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In the light of an icon, my mentor Stanley Macebuh (1942-2010). By Chido Nwangwu

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In the light of an icon, my mentor Stanley Macebuh (1942-2010).

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By Chido Nwangwu, Publisher of USAfrica, and first African-owned, U.S-based newspaper published on the internet USAfricaonline.com


USAfrica, March 7, 2011: Dr. Stanley Macebuh, one of my mentors, lived a life of positive consequence, public enlightenment and progressive engagement with his environments. He lived life.

Beyond living it, Dr. Macebuh, born on December 28, 1942, held and earned the unique high regard and respect of his peers and mentored thousands of much younger colleagues.
He died on March 7, 2010, after battling ill-health in Abuja.

 

Dr. Macebuh carried on with a first-rate sense of professionalism. He invested a personal class to his craft as a writer, informed his students as a scholar of English language and African studies, communications and media, from Ibadan to Columbia to Berkeley to Lagos and Abuja and the global canvas.  Essentially, I know that Dr. Stanley Macebuh’s name and that voice weighted much in gold, scored very high on professionalism in media, public policy, friendships, taste, style, diction and much more.

http://usafricaonline.com/2011/03/07/stanley-macebuh-tribute-by-chido-nwangwu

He had a very modest physical frame but a towering presence and reputation. In the true meaning of the word, he was an icon; he was also a transformative person and change agent.

With deep appreciation and a measured sense of dignity, may I state that I am one of the beneficiaries of Dr. Macebuh’s focus on potential excellence and actual capacities, reflecting only a part of his outstanding gift, grace and foresight.
As I was completing my national youth service following my graduation from the University of Nigeria (Nsukka) in 1987, upon the singular reference from my cousin, the international business and financial products specialist Kenneth C. Orji, I came to meet Dr. Macebuh in 1988 in Lagos, at his office at The Guardian newspapers.

I was going to work for The Guardian but he had other considerations for me –he expressed, kindly, his thoughts about my “potentials and impressive path”, especially after discussing the several offers I got while serving as a youth corps person.

The meeting with Dr. Macebuh whom I called Dede –Igbo word for an elder in deserving respect and deference — had two immediate and lasting impacts, to this day.

 

First, he opened the doors for me to network into the alpha group of public policy and media executives in Nigeria, around Lagos. Foremost, he sent me to Nigeria’s former presidential adviser on politics (1979-1983), my mentor and my tutor on the real politik Nigeriana, the late, lucid, substantial, colorful, voluble and brilliant Dr. Chuba Okadigbo (Oyi of Oyi, December 17, 1941 – September 25, 2003).  Through Macebuh and Okadigbo, I met the incisively prolific and thought-provoking Dr. Chidi Amuta. At Platform magazine and Africa and The World journal, in 1988-1990 in Lagos, there were three key persons, all Ch;  all connected by the scholar Macebuh: Chuba, Chidi and Chido.

Through the same Macebuh, I came to know and be blessed by the senior friendship of the Dr. Yemi Ogunbiyi (who was Managing Director of the Daily Times when I was joining its editorial board — as its youngest member in 1989-1990).
Through my association with Macebuh, I have the privilege of friendship with Prof. Ihechukwu Madubuike (Nigeria’s former Minister for education), Prof. Onwuchekwa Jemie and one of Africa’s prolific and versatile writers Dr. Eddie Iroh — all have served as contributing editors of USAfrica and USAfricaonline.com since 1993. Before his death, he wrote and we published on the USAfricaBOOKS  his May 29, 2008 review of  ‘Literature, Culture and Development: The African Experience’, the new book by  Ihechukwu Madubuike, PhD.                                                                   http://usafricaonline.com/2009/10/05/africa-literature-madubuike-reviewed-by-stanleymacebuh/

The second impact of his guidance, expedited my moving, substantially, from my primary career path in broadcasting, as a very young tv staff across the 3 areas of electronic news gathering (ENG) unit, sports news reading and programs production/editing at the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) to the print media. And, of course, my subsequent decision to bring my multimedia work and insights to the U.S. to establish the USAfrica networks here in Houston. Somehow, it has benefitted me with a valuable balance of skills across the broadcast and print platforms.
The last time I met Dr. Macebuh was in his home in Abuja during my trip to Nigeria to cover U.S. President Clinton’s visit. He was his usual, warm fraternal self, yet concerned at the state of things in the country. And, a somewhat failing health…. Then, I believe he was a senior special assistant and deputy chief of staff  to Nigeria’s President Olusegun Obasanjo. The next day I visited with Chuba (until a few days earlier was the Senate President of Nigeria) and Eddie (then CEO of Radio Nigeria), at their homes.
I have also been privileged to be asked in the mid-1990s by Dr. Macebuh to serve as a columnist for one of the magazines he established, The Sentinel.

