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Buhari’s Return: Matters Arising, By Reuben Abati

As someone who has been in that corridor recently, I do not share the view of those who insist that President Muhammadu Buhari’s recent 50-day medical vacation was mismanaged by his  handlers, up to this point. I said this much during a recent interview on Channels TV’s Politics Today with Seun Okinbaloye. In the face of the people’s rising and insatiable expectations, it is often an uphill task to balance ...

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The Man Who Sat On The Tor Tiv’s Throne, By Reuben Abati

This is about Stephen Nyitse, the young man who on the day of the coronation of the new Tor Tiv managed to beat security and went straight to where the king’s coronation seat, stool, throne had been placed and sat on it. We are told this caused a stir, and not a few in the crowd must have shouted: “abomination!”,  Even the President of the Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria, Benue branch, Bishop Mike Angou c ...

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The Nigeria-Prays-For-Buhari Competition, By Reuben Abati

After the publication of my column last week, titled “I want to go to London… to see Buhari”, I received a lot of feedback from persons who were either amused or dead serious that they had been overlooked in my compilation of the list of persons who should go to London. One fellow asked: “Abati, you left out the Miyetti Allah and the cattle herders of Nigeria.” “Excuse me?” “Yes, they too will like to go to ...

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I Want to go to London… to see Buhari, By Reuben Abati

When 15 million plus Nigerians voted for President Muhammadu Buhari in the 2015 General elections, their expectation was that he would be available to serve them 24/7/365, and that those who fielded him as their candidate had done their home work to avoid what is curiously becoming the Katsina problem in Nigerian politics.  Katsina! But we have now found ourselves in a situation whereby our President is now ...

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Valentine, Baba’s Vacation And Other Stories, By Reuben Abati

“Happy Valentine’s day, my friend” “You don’t wish someone Happy Valentine’s day with ordinary mouth, my friend” “Are you a woman?  The gifts are for women, not male friends.” “You see, yourself?  You are a bush man just like one of my friends who got a text message from his girlfriend, and he started asking what is the meaning of bae and boo. The girl used those words and our friend was lost.” “Bae. Boo. I ...

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A visit to The Gusau Institute, By Reuben Abati

The road to Kaduna from Abuja was horrific. I had been told that the journey would take no more than one and a half hours, and I had set out early for a 9 am appointment as scheduled, but I didn’t get to Kaduna until four hours later. There were too many potholes on the road, too many terrible encounters, too many tanker and lorry drivers threatening to run into other vehicles or push them off the road, too ...

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Philip Adekunle at 50, By Reuben Abati

Long before the democratization of the blogging culture among Nigerians and the viral spread of opinionitis on social media, Philip Adekunle’s Nigeria Village Square (NVS) was one of those early platforms that provided opportunities for the free exchange of ideas on Nigerian affairs - from books to technology, money matters and the foibles of politicians. And the conversations that evolved were animated, ri ...

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Before Abuja Airport is Shut Down, By Reuben Abati

A few years ago, the Federal Government of Nigeria shut down the Port Harcourt International Airport to carry out what they called repairs or was it renovation? It was supposed to be an exercise for a few weeks, but it took more than an entire year. Flights were diverted to an airport in the city at great cost to travellers, but the so-called renovation took forever.  The Port Harcourt airport became a graz ...

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Nobody Comes To Abuja To Read, By Reuben Abati

I thoroughly enjoyed reading Pius Adesanmi’s “A Nigerian, Library and Lawmakers” (Sahara Reporters, December 24). I will like to add a footnote to what he has raised: hopefully, the likely beginning of a useful conversation around the subject of reading, literacy, politician-constituency relationship, and the normative/practical value of knowledge and research in governance.  At the risk of over-simplificat ...

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A Day With The Gay Community, By Reuben Abati

I was invited to deliver the keynote address at this year’s special event on “Human Rights, Sexuality and the Law”, an annual symposium organized to promote awareness on issues relating to the plight of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and/or Intersex (LGBTQI) Community in Nigeria. When this was announced on social media by the organizers, The Initiative For Equal Rights (TIERS) and @YNaija, h ...

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The Morning After Christmas, By Reuben Abati

“How was your Christmas Day?” “Comme ci, comme ca” “What’s that?” “I am speaking French. You mean you don’t even understand elementary French?” “No, I don’t. Speak English. How was Christmas?” “Low-key. Like this, like that”. “For me, it was a dead-end Christmas” “God forbid. May we never have a dead-end Christmas. I reject it in Jesus name.” “If you like, summon the Holy Ghost. We have never had a Christma ...

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The Bidoung Challenge, By Reuben Abati

Cameroonians got their chance of introducing into the syllabus of Comedy and Other Comic Forms (a subject I taught in my other career), what seemed like a variant of the domestic nature of humour and wit, when in the last week and more days,  they forced humour out of what seemed like an ordinary situation and added to the Ice Bucket Challenge and the Mannequin Challenge, what has become known international ...

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