Monday, September 24, 2018

Reuben Abati

    Jan. 15: Where we came from

Jan. 15: Where we came from

January 15 every year is Nigeria’s Armed Forces Remembrance Day: wreaths are laid, statements are made, soldiers, government officials and the Nigerian Legion attend parades, pigeons symbolizing peace are released, a dinner is organized for widows of fallen soldiers and there is so much talk about death and dying for one’s country all in honour of Nigerian soldiers who have [...]

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    Do you speak French?

Do you speak French?

I was on my way back from Botswana, after attending a conference organized by the Africa Leadership Forum (ALF). This was sometime in the 90s, on that same trip was Professor Tekena Tamuno, the eminent historian of blessed memory. We boarded an Air Afrique flight from Johannesburg to Abidjan, where we were scheduled to join another flight to Lagos. But [...]

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    Davido, Baby Mamas and other stories

Davido, Baby Mamas and other stories

“What a relief, my friend!”“What are you relieved about?”“It is this David Adeleke and Sophia Momodu soap opera”.“I tell you. It is a perfect subject for a good home video. But what is your own?”“No. Nothing. I am just relieved that the parties involved have agreed to let peace reign”“This will be about the third time I would hear of [...]

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    2015: The year of democracy

2015: The year of democracy

What is the most compelling, most impactful and most remarkable issue in the year 2015 that has just ended? In my estimation, it is democracy: its contents and discontents, its hopes and impediments, and the forceful manner in which these have compelled us afresh to focus on our circumstances and destiny as a people and a nation. In 2015, democracy [...]

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    Remembering Christmas

Remembering Christmas

Christmas looks so different these days from what it was when I was growing up. It is so different it is almost unrecognizable. In this same country, in the 70s, Christmas was a season of celebration, but also of spiritual upliftment, joy abundant, hope, reaffirmation of faith in the certainty of Salvation, and the ritual of that which begins, and [...]

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    El-Zakzaky, religion and the Nigerian state

El-Zakzaky, religion and the Nigerian state

So much has been said about the December 12 confrontation between the Nigerian Army and members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria led by Sheik Ibraheem El-Zakzaky, the leader of the Shia in Nigeria. I guess the point has been well-made that there are faults on both sides.  There seems to be a consensus, however, that the followers of Ali, [...]

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    Why history should be taught

Why history should be taught

There is never a scarcity of shocking events, revelations, encounters and experiences in the course of the interesting times we seem destined to live in. But nothing can perhaps be more shocking than a recent encounter I had with a young man. He had remarked quite innocently to my hearing that he wondered what all the noise was all about [...]

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    Who released, killed and ate our lion?

Who released, killed and ate our lion?

“Did they send you your own share of the bush meat?”“Bush meat?”“The lion in the zoo that became bush meat in Jos”“What’s my own inside? I don’t know any zoo worker in Jos and how could a lion that was allowed out of its cage and got shot end up in my stomach. The kind of things you say sometimes.”“That [...]

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    A reading list for ministers

A reading list for ministers

A day after the present set of Ministers took oath of office, Nigerians took to twitter to recommend books they think will be of use to them and provide necessary knowledge and guidance suitable for the discharge of their various assignments. Tolu Ogunlesi initiated the idea with the tag: #ReadingListNG, and a request that the name of Ministers should be [...]

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    Sugabelly, rape and Audu’s sons

Sugabelly, rape and Audu’s sons

You probably don’t know Sugabelly. I don’t know her either. But it is the twitter handle of a Nigerian lady: @sugabelly, who in the wake of the death of former Governor Abubakar Audu of Kogi State felt the urge to go public with her story. My foregrounding her/story as opposed to his/story, is further affirmation of an earlier submission that [...]

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    The man who would be governor

The man who would be governor

One of the finest persons I have been privileged to know is Odia Ofeimun: the man has a clean heart, he is completely incapable of malice, and in the face of all odds, he has a sunny view of life, add to that his incandescent mind, his absolute brilliance from which has poured forth a prodigious volume of poetry collections, [...]

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    Audu’s inconclusive death; Mugabe’s wheelchair

Audu’s inconclusive death; Mugabe’s wheelchair

“You look sleepy”“My brother, let’s just say I slept at a fuel station, looking for fuel.”“For which of the women in your life, because I hear these days, to please a woman in Nigeria, you must be ready to supply the three major things lacking in the land: money, fuel, and happiness.”“Leave that matter, please. My condolences on the death [...]

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    Suu Kyi and the Burmese ‘Spring’

Suu Kyi and the Burmese ‘Spring’

Aung San Suu Kyi writes in Letters from Burma: “I have never ceased to be moved by the sense of the world lying quiescent and vulnerable, waiting to be awakened by the light of the new day quivering just beyond the horizon…” That new day and awakening arrived on November 8 on Burma’s (Myanmar) 2015 election day and [...]

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    Super ministers and other stories

Super ministers and other stories

“Have you congratulated our new Ministers?”“I am still thinking about it, actually. I don’t know whether to congratulate them or to commiserate or to pity some of them. They have merged Ministries that need not be merged. Some Perm Secs are now floating. Six months and this is it?”“What kind of talk is that? You have come again oh”.“I wonder [...]

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    WS: A sojourner among liars

WS: A sojourner among liars

Professor Wole Soyinka was quoted saying his latest book is the “nastiest” that he has written so far. InterInventions: Between Defective Memory and the Public Lie: A Personal Odyssey in The Republic of Liars (Ibadan: Bookcraft, 2015, 136pp) is quite close to being just that. But who knows if an even nastier book may follow as Soyinka embarks on the [...]

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    Biafra, Oodua and the seventh lesson

Biafra, Oodua and the seventh lesson

Democracy does not necessarily translate into the disappearance of crises and dilemmas, (even trilemmas, quadrilemmas or more) in a country, either developed, developing or perhaps evolutionary. Built into the fabric of the right to choose is also the right to make mistakes and so, across Africa at this moment, in Nigeria, Tanzania, Cote d’Ivoire, Burundi, Guinea Conakry, Rwanda, the lessons [...]

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Exchange Rates

September 24, 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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