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The crucifixion of Fashola

Aug 27

Less than three months he left office, ex-governor of Lagos state, Babatunde Fashola, is being put out for public crucifixion. In the past few weeks, series of allegations against him have erupted like skin rash in hot weather. The charges are not only embarrassing, they also debunk the narrative of the “best governor” Fashola built and sustained for years. He was accused of spending N78m on a personal website; the current administration of Lagos state canceled the 50-year lease he granted to Afriland Properties for the redevelopment of the Falomo Shopping...

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UniLag’s cowardly response to rape allegations

Aug 20

The news that a University of Lagos lecturer allegedly raped a young woman seeking admission is one that irredeemably ruins one’s day. For the record, the lecturer involved, a Dr. Akin Baruwa, denied the crime but admitted consensual sex with her. However, I find her account credible. A man who pulls down his trousers in his office to have sex with a teenager whose parents asked him to help further her career is an exploiter who will have his way by any means necessary. Whether he committed the crime or not can of course, be only determined by the law but that...

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As Governor Ambode lusts after Walmart

Aug 13

In 2009, the late Minister of Information, Prof. Dora Akunyili, solicited the Venezuelan Ambassador, Enrique Fernando Arundell, for foreign investment in Nigeria and in response got an earful. The Ambassador told her that Nigeria’s constant solicitation of foreigners to bring businesses that can help Nigeria is rather naïve. To develop Nigeria, he admonished, government should focus on Nigerians. Lagos state governor, Mr. Akinwumi Ambode, can do with that wisdom as he lusts after foreigners bringing their businesses to Nigeria. Recently, when he met officials...

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How does Buhari “listen” to Radio Biafra?

Jul 23

The saying that nothing sells like controversy cannot be truer for the sensation called Radio Biafra. In the past few weeks, the radio station has become a subject of analyses, commentary, diatribe, passion, anger, and as is typical of these issues, a re-opening of festering wounds. The attention the radio has received, one suspects, is more about the medium than the contents of the message. The message is not new and after listening to its transmission for a while, I still do not see how its bashing of Nigeria is different from the flagellation the country...

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Mallam El Rufai and his beggars

Jul 16

In the wake of the bombing attack on the city of Zaria, Kaduna state governor, Mallam Nasir El Rufai banned begging in the state. As much as the governor’s decision might be connected to the security terrorism poses to his state, there is a possibility the ban also constitute an opportunity of aesthetic refurbishment of the cityscape as well. The beggars, however, have not been silent about the threat to their livelihood. They have staged a public demonstration; challenged the governor to a contest of wills by returning to the streets after the ban; and...

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Jul 09

Bailout package: What do states give back? In 2008 in the United States, three CEOS of large auto companies flew to Washington in private jets to request $25bn bailout so the industries they represent would not be lost to the country’s prevailing economic woes. These CEOs, apparently used to a life of luxury were not willing to scale down their privileges, not even as an outward show of prudence and an appearance of sobriety at their failures as economic managers. Lawmakers present at the hearing of the legislative Financial Services Committee lashed at them,...

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The many lies about Buhari

Jul 02

Lies and myths are regularly woven around leaders, some tending towards an apotheofication, but that of President Muhammad Buhari is getting too frequent to be useful. Buhari’s mythopoeia preceded him into office and the fantasies fashioned about him are being currently employed to oil the flagging wheels of his presidency. His adoring followers have long believed in him with faith akin to a religion. They take him as a god character whose perfectly sculpted essence must be protected and whose transcendent persona must not be scraped with the sharp edges of...

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Ogogoro as a Nigerian parable

Jun 25

Earlier this month, the Federal Government purportedly banned the consumption of locally brewed gin (also called ogogoro), in all parts of Nigeria. The directive came in the wake of deaths in Ondo and Rivers states attributed to ill-brewed ogogoro. So far, some 70 deaths have been recorded in Rivers and 23 in Ondo while some of the casualties suffered permanent impairment. NAFDAC, brimming with rage at these pointless deaths, threatened to seize illegally brewed ogogoro products. The deaths, the documented and the undocumented, are a huge tragedy; a needless...

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Can lawmakers not get paid AT ALL?

Jun 18

Déjà vu! When news leaked that lawmakers will get up to N9bn as wardrobe allowance sometime soon, it must have occurred to many Nigerians that we have been here before. In 1999, there was so much fuss about lawmakers’ furniture allowance of some N3.5m each. Nigerians kicked; how are they so sybaritic considering that the country was impoverished, her infrastructure virtually existent and the country was suffused with post-military anguish? Fast-forward 16 years. The actors may have changed multiple times; the PDP is no longer the majority in the House; there...

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Ogbeni Aregbesola, pay your workers

Jun 11

Osun State is not the only Nigerian state currently owing its workers a backlog of arrears; more than half of the states in the country are currently embroiled in a funding crisis over recurrent expenditure. Capital expenditure has been dead for a longer time. From Abia to Zamfara, states are short of cash for salaries and pensions. Times are hard, we all know; the economy took a downturn because a few government officials looked at the future beyond the next elections. Workers, all over Nigeria, are grappling with the pains of this ruinous reality. Whilst all...

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