Thursday April 24th, 2014
Thursday April 24th, 2014
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Between President and Governors: A dip in the gutter

  /   in Is'haq Modibbo Kawu 12:42 am   /   Comments

President Goodluck Jonathan (C, R), standing next to Borno State Governor Kashim Shettima (C, L) waves upon his arrival at Maiduguri international airport on March 7, 2013. Jonathan visits two cities in northeast Nigeria, where Islamist group Boko Haram has carried out scores of attacks, his first trip to the embattled region since taking office in 2010. AFP PHOTO

LAST week, I argued that in moments of crisis, the political elite must unite the country, to ward off a nation endangering process.

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National Conference, 2014: The politics of national security

  /   in Is'haq Modibbo Kawu 9:12 am   /   Comments

confab-new1111

IN the best case scenario,countries rally together in moments of national crisis. They put aside superficial divisions; suspend deep-seated hostilities to create the necessary national accord to defeat a nation-threatening crisis. Many examples abound in history.

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National conference, 2014: Speaking to the presidential address

  /   in Is'haq Modibbo Kawu 12:29 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

LAST Monday, it was my turn to respond to President Goodluck Jonathan’s address at the opening ceremony of the National Conference, 2014. As was set out by the conference leadership, every delegate was expected to say something about Jonathan’s speech. The great handicap was that each one of us was assigned just three minutes for a statement. Not enough time to open full hearts about the Nigerian condition.

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National Conference, 2014: Away from the brink

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

Professor Bolaji Akinyemi and Justice Idris Kutigi

It was GG Darah who first pointed it out to me graphically, just before the commencement of plenary on Monday this week. Nigerians have always known how to move away from the brink.

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Olisa Metuh’s Goebbels complex

  /   in Is'haq Modibbo Kawu 12:36 am   /   Comments

Olisa Metuh

Last week, Olisa Metuh, the ruling PDP’s Publicity Secretary, said the insurgency in the country was sponsored by unpatriotic elements to discredit President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration. According to him, Jonathan is being persecuted for no other reason than being a Nigerian from a minority ethnic group, adding further that no leader in the history of the country faced the height of persecution the President has been subjected to since he assumed office.

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Dead applicants, Abba Moro and the Nigerian condition

  /   in Is'haq Modibbo Kawu 12:02 am   /   Comments

NIGERIA, Abuja : Job-seekers applying for work at the Nigerian immigration department scramble as their exam papers fly in the air, on the pitch of Abuja National Stadium, on March 15, 2014. AFP PHOTO

WHEN members of the Nigerian Collective issued an open letter at the beginning of this week, I didn’t hesitate to add my name to the long list of signatories. The petition demanded the sack of Nigeria’s Interior Minister, Abba Moro, for his insensitive comments in the wake of the tragic killing of young Nigerian applicants at the weekend.

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The National Confab locomotive arrives the station

  /   in Is'haq Modibbo Kawu 12:56 am   /   Comments

A cross section of members of the Presidential Advisory Committee on the National Conference during the inauguration of the Committee at the State House, Abuja. Photo: Abayomi Adeshida.

NEXT Monday, the National Conference will be inaugurated in Abuja. From that date, at least 490 Nigerians (looks like the opposition APC is determined to push a boycott of the process) will begin what will certainly be one of the most controversial gatherings in recent Nigerian history.

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End game for Bukola Saraki’s Kwara hegemony

  /   in Is'haq Modibbo Kawu 12:58 am   /   Comments

Gov. Bukola Saraki

This week, President Goodluck Jonathan led a delegation of PDP bigwigs to attend what was termed a “Unity/Freedom Rally”, in Ilorin, Kwara State. Senate President, David Mark, must have spoken the minds of other members of the delegation when he confessed apprehension that they might have just a few people to receive the delegation

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Sanusi Lamido is sacrificed but $20bn is still missing

  /   in Is'haq Modibbo Kawu 1:03 am   /   Comments

Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi

WHEN Goodluck Jonathan announced Sanusi Lamido Sanusi’s suspension as CBN Governor last Thursday, it was hinged upon sundry allegations prepared by an obscure Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria.

