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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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APC-PDP

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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Thoughts on the National Conference – 3

Last week I pointed out some of the reasons the Southwest might not be as peaceful as people think in the event of a break-up. Let me repeat that it was deliberate; I don’t want anybody reading ethnic hatred into what I would say about their own zones or ethnic groups. As it turned out I am learning about some ethnic groups for the first time in my life. Those asking for a national conference of ethnic nationalities must now begin to think of how they will handle the enormous task of mediating the demands that will come from all of them. It is not going to be easy

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Thoughts on the National Conference – 2

Femi Fani-Kayode and Tunde Fagbenle, without saying it, implicitly, believe that the Southwest will be better off on its own. To be candid; they have reasons for the optimism. The “Oduduwa Nation” (for lack of a better name), will be an oil producing nation – Ondo, Lagos and Ogun have oil. It has on the average the best collection of educated manpower and its educational institutions from primary to tertiary are the best nationwide. So, on the face of it, nothing stops it from becoming another Croatia or Pakistan. Nothing, that is, except guarantee of perpetual peace

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Thoughts on the National Conference – 1

Like people on sickbeds, Nigerians are once again getting ready to toss from side to side, without asking if the problem is with the beds or themselves. Pity.

Do we need a National Conference, sovereign or not? The answer is neither “yes” nor “no” for the simple reason that we have failed woefully as a nation to raise a set of politicians who would make any form of government work. We had tried three forms of government since independence – parliamentary, military and presidential. None of them had been able to develop this nation to its full potentials – not at the national, regional or state levels. None.

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Jega, INEC, military, election

Where is the honour in Nigerian politics?

Because I am a Christian Evangelist and have boldly made several predictions on these pages, which have turned out to be true, unlike those who wait for a disaster and then call a press conference to claim they predicted it, let me start with the last among the things which Ghandi predicted would destroy any nation – “Worship without sacrifice”. In my entire life, and my family was deeply involved in politics since the First Republic, I have never known of a religious leader, Muslim or Christian, who had ever, so openly, wrapped himself around a Prime Minister or President as the present CAN President.

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