Monthly Archives: March 2012

The Malian Coup

The coup in Mali has further shown that soldiers do not understand the business of governance. The same soilders who had kicked out a legitimate government for alleged incompetence in handling the Tuareg rebellion in the country, are now calling for outside help to fight the rebellion after now being in governement and coming to terms the scale and challenges of the rebellion as was faced by the legitimate government they had overthrown.
In mist of the confusions brought by the coup, the Tuareg rebels have taken advantage of the political confusion and have made further gains by capturing more towns in their campaign for a separate home land.
The response of ECOWAS and the AU is commendable. The future of Mali can only be secured under a democratic governement. The military adventurists in Mali should relinquish power to the deposed legitimate leader . The mutineers are only there for their personal interests which is to control the resources of the state for their own personal benefits.There is hardly a place in Africa where military rule has brought stability. Where the military belongs, is in the barracks.
Despite the general dis-satisfaction of the people of Mali over the way that the overthrown government had handled the rebellion, the right way out shouldn’t have been a coup.
The opposition in Mali should continue to oppose these undemocratic leaders whose mission is to reverse the democratic gains that Malian people have achieved over the years.
It is commendable that the opposition in Mali had taken sides with the resolutions of ECOWAS and the AU to return the country to democratic rule. It was unthinkable that a coup could occur in Mali when a general elections was just around the corner. The truth is that the coming of the military to power will only make Mali weaker in defeating the uprising by the Tuareg separatists especially in face of the sanctions that are being slapped on the country after the coup by regional and international organisations.

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Women in Prison

Isn’t surprising to you that some women continue to remain in abusive relationships despite the ill treatment they get from their partners? I have often wondered why a person would remain in his or her prison even when there are avenues or doors for freedom. Today many women find themselves in such situation around the world. The truth is that no one in his or her right senses likes to be slave. If one remained, indeed he or she is kept hold by forces beyond his or her control. For example, in places like Iran, Afghanistan and many other countries where human rights are poor, women have very little access to personal freedom. They have no rights to contest the terrible situations in which they are in. If a girl is raped, rather been seen as a victim, she ends up paying for the sins of the rapist as she could be forced to marry her rapist. This is an example of how cruel, men or cultures could be against women.
Woman right is human right. But I wonder if some cultures make sense of that. The question I ask is who would fight for women especially in a world like ours where voices could easily be drown by religious fundamentalists and inhuman men. If women don’t fight for themselves, who would? Women who have made it to the fore despite the rejections and mountainous hurdles they had had to overcome need to shoulder the battle for women emancipation all over the world.
No one is born to be a slave, man invented slavery. Freedom is for all. Discrimination is for none. Despite increased personal freedom around the world, much needs to done to ensure that all people are free especially women. I look forward to the day when there will be no more honor killings. I look forward to the day when women are not held against their will in brothels by gangs or drown in acid attacks.
The appreciation of women should not end in the bedroom. Around the world where women have been given opportunities as men, they have excelled and contributed to the growth of their communities. The strength of women is underestimated. Only the self centered, die hard traditionalists and religious fundamentalists judge women by physical strength and men’s measures of strength.
Today could be the day for salvation for women from suppression and humiliations. But how more women would have to be sacrificed before salvation is got? Shouldn’t it be free?

When to Ask a Girl Out

Many men are faced with the question on when to ask a lady out upon meeting her. Approach her too early with your intentions; you may get a ‘No’. And delay for too long, she may have been taken by someone else by then. Timing is very important. Hurriedly asking out a lady without spending a little time to know her and establish a personal relationship so as to create trust with her could affect the success of one getting a lady.
Ways of building friendship with her could include getting her phone number and establishing a communication flow with her for a while before setting up a meeting with her to tell her about your intention towards her. This is not to say that there are no girls that may say yes to your proposal on the first day of meeting them. However you need to do a quick study of the girl to determine if she is likely to say yes to you upon your first contact with her. This apart, many girls may prefer to delay their responses to your intention until future meetings.
Guys who are most likely to lose out are those who delay to mention their intentions to be intimate with girls for too long. This is even worse when the willing girl is already expecting the guy to express his intention to her and the guy has not found the courage to express to do that or decides to remain friends with the girl for a longer time even when he has set his eyes on romance. Asking out a girl is never a crime, so one should not be afraid to approach a girl within the right time and pop the question. Some men would risk saving the Syrians from their blood thirty president than approaching a lady to express their desires for intimate relationships. The worst that a lady would do to you is to say ‘No’ though your ego may be bruised, but who cares? Is there a man who has not faced a rejection from a lady no matter how highly rated a ladies’ man he is?
I know there are real personal problems which could hinder a man from meeting the ladies of his dream. Theses could be poor relationship skills, poor communication skill and inadequate understanding of the women folk. However, every challenge can be overcome. There are opportunities for help out there for men who wish to overcome such problems. Find good books on relationship to study, enroll in programs that offer opportunities for self improvement and importantly, practice and practice. A ‘no’ today may become a ‘yes’ for you tomorrow.

