Monday, 26 August 2013

10 Ways to Have Peaceful, Loving Relationships

“Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them, humanity cannot survive.” ~Dalai Lama
Though Valentine’s Day is coming up next month, this is not a post about romance. It’s about any relationship—with your brother, your mother, your coworker, or your friend.
And I admit I am not an expert.
I’ve made a million and one mistakes in relationships. I’ve expected too much. Or not asked for what I needed in fear of rocking the boat. I’ve been competitive. I’ve been suspicious. I’ve been dependent. I’d like to think what redeems me from all these mistakes is that I’ve also been honest.
Being self aware, in my opinion, is far more valuable than being perfect—mostly because the former is attainable and helpful, while the latter is neither.
Relationships are not easy. They mirror everything we feel about ourselves. When you’ve had a bad day, the people around you seem difficult. When you’re not happy with yourself, your relationships seem to be lacking.
If you’ve ever gotten in a fight only to find yourself wondering what you were really upset about, this post may help you. If you’ve ever been disappointed because someone didn’t meet your expectations, this post may help you, too. Feel walked on and unheard? You guessed it—there’s likely something in here that will help you change that.
We don’t live in a vacuum. We have thoughts and feelings that can be confusing. Other people do too. And just like in the movie Crash, they don’t always collide smoothly.
When I apply these ideas, I feel confident, strong, compassionate, and peaceful in my interactions. I hope they can do the same for you.

1. Do what you need to do for you.

Everyone has personal needs, whether it’s going to the gym after work or taking some alone time on Saturday morning. If someone asks you to do something and your instinct is to honor you own need, do that. I’m not saying you can’t make sacrifices sometimes, but it’s important to make a habit of taking care of yourself
Someone once told me people are like glasses of water. If we don’t do what we have to do to keep our glass full, we’ll need to take it from someone else—which leaves them half full. Fill your own glass so you can feel whole and complete in your relationships.

2. Give people the benefit of the doubt.

It’s tempting to doubt people—to assume your boyfriend meant to hurt you by not inviting you out with his friends, or your friend meant to make you feel inadequate by flaunting her money. People who care about you want you to feel happy, even if sometimes they get too wrapped up in their own problems to show it well.
Sometimes they may be hurtful and mean it—let’s not pretend we’re all angels. But that won’t be the norm. It will likely be when they’re hurting and don’t know what to do with it. Odds are they’ll feel bad and apologize later. If you want to get good will, share it by seeing the best in the people you love. When we assume the best, we often inspire it.

3. Look at yourself for the problem first.

When you feel unhappy with yourself, it’s easy to find something wrong in a relationship. If you blame another person for what you’re feeling, the solution is on them. But this is actually faulty logic. For starters, it gives them all the control. And secondly, it usually doesn’t solve the problem, since you didn’t actually address the root cause.
Next time you feel the need to blame someone for your feelings—something they did or should have done—ask yourself if there’s something else going on. You may find there’s something underlying: something you did or should have done for you. Take responsibility for the problem and you have power to create a solution.

4. Be mindful of projecting.

In psychology, projecting refers to denying your own traits and then ascribing them to the outside world or other people. For example, if you’re not a loyal and trusting friend, you may assume your friends are all out to get you. It’s a defense mechanism that allows you to avoid the discomfort of acknowledging your weaknesses. There’s no faster way to put a rift in your relationships.
This comes back to down to self awareness, and it’s hard work. Acknowledging your flaws isn’t fun, but if you don’t, you’ll continue seeing them in everyone around you. And you’ll continue to hurt. Next time you see something negative in someone else, ask yourself if it’s true for you. It might not be, but if it is, identifying it can help create peace in that relationship.

5. Choose your battles.

Everyone knows someone who makes everything a fight. If you question them about something, you can expect an argument. If you comment on something they did, you’ll probably get yelled at. Even a compliment could create a confrontation. Some people just like to fight—maybe to channel negativity they’re carrying around about the world or themselves.
On the one hand, you have to tell people when there’s something bothering you. That’s the only way to address problems. On the other hand, you don’t have to let everything bother you. When I’m not sure if I need to bring something up, I ask myself these few questions:
  • Does this happen often and leave me feeling bad?
  • Does this really matter in the grand scheme of things?
  • Can I empathize with their feelings instead of dwelling on my insecurity?

6. Confront compassionately and clearly.

When you attack someone, their natural instinct is to get defensive, which gets you nowhere. You end up having a loud conversation where two people do their best to prove they’re right and the other one is wrong. It’s rarely that black and white. It’s more likely you both have points, but you’re both too stubborn to meet in the middle.
If you approach someone with compassion, you will open their hearts and minds. Show them you understand where they’re coming from, and they’ll be willing to see your side. That gives you a chance to express yourself and your expectations clearly. And when you let people know what you need at the right time in the right way, they’re more likely to give that to you.

7. Don’t be afraid to be vulnerable.

There are all kinds of ways you can feel vulnerable in relationships: When you express your feelings for someone else. When you’re honest about yourself or your past. When you admit you made a mistake. We don’t always do these things because we want to maintain a sense of power.
Power allows us a superficial sense of control, whereas true, vulnerable being allows us a sense of authenticity. That’s love: being your true self and allowing someone else to do the same without letting fear and judgment tear it down. It’s like Jimi Hendrix said, “When the power of love overcomes the love of power the world will know peace.”

