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’


(Dedicated to the victories of women who have overcome the tests of their love…







© George Honey Ashiru
Month of Love, 2009



(Dedicated to all the “True Men” in the world)







© George Honey Ashiru
Ultimate Love Foundation
Month of Love, 2009


(Birthday honour of Lara Koleoso)

You are the light of the brilliant sun.

The tender breezes of autumn

The rainbow which deck the heavens

The constellation of stars is illumination

That reveals your loveliness to me

Content is my heart, like a stone that bears
your regaled feet.

For as the wind blows past your face

It brings sweet memories of bygone days

The sweet happiness of virgin love

Your first exotic crush

The magic of true romance

And the sorrows of heartbreaks

But try to imagine a faultless love

Or a perfect giving of it

What you’ll hear is the rumbling of earthquakes

What you’ll see is eroding limestone

Never stable, for sure

But through it all just remember me

And you’ll never walk alone

(c) George Honey Ashiru
Ultimate Love Foundation
Month of Love, 2009.


Its amazing how little we understand about love. It isnt a fleeting feeling we turn on or off like running water from a tap. Love cannot be manipulated for gain or for an occassion - that is eros, or, lust. Love, Agape, is a state of being that one becomes when one has right standing with God. At this point love dissipates out of your words, actions and thoughts like the falls in Niagra. Period!!!

That is why 50% of new couples fail the test of their proclaimation at the altar.

That is why 75% of Christians fail the test of their proclaimation at the altar.

Until you're giving more of yourself than you're receiving or requesting, love is still a service or merchandise.

If you are a preacher and find yourself getting offended easily by those to whom you have sent yourself...that ain't love...its pride.

If you are jettison your friends at every slight of hand...that ain,t love...that is self centredness.

If you love God so awesomely that everyone around you seem like hell bound sinners...that ain't love...that is self-righteousness.

If you write and say all the right things on facebook and to your audience...but ignore the plea of a broken heart that needs your attention...that ain't love...that is sheer wickedness.

Come to Love...He doesnt cost a thing


(A prophetic declaration into the life of Ebony D’Eva Bankole-Laoye and everyone at the threshold of destiny)

I couldn’t help but smile. God has been good to me – to us. To us?
Oh yeah! I always did like spare ribs. Didn’t the Holy Book say I was made out of one? It felt strange…basking in the glow of love’s aftermath. Wasn’t it just eleven months ago, that I shared my melancholy with a heart that listened and words that soothed? - A prophetic word. Now it’s Christmas. A different one altogether, as love’s seed formed a perfect bump on my petite torso. Who said anything about morning sickness? It has been morning glory for me ever since.

I had sauntered through spring like a gazelle bounding through the Masai plains. The Month of Love caught me unawares. Little did I know that “he” was carving a perfect elliptical arch of white gold around the purest of rubies. It was on the sidewalks of the coffee bar. I never knew my heart could pulsate so quickly. I very nearly died from the shock. My hair stood on ends and my skin tingled as it would in the fire of God’s presence.

He had lowered his towering frame before me. I did not understand. One knee on the paved stones of America’s “City of Brotherly Love”. I staggered as one enveloped by the anointing. He began the renditions of Solomon’s “I am lovesick”, then he began gently to hum that ever so sweet song “Oh happy day”

Then he looked up. His hands came out of his pocket and his long fingers unfolded a beautiful Easter egg. He must have known I have chocolates cravings. Then he began stripping away the shroud of printed foil, and I could swear he sang James Ingram’s “Find one hundred ways”

I looked warily between the egg and his eyes…his eyes. Like smouldering jade fire. Penetrating at its’ core while disarming at its’ lids. His nose flaring like a lion in heat while his lips, perfectly sculptured and seductively placed above strong chiseled chin. Oh my God! This man was “comely to look at”.

The crème chocolate was tempting. He did not say a word to me, but as he held out the chocolate and smiled so slightly he sent sublime subliminal messages to my soul. I said to myself, “isn’t this Minister xxxxxxxxx? Why is he killing me so softly?”

I couldn’t hold back one rebellious tear, and as it streamed down I reached out for the delicacy before me. We were oblivious of the crowed that milled around the spectacle we had become – waiting to exhale. My body conspired against my common sense – and I took a bite. My spirit searched for a hidden serpent, but all I heard was the orchestra of destiny.

Then I bit through the crust, into the soft crevice, and the crème gushed into my mouth, my fingers. As I sucked with abandon, I bit metal, and the glimmer of red, shimmering instantly in the bright spring of expectation. Then I saw the rest of the delicately carved object of desire – my eyes darted back to the engulfing fire of this anointed man – and I swooned.

Now he lay beside me, curled around the duvet like a gentle bear. The ruby adorned my finger matched by the twin band of yellow gold. Then I said to myself – “Thank you Jesus”. He turned at the sound of the name, and in his characteristic bedroom demeanour, opened his eyes, reached out to the “bump” and said, “Hey. God’s property”

And I chuckled knowingly, for yet again will begin – our whispers at dawn.

© George Honey Ashiru
Ultimate Love Foundation
Month of Love, 2009


(In memory of Margaret Onah, Ladi Fawole and Kayode Kiyomi, Ladi Williams, and all our beloved that have slept in Abraham's bosom.)

"My Lord, Why?
Each time you see eludes you
Each time you find dies, before it is born
Each time you find metamorphosy

Where are you?
I call for you...but you are deaf
I chase escape
I cry for scorn me
I hope for deceive me
...are you here?"

"Oh Lord, why?
Love anything and your heart will be wrung,
Give it to no one,
Wrap it carefully with little luxuries,
Lock it up in the casket of your fear.

But in that casket,
Safe, dark, and motionless,
It will surely change
For love is life
And it is for the giving

"My beloved,
You were truly loved,
But now you have disappeared,
Into that unseeing, unfeeling and silent world,
Awaiting the ultimate union of the rest of us,

Your journey of desire and fulfillment
Cruelly overtaken by another journey,
Snuffed out in one fell swoop.
Unduly, untimely and unfairly.

