Archive by month May

USAfrica: Jonathan sends new message with Pius Anyim’s appointment as Nigeria’s Secretary to Federal Government

USAfrica: Jonathan sends new message with Pius Anyim’s appointment as Nigeria’s Secretary to Federal Government
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USAfrica: Jonathan sends new message with Pius Anyim’s appointment as Nigeria’s new Secretary to Federal Government

By Chido Nwangwu, Special to USAfrica, Houston and Abuja.

USAfricaonline.com: Following his inauguration on Sunday May 29, 2011 as the elected President of Nigeria, Goodluck Jonathan has dissolved his cabinet and also announced his first major key appointments. Former President of the Senate, Senator Anyim Pius Anyim is the new Secretary to the Government of the Federation while army General O. A. Azazi was re-appointed National Security Adviser.

Anyim, a lawyer, was born on February 19, 1961, hails from the Ebonyi South constituency of Ebonyi State, and was chosen as Senate President in August 2000. He will be sworn-in on Tuesday, May 31, 2011 at the Executive Council Chambers at noon.

USAfricaonline.com notes that Senator Anyim’s appointment allows President Jonathan a more relatively independent administrative room, literally, away from the substantial clout of former President Olusegun Obasanjo. Obasanjo’s candidate, former minister and PDP chieftain Ojo Maduekwe would have enhanced the clutch.

Also, it is a strategic appointment which symbolically responds to and minimizes the demands of Jonathan’s very active supporters from mainly Nigeria’s Igbo south east where the President had most of his top 7 votes in the April 2011 presidential elections.

A statement from Musa Aduwak, Director of Information Office of the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, regarded the dissolution and new appointments as bringing “to a close the former administration, and marks the beginning of the new one…. In accordance with the appointment letters of members of the Federal Executive Council, Special Advisers, Senior Special Assistants, Special Assistants, and other political appointees, their appointments ended on May 29th, 2011.”

Anyim, according to USAfrica sources and contacts, is also a popular choice among the independent and progressive segments of Nigeria and the younger generation who demand a better, technocrats-led future for Nigeria.

Regardless of the high expectations, Anyim’s previous position and clout as the Senate President cannot be confused with his new role as an administrative hub of the government. Chido Nwangwu, Founder  & Publisher of USAfrica multimedia networks, Houston and Abuja, was recently profiled by the CNN International for his pioneering works on multimedia/news projects for Africans and Americans. http://edition.cnn.com/video/#/video/international/2010/07/29/mpa.african.media.bk.a.cnn .  USAfrica and USAfricaonline.com (characterized by The New York Times as the  most influential African-owned, U.S-based multimedia networks) established May 1992, our first edition of USAfrica magazine was published August 1993; USAfrica The Newspaper on May 11, 1994; CLASSmagazine on May 2, 2003; www.PhotoWorks.TV in 2005. wireless: 832-45-CHIDO (24436). Office: 713-270-5500. e-mail: USAfrica247@USAfricaonline.com

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USAfrica: As Egypt’s corrupter-in-chief Mubarak slides into history’s dustbin.  By Chido Nwangwu.http://www.usafricaonline.com/2011/01/30/chido-nwangwu-as-egypt-corrupter-in-chief-mubarak-slides-into-historys-dustbin-egyptians-not-waiting-for-obama-and-united-nations/

Why Chinua Achebe, the Eagle on the Iroko, is Africa’s writer of the century. By ChidoNwangwu,Publisher of USAfrica, and first African-owned, U.S-based newspaper published on the internet USAfricaonline.com http://www.usafricaonline.com/chido.achebebest.html

Tunisia, Egypt . . . Is Nigeria next? By Prof. Rosaire Ifedi

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USAfrica: Ribadu draws first contrast with President Jonathan and PDP ahead of April 2011 presidential elections in Nigeria. By Chido Nwangwu, Publisher of USAfrica.
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://www.usafricaonline.com/chido.binladennigeria.html

Why Chinua Achebe, the Eagle on the Iroko, is Africa’s writer of the century. By ChidoNwangwu,Publisher of USAfrica, and first African-owned, U.S-based newspaper published on the internet USAfricaonline.com http://www.usafricaonline.com/chido.achebebest.html

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. News@USAfricaonline.com. wireless: 1-832-45-CHIDO (24436). Office: 713-270-5500.

USAfrica.mediaholdings.Houston


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120 military generals/officers defect from regime of Libya’s Muammar Kadhafi

120 military generals/officers defect from regime of Libya’s Muammar Kadhafi
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120 military generals/officers defect from regime of Libya’s Muammar Kadhafi

Special to USAfricaonline.com

USAfrica, May 30, 2011: 120 military generals/officers and other officials have defected from the tottering regime of Libya’s Muammar Kadhafi to join the groups allied against the long-ruling mercurial personality. Among the defectors are 8 generals and senior officers of the Libyan armed forces. They appeared a few minutes ago in a press conference in Rome. Earlier in May 2011, Libya’s foreign affairs minister Moussa Koussa, and minister Choukri Ghanem defected.

NATO and the U.S have combined to push back, militarily against Kadhafi’s assault on Libyan citizens.  By Janet Samson, USAfrica International desk.

