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New Book: “Buhari:Tinubu – How they snatched, shared power”

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  • Nigerian Political Buccaneers.
  • Book Title: Buhari:Tinubu – How they snatched, shared power
  • Author: Maazi Ochereome Nnanna
  • Publishers: Inteksbooks Publishers
  • Reviewer: Emeaba O. Emeaba
  • Pages: 270

If you think the eagle is not a wizard, try grabbing a piece of wood with both your feet. Analogously, this rusty old saw reminds me how it is not easy being Maazi Ochereome Nnanna. Other than the lack of a bone stuck in his nose and his eyes not ringed in chalk, the man is a shaman. Nnanna, who has been chronicling history in a hurry for onwards of forty years, drew blood when he outs and asks in his book, Buhari-Tinubu: How they snatched, shared power: “Exactly what manner of president-elect did INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, present to Nigerians after the 2023 presidential election? An identity impostor? Certificate forger? Drug lord? Lagos State treasury looter? The deadly mafia political leader? The ethnic profiler and commander-in-chief of the Jagaban Army? Or, was it Tinubu, the fiscal gamechanger in Lagos State, the assembler of high-capacity men and women, the overcomer of rough weathers, the man who knows what he wants and how to get it? Or both at the same time?”

You better believe you are in for a heart-stopping surprise. Nnanna, an award-winning newspaper columnist who has anchored the People and Politics column in Vanguard Newspapers since 1994 where he delights in making waves—okay, maybe tsunamis—as he chronicles Nigeria’s political history, writes with that belligerent but perceptive viewpoint of a University of Nigeria Nsukka journalism product. Demonstrating his shamanistic wizardry, he has given us a many-sided portrayal of Buhari and Tinubu’s quest for the office of the president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, and how the sleight of hand—the book’s subtitle is “How they snatched, shared power”—was perpetrated. It is a prodigiously researched account of the spread of whodunit. Dubbing the duo of Buhari and Tinubu as nothing but buccaneers, Nnanna takes us on a narrative guide to the planning and execution of the feat. Displaying his vast knowledge of current affairs, politics, and history, he uses Tinubu and Buhari as his leitmotif as he follows the duo; and through their stories, we see specific instances of the culture of Nigerian politics throughout the book.

Using a journalese that is extraordinarily smooth, and effortless, the book—an eleven-chapter tome of elaborate, but tightly packed prose—provides the reader with a uniform, and entertaining rendering of the rise of Tinubu from his Lagos fiefdom to his more potent incarnation—first as a money bag, then as a king maker, and finally as the kingmaker-turned-King. Steeped in research and analysis, the story is of Buhari and Tinubu as they slalom their ways to the front of Nigeria’s political history through 1990 to 2023. Nnanna holds you by the hand and gives you a Kafkaesque tour of this Made-in-Nigeria type politics and democracy. He delineates, in vivid figures, how only the muck of our society, adept in the use of meanness that is their stock in trade: institutional inducement of extreme poverty, and the use of instruments of state security for intimidation—are able to gain power.

Nnanna is very much able to do this arduous job that he sets for himself—the four-in-one job of the accuser, the mediator, the executioner, and the undertaker. The good thing is, he is a perceptive and subtle critic who has hobnobbed with the very perps at the end of his rapier, in every corner of the Nigerian political business.

Nnanna’s interpretation of the progression of the Buhari-Tinubu odyssey is deucedly clever, intriguing, exceptionally revelatory and overwhelmingly lethal. In this enthralling, readable work, the author examines with unloving care, the crudely successive vocations of the two, each of whom attained imperial heights without the necessary certifications (and where there is one, definitely an Oluwole-type!) Meticulously researched and clearly spelled out, the narrative is eloquent of Nnanna’s writing capabilities. He writes in such a lucid, astute text that unpacks the myths of Nigerian politics to help explain present-day motivations and actions. It is tense, twisty and so incantatory and primeval that I don’t think I’ll ever forget it any time soon.

As a precursor to his rapid-fire presentation of the Buhari-Tinubu bubuyaya, he first describes them in their excellencies, warts and all. Tinubu is the political evil genius who, racked by a debilitatingly irksome malaise that sometimes transmogrifies some of his speeches into gobbledygook, is still able to concoct the potent brew that results in his being in Aso Rock. Buhari is the very metonymy for geriatric languor who basks in issuing commands, reading prepared speeches and doing nothing else. Where Tinubu lives ahead of his time, painstakingly plotting, skillfully engaging the right stakeholders, parrying blows along the way, and plain displaying political sorcery, Buhari is an archetypal zany who wears nepotism as a badge of honour and ends up picking up the first prize for the most clueless leader, ever.

