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Impunity: Nigeria’s first violence

Mar 24

Between the 19th and mid-20th century in the United States, white Americans publicly lynched hundreds of black Americans, Native Americans, and the Chinese. These gross acts of violence were carried out by men who wanted to uphold racial boundaries and establish their supremacy over others. The people that carried out these acts were not devils with long tails and pitchforks that haunt our cultural imaginary. No, they were otherwise regular folks, the “good” people who attended church on Sundays and worked hard during the week. Some of the witnesses and...

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Apostle Suleman: Why the truth matters

Mar 16

A week ago, I touched on the ongoing controversy between Apostle Johnson Suleman of Omega Fire Ministries and a woman, Ms. Stephanie Otobo, who accused him of sexual impropriety and a breach of marriage contract. Since then Apostle Suleman has turned out to be one of the luckiest holy men in the world. As the narrative is being shaped in several quarters, the Apostle is supposedly being persecuted by his state governor whom he antagonizes. Suleman himself is cleverly milking spiritual cum political capital from his purported tale of harassment. While that seems...

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Sex and the Nigerian Character

Mar 09

In the past 10 days, there have been three cases of sexual relationships that revealed aspects of our Nigerian character -the tendency to side with the man and punish the woman. First, there was Habiba Inusa, a nursing mother who was recently remanded in prison for adultery. Inusa had participated in the mass wedding program periodically organized by the Kano state government and Hisbah (the state’s religious Police). Inusa was delivered of a baby the day after the wedding, a scandal that combines sexual impropriety with deceit. Inusa soon learnt that hell hath...

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Now that Osinbajo is inspecting toilets

Mar 02

Acting president, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, paid a surprise visit to Murtala Muhammed Airport on Thursday and proceeded to inspect facilities that included carousels and the toilets. Afterwards, he told journalists that the airport was one of the major places where the government needs to ensure amenities work appropriately and that that the deficiencies he observed during his inspection would be corrected. I am not sure what Osinbajo saw in the toilets but from my experience, one of the best places to ever answer the call of nature in Nigeria is the Murtala Muhammed...

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Emir Sanusi and regulation of polygamy

Feb 23

The Emir of Kano, Lamido Sanusi, recently made a valuable point about the social problems engendered by forced marriages and polygamy. A number of men, he noted, take more wives than they can provide for, breed children they cannot dignifiedly raise, and their unrestrained loins eventually becomes a source of social menace. Sanusi says he will be proposing a law to regulate the practice of polygamy and other social ills in his territory. While the scope of the law Sanusi proposes are superfluous (some of them are already covered in the constitution), and...

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The senate wants to reap without sowing

Feb 16

Two weeks ago, a Nigerian newspaper reported the fantastic news that a Nigerian professor, Maduike Ezeibe of Michael Okpara University of Agriculture in Abia state, had discovered a drug for the treatment of HIV/AIDS. I almost fell off my chair as I read the Vice Chancellor of the University, Prof. Francis Otunta, “confirming” the discovery and claiming the breakthrough was a culmination of years of “scientific research” by the University. The VC also said Prof. Ezeibe had presented the drug to the University Senate and Council, and explained his research...

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Buhari and the prophets of Baal

Feb 09

They prayed to Baal from morning until noon, shouting “Baal, answer us!” But there was no sound, and no one answered…. At noon Elijah began to make fun of them…. The afternoon passed, and the prophets continued to act like this until it was time for the evening sacrifice. But no voice was heard; Baal did not answer…. 1 Kings 18:26-29. In the past couple of months, I have read a number of media interviews, newspaper columns, and social media updates by former ardent supporters of President Muhammadu Buhari. They all have a few things in common: they...

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Big Brother: A tale of two dystopias

Feb 02

Since the inauguration of Donald Trump as president of the United States thirteen days ago, the country has been hyper-animated. As a candidate people thought Trump’s extreme promises were empty threats he was merely throwing around to solicit the votes of the bigoted. Now that he has been sworn in and imbued with ginormous powers, America and the world are tied to his quirks. He has been president for only two weeks but his notoriety is exhausting. In less than two weeks he has poked a middle finger to women’s healthcare issues in both the US and in...

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Why we wish our presidents dead

Jan 26

When Gen. Sani Abacha died in June 1998, I was one of those who took to the streets to celebrate our nation’s liberation from his murderous grip. These days I look back at that infamous Monday and wonder the point of rejoicing at someone’s death when none of us is beyond mortality. Abacha’s death, we know, resolved a conundrum and cleanly freed us from the bonds with which he held us. Also, given the timing of his death it did in fact seem God heard Nigerians’ cries for liberation. However, death by natural causes is no punishment, it is one of life’s...

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“Pretty Mike” as a Nigerian parable

Jan 20

After weeks of chinwagging over Pretty Mike (Mike Eze-Nwalie Nwogu) and the stunt he pulled – putting two masked women on a dog leash and taking them to public events- the Police finally had him stopped. As media report hinted, it was the governor of Lagos state, Akinwumi Ambode, that asked that Pretty Mike be picked up for such an offensive treatment of women. The immediate former Lagos state Police Commissioner, Fatai Owoseni, said the case would be treated as a “criminal investigation” because what Pretty Mike did was not merely a crime but also “a...

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