Sunday August 30th, 2015
Sunday August 30th, 2015

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Is'haq Modibbo Kawu

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Consolidating a steady pace of progress

  /   in Is'haq Modibbo Kawu 2:09 am   /   Comments

buhari

FORMER President, General Olusegun Obasanjo, was obviously caught up in a moment of effusiveness last weekend, while receiving a delegation of the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS), at his Abeokuta residence.

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Alhaji Zannah Umar Mustapha, 1966-2015

  /   in Is'haq Modibbo Kawu 12:45 am   /   Comments

Late   Zannah Umar Mustapha

MALAM Ahmed is one of the drivers in the Government House pool in Maiduguri. Whenever I visit the Borno state capital, he was almost always the driver that carried me around. Last Saturday afternoon, just after noon, Ahmed called from Maiduguri to inform me that the Borno state Deputy Governor, Alhaji Zannah Umar Mustapha, had died in Yola, Adamawa state. I was stunned and immediately placed a call to Kashim Shettima, the Borno state governor.

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Chief Philip Asiodu’s reminiscences of Nigerian Life

  /   in Is'haq Modibbo Kawu 12:45 am   /   Comments

Chief Philip Asiodu

WHEN Chief Philip Asiodu reflects on the Nigerian condition, we learn very useful lessons. That is why I always read with relish every interview done with that remarkable man. And early this week, VANGUARD newspaper gave us very juicy servings from a venerable Nigerian whose long life at about eighty has allowed him to live through some of the momentous events that defined Nigerian history.

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Bukola Saraki in Maiduguri: Tentative first steps for 2019 presidency

  /   in Is'haq Modibbo Kawu 8:00 am   /   Comments

Bukola Saraki in Maiduguri:

ON Monday this week, Bukola Saraki led a team of his closest senate collaborators on a visit to Maiduguri. Any rookie political analyst could have seen through the stage-managed trip, given the near-presidential halo around it, with hands pumping, photo ops with IDPs and a visit to the Shehu of Borno. On Tuesday morning, most newspapers carried a syndicated picture of the ‘august visitor’ waving to the IDPs. Never before in the history of Nigeria’s transition to civil rule since 1999, have we had a senate president determined to seize the public space like Bukola Saraki.

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Yams and goats: A systematic regime of heists

  /   in Is'haq Modibbo Kawu 3:07 am   /   Comments

fund

EVALUATED from whichever direction, it is now clear, that President Goodluck Jonathan’s defeat in the last election was one of the greatest things that happened to Nigeria in recent times. With hindsight now, it would have been the ultimate disaster to continue what we experienced from 1999 that culminated in the sordid and most absurd of the last five years under Jonathan.

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A peek into Muhammadu Buhari’s mind

  /   in Is'haq Modibbo Kawu 1:00 am   /   Comments

File: US President Barack Obama speaks with Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari during a meeting in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, DC, July 20, 2015. Obama welcomes Nigeria's freshly elected president after the country's first ever democratic transition. AFP

THIS week President Muhammadu Buhari (PMB), has finally undertaken the much-anticipated state visit to the United States of America. There is no gainsaying the fact that the state visit is one of the most important events for the six-week old administration and to underscore its significance, PMB even penned an Op-Ed article for the WASHINGTON POST newspaper.

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Between Adams Oshiomhole and Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala

  /   in Is'haq Modibbo Kawu 12:23 am   /   Comments

Oshiomhole and Okonjo-Iweala

ONE of the more defining aspects of the new culture of change in Nigeria is taking place right before our eyes today, in the enduring and intense debate on the state of Nigeria’s finances, especially under the Goodluck Jonathan presidency. The protagonists are remarkable representatives of the two sides of the Nigerian coin.

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Bukola Saraki: Demarche and prognosis

  /   in Is'haq Modibbo Kawu 12:07 am   /   Comments

IT was indicative of the earth-shattering weight of the burden that he carried, that it took Bukola Saraki almost a week, to find the words to describe the plot that he hatched against his party in the early morning of June 9th, 2015. Some of my more observant friends back home in Ilorin, noticed that he wore the same blue cap for days in a row, which some assigned even mystical reasons.

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Most Rev. Josiah Idowu-Fearon: Commitment to inter-faith peace

  /   in Is'haq Modibbo Kawu 12:39 am   /   Comments

Most Rev. Josiah Idowu-Fearon

IN 2013, the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Reverend Justin Welby, conferred the award of Cross of St Augustine on the Bishop of Kaduna Diocese, Anglican Communion, the Most Rev. Josiah Idowu-Fearon.

