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Understanding Buhari, By Azu Ishiekwene

Creative dysfunction is sometimes an unofficial government tool. Former President Olusegun Obasanjo occasionally set top government officials up against themselves to test their loyalty or ideas. But there was no doubt who was in charge. US President, Donald Trump, is reputed to have the worst cabinet in modern US history, comparable in its dysfunctionality only to Richard Nixon’s. But again, there’s no dou ...

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No Duty Too High To Save Hameed Ali By Azu Ishiekwene

In the last two years since Hameed Ali was appointed Comptroller General of the Nigeria Customs Service, I do not recall ever seeing him in uniform. But since the retired army colonel is not harming himself or any third party by not wearing uniform, I have gradually reconciled myself to seeing him in civilian dress. When the Senate tried to make an issue of his uniform and he responded by saying he was not ...

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That Rescue Mission By Dogara’s Wife By Azu Ishiekwene

It should have been a wrap, recession or not. I was nearing the end of a ThisDay print copy on Monday when the advert struck me. It was an announcement that the wife of the Honourable Speaker of the House of Representatives, Gimbiya Yakubu Dogara, would be having a two-day retreat with the wives of all honourable members at the Sheraton, Abuja. Such an important news item ought to be on the front page by me ...

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Modu Sheriff Not PDP’s Worst Demon, By Azu Ishiekwene

The Peoples Democratic Party is dying of numerous self-inflicted wounds and may not recover for as long as it thinks that Ali Modu Sheriff is its deadliest poison. From the headlines, you would think that Modu Sheriff is the beginning and the end of the problems of the PDP; that once you feed him to the sharks, all would be well with the party again. That’s fine. Modu Sheriff, who has tried unsuccessfully t ...

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Inside Story Of Andrew Yakubu’s $11m ‘Gift’, By Azu Ishiekwene

One of the most frequently asked questions this week is, which Andrew? There was once an Andrew in the first coming of President Muhammadu Buhari who popularised that name. That Andrew was a metaphor for the millions of frustrated young people who wanted to “check out” for greener pastures because politicians had wrecked the country and robbed it blind. As part of General Buhari’s war against indiscipline a ...

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What Does Obasanjo Know About Buhari? By Azu Ishiekwene

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo will officially be 80 in March and there are many who think he is hyperactive for his age. He is probably one of the busiest former presidents with a schedule that combines half a dozen foreign travels each month with countless domestic trips filled with meetings, speeches and plenty of mischief in between. He has visited President Muhammadu Buhari in Aso Rock four times a ...

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Life After Jim Obaze, By Azu Ishiekwene

Last week could have been named the Jim Obaze week. It was, really. How a relatively obscure public servant was thrust on the headlines with shards of his alleged misdemeanor strewn across the pages and powerful forces calling for his head is not the kind of drama seen often. Well, they finally hanged him by the ropes of his own alleged sins, ranging from allegations of insubordination to vindictiveness and ...

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Obasanjo Vs Awujale: A Delayed Showdown By Azu Ishiekwene

The book is nearly seven years in print but I didn’t get a hold of it until sometime last year. Someone very close, whom I had told I wanted to interview Kabiyesi Oba Sikiru Adetona, had sent a copy over to me in Abuja. He advised me to read the book before the interview. I have since read the autobiography – Awujale – twice and was not disappointed. We have Saharareporters to thank for an excerpt that remo ...

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Plastic Rice, Indian Jollof, And Adeboye’s Gift To Fayose, By Azu Ishiekwene

Superstition is the common thread. And that’s a commodity that’s never in short supply around here, even in a time of recession. When I first saw the headline on social media, it didn’t make sense. How could it? To suggest that Nigerians had become so rice-crazed that some folks were now importing plastic rice was beyond me. I thought it was just another social media fantasy. Nonsense. For decades now, rice ...

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Is Magu Nigeria’s Most Dangerous Man? By Azu Ishiekwene

It’s not a surprise that some folks are finally twisting the knife in the back of the acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Ibrahim Magu. After working without a letter of appointment for one year and overstaying his confirmation by nearly six months, his current travails should not come as a surprise. It’s now official. The Directorate of State Security said in a letter carefully ...

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A Daughter’s Letter And A Difficult Reply By Azu Ishiekwene

On Saturday, I received an email from my 18-year-old daughter, which she titled, “My bleeding heart.” When I saw the title, I stopped everything and opened it. I could feel blood rushing to my head as I started to read: “My heart is gladdened when I go on Twitter and see how outraged my fellow youths are over the tragic deaths of Ifedolapo Oladepo and Monday Ukemo, who lost their lives for a programme I reg ...

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To Catch The Grandfather, By Azu Ishiekwene

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo is used to getting a beating from his children. His son, Gbenga, once tried to strip him publicly with a rather nasty accusation of in-family wrongdoing. Not long after that, his daughter, Iyabo Obasanjo, followed with a letter that sold her father down the river at a time when the old man thought his own open letter had dealt a major blow to the broken government of forme ...

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