Conscious of this year’s theme for the celebration, #PressForProgress, we at PAND engaged women and the would-bes on how to be better women – who would engineer global prosperity – in Abeokuta.

Our team of speakers, drawn from the private and public sectors (women and men) did justice to topics on Health, Business and Nation Building. Also, business funding opportunity was availed the participants, through a community microfinance bank.
At the end of yesterday, we got tonnes of commendations for putting the event together.

At #PAND, we have revolved to do more for the good of humanity and Nigeria. And we are on course – no section of humanity would be spared!

#IWD2018 #internationalwomensday #pand #standwith9ja #humanity #genderequality #genderbalance #sdg5 #women #female #Abeokuta #Ogun #news #event



Source: madison


This piece is a summary of an online seminar on the topic, “GETTING BETTER IN THE YEAR 2018”, held on Thursday, January 11, 2018.


This is a new year. Who has thought of achieving something meaningful this year? How to get ahead is what we are discussing tonight. With what you have in mind, to get them achieved, you gave to be a better person.

Yes, better than what you were the year before. If you get better, certainly, you would achieve your aim this year. That is why some people, at the end of every year have a draft of what they call NEW YEAR RESOLUTION.

If don’t have one yet, and wishes to get better in the new year, it’s never too late to draft yours. You may wonder why you need it, it’s simply because that single document or writing could help you become a better person if you follow your work plan well.

Though, some people who draft New Year Resolution do not achieve their goals. This is because they do not commit themselves to it.
So, to get better, you need one principle. It’s called DISCIPLINE. Now to get started, I’m going to give you a model. This is to be adopted by those who want to make things happen for themselves differently in a new year. And this is one!

Before I talk about the model, I would like to ask that you think of what you wish to achieve this year, think about it very well.

Thinking and soul searching are the first set of actions for you. You have to know what you’re doing or what you wish to do. If that is settled, then, the model I’m gonna give you will help you to achieve them.

Pls note that what I’m giving you is not a magic wand. You may not achieve your dreams or get better if you don’t work towards it. And to work for your dreams, you only need steps. This is model I talked about. The model is GO-SAP.

What does it mean? GO stands for Goal.

What is your goal?

Your goal is what you want to achieve. It may be more than one. In fact, it may be a PSD goal. PSD means Personal Development. Your goal has to be your own product. No one will know your desire more than you do. Someone or persons can only guide you. I hope you’re getting it?

Like I said before, soul searching is one surest way to get what you really want. When you get that, pen it/them down.

You may think. Oh! What I want is to learn a new language. You may in another stance be considering travelling abroad for your studies. Write it/them down!

If you have more than one, nothing is bad in that. The way you go about them would determine what you get out of the year. OK?

After you must have written it down, then, you ‘S’. *S* connotes *Strategy*. You have to strategize. You conduct a background check, know the issues or processes related to what you are aiming at, and work out modalities of getting around them.

If you have got the necessary info, you pen them down in a hierarchical order. Those would form your lines of action. If you want to achieve anything in a year and you have found out issues surrounding same, just arrange them, and break them down into small units. For example, you want to travel abroad to study, you need first get an International passport, know your course of choice, identify your school, apply for the admission and get set…

As you can see, a goal has been broken down. Yours too must be broken down.

As you break them down, you now allocate time to each. The time you allocate will continue to drive you to take care of your goal.

Pls, you must stick to the time you allocate for each. That is why it’s important you DISCIPLINE yourself. Remember I said it earlier. The caveat remains Discipline!

It’s important. The time frame you give each steps must be followed to the latter. It’s important, as a change in the time, in form of extention, will affect the end result.

If you have broken them down into steps, then, you need begin to ACT. ACTION is sine qua non to achieving your dreams. Without ACTION, nothing would be achieved.

You may have many goals, you may wish to achieve many things, but, if you don’t take the bold step and make a move, they will remain as they are – JUST DREAM!

As you get through with a step or level of action, you mark it on your draft, and clap for your self 😀. That shows you’ve done well. Remember, you must get that step done within the timeframe alloted.

If there is a dislocation with your time, there may be a problem. And that may take you extra energy, time or even resources to get it done, if you are fortunate to still have the opportunity. Some opportunity comes once in life time. Once missed, that is the end. I hope you wont allow that be your portion.

