Monday, July 15, 2019

Nigeria Is On The Precipice, Dangerously Reaching A Tipping Point – Obasanjo

*Gen Obasanjo and President Buhari 
Dear President and General Buhari,
Open Letter To President, General Muhammadu Buhari
I am constrained to write to you this open letter. I decided to make it an open letter because the issue is very weighty and must be greatly worrisome to all concerned Nigerians and that means all right-thinking Nigerians and those resident in Nigeria.
Since the issue is of momentous concern to all well-meaning and all right-thinking Nigerians, it must be of great concern to you, and collective thinking and dialoguing is the best way of finding an appropriate and adequate solution to the problem.

The Quintessential Soyinka At 85

It was once the fashion to single out four men of letters as the supreme titans of world literature – Homer, Dante, Shakespeare, and Goethe –  each the embodiment of a great epoch of Western culture – ancient, medieval, Renaissance and modern. These four literary icons of all times remain secure, but idolatry of Professor Wole Soyinka as the prototype of the inquiring spirit and courageous intellect of modern man has been sharply appreciated in our time, especially as we pass beyond the more leisurely issues of the post modernist era.
*Wole Soyinka
The intensely contemporary character of his works has made him the tallest iroko tree in the post-modernist forest of global dramatic literature. Yet, the commencement, two weeks ago, of the Wole Soyinka 85th Birthday Festival, which ultimately climaxed on July 13, his date of birth, unfortunately doesn't seem to wear the official insignia of the Nigerian government especially because he has started telling them the truth about the Nigerian condition. But, it is expected, as Christ Himself says in Matthew 13:57, "A prophet is not without honour, save his own country and his own house."

Friday, July 12, 2019

Nigeria: Salute To Our Troops

By Tony Afejuku
The grand finale of the 2019 Army Day Celebration and Combat Support Arms Training Week (ADC-CSATNW – my abbreviation) ended last week. Not being a soldier, I will not pretend that I understood/understand in toto what our Army did or did not do throughout the long week of the combat training and re-training of our soldiers who have done the little or the much they have done (and are still doing) for our country. No matter the havoc our Army chaps have caused us we cannot say without qualms that they have not done more than several good things for us and on behalf of us all.

Of course, as a boy who was reaching adolescence and who was trying to understand his surroundings and his Nigerian landscape, I did not have a glimpse of any Nigerian soldier until the early nineteen-seventies when our civil war broke out. No. I think I am wrong.

Segun Osoba: No longer Waiting For Godot

By Banji Ojewale
“A man will turn over half a library to make one book”
—Samuel Johnson (1709-1784) English critic and lexicographer.

Waiting for Aremo Segun Osoba’s book, BATTLELINES: My Adventures In Journalism And Politics, has been akin to the experience of the two characters expecting the arrival of someone called Godot who never arrives. In his 1952 tragicomedy, Waiting For Godot, Irish writer, Samuel Beckett presents the helplessness and an accompanying barrenness of an endless wait for a Godot who doesn’t show up. Joined by three other funny actors, these tarrying figures get further mired in a futile wait for the person they do not know. The play closes, tragically and comically, without Godot being revealed in the two-act work.
*Segun Osoba 
Mercifully, lingering for the autobiography of Osoba, former editor of Daily Times of Nigeria, who went on to become the paper’s Group managing-director and the governor of Ogun State, hasn’t followed the trajectory of Godot. Yes, there was a long expectation. But, as it turned out the other day in Lagos, it wasn’t a wait for Godot. Osoba’s own Godot arrived at the presentation of his book ahead of his birthday.

Thursday, July 11, 2019

The Scourge Of Air Pollution In Nigeria

By Kayode Ojewale
AIR is an important and vital requirement for life. Air sustains life, but it can also snuff out life. With air one survives and lives; with air one could also die. So it all boils down to the quality of that air. 

Every living organism requires air for growth and survival. There is no life without air. No air, no life on earth. Human beings need air to breathe because oxygen is the propeller that allows body cells to produce energy from the food we eat. The role air plays in human life cannot be overemphasized because it is the main reason for living. Air is life, life is air.

Thursday, July 4, 2019

Nigeria, Xenophobia and Afrocentricism

In 2005, a new diplomatic law was introduced in South Africa which compelled travelers from Nigeria and a few other countries, to meet certain transit visa requirements before stepping into that country. Those other countries include Democratic Republic of Congo, Egypt, Cameroon, Ethiopia, Ghana, Bangladesh and Sierra Leone. Other countries affected by the law were India, Sudan, Zimbabwe, Somalia, China, Russia, Ukraine, Pakistan and Kenya. Principally, the anti-visitor law was targeting Nigeria. This shows that xenophobia is an official state policy of the South African government. There is indeed nothing wrong with the idea of an independent country choosing who her visitors should be and who should not.
Yet, it is not only a diplomatic shortsightedness but also a demonstration of chronic ingratitude for South Africa not to recognize her benefactors. It also shows, to a large extent, the limpid docility in the mindset of those at the commanding height of that country's diplomacy.

