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The Oracle: Nigerian “Politricks” and the Nigerian “Politrician” (Pt. 1)



By Mike Ozekhome 


The season is here again. The season of the locusts. The season of the tricksters. The season of professor Peller’s abracadabra magicians. The season of “the more you look, the less you see”. The season of masses’ gullibility. The season of Political buccaneers, Irredentists and turncoats. The season of the typical, archetypal Nigerian Politrician. They call them Politicians. I call them Politricians who play Politricks. They have already started assaulting our psyche, and insulting our individual and collective sensibilities, promising paradise on earth, banishment of poverty, enthronement of genuine and lasting democracy, Rule of Law, human rights and democratic dividends. They are already promising to replicate the Asian Tigers’ economic wizardry in our country. They will put to shame these Asian Tigers, namely, Japan, Singapore, Malaysia, Taiwan, China, South Korea, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam. What can he not do? Nothing!


Here comes the Chameleon, the Nigerian Politrician. He has wares to market. Dirty, odious wares. Wares of crass deceit. Wares of double speak. Wares of perfidy. Wares of treachery. Wares of hallucinatory grandeur of delusion. He has them all, except clean wares that activate societal regeneration and a spirit of nationalism.


In canvassing for votes, even within his own political party for the purpose of winning the party primaries, he has started his well-worn game of empty, hifalutin promises of doing the impossible. He will relocate us from mother earth to another of the nine planets, possibly Mars, Neptune, Mercury, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Pluto, Venus. He does not rule out the Moon, or even the sun. The sun’s hot rays will not burn us. He would provide the ready antidote. The Nigerian Politrician is the only homo sapien that can cover the sun with his palm. He can even hide behind his finger and pretend no one is seeing him. His immersion in higgledy – piggledy, raggle – taggle behavior is legendary.

He would tar all the roads in Nigeria, when he takes over, to every nook and cranny of every city and hamlet. Indeed, some of the roads would be tarred into the forests and farmlands, to help our beleaguered farmers with easy movement of their harvests from farmlands to city centres. What can he not do? Nothing!

Lest the farmer erroneously thinks he will be left alone in the lurch to till the soil, the Politrician will banish the use of antiquated hoe, cutlass, axe and shovel. He will purchase for the farmers use, harrows, harvesters, tractors, caterpillars and bulldozers. He would be given sacks, nay, barns of fertilizers, to ensure that the crops do very well. He will then be afforded silos to ensure the crops are well preserved. What can he not do? Nothing!

The Nigerian Politrician will promise to build bridges on dry land, and install dams in the wet, rainy Niger Delta. He will ensure that crops grow in our rivers, while fish will effortlessly swim on dry land. What can he not do? Nothing!

What about shelter for Nigerians? Oh, very simple! The Politrician is going to build houses for the about 174.9 million Nigerians, including little babies still in their mother’s womb, and those

on their mother’s laps. All the houses will be furnished with latest furniture, gadgets and conveniences. Even domestic animals will have special quarters to live in, lest they disturb our peace and tranquility. We, God’s own chosen people, must not be disturbed by mere animals. What can he not do? Nothing!

Medicare challenges will be a thing of the past. Didn’t we defeat Ebola? Are more advanced Countries of the World, including the numerouno democracy, America, not now seeking our intervention as to how to curb the deadly terminal virus? So, for now, we are the new World whiz kids of medicine. If we can defeat Ebola, HIV/AIDS will be a piece of cake for us to conquer. Fathers of Medicine will applaud us from their graves:  Hippocrates (remember his popular cliché, “desperate diseases require desperate remedies”?), Florence Nightingale (the most famous Nurse ever, otherwise called “the Lady with the Lamp”, Archibald Mclndoe, Sigmund Freud, Marie Curie, James Blundell, Joseph Lister, Joseph Murray, Alexander Fleming and Edward Jenner. Are you all medical pathfinders, not giving kudos to Nigeria from your graves?

