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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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Can the EFCC do with less noise?

Apr 13

  The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission was set up as a crime fighting agency but it glories in photo-ops and media sensationalism. From its first chairperson, Nuhu Ribadu to the present one, Ibrahim Magu, crime fighting activities has been treated more like a gladiatorial show than about justice. In jurisdictions and climes that take corruption seriously, dedicated crime fighting organisations do not crave media attention as the EFCC does. That is why EFCC battles many rounds against alleged criminals but hardly gain conviction.   A comparison of EFCC...

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Buhari and Nigeria’s meningitis

Apr 06

Out of the 96 days we have spent so far in this year, President Muhammadu Buhari has spent more than half of that outside the country, receiving treatment for a mysterious illness. We do not presently do know what how much his health costs Nigeria in terms of foreign exchange and going by the brinkmanship of his aides, we may never know. When the presidency was asked how much his treatment abroad costs, his aides reached for the ready nostrum: they would not be revealing the costs because doing so would be “insensitive.” Joining this bleating herd is our...

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On Dino Melaye, the Senate’s job is not done

Mar 30

  In the same national universe where Senators stood down the Residential Electoral Commissioners’ confirmation hearing; where the Senate president, Bukola Saraki, has added the ongoing alleged diversion of the Paris Club refund to his repertoire of scandals; where people in rural Benue have been imperiled by the same throttlebottom presidency that plagues the entire nation, it is almost a meaningless effort engaging Dino Melaye’s certificate issues. Since the Senator representing Kogi West has been accused of lying about his education history, he has...

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Impunity: Nigeria’s first violence

Mar 24

Between the 19th and mid-20th century in the United States, white Americans publicly lynched hundreds of black Americans, Native Americans, and the Chinese. These gross acts of violence were carried out by men who wanted to uphold racial boundaries and establish their supremacy over others. The people that carried out these acts were not devils with long tails and pitchforks that haunt our cultural imaginary. No, they were otherwise regular folks, the “good” people who attended church on Sundays and worked hard during the week. Some of the witnesses and...

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Apostle Suleman: Why the truth matters

Mar 16

A week ago, I touched on the ongoing controversy between Apostle Johnson Suleman of Omega Fire Ministries and a woman, Ms. Stephanie Otobo, who accused him of sexual impropriety and a breach of marriage contract. Since then Apostle Suleman has turned out to be one of the luckiest holy men in the world. As the narrative is being shaped in several quarters, the Apostle is supposedly being persecuted by his state governor whom he antagonizes. Suleman himself is cleverly milking spiritual cum political capital from his purported tale of harassment. While that seems...

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Sex and the Nigerian Character

Mar 09

In the past 10 days, there have been three cases of sexual relationships that revealed aspects of our Nigerian character -the tendency to side with the man and punish the woman. First, there was Habiba Inusa, a nursing mother who was recently remanded in prison for adultery. Inusa had participated in the mass wedding program periodically organized by the Kano state government and Hisbah (the state’s religious Police). Inusa was delivered of a baby the day after the wedding, a scandal that combines sexual impropriety with deceit. Inusa soon learnt that hell hath...

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Now that Osinbajo is inspecting toilets

Mar 02

Acting president, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, paid a surprise visit to Murtala Muhammed Airport on Thursday and proceeded to inspect facilities that included carousels and the toilets. Afterwards, he told journalists that the airport was one of the major places where the government needs to ensure amenities work appropriately and that that the deficiencies he observed during his inspection would be corrected. I am not sure what Osinbajo saw in the toilets but from my experience, one of the best places to ever answer the call of nature in Nigeria is the Murtala Muhammed...

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Emir Sanusi and regulation of polygamy

Feb 23

The Emir of Kano, Lamido Sanusi, recently made a valuable point about the social problems engendered by forced marriages and polygamy. A number of men, he noted, take more wives than they can provide for, breed children they cannot dignifiedly raise, and their unrestrained loins eventually becomes a source of social menace. Sanusi says he will be proposing a law to regulate the practice of polygamy and other social ills in his territory. While the scope of the law Sanusi proposes are superfluous (some of them are already covered in the constitution), and...

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