Each chapter explores a specific aspect of the quest for finding a successor for President Muhammadu Buhari. The author reminds us that the APC was not alone in the project; emphasizing that three other characters form the dramatis personae of the comedy of errors.  Nnanna tells us about Alhaji Atiku Abubakar (PDP), Mr. Peter Obi (LP) and Dr Rabiu Kwankwaso (NNPP), and then provides historical context and many examples of their entries and exeunt, including when democratic principles are undermined or ignored.

For such a sweeping, often chaotic, and prickly subject, the author maintains a succinct, unswervingly revealing narrative that explicates key terms and hypothetical contexts in a way that should engross an eclectic audience.

This ambitious book tackles major Nigerian questions, and answers them in a unique, enthralling and reportorial method. “This is the first ever book about the political history and power play in Nigeria in the past 33 years with particular reference to Muhammadu Buhari and Ahmed Bola Tinubu as the leading characters who dragged Nigeria down to the status of state failure;” Nnanna gushes as he analyzes the underhanded schemes, the well-calculated machinations, the broad-daylight duplicities, the sadism, the state-sanctioned killings, the skullduggery of state institutions, the dissembling, the wickedly rancorous propaganda, the extreme favoritism, nonstop invasions of the country’s collective purse and the bungling maladministration visited on Nigeria and its unfortunate citizens by these power hucksters, and their partners. Nnanna is a skillful guide, taking you through the daunting convolutions that is the Nigerian politics that produced these conflicts.

Poisonously decent, and with surprises right up until the final parts, Nnanna is unrelenting, pointing out that the duo was the first major political partnership to form a party—the All-Progressives Congress (APC)—plotted, and successfully defeated an incumbent political party, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) with Dr Goodluck Jonathan as the president in 2015.

As you read this gripping book, you get the sense that with Nnanna’s considerable literary firepower, he could very well have written about any subject if he had wanted to. A quintessential newsman, Nnanna is blessed with razor-sharp journalistic instincts, hereditary cynicism, and a truck-load propensity for ferreting out information and presenting same in its gore and glory. For example, he accedes that the feat of unseating an incumbent government had never happened before in the history of Nigerian politics. This, he said, is because, when a political party has produced leaders for more than two consecutive maximum terms of office, corruption would have taken over where one “godfather” or a gang of them would have hijacked power, such that no one else could come near.

Here, Buhari had taken the first shot as president for eight years, and then handed it to Tinubu on the 29th May 2023 through a contentious election blatantly compromised by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) led by Prof. Mahmood Yakubu.  Nnanna argues, “a system that was bold enough to rape the electoral process in broad daylight and announce an abortion of a result in the dead of the night while people slept, showed how determined the state was to give power to a preconceived winner.”

Nnanna laments “After winning three presidential elections (2015, 2019 and 2023) it is up to the readers and, in fact, all Nigerians to decide for themselves whether the Buhari/Tinubu phenomenon in Nigerian politics was nice to their body, their pocket, or their life.” Rhetoric, in his sarcasm, he asks, “If you knew what you now know, would you have done the same thing you did back in 2015?” That sounds like a jeremiad—a listing of woes which seems to me a wistful shifting of responsibilities. He offers no solution to what ails the political system. Then again, Nnanna is a journalist—journalists have never been in the fixing business. However, the joy of his book is in both the knowing adumbration of who and what brought Nigeria to this sorry pass, and the strong emotion that endows his accusation with its charge and edge. The book concludes that Bola Tinubu has successfully knocked everyone aside (including former President Buhari) to get what he wanted; and now, fully in charge of all the instruments of state, including the Judiciary; it is a given his inauguration on May 29, 2023 has essentially trivialized the Tribunal’s business to a mere academic exercise (…knock on wood!)

While the rest of us uncommitted may stand askance and wonder what is Nnanna’s problem, those other angst-imbued victims of the concert, will splurge on the never-ending plethora of piquant disclosures, new perceptions, and impudent sentiments he serves up. Students of political history and the rest of us would have a problem putting the book down.

