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Phone: 713-270-5500. Cell direct: 832-45-CHIDO (24436)

On the Chinua Achebe project,
www.Achebebooks.com, CLASS magazine 'the Ebony magazine for Africans in the Diasporaa', The Black Business Journal, PhotoWorks.TV largest digital images domain for Africans abroad; USAfrica.TV






USAfricaonline.com blog comment from www.FaceBook.com/usafrica247: Masterpiece of a speech to American students by Prez Obama..outstanding and valuable..despite the vicious, vile malice of those who really mean (this Black man) should not talk to our kids about anything --even as President! Those charlatans lack all shame. We'll overcome, again! by Chido Nwangwu


Milestone: Gani, Nigeria's legal conscience and activist dies at 71. Prolific Nigerian attorney and human rights activist, Ganiyu Oyesola Fawehinmi, popularly known as Gani, has passed away. He lived as an author, publisher, philanthropist, and social critic. According to sources, his colleagues have said that he has succumbed to a long drawn battle waged against cancer, that had lasted for about 2 years. He was 71. The news of his sad demise had flooded in during the early hours of the morning, on September 5, 2009.

The president of the Campaign for Democracy, Joe Oke-Odumakin told AFP, "We are saddened and devastated by his death." USAfricaonline.com has received various messages of condolences from many who stiffled and fought against Gani's progressive commitment to a better Nigeria. An unusual, blunt statement came in, thus: ''Many of those shedding crocodile tears over the death of (attorney Gani Fawehinmi) this great patriot of our time, are in actual fact happy that the biggest obstacle to their continued assault on the Nigerian People, has been removed out of their way...." from the opposition party ANPP's Publicity Secretary Emma Eneukwu on Nigeria's politicians and some retired soldiers who faced corruption showdown wt the great Gani.

Fawehinmi had founded and presided hopeful for the National Conscience Party in the year 2003. He had been regarded as a threat by quite a few Nigerian governments, both military and civil, because of his vehement stance on social and economic matters. In 2008, Chief Fawehinmi rejected one of the highest national honors that can be bestowed on a citizen by the Nigerian government: the Order of the Federal Republic (OFR). He did this, following the example of Prof. Chinua Achebe's rejection of a similar honor from the government of retired Gen. Obasanjo.

Fawehinmi is the holder of the highest legal title in Nigeria, Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN). He was born in 1938, on April 22 and has led a very eventful life, dedicated to the cause of others living. Over the past few years, he was said to have been making frequent trips to the hospital and back, both on the home turf, as well as abroad, for the treatment of his cancer. USAfricaonline.com wt additional reports from AFP and Gina Gomez.



South Africa launches child vaccination campaign. The doctor praised for re-energizing South Africa's Health Ministry launched a major campaign Monday September 7, 2009, to get vaccinations and immunity-boosting vitamins to 3 million children across the country over the next two weeks. Temporary clinics were set up and health workers were going door-to-door for two weeks starting Monday in the campaign aimed at reducing deaths from diarrhea, pneumonia and measles.

Health Minister Dr. Aaron Motsoaledi joined teams of medical workers in a northeastern area, saying "It is of concern to us that our under-5 children are still dying from preventable diseases" in Africa's most developed country. Motsoaledi, appointed in May, has earned praise for his willingness to listen, acknowledge the mistakes of the past and offer new ideas after taking over a ministry accused of failing &emdash; on AIDS in particular.

South Africa has an estimated 5.5 million people living with the HIV virus, the highest total of any country. As the epidemic raged, then President Thabo Mbeki, who stepped down last year after nearly a decade in power, denied the link between HIV and AIDS, and his health minister Manto Tshabalala-Msimang, mistrusted conventional anti-AIDS drugs.

The leading international medical journal The Lancet devoted its latest issue to health problems in South Africa, noting it is one of the few countries in which the rate at which children are dying has increased in recent years. In an editorial last week, The Lancet said Motsoaledi had "ushered in a new and optimistic epoch for the well-being of South Africa's 50 million citizens." The Lancet said the policies of Motsoaledi's predecessor, Tshabalala-Msimang, "not only led to the unnecessary deaths of over 300,000 South Africans (who were denied antiretroviral medicines), but also squandered much of South Africa's hope for enlightened post-apartheid government." (AP)


Hillary Clinton offers criticism, praise and pandering noting in Liberia her Africa trip "has been an absolutely wonderful trip." U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said this after meeting Liberian President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf on Friday August 13, 2009 in the capital, Monrovia. "I'm grateful to all of the countries that received me and my delegation." War-torn Liberia is the sixth of seven countries on Clinton's Africa schedule; with the island nation of Cape Verde as the last stop.

Earlier in Nigeria, she said "Our (U.S.A) democracy is still evolving... As you may remember, in 2000 our presidential election came down to one state where the brother of one of the men running for president was governor of the state. So we have our problems too." Those comments in Nigeria's capital Abuja on Aug 12, 2009 have been criticized by Nigeria's pro-democracy voices as misleading, poor excuse and absurd, pandering comparison of Nigeria's violently rigged elections to Florida's voting problem. By Chido Nwangwu


Related insight:
Liberia's president Ellen Johnson Sirleaf calls for "partnership" rather than "patronage" relationship with U.S.

Liberia's bloody mess and hopes of a battered nation.

Liberia: Death by installment. By Chido Nwangwu, June 21, 1996.

Obasanjo and
Bush 'monitored' while Liberia was murdered.

U.S. First Lady Bush, Sec of State Rice in Liberia for inauguration of Ellen Johnson Sirleaf
, the first woman elected President in Africa.
Against sexual crimes and rapes in Congo. In central Africa, a few days earlier, Clinton condemned rampant sexual violence in Congo and joined NBA star Dikembe Mutombo at the launch of his multimillion hospital project in Congo. She called on Monday (August 10, 2009) for Congolese youth to lead nationwide protests against massive corruption and rampant sexual violence in the country's violence-torn east. Clinton said she would press officials in the Democratic Republic of Congo to address the issues. But she stressed that domestic outrage at graft and sexual assaults against women and girls was needed to help prod the government into action.

"You are the ones who have to speak out," she told university students in Kinshasa. "Speak out to end the corruption, the violence, the conflict that for too long have eroded the opportunities across this country. Together, you can write a new chapter in Congolese history." Clinton visited the eastern city of Goma, the epicenter of horrific rapes and other sexual crimes committed by the military and rebel groups as they fight over the region's vast mineral wealth.

Calling the situation there "truly one of mankind's greatest atrocities," she said the fight against gender-based violence as a weapon of war was just as important as curtailing corruption.


The U.N. has recorded at least 200,000 cases of sexual violence in eastern Congo since conflict erupted in 1996. Although fighting has eased since a 2003 peace deal, the army and rebels continue to attack villages and kill civilians.

More than 5 million have been killed and hundreds of thousands left homeless over the past decade. Brutality is common in rural communities, including gang rapes that have led to unwanted pregnancies, serious injuries and death to tens of thousands of women and girls. Earlier this month, a leading human rights group demanded that Congo crack down on rampant sexual violence often perpetrated by military generals and other top officers.

Citing U.N. data that show 7,703 cases of sexual violence by the army reported last year, Human Rights Watch said the Congolese authorities have failed to prevent the attacks. It called on the U.N. Security Council to take "tough measures," including travel bans, and other sanctions against individuals or governments that commit or condone sexual violence in Congo and elsewhere.

Clinton called the statistics "astonishing and horrible" and said "the entire society needs to be speaking out against this. It should be a mark of shame anywhere, in any country." "We have to speak out against the impunity of those in positions of authority who either commit these crimes or condone it," she said. Clinton spoke to the students alongside Congo native and former NBA star Dikembe Mutombo who has built a new medical center in Kinshasa. The basketball star named the Biamba Marie Mutombo Hospital for his late mother, contributing $19 million of his own money to the project

The pair toured the facility before the university town hall and Clinton lavished praise on Mutombo for his generosity and willingness to help his country. But not all the students appeared impressed by his largesse.

One asked Mutombo why he had not chosen to go into a more lucrative business after retiring from basketball earlier this year.

Mutombo, a one-time medical student, replied softly that he had been inspired to found the facility when his mother died in 1998 because she had not been able to get to a hospital in time for treatment. He urged the students to remain hopeful about their country and their future.

Clinton's Congo stop is the latest in an 11-day journey through Africa to promote development and good governance and underscore the Obama administration's commitment to the world's poorest continent. She arrived in Congo from Angola, South Africa and Kenya. She will also visit Nigeria, Liberia and Cape Verde. By Matthew Lee/AP


SOCCER 2010: South Africa's preparations for hosting the 2010 World Cup will cost more than 2 billion rand (136 million pounds) more than budgeted because of global economic trends, the deputy finance minister has said. "We are talking about something that is north of 2 billion rand as we speak. That is the figure," Jabu Moleketi told reporters. The South African government originally budgeted about 17.5 billion rand for the construction and refurbishment of 10 stadiums and other infrastructure for the 2010 championship, the first to be hosted in Africa.
CARDINAL ARINZE AND THE FUTURE OF THE PAPACY....
Special to USAfricaonline.com and CLASS magazine, Houston

As the facilitator of inter-religious dialogue, Arinze has seen and interacted with differing religionists who, to varying degrees, embody zealotry and reason, lucidity of thought and rock-ribbed dogmatisms. By being a major voice for Roman Catholicism in Africa, he has enriched the goals of the Vatican to win more souls to that unique section of the Christian community.

