Author: Ezinwanne Onwuka

After the media got wind of Betta Edu’s crime and put it out for public consumption, Nigerians went berserk. The Humanitarian Affairs Minister turned a national bete noire in a twinkle of an eye. The moral dust the news raised culminated in the demand for her resignation. Poor Edu! Unlike the biblical unnamed strumpet, the Saviour was not in sight to save her as she was hauled over the coals. After days of intense media and public outrage, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu bowed to the pressure and made her jobless even after she denied any wrongdoing. It is shocking to…

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How was your first Christmas under the leadership of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu? Was it better than 2022’s? Was it merry? Or was it ‘just there’? While I cannot hear your answers to those probing questions, I must say I am eager to know how the last festive season was for you, especially since it came months after we had a change of government. You would be curious to know what exactly I want to do with those pieces of information, but hey! I am not gathering an opinion poll. I am smitten with nostalgia when I remember the ‘good…

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Tinubu A new sheriff is in town The past three weeks have been, to say the least, turbulent. It has also been quite busy – and presumably fun – for President Bola Tinubu who is undoubtedly having a swell time discharging his duties as the chief administrator meticulously without breaking a sweat. Before his inauguration as president on May 29, Tinubu assured time and again that he will hit the ground running as soon as he is sworn in. Many Nigerians thought he was only bluffing as is typical of politicians, but he didn’t renege on his words. Curtly, President…

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Tinubu: The kingmaker becomes the king : It is official. Bola Ahmed Tinubu is the President and Commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces, Federal Republic of Nigeria, realising his dream of leading Africa’s most populous country. Tinubu, who served as the governor of Lagos State between 1999 and 2007, contested the presidential election on the ticket of the All Progressives Congress, APC, the same party as his predecessor, Muhammadu Buhari that came into power in 2015, ending the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, uninterrupted 16-year rule. The presidential race was one of the hardest to predict and most tightly fought in years,…

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When Governor Charles Soludo of Anambra State stated unequivocally that Peter Obi stands no chance of winning the 2023 presidential election, social media was thrown into a frenzy. In his 14 November 2022 statement, Soludo made some audacious expostulations about Obi’s presidential ambition. Firstly, he said that Obi cannot win the election: ‘Let’s be clear: Peter Obi knows that he can’t and won’t win. He knows the game he is playing, and we know too, and he knows that we know.’ Secondly, he said that there were only two candidates and parties contesting for the presidency of which Obi and…

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No election in Nigeria’s recent history has faced many protests and rejections by those who lost and even those who won. So controversial was the 2023 general election that aggrieved candidates have headed to court to challenge the outcome of last month’s presidential election. Nigerians demonstrated their dedication to democracy on February 25, but there are many angry and frustrated Nigerians who believe that the president-elect, Bola Tinubu, won the election due to widespread fraud and irregularities as well as many who are celebrating victories they believe were hard-fought and well-earned. The two leading opposition candidates: runner-up Atiku Abubakar of…

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The jubilation that greeted the October 14, 2022, order of the Court of Appeal in Abuja to the Nigerian government to release Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, MNK, the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, is still fresh in my memory. Whatsapp statuses, Facebook posts, and Twitter tweets that celebrated the victory of MNK were overwhelming and heart-warming. Interestingly, the court also discharged all the made-up charges bordering on terrorism and treason levelled against MNK and ruled that the forceful extradition of the freedom fighter from the East African country of Kenya to Nigeria for the continuation of his pending…

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Though one of my teachers back in secondary school had illustratively explained to me in particular and the class generally the popular saying, ‘The pen is mightier than the sword’, it took the outcome of the February 25, 2023, presidential election for me to grasp what was taught 13 years ago. Over the centuries, the metonymic adage, coined by English author Edward Bulwer-Lytton in his 1839 historical play, Richelieu or The Conspiracy, has come to define the power of the written word in statecraft. At the heart of this notion is the idea that the course of a nation or…

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It was on October 2022 that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) announced its intention to redesign the currency, which it said was in the best interest of Nigerians to check terrorism financing, counterfeiting and imbalances in the fiscal space, and to enable the apex bank take control of the currency in circulation. As a result of the currency redesign, the CBN also set the maximum cash withdrawal limit via the Automated Teller Machines and point of sales (PoS) agents at N20,000 per day for individuals subject to N100,000 per week, instructing commercial banks to load only denominations of N200…

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This is a hard time for Nigerians. We are not only grappling with worsening fuel scarcity but also the scarcity of the redesigned banknotes. Between the two economic crises, I can’t say which is intolerable. With less than ten days to the deadline given by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) for the use of the old series of N200, N500, and N1000 notes, it is distressing that the new notes seem to be relatively scarce. Worst, some commercial banks are still issuing the old denominations over the counter and through Automated Teller Machines (ATM) despite the CBN’s threat to…

