before, it was in military strategy and tactics. I was going to put all my training and knowledge to teach this Alex fellow a lesson. ONE and EBN were going to sign that letter I told myself. They simply had no choice.

I devised a plan, which I fine-tuned with the other two directors of Catalan. I made sure not to discuss the plan with Catalan’s management team for fear that it could leak out. The Catalan directors agreed that for our plan to be successful, I in particular would have to eat humble pie. I had to reach out to Edgar and I’d also have to pay that princely sum of his. In addition to Edgar, I needed to get French banker, Guillaume Leenhardt on board. Guillaume, I had known since I was 13 years old and I’d come to find out that he was a close friend of Marcel. I met with Edgar for a steak dinner. I swallowed my pride and apologised profusely for our last meeting that didn’t go so well. I told Edgar that I wanted him on my team now on a full-time basis. Edgar knew he was needed now more than ever and cheekily asked for twice the amount he had originally requested for. This was no longer a princely sum but a king’s ransom. I did the math. It was worth it. I called my Bankers and made sure Edgar was paid. That was the first chess move. I called Guillaume and he just happened to be in London. He asked me to meet him in Hyde Park by the serpentine lake. I arrived at the lake and saw Guillaume sitting on a bench, feeding bread to ducks. It was like something out of a spy movie. I briefed Guillaume on the whole Chevron Netherlands saga and he was impressed to say the least, “You’re as ambitious and as crazy as your father… I like it!” With that said Guillaume was on board. More chess moves. My plan for Alex was now set in motion, it was a mixture of “good cop-bad cop” and what Yoruba’s from Nigeria call “Ogbon agba”, loosely translated to “An old man’s wisdom”.

I emailed Alex, copying Marcel and key members of ONE, EBN, and Catalan’s management team. I wrote that Catalan was no longer interested in partnering with ONE and EBN. I reminded them that Catalan was invited to bid by Chevron and Jeffries because of our cash raising ability. Alex’s list of CP’s was a slap in the face to Catalan and had personally offended me and my mentor. In the same email, I instructed the Catalan management team to cease all communication with ONE and EBN. The email was a tsunami. ONE and EBN couldn’t believe that they had just been dumped. Imagine telling the prettiest girl in school that you were planning to take her to the prom, she thought she had you wrapped around her finger, and then in one ninja move, you tell her you are no longer interested. This dejection is what Alex and co. were now feeling. How could ONE and EBN be told to bog off and most of all by this small boy? It put them in a state of cataclysmic shock. Bad cop. I then called Edgar and Guillaume that I had to write such a nuclear bomb of an email because my mentor and investors were unhappy that ONE was trying to shift the goal post. I asked Edgar to reach out to Alex and the ONE management team since he knew them well to speak some sense to them, stating that I wanted to partner with them but that my mentor and investors were the ones holding me back, that they were about to lose out on a fruitful partnership. I then reached out to Guillaume to do the same with Marcel. Good cop. More chess moves. A week went by. The Catalan team, still bewildered, called me to reverse the decision in my email, pleading with me that my stance was suicidal. I refused to budge. Edgar was making progress with Alex. Alex began to feel that this whole mess was now his fault and didn’t want to look bad in front of his organisation and EBN. He caved in and with his contrition, EBN were on board. It was now left for Marcel to give the final green light. Marcel was enjoying a cruise on the Greek seas on his lovely yacht and was a little hard to reach. Guillaume finally reached him. Marcel agreed. Checkmate. Ogbon agba!

I drafted the JV letter to send to Chevron. The reward for my victory. I emailed it out to ONE and EBN. One hour later the letter was sent back to me with their signatures. I signed the letter and then forwarded it via email to Chevron and Jeffries with the Catalan management team in copy. Tarica called me and wondered how I’d pulled off such a coup. I told him they don’t teach such at Harvard Business School, that this was native Nigerian business sense. We both laughed. Chevron on the other hand wasn’t laughing. In the words of Jeffries, “Catalan was taking over the bid process”. Chevron now knew that it wouldn’t be too long before the last bidder was found and coerced into the Catalan-led JV. Chevron is one of the wealthiest companies in the world and also one of the smartest. They made a few chess moves of their own. They decided to stall and told the JV through Jeffries that they needed some time to consider our proposal. They would cleverly use this time to tidy up the bid with the last, final bidder. A week passed by and I knew this was a race against time between Catalan and Chevron. If Catalan found this last bidder the game was up and Chevron would have to cede Chevron Netherlands to the Catalan-led JV. Chevron for their own part, needed to wrap things up with the last bidder because if not, they would have been outfoxed by Catalan and might end up having to sell Chevron Netherlands for a much smaller sale price. Worst still, there was no way they would lose their Dutch empire to me of all people.

