Blame FG, govs for corruption in judiciary – CJN

Twenty-four hours after two Supreme Court Justices facing corruption allegation, Inyang Okoro and Sylvester Ngwuta, stepped down from adjudicating over cases pending conclusion of investigation, the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Mahmud Mohammed, has blamed the executive arm of government for corruption on the Bench.

Okoro and Ngwuta, alongside five other judges, were arrested in sting operations on October 7 and 8 by the Department of State Services (DSS) on allegations of bribery and corruption. While the duo of Okoro and Ngwuta voluntarily recused themselves from judicial functions since their homes were raided, others were still at their duty posts adjudicating on cases before them.

However, Justice Mahmoud exonerated the judiciary and its highest organ, the National Judicial Council (NJC), from any guilt as he said the third arm of government should not be blamed for the endemic corrupt practices on the Bench.

Instead, he said blames should be put on the executive, as “the failure on the part of the executive arm of government to act upon recommendations by the NJC cannot be blamed upon the NJC.”

CJN said this in a letter dated October 26, addressed to a group, the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) that asked NJC to take over the alleged corruption case against the embattled judges from the DSS.

The letter, with reference No. CJN/Gen/MISC/ A37/Vol.XXI/8 and signed by CJN’s Senior Special Assistant, H. S. Sa’eed, was in response to SERAP’s request to Justice Mohammed, asking him to “take over from the DSS the cases of all the seven judges released by the DSS and refer the cases of those judges to anti-corruption agencies for conclusion of investigation and prompt prosecution.”

CJN said: “While restating the willingness of the NJC to act upon any petition as well as commitment of the Nigerian judiciary to the fight against corruption, his Lordship opines that any significant involvement in the fight against corruption will be upon a similar commitment of the prosecutorial agencies to actively prosecute their cases expeditiously when information about same is received.

“It is necessary to restate that the NJC is a creation of the 1999 Constitution of Nigeria (as amended) being established under Section 153 with its mandate clearly set out in Para 21, Part One of the Third Schedule to the Constitution.

“This provision clearly stipulates at Para 21(b) and (d) that the Council may only ‘recommend’ to the President and the Governors, the removal from office of judicial officers and to exercise disciplinary control over such judicial officers, which in effect is the extent of its power to discipline. Hence, the Council cannot, suo moto dismiss any judicial officer.

“The NJC can also neither ‘hand over corrupt judges to law enforcement agencies for prosecution nor recover proceeds of corruption, as you have suggested, it can merely recommend to act upon its findings as it has always done.

“However, in exercise of its constitutional mandate, the NJC has enacted the Judicial Discipline Regulations, 2014 in order to ensure that petitions are received, investigated and addressed as appropriate. As SERAP’s own Report attests, 64 judicial officers have been disciplined within five years even preceding the institution of the new guidelines. Any failure on the part of the executive arm of government to act upon such recommendations cannot, therefore, be blamed upon the NJC.

“To be sure, every citizen of Nigeria inclusive of judicial officers, are entitled to the protection of the law and a key provision of the Constitution is the presumption of innocence, as enshrined in Section 36(5) of the Constitution (as amended).

”I must also remind us that the seven judges, like all other persons, are entitled to a fair hearing as stipulated in Section 36 of the Constitution. As such, it would be presumptive and, indeed, pre-emptive to sanction the said judges without exhausting the proper procedure for their removal.”

#INSIGHTWITHLARIGOLD: There’s No Law Against The Granting Of Pardon To Any Criminal By @Lanre_Olagunju


Just when you manage to allow yourself think that things can’t get worse with governance in Nigeria, you can be always sure to get one rude shock or the other. But with President Jonathan’s hopeless administration, you can be so sure of an overdose of rude shocks as each day brings up fresh absurdities and insane anomalies.


The unfortunate side of the story is that we the governed allow ourselves to   dwell in the delusion that President Jonathan is clueless. I beg to say that he’s not. He has an agenda and he wouldn’t mind to undo the little good deeds of past administrations to ruin Nigeria of any good that remains in it.