In deftly respecting and showing sensitivity to the cultural contexts for religious evangelization and work in different regions of the world, Arinze (a Nigerian, like me, from the south eastern Igbo ethnic group as is the literary giant Prof. Chinua Achebe) seems a fitting bridge for a common, shared theology of humankind. Our brother, The Cardinal, is neither extreme in words nor brash in personal conduct, he also stands as a role model who should be emulated by many, especially in the community of his natural origin, the Nigerian community. Among other qualities, he shows scholarship and a rare balance of reason and theology. May your pastroral lineage endure. By Chido Nwangwu, Founder and Publisher, USAfricaonline.com and recipient of Journalism Excellence award (1999). CLICK on Arinze's picture or here for full report of this essay first written online on April 7,1999, updated on April 25, 2002 and April 1, 2005


Millions yearned: it's time for an African or Latino as Pope. By Dr. Earl Ofari Hutchinson
World Economic Forum on Africa opens in Cape Town. Africa must seize the opportunity to turn the current economic crisis to its own advantage and reshape global institutions long dominated by the West, political and business leaders said at the annual World Economic Forum on Africa.

A World Economic Forum report published to coincide with Wednesday's opening of the three-day conference showed Africa again languishing at the bottom of global competitiveness rankings because of bottlenecks in infrastructure, finance and communications.

A separate report by experts including former U.N. chief Kofi Annan and former Mozambican first lady and wife of Nelson Mandela, Graca Machel said Africa would continue to need aid, but that it had enough potential and untapped resources to become a net food and energy exporter and to boost intercontinental trade. "We need leadership visionary enough to say where we want to put our continent in 30, 40 or 50 years, and to take the steps necessary to keep our continent there," said Machel. "We have the potential, we have the capacity."

Africa achieved economic growth rates of 5.5 percent last year, above the global average, said Annan. The numbers of people living in poverty are leveling out, democracy and market reforms are entrenched in many countries, and great strides are being made against killer diseases such as AIDS and malaria.


AFTER OMAR BONGO'S DEATH, TRANSITION STARTS IN GABON: Gabon's Senate President Rose Francine Rogombe has taken charge as Gabon's interim head of state. She is expected to organize new elections in the west African country in 45 days, that's end of July 2009.

Meanwhile, burial plans for 73-year old Bongo, Africa's longest-serving ruler is in full gear. His 50-year-old son Ali Ben Bongo, Gabon's defence minister is expected to compete in the elections. U.S President Barack Obama has sent his condolence message.

Bongo's prime minister confirmed news of Bongo's death in a private clinic in Barcelona, Spain. Bongo's body will be buried in Libreville, Gabon.

Bongo's 50-year-old son Ali Ben Bongo, Gabon's defence minister and favourite to succeed him, renewed appeals for public calm -- indicating his pivotal role in coming days and weeks. "I am calling for calm and serenity of heart and reverence to preserve the unity and peace so dear to our late father," he said in a televised appeal after his ministry announced the closure of air, land and sea borders.

Prime Minister Jean Eyeghe Ndong announced in a statement earlier: "At 2:30 pm, the medical team informed me, as well as the officials and members of the family present, that the president of the republic, head of state Omar Bongo Ondimba had just passed away following a heart attack."

Bongo, in power since 1967, was understood to have been treated for intestinal cancer. Ndong called on the Gabonese people to "remain united and stand together in contemplation and dignity." The African Union led continental tributes, which also came in from the Central African Republic, Congo-Brazzaville, Ivory Coast, Morocco's King Mohammed VI, Senegal and UFR rebels in Chad.

Interviewed by AFP at AU headquarters in Addis Ababa, peace and security commissioner Ramtane Lamamra said a "very important son of Africa" had died. Lamamra expressed his hope that Bongo's death "will not result in any difficulties for Gabon in its implementation of its constitution during the transition of power."

US President Barack Obama said Bongo "played a key role in developing and shaping the strong bilateral relationship that exists between Gabon and the United States today. His work in conservation in his country and his commitment to conflict resolution across the continent are an important part of his legacy and will be remembered with respect."

Bongo came to power in 1967 with French support and ruled over a state that grew rich on abundant oil while most of the 1.5 million population remained poor. (USAfricaonline.com wt AFP reports)

USAfricaonline.com recalls that Bongo was, alongside the great Julius Nyerere of Tanzania, one of the few African leaders who supported the Biafrans who sought to secede from Nigeria, 1967-1970. He moved further to offer homes and schools for Biafran/Igbo kids who have since acculturated and become full citizens of Gabon.


Guinea Bissau polls 'should go ahead' despite killing. Guinea Bissau's elections must not be delayed by the killing of presidential candidate Baciro Dabo by soldiers sent to arrest him over coup claims, the African Union envoy to the country has said. "In spite of this situation, the AU considers that the elections must take place on the scheduled date," former Angolan foreign minister Joao Bernardo de Miranda said on state radio. He said the polls scheduled for June 28 were "a first step towards the stability of the country".

The Angolan foreign ministry also issued a statement condemning the violence and called for a "spirit of dialogue" and "tolerance" among the people and authorities in Guinea-Bissau. The statement said this was "essential for the attainment of peace, stability and the return to constitutional normality and democracy in the country."

The West African nation was plunged into crisis following the army's assassinations of President Joao Bernando Vieira and the head of the armed forces General Tagme Na Waie in March. Last week presidential candidate Dabo and former defence minister Helder Proenca were also killed. Both were considered close to Vieira. In the wake of the violence, another presidential hopeful withdrew from the race on Saturday. Independent candidate Pedro Infanda admitted his family feared for his life. Guinea-Bissau has been wracked by coups and political unrest since gaining independence from Portugal in 1974. (AFP)


U.S., world financial crisis to curb Africa growth says ECOWAS head. Africa's economic growth will suffer because foreign investment will dry up as a result of the spreading financial crisis that began in the United States, the head of the West African regional bloc ECOWAS said. The 15-member Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has recorded cumulative GDP growth of almost 80 percent since the start of the decade, according to its own figures. But it now sees that growth threatened by the global credit squeeze. 'We are very much concerned ... this is obviously going to slow down the process of growth of our economies because FDI (foreign direct investment) flows to Africa will be curtailed,' ECOWAS Commission President Mohamed Ibn Chambas said in an interview...FULL report click here
AWARDS: USAfrica's Chido Nwangwu, Gen. Teidi get honorary Doctorate of Humanities degree.
FlashBack: Nigeria cedes oil-rich Bakassi peninsula to Cameroon; indigenes protest. Nigeria on Thursday August 14, 2008 handed over the Bakassi peninsula to Cameroon to end a 15-year dispute over the territory believed to be rich in oil and gas. The legal paperwork, in line with a ruling of an international tribunal, was signed by Nigeria's Justice Minister Michael Aondoakaa and by his Cameroonian counterpart Maurice Kanto.

"(Cameroonian) President Paul Biya ... looks forward to new, reliable and mutually beneficial relationship between Cameroon and Nigeria," Kanto said just before the handover, which took place in the Nigerian border town of Calabar. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon, in a message read out at the ceremony said: "It is a day of triumph for the rule of law, which lies at the very core of the values of the UN".

The UN Secretary General's Special Representative for West Africa, Said Djinnit, said the handover should serve as a model for the resolution of other border disputes in Africa. "As painful as it is, we have a responsibility to keep our commitment to the international community to advance international peace and cooperation ... and advance the cause of African brotherhood and good neighbourliness," Nigeria's Aondoakaa declared. Reported by Joel Olatunde Agoi in Calabar (AFP). For more discussions of this issue by Nigerians, log on to USAfricaonline.com powered blog, Nigeria360


Kenya buys 150,000 tonnes of maize from US, S.Africa. NAIROBI (Reuters) - Kenya has started importing 150,000 tonnes (1.6 million bags) of maize, more than half the amount it plans to buy to plug a shortfall, from South Africa and the United States, the government said on Monday. The east African country plans to buy a total 3 million bags of the grain to cover a shortage created during a devastating post-election crisis in January that destroyed harvests or blocked farmers from planting. "We have authorised 150,000 metric tonnes for importation,"Agriculture Minister William Ruto told Reuters. "It is in various stages and consignments between now and mid-October."
USAfrica NEWSnotes: African Leaders Will Resolve But Not Solve Crisis in Zimbabwe. By Prof. Chigbo Ofong, Washington DC-based Executive Editor of USAfricaonline.com
OIL in NIGERIA: Liquid Gold or Petro-Dollars Curse?
INSIGHT:
Obama turns the page of America's history with 2008 nomination. By Chido Nwangwu. Today, the historic dateline of Tuesday June 3, 2008 has become etched in the collective history of mankind as a worthy milestone. "Tonight, we mark the end of one historic journey with the beginning of another-- a journey that will bring a new and better day to America. Because of you, tonight, I can stand before you and say that I will be the Democratic nominee for president of the United States." With those soaring words, the history of this day continues to resonate all over the world as Senator Barack Obama, the savvy, hardworking son of a Kenyan immigrant and White mother, shattered the iron-gates of what seemed culturally and politically impossible.

He did it by creating the most cross-ethnic and trans-generational coalition in the history of American politics; indeed of any modern society. He did it by resolutely and clearly defeating his hard-charging, relentless opponent, former American First Lady New York Senator Hillary Clinton and the entire bare-knuckle Clinton machine for the Democratic nomination to become the first African American with a credible, viable and realistic chance of winning the presidency of the United States. On June 3, 2008, Obama won convincingly past the "magic number" of 2,118 delegates. With only 3 years in the U.S Senate, Obama's thunderbolt rise seems almost metaphysical and a remarkably unique political moment in America. The 46-year old former assistant professor of law soared in speech, again, after the superdelegates and June 3 votes shuttered Clinton's incredible week of the collapse of her efforts. "You chose to listen not to your doubts or your fears, but to your greatest hopes and highest aspirations," Obama told teeming supporters at a rally in St. Paul, Minnesota.

In ways and means almost reflecting the harmonization of the political, financial and strategic elements of presidential quests, Obama has already started writing and turning the pages of America's history. After all, did he not enthrall millions with the political theology and chant of making the seemingly impossible altogether possible: yes, we can! Only in America!! FULL commentary CLICK here.

Related insight on USAfrica POLITICAL NOTES: What I saw as one of the 20,000 at the Obama 'Yes, We Can' movement live in Houston.