Saturday, June 29, 2019

Ruga Not Rugged Enough

By Banji Ojewale
After a long season of dithering over how to respond to nationwide killings by Fulani herdsmen across Nigeria, the federal authorities this week finally came up with an initiative proving merely to be one of the old tricks from the bag of a hag. We are on familiar grounds again. Nothing new has been said. It is the unveiling of the jaded strategy to bring the entire country under the rule of the cow, the cownisation of our communities nationwide.

From the bag of the hag has come the explanation that the killer herdsmen are our brothers and sisters we must learn to cohabit with.  From the pouch also emerged the revelation that the herdsmen are fleeing warriors from Libya, looking for new theatres after the bloody conflict that consumed Libyan strongman, Muammar Gaddafi. 

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Legality Of Competition Transition Charges In NESI

By Idowu Oyebanjo
The declaration of Eligible Customers (EC) in the Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry (NESI) in 2017 has sent the right signals to investors that the NESI is progressing towards retail competition. However, it seems the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) is yet again trying to walk before it crawls by introducing competition transition charges (CTC) that may discourage potential eligible customers (PEC) and investors from taking advantage of the business opportunities presented by the recent declaration.
This is not the first time we have seen how the timing and implementation of policy directives can make or mar the chances of the power sector surviving turbulent and stormy periods. It is against this backdrop that we analyse the current plans of NERC to introduce CTC in the NESI as it can potentially lead to an increase in the cost of electricity supply (tariffs) to all consumers.

EU Election Report: Straight From Janus!

By Banji Ojewale
Janus was the Roman mythological god that had two faces, front and back. One looked backwards into the past, with the other gazing forward into the future. Heaven help you if you lost your way and ran into Janus at a crossroads. He would blight your plight. For, his mien would indicate two directions, when all you required was one to lead you to your destination. But alas the ancient Romans celebrated this god of guile, elevating him as inspirer of ‘’auspicious beginnings.’’ That’s how the month of January was imposed on us in honour of Janus.

And that is what the European Union Election Observer Mission, EU EOM, that came for Nigeria’s 2019 poll has given the nation: a report with two deceptive sides. The document has been hailed and contemned by the country’s two major political parties, All Progressives Congress, APC, and Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, suggesting that there are two angles, each suiting or damning one side or the other. You go home with what gratifies you and drop that which offends. Yet it’s one report.

Friday, June 7, 2019

E-Campus Television Is Now Known In Several Institutions Within And Outside Nigeria – Emmanuel Aloysius

In 2013, Mr. Emmanuel Aloysius, a graduate of Mathematics and young entrepreneur, founded E-Campus Television where he now serves as the CEO. In this interview with Nigerian journalist and writer, Ugochukwu Ejinkeonye, he shares the story of the organization and where he hopes to see it in the next few years…
*Emmanuel Aloysius 

Monday, June 3, 2019

Is Nigeria Still Redeemable?

Every real nation state is an historical product. It is, in Marx's celebrated phrase, "the official resume of the antagonism in civil society", but under historically determinate circumstances. As such, it is the product of the historically specific constellation of class relations and social conflicts in which it is implicated. 
It may, therefore, indeed, it must, if it is not to rest on its monopoly of the means of coercion alone, incorporate within its own structure, the interests not only of the dominant but of the subordinate classes. In this quite specific sense, then, every real nation state has an inherently relative independence, including, as well, the independence to understand the dynamics of its made-made domestic crises. In consequence, therefore, the general characteristics of the Nigerian nation state today may be seen in terms of the enormity of its domestic crises and social contradictions.

Nigeria Is Under Attack!

By Anthony Cardinal Okogie
On a Monday in September 2015, former finance minister, Chief Olu Falae was on his farm in Ilado near Akure when some armed men came looking for him. At gunpoint, they abducted him and held him until the following Thursday. At the age of 77, he was made to walk several kilometres. He was made to sleep in the rain. According to his own account published in some national dailies, every half an hour, his armed abductors threatened: “Baba, we are going to kill you.  If you don’t give us money we are going to kill you.”
*Cardinal Okogie
By 2018, herdsmen were wreaking havoc in the states of the middle belt of Nigeria. Then, a retired Chief of Army Staff, a veteran of military intervention in Nigerian politics, General Theophilus Danjuma, warned that there was ethnic cleansing in the middle belt. Having lost confidence in the government’s willingness or ability to deal with the situation, General Danjuma called on the people of the middle belt to take responsibility for their own security. The reaction of aides to the President of the Federal Republic was to insult him and call him names he did not deserve to bear.

