My experience at the polls.

Accreditation

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My mum and I stroll off at 10:am to the street where we registered. We get there and join the queue where we are promptly told by the lady ahead of us that there are like six people behind her on the queue who went away but will be back shortly, we say “no problem”.
We find a bench away from the scorching sun to sit on beside a foodseller’s corner and I watch her dishing out rice & stew, spaghetti, meat and kpomo, asaro (yam porridge) and agidi (eko) to the hungry voters, to pass the time.
The elderly woman from the PVC episode is assisting the INEC officials and is still smuggling the elderly and pregnant women into the line ahead of everyone else, no one says a word. The police drive by and the ‘street guys’ hail them “ogas anything for us?

I leave my seat and join the slow- moving queue and finally it’s my turn. I submit my PVC, get verified by the card reader machine, my thumbnail is marked with ink and I’m asked to come back by 1:pm, we can all tell that the accreditation will run way past 1 pm seeing as the crowd is swelling by the minute and it’s alread 12:28 pm, but we nod our heads regardless.
And did I mention that someone came and was handing out bottled water (with a political party logo on it) and gala, which was a questionable move. We head home and at 2 0′ clock i call my neighbor who was waiting to be accredited when we left, he tells me voting has not commenced yet. He calls me at 2:17 to say voting is about to commence. We head out.

Voting

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We arrive at 2:30 and I am number 159 (i hear we are close to 300 people) so I sit and wait my turn.
1-10, 11-20, 21-30…The crowd grumbles endlessly about the slow pace. 31-40, 41-50…an old woman almost faints and they just manage to catch her in time before she falls. There’s an uproar with people blaming the INEC officials slow pace for the near-collapse of ‘mama’. A hefty man gets into a shouting match with the officials and the policeman tries to intervene to calm him down but his voice rings out even louder. Someone announces in Yoruba “ejo te ba ti vote, e ma lo ile”.

It starts to rain and the crowd rushes under the canopy and those that can’t fit under it scatter in every direction to find shelter. A young man comes to where we are seated on the veranda by the food seller and tells us to leave as they want to move some officials and their materials over and people ask him “do you want us to stand in the rain? go and rent another canopy for them.” The man takes offence and hot words are exchanged, peace returns.The rain stops and some people complain that there’s no privacy in the ‘polling booth’ because the crowd surges around the voter under the canopy to get away from the sun that’s out again and they stand within arm’s length only inches away from the voter. The policeman orders the crowd to move a few paces backwards.

My number is called so I join the queue. It’s my turn and I submit my PVC, the lady finds my name and picture in the register, the corper signs and stamps three ballot papers and hands them to me, I move over to the ‘polling booth’ and thumb print beside the party logo(s) of my preferred candidates, I drop the red, black and green ballot papers in the appropriate boxes and head home at 5:47 pm.

I took several pictures but these will do. How did it go at your end?

Successful Nigerian men

Nigeria is a country blessed with plenty of brilliant minds and successful businessmen & entrepreneurs who are an inspiration to the youth striving to carve a niche for themselves in today’s economy. We already profiled successful Nigerian women so here are some of the more popular outstanding moguls in Nigeria, in no particular order.

Aliko Dangote

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The very successful business magnate owns the Dangote group. He is the richest man in Africa with an estimated worth of 15.9 billion dollars.  He made his money majorly in cement, sugar & flour, making 9.2 billion naira in 2013 alone. His empire extends to South Africa, Ghana, Togo, Cameroon, Benin & Zambia. The Dangote group was established in 1977 as a small trading firm after Dangote took a loan of N500,000 from his uncle Sanusi Dantata at the age of 21, today it is a multi-billion naira conglomerate with interests in several areas of business including food processing & cement manufacturing, he owns the largest sugar refinery in Africa and the third in the world & supplies over 70% of the sugar used by softdrink companies, breweries & confectioners in the country. He owns salt factories, flour mills and is a major importer of rice, fish, pasta & fertilizer. He exports cotton, cashew, nuts, cocoa, sesame seed & ginger to several countries. The group also has major investments in real estate, banking, transport, textiles, oil and gas and most recently telecommunications. The company employs over 11,000 people and in the largest industrial conglomerate in West Africa.

