Friday March 27th, 2015
Friday March 27th, 2015
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GEJ, Alams, Nwobodo and “authority stealing” (1)

  /   in Frankly Speaking 7:45 am   /   Comments

alams-jonathan

Although the dictionary included dishonesty among the definitions of corruption, President Jonathan had insisted that it is only stealing. I fully accept his definition of what happens in official circles. My mentor on this was the Abami-Eda himself, Fela Anikulapo – who left us with a track titled “Authority Stealing”. Jonathan, it can be assumed from his utterances and conduct, appears not to be prepared to fight corruption. But, will he wage war against stealing? Given the facts available to me, the answer is “definitely No!”

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Mr. president, I’ll believe it when it happens (2)

  /   in Frankly Speaking 1:24 am   /   Comments

economy

In the first part of this series, readers were reminded about three promises by military Heads of State – Gowon, Babangida and Abacha – to hand over to civilians at certain times; only for each of them to be forced out later – without delivering on their promises. Gown and IBB went out alive by palace coups. Abacha was bundled out, feet first, on account of mysterious, but divinely timed death.

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Mr. president, I’ll believe it when it happens

  /   in Frankly Speaking 12:48 am   /   Comments

economy

“If you believe that, you will believe anything.” That was my comment on five different occasions when Nigerian Heads of State, three military and two civilians have made categorical statements about their intention to depart. And each time, events have proved me right. I remain firmly convinced that “Skepticism is the first attribute of a good critic”, thanks to James Russell, Lowell, 1819-1891. It is always sad, when Presidents and Heads of State, in Nigeria make the same promises, at very critical stages in their tenure of office, just to buy more time, while planning to disappoint the people later.

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Presidents and the Press/Media

  /   in Frankly Speaking 12:28 am   /   Comments

President Jonathan with Ibanga Isine, Adesuwa Onyenokwe, Deji Badmus & Ibrahim Sheme..during a presidential media chat today.

The report published in the PUNCH concerning imminent clampdown against some media houses, namely, PUNCH, NATION and Channels TV, could only have surprised and alarmed people in the media who have not accepted that when a nation is on the brink of disaster, the media, if it does its work as the watchdog of society, is always the first target of those in government.

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INEC shifting polls and its consequences

  /   in Frankly Speaking 12:34 am   /   Comments

91 years old man casting his vote at Iyin Ekiti. Pic by Dare Fasube

Only a fool would have expected the presidential elections to hold yesterday. That it took INEC until a week ago to realize their error merely proves, once again, that people can be very intelligent, but not wise. Professor Jega is the author of what will follow from now on.

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Chief Olufemi Daramola my “saviour” is 80

  /   in Frankly Speaking 12:27 am   /   Comments

80th-birthday

Next Saturday is presidential election day, and, this being the last Sunday before that “make-or-break” election, readers would have expected today’s column to be about the election. But, once in a life time, a person faces a personal dilemma; he has to choose between two vital duties. Such was my problem when Chief Olufemi Daramola, KJW, Alage II of Omuo-Ekiti called me to announce he would be 80 today. I had choice to make and this is it. Let me quickly explain.

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Before Jonathan visits Akwa Ibom State

  /   in Frankly Speaking 12:12 am   /   Comments

Jonathan acknowledging cheers from the crowd in PH

That piece of advice for people all the way down in the value chain of the poultry industry was prelude to the modern management principle of always having Plan B. It was a lesson I learnt in 1970, in Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA, immediately after securing a loan to purchase a house for my family. My former wife, like all the others, had depended on one plumber, admittedly the best in the County, to fix our pipes. The problem was that, this “genius of a plumber” was also everybody’s favourite fixer.

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Akwa Ibom State goes APC; Jonathan blunders

  /   in Frankly Speaking 12:05 am   /   Comments

Okon-Umana

Nothing is more pathetic that when a contestant, out of hubris, and refusal to listen to all sides, loses a contest he should have won easily. President Goodluck Jonathan had just handed over Akwa Ibom State to the All Progressive Congress – on a silver platter.

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Before your state governor runs away (1)

  /   in Frankly Speaking 12:43 am   /   Comments

Eight-governors

Blessed are politicians when out of power. They reveal all the things which those in power labor to hide from us. Since December 2013, I had warned My Fellow Nigerians, about the inevitable collapse of crude oil prices and its consequences. Obviously, nobody listened. In May 2014, out of sheer frustration, associated with talking to the deaf, I wrote a column titled SO YOU WANT TO BE GOVERNOR IN 2015.