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Empty treasury, wardrobe allowances and redoubts of corruption

  /   in Is'haq Modibbo Kawu 12:11 am   /   Comments

treasury-buhari

PRESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari (PMB), finally moved into the Aso Villa this week, signaling the real commencement of work, as leader for the change that Nigerians voted for last March. But the portents are frightening; as if we don’t already have a foggy idea of the seriousness of the situation! Buhari made it clear during his maiden meeting with the State House media corps, that he inherited from former President Goodluck Jonathan, a country with virtually empty treasury, running into millions of dollars; and indicative of the sorry pass, even the Federal Government cannot pay salaries of its workers.

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80 garlands for Uncle Sam Amuka

  /   in Is'haq Modibbo Kawu 1:16 am   /   Comments

Sam Amuka

IT was Lanre Idowu that first called me last week about Uncle Sam Amuka’s 80th birthday, which took place over this weekend. Lanre wanted me to contribute a piece to a book of tributes to commemorate Uncle Sam’s 80th birthday (I hope I have not let a cat out of the bag Lanre and if I did please forgive me!).

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Belong to everybody, belong to nobody

  /   in Is'haq Modibbo Kawu 1:04 am   /   Comments

File: President Muhammadu Buhari walks past marksmen in traditional Bavarian dress as he arrives for a reception on the sidelines of a G7-summit in Munich, southern Germany, on June 7, 2015. AFP PHOTO

It was the standout phrase from President Muhammadu Buhari’s Inauguration Day speech on May 29, 2015: “I belong to everybody, I belong to nobody”. The phrase went viral, triggering an output of comical expressions.

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Coming to terms with governance

  /   in Is'haq Modibbo Kawu 12:00 am   /   Comments

FILE:  PRESIDENT MUHAMMADU BUHARI WITH SERVICE CHIEFS DURING A  MEETING AT THE DEFENCE GUEST HOUSE IN ABUJA ON TUESDAY

I attended Kashim Shettima’s inauguration for a second term as governor of Borno State last weekend in Maiduguri. There was colour as to be expected of Borno; but there was also a somber thread to Governor Shettima’s thought as expressed in the opening sequence of his speech.

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The Jonathan finale: No fuel, electricity, a diminished PDP

  /   in Is'haq Modibbo Kawu 7:29 am   /   Comments

Long queue of jerry cans at a petrol station as fuel scarcity bites harder, yesterday. Photo: Joe Akintola, Photo Editor.

NIGERIA will usher in President Muhammadu Buhari tomorrow. Muhammadu Buhari’s inauguration should potentially, open up new vistas of development for our country. And if the new administration stays true to promises made during the campaign that preceded the elections, we should see some positive changes in the general situation in our country.

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Muhammadu Buhari and decent company

  /   in Is'haq Modibbo Kawu 2:54 am   /   Comments

Muhammadu Buhari

EARLY this week, the All Progressives Congress, APC’s Policy, Research and Strategy Directorate, announced a 2-Day Policy Dialogue on the Implementation of the Agenda for Change, on the eve of the inauguration of the Muhammadu Buhari Presidency, by May 29th, 2015.

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The Nurudeen factor in Kwara politics

  /   in Is'haq Modibbo Kawu 12:57 am   /   Comments

Kwara

I HAVE been in Ilorin over the past two weeks, including even the days I spent in Lagos and Ago Iwoye, Ogun State, to attend a funeral ceremony, as I reported, last week. The most important political issue in Kwara state today, is Bukola Saraki’s ambition to become the next Senate President.

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PDP: Of feuding factions, empty stomachs and power loss syndrome

  /   in Is'haq Modibbo Kawu 2:35 am   /   Comments

MEETING: From the left, Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan of Delta State; Governor Theodore Orji of Abia State; Governor Jonah Jang of Plateu State; Governor Sulivan Chime of Enugu State; Governor Liyel Imokeh of Cross River State; Governor Godswill Akpabio of Akwa Ibom State; Governor Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa State and the Kogi State Governor, Captain Idris Wada departing after a closed-door meeting between PDP Governors and President Goodluck Jonathan at the State House, Abuja. Photo by Abayomi Adeshida

THESE are not the best of times for the People’s Democratic Party (PDP). Nigeria’s ruling behemoth was so dominantly assured of its hegemonic hold on power, that many of its leaders arrogantly told Nigerians, that they would rule for sixty years. It was ground enough for a party that was everything but a genuine political party, to arrogantly grab hold of power, and do as they wished.