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USAfrica: As Egypt’s corrupter-in-chief Mubarak slides into history’s dustbin.  By Chido Nwangwu.http://www.usafricaonline.com/2011/01/30/chido-nwangwu-as-egypt-corrupter-in-chief-mubarak-slides-into-historys-dustbin-egyptians-not-waiting-for-obama-and-united-nations/

Why Chinua Achebe, the Eagle on the Iroko, is Africa’s writer of the century. By ChidoNwangwu,Publisher of USAfrica, and first African-owned, U.S-based newspaper published on the internet USAfricaonline.com http://www.usafricaonline.com/chido.achebebest.html

Tunisia, Egypt . . . Is Nigeria next? By Prof. Rosaire Ifedi

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USAfrica: Ribadu draws first contrast with President Jonathan and PDP ahead of April 2011 presidential elections in Nigeria. By Chido Nwangwu, Publisher of USAfrica.
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://www.usafricaonline.com/chido.binladennigeria.html

Why Chinua Achebe, the Eagle on the Iroko, is Africa’s writer of the century. By ChidoNwangwu,Publisher of USAfrica, and first African-owned, U.S-based newspaper published on the internet USAfricaonline.com http://www.usafricaonline.com/chido.achebebest.html

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. News@USAfricaonline.com. wireless: 1-832-45-CHIDO (24436). Office: 713-270-5500.
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Bomb blasts in Nigeria after inauguration of President, Governors

Bomb blasts in Nigeria after inauguration of President, Governors
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Nigeria hit by multiple blasts after inauguration

By Shehu Saulawa/Associated Press

Bauchi, Nigeria: Multiple blasts rocked Nigeria’s restive Muslim north and a city near the capital (Abuja) following the inauguration of the country’s southern Christian president, officials said Monday (May 30, 2011).

The most powerful of the blasts tore through a bar in a military barracks in the northern city of Bauchi on Sunday, killing 15 people just hours after the swearing-in ceremony, said an official who participated in the rescue efforts.

Bauchi state police chief Mohammed Indabawa said Sunday’s blast in the city of Bauchi hit an outdoor bar at about 8 p.m., just hours after the inauguration of President Goodluck Jonathan in Nigeria’s capital of Abuja.

Indabawa said 10 people were killed, but the official who helped emergency workers take victims to the hospital and to the mortuary said 15 people were killed and 35 injured. He said he didn’t want his name used because the military has said that this is a military affair.

An Associated Press writer who was about 1,300 feet (400 meters) from the Shadawanka Barracks when the blasts went off said he heard three consecutive loud noises at two- to five-minute intervals.

The multiple blasts illustrate the challenges facing Jonathan. The southerner was sworn in Sunday for a full four-year term and is now faced with the task of uniting a country that saw deadly postelection violence despite what observers called the fairest vote in more than a decade.

A spokesman for the National Emergency Management Agency, Yushau Shuaib, said stringent security measures had been taken to prevent such attacks on inauguration day.

“Telecommunications operators blocked service in Abuja yesterday and government took so many other measures to prevent this, but it is unfortunate that this still happened,” he said. “The Agency moved in quickly, otherwise this would have been even worse.”

One bomb went off Sunday at a beer garden in Zuba, near Nigeria’s capital, killing two people and wounding at least 11, Shuaib said.

Another explosion in the northern city of Zaria on Sunday also targeted a bar hours after the inauguration, police spokesman Aminu Lawal said. He said police were still looking into how many may have been wounded in that blast.

And on Monday, two teenagers were injured after stepping on explosives in Zaria, Lawal said.

In the northeast city of Maiduguri, a bomb targeted on Monday an army patrol vehicle, Lt. Abubakar Abdullahi said, adding that there were no casualties and five arrests were made after the incident.

No one has claimed responsibility for any of the blasts.

“For now we are trying to gather intelligence on the perpetrators, make sure the victims are attended to, and investigate the matter,” national police spokesman Olusola Amore said of the blasts around the country.

The nation of 150 million people with more than 150 ethnic groups is broadly divided between the Christian-dominated south and the Muslim north. Postelection violence spread quickly across northern states after early results showed that Jonathan, a Christian from the south, was winning.

Many northerners believed someone from their region should be the next leader after the Muslim president died in office. Late President Yar’Adua had been expected to rule for another term, but his death left the presidency in the hands of a southerner. An unwritten agreement in the ruling party calls for its presidential candidates to rotate between the country’s Christian south and Muslim north.

Bauchi city has a history of sectarian violence and was a scene of rioting and destruction after the April elections.

Bauchi is also a stronghold of a radical Muslim sect locally known as Boko Haram. Its members are accused of a rash of killings in the area in recent months which have targeted police officers, soldiers and political and spiritual leaders.

Boko Haram, which means “Western education is sacrilege” in the Hausa language, has asked pushed for the implementation of Sharia law in northern states.

Authorities blame the group for an explosion at a hotel in April that killed three people and wounded 14 others in Maiduguri, a city close to Bauchi, only days before the state’s gubernatorial election.

Tensions in Nigeria are fueled by poverty and unemployment in a country where an unreliable power supply has led to the closure of factories and the loss of tens of thousands of jobs in the textile industry alone over the last few years, especially in the Muslim north. (Associated Press writer Njadvara Musa in Maiduguri, Nigeria and Yinka Ibukun in Lagos, Nigeria and Ibrahim Garba in Kano, Nigeria contributed to this report).

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USAfrica: As Egypt’s corrupter-in-chief Mubarak slides into history’s dustbin.  By Chido Nwangwu.http://www.usafricaonline.com/2011/01/30/chido-nwangwu-as-egypt-corrupter-in-chief-mubarak-slides-into-historys-dustbin-egyptians-not-waiting-for-obama-and-united-nations/

Why Chinua Achebe, the Eagle on the Iroko, is Africa’s writer of the century. By ChidoNwangwu,Publisher of USAfrica, and first African-owned, U.S-based newspaper published on the internet USAfricaonline.com http://www.usafricaonline.com/chido.achebebest.html

Tunisia, Egypt . . . Is Nigeria next? By Prof. Rosaire Ifedi

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USAfrica: Ribadu draws first contrast with President Jonathan and PDP ahead of April 2011 presidential elections in Nigeria. By Chido Nwangwu, Publisher of USAfrica.
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://www.usafricaonline.com/chido.binladennigeria.html

Why Chinua Achebe, the Eagle on the Iroko, is Africa’s writer of the century. By ChidoNwangwu,Publisher of USAfrica, and first African-owned, U.S-based newspaper published on the internet USAfricaonline.com http://www.usafricaonline.com/chido.achebebest.html

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. News@USAfricaonline.com. wireless: 1-832-45-CHIDO (24436). Office: 713-270-5500.

