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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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An uncivil servant

I DON’T know Mr. Ima Niboro, President Goodluck Jonathan’s Special Advisor on Media and Publicity. But I know quite a bit about him. I’ve read his reactions to several current affairs issues in various publications and know many people who know him and know him to be a seasoned and talented member of my profession.

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What we want from leaders

DURING a press conference that took place in Pretoria earlier on this week, Brigadier-General Buba Marwa (retired), the former military administrator of Lagos State and our current High Commissioner to South Africa, told journalists that he could show them the results of a recent opinion poll that proves that most Nigerians are not bothered about zoning issues and are more interested in leaders who can deliver than in where they come from.

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Alternative scenarios

Whenever Nigerians talk about zoning in particular or politics in general, they talk as if they are totally wedded to the idea that a Southern President must have a Northern Vice-President; and vice versa. There is also a tendency to regard each geopolitical zone as a united interest group…AND a widespread assumption that it’s OK for every Head of State to have two four-year terms.

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Same story,different perspectives

ACCORDING to a recent report in ThisDay newspaper, Alhaji Mukhtari Shehu Shagari, the Deputy Governor of Sokoto State and former Minister of Water Resources, has advised his fellow Northerners to stop emphasising the zoning issue, acknowledge the support they have received from the South-South for the past 50 years and accept his view that President Jonathan can deliver impressive results and has every right to contest for the presidency next year.

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Post- mortem revenge?

THE Americans say they are winning the war in Afghanistan, the United Nations (UN) disagrees. While the latter told the world that the war in that country is going quite badly for the Hamid Karzai government and foreign troops led by the United States (US), the Americans are claiming that the war against the Taliban and its Al-Qaeda ally is going so well that they would begin a “responsible drawdown” (troops withdrawal) from July 2011.

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