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The heightened insurgency in Borno

  /   in Is'haq Modibbo Kawu 12:30 am   /   Comments

DISPLACED—Tears during  Governor Kashim Shettima visit  to some of the displaced residents of Izge village stranded in Gulak, Madagali Council Area of Adamawa State, yesterday, after the Boko Haram attack that claimed the lives of over 121 persons. Photo Ndahi Marama.

EARLY this week, the Borno State governor, Kashim Shettima was in Abuja to brief President Goodluck Jonathan on the heightened insurgency in his state. It was coming against the background of the massacres perpetrated by Boko Haram insurgents in a huge swathe of the state. So alarming has the situation become that the Northern Governors’ Forum convened to explore issues of the widening insecurity in the region as well as efforts to find solutions. These are the worst of times indeed for innocent, often very poor people eking out a desperate livelihood in ecologically challenged environments.

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Further to the water supply situation in Kwara State

  /   in Is'haq Modibbo Kawu   /   Comments

IN this column last week, I pointed out the fact that scarcity of water has remained a major social problem in Ilorin. A succession of military and civilian administrations has fleeced the state of billions of naira, under the guise of providing solution to water problem in Ilorin. Muhammed Sha’aba Lafiagi, a senator today, was the first governor who misappropriated money meant for water supply in Kwara state.

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Dysfunctional social spaces, thieving rulers

  /   in Is'haq Modibbo Kawu 12:22 am   /   Comments

Corruption1

A LINGERING memory from my early child in Ilorin is the shortage of potable water in many homes in the city. During the 60s, there was a standing pipe which served hundreds of families, in a depression where what was then Oyo. Bypass (today’s Ibrahim Taiwo Road), meets the Emir’s Road. People will form long lines of buckets with regular outbreaks of fights as each one desperately attempts to get water for their family use.

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Politics without principles: Our politicians ‘port and de-port’

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

*Atiku

ONE of the most ill-concealed intensions in Nigerian politics, the decamping of former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, finally took place early this week. The cream of the opposition faction of the Nigerian neo-colonial ruling class, collected in the All Progressive Congress, APC, made its way to Yola, to receive the Adamawa ‘big fish’, into their midst.

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Nigerian politics and the cynical manipulation of religion

  /   in Is'haq Modibbo Kawu 12:36 am   /   Comments

religions

IT was Shehu Usman Dan Fodiyo who once warned that a political society can endure with unbelief, but it will sooner, rather than later, crumble with injustice. Of course, Shehu Fodiyo was a religious and political leader, who led one of the most extensive and remarkable state building projects in pre-colonial Africa. Rooted in a deep religious consciousness, he nevertheless understood that the right religious bona fide alone, cannot be the basis for state survival, where the state itself is built upon an enduring project of injustice.

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PDP party chairmanship: The ultimate poisoned chalice

  /   in Is'haq Modibbo Kawu 12:10 am   /   Comments

Adamu-Mu'azu

THE online news medium, PREMIUM TIMES, was spot on in the title of its report: “How PDP disgraced six of its seven chairmen in 15 years; in the wake of Alhaji Bamanga Tukur’s forced resignation as party chairman, after months of a most destructive in-fighting in the PDP. It had been constructed by founding fathers like the late Chief Sunday Awoniyi, with lofty nationalist intentions to build a post military dictatorship Nigeria, with the best ruling class sense responsibility.

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Discordant tunes for the National conference

  /   in Is'haq Modibbo Kawu 12:30 am   /   Comments

President Goodluck Jonathan flanked by Vice President Namadi Sambo (4th right) and the Chairman, Presidential Advisory Committee on the National Conference, Dr. Femi Okurounmu while other committee members watched shortly after the inauguration of the Committee at the State House, Abuja. Photo by Abayomi Adeshida.

