Friday April 18th, 2014
Friday April 18th, 2014
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When a Finance Minister turns money-doubler

  /   in For Crying Out Loud 9:25 am   /   Comments

*Briefing on Result of GDP in Nigeria: Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of Economy, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo –Iweala chatting with Minister of National Planning Amb. Bashiru Yuguda  and Statistician –General of the Federation and CEO of National Bureau of Statistics Dr. Yemi Kale during presentation of Preliminary Results of the Rebased Nominal Gross Domestic Product ( GDP) Estimates from Nigeria 2010 to 2013 held in Abuja. Photo by Gbemiga Olamikan.

I  COULDN’T help it. As soon as the new figures conjured by Dr Okonjo-Iweala out of Nigeria’s “rebased” Gross Domestic Product exercise came out, I shouted abracadabra! Then I chanted, “Come and see Ah-meri-ka wonder! Come and see Ah-meri-ka wonder!” I promptly substituted “Nigerian” for America in that spell-casting ditty of itinerant tricksters that used to haunt the busy bus terminals of our major cities. I completed the expression of my wonder by crying out loud, “The more you look, the less you see!” 

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Praying for Nigeria: A citizen’s secular meditations

  /   in For Crying Out Loud 1:33 am   /   Comments

praying

IF I were a praying man, I would be on my knees every minute of the day for the next three months. And if I could be sure not to expire from the inhuman sacrifice, I would seek to better God-the-Son by fasting for 90 days and nights, hoping that the 492 wise men and women selected to rescue Nigeria from the precipice of self-annihilation would not need a day beyond June 15, 2014 to complete their task.

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Against dialogue with Boko Haram

  /   in For Crying Out Loud 1:16 am   /   Comments

Boko-haram-negotiation-cart

THE pattern is clear. The more bloodcurdling the atrocities of Boko Haram the louder the calls for dialogue with the band of murderous psychopaths whose official name is Jama’atuAhlissunnahLidda’awatiWal-Jihad.

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The unending military siege to Delta State

  /   in For Crying Out Loud 12:45 am   /   Comments

UDUAGHAN3

DELTA is a densely populated state that also happens to house a vast amount of oil and gas. The Sapele-Warri-Ughelli corridor, extending to Port Harcourt, is the industrial and commercial heartbeat of the state and has a high volume of vehicular traffic.

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What do Nigeria’s public ‘servants’ think about when going to work in the morning?

  /   in For Crying Out Loud 12:10 am   /   Comments

State Secretariat Alausa, Lagos: Under bomb threat?

I HAVE known Senator Femi Ojudu for 25 years, since his days at the defunct African Concord. We were co-tenants of General Abacha’s gulag at 15A Awolowo Road and Inter Centre at Obalende, Lagos, until I was transferred to Ikoyi Prison while he remained a ward of the State Security Service (SSS). In all that time, even as a founding editor of The NEWS, I have not known him to be a man given to impulsive speech, sensationalism or self-exhibition. Thus, when he spoke recently of some curious things in the 2014 budget, I was all ears.

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Are homosexuals human beings?

  /   in For Crying Out Loud 12:16 am   /   Comments

Anti-Gay-Marriage-1

THE theme of the 1993 United Nations world conference on human rights in Vienna was Women’s Rights Are Human Rights. I was with the Civil Liberties Organisation then and attended the conference.

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President Jonathan, Please end the tragic farce in Rivers State now!

  /   in For Crying Out Loud 9:05 pm   /   Comments

President Goodluck Jonathan

DEAR President Goodluck Jonathan , I never thought I would join in the letter writing orgy that has seized all of Nigeria by the wrist! Certainly, not given the self-serving purposes of the Epistle of Saint Matthew of Otta to the people of Nigeria through you and the many replies to it.

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Slouching into 2014

  /   in For Crying Out Loud 9:24 am   /   Comments

Nigeria-map

From the same poem that gave Chinua Achebe the title of the work that immortalised him, Things Fall Apart, comes this more foreboding sentence: “And what rough beast, its hour come round at last/ Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?”

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Becoming a man and a poet at the Nelson Mandela secretariat

  /   in For Crying Out Loud 12:24 am   /   Comments

mandela-tribute1

When I was elected secretary-general of the students union at the University of Benin in 1987, I headed a secretarial named after Mandela. I do not know when the decision was taken to make Mandela the tutelary patron of our union whose struggles were mundane by comparison to the race-wide, all-of-humanity-embracing, cause that kept him underground for several years and eventually in prison for twenty-seven more.

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God Told Me… (In Memoriam: Kofi Awoonor, 1935-2013)

  /   in For Crying Out Loud 1:36 am   /   Comments

kofi-awoonor

ON September 21, the Ghanaian poet, writer, scholar and diplomat, Kofi Awoonor, was murdered along with many others in a terrorist attack launched by religious fanatics of the Somalia-based Al Shabaab Islamic fundamentalist sect purportedly acting on God’s behalf. For over a month now, I have intended some form of reflection in this column.

