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USAfrica: Suit filed to depose Trump by porn star’s lawyer over $130k ‘hush money’

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USAfrica: Suit filed to depose Trump by porn star’s lawyer over $130k ‘hush money’

A few hours ago, Michael Avenatti, the lawyer for adult film star Stormy Daniels filed a request to depose U.S.President Donald Trump and his personal attorney Michael Cohen regarding the $130,000 payment Cohen made to Daniels.

It was filed in federal court in Los Angeles early Wednesday morning, alleging that “The Agreement and the $130,000 payment made pursuant to the Agreement, was for the ‘purpose of influencing’ the 2016 presidential election by silencing Plaintiff from speaking openly and publicly about Mr. Trump just weeks before the 2016 election.”

Daniels [Stephanie Clifford] said on CBS News’ 60 Minutes last Sunday she had a sexual encounter without condom/protection with Trump in 2006. The usually talkative and texting president has not made any direct comments or denial.

Any deposition of Trump, USAfrica notes, will be a slippery, dangerous slide to other likely complications…. By Chido Nwangwu

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At World Cup Soccer 2018, Senegal outplays Poland 2-1

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Senegal’s swift and stylish national team became the first to get a victory from the African continent at the 2018 World Cup soccer.

A few minutes ago, Senegal defeated Poland 2-1.

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Nigerian democracy and June 12: case for Abiola presidency

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By Mazi Sam Ohuabunwa

Special to USAfrica [Houston] and USAfricaonline.com

 

For a nation that seemed to be in denial for 25 years, monumental history was made in Nigeria this week of June 12, 2018, as the country’s leadership awakened to face the truth of its recent struggles for democracy.

On June 12, 1993, Nigerians went to the polls to elect a civilian democratic President. The election was generally adjudged to be peaceful, free and fair but the official result was not released. The military President, Gen. Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida [IBB] cancelled the elections using all kinds of subterfuge or so it seemed. A motley group of cash & carry politicians led by then irrepressible but now silent Arthur Nzeribe, connived with an equally cash & carry judiciary to give IBB an alibi to cancel the elections. The nation, especially, Southern Nigeria rose up in protest against IBB and his henchmen. I fully remember late Dr Beko-Ransome Kuti, Barrister Femi Falana and the trade unionist Frank Kokori leading protests which many of us joined on Ikorodu Road and Airport Road marching to Alausa in Lagos.There were bon fires all over Lagos and other parts of the South West and for the real first time in modern Nigerian history since the women riots, a full blown civil disobedience was in full swing dragging economic activities to a halt for weeks. Many Nigerians panicked, afraid that another civil war was imminent causing many to relocate( Oso Abiola).

The Peoples ‘pressure’ compelled IBB to step aside, enthroning  Chief Shonekan’s interim National Government (ING). Nigerians were not sure whether to support Shonekan or not despite the very spirited efforts which his government made to reset the nation for a new phase of economic development. The empaneling of the Vision 2010 committee was one of such Strategic initiatives by Shonekan. Sensing that Nigerians were ambivalent regarding the interim National government and perhaps more in keeping with written secret scripts held between IBB and his man Friday, Sani Abacha, Shonekan was forced to resign and with it his government came crashing. Abacha, the ultimate dictator assumed office. It is on record that Chief MKO Abiola the then presumed winner, but now confirmed( by PMB)of the June 12 1993 election was one of the earliest persons to pay a courtesy call on Abacha.

Why he did so? Only historians will tell. But some of us suspected that Abacha played a fast one on him. Perhaps he naively believed Abacha was going to’ restore the kingdom to Israel ‘. Rather, Abacha locked up MKO as the man made efforts to claim his victory. Abacha latter died after he had seized and put Nigeria in his pocket but God delivered Nigeria. Soon after Abacha’s death, hope was raised that MKO would be sworn in as President.

But that was not to be.

The nation woke up one day,to hear that MKO Abiola had been despatched to his ancestors. I thought the Nation was going to burn. Only a tepid response perhaps similar to the one David made when his son born out of adulterous relationship with Uriah’s wife died. While the Child was sick, David was in visible agony,refusing to eat or bath. So when the child eventually died, his aides thought he was going to kill himself. But the guy thought otherwise. No need to cry over split milk. He shaved, had his bath and ordered a sumptuous meal. Nigerians moved on with the fast transition to civil rule plan of Abdulsalami Abubakar or so it seemed.