Owning cars, choice cars, for that matter, the Nigerian Politrician will promise, will be as easy as buying groundnuts from a roadside hawker. Every Nigerian will ride any car of his choice, from Jaguar, Prado, Escalade, Expedition, Porsche, Cadillac, Excursion, Camry, Siena, Infinity, to Limousine, Ferrari, Chevrolet, Ford SUV, to Caravan. Those who are tired of riding cars can fly their own private jets, or helicopters. The Nigerian politrician will ensure this. What can he not do? Nothing!

Cripples and other physically challenged Nigerians currently on wheel chairs should better turn them into archival relics, because they would not have any need for them. All of them will drive cars of their choice. They only need to do one thing: vote the Politrician into office, and bingo, all his problems of mobility are over. For those who prefer artificial limbs, oh yes, Indian, American, European, Chinese, and Japanese limbs will be imported in 40Ft containers to substitute for their natural limbs.


Amidst a surge of a rented crowd (the hungry hoi polloi that are paid between N200 and N1000 to swell the crowd and give a similitude and verisimilitude of a crowd puller), the Politrician verbalizes: “Fellow countrymen, my beloved kinsmen, I will not disappoint you. I will make a lasting difference. I am the redeemer and liberator you have been waiting for, the avatar of your fortunes, the Lamb of God that taketh away all your sorrows, pains, anguish, pangs and serial disappointments. I will empower the powerless, give voice to the voiceless, strengthen the weak, give hope to the hopeless, encourage the downcast and hapless and defend the defenceless. Read my lips: I will train all your children from crèche to the university, give wives to all the bachelors and husbands to all the spinsters. Never again will any of you be shoeless at zero age, even whilst in your mother’s womb, let alone walking shoeless at the age of 10, like our Otuoke – born President Goodluck Jonathan. You will be luckier than this Goodluck.

I will banish hunger and annul (pardon me, IBB), the consumption of ordinary home-made yams, maize, garri, akpu, fufu, amala, elubo, eba, fura da nunu, miakuka, edikangikong, ofensala, nkwobi, atsu, ewedu and all such unhealthy local foods. “Stomach infrastructure” or “democracy of the stomach” will be my first and primary concern when you elected me into office.

My reign will ensure that your breakfast shall comprise of toasted bread, sausage, spring rolls, bacon, and prawns in batter; your lunch, fried pigeon, pork ribs, shrimps in chili sauce and mashed potatoes; while your dinner will be Singapore noodles, crabs, boneless sweet and sour duck, lobsters in black bean sauce and asparagus, broccoli with mixed vegetable”. What can he not do? Nothing! Nigeria befuddles me.


It is only in Nigeria that a Politrician will be elected on the platform of a political party, stay put and enjoy the party’s protection and reputation for seven years, quietly or tumultuously decamps to an opposition political party in the 8th year, and suddenly realize that his original political party is satanic, luciferous, odious, backward, useless and indeed consists of political lepers and thieves of our common wealth. Only in Nigeria. (To be continued)


“It has always been men before women. For example husband and wife; Mr and Mrs; Adam and Eve….. until it gets to witches and wizards”.

Wait ooooh if indomie na fast food, then wetin garri come be?”


“It is enough that the people know there was an election. The people who cast the votes decide nothing. The people who count the votes decide everything”. (Joseph Stalin).

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The US Court Proceedings on Order Directing Discovery from Chicago State University: A National Embarrassment




By Osita Chidoka

I speak as a Nigerian. That it took the courageous activism of HE. Abubakar Atiku to force the discovery of information concerning the President of Nigeria is a disgrace to our national institutions.

As a nation, we have a full retinue of staff at the Department of the State Security, the National Intelligence Agency, the Independent National Electoral Commission, the Embassy of Nigeria with the full complement of staff in Washington DC and the Nigerian Judiciary that have variously ruled on matters concerning President Tinubu’s academic qualifications. Yet, we can not have a definitive conclusion about whether he has the academic qualifications he claimed he had or not. Disgraceful.

