NewsExpress banner Firstbank Verve banner Fidelity bank card banner Umm Sulaim's Thoughts Camano banner

Buhari administration at the centre of a storm

By News Express on 08/08/2019

Gmail icon

Views: 548

The Muhammadu Buhari administration is at the centre of a storm. So much is taking place in the land. The El-Zakzaky protests paralyzed Abuja the other day. Government was sufficiently rattled. Now, it is about to obey the court order, which it had consistently defied. Sheik Ibrahim El-Zakzaky will be released on bail. His teeming supporters have finally wrestled government to the ground. Force has finally forced its hands open. If only Col. Sambo Dasuki had his own private army, they would have held government hostage. They would have forced it to obey the order of the courts on his release.

Then enter the Sowore revolution. I do not know what prompted this sudden romance with revolution. Omoleye Sowore was a presidential candidate in the presidential election that held less than six months ago. He went through the entire process of electioneering and seemed satisfied with it. I do not know what went wrong, why the activist had to pit himself against the government. Whatever may be the case, we just cannot overlook the fact that we are at a crossroads. Those who installed Buhari for a second term in office are suddenly up in arms against him. They seem to be coming to terms with the Buhari persona. But I hardly can understand that. I am yet to come to terms with the undercurrents behind the current upheaval.

But it is amusing that some Buhari apologists are the ones shouting their voices hoarse. Prof. Wole Soyinka said a few days ago that Buhari was behaving like Abacha. That was a strange pronouncement, coming from someone who described Buhari a few years ago as a born-again democrat. It may well be that Soyinka’s earlier characterisation of Buhari was not well thought out. It was made to justify the groundswell of resentment against the Goodluck Jonathan presidency that led to his ouster by Buhari.

But it is really sickening to see flippancy take the better part of those who should know. Those who pose as social crusaders should save us from avoidable agony. They should grant us the right to think and have our own opinion. Why do they always consider their position on any issue inviolable? That is sanctimoniousness at its most banal. We hardly can make progress with such pretentiousness. That is why government is having a ball over the Sowore affair. It is accusing those likening Buhari to Abacha as engaging in doublespeak.

But whatever the government says or fails to say, the fact remains that it is in the eye of the storm. It has destroyed the social fabric of the land. The regime has acquired a certain notoriety. It will be  remembered as one government that tore Nigeria into shreds. Under the present order, life has become so cheap. Killer herdsmen have taken over the country. They kill and maim at will. Government looks helpless. They have desecrated the land with blood. Could that be the reason why Sowore is calling for a revolution? We really have so much to worry about. It is worse for those of us who are social commentators. We agonize on a regular basis on behalf of others. I have lamented for well over two decades.

But it looks like I am going on temporary hibernation. Let me, at this point, inform you, esteemed adherents of BROKEN TONGUES, that I am about to switch roles again. The column is about to take a bow again, just as it did 10 years ago when I was appointed as Honourable Commissioner by the then governor of Imo State, Ikedi Ohakim.

After my tour of duty in 2011, the column returned to this newspaper and has been running since then. But another recess is about to take place. A little over three weeks ago, the governor of Imo State, Emeka Ihedioha, named me as the director-general of the Ahiajoku Institute. The institute, for those who may not know, is a research and cultural centre on Igbo culture, civilisation and worldview. It is an offshoot of the Ahiajoku Lecture Series, an intellectual harvest that underpins the contributions of the Igbo to world culture and civilisation. The lecture series is in its 40th year and one of the innovations being brought to bear on it is the elevation of the yearly festival to an institute. The Ahiajoku Institute, by conception, is modelled after the Goethe Institute in Germany and the Italian Cultural Institute. It promises to be the intellectual resource base of not only the government and the state but also the entire Nigerian state.

As I return to public office in the service of my state, I cannot but look back in time. As a commentator on national and international affairs for close to 25 years, I have encountered Nigeria in its rawness. I have seen and experienced the best and worst of the country. I have interfaced with governments. I have encountered men and women of power and influence. I have been a dissector and interpreter of situations and societies. I have experienced frustrations and disappointments. In fact, those of us who do this unenviable job have nothing to cheer. Nigeria has been busy standing still. The country’s situation has hardly improved. If anything, it gets worse by the day.

Regardless of this unpalatable state, the commentator remains addicted to his job. He carries out the assignment with near effortless ease.

BROKEN TONGUES, the platform through which I have been fighting the rough battle with society, has been my muse. It is has been the inspirational tool that goads me on. I came into the orbit of social criticism some two and a half decades ago. As the Features Editor of an Ibadan-based newspaper called Third Eye in 1995, I had written my first column for that newspaper. I combined my job at the newspaper then with column-writing. But the experience did not go beyond six months. I returned to The Guardian from whence I went to Ibadan after the de-proscription of the newspaper by the repressive regime of General Sani Abacha.  I was to resume column-writing at ThisDay in 1998.