Who actually defends and speak for a thief, if he himself is not a thief. Beside the media debate over the pardon of Diepreye Alamieyeseigha, former governor of Bayelsa state, and the crazy excuse  of “there’s no law against the granting of pardon to any criminal” the Presidential spokesmen have uttered, Nigerians need to query and look deeper into the bigger plans of these charlatans.  I strongly believe that there’s more to this generous act of pardon than meets the eye


Though we must acknowledge that it’s a lawful act, but with what moral prism does President Jonathan justifies such act of pardoning a symbol of national disgrace who was arrested in Britain in 2005 on charges of laundering more than $3 million? He also jumped bail and flew to Nigeria where he was prosecuted, becoming the first ex-governor to be convicted of corruption. Report has it that he fled the UK to Nigeria disguised in a woman’s clothing.images


What severe punishment has he undergone that the presidency says he has become remorseful? Alamieyeseigha was released in 2007, two days after receiving a two-year sentence, because he had already served two years in prison since his arrest.


Yes, we can’t stop President Jonathan from having a thief as a mentor and former boss, but he must be reminded that this country doesn’t belong to him and his family alone. Neither does it belong to the PDP.  The state pardon granted Alamieyeseigha and other criminals shamefully reduce his hypocritical transformation agenda to a lousy joke. And not only that, it has also gone a long way in trivializing the previous war won against corruption in Nigeria. Now Nigeria’s shame isn’t limited to her geographical boundaries. Globally, we have lost the small reputation that we are yet to build, making us all look like a people of no value and collective morality.


The pardon Alamieyeseigha and his other corrupt allies now enjoy means that they can now run for political office come 2015. And that in every way is so very absurd! If we can’t clear away present corrupt office holders, why should we bring back their godfathers? Obviously, President Jonathan seems to be paying Alamieyeseigha for favours he has enjoyed in the past or for his personal and selfish 2015 ambitions. He certainly intends to achieve one thing or the order at the expense of over 160 million people.


In the words of Prominent Nigerian human rights lawyer Bamidele Aturu, he was quoted as saying “it is better to fling open the gates of all our prisons and ask all the inmates to walk out into the warm embrace of their relatives than pardon those who force otherwise decent Nigerians to take to crime as a way of life,”


My simple advice to President Jonathan is that he can as well declare Nigeria a lawless nation so we can bigheartedly pardon and give equality to all criminals. Because how many criminals in Nigerian prisons have stolen as much money as Alamieyeseigha?


I deeply think that the major prayer Nigeria needs at this point is to survive President Jonathan’s administration. The only fear is that no one can rightly ascertain that the worse of this administration has happened yet. We need not forget that we are being  governed by a President who publicly made it known that he doesn’t give a damn.


I am @Lanre_olagunju


#INSIGHTWITHLARIGOLD: Technology Versus Man By @Lanre_Olagunju

Insight pix

Economic advancement has always been a function of being able to provide improved goods and services at a faster rate with fewer workers. And to a large extent, technology has been a vital tool for economic progression. It’s undeniable that technology has greatly improved how business is done. Unfortunately as well, technology has resulted into disregarding the need for monotonous task and the people who carry them out, leading to freeing-up of so many jobs. MacAfee once pointed out that “certain kinds of document examination once done by armies of lawyers—can now be done competently by scanning technologies and software.” This implies that not only labour intensive jobs are being threatened.

The influx of technology in production is gradually annulling the conventional believe that increase in production instantly results into job creation. And sadly, many of the lost jobs aren’t immediately replaced with enough newer and higher skilled jobs to make up for the loss. Isn’t the Luddite fear of machines replacing people gradually becoming a reality? American entrepreneur and software engineer, Marc Andreessen didn’t mince words when he said “Software is eating the world. Industry after industry is being disrupted by software, and if your industry hasn’t been transformed into a software business, you’d better start worrying now.”

Without any iota of doubt, technology, especially information technology has greatly helped in creating amazing opportunities which aren’t restricted to walls or boundaries. But studies have revealed that IT is basically favouring only 1% at the top of the pyramid while draining opportunities at the lower level most especially in the area of job creation. And come to think of it multi billion dollars information technology companies don’t essentially employ a large number of people. Twitter, with a financial worth of over $8 billion employs about 650 workers, Facebook with an estimated $3.7 billion in revenue and $1 billion profit in 2011 has only 3,000 employees.

Corporations benefit greatly basically because with modern technology they can operate leaner and then make more profits. “I had many occasions to work with the marketing reps, and the approach they used in selling anything to any customer was telling them that if they bought X number of their wonderful machines, they could lay off Y number of employees”A customer engineer with IBM for twenty-five years who specializes on installing and troubleshooting large mainframes IBM explained.

