Monday March 30th, 2015
Monday March 30th, 2015
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Finally!

  /   in Sweet and Sour 12:52 am   /   Comments

Jonathan and Buhari

By Donu Kogbara I thank God that the D-Day or should that be E-Day? – has finally arrived, after months of toxic mud-slingings, comical episodes, tragic misfires, dramatic cross-carpetings, nail-biting suspense, fevered speculation and controversies galore. Ever since the CPC, ACN, ANPP and an APGA faction merged two years ago to create the most viable

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Food for thought

  /   in Sweet and Sour 12:35 am   /   Comments

Abba Moro

An anonymous sage made the following comments in a letter he wrote to the British Guardian newspaper. He was talking about the behavioural, psychological and ideological transformation he had undergone between youth and middle age.

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Trading places

  /   in Sweet and Sour 1:59 am   /   Comments

nigeria3

FEMI Fani-Kayode is a leading light of the ruling PDP. He is also the PDP’s main election campaign spokesman. But he was, until fairly recently, a member of the APC and one of Jonathan’s most vocal critics.

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Betrayal?

  /   in Sweet and Sour 11:09 am   /   Comments

File: Jonathan and Buhari

Some fellow Niger Deltans have told me that they are very disappointed in me because I am supporting Buhari’s election bid, rather than Jonathan’s. And it may surprise you to hear that I know how they feel and regret my position!

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Positively presidential!

  /   in Sweet and Sour 2:39 am   /   Comments

Gen Buhari at Chatham House

Chatham House, a prestigious independent policy institute in London, engages government, private sector and civil society people in open debates and confidential discussions about issues relating to international affairs.

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Murder most foul

  /   in Sweet and Sour 12:40 am   /   Comments

*Upturned canopy, broken equipment at venue of the rally following the attack and stampede

On Tuesday, I attended an All Progressives Congress, APC, rally in Okrika, Rivers State. The stars of the shows were Dr Dakuku Peterside and Honourable Asita, the APC’s clever and amiable gubernatorial candidate and running mate.

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Fear and fury

  /   in Sweet and Sour 12:47 am   /   Comments

Jonathan1

I’ve spoken to quite a few PDP people since the election was postponed; and most of them have told me a) that they support the postponement ONLY because it will provide INEC and our armed forces with more time in which to solve logistical and security problems, b) that the PDP has provided Nigeria with top-class governance in recent years, c) that they don’t regard Buhari as a force to be reckoned with, and d) that they’re 100% sure that Jonathan would have won by a substantial margin if the February 14 election had gone ahead.

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Jonathan flounders on home turf

  /   in Sweet and Sour 9:44 pm   /   Comments

Jonathan in Port Harcourt

Longstanding readers of this column might recall that I was extremely unhappy when my Governor, Rotimi Amaechi, spectacularly fell out with the Presidential Duo – Dr Goodluck and Dame Patience Jonathan – in 2013.

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Why?!

  /   in Sweet and Sour 1:03 am   /   Comments

File: Shekau in the video released to AFP. Photo: AFP.

A week after Islamic terrorists murdered 12 employees of French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo in Paris, the victims’ colleagues defiantly featured a provocative cartoon of the Prophet Mohammed on the magazine’s front cover.

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An honour deserved

  /   in Sweet and Sour 12:15 am   /   Comments

I am proud to highlight the fact that Engineer Abiye Membere – a consummate professional and highly respected son of my home state, Rivers – was, this week, conferred with a Fellowship of the distinguished Nigerian Society of Engineers.

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New Year, New Government?

  /   in Sweet and Sour 8:40 pm   /   Comments

Jonathan or Buhari  who will you pick ?

Meanwhile, a Fulani friend gloomily informed me two years ago (we were discussing President Goodluck Jonathan’s unimpressive performance and wondering whether he would up his game before he completed his first term) that his people often say that one can tell by Wednesday what kind of weekend one is likely to have. Both statements, though contradictory, make sense. Wilson’s implies that political outcomes can never be accurately predicted because anything – ie, all manner of unexpected developments – can happen during any seven-day timespan. The Fulani one implies that most outcomes can be predicted on the basis of recent occurrences.

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Entertaining insults!

  /   in Sweet and Sour 3:50 pm   /   Comments

Obasanjo-Wole-Soyinka

EX-PRESIDENT Olusegun Obasanjo and Nobel Laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka, are at it again. These two grand old men have been at each others’ throats for years; and it doesn’t look as if their colourful verbal battles will end anytime soon.

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Jonathan versus whoever!

