Reuben Abati

    Donald Trump and the Muslim world

Donald Trump and the Muslim world

I am not a fan of Donald Trump, the incumbent President of the United States. I didn’t stand with him. I stood with her- Hillary Clinton- in the last US Presidential election. No other election in recent American history has been more international in terms of interest and emotional involvement. Trump’s election even divided the Nigerian middle class. Majority of [...]

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    Once upon a time in Gambia

Once upon a time in Gambia

I have very vivid memories of my last visit to The Gambia. This was in 2013 when President Goodluck Jonathan paid a two-day visit to the country. In the course of that visit, President Jonathan commissioned the new Chancery of the Nigerian Embassy in Banjul, and also met with the Nigerian community, in addition to the usual bilateral meetings. Nigeria [...]

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    MMM, Sambisa and the boy died

MMM, Sambisa and the boy died

“Happy New Year, my brother” “What do you mean happy new year, more than two weeks into the New Year. Have I not been in touch with you since January 1?” “But for you the New Year has just started. Your January 1 was not on January 1” “Looks like you have started taking something. I must inform your wife.” “I say Happy New [...]

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    Before Abuja airport is shut down

Before Abuja airport is shut down

A few years ago, the Federal Government of Nigeria shut down the Port Harcourt International Airport to carry out what they called repairs or was it renovation? It was supposed to be an exercise for a few weeks, but it took more than an entire year. Flights were diverted to an airport in the city at great cost to travellers, [...]

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    Nobody comes to Abuja to read

Nobody comes to Abuja to read

I thoroughly enjoyed reading Pius Adesanmi’s “A Nigerian, Library and Lawmakers” (Sahara Reporters, December 24). I will like to add a footnote to what he has raised: hopefully, the likely beginning of a useful conversation around the subject of reading, literacy, politician-constituency relationship, and the normative/practical value of knowledge and research in governance.  At the risk of over-simplification, Adesanmi’s argument [...]

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    A day with the gay community

A day with the gay community

I was invited to deliver the keynote address at this year’s special event on “Human Rights, Sexuality and the Law”, an annual symposium organized to promote awareness on issues relating to the plight of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and/or Intersex (LGBTQI) Community in Nigeria. When this was announced on social media by the organizers, The Initiative For Equal [...]

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    The morning after Christmas

The morning after Christmas

“How was your Christmas Day?” “Comme ci, comme ca” “What’s that?” “I am speaking French. You mean you don’t even understand elementary French?” “No, I don’t. Speak English. How was Christmas?” “Low-key. Like this, like that”. “For me, it was a dead-end Christmas” “God forbid. May we never have a dead-end Christmas. I reject it in Jesus name.” “If you like, summon the Holy Ghost. We have never [...]

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    The Bidoung Challenge

The Bidoung Challenge

Cameroonians got their chance of introducing into the syllabus of Comedy and Other Comic Forms (a subject I taught in my other career), what seemed like a variant of the domestic nature of humour and wit, when in the last week and more days, they forced humour out of what seemed like an ordinary situation and added to the Ice [...]

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    The Yahya Jammeh problem

The Yahya Jammeh problem

When President Yahya Jammeh of The Gambia conceded defeat after the December 1, Presidential elections in that West African country of 1.9 million people, the gesture was widely hailed and described as an indication of great hope for democracy in Africa and particularly for The Gambia, which Jammeh had ruled with an iron fist for 22 years. That election was [...]

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    Goodbye, Fidel Castro

Goodbye, Fidel Castro

The death of Fidel Castro was long expected and when it finally came on Friday night, there was very little surprise across the world. He was 90, and in August, he had himself predicted that he would not live beyond 90. He had been sick for about ten years, compelling him to hand over power as Cuba’s leader in 2006. [...]

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    The threat of a new political party

The threat of a new political party

When aggrieved politicians within the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) decided to join forces with members of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) and the All Progressives Peoples Alliance (APGA) to form the All Progressives Congress (APC) in 2013, they had well-defined, if not so clearly stated, even if [...]

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    Nigeria-US relations and Donald Trump

Nigeria-US relations and Donald Trump

I do not share the view of those who assume that by some kind of miracle, in the shape of electoral-college defections, Hillary Clinton would still, on the strength of winning the popular vote, supplant Donald Trump as US 2016 President-elect. We might as well begin to live with the reality of a Trump Presidency, sad and traumatic as that [...]

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    The sad news of Trump’s triumph

The sad news of Trump’s triumph

“Democracy is tricky; it sometimes ends up as a parody of itself. When the people clamour for change, they can vote with their hearts, and prove impervious to plain sight reason, and overlook likely pitfalls. We can only hope that Donald Trump does not become the symbol of the change that Americans are seeking. That would be sad indeed for [...]

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    Aisha Buhari’s poor understanding of power

Aisha Buhari’s poor understanding of power

Public communication is one of the most delicate challenges that people in public life face, either in the corporate or the public sector.  Many people suddenly find themselves in high places, and they become a source of news, a potential interview subject, and they get chased around by journalists and other media figures who want a story, in fact, not [...]

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    From cancer to prostate surgery, strange things that happened in Jonathan’s Aso Villa

From cancer to prostate surgery, strange things that happened in Jonathan’s Aso Villa

People tend to be alarmed when the Nigerian Presidency takes certain decisions. They don’t think the decision makes sense. Sometimes, they wonder if something has not gone wrong with the thinking process at that highest level of the country. I have heard people insist that there is some form of witchcraft at work in the country’s seat of government. I [...]

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    The Buhari legacy project

The Buhari legacy project

President Muhammadu Buhari’s strategists, if they are at work at all, are chasing ants and ignoring the elephant in the room. They do him great disservice. Their oversight is hubristically determined either by incapacity or a vendetta-induced distraction. It is time they changed the game and the narrative; time they woke up. It’s been more than 15 months since the [...]

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