Monday, December 13, 2010

Transformational Leaders' Values Pledge



·To be ethical, operating in the highest integrity to produce and deliver superior products and services, including:

-Refusal to accept or pay bribes

-Paying taxes

-Paying reasonable salaries/wages

·To intentionally invest in the betterment of my workforce and their families.

·To actively pursue the transformation of my sphere of influence and expertise in the marketplace.

·To invest generously and sacrificially in the broader community with the focus on eradicating systematic poverty.

·To purposefully connect with other companies, professions and individuals to impact the world.


·To be ethical, operating in the highest integrity and living values that will positively influence society, e.g.:

-Respecting the authorities placed over us.

-Focusing on the needs of others, rather than achieving success at the expense of others.

-Refusal to accept or pay bribes, or being forced to become involved in any practise that would endanger a safe living environment for all.

·To intentionally invest in the betterment of the people in my sphere of influence and their families.

·To actively pursue the transformation of my sphere of influence.

·To use my resources, time and talents to help eradicate poverty in the broader community.

·To purposefully connect with other young friends on campus or at the work place to impact our community and nation.


·To equip, commission and release my members to reach the marketplace and affect the nation.

-To diligently pursue the organic unity of the nation.

-To preach peace, tolerance and love among citizens.

-To promote true godliness, puritanical values, honesty and integrity among followers

So help me God"

To Love, Or To Condemn?

"Christians" in our society continue to use and misuse the "Sword" and the "Rod" of God in a manner that shows some old things may not have passed away. Judgementalism, strife, hatred concealed as correction, separatism, theological elitism, holier-than-thouism. These lead to some of us stretching our tongues out in wickedness, in the name of self-protection, destroying unseen enemies or known ones, etc. The Bible has progressive, even dispensational revelations and thus, applications of the truths embedded. Lets not wear the New Testament toga while living by the Old Testament Dogma and mindset.

I have learn't from direct experience, that obedience to the doctrines of love will yield a much more desirable result than praying/speaking in a manner that exposes the wickedness of our own hearts. When a man's ways please the Lord, He will make his/her enemies to be at peace with him/her. The Bible tells us, to the pure, all things are pure. It says, the merciful shall obtain mercy, it shows that Jesus prayed for forgiveness of those who were killing him.

God may have called the Hebrews a stiff-necked people, and threatened to kill them, yet, He forbade Balaam from cursing them. How do you know if your "enemy" of today is not going to be God's redeemed Apostle of tomorrow? How do you discern when a person is under satanic influence or truly wicked? How would you like to be judged by the standards that you judge others, for whereas some may hurt you, yet you too hurt others.

A self-confessed witch stood in front of me, and I began to pray judgement upon her - but the Holy Spirit interrupted my arrogance, and said "tell her I (God) love her" - Awesome grace from a loving Father. She broke down, penitent, confessing, praising, she serves in the vineyard. Brethren, beware, its a thin line between self-preservation and witchcraft. We should not interpret all actions against us in traditional methodology, we ought to discern. And how can one not filled with the Holy Spirit discern properly, that would be divination rather than discernment.

In conclusion. Lets practice the "Fruit of The Spirit"...that is the "Whole Armour" of God.

The Ultimate Is Love. God bless us all.

George Ashiru

The Civil Service & Nation Building

The Civil Service is the bridge between the political leadership and the citizenry. The value that citizens get from governance is often dependent on the disposition of the civil service - Serving the people or abetting the professional politician in authority.

The inherited structures defining the civil service was designed to create value for the electorate, but it can be tweaked to provide "manna" for the professionals in political leadership. No one can sign a dime out of our corporate finance without a civil service involvement, and only a civil servant can provide documentary information to nail every inappropriate transaction emanating in government.

May God bless the civil servant with integrity. Transformation cannot occur without the cooperation of the civil service. Politicians come and go, but the civil service remains...lets transform the civil service to create value for our collective good.

George H. Ashiru

Saturday, December 4, 2010



Their love was seemingly made in heaven. They went arm in arm all their years on campus, had many things in common, and attended the same fellowship. The University was their Garden of Eden. Contrasting lives moulded together by a homogeneous academic and social community. Their contrasts were the attractive qualities. They met through a mutual friend, Matilda, who indeed had brought them into the popular fellowship on campus.

She was raised in a middle-class family and had many of the fine things of life. Her folks were both senior public servants and lived in official quarters and got to travel abroad frequently on trips paid for by government. The economy was better then than it is now, and she and her siblings got to travel often too.

She was an A grade student, and had schooled at the prestigious Queen's College. Not only was she intelligent, she was beautiful. Suitors were already lining up right from her A' Level days at Loughborough College in the UK. She got into the University by direct entry and she studied Pharmacy. Her name is Anjola, but she is more popularly called 'Angel'. She often wore glasses.

He, after several attempts, got enroled to study Philosophy. He was restless and unsatisfied with both his career path and his situation. A fastidious student of 'Socratic Methodologies', he had a philosophy for his situation, and everything else that happened in his life. He had interesting and often contrary opinions about everything under the sun. He was broody and aloof, but had a close network of buddies that shared his passions. He liked to sing to play the guitar whenever he was alone.

His name is Lanre, and was popularly called Larry. He was rugged in his good looks and spotted a full beard though neatly trimmed. When he frowned, it was a scowl, but whenever he smiled, the sun came out. That was his attraction. He was quite persuasive in words and emotive in expression and it was difficult not to agree with his thoughtlines - being quite philosophic. He didn't have a lot of money, never drank or smoked - he is orphaned and was brought up by his Uncles.

Larry and Angel grew in the fellowships they both attended, and Larry having had an unstable religious foundation, questioned every word and preaching and had a logical twist to every miracle - being a philosopher. Nonetheless, he came quite often, and became quite close to the Pastor of the local fellowship. Soon, he began attending, on Sundays, the mother cathedral, and was soon known for his endless questions, to the Church heirachy. The Senior Pastor chose to mentor him, as his was a delicate issue.

Angel drew closer to graduation while Larry was still in his penultimate year. She was headed for medical internship. But she had begun to complain that Larry seemed more addicted to the Church than to her. They were not spending enough 'quality time' together, she complained. He soothed her nerves, promising to marry her at the end of his course. She completed her internship in a different city and then proceeded for the national youth service in yet another.

In the meantime, Larry seemed to have become quite addicted to Christian service...and he told Angel. She was pleased to hear that. The distance didn't help though, and they soon had less time together to plan their future. He was in his final session on campus.

One afternoon, he had a call from Angel...she called to break up with him. She cried over the phone. She said the last four years were the most amazing of her life. She sobbed "I love you, but I want better". She explained how she met another Christian brother where she served, at a local Church. He was an engineer, working in an oil services firm, and apparently had attended Loughborough College a few years before her. They had so many things in common. He had potential.

Larry was broken...and he put all his heart into Christian ministry. Angel got married.

...Eight years later...

Angel was quite happy. She had two children, a God fearing and successful husband. His name is Dede. Dede came home one night from work with some excitement in his face. He had just being promoted to regional manager in his firm, and transferred to the nation's beautiful capital city. She was excited too...they had both prayed for this. But first Dede had to visit the City for a month to organise logistics before they could move permanently. Angel reminded him to look for a good Church they could attend once in the City.

Dede was back after a month. he had gotten a house. They were okay to move all their possessions to the City. But he looked and spoke differently on his return. Angel held his hands, led him to their 'Situation Room'.

"Dede". You have changed somewhat.

"Oh yeah?" Dede seemed surprised

"Yes. You are subdued yet happy"

"Is it so obvious?"

"Sure. Tell, my darling...what happened while you were in Abuja"

"Wow". Dede began.

He spoke about going into a Church for was a magnificent edifice. Everything and everyone was proper, friendly and showed genuine Christian character. The worship was unbelievable and he found himself crying. He had never experienced God this way. It made him feel cheated...that he probably never really knew God. Then a woman came forth to minister, and he was electrified. She spoke with passion and conviction. He learnt that she was the Pastor's wife. Then came the Pastor.

The man was so gentle with words, so empathetic in his ministration and effective in his explanations that he thought he had never heard the Scripture preached before. He knew he just had to meet the man. Afterwards, Dede met up with the Pastor. He couldn't tell his age...he had white hairs on the sides, and a quite powerful stare, yet gentle mien. After their meeting Dede recommitted himself to God and chose the Pastor as his personal mentor.

Angel was transfixed, and excited. The story was already making her eyes misty. She was inspired. She could not wait to get to the City and experience these wonderful things for herself.

They moved into the City and settled in the task of adjusting their lifestyles to the new environment. Dede resumed in the office and she stayed home as a proud homemaker. The children enrolled in a private academy.

On one of the evenings she phoned Dede at the office and asked about mid-week services at the Church. She couldn't wait to get the dose of divine anointing that so moved her sweetheart. Dede confirmed there would be a service that same evening. She could go by herself, the driver already knows the Church location. He would join her afterwards from the office. The children stayed home with their nannies.

Indeed it was a fantastic edifice. Thoroughly airconditioned, and smelling of fresh flowers. It was a contemporary design but with tall domes suited for better acoustics. She was welcomed inside by ushers who obviously were professional women coming straight from their offices, from their suits.

The music ministrations were indeed heavenly. It was obvious that the ministry had a lot of gifted music ministers, or perhaps it was the Pastor. She had chills often. Dede was right. She was going to love this place. Soon Dede joined her. After a few announcements the service moved into the exhortation.

The Pastor moved from his seat in front of the congregation, followed by his wife, presumably. Angel followed with rapt attention, the beautiful order of things and the wonderful couple, dressed in corporate suits, as they moved holding hands to the pulpit, where two chairs had been positioned.

The Pastor's wife moved towards the microphone. Dede held her and said. "She is a truly blessed woman". The Pastor's wife started to sing. Angel strained her eyes a little, and peered to see her properly, the congregation being so large and many worshippers already standing in anticipation of the ministration to follow.

