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Scenarios with Obadiah Mailafia

The persecution of Justice and the end of democracy

court

THE news came as a shock to some of us that  the Chief Justice of Nigeria, CJN, His Lordship Justice Walter Onnoghen, is to appear in a court on charges of non-declaration of assets. He is also accused of allegedly operating some dozen bank accounts containing varying amounts of local and international currencies. He is expected to hand over the reins of office to the second most senior colleague as he goes on trial. There has been no precedent for a serving justice being compelled to appear in a lower court to answer charges for a misdemeanour, real or imagined.

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Nigerian

A plea for economic planning

DURING the economic recession of the 1980s the doyen of Nigerian economics, Pius Nwabufo Okigbo, delivered a lecture at the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies, with the title, “Sorcerers, Astrologers and Nigerian Economic Recovery.” Yours sincerely was among the audience during that steamy 1986 summer afternoon in Kuru. It was a brilliant performance. The late economist gave that dramatic title to his erudite lecture to drive home the point about how bereft we are in terms of serious critical thinking about the economy.

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Nigerian

The meaning of political leadership in an age of pessimism

OURS is a confused and  illiberal age. Our people have become so pessimistic about the future it’s alarming. My experience with politics so far has even deepened my sense of pessimism. A few days ago I found myself in a room with some of the greatest movers and shakers in the political arena. There was not a single discussion of how we could take Nigeria forward. I felt as if I was in the midst of gangsters.

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Emmanuel Macron and the new France

THE outcomes of the French presidential elections were announced on Sunday, May 7, with Emmanuel Macron, the centrist political leader, having 62 per cent of the votes as against ultra-nationalist Marine Le Pen’s 38 percent. It had been a bitterly contested election. So much was at stake – no less than the future of France and of Europe itself. Marine Le Pen, the candidate of the far-right Front National, campaigned under the banner of xenophobic nationalism. She promised to act tough on immigration; to pull France out of the EU, revoke the citizenship of naturalised citizens with known terrorist sympathies. For her, it would be “les français d’abord” – the French first!

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Nigerian

Planning for Growth and Structural Transformation

THE Nigerian growth story has been a rather topsy-turvy one. During the early years of independence, growth was moderately positive, averaging over five percent annually. The lowest rates were during the crisis years 1966-70 when growth went as low as -17 percent. The country emerged after the civil war with impressive growth results, reaching a peak of almost 30 percent in 1970.  From the 1980s to the 1990s – the dark years of military tyranny – growth was a moderate annual average of 3.5 percent, undulating between negative and positive figures during that decade.

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Let no-one deceive you

MY gentle readers, let no-one deceive you. The stakes we face today are of a destiny-changing order.  The coming elections will decide whether our country will survive  or will be thrown to the dogs. Sunday November  18, was announced by INEC as the date for the official commencement of the national electioneering campaigns. We are back to the colourful and exciting era of the soapbox and the hustings.  It is a race that will not be for the fainthearted.

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Governing by Decree

BETWEEN July and this month President Muhammadu issued two decrees aimed at further curbing corruption, money laundering and tax evasion: the first, Executive Order 6, and the other, Executive Order 008. An executive order is a decree issued by the executive without necessarily seeking approval of parliament or the judicature. Most constitutions do empower the executive to take all such measures as would conduce to sound government and public administration in the interest of the overall common good. Donald Trump probably set a world record by the number of executive orders that he dished out during his first week in power. The current incumbent of the high magistracy of the American republic has issued no less than 42 Executive Orders in his first year alone. 

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Why Human development matters

THE World Bank/IMF Annual Meetings were recently concluded in the paradisiacal island of Bali in Indonesia. It was attended by more than 3,000 delegates, among them finance ministers, central bank governors, high civil servants, international officials and the lot.  IMF Managing Director Christina Lagarde likened it to a successful wedding. Weddings take a lot of preparation; and then the grand occasion arrives. Then the merriment follows and all guests eventually depart, taking with them fond memories of everything that transpired.

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Eight national goals for the coming decade (2)

By Obadiah Mailafia TODAY we proceed with the second part of our reflections on National Goals for the coming decade. We had earlier considered two goals: first, tackling insecurity, and, second, restructuring and nation building to ensure a vibrant and inclusive democratic society. The third national goal is a national emergency to tackle the power
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