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New Year Prophecies and Other Troubles With Nigeria

Jan 05

One of the rituals of the Christmas/new year celebrations I have come to look forward to over the years is the gale of prophecies that emanate from Nigerian men of God. I enjoy watching the regular cycle of these divine annunciations that are supposedly channeled to this planet through the antennae of the prophet’s body get denounced by non-fulfilment. It is also worthy of note that considering how people now rip prophets and prophecies apart, prophets like Pastor Enoch Adeboye are now being cautious about what they push out. Pastor Adeboye’s 2016 prophecy...

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What does Boko Haram’s “defeat” mean?

Dec 29

The news that the terrorist group, Boko Haram, has been “effectively” defeated was as satisfying as watching a convoluted drama resolved with a deux ex machina turn in the plot. The inchoate resolution evokes past incidences of similar premature announcements of Boko Haram defeat. If the Nigerian authorities’ history on Boko Haram is anything to go by, this announcement is a mere cliff-hanger; more episodes are coming. In the past weeks, the Army has suffered major losses in the Boko Haram war. This year alone, there have been reports of missing troops and...

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Before MMM, Nigeria were already greedy and vulnerable

Dec 22

Over and over again, we have been admonished not to make fun of poor folks who were dupes of the now faltering Ponzi scheme, MMM. We have been enjoined to be empathic, to spare those who have their money trapped in the scheme our sharpened tongues and the smug I-told-you-sos. We have been rightly reminded that Nigeria is currently experiencing recession pangs; the times are so hard it feels like the Sani Abacha years. Nigeria is in poor shape, people are desperate and therefore vulnerable and in such a situation, they say, it is only fair to pity fellow Nigerians...

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Uyo church collapse: Is there hope of justice?

Dec 15

When buildings and other structures collapse, it should be nominally attributable to natural disasters, not human faults. Nigeria is lucky to be spared the fault lines of the Pacific Rim, yet our buildings collapse because we tempt fate by haphazardly erecting structures. On Sunday, Reigners Bible Church International, collapsed in Uyo, Akwa Ibom state, during service and between 50 to 200 people were killed (depending on which media outlet you believed). With the collapse of the so-called ‘Mega-Cathedral’ in Uyo, we are once again confronted with a massive...

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Soyinka and a drama titled ‘Green Card”

Dec 08

Professor Wole Soyinka’s election “vow” to shred his green card in the event that Donald Trump wins the presidential election should not have been an issue. I know ours is a country where people share testimonies in church when awarded a US visa but Soyinka is a Nobel Laureate of 30 years standing. As a rarefied and global citizen, he can travel to any country of his choice without the hassles of visa procurement. Considering also that thousands of people, famous and non-famous, renounce their US citizenship every year, Soyinka’s decision needed not have...

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Taxing phone calls is not the problem

Dec 01

If Nigeria follows through with plans to impose taxes on telecommunication services, people that are already struggling will be further impoverished. This is in addition to the proposed data hike which begins today and already generating a lot of disapprobation among Nigerians. There is no clear reason why the government is doing this other than the fact that they need money. When the Minister of Communication, Adebayo Shittu, spoke on the data price hike some months ago, he said the government was unaware of the decision. Now that they are aware, what is their...

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Jungle justice law should also dragnet Buhari

Nov 24

In October, it was reported that a bill to protect people against jungle justice had scaled second reading in the Senate and might soon become a law. Considering that there are already laws against wanton killings in place, such a bill is superfluous. Nigerians practice jungle justice, not for a lack of laws but because our institutions are too tepid to enforce existing ones. Lately, in the cosmopolitan city of Lagos, a young man was lynched by a mob for the alleged crime of stealing a mobile phone. There are conflicting accounts of the incident and up till now,...

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TB Joshua as a parable for MMM

Nov 17

There is a line from a play by Kola Onadipe that I read in primary school, Halima Must Not Die, that returns to me on days like this one. In the play, someone had asked the lead character why she allowed herself to be deceived by religious charlatans who were simply milking her for her money. She responded, “if you cannot get the truth to buy, wont you buy a lie?” As I type this article about an ongoing moneymaking scheme in town called MMM, and Pastor Temitope B. Joshua, I am aware that there can be no objective definition of “truth” or “lie” in...

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Has America elected their own Buhari?

Nov 10

The newly elected President of the United States, Donald Trump, has things in common with President Muhammadu Buhari. In fact, the US elections produced several interesting parallels between Nigeria and America; one is the divisiveness occasioned by some of the most virulent rhetoric ever traded during a campaign. In the age of social media, it is uncertain the practice of democracy will ever retain any display of civility. In Nigeria last year and in the US this year, I witnessed much bad blood pumped by people who will have to reformat their relationships after...

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BSc. Bus Conducting, Lagos University

Nov 03

Yoruba films aficionados would no doubt be familiar with the spectre of the gateman, a comic relief that almost always overwhelms the story arc. Most times the gateman is caricatured as a half-wit; his “acting” lacks any artistic subtlety; he talks too much and most of the lines are improvised, and can be irrational and rude. Like Esu in Yoruba cosmology who is the gatekeeper between the celestial and terrestrial realms and therefore privileged to know many secrets of both humans and the gods, the gateman in Yoruba films also knows too much for his lowly...

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