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USAfrica: Gambia’s president Jammeh escalates state of emergency; defies Buhari, ECOWAS

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Special to USAfricaonline.com @USAfricaLive @Chido247

Gambia’s Yahya Jammeh has declared a state of emergency just two days before he was due to step down, as British and Dutch travel agencies scrambled to evacuate thousands of tourists. Jammeh, who has ruled The Gambia with an iron fist for 22 years, initially acknowledged opponent Adama Barrow as the victor in December elections, but later rejected the ballot count as flawed and lodged a complaint with the country’s Supreme Court.

He declared a state of emergency yesterday due to the “unprecedented and extraordinary amount of foreign interference in the December 1 presidential elections and also in the internal affairs of The Gambia,” Jammeh announced on state TV.

Citizens were henceforth “banned from any acts of disobedience to the laws of The Gambia, incitement to violence and acts intended to disturb public order and peace,” Jammeh said, asking security forces to maintain law and order.

Under the Gambian constitution a state of emergency lasts up to 90 days if the national assembly confirms it — which the legislature did late Tuesday, a parliamentary source told AFP. In Washington, the US State Department urged Jammeh to “peacefully hand over power” to Barrow — who is in Senegal, where he plans to remain until his planned inauguration Thursday.

“Doing so would allow him to leave office with his head held high and to protect the Gambian people from potential chaos,” spokesman John Kirby said. “Failure to do so will put his legacy, and more importantly The Gambia, in peril.”

The 15-nation Economic Community Of West African States (ECOWAS) has also repeatedly urged Jammeh to respect the outcome of the vote and step aside, a call backed by the UN Security Council, African Union and others.

Jammeh has rebuffed two high-level delegations by west African leaders pleading with him to go.

“The potential for military intervention and civil disturbance is high,” the British foreign ministry said on its website, a warning echoed on social media by its Dutch counterpart, who both urged citizens to avoid all but essential travel.

The Dutch travel firm TUI Nederland told AFP it would repatriate “about 800” clients.

British travel agency Thomas Cook said it had “implemented our contingency plans to bring all our UK customers home,” and was trying to arrange evacuation of up to 3,500 tourists from Banjul airport as soon as possible, with extra flights laid today. ref: wire reports/USAfrica

[embedyt] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=68DP3rtPS0c[/embedyt]

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Soccer: Nigerian players problems with getting visas will affect matches in London

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Abuja (AFP) – Nigeria could avoid playing friendlies in London from now on because of problems obtaining visas for staff and players, coach Gernot Rohr has said.

The Super Eagles played Senegal at non-league Barnet’s ground in north London last Friday, drawing 1-1, but a second scheduled match against Burkina Faso on Monday had to be called off.  The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) said seven Burkinabe players failed to secure British entry visas.

Rohr said several of his players also found themselves unable to travel, including defenders Kingsley Madu, of Belgian side Zulte Waregem, and Musa Mohammed, who plays with Zeljeznicar Sarajevo.

The German coach said he will now suggest that friendlies and training camps be arranged on mainland Europe to avoid further difficulties as it was “too complicated to get visas” in Britain.

“I think it’s better to stay in Schengen, in Europe, than go to London where the people have problems. Even some players in our team couldn’t come, you know. They didn’t get the visa in time.”

Britain is not part of the Schengen zone, where there are no border controls between signatory countries and where international travellers require only a single visa for travel.

Currently, 26 European countries are part of the area.

Rohr told reporters in London on Monday night that Nigeria tried to find a last-minute replacement when it became clear the match would not go ahead against Burkina Faso.

Officials from Burkina Faso were reportedly told the application would be completed in Morocco, where the team was playing on Friday, as there was no British mission in Ouagadougou.

But the applications were still pending when the mission closed for the weekend.

Rohr, who has previously managed national sides Gabon, Niger and Burkina Faso, has worked mainly with players based in mainland Europe since he took charge of Nigeria last year.