Former military ruler, Gen.  Olusegun Obasanjo was thrust on the Nation by the Northern military establishment led by the irrepressible IBB himself.

Against all odds including sidelining those who midwifed the new democracy and who prepared to assume the Presidency, people like late Dr Alex Ekwueme and Chief Olu Falae, OBJ, past military head of State returned as a civilian democratic President of Nigeria. It was said that the North gave the presidency to the West to appease them for denying Abiola the presidency. But was the West appeased? It did not look so, as the West at first,essentially, did not seem to have supported OBJ. In the 1999 elections, it was predominantly the North,the Middle belt and  the East that gave OBJ victory. The initial hostility of the West led by Bola Tinubu’s Alliance for Democracy(AD) continued almost through OBJ’s 8-year tenure. Whether this was the main reason OBJ never paid any attention to Abiola and the June 12 movement, one may never know. But through out his tenure OBJ hardly brought Abiola or June 12 into any discussion and one could conclude he wanted the issue buried and forgotten .

President Umaru Yardua’s health did not give him enough time to pay attention to several critical national issues and so it is difficult to say if he would have had a different view about Abiola and June 12, even though the national honor he gave to Gani( which Gani eventually rejected) showed a softness to human right activists. Jonathan,who was in my view the first and perhaps till date the only true democrat in this 4th Republic to rule Nigeria showed more understanding to the June 12 issues. It is on record that he decided to Honour the memory of MKO by naming an important national institution after him- University of Lagos.Again the AD now turned ACN political movement of the South West Nigeria mobilized very strongly to oppose that honour. The democratic Jonathan retreated and perhaps that laid to rest any other plans that he may have had.

Then enter President Muhammadu Buhari( PMB) under the political amalgam called APC as arranged between Tinubu’s Southwest dominated ACN , Buhari’s Northern dominated CPC and the Bugaje/ Amaechi/ Saraki minority belt-led nPDP. This party paraded democratic principles at formation but as at now has become a Democratic Party with very few true democrats if any at all. Much of the promises it made during the campaigns, including those in its manifesto have been largely ignored or denied. Majorly, it promised to restructure Nigeria but came to power and became the major obstacle to restructuring Nigeria. Because of the apparent poor performance of PMB, in its chosen key Result areas- Security, anti-corruption and the Economy, it has lost some of its most ardent supporters. Prominent among these are the leading lights of Nigeria’s Military establishment – IBB, TY and OBJ. In addition, the Country seems to be slowly descending into a dictatorship with the unfolding erosion of the powers and relevance of the Legislature and a patently evident repression and intimidation of the main opposition Party- PDP. As last week closed OBJ issued a statement claiming that his freedom and life were in danger essentially because of his criticism of PMB’s lackluster governance performance. As I read that statement, my mind went back to the Abacha days and I asked my self: are we seeing the reincarnation of Abacha?

It is in this charged political milieu where we were wondering how we got here that PMB sprung the greatest surprise of his tenure. In a twinkle of an eye, he rewrote history and did what Napoleon could not do. According to the media reports,he acknowledged for the first time that Chief MKO Abiola of blessed memory actually won the June 12, 1993 elections. To demonstrate this, he awarded MKO the highest National Honour of the Nation- GCFR , reserved for only Heads of State of Nigeria. Abiola’s Vice-Presidential candidate Babagana Kingibe was awarded GCON- the Honour for Vice Heads of State or Vice-Presiedents as the case may be. He also gave similar Honour to Gani Fawhenmi, the late  human rights crusader and democratic icon. To cap it up, he changed the date for the observance of Nigeria’s democracy day from May 29 to June 12. These are issues which the June 12 movement, other pro-democracy groups and Abiola’s family have consistently canvassed over these many years.

