A bit of clowning, some reform & a little kissing in the news… with a pinch of salt

by Stanley Azuakola

R is for reform or rascals

Following the usual mass failure of students in this year’s WAEC exams, the Minister of State for Education, Chief Nyesom Wike has vowed to kick-start a radical reform in the teaching methods employed by most schools. According to him, “In Maths for instance, Why say one crayon plus one crayon equals two crayons? Why not use familiar things like one Ghana-must-go plus one Ghana-must-go equals two ghanas-must-goes? Which one do you think an average Nigerian student will remember?” He further proposed that in English, instead of saying “A for apple (which they won’t see to eat) or B for book (which they don’t like to read), you can use A for ASUU, B for Boko Haram…F for four-one-nine, G for Goodluck…I for I dey laff…R for rascals, S for strike…U for umblerra and Z for zoning.”

Ass-kissing galore as Babangida clocks 70

As former president Ibrahim Babangida celebrated his 70th birthday, a battle royal broke out among some Nigerians over who will most flatter and suck up to the ex-dictator. To set the ball rolling was former minister of Aviation, Femi Fani-Kayode who said Babaginda is “the authentic father of modern Nigeria, and the greatest political institution in the country.” Refusing to be outshone, bubbling preacher Rev Chris Okotie called him “an implacable apostle of freedom and a human miracle.” Other words used in describing him were “pillar”, “bulwark”, “Zeus”, “Zeddicus”, “god-fearing”, and “incomparable”. Meanwhile in his vote of thanks, Babaginda thanked all Nigerians for their “peculiar case of collective amnesia.”

The rise and rise of alternate history

The lesson learnt from the Al-Mustapha tales as well as the IBB/OBJ “all fools festival,” is that Nigerians work towards formulating history but do nothing about the future. This is the view of Nosa Damus, foremost futurologist and alternate history writer who compiled a list of his predictions for some alternate histories that will likely emerge in the future. He said one day Nigerians will believe that:

  1. It was Abiola who secretly begged for the annulment of the June 12, 1993 elections for fear that he will be a failure as president.
  2. CBN governor Sanusi only sacked those former bank chiefs because they refused to share their spoils 50-50 with him but insisted on a 70-30 arrangement.
  3. Late president Yaradua blackmailed Obasanjo into hand-picking him as president, using a dirty secret that his brother Shehu Yaradua revealed to him.
  4. First Lady, Patience Jonathan wept profusely when President Jonathan told her he was going to run for office as president, pleading with him to have a change of heart so they could retire peacefully to Otueke.


The Rector of Federal Polytechnic Nekede, Imo State, Dr Celestina Njoku takes the CeeCee this week. The polytechnic has been shutdown indefinitely following a crisis that left three students dead. And it all started when Dr Njoku decided to raise fees by over 33% to N40000 per session. She ignored the pleas of the SUG, and instead, announced a late registration fee of a whopping N17500. Can you believe that? Students protested violently, torching properties. Anti-riot policemen responded, firing random shots, killing three. A Pinch of N(u)ews will never condone violence and frowns at the students who resorted to arson. However it is the thick, insensitive skin of Dr Njoku that comes under the hammer today. No matter the rightness of her intentions, it is her obduracy and tactlessness that has brought the institution to this sour state. The rector must go back to the negotiating table on the school fees matter and remove that preposterous late payment fees off the table. In the meantime, she receives the CeeCee.

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