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Jonathan vs Atiku

BECAUSE of the way we do things at Vanguard, my Sweet And Sour reflections have to be submitted for publication on Wednesdays. Which means that even though this week’s column will appear the day after the PDP has conducted its presidential primary election, it is being written the day before this big event.

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Year end reflections

YET again, we are about to say “goodbye” to an old year that will soon give way to a new year. And it seems appropriate to inflict a handful of random thoughts about 2010 events on Vanguard readers, the first being recent Wikileaks revelations about Shell’s alleged influence within our corridors of power.

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Gubernatorial grouses

I HAVE gradually become extremely disillusioned about certain aspects of Dr. Goodluck Jonathan’s regime. As I’ve said a couple of times in this column, he has too many unimpressive aides and ministers…and has not been sufficiently dynamic or inspirational since he took over from his late former boss, Yar’Adua.

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Heroic coldness

MYANMAR, formerly known as Burma (its natives are still known as Burmese), has hit the headlines big-time in the past few days because Aung San Suu Kyi, the globally admired Burmese civil rights activist, has just been released by the ruling military junta, having spent l5 out of the past 2l years under house arrest.

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Miracle men

BY the time you read this column, all of the 33 men who were trapped in the San Jose copper and gold mine (near Copiapo in Chile’s Atacama Desert) should have been freed from a terrible and terrifying ordeal that has dragged on for over two months and attracted global attention (no less than 1500 journalists – from several different countries – showed up to personally witness their liberation).

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Nigeria @50

“THE place: Lagos Racecourse. The dramatis personae: [The Governor-General] Sir James Robertson, representing Queen Elizabeth II of Britain and [the incoming Prime Minister] Alhaji Sir Abubakar Tafewa Balewa, representing the 40 million people of Nigeria…And as the clock struck 12 midnight, [they] took their positions on the dais and watched the lowering of the Union Jack and the hoisting of the Nigerian flag…And so the people sang the National Anthem…And so the Independence of Nigeria was proclaimed…

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Justice for all

Last week, I recalled Alhaji Atiku Abubakar saying, when I interviewed him many years ago that he regretted the fact that it was very difficult for average citizens to survive or thrive if they didn’t have access to influential people who were willing to help them and that he would be very happy if our society eventually evolved to the point where the government provided safety nets that would enable everyone to get what they needed and deserved.

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Reflections on a Rainbow nation

I’M in South Africa at the moment, attending a conference called “Planning Africa”; and it’s been such an interesting experience to not only listen to speakers who want our continent to thrive but to observe, at close quarters, how the country is getting along l6 years after Nelson Mandela was released from his lengthy incarceration to spearhead the dismantling of apartheid.

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Readers’ Responses

LAST week, I praised Ima Niboro, the President’s Special Advisor on Media and Publicity, for his writing skills and eloquence. But I also complained about the fact that I and many other journalists have felt frustrated by his failure to respond to our polite requests for advice, information and official statements.

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