Monday August 3rd, 2015
Monday August 3rd, 2015

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Sunday Perspectives

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Going to America: The Buhari-APC style (1)

  /   in Sunday Perspectives 1:37 am   /   Comments

President Buhari at the Joint Base Andrews Airport in Washington, DC.

President Muhammadu Buhari’s vuvuzelised state visit to the United States has been generating a lot of commentary in the media. Expectedly, the key issue people are arguing about is the possible benefit of the event to Nigerians as the new government struggles to overcome multi-faceted economic, security and infrastructural challenges facing the country at this time.

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The absurdity of primitive accumulation (2)

  /   in Sunday Perspectives 2:20 am   /   Comments

File photo

To be fully human entails the ability and freedom to manifest optimally the creative powers inherent in homo sapiens. This is achievable not through amassing wealth one does not really need but by engaging productively in meaningful work and love. According to the German-born American psychoanalyst, Erich Fromm, freedom can be looked at from two main perspectives, namely, “freedom from” and “freedom to.”

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The absurdity of primitive accumulation

  /   in News, Sunday Perspectives 12:40 am   /   Comments

oilx

According to some estimates, Nigeria has made over $500 billion from crude oil sales since the mineral was first discovered at Oloibiri in 1958. However, considering the parlous state of the country today as documented in the last 10years by relevant agencies of the United Nations with respect to Human Development Index (HDI), it is crystal clear that a significant proportion of that money has been mismanaged by military dictators and agbata ekee politicians. Indeed, the alarming level of unemployment, destitution, hunger, feeling of alienation and hopelessness being experienced by Nigerians – that is, existential poverty in all its ramifications – indicate beyond any scintilla of doubt that members of the ruling elite entrusted with the power to manage our resources have failed abysmally – and they are getting away with it.

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Perspectives on change (2)

  /   in Sunday Perspectives 12:14 am   /   Comments

President Goodluck Jonathan presenting his hand over notes to the President-Elect, General Muhammadu Buhari during the official presentation of Handover notes to the President-Elect at the Aso Chambers, State House, Abuja. Photo by Abayomi Adeshida

In this regard, APC is certainly not different from the PDP. The way I see it, given what is known about most prominent leaders of the new ruling party, those who believe it can deliver meaningful change nationwide should think seriously of the possibility that they might be mistaken. Consider the President, Alhaji Muhammadu Buhari.

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Perspectives on change (1)

  /   in Sunday Perspectives 12:58 am   /   Comments

buhari-change-LOGO

The mantra of change facing ordinary Nigerians and their throbbing desire for improved living conditions. But how many of those who vociferously chanted ‘change,’ especially APC leaders and their supporters across the country, actually understand what genuine social change is all about? What are the philosophical underpinnings and dimensions of change? Are all changes desirable – and if so what types of human beings or groups are best qualified to actualise it in a given society?

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How Ndigbo underdeveloped Igboland

  /   in Sunday Perspectives 5:33 am   /   Comments

Igbo-men

In our discussion last Sunday, I made the point, which was almost distorted by editorial pusillanimity, that ideally, in order to render justice to Ndigbo Nigerian leaders who participated in genocide against them during the civil war should be prosecuted at the International Court of Justice. But I also argued that given the very low level of political maturity and moral consciousness in the country presently, that would never happen.

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Ndigbo and the burdens of history (2)

  /   in News, Sunday Perspectives 12:09 am   /   Comments

Igbo-men

As a result, they casually downplay the significance of the civil war for national integration or mischievously misinterpret any reference to its impact on Igboland and the need for restitution as an attempt to create division among Nigerians. But how many Nigerians have thought about the implications of the fact, noted by Prof. Achebe, that there were more small arms used on Biafran soil than during the entire five-year period of the Second World War or that there were one hundred thousand casualties on the much larger Nigerian side compared with more than two million – mainly children – Biafrans killed? If Gowon was serious about his “no victor, no vanquished” slogan and genuinely wanted reconciliation with the defeated Biafrans, why did his government implement extremely harsh measures against Ndigbo after the conflict? For Ndigbo who suffered the greatest from the civil war, whose land was strafed, bombed and devastated, the terrible experiences of 1966 to 1970 remain a recurrent source of sadness and inspiration simultaneously: sadness, because they were the ones that lost almost everything; inspiration, given the inherent capacity of humans to turn adversity into opportunity

