Friday October 31st, 2014
Friday October 31st, 2014
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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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Aregbesola deserves second term

  /   in Frankly Speaking 7:44 pm   /   Comments

Aregbosola

Certainly, most good leaders are enigmatic individuals who invariably sharply divide the society. Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola of Osun State is one such political leader. Since making his grand entrance into political office in Lagos State, Aregbesola had carved for himself a niche as a workaholic and an original thinker. He is also totally passionate about what he chooses to do. And like late Chief Obafemi Awolowo, late General Murtala Mohammed, late Gani Fawehinmi and late Chief Bola Ige, you always know where he stands on any issue. That, to me, is the most important attribute of a leader. One might not always agree with him, but, you know where he stands. Very few Nigerian leaders who had occupied executive positions could be so described. So despite the setback to the All Progressive Congress, APC, in Ekiti, there is no hesitation endorsing this most complex of all the governors in Nigeria.

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Assessing the performance of govs and presidents – My way (2)

  /   in Frankly Speaking 12:26 am   /   Comments

Jonathan-wth-the-G5-governors

Permit me to try my hands at some elementary philosophy borrowed from Philosophy 1a, which I read as an undergraduate in 1964. It goes like this “Facts and truth are not always synonymous; but, anything claiming to be the truth must contain elements of fact(s) which are indisputable.”

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Assessing the performance of governors and presidents – My Way

  /   in Frankly Speaking 12:02 am   /   Comments

Daily, if not every minute, people all over Nigeria are passing remarks reflecting their assessment of the performance of their elected officials. President Jonathan, who, unfortunately, is the first President to rule during the Age of Facebook and Twitter, had been known to lament that he is the most insulted President in the world today. He has my sympathies. But, I can assure GEJ that the lashes he is now receiving will be love pats compared to what his successors will experience in the future – if that is any consolation.

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Congrats Fayose; Lesson for Fayemi and APC

  /   in Frankly Speaking 12:06 am   /   Comments

File: Gov. Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti (l) and Governor-Elect, Mr Ayo Fayose, during Fayose's visit to the Governor in  Ado-Ekiti on Monday

It was like a thunder bolt. I supported Fayemi; but, I had reasons to believe that he might not win the election. Still, I was prepared for a very close contest. The result, confirming the overwhelming preference of the people of Ekiti State for Fayose, was stunning and totally unexpected. So, let me start by extending my congratulations to Governor-elect, Ayodele Fayose – whose election has, at least, blown away one long-held myth. We now know that the people of Ekiti State don’t respect scholarship any more than other Nigerians.

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Ochendo and inspirational legacy projects

  /   in Frankly Speaking 12:00 am   /   Comments

*Gov Theodore Orji

Politics has reached fever pitch in Nigeria; even when the 2015 elections are still seven to eight months away. Not wanting to be left on the starting block, politicians have embarked on doing what they do best – peddling half truths or blatant falsehood against their opponents and in their own favour. The last thing the public should expect is absolute truth from professional politicians. When Louis Howe, 1871-1936, wrote that, “You cannot adopt politics as a profession and remain [totally] honest”, (VANGUARD BOOK OF QUOTATIONS p 192), he left us with an axiom which will stand the test of time.

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Adams Oshiomhole elephant invaded by soldier ants

  /   in Frankly Speaking 12:17 am   /   Comments

EDO ASSEMBLY CRISIS—Police at the Edo State House of Assembly as the crisis in the House continued, yesterday. Photo: Barnabas Uzosike.

Albert Einstein, the man reputed to have possessed the highest Intelligence Quotient, IQ, of any human since the metrics for measuring IQ were developed, and who left the world with an equation, E=MC2, about which several thousand PhDs have been awarded, knew the problem about being a genius among intellectual inferiors. His sojourn at Princeton University was a lonely one – interrupted frequently by the vicious attacks of yam-heads in and out of the Physics Department of the Ivy League institution. He was not alone.