Since this surprise was sprung, there have been several comments in the media. The consensus is that this is a good move but done with a motive to score political points( cheap or costly).And then I ask, what is wrong with that? My wish is that PMB would score many more of such political points. How wonderful it will be for us to wake up tomorrow to hear that a man from the South East has been made the Inspector-General of Police for example!( please this not to say that I have joined the Senate to fight IGP Idris and I pray that this my humble suggestion is not mischievously transmitted to him). Or how will it be wrong to hear tomorrow that he has accepted the recommendations of the 2014 political conference and ordered immediate implementation or agreed to drastically restructure Nigeria using the six -geopolitical zones as federating units for example. Let him score all the political points( cheaply or costly).For one thing, they will help write off his current political deficits and perhaps place him on the positive. Won’t that be a good thing for Nigeria?

Additionally I have heard suggestions that he should do more than what he has done. People have suggested that Abiola and Kingibe should be paid arrears of their salaries as President and Vice President. This is only fair. Others have suggested that Kudirat Abiola who died in the struggle for her husband’s mandate should be equally honoured and I agree. Others are requesting that Government should help rebuild Abiola’s businesses that have failed. I demure on that. Indeed I am hoping that other heroes of June 12 like Dr Beko Ransome-Kuti, Tony Enahoro, Balarabe Musa, Ndubuisi Kanu, Yinka Odumakin and comrade Kokori should also be honored. In similar manner, Nigeria must not forget the sacrifices of Leaders like General Thomas Aguiyi- Ironsi, Col Adekunle Fajuyi, Shehu Musa Yardua,Alfred Rewane, Dele Giwa and many others who have died in the bid to bring peace and unity to Nigeria. They and their families and businesses need recognition, honour, resuscitation and restitution. What is good for the goose must also be good for the gander!

But for me really, to bring this June 12 matter to a full and final closure, I suggest we should go the whole hog and inaugurate an Abiola Presidency. Since Babagana Kingibe survived MKO as VP, he should by the enforcement or re-enactment of the doctrine of necessity by the Senate be inaugurated as the President and he can choose a VP, perhaps the Chairman of SDP in 1993 or his Vice, if the chairman is indisposed . Alternatively, MKO’s first son can become the VP. If this my ‘revolutionary’  idea is acceptable to the good people of Nigeria, we can inaugurate this government on June 12 next year. In which case we will not need to go through the pain, torture and expense of holding presidential elections next year, which if care is not taken and we continue the way we are going as today may run into painful hitches. Can some one please stand to support this motion?                                                                        •Ohuabunwa, recipient of Nigeria’s national award, OFR, is a leading public policy analyst who contributes commentaries to USAfrica. His email is sam@starteamconsult.com

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Soccer: Nigeria’s World Cup squad of 23; the full list, names

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Soccer: Nigeria’s World Cup squad of 23; the full list, names

Goalkeepers: Ikechukwu Ezenwa (Enyimba), Francis Uzoho (Deportivo La Coruna), Daniel Akpeyi (Chippa United).

Defenders: Abdullahi Shehu (Bursaspor), Tyronne Ebuehi (Den Haag), Elderson Echiejile (Brugge), Bryan Idowu (Amkar Perm), Chidozie Awaziem (Nantes), William Ekong (Bursaspor), Leon Balogun (Brighton), Kenneth Omeruo (Kasimpasa).

Midfielders: John Obi Mikel (Tianjin TEDA), Ogenyi Onazi (Trabzonspor), Wilfred Ndidi (Leicester), Oghenekaro Etebo (Las Palmas), John Ogu (Hapoel Be’er Sheva), Joel Obi (Torino).

Forwards: Ahmed Musa (Leicester), Kelechi Iheanacho (Leicester), Victor Moses (Chelsea), Odion Ighalo (Changchun Yatai), Alex Iwobi (Arsenal), Simeon Nwankwo (Crotone)

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USAfrica: Why Trump should watch out on May 30 for Biafra memorial day

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By Rev Joshua Amaezechi, contributing editor of USAfricaonline.com, Minister of the Christian Reformed Church of North America (CRCNA) and Lead Chaplain, at the Kalamazoo County Jail 

History, they say, often repeats itself. This happens because we fail to learn from it and avoid its pitfalls. A look at history may provide a path for President Trump to reshape the US foreign policy on Nigeria in a manner that promotes life and advances human progress. An alternative is to ignore history and follow the known path of executive and economic convenience as was done in the past and live with the outcome.