A copy of this book is available on Amazon.com, or directly from the author himself: ocheromen@gmail.com.

Dr. Emeaba, the author of A Dictionary of Literature, writes Dime novels.

Texas Guardian News

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Black teen in Georgia awarded over $14m in scholarships, accepted at 231 colleges

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An 18-year-old low-income student has just defied the odds by achieving an extraordinary feat in her pursuit of higher education.

Madison Crowell, from Hinesville, Georgia secured her acceptance into an astounding 231 colleges and universities across the nation. She has also been awarded an impressive $14.7 million in scholarships to support her academic journey.

Crowell’s remarkable achievement is not only a testament to her academic prowess but also to her unwavering determination and resilience in the face of adversity.

Growing up in a low-income community, she explained she was driven by a desire to showcase the possibilities available to students like herself.

“I wanted to apply to as many schools as I did because I want to show the kids here in Liberty County that it’s possible to get accepted into schools […] that you think might be out of your reach but is definitely in reach,” she told Good Morning America.

Despite facing challenges along the way, Crowell remained steadfast in her pursuit of higher education. With the support of her parents, Sgt. 1st Class Delando Langley and Melissa Langley, she embarked on college tours and road trips from a young age, preparing herself for the journey ahead.

Now, as she prepares to embark on her college adventure, Crowell’s hard work and determination have paid off. She has chosen to attend High Point University in High Point, North Carolina, where she will pursue her academic aspirations under a full tuition scholarship.

In response to her incredible achievement, High Point University President Dr. Nido Qubein extended a warm welcome to Crowell, recognizing her potential to achieve greatness.

“We welcome you to our HPU family”, he said. “You’re going to do exceptional things right here at The Premier Life Skills University, where we call everybody to be extraordinary. The sky is not the limit […] and when you come here to High Point University, we know you’ll be a leader. We know you’ll make amazing things happen. We’re here to resource her, cheer you on and celebrate you victory.”

Despite her overwhelming number of acceptances, Cromwell revealed she hadn’t been accepted to other top schools and urged other students to persevere.

“I know what it’s like to be deferred from a dream school and you don’t know if you’re gonna get the chance to apply again or you’re not going to be accepted again,” she said. “I just want to make it known that nothing is impossible and that the sky is not the limit and that you want to keep pushing for greatness.”

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11 Communication Students Awarded Scholarships at TSU’s Commweek

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Each student received $1,000 through the SOC scholarship initiative.

Scholarships alleviate financial stress and contribute to academic success, diversity, and equitable access to education. They are a valuable resource for college students, opening doors that might otherwise remain closed due to financial barriers. The 2024 Commweek – the 42nd Intercultural and Communication Conference of the School of Communication (SOC) at Texas Southern University ended Friday, April 12 with a cheerful outcome. 11 communication students walked away with a fat check as beneficiaries of the SOC Commweek Scholarship initiative.

The recipients of the 2024 Commweek scholarships are Christopher Jarmon, Rachel Frank, Benjamin Clark, Racheal Lewis, Briannah Dilworth, Courtney Roberts, Precious Johnson, Douglas Gordon, Briana Williams, Zoria Goodley, and Erin Slaughter. Each student received $1,000 from the SOC scholarship initiative, aimed at helping students overcome financial obstacles while pursuing their academic goals. The funds can be used to cover tuition, textbooks, other educational expenses, and living costs like housing, transportation, and food.

Dr. Chris Ulasi, the Interim Dean of the School of Communication, explained that the scholarship funds were made possible through grants and donations from corporate and local businesses. These contributions were specifically designated for talented and economically disadvantaged students within the School of Communication. “Many of these students rely on financial aid to support their education. Therefore, we prioritized collaborating with private and corporate partners to support this initiative,” Dr. Ulasi stated.

Themed “Amplifying Diverse Voices in Media and Communication,” Commweek kicked off on April 8 and concluded with an Awards Gala on Friday, April 12, 2024, where scholarships were presented. Throughout the week, scholars, students, professionals, and civic leaders engaged in discussions on topics with cultural, political, economic, and social significance, as well as communication dynamics.

