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2015: Bola Tinubu meets Bode George

Dec 18

Nigerian elections come with certain realities: “stomach infrastructure”; losers allege electoral irregularities; post-election agitation leading to the possibility of violence. The fourth, and a cardinal feature of Nigerian democracy, is the “godfather” syndrome. The party primaries that took place for most of last week had some predictable outcomes and multiple ironies. Perhaps, one of the most dramatic ironies of the spate of events was one that threw up two godfathers – Olabode George and Bola Tinubu – with history of power tussle against each...

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Are Nigerian politicians truly crazy?

Dec 11

The Nigerian Medical Association, recently, joined the throng of those who call for psychiatric evaluation for would-be occupiers of political office. The communiqué released after the body’s National Executive Committee meeting wants the Independent National Electoral Commission to engage psychiatrists who will supervise such tests. I know if I were given pre-austerity N1,000 note each time someone recommended psychiatric evaluation for Nigerian politicians, I would be ready to throw a self-financed Owambe by now. Just this September, the Peoples Democratic...

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Nobody is afraid of Goodluck Jonathan

Dec 04

Those selling the Jonathan-for-second-term project will no doubt promote the viability of their product to the highest possible limit – even if this means stretching the truth beyond its tensile strength. I do not think there is much anyone can do about this considering that political advertisements are not always the best places to look if one is seeking truth and virtue. But let not those who will tell us why their candidate should be the next president think they can get away with overselling themselves by pushing the claptrap logic in our faces that anyone...

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How to treat a naked woman

Nov 27

t be legislated by puritans who assume the right to determine the contents of everyone’s morality by insisting we have to live by certain undiluted African values. It never fails to amuse how some folk paralyse themselves with nostalgia of an Africa that probably never existed. If a woman showed “skin” in her self-presentation, a rabble of pontificates scream it is unAfrican forgetting that once upon a time, their African ancestors lived in unashamed Garden of Eden nakedness. Our ancestors did not deem themselves “naked” because shame about nudity was...

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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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