by Alexander O. Onukwue
Let’s face it; this is one of the worst periods of the year for majority of Nigerians, particularly those who have to face ridiculous queues at fillings stations for fuel.
Unresolved issues between NNPC and Independent marketers have produced an intractable situation around the country that has made products scarce.
The effect on every other sector of the country is staggering, especially during this season of festivities when everyone’s eyes is “red”. Many who have to make long-distance trips for the holidays are dipping into winnings from the hustles of the year.
But the week has had some things to be joyful about, for some persons in particular.
Perhaps with the exception of Asa’s Encore, there has clearly not been a concert gushed about this year as much as The Falz Experience. The skits were in sync with the performances, the comedy was proper relief for the frustrations due to national problems, and the lead act showed us why Folarin, Falz and Taju fused in one stands out as the finest mix of talent in one superstar entertainer. It was a masterclass for concert goers and future organizers.
Still on concerts, OLIC 4 overcame the fears and rumors of sexual assault at some other events during the year. Lagos turned out to Teslim Balogun for its favorite son of the streets, and other artistes who added glam to the event ensured Olamide will end the year on a high. He has noticeably not been as blessed with awards as Davido and Wizkid has been this year, but for holding down a fourth signature concert without skirmish, he ends the year a winner.
DONALD TRUMP AND PAUL RYAN
The Wall Street Journal referred to the Tax Bill passed by the US Congress this week as “the most pro-growth tax policy since the Reagan reforms of 1981 and 1986.” No wonder Trump and leaders of Congress, especially Speaker Paul Ryan and Senate Leader Mitch McConnell have been celebrating all week. The successful passage of the bill – which had zero support from any Democrats in both House and Senate – was Donald Trump’s first major piece of legislation since inauguration on January 20.
It is always embarrassing to have to be invited to the offices of law enforcement agencies for some explanation. Innocent Chukwuma’s 48 hour odyssey between Enugu and Lagos in pyjamas for a clarification on conspiracy to fraud GT Bank will not do much damage to his stature as one of Nigeria’s industrialists. However, what the brief furor has caused is bring national attention to an issue that had hitherto not been known by so many.
There may be a case for Mr Chukwuma to answer but the anti-graft did not do itself any favours in the way it went about its arrest of Innoson. Apparently, one of its officers dared to physically assault the wife of Mr Chukwuma, leading to outrage on the floor of the Senate which only added to the upper legislative arm’s disgust for the body under the leadership of Ibrahim Magu.
It’s been barely two weeks since its National Convention but all its far from well with the Peoples’ Democratic Party.
This week, it lost another member from the House of Representatives defecting to the APC, followed by 1500 persons doing same in Lagos. Then, there were the “idiots” and “miscreants” who opened a parallel secretariat of the party as ‘Fresh PDP’. Those tags used by Ayo Fayose to dismiss the tantrums of the dissenting members aggrieved with the process of the Convention perhaps shows how much more the leaders of the party need to do in order to remodel and sell their party as a family.
The US was given a massive vote of no confidence in New York this week on the UN vote on the decision to move the US Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem. 128 nations, including Nigeria, voted in favor of rejecting the Trump administration’s decision, 9 voted against while 35 abstained. The US has taken the defeat as an act of disrespect and has threatened to make its feelings known when called to make donations for international causes.
That puts the $606 million Nigeria receives from Washington under threat but authorities will still be inclined to call Trump’s bluff.