Friday April 17th, 2015
Friday April 17th, 2015
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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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Goodluck Jonathan surrender to Zionist Israeli diktat

  /   in Is'haq Modibbo Kawu 10:40 am   /   Comments

Is’haq Modibbo Kawu LAST Tuesday, December 30, 2014, will go down as one of the darkest days in the practice of Nigerian foreign policy. That day, the  administration of President Goodluck Jonathan, BETRAYED the proud history of Nigeria’s support for the rights of oppressed peoples, long regarded as the central core of our country’s foreign

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Caught between continuity and change

  /   in Is'haq Modibbo Kawu 6:50 pm   /   Comments

Buhari and Jonathan

POLITICAL life interests me a great deal. That is one of the reasons I studied Political Science. As we begin the New Year 2015, it is clear that we will soon hurtle into what must be one of the most defining elections ever held in our country, especially since the 1999 transition. There is a tremendous amount of expectations in the air. It is something akin to a pregnancy; we can all see a protruding belly, but no one can determine whether we will have a safe delivery or a stillborn baby. More than ever before, I think Nigerians are united in one direction, that of expecting that the elections should be free and fair, with an outcome which reflects the true feelings of the Nigerian people. But are we going to get a process that all will accept as reflective of this collective longing?

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Travel in Borno: The pains of the insurgency

  /   in Is'haq Modibbo Kawu 12:47 am   /   Comments

Maiduguri : People gather to look at a burnt vehicle following a bomb explosion that rocked the busiest roundabout near the crowded Monday Market in Maiduguri, Borno State, on July 1, 2014. A truck exploded in a huge fireball killing at least 15 people on July 1 in the northeast Nigerian city of Maiduguri, the latest attack in a city repeatedly hit by Boko Haram Islamists. AFP PHOTO

IN the end, the return journey by road from Maiduguri to Abuja, took fifteen hours! It was certainly one of the scariest trips I have done in recent times. By Sunday night, I learnt that I would have to return by road not by air as we had arrived on Saturday. I feel happy in the long run, that I travelled by road, because I got a clearer picture of what Borno people in particular and the Northeast in general, have undergone in the past couple of years: towns and villages raided many times; economic activities and social life suffered severe restrictions and there is a mix of stoicism and fatalism underlining existence for majority of people in these communities. One of my friends, who I had not seen since 2007, told me that people still living in Borno are there because they have nowhere else to relocate to!

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Dr. Adesina’s agriculture reforms: Food for thought, food for the stomach

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

Akinwunmi Adesina

By Is’haq Modibbo Kawu LET me honestly admit that the Nigerian Minister of Agriculture, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, permanently leaves me breathless in my effort to understand the statistics he regularly churns out about the successes Nigeria’s agricultural sector has recorded under his watch, in the past three years. My friend, MD Abubakar, is one of

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This exciting season of Nigerian politics

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

PDP-aspirants

THERE are very few spectacles on earth that compare to Nigeria’s season of politicking. And what is politics without the intrigues; the suspense; drama and colour and the inevitable dollop of treachery? I returned home last week to run into a headstream of politicking as the posturing for the 2015 elections began to take a much more concrete shape. The most consistent stream of contemporary politics is the relative lack of substance in the political party system.

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London images and shopping bag capitalism

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

London-City-new

BY early last Friday morning, SKY NEWS had started reporting the scrum of humans at some supermarket outlets in places like Manchester. People went and camped out in front of the big shops very early to get advantage of being amongst the earliest customers in these shops. Didn’t they say the early bird eats the choice worm? It was Black Friday in England last week and the frenetic pace of life literally blew away the cold weather. Black Friday used to be an American phenomenon, and was usually tied to the American Thanksgiving holiday.

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USA’s diversity plus a rich food culture

  /   in Is'haq Modibbo Kawu 12:38 am   /   Comments

Good food

I arrived in London on Sat-urday after the two weeks that I spent in the United States, in California and Texas. Let me start by confessing that I love food, especially that opportunity to taste foods of the different cultures of our wonderful world.

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Snakes in Aminu c’s compound

  /   in Is'haq Modibbo Kawu 2:49 am   /   Comments

Aminu Waziri Tambuwal,  Mutawallen Sakwato

Let me begin by expressing relief that House Speaker, Aminu Tambuwal, finally dropped out of the race for presidency in 2015. Not that he is not eminently qualified; but in the circumstance, he was clearly being set up to fail, and it was also to scuttle the chances of the APC in the 2015 presidential election.

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USA: Thoughts from the heart of empire

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

PRESIDENT GOODLUCK AKNOLEDGING CHEERS FROM HIS SUPPORTES

I arrived in Los Angeles, California, on the 15-hour Emirate Airline flight from Dubai, last Saturday. This is the second leg of my four-week holiday, out of Nigeria. I spent last week in Dubai; and I think a conversation I had with a mother and daughter from Norway, just summed up the city.