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Ezinwanne Onwuka The ruling party’s presidential candidate, Bola Tinubu has been outspoken about his plans to consolidate President Muhammadu Buhari’s achievements should he step into his shoes as his successor. “I have the confidence, the vision, the capacity to rule, build on the foundation of Mr President, and turn Nigeria better,” Tinubu said while declaring his intention to run for president in January 2022, and he never ceases to restate his commitment to this ‘noble aim’ at every event he attends to solicit for support ahead of the presidential election, which is less than 60 days away. Even President Buhari,…

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Ezinwanne Onwuka   Nigeria has been variously described as the giant of Africa for a good one, the global capital of human poverty for a bad one and as the hot pot of insecurity in the West African sub-region for an ugly one. These last two afore-cited descriptions of Nigeria have links with human capital mismanagement and culpable wastage of vast resources that are a result of bad governance. For the respect Nigeria commands as the giant of Africa, one would expect the country to be up there in the developmental strides, competing with the First World and having a…

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In an earlier piece, I noted that Nigeria has been caught in the miry clay of leadership ineptitude because the present administration has demonstrated a lack of vision on how to move Nigeria forward. The last seven years have proven that President Muhammadu Buhari cannot carry the leadership burden foisted upon him by a coalition of political wheeler-dealers. Before the general elections of March 2015, ex-president Goodluck Jonathan’s international reputation was not a strong one. He was initially an accidental president who, despite his relative inexperience, ascended to lead the country when his principal, Umaru Musa Yar’Adua, passed away in…

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Horrible, worrisome, terrible, distressing are a few adjectives that aptly describes the security situation in the country. The sad tale that started this year with the ambush of passengers in a train that left the nation’s capital to the nearby city of Kaduna in March was heightened with the prison break at Kuje Correctional Facility in July which, according to reports, led to the escape of scores of terrorists and Boko Haram members. That the prison break happened few months to the 2023 general elections raised eyebrows. That four months after the attack, 546 escapees are still at large and…

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Saturday, 5 February 2023 is a big deal. Across the country, eligible voters will have the chance to go to the polls and fulfill their civic duty by voting for the presidential candidate of their choice. One thing that intrigues me about the forthcoming election and politics in general is how the electorates are so convinced that their preferred candidate is the best of the lot. This conviction makes them believe the person supporting another candidate or party is wrong. Over the past few months—typical of an electioneering period—Nigerians have been divided along political lines. This, of course, is in…

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It’s six months to the 2023 presidential election, and the buzz about who presides over the affairs of Nigeria at the expiration of the present administration’s term has heightened, especially with the economic and socio-economic woes plaguing the nation. From terrorism to inflation to countless subnational, political, socio-political and religious skirmishes, Nigeria is at the verge of collapse and Nigerians are clamouring for a messiah. February 2023, therefore, offers us a rare chance to right the wrongs of our collective choices at the 2015 presidential poll. A peculiar thing about the forthcoming presidential election is that it is a clear-cut…

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In his victory message to the nation on 15 January 1970, General Yakubu Gowon categorically stated, ‘The “Rising Sun of Biafra” is set for ever. It will be a great disservice for anyone to continue to use the word “Biafra” to refer to any part of the East Central State of Nigeria.’ His speech, The Dawn of National Reconciliation, was given on the day the 30-month civil war ended, and his aforementioned remarks was premised on the fact that Biafra raising the white flag means the total annihilation of the Biafran struggle. To Gowon’s chagrin, 52 years after, the grim…

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On Thursday, I was on the phone with a friend who intimated me of the gory details about the security situation in Owerri, the Imo State capital. She narrated at length how the police, using insecurity as a pretext, commonly round up random citizens in public places, most especially bars, otherwise known as beer parlours. Our conversation reminded me of how my younger brother narrowly escaped one of such routine mass arrests by the defunct Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) wing of the Nigerian Police Force in 2019. Upon release, one of his friends who was arrested on that ill-fated hangout…

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Ahead of the much anticipated 2023 general elections, there have been widespread speculations bordering on the question of who the ruling party, All Progressives Congress (APC) will produce as its presidential candidate. As of the time of writing, over 20 aspirants have picked the party’s N100 million expression of interest and nomination forms. Interestingly, other politicians, undettered by the outrageous cost of the forms, continue to join the race. It is even more interesting that despite the high calibre of political hawks jostling for the position within the party, all fingers are pointing at one man: former President Goodluck Ebele…

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Gone are the days when we received the majority of our news and information from the local newspaper(s) published every morning. Accessing the latest news has become a lot easier for us today due to it going beyond just the newspaper. With the boom in Information and Communications Technology over the last two decades, we no longer have to wait an entire day for our news anymore — we wait mere seconds. We even get live broadcast of the news instead of waiting to get a recap of it the following day. This goes to show that we live in…