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Okonjo Iweala’s third budget bites the dust

  /   in Frankly Speaking 12:26 am   /   Comments

Ngozi--Okonjo-Iweala-presen

In that now forgotten long poem, which we memorized in our secondary school days, Kipling listed several instances of forbearance which would, in the end, qualify anyone to be called “a Man, my son”. But Rudyard lived in a different age than our own – which is increasingly becoming the Age of Uncertainties.

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Jonathan’s Ph.D Versus Buhari’s “semi-illiteracy” (1)

  /   in Frankly Speaking 11:00 am   /   Comments

Jonathan or Buhari  who will you pick ?

“An excellent plumber is infinitely more admirable than an incompetent philosopher [PHD holder]. A society which scorns excellence in plumbing, because it is humble activity, and tolerates shoddiness in philosophy, because it is an exalted activity, will have neither good plumbing nor good philosophy. Neither its pipes nor its theories will hold water.

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Obasanjo versus Obasanjo on Jonathan

  /   in Frankly Speaking 9:14 am   /   Comments

Jonathan and Obasanjo

Back in 2010, a few days after late President Umaru Yar’Adua passed on, former President Obasanjo thundered: “Jonathan, you must run; don’t tell me you won’t run.” One would have thought that the man was patriotic enough to recommend someone competent to run the ship of the Nigerian State to us and the world. Two weeks ago, the same Obasanjo launched a book he titled My Watch.

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Jonathan versus Buhari: A clear choice

  /   in Frankly Speaking 12:30 pm   /   Comments

Jonathan or Buhari  who will you pick ?

“Once to everyman and nation comes the moment to decide; in the strife between truth with falsehood, for the good or the evil side.”

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Umana O. Umana AKS game changer

  /   in Frankly Speaking 8:06 pm   /   Comments

Okon-Umana

I met Obong Umana O Umana, October last year at the Catholic Church in Uyo, when he attended the first year memorial service for the late first Lady of Akwa Ibom State, Alison Attah. He had only recently ceased to be the Secretary to the State Government, SSG under conditions still shrouded in mystery. Until then, he was regarded as one of those on the other side by those close to Obong Victor Attah, the former Governor; including me. We got together after the service and exchanged cards. Something told me that this was a man to watch closely. Thank God, my instincts, on matters like this, never deceive me. It is already news that Umana had emerged as the flag-bearer for the All Progressive Alliance, APC, in the state just a few weeks after decamping from the PDP where he had been a member since 1998.

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Goodbye Okonjo-Iweala

  /   in Frankly Speaking 9:16 am   /   Comments

Okonjo-Iweala

On Thursday, November 27, 2014, the PUNCH, on page 14 reported as follows: “Don’t blame me for naira devaluation – Okonjo-Iweala.” In the report, the Minister of Finance, was quoted as saying that “Nigeria has what it takes to manage its way through. Benchmark for the budget 2015 had been lowered to more realistic $73 per barrel. Never in the history of budgeting in Nigeria had a Finance Minister been so often wrong as Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala had been this year. But before presenting the irrefutable evidence, a quick remark is needed about her self-acquittal from blame for the devaluation. Certainly, the Finance Minister cannot be blamed for devaluation.

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Dressed in borrowed robes: My own transformation agenda

  /   in Frankly Speaking 12:28 am   /   Comments

President Jonathan

I was warned by Tusser and by the Yoruba adage about borrowing clothes. But, what can a guy do when a call came “from above” that the VC (Emeritus) of UniJankara who had bested virtually the best economists in government, by being so accurate in his predictions, can no longer be allowed to have the picture of a “Palm Wine Tapper” at the top of his columns. “Go get a suit” said the voice “from above”. That was easier said than done. I had no suit to get.

