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The heightened insurgency in Borno

EARLY this week, the Borno State governor, Kashim Shettima was in Abuja to brief President Goodluck Jonathan on the heightened insurgency in his state. It was coming against the background of the massacres perpetrated by Boko Haram insurgents in a huge swathe of the state. So alarming has the situation become that the Northern Governors’ Forum convened to explore issues of the widening insecurity in the region as well as efforts to find solutions. These are the worst of times indeed for innocent, often very poor people eking out a desperate livelihood in ecologically challenged environments.

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Further to the water supply situation in Kwara State

IN this column last week, I pointed out the fact that scarcity of water has remained a major social problem in Ilorin. A succession of military and civilian administrations has fleeced the state of billions of naira, under the guise of providing solution to water problem in Ilorin. Muhammed Sha’aba Lafiagi, a senator today, was the first governor who misappropriated money meant for water supply in Kwara state.

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Dysfunctional social spaces, thieving rulers

A LINGERING memory from my early child in Ilorin is the shortage of potable water in many homes in the city. During the 60s, there was a standing pipe which served hundreds of families, in a depression where what was then Oyo. Bypass (today’s Ibrahim Taiwo Road), meets the Emir’s Road. People will form long lines of buckets with regular outbreaks of fights as each one desperately attempts to get water for their family use.

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Politics without principles: Our politicians ‘port and de-port’

ONE of the most ill-concealed intensions in Nigerian politics, the decamping of former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, finally took place early this week. The cream of the opposition faction of the Nigerian neo-colonial ruling class, collected in the All Progressive Congress, APC, made its way to Yola, to receive the Adamawa ‘big fish’, into their midst.

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Nigerian politics and the cynical manipulation of religion

IT was Shehu Usman Dan Fodiyo who once warned that a political society can endure with unbelief, but it will sooner, rather than later, crumble with injustice. Of course, Shehu Fodiyo was a religious and political leader, who led one of the most extensive and remarkable state building projects in pre-colonial Africa. Rooted in a deep religious consciousness, he nevertheless understood that the right religious bona fide alone, cannot be the basis for state survival, where the state itself is built upon an enduring project of injustice.

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PDP party chairmanship: The ultimate poisoned chalice

THE online news medium, PREMIUM TIMES, was spot on in the title of its report: “How PDP disgraced six of its seven chairmen in 15 years; in the wake of Alhaji Bamanga Tukur’s forced resignation as party chairman, after months of a most destructive in-fighting in the PDP. It had been constructed by founding fathers like the late Chief Sunday Awoniyi, with lofty nationalist intentions to build a post military dictatorship Nigeria, with the best ruling class sense responsibility.

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Discordant tunes for the National conference

“The Nwabueze-led group has clearly gone beyond the bounds of decency and decorum by fabricating a report purely from their own imagination and leveling such scathing criticisms against it with a view to discrediting the real report, which it has obviously not yet seen…I can say very emphatically, however, that the…allegations are false. They are wild, mendacious, obfuscatory and ill-intentioned…” Dr. Femi Okurounmu, Chairman, (defunct) Presidential Advisory Committee on National Dialogue.

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Nigerian billionaires and the Nigerian condition

LAST Friday, January 3, 2014, VANGAURD newspaper, like other Nigerian newspapers, carried a report sourced from FORBES magazine, titled “The Biggest African Billionaire Gainers in 2013”. The report said that the combined net worth of four Nigerian billionaires, Aliko Dangote, Folorunsho Alakija, Abdulsamad Rabiu and Mike Adenuga grew by $12.65Billion (or N2.024 Trillion) in 2013 alone.

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