I called both Edgar and Guillaume, asking them to use all their contacts and resources to find the last bidder. I arranged a conference call between Catalan, ONE, and EBN with a clear order to find the last bidder and that once we found them, the bid was ours for the taking. During my time in the family business, as a director in the upstream oil & gas business, I had a close working relationship with Chevron Nigeria and knew its managing director. I dug deep into my email and found emails years back between Chevron’s senior management based in Houston and I. I reached out to the Chevron Houston team and went into full salesmanship. The Catalan-led JV was well suited to buy Chevron Netherlands. We were a mix of cash (Catalan), operational experience (ONE), and government-state backing (EBN). There was no better group to sell to. Chevron Houston asked for time to consider. Guillaume had come up with no leads but Edgar had, the kings ransom I paid for his services was showing dividend. Edgar had gotten in touch with Martin Lovegrove, a senior adviser to the global CEO of Chevron. Martin informed Edgar, that the Chevron global deal team sitting at headquarters in California – Chevron San Ramon, were debating what to do. It was becoming an internal debate between Chevron Houston and Chevron San Ramon on whether to conclude with the last bidder or pivot to the Catalan-led JV. I waited on the outcome. My 30th birthday was on June 21, 2014. I had planned a big comic book inspired costume party to ring in my special day but I cancelled all those plans. I felt Chevron Netherlands was slipping away from me and this was not the time to celebrate anything.

On July 14, 2014, I received a letter from Chevron. They had made up their mind. Chevron San Ramon had their way. There was to be no room for the Catalan-led JV and they were concluding the sale of Chevron Netherlands imminently. To say I was devastated wouldn’t capture how low and defeated I felt. Chevron Netherlands was destined to be mine. I was going to ride back into Africa on my Trojan Horse and become King. I had given every part of me, every fibre of my being and it was immeasurably painful to come so close to victory and lose. ONE and EBN wrote to Catalan formally withdrawing their participation in Chevron Netherlands. They had sailed off into the North Sea sunset. I stubbornly refused to give up and wrote another letter to Chevron that Catalan would be prepared to pay up to USD 100 million for Chevron Netherlands. Frankly, I didn’t know where I was going to find the money but I was throwing one last shot out there when in actuality it was no more than medicine after death. A few days after my last pitch letter, Richard Kent sent me an email; Chevron Netherlands had been sold to Petrogas of Oman. The last bidder, the mystery company I couldn’t find. I’d later come to find out that USD 50 million plus an absorption of all the abandex was the winning formula for the bid – the same formula that I had proposed to my management team but they had pushed back on. This was a painful lesson to always trust my instincts, no matter the circumstance. Edgar later told me that if I had brought him on from day one, the first question he would have asked me was, “What amount are you willing to pay for Chevron Netherlands, given what you wanted to use it for in Africa?” I told Edgar that the price I would have paid was USD 50 million. I should have paid Edgar his princely sum the first-time round, never again would I let ego or pride cloud my judgement.

Members of the Chevron team in London called me. They congratulated me on a well-fought bid and marvelled at my ability to push them so hard in their own bid process. Richard Kent of Jeffries took me out for a drink. He told me I was the type of bidder he liked working with, tenacious and aggressive. Richard wanted to know if I was interested in another bid, something was coming up in Italy. I told Richard I was done. I looked finished. I said goodbye to the Catalan team and paid their fees. Tarica took me out for a meal, trying to encourage me. We joked about how legendary this bid was and how I had brought back Catalan’s quest to life on multiple occasions when all seemed lost. This was all consolation. I thought, no one remembers the 1st runner up, second place is just not first place. My mentor called me and told not me not to be hard on myself, that this was all a learning process and that it would shape me for further battles in the future. I agreed with him but nothing could make up for my loss.

Whilst I lay in bed that night, one of my closest confidants nicknamed Heisenberg and a director in Catalan called me. I remember our conversation like it was yesterday. Heisenberg said, “Mr. P, how many people are given the opportunity you had at 29 to buy Chevron Netherlands? How many Nigerians can ever say they were in a competitive bid to buy an oil & gas company in Europe and almost won? How many young men at your age with the same background, simply settle for less? But you went out into the real world and fought hard and fought valiantly. You got one of the largest indigenous Dutch oil companies and the Dutch state-run oil company to partner with you. You might have lost but you won. Take this as a privilege and that God himself is shaping you into a Man and not just any Man.” He was right and I agreed. Heisenberg advised that I head off to the one place that always rejuvenates my soul… Los Angeles. I got up out of bed, walked down into my study, went online and bought a ticket for the next morning’s flight to Los Angeles. I would go away for two months.

I arrived in Los Angeles half a day later. I sat in my apartment for the first two days. I barely ate and just stared into nothing. This was the cathartic process to get over my loss. Then I got into my car and drove to Malibu. There is nothing more peaceful than a scenic drive down the Pacific Coast Highway (PCH). The Pacific Ocean waters out to infinity on your left and there are cliffs, bluffs, and stunning mountains to your right. The California sun in all its warmth shines down and that good Cali fever infects your soul. This was Californication at its finest. I enjoyed my two months in Los Angeles. I partied hard, went to the Drake vs. Lil Wayne concert at the Hollywood Bowl, sat courtside and watched Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers play a good game, ate well and one night dined at BOA steakhouse on Sunset – at the table in front of me was an orange haired business man named Donald Trump, if only I had a crystal ball then. I went to Disneyworld and had a blast. California had healed me. I was okay again. I thanked God not only for the opportunity and the experience but also for blessing me with a good life. He had taught me some valuable lessons and helped me discover new parts of myself I didn’t know existed. Heisenberg was right, I was becoming a Man in the true sense of the word.

