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    Saraki

    Settling the Saraki matter

    I AM a diehard opponent of bringing past military leaders back to preside over our democratic dispensation. Apart from the fact that they would always bring back the better forgotten memories of the 1966 coups, the Nigerian civil war and their evil aftermaths that leave a bitter taste in my mouth, they are singularly incompetent to correctly and successfully operate our democracy.

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    President Buhari

    Buhari, keep Nigeria off ISMAT!

    THE announcement by President Muhammadu Buhari that Nigeria will join ISMAT, a Saudi-led military coalition of Sunni Muslim countries fighting rival Muslim factions in the Middle East is capable of destabilising Nigeria and unsettling its already seriously challenged unity in diversity. It is not only against the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, but more than that, it is liable to reduce Northern Nigeria and the nation a whole to a theatre of Muslim proxy wars as we see in Yemen, Syria, Libya and other countries.

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    #PAYUSOUR5,000

    N5,000 dole: yes and no

    THE decision by the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Alliance (APGA) in the 2016 election, Dr. Alex Otti, to remain in politics and put up credible opposition to the government of Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia State is the best thing that can happen to Ikpeazu and Abia State in the next four years.
    Some say Ikpeazu has started well. That was how his predecessors, Orji Uzor Kalu and Theodore Orji started, but because there was no one to breathe down their necks, they turned the state into their private estates and successfully transferred power to their cronies in spite of their failure and their rejection at the polls. Good governance came to Anambra State when Governor Chris Ngige turned against his godfathers and used good governance to protect himself from them.
    In the same vein, Ikpeazu, who will obviously want a second term, will be forced to continue to do well, knowing that Otti and his mass of followers are waiting in the wings.
    When there is no credible opposition in a democracy, the people are always the losers.

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    Buhari and Soyinka

    Soyinka’s Buhari rescue bid

    LAST week’s call by Nobel Laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka, on President Muhammadu Buhari to summon a conference of eggheads to help him chart ways out of our current economic woes was more loaded than met the ordinary eyes. It was a message garbed with uncaccustomed subtlety from Soyinka, who is usually finger-in-your-eye with words when addressing what he perceives as lapses in a regime he does not fancy.

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    Alimodu Sheriff

    Sheriff: PDP’s messiah or undertaker?

    CALL it the Sheriff shocker – that was what it was to most people. Olisa Metuh, the National Publicity Secretary of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) airily announced last week Tuesday, that in addition to the candidates who had earlier lined up to contest the vacant position of National Chairman of their party, “moves” were made by the party’s leaders to “bring” four others into the race and that two of them had accepted.

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    Lai-Mohammed

    Was Lai the man for the job?

    IN 1996 when the first phase of the Liberian civil war was ending, one of the warlords, Brigadier General Yormie Johnson (who personally killed former dictator, the late President Samuel Doe) wrote a pamphlet where he recorded his random musings about the war and his philosophical attitudes to some issues connected thereto. He titled the book: The Gun That Liberates Should Not Rule.

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    Abubakar Malami (SAN)  . Photo by Gbemiga Olamikan

    Malami and his bogus $2trn

    WHEN I first saw the figure on newspaper headlines, I thought the proverbial “printer’s devil” had made a media round as the Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mr. Ibrahim Magu recently did. But, of course, though the “printer’s devil” can do and undo, it does not have the power to visit more than one newspaper house and cause them to portray wrong figures on the same issue same day. It has since turned out that media houses quoted the man correctly, from a speech he authored, signed and read by himself.

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    Bama IDP Camp: Cross Section of women at Bama IDP Camp in Maiduguri  during Minister’s Tour of Bama . Photo by Gbemiga Olamikan.

    “We are hungry”

    WHEN the journey to Maiduguri came on stream last week, I was all over the place with mixed feelings. I was there last 25 years ago. I wanted to see what had become of it in this Boko Haram era. There were two other things I wanted to see. The first was life inside an Internally-Displaced Persons’ (IDPs’) camp. The second was to make a personal assessment of where we really are with regard to the war on terror, beyond the banal propaganda pabulum that Buhari’s Information Minister, Lai Mohammed, and the military, regularly dish out.

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    PRESIDENT MUHAMMADU BUHARI

    A basket full of crabs

    BEFORE Nigeria became independent, the British colonial masters organised a series of conferences in Ibadan and London to enable the elites of the various regions and socio-cultural divides to negotiate and agree on the terms of their future cohabitation. Since independence in 1960, there have been series of conferences, some of which ended with new constitutional proposals or documents.

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