Sabella Ogbobode Abidde

Henry Okah was this week jailed for 24 years by a South African court for the bombings in Abuja, Nigeria, in 2010. The trial raises a number of important issues. The judge was hardly thorough, professional and impartial in handling of the case.


Once a respected and professional example of high legal standards around the world, the Nigerian judiciary has now entirely lost its way, writes Sabella Ogbobode Abidde. The judiciary is plagued by lost case files, tampered evidence and inmates seemingly locked up indefinitely, Abidde stresses, a picture of decline that mirrors that of Nigerian society as a whole.


As Major Hamza Al-Mustapha – a former aide to Sani Abacha – continues to be held without trial in Nigeria, Sabella Ogbobode Abidde argues against his indefinite detention. No matter how dubious a person's reputation may be, Nigeria needs to move away from the anti-democratic legal practices that characterised its former military regime, Abidde concludes.


Looking back at the immense optimism Nigeria's citizens felt for their country in the immediate post-colonial period, Sabella Ogbobode Abidde stresses that former pride has been entirely replaced by a pervasive desire to escape into 'exile'. In the face of corruption and poor healthcare and education, the average Nigerian cannot help but lament an absence of opportunities. This reality notwithstanding however, Abidde argues that it is incumbent upon Nigeria's youth to shape a better future more

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Following the revelations around the true age of Nigeria under-17 captain Fortune Chukwudi, Sabella Ogbobode Abidde writes in full support of the honesty of one of the player's former coaches, Adokiye Amiesimaka. As Amiesimaka faces ridicule and defamation of character, Abidde decries the behaviour of the supposedly religious individuals attacking a man who was only telling the truth.


In this week’s Pambazuka News, Sabella Ogbobode Abidde discovers why titles matter in the Nigerian context, where not properly addressing ‘certain people with their earned, dashed, or forged title, could get one into trouble’. ‘Some Nigerians, it seems, do not like to be ordinary people,’ Abidde writes, ‘They have to be somebody. They have to be important, a very, very important person – whether or not they add value to the community they live in.’

Governor Timipre Sylva of Nigeria's Bayelsa state is notable solely for his 'profligacy, perfidiousness, aloofness and incompetence', writes Sabella Ogbobode Abidde in this week's Pambazuka News. With Sylva content to pursue an apparently never-ending programme of foolish and money-gulping schemes, Abidde stresses that Bayelsans and the Ijaw group as a whole need to demonstrate the same willingness to challenge their own elites as they do the federal government and exploitative oil companies.

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While encouraging of speaker of the Nigerian House of Assembly Oladimeji Bankole's capacity to 'tell it as it is' with regard to the Niger Delta, Sabella Ogbobode Abidde finds the Nigerian government's lack of support for the area to be utterly deplorable. If the speaker, as a government representative, has in effect confessed to the 'long-suspected national crime' of the persistent exploitation of the Niger Delta, it is incumbent upon the state to usher in a genuine 'Marshall Plan' to begin more


While the Niger Delta represents the epicentre of an ongoing crisis in Nigeria, it is but a microcosm of a nationwide problem, writes Sabella Ogbobode Abidde in this week's Pambazuka News. The country must face up to its difficulties, Abidde contends, and not simply marginalise voices of dissent. Common sense must prevail and President Umaru Musa Yar'Adua must use the instrument of the state to pursue peace.


The Nigerian government is bleeding the Niger Delta dry of its oil, but the Ijaw ethnic community that actually owns most of the land is left empty-handed, writes Sabella Ogbobode Abidde in this week's Pambazuka News. Abidde stresses that Niger Deltans cannot be treated in this fashion and that their will must be respected by the central government, arguing that more money must flow back into Ijawland in order to tackle the chronic neglect the region has suffered.