Great story about Michael Taiwo Akinkunmi, the man who designed Nigeria’s iconic green-white-green flag.
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie wrote in the New York Times about the kidnap of her 83 year old father in the New York Times:
there was my own sad guilt: He was targeted because of me. “Ask your daughter the writer to bring the money,” the kidnappers told him, because to appear in newspapers in Nigeria, to be known, is to be assumed wealthy. The image of my father shut away in the rough darkness of a car boot haunted me. Who had done this? I needed to know.
A video report on the controversies of Buhari’s first tenure in government.
I am restarting a feature I began (and wisely discontinued) a few years ago:
Do you think you know lots about Nigeria? Well, here is a chance to show off how much you really know about that country. Take the 10 question quiz below. Answers to the questions will be posted here in due course.
NO CHEATING, no use of Wikipedia or Google (or other web search engines!). ;-)
1) Who coined the name Nigeria?
2) In what year was Nigeria’s current national anthem adopted?
3) Nigeria’s first Prime Minister was Abubakar Tafawa Balewa. What does ‘Tafawa Balewa’ mean in English?
4) What was the last military post held by president-elect Muhammadu Buhari before he became head of state on December 1, 1984?
5) What was former president General Obasanjo’s career before he joined the army?
6) Abuja succeeded Lagos as Nigeria’s capital city. Which city was the capital before Lagos?
7) Which school counts among its alumni, four different Nigerian heads of state?
8) Who is the longest reigning head of state in Nigeria’s history? (single uninterrupted reign)
9) Who is the only Nigerian to have commanded the air force of two different countries?
10) What was the first political post held by president-elect Muhammadu Buhari?
My Op-Ed article in the New York Times about how Buhari is likely to govern in his second stint in power.
In order to succeed, he must learn from what happened to him in 1985.
In most countries, a 72-year-old retired general who once led a severe military dictatorship that imprisoned its opponents without trial, publicly executed convicts by firing squad, arrested journalists who criticized it, ran an Orwellian intelligence apparatus that bugged the phones of government ministers — a man whose overthrow three decades ago was welcomed with relief by his countrymen, and who lost three consecutive presidential elections in 12 years — would be considered unelectable.
- She is related to Nigeria’s late Minister of Defence Muhammadu Ribadu.
- She describes her upbringing as that of “a normal northern girl”.
- She used the word “indomitable” to describe herself.
- She comes from “a learned family” with 4 or 5 professors in the family.
- Education-wise she has an NCE (National Certificate in Education), bachelors degree in Public Administration from the Ahmadu Bello University in Zaria, a masters degree in International Affairs and Strategic Studies from the Nigerian Defence Academy in Kaduna, and a Diploma in Beauty Therapy,
My interview with National Public Radio’s Melissa Block regarding Buhari’s first sting in power as Nigeria’s military ruler between 1984-1985.
Some excerpts of what I told NPR:
A government in Nigeria today has to behave in a far more benevolent manner…the citizenry has evolved as well and are a lot more sophisticated; a lot more cognizant and aware of their rights, and would not tolerate some of the excesses that the military got away with during the decades of military rule.
Since Buhari wonlast weekend’s Nigerian election three big international media companies (BBC, CNN, and Al-Jazeera) have claimed to have secured the “first” interview with him. All three of them are here on this page.