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Ten Traits Of a Successful Business Woman
Which Women Would Make it in Today's World

1. Successful women choose credibility over insecurity. Successful women do not hide behind their insecurities. Instead, they go out and earn credibility through their actions and attitude. .

2. Successful women are "thoughtful risk-takers." Women need an edge if they're going to enjoy exceptional success in a male-focused culture, and that edge often comes from taking calculated risks.

3. Successful women are passionate about their work. Often overlooked, passion is a crucial point for women who want to make it to the top.

4. Successful women know when to say no. Successful women know that setting and keeping their boundaries will have many more long-term benefits for them than doing every little project or task they are asked to do.

5. Successful women know how to provide strong support to their leaders. A major factor for successful women is knowing when to contribute versus when to take the backseat.

6. Successful women know when to ask for help. Confident women realize that asking for help does not mean they are incompetent.

7. Successful women put the "pro" in professional.When given an alternative project—even when it is something they may not necessarily have wanted—successful women always handle it like a pro.

8. Successful women build effective teams rather than seek the limelight. Women have a naturally participatory style. We tend to listen to ideas and acknowledge our colleagues.

9. Successful women have a "thick" skin.Take pride in your abilities and understand that while standing up for yourself and being decisive and authoritative may be viewed by some negatively, most people will view it as being competent and self-confident.

10. Successful women don't use being a woman as an excuse and they know how to earn the respect of their male peers.

By Roxanne Rivera:

Roxanne is the president and CEO of the Associated Builders and Contractors of New Mexico. She also serves as New Mexico's liaison to the National Associated Builders and Contractors in Washington, DC.

We Need Neither Passion nor Tyranny, Commentary By Paul Akhimien
TTimes World Report


It has become necessary for me to clear the air based on the numerous calls I have received, the questions that have been posed to me directly and over the Internet.

I need to state first and foremost I am still a member of the ALL Nigeria American Congress (ANAC), Chairman Membership committee, and Chairman Indiana Chapter.

I also want to congratulate those who have decided to, amidst the irritation and inconvenience, join in helping find ways to rectify the several miss-steps within our organization the last several weeks. Those miss-steps that culminated in the announcement of Prof. Okafor as the chairman of ANAC.

The number one question I've had to answer is ...."Having accepted the nomination for vice chair, what happened"?

For the benefit of our well-wishers who are non ANAC members, and those members who for any reason could not be at our meeting, it is true the position was offered. It is also true that the offer was accepted. Another truth is, the acceptance came with a condition. The condition being that whatever transgressions have been leveled against the chairman, Hon. Akeem Bello, due process must be followed to address them. Verbal accusations and allegations based on hearsay must not lead to a vote of no confidence. Allegations must be presented in writing, given to the accused with reasonable time for defense. I also made it clear that I would not be party to violating any section(s) of our constitution for any reason. That the voice of dissent must not be silenced while in the pursuit of anyone for alleged offenses.Due process must be followed.

However, it became clear during the meeting that the conditions for my acceptance of the nomination will not be met. The meeting had, in my opinion, been tele-guided and the outcome preset, with extensive measures put in place to stifle dissenting opinions. Members were logged off the call-in-conference for airing dissenting opinions; still others were told they behaved like barbarians for expressing their opinion. They were told for disorderliness and lack of decorum. I therefore extricated myself from the process.

I must hasten to say this is not about Hon. Bello, but about due process.

This is not the ANAC we worked and are still working hard to maintain.

We have a constitution that guides our actions, and I applaud all those including even the non members who have over these few weeks become so familiar with our constitution. One of the complaints has been that our section 18.3, which states “The Chairman of the Upper House or Board of Trustees may call a joint session or by a motion of any Trustee, with a simple majority vote in the upper house of Trustees, a joint session would be scheduled by The Chairman of the Board of Trustees. The House of Delegate may also request a joint session, by a simple majority vote in the House of Delegates through its speaker, which will be scheduled by The Chairman of the Upper House, when at least one other Trustee consent to such, in addition to the Chairman Board of Trustees” vested so much powers on the chairman. It is charged that a meeting of that nature will never be called by the chairman. It is dictatorial. Well, maybe, maybe not. Until that section of the constitution is amended, I stand to defend it because the chairman has stated he did neither scheduled nor authorize the meeting. Incidentally just prior to the ratification of the constitution back in 2005, this very section was a bone of contention. We had to let it pass. Until it is amended, we will obey it. It will not be violated.

