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USAfrica’s Founder Chido Nwangwu, Gen. Teidi get honorary Doctorate of Humanities degree

The U.S.-sponsored, leading international christian education college/seminary in Africa and an affiliate of the University of Nigeria (UNN), WATS, during its 20th Anniversary events May 20-23, 2009, in Lagos, awarded two of its first honorary Doctor of Humanities degrees to the Founder of the USAfrica multimedia networks and data mining corporation Chido Nwangwu, and retired Gen. Samuel L. Teidi, member of the Board of Directors of one of Africa’s largest corporations, Dangote Flour Mills….

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USAfrica’s Founder Chido Nwangwu, Gen. Teidi get honorary Doctorate of Humanities degree

Lagos: The U.S.-sponsored, leading international christian education college/seminary in Africa and an affiliate of the University of Nigeria (UNN), WATS, during its 20th Anniversary events May 20-23, 2009, in

USAfrica multimedia networks publisher Dr. Chido Nwangwu being interviewed by the media after the conferment. Photo by Agbo Agara, USAfrica.

USAfrica multimedia networks publisher Dr. Chido Nwangwu being interviewed by the media after the conferment. Photo by Agbo Agara, USAfrica.

Lagos, awarded two of its first honorary Doctor of Humanities degrees to the Founder of the USAfrica multimedia networks and data mining corporation Chido Nwangwu, and retired Gen. Samuel L. Teidi, member of the Board of Directors of one of Africa’s largest corporations, Dangote Flour Mills.

The keynote speaker at the anniversary is Prof. Pat Utomi, a former candidate for Nigeria’s presidency in 2007 and one of the African continent’s leading public policy analysts. Since 1992, WATS has been officially affiliated with the University of Nigeria, Nsukka (Nigeria’s first indigenous university).

Speaking on behalf of he board of trustees of WATS, its founder and acting provost Dr. Gary Maxey, an American missionary, said “it’s such a high honor for an institution with moral and ethical foundations to honor the two who count among Africa’s most dedicated professionals, former former Commandant of Nigeria’s School of Ammunition retired Gen. Teidi and USAfrica’s Founder Chido Nwangwu who is recognized and respected as the most influential and authoritative African-born multimedia executive in the United States.”

chido.doctorate2009.Lagos1-300x200It was Gen. Teidi’s second honorary degree; having received a Doctor of Science degree from St. Clement University in Australia.

Dr. Maxey adds that “Chido Nwangwu earns this 2009 Honorary Doctor of Humanities degree in respect and recognition of his almost 25 years of authoring, broadcasting and articulating hundreds of original, authoritative public policy advocacies and for his strong and consistent position of fighting authoritarianisms and bigotry in order to foster a better environment for people of all races and backgrounds towards the pursuit of life, liberty, happiness and dedication to God’s grace. He actively supports christian education. He served as an advisory board member on international business to the former Mayor of Houston (America’s 4th largest city) and he is the first continental African admitted as member of the 100 Black Men of America.”

The Twentieth Anniversary celebrations will include a number of activities, including a three-day conference tagged “The Power of the African-American Pulpit,” and features the teaching and preaching of Dr. Ralph Douglas West (Church Without Walls, in Houston, Texas), Dr. Maurice Watson (Beulahland Bible Church, in Macon, Georgia), and Dr. Sola Aworinde (Agape Bible Church in Lagos). The other recipients of honorary Doctor of Divinity degree are Rev. Leroy Adams, Rev. Donald R. Plemons, Rev. Bernard Dawson, Rev. B.C.K. Obiako and Alan Bullock.

Dr. Maxey makes the point: “we are honoring, in part, Chido’s 25 years of effectively utilizing the multimedia of print, tv, radio, internet (especially the USAfrica multimedia networks, the CNN, BBC, VOA, South African Broadcasting corporation, Nigeria media outlets and numerous international platforms) to empower and foster a focused transnational exchange between Africans and Americans. We recall that America’s flagship newspaper The New York Times recently cited Chido Nwangwu and his USAfrica networks as the largest and arguably the most influential African-owned U.S-based media corporation.”

Chido who is based in Houston-Texas is the Founder & Publisher of the first African-owned, U.S based newspaper to be published on the Internet USAfricaonline.com, CLASSmagazine, The Black Business Journal, USAfricaTV, AchebeBooks.com, the e-groups of AfricanChristians, IgboEvents, Nigeria360, NigeriaBanks.com, and other platforms.

Dr. Maxey also notes that retired General Teidi “is being honoured by the Seminary for his contributions to humanity and as a long-time supporter of WATS. For decades Gen. Teidi has made continuous provision for orphans, widows and others in destitute circumstances, including sponsorship of education up to the university level. He is instrumental to the admission of over 850 Nigerians on a subsidized scheme basis.”Teidi, chairman of Overseas Agency Nigeria Limited, was commissioned into the Nigerian Army in 1969 following his graduation from the Nigeria Defence Academy (NDA) in September 1969. He has since furthered his military and academic training and obtained a diploma from the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst, UK; B.Sc. (Applied Physics) from the Council of National Academic Award (CCNA); M.Phil (Atmosphere Physics).

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Congratulations, Chido merits the honorary Doctor of Humanities degree…

By Temple Chima Ubochi

ubochit@yahoo.com

Bonn, Germany

Friday, May 15, 2009 in NigeriaWorld.com, excerpted from commentary

http://nigeriaworld.com/feature/publication/ubochi/051509.html

Please permit me here and now to congratulate Chido Nwangwu, for the honorary Doctor of Humanities degree he will be awarded on May 23, 2009. Chido will be receiving the honorary award from WATS, which is the leading international christian education college/seminary in Africa, during its 20th Anniversary events May 20-23, 2009, in Lagos. WATS will award one of the two of its first honorary Doctor of Humanities degrees to Chido Nwangwu who is the Founder of the USAfrica multimedia networks and data mining corporation. Since 1992, the WATS diploma and degree programs have been affiliated with the University of Nigeria, Nsukka (Nigeria’s first indigenous university).

