Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Simon Kolawole

    Tackling the myths around COVID-19

Tackling the myths around COVID-19

Some recent events in Nigeria have gladdened and saddened me in equal measure. I was glad when prominent Nigerians who were diagnosed with the coronavirus publicly declared their status. I rejoiced, thinking this would finally take the lid off the disease. To start with, some cynics, particularly of the Jubril Al-Sudani movement, had said the Italian index case was a [...]

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    Covid-19 and the fake news virus

Covid-19 and the fake news virus

Have you heard the news? If you chew heaps of garlic, gulp litres of chloroquine, drink water every 15 minutes, stay in saunas for one hour, take hot bath every two hours, stop eating ice creams, swallow vitamin C tablets every minute, slurp bowls of lemon water at every opportunity, and smoke marijuana more than Fela, Bob Marley and Peter [...]

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    All the emir’s enemies

All the emir’s enemies

The dethronement of His Highness Alhaji Muhammadu Sanusi II as the emir of Kano did not catch some of us by surprise: it was long in the making. All you need to do is google his public statements in the last four years, either when he was commenting on President Muhammadu Buhari’s economic policies or Dr Abdullahi Ganduje’s performance as [...]

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    Restructuring the Nigerian mindset

Restructuring the Nigerian mindset

Were you as disgusted as I was on Monday when the Cross River house of assembly voted against confirming Justice Akon Ikpeme as the substantive chief judge of the state for purely ethnic reasons? In the wisdom of the state lawmakers, Ikpeme had to be rejected because — and I am not joking! — she is “naturally” from “rival” Akwa [...]

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    Nigeria through the lens of coronavirus

Nigeria through the lens of coronavirus

In eight weeks — between January and February 2020, to be specific — a disease killed 118 Nigerians. According to the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), there were 2,633 “suspected” cases, 609 “confirmed” and nine “probable” during the period. The NCDC disclosed that as at February 23, the disease had spread to 27 of Nigeria’s 36 states, affecting 115 [...]

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    Magu and the waiting game

Magu and the waiting game

Is it a sign of the times that Nigerians have, generally, appeared not bothered any longer by certain anomalies in the polity, such as President Muhammadu Buhari’s failure to fill vacancies in several agencies? As I write this, many agencies have been in the hands of acting chief executive for years without any sign that Buhari is interested in taking [...]

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    The Bayelsa bombshell

The Bayelsa bombshell

The Supreme Court has been adding a lot of spice to our politics in recent times, but I did not see the Bayelsa bombshell coming. Less than 24 hours to the swearing-in of APC’s David Lyon as the governor, the court nullified his election because of the credentials of Senator Biobarakuma Degi-Eremienyo, the deputy governor-elect. The two-time senator was accused [...]

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    Majek and the death of protest music

Majek and the death of protest music

Majekodunmi Fasheke, the Nigerian reggae music legend and firebrand rasta who sang protest songs, spoke against police brutality, fought for the downtrodden, promoted ethnic and religious harmony, and brought down the rain, clocked 58 on February 7, 2020 far away from the public eye. He was recently treated at a London hospital for a life-threatening ailment and is currently recuperating [...]

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    Insecurity in the land

Insecurity in the land

Mr Festus Keyamo, minister of state for labour and employment, gave one of the most sensible responses to criticism by an official of the Muhammadu Buhari administration on Friday. Reacting to calls for the president to resign over growing insecurity in the country, Keyamo said: “The hullabaloo over the call by the opposition for the resignation of the President is [...]

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    That supreme court verdict on Imo

That supreme court verdict on Imo

At the risk of exaggeration, I would say that the Supreme Court, on January 14, 2020, delivered its most controversial verdict yet in this democratic dispensation. By ordering the sack of Rt. Hon. Emeka Ihedioha as the governor of Imo state and the installation of Senator Hope Uzodinma in his place, the apex court set tongues on fire. Protesters hit [...]

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    Amotekun: Leopard on the spot

Amotekun: Leopard on the spot

Since the introduction of Shari’a law in Zamfara state in January 2000, nothing else has tested the sanctity of Nigeria’s practice of federalism like the launch of the Western Nigeria Security Network (WNSN), better known as Operation Amotekun (the Yoruba word for leopard), by the south-western states on January 9, 2020. The stated aim of Operation Amotekun is to complement [...]

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    The electricity tariff tango

The electricity tariff tango

Which came first — the chicken or the egg? This is one of the most fascinating debates around. All chickens hatch from eggs and all the chicken eggs are laid by chickens. How then do you determine the cause and the effect? That is the “causality dilemma” we always have to deal with in certain discourses, especially on public policy. [...]

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    Bulldozing the Sarakis

Bulldozing the Sarakis

When I got a call from a concerned Nigerian lamenting that Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq of Kwara state had pulled down the house of Senator Bukola Saraki, I knew truth had become a casualty in the demolition drama. For the record, the house of Bukola Saraki was not pulled down. What is in contention is the political “shrine” of Dr Olusola [...]

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    Buhari and the fifth columnists

Buhari and the fifth columnists

One of the most chilling claims I have ever heard in my life was allegedly made by the chief security officer to a Nigerian military ruler years ago. Nicely confronted by journalists over his suffocating influence on the head of state as well as the spate of bombings and state-sponsored assassinations in the country, he reportedly replied: “I am the [...]

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    The taxman is coming for you

The taxman is coming for you

If you felt intimidated by the public notice on “national enforcement on tax defaulters” issued last week by the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), let’s say that is just the introduction. By the time President Muhammadu Buhari signs the Nigeria Financial Bill 2019 into law — possibly before January 1, 2020 — your life will never be the same again. [...]

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    A major general and a president

A major general and a president

The first time I heard the name, “Major General Muhammadu Buhari”, it was a compliment — as it were. That was on the evening of December 31, 1983. Early in the morning, we had woken up to martial music, followed by words that stuck to my head: “Fellow countrymen and women, I, Brigadier Sani Abacha of the Nigerian army, address [...]

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Exchange Rates

March 25, 2019USDGBPEUR
INTERBANK306397354
LAGOS380478402
KANO375477498
PH380478498
ABUJA375476400
NOTE: The black market rates represent the most prevalent. They could be slightly higher or lower among different sellers.
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