Despite Mugabe's strong-arm tactics, Zimbabwe recount confirms opposition party's win.
U.N. Security Council to tour, study Africa crises areas in June. The U.N. Security Council will tour Africa in June to try to better understand and address some of the continent's crises, including Darfur and Somalia, British Ambassador John Sawers has announced.

Sawers, the current council president, and South African Ambassador Dumisani Kumalo will lead the mission, which will leave New York on May 31 and spend the first 10 days of June in Africa. The party, grouping representatives of the 15 nations on the council, will visit Kenya, where it will consider the Somali problem, Sudan -- including the semi-independent south and the violence-torn western region of Darfur -- Chad, Democratic Republic of the Congo and Ivory Coast, Sawers said.


Cameroon's president Biya extends his 25-year rule, amidst protests. Cameroon's parliament adopted a constitutional bill on Thursday April 17, 2008 removing a two-term limit to allow President Paul Biya to extend his 25-year rule over central Africa's biggest economy past 2011.

Opposition lawmakers, who criticise the bill as a setback for democracy, stormed out of the chamber before the vote. The proposed change was a major cause of riots in February that killed dozens of people, many shot dead by security forces.

"It is common knowledge that incumbent presidents in Africa use the government machinery and all the powers at their disposal to manouevre the electoral process," SDF parliamentary chief whip Joseph Barnadzem told reporters outside the chamber. "To try now to amend this article only through the National Assembly, for us is tantamount to a hold-up," he said. FULL report, click here


Oil hits $103 all-time high as U.S. dollar weakness continues. Light, sweet crude for April delivery on the New York Mercantile Exchange jumped to a new trading price of $103.05 a barrel in electronic trading, on Friday Feb 29, 2008: . This affects, typically, all other aspects of consumer, business, energy and transportation anchors of any economy.  The high price is set against the continuing weakness of the U.S dollar. 

On Feb 28, 2008, at a White House press conference, President Bush said with astonishing indifference that he did not know that there exists a popular projection by industry experts of a $4 a gallon price for gasoline here in the U.S.  Many were surprised by the statement which reflected a sense of disconnection with the fundamental dynamics of the economy. By Chido Nwangwu


Nigeria Elections tribunal backs Yar'Adua's disputed presidential election. A Nigerian tribunal on Tuesday (February 26, 2008) rejected opposition demands for a re-run of last year's presidential election, averting a political crisis in Africa's most populous nation.

Umaru Yar'Adua won a (disputed) landslide victory, but local and international observers said vote-rigging was so rampant that the results were "not credible". A special five-judge tribunal rejected legal challenges filed by the two main opposition candidates, former army ruler Muhammadu Buhari and former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar. "Umaru Yar'Adua and Goodluck Jonathan remain the president and vice-president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria," said Judge John Fabiyi at the conclusion of a ruling that took more than three hours to deliver.Full report on the ruling and reaction, click here on Nigeria's election


USAfricaonline.com FLASHBACK Alhaji Yar'Adua pushed to victory as Nigeria's president by Obasanjo's ruling party; local and international monitors, opposition reject Nigeria's 2007 presidential elections vote as marred by rigging, fraud.... Special to USAfricaonline.com, CLASS magazine, USAfrica The Newspaper, Houston and The Black Business Journal. Nigeria's electoral commision has announced the ruling PDP party candidate Umaru Yar'Adua, the 56-year-old Muslim governor of northern Katsina state, as winner of Nigeria's presidential elections. The "landslide victory" was announced by electoral commission chairman Maurice Iwu, as a prelude to the May 29, 2007 handover of power to President Olusegun Obasanjo's hand-picked successor Yar'Adua. Meanwhile, international and local monitors rejected Nigeria's election as a failure on Sunday in scathing verdicts on the first handover from one civilian president to another. Reuters reports that the opposition and foreign observers called the vote, marred by rigging, a shortage of millions of voting papers and violence in which 16 people were killed, the worst in Nigeria, plagued by years of military rule since independence from Britain in 1960.

The main opposition parties said they would not accept the election and called for President Olusegun Obasanjo to be impeached.


Tribunal voids election of Nigeria's senate president David Mark. A Nigerian electoral tribunal on Saturday Feb 23, 2008 voided the election of federal senate president David Mark, government spokesman Cletus Akwaya said. "For now he remains the senate president until all the legal channels are exhausted," Akwaya added after the tribunal in the central state of Benue found there was no clear winner of the election last year and that the national electoral commission was wrong to have declared Mark the winner, he said... On February 26 the tribunal hearing petitions challenging the validity of the 2007 presidential vote ruled positively on the validity of Umaru Yar'Adua's election. For full and related David Mark's and other Nigeria election issues click here
FLASHBACK Why Bush should focus on dangers facing Nigeria's return to democracy and Obasanjo's slippery slide.
FLASHPOINT! In 15 years: Nigeria could collapse, destabilize entire West Africa - U.S. intelligence analysts claim
OIL in NIGERIA: Liquid Gold or Petro-Dollars Curse?
Bush offers some help to troubled Liberia.
U.S President Bush offered encouragement and help Thursday February 21, 2008 to lift this shattered country from years of ruinous fighting as he concluded a tour of Africa and turned toward other global problems. In Liberia, the final stop on Bush's five-country trip, almost nothing works and people are nervous about their future in the aftermath of a 14-year civil war that ended in 2003.

The country is overrun with weapons, malnutrition is pervasive, half of children are not in school, and many buildings are uninhabitable. There is little running water or electricity and no sewage or landline phone system. "It's easier to tear a country down than it is to rebuild a country," Bush said. "And the people of this good country must understand the United States will stand with you as you rebuild your country."

Though Bush's entourage was a bit jittery about his seven-hour stopover, Liberia's president, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, declared at one point, "You're safe." Bush used his five-country (visit to Africa) to showcase how billions in aid and diplomatic engagement are improving the everyday lives of people across the continent. Jennifer Loven/AP


INSIGHT: Why America should halt the genocide in the Sudan. By Chido Nwangwu, Founder and Publisher of USAfricaonline.com. Certain facts and the continuing, bigoted impudence of Islamic Sudan offer clarity to why the U.S should aggressively halt the genocide and gory events in Africa's largest country. The Sudan has almost 918,000 square miles in size and a war-weary population of 30million. Even as I call for a red line to be drawn against the rag-tag army of Arab-taliban-fascists in Africa and the assorted troops of religio-criminal rapists who have since four decades set upon the southern Christian, indigenous African Sudanese, I agree with Gen. Powell that "America will be a friend to all Africans who seek peace; but we cannot make peace among Africans." He is right. Africans must respect and love each other. Continued here....

U.S President Bush, Tanzania's Kikwete Sign $698 million grant; and Bush wants AIDS plan renewed. Bush's three-night stay in this vast East Africa nation takes him to a part of the continent that is important in the U.S. fight against terrorism. The bombed-out former U.S. Embassy in Dar es Salaam still stands as a stark reminder of deadly attacks in Tanzania and Nairobi, Kenya, in 1998. The visit to Tanzania is the longest of Bush's six-day African trip and longer than usual for the president anywhere. The stay and the celebration of a new five-year $698 million U.S. aid pact were intended as goodwill messages to Tanzania's large Muslim population. FULL report here
Exclusive Interview: Achebe says highlife legend
"Osadebe was a priest with words and sounds". Prof. Chinua Achebe, novelist, poet, essayist and critic the author of the most widely-

read book in modern African literature, Things Fall Apart, has described the departed highlife music legend Chief Osita Osadebe as "an artiste who played music with a message and mission." 

Osadebe (in picture, right) lived as one of Africa's longest and durable great talents. He played, sang and released melodious songs since 1956 until 2005.

Osadebe who hailed from Umuekeke in Atani, Ogbaru Local Government Area of Anambra State was born in 1936. His family announced that he passed on Friday May 11, 2007 and burial is set for this week.

Achebe, author of several landmark works told Houston-based USAfrica and CLASSmagazine Publisher Chido Nwangwu in an exclusive interview on Wednesday February 6, 2008 that "Osadebe was a priest who used words and sounds.  He lived like any of the greatest musicians who are prominent in any culture; he lived as  a great musician who used music to reach people in order to improve their lives and make them happy. He had message for people to reflect upon. He had deep message in his music as much as he provided music for celebration and [to] be merry."


"We are the ones we've been waiting for. We are the change that we seek" says the poetic presidential candidate Obama after impressive wins on Super Tuesday. USAfricaonline.com reports that Barack Obama has taken the momentum, won more states., more delegates and trumps Hillary Clinton on money raised for campaign. Amidst operational pressures, Hillary loans $5m to her own campaign.... Obama raised almost $6 million after the Feb. 5 voting contests, all of which came from online donations.

He has consistently set a record in imaginative and technologically compelling was of fundraising with his team. Obama's campaign manager David Plouffe noted in a letter to supporters that $3 million was raised the evening after Tuesday's primaries and caucuses. "The Clinton campaign just announced that Hillary and Bill Clinton injected $5 million of their personal fortune into her campaign a few days ago,'' Plouffe stated. "Thanks to you, we have raised more than $3 million since the polls closed on February 5th. But we have no choice -- we must match their $5 million right now.'' A live ticker embedded to his e-mail showed donations, recorded $5.8 million as of 11:30 p.m. eastern on Wednesday, February 6, 2008. (In the AP photo, Sen. Barack Obama and wife Michelle greet supporters in Chicago)


KENYA POLITICAL VIOLENCE AND ETHNIC KILLINGS: Kenya police continues wanton killings; more riots sparked by killing of opposition lawmaker. USAfricaonline.com research count from public, human rights organizations, and news reports least 1052 killed into the first week of February 2008 after Kenya's president Mwai Kibaki is declared winner in hotly disputed elections of December 27, 2007... Charges of ethnic cleansing against Kibaki, Kenya soldiers and police have continued with blood-letting by members of the major ethnic groups especially between members of President Mwai Kibaki's Kikuyu tribe and Luos and Kalenjins who back opposition leader Raila Odinga since a disputed election on December 27, 2007.
...talks to end crisis resume. Kenyan police killed four people in looting mobs who set scores of houses and businesses ablaze in a western Kenyan town, an official said Friday, in clashes sparked by a policeman's killing of an opposition lawmaker.