8. Think before acting on emotion.

This one is the hardest for me. As soon as I feel hurt, frustrated, or angry, I want to do something with it—which is always a bad idea. I’ve realized my initial emotional reaction does not always reflect how I really feel about something. Initially, I might feel scared or angry, but once I calm down and think things through, I often realize I overreacted.
When you feel a strong emotion, try to sit it for a while. Don’t use it or run from it—just feel it. When you learn to observe your feelings before acting on them, you minimize the negativity you create in two ways: you process, analyze, and deal with feelings before putting them on someone else; and you communicate in a way that inspires them to stay open instead of shutting down.

9. Maintain boundaries.

When people get close, boundaries can get fuzzy. In a relationship without boundaries, you let the other person manipulate you into doing things you don’t want to do. You act out of guilt instead of honoring your needs. You let someone offend you without telling them how you feel about it. The best way to ensure people treat you how you want to be treated is to teach them.
That means you have to love and respect yourself enough to do that: to acknowledge what you need, and speak up. The only way to truly have loving, peaceful relationships is to start with a loving, peaceful relationship with yourself.

10. Enjoy their company more than their approval.

When you desperately need someone’s approval, your relationship becomes all about what they do for you—how often they stroke your ego, how well they bring you up when you feel down, how well they mitigate your negative feelings. This is draining for another person, and it creates an unbalanced relationship.
If you notice yourself dwelling on pleasing someone else or getting their approval, realize you’re creating that need. (Unless you’re in an abusive relationship, in which case I highly recommend getting help.) Instead of focusing on what you can get from that person, focus on enjoying yourselves together. Oftentimes the best thing you can do for yourself and someone else is let go and give yourself permission to smile.
What do you do to create peaceful, loving relationships?

Things You Must Do Independently

  1. Take responsibility for your own happiness.Save yourself several hours of arguing by remembering this one rule: it's not up to anyone else to make you happy.
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    Make good on your words. Follow through on your promises. When you say you're going to do something, do it. Don't say that you'll cook dinner, or get a birthday present, and then blow it off or simply forget about it. What this does is systematically destroy trust. And relationships need trust in order to thrive.
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    Admit your mistakes. If you know you've done something to hurt your partner, intentionally or not, own up to it. Humble yourself and apologize sincerely, without making excuses or justifications like "I'm sorry you made me angry."

    • Commit to changing your behavior. If you notice yourself apologizing for the same mistake over and over, step it up a level. Tell your partner that you recognize this mistake keeps happening, and you want to train yourself to stop. Request help and ask for him or her to gently point it out to you when you're making this mistake again.
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    Be realistic. Every relationship has disagreements and days when staying isn't the easiest choice. But what makes a relationship healthy is choosing to resolve those problems and push through the hard days, instead of just letting issues and resentment fester.

    • Review your expectations. Do you see your partner as a person, with both winning qualities and flaws, or as someone you expect to be perfect? If your expectations are so astronomical that no one could live up to them 100% of the time, you're setting up your relationship for failure.
    • Accept that conflict happens. If you expect to be in a long-term relationship, you're bound to have the occasional disagreement. Remember that one argument isn't the end of everything, and there's no person on earth that you'd agree with all the time.
    • Always ask yourself whether you're better off in the relationship than out of it. If you don't think you're better off in the relationship, then you probably should have a serious discussion with your partner. In a loving relationship, this question almost always gets a simple "Yes."
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    Listen to your partner. Sometimes, all your partner wants is for you to lend an ear and be sympathetic about one of their problems. Other times, your partner wants you to actively give them advice. Know which one your partner is looking for, and try to give them what they want. Being a good listener is all about paying attention to what they're saying and not blowing it off.
    • Listening to your partner will enhance your relationship in many ways. It will help you resolve differences without arguing; let you explore each other's personality more deeply; and even help you pick out an awesome Christmas present. There are no downsides to listening.
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    Show your affection in whatever way you can. There's a difference between knowing that you're loved and feeling that you're loved. Sometimes, we bank on the fact that our partners should know that we love them even when we don't show it. Don't rely on this too much. The best relationships use affection to show love.

    • Do something for your partner that you know s/he will truly appreciate. Whether it means getting up early to mow the lawn, taking the kids to karate, or baking that nutella shortcake, it's often the little favors that say the most.
    • Don't be afraid to show physical affection every once in a while. Loving relationships feed off of the little kisses, hugs, and back-rubs that are mainstays of affection.
    • Do the unexpected. It's one thing to kiss your partner after you come home from work; it's another thing to kiss your wife while you're skydiving, falling 10,000 feet from a plane. It's the thought that counts, so put a little effort into it for huge returns.
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    Be loyal. Make sure he/she knows that you will always be there for him/her. Put him/her first in your life as much as you possibly can. Not that you have to only see him/her ever, or never talk to anyone else, but he/she should know that he/she can always count on you if he/she needs something. Also, expect the same loyalty from him/her. You deserve to feel prized in the relationship just as much as him/her.
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    Do not ever hide anything from him/her. Especially your feelings about him/her and your relationship - whether good or bad! This way you will be able to overcome all the difficulties and challenges together. If something bad happened in your past that still affects you in the present, he/she needs to know about it. Note: you should be able to discuss your sexual history. It is an obligation before you decide to be sexually involved with your partner. But you should make them feel safe and not judgmental and you should expect the same from your partner.
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    Give him/her some space. Everyone needs their own privacy and some freedom, so don't constantly watch everything he/she does.Everyone hates to be watched, stifled and controlled .