A year later, I moved back to Lagos for a few months to be closer to my family and to take a break from work. A South African company, HKLM that had helped my father design the logo for his telecoms company were in Lagos doing some further design work for my father. My father always uses a bull as his personal insignia and it had become synonymous with him. Gary Harwood of HKLM asked me if I wanted my father’s bull insignia adorned on any clothing or stationery. I told Gary that I wasn’t a bull and that my father was “the bull”. Gary countered and said, “Well Paddy if you are not a bull, then what are you?” I paused for a moment, thinking. My mother was born on August 2nd, 1950; she is a Leo by star sign. Leo’s are lions and I was my mother’s lion son, her Simba. I told Gary, “I am a Lion. I always have been and always will be.” Two weeks later Gary sent me a design of my own personal insignia, it was a Lion’s head. We made a few tweaks to make the Lion look more intimidating yet regal and Gary sent me the final design. In a very clever and touching way, Gary and his team had woven some of my facial features into the design of the Lion’s face. This Lion no matter who might see it or who might copy it would have me staring right back at them. I thanked him for a wonderful present.

I called Remi and told him that I was back in Lagos. He invited me over to his palatial and modern home. He liked my Lion’s head insignia that I had stitched onto the pocket of my native Nigerian kaftan. We sat down for hours and talked business and politics. Then Remi asked me what was I doing in London all that time, away from the family business. I was happy to tell him about Chevron Netherlands at this point, the deal was done and over. Remi looked at me in astonishment, “You mean you took on a whole Chevron, with no noise, no fanfare and none of us knew? Ahh bros you try!” We laughed it off. Remi then revealed the biggest bombshell of my Chevron Netherlands adventure. The managing director of Petrogas of Oman was a close friend of his and he knew he was bidding for Chevron Netherlands at the time. If I had told him what I was up to when we saw in London, whilst I was searching for the last bidder, he would have introduced us. I was blown away. There it was that whole time. That mystery last bidder that I had searched so hard for was there for my taking and it passed right by me.

I went back home that night and made myself the strongest drink. History couldn’t tell this story. I would have to.

By Paddy Adenuga

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Songs of Hope: A Sonnet from my Motherland

“Sonnet is a poetic form that has fourteen lines, typically with two rhyming stanzas known as rhyming couplet at the end”.

Remember not to forget this twenty one-word definition. You will be in soup if you ever do. Mr. Edward, my Literature teacher will whip your bombom. I mean very hard. Yes! Very very hard.
On that day, “your name will be sorry”, as he repeatedly say when warning us on the penalty of forgetting the definition of a sonnet. I was a good stereographer. Bet me, I will not be in soup. I will give back Mr. Edward his definition as he gave it in class. I even defined Epic as a peom with fourtheen lines. I taught all poems are of two rhyming stanzas. I failed the question on Epic.
Let me spare you a little bit of Mr. Edward Sonnet story. I taught I was writing a poem. This is not written in stanzas and does not have a rhyming couplet at the end. This is the songs of my motherland.
I remember the folktale story hours. Nobody told us the time to gather for the tales. When the ‘onwa abali’ (the half moon), comes out we formed a circle, each sitting on his own personal old dwarf-wooden ‘oche isekwu’. The story teller will sit at the centre. My mother usually carries the old folding x-shaped wooden chair or the metal frame chair decorated with ropes of different colours to support sitting and relaxation. This chair is meant for elders. Remember, keep your ‘oche isekwu’ where you will find it so easily. You dare not carry anybody kitchen chair, especially the one that belongs to our lastborn. She will cry till her voice is heard by the neighboring palm-roofed houses. This means that you will sit on my mother old-wooden mortal – my father narrated.
My father sang this song to us, and I will teach my children the song. This is our country songs of hope. A never coming fourteen lined poem.
Youths are the leaders of tomorrow
Nigeria, my motherland will be great
The young shall grow
Go back to the farm, there is food to eat
The labours of our leaders past shall not be in vain
We are the centre-piece of Africa
unity, peace and justice shall reign
We are the giants of Africa
Remember to sing this song, especially the octave. Sing it with harps and lyre; with tambourine and dancing; with strings and pipe; with resounding cymbals. Sing the song … our songs of never coming hope
Let me state this emphatically; ‘this is one of the few countries in the world and one of the many in Africa were our politicians govern with careless abounding. Today, the ‘open conspiracy of silence’ in the killings of hundreds by the Fulani herdsmen, suggest how well our leaders politik even with the life of the common citizens. And when COW is involved, guess what? The politik becomes rougher. Better terms like ‘community clashes’ are keenly used to hide their conspired failure to act. To better defend you (in the termed communal clashes), they proffer for ‘cow colonies and grazing reserves’. What an irony. This is an aberration. It shows lost of confidence in our leaders’ ability to protect us. Then I sing for you, ‘peace and security shall reign’.
“The young shall grow and will definitely become the leader of tomorrow”…echoes line 1 and 3. The truth be told, ‘the young is growing dwarf and will remain a servant to tomorrow’. That may sound harsh, but it is the bitter-saving truth. The earlier you know it, the better freed you become. Now let me ask; how can they encourage the SME when they enrich themselves with importation? They continue to create UNemployment opportunities for the youth and crime enabling environment. How can you grow in an environment with the syndrome, ‘the old gets it all? Even in situation where there is a vacant seat to fill, you, I mean YOU…the less privileged youth who is neither connected nor has a godfather will never occupy that vacant post…better still, the DEAD would. And you still sing that you are the leaders of tomorrow- even of today, you are not. It is a song of hope.
The lyrics says; ‘everybody, (especially the youth) should go back to the farm’. What is the government holistic actions and blueprint to take us to the farm? Is it in the same farm where we risk our ordinary subsistence farm products as cow feeds or where we risk our life to Fulani herdsmen attacks? Even when they initiate programmes like the Operation Feed the Nation, they develop and convert it to private farm empires and in most cases share the funds/resources among the few privileged Napoleons. And I further ask; how can they green our nation when they own 10ens of oil wells? How can they build functional refineries and end the reoccurring fuel scarcity and price hike issues when they constitute large percentage of the marketers of petroleum products?
Now, we still hear the echoes of hope. A six line Change song. A sestet of hope. The verse2 of our sonnet, with no rhyming pattern. Sang with a loud cracking voice. Composed by the prayer worriers and sang by the ushers. A soar to our never-coming hope.
Change has come
We have defeated terrorism
We (will) create “thousands” of jobs for the youth.
We are fighting corruption
Fuel scarcity will end soon, just endure
We are supporting SME (the local made goods)
It is high time we leave the choir stand. A mental re-orientation spiced up with revolution can only change the fortunes of our lyrics. A break please, I need to clear my throats.
“Songs of Victory”: My Epic to my Motherland (II)….Ezenwoko Miracle (waiting…)