History is perhaps about to repeat itself. Igbo Christians as well as their neighboring Christians in the middle belt of Nigeria have been facing unchallenged terrorist attacks from radical Islamists “Fulani Herdsmen” who overrun Christian communities, killing women, men and children and seeking to take over their lands. There had been many cases in which the Nigerian Military under President Buhari had been accused of aiding and abetting these attacks as killers were neither arrested nor frontally confronted by the State Security. Official policies of the government of President Buhari to reduce arms in the hands of civilians ended up only disarming the natives, thereby giving the invading herdsmen an edge over their victims. 

Like Nixon, president Trump has declared that the killing of Christians in Nigeria would no longer be acceptable to the US government. During a recent visit of President Buhari of Nigeria to the White House, president Trump was quoted to have said:

 “Also, we’ve had very serious problems with Christians who have been murdered, killed in Nigeria. We’re going to be working on that problem, and working on that problem very, very hard, because we can’t allow that to happen.”

 President Trumps commitment to protect Christians in Nigeria was reaffirmed in his speech on the National Day of prayer and aligns with his campaign promise to tackle the problem of Boko haram and Islamic terrorism, twin problems which as believed by the Christian Association of Nigeria(CAN) are geared towards the Islamization of Nigeria. But Nixon’s declaration on Biafra is different from President Trump’s promise to protect Christians in Nigeria. While the later was a declaration of a high profile presidential candidate, the latter is the declaration of a sitting president. However, both declarations place similar moral obligation on the US government to act decisively to protect Christians, especially at this time when 99% of the strategic Armed forces of Nigeria are headed by Muslims and mostly kinsmen of President Buhari who is widely known for his nepotism and unflinching support for the spread of Islam. 

The moral obligation of the US comes to the fore as the Igbo people and the peoples of the former Republic of Biafra who are mainly Christians and Omenana Jews gather on May 30 to remember the estimated 3.5 million of their folks who were killed during the Nigerian Biafran war. Already, Nigeria’s ‘President Buhari’s government has deployed Soldiers and combat airplanes to the region ahead of the May 30 memorial, even when that region is known to be the safest and peaceful part of Nigeria. While it is a moral tragedy that genocidists who should have been in jail, were allowed to become Presidents and heads of states in Nigeria, some with streets and public places named after them; it is even a greater moral evil for the bereaved to be denied the freedom and solemnity to mourn their dead. 

It is the aggregation of the pains and sorrow of many Christian families who lost their loved ones due to Nixons dereliction of his moral obligation to save Biafra from genocide and its interplay with current persecution of Christians in Nigeria that makes May 30 a day to watch for President Trump. The moral burden of allowing 1967-1970 to repeat itself will be too much for the US to bear.

 From 1967 to 1970, the Igbo people of the South Eastern Nigeria, with over 80% Christian majority faced the danger of extinction in an avoidable war between Nigeria and the Republic of Biafra. The US presidential candidate, then former Vice President and front runner in the presidential election Richard Milhous Nixon attracted widespread attention and support when on September 8, 1968 he issued a statement calling on the US to intervene in the Nigerian-Biafra war, describing the Nigerian governments war against the Biafrans as a “genocide” and the “destruction of an entire people”. Following his declaration, the Christians of Igbo land felt a sense of relief with the expectation that Nixon’s victory at the poll would usher in a shift in US foreign policy on Nigeria and a departure from Lyndon Johnson’s half-hearted interestedness, evidenced by minimalist provision of relief to the starving Igbo in the Biafran territory.

 Nixon won! Unfortunately, rather than act to end genocide in Biafra, President Nixon followed Lyndon Johnson’s policy. Not even the declassified memo from the former US Secretary of State and NSA, Henry Kissinger, describing the Igbo as “the wandering Jews of west Africa..” and calling for a more robust response turned the needle of President Nixon’s neglect to follow up on his campaign promises on Biafra. With these words “I hope Biafra survives”, he gave up Biafra. The result was that estimated 1 million children and civilians were starved to death following the official blockade of all access of food aid and medical relief by the Nigerian Military Government. 

