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My World

Our neighbour’s new president

A piece of good news that heralded the New Year in the West African sub region was the successful transition of power in Ghana on January 7. It was a sign that democracy is taking root in our region in spite of the latter day antics of Yahya Jammeh of Gambia; it was a sign that the voice of the people can resonate and make a difference; it was also a sign that John Mahama, the out-going President put a system in place that allowed some transparency and level playing field.

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Extortionists in government

There was a tap on my window. I wound down a bit out of politeness and curiosity—or stupidity as it turned out—to see who it was. We—my driver and I—were on Town Planning Way in Ilupeju and were about to turn left into Coker road. We had been stopped at the junction by a man in mufti who acted like a traffic warden. A couple of cars were in front of us and a couple were behind. I was taken aback by the sternness in the voice of the man I wound down my glass for. He had appeared from the side.

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Counting the years

Last weekend, I attended the 80th birthday celebration of Mr Ben Lawrence. It was hosted by his nephew, Nosa Igiebor, the CEO of Tell Magazine, a weekly news magazine that played a prominent role in the June 12 saga. The ‘party’ was all that I expected; a quiet get-together of veteran journalists—mainly of the defunct Daily Times stock—who had paid their dues to the pen profession.

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What did you learn last Saturday?

I have witnessed many Independence Day anniversaries in my time. Right from the very first one when as a little school kid, we were given small green-white–green flags and asked to line the streets. Later, we were given free lunch and freer time to indulge in our favourite past time of games and pranks. I didn’t know what it all meant then but I learnt—through my parents, teachers and the passing years—that it was the day we gained the freedom to govern ourselves as we liked.

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