20
Jun2017

JAMB 2017: Matters ​arising -Reuben Abati

JAMB 2017: Matters ​arising -Reuben Abati

I attended a meeting recently at the headquarters of the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board in Bwari, Abuja: the post-2017 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination review meeting chaired by the JAMB registrar, Professor Ish-aq Oloyede. Participants included Professor Oloyede and his technical team, field officers and other staff, all the Chief External Examiners who supervised the 2017 UTME, across Nigeria, mostly Vice-Chancellors of universities, and provosts/rectors of polytechnics and colleges of...

13
Jun2017

Igbo-haters, the Arewa ultimatum and our nation - Reuben Abati

Igbo-haters, the Arewa ultimatum and our nation - Reuben Abati

Fifty years after the civil war ended, Igbos do not yet feel a sense of belonging, acceptance or safety in the Federation called Nigeria. The sad part is that this belief is shared not just by the generation that witnessed the war and its deadly consequences, but Igbos across all generations, including the millennials who have been socialized into believing that there is a gap between their people and other...

06
Jun2017

Two years of change - Reuben Abati

Two years of change - Reuben Abati

“How is it going my brother?" “We just dey look. Two years and we thank God.” “How was your May 29?” “There was no celebration. We just siddon dey look.” “But the Acting President, Yemi Osinbajo addressed the nation.” “I know. I know. But there was no programme in place for celebrating two years of the Buhari government. In the past, we used to have a week-long programme, with military...

30
May2017

Democracy, Biafra and a sense of history - Reuben Abati

Democracy, Biafra and a sense of history - Reuben Abati

It is sad that many Nigerians today talk glibly about the possibility of a coup or of military intervention in politics. They make it seem as if this democracy is something we can exchange for something else. We need to be reminded, as we celebrate democracy day 2017, how we got to this very moment, and how precious democracy is to us as a sovereign people. From 1966 to 1999...

23
May2017

Buhari and the marabouts - Reuben Abati

Buhari and the marabouts - Reuben Abati

“Have you read Lauretta Onochie’s latest post?” “Lauretta. Lauretta. Who is she?” “She is a social media assistant at the Presidency. She shoots straight and direct. She defends President Muhammadu Buhari with the passion of someone the President treats like a daughter.” “Not a son, this time, a daughter! Interesting. Of power, fathers, wives, sons and daughters….” “She spits fire, particularly if the person involved is in any way related...

16
May2017

The First Class degrees galore - Reuben Abati

The First Class degrees galore - Reuben Abati

The Daily Trust newspaper has published an interesting feature story (May 15), on the sudden surge in the number of First Class degrees being churned out by Nigerian universities. Daily Trust reports that its investigation reveals that in the last five years, 16 Nigerian universities have produced a total of 3, 499 first class graduates. Between 2011 and 2016, 12 of these universities produced 2, 822 First Class graduates, and...

09
May2017

The 82 Chibok Girls and other stories - Reuben Abati

The 82 Chibok Girls and other stories - Reuben Abati

“E ku amojuba awon 82 Chibok girls, o” “What is that supposed to mean in plain English? You better watch your tongue. It will be politically incorrect and suicidal to start making a joke out of something that serious.” “Where is the joke?” “In your tone. I know you when you want to start your mischief.” “I am a born-again Christian” “I know. Like Stephanie Otobo telling Apostle Suleiman that...

02
May2017

In defence of Titilayo Momoh - Reuben Abati

In defence of Titilayo Momoh - Reuben Abati

On March 24, one Ms Taiwo Titilayo Momoh, attempted suicide at the Third Mainland Bridge, Lagos. Both the police and concerned citizens rescued her from killing herself. The said Ms Momoh was arraigned on April 21, at the Ebute Meta Chief Magistrate Court on a one-count charge to wit: “That you, Titilayo Momoh on the 24th day of March 2017 at about 10.00 hours at the Third Mainland Bridge, Lagos...

25
Apr2017

Who is the Presidency? - Reuben Abati

Who is the Presidency? - Reuben Abati

When last week, President Muhammadu Buhari decided to suspend the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Babachir Lawal, and the Director General of the Nigeria Intelligence Agency, Ambassador Ayo Oke in order to allow unfettered investigations of both public officers, the most striking immediate reaction was the SGF asking: who is the Presidency? State House correspondents had accosted the then SGF as he left a meeting with the Vice...