NIGERIAN LABOUR CONGRESS STRIKE AND ITS IMPLICATION FOR DEVELOPMENT COMMUNICATION

NIGERIAN LABOUR CONGRESS STRIKE AND ITS IMPLICATION FOR DEVELOPMENT COMMUNICATION

INTRODUCTION
Inefficiency in the production and distribution of petroleum products and fiscal pressure on the government caused the Federal Government of Nigeria to announce that the acceptable price range for petroleum products had to be reviewed periodically with strong consideration given to the financial and economic environment.
On January 1, 2012, the administration of President Jonathan announced the removal of petroleum subsidy and adjusted upward, the pump price of petrol. The government’s goal was full deregulation of the oil down stream industry. Due the upward review of prices, prices ranged between N 141 and N 200 per litre nation-wide rather than N65. The government’s reason for the subsidy as stated by the government was that it had become clear the fuel subsidy arrangement was riddled with putrefying and massive corruption, as some importers of fuel products inflate the cost from the international market, which runs into billions of Naira. This was with the understanding that government will offset the outlay as usual and subsidise it for Nigerians.
Last year alone, the Federal Government spent over N1.3 trillion on fuel subsidy, leaving it with fewer funds for infrastructural projects that would impact positively on the lives of Nigerians in general. The immediate impact of the price hike on per litre of petrol due o the subsidy removal led to an immediate increment in the cost of living and the general wellbeing of Nigerians. The response of Nigerians was immediate protest and demonstrations against the government policy. The Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress(TUC) went on strike against the government policy.
The objective of the national strike was to force the government to revert the price of petrol to the old price of N65. The NLC and TUC claimed that there was a subsisting understanding the labour union and government in 2009 that removal of subsidy will not commence until certain conditions had been met. These include fixing all the refineries and building new ones, regular power supply, and provision of other social infrastructure as rail ways and repairing of roads as well as eliminating corruption associated with supply and distribution of petroleum products in the down stream sector of the oil industry. The strike lasted for six days before it was finally called off by the Labour unions after a unilateral reduction of the pump price to N97 by government. This was not the first time that Labour Unions in Nigeria had gone on strike over attempts by government to remove fuel subsidy, price increment and deregulation of the downstream sector of the oil industry, these had occurred in 2000 and 2004. During those periods, economic activities were paralysed in the country for several days resulting in economic losses in millions of naira.
AIM OF THE THIS PAPER
This work seeks to analyse the strike by the Nigerian Labour Union over the petrol subsidy removal and its implications for Development Communication.
Anyaegbunam, Mefalopulos and Moetsab (2004) define Communication for Development as the systematic design and use of participatory activities, communication approaches, methods and media to share information and knowledge among all stakeholders in a rural development process in order to ensure mutual understanding and consensus leading to action. The aim is to facilitate people’s participation at all levels of the development effort to identify and implement appropriate policies, programmes and technologies to prevent and reduce poverty in order to improve people’s livelihood in a sustainable way.
The authors identify that Communication for Development can be applied to all development sectors that rely upon the choices and actions of people to succeed. They state that it is not limited to promoting agriculture alone, but also assists programmes for nutrition, health, gender, population and reproductive health, livestock, forestry, environment, literacy, income generation, sustainable livelihoods and other key areas. It usually focuses on the needs of communities and those organizations working with them. It empowers all stakeholders, especially the poor in rural and urban areas, to contribute actively to the decision-making processes of development as a whole.
Communication for Development can also be applied at any time during the project cycle. When applied during project formulation it ensures that the people actively participate in the identification of problems and needs which form the basis for project planning. Applied to a project already under implementation, Communication for Development helps to identify and solve communication problems and improve dialogue among all stakeholders to ensure that the objectives of the project are achieved. It might even be used for the adjustment or repackaging of project objectives and activities to ensure that they are relevant to the people’s problems and capabilities.
The authors identify that communication and participation have the following roles in development:
• People empowerment
Communication for Development uses participatory activities, media and materials to empower people to articulate and share their own opinions, needs, problems and abilities both among themselves and with outside development agencies. This enables the people to influence the decision- making processes of formulating and implementing projects and programmes intended to satisfy their needs and solve their problems. People’s participation in decision-making leads to consensus between them and the development agency on actions aimed at more sustainable community development. The outcome of this type of participation is often successful and sustainable because people see the decisions and plans as theirs and strive to ensure effective implementation. Empowerment increases people’s readiness to mobilise themselves for collective action in order to achieve the objectives of the development effort.
• Mutual understanding and consensus for action
Communication for Development uses communication research, approaches, methods, traditional and modern media and materials to improve dialogue between rural people and development agencies in order for all parties to reach mutual understanding and jointly decide on problems, needs, solutions as well as on new and appropriate technologies and practices. Such decisions often marry local capabilities with outsiders’ knowledge and skills for more effective problem- solving. Jointly identified solutions are often more acceptable to the people because they are seen as relevant to their needs.
Dialogue ensures that the people’s culture, attitudes, capabilities and skills, as well as their views and opinions form the basis for the planning and formulation of effective and relevant development projects and programmes. Communication for Development can be used with success at any point in the development cycle to ensure people’s participation. It is, however, most effective when used at the conceptualisation of the development effort to ensure that the people’s perceptions of their livelihood and environment are taken into account in the process of planning. Thus, Communication for Development ensures that information from development agencies is packaged in ways the people will find attractive, understandable, useful and relevant. In the same way, it also enables the people to transmit their perceptions and knowledge in ways that will be comprehensible to development agencies.
• Creating an enabling environment for policy to benefit the people
In an advocacy role, Communication for Development helps to raise the awareness of policy and decision-makers to the need for better communication between projects and rural people. It also helps in coordinating policy between decision-makers and the people by packaging and transmitting the rural people’s opinions in ways the policy makers will understand and vice versa.
Based on the general responses by Nigerians as captured by the media, the quarrel Nigerians had with government on the issue was that government had chosen to unilaterally withdraw subsidy on petrol (PMS) and had chosen the time when it felt to do that. The public had accused government of not involving the Nigerians in the decisions leading to the government’s policy on the full deregulation of the down stream sector of the petroleum industry. The government had based its decision on the huge expenditure incurred on paying off subsidy on imported petrol which it regarded as uneconomical was unsustainable and an economic waste. It also argued that subsidy only benefitted mainly petroleum marketers or importers. It also argued that subsidy removal would promote the growth of the petroleum down stream sector of the oil industry which will in turn lead to investment in the sector such as the building of new refineries and creation of many jobs for Nigerians. Despite all these desirable advantages identified by the government, the mistake that the government made that resulted in the massive protests by Nigerians against the proposed full deregulation of the down stream sector of the oil industry was that government failed to carry the citizens along in the processes of decision making leading to its final decisions to deregulate the down stream sector of the oil industry.
Development communication which leads to full empowerment emphases genuine participation of stakeholders and this is when relevant stakeholders take part throughout the whole cycle of the development initiative and have an equal influence on the decision-making process. Narayan (2002) conceived empowerment “as the expansion of assets and capabilities of poor people to participate in, negotiate with, influence, control, and hold accountable institutions that affected their lives.”
Genuine participation in development implies having the opportunity and the power to take part in decisions concerning one’s own well-being, participatory communication models need to take the issues of power and empowerment into account. Furthermore, once adopted, participation can hardly remain contained within the realm of development projects. It often transcends its scope to enhance projects’ results and sustainability and become a capacity-building element of a broader social dimension.
In relationship to the government’s policy on deregulation of the down stream sector of the oil industry, the government did barely involved Nigerians as stake holders in decisions over the years finally resulting in its policy to completely remove subsidy on petrol. The government mere consulted with stake holders while the decision on when and how to go about deregulating the oil industry solely rested with the federal government. This is what is referred to as participation by consultation in development communication, which refers to when stakeholders are consulted but the decision making rests in the hands of the experts; and in this case the expert is the government. The absence of full participation of stakeholders led to the massive protests and demonstrations by the trade and labour unions as well as civil societies and the general public.
The implications of the strike for development communication include the following:
 The strike has shown that the concept of development communication practiced by the government and its development communication experts is one that does not give room for empowered participation which encourages open communication which involves dialogue among stakeholders. The government feels it has the responsibility to think for the people and what its decisions on development issues are what are fit for the public. This type of development model which is rooted in modernization theories offers little or no participation outlet for benefitting communities of development projects in assessment and choice of development needs much less of being part of the processes of decision stages that lead to the execution of such projects. The Nigerian’s government attitude towards other stakeholders in development projects had indeed led to the failure of many development projects.
Development communication which operates on such model will definitely not be a tool that can bring about change be it socially, economically or politically. It will not bring about empowerment for the people now or in future. There is need to change the model of development communication being used by the government for a participatory model. For example the model used by government does not equip local community leaders across the country with the right the right development skills that they can use to solve local development issues within their own communities.
For how government deals with local community leaders is how in turn these community leaders deal with their people on issues relating to inclusive decision making on development issues. For example, in many communities across the country, these leaders are referred to as opinion leaders, they, to greater extent; decide how things are done within such communities. When their opinions are not taken on issues that require collective decisions, such projects in most cases tend to fail because they would work to frustrate the success of such projects within such communities for they see their opinions as worth more than others. This is how the government treats other citizens’ stance or opinions on national issues do not matter.
When government begins to adopt a policy of transparency and social inclusion on development issues, such attitude will, hopefully be adopted by the citizens, after all, follower easily tend to emulate their leaders. The implication of this on development communication is that it will entrench the use of good development communication approach in communities across the country and this will in turn foster sustainable growth and development.