But one thing remains constant,
You'll never be forgotten,
And your memory will never be forsaken,
For it is now engraved in the Ultimate Love,
For to live in all our hearts...
Those who love you,
Is never to die.

Sleep peacefully, till the resurrection
You hearts of gold.

(c) George Honey Ashiru
Month of The Perfumed Garden


Welcome to the "Month of The Passover"

When miracles abound like the gushing streams of Niagara,
And earnest expectations meet divine activation
When peace that surpasses understanding envelopes your heart
And joy at its peak meets grace at its breadth.

This is the time when rivers will part for your sakes
And storms will subside in your favour
When mountains will bow to your rising
And all the crooked places will be made straight

Welcome to your month of high altitude
Flying high on eagles wings...
Beyond the heavenlies...
Even to the abode of the Greatest Lover of All.

Welcome to LOVE.

(c) GHA
Month of The Passover
Ultimate Love Foundation


Why is it important that the messiah should be born a man? Why should the Lord be raised bodily from the dead? What great importance is attached to the body, as the Messiah could have manifested Himself in a spiritual body as the Church is, without incarnation, death, resurrection and ascension?

What is the necessity for the establishment of the priesthood in God’s plan for mankind and what are its’ implications for man’s salvation? At what point did God establish the eternal priesthood of Melchizedek, as Genesis did not record its’ creation and what prompted the setting up of the Aaronic order?
These are the questions this paper addresses. The issue of blood sacrifice as atonement and why God’s Messiah was sent in the physical will be addressed to show that it has always been God’s will from before the world was made that Jesus would be born, persecuted, crucified, buried, and He would physically rise up again and ascend to Heaven as mankind’s God given Saviour.

This paper will also analyse the principle of God’s covenants in order to establish the superiority of the New, or Messianic Covenant and its effect on the future state of believers, and the importance of the priesthood of Melchizedek in this covenant.

In Genesis chapter 1 verse 26, we are told of God creating Man, in His own image and according to His likeness. We are told that man was God’s chosen instrument of dominion over the earth and all things physical (Gen. 1: 28 – 30), and God said all that He had made was good. (vs 31). Because of naivety, and curiosity, man was deceived into disobeying God’s covenant condition given in Gen 2:17, man fell from grace and become estranged from God. The consequence was a curse upon man, woman and the serpent, which was satan’s instrument of deception.
Within the ambit of God’s judgment on fallen Adam, He also gave hope for salvation through the seed of woman (Gen. 3: 15b). This “seed” gives evidence, that the serpent (devil) could only be overcome through man in the flesh born after the likeness of Adam. It was all in fulfilling God’s eternal purpose in glorifying Himself through Man’s creation (Rom 8:28 – 30)

When God pronounced death as consequence for disobedience to Adam (Gen. 2:17) it took effect through a substitute death of an animal (Gen.3:21) whose skin covered temporarily for Adam’s disobedience From this pattern God established sacrificial offering as atonement for personal and ancestral sin (Gen. 4:4, 8:20, Leviticus 5:17 – 19). However, the Bible tells us that if a man commits abomination, then by His own blood shall he pay for it (Numbers 35:33). Therefore as sin came to the world through one man, then ultimately only man can atone for such sins. (Romans 5:18 & 19). God’s mercies endure forever, however He is also a God of justice and every sin must be judged. By the inherited sin of Adam, all mankind inherited sin (Exodus 20:5).

Since the time of Adam, and as ordained in the Sinaitic covenant (Exodus 24:12) God allowed another substitute for man. This substitute was an animal without blemish. This atonement was done daily by the Levitical priesthood created under the same covenant. The Aaronic priesthood were sinners representing sinners. Their sacrifices only served as covering for sin but could not cleanse the conscience of the sin committed.

God purposed to finally put to rest, the problem of sin, by having someone born in His image and likeness, as Adam was, to receive the punishment for sin and to once and all for purge sin away from man’s conscience and bring relationship between God and man again (2Cor. 5:19). The problem was there was no man born without blemish; for all have sinned (Rom 3:23). But God in His fore – ordination of Christ as the one who would represent man in judgement (Gen. 3:15b) and redemption (Isaiah 53 : 5 &10), as the Bible tells us that God had chosen the “seed” of woman that would come out of the descendants of Abraham (Gen 22: 18) and specifically through the household of Jesse, king David’s father (Isaiah 11).

This “seed” would bruise the head of satan and set us free. For this reason, the seed without blemish could only come by divine arrangement. Since sin is inherited from the male lineage, as the head of a marital union, the God chosen Messiah could only be conceived divinely, so that He could be qualified to take the place of man in the judgement of God, releasing mankind from God’s curse (Luke 1:31 – 35&77).

To achieve this plan of salvation, God ordained a High Priest in heaven, as early as when Adam had fallen under the curse, and the entire priesthood, as soon as Jesus presented the perfect blood, without which believers would not have been able to be consecrated into the “Royal Priesthood”.

The Order of Melchizedek was God’s heavenly programme, copied on earth through the Order of Aaron and consummated again in heaven when the blood of sanctification by a perfect lamb was made available by the death on the cross, of the Messiah.

Chapter 1
God’s prepared body
God originally made Adam, with the intention that He would live eternally in his body, which was a glorified type of body. Therefore the corruption of the body, which became liable to sickness and death is related to the consequence of the fall. The kind of body that could live in a glorified form had to be established through another man, acceptable to God, to begin a new covenant of creation. (2 Cor 5:17). Therefore to come before God again, in heaven, we must be able to revert back to the original body of Adam before its fallen state. This body of ours in this state was not fit for the Son of God to dwell in, thus God begat Him divinely in Mary’s womb without the physical involvement of a man. Jews believed that a contaminated body can contaminate the soul (Standard Jewish Encyclopedia, Cecil Roth, 1962) hence the need for a virgin birth. Scriptural evidence is given that Jesus, in the flesh, is called the heavenly Man rather than man of dust (1Cor 15:49). The kind of body required to enter heaven had to have this nature, without the contamination of dust (1Cor 15:50).

