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YOUR GREATEST ENEMY AND YOUR GREATEST FRIEND IS YOU

The truth forever remains that you are your greatest friend or enemy. When people are against you, you must learn to be for you. When people are pulling you down, you must learn to pull yourself up. 

You are you worst enemy when you do not believe in yourself. Be your greatest cheerleader. When things are going against you, learn to give yourself a pep talk. 

I have encountered times in my life when things were so bad and I was so confused but I had to calm myself down and controlled my mind and gradually things began to turn green for good.

Learn to take charge of your mind and everything will gradually fall into pleasant places.


Be your best friend by telling yourself truth, no matter how hard it may be.


I wish you all the best.

Yours in life betterment,

Ifeanyi Enoch Onuoha
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Osita Eze, Youth Pastor
Posted 25 Days ago · 0 Likes · 0 Comments


 

     Permit me to begin by commending the efforts of Senator AbiodunOlujimi for initiating the Gender Equality Bill recently rejected by members of the house of Senate. An erudite person may want to find out what the bill is all about. The bill proposed by Senator Abiodun Olujimi on the 15th of March, 2016 was to guarantee gender equality in politics, education, employment and marriage. The bill also seeks to protect the female gender against gender discrimination. The bill was rejected by a larger number of Senators in Nigeria because an aspect of the bill does not agree with what our traditional and reIigious institutions preach.

In my opinion, the bill is worth the consideration of members of Senate for many reasons.

     Firstly, I believe that there would be no meaningful development in every sector of Nigeria’s economy without the maximum involvement of the female gender in nation-building. The female gender is capable of increasing the financial, intellectual and technological base of Nigeria if given equal opportunities and rights as given to their male counterparts.

     Secondly, the rejection of the bill will never makeNigeria achieve conformity with the United Nations Conventions on gender issues. The poor representation of female gender in Nigeria in workplaces, educational institutions and governmental agencies will continue to negate international, regional and national benchmarks of at least thirty percent representation of the female gender generally agreed upon by members of the United Nations of which Nigeria is an active part of.

     Furthermore, everybody in spite of gender is created with specific talent and skill which needs to be expressed. Equal rights and opportunities to employment and education will provide an enabling environment for the female’s personal development and give them a senseof belonging to a nation which has their interest at heart. The female constitutes about sixty percent of Nigeria’s population, yet they occupy less than fifteen percent of the political postsin the national, state and local government levels-a trend which does not speak well of Nigeria as the most populous black nation on earth. The female gender must be given their place of pride in the scheme of things. The law will serve as the template to achieve this. The bill must not be delayed but immediately passed into law.

     Lastly, the rejection of the bill will only continue to promote gender discrimination and this will continue to make women insecure, deny them meaningful employment, expose them to exploitation and sexual violence and encourage other discriminatory practices against women. To avoid all these, the Nigerian Senate must therefore wake up to its task of making credible laws and accept the Gender Equality Bill presented before it. Its failure to do this would simply mean one thing: hatred for their wives, mothers, sisters and daughters.

    However, while the above-listed reasons may be valid, I have a few reservations on the aspect of the bill that emphasizes gender equality in marriage. I am of the opinion that a woman may not enjoy equality with her husband in the true sense of the word.This is because our traditional and religious institutions do not preach gender equality in marriage. The men have always been the leaders of their various families and have always been responsible for their welfare. Their authority to lead is believed to have been bestowed on them by God Almighty.No one dare alter this natural order.

    In addition, male and female were created with physiological and behavioural differences. They were never created to be competitors-they have their areas of strengths and weaknesses. Each of them must discover and learn to cherish these differences in their own interests.While it is true that men and women were created to play different but complementary social roles, it is important that men should stand and speak up for the women in their lives. Defensive mechanisms that would promote the welfare of their female counterparts should be put in place.

    In the interim, it is advisable that Senator Abiodun Olujimi should take into consideration some of the sentiments expressed by her colleagues especially on issues pertaining to gender equality, make basic amendments on the bill and re-present it to the Senate.

    In conclusion, I want to state this clearly that the Gender Equality Bill is not a battle of the sexes; it is not a bill that removes the submissiveness of women to their husbands neither is it a bill that seeks to erode the responsibility of the women in her home. It only seeks to give the woman more opportunity to assist herself and the man in the home. It is a bill that will benefit the men andthe society at large.

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As a handsome and visionary young man, I wanted to marry the only beautiful daughter of a farmer.


I went to the farmer to ask for permission to marry his daughter.


The farmer looked at me and said, “I will allow you to marry my daughter but you have to fullfill one condition.”


The farmer told me the condition, “Son go out and stand out in the field. I'm  going to release three bulls one at a time and you have to grab the tail of any of the three bulls. if you can catch the tail of any one of the three bulls, then you can marry my daughter.”


Ahhh just that, I happily went to the field and stood there waiting for the bulls to be released.


The barn door opened and then came out one of the biggest bull i have ever seen.


Haaa I cannot come and kill myself ooo,  I decided to let this one go and wait for the second bull.


I went over to the other side and let the bull pass through. Again, the barn opened for the second bull. This one was bigger and even more fierce than the previous bull. This time again, I thought that may be the next one could be a better choice so i ran to the other side and let the bull pass through. This man wants to kill me ooo 


Now the door opened for the third bull. I had a big smile on my face. This was the weakest bull I've ever seen. So i positioned myself and was all set to take on the bull and grab his tail.


