Sunday, January 30, 2011

Readers-Response to Dis generation column

Just read your article “Vote for Virginity.” I love people like you who promote virginity. I strongly advocate it among young people of our time. I will be glad if you can link me with related organization(s). - Innocent, Kano State.

There were a lot of surprises in the election. Snatching of materials, manipulation and rigging. The election was not free, fair and credible. The praise singers, godfatherism and the sycophants had pave way for the success of the party in power. The election should be nullified due to the whirlwind. I don’t want things to remain like this. - Ogwuche Friday, Kwara State.

Your write up is great and a wake up call to the immoral world. I will like to meet you one day.

On vote for virginity, you tried but you need to simplify it for layman’s understanding if you actually want to pass the information to many. Ride on. One day, you’ll be on top. - Chudy Okeke aka Cemspo, Onitsha Anambra State.

re: Vote for virginity: I think we should preach this message in schools.

Thanks for your love-letter of 16th January 2011 (published) in the Nation newspaper. I have registered but I will not vote again because of what happened in Delta State when the winner of the election was not declared. I don’t want to waste my vote again or can you convince me?

Jenny, please help me tell INEC that most of their thump printing device is not working. -A reader from Iykmore Umueri.

Vote For Virginity

Image via Plane Buzz:

The decision on whether or not to engage in premarital sex is personal; at least that is how it is communicated these days. With the advent of 3.0 media, premarital sex has become a norm. Peer pressure and the entertainment industry bombard us with all sorts of images and music. In addition, there is the rise of text-sexual culture-“communicating sexually to another person through a cell phone or Blackberry via SMS or MMS text-messaging protocols.”

However, young people like Precious-Promise,  “GENERATIONAL RESCUE” columnist in PM News and Esther Ijewere, the founder of Rubies Ink give hope for the younger generation.  The rest of us, learning from experience, must not relent in mentoring the younger ones on the need to abstain from any detrimental or risky behaviour.

If virginity was a politician, what will be its manifesto?
I, honorable virginity of the Abstinence Party of Nigeria (APN) promise to use my good office to ensure that all who vote for me shall be free from unwanted pregnancy
As part of my responsibility to the electorates (teenagers) who regardless of peer pressure, commercials, music lyrics and movies (opposition party?) still say “YES” to me, I shall protect them from the pain, guilt, shame and regret that is attached to broken sexual relationship. They shall be free from the feeling of being used and dumped. If voted for, I, honourable virginity shall protect the pride of all the electorates… they would be able to walk out of any abusive relationship without feeling at loss…
I honourable virginity shall also ensure that you are free from all sorts of sexually transmitted disease and infections. I shall ensure that your spouse trust you and will be confident of your fidelity and faithfulness to the marital vow even on his/her absence.
-An excerpt from Precious-Promise’ book, Rescue Nuggets for Teenagers.

I, this Temple
I lay it all down.
For my strength has failed me,
from running the race on my terms.
I, this Temple, kneel before Your Throne, shaken.

They tell me it is okay to linger here awhile,
in the dark that is always light before You
and allow the hands of strange children
rest on the bosom of I, this Temple.

But I resist Mr. brute tonight and he flee.
With trembling feet,
I, this Temple, push away from the door of lust.
Broken, I stop to knock on Heaven’s gate.

You know me as I am
please do not raise a stone in my place.
Even when I am a stranger to myself.
Refine I, this Temple, like gold for Your Praise

Let Your Word be omnipresent in my heart
I, this Temple, My body is Your Temple,
Cleanse me and stay
help me guide it jealously for Your glory.

Redeem me lover of my soul,
I, this Temple, want to be Yours without compromise
Cover me with Your wings like a veil
Make my body Your Temple and stay.
(c) Jennifer Ehidiamen

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Why You Must Register To Vote #RSVP

After 4-hours of waiting for them, the NYSC-INEC team turned-up this morning with long faces. Their laptop ran out of battery yesterday and they were not able to recharge it... What can the masses do? Blame and curse at INEC Chairman? No. We fundraised, bought fuel, hustled for generator in the neighborhood and powered the registration "machine" so that the exercise can continue...
Why You Must Register To Vote #RSVP
- by  Abiola M. Adesanya

Aah! The week ahead is going to be a very dynamic one-- especially because it launches the much awaited “Voters Registration” exercise! I got this very interesting message in my mailbox and thought it will be a good one for you to read too… It is what I’ll like to term “A love letter” to Nigerians- why you must register and vote!

Dear fellow Nigerian,

Are you aware of the INEC Voters Registration exercise coming up between January 15th and 29th, 2011? Are you going to do your part to make change happen and participate?

You may be thinking 'why bother? After all, they will end up rigging the elections anyway. So what's the whole point? I'll just be wasting my timequeuing up in this harmattan haze in order to register to vote. Look what happened the last time'.

But let me ask you - do you just give up on something precious because it isn't working very well? Do you trash it and condemn it or do you try and get it fixed?

Isn't Nigeria worth fixing? Isn't she worth another try? And another and another if that's what it will take? Will we just give up on her and say 'well no matter what we do, it won't work and it won't get better'?

Aren't u tired of the way things are and the fact that things aren't working as they ought to in our country? Aren't you tired of the stigma being a Nigerian brings? Don't you desire and deserve  change for the better? But will that change happen just like that? Is national change possible if we don't first change our individual attitudes, choices and actions? All the great nations in the world today became so because their people were actively involved in and not apathetic towards nation building!