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4 Reasons ICM is One of the Best Things to Happen to Lagos

ICM (Ikeja City Mall) is a shopping center located at Alausa in Ikeja, Lagos State. It’s the first of its kind on the mainland metropolis of Lagos and includes specialist facilities for department stores, banks, cafes, bars, restaurants and hairdressing/beauty salons as well as a 5-screen cinema for movie viewing pleasure. There are many reasons why ICM is one of the best things to happen to Lagos but here are 4 major reasons.

icm

 It’s Easily Accessible

Aside having multiple entrances, ICM is in a relatively centralized location on the Mainland metropolis of Lagos which makes it easier to access from any location on the Mainland. This works well for many considering the center is a hub for engaging and relevant commercial as well as leisure activities (as highlighted earlier).

It’s a Hub for Commercial Activities

The shopping center is home to over 90 stores which include restaurants to enjoy varieties of delicious meals, fashion outlets for clothes and accessories shopping, a large groceries store packed full of an array of groceries and household items from different parts of the world, hair and makeup stores, banks, pharmacies, specialist clinics and even spas for catering to your body and health, as well as gadget shops for the sale and repair of varieties of gadgets and gadget accessories, etc.

It’s a Great Place to Relax and Unwind with Family and Friends

With so many facilities offering the promise of various interesting and engaging activities, ICM is indeed a great place to meet up with family/friends and have a good time, it was after all created with the aim of becoming a destination point that caters for all members of the family. Be it morning or night, there is something to do at every point in time for every type of person.

 It’s Home to a Number of Local and International Brands

This is great because it makes it easier to get products directly from the brand owners, thus reducing, if not totally eliminating the risk of purchasing fake or counterfeit items.

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How To Make Money From Nollywood Without Making Films

Hello people and hope you all are having a great time transitioning into this new year. I know the frequency of posts reduced for the last half of 2017. The Wedding Party 2 took a lot of my time and energy. I’m happy it was all worth it. I’m going to be sharing a lot from that experience in upcoming posts but today I have decided to touch on something I think about a lot. The industry is getting bigger but just like many things in Nigeria; we forget that different cogs make a clock turn. We all shouldn’t be making films because filmmaking is hot. We all should be thinking about the bigger picture. Building an industry that’s complete on all ends.

niyi akinmolayan

I turn down a lot of investors who just want to make films. They keep mentioning Mo Abudu and The Wedding Party but forget that before she made that Film, She had made “Fifty” and her TV station had commissioned lots of TV films and series. The success wasn’t overnight. There’s a curve and you really don’t need to go that far to cash in on the industry. Filmmaking is very stressful in Nigeria but this doesn’t necessarily have to be. The stress is usually because we tend to repeat processes and we don’t have service companies working with us on set. Its tedious and isn’t smart. I want to make a list of great business ideas that can help you make money in nollywood without knowing anything or much about films.

1. BASE CAMP TENTS (SALES/RENTALS)e9e6f1390327654ad4b1584180b512a8

THE PROBLEM: A base camp basically is a holding area for cast and crew. This is always necessary because most locations like Hotels won’t allow you loiter around their area. As basic as this sounds, 90% of nollywood sets don’t have base camps. Its always messy and time wasting. Actors also don’t have places they can change costume or just hang around and be divas.

THE SOLUTION: Design custom made tents and rent/sell. From experience, you will need like 3 different types.

An actors tent; This one should be confortable enough to keep them in. you can add fans as part of the package. Make it feel private maybe with zipper doors so our fine actors won’t have to be disturbed by razz people lol. This also gives space for them to rehearse and have meetings with director.