Christ’s body is unique in the purpose for which God prepared it. Since God could have organized man’s salvation without the incarnation of Christ, and the death and resultant resurrection, it means that the body had a unique place in God’s purpose. It is for this reason that Christ declared “Wherefore when He (Christ) came into the world, He said; Sacrifice and offering you did not desire, But a body you have prepared for me…. Then I said Behold, I have come – in the volume of the book it is written of me – to do your will, O God”

From this statement we can infer that Christ’s incarnation had a 3 – fold application.
To preach directly to the people God’s word by God Himself (John 1:1&14) Psalm 40:9, Luke 4:18)
To personally bear the sin of men and to die in our place and purchase redemption for those who believe (John 1:12 & 29)
To resurrect from death, thereby over coming the power of death and hell (Luke 24:7, 1Cor 15: 20-21) giving such power to those who come to Him.

In Hebrews 10:5 we see the necessity of the body of Christ in the statement, “Sacrifice and offering you did not desire”. Meaning that, the ordinances of the Law of Moses were insufficient for salvation. God expressly states that laws given to Moses were not preventing Israel from living in sin (Isaiah 1:13). Instead God seeks righteousness (v:17). God prepared a body that could do away with animal offerings.

The word “prepared” in the original Greek is Katartidzo, which literally translated as “prepare perfectly” (Concise Greek – English Dictionary of the New Testament., U.B.S., 1971) Therefore, the Lord Jesus was able to retain the original identity as God’s express image (Col. 1: 15) which Adam in the un-fallen state had.

In this perfect God-Man person, Jesus, God was able to perfect His plans for mankind’s salvation. Jesus would become the Redeemer, in His own body bearing our sins on the cross, reconciling us to God in the body of His flesh. The body of Jesus was supernaturally conceived, developed in the womb naturally and yet without blemish. Jesus birth and life was in confirmation of pre-destination or election, due to God’s covenants. Abraham’s seed was part of God’s covenant, people born according to such covenants (Jeremiah, Isaac, Samson, Jesus) are not born according to passions of the flesh or carnal plans but according to divine covenant (Gen. 17:20& 21, Gal. 4: 22&23)

One of the uniqueness of Jesus’ prepared body was that it not only had to have no inherited sin, it also had to be incorruptible. Jesus was tempted even as Adam and Eve were (Matt. 4: 1-11), but He was tempted apart from sin (Heb 4:15). James’ epistle tell us that when we are tempted, It comes from within (James 1:13-16), But Jesus, who is God’s Word could not be tempted from within. The devil could not find anything as a leverage (John 14:30) so he had to tempt Jesus from outside, with the 3 categories of temptations
Lust of the flesh (Turn stone to bread)
Lust of the Eyes (Offered the world if Jesus would worship)
Pride of life (Ask Jesus to show His power)
Jesus could not be defiled with sin. Jesus’ body did not have the root of sin in Him, and more importantly, the word was in Him so as to block the passage of sin (Psalm 119:11)

Hebrews 4:15 tell us that Jesus was tempted in all points as any other human, though not from His own lusts, but as an external test. All these showed that Jesus was completely pure, without blemish and perfect for God’s purpose, for if He had being born according to the flesh He would have had inherited lusts which would lead to sins even if at the thought level. This is why Job said “Who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean? No one” (Job 14:4). Bilbad the Shuhite put it in another way, “How then can man be righteous before God? Or how can he be pure who is born of a woman?” But scripture reveal to us further that before conception the angel of God said to Mary “that holy one which is to be born will be called the Son of God” (Luke 1:35). It is therefore evident that God’s saviour could not come without embodiment. And because He is God, He could not be embodied except in an incorruptible body. Such a body, to be human, must be born of woman but to be sinless cannot be man – begotten. All of these conditions were fulfilled at Jesus’ incarnation, with God’s prepared body.

“Without shedding of blood there is no remission (of sins)” (Hebrews 9:22)
God’s activities in preparing a body for Christ, was to fulfill His divine purpose. This is related to the whole issue of salvation from the power of sin. Jesus severally also referred to His body as “This temple” (John 2:19). Even though the church is referred to as the “body of Christ” we know that Jesus has His own glorified body which was taken up (Luke 24:51) There is a purpose for which Jesus had to resurrect in a bodily form, since He could have dwelt in His disciples through His spiritual body. Paul tells us that there is a natural body and there is a spiritual body (1Cor. 15:44).

Jesus Christ still had a major role to perform after his death and resurrection. It was for this purpose that his body was prepared according to divine plan, to be perfect. He had preached His Gospel, He had given His physical life as sin offering, so, like the Levitical High Priest, He also had to personally present the blood offering before God in the heavenly sanctuary. To do this, he had to still have a human, albeit glorified body (Hebrew 10:12)

Christ is our ordained High Priest in the eternal priesthood after the order of Melchizedek, and His priesthood supplants the Aaronic order (Heb 8:13). When God gave Moses the commandment to build the tabernacle in which the various religious ordinances were to be performed so that God could dwell among the Israelites, it was designed after the heavenly sanctuary (Ex. 25:8-9). It was a copy and indeed the inferior. The God-ordained rituals and ordinances of the Mosaic Law were temporary activities shadowing the reality in heaven. They were a shadow of things to come, which reality belongs to Jesus Christ (Col 2:17)

The blood symbolizing the sin – offering of the lamb/bull sacrificed under the Aaronic priesthood on the day of Atonement had to be carried to the Holiest of Holies, before God’s very presence. This was done by the High Priest. When the blood sacrifices were offered in the Tabernacle, an innocent goat had to be put to death. However, the sacrifice of an animal was insufficient to purge man’s sin, it only provided a covering. God’s justice provides that a man’s life blood alone can atone for a man’s offence. It is not possible for the blood of goats or bulls or any inferior creature to atone for human sins (Heb 10:4)
Jesus, by His embodiment, was perfectly suited to satisfy God’s prerogative of justice. Jesus was offered as the “Lamb of God” (John 1: 29). He offered up Himself (Heb 9:14) and is also the High Priest who abides forever (Heb 7:23 & 24). He personally presented the blood as proof of His having sacrificed Himself as Man. He entered into the heavenly sanctuary and there offered once for all proof that the penalty of our sins had been paid.

