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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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Youth Earnestly Ask for Goodluck Jonathan

Sep 04

In a repeat of Ibrahim Babangida and Sani Abacha’s failed civilian transfigurations, President Goodluck Jonathan is being endorsed by vainglorious organisations. The 1990s birthed the rent-a-crowd presidential endorsement movements. First, Arthur Nzeribe, Abimbola Davies and Jerry Okoro had sought an extension for Babangida’s military junta via the auspices of the Association for Better Nigeria; their activities contributed to what would later culminate into the June 12 crisis. Not to miss the military gravy train, after the “step aside” of the...

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The porn of Shekau and Shekarau

Aug 28

At first glance, Boko Haram’s “caliph”, Abubakar Shekau, and Nigeria’s Minister of Education, Mallam Ibrahim Shekarau, share nothing in common. They ought not to. The former is a theocratic death cult thug whose chief ruse is a censure of western education whilst the latter got his sea legs in education management. An objective appraisal, however, throws a kink: Both are annihilators; pornographers of violence. At one point or the other, both men have exhibited an authoritarian streak that bodes disaster for whomever and whatever that do not align with...

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Who is Marilyn Ogar working against?

Aug 21

By tomorrow, Friday, August 22, the kidnapped girls of Chibok would have been unwitting ”guests” of Boko Haram for 130 days. Between their kidnap and frightful escapes, the recurring line from the relevant security agencies has been, “We know where they are”! Ironically, every Nigerian knows where they are too: With Boko Haram! The Department of State Security, formerly known as the State Security Service is primarily charged with intelligence gathering within Nigeria. Perhaps, bereft of adequate intelligence and tactics to take on bigger opponents like...

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The Nigerian soldiers’ wives mutiny

Aug 14

November and December of 1929 saw thousands of women stampeding the Native Administration outposts in Calabar and Owerri to protest both the imposition of taxes on women and the appointment of warrant chiefs by the colonial administration. The protest, to be later described as the Aba Women’s War, saw employment of both guerrilla strategies and traditional acts such as “sitting on a man” – the practice of ridiculing men through song and dance performances carried out all night long. Some 20 years later, a similar policy of arbitrary taxation led to the...

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Something worse than Ebola is already here

Aug 07

Mass hysteria has gripped many countries of the world over the Ebola outbreak in West Africa. Like all episodes of recent epidemics – Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome and Avian Flu (H5N1), this outbreak has seen governments and the World Health Organisation devoting resources to finding a cure. Meanwhile, African leaders luxuriate and gallivant round the world, seeking nothing of importance; yet, chewing the same old issues on the same weary gums. Was it Karma that led to the United States screening some of them for Ebola? Who knows! Before we deem the US...

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