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Requiem for Pius Adesanmi

OUR paths never crossed on this earth, but we had a lot in common. We shared a similar worldview and intellectual culture as columnists and public intellectuals. He was an Okun Yoruba from Kabba, which made him my fellow Middle Belt compatriot. Like him, I also studied French language and civilisation, although mine was preparatory for post-graduate work in Economics, Public Administration and Law. We both had the privilege of moving freely from French Cartesian philosophical thinking to Anglo-Saxon philosophical empiricism – the best preparation, in my view, for any public intellectual worthy of the name.
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Women in politics and government

I AM writing this piece from Rabat, having been invited on the conference circuit in the beautiful Moroccan capital. I missed the governorship and state assembly elections on Saturday. Friday, March 9 was International Women’s Day, an event that was celebrated here with solemnity. Morocco is a Muslim country, but also a progressive one. Women here have made considerable progress, unlike in Nigeri
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The travails of democracy

BRITISH war-time Prime Minister Winston Churchill described democracy as “the worst system of government – except for the others.” Euro-Americans like to trace the origins of democracy back to the ancient Greeks. Among Athenian aristocrats, it was not a polite word. It derives from the Greek word “demos”, which means rule by mobs. The philosopher Plato despised it, preferring rule by philosopher-kings.
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How to form a new govt without tears

DESPITE the postponement, intimidation and outright manipulation, the Nigerian people showed great resilience last Saturday in coming out en masse to exercise their democratic franchise. This week, by the grace of God, we shall know who our president-elect is. A new president must hit the ground running. He would certainly face an in-tray of formidable to-do priorities.
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The real isues before the Nigerian electorate

AS we march towards the presidential elections on Saturday February 16 , there seems to be palpable tension everywhere. This has not been helped by incendiary comments from some high quarters, to the effect that international observers will return home in “body bags” if they continue to “interfere” in our domestic affairs. The EU has reacted, while I believe the rest of the international community have taken judicial notice of those interahamwe who are trying to upturn our fledgling democracy with their dangerous hate speech. I appeal to all Nigerians to remain calm. Ensure that you exercise your full electoral franchise on Saturday. But remain peaceful and calm
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How France Underdeveloped Africa

A  FEW centuries ago, France was the leading continental power in Europe. After the 1789 French Revolution, Napoleon Bonaparte became master of Europe. A man of great ambition, he aimed to bring all of Europe under French hegemony. He almost succeeded until his defeat at the Battle of Waterloo in 1815. Bonaparte had invaded Egypt in 1798 with a legion of soldiers and scientists. It was in fact one of his scientists, Jean-François Champollion, who deciphered the hitherto closed world of Egyptian hieroglyphics, thereby opening up a new vista for the discipline that we know as Egyptology today. His soldiers, we are told, often used the face of Egyptian mummies for their shooting practice. They aimed to destroy their noses, the better to prove that the ancient Egyptians were not Africans.
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A London café conversation

NGO trains stakeholders on UBE projects

I AM writing this piece from cold, wet London. Last night it rained cats and dogs. Yesterday late afternoon a friend invited me to a café in the old Borough of Richmond where I once lived and lectured in the nearby American University. As we sat to reminisce on the good old days over tea and scones, some two African guys next to our table picked interest in our conversation. Smiling, the younger of the two, turning in my direction, asked me point blank if I came from South Africa. Smiling, I answered No.
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The persecution of Justice and the end of democracy

THE news came as a shock to some of us that  the Chief Justice of Nigeria, CJN, His Lordship Justice Walter Onnoghen, is to appear in a court on charges of non-declaration of assets. He is also accused of allegedly operating some dozen bank accounts containing varying amounts of local and international currencies. He is expected to hand over the reins of office to the second most senior colleague as he goes on trial. There has been no precedent for a serving justice being compelled to appear in a lower court to answer charges for a misdemeanour, real or imagined.
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So long a letter

[PHOTOS] Shock As Osun Grandma Burns 9-Year-Old Girl’s Hands For Eating Brother’s Food

FOR more than a year I have been in communication with a young and well educated Hausa-Fulani Muslim woman. The remarkable thing is that we have never met. But she always responds to my writings, often in praise, but sometimes in criticism. What I admire about her is her honesty.  I shall call her Zuwaira.
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A plea for economic planning

Joke Jigan Gets Engaged To Her Longtime Boyfriend And She’s Super Excited

DURING the economic recession of the 1980s the doyen of Nigerian economics, Pius Nwabufo Okigbo, delivered a lecture at the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies, with the title, “Sorcerers, Astrologers and Nigerian Economic Recovery.” Yours sincerely was among the audience during that steamy 1986 summer afternoon in Kuru. It was a brilliant performance. The late economist gave that dramatic title to his erudite lecture to drive home the point about how bereft we are in terms of serious critical thinking about the economy.
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