DSC_1039The deception involved in cheating is so great that the only beneficiary of the cheating is the person who cheats. Now why do we cheat? To show to the world what we are not?! To show to the world that we are intelligent on paper?

Your certificate carrying excellent result can never replace your ignorance, foolishness and dullness of brain. You don’t know means you don’t know. Why show to the world that you know when you actually don’t know? Does it make any sense to you?

This write up is intended to make you have a rethink on the slippery and deceptive path you are creating for yourself and generations after you. Look, don’t be deceived, the world celebrates knowledge, Nigeria celebrates knowledge and everyone including you who are engaged in malpractices celebrates knowledge too.

You may say everybody is doing it. Firstly, it is not true, secondly, even if everybody is doing it, are you everybody? You forget that “you are fearfully and wonderfully made “ (Psalm 139:14). You are not everybody. Friend, decide to take responsibility for how you live. You don’t owe anyone an apology to live right. You may want to identify with the band wagon of confused people but when tough times come, you’ll be left alone. And I assure you, tough time will definitely come but the good news is that if you know what you know, if you are prepared before time, you’ll use tough times to your own advantage.

I better fail knowing I tried my best trusting God without any form of malpractice than to succeed knowing fully well that it’s a result of malpractice!

Many of us have called malpractice “help” in the exam hall, which is indeed help to destruction of talent, intellect, ability and bright future.

When would you want to start learning and schooling yourself?

I tell my friends, the best helpanyone can do for you is before and/or after the exams, by studying and learning together, but in exam, help is malpractice! So, dear friends, the future of our dear great nation is in our hands. You can shape the future you want either to the positive or to the negative. The choice is yours my beloved friends.

Let us join hands to stop malpractice in examinations. It starts with me, it starts with you. It is not wise that you go about with results that you cannot defend, prove and be completely confident of. You see say na deception malpractice be abi?

Some even say, make we cheat, later we go know am, but the truth is you will never go back to it. However, when you don’t know and you are tested and fail, there is a high possibility that you’ll be challenged to know for yourself.

Let us stop deceiving ourselves and do the right thing, the future and today is in our hands to invest right.

Cease from all forms of exam malpractice. For as many of you, who have certificates of malpractice, repent, and ask God what to do with your corrupt certificate and do as the Holy Spirit leads you to do.

You know the irony of the whole thing is while I was still developing this piece, I went in for an exam and someone came in to pally with the invigilators to allow the sister to cheat in exams and the foolish lady was busy insulting the invigilator that put her in the “difficult situation” that won’t allow her to cheat. It is a very troubling situation. You know the whole thing makes the examination environment so unfit for exams and you begin to feel awkward where you are supposed to be relaxed to write.

Friends, a word is enough for the wise! Maximize your brain and stop examination malpractices…

God bless you. God bless Nigeria.

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The 2015 General Elections: February or March 28th?

INEC-Attahiru-Jega…Consequently, the Commission (INEC) has decided to reschedule the 2015 general elections thus: the national elections (i.e. Presidential and National Assembly) are now to hold on March 28th, 2015; while the state elections (Governorship and State Assembly) are to hold on April 11th, 2015.- Attahiru M. Jega, The Chairman, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

I heard a heated argument among my neighbors condemning the postponement of the 2015 general elections from February 14th, 2015 to February 28th, 2015 by INEC and all of that, but I didn’t give it much attention until early morning on Tuesday this week, I heard my neighbor praying seriously loud and committing the election on February 28th, 2015 into God’s hand and it should be violent free, fair and credible and the prayer went on.

I had to meet each of them one on one to give them the real dates as stated at the beginning of this piece and to their surprise, they were ignorantly confident, asking me why the postponement from February 28th again.

Now, the prayer is not wrong but the date for which the prayer is based is wrong. And that is how most of us have formed a practice, doctrine and religion out of lies and falsehood.

How many of us are guilty of carrying false news out of rumor and lie!

We believe what people say about us more than what God is saying. Just like Professor Jega, the INEC Chairman said a date and my neighbors heard differently, believed it, argued it, condemned it, accepted it, and prayed about it; is just the same way God say’s a thing, and we hear differently from men, and run with same.

It is more reason why many of our relationship with God are fruitless because we pray amiss. The scripture says in James 4:3 “Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts”.

Dear Friends, we must get the right information concerning our lives and the only way is to get it from God. Apart from Him we can do nothing! “I am the Vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.” John 15:5. Without God, we will keep running with lies from the pit of hell.