The founder and acting provost of WATS, Dr. Gary Maxey, an American missionary, said “it’s such a high honor for an institution with moral and ethical foundations to honor one of those who count among Africa’s most dedicated professionals. That USAfrica’s Founder Chido Nwangwu is recognized and respected as the most influential and authoritative African-born multimedia executive in the United States!

I agreed with Dr. Maxey intoto when he added that “Chido Nwangwu earns this 2009 Honorary Doctor of Humanities degree in respect and recognition of his almost 25 years of authoring, broadcasting and articulating hundreds of original, authoritative public policy advocacies and for his strong and consistent position of fighting authoritarianisms and bigotry in order to foster a better environment for people of all races and backgrounds towards the pursuit of life, liberty, happiness and dedication to God’s grace. He actively supports christian education. He served as an advisory board member on international business to the former Mayor of Houston (America’s 4th largest city) and he is the first continental African admitted as member of the 100 Black Men of America.”

Dr. Maxey went on to say: “we are honoring, in part, Chido’s 25 years of effectively utilizing the multimedia of print, tv, radio, internet (especially the USAfrica multimedia networks, the CNN, BBC, VOA, South African Broadcasting corporation, Nigeria media outlets and numerous international platforms) to empower and foster a focused transnational exchange between Africans and Americans We recall that America’s flagship newspaper The New York Times recently cited Chido Nwangwu and his USAfrica networks as the largest and arguably the most influential African-owned U.S-based media corporation.”

For those who do not know: Chido who is based in Houston-Texas, is the Founder & Publisher of the first African-owned, U.S based newspaper to be published on the Internet USAfricaonline.com, CLASSmagazine, The Black Business Journal, USAfricaTV, AchebeBooks.com, the e-groups of AfricanChristians, IgboEvents, Nigeria360, NigeriaBanks.com, and other platforms.

Chido merited this award and he deserves the very best of awards for his hardwork and service. I know that we will be hearing more of such goodnews for Chido in the future. He has carved a niche for himself. I can only add: Chido nwannaa, jide nke iiji (keep it up). As a fellow lion (UNN alumnus), fellow UNN Students´ Union official during our days at the university (although we served in different sessions) and a fellow Aba brought up, I owe Chido this congratulation. He should accept it.

Chido’s success is a source of pride to many of us. It is good to rejoice with our people who are doing marvellously well in their field of endeavour.

Temple Ubochi

———

USAfrica, Houston. June 5, 2009

Dear Temple: I googled my name and saw your kind and gracious notes a few minutes ago, dateline Bonn, Germany. May God bless you for your kind words and encouragement.

We had a very blessed and worthy event. I did not know that so many of our folks, Africans and Americans, had so much respect and appreciation for the modest, growing efforts we make at USAfrica. We are even more humbled by these graces, support and prayers.

I returned from Nigeria n London last Thursday.

Jisie ike, and I will always remember/

Chido Nwangwu, USAfrica.

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From: Lady Mrs. Oyibo Odinamadu, former vice presidential candidate in Nigeria’s 1978-1979 elections; she holds a 1952 Bachelor of Arts in Education, History, Sociology, from the Lincoln University of Missouri, USA; Master of Arts in Education, Columbia University, New York, USA 1953. She is Knight of St. Christopher of the Church Of Nigeria.
e-mail: oyibomail@yahoo.com

Congratulations, my dear son, Dr. Chido!

It is with the greatest excitement and elation that I received the news of the acknowledgement and appreciation of your professional efforts and achievements by the WATS – the foremost international Christian College/Seminary in Africa – with the honorary doctorate Degree of Doctor of Humanities. Also the affiliation of the WATS with the University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN) is very noteworthy.

The honor cannot be more richly deserved or better fitted. You have more than worked for it; and I am sure that more of such recognitions are in the pipeline! As I have said before: You are one of the outstanding personalities that make the Igbo population to tick! You have done us – the Igbo, Nigerians and Africans – very proud indeed! Congratulations!

Nno-o! Jisie ike! Ike agwuna gi n’olu! Na gi nwe aka-a!
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On Thu, May 14, 2009 at 12:54 PM, Oscar Juli8 <oscarjuli8@gmail.com> wrote:

Congratulations!

Chido, I am very proud of you for all your quiet achievements. You are not loud, yet you are heard all over the world. In your near extreme humility you are hardly ever spotted in boisterous events, still you are viewed globally. I believe that your wonderful personality accentuated by your excellent command of both the written and spoken English language have niched you in eminence. It would not be an exaggeration to describe you as a nulli secundus in authoritative US-Africa link authoring. Your candidacy in the forthcoming West Africa Theological Seminary (WATS) honorary Doctor of Humanities Award is another star added to your galaxy.

Chido, you are not only a source of pride to the Arochukwu Kingdom, you are more so to all Africans and African-Americans, even beyond to other peoples of the world who cherish literary excellence. Chido, if you do not mind, may I be the first to address you as Dr. Chido Nwangwu.

Okoro Oji.

Mazi ndeewo.
I’m in WashDC; rtn2 Houston in 5 hours/
I’m very deeply touched by your kind words and relentless support; for the prayers and motivation of our family and friends, at all times, whether I’m going thru’ the toughening, tasking path of temporary thunder or propelled by the certainty of the sunshine of God’s grace.
Cheers and to God be all the glory!
Chidozie Nwangwu
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On Thu, Aug 6, 2009 at 6:21 PM, Asagwara Ken <Ken.Asagwara@gov.mb.ca> wrote:

My Dear Brother Dr. Nwangwu:

Congratulations…. You are one brother I talk a lot about to my while friends and colleagues directing them to your website. It is needless to say, I am proud of you because I know you know that. Keep up the good works.

Really, I am looking forward to joining your organization in the near future, if circumstance permits it. Till then, keep shooting, my bros.

KC Prince Asagwara, Canada.