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Who killed Iyayi? Who owns Nigeria’s roads?

  /   in For Crying Out Loud 12:54 am   /   Comments

*Late Iyayi

If you were looking for further proof that Nigerians are yet to attain the status of citizen, then look no further than the murder of Professor Festus Iyayi on November 12, 2013 by a driver to the convoy-death-and-injury-happy governor of KogiState, Idris Wada.

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Bullet-proof corruption

  /   in For Crying Out Loud 2:32 am   /   Comments

Aviation Minister, Ms. Stella Oduah

IT was bound to come to this. The moment our “zero tolerance for corruption” president decided to fight tooth and nail against the public declaration of his assets, the moment he chose to declare instead “I don’t give a damn!” about any such nonsense as probity and leading by example, you knew the day was just around the corner when a ministercould import bullet-proof luxury cars as personal gifts to herself.

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No, Mr President, Legislators – Sovereignty belongs to the People!

  /   in For Crying Out Loud 12:50 am   /   Comments

A cross section of members of the Presidential Advisory Committee on the National Conference during the inauguration of the Committee at the State House, Abuja. Photo: Abayomi Adeshida.

AND just like that, President Goodluck Jonathan took the wind out of his own sails! With his Independence Day announcement, and subsequent empanelling of a National Conference Advisory Committee, his floundering presidential ship of state seemed set to sail out of troubled waters. I was, and remain, cautiously optimistic about his decision to convene a national conference.

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Salvaging Nigeria: Only a Sovereign National Conference will suffice!

  /   in For Crying Out Loud 12:23 am   /   Comments

President Goodluck Jonathan flanked by Vice President Namadi Sambo (4th right) and the Chairman, Presidential Advisory Committee on the National Conference, Dr. Femi Okurounmu while other committee members watched shortly after the inauguration of the Committee at the State House, Abuja. Photo by Abayomi Adeshida.

Over lunch at the Ocean View restaurant on a humidJuly afternoon in Lagos, my good friend YinkaOdumakinsought to add a little spice to our dismal discussion of “Project Nigeria”: he had it on good authority, he said, that President Goodluck Jonathan would soon surprise and confound the forces arrayed against him by acceding to the call for a national conference.

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The Olu as Daddy Overseer

  /   in For Crying Out Loud 12:40 am   /   Comments

His Majesty Ogiame Atuwatse II The Olu of Warri Photo by
George Osodi

What does the storm fomented entirely out of a “born again” king’s tea cup tell us about our rulers, “spiritual” or “temporal?” By a proclamation, the Olu of Warri, Ogiamen Atuwatse II, sought to abrogate the ancestral title of Ogiamen on the ground that it implied worship of a false god, Umalokun the Itsekiri deity of the sea. It was an attempt to rewrite Itsekiri history and folklore according to the Pentateuch. Yet there had been no conflict between the personal beliefs of Itsekiri monarchs and the tenets of their monarchy, as he was promptly informed by his outraged “subjects.”

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Will America ever erase the colour line?

  /   in For Crying Out Loud 12:37 am   /   Comments

Martin Luther King Jr

A YEAR to the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington and the benediction of Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech, America reached for a brush, dipped it in white paint and freshened the racial colour line of which King’s predecessor, W. E. B. Du Bois, spoke so eloquently 60 years earlier in The Souls of Black Folk.

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Air, air, everywhere, not a place to breathe in Lagos!

  /   in For Crying Out Loud 12:25 am   /   Comments

...The Growing Beauty Of Lagos

I HAVE taken extreme liberties with the anguished cry of Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s narrator in “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner” for good reason.

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The hapless surrender of the states to the Federal Government

  /   in For Crying Out Loud 12:58 am   /   Comments

SAVE-US-cartoon

The cry of a colossal central government that has arrogated unto itself every important executive and legislative power and reduced the states to mere administrative appendages in our false federal republic can be heard from all corners of the country.

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A female Christ and other miracles of demo(n)cracy in Nigeria

  /   in For Crying Out Loud 12:29 am   /   Comments

Hon Evan Bapakaye at Loggerheads with a Mobile Police Officer at the Rivers State House of Assembly during the Crisis that Rocked the House.  Photo: Nwankpa Chijioke

The ugly spectacle of the “street fight” that broke out in the Rivers State House of Assembly on July 9 gives further and better particulars of our determination to forever make nonsense of representative governance and a fool of ourselves.

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Tell me in what Egypt my people’s feet lie chained!

  /   in For Crying Out Loud 12:13 am   /   Comments

A sand sculpture of ousted Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi, created by sand artist Sudersan Pattnaik. AFP

IT took Egypt only two years after its first taste of democracy to give the latest demonstration of Africa’s abiding paradox: every flower of hope is turned sooner, rather than later, into the weed of despair.

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Why the Senate’s single six-year term should be resisted

  /   in For Crying Out Loud 12:31 am   /   Comments

senate-Jonathan

SOON after his election, President Goodluck Jonathan proposed his panacea for the political troubles of Nigeria: a single six-year term.

