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Buhari, time we stopped lying to ourselves

Feb 11

President Muhammadu Buhari is not in an enviable position right now. Just a year ago Nigerians were chanting “Febuhari” and piling their mountains of soteriological expectations on him. In about six weeks it would be one year since he won the presidential election and if anything, Nigeria has proven tougher than what body language, or mere force of the president’s much touted incorruptible personality, can successfully heal. For a man who became president by surfing on the wave of democratic discontent lunged at his opponent, it was clear from the start to...

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French as a Nigerian second language

Feb 04

Lately, the Minister of State for Education, Prof. Anthony Anwukah, announced that French was on its way to becoming Nigeria’s second official language. As a result, learning French will be a compulsory subject in Nigerian schools up till tertiary level. Anwukah did not elaborate on whether this is an oncoming policy or mere declaration of intent. Springing the notice on us during the visit of the French Ambassador seems more like a spontaneous idea than one that was spurred by an overall government ideology. Already, French as a subject of study exists in the...

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How anti-corruption became a game

Jan 29

In June 2005, former Police IG, Tafa Balogun was being tried for corruption. It was the era of Mallam Nuhu Ribadu at the EFCC and the over-sensationalized anti-corruption trials was Nigeria’s equivalent of gladiatorial shows. Ribadu, convinced he was the Sheriff of a new order that would supposedly purge the nation’s soul, turned his mandate into reality TV, the kind that occupies spectators while its lack of substance drains them of productive energy. During one of Balogun’s court appearances, the inhumane manner he was treated by overzealous EFCC whipped...

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Let’s kill the Nigerian “big man”

Jan 20

Some years ago I visited the VC of a university in Nigeria. I happened to arrive at his office at the same time his official vehicle drove in. I saw him got out of the chauffer driven vehicle and just as I approached him, three men did the same. They almost keeled over in greeting, “Welcome, sah! Welcome sah!” One carried his bag. Another carried his stack of newspapers and the third walked him to his office. I never forgot the scene because it churned my insides for days. Why did this Professor, a rather well known intellectual- need four men (including the...

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Buhari or no Buhari, corruption will not go away

Jan 14

In the past months, Nigerians have not only been treated to serialized scandals of the immediate past administration, we have seen so many plot twists that even the staunchest defenders of the past government would think twice before throwing up the clichéd defenses. There is a lot about the ongoing scandal to rave about, definitely, but anyone who has been a Nigerian long enough should hardly be surprised at any of the revelations. Never mind the exaggerations one hears in public discourses these days that suggests the scale of the lootings that occurred in the...

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Is Father Mbaka also among the DSS?

Jan 07

On New Year’s day, Catholic Priest and Founder, Adoration Ministries in Enugu, Reverend Fr. Ejike Mbaka, prophesied that those who have benefitted from the humongous corruption perpetrated on the watch of his immediate predecessor, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, would try assassinate President Muhammadu Buhari. I have used the word “prophesy” guardedly because in Nigeria, many of the things that are marketed as prophecies are a mishmash of commonsense, media reports, scientific research, and analysis carried out by people who study trends using academic tools. For...

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Education and Buhari’s 2016 Budget

Dec 30

How much of Nigeria’s budgetary allocation should go to the Education sector? The answer should be a hundred percent – and that is only a start. This, of course, is not practicable for obvious reasons. Besides, we know that reducing the problem with Education in Nigeria to funding is dubious diagnosis. Notwithstanding, education in Nigeria – federal, state and local levels- needs every kobo it can get. It is heartening that education is getting a sizeable chunk of 2016 budget – N369bn- but other factors considered, this is short compared to the past few...

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Hijab ban and Nigerian Muslim women

Dec 24

The debate about Hijab never quite goes away. Sometimes it simmers but it is only a matter of time before some political wind blows and turns the smoking remnants into a conflagration. From Nigeria, Africa, to western countries, the Hijab – and its vestiary variations- has been a subject of culture debate and several litigations. Lately, the ECOWAS might have dabbled into a tentative proposal that gained ground in the wake of terrorist attacks: countries should consider their “national realities” and take “appropriate measures to ban any dress code that...

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The Nigerian Army as state assassins

Dec 17

The Nigerian Army, as a matter of urgency, needs to be restrained from prostituting military might to tyranny. Within a fortnight, the Nigerian forces have killed a number of people in circumstances that – barring a proper investigation – are describable as assassinations. During the Biafra protests in the South East, nine Nigerian citizens were killed by the Joint Military Task Force who -more or less- accused them of recalcitrance. Typical of enraged protesters, they were said to have laid a siege on the Niger Bridge causing a traffic snarl. Up till now...

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Social media laws and a Nigeria yet to come

Dec 10

Nigerians should perhaps wait for the lawmakers to complete the process on what has now been termed the social media bill. When they are done, Nigerians should counter that ridiculousness by declaring a Abuse-Your-Senator day. A day dedicated to posting “abusive statements” against lawmakers on every medium that makes up the social media network. By the time this civil resistance runs for 24 hours, those lawmakers might possibly be cured of their delusions about social media conversations. I guarantee the first problem they will encounter is the...

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