The foundation for Christ’s offering His body in laid in the following scriptures.
Leviticus 17:11
The life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given if to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls; for it is the blood which makes an atonement for the soul.

Hebrews 9:22
Without shedding of blood is no remission

1Peter 1:18,19
For as much as you know that you were not redeemed with corruptible things as silver and gold….. but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a Lamb without blemish and without spot.
Hebrews 9:24
For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are figure of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us.

Hebrews 10:19-22
Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest, by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way which He hath consecrated for us through his (body)…… let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith.

From the aforementioned reasons we summarily come to the understanding that Christ became the acceptable substitute for Adam in God’s divine justice. Christ was slain to receive power (Rev. 5:17) that had hitherto been given to Adam (Gen 1;26-28) but was lost. Christ, in fulfilling God’s will (John 3:16) received full authority to appropriate the Kingdom’s of the world (Rev. 11:15) that were in bondage under Satan. In so doing Christ established His superiority over every other Biblical figures in History and in times to come. His superiority is affirmed by the following facts;
He is the son of God (John 1:14)
He is the express image of God (Col 1:15)
He is the instrument of God’s creation of all (Col 1: 16)
He is proclaimed as God by the father Himself (Heb. 1:8)
Angels worship Him (Rev. 19;10)
He is the High Priest of the Heavenly Sanctuary (Heb. 8:2)
He gives a superior rest to believers (Matt: 11:28-29)
Christ’s sacrifice gives permanent salvation (John 8:36)
His was the perfect body, without blemish (Heb.(:14)
Jesus Christ, in giving His body, reclaimed the dominion granted to man, which puts Him as head of all creation as God intended. Because of His sacrifice, God gave Him prominence over all celestial beings (Matt:28:16 ) proving His superiority over all.

God’s eternal purpose was fulfilled when He sent His only begotten Son, to come and redeem man, by offering His body so that His life which is in the blood can be presented to assuage God’s demand for justice for sins committed. He became the perfect man, divinely acceptable as a sacrifice. He became the perfect High priest, able to come into God’s presence in Heaven in the body of a man, in order to offer up His blood to atone for every believer. Christ was sent in God’s specially prepared body, to fulfill all the ordinances of God because He is so much more perfect, over all the prophets, Judges and Kings of Israel and over the Church and heavenly beings (Phil. 2:9).

God achieved all of these great things for believers by establishing covenants, and a priesthood, which ensures that man fulfills the terms of the covenants. It is in a study of these covenants that we will establish God’s programme of salvation, starting from the Adamic Covenant to the Millenium Covenant. We will see that in-between God’s covenant with Adam and the Messianic Covenant, there was the establishment of the Melchizedechian Covenant, which was fulfilled in the shedding of Christ’ blood and His ascension to heaven to present the blood in the heavenly sanctuary.

(c) George H. Ashiru
Transformations Institute
2002, 2009

Standard Jewish Encyclopedia Cecil Roth, 1962
Concise Greek – English Dictionary of the N.T. UBS, 1971
The Seed of The Woman, Arthur Constance
The seed of the woman, Arthur Constance bibliography


"A smooth sea never made a good sailor"

Intelligent people know that every good thing in life is programmed by God. God has given each person gifts or the capacity to have gifts that will create success. There are three categories of gifts or talents available to man; namely

Natural Gifts:
These are genetic and are often inherited from parents. E.g. Singing, athletic ability, painting, dancing etc.

Intellectual Gifts:
These are developed by application of mental effort, through learning. E.g. Piloting, medicine, teaching etc

Spiritual Gifts:
These are only received by grace, from God. In Christianity for example, spiritual gifts are endowed by the Holy Spirit, which a true believer in Christ receives. Some examples of spiritual gifts are; Prophesying, seeing spiritual visions, working spiritual miracles.

Quite often, natural gifts and spiritual gifts manifest quite early in the development of a child. If not nurtured, much of those gifts atrophy as the child passes puberty. Africans are notorious for neglecting to help children develop their natural and spiritual gifts; focusing on intellectual gifts only. But the Bible teaches us that “A man’s gifts make a way for him, and brings him before great men”. This was evident in the case of Joseph, the young Hebrew boy, who interpreted an Egyptian Pharaoh’s dream, and was subsequently elevated to become prime minister in the nation.

The concept of identifying and developing gifts from as young an age as possible is programming. That is organising a person’s development to attain his or her potentials. Without a programme to win, there is no way anyone can expect to get to the top in any chosen path in life.

In a recent seminar on the subject matter, organised by the Sports Prayer Group, in Nigeria, a clergy man, Reverend Ebenezer Kayode postulated that God endowed each person with a unique physique for a purpose. In this, he noted that certain body types respond well to certain programme of actions better than other body types. He gave a brilliant summation that until we are each linked to God, we cannot activate what God intended for us.

From this principle we can imagine a big gigantic man attempting to become a rock climber, instead of going into wrestling. Or a small, skinny person trying to excel in hammer throwing. We find that our programmes for winning are already truncated due to inappropriate selection of gifts.

Even when we can quite clearly identify our special endowments, we still need to observe scientific principles before they can be fully activated. Professor Andrew Ajiduah postulated at the same seminar, that we need concrete objectives, which must be set high, before we develop winning programmes. He explained the importance of knowing the physiological systems, and the scientific principles guiding them if we are trying to excel in physical activities.

We can quite easily adapt the same principle for development of other gifts like singing and painting. The child shows interest and natural affinity for melodies or colours. From here we test them with a range of activities in a system called the Montessori system of teaching. Those specially gifted grow at a fast rate is manifesting the talent.

In spiritual giftings, it is even more critical for the development of a child with these abilities to be closely monitored. There is great danger that such gifts may be manipulated for ill with disastrous consequences for both the gifted and other people. A person with the gift for accurate prophetic dreams may develop a phobia of the future, and can manipulate people for person gain. But the same gift could be useful within a religious environment for the edification of God’s work and the comfort of God’s people.

