Just a little over two years ago, My Fellow Nigerians went to the poles to elect a candidate called Goodluck Ebele Azikiwe Jonathan as our president – by a wide margin. He won in all the six zones of Nigeria; in what, in my opinion, was the second free and fair presidential election since 1979 when we started experimenting with the presidential system. Given the position and the strangle-hold a president has over our lives, one would have supposed that we considered the matter carefully before casting our votes.Read More →
Late President John Kennedy, 1917-1963, of the United States, in his classic, PROFILES IN COURAGE, recalled a Senator who told anyone, who cared to listen, “I never quarrel; but I fight. And when I fight, a funeral follows”. From the second year of PDP in Nigeria, the party had left a trail of blood.Read More →
“Seek home for rest for home is best”, Thomas Tusser, 1524-1580.
It was almost nineteen years ago when my first article appeared on the pages of the Sunday Vanguard. But, even before that first one came out, a policy decision had been made about this page. Because the Federal Government looms so large and the states are, by comparison, midgets, the focus will be on issues which are federal or national in scope – with only occasional stop-over to address state or local matters.
The Nigeria’s Governors Forum, NGF, is not a constitutionally recognized body. But, contrary to the opinion in certain quarters, it is not illegal. The reason is simple. While everything in the constitution is “legal”; not everything that is not in the constitution is illegal. The reader should note the inverted comas in the word legal. Governments in democracies worldwide are under obligations to respect citizens’ rights to privacy; but for “security reasons”, these rights are violated in virtually every country. Governments, all over the world, including those of the US, Britain, France, Germany and India, not to talk of Nigeria, spy on their citizens, routinely, under various pretences labeled as securityRead More →
May 2013 will remain a particularly blessed month for the entire Sobowale family and, especially, for me. On May 8, one daughter and I celebrated our birthday as usual. I was 69. Two other daughters followed on May 9 and 17. And, to cap it all, the May 8 girl got married on May 11 giving the two of us a befitting birthday present. It was also the twenty-third year I would become the Head of Family in a family in which no male child had reached 60 until now.Read More →
This column could easily have been titled JONATHAN’s TAG TEAM SLAMMED and it would still have been appropriate. A wrestling champion who selects his tag team partners from the geriatric ward, in a contest with young and agile opponents, should expect a wicked body slam.Read More →
If you think aviation matters are unimportant, just remember that the attack on the World Trade Centre in New York in 2001 has opened the eyes of all right thinking people to the fact that those things flying over our heads are bombs. And if that is not enough, DANA Airlines crash should serve a permanent notice that those in the plane and those below are perpetually imperiled each time an aircraft flies overhead.Read More →
Expectedly the President’s declaration of emergency has provoked harsh criticism from the usual opposition groups – particularly the Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN. As someone born and bred in progressive politics, I had spent all my life in the same camp as the progressives – even if, lately, the Awoists and progressives have started to resemble, increasingly, like the conservatives they want to replace at the centre.Read More →
NOTE: The two columns below were started on Sunday, May 12, 2013 – before the President’s declaration of Emergency Rule in three states of Nigeria. More than ever, and despite the risks and dangers which could result from the measure taken by the President, I still believe that he needs our support to bring this war to an end. If for no other reason than that the opposition has failed to offer a better proposal.Read More →
The scalp of another top government official has landed on my trophy shelve: that of Dr Shamsudeen Usman, the Minister for National Planning. He joins the likes of the technocrats, led by Chief Shonekan, who championed the cause of the Structural Adjustment Programme, SAP in the 1980s to early 1990s,which ruined us till this day.Read More →
From mid-2010 until the last Sunday before the 2011 elections, a major campaign was carried on these pages. The message was simple; even a five year old could understand it – don’t vote for PDP and don’t vote for Jonathan. Yet the majority of Nigerian voters, some of them highly respected people, went out to vote for Jonathan not PDP.Read More →
President Goodluck Jonathan, for once, has my sympathies – because he is a prisoner of circumstances. Only a few were self-created; the majority were invented by his declared enemies and undisclosed adversaries. In the entire history of Nigeria, no Head of Government has ever faced the set of problems associated with the Boko Haram insurgency that this particular President has had to confront right from the first day after inauguration on May 29, 2011.Read More →
“They came forth to war, but they always fell”. James Macpherson, 1736-1796.
James Macpherson was the grandfather of Sir John Macpherson the second to the last Governor General of Nigeria under colonial rule. Governor Macpherson handed over to Sir James Robertson who eventually became our last British ruler. As the saying went in those days, “the British established the empire in a fit of absent-mindedness but it took the Scottish people, like Macpherson and Robertson, to make it work”. That was while it lasted.
