Friday November 28th, 2014
Friday November 28th, 2014
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Extension of emergency rule, Tambuwal and President Jonathan

  /   in Talking Point 12:52 am   /   Comments

If history is any guide, it almost always starts this way. Like a sick joke or high drama without an apparent plot, full of tension that nevertheless ends in tragedy. I am here talking of the violent attempt by the police to prevent Aminu Tambuwal, Speaker of the House of Representatives, from entering the House last Thursday. The House had reconvened for an emergency session to consider the request by President Goodluck Jonathan for further six months extension of emergency rule in three North Eastern states at the epicentre of insurgent unrest. The Senate which had been in session for two days to consider the same request by President Jonathan, prior to the incident at the House of Representatives, had failed to reach any agreement. Although no less tension-filled, matters had been better managed at the Senate. It was in the House that things fell apart.

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Goodluck Jonathan’s military, local militias and the security of Nigeria

  /   in Talking Point 8:24 am   /   Comments

President Goodluck Jonathan

The United State’s government once more showed its disdain for the Goodluck Jonathan administration and by extension our so-called fight against terror by its last week insistence that it would not sell fighter helicopters to Nigeria. The US government spokesperson was reacting to the claim by the Nigerian Ambassador to the US, Ade Adefuye, that the US had refused to sell fighter aircraft to Nigeria.

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Plenty nonsense dey for Naija

  /   in Talking Point 1:54 am   /   Comments

NAIJA

This is not about President Goodluck Jonathan. But you also cannot discount his input in it. The fact of his own connection, that he is president at this material time in the history of Nigeria, must have a part to play in the mindless direction the country seems to be heading in terms of the security of life and property in Nigeria as a whole, and the North East in particular.

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Performing poverty, Goodluck Jonathan and Mohammadu Buhari styles

  /   in Talking Point 2:49 am   /   Comments

Jonathan and Buhari

Not unaware of the general perception that Nigerians have of them, Nigerian politicians often try to appear above board. But they don’t stop at that, they also want to be seen to be above board. It does not matter to them what actually is the reality of their political life, what counts for them is to be seen to be doing what is expected.

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So much ceremony about Jonathan’s declaration for 2015

  /   in Talking Point 12:26 am   /   Comments

President Goodluck Jonathan

AFTER more than a year since the issue became a major talking point around the country, President Goodluck Jonathan, last week, finally declared his intention to re-contest as president. The President especially, and his aides and supporters had hedged and skirted like practiced lawyers on the question of whether he would seek re-election or not. Most of the talk around Jonathan’s re-election plans was at best academic.

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60 hearty cheers for Bashiru Adekunle Okesina

  /   in Talking Point 12:57 am   /   Comments

Bashiru Adekunle Okesina

It’s not every day that academ-ics celebrate their birthdays. But it was an occasion for celebration a fortnight ago when Bashiru Okesina, medical doctor, professor and current Vice Chancellor of Osun State University, marked his birthday.

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How rich is President Goodluck Jonathan?

  /   in Talking Point 2:36 am   /   Comments

Jonathan

The question of how rich President Goodluck Jonathan is should not come as a surprise to any Nigerian that has been following report of his curious listing by an American publication as the sixth richest head of state in Africa.

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Ebola Virus Disease and America’s funny hypocrisy

  /   in Talking Point 12:35 am   /   Comments

Cartoon-ebola

On September 30, 2014 America recorded its first case of Ebola Virus Disease. The source of this unwanted guest to the American soil was himself a guest to America from one of the countries at the centre of the disease. He was Liberia’s Thomas Eric Duncan who was visiting Texas

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Synagogue Church building collapse: How many Nigerians died?

  /   in Talking Point 9:07 am   /   Comments

TB Joshua-Synagogue Church

SINCE September 12, 2014, when a six-storey building under construction collapsed in the premises of the Synagogue Church of All Nations, there has been a deliberate, even if unspoken, tendency to create the picture that only South Africans died in the unfortunate incident.

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Does Jonathan know Nigeria is now at war?

  /   in Talking Point 8:13 am   /   Comments

President Jonathan

THE upper arm of the National Assembly, the Senate, reconvened from vacation last week to a new realisation, to wit, that Nigeria is at war. Principal officers of the Senate, led by its president, David Mark, made seemingly strong statements that made clear their belief that the escalation of insurgent activities in the North East of Nigeria is a clear indication that the country is indeed at war.

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Fighting Ebola- between “irrational fear” and irresponsible capitulation

  /   in Talking Point 12:45 am   /   Comments

People carry a sick child on a stretcher outside the Elwa hospital run by Medecins Sans Frontieres (Doctors without Borders) in Monrovia on August 30, 2014. Liberia has been hardest-hit by the Ebola virus raging through west Africa, with 624 deaths and 1,082 cases since the start of the year. AFP PHOTO

THE last time I checked which was about ten hours before I started writing this on the night of Thursday September 11, the news out there was that the Federal Government had decided to stick to its decision to move the resumption date of schools forward.