That all the aforementioned institutions allowed a man to be sworn in without definitive statements about his qualifications is a national tragedy. For 23 years the issue of President Tinubu has been a recurring decimal in our national equation. Under his reign, a current youth corps member is serving as Minister, and people under investigation by EFCC and made public are sitting in the Federal Executive Council. And they all passed through security screening.

The office of the President of Nigeria is so important both in its moral authority and its strategic importance to our national security and safety that nobody who has possible blind spots that can make him or her a potential asset for foreign intelligence or governments should be allowed a mile near that office. This should be a primary burden on all our national institutions. Legal technicalities and silence by state institutions should be deemed high treason.

It highlights my previous statement that a constitutional amendment to finish all electoral cases before the assumption of office is now a matter of urgent national priority. The current disgraceful proceedings against a Nigerian President in a foreign court under election petition matters are damaging to our collective moral and legal standing as a people.

If it turns out tomorrow that our President presented a forged certificate to INEC, Nigerians will bow down their heads globally in shame. On the other hand, if it turns out that his certificate is genuine, again our reputation as a people is still in tatters because of the failure of national institutions to perform due diligence no matter who is involved. On both counts it reinforces global perceptions and prejudice against Nigerians. We all bear the burden.

A forged certificate finding leaves President Tinubu in a vulnerable position morally and legally. As he did not present primary and secondary certificates to INEC, a forged CSU certificate makes him unqualified to stand for the office of President as he does not possess the minimum qualification S.131(D) of the 1999 Constitution as amended. of course, the next issue is the case of perjury, the presentation of false documents under oath.

How INEC, accepted a university degree without the qualifying certificates would continue to be a national mystery. A language in our electoral legislation to forestall such obvious infractions is required.

The decision of the District Court and the whole proceedings is not a moment of triumphalism but a sober moment of introspection. It is a moment when as a nation we ask ourselves:

What are our national values?

Who or which institution should have ordered the full investigation of the questionable certificate?

Considering that he did not present a primary or secondary certificate should our courts be concerned with the technicality of the tendering process of the CSU certificate or the disgrace and global moral damage a forged certificate would wrought on Nigeria?

Why did our national security system not conduct a discrete investigation and advise the candidate and INEC about the status of his certificate?

A few years ago The DSS, in an act of institutional independence and courage, wrote to the Senate to reject Police Commissioner Magu as EFCC Chairman not minding his nomination by a sitting President. This was based on their intelligence report of his nefarious conduct that pales into insignificance against a possible forgery case by a President. Why the silence now?

For me, the issue is beyond legalism. If and that is a big if, the certificate is forged, President Tinubu should resign immediately. It is not a legal matter but a national honour and moral issue. If he does not, the National Assembly should do the needful to restore our dignity as a people. I also expect the Supreme Court to rise to the occasion and restore order to our electoral process.

If the certificate is not forged, the President should conduct a wide-ranging reorganisation of our national security system for failure to save the country from this needless embarrassment and reputational damage.

On either count, the National Assembly should start a constitutional amendment process to end all election judicial challenges before the assumption of office of all elected persons at all levels.

A reform of the judiciary to introduce an automated case assignment system, the introduction of a transparent process for recruitment of judges, and the public display of evaluation of judges’ performance annually using the agreed framework to increase public oversight of judicial officers and improve the administration of justice. The growing unanimity in arriving at decisions in our courts is disturbing.

The bold challenge of President Tinubu by HE Abubakar Atiku in the US is the most prominent sign of state failure. It is depressing but maybe it is an inflection point to alter the character of the Nigerian state to live up to the words of the second stanza of our old national anthem

Our flag shall be a symbol

That truth and justice reign

In peace or battle honour’d,

And this we count as gain,

To hand on to our children

A banner without stain.