 The strike has greatly emphasized the need for dialogic communication in development communication. The type of communication employed by government is communication that is only used to inform audiences about development initiatives, activities and results. It is about transmitting information and messages.
Anyaegbunam et al (2004) defines dialogic communication is a communication type that is used to engage stakeholders, assess the situation, and devise effective strategies leading to better and more sustainable development initiatives. It is about using communication to generate new knowledge and consensus in order to facilitate change. Government’s greater emphasis on the mass media as an important tool of communication between it and citizens indicates it merely considers citizens as audiences readily to be influenced by the messages it received. This communication approach is rooted in the basic Sender-Message-Channel-Receiver (SMCR) model, which has been widely criticized.
During the strike, government sponsored many anti subsidy advertisement in the mass media which aimed to convince Nigerians to support its policy of removing subsidy and not to join the strike rather than open a truly open discussion with the strikers. The government felt that its perceived benefits of full deregulation of the down stream sector of the oil industry was worth more than listening to the concerns of the labour unions and Nigerians in general over the deregulation policy. Even when government reinstated a partial subsidy on petrol before the strike was called off; the decision for partial subsidy was a sole decision by government. The implication of this was that government understanding of development communication practice was poor despite wide acceptance of the need for policy makers to engage all stakeholders in decision making on issues affecting stakeholders and treat also treat them as equal partners in the processes of development.

 The fuel subsidy removal which the strike was against has short and long time possibility of increasing the level of poverty amongst the poor, as fuel subsidy removal often result in indirect price increment on the basic needs of life such foodstuff, clothing, shelter and so on. These had been witnessed since the unilateral removal of subsidy on petrol by the government.
Since the removal of the subsidy, the cost of living had increased at a marginal level. Development communication aims at bring about positive and sustainable changes in the lives of the poor, the vulnerable and the marginalized. It aims at restoring economic, social and political empowerment of these groups of individuals.
Fuel subsidy removal and the way it is being handled by the government works against what development communication intends to achieve for ordinary Nigerians. Rather than the deregulation lifting the populace out of poverty, it is deepening their economic poverty. The government’s fiscal policy stance following subsidy removal is important in determining the poverty effects. The inflation resulting from subsidy removal can be considerably reduced with a conservative fiscal policy response, however, experience with the government fiscal policies have rather shown that the plight of the poor is not on the mind of the government.
Although the government had promised to re-invest savings from the petrol subsidy removal on infrastructure to cushion the hurt that will be felt by ordinary Nigerians as well as stimulate economic growth, the question is how involved will Nigerians be the processes of re-investing the proceeds from the subsidy removal? Will their voice matter? Going by government’s understanding of development communication’s concept, perhaps the Nigerians will be consulted and that is where it ends as always as the government often decides what is good or bad for Nigerians anyway.
 The strike has highlighted the need for an alternative understanding of development communication concept different from that used by government. Government needs to engage development ideas that place people or in this case citizens at the centre of government policies and national development.
Development is about change and about people. Government usually conceives communication mostly in terms of public relations, media production, information dissemination, or corporate communication. Since the use of communication in development has been associated historically with information dissemination and one-way persuasion. It is not surprising that many managers and decision makers involved in development focus primarily, or even exclusively, on these aspects. This leads many of them to seek communication interventions only halfway through the project cycle, rather than as part of the project’s initial conception when it is more strategic and cost-effective. Distinguishing development communication from other areas of communication is essential—failure to do this leads to misconceptions and wrong expectations. There should be a refocus in the use of development communication by the government in future. It should emphasize participation and place people at the centre of development.

 During the strike, strike organizers and protesters organized and mobilized the strike using social media such as face book as well as SMS mobile service. Web based social media sites and communities discussed the strike, chose strike venues and the away forward as regards resolving issues relating to the strike. News about the strike was constantly updated by protesters and activist on the web. The world wide offers important opportunities for development in many of human endeavour.
Based on the important roles social media played in mobilizing and furthering the aims of the strike, this shows that social media tools can be important tools that can be used to further important change objectives. For future development efforts, development communicators in Nigeria can learn from the important roles social media tools have played in the cause of the strike. They need to embrace such tools for development communication purposes.
Development communicators around the world are now employing web 2.0 tools for development purposes. Holly, Corbett, Jones, Garside and Rambaldi (2007) defines Web 2.0 is a form of information communication technology (ICT) that was created for and thrives on the participation of people and empowerment of users. Web 2.0 tools and approaches present new opportunities for change. The concept of web 2.0 for development now in vogue among development communicators refers to employing web services to intentionally improve information sharing and collaborative production of content development.
Development communicators in Nigeria need to employ web 2.0 tools to integrate, combine, aggregate, generate, moderate and mediate development information, ideas and perspective. Web 2.0 for dev tools have the potential of giving a voice to the marginalized and those in need of change. Theses can also be particularly useful for projects aiming to revitalize culture and enhance community development. Web 2.0 websites typically include some of the following features: tags, RSS feeds, mash ups and authoring systems.

 The constant strikes by the Nigeria Labour Congress resulting from disagreements with government on labour and national issues, in this case that on deregulation of the downstream sector of the petroleum industry affects the pace of development of the country as many development projects by government and nongovernmental organizations are usually put on hold during such strikes. The constant strikes affect long time partnership and positive communication between Labour unions and government.
Strikes can strain communication and breed distrust among the parties involved. It has serious implication for development as such could affect the long time workings and cooperation between the government and other development partners such the Labour unions on development issues and projects, for when there is mistrust between development partners, there are high tendencies for both parties to misjudge and mis-interpret the viewpoints and development objectives of each other. This was evident in the feud between the government and The Labour Union. Government felt it was misunderstood by the Labour Unions and Nigerians on its policy of the deregulation of downstream of the oil industry.
There is need for government and other development partners such as the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) to employ development communication tools to enhance communication and building of trust or goodwill amongst them. There is important for development of the country. Development Communication experts should impress these points on government and the NLC. Development Communication aims to bring about positive change and development and this will not be achieved when the government continues to handle development issues the way it does with other stakeholders.