But it’s also very imperative to note that though the advent of new technology might destroy jobs initially, things will eventually balance up in the long term. The initially unemployed will later find jobs elsewhere; say in repair and maintenance of technological equipment.

On the other hand, we also should realize that success from thriving industries as a result of technological advancement would in many ways help the economy; consumers would be able to purchase goods at cheaper prizes, hence save more money, which would increase their demands and purchasing power for other products. Other industries would respond to this increase in demand by producing more, which automatically implies employing more workers. Also, the remaining few workers who didn’t lose their jobs would benefit from higher wages. And with higher profits, capitalists can now venture into other businesses where they’d naturally have to employ more workers. Almost everyone benefits in the long run. So in this sense, technology both eliminates and creates jobs. And this lends so much credence to the words of Robert Solow; Nobel Prize winning economist who said “it has been the norm throughout the course of history for technology to throw people out of work. But in the long run, employment keeps growing, and wages keep rising”

We obviously can’t stand on the way of technological revolution; therefore one way to curb the rise of unemployment as a result of technological advancement is to reinvent our educational system such that modern education can deal with the current unemployment issues surrounding modern realities.

To find relevance in the ever changing world of growing technology, it’s important that individuals reinvent themselves and be devoted to constant professional trainings and never ending improvements. Basically because jobs that require mentally creative analytic skills and high level problem solving ability can’t easily find technological replacements. The inability to think creatively and critically implies difficulty in getting or maintaining employment.

I am @Lanre_Olagunju

*This article was first published on


#INSIGHTWITHLARIGOLD runs on every Saturday.

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#INSIGHTWITHLARIGOLD: Leadership Lessons from Martin Luther King Jr. By @Lanre_Olagunju

nadia fouman miss university africa

Last Monday, the world again celebrated the Martin Luther king Jr. Day which is habitually celebrated every third Monday of January. As an eloquent preacher, Dr. King was the orator and leader of the non-aggressive civil rights movement of the 1960s. His I have a Dream speech has remained a phenomenal point of reference for leaders all over the world. Let’s draw some lessons from his speech and outstanding leadership approach.

Lesson #1 Great leaders don’t keep quiet on issues that matter.

When we keep quiet on important national or personal issues, we give permission to the oppressor. We deny ourselves the opportunity for freedom. Martin Luther King said “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.” During the course of the week, a couple of social media giants in the country decided to raise the issue of dying one-thousand-five-hundred children of Bagega in Nigeria’s Zamfara State. Within a short time, the awareness went viral on social media.

These kids have been afflicted by Lead poison, and their life is in danger. Restoration and remediation of the environment has been unnecessarily delayed by the government. Speaking up for these kids brought the issue to the desk and minds of the government officials concerned.  People were made to see the reality of losing these young ones if the prevailing deafening silence wasn’t crushed.

Lesson #2 Leaders know how to communicate their vision to the mind and heart of their followers.

Leadership in the real sense goes beyond just having a plan and knowing how to execute it.  The work of a true leader lies in his ability to have a vision, share the vision, lay the path to achieve the vision, and then inspire others to follow the vision while he takes the lead role.  Martin Luther King knows how to engage the heart of his followers. He does that by harnessing the use of stories and metaphor.

Lesson #3 Brave enough to reject the status quo and not be indifferent about it.

The opposite of love is not hate, it’s indifference. The opposite of art is not ugliness, it’s indifference. The opposite of faith is not heresy, it’s indifference. And the opposite of life is not death, it’s indifference, says Elie Wiesel. Refusing to be indifferent is a defining characteristic of great leaders. They are not passive people. They are reactive and sometimes proactive, depending on the circumstance. They always take a stand and they ventilate it openly without fear. “But we refuse to believe that the bank of justice is bankrupt. We refuse to believe that there are insufficient funds in the great vaults of opportunity of this nation. And so we have come to cash this check, a check that will give us upon demand the riches of freedom and the security of justice.” were the brave words of Martin Luther King.

Lesson #4 Fight your course on the high plane of dignity and discipline.

Good leaders know how to struggle out their course within the boundary of dignity, ethics and morality.. And this is one area where I so much respect Martin Luther King. It’s quite difficult to imagine how to lead so much people in a struggle against injustice and segregation and yet eschew violence “But there is something that I must say to my people who stand on the warm threshold which leads into the palace of justice. In the process of gaining our rightful place, we must not be guilty of wrongful deeds. Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred. We must ever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline. We must not allow our creative protest to degenerate into physical violence. Again and again we must rise to the majestic heights of meeting physical force with soul force.” Martin Luther King said.