MATILDA!!!! Shouted Angel. Everyone looked back. Dede looked at her in shock. Then Angel's eyes wandered to the Pastor. LARRY!!!! She shouted again. Then she fainted.

(c) George Honey Ashiru

Month of Grace

Ultimate Love Foundation

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

GHA - Words On Marble

MOONWALK: The act of facing a direction while moving in the opposite. Oh Lord, save us from personal or national Moonwalking.

Are you on the field playing? Don't be distracted by the spectators' cynicism, grumbles and snide remarks. Spectators don't win prizes. Keep your eyes on the prize.

Both Honey and Dung attract flies. But the ant is more discerning, it avoids the dung and goes for the honey. May the Lord bless us with the gift of discernment.

Cynicism speaks more of the nature of the Cynic than it does the object/subject of their cynicism.

If your blessings are across the river, better learn to build a bridge, or row a boat.

The aircraft uses the very things that resists it to soar. Ground friction to get ground speed of 200mph plus, air friction to get lift and stability. Nothing shall, therefore, limit us from soaring to greater heights.

Sycophancy: A practical form of hypocrisy, where an aide/friends publicly promotes a position/person contrary to his or her conscience.

Freedom of Expression is not Freedom to Insult: It can land you a libel or slander charge, and lose you friends and make mortal enemies...and, once its expressed, its like mudslide, it gathers unholy momentum. Let's learn to bridle the pen/tongue.

Gridlock: Acid and Base neutralising each other to form harmless common salt, and water.

Spiritual poverty is a disease that economic empowerment cannot overcome.
My Duty Is To Love - God's Duty Is To Judge

Gossip is murder by subtle means - so is deliberately mis-informing people about someone you envy, or don't get along with.

In the quest for nationhood: Have we freely joined together in a “matrimony of common development” or in an “unholy matrimony of convenience”? That is the question.

Inspiration has an expiry date and plenty of alternative vessels. Seize the moment, otherwise it may disappear like the mist at sunrise.

When there is chaos, people want an older, steady hand at the elm of things. When there is stagnancy people want a young, dynamic hand to forge ahead. Are we in a state of chaos, or stagnancy? That is the question?

Don't envy the grace of God on another persons life. Grace is often for the prodigal...maybe you are the faithful son.

In a Taekwondo tournament, the 3rd round is the most vicious, and you need more stamina than for the first two. Often, the winner is decided by the actions in the 3rd round. So it is with nation building, the ending is determined at the end.

RAHAB: From Rejection 2 Rejoicing. Folks, dont let what others think or say about you fog over Gods promise to you. Set your sights ahead. Be blessed.
All it takes to be a Patriot is to use your talents to be a blessing to your community...and little drops of water...

The mining tragedy turned miracle is a lesson in indomitable spirit, and what is possible if people come together rather than come at each other.

What anchors on Hope? Business, Marriage, Expectations, Nation Building. The job of the Motivator is to build your Hope. You build all else yourself.

Creation has a Purpose, and Man has been given Dominion, through Inspired Actions, and Prayer, to determine its destiny. The endless hurtle to destruction implies that Man, in the whole, has not activated both principles.

Prayer is good, but Worship is guaranteed to get God's attention.
The woman with the issue of blood waited on mortal hekp for 12 years, until she walked in Righteousness' Path. No matter what your own ISSUE is, God will respond to your Faith, (not your needs)

God stands alone in judgement: Haven called the Hebrews a stiff-necked people, threatening to destroy them, nevertheless he rejected the confederacy of Balak and Balaam against Israel.

Jonah, the reluctant prophet, having obeyed, awaited God's judgement on a nation...but God's mercy wasbat work, to his chagrin. A repentant people can earn God's mercy.

Goshen was a fruitful land, in ancient Egypt, assigned to Joseph and his family by Pharoah. It spawn a nation, which soon became threatened with extinction. But when God smote Egypt, his judgement bypassed Goshen. Wherever we are now, its our Goshen. Stay there till God smites your enemies.

I know some nice folks, makIng a change in their spheres of influence - in offices, community, church, media, etc...You don't need to get to the centre of power to make a difference. "Action" is not a noun, its a verb.

If your vote can be paid for, then your life has a quantifiable value - the amount you received.

Everytime we look to the promised land, and see the sea instead of the shore, you know a 40 year wilderness wandering is coming up.

If you want to be happy in life, make friends with Optimists. If you want to be successful, make friends with Realists. Keep away from Pessimists, they will drain your energy.

TRANSFORMATION: "A Qualitative change, in act or shape or appearance". Can also mean progress in development - a change for the better. Can we get this type of transformation with old wine in new skin? How can there be change when the players are still the same, and have always been part of the "more of the same" movement?

Why Do People Resist Change? Change creates a new category of winners...and losers too

If everyone ran their homes well, and their offices/jobs/businesses, etc...and steward their responsibilities with earnest care...we wouldn’t be clamouring for heroes to lead our nations. We would be the heroes.

I don't have time to keep looking at the specks in other people's eyes - I am too busy chopping down the logs in mine.

Watch it when people clamour, endorse, and try to ram your name down the throats of the electorate. You may end up like Saul - wanted by people, yet ultimately rejected by God, and destroyed. Try to be like David - work silently in the wilderness - your day of glory will soon come.

The football team has many designations. Coach, Trainer, Medics, keeper, Players etc...As long as WE all play the roles we are gifted/assigned/appointed to do, the team will do very well. We can't all be politicians/opposition/activists, etc, and no one man can bring the desired change, save God Himself, with the cooperation of ALL the people. But we each have a duty to DO what we can!

Can you imagine a chicken voting for Tasty Fried Chicken (apologies, TFC)? It may be complimentary, but it (chicken) will end up in a growling bowel. That is what will happen if we vote with our eyes closed. Fellows, don't vote zones and superstars...when the time comes, vote rightly.

David gathered many stones to fight Goliath: But the Lord only needed one to finish the job. Lord, give us the right weapons to defeat the goliaths of our time.

King David's experience is proof that, sometimes, our Promotions comes while within the enemy's Palace.

Would you entrust your child to a self taught swimming coach? Or your Faith to a untaught cleric? Dont cast your vote blindly. It is like casting your pearls before swines. God bless us with discernment today.

Everywhere Isaac located, he sowed, and he reaped, 100 fold. His enemies relocated him, but his allocation kept coming through. Even a King came to him, and acknowledged God in him, and by covenant Isaac was established and settled. Wherever you may locate or be relocated

Location Determines Allocation

Moses was a mere man, but God made him a god over King Pharaoh - Joshua was a mere man, but God gave him the scalps of 31 Kings. You don't need to be a King/President/Governor/Senator, to change the world. All you need is to be leader submitted to God.

The Pulpit, designed as a podium for exhortation and encouragement, has been turned by some as a platform for grandstanding and criticism. Little wonder those who sit under these, have relentlessly critical spirits. Practice Love.

A man is called by covenant, not character. But his character will determine the success of his calling.

I wont let you go till you bless me. And after you bless me I will bind myself to you forever. Lord, you know you are irresistible.

When an insecure man or woman marries, the first thing they do is to disconnect their spouses from their family and friends, so the other party becomes utterly dependent on them. Possessive-obsessiveness is destructive.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010


Motivational speeches promote the fulfilment of Wants - Inspirational speeches promote the fulfillment of Purpose. One is energised by the Flesh, the other by the Spirit.

Books and speeches that have short cuts to material things are motivational. Books and speeches that point to a life of service and giving, they are inspirational.

Motivational materials tell us how to squeeze water from a rock. Inspirational materials tells us to become the rock that gives out water.

The Success of the motivational speaker is the Subject of his speeches. The Trials of the inspirational speaker is the Lesson of his speeches.

A motivational Preacher teaches how to use Scripture to get our needs. An inspirational Preacher tells us Scripture provides our needs - man shall not leave by bread alone.

Hitler was motivational, Martin Luther King was inspirational. By their fruit you discern the two.

A motivator identifies problems, an inspirer helps to solve them.

A motivator sympathises with you, teaches you how to fish. An inspirer helps with the fishing.

A motivator is a great role model. An inspirer is a good mentor.

To transform a life, or a nation, both are useful. But the work of the Inspirer is more enduring.

Lets get together and inspirer.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

NIGERIA: Building A New Nation Of Our Dreams

-By George Ashiru[Convener, Town Hall Meetings Project (THMP)]

LeaderValuesConference, October 16 2010

THEME: The Emergence Of National Saviours(LeadersWithIntegrity)

What Is Nationhood:A “nation‟ “is a body of people occupying a given area whose common interests are strong enough to make possible the maintenance of a single sovereign civil authority, i.e. a state which may and often does predate the nation as a historical reality” (Harmati. 1983)‘

Nation-building’ is defined as “the process of reinforcing the common bonds among the people of a nation state to the end that there may be general stability and prosperity so that the nation may participate usefully in the community of nations”

The foundational materials used in building a nation are not bricks and mortars, i.e. not a strong treasury, nor a strong army nor an inexhaustible and formidable arsenal, though they may seem important. To be a nation, any community or society may require political unity or territorial integrity, one executive, one constitution, a common law, a means of viable transportation and easy communication.

A nation is built, besides other factors, by common civil values, common symbols, common sense of progress, common participation in decisions, equality before the law, mutual respect for others and tolerance, and a feeling of freedom –From a report by Lutheran World federation

“National development does not consist merely in economic progress but means increasing possibility for all of living a fully human life on the physical (material), cultural, spiritual levels. It also implies the growing ability of a nation as whole to take its rightful place in the international field, economically, politically, culturally, i.e., to function with a proper degree of autonomy and prestige “-Cardinal Gracias, 1967.

From the biblical perspective, the foundation of God's throne, the Bible says, is righteousness and justice (Ps. 89:14) and a kingdom (“nation‟) is built on righteousness or destroyed by its absence (Pro. 11:11). It is law and justice that keep a nation steady and strong (Pro. 29:4). A nation is a good and welfare state when it is built on the principles of honesty, morality, justice and fairness (Pro. 29:12, 14; 31:2-5). Righteousness, morality, justice etc provide the foundation for a just and welfare nation. Its pillars are principles of human dignity and freedom, truth and knowledge, personal responsibility and stewardship, and the rule of law.

