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I love Soyinka, but he was wrong – Chimamanda *INEC, Mahmood are the fascists, not Datti



If anybody or group should fit label of fascism, it must be the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), the Federal Government and all those who engaged in violence in the 2023 general elections as well as their sponsors.

This was the view of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Nigeria’s celebrated novelist, as she put up a stiff defence for the vice presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP), Yusuf Datti Baba-Ahmed, while disagreeing sharply with Wole Soyinka, Nigeria and West Africa’s only Nobel Laureate, over what she saw as an unfair assessment of the recent comments of the LP chieftain.

Baba-Ahmed, had in an interview on March 22, declared that any move to swear in Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu of the All Progressives Congress (APC), who was declared winner, without winning 25 per cent of the votes as enshrined in the constitution, would amount to “ending democracy,” in Nigeria.

Soyinka, had quickly described the comments as fascist in his two appearances, first on Channels Television and another on Arise Television in the last two weeks, denouncing the Kaduna-born politician for threatening the polity.

But, in sharp disagreement, Adichie, herself an award-winning, globally-recognised writer, insisted in her own appearance on Prime Time, a current affairs programme on Arise Television on Tuesday, that not even her love and respect for the octogenarian, and respected playwright would make her agree to such undue labelling.

Instead, she maintained that those that should wear the tag included INEC, its Chairman, Mahmood Yakubu, who ganged up to take away the voices of Nigerians, as well as those who not only perpetrated violence that trailed the election, but their sponsors and others who kept silent, when they ought to have spoken.

She said: “I have a lot of love for Prof. Soyinka. I admire him, I respect him as a thinker, as a writer – I think everyone should read The Man Died – and Ake, his memoir is beautiful. But at the same time, I disagree with him very strongly with him about this particular issue. And actually because I respect Prof. Soyinka, so much, I went back and watched this particular interview – I had watched it when it aired, but I went back and watched it because I thought, am I missing something?

“I think fascist is a very strong word. Fascist often makes me think of Mussolini’s Italy. Then we use it now sort of to address this sort of authoritarianism that often populates right-wing – like Hungary and even the American President. And if you look at the situation, you can see why they have been termed fascists.

“I do not see any reason that Mr. Datti Baba-Ahmed’s interview would have been termed fascist. I think he was making a very strongly-felt point about the election. What he was saying, which again, I thought quite reasonable, is that our democracy is rooted in our constitution and you then swear in a person who is elected unconstitutionally, then you’re in fact, ending democracy. I think it is quite a reasonable position. Of course we can argue about what that bit in the constitution means.

“I’m actually grateful about this whole election period because it has made me read things that I probably wouldn’t have, such as the Nigerian constitution and made me have quite a few suggestions for editing. But I think we’re now talking about what does And, mean? Datti Baba-Ahmed is saying that it is two-thirds and the FCT, and that is separate. It is a reasonable argument. And is a conjunction. We use it in that context often to mean plural. And then we say, Aisha and Yemi are coming. We don’t say Aisha and Yemi is coming. That’s because they’re two separate things. Of course, the court will interpret. “But I don’t think it is unreasonable for educated Nigerians who can read, who know what the word and means to make their own interpretations and to argue it. Of course, the fact that the Labour Party is in court, means that they don’t believe that this election is constitutional.

“So, I didn’t quite see why it should be termed fascist. I think a charitable way of reading Prof. Soyinka’s comment is that he is not given to restraint in language in general. May be that’s where that word fascist came from.

“However, I have suggestions for what we could use fascists for. We could use fascists for INEC, because as it is now, many Nigerians feel deeply cheated by INEC, deeply disenfranchised by INEC and there is an authoritarianism, which obviously is the basis of fascism at the centre of manipulating an election. Because what you’re doing is that you’re ganging people, you’re forcefully taking away their voice. That’s fascist.

“Fascist is all the violence that happened in the elections. Fascist is the way that some people remain silent about that violence. Fascist is the government that hasn’t come out to address the very tangible and palpable discontent in this country.

When I say we can use fascist for INEC, what I mean is that so many of us including myself are convinced that this was in no way technological glitch.”


BREAKING: Mother of all strikes! D-Day, October 3! *Stockpile food, essentials – NLC, TUC   



The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC)) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) on Tuesday, announced midnight Tuesday, October 3 as the date for the commencement of total strike by their workers to get the Federal Government accede to their demands to end the current sufferings of their members and Nigerians at large.

The two labour centres representing the organised labour in Nigeria, which arrived at the decision after they had met separately at their local levels directed their affiliates to mobilise for protests from October 3, saying they took the decisions were approved at the meeting of the joint National Executive Council of the two unions on Tuesday, September 26, in Abuja.