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With about 13 months left till the end of the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari, the ruling party, APC, is saddled with the herculean task of finding a successor who will sustain the incumbent president’s legacy. It is a big burden, indeed, for the party. And to ensure that this objective is achieved, the party is not ready to relinquish power. Who, except an APC faithful, can build on the foundation President Buhari has laid? One need only listen to the declaration speeches of the party’s presidential hopefuls to realize that the APC is carrying a heavy load – the…

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As preparation for the much-awaited 2023 general elections picks up pace, it has become a turbulent time for politics in Nigeria. President Muhammadu Buhari signed the Electoral Bill into law on February 25 after a failed attempt to install an APC faithful, Lauretta Onochie, as one of the commissioners of the electoral body, INEC, paving the way for presidential and governorship elections on February 25 and March 11, 2023 respectively. Going by the timetable for the elections, political parties are expected to elect their flagship candidates by June 3 this year. Less than one year to the 2023 presidential election,…

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It is a truism that in the present-day Nigeria, human beings are massacred with impunity and properties wasted almost on a daily basis. No day passes without reports of kidnapping, ritual killings, banditry, attacks on state infrastructure, especially police stations and airports, armed robbery, murder and wanton killings. In recent times, the northwestern state of Kaduna and southeastern state of Anambra have been literally under siege. On March 26, gunmen attacked the Kaduna International Airport killing an official of the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) after allegedly storming the runway. Two days later, on March 28, gunmen also launched a…

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It is generally believed that education is the key that unlocks all the forces of economic growth and development. The availability of a body of research stressing the importance of education, coupled with the experiences from developed nations which shows that as an economy grows more larger and complex, so does the desire for high level manpower which education makes possible, confirms this belief. It is surprising, therefore, that Nigeria, which prides itself as the giant of Africa, only pays lip-service to its education sector. The latest episode of the ASUU strike, the 16th since Nigeria’s return to democratic rule…

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As our economy nosedives as a plane that has lost control and is about to crash, unprecedented economic hardship and suffering has befallen the nation. Sadly, at the receiving end of all that happens or does not happen to Nigeria is the average Nigerian. Life in Nigeria has become all about survival of the fittest for the average Nigerian, who has to face the good, the bad and the ugly. It has become a tough job to be a Nigerian as life in Nigeria is strongly shaped by many challenges. There is an increase in inflation and unemployment. The naira…

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Democracy, as defined by Schmitter and Karl (1991) is “a system of governance in which rulers are held accountable for their actions in the public realm by citizens, acting indirectly through the competition and cooperation of their elected representatives.” In the ordinary sense, accountability, which entails a relationship between those responsible for something, and those who have a role in passing judgement on how well that responsibility has been discharged, presupposes that an official or person who has been assigned duties should be held responsible for their actions and the consequences emanating from them. Given the foregoing, the question that…

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Nigeria is only 11 months away from the 2023 presidential election but the campaign leading up to it is already serving as a reminder of the sharp Christian-Muslim divide in the country. The importance of that divide is well illustrated by the fact that religion — not nationality — is the way in which most Nigerians choose to identify themselves. Religion and religious conflict have long been part of Nigerian politics and public life. This explains the reason every political process in Nigeria is seriously influenced by religious prejudice: the civil service, appointment to important positions in the government, and…

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What better time than now to reminisce on the very controversial song, ‘Jaga Jaga’ from Eedris Abdulkareem which put him at loggerheads with the then Head of State, Olusegun Obasanjo; and was eventually banned off radio waves because of its supposedly non-gratifying lyrics that were centered on our nation’s goings-on. In the 2004 politico blockbuster, ‘Jaga Jaga’, a Yoruba term for shambles, Eedris lyrically noted, “Nigeria jaga jaga. Everything scatter scatter, poor man dey suffer, suffer…”, decrying the alarming rate of inflation, insecurity, corruption and suffering in Nigeria. Eighteen years after, his message is still relevant. As a matter of…

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Though Nigeria practices a democratic system of government, the 1999 Constitution disrupted an important characteristic of democracy by placing an age barrier by disqualifying persons below the ages of 40 and 30 from throwing their hats into the ring and vying for president, and membership for House of Representatives and Assembly, respectively. This mainly accounts for the reason since Nigeria’s return to democracy in 1999, known faces have resurfaced in successive elections, especially at the Federal level, portraying a system that is under siege by the actions, inactions and reactions of the ageing political drivers of this country in policymaking…

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After nearly sixty-two years of Independence, amidst enormous wealth, poverty is still endemic in Nigeria. The country has even been designated as the poverty capital of the world. As a result of the endemic poverty, Nigerians have been reduced to the behest of politicians that tie them to gridlock of ‘stomach infrastructure.’ ‘Stomach infrastructure’ quietly crept into our political lexicon following the 2014 election in Ekiti state when PDP’s candidate Ayodele Fayosi mobilized voters with food items and defeated the then￾incumbent APC’s governor Kayode Fayemi. ‘Stomach infrastructure’ is a reality projected by the Nigerian politicians on the vulnerable electorate who…

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