    • Do not ever spy on him/her (reading his/her phone, stalking him/her on social networks, following him/her around). If he/she is cheating on you, you will find out. These things cannot be kept secret for very long. But if you spy on him/her and he/she is innocent, you will lose his trust and respect forever.
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    Express your feelings towards him/her. Always remind him/her of how much he means to you, and what he/she represents to you. Women are not the only ones who need expressions of love and care, men need that too.

    • If you have a problem, you need to let him/her know - preferably in a clear and calm manner without any yelling. If he says `Are you OK?` and you answer yes, do not expect him to understand that you really meant no. Be honest and open.
    • Let him/her know it is safe to open up to you about what he is feeling. Reward his/her trust in you by sympathizing with him/her and, but you don`t need to say much ,just listen.
    • Don't be afraid to lose him/her or spend every minute fearing the huge pain that that might cause you. Enjoy each wonderful moment as it happens, and realize that there will never be another one just like it.
    • Never be pathetic and needy just to make him/her pay attention to you and give you sympathy.
    • A solid relationship should be based on mutual respect; if you are constantly trying to pull him/her down with you, this means you don`t respect him /her enough to want him/her to be happy. If you are depressed, see a doctor - don`t pull some guy/girl into your problems.
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    Encourage him/her. So that he/she can be more successful at work or study. That will make him/her realise how much you care about his/her future and wish that he/she'd become one of the best. It will also make his/her feeling towards you grow even stronger, and he/she will believe that you're ready to support him/her on anything he/she does.

Part Two: Things That You Must Do Together

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    Revive date-night. Going on dates, even if you've been in a relationship for years, is still important. In fact, it's especially important for couples who have been together long enough to grow comfortable. Try to go on a date at least once every month. Some couples make it a priority to go on one date every week.

    • If you're having trouble imagining date ideas, try recreating a date you had with your partner early on in your courtship. Do exactly the same thing(s), or put a spin on the date by reinventing it in a significant way.
    • Do something new and exciting. Doing something that gets your blood flowing and your heart rate up enhances feelings of togetherness between partners. If you're feeling brave, go on dates that makes you feel like a kid all over again: going to a comedy club, taking a cooking class, or test-driving a new car, to name only a few.
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    Practice forgiveness. Forgiveness is a decision of letting go of the past and focusing on the present. It's about taking control of your current situation, as you must offer it to your partner as much as you demand it from them.

    • Remember who forgiveness really benefits. Forgiving your partner absolves him or her, but it also frees you from carrying around anger and resentment. Don't view it as an entirely altruistic act — it's something you're doing for both of you.
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    Laugh together. Laugh at one another with the security of love. Laughter helps the world go 'round, and it may with your relationship, too. Laughter helps your body burn calories, increase blood flow, strengthen the immune system, and lowers blood sugar levels.[1] Laughter can be comforting, infectious, or an aphrodisiac, and many things in between. Don't forget to laugh.

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    Support each other. Being supportive means making your partner's happiness and well-being a priority, in ways big and small. Keep in mind that part of why you're together in the first place is that you're each other's biggest fans, so make sure you act like it. Try demonstrating your support in these ways:
    • Be a good listener. If your partner needs you to lend an ear, do it willingly. You don't always need to come up with a solution, just support.
    • Offer encouragement. If your partner is trying to make a positive change, start a new hobby, or undertake a difficult challenge, be his or her biggest cheerleader.
    • Provide a safe place. Allow your partner to be vulnerable in front of you without fear of judgment.
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    Devote time to each other. Make spending time with your partner a priority, even if it's a little inconvenient at first. Relationships need shared experiences to grow, and you're demonstrating that nurturing yours is important to you.
    • Take up a hobby. Learning something new together can help you grow closer, as well as discovering a leisure activity you both enjoy. Try sports like tennis or basketball, learning a new language, cooking, crafting, or whatever else you've been wanting to try.
    • Find small ways to serve each other. Doing small acts of service for your partner shows that you're aware of what he or she needs, and you're willing to help out. It doesn't have to be an extravagant gesture: make dinner, take care of a small errand, or offer a foot rub at the end of the day. Don't make it a big deal, and don't automatically expect payback.
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    Develop better communication. Most people aren't born great communicators — it's something nearly everyone has to work at. The way you talk to your partner might seem small, but you do it several times a day and it does have an effect. Consider these fixes:
    • Don't use directive language. Try to keep phrases like "you should" or "you can't" out of your relationship. You and your partner are equals, and neither one of you should have the authority to direct the other.
    • Relay your expectations. If you expect your partner to do something, say it. Don't expect that he or she should read your mind, and don't rely on hints. Being clear about what you want gives your partner a fair shot at succeeding. (And keep the above point in mind: instead of "You should take the garbage out every day," say "I'd really like it if you took the garbage out every day.")
    • Say "please" and "thank you." You should be able to let loose around your partner, so there's no need to worry about having impeccable manners all the time. The exception to this is asking nicely and expressing gratitude when your partner does something — don't just assume he or she knows how you meant it.
    • Fight fair. Don't just let all these good communication skills go out the window during an argument. Try to get your point across in a loving, respectful way that doesn't seek to hurt your partner. If he or she insists on yelling or throwing insults, quietly request a calmer attitude.