—————–

On Mon, Jun 1, 2009 at 3:20 PM, Uzo Udemba <udembau@trendtv.tv> wrote:

Chido. I feel very vindicated. I thank  God for the talents  He has bestowed upon you. The harvest is indeed plenty but the laborers are very few….  It is my fervent prayer that God continues to bless us with many more like you.

Keep it up brother.

Uzo Udemba, Chairman TrendTV, Lagos

—————-
Summary/updated bio-profile:


Dr. CHIDO NWANGWU, recently profiled by the CNN International for his pioneering works on multimedia/news/public policy projects for Africans and Americans http://edition.cnn.com/video/#/video/international/2010/07/29/mpa.african.media.bk.a.cnn , is the Founder and Publisher of the influential and respected multimedia networks USAfrica, USAfricaonline.com (first African-owned U.S.-based professional newspaper to be published on the Internet), the Chinua Achebe project Achebebooks.com,  CLASSmagazine, the pictorial events mega-site with the largest collection of contemporary images/events of continental Africans in America PhotoWorks.TV, The Black Business JournalBBJonline.com, several blogs including Nigeria360e-group, and USAfrica The Newspaper which voted the Number One community newspaper in Houston (the 4th largest city in the U.S.) in the annual ranking by the readers and editors of the Houston Press in 2001. 

The flagship of American media, The New York Times of September 23, 2003, noted that USAfrica is America’s largest African-owned multimedia company. The New York Times’ reporter Simon Romero wrote that Chido “Nwangwu recently created a magazine called CLASS for affluent Africans in the United States.” To be sure, it’s not only for the affluent but the willing and deserving. CLASS is the Africans-in-America’s own Ebony and People and GQ – all rolled into one unique product: an ultra-glossy magazine of African style, music, living, fashion and our younger generation interests. He calls the latter group ‘generation Class.’ CLASS is the magazine for successful, pioneering, style-pacesseting and exemplary Africans in America.

He appears as an analyst on the CNN, the Voice of America/WorldNet and the Black Entertainment Televsion (BET), as well a number of local U.S. tv and radio stations. Also, he was the only continental African publisher/reporter who traveled with and covered U.S. President Bill Clinton’s historic visit to parts of Africa, March-April 2, 1998; and covered Clinton’s visit to Nigeria in late August, 2000.

Chido served on Houston Mayor Lee Brown’s international business advisory board (Africa) and has been honored by the Washington-D.C.based National Immigration Forum for utilizing the media to fight authoritarianism and foster freedom of expression in parts of African continent. He has served on the board of the Houston chapter of the NAACP, and was the first continental African to be admitted to the 100 Black Men of America, here in the U.S.

Dr. Chido Nwangwu served as the moderator of the Achebe Colloquium (Governance, Security, and Peace in Africa) December 7-8, 2012 at Brown University, in Rhode Island.

In 2005, he established one of the most vibrant Africa community e-groups/blogs/community calendars for sharing info/announcements of upcoming and special events, insight to significant dates, festivals, events, resolutions/communique and historic milestones involving (or relevant to) persons, organizations and groups of Nigerian descent Nigeria360, the blog for the Igbo pan-African heritage, called IgboEvents; an Anglican community blog, AnglicanAfrican, and more. They are all powered by the resources of USAfrica and USAfricaonline.com.

Nwangwu speaks at colleges and businesses on technology issues, especially how the unfolding the digital world and the Internet affect Africans, African-Americans and recent immigrants. He served as a panelist at the 2000 British Broadcasting Corporation/Public Radio International global technology forum in San Francisco, California.

He served on the editorial board of the Daily Times of Nigeria in the 1989 into early 1990s, 1988-1989 assistant editor of the Platform magazine, African and The World journal. He began his professional career as a very young man in the news, sports and programs production/camera/editing departments of the Nigerian Television Authority. He contributes to The Mail and Guardian of South Africa, Houston Chronicle, and numerous U.S.-based and Africa issues publications.

In recognition of his engaging and pioneering digital design work on USAfricaonline.com and other web sites, Chido was voted the #1 African-American web designer in 1997 by the Houston Association of Black Journalists. He has since conceptualized, designed and maintained through his company, USAfrica Digital Media, a number of web sites, including private corporations and such governmental sites as the Abia State of Nigeria first web site in 2001.

Nwangwu is author of the special report, Clinton’s Africa, and is writing a book on the experiences of recent African immigrants in the U.S.

He has been profiled in the Houston Chronicle (8th highest circulated newspaper in the U.S.), the Orlando Sentinel, Mail and Guardian of South Africa, and a number of other publications. Some of Chido Nwangwu’s works, bio-data and context of his writings were recently profiled in February, 2001 in a report in the Houston Press by prolific essayist and reporter John Suval.

He is the convener of the annual inter-denominational USAfrica Prayer Breakfast, which holds at 9am prompt on the last Saturday of every January, of every year, since 1999. He serves on the advisory board of several community building and international organizations including EVA (Education as Vaccine against AIDS-based in Nigeria and the U.S). He is an active new technologies analyst, television and multimedia executive, cross-cultural business consultant and an artist.


For speaking engagements, e-mail or call 713-270-5500. Wireless 832-45-CHIDO (24436)

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BrkNEWS #BokoHaram overruns army base; hundreds of soldiers missing in northern Nigeria

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Buhari-clasped-USAfrica

AFP: Hundreds of Nigerian troops are missing after Boko Haram jihadists overran a military base in the remote northeast, security sources said Sunday, in the second major assault on the armed forces in two days.

The militants invaded a base holding more than 700 soldiers in Yobe state — where they abducted over 100 girls from a school earlier this year — in an hours-long onslaught Saturday night, a military source told AFP on condition of anonymity.

Fewer than 100 soldiers have returned following the attack, which took place just 24 hours after Boko Haram fighters ambushed a military convoy in neighbouring Borno state on Friday.

The two assaults have highlighted the tenuous hold Nigerian forces have on the ravaged region despite claims by President Muhammadu Buhari’s government that the country is in a “post-conflict stabilisation phase”.