If all of these are in place, all you need do again, by virtue of African value, which is ours, is, pray. You’re no doubt familiar with the popular line, *Prayer is the key*.

I should have started with *Prayer*, but, I wouldn’t want to sound too religious or make you look at prayer as the ‘*most important*’. Prayer is though important, but, you must not priotize prayer over effort and the ACTIONS actions needed to make you achieve your desire.

The Holy Books teach us to work and pray. Isn’t it? So, pray for divine intervention and support. And trust me, it would come with ease.
Stick to the rules, stay true to your games, and be optimistic. You need believe in your own efforts and the power of God

As we go on this year, let’s ACT more and talk less. Acta non verba (Deeds Not Words) should be your watchword.

Would you draft your RESOLUTION/PLAN OF ACTION for the year? You should, if you haven’t. And if you have, take a look at it again.

NOTE: How to Search your Soul.

What time of the day or even moment makes you listen to your heart? When you have identified that, then, you’re good to search your soul.

Soul searching, in this sense, is about getting to know what goals you want to achieve. Ask yourself these sincere and probing questions; What do I desire?

Where do I wish to see myself by the end of this year?

What do you want to do differently, etc.

You may have to get a very cool place, relax your mind and think! As the ideas come, draft them down. If you are able to pick anything, which I’m sure you would, that means you have taken a step towards achieving your dream and becoming a better person.


I wish you a very productive year ahead!


The Lecture was delivered by Moshood, Muhammed S.


Feel free to reach Muhammed via moshood1044@gmail.com


Follow on Twitter; @moshood_m

Benue Killings: An Open Letter to President Muhammadu Buhari


Herdsmen at work

By Matthew Abur

Dear President Muhammadu Buhari,

First of all, permit me to wish you a Happy New Year. A year that has greeted us with both good and tragic occurrences. Let me also use this medium to console you over your sons recent involvement in an accident. I would like to point out that God has demonstrated his mercy by giving you another lease of life having survived the onslaught of sickness last year. I must remind you that while you were away, the good people of Benue State who have been hungry due to unpaid salaries turned that as a valid opportunity to fast and pray for your quick recovery and final extinction of rats from your office but their reward from all these labour is total neglect and abandonment.

President Muhammadu Buhari: Time to act is now!

Mr President Sir, permit me to inform you that the good people of Benue State have for a long time been under the oppression of some terrorist groups under the auspices of herdsmen maiming and killing innocent citizens of the state as well as destroying properties worth billions of naira but however, none of these man’s inhumanity to man has attracted a condemnation from you or perhaps from the government at the centre. You only coughed mucous out of your nose when some angry youths took the streets recently to protest in makurdi.

Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue

You have never for once stepped your feet on the shores of Benue soil to see things for yourself. Are the Fulani herdsmen who have continued to kill thousands in Benue State and indeed all over some states not qualified to be declared a terrorist group? This question demands a quick answer my president.Injustice must not be allowed to put stains on our nation flag which claim to uphold unity.

Sir, when two persons were killed in a bomb blast in the North East, we saw your prompt response. Multitudes have continued to rush to the grave living many orphans, widows and some homeless in Benue State and some states. Are we now strangers in Nigeria not to be qualified for same equal rights of enjoying security and sleeping with our two eyes closed? If we continue to keep silent and not find a lasting solution thinking this is only a Benue problem, who knows where these terrorists groups will launch their next attack?

I write this letter from a bitter heart having seen the level of recent killings in Guma Local government of Benue State. I therefore call for a quick intervention from the federal government. Let me remind you that Benue people are very strong and have all it takes to quell all these by taking laws into their hands but since their victory during the jukum crises in 2003, they resolved for peace and that is what they have been known for since then. That is why they democratically passed the anti-open grazing bill into law in 2017.

Mr President, can you demonstrate that love for Benue citizens by excluding both religious and tribal sentiments on your innermost heart and deploying heavy security presence to help protect lives and properties and as well nip to bud the perpetrators of these ills and killings. The rate of blood been she’d by these herdsmen have turned the colour of the popular Benue river into a different colour and if quick measures are not taken, who knows where this blood will flow and empty to next time? The fact that this act of terrorism is hitting hard on Benue today does not mean it will not aggravate but my prayer is that Mr President will address this issue once and for all.

