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An actor playing Jesus hangs on a cross during a performance of the Passion of Jesus by the Wintershall Players in Trafalgar Square, central London on March 29, 2013.  AFP PHOTO

An unbeliever’s interpretation of Easter (4)

Over 99.9 percent of Christians are unaware of the numerous books left out of the New Testament, including the Gospels of Mary Magdalene, of Philip, and of Barnabas. In its embryonic stages, Christianity was a chaotic movement, with different sects declaring each other heretics, which led to periodic bloody confrontations. Emperor Constantine of Rome, a brutal and bloodthirsty misanthrope, was instrumental to the crystallisation of Christianity by changing profoundly the course of its history.

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An actor playing Jesus hangs on a cross during a performance of the Passion of Jesus by the Wintershall Players in Trafalgar Square, central London on March 29, 2013.  AFP PHOTO

An unbeliever’s interpretation of Easter (2)

The Gospels disagree on basic issues, such as the identities of those who accompanied Judas when he purportedly betrayed Jesus, the manner in which Jesus was arrested, the bearer of the cross and the inscription on it, the time Jesus was crucified, how Jesus died and his last comments, and on the events connected with his resurrection and ascension. For starters, Matthew and Mark claim that Judas, in the company of armed multitude from the chief priests and elders of the people, came to Gethsemane to betray Jesus (Matthew 26:47-48; Mark 14: 43-45). But in St. Luke’s version, an undifferentiated multitude was involved (Luke, 22: 47). Luke (22: 50-54) and John (18 :10-12) report that the ear of the high priest’s servant was chopped off before Jesus was arrested, but Matthew (26: 50-51) and Mark (14: 46-48) indicate that it happened after the arrest.

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President Muhammadu Buhari

President Buhari: The bigger the head, the bigger the headache (5)

As I was saying last week, given the large amount of money set aside in the budget for the comfort of President Buhari, his family members and the top echelons of the presidency, he is not on a moral high ground to put pressure on members of the National Assembly to drop their silly plan. Hence, another headache for Buhari is his gradual but steady loss of the much-needed moral authority that can compel positive attitudinal change among high-ranking public officials, including legislators.

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President Muhammadu Buhari

President Buhari: The bigger the head, the bigger the headache (4)

The “kill corruption” programme of Buhari would gain a lot of credibility if allegations of financial impropriety against these former leaders are thoroughly investigated by the relevant agencies of government, including appropriate sanctions against those found culpable. Moreover, imagine what would happen if the EFCC, acting on the orders of the President, beams its searchlight on APC kingpins, some of whom are governors and ministers right now.

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President Muhammadu Buhari

President Buhari: The bigger the head, the bigger the headache (3)

Last week, I stated that the money allocated to Aso Rock clinic was 3.4 billion naira. I later discovered that 4.8 billion naira was actually set aside for both capital projects and recurrent expenditure for it, the clinic used by the President, Vice-President, their families and close associates. That amount competes favourably with the total allocation usually earmarked by the Federal Ministry of Health for tertiary health institutions nationwide which serve thousands of Nigerians annually, while only about N2.66 billion is to be spent on building new hospitals all over the country.

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President Muhammadu Buhari

President Buhari: The bigger the head, the bigger the headache (2)

These cases went to the Supreme Court until the fourth time in 2015 when God agreed that I will be President.” Clearly, President Buhari was expressing his frustration with the Nigerian judiciary, which has increasingly come under critical fire for surreptitiously allowing hideously corrupt top public officials to escape justice. That said, the virus of corruption has penetrated every aspect of our national life to a debilitating degree, such that only a sustained moral reorientation led by a more scientifically minded improved Nigerian equivalent of Mahatma Gandhi can reverse the situation, in the long run.

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Buhari travels to Kenya on a state visit ; Photo: Bayo Omoboriowo

President Buhari: The bigger the head, the bigger the headache (1)

When I read in the newspapers that the President, Alhaji Muhammadu Buhari, was complaining in Ethiopia that our judiciary is his major headache in the highly dramatised programme of anti-corruption directed largely towards members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), I remembered late Chief M.K.O. Abiola’s witty remark that “the bigger the head, the bigger the headache.”

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change-world

Belongingness as an essential component of human nature

Man (in the sense in which it includes woman of course) has been characterised in different ways by philosophers since antiquity. For example, man is said to be a homo faber, res cogitans, homo economicus, homo politicus, and homo sapiens. These definitions signpost the capacities and potentialities of human beings, which implies, as the French existentialist philosopher, Jean-Paul Sartre pointed out, that a human being “can be what he is, and what he is not.”

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christmas

Coming back from America

The title of this essay is adapted from a classic comic movie I watched several years ago entitled Coming to America. In it, the lead actor, Eddie Murphy, played the role of Akeem, a young prince from Zamunda, an African country, who went to America for the first time in search of true love. The main theme of the movie is that, despite the uncertainties and conflicts that arise when a man and a woman from different cultural backgrounds meet and fall in love, true love would eventually prevail. Now, in this essay, I will summarise my experiences as a first time visitor to the United States, where I spent the last Christmas and New Year holidays.

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Christmas-today

A critical phenomenology of Christmas (3)

The Christian religion in its early form is the work and expression of the Christian church. But we cannot say that, speaking of Jesus as an individual man, we know that he explicitly intended to found the Christian church.” Now that we have looked at Christmas and the views of some scholars concerning the status and historicity of Jesus, let us harvest the main fruits of our discourse.

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