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Fayemi Versus Fayose In Ekiti

  /   in Frankly Speaking 12:00 am   /   Comments

Fayemi and Fayose

Generally, I seldom write about issues at state or local government levels. Since coming on this page almost 20 years ago, I had prioritized my attention to focus on the Federal government – which still controls most of our lives. In a really federal republic, this should not be the case. But, nobody can change reality. So occasionally, a matter comes up at state level which calls for comments. With respect to Ekiti State, I write because I am involved. My maternal grandfather Pa Agbe-Davies, the first Nigerian to reach the rank of Inspector in the Nigeria Police, was from Ogotun Ekiti. So, this is home front.

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Should Jonathan have gone to Chibok?

  /   in Frankly Speaking 6:46 am   /   Comments

Army-Jonathan

History never repeats itself; human beings do. Unfortunately, our almost total regard for the lessons of history drives us, and we sometimes drive our leaders, to avoidable disasters.

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Derivation: Thank God for old men at Confab

  /   in Frankly Speaking 12:24 am   /   Comments

Delegates at the on-going national conference

Indisputably one of the greatest historians ever, Plutarch brought us the story of the Athenian general – Phocion – who led his people to several victories – often acting against popular advice. Phocion later received the blessing of Mandela, who had this to say about leaders.

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Chibok: After the hysteria; time for sober reasoning – 1

  /   in Frankly Speaking 12:25 am   /   Comments

Abuja : Former Nigerian Education Minister and Vice-President of the World Bank's Africa division (3r L) Obiageli leads a march of Nigeria women and mothers of the kidnapped girls of Chibok, calling for their freedom in Abuja on April 30, 2014.

“Nor should we listen to those who say ‘The voice of the people is the voice of God’. For the turbulence of the [masses] is always close to insanity.” Alcuin

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“How the oil was lost by Niger Delta governors” (1)

  /   in Frankly Speaking 12:57 am   /   Comments

obong_victor_attah

“The onshore/offshore oil dichotomy issue has been constitutionally resolved by the 1994/95 Constitution. OMPADEC has been retained and is expected to be community based for effective participation of the affected communities. Besides, the revenue sharing formula, which I helped to fashion out, at the national Conference, though not meeting our target of 30 per cent derivation, promises to place more money at the disposal of the state administrators.” And for a while it seemed as if Attah was on sure grounds.

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Support our Armed Forces and security for your own sake (2)

  /   in Frankly Speaking 12:02 am   /   Comments

Officers of the Joint Military Task Force (JTF) patrolling  in Maiduguri in a sweeping offensive against Boko Haram militants.
AFP PHOTO/

“A steady patriot of the world alone/ The friend of every country but his own. George Canning, 1770-1827.

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M&M: The two most dangerous men in Nigeria

  /   in Frankly Speaking 12:10 am   /   Comments

Alhaji Lai Mohammed of ACN and Chief Olisa Metuh of PDP

One American politician once said that every political party, sooner or later, develops its “lunatic fringe” – people who carry the advocacy for the political party to the most dangerous extremes. Nigeria has not reached there yet. But, we are getting too damn close for comfort. And two men, one belonging to the Peoples’ Democratic Party, PDP, and the other a member of the All Progressive Congress, APC, are driving us “hell for leather” to the brink of political madness.

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Why Jonathan must run in 2015

  /   in Frankly Speaking 12:46 am   /   Comments

JonaMua

“You can’t beat something with nothing.” American Baseball Team Manager; after his team lost seventeen games in a row.”

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“Why is Dele Sobowale introducing religion into politics?”— (2)

  /   in Frankly Speaking 12:59 am   /   Comments

APC-toon

I wrote the first part of this series on Sunday, March 30, 2014. On Monday, March 31, 2014, THISDAY published a lead story alleging that a Muslim-Muslim ticket was being planned by the All Progressive Congress, APC. According to the paper, General Buhari (rtd) is proposed to be the presidential candidate, while Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, would be the Vice Presidential candidate. I smiled; because it was no news to me. First, I have been informed about the development a few days before. One of the two had visited someone in Abuja; and, he made the point that ‘ANYBODY CAN DEFEAT JONATHAN’ [capitals mine]. And on that basis, it was decided that A Muslim-Muslim ticket was safe – after all Christians voted overwhelmingly for the Abiola-Kingibe ticket. Christians, again, failed to protest, vigorously, the Buhari-Idiagbon military leadership – both of which were Muslim-Muslim teams. I had smiled when this was mentioned to me – because I expected it. Why? Let me explain. But, first, permit me to make two pertinent comments.