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Requiem for Ekwueme’s ‘Baby’ – PDP(1)

  /   in Frankly Speaking 12:08 am   /   Comments

Mu'azu: PDP's game changer

It was no news that Jonathan would seek another term in office. Never mind that well-orchestrated deception about going to Jerusalem to seek “divine guidance”. Obama did not go there for the simple reason that nobody has ever seen God in Jerusalem. Even the “merchants of miracles”, who accompanied new “prayer warrior” know that. It was just another opportunity to collect bountiful estacodes from a depleting national treasury by the “Haves”. The former “shoeless boy” has discovered new friends – they are the jet owners. He has abandoned all those poor people gullible enough to buy his “sob stories” in 2011.

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Another Samuel steps forward to lead his people (1)

  /   in Frankly Speaking 12:27 am   /   Comments

DECLARATION: All Progressives Congress, APC, presidential aspirant, Mr. Sam Nda-Isaiah during his declaration to contest for the APC presidential ticket in next year's election in Minna, yesterday.

“And Samuel spake unto all the [house(s) of Nigeria] saying, “President Jonathan had not been able to perform the most basic responsibility of any leader, which is provision of security to the people of this country”. I Samuel 7:3 joined with the third paragraph of the Declaration Address by Samuel Nda-Isaiah, APC, Christian, Northerner, presidential candidate, Minna, Tuesday, November 4, 2014.

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Comparing Buhari with Jonathan – 2

  /   in Frankly Speaking 7:33 am   /   Comments

President Goodluck Jonathan and Gen. Muhammadu Buhari (rtd)

Aribisala, in an astonishing demonstration of arrogance of ignorance piled more falsehoods into one paragraph than any respectable columnist and public opinion molder should be allowed to get away with in two years.

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Comparing Buhari with Jonathan: Iroko versus rotten wood –1

  /   in Frankly Speaking 12:39 am   /   Comments

BUHARI DECLARES—Arrival of Gen. Mohammadu Buhari, during his declaration of intent for All Progressives Congress, Apc, Presidential candidate in Abuja, yesterday. Photo: Gbemiga Olamikan.

Generally, you can assess the quality of a man, especially a politician by observing those who rise up against him. General Buhari (rtd) is a shinning example of such a person. Expectedly, his declaration for the Presidency, more than that of any other possible opponent of President Jonathan, had thrown a lot of people into a manic frenzy. Some of them are my co-columnists in the Lagos/Ibadan axis – as papers like PUNCH, THISDAY, GUARDIAN and VANGUARD are called.

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Vote of thanks on behalf of the old people of Nigeria

  /   in Frankly Speaking 12:12 am   /   Comments

Retired Military men protesting at the Confab

Thank God October 21, 2014 came on schedule and it was a glorious day in every way possible. Threatening rain gave way to a bright sunshine and a cream of the Old People in Nigeria assembled at the United Nations Information Centre, UNIC, to celebrate the Older Persons Day, 2014. To Allah be the Glory.

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Political murders are in the air as race to 2015 progresses –1

  /   in Frankly Speaking 12:12 am   /   Comments

Plateau-new-massacre-1

Long before Niccolo Machiavelli, 1469-1527, warned people in politics that “he who abandons what is done, for what ought to be done, will rather bring about his own ruin than his own preservation”, Critias, an Athenian statesman, had already foretold the use of murder as a political weapon. Since 1999, Nigeria had experienced political murders as we approached the Presidential and governors elections – in 2003 (Marshall Harry, Bola Ige), in 2007 (Funso Williams) and again in 2011( ten, in the “Arc of Evil” (Abia, Akwa Ibom and Imo alone). The bodies are about to start falling before the 2015 elections.

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The Federal Republic of Dust and Ashes –1

  /   in Frankly Speaking 1:00 pm   /   Comments

economy

By Dele Shobowale “Life is brief; a little hope; a little dream and then – good night.”Leon Montanaeken, 1859. “Ah make the most of what we may yet spend/ Before we too into dust descend/ Dust unto dust…Omar Khayyam. Dying is a serious business; as much as living – believe me. With it, the Grim

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Old Peoples Day celebration October 21, 2014

  /   in Frankly Speaking 12:08 am   /   Comments

*A gathering of the elderly under the aegis of CHEP on Independence Day

“If you don’t die, you are bound to grow old.”

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Somebody must be lying

  /   in Frankly Speaking 12:00 am   /   Comments

MEETING: From right;  President Idriss Deby of Chad; President Goodluck Jonathan and former governor of Borno State, Senator Ali Modu Sheriff at a meeting in Chad on  Monday. Photo: NAN.