 

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Jonathan sworn in as Nigeria’s president for full 4-year term

Jonathan sworn in as Nigeria’s president for full 4-year term
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Goodluck Jonathan sworn in as Nigeria’s President

AP: Goodluck Jonathan was sworn in Sunday for a full four-year term as president of Nigeria and is now faced with the challenge of uniting a country that saw deadly postelection violence despite what observers called the fairest vote in over a decade.

The stately ceremony at the main parade ground in Nigeria’s capital of Abuja comes just over a year after Jonathan was sworn into office to complete the term of late President Umar Musa Yar’Adua. Yar’Adua’s death catapulted the former vice president to power last year, but April 16 elections solidified his hold on the presidency.

“You have entrusted me with your mandate and I will never, ever, let you down,” Jonathan said during his inaugural address shown on Nigerian state TV.

Analysts say that more can be expected of Jonathan in this new term.

“Now, he has enough political capital to do what he thinks he can do. He has contested and won an election widely judged to have been free and fair compared to past elections,” said Thompson Ayodele, director of the Lagos-based Institute for Public Policy Analysis.

Vice President Namadi Sambo was also sworn in Sunday.

Observers heralded the April 16 vote as the fairest election that Nigeria had held since it became a democracy twelve years ago. Nigeria has been plagued by military coups for much of its 50 years of independence and all previous elections had been severely flawed.

However, the April vote was marred by postelection riots that left hundreds dead, highlighting religious and ethnic fault lines in Africa’s most populous country. Human Rights Watch said more than 800 people, both Christian and Muslim, died in the election-related attacks and counterattacks.

During his Sunday inaugural address, Jonathan said that development would remedy those divides.

“Together we will unite to improve the living standards of all our peoples, whether in the north, or in the south, in the east, or in the west. This is our decade of development,” the president said. “We will not allow anyone to use our difference in creed or tongue to set us against one another.”

The nation of 150 million people with more than 150 ethnic groups is broadly divided between the Christian-dominated south and the Muslim north. The post-election violence spread quickly across northern states after early results showed that Jonathan, a Christian from the south, was winning.

Many northerners believed someone from their region should be the next leader after the Muslim president died in office. Former President Yar’Adua had been expected to rule for another term, before his death left the presidency in the hands of a southerner. An unwritten agreement in the ruling party calls for its presidential candidates to rotate between the country’s Christian south and Muslim north.

Tensions in Nigeria are fueled by poverty and unemployment in a country where an unreliable power supply has led to the closure of factories and the loss of tens of thousands of jobs in the textile industry alone over the last few years, especially in the Muslim north.

Jonathan’s one-year administration had already embarked on establishing reforms to bring power to Nigerian homes and businesses that rely heavily on private generators to function. In his address, he said that providing “a suitable environment for productive activities to flourish” was “an urgent task.”

Rufai Abubakar, a 38-year-old tailor in a working class Lagos neighborhood spends $200 a month buying fuel for his generator so that he can sew and do intricate Senegalese-style embroidery work in his shop.

“Sometimes, I don’t even make $200 in a month,” Abubakar said, “if the president can just solve the power issue, my business will be able to grow… We have to pray for him. He is a very special man. His parents gave him a good name, Goodluck.” AP/Yinka Ibukun

 

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Mubarak and sons, ex-interior minister, business mogul to face trial for killings, corruption

Mubarak and sons, ex-interior minister, business mogul to face trial for killings, corruption
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Mubarak and sons, ex-Interior minister, business mogul to face trial for killings, corruption

Special to USAfricaonline.com:

USAfrica, May 24, 2011: Egypt’s Public Prosecutor’s office has announced that ousted and disgraced

Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak

former president Hosni Mubarak, his sons, Gamal and Alaa, and Hussein Salem, a wealthy and well-known businessman, have been referred to the criminal courts to face charges of killing pro-democracy activists and protesters during the agitation of January 25, 2011 across Egypt.

The former soldier and dictator Mubarak is also facing charges alongside his sons for abusing and misusing their political positions status for personal accumulation of wealth through the cornering of state’s funds for personal gains.

Mubarak is also accused of conspiring with the former interior minister of Egypt Habib El-Adly and several police officers to deliberately commit manslaughter against Egyptians and persons who were protesting for reforms and democracy during the January 25 Revolution.

On the Facebook page of the Prosecutor, Mubarak is reported to have ordered some police officers to fire bullets into crowds of demonstrators, cause the deaths of protesters through the use vehicles to run over Egyptians, manipulation of the goals of the protesters by the defunct government’s spreading of  fear with the purpose of putting an end to the protests and maintain the status quo.

According to the Egyptian newspaper Al Ahram the ousted president is also accused of using his position to buy several Egyptian properties well below their market value such as a castle and four villas in Sharm El-Shiekh worth around LE40 million. Salem is accused of giving Mubarak and his two sons these expensive properties for small amounts of money. In return, the ousted president allegedly allowed Salem to own huge tracts of land, reaching up to a million metres, in South Sinai and Sharm el-Sheikh.Earlier, the prosecutor-general ordered a travel-ban on the aforementioned figures, but Salem was already out of Egypt. International police have been asked to arrest Salem. Gamal and Alaa Mubarak are already being detained in Tora prison. The Public Prosecutor’s office has also transferred the case pertaining to Mubarak’s suspected weapons dealings to the military courts as they are the responsible entity in such matters.