Lesson #5 Use picture words to articulate the desired end.

Another quality lesson from MLK is that he harnessed the power of what I call picture words. Words that make followers see beyond today’s struggle but the benefit of the struggle, and how posterity will be pleased with their actions. “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character. I have a dream today! I have a dream that one day, down in Alabama, with its vicious racists, with its governor having his lips dripping with the words of interposition and nullification; one day right down in Alabama little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers. I have a dream today!”

Do have a nice weekend!

#INSIGHTWITHLARIGOLD runs on every Saturday.

Lanre Blogs @

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#INSIGHTWITHLARIGOLD: How Governmental Failures Add Up To Disasters By @Lanre_Olagunju

When government decides to remain hopelessly insensitive to its duties, it results into unpopular but severe implications like citizens trying to find individual solutions to public problems. Nigerians do not expect much from the political class anymore and it shows in the unending quest to personally provide basic things that should have been provided by the government. In several ways, this has telling adverse effect not just on the economy but the environment as well.


One of the most basic psychological needs of man is the need to quench thirst, without the availability of a basic need like water, striving to live becomes difficult. When you consider that in the 21st century, people still struggle for a necessity such as water, and that people actually still drink from the same river they defecate, wash and bath, it becomes absolutely impossible to consider if such people can ever strive for self-actualization.

Sadly, in a country of over 150 million people like Nigeria, only a meager 30% have access to portable water. Is it that government is not aware of the absence of portable water which remains a major pre-requisite for improved health care and sanitation? Moreover easy access to portable water practically helps in combating water borne diseases like cholera.

In the fashion of looking out for alternative means to provide basic amenities, a large percentage of property owners in Nigeria depend on underground water i.e. borehole, which they dig privately, as any attempt to ignore it is to deny occupants access to portable water.

As an hydrologist, I know that uncontrolled drilling of boreholes poses long term environmental threat like man-made earthquake and other environmental damages. It’s quite vital to consider that in places like Lagos and Abuja, people build on less than half a plot. And each individual wants to have a borehole in his residence. This results into excessive pumping of groundwater. And when large quantity of water is pumped out of the ground at a rate higher than it’s recharged, the ground, over time becomes hollow. After a while, the ground will compress and this might lead to collapse of building on such land, leading to loss of lives and property.

Going by the occurrence in countries with similar issues, it has been proven that when groundwater in any community is extensively and excessively withdrawn, after a long period of time, it results into lowering of the land surface, which is called subsidence. It was discovered that the earth lowered by 4.7 meters in Japan which badly affected many structures. As a result of this, Water Law was established to reduce the withdrawal of groundwater. Uncontrolled groundwater extraction via boreholes was responsible for recording similar occurrence in Su-Xi-Chang in China and also in Jakarta, Indonesia in 1994. In terms of contamination, a couple of people in northern Nigeria have lost their lives to drinking borehole water contaminated with Zinc poisoning.

Fortunately, this is a sector that can be revived if government surrenders it over to knowledgeable private investors.


To avert being in the dark due to the constant lack of electricity, individuals purchase generators, as there is hardly a household without at least one I beta pass my neighbour generator– a small sized generator commonly used to power low power-demanding gadgets . To remain relevant in business, big industries and corporations use mega generators to run business activities. And when many couldn’t break even, they had to move production to neighbouring countries with better power supply. But that aside, we can’t neglect the fact that the fumes from this alternative now turned regular source of power is actually toxic. The toxic waste from generators are contaminating the environment and in the wider sense, it’s reducing life expectancy by increasing chances for diseases like cancer amongst other deadly ailments.


When the judiciary fails or slows down justice, as a nation we’ve mastered to take the laws into our hands by lynching alleged criminals, just like the incident of #Aluu4 that shook Nigeria in October 2012. A case where four innocent undergraduates where gruesomely lynched and burnt alive for a crime they actually never committed.


Rather than ask for better roads with nice road networks or even demand that alternative means of transport like the modern train system be put in place, tired and frustrated citizens would rather buy Sport Utility Vehicles (SUVs) that can whether the bad roads with deep potholes wide enough to cook for an entire community. And you begin to wonder if increasing the number of SUVs on our bad roads would temper the economic gawkiness that lack of good transport system constitutes.