The shooting of David Kimutai Too on Thursday interrupted the start of talks to help resolve the monthlong postelection crisis that has killed more than 800 people and forced 300,000 from their homes.

Talks, being mediated by former U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan, resumed Friday with an address by Annan's successor, Ban Ki-Moon, who appealed to negotiators to "Look beyond the individual interest. Look beyond the party lines. ... Now the future is on you." AP


OPINION: Obama's successes makes all of us winners. By Jesse L. Jackson: Obama enjoys far more than that. He's got the "Big M's": magnetic personality, magic moment, message, money and momentum. And the preposterously short primary season -- it's all over essentially by Feb. 5 -- dramatically favors anyone who can win the early contests, in Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada. Click for FULL commentary
INSIGHT: "Who speaks for Nigerian President?" Special report
First Win: Obama defeats Clinton machine to make historic win of Democratic caucus in Iowa; evangelical pastor- former Governor Huckabee win Republican
vote in Iowa. Sen. Barack Obama swept to victory in the Iowa caucuses Thursday night, January 3, 2008, pushing Hillary Rodham Clinton to third place and taking a major stride in a historic bid to become the nation's first black president. "You've got to have hope if you are a black man named Obama running for the presidency of the United States of America,'' Obama said during a late-night campaign stop two days before the caucus. It was one of his rare mentions of what he had to overcome. "I'm probably the only candidate who, having won the nomination, can actually redraw the political map,'' Obama said at the time. ``I guarantee you African-American turnout, if I'm the nominee, goes up 30 percent around the country, minimum. Young people's percentage of the vote goes up 25-30 percent. So we're in a position to put states in play that haven't been in play since LBJ.''

Mike Huckabee rode a wave of support from evangelical Christians to win the opening round among Republicans in the 2008 campaign for the White House.

Obama, 46 and a first-term senator from Illinois, scored his victory on a message of change in Washington. Nearly complete returns showed him gaining 37 percent support from Iowans. Former Sen. John Edwards of North Carolina appeared headed for second place, relegating Clinton, the former first lady, to a close third. USAfricaonline.com with additional reports from the AP and wire reports.


Riots escalate: 132 dead into the first week of January 2008 after Kenya's president Mwai Kibaki is declared winner in hotly disputed elections....opposition leader Odinga reject official results as rigged, again demands Kibaki to step down, stating: "I am the elected president of the Republic of Kenya.... For the last 48 hours the people of Kenya have seen their nascent democracy shackled, strangled and finally killed." Odinga has called for a mass rally on Thursday January3, 2008 in Nairobi's main Uhuru Park, named for the word freedom in Swahili.
USAfricaonline.com with CNN/wire reports/ click here Riots follow Kenya's controversial, disputed elections
OIL in NIGERIA: Liquid Gold or Petro-Dollars Curse?
Nelson Mandela celebrates his 89th birthday, launching a humanitarian campaign along with former President Jimmy Carter, ex-U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan and other "elders" of the global village. The initiative stems from an idea by British entrepreneur Richard Branson and musician Peter Gabriel to create a world council of elders to tackle issues such as conflict, AIDS and global warming. "This group of international leaders will share how they intend to work together to contribute their wisdom, independent leadership and integrity in addressing some of the world's toughest problems," organizers said in a statement.

Branson and Gabriel, who founded an international human rights organization and championed the anti-apartheid cause, attended part of a week of festivities for Mandela's birthday. A children's party that has become an annual fixture wraps things up July 24. Before that, events will feature Bill Clinton and soccer legend Pele, who will play in a special star-studded match to honor Mandela.


2007 Mothers Day event: honorees, community leaders network in Houston at USAfrica and CLASS annual banquet.
OIL in NIGERIA: Liquid Gold or Petro-Dollars Curse? Special report by Chido Nwangwu
Alhaji Yar'Adua pushed to victory as Nigeria's president by Obasanjo's ruling party; local and international monitors, opposition reject Nigeria's 2007 presidential elections vote as marred by rigging, fraud....
How Obasanjo rewarded Nigerians with a farce called elections. By Muhammad Al-Ghazali
Meanwhile, Nigeria's Senate leader Ken Nnamani, the third most senior state official and a member of the PDP, said Nigeria had abdicated its role as an example to the rest of Africa. "There will be a legacy of hatred. People will hate the new administration and they will have a crisis of legitimacy," he told Reuters by telephone. In another chat with Nigerian media/reporters , he said "Some people may like to deceive themselves that it is free and fair, but I don't think so."
MONITORS SAY NO CREDIBILITY:
"The system failed the Nigerian people and suffers from a lack of credibility...the Nigerian people were failed by their leaders," said Pierre Richard Prosper of the International Republican Institute ( IRI, a U.S.-based pro-democracy group), which monitored the vote. The biggest local monitoring group, which had 10,000 observers across Africa's most populous nation, said voting was either delayed for hours or did not occur at all in many areas. "We are going to call for a rerun of elections. You cannot use the result from half of the country to announce a new president," said Innocent Chukwuma, chairman of the Transition Monitoring Group.
Click here for Full report
FLASHBACK Why Bush should focus on dangers facing Nigeria's return to democracy and Obasanjo's slippery slide.
North Africa Qaeda wing vows more suicide bombings in the region: Al Qaeda's North Africa wing has, since April 2007, warned it would carry out more suicide bombings and urged Muslims to join its ranks as suicide bombers. Attacks in the past few weeks have deepened fears of a broad upsurge in violence in North Africa after the group set a goal of linking up with similar Islamist groups in the region and using it as a base for bombings against European targets.
"We have decided to adopt the style of martyrdom operations in the confrontation with our enemies from now on," Abu Musab Abdul-Wadud, a leader of al Qaeda Organization in the Islamic Maghreb, said in a video broadcast by Al Jazeera television. He said the group had issued instructions for the selection of targets "that achieves the goals of jihad (holy war)."

"We bring good tidings to our nation and youth and tell them that the list of martyrdom-seekers has become long and is growing every day," he said. "This is a crusader war on Islam and a battle of destiny between the infidels and believers so do not miss out ... come to a paradise that is as wide as earth and the skies." The Algerian-based group has claimed responsibility for triple suicide bombings in Algiers on April 11 that killed 33 people. In Morocco, six Islamists blew themselves up in a month in Casablanca this year, killing another person. (Reuters)


What has Africa to do with September 11 terror? By Chido Nwangwu
Osama bin-Laden's goons threaten Nigeria and Africa's stability
September 11 terror and the ghost of things to come....

Anarchy rules when corruption takes over. By USAfrica editorial board member Ken Okorie
How the
2007 Nigeria campaign has made a Nehemiah of me.... By Prof. Pat Utomi, presidential candidate of the African Democratic Congress of Nigeria: Criss-crossing Nigeria put my conscience to the test regarding what must be done to rescue our country. After some challenging reflections I have had to conclude that the rest of my life will have to be dedicated to directing Nigeria away from the road to serfdom that we currently travel unto navigating the lanes to liberation. I can see clearly from the vantage point of becoming involved in politics, the troubling crossroads we stand on, as a crisis of values we have long lamented, moves Nigeria ever so close to the precipice. The least I can do, in the circumstance, is quit my day job and dedicate the rest of my life to this struggle. I am convinced that the struggle as my life is worthwhile venture.

The struggle will be aimed largely at keeping the man-in-the-street, middle class professional people, and the youth ever committed to the quest in advance of the Common Good for change. The pain of seeing so many middle class people come out to vote on April 14 and witnessing their retreat on April 21 after it became clear their votes were not allowed to count increases the essence of the struggle. It is time to say thank you and to roll up our sleeves, like Nehemiah, to rebuild the falling walls of Nigeria. Full text here.


REGIONAL CRISES: Somalia faces crisis as 350,000 flee homes, away from fighting. The United Nations (UN) is calling the attention of the world, again, to the fact that Somalia is facing a major humanitarian crisis with more than 250,000 people fleeing the country. According to the UN spokeswoman Stephanie Bunker at least 350,000 people have fled Mogadishu since February 2007. "If you look at the situation from February until now, in that one time frame, more people have been displaced inside Somalia then any place else in the world," she said. "That includes Iraq, that includes Darfur (in Sudan) - where 107,000 people have been displaced this year - and that includes Sri Lanka, where there has been also very significant displacement this year." The UN notes more people have been displaced in Somalia over the last two months than anywhere else in the world. Fighting between government forces and Islamic rebels has forced thousands of people to flee the capital Mogadishu.

Somalia's Prime Minister Ali Mohamed Gedi says most of the fighting is over in the capital and it is is safe for residents to return. But residents do not seem too reassured. The latest reports say gunfire and mortar explosions are continuing to echo through the streets. USAfricaonline.com/ABC/BBC


Alhaji Yar'Adua pushed to victory as Nigeria's president by Obasanjo's ruling party; local and international monitors, opposition reject Nigeria's 2007 presidential elections vote as marred by rigging, fraud.... Special to USAfricaonline.com, CLASS magazine, USAfrica The Newspaper, Houston and The Black Business Journal . Monday, April 23, 2007. Nigeria's electoral commision has announced the ruling PDP party candidate Umaru Yar'Adua, the 56-year-old Muslim governor of northern Katsina state, as winner of Nigeria's presidential elections (in pix). The "landslide victory" was announced by electoral commission chairman Maurice Iwu, as a prelude to the May 29, 2007 handover of power to President Olusegun Obasanjo's hand-picked successor Yar'Adua. Meanwhile, international and local monitors rejected Nigeria's election as a failure on Sunday in scathing verdicts on the first handover from one civilian president to another. Reuters reports that the opposition and foreign observers called the vote, marred by rigging, a shortage of millions of voting papers and violence in which 16 people were killed, the worst in Nigeria, plagued by years of military rule since independence from Britain in 1960.

