Sunday April 20th, 2014
Sunday April 20th, 2014
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Eight years of “Madam President”: Issue for 2015 (2)

  /   in Frankly Speaking 12:10 am   /   Comments

* Dame Patience Jonathan

Henry Fielding, the author of world classic, TOM JONES, was an excellent writer and the classical “woman wrapper”. So, he knew what he was talking about. For Fielding as for all men, there is an abiding warning – be careful when your woman (wife, running mate, mistress, girl-friend etc) intrudes too much in your business. Irrespective of whether the business is politics or a church or illegal oil bunkering the odds of a happy ending are very long. Conventional wisdom has it that “behind any successful man, there is a woman”. But, conventional wisdom is not history and the verdict of history has not been too kind to conventional wisdom.

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Eight years of “Madam President”: Issue for 2015 (1)

  /   in Frankly Speaking 12:17 am   /   Comments

Patience Jonathan

President Jonathan certainly did not wish this to happen. But, whether the country will be willing to stomach four more years of Mrs Patience Jonathan, or not, has suddenly become a campaign issue – even before the struggle for Aso Rock 2015 starts. However, before going into the details, permit me to bring the issue into historical, global and political perspective – if not for anything else but because of those who already concluded that Dele Sobowale hates Jonathan.

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Is APC the answer? — 2

  /   in Frankly Speaking 12:29 am   /   Comments

FLAG LAUNCH: From left— Prince Abiodun Ogunleye, former Deputy Governor of Lagos State; Chief Henry Ajomale, former Chairman, Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, Lagos;  Princess Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire, Lagos State Deputy Governor; Governor Babatunde Fashola of Lagos State; Chief Kemi Nelson, former Women Affairs Commissioner, and others at the formal inauguration of All Progressives Congress, APC, flag in Lagos, yesterday.

SUNDAY PUNCH of August 11, 2013, on pages 70 and 71 provided the names and pictures of people it called “Opposition Power brokers: The Strongmen of APC”. It reads to me like pictures of WANTED men at a Police Station. For a start, the list had no single woman – that tells us a lot about the gender discrimination in the new political organization. It is doubtful if this new “progressive” political contraption is what will take us to the promised land.

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Is APC the answer? — 1

  /   in Frankly Speaking 12:15 am   /   Comments

APC-toon

Until the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, registered the alliance of political associations which had come together under the banner of All Progressives Congress, APC, to me, there was nothing to discuss about the matter. APC is now a reality, so there are loads of issues to consider. The first, and most important, has already been addressed by Harold Macmillan. The former British Prime Minister, on February 3, 1960, in a speech to the South African Parliament, had pronounced as follows:

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Alabi-Isama Versus Obasanjo: Will a duel follow?

  /   in Frankly Speaking 12:30 am   /   Comments

*Olusegun Obasanjo

By Dele Sobowale “There is such a thing as a man being too proud to fight”. Woodrow Wilson,1856-1924,  28th President of the US. (VANGUARD BOOK OF QUOTATIONS p 60). Woodrow Wilson was an academic, President of Princeton University before he became President of the United States and he was the originator of the League of

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Did Patience Jonathan call a grown man “boy”?

  /   in Frankly Speaking 12:10 am   /   Comments

*Patience Jonathan

After all the lies and denials by the presidency, Mrs Patience Jonathan had revealed the truth; which most people knew anyway. She and her husband are at loggerheads with the Governor of Rivers State. She, on account of her wish that parts of Okrika be spared from demolition. Those with any memory at all will recollect the incident.

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Rivers of blood: A prayer for Jonathan

  /   in Frankly Speaking 12:00 am   /   Comments

President Goodluck Jonathan being received by Governor Rotimi Amaechi at the Port Harcourt International Airport . The President was on his way to Abuja from Bayelsa Sunday morning.

“In every mess I find a friend’, Charles Dibdin, 1745-1814.Sometimes being prophetic and turning out to be right can cause as much anguish as being wrong – when catastrophe results. About five weeks ago, I wrote in an article titled” PRESIDENT JONATHAN: AMAECHI SHOULD NOT DIE, that given Governor Amaechi’s open feud with Jonathan and the alarm that somebody wants him (Amaechi) dead, then it is the President’s duty to ensure the governor does not die. The fingers of suspicion will point in one direction.

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If Jonathan is the leader; who are his followers?

  /   in Frankly Speaking 12:13 am   /   Comments

SENATE PRESIDENT DAVID MARK; PRESIDENT GOODLUCK JONATHAN AND THE  PDP NATIONAL CHAIRMAN, ALHAJI BAMANGA TUKUR AT THE PDP FAMILY DINNER IN ABUJA ON THURSDAY

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.