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Ndigbo and the burdens of history (1)

  /   in News, Sunday Perspectives 5:53 am   /   Comments

*The fanfare of `a hole in the pocket’

As a student of history, I have come to realise that it is only within the scaffolding of fidelity to its lessons that individuals and groups can positively transform socio-political reality in an enduring and meaningful way. In otherwords, those who ignore the lessons of history no matter how disagreeable they might be are bound to repeat terrible errors of the past. Ever since Nigeria was created by British colonial imperialism in 1914, efforts have been made to build a truly Nigerian nation that blends into a relatively harmonious geopolitical entity the diverse ethnic nationalities out of which the colonial amalgam was founded. Unfortunately, from the very beginning such attempts, especially by British colonial administrators, were largely disingenuous, biased in favour of the North and geared towards optimum exploitation of the newly created colony for the benefit of imperial Britain.

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President Buhari and his enemies

  /   in News, Sunday Perspectives 9:16 am   /   Comments

Buhari

Going by what one reads in the newspapers and hears on radio and television, Buharimaniacs believe strongly that the President, Alhaji Muhammadu Buhari, can solve singlehandedly the problems confronting Nigeria at this time, whereas President Goodluck Jonathan and his subordinates are relentlessly excoriated for running the most incompetent and corrupt government the country has witnessed since independence.

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Negation of the negation (2)

  /   in Sunday Perspectives 1:01 am   /   Comments

Handover :  Jonathan presenting handing over notes to Buhari.

As I was saying, many top-level administrators, managers, technicians and civil servants were either persecuted or dismissed from their positions because they were Igbo. The grotesque federal character provision or quota system enshrined in the 1999 constitution is a testament to Igbophobia, indicating the depth of anti-Igbo sentiment and the extent certain elements of the Northern-dominated ruling elite at the federal level can go to entrench tribalism in the country.

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Negation of the negation (1)

  /   in Sunday Perspectives 12:11 am   /   Comments

Igbo-men

The German philosopher, Georg W.F. Hegel developed a dialectical logic that, contrary to the principles of traditional Aristotelian logic, extolled contradictions as an inherent mechanism in the development of reality. Karl Marx and Frederick Engels adapted Hegelian dialectics to formulate the theoretical framework for a philosophy of revolutionary social change called dialectical materialism. An important component of dialectical materialism is the principle of negation of the negation

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Muskets and the musketeers (2)

  /   in Sunday Perspectives 12:21 am   /   Comments

National Leader of All Progressives Congress, APC, Asiwaju Ahmed Bola Tinubu

Rapacious “authority stealing” by top government officials has crippled Nigeria, and it must be stopped. Yet, the President-elect should be clear in his mind about his motivation and overriding goal. If the driving force of probes launched by him is for revenge against enemies, real or imagined, he should be ready for the repercussions. This is because, supposing the outcome of any investigation establishes culpability for corruption by his political opponents,” the perception that it was persecutory will engender resentment and compromise the trust Nigerians repose on the in-coming government to reduce corruption drastically.

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Muskets and the musketeers

  /   in News, Sunday Perspectives 12:44 am   /   Comments

Chief Raymond Dokpesi and President-elect Buhari

A musket, according to Chambers Twentieth Century Dictionary, is a military hand firearm, particularly of an antiquated smoothbore kind. A musketeer, therefore, is someone, a soldier most likely, armed with a musket. Somehow, the President-elect, Maj. Gen. Muhammadu Buhari (rtd) and his party, the All Progressives Congress (APC), may be likened to musketeers using revenge mentality and threats of probe as muskets against opponents, especially members of the outgoing administration and African Independent Television (AIT).

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Innocent Egwim and his rendezvous with history

  /   in Sunday Perspectives 12:27 am   /   Comments

Corruption

Due to the unsavoury experiences Nigerians have had because of incompetent political leadership at various levels over the decades, there is a seeming consensus amongst them that politics is a dirty game. This negative perception of politics, which I disagree with anyway, has discouraged many well-meaning Nigerians from active participation in politics.