I would like to lay spiritual foundation for those who are seriously keen on programming themselves to win in life to consider some of the following precepts that I have adapted from the Bible.

“Press on towards the goal...”
The Apostle Paul in speaking to the people of Philipia almost two thousand years ago talks about setting a goal and not looking back, after embarking on the winning programme.

“Run with perseverance, the race...”
Paul also talks here about shedding unnecessary pressures and burdens from our shoulders, trusting on God while having indomitable spirit in pursuing our goals.

“Gird up your loins…”
Here, it is Simon Peter who wrote about preparing for action to fulfil our goals with sobriety and peaceful mind. Focusing on Christ.

“Fight the good fight…”
Paul, was teaching Timothy, his ward, about abandoning un-Godly motives in a programmes, but seeking God’s glory by fighting in faith and righteousness for our crowns.

“We fight not with flesh and blood…”
This principle establishes that we should not focus on people and situations as being our problems, but to understand that a the devil, characteristically, will use people and situations to thwart God’s eternal purpose in the winner. So focus on the real enemy.

“Run to win the prize”
Paul alludes that surely we all prepare our programmes for the purpose of winning, so then it is critical to prepare and train in such a way as to win the crown.

“Compete according to the rules”
Paul cautions us to win in life by adhering to rules. That is, no drugs,

or bribery or use of contrary powers etc.

“We are more than conquerors…”
Peter teaches us that by our faithfulness to God in preparation, we win more than the earthly things we are chasing but the everlasting crown of Christ Jesus.

“We plan...but God establishes”
It is popular knowledge that man proposes but God disposes. King Solomon therefore teaches us to prepare, then hand over everything to our Omnipotent Father.

“Plans should be established after advice”
Solomon is also telling us that there is wisdom in wise counsel. Our programme to win should have the input of mature and God fearing people.

“The vision is for an appointed time”
A Hebrew prophet, Habbakuk, was told that although he had been given a vision of certain events, they were to come to pass at a divinely appointed time. If we a planning in God, empowered by God, then we should wait for God’s appointed time.

“Seek God in your youth”
Here, Solomon advices us to not wait until the difficult times ahead in life before we come into full knowledge of God and walking in His ways. Many of us would have already lost fifty percent of what God had in store for us before we finally go to God for guidance.

A programme to win in life starts with God, is powered by God and will end with God. If this is not your equation then you should go back and rearrange your Golden Path.

From the book, "The Golden Path"
(c) George H. Ashiru
2004, 2009


It amazes me, that the signs of the power of modern philosphy, thinking and wisdom has been put to shame by the firestorms spreading all over the world today.

It amazes me, that in spite of this, we find many people still trudging along "as in the days of Noah", oblivious to the collapse of the very economic model upon which many dreams were built.

It amazes me, that there are many closet "Nicodemus'" meandering about, unable or unwilling to declare a heartfelt truth...If there be no God, then there is no life.

It amazes me, that even people with precious great potentials, are so given to self-centredness; They give nothing but want all things.

It amazes me, that some people can dream about making it big, living big, wanting it all, but they have no power over the very breathe that they breathe.

It amazes me, as Pareto would say, that 80% of people are quite content with a subsidiary role in shaping the world around them.

It amazes me, that God watches and smiles over all our folies, bringing rain upon all and food for all,
after all, He said "I will no longer strive with Man".

We stand in the corridor of history, which beckons everso fervently, for the lights of the world to shine forth. The whole of creation is seeking the manifestations of God's given potential in every blessed soul.

But it amazes me still, that some would wait until their very life ebbs away before presenting themselves as a living sacrifice and their lives as chosen vessels of honour unto the Creator.

Every day counts. Do the right thing today. Peace.


Rebranding or Rebuilding - Conceptual Principles for Restoration of Nigeria

1. It is futile to create or implement ideas or programmes that are not founded on divine principles.

2. Only the emancipation of each individual in a nation can lead to freedom for a nation.

3. Conferences and programmes are fruits of ideas. the fruit will be consistent with the root from which it . emanates. It is either rooted in godliness or godlessness.

4. History proves it is futile to fight over civil rights, women's rights, ethnic rights, etc, without accepting the root cause of every imbalance in society - godlessness.

5. Jesus said, "You will know the Truth and the truth will set you free"; but our people have resolutely accepted the bondage of falsehood. Our people have sold their votes, their conscience and their integrity to the highest bidder.

6. "We do not need to get good laws to restrain bad people. We need to get good people to restrain bad laws. The problem is that the majority would rather not accept such responsibility; therefore, it generally falls to the minority to protect the majority from its own predilection to foolish acquiescence to tyranny" - G.K. Chesterton

7. Nigeria must never depend on the benevolent auto-cratism or the goodwill of the self-styled messiahs, but that the law of the land is supreme - and everyone is equal under the law, and this law is inspired by God.

8. EFCC, ICPC, SSS, CID, etc may arrest criminals, punish crimes, legislate control of crimes, but a dead conscience is not subject to legislation.

9. An inspired constitution is not an exercise in the politics of legalism. It is based on the core principle that the greatest good is offered to the greatest number of people in our nation.

10. Nigeria's Constitution has always been legalistic, imposed and put together by undemocratic governments. thus, it always lacks the ability to cater for the common good. Only an open, or sovereign assembly of elected representatives of the people of nigeria can create a living and acceptable and binding covenant. It cannot be imposed by a government based on the work of a selected minority, no matter how knowledgeable.

11. The smallest unit in a nation is the nuclear family. The family feeds the community, which feeds the cities and the regions and the nation at large. If there is fundamental corruption at the family level then the nation is doomed. Branding and building are both whitewashes that cover the malaise.

12. The nation has a dearth of true national leaders and heroes...instead we have political super heroes, television or magazine heroes etc; People who have become platform performers and soft sell hot cakes but whose works in the national life lacks true depth or sacrificial benefit to the people. These are the people that the next generation have as models.

13. Government's economic policies are having the desired results - creating more wealth for the government and large corporations, but majority of the people impoverished. All foreign inspired reforms are ultimately for the benefit of the inspirer.