“Boko Haram terrorists attacked troops of the 81st Division Forward Brigade at Jilli village in Geidam district. The terrorists came in huge numbers around 7:30 pm (1830 GMT) and overran the base after a fierce battle that lasted until 9:10 pm,” said the military source.

“The base had 734 troops. Currently the commander of the base and 63 soldiers have made it to Geidam (60 kilometres away) while the remaining 670 are being expected,” he said, without elaborating on their possible fate.

“We don’t know if there were any casualties among the troops. That will be known later,” he said, adding that the base was new and the troops had recently arrived from Lagos, Nigeria’s commercial capital.

A leader of a local anti-jihadist militia said the soldiers sustained casualties, but was unable to give a toll, attributing the attack to the Abu-Mus’ab Al-Barnawi faction of Boko Haram, which is known for targeting Nigerian forces.

“We learned that they drove from Lake Chad through Gubio (in nearby Borno state) and attacked the base,” he said.

Geidam resident Fannami Gana said the jihadists “overwhelmed” the troops.

“We don’t know the details of what happened but we learnt they were overwhelmed by hundreds of Boko Haram gunmen,” said Gana.

Nigerian army spokesman Texas Chukwu said he did not know about the attack.

“I am not aware of the attack because (I) have not received information from there,” Chukwu said in a text message to AFP.

On Friday, 23 Nigerian soldiers went missing after Boko Haram ambushed a convoy outside Bama, leading to the loss of several military vehicles.

According to a military officer, “around 100 terrorists” attacked the convoy.

The sophisticated attacks highlight the continued threat — and evolution — of Boko Haram, an Islamic State group ally, said Yan St-Pierre, counter-terrorism advisor and head of the Berlin-based Modern Security Consulting Group.

St-Pierre suggested the attacks could be because Boko Haram fighters are vying for control of the faction led by Abubakar Shekau, the long-time jihadist leader who is reportedly ill.

“When a near-mythical leader is on his way out there’s always a battle to establish who could be next,” said St-Pierre.

The attacks show the persistent threat of Boko Haram in the Lake Chad region, he said.

As the jihadists exploit rampant poverty in the region, the Nigerian army, which is overstretched and under-resourced, struggles to keep the insurgency in check.

“The supply of Boko Haram fighters is always there, either through kidnapping or economic reasons, they tap into a wide pool of personnel, they find a way to replenish their strength,” St-Pierre said.

Buhari, a 75-year-old former military ruler, came to power three years ago on a promise to defeat Boko Haram.

But while there have been clear military gains since a counter-insurgency was launched in 2015, suicide bombings and raids remain a constant threat, particularly to civilians.

Boko Haram’s Islamist insurgency has devastated the region since 2009, leaving at least 20,000 people dead, displacing more than two million others and triggering a humanitarian crisis.

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USAfrica: Why Trump should watch out on May 30 for Biafra memorial day

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By Rev Joshua Amaezechi, contributing editor of USAfricaonline.com, Minister of the Christian Reformed Church of North America (CRCNA) and Lead Chaplain, at the Kalamazoo County Jail 

History, they say, often repeats itself. This happens because we fail to learn from it and avoid its pitfalls. A look at history may provide a path for President Trump to reshape the US foreign policy on Nigeria in a manner that promotes life and advances human progress. An alternative is to ignore history and follow the known path of executive and economic convenience as was done in the past and live with the outcome.

History is perhaps about to repeat itself. Igbo Christians as well as their neighboring Christians in the middle belt of Nigeria have been facing unchallenged terrorist attacks from radical Islamists “Fulani Herdsmen” who overrun Christian communities, killing women, men and children and seeking to take over their lands. There had been many cases in which the Nigerian Military under President Buhari had been accused of aiding and abetting these attacks as killers were neither arrested nor frontally confronted by the State Security. Official policies of the government of President Buhari to reduce arms in the hands of civilians ended up only disarming the natives, thereby giving the invading herdsmen an edge over their victims. 

Like Nixon, president Trump has declared that the killing of Christians in Nigeria would no longer be acceptable to the US government. During a recent visit of President Buhari of Nigeria to the White House, president Trump was quoted to have said:

 “Also, we’ve had very serious problems with Christians who have been murdered, killed in Nigeria. We’re going to be working on that problem, and working on that problem very, very hard, because we can’t allow that to happen.”

 President Trumps commitment to protect Christians in Nigeria was reaffirmed in his speech on the National Day of prayer and aligns with his campaign promise to tackle the problem of Boko haram and Islamic terrorism, twin problems which as believed by the Christian Association of Nigeria(CAN) are geared towards the Islamization of Nigeria. But Nixon’s declaration on Biafra is different from President Trump’s promise to protect Christians in Nigeria. While the later was a declaration of a high profile presidential candidate, the latter is the declaration of a sitting president. However, both declarations place similar moral obligation on the US government to act decisively to protect Christians, especially at this time when 99% of the strategic Armed forces of Nigeria are headed by Muslims and mostly kinsmen of President Buhari who is widely known for his nepotism and unflinching support for the spread of Islam. 

The moral obligation of the US comes to the fore as the Igbo people and the peoples of the former Republic of Biafra who are mainly Christians and Omenana Jews gather on May 30 to remember the estimated 3.5 million of their folks who were killed during the Nigerian Biafran war. Already, Nigeria’s ‘President Buhari’s government has deployed Soldiers and combat airplanes to the region ahead of the May 30 memorial, even when that region is known to be the safest and peaceful part of Nigeria. While it is a moral tragedy that genocidists who should have been in jail, were allowed to become Presidents and heads of states in Nigeria, some with streets and public places named after them; it is even a greater moral evil for the bereaved to be denied the freedom and solemnity to mourn their dead. 

It is the aggregation of the pains and sorrow of many Christian families who lost their loved ones due to Nixons dereliction of his moral obligation to save Biafra from genocide and its interplay with current persecution of Christians in Nigeria that makes May 30 a day to watch for President Trump. The moral burden of allowing 1967-1970 to repeat itself will be too much for the US to bear.

