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Buhari without ‘General’

May 21

The president-elect, Muhammadu Buhari, recently requested he no longer be addressed as “General Muhammadu Buhari’ but simply as ‘Muhammadu Buhari”. It is a critical move that, perhaps, registers his public declaration of self-refashioning as a converted democrat willing to shed a title he devoted a significant part of his life earning. Four years ago, when I first met Buhari in Lagos, I had asked him about his “General” toga; if he did not think it was incongruous with democracy. Mine was a question of perception by the voting citizens. Paraphrased,...

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Goodbye Patience Jonathan, welcome Aisha Buhari

May 14

The First Lady, Dame Patience Jonathan, exudes excesses, a certain superfluity that jumps at you whether you study her in still images or actual life. From her outsized personality to her self-aesthetisation, one sees a woman whose effervescence is not self-containing. In the past five years, Mrs. Jonathan has impressed her persona on Nigeria’s cultural imagination and she qualifies as a subject of academic studies on a wide-ranging number of topics. She is one First Lady Nigerians will not forget in a hurry and for many legitimate reasons too. Her constant...

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Boko Haram’s terrorism of the phallus

May 07

When some 200 schoolgirls in Chibok were abducted last year, one of the fears that accompanied the outrage their abduction generated is the likelihood of their being subjected to sexual violence. Most likely, they were targeted on account of their gender in the first place and with them being held in an unknown location, they would be at the mercy of their captors. That is partly why Nigerians – minus the people who were in denial about the probability of such an abduction – and the rest of the world urged for immediate rescue of those girls from Boko...

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Xenohobia: Are Nigerians Really that Obnoxious?

Apr 30

Since the South African xenophobia crisis began, the term, “Nigerians!”, has recurred in the various discussions – from news footages to op-eds- elicited in the wake of the attacks on foreign nationals in South Africa. In several video footages, one can hear South Africans complaining about the “Nigerians” who are taking over their jobs, their spaces, and threatening their national identity. It seems “Nigerians” is an effigy of the haunting image of the obnoxious foreigner who just does not know his limit. This is not the first time a verbal drone...

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Time to scrap state sponsored pilgrimages

Apr 23

Nigerian governors are fond of calling attention to their own prudence by insisting they run their states on shoestring budgets. They say the states they run are permanently broke, that they can barely pay salaries because their revenue is gulped by recurring expenditure — such as salaries. A certain South-West governor even blamed his inability to pay the five-month salaries of the states’ employees on reduced monthly federal allocations. But what governors never say is that they contribute to their state’s lack by non-judicious use of income. Recently,...

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Buhari’s “forced” asset declaration

Apr 16

The President-elect, Muhammadu Buhari, ran for office a record four times chiefly on a moral basis: to purge Nigeria’s soul of corruption, a national malaise that has become a culture and now seems intractable. For a man regularly hailed as incorruptible, and therefore the best candidate for an anti-corruption blitz, there could be the need to believe that the General has a grand plan which he proposes to unveil on May 29, 2015. The belief is that he will not fritter the goodwill lavished on him by the masses but will do the unimagined. But given his recent...

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What type of opposition will the PDP be?

Apr 09

By now, the Peoples Democratic Party would have woken up to a new reality: that – to use a Pentecostal lingo – power has changed hands and their opponents, the All Progressives Congress whom they labelled “Janjaweed” and whom they also declared will not last a year has unseated them. While pondering their new fate, some of the party’s “members” have started the migratory habit of Nigerian “politicians” –they are defecting, left, right and centre. This is a rather worrisome –though not unexpected — development considering that some of the...

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Now that Buhari has won

Apr 02

To many Nigerians, March 28, 2015 will eternally ring true as the day they voted out an incumbent president, the first time in Nigerian history! Some of us at first did not deem Maj. Gen. Muhammadu Buhari (retd.) enough threat to dislodge the Peoples Democratic Party hegemony. I thought Buhari had run too many times and was jaded; lacked the necessary appeal needed to attract a younger generation of voters; and his candidature would only increase the chances of President Goodluck Jonathan, who will use the incumbency factor to trounce him at the polls. Alas, the...

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Nigeria on March 28, 2015

Mar 26

The 2015 presidential election must be one of the most analysed – by pundits and partisans alike – in the history of contemporary Nigeria. It is no surprise though; this is about the most keenly contested in the country’s history with the opposition recognised as viable contenders. The leading parties, it must be said, are barely ideologically distinguishable yet the stakes are unbelievably high and the promised rewards to a long-suffering nation sounding increasingly incredible. The frontline candidates are campaigning all over Nigeria, along with their...

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Nigeria offers blood money again

Mar 19

After a year of seeming neglect of the victims of the botched Nigeria Immigration Service recruitment that claimed 15 lives and left many more maimed in body and soul, Nigeria has once again offered blood money in lieu of justice. At a recent event, President Goodluck Jonathan gave each bereaved family a cheque of N5 million and also handed out 35 employment letters to them, collectively. Nigeria has that habit of throwing cash at issues that should be resolved through a deployment of state juridical apparatuses. In the wake of these tragedies, you hardly hear of...

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