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Owei Lakemfa

A Daily Trust in the Media, not the Army

AS a former newspaper Editor, I would not have published the Daily Trust lead story of January 6, 2019 titled: Military prepares massive operation to retake Baga, others, which led to the newspaper’s invasion by armed soldiers. My editorial judgement would not have been based on the army’s fairy tale that the story violated national security, but because it was primarily, a rehash of information that was already in the public space. I would have asked the reporter to provide fresh information or a new angle to the story.

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How US, Europe, Israel and Gulf States nurtured ISIS

THE United States (US) like a country under bombardment, scrambled its National Security Adviser, John Bolton and Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo into the air. Their flights are taking them through the Middle East primarily to reassure their allies that they are still committed to the fight against the Islamic State, ISIS, a Frankenstein monster they collectively reared and nurtured.

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Nigeria lost Fasehun before he died

THEY were not advised visits. But the Pro-Democracy Movement had become badly depleted. The Abacha regime had forced quiet a number of activists underground. Some, like our leader, Dr. Beko Ransome-Kuti and Shehu Sani had been given life jail sentences, Ken Saro-Wiwa had been executed with eight other Minority campaigners, some activists had fled into exile and a number were in detention without trial

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A lesson through the ages

IN March 1952, three months before general elections, soldiers in a small country, Cuba, overthrew the government. The coup was led by a candidate and former military dictator, Colonel Fulgencio Batisa. Cuba itself was essentially a gambling and tourist country for fun-loving Americans whose mafia led by Charles Lucky Luciano and Meyer Lansky also ran the gambling and prostitution rings. The coup which enjoyed the approval of America seemed a settled matter. But some young Cubans, including students and young ladies, decided  enough was enough; no longer would their country be played around like football. They decided to arouse the populace to an insurrection.

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Let us prey

By Owei Lakemfa BROTHER Seriake Dickson, Governor of Bayelsa State  has made a call on President Muhammadu Buhari  to set the tone for a debate on  restructuring in the country. I don’t know why people like teasing the President who had said he does not know what restructuring means even when it was in his
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At last, Trump shoots straight

AMERICAN President, Donald Trump was four when the Korean War broke out in 1950. In three years, the war sucked in more than 40 countries, most, under the United Nations, UN, banner. Two and a half million people died in the war. America suffered 36,568 dead and  103,284 injured. All the countries returned home except America which today, maintains 23,468 combatants in Korea. This is 68 years later.

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We are all migrants, we’re unstoppable

FIVE thousand, five hundred angry marchers tramped through the streets of Brussels on Sunday protesting against the United Nations Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration.  Their claims include  that the Pact would encourage migration and criminality. They also claim that the Pact blurs   the distinction between legal and illegal migration.  For them, it is time Belgium shuts its borders against migration of any kind.

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Case against the Nigerian elite

THE  Nigerian elite leading the country to the February, 2019 general elections have reduced the contest essentially to personal squabbles and a contest of insults rather than ideas. This is not unexpected as in almost all cases, the colonialists created for us, zombies as elite.  An elite class incapable of basic reflection, one that accepts foreign dictation and is alienated from the people it leads. In turn, the people are alienated from the state; they do not have  the same attachment or loyalty they had  to  their pre-colonial societies. So a corrupted culture has developed in which people see the elite from their communities who loot the national treasury, as heroes bringing back their  share of the ‘national cake’. In many cases, the thieves are given chieftaincy titles, turbaned or knighted.

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Zionism and Justice: The Bongani Case

IF the famous Williams Shakespeare had written his 1596-99 play, Merchant of Venice in this generation, he would have been accused of hate speech, condemned, sidelined and declared a racist. That is because the play centred on a greedy and conscienceless Jewish money lender, Shylock, who insisted on slicing a pound of flesh from a debtor despite offers to pay him double the money he had advanced.

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Learning to swim without getting wet

HE National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas  Workers, NUPENG, one of the most militant unions in African labour history, last week marked its fortieth anniversary. Back in 1994 when the military held Nigeria in vile grip, NUPENG sent out a call for the unions to rescue the country. The regime of General Sani Abacha was particularly brutish, nasty and bloody. It was a dictatorship that had no rules, respected none and included the bombing of buses especially those conveying soldiers, as part of governance. Not surprisingly, other unions including the central labour organisation, the Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, chickened out.

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Macron: Young, charming and cold

AN uprising against the anti-poor policies of 41-year old French President, Emmanuel Jean-Michel Frederic Macron, had been long expected before it broke out about three weeks ago. What was not clear before then, was what would trigger it after he had assumed victory over pensioners, railway workers and the labour unions.

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Return to land of our birth

IMAGINE  being transported forty years back. Things appeared blurred. Peering into faces that seemed lost in time, and stretching the power of recall to its limits. It was the reunion of my Class of 1978.  But we were not the only ones that  had changed; so also has  our country. In four decades, Nigeria is now a mix of rust and modernism calashed on a canvass of degeneracy. Our politics also reflected this; a mixture of retired military adventurers and their para-military and civilian clients using the funds cornered mainly during a collective  29 years of military rule and a follow up nineteen-year civilian ‘democracy’.  A democracy without democrats; a crop of people offering what they do not have.

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When the Chosen commit criminality, they remain criminals

THERE is a convergence point for people who are ordained and the acts they carry out. However,  rationalising  their acts in religious homilies, scriptures and tradition, does not exculpate them.    This rope ties the eighteen American Presidents including George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison and James Monroe who believed that “All men were born free” but owned slaves; Saudi Prince Mohammed bin Salman accused of ordering the murder of  journalist Kamal Kashoggi, and the war crimes being perpetuated in Yemen and the Palestine.

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