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Police brutality

A matter for the police

Pa Lot, a venerable pastor, parliamentarian and politician of the First Republic, spoke about the menace of the Fulani herdsmen in jocular terms, when I met him some decades ago in Jos. He was well into his 80s himself. He narrated how the herdsmen would arrive unannounced at a particular time of the year and would graze their cattle peacefully for a period of time, Then they would depart for greener pastures without any notice with only a part of the herd, leaving an appreciable number with only a few herdsmen in charge.

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President Muhammadu Buhari; Saraki, Senate President and Dogara, Speaker

A huge, hollow masquerade

You may recall that the last National Assembly convened with some youthful members of the House of Representatives wondering dangerously aloud as to why they were considered the “lower” house to the Senate, the other arm of our bicameral legislature. I too pondered why. Eventually, the wondering and the pondering generally faded into oblivion. For me, it was a lingering thought. What really makes one chamber superior to the other?

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Dr. Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu, GMD, NNPC

Aspects of change

It would appear that the one and only Jagaban, Chief Bola Ahmed Tinubu, former Governor of Lagos State and Asiwaju of the Yorubas committed a slight faux pas in his public upbraid of Ibe Kachikwu’s utterances about not being a magician. Of course, the Minister of State for Petroleum,Dr Kachikwu is nothing of the sort as we all know, including the President, Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces and Minister of Petroleum Resources who appointed him faultlessly to the position, in the first place.

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A necessary strand of development

My compliments to Solomon Dalung, the Honourable Minister of Sports.His is a truly “goodly heritage”, as the Holy Bible might have called it. Football, especially at the seat where he is called upon to inhabit at the moment, has had several colourful and successful occupants and most of them did not have a notable connection with the game, sports generally before their arrival either.

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Oba Akiolu

The starting point

Greetings. Are you aware that your topic, “How Nigeria broke the back of Apartheid”, may not make sense to a Nigerian educated, a freshly graduated university graduate, or part of the crop of Nigerian undergraduates? What apartheid did to the black majority in South Africa, and Nigeria’s role in bringing apartheid to an end is largely unknown to our young ones of today. WHY? The largest black nation on earth decided to remove HISTORY (including, Nigeria’s, Africa’s and the black race’s history from school curricula. Our young ones are proceeding into the future without that special wisdom which arises from a good sense of our own and other people’s history”. (…Martin Okpaleke)

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Awujale and Paramount Ruler of Ijebuland, Oba Sikiru Kayode Adetona,  and Alake of Egbaland, Oba Adedotun Aremu Gbadebo

Naked in the market square

My compliments to Remi Oyeyemi. His comments on the recent controversy raised by the classification of Yoruba rulers, made by the Alake of Abeokuta – or Egbaland? – were rather illuminating. He outlined the cause of the different versions of the history of the Yoruba that were offered by those whom he described –perhaps not too charitably – as “every Jick and Jack”. But he also conceded that most people are moved by “patriotism and the love of their immediate source of origin; just wanting to project pride in their own roots.

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President Buhari with President Jacob Zuma and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo as President Buhari hosts his South African counterpart Jacob Zuma to a State Banquet at the Presidential Banquet Hall on 8th Mar 2016

How Nigeria broke the back of apartheid

South Africa no longer surprises us. In the heat of the on-going attempt at ripping us off massively, Jacob Zuma, the country’s President blandly pays us a visit. He was once his country’s representative here. So what else is new? His predecessor in office also preceded him here. It was not entirely coincidental, because Nigeria was one of their closest allies against apartheid when the policy of “apartness” barred the black people from the inalienable rights of humanity—freedom as a human being, and equality as citizens of the same country.

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Yunusa Yellow and Ese Oruru

Making a mark

A randy young man from Kano abducts, kidnaps, or elopes (with) a damsel in Bayelsa, and the whole country is in confusion! Well, not the entire, but, at least, some people seem to be at a loss. Yes, some aspects of the matter appear to be odd—though not against the normal ethos of the country. Yes, it is only natural that one should be concerned, but there is a limit to everything though the itch dictates the scratch, and that is for the man itching to say; and the man, or woman, indeed said it loud this time.

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•Odia Ofeimun

The hierarchy of Yoruba kings

The ascension of His Royal Highness, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi to the throne of Ile-Ife tends to incite the opening of several pages of Yoruba history that may be better glossed over. “Pages” in the context of what is largely only remembered, not really written, does in itself cast serious doubt on the facts of the narrative. It cannot, all the same, be argued that some of the highlights of what has been cherished by the people for decades as the basis of their heritage do not bear any semblance to their status as a distinct unit of homo sapiens with their own languages, culture and traditions. On the contrary, the pattern of a cultural development that identifies a people is more harmoniously blended among the Yoruba than in many other communities in the world. (That is written as a Yoruba man, whose mother was from the royal Edo family of Osula.…no apologies)

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Nascent indeed

A few days ago, at the beginning of his well-deserved rest in England, President Muhammadu Buhari lamented that his paramount challenge is with the judiciary. He quoted his experience in the past futile efforts to become the occupier of Aso Rock as what constitutes his lack of confidence in the Judiciary. The fact that such an unbecoming statement was made in a foreign country makes one wonder about how sensitive our President really is concerning our foreign image, in spite of his globe-trotting which we are informed is necessary to repair our reputation abroad. In any case, the statement which, by itself, airily cast heavy aspersions on our institutions of justice must be considered ill-considered coming, as it did, from the head of the executive branch of government.

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Murtala Muhammed

On this day

On this day, February 13, General Murtala Mohammed, Nigerian Head of State, was assassinated. Exactly 40 years ago today. He was on his way to work at Dodan Barracks, a distance of less than three kilometres from his residence in Ikoyi. He was killed along with is aide-de-camp, the only company he had. It was not his style to garland his way with a massive escort of despatch riders and armoured cars, in the midst of wailing sirens. Although he had himself seized power some six months earlier, he was casual about the personal protection his position naturally warranted.

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The Passing Scene

Mr. Rauf Aregbesola is a delight to the opposition Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, whose joy it is to see any functionary of the All Progressives Congress who, they believe, has fallen short of the celestial standards their own party claims for itself. They are consistently aided, inadvertently, by some arms of the government, particularly organs like the Economic And Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, which sometime stumble over the hurdle of fairness to all. For instance, the crime-busters recently failed to arraign someone described as “an associate” of President Muhammadu Buhari, unlike they did with several PDP members who had been accused of benefitting from the widely distributed largesse accruing from the 2.1 billion dollars of security funds, under the control of Colonel Sambo Dasuki, (Rtd.) erstwhile National Security Adviser to former President Goodluck Jonathan.

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Christine Lagarde, IMF Boss

The Passing Scene

Like the visit of the Chief Executive Officer of the International Monetary Fund to Nigeria. That is one item that is not splitting my sides with laughter right now. What is she doing here—and at this time? Or has she got the right to just bump in on us? We are a sovereign nation yet, aren’t we? I saw how our high officials were tripping on one another’s heels to welcome her, and I wondered what has happened to our sense of propriety. That is not the proper way to welcome the agent of an institution that has seen this country on the way to ruin.

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Merry Christmas

You must have heard of a very knowledgeable people who woke up one day and, in their great wisdom, declared that Nigerians were the happiest people in the world. Of course, it was not added that they were of Nigerian stock. They must have come to that fabulous estimation during a festive period like Christmas when almost everybody has something to dance about, and Nigerians will dance at the drop of a pin.

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