Perhaps that's why proper groundwork needed to be done before any impeachment process. Maybe if proper ground work was done, violating the constitution would not have been necessary. I am not a historian, but one of the most revered presidents of the US, Abraham Lincoln once said ".....let me not be understood as saying that there are no bad laws, nor that grievances may not arise for the redress of which no legal provision has been made. I mean no such thing. But I do mean to say that although bad laws, if they exist, should be repealed as soon as possible, still while they continue in force, for the sake of example, they should be religiously observed......"

We as Nigerians as ANAC members and indeed across the globe have no moral right to chastise our leaders when they violate the constitution they have taken an oath to preserve if we cannot respect our own rules. It is a well known fact that the moral, economic and socio-polical degeneracy of our country stems from the basic fact that majority of our leaders feel free to violate the constitution they have sworn to preserve as long as they have the resources to stem the tide that follows. What do we do in response? Shrug our shoulders and move on. Sometimes we wait for our turn to do exactly the same thing, sometimes we simply decide to become the proverbial "Andrew", we "check-out". Well, checking out is not in our agenda and the main reason is what I will attempt to explain.

Historically long lasting Nigerian organizations have always been held together by one of two bonds, tribal affiliation and financial wherewithal. Once an organization is formed based on either of these two unifying factors, chances are it will survive its challenges for a long time. With tribalism, difference of opinions are quickly understood and respected when we speak the same language. When we recognize deviants within the fold, word goes around very quickly and appropriate precautions are taken. More often than not, the particular individuals perceived as deviants by whatever measure have relatives well known to other members of the organization. Such individuals usually can run, but cannot hide. We come from the same place, we know you and your relatives, therefore we will find you if we want to.

With financial wherewithal, we can continue to stick together as long as your finances fall within or sometimes a bit beyond the finances of the rest of us.

Organizations that profess patriotism and have the true Nigerian outlook without strong tribal and financial bias are almost always short-lived.

ANAC is one organization with a membership, at least up till now, spans across several ethnic boundaries in Nigeria. It also boasts membership with very diverse financial holdings, rich and not so rich. We came and are still coming together for the most part, because we have that patriotic desire to help effect changes in our body politic from wherever we are across the globe. We have found ways to confront our challenges. Some, we have been victorious, some not very so. This particular challenge therefore is another that we will weather because we intend to remain an unbiased voice for Nigerians in the international community. It is part of our oath, and we will defend it. Again, “…….the probability that we may fail in the struggle need not deter us from the support of a cause we believe to be just”…Abraham Lincoln….Dec. 1839. “…..let us have faith that right makes might, and in that faith, let us to the end, dare to do our duty as we understand it….”Abraham Lincoln…1860.

We will also call on all you fellow Nigerians following the events at ANAC. Whether or not you are an ANAC member, the events concern YOU. You must step back, take critical look at the events and ask yourself these questions; “if one or any of these people who will do all they can to violate their own constitution find their way into the corridors of power tomorrow in Nigeria, will they do any different?”. “If any of these people belong to my current organization and aspire to leadership, or currently in leadership role, should I be concerned?” An honest and thorough soul search will point you to your possible actions. If you understand that a leader who is willing to, and go to so much length to disenfranchise even one of his followers is the leader that will master the art of disenfranchising his whole community and country tomorrow. He will graduate to stuffing your ballot boxes with votes from nowhere tomorrow. It is a wind today that will grow to be a whirlwind tomorrow. You must identify those leaders whenever they cross your path and refuse their leadership. You must choose to remain on the path that is right, and for justice even though you may not win today for it is better to win tomorrow than today be victorious with a heavy conscience in the belief and knowledge that you have chosen to be on the wrong path. No matter how passionate the fake leaders claim to be to your cause, tell them Aristotle said “……the law is reason, free from passion…” and Henry Fielding the English novelist also said “….where the law ends, tyranny begins…”, therefore you need neither their passion nor tyranny. Sack them wherever you find them. Take this message beginning today to your school, organization, class, group, and committee.

In closing, let me ask you my fellow compatriots wherever you are; those who love your country Nigeria, those who like your country Nigeria, those in-between and those though I am sad but daresay hate your country, it is time you take that step no matter how small it is to right the wrongs in your fatherland. No one else will do it for you.

