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Resurgence of child trafficking in Akwa Ibom State

At least two people, one alive and one departed, must be shaking their heads, with sadness and disbelief, when reading that story about Akwa Ibom. This was one tragedy they struggled for eight years to bring to an end in the state. And they largely succeeded such that by 2007, Akwa Ibom state was rid of child traffickers and baby factories. Now, it appears as if the progress made by 2007 had been dissipated in another eight years. The most important question which should bother all of us is: if the progress which we see daily advertised about the state is real, why are people still engaged in this trade/ why are kids still being treated worse than slaves? It was not always like this; not in 2007.

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A tale of two sets of prostitutes in Abuja

The authorities of the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, ably led by the Honourable Minister, have been working very hard to rid the nation’s capital of undesirable elements. Ever since that great friend of poor people, Malam El-Rufia, formerly of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, became Minister, they have been demolishing homes and shops, as well as the dwellings of poor people, which they call shanties – as if any really destitute person can afford palatial mansions. Malam El-Rufai is now a leading member of the All Progressive Alliance, APC, the opposition party – some of whose governors have also been demolishing buildings like the demon.

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Bristol Hotel revival: Lagos CBD gets a boost

The regular readers of this page must forgive me for postponing, once again, the continuation of the series on the INHERITORS – the second generations of Nigerians who allowed great enterprises bequeathed to them to crumble. The next would have been the LAWSON Group of Companies, among which was the ECOBANK, once headed by Mr Kolapo Lawson. The slide down the greasy slope of misfortune for the group started several years ago. But, this is not the time for that.

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To Alhaji Bamanga Tukur with gratitude

Most often a person in high office, public or private, does not know who his true friends are, while in good standing – until he starts to slide down the greasy slope of fortune. By then it is too late. My sympathies are always with those who have been used and discarded – like tissue paper. Alhaji, your night came; when you were forced to resign the Chairmanship of the People’s Democratic Party, PDP

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PDP, APC : Two wrecked boats on rescue mission —1

Phil Graham, late Publisher of the Washington Post, who committed suicide by shooting himself, once described journalism as “the first draft of history”. I am neither a journalist nor historian but it is my hope that some time in the future, historians, if history which Obasanjo banished from our schools is restored, will read this. It will reveal to them how miraculous it was that after the 2014-2015 political upheavals there was a country called Nigeria left for them to call their own. It was all well and good for General Buhari in 1983, as the military Head of State to state that: “This is the only country we have”. Most Nigerians, in 2014, are apprehensive, more than at any other time that good old Chinua Achebe might have left a curse with the title of his last and extremely controversial book – THERE WAS A COUNTRY. In 2014, everything which could lead a fragile federation to disintegrate is happening without any countervailing forces to reassure the citizenry that all will be well.

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Thoughts on the National Conference – 6

The Jukuns probably serve best to illustrate the problems of small ethnic groups strung across several states. To the best of my knowledge, they can be found in Benue, Nassarawa, Taraba and parts of Cross River States – in the Katsina Ala area. And like the Fulani/Hausa, they have been involved in ethnic conflicts in every state. How will their representative(s) be chosen? And, in the event of a break-up of Nigeria, where will they go?

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Advice to President Jonathan on new jet

I stake my claim to advise my President on two things. First, I am a citizen of Nigeria, one of the 170 million souls you now lead. I don’t want to be led astray or into another nationwide conflict. Second, I belong to that group of Nigerians, called Area Boys, who live strictly on our own brand of street wisdom. In any situation, we always know when we are beaten before the fight starts and we tactically withdraw. You see, my President, there is nothing more wasteful of lives and opportunities than fighting for lost causes. You are about to get engaged in one unnecessary battle.

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Thoughts on the National Conference – 5

Our collective tendency to think of Nigeria in terms of WA-ZO-BIA (Yoruba, Hausa, Igbo) is probably responsible for the enthusiasm with which some of us embrace break-up of Nigeria or even confederation. Some might even think that the British met us neatly divided into East, West and Northern regions. So why not simply return to those enclaves. Nothing could be further from the truth. Not even the Yorubas and Igbos formed one nation before 1914. However, one thing is clear: breaking up along regional lines will leave the nation emerging from the “North” totally landlocked. That unfortunately will be the least of its problems.

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Thoughts on the National Conference – 4

Dr Okurounmu and I share at least one thing in common. We were both recipients of American government scholarship in the 1960s which enabled us to attend universities in America. It is quite possible we also share in common taking a course in Speed Reading, which enables the individual to read lots of text materials at five to ten times that of an average person and still get the facts right. That speed reading ability paid off for me four years ago when I was engaged by clients to go through the PIB which the Federal Government was trying to force through the National Assembly and stop its passage

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