21
Feb2017

I want to go to London… to see Buhari - Reuben Abati

I want to go to London… to see Buhari - Reuben Abati

When 15 million plus Nigerians voted for President Muhammadu Buhari in the 2015 General elections, their expectation was that he would be available to serve them 24/7/365, and that those who fielded him as their candidate had done their home work to avoid what is curiously becoming the Katsina problem in Nigerian politics. Katsina! But we have now found ourselves in a situation whereby our President is now in London,...

14
Feb2017

Valentine, Baba’s vacation and other stories - Reuben Abati

Valentine, Baba’s vacation and other stories - Reuben Abati

“Happy Valentine’s day, my friend” “You don’t wish someone Happy Valentine’s day with ordinary mouth, my friend” “Are you a woman? The gifts are for women, not male friends.” “You see, yourself? You are a bush man just like one of my friends who got a text message from his girlfriend, and he started asking what is the meaning of bae and boo. The girl used those words and our...

07
Feb2017

A visit to The Gusau Institute -Reuben Abati

A visit to The Gusau Institute -Reuben Abati

The road to Kaduna from Abuja was horrific. I had been told that the journey would take no more than one and a half hours, and I had set out early for a 9 am appointment as scheduled, but I didn’t get to Kaduna until four hours later. There were too many potholes on the road, too many terrible encounters, too many tanker and lorry drivers threatening to run into...

05
Feb2017

The two faces of Tuface -Reuben Abati

The two faces of Tuface -Reuben Abati

Tuface’s decision to lead a protest to register the dissatisfaction of Nigerians with the performance of the incumbent administration and to reiterate the value of government’s responsibility to the people was his finest moment as a citizen and artiste. But it is also now, with his Jammeh-like volte-face, his worst moment. His transformation into a champion of democratic values and voice of the masses brought him added stardom and value....

31
Jan2017

Donald Trump and the muslim world

Donald Trump and the muslim world

I am not a fan of Donald Trump, the incumbent President of the United States. I didn’t stand with him. I stood with her- Hillary Clinton- in the last US Presidential election. No other election in recent American history has been more international in terms of interest and emotional involvement. Trump’s election even divided the Nigerian middle class. Majority of Christians in Nigeria stood with Donald Trump. They liked his...

25
Jan2017

Once upon a time in Gambia

Once upon a time in Gambia

I have very vivid memories of my last visit to The Gambia. This was in 2013 when President Goodluck Jonathan paid a two-day visit to the country. In the course of that visit, President Jonathan commissioned the new Chancery of the Nigerian Embassy in Banjul, and also met with the Nigerian community, in addition to the usual bilateral meetings. Nigeria and The Gambia have very strong cultural and diplomatic relations....

20
Jan2017

MMM, Sambisa and the boy died - Reuben Abati

MMM, Sambisa and the boy died - Reuben Abati

“Happy New Year, my brother” “What do you mean happy new year, more than two weeks into the New Year. Have I not been in touch with you since January 1?” “But for you the New Year has just started. Your January 1 was not on January 1” “Looks like you have started taking something. I must inform your wife.” “I say Happy New Year to you.” “Okay, same to...

11
Jan2017

Before Abuja Airport is Shut Down

Before Abuja Airport is Shut Down

A few years ago, the Federal Government of Nigeria shut down the Port Harcourt International Airport to carry out what they called repairs or was it renovation? It was supposed to be an exercise for a few weeks, but it took more than an entire year. Flights were diverted to an airport in the city at great cost to travellers, but the so-called renovation took forever. The Port Harcourt airport...

03
Jan2017

Nobody Comes To Abuja To Read

Nobody Comes To Abuja To Read

I thoroughly enjoyed reading Pius Adesanmi’s “A Nigerian, Library and Lawmakers” (Sahara Reporters, December 24). I will like to add a footnote to what he has raised: hopefully, the likely beginning of a useful conversation around the subject of reading, literacy, politician-constituency relationship, and the normative/practical value of knowledge and research in governance. At the risk of over-simplification, Adesanmi’s argument is that Nigerian politicians, unlike their counterparts in Canada and...

28
Dec2016

A Day With The Gay Community

A Day With The Gay Community

I was invited to deliver the keynote address at this year’s special event on “Human Rights, Sexuality and the Law”, an annual symposium organized to promote awareness on issues relating to the plight of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and/or Intersex (LGBTQI) Community in Nigeria. When this was announced on social media by the organizers, The Initiative For Equal Rights (TIERS) and @YNaija, hell practically broke loose within the...