  /   in Sweet and Sour 8:06 pm   /   Comments

Jonathan or Buhari  who will you pick ?

At the time of writing, APC delegates’ votes are still being sorted at the APC Convention venue in Lagos, so I cannot offer Vanguard readers any comments about the APC’s Presidential candidate because I don’t yet know which of the aspirants will win. And if I hang on any longer to await the result, I will not be able to complete this column before the printing deadline for Friday’s paper.

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African stories

  /   in Sweet and Sour 12:59 am   /   Comments

Uhuru Kenyatta.

I AM in Paris at the moment. The editors of a foreign publication invited me here because they want me a) provide them with professional advice about the best way of covering the upcoming Nigerian elections and b) to add my voice to wide-ranging discussions about the publication’s African coverage in general.

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Ridiculous, unfair and unwise!

  /   in Sweet and Sour 1:28 am   /   Comments

FEMI FANI KAYODE

Last Monday, at least 13 PDP governorship aspirants from Rivers State were disqualified by the committee that their party appointed to screen them.

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A significant improvement!

  /   in Sweet and Sour 12:10 am   /   Comments

Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan (R) and Nigerian Vice President Namadi Sambo greet supporters at a ceremony in Abuja on November 11, 2014. Nigeria's President Goodluck Jonathan on November 11 declared his bid for re-election, vowing to finally defeat Boko Haram whose rise in strength during his first term has threatened the country's sovereignty. The 56-year-old made the announcement to tens of thousands of supporters in the red, white and green of his ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), at a carefully orchestrated ceremony including patriotic music, dancing, prayers and speeches. AFP PHOTO

Last week, President Goodluck Jonathan made his way to Eagle Square in Abuja; and, surrounded by a large crowd of cheering supporters, firmly and formally declared his intention to run for a second term in 2015.

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Badeh’s reaction

  /   in Sweet and Sour 2:04 am   /   Comments

Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), Air Marshal Alex Badeh

By Donu Kogbara On Tuesday, the Chief of Defence Staff, CDS, Air   Marshal Alex Badeh, announced that he accepted full responsibility for the Nigerian Army’s failure to effectively deal with Boko Haram insurgents in the North East. Speaking to State House correspondents in Abuja, Badeh – whose Adamawa State hometown has been overrun by rampaging

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Buhari versus Jonathan

  /   in Sweet and Sour 12:43 am   /   Comments

Jonathan and Buhari

Last week, I congratulated President Goodluck Jonathan for managing the Ebola problem well; but I also expressed disappointment in his overall performance and said that I used to support him because he is a fellow Niger Deltan but now believe that it’s wrong to base electoral choices on ethnic or regional considerations.

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Political reflections

  /   in Sweet and Sour 12:40 am   /   Comments

APC NEC Meeting : Interim National Chairman ,All Progressives Congress (APC) ,  Chief Bisi Akande (right), Former Head of State , Muhammadu Buhari (middle) and a Party Chieftain , Ogbonaya Onu during the National Executive Council meeting of All Progressives Congress (APC) at the National Secretariat of the party in Abuja on Tuesday. Photo by Gbemiga Olamikan.

By Donu Kogbara LAST week, Major-General Muhammadu Buhari, the former military Head of State, formally declared his interest in replacing President Goodluck Jonathan. This declaration surprised nobody, given that Buhari has been doggedly trying to re-possess the Number One slot for many years. And, until recently, I had reservations about his refusal to abandon this

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Zambian perspective

  /   in Sweet and Sour 12:04 am   /   Comments

Field Ruwe

SOMEONE just sent me a fascinating article. Written by a US-based Zambian called Field Ruwe in January 2012, it is based on a conversation he had with a White man he met on a plane on New Year’s Eve, 2011.

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National honours

  /   in Sweet and Sour 12:49 am   /   Comments

President Goodluck Jonathan (L), presenting a 'Member of the Order of the Federal Republic (MFR)' Award To A Taxi Driver, Mr Imeh Usuah, who returned the sum of N18m (Eighteen Million Naira) forgotten in his car by a customer, in Abuja on Monday (29/9/14).

Mr Imeh Usuah, a heroically honest taxi driver who returned N18 million that was left in his cab by a foreigner; Mr Onuh Isaac Michael, the diligent Chief Steward at the Presidential Villa, who has served nine Heads of State; Corporal Solomon Dauda, a dancing Abuja traffic warden who approaches his duties with a cheerful dedication that puts smiles on the faces of the motorists he entertains; and Mr Taiwo Akinkunmi, an elderly gent who designed our flag.

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Is Justice imminent?