 From 1967 to 1970, the Igbo people of the South Eastern Nigeria, with over 80% Christian majority faced the danger of extinction in an avoidable war between Nigeria and the Republic of Biafra. The US presidential candidate, then former Vice President and front runner in the presidential election Richard Milhous Nixon attracted widespread attention and support when on September 8, 1968 he issued a statement calling on the US to intervene in the Nigerian-Biafra war, describing the Nigerian governments war against the Biafrans as a “genocide” and the “destruction of an entire people”. Following his declaration, the Christians of Igbo land felt a sense of relief with the expectation that Nixon’s victory at the poll would usher in a shift in US foreign policy on Nigeria and a departure from Lyndon Johnson’s half-hearted interestedness, evidenced by minimalist provision of relief to the starving Igbo in the Biafran territory.

 Nixon won! Unfortunately, rather than act to end genocide in Biafra, President Nixon followed Lyndon Johnson’s policy. Not even the declassified memo from the former US Secretary of State and NSA, Henry Kissinger, describing the Igbo as “the wandering Jews of west Africa..” and calling for a more robust response turned the needle of President Nixon’s neglect to follow up on his campaign promises on Biafra. With these words “I hope Biafra survives”, he gave up Biafra. The result was that estimated 1 million children and civilians were starved to death following the official blockade of all access of food aid and medical relief by the Nigerian Military Government. 

While the Watergate Scandal put the final seal on Nixon’s presidency, many would argue that his foreign policy failures, including his relative silence over genocide against Biafrans  ate deep into his political capital leaving him with no significant goodwill. We know how it ended: President Nixon resigned!

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#Breaking “Worst case scenario” predicted for latest outbreak of Ebola in the Democratic Republic of Congo

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The World Health Organisation says it is preparing for “the worst case scenario” in a fresh outbreak of Ebola in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

WHO has recorded 32 suspected or confirmed cases in Bikoro, including 18 deaths, between April 4 and May 9. The cases include three healthcare workers, one of whom has died.

This is the country’s ninth known outbreak of Ebola since 1976, when the disease was first identified in then-Zaire by a Belgian-led team. Efforts to contain the latest outbreak have been hampered because the affected region of the country is very remote.

“There are very few paved roads, very little electrification, access is extremely difficult… It is basically 15 hours by motorbike from the closest town,” WHO’s head of emergency response Peter Salama said.

Cases have already been reported in three separate locations around Bikoro, and Mr Salama warned there was a clear risk the disease could spread to more densely populated areas.

WHO is particularly concerned about the virus reaching Mbandaka, which has around one million inhabitants and is only a few hours away from Bikoro.

“If we see a town of that size infected with Ebola, then we are going to have a major urban outbreak,” Mr Salama warned.

The organisation has a team on the ground and is preparing to send up to 40 more specialists to the region in the coming week or so.

Nigeria’s government this week ordered that travellers from DR Congo should be screened as an additional security measure after the fresh outbreak was confirmed, but the request was rejected by Nigeria’s health workers’ unions, who have been striking since April 18 over pay and conditions.

The country does not share a border with DR Congo but memories are still fresh of an Ebola outbreak in 2014 that killed seven people out of 19 confirmed cases. ref: AFP

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USAfrica: Will Rwanda President Kagame succeed President Kagame, ruling for 34 years?

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Special to USAfricaonline.com

Who will succeed President Paul Kagame? Ask the ruling party – Rwanda Patriotic Front (RPF) – and Rwandan citizens, says the president.

“The succession plan is not mine. If it had been, I would not be here now; I would have left because that is what I intended to do,” President Kagame said last week during a panel discussion at the Mo Ibrahim Governance summit in Kigali.

President Kagame was elected to a third seven-year term in 2017, after a constitutional referendum led to the suspension of term limits.

Under the amended constitution, a presidential term was slashed from seven to five years, and set to be renewed only once. This allows President Kagame to run for two further five-year terms when his current term ends- potentially making him rule for 34 years until 2034.

But even after winning his third term with an enviable 99 per cent of the vote, President Kagame said he had no intentions of leading past two terms, and was only persuaded by Rwandans to stay on.

“I intended to serve the two terms and leave; that was my intention and it is clear, I don’t have to keep defending myself on it. I was deeply satisfied in my heart … until people asked me to stay,” he said.

“And even then, it took some time before I accepted; finally I did because of history — the history of my involvement in politics and being a leader which started from childhood.”

The Rwandan head of state argued that it was never his ambition to be president in the first place, and that he was not prepared to lead the country after the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi, turning down his party when they fronted him as a leader.

“In 1994, my party had taken it for granted that I was going to take the helm as the leader. I told them to look for someone else. I told them I wasn’t prepared for it; it was not what I was fighting for,” he said.

“I became vice president and Minister of Defence. Later, then president (Pasteur Bizimungu) had problems with parliament and was impeached. They turned to me and asked me to lead and I said yes.”

President Kagame warned that although it appeared as though his longevity in power has been left for him to decide, there will come a time when no amount of persuasion from his party or the citizenry will convince him to stay.

“If I were to reach a stage — and I will not reach that stage — where people ask me to continue… and when I feel I cannot do much for them, then I will tell them no. Even if they insist, I will also insist on going,” he said.

The president said that once he is out of power, he will support his successor.

But in a country where rights groups have alluded that the political climate only favours the ruling party, it is unlikely that President Kagame’s successor — whenever he or she comes — will come from outside the RPF.

On top of overseeing a strong recovery of the Rwandan economy, ensuring peace and stability, the RPF has consolidated political and financial power since taking over power in 1994.

This is to the point of having several other political parties seeking for coalition with RPF rather than contend for influence.

•Mugisha, Rwandan journalist and author Of Sheep That Smell Like Wolves is based in Kigali, Rwanda. He contributes to the East African.