USAfrica notes that the announcements on the Mubaraks have been time to minimize the disappointment of democracy activists who insist the speed of change in Egypt is too slow and most of the machines of oppression are still intact. The January 25 revolution activists have sine announced a demonstration for Friday May 27, 2011 primarily in Cairo.

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USAfrica: As Egypt’s corrupter-in-chief Mubarak slides into history’s dustbin.  By Chido Nwangwu. http://www.usafricaonline.com/2011/01/30/chido-nwangwu-as-egypt-corrupter-in-chief-mubarak-slides-into-historys-dustbin-egyptians-not-waiting-for-obama-and-united-nations/

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

October 17, 2001 special report/alert: Nigeria’s bin-Laden cheerleaders could ignite religious war, destabilize Africa. By USAfrica’s Publisher Chido Nwangwu.http://www.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

Why Chinua Achebe, the Eagle on the Iroko, is Africa’s writer of the century. By ChidoNwangwu, Publisher of USAfrica, and first African-owned, U.S-based newspaper published on the internet USAfricaonline.com http://www.usafricaonline.com/chido.achebebest.html
Tunisia, Egypt . . . Is Nigeria next? By Prof. Rosaire Ifedi

——

USAfrica: Ribadu draws first contrast with President Jonathan and PDP ahead of April 2011 presidential elections in Nigeria. By Chido Nwangwu, Publisher of USAfrica.

Why Chinua Achebe, the Eagle on the Iroko, is Africa’s writer of the century. By ChidoNwangwu, Publisher of USAfrica, and first African-owned, U.S-based newspaper published on the internet USAfricaonline.com http://www.usafricaonline.com/chido.achebebest.html

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. News@USAfricaonline.com. wireless: 1-832-45-CHIDO (24436). Office: 713-270-5500.

 

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USAfrica: Obama offers Egypt $1 billion debt forgiveness, $1 billion loan guarantees; warns Gadhafi time is up

USAfrica: Obama offers Egypt $1 billion debt forgiveness, $1 billion loan guarantees; warns Gadhafi time is up
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Obama offers Egypt  $1 billion debt forgiveness, $1 billion loan guarantees; warns Gadhafi time is up…

By Chido Nwangwu, Publisher of USAfricaonline.com

USAfricaonline.com: U.S President Barack H. Obama has announced that his country is offering a $1 billion in debt forgiveness for Egypt and another $1 billion in loan guarantees as support to nurture and advance the democratic strivings in the north African country.

 

He said this a few minutes ago (today Thursday May 19, 2011) responding and setting the agenda of United States regarding reform in the Middle East and North Africa dealing with the unfolding issues and “transitions toward democracy.”

In a speech at the U.S. State Department in Washington DC  laying out his policies toward the region, the president said he is marking “a new chapter in American diplomacy.”Obama spoke glowingly about the anti-dictatorial uprisings in Egypt, Tunisia, Libya where he asserted that  “The events of the past six months show us that strategies of oppression and strategies of diversion will not work anymore.”

He mentioned the work of a Google executive from Egypt who was a champion through technologies of the successful fight against Hosni Mubarak.

He also singled out Libya’s tottering dictator Moammer Gadhafi when he (Obama) said that “time is working against Gadhafi,” and he will leave soon; and with such departure, “decades of provocation will come to an end.”  As a policy move, Obama pointed to the establishment of  “a comprehensive trade and investment partnership initiative in the Middle East and North Africa. If you take out oil exports, this region of over 400 million people exports roughly the same amount as Switzerland.”

Africa is a region of special attention for the Obama administration, as it was for former President George Bush’s administration. USAfrica multimedia networks and its editors are scheduled on May 20, 2011 to have an exclusive interview the U.S Assistant Secretary of State for Africa Ambassador Johnnie Carson.

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USAfrica: As Egypt’s corrupter-in-chief Mubarak slides into history’s dustbin.  By Chido Nwangwu.http://www.usafricaonline.com/2011/01/30/chido-nwangwu-as-egypt-corrupter-in-chief-mubarak-slides-into-historys-dustbin-egyptians-not-waiting-for-obama-and-united-nations/

Why Chinua Achebe, the Eagle on the Iroko, is Africa’s writer of the century. By Chido Nwangwu,Publisher of USAfrica, and first African-owned, U.S-based newspaper published on the internet USAfricaonline.com http://www.usafricaonline.com/chido.achebebest.html

Tunisia, Egypt . . . Is Nigeria next? By Prof. Rosaire Ifedi

——

USAfrica: Ribadu draws first contrast with President Jonathan and PDP ahead of April 2011 presidential elections in Nigeria. By Chido Nwangwu, Publisher of USAfrica.
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://www.usafricaonline.com/chido.binladennigeria.html

Why Chinua Achebe, the Eagle on the Iroko, is Africa’s writer of the century. By Chido Nwangwu,Publisher of USAfrica, and first African-owned, U.S-based newspaper published on the internet USAfricaonline.com http://www.usafricaonline.com/chido.achebebest.html

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. News@USAfricaonline.com. wireless: 1-832-45-CHIDO (24436). Office: 713-270-5500.