The former Bordeaux player and coach, who has also managed several European domestic sides, including Ajaccio, has said it costs less to do so and the facilities are better than in Nigeria.

Nigeria plan to set up a training camp in France in May and play a friendly against Corsica as part of preparations for a 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against South Africa in June.

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USAfrica: Nigeria launches 48-hour online visa application system

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Nigeria has launched an online system aimed at enabling business executives to apply for a visa online and collect it on arrival 48 hours later, its immigration service has announced.

The move to ease visa rules in the West African country follows complaints from foreign executives that obstructive embassy officials made it difficult to enter the country.

Under the new system, travellers must register with the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) and provide details including travel document information, after which a letter of approval may be issued and the visa collected on arrival.

Mohammed Babandede, comptroller general of the NIS, said the facility was in line with the government’s “policy on creation of a conducive environment to attract foreign high net worth investors and professionals into the economy”.

Overseas investors have mainly stayed away from Africa’s largest economy after being put off by a gap of around 30 percent between the official rate of the naira currency, controlled by the central bank, and rates on the parallel market.

Nigeria, an OPEC member, is in recession for the first time in 25 years largely due to low oil prices. ref: Reuters

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USAfrica: Buhari’s uninspiring administration, long medical leave and politics of 2019. By Chidi Amuta

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Special to USAfrica [Houston] and USAfricaonline.com @USAfricaLIVE

 

We must quickly draw the line. Between a groundswell of sincere well wishes for a president on medical leave and exporting our penchant for silly opportunistic sycophancy to London, there is a wide margin. We need to carefully mind the gap before it deepens into a dangerous political gorge.

Empathy for the ailing president is normal and appropriate. Our common humanity and basic patriotism demand no less. Variously, our citizens have prayed, fasted, commiserated and even marched in procession in sympathy with Mr. Buhari in his present indisposition. In spite of the extreme hardship and multiple privations of the times, a painful calm now defines the current mood of the nation in deference to the absent president. The angry have swallowed their bile while the hungry have further edited meal plans. The tenuous hope endures among many that the man who promised us so much would soon return to deliver some happiness.

Photo opportunities of the president receiving empathisers in London have largely reassured a cynical home audience. Visiting officialdom has reassured us, mostly with no credible medical evidence, that the president is ‘hale and hearty’. What is yet to happen is for the man Nigerians elected to govern them to return and resume work. That is where we need him most since his motley visitors insist he is fit. Nigerians await the president’s return to full active duty. That expectation is our entitlement because Mr. Buhari’s job description is clear and specific: president and commander in chief of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

While ‘we the people’ anxiously await the return of our president, a wild traveling circus of political and special interest sycophants is steadily building up in London. The Senate president and House speaker have led the train. That visit is perhaps understandable given the strategic place of the legislature in our order of precedence. Innocuous special interests (mostly businessmen) have also reportedly sneaked into London to ‘greet’ the president. Factions of the presumptive leadership of the ruling APC have been to London. A delegation of the Governor’s Forum is reportedly underway. Many more are likely to follow in typical Nigerian fashion. Soon delegations of the Federal Executive Council, Service chiefs, permanent secretaries, governor’s wives, market women, imams, bishops, herdsmen etc. cannot be too far off. Some may even travel with full complement of soothsayers, prophets, imams, colourful dance troupes and traditional drummers.

A motley circus of fawning Nigerians is converting Buhari’s ill health into a traveling theatre with London as the stage. Public funds are being spent while major international airlines are smiling to the bank. The British audience must be somewhat bemused. But ordinary Nigerians are no doubt astonished at this festival of prodigality in a time of democratised hardship.

If the object of the president’s medical vacation was for him to get some rest and obey his doctors, the purpose is dead because we are transferring the schedulers and protocol officers of Aso villa to London to manage this deluge of presidential well-wishers.

