Liberia got a new president, Nigeria’s president has been asked by one of his predecessors not to run for reelection and Chimamanda Adichie delivered so flawless a clapback to foreign media, we want her to run for President!
These events and more gave us the juicy and controversial quotes that made the week:
The special press statement by former President Olusegun Obasanjo was unarguably the news of the week, debated and discussed on all platforms, both local and international. It was a categorical declaration to Buhari not to run again, summarised in these five sentences:
“Let us accept that the present administration has done what it can do to the limit of its ability, aptitude and understanding. Let the administration and its political party platform agree with the rest of us that what they have done and what they are capable of doing is not good enough for us. They have given as best as they have and as best as they can give. Nigeria deserves and urgently needs better than what they have given or what we know they are capable of giving. To ask them to give more will be unrealistic and will only sentence Nigeria to a prison term of four years if not destroy it beyond the possibility of an early recovery and substantial growth”
And then the killer blow:
“President Buhari does not necessarily need to heed my advice. But whether or not he heeds it, Nigeria needs to move on and move forward”
The statement was largely agreed to by all as being spot on. But the messenger came under scrutiny from persons like Ekiti state’s Ayo Fayose, who poked holes in OBJ’s authenticity; even going as far as questioning his current value to Nigerian politics:
“Obasanjo (the accuser) and Buhari (the accused) are both expired people that Nigerians are desirous of getting rid of. They both don’t know when they were born and have outlived their usefulness in the political life of Nigeria”
Mansur Dan Ali
The Minister of Defense dropped what some have begun to interpret as a ‘Decree 4’ type of announcement:
“Relevant security agencies should as a matter of urgency tackle the propagation of hate speeches through the social media, particularly by some notable Nigerians”.
This has not gone down well with many fearing that Buhari’s historical press muscling antics may return for the 2019 elections.
But the above was not the only stinging, controversial thing said by the Minister of Defense this week. On the crisis in Benue, Mr Dan Ali said the anti-grazing law was the issue, that no persons move about with AK-47s and that “the killings are not done by any particular group, it is a communal issue”
Obviously irritated, the Benue state Governor responded:
“I heard a statement credited to the Minister of Defense, saying the killings in Benue were as a result of the anti-open grazing law. I can’t see him saying that kind of thing. If he said so, I would have asked him what he has done about Fulani herdsmen going about with AK47s… It’s sad that those who are supposed to be assisting the President have instead, turned round to misinform him, all for their selfish interests”
For the first time since 1944, Liberia had a civilian to civilian transition of power following the handover of Ellen Johnson Sirleaf to George Weah. The new president’s inauguration was colourful and filled the stadium, reflecting the universal joy and bloodlessness of the new era:
“We have arrived at this transition neither by violence nor by force of arms. Not a single life was lost in the process. Blood should never be the price tag for democracy. Rather this transition was achieved by the fee and democratic will of the Liberian people guaranteed by the rules of law”
(Trivia: After the inauguration, Ms Sirleaf reportedly went to her car and drove herself home. Job done, in peace.)
“Judge me from day one”
On the 60th day after his inauguration, the Zimbabwean president was at the World Economic Forum to convince the world that the country, under his leadership, is now open and transparent and should he win the coming elections, should be assessed and judged from the first day.
Trump joined the global business elite at Davos for the World Economic Forum this week and appeared to be in a good mood. His demeanour and speech reflected more of the camera-friendly Trump than of the supremacist Trump:
“American First’ does not mean America Alone. When the United States grows, so does the world”
Judge Rosemarie Aquilina
Michigan’s Ingham County Circuit Court Judge had the duty of sentencing the perverted former US gymnastics doctor, Larry Nassar. She was not sparing in the words with which she hammered a 175-year sentence:
“That you still think that somehow you are right that you are a doctor and you are entitled and you don’t have to listen and that you did treatment. I would not send my dogs to you, sir. There is no treatment here.”
Asked by a French journalist on whether there were bookshops in Nigeria, Ms Adichie delivered the clap back of the week:
“I think it reflects very poorly on French people that you have to ask me that question”
— Asmau 🌺 (@theladyamy_) January 26, 2018
How do you, as a bottom team, beat a team that has beaten the unbeatable? That was the problem before Swansea city on Monday night as they hosted Liverpool at the Liberty. This was how the Swans boss, Carlos Carvalhal, described the game plan that saw them win by a first-half goal:
“I said to my players that Liverpool were a top team, they are really strong, but they are a Formula 1 car. If you put a Formula 1 car in London in traffic, the Formula 1 car will not run very fast. That is exactly what we had to do to play against Liverpool – stop them playing the way they like.”