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USAfrica: Ojukwu, the eagle flies home. By Okey Mbonu

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An ode to Emeka Ojukwu

By Okey Mbonu

Special to USAfricaonline.com , CLASSmagazine and the USAfrica-powered e-groups of  IgboEventsAnambraPoliticsNigeria360 and UNNalumni

 

Dike Di Oranma! Dike Di Oranma!! Dike Di Oranmaaaaa!!!

We called you one last time and you refuse to answer us

Are you angry at us, our Warrior? Are you upset with us, our Prince?

Are you afraid to lead us to battle, our Brother?

Not so, your valiant spirit responds: “Alas, I led our people as we were massacred across the Niger

Yes, across the deserts of the North, and yes, across the dividing line of the Benue

Did I ever turn my back on you my people? Did I not lay all my earthly possessions down for my people?”

Our warrior, our Prince, our Dike eji ejemba, is silent tonight, felled not by a bullet

Nor by bombs or mortars, or the wickedness of man, for we survived all that together

Yes, together we survived the atrocities of war, sometimes with our distended stomachs

We sang our song “Umunnem Happy Survival” together, for a General is nothing without his troops!

 

We flew and landed our few airplanes in the pitch darkness of Uli Airstrip, starring danger in the face

We cooked and refined our own petroleum, creating our own fuel, as we drove through Biafraland

We created our own vaccines, and dealt a blow to cholera, we made our own arms, despite the blockade

Through it all you led us with bravery, back against the wall, seeking a path to mutual resolution

Though it was not our time to prevail, yet we went against the Goliaths and gave them hell!

Alas, Dim, our Warrior is gone, called home only by the Almighty; but we will forever cherish you.

Dike Di Oranma! Dike Di Oranma!! Dike Di Oranmaaaaa!!!!

Ora n’ekene gi!!! Adieu sweet Prince!!!!! We Will Never Forget You!!!!

 

Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu, The Eagle Flies Home.

Special to USAfricaonline.com , CLASSmagazine and the USAfrica-powered e-groups of  IgboEventsAnambraPoliticsNigeria360 and UNNalumni

Summer 2006, in Enugu, the historic capital of Eastern Nigeria, I came in the midst of some politicians to visit the legendary Ikemba, Eze Igbo Gburugburu, Dike Di Oranma, Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu.

As our convoy pulled into the compound, I keenly observe a 1962 Mercedes Limousine on the carport, the car belonged to Ojukwu’s long deceased father Sir Louis; apparently a relic of Ojukwu’s privileged childhood. I did not know they made Mercedes Limousines in those days, but there it was, sitting stoically, signifying old wealth, class and substance of significant proportions.

The domestics open the door, and a throng of politicians and political wanna-be’s filed in, including my humble self. Soon enough, the peoples General was led into the living room, cataracts or some other eye problem had taken a toll on his vision. Nevertheless, Ojukwu made his way around the rather large living room, cautiously but steadily, negotiating his way around the myriad furniture. His body was physically trim and his gait was firm, a testament to the old soldier and the warrior in him.

Our chief host beckoned on me and my colleague, to introduce us to the General, “these are our people, from the United States,” he said, “they’re here to visit with you.” Ojukwu gazed at us, then he stuck out his hand for a handshake, his palm was unexpectedly very soft, a testament to his highly privileged birth. Then he asked our names in a humble brotherly tone, as we sat down; he opened up in flawless Igbo diction: “Kedu ife aga ewetulu gnu?” I marvel at the great man’s virtuous offer, of traditional Igbo hospitality, something I had lost grip on after 26 years in the United States.

Soon we relaxed and bantered with the General, on a myriad of Igbo and Nigerian issues, his mind as sharp as a razor, his politeness and humility even more profound, ever willing to sacrifice all he had to cater to people. I now saw the essence of the man some simply know as “Emeka Ojukwu.”

 

Soon we and our convoy stood up to bid him farewell, but not so fast, I had to ask him one more personal question: “Ikemba, you have a lot of titles, which one would you rather I salute you by?” I asked. Slowly and deliberately he responded, a half smile on his face: “I would rather you call me ‘Dim’“I quickly realized Dim was an abbreviated acronym for “Dike di oranma.”

As I stood before the General bidding him goodbye, I realized the essence of the man, Ojukwu was one hundred percent comfortable in his Igbo skin, he loved us, and cherished the fact that we loved him back. This sums up our General.

•Mbonu, an attorney, is a contributing editor of USAfrica and CLASSmagazine.

USAfrica Exclusive: OJUKWU on Biafra, Nigeria’s problems, Mandela, Clinton and exile. By Chido Nwangwu

Odumegwu Ojukwu is dead; Long live Ojukwu; millions mourn. By Chido Nwangwu                   

 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://usafricaonline.com/chido.achebebest.html

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In the light of an icon, my mentor Stanley Macebuh (1942-2010)By Chido Nwangwu  http://usafricaonline.com/2011/03/07/stanley-macebuh-tribute-by-chido-nwangwu/ 

 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.


 

• Nigeria’s President Jonathan’s push for tenure elongation awakens ghosts of Obasanjo’s failed 3rd-term push. By Chido Nwangwu

• Nigeria’s bin-Laden cheerleaders could ignite religious war, destabilize Africa. By USAfrica’s Publisher Chido Nwangwuhttp://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 Nwangwuhttp://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/


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

——

  

 

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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Chinonso Ndukwe

    December 17, 2011 at 1:11 pm

    Great men are immortal. Ojukwu is a great man. Ojukwu is IMMORTAL.

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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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