The big question is this? Do we have a “nation”? Or are we a confederation of nations? Are these confederates looking in the same direction? Do we worship the same god and have similar beliefs? Are we culturally, morally homogeneous? Have we freely joined together in a “matrimony of common development” or in an “unholy matrimony of convenience”?

Nigeria Pre-1960:Politically
There was no unity. Hundreds of kingdoms existed side by side with no sense of unity or any serious sense of interdependence. These were ruled by the traditional institutions under the guidance of the priestly caste while the common people had no say whatsoever in administrative matters. A fragmented, splintered, competitive and fighting political scenario prevailed; loyalty was to the kings. Any idea of a devotion to the land in general was in existent.

At the social level the feudalism and caste order was in complete command of the situation. Being a discriminatory system it could not see equality of humans. Finality belonged to the social order of wealth. The low status and illiteracy of women wasted half of the total human resources. Education was the monopoly of the royalty and the wealthy; and they were all male in gender. Female infanticide was widely common. Killing of twins, human sacrifices, child marriage, enforced widowhood etc were normal in those days. Infant mortality rate was high, resulting in creating a multitude of young widows. High birth rate was the only answer to the high infant mortality rate and the curse of short life span. Another heavy pressure upon the women!

Religion was communal and the traditional gods and their priests reigned supreme. There was no choice, democratic or otherwise in worship, and everyone adhered to the final authority no matter how unjust, of the king and priests. Freedom of individual conscience and free and open dissemination of knowledge were neither entertained nor encouraged. The North was predominantly Islamic, and the governance was through the Emirates, guided strictly by the Koran and the commentaries and guides, Sunnah and Hadith. These published guides made governance straight forward and easy for the Sheiks and Emirs, and it was easy for the British to rule through these institution.

In the South West, things were a little more treacherous, with kings and communities constantly at war, expanding territory and several romancing with the colonial powers to destabilise other kingdoms to get political leverage with the whites. Slavery was a trade which the kings of the South West of Nigeria delighted in engaging in. The value placed on human life of the poor was nil, explaining human sacrifices. The religions were quite secretive and adherents and followers assumed mystical powers which kept the citizens in fear and bondage. Unlike Islam, and Christianity, the traditional religions did not have manuals for reference…the populace only got involved through general festivals, and for private divinitions.

The South East, with the embedded minority groups did not fare better with struggles, land wars and cross border raids, etc. The religious practices were also absolutes and involved much bloodshed.These foundations did not portend much for a future republic…and colonial fiat, subterfuge and structural deficiencies made that all the more certain.

Colonialism’s Positive Effect:
Colonialism arrived with a three-pronged approach.-Trade -Governance, and -Religion.

For the sake of our subject matter, which centreson private initiatives for nation building, I will put emphasis on the effect of the value system of the colonialists’ religion in helping to abrogate the embedded strongholds in Nigerian communities in the Southern parts of Nigeria, whose effect is now a major advantage to their citizenry.

The colonial missionaries in pre-independent Nigeria, under the protection of the British forces and government sponsorship laboured for a philosophical, moral and cultural regeneration of the worldview prevalent in the Nigerian landmass and it is this commitment on the part of these missionaries, that helped the building up of religious freedoms, abrogation of terrible native traditions and creating a new value system constitutionally committed to the principles of secularism, individual freedom of conscience, equality of all humans and genders, and constitutional parliamentary democracy. How it was introduced, and whether it was wholly accepted by the peoples of the South of Nigeria, and how it is being practiced…that’s another story.

Education was the most effective method of bringing the desired change. Churches and schools existed side by sided. In the length and breadth of Nigeria, missionaries took the initiative and founded schools and other educational institutions and through the newly educated generations brought about radical changes in the value system and worldviews affecting modern Nigeria at the embryonic stage.

Post Independence, More of the same:The Experience of the last 50 years.
1. Lack of a sound development agenda or plans to be implemented by national leaders.
2. Lack of a visionary leadership in national government.
3. Lack of exposures/experience on the part of national leaders
4. The refusal or unwillingness of incoming leadership to accept and implement development agenda/plans of the out-going ones
5. High class corruption, power, greed, selfishness on the part of national leaders 6. The refusal and or failure of the national leadership to make local leadership part of decision-making with regards to crafting a development agenda
7. Injustice and bad governance
1.A return to feudalism
2.A return to caste, class and discriminatory orders.
3.A perpetuation of hypocrisy, hybrid of values.
4.An ‘Animal Farm” ideology.
5.Extreme individualism
6.Inordinate unquenched thirst for control over others
7.“Decorative Democracy”, not fundamental to our cultural norms.

Fast Tracking To The Future –Your Roles As “National Saviours”
1. If we are to serve as role models in the society, the LeaderWithIntegrity should consider an active plan for general mediation, reconciliation and unification within the various communities in Nigeria, for the house divided against itself can never stand
2. The LeaderWithIntegrity should strongly engage the state to the extend that they will begin encouraging and counseling their membership to take up assignment in high government offices and begin to apply good governance within every sector of the national society in line with transformational values.
3. The LeaderWithIntegrityneed to seriously promote positive national identity policy by encouraging Nigerians to appreciate their values and culture.
4. The LeaderWithIntegrityshould constructively engage and encourage government to harness the limited financial resources for vital areas such as a health care delivery system, quality education, agriculture etc.
5. TheLeaderWithIntegrityshould seek to support the enforcement of the rule of law. Despotism or dictatorship rest on the will and power of mortals, who always are a minority but a serious threat to the majority, and it is the moral right of the leader to challenge this anomally
6. The LeaderWithIntegrityshould initiate a dialog at the national and local levels aimed at involving national policy that will clearly spell out the hope and aspiration of the Liberian people for national unity, peace and progress.
7. The LeaderWithIntegrityshould intentionally find and mentor emerging leaders, building their capacity and get them involved in community and national development projects within their respective localities and beyond .
8. The LeaderWithIntegrityshould preach messages of peace on national tolerance in respect of political differences, religion, tribal back ground, etc.
9. The LeaderWithIntegrityshould be very pro-active in peace-building and reconciliation programs in every community across the country
10. The LeaderWithIntegrityshould now redefine his /hereducational, health, agriculture, etc capacity building role and begin to work towards achieving the MDGs within their spheres of influence.
11. The resources available in any community—material, mineral and personnel—have to be harnessed and put into maximum use with efficiency so that community may progress in the economic front. That is one of the challenges for the LeaderWithIntegrity
12. The development of a nation is intrinsically related to the intellectual development of its members. Knowledge and intellectual development cannot be monopolized by a few and the rest denied its privileges. The duty of the Leader is to find ways to improve the knowledge base of the citizenry, through discourse such as the one we are partaking now.
13. The leader must ensure the principle of human worth and freedom. There must be an atmosphere of freedom for individual members to develop themselves as individual persons using all their talents and gifts and the resources available. Pre-eminence cannot be given to any social or political order or set up and make individuals serve the system. If that happens then the individuals are enslaved to an oppressive system in operation.
14. In a democratic period, the leader has an imperative to drive voter education, to drive voter registration and the sanctity of votes.
15. Clear vision, ability to think, discuss, debate and articulate convincingly and persuasively, right decision-making process, the power to execute them—these the political process provides. When leaders stay away from this crucial area of life, besides betraying our lack of wholesome commitment to the totality of life, we deny ourselves the privilege to decisively participate in the mission of nation-building. This is willful abdication of responsibility, and that is criminal

Finally…Quoting from C. V. Mathew“We need a fresh vision for our nation in the 21st century—a nation that is made of individuals, families, communities and a mosaic of races, language groups, religious traditions and cultures; a vision born out of the Biblical worldview, a vision that honors Jesus Christ the Lord of the nations and history, a vision that seeks the well being of our fellow citizens in a healthy environment and the fulfillment of our national aspirations in healthy fellowship with one another (i.e. communal harmony); a vision that promotes a genuinely national consciousness, and social and national integration. It must be a vision that realizes truth, righteousness, justice, freedom, equality, mercy and love.”

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

The Sanctity of Votes In An Electoral Process

The Sanctity of Votes In An Electoral Process - The Citizen’s Perspective –

Presented By:
George Ashiru [Convener, Town Hall Meetings Project (THMP)]

On the occasion of the Roundtable On Santity Of Votes In An Electoral Process

Organised By: United States International Visitor Leadership Programme (IVLP) Lagos State Alumni Association.

Held 26th October 2010 at the Afe Babalola Auditorium, University of Lagos

Your Excellency, The Executive Governor of Edo State, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole.
The Chairperson of this occasion, Senator Joy Emordi
The Representative of the U.S. Ambassador, Mr Mathew Trumbull.
The President and members of the IVLP Alumni
Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen.

• In year 2000, heads of 189 governments, including Nigeria, agreed to meet 8 goals that will halve extreme poverty by year 2015 – The MDGs.
• All 8 of the MDGs were agreed to be achievable if governments live up to their responsibilities.
• Because of the direct benefit to citizens, they were expected to hold their governments accountable for achieving these MDGs.
• The only methodology for citizen action for responsible governance is democracy, where the citizens can reward or reject political leadership for achieving these and other developmental goals.
• The instrument for achieving this citizen action is through the ballot box. The electoral process provides the direct means of the citizens of a country to, in the majority, determine the leadership, direction and methodology and ideology of governance for the common good.
• The sanctity of this process and the value of each individual vote determines the progress a country makes towards achieving her developmental objectives.
• Time and time again, we have seen a political system in operation in Nigeria, where a select few have acted like they have debenture holdings of our collective votes, and can allot the votes and the resulting value as they will.
• We the citizens have come together to say No, NEVER AGAIN!!!

