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Feature News

EDITOR'S NOTE ON GOVERNANCE

Oct
21
By the Editor

Several months ago, we thought we were about to see light at the end of the COVID-19 pandemic tunnel. Then our high optimism was deflated by the emergence of the D variant of the virus. Again, optimism is rising since more than 70% of the eligible people in the developed countries have now been vaccinated. Unfortunately, the fact that the level of vaccination in the developing countries is still extremely low, thus providing a breeding ground for new variants of the virus which may be resistant to the present vaccines.

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BLASPHEMY IS A RIGHT, NOT A CRIME

Oct
21
By Leo Igwe, Abuja-based correspondent

The arrest of Nigerian Humanist, Mubarak Bala, for blasphemy on April 28, 2020, has generated heated debates about blasphemy. Opinions are divided regarding the concept of the contempt of religion and how alleged blasphemers should be treated. In this piece, I draw attention to the often-overlooked perspective that blasphemy is part of everyday discourse. Contempt of religion is part of the universe of faith and belief. I suggest that it is utterly senseless for some religious believers, Muslims in this case, to accuse somebody of blasphemy. I submit that blasphemy is a right, not a crime, and should be respected and not penalized.

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IS THERE AN AFRICAN SPECIFIC DEMOCRACY?

Oct
21
By Okot Nyormoi, Editor

Okot NyormoiDemocracy is one of the most important ideas in human history. Different people in various places, and at various times often hotly debate it, fight for, and even die for it. In Western cultures, it is believed that democracy was invented in Athens, Greece a long time ago (7th century BCE), though the idea and practice also existed in various cultures in Eastern Europe, Asia, Africa, and America in one form or another without necessarily calling it democracy or having it written down. Africans and non-Africans have discussed democracy with respect to Africa in many forums.

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IS THERE A LINK BETWEEN NORTHERN NIGERIA AND NORTHERN UGANDA?

Oct
21
By John Otim, writer and journalist

Lango YouthsSome years back Professor Joseph Opio-Odongo told me this story. It was a story I could not discard. Opio-Odongo is Lango is Northern Ugandan is a former Makerere University professor of Agric. Econ. He once lived and worked in Northern Nigeria. A strange thing happened to him and his wife. He was teaching at the Ahmadu Bello University in Northern Nigeria. That morning he and his wife were going shopping at the local market. Nigeria is well known for its huge and lively markets. (A program called Story, Story: Voices from the Market, wholly Nigerian produced, is currently running on BBC World Service).

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WILL BIDEN AND AMERICA DISCARD THE WILD WEST DOCTRINE?

Oct
21
By Ocaya p’Ocure, a social media commentator, Uppsala, Sweden

Horses and Whips at the borderOne must accept that international politics as we read about and knew it then has died a natural death since the coming down of the Berlin wall leaving us with only the Chinese wall. This means, there is no need for President Joe Biden’s Administration to pursue either his own foreign or national policies or the “Make America Great Again” policies of former President Donald Trump. A few months ago, there were images at the US border with Mexico which spread on social media which were not different from those seen during the Trump Administration.

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DESPITE BREXIT EUROPE WILL CONTINUE TO COME TOGETHER

Oct
21
By Jonathan Power, International & Foreign Affairs weekly columnist

Jonathan PowerThe lorries have no drivers. The supermarket shelves are emptying. The poor are having their subsidies cut. The British government ties itself in knots trying to square what is a circle in Northern Ireland. Brexit–the leaving of the EU–is failing the nation. But Europe itself is not failing. In fact, it is about to get stronger. Writing in 1751 Voltaire described Europe as "a kind of great republic, divided into several states, some monarchical, the others mixed but all corresponding with one another. They all have the same religious foundation, even if divided into several confessions. They all have the same principles of public law and politics unknown in other parts of the world."

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