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Ambode’s Lagos and a needless ban

Jul 07

Last summer I was in Berger area of Lagos when I suddenly heard what sounded like a war cry. Without warning, the roadside traders began to pack up their wares like they were fleeing the Angel of Death. Within nano-seconds of the agonized cry, men of the Lagos paramilitary taskforce, KAI jumped out of their Green Maria and with sadistic efficiency, descended on the traders’ goods and packed them into their vehicle. They “arrested” some of the traders, dragging them into their vehicle like they were just pieces of breathing flesh. The whole operation lasted...

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Why does Nigeria have more SANs than justice?

Jun 30

Forgive me if I am wrong but I have always imagined the Senior Advocate of Nigeria title to be a tag worn by members of an elite club within the legal profession to signify their distinction from the rest of their tribe? However, two disenchanting incidences made me question what I thought SAN stands for. First was in February when the media reported that at arraignment of Ricky Tarfa (SAN) over alleged corrupt practices, another SAN, Adeniyi Akintola, led a team of “over 90 Senior Advocates and other lawyers” to represent him. Second was when 13 SANs and 10...

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Hijab and the war against education

Jun 24

In the first quarter of 2016, West African Examination Council released a statistical breakdown by states of performance in the 2015 May/June examination. Osun, ingloriously hugged the bottom of the barrel. As bad as that is, SSCE results is not the only evidence of mis-education in that state. The Hijab debacle suggests that education, its acquisition and the virtue learning confers, might have been traded for the nostrum of “to hijab or not to hijab,” We have been treated to the debased sight of school children putting on what they characterize “Christian...

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The education kerfuffle in Oyo state

Jun 16

If there is hell in Oyo state today, it is perhaps because Governor Isiaka Ajimobi drove on the road of good intentions. He says he wants to reform public education and to this end, introduced an initiative that conjoins private partnership with the state’s efforts. The idea, perhaps expectedly, is being contested by the NLC, certain religious groups, and of course, secondary school students themselves who recently revolted against the idea of their school being subjected to capitalists’ vagaries. The initiative –and any- that seeks to revamp education in...

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Nigeria does not belong to Christians and Muslims

Jun 09

President Muhammadu Buhari will go down in history as one of the worst managed presidents Nigeria ever had when it is evaluated on the basis of effective and strategic communication. The problem is not a shortage of personnel to carry out the necessary tasks of reaching the Nigeria public. No, the problem is he is managed by an incompetent team that thinks its highest duty is to write tepid press releases. His media team generally lacks initiative, and in a desperate bid to outshine one other, they embarrassingly contradict themselves when they (eventually)...

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Jesus wept. Buhari laughs.

Jun 02

The shortest verse in the King James Version of the Bible states “Jesus Wept.” The terseness of this verse gives it impetus; driving scholars to inquire the text for deeper and complex meaning such an emotional moment might be signifying. The verse spawns multiple possible interpretations, some contrived and others far-fetched. From trying to “humanize” the Son of God to thinking Lazarus’s prefigured that of Jesus himself, the bottomline was that Jesus was overcome by emotions and he let it out. In short, public display of human feelings, especially by...

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On young women, the media and the question of privacy

May 26

In late February, the story was reported that a girl from Bayelsa, Ese Oruru, had been abducted by a young man from Kano and up till then her parents’ efforts to retrieve her have been largely futile. When the story broke in PUNCH, Nigerians reacted with an unanticipated level of outrage that instantly sensationalized the case, turning it into some kind of turf war between already antagonistic factions. In retrospect, the battle that was fought over Oruru through the media was not so much about her person or welfare. Rather, it was a proxy war; one that made it...

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What can Buhari do about Amaechi?

May 19

On Sunday, British tabloid, Daily Mail, published a rather derisive story about the Nigerian Minister of Transport, Rotimi Amaechi. The paper taunted Amaechi, “friend of the president” with a rhetorical question that asked if he was “fantastically corrupt.” That piece by the conservative press was a well-timed slung shot, calculated to land in Nigeria at the time when President Muhammadu Buhari’s band of disciples were still celebrating his almost unexpected riposte to British PM, David Cameron; his earlier diplomatic gaffe at the anti-corruption summit...

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Tiwa Savage and Nollywood mythical reality

May 05

In the past days, social media has been agog with gossip of singer, Tiwa Savage, whose husband, Tunji Balogun, voiced his personal frustrations. Balogun ranted about his wife’s failings- a narcissistic attempt to dredge sympathy while subjecting his wife to public lynching. I will sidestep Ms. Savage’s marital drama because I cannot yell over the din of agony aunts and uncles who are already hoarse over her private business. However, I find Balogun’s rant unsettling: he complained his mother-in-law dimmed his star for that of his wife to shine. If you are a...

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“Fulani Herdsmen” – Now or Never

Apr 28

In January, President Barack Obama addressed a live press conference on the epidemic of gun violence in America. The figures are as staggering as they are sobering. In 2015 alone, an estimated 13,000 people were killed as a result of this scourge. Obama, within the limits of the constitution, has made several moves to check the spate of violence but his efforts have been stonewalled by a recalcitrant legislature – lawmakers remote controlled by their gun-obsessed constituency, gun merchants, and gun lobbyists. In the course of his January address Obama...

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