Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Azu Ishiekwene

    With love, from India

With love, from India

My first instinct when I got the WhatsApp message was to dismiss it as fake news. But I held back because the sender is a serious guy. It was a memo from a certain school in Rajasthan, India, called Amity University. In the three-paragraph memo, the Registrar, Vishwadeepak Singh, a retired military officer, had given students a deadline of August 13, [...]

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    Who will vote for Buhari or Atiku?

Who will vote for Buhari or Atiku?

Soon after the results of the presidential primaries of the two major parties were announced on Sunday, a friend called me sounding despondent. He had voted for President Muhammadu Buhari since 2003, and was ecstatic when Buhari finally won at his fourth attempt in 2015.Three years on, however, he is struggling to give Buhari a C, where C is less [...]

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    Snapshots in a week of turmoil

Snapshots in a week of turmoil

When he made the last Independence Day speech of his first term, President Muhammadu Buhari might have been speaking only to his prep team and the recording crew. Not that Nigerians were not happy to mark another national holiday.On this particular 58th independence anniversary, attention was simply elsewhere: the party primaries across many states in the country. From Zamfara to [...]

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    The election result they want in Osun

The election result they want in Osun

If the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) had its way, its candidate in Saturday’s governorship election in Osun State, Ademola Adeleke, would have been declared governor that day. The party is so upset with the decision of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to declare the election inconclusive, that it has threatened dire consequences should the result go the other way.Adeleke scored [...]

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    Paying for Sirika’s aborted flight of fancy

Paying for Sirika’s aborted flight of fancy

It’s not yet clear what finally did it or who. But it was clear, almost from the start, that the country could not bluff its way through this flight.Minister of State for Aviation, Hadi Sirika, had mounted the problem maddeningly and by some curious twist of fate the incoming Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmed, would bear the brunt for it [...]

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    Clapping for Ngige with one hand

Clapping for Ngige with one hand

The Minister of Labour and Productivity, Chris Ngige, is wondering why we’re not clapping for the government of President Muhammadu Buhari first thing every morning and, perhaps, last thing at night before going to bed.In case we have forgotten, Ngige reminded us, we were sinking in the mire of falling oil prices and had almost been brought to our knees [...]

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    Why MTN, again?

Why MTN, again?

It seems MTN is never too far from the speed dial to trouble. Three years ago, the telco, which has the dominant share of the mobile telecoms market in Nigeria, was slammed with a $5.2 billion fine for failing to disconnect 5.1 million subscribers after the registration deadline.After a back-and-forth, a bloodied nose and a shake-up in which the Chief Executive Officer [...]

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    Lawyers, Buhari and the ruins of law

Lawyers, Buhari and the ruins of law

Hundreds, if not thousands, of lawyers who converged on Abuja on Sunday for this year’s Bar conference may find themselves discussing something other than transition, transformation and sustainable institutions, which the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) had previously advertised.In his opening address to the association, President Muhammadu Buhari said something that has left the Bar – and the Bench – chasing [...]

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    Ajimobi’s giant strides in folly

Ajimobi’s giant strides in folly

Governor Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo State is increasingly becoming the Rochas Okorocha of the south-west. With very little effort, he might surpass the latter, the self-acclaimed exponent of iberiberism (an Igbo slang which roughly translates as "the act or state of foolishness").In a rare moment of lucidity, Okorocha, the accidental governor of Imo and its first and, hopefully, last emperor, said the [...]

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    Why IGP Idris is mad about the letter

Why IGP Idris is mad about the letter

It might appear strange that of all the problems that the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, has on his table his biggest concern is how to squeeze a journalist to disclose the source of a leak.But there’s a reason for his obsession.One week ago, Samuel Ogundipe, a reporter with Premium Times,wrote a story from a leaked letter by IGP [...]

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    The parable of SABC and General Electric

The parable of SABC and General Electric

What is it about us, Nigerians, that make others think they can take us for granted and get away with it? Two different recent news items got me thinking about how long we would be prepared to put up with the shenanigans of folks who think that we live to walk their dog. In South Africa where presidential aspirant, Omoyele Sowore [...]

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    Of defections and the 2019 electoral maths

Of defections and the 2019 electoral maths

The ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) has been gripped by a fever of cross-carpeting. Publicly, the party is saying it will not lose sleep. The most dramatic statement yet was by the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, that providence is removing stones from the party’s rice, the same rice they have been eating for three years now.Late-night statements [...]

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    Boarding a Nigerian flight of fancy

Boarding a Nigerian flight of fancy

The Minister of State for Aviation, Hadi Sirika, thinks he has found the medicine for public opinion: listen with blocked ears.It worked for him last year when the Abuja airport was shut down for six weeks for runway repairs. The announcement of the closure sparked public outrage and many critics, including me, hammered him for ruling out other alternatives, especially [...]

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    Okotie as God’s political missionary

Okotie as God’s political missionary

The pastor of the Household of God International Ministries, Reverend Chris Okotie, has asked the 68 political parties, especially the two major ones, to roll over and adopt him as their consensus candidate in next year’s presidential election.It is not a joke or a suggestion. It is a divine instruction, which the parties will do well to accept “within the [...]

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    Fayose’s worst fear coming true

Fayose’s worst fear coming true

Ekiti State Governor, Ayodele Fayose, has been on been on the rooftop and won’t come down till long after Saturday. He has been screaming, for all the world to hear, that the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) plans to rig this weekend’s governorship election for his arch foe, Kayode Fayemi.From Fayose’s camp, it seems that the APC will not be content [...]

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    IDPs as the next time bomb

IDPs as the next time bomb

Internally displaced politicians have been on a speed dial to hook up with new partners for next year’s general election. With 68 political parties and still counting – the horde of defectors, including the perennial rolling stones – would find willing partners.The real Internally displaced persons (IDPs) are, however, having a torrid time. And they appear to be the last [...]

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Exchange Rates

October 23, 2018USDGBPEUR
INTERBANK360.45480.18420.32
LAGOS360485425
KANO361483423
PH362482423
ABUJA362481423
NOTE: The black market rates represent the most prevalent. They could be slightly higher or lower among different sellers.
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