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The fallacies of delusional negative triumphalism (3)

  /   in Sunday Perspectives 1:40 am   /   Comments

INEC PVCs

But expediency is not always right or else any anti-corruption measure, no matter how dehumanising and inhumane, would be justified. In the case we are discussing, Umaru Dikko could have died at some point in the perilous journey if his kidnappers had succeeded in their mission. Remember, there is no guarantee that brutal military methods, including lengthy prison terms, will eliminate corruption.

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The fallacies of delusional negative triumphalism (2)

  /   in Sunday Perspectives 12:03 am   /   Comments

The streets of Kanio ahead of BUhari's declaration as winner of 2015 presidential election.

Another writer confidently claimed that Buhari’s unprecedented fourth attempt at the presidency was borne out of a strong desire to contribute to the well being of Nigerians: that was why he endured all the “mudslinging and outrageous insults directed at his person” without complaints and retaliation

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Consolidating democratic culture in Nigeria (2)

  /   in Sunday Perspectives 12:21 am   /   Comments

Jonathan and Buhari

As I argued sometime ago, democratic governance is a team effort, not a one-man show. Thus, no matter how disciplined or incorruptible a politician might seem to a certain segment of the population, he or she cannot make solid positive impact if the political structure is as skewed as what we have presently – indeed, it is the single most profound cause of our arrested development. So, expeditious restructuring of the Nigerian federation such that more political and fiscal powers are devolved to the six geopolitical zones is the most urgent political task at this period in our national development.

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Invite Iheanacho, others to Eagles — Nwankwo

  /   in Sports, Sunday Perspectives   /   Comments

Kanu

Ex-Nigerian international, Kanu Nwankwo has urged the Nigeria Football Federation to promote Flying Eagles’ Kelechi Iheanacho and his colleagues that gave Nigeria the 4th FIFA U17 world cup at the United Arab Emirate in 2013 to the senior national team.

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Consolidating democratic culture in Nigeria (1)

  /   in Sunday Perspectives 12:35 am   /   Comments

democracy

With the ongoing elections, Nigerians are facing one of the toughest challenges in their quest for consolidation and sustenance of the modest political gains achieved since civilian rule was reintroduced in 1999. In other words, form March 28, they would engage in a peaceful and orderly selection of political office holders that would manage the country’s affairs at various levels from May 29 until 2019. Expectedly, the electioneering campaigns, especially the presidential, have been particularly fierce, brutal and bruising.

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Deconstructing Buharimania (3)

  /   in Sunday Perspectives 12:45 am   /   Comments

•Buhari: Decked out

Dyed in the wood Buharimaniacs seem oblivious of the fragility and dangers of APC’s excessive reliance on Gen. Muhammadu Buhari’s reputation for electoral success. No matter how incorruptible a presidential candidate might be, democratic governance is a complex undertaking that requires coordinated efforts from various individuals at different levels of authoritative decision-making to make a meaningful impact.

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Deconstructing Buharimania (2)

  /   in Sunday Perspectives 12:45 am   /   Comments

CPC Presidential candidate, Gen. Buhari

Keep in mind that one of the reasons Gen. Ibrahim Babangida gave for overthrowing Buhari was that the latter is too rigid and opinionated to preside over a multiply plural country like Nigeria. Because of desperation to win in his fourth attempt to become President, Buhari now campaigns as if he has a magic formula to solve the myriads of problems facing the country within four years. His supporters think that as a retired general he can crush the Boko Haram terrorists at the snap of his fingers.

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Deconstructing Buharimania

  /   in Sunday Perspectives 12:29 am   /   Comments

Gen Buhari at Chatham House

Politics, according to cynics, is a dirty game. Many Nigerians tend to accept thatnegative characterisation of politics and politicking without question. However, in my view, Aristotle’s depiction of politics as the endeavour for the noblest of human beings is nearer the truth than the cynical standpoint. Briefly defined, politics is the authoritative allocation of power to make decisions and implement them within a geopolitical space.

