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The JAMB against exam malpractices

CRONJE. “Do you want Cronje?” “Do you have Cronje?” were questions some students asked on the streets of Lagos in 1977. Some question papers of that year’s West African School Certificate, WASC, examinations organised by the West African Examinations Council, WAEC, had leaked. Original and fake question papers of the examinations were being hawked. The students called the leaked examination papers, Cronje. It was imaginatively named after the Mr. John Ayite Cronje who was Registrar of WAEC from 1965 to 1971. I still do not know why it was called Cronje, and not Ike since the WAEC Registrar at the time of the leakage was the novelist, Vincent Chukwuemeka Ike. Also, leaked papers were called ‘Expo.”
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The state of being a Nigerian

By Owei Lakemfa
NIGERIA is blessed with very intelligent and even religious people. Thus, in our National Anthem, we pray God to help us build a nation where peace and justice shall reign.
But at critical times, such as the 2019 elections, many abandoned their intelligence and switched to the mode of the stupid; peeled off the clothes of the informed and donned the toga of  the ill-informed.
Some pan-Africanists I know became ethnic jingoists and experts in ethnic profiling.
Continue reading The state of being a Nigerian at Vanguard News Nigeria. …

2019 Elections: Happy survival

NIGERIANS who are alive today, should wish themselves happy survival because scores  of their compatriots have been  sent to untimely graves within the last five weeks in  election-related violence.
Continue reading 2019 Elections: Happy survival at Vanguard News Nigeria. …

The Nelson Mandela-Buhari phenomenon

SOUTH Africa and Nigeria are Africa’s biggest economies and hold some of the brightest prospects for the continent. They have also given Africa two strong leaders: Nelson Mandela and Muhammadu Buhari who, in their old age, held sway in their countries. Both were generals: Mandela, the Commander-in-Chief of the South African insurgent army, the Umkhonto we Sizwe, and Buhari, a General in the Nigerian Army.
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Nigeria, politics of elections and International Observers

I WAS one of four African  trade unionists who observed the 2002 Zimbabwean Presidential elections under the African Union Observer Mission. The international observers including those from Nigeria, led by former Head of Interim Government, Chief Ernest Shonekan, met daily at the Sheraton Hotel to compare notes. There was a consensus that the elections in which President Robert Mugabe had 54 per cent and opposition leader,  Morgan Tsvangirai had 40 per cent, were free and fair. It was, therefore, a shock when the Commonwealth Observer Mission led by former Nigerian Head of State, General Abdulsalami Abubakar, had a contrary report; one that was not based on observed facts.
Continue reading Nigeria, politics of elections and International Observers at Vanguard News Nigeria. …

Italy tells France the truth, but Africa isn’t listening

IN the continuous European game of shifting blames over rescuing African migrants floating in European waters, angry Italy lashed out at self-righteous France. Mr. Luigi Di Maio, the Italian Deputy Prime Minister said: “France is one of those countries that by printing money for 14 African states prevents their economic development and contributes to the fact that the refugees leave and then die in the sea or arrive on our coasts.”
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The CJN need not be a judge

IN Nigeria, law has become the most dominant profession because many lawyers have managed to portray themselves as the only ‘learned’ people, and denigrated professions like Estate Management. Many lawyers are stupendously wealthy because they are able to compromise standards at the expense of their profession.
Continue reading The CJN need not be a judge at Vanguard News Nigeria. …

Fathers and nuns: Battling with nature and celibacy

By Owei Lakemfa
WHEN I was an undergraduate in the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, one of our teachers (not lecturer) was the famous Ugandan writer, Okot P’Bitek, author of best sellers like ‘Song of Lawino’ and ‘Song Of A Prisoner.’ We had two Nuns in the class and quite often, P’Bitek who came to class, singing, would stop in front of one of the Nuns and ask rhetorically: “Sister, your mother gave birth to you and you say you don’t want to give birth?”  The class would roar and he would move on to the front of the class, still singing.
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The Truth as a Lie

Police launch manhunt for Ekiti OPC for alleged assault, property damage

By Owei Lakemfa
I WAS at a friend’s place in Lagos in December. As I arrived, I overheard him having a discussion with a mutual friend. As I entered, he turned to me and asked: “Owei, what is the difference  between the truth and what is factual. I replied off hand: “The truth can be subjective, but what is factual is objective and verifiable.” He nodded and relayed my response.
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A Daily Trust in the Media, not the Army

AS a former newspaper Editor, I would not have published the Daily Trust lead story of January 6, 2019 titled: Military prepares massive operation to retake Baga, others, which led to the newspaper’s invasion by armed soldiers. My editorial judgement would not have been based on the army’s fairy tale that the story violated national security, but because it was primarily, a rehash of information that was already in the public space. I would have asked the reporter to provide fresh information or a new angle to the story.
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