 

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USAfrica: Nigeria’s President Jonathan should learn from Obasanjo’s unenviable fate. By Prof. Okey Ndibe

USAfrica: Nigeria’s President Jonathan should learn from Obasanjo’s unenviable fate. By Prof. Okey Ndibe
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Nigeria’s President Jonathan should learn from Obasanjo’s unenviable fate

By Prof. Okey Ndibe

Special to USAfricaonline.comCLASSmagazine, The Black Business Journal, USAfrica e-groupAnambraPolitics e-group, IgboEvents and Nigeria360@yahoogroups e-group


Goodluck.Jonathan.rides-in-mercedes-jeep-oct1.2010.Abuja-APpix.via USAfricaonline.com

First week of May 2011, I proposed that Nigeria’s President Goodluck Jonathan should pause, contemplate – and be instructed by – the misfortunes of Nigeria’s former President Olusegun Obasanjo. When historians come to reckon the lessons and portents of this year’s elections, they are bound to dwell on the erasure of Obasanjo’s name from the political map of the southwest (of Nigeria). And – since the southwest is Mr. Obasanjo’s home base – his political evisceration there represents a particularly damning verdict.

There are few things worse than when a man is forced to stand witness as the machinery of history grinds his legacy into the dust, turning him into an object of profound wretchedness. No bank account, however fat, no mansion, however high the hill on which it stands, no fleet of cars, however expensive and gadget-bemused – no material possession, however precious or rare, can palliate the pain of watching one’s person and work abominated by one’s closest fellows.

It is no wonder that Obasanjo, a man whose inclination is to reduce every issue, however grave, to the silliness of “I dey laugh oh,” has found little laughter in recent weeks. For him, with his political work in ruins round him, it is neither a laughing matter nor day.

Mr. Jonathan, I hinted last week, has a chastening lesson to learn from Obasanjo’s travails. Giddy with a victory that’s still punctuated by question marks, Mr. Jonathan and his handlers have to wonder what it’s going to take to avoid Obasanjo’s unenviable fate.

The task would entail setting his sights on the terminal date of his first term. In other words, Mr. Jonathan should summon whatever powers of imagination are at his disposal to project himself onto 2015. Surveying his years in office from that imagined future outpost, he must then confront the question of the quality of his leadership and service. It’s going to come down to the quality of his vision, his mettle as a man, and his capacity for self-transformation. Nothing else is going to count. A failed leader may hire all the poets in the world, but their praise songs – to borrow and adapt Chinua Achebe’s phrase – cannot deodorize his bullshit.

In a way, this early in the game, Mr. Jonathan can still make the choice to strive to surpass his, and even our, expectations. He – and he alone – can decide whether he wishes to be just another self-aggrandized resident of Aso Rock, whether he’s in it for the sheer pomp and pageantry, or whether he intends to be a transformative agent.

In the end, it amounts to a choice. Obasanjo was not a woeful president because he lacked the ethical and intellectual wherewithal and measure to rise to lofty heights. There was that factor, undoubtedly. Even so, the man had traveled widely enough – and he’d read about as well as encountered some impressive leaders around the world – to develop a trained sense of what it takes to be a true leader. He was every bit able to tell the difference between a man intent on reducing a presidential office to his puny size and another determined to break down the walls of his office in order to touch a larger world.

Mr. Jonathan’s circumstances are as tricky as Mr. Obasanjo’s in 1999, and his prospects, on the face of it, seem just as unpromising as the former president’s. Last week, I suggested that the amount of IOUs Mr. Jonathan had issued in the course of his pursuit of the presidency was likely to weigh on what kind of presidency he has.

Let me elaborate on that important question, and on the kind of predicament it represents for the man. Many Nigerians, many of them youths, believe that Jonathan will be sworn in as president on May 29 because they gave him their votes of their own volition. And many of these voters and sympathizers had concluded, by some curious logic, that they were doing two contradictory things at the same time: choosing Jonathan as an individual whilst rejecting his political party, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP). Of course, the falseness of that premise is already evident in the fact that – despite the confidence of many Jonathan supporters that the PDP would be vanquished – the party (with the exception of its near-total disappearance from the southwest) retains a baffling dominance in the country.

So that, even as many voters profess that the Jonathan presidency was made possible by them, there’s a great chance that Mr. Jonathan has a different understanding of the source of his “victory.” By rights, given that his primary opponents had few structures in the southeast and south-south (and also that they did little serious campaigning in those areas), Jonathan would have won handily in those two zones. Still, one maintains – and there’s ample proof – that his figures in these areas were massively, even unintelligently, inflated.

Let’s illustrate with the case of Imo State. Last week, Imo voters – surprised that INEC had declared their clear, unambiguous rejection of Governor Ikedi Ohakim as “inconclusive” – finally settled the matter by coming out in droves to emphatically make their point in a “supplementary election.”

Yet, despite the emotional stakes in that governorship election, despite the fact that the people of Imo detest Ohakim far more than they love Jonathan, the number of votes allegedly cast for Mr. Jonathan in the presidential election dwarfed the total number of votes for all the gubernatorial candidates. It’s either that the people of Imo saw a human messiah in Jonathan, or that the figures for the presidential elections were over-inflated. I incline to the latter explanation.

So, here’s where the calculations get tricky. Whilst many voters cling to the belief that they delivered the presidency to Mr. Jonathan, the man may well feel that his triumph, with its exaggerated figures, owed to the sponsorship, “loyalty,” and derring-do of the likes of Mr.

OkeyNdibe.usafricaPix-by-chido-nwangwu_300x274

Ohakim and numerous other governors as well as the famed fixer, Tony Anenih. So that, as voters expect Jonathan to act out their illusion that he and the PDP are two separate, warring entities, the man may well view himself as under an obligation to pay off IOUs to the few men and women he regards as the real manufacturers of his mandate.