Without talking about security, one can actually go on and on.  And sometimes you can’t but be tempted to ask that won’t the country be better off without the government which is only famously known for corruption, mismanagement and failing successfully at disbursing its basic responsibilities.

Nations only thrive when the government and citizens do that which is required for economic progress and development.

I am @Lanre_Olagunju

#INSIGHTWITHLARIGOLD runs on every Saturday.




#INSIGHTWITHLARIGOLD: Of New Year Goals and Resolutions by @Lanre_Olagunju

Thanks for reading this column ever since it started on this blog in May 2012. I also want to specially congratulate all my ardent followers and readers for making it into the New Year. You honestly should find some time to expressly ventilate an heartfelt thank-you to your guardian angel for a job well done. Most essentially when you consider that as a nation, 2012 was such a long year with several collections of disasters, gruesome killings and drama.

You might not necessarily be at a vantage point to dictate all the happenings of 2013, but to a great extent, you personally can still tell 2013 that which you want it to do and the role it should play in this chapter of the unconscious biography of yourself that you’re writing. Moreover, 2013 is still a very obedient child.

It’s actually a lot safer to pilot one’s life with clearly written goals than to depend on any autopilot of any sort. It becomes easier to persevere, remain focus and be persistent when goals are set and clearly written. Nothing boosts the self-confidence of a person striving to achieve a dream than the clearly written goals which clearly shows the end from the beginning. Goals help in mapping out sharp and intelligent problem solving strategies. Research conducted by sport psychologist reveals that world’s best athletes have concise and simple daily targets. They brilliantly understand how their daily targets connect with their long term goals.

I suggest that instead of a resolution which majorly focuses on things you actually struggled with in previous years, in 2013, do goals. Without any iota of doubt, you’d agree that many resolutions don’t live beyond the few days of the first month. And the adverse effect of this is that it makes you look incapacitated too early in the year, losing your self-confidence and self-esteem over your inability to stay true to them.

So why focus on what you don’t want to do when life has given you a plane slate where you can essentially write the things you want to see yourself do and achieve. In fact, research says that only 8 percent of those who actually make New Year resolutions truly keep them. I like the way the author of The Word For Today daily devotional puts it. “The key to breaking stubborn habits is not fighting them in your own strength. That only keeps your focus on the problem, intensifying its power. Changing your focus and submitting to God moment by moment is the key to winning, whether it’s a problem or a hang-up’”

It’s not just okay to come up with goals for the entire year in your head. As a matter of fact, it’s as good as a waste of time, definitely because they won’t live beyond the first few weeks of the year at best. When goals are written, they become so real, easy to interpret and easy to follow through. The case study of the three percent Harvard alumni who wrote down their goals at graduation, and thereafter thirty years, made more money than the 97 percent who did not; divulges that successful people write down their goals. No wonder the bible said “Write the vision, and make it plain upon tables, that he may run that reads it.”

It’s also important that you remain flexible as you go despite your goals. This is important because things do not always go according to plan, circumstances beyond your control might crop up, giving way to the unexpected. At such times, flexibility will help in re-adjusting your goals to suit into the unforeseen situation. In the same light, life would throw opportunities you never planned at you, by being flexible, you’d be able to respond and make the best use of them.

Do have my best wishes in 2013!

I am @Lanre_Olagunju

#INSIGHTWITHLARIGOLD runs on every Saturday.


#INSIGHTWITHLARIGOLD: To All Victims of Procrastination by @Lanre_Olagunju

Killing time is not killing, it’s suicide—Myles Munroe.

As we reflect on the personal achievements of 2012 as it gradually rolls off, chances are that a couple of written goals were not achieved and that a couple of unrecorded goals were achieved. One way or the other, procrastination must have waddled its way into your goals for 2012, constituting an hindrance to some of the unachieved goals.

We all are unavoidably preys to procrastination, essentially because we live in a world governed by the principle of space-time, in which anything that must happen will have to take time. Yeah time is an asset, a very vital resource at that, which is vastly needed in converting dreams into reality. But in another sense, time is also a restriction to man, essentially because we as humans can only do much within a specific time frame and then defer and hope to do other things much later. Can you now see why I said we all are preys to procrastination?

Just like there are two sides to a story and also two sides to a coin. There are basically two sides to procrastination. Many writers and self-improvement consultants who write and talk about procrastination only talk about how bad it is, how it kills opportunities and ideas and why one must be cured of it. Nevertheless, I wonder if any of these motivational experts have been able to come up with a cure for procrastination.