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What are we to make of the NNPC audit report?

  /   in Is'haq Modibbo Kawu 12:41 am   /   Comments

Okonjo-Iweala, Diezani and Jonathan

It was in the lead to the last election, that Petroleum Minister Diezani Allison-Maduekwe, was reported to have said that the “Forensic Audit” report conducted by PriceWaterHouseCooperson the NNPC was not released so that it would not be exploited for political purposes by the opposition.

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South Africa’s xenophobic hysteria

  /   in Is'haq Modibbo Kawu 1:38 am   /   Comments

A local resident holds a stone and a traditonal Zulu weapon after a skirmish with foreigners as thousands of people take part in the "peace march" against xenophobia in Durban, South Africa, on April 16, 2015. South African President Jacob Zuma on April 16 appealed for the end of attacks on immigrants as a wave of violence that has left at least six people dead threatened to spread across the country. In the past two weeks, shops and homes owned by Somalis, Ethiopians, Malawians and other immigrants in Durban and surrounding townships have been targeted, forcing families to flee to camps protected by armed guards. AFP PHOTO

Last Sunday, April 19, the alliance of the African National Congress, ANC, South African Communist Party, SACP, and the Congress of South African Trace Unions, COSATU, issued an “Alliance Statement to the African Continent and the International Community”. The statement was in response to the tragic outbreak of xenophobic attacks in several areas of South Africa against African immigrants who were wrongly targeted as taking the jobs of South Africans.

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Chibok girls: Sore on our conscience

  /   in Is'haq Modibbo Kawu 12:04 am   /   Comments

Some of the abducted Chibok girls

By Is’haq Modibbo Kawu ON the first anniversary of the abduction of the 219 Chibok Girls, this week, the whole world returned to a troubled conscience. Troubled, that 365 days after, those young girls still haven’t returned home to their parents and communities; they have been deprived of the opportunity to fulfill the dream which

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Governor Kashim Shettima and my gubernatorial wish list

  /   in Is'haq Modibbo Kawu 12:01 am   /   Comments

Shettima2

This weekend, Nigerians return to the polls to choose governors for most of our states, as well as legislators for state Houses of Assembly. The governor is a very important position because governors affect the lives of millions of Nigerians in our states. Where governors are genuinely committed to the best interest of their people, positive transformative developments can be achieved in states.

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Muhammadu Buhari: A historical turning point

  /   in Is'haq Modibbo Kawu 12:41 am   /   Comments

President-elect Muhammadu Buhari reviews a document in Abuja on April 1, 2015. Nigeria's new president-elect Muhammadu Buhari hailed polls that will lead to the first democratic change of power in Africa's most populous nation as "historic" hours after he secured a decisive victory. AFP PHOTO

THE story filtered out by late evening on Tuesday evening this week. President Goodluck Jonathan had placed a call to General Muhammadu Buhari, to congratulate him, as victor in what might be the most bitterly fought elections in recent Nigerian history. That statesman-like gesture carried very powerful symbols for Nigeria’s democracy and the fate of our country.

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These elections won’t kill our country

  /   in Is'haq Modibbo Kawu 2:40 am   /   Comments

People demonstrate to press for the release of missing Chibok school girls in Lagos on May 12, 2014. Boko Haram released a new video on Monday claiming to show the missing Nigerian schoolgirls, alleging they had converted to Islam and would not be released until all militant prisoners were freed. AFP

By Is’haq Modibbo Kawu “We, therefore, do not believe that a country should die because it held elections. On the contrary, elections should strengthen democracy, and reinforce national development. In view of that, we do not agree with any group or interest threatening fire and brimstone over the outcome of the elections. Nigeria belongs to

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Defeating Boko Haram with mercenaries

  /   in Is'haq Modibbo Kawu 1:42 am   /   Comments

Jonathan in combat fatigues congratulating troops after the recapture of Baga

LET me first start, that like all Nigerian patriots, I feel happy that in a few weeks, the Nigerian Army and allies from Chad and Niger, inflicted backbreaking blows on the Boko Haram insurgency. As a result, many communities hitherto occupied by the terror organization have been liberated, including the complete liberation of Adamawa and Yobe states.