Mike Adenuga

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Michael Adeniyi Agbolade Ishola Adenuga is a business tycoon regarded as one of the richest black men in the world. At 61, his company Globacom is Nigeria’s second largest telecommunication operator. With stakes in Equitorial trust bank and conoil, his estimated net wort is 3.9 billion dollars.he is the second wealthiest man in Nigeria. He received a drilling license in 1990 and struck oil in Ondo state in 1991. Globacom is in several countries including Ghana, Benin & Ivory coast. He attended Northwestern Oklahoma state university and Pace university, New york with degrees in business administration.

Tony Elumelu

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Listed by Forbes as the 26th richest man in Africa, Tony Elumelu is the chairman of Heirs holdings, UBA and Transcorp and is the founder of the Tony Elumelu foundation has a controlling interest in Transcorp, Nigeria’s largest publicly traded conglomerate, a significant stake in UBA (united bank of Africa) and an extensive portfolio in real estate, among other assets. He is also the former CEO of Standard Trust bank.  The 52 year old  business mogul has a B.sc in economics from Ambrose Alli university, a masters of science degree from the university of Lagos and also attended Harvard business school. He holds the CON (commander of the order of Nigeria) and MFR (member of the order of the federal republic) national honours. He is an entrepreneur and philantrophist and is currently helping a thousand African entrepreneurs actualize their dreams through his latest initiative via his foundation.

Femi Otedola

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Femi Otedola is the 52 year old billionaire owner and CEO of multi-billion naira oil giant Zenon. Zenon is the biggest diesel &  kerosine marketer in Nigeria. He is the controlling shareholder of Forte oil with 78% stake in the company which owns oil and gas stations and fuel storage depots and manufactures it’s own line of engine oils. Forte oil is primarily engaged in the distribution of petroleum products such as diesel and aviation fuel.The oil baron and shipping magnate is the owner Atlas shipping agency, seaforce shipping company Ltd, swift insurance, FO properties and FO transports. According to Forbes, he is the 4th richest man in Nigeria and the 29th richest man in Africa.

Hakeem Bello Osagie

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Photo credit: The sun

Listed as the 40th richest man in Africa Hakeem Bello Osagie is currently the chairman of Etisalat Nigeria where he holds a 12% stake. He has worked for the government in various capacities including a brief stint at NNPC, Secretary of the Oil policy review & LNG communities, Special assistant to the minister of Petroleum & energy, he set up CTIC, a leading energy consulting firm in 1986.Until recently he served as chairman of the board of directors of UBA Plc.
In 1998 he bought 51% of UBA from the Nigerian government & sold for 120 million dollars in 2004.

Starting as a petroleum economist & a lawyer he diversified into several businesses including energy, finance & telecommunications. He is the founder & former chairman of First Securities Discount House , Nigeria’s leading money markets and treasury bill trading financial services firm. He is also the chairman, board of directors of the Abuja investment Company.he also chairs Chocolate city group, a leading entertainment company in Nigeria and serves on the board  of timbuktu media. He is a huge donor to the African Leadership Academy (ALA) an institution that works to turn out Africa’s brightest students.

He holds an MBA from Harvard business school, a law degree from Cambridge university & an M.A. in politics, philosophy & economics from Oxford University.

Information source : Wikipedia & Forbes

How do you sleep at night …

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1.  When your colleague ferries you to and from work daily and when it’s time to buy gas you ‘face front’ like say na ‘thank you’ dey fuel the car ?

2. When you steal someone else’s idea or take credit for their work and leave them high and dry?

3. When you borrow money and time to pay back comes around but you don’t say a word and keep looking the person in the eye everyday like nothing happened, acting like you forgot? Onigbese, how do you sleep at night?

4. When you always wait for your colleague to pay your bus fare home every single day? Osho free, how do you sleep at night?

5. When you join your colleague in eating their lunch daily and you can sense that they are left half-hungry everyday but do not know how to ask you to stop? Long throat, how do you sleep at night?

Your turn …

It’s election week!