As the bull came running by, I jumped at the exact movement. As I  threw my hands to grab his tail, to my greatest surprise, this bull had no tail. 


Wooooooo so I've lost my chances of marrying this beautiful girl.


The farmer turned to me and said " Don't say till tomorrow to the things you can achieve today. your breakthrough was just an action away from you, but you missed it twice. I'm sorry, you can't have my daughter." Na so I take go house empty handed oo. 


How many times have you said " I'll do it tomorrow to the things you can do today"?


Six sure ways to avoid procrastination


1. Do it scared

2. Do it now

3. Do it scared

4. Do it now

5. Do it scared

6. Do it now


Remember that action is what separates dreamers from achievers.


It's another beautiful week, let's choke procrastination starting from now, today and everyday.


Val Okafor

Effective Leadership and Productivity Strategist 

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Updated 2 Months ago · 0 Likes · 0 Comments

Book Title: Verdict of the Gods

Playwright: Iwu Jeff

Publisher: Transconventional Publishers

Date Published: July, 2020

ISBN: 978-978-979-443-0

Number of Pages: 84

Reviewer: Nwokeabia, Ifeanyi John.



When gods choose not to let the rain drop, the effort of a rain maker is in vain. The birds of the air always feel betrayed and confused when a thunderous fart is released in the air by an unknown spirit. The land, water and the entire space of Achara which has experienced in the past, peace and transquility, turns into a mourning zone. Night visited Achara community in a broad daylight.Iwu Jeff's play, Verdict of the Gods is an epic tragedy. It exposes a land in turmoil. But the big question is: can sins of fathers be visited on their children?

Sleep has become a stranger to the eyes of the citizens of Achara. Eze Obioha, the traditional ruler of the community is disturbed;  his emotions restless. An elder cannot fold his arms and watch a goat suffer in parturition. He seeks measures to dispel the spell wreaking havoc in his land as a leader who has the well being of the people at heart, and consequently, his family suffers the same endemic,. He's traumatised and unrelentingly quests for answers and solutions to the plight of his people.

In page 9 of the play: 

EZE OBIOHA : My daughters are down, they can no longer speak...we have followed every smell our nose can perceive, yet we have not seen any rotten thing. Where is the smell of evil coming from? Oh! My ancestors, please give us another eye, another nose, another ear and mouth. The ones we are wearing have no use ... Our gods are silent my people. I am not spared from this calamity. The spell is everywhere...

Eze Obioha being a leader who feels the pain of his people, he continually summons his cabinet members to put heads together to find lasting solutions to their problems. The cry of his people has become a thorn on his fresh and he sometimes laments to the gods questioning them on the ways his community or himself has wronged them.

In pag 77, he has this to say:

EZE OBIOHA: ...my son died two nights ago; before he died, an extra hand came out through his chest. My daughter was suddenly struck with imbecility... Who did my fathers offend?

Countless questions are asked and ountless visitations, made to the shrine of different Dibias but all efforts prove abortive. The gods remain remain 'mute' and 'tongue-tied', refusing to draw humans to the closer view of their boiling angers. Drought and famine become two beautiful maid married without a bride price, gummed like bedbugs to their land and refusing to leave. Death toll keeps multiplying on daily basis. The living prefers death as solutions are not in sight. Who will save the dying land?

Amidst the seriousness of the play, Iwu introduces two characters: Ezemma and Nwokeocha, who are members of the cabinet to ease the tension arouse by the unfolding events. These two revered men help to crack the ribs of the readers with comic banter.

In page 20;

EZEMMA: what am I saying? Wisdom! Wisdom! Igwe, I am full of...[Nwokeocha intrudes]

NWOKEOCHA [scornfully] Madman!

EZEMMA: will you shut up and listen to...

NWOKEOCHA: What wisdom can one possibly get from a lunatic? I do not blame you; a child that suckled a goat's milk will definitely act like a goat even in his old age. You need to return to your mother in her grave so you can have a taste of her breast milk.

EZEMMA: [Rises and faces Nwokeocha] How dare you call my dead mother into this? I see, you have really want to show me that you have grown enough hairs around your manhood.

ELDERS: Chai! [Elders exclaim, laughing and turning left and right] Enough!

NWOKEOCHA: [Stands up, pointing a finger at Ezemma] And you whose hairs are now overgrown into a forest, you need to be weeded...

This play is both revelational and revolutional. On the former, Iwu reveals that there's more to scapegotism as a concept. Some great African writers Wole Soyinka, Femi Osofisan and a host of others in their various plays, but Verdict of the Gods introduces a new scapegotism. However, on the latter, it demolishes the stereotype created  in most African writings, where the  God of the new religion is often given ultimate power of purifying African lands of its mess. In Verdict of the Gods, it is different as the  African gods reign supreme in sanctifying their people and their lands of sins.

The masterful ink of the playwright is laudable in his ability to select suitable words for his characters. The social standing of his characters are discernable through the quality of their language. Every scene in this play is opened with a beautiful African proverb dancing into your eyes and the use of African proverbs by the characters show the rich culture of Achara community.

The cover design of the play has great significance in the over development and arrangement of the play. Its from cover has the head of three gods joined together in a threesome unity. However, the play is not arranged in Acts and Scenes but it's divided into three - Beginning, Middle and End. The use of three gods has Biblical allusion of God the Father, Son and HolySpirit. That's, the Trinity in one God. In this play, one discovers that these Gods are one and their verdict is equally one. Despite the deviation from play's convention of Acts and Scenes, the play maintains the three unity of place, time and event which solidifies its beauty as a play. Although some might raise alarm on his use of uppercase in 'Gods' but I don't think he has committed as grammatical blunder on that. I think, it's a question of choice.


