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USAfrica: After the Onitsha massacre of those armed with the Biafra flag and mobile phones. By Chuks Iloegbunam

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After the Onitsha massacre of those armed with the Biafra flag and mobile phones.

By Chuks Iloegbunam

Special to USAfrica multimedia networks, Houston,                                                                         Follow USAfrica at Facebook.com/USAfricaChido , Facebook.com/USAfrica247 and Twitter.com/Chido247

USAfrica: One of the stories out of last week’s massacre in Onitsha (Anambra State of Nigeria) had to do with a uniformed man who suddenly paced a few steps ahead of his cohorts, raised his assault rifle, trained it on Nkiruka Anthonia Ikeanyionwu, a 21-year old undergraduate, and pulled the trigger at pointblank range. Red-hot lead homed into her chest. The impact flattened her. Blood spouted immediately, turning her light-blue dress crimson. She died instantly. She was armed – with her cellphone! Her scandalized comrades raised a concerted voice of protest but colleagues of the cowardly shooter covered him with their outstretched arms and led him to their backward formations. Some others reportedly shot dead in similar circumstances were named as Chima Onoh (Enugu State), Kenneth Ogadinma (Abia State), Angus Chikwado and Felicia Egwuatu (Anambra State).

There was one weapon wielded by almost every participant or watcher of the demonstration that blockaded the Niger Bridge. That weapon was the mobile phone. This has heightened incredulity regarding some other stories in circulation. Since every mobile phone has a camera and a cine-camera, was it possible that major aspects of the Onitsha demonstration could have passed unrecorded? How come that, of the thousands of photographs taken on the bloody day, there was no single frame and no single clip that captured a single demonstrator who was armed with a bludgeon, a machete, a gun, or an explosive device? Some were armed with the Bible, singing Christian hymns. Some were armed with the Biafran flag. Most were armed with mobile phones. Yet, their members were rewarded with hails of gunfire!

A fabulous story claimed that the pro-Biafra agitators had burnt down the Onitsha Central Mosque. How come that, to this day, not a single photograph of the incinerated mosque is available for public viewing? Another fantastic story claimed that the demonstrators torched branded Dangote vehicles. Why, then, is it that not a single picture of a single one of the burnt vehicles is on exhibition anywhere in the world? On the night of the demonstrations, the Sabon Gari Market in Kano went up in flames. Pictures abound of the burnt market; films exist of the market burning. How come that, as concerns Onitsha, there is no pictorial evidence of violent demonstrations, no pictorial evidence of the “burnt” mosque, and no pictures of the “torched” Dangote vehicles?

Uniformed men had, during the past month, been threatening to implement their Rules Of Engagement (ROE) once given the orders to halt the pro-Biafra demonstrations. Now that they have actualized their threats, do they not owe Nigerians and the world an explanation of their carnage? Is the mowing down of peaceful demonstrators in Onitsha not going to be investigated? If the President’s sons and daughters, or the Vice President’s sons and daughters had been central to the Onitsha demonstrations, would any uniformed men have taken potshots at them? Or is it being suggested that the First and Second Nigerian citizens are blessed with offspring more human than those wantonly cut down in Onitsha?

 

Onitsha is in the Anambra North Senatorial District. What has its Senator said or done about the carnage? There is a politician representing the Onitsha North and South constituency in the Federal House of Representatives. There is a member of the Anambra State House of Assembly representing Onitsha North. What have these elected officials said or done about what happened in Onitsha? Miss Ikeanyionwu was from Adazi-Nnukwu, which is in the Anaocha-Njikoka-Dunukofia Federal Constituency. What has the politician representing this constituency done or said about her murder? Adazi Nnukwu is in the Anambra Central Senatorial District. What has the District’s Senator said or done about Ikeanyionwu’s assassination?

It was reported that Governor Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia State cautioned security officials against shooting peaceful demonstrators. Why have the Governors of Anambra, Ebonyi, Enugu and Imo States shied away from doing likewise? Indeed, why should any Nigerian Governor not damn, denounce and condemn massacres anywhere in the country?

