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One more round

It can no longer be any kind of news to you that, like a multiple thunderbolt, the death of three icons ripped through our sports world within a matter of a few days. From the United States of America, we learnt about the home call of Muhammad Ali, who was the boxing heavyweight champion of the world three times. He said with his mouth that he was the “greatest”, and made the world accept it in no uncertain manner.

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‘Float like a butterfly’

‘’You want me to do what the white man says, and go fight a war against some people I don’t know nothing about—get some freedom for some other people when my own people can’t get theirs? You want me to be scared of the white man, I’ll go and get two arms shot off and ten medals so you can give me a small salary and pat my head and say, ‘Good boy, he fought for his country.’ Everyday they die in Vietnam for nothing.’’

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The din of the enthusiasm to have a say about the performance—or non-performance—of the first year of the Buhari administration, has subsided in connection with some issues. It will no doubt linger for a while longer over some other issues that need to be further addressed, if they are subjected to the lack of urgency that has been a noticeable habit of the government’s approach to some pressing issues over the past year. Although the response to the quality of governance has not been resoundingly encouraging among the populace, as gathered from reactions through the mass media, the plea for patience seems to have become mixed with emotions roused by disappointment over unfulfilled promises.

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Just one year ago

It is one year ago and there is no denying that the tide of enthusiasm upon which we rode at the beginning has found a significant ebb. The hopes dictated the theme which flared out as the desire for a change in our daily lives as citizens of this nation. The areas of insufficiency had risen to a choking level with little expectation of relief; the vicious grip of evil tended to suffocate us. Policies which seemed aimed at improving our lot were casually up-ended to discharge a filthy stream of discomfort.

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A seemingly magnanimous touch

The Vice President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, has been reported as saying that the President, Muhammadu Buhari has never been opposed to the policy of petrol subsidy. But, on the contrary, the President is on record to have been vehemently opposed to it all along. He simply did not believe in it. He has even yet shown no noticeable enthusiasm about its acclaimed removal. Osinbajo has, himself also said that there was not much to be removed as subsidy, anyway, while claiming that its removal, no matter how little, would still be a significant contribution to the health of the ailing economy.

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A matter for the police

Pa Lot, a venerable pastor, parliamentarian and politician of the First Republic, spoke about the menace of the Fulani herdsmen in jocular terms, when I met him some decades ago in Jos. He was well into his 80s himself. He narrated how the herdsmen would arrive unannounced at a particular time of the year and would graze their cattle peacefully for a period of time, Then they would depart for greener pastures without any notice with only a part of the herd, leaving an appreciable number with only a few herdsmen in charge.

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A huge, hollow masquerade

You may recall that the last National Assembly convened with some youthful members of the House of Representatives wondering dangerously aloud as to why they were considered the “lower” house to the Senate, the other arm of our bicameral legislature. I too pondered why. Eventually, the wondering and the pondering generally faded into oblivion. For me, it was a lingering thought. What really makes one chamber superior to the other?

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Aspects of change

It would appear that the one and only Jagaban, Chief Bola Ahmed Tinubu, former Governor of Lagos State and Asiwaju of the Yorubas committed a slight faux pas in his public upbraid of Ibe Kachikwu’s utterances about not being a magician. Of course, the Minister of State for Petroleum,Dr Kachikwu is nothing of the sort as we all know, including the President, Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces and Minister of Petroleum Resources who appointed him faultlessly to the position, in the first place.

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A necessary strand of development

My compliments to Solomon Dalung, the Honourable Minister of Sports.His is a truly “goodly heritage”, as the Holy Bible might have called it. Football, especially at the seat where he is called upon to inhabit at the moment, has had several colourful and successful occupants and most of them did not have a notable connection with the game, sports generally before their arrival either.

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