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Requiem for Mother Dearest

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Where do mothers come from? I have always pondered this question. All humans come from planet earth, of course. But, what of mothers? They have this uniqueness about them that makes me wonder if they could only have come from earth like everybody else.
For one thing, everybody that breathes on earth came out of a mother. Even the Pope, the President and the most powerful men and women on earth -- all those men and women of pomp and pageantry. Everybody must have done their plus or minus nine months in the womb of a woman. Every individual was nursed as an infant in the warm arms of a mother. Whenever you were hungry, mother was there. Whenever you felt fear, mother was there. Whenever you were in perplexity, mother was there. Mother was the one who would sacrifice everything to make you into a person of worth.
My own mother was barely out of her teens when she married my father, a much older man. Mother was 19 when her first child was born. She said she was preparing for the Christmas f…

Dr Obadiah Mailafia with Jakaya Kikwete

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Dr Obadiah Mailafia with former Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete last week in Abuja.

The Tragedy of our Human Development

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Poverty is a curse. It generates all manner of social evils. Poor housing and slums breed dislocated youths that become vulnerable to extreme ideologies. There is a direct correlation between hunger, unemployment and destitution on the one hand, and drugs and violent crime, on the other. There was the tragic case of the mother who sold her nursing infant to strangers for N70,000. Poverty destroys families, rips communities apart, strips people of dignity and corrodes the moral fabric of society.
With a population of 198.5 million and a GDP of US$397.5 billion, Nigeria has a per capita income of US$2,050. Growth over the last couple of years has been negative in real terms. The projection for 2019 is 2.3%, even as our demographic growth is an annual 3.2 percent. Life-expectancy is 54 years, as contrasted to Japan’s 84 years. The average Japanese lives 19 more years than the average Nigerian.
At the annual World Bank/IMF meetings in Bali, Indonesia in December last year, World Bank Presi…

How to Form a New Government Without Tears

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Despite the postponement, intimidation and outright manipulation, the Nigerian people showed great resilience last two Saturdays in coming out en masse to exercise their democratic franchise. This week, by the grace of God, we have known who our president-elect is. A new president must hit the ground running. He would certainly face an in-tray of formidable to-do priorities.
1)The transition team. The new administration must begin with a transition team comprising sober-minded technocrats whose job is to put together a viable framework for the incoming administration; serving as a link between the outgoing and incoming. The transition team will process detailed briefings covering all ministries, departments and agencies of government. They will prepare a memo for the president-elect on the state of public finances and progress on implementation of ongoing projects. The team in turn will digest the directives from the president-elect and integrate them into a revised blueprint for opera…

CONGRATULATORY MESSAGE TO PRESIDENT MUHAMMADU BUHARI

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The Presidential candidate of the African Democratic Congress (ADC), Dr Obadiah Mailafia, expresses his warm congratulations to the winner of the recently concluded elections, President Muhammadu Buhari. We came 3rd in that process, with little or no money and no campaign resources. We celebrate this victory for the people. The election process was by no means perfect. There were egregious anomalies in several polling stations. And we severely frown at the post-election provocative behaviour of youths carrying daggers, sticks and other dangerous weapons in the streets, all in the name of celebration. Despite these challenges, we remain democrats and we remain fervent believers in the New Nigeria Project. 
It is in this spirit that I congratulate President Muhammadu Buhari and wish him better health and more wisdom as he prepares to steer the affairs of our great country during another four years.
Now is the time to rally our people beyond the narrow confines of party; and to reinvent ou…

From Third World to First

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My gentle readers would know that the title of today’s piece is borrowed from the famous autobiography by the long-reigning founder-leader of Singapore, late Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew (1923-2015). In those eponymous memoirs, Lee sought to explain how his country raised itself, as it were, from its bootstraps as a marshy, mosquito-infested backwater into one of the most prosperous nations of our twenty-first century. As we face the prospects of electing a new leader to preside over the high magistracy of our federal republic, there has been no discussion whatsoever on how we can move our country from third to first world status.
The British political philosopher Isaiah Berlin made a famous remark about the fox and the hedge hog. The fox is full of all sorts of ideas, some of the hare-brained, of course. The hedge hog, on the one hand, is driven by a big idea. Almost all our politicians are foxes. They have all sorts of ideas – most of them puny and quite often, pedestrian. There are …

A call for peaceful elections

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Dr Obadiah Mailafia, Presidential candidate of the African Democratic Congress (ADC) has called upon all Nigerians to maintain peace and exercise nonviolent restraint throughout the coming elections. He reiterated that the ADC stands for peace and solidarity and is committed to promoting the welfare of the people in an atmosphere of hope and social justice. He therefore Nigerians to vote wisely in exercising their democratic franchise. Happy Happy elections to you all. God bless you and God bless our great country Nigeria!

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