A Costume/Props tent: This tent would be enclosed and you can build it to support hangers. Costume people can quickly arrange their costumes and actors can go in to change without fear.

A Crew Tent/Video village: This would be the largest of the three tents. It’s best as an open tent but should come with long tables and chairs as part of the package. It can be used as a small office for production and can also have video monitors there for the Executive producers to see how the director is using their money…lol.

THE CHALLENGE: There are lots of designs online on building collapsible sets. It makes sense that you figure out the designs and build from locally sourced materials. It should be easy to set up and collapsible. This way you don’t need to send a team to always set it up. The production should be able to rent from you, follow a manual that you provide and set it up them selves. It might not make sense if they have to rent extra hands from you to do that. I’m not sure it makes sense to buy abroad as this might not allow you customize well and of course forex wahala. Also you get to employ people, which is always a good thing.

Sometimes you have to show people what they didn’t even think they needed. Do your math; once the rental is cheap and it should be, you will be in big money.

party.line.tents

  1. TROLLEYS (SALES/RENTALS)film-trolley

THE PROBLEM: We look ridiculous when moving equipment from location buses into sets. Most locations prefer you to be discrete and not draw attention to the fact that there’s filming going on. Nollywood is very clumsy with this. We were chased out of a hotel once because the guests were uncomfortable. I mean, people paid big money to hide their girlfriends away from their wives and you people want to spoil market abi.

THE SOLUTION: In Dubai, I noticed they actually built custom trolleys from basic hotel type trolleys for different purposes. It was so well made; they created slots in the trolleys to accommodate different types of lights and grips. So you know where to fit what. They also added something I consider really cool. The trolleys had fabric coverings from top to bottom with zippers. So no one ever knew we were carrying camera and light equipment around. Luckily for us, the location trucks had hydraulic landers so the crew just rolled the trolleys from the truck to the set. Nollywood really needs this because we usually rent equipment from different places and people. Good and efficient trolleys will keep us organized, keep our equipment well and speed up production.

THE CHALLENGE: I think this can be made locally. Either build from scratch or convert already existing ones. Keep the daily rent cost small and you will have business

 

  1. VIDEO MONITORING (RENTALS)niyi-n-mo

THE PROBLEM: Most filmmakers will agree with me that the ability to watch scenes remotely makes their lives better. Having a separate area for viewing can also keep producers away from interfering directly on set. One other great use is that an Executive producer might want to bring their friend, business partner or sponsor on set and would love them to watch the process. Remote viewing solves all that problem. The only time I have been able to use a video monitor was on the wedding party and I know a lot of big productions that don’t have. Also the few that have use wired monitors. They take a lot of time to set up, cables all over the place and are difficult to move around.

THE SOLUTION: Buy a pair of HD/SDI video monitors and wireless SDI transmitters. Most films are two camera shoots so you will need a pair to max out the rental possibilities. They will come with cables or you can buy. This way, you can make the wireless one a more expensive rental option. Here are some BH links

https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/buy/Wireless-A-V-Transmitters-Receivers/ci/16427/N/3907816634

https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1248684-REG/lilliput_bm150_4k_15_6_carry_on_rackable_4k_broadcast.html

THE CHALLENGE: Crew can be careless so for this you will need to attach at least one person to the set to keep an eye on your equipment.

 

  1. CAMERA ACCESSORIES (RENTAL)2

THE PROBLEM: I’m still shocked at this problem. You can hardly find basic things like matte boxes, Filters and worst of all, lenses to rent. Everywhere else in the world, those things come standard with camera rentals. Nigerian equipment owners just buy fancy cameras and forget the rest. There is a huge gap here. We couldn’t find polarizers in the whole Lagos for my recent TV shoot. Lack of polarizers is why you see crew showing on reflective surfaces…lol

THE SOLUTION: Buy these things (Lenses, Matteboxes, filters). Once the word is out there that you have them, you will constantly be in business.

THE CHALLENGE: Cinema Lenses are a bit expensive and we have very careless crew so think about that. You can buy a range. The cheaper ones (rokinons, canons) you can rent without attaching someone but the expensive ones (Cooke, Fujinon, Zeiss) must come with that as part of the rental package

 

  1. STEADICAM RENTAL (OR OTHER MOTION RIGS)7

THE PROBLEM: This one is a plague. There are no steadicams/steadicam operators anywhere. It’s a disaster and it’s the main reasons most of our films look visually unmotivated. What a lot of people don’t know is how effective and time saving steadicams are. There are now cheaper options like the RONINs but they are terrible with heavy camera setups. I know this one for free that anyone renting a steadicam can never go out of business.

THE SOLUTION: Buy at least two big ones if you have the money. I swear you will always be in business. There’s an entire society of steadicam operators in places like the UK and US. Check www.tiffen.com/steadicam for options and prices

THE CHALLENGE: a steadicam needs a good operator and that’s usually a challenge. What you can do is to find a DOP to partner with. Let him/her be comfortable in using your steadicam and only recommend them whenever someone wants to rent it. That way you make money for yourself and the DOP. You can also get someone to train for this or you can do it yourself. It takes a while to learn but its not rocket science.