Joe Ajaero, President of the NLC, speaking on behalf of his group, while urging Nigerians to stock their homes ahead the total strike, bemoaned the situation where the government had ignored the demands of the workers, saying it “substantially failed to meet its demands after the removal of fuel subsidy,” added that adding that the grace period given by the two labour centres had expired.

The organised labour, is demanding wage awards for public workers and a new minimum wage, apart from the removal of tax exemptions and allowances to public sector workers, provision of Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) buses, the release of modalities for the N70billion for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and immediate reversal of all anti-poor policies of the Federal Government.

The union, which on September 5th and 6th, the NLC embarked on a two-day warning strike which led to the partial crippling of economic activities in some states and gave the government a 21-day ultimatum to meet its demands, is also demanding a stop to the increase in public school fees, the release of the eight months withheld salaries of university teachers and workers as well as the increase in Value Added Tax (VAT).

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BREAKING: Total strike looms! *NLC, TUC, finally meet, agree on action



The Federal Government, may have finally lost the move to stop the impending strike by organised labour, or at least mitigate it by dividing its membership, following a meeting of the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC), hitherto in disagreement over the issue.

In fact, the two bodies representing the junior and senior workers in Nigeria are reportedly meeting currently to announce a statewide indefinite strike, a move coming about three weeks after the NLC held a warning strike on Tuesday, September 5, and Wednesday 6, 2023, without the TUC, which it explained was to call attention of the FG to the painful suffering of Nigerians, particularly workers.

However, indications, suggests that having agreed to come to an understanding in the interest of the working masses of Nigeria, both camps, having also met separately in their different local organs, decided to hold a joint press conference at 3 p.m. on Tuesday to announce an indefinite nationwide strike in response to the FG’s failure to address the suffering and other socioeconomic hardships caused by the removal of subsidies on Premium Motor, PMS, commonly known as petrol.

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Tinubu will shock Atiku and his gang – APC *Why meeting with Biden didn’t hold



Having met with Joe Biden, at a parley of the G20 group in India, it was unnecessary for President Bola Tinubu to hold another session with his US counterpart at the recent United Nation General Assembly (UNGA) in New York, the All Progressives Congress (APC), explained on Monday.

Felix Morka, spokesman of the party, in a statement, also explain other issues in a quick riposte to the attacks of Atiku Abubakar, presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) who claimed that the POTUS avoided Tinubu at UNGA because he did not want to be associated with the putrid stains trailing his Nigerian counterpart.

Morka, National Publicity Secretary of the party, also dismissed Atiku’s claims through his spokesman, Phrank Shaibu that fuel subsidy, which the Tinubu administration said it has jettisoned having dismissed it as a drain on the nation’s resources, had returned through the backdoor, saying the payment of the mark up in the pump price of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) by the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL), in August, was to ensure stability.

Hear him: ”Shaibu’s claim that fuel subsidy is back is not correct. The government’s intervention to ensure some measure of price stability and predictability does not amount to the return of the ruinous fuel subsidy of the recent past.

“Lifting the Visa ban on Nigerians by the United Arab Emirates (UAE) authorities should ordinarily make any well-meaning Nigerian happy. Diplomatic rapprochement between Nigeria and UAE authorities is ongoing and details of outcomes will soon be made public.

“The matter of the proposed meeting with United States of America President Joe Biden does not even require elaboration. Having met with President Tinubu on the sidelines of the G-20 Nations summit in India, another meeting with President Biden during the United Nation’s General Assembly (UNGA) had become unnecessary and was not even on President Tinubu’s schedule, contrary to preliminary indications on the matter.

“Nigeria is facing pressing challenges that require focused efforts and undivided attention. Issues such as economic recovery, security of lives and property, infrastructure development, and social welfare demand continuous, sustained and innovative efforts.

“President Tinubu is committed to ensuring an inclusive, honest, transparent and accountable governance system. We encourage citizens to actively participate in democratic processes, ventilate their views, and contribute constructively to national conversations. As the discerning people that we are, we remain confident that Nigerians will continue to differentiate between genuine, constructive and development-oriented criticisms and those driven by self-interest, mercenary considerations and disruptive political agenda.

“While we urge Nigerians to ignore purveyors of fake news and other inanities, it is obvious that Shaibu and his likes will stop at nothing in their desperation to distort facts and give oxygen to their politically knocked-out principal. But that can only worsen his infamy in the light of the President’s determined commitment and strides to improving the social and economic conditions for all Nigerians.

“The PDP and all its agents of misinformation should know by now that no amount of sleazy propaganda, muckraking, lies, half-truths, misrepresentations, misinformation or disinformation will confer the presidency of Nigeria on their candidate.

“Nigerians have freely chosen our party, the APC, and President Bola Tinubu, to continue to steer the ship of state. And the President is making good his campaign promises to deliver purposeful leadership to remake Nigeria, open the economy to rewarding investments, promote inclusive growth, create jobs, secure lives and property and renew hope for a vibrant future.”

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