A Corporate Analogy:
• Nigeria can be likened to a large corporation, FRN-PLC, founded 1914, established 1960.
• An American Intelligence Factbook estimated our collective value at $159Billion. Furthermore, the expendable GDP per capita was given from $300plus to a useful GDP/capita of $2400 (2009) per citizen, young or old.
• This translates to each of us having an average net worth of $2400, which in equity terms, is 2400 shares per head (assuming $1 per share).
• During our annual AGM (elections), I exchange my shares for votes. My shares are equal to all others, but by proxy, some of us wield slightly more shares, on behalf of our non-voting shareholders (children). In any case, it is a fair and equitable distribution of shares.
• My equity exchanges for a vote during the AGMs. I expect dividends for my equity, I vote for Directors and CEOs that will guarantee me return on my shares. My shares are not a subvention or donation to anybody, they are my holdings in the corporate entity called FRN-PLC.
• I attend the AGM personally, and I see my co-shareholders diligently exercising their duty of casting their shares in votes as their conscience leads them.
• But, Alas, at each AGM, till now, an unscrupulous few brokers, directors, and line managers, collude to turn our experiment into the “Animal Farm” (Apologies, George Orwell), where some persons allocate our shares and trade in our shares, without our consent, acting as though their own 2400 equity are debentures with exponential values. Where, instead of their shares to have a $1 to a share, they magnify their shareholding to $million to a share . Equating themselves to a majority, and making nonsense of the equal equity we have been bequeathed.
• So, at our various shareholder association meetings (town hall meetings), we have new resolutions we want activated for the upcoming AGM in 2011.

• Our shares/votes must have equal values
• That our citizens must be educated not to trade their shareholdings for a bowl of porridge or undervalue these shares by trading it at N500 for a vote.
• That the citizens, being equal partakers of the commonwealth of Nigeria shall no longer deliver their votes through political proxies, but each man/woman will personally cast their votes and ensure the sanctity of the tabulations.
• That we recommend that previous beneficiaries and perpetrators of such unsanctified votes shall not be allowed to stand for further elections, whether through the judicial process or through citizens’ action.
• We also demand judicial compensation for the erstwhile mis-alloted votes.
• We all agree that the corporate entity called Nigeria is a viable entity with awesome potentials, and we will ensure the delivery of a just electoral process and good governance to the upcoming generations, through aggressive citizen education, and issues driven enlightenment campaigns.
• That citizens’ apathy is the result of the loss of sanctity of their votes. Additionally, citizens’ apathy is increased by the following;
-Ignorance about electoral processes. –Ignorance of issues in governance –Cultural mindsets that presume elders, the wealthy, etc are better leaders. –Election violence and political thuggery. –I religious misapplications on the role of the citizen in ensuring the sanctity of votes, and good governance.
• During an election cycle, the scenario the citizen expects is;
-Parties, after internal democratic primaries, present candidates.
-Candidates present their case.
-Voters make their choices.
-INEC tabulates, endorses, and announces these choices as it is.
• We also admonish INEC to consider the following actions; -Educate the citizenry through Town Hall meetings, etc and, -Work with NGOs to create awareness on voter registration, responsibilities, etc -Empower voters to defend their votes through an accountable voting system.

Thursday, September 30, 2010


He stands as a giant within the thorns.

Superfluous robes decked in ornaments of wealth.

At the centre of the empire of evil.

His method is subtle, his power is immense.

He holds sway over the hearts of his children of pride.

The thorns hide the monstrosity of his veiled facade.

Pulling strings over those bedazzled by his ornaments.

He is the brother of the Persian Lord.

Ruling over the rulers, receiving worship of men.

Taking and giving as he wills.

The people are in a daze.

A mist enshrouding the thorns over the palace.

False flowers adorn the opulence of the throne room.

Where the smell of the dead is masked altogether.

And rolling stones gather the tar.

A Hand from the skies shows the way.

A people of destiny step in the fray.

But alas, they have no weapon of choice.

Into evil's his hands they fall.

Taken lawful captive by ignorance.

So then the Maker comes.

The people of destiny he saves.

And He showed them a greater way.

And tells of two paths to glory.

That a nation might be saved.

Then the ruler bows altogether

For his corruption has been exposed

And his armour rendered of no effect

By the cry and sighs of the obedient.

And the power of earth's maker.

Let the spiritual gird their loins.

For this battle is the Lord's.

The minds of great men are already captive.

To the ruler of this present darkness.

In the flesh shall no man prevail.

To the faithless, shall not be rewards.

To the discerning shall be great victory.

The Scepter is now aloft.

For the chosen in this generation.

So let it be written, so let it be done.


George Ashiru, Patriot.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Of Ambition, Of Knowledge

It is now only one month to the anniversary of an independent nation called Nigeria, and only a few months to the inception of another electoral process. Whatever our history has been, we now have a chance to influence our future. If any foundation will be laid, that will flourish for another 50 years, we must decide to pick up the gauntlets dropped by our collective accusers, destroyers, and spoilers- but it is our choice. The choice is individual, and little drops of water will make for a blessed future. No one shall have the right, nor the power to overcome his personal or communal challenges in the incoming generation, if he has sowed no seed today for her future greatness.

As for IBB, OBJ, and whatever acronyms, seem to animate us these days, remember, they are yesterday's men, and nature will take care of them in due course. However, their legacy is mixed, and while some argue for their right actions, others berate their wrong actions. In all these, we are forced to look, dwell, and if not careful, be stuck in the past. They did what they felt compelled to do, and history, and heaven will judged them. Similarly, history and heaven will judge each for the opportunities we are given to steward our nation, whether at the sedentary level or the highest level.

Now, we should look to the future, to the generation that is coming, to the vision that will correct the past, to the leaders that will activate a newer vision. And it is the sum of the transformational individuals that will bring forth a transformational generation. One of the key attributes of transformational (change agents) leaders is KNOWLEDGE! It is said, a people perish for lack of knowledge, for they have rejected knowledge. Historically, people look up to the leadership for knowledge – and by that I don’t mean certification. But actionable knowledge, to build capacity and to create value for the citizenry.

In the past 6 months, I have had the privilege of presenting papers to about 450 civil servants, from junior to director level, through 6 separate seminars or workshops. In these interactions I have learned considerably, what makes a nation work, and how it can both be destroyed or rebuilt. This, from the people who manage our collective commonwealth.

In contrasts to the cerebral outpourings of various speakers, activists, political commentators, etc, these Nigerians were able to share enough practical, actionable knowledge, that one wonders why the country has not moved beyond its present, sedentary level. But they all convinced me of one thing. Most persons vying for political office, and whom they receive instructions from, are complete novices when it comes to statutes, laws, regulations, etc, that are necessary to govern our vast, and complex nation well. Many of these politically ambitious, they say, have passion, and some specialised education, but not enough information about the various loopholes, bridges, systems, designed into the various civil service protocols. Thus, when they come in, they are not able to perform according to their passions.

Many civil servants of officer level have several university degrees, professional qualifications, ongoing cross training, and vast knowledge of various acts, decrees, laws, and management methodologies. When confronted with a political leader with clear lack of understanding of any of these, they have a private chuckle. The bad eggs among them are able to manipulate the novice political leader at will. One common revelation however, is that the relatively successful political leader in government, who can make all ends meet, is one who was once a civil servant. The summary of their argument is this – many political leaders are completely ignorant. Some may say, they tend towards corruption, or lack passion, or lack patriotism – but that is for another debate.

The quality of decisions leaders make is dependent on the quality and amount of information available to them. Leadership is not a subject in most universities in our nation, and neither is instruction on the nature of our government and civil service. The success, or failure, of the George Bush Jr presidency was hinged a round one single decision – Iraq’s possession of weapons of mass destruction, and the ensuing war that cost 100,000 Iraq lives, thousands of allied soldiers lives, and a bill of 1 trillion dollars. One decision, based on false premise, instigated within the American civil service, and made available to a political leader. That issue also almost cost distinguished Colin Powell his reputation earned over 35 years as a soldier, intelligence and security advisor. A colossal waste of resources, which effect is still affecting the entire world today.

Clearly, many of us have not bothered with learning and relearning how to manage governmental operations. National security, economic policies, internal administration, judicial process, diplomatic methodologies, inter-government protocols, and many others. We read a few journalistic expressions and form whole doctrines from them. Yet, we are not only ambitious for high office, we castigate everything and everyone. I shall be publishing the full report of my interaction with the civil service in a magazine in due course, and it shall be part of the submissions of the Town Hall Meetings Project (THMP) to the Nigeria Jubilee Project.

The ability to read Newsweek, and write a note or two, or coherent comments on newspaper headlines will not make us capable of leading a local government, not to speak of a state or complex nation such as ours. We need more from the next generation - not merely passion, and patriotism, but a humble willingness to learn, and relearn and keep relearning about governance and leadership, and about the systems we desire to manage through the political process.

The next generation deserves no less. It is not a matter of emotion, or faith, or sentiment. Our very lives depend on all of us demanding knowledgeable leadership, regardless of partisan considerations. And it is my hope that those reading this, with a heart for service, will get on their knees and begin searching for more understanding, wherever it is available. That our emerging leaders should begin to burn the midnight oil, not of political meetings alone, but of wisdom gathering. That they BE PREPARED TO LEAD, and not just getting elected.

We demand no less than the best, it is our right, and it is our expectation. So that we do not make the same mistakes of the outgoing generations. This is a heartfelt appeal to emerging leaders.

God bless you, and God bless Nigeria.

George Ashiru.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

NIGERIA: Inconvinient Truths

Some days ago, at a re-fueling stop at a gas station, I went in to buy a drink and some snacks at the tuck shop. At the checkout, the lady attendant summarily gave me a bill which I suspected was inflated. That was the 3rd time such was happening to me at that same station. I paid what was tagged on the products, and walked away.

I thought to myself, if I made a scene out of that issue, she would lose her job, and I am certain her excuse would be, "its because the leaders are stealing too".