 

The key here is whether Mr. Jonathan has the gumption and sense of history to proceed as if he’s answerable to the broad collectivity of Nigerians. If he musters the courage and vision to align with the deepest yearnings of the Nigerian people – a radical undertaking, given what we know, so far, about his political career – then he stands a chance of escaping the kind of opprobrium that’s become Obasanjo’s lot. On the other (in many ways, more likely) hand, if he submits himself, out of pusillanimity, to the dictatorship of a coalition of operatives who take credit for engineering his outlandish poll numbers, then he’d be working hard over the next four years to earn a seat of ignominy next to Mr. Obasanjo.

In a matter of weeks, when Mr. Jonathan unveils his cabinet, Nigerians will get an inkling of how the man is leaning, how his political heart beats. He has a broken country in his hands, a polity whose healthcare system is as scary as its educational system and critical infrastructure are in ghastly shape. And he has decades of the cruelest forms of human degradation in the oil-rich Niger Delta to confront and begin addressing in a serious manner. No Nigerian leader worthy of the name can afford laxity, or to govern merely by flaunting party-ready agbada and reading long speeches that drip with cheap platitudes. There’s work, urgent, desperate work to be done in Nigeria – to lift the country up to the level of, say, a Ghana.

It would be a grave mistake if Jonathan listened to, or worse joined, those who preach patience. No, Nigerian leaders don’t exhibit any patience before they embark on looting – they often start their very first day in office.

Why must the long-suffering citizens endure endless exhortations to remain patient, fast and pray, trusting that God, not their leaders, will one day descend from the sky to build their roads, furnish their schools with labs and libraries, create jobs for milling graduates, empower our power authority, conduct credible elections free of manipulation, provide potable water, prosecute corrupt officials, dispose of the hills of trash that perversely decorate Nigerian cities – and do much more.

Mr. Jonathan should imaginatively transport himself to 2015 and then look back over the intervening years. Would he be proud of his resume? More to the point, would Nigerians be able to say, thank God this man was not cut from Obasanjo’s ignominious cloth?

Ndibe, a professor of English at Trinity College in Connecticut, is a contributing editor of USAfrica multimedia networks since 1995. He recently wrote a column here at USAfrica: Why Nigeria’s Jonathan should not make a deal for Ibori. http://www.usafricaonline.com/2011/02/21/why-nigerias-jonathan-should-not-make-a-deal-for-ibori-by-okey-ndibe/

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

October 17, 2001 special report/alert: Nigeria’s bin-Laden cheerleaders could ignite religious war, destabilize Africa. By USAfrica’s Publisher Chido Nwangwu. http://www.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

USAfrica: As Egypt’s corrupter-in-chief Mubarak slides into history’s dustbin.  By Chido Nwangwu. http://www.usafricaonline.com/2011/01/30/chido-nwangwu-as-egypt-corrupter-in-chief-mubarak-slides-into-historys-dustbin-egyptians-not-waiting-for-obama-and-united-nations/

Why Chinua Achebe, the Eagle on the Iroko, is Africa’s writer of the century. By Chido Nwangwu, Publisher of USAfrica, and first African-owned, U.S-based newspaper published on the internet USAfricaonline.com http://www.usafricaonline.com/chido.achebebest.html

Tunisia, Egypt . . . Is Nigeria next? By Prof. Rosaire Ifedi

——

USAfrica: Ribadu draws first contrast with President Jonathan and PDP ahead of April 2011 presidential elections in Nigeria. By Chido Nwangwu, Publisher of USAfrica.

Why Chinua Achebe, the Eagle on the Iroko, is Africa’s writer of the century. By Chido Nwangwu, Publisher of USAfrica, and first African-owned, U.S-based newspaper published on the internet USAfricaonline.com http://www.usafricaonline.com/chido.achebebest.html

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. News@USAfricaonline.com. wireless: 1-832-45-CHIDO (24436). Office: 713-270-5500.

USAfrica.mediaholdings.houston.usafrica.chido

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Bob Marley: 30 Years after death, his legacy and legend still strong

Bob Marley: 30 Years after death, his legacy and legend still strong
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Bob Marley: 30 Years after his death, legacy and legend still strong.

By Winston “Stone” Ford

Special to USAfricaonline.com ,  CLASS magazine and The Black Business Journal Houston, Texas. This commentary first appeared in TheRoot.com

On May 11, 1981, the reggae superstar died at age 36. Here’s why his musical legacy and personal legend are still holding strong around the world.
In our fast-paced world, a celebrity is created virtually every minute. But there are few musical celebrities with a legacy as enduring as that of Nesta Robert “Bob” Marley.Today marks the 30th anniversary of the death of a true musical pioneer, a man whose impact transcended class, race and culture all over the world. The reggae legend inspired an almost spiritual following among a diverse set of believers, who expressed their devotion in iconography as varied as indigenous Australian shrines and posters on college-dorm-room walls.
But the question must be asked: Why do so many people connect with Marley? The answer is fairly simple: Marley was an everyman, a gentle soul and a revolutionary. Many have identified with his humble upbringing in the tiny island of Jamaica, the Pan-African beliefs stemming from his Rastafarian faith, and his advocacy of social justice.

 

When he penned politically charged songs like “I Shot the Sheriff” and “Get Up Stand Up,” they resonated as far more than mere recordings. They were calls to action.Many of Marley’s greatest and most recognizable hits came with the Wailers (including Peter Tosh and Bunny Wailer), who grew up beside him in Trench Town, a Kingston ghetto that spawned many musical greats. Influenced by American music from the era, the band imbued their traditional Jamaican rhythms with the soul of Motown, creating a different take on black music.

Carried by the Caribbean migration to England, the sounds of the islands were reaching new continents. A chance meeting with Island Records head Chris Blackwell in 1972 allowed Marley and the Wailers access to the same high-tech recording equipment that rock bands were using at the time. Their Third World sound crossed over into the developed world.