 

  1. FOLLOW FOCUS SYSTEMS (RENTAL)follow focus

THE PROBLEM: Do you also want to know why we always have static shots even when we have tracks and sliders and all? Because we don’t have follow focus systems on set. Its crazy. This is 2018 and you can hardly find good focus pulling systems or focus pullers. A focus pulling system ensures that no matter how your camera moves, your characters are still in focus. It’s a major reason you like oyinbo films. It’s also why it’s hard for us to do great action sequences.

THE SOLUTION: Buy a wired/wireless focus pulling system. There are lots of options online. The wireless one is the best and you can rent it at a premium price. You also wont need to attach anyone to it because the production can usually find a focus puller and most assistant cameramen are learning how to use them. Here is a BH link

https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/buy/wireless-lens-control-systems/ci/23192/N/3989452947?origSearch=wireless+follow+focus

THE CHALLENGE. Just like the steadicam problem, because we have few focus pulling systems, we have very few good focus pullers. But the more this is available the better their skills can be.

 

  1. A REAL PRIVATE FILM SCHOOLnyc-acting-1

THE PROBLEM: Since I started my blog, a lot of people have asked me to start a film school but I don’t think too much about it. Why? A Film school should be a serious investment. I’m not talking about all the houses people convert and call film schools. I’m talking about a facility with a lot of land and space to practice. We are expanding as an industry but the human capacity isn’t. Eventually, more big films will be made with South African or UK crew. Olorunmaje!!

THE SOLUTION: the obvious one is to start with a land mass and build from there but that’s overthinking it. A lot of our “useless” tertiary institutions already have that, why not build a film school within an already existing tertiary institution. It’s a partnership that can be beneficial to both the school and the investor. Acting classes can happen in regular lecture rooms. Open fields will solve the problem of practical location training for cinematographers and the likes. You can think about it as an education franchise in select schools. I know this one is a no brainer. A lot of these young folks want to act and make film. Lets empower them early in places they are familiar with.

THE CHALLENGE: Money!! But like I said, if this is done in partnership with schools, it might work. The other challenge would be teachers because all the good filmmakers are busy making films but I guess this might not be a challenge if the remuneration is good.

 

I have spent a lot of time thinking about this post. We cant just all be making films. That’s not how you build an industry. there are other things from renting our real estate to building cranes and selling effects make up but my fingers hurt. If you are thinking about some of the ideas in this post but want to understand more. Drop a comment and I’ll explain better. Also share with people you know might be interested.

This post was first published on the author’s blog.

Categories
Articles Featured/Opinions

100 Happy New Year 2018 Messages And Wishes

No matter when you are reading this, let me say  Happy New Year 2018!

And what a wonderful way to start the new year by reading some sweet New Year Messages from your lover or loved ones?

Happy new year 2018 sms

Not just receiving Inspirational and Motivational New Year Messages, but also sending beautiful to those special people in your life.

 

And just so you know, these Inspirational New Year Messages can be sent not just to friends, lovers, loved ones, colleagues at work, but it comprises of the ones for yourself too.

 

If you have a creative and artistic streak, then use these Happy New Year messages to fill up beautiful cards.

 

Send these happy new year messages over email or mobile phones. One thing is for sure, it is sure to exude your emotions.

 

1.) Even in the darkest hours of your life, I will stand by your side holding onto the only candle and light up all the non-illuminated areas. May God shower you with all the happiness in the world! Happy New Year 2018!

2.) Hope these good wishes help you to celebrate an exciting and magical New Year. Wishing you a very Happy New Year.

 

3.) Cheers to the New Year, which will hopefully be full of good luck and happiness. Happy New Year!

 

4.) Distance might be keeping us apart but our hearts are together. Happy New Year to the joy of my life!

 

5.) May the new year be filled with brightness and hope so that darkness and sadness stay away from you. Happy New Year!

 

6.) Hope your New Year is filled with success, health, prosperity and happiness. Happy New Year!

 

7.) May you have a great year filled with immense happiness and luck! Stay in good health and achieve greater heights of success. Wishing you a wonderful year ahead!

 

8.) It’s New Year and the best time to renew your dictionary of life. Remove words like jealousy, hate, revenge, greed from your dictionary and put words like love, care, compassion, honesty and satisfaction in their place. This will ensure that you have a great and guilt-free year ahead.

 

9.) Having you in my life assures me that I have someone to depend upon and call up in times of need. As this year comes to an end, we see another year settling into our lives giving us another chance to be there for each other. Happy New Year!

 

10.) There are a lot of things in the world yet to be seen and experienced. Live your life, explore new horizons, go for new adventures this New Year and you will not regret it.

 

11.) This message is to convey my heartfelt greetings to you and your family. Hope you had a great year and will have even a better one this time. Spend time with your near and dear ones. Enjoy!

 

12.) Another brand new year is here so recharge your energies and get set to enjoy. Abandon all worries, doubts and fears and just follow the policy of laugh, love, live.

 

13.) 2018 is just around the corner, keep it in mind that you live only once, life is shorts, rules are meant to be broken and having fun and creating memories are all that counts.

 

14.) This New Year my wish for you is for days that are hassle free, of mind that is burden free and love that is condition free.

 

15.) Let’s make our New Year resolution to be there for each other and help fellow human beings in need even if we don’t know them personally. So come let’s spread some kindness and cheer!