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AFRICA

World SOCCER SHOWDOWN: South Africa backs Morocco; U.S under pressure

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Special to USAfrica [Houston]  • USAfricaonline.com  •  @Chido247  @USAfricalive

“It is an old myth that Africa doesn’t have the capacity, and naysayers should stop using the political argument. Africa hosted the best Fifa World Cup ever and with good support, Morocco can emulate South Africa,” said the SAFA president Jordaan.

Johannesburg – South Africa Football Association (SAFA) president Danny Jordaan has promised Morocco that South Africa will give its unqualified support to secure another World Cup on the African continent in 2026.

Morocco is vying to stage the world’s biggest football prize against a joint bid by Canada, Mexico and the U.S.

The Moroccan delegation comprises ex-Senegal and Liverpool striker El Hadji Diouf and former Cameroonian goalkeeper Joseph-Antoine Bell.

Jordaan said it would be great for Africa to have a second bite of the World Cup cherry, adding Morocco’s bid was Africa’s bid.

Jordaan assured Morocco that he would personally lobby for the Council for Southern Africa Football Associations (Cosafa) and the rest of the continent to rally behind the Moroccans.

In his remarks, Antoine Bell said Morocco had all the ingredients to host another spectacular World Cup.

“South Africa showed the way and I am confident Morocco will follow suit. The country has international standards, from the stadiums to top infrastructure. Morocco can compete with the best in the world,” he said.

By giving Morocco its support, South Africa’s voice would make all the difference on the continent, Bell said.

“When South Africa talks on the continent, the rest of the continent listens hence it is vital for South Africa to support Morocco. South Africa has the experience and Morocco will use this experience to win the 2016 bid,” added Bell. African News Agency

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USAfrica: Catholic priest Etienne killed by militia in DR Congo, after a wedding mass

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Special to USAfrica [Houston]  •  @USAfricaLIVE

Goma – A Catholic priest was found shot dead hours after he said mass in Democratic Republic of Congo’s restive North Kivu province, a member of the church told AFP.

“Father Etienne Sengiyumva was killed [on] Sunday by the Mai Mai Nyatura (militia) in Kyahemba where he had just celebrated a mass including a baptism and a wedding,” father Gonzague Nzabanita, head of the Goma diocese where the incident occurred, told AFP.

The Mai Mai Nyatura are an armed group operating in North Kivu, in eastern DRC.

Nzabanita said Sengiyumva, 38, had had lunch with local faithful before “we found him shot in the head”.

North and South Kivu provinces are in the grip of a wave of violence among militia groups, which often extort money from civilians or fight each other for control of mineral resources.

Last week unknown assailants kidnapped a Catholic priest in North Kivu, demanding $500 000 for his release.

Eastern DRC has been torn apart by more than 20 years of armed conflict, fuelled by ethnic and land disputes, competition for control of the region’s mineral resources, and rivalry between regional powers.

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USAfrica: Nigeria’s LOOTERS LIST and Buhari’s selective corruption targets. By Majeed Dahiru

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PDP vs APC Looters List and Buhari’s selective corruption targets

By Majeed Dahiru

Special to USAfrica {Houston] • USAfricaonline.com • @USAfricaLive

 

Timipriye Silva, a former governor and PDP chieftain, who became a founding member and financier of APC, had his corruption charges quashed by a federal high court and Buhari’s Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) failed to appeal the N19.5 billion fraud case.

More curious are the missing names of some accused looters with marital ties to Nigeria’s First and Second families. Gimba Yau Kumo, the PDP appointed former managing director of the Federal Mortgage Bank and now son-in-law of President Buhari, who was similarly accused of fraudulent activities amounting to about N3 billion and reportedly being investigated by EFCC, is missing from [Buhari’s Information Minister] Lai Mohammed’s list.

For a party that has been accused of destroying Nigeria by squandering accrued oil revenues estimated at over $500 billion in sixteen years, it is confounding that Lai’s list is not only exclusively comprised of PDP looters but also captures the last two years of PDP’s last lap in power and included just Goodluck Jonathan’s associates, who supported him against candidate Buhari, while also relating only to funds used in the last electioneering campaign of the PDP.

Whenever the obviously abysmal performance of the Muhammadu Buhari administration appears to be gaining sustained attention, and leading to murmuring within the rank and file of his supporters, a tale of humungous looting by opposition elements is usually spun and thrown into the public space to distract people away from the core issue of the failure of governance.

Like a fit of deja vu, the recently unveiled list of looters by Lai Mohammed, a fellow who comes across as more of President Muhammadu Buhari’s chief propagandist than a minister of the federal republic of Nigeria in charge of information and culture, didn’t come as a surprise. The list is all too familiar as the unveiling was a summarised rehash of politically exposed individuals who are members of the opposition party, close associates of former President Goodluck Jonathan, particularly his appointees in government, who have been named and shamed several times in well-coordinated media trials.

First on Lai’s list is Uche Secondus, the chairman of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). Lai had this to say of Secondus: “On the 19th of February 2015, he took N200 million only from the office of the NSA”. An unidentified former financial secretary of the PDP was similarly accused of “taking” N600 million from the same office of the National Security Adviser. Lai Mohammed also re-revealed that frontline member of PDP and media mogul, who deployed his media power to promote Goodluck Jonathan by de-marketing the Buhari candidacy in the run up to 2015 presidential election, Raymond Dokpesi, is on trial for “taking” N2.1 billion from the office of the then NSA. Lai also reminded Nigerians that his shouting match and former spokesman of the PDP, Olisa Metuh is on trial for “collecting” N1.4 billion from the same office of the NSA.

Lai Mohammed’s expanded follow up list included the usual suspects – former ministers, PDP state governors, service chiefs, presidential aides, associates and family members of former President Goodluck Jonathan, who were collectively accused of looting Nigeria of close to $2.1 billion through the office of the former NSA, Col. Sambo Dasuki (rtd.).

The choice of words like “took” and “collected” deployed by Lai to describe the manner in which those named received these monies was deliberate for the maximum effect of propaganda, portraying the accused persons as looters who broke into NSA vault and catered away boxes of cash at something akin to a gun point.