Mr President Sir, l therefore call on you to take proactive actions in taming the raging activities of these terrorists groups in Nigeria. It is time to arise and declare war on boko-herdsmen in Nigeria Mr President. All these silence does not speak well of your government.The IGP and other sister security agencies needs to rise up to their task and ensure that these terrorists are crushed to their feet. All these silence are sending a different signal in the mind of Benue people and indeed well meaning Nigerians.

It’s time to arise and declare war on boko-fulani herdsmen.Enough is enough! We need Equality in Nigeria. We need peace not war! Arise Mr President and Save us from Fulani herdsmen/Terrorists.

Cc: Senate President and all Senators
Cc:Speaker, House of Representatives and all members.
Cc: All Nigerian Governors
Cc: Inspector General of Police and All Security Agencies
Cc: Benue sons and daughters in Diaspora

IG finally bars SARS

Worried by the clamour for scrapping of Special Anti-Robbery Squard (SARS) of the Nigerian Police Force, which started with online #EndSars campaign, Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, has taken decisions.

According to a report by Punch’s Adelani Adepegba, The IG has barred operatives of the SARS, from providing security protection for Very Important Persons.

He also asked them to stop conducting ‘stop-and-search on roads, involvement in civil matters including land disputes, personal disputes, debt collection and other civil issues.

Idris spoke during a meeting with SARS commanders at the Force Headquarters, Abuja on Friday. The IG directed that all operatives of the squad must henceforth appear in official uniform clearly marked for identification.

He said they could only conduct stop-and-search operation on roads when necessary, adding that such operation must be with the permission of Commissioner of SARS or Deputy Commissioner and Assistant Commissioner of Police in charge of operations in the commands they are answerable to.

Any operation conducted by the operatives, according to the Nigerian police boss, must be in a “non-discriminatory, proportional, fair and accountable manner.”

The measures, he said,were as a result of the police administration’s response to the yearnings and demands of modern policing. “In demonstration of good faith to the aspiration of the Nigerian populace, I have given mandate to the IGP’s Monitoring Units and ‘X’ Squad and other oversight units of the Force to monitor the activities of the SARS operatives, while in the same vein, citizens are encouraged to avail the police ways to improve SARS operations across the nation”, he added.

Other measures which the police leadership has taken to reform the SARS, according to the IG, were the designation of the Deputy Inspector-General of Police in charge of operations to lead the unit as its strategic commander and appointment of a Commissioner of Police as a field Commander of all activities related to SARS.

Idris disclosed that SARS operations in each state command would be under the Commissioner of Police through the Deputy Commissioners and Assistant Commissioners of Police in charge of operations.

As part of the reform, the police boss hinted that psychometric test, training and continuous assessment of operatives would be deployed to determine the suitability or otherwise of their role in keeping with acceptable standard operating procedures.

He also said the unit would be confined to its established role of preventing, confronting and solving cases related to armed robbery and generally protecting the public from armed robbery and other violent crimes.

Nigerians Warned Not to Accept Gift This Season

As the festive seasons draw nearer, Nigerians have been warned not to accept wrapped gifts and other items from members of the public unknown to them.

The Commissioner of Police in Niger, Mr Dibal Yakadi, on Saturday, gave the advice in Minna in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria.

He said such gifts could turn out to be parcel bombs and dangerous if opened.

He also urged the people to be security conscious, especially while attending public functions during and after festivities.

The Niger State Police boss disclosed that the command had already taken proactive security measures to deal with threats to peace before, during and after the Yuletide.

In his words, ‘‘We will continue to utilise the avenues of intelligence-led policing, community, visibility policing as well as constant intelligence-led raid on criminal hideouts,’’ he said.

He called on residents and indeed all Nigerians to provide useful information on suspicious movements of people, saying this would assist security officials to apprehend criminals at the planning stages of their activities.

“We are battle ready to deal with any form of security threats to enable people celebrate the festivities in a peaceful atmosphere,’’ he said.