I vehemently disagree that procrastination has nothing good about it, specifically because many of the impressive and ambitious achievers procrastinate intelligently by choosing to give priority to the most important task. On the other hand, non-effective people are chronic procrastinators who neglect or defer important tasks as a result of laziness and lack of focus. Yet, it would be stupid to argue that of all the many ways to avoid personal success, the most sure-fire way isn’t procrastination. I’ve discovered that lazy procrastinators who squander time are awkwardly optimistic people who think they would still perfect a task by delaying it commencement to the tip end of the deadline. Therefore, they make unrealistic statements like “I’m more creative and productive under pressure.” Or “I’ll do it tomorrow when I’ll certainly be in the mood”

When we procrastinate, it’s not really because we actually lack the ability to estimate time. So it’s not actually a problem of time management like many think. I like the way Dr. Joseph Ferrari, a world leading expert on procrastination, who is an associate professor of psychology at De Paul University in Chicago puts it when he explained that “Telling someone who procrastinates to buy a weekly planner is like telling someone with chronic depression to just cheer up,” That’s actually not the case. One of the reasons why many indulge in procrastination is that they lack the ability to overcome the inertia to get to work. And from my personal experience as a writer who has to churn out at least two articles every week, I’ve realized that the bigger the task, the harder it is to get yourself to work. But once you overcome that resistance, it becomes a lot easier to follow it through.

Another reason why people procrastinate when there is a big project at hand is fear of failure or do I call it fear of wasting time in case the project fails. They erroneously think that would automatically amount to waste of the time spent. Like one of my brilliant teachers will say, “failing after trying your hands on a mathematical problem would have shown you ways of how not to solve that problem”. And in fact, working on big projects always leads to somewhere whether the desired result is achieved or not.

One more form of procrastination which is quite deadly is the one some experts refer to as “unacknowledged-procrastination”. They call it unacknowledged because you might not realize that you’re deferring major task basically because you’re getting other things done, most times things that aren’t necessarily related to your major task. There are times when I need to write an article and I lazily spend so much time surfing the internet all in the name of research. At other times, I find myself replying emails or returning text messages. Or you just find the need to clean up the house, visit a friend or take the dog on a walk, so you can avoid doing the main thing.

I ask myself this question and most times it helps “What’s the best thing you could be working on at the moment, and why aren’t you? This should be the most vital question any ambitious person should be asking in 2013. And the amazing thing is that once you ask yourself this question and you follow the sincere answer that presents itself in your head, you will not need to bother about procrastination anymore.

As I close, there’s a positive side to one’s ability to intelligently defer some tasks. For Instance, when you get inspiration or ideas on a particular project and you know that it’d pay off to set other important things aside, it’s wise that you give attention to this fresh idea which would in-turn, eventually increase your net productivity.

Happy Holidays!

I am @Lanre_Olagunju

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#INSIGHTWITHLARIGOLD runs on every Saturday.


#INSIGHTWITHLARIGOLD: It’s Sex Time by Yinka Akoleowo

Yinka shares some values I endorse about sex, hear her personal perspective to sex and marriage. Kindly do well to drop your comments too, whether you agree with her or not. Enjoy!

Right from childhood, I’ve always carried the knowing that I am unique, and that I need no one to affirm it. My thinking has always been far above average even among my peers. I seem to always have an idea about many things, if not the full picture, at least far more than half of it. Early enough, I told myself “no to premarital sex” as soon as my mum told me I was capable of bringing forth a child. Mum explained that “Having a family is no child’s play; no matter how old or prepared you are, there is always an element of surprise at each turn”.

Up until now, premarital sex didn’t use to be a celebrated thing in many Nigerian cultures, not among teenagers! As a teenager, I didn’t want to make community headlines, dragging my family name into the mud, by being the next teenage mother. So I made up my mind to do the right thing.  This is what I told myself; the only man that will know how good, bad or ugly I am in bed will be the man that has taken me to the altar. Not that I will run off with any man I see, but he must be approved by my parent, my parent necessarily don’t have to choose for me but he must be the man I love, and above all, he must love Christ, ‘cos I believe that a man who loves Christ can’t be struggling to love his wife, he should know how to love her right, give her the respect she deserves and help her in every way he can without being a tyrant. Simply because amidst so much love, respect, honour & humility is abides.

When a woman loves, it’s with all her heart. Nothing is left.