In conclusion, the strike has shown that all stakeholders in any development projects are important for the success of such projects. Development does not occur in isolation, many variables are important for it to occur. Some of these include full participation, open dialogue and building of trust amongst development stakeholders. All these are important for the success of any project. Government should work with citizens in achieving development goals be it in the oil sector or any other sector of the country. Government does not have a monopoly over development ideas. The people know what is best for them. Rather government should empower the people to work for themselves. Government must understand that it cannot work with the people from a distance like using the mass media to try to convince them on its views on national issues such as on the deregulation of the oil industry. It has to work with the people if it hopes to achieve its objectives of national transformation in all sectors of the country.
For these reasons it has to adopt a renewed concept of development communication which lays emphasis on empowered participation of citizens.
Government should see the Nigerian Labour Congress as a partner in progress and not as its antagonist. Development Communication has a great role to play in facilitating development in Nigeria, but it can only be effective in doing this if only the government as well as other stake holders recognize this and adopt it in pursuing development objectives. Strikes do not just happen; they are products of miscommunication, poor dialogue environment and selfish interests of stakeholders on issues under contention. Development communication can help ensure the success of development projects or issues.

DEFINITION OF TERMS
Development communication. It is a social process based on dialog using a broad range of tools and methods. It is also about seeking change at different levels, including listening, building trust, sharing knowledge and skills, building policies, debating, and learning for sustained and meaningful change. It is not public relations or corporate communication.

Deregulation. Revision, reduction, or elimination of laws and regulations that hinder free competition in supply of goods and services, thus allowing market forces to drive the economy. Deregulation, however, doesn’t mean no control or laissez faire.

Dialogic. A mode that is associated with the emerging participation paradigm. It is based on the horizontal, two-way model of communication that creates a constructive environment where stakeholders can participate in the definition of problems and solutions.

Downstream. This is a term commonly used to refer to the refining of crude oil, and the selling and distribution of natural gas and products derived from crude oil. Such products include liquified petroleum gas (LPG), gasoline or petrol, jet fuel, diesel oil, other fuel oils, asphalt and petroleum coke. The downstream sector includes oil refineries petrochemical plants, petroleum product distribution, retail outlets and natural gas distribution companies. The downstream industry touches consumers through thousands of products such as petrol, diesel, jet fuel, heating oil, asphalt, lubricants, synthetic rubber, plastics, fertilizers, antifreeze, pesticides, pharmaceuticals, natural gas, and propane.

Empowerment. A process leading to individuals being able and willing to take part in decisions concerning their own lives. It can refer to a personal, community, or institutional level.

Participation. Indicates the involvement of stakeholders in the decision-making and implementation process, which can occur at different levels and degrees (for example, from passive participation to full collaboration). This concept is at the core of the current development paradigm. In communication, the participation mode is linked with the two-way/dialogic model.

Participatory communication. A major approach within the dialogic or participatory mode. It combines participation and two-way communication methods, techniques, and tools to ensure mutual understanding, investigate key issues, minimize risks, and identify best options, and, most of all, to build broad consensus for change as defined by stakeholders.

REFERENCES

Anyaegbunam, Mefalopulos and Moetsab (2004). Participatory Rural Communication Appraisal, starting with the people. A handbook. Retrieved on 3rd March,2012, from http://www.fao.org/sd/dim_kn1/docs/y5793e00.pdf

Holly Ashley, Jon Corbett, Dave Jones, Ben Garside and Giacomo Rambaldi(2007).Change at hand: Web 2.0 for development. Retrieved on 2 March, 2012, from http://pubs.iied.org/pdfs/G02834.pdf

Narayan, D., ed. (2002). Empowerment and Poverty Reduction. A Sourcebook. Washington, DC:
Paolo Mefalopulos(2008).Development Communication Sourcebook. Retrieved on 3rd March, 2012, from http://www.caluniv.ac.in/Global%2520mdia%2520journal

A work to a better sex life

Communication is the act of exchanging information, feelings or ideas with another person or group of persons. Communication is important for good interpersonal relationship.It is even very important between lovers in the bed room. A few relationship has suffered strains and even out right collapse due to poor communication.Some couples have given up on sex because they feel unsatisfied by their partners.But how would your partner know all that you wish to experience in the bedroom to feel satisfied if you do not discuss it him or her?We all have our unique fantacies and sexual needs which require unique responses and appreciation. Couples can add life and fun to love making when each sex session is seen as a learning experience.In learning situations,we ask questions when we do not understand a concept, seek clarifications and work to broaden our knowledge of the issue under study. Sex is like any other topic or issue that needs to be studied or learnt too. Infidelity or double dating is not the solution or remedy to poor sex in the bedroom. The solution is improved communication. lovers should make out time to discuss issues affecting their love lives. To also improve our knowledge about sex and ‘bedroom pratices’ it is important we expose ourselves to literature. There are many good books out there to read.Just make the resolve to walk into a book shop today.Every relationship has a foundation,give your relationship the strong foundation it needs!