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Ilorin: ‘Mark One, One’

  /   in Is'haq Modibbo Kawu 12:15 am   /   Comments

The 18th annual inter-house sports competition of the Olatunde Lawrence Memorial Schools, Nursary and Primary held at the Gaskiya Estate Mini Stadium, Lagos. Ikamt Babatunde of yellow house leading Okpe Sarah of green house and Latifat Ibrahim in the 50m girls event for nursary pupils. Photo by Sylva Eleanya.

LAST weekend, I met Daniel Amokachie, ex-International soccer star and assistant coach of our national team. Naturally, we spoke about the current state of our football and he gave me interesting insights into problems dogging our national game.

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A Uruguay example: ‘The only good addiction is love’

  /   in Is'haq Modibbo Kawu 12:09 am   /   Comments

Jose Mujica

WITH our eyes locked firmly on the Nigerian electoral process, and the forthcoming Presidential elections, on the one hand. And battling the creeping and crippling economic crisis in our country, on the other, we can be forgiven for missing some noteworthy events in our world.

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Nigerians are united for democracy

  /   in Is'haq Modibbo Kawu 1:36 am   /   Comments

Femi Falana

By Is’haq Modibbo Kawu LAST weekend in Lagos, activist lawyer, Femi Falana (SAN), announced the emergence of a new organization, dedicated to the protection of the democratic project in Nigeria. The new organization is called Nigerians United for Democracy (NUD). The new body is a clear indication that Nigerian activists are prepared to go back

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Bukola Saraki can criticise President Jonathan but he must not be interrogated in Kwara

  /   in Is'haq Modibbo Kawu 12:17 am   /   Comments

Senator Saraki

By Is’haq Modibbo Kawu The press, radio, television and other agencies of mass media shall at all times be free to uphold the fundamental objectives contained in this chapter and uphold the responsibility and accountability of the government to the people– Section 22 of the Nigerian 1999 Constitution. TWO weeks ago, I wrote on this

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A security red herring and election postponement

  /   in Is'haq Modibbo Kawu 12:16 am   /   Comments

Dasuki Sambo

JUST as Samuel Johnson in April 1775, said that patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel, so has security, in the heated pre-election setting of Nigeria, become the ultimate red herring wielded to postpone a much-anticipated February 14, 2015 Presidential election, in particular. It was at the Chatham House in London, that Colonel Sambo Dasuki, the National Security Adviser (NSA), first let out of the bag, the idea of a postponement of elections, based on the incomplete distribution of Permanent Voters Cards (PVCs).

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Boko Haram: Between Chadians and South African mercenaries

  /   in Is'haq Modibbo Kawu 1:49 am   /   Comments

Chadian troops gather on February 1, 2015 near the Nigerian town of Gamboru, just accros the border from Cameroon. In a deserted Gamboru, Chadian forces carried out clean-up operations after entering the town and retaking it from Boko Haram, which seized control months ago. AFP PHOTO / MARLE

Last Sunday, these forces were in control of Gamboru Ngala as well as Abadam; and were fighting a major battle to take Damasak. Cameroonian forces also joined the fight and were reported to have taken the border town of Banki and pushing towards Kala-Balge. By Tuesday this week, reports emerged that the French Airforce, which has bases in Chad, was overflying Nigerian territory and providing intelligence to their Chadian and Cameroonian allies.

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There can be no postponing the February 2015 elections

  /   in Is'haq Modibbo Kawu 12:48 am   /   Comments

Jegacartoon2015

SPEAKING last week at the Chatham House in London, Nigeria’s National Security Adviser (NSA), Colonel Sambo Dasuki, suggested the postponement of the February 2015 elections by three months, in order to enable the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) distribute outstanding Permanent Voters Cards (PVC). The figures being bandied around say that about 30 million of such cards were yet to be given out to prospective voters. The NSA who spoke during a Q-and-A session, told his audience that he had suggested to the INEC Chairman, Professor Attahiru Jega, that a postponement by three months was allowed by law and that it would be a good idea to delay, to give INEC more time to distribute millions of biometric voters’ cards to voters.

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Hon. Justice Patricia Mahmoud: Righteousness in the Kano judiciary

  /   in Is'haq Modibbo Kawu 12:17 am   /   Comments

*Kwankwaso

EARLY this week, Governor Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso of Kano state, swore in Honourable Justice Patricia Mahmoud as the Acting Chief Judge of Kano State. It was as historic as it was a most deserved appointment. Patricia is the wife of our old comrade, A.B. Mahmoud (SAN), and in her own right one of the genuinely decent and progressive daughters of our country.

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