Throughout the 1970s the musicians produced a slew of worldwide hits. Tracks such as “Exodus” and “One Love” made the charts in the U.S. as well as in the U.K. and other European countries.Ultimately, it was Marley’s penchant for social justice that made him an identifiable superstar. Although he was half white (born to a father of English descent), Marley always identified himself as Pan-African, and during the mid-1970s he dedicated a string of songs to the Diaspora: “Buffalo Soldier” to African Americans, “Africa Unite” to those in Zimbabwe and “War” to his brothers suffering through South Africa’s apartheid.He was not just outspoken politically; Marley was also not afraid to mix spirituality and song. For this strong believer in the Rastafarian movement and the divinity of Ethiopian Emperor Haile Selassie I, religion was an integral part of his music and work ethic. The movement most recognizable to outsiders by its adherents’ long dreadlocks, spiritual use of marijuana and belief in Africa (Zion) as the birthplace of mankind has been adopted in the African continent, the United States and even Japan.

The influence of Marley’s faith can be seen on tracks such as 1974’s “Natty Dread” and “So Jah S’eh.”Marley’s involvement in Jamaica’s politics almost got him killed. In 1976 violent clashes between supporters of Jamaica’s two major political parties left hundreds dead, inspiring Marley to play the Smile Jamaica festival at the government’s invitation in order to help quell the ongoing bloodshed. Unfortunately, some saw the festival as a support rally for the People’s National Party leader, Jamaican Prime Minister Michael Manley, and his endorsement of political violence against dissent.As tensions in the country grew high, gunmen entered the Marley home, shooting Marley; his wife, Rita; and his manager, Don Taylor, in the middle of the night. They all survived, and despite his injuries, Marley performed at the festival two days later, saying, “The people who are trying to make this world worse aren’t taking a day off. How can I?”

 

After the concert, Marley and his band left Jamaica for more than a year, recording the international hit album Exodus while in the U.K. However, his commitment to his home country would see Marley return, organizing the One Love Peace concert in 1978.Another love of Marley’s life was Rita, a musician in her own right who often sang backup for the Wailers and recorded several albums of her own. The couple met in the mid-1960s through Peter Tosh, fell in love and married shortly afterward. Throughout Marley’s career, Rita was by his side, even through his repeated infidelities. She was his rock, especially in his later years as he battled health problems.In 1977 a routine toe injury during a soccer game in France refused to heal. Testing revealed he had melanoma, a type of skin cancer. In accordance with his Rastafarian beliefs, Marley refused to have the toe amputated, and the cancer began to spread throughout his body. Marley lived, recorded and performed for more than three years despite the severity of his disease. In 1980 he released his last album, Uprising, penning the iconic classic “Redemption Song,” a track in which he confronted his mortality. His final concert took place at the Stanley Theater in Pittsburgh on Sept. 23, 1980. After unsuccessful cancer treatment in Europe, Marley died a few months later, in 1981, at a Miami hospital at the age of 36.But Marley lives on.

The album Legend, released three years after his death, has gone platinum 10 times over and is still the greatest-selling reggae album of all time. Last year the Marley estate brought in more than $6 million, according to Forbes magazine.Marley’s influence was not limited to reggae. Eric Clapton owes one of his most famous hits to Marley and the Wailers — his version of “I Shot the Sheriff” reached No. 1 in the United States in 1974. And as hip-hop became a global force in worldwide music, Marley’s legacy inspired the world’s urban community. The Notorious B.I.G., Guru and the Fugees have reworked Marley classics over the years.And let’s not forget Marley’s living legacies. His talented children continue to record and perform worldwide. Ziggy Marley and the Melody Makers — which also featured brother Stephen as well as their sisters Sharon and Cedella — were popular in the late 1980s and through much of the ’90s. Stephen released a groundbreaking album in 2009 called Mind Control and continues to tour regularly.

Last year (2010) youngest brother Damian Marley released his collaborative album, Distant Relatives, with rapper Nas, blending African rhythms, hip-hop and traditional reggae sounds.Three decades after Bob Marley’s death, you can turn on any radio or walk down any street, and you will likely hear a Marley song or see someone wearing a Marley T-shirt. His image will continue to resonate for years to come; let’s also hope his peace-loving ideals will be embraced during the next 30 years — and 30 years after that.                                         •Ford is the New York-based creator of the Couch Sessions and Triplestar Media Group. He is a music writer and promoter.

——————-

USAfrica: As Egypt’s corrupter-in-chief Mubarak slides into history’s dustbin.  By Chido Nwangwu.http://www.usafricaonline.com/2011/01/30/chido-nwangwu-as-egypt-corrupter-in-chief-mubarak-slides-into-historys-dustbin-egyptians-not-waiting-for-obama-and-united-nations/

Why Chinua Achebe, the Eagle on the Iroko, is Africa’s writer of the century. By Chido Nwangwu, Publisher of USAfrica, and first African-owned, U.S-based newspaper published on the internet USAfricaonline.com http://www.usafricaonline.com/chido.achebebest.html

Tunisia, Egypt . . . Is Nigeria next? By Prof. Rosaire Ifedi

——

USAfrica: Ribadu draws first contrast with President Jonathan and PDP ahead of April 2011 presidential elections in Nigeria. By Chido Nwangwu, Publisher of USAfrica.
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://www.usafricaonline.com/chido.binladennigeria.html

Why Chinua Achebe, the Eagle on the Iroko, is Africa’s writer of the century. By Chido Nwangwu, Publisher of USAfrica, and first African-owned, U.S-based newspaper published on the internet USAfricaonline.com http://www.usafricaonline.com/chido.achebebest.html

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. News@USAfricaonline.com. wireless: 1-832-45-CHIDO (24436). Office: 713-270-5500.


