Browsing: Offside Musings

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One of the burdens of being a longtime commentator on issues Nigeriana is that people frequently search me out, via email, text messages, and phone calls to ask questions about Nigeria. These questions come from Nigerians and non-Nigerians alike. For me, what’s fascinating is not that so many people feel tempted to put questions to me; it is that, as a rule, they expect me ALWAYS to offer a coherent response, if not the answer.

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Everything in and about Nigeria is in a waiting pattern. Everybody, Nigerians and foreigners alike, are waiting on President Muhammadu Buhari. This pattern is a profoundly sobering lesson. It is also both a risk and an opportunity.

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Whether Americans or Africans, my friends reacted in much the same way when I disclosed I was headed for Hargeysa, the capital of Somaliland, to participate in an international book festival.

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By many, if not most, accounts, President Muhammadu Buhari’s visit to the United States was a major personal triumph and represented a significant turn in Nigeria-US relations. President Barack Obama, hosting Mr. Buhari at

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I recall a testy exchange in 2009 at the Westin Hotel in Providence, Rhode Island between a ranking member of the Nigerian House of Representatives and a US-based, Nigerian-born attorney.

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I don’t know what’s going through President-elect Muhammadu Buhari’s mind at the moment, but his job daunting to begin with just got tougher. Nigeria is beset by one of the worst fuel shortages in its history.

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President-elect Muhammadu Buhari will inherit something of a perfect political storm when he takes office in a few weeks. He ran a well-orchestrated campaign as an outsider, an agent of “change” and the “answer” to everything that ails Nigeria.

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