Saturday, 17 August 2013

How to Motivate Yourself to Do Anything

You know exactly what you need to do. You’re focused on all the positive outcomes that will result once you’ve finished that looming task. You’ve cleared your calendar so you can focus on completing this one thing.
And then nothing happens.
Why? Because you think you need motivation. You’re waiting on a spark, on inspiration to fly out of nothingness and smack you in the face.
Well, I hate to break it to you…but if this sounds like you, you’re going to be waiting for a long time. Possibly forever. Because here’s the reality—motivation, as you know it, is a myth. Here are three reasons why.

Why External Motivation is a Myth

1. Motivation never comes before productivity.
Think about it. When do you feel more motivated? Before you start on a huge project, or after you’ve spent a little time really digging into it and getting more clear on your direction? 
Starting something big and new always brings on a little nervousness. We tend to think things like, What are people going to think about this? Can I actually pull it off?
But once you take action and start being productive, the creative energy kicks in. You get excited, and you want to do more. That’s when the real motivation happens. So remember, productivity is not, as most people think, a product of motivation. Motivation is a product of productivity.
2. You control the way you feel.
William James, the father of modern psychology, has a quote that I remind myself of on a daily basis: “I don’t sing because I’m happy; I’m happy because I sing.”
In this case, we could just as easily say that you aren’t productive because you’re motivated; you’re motivated because you’re productive. 
Your ability to become motivated is not controlled by anything external. Sure, external things can motivate you for small chunks of time, but real, lasting motivation is only achieved when you pull it out of yourself with sustained, intentional action.
3. There are no secrets when it comes to motivation.
This is not the first article ever written on the subject of finding ways to motivate yourself, and it won’t be the last. Entire industries have been built on a foundation that says they have the magic secret that will get you off your butt and into action.
The simple fact is that the only secret in existence is what you’ve known all along—work hard. And keep doing it. Try it one way and get some feedback. Come back at it from another angle. Make a list, make a phone call, write an email. Break down all the “must-do” tasks into manageable 15-minute chunks and start attacking them with massive action.
If you do those things, you will never find yourself in a position where you’re searching for motivation. You will be in a natural state of perpetual momentum. And you certainly won’t need any motivational “secrets” to help you.
For over 30 years, I’ve had to hold back outburst after outburst as the New York Times best-selling author/speaker I manage, Andy Andrews, has been labeled over and over as a “motivational” speaker. Both of us, especially Andy, cringe when we hear that term.
Speakers, books, and audio programs can teach you, but they simply cannot motivate you.
So the next time someone tells you they have the secret to staying motivated, run! The secret already lies within you. It’s called doing something. Repeat after me—increase your productivity, then the motivation will follow

10 Ways to Recharge Your Mind, Body, and Spirit

Moving to the next chapter in our life, whether it’s a new relationship, new job, new home, or new body, can be an exciting time. The problem is that most of us still have a lot of “stuff” we’re thinking about from the past that can hold us back from the future we deserve. Before we can move on, it’s good to have a “reset” so that we’re ready for what lies ahead.
Here are ten ways to recharge your mind, body and spirit so you can go into your next chapter relaxed, renewed and ready to make it your best one yet.
mind body spirit

10 Ways to Recharge Your Mind, Body and Spirit

1. Be Honest
You don’t owe anyone a lie. Clear your mind by being honest. Allow honest thoughts and communications to naturally flow in and out. Carrying the burden of keeping up with lies is not a healthy way to live nor does it attract healthy people.
2. Know Your Limits
Don’t take on more than you can handle only to complain about it later. Knowing your limitations will help you with time management by keeping you from over committing. Leave time for love and laughter.

3. Exercise
We often hear, “Exercise is good for you.” Well, it is. It’s critical to a healthy mind, body, and spirit. Work off loads of negativity by following a healthy routine recommended by your doctor or physical trainer. When you feel healthy it shows in your appearance and in the way you communicate to others. It’s not about dressing up your exterior and forgetting about your overall health.
4. Eat Right
Healthy foods help recharge your body and give you much needed energy. Look into a dietary plan that will guide you to eating healthier so that you feel energized. Cut down or out the fast foods and invest in cooking at home more. Know what you’re putting into your body but make it fun instead of a chore.

5. Make Time for Yourself
Alone time is good. It provides an opportunity for you to reflect, plan, and relax without interruptions. We are quick to say we don’t have time for ourselves but a big part of it is managing your time properly. Saying “No,” so that you can recharge is necessary.
Try an hour or two a day to walk, exercise, read, or do something that doesn’t involve others. If you’re single, don’t search for ways to fill your time and space, value the time you have alone and make use of it. Use the time to heal.
6. Develop Your Spiritual Relationship
Invest in yourself by taking time to meditate, pray, or do something that connects you to an emerging healthy spiritual relationship. When you understand who you are and what your purpose is, you’ll begin to live with peace and passion. It will become difficult for things to disrupt your spirit.

7. Forgive
Letting go is a tremendous way to recharge your life by removing the heavy burden of pain, anger, and hatred. If you have someone in your life that hurt you and you haven’t forgiven him or her, now is the time to do so. It’s not as much about them as it is about you.
They may not be aware that they’ve hurt you, perhaps they don’t care or they’ve already asked for forgiveness. To forgive means to let go of toxins that are destroying you. Accept the opportunity to progress in a healthy manner.
8. Give Back
Give of yourself as a reminder of how much you really have. Volunteer at a shelter, food bank, senior home, or anywhere that allows you to see your blessings. We are quick to point out what we don’t have but seeing it from someone else’s perspective can be humbling and bring appreciation.
9. Mix Things Up
Explore life by venturing outside of your comfort zone. Go to an art gallery, hiking, skydiving, or do anything that allows you to take in more enjoyable, educational, or peaceful activities. Infuse a little laughter and excitement into your mundane life and spread the enthusiasm.