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USAfrica: Uganda’s Museveni continues human rights abuses; but fails to stop return of opposition leader Besigye from medical visit to Kenya

USAfrica: Uganda’s Museveni continues human rights abuses; but fails to stop return of opposition leader Besigye from medical visit to Kenya
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Uganda’s Museveni continues human rights abuses; but fails to stop return of opposition leader Besigye from medical visit to Kenya

USAfircaonline.com Special report by Chido Nwangwu.

Kizza-Besigye_pix-by-reuters_28april2011

Uganda’s popular and main opposition leader Dr. Kizza Besigye has, after the disruption of his previously scheduled flight back to his home country of Uganda by the Museveni-led Ugandan government, been allowed to return home from Kenya. Besigye who was brutally beaten by Museveni supporters and police men about 10 days ago (as he has been several times in the past 10 years) during a peaceful demonstration against rising food and fuel prices in Uganda’s capital city of Kampala had traveled to Kenya for medical treatment.

Earlier today Wednesday May 11, 2011 he was removed from from boarding a Kenya Airways flight back to Entebbe. Besigye camped all morning and afternoon at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA), to board the 5.50pm flight.

The 50-years old medical doctor made a very strong electoral gains last February 18 when he scored 37% of the votes to challenge the 25-years old increasingly unpopular presidency of Yoweri Museveni (who muscled 58% in a largely rigged election). He also contested against Museveni in 2001 and 2006. Museveni will be sworn in, again, on Thursday May 12, 2011 in Kampala.

USAfricaonline.com notes, significantly, the U.S and Britain looks the other way, and at best make very weak and tepid responses in the face of human rights abuses, corruption, electoral violence and abuses by Museveni.

Yoweri-Museveni.president-of-Uganda

In the face of today’s international and local outrage over the collusion between Kenya Airways and the Ugandan government to punish Dr. Besigye, the Kenya Airways was compelled to issue a statement “to confirm to its passengers, customers, investors and the public that Ugandan Opposition Leader Dr. Kizza Besigye is now scheduled to depart on KQ414/11th May departing Jomo Kenyatta International Airport for Entebbe International Airport at 1750hrs.” KQ Group Managing Director and CEO Titus Naikuni, interestingly, revealed that: “Dr. Besigye was earlier denied boarding on KQ 410/11th May at 0800hrs following information from Kenya Airways internal intelligence sources that the aircraft would not be allowed to land at the Entebbe International Airport if he was on board.

“Dr Besigye thus could not board the aircraft as Kenya Airways had to first ascertain this information without inconveniencing the other passengers destined for Entebbe. The airline has now confirmed and issued Dr Besigye and his wife tickets to depart Nairobi this the evening. The airline takes earliest opportunity to apologise to Dr Besigye for any inconveniences caused.”

The capacity and clout of the opposition against Museveni’s long-running rule have expanded and filings against the validity of his February 2011 votes insist cases of voter intimidation and falsification of results have been made.

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South Africa makes push for 2018 Olympics

South Africa makes push for 2018 Olympics
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South Africa makes push for 2018 Olympics

AMPA, May 04: South Africa is revving up its hopes for an Olympic bid as the countdown looms just 58 days away for the start of the IOC session that will decide the fate of the 2018 winter Games city.

Durban will host the IOC session and will be pulling out all the stops to showcase the city in the event of a 2020 bid.

The new logo and website were launched today for the 123rd session to promote the meeting.

Gideon Sam, South African NOC president, spoke to the press and said how pleased he was that the city will be able to greet the IOC. He said that South Africa plans at some point to launch a bid but they are not certain of the time frame. In the mean time they need to put their best foot forward.

South Africa hosted the FIFA World Cup last summer and is looking to bring bigger and more engaging events to the region.

The 2020 cities have until September 1st to submit candidates but already Rome, Italy is on the front line.

Other cities that appear to be considering a bid are Istanbul, Doha, Dubai, Madrid and Tokyo has expressed interest but given the recent earthquake and tsunami it is debatable if they will join the group for this round. Much will depend on how the 2018 vote winds up and which continent wins. By Lauren Walden/Sports Features Communications


 

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BIN LADEN KILLED

BIN LADEN KILLED
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BIN LADEN KILLED.

Special to USAfricaonline.com

May 1, 2011. WASHINGTON—Osama bin Laden was killed in Pakistan and his body has been recovered by U.S. authorities, U.S. officials said on Sunday night.

U.S. President Barack Obama is (now 11.36pm EST making) the dramatic announcement  (in a) late-night appearance at the White House: That the mastermind of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks was killed in an American-led operation in a mansion outside Islamabad.

It is a major accomplishment for Obama and his national security team, after many Americans had given up hope of ever finding bin Laden.

A crowd gathered outside the White House to celebrate, chanting, “USA, USA.”

Obama’s predecessor, George W. Bush, had repeatedly vowed to bring bin Laden to justice “dead or alive” for the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on New York and Washington that killed nearly 3,000 people, but never did before leaving office in early 2009.

U.S. officials said that after searching in vain for the al Qaeda leader since he disappeared in Afghanistan in late 2001, the Saudi-born extremist was killed and his body recovered.

Having the body may help convince any doubters that bin Laden is really dead.

He had been the subject of a search since he eluded U.S. soldiers and Afghan militia forces in a large-scale assault on the Tora Bora mountains in 2001. The trail quickly went cold after he disappeared and many intelligence officials believed he had been hiding in Pakistan.

While in hiding, bin Laden had taunted the West and advocated his militant Islamist views in videotapes spirited from his hideaway.

Besides Sept. 11, Washington has also linked bin Laden to a string of attacks — including the 1998 bombings of American embassies in Kenya and Tanzania and the 2000 bombing of the warship USS Cole in Yemen. ref: Reuters

 

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