While the clamp down on PDP looters who supported Goodluck Jonathan and are still members of the former ruling party has been heavy handed, others who decamped from PDP to the All Progressives Congress (APC) on the eve of the 2015 elections and supported candidate Buhari’s campaign with their share of loot have been forgiven. For example, former NSA, Sambo Dasuki is being treated as an apostate for his role in the disbursement of funds that were used to oil Goodluck Jonathan’s electioneering effort. He has been kept in detention illegally and in defiance of several judicial rulings. Judging by the Buhari administration’s anti-corruption standard of an accusation being tantamount to guilt, in clear contempt of court proceedings by the resort to the naming and shaming suspects even before investigations and criminal prosecution are concluded and convictions obtained, it becomes curious that Lai’s list didn’t reveal any new name. Rather some names were either missing or omitted from what is a familiar list. This appears so because the bulk of PDP bigwigs who “destroyed” Nigeria in sixteen years of national rule are firmly in control of the APC, from its elected national executives to the National Assembly and appointed members of the federal executive council. The majority of APC-elected governors were also former members of the PDP. Even recently decamped PDP members to APC, such as Musiliu Obanikoro and Sulivan Chime, who have been prominently named and shamed in the recent past, were conspicuously missing from the released list of looters.

More curious are the missing names of some accused looters with marital ties to the first and second families. Gimba Yau Kumo, a former PDP appointed managing director of the Federal Mortgage Bank and now son-in-law of President Buhari, who was similarly accused of fraudulent activities amounting to about N3 billion and reportedly being investigated by EFCC, is missing from Lai’s list. Also missing on that list is Bola Shagaya.

Arguably one of Africa’s richest women, with a reputation for close business and political ties to all first families in the past two decades, Bola Shagaya was exceptionally close to the Goodluck Jonathan family. Often described as a bosom friend of former first lady Patience Jonathan, she has been accused, in numerous instances, allegedly, of acting as Patience Jonathan’s front for the laundering of illicit money estimated at over N13 billion, while engaging in other fraudulent activities involved in state capture. All that may be in the past now as she has found her way back to reckoning with the marriage of her son, Seun Bakare to Damilola, the daughter of Vice President Yemi Osinbanjo. Little wonder then, Bola Shagaya’s name is not on Lai’s looters list.

In a clear display of the arrogance of ignorance, the Buhari administration has narrowed its war on corruption to the hounding of members of the Jonathan administration, other individuals and organisations that were known to have worked against the emergence of the President [Buhari] in the 2015 presidential elections. This is clearly evident in the selective nature of the current anti-corruption effort.

The tone of generalisation of the PDP as the problem of Nigeria, as an indicator of corruption, should make all members of PDP (both former and present) and their collaborators in other parties guilty, hence qualifying them for naming and shaming, while being liable for criminal prosecution.

Therefore, Buhari’s list of looters is devoid of integrity, because his selective war on corruption is indicative of corruption in itself. All that is required of a former PDP looter is to get baptised into APC and profess Buhari as the saviour of Nigeria. This is precisely responsible for the failure and ineffectiveness of the war on corruption. Nothing has changed as the current APC looters continue to loot Nigeria, while the redeemed former PDP looters continue to enjoy their loot in hibernation under the abundant grace of the infallible Buhari.

• Dahiru is based in Abuja 

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USAfrica: Mandelas say Winnie sacrificed her life for the freedom of South Africa

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WINNIE MANDELA, the anti-apartheid activist and former wife of Nelson Mandela, died a few hours ago, today April 2, 2018 — following a long illness especially an infection of her kidney. She was 81 years old.

The following is the full text of the statement by the Mandela family on the death on Monday April 2, 2018 of Winnie Mandela.

 

Special to USAfrica [Houston] • USAfricaonline.com • @Chido247 •  @USAfricaLive

It is with profound sadness that we inform the public that Mrs Winnie Madikizela-Mandela passed away at the Netcare Milpark Hospital‚ Johannesburg‚ South Africa, on Monday April 2 2018.

She died after a long illness‚ for which she had been in and out of hospital since the start of the year. She succumbed peacefully in the early hours of Monday afternoon surrounded by her family and loved ones.

Mrs. Madikizela-Mandela was one of the greatest icons of the struggle against apartheid. She fought valiantly against the apartheid state and sacrificed her life for the freedom of the country. Her activism and resistance to apartheid landed her in jail on numerous occasions‚ eventually causing her banishment to the small town of Brandfort in the then Orange Free State.

She kept the memory of her imprisoned husband Nelson Mandela alive during his years on Robben Island and helped give the struggle for justice in South Africa one its most recognisable faces. She dedicated most of her adult life to the cause of the people and for this was known far and wide as the Mother of the Nation.

The Mandela family are deeply grateful for the gift of her life and even as our hearts break at her passing‚ we urge all those who loved her to celebrate this most remarkable woman.

The family will release details of the memorial and funeral services once these have been finalised.

 

WHY I CELEBRATE THE LIFE AND WORKS OF NELSON MANDELA. By Chido Nwangwu  http://usafricaonline.com/2010/07/15/mandela-why-i-celebrate-his-life-works-by-chido-nwangwu/

—  2018 book: In this engaging, uniquely insightful and first person reportage book, MANDELA & ACHEBE: Footprints of Greatness, about two global icons and towering persons of African descent whose exemplary lives

Mandela-n-Achebe-by-Chido-book-frontcover-Lrsand friendship hold lessons for humanity and Africans, the author Chido Nwangwu takes a measure of their works and consequence to write that Mandela and Achebe have left “footprints of greatness.”