He further urged officers and men of the command to continue to put in their best as hard working ones would be rewarded, while the indolent personnel would be sanctioned accordingly.

Collapse of security system: A Call for Action

Disturbed by the security situation in the country and the recent outrage by Nigerians calling for the scrapping of Special Anti Robbery Squard (SARS), an arm of the Nigerian police, Punch Newspaper in it’s Editorial page writes:

AT a recent charged plenary session, senators roundly condemned the collapse of the country’s security system. The Senate said that many lives were being lost in the country to clashes and crimes without a major step taken by the government to stop the killings. Regrettably, the Muhammadu Buhari administration creates the impression of helplessness in dealing with the dangerous trend.

Horrible killings have escalated in Numan, Adamawa State. Reports state that about 100 villagers have been massacred following clashes between the locals and invading Fulani herdsmen, who have a history rich in atrocities. The official response has seen Nigerian Air Force planes strafe the villages where perpetrators are holed up. This is a knee-jerk reaction. Fulani herdsmen, on the pretext of cattle rearing, are a major cause of security breaches in Nigeria. They have rendered Benue, Taraba, Nasarawa, Kaduna, Ondo, Cross River, Enugu and Bayelsa states unsafe with their wanton killings and destruction of farmland.

Nigeria is also afflicted with armed robbery, kidnapping, gangland violence, ritual killings and rape. The Boko Haram insurgency is still claiming lives despite the military’s claim of degrading the terror sect. Kidnappers have entrenched their nefarious activities on the Kaduna-Abuja Expressway. In June, they abducted 46 travellers in broad daylight. In November, they murdered a Federal Road Safety Corps official, abducting his colleagues and co-travellers. The police high command made all the right noises, but it all came to nothing.

Citizens live in fear across the country. On December 8, a gang of robbers attacked a bullion van in Asaba, the Delta State capital, in broad daylight, carting away huge sums of money. On December 6, a former Minister of Sports, Damishi Sango, his son and four others were abducted on the Kaduna-Abuja Road. They were released a few days later. Schools in Lagos, including the Model College, Epe; Babington Macaulay, Ikorodu and the Nigerian-Turkish Academy, Isheri, Ogun State, have tasted the wrath of kidnappers. In Ogun State, pipeline vandals brazenly appropriate petroleum products and kidnap for ransom. Rivers State is as terrible. It is a risk to travel in the Emohua corridor of the oil-rich state, where armed militia hijack vehicles at will.

In Zamfara, Niger, Kogi and Kaduna states, cattle rustling is pervasive. In November, Niger Delta militants abducted missionaries belonging to a medical charity, New Foundations, which was founded in 2003. Two of them, David and Shirley Donovan, were released after ransom exchanged hands; but the third, Ian Squire, was shot dead moments after singing Amazing Grace to the group. No one has been held accountable for the security lapse.

But there is enough blame to go round. The lawmakers cannot be divorced from the security breaches. They are part of the elite, who are being protected by about 110,000 police officers, out of a force of 370,000, according to police figures. Apart from being poorly funded, the NPF is infested with armed thugs who are completely ignorant of the laws they are entrusted with to enforce. As presently constituted, the force is an instrument of state oppression and exploitation.

The Buhari administration should publicly set out a clear strategy, including police reform and funding capable of attending to the population’s safety and security. While corruption has to be tackled, recruitment should be conducted transparently to prevent criminals from enlisting in the force. The IG should put a system in place to weed out bad cops.

Effective crime control depends on competent intelligence gathering. But, the Nigerian police have a poor relationship with the public, which views them with suspicion and hostility because of their history of brutality. This ought to be corrected. A healthy relationship encourages the public to feed the police with vital tips on criminal activities. Also, the closed circuit television camera, a critical tool for intelligence gathering in various parts of the world, is almost non-existent in Nigeria. In 2010, the Federal Government signed a $470 million contract with a Chinese company, ZTE Communications, for the installation of CCTV in Abuja and Lagos. Seven years on, there is nothing to show for it.

