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Neither Islamic nor Christian Studies

Jun 22

Past Wednesday, the CAN delegation that visited Aso Rock appealed to Vice President Yemi Osinbajo to have the school curriculum revisited. CAN president, Samson Ayokunle, read a speech at Aso Rock and alleged that while Christian and Islamic Religious Studies have previously been subsumed under a new subject, Religion and National Values, the latter was being surreptitiously re-introduced into the curriculum. CAN also complained that the current curriculum offered the option of Arabic/Islamic Studies as a foreign language subject along with French studies except...

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Nigerian youths and the resentment next time

Jun 15

Nigeria is never short of sensations, but most of us will agree that the past ten days have been excitable ones. First, there was the coalition of “northern youths” and their “Arewa House Declaration,” demanding that Igbos should vacate their region on or before October 1 of this year. No matter how the “Kaduna Declaration” is framed as a counter-punch to the divorce rhetoric peddled by some separatists from southeastern Nigeria, there are enough lessons of history to make one uneasy about such a call. From Germany to Yugoslavia, and to...

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Al-Mustapha and the ghost of Sani Abacha

Jun 08

Major Hamza Al-Mustapha, the Chief Security Officer to the late dictator, General Sani Abacha, lately found his tongue and began wielding it freely. Much too freely, in fact. Considering this past week has two dates that are significant in the annals of Nigerian history, one would expect Al-Mustapha to do the needful – shut his mouth and slink into the earth like vermin but no, the man has seized the spotlight to make himself out to be the unacclaimed hero of a tragic narrative. The first date, June 4, made 21 years since Alhaja Kudirat Abiola was assassinated....

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Police should be our friend

Jun 01

One version of the historical narrative on the Egba Women’s Revolt of the 1940s -led by Mrs. Olufunmilayo Kuti- had it that as the women marched through the streets of Abeokuta, they were confronted by the colonial Nigerian police. The policemen, who sometimes acted as puppets of the British colonialists, attempted to stop the women. The women, nuanced in the mores of the time retaliated and stopped the police action by threatening to use their menstrual pads to curse them. The policemen, history records, ran away out of fear of incurring bad luck on themselves...

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Bad politicians and military coupists

May 25

Since the Chief of Army staff, Tukur Buratai, hinted that some soldiers were in cahoots with politicians -and his warning was taken that a coup might be in the offing- politicians of all shades have taken the center stage to denounce the possibility. The most vehement of these voices, incidentally, are those of politicians who are not much better than the soldiers they admonish. These politicians have been in and out of government from 1999 till date. They have either perpetrated, or aided and abetted acts of corruption, state-sanctioned violence, brutality,...

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Private jets and Africa’s habits of underdevelopment

May 18

Over the weekend, former military dictator, General Ibrahim Babangida gave out his daughter in marriage and the media could not seem to get over the spectacle of the number of the jets that landed in Minna, Niger state. The wedding was not the first instance of a crass exhibition of private jets by the Nigerian political class. In 2013, during the 50th celebration of Kenyan independence, their Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary, Amina Mohammed, mentioned that Nigeria wowed them with the array of private jets that brought the Nigerian president and his associates...

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Eat and shit, Nigeria’s governing principle

May 11

By now, people are understandably fed up with the “viral” images of Ekiti state governor, Ayodele Fayose, eating in one “amala joint” or the other. Those photos show the governor playing gastronomic politics: he is either buying food, or helping those who run the bukas in food preparation, or ingurgitating morsels of food. Ever since Fayose won his governorship election playing “grassroots politics” he has been consistent in the game. He repudiates the aura of his office to identify with grassroots people (read: poor and often unlettered folks) by...

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Of Goodluck Jonathan’s lamentations

May 04

​  There are hardly dedicated presidential historians’ who set themselves to the task of researching the lives of past Nigerian presidents, their political ideologies, personal idiosyncrasies, and the quirks of history that made or marred them. That lack, therefore, makes one welcome the efforts ThisDay editorial board chair, Segun Adeniyi, made to chronicle the historical events that led up to the 2015 presidential election victory and defeat. Adeniyi’s book, Against the Run of Play, accounts for the unprecedented unseating of an incumbent president,...

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The thing that ails Buhari

Apr 27

The Chief Security Officer to President Muhammadu Buhari, Bashir Abubakar, reminds one of the proverbial he-goat that thought if he frowned enough, nobody would price him in the market. On Monday, Abubakar railed at PUNCH journalist, Olalekan Adetayo, for deconstructing Buhari’s health challenges and its debilitating impact on governance. Abubakar summarily humiliated and childishly expelled the bemused journalist from Aso Rock. Abubakar’s high-handedness is not the first time an Aso Rock’s CSO will go above-and-beyond the remit of the office. Hamza...

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Emir Lamido Sanusi and other truth speakers

Apr 20

In the past few months, the Emir of Kano, Lamido Sanusi is a man reborn; from what he says these days he seemed to have had something akin to a Damascene conversion. There is a lot to be excited about when a theocratic ruler transforms into a social advocate to vehemently rail against the retrograde conservatism and benign aloofness of his exalted position. However, one should be cautiously happy. Sanusi’s position as a critic and the head of a politico-religious institution that is implicated in the very system he attacks makes his newfound calling a...

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