10. Invest in Healthy Relationships, and End the Unhealthy Ones
Don’t continue on with a relationship that isn’t healthy. Seek counseling if you want to make it work or face reality and know when to let go. If the relationship is an unhealthy disaster, make changes the right way and with passion so that you can begin to enjoy life. Don’t be afraid to rebuild.

Elijah Daniels' Seven rule of success

Over the years, I've become a student of sorts of Jobs' career and life. Here's my take on the rules and values underpinning my success. Any of us can adopt them to unleash our dream
1. Do what you love. Jobs once said, "People with passion can change the world for the better." Asked about the advice he would offer would-be entrepreneurs, he said, "I'd get a job as a busboy or something until I figured out what I was really passionate about." That's how much it meant to him. Passion is everything.
2. Put a dent in the universe. Jobs believed in the power of vision. He once asked then-Pepsi President, John Sculley, "Do you want to spend your life selling sugar water or do you want to change the world?" Don't lose sight of the big vision.

3. Make connections. Jobs once said creativity is connecting things. He meant that people with a broad set of life experiences can often see things that others miss. He took calligraphy classes that didn't have any practical use in his life -- until he built the Macintosh. Jobs traveled to India and Asia. He studied design and hospitality. Don't live in a bubble. Connect ideas from different fields.
4. Say no to 1,000 things. Jobs was as proud of what Apple chose not to do as he was of what Apple did. When he returned in Apple in 1997, he took a company with 350 products and reduced them to 10 products in a two-year period. Why? So he could put the "A-Team" on each product. What are you saying "no" to?   
5. Create insanely different experiences. Jobs also sought innovation in the customer-service experience. When he first came up with the concept for the Apple Stores, he said they would be different because instead of just moving boxes, the stores would enrich lives. Everything about the experience you have when you walk into an Apple store is intended to enrich your life and to create an emotional connection between you and the Apple brand. What are you doing to enrich the lives of your customers?
6. Master the message. You can have the greatest idea in the world, but if you can't communicate your ideas, it doesn't matter. Jobs was the world's greatest corporate storyteller. Instead of simply delivering a presentation like most people do, he informed, he educated, he inspired and he entertained, all in one presentation.
7. Sell dreams, not products. Jobs captured our imagination because he really understood his customer. He knew that tablets would not capture our imaginations if they were too complicated. The result? One button on the front of an iPad. It's so simple, a 2-year-old can use it. Your customers don't care about your product. They care about themselves, their hopes, their ambitions. Jobs taught us that if you help your customers reach their dreams, you'll win them over.
There's one story that I think sums up Jobs' career at Apple. An executive who had the job of reinventing the Disney Store once called up Jobs and asked for advice. His counsel? Dream bigger. I think that's the best advice he could leave us with. See genius in your craziness, believe in yourself, believe in your vision, and be constantly prepared to defend those ideas.
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Thursday, 8 August 2013

Suspected members of the violent Islamic sect, Boko Haram, on Tuesday stormed a roadblock mounted by the Joint Military Task Force in Yobe State and killed four soldiers and two policemen.
Gonori is about 50 kilometres away from Damaturu, the state capital.
The insurgents, numbering about 20, were said to have caught their victims unawares while they were relaxing at about 7pm. The attackers were said to have carried AK47 guns.
A security source who briefed our correspondents said, “Some people suspected to be Boko Haram members opened fire at a JTF roadblock and killed six security operatives on duty.
“Those who died include four soldiers and two policemen; some other soldiers who sustained gunshot wounds have been moved to the hospital.
“The suspected Boko Haram members might have been monitoring the roadblock and opened fire when they noticed that the soldiers were more relaxed; the attack took place in the evening.”
A top security personnel at the Defence Headquarters on Wednesday confirmed the incident on the condition of anonymity because he was not authorised to speak to the media.
The source said members of the Special Forces were still engaged in a gunfight in Yobe over the incident till late on Wednesday.
The Special Forces is an amalgam of security operatives raised to confront insurgents in the troubled North-East when the Federal Government declared a state of emergency in Yobo, Borno and Adamawa states a few months ago.
Security operatives on the trail of insurgents believed to be in possession of dynamites in Potiskum had shut down the town for a house-to-house search operation on Tuesday.
There was also the fear in security circles that the insurgents could use the explosives hijacked last week from Rick Rock Quarry, operated by a Pakistani in the Gulani Local Government Area of the state, to wreak havoc during the Eid-el-Fitr celebrations.
Spokesman for the JTF, Captain Eli Lazarus, reportedly said that the JTF decided to impose a 24-hour curfew on Potiskum in response to an intelligence report that the insurgents were planning attacks in the city with effect from Monday.
A source who confided in our correspondents on Wednesday said that the JTF had temporarily shut down the MTN communication in Yobe State in order to confront the development though the communication facilities had since been restored in the evening of Tuesday.
Efforts to get the Director of Defence Information, Brig. Chris Olukolade, to comment on the Yobe attack did not succeed as repeated calls to his mobile phone were not answered.
Meanwhile, President Goodluck Jonathan on Wednesday admitted that members of Boko Haram took his government by surprise with their terror tactics.
Jonathan who spoke at the breaking of Ramadan fast with Muslim members of the Diplomatic Corps in the Presidential Villa, Abuja, regretted that the attacks being unleashed on Nigerians by the sect members had led to the killing of children, security agents and many other innocent persons.
He said, “In Nigeria, the security challenge we face is all too well-known. The activities of the Boko Haram sect, especially their tactics of terror, took us all by surprise.
“The mindless attacks of this group have led to the loss of innocent lives of children, law enforcement agents and other innocent citizens.
“However, it is significant to note that with commitment and fervent prayers to God by all who profess their faith in the supreme creator, we have achieved significant success in containing the menace of the sect.”
The President expressed the hope that the Ramadan season had imbued the peoples of the world with compassion and forgiveness to enable them to surmount the challenges of global conflicts and wars.
He urged the Muslim diplomats to always pray for Allah to intervene and help address the various challenges confronting all nations, especially nations facing civil strife, political instability and financial crisis.

