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Border closure: Some fundamental issues

Administrator urges FG to allow truck with legitimate goods

Back in the days when we were blissfully unaware of the enormity of our actions, we used to buy drinks for our regular weekend parties from Badagry and Cotonou. Occasionally, we bought fruits or whatever tickled our fancy.

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Mirror, mirror on the wall. Who is the greatest of them all ?

I sat up until 2am last Monday to watch Tiger Woods make history in Japan. He did it by winning his 82nd PGA title. In doing so, he tied the 53 year old record of Sam Snead, one of the legends of the golfing world. He did it ten years younger. Sam made the record at 53. Tiger is 43. He did it after multiple injuries and a personal misadventure which laid him off golf for at least five years. He did it in grand style with a three stroke lead over Matsuyama, the Japanese runner-up who was desperately trying to win the debut tournament at his home base.

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Sowore

An ear to the ground

Omoyele Sowore, an online Publisher and activist, got a reprieve of sorts during the week. His new bail conditions are less herculean than the earlier one and means he can hopefully get some of his freedom back soon. Those who have never had their freedom denied them might not know what this means. I do. It goes with the territory of my job. Next to the air we breathe, personal freedom is one of the many things we take for granted. That is why the judiciary, that third estate of the realm, is so important. It needs to be unfettered so it can unfetter the rest of us. That is why I empathise with anybody who is in confinement because he has not had his day in court. That is why I tend to defend anybody who is still being held after a court of the land has granted him bail. Like Sowore. Like Dansuki who is spending at least three post bail years in confinement. Power is transient and those holding people like Dansuki in spite of their being granted bail must realise that ultimate power belongs to God. Unfortunately, the granting of bail in many political cases means the end of the matter. It shouldn’t be. The case should still run its legal course.

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A game of numbers: My take on Igbo presidency

I had an impromptu lunch at my niece’s place last Sunday. It was at such an inconvenient time that I would ordinarily have let it pass. We had our cultural harvest in church which meant a longer day at church. Then there was the premier league football match where Arsenal were due to play, and there was a tennis final in China that was featuring two of the exciting next-gen players.These presented an ideal ‘stay at home’ scenario for me. But the opportunity to spend time with my very gifted niece whom I rarely see, and her genteel sister who was flying out that evening to her base in England, and who was the reason for the lunch, was too appealing to miss. I thought I’d cajole my niece to tune to sports which,outside basketball, isn’t her favourite past time. But try as she could, her ‘sophisticated gadget’ couldn’t raise the games I wanted. So a crestfallen Kemi admitted that ‘this thing has fallen my hand’ and pleaded for us to watch a new documentary on Netflix instead.

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P&ID, Nigeria, China

Nigeria at 59: The many faces of ‘JUSTICE’

On the eve of our 59th Independence Anniversary, the President symbolically furthered the cause of justice when he commissioned an edifice that would house an Industrial Court. Excerpts of his short speech included the need for equal access to justice for all Nigerians. But structures alone don’t make for justice or even access to it because elsewhere on that same day, justice was being denied a young Nigerian. Omoyele Sowore, a child born when Nigeria had attained its independence, a child who probably grew to learn about the heroic labours of his forefathers, a child who might have learnt the anthem of a nation bound in freedom, peace and unity, was on the eve of Independence, denied his freedom again, and would celebratethe 59th anniversary of his country in detention.This was in spite of a court of law, similar in some respects to the one the President just commissioned, granting him freedom. There would be no clicking of glasses for him and indeed, any member of his family on the day. His life as he knows it is on hold and his freedom is not subject to law, but to the judgement—or whims—of the security forces which have enforced his captivity.

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slaves

Why the nation slept through the ‘Landmark judgement’

Several years ago, I was in a plane with two veteran journalists, Chief Eddy Aderinokun and Mr Olu Akaraogun. We were on our way to Yola to see Alhaji BamangaTukur. The late Akaraogun, one of the most versatile journalists of his generation, sat next to me. As usual, we were discussing politics and the state of the nation. I said something I thought was a brutal truth. Immediately, Mr Akaraogun reprimanded me. ‘You are too young for that line of thought. You have to earn your cynicism and that comes with age.’ This was shortly before the first coming of Buhari. Now, some 35 years later, I hope I have earned that cynicism including the right to express my thoughts however they may be perceived.

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