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Talking Point

‘Who is the presidency?’

LAST week the Muhammadu Buhari administration took a major step in shaking off the odour of corruption that has been swirling around it since Babachir Lawal, erstwhile Secretary to the Government of the Federation, was implicated in a scandal surrounding the award of grass cutting contract in the Internally Displaced Persons’ camp.

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Whither Buhari’s anti-corruption war?

IN just over one month, the Muhammadu Buhari administration would have spent two full years presiding over the affairs of Nigeria. These would be two years of lackluster performance for an administration that came into office with high hopes and promises to take Nigeria away from the blighted legacy of corruption left by the Goodluck Jonathan administration. But in just two days, last week, the Buhari government lost two high profile cases it had been prosecuting for several months.

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Donald Trump’s travel ban: When does a country respond?

THERE have been a series of unfortunate events involving Nigerians abroad in the last couple of weeks. From South Africa where Nigerians were made victims of xenophobic attacks to the United States of America where Nigerians with valid visas were prevented from entering the country, the story has been the same: the undeserved humiliation of Nigerians and the seeming unconcern of the Nigerian government to the plight of her citizens.

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Buhari, Nnamdi Kanu and Ibrahim El Zakzaky

IF there is one area in which the Buhari administration has consistently showed itself up as politically unsophisticated and fallen short of democratic values, it is in its handling of issues bordering on human rights. The administration has generally demonstrated a high level of unresponsiveness and disinterest in matters concerning individuals, groups and sections of the country it does not agree with.

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Osinbajo and the demand of leadership

IT’S been more than one month now since Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, assumed the status of Acting President. Even when this is not the first time he would be holding forth for the president, it is the first time he would be doing it for this long. Except in an actual state of incapacitation it is doubtful if anyone could envisage a situation like this when the president would be away from office for over a month without being declared ill or incapacitated. But by embarking on a medical vacation which has been indefinitely extended on the advice , Nigerians have been told, of his British doctors President Buhari has afforded his deputy an opportunity to demonstrate what he could do if given the chance. Before now, Osinbajo had operated in the shadows of President Muhammadu Buhari. This is the way things should be as the presidential system of government is a monarchy of sorts that does not leave room for two heads.

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When protest meets protest

BY the time you’re reading this the planned anti- and pro-Buhari protests would (might?) have come and gone. While the anti-Buhari protesters were the first to announce their intention to protest against the rising cost of living and the generally dolorous atmosphere that has pervaded governance since the emergence of Muhammadu Buhari as president, the pro-Buhari demonstrators were out to celebrate what they obviously consider the achievements of the Buhari administration. The protesters have not articulated their mission in such clear terms but it was clear towards what direction their protest was geared. Clearly, their plan is largely reactive and meant to counter the narrative of failure, ineptitude and insensitivity that is being levelled by an increasing number of Nigerians against the government.

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Can Buhari’s dumb government also choose to be deaf?

IN describing the Muhammadu Buhari administration as dumb I do not wish now to be understood as referring to what many commentators increasingly call the administration’s or, in fact, the president’s cluelessness (Is it not amazing that this administration has so quickly frittered away its goodwill in less than two years, to the extent that it’s now being described in the same unflattering register as the Goodluck Jonathan administration?)

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Now Donald Trump is president, what next?

IN just 24 hours since he became president of the United States of America, Donald Trump has been bombarded with a series of protests in the US and around the world. Over one million women, it is estimated, in the US alone and tens of thousand in many European capitals from London, Melbourne, Paris and Madrid among others, have marched against what they called the anti-women stance of the new administration in America. Although not all Americans, they fear they would be negatively impacted by the ultra-nationalistic and anti-women poise of the US government under Trump.

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