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Voice of Emancipation: Who Will Save the Falling Naira?




By Kayode Emola

It would be a profound understatement to say that the dwindling fortunes of people living in Nigeria is concerning. A country that had the fastest-growing economy in the 1960s is now classed as the poverty capital of the world. Instead of people sitting down to look for a viable solution, they look only to elections and which criminal politicians they will elect.

In the 1970s, when Nigeria was productive, the Naira was double the US Dollar and a little higher than the British Pound. In 2023, a mere 50 years later, both Pounds Sterling and the US Dollar are a thousand times stronger than the Naira. If this statistic does not worry the intellectuals and provoke the masses to action, then we will end up sitting on our hands until the Naira has gone the same way as the Zimbabwean Dollar, to utter destruction.

Zimbabwe, which boasted of a highly intellectual population, saw its currency destroyed when hyperinflation forced it to redenominate. Between 1980 and 2009, there were three massive redenomination events in an attempt to control the skyrocketing inflation. As a result, 100 *trillion* Zimbabwean Dollars became worth only 40 U.S cents, forcing the country to officially adopt the use of currencies like the Chinese Yuan, U.S. dollar, and British Pounds, just to mention a few.

I know people in Nigeria would say “God forbid”, that what happened in Zimbabwe can never happen to Nigeria. But it behooves us to remember that Zimbabwe is not alone: Venezuela also suffered similar crises of hyperinflation, forcing it to change its currency three times.

In Nigeria, the inflation figures are not accurately reported, causing the people to be unaware of the real dangers that they face. When four tomatoes that cost ₦200 a year ago now cost over ₦1,000, it gives lie to the claim that inflation is only at 20%. The example of the tomatoes alone puts inflation at 500%, suggesting that the reported figures are merely a smokescreen to stop the people from revolting.

In the 10 years from 2012 to 2022, the Naira has lost its value by more than 700%: from an exchange rate of around $1 to ₦135 in 2012, it is now at $1 to ₦1,000 and falling rapidly. In 2023 alone, the currency has fallen by more than 50% against the U.S. dollar. In early 2023, it was exchanging at around $1:₦460 at the official rate –around $1:₦600 on the parallel market; whereas today, the official rate is around $1:₦790, with the parallel market exchanging at $1:₦1,000.

This is clearly unsustainable for the general populace, given that the Naira shows no sign of slowing its descent. Both history and its current trajectory suggest that the worst is yet to come. Every economic indicator in the country shows that it is heading in the wrong direction. The foreign reserve that we were led to believe was around $60 billion has been revealed to have only around $3 billion; no thanks to the most recent ex-Governor of CBN, Godwin Emefiele, who opened the treasury for the wolves to feast on it.

If truth be told, we Yoruba have existed in this farce called Nigeria for too long, which is why our fortune has eluded us. To correct this turpitude, the only solution is Yoruba independence. However, we must ensure that whilst we are pursuing this dream, we also begin putting mechanisms in place to safeguard our children’s futures.

We must realise that the Naira is beyond redemption. Currency redenomination is not the answer, as it is a very expensive means of addressing leadership failures. Therefore, we must begin to create our own financial system independent of Nigeria. Creating our own blockchain currency would be able to stand the test of time without being devalued by political whim. We must embrace this technology that will help us to advance the cause of independence, protecting our people from being left out in the cold.

As we march on toward our independent Yoruba nation, may I use this opportunity to reassure our people that victory is certain, though it may take a little time. However, we are far closer to our destination than from where we started, so we must not surrender at this eleventh hour. It is only those who quit that have lost the battle; since we are no quitters, by the Grace of God we will overcome all the challenges ahead of us to reach the victory.