HARNESSING RENEWABLE ENERGY IN NIGERIA

INTRODUCTION
Energy is fundamental to human activities. All human activities depend on one form of energy or another. Energy is the ability to do work. Ibidapo-Obe and Ajibola (2011) identify Some important forms and sources of energy include: the solar energy, derived from the sun; chemical energy; electrical energy mechanical energy which basically manifest as kinetic energy (i.e. energy due to motion) and potential energy (i.e. stored energy) to mention but a few. Electrical energy as one important source of energy due to its higher transmissible power, its ability to readily transform to other forms of energy and the human capability to facilitate its storage.
Electricity plays vital roles in our daily lives such as in cooking our food, hitting our water, powering our personal computer and many more. Energy is a very important catalyst for economic development of any country. Despite the importance of energy to socio-economic development, Nigeria has not being able to generate the maximum required amount of energy it needs for her population.
OBJECTIVE OF STUDY
• This paper looks at the prospects of harnessing renewable energy in Nigeria and its challenges.
• It identifies the renewable resources available and their application in Nigeria.
O. Ibidapo-Obe and O.O.E. Ajibola (2011) identify that the word renewable emanated from renew which implies “to give new strength to something”. Renewable Energy thus mean: Energy that can be given new strength to.
Renewable Energies derivable from the natural movements and environment such as: sunshine, wind, the heat of the earth, the movement of seas and rivers and the growth/movement of plants and animals. Renewable energy is important because of the benefits it provides. The key benefits which are that renewable energy technologies are clean sources of energy that have a much lower environmental impact than conventional energy technologies. For example, A renewable energy system transforms incoming solar energy and its primary alternate forms (wind and river flow), usually without pollution-causing combustion into readily usable form of energy such as electricity. Renewable energy does not run out, ever. Other sources of energy are finite and will someday be depleted.
Some renewable energy forms are: Solar, Wind, Micro-Hydro, Fuel Cells, Biomass and Geothermal Energy. However, some energy forms are non-renewable. Major nonrenewable energy forms are the Fossil Fuels. These are the traditional sources of energy such as coal, oil and natural gas. Fossil Fuels are nonrenewable since they cannot be recycled. Once they are spent they cannot be recovered again. Renewable energy is sustainable indefinitely, unlike long-stored energy from fossil fuels. Sources of renewable energy include the following:
Wave
Waves are created by the wind blowing across the sea and by the gravitational force of the moon. Wave power uses the energy of the waves to turn turbines that make electricity.
Geothermal
Geothermal power uses the heat that comes from deep rocks under the surface of the Earth. The temperature of the Earth increases towards its centre. The hot water or steam that comes from deep within our planet can be used to make electricity.
Hydro-electric
Hydro-electricity is generated from running water. Dams are built across a lake or river in a valley to trap water. The water flows through tunnels and turns the turbines which make electricity.
Solar
The Sun releases an amazing amount of energy due to the nuclear fusion of hydrogen taking place within its core. Solar panels, called photovoltaic cells are used to convert the Sun‛s energy into electricity. The Sun can also be used to heat water passing through special solar collectors.
Wind
Wind is made when the Sun heats the Earth and the area above land gets hotter than the area above water. The hot air above land rises upwards leaving an area of low pressure. Cooler air moves into this area of low pressure making wind which we use to turn wind turbines and make electricity. Wind used to be used to turn windmills to grind wheat into flour.
Biomass
Biomass uses the energy from plants and waste materials to make electricity. For example, wood or animal droppings can be burnt to make steam that turns turbines to make electricity. Even though Biomass is form of renewable energy, Biomass combustion emits CO2 and other pollutants
Tidal
Tidal energy comes from the movement of water in the sea by the tides. These tides happen twice a day. The flow of water that is created by the tides is used to turn generators that make electricity.
ENERGY SITUATION IN NIGERIA
.Despite the abundance of energy resources in Nigeria, the country is in short supply of electrical power. Only about 40% only of the nation’s over 130 million has access to grid electricity and at the rural level, where about 70% of the population live, the availability of electricity drops to 15%. Nigeria requires per capital power capacity of 1000 Watts per person or power generating/handling capacity of 140,000 MW as against the current capacity of 3,920 MW. This will put Nigeria slightly below South Africa with per capita power capacity of 1047 Watts, UK with per capita power capacity of 1266 Watts and above Brazil with per capita power capacity of 480 Watts, China with per capita power capacity of 260 Watts.
Currently Nigeria has per capita power capacity of 28.57 Watts and this is grossly inadequate even for domestic consumption. To achieve the goals of development, a strong energy sector is essential. Many countries, especially in developing countries are faced with serious energy crises. They have been unable to meet the energy needs of their countries. In a quest to realize this, many have turn to different sources of energy which among them are renewable energy sources. Currently a high proportion of the world’s total energy output is generated from fossil fuels such as oil and coal.

THE POLICY FRAMEWORK ON RENEWABLE ENERGY IN NIGERIA
The Federal Government approved the National Energy Policy (NEP) in 2003 to articulate the sustainable exploitation and utilization of all viable energy resources. The policy is hinged on private sector development of the energy sector. The key elements in the national policy position on the development and application of renewable energy and its technologies are as follows:
• To develop, promote and hardness the Renewable Energy (RE) resources of the country and incorporate all viable ones into the national energy mix
• To promote decentralized energy supply, especially in rural areas, based on RE resources
• To de-emphasize and discourage the use of wood as fuel
• To promote efficient methods in the use biomass energy resources
• To keep abreast of international developments in RE technologies and applications
Renewable Energy Resource in Nigeria
Nigeria has high potential to harness energy from renewable sources. They include:
Hydro
Sambo(2005) identify that essentially, hydropower systems rely on the potential energy difference between the levels of water in reservoirs,Solar energy technologies are divided into two broad groups namely solar-thermal and solar photovoltaics. In solar thermal applications, solar energy, as electromagnetic waves, is first converted into heat energy. The heat energy may then be used either directly as heat, or converted into ‘cold’, or even into electrical or mechanical energy forms.
Typical such applications are in drying, cooking, heating, distillation, cooling and refrigeration as well as electricity generation in thermal power plants. In solar photovoltaic applications, the solar radiation is converted directly into electricity. The most common method of doing this is through the use of silicon solar cells. Nigeria has a capacity of 11,500 MW for large hydropower and only 1972 MW has being exploited while for small hydro power, the country has about 3,500 MW and only about 64.2 MW has being exploited.

Biomass
Okafor andUzuegbu (2010) identify that the biomass resources of Nigeria can be identified as wood, forage grasses and shrubs, animal as waste arising from forestry, agricultural, municipal and industrial activities, as well as, Aquatic biomass. Garba and Bashir (2002) indicates that the biomass resources of the nation have been estimated to be about 8 x 102 M.J. Plant biomass can be utilized as fuel for small-scale industries. It could also be fermented by anaerobic bacteria to produce a very versatile and cheap Fuel Gas i.e. biogas
Wind Energy Wind is a natural phenomenon related to the movement of air masses caused primarily by the differential solar heating of the earth’s surface. Sambo (2005) State that seasonal variations in the energy received from the sun affects the strength and direction of the wind. The ease with which aero turbines transform energy in moving air to rotary mechanical energy suggests the use of electrical devices to convert wind energy to electricity. Wind energy has also been utilized, for decades, for water pumping as well as for the milling of grains.
A study on the wind energy potentials for a number of Nigerian cities shows that the annual wind speed ranges from 2.32 m/s for Port Harcourt to a figure of 3.89 m/s for Sokoto (Sambo, 1987). The maximum extractable power per unit area, for the same two sites was estimated at 4.51 and 21.97 watts per square metre of blade area, respectively. And when the duration of wind speeds greater than 3 m/s is considered than the energy per unit area works out as 168.63 and 1,556.35 kWh per square metre of blade area, again for PortHarcourt and Sokoto.
Although use of wind energy for water supply has been known and used for hundreds of years, in recent times efforts have been directed largely towards the use of wind power for the generation of electricity and in the past twenty years or so rapid changes in technology have occurred and major wind powered generating plants have been installed, especially in the rural areas of the developed countries.
Solar
Okafor andUzuegbu (2010) indicates that Nigeria is endowed with an annual Average daily sunshine of 6.25 hours, ranging between about 3.5 hours at the coastal areas and 9.0 hours at the far northern boundary. Similarly, it has an annual average daily solar radiation of about 5.25 KW/m2/day, varying between about 3.5 kWm2/day at the coastal Area and 7.0kW/m2/day at the northern boundary (8). Nigeria receives about 4.851x 1012 KWh of energy per day from the sun. This is equivalent to about 1.082 million tons of oil Equivalent (mtoe) per day, and is about 4 thousand times the current daily crude oil reduction, and about 13 thousand times that of natural gas daily production based on energy unit. This huge energy resource from the sun is available for about 26% only of the day.

