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Woman, soldier and combatant: The evolution of the Nigerian Army Women’s Corps

THE International Women’s Day of March 8, 2018 had a lot of promise for women across the world as they measured how far they had travelled on the road to integration. In Germany, that day marked the centenary of the women’s right to vote. It also served as reminder that Germany has the highest gender-based wage discrimination in Europe, with the gap being 21 per cent.

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What hawkish Pompeo did not know about Lebanon

LEBANON is a fragile country held together by common sense. As a distinct nation, it has been involved in 21 pre-colonial wars, two colonial wars and 11 post-colonial wars. It has 18 officially recognised religious sects: 12 Christian, four Muslim, the Druze and Judaism. Its experiences in conflicts have taught it to evolve a system of proportional representation with its 128 parliamentary seats evenly shared between Christians and Muslims.The Presidency is reserved for a Maronite Christian, the Prime Minister, a Sunni Muslim, and the Speaker, a Shi’a Muslim.

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The JAMB against exam malpractices

CRONJE. “Do you want Cronje?” “Do you have Cronje?” were questions some students asked on the streets of Lagos in 1977. Some question papers of that year’s West African School Certificate, WASC, examinations organised by the West African Examinations Council, WAEC, had leaked. Original and fake question papers of the examinations were being hawked. The students called the leaked examination papers, Cronje. It was imaginatively named after the Mr. John Ayite Cronje who was Registrar of WAEC from 1965 to 1971. I still do not know why it was called Cronje, and not Ike since the WAEC Registrar at the time of the leakage was the novelist, Vincent Chukwuemeka Ike. Also, leaked papers were called ‘Expo.”

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Women’s Day: Nigerian women contributions to liberation

TODAY is International Women Day, a day dedicated to the liberation of women, and by extension, the emancipation of all humanity from discrimination and repression. Its observance is based on the 1910  motion by German liberation fighter, Clara Zetkin, at the Second International Conference of Working Women. The 2019 Women’s Day coincides with the 90th Anniversary of the greatest women revolt in African history, the 1929 Aba Women Uprising which the British colonialists sought to denigrate by officially referring to it as a ‘riot’.

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After politicians, the People should govern

GOVERNANCE after independence, was in a sense, chaotic. There was a virtual insurrection in the Middle Belt for which the military carried out annual punitive expeditions. Anarchism took over the West with people being roasted alive, and widespread arson. For this, it became known as the Wild, Wild West. Leaders of the opposition Action Group Party were either in prison or on the run. Corruption was said to be rife and when there were disputes over the December 1964 general elections, President Nnamdi Azikiwe was put under house arrest for declining to call Prime Minister Abubakar Tafawa Balewa to form government.

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The Nelson Mandela-Buhari phenomenon

SOUTH Africa and Nigeria are Africa’s biggest economies and hold some of the brightest prospects for the continent. They have also given Africa two strong leaders: Nelson Mandela and Muhammadu Buhari who, in their old age, held sway in their countries. Both were generals: Mandela, the Commander-in-Chief of the South African insurgent army, the Umkhonto we Sizwe, and Buhari, a General in the Nigerian Army.

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A Nigeria without voter’s card and ballot boxes to snatch

NIGERIA became a besieged country in this year’s general elections. It is like the Republic  is at war. Even the wars against terrorism, banditry and criminality, have taken   a back seat. One main campaign leading to the  elections, is that all voters must get their Permanent Voter’s Card, PVC. Even to be seen walking on the streets on election days which have been decreed ‘No Movement’  days, can invite dire consequences.  But you can be saved arrest if you prove with your PVC that you are on your way to vote. 

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Nigeria, politics of elections and International Observers

I WAS one of four African  trade unionists who observed the 2002 Zimbabwean Presidential elections under the African Union Observer Mission. The international observers including those from Nigeria, led by former Head of Interim Government, Chief Ernest Shonekan, met daily at the Sheraton Hotel to compare notes. There was a consensus that the elections in which President Robert Mugabe had 54 per cent and opposition leader,  Morgan Tsvangirai had 40 per cent, were free and fair. It was, therefore, a shock when the Commonwealth Observer Mission led by former Nigerian Head of State, General Abdulsalami Abubakar, had a contrary report; one that was not based on observed facts.

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