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Ebola: Not over until it’s over

  /   in Ebola Outbreak, Talking Point 12:07 am   /   Comments

People carry a sick child on a stretcher outside the Elwa hospital run by Medecins Sans Frontieres (Doctors without Borders) in Monrovia on August 30, 2014. Liberia has been hardest-hit by the Ebola virus raging through west Africa, with 624 deaths and 1,082 cases since the start of the year. AFP PHOTO

AT what point is it safe to declare a place and a people safe from the menace of a dangerous disease? When can a potential plague of devastating proportions be viewed as under effective control?

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From Sambisa forest to Gwoza: Jonathan, seize the moment!

  /   in Talking Point 9:05 pm   /   Comments

Sambisa-Forest1

THESE are dangerous times for Nigeria. They are times that try a nation’s soul and it is the choice of the country’s leaders what they make of the times. The choice we make or that those who lead us make for us have grave implications for the continued existence of Nigeria as it was formerly known. I described Nigeria in the past tense, in the manner I did in the preceding statement, advisedly.

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Ribadu’s politics of defection and Nigerian politicians

  /   in Talking Point 12:29 am   /   Comments

Nuhu Ribadu

TWO phenomena are currently playing out and defining the Nigerian political space. This is the politics of defection and impeachment. Politicians are either defecting, that is changing party affiliations with the sole aim of positioning themselves, literally, for personal aggrandizement. Or they are being impeached from one position or another by erstwhile friends turned foes- also for the same selfish reasons of personal elevation.

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Ebola virus, the absurd and urban legends

  /   in Talking Point 12:25 am   /   Comments

A file photo taken on June 28, 2014 shows a member of Doctors Without Borders (MSF) putting on protective gear at the isolation ward of the Donka Hospital in Conakry, where people infected with the Ebola virus are being treated. Guinea announced on August 9, 2014 it was closing its land borders with Liberia, Sierra Leone over Ebola fears.    AFP PHOTO

THE outbreak of Ebola virus in parts of West Africa, including Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea, has rightly sent panic around the world. From Liberia it has found its way to Nigeria and is slowly spreading among health workers and others who had had direct and indirect contact with infected persons. The fear now is that it might continue its slow but steady spread if nothing or enough is done to stem it. Such a devastating killer should not be allowed to continue unchecked, especially since the mode of transmission could be as insidious as shaking hands with an infected person.

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Echoes of Chibok, the female suicide bombers

  /   in Talking Point 12:43 am   /   Comments

A screengrab taken on May 12, 2014, from a video of Nigerian Islamist

IT’S a very difficult thing to admit but it all looks now like murderous insurgency has become a routine part of existence in many parts of Northern Nigeria. And the new face of terror is female. But more of this later. What we should not forget is that there is a clear message the insurgents want Nigerians to understand by this precipitous steep in terror attacks.

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Kongi’s Harvest

  /   in Talking Point 12:58 am   /   Comments

Nobel Prize laureate Wole Soyinka smiles during a lecture to celebrate his 80th birthday in Abeokuta on July 11, 2014. The lecture was organised by the National Association of Seadogs, also known as the Pyrate's Confraternity, founded in 1952 by Wole Soyinka, a student at the time, with six others members of the University College of Ibadan to combat tribalism and ethnic alignments on campus. AFP PHOTO

MANY months before it finally came on Sunday July 13 many celebratory events had been lined up to mark the 80th birthday ceremony of the one famously called Kongi, after one of the more memorable characters of his highly fecund imagination, Wole Soyinka.

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Doctors’ strike: Government, ASUU and allied associations

  /   in Talking Point 12:28 am   /   Comments

doctors1

THE Nigerian Medical Association called out its members on yet another strike about two weeks ago. The NMA is, no doubt, one of the most strike-prone associations in the country.

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Jonathan and Nigerians must not abandon the Chibok girls

  /   in Talking Point 12:41 am   /   Comments

A screengrab taken on May 12, 2014, from a video of Nigerian Islamist

IN a few days time it would be three full months since nearly 300 or perhaps more girls were brazenly abducted from their school in Chibok in Borno State. In the last three months a lot of tears have been shed. Homes have been ripped apart and sorrow has overtaken the hearts of many.

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Fayose as APC’s nemesis

  /   in Talking Point 12:49 am   /   Comments

Ayo Fayose casting his vote yesterday...

WHEN a couple of months ago the PDP came up with Ayodele Fayose as its candidate for the 2014 governorship election in Ekiti State, the desperation that must have motivated their choice was not lost on informed observers.