My stands on premarital sex and marriage might sound like a childhood fantasy, but believe me, it has helped me bottle up well. Not one of the above lines can be skipped; it must be truly followed to get the expected result. It is true that we live in a world where everything wrong now seems right, essentially because we erroneously choose to believe that everyone is doing it. Please snap out of it! Yeah it might seem as if everyone is losing their ability to discern from what is actually good or bad, yet, it’s important to note that it’s only in mathematics that negative * negative = positive. Our society might be losing its didactic values but we must pause in a while and then whisper some sensible truth to ourselves! Many things in life are worth waiting for, and to every single/unmarried person reading this; sex is part of it. How do you feel after doing it? So many adults are now in abusive relationship because they put the last thing first. Premarital sex can be likened to a man who wants to build a house & the first thing he buys is the paint far before getting the land. Even if you are doing it or you’re struggling with it, it’s never too late to put things right. Believe me no one says it’s going to be easy, but it’s worth the effort.

Our parents are the angels sent to guide us; they have lived long enough to know where the tree a child is cutting will fall. Never despise their warnings or frown at their rebukes because that which they see while laying you probably won’t see even when you climb the top of the tallest mountain.

The role of God cannot be over emphasized, always put God first in all you do then you will be great in life. Marriage is a sacred thing, where you do it with God’s blessing then you have the license to have sex in its full package. Old habits die hard but with God all things are possible including abstinence.

Yinka Akoleowo


#INSIGHTWITHLARIGOLD runs on every Saturday.

Lanre tweets @Lanre_Olagunju on Twitter

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It’s a sign of weakness to think that insecurity issues can be solved via a quick fix approach, it might be necessary that as a people, we relax, take a deep breath, and with the eye of shame begin to consider ourselves as a nation that dialogues with terrorists and compensates them so as to buy peace and security. If terrorists kill and cause anarchy for unthinkable demands, then what do you call those who plan to pay or negotiate with them? Evidently, Goodluck Jonathan’s administration is the worst thing that has happened to our fragile democracy.

President Goodluck Jonathan once told the entire world of the presence of Boko-Haram in his government and one would have assumed that some deep and secret intelligence work is going underground to check that out so as to install long lasting security to the nation. Compensating the Islamic Sect marks the end to all possible investigations and automatically rights the wrongs of their sponsors. We need not forget that Kabir Sokoto, the Christmas Day bomber of St Theresa Catholic Church, Madalla, Niger State was caught in the Governor of Borno’s lodge and that a police commissioner, Zakari Biu, apparently played a significant role in aiding Sokoto’s escape. What of Senator Ndume, who is standing trial for aiding and abetting Boko Haram? Once compensation plan is settled, then, we need not ask further questions from Alhaji Lawal Kaita, a northern leader who in October 2010 said Nigeria will be ungovernable if the president did not come from the North.

It’s somewhat alarming that the dreaded Islamic sect is now willing to dialogue and negotiate, that raises a whole lot of questions. We need to note that they once gave conditions for peace in February 2011, where they actually demanded that Ali Modu Sheriff, (The same former governor of Borno State whose arrest they are now demanding as a term for negotiation) steps down with immediate effect and permit members reclaim their mosque in Maiduguri.  Only for them to reject the offer for amnesty in May 2011 presented by the present governor of Borno state, Kashim Shettima

Is it that they have achieved their aim or that their masters have had enough blood shed? Or is it that they are out of cash and resources to finance their goals, hence they intend to pull a fast one on the weak and tactless federal government.  What beats my imagination is the amount of enthusiasm with which the Federal Government welcomed the silly offer and the amazing willingness to start drawing criteria for payments. It affirms that President Jonathan has only been fooling Nigerians with his “our administration is doing everything possible to ensure that the perpetrators of this dastardly act are brought to justice” speech which he doesn’t seem tired of giving after any bomb attack. Or could this possibly be his own definition of the justice he has been clamoring about?! Yes we all want peace to reign, but any cheap approach to getting it is not just it, because the fruits of such stupidity will ripen in few years, fully introducing anarchy and lawlessness in the country. We should expect that in no time several other groups will spring up.

The fact that dialogue and amnesty worked out with the Niger Delta militants who had clear demands is no guarantee that it would work out with Boko Haram who is fighting against western education alongside planning to Islamise the entire nation.

