Azu Ishiekwene

     Will Trump go, If he loses?

 Will Trump go, If he loses?

After three and a half years of his presidency, US President Donald Trump appears to have exhausted all surprises in the bag, except, of course, the next one. And that next one could be the big one: Will Trump leave the White House if he loses the Presidency on November 3? Discussions about it first started in hushed tones and offline chats. [...]

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    The politics of Tinubu obsession

The politics of Tinubu obsession

National leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, has very strong enemies and a few of them would not wait for him to die before burying him. As soon as there were indications last week that President Muhammadu Buhari had withdrawn support for APC Chairman, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, the floodgate of attacks opened. Apart from its [...]

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    Using COVID-19 donations to give charity a bad name

Using COVID-19 donations to give charity a bad name

Global response to the outbreak of the Coronavirus in Africa has been remarkable, especially following fears that should the virus take hold, its impact on the continent could be catastrophic. Twenty of the 80 beneficiaries of the $50billion announced as emergency financing facility by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) are in Africa. The charity map also shows that the World Bank, [...]

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    Oshiomhole, Obaseki and APC’s game of long knives

Oshiomhole, Obaseki and APC’s game of long knives

I goofed, but may be just a little, because this is not how the story ends.  In January, I predicted that the Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Adams Oshiomhole, and his protege and Governor of Edo State, Godwin Obaseki, would drag themselves to the brink, but that just when everyone thinks they’ll fall off the edge, they would stop [...]

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    Who listens to the north?

Who listens to the north?

Journalist and former Minister of Youth Development and Sports, Bolaji Abdullahi, wrote a thought-provoking piece last week entitled, “Who speaks for the North?” The article reinforces the need for an important conversation, especially as we reflect on our past, engage with the present and contemplate the future. Who speaks for the North? In a region with a long history of eloquent [...]

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    The unravelling of America: You’ve gotta watch to cry

The unravelling of America: You’ve gotta watch to cry

I first watched the movie in the lockdown. At the beginning, it was funny when the pair was fiddling with their entrée in the restaurant and wondering why they had both avoided each other until now.  A few minutes after they left the restaurant, trouble started. The movie, entitled “Queen & Slim,” is the love story of two black Americans drawn [...]

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    Does the minister work for a Chinese company?

Does the minister work for a Chinese company?

Health Minister, Osagie Ehanire, has been in hot water lately. It’s hard to sympathise with him because he jumped into the cauldron with his eyes open, wearing his trademark black cap. And not once. The first time was when Ehanire appeared before the House of Representatives to answer questions about the welfare of medical personnel on the frontline of the COVID-19 [...]

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    Mad as Madagascar

Mad as Madagascar

In the fight against COVID-19, the war between biology and economics has just expanded to the nationalist front, spilling over with the ferociousness of a zero-sum game. Madagascar President, Andry Rajoelina, believes that the reason why the world is not giving his country’s miracle herbal formula the accolade it deserves is because of its African origin.  If COVID-Organics had been developed in [...]

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    In Africa, Trump’s fate is worse than a laughing stock

In Africa, Trump’s fate is worse than a laughing stock

In a recent article in The Atlantic also widely used elsewhere, American journalist, Anne Applebaum, described the pathetic meltdown of US President Donald Trump, especially since the outbreak of the global health crisis, COVID-19. According to the journalist, not only has Trump become the butt of jokes in video games, the US President’s serial faux pas in managing the health crisis [...]

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    Herbert Wigwe’s burden

Herbert Wigwe’s burden

It’s uncertain that he knew the town hall video meeting would leak. When Herbert Wigwe, the Managing Director and CEO of Access Bank hosted a virtual town hall with his staff last week, the only thing on his mind was how the bank would come through the present global health pandemic stronger.  His message was clear: If there was only one [...]

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    Kano conundrum: Why it matters

Kano conundrum: Why it matters

Following a string of suspicious deaths in Kano last week some have said the state, arguably Nigeria’s most populous, could be Nigeria’s Italy. They are wrong and right. They are wrong because healthcare in Kano and what obtained in any region in pre-COVID-19 Italy is not comparable. Like night and day, they’re not even close. But they are right because leaving Kano, [...]

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    COVID-19: Should you believe what ECA is saying about Africa?

COVID-19: Should you believe what ECA is saying about Africa?

In one of his bestsellers, The Zahir, Paulo Coelho said there are two major problems in life: knowing when to begin and knowing when to stop.  If, for example, Nigeria had closed its borders early on and enforced quarantine for all returning Nigerians, whoever they are, things might have been different today. I’m sure many others would say the same for their own [...]

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    Lockdown: A radical view

Lockdown: A radical view

The government did not extend the lockdown by two weeks to punish us. But the unintended consequence of the extension for a poor country such as ours will be just that: hardship beyond description, misery by default.   Yet, that might not even be the worst thing. It appears that on top of the hardship, a good number of people would also [...]

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    Saving charity from scandal

Saving charity from scandal

In the nearly two weeks of lockdown so far in most Nigerian cities, we have seen great acts of charity by individuals, groups and institutions. Many have gone the extra mile to share what little they have with friends, neighbours, and even strangers, who have little or nothing.  And in one inspiring example, Bamidele Ademola-Olateju, a US-based Nigerian author and creative [...]

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    Diary of a lockdown

Diary of a lockdown

When I left Abuja at short notice nine days ago, the city was already emptying out. The single biggest factory and business centre there - the National Assembly - was on the verge of closure.  Before the closure was announced, though, things were already slowing down but there was still just enough time left for the lawmakers to take delivery of [...]

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    COVID-19 and that flight from Abuja

COVID-19 and that flight from Abuja

The trip was not planned. As concerns over the spread of COVID-19 grew and the country inched more and more towards the abnormal, I figured travel might be restricted before the end of the week. A call that Tuesday morning confirmed that feeling: I decided to travel out of Abuja immediately. What I saw at the airport and on the flight [...]

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