“The Nwabueze-led group has clearly gone beyond the bounds of decency and decorum by fabricating a report purely from their own imagination and leveling such scathing criticisms against it with a view to discrediting the real report, which it has obviously not yet seen…I can say very emphatically, however, that the…allegations are false. They are wild, mendacious, obfuscatory and ill-intentioned…” Dr. Femi Okurounmu, Chairman, (defunct) Presidential Advisory Committee on National Dialogue.

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Nigerian billionaires and the Nigerian condition

  /   in Is'haq Modibbo Kawu 12:22 am   /   Comments

*Alhaji Aliko Dangote

LAST Friday, January 3, 2014, VANGAURD newspaper, like other Nigerian newspapers, carried a report sourced from FORBES magazine, titled “The Biggest African Billionaire Gainers in 2013”. The report said that the combined net worth of four Nigerian billionaires, Aliko Dangote, Folorunsho Alakija, Abdulsamad Rabiu and Mike Adenuga grew by $12.65Billion (or N2.024 Trillion) in 2013 alone.

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Obasanjo’s letter: Next Iyabo, and then Jonathan

  /   in Is'haq Modibbo Kawu 12:32 am   /   Comments

Iyabo Obasanjo and Chief Olusegun Obasanjo

A rather tongue-in-cheek observation was posted on a closed internet site last week. In response to the letters that have held Nigerians in thrall these past few weeks, a perceptive observer said unwittingly, in an age of obsession with FDI, Nigeria might have stumbled upon a new export: letter writing! We will export to the ECOWAS region the art of letter writing.

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Obasanjo and Jonathan:The messenger and the message

  /   in Is'haq Modibbo Kawu 1:31 am   /   Comments

President Jonathan and Chief Obasanjo

THESE cannot be the best of times for President Goodluck Jonathan. It is just not raining for the helmsman, it is pouring big time! Whichever of his retinue of priests also doubles as his fortuneteller must also be sweating in his regalia at the moment. He could not have predicted a moment like this.

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Nelson Mandela, 1918-2013

  /   in Is'haq Modibbo Kawu 12:46 am   /   Comments

Nelson Mandela

When SKYNEWS interrupted programming last Thursday night to bring a live event, and I saw South African President, Jacob Zuma appear on screen, the journalist in me instinctively guessed that Nelson Mandela had passed. A moment later the fact was confirmed.

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American university of Nigeria Yola: A university and the community

  /   in Is'haq Modibbo Kawu 12:43 am   /   Comments

Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar

CAN a university commence as a “DevelopmentUniversity” and from the onset, create a niche of social responsibility within the community of its location? And can such devotion to development be central to the university’s academic experience such that year-in, year-out, the community service experience can impact on the social existence of the community?

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Baroness Lynda Chalker and Nigerian ruling class’ colomentality

  /   in Is'haq Modibbo Kawu 12:55 am   /   Comments

chalker

When President Goodluck Jonathan suddenly fell ill last weekend in London, rumours of likely cause went viral.

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Festus Iyayi: They killed our comrade

  /   in Is'haq Modibbo Kawu 12:14 am   /   Comments

Prof. Fetus Iyayi

Many different thoughts came to my mind last week, when news of Festus Iyayi’s tragic death broke. The pain was deep and the anger and confusion were overwhelming.

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Kwara’s ‘election winning machinery’ and related politics

  /   in Is'haq Modibbo Kawu 1:18 am   /   Comments

Kwara State Governor, Alhaji Abdulfatah Ahmed (right),  PDP National Chairmanship candidate, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur at the Government House, Ilorin while former Deputy Senate President, Alhaji Ibrahim Mantu watches.

LAST week, the ‘aggressive recruitment’ train of the APC finally chucked into Ilorin, KwaraState. The team was received by Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed, who had been corralled into the nPDP Seven, presently at loggerheads with President Goodluck Jonathan’s mainstream PDP.

