Thursday, April 2, 2020

Azu Ishiekwene

    Literature? What literature?

Literature? What literature?

Literature, like other art forms, is a reflection of society. It is from the society that creative writers get their ideas. Society is the subject matter of literary expression. This is one of the reasons why literature is viewed in relation to the era or age it reflects. For instance, we have literature of the various centuries across the world. Here, [...]

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    ‘Zacchaeus’ and the perils of a tax collector 

‘Zacchaeus’ and the perils of a tax collector 

When the tenure of a chief executive is coming to an end, there’s usually a feverish outbreak of schemes to push him over the edge, for good or bad reasons.  Lobbyists are masters of the game. They keep a diary of appointment and termination dates - including possible renewal where the law permits - and also keep a meticulous dossier of [...]

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    Inside the worlds of Melaye, Dickson and co

Inside the worlds of Melaye, Dickson and co

Defeat is an orphan. Nothing illustrates its orphanage status as vividly as the fate of two politicians involved in last week’s elections in Kogi and Bayelsa states: Senator Dino Melaye and Governor Seriake Henry Dickson. As he went down, Melaye, the PDP candidate in the Kogi West senatorial election rerun, deployed his video-making talent to its utmost. Even before the Independent [...]

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    Why Bello is coming back, and Bayelsa may fall

Why Bello is coming back, and Bayelsa may fall

 By last week, the governorship/senatorial election in Kogi State had been reduced to a sex duel, with Senator Dino Melaye inviting his arch rival, Governor Yahaya Bello, to a mojo contest. Kogi’s number one problem in the last two decades has been poverty, not a shortage of testosterone. The state’s monthly allocation is five times smaller than what Dangote gets monthly [...]

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    Magu, still Nigeria’s most dangerous man

Magu, still Nigeria’s most dangerous man

It was framed as a question roughly one year ago. In a piece entitled, “Is Magu still Nigeria’s most dangerous man?”, I wondered why in a country with a shortage of heroes, a public servant would be rewarded with suspense and anxiety for giving of his best to his country. There’s no need to wonder. The question mark is off. [...]

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    An ambassador’s exaggeration and its fallouts

An ambassador’s exaggeration and its fallouts

The letter was dated October 7, 2019; but it would come into effect on Friday, November 1. The recipient was probably expecting it, but it doesn’t matter anymore. She is moving on. Arikana Chihombori-Quao has not been a firebrand for over two decades without scars to show for it. And now, she’s nursing a fresh one. Former Chadian prime minister and [...]

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    Buhari and the Kenke War

Buhari and the Kenke War

Ghanaian traders appear to have reached their wit’s end. Two months after Abuja ordered the closure of Nigeria’s western land border, traders in Accra are calling for a boycott of Nigerian products and also, asking their government to retaliate. Ghanaians may find it difficult to believe that this is not a war on kenke, shito or banku. But it’s not. When [...]

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    A letter on the First Lady

A letter on the First Lady

It is gratifying that the first family rallied in the face of a blistering attack last week by busybodies. I would be remiss not to give full credit where it belongs: the office of the First Lady.  In a week when President Muhammadu Buhari presented the Appropriation Bill in record time and when the entire country was outraged by the sex-for-grade [...]

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    Of drones, the governor and Saudi prayer warriors

Of drones, the governor and Saudi prayer warriors

A few weeks after the New York Times published a report that Boko Haram may be using drones in fresh attacks in the North East, something unusual happened. Governor Babagana Zulum of Borno State entered a contract with Saudi-based clerics to offer prayers 24/7 for peace to return to the state. The full details of the contract signed with 30 clerics [...]

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    Buhari and other authors of Nigeria’s famous book

Buhari and other authors of Nigeria’s famous book

If politicians are not tired of making speeches on Independence Day or such occasions, the public is weary of listening. In official circles, it may be a ritual performed with pleasure, but if it is being consumed by the public at all, it’s with great misery.  If the ritualists – or speechwriters as they prefer to be called – will pause [...]

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    El-Rufai’s son, Tunde Bakare and Sowore

El-Rufai’s son, Tunde Bakare and Sowore

Kaduna State governor, Nasir El-Rufai, set the social media alight on Monday when he published the photograph of his six-year-old son, Al-Siddique, as the boy was being enrolled in the state government-owned Kaduna Capital School. Al-Siddique’s attendance was news because in Nigeria, public schools have collapsed. Attendance is not just for the poor; it’s for the poorest of the hopelessly poor. Two [...]

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    Wike’s revenge and Atiku’s next move

Wike’s revenge and Atiku’s next move

The harmattan is coming early for the People’s Democratic Party (PDP). In one week alone, the party lost at the presidential election tribunal, and also left daggers in the backs of two of its contestants in governorship elections in Kogi and Bayelsa, only a few months away to the polls. As if that was not enough, one of the party’s most [...]

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    Death of civility and the rise of rage

Death of civility and the rise of rage

Angry mobs have dominated recent images from the streets of South Africa and Nigeria – Africa’s two largest economies. Even within national boundaries, we have seen pictures in the last few days of defiant groups who feel hard done by, pressed to the wall or left behind by their government. Yet, there are threats of more – not just more [...]

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    The tail wags south Africa-Nigeria dog

The tail wags south Africa-Nigeria dog

One of the most telling summaries of what has been happening in the last few days between South Africa and Nigeria was the comment by columnist, Owei Lakemfa, that the continent’s two largest economies now take orders from the streets. By Tuesday, five persons had been killed, and many more injured or displaced in South Africa while many small businesses built [...]

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    The story of Busola Dakolo’s unknown ‘Cousin’

The story of Busola Dakolo’s unknown ‘Cousin’

Busola Dakolo has a cousin she has never met and might never even meet. They don’t share blood ties, of course. But like tens of hundreds of victims of sexual abuse, there’s a common thread of grief that binds in a way that only those who feel it know. Since last week, we have been caught in the throes of the [...]

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    In search of the real Oshiomhole

In search of the real Oshiomhole

As I watched the video again on Sunday, it felt like a recording from another age, yet it was taped only five years ago. Comrade Adams Oshiomhole was wearing a smart deep-blue suit and red tie over a white shirt. He has shed his trademark brown khaki top and trousers. But looking at this video, not much else appears to [...]

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Exchange Rates

March 25, 2019USDGBPEUR
INTERBANK306397354
LAGOS380478402
KANO375477498
PH380478498
ABUJA375476400
NOTE: The black market rates represent the most prevalent. They could be slightly higher or lower among different sellers.
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