The main opposition parties said they would not accept the election and called for President Olusegun Obasanjo to be impeached.


How Obasanjo rewarded Nigerians with a farce called elections. By Muhammad Al-Ghazali
Meanwhile, Nigeria's Senate leader Ken Nnamani, the third most senior state official and a member of the PDP, said Nigeria had abdicated its role as an example to the rest of Africa. "There will be a legacy of hatred. People will hate the new administration and they will have a crisis of legitimacy," he told Reuters by telephone. In another chat with Nigerian media/reporters , he said "Some people may like to deceive themselves that it is free and fair, but I don't think so."
MONITORS SAY NO CREDIBILITY:
"The system failed the Nigerian people and suffers from a lack of credibility...the Nigerian people were failed by their leaders," said Pierre Richard Prosper of the International Republican Institute ( IRI, a U.S.-based pro-democracy group), which monitored the vote. The biggest local monitoring group, which had 10,000 observers across Africa's most populous nation, said voting was either delayed for hours or did not occur at all in many areas. "We are going to call for a rerun of elections. You cannot use the result from half of the country to announce a new president," said Innocent Chukwuma, chairman of the Transition Monitoring Group.
Click here for Full report
FLASHBACK Why Bush should focus on dangers facing Nigeria's return to democracy and Obasanjo's slippery slide.
USAfricaonline.com VIEWPOINT. By Prof. Niyi Osundare: "Obasanjo has ruined this country...." An open letter to Nigeria's President Obasanjo.
Nigeria's President Obasanjo fingered by his VP Atiku in loss of $500m Oil Money. Vice President Atiku Abubakar has alleged that over $500 million of the money realised during the 2002/2003 oil licensing bids cannot be accounted for by the current authorities of Nigeria's government led by retired Gen. Olusegun Obasanjo. He raised the question: "About $700m was realised during the 2002/2003 bidding rounds but only the sum of about $145m was released to the PTDF. At this point, the pertinent question to ask is: where is the balance and who used it and under what law or which appropriation sub-head."

ANNIVERSARY SPECIAL: Why Martin Luther King's legacy and vision are relevant into 21st century. By Chido Nwangwu. As an African in America, as a recent immigrant who has been blessed by the graciousness, business opportunities, global breadth and hospitality of Americans, I have cause to be thankful for benefiting from the vision, personal sacrifice and peaceful soldiering of the late Martin Luther King, who sought to create an atmosphere which fosters harmony and acceptance of all our unique talents and racial origins.

On this day/week of the post-humous celebration of birthday, I believe that the existing global alliance of all humankind, representing the full tapestry of our ethnic/racial origins as Indians, Caucasians, Blacks, Jews, Asians, and a multitude of other backgrounds should, markedly, advance Dr. King's vision and efforts should do more by utilizing technological tools, networking personal discipline, boosting religious and communal re-orientation to fight all forms of discrimination and intolerance into the 21st century.  Why? We must all remember the fact that although King and his colleagues fought and died to achieve the cause of racial harmony and peaceful resolution of conflicts, there are more sophisticated forms of discrimination which besmirch our collective dignity as God's children.
Chido Nwangwu is Founder and Publisher of USAfricaonline.com, first African-owned, U.S-based professional newspaper to be published on the internet.


INTERVIEW: USAfricaonline.com Publisher Chido Nwangwu on the U.S National Public radio affiliate KPFT to analyze the oil-related events in Nigeria, Dec 27, 2006.POPE'S MESSAGE ON MORALITY and SOCIETY: Pope Benedict XVI delivers a blistering attack on the decadence of today's society: "Lord, we have lost our sense of sin...spreading an inane apologia of evil, a senseless cult of Satan, a mindless desire for transgression, a dishonest and frivolous freedom, exalting impulsiveness, immorality and selfishness as if they were new heights of sophistication."

"Lord Jesus, our affluence is making us less human, our entertainment has become a drug, a source of alienation, and our society's incessant, tedious message is an invitation to die of selfishness."

During the Good Friday April 14, 2006 message, he delivers one of the strongest meditations and warns against the attack on the family. "Today we seem to be witnessing a kind of anti-Genesis, a counter-plan, a diabolical pride aimed at eliminating the family."

The Pope will also confront the question of evil in the world in a meditation that asks: "Where is Jesus in the agony of our own time, in the division of our world into belts of prosperity and belts of poverty . . . in one room they are concerned about obesity, in the other, they are begging for charity?" Click here for full report by Ruth Gledhill, Religion correspondent of The Times of London.



INSIGHT: Genocide and why Nigeria does not deserve UN Security Council seat. By Professor Herbert Ekwe-Ekwe, contributing editor of USAfricaonline.com. The weekend of March 26, 2006, it appears very likely that Nigeria will, after all, hand over Liberian fugitive leader Charles Taylor (currently on exile in Nigeria) to the Freetown-based UN court investigating war crimes in conflicts in and around Sierra Leone. But we must note that in the past 40 years, Nigeria has been run by a succession of genocidist generals and other operatives (military and civilian alike) who planned, executed and sustained the Igbo genocide. The current head of state, Olusegun Obasanjo, commanded a notorious division in southern Igboland which committed indescribable atrocities as it overran cities, towns and villages. Neither he (who has been head of state for a total of nine years during the period) nor any of his colleagues (most of whom are still alive) has apologised or shown remorse for their crimes against humanity. On the contrary. In fact Yakubu Gowon, who was head of state and grand overseer of the genocide, only recently told the press in Enugu (political and cultural capital of Igboland) that he had "nothing to apologise" to the Igbo. Before he shot himself in a Berlin bunker in 1945, few would have expected Adolf Hitler to apologise or show remorse for his organised genocide of six million Jews across Europe during the Second World War. Hardly anyone, though, would wish to contemplate a Hitler travelling to Jerusalem today to address a press conference in which he would insist categorically: "I have nothing to apologise for the six million Jews my forces annihilated between 1939 and 1945. What I did was right." That would be unimaginable monstrosity. But this was precisely what Gowon did at Enugu a fortnight ago.

Nigeria's "bid" to join the Security Council could not have provided the world with a better opportunity to deal with the crux of contemporary Africa's malaise: the non-accountability of African leaderships who employ genocide and the pillage of the economy as a twin-track instrument of power. No country in Africa is more appropriate for the world to enforce this accountability than where the disease emerged in the first place on the continent &endash; Nigeria, the quintessentially failed and genocide-state. Special to USAfricaonline.com, USAfrica The Newspaper, Houston; IgboEvents blog and CLASS magazine


DEMOCRACY WATCH:
Senator Udoma: Why I opposed 3rd term for Obasanjo or anyone.
VIEWPOINT: Obasanjo, Go! Just go! Prof. Wole Soyinka
Why Bush should focus on dangers facing Nigeria's return to democracy and Obasanjo's slipperyslide. By Chido Nwangwu
USAfricaonline.com Insight: Islam and Christianity clashes in Nigeria.
Is Obasanjo really up to Nigeria's crises and challenge? By Ken Okorie, editorial board member of USAfrica
Also see Transcript CNN International Interview Sept 17, 2002 with Nigeria's President Obasanjo and USAfricaonline.com Publisher Chido Nwangwu on Democracy and Security Issues
HEALTHWATCH: South Africa labour boss slams Mbeki on AIDS.

INSIGHT: OIL in NIGERIA: Liquid Gold or Petro-Dollars Curse? by Chido Nwangwu (written and published in October 1998, updated in 2003)
USAfricaonline.com archived background insight:
The coup in Cote d'Ivoire and its implications for democracy in Africa.
(Related commentary) Coup in Cote d'Ivoire has been in the waiting. By Tom Kamara.

U.S. First Lady Bush, Sec of State Rice in Liberia for inauguration of Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, the first woman elected President in Africa.
Related insight:
Liberia's bloody mess and hopes of a battered nation. By Chido Nwangwu
Liberia: Death by installment. By Chido Nwangwu, June 21, 1996.
Obasanjo and
Bush 'monitored' while Liberia was murdered.

Exclusive: OJUKWU says "Until my last dying breath, I shall continue to think of my Jerusalem, Biafra!" Chief Odumegwu Ojukwu speaks also on his secret August 2004 meeting with Nigeria's president Obasanjo.... "before I left, he (Obasanjo) then said to me, "You know, we have no problem; but there's one thing you must do for me." I said to him, "What is it?" And he said, "Renounce Biafra so that we can work together!" My response was, "No, never! How can I? You see, Omo-Oba, I came to you thinking I was coming to a friend, and all you can ask of me is to commit suicide. I don't know what type of friendship this is. No, you're groping...." Interview by Prof. Kalu Ogbaa appears in full on USAfricaonline.com. It is being serialized across the multimedia platforms of USAfrica, CLASS magazine and IgboEvents
Related Interview: Odumegwu Emeka Ojukwu: "It was simply a choice between Biafra and enslavement."By Chido Nwangwu

Johnson-Sirleaf Africa's first female president from
Liberia's 2005 presidential race. Harvard-trained Iron Lady Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf has been elected the first female president in Africa following a commanding advantage over football great George Weah in Liberia's post-war presidential runoff in November 2005. The 66-year-old grandmother and former finance minister had 59.2 percent of the votes while the 39-year-old former FIFA player ofthe year had 40.8 percent, Frances Johnson-Morris, chairwoman of the National Elections Commission, told a news conference.  The results, she said, are from 2,719 of the 3,070 polling stations across the war-torn west African country. Analysts fear the worst that angry supporters of Weah, mostly youth, might turn to violence over the fraud allegations if he lost to Liberia's foremost female politician. Weah and Johnson-Sirleaf obtained 28.3 percent and 19.8 percent respectively in thefirst round. Liberia, founded in 1847 by freed American slaves, experienced a bloody civil war from 1989 to 2003 in which an estimated 250,000people, about eight percent of its population, died and about one million made refugees.
Meanwhile, the first woman to be nominated and aspired as a candidate for vice president of Nigeria, Mrs. Oyibo Odinamadu has ain an e-mail to USAfricaonline.com described the strides of Dr. Sirleaf as "a very wonderful and exhilarating news... Liberia is now in the line of liberated nations."
USAfricaFORUM:
What Africans need is Economic Democracy and Not Aid. I subscribe to the group which argues that Africans do not need more aid from the rich nations; that what Africans need is economic democracy.  Africans need freedom to chart their own future.   Africans need the freedom to decide how  the vast mineral resources in the continent can be marketed.  The second largest continent in the  world is rich with abundance of natural and human resources.  If these resources are put in proper use,  Africa will be self sufficient, and should not  need any aid from any country or group of nations......By Ezekiel Nwakwue. 
South Africa labour boss slams Mbeki on AIDS. South Africa's top trade unionist has attacked President Thabo Mbeki for failing to stem a raging AIDS pandemic in the latest sign of discord between the ruling African National Congress and its labour allies. "This lack of government leadership on HIV is a betrayal of our people and our struggle,"

USAfricaNEWSBANK: Why the American FBI officers raided home of Nigeria's VP Atiku in Potomac, reportedly regarding iGate telecomm deal and payments to Nigerian and Ghana officials. On the same day that federal agents executed search warrants on the New Orleans and Washington, D.C., homes of U.S. Rep. William Jefferson, the FBI also raided the Maryland residence of Nigeria's vice president, seeking evidence of possible payments to officials in that African nation.

