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Tinubu’s ‘Right of first refusal’

IT was French neoclassical architect, Jean Laurent Legeay who said “In politics, as in business, you must always ask for thirty pieces of silver even though you have more than enough”. Now whether this statement more aptly defines ‘greed’ than it does politics, is an entirely different matter. Anti-Tinubus have always asked, -often self-righteously- ‘What does Tinubu want?’

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June 12’s enemy judges

Like one writhing from the pangs of judicial guilt, in a valedictory about a decade ago marking his retirement from judicial service, Justice Abdullahi Mustapha –one of a few infamous Federal High Court judges who presided over the treason trial of the late MKO Abiola- said that the winner of Nigeria’s freest and fairest election would not have died in detention if he had not refused the conditional bail his court had granted him. In fact, besides being proverbially an ‘after-death-the-doctor’ kind of self-praise, this unsolicited piece of irrelevant obiter dictum, merely reversed the aged-old saying that ‘the witch cried at night and the baby died at dawn’.

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The Trump-Hillary conundrum

THE expression ‘between Scylla and Charybdis’ came from the personification of two phenomenal hazards of navigation, both occurring off Italy’s narrow straits of Messina: one hazard named ‘Scylla’ was a ‘rock’ dangerously positioned against the ease of marine movement; the other named ‘Charybdis’ was a freak of perilous ‘whirlpool’ on the opposite side of Scylla and equally as threatening to sea-going vessels.

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OBJ: The nass he knows

In 1999 after fortune shone on the ill-fated political ‘prisoner’ who was fated thereafter to be President, General Olusegun Obasanjo was as greenhorn as political rookies can get when he grappled with the task of shedding the regimentation of garrison life in order to fit into the messy affairs of the ‘democratic process’. And worse still when he faced his baptism of fire at an even messier turf, the ‘legislative arena’. This is the one arena in a democracy that fatalists describe as a mystery ‘machine’ through which members of the executive pass usually as ‘pigs’ but always come out as ‘sausages’.

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Dictatorship and the legislature

Whenever theorists and men of learning postulate about the organic nature of ‘state’ and ‘democracy’ as a necessary dung of its bloom, the composite demon conjured always is ‘dictatorship’, especially of the ‘military’ kind which is imposed and sustained by the power of arms. And so it was about the military that Samuel Adams had warned that “A wise and prudent people” should “always have a watchful and jealous eye over”; because as he argued, “the maxims and rules of the army are essentially different from the genius of a free people.”

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