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SS mutiny: PDP’s ship of counterkerous elements (2)

  /   in Frankly Speaking 12:48 am   /   Comments

PDP

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.

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Stop over in Lagos: Two govt initiatives

  /   in Frankly Speaking 12:03 am   /   Comments

*Gov Fashola

“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.

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The real tragedy of NGF

  /   in Frankly Speaking 12:07 am   /   Comments

Amaechi and Jang

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 security

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With deepest gratitude – for support and lesson learnt

  /   in Frankly Speaking 12:01 am   /   Comments

President Goodluck Jonathan

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.

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NGF: Wrestling as a metaphor

  /   in Frankly Speaking 12:05 am   /   Comments

Amaechi-Orubebe

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.

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Aviation: The minister should go

  /   in Frankly Speaking 12:12 am   /   Comments

Oduah-Ogiewmonyi

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.

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Support the president and JTF: In our own interest – 2

  /   in Frankly Speaking 12:08 am   /   Comments

*Jonathan

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.

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Support the President and JTF: In our own interest –1

  /   in Frankly Speaking 12:12 am   /   Comments

*Jonathan

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.

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End of illusion 20:2020

  /   in Frankly Speaking 12:10 am   /   Comments

President Goodluck Jonathan (r) raising up the Vision 202020 document while the National Planning Minister, Dr. Samshudeen Usman  (l) watched during the Presidential Retreat for First Implementation Plan for Nigerian Vision 202020 at the Banquet Hall, State House, Abuja. Photo by Abayomi Adeshida

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.

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Fed Govt misappropriated N1.52tr in 11 years – 1

  /   in Frankly Speaking 12:10 am   /   Comments

jonathan-obj-yar

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.

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Victims of Boko Haram: Jonathan – 1

  /   in Frankly Speaking 12:10 am   /   Comments

President Jonathan

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.

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Igbo presidential candidate: A step in the right direction

  /   in Frankly Speaking 12:23 am   /   Comments

President Jonathan, Vice President Sambo (center),  Chief Alex Ekwueme, Govs.Peter Obi, Ikedi Ohakim,Sullivan Chime,Theodore Orji, Martins Elechi and others during the South Eastb Group meeting with the President at the State House, Abuja. Photo By Abayomi Adeshida.

“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.

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On the brink of war: Consider the consequences first – 2

  /   in Frankly Speaking 12:08 am   /   Comments

*Soyinka

“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.

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On the brink of war: Consider the consequences first – 1

  /   in Frankly Speaking 12:10 am   /   Comments

A picture taken from a video distributed to journalists in recent days through intermediaries and obtained by AFP on March 5, 2013 reportedly shows Abubakar Shekau (C), the suspected leader of Nigerian Islamist extremist group Boko Haram, flanked by six armed and hooded fighters in an undisclosed place.

“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).

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Thanksgiving or a raid on the treasury?

  /   in Frankly Speaking 12:03 am   /   Comments

President Goodluck Jonathan (l) singing a hymn with his mum, Mama Eunice Jonathan; Executive Secretary Christian Pilgrims Commission, Mr. John Kennedy Opara and other worshipers during a Church service to mark the Good Friday at the Aso Villa Chapel, State House, Abuja. Photo by Abayomi Adeshida

“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.

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Alams: Cheer up; worse is coming

  /   in Frankly Speaking 12:08 am   /   Comments

alams-jonathan

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.

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These men are dangerous: Jonathan/Obasanjo – 2

  /   in Frankly Speaking 12:10 am   /   Comments

President Jonathan and Gen. Obasanjo (Rtd)

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.

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These men are dangerous: Jonathan/Obasanjo – 1

  /   in Frankly Speaking 5:12 am   /   Comments

President Jonathan and former President Obasanjo

“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.

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Minister of Aviation declares war on Yoruba – 1

  /   in Frankly Speaking 9:10 am   /   Comments

Stella Oduah, Aviation Minister

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.

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FG vs Ezekwesili: Two sides of the same phoney currency – 2

  /   in Frankly Speaking 12:05 am   /   Comments

N10.6trn controversy: Oby Ezekwesili

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.

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FG vs Ezekwesili: Two sides of the same phoney currency – 1

  /   in Frankly Speaking 12:15 am   /   Comments

Dr. Oby Ezekwesili

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.

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Fire and floods in Lagos State: Way forward

  /   in Frankly Speaking 12:05 am   /   Comments

Effect of climate change

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?

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Nigeria’s GSM networks: Legalised robbery – 1

  /   in Frankly Speaking 12:20 am   /   Comments

GLOMTN

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.

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Crazy convoys; mindless killers; way forward

  /   in Frankly Speaking 12:05 am   /   Comments

President Jonathan with Col. Micah Gaiya(rtd), Chairman Nigeria Legion during the launch.

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.

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