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The NNPC and its enemies(2)

  /   in Sunday Perspectives 12:24 am   /   Comments

Alison-Madueke, Petroleum Minster

It is doubtful whether a purist Muslim like Gen. Buhari would have appointed a woman to oversee the petroleum ministry, let alone support her for OPEC presidency. For unrepentant critics of President Jonathan, his support that enabled Mrs. Allison-Madueke to be both the first female minister for petroleum resources and the first female President of OPEC is nothing.

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Notes on the upcoming national elections (3)

  /   in Sunday Perspectives 12:42 am   /   Comments

According to media reports, Gen. Buhari has rejected invitation to debate with President Jonathan as proposed by the Broadcasting Organisation of Nigeria (BON). Probably, he is unaware that presidential debate has become an accepted feature of normal democratic practice, given that it offers a great opportunity for aspirants to speak directly to a wide audience and for the electorate to assess spontaneously the intellectual quality of those aspiring to govern them.

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Notes on the upcoming national elections (2)

  /   in Sunday Perspectives 1:18 am   /   Comments

Cross section of voters during the Ondo Governorship election, yesterday.

Glaring lopsidedness in the composition of his Supreme Military Council and citing of Petroleum Special Trust Fund projects in favour of the North, in addition to hisoverarching concern for the promotion of puritanical Islam strongly indicate that Gen.Buhari might be a sectional leader and polarising figure if he becomes President.

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Notes on the upcoming national elections (1)

  /   in Sunday Perspectives 2:01 am   /   Comments

Voting in session at Ophori-Olomu.during the election. Photo: Akpokona Omafuaire.

As the time slated for the upcoming elections draws inexorably closer, politicians and their supporters are doing all they can to ensure victory at the polls. Expectedly, the major focus is on the presidential elections, because whoever is elected President automatically becomes the highest political office holder in the country. That is not to say that other political offices, such as those of the governor and membership of the legislature, are unimportant.

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The anatomy of fundamentalist terrorism (2)

  /   in Sunday Perspectives 12:27 am   /   Comments

The difference between the Holy Bible and the Holy Koran, therefore, is not that the former does not contain belligerent injunctions while the latter does. Generally, Christians seem more benign than Muslims now mainly because for centuries philosophers and intellectuals some of whom were devout Christians subjected Christianity to severe criticism from every possible angle, thereby exposing its weaknesses and irrationalities.

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The anatomy of fundamentalist terrorism (1)

  /   in Sunday Perspectives 11:36 pm   /   Comments

terrorist

Largely, I am not the kind of person that sheds tears easily. Therefore, I cannot remember the last time I cried – really cried. But on the morning of penultimate Thursday, something quite unexpected happened to me.

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Rendering unto Caesar that which is Caesar’s

  /   in Sunday Perspectives 12:47 am   /   Comments

happy-new-year1

Already, the year 2015 is up and running. All over the world, people are trying to get themselves together after the razzmatazz of Christmas and Near Year celebrations. Because of unnecessary extravagant spending associated with the festivities, many families find themselves deep in debt at the beginning of the year, just when the time for paying school fees, house rent etc was due.

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Facts, fiction and Christmas (2)

  /   in Sunday Perspectives 12:21 am   /   Comments

christmas2

In The Holy Blood and The Holy Grail, Michael Biagent et al comment that it is on the strength of Mark’s account that the notion of Jesus’ humble family background originated. That said, it is clear that the two genealogies are so strikingly dissimilar that they might well be referring to two different individuals.

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Facts, fiction and Christmas (1)

  /   in Sunday Perspectives 12:17 am   /   Comments

christmas

The purported birth of Jesus of Nazareth, commemorated every December 25 as Charismas, is the most popular religious celebration in the world. Even in non-Christian countries such as China, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Indonesia, Turkey and Iran, reverberations of Christmas are unmistakable.

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The trouble with Nigerians

  /   in Sunday Perspectives 12:29 am   /   Comments

Nigerian-fans

Ever since the deceased iconic novelist, Chinua Achebe, wrote the little monograph entitled The Trouble with Nigeria, it has become fashionable to blame Nigerian leaders for all the hydra-headed manmade problems of the country. Indeed, he was unsparing in his acerbic criticisms of respected politicians, including Nnamdi Azikiwe and Obafemi Awolowo, for errors of judgment as political leaders.

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