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Insurgency: Nigeria to partner Republic of Korea, Egypt for regional peace

Maryam Babangida (Nov. 1948-Dec. 2009): The first of our first ladies

Simplicity. Sincerity. Strength. Splendour. Those four words summarise the life and times of Nigeria’s most remarkable First Lady. When Maryam Babangida (nee Okogwu), born on November 1, 1948, passed away on December 27, 2009, at the Jonson Comprehensive Cancer Center, University of California, Los Angeles, USA, her death served as a reminder to all of us of our mortality. But, the public life she lived in the span of eight years during which she was Nigeria’s First Lady re-echoed the words of the poet: “Lives of great men [and women] remind us/ that we also can make our lives sublime/ and departing leave behind us/Footprints on the sands of time.”

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Don’t blame the executive, blame the judiciary, legislature

“Decency, security and liberty alike demand that government officials shall be subjected to the same rules of conduct that are commands to the citizen. In a government of laws, existence of the government will be imperilled if it fails to observe the law scrupulously. Our government is the potent, the omnipresent teacher. For good or ill, it teaches the whole people by its example. Crime is contagious. If government becomes a lawbreaker, it breeds contempt for law; it invites every man to become a law unto himself. It invites anarchy” – US Supreme Court Justice, Louis D Brandeis, 1856-1941, in the OLMSTEAD case, 1928.

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Amaechi, Attah, Amotekun

Attah @ 81: His cup runs over

To that I want to add that the true test of your integrity as a powerful political leader is how much respect you still receive long after you have been out of power. Obong (Dr) Obong B. Attah, a former Governor of Akwa Ibom State, AKS, and the Father of Akwa Ibom State, falls into that category of leaders who were born into wealth and privilege and who, after attaining great political power, retained the public esteem they enjoyed while in office. He was, to me, the best of the class of 1999-2007 Governors. He is still one of two human beings on earth, outside my family, who can call me in the middle of the night and ask me to come and I will go without hesitation. He did not buy the privilege. Attah does not pay for acclaim. He earned it by the many footprints he left on the sands of our time.

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Adams Oshiomhole: Elephant in apc China shop

Adams Oshiomhole, the Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, APC, is not my friend, neither is he my enemy. But, I always feel sorry for any individual who, through years of brutal struggle, sweat and tears, finally reaches the top where fame and fortune await him but loses a lot on account of a flaw. Oshiomhole might not realise it, he is an endangered person in Nigerian politics generally. Like a man who had strapped on a belt of explosives in a crowded room, Oshiomhole constitutes a risk to himself and others around him. There is probably no other political figure who daily multiplies the number of his political adversaries as the Chair of the APC. He seems to have forgotten the warning made repeatedly on this page that in the political game, “a man alone hasn’t got a chance” (Ernest Hemingway, 1898-1961). Increasingly, the man who should be the second most important rallying point for the APC, after Buhari, has now acquired the image of its  uncontrollable destroyer sowing discord everywhere , attracting maledictions from members who should be subservient and uniting the rank and file against himself. He most probably will not last until 2023 unless there is a revolutionary change in his approach to leadership.

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Nigeria’s SOS to the global community

For the first time since 1960, Nigeria has been ruled by a government which had solved none of the problems it met, but had multiplied them or made them worse. The self-proclaimed Giant of Africa is not only “the wretched nursery of discord among its citizenry and the miserable object of universal pity or contempt” (apologies to Alexander Hamilton: 1757-1804), it is also a hopeless abode for its citizens and a present danger to all the nations of Africa and the Economic Community of West African States, ECOWAS. The recent closure of our national borders smacks of utmost desperation by a government which had, from its inception, mismanaged the Nigerian economy. It is only the latest in a series of measures taken by a government headed by someone who does not even pretend to understand economic principles. Like most of the wrong-headed measures, there is suspicion that it was taken to serve the interests of a small circle of insiders who, knowing about the closure in advance, had stockpiled rice and “made a killing”. They predictably “killed” Fellow Citizens while smiling all the way to the bank. The heavy price we are paying for rice today is enriching those close to the Rock who were aware the measure was coming. Corruption has now assumed a new face – contrary to what Professor Sagay thinks. He is not an economist; so it could not have occurred to him that Nigerians have been fleeced to the tune of billions of naira by rice producers close to the seat of power.

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APC returns to Supreme Court, seeks reversal of judgment on Bayelsa

Is APC still the answer?

By Dele Sobowale “A political party deserves the approbation of [Nigeria] only as it represents the ideals, the aspirations and the hopes of [Nigerians]. If it is anything else, it is merely a conspiracy to seize power – “US President Dwight Eisenhower, 1890-1969. In 2013, just as the association of strange bed fellows – CAN,
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Ambode, EFCC

Ambode and Lagos apc need mediators urgently(2)

The first part of this two-part series ended rather abruptly. But, I hope that readers can still join the pieces and make a narrative out of it. Let me quickly summarise the last point made last week. First, Ambode, despite all outward appearances, was not totally isolated. He like other leaders – Presidents and Governors – had his own Kitchen Cabinet and perhaps the more powerful Bedroom Cabinet. Bedroom Cabinet had been described on these pages as those who can arrive at the Governor’s Mansion or Office and without filling any form and without delay walk straight to the Ogapatapata. Top on the list is the owner of “the Other room”. Others might include mother, father, brothers and sisters. They have access 24/7 and they influence decisions, if they are allowed 24/7. Because they have a vital stake in the outcome of this war, they will line up behind the embattled former Governor. You can bet on that.

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