To avoid wasting your time in aimless and purposeless life ventures, connect with God Almighty through Jesus Christ with constant and unbroken fellowship with the Holy Spirit; and you will avoid so many unnecessary wanderings but get the right information to direct you in the path of realizing your destiny.

Some of us have come to believe what men say about us. My Friend, stop believing lies. “Who is he that saith, and it cometh to pass, when the Lord commandeth it not?” Lamentations 3:37. So, judge from now on, whose report will you believe? God or man? The choice is yours to make. Even if God speaks through a man, you should definitely have a witness in your spirit if it is God that ordered it because our God is not a God of confusion!

Finally, always check with the source of everything you hear before flying with it. This will help us become wise.

Your opinions on this issue are welcome.

God bless you. God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

Marcus Edibogi Akor | Team Leader – The Bridge Youth Development Foundation | +234 8053849232 | +2347038691281 | | | | Skype: marcusakor | Twitter: @edibogi | Quote: Whatever is worth doing is worth doing well.

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DSCF2063The Bridge Youth Development Foundation, Benue State in partnership with Youngstars Development Initiative, Abuja held Youth Non Violence Voters’ Education Campaign and Inauguration of The Bridge Youth Network on 7th February, 2015 at Odessassa Hall, Ugbokolo, Benue State.

The program was focused on Nigerian youth and shared the belief that Nigeria’s greatest resource for its future development is its youthful population.  We promoted a message of zero-tolerance for the use of youth groups by politicians to commit acts of violence or political hooliganism before, during and after the elections.

Participants committed to peaceful elections by signing the pledge forms of the Vote Not Fight, Election No Be War Campaign. It was a very interactive session and participants shared their views concerning having a peaceful election.

IEC materials like the Nigerian Youth Agenda on Political Participation, Vote Not Fight stickers and wrist band, INEC materials on Election Code of Conduct and other materials were distributed to participants.

Vote Not Fight Ambassadors were inaugurated and 554 pledge cards, stickers and wrist bands were distributed to 9 of the participants to mobilize young people in their community to sign the pledge cards. Upon return of the signed pledge cards, Vote Not Fight Campaign T-Shirts will be given to them.

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The Bridge Youth Network was inaugurated with 7 persons elected as interim officials to spearhead the network in Ugbokolo. The objective of The Bridge Youth Network is to raise young leaders with character, vision, purpose and integrity. And promote issues of Democracy, Good Governance, Youth participation in politics and Policy.

It was a very successful event as it was the first time of organizing an event in Ugbokolo, a community in a different local government from where we used to organize programs.

Our upcoming program is Ben Poly Student’s Conference in Ugbokolo upon resumption of the Polytechnic from strike.

We are grateful to God Almighty for the success of the program, we appreciate the team members of The Bridge Youth Development foundation and we also thank Youngstars Development Initiative for their support. Finally, we thank the participants for attending the program.

The Bridge Youth Development Foundation is a youth led non-governmental organization registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission and working in Benue State on Youth Leadership & Entrepreneurship and issues of Democracy, Good Governance and Policy. TBYDF is non partisan, and is not by any means promoting any political party or aspirant. We bridge the information, opportunity, job and training gap for young people.

Marcus Edibogi Akor | Team Leader – The Bridge Youth Development Foundation | +234 8053849232 | +2347038691281 | | | | Skype: marcusakor | Twitter: @edibogi | Quote: Whatever is worth doing is worth doing well.

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MarcusYoung people in Nigeria are vibrant with great dreams but when these dreams do not find expression because of non availability of enabling environment, young people get frustrated and engage in all sorts of social vices. Although, this is not a justification for young people’s engagement in social vices but the fact is that this contributes. It is said, impression without expression causes depression! Citing example of four young people among the numerous Nigerians I have discovered through our organization, The Bridge Youth Development Foundation, Benue Sate, engagement with grassroots rural communities.

One of the young men, Ochoche Sam Odoba is planning to organize a global youth quiz competition for students in Secondary School in May, 2015. The second, Blessing Agbese is planning to engage young people in her community to fix bad roads in their community to avoid future damages and organize extra moral lessons for children in her community. The third, Adah Mark is starting up a Youth Mindset Program called “Refiner of Dreams” and the fourth, Joel Usman has published a book on entrepreneurship.

Now, these young people are hopeful. What happens to their dreams when the needed mentorship, opportunity and resources are farfetched from them?

Nigeria has got youth with talent. All we need is access to an enabling environment that will provide the resources we need to realize our dreams.

