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Barriers to nationhood – Muyiwa Adetiba

Things you learn early in life hardly leave you. In fact, they influence the course of your life either for good or ill. I had an Editor during my early years in journalism who drummed certain ‘truths’ into my head which have influenced my practice of the profession. Two of them will suffice for the purposes of this discourse. First is that there is no story that cannot be cut; the skill is in the manner of cutting.

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There will be a country still

The media goes through the same process every Independence Day. It calls on ‘prominent’ Nigerians to talk about whatever age the country is celebrating. The comments you get invariably depend on the status of the respondents. The current ‘leaders’ will talk patronisingly and benignly about the giant strides the country has made.

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How many people have you led across the road?

The routine is fairly the same. Early in the week, every week, I try to sit or lie still for a while and allow my mind to dwell on things I had witnessed, observed or read during the week. Sometimes my mind is crowded, in which case I silently pray for divine help in choosing a topic. Sometimes, on very rare occasions I must admit, the topic chooses itself with such clarity and force that I can’t wait to get to the computer. On some other occasions, it is the other way round. I am blank. I lie or sit there sometimes for a stretch, pondering what to write on.

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The flip side of Trump’s ‘America First’ sentiment

For the first time since the Williams’ sisters took the centre stage, two Black American women this month found themselves in the Finals of the US Open. In fact, for the first time ever, three Black American women were in the Semis. The commentators, most of them Americans since the tournament took place on American soil, gushed about how good it all was for American tennis. They all found it convenient to be colour blind.

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ASUU strike

While the strike lasts

Monday was the 16th anniversary of 9/11, the day the whole world woke up to witness the full horror of man’s inhumanity to man. Today, six days after this indiscriminate and irreligious destruction of innocent lives was also the 16th anniversary of my own version of 9/11; the day I and my family witnessed at close range, the horror of man’s inhumanity to man. It was the day I was shot point blank as they say, disposed of my car, and dumped in a secluded side road to die. It was also the day, paradoxically, that I witnessed the good and bad sides of humanity.

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Tit for tat or Daboh for Tarka

Whistle blowing has now become a lucrative side-kick in Nigeria. But it didn’t start yesterday; or the day before. It was always there even when financial inducements were not attached to whistle blowing. Most of whistle blowing comes from a disgruntled underling who has an inside knowledge of the goings on within an organisation.

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Fight or farce?

A big fight is taking place in the US tonight. Some people would want us to believe that it is going to be the fight of the year. To those who perhaps are not used to the lingo, the word ‘fight’ is often used to interplay with the word ‘boxing’ among the faithful because it reminds them of the origin of boxing.

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(In)security and the police

At my age and with my profession, it is inescapable that I would have had encounters with the police at different levels. I have been locked up, put under house arrest, invited to make statements on quite a few occasions and once kept in the cold for over an hour at a check point at 2 am for refusing to ‘co-operate.’ But I can say that I have never been personally brutalised in any of the encounters. In that, going by the law of averages, I would say I have been very lucky.

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