He wrote a commentary on USAfricaonline.com on August 10, 2000, arguing ‘Obasanjo’s ethics offer good value for our democracy.’ http://usafricaonline.com/obasanjo_macebuh.html

In the wake of serial communications tumbles and gaffes of the former army General Obasanjo, Macebuh still found a deft defense in very artful and instructive wording, stating: “I myself have always believed that what so often passes for intolerance and stubbornness in him (Obasanjo) stems from his insistence on staying with the substance, rather than the appearance of things. Madison-Square-type image makers would have a hard time taming his spontaneousness, his refusal to accept that politics is not just about good works, but also about looking nice and sounding nice…. He is learning, just as we all are. He cannot be thought to be infallible, and neither can we.”
Well, Dr. Macebuh knows how to tell the President and his critics his truths. Government did not alter his dignity and truths. Shall we say, politely, that we know that advising Obasanjo (an all-knowing soldier and commander-in-chief) is not as easy as eating fish pepper soup.
Macebuh, an alum of Kings College, Lagos, graduated in English at the University of Ibadan (from 1963-66), and travelled abroad, a year afterwards to the University of Sussex, England, where he achieved the Doctor of Philosophy degree at the very young age of 26.  His scholarship drew the competing interest of University of California (at Berkeley), the prestigious Columbia University (in New York) and City College of New York.
He caught the attention of Dr. Dele Cole who encouraged his return to Nigeria to enhance the  then nationally predominant Daily Times of Nigeria. From there, Dr. Macebuh moved on to serve as the founding managing director of The Guardian newspaper  (with a formidable team funded by the Ibrus and editors such as Femi Kusa, Lade Bonuola, Andy Akporugo, Herbert Ekwe-Ekwe, Edwin Madunagu, Ted Iwere, Nduka Irabor, Amma Ogan, Ashikiwe Adione-Egom, Greg Obong-Oshotse, etc).

He also established The Post Express newspaper (with funds from Ide Ahaba Sonny Odogwu, in Lagos), The Sentinel magazine, Abuja and other projects. He also engaged in some trading on sugar and other items after The Guardian years. Prior to his moving to Lagos, he grew up and attended schools in Port Harcourt and Ngwa High School, Aba (before I was born in Aba).

Dr. Macebuh’s legacy will remain the fact that he, fundamentally, heightened the scale for professional and worthy

USAfrica.mediaholdings.USAfrica.chido.houston.texas

journalism, altered the media landscape of Nigeria, empowered and trained a new crop of journalists and writers with diverse trainings outside the tired templates of some j-schools where ancient media execs usually hired folks who are taught, mainly: who, what when and where? Evidently, the man saw the future of media in Nigeria, and cast aside the ancient order as he shared his stellar intelligence and  genius.

 

I’ll close with the words of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807-1882), the esteemed U.S. poet, who wrote in the 19th century that “When a great man dies, for years the light he leaves behind him, lies on the paths of men.” I bear witness to the fact that Dr. Stanley Macebuh’s light lies on the paths of men, women and children.

Thank you, Dede Stanley!   • Chido Nwangwu is the Founder and Publisher of USAfrica, and first African-owned, U.S-based newspaper published on the internet  USAfricaonline.com; The Black Business Journal, CLASSmagazine,  PhotoWorks.TV,  AchebeBooks.comNigeria360USAfricaTV and several blogs, assessed by The New York TImes as the largest and arguably most influential multimedia networks for Africans and Americans. He served on the editorial board of the Daily Times of Nigeria in Lagos and worked for the Nigerian Television Authority (news) in the 1980s; served on a publicity committee of the Holocaust Museum, Houston; recipient of an honorary Doctor of Humanities degree in May 2009; adviser on Africa to Houston’s former Mayor Dr. Lee Brown. Chido appears as an analyst on CNN, VOA, SABC, CBSNews, ABCNews, FOXNews, NBCNews, etc. Chido@USAfricaonline.com. wireless: 1-832-45-CHIDO (24436). Office: 713-270-5500.                              http://usafricaonline.com/2011/03/07/stanley-macebuh-tribute-by-chido-nwangwu

VIDEO of the CNN International broadcast/profile of USAfrica and CLASSmagazine Publisher Chido Nwangwu.  http://edition.cnn.com/video/#/video/international/2010/07/29/mpa.african.media.bk.a.cnn

——–
http://usafricaonline.com/2009/07/07/chido-obamaafrica09/
Special News Insight, USAfrica multimedia networks, Nigeria360 e-group and CLASSmagazine, Houston. http://usafricaonline.com/2010/09/08/jonathan-firing-servicechiefs-onovo2010-by-chido/
—–
See the October 17, 2001 special report/alert: Nigeria’s bin-Laden cheerleaders could ignite religious war, destabilize Africa. By USAfrica’s Publisher Chido Nwangwu.http://usafricaonline.com/chido.binladennigeria.html
310 killed by Nigeria’s ‘talibans’ in Bauchi, Yobe n Maiduguri; crises escalate. USAfricaonline.com  on  July 28, 2009.

www.usafricaonline.com/chido.ngrtalibans09.html

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4 Comments

4 Comments

  1. Engr Bola' Ogun

    December 3, 2011 at 10:10 pm

    Dr Macebuh taught me English at King's College, Lagos [1966].                He was very charismatic. RIP, Stanley.
           Engr Bola' Ogunkoya

  2. Safiya

    April 10, 2011 at 8:32 am

    Chido….I'm quite pleased with your eulogy on Dr. Stan. This was thoughtful of you. Dr. Stanley Macebuh's memory will linger on fresh and forever in our memory just like yesterday.

  3. Prof. I.C.Madubuike

    March 12, 2011 at 5:25 pm

    GREAT MEN NEVER DIE BECAUSE THEIR IDEAS ARE LARGER THAN DEATH
    PROF.IHECHUKWU MADUBUIKE;POET,POLITICIAN,LITERARY CRITIC.

  4. Prof. I.C.Madubuike

    March 12, 2011 at 5:25 pm

    GREAT MEN NEVER DIE BECAUSE THEIR IDEAS ARE LARGER THAN DEATH
    PROF.IHECHUKWU MADUBUIKE;POET,POLITICIAN,LITERARY CRITIC.

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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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AFRICA

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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AFRICA

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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