In contrast, there were 4.9 million CCTV cameras in Britain or one for every 14 people, and 750,000 in sensitive locations such as schools, hospitals and care homes as of 2014, according to a British Security Industry Authority survey. A few days after a bomb attack on a music concert in the Manchester Arena in May, police released CCTV images of the suspect, Salman Abedi, 22, who was captured on security film at Manchester Airport, Market Street and Granby Row near Piccadilly Station. Police used the footage to call for more information on him. Without an effective CCTV system, body-worn videos, drones, number-plate recognition system and other high-end technological devices, the Nigerian police would be groping in the dark.

For now, Nigeria is under-policed. A single, centralised police force for a population estimated at 193.3 million by the National Bureau of Statistics cuts an underwhelming picture. New solutions recommend themselves to Buhari and Idris.

The President should work with the parliament to decentralise the policing system, and build up capacity with armoured personnel carriers, communications equipment, helicopters and surveillance systems. Efficiency requires community policing. It is an aberration that such is absent in the country. Apart from community police forces, schools, estates, highway patrol forces, state police and local council police, should be in place as soon as possible. Ultimately, the fight against crime is about involving the community.


As rate of unemployment in the country stands at the sky, with government trying to placate the situation, Uche Metuh bares her mind;

I’ll tell you a story.

There’s this girl who aced all her subjects in secondary school.

Not just acing but award-worthy educational success.

She was so good that at her Junior Secondary 3 (JSS 3) level, she was solving mathematical problems from Senior Secondary 1/2 (SS 1/2) curriculum.

1st Mistake

She loved Maths & computers but was admitted into the university to study Geology.

Today, she still thinks she would have been a statistics wizard if she’d been allowed to just study Math or Engineering. You know – subjects where she doesn’t have to always cram some qualitative garbage but provide quantitative solutions.

2nd Mistake

When she got into the university, she realized she didn’t have to study very hard. Very few people were bothering to anyway. She was extremely smart & could hold her own but it became easier to combine intellectual efforts with other students at assignments, tests & final exams.

The system allowed it.

All her friends did it so, why fight it?

3rd Mistake

While at school, no one ever taught her how to write a résumé or successfully approach interviews.

She, just like everyone around her wanted a good life but the system pretty much set them up to fail.

When she graduated, she met a professional at an international oil & gas company who asked her what she wanted to do in life & to explain her undergraduate degree experience but she was not prepared for that.

She gave answers which were weak, mostly incoherent, lacked precision or clarity.

She’d never thought of herself in that light.

The internet wasn’t readily accessible back then so she was pretty much left on her own with her fellow ignorant peers.

She also had a great & supportive family who she leaned on.

Luckily for her, she got some mentors, then left the country for her masters degree.

At 1st, she struggled at her Canadian university.

Correcting her 2nd mistake

She had to actually learn all those skills & resources she didn’t bother with back in Nigeria due to combined students’ efforts.

She had to read all those textbooks she never bothered with in her Nigerian university in order to excel at her program.

Correcting her 3rd mistake

She also met lecturers whose method of teaching was about empowering students to run with their ideas.

It wasn’t about multiple choice questions but making a case of why Case A is better/worse than Case B.

It made her actually think for the 1st time in her life. She learned how to make great presentations. It was a confidence boost. It was exhilarating!

She learned about plagiarism which is a very despicable thing. She also learned about self-development, professional development & presentations.

She learned it was ok to make decisions, make mistakes & then learn from them.

She became comfortable working alone & also with a team. She learned the power of independence.

She was a different person.

She became more confident about her thoughts & ideas. No one laughs at her mistakes nor condemns her for them.

Her bosses don’t care about always being right or barking orders at those under them. Team contributions is crucial, encouraged & needed.

Everybody is equal. No one feared anyone. It was a healthy environment. She was valued. She freely runs her program the way she sees fit.

This is my story.

There’s no correcting my 1st mistake. If I ever do, I’ll tell a story about it.

If you read this, you’d understand how the Nigerian system encourages laziness & might discourage talent because of envy or pride.

Many Nigerian graduates are victims of their own underdeveloped & redundant society.

Maybe with the internet, a few might self-improve. Otherwise, they’re unemployable because there’s very few people to teach them better.

Note to any Nigerian student reading this – don’t take the easy way out. Read not just to pass your examinations but to actually know.

You’d be truly a better person & student for it.

Good luck!