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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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Note to the undecided voters

Feb 12

One of the effects of the postponed elections is that sheer anti-climatic numbing may discourage some voters and worse, concretise the apathy of those who had sworn off this election cycle. The non-voting voters, for multiple considerations, are not bothered as they already view the political terrain murky and uninspiring; they find the leading candidates of both the All Progressives Congress and the Peoples Democratic Party so unattractive they will rather not touch them with a walking stick; they deem their promoters and backers corrupt and self-seeking....

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Those who will vote Buhari or Jonathan

Feb 05

There are 14 presidential candidates for next weekend’s election but for majority of Nigerians, there might as well be only two – Dr. Goodluck Jonathan and Maj. Gen. Muhammadu Buhari (retd.). The others have suffered an admixture of zero media coverage, lack of a manifesto, few supporters, unremarkable charisma amidst the scorched earth mien of Nigeria’s two dominant parties: the All Progressives Congress, and the Peoples Democratic Party. This fixation on the big parties is not a new development – almost the same process occurred in 2011. The subtle...

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Jonathan takes his campaign to Oyedepo

Jan 29

After the new Greece’s prime minister, Alexis Tsipras, won the election, he decided to break with tradition of conflating the rituals of religion and politics. Tsipras, an atheist, gently informed the Archbishop of Athens that this time, his clerical services would not be required in the swearing-in of the Prime Minister. There would be no Bibles, no crosses, no holy water and oath taken in the name of God. This is a highly significant move that aims to disentangle religion and the state especially where the two concepts have been intertwined and deployed...

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Buhari: What’s death got to do with it?

Jan 22

On Monday, Nigerians were treated to a political ad sponsored by the Ekiti State Governor, Ayo Fayose, where he tried to shoot down the All Progressives Congress presidential candidate, Maj. Gen. Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), by warning us of the man’s impending “death”. The ad, without any attempt at subtlety avers: Buhari is old, will soon die and must not be voted into office so we can avoid the conundrum that usually accompanies the death of a President/Head of State. We might have been used to Fayose and his excessiveness, political “rascality”,...

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