Dying to get a job

It is not what one looks forward to with fondness. I mean, whoever derives pleasure from writing about a national tragedy should have his/her head examined. But write about the latest in the series of tragedies we must. At the risk of having our heads examined, we must ask why innocent men and women should die in the process of looking for gainful employment. Dying to get a job? What a contradiction in terms! One would have expected that the whole purpose of looking for a job is to stay alive … [Read more...]

Power of incumbency, impunity and corruption: the linkages

Is corruption an issue in Nigeria? What kind of question is that? Isn’t the answer obvious? Apparently not-- obvious, that is. In fact, judging by the way the government and the apathetic-cum-cynical public are going about it today, one should be forgiven for asking whether corruption is, or will ever become, an issue in the struggle for, and exercise of, power. At a time when Transparency International ranks Nigeria among the most corrupt countries in the world (144th among a total of 177 … [Read more...]

Boko Haram: Focus on Internal and External Dimensions

"(The Project for the New American Century/PNAC) is dedicated to a few fundamental propositions: that American leadership is good both for America and for the world, and that such leadership requires military strength, diplomatic energy and commitment to moral principle"--William Kristol, PNAC Chairman "As it is among individuals, so it is among states. When one state claims to know what is 'good' for another, it is merely using that as a cover for motives that are at best, non-altruistic, at … [Read more...]

Nigeria’s same-sex prohibition law: mark of intolerance or affirmation of sovereignty?

The Nigerian government’s decision to outlaw gay, lesbian, bi-sexual, and transgender/LGBT relationships raises cogent issues not only about individual rights but also about the extent to which the state is justified in circumscribing those rights. At the core, however, is how to reconcile conflicting and parallel wills, specifically, those of the individual, the society to which s/he belongs, and the international community, howsoever defined. The same-sex prohibition law poignantly raises the … [Read more...]

2015 elections and attempted disenfranchisement of Nigerians

That Femi Aribisala thoroughly dislikes Muhammadu Buhari should by now be beyond doubt. He has made no secret of his loathing for the former military Head of State or his horror at the prospects of Buhari re-emerging as an elected President. His Premium Times article of 21 January 2014 titled “Why Buhari will never be president of Nigeria” gave me an idea of his grudge--and the depth of his feeling—against Buhari. The article started with the run-in which Aribisala had with the State Security … [Read more...]

Nigeria 2015: making tomorrow’s history today, Part II

In the first part of this article, I argued (and still maintain) that no deed or utterance capable of triggering a crisis in 2015 would go unchronicled. As if on cue, two things happened after I posted the article online. First, Dokubo Asari repeated his earlier threat to spread mayhem and destabilize Nigeria should the electorate make the mistake of electing a presidential candidate other than his own in 2015. The constitution, he insisted, made it mandatory for Nigeria to keep his kinsman, … [Read more...]

Nigeria 2015: making tomorrow’s history today

Unlike my previous posts, this (and subsequent ones) will be brief and to the point. And the point in this article is what each and every one of us must do today to secure his/her place in tomorrow’s history. By tomorrow, I mean 2015. It is no longer news that the year is viewed with foreboding by practically every Nigerian. Signs of anxiety are palpable. The US it was that first foresaw our country going down under in 2015. The worst-case scenario has since been sketched on our mind. Preachers … [Read more...]

On Buhari-phobia and the 2015 elections

No matter how one looks at it, 2015 is Nigeria’s year of destiny. It is the year when the electorate will again decide the fate of the contestants for executive and legislative positions at the federal and state levels. It is the year when the voters will either extend the PDP’s 16-year unbroken hold on power or give the opposition a chance to approach the challenges facing our country from a new angle. Curiously, it is also the year that the apostles of doom expect Nigeria to disintegrate. … [Read more...]

State reform perspectives revisited

Introduction I need to take a short break from my weekly commentary on Nigeria's power struggle to address a global and broader theme--that of state reform within and across countries. While the article would first appear to be targeted at my academic colleagues, the issues raised therein will resonate with the general reading public. There is no country which has not at one time or the other experimented with a variety of state-led development strategies. However, while some states have … [Read more...]

What is your citizenship worth?

Introduction Against the backdrop of the on-going dialogue on the essence and structure of the Nigerian state, I have decided to reproduce a revised version of the paper that I presented last June on the value of our country's citizenship. Though still fairly lengthy, the new text is considerably shorter than the original. I. Identity value of citizenship: meaning and significance Ever since our emergence as an independent nation on 1st October 1960, our single dominant concern has … [Read more...]