Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Simon Kolawole

    The ‘forwarded as received’ warfare

The ‘forwarded as received’ warfare

This is not a drill. If you are keeping questionable images and videos on your phone, you may want to think twice. A Nigerian man has just been deported from the US after immigration officials randomly stopped him at the airport and searched his phone. They found gory images and hate messages that people normally send around by WhatsApp under [...]

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    Governors must have at least five credits

Governors must have at least five credits

Asked by journalists to list his achievements, a governor proudly said: “Mr Bigg’s has opened an outlet in the state capital under my administration.” The reporters could hardly stifle their chuckle. Another governor told a group of editors that “peace obtained and maintained” was his biggest achievement, pointing to an award plaque given to him by an association of crime [...]

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    PVC and its many limitations

PVC and its many limitations

Mr. Fela Durotoye, a presidential aspirant, recently suggested that women should deny their husbands sex if they do not have the voter card, popularly known in Nigeria as permanent voter’s card (PVC). He might have put things rather dramatically, but he was in essence hammering on the importance of registering to vote in the 2019 elections. I have also followed [...]

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    The Nigeria of our daydream

The Nigeria of our daydream

Around 9am on Friday, April 20, 2018, I grabbed my phone to check my messages. My wife and I had taken an early morning walk and I had been separated from my phone for over an hour. It was inevitable that there would be many missed calls and messages patiently waiting for my attention. The first message I saw was [...]

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    Shall we tell the president?

Shall we tell the president?

Dear President Muhammadu Buhari, I hope this meets you well. I don’t know if you remember me. My name is Simon. Simon Kolawole. Never mind. We will come to that later. Let us briefly journey into history for proper context into why I have chosen to openly write you this morning. I first heard of your name in the evening [...]

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    A woman spotted the snake

A woman spotted the snake

Three years ago, Oronto Douglas, then adviser to President Goodluck Jonathan, lost his brave battle with cancer. He fought to the very last minute. For once, cancer met a stubborn victim who refused to go down without a fight, even when the odds were hopelessly stacked against him. His death on April 9, 2015 – four months to his 49th [...]

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    Separating the wheat from the chaff

Separating the wheat from the chaff

You knew there would be serious trouble when Lagos state had to be shut down – apparently for security reasons – to allow President Muhammadu Buhari visit. Life was made unbearable for millions of Lagosians whose livelihoods were put on hold for the visit. It needs to be said that Lagos is a city where there are real economic activities [...]

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    Clearing the ‘peculiar mess’ in Lagos

Clearing the ‘peculiar mess’ in Lagos

When it rains, it pours. Recently, I wrote an article on the marathon of development-focused governance, which I described as a “relay race”. I used the performance of Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, the governor of Lagos state, as the reference point. I said though there were issues “here and there”, he had done well in several areas in less than three [...]

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    The long walk to 2019

The long walk to 2019

A huge number of Nigerians, from what I can see, will vote against President Muhammadu Buhari in 2019. Which is no news, really. All you need to do is read the newspapers, watch the TV, listen to the radio or browse the internet to come to that conclusion. Those who voted against him in 2015 will certainly do it again. [...]

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    One more thing to restructure

One more thing to restructure

Matthew Syed, the British journalist and author, is one of my favourite sports columnists. His article, ‘Why Chelsea fans are doctoring reality over the latest controversy’ (The Times of London, August 17, 2015), readily comes to mind as I ponder over the nature and quality of public debate in Nigeria. Jose Mourinho, the Chelsea coach at the time, had been [...]

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    Playing politics with purpose

Playing politics with purpose

In those days when I believed I was ready to marry and needed to, at least, start a relationship, I met a lady I very much liked. But I wanted something more than chemistry. I was thinking of how we would complement each over a lifetime. Confused, I asked a friend, Kunle Kasumu, for insight. Though he himself was single, [...]

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    The more things change…

The more things change…

Confirmed: nothing ever changes in Nigeria. The more things change, the more they stay the same. This immortal epigram of Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Karr, the 19th century French critic, journalist and novelist, captures the fortune of the Federal Republic of Drama aka Nigeria. That is why when anything happens these days, I’m like: haven’t I seen this before? I’m seeing repetition [...]

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    Governance as a relay race

Governance as a relay race

I first met Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode early May 2014 somewhere in Victoria Island, Lagos. We had just launched TheCable online newspaper. We ran a story — “The man who would be next Lagos governor” — which surprised him, for it was not yet public knowledge that he was going to throw his hat in the ring. I saw him briefly. [...]

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    Rome was not destroyed in a day

Rome was not destroyed in a day

Sadiq Daba, the actor, ran into some serious health issues recently. He cried out for financial help to undergo foreign treatment. Pronto, Nigerians reacted overwhelmingly. But wait. I did not hear anybody talk about Daba’s religion or ethnic group. The people who tweeted and retweeted his appeal for help, and those who contributed money, were certainly not from his village. [...]

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    The Spirit of Lagos that Nigeria needs

The Spirit of Lagos that Nigeria needs

You know elections are close when politicians begin to confess their love for Nigeria. Suddenly strange bedfellows are walking side-by-side, arms locked, lovey-dovey. Arch rivals and sworn enemies are dining and planning and plotting and plotting and planning. Politicians who have contributed immensely to the underdevelopment of Nigeria begin to tell us exactly what we want to hear: that the [...]

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    Before Nigeria becomes Somalia…

Before Nigeria becomes Somalia…

I got a call from a senior northern politician recently. He’s generally a man of peace and often calls to commend me anytime I write on “peace and unity”. But this was a different call. His tone was remarkably different and harsh as he spoke about the Benue killings. He spared little time for the obligatory I-like-your-article ice-breaker and rushed [...]

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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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