2Shortz Used To Beat Me So HARD- Beverly Osu

Beverly Osu has said a lot in BBA and she is still talking. She once said her mother was deported from the States because of 'runz'.
She dropped out of school and how she aborted a pregnancy which was already four months old and so many things.
She didn't stop at that, as she just told the world how 2shortz used to beat her when they were dating.
According to her, 2shortz used to beat her a lot. One particular day, she ran into the bathroom and locked the door when the beating was too much, but the singer broke down the door and continued to pounce on her again.
She even showed housemates a scar from the incident

Bayelsa State’s Governor Dickson In Questionable $44.1million Fishery Projects

Bayelsa State governor Seriake Dickson shocked his audience today when he admitted to making payment to two foreign firms for a project that he said were still being negotiated.
The governor said this when responding to a question by a reporter concerning the value of the alleged contract.
He thereby preceded to present the payment instruments for 80 per cent of the contract but declined to say the actual value of the contract and just merely said that the government was making a 30 per cent and 50 per cent payment to the two contractors.
Curiously the heavily-indebted state is still servicing a commercial agricultural loan and sundry bond obligations undertaken by his predecessor, Gov. Timprie Sylva.
Responding to the question on the contract sum denominated in dollars, Dickson committed blunders as he said that he was still looking at the figures with a view to arriving at the final figures.
In a lengthy and convoluted explanation, the governor failed to give reasons for making such a princely upfront payment for a contract that is still being negotiated.
Bayelsa governors are notorious for using projects to siphon public funds, then abandoning them. President Goodluck Jonathan, for instance, commenced a multi-billion hotel project in Yenagoa that is still in the “abandoned” category.
Silva also awarded many phantom projects across sectors where contractors got upfront payments and simply abandoned the site.