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The more things change, the more they remain same

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

President Goodluck Jonathan wave to the crowd shortly after the conferment of se -lo-lia (Star of the Nation) on him during the courtesy visit to the king for the burial of the first Lady's mother , Madam fynface Oba in Okireka , River state ...yesterday

You are familiar with that French saying, right? “Plus ca change, plus c’est la meme chose”? The more things change, the more they remain the same.

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China, Vietnam and Dubai: Travel and thoughts

  /   in Is'haq Modibbo Kawu 12:31 am   /   Comments

Entrance of the bustling China Town in Lagos.

It was inside the Dubai Mall, that the idea to write this piece began to gestate in my mind. We had done a flight from Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam to Dubai on the last leg of our trip to China and Indo-China. Dubai was supposed to be a wind down, on the way back home.

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Bukola Saraki’s annual ritual of stampedes

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

Senator Saraki

LAST Wednesday, as has become his wont, during Sallah, Bukola Saraki, former KwaraState governor and Senator representing Kwara Central, gathered people in Ilorin to distribute money and pieces of cloths.

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This is the beginning; this is the end

  /   in Is'haq Modibbo Kawu   /   Comments

ANENIH @ 80—President Goodluck Jonathan flanked by the First Lady, Dame Patience Jonathan (2r) and Cardinal John Onaiyekan, Chairman PDP Board of Trustees, Chief Tony Anenih and his wife, Mrs. Anenih (l) watch after a Holy Mass celebrated to mark Chief Anenih's 80th birthday at Our Lady Queen of Nigeria, Pro-Cathedral, Area 3, Garki, Abuja, yesterday. Photo: Abayomi Adeshida.

We shall be very liberal with the use of names in this essay, except in the very rare case where anonymity would save the subject some embarrassment.

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When 89% of corps members cannot write a letter

  /   in Is'haq Modibbo Kawu 12:27 am   /   Comments

*Corps members on parade...How literate are they?

Last week, the Kano State Coordinator of the National Youth Service Corps, NYSC, Mr. Sanusi AbdulRasheed, lamented that 89% of corps members in the country, could neither write a good letter of application nor communicate effectively in the English language. According to AbdulRasheed, “the NYSC researched into what (the corps members) were writing in the form of applications for one thing or the other.

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Hope, delusion and Jonathan’s National Conversation

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

President Goodluck Jonathan 

EXPECTEDLY, Dr. Femi Okurounmu, chairman of the 13-person Presidential Advisory Committee on National Dialogue, was especially effusive about the committee’s assignment.

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Now they will have their national conference

  /   in Is'haq Modibbo Kawu 12:52 am   /   Comments

*Chief Clark, Alhaji  Musa, Prof. Ben Nwabueze, Femi Falana and Pat Utomi

Nigeria’s sundry ‘tribes’ of agitators, fromcivilsociety activists through to gerontocratic “have-beens” and ethnic entrepreneurs, finally scored a notable victory on Independence Day, when President Goodluck Jonathan appointed an AFENIFERE chieftain, Dr. Femi Okurounmu, to chair an Advisory Committee to work out modalities for a national conference.

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Gudu killings: Sorrow, tears and blood

  /   in Is'haq Modibbo Kawu 12:29 am   /   Comments

SSS spokeswoman Marilyn Ogar

WHEN news broke last weekend of the killing of nine individuals by the State Security Service, Marilyn Ogar, the Deputy Director, Information, DSS, carefully couched her narrative in classic anti-terrorist speak. Ogar, very much like a disciple of Joseph Goebbels, the notorious propaganda chief of Hitler’s Third Reich, told how two alleged Boko Haram “elements”, Kamal Abdullahi and Mohammed Adamu, earlier arrested “for terrorist activities”, led security operatives to uncompleted buildings, “where arms were purported to have been buried underground”.

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