Friday August 29th, 2014
Friday August 29th, 2014
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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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Immigration Service debacle, the siege on the Nigerian future

  /   in Talking Point 12:08 am   /   Comments

NIGERIA, Abuja : Job-seekers applying for work at the Nigerian immigration department scramble as their exam papers fly in the air, on the pitch of Abuja National Stadium, on March 15, 2014. AFP PHOTO

THE morning of Saturday March 15 met me outside Liberty Stadium, Ibadan, Oyo State, venue of the so-called test for young Nigerians applying for jobs with the Nigerian Immigration Service.

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Now the National Conference is here

  /   in Talking Point 12:20 am   /   Comments

CONFAB

THREE days ago Nigerians began yet another attempt at looking at the terms of their coming together as a people within a boundaried space.

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Celebrating infamy; honouring thieves

  /   in Talking Point 12:15 am   /   Comments

From Left: Former President, Alhaji Shehu Shagari; former Head of State, Gen. Muhammadu Buhari; President Goodluck Jonathan and former Head of Interim National Government, Chief Ernest Shonekan, at the Centenary Dinner and Awards in Abuja on Friday (28/2/14). NAN

ACTIVITIES marking Nigeria’s centenary climaxed a fortnight ago with an elaborate award ceremony in the country’s capital, Abuja. This was to honour Nigerians from diverse fields for what we were made to understand was their contribution to the development of the country.

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Nigeria’s expanding war zones

  /   in Talking Point 12:27 am   /   Comments

NIGERIA, Maiduguri : BEST AVAILABLE QUALITY
People gather on March 2, 2014 near the wreckage at the scene where two explosions rocked a crowded neigbourhood in Maiduguri's Gomaris district on the evening of March 1. At least 35 people were killed following two explosions in a crowded neighbourhood of Nigeria's restless northeastern city of Maiduguri, a stronghold of Boko Haram Islamists, police said March 2. "We are still counting. So far we have counted 35 bodies. Our men are still working with rescue workers at the scene," Borno state police commissioner Lawal Tanko said. AFP PHOTO /

NIGERIAN governments are known by the many wars they fight. Each Nigerian government is a kind of war council that chooses its own kind of war.

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Sanusi, Jonathan: Between the prince, the president

  /   in Talking Point 1:49 am   /   Comments

President Goodluck Jonathan and Lamido Sanusi

IS somebody surprised that Sanusi Lamido Sanusi who was until Thursday, last week, Governor of Nigeria’s Central Bank finally had to vacate his exalted office before the end of his five-year term? Are there Nigerians confused that his exit had such direct presidential link, as there was no ambiguity to the statement announcing his removal by presidential spokesman, Reuben Abati?

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Jonathan sheds excess weight

  /   in Talking Point 12:40 am   /   Comments

President Goodluck Jonathan

ONE would not know exactly when President Goodluck Jonathan came to the conclusion that he could no longer pretend that all is well with his government or the party that produced it, the PDP. But it appears he must have reached that point for quite some time now. He only dithered on when to act to start correcting things or simply wished that the cup of such decision would pass him by.

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Trouble, yanga and religious palavers in Osun

  /   in Talking Point 12:40 am   /   Comments

Aregbosola

AMONG Nigeria’s ethnic regions and nationalities, the ecumenical spirit is arguably most at work in the Yoruba West. Unlike Eastern and Northern Nigeria that are respectively dominated by followers of Christianity and Islam, Western Nigeria presents a far more diverse and fluid picture of religion with Christians, Muslims and Ifa worshippers cohabiting and cooperating in relative harmony.

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As the APC fights the PDP fire with fire

  /   in Talking Point 12:54 am   /   Comments

APC-PDP

THE decision, a couple of weeks ago, by the APC to block passage of bills proposed by the PDP has naturally drawn diverse reactions from Nigerians. The reactions have been mostly as partisan as are reactions to the issue that led to the unprecedented decision of the APC in the first place, namely, the crisis in Rivers State that has been exacerbated by the involvement of the Commissioner of Police in the State, Mbu Joseph Mbu.

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Komla Dumor’s BBC

  /   in Talking Point 12:30 am   /   Comments

Komla-Dumor

BEYOND the media image I know pretty little about the late Ghanaian-born BBC presenter, Komla Dumor.

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If Jonathan sacked the military chiefs, did Tukur resign?

  /   in Talking Point 12:20 am   /   Comments

Tukur-new

THE National Executive Committee meeting of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) that led to the ouster of its beleaguered ex-chair, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, had all the gripping details of a tragic drama. The exit of Tukur was a tragic melodrama that underlined the superior voice of the majority over that of a very powerful but tiny minority.

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Jonathan and the ghost of Obasanjo’s letter

  /   in Talking Point 9:01 pm   /   Comments

Jonathan and Obasanjo

CHIEF Olusegun Obasanjo’s December 2 open letter to President Goodluck Jonathan certainly did more damage to the President than either he or his supporters care to admit. Aside the fact that Jonathan’s response to his estranged benefactor’s letter lacked both the interest and passion generated by the initial letter, his reply appealed more to the zealotry of his own supporters than it addressed the substance of Obasanjo’s allegations.

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A matter of trust

  /   in Talking Point 12:10 am   /   Comments

President Goodluck Jonathan

NIGERIANS believe the worst about their leaders. No, that’s not how I meant to say that. Or rather let me state it in another way. Nigerians believe nothing by their rulers. They hear them quite all right. They listen to the many words that are spewed at them by paid publicists; words too many to make any sense. But they believe nothing they hear.

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A government’s anti-people policy

  /   in Talking Point 12:00 am   /   Comments

Fuel Subsidy protest

IT’S the first day of January and it’s only proper to wish Nigerians a happy New Year with hopes and prayers that 2014 ends on a note of great joy and prosperity for us all. We pray it is a year in which the Nigerian Dream takes on the colour of reality. But the Goodluck Jonathan government ended 2013 with its ill-digested approach to revenue generation and overall development of the country.

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