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The military and Abuja’s coup rumours

  /   in Talking Point 12:11 am   /   Comments

From left: Chief of  Air Staff Air  Marshall, Alex Badeh; Chief of Naval Staff, Vice  Admiral Dele Ezeoba; and Inspector-General of  Police, Mohammed Dikko Abubakar, after a security meeting with President  Goodluck Jonathan  at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, on Friday.

I DON’T know if it was somebody’s idea of a sick joke or an attempt to test the waters to know Nigerians’ disposition to such an idea but the reported rumour of a coup some days ago could only have come from a diseased imagination. Quite frankly it was not a report that the Nigerian press appeared to know anything about.

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Dora Akunyili’s last dance

  /   in Talking Point 12:08 am   /   Comments

Dora Akunyili

DORA AKUNYILI first gained national attention after she was appointed Director General of the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control, NAFDAC.

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Jonathan’s ‘most wanted’ list of enemies

  /   in Talking Point 1:14 am   /   Comments

jonathan-press

PRESIDENT Goodluck Jonathan has many political enemies. The irony of the President’s situation is that many of his very vocal supporters are among his most ardent enemies.

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Jonathan knows Shekau’s informants

  /   in Talking Point 9:58 am   /   Comments

*Shekau and Jonathan

THE Chief of Defence Staff, Alex Badeh, only days ago told the world, including the insurgents that have made life impossible for his Commander-in-Chief, Goodluck Jonathan, that the military now knows where the school girls abducted from Chibok about 50 days ago are being held.

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Insurgency as Nigeria’s boil of anguish

  /   in Talking Point 12:35 am   /   Comments

Jos-Blast1

NIGERIA certainly now carries a terrible boil of anguish in the form of Islamic insurgency. Red and swollen with pus from long neglect and impunity, the boil must at this point either burst and bring relief or it becomes gangrenous and grows into something more terrible.

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A look at Nyako’s tantrums and Jonathan’s unspoken fears

  /   in Talking Point 12:55 am   /   Comments

Nyako and Jonathan

MURTALA Nyako, governor of Adamawa, one of three states which the cowardly but murderous insurgents in the north have virtually turned into the headquarters of their operations, is fast posing or acquiring reputation as an opponent of President Goodluck Jonathan.

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Of presidents and ambitious spouses: Lessons from Jonathan and Yar’Adua

  /   in News, Talking Point 12:30 am   /   Comments

President Goodluck Jonathan and late president, Alhaji Umaru Musa Yar'Adua

FIRST a disclaimer: any comment made here now and at any time in the past pertains to the persons concerned in their public activities as Nigerians. It does not and should not in any way be read as commentary on their roles as individuals in their private capacity.

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Either Jonathan goes to Sambisa forest or Shekau remains at Nyanya

  /   in Talking Point 2:31 am   /   Comments

President Goodluck Jonathan

BEYOND any thing we’ve ever seen in the past, Nigeria is today under the siege of terrorist insurgents. We are a besieged people. The yet unresolved abduction of nearly 250 school girls in Chibok earlier brought home loud hints of this.

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Will Jonathan go to Sambisa forest?

  /   in Talking Point 3:24 am   /   Comments

President Goodluck Jonathan (centre) inspecting parade during the Nigerian Army Day Celebration in Abuja On Saturday (6/7/13)

ITis indeed pertinent to ask if President Goodluck Jonathan, the armed forces over which he presides as Commander-in-Chief, and other security agencies, will go after the terrorists that abducted more than 200 teenage girls into their hideout in Sambisa Forest, in Borno State.

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Where is the Nigerian leader?

  /   in Talking Point 12:38 am   /   Comments

Chief Obafemi Awolowo, Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe and Alhaji Ahmadu Bello

IN line with the spirit of the times, this column has of late taken an interrogative tone. The title of today’s piece bears this out. There are too many things going on in Nigeria today that demand answers nobody seems ready to provide. Those best placed to provide the answers, those whom history assigns this duty don’t seem conscious of, much less realise, the responsibility thrust on them by their position. Which is where we are today with President Goodluck Jonathan.

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Is it scarcity of fuel or pump price increment?

  /   in Talking Point 9:11 am   /   Comments

Black market thrives as fuel scarcity hits Lagos. Photo: Bunmi Azeez

IN the last two months, Nigerians have groaned under the pain of fuel scarcity. Since February they have been wondering if and when solution would be found to the persistent scarcity.

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The Ibadan ritual camp

  /   in Talking Point 12:05 am   /   Comments

SOKA-1

IBADAN, the Oyo State capital, has of late been in the news for not very good reasons. In what could easily pass as a scene from a horror film, a slave camp was discovered in the heart of the city.

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