Garba, and Bashir.(2002) The country is also experiences some cold and dusty atmosphere during the harmattan, in its northern part, for a period of about four months (November-February) annually (13). The dust has an attenuating effect on the solar radiation intensity. Based on the land area of 924 x 103 km2 for the country and an average of 5.535 kWh/m2/day, Nigeria has an average of 1.804 x 1015 kWh of incident solar energy annually. This annual solar energy insolation value is about 27 times the nation total conventional energy resources in energy units and is over 117,000 times the amount of electric power generated in the country In other words, about 3.7% only of the national land area is needed to be utilized in order to annual collect from the sun an amount of energy equal to the nation’s conventional energy reserve

APPLICATIONS OF RENEWABLE ENERGY TECHNOLOGIES IN NIGERIA
Solar Energy
Sambo (2005) states that there are many solar thermal systems especially solar water heaters and solar dryers in use in many parts of the country. Solar cookers, solar stills, solar chicken brooders and solar thermal refrigerators developed by research centres and confirmed to be of practical applications. However solar photovoltaic applications have wider current installation in the country and these include solar photovoltaic water pumping systems, solar powered vaccine refrigerators as well as telecommunication repeater stations that are powered by solar photovoltaics. There are also solar photovoltaic power plants that are providing electricity to entire villages and also others that are powering on stand-alone basis, some specific projects such as rural health centres television viewing centres.

Biomass
Many versions of efficient wood-burning and charcoal stoves have been developed and are being used in many parts of country with the overall objective of curtailing the amount trees that are perennially cut to provide fuel wood and charcoal. Biogas digesters, which are capable of producing biogas that could be used for domestic and industrial uses, have been developed in many parts of the country
Wind Energy
Wind energy used to be relied upon in the 1950s and 1960s for provision of water in many locations of the northern part of the country. However this was largely abandoned when the development of petroleum products reached advanced stages. The development of the Poldow wind pump in Bauchi using locally available materials is surely a move in the right direction. Of course it should be mentioned that there a few modern wind water pumps in some parts of the country. There is also one wind electricity generator currently supplying electricity from wind energy at Sayya Gidan Gada in Sokoto State.
RENEWABLE ENERGY TECHNOLOGIES READY FOR LOCAL ADOPTION
Sambo (2005) identify that a large number of renewable energy devices have been developed by Nigerian researchers in various parts of the country. The devices which are ready for incorporation into the economy especially for rural areas as follows:
Solar Cookers: These are box-type arrangements where most local dishes can be cooked within one hour under average sunshine conditions.
Solar Water Heaters
The heaters which are based on flat-plate collectors with appropriate storage units can produce water at temperature of up to 80oC will find applications in hospitals, hotels, industry and private residences and are capable of significant reduction of electricity bills.

Solar Dryers
Both portable cabinet dryers, for individual private use, as well as large-scale units, for community utilisation, have been developed. The dryers which typically attain temperatures of up to 60-70°C are suitable for drying a variety of agricultural produce.
Solar Stills
Solar stills are designed to produce distilled water from brackish water and will be useful for hospitals, industry and laboratories. When sized appropriately they can provide for the needs of comprehensive health centres of semi-urban localities.
Water Pumping
Many workers have demonstrated the use of photovoltaic solar modules for pumping water from wells and boreholes especially in rural areas for providing the water requirements of entire communities. Photovoltaic powered pumps can also be employed for irrigation purposes.
Storage of Vaccines and Drugs
Photovoltaic power components have also been shown to adequately provide the electricity for refrigerators and deep freezers in which vaccines and drugs can be safely stored without losing their potencies.
Street Lights and Traffic Controllers
Photovoltaic modules have been used to provide uninterrupted electricity during the day and night for traffic controllers in city centres. With the use of storage batteries they have also been shown to power street lights continuously without the power outages commonly associated with the mains supply.

Improved Wood-Burning Stoves
Clay-based improved cook stoves, of various designed, have been developed and these conserve the amount of fuel wood consumed by up to 50%, lead to faster cooking and with the attachment of chimneys they allow for organised exit of smoke and consequently reduce smoke inhalation.
Production of Biogas
With biogas digesters, which are typically constructed from sheet metal or empty drums and fed with slurries of animal dung they can produce biogas and after 2-3 days. This gas which has a reasonable content of methane is combustible and can be relied upon for the production of gas for domestic cooking. It can also be used for powering internal combustion engines for electricity generation in rural areas.
Wind for Electricity Generation
In Nigeria, for quite some time, only laboratory trials have been made in the area of using wind for electricity generation. Such trails have been made with models of three-bladed aeroturbines and the results obtained indicate the potential for stand-alone utilisation especially in the Sahelian zone as well as the coastal areas of the country. Recently, however, an increasing number of wind water pumping sets and wind electricity conversion systems have been installed.
Electricity from Microhydro Systems
The generation of electricity from numerous waterfalls and rivers in the form of microhydro plants for integration into the national grid as well as for stand-alone utilisations, remote locations, is a system that has been shown to be viable.

PROBLEMS WITH IMPLEMENTING ALTERNATIVE ENERGY PROJECTS IN NIGERIA
Okafor andUzuegbu (2010) Identify the following as the challenges faced with implementing renewable energy projects in Nigeria.

Technical challenges:

Lack of technical competence remained and may continue to be a major challenge towards the development of renewable energy systems in Nigeria. The technical failures of RE systems can be traced to lack of understanding of local energy requirements; lack of research and development to adapt technologies to local government conditions, resources and requirements; lack of local skilled labor to install, operate and maintain the equipment properly; and lack of access to spare parts.
These are the basic technical reasons behind the failure of most pilot programmes on the development of RE systems in Nigeria.
It is on record that most of the pilot programmes are carried out in rural communities. These communities are quite remote that most initial installers will not be willing to get back there to render maintenance services. Even when they do, the professional charges are beyond the capabilities of the beneficiary rural dwellers.
The concept, design, application and use of most RE devices are conceived without any local input, and there is little or no effort to the systems to various usage requirements. The result is that anytime it becomes difficult to get assistance in terms of component or intellectual property, as may be required to maintain or update the energy systems, the energy systems will simply face redundancy and finally abandonment by the user.