The Playwright 

Iwu Jeff ( Iwuchukwu Jephta) is an award-winning writer who has written in the three genres of literature - poetry, drama and prose. His works have gained homes in different Anthologies and online publication.

From the beginning, through the middle and to the end, the play is suspensely decorated and readers won't have any reason to drop it for a moment until one gets to the very end. Are you ready to discover the verdict of the gods for Achara people? Are you equally ready to discover how a wounded lion got its healing balm? Grab your own copy of Verdict of the Gods.

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AN UNPALATABLE PANDEMIC HITS HUMANITY 

BY MUOMA VALENTINE CHIBUEZE 

An unpalatable pandemic hits humanity,

Causing pandemonium

Ravaging nations of the world

Has succeeded in holding us apart

in the name of social distance

Isolation, quarantine, lockdown, sickness, fear, panic, hunger has become the order of the day


Those who are sick now fear going to the hospital

For fear of being suspected of COVID-19

Even those with the virus are scared of opening up

For fear of being segregated

Thereby infecting others

Increasing the spread the virus.


The pandemic has become a throb in our neck

Its tremulous beats wake trenchant

Its stings becoming catastrophic to the well-being of the nation

The number of cases keep raising daily and has become a plethora


The social media has become agents of adulterated news

Bringing forth absurd means of combating the virus

Propagating outrageous number of cases

Creating panic, fear and chaos in the land.


Observing safety tips is the only panacea to contending the virus

Anything contrary exacerbates the pandemic

Continuous public health enlightenment Should be accessible to everyone.


Corrections of fallacies on the spread of the virus 

Is our collective responsibility

Looking out for one another is imperative

With all these measures on ground

We can successfully overcome this unpalatable pandemic.


ABOUT THE POET

Muoma Valentine Chibueze is a poet, essayist and motivational speaker. He is currently a student of Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka.

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Teo Han Siang
Updated 2 Months ago · 0 Likes · 0 Comments

Financial reports are critical since they contain significant information about the financial health of a business. These reports allow business owners to make an informed decision as they highlight which companies’ areas offer the best return-on-investment. Unless exempted, companies in Singapore are mandated to file their financial reports or statements with ACRA. The reports must abide by the Singapore Financial Reporting Standards or SFRS that the Accounting Standards Council issued.

Other benefits of financial reporting include:

  • Enhanced debt management: Regardless of the business sector, debt can cripple the company’s development all the same. Financial reports allow companies to track their current assets divided by their current liabilities on their balance to help gauge their liquidity and handle their debts accordingly.
  • Identification of trend: Financial statements allow business owners to spot trends, both past and the present, which empower them to overcome potential weaknesses while assisting them in making improvements that will be beneficial to their business’s overall health.
  • Real-time tracking: By getting access to centralised, real-time insights, business owners would be able to make informed business decisions swiftly, hence, preventing any possible hurdles while keeping their financial fluidity all the time.
  • Liabilities management: Proper liabilities management is a vital part of the ongoing financial health of the company. Examples of integral liabilities include business loans and credit cards. The financial statements allow business owners to determine whether they need to decrease existing liabilities before making an official business loan application.

Business entities exempted from the financial report filing are as follows:

  • Partnerships, including limited partnerships
  • Sole proprietorships
  • Solvent EPCs or Exempt Private Companies. While solvent EPCs are exempted, they are encouraged to file their financial statements.
  • Dormant unlisted companies, which are dormant from their establishment’s time or since the end of the past financial year.

To ensure accurate and legally compliant financial reporting, business owners should seek assistance from reputable Singapore accounting services. When selecting accounting services in Singapore, be sure to consider factors like the agency’s credibility, reliability, industry expertise, pricing model, and extra services.

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Posted 3 Months ago · 0 Likes · 0 Comments

Posted By Izunna Okafor



"Cry Of The Forest", a popular short story by award-winnig Nigerian writer, Godwin Cornelius Udagbor, has been translated into Hindi, an Indian Language. The translation was carried out by an Indian writer, Mrs Rukiya Begum, a poet, famous for works in her country, India.


Earlier in 2018, Cry Of The Forest received powerful recommendation from two Indian Literary giants; Professor Sahjahan Ali Ahmed and Dr Rajdeep Chowdhury. Udagbor’s work has been flying since its publication in 2018.


It has been revealed that Rukiya Begum began the translation in March 2020 and finished it in June of the same year.


Information has it that a mass production of the newly translated work is in progress, following useful negotiations between the author, Godwin Udagbor, his legal team, and the translator, Mrs Rukiya Begum.


The translator has been an avid (online) admirer of "Cry Of The Forest" and its author, an admiration that eventually culminated to such an intellectual relationship. Their online discussion invariably centered on  Polygamy.



Polygamy has two faces however; and in Africa, it implies a man marrying more than one wife simultaneously. In India it is Polyandry, that is, a woman marrying more than two husbands, to contrast with the popular African notion of Polygamy.



Presumably, it was this shocking contrast that magnetized Mrs Rukiya Begum that she decided not to let it go unattended to; hence, she decided to translate, from English to Hindi, Godwin Cornelius Udagbor’s bombshell as far she is concerned.


