Thursday April 24th, 2014
Thursday April 24th, 2014
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Looking back

  /   in Sweet and Sour 12:10 am   /   Comments

*President Jonathan

IT is customary for columists to be especially reflective about the past, present and future at this significant annual turning point when old years are about to give way to new years. And I thought that it would be interesting to look back at some of the observations I made at the tail ends of 2010 and 2011…with a view to discovering whether anything has changed for the better or worse.

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Woes and a blessing

  /   in Sweet and Sour 12:10 am   /   Comments

*The exhibits

AS regular readers of this page will know, I rarely find anything good to say about the state of our nation. And, sure, there are people who accuse me of being unpatriotic. But this viewpoint is not the norm, in my experience. Most of the Nigerians with whom I’ve communicated in the past few years have encouraged me to keep criticising our leaders and complaining about multiple systems failures that have not only lumbered us with security problems and a high unemployment rate but deprived us of benefits such as round-the-clock electricity, a well-managed oil industry and decent hospitals, schools, roads, etc.

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Ifeka speaks!

  /   in Sweet and Sour 12:11 am   /   Comments

Subsidy Protest: Protesters at the Gani Fawehinmi Park Ojota,Lagos

(ifekaokonkwo@yahoo.com) is the most vociferous reader of this column. Highly opinionated, unrepentantly blunt and almost gleefully unsychophantic, he takes his democratic and human rights very seriously indeed and flatly refuses to be as bovinely philosophical as most of us are about the multiple disappointments that the average Nigerian faces.

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Movie Magic

  /   in Sweet and Sour 12:48 am   /   Comments

homevidpix-1(tinsel)

It has to be said that Nigerian oil barons are not famed for passionately campaigning for the victims of oil exploration.

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Female bishops

  /   in Sweet and Sour 12:04 am   /   Comments

female-bishops2

LAST week, I criticised Anglican traditionalists who have prevented women from becoming Bishops. I expressed the opinion that female and male priests should have equal status and identical promotion prospects in this day and age.

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Traditionalists triumph

  /   in Sweet and Sour 12:02 am   /   Comments

Church-of-England

ON Tuesday, the Church of England’s General Synod said “no” to women bishops. Even though the modernisers were only narrowly beaten – by a mere six votes – the traditionalists’ victory is immensely significant, not least because this matter cannot be voted upon again until a new Synod is elected in 2015.

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Reactions to ‘Near death experience’

  /   in Sweet and Sour 12:11 am   /   Comments

THANK YOU to all the Vanguard readers who kindly sent commiserative emails and text messages when they discovered, via last week’s column, that I had been very ill. Many comments were made about the fact that I only started to recover from my ailment when I was flown out of Nigeria and handed over to British doctors.

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Obama: Glad he won

  /   in Sweet and Sour 12:04 am   /   Comments

Obama in Chicago

I FEARED that Barack Obama would lose the American presidential election but he sailed through; and I am grateful and relieved to the point of tearfulness.

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Total Tedium

  /   in Sweet and Sour 12:57 am   /   Comments

President Jonathan

Sure, there have been some interesting and radical new developments in recent years – such as the emergence of the first-ever Niger Deltan President, his appointment of the first-ever female Minister of Petroleum and the fact that millions of ordinary Nigerians can access the internet and own mobile phones.

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Unacceptable cruelty

  /   in Sweet and Sour 12:07 am   /   Comments

University of Port Harcourt students brutally beaten and burnt alive

Last week, 4 University of Port Harcourt students were brutally murdered in broad daylight by a baying mob in Aluu, a community in Rivers State.

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Well spoken

  /   in Sweet and Sour 12:02 am   /   Comments

Kayode Fayemi

EKITI State Governor Kayode Fayemi, said, during a lecture he gave at the Pan African University on Tuesday, that although the post-colonial era is being run by Nigerians, the system of governance at the centre is still “alien and predatory” like the colonial system.

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What is their problem?

  /   in Sweet and Sour 12:17 am   /   Comments

injured

WHY do militant Muslims keep looking for excuses to inflict murder and mayhem on various societies and make themselves objects of near-universal loathing?

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Why ?

  /   in Sweet and Sour 8:49 am   /   Comments

* Dame Patience Jonathan

AT the time of writing, Mrs. Patience Jonathan is said to be in a German hospital, being treated for food poisoning.

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Go for it, Mr P!

  /   in Sweet and Sour 12:23 am   /   Comments

WHILE he was addressing a Nigerian Bar Association conference in Abuja earlier on this week, President Jonathan claimed to be the most criticised President in the whole world and I think it is fair to say that this is a huge exaggeration!

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Intriguing differences

  /   in Sweet and Sour 12:41 am   /   Comments

INT'L WOMEN'S DAY—Rally to mark International Women's Day yesterday in Lagos. Photo: NAN

I LIKE to think of myself as a student of human nature and, having travelled widely, I can confidently say that there is a level on which most citizens of the world are fundamentally similar – identical, even – regardless of their racial origins, nationalities, financial circumstances, spiritual convictions, etc.

