Saturday, February 16, 2019

Azu Ishiekwene

    Buhari v. Atiku: The inconvenient truth

Buhari v. Atiku: The inconvenient truth

If you walk by sight you cannot help approaching Saturday’s presidential election with a heavy heart. The candidates of the two major parties, Muhammadu Buhari of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), have been presented in the worst light possible.One foreign newspaper said Nigerians have to choose between a former dictator and [...]

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    Odinga-US hypocrisy as bitter medicine

Odinga-US hypocrisy as bitter medicine

These days Nigeria is treated as either the continent’s worst joke or the world’s laggard for democracy. From Nairobi to Brussels and from London to Washington, we’re getting lengthy lectures on how not to run a country. And we’re laughing them off and forwarding the messages. There’s a stinging joke about corruption in Nigeria by Raila Odinga making the rounds. The [...]

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    The stranded squirrels in Ezekwesili’s party

The stranded squirrels in Ezekwesili’s party

I didn’t notice the squirrel until later. The Allied Congress Party of Nigeria (ACPN) actually has a squirrel as its logo, but I didn’t make out the silhouette until the leadership of the party showed its furry hand last week.The founders of the party may have been thinking of an easily recongisable symbol when they chose the squirrel, but the [...]

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    Obasanjo: Wages of the old soldier’s rage

Obasanjo: Wages of the old soldier’s rage

At this rate, President Muhammadu Buhari may beat former military President General Ibrahim Babangida to the record of collecting the most abusive letters from a former president.Olusegun Obasanjo’s letters to Babangida were unforgettable. He accused Babangida of every conceivable evil, among which foisting an economic programme on Nigerian that lacked a human face and turning the country into a useless [...]

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    Onnoghen misery’s and the Nigerian dilemma

Onnoghen misery’s and the Nigerian dilemma

The first sign of chaos is the number of senior advocates of Nigeria who offered to take up the matter free of charge. Often, when you find that many senior lawyers falling over themselves to represent a client – usually a high-profile client – you can be sure that more than anything else, they’re in it for spite, drama and [...]

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    Why Yari should take his empty seat home

Why Yari should take his empty seat home

Zamfara State governor, Abdulaziz Yari, offered Greek gift as Christmas present: his soon-to-be-vacant official stool is not worth the paper on which he made the promise to step down as governor if doing so would bring peace to the state. There’s no need to give up his seat or to step down.Out of the goodness of his purple heart, however, [...]

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    2019: How Atiku will lose — and other matters

2019: How Atiku will lose — and other matters

Get this straight: Atiku Abubakar will lose the presidential election on February 16. I’m not Rev. Father Ejike Mbaka or one of the tongue-in-cheek seers whose predictions you’ll be struggling to figure out after dropping your offering in the bag at midnight of December 31. I’ll say it the way it is, walking where angels fear to tread.I doubt it. [...]

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    2019: A profile of the X-factors

2019: A profile of the X-factors

The general election in 51 days will be different from previous ones in nearly two decades in many ways. Money is one way. At this time in a “normal” election cycle, politicians would be in a rat race to outspend one another. After four years of largely empty promises, they suddenly discover that they need to return to voters who wait [...]

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    Leave the wolves, Atiku

Leave the wolves, Atiku

With less than two months to go, concerns by the opposition that next year’s general elections would not be free and fair, appear to be getting louder by the day. The voice of the main opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has, so far, dominated the complaints. At the belated signing of the Peace Accord, for example, PDP presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, [...]

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    Where’s the devil in the electoral bill?

Where’s the devil in the electoral bill?

Exaggeration is the most common strain of fever at election period. Politicians make voters – and the general public – believe that the world might end on ballot day, when in fact what they are playing for is their own survival.The Electoral Bill is not just the biggest talking point; it’s been perhaps the deadliest battleground since last week. What [...]

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    Oyedepo and the perils of satire

Oyedepo and the perils of satire

It’s difficult to say which one was worse: the original falsehood or the misinterpretation and rebroadcast of its parody as gospel truth. The fugitive and self-acclaimed leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu, is credited with inventing the fabulous tale that the real President Muhammadu Buhari died in London sometime in January or April, after a prolonged illness, and [...]

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    A letter to Ikeogu

A letter to Ikeogu

I didn't want to write this week. It wasn't writer's block or the occasional frustration from sounding like a broken record. It was not the feeling of speaking to the Nigeria wall, either.Nothing of the sort.It was the call, Ikeogu. The call from your sister, Ada, on Saturday night. The call shattered me and left me bereft.I had not spoken [...]

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    Ndigbo and the search for a surrogate mother

Ndigbo and the search for a surrogate mother

One of the pictures that went viral last week of Ohaneze Ndigbo leader, Professor Ben Nwabueze, hugging former Vice President and presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Atiku Abubakar, was mischievously exaggerated.One version made Nwabueze look like a frightened, forlorn child embracing its mother. Of course, it wasn’t meant to be anything of the sort.But even from the more [...]

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    Losing sleep over The Economist, other predictions

Losing sleep over The Economist, other predictions

It matters a lot to our politicians what the foreign press or agencies say about them, especially about their electoral chances. If foreigners, particularly those in London or New York, say something nice, our politicians take it to heart and repost as far and wide as they can. If not, they get mad.   In recent times, forecasts about the outcome of [...]

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    Buhari’s certificate and the long knives

Buhari’s certificate and the long knives

After former Vice President Atiku Abubakar emerged as the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party at the Port Harcourt convention in October, the party said it looked forward to an issues-based campaign and challenged the ruling All Progressives Congress to roll up its sleeves.There are many issues to debate with the APC whose promise of change is losing its [...]

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    Is Magu still Nigeria’s most dangerous man?

Is Magu still Nigeria’s most dangerous man?

It’s a surprise that the acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ibrahim Magu, is still standing.His appointment had been barely announced when some folks with very long memory of their unpleasant encounter with him in their earlier life stuck the knife in his back; they’ve been twisting it since.They have been at it now for three [...]

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Exchange Rates

February 15, 2019USDGBPEUR
INTERBANK306397354
LAGOS362475413
KANO361474413
PH361475412
ABUJA362476413
NOTE: The black market rates represent the most prevalent. They could be slightly higher or lower among different sellers.
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