For those visitors who occupy important government posts, it is disguised vacation time with the usual racketeering in estacodes and allowances. Perhaps this is a dramatisation of the joblessness of these officials at a time when the Nigerian commonwealth is terminally stressed and requires even more committed work by key officials of state.

I am not sure Mr. Buhari intended this traveling circus to accompany him to his health vacation. The president is reputedly a shy, self-effacing, compulsively austere and private man. He must be thoroughly embarrassed by this endless stream of political well-wishers. I am sure he would have preferred to be left alone to rest, undergo his medical tests and telephone Acting President Yemi Osinbajo to check on the affairs of state until it is time to return home. But political dramatists seem to be overwhelming Buhari’s more austere preferences.

We cannot totally blame the pro-Buhari touring band. The president is first and foremost a political persona. Wherever he goes, in health or infirmity, politics will follow him. Not surprisingly, most of the politicians jetting into London to wish him well know their art well. They visit the president in the day and retire to their hotels to hold innocuous nocturnal meetings to plot his 2019 succession. Politicians are dramatists of outcomes; they define their ends but act out their route.

However, embedded in this whole London drama are some of the contradictions of Mr. Buhari’s endangered presidency. Here is a president that Nigerians expected to place a moratorium on officially sponsored medical treatments abroad but who prefers to jet out to check an ear infection. Here is a man that many expected would provide the best health facilities for most Nigerians in Nigeria but allows for huge budget provisions for the state house clinic that he hardly trusts to run routine tests on him.

Here is the one leader that many expected would actively discourage the kind of sycophancy that is driving these comic trains to London. Even now, many Nigerians still expect that Mr. Buhari ought to summon the moral courage to insist that those officials who wish him well should stay home and discharge their responsibilities with even greater commitment.

In fairness, the president has spared us the confusion that his absence would have caused. He quickly transmitted the relevant authority for an acting president to the National Assembly. By the letter and spirit of the constitution, my friend and brother, Yemi Osinbajo is doing what he has to do, holding the fort for his boss and ensuring that the machinery of state grinds on. But Buhari’s communication machinery has failed a basic rule of public accountability. At his inauguration, the president declared that he belongs ‘to all and to none’.

His health status is public business and belongs to ‘all’. His vacation time and how he spends it is his private part and belongs to ‘none’ other than he. The task of walking that fine line is what seems to have overwhelmed his handlers. In these matters, there is no substitute to prompt, credible and sensible information. It is the absence of this rather than any appetite for mischief that has created room for wild rumours and ‘fake news’. The best way to course correct is to press the restart button, not to fruitlessly hunt for imaginary regime foes.
Admittedly, the general aloofness of the president and his self-effacing nature has not made the burden of his communicators any easier either. A public communicator at the apex of the place of power, no matter how ingenious, cannot put a spin on what he does not know. I would not know how much Buhari’s official communicators know about the situation of their boss. Mr. Buhari’s personal style (or lack of it) has unfortunately established the unflattering identity for his presidency as one that thrives on protracted silences.

This has led many Nigerians to see the president as distant and even insensitive at the best of times. Yet he is tenacious about his concern for the common folk and presents as a combatant against elite privileges. But his policies have ended up migrating the highest number of Nigerians into abject poverty and spreading misery to the most unlikely segments. These are perhaps unintended interim dividends of an otherwise well-intentioned presidency. However for those who share the optimism that our present misery is part of the foundation for future prosperity, the gate of optimism remains open. The fact that the president’s most spirited strivings and famed good intentions have so far rapidly pauperised and saddened most of the populace is enough to send even the healthiest of men to hospital.

At this point, the president needs to have a frank discussion with his London doctors. They need to agree on a workable schedule that enables him to return to work while pursuing whatever treatment options he needs. The mood of discomfort among the people could worsen if the president allows his prolonged absence to deepen the growing feeling that he is after all dispensable. While the supremacy of the constitution ordinarily makes every president dispensable, the unwritten law of political longevity compels every sensible incumbent to feign indispensability. And the risk for Buhari is even higher because the nation that elected him to improve things is in a sad state. Soon, people will begin to argue that there is no difference in their lot whether or not the president is in Abuja or London. Politically, that will literally end Buhari’s reign and incinerate the endangered myth that he could fix Nigeria’s multiple crises.