He chronicles, movingly, his 1998 reporting from the Robben Island jail room in South Africa where Mandela was held for decades through his 20 years of being close to Achebe. He moderated the 2012 Achebe Colloquium at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island.”I’ll forever remember having walked inside and peeped through that historic Mandela jail cell (where he was held for most of his 27 years in unjust imprisonment) at the dreaded Robben Island, on March 27, 1998, alongside then Editor-in-chief of TIME magazine and later news chief executive of the CNN, Walter Isaacson (and others) when President Bill Clinton made his first official trip to South Africa and came to Robben Island. Come to this island of scourge and you will understand, in part, the simple greatness and towering grace of Nelson Mandela”, notes  Chido Nwangwu, award-winning writer, multimedia specialist and founder of USAfricaonline.com, the first African-owned U.S-based newspaper published on the internet, in his first book; he writes movingly from his 1998 reporting from South Africa on Mandela. http://www.mandelaachebechido.com/

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USAfricaBrkNEWS WINNIE MANDELA IS DEAD

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WINNIE MANDELA IS DEAD

The anti-apartheid activist and former wife of Nelson Mandela died a few hours ago, today April 2, 2018 — following a long illness especially an infection of her kidney. She was 81 years old.

 

The full text of the statement by the Mandela family on the death on Monday April 2, 2018 of Winnie Mandela.

Special to USAfrica [Houston] • USAfricaonline.com • @Chido247 •  @USAfricaLive

It is with profound sadness that we inform the public that Mrs Winnie Madikizela-Mandela passed away at the Netcare Milpark Hospital‚ Johannesburg‚ South Africa, on Monday April 2 2018.

She died after a long illness‚ for which she had been in and out of hospital since the start of the year. She succumbed peacefully in the early hours of Monday afternoon surrounded by her family and loved ones.

Mrs Madikizela-Mandela was one of the greatest icons of the struggle against apartheid. She fought valiantly against the apartheid state and sacrificed her life for the freedom of the country. Her activism and resistance to apartheid landed her in jail on numerous occasions‚ eventually causing her banishment to the small town of Brandfort in the then Orange Free State.

She kept the memory of her imprisoned husband Nelson Mandela alive during his years on Robben Island and helped give the struggle for justice in South Africa one its most recognisable faces. She dedicated most of her adult life to the cause of the people and for this was known far and wide as the Mother of the Nation.

The Mandela family are deeply grateful for the gift of her life and even as our hearts break at her passing‚ we urge all those who loved her to celebrate this most remarkable woman.

The family will release details of the memorial and funeral services once these have been finalised.

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USAfrica: Nigeria forces repeatedly warned before Boko Haram abducted 110 schoolgirls in Dapchi, says Amnesty

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Nigeria forces repeatedly warned before Boko Haram abducted 110 schoolgirls in Dapchi, says Amnesty

Amnesty said that between 2:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. on Feb. 19, at least five calls were made to tell the security services that Islamist fighters were in the Dapchi area. Locals spotted about 50 members of the Islamic State group affiliate in a convoy of nine vehicles in Futchimiram, about 30 km (19 miles) from Dapchi, then at Gumsa. In Gumsa, where Boko Haram stayed until about 5:00 p.m., residents phoned ahead to Dapchi to warn them. The convoy arrived at about 6:30 p.m. and left about 90 minutes later.

Special to USAfrica [Houston] • USAfricaonline.com

AFP:Nigeria’s military was on Tuesday accused of ignoring repeated warnings about the movements of Boko Haram fighters before they kidnapped 110 schoolgirls in the country’s restive northeast.

The students — the youngest of whom is aged just 10 — were seized from the town of Dapchi, Yobe state, on February 19, 2018 in virtually identical circumstances to those in Chibok in 2014.

Then, more than 200 schoolgirls were taken in an attack that brought sustained world attention on the Islamist insurgency and sparked a global campaign for their release.

President Muhammadu Buhari has called the Dapchi abduction a “national disaster” and vowed to use negotiation rather than force to secure their release.

But as in Chibok nearly four years ago, human rights group Amnesty International claimed the military was warned about the arrival of the heavily armed jihadists — yet failed to act.

In the hours that followed both attacks, the authorities also tried to claim the girls had not been abducted.

Amnesty’s Nigeria director Osa Ojigho said “no lessons appear to have been learned” from Chibok and called for an immediate probe into what she called “inexcusable security lapses.

“The government’s failure in this incident must be investigated and the findings made public — and it is absolutely crucial that any investigation focuses on the root causes,” she added.

“Why were insufficient troops available? Why was it decided to withdraw troops? What measures have the government taken to protect schools in northeast Nigeria?

“And what procedures are supposed to be followed in response to an attempted abduction?”

There was no immediate response from the Nigerian military when contacted by AFP.

Amnesty said that between 2:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. on Feb. 19, at least five calls were made to tell the security services that Islamist fighters were in the Dapchi area.

Locals spotted about 50 members of the Islamic State group affiliate in a convoy of nine vehicles in Futchimiram, about 30 km (19 miles) from Dapchi, then at Gumsa.

In Gumsa, where Boko Haram stayed until about 5:00 p.m., residents phoned ahead to Dapchi to warn them. The convoy arrived at about 6:30 p.m. and left about 90 minutes later.

Amnesty, whose researchers spoke to about 23 people and three security officials, said the army command in Geidam had told callers they were aware of the situation and were monitoring.

Police in Dapchi promised to tell divisional commanders, while army commanders in Geidam and Damaturu were also alerted during the attack, it added.

People in Dapchi have previously said troops were withdrawn from the town earlier this year, leaving only a few police officers. The nearest military detachment was an hour away.

The Dapchi abduction has thrown into doubt repeated government and military claims that Boko Haram is on the brink of defeat, after nearly nine years of fighting and at least 20,000 deaths.

Boko Haram, which has used kidnapping as a weapon of war during the conflict, has not claimed responsibility but it is believed a faction headed by Abu Mus’ab al-Barnawi is behind it.

IS in August 2015 publicly backed Barnawi as the leader of Boko Haram, or Islamic State West Africa Province, over Abubakar Shekau, whose supporters carried out the Chibok abduction.

Analysts have attributed a financial motive to the Dapchi kidnapping given government ransom payments made to Boko Haram to secure the release of some of the captives from Chibok.

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