Okwe Obi, Abuja The 2018 budget which was recently passed by the National Assembly saw a drastic reduction in the health and education sectors. For health, N71.11 billion was appropriated as against N252.88 billion in 2017. A little breakdown shows that N6 billion was for strategic joint venture investments in selected tertiary health institutions with…
The Great Women of the Summer…. Sloan Stephens, Aisha Jummai Alhassan and Madam Rangers
“Whenever a new President of the United States is elected, history is made. But never has it been made, as dramatically as it was November 4, 2008, when American voters chose Barak Obama…. This was a watershed. In researching that narrative, we came to be deeply impressed not just by Barak Obama but also by the life and personality of the woman who will enter the White House at his side. Michelle Obama instantly became an American icon, a role model in such diverse pursuits as public service, parenting and a trendsetter in fitness and fashion.”
President John F. Kennedy once famously and disarmingly said during an official sojourn in Europe, “I am the man who accompanied Jacqueline Kennedy to Paris.” So was it for Barak Obama who knew that in international statecraft, his lovely smart and popular wife might sometimes upstage him but she was always a worthy Ambassador for his administration and the United States. Michelle had travelled the world in the past sometimes at her husband’s side sometime with her own children. She was diplomatic, intelligent in her comments, and her approach has been ecumenical.
Retired as the US first lady, she remains for all seasons a great woman of extraordinary global contributions and status. As we venture to compare her times and the significance of some of her African counterparts on the corridors of power, we cannot at this time, fail to note the recent petulance of the Nigerian Minister of Women Affairs, Aisha Jummai Alhassan. Since her inauguration as the Minister in-charge of this very sensitive Ministry, we have not been told of any executive Bill from her or her Ministry addressed to the National Assembly ventilating her position on many of the vexing issues confronting the women in Nigeria. As the highest woman appointee directly concerned with the development of the female gender, did we ever see or hear of her position in the national argument bordering on rape, women unequal status, lower women salaries, fewer political positions allocated to women etc.?
Dumb and invisible all the two years of this administration, her pride to fame surprisingly is her last week’s vituperation and her audacious affront against her Principal. She would not support her President if he re-contested for a second term. Instead of resigning a job she had no mark on, she like most of our African gold wearing power drunk women Lilliputians in power is wailing for a gentleman who has passed his prime.
Sloan Stephens; the latest tennis great. Intense, racquet wielding competitor and the future of black women tennis, she made her bold announcement at the last US Opens. On the night she confronted fellow black American sister best of sixteen, she was out to settle some old scores. On her way up, the Williams especially Serena, did not accept her. She had complained and expected to be mentored and embraced as family at that tender age. With Serena on maternity leave, she took on Venus without any sentiments. She stood her grounds at the base lines and was able to run for the drop shots. At one set all, I knew she was going to wear out good old Venus.
Moreover, unlike the other ladies who were trading missiles and cross court winners with Venus the Queen of power tennis, the latest black gem preferred to swing from the back court and load the ball very high, landing uncomfortably on the shoulders of the opponent. This is her weapon as the balls don’t come waist level to allow her opponents to unleash brutal down the line killers or cross court rockets. Sloan Stephens, who on winning the US Opens pocketed over three million dollars, believes that a new era of US Tennis has emerged. She is the latest and may be the greatest Tennis athlete since the Williams sisters.
Madam Rangers; Since the inception of this Column, we have written about beautiful women whose exceptional beauties caused civil wars among men. Helena of Troy, Princess Diana, Bianca Ojukwu, who in her moments could transform from a human being to an angelic spirit; never in all those exposes did we receive a deluge like the feedback we got after Madam Rangers, I am not a Woman…. I will not comment further and there is no space to publish all the Africans and Nigerians who called and wrote to us expressing surprise and were very happy to learn that the woman is still alive.
Below is the excerpts of one of the contributors who wrote to us….
Re: Madam Rangers …. I am nit a woman
Thank you for your rich ‘breakfast’ by your entertaining article on Madam Rangers, published on page 30 of the Daily Sun Wednesday, August 30, 2017. It also served as my ‘supper’ as I had to read it twice again that evening before going to bed.
At a time when most of the news in both the print and the electronic media hardly give Nigerians something to cheer about, your thriller acted as soothing syrup on my mind and a balm on my aching nerves.
I was transported from my bedroom to Cairo and later to Lusaka as I was reading your vivid narrative of what transpired in those cities during Rangers exploits. Although I am 74 year old this year by the grace of God, I felt as if I was just 30 while reading your piece, and you could not imagine that I defied old age and its uncompromising allied forces, to do a jig excitedly in my bedroom when you skillfully nodded the ball into the net to even up the odds in favor of Rangers. It was as if I was watching the match live there on the field in Lusaka.
Thank you for the ‘elixir’.
M. CHIMEZIE AGWU