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Again, the police

It is a known fact that Nigeria is under-policed. Grossly under-policed. But you wouldn’t know it from the uses to which we put the few we have. Every big man in Nigeria has a policeman as a symbol of his ‘bigmanism.’ These policemen serve as valets, messengers, traffic conductors and enforcers. In short, they serve as ‘Man Friday’ in demeaning, belittling ways. A good percentage of what is left of our Force finds itself on the highways.

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This has become an S.O.L(Save Our Lives)

An old friend died of prostate complications on Sunday. He died in the US. While every death diminishes humanity, every death abroad diminishes the country and every preventable death points an accusing finger at our health care system. Yomi Ismael’s death to me represented all of these. I have known Yomi for about four decades and he was always so full of life. He always seemed to have a joke for every situation. I am glad I did not see him bed-ridden or tongue tied so I can always keep that bubbly, jovial image of him. His death is raw in its suddenness and it hurts. So raw that you still feel like lashing out at our health system for his lack of timely awareness; his need to go abroad for treatment; the dearth and growing exodus of qualified medical personnel from our country which makes going abroad for surgery almost inevitable.

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June 12: Did Buhari present US a Greek gift?

My recent trip down June 12 memory lane, started with an article Sam Omatseye wrote on Kunle Ajibade. It was on the latter’s 60th birthday. Kunle, a journalist, is one of those who symbolised the struggle to actualise June 12 and any tribute to him that ignores his travails in the hands of the Abacha boys will definitely be incomplete. This article did some justice to that aspect of the life of gentle looking Ajibade whom Omatseye aptly described as a most unlikely candidate for the gulag. His article was closely followed by another beautiful article titled: ‘Class of ‘98’ by Dare Babarinsa. Dare’s article talked about the incarceration of Kunle Ajibade but didn’t end there. It managed, in a few choice words, to capture the June 12 struggle including the role played by some principled and courageous Nigerians. Some of them ended up in jail. Some in exile. Some had their homes and means of livelihood destroyed. Some survived assassination. Some did not and paid the ultimate price. The streets of Benin, Ibadan and Lagos to name but a few, were littered with known and unknown heroes.

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Our politicians should look at the mirror

Anybody with a heart should be bleeding for what is happening in Benue State in particular and the entire North-Central in general. Hardly a day goes by without reports of someone being killed in a most gruesome manner. Or people being displaced from their ancestral land. Or houses being burnt and farms destroyed in a most wanton manner. Or women being gang raped and slaughtered like cattle. The one thing that a rural community has, the one thing going for it is serenity.

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The way we were

I was just about two years on the Island, blissfully ignorant of the klieg lights and the throbbing night life which the Island represented and which was all around me when an old friend visited. It was a Friday night at about 10.30 pm. My wife and I—the only occupants in the apartment—were downstairs watching TV. And fiddling with our phones. It was a sedentary, homely setting. We were as spiritually removed from the ‘madding crowd’ despite its being physically close to home, as possible. My friend, who had lived on the Island for quite a while, was meeting some people at an upscale night club close to my place. He remembered the way we were and felt it would be fun to ‘drag’ me out if I was home. He was surprised at my ignorance of the existence of the club which was actually a walking distance and even more surprised at my reluctance to ‘explore.’ We shared a bottle of good wine and peppered chicken while listening to old school music. My state of relaxed and contented being on the night caught him by surprise and influenced his decision to call it a night. By this time it was after one anyway. Our conversation convinced him that the old indeed has passed away and could only be resuscitated on rare occasions not on a whim as used to be. 

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What if Buhari doesn’t run in 2019?

The knives came out from the young and old—and from some unexpected quarters— immediately President Buhari made his desire to contest for the presidency in 2019 official. Some of the criticisms against his eligibility were true. Some were false. Many were exaggerated. All of that is to be expected as they happen even in more advanced democracies.

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Again,the health sector

JOHESU is an acronym for Joint Health Sectors Union. Ordinarily, this should mean that it speaks for all the health sectors in the country. That should have been good news to government or whoever has to negotiate with these sectors. But it has turned out to be bad news instead because JOHESU sees the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA)—a major sector—as a rival and wants parity at all costs, including deaths to hapless patients who find themselves in the cross-fire. Sectors that should speak with one voice have thus become a tower of Babel.

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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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Their tomorrow is here,haunting us

The debate in town is about our youths; whether they are too young to run for the highest political offices or too lazy for their own good and the good of the country. Like everything in Nigeria, what should have led to a robust debate capable of moving the country forward has been politicised and thereby, made pedestrian.

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