But BROKEN TONGUES made all the difference when it came into the mix. The column first appeared in ThisDay in September 1999 when the back page column was first introduced into the Nigerian newspaper industry. The column ran in the newspaper without a break until 2003 when I joined The Sun. The column has been a menu to a significant number of newspaper readers in the country. Some of them have even taken the liberty of changing my name to BROKEN TONGUES.

However, I leave you with one assurance. This column may no longer be in use here for now, but I know that I am not leaving Nigeria alone. I will continue to intervene in national affairs through other means. I cherished the experience while it lasted. I salute all loyalists of the column. You were the inspiration that shot me into stardom. I thank The Sun crew, particularly the publisher, Orji Uzor Kalu, who ensured that this column was sustained. Thank you, the boss. We will continue to interface through other means.

This column originally appeared in today’s edition of Daily Sun under the headline Let’s look back in time. Amanze Obi can be reached via

Source News Express

Posted 08/08/2019 6:07:20 PM





You may also like...
Man City close on UEFA Champions League last...

JAMB dismisses protests, rules out extension of time...

Buhari hosts ECOWAS leaders in Abuja

DEVELOPING SCANDAL: Petroleum Minister ALLISON-MADUEKE named in copyright...

Gunmen kill 8 Igbos in Kano

Varsity workers’ strike stalls admissions, cripples administrative activities...

South Africa drops visa rules to boost tourism...

IGP visits, Agatu, deploys additional units of MOPOL,...

Obiano pardons 25 prisoners to mark Nigeria’s 55...

Shoprite shareholders reject pay policy

Many children reported missing in Akwa Ibom NNPC...

EFCC swoops on Okorocha’s aides over diversion of...


Latest News Konga Yakata ends this Thursday Arewa youths raise alarm over alleged harassment, humiliation of northerners in Lagos Girl set ablaze by boyfriend for allegedly cheating on him dies Joshua dreams of world boxing heavyweight title defence in Nigeria Policeman's son brought explosive that blew off my hand – Ebonyi student When the law is helpless, By Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa, SAN Bankers, Indian businessman jailed in Lagos for N855m fraud Why NDDC board has not been inaugurated: Akpabio Why Nigerian politicians are desperate – INEC Police arrest members of notorious kidnap syndicates in Katsina Ohanaeze Youths condemn IPOB’s attack on Amaechi, chide group for issuing ultimatum to Igbos 1,502 residents of Enugu community receive free medication from Nigerian Army


Most Read NUDE PHOTO OF OMOTOLA JALADE-EKEINDE surfaces online (570,577 views) Nigerian female sex addict opens up, says ‘I like it with both men and women’ (456,080 views) Shameless Genevieve Nnaji exposes breasts in public (405,955 views) Finally named: The full list of friends of Nigerian female sex addict who prowled Facebook (341,089 views) OLUMBA OLUMBA OBU (the one who called himself God) IS DEAD (307,360 views) 10 cars more expensive than Jets (291,519 views) Igbo scholar disgraces Femi Fani-Kayode •Demolishes claims on Igbo/Yoruba history with facts and figures (261,050 views) Breaking News: POPULAR REVEREND CONVERTS TO ISLAM in Kaduna (Nigeria) (259,994 views) OBJ’s son reported dead in Lagos plane crash •Names of more victims emerge (241,450 views) My wasted years in Olumba Olumba Obu’s Evil Brotherhood (228,003 views) Lagos plane crash: Journalist releases victims’ names (203,742 views) THE FINAL DISGRACE: Igbo scholar unleashes more facts about Igbo/Yoruba history, finishes off Femi Fani-Kayode with second article (200,170 views)


CBN milk production

CBN banner advert

UBA Wise Savers Promo


Categories Advertorials (3) African Press Organisation (81) Art & Literature (111) Business & Economy (4,617) Business Verdict (89) Columnists (1,156) Complaints & Requests (97) Enterprise & Opportunities (221) Entertainment (717) Features (855) Global Business Monitor (497) ICT Monitor (73) International (4,317) Interview (219) Live Commentary (30) Love Matters (178) Maggie's Blog (514) News (55,058) Opinion (1,437) Pidgin (18) Politics (11,867) Religion (1,132) Sports (2,252) Stock Watch (40) AMA & Al Jazeera Global Update







APO Group Partner




GOCOP Accredited Member

GOCOP Accredited member



Africa Media Agency and Al Jazeera