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Talking Point

Nigerian electorate are talking; are the politicians listening?

Delta

JUST the morning after the governorship and state assembly elections, it had become clear that Nigerian voters might have found their voice and are beginning to talk. All too often Nigerians are urged to vote as their vote is supposed to be the means through which they demonstrate their power of choice. But many times the voice of the voter hardly counts. The norm in the last 20 years of the country’s return to democratic practice or civil governance, if it would seem too optimistic to describe what we’ve had until now as democracy, has been for the voice of the people to be stolen.

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Delta

2019 elections: The thing about tension between Yoruba and Igbo

IN a national election that in the main featured two Fulani politicians as presidential candidates, the Yoruba and Igbo are again at loggerheads, locking horns over a matter that some would say at best makes them meddlesome busybodies and mere bystanders. The tension between the Yoruba and the Igbo which is the fallout of the February 23 elections reflects the age-long political fault lines between the two largest ethnic groups from the southern parts of Nigeria. Dog eat s—t, na goat mout’ dey smell!

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INEC

The 2019 general elections- and the recriminations and counter-recriminations continue

THE Presidential and Nationals Assembly elections held on February 23 against the background of fears and speculations that they would again be postponed. They were to have held a week earlier before Mahmood Yakubu, the chair of the Independent National Electoral Commission, announced they had been postponed just a couple hours before the polls were to open.

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The disgrace that was the postponed February 16 elections

THE Mahmood Yakubu-led Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC,  has once more demonstrated for the whole world to see just how incompetent we could be as a people. The electoral body that had spent the better part of the last one year preparing for the 2019 general elections, comprising the presidential and National Assembly elections, called off the elections within a couple of hours before the polls were due to open.

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Buhari

Should Nigerians give Buhari their votes on Saturday?

FIRST a quick clarification, one that I have variously restated in this space in the last few months: I do not see a Peoples Democratic Party-led government being radically different from the Muhammadu Buhari-led All Progressives Congress government. That is in the event of that party winning this Saturday’s election as some pundits have predicted in what looks like a very tall order. Which is to say that our way out of the crippling corruption, the singular disease that has misbegotten the countless others by which Nigeria is plagued and has destroyed the future prospects of Nigeria, will not be charted by the same people that brought us where we are now.

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Buhari

President Buhari is also guilty of corruption

THERE has been so much talk and indeed assumptions made about the Buhari administration’s anti-corruption fight that it’s so easy for the President to slip into corrupt practices without owning up to them. The reason the President would be so eager to remove the crease of corruption in the eyes of others while ignoring the log of the same disease in his own eye is because of his very narrow definition of what constitutes corruption. This column has on several occasions pointed to the failure of the All Progressives Congress, APC,  party-led Buhari administration’s hidebound perception of corruption in terms only of politicians’ crude accumulation of unearned wealth or, indeed, cash in holes dug in their backyard, toilets or local and foreign accounts.

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Buhari

Muhammadu Buhari and Nigeria’s tribal politics

NIGERIA is reeling in the throes of age-long tribal politics, now made worse by the provincial instincts of a president who lacks the capacity to see the country beyond the constricted lenses of his small part of our richly diverse society. The last four years of the Muhammadu Buhari presidency has mostly served to sharpen Nigerians’ sense of identity. Rather than coming together in a demonstration of our much touted ‘unity in diversity’, the people of this country have grown more apart than together.

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Presidential debate: Buhari’s ‘no show’- and Atiku’s show off

THE much anticipated presidential debate for the 2019 elections has come and gone. But rather than a bang it ended with a whimper for the simple reason that the two men Nigerians considered the main acts of the debate, incumbent president, Muhammadu Buhari and his main rival, a former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, failed to show up. Or rather more precisely, Buhari pretended (especially in the light of the alibi offered by his party, the All Progressives Congress Party, APC)  he had no idea he was slated to debate other presidential hopefuls.

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Alex Badeh

The assassination of Alex Badeh, insecurity and the privatisation of the police (3)

WE must try to put issues in their right perspective and recognise things as they are. What our legislators and others bent on playing politics with the unfortunate death of a man should be asking for is justice for all. They do not love Badeh more or care for the security of Nigerians more than those who demand that the murderers of Badeh should be tracked down and made to face the law while the question of his trial is not linked to some nebulous claims of his being privy to some classified information.

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Alex Badeh

The assassination of Alex Badeh, insecurity and the privatisation of the police (2)

FAMOUS or infamous as the Chibok and Dapchi school girls’ abduction cases have been, the Nigerian government is still in the game of spinning stories about what is going on. The government has not been able to do what it has severally promised: secure freedom for all the girls. Neither have their parents, families and friends been allowed closure after these many years of endless promises and chest-thumping about beating Boko Haram at its own game.

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Alex Badeh

The assassination of Alex Badeh, insecurity and privatisation of police

THE images from the scene of attack, what political mourners and others of their ilk have variously described as a ‘dastardly act’ and other words to that effect, are not only graphic but are as gory and disturbing as they could possibly be. This episode harks back to the murder in 1976 of then Head of State, General Murtala Ramat Muhammamed, by renegade soldiers of the Nigerian Army during a botched attempt at a forceful takeover of government.

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NCC

NCC’s war against consumer abuse in the telecoms sector

ONE of the few things for which the 2018 debate for the vice presidential slot will be long remembered are the quips round the fight against corruption. Peter Obi, the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, candidate had, while arguing that corruption is not an economic policy, gone on to add that one cannot close one’s shop to chase thieves. To which the All Progressives Congress candidate and current Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, had instantly retorted that one couldn’t leave one’s shop open to be plundered by thieves or there would be nothing left to sell.

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APC, PDP and the waiting game of the Electoral Act amendment

ANYONE in doubt about Nigeria being a country of political journeymen, jobbers and wheeler dealers, only has to look at the fate that has befallen the Electoral Act Amendment Bill 2018 to be convinced. The ding-dong between the executive arm, specifically, President Muhammadu Buhari, and the National Assembly, tells any discerning person that this country is under the vice grip of politicians blinded by self-interest. Nigerians themselves have not been impartial arbiters in the ongoing cold war that the Electoral Act Amendment Bill has made inevitable.

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Buhari, the son of Abraham and the children of Yahweh

PRESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari must have surprised many Nigerians when he took the quite unprecedented step of writing an op-ed that was obviously meant for Nigerians in a foreign newspaper, Christian Times. The surprising thing about the entire episode is that a notoriously taciturn President, one who apparently finds it difficult to talk, to say nothing of him offering an explanation for any of his action, chose to put down his thoughts in print.

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