There still remains a bit of political capital that Mr. Buhari and his followership can recover. That depends on how much longer the president remains in London. If he returns home now and manages to do a quick rejig of his uninspiring administration, he might be able to take on the severe economic problems that we face.

If, however, he stays away for longer than is defensible, the Nigerian public may get used to life without him for as long as the machinery of government continues to run constitutionally. In either direction, a key political proposition has already been irreparably and fatally compromised by President Buhari’s long medical vacation: his basic political viability and electability in 2019.                                                                                                      Dr. Amuta, the Executive Editor of USAfrica since 1993, and USAfricaonline.com, is Chairman of Wilson & Weizmann., Lagos.

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Obamas sign multimillion book deal

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Special to USAfrica (Houston). @USAfricaLive

New York; AFP: Barack and Michelle Obama have signed a deal to publish their memoirs with New York-based Penguin Random House, in a coveted contract reportedly worth tens of millions of dollars.

America’s first African American president is already the author of two memoirs and a children’s book.

He has frequently declared himself to have a “writer’s sensibility” and has said he does not want to write a conventional blow-by-blow account of his time in the White House.

Michelle Obama’s memoir is likely to be just as eagerly anticipated.

A descendant of slaves, she became the first African American first lady and garnered high approval ratings – to the point where she was arguably one of the country’s most respected and popular women.

Penguin Random House said in a statement it has “acquired world publication rights for two books, to be written by president and Mrs Obama respectively.”

PROJECTED AT $60million

The terms of the deal were not disclosed, but bidding for the high-profile double book deal topped $60 million, a record sum for US presidential memoirs, according to the Financial Times.

Until now, the record for a US presidential memoir was $15 million paid for Bill Clinton’s “My Life,” released in 2004. George W. Bush received $10 million for “Decision Points” in 2010.

Hillary Clinton reportedly received a $14 million advance for “Hard Choices,” her account of her time as secretary of state under Obama.

The Obama deal was negotiated by Washington super-lawyer Robert Barnett, who represented both the Clintons and Bush.

As part of the agreement, the company will donate one million books in the Obama family’s name to First Book, a charity, Penguin said.

“We are very much looking forward to working together with President and Mrs Obama to make each of their books global publishing events of unprecedented scope and significance,” said Penguin Random House CEO Markus Dohle.

The Obamas took a long vacation after Donald Trump was sworn in as president on January 20, and the former president has stuck by a pledge to keep a low public profile unless events threatening what he called America’s “core values” warranted that he speak out.

He did just that in January, just days after Trump enacted his ban on travellers from seven mostly Muslim countries, and on all refugees. Obama expressed support for protests that sprang up nationwide against the now-suspended Trump travel ban.

Whereas US presidents tend to leave town after leaving the White House, the Obamas are settling into a rented mansion in Washington’s posh Kalorama district until their younger daughter Sasha finishes high school. Their eldest daughter Malia will be attending Harvard in the fall.

Another new neighbour in Kalorama is Trump’s daughter Ivanka, who has rented a house along with her husband Jared Kushner and their three children, near the Obamas.

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USAfrica: Devaluation of Nigeria’s Naira begins, informally; projected $1 to N600

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By Ulf Laessing and Chijioke Ohuocha

Abuja, Feb 20, 2017; Reuters: Nigeria effectively devalued the naira for private individuals on Monday, paving the way for a possible broader move despite stiff resistance from President Muhammadu Buhari.

With Buhari abroad for medical treatment and the country’s currency exchange system in chaos, the central bank said Nigerians wanting dollars for travel or to pay foreign school fees could buy dollars at nearly 20 percent above the official rate.