On his part, the author, Godwin Udagbor wishes that he could speak and write Hindi to enable him know and feel the emotions of a Hindi reader who has just discovered that, on the same planet earth, lives another version of the Polygamy their tradition has always fed them with.


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Osita Eze, Youth Pastor
Posted 4 Months ago · 0 Likes · 0 Comments

     Sometime ago, I attended a youth programme and overheard one of the high-ranking priests lamenting that many of the youths in the Anglican Church are breaking their (spiritual) fathers’ hearts by relocating to the Pentecostal circle especially after they had invested so much virtues in them.  Several questions came up in my mind when I heard this statement. (1). Is it really compulsory for a Christian youth to remain permanently in the church/ denomination he was born into? My answer to that question is “No”. If God is leading a Christian youth to relocate to another church especially if he or she is no longer enjoying spiritual balanced diet, he or she should by no means move on to another church.

(2). Must all outstanding Christian youths become members of the hierarchical pastoral order of a church? My answer is “No”. If God has not called a youth into the ministry let no pastor or priest ‘call’ him into any of the five-fold ministries.  He or she should not be cajoled or pressurized into accepting such ‘call’. Otherwise that would amount to asking the young man or woman to take on more responsibilities than he or she was created/destined to handle.

(3). Is it really wrong for a member of a church or denomination to attend programmes of other churches or denominations? My answer is “No”. It is quite alarming that several Christian leaders had promoted and are still promoting disunity by discouraging their younger followers from attending meetings or fellowship organized by other church leaders or even interact with other Christians no matter how spiritual or godly they are.  Some of them even go to the extent of suspending those who attended such programmes from their responsibility (ies) in church. Let us stop the hypocrisy. Pray for unity in the Body of Christ, preach unity in the Body of Christ and practice unity in the Body of Christ.

(4). Is it compulsory for a Christian youth to remain bounded to his or her church/denomination by marrying a fellow believer from his or her church? Marrying a believer from your church/ denomination is a good idea but it is advisable that a Christian marries a man or woman that fears God, irrespective of his or her denomination.

     Please do not get me wrong. It is not that I do not care about the emotional pains pastors go through each time their followers relocate to another church for whatever reason. I do but the best bet is that pastors and priests should learn to release people from their hearts when they leave the churches they oversee without hurting themselves or anyone. It is also important for a pastor or priest to identify and discover the departments or units of his church where more hands are needed and personally ask the Lord of the harvest to send more labourers to meet those specific needs in the church he pastors.

                                                                                                        

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Osita Eze, Youth Pastor
Posted 6 Months ago · 0 Likes · 0 Comments

As Christians who believe in God, we are channels of God’s power to the outside world. God’s power is a spiritual liquid formula that serves as a deposit of His presence in every believer. It is a life-giving power that flows from within thus bringing healing and divine health to the church and conviction in the hearts of those who hear us. Unfortunately, we have lost it. We no longer preach to the peoples of the world by the assistance of God’s tangible power. The church has become entangled with worldliness and is struggling to come out of it.

     What can be the probable factors responsible for this? There are four basic factors responsible for the seizure of God’s power in our generation. They are:

1. Lack of focus: A lot of times, we, the church has failed to take the river of God’s powerto places where it is needed. We only concentrate it on our church or denomination activities and programmes. We have become too self-centred to the extent that we no longer care to do something positive about reaching out to those outside the four walls of our church building and denomination. We now give priority to building of cathedrals and raising of millionaires instead of preaching and teaching the whole counsel of God to our hearers. We are divided by our various church doctrines rather than the finality of the Scripture.

2. Because there are holes in the riverbeds: Oftentimes, when there is a heavy downpour from the sky, water does not always flow easily to places where it is needed because of the presence of potholes.These holes serve as a limit to the flow of the deluge of water.

We are the channels through which God demonstrates His mighty power to the world. When there are holes in our lives as a church, the river of His power sinks without flowing. For instance, many people go for ordination into any of the five-fold ministries of Jesus Christ-Apostle, Prophet, Evangelist, Pastor and Teacher without being adequately prepared for this spiritual assignment. Many of them do not submit themselves to godly discipleship. They have become spiritual bastards and have thus taught their followers to be same with them. They are without spiritual guide and mentoring.

     Some churches and para-church organizations are employing poor individuals and young unemployed graduates as pastors in their denomination for the sake of God’s kingdom and their denomination’s expansion. Some don’t even have well prepared follow-up outlines for their converts. They simply leave and expose them to greater influence of the world and the devil.

3. Because too many people depend on our river: Pastors with experiential daily knowledge of God are the most strategic change agents to deal with the problems in our society. Many church attendees look up to their pastors for help and solution to their spiritual problems. They see him as a person without weaknesses and problems.They throng into his office and home even at odd hours for counseling and prayers. They don’t do this with the intention of wearing out the pastor. But in actual sense, every true pastor called of God will always want to help their members because it is his responsibility.

     When people draw too much virtue from the pastor without him going back to God to be refilled with spiritual strength, God’s power will not flow to other people’s direction. Jesus understood this fact. And the scriptures records that each time He ministered healing to the sick andoppressed, virtues flows out of Him. He returned to God to be filled with new power and anointing. He did not rely on yesterday’s revelation and anointing for today’s ministration. It was each day, new revelation. He was always retreating from activities and from the multitudes to regain new strength. The reverse is now the case with many pastors and Christian leaders who have become empty cisterns because they no longer go on spiritual retreats.

4. When there are limitations: Sin and inconsistency in observing our consecration are limiting factors to the flow of God’s power. When a minister does not pay proper attention to his strengths and deal with his weaknesses, there is the tendency for him to see more of his weaknesses than his strength.

     A lot of times when God speaks or instructs us to deny ourselves of certain pleasures so that we can be more sensitive to Him, we see Him as a wicked God who forces His will on us. As a result, we begin to rely more on our strength rather than on our God. Samson, in the Bible at a point was no longer committed to his consecration. He reliedon his physical strength rather than God. He almost lost out of God’s plan for his life if not for the mercy of God that prevailed over him. The lesson here is this: Sin is a reproach and it has the capacity to block the flow of God’s power to our generation.

     To clear the blocked channels of God’s rivers of living water, Christians must have faith in Christ and obey His teachings. Jesus said: “He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water” (John 7:38, NKJV). Prompt obedience to the words of Christ is the secret to blessing our generation with the rivers of living waters which is evidently needed in our world today. 

 

As Christians who believe in God, we are channels of God’s power to the outside world. God’s power is a spiritual liquid formula that serves as a deposit of His presence in every believer. It is a life-giving power that flows from within thus bringing healing and divine health to the church and conviction in the hearts of those who hear us. Unfortunately, we have lost it. We no longer preach to the peoples of the world by the assistance of God’s tangible power. The church has become entangled with worldliness and is struggling to come out of it.

     What can be the probable factors responsible for this? There are four basic factors responsible for the seizure of God’s power in our generation. They are:

1. Lack of focus: A lot of times, we, the church has failed to take the river of God’s powerto places where it is needed. We only concentrate it on our church or denomination activities and programmes. We have become too self-centred to the extent that we no longer care to do something positive about reaching out to those outside the four walls of our church building and denomination. We now give priority to building of cathedrals and raising of millionaires instead of preaching and teaching the whole counsel of God to our hearers. We are divided by our various church doctrines rather than the finality of the Scripture.

2. Because there are holes in the riverbeds: Oftentimes, when there is a heavy downpour from the sky, water does not always flow easily to places where it is needed because of the presence of potholes.These holes serve as a limit to the flow of the deluge of water.

We are the channels through which God demonstrates His mighty power to the world. When there are holes in our lives as a church, the river of His power sinks without flowing. For instance, many people go for ordination into any of the five-fold ministries of Jesus Christ-Apostle, Prophet, Evangelist, Pastor and Teacher without being adequately prepared for this spiritual assignment. Many of them do not submit themselves to godly discipleship. They have become spiritual bastards and have thus taught their followers to be same with them. They are without spiritual guide and mentoring.

     Some churches and para-church organizations are employing poor individuals and young unemployed graduates as pastors in their denomination for the sake of God’s kingdom and their denomination’s expansion. Some don’t even have well prepared follow-up outlines for their converts. They simply leave and expose them to greater influence of the world and the devil.

3. Because too many people depend on our river: Pastors with experiential daily knowledge of God are the most strategic change agents to deal with the problems in our society. Many church attendees look up to their pastors for help and solution to their spiritual problems. They see him as a person without weaknesses and problems.They throng into his office and home even at odd hours for counseling and prayers. They don’t do this with the intention of wearing out the pastor. But in actual sense, every true pastor called of God will always want to help their members because it is his responsibility.

     When people draw too much virtue from the pastor without him going back to God to be refilled with spiritual strength, God’s power will not flow to other people’s direction. Jesus understood this fact. And the scriptures records that each time He ministered healing to the sick andoppressed, virtues flows out of Him. He returned to God to be filled with new power and anointing. He did not rely on yesterday’s revelation and anointing for today’s ministration. It was each day, new revelation. He was always retreating from activities and from the multitudes to regain new strength. The reverse is now the case with many pastors and Christian leaders who have become empty cisterns because they no longer go on spiritual retreats.

4. When there are limitations: Sin and inconsistency in observing our consecration are limiting factors to the flow of God’s power. When a minister does not pay proper attention to his strengths and deal with his weaknesses, there is the tendency for him to see more of his weaknesses than his strength.

     A lot of times when God speaks or instructs us to deny ourselves of certain pleasures so that we can be more sensitive to Him, we see Him as a wicked God who forces His will on us. As a result, we begin to rely more on our strength rather than on our God. Samson, in the Bible at a point was no longer committed to his consecration. He reliedon his physical strength rather than God. He almost lost out of God’s plan for his life if not for the mercy of God that prevailed over him. The lesson here is this: Sin is a reproach and it has the capacity to block the flow of God’s power to our generation.

     To clear the blocked channels of God’s rivers of living water, Christians must have faith in Christ and obey His teachings. Jesus said: “He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water” (John 7:38, NKJV). Prompt obedience to the words of Christ is the secret to blessing our generation with the rivers of living waters which is evidently needed in our world today. 

 

As Christians who believe in God, we are channels of God’s power to the outside world. God’s power is a spiritual liquid formula that serves as a deposit of His presence in every believer. It is a life-giving power that flows from within thus bringing healing and divine health to the church and conviction in the hearts of those who hear us. Unfortunately, we have lost it. We no longer preach to the peoples of the world by the assistance of God’s tangible power. The church has become entangled with worldliness and is struggling to come out of it.

     What can be the probable factors responsible for this? There are four basic factors responsible for the seizure of God’s power in our generation. They are:

1. Lack of focus: A lot of times, we, the church has failed to take the river of God’s powerto places where it is needed. We only concentrate it on our church or denomination activities and programmes. We have become too self-centred to the extent that we no longer care to do something positive about reaching out to those outside the four walls of our church building and denomination. We now give priority to building of cathedrals and raising of millionaires instead of preaching and teaching the whole counsel of God to our hearers. We are divided by our various church doctrines rather than the finality of the Scripture.

2. Because there are holes in the riverbeds: Oftentimes, when there is a heavy downpour from the sky, water does not always flow easily to places where it is needed because of the presence of potholes.These holes serve as a limit to the flow of the deluge of water.

We are the channels through which God demonstrates His mighty power to the world. When there are holes in our lives as a church, the river of His power sinks without flowing. For instance, many people go for ordination into any of the five-fold ministries of Jesus Christ-Apostle, Prophet, Evangelist, Pastor and Teacher without being adequately prepared for this spiritual assignment. Many of them do not submit themselves to godly discipleship. They have become spiritual bastards and have thus taught their followers to be same with them. They are without spiritual guide and mentoring.

     Some churches and para-church organizations are employing poor individuals and young unemployed graduates as pastors in their denomination for the sake of God’s kingdom and their denomination’s expansion. Some don’t even have well prepared follow-up outlines for their converts. They simply leave and expose them to greater influence of the world and the devil.

3. Because too many people depend on our river: Pastors with experiential daily knowledge of God are the most strategic change agents to deal with the problems in our society. Many church attendees look up to their pastors for help and solution to their spiritual problems. They see him as a person without weaknesses and problems.They throng into his office and home even at odd hours for counseling and prayers. They don’t do this with the intention of wearing out the pastor. But in actual sense, every true pastor called of God will always want to help their members because it is his responsibility.

     When people draw too much virtue from the pastor without him going back to God to be refilled with spiritual strength, God’s power will not flow to other people’s direction. Jesus understood this fact. And the scriptures records that each time He ministered healing to the sick andoppressed, virtues flows out of Him. He returned to God to be filled with new power and anointing. He did not rely on yesterday’s revelation and anointing for today’s ministration. It was each day, new revelation. He was always retreating from activities and from the multitudes to regain new strength. The reverse is now the case with many pastors and Christian leaders who have become empty cisterns because they no longer go on spiritual retreats.

4. When there are limitations: Sin and inconsistency in observing our consecration are limiting factors to the flow of God’s power. When a minister does not pay proper attention to his strengths and deal with his weaknesses, there is the tendency for him to see more of his weaknesses than his strength.

     A lot of times when God speaks or instructs us to deny ourselves of certain pleasures so that we can be more sensitive to Him, we see Him as a wicked God who forces His will on us. As a result, we begin to rely more on our strength rather than on our God. Samson, in the Bible at a point was no longer committed to his consecration. He reliedon his physical strength rather than God. He almost lost out of God’s plan for his life if not for the mercy of God that prevailed over him. The lesson here is this: Sin is a reproach and it has the capacity to block the flow of God’s power to our generation.

     To clear the blocked channels of God’s rivers of living water, Christians must have faith in Christ and obey His teachings. Jesus said: “He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water” (John 7:38, NKJV). Prompt obedience to the words of Christ is the secret to blessing our generation with the rivers of living waters which is evidently needed in our world today. 

 

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Updated 9 Months ago · 1 Likes · 0 Comments


By Izunna Okafor



It was Haruki Murakami who once said that death is not the opposite of life, but a part of it —an aphorism buttressed strongly by George Eliot's apothegm that "Our dead are never dead to us, until we have forgotten them."


It is on these long-standing witty sayings that the Nigerian literary community received the her first shocking news of 2020, that foremost Nigerian novelist, who was also the Traditional Ruler of Ndikelionwu Kingdom in Orumba North Local Government Area of Anambra, Eze Prof. Chukwuemeka Ike has gone asleep.


The news which ushered in the dawn of the second Thursday of the year was hitherto faulted and scored a grapevine, to the credit of two points —the source from which it came, and the terminology with which it was broken. 


By way of reaction to the news, it was rightly argued that, in Igbo land, Traditional Rulers do not die. In other words, in Igbo land, it is wrong for one to say that a Traditional Ruler is dead; instead, one could say that the king has joined his ancestors, is sleeping, is resting, or has fallen asleep.


Secondly, no one is authorised to disclose such information (that the king is sleeping) except the affected community's cabinets or Council of Elders, in agreement with the members of the royal family or the ruling dynasty, as the case may be. 

Although, people, especially the closest relatives or community members may be aware that the king has fallen asleep, they won't dare disclose it or tattle over it, pending an authorised disclosure by the right source.


Little wonder why, when interviewed on the hideous development, a stakeholder from the Ndikelionwu Community, Prince Emma Okoli-Ijeoma said, “'As far as I am concerned as a member of the ruling house in this Ndikelionwu Ancient Kingdom, I am saying that Prof. Chukwuemeka Ike Eze Ndikelionwu, the 11th of Ndikelionwu is not yet dead!

In our tradition, nobody opens his mouth to tell outsiders that the Traditional Ruler is dead. You don’t say it because according to the customary law of Anambra state, king doesn’t die!


"If at all there is anything of that nature, one would say the king has joined his ancestors. It is not the duty of anybody to tell outsiders that the king is dead. It is after the royal family has met and agreed before such thing would be announced. Not just a rifraf would come and say what he doesn’t know!


"So I am saying that as far as the royal family is concerned, we have not announced anything to the public, that is, if something really happened."


Also, in most cases, the Elder In Council may not even announce the news, except a replacement or heir is found, especially in a situation where the crown is rotational.


These formed the basis upon which the news of Prof. Chukwuemeka Ike joining his ancestors was held in the air on arrival.


Be it as it may, succeeding sunset and sunrise have unmasked and unearthed the rock.


As Nze Prof. Chukwuemeka Ike rests on in his ancestral home and palace, Ndikelionwu, literary enthusiasts, fans and some other stakeholders in the country have continued to register their feelings and pour their tributes to the legend.


Breaking the news, the Anambra State's Commissioner for Information and Public Enlightenment, Mr.  C-Don Adinuba said, "Goodnight, Prof Chukwuemeka Ike. We all drank from the fountain of The Bottled Leopard as students to assuage our curiousity for mystery. We were stunned by the shenanigans of Expo ’77 and thrilled, to no end, by Sunset at Dawn.


“As you join your ancestors, let’s pray you never stumble from The Chicken Chasers or undone by Conspiracy of Silence. Adieu, a great man of letters, a king who wore humility like a robe.”


On his own part, the Executive Governor of Anambra, H.E Chief Willie Obiano said, "I am saddened by the death of HRM Eze Chukwuemeka Ike. He was always a regal presence around us here, bringing his wealth of experience to bear on the deliberations of the Traditional Rulers Council. We shall sorely miss him. But we shall also find strength and consolation in his exemplary life and the legacies he left for mankind through his literary works and stellar contributions to the traditional institution in Anambra State.”


Former PDP Presidential Candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar said, “I mourn one of Nigeria’s prolific novelists and traditional ruler of Ndikelionwu in Anambra State, H.R.H. (Prof.) Chukwuemeka Ike.


“He will be remembered for his classics: "Toads for Supper" and "Sunset at Dawn" among others. May he rest in peace."



In similar tones, other literary enthusiasts and concerned Nigerians have also bared their minds thematically on the development, ruefully registering their reactions to the news and their tributes for the legend, as collated below:


Denja Abdullahi, immediate past President of the Association of Nigerian Authors (ANA) says:


"Prof. Ike's death was sad all the same but it was not a shock because he was an old man. He was a contemporary of all other first generation of Nigerian writers and his death was like the end of an era. We could say that the last of the titans has gone home.  


Tributarily, Abdullahi said, "Prof. Chukwuemeka Ike was a productive writer of several novels with interesting stories and catchy titles. You could locate his works between the popular and literary fiction genre. He was a very good satirist of the human condition.I feel that he was not celebrated enough like some other people feel. It may be because of his self-effacing nature and unwillingness to indulge in needless literary and critical controversies.


"He has gone beyond just being a writer to contribute to the development of the Nigerian Book Industry through his Nigerian Book Foundation. He was always there anywhere you invite him to if it had to do with writing,writers and the books. 


"Prof Chukwuemeka Ike will live eternally in the minds of all of us through his evergreen stories of the foibles of man."



Mr. Oseloka Henry Obaze, a published author, poet and literary enthusiast says:


"The passing of HRM Prof. Chukwuemeka Ike, Eze Ndikelionwu is numbing.   He was an exceptional, gifted, resolute and most unassuming person.  I was privileged to be considered his friend and welcomed freely into his palace. He was chair of my book presentation in 2018. 


His tribute: "Eze Chukwuemeka Ike lived life fully and made enduring contributions to our educational system, literature, cultureand traditional institution. He motived many writers, even those who never met him personally. 


"He has immortalized his name and his footprints will linger for years to come.  May God grant him eternal rest and his dear wife HRM Bimpe Ike, the fortitude to bear the loss."



Okeke Chika Jerry, an author, publisher and literary arts promoter says:


"I was in deed shocked when I heard the sad news over the radio. I wished he stayed a bit longer so that this generation of ours will have tapped a lot more from his wealth of wisdom. 


"But I believe Professor Ike is not totally dead and he will never die completely because all his works are still breathing all over the world. "Rest in peace Papa ndi authors."



Odili Ujubuońu, award-winning author and literary enthusiast says: 


"This is a huge loss. Chukwuemeka Ike was a great inspiration to a lot of writers who came after him. The choice of subject matters he treated in his novels spoke a lot about the kind of man he was and the whole essence of his writing.


"He was never complex in his style and or his plot and that led us easily into the wonderful worlds he created. These worlds would live forever with us. Through them, we would keep remembering him. May his gentle and kind soul find eternal peace."


Reginald Chiedu Ofodile, author and international award-winning actor says:


"I received news of his demise with sighs. I'm told Professor Ike is asleep, which is a correct phrase to apply to a traditional ruler. His subsiding into sleep did not shock me. He lost his only child three years ago. It must have been a massive blow, and he was also in his late 80s."


Tribute: "Eze Ike was an engaging, fluent and satirical writer. He created fascinating characters and witty, wicked situations. I remember 'Sweetie' in TOADS FOR SUPPER, 'Peace Bozo' in THE CHICKEN CHASERS, 'Mrs Ikin' and 'Dr Okoro' in THE NAKED GODS... and many others.  I recall his books appeared under the FONTANA imprint, not the AFRICAN WRITERS' SERIES."



Prof. Sam Uzochukwu, Igbo Poet and Novelist says:


"Prof Ike's death is indeed a loss to the nation, particularly to the literary class.Though he lived to old age, death, particularly of an icon always evokes shock to the living; so I feel shocked by his death as his other admirers .


"Prof. Ike was among the respected writers, in the same class as Chinua Achebe, for which Umuahia Govt college was renowned. He produced novels that dealt with topical issues of his time. 


"Above all, Prof. Ike was a man imbued with tenacity of purpose. He never wavered on any issue he was convinced about. This quality of his was manifested when I worked with him, a few years ago, on an Igbo project for which we were appointed by the Anambra State Govt.

May the Lord grant him eternal rest, amen."





Untill he slept off, Eze Prof. Chukwuemeka Ike (born on April 23, 1931) was award-winning and pioneer Nigerian writer, known for a mixture of lampoon, humor and satire, a writing style believed to be tied to his Igbo cultural upbringing.


He attended the Government College, Umuahia, where he started writing for the school magazine, The Umuahian, which published his first ever written story —‘A Dreamland,’ a work which set his foot on the literary space.

Some eminent Nigerian writers who attended the school include Chinua Achebe, Christopher Okigbo, and Ken Saro Wiwa, among others.


A graduate of the University College, Ibadan, Prof. Ike made a plethora of impacts and left great legacies in the literary and academic fields, and was conferred the Nigerian National Order of Merit (NNOM) Award which is Nigeria's highest and most prestigious national prize for academic and intellectual attainment, making him the second Novelist to receive the award since its inauguration in 1979, the first being Prof. Chinua Achebe.


Prof. Ike's works include Toads for Supper (1965), The Naked God’s (1970), The Potter’s Wheel (1973), Sunset and Dawn (1976), Expo ’77 (1980), The Bottled Leopard (1985), Our Children are Coming (1990); Conspiracy of Silence  (2001), among other publications.


Away from the literary flank, Prof. Ike served as an academic in different roles such as a lecturer at the University of Ibadan, registrar at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN), and visiting professor at the University of Jos.


He was also the President of the Nigerian Book Foundation, as well as the first Nigerian to be the registrar of the West Africa Examination Council (WAEC).


Ike slept at 88.


As Prof. Chukwuemeka Ike peacefully joined his ancestors, Nigerian literary community, fans, and the world at large heartily bid him farewell and wish him eternal repose in the world of immorality.

Goodnight great man.





About the Author:


Izunna Okafor is an award-winning Nigerian Novelist, Poet, Journalist, Essayist, Editor, Translator, Publicist, Igbo Language Activist and Administrator who hails from Ebenator in Nnewi South L.G.A of Anambra State Nigeria. He writes perfectly in English and Igbo languages, and has published several books in both languages.

Izunna has received over 25 awards, and has over 2000 articles published online, both nationally and internationally. 

He can be reached via: izunnaokafor70@mail.com


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Posted 10 Months ago · 0 Likes · 0 Comments

Written By Izunna Okafor


It was indeed a festival words and  dulcet epopees at Awka, the capital city of Anambra State, as Opinions From Africa for (OFA) rocked the state with first made-in-Anambra Poetry Concert, which held amidst cultural displays and musical pantomime.

Speaking at the event, the state's Commissioner for Basic Education, Prof. Kate Omenugha described the event as apt and impactful, and further maintained that it was in line with the policy and programs of Governor Willie Obiano, who she said, is greatly committed to discovering, empowering promoting, enhancing and encouraging creativity among the youths in the state.


Prof. Omenugha, who was represented by the Public Relation Officer of the ministry, Mr. Nnaemeka Egwuonwu, expressed satisfaction with the presentations by the young talents, and argued that there were lots of lessons to be learnt from them.


She said, "I cannot fully express how excited I am, seeing these well talented youths come and talk about very serious issues in the society with carefully chosen and artistically designed poetic lines and words, and give us food for thought on what is happening in the society today, thereby giving us hope for Africa, for the Black Race, for Nigeria and for the society in general. 

"So I feel highly delighted being part of this program; and I also commend the organizers for the wonderful work they have done."


Earlier in his opening remarks, the convener of the event, Mrs. Jidechukwu Angela Nwabueze said the event tagged "African Sensation," was aimed at celebrating Africa, telling the Africa's story, and proffering solutions to Africa's problems through poetry, as well as featuring young poets from various parts of the country.

She appreciated individuals and organisations who contributed in one way towards the success of the event, including the Anambra Newspapers and Printing Corporation (ANPC) which is also one of their media partners 


On his own part, the founder of Opinions From Africa (OFA), Mr. Kaosisochukwu Nwagboso said the association founded in 2017 is a non-governmental organization with the objective of gathering poets, creative minds and intellectuals from different a academic fields, to utilize their skills, talents and brain power in rebranding and making Africa great. 


Some of the participants at the event, including Maryjane Onyekaba who presented a poem entitled "Good Morning Africa;"  Ibiam Ude Ufiem who presented "Ozoemena;" Cynthia Ekeka who presented "The Voice of Africa;" and Raymond Mimi who presented "Africa Who Are We?" among others called on Africans, particularly the youths to wake up, hold tight their heritage as Ndi Africa, and also contribute to the development of Africa and promoting her identity.

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