I feel ashamed when I hear intelligent people say "if politicians offer you money for your votes, take it - its your money anyway, then vote as you wish". Indeed. Taking blood money, and then voting righteously - arrant non-sense.

I also feel ashamed...
-When I see a man, or lady, obviously educated, who flout traffic laws but has the effrontery to criticise bullion vans for doing the same
-When I see parents who pay to alter their children's academic scores complaining about politicians rigging.
-When I see citizens who privately hate people of other tribes espousing national unity.
-When I see religious leaders talk about peace, then send people out to kill.
-When I hear religious leaders preaching love then expelling members from their congregation.
-When I hear intellectuals sanctimoniously attacking political leaders but themselves afraid to step to the political plate.
-When I see many people who can't lead a group of three castigating the leaders of other organisations.
-When I see people talking about politicians stealing from government, but themselves not paying their taxes and bills, a form of stealing.
-When I see people immigrating from the country and castigating those remaining for the failures of the nation.
-When I know many critics and political activists will gladly accept political appointments from those that they criticise.
-When I know of many "encouragers" who push you into leadership positions in the hope you fail at it.
-When I know of many who will gladly "support" every "great initiative", but not with their funds.
-When I know of many who praise in public but criticise in private.
-When I know of many who slam the corrupt leaders, but take contracts from them anyway.
-When I know of many who are agitating that "govt is not paying salaries", and their own staff go for months without salaries.
-When I know of many democratic proponents whose children, wife (wives), staff, etc don't have have a say in their spheres of influence.
-When I know of those who call civil servants corrupt, except their brother who works in the custom.
...And so on...

There are many inconvenient truths...and we are all responsible for these abberations.

The failure of the State is the collective failure of each individual in it.

Let the transformation begin with each of us...brick-by-brick

Co-dependence: The root of political gangsterism

For about 10 years now, I have been actively involved in social intercession for the Nigerian state. And when certain issues continue to emerge about the behaviorism patterns of our rulers and political office holders, and a certain perpetual destructive mindset of partisan politicians, I, like everyone, else sought an answer.

Adepts of psychology, sociology and and other behavioural sciences have continued to pour forth reasons for the unchanging negative mindsets that ordinarily good people exhibit once they get involved in the political process. But in recent times, because of my direct involvement in the study of the political process, machinery, motivations, and attitudes of many people drawn to partisan politics, from the THMP meetings, I see a pattern, one that was established decades ago to explain certain pathological disorders in many otherwise good people. It is called "Co-dependence Syndrome".

To butress, let me quote directly from Wikipedia, on this issue.

"Codependence is described as a disease that originates in dysfunctional families where children learn to overcompensate for their parents' disorders and develop an excessive sensitivity to others' needs... This is sometimes described in terms like "enmeshment" or "blurred ego boundaries." Adult children of dysfunctional families often suffer from a sense of confusion and deprivation that has continued into their adult life — a feeling of "not knowing what normal is" — that has become an anguished desire to recover something emotionally missing in their upbringing."

I like to make reference to that critical statement...'a feeling of not knowing what normal is'. This simple statement, qualifies the average political godfather, godson or gladiator in the African setting, and many in other "civilised" nations as well. The article concludes thus:...

"Codependence has been suggested as an underlying disease pervasive in all forms of addiction."

Compulsive stealing, or kleptomaniacy, is a form of addiction, and so is violent tendencies, abuse, alcoholism, etc. The article says these addictions are rooted in "blurred ego" (confusion about self, needs, life purpose, etc), and "enmeshments" (dual personalities - one person at home, another with friends, another with professional colleagues, etc).

It therefore helps us to explain the feeling of an ambitious politician needing a godfather, as a replacement of the absent (whether physically or emotionally or financially) father. It helps us to explain how such a person becomes enmeshed in the political process to the extreme and then develops a blurred ego, and soon loses the ability to discern what is normal to everyone else.

Many people in political leadership, unfortunately, exhibit co-dependence symptons, such as grandstanding, lying, being cruel and kind at the same time, seeking approval of some while damning others, inability to make permanent commitments (cross-carpeting), abuse or misuse of whatever is entrusted to them, inability to trust others, etc.

Another symptom is inability to resolve conflicts, due to a "head in the sand" attitude (everything is alright), which explains why political conflicts go on for ever.

Unfortunately for society, the politically ambitious or performer who suffers from this syndrome tends to be attracted to others who suffer similarly, and have the inability to keep away from abnormal relationships and circumstances. Hence, when a political movement is formed or headed by a person with such a "blurred ego", who does not know what is normal, then they will attract like minded people to their cause. And when they get to power...well, you can imagine the rest for yourself.

Therefore, in this season, lets not be carried away by famous personalities, or enticing words. Lets carefully discern the psyche of each person seeking our votes...and lets watch for such tendencies within ourselves too.

God bless you, and God bless Nigeria.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

NIGERIA: The Mind Of God

(I write as inspired by the Holy Spirit.)

Our societies need urgent genetic renewal. Evil tendencies is so rife now that even Churches are closing down because of the onslaught of false brethren.

Our society utterly rejects God, and godly leadership, so we keep getting the "Philistines" as a form of punishment. We pray, but not for or in righteousness, but that our bellies be full, and our ambitions be met. So, I hear Him say, as in the Book of Judges, the people will suffer judgement if they continue in their apostasy and false worship. God has withheld His anointed leaders until the people cry and groan in true repentance. Any leader going out before this set time goes in his power and will fail. Such have offered a "strange" sacrifice before the Holy God. The people must first turn from wickedness before He will allow the righteous to rule. God will not be mocked.

The Church has failed in letting people know the mind of God. Instead, we have taught personal empowerment, and Christians have grown to think selfishly, evidenced in rivalry, envying, and power/struggles, intellectualism, boastfulness and pride.

God is not pleased with us. And we should be careful not to "ask for a king", and reluctantly get a Saul who will fail. Rather, let God call and anoint David of His own will, and Goliath in Nigeria will tumble under His judgement.

Let the set men prepare "in the secret place" of the most high, for I have seen the "Prince of Nigeria", and only those who have been given the power over his "head" shall overcome. Hear Him, only those with the "weapons" of heavenly warfare shall overcome.

The Lord has rejected the proud, yes he has rejected them, and also those who have not given glory to his name in the great congregation, but taken the "chariots" of their own power. They will fail, and may expire, if they continue in their folly.

God has power over the nations, He made them, He will lift up as he wills, and will also make many to fall, even the anointed. Let all men humble themselves before His glory. The just shall rule.

Let the wise hear and obey.

Jesus is Lord.

Friday, July 2, 2010


This is summary of my presentation at the SIM ENTREPRENEURIAL FOUNDATION Stakeholders Forum held in Lagos, 30th June 2010.


FACT: In the U.S, a few decades ago, 90% of new entrepreneurs were either Engineers or people without university degrees, and this explains the rapid industrialisation of that economy. In Nigeria, 90% of start ups were either without university degrees or studied non technical subjects, leading to our trading economy.

Characteristics of Entrepreneurs:
- They fix problems rather than ponder over them.
- Academically, they score 'A's in subjects that are important to their careers and 'D's in others, showing a remarkable mindset that focuses on the majors, ignoring minors completely.
- They have naturally high energy levels, and are always thinking, or on the go.
- They like control over their destinies and are not often suitable employees in the traditional company.
- They are usually disciplined planners, communicate their vision well and also delegate well.
- They are extremely goal directed.
- They ignore opinions and criticisms that are not aligned with their vision.
- They have low tolerance for failure, in themselves or subordinates.
- They love challenges and dislike routine.
- They are driven, not by money in itself, but as a means to fulfill their vision.

The Entrepreneur's Team:
-FACT; 60% of your potential success depends on your founding management team. So, don't put your brother, wife, husband, if they are not qualified for the roles.

AXIOM 1: 1st rate men hire first rate men. 2nd rate men hire 3rd rate men. 3rd rate men hire 80% of your staff, and they will hire 4th rate men.

AXIOM 2: Engineers tend to hire engineers. Accountants tend to hire accountants, optimists tend to hire optimists, etc. Bring together people with complimentary, not duplicative talents, disciplines and personalities.

AXIOM 3: The Colonial British believed that "familiarity breeds contempt', and stressed that you cannot receive both respect and friendship from the same person at the same time. "stiff upper lip" was the order of the day. And they soon lost the Empire. make certain that you management team have mutual respect and likeness for each other. Don't build a management heirachy that opposes this.

AXIOM 4: When your business is small, you are the sole visionary and everyone else is subordinate. As your organisation grows, your management team should become your co-visionaries and leadership team.

In summary, not everyone is cut out to be an entrepreneur. It is a leadership function. Pareto has already surmised that 80& of people are quite happy to be led. However, 90% of the gross domestic product (GDP) is created by the informal sector, the small businesses and entrepreneurs. A nation becomes rich by the sum total of its rich, tax paying employers.

Government may make policies, but its entrepreneurs that create wealth.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Something Inside So Strong

(Dedicated To Louise Mackall & Kemi Kassim)

I was on the boat, in the rapids...the waterfalls just ahead of me.
How did I get here? Oh...camping on my wedding anniversary.
I had stopped struggling with the thrashing waves, as the canoe hit at the jagged rocks.
My breathe begun to flow in resonance with the symphonies of heaven.
I saw, in my minds eye, the flowing whites of the hosts of heaven
And the awesome wings of mighty angels on paradise' door

It was all in a blink...but I was prepared to say to the Lord
'Good evening Father'...
This was not the promise I had picked...we, had picked.
Oooooh! The death pangs subsided in a second...
Babyyyyyyyyyyyy!!!!!!!!!! I screamed.
Where is my beloved? He had fallen overboard.

The canoe was just moments away from toppling over...Victoria Falls.
I screamed again...frantically looking for a miraculous island on the rapids...that I may jump.
My strength failed, so did my sight...all mist, and fog, and thundering sounds abounding.
Every rock that hit the canoe sent searing pain into my guts.
My tears mixed with the salty, mad, rushing water.
I prepared for the final descent.

