Friday, November 16, 2018

Reuben Abati

    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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    Chi Onwurah MP: ‘British, not Nigerian’

Chi Onwurah MP: ‘British, not Nigerian’

Chi Onwurah, the Member of Parliament representing Newcastle Central in the UK House of Commons and my former colleague at the State House, Molara Wood, met recently at the 2017 Caine Prize for African Writing award ceremony. When Molara informed Chi that her re-election along with six others had caused so much excitement in Nigeria and even produced official letters [...]

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    The Nnamdi Kanu phenomenon

The Nnamdi Kanu phenomenon

The most discussed subject in Nigeria today is what is called “restructuring” and indeed so popular is this subject that it has attracted the attention of roadside commentators, the bright, the not-so-bright, the mischievous and the outrightly unintelligent all united by the singular claim that Nigeria belongs to all of us and we all have a right to determine its [...]

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    Buhari and the Hausa language

Buhari and the Hausa language

“Baba just fall my hand! Ha, wetin.”“Which Baba?”“Baba Bubu, the President of all Nigeria.”“In the spirit of this season, may Almighty Allah (SAW) grant him good health and quick recovery. It is part of our duty to pray for our leaders. Only infidels pray for evil.”“My friend, the fasting season has ended. Stop fasting after Ramadan. I am saying something [...]

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    JAMB 2017: Matters arising

JAMB 2017: Matters arising

I attended a meeting recently at the headquarters of the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board in Bwari, Abuja: the post-2017 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination review meeting chaired by the JAMB registrar, Professor Ish-aq Oloyede. Participants included Professor Oloyede and his technical team, field officers and other staff, all the Chief External Examiners who supervised the 2017 UTME, across Nigeria, mostly [...]

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    Igbo-haters, the Arewa ultimatum and our nation

Igbo-haters, the Arewa ultimatum and our nation

Fifty years after the civil war ended, Igbos do not yet feel a sense of belonging, acceptance or safety in the Federation called Nigeria. The sad part is that this belief is shared not just by the generation that witnessed the war and its deadly consequences, but Igbos across all generations, including the millennials who have been socialized into believing [...]

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    Democracy, Biafra and a sense of history

Democracy, Biafra and a sense of history

It is sad that many Nigerians today talk glibly about the possibility of a coup or of military intervention in politics.  They make it seem as if this democracy is something we can exchange for something else. We need to be reminded, as we celebrate democracy day 2017, how we got to this very moment, and how precious democracy is [...]

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    Buhari and the marabouts

Buhari and the marabouts

“Have you read Lauretta Onochie’s latest post?”“Lauretta. Lauretta. Who is she?”“She is a social media assistant at the Presidency. She shoots straight and direct. She defends President Muhammadu Buhari with the passion of someone the President treats like a daughter.”“Not a son, this time, a daughter! Interesting. Of power, fathers, wives, sons and daughters….”“She spits fire, particularly if the person [...]

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Exchange Rates

November 16, 2018USDGBPEUR
INTERBANK306397354
LAGOS359475418
KANO359476420
PH360476420
ABUJA359478419
NOTE: The black market rates represent the most prevalent. They could be slightly higher or lower among different sellers.
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