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Farewell to female icons

By Donu Kogbara

Since my last column appeared, the world has lost two Women Of Substance. On Saturday April 6: Mrs Funmilayo Olayinka, the beautiful, intelligent, principled, hard-working and kind-hearted Deputy Governor of Ekiti State.

On Monday April 8: Baroness Margaret Thatcher, the former British Prime Minister, who was immensely unpopular in certain quarters – because of her uncompromising personality and controversial domestic and foreign policies – but also possessed many admirable qualities, attracted a huge following (she won three elections) and dominated UK and global politics for over a decade.

I met Thatcher and didn’t warm to her on a personal level because she was polite rather than friendly and was famed for her dogged refusal to support the Black South African struggle against apartheid. But I couldn’t help respecting this Iron Lady who had achieved so much in a tough chauvinistic male milieu.

Thatcher and Olayinka had different styles. But both were strong, inspirational female pioneers who will never be forgotten. May they rest in peace.


Whenever a Nigerian dies, whether they be a VIP or an ordinary citizen, there are dark suspicions that he or she was “spiritually” murdered by evil enemies.

I have always scoffed at the idea that mere mortals can acquire the power to unleash malevolent supernatural forces on those they hate or envy. I simply don’t buy the view that anyone can finish anyone off by remote control; and I doff my cap to Mrs Olayinka’s father, Pa Festus Famuagun, because he has firmly rejected the usual conspiracy theories and insisted that his daughter died a natural death (from cancer that had been troubling her since 2009).

Reacting to insinuations that his beloved child had been done in by “diabolical” opponents who wanted to snatch her prestigious job, Pa Famuagun informed well-wishers who visited him to offer condolences that he does not believe in witchcraft and feels that her life was taken by the God who created her.

Pa Famuagun’s unsuperstitious, progressive, no-nonsense mindset is extremely refreshing in a society in which too many people claim to be practising Christians but remain wedded to juju-related convictions. May this impressive elder continue to bear the terrible loss of his dear daughter with fortitude.





*+2348027475353 Tarrie Dawudu

Dear Donu, That Jonathan has constituted amnesty committee for Boko Haram makes me sick and raises some fundamental questions like who are these people? You mean some foreigners will invade this … country and our security agents can’t do anything! At the end when our inept security personnel have been defeated, we now beg for a truce? Where is the money coming from to pay these rebels? God forbid it shouldn’t be money from Niger Delta oil where l come from and have toiled all my years on earth to eke a living. I can barely send my kids who are bona fide Niger Deltans to private schools as public schools we attended have become history. If Jonathan and E.K. Clark think they can gamble away the future of Niger Deltans on the altar of 2015, they have another think coming. They should start planting groundnut and cotton to pay amnesty, period

*+2348037137310 Ekenwan  Akwagbe

President Jonathan will not change to become like a latter day Mubarak. However, the attitude of the opposition – seeing nothing good in anything the President does – could change him. Jonathan’s humility and civility is taken for a ride by the opposition. Imagine that a Kano-based politician, Dr  Junaid Mohammed, calling our President an imbecile in one of his interviews granted a tabloid! In fact, so many people have so directly abused the President instead of discussing issues. This situation if allowed to continue could change a hitherto civil and democratic President to become a brutal dictator like Obasanjo was.


*+2348070881023 Austin Ekanem

Dear Donu, you singled out White Christians as those who colonized enslaved, stole from and levied violence against Blacks. Like Prof Ali Masrui, you have nothing to say about what Muslim Arabs did and are still doing against the Blacks in Africa and beyond.


*+2348020393163  Monorien Christopher

There is no doubt that people with unenviable background, but have the privilege of being leaders usually forget the dark years. President GEJ has forgotten his own suffering.


*+2347037421476 Rodsimeon Idaewor

We are as human beings subjective in nature, hence your pro-Israel stance. But if we have to be fair the Palestinians have the right to exist in their own state. To shy away from the two states solution is a postponement of an inevitable cataclysm. By the way, President Jonathan has already fallen into the trap of Mubarak; so we need not pray again.


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