Suddenly...the boat came to a jolting halt...and I went headfirst into the rapids.
My spirit was floating above...but my body was suspended upon the waters.
The spirit and the body crashed back into each other...and I took in water.
Then there was the midst of the storm.
Sleep sweet sleep...
In my Saviour's arms ?

"Honey"...I felt a strong arm softly caressing my face. This is heaven?
I opened my temporary myopia receding.
"Babyyyyyyyy" I screamed, yet again...........................................

I was the arms of my beloved.
He went overboard, but hung onto the boat, like a leech.
My beloved had scars, and bruises and cuts all over his frame...
But he looked just like an angel to me.
He had toppled the boat over at the last moment, with all his strength.
And grabbed my inflatable with one hand, the other hanging on to a overhanging branch.

I lost consciousness again...blissfully.

It was days....
I was healed...and back home.
My beloved stood above the bed as I awoke again...smiling.
I smiled weakly, but warmly...reaching to him, my Alpha Male.
He scooped me up from bed...planting kisses all over my face.
Making me fuzzy all over...

Then I asked him...
"Why did you risk your life to save mine?"
He looked lovingly, with his piercing eyes, at mine, gently smiling...
"All I can say, Honey, is...Something Inside So Strong"...
And he gathered me up again, like a little baby...
And I wept...

(c) George Honey Ashiru
Month of Adam
Ultimate Love Foundation

Monday, May 24, 2010


As I wake up to the cries of the cock crowing, signaling the emergence of the dawn of the New Year. The brilliance of the early morning sun filtered by the translucent blinds across my window, induce soothing warmth on my drowsy eyes. The sweet songs of the African sparrows as they glide effortlessly over the tall palm trees, their beautiful foliage a testimony of God's creative energy...I said, "Thank You Jesus".

In a flash, I remembered my childhood, my first teddy bear, the love of my family, and the reason for my being - a fragment of my God. I was inspired, to write and to keep writing like Habakkuk, like Daniel, keep writing, about life, about beautiful things, about beautiful people, and beautiful times...and say, "Thank you Jesus".

This beauty, the beauty in nature, out of which we are carved. Nature does not make all men great, nor all great men happy. But nature does show by her constant devotion to our needs that mankind is the purpose of her being, the reason for her existence.

I reflect this beauty, as all men can. A quality to be beheld, and not calibrated or rationed. It is freely given by grace. It is a reflection of the greatness of nature and the love of the creator that such a panorama of multifarious things on earth were inserted for our pleasure. It is thus natural that we reflect this beauty in our own existence. It is this which the soul perceives and desires to exhibit...the physical image of an invincible God.

The ability to exhibit these beautiful qualities lies within that powerful energy called "Love". A man's love blooms fully in the warmth of admiration and clamps shut in the coldness of rejection. A beautiful thing, like sweet pink babies, continually deserves love. When we congregate and sing out praises to the most high and we offer ourselves for selfless service to mankind, we offer the Ultimate Love, ‘Agape’. Our beauty must lie, not in our protoplasmic facade, but the ability to become the embodiment of all positive qualities, promoting harmony among men and peace throughout the world.

We are born into this world and something within us thirsts after its likeness, as the infant thirsts after milk from its' mother's bosom. We crave to be a miniature of everything excellent and lovely, so that we become one with God - who is within us. We reflect our basic instincts for purity, goodness and compassion. Our heart's poetry traces a path in the universe in search of the Ultimate Love; to which we earnestly refer all our well being - attempting in all our actions to resemble the supreme entity. This is the point that we are driven, the factual cul-de-sac, as we pray and search for the meaning of life, we find, that the ultimate is LOVE.

I found that love deep inside of me, on reflection upon God. I found similar creative energies, the ability to express thoughts with brilliant clarity, to reproduce nature on canvas, in sweet melodies of musical renditions, in verses of sweet poetry - a renaissance man. I am easily lifted by the sounds of cooing babies and giggling children, knowing that I had a definable part in their existence. I derive pleasure in watching their physical features develop more and more, forming as it grows, a remarkable likeness to my own - and I thank God for giving me the power to love in those children, what I desire most in myself - inner beauty.

We must realise now more than ever, that beauty resides, not on the fold of our skin or the structure of our physiological density, but in the power of God's love that so effervesces from deep within us, bubbling over into the life of others. And, as for pain and sorrow, they only teach us how to live, how to love and how to forgive, and keep giving, giving...

Such is the Ultimate Love...

George Honey Ashiru



I have a dream; in this quest I crave for an inspired idea which would advance the world into a golden age. An idea as unmistakable to the fool as to the adept, to the pessimist as to the revolutionary, as a hurricane or a volcanic eruption.

Youthfulness entrains with it certain virtues; an innocence of heart and a capacity for selfless love. Therefore, we ought to portray ourselves in the daily subsequence of mutual existence as capable of the values of innocence and grand affection. We ought to revolt against the power of the glittering but illusory world of mundane accomplishments.

In this age of sophistry and the enslavement to subliminal messaging, where values are suggested by the power of an enslaving media, we should shield the young and protect ourselves from the temptation to false assumptions and negative aspirations which the rapacious wits of most men of means make us all impervious to.

In this day and age, when the collapse of beliefs of every kind has such an overpowering effect on people’s lives, where many are forced to their knees, losing their pride and human dignity. And others are driven as a last resort into some bleak world of illusions – drugs, violence, depravity; we must stand firm and remain untouched and uncontaminated.

People live selfish lives, conditioned by the false pretensions of their religions or myopic misrepresentations of God’s programme for mankind. Our part in the evolution of man, like a tiny droplet of water it may be, must begin within us and evolve to the world around us, and not the other way round. We must be constant in giving of ourselves, unswerving, unimaginably faithful. The equipoise between the “I” and the “Others” earnestly maintained – a tribute to the power of Love.

Our fate is inextricably entwined with that of the entire world. Our destiny linked with that of our community, our nation, and we should ask, “What can I do?” The development of our body, soul and spirit must surely prepare us for changing the world around us. Bringing joy with each smile, faith with each prayer, peace with each word and hope with our outstretched hands…The attainment and maintenance of these values is the entity of the whole.

George Honey Ashiru
Jan. 2009.


It is easy to feel, in the silence of space
The sadness of the dark horizon
When words are at a loss
The loneliness in our hearts
Mirroring the burden of the mysteries of love
While we carry with us, the memory of sunsets
Of distant lands shimmering in moonlit haze

From the ever-present arch of the rainbow
To the contrasted passions
Of our earliest love impressions
A multitude of sweet but contradictory emotions
And you, right in the middle of it all
Attempting to render something of the patterns you behold

Your heart emblazoned in gold and crimson
This is your home
The feeling in your heart
The sanctuary of your soul

Man of Contrasts

(Fiction based on fact)

I was with him at the installation of the Omo L’oju Oba of Ijebuland. A very remarkable Ijebu Prince; cast in the original majestic mould of his Nubian ancestry in Wadai, Old Sudan, from whence the Ijebus emigrated. Carrying within him the spiritual and material DNA of the Biblical Canaan, Grandson of Noah. Totally and immeasurably dignified by the very essence of his size. Such was the mesmerism which he caused that one might feel that even the earth was content merely to carry his immense weight. And when I watched him recently deliver a poignant exposition of Black African heritage at the Constituency For Africa Town Meeting in Detroit, Michigan in the United States, my own mesmerism was complete.

The Prince stood at just under six feet tall and dark as ebony. His chest as big and round as a garbage can, while his head, as large as a pumpkin, is crowned with bounteous, shiny black and thick curly hair. He weighs twice an average sack of rice and walks with a slight limp, exaggerated to impress of his Civil War hero’s wounds. But in reality, not a single piece of his endomorphic mass is missing. His large brown eyes mounted on a grim face, sparkled intermittently over his ruddy cheeks and sculptured pink lips. The Prince has palms so wide and fingers so delicately long that the contrast with his generally rugged size, and his size ten feet almost makes him look like the Nutty Professor, all size, all softness.

Prince Jagunmolu, descendant of the Gbelebuwa Royal Family of Ijebuland. Industrialist, renowned humanist, social rights advocate and a man of many diverse achievements, is a true African man of timbre and calibre – a man of contrasts. He likes to project this image with fastidious determination. His trademark black double-breasted jacket, blue, almost black, satin shirt, black silk bow tie, and black pair of trousers that would because of their sheer size most certainly do for a parachute. The Prince adorns his phalanges with the most exquisite choice of solid gold ornaments, platinum Cartier wristwatches, gold coin rings engraved with the royal crest of his family, and sometimes long gold chains which he wore around the neck and would be seen riding over his thick, silky beards.

Enhancing the protoplasmic properties of this man is the fact that he proves to be a man almost without equal in expressing his gift of the gab. A persuasive man with systematic grace in expression one would be forced to believe he never was meant for telling lies. The Prince perpetually looks cool and calm; but this apparent casualness is on inspection seen to be under strict mental discipline. When he speaks it is with a serious, deeply felt theme of facial expression, which seems to contrast with the fire of his words and sets up tension which is classically brilliant. His hands empathise with his speech in passive rhythm and instinctive grace. The Prince is virile, yet mannerly; as sweet of temper as he is quick to anger. His wary eyes dart from friend to foe with the swiftness of thought; and every now and then he adopts a solemn, oratorical tone which is underlined by the superficially uplifting nature of his words.

At the CFA Town Meeting, I listened to the Prince re-invent African history and culture with his Oxford-acquired accent. I was very proud of his mystique. This mystique was a cause for two thousand attendees to stay glued to their seats in amazing silence for over sixty minutes as my fellow Nigerian visited the mythical Utopia in Africa, re-connecting the homeland with the young World. The Mayor of Detroit sat next to me. His ochre-brown mixed-race facade turning white as he held his breath, so as not to miss a single beat of the jungle drums of an authentic African Prince. And when Prince Jagunmolu punctuated his speech with the “Golden Silence”, the electric effect created almost levitated us from our seats. If that had been a Presidential campaign for the White House, and the power was in the hands of the two thousand people there seated, my proud Prince would be the Man.