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Opinion: Soyinka and the ‘Gbajue’ Metaphor




By Promise Adiele

Akin Akingbesote was my roommate at Q107 Eni-Njoku Hall, University of Lagos. Akin was in 200 level studying Mass Communication while I was in 100 level studying English. Given the large number of Igbo and Yoruba students on campus then, the general lingo was dominated by code-switching straddling pidgin English, Yoruba, Igbo and other forms of slang. My knowledge of Yoruba was poor, Akin’s knowledge of Igbo was abysmal. So, we struck a deal to teach each other our mother tongue at least, to retain a faint knowledge of all linguistic strategies and slang on campus. Akin, a good-natured guy from Ondo State, suggested that the best method would be for us to come up with expressions in the opposite language and bring it to the table while the other person interpreted and analysed them. I agreed. Every day, I came with different Yoruba expressions and Akin interpreted them. He also came with different Igbo expressions and I interpreted them. Both of us sometimes played pranks and were mischievous with the interpretations. However, we managed the situation and it was fun.

One day, I returned to campus from town and asked Akin to explain the meaning of lo toju eru e! I had seen the expression boldly written inside a bus. He explained that it means keep your load safe. Also, I asked him to explain the meaning of owo da! He said it means where is your money? I disagreed with Akin’s interpretation of owo da! I argued that the bus conductors were wrong to use Owo da as where is your money? I told Akin that owo da could mean where is the money which I thought was arrogant and rude. I further argued that Owo da sounded like a thief demanding money from a helpless victim. Pay your transport fare in Yoruba should mean something else, more peaceful and respectful, something like san owo re. Akin laughed at me and said, “When they ask you owo da, don’t give them your money and see what will happen to you”. I told him that in Igbo, pay your money could be translated as kwuo ugwo gi, or nye m ego gi. Although kedu ego gi could be interpreted as pay your money, it didn’t quite capture the accurate linguistic potential of the expression.

One day, I returned to the room and asked Akin, “what is the meaning of gbajue”? He looked at me intently, smiled and asked, “Why do you want to know the meaning of gbajue, abi you don join them”? His response did not make meaning to me. “Akin, please tell me the meaning of gbajue”, I insisted. Well, it means 419, he laughed as he explained. I noticed that Akin was not serious with the gbajue lecture, so I decided to contact a course mate the next day, concluding that to get the best answer, I would approach an Igbo student who also spoke Yoruba fluently, as well as any Yoruba person. So I went to George Nkwocha, the ever-smiling, peacefully disposed guy in my class. Georgie, as we called him, gave me different meanings of gbajue depending on the context. At last, I concluded that gbajue means deception, dubiety, and all forms of criminal tendencies that are meant to mislead, confuse, and lead astray. End of story. Armed with my knowledge of gbajue, I moved on. No one would bamboozle me with the word again.

Having learned and understood the meaning of gbajue in school, I was therefore irked when Nobel Laureate Wole Soyinka used it in faraway South Africa as a metaphor to describe the activities of Africa’s most avant-garde political group, Labour Party under the aegis of Obidient movement. According to Soyinka, the Labour Party employed gbajue tactics to befuddle Nigerians, claiming that they won the last presidential elections. The accomplished man of letters avowed that he “can categorically state that Labour Party did not win the election, they came third, not even second”. Let me quickly admit that I am not fit to untie Soyinka’s shoe lace. He is a great man revered and respected across the world. I teach Soyinka’s texts every year. But I am not one of his disciples. I subscribe to Femi Osofisan’s Brecht, Marxist, dialectical leaning more than Soyinka’s ritual cleansing, tragic world view illustrated through his appropriation of Ogun, the Yoruba god of iron and the subterranean agent of self-examination. Soyinka is entitled to his explication of gbajue, although many people think he erred. Many people think he is gradually losing that invincible, iconoclastic portrait of his by consistently aligning with bourgeois, upper-class echelon against the masses. Many people also think that he is gradually eroding all the virtues and principles he stood and fought for as a young man. His “the man dies in all who keep silent in the face of tyranny” has morphed into an ideology with which he is appraised and found wanting because he continues to maintain grave silence in the face of tyranny pro max. Like Soyinka, let me also exercise my intellectual prerogative by offering a personal, surgical dismembering of gbajue, at least within Nigeria’s evanescing, socio-political environment.