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Nigeria as a social club

  /   in For Crying Out Loud 12:41 am   /   Comments

Nigeria Football Supporters Club in South Africa

AS the battle for control of the Nigerian Governors Forum continues, we are reminded once again of how our pretence at nationhood reduces governance to absurdity.

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Who should pay the pilgrim’s passage to paradise?

  /   in For Crying Out Loud 12:49 am   /   Comments

The last batch of 2011 pilgrims to Saudi Arabia by Med-View carrier arrived the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Ikeja, Lagos recently.

HAD Nigeria, like Britain, an unwritten constitution, no one would know ours is officially a secular country. Every politician not only wears his or her righteousness like the mark of Cain on the forehead but is also a lay pastor or imam.

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Paying the Police a livable minimum wage

  /   in For Crying Out Loud 12:34 am   /   Comments

One of the officers arrested for gross indiscipline

THE Inspector-General of Police, Mr Mohammed Abubakar, wants to raise the entry point salary in the force from N28,000 to N100,000.

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What must the law-abiding masses do to be heard by Jonathan?

  /   in For Crying Out Loud 12:52 am   /   Comments

Nigerian-Footbal-Fan

WHAT do the Nigerian people have to do to be heard by their government? As you read this, President Goodluck Jonathan is busy trying to impose amnesty on a bloodthirsty jihadist group that feels insulted by the idea.

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Boko Haram’s two-state solution to Nigeria

  /   in For Crying Out Loud 2:38 am   /   Comments

boko-amnesty

EVEN before the offer of amnesty was made, it was rejected out of hand. In words dripping with scorn and disdain for constitutions and the rule of law, two leaders of the terrorist group Jamâ’a Ahl al-sunnah li-da’wa wa al-jihâd (Congregation of the People of Tradition for Proselytism and Jihad), better known as Boko Haram (Western education is forbidden), spat in Jonathan’s eye.

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Chinua Achebe: The novelist as revolutionary

  /   in For Crying Out Loud 12:00 am   /   Comments

Chinualumogu  Achebe, Professor of English, father of modern African literature

CHINUA Achebe’s stoic and gradualist approach to life was evident not only in his unhurried diction and surgically measured prose but also in the kind of solutions he proffered to the vexing questions of the post-colonial world. Particularly, in Nigeria, the country that vexed him the most — to the point of death in exile.

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Yes, I pardoned a serial treasury looter but what can you do about it?

  /   in For Crying Out Loud 12:00 am   /   Comments

President Goodluck Jonathan (l) addressing newsmen shortly on arrival at the Yamoussoukro International Airport, Cote D'ivoire for the 42nd Ordinary Summit Of Heads Of State and Government of ECOWAS on Wednesday (27/2/12).with him is President Alassane Ouattara of Cote D'ivoire.

PRESUMABLY, President Goodluck Jonathan and the members of the National Council of State who granted a state pardon for the convicted former governor of Bayelsa State, D. S. P. Alamieyeseigha, are aware of Section 14 (2) of the Constitution which states that “The Federal Republic of Nigeria shall be a State based on the principles of democracy and social justice,” and accordingly “sovereignty belongs to the people … from whom government … derives all its powers and authority.”

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A President and his Lady Lazarus

  /   in For Crying Out Loud 12:23 am   /   Comments

From left; First Lady, Dame Patience Jonathan; President Goodluck Jonathan; Vice President
Namadi Sambo; Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu; Deputy Speaker, House of Representatives, Emeka Ihedioha and other ministers  at the thanksgiving.

SPEAKING at last of her hitherto ultra-secret six-week “rest” in Germany, Mrs Patience Jonathan, not known for nuance or circumspection, made a direct comparison to the Biblical Lazarus whom Jesus raised from the dead. “I am not Lazarus,” she said, then added “but my experience was similar to his.”

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Authority stealing pass armed robbery

  /   in For Crying Out Loud 3:51 am   /   Comments

Corruption1

I OWE the title of this column to Fela Anikulapo-Kuti’s classic song of outrage, and call to action, against the live evil of corruption threatening to throttle Nigeria to death.

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A case for punishing corruption as armed robbery

  /   in For Crying Out Loud 1:06 am   /   Comments

Pension Scam— Former Director of Pension, Police Affairs Ministry, John Yakubu Yusufu heading to Kuje Prison over N300 million scam, yesterday. I

AS the world moves away from capital punishment, Nigeria, always to be found in the rear-guard of progress, has embraced it with renewed vigour.

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Ekwe and the raging army of God’s protectors

  /   in For Crying Out Loud 12:33 am   /   Comments

University of Port Harcourt students brutally beaten and burnt alive

THE omens remain frightful regarding what awaits us this year in the moral conscience arena of our ever more degenerate social landscape. On Monday, 14 January, a holy mob in Ekwe, a village in Isu Njaba Local Government Area of Imo State, arrested three men suspected of having consensual sex, beat them up, stripped them bare to their dangling nuts, tied them together and paraded them through the streets.

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