 

16.) May the new sun of the New Year bring you power and vibrancy while the new moon of the New Year brings you peace and tranquility!

 

17.) Hope every good present day in the New Year serves as a valuable treasure for a better tomorrow. Enjoy the New Year.

 

18.) All through the previous years I have bugged and irritated the hell out of you. Today, at the beginning of a new year I want to promise you that I am going to continue doing it this year too. Good luck with that!

 

19.) Even if it’s a new year and things may change, I hope to continue our partnership and keep up this bond efficiently for many more years to come. Wish you a great new year!

 

20.) Years come and go, but this year I particularly wish you double the dose of health and happiness topped with a whole lot of love. Happy New Year!

 

21.) Knock Knock! I am the New Year and I am here with all the love, happiness, blessings and good fortune for you. Let me in with open arms.

 

22.) Years may come and go but our friendship will last a lifetime and we’ll never be foes. Therefore, before the sun gets to set, I’m wishing you a happy and fabulous New Year.

 

23.) As we log out of the previous year and log into this year, I am sending you heartfelt wishes full of love, luck, happiness and mirth. Happy New Year!

 

24.) Hope that all your troubles and pain last only as long as your New Year resolutions. Happy New Year!

 

25.) There’s an unbolted door awaiting you with heaps of opportunities on the other side of it. Grab hold of those this New Year and have a successful year ahead.

 

26.) May God shower you with 12 months of happiness, 52 weeks of enjoyment, 365 days of achievements, 8760 hours of good luck, 52600 minutes of good health and 31536000 seconds of ecstasy and bliss! Happy New Year!

 

27.) This New Year I am searching for a bank that’s going to give me a big loan and then forget me forever. Do let me know if you find one! Happy New Year btw!

 

28.) As the entire world around us grows older by an year, I hope you possess a heart that remains as youthful and cheerful as always.

 

New Year Messages

29.) Maybe this New Year is going to be the one that fulfills all your dreams and so start it with a joyful and a vibrant soul! Here’s wishing you a prosperous new year!
30.) I wanted to stop all my negative propensities for the up and coming year; however then I understood that no one enjoys a loser.

 

31.) May all the seconds, minutes, hours, days, weeks and months of this New Year bring you immense joy and luck! Happy New Year!

 

32.) We should thank God for opening yet another new page of our lives. Hope to live each moment to the fullest.

 

33.) Here is a gift of love, wrapped with care, tied with good faith and sealed with heartfelt wishes. Happy New Year!

 

34.) May each day of the upcoming year bring happiness, excitement and sweet surprises on your doorstep! Wishing you and all your dear ones a fabulous New Year.

 

35.) Forget all the pain, sorrows and failures of the past year. Welcome this year with a true and big smile. Happy New Year!

 

36.) The New Year is the perfect time to unfold new horizons and realizing all dreams. Rediscover the strength and courage that lies within you and continue to move forward.

 

37.) May you be blessed this new year
with inner peace, true love and unconditioned joy!
Happy New Year!

 

38.) On the New Year, we look back on all the warm memories, feel proud of our achievements and take a lesson from our previous mistakes. Have a year filled with endless fun and laugher.

 

39.) Prior to the sunrise of the first sun of 2018, let me paint all the rays with blessings of success and happiness for you. Here’s wishing you a wonderful New Year!

 

40.) As we enter this New Year together, let’s promise to always be there for each other and rise above every fall and shortcoming. Happy New Year!

 

41.) When you are on the road to success, the most important rule is to keep going forward and never look back. May you reach your goal and have a worthwhile journey!

 

42.) In this New Year, let’s make a promise to oneself. A promise to be a better human being, a better family person and most importantly a better citizen for our country.

 

43.) Nights are dark but days are bright, keep your head and heart in a place that’s right. Don’t get sad as it’s almost near. Yes! We are talking about an upcoming New Year.

 

44.) My good wishes for you are just not confined to the upcoming year but for many more years to come. Have a rocking New Year!

 

45.) 2017 is going out… New Year 2018 is coming in! Do a twist turn, a turn and dance all night long. Wishing you 365 days of total fun and enjoyment.

 

46.) If you are happy, celebrate this New Year with a smile on your face. If you are not happy, still do so to make your near and dear ones smile this New Year.

 

47.) There are things that are left undone or some things left unsaid but what can’t be left undone is wishing you a happy New Year.

 

48.) Be grateful that you could see a New Year in your life again. Learn from your past flaws and take on the world in high spirits!

 

49.) Wishing you a very happy New Year! Celebrate the day with your loved ones and ring in the New Year with lots of joy!

 

50.) May God shower you and your dear ones with all the love, luck and happiness in the world! Best wishes and seasons greeting for the New Year from me to you.

 

51.) On this celebratory occasion, hope you have a fabulous January, peaceful February, enjoyable March, lovely April, stress-free May, joyous June, happy July, blessed August, wonderful September, festive October, nice November and ultimately the happiest December! And last but not at all the least, have the most exciting and charming New Year.

 

 

 

New Year Messages and SMS

New Year Messages and SMS

52.) Even if every sunset takes away a day from our lives, every sunrise brings with it a new day filled with hopes and opportunities exclusively for us. Utilize each day to the fullest potential.