Tuesday, 6 August 2013

EFCC Storms Rivers For Lloyd, As Lloyd Sue IGP For N50bn

Embattled Majority Leader of the Rivers State House of Assembly, Mr Chidi Lloyd who was arrested for allegedly hitting an anti-Amaechi lawmaker with a fake mace may be in for more trouble as the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, yesterday stormed the state capital, Port Harcourt to quiz him and other lawmakers for undisclosed financial crimes.
EFCC Storms Rivers For Lloyd, As Lloyd Sue IGP For N50bn
The lawmaker on his part is suing the Inspector General of Police, seeking N50 billion as damages for alleged inhuman treatment meted to him in detention, just as a Rivers State High Court sitting in Ahoada, yesterday, admitted him to bail.
Media Nigeria learnt that in a bid to thwart the release of Lloyd on bail, EFCC operatives want to probe his tenure as majority leader of the Rivers House of Assembly and take steps to prosecute him with immediate effect.
The agents are likely to arrest Lloyd to answer some fraud-related charges over which he might be moved to Abuja for trial.
Embattled Rivers House of Assembly Leader Hon Chidi Lloyd at the High Court in Rivers State in Company of The Police recently. Photo; Nwankpa Chijioke
Under the plot said to have been hatched by top Federal Government officials in Abuja, the EFCC has been ordered to file some fraud-related charges against Lloyd in order to prevent the state Attorney-General, who has powers to try him for attempted murder, from doing so.
It was also gathered that in a bid to nail the lawmaker, a crack team of EFCC operatives, had already arrived Port Harcourt and searched his home for  ‘credible evidence’ in order to nail him.
Although it was not clear over which financial or economic matter Lloyd was being investigated by the anti-graft agency, it was learnt that the move was aimed at thwarting any move by the state to free him from prosecution over the attack on Michael Chinda.
A top Rivers State official lamented yesterday that it was painful that the Federal Government was playing dirty in a bid to jail Lloyd.
The source said: “They have brought in the EFCC to interrogate and investigate Chidi Lloyd, the House Leader. They want to take over the prosecution by ulterior means.
The government is trying to change the charge from attempted murder, which is under the state purview to fraud-related issues so as to use the EFCC to prosecute Lloyd in order to please some interested persons in Abuja.
“We fear that some desperate persons might have planted something in Lloyd’s house in order to use it against him and Governor Amaechi,” the source alleged.
But the EFCC said yesterday that its operatives were in Port Harcourt to probe Lloyd over an undisclosed ‘investigative matter’, adding that it was not under the instruction of anyone or institution to do its work.
Spokesman for the EFCC, Mr. Wilson Uwujaren, confirmed the presence of the agency’s operatives in Port Harcourt with a view to probe Lloyd but did not say over which matter he was being investigated.
“Our operatives are actually in Rivers State over an ongoing investigation that involves Lloyd and others in a number of South-South states,” Uwujaren said.
Asked to give details of the probe, the spokesman said: “There are no details now because we don’t want to conduct the investigation on the pages of newspapers.”
Lloyd was transferred from the Police Headquarters in Abuja to the Rivers State Police Command, where he is being kept and prosecuted for attempting to kill his colleague for daring to attack him on July 9, 2013 during a failed bid to unseat the leadership of the 32-member House of Assembly.
Although the state Attorney General is expected by law to prosecute the matter for which he is being charged, a private legal practitioner is being used by the prosecution to try the Majority Leader, a development opposed by the state. The intervention of the EFCC is however seen as a dramatic twist to the trial, which is likely to take a new shape this week.
Chidi Lloyd granted bail
Eighteen days after Lloyd was arrested, a Rivers State High Court sitting in Ahoada, yesterday, admitted him to bail.
Lloyd was first charged before Justice Justice L. Nyordee of the state high court in Port Harcourt on charges of conspiracy and attempted murder, but argument by counsel over the propriety of the prosecution counsel, a private lawyer, prosecuting the case without the fiat of the state Attorney-General stalled the charge being read to him and his plea being taken.
A Federal High Court, last week, also refused a similar bail application. But the trial judge of the state high court in Ahoada, Justice Charles Wali, admitted Lloyd to bail, yesterday.
The court, also ordered Lloyd to submit a photocopy of his international passport to enable him attend to his health. His lawyer had argued, “We came here (court) because of his deteriorating health condition. Police may not bring him to court tomorrow (today) or the court may not even sit. So this is the magic. The judiciary is calling for his release. The Police have no business keeping him.”
Rivers PDP faction faults bail
Factional state chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, led by Felix Obuah, has, meanwhile, faulted the bail granted Lloyd. He has also petitioned the National Judicial Council, NJC and described the bail as a travesty of justice.
The state PDP chairman in a statement, yesterday, said: “The leadership of PDP in Rivers State has expressed shock and utter disappointment over the bail granted the former leader of the state House of Assembly, Chidi Lloyd, who is in police detention for attempted murder by an Ahoada High Court today (yesterday). This is a vindication of our fears and alarm that Mr Michael Chindah cannot get justice in Rivers State.
“Alarmed by this seeming contradiction in the face of  ongoing sanitization of the judiciary by the NJC, the bail and order stopping further arrest and prosecution of Chidi Lloyd made by Justice Wali is a travesty of justice.”
The statement by the Special Adviser on Media to the state PDP, Jerry Needam, queried the logic behind the order by Justice Wali in a case properly before another judge of coordinate jurisdiction in Port Harcourt, who is handling the matter and has adjourned till  August 6, 2013.
The statement noted with disdain the plot to drag and further implicate the state judiciary in a clear criminal case of attempted murder.
“This has confirmed our earlier claim and fears that Governor Rotimi Amaechi and his cohorts are doing all within their power, using his office to want to let Chidi Lloyd off the hook while his victim, Michael Chinda is dying in a London hospital. Why run to far away Ahoada when the offence for which Lloyd was arrested was committed in Port Harcourt?”
IG shuns Rivers Police Hqtrs
In a related development, Inspector-General of Police, Mr Mohammed Abubakar, yesterday, shunned the state Police headquarters in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, during his visit to the state. He also did not visit Government House, Port Harcourt, though Vanguard gathered that Governor Chibuike Amaechi was in town at the time of his visit to Port Harcourt.
He also avoided the media during his visit. The police boss was in Port Harcourt to commission 100 vehicles donated by the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC to the Police at the Police Primary school in Town area of Port Harcourt.
The sudden change in his itinerary could not be explained at the Police headquarters on Moscow Road, Port Harcourt, though some top Police officers argued that it may not be unconnected with the political development in the state.
Top Police officers who did not want their names mentioned said the IG was aware of an interaction between him and the media slated for 10am at the Police headquarters.  “He was aware of the media arrangement for 10am. On a second thought he chose to skip it,” a source said.

Kano Bombing: Nigeria Belongs To All – His Eminence,

Prelate, Methodist Church Nigeria, His Eminence Sunday Ola Makinde, yesterday, joined the league of eminent Nigerians who are displeased by the recent multiple bomb blasts in Kano, which killed 15 innocent civilians.
Kano Bombing: Kano Bombing:
His Eminence, MCN
Makinde, in a statement by the church’s Media and Public Relations Officer, Rev. Oladapo Daramola, said the sustained acts of terror being carried out against innocent people, especially Christians is “barbaric, evil and is the utmost disregard for humanity.”
He said: “Too many lives have been lost to these dastardly acts of terrorism and the perpetrators of these coordinated and sophisticated attacks obviously do not have any regard for the sanctity of human life.
“It becomes more troubling when one realises that they have continued to target predominantly Christian areas such as the Sabon Gari district, dominated by ethnic Igbos from the South-East who are Christians.
“The nature of these attacks underscore the resolve of this group, which to me is nothing but to make life unbearable for those of the Christian faith and non-indigenes, who are of other extractions.
“This is, however, impossible because Nigeria belongs to all of us. Nobody under any guise has the right to trample on the right to freedom of any other citizen of this country as enshrined in Nigeria’s Constitution.
“This same place was attacked in March leaving about 25 people dead and here we are mourning another 20 innocent lives four months after.
“I am bewildered at the fact that it has been four years that this insurgency began and yet no one is in jail for participating in or masterminding these nefarious acts.”
It is on this note that I call on governments at all levels, i.e. Federal, State and Local, to remember the oaths they swore to which is to protect all citizens of this country and their properties in respective of their faith, religious allegiance and affiliations as long as it is practised within the ambits of the laws of the land, which for me is, the root of the problem.
“It is not enough to come out and condemn these acts of terror on the pages of newspapers and local and international media. This is the time to act decisively and bring the perpetrators to book. Justice must be served and that is the only way to ensure that the blood of these innocent Nigerians has not been completely wasted.