While the Watergate Scandal put the final seal on Nixon’s presidency, many would argue that his foreign policy failures, including his relative silence over genocide against Biafrans  ate deep into his political capital leaving him with no significant goodwill. We know how it ended: President Nixon resigned!

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AHAMEFUNA: To their peaceful gods of mayhem. A poem by Chido Nwangwu

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chido-nwangwu-trad

By Chido Nwangwu, Publisher of USAfrica, Houston.                                                                            •Follow Twitter.com/Chido247Facebook.com/USAfricaChido

 

For how long

should I appease those/

all-knowing gods of mediocrity?

 

For how long

should I be that/

sacrificial, monthly burnt offering to their

peaceful gods of mayhem?

 

For how long

should I be that/

target of some reptilian, choking, bloody

dances of death, in my own village by these/

gentle troops of lethal impunity?

 

For how long

should I be that/

brave one without means and things to

defend the herd of goat in the homestead/

protect the frontline stock of

the courageous, at home and elsewhere?

AHAMEFUNA-AFAMEFUNA-AHAMEFULE

 

For how long

should I be that/

Overcomer who, continues to fall

for the instigation to cast all

my survivalists’ discretion to their whirlwind,

foxtrotting, into their deathly reptilian dances?

 

For how long/

should I forget/

For their fear of Biafra,

targeted persons, we’ve become; all

offsprings of Odumegwu, the Lion of Biafra!

 

we’ve become; all

witness bearers and truth-tellers/

in unapologetic agreement with

Ugonabo Chinua Achebe who wrote:

There Was a Country!

I say, it was not Wakanda; it was Biafra!

AHAMEFUNA-AFAMEFUNA-AHAMEFULE

———

•Dr. Chido Nwangwu is Founder & Publisher of Houston-based USAfrica multimedia networks, first African-owned, U.S-based newspaper published on the internet USAfricaonline.com;  and recipient of several journalism and public policy awards. He has been profiled by the CNN International for his pioneering works on multimedia/news/public policy projects for Africans and Americans. He worked previously for the Nigerian Television Authority, Platform magazine, and the Daily Times of Nigeria; and has served as adviser on Africa business to Houston’s former Mayor Brown. USAfrica, CLASSmagazine and USAfricaonline.com are assessed by the CNN and The New York Times as the largest and arguably the most influential African-owned, U.S-based multimedia networks. USAfrica established May 1992.


 

2018 book: In this engaging, uniquely insightful and first person reportage book, MLK, MANDELA & ACHEBE: Power, Leadership & Identity, about three global icons and towering persons of African descent whose exemplary lives hold lessons for humanity and Africans, the author Chido Nwangwu takes a measure of their works and consequence to write that Martin Luther King, Jnr., Nelson Mandela and Chinua 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://mlkmandelaachebe.com/

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USAfrica: Danger ahead as Nigeria face population explosion without plan

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President-Buhari-of-Nigeria-contemplative-pix

By the Council on Foreign Relations

Special to USAfrica [Houston] • USAfricaonline.com

 

At a population conference in New York, Chairman of the National Population Commission (NPC) Eze Duruiheoma estimated that the current population of Nigeria is 198 million, and that the population living in urban areas has been growing 6.5 percent annually over the past fifty years. He cites that World Population Prospects prediction that by 2050, Nigeria will displace the United States as the third most populous country in the world after China and India. He also noted the 2014 World Urbanization Prospects prediction that by 2050, 77 percent of Nigeria’s population will be urban. The NPC chairman also looked at the number of internally displaced Nigerians. With respect to the Boko Haram insurrection in the northeast, Duruiheoma estimated that the number of internally displaced is 1.76 million, which is lower than other estimates, some of which can be as high as 2.5 million.

Nigerians know they are by far the most populous country in Africa, and they are proud of it. Estimates of the size of the country’s population range from the World Bank’s 186 million to 205 million by UN agencies. An accurate census is difficult in Nigeria in part because of infrastructure shortcomings. In the past, too, census results have also fueled ethnic and religious conflicts exploited by political figures. Nevertheless, in 2017 the director general of the NPC raised the possibility of a census in 2018. Given the practical and political difficulties and with the prospect of national elections in 2019, that timeframe seems overly optimistic. In the meantime, it is necessary to fall back on careful estimates.

