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Ekiti voters, Nigeria’s most sophisticated

Nov 20

When Governor Ayo Fayose of Ekiti State needed to thank God for winning the governorship election held in June, he headed for a rather unusual place – the Deeper Christian Life Church. Unlike others, Deeper Life, as the church is popularly called, eschews politics, photo-ops with politicians and is unlikely to allow politicians dominate its proceedings. The church is restrained by its own ascetic message – shunning worldly affairs and focusing on the otherworldly. You would not expect much theatrics in such a place but Fayose is a drama queen who is never...

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Governor Money-Miss-Road of Akwa Ibom state

Nov 13

Friday last week, President Goodluck Jonathan, accompanied by Presidents John Mahama of Ghana and Alassane Quattara of Cote d’Ivorie flew to Akwa Ibom State and inaugurated the 30, 000-capacity Akwa Ibom International Stadium, called the “Nest of champions.” The project was wholly financed by the state government. Days before the event, some journalists fed us to constipation with stories of the stadium’s magnificence. They threw up the phrase “world class” while describing the edifice that at some point it became clichéd. You would think they ought...

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2015: What do Nigerians want?

Nov 06

his is a response to a long-time reader of this column who, after reading my piece two weeks ago, Why Buhari may not defeat Jonathan, accused me of underplaying the severity with which Nigeria needs change. His long rejoinder highlighted reasons for an urgent need to vote out the present government. One, I do not think the reality of how a Muhammadu Buhari candidacy will galvanise an undeserved second term for President Goodluck Jonathan should elude anyone. Those who think if Buhari becomes president, he will sweep away corrupt politicians with the force of his...

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When is Nigerian life worthy of respect?

Oct 29

Tomorrow, Friday, October 30, will be the 200th day since the Chibok girls were abducted. The Federal Government has promised that following an expected development from ongoing negotiations with Boko Haram members, their release is “imminent.” If you have been following this tale from the start, you will not be a re-baptised Thomas if you took the Federal Government’s promise less than a pinch of Abakiliki salt. Given how unreassuring their conduct has been since this saga started, why should we begin to believe them now? The case of the Chibok girls makes...

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Why Buhari may not defeat Jonathan

Oct 23

Lagos State Governor, Babatunde Fashola, recently dismissed insinuations he would be a running mate to the All Progressives Congress presidential aspirant, Maj. Gen. Muhammadu Buhari (retd.). Since the recrudescence of Buhari’s campaign, Fashola’s rejection is proof that some folk in the APC still have their feet on the grounds of reality after all. Buhari has been running for presidency since 2003 and though his feet are not yet tired, there is something tiresome about his recurring candidacy. For one, a lot of intellectual energy is usually expended...

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Note to Yoruba Christians and Muslims

Oct 16

The South-West in Nigeria is one zone where Christians and Muslims dwell side by side with a relatively low level of rancour. This liberalism is a cultural attribute that has been for a long time. In an essay by an English anthropologist who witnessed the celebration of Oke’badan in the 50s, he expressed surprise at how Muslims freely mingled with their “pagan” neighbours during the festival. Several reasons have been advanced for this but I think it has to do with the post-modernist worldview of Yoruba: no one’s God is the Way, Truth and/or Life; other...

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The battle the Nigerian Army needs to win

Oct 09

The Nigerian Army seems fixated with killing Abubakar Shekau, the equally self-obsessed psychopath who not only fancies himself a reincarnate of Osama bin Laden but also rides on the wave of moral panic ISIS is generating all over the place. He is the Army’s first obsession. Their second obsession concerns the unwitting denigration of their own rank-and-file. Third is a consequence of the first two – turning the agency into an embarrassing joke both locally and internationally. The Army has “killed” Shekau, at least, three times since 2010 when he claimed...

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Nigeria’s population logjam

Oct 02

In what appears a pseudo-climax of a lingering controversy, the Senate has advised the Independent National Electoral Commission to suspend the allocation of new polling units. According to the Senate committee that gave the advice, INEC should suspend the proposed exercise until after the 2015 elections “to allow for further review, adequate stakeholders’ consultation and buy-in of your (INEC’s) good intention.” It is remarkable that the Senate that characteristically acts blind to certain pertinent issues going on in the country would wake up to...

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The canonization of TB Joshua

Sep 25

If this era in Nigeria were a TV serial, it would be titled something like, “Pastors Behaving Badly.” The past few weeks have seen the demystification of “anointed men of God” and in a manner that tickles a conspiracy theorist’s imagination. First was Chris Oyakhilome, ostensibly, the sleekest pastor Nigeria has ever produced. His estranged wife, Anita, blind-sided him with a divorce notice and accusations that make the ears tingle. Oyakhilome, over the years, has built an image of a confidence artist, complete with a sense of self-assurance. This...

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Jonathan Almighty

Sep 11

If there is anyone who knows all about power — its uses and abuses — in Nigeria’s democracy (and perhaps, for most part of Africa), that man is Diepreye Alamieyeseigha, a former governor of Bayelsa State and ex-boss of President Goodluck Jonathan whose impeachment proved a magic bullet that paved the latter’s way to Aso Rock. Alamieyeseigha has been to hell and back because, among other factors, he miscalculated the extent of tyrannical power Aso Rock wields in a lopsided democracy. His reprieve has turned him into a self-hagiologist like a former...

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