Monday, 5 August 2013

Driver In The Deadly Train Crash Speaks

The driver of the train that derailed in northwestern Spain, killing 79 people, has said he was traveling at twice the speed limit when he approached a treacherous turn.

But, sitting uneasily before a judge, he waved his hands in front of his face and was at a loss to explain why he didn't slow down in a courtroom video released by a Spanish newspaper Thursday.
"I can't explain it," Francisco Jose Garzon Amo said, shifting in his chair and looking around. "I still don't understand how I didn't see ... mentally, or whatever. I just don't know."
The journey was "going fine" until the curve was upon him, he said. When the danger became clear, he thought, "Oh my God, the curve, the curve, the curve. I won't make it."
The edited video of Garzon's appearance at Sunday night's court session in Santiago de Compostela, where the accident occurred last week, was released by Spain's ABC newspaper. Two court officials said the video appeared authentic. They spoke on condition of anonymity because the video has not been officially released.
In it, Garzon, a slightly-built 52-year-old with short-cropped gray hair and glasses, appears shaken and at times hesitant. He sits in a simple chair in front of the judge, with four rows of chairs behind him in the small courtroom.
Garzon is wearing a dark jacket and trousers with an open-necked shirt. Behind him are two men in dark uniforms, and several other unidentified people are in the room. He also answers questions from a prosecutor.
Garzon's testimony added little new to what is already known about the crash on the evening of July 24 as the high-speed train, carrying 218 people in eight carriages, approached the capital of Spain's northwestern Galician region. But the video was the public's first look at the court testimony of the driver who walked away from the accident with a gash in his head.


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Friday, 2 August 2013

Does He Have to Be Super Hot?

The other day I was thinking about how my friend and my sister had outlined their experiences of dating the dreamy super-hot guy.  Both found that their personalities eventually muted the sparks in the relationship.  It gave me hope that a guy like me, who doesn't turn all the heads when he walks into the room, can get by on personality.

I've read a lot of comments from you about how personality endures beyond looks and holds up over time.  It's the last thing we have to hold on to within the other person.  Looks will fade eventually, but personality doesn't die.  Perhaps, we all know this deep down, even when the really hot person that we had such high hope of becoming the one doesn't turn out to have all that great a personality.

My older sister dated a really good-looking guy in college.  But he began to show personality flaws.  Aside from the fact that he'd bring his wild out of control dog, Georgia, to our house every time he visited (somehow I ended up being the one who had to corral and watch Georgia), it turned out that he had been cheating on my sister for some time.  

Along with the cheating behavior, there was always something strange about him.  He didn't really endear himself to anyone, and his personality was more cardboard than electric.  This was fine-perhaps my sister wanted to have the dominant personality.  But when she found out that he had painted his toenails after their breakup, I guess she felt even more validated for breaking up with him.

My one friend made a great point about personality when she told me about this "really hot guy" she had been seeing.  She had always told herself that this was what she was after:  a super hot guy to hang out with, sleep with, and date.  Now she had finally found him.

But the problem was she found him boring.  And his boringness made the sex bad.  At first she was just confused:  how could a really hot guy result in boring sex?  Maybe it would get better as they got to know one another better.  But it didn't get better.  I remember her pleading with me:  "the sex is so boring, but he's so hot-I want this to work out. I don't understand." 

The situation culminated when she was having sex with him while the movie Wedding Crashers played in the background.  While they were having sex she noticed her favorite scene was coming up, and-sure enough-she looked over his shoulder and laughed at the scene while they were having sex.

There was no denying it-he even asked:  "did you just laugh at the TV?" 

This story is very sad, but there's a silver lining.  My friend, from the outset, continued to struggle with the fact that this super-hot guy was boring.  She tried to work with it-no way she could let him go, he was so hot!  Eventually, she just had to because his personality did not match his looks. 

Sometimes we get hung up on looks and forget about personality.  We go charging into a relationship and then we look around and realize it's boring, or we're getting cheated on, or there's some other personality flaw.  There are plenty of "hot" people who are wonderful people.  But, when we get involved with someone just because they look great, we realize that the balance of looks and personality may not be there.  

A lot of us have that person in our past-that really hot person, perhaps the hottest person we dated, that showed us that it's not all about looks.  So, when you do meet that really attractive-looking person, it's best to take it a little slower and make sure that this person won't eventually bore you or hurt you.  

What is your experience with really good-looking guys?  Have you had that super-hot boyfriend who turned out to have personality flaws, and did it teach you to look for more well-rounded guys, or even look for personality first before looks?  Does a boring guy usually mean the sex is going to be boring too?

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