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Scenarios with Obadiah Mailafia

A season of resignations

LAST week was a rather unusual week in our glorious continent of Africa. It was the week of Valentine, as February 14 has always been since time immemorial. The week of love, the week in which lovers re-avow their affection to each other and exchange gifts.

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herdsmen

The Four Horsemen of the Fulani Apocalypse

IN all probability I have some trace of Fulani blood coursing through my veins. My grandparents, for one thing, had their kind of features. My paternal grandfather Baba Gambo Galadima had what the German poet Wolfgang von Goethe termed an “elective affinity” with all manner of itinerant Fulani tribesmen and clerics who settled in the outskirts of his sprawling compound and on his farmsteads.

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An Ode to Joy ( 2)

THE late Harvard political scientist Samuel Huntington underlined “the clash of civilisations” as the defining character of our twenty-first century international society. The attacks on the Twin Towers in New York in September 2001 were emblematic of the new disorder, with the emergence of al-Qaeda, ISIS, Boko Haram, Fulani herdsmen militias and other extremist movements committed to violence and fanaticism.

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John F. Kennedy and the meaning of history

AT the Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia, United States lies a simple grave with a gas-fired eternal flame; a memorial to President John Fitzgerald Kennedy, 1917-1963. This year marks the centenary of his birth. He was born on May 29 1917, scion of the East Coast Brahmin of Massachusetts. His father Joseph Senior came from Irish émigré stock as was his mother Rose Kennedy. The senior Kennedy made an enormous fortune, some would say, from things that were not entirely kosher.

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Facing Mount Nebo

I’M writing this piece from the Jordan Valley, about 40 km from the Jordanian capital of Amman. I have been here for a week, attending the Second World Science Forum, WSF, which took place from 7 – 11 November.  More than 3,000 scientists were assembled, in fields ranging from astronomy and theoretical physics to medicine, bioengineering, genetics and robotics.

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