Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Simon Kolawole

    Before the next massacre…

Before the next massacre…

Quote me: the Plateau killings, in which over a hundred defenceless citizens lost their lives, will not be the last. I am not trying to be a prophet — much less a prophet of doom — but the reality of Nigeria is that things hardly change. Internecine killings have been going on consistently for the past 18 years, mostly in [...]

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    Budget as a tool of underdevelopment

Budget as a tool of underdevelopment

In 2011, a brilliant, fine gentleman from the south-south was elected into the Nigerian senate. He was full of hopes and dreams. At a dinner with journalist friends, he outlined his vision and spoke enthusiastically about pursuing “developmental legislative agenda”. He would make a difference, he promised. Two months after inauguration, the senator came to see his friends in Lagos [...]

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    Of June 12 ‘saints’ and ‘sinners’…

Of June 12 ‘saints’ and ‘sinners’…

I have been feeling very uneasy at the re-opened debate over the June 12, 1993 presidential election impasse after President Muhammadu Buhari decided to honour the presumed winner, Chief MKO Abiola, and his running mate, Ambassador Babagana Kingibe, as well as declare June 12 as Nigeria’s Democracy Day. I thought it was a brilliant idea. I thought it would finally [...]

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    The meaning of June 12

The meaning of June 12

For the record, I did not vote on June 12, 1993. Not that I did not want to vote, but the situation conspired with the circumstances to disenfranchise me: I was out of Lagos. If I was in town, though, I would have voted for Chief MKO Abiola, the candidate of the Social Democratic Party (SDP). Ironically, I was originally [...]

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    Hurting on the Inside

Hurting on the Inside

In my teenage years, there was a song I loved very much: On the Inside, by the Mary Jane Girls, the American R&B group mentored by the mercurial Rick James. To be exact, the reggae version by Sammy Levi was part of my daily diet. I must have listened to Levi’s version a million times – or more. The song [...]

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    On Ohanaeze’s six-year term proposal…

On Ohanaeze’s six-year term proposal…

So how can we have a much better Nigeria, a country we can proudly call our own? The debate continues. The dominant line of discourse has been that of “restructuring Nigeria” and there are certainly different shades of the argument. I was fascinated by the communiqué of Ohanaeze Ndigbo at the end of the South-East Summit on the Restructuring of [...]

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    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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Exchange Rates

November 9, 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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