The All Nigeria American Congress (ANAC) must from henceforth, and within the dictates of our constitution, have a paradigm shift. We must start, and reinforce our desire to build bridges with any sister organization out to promote and enhance the welfare of Nigerians everywhere. We must cease to classify as competitors, all those in the same struggle to enhance true democracy and qualified development in our country. Classifications of unqualified and qualified Nigerians must cease. Unity must from henceforth be our watch word, with dissent of opinion recognized as such rather than opposition. The ANAC constitution must always be defended, while qualified amendments are visited.

While we navigate these trying times, we ask your support and prayers.

Thank you.

God bless you.

God bless ANAC.

God bless the United States of America.

God Nigeria

Hon. Paul Akhimien.

Africans Must Learn to Step Down From Power
Ousted ANAC Leader Intends to Distrupt - Commentary By Joe Igiesteme

July 25, 2009

NIGERIAN leaders remain the MOST UNDEMOCRATIC human beings on planet earth! Even among those abroad who have experienced some of the best practices in modern democracies around the world, th ey still yield to praise-singing, sycophancy, ego stroking, air of indispensability, resistance to quit power, and sit-tight bid. The outcomes in our groups and organized communities remain the same: Nigerian cannot build stable democracies, both at home and in the Diaspora. Any entity that is initiated, regardless of the loftiness of the mission, goals and objectives, Nigerians will get into a leadership crisis that damages the entity irreparably. It was once OON, then NIDO and now ANAC! Imagine what the sit-tight leaders who presided over these crises would do if a national position is at stake. They will come up with all fantasized and imagined reason(s) why they have to sit tight: they could be the only ones who can unite people, fight and chase demons always, confront cabals, eliminate corruption, prevent re-colonization, can connect needy Nigerians to Nigerian and foreign government officials, or any other outlandish reason. Just name it!

For whatever the reason, when leadership crises come up, why can't our leaders learn to step aside and allow the democratic process to go on to ensure peace and promote stability in the system? This is what happens in societies where democracy has been stabilized. This is how the systems that promote democracy are built, as US Pres Obama recently advised African leaders. Our=2 0leaders have to realize that there will ALWAYS be few close supporters (whose interests are at stake) who would always urge them on, even giving them straws as supporting studs; but ULTIMATELY it is the responsibility of the leaders to realize that THEY MUST QUIT, they are not really indispensible, and the system is better at peace and stabilized if they take the honorable path to quit power and allow somebody else to take over.
Once there is crisis, mutual distrust is engendered, unity of purpose and action is compromised and the system deteriorates and disintegrates; then we start al over again, sometimes with rookies as leaders who may not know their right from left, or acquainted with the original vision for the system. So our systems never mature because it is never stable. How can we make progress as civilized human being under these conditions?

Henceforth, my condition for belonging to any Nigerian group again is that EVERY APEX LEADER MUST QUIT at the expiration of his/her tenure; and CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENTS/REVISIONS relating to tenure are not allowed for whatever reason!!!! No slogan, such as: "constitutions, rules, laws and byelaws are made for people, not people for the rules". I AM SICK SICK AND20TIRED OF ALL THESE TIME-WASTING STUFFS! Joe Igietseme (disgusted!)

These comments were release resently be Joe Igiesteme in response to the Ousted ANAC Chairman comments intending to distrupt the newly sworn in ANAC Chairman Martin Okafor of Atlanta, Georgia. The Ousted Bello, has continued to make public statements undermining the tenure of Hon. Martin Okafor.

That NCC's Punitive Directive

n ordering MTN Nigeria Communications Limited and Celtel Nigeria Limited to refund N4.7 billion to their subscribers for their poor quality of service in January this year, the Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC) has demonstrated sensitivity to the ugly, perennial plight of GSM users in the country. If implemented, the directive could usher in a new era of corporate responsibility and, by extension, customer satisfaction in the nation's telecommunication sector.

The largely sub-standard service of the mobile telephone providers is indeed unfortunate. Ordinarily, with the rise of the subscriber base to well over 40 million in less than seven years, Nigerians should benefit immensely from that robust, upward profile. Instead, phone users especially have had to live with technical defects - drop calls, call diversion to wrong persons, network inaccessibility, poor audio and delayed or undelivered text messages. Most of these anomalies are traceable to network congestion, as 10,000 base stations and only 2,000 Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA) are clearly inadequate to cater from the ever-expanding subscriber base.

But rather than expanding their facilities to absorb the geometric growth of the industry, some of the operators have concentrated on prosecuting promotional strategies to attract more users to their already over-burdened networks. Sadly, the nation has continued to pay dearly for the mindless competition amongst the providers. As the frustration of the people rose, so did the profit of the telecoms companies. That paradox led to accusations of ineptitude and complicity leveled against NCC by some commentators and industry watchers sometime ago.

The Commission's response to that was evidently courageous. In September last year, it notified Celtel and MTN of its intention to compel them to be accountable for any sloppy service they rendered, beginning from last October. But in order to dodge the plan, the target firms obtained an injunction from the Federal High Court in Lagos stopping the NCC. However, NCC's tenacity ensured the reversal of that order in November last year and restored to it the power to checkmate the operators. In being persistent, the Commission has shown that it is a true regulator, a defender of the rights and interests of the consumer. By that, it has also redefined liberalization as not synonymous with recklessness and lack of regulation. Without proper monitoring, a society in dire need of foreign investment like Nigeria can easily become a theatre of pseudo-capitalism where raw exploitation predominates.

NCC's move should, therefore, be diligently enforced as failure to do so would be counter-productive and unwittingly open a new chapter of impunity and corporate disdain for the welfare and rights of the Nigerian consumer.

Also, regulators in the other sectors of the economy should emulate the Commission's bold step in order to revive the people's confidence in the government, its agencies and the companies that provide critical services. Nigerians deserve to be treated with respect and equity.

Return of Slavery to Country?

When the British, Nigeria's former colonial master, outlawed the Atlantic slave trade in 1807 because it considered it evil, it certainly did not know that in the 21st century post-independent Nigeria, some form of slavery would still be going on. In those ancient slavery times, it was sheer force, extravagant lifestyle of certain African traditional rulers and ignorance that led Africa and Nigeria into slavery. And Nigeria lost the cream of her human beings in slavery.

Today, abject poverty, hopelessness and lack of basic necessities are forcing some parents to consciously sell off their children just to make ends meet. The woeful slavery stories are legion. Every year, thousands of African children are trafficked in Africa and sold off in Britain to rich merchants with the promise of a better life. Some of the teenage girls among them are later forced into prostitution, while others are subjected to all kinds of inhuman experiences in Europe. Every year, hundreds of Nigerian children are sold off by their desperate Nigerian parents seeking to eke out a living. Between Kano and Abuja a few weeks ago, some syndicated Nigerian slave dealers were caught with 250 children which they were taking to the slave market. Similar sad stories are re-told across the country.

But the most chilling and pathetic slavery story is the one involving a couple-Kola and Seyi Woniye, in Oyo State recently. Devastated by poverty and human misery, the couple offered to sell their two sons: five year-old Shola and three year-old Sonu, to a British journalist who posed as a business man. The couple offered to sell the two boys for the sum of N1 million (5,000 pounds) or one for N500,000 (2,500 pounds). Seyi, the mother of the two kids admitted regretfully that it is "hard for us to do this, but we are desperate and this is our last hope" Mr Woniye is a panel beater.

Without mincing words, the above is a modern-day slave trade. It is sad, very sad indeed that in this age and time Nigeria with all her resources can yet be forced into modern-day slavery. Age-old themes like corruption, greed, betrayal of popular will, election rigging and lust for power may be excused, but it is certainly regrettably shameful on all counts to be associated withthis bare-faced slavery of sell off our children just to make ends meet. A society which sells off its children jeopardises the hope of tomorrow, and thus tottering on the verge of extinction.

But we cannot just simply lament about the modern-day slavery in Nigeria without tracing its root cause to the grinding poverty ravaging Nigeria. Nigeria is the sixth largest producer of oil in the world. Presently, oil is selling very high in the market, but ironically Nigeria cannot feed her children. Nigeria tops the list of countries with malnourished children. A recent United Nations report confirmed Nigeria as having the second highest number of maternal deaths in the world after India. Primary and secondary health system cares are virtually non-existent in Nigeria at the moment. When the poor are sick their relations start preparing for funerals because of lack of money for medical treatment abroad. Despite the huge sum of money sunk in resuscitating the energy sector, Nigeria is still a country in darkness. Road side mechanics, welders, women grinding pepper, petty-traders, panel beaters (like Woniye) who would have been self-employed if there is constant power supply in Nigeria, are today roaming about the streets in idleness. Is any body still wondering why pressed parents are resorting to the sale of their children?

Therefore the struggle against poverty is crucial to the future of our country.

Sadly enough, instead of tackling poverty in Nigeria, our government is floundering in empty policy sloganeering, forgetting that human development is the ultimate goal of all developments. The governments of other countries are more interested in the welfare of their citizens. Regretfully here in Nigeria, our leaders seem more interested in their own welfare by demanding for increased salaries and allowances, instead of activating policies that can improve the welfare of the people. Therefore President Yar'Adua must understand that poverty reduction is a primary challenges his government.

Finally, the latest Oyo slavery incident should serve as a wake-up call to our anti-child trafficking bodies and security agents ,including fraudulent immigration ofiicials who assist in procuring fake travel documents for trafficked kids in the country, to be more serious in the discharge of their duties. Their duties call for more vigilance and more effective policing of the highways and the borders. President Yar'Adua and members of the National Assembly should take this matter to heart and find effective ways of ridding Nigeria of modern slavery.

From the April, 2005 issue of Transatlantic Times

On the occasion of the visit by His Excellency Prime Minister Meles Zenawi to London:

His Excellency Prime Minister Meles Zenawi attended the third meeting of the Commission for Africa held on 24th February 2005 at Lancaster House in London. Prime Minister Meles is one of the 17 commissioners of the Commission for Africa, which was established under the chairmanship of British Prime Minister, the Rt. Honorable Tony Blair early last year.

Over the past year, the commissioners have been engaged in analyzing why previous efforts to solve African problems failed, and have looked into fresh and viable mechanisms to deal with them. The commissioners’ report is expected to be launched in both London and Addis Ababa on 11 March, 2005 and will include comprehensive recommendations to change the lives of Africans through good governance, more development aid, and debt relief as well as the creation of a fair trading environment for African countries on the international market.

Britain will assume the presidency of the G-8 and the European Union later this year and Africa will be one of the major items on the agenda to be tabled by the British Prime Minister at these forums, so that a broader global consensus and political goodwill can be generated to help solve Africa’s problems.

At a press conference held at the conclusion of the meeting, Prime Minister Blair praised his Ethiopian counterpart, and noted that Prime Minister Meles was chosen as a commissioner on his personal merit and for his commitment to reform and development in Ethiopia.

In the course of his brief stay in London, Prime Minister Meles also met and held discussions with a British-friends-of-Ethiopia Think-Tank as well as representatives of the Ethiopian Community living in London. Prime Minister Meles and his entourage are expected to leave for home on March 24, 2005, in the evening after concluding their fruitful visit to the UK, that will have been the fourth in the last two years.

Embassy of Ethiopia
February 25, 2005
London, UK

From the November, 2004 issue of Transatlantic Times

Dear Editor,

I have just read a copy of your magazine, TransAtlantic Times, which I picked up at the African store here in Pittsburgh. I was pleasantly surprised such a magazine exist. I want to say thank you for the opportunity to read up on Obama. I was glad to find his entire speech which I missed during the convention. I also commend your well written and thought-out article on the aids crisis in Africa. I was encouraged to know that its not all bad news. Teh Uganda story is heart-warming. This was a well researched, factual and solution-based article that has renewed my hope in the containment of the disease in Africa and the eventual cure for it.

I look forward to your next edition.

The Best,
Dr. A.J. Okoh
Pittsburg, Pa, USA

From the June, 2004 issue of Transatlantic Times

Dear Sirs,

Four double six was the number meant to de-humanize Nelson Mandela in a South African prizon for twenty seven years, but Nelson Mandela has now risen to the same number to mount global campaigns against HIV/ÅIDS.

"We know what needs to be done -- all that is missing is the will to do it," was the final plea in the former president of South Africa made at the closing ceremony of the 15th International AIDS conference in Bangkok, Thailand.

Making a comparison of the suffering of his black people under the apartheid system of the white minority rule in South Africa, Mandela said "do not forget the millions of people suffering from HIV and AIDS and do not reduce them to mere statistics."

He repeated his appeal to the doners-governments, rprivate sector, and private foundations to substatially increase their funding for the fight against AIDS.

He appealed to the world to rise to the occasion and with urgency to donate to the global fund and enable it to continue its fight against Malaria, TB, and AIDS-diseases he said "present the greatest threats to humanity."

He said the challenges now faced require comprehensive prevention and care programs. There is also immediate need for access to the anti-retroviral treatment needed to save millions of lives in the developing world including Asia, sub-Saharan Africa, and Latin America.

He called for global policy changes that would protect the human rights of those that suffer from unfair discrimination due to the disease.

Thank you,

Henry Neondo, Bangkok, Thailand

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