Some Nigerians saw the announcement as a step towards implementing a more flexible currency regime and narrowing a yawning gap between the official and black market rates. However, that did not necessarily mean the authorities were yet ready to allow a free-float for the naira currency as Nigeria struggles with its first recession in a generation.

Monday’s announcement covers about 20 percent of total foreign exchange demand and allows those wealthy families who send their children to schools and universities abroad to buy foreign currency at a rate of around 366 naira to the dollar.

This is less favourable than the official rate of 305 which commercial importers typically use, but vastly more advantageous than on the black market where most individual Nigerians have to buy dollars due to hard currency shortages in the banking system.

Dealers said the naira hit a record low of 520 on the black market after the central bank’s announcement.

Nigeria has tried to make the exchange rate more flexible before, leading to a 30 percent devaluation last year, only to reimpose a quasi currency peg.

Analysts say the central bank, which has been under pressure from Buhari to maintain a strong exchange rate even at the cost of economic growth and investment, was testing the waters for a possible broader devaluation in the near future.

Buhari, a 74-year-old military ruler, has been in London for the last month, leaving Vice President Yemi Osinbajo – a business-friendly lawyer who does not share his boss’s enthusiasm for a strong naira – in charge.

“I think this is the beginning of a process to a more flexible forex system,” said Bismarck Rewane, a leading economist and CEO of Lagos consultancy Financial Derivatives. “There is panic. The system has collapsed. Dollars have disappeared at exchange bureaus at airports,” he said.

Opponents of a more flexible naira say a heavy devaluation would push up the price of imported goods on which Nigerians depend, and endanger fuel subsidies.

With Nigeria hit by low prices of its oil exports, the government wants to finalise a reform plan this month. This is needed to get a loan from the World Bank that would help to fund a record budget aimed at stimulating its economy.

Such a loan would come at a price. “The World Bank is going to insist on a more flexible forex policy,” said Charles Robertson, global chief economist at Renaissance Capital.

The African Development Bank is also applying pressure and has criticised hard currency curbs imposed by the central bank. The lender has held back a second tranche of a loan worth $400 million to demand a reform plan.

Robertson said a devaluation would make sense after Nigeria’s sale of $1 billion in Eurobonds – this would boost naira revenues and lower the need to issue domestic bonds to fund the budget.

The central bank could not be reached for comment.

POLITICS

Western diplomats says Osinbajo and technocrats have been quietly pushing for a currency float but hit resistance from Buhari and aides with similar military backgrounds.

The vice president used another Buhari absence last year to unveil the idea of a more flexible rate which led to the 30 percent devaluation weeks later.

Buhari had agreed to the move but questioned its logic just a week later, after which the central bank gave up the original idea of a free float by introducing a new quasi-peg.

In a sign that things might be moving again, Osinbajo, a lawyer from the commercial capital Lagos, chaired last week a meeting of the National Economic Council, the top state advisory body, demanding an urgent forex review.

Central bank governor Godwin Emefiele, who has toed Buhari’s line, was present at the meeting, saying that patience was needed and everything was under “under control”, an attending deputy governor has said.

Some investors warned against reading too much yet into the central bank announcement. Kevin Daly, Portfolio Manager Emerging Market Debt at Aberdeen Asset Management, noted Nigeria now has several exchange rates.

“But I don’t think it signals an imminent change to a free float. I think that is something that they are – certainly under the existing leadership – going to want to avoid,” he said.

The central bank has boosted its foreign reserves in the past few weeks to a 19-month high of $29 billion, hoping it will attract investment. This also prepares the bank to defend a new exchange rate.

But oil revenues are below plan due to the closure of an export pipeline after a militant attack, reducing the flow of dollars to manufacturers via the banking system. Importing firms have been therefore forced to buy more from the black market, which has worsened the naira’s battering.

A Lagos-based senior banker said the new rate for school fees was a test balloon to see where the market could be heading. “I think they want to start with some of the smaller elements of demand, devalue that part of the market and then see what happens in the market,” he said, asking not to be named.

