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Yomi Kazeem: On Amanpour, Super Eagles and Banky W

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Yomi Kazeem: On Amanpour, Super Eagles and Banky W

by Yomi Kazeem

The Amanpour Interview

We all looked forward to it and knew what to expect. Mr President, faced with intelligent questions on a world stage, struggled to convince.

Christiane Amanpour is a legend in the business and predictably pitting her against His Excellency was a mis-match. While she prodded with intelligently crafted questions, the man previously without shoes struggled to respond with answers of corresponding quality. In a few cases, he actually responded with ‘notorious facts’ – a presidential euphemism for lies.

Without doubt, his symphatizers and media people will try to tilt this in Mr President’s favour but, as has been the case for quite a while now, the populace are smart enough to see through their gimmicks.

On terrorism, Mr President rightly said that deaths have reduced in recent times but failed to rebut allegations of indiscriminate and illegal killings and arrests of Boko Haram suspects.

On corruption, Mr President told CNN that his government was trying to eradicate corruption even though the same government has spectacularly failed in numerous cases when it had a chance to score high anti-corruption points.

On power, Mr President proclaimed Nigerians, including those watching CNN with their generators, to be happy with his government. In truth, the power sector has seen marked improvements but then again, knowing the country we live in where follow-up actions and maintenance are as much a reality as Nigeria winning the World Cup, let’s keep the praises under wraps for now.

Will the real Super Eagles please stand up?

You may wonder why talk of the national football team will find its way into a policy and politically inclined platform like The Scoop. Instances like the football war between Honduras and El Savador in 1969 have shown that football can tear apart people and the Ivory Coast national team, following their qualification for the 2006 World Cup showed that football can bring a nation together.

The Super Eagles have started the African Cup of Nations poorly after a draw against Burkina Faso left them in an unpleasant situation in an open group but they have a shot at redemption when they take on Zambia.

A good tournament for the Super Eagles will certainly not end our hydra-headed problems in this part of the world but let’s face it, a good outing for the team will give us something to smile about and see us forget our misery albeit for a short period of time. Super Eagles, over to you.

We need more BankyWs

Another set of people that can play a big role in shaping political landscapes in Nigeria are the musicians. They are at the forefront of a rapidly developing industry and have witnessed unprecedented cashflow and fame but maybe there may be more to all of that.

One can argue that on the night of the Amanpour interview, Banky W was the biggest winner. Already famous and rich beyond his dreams, BankyW was mentioned and given due credit for his work in activism. To be honest, BankyW’s music will not end corruption in Nigeria but what we do know for sure is that if there were others like him, people will take notice – that’s a good start.

Yomi's favourite words are 'Up Nepa'- blame PHCN. He is afraid of heights but once climbed to the summit of a mountain 12, 000 feet above sea level. Away from writing, he's a soccer pundit on radio. He's also an entrepreneur with empire building dreams. The results in that regard have been mixed so far. He blames Arsenal FC for everything wrong with the world and hopes their trophy drought lasts forever.

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