Fellow Nigerian, if we sit back, fold our arms and do nothing, "they" will only continue to plunder, loot, rape and pillage Nigeria for all she's worth. They will only continue to belittle and demean us with their black lies and empty promises and things will get worse, not better.
It is up to us, the true patriots, to do what we can to bring about the change we desire in this country for ourselves and for generations yet unborn. The power is in our hands; let's use it wisely.

Make sure you register to vote come January 15th to 29th, 2011, and encourage others to do so also. Remember, your vote is your voice. Let it be heard. 

For more information and to locate the nearest registration centre to your residence, visit today.

Whatever you do, don't give up on Nigeria!! 

Written by: Abiola M. Adesanya

Hear ye, hear ye...

Sunday, January 09, 2011

Project Back to School

The Nigeria education system is plummeting, but what can the masses do? Should we fold our arms and wag our tongues at the government leaders? Olamide Ogunleye does not think so.

In 2009, Olamide launched “Olamild Entertainment,” an organization founded to provide in-depth information about Nigeria entertainment industry by showcasing Nigerians who are making impact in their chosen fields and motivate youth to greatness.

However, a growing concern about the condition of the Nigeria education system inspired her organization to initiate a youth empowerment project tagged ’BACK TO SCHOOL' in partnership with the Yoruba Youth Corporation [YYC] the umbrella body of all Yoruba youths in North America

“We are of the belief that youth education and empowerment cannot be left in the hands of government and parents alone, we all have roles to play in making the children of today good leaders tomorrow.” She stated.

For over 3 months, Olamide rallied around friends and colleagues, to donate school supplies, money or in-kind donations for under-served public schools in Lagos and Ibadan.

Although she has been based in the States for the past eight years, Olamide noted that it was not the usual “West to the rest” approach of sending aids to “poor Africa”. “If I was based in Lagos, I am sure I would have done the same thing…If God has blessed you why not be a blessing to others?”

From January 10th to 12th, Project Back to School team of volunteers will be in Makoko and Amuwo, donating school supplies to children. Aside Lagos, they also plan to replicate the programme in Ibadan.

The project will help reduce illiteracy rates, as the students will receive enough supplies to last them for the 2011 school year. A minimum of 200 students will benefit from the first phase of the project. 

Fela Durotoye launched a similar project in 2006, tagged Project “RAISE”- an acronym for Revive Academic excellence In Schools & Educational institutions. Last year, the organization launched “Project Raise One Million,” an initiative that seeks to encourage one million tutors who will volunteer to teach students in preparation for the JAMB UTME and SSCE. Students converge at different learning centers in Lagos, which include Surulere Girls Secondary School, Government College and Eric Moore School.

While RAISE targets secondary schools, "Back to School" targets primary school pupils. About Fela’s work, Olamide said “He inspires me a lot.” 

“He who opens a school door closes a prison.” Victor Hugo, a Human rights activist and Poet, once said. Like Olamide Ogunleye and Fela Durotoye, everyone must take positive action to save the Nigeria Education system and keep more school doors open, to empower the Nigerian youth.

To learn more about Project Back to School visit for RAISE visit

Sunday, January 02, 2011

Set yourself up for success!

Keeping in mind the importance of learning from the past, I asked a few youth leaders to identify their high point for 2010…learning from its success and looking forward 2011…

Wait for no one
Esther Eshiet, a human sexuality educator and women and girls' rights activist said: “Wait for no one.” On July 2010, she was conferred with the Moremi Fellowship in Ghana. Moremi Initiative for Women's Leadership in Africa strives to engage, inspire and equip young women and girls to become the next generation of leading politicians, activists, social entrepreneurs and change agents. The initiative yearly selects young girls under 25years of age, who have displayed leadership in different endeavors. For lessons learn in 2010, Esther said “I have learnt to go with my instincts and it has been a decisive year for me. I have high hopes for the year 2011; It will be a spectacular year!" On 2011 cue to other young people, she advised them to read wide, look around and solve a problem, not to accept the status quo but to act differently for a better result.

Giving is living
Femi Aderibigbe, the Executive Director of ImpactHouse on his high point for 2010, “I was invited on the basis of the Civil Society Partnership with Lagos State. So I represented Lagos State Civil Society Partnership- LACSOP.” He was the only youth sitting on the panel, a unique opportunity to work with the Commissioner of Health, and other Directors of the ministry on the 2011 operational plan for Lagos State. Although it was a hectic engagement, he said, “I feel favored to contribute my quota to the process of good governance in Lagos State.” Reflecting on lessons learned in 2010 and looking forward to 2011, Femi advises that we should in 2011 shirk the “what is in it for me” attitude. “The primary mission of man on earth is to give.” Then he added “Youth must discover who they are and the skills they are endowed with- this ought to be the source of their giving…it is more of our essence of living."

God First, then the right people
Chioma Chukwuneta, a professional Accountant wraps up the discourse with her remarkable words “My highest point in 2010 is being commended at the end of my service year (NYSC) for my community development project.” To young people, “my advice is seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness and every thing good will be added to you. Stay focused and mix up with the right people.

Be Bold
No matter how ecstatic 2010 was for me, like everyone else, I had a high and low. But, I learned not to waste time mulling over failures. Learn from experience. Be bold. Set yourself up for success and take a leap of faith! Have a fabulous New Year!