Gbajue means to insidiously submit fake academic credentials to the electoral body, serve eight years in an executive capacity and recruit foot soldiers to drum support for you. It is the indoctrination of school children who grow up knowing and answering that someone was this and that, a position attained through deception and beguiling posturing for gain. Gbajue also includes benefitting from the commonwealth having attained a glorious political position riding at the back of fraudulent academic and genealogical claims. All the wealth amassed in that process, all the people who benefitted from that deception are indebted to the gbajue phenomenon and must be made to pay restitution.

Gbajue means when the electoral umpire promises to follow a particular pattern in an election and even goes ahead to publish these regulations in national dailies and the internet. Then, suddenly, like real gbajue-seared beings, make a complete turnaround and abandon the patterns and devices already scheduled for the elections. Then the electoral umpire reverts to its invidious, treacherous, double-dealing methods to conclude the election. The real gbajue element is when the people trooped out in millions based on the promises and assurance of the electoral umpire but only to be deceived, cheated, and abused.

Gbajue means when, during an election, the security apparatus in the country assures people to come out and vote, guaranteeing them ultimate protection and safety. Then, when the people came out, a particular ethnic group is harmed, maimed and dehumanized yet, the same security apparatus connives and looks away from these incidents even with incontrovertible video evidence. Gbajue is when some disoriented people make open threats towards an ethnic group and go on to carry out these threats while the government lapses into hypnotic paralysis only to use media outlets, radio, tv and newspaper to release sterile, hackneyed statements, “we are on top of the situation”.

Gbajue means when in a particular state in the South-South of the country, elections were openly rigged and electoral officers glaringly harassed and threatened by the governor. Yet security personnels looked away and the results were finally admitted by the national electoral body, blurred results. Gbajue is when the electoral umpire, while people of good conscience slept, announced the results of the presidential elections in the wee hours of the night. It is when a group of people representing the judiciary set aside loads of electoral malpractice evidence, chide and rebuke election petitioners as if the judiciary is an arm of the electoral body. Yet, gbajue is surely involved when Abuja is ingeniously stripped of its status as the federal capital territory but does not have a governor as a state, therefore, 25% votes there is inconsequential. Gbajue is big.

Gbajue is when a new government announces the removal of fuel subsidy upon assumption of office without any corresponding, well-thought-out plans to mitigate the excruciating effects of such a knee-jerk decision. Petrol now sells for N620. Pure horror. Gbajue is when a new government titillates the populace with a spurious student loan scheme which lacks any fundamental base and, therefore, crashes as soon as it is announced. Gbajue could be more. It is when a government inaugurates a falsehood industry primarily to hoodwink the people daily with unsubstantiated, misleading tales – UAE lifts visa ban on Nigeria, Mr President is the first to ring the NASDAQ bell, Mr President is the only African leader Biden accepted to meet after UNGA. Gbajue could also mean distributing five billion naira to the states for palliatives when the people received disgraceful, next-to-nothing food items, when, unexpectedly 1$ exchanges for 1,000 naira. Gbajue could be more.

The gbajue culture is maintained and desperately sustained by a coterie of desperate felons whose motives are glaringly tied to gain and the protection of the same. Thus, Nigeria is caught in a whirlwind of different gbajue metaphor. The result of the growth of gbajue in the land is the international embarrassment the country is currently facing regarding the inconsistent academic records of the number one chief executive officer in the land. But gbajue’s comeuppance could be summarized in these words by former US president Abraham Lincoln “you can fool all the people some of the time and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time”. I hope the majestic Kongi agrees with my definitions of gbajue.

Promise Adiele PhD is a lecturer with Mountain Top University, and can be reached via

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