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Okowa’s running mate and the self-inflicted humiliation of the Isokos

OKOWA’S running mate: Clark, Manager, Tompolo in a fierce battle,” so screamed the headline (Vanguard, 20 December 2014). I saw at once the chronicle of another humiliation foretold: of the three personalities mentioned, none is Isoko. But one should not deduce the facts of a newspaper story from its headline. So to the story I went but before another word,the context for my conclusion. I had recently come to the view that the Isoko people are poorly served by their leaders and expressed it openly on April 7 when I declared my intention (aborted precisely eight months later on December 7 at the APC primaries) to run for a seat in the House of Representatives.

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I don’t give a damn! as a standing order of impunity

By condoning, if not authorising,serial acts of impunity, is President Goodluck Jonathan transforming democracy by redefining it as minority rule? Or simply returning us to the forgotten epoch of might is right? The most popular definition of democracy remains that proffered by Abraham Lincoln in the famous Gettysburg Address to commemorate the site of one of the bloodiest battles of the American Civil War. In the long closing sentence of the short 278-word speech, Lincoln uttered the words that every junior secondary school student knows by heart:”government of the people, by the people, for the people.”

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The death of English in Nigeria

I exaggerate, of course. All the languages of the world will have died before English dies in Nigeria. And of all the languages threatened by extinction, English is hardly one, many thanks to the extraordinary success of England in colonising nearly two-thirds of the world before the sun did finally set on the great British Empire on which the sun was never to set.

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As Delta State gets set for local government elections

When announcing the date oflong-overdue local government elections in Delta State, the chairman of the state’s independent electoral commission, Mr Moses Ogbe, said, in that grating grandiloquence bordering on bombast that Nigerian public servants love so much, as follows: “Having regard to the desire of Deltans for the conduct of a smooth and hitch-free Local Government Election in the state, the commission has resolved that the elections will hold on Saturday, 25th October, 2014.”

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Jonathan’s Non-Negotiator and the moral black hole threatening our govt

IN my last column entitled “Jonathan’s Hostage Negotiator Puts Him in a Tight Corner” (3 September 2014), I argued that Australian hostage negotiator Dr. Stephen Davis did Nigeria a favour by daring to call by name two persons alleged to be sponsors of Boko Haram, and by pointing to an unnamed person alleged to be the evil sect’s banker ensconced in our Central Bank in Abuja.

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Elections as military operations

BY all sober reckoning, Professor Attahiru Jega has done quite well in his last two outings as Nigeria’s chief electoral officer and, so, democracy’s chief midwife in our turbulent country. If Ekiti broke the hearts of progressives, of those who believe that “man does not live alone by bread” — in other words, that the gospel of “Man shall live alone for his stomach,” according to Saints Adedibu and Fayose, is perversion itself — Osun offered them consolation. With the hard-fought but clear victory of Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola in the August 9 election, Jega gave hope to a nation pining, panting even, for a sign of change in the still uninspiring effort of governing ourselves sensibly. If against the seemingly unstoppable electoral machine of the ruling party, oiled by its ability to dispense power and privilege, a harried governor from a new collation party still getting to know all of its new members could win re-election, then 2015 might not be all the predicted gloom and doom. Electorally speaking, only, I must be quick to add, for the forces that tear at corporate Nigeria are legion!

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