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Oprah, Obama And The Story Of Black America: Alain Locke's 'The New Negro' Revisited

By Dianam P. Dianam
The twentieth century drew to a close with America's erstwhile Queen of Daytime Television Oprah Winfrey clutching a coveted trophy - proclaimed "Woman of the Century" (by Newsweek magazine) and "arguably the world's most powerful woman" (by and CNN). As though in a relay toward glorification of their ethnic stock, another African-American, Barack Obama, assumed office as President of the United States in the opening decade of the 21st century.

Is Buhari Poorer Four Years After?

By Banji Ojewale
A new race of men is springing up to govern the nation; they are the hunters after popularity, men ambitious…the demagogues, whose principles hang laxly upon them, who follow not so much what is right as what leads to a temporary vulgar applause. 
 Joseph Story (1779-1845), American Judge
*President Buhari 
President Muhammadu Buhari has offered the ‘ideal’ measuring rod to assess him and other public officers while serving the people or when out of office. We don’t need to consult any arcane research or some tongue-twisting grammatical construction to guide us to determine whether outgoing executives have fared well or underperformed. 

Monday, May 27, 2019

Ejinkeonye's Peep Into Nigeria's Looting Culture

Ugochukwu Ejinkeonye is not only a quintessential Nigerian writer and journalist, he is, undoubtedly, one of the most formidable literary and social critics in the country today. Ejinkeonye, whose birthday is today (May 27), is not only a wordsmith of note whose diction, and images capture the experiences and nebulous fancies of the Nigerian condition, he is also one of Africa's most celebrated newspaper columnists and public affairs analysts.

Friday, May 17, 2019

Ganduje, Sanusi And Other Monarchs

By Paul Onomuakpokpo
With a hasty dismissal of Abdullahi Umar Ganduje and Emir Sanusi Lamido Sanusi as victims of self-induced embroilment in a power tussle, we are denied vital lessons for national development. Again, there is the cynicism that Ganduje who is allegedly steeped in corruption, fecklessness and vendetta lacks the altruism that should underpin his dismantling of the Sanusi monarchy. But until Sanusi secures judicial validation, his royal influence remains vitiated as his centuries-old Kano emirate is split into five. 
*Gov Ganduje and Emir Sanusi
We must appropriate the development in Kano State as an opportunity to assess once again the relevance of the traditional institution to contemporary existence. In Nigeria, like some other parts of the world, communities at inchoate stages of development where they lacked defined institutions for cohesion might have had a need for traditional rulers. But with the development of great institutions for self-regulation, Nigeria does not need the traditional institution.

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Bulkachuwa: Red Rag To A Bull

By Banji Ojewale
We are not in Spain. But there, it is claimed that bulls are enraged when red flags flutter before them.   The matador, the man who fights and kills a bull in a sport, gets the beast into the game by waving the red cloth. The indifferent, motionless animal only charges at his opponent when it sights his muleta, the stick with a crimson swathe employed in the final third of the bullfight…We know what follows:  savagery, slaughter and sanguinary cheers from the spectators.
*Justice Zainab Bulkachuwa 
In Nigeria, we appear to be in for a bullfight over the Justice Zainab Bulkachuwa affair. She is the President of the Appeal Court, who has been asked to head the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal looking into the suit of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, and its Presidential Candidate, Atiku Abubakar. They are challenging the victory of Muhammadu Buhari in the poll of February 2019. 

Thursday, May 9, 2019

Nigeria: President Buhari And The Untouchable Bandits

By Paul Onomuakpokpo
If the senate really needed unimpeachable answers to the nation’s security questions, it only demonstrated another case of its accustomed dilettantism when it summoned the acting Inspector General of Police Mohammed Adamu.

Latching on to the platitude that the knowledge of state security matters should be the privilege of only the few in the inner sanctum of government, the senate did not publicise the outcomes of its over two hours’ meeting with Adamu. Yet, unauthorised sources have divulged what transpired at the meeting. The IGP, not unexpectedly, at the meeting blamed his inability to tackle the insecurity on paucity of funds, personnel and weapons.

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Imo: Will Emeka Ihedioha Be Different?

By Ugochukwu Ejinkeonye
Since Mr. Emeka Ihedioha of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) emerged the winner of the governorship election held recently in Imo State, all sorts of people who are able to get themselves interviewed by reporters have been filling our ears with rambling tales about how a new “messiah” had emerged to liberate Imo people from the hands of their “oppressors” and “exploiters” and usher them into a glorious era of limitless happiness.
Emeka Ihedioha 
As a citizen of Imo State who has closely observed several governors enter and leave the Imo Government House, I find the whole absurd drama so revolting.

If only Mr. Ihedioha would spare some moments and reflect, he would realize that there is nothing new about the drab performance that these characters are staging today; nor is it peculiar to Imo State.

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