By Dele Sobowale “That was the full extent of his [Senator Sheriff] participation in the visit and it was also at Ndjamena Airport that the pictures which formed the basis of the bogus allegation of President Jonathan hobnobbing with the ‘accused sponsor of terrorism’ were taken.” Dr Reuben Abati, PUNCH, Friday, September 12, 2014 p

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A tale of two defectors: Fani-Kayode and Ribadu(3)

  /   in Frankly Speaking 12:11 am   /   Comments

Former EFCC Chairman, Mallam Nuhu Ribadu

Let me conclude my series on the “dandy duo” who defected to the PDP from the APC (can you spot the difference please?) – each of them bringing with them more liabilities than assets to the parties they join; and increasingly becoming political jesters. For sure, none has ever won an election; none has a political structure of his own. All they bring to a political party is noise and nuisance value. Wait and see. Let me remind our readers about one of Ribadu’s escapades.

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A tale of two defectors: Fani-Kayode and Ribadu(2)

  /   in Frankly Speaking 12:14 am   /   Comments

FEMI FANI KAYODE

When Femi Fani-Kayode took to politics, he embarked on a treacherous journey which had caused his father ruination because he could have been Nigeria’s most celebrated lawyer – if he had kept to his learned profession. Chief Remi Fani-Kayode, was the country’s youngest Queen’s Counsel, QC – the equivalent of today’s Senior Advocate of Nigeria, SAN. But, sadly, neither his proficiency in law nor his unfortunate foray into politics is remembered by most people. Pity. Among other things he talked tough and was widely known as Fani Power.

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A tale of two defectors: Fani-Kayode and Ribadu

  /   in Frankly Speaking 4:39 am   /   Comments

Nuhu-Ribadu12

A honest politician, like a chaste prostitute, is almost an oxymoron – a contradiction in terms. Still there are a few who are passably honest and stay true to the ideals associated with them from start to finish. By contrast, the nation had witnessed a tragic-comical episode of two young politicians who in the space of a few years have turned themselves into political nuisances.

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Congrats Aregbesola; great challenge Omisore

  /   in Frankly Speaking 12:04 am   /   Comments

Aregbesola and Omisore

From the day after the Ekiti Election until two weeks ago, I received several text messages from PDP supporters, as well as those who just wanted to taunt me for declaring my support for Governor Fayemi who lost the election. I was unperturbed because I know that a democracy means that there must be at least two candidates contesting and one person must win – irrespective of whether the election is free and fair. And the fact that the majority had selected the winner does not always mean that they have chosen wisely.

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Why are we insulting President Jonathan?

  /   in Frankly Speaking 12:19 am   /   Comments

Jonathan-hands-head

On Wednesday May 28, 2014, I went to visit an elder statesman, from the Niger Delta, in Nigeria. On the same day, several newspapers carried the story about Mrs Patience Jonathan asking (begging? ordering?) people to stop insulting her husband – the President. My senior friend/Oga took out his iPad and showed me an audio/visual recording titled Na You One Waka Come. That spoof mercilessly and viciously lampooned Jonathan and his wife. At first, I found the stuff amusing; then it became annoying and finally alarming.

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The promise of death in Akwa Ibom —2

  /   in Frankly Speaking 12:28 am   /   Comments

*Akpabio

Crimes have been committed in Akwa Ibom State – murders, kidnappings, arson, abduction, extortion – most of which had not been solved by the Nigeria Police or the SSS till today. By 2009, according to the Annual Report of the Nigeria Police, Akwa Ibom, hitherto low on the league table of states for crimes had risen to the number one position. It was definitely not the sort of “trophy” any state governor would like to keep on his shelf.

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The promise of death in Akwa Ibom – 1

  /   in Frankly Speaking 2:00 am   /   Comments

*Akpabio

I expected a response from Akpabio. But, threat of death for those he described as “politicians seeking power through backdoor”, whatever that means, was not one of them. I had also hoped that Akpabio through his spokespersons or directly to the public would disclaim the statement credited to him. “I was misquoted” has, after all become the standard cry of politicians who realize that they have said something better left unsaid. But, three days had passed and there had been no denial. Are we then supposed to understand that a governor in the democratic Federal Republic of Nigeria is declaring death on people who have not been tried for any crime warranting a death sentence?

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