Thursday, April 4, 2019

Simon Kolawole

    An aerial view of 2019 polls

An aerial view of 2019 polls

With the exception of Rivers state — where former friends are at war — governorship elections have been concluded across Nigeria on the not-so-unfamiliar note: the good, the bad and the ugly. As typical of Nigerian politicians, if they win, “the election was free and fair”; if they lose, “the election was rigged”. No politician rejects a result that favours [...]

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    Weaponising religion in Yoruba politics

Weaponising religion in Yoruba politics

In case you missed it, the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC), an advocacy group, has asked President Muhammadu Buhari to appoint Muslim ministers from five south-west states when he constitutes his cabinet for his second term. Why? The group says because five of the south-west governors would be Christians, that is the way to go — to address the “marginalisation of [...]

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    How to end rigging in Nigeria

How to end rigging in Nigeria

Let us perform an experiment. Let us make a Super Law that says if you are an elected public officer at any level of government, you must enrol all your children in public schools. You cannot send your children to private or foreign schools. If they are already in private or foreign schools, you must withdraw and enrol them in [...]

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    Presidential poll: A post-mortem

Presidential poll: A post-mortem

Since I have been old enough to follow presidential elections in Nigeria, I have to admit that I have never experienced the kind of gloomy mood that hit some sections of the country after the declaration of Presidential Muhammadu Buhari as the winner of the February 23 poll. In the past, there would be spontaneous outbursts, demonstrations and riots by [...]

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    Going forward or backward?

Going forward or backward?

The conduct of the 2019 general election has, expectedly, become the subject of heated discussions and debates everywhere — offices, schools, homes, newspaper vendor stands and social media. Predictably, supporters of President Muhammadu Buhari are satisfied with the outcome which favoured their candidate, while those in the corner of Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, the flag bearer of the leading opposition party, [...]

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    The morning after

The morning after

If you ask me, I would say there are three critical stages of elections in Nigeria — and each is potentially explosive. The first is pre-election, where campaign rhetoric is usually a major trigger for tension. There could be episodes of violence, although they are not usually widespread. The second is the election day. It could be peaceful in the [...]

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    INEC’s bolt from the blue

INEC’s bolt from the blue

When your wife is pregnant and gives birth at the end of nine months, you cannot claim you were caught unawares and so you couldn’t buy items for baby delivery ahead of time. Since 2015, we had known that we were going to hold another general election in 2019. It is every four years. It is there in the constitution. [...]

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    Buhari vs Atiku: Matters that matter

Buhari vs Atiku: Matters that matter

When Globacom, the Nigerian telecommunications giant, unveiled Anthony Joshua as its brand ambassador a couple of weeks ago, something delighted me. Even though I know that the world heavyweight boxing champion is originally from Nigeria, I always see him as British. After all, Joshua — who currently holds three of the four biggest world titles — flies the British flag. [...]

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    Lagos in the Year 2050

Lagos in the Year 2050

By the year 2050, Nigeria will have a population of 410 million people, the UN has projected. We will become the third largest country in the world, after India and China. We are currently seventh. Let’s pause for a minute. Imagine the number of hospital bed spaces, the gallons of water, the megawatts of electricity and the millions of new [...]

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    No retreat, no surrender

No retreat, no surrender

Before every election in Nigeria, there is always always always something stirring up emotions, inflaming passion and pushing us, as it were, to the precipice. We are never starved of tension. The polity is always sharply and bitterly divided. The suspension of Justice Water Onnoghen as the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) by President Muhammadu Buhari and the swearing-in of [...]

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    In the name of democracy

In the name of democracy

If you are a lover of competitive democracy, you must have been worried by the pronouncements and demeanour of Alhaji Lai Mohammed, minister of information, on Friday. Lai, speaking in a very bitter tone, told State House correspondents that Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), could spend as much time as he wanted in [...]

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    Justice Onnoghen in the dock

Justice Onnoghen in the dock

Justice Walter Onnoghen, the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), is in the dock. Not in the dock yet, but you know what I mean. He is to be charged before the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) by the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB) on Monday over allegations of false declaration of assets. It is actually a six-count charge, but it [...]

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    The Amina Zakari storm

The Amina Zakari storm

In 2010, when Dr. Goodluck Jonathan assumed office following the death of President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua, he promised us electoral reform. He launched a campaign on “one man, one vote; one woman, one vote; one youth, one vote”. He started to speak about “credible elections”, steering our vocabulary away from “free and fair elections”. This was partly in response to [...]

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    Let there be jobs!

Let there be jobs!

Five weeks ago in Lagos, I attended an event that officially announced the entry of world’s number one outdoor advertising company, JCDecaux, into the Nigerian market in partnership with Grace Lake Partners, a Nigerian investment and advisory firm led by the young entrepreneur, Mr. Ladi Delano. JCDecaux will operate in the advertising sector through Horizon Outdoor Advertising Limited, a fully [...]

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    A vote for parliamentary system

A vote for parliamentary system

In case you missed it, 71 reps have tabled a bill before the house proposing the adoption of a parliamentary system of government in Nigeria. For some reason, this major development is not trending. But I find the proposal very interesting, in fact exciting. As a staunch advocate of restructuring (not to be confused with the disguised campaign to “punish” [...]

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    Ingredients for a credible election

Ingredients for a credible election

On Friday, a little-known civil society group, Zamfara Unity Forum, issued a press statement raising the alarm that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) was trying to interfere in the 2019 governorship election in Zamfara state. The allegation is that the anti-graft agency has arrested Mallam Dauda Lawal, the consensus governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), and [...]

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Exchange Rates

April 01, 2019USDGBPEUR
INTERBANK306397354
LAGOS362475413
KANO361474413
PH361475412
ABUJA362476413
NOTE: The black market rates represent the most prevalent. They could be slightly higher or lower among different sellers.
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