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Burkina Faso’s Sub-Saharan spring

  /   in Is'haq Modibbo Kawu 1:51 am   /   Comments

A crowd gathers on October 31, 2014 in front of army headquarters in Ouagadougou, demanding that the army take over following the resignation of the president. Burkina Faso's army chief Navere Honore Traore said he was taking power on October 31 as head of state after President Blaise Compaore announced his resignation as tens of thousands of protesters demanded that he quit immediately after a day of unrest that saw mass protests and the storming of parliament and other public buildings.    AFP PHOTO

IT was a Law student, Lucien Trinnou, speaking last Friday in Ouagadougou, that gave this description of the uprising in Burkina Faso, which swept away, Blaise Compaore, one of the most despicable characters to ever seized power in any African country. When Compaore murdered the revolutionary icon, Thomas Sankara, in Octtober 1978, he murdered the hopes of millions of the working people, the youth and poor people, not only in Burkina Faso, but all over the African continent.

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On the edge

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

A woman in Purdah casting her votes during the Gubernatorial and State Assembly Elections in Minna, Niger State. Photo by Abayomi Adeshida

All Nigerian elections are like wars. Correction: they are wars, involving massive deployment of resources, losses of investments, political ambitions, lives and limbs. Victors emerge, but they rarely have time or space to savour victories because the war never really stops.

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National Assembly and national minimum wage

  /   in Is'haq Modibbo Kawu 1:58 am   /   Comments

N-Assembly

LAST week, the Senate removed wages from the Exclusive Legislative List and placed it in the Concurrent List, as part of the Constitution amendment process. Stripped of legislative language, it means there will no longer be a National Minimum Wage in Nigeria and each state can pay whatever it deemed fit.

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President Jonathan, where is the ceasefire with Boko Haram?

  /   in Is'haq Modibbo Kawu 7:02 am   /   Comments

jonathan-boko1

By  Is’haq Modibbo Kawu LIKE other Nigerians, I was taken by surprise when news broke last week that the Nigerian government had reached a ceasefire agreement with Boko Haram. The announcement was swiftly followed by the Chief of Defence Staff’s directive to all troops to stop engagement with Boko Haram. It became even more curious

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Obasanjo’s amazing apotheosis

  /   in Is'haq Modibbo Kawu 3:42 am   /   Comments

Obasanjo

THE NATION newspaper’s HARDBALL of Tuesday, October 14, 2014, mischievously described it as the “BEGGARS’ ORCHESTRA”.
The occasion was the triumphant return to their old PDP base of some political grandees, from Ogun State led by former governor, Gbenga Daniel (but wait a minute, didn’t incumbent governorAmosun say Gbenga isn’t from Ogun state?).

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From Kano to Kogi: Consolidating development, opening accesses

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

Kwankwaso

IN the past two weeks, I have been travelling in Kano and Kogi states. Two weeks ago, we were back in Kano along with colleagues from other parts of the country, to see the fast paced developments of the past three years in the city.

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Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, Mutawallen Sakwato

  /   in Is'haq Modibbo Kawu 12:51 am   /   Comments

Aminu Waziri Tambuwal,  Mutawallen Sakwato

LAST weekend Sokoto hosted the cream of Nigerian political society. They were in the ‘Seat of the Caliphate’ for the turbanning of the Speaker, House of Representatives, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, as the new Mutawallen Sakwato. And in the Nigerian political manner of doing things, most of those who turned out were from the opposition APC party.

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Between the Pastor and the General Overseer: Nigeria’s moral burden

  /   in Is'haq Modibbo Kawu 1:10 am   /   Comments

Pastor Chris Oyakhilome; Ayo Oritsejafor; Enoch Adeboye; David Oyedepo and Mike Okonkwo

THE past week has not been a fine one for the rightwing Pentecostal Christian movement in Nigeria. And by extension, the moral burden of Nigeria’s ruling class and all our compatriots who swear loyalty to these two sets in our nation’s firmament, also got heavier.

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President Jonathan’s billboards, sycophancy incorporated

  /   in Is'haq Modibbo Kawu 12:06 am   /   Comments

Jonabringback

WE must thank DAILY TRUST for the investigative piece of Thursday, September 11, 2014, titled “161 pro-Jonathan billboards in Abuja”. The nut and bolt of the piece was that Abuja has literally become swamped in a surfeit of billboards “praising President Goodluck Jonathan’s achievements and urging him to seek re-election in 2015″.

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Dimgba Igwe and our dysfunctional social spaces

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

Dimgba Igwe

IT was late afternoon on Saturday last week that I heard of the tragic killing of THE SUN newspaper columnist, Dimgba Igwe. I put through a call to THE SUN MD and President of the Nigerian Guild of Editors, Femi Adesina.

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