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        Photo credit : fotosearch

Hello lovely people, happy Sunday. For those who went, how was church today?
My priest harped endlessly on the importance of doing our civic duty of voting come Saturday and I feel the same way.
You might have read my ‘TVC & PVC wahala’,  chronicling the high drama journey to getting my voter’s card. Wouldn’t it be a senseless waste to go through all that and not vote? Not even the hounds of hell can keep me from voting come Saturday and April 11th. Please endeavor to do your bit if you’ve gotten your voter’s card and if you didn’t even bother registering, I say, how do you sleep at night? Haha.
People are giving this excuse & that for not voting, some say the options presented are well… less than desirable, others are scared of losing their lives to election violence, still others say “what is the point of voting when they will still rig the elections?… and on and on.
I say, do your bit, even if have cause to protest later, you can speak out knowing that you did your best to ensure that change happens, that your voice was heard!

Something funny happened in church lastweek… It’s time for thanksgiving & the names of  those for thanksgiving are being read out, what do we hear but “Desmond Elliot, Babatunde Fashola, Oluremi Tinubu, Femi Gbajabiamila (Surulere 1 federal house of rep candidate) & Akinwunmi Ambode” among the names called out for thanksgiving. There was an uproar & everyone was whispering furiously to their neighbors & cranning their necks to catch a glimpse of the aforementioned politicians but they were no where in sight, not a one! Apparently some ‘kind soul’ had booked thanksgiving on their behalf, it seemed like a campaign move to some, hence the whispering but who can say?

So if you can, please vote. The Change we seek starts with us! Stay safe.

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Inspiring quotes in pictures

Whether you’re in a situation where you need a little pick-me-up to get you through the day or you’re soaring high at the top of your game, here are some inspiring quotes to get you through the day and rejuvenate your mind.

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Natural hair pickle

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This past Friday, I found myself sitting in the salon having hair relaxer AKA the softener but destroyer of good hair, applied to my hair that I had steadfastly nurtured for about five months.
You see, I had half a mind not to do it but my legs wouldn’t listen. I recently had my weave taken out & combing my hair was a tear- inducing experience.
I still remember the pain, me holding on to the sides of the chair with tears springing into my eyes & everyone chorusing “sorry, sorry o”, as the girl braiding my hair prior to installing my weave combed & pulled my very coarse hair in every direction.
The memory broke my resolve & against the better advice of my heart, my legs carried me to the salon, relaxer AKA number 1 enemy of healthy hair in hand.

Just when I’m giving myself a pat on the back every five months, the pain melts my resolve. My hair is healthier now than when I frequently relaxed it but I know it could be better, maybe even grow past my feet like Rapunzel’s someday, haha.
Before you say run online  for tips from the countless natural hair blogs, I already read all manner of advice & it all sounds like plenty of work to me. I doubt that I desire the length that badly yet to commit to that level of effort. Someday maybe, but not today! I’ll work at relaxing once a year & go from there… Wish me luck!

Life Lessons

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Life is one teacher we pay close attention to or rue the day. I’ve learned a few lessons along my merry way in the sojourn of life and here are some of the more lasting lessons…

1 . Change is inevitable –  things change, people change, situations & circumstances
change. especially people!

2. Everything ends – nothing in life lasts forever – love, friendship, youth, pain, grief. All of these things will fade away, even life ends.

3.  Love yourself & treat yourself well & everyone else will too and if anyone is too blind to see how truly awesome you are… Shut the door when they leave. bye Felicia!

4. Learn from the experiences of others, don’t wait for life to teach you hard lessons.

5. God may take a while to act on your prayers but He listens & will act in His own time.

6. Follow your instincts – Do not let people talk you into things you do not want to do, you might still be kicking yourself long after they’ve moved on with their merry lives.

7. Don’t worry too much about what people think, focus on living your best life!

8. Don’t compare your life to anyone else’s, good & bad things happen to everyone, just at different times.

9. Find a good friend – a listening ear is calming, therapeutic even, don’t go it alone if you can help it.

10. Be kind to everyone, show love when you can – The rewards are enormous.
  
  Your turn…