Dialoguing with them and paying them compensation simply implies that the Federal government who is saddled with the responsibility to protect lives and property has been cowed by some individuals. Where on earth is it heard that terrorists are compensated for killing innocent souls? What a shame! Reaching agreement with them will probably only lead to suspending their activities. They are terrorists, trained to commit suicide just like they have done on several occasions. Are we expecting that they will suddenly just become repentant? It didn’t happen like that with Maistasine!

The origin of terrorism in Nigeria can be widely traced to Maistasine, a religious sect founded by one late Malam Muhammadu Marwa alias Allah Ta-Tsine or Maitatsine, the group had same objectives with boko haram in the 80s. The ideology of the sect was to oppose modernization and Western influence, the first Maitasine violence in Kano claimed 4,177 lives. General Muhammed Buhari’s administration fought and wiped off the Maitasine sect and this  makes it understandable why General Buhari has refused to take up the role of mediator as the Boko Haram sect has demanded, stating that he would not have anything to do with the talks. “I do not know any member of the Boko Haram sect. I do not believe and I do not know of any religion that will go and kill people, burn schools”  Gen. Buhari clearly stated. President Goodluck Jonathan should be warned that negotiating implies that the Federal Government has lost total control of the country’s security.

Over N900billion was earmarked for security in the 2012 Budget alone, basically because of insecurity. The federal government according to The Financial Times has spent $1 billion on the amnesty program of the Niger delta ex-militants since inception. I think it’s time the government started working towards social security for the unemployed as long as the government remains incapable of creating employment and an environment that accommodates and encourages entrepreneurship.

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To say in the affirmative that religion is a curse is to intelligently throw out the bath water, the bathtub, and the baby all together. What hasn’t been abused by man in the real sense of the word ‘abuse’? Think of it, is it drug, food, money, or our environment? And to crown it all, man has also perfected how to abuse man. Or isn’t that the basis of child abuse? So with what side of the brain do we now categorize money, man, food as a curse?

In the words of Abu’l-Ala-Al-Ma’arri (973-1057), a Syrian Poet, “The world holds two classes of men – intelligent men without religion, and religious men without intelligence.” His brilliant articulation and classification finds deep and absolute expression in the Nigerian society most especially the former. Over here lack, destitute, poverty and ignorance has partially wiped out the space to marry intellect with religion if not totally.

It’s quite understandable that the level of lack, hunger and ignorance has been solely responsible for the total dependence on the divine for the most mundane things of life. It is here that we essentially have to pray that our roads be fixed, when God himself has abundantly provided all that we need in terms of natural resources to fix them. It’s here that you have to pray that your rights as a citizen come to you on time and in right proportion.  In this part of the world, we only haven’t perfected how to abuse man, we’ve also learnt to abuse God, too.

There’s this old saying that says that when the knowledge of a things is lost or deficient, the abuse of that thing is out rightly inevitable. Anyone who must use a drug and get the desired result must be willing to abide by the terms and condition of prescription administered by the pharmacist. It’s so easy to lazily blame religion for the backwardness in our nation or the inability of people to stay true to what they claim to believe. Wait and think, how many of those who claim to belong to one religion or the other actually know the basics of such religion, and how many have thwarted and amended the tenets of their religion for personal gain?

The Bible and the Koran are the two religious books that has its tenets well documented. I’m yet to see any compiled book or document that compiles the tenets of any of our local deity be it Ifa, Orunmila or Amadioha.

“My point of view is this, and I sincerely care less if you regard it as radical. Both camps would get a lot from reading their religious book as far as they don’t murder its interpretation in any way. If Islamist scholars are saying that Islam doesn’t in anyway support the killing of innocent people in God’s name, then it shows that some people are getting things twisted somewhere.

Yeah many Christians actually love the bible, though till date many only use it as a guide, well placed under the pillow. But how many actually read or know what it truly says? Many just carry these things around and probably feel that carrying and claiming to know what it entails is more fanciful than reading it.

It’s so very uncalled for to say that one religion is more perfect than the other or say that the good things in Nigeria were done by a particular religion as Sheik Gumi pointed out during the course of the week. To be candid, both religions are well represented in the group of charlatans who have brought big setbacks to this nation.

Do well to join me as we discuss other angles to this topic in my next column.

But till then if you must practice religion, be truth to yourself and the tenets of your faith. Also learn to respect the other fellow’s religion.

Do have a nice weekend!

#INSIGHTWITHLARIGOLD runs on every Saturday.

‘Lanre  Olagunju blogs @

Tweets @Lanre_Olagunju on Twitter.