Until last week, I have never heard the name Obi Cubana. All that I knew of Cubana was all that lifestyle magazines say about the Cubana nightclub in Lagos. I had no idea who owned it. And then, Obinna Iyiegbu, aka Obi Cubana, held the funeral of his mother in Oba, Idemili North Local government of Anambra State.

As pictures and videos from the ceremony saturate social media, I placed a call to an Oba friend of mine in Boston. I asked a simple question. “Who is Obi Cubana?”

My friend did not know him. He told me Obi Cubana…


Kidney failure will kill you in Nigeria. Did you say tufiakwa? Did I hear you say that it is not your portion?

You can say that again.

I could have said that kidney failure may kill you, but I think we have passed that level. It may kill you if you have diabetes and high blood pressure. It may kill you if you live in a developing country like Nigeria with a high prevalence of communicable diseases like bacterial, parasitic, and viral infections. It may kill you if you live in Nigeria with less than 200 nephrologists for a population…


Every fourth of July in America, presenters at the National Public Radio read the text of the US Declaration of Independence. Besides the popular lines, I have never paid much attention to some obscure lines in the Declaration of Independence. This year, I did. And I think the new meaning that I got from it must have something to do with today’s Nigerian situation.

Of course, I have always admired the first line. “When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume…


There was a plan to build a light rail connecting all the five state capitals of the East and major cities and towns. There was a great development plan to turn Eastern Nigeria into the industrial heartbeat of Nigeria like Spanish Catalonia or the German Rhine-Ruhr. There was a plan to secure for Eastern Nigeria a political structure that would guarantee the region an unrestricted right to self-determination, a kind of quasi-political independence the Scottish people in the UK enjoy. These plans had remained nothing but words on paper because, for so long, the right political leaders have not emerged…


Twenty-four hours after doctors at Maina Soko military hospital in Lusaka, Zambia, pronounced him dead, Kenneth Kaunda (KK) arrived at the large gold Pearly gates. Angel Gabriel stood at the gates with a silver sword in hand and a vuvuzela over his shoulders. He led Kenneth Kaunda through the gate without looking into the book for his name.

Angel Gabriel: Welcome, KK, the great teacher. How was your cruise?

Kaunda: Lovely! I’m surprised that you called me teacher. I last taught in 1949.

Angel Gabriel: I know. You last were in the classroom with chalk in hand in 1949. But…


There was no way of ever forgetting that day. I just woke up on the first day of my first summer holiday at Nnobi without my parents. I walked onto the veranda of our house and stretched my little seven-year-old body. With hands in the air and body twisted like an athlete about to throw a javelin, I let out a loud and wide yawn that neighbors heard in their farms and palm wine tappers on top of palm trees. Amidst the yawn, I saw my grandmother walking across our compound from her kitchen area towards the iron gate at…


The other day, the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister for Justice, Abubakar Malami, appeared on Channels Television’s Politics Today program to declare southern governors’ ban on open grazing unconstitutional.

The Usmanu Danfodiyo University-trained lawyer argued that the ban “does not align with the provisions of the Constitution, hence it does not hold water.” If he had stopped it there, it would have been one of those interventions of his that would soon be forgotten by history and forgiven by man. He did a similar thing after the rollout of the Western Nigeria Security Network codenamed Operation Amotekun in in…


What if tomorrow, the senate president initiates the impeachment of President Muhammadu Buhari on the floor of the national assembly for failing to uphold the terms of his oath of office and fulfill his constitutional responsibilities to Nigerians? How would that change Buhari’s lackadaisical attitude to leadership and the overall topography of Nigeria’s political scene?

Most politicians use the first part of their lives to destroy the last. For Ahmed Lawan, the president of the Nigerian senate, nothing in the first part of his life showed that he has anything to offer a desperate nation in search of heroes to…


On the day May Ellen Ezekiel (MEE), publisher of Classique magazine, a celebrity and entertainment journal, dumped me, Dr. Edwin Madunagu picked me up.

I still remember the day Classique magazine parted ways with me for my inability to deliver a cover story in six months of trial employment. It was the death of a dream that started while studying Agricultural Engineering at the Federal University of Technology, Akure. It was a dream to be not just a journalist but to be a journalist like MEE.

I tried. I got several stories published but not anything big enough to be…


Many people voted for Muhammadu Buhari as president in 2015 because he had Professor Yemi Osinbajo as his vice-presidential candidate. In 2011, one election cycle before that, Buhari found his John the Baptist in Pastor Tunde Bakare. In 2015, when he picked Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, he found his Jesus Christ and hit the jackpot. What Buhari wanted to achieve with Pastor Tunde Bakare in 2011, he finally accomplished with Prof. Yemi Osinbajo in 2015. Six years after, the question left for Prof. Yemi Osinbajo to answer is whether it is all worth it.

Is it worth it? Is it worth…

Rudolf Ogoo Okonkwo

Rudolf Ogoo Okonkwo is the author of "This American Life Sef."

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