A State Department official confirmed the Aug. 3 search of the Potomac, Md., home of Nigerian Vice President Atiku Abubakar and his wife, Jennifer. The agency referred all quest

ions about the raid to the Justice Department, which declined to comment.

A source familiar with the investigation said subpoenas show agents were looking for records showing whether Jefferson, D-New Orleans, paid, offered to pay or authorized payments to officials in the government of Nigeria or Ghana.

The subpoenas, described to The Times-Picayune, seek documents related to Jefferson's dealings with Abubakar and the vice president of Ghana, Alhaji Aliu Mahama. Jefferson returned from a five-day visit to Ghana in mid-July, about three weeks before the FBI raided his homes. CLICK here for Full report by The Times Picayune newspaper of New Orleans.


Mandela's 87th birthday focus on his legacy, message beyond the man.... Nelson Mandela's 87th birthday and festivities kicked off at one minute past midnight on Monday morning July 18, 2005, with a fireworks extravaganza on Robbenma Island and the lighting of a torch in Mandela's former prison cell. The torch-lighting was the first step in the Six Day 46664 Torch Run Relay, in which the torch is to be carried on a route winding through the nine provinces as an inclusive celebration of Mandela's birthday.

The relay is to use the network of the South African Rugby's 14 unions around the country and runners are to carry the torch for distances ranging from 200 metres to a kilometre. "We hope to collect more than a million messages by July 23, and we ask people to monitor the vehicle's progress," said John Samuel, head of the Nelson Mandela Foundation. Parties, lectures, a rugby match and the launch of a comic series were some of the festivities celebrating Madiba's 87th birthday.


Nelson Mandela, Tribute to the world's political superstar and Lion of Africa  

Obama's Africa agenda, our business and democracy: Will Africa's Obamas emerge from U.S president's Ghana trip? By Chido Nwangwu, Publisher of USAfricaonline.com. From July 10 to 11, 2009, President Barack Obama visited the west African country of Ghana, assessed by the U.S government as "one of our most trusted partners in sub-Saharan Africa." The additional goals of the visit, according to the Obama White House, will be "to highlight the critical role that sound governance and civil society play in promoting lasting development."

Obama becomes America's third president to visit Ghana since 1998, and this his second official trip to the African continent. The geo-demographic fact is that his first trip was to Egypt on June 4, 2009, where he spoke about Islam and democracy, rights of women in Islam and modern society, extremist variants of Islamic theologies and the challenge of peaceful co-existence. As Obama spoke carefully to the wider issues in the Middle East at the Cairo University, the same problems are faced in raw, stark and unvarnished reality by millions of Africa's christians and traditional religionists who are on the frontline and receiving end of fascistic, Islamic fundamentalism and terrorism.

Beyond the diplomatese, what will be the practical, key issues for Obama as he visits Ghana and speaks to the entire continent? What does it mean for Africans and Americans?

First and foremost, for many African-born citizens of America such as myself and millions of continental African professionals, Barack Hussein Obama is not only the 44th President of the United States of America, he's an outstanding son of Africa who on November 4, 2008, achieved the previously unthinkable: one of our own being voted in to lead the most powerful country in the world!

Second, Obama is in Ghana principally for America's core strategic interests: Oil. I know that oil and stable access to oil are vital parts of U.S national security interest across the west African Gulf of Guinea region. Ghana recently discovered billions of barrels of oil reserves. U.S corporations, especially Exxon Mobil and Chevron are also investing heavily in the area. Operationally, the U.S has re-fueling hubs in Ghana. Also, worthy of note is the US National Intelligence Council (NIC) estimates that by 2015, 25 percent of American oil imports will be derived from west Africa. It is roughly 14 to 16 percent to date, amidst massive disruptions in Nigeria's Niger Delta. Ghana is stable while the Middle East and parts of Nigeria are increasingly dicey for America's hard-nosed, long-term interests. Ghana is certainly valuable to the U.S convergence of interests on the arenas of military, oil and democratic credentials.

On January 20, 2009 in Washington DC, after the historic events of Obama's inauguration, I chatted with one of Obama's Africa advisers who said "Obama has witnessed the downside of one-party rule in Africa and he's not for that. He means change and more openness."
Overall, Obama's presidency should continue to support Africa's increasing coalition of democracy activists and pressurize the remnants of Africa's rulership to responsibly embrace and respect the value of fair, peaceful and free elections as opposed to the charade of self-perpetuation in office, choking indolence posing as mandate and selections masquerading as elections.

As Africans celebrate America's Obama, we look forward to our home-grown Obamas in Africa. Yes, we can! FULL text of commentary, click here

 

 

Madagascar's rival Leaders sign accord to end Political Crisis. Rival leaders in Madagascar's political crisis have signed an agreement aimed at restoring stability and paving the way for elections in 15 months.

The accord provides for a period of political transition, including amnesty for former leaders. It was signed today in Maputo, Mozambique, where the political foes have been holding talks since Aug. 5, 2009. Madagascar, a former French colony that lies off the southeast coast of Africa in the Indian Ocean, has been in crisis since March, when President Marc Ravalomanana resigned following two months of protests by supporters of Andry Rajoelina in which at least 100 people died. Rajoelina was declared president with the support of the military, a move that led to the country's suspension from the African Union and the 15-nation Southern African Development Community. By Fred Katerere/Bloomberg.


710 killed by Nigeria's 'talibans' in Bauchi, Yobe and Maiduguri; crises escalate.
As at 12.30am Tuesday Abuja (Nigeria) time, July 28, 2009, USAfrica, USAfricaonline.com and one of it e-groups Nigeria360@yahoogroups.com can confirm that the escalating weekend crises in parts of Nigeria's northern region have claimed almost 310 Nigerians and some radical Islamic sojourners in the areas. After 5 days the fatalities jumped to more than 710. Local witnesses and police reports in the northern cities of Gamboru-Ngala, Bauchi, Yobe and Maiduguri indicate that radicals of the Muslim faith burned a police headquarters in Maiduguri, Borno state, a church and a customs and immigration office. Reportedly, an engineer's throat was slit by the self-styled Nigerian "talibans."

USAfrica correspondents in Nigeria report that the weekend showdown and killings have been very deadly and graphic with rising numbers, unofficial tally at more than 300. The violence and clashes have left thousands of non-indigenous Nigerians in the area very concerned. Ibrahim Yisa, a Bauchi resident told USAfricaonline.com that "these radical fundamentalists have again caused the deaths of many innocent people. Why do these things happen to us in Nigeria? Why?."

Meanwhile, the Nigerian police announced that 5 of their officers were killed...FULL report click here.


EXCLUSIVE USAfrica INSIGHT:
Osama bin-Laden's goons threaten Nigeria and Africa's stability. By Chido Nwangwu
What has Africa to do with September 11 terror?
September 11 terror and the ghost of things to come....

TRIBUTE: Michael Jackson looms large in death, as he did in life....
Special to USAfrica. The artistic genius and superstadom of Michael Jackson continue to shine even in his death. The July 7, 2009 transition events at Los Angeles' Staples Center brought together the entertainment world's stars and adoring fans. One statement summed up the adoration and tributes. Motown founder Berry Gordy declared, "I think he is simply the greatest entertainer to have ever lived." Nelson Mandela and Diana RossStevie Wonder, Lionel Richie, John Mayer, Mariah Carey and many others performed in Michael's honor. Al Sharpton, Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee, and several guests spoke with historical and substantial meaning of Michael.
AWARDS: USAfrica's Chido Nwangwu, Gen. Teidi get honorary Doctorate of Humanities degree. The leading international christian education college/seminary in Africa, WATS during its 20th Anniversary events May 20-23, 2009, in Lagos, awarded two of its first honorary Doctor of Humanities degrees to the Founder of the USAfrica multimedia networks and data mining corporation Chido Nwangwu, and retired Gen. Samuel L. Teidi, member of the Board of Directors of one of Africa's largest corporations, Dangote Flour Mills.

The keynote speaker at the anniversary is Prof. Pat Utomi, a former candidate for Nigeria's presidency in 2007 and one of the African continent's leading public policy analysts. Since 1992, WATS has been officially affiliated with the University of Nigeria, Nsukka (Nigeria's first indigenous university).

Speaking on behalf of he board of trustees of WATS, its founder and acting provost Dr. Gary Maxey, an American missionary, said "it's such a high honor for an institution with moral and ethical foundations to honor the two who count among Africa's most dedicated professionals, former former Commandant of Nigeria's School of Ammunition retired Gen. Teidi and USAfrica's Founder Chido Nwangwu who is recognized and respected as the most influential and authoritative African-born multimedia executive in the United States."

