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Frankly Speaking

The sack of Ondo State: Signs of things to come

Oke, Jimoh, Jegede Agunloye and Akeredolu

This article was written before the election; and the peace we are witnessing can be attributed to President Buhari’s stand (whether his stand is right or wrong is another matter all together) on the APC primaries. By standing firmly behind the Chairman of APC, Chief Oyegun, Buhari whipped most APC members back in line

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Russian President Vladimir Putin and U.S. President-elect Donald Trump agree to improve relations of both countries

Trump trumped Nigeria’s best and brightest

An acquaintance of mine, resident in the US had been in Nigeria for over six months for undisclosed reasons. He was here during the primaries and with the emergence of Hillary Clinton, as the Democratic Party candidate, and Donald Trump, as the Republican Party candidate, he announced that “Clinton will win by a land slide”. Before making that statement, he had asked me what I thought would be the outcome of the Presidential election. My answer to him was: “Trump might win because he is saying what white Americans would like to be done”. My friend followed with almost two hours of “analysis” aimed at proving to me that Trump could not win. He ended up by asking me to “take a bet one dollar from me to one naira from you” that Trump can never win. I don’t bet – out of personal principle. But, I told him we will talk after the November elections.

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Rotimi Amaechi

Amaechi in the eye of the political storm – 2

When Amaechi’s political antagonists went after him, after the altercation with Mrs Patience Goodluck they least reckoned with two factors – the man’s resilience as a politician and the shifting sands of Nigerian politics. They brought all the powers that the Presidency could muster against him. The former Commissioner of Police in Rivers State and the force under his command were deliberately rude and hostile. On two occasions the wife of the President stormed Portharcourt with all the armed forces represented; Amaechi was literally locked into the Governor’s mansion. The scenes reminded me of the early years of the Second World War when Hitler’s armies overran the French and marched triumphantly through Paris.

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Rotimi Amaechi

Amaechi in the eye of the political storm — 1

Mr Rotimi Amaechi, the Honourable Minister for Transport and I have never met. The closest I ever came to him was at the Award Ceremony organized by VANGUARD about three or four years ago. But, it is impossible for anybody to be the Governor of Rivers State without receiving more than ordinary attention among governors. So, in eight years, as governor, he drew my attention to himself – first as a PDP Governor and later as an APC leader in the state. To describe him as a tough political operator would amount to a great understatement.

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Reuben Abati

Reuben Abati’s Aso Rock demons have devoured him

And to this Norman Cousins, one of America’s best known editors, had added that: “Wisdom in people consists of the anticipation of consequences.” They both wrote long before Reuben Abati was born, but they might as well be writing for him. Reading the article he wrote talking about demons in Aso Rock, one cannot help feeling sorry for him. By global, not just Nigerian standards, he is intelligent and can be persuasive with his erudition.

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justice-nigeria

Arrest and detention of justices: A legal and moral dillema confronts us

The same Justice Brandeis had been credited with saying that “Difficult cases make bad law.” The raid on the houses of Justices last weekend is perhaps the most difficult case most Nigerians have ever had to comment upon. For me, it was a heart-breaker – the sort of thing you wish would never happen. Yet, you also know that unless the veil of secrecy covering corruption in the judiciary is lifted, there will not be much progress on corruption elsewhere. Unless Nigerian courts, once again, become the hope of the common man we will get nowhere.

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Osun State Governor, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola; APC National Leader, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu and Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode

Asiwaju Bola Tinubu at crossroads politically

This time last year, he was the toast of Nigerian politics; the man who had stitched together the contraption called the All Progressives Congress, APC, almost single handedly, to score the first major upset of a sitting African President. No exaggeration of his political sagacity and his brilliance and strategist was regarded as excessive. He was the all-conquering hero and Buhari was just the tool for the realisation of his ambition to rule Aso Rock.

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EFCC boss Magu and Patience Jonathan

EFCC and ex-President’s wife in cat and mouse game

Karl Marx, the author of immortal “Communist Manifesto”, which set the world ablaze in the 19th and 20th centuries, wrote about more than economics. He was also a brilliant historian. His observation about individuals and history is pertinent when we turn our minds to the current legal confrontation between the former President’s wife and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.

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sunmi-smart-cole

Sunmi Smart-Cole: Artist behind a camera at 75

Professor Soyinka’s comment can be found at the back of an album which must be a rare collection of artworks presented as photography. It takes one to know one; and Soyinka, an incomparable artist himself, is the sort of person to appreciate genius in an artist operating in another medium. The album is titled SUNMI’s LENS – medium BETWEEN MAN AND NATURE; and I have a copy on account of despair and idleness.

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President Buhari addressing the guests during the launch of the National Re-Orientation Campaign "Change Begins with Me" at the State House Conference Centre (SHCC) in Abuja.

Has President Buhari Changed?

Oddly enough, there are two answers to that question: yes and no. There is abundance evidence to prove that the President who launched another campaign to officially change Nigerian attitudes and values, and his accomplice in that regard, the Minister of Information and Culture, might not be the right people to be preaching to us – their Fellow Countrymen. To begin with, not all changes are beneficial to society.

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President Buhari as he departs Nairobi Kenya for Abuja after participating at the 6th Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD VI) in Nairobi Kenya

Who is the Nigerian leader at the moment?

This article could just as easily be titled ‘HAS BUHARI SUFFERED FROM A CIVILIAN COUP?’ And it would be just as apt. Melaye’s statement quoted above, given what had occurred since May 29, 2015, when Buhari was sworn in for the second time as Head of State, should alert all of us to a startling fact – that Buhari might no longer be in control of his civilian “troops”. In fact, the success of the rebels in installing the leaders of the National Assembly, against the wishes of the President and the other “leaders” of the All Progressives Congress

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GKS-Christian-2

What will happen when Christians no longer turn the other cheek? – 2

The first part of this series was concluded and sent to the SUNDAY Editor on Sunday, August 14, 2016. The next day, Monday, two Nigerian newspapers, GUARDIAN and NATION, carried the same story with the heading ‘New York Imam, Assistant shot dead”. The report was undoubtedly sourced from the wire services or the internet. The NATION’s version is hereby reproduced fully.

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