14. Nigerian leaders have never listened to the ordinary people that God entrust to them before formulating policies and programmes. They listen however, to the IMF, World Bank, Paris Club, G8, UNO, multinational corporations, party leaders and godfathers, special advisers, diviners, sorcerers etc. Everyone but the people they are elected or appointed to serve.

15. "Unless a man becomes the enemy of evil, he will not even become its slave but rather its champion. God Himself will not help us to ignore evil, but to defy and defeat it" - G. K. Chesterton.

Readers critique, comments and added remarks welcome.

(c) George H. Ashiru
The Institute for Transformational Leadership


Repositioning, reengineering and rebranding are American buzz words for "getting out of a mess". A good product does not require repackaging. Richard Branson understands quite well how to build and retain a quality brand, but turning the elephant into an eagle did not make Nigeria Airways fly.

The greatness of a nation depends on the sum of the greatness of its individuals. So, the marketing mix in the Nigeria's Ministry of Information is white wash on a collapsing building. It is like Toilet Boy that was sold in the 1970s; foam to cover human wastes because the WC has no water.

Every attempt at "branding" a culture has failed because the image of a nation speaks from the lifestyles of its people. Even infrastructural development is like building colliseums in the hope tourists will not see the poverty and squalour of the hinterlands. Investing in people, re-investing in the Technical Aid Corp, and improving the Education system is where the true "branding" will begin. A thousand logos and adverts and CNN features cannot speak better than the individual and collective achievements of Nigerians inspired to rule their world. PEOPLE, that is the foundation for whatever good will come forth from Nigeria. And the government is not equipped to build people: Parents are, communities are, religious organisations are, educational institutions are. This is where we ought to invest and this is the sort of humble advise I would be hoping the political leaders are hearing.

Its All About Mothers

Sitting in on the birthing process of my three children gave me a new appreciation of God's gift of mothers to mankind. The initial sheepish, romantic love at first bloom, never prepares you for the thin line between life and death, precarious birthing pangs.

The trimesters of anxious nervous reaction to every sniffle, the midnight groans that keeps a responsible husband awake, the morning sickness and the emotional swings.

I tell my wife...we were both pregnant, she physically, me emotionally and spiritually. Whenever I hear "Yeee" I stumble on my knees and say "Father, please, this is not Racheal, please give me my baby jeje, peacefully".

Sometimes she plays games with me. She squirms just to see my scrambling reaction. She shouts "Oh my God" just to get me to begin a night vigil by her side. My wife knows I love children more than life.

When she was heavier, and the bump was quite a heavy attachment to our love at least I could touch the warm and dimply foetus' amniosaic protrusions. Her back would scream and she would sigh..."things we do for you men".

By the due dates I knew every medical jargon and conditions attached to pregancy and I marvelled how quickly those past months had gone. My doctor felt I was too sentimental, emotional and un-African in my insistence to be right there when the babies came out. Would I cry? Faint? Shout? Every case was never the same...I will not tell. But the hero was always the wife...breathing when she should, pushing when she should and smiling in between...

When the babies were presented to eyes remain with my wife...amazed, "did these 4Kg babies come forth from you?".

It takes a special gift to be a mother that only God gives...both mother and baby are a gift to fathers and husbands...appreciate them.

Darling Remi...and Mum and every mother (and "pregnant" fathers reading this)...I hail O!

Ultimate Love Foundation
Month of First Fruits, 2009


‘ …A wicked ruler will not be allowed to govern the land set aside for righteous people.” - Psalm 125 (God’s Word)