Economic and Financial Challenges
Coupled with low income per capita stigma of most African countries, it is observed that economic and financial barriers might be another major issue to contend with the development of renewable energy systems in Nigeria. These challenges arise from lack of access to capital; lack of means of life support; lack of information by appropriate financial institutions; lack of investment; scale of energy systems; inappropriate subsidies by the government or other agencies; size of organizations.
Fear of the workability of new technologies as a result of lack of access to educational or information materials, many financial institutions are not normally willing to invest in the businesses relating to renewable energy. The result of this is that both the potential installer and the end user are starved of the funds for either initial procurement or upgrade of existing systems. The scales of the renewable energy systems are in most cases a barrier in themselves. The size in terms of the functions are appreciated in long term use, but the initial cost compared with the immediate derivable services are not in any way to be compared with the similar services from the equivalent equipment using fossil fuel. Conviction for most intending end users has therefore become an uphill task, thereby slowing down the rate of patronage.
Investments in new technologies are very expensive. The cost for renewable energy systems in Africa may continue to be high because of high financial input and low profit margin in the course of manufacturing the component parts caused by low patronage and high cost of research and development.

National Policies and Awareness Programme Challenges
Activities of the government are highly instrumental to the success or failure of any matters of national interest including the programmes that will tend to enhance the very life status by introduction of new ways of living. Introduction of renewable energy systems is in the deployment programme for most African countries.
The rate of growth of the programme can only increase or decrease within the context of the government interest. Till the end of year 2005, there was no known government policy on renewable energy in Nigeria. This made it almost impossible for proper co-ordination of renewable energy activities in Nigeria. The growth before 2005 was largely dependent on individuals, societies and few corporate interest and activities. Absence of functional government fiscal policies and integrated planning on renewable energy in Nigeria was traced to government instability and inconsistency in policy formulation, with personal interest at decision making level having priority over national goals. The resultant effects of all these are that the growth in the deployment of renewable energy in Nigeria may be slow with the system costs remaining comparatively high and a high percentage of Nigerians not being aware of the gains of the renewable energy systems.

Social, cultural and environment constraints
Social acceptance of the renewable energy technology is very important, as its absence can be a major challenge. If the local Community does not accept the technology; there will be no demand for its services. For example, it may not make much sense to install solar cookers in communities which forbid women to cook in the middle of the day. Most renewable energy installations failed because the beneficiaries are not carried along during the decision making to deploy the energy systems to them. Involving the end users may generate more interest as they tend to benefit more, having been given the chance to express their very need or convinced on what is being provided.

Political, institutional and legislative barriers
Massive deployment of renewable energy systems in Nigeria has great future if only the right political and legislative framework can be put in place. Since the technology is foreign, there is need to put proper legislation in place, to prevent turning the country into a dumping ground by the technologically advanced nations. Proper legislation may see Nigeria imposing zero taxes to renewable products, since with zero taxes and large subsidy, the poorest of the poor are the targets. Also the importation of sub-standard goods will be adversely reduced.
Challenges based on the security of the installation
Insecurity of installations is not only an African problem. Globally, the security of the installation is paramount in the decision as to how and where to install the systems. In most cases, the security provisions will simply make the cost grow unreasonably high. Most known major projects have suffered one level of vandalism or the other. Installed equipment in one site can be found in the market within 24 hours after its commissioning. This barrier cuts all nature o installations from personal solar home stations to community mini solar and solar street lights.

RECOMMENDATION
Okafor andUzuegbu (2010), including other experts in the field, offer the following as solutions to resolving the challenges facing successful renewable energy adoption in Nigeria.

Nigeria needs an energy policy which stresses the development of renewable energy resources and technology. The current energy policy in the country has not laid significant emphasis on renewable energy.
Since the lack of access to affordable, clean and convenient energy is inextricably linked to poverty, it is recommended that a resource survey and assessment be carried out to determine the total renewable energy potential in the country as well as identify local conditions and local priorities in various ecological zones.
The development of renewable energy services is linked to many other sectors such as agriculture, small scale industrial enterprises and poverty alleviation, thus it is recommended that, renewable energy related projects have a greater likelihood of success if implemented in tandem with activities in these sectors to ensure sufficient demand for the energy services providers.
Recognizing that current flow of information on renewable energy technologies is inadequate, it is recommended that demonstration projects on various energy forms be established widely so that the performance and efficiency with which services are delivered can be sensitized.
In order to ensure an orderly development of renewable energy technologies and to assure quality of products, it is also recommended that a testing and standards laboratory for renewable energy technologies (RETs) similar to the one in South Africa be established in Nigeria.
As renewable energy technologies are increasingly used to address energy shortages and to expand the range of
services in both rural and urban areas, it is recommended that Nigeria take advantage of global partnerships such as the REEEP initiative of UK, to help the country for creative integration of renewable energy systems.
In view of the vital importance of RETs to kick start rural industrialization and the need for harnessing and channeling multilateral and bilateral funds to that purpose, it is recommended that a renewable energy funding/financing agency like India’s IREDA (Indian Renewable Energy Agency) be established.
Activities such as entrepreneurship and managerial skills development training programmes and technical courses in RETs with a view of developing Energy Service Companies (ESCOs) providing services to rural areas need to be introduced.
Identifying definite need for capacity building both at institutional and personnel level for acquiring technical, organizational, and managerial skills required for increased development of renewable energy.
The existing Research and Development centers and technology development institutions should be adequately strengthened to support the shift towards increased renewable energy utilization. Human resource development, critical knowledge and know-how transfer should be in focus for projects development, project management, monitoring and evaluation. Preparation of standards and codes of practices, maintenance manuals, life cycle costing and cost- benefit analyses tools to be undertaken on urgent priority.

REFERENCES
A. S. Sambo(2005). Renewable Energy for Rural Development: The Nigerian Perspective. Isesco Science and Technology Vision-volume 1(may 20050(12-22) Retrieved from on 4th February, 2012 from http://www.isesco.org

A.S Sambo(1987).Wind energy assisted solar electricity generating schemes For the rural areas of Nigeria’,Large Scale Systems in Developing Countries. (Ovuworie, G.C., Onibere, E.A. and Asalor, J.O. (Eds.)), Pp.45 – 160, Joja Educ. Research and Pub. Ltd.