TABOO

With Buhari practically banning use of the word “devaluation” the central bank could launch more rates for certain imports or travel allowances.

This would add more flexibility but also confusion. The West African nation already has at least five exchange rates including the official one, a rate for Muslim pilgrims going to Saudi Arabia, the one for school fees and a retail rate set by licensed exchange bureaus at 399.

Finally the is the rate offered by the black market changers operating under trees or in parking lots with nervous customers hurrying to count their money before any police raids.

The biggest concern for the government is that a devaluation would hit the poor suffering already from recession. The subsidised fuel sale price of 145 naira a litre would also be difficult to keep.

“At this stage, it is all speculation,” said Shahzad Hasan, portfolio manager emerging markets fixed income at Allianz Global Investors. “It is possible that they could be moving to some sort of managed float, or they could do some FX policy adjustment or some kind of a peg.” (Additional reporting by Camillus Eboh, Karin Strohecker and Sujata Rao; Writing by Ulf Laessing; Editing by Ed Cropley by David Stamp)

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TRUMPED: U.S Federal Appeals court rules against Trump’s travel, immigration ban

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Special to USAfricaonline.com @USAfricaLIVE @Chido247

#TRUMPED: U.S Federal Appeals court rules against President Donald Trump’s travel and immigration ban, a few minutes ago, today, February 9, 2017.

The court in San Francisco refused to reinstate Trump’s ban on travelers from 7 predominantly Muslim nations, including 2 African countries: Somalia and Libya.

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals may not be the last point of litigation by Trump which might see an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court. By Chido Nwangwu

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ISIS, al-Qa’ida, Boko Haram threats cause U.S. to warn its citizens on risks of worldwide travels

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ISIS, al-Qa’ida, Boko Haram threats cause U.S. to warn its citizens on risks of worldwide travels

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

USAfrica, Houston: The U.S Department of State has issued an international alert this evening over what it stated as “Current information suggests that ISIL (aka Da’esh), al-Qa’ida, Boko Haram, and other terrorist groups continue to plan terrorist attacksBarack-Obama-President_speakn in multiple regions.  These attacks may employ a wide variety of tactics, using conventional and non-conventional weapons and targeting both official and private interests.  This Travel Alert expires on February 24, 2016.”

USAfricaonline.com publishes the full advisory:  “Authorities believe the likelihood of terror attacks will continue as members of ISIL/Da’esh return from Syria and Iraq.  Additionally, there is a continuing threat from unaffiliated persons planning attacks inspired by major terrorist organizations but conducted on an individual basis.  Extremists have targeted large sporting events, theatres, open markets, and aviation services.  In the past year, there have been multiple attacks in France, Nigeria, Denmark, Turkey, and Mali.  ISIL/Da’esh has claimed responsibility for the bombing of a Russian airliner in Egypt.

U.S. citizens should exercise vigilance when in public places or using transportation.  Be aware of immediate surroundings and avoid large crowds or crowed places.  Exercise particular caution during the holiday season and at holiday festivals or events.  U.S. citizens should monitor media and local information sources and factor updated information into personal travel plans and activities.  Persons with specific safety concerns should contact local law enforcement authorities who are responsible for the safety and security of all visitors to their host country.  U.S. citizens should:

  • Follow the instructions of local authorities.  Monitor media and local information sources and factor updated information into personal travel plans and activities.
  • Be prepared for additional security screening and unexpected disruptions.
  • Stay in touch with your family members and ensure they know how to reach you in the event of an emergency.
  • Register in our Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP).

Foreign governments have taken action to guard against terrorist attacks, and some have made official declarations regarding heightened threat conditions.  Authorities continue to conduct raids and disrupt terror plots.  We continue to work closely with our allies on the threat from international terrorism.  Information is routinely shared between the United States and our key partners in order to disrupt terrorist plotting, identify and take action against potential operatives, and strengthen our defenses against potential threats.”

