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My death is more spectacular than yours

Nov 20

On Tuesday, an explosion in Yola, Adamawa state claimed a reported 32 lives leaving almost thrice that number either injured or maimed. For the average Nigerian, reports of Boko Haram attacks are too routinized to either be jarring or sensible. We have learnt to absorb these seemingly endless reports of disasters into our daily schedule; we can probably tolerate them over dinner without losing appetite. That level of numbing surprisingly gave way to an animated and ideologically tinged exchange over the weekend when the Paris terrorists’ attacks happened. The...

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APC/Buhari promised more than N5, 000

Nov 12

The APC has cornered itself on the issue of N5, 000 stipend to be paid to 25 millions Nigerians; how the party intends to manipulate itself out of it without losing face will require more tricks than Harry Houdini. The party, in its manifesto, promised the sum as poverty alleviation of sorts but it is turning out to be a tale designed for the simple-minded voter. Anybody that has monitored electioneering knows that the only fairy tale that seduces adults starts with, “If I am elected….” The PDP, now on the other side of the divide, taunts the APC as the...

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On Fulani rapists and the quest for peace

Nov 06

Certain things in Nigeria’s public sphere signal our country’s level of (under)development and one of them is the presence of cows and herdsmen in public spaces. Cows have been an incongruous feature of our urban landmark for a while, their bovine nuisance strolling leisurely among other paraphernalia of urban modernity. This seeming desecration happens even in the capital city, Abuja. Humans and animals share space despite the city’s pretense to development and progressive urban landscaping. These animals are a not-so-subtle reminder of the audacity of the...

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How to take bribes and not be corrupt

Oct 23

The Nigerian ministerial screening, like many things that have characterized Nigeria in the past five months, was a tale of shoddiness, ill preparedness, and a lackadaisical approach to serious business of public service. What is called National Assembly is a collection of people who spend a lot of time to achieve little and yet get paid heavily for it. The screening took valuable man-hours, cost taxpayers good money but so far has remained uninspiring; simply a poor continuation of the way things have been done in the past. What the lawmakers perhaps achieved,...

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Why Abati’s memoir will be interesting

Oct 22

Whenever Dr. Reuben Abati finally decides to publish his memoir – I am sure he is writing one- I will be one of his first customers. His memoir will be an interesting addition to the growing list of post-office memoirs politicians have churned out lately. Ex-governor of Bayelsa state, recently deceased Diepreye Alamieyesigha, was penning his memoirs when death came calling. A month to his death he still swore that his book would expose ex-president, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, for who he really is – a hypocrite who imagines the world revolves on the orbit of his...

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Alamieyeseigha: the devil threw a party for Nigerians

Oct 15

A former lecturer in my undergraduate days often says, We all belong to the devil’s team without knowing. There are times while considering the variegated contradictions of the Nigerian landscape, that which shocks and thrills in the same breath, one wonders if Nigerians are not, indeed, permanent guests at the devil’s party. In the past week, Nigeria witnessed two deaths. One is that of a 19-year old hero, Hassan Mohammed Damagum. Damagum was a pre-degree student at the Yobe State University and one of the victims of last week’s Damaturu bomb attack. His...

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Buhari’s road to misogyny

Oct 08

In July, I read an article by ThisDay columnist and Ovation Publisher, Dele Momodu, on his meeting with President Buhari. In that piece titled ‘An Afternoon with President Buhari’ Momodu mentioned that he told the president the importance of bringing “bright women” on board his government. My first thought on reading that was, “Whoa, Bob Dee, thanks for advocating for women (with some really queer logic too!), but why should the President need to be told about having to “find” bright women as if they are extinct species? And in 2015 too!” Since...

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Buhari as god of small things

Oct 01

It should not come as a surprise if, one of these days, the president’s media team and aides announce that due to the dire times Nigeria is experiencing, kitchen responsibilities in the presidential palace has fallen on the president’s to-do list. What would surprise one is not that the president manages kitchen affairs but that he did not seize duties the very day he was sworn in! Nigeria says she is cutting excessive bureaucratic costs and all the president’s men, burdened with an urgency to make the president look good through it all, are turning him...

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Nobody in Nigeria is corrupt

Sep 24

I have a dream. I have a dream that a day will come when a Nigerian will be arrested for corruption, tried properly in the court of law and sent to jail. That such a person will have the virtue to look the society in the eye and say, “Yes, I was wrong.” S/he will admit, “Yes, I failed to live up to the level of responsibility expected me as a public official. I ask for forgiveness of those I failed and I hope others learn from my indiscretions.” Yes, a simple speech like that or some other laudable words that show the person has some decency, nobility of...

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PHCN: Electrocution or execution?

Sep 17

Some years ago, by just a few tardy minutes I missed what could be described as a horrendous and atrocious sight. Around Mangoro area of Lagos, a man had just died. Eyewitness accounts said he had stood by the Bus Stop waiting for a vehicle when a “naked” or “live” wire fell on him. He was electrocuted but he did not die immediately. His body caught fire and after much agonizing moments of screams for help, he fell to the ground where he eventually died. For a long time afterwards, I was haunted by that image of him lying on the ground, his charred...

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