Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Reuben Abati

    Abati didn’t write that

Abati didn’t write that

I had dedicated Saturday, October 21, to two important events: attending to family duties and participating in a farewell funeral party in Abeokuta in honour of a doughty elderly woman whose paths and mine crossed for many seasons.She was the mother of a childhood friend, who became the mother of many others because she was a dependable ally in [...]

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    Okorocha and Jacob Zuma’s statue

Okorocha and Jacob Zuma’s statue

What is it about South African President Jacob Zuma and statues? Two statues in one month- generating controversy from the streets of Pretoria to the streets of Owerri in Nigeria. In the first week of October, a 30-feet monument was unveiled in honour of President Zuma in the North West region of his country. South Africans had opposed the idea [...]

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    Kachikwu, Baru and the NNPC debacle

Kachikwu, Baru and the NNPC debacle

The current NNPC debacle is probably the most embarrassing, even if mercifully, eye-opening crisis in the history of that nationally strategic institution since its creation in 1977. I seek in the following commentary to offer a number of observations that would probably throw some light on the muck and confusion running riot out there on the matter. In my view, it [...]

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    Ambazonia, Biya’s intolerance and internet democracy

Ambazonia, Biya’s intolerance and internet democracy

A Biafra-like agitation for independence has been unfolding in neighbouring Republic of Cameroon since November 2016. The people of Northern and Southern Cameroons under the  umbrella of the Southern Cameroons Ambazonia Consortium United Front (SCACUF) finally decided to affirm the independence of the English-speaking sections of Cameroon from the Republic. Like the Indigenous People of Biafra, the Ambazonians as they have [...]

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    Letter to Nnamdi Kanu

Letter to Nnamdi Kanu

We have never met. I only know you by reputation and I have had cause in the last year to write on your activities within the public arena and offer my own views about you, your persona, and your interventions in the Nigerian debate. I sincerely hope you would get to read this letter wherever you may be, that is [...]

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    The python does not dance…

The python does not dance…

Operation code-names have been an important part of military operations since the Germans first applied them in World War 1 but it may be said that the recent (or ongoing?) controversial military exercise in the South Eastern part of Nigeria codenamed Operation Python Dance II is the first major incident in Nigerian military history to draw attention to this seemingly [...]

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    Mama Taraba and the APC crisis

Mama Taraba and the APC crisis

Mama Taraba is Senator Aisha Alhassan, the current Minister of Women Affairs in the Muhammadu Buhari cabinet, and arguably the most influential female politician in Taraba state today. She did something shocking and unusual in Nigerian politics during the last Eid-el-Kabir holidays. While paying homage to former Vice President Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, she addressed him as follows: “Your Excellency, our [...]

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    Akwa Ibom churches as parastatals

Akwa Ibom churches as parastatals

Religion was not quite a major divisive issue in the community in which we lived in the Old Cross River State in my days as a student there. On Sundays, students felt free to attend church service either within the campus or outside. I do not recall any major religious upheaval in the largely Christian community that the old Cross [...]

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    JAMB and the politics of cut-off marks

JAMB and the politics of cut-off marks

I have followed with keen interest the controversy over the announcement of cut-off marks for Nigeria’s admission processes for the 2017/2018 session, with many commentators and the general public insisting that it is unwise, insensitive and retrogressive, to reduce the cut off mark for admissions into our tertiary institutions: 120 for universities, 100 for polytechnics and monotechnics, and a tentative [...]

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    Aso Villa and the audacity of rats

Aso Villa and the audacity of rats

“What’s that sound I am hearing?” “What sound?” “I thought I heard something like miaow, miaow…” “Oh my cats…oh yes…” “Are you now breeding cats?” “Not really. But I have just joined a group of concerned Nigerians who are planning to go to the Presidential Villa in Abuja to help sort out this issue of rats that invaded the President’s office and chased him out [...]

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    Presidential broadcast and other stories

Presidential broadcast and other stories

“Baba don come oh. Baba o yo yo, Baba Bubu o yo yo”“What is that?”“Eh, o yo yo”“If you are this excited about President Buhari’s return, then why didn’t you go to Abuja to welcome him when he arrived from England on Saturday.”“I didn’t have to”“After 104 days on medical vacation in London. You should have been there to show [...]

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    Buhari’s reunion with his media team

Buhari’s reunion with his media team

I was really excited on Saturday when I received news of the eventual visit of President Muhammadu Buhari’s media team to him in London. I had always felt that the exclusion of the media team from the London medical vacation and the various visits practically undermined the presidential media office, and created the space for the mismanagement of the communication [...]

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    Osinbajo’s vision and the climate of fear

Osinbajo’s vision and the climate of fear

“Where have you been?”“I have been around”“I was just wondering why you have not said anything since the Acting President proclaimed that those of you who are asking for the restructuring of Nigeria are a bunch of government appointment seekers.”“So?”“Yes, so?”“Well, if you must know, I actually think that the Acting President is right.”“Chei. I don’t believe you. Ekwetaghi m gi!”“He [...]

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    Of herbal healing, spirituality and public health

Of herbal healing, spirituality and public health

The other week, July 20 to be precise, I was the reviewer of an important book on herbal healing. Herbal healing is often dismissed as a form of sorcery and in these days of obsession with Pentecostalism, many Africans still consider traditional medicine a taboo. To disprove this, a Catholic monk, Fr. Anselm Adodo began an experiment in 1996 when [...]

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    Lunch in London, anxiety in Nigeria

Lunch in London, anxiety in Nigeria

“What’s gwan inna wa cwantry?”“What language is that?”“English of course.”“Sounds like Creole to me. Why don’t you just talk straight?”“Nobody talks straight in this country anymore.”“I still talk straight.  I can’t start twisting my tongue because some people have lost it.”“Okay, I was asking what is going on in our country?”“Is that a direct question or a sly comment?”“Just answer [...]

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    PDP: A lifeline from the supreme court

PDP: A lifeline from the supreme court

On Wednesday, July 12, the Supreme Court saved our democracy and the People’s Democratic Party (PDP). It did with its ruling in the matter between Ali Modu Sheriff and Ahmed Makarfi, to determine who among the two is the authentic Chairman of the PDP. The Supreme Court of Nigeria practically threw the party a lifeline. Since it lost the 2015 [...]

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Exchange Rates

September 18, 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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