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Lagos: Deportation is lawless, vexatious

Once again, the Lagos state government deported Nigerians from a Nigerian state; an action that is as lawless as it is vexatious. Newspaper reports last week indicated that the Lagos authorities out of possibly excessive enthusiasm, and certainly out of pitiable ignorance and overreach, rounded up all manners of the city poor from the streets, sixty-seven of them, put them in a vehicle, and transported them across the bridge to Onitsha, Anambra state.

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A nation of nay-sayers

Last week, Professor Wole Soyinka, our world-renowned playwright and Nobel laureate for literature inserted himself in a very unseemly way in the rage in Rivers state. In many regions of the world, Soyinka is known much more for his defiance than for his art. In fact, he has turned nay-saying into an industry and into an art.

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Jonathan and the hounds

As readers of the “Orbit” are bound to notice, this column has been on furlough for the past six weeks. I came to Nigeria to bury Chinua Achebe, and I had taken a break afterwards to vacation and do some research. I have interest currently in writing the biography of the poet, statesman, leader of the African anti-colonial movement in the 20th century, and Nigeria’s first president, Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe.

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On the civic life

The quality of civic life in Nigeria is the most critical gap in the development of a free society and a robust democratic culture. Nigeria’s transition to democratic culture after over thirty-five years of military rule, out of its slightly over fifty years of political independence from colonialism, feels like the slow ride of the tortoise.

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Asiodu: On institutional memory

Philip Chukwuedo Asiodu is one of those Nigerians you might rightly call an old civil service mandarin. These were of the cadre known in the Yakubu Gowon administration in Nigeria as “super perm secretaries.” I think the “super”in the Permanent Secretary came from “supernumerary” and it does locate the stature and situation of the office at its highest bar. Philip Asiodu seemed born to that office.

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Baga and the beast in us

The Nigerian military operation in Baga has drawn very severe criticism from many quarters for the extent of brutality unleashed in that town in the fight against terrorism. The “Baga massacre” as it is now generally described was supposed to be a targeted operation.

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Killing Chudi Nwike

And so, they killed Chudi. What a bloody waste. Dr. Chudi Nwike was my friend. I did not always keep in touch, but I knew, somehow that he was out there; in the great grip of things, bold and idealistic; dreaming of great and worthy political battles. I was introduced to him when he became the Deputy governor of Anambra state, and I found him, among many things, voluble, thoughtful, idealistic, and certainly a man with some political ideas.

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Boko Haram and the tortoise doctrine

President Goodluck Jonathan,truly found his vocation: with a doctorate in Zoology, there could be no better place for him to put his skills to work than in the Zoo called Nigeria. Nigeria is a zoo, with all kinds animals: the benign and the ferocious; their instincts are the same. At the top of this zoological food chain, are the big animals – the elephants of the jungle – where ever their footsteps fall – the grass was forbidden to grow.

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