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Hakeem Baba-Ahmad

On saints and men

DR Ahmad Gummi, son of the late Sheikh Abubakar Mahmud Gummi and a leading cleric recently wrote open letters in the manner Chief Olusegun Obasanjo made public letter-writing a political art. He wrote to General Muhammadu Buhari and President Goodluck Jonathan, advising them to jettison ambitions to contest for the presidency in 2015 in the interest of peace, security and survival of the nation.

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I spent the last two weeks in Saudi Arabia among Islamists. These are Muslims who recognize the imperatives of complying with the demands of their faith to visit Makkah for the Hajj, and are blessed with the means to do so. There were millions of us, all submitting to the incomparable awesomeness of the entire exercise.

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Jonathan goes for broke

If the tough guy posture of the President is borne out of an assessment of his strength in relation to his adversaries’ weaknesses, he may be on his way to breaking a world record for turning the tables against all odds. If, however, it is a gamble, he could come unstuck in more ways than he imagines. Either way, President Goodluck Jonathan has just adjusted his position right back to a place where his future could substantially determine the fate of the nation.

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Time and Place

WITH just a few months before Nigerians go to the general elections, the outlook on a nation ready to confront and successfully deal with a major turning point is poor. Vital requirements for the success of the transitional processes between this administration and the next are missing, and there is little evidence that capacities exist which will re invent or develop them.

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A place for elders

I GOT to know the late Alhaji Magaji Dambatta personally only in the last one year of his accomplished life. Of course, it is impossible not to have been aware of a rare titan who from a very young age, began a life that was entirely dedicated to God and his community.

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The week after

THIS time last week, the nation held its breath in anticipation of the final episode in the four months old saga that was the National Conference. The key actors themselves did not have the final pages of the script. Or, to put it another way, there were many versions of the final scenes of a melodrama that threatened to either tear the nation apart, or facilitate massive distortions in political power and resource mobilisation and allocation.

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