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Aso Rock and Abati’s demons

Oct 20

Like a number of people out there, I found Dr. Reuben Abati’s article on the “spiritual side” of Aso Rock annoying. Abati, a well-educated man by any standards, held a front-facing office in the most powerful office in Nigeria as recently as 17 months ago before his phone suffered a catastrophic failure of non-rings. His piece about supernatural forces jinxing everyone and everything in Aso Rock left me wondering what re-conditioned him. If he had stopped at merely narrating how the dread of a bugaboo loomed over them when they worked in Aso Rock, the piece...

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The impropriety of Buhari’s book launch

Oct 13

Within the same week, two books were launched on President Muhammudu Buhari; one by his official photographer, Bayo Omoboriowo, titled Buhari: A New Beginning and the other, Muhammadu Buhari: The Challenges of Leadership in Nigeria, was by an American professor whose scholarly interests revolves around northern Nigeria, John Paden. First, I must admit that of all Nigerian paradoxes perhaps the one that fascinates me most is the culture of book launches in a country where illiteracy level is high and people cannot afford to read beyond religious texts and...

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Peter Obi’s speech: Much ado about what?

Oct 06

Former governor of Anambra state, Peter Obi, got social media aroused after he gave a speech at The Platform, a program organized by Covenant Christian Center on Nigeria’s Independence anniversary. Obi demonstrated that corruption is intractable because it subsists on the machinery of daily governance. He also shared examples of how he managed to overcome the culture of waste through his personal prudence. He mentioned how states needlessly maintain lodges in Lagos and Abuja with high staff costs and logistics; the demands our feudalist federalism imposes on...

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Boko Haram Pastor and death of curiosity

Sep 29

On Saturday, a pastor of an unnamed church, Wale Fagbere, invaded a shrine in Ketu area of Ogun state, with the intent to vandalize the place. According to media reports, the man had told his congregation he was inspired by the Holy Spirit to destroy the shrines in the community. Unfortunately for him, he got to the shrine only to find himself transfixed, presumably under a spell cast on him on the supernatural forces on whose turf he trespassed. We were told that the intervention of the town’s traditional ruler, Abdulaziz Adelakun, saved his life. The story,...

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On Buhari and Biafra

Sep 22

Once again, President Muhammadu Buhari dismissed the agitations of over Biafra. Like the previous times, he evinced the same obstinate posture he had always maintained on the issue. Speaking to a group of youth corp members who visited him at home in Daura, Katsina, during the Sallah celebrations, Buhari told them to go tell their colleagues who want Biafra to “forget about it.” The sort of condescension, aloofness and rigidity that he packs into his message to the youth corp members for onward transmission to their colleagues is antithetical to the spirit of...

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The sexism of Pastor Chris Oyakhilome

Sep 15

Some weeks ago an online lynch mob went for the head of the General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, Pastor Enoch Adeboye, after he had shared his opinions on marriage at a ministers’ conference in his church. Adeboye, in reality, did not say anything dissimilar from what most parental figures of his generation would have if asked to comment in a similar situation. The banality of his suggestions, however, did not stem the flow of outrage against him. For one, Adeboye is a public figure and a rather influential one whose opinion on every issue...

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El Rufai’s war on rapists

Sep 01

In June, at a press conference in Kaduna state, a surrogate of Governor Malam El Rufai expressed outrage at the proliferation of rape cases. The cases were not only increasing, he lamented, the victims were mostly minors. No matter the age, rape can be a very traumatic incident for the victim. When children are being preyed upon by a tribe of reprobate older men with unrestrained libido, the possible psychological damage can be long drawn out. To address the epidemic, El Rufai has proposed a law that will send convicted rapists to jail for life. The argument that...

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On the matter of the dog named “Buhari”

Aug 25

When Ogun state Police arrested Joe Chinakwe after his neighbor reported him for naming his dog “Alhaji Buhari”, and for walking the same dog in their “Hausa dominated neighborhood,” they did not try to mask why they took that line of action. According to media report, they charged him to court because his provocative act could cause a breach of peace, and that was because “an average Northerner would feel bad over such a thing.” Underlining their motive is the reality of our socio-political environment. When law enforcement admits to arresting a man...

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Bring back inter-school sports in Nigeria

Aug 18

The Olympics is not yet over and to speak of Nigeria’s participation in obituary terms might be demoralizing for the athletes still holding out hope of winning a medal. Yet, we must take that backward glance on the road that led Nigeria to her “medal-less” state and seek insights to map routes towards the future. If an individual like the legendary Michael Phelps can win more gold medals in his career than Nigeria in her entire existence, we can be certain there is no happenstance to success. Success in sports is a function of individual will and a...

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Relaunch of WAI: Buhari plays his last hand

Aug 11

President Muhammadu Buhari might be relaunching the War Against Indiscipline 31 years after the para-military brigade ended with his dictatorship because he is desperate to reignite the public support he is fast losing. Much of the myth about Buhari’s immense abilities to right whatever is wrong with Nigeria came from two narratives forcefully tattooed into our minds: his brutal anti-corruption fight, and the myth of WAI and how –before it was truncated-it almost resolved the perennial problem of public indiscipline. A year ago when he was sworn into office,...

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