E.N.C. Okafor and Joe-Uzuegbu(2010).challenges to development of renewable Energy for electric power sector in Nigeria. International Journal of Academic Research. Vol. 2. No. 2. March 2010.Retrieved on 4th February, 2010 from http://www.ijar.lit.az

Garba, B and Bashir, A. M.(2002). Managing Energy Resources in Nigeria: Studies on Energy Consumption Pattern in Selected Rural Areas in Sokoto State. Nigerian Journal of Renewable Energy, Vol. 10 Nos. 1&2, pp. 97-107

O. Ibidapo-Obe and O.O.E. Ajibola (2011). Towards a Renewable Energy Development for Rural Power Sufficiency. International Conference on Innovations in Engineering and Technology (IET 2011), August 8th – 10th, 2011.

Forget about Sex?Think love?

I have often wondered if sex or love comes first. This is in light of what a friend of mine is going through now.The girl in his life had asked him to forget about sex with her for she would not have one with him until they got married. For him, marriage was not on his mind for now. perhaps in future and certainly with her.But like many men, can he endure the tortures of his sex urge? What do you do when the woman you love,starves you of sex? She had advised my friend to think love.’if you love me, you would wait’she often told him. I hope he waits, for to men, love is sex!

Help is all you need

Worries do not solve problem. Acting on the problem by administering solutions to it does. Some have worried themselves to death and lose of weight and even to long time sadness over difficulties in life.If a problem overwhelms you,it is important you seek help.There is nothing wrong in seeking from someone who could be of help or who is willing to help.
life has its ups and down and we have to live with that. If you believe in God, pray and seek help from Him. He is faithful and will not forsake you.

fiction

Many keep secrets to themselves, but there is one secret I can not afford to keep to myself. Call this a confession, it is a confession I think many should hear about and learn from. It takes more than a lion’s heart or bravery to make this confession to you. Perhaps one’s life will never be the same after this confession. It is going to cost a thing, but I am going to tell it anyway. I hope many learn from it.
One’s life history is a web of many pieces of news, be it the pleasant and the unpleasant. Each piece of news, which is an outcome of events in one’s life, has possible effects on one’s life. Such out comes could create life altering impacts. No news had had so great impart on my life like the one announced to me by my doctor two years ago. It was the result of some tests my doctor had carried out on me after I fallen ill at about that period before the test. I can still recall his words as we sat in his office on that faithful day of 6th October, 2004.” I am sorry to announce this to you,” he said. “Results from the test shows that you have contracted HIV/AIDS,” He announced sadly to me. It was devastating news. I didn’t believe what I had heard from him. The shock and disbelief led to few confirmation tests at two other medical hospitals. The results still came back positive. Someone had warned me about the dangers of contracting the disease some years back. My lifestyle had given him the clue. I could not keep away from things ‘under the skirt.’ I was a womanizer to a fault. I had sex, unprotected sex, any time I could have my way. For me, sex was a way to prove my manhood. It was a game. A game I loved so much. The ability to ‘conquer’ a woman by getting her to have sex with me was thrilling. Many times, I had pride myself about being a ladies’ man; I was never without the company of a woman. How I am in company with Hiv/Aids. I am not in anyway suggesting that the female folk are the carriers of this dreaded, terminal disease, or are they channel of spread for the disease, neither am I blaming the womenfolk for the woes I had found myself. My lifestyle, my choices, was responsible.
Despite the many awaking messages I had come across on the mass media, warning about the reality of Hiv/Aids, I had dismissed them as mere propaganda. I saw them as messages sponsored my religious fanatics and their un-modern organizations to spread unenlightening moral beliefs about sex. I reasoned that since creation created humans with the capacities for having sexual relationships, why shouldn’t one then enjoyed sex any time one could or when one felt like? Now I had comprehended the warnings behind those messages on the mass media. What they hoped to protect me from, I had contracted. I had contracted the dreaded disease. It is my reality now. I couldn’t remember how many times I had broken down in tears and self pity, negotiating with God to give me a second chance and heal me, wishing that the disease vanished from my body. Never had the saying that ‘the way one makes one’s bed, so shall one lie in it’ had had so much meaning until then. I finally realized I had had to live the consequences of my choices. Now, I tell you about my experience with calm acceptance. For many who might be informed today that they had contract the disease, I understand the confusions their minds had being thrown into. Many times they would wish someone woke them up from the nightmares. But they would only awake with tears in their eyes.
Living with Hiv/Aids is difficult living. It is a life full of pains and instability. A measured life span. One, more than others, is constantly aware of the presence of death. Each day, one’s life withers. Now I live on anti-retroviral drugs. To these drugs, I am grateful to that I am still alive. But I know they would not save or keep me going for as long I would wish. Perhaps they would seize to be effective on me as the Aids virus in my body modified and adapted to those drugs. Perhaps I might be dead in a few years! I am now forty and wary of getting married or having children. Who would take of my children, if I had them and then died in their childhoods? I wonder how women out there would agree to marry one living with Hiv/Aids if they knew one’s status on the disease was positive. Indeed, ones choices are limited.
I am not writing this article to bother you with my woes, but to make you understand how the Hiv/Aids disease could impact on ones life; and perhaps those around one too. This article is a personal confession I hope others should learn from. Living with a disease is never a pleasant experience. Do all can to ensure you do not contract this disease and end up like me. The surest way to keep away from the disease is to choose a healthy lifestyle. It you must choose to have sex, never engage many sex partners. The dangers are obvious. Forget about condoms, they are not safe. Stick to one sexual partner and be faithful. Do the right thing, so you do not end up like. I know there are some who would refer I kept all of these personal disclosures to myself, perhaps for the reason of the stigma attached to this disease. Perhaps they feared that these disclosures could affect my relationships with those around me, especially those who never knew about my health status, I understand their concerns. In a society like ours where families disown or reject their own for the reason that their own had contracted a dread disease should be a cause for concern for anyone intending to make disclosure of suffering from a communicable and destabilizing disease like Hiv/Aids. Who then would put a human face on the disease? Some now question the existence of this disease because they had never come across anyone living with it before. All around us one hears about horrible numbers of people in their thousands dying from the disease and yet few or none could one point to within one’s as evidence of the reality of the magnitude of the spread and impact of the disease. I prefer to stand alone with my confession than be in crowd and be salient in the mist of secrecy of societal denials. A confession is an emotional burden reliever. So I feel now as I unravel the emotional burden of the prison that this disease had kept in.
If I were to make an appeal, I would say to those living with the disease to speak out about the disease and convince those who do not think the disease exist. Perhaps these could save thousands who could end up becoming victims of the disease. Perhaps it will give rise to more information about the disease and reduce stigmatization of those already living with the disease.

Save Syrians

What is happening in Syria is heart breaking.it is terrible that the world has not taken concrete actions against the government in Syria.A governement that turns against its own people should not be allowed to continue to exist.It is time for countries like China and Russia to put aside their selfish interests and rescue the lives of Syrians from their heartless government which has lost all legitimacy to rule.