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Showing posts from February, 2023

(149): Religion and the 2023 presidential election: A quick take

By Muhsin Ibrahim Religion was central to Bola Tinubu's emergence as the APC's candidate for the 2023 presidential election. We discussed the issue as if it would not end. Since the 1993 annulled election of Abiola/Kingibe (both Muslims), no major candidate and his running mate have ever come from the same religion until now: Tinubu/Shettima (both Muslims). But, as the election approaches (we are, in fact, counting hours), only a few people talk about that. However, religion will play a significant role in the voting pattern. The wild popularity of Labour Party’s Peter Obi on social media and his appeal to foreign media has something to do with his religion. I know this may sound controversial, but it is so. The three other front candidates are Muslims, while Obi is Christian. Besides this, I can't see a glaring difference between him and NNPP’s Engr. Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso per se. Tinubu and PDP’s Atiku Abubakar are in their 70s, while Kwankwaso and Obi are in their 60s.

(148) The cost of democracy in Nigeria: A brief take

By Muhsin Ibrahim Hon. Alhassan Ado Doguwa, Majority Leader of the House of Representatives of Nigeria, recently claimed he needed ₦70m for his re-election expenses, perhaps on the election day alone, citing a law that grants him this. One wonders how much gubernatorial and presidential candidates need to cover their own re/election expenses. Do you also remember or, better, imagine how much they must have spent purchasing their nomination forms, paying delegates during primary elections and running campaigns in their constituencies before the election day? I remember what Amina J Mohammed, the Deputy Secretary-General of the UN, once said during a virtual lecture on democracy. She lamented that we all believe in democracy. However, the model for democracy challenges us. It's short-termed, it's costly, and it's very corrupt. Moreover, INEC plans to spend ₦305 billion for the 2023 elections. I am sure INEC will ask for more money because of IPOB's attacks on its offices

(147): Dear Arewa Youth, Learn English

I initially posted this on Facebook. I believe it should be here for other people outside Facebook. Enjoy! We must address this weak argument that no country develops using a foreign language. Frankly, it is doing more harm than good to us. So many people bring it up as their reason to not learn English or respect this essential language entirely. Eventually, many people miss several opportunities within and, especially, outside Nigeria due to their lack of English language skills. Nigeria was colonised. Like many other former colonies, Nigeria is a multilingual country. However, unlike Europe (Germans speak German; French people speak French; Italians have Italian, etc.), most former colonies comprise speakers of several languages, making it challenging to elevate one above others without others crying for discrimination, marginalisation, etc. I know that Tanzania, among a few others, succeeds with Swahili. :)   The last time I checked, India had more English speakers than the United