“The chaos keeps getting worse in spite of everything they [governments] do to improve discipline and morale”, Boris Pasternak, Russian Author of award winning Dr. Chivago.Read More →
“They wrote, in the old days, that it is sweet and fitting to die for one’s country. But in the modern day there is nothing sweet and fitting in your dying. You will die like a dog for no good reason”. Ernest Hemmingway. (VANGUARD BOOK OF QUOTATIONS p 267).Read More →
“A sucker [fool] is born every minute”. P.T. Barnum. If it takes God’s Own Country a whole minute to produce a dunce, then Nigerian mothers must be dropping them every second. At Unijankara, we are getting fed-up delivering lectures to Fellow Compatriots who refuse to learn street wisdom – which is our 100 level Course. Like the suckers they are, they fell for two stories, on the same subject, both for the marines.Read More →
You voted for Jonathan, not PDP. That’s fine. Now you’ve got Jonathan; the worst PDP imaginable and Alamieyseigha as extra dividend. So, why are millions of My Fellow Countrymen complaining? From late 2010, until the last Sunday to the 2011 Presidential election that year, we drummed the message to ears that were blocked and brains that were turned off. The message was as clear as can be. DON’T VOTE FOR JONATHAN; YOU WILL REGRET IT.Read More →
Fellow Nigerians, see what you have done to GEJ. Plucked out of obscurity; promoted rapidly beyond his ability to govern; he is now desperate to continue. He is now blundering deeper into a political quagmire and taking the nation with him. He has finally got selected as Chairman of the Board of Trustees, a man who had served OBJ. The late president cared about Nigeria; because he came from solid Nigerian stock.Read More →
“The only battle that counts is the last battle”. Richard Neustadt, in POWER AND PRESIDENTS.
Nigerians, of course, deserve President Jonathan; you voted for him overwhelmingly. Even Obasanjo, who, last week, was at his hypocritical best, when delivering a lecture, in which he decried Nigeria’s lack of good leadership, should accept most of the blame for GEJ.
In almost twenty years of writing this column, I have never written any article in support of anyone because he is “my brother”; neither have I written one against anyone because he is not “my brother”. OBJ received the same treatment as Babangida, Abacha, Yar’Adua and, now, Jonathan.Read More →
For years, Reuben Abati, the President’s Senior Special Adviser on Media, was the Chairman of the Editorial Board of the paper which was the self-proclaimed “Flagship” of the print media. As such, it was generally expected that he would embody the spirit of that paper; he was, at least we believe, expected to have a conscience and to uphold the truth at all times. And for a long time, most people reading the Guardian, thought he fulfilled the two conditions.Read More →
The two chorus teams, those singing the hymn called by ex-Minister, Dr Obiageli Ezekwesili, and those rendering, off-key, the tune in support of President Jonathan, would like unwary Nigerians to believe that their verbal media slugfest is a contest between “good” and “evil”. It is nothing of the sort.Read More →
The floods of 2013 will soon visit their fury upon us; large scale destruction of properties will follow and the usual hand-wringing and official excuses will follow. Yet it is an axiom of management science that a disaster which occurred twice should not be allowed to occur a third time because, if it does, it means that those in charge are not alive to their responsibilities. Floods will be back again in 2013; more devastating than ever before. Are we better prepared this year than last year?Read More →
Nigerian GSM network owners are swindling Nigerians and smiling all the way to the banks – whose ATM machines also rob depositors mercilessly. If the government of Olusegun Obasanjo had planned to take Nigerians to the financial slaughter house, it could not have done it better than by introducing the GSM and licensing companies based in Nigeria, Asia and South Africa as the major carriers. High ethical standards are in short supply in those countries; that is certain.Read More →
TO be or not to be?” Shakespeare, 1564-1616 asked. That, again, is still the question. Whether or not we shall allow officials and their crazy convoys to continue to run us off the roads and kill us with impunity, this year will tell. I have no sympathy for any governor who gets maimed or killed because his crazy convoy had an accident.Read More →
NOTE: The Commissioner of Information was sending his assault, written on behalf of the Government of Akwa Ibom, while Attah and Akpabio were in church on Christmas Day. The seven patriotic leaders, who started the peace process, as well as other Nigerians, must ask themselves: “what is the purpose of going to church if fighting continues during the service”?Read More →
NOTE: This was not the original article scheduled for this day. But some issues intrude on the best made plans demanding urgent response. This is one of them; especially because i am involved as you will find out. Pardon me for this. Thanks.Read More →
When Reagan was contesting against Jimmy Carter, US President, 1976-1980, he asked Americans the same question over and over again, “Are you better off this year than four years ago?” Much as I hardly supported Reagan’s approach to governance because it represented “government of the rich by the rich for the rich” – a bastardisation of democracy, he left us with a metric for judging whether or not we had been well-served by governments, at Federal, States and Local government levels in 2012.Read More →
What a coincidence it has turned out to be. Just last week under the new addendum to my columns “CHIP SHOTS”, I made reference to the fact that the President of Nigeria had ten aircraft in his fleet; more than any other President in the world. Bearing in mind that our country is ranked 39th in the world in terms of GDP, and one of the poorest on earth, when we take into account that 70 per cent of our people live below the global poverty line, Nigeria’s Presidential Airlines should enter into the Guinness Book of Records for presidential impunity.Read More →
“We salute the men and women who kept our nation together, especially those who paid the supreme price…The only way we can honour their memory is not to re-open old wounds but to resolve that never again will our people’s blood be shed by their own people. We must harness our diversity to make our union perfect”. Governor Babatunde Fashola, at Colloquium Fair, held at Brown University, Rhode Island, USA by Professor Chinua Achebe.Read More →
NLNG is one of the big success stories in our country. From what I am told, the company has invested $13 billion since inception, and has become a pace-setter in terms of revenue generation for the government”. Minister of Trade and Investments, Dr Olusegun AgangaRead More →
If you reduce poverty and the person is still poor, you have achieved nothing. I don’t believe in poverty reduction concept. It is more positive to talk about wealth creation”, Jonathan..Read More →