Duruiheoma pointed out in New York that Nigeria’s urban population growth has not been accompanied by a “commensurate increase in social amenities and infrastructure.” More generally, economic growth has not kept up with population growth. Hence, the enormous slums outside city centers.

In effect, Nigeria has no population policy that would limit births, and Nigerians have traditionally valued large families. Yet the country’s rapid population growth, especially in urban areas, poses difficult economic, social, and public health challenges. A huge, rapidly growing population is not necessarily a source of national strength.

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USAfrica: Why SaharaReporters Sowore’s disrupt-the-Nigerian-system message is gaining momentum. By Chido Nwangwu

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By Chido Nwangwu, Publisher of USAfrica, Houston.                                                                            •Follow Twitter.com/Chido247Facebook.com/USAfricaChido

 

I remember my first meeting with Omoyele Sowore has been almost 10 years — at the residence of the profoundly resourceful Dr. Chidi Achebe — where we (including Prof Okey Ndibe and Prof Chukwuma Azuonye) gathered to learn and interview the great novelist Prof Chinua Achebe.

He came as SaharaReporters.com Publisher which opened a few years earlier in 2006, in New York; supported by grants from the Ford Foundation and the Omidyar Foundation. I came as Publisher of the print and online platforms USAfrica [established 1992, in Houston], USAfricaonline.com, CLASSmagazine and AchebeBooks.com

I had a brief chat with Sowore middle of May 2018 whereby he informed me about his campaign for the presidency of Nigeria 2019. I congratulated him “for the courage to present an alternative outlook on Nigeria.”

Before that day, I observed his campaign events and use of the social elements of technology to enable me make these points.

First, Sowore, an equal opportunity offender [especially of the corrupt], is undertaking a relatively bold challenge of the entrenched forces and groups who have held Nigeria’s potentially greater fortunes as their playground, a barnyard for primitive accumulation and consumption.

Second, the campaign’s financial support is primarily derived from the social media funding site, gofundme.com
His fundraising results there has been a catalyzing factor for the operations and mobilization of supporters. It has not been optimal. Yet, he’s doing what no other Nigerian politician has attempted: Raise money for politics through small donations by everyday folks rather than depend on the overbearing weight of funding from the fat cats!

Third, the former students union leader at the University of Lagos has made swift but effective campaign events across Nigeria’s major cities and North America. As it were, it is factual to note that the attendance of these rallies have been modest. The master stroke and strategy of Sowore are the facts that he has made the most mileage issue in the utilization of social media better than any other potential candidates, so far, in the race.

Fourth, he is capturing the imagination and civic interests of millions of unemployed, underemployed, yet very talented demographics of Nigerian youth. He speaks in their lingo, wrapped

Fifth, besides the youth segment of Nigeria, Sowore has impressed many Nigerians and accountability organizations in the fight over corruption. To be sure, he has equally alienated a huge swath of the Nigerian political and business elite over published materials on his website. The truth of the matter is that he is usually, to use a Nigerian slang, “more correct” than those who accuse him of being driven by malice or sponsored by some special interests.

How all those will impact his ambition to lead Nigeria reside in the dynamic turns and twists of time and real politik.

USAfrica Publisher Chido Nwangwu, pix Jan11 2014

I’ll close with the realistic engagement in the battle for power as stated by the 1960s Black feminist Audre Lorde that ““For the master’s tools will never dismantle the master’s house…”

———

•Dr. Chido Nwangwu is Founder & Publisher of Houston-based USAfrica multimedia networks, first African-owned, U.S-based newspaper published on the internet USAfricaonline.com;  and recipient of several journalism and public policy awards. He has been profiled by the CNN International for his pioneering works on multimedia/news/public policy projects for Africans and Americans. He worked previously for the Nigerian Television Authority, Platform magazine, and the Daily Times of Nigeria; and has served as adviser on Africa business to Houston’s former Mayor Brown. USAfrica, CLASSmagazine and USAfricaonline.com are assessed by the CNN and The New York Times as the largest and arguably the most influential African-owned, U.S-based multimedia networks. USAfrica established May 1992.


 

2018 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 and friendship hold lessons for humanity and Africans, the author 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://mlkmandelaachebe.com/

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USAfrica: Buhari goes back to see his doctors in London

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Special to USAfrica [Houston] • USAfricaonline.com  • @Chido247

Only a few days following his return from the United States, Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari has announced through his spokesman that he is travelling to the United Kingdom to see his doctor. “I will be travelling to the United Kingdom tomorrow [May 8], to see my doctor, at his request,” retired Gen. Buhari stated on his official Twitter account.

Buhari who is 77-years added he will be away for four days, therefore, he has set Saturday, May 12, 2018 as his return date.

On his way back to Nigeria, he stopped over in London to get some medical attention — this fact was hidden from Nigerians with his special assistant [media] Garba Shehu claiming at that time that Buhari’s health challenges did not force the re-routing through London.

On May 7, Shehu added “In the course of the technical stop-over for aircraft maintenance in London on his way back from Washington last week, the president had a meeting with his doctor.”

 

USAfricaonline.com notes that Buhari  travelled to Britain from Abuja on Monday April 9, 2017. Buhari who has been facing severe criticism on his performance since May 2015 will held “discussions on Nigeria – British relations with Prime Minister Theresa May, prior to the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meetings scheduled for April 18 to 20.”

Since Buhari became civilian President, his first trip to Britain for medical treatment, according to USAfrica News Index, took place from January to March, 2017. Soon, following the clear evidence of the challenges he had regarding his health, he made his longest and most talked about trip when he left Nigeria back to London on May 7, 2017 and returned to an apprehensive nation on August 19, 2017.
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AFRICA

USAfrica: Will Rwanda President Kagame succeed President Kagame, ruling for 34 years?

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Special to USAfricaonline.com

Who will succeed President Paul Kagame? Ask the ruling party – Rwanda Patriotic Front (RPF) – and Rwandan citizens, says the president.

“The succession plan is not mine. If it had been, I would not be here now; I would have left because that is what I intended to do,” President Kagame said last week during a panel discussion at the Mo Ibrahim Governance summit in Kigali.

President Kagame was elected to a third seven-year term in 2017, after a constitutional referendum led to the suspension of term limits.

Under the amended constitution, a presidential term was slashed from seven to five years, and set to be renewed only once. This allows President Kagame to run for two further five-year terms when his current term ends- potentially making him rule for 34 years until 2034.

But even after winning his third term with an enviable 99 per cent of the vote, President Kagame said he had no intentions of leading past two terms, and was only persuaded by Rwandans to stay on.

“I intended to serve the two terms and leave; that was my intention and it is clear, I don’t have to keep defending myself on it. I was deeply satisfied in my heart … until people asked me to stay,” he said.

“And even then, it took some time before I accepted; finally I did because of history — the history of my involvement in politics and being a leader which started from childhood.”

The Rwandan head of state argued that it was never his ambition to be president in the first place, and that he was not prepared to lead the country after the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi, turning down his party when they fronted him as a leader.

“In 1994, my party had taken it for granted that I was going to take the helm as the leader. I told them to look for someone else. I told them I wasn’t prepared for it; it was not what I was fighting for,” he said.

“I became vice president and Minister of Defence. Later, then president (Pasteur Bizimungu) had problems with parliament and was impeached. They turned to me and asked me to lead and I said yes.”

President Kagame warned that although it appeared as though his longevity in power has been left for him to decide, there will come a time when no amount of persuasion from his party or the citizenry will convince him to stay.

“If I were to reach a stage — and I will not reach that stage — where people ask me to continue… and when I feel I cannot do much for them, then I will tell them no. Even if they insist, I will also insist on going,” he said.

The president said that once he is out of power, he will support his successor.

But in a country where rights groups have alluded that the political climate only favours the ruling party, it is unlikely that President Kagame’s successor — whenever he or she comes — will come from outside the RPF.

On top of overseeing a strong recovery of the Rwandan economy, ensuring peace and stability, the RPF has consolidated political and financial power since taking over power in 1994.

This is to the point of having several other political parties seeking for coalition with RPF rather than contend for influence.

•Mugisha, Rwandan journalist and author Of Sheep That Smell Like Wolves is based in Kigali, Rwanda. He contributes to the East African.

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USAfrica: MAYHEM AT MUBI MOSQUE as SUICIDE BOMBERS KILL 60+

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Suicide bombers killed more than 60 people at a mosque and a market in northeast Nigeria on Tuesday, in a twin attack bearing the hallmarks of Boko Haram and a day after US President Donald Trump pledged greater support to fight the Islamist militants.

The blasts, said to have been carried out by young boys, happened shortly after 1:00 pm (1200 GMT) in Mubi, some 200 kilometres (125 miles) from the Adamawa state capital, Yola.

Imam Garki, from the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), said a joint assessment with the police and Red Cross found that 26 people were killed and 56 were injured, 11 of them critically, AFP reports.

They were transferred to the Federal Medical Centre in Yola for treatment.

But a medical source at the Mubi General Hospital said they had received 37 bodies, while a rescue worker involved in the relief operation said he counted 42 dead and 68 injured.

“These I saw with my own eyes. We were counting as they were being taken,” said Sani Kakale.

Two local residents who attended funerals for the victims said the death toll was much higher — and could climb further.

“Before I left the cemetery I took part in the burial of 68 people. More bodies were being brought by families of the victims,” said Muhammad Hamidu.

“I think this is the worst attack Mubi has ever witnessed. The human loss is unimaginable.”

Abdullahi Labaran added: “We left 73 freshly dug graves where each victim was buried. There are still unclaimed bodies at the hospital.

Conflicting death tolls are not unusual in Nigeria. The authorities have also previously played down casualty figures.

Suspicion for the attack immediately fell on Boko Haram, the jihadist group whose quest to establish a hardline Islamic state in northeast Nigeria has left at least 20,000 dead since 2009.

Mubi has been repeatedly targeted in attacks blamed on Boko Haram since it was briefly overrun by the militants in late 2014.

Nigeria’s government and military have long maintained that the Islamic State group affiliate is a spent force and on the verge of defeat.

But there has been no let-up in attacks in the northeast, particularly in Borno state, adjacent to Adamawa, which has been the epicentre of the violence.

Last Thursday, at least four people were killed when suicide bombers and fighters attempted to storm the Borno state capital, Maiduguri, raising fresh questions about security.

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has been in the United States this week and met his US counterpart Donald Trump, who pledged more support in the fight against Boko Haram.

Trump pledged support for Buhari in their meeting in Washington on Monday
Nigeria has bought a dozen A-29 Super Tucano light fighter aircraft in a $496-million (413-million-euro) deal.

Trump indicated a further order for attack helicopters was also in the pipeline.

“These new aircraft will improve Nigeria’s ability to target terrorists and protect civilians,” Trump told a joint news conference with Buhari in Washington on Monday.

The sale of the aircraft was previously blocked by the Obama administration after the Nigerian airforce mistakenly bombed a camp for people displaced by Boko Haram, killing 112.

US military officials in Abuja have recently questioned Nigerian tactics faced with guerilla tactics from Boko Haram.

“How they think in terms of combat, in my opinion, is still thinking of things as conventional warfare,” Lieutenant-Colonel Sean McClure, the US defence attaché in Abuja, told AFP last month.

In Mubi, local volunteer Habu Saleh, who was involved in the rescue effort, described the aftermath of the bombing as “chaos”.

Health workers from the hospital mobilised to attend to the victims, despite being on strike over pay and conditions.

Abdullahi Labaran said the first bomber mingled with worshippers who had gathered for prayers at the mosque at the edge of the market.

He detonated his explosives “five minutes before the prayer started”, he added.

The second bomber blew himself up among the crowds of worshippers, traders and shoppers as they fled the first explosion.

On November 21, 2017 at least 50 people were killed when a suicide bomber blew himself up in a mosque during early morning prayers in the Unguwar Shuwa area of Mubi.

In October 2012, at least 40 people were killed in an attack on student housing in Mubi that was widely blamed on Boko Haram.

In June 2014, at least 40 football supporters, including women and children, died in a bomb attack after a match in the Kabang area of the town. ref: AFP

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