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2018 FIFA World Cup: 1.3m tickets allocated, sales restart on Tuesday

The gate keepers

The World Cup is just a few weeks away. It is a month long extravaganza created and planned for youths round the world by the old. It is another inescapable irony of life that one of the enduring symbols of youth and liberalism is run by conservative old men. FIFA eschews politics yet, the very choice of venue and hosting right is steeped in politics.

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Randy professors and the rest of us

Both the mainstream and social media have been full of condemnations—and rightly so— for the randy Professor who wanted to ‘knack’—forgive my vulgarity—a girl young enough to be his grand-daughter five times before he could raise her marks from 33 to 40 —a rough translation of one ‘round’ per mark with two bonus marks that would probably be contingent on ‘satisfactory performance.’

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Now that it is official

Our President has now officially declared his intention to run for a second term. I don’t think it was a decision that took anybody by surprise except perhaps those who tried to hold a politician to his elusive words, or those who deluded themselves in wishing for the Mandela option. Mandela is, well, Mandela; a unique human being in many ways.

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Political office looters

Four members of the National Assembly have died within weeks of each other. None of them made it to the biblical age of seventy years. For all their wealth and positions, they could not extend the inevitable; they could not negotiate their timeline on earth. One was said to be preparing for an outing when he breathed his last.

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A season of love in a climate of hate

It is so, so easy to hate. Especially when we think somebody has hurt us or denied us what we believe we deserve. It agrees with our primordial instinct. It is also easy to seek revenge. And so when Moses talked about an eye for an eye, he was merely playing up what comes naturally to man. Even in the elevated world of international diplomacy, reciprocity is an accepted way of settling scores.

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I am still to see the vision in visionscape

Speaking of vision, a thick, black smoke enveloped the air in the afternoon of last week Wednesday reducing visibility and making it almost ‘dark at noon.’ I was scared as thicker and darker smoke billowed. It seemed so close to home that I thought one of the factories next to ours had caught fire. I felt I needed to do something in case of eventualities but the sheer magnitude of the smoke made me feel helpless. So there was I, petrified and fidgety, until a worker told me it was not as near as I thought and was sure the authorities would have been aware because of the scale of the fire. It turned out to be true, but it was cold comfort at the time. Olusosun, one of the dumpsites of the Lagos State Government was on fire. On a good day, this site is less than five minute drive from my office in Oregun and just a few hundred meters by air. My worries were therefore not entirely unfounded.

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Don’t they realise we are mourning?

Two young people solemnised their union in the ancient city of Kano last weekend. I rejoice with them and wish them a blissful marital life. It is always a joy to watch the power of love at play especially when it crosses boundaries and social strata. The love of Fatima and Idris may not have crossed the social or religious divide, but it does cross geographical and ethnic divides.

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A reconciliator in need of reconciliation

It’s not easy to spot a talent. In my recruiting days as Editor or Publisher, I often asked young writers to write about their partners. My aim was to see how well they could make their intimacy breathe on a blank piece of paper. I would want to see a turn of phrase, a play on words and a general ease with language that would show promise.

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Blessed are the peace makers

There are two ways to become a Head of State. It is either by a coup or the ballot box. President Buhari has used both methods. It is a rather sad reflection on his grasp of contending national issues and interests that the euphoria of his ascendancy on both occasions died not too long after his elevation leaving many people disenchanted and frustrated.

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A man dares to change the story of Africa

Imagine you were in your 30s, had doctorate degrees in a couple of disciplines which gave you a prestigious and comfortable lifestyle in an American University. You were single and therefore devoid of distractions in an environment that would allow you to fulfil your academic and social potentials. More significantly, you were a black person from Africa where diseases ravaged, poverty ravaged, crime ravaged, corruption ravaged and had been lucky to escape all these into a different clime where freedom and opportunities beckoned.

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Alex Ekwueme

Don’t make Ekwueme turn in his grave

A good man was laid to rest at the weekend. Dr Alex Ekwueme had passed on in a London hospital at age 85. He had been a colossus in the political arena in the past 40 odd years. I caught up with his night of tributes on NTA last Sunday when a friend called to intimate me of it. Such is my respect for him that I dropped everything to stay glued to the station. It was a rewarding experience to hear the glowing tributes being paid by political peers and subordinates to a man whose public life was exemplary in many ways.

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