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Tip of a New Dawn

Nigerians, look in the mirror: there you will find the enemies of change

obj-atiku

WHEN former President Goodluck Jonathan said Nigeria was rich because of the number of private jets owned by Nigerians, the political class was silent because many of our leaders, irrespective of party, are quite comfortable with the status quo whereby wealth is owned only by a tiny percentage of the population based on no business acumen or production of goods and services but government proximity and patronage alone.

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The way we play politics : More intrigues and alliances, less credibility

I WAS at a dinner with some expatriates recently and as usual the topic came to politics and to the Buhari Presidency. I felt I had to explain to them why change is so difficult in Nigeria. True, the President and his team have scored a few own goals, so to speak, but the maneuoverings at play in Nigeria could leave the best political scientist or soap opera viewer dazed.

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Nigeria Independence Day

Nigeria at 58: are we ready to try something more radical?

Every Independence Day, articles and analysis of Nigeria’s failure to industrialize, our overreliance on oil, bad governance, corruption, insecurity, poor development indices etc. abound. Nigeria is a potent mix of missed opportunities and mischievous individuals who capitalize on human suffering to sell their brand of manipulation and hatred, further trapping us in a cycle of poverty and violence.

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The weaponisation of mediocrity: The danger of recycling presidential aspirants

‘MANAGE it”. Across Nigeria, no matter the industry, the job description, the function or status of the speaker, one is sure to hear those two words at one time or the other. Part plea, part menace, either directly spoken or implied, everyone from customers to constituents has been told in one way or another to “manage” a sub-standard service or offering.

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What is Nigeria’s foreign policy?

Macron, May, Merkel: three heads of powerful Western states visited Nigeria in rapid succession and one marvels at the fact that no real summary of what Nigeria benefits from these diplomatic dialogues seems to exist. If it does, it’s neither extensively discussed nor debated. In other climes, foreign policy can either bring down a government or propel it to electoral victory: the consequences of the Iraq war, its perception as a failure by most Americans in part enabled Barack Obama’s victory.

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Politicians take advantage of ignorance: 2019 is the opportunity to show we aren’t all fools

Personal interest in Nigerian politics always seems to supersede the interest of any group. Nowhere has this been more evident than in the National Assembly in recent years. With the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, budget hanging in the balance, Nigerians must be wary of any attempt to sabotage the upcoming elections, as present difficulties are all too reminiscent of the electoral postponement in 2015 and of the last-ditch antics of the now infamous “Orubebe outburst”. Sabotage is a near constant of our politics, so is flouting the rules of decency, morals, ethics and quite frankly, common sense.

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Theatrics in the National Assembly: Who is guilty of sabotage?

Virtually every government in Nigeria was overrun or infiltrated at one point or the other by saboteurs: Goodluck Jonathan himself famously claimed his administration had been infiltrated by Boko Haram sponsors and sympathisers. Government appointees in Nigeria live large and act out a script, sometimes even without the knowledge or endorsement of their principal. They do the bidding of other unseen actors and one often wonders about the process which enables or allows so many strange characters to occupy positions of responsibility.

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Will defections be the beginning of party politics reform in Nigeria?

PARTY politics in Nigeria has been turned into a game: beyond analysis of R-APC, nPDP battles and defections, very few people have bothered to ask how any of these political games and schemes benefit Nigerians. I am yet to read any analysis which details the ideological leanings of any of the main contenders: politics in Nigeria is a game of survival, not of loyalty or convictions.

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Disinterest in politics: A sign of both privilege and delusion

TO a number of well-to-do Nigerians, it doesn’t matter who wins elections, who becomes senator, governor or president, because they believe they will always have access to contracts, businesses and opportunities and that they are above caring how this country is run. Unfortunately, neither the elite nor the middle classes seem to have learnt lessons from the recession or the consequences of free spending, little savings or real investments.

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