18
Apr2017

The Abuja-Kaduna airports: A testimony - Reuben Abati

The Abuja-Kaduna airports: A testimony - Reuben Abati

I have just returned from Abuja travelling through the Kaduna airport. As we disembarked from the aircraft and moved towards the arrival section, I could hear an announcement being made. The diction of the announcer was clear. She didn’t sound like those On-Air-Personalities (OAP, they are called) who speak as if they have hot water on their tongues. Airport continuity announcers in Nigeria tend to imitate these OAPs. This has...

11
Apr2017

#BBNaija: Television as madness - Reuben Abati

#BBNaija: Television as madness - Reuben Abati

What a relief! So, the Big Brother Naija reality television programme is finally over. It ended Sunday evening with 23-year old Efe Michael Ejemba, University of Jos graduate of Economics and singer winning the N25 million + SUV at stake, with 57.6% of the votes from over 24 million voters across Africa. Warri, where Efe’s family lives, erupted in excitement. At the Multichoice viewing centre in Ikeja, Lagos, where Katung...

04
Apr2017

Dino Melaye: The making of a brand - Reuben Abati

Dino Melaye: The making of a brand - Reuben Abati

// It is a sign of the times, and a tragedy that the most popular Senator in the Nigerian National Assembly at this moment is not the person who has moved the most impactful motion, not a lawmaker who has proposed a thought-provoking bill, and certainly not any Senator who has given any impressive speech debating a matter of national importance. What we get, most of the time, in place...

28
Mar2017

Nigeria’s angry children of suicide - Reuben Abati

Nigeria’s angry children of suicide - Reuben Abati

I once wrote about Nigeria’s “children of anger”, but the country seems to have progressed from anger to clinical depression, resulting in a rise not merely in social aggressiveness, but a determination by certain individuals to escape from it all. The percentage of Nigerians seeking escape through suicide nonetheless remains small relative to the size of the population, but the sharp increase in the number and frequency of reported suicides...

21
Mar2017

Travelling dangerously in Nigeria-Reuben Abati

Travelling dangerously in Nigeria-Reuben Abati

A fortnight ago, I was in Ondo state to attend an event; that was the day the heavens chose to open up. The rainy season seems to have started early this year, and whenever it rains, even mother earth opens up to drink water from the skies, the heat wave of the dry season abates, a certain balance is restored to the environment, man, animal and nature are re-united in...

14
Mar2017

Buhari’s return: Matters arising -Reuben Abati

Buhari’s return: Matters arising -Reuben Abati

As someone who has been in that corridor recently, I do not share the view of those who insist that President Muhammadu Buhari’s recent 50-day medical vacation was mismanaged by his handlers, up to this point. I said this much during a recent interview on Channels TV’s Politics Today with Seun Okinbaloye. In the face of the people’s rising and insatiable expectations, it is often an uphill task to balance...

10
Mar2017

From London to Abuja in 50 days: Buhari’s return -Reuben Abati

From London to Abuja in 50 days: Buhari’s return -Reuben Abati

The cities of Daura -President Muhammadu Buhari’s home town, Kano - his political base, and Kaduna -where he has a home, and where the aircraft that brought him from London landed early Friday, March 10, as well as other parts of the North saw the people trooping out to jubilate and thank God for his safe return. I noticed that there was no such jubilation in the entire South West,...

07
Mar2017

The Man Who Sat On The Tor Tiv’s Throne - Reuben Abati

The Man Who Sat On The Tor Tiv’s Throne - Reuben Abati

This is about Stephen Nyitse, the young man who on the day of the coronation of the new Tor Tiv managed to beat security and went straight to where the king’s coronation seat, stool, throne had been placed and sat on it. We are told this caused a stir, and not a few in the crowd must have shouted: “abomination!”. Even the President of the Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria, Benue...

28
Feb2017

The Nigeria-Prays-For-Buhari Competition - Reuben Abati

The Nigeria-Prays-For-Buhari Competition - Reuben Abati

After the publication of my column last week, titled “I want to go to London… to see Buhari”, I received a lot of feedback from persons who were either amused or dead serious that they had been overlooked in my compilation of the list of persons who should go to London. One fellow asked: “Abati, you left out the Miyetti Allah and the cattle herders of Nigeria.” “Excuse me?” “Yes,...

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...