A month out of Nigeria

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I AM writing these lines from a hotel room in Dubai. I commenced a month-long vacation on Saturday and in the next four weeks, I will be writing about Nigeria and the wider world from here, Buena Park in California; Dallas in Texas; I will make a stopover in Warsaw, Poland and the move on to England before returning to Dubai on my way back home in December. I have had a very crowded 2014, including the five-month-long National Conference and I have been unable to take the break to rest as well as reflect on life and its tapestry. But even a vacation does not take away that compulsion to take a peek into the entrails of our country. And these are very interesting times in Nigeria: the 2015 elections have become the only issue for our rulers; the country appears to be dangerously listing, like a distressed ship. Huge swathes of the Northeast have been taken over by the Boko Haram insurgents and our army seemed to have completely abandoned its very rich regimental tradition, as whole battalions run away from a ragtag but ideologically driven insurgency.

It is appearing clearer now, that the country has been conned with all that talk about a ceasefire. It never held; Boko Haram did not respect it and there is clearly a lot of eggs on the faces of many officials of the administration in power: from the Chief of Defense Staff, Alex Bardewhose hometown was taken over by the insurgents to Hassan Tukur who told us he was negotiating with a ” General Secretary” of Boko Haram that was denounced by the insurgents and President Jonathan, on whose table the buck stops! Our nation burns, and for all the president’s people, what matters is the 2015 elections. Along the way, they are also fighting wars of attrition, including the ridiculous step to strip House Speaker, Aminu Tambuwal, of security cover. They just don’t ever learn!.

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