In The Bridge Youth Development Foundation engagement with young people at the grassroots rural areas, we have encountered young people with great business ideas and plans, but the challenge is no access to the right information and resources to bring their ideas to reality. That is why there is an urgent need for us all to bridge the information, opportunity and resources gap that exist between us and our people at the grassroots.

As for me, through the mercies of God, I have been given opportunity to meet with great minds through The Bridge Youth Development foundation, Benue State. With the information we get via mingling with other great positive minds, we go back to our rural areas and disseminate such. For example, I got an opportunity to study Social Entrepreneurship for 11 months in Kanthari International Institute for Social Entrepreneurs and Innovators, India. Upon my return, through The Bridge Youth Development Foundation, an NYSC member who served in Otukpo 2012 was coached and has gone for the same training in India and back. He is currently mobilizing to strengthen his organization Dream Again Youth and Prison Academy’s engagement with inmates in Otukpo Prison.

I also attended Youngstars Foundation, Abuja annual Youth Democracy program Democracy Series for Participatory Learning and Actions by African Youth (DESPLAY Africa) Season 8. Upon my return, several young people have attended the program and have been fired up to impact their world. Most recently in January, 2015, Joel Usman attended the first semester in Lagos State through The Bridge Youth Development Foundation.

We must ensure to bridge the information, opportunity and resources gap that has kept our people backward in our various communities.

Just think for a moment how disastrous it will be when you finish building yourselves in the city and then your people at the grassroots rural areas are dying of poverty and becoming criminals and prostitutes, what will be your legacy? Will you find it safe to go back home? Remember, there is no place like home.

Women and girls are worst hit with this disconnect. Go to the rural areas and see the level of suffering our mothers and sisters go through just to survive. Now, I got information about girl’s mentorship program by Nigerian Women Trust Fund and they specifically stated that the program is for only girls residing in Abuja! This is what we are talking about! A lot of developmental programs are initiated and executed in the Federal Capital Territory but little or no engagement at the grassroots. The excuse maybe lack of adequate funding but the truth is that, it cost far too little to domesticate or replicate similar programs at the grassroots rural areas. We forget that, it is from the grassroots our girls are being abducted and turned into suicide bombers. We must do things differently by ensuring we engage young men and women in our local communities by harnessing their great potentials to achieve the sustainable development we desire.

The Bridge Youth Development Foundation is committed to serve and build young leaders with vision, integrity and purpose. We must think grassroots! I challenge and encourage us to build young people in the grassroots and I assure you, building people is the greatest investment you can and will never loss. Therefore, I call on all stakeholders to build the youth.

Bridge the gap… for further discussion on these topic or idea on how to turn your ideas into reality and starting something in your community, please contact us:

Marcus Edibogi Akor | Team Leader – The Bridge Youth Development Foundation | +234 8053849232 | +2347038691281 | | | | Skype: marcusakor | Twitter: @edibogi | Quote: Whatever is worth doing is worth doing well.

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Bring Back “Train Up a Child”.

???????????????????????????????The challenges and successes of our nation Nigeria reflect exactly what is obtainable in most of our homes. Taking the abduction of the Chibok girls for example.

What is the difference between the Chibok girls who are not with their parents and children who are with their parents but do not have time for their children to teach and train them up in the way they should go?

The resultant effect of parent’s negligence to the proper holistic upbring of their children is the level of lack of manners, misbehavior, gross display of senselessness, foolishness, waywardness, corruption, disrespect and immoral attitudes of many children and youth today.

Another effect of parent’s negligence is that your children associate with rogues and other terrible people who teach them negative things and expose them to anti social activities. Parent’s understand that, as far as you are not teaching your children anything, they are not alone, they are being taught by someone, that teaching maybe negative or positive but I assure you, most of the time the teaching is negative.

Parent’s may use school teachers to give excuse, but the truth is, even many of our teachers in school today lack manners and don’t even know what it means to be a teacher talk less of teaching your child. The fact is, never leave your child’s upbring at the mercy of anyone while you are alive.

Children and young people who are not properly brought up become thieves, chain smokers, drug dealers, cultist, rapist and even terrorist.

Children and youth today will become parents tomorrow, what kind of parents are we breeding as parents?

It is very difficult to believe hypocrite. Many parents shout and talk all they can to change their children but they themselves have terrible lifestyles. For example, imagine a parent who smokes cigarette telling the child not to smoke. Parents understand that you are role models and your children do what they see you do not what they hear you say!

The family life is dying seriously because of aimless pursuit of materialism. Let me ask our parents a simple question: “when you finish chasing money and other material things at the expense of your child’s upbringing, will your possessions be safe at the long run if your child becomes a thief?” I know of a friend who has gotten to the peak of her career, celebrated outside but her home is a full of sorrow because of her wayward child. I feel pity but also pray for the family. Will you want to amass wealth today at the expense of training your child and spend the wealth tomorrow on rehabilitating your child?

Many parents are the cause of their own sorrows today because they neglect to bend their children when they are still bendable. Many parents today are sore because their children are like decayed tooth in their mouth. They don’t have peace and for those who care to pray at all, their children have become their prayer burden whereas if they had prayerfully trained them up, they should focus their prayer energy on other things.  My mum used to say “no matter how the Okro plant grows taller than the owner, the owner will still bend it to pluck Okro”. That is why the Bible says “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it” (Proverbs 22:6). Parents create time for training your children so that you’ll not regret tomorrow.

In conclusion, parents if you want to live long and have peace, take the issue of training up your child in godliness seriously otherwise, heart ache, high blood pressure and other negatives awaits you. Prayerfully trust God to help you train up your child. Let he who have ear to ear, let him hear.

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DSC_1032With a joyful heart and thanks giving to God Almighty, I wish to appreciate Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for recognizing me for my outstanding achievements as a Nigerian Youth and awarding me as the INEC Youth Ambassador! I give God all the glory.

The presentation ceremony was done by Dr. Chris Iyimoga, National Commissioner, INEC at the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) -Nigerian Youth Summit with theme; “Nigerian Youth: Working for peaceful elections, deepening our democracy” at Chelsea Hotel, Abuja on 19th – 20th January, 2015.

Friends, God looks at the heart and knows when you are passionate about what you do. It has occurred to me that it is not really by the multitudes of what you do or the efforts you put in doing things, it is God who shows mercy and favor. Little wonder the Word of God says “…. That the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favor to men of skill; but time and chance happeneth to them all (Ecc 9:11)”.

I wish to encourage Nigerian Youth to be committed to the work of their hands. Don’t give up, keep doing what you are doing and remember that what is worth doing is worth doing well.

I also want to use this opportunity to appreciate members of The Bridge Youth Development Foundation for allowing me to practice youth development. I wish to thank Mrs. Ene Edeh of Equity Advocates, facilitators of Okpokwu Information Resource Center, Ugbokolo for the nomination to INEC. I wish to thank INEC for recognizing my youth works. I wish to thank my parents and siblings for their support. I wish to thank Apostle Tony Akor of Blossom Family Assembly, Otukpo for his mentorship and spiritual guidiance over my life. I wish to specially thank my friend, Blessing Agbese for believing in my dream.

I give God all the glory. Friends, to live is to participate. One Love.

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MarcusWe need money to buy almost everything in life but we don’t need money to buy life! Therefore, it goes to show that money is not everything and that there is something much higher and valuable than money. That something is Life and that Life is the light of men (John 1:4)

As good as money is, I believe money is not everything. Many of us have been giving away to greed and covetousness, thinking it is how serious, committed and dedicated we chase money that we become successful and wealthy. This is not true my dear friend. It is God who gives power to get wealth! (Deuteronomy 8:18)

The warning for us here is to “Be careful to guard ourselves against every kind of greed, because a person’s life doesn’t consist of the amount of possessions he has.”(Luke 12:15)

Moreso, it is written that the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows (1Timothy 6:10).” The love of money is the case we have with many of our leaders in churches, governments, institutions of learning and even families, as a result the high level of godlessness, corruption and dishonesty. We must set our priority right to get genuine success and wealth.

In setting our priority right, it is good for us to understand that we cannot serve two masters at a time. No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. We cannot serve God and money. (Matthew 6:24). Therefore, the priority is for us to seek first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto us. Matthew 6:33.

In seeking first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, it is about putting God first in everything in your life including finances. It is to learn to think and act and become like Jesus Christ. It is about creating time to pray much, and study your Bible much. It is about seeking the face of God and living by every Word that proceeds from the mouth of God. It is the only way you can achieve good success and prosperity.

Finally, I am by no means with this article saying money is not good and helpful and that we should not be wealthy. Far from that, I desire to be prosperous and have good success but there is only one way and is that “the book of the law (Word of God) shall not depart from our mouth, but we shall meditate in it day and night, that we may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then we will make our ways prosperous, and then we will have good success (Joshua 1:8)”. So you see! God has the best in mind for us. If only we will kill our own agenda and seek God genuinely.

Therefore I believe money is not everything, but God is everything!God bless you, God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria!

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