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Conversation Nigeriana (3) Hope O’Rukevbe Eghagha

Professor Hope O’Rukevbe Eghagha

Orezi: The come has come to become the come in the land of a no-coming government, a government where the President never comes through when trouble come to the land!

Ahmadu: What do you mean my sweet sister? Is somebody missing in Action?

Bolaji: You mean its something like Waiting for Godot?

Emeka: Alhaji, this one that you are calling Orezi sweet sister this morning. I hope you do not have plans for ze ozer room!

Orezi: Do you mind, Emeka!

Emeka: Is love in the air? Who is the Romeo?

Orezi: Do you mind! There is no Juliet here. I don’t believe in dying for love in a foolish way and in a foolish country. All I am saying is that the come has become the come before our very eyes and we can only gnash our teeth in infant gums!

Bolaji: Hmmm! You are speaking in parables like an old woman!

Ahmadu: Me o! I am entitled to four, live, breeding hajiyas! When the time to come and become the come I shall become!

Orezi: Alhaji, do you mind?

Emeka: She has caught a wealthy politician boyfriend!

Orezi: I’m in a serious mood young man; the current situation does not encourage romance. New boyfriend? That’s not a concern now. The come has become the come in the polity. Ordinary bandits have threatened to kidnap our president, a retired Army General and a state governor!

Emeka: Anybody can issue a threat na; it means nothing. It doesn’t matter.

Ahmadu: But it’s not the first time. Bandits almost killed Governor Ortom a year or two ago when they opened fire on his convoy!

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Orezi: You are right! They openly challenged him after he banned open grazing in his State. Little wonder Ortom has set up his own army in Benue State. A man must be a man!

Emeka: Was Governor Zulum not targeted in the past? In fact, he has escaped assassination twice in the hands of non-state actors. So, anyone can threaten…

Bolaji: That’s not true; just threaten the president now especially as your name is Emeka whether Tucano jets will not be sent to decimate your hometown and desecrate the graves of your ancestors!

Orezi: You are correct. The Nigeria Army was sent to attack IPOB after it was declared an illegal organization. They did Operation Crocodile Dance to kill unarmed men and women in the southeast! Now that the real threat from the real terrorists our soldiers are caught napping!

Emeka: There is a special mindset in this government, indeed in the country that supports anything anti-Igbo! For example, see the vicious campaign against Peter Obi by the agents of the major political gladiators. Ethnic profiling has become second nature in our land!

Ahmadu: True, ethnic profiling has resulted in the hang-the-Fulani sentiment in the land. All bandits are supposedly Fulani. Yet the Fulani himself is under siege!

Orezi: Alhaji, please don’t go that route. Don’t go there. The Fulani merchants of death need to be called out. There is an official lack of will to do right by the Nigerian people! But you can see that it has backfired against the Nigerian government. Nigeria is almost a failed state. Do you sincerely believe that our Army is incapable of dealing with the terrorists if given the orders?

Bolaji: Who is in charge of Nigeria?

Orezi: God is in charge!

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Bolaji: Which God? The God I know has given up on us on account of our foolishness! How do you account for the fall of the naira?

Emeka: Why won’t the naira crash when the Finance Minister and governor of the CBN are deeply enmeshed in politics? Should Emefiele not have been fired after the fiasco of the APC convention? Or should he not have resigned?

Ahmadu: Nobody resigns in Nigeria! The President should have resigned in his first term when the effects of his ailment became glaring. The economy has become sick like the Number One Citizen!

Orezi: The country is sick too.

Ahmadu: Even the north is fed up with Bubu. Apart from Arewa Consultative Forum asking him to resign, did you read the story of the young man in Kano who climbed on to a high wall and threatened that he would remain up there until the president resigned? Things are happening even among the ordinary people!

Bolaji: Let us start thinking of options to save the country. I see Peter Obi as an option. In fact, he is the only option right now. The old, grizzled politicians cannot save themselves let alone save Nigeria!

Ahmadu: The Peter Obi/Ahmed Datti pair should be given a chance.

Orezi: Give them a chance? They should fight for power. Right now, they are a social media powerhouse. The reality on the ground is different.

Bolaji: It is romantic to think Peter Obi can win the presidential elections in the current atmosphere in the country. Much as I believe that we need a third force I have my doubts about Peter Obi winning the elections. Does he have the reach-out capacity? Are his followers ready to vote? Are they not social media persons? Can he secure enough votes in the core north? Can he deliver on the southeast by 70 percent? How can he govern the country even if he wins? There are no polling centres on social media!

Ahmadu: There you are wrong. Dead wrong! The Peter Obi Movement has caught the imagination of Nigerians. Did you see the million-man march in Nasarawa State? It will soon be replicated in Sokoto and Kano. We in the north are fed up with the mainstream politicians. We suffer the most. Buhari is from the north and he has been president for seven years; what do we have to show for it? We are worse off. Jonathan showed more compassion. He showed care. He opened Alimajiri schools. What has this man done/ appointed his cronies to positions of influence and so people are angry with the north. Which north? The ruling class, my brother, the ruling class. What can Atiku do differently? Can Tinubu change anything? Are they not part of the rot in the system?