27
Dec2016

The Morning After Christmas

The Morning After Christmas

“How was your Christmas Day?” “Comme ci, comme ca” “What’s that?” “I am speaking French. You mean you don’t even understand elementary French?” “No, I don’t. Speak English. How was Christmas?” “Low-key. Like this, like that”. “For me, it was a dead-end Christmas” “God forbid. May we never have a dead-end Christmas. I reject it in Jesus name.” “If you like, summon the Holy Ghost. We have never had a...

20
Dec2016

The Bidoung Challenge

The Bidoung Challenge

Cameroonians got their chance of introducing into the syllabus of Comedy and Other Comic Forms (a subject I taught in my other career), what seemed like a variant of the domestic nature of humour and wit, when in the last week and more days, they forced humour out of what seemed like an ordinary situation and added to the Ice Bucket Challenge and the Mannequin Challenge, what has become known...

14
Dec2016

The Yahya Jammeh problem

The Yahya Jammeh problem

When President Yahya Jammeh of The Gambia conceded defeat after the December 1, Presidential elections in that West African country of 1.9 million people, the gesture was widely hailed and described as an indication of great hope for democracy in Africa and particularly for The Gambia, which Jammeh had ruled with an iron fist for 22 years. That election was also perhaps the most important political development in The Gambia...

01
Dec2016

Governors and the politics of succession

Governors and the politics of succession

The recent Governorship elections in Edo and Ondo states threw up a number of issues about the politics of succession in Nigeria. In Edo state, you would think it was the then incumbent Governor Adams Oshiomhole seeking re-election. He campaigned more than the candidate. He danced, waved the broom, his party’s symbol, far more enthusiastically than the man who wanted the office. He even did more to put down the...

27
Nov2016

Goodbye, Fidel Castro

Goodbye, Fidel Castro

The death of Fidel Castro was long expected and when it finally came on Friday night, there was very little surprise across the world. He was 90, and in August, he had himself predicted that he would not live beyond 90. He had been sick for about ten years, compelling him to hand over power as Cuba’s leader in 2006. It is instructive that Castro’s death, like his life, was...

25
Nov2016

The threat of a new political party

The threat of a new political party

When aggrieved politicians within the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) decided to join forces with members of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) and the All Progressives Peoples Alliance (APGA) to form the All Progressives Congress (APC) in 2013, they had well-defined, if not so clearly stated, even if poorly conceived objectives: to send President Goodluck Jonathan out of...

13
Nov2016

Nigeria-US Relations And Donald Trump

Nigeria-US Relations And Donald Trump

I do not share the view of those who assume that by some kind of miracle, in the shape of electoral-college defections, Hillary Clinton would still, on the strength of winning the popular vote, supplant Donald Trump as US 2016 President-elect. We might as well begin to live with the reality of a Trump Presidency, sad and traumatic as that outcome may be. And coming to terms with that, despite...

12
Nov2016

The sad news of Trump’s triumph

The sad news of Trump’s triumph

“Democracy is tricky; it sometimes ends up as a parody of itself. When the people clamour for change, they can vote with their hearts, and prove impervious to plain sight reason, and overlook likely pitfalls. We can only hope that Donald Trump does not become the symbol of the change that Americans are seeking. That would be sad indeed for the free world.” – Reuben Abati, “Anything Can Happen in...

15
Oct2016

Aisha Buhari And That BBC Interview

Aisha Buhari And That BBC Interview

Public communication is one of the most delicate challenges that people in public life face, either in the corporate or the public sector. Many people suddenly find themselves in high places, and they become a source of news, a potential interview subject, and they get chased around by journalists and other media figures who want a story, in fact, not just a story, but a scoop. I used to explain...

14
Oct2016

The Spiritual side of Aso Villa

The Spiritual side of Aso Villa

People tend to be alarmed when the Nigerian Presidency takes certain decisions. They don’t think the decision makes sense. Sometimes, they wonder if something has not gone wrong with the thinking process at that highest level of the country. I have heard people insist that there is some form of witchcraft at work in the country’s seat of government. I am ordinarily not a superstitious person, but working in the...

© 2014-2016 Reuben Abati