Nigerians are famous for religious fervor. Is it proper for anyone that calls upon God’s name to embrace silence in the face of the Onitsha atrocity? It has been reported that Rev Father Emmanuel Obimma (Ebube Muonso) of the Catholic Church in Anambra State has unreservedly condemned the cowardly massacre of Ndigbo in Onitsha. Bless him! But why are other ordained people of God all over Nigeria not screaming “NO” to the wantonness in Onitsha? Why should professed people of God not condemn any massacres anywhere in Nigeria?

Nigeria bristles with civil rights advocates, radical lawyers, and progressive politicians. Why are they not raising a din on the willful murder of peaceful demonstrators? Nigeria is called a democracy. Why, then, should the lips of people demanding self-determination be padlocked? Why should their lives be snuffed out who demand their inalienable rights? Final thought: If brute force chased peaceful demonstrators from the streets, would it put an end to agitation?                                                                                                             Iloegbunam, author of Ironside, the biography of General Aguiyi-Ironsi, Nigeria’s first military Head of State, is a contributing editor of USAfrica multimedia networks (Houston), since 1995, and USAfricaonline.com. His e-mail is iloegbunam@hotmail.com

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Boko Haram, Baga and Nigeria’s Federal Republic of Insecurity.                                                    By Chido Nwangwu.

Boko Haram turned Jonathan’s Nigeria, with brazen impunity, into what I call Nigeria’s Federal Republic of Insecurity. Borno and nearby  areas have become Boko violent playgrounds, the capital territory of their medieval Caliphate. We cannot have two Commanders-in-Chief in one country: Abubakar Shekau and President….. 

http://usafricaonline.com/2015/01/12/boko-haram-and-nigerias-federal-republic-of-insecurity-by-chido-nwangwu/

VIDEO #CNN special #CHIBOK Girls n #BokoHaram Live intvw wt the Founder of USAfrica multimedia and public policy networks Chido Nwangwu. CNN anchors John Berman n Michaela Pereira.  

  Forthcoming 2016 BOOK: In this engaging, uniquely insightful and first PERSON reportage book, MANDELA & ACHEBE: Footprints of Greatness, about two global icons and towering PERSONS of African descent whose exemplary lives
Mandela-n-Achebe-by-Chido-book-frontcover-Lrs and friendship hold lessons for humanity and Africans, USAfrica Founder Chido Nwangwu takes a measure of their works and consequence to write that Mandela and Achebe have left “footprints of greatness.”
He chronicles, movingly, his 1998 reporting from the Robben Island jail room in South Africa where Mandela was held for decades through his 20 years of being close to Achebe. He moderated the 2012 Achebe Colloquium at Brown UNIVERSITY IN Providence, Rhode Island.“I’ll forever remember having walked inside and peeped through that historic Mandela jail cell (where he was held for most of his 27 years in unjust imprisonment) at the dreaded Robben Island, on March 27, 1998, alongside then Editor-in-chief of TIME magazine and later news chief executive of the CNN, Walter Isaacson (and others) when President BILL Clinton made his first official trip to South Africa and came to Robben Island. Come to this island of scourge and you will understand, in PART, the simple greatness and towering grace of Nelson Mandela”, notes  Chido Nwangwu, award-winning writer, multimedia Chido_Nwangwu-speaking-jan11_2014specialist and founder of USAfricaonline.com, the first African-owned U.S-based newspaper published on the internet, in his first BOOK; he writes movingly from his 1998 reporting from South Africa on Mandela. http://www.mandelaachebechido.com/

  Dr. Chido Nwangwu, moderator of the Achebe Colloquium (Governance, SECURITY, and Peace in Africa) December 7-8, 2012 at Brown University in Rhode Island and former adviser on Africa business/issues to the Mayor of Houston, is the Founder & Publisher of Houston-based USAfrica multimedia networks since 1992, first African-owned, U.S-based newspaper published on the internet USAfricaonline.com; CLASSmagazine, AchebeBooks.com, the USAfrica-powered e-groups of AfricanChristians, Nigeria360 and the largest pictorial events megasite on the African diaspora www.PhotoWorks.TV . He was recently profiled by the CNN International for his pioneering works on multimedia/news/public policy projects for Africans and Americans.     e-mail: Chido247@Gmail.com wireless 1-832-45-CHIDO (24436).

 

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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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