  /   in Sweet and Sour 12:10 am   /   Comments

Ravaged Ogoniland

Last week, I complained about justice being delayed. I was referring to the fact that the Federal Government and Ministry of Petroleum had not even started to implement a 3 year-old United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) report.

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Nigeria and Ebola: So far so good

  /   in Sweet and Sour 12:58 am   /   Comments

A seller of bananas walks past a slogan painted on a wall reading "Ebola" in Monrovia on August 31, 2014. Liberia on August 30, 2014 said it would deny permission for any crew to disembark from ships at the country's four seaports until the Ebola epidemic ravaging west Africa was under control. AFP PHOTO

EARLIER on this week, the Minister of Health, Professor Onyebuchi Chukwu, released a statement about Ebola Virus Disease, EVD, in Nigeria.

The Minister said that, as of Wednesday, the total number of confirmed cases of EVD in Nigeria was 19 (15 in Lagos, four in Port Harcourt) and that the total number of deaths was seven (five in Lagos, two in Port Harcourt).

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Chief Tom Ikimi… Feedback

  /   in Sweet and Sour 12:29 am   /   Comments

IKIMI-1

Last week, I commented on Chief Tom Ikimi, the veteran politician who started off with the PDP, then cross-carpeted to a rival party that eventually became the APC…and then recently decided to ditch the APC to re-join the PDP.

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So sad

  /   in Sweet and Sour 12:41 am   /   Comments

El-Rufai at the event.

My dear friends, Nasir and Hadiza El-Rufai, have lost two children in three years. First (in 2011), their beautiful daughter, Yasmin, passed away after suffering a seizure in the bathroom of her residence in London, where she was studying. Then (last month), their darling son, Hamza, died in a car accident in Abuja.

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Farewell to a really great guy

  /   in Sweet and Sour 12:04 am   /   Comments

Henry Abebe

My dear friend, Henry Abebe, who quietly passed away a few days ago in an Abuja hospital after a bout of ill health, is being buried today.

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Injustice!

  /   in Sweet and Sour 12:00 am   /   Comments

Anietie Okon

Senator Anietie Okon – pioneer National Publicity Secretary of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP), Vice-Chairman of Arik Air and a National Conference delegate – is a very distinguished Nigerian. So when he takes the trouble to make a point, I listen carefully and take him very seriously indeed.

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Ingratitude and treachery

  /   in Sweet and Sour 12:12 am   /   Comments

The UK is currently awash with depressing stories about British Muslim youngsters who have stupidly abandoned their studies, jobs and families to covertly travel to the other side of the world, so they can assist Islamic terrorists who claim to be waging “holy” wars in Syria, Iraq, etc.

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Tribute to a titan

  /   in Sweet and Sour 12:30 am   /   Comments

rilwanu-lukman-111

I was absolutely devastated when I heard, at the beginning of this week, that my former boss, Dr Rilwanu Lukman, had died in Vienna, following a prolonged period of ill health. And my profound sorrow about the passing of this globally revered Nigerian is combined with a deep sense of guilt.

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Stalemate?

  /   in Sweet and Sour 12:49 am   /   Comments

From left: President Goodluck Jonathan; Sokoto State Deputy Governor, Alhaji Muktar Shagari; former Governor Attahiru Bafarawa and Vice President Namadi Sambo during an occasion to welcome Bafarawa  to the PDP, yesterday.

Last week, I said on this page that Boko Haram’s murderous sprees and heartless kidnappings have made Northern Muslims look bad and have strengthened President Jonathan’s chances of being re-elected next year.

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Anti-Northern Muslim sentiments

  /   in Sweet and Sour 2:00 am   /   Comments

Muslim-faithful

In the past few months, no day has gone by without grim news of yet another traumatic, enraging, despair-generating Boko Haram atrocity being announced by media houses and hogging the Nigerian and international headlines.

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A gentleman bows out

  /   in Sweet and Sour 12:05 am   /   Comments

File: Gov. Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti (l) and Governor-Elect, Mr Ayo Fayose, during Fayose's visit to the Governor in  Ado-Ekiti on Monday

LAST week, the day before the Ekiti State gubernatorial election, I told you that I had known Dr Kayode Fayemi, the then Governor, since we were both youngsters and that I held him and his wife, Erelu Bisi, in the highest esteem.

I urged Ekiti indigenes to vote for Fayemi because I felt that he had done a good job under difficult circumstances and was convinced that he had what it took to carry the people he had diligently and honestly served for nearly four years to the next level and fulfil their socio-economic development dreams.

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