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Olympic observations

  /   in Sweet and Sour 12:34 am   /   Comments

WINNER ... Jamaica's Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce crosses the finish line first ahead of others in the women's 100m final  on august 4 in london. AFP PHOTO

A FEW days before the Olympics ended, when it had become depressingly obvious that Nigeria wasn’t going to win a single medal, Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi, the Sports Minister, addressed journalists in London and told them that:

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Legislators’ impeachment threat

  /   in Sweet and Sour 12:50 am   /   Comments

House of Representatives members and the President Goodluck Jonathan

IN last Tuesday’s Vanguard, Henry Umoru reported that Senator Arthur Nzeribe has accused National Assembly members of lacking the moral courage to impeach President Jonathan for poorly implementing the 2012 budget.

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Reactions – yours and mine

  /   in Sweet and Sour 12:26 am   /   Comments

LAST week, I complained about the Bayelsa Governor’s decision to make Dame Patience Jonathan a Permanent Secretary.

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Why?

  /   in Sweet and Sour 12:35 am   /   Comments

Seriake-Patience

SINCE Henry Seriake Dickson, the Bayelsa State Governor, bestowed a Permanent Secretary appointment on Dame Patience Jonathan, I have spoken to several people – foreigners as well as Nigerians – who have made extremely disparaging remarks about the giver, the recipient and the recipient’s spouse.

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Farewell to a good man

  /   in Sweet and Sour 12:12 am   /   Comments

LAST weekend, Engineer Gabriel Egbunefu quietly went to meet his Maker after a brief illness. I was totally shocked when I this bad news was conveyed to me because he had looked so healthy and untroubled when I last saw him.

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A reader’s response

  /   in Sweet and Sour 12:00 am   /   Comments

LAST week, I wrote about a recent trip to Singapore and complained about the fact that Singapore, which has no natural resources, is much better than Nigeria, which produces millions of barrels of lucrative oil a year. A Vanguard reader who shall remain nameless responded thus:

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Singapore reflections

  /   in Sweet and Sour 12:11 am   /   Comments

GPHCDA

I AM in the fortunate position of being able to explore the world at intervals, either at my own expense or courtesy of various media organisations and government bodies. And I’m in Singapore at the moment with a Greater Port Harcourt City Development Authority, GPHCDA, delegation.

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Singapore reflections

  /   in Sweet and Sour   /   Comments

GPHCDA

I AM in the fortunate position of being able to explore the world at intervals, either at my own expense or courtesy of various media organisations and government bodies. And I’m in Singapore at the moment with a Greater Port Harcourt City Development Authority, GPHCDA, delegation.

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A worthy appointee

  /   in Sweet and Sour 12:16 am   /   Comments

*Dasuki

If Madame rolls up her stylish sleeves and leads a successful moral and practical transformation effort, she will silence the multiple detractors who are currently baying for her blood; and I will hail her from the rooftops.

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Another tearful farewell

  /   in Sweet and Sour 12:24 am   /   Comments

Angela Onyeador

THIS has been a very sad month for me. First I lost two people – a friend and an in-law – in the Dana plane crash. Then, last weekend, Angela Onyeador, a wonderful vibrant woman I’ve known since I was born, quietly passed away in an American hospital after a protracted illness.

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Lamentations of an aircraft

  /   in Sweet and Sour 12:24 am   /   Comments

*Dana

A FRIEND sent me this woeful, whimsical little piece in which it is imagined what the plane that recently crashed might have said if it could speak for itself:

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A tale of two Sundays

  /   in Sweet and Sour 12:00 am   /   Comments

*Charred carcase of the aircraft after the crash

ELIZABETH II, the 86 year-old Queen of the British Isles and Beyond, has just completed six unblemished decades on the throne. And I was happily watching her spectacular, uplifting Diamond Jubilee celebration on TV in London last Sunday when there was a newsflash announcing the Dana Air plane crash in Nigeria.

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Avoidable quarrel

  /   in Sweet and Sour 12:19 am   /   Comments

File:  protest in Unilag

PRESIDENT Goodluck Jonathan’s decision to rename the University of Lagos, UNILAG, Moshood Abiola University has not had the desired impact. Abiola’s family is, of course, pleased and grateful.

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Dickson’s first 100 days

  /   in Sweet and Sour 12:26 am   /   Comments

*File photo Gov Seriake Dickson

HIS Excellency, Hon. Henry Seriake Dickson, Governor of Bayelsa State, has just completed l00 days in office.

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FCTminister and St Vincent’s Clinic/Maternity

  /   in Sweet and Sour 12:16 am   /   Comments

Charity-clinics

ST Vincent’s Clinic/Maternity in Kubwa, Abuja, is run by Catholic nuns – the Daughters of Charity. The essential work these selfless reverend sisters are doing is under threat because the building they occupy is due to be demolished to make way for a light railway line.

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Disappointed thoughts

  /   in Sweet and Sour 12:12 am   /   Comments

bus

I’M on a bus in the United States at the moment, travelling from Washington to New York; and the ticket cost me next to nothing, but talk about value for money!

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Crime and punishment

  /   in Sweet and Sour 12:10 am   /   Comments

bars

FORMER Delta State Governor, James Ibori, has just been jailed for l3 years in London by a British court…for defrauding the mostly suffering people of Delta State of nearly £50 million (N13 billion).

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