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Manchester City, Davido, the Buhari presidency | Here are last week’s winners and losers

A week of many tears, many broken hearts, of terrible disappointments and of the anticipation of a time when so many wrongs can be re-written.

It has been anything but sweet and rosy for Nigerians in the first weeks of 2018. Fuel queues persist, and those fingered in the gruesome killings in Benue continue to speak on national television. Nobody is sure how bad it really has been, with hardly every catastrophe being reported in the media.

But there were joyful things about the past week as the weekend came. We begin with those.

WINNERS

Davido

Few artistes in the world of music achieved what Davido did in 2017, and it was only right that he scooped the most important awards – Song and Video of the Year, and Artiste of the Year – at the Soundcity MVP held on Friday. The 25-year-old is promising a more eventful year; who’s to say surpassing the feat of back to back to back hit singles won’t be just as easy as it was last year?

Tiwa Savage, Maleek Berry and the foreign rap duo of Cassper Nyovest and Sarkodie were other MVPs on the night.

El Zakzaky

For the first time, the detained leader of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN) was able to speak freely to the press. There had been reports of his deteriorating health and it seemed to occur to the Department of State Services (DSS) to quell the rumours by letting the man speak for himself. Civil society groups are still demanding for his release but the good news is that he will be getting requisite medical attention from his own doctors.

Funke Akindele Bello

It is not entirely clear why her name has gone off the list of the cast for Avengers: Infinity Wars on IMDb, and replaced with Genevieve’s, but Funke Akindele remains a winner for everyone who works hard. The apparent cancellation of a scene in a movie would not define her as otherwise; her appearance on the list has already generated sufficient motivation for everyone who is coming up in any industry as to the heights they could attain with hard work and just being themselves.

INEC

The electoral umpire has published the timetable for the 2019 general elections, with the D-Day set at February 16. INEC has received praise from commentators for releasing a very detailed schedule for primaries, flagging of campaigns and for the elections proper. That makes it just under 400 days for Nigerians to take their future into their hands by deciding on whether the Buhari presidency deserves an extra second afternoon on May 29, 2019.

LOSERS

The insensitive and incompetent Buhari Presidency

In one week, President Buhari has given too much evidence for a case against his re-election in 2019. Not a single person represented the president or his administration in Benue where 73 persons killed by Fulani herdsmen in the first days of the year were buried. Buhari’s reaction to the attacks in Benue has been characteristically slow, reluctant and definitely not at par with how he’s responded to other marked groups, such as the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).

Add to that the show of incompetence in the appointment of the new Director General of the National Intelligence Agency (NIA), Ahmed Abubakar, Buhari’s former Arabic and French interpreter. How do you make someone who has repeatedly failed his promotion exams and as the head of an INTELLIGENCE agency?

Donald Trump

The President of the United States called African countries “shithole”, providing one more binding material for a reputation as a supremacist, racist individual. Trump’s comments have evoked a global consternation, particularly from African nations, prompting an official request by the African Union for him to retract his abhorrent views and apologise.

He may not have said something factually wrong as many have pointed Nigeria may, in fact, be a “shithole” country, but coming from the so-called leader of the free world was flatly irresponsible and disgusting.

Manchester City

Before Sunday evening, there had been the only team in the English Premier League yet to lose a game this season. But at Anfield, Manchester City’s late rally could not prevent them from losing their unbeaten stint. They could still go ahead to win the league with ease, but there was the huge sigh of relief from the rest of the league, especially Arsenal whose fans virtually hold on to their Invincibles record as the only bragging right in banter with other fans.

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