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Lawyers and religious leaders: A note of caution

IN Nigeria logic is constantly turned on its head, all to defend or excuse illegality. From the media to religious leaders, to judges and lawyers, virtually every sector which ought to fight for the common man’s rights, or to defend our democracy finds itself shielding those accused of corruption from investigation and prosecution, or representing their interests by aggressively upholding the status quo.

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Coping with Nigerians’ short-term political memory

CAMPAIGN season is officially upon us: there will be no shortage of populist sentiments making the rounds, as in 2011 when we were introduced to the tale of   the “boy without shoes”.   Like   Goodluck Jonathan before him, Atiku Abubakar has a tale of woe to convince the public he is “pro-people”: he grew up an orphan he says, selling firewood in Adamawa.

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Restructuring our society: Saving the progressive alliance

IT is widely known and discussed in history books and colonial  documents that the British handed over power to the most conservative elements in the North. In both the North and the South, colonisation reinforced elitism and autocracy by granting the Native Authorities unbalanced, undisputed and unquestioned power, which despite misconceptions about pre-colonial African society, was a novelty.

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Another kind of restructuring: Legislating our way out of dysfunction

THE perennial focus on the Presidency is one of the reasons for the lack of real development in Nigeria. We forget that no president, no matter how intelligent, well prepared, or well-meaning, can govern without the support and firm backing of a legislature which is able to produce well thought out laws to institutionalise public policy. What we prefer in Nigeria is tokenism, or drop-in-the-ocean initiatives such as constituency projects: feeding 100 widows here and there, providing 500 pairs of glasses for indigent people or a few tricycles and sewing machines.

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

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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