There are no loyal Nigerians. If there were, they are dead. What we have is a nation of people loyal to the oil, their tribes, their religions, their cults and their political affiliations. That generation of people, prepared to die to defend the honour and integrity of this nation are gone. Now, the current leaders of this nation are fighting over the legacies of bye-gone heroes, rather than building on those legacies. Almost all our national leaders now are ex-military, Government contractors, unprincipled politicians, and ex-senior civil servants and those who have or had connections in one form or another with the looting of this country. Professionals and people of independent intellect have kept resolutely away from political governance. We have got ourselves a long list of disappointing rulers in Nigeria. In popular parlance, it is said that the people get the type of leader that they deserve. Reading the psalm above correlates this, because it confirms that we are not a righteous people, and thus, we cannot expect righteous rulers, no matter how morally upright they define themselves.
A friend once asked me why I returned to live in Nigeria. I replied that I had never contemplated living perpetually elsewhere. He shook his head and said he felt sorry for me. He said that my talents would never be appreciated, my activities would be vilified and my achievements debased. It was a stinging remark. He prophesied that my problems would start with my trying to do something for the country or for people. This “friend” then summarised by asking me to help him get a visa so he can get out of this country to serve her in exile. Today, he lives in America, and has been recruited in the armed forces there. Such is the nature of the angst of the future generation of leaders. We have managed to run this country down with misguided capitalism, deep rooted corruption and greed, pure selfishness and superficial unity.
The problem is, everyone blames somebody else. Where does the buck stop? No one has had the strength of character and sense of responsibility to say “okay, the buck stops with me. I take personal responsibility for the failure or success of this nation”. When there is civil disturbance, the government blames “disgruntled elements”. The police blame shortage of fuel for not responding to distress calls. One religion blames the other; politicians blame rival parties. Some, perhaps, even blame God. There is no collective vision for this country. No tried, tested and true leadership philosophy and culture for the country. We “fumble and womble” our way to an unsure future. The whole nation has no conscience. My own generation has nothing to hold on to but formless shadows. We are mired in fraud, violence and hopelessness. The few salaried ones are tentatively loyal to their current employers, not to the country. Their employers are loyal only to their shareholders and not to the country. The shareholders are only loyal to their bank accounts. Soldiers are loyal to their commanders, their units, battalions, divisions, and not to the country. The heads of state are only loyal to their constituencies, and not to the country. The Igbo loves Ohaneze; Yorubas, Afenifere; Hausas, Arewa. Nobody loves Nigeria. Not a single soul.
The Government makes us pay several taxes and levies and charges to arm soldiers to fight us. We pay the police to take “tolls” at checkpoints. We pay Local Government officials to come and close down our offices under all kinds of pretext. We pay Governors to demolish our houses. We elevate people into leadership positions that have no independent quality of leadership, other than belonging to the right clique. They are paralysed at the first signs of crisis. Since 1985 particularly, our young men and women have been bringing international honour and acclaim to Nigeria, in sport and entertainment. But it is the politicians who are building mansions and setting up banks with profits from over-inflated contracts. Our country’s population is growing beyond her means. Our civil service does not have business orientation, and often hamper rather than assist private business initiatives. Ministries take weeks to attend to a simple letter. You often have to bribe your way to get approvals for some things, which could benefit the entire society. I have lectured over one thousand civil servants in business skills; I am speaking from sure knowledge. You know, I cannot blame those highly educated and talented youths who have emigrated from Nigeria, and left us laggards behind.
In my country, your ideas are discarded because your face does not fit. Your initiatives are strangled, so that you don’t get too popular. Your talents are stifled so that you don’t get any glory. Your reputation is smeared so that you don’t get elevated. And most of our national sin is perfected in the place that we least need them – in the civil service. Leaders of our national and state parastatals are arrogant and self-righteous. Their sirens have shattered many a ear drum. The cost of maintaining the high and mighty in Government has dissipated our gross national earnings. In the private sector, the banks have gone haywire. They hire incompetent people, and teach them to manage often less than honest financial transactions. Their input in national development is tactically nil, since they do not support industrial development. Manufacturing companies, rather than re-engineer their operations, and become leaner, diversified or micro-consolidated, stay afloat bereft of useful ideas, almost unproductive.
The multinationals are declaring huge profits and repatriating their profits abroad. The industrial development of Nigeria is almost nil. If we are not exporting manufactured products then we are not developing. If we are importing toothpicks, orange juice and candles, then we have reached an economic dead end. What we love is flattery, attention and superficiality. We hate constructive criticism. Why don’t parents encourage their children to develop their talents? Why do we love titles before and after our names? Why do we wait for isolated achievements of the likes of Agbani Darego and Wole Soyinka to boast of our national greatness?
Professor Chinua Achebe, the renowned literary genius had these to say in his booklet, ‘The Trouble With Nigeria’;
“The trouble with Nigeria is simply and squarely a failure of leadership. There is nothing basically wrong with the Nigerian character. There is nothing wrong with the Nigerian climate or water or air or anything else. The Nigerian problem is the unwillingness or inability of its’ leaders to rise to the responsibility, to the challenge of personal example which are hallmarks of true leadership…Whenever, two Nigerians meet, their conversation will sooner or later slide into a litany of our national deficiencies. The trouble with Nigeria has become the subject of our small talk in much the same way as the weather is for the English”
Professor Achebe continued his treatise with questions waiting for answers, about two decades from when he first wrote those words;
“Nigeria has many thoughtful men and women of conscience, a large number of talented people. Why is it then that all these patriots make so little impact on the life of our nation? Why is it our corruption, gross inequities, our noisy vulgarity, our selfishness, our ineptitude seem so much stronger than the good influences at work in our society? Why do the good among us seem so helpless while the worst are full of vile energy?
At a series of lectures on business and personal development that I was invited to give to the workforce of a Federal parastatal, I was asked to provide solutions to my own complaints, as stated above. The 600 persons that I lectured, from the lowest cadre to the Board, all seemed to seek the same solutions. They told me that there were Nigerians but no Nigeria. Despite working for the Federal Government of Nigeria, these hardworking and loyal officers, had no sense of unity and cohesion in the entity called Nigeria. These people, who built Nigeria, with their sweat and toil, still do not accept her corporate existence. What they were doing, was not by choice but by chance. They wanted to know If my own generation of diversely educated and experienced post-independence baby boomers had any solutions to the myriad problems of Nigeria. I thought so. I thus prepared to write my own philosophy about Nigerian statehood, which would be published as a book on its own. Our national Golden Path, if you will. Until Christ arrested my arrogance, I was going to give logical answers to spiritual problems.
Firstly, Nigeria is bedevilled by the numerous demonic institutions that feed fat on this land of milk and honey. We are not a righteous nation. The shrines, malevolent gods, dark cults etc have sucked the goodness of the land. And no matter what anyone does in this land, he will not make much honest money. Dark and dangerous forces are the real landlords of this country, indeed this African continent. No leader can redeem this nation without spiritual sanctification of the entire society. Such a person knows that death is almost sure. Politicians are generally cowards, so we cannot look to them for that kind of sacrifice. Many of our traditional rulers are worshipping money, and have sold their sacred titles to the rich, and not the hardworking. They depend more on their shrines of a thousand spirits than the power of Almighty God. Universities are giving most of their honourary awards to those who have means, or are in political power, rather than to those who are actually uplifting the soul of the nation. Parents teach their children to marry wealth, cheat at all cost and make evil covenants. Thus, we need to defeat the national demons that are causing these and all the ethnic, religious and political violence in the nation, before we can repair the damage done.
