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Thoughts on ‘stealing is not corruption’

Feb 26

There was something painful – and profoundly pitiable – watching President Goodluck Jonathan seated before millions of Nigeria at the last presidential media chat and labouring to defend an earlier assertion: That stealing is not corruption. When he first said it, he was simultaneously lampooned by critics, and praised by supporters for his philosophical insights. Some of the latter group have challenged the rest of us to an academic treatise; that we should tax ourselves to extending the frontiers of learning by analysing the President’s mind. I am tempted...

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What Obasanjo really tore up

Feb 19

n Chinua Achebe’s published collection of essays, The Education of a British Protected Child, he narrated a story told to him by his father, Isaiah Okafor Achebe. Pa Achebe was a convert to Christianity. In his zeal to make a disciple of all nations, he approached his maternal uncle, Pa Udoh, and tried to win his soul for the Lord. The man refused to be proselytised by his nephew and to make his point, he pointed to a row of insignia of traditional titles he had taken and asked his nephew, “What do I do with these?” Like Chinua, I find the question quite...

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Note to the undecided voters

Feb 12

One of the effects of the postponed elections is that sheer anti-climatic numbing may discourage some voters and worse, concretise the apathy of those who had sworn off this election cycle. The non-voting voters, for multiple considerations, are not bothered as they already view the political terrain murky and uninspiring; they find the leading candidates of both the All Progressives Congress and the Peoples Democratic Party so unattractive they will rather not touch them with a walking stick; they deem their promoters and backers corrupt and self-seeking....

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Those who will vote Buhari or Jonathan

Feb 05

There are 14 presidential candidates for next weekend’s election but for majority of Nigerians, there might as well be only two – Dr. Goodluck Jonathan and Maj. Gen. Muhammadu Buhari (retd.). The others have suffered an admixture of zero media coverage, lack of a manifesto, few supporters, unremarkable charisma amidst the scorched earth mien of Nigeria’s two dominant parties: the All Progressives Congress, and the Peoples Democratic Party. This fixation on the big parties is not a new development – almost the same process occurred in 2011. The subtle...

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Jonathan takes his campaign to Oyedepo

Jan 29

After the new Greece’s prime minister, Alexis Tsipras, won the election, he decided to break with tradition of conflating the rituals of religion and politics. Tsipras, an atheist, gently informed the Archbishop of Athens that this time, his clerical services would not be required in the swearing-in of the Prime Minister. There would be no Bibles, no crosses, no holy water and oath taken in the name of God. This is a highly significant move that aims to disentangle religion and the state especially where the two concepts have been intertwined and deployed...

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Buhari: What’s death got to do with it?

Jan 22

On Monday, Nigerians were treated to a political ad sponsored by the Ekiti State Governor, Ayo Fayose, where he tried to shoot down the All Progressives Congress presidential candidate, Maj. Gen. Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), by warning us of the man’s impending “death”. The ad, without any attempt at subtlety avers: Buhari is old, will soon die and must not be voted into office so we can avoid the conundrum that usually accompanies the death of a President/Head of State. We might have been used to Fayose and his excessiveness, political “rascality”,...

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Baga massacre: Why Nigeria moved on

Jan 15

“Things which matter most must never be at the mercy of things which matter least” –Johann Wolfgang von Goethe On Sunday, an exceptional event occurred in Paris, France. About 60 world leaders, in the wake of the Charlie Hebdo massacre, had in a show of international solidarity, gathered to mourn the cartoonists, satirists and others who were slaughtered by marching against the marauding force of terrorism. These world leaders, with residents of Paris and other arrondissements stood as one against the bestiality of a fringe but vengeful collective. Their...

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Where is Mrs. Buhari?

Jan 08

The photograph of the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress, Maj. Gen. Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), at the Lagos State interdenominational thanksgiving service standing with his running mate, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo; the General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, Pastor Enoch Adeboye, and Governor Babatunde Fashola on the front row says something about the APC presidential candidate. There have been murmurs about his donning a fez cap in church – that he is a Muslim disrespecting Christian tradition. For me, his forgetting to take off...

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The trouble with the Buhari manifesto

Jan 01

Maj. Gen. Muhammadu Buhari’s manifesto caught my interest because of the mantra of “change” his party has been chanting. For Buhari and his All Progressives Congress, “change” is their theory of everything – that is, the ideology that undergirds their various propositions for the country. There is therefore no better place to confirm their commitment to change than their manifesto. The Buhari manifesto, titled, Manifesto and Vision for Nigeria, is an updated version of what was offered in 2011 when he ran on the platform of his former party, the...

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On Jonathan, Buhari’s ‘semi-illiteracy’

Dec 25

Prior to the 2011 elections, I wrote an article querying the credentials of President Goodluck Jonathan who was being promoted then as the first PhD president. In the piece, I mentioned that I spent time scouring the Internet, searching for Jonathan’s contributions to scholarship; that despite his stint as a teacher, it was curious that there was little linking him to the academia. His campaign team, ironically, vigorously promoted his PhD as a reason he deserved our vote but avoided attempts to subject this much-vaunted qualification to inquiry. Since 2011...

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