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Showing posts from July, 2014

MR. PRESIDENT, SHOW ME THE MONEY!

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Lately President Goodluck Jonathan has been going out on a lot of limbs, politically and financially. Notable among his risky political machinations are the recent impeachment of the Adamawa State governor as well as the failed impeachment of the Nasarawa State governor. 
The targeting and harassment of opposition governors with impeachment sets a bad precedent and is likely to do more harm to our already shaky democracy. This strategy of beating the opposition into submission or extinction flies in the face of the basic principle of democracy as the mere presence of an opposition is a major feature of a democratic society.
As for his financial fallibilities, the infamous case of the missing/unaccounted for $20 billion readily comes to mind. It will be recalled that he did not and has still refused to accept that the money is missing, needless to say calling for an investigation into its disappearance or whereabouts. 
Recently he upped the ante of his financial errors by stating his inte…

KADUNA! WHAT HAS BECOME OF MY BELOVED KADUNA?

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As the car sped past the toll gate heading into the city of Kaduna from Kano, my mind raced ahead as I went through a mental checklist of all the plans my cousin Abba and I had made for the holidays. I was so giddy with excitement it felt like the car wasn't moving fast enough. I arrived and disembarked at the Kawo motor park amid the hustle and bustle of the Kawo Tuesday market. Despite the sweltering April heat, I was too preoccupied with the sights and sounds of the city to bother. 
During the ride to my final destination, I got chatty with the cab driver and informed him I was born in Kaduna but hadn't been to the city in almost 22 years. He became a tour guide of sorts as he rattled out the brief history of some landmarks along the way. He told me about the Hassan Usman Katsina House, which is where the office of the executive governor is located, Arewa House sits on the grounds of the residence of the former Premier of the Northern Region, Sir Ahmadu Bello. On and on he w…

WHAT WOULD OLIVIA POPE DO?

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I remember very vividly the first time I saw her. It was on a Monday night in 2013 at about 8pm. At first I didn't take much notice, then something about her struck me. She walked in a manner that exuded confidence. Her steps were certain, purposeful. She seemed to know what she wanted and she knew she would get it. That clarity and certainty was written all over her face. She was walking through the blue carpeted corridors of the White House while I was stretched out on my couch sipping a cup of tea watching her on MNET West Africa. Her name was Olivia Carolyn Pope. 
For those that may be confused as to who I'm referring to, Olivia Pope is a fictional character portrayed by Kerry Washington, created by Shonda Rhimes for the political drama series The Fixer (also known as Scandal in some countries). Pope is a Washington, D. C. based crisis manager who runs her own firm, Pope & Associates, that specializes in political situations. In The Fixer, she is a revered fixer who hel…

THANK YOU MALALA BUT WE'LL TAKE IT FROM HERE.

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Before I dive into what is undoubtedly going to be a tirade, I would like to tender my sincere and unreserved apologies to Malala Yousafzai as well as those who hold her in high esteem for any perceived slight on theirs and their heroine's sensitivities for the things I'm about to say. Believe me, I'm one of those who has a tremendous amount of respect for Miss. Yousufzai. If my daughter turns out to be half as courageous as she is, then my quest for joy and pride as a father would have been successful. My tirade is not against her personally but against the attitude of our government and some Nigerians for the way we treat one another with disdain, then suddenly become well mannered model citizens when foreigners are involved. My grouse is with the extreme and unbridled hypocrisy our government shamelessly flaunts when foreign activists show up or show concern for our problems while harassing our own activists for showing concern over the same issues. 
Since the Chibok abd…

MAIDUGURI IS CLOSER THAN WE THINK

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The following is a work of fiction. Any resemblance of the characters to persons dead or living is purely coincidental. It is a portrayal of the harsh realities of the ongoing insurgency in Nigeria's North East as well as our collective vulnerability. 

The commuting time from my home to my office is usually 17 minutes on a good day and 35 minutes on days when the traffic is bad. I drive through the business/commercial district which puts the newspaper vendors within my travel path. As a result of this proximity, I'm able to get a close look at the headlines of newspapers on sale. There are always headlines with boldly written words about the murderous campaign being waged by Boko Haram in Borno and Yobe, and the resulting humanitarian crisis as a result of the rampage. 
Sometimes I'm able to catch a glimpse of some words. At other times when I have to stop at the traffic intersection I get to read the entire headline. The stories are mostly graphic and disturbing so I look…

THE PERILOUS PREDICAMENT OF ANDY COULSON, ROLF HARRIS AND JIMMY SAVILE

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As far as having a bad week goes, this one has been the worst of their lives for Andy Coulson, Rolf Harris and Jimmy Savile. Well, not for Jimmy Savile as he has been dead for almost three years, but his name and memory have once again been tossed into the limelight of disgrace, as a result of the Metropolitan Police’s Operation Yewtree_ investigation and his friend, Rolf Harris’s recent conviction and sentence for child sexual assault. Andy Coulson and Rolf Harris however, have to contend with an embarrassingly steep fall from grace occasioned by scandals unprecedented in British history, which seem extremely difficult for them to ever be able to live down. It is not only because the nature of their crimes are particularly heinous that makes this an issue worthy of endless commentary, it is the position they hold (or held) in British society and the trust reposed in them by virtue of that position that has shocked the UK and indeed the world. 
To get a better understanding of their cr…

CHIBOK PARENTS: HOLDING THEIR BREATHS INDEFINITELY

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Mr. Mutai Hona was a loving father of eight kids and a caring husband of two wives. Despite the inherent hardships of catering for a large family in today's economy, Mr. Hona was able to send two of his eldest daughters to Government Secondary School, Chibok to get an education. As with most parents, he had high hopes for his daughters. Hope that the hardship and sacrifices he endured would be worth it when the education his daughters receive would bear fruit. Hope that the success of his eldest daughters would spur their younger ones to follow in their footsteps. 
However, his hopes and those of other parents were dashed when in the dead of the night in April, marauding savages commonly known as Boko Haram militants abducted his daughters along with hundreds of other girls. I can imagine how he must have felt; the rage coursing through his veins as well as a feeling of utter helplessness. 
A few weeks later, a video released by Boko Haram showed some of the girls dressed in long fl…

11 HUMAN RIGHTS, INSURGENCY CONTAINMENT TIPS FOR SECURITY PERSONNEL.

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I can hear the commentators already typing away furiously at their keyboards ready to launch a barrage of criticism against me, a bloody civilian, for daring to lecture security personnel on how to deal with the ongoing insurgency in Borno and Yobe states. Pardon me, I mean no harm or disrespect. I'm just trying to give a few tips in addition to the vast wealth of experience the security personnel already posses. Granted, I'm no expert. These are just, well, let's call them common sense tips which I feel will go a long way if adopted. 
It is no longer news that in the current war against Boko Haram, certain factors have impeded any major successes that could've been recorded by security personnel. From arms and ammunition shortage, tactical mistakes, miscommunication, lack of coordination amongst the various security agencies, the list is endless. Human rights violations rank top amongst these factors, with wide allegations of extrajudicial killings by the security forc…