It mattered little that he wore a classic British country squire attire, or that his accents and affectations were of upper- crust English, which contrasted with his heritage and crown in Ijebuland. As for his pronouncements about pride in all things African, it mattered little that he married a white American woman and had his children at boarding school in Zurich. Nor did it matter that more than two thirds of his life had been spent studying, living and working in European and American societies. My Prince was more conversant about our cultures than many who had never left the shores of Africa. He was the perfect man for the job. The contrasting effects of his being, background and pretensions were precisely what fitted him to the job of African Ambassador-at-large, for the African Union.

And now, recently honoured after his amazing presentations, and happy to fill me, his recently discovered cousin, in about his ideals for Nigerian statehood, he started on the final part of his lecture on the vision for the twenty first century. I write what he said so eloquently, and which taught me a new meaning of our future as a nation, and our part in the unfolding drama of its creation.

"... and in this pursuit it is imperative to mobilise my physical self, inspired by the evolution of great men the world over. Experiment with the ideals of and crafts of men like Martin Luther King and Nelson Mandela; their philosophies of life, of leadership and statecraft. Then to expand the substance of these principles and integrate them into a universal form that is all encompassing. A principle propagating unity, peace and progress for Mankind – that is my dream.”

Only once before in my lifetime have I had the same sense of effervescent inspiration created by the words and charisma of an individual. Almost ten years earlier, I sat and listened to the most moving speech by an equally engaging character as my Prince. It was from Nelson Mandela. Perhaps, I often thought, Prince Jagunmolu was destined to become the ‘Madiba’ of our own generation. At that time, ten years ago, fresh from twenty seven years of solitary confinement, Mandela had shown the lucidity in speech of someone who had been touched by the hand of God. Mandela told us about the virtues of service, love and selflessness. About courage, faith and perseverance. He became an icon for a world lacking in true heroes, representing the best of African heritage. Side by side, my Prince lacked only the paramount sacrifice of political confinement, and the martyrdom that entrains. Nonetheless, the contrasts in the life experiences of these two men, born a full generation apart, was indicative of the nature of the ebbing colonial times which must give way to the new age, new men and new processes. Prince Jagunmolu never commanded a military force nor did he suffer confinement for his action compelling words. But he had a subtle penetrating power in his words, mannerisms and actions that compel and motivate many to positive activities.

So highly cultured is the Prince’s great soul, and so divinely nurtured is his wisdom that he very easily overcomes resistance and antagonism to his ideas. The poor and rich alike find solace in his Golden Path, the path of prayer and love. Inspired by this wiser and older cousin of mine I had to write down my own vision for the future, and my part in the actualisation of this vision.

‘A philosopher is said to always chase perfection, though he realises that he may never attain it, for perfect understanding will often extinguish pleasure. But we must endeavour to change the world. It is imperative to hear the still, inner voice of God, and remain pure, untouched, uncontaminated, by activities that destroy collective human progression. The path to the fulfilment of this destiny, is the Golden Path. It is the way which God has laid in my heart, and which I am compelled to follow’

Prince Jagunmolu had put a seed within me, even if in my dreams. Every epoch has many men whose irons are in the fire, and whose role it is to be born different from the path that they eventually follow: like Moses, Like Mother Teresa, like Mandela. I have chosen a path, which my visions have inspired; well trodden by the founding of our civilisation. And for the many mistakes which I must make along the path, they would be aberrations on the script, slipped in by the thieves of the night, whose paths are akin to that of the devil, and who we must all conquer.

Irons In The Fire - George H. Ashiru


(Fiction Based on Fact; Irons In The Fire, George H. Ashiru)

Prince Jagunmolu was thus blessed with a good life. His family of wife and three kids; two girls and a boy brought him immense joy, and so did his uncountable admirers the world over. For half a century, he had lived a life of service and actualisation. He lectured me on the Path, and the ultimate fulfillment, for all those driven to become.

But God had planned another task for him, for which he had no natural desire or inclination. The Prince mused over his choice, to replace the translated Olisa of Ijebu Ode; a title reserved exclusively for his Royal Gbelebuwa family. My cousin was a man who challenged tradition and dogma all of his life, and now that selfsame tradition beckoned to him as a duty he must perform. This tradition, that was conferred on his forbears by the Awujale Obanta himself, and even beyond, by the force of the ancient Nubian Pharaohs that came out of lower Egypt’s Dynasties.

The Olisa is the second in command to the Awujale and is the only hereditary title in Ijebuland, reserved for the Gbelebuwas. My Prince had omitted, in all of his adherence to his Golden Path, to consider the traditional institution to which he was born. The people of Ososa asked for him, and he was also the favoured of the age-ing Awujale. But the Prince took all of one year to consider this duty, which would consume him for the rest of his life. While musing, he crystallised his thoughts and experiences into a memoir that was published by Merlin Books in England. The book was of great interest to so many, that it went through many printings in a short period. That was when he went on his round of promoting his book; to Africans, European, Americans and Asians. The words and deeds of a paragon of excellence were inspiration to many, and that helped my cousin to choose his path for the remainder of life.

Prince Jagunmolu returned home, to his native ancient city of Ijebu Ode. There he met with the Awujale, the Olotu Ifore and the Pampas. To be or not to be? That was the question. It was not to be. The Prince sacrificed a much sought after kingship for the dictates of the Golden Path, that required that he become what God truly blessed him for. The diplomat for Africans in the diaspora. He wanted to be king of all our hearts, not that of the dust of his inheritance. He rejected the kingship, because he did not have to work for it – it came with his birth. It was a sad day for many people of the city, and even moreso for the few powerful enemies who had hoped to reduce his international repute by the constraints of tradition. A tradition that would have stifled and then destroyed the man. Somehow, in his ‘peniel’ eyes, he knew that it was not his path.

I remembered the many battles of the past, which he relayed to me, and those that I saw for myself. The enemies who tried to reduce his influence with blackmail. Those that digged into his past, looking for the errors and misdeeds which could bring down this towering energy. But the people loved him for being him, with all of his imperfections. The Prince also taught me his principle of the Golden Path, and that was the inspiration for mine. After a distinguished and yet troubling time at the Senate, he had retired early to grow with nature. To bond in a newly defined understanding of the future, for the next few decades of his existence. But there was simply no way out. Fate had silhouetted a great divine shadow of service in every atom of his being. And service hurtled at him at speeds approaching that of light. Unfortunately, ‘anointing’ comes with trouble, and it was this trouble that Prince Jagunmolu grew weary of, after fifty years of surviving same, in pursuit of the face of God.

Some years later, a new man became popular choice as President in Nigeria, and he sought an accomplished partner as Vice. The Prince was requested for. And while he mused about this, God was still at work. For the aging Awujale had died, and it had come full circle for the Gbelebuwas to once again ascend the throne. The Oracle picked my Prince. Now, there were two great choices for this most blessed man. Such was the magnitude of the propositions before this man, that Newsweek International put him on its’ cover. Never before has a man had the choice of becoming a king or a President, after already being famous for personal achievements on the world stage. Many stories were written, and many books were written. Some made movies and others wrote plays. But no one could write of any man so blessed, alive, and still beset with options of cosmic proportions.

My Prince looked at me at the twilight hour of his decision, and knelt to pray to the Lord. Thankful for so many gifts, once bestowed to King Solomon. When he arose, his face shone, like Moses’ must have done when he knew the presence of the Lord. The next day my Prince gave a speech that finally announced where his heart lay. I punched that speech on the electronic pages. The eloquence of his delivery, and the poignancy of the moment caused permanent mesmerism, and it was not merely mine to behold. But that of the world, searching for a new hero.

“ I was born into this world in the age of free love - almost a mistake, nonetheless privileged to be a divinely accepted birth. I carried within myself the memories of a distant past, and the visions of the future which I now behold. It was, it seemed, that I was destined to suffer the Divine Discontent. To become footloose and fancy-free. The early demise of my father, whether in actual fact or by reason of his protracted absence, had created a whirlpool of dis-consonant feelings within me. I had then felt rejected and sought to be loved, by embarking in creative enterprises. Unfortunately, I was reviled rather than revered. Then I knowingly embarked on a campaign of rearranging my life, with negative impetus, hoping to then be revered. Still, it was unacceptable; and God gave me to my enemies to devour.

Then I found the Golden Path, the Ultimate Gold, and God forgave me, and allowed me to live thirty years of this new journey. It is a path that was fraught with many dangers, living a life of the humanist, selflessly and ceaselessly. And this carried itself out like a Prince Gautama instinct, to find and to nurture, perpetually, the offsprings of God’s garden. These words are especially designed for the anointed, who may see the hidden meanings of the nature of our journey through life – of which I am only a partaker.

Thus it happened, that I made the Lord my refuge and fortress, my Father, who guided me from within. Conscience was my guide and peace my sanctuary. I have bitter-sweet memories of the events of my past, that may have straight-jacketed me into this monstrous choice of worldly glories. I feel that whatever I did, I was compelled to do, and expected my rewards in heaven. Where many do not even possess a means to glorify God, or to provide for self, it seems mine is an unfair honour. In the power of God’s wisdom, He touched my shoulder, and He breathed service, sacrifice and strength into me. I felt the awakening of the cosmic vibrations from the depths and core of my being. I ran away from Him, and took the attention of loose women, and of deception, and of rejection. It seemed that I was deliberately doing everything to displease my Lord, as a prodigal child would. And when I suffered because my Lord let me, still He gave me the power of the overcomer, for such was His love...the Ultimate Love.

