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Owei Lakemfa

The age of Mugabe and the age of ideas

ROBERT Gabriel Mugabe, the Pan Africanist and internationalist who was elected Zimbabwean Head of State thirty seven years ago, was 93 this Tuesday February 21. He had for decades championed the slogan “Zimbabwe for Zimbabweans.” Under this, he got the economic control of his country transferred from the minority White racists, to the majority Black population. This was more impactful on the land issue which his neigbours in the Region; Namibia and South Africa are still grappling with, without any solution in sight.

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South Africa’s wrestle with its past and future

TURMOIL. That is South Africa’s state of mind. The manifestation of this, is violence at all levels; from the streets and campuses, through xenophobic attacks to last week’s battles in the hallow chambers of Parliament. The country is caught between Post-Apartheid Reforms that have in a quarter of a century, failed to deliver promised change, and implementation of the core principles of the 1955 Freedom Charter, a document which has been largely, side-stepped.

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Looking back; why Nigeria tripped at the AU

NIGERIA at the African Union, AU, Assembly rolled out its fearsome arsenal; diplomatic, political and economic in a contest to win the leadership of the Peace and Security Commission, PSC. The Giant of Africa which has been in economic recession, must have expended quite some money, at least for travels and estacode across the continent campaigning for its candidate, Ms. Fatima Kyari Mohammed.

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Africa’s push back from the ICC

THERE are heated debates in Africa and in diplomatic circles across the globe over the January 31, African Union, AU, Assembly’s decision that African countries carry out a collective withdrawal from the Hague-based International Criminal Court, ICC. Although the decision is technically non- binding but it carries a lot of weight and may sound the death knell for an international body that is essentially, a neo-colonial institution with 34 African countries as members.

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What a time to be a Nigerian

THERE is a lot of heat in the country. Nigerians debate anything and everything. The views are varied and can differ so much that there can be a long debate and disagreement on the colour white. However, on one point are all agreed; there is hunger in the land. But even on this, there are differences in reaction. There are those organising rallies to drum support for the government to tackle the problem. There are others holding rallies on the same issue against the government demanding that it delivers on good governance including affordable food.

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The choices of Africa

IT had been a hard choice; Africa electing a new chairperson of the African Union Commission (AUC) to run the continental body. The option had been forced on her after the chairperson, Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, the former liberation fighter from South Africa resisted pressures to stand for a second term; opting to contest the Presidential elections in her country.

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Swimming with the Nigerian Maritime University

NEVER have I come across an institution that has fought so hard to be born, like the Nigerian Maritime University, NMU, Okerenkoko. It was conceived by the Jonathan administration along with eight other universities. But while others like the Federal Universities in Oye Ekiti, Dutse, Otuoke, Lokoja, Wukari, Dutsin-Ma, Kasere and Ndufu-Alike were born, learnt how to crawl, stand and run, the NMU’s delivery has been delayed.

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The politics of power transition

POWER is transient. Despite this ancient and eternal truth, transition of power from an incumbent to a successor can be quite complex. Very few can be as seamless as that in Mauritius on Monday January 23. Prime Minister Anerood Jugnauth, 86, told his fellow citizens that his age can no longer bear the weight of his office. He called his 55-year old son, Pravind Jugnauth, who is also the Finance Minister and handed over to him. This is a father-to-son deal which is usual in a monarchy, not a ‘democracy’

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More arms, less security

THE good news is that Nigeria has decided to scale up security at its airports; the not so welcome news is that this translates to Aviation security personnel carrying guns. I would have preferred scaling up security to mean greater use of intelligence services, more sophisticated security machines and more vigilance. As it is, we are already saturated with arms which have not translated into better security; rather, it seems the more arms we introduce, the less security in the country.

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Soul brother, Obama

THOSE who signed the July 4, 1776 American Declaration of Independence gave humanity one of the most imperishable declarations: “ We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

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