The School of Communication (SOC) at Texas Southern University is a dynamic academic institution that fosters interdisciplinary learning. With four departments and two graduate programs – Communication Studies, Entertainment Recording Industry Management (ERIM), Journalism, and Radio, Television, and Film (RTF), along with a Master of Arts (MA) in Communication and Master of Arts (M.A.) in Professional Communication and Digital Media (PCDM) – SOC has been a leader in training culturally responsive professionals and scholars for nearly five decades. Graduates are equipped to navigate diverse urban and international environments with inclusivity and a deep understanding of historical context.

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TSU Announces 2024 Annual Communication Week

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TEXAS INTERNATIONAL GUARDIAN, HOUSTON, TX – The representation of diverse racial and ethnic groups, as well as sexual and gender identities in the media, is critically important because it accurately shapes decency, fairness, and unity in the community. When media lacks or portrays insensitive representations, it can perpetuate harmful stereotypes and discrimination, further marginalizing these identities.

The School of Communication (SOC) at the Texas Southern University (TSU) has announced its 2024 Commweek, signifying the 42nd Intercultural and Communication Conference. Themed “Amplifying Diverse Voices in Media and Communication”, the conference will be held April 8 – 12, 2024, and will culminate with an Awards Gala on Friday, April 12, 2024, at the University’s Tiger Room.

Ensuring a diversity of voices in the media requires holistic monitoring systems and the wider application of target-based measures for both public and private media. Amplifying diverse perspectives can instigate a richer and more inclusive media landscape that benefits the entire populace. The Intercultural Communication Conference provides a forum for scholars, students, professionals, and civic-minded leaders to explore topics with cultural, political, economic, and social implications as well as communication dynamics. But the theme is necessary and also, it is coming at the right time.

The challenges posed by a lack of diverse voices in media and communication can be seen across social, political, economic, and cultural spheres of influence. These issues can influence the views represented in news coverage and dissemination. Indeed, the diversity of perspectives is key to creating a more inclusive and equitable society.

According to Dr. Chris Ulasi, the Interim Dean of the School of Communication, “The 2024 event will be special because we are equally raising scholarship funds for gifted and economically disadvantaged students in the School of Communication.  Traditionally, a majority of our students rely on some form of financial assistance to fund their education. This is why I am using this opportunity to appeal to individuals, corporations, and community organizations to support this cause.”

According to a release made available to our newsroom, proceeds from this event will,

  • Help SOC students break down financial barriers while pursuing their academic prospects.
  • Help SOC students cover the cost of tuition, textbooks, and other educational expenses.
  • Help SOC students supplement the cost-of-living expenses such as housing, transportation, and food.
  • Create retention possibilities for students who might drop out for financial reasons.
  • Act as incentives and encouragement to students in general.
  • This financial sponsorship will be a catalyst for expanding SOC’s ongoing professional relationship with corporate businesses, community organizations, and individual sponsors.

Dr. Anthony Ogbo, co-chaired by Professor Ladonia Randle, and Ms. Michele Jones, is joined by a team of very engaging and supportive members who meet regularly to finalize the machinery for a successful event.  According to Dr. Ogbo, “The 2024 Commweek is expected to draw a line-up of dignitaries from the business, academic, and government sectors. For instance, the City of Houston’s Vice Mayor Pro-Tem, Council Member Martha Castex-Tatum will lead the conference opening ceremony on Monday, April 8. Also, Dr. Kathleen McElroy, renowned Journalist and Professor at the School of Journalism and Media at The University of Texas at Austin will lead the opening session of the intercultural conference on Thursday, April 10.”

The School of Communication (SOC) at Texas Southern University is a transformational, interdisciplinary academic school with four departments and two graduate programs: Communication Studies; Entertainment Recording Industry Management (ERIM); Journalism; Radio, Television, and Film (RTF); and Master of Arts (MA) in Communication and Master of Arts (M.A.) in Professional Communication and Digital Media (PCDM). For 48 years, the school has been at the forefront of training culturally responsive professionals and scholars who can navigate urban and international settings with a deep sense of inclusivity and an understanding of historical legacy.

Texas Southern University possesses an impressive array of more than 100 undergraduate and graduate programs and concentrations, a diverse faculty, 80-plus student organizations, and an extensive alumni network comprised of educators, entrepreneurs, public servants, lawyers, pilots, artists, and more, many of whom are change agents on the local, national and international stage. Nestled upon a sprawling 150-acre campus, Texas Southern University is one of the nation’s largest historically black universities.

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