Author: Azu Ishiekwene

When you find two people from the Benin kingdom talking these days, chances are that they are talking artifacts. That kingdom never ceases to amaze me with the mythical, almost perplexing rootedness of its people to the past, side by side with a modern, avant garde spirit. Not that bread-and-butter issues have disappeared in Bini talk. Or that safety and security are no longer a concern. It’s just that the news of the possible return of artifacts stolen from the Benin kingdom over 120 years ago has somehow displaced current misery, however temporary. Yet, the conversation is also a statement of reckoning,…

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But the Senate has tried to disguise it otherwise. In response to growing criticisms that the National Assembly has become Buhari’s rubber stamp, the Senate has framed the rejection as a violation of the Federal Character principle, and more important, as proof of its legislative independence. 

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Those worried about this “excessive” media freedom make no distinction between the media as an institution and citizens vigorously – and yes, sometimes, despicably – expressing themselves on social media. 

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Compared with a number of other hotspots around the world in December 2020, however, Nigeria was not even among the three riskiest places. According to global medical and security specialists, International SOS, Libya, Syria and Afghanistan were the deadliest places to be. The group also projected that these places would retain the record by the end of 2021.

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The situation in Europe, especially in Italy and Spain, was particularly dire as the virus overwhelmed their sophisticated medical systems. While researchers and scientists struggled to crack the pathogen, dead bodies that could not be accommodated in morgues began to spill onto church pews and public places.

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The sentiments, ranging from the probable to the bizarre, with a sprinkling of fictional tales in between, have defied the couple’s request for privacy. Misery loves company. Some accounts even make you wonder if the composers might have had a bedside view of the 27-year-old marriage.

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Back in the day, I would not dare have dinner without first taking my bath. My mother said it was “unclean” to eat before brushing your teeth in the morning and taking your bath; or to have dinner before taking your bath, as if you had just been rescued from the pits or planned to eat with all parts of your body.

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Last week, Mohammed, furious at Twitter’s decision to start its first Africa office in Ghana, decided it was time to level the ragged edges and crush the journalistic snakes and con artists in Nigeria by heaping on them the blame for Twitter’s decision. It was hard for him to swallow.

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I thought that was obvious and required no special gift to see. The tension sucks. There is tension between those in government and those who are not. Even among those in government, there is tension between the cabal and the fringe players. Tension between those who think policies ought not to be governed by fear and those who think government by fear modelling is the only way.

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It’s sad that anyone should take the law into their own hands, and sadder still that even one innocent person should suffer injury or die from such senseless attacks. One of the law enforcement officers interviewed, Ade Adelekan, obviously with Nigerian roots, described the south London incidents as “shocking” and went on to say that the “absolutely horrific news would devastate our community.”

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Stopping short of naming names, Monguno pointed a finger at the last service chiefs who after overstaying their tenure as insecurity worsened, still earned promotion as ambassadors. They now join the ranks of ambassadors still waiting to be posted, most of them, one year after their appointments were announced.

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His largely unconventional approach has its benefits, especially with the rapid – sometimes unforeseen – changes in the global financial system and the beggar thy neighbour policies of rich, industrialised countries. But the recent announcement by the bank of a two-month sales promotion to boost the inflow of dollars also shows that the road to hell can be paved by good intentions.

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