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“Why is Dele Sobowale introducing religion into politics?”

  /   in Frankly Speaking 12:00 am   /   Comments

religions

Ordinarily, I would not have tried to offer any explanations to those asking this question, except that last week, the matter was raised by the Publisher of VANGUARD, our dear Uncle Sam, in Abuja. We had gone to the nation’s capital for different reasons and accidentally met at the VANGUARD office. On our way to lunch (for me a free lunch which no ajeru Area Boy would turn down) Uncle Sam informed me that he was with some friends who were “disappointed” that Dele Sobowale, who writes mostly philosophical articles, would descend so low as to start introducing religion into politics.

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Is the National Conference doomed before it starts? – 2

  /   in Frankly Speaking 12:20 am   /   Comments

President Goodluck Jonathan flanked by Vice President Namadi Sambo and the Conference Chairman, Justice Legbo Kutigi  (4r) while the Speaker TIONAL CONFERENCE House of Representatives, Hon. Aminu Tambuwal (3l); Vice Chairman of the Conference, Prof. Boolaji Akinyemi (3r); Chief Justice of the Federation, Justice Aloma Mukhtar (4l) and other dignitaries watched in a group photograph with delegates after the inauguration of the 2014 National Conference of the People of Nigeria at the National Judicial Institute, Airport Road, Abuja. Photo by Abayomi Adeshida 17/03/2014

Forgive me for breaking up the article IF I DON’T MAKE IT. The National Conference is far more important than anyone’s private life – including mine. Two weeks ago, I had written the first part of this piece with a definite bias which must again be declared up front. I want the 2014 CONFAB to succeed. As the publisher of THISDAY Newspapers, Mr Nduka Obiagbena, had pointed out, this CONFAB cannot solve all of our problems. No CONFAB can do that because previous military governments had endorsed constitutions which had led us into the dead end in which we find ourselves.

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If I don’t make it (1)

  /   in Frankly Speaking 12:10 am   /   Comments

File photo

Words of wisdom, as you will soon discover. If I wake up on the morning of May 8, this year, I will beam a benevolent smile on anybody saying to me “go and die”. What else is there to do? On that day, I would have broken a family jinx or curse as a result of which no male child in the Sobowale family, in two hundred years, had made it to 60. On that day I will be 70.

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Ibibios take on Akpabio for control of Aks –1

  /   in Frankly Speaking 12:10 am   /   Comments

*Akpabio

Call it calling a dog a bad name in order to hang it; or what you like. But, the Ibibios, who constitute more than sixty five per cent of Akwa Ibom State, have regrouped under former Governor Victor Attah and they have jettisoned zoning. The next governor of Akwa Ibom State will be an Ibibio. Part of the reason for their change of mind on zoning is contained in the allegations quoted above.

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Resurgence of child trafficking in Akwa Ibom State

  /   in Frankly Speaking 12:54 am   /   Comments

CHILD-TRAFFICKING

At least two people, one alive and one departed, must be shaking their heads, with sadness and disbelief, when reading that story about Akwa Ibom. This was one tragedy they struggled for eight years to bring to an end in the state. And they largely succeeded such that by 2007, Akwa Ibom state was rid of child traffickers and baby factories. Now, it appears as if the progress made by 2007 had been dissipated in another eight years. The most important question which should bother all of us is: if the progress which we see daily advertised about the state is real, why are people still engaged in this trade/ why are kids still being treated worse than slaves? It was not always like this; not in 2007.

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