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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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Okonjo-Iweala’s voyeurism

Mar 12

In a matter of weeks, it will be a whole year since Boko Haram kidnapped the Chibok schoolgirls. In that agonising period, Nigerians have witnessed the government demonstrating its own impotence on their rescue. First, there were strident denials by both the government and their echo chamber. When the eyes of the world were fixed on Nigeria, they retreated in humiliation to set up a committee to unravel what the Police could have done within hours of the abduction. Then, the First Lady, Patience Jonathan, gave her Nollywood response to the abduction by shedding...

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What do Nigerians do with the Tinubu documentary?

Mar 05

n January, a documentary about the All Progressives Congress’ presidential candidate, Maj. Gen. Muhammadu Buhari (retd.) aired on a private television station, the African Independent Television. Since it surfaced weeks before the elections, it was obviously calibrated to destroy his image before the voting public. If it were possible, I would have demanded a refund of my time from the producers because the material turned out to be vapid. It was a waste of resources and facts of history; a half-hearted effort by someone who could not wait to be paid. The...

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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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