It was Gen. Teidi's second honorary degree; having received a Doctor of Science degree from St. Clement University in Australia.

Dr. Maxey adds that "Chido Nwangwu earns this 2009 Honorary Doctor of Humanities degree in respect and recognition of his almost 25 years of authoring, broadcasting and articulating hundreds of original, authoritative public policy advocacies and for his strong and consistent position of fighting authoritarianisms and bigotry in order to foster a better environment for people of all races and backgrounds towards the pursuit of life, liberty, happiness and dedication to God's grace. He actively supports christian education. He served as an advisory board member on international business to the former Mayor of Houston (America's 4th largest city) and he is the first continental African admitted as member of the 100 Black Men of America."

The Twentieth Anniversary celebrations will include a number of activities, including a three-day conference tagged "The Power of the African-American Pulpit," and features the teaching and preaching of Dr. Ralph Douglas West (Church Without Walls, in Houston, Texas), Dr. Maurice Watson (Beulahland Bible Church, in Macon, Georgia), and Dr. Sola Aworinde (Agape Bible Church in Lagos). The other recipients of honorary Doctor of Divinity degree are Rev. Leroy Adams, Rev. Donald R. Plemons, Rev. Bernard Dawson, Rev. B.C.K. Obiako and Alan Bullock.

Dr. Maxey makes the point: "we are honoring, in part, Chido's 25 years of effectively utilizing the multimedia of print, tv, radio, internet (especially the USAfrica multimedia networks, the CNN, BBC, VOA, South African Broadcasting corporation, Nigeria media outlets and numerous international platforms) to empower and foster a focused transnational exchange between Africans and Americans. We recall that America's flagship newspaper The New York Times recently cited Chido Nwangwu and his USAfrica networks as the largest and arguably the most influential African-owned U.S-based media corporation."

Chido who is based in Houston-Texas is the Founder & Publisher of the first African-owned, U.S based newspaper to be published on the Internet USAfricaonline.com, CLASSmagazine, The Black Business Journal, USAfricaTV, AchebeBooks.com, the e-groups of AfricanChristians, IgboEvents, Nigeria360, NigeriaBanks.com, and other platforms.

Dr. Maxey also notes that retired General Teidi "is being honoured by the Seminary for his contributions to humanity and as a long-time supporter of WATS. For decades Gen. Teidi has made continuous provision for orphans, widows and others in destitute circumstances, including sponsorship of education up to the university level. He is instrumental to the admission of over 850 Nigerians on a subsidized scheme basis."Teidi, chairman of Overseas Agency Nigeria Limited, was commissioned into the Nigerian Army in 1969 following his graduation from the Nigeria Defence Academy (NDA) in September 1969. He has since furthered his military and academic training and obtained a diploma from the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst, UK; B.Sc. (Applied Physics) from the Council of National Academic Award (CCNA); M.Phil (Atmosphere Physics).


Wireless NewsReview: Palm Pre is premature; has little chance in iPhone 3.0 universe.

WEB SITES SOLUTIONS, DESIGN AND HOSTING, PHOTO IMAGING and more....

OPINION: My aversion to patronizing 'Save' Africa campaigns by the West. By Uzodinma Iweala. Such campaigns, however well intentioned, promote the stereotype of Africa as a black hole of disease and death. News reports constantly focus on the continent's corrupt leaders, warlords, "tribal" conflicts, child laborers, and women disfigured by abuse and genital mutilation. These descriptions run under headlines like "Can Bono Save Africa?" or "Will Brangelina Save Africa?" The relationship between the West and Africa is no longer based on openly racist beliefs, but such articles are reminiscent of reports from the heyday of European colonialism, when missionaries were sent to Africa to introduce us to education, Jesus Christ and "civilization." There is no African, myself included, who does not appreciate the help of the wider world, but we do question whether aid is genuine or given in the spirit of affirming one's cultural superiority. FULL commentary here
U.S President-elect OBAMA named USAfrica MAN of the YEAR: Houston-based USAfrica and USAfricaonline.com, assessed by The New York Times as the most influential African-owned, U.S-based multimedia networks, have named U.S President-elect Barack Obama as the 'USAfrica Man of The Year.'

Obama who is the first African-American and bi-racial leader of the country is featured on the cover of two special international editions of the USAfricaCLASS magazine.

In the 'USAfrica Man of the Year' essay, USAfrica's Founder and Publisher Chido Nwangwu highlights the point that: "The contemplation of the fact that Obama's presidency will start January 20, 2009 through the majesty of the American ballot box is transformative and unleashes trans-generational implications and values for America and the world. In many ways, Obama has truly turned the pages of America's social, cultural and political history to unprecedented spheres. He has shattered many shibboleths of racial discrimination and dismantling several wedges against aspirational quests. Obama and those who voted for him have elevated America's image and perception across the entire world, especially across USAfrica's core editorial, public policy and business constituencies of Africans and Americans."

Obama's recognition is the second time USAfrica is naming its Man of the Year in its 15 years of pioneering bi-continental multimedia works. It is worthy of note that that the first recipient in 1994 is Dr. Nelson Mandela, former President of South Africa and Nobel Prize winner. December 22, 2008. Photos:Getty and Obama campaign/2008/Digital Graphics. Text and cover design by Chido Nwangwu.


OBAMA, the 44th President of the U.S

With Nov 4 presidential election, Obama turned the pages of America's history. By Chido Nwangwu, Publisher

Obama's election as indictment of African political elite. By Dr. Chidi Amuta, Lagos-based Executive Editor of USAfricaonline.com
Soccer Notes: Nigeria says it will host 2009 U-17 World Cup.
Nigeria reversed its decision to withdraw as host of the 2009 Under-17 World Cup following a drastic cut in the estimated cost of hosting the event.

President Umaru Yar'Adua said in a statement Tuesday that the soccer tournament would go ahead as originally planned, but budgeted about $76 million in government funds toward the cost of the event scheduled for Oct. 24-Nov. 15, 2009. That's about a quarter of the sum originally demanded by the committee tasked with organizing the event. FIFA and the Nigerian private sector will also contribute funds, the statement said.


Achebe's 'Things Fall Apart': time for Nobel prize for Literature has come - says Prof. Lindfors at USAfrica Best of Africa 080808 events in Houston; challenges Nobel committee to do what's right and deserving....
Achebe honored with USAfrica 1st Lifetime Achievement award at celebration of 50 years of 'Things Fall Apart'

Houston, Texas. August 13, 2008: As the world awaits the release of Prof. Chinua Achebe's latest work, a 179-page collection of seventeen
autobiographical essays called Reflections of a British Protected Child, an intriguing, familiar issue: the award of the next Nobel Prize for Literature, turned a key issue at the USAfrica Harvest of Achebe international symposium in Houston, Texas.

Bernth Lindfors, the distinguished Professor Emeritus of English and African Literatures at the University of Texas at Austin and keynote speaker at the USAfrica 080808 celebrations of the 50th anniversary of Chinua Achebe's literary classic, 'Things Fall Apart' addressed the contentious issue by calling the attention of the Nobel Prize for Literature committee to what millions of people and readers continue to take exception to: its denial of the worthy honor of its highest literature prize to Achebe, one of the most gifted, celebrated and creative writers in the world.

Prof. Lindfors, leading teacher of Achebe's 'Things fall Apart' novel for 33 years, told the USAfrica conferees/scholars that this might be the time the Nobel Committee makes it up and does the right thing to the venerable Achebe. "I think his time will come. It will be a belated recognition. I remember, I was in Nairobi (Kenya) when the announcement of Wole Soyinka's Nobel Prize occurred and my colleagues at the University of Nairobi were [surprised]. They thought Achebe should have been the first one...."

Various discussions by other scholars and participants at the USAfrica Best of Africa 080808 reflected on Chinua Achebe's body of ground-breaking works, comparative outlook on culture, identity, religion, education, colonialism, post-colonialism, the issue of Achebe not being honored with the prestigious Nobel Prize for Literature, with many arguing and hoping it will happen soon.

Prof. Lindfors, founder of the journal of African literary studies, Research in African Literatures, said he felt the ongoing global celebrations and expositions of the 50th anniversary of Achebe's 'Things Fall Apart' show, in part, the universal creative reach and acceptance of the novel. Lindfors who got his Ph.D. from the University of California, Los Angeles in 1969, outlined the worldwide celebration of 'Things Fall Apart' from Australia, Africa, Asia and Europe through North and South America by several organizations including the Modern Language Association. He commended USAfrica for championing and hosting the international exposition on Achebe's works the weekend of 080808. USAfrica has been assessed by The New York Times and other key American organizations as the most influential African-owned, U.S-based multimedia networks.

The USAfrica Harvest of Achebe host/convener Chido Nwangwu declared open the event by noting that "we honor Achebe because he reflects uncommon decency and iron-clad commitment to values which uplift all cultures and heritage while confronting racist scholarship and ill-informed stereotypes. Achebe portrays the Igbo nation and by extension many parts of Africa as communities where hard work can transport you from the pits of poverty to the pinnacle of prosperity as Okonkwo's farming prowess showed, amidst all the existential contradictions and tragic twists of life, especially Okonkwo's life." Chido who serves as Founder and Publisher of USAfricaonline.com, first African-owned U.S-based professional newspaper published on the internet, stated that "in many ways, Achebe is timeless; he's ancient and modern. He carries forth his message to the world in ways which artfully find meaning and resonance across cultures, demographics, gender and all manner of platforms" Full report here


USAfricaonline.com NEWS INSIGHT: Utomi calls on Nigerians to learn from Mbeki's resignation, South Africa's democracy. Professor Pat Utomi, public policy analyst and former Presidential candidate of the African Democratic Congress (ADC), has said that his fellow Nigerians should see Mbeki's moves as an example of a leader bowing to the wishes of a majority of his constituents. "An important point for us Nigerians to note is that resigning from public office is not the end of the world but show of respect for the supremacy of a democratic system" He stated that Mbeki's response is "sending strong signals to all people in undemocratic settings; and this is what matters most in a democracy. Once, as a leader, Thabo Mbeki is seen as being out of line by the people who rose with one voice through the ANC machinery, civil society, and other opposition platforms; it is significant that he responded appropriately to the peoples' wishes. In so doing, Mbeki makes a fact of the point that he is a true democrat because people very often mistake bowing out of public service as a defeat or failure."