The question is thus asked, what is it that the Lord wants of me? To be priest and pastor, to be king and ruler, to apostolicise His faith, or to be a wandering voice in the wilderness of the world, forever proclaiming the coming of the Love of God? I do not know. As I do not know now what to do with the choices that I now behold. The crown of fine gold, that is seeped in tradition and that lasts a lifetime, or the crown of sapphire, at the deputy helm of the nation, which lasts for a time, but has infinite consequences in history. My head chose one way, and my heart chose the other. But I have become a creature of spirit, like Jonathan Seagull Livingstone. Thus, my heart chose for me, and it chose neither. To be asked has been more than enough; by that act I have become, and my Golden Path is complete. I chose peace - the peace of the soul, which communes with God in divine understanding.

The things of the world belong to the world. I want to be king in people’s hearts and ruler in their minds, but only after Christ is first loved and reigns supreme. That which I preach is the gospel of Christ and it lasts forever. It is this that I offer now. Please forgive me, for I do not speak with my mouth, or out of my consideration, but as I am divinely compelled to do. I seek enlightenment, and I cannot find it in any of those places that are before me. Rejoice with me, my people, for I have seen and I have heard, and my journey is more easily defined by this singular sacrifice. I have conquered ambition, and covetousness and the titles and things of the world, that is nirvana, that is the Ultimate Gold, and I have found it in Christ.”


George Honey Ashiru, 2009.

(To appreciate this Epilogue, pls read the earlier note MAN OF CONTRASTS. There is 400 pages of text between the two notes. It is still in the cocoon of God's wisdom)


“(It is true that) we don’t have any more all-purpose heroes, the king or teacher or paragon who is right and true all the time. But we do have plenty of people with heroic passages in their life, who bravely shatter a limitation or convention and open up new possibilities in the life of others…[and] the ones who changed society the most were those who liberated a segment of humanity that had been fenced in by prejudice…Some heroes took a giant leap for all humankind by journeys that were lonely by definition.”
-Stephen Koepp (Time Magazine)

I had long admired the Mandela story. Like Martin Luther King, he was my other inspiration, the first being The Christ. An amazing series of events happened in which I got to see and feel the great man, and to thus be complete in the inspiration leading to my Golden Path: meeting the only
original role model I had who was still alive. It also became the watershed event for me, because the man said many things that I had previously believed in, and which proved that God writes His laws in the hearts of certain people, and when they meet, such persons commune in understanding. At this point, I could be all of myself, warts and all, knowing that whatever I became, or happened to me, then I was not truly alone.

During the heady days of Apartheid, George Nene was exiled in Nigeria, and he was the African National Congress (ANC) Representative in West Africa. When I co-presented the popular Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) television programme “Youth Scene”, we interviewed him at then United States Information Agency offices in Lagos. This was in 1989. He could not come to our NTA studios because of security concerns. At the interview, which was anchored by the trio of myself, Claire Onuoha (who later worked with DBN TV and MBI) and Paul Mefo (who also moved to AIT/RayPower TV/Radio), he gave a very lucid explanation of the meaning of Apartheid which came to my heart in full force when juxtaposed with the nervous reactions of the young white South African I had met years earlier in England. Mr Nene told of his dreams for the future, free, South Africa. He also told us that the major focus of their activities at that time was for the freedom of the arrowhead of their campaign: the ‘Madiba’, Nelson Mandela. He said explicitly that he thought Mr Mandela would be released late that year, 1989.

It was prophetic. Mr Mandela emerged after 27 years in confinement. Older, softer and much wiser. I cried that day. Many months later, Mandela chose to come to Nigeria for a thank you visit. He was to receive a Honourary doctorate from the University of Lagos, and I was invited to the ceremonies. When Mandela arrived it evoked the kind of reactions that the Jews must have had when Christ entered into Jerusalem about 2000 years before. The crowds were so great on the campus that the convoy of cars which included the military Governor of Lagos at that time, Colonel Raji Rasaki, was virtually at a standstill.

Everyone wanted to see Mandela. Many wanted to touch him. When he finally reached the auditorium, the excitement was at fever pitch. I was already at the entrance to the auditorium, close to the security men, wearing a brochette made for special guests, my personal invitation and programme brochure in my hands. However, I made the critical error of not carrying a camera on my person that eventful day. But my mind recorded the events with so much clarity that I could not forget anything that happened, and that was said.

After the reception in the Bursar’s building, the entourage, which also had Winnie Mandela in tow, made to enter the auditorium. At this point the tumultuous crowds broke the security barriers and overwhelmed the security men, reaching out to touch Mandela. I doubt that the man would forget that day in a hurry. Many were afraid for the man not to be trampled and killed in the country that fought the most for his freedom. In the melee, Mandela’s speech was torn away from his hands. When he finally made it to the entrance of the auditorium, right where I was standing, he nearly stumbled again, and had to reach out for support, holding my outstretched hands in the process. He was spirited inside and made to feel comfortable on the stage.

His first words when he climbed on the podium were those that I wrote down immediately, and here preserve for eternity;

“ I had prepared a speech for this occasion, but it
was removed from my hands by your enthusiastic
people. But that is okay, for on occasions such as
this, it is better to speak from the heart…”

And if he ever reads this, or Mr Nene does, each will bear me witness.

The great man then went on to say the most uplifting words that touched the hearts of many, and left many in tears. He praised Winnie for being the motivation behind his strong resistance, while incarcerated. He thanked Nigeria but admonished the military for saving the nation from destruction, and then drafting another programme to destroy the same people they came to save. He talked about love, about leadership, of sacrifice and the inspiration that comes from the love of a constant companion. He had by that singular act provided the impetus for those who would regard it as a clarion call. I certainly was one of them. And it has remained my dream ever since to sit with Nelson Mandela, and hear him speak, again and again. (I did go to South Africa recently, but alas! All my efforts to arrange a visit proved abortive…he was ill at that time, February 2007).

The candour with which Mr Mandela espoused his purpose in the struggle for freedom was particularly touching. For me it touched inner chords already strummed by Luther King. King had said:

“Whenever men and women straighten their backs up, they are going somewhere, because a man can’t ride your back unless it is bent”

It was the same sort of thing that my Grandmother used to say to me;
“It is not your destiny to look down, for others to see the crown of your head, in order to smash it in, but to look up, confident that you know where you are going”

In reading the life story of Madiba, “Loong Walk To Freedom”, I saw the deeper wisdom of the man. Though he differed from King on the philosophy on pacifism, but there was an inner compulsion that led him to undertake such perilious risks. The sacrifice which has made him the world’s greatest living hero. It would be instructive to learn what the man felt about his own compulsions.

Being aware of the effect of his struggle on his family, he said:
“I wonder…whether one was ever justified in neglecting the welfare of one’s own family in order to fight for the welfare of others…Is politics merely a pretext for shirking one’s responsibilities…”
Other statements showed that, as a defender of the constitutional rights of men, he could not but be drawn to the defence of the oppressed. He said:

“…an immoral and unjust legal system would breed contempt for it’s laws and regulations.”

But laws are useful if everyone knows about them, and how they are applied. And he surmised that:

“Education is the great engine of personal development. It is through education that the daughter of a peasant can become the head of the mine, that a child of farmworkers can become the president of a great nation.”

In order to educate peasants, and to fight for the oppressed, which included himself, Madiba was compelled to take up a nationalistic struggle against the white minority which controlled his country. And when he chose to fight fire for fire, this is what he said to justify this:

“A freedom fighter learns the hard way that it is the oppressor who defines the nature of the struggle, and the oppressed is often left no recourse but to use methods that mirror those of the oppressor. At a certain point, one can only fight fire for fire.”

And when his methods became regarded as illegal he declared that:

“…when a man is denied the right to live the life he believes in, he has no choice but to become an outlaw”

But what struck most people most about Madiba was just his stubborn tenacity and affinity with pain. The man went in and out of jail sometimes just to prove a point. It was not the sort of thing many educated people of means would do. When I went back to my history books to study the lives of great people, they were regarded as rebellious, and they cared little for their lives. The people who affect history often have what could be considered a death-wish. Little wonder that Christ said that those who wish to enter God’s Kingdom have to be ready to die.

When Mandela later became the first democratically elected president of a unified and free South Africa, his life became an inspiration to a most unlikely Nigerian. Moshood Kashimawo Abiola (MKO). Billionaire Chief Abiola, without ever having any pretensions of being anything other than elitist and conservative, by a dose of Madiba Magic, became a martyr for Nigerian democracy. Having witnessed the inauguration of Nelson Mandela as South African president first hand, and having his own election as Nigerian president annulled, Chief Abiola realised that not all good things come without much pain and suffering, and a huge sacrifice. And sacrifice he did. He upheld his own election, declared himself Nigerian president and allowed himself to be jailed by the harshest military dictatorship our own country could ever dream of. He lost his dearest wife to the struggle, and succumbed to the creator in the presidential villa on the eve of his potential release having drank from the cup of America’s Susan Rice.

It is amazing now how many different people have adopted Madiba as their all-time personal hero. Flamboyant British billionaire, Richard Branson is one. His Queen, recalled Madiba’s visit to Britain as the most uplifting moment of an extremely terrible year for the Royal Family. A million New Yorkers who did not march for his release waited upon a free Mandela. And people who had no idea what the man stood for, nearly killed to touch Madiba in Lagos, Cairo, Khartoum, and everywhere he went. He had overtaken Muhammad Ali as the world’s premier hero.

I also found a few things that I could claim to have in common with Madiba my hero. We are both eldest boys of our mothers, both born into royal families, both were school prefects. I believe that it is our right to protect the poor, underprivileged and oppressed. I, like my inspiror, am a dogged fighter for my ideals. But I am no revolutionary, but an innovator. I believe more in intellectual aggression than physical violence or intransigence to resolve a problem. I do not believe that the majority (under the control of a lecherous few) is always right. I am a team player but am quite content to beat my path if my conscience departs from the general path. This is why I cannot play politics. I do not know how to say one thing and mean another. I cannot take people for a ride and would rather give than accept. I found from learning about Dr Nelson Mandela’s historic struggles that “I never walk alone”.

-George H. Ashiru, ‘Irons In The Fire’