We need to get all school teachers on a national teacher’s conference, to discuss re-defining what we should be teaching our young children. Our parents’ teachers associations should have a national conference to talk about parenthood and education. Our traditional leaders should have a national conference, to discuss how to emphasise what is good in our cultures, and to jettison those that are harmful or worthless. Our professionals should meet along their various areas and set visions and standards for the future of Nigeria as a corporate entity. The politicians should have their national conference, without party affiliations. The soldiers should discuss their role in the new Nigeria. Students and youths should meet to discuss their future in a new Nigeria. All stakeholders should meet to fashion out a purpose for our national existence. These programmes should run concurrently over a two year period.
The various agreements and documents produced should be collated. Then we should have a national referendum on each issue to accept or reject the recommendations made. Then we should have a democratic national conference. This is not a conference to ask whether to break Nigeria, but one about how we can co-exist in peace given our knowledge of the desires of the various units of our country, without religious and ethnic bias. This kind of conference will not be one of the various ethnic groups, but of the various groups as listed above. We should be able to now have a popular vision, mission statement, and national philosophy. Then we can form a smaller group to fashion out a constitution that takes all the important issues into consideration. These should take a further two years.
At this point, our Government should be streamlined. Every non-profitable parastatal should be sold or closed down. Our foreign policy should be expanded and industrial development expanded overwhelmingly. Legal emigration should be encouraged, since these people are in effect being trained to lead a future, more stable Nigeria. When our Government and society becomes quite stable, positive and purposeful, then all the foreign based human and material resources will naturally migrate back home. Their foreign incomes will be used to grow the Nigerian economy.
How about ethnicity? It is poverty, ignorance and greed that is the cause of these. Poverty among those feeling marginalised, greed among those in power, and ignorance in the others. The eastern region of Nigeria traditionally is more industry oriented, while the south-south has been the bread basket of modern Nigeria. The northern peoples are politically conscious, while western Nigerians are intellectuals by nature. Thus, the westerners manage the wealth created by the south-south, the northerners secure the polity, while the easterners push for industrial self sufficiency. That is what makes Nigeria great and successful. We are truly symbiotically joined, for better or for worse. The industrial development of Nigeria depends on the creative instincts of the easterners. The sophisticated management skills of the westerners is the basis of our economic stability. The northerners have consolidated the political and security aspects of our nation. Now, one cannot survive without the other. The day we all accept this fact there will be more political stability and more foreign investments, more wealth, less corruption and more progress. When this happens, then we will help the economic development of surrounding countries which will inevitably help our own exports too.
We also need to re-orientate our individual and collective psyche, not to be inordinate lovers of flashy, superficial and inappropriate things. We should learn to ignore a man who writes five titles before his name on a business card. We should not concern ourselves with keeping up with the next door neighbour. We should not judge every book by its cover. We should fight poverty by spending our individual time, effort and resources building people for material wealth, rather than thinking of how to furnish our homes with millions from that fraudulent deal. We should pray for Nigeria every morning of our lives, for a nation that prays together will stay together.
We need to rebuild all the community halls, so we can meet to keep talking together. We need to rebuild those football fields and sprint tracks, so the energetic young would be developing positive talents rather than negative ones. The states need their own systems of security, to complement their justice systems. The federal police should focus on crimes committed on the highways, at the border towns and in federally owned buildings. That does not mean that the federal police will not have powers to take over investigations of crimes of national importance or multi-state instigation. There should be no restriction to the registration of political organisations or ban on any person or group from the political process, except if first established at the law courts that it is good and necessary. Certainly, no one should ever be banned for life for any reason. The electorate should be left to determine the suitability of an offender or ex-offender, after a period of penitence, to get on with his or her lawful life.
Talk about the various regions going separate ways. That is a dream. I was Nigerian Taekwondo Champion, Mr Nigeria, President of various Nigerian organisations. I do not wish to have ever being or become Oduduwa or Ijebu Champion of anything as an alternative. We should consolidate and not disintegrate. I would prefer to be an atom in the information super-highway than a single amoeba. I would rather be a gold fish in a massive ocean than a massive trout in a pond. There is strength in numbers, and our diversity is what makes us so special in Africa, for good and for bad. Now, we need to start to manage the bad sides by a system of de-emphasization, and to increase the good by a system of consolidation.
Individually, we must start thinking positive things about ourselves, our communities and our nation. We must involve ourselves wholly in the process of selecting credible leaders of every aspect and strata of our society. Then we can learn to take responsibility when things go wrong, and arrange to correct them. We cannot sit on the wall expecting other people to change or implement the things that affect our lives. We have to work. If employers start looking for evidence of good moral character, altruism, national loyalty and wide ranging achievements, rather than certification alone, there will be less examination fraud. If there is less corruption in the Government, people will pay their income taxes. If the police is not so busy arresting innocent people and beating up those providing for their salaries they will get more cooperation, and crimes would be solved faster. All young Nigerians should be given some military training. Not to ward off external aggression (even though I believe there will be some form of war in the future, with a neighbouring country) but to instil leadership qualities, strength of character, discipline and loyalty in our citizenry. It will also be sufficient to prevent coups.
There is a legacy that we must leave for the unborn generations. A legacy of love. We need to understand the nature of true love, and to learn to show it. We must love in others what we love in ourselves. We need to learn to love our landscapes, and the sonorous language of the Kalabari’s, and the cool and etheric atmosphere of the Plateau region. We need to appreciate the beauty of the Fulani maiden, and the strength of the Igbo man and the athleticism of the Edo boys. We must appreciate the academic potentials of the Ekitis and the industrial and commercial instincts of the Ijebus.
King Solomon so loved the splendour of Israel, that he used superlative words inspired by the beauty of his country, in songs of love. Solomon wrote beautiful poetry that supersede the best that Shakespeare ever wrote;
“My beloved is unto me as a cluster of Camphire in the vineyards of Engedi”
“The flowers appear on the earth; the time of the singing of birds is come, and the voice of the turtle is heard in our land”
“A fountain of gardens, a well of living water and streams of Lebanon”
“His legs are as pillars of marble, set upon sockets of fine gold: his countenance is as Lebanon, excellent as the cedars”
“…thy hair is as a flock of goats that appear from Gilead”
“Thy neck is as a tower of ivory; thine eyes like the fish pools in Heshbon, by the gate of Bathrabbim: thy nose is as the tower of Lebanon which looketh towards Damascus”
[Songs of Solomon (KJV)]
It is no wonder that Israel, in the time of Solomon, was the centre of knowledge, splendour and pilgrimage. The ruler of the nation was in love with his country and everything it contained. When our young people run away to live in distant lands, it is because they have found nothing to love in here. We cannot make people love Nigeria by force, but we can identify the things lovable in our different cultures and we can celebrate this together. I am proud to say that I love this country. Through the heartaches, assassinations, wars, corruption, decadence, strife, etc. I have repented personally from my own corruption, fraud and every other activity that debases this country. Our irons are in the fire. God is at work in this country. Someday the fine object of desire will be produced. God’s agenda for the transformation of Nigeria has begun. Long live Nigeria.

George H. Ashiru Co-convener NIGERIA: Town Hall Meetings Project (THMP)