Utomi argued that "In a democracy however, bowing out simply means taking responsibility for a shortcoming of one's administration until the time of his/her vindication and so, return to the arena. In this, a leader displays accountability and responsiveness to the electorate by owning up to the failure of an administrative action. Regrettably, this is something we have not learnt in Nigeria and which we must strive to institute such as it becomes the culture in our leadership activities", he concluded. Click here for the Utomi insight/report


INSIGHT: Why America should halt the genocide in the Sudan. By Chido Nwangwu, Founder and Publisher of USAfricaonline.com.
Certain facts and the continuing, bigoted impudence of Islamic Sudan offer clarity to why the U.S should aggressively halt the genocide and gory events in Africa's largest country. The Sudan has almost 918,000 square miles in size and a war-weary population of 30million. Even as I call for a red line to be drawn against the rag-tag army of Arab-taliban-fascists in Africa and the assorted troops of religio-criminal rapists who have since four decades set upon the southern Christian, indigenous African Sudanese, I agree with Gen. Powell that "America will be a friend to all Africans who seek peace; but we cannot make peace among Africans." He is right. Africans must respect and love each other. Continued here...

USAfricaonline.com Essay: Why Africa's leaders are leading us nowhere. By Prof. Herbert Ekwe-Ekwe, contributing editor of USAfricaonline.com, author of the highly-acclaimed African Literature in Defence of History: An Essay on Chinua Achebe and a visiting fellow at the London School of Economics.
Kenya to host Africa's World Economic Forum in 2010.

Kenya is to host the World Economic Forum on Africa in 2010, Prime Minister Raila Odinga has announced. Odinga, who led the country's delegation to the 18th WEF on Africa in Cape Town, South Africa, said Kenya had accepted an invitation by the organisers to host the forum. "This is a major breakthrough that heralds the country's emergence as a leading player in the drive for the continent's global economic integration," he told reporters (AFP). In pix, former U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan, President Kibaki and Odinga shaking hands earlier in 2008 after brokering "peace" following inter-ethnic killings of almost 2000 Kenyans.
Kenya's immiseration should be last of Africa's genocidal states. By Prof. Herbert Ekwe-Ekwe, contributing editor of USAfricaonline.com based in London.
What I saw as one of the 20,000 at the Obama 'Yes, We Can' movement live in Houston.


THE BEST OF AFRICAN COMMUNITIES' EVENTS IMAGES www.PhotoWorks.TV
BOOK: Laying the foundation for Nigeria's Democracy: My Account of June 12, 1993 Presidential Election and Its Annulment. By Prof. Humphrey N. Nwosu who served from 1989 &endash; 1993 as the Chairman of the National Electoral Commission of Nigeria. He provides the inside reports and views to the factors and personalities regarding the controversial annulment of the 1993 presidential election. Already, his latest book and privileged insights are drawing sharp responses from those who knew the stakes and especially those who did know what he says happened "behind the scenes" in Nigeria's power play of June 1993.

Independent Beauty Consultant - MARY KAY in Chicago

Literature, Culture and Development: The African Experience by Ihechukwu Madubuike, PhD. The review by Stanley N. Macebuh, PhD

USAfricaBUSINESS: New Orleans Mayor Nagin visits South Africa, meet government, business leaders. New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin left for South Africa on Sunday June 8. He led a 23-person delegation, including six people from his administration, and is set to return to New Orleans June 16, his chief of international affairs, Lisa Ponce de Leon, said. The delegation includes representatives of the City Council, tourism industry, clergy and health sectors.

The itinerary included stops in Durban, Johannesburg and Cape Town and meetings with government and business leaders. Nagin's office says the mayor will speak in Durban on emergency preparedness and his experiences surrounding Hurricane Katrina and visit the ports in Durban and Cape Town to learn about what's being done successfully there and how that might translate for New Orleans, whose port hopes to position itself for expanded trade.


INSIGHT: Why Martin Luther King's legacy and vision are relevant into 21st century.

As an African in America, as a recent immigrant who has been blessed by the graciousness, business opportunities, global breadth and hospitality of Americans, I have cause to be thankful for benefiting from the vision, personal sacrifice and peaceful soldiering of the late Martin Luther King, who sought to create an atmosphere which fosters harmony and acceptance of all our unique talents and racial origins.

On this day/week of the post-humous celebration of birthday, I believe that the existing global alliance of all humankind, representing the full tapestry of our ethnic/racial origins as Indians, Caucasians, Blacks, Jews, Asians, and a multitude of other backgrounds should, markedly, advance Dr. King's vision and efforts should do more by utilizing technological tools, networking personal discipline, boosting religious and communal re-orientation to fight all forms of discrimination and intolerance into the 21st century.  Why?


Kenya's immiseration should be last of Africa's genocidal states. By Prof. Herbert Ekwe-Ekwe. Today, far into the first month of 2008, the great nations of the Gikuyu and Luo of east Africa have been bludgeoned into that dreadful circle of murder and immiseration, which signposts the seemingly inexorable march of the African genocide state. Yesterday, the Dafuri were whipped into that circle by the ruthless punch of the Arab regime in Khartoum and its Janjaweed subalterns. The previous day, it was the harrowing turn of the Tutsi, some Hutu, Kongo, Mongo and Luba and Muonjang, Azande, Nuer, Bari, Ndebele … All these African constituent nations have become solemnly codified in the eerie grouping of slaughter that maps Africa's (European) post-conquest sociopolitical landscape. FULL insight click here
FLASHBACK, September 25:
CHUBA OKADIGBO: A big tree has fallen (1941-2003).
USAfricaonline LITERATURE
Why Chinua Achebe, the Eagle on the Iroko, is Africa's writer of the century.
USAfricaonline.com YouTube VIDEO pick: I'm so bush.. Naija Boyz.. Im so Hood remix. Young Africans in Houston.
June 16, and South Africa's treble historic events. By Nkem Ekeopara
What has Africa to do with September 11 terror? By Chido Nwangwu
How and why
Osama bin-Laden's goons threaten Nigeria and Africa's stability

COMMUNITY MOURNS: 17-year old Vince Agwuoke drowns in Houston school. The Houston and African communities are saddened by the drowning death of a Westside High senior around 2:30pm on Thursday April 10, 2008. The incident has put more pressure on the Houston Independent School District to review all policies and procedures for student activities in (swimming) pool areas and athletic facilities. The handsome only son of the Agwuoke family died at Memorial Hermann Memorial City Hospital shortly after he was rushed from the school for medical care.
FAMILY EVENT: 2009 USAfrica 9th Annual PRAYER BREAKFAST held as usual on the last Saturday of January, Time: 9am to 11.30am. Venue: Shanae's Cafe (former Kennys, 9780 Bissonet, Houston, TX 77036). Songs by Stacy Egbo, musical events coordinator Pastor Jonathan, Trumpeter Isaiah, Pastors and members of the community from different cities attended.
USAfricaLOGISTICS: United Bank for Africa (UBA), one of Africa's largest banks, was hosted to a business dinner and mortgage information event in Houston, Texas, on March 28, 2007 at the Hilton Southwest, Hotel. E-mail for further info: ubausafrica@gmail.com. Office: 713-270-5500. Houston event/business roadshow was coordinated by USAfrica LOGISTICS, international special events management, corporate business facilitation and proprietary data-mining arm of USAfrica, serving African and American businesses/organizations. Chido Nwangwu is CEO, USAfrica. Wireless phone: 832-45-CHIDO (24436).
Lucky Dube's death a blow to Africa's cultural heritage; Presidents of South Africa, Gambia and Senegal mourn reggae superstar. The Presidents of Gambia and Senegal say Lucky Dube's death strikes a serious blow to Africa's cultural heritage. The two dignitaries have joined thousands of mourners in paying tribute to the South African reggae legend, who was shot dead in a botched hijacking in front of his two children on Thursday, October 18, 2007. South African President Thabo Mbeki has led the tributes for slain reggae superstar Lucky Dube, describing him as "an outstanding South African." Mbeki's tribute came amid growing calls for tough government action to bring gun crime under control.

Dube's memorial service is underway at the Bassline in Newtown, Johannesburg. Cosatu General-Secretary Zwelinzima Vavi -- speaking at the memorial service -- lambasted South African radio stations for their failure to support local artists. Thousands have come to pay tribute to Lucky Dube. The 43-year-old Dube's funeral takes place at the Farmers Hall in Newcastle this Sunday. Family members have requested that the funeral be a private affair. Click here for some of Dube's videos


What has Africa to do with September 11 terror? By Chido Nwangwu

Exclusive:110 Minutes with basketball Hall of famer HAKEEM OLAJUWON
Obasanjo last auction of Nigeria's key assets. By National Association of Seadogs (NAS). via Prof. Olatunde Makanju, NAS Capone: The fact that beneficiaries of these transactions are cronies and acolytes of now former President Obasanjo (in picture) directly or indirectly, overtly or covertly as well as the ludicrously low prices at which these lucrative deals were concluded at the twilight of the last administration seems to supply the motivation.

It is our view that these transactions are shady and faulty on several fronts. One, they were not conducted by the BPE and apparently did not follow due process by not conforming to competitive open bidding. Secondly, these assets were grossly undervalued. Thirdly, all the stakeholders (employees, creditors and minority shareholders) were not consulted before the transactions were consummated. We wish to highlight a roll call of these transactions as follows:

-- The Port Harcourt Refinery was sold to Blue Star Oil at the cost of $561 million. Blue Star is a subsidiary of Dangote Group of Companies, an organization owned by one of the biggