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Democracy needs a strong structure


Look at the way the Judiciary handled the legal tussles between two PDP factions in Ondo State

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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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. President Muhammadu Buhari releases the pigeons flanked by the Vice President Prof Yemi Osinbajo  during the 56th Independence Anniversary at the Presidential villa  State House Abuja.

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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Dinner with Senators 1: President Buhari exchanging compliments with Senate President Bukola Saraki as he hosted Senators to Interactive Dinner at the Presidential Banquet Hall in Statehouse on 25th Nov 2015

Recession: Saraki’s recommendations

Like any leader, or indeed any patriotic Nigerian, our Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki has of late, been showing considerable concern for the country’s economy. Fresh from a two-month, fully paid Sallah break with his fellow distinguished legislators which they must by now know that the country can no longer afford, he recommended the sale of some of the country’s assets and the sack of the Ministers of Finance and Budget and Planning.

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Muslim faithfuls depart the National Prayers Ground,

Muslim brotherhood

An unusual picture came into my phone from one of the news blogs on Tuesday morning. It was that of the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi at a Muslim prayer ground in Ife. He was hardly distinguishable—in posture and dressing—from any of the Muslim faithful around him. It was a poignant, meaningful picture because as far as I know, the Ooni is a devout Christian; it was also a calming picture because Osun State had been at a tipping point of religious tension in recent times due to an unfortunate directive that tended to accentuate rather than blur the differences between Christianity and Islam.

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President Buhari addressing the guests during the launch of the National Re-Orientation Campaign "Change Begins with Me" at the State House Conference Centre (SHCC) in Abuja.

Their tomorrow is here now!

Some 30 years ago, a military president told the country that it needed to make investments and sacrifices that would benefit the coming generation. And he said it in such a quaint, catchy and colourful phrase that it resonated with the rank and file in the country. ‘For their tomorrow, we gave our today’ were more or less, the unforgettable words he used. Unfortunately, they are now words that will haunt him—because he is still alive, his generation and indeed, the rest of the country.

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If Buhari truly loves Nigeria…

If President Buhari loves Nigeria as much as he says, then he must release her. Too many barriers, too many regulations are holding Nigeria and her development prostrate. Restructure the states and make them viable. Let the Niger-Delta region do that it wants with its oil; let the regions that have gold, tin, nickel, coal, bauxite etc have control over what is on their soil and in their soil as long as they all pay the necessary taxes. Let the local economy along with education, infrastructure and security be the preserve of the respective regions. Just as it is done in the US.

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The taste of ashes

I missed the opening of the Rio Olympics. I was told by those who watched it that it was a spectacular, not-to-be-missed event. But I was, unfortunately, shuttling planes and airports and was more concerned at that time with getting self and baggage to the next destination safely. In the process, I also missed the first game of the dream team which it won handily despite the match being played within hours of the team’s arrival in Rio. That feat demonstrated the power of the spirit over physical limitations. The consequence of these was that I was determined to watch the closing ceremony and as many of the dream team’s matches as I possibly could.

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