[embedyt] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=68DP3rtPS0c[/embedyt]
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 
specialist and founder of USAfricaonline.com, the first African-owned U.S-based newspaper published on the INTERNET, in his first book; he writes movingly from his 1998 reporting from South Africa on Mandela. http://www.mandelaachebechido.com/
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Botswana? Best travel destinations 2016

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What do we know of train attack suspect?

Suspect denies suggestions that he had tried to travel to Syria

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Suspect denies suggestions that he had tried to travel to Syria

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USAfrica: BUHARI affirms WAR IS ON against those who stole Nigeria’s wealth; “will be in court in a matter of weeks”

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


The resolve of Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari, retired army General, that the prosecution of persons who have stolen national resources will begin in a matter of weeks has been confirmed in Abuja.
Speaking at a meeting with members of the National Peace Committee led by Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar, former head of state of Nigeria who handed over to democratically-elected government, in the Presidential Villa,\ Buhari declared that his administration was irrevocably committed to doing all within its powers to break the vicious cycle of corruption,
unemployment and insecurity in Nigeria.
”Nigeria has to break this vicious cycle before we can make progress,” the President said, adding that his administration was diligently getting facts and figures pertaining to the nation’s stolen funds, before proceeding to the prosecution of identified culprits.


In the August 11, 2015 statement signed by the Special Adviser to the President on Media & Publicity, Femi Adesina, President Buhari told General Abdulsalami and members of his committee that the Federal Government, under his leadership, will not only ask for the return of stolen funds that have been stashed in foreign banks, but will also ensure that those who stole the funds are put on trial in Nigeria.

obama-buhari-usafrica

Obama; Buhari; USAfrica-graphics

The President also said that as part of its actions to address the national problems it inherited, his administration was reorganising Nigeria’s revenue generating institutions. The President explained that a single treasury account had been established for all Federal revenue to ensure greater probity, transparency and accountability in the collection, disbursement and utilisation of national funds. 
”We have really degenerated as a country. Our national institutions, including the military, which did wonderfully on foreign missions in the past, have been compromised. But we are doing something about it. The military is now retraining and morale has been resuscitated.
”As Petroleum Minister under Gen. Olusegun Obasanjo in the 1970s, I could not travel abroad until I had taken a memo to the Federal Executive Council asking for estacode. Now, everybody does what he wants. 
”That is why security-wise and economically, we’re in trouble,” President Buhari told his guests, adding that those who have stolen the national wealth “will be in court in a matter of weeks and Nigerians will know those who have short-changed them.”
Gen. Abubakar and members of his committee urged the Federal Government to be guided by the rule of law in its fight against corruption.
Members of the National Peace Committee who accompanied Gen Abubakar on the visit were Bishop Matthew Hassan Kukah, the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar, Cardinal John Onaiyekan, President of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor, and Archbishop Nicholas Okoh, Primate of the Anglican Church of Nigeria.
Others were Justice Rose Ukeje (rtd), Prof Ameze Guobadia, Vanguard newspaper Publisher Sam Amuka, Dame Priscilla Kuye, Senator Ben Obi, Dr. Yunusa Tanko, and Dr Arthur-Martin Aginam.
The National Peace Committee, formed before the 2015 general elections, was granted permission by the President to transform to a National Peace Council.

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@Chido247 


Boko Haram: SkyNews London interview wt USAfrica Publisher Dr. Chido Nwangwu on BOKO HARAM vs BUHARI (Nigeria’s President inaugurated May 29, 2015). Interview on May 30 (Houston) May 31 (London) 2015

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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.  

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 
specialist and founder of USAfricaonline.com, the first African-owned U.S-based newspaper published on the INTERNET, in his first book; he writes movingly from his 1998 reporting from South Africa on Mandela. http://www.mandelaachebechido.com/

  Dr. Chido Nwangwu, moderator of the Achebe Colloquium (GOVERNANCESECURITY, 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

     

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