Orezi: This is a full declaration!

Emeka: Yes o! The Ahmadu Declaration.

Bolaji: The truth is that no one is certain who the victor will be. The climate is hazy. Things could happen before February 2023 that could change the entire landscape. So, let us be hopeful.

Ahmadu: True; we are not certain who the victor will be. But we are certain about who will best do the job: its an outsider who is ready to do things differently.

Orezi: Is there any outsider among the three?

Ahmadu: That na JAMB question!

Professor Hope O’Rukevbe Eghagha, Department of English, University of Lagos

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Supreme Court Dismisses Suit Challenging Adeleke’s Candidacy

The Supreme Court has affirmed Ademola Adeleke as the authentic candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP in the just concluded Osun State Governorship Election.

This has laid to rest the suit filed by Dotun Babayemi, a governorship aspirant of the party who sought the invalidation of Adeleke’s victory.

In a judgement delivered by Justice Amina Augie, the five-member panel held that the court lacked jurisdiction to hear the suit after counsel for the appellant, Adebayo Adelodun, withdrew the earlier notice of appeal that was filed within time.

At the resumed hearing, Adelodun, who represented the appellant and Babayemi informed the court that he sought to withdraw the earlier notice of appeal to replace it with the fresh application he filed.

But the panel held that Section 285(11) of the constitution stipulated that an appeal on a pre-election matter must be filed within 14 days from the day of the decision, and that having filed the second appeal out of time, the apex court lacked jurisdiction to entertain the matter.

Justice Augie, therefore, dismissed the appeal for lack of jurisdiction.

Babayemi had asked the court to invalidate the primary election that produced the governor-elect, citing non-compliance with a court order.

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400 Staff To Lose Jobs As BBC Goes Digital

The British Broadcasting Corporation BBC world service has on Thursday disclosed that about 400 of its staff will lose their jobs as part of a cost-cutting programme and move to digital platforms,

The BBC said its international services needed to make savings of £28.5 million ($31 million) as part of wider reductions of £500 million.

In July it detailed plans to merge BBC World News television and its domestic UK equivalent into a single channel to launch in April next year.

BBC World Service currently operates in 40 languages around the world with a weekly audience of some 364 million people.

But the corporation said audience habits were changing and more people were accessing news online, which along with a freeze on BBC funding and increased operating costs meant a move to “digital-first” made financial sense.

BBC World Service director Liliane Landor said there was a “compelling case” for expanding digital services, as audiences had more than doubled since 2018.

“The way audiences are accessing news and content is changing and the challenge of reaching and engaging people around the world with quality, trusted journalism is growing,” she added.


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Hurricane Ian: Cities flooded and power cut as storm crosses Florida

Hurricane Ian: Cities flooded and power cut as storm crosses Florida

Hurricane Ian made landfall at around 15:10 local time (19:10 GMT) on Wednesday, smashing into the coast with wind speeds of up to 241km/h (150mph).

Dramatic scenes saw a hospital roof blown off, cars submerged and trees ripped out of the ground.

The category four hurricane was later downgraded to a tropical storm.

However, Floridians were warned that the most dangerous 24 hours lay ahead and the mayor of Tampa urged people to shelter in place through the night into Thursday morning.

“We are going to get the majority of the rain and the higher winds starting about 20:00, and they are going to last throughout the night,” Jane Castor said during a Wednesday evening briefing.

In a message posted on Facebook, the Weather Prediction Center told residents in the Central Florida Peninsula to expect “widespread life-threatening, catastrophic flash and urban flooding” continuing into Friday morning, with potentially up to 76cm (30ins) of rain falling locally.

Residents were ordered to leave their homes, but many have decided to remain and seek shelter indoors.

Mark Pritchett, who lives in the city of Venice, some 95km (60 miles) south of Tampa, described the “terrifying” moment he stepped outside his home as the hurricane made its way across the Gulf of Mexico.

“Rain shooting like needles. My street is a river,” he said in a text message to the Associated Press news agency.

In Lee County – the south-west region where Ian made landfall – police were prevented from responding to reports of looting at a petrol station because of the storm damage.

As a result, a curfew has been declared “until further notice”.

Lee County Manager Roger Desjarlais said that the Fort Myers community had “been – to some extent – decimated”. According to news agency AFP, some neighbourhoods in the city of 80,000 had been left resembling lakes.

State Governor Ron DeSantis described Ian as the “biggest flood event” south-west Florida had ever seen, and announced that 7,000 National Guard troops are ready to lead rescue operations in flood zones.

President Joe Biden will receive a briefing on Thursday from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Ian is now continuing to move north through Florida. Jacksonville International Airport, based in north-east Florida, cancelled all flights scheduled for Thursday.

The storm is forecast to emerge into the Atlantic by Thursday morning.

It is expected to reach Georgia and South Carolina on Friday. Virginia has also joined Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Florida by declaring a state of emergency.

Cuba’s western coast was hit by Hurricane Ian on Tuesday. Power has now been restored in some areas after the island was plunged into a total blackout. Two people are understood to have been killed in Cuba and more than 20 Cuban migrants are believed to be missing at sea.

Predicted path of Hurricane Ian. Updated 27 September

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