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State of the Nation with Olu Fasan

Time to talk: Ethnic brinkmanship can tear Nigeria apart

population, Nigerians, Nigeria, China, apology

HATE-filled ethnocentrism is rupturing the Nigeria state. Instead of dialogue and mutual understanding, Nigeria’s ethnic nationalities are locked in belligerence and brinkmanship.

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AGF, forex, food importation, Buhari, APC, tribunal,Customs

Ministerial appointments: Buhari too cavalier about governance

PRESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari is insouciant about the process of government, the art and mechanics of governance. Otherwise, how else would one explain his lackadaisical approach to ministerial appointments and his aberrant views about the role of ministers? As everyone knows, Buhari spent the first six months of his first presidential term without a cabinet, without ministers! Now, déjà vu, he is nearly three months into his second term and still hasn’t named his ministers; instead, he is saying to Nigerians: “Give me more time”! But what is it about ministers that President Buhari always struggles to appoint them?

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Ruga is a dangerous idea, Buhari was utterly wrong to moot it

President Muhammadu Buhari bowed to the inevitable last week. Following intense public outcry, he suspended the Rural Grazing Area, RUGA, project. But the RUGA plan is so dangerous, so provocative, that he was utterly wrong to have even mooted it. With RUGA, Buhari risks stoking the unravelling of Nigeria’s artificially maintained façade of unity.

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Emefiele threatens smugglers, but his policies breed them

The central bank governor, Godwin Emefiele, believes smugglers are “killing” Nigeria’s economy. Speaking at a recent roundtable event in Lagos, he said: “Nigeria is very good at making brilliant economic policies, but smugglers are those sabotaging these policies”. Thus, he said, the CBN would “block the smugglers’ accounts in all Nigerian banks”. Those circumventing the government’s foreign exchange restrictions on certain importswould also be “blacklisted” and prevented from operating in the foreign exchange market and the banking industry.

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Yoruba must fight for restructuring, not 2023 presidency

A FEW weeks ago, Dr. Femi Aribisala, wrote a provocative but logically unassailable article in this newspaper, entitled “No Yoruba president in Nigeria for another 20 years” (Vanguard, May 21, 2019). He argued that when it’s the South’s turn to produce the president in 2023, it must go to Ndigbo, not the Yoruba. He posited that, having produced Nigeria’s president for eight years and vice president for another eight years, since the return to civil rule in 1999, the Yoruba shouldn’t expect to govern Nigeria again until 2038!

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Democracy Day speech: Buhari fails to inspire national renewal and reform

PRESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari did not speak at his inauguration on May 29. Instead, he gave a speech two weeks later, on June 12, the new Democracy Day. It’s quite odd for a newly sworn-in president not to give an inauguration speech. As this newspaper rightly said: “Speechless inauguration was wrong” (Vanguard, June 6, 2019).

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MKO Abiola

The meaningless symbolism of June 12 as Democracy Day

IN principle, there is nothing wrong with setting aside a day to celebrate an epochal event in a nation’s life. Every country does it. But the official recognition by President Muhammadu Buhari’s government of June 12 as “Democracy Day”, the first of which was marked noisily but vacuously across the nation yesterday, is a political symbolism that lacks substance.  

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The reckless alarmism about ‘coup plot’ against Buhari

NEARLY four months after this year’s presidential election, the animus between the two leading candidates, President Muhammadu Buhari and former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, and their parties is stronger and more deep-seated than during the campaign. Otherwise, how else can one explain the recent sensational, yet unproven, allegation by the Buhari government that Atiku and his party, the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, were plotting a coup against the president?

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Decent wages will loosen Nigeria’s poverty-inequality traps

FEW issues have dominated global policy discussions like poverty and inequalities. In 2014, the French economist, Thomas Piketty, raised the tempo and tone of the debate with his book Capital in the twenty-first century, which lays bare in granular detail the nature and causes of inequalities. Last week, the Institute for Fiscal Studies in London launched a five-year review, chaired by Professor Angus Deaton, winner of the 2015 Nobel Prize in Economics, to undertake the “most comprehensive scientific analysis of inequalities yet attempted”.

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