53.) Nobody can go back in time to change one’s faults or mistakes. So stop thinking about the past, work on the present to make a brighter future.

 

54.) You are on to better times, look past all demotivating causes of your life and strive ahead.

 

55.) Attain those wings and soar to new heights! Flourish and bloom your fullest this New Year.

 

56.) Let there be joy in your homes and warmth in your heart. As the New Year approaches, hope it brings along good tidings and love for you!

 

57.) As the New Year finds its way through the snowy winter nights, here’s sending you a warm hello and a tight hug! Happy New Year!

 

58.) You are a dreamer,
and you are a doer.
May you perform and achieve bigger accomplishments,
with every year bygone.
All the best for the New Year.

 

59.) Compose the greatest story you can for yourself. Open the new book of a New Year and start writing!

 

60.) May each day that you wake up, the sight in the mirror delight you and in turn you delight whoever you meet! Spread happiness and cheer this New Year!

 

61.) As the dawn of the New Year approaches, it promises you a better and fulfilling tomorrow.

 

62.) Forget all the unpleasant experiences of the previous year and look forward to the happy things kept in store for you.

 

63.) Cheers to a New Year coming up! Have an enjoyable one!

 

64.) New Year is not only about changing the dates but the whole direction. May the year be filled with cheer and gaiety.

 

65.) May the bad times bring in the ray of hope this New Year.

 

66.) May the New Year bring in new hopes, newer resolutions and new happiness.

 

67.) As the year ends, may all negativity and difficulties end too; may the New Year usher in only all that are positive.

 

68.) May each day of the New Year bring you pleasant surprises like the curled petals of a flower that spread sweet fragrance slowly as it unfolds layer by layer.

 

69.) May the New Year bring your way plethora of opportunities that allow you to weave success stories.

 

70.) As the world grows another year older I wish you to have a heart that remains youthful and cheerful New Year and always.

 

71.) My wishes for you are not restricted to only the following year but rather to every one of the all the years that you live, in this life and beyond. Have a happening New Year ahead.

 

72.) This New Year may you banish all your fears, doubts and worries as you make room for dreams, aspirations and joys.

 

73.) As this year is packing its bag, I wish for you that all the pessimism and troubles also do likewise, and the New Year bring achievement and coveted results for you.

 

74.) Every New Year we dream of a better world for us and ours. This Year let us take up the onus to make the world a better place for you, me and everyone else.

 

75.) This New Year may you have the strength to rewrite the story of your life the way you want it to be.

 

76.) This New Year never let sorrow and dismay cloud your clarity and positivity, for it is the latter virtues that would help to bring in sunshine to your life.

New Year Message 2018

77.) Remember that no New Year can be perfect. But you need to ignore the negative and embrace the positive.

 

78.) This New Year may you dive into your soul and form an everlasting friendship with yourself.

 

79.) May each day of the New Year be celebratory with you surrounded by those who care.

 

80.) This New Year I wish you to have an open mind for you never know what little surprises life may throw your way.

 

81.) This New Year I hope that each step you take is guided by the blessings of God.

 

82.) No Year can be a bed of roses. But I wish you courage and confidence to turn each obstacle into opportunity during the coming New Year.

 

83.) May your New Year be as bright as the sunshine and as fragrant as the flowers.

 

84.) May all your dreams from the last year turn into achievements during this New Year.

 

85.) This New Year as you march towards fulfilling all your dreams may no fear come in your way to block your path.

 

86.) May the old year take away all the sorrows and miseries as it goes by and fill up your upcoming days with sunshine and happiness now and always.

 

87.) This New Year may you find a loving yet firm hand of friendship and companionship each time you stretch out yours.

 

88.) Genuine success comes only to those who are ready for it. So never step back and always have courage to accept new challenges. Wishing you a very happy new year 2018.

 

89.) Let me wish you a very Happy New Year before the phone lines get jammed and internet hanged. Happy New Year 2018 !

 

90.) Let’s have party coz it’s New Year time. Celebrate Happy New Year 2018 with me all the night, so that we can end the year together and start the new year together.

 

91.) May you get succeed in the year 2018 and achieve all your goals you have set.

 

92.) New Year arrives with hopes and it gives us new courage and belief for a very new start. Wish you a very Happy New Year.

 

93.) Cheers to all .. ! New year 2018 is about to come. Before my mobile network gets jammed let me wish you a very happy new year..

 

94.) May the New Year give you the strength to face the challenges of life and courage to adjust the sail so as to take every situation to your stride.

 

95.) New Year is the time to remember all the memories we share, all the fun things we did, all the secrets we poured out for distance is the last thing that can create a rift in our friendship.

 

96.) May this New Year give you the courage to triumph over your vices and embrace the virtues.

 

97.) This year lets make a promise to follow the resolutions you make more strictly and achieve what you truly desire in your life..

 

New Year SMS

98.) When the New Year arrives, it brings new ideas and hopes for us to make our lives good to better and better to best. Happy New Year !

 

99.) The New Year gives you fresh 365 days to play with – fill them up with whatever your heart desires so that you have no regrets at the end of the annual cycle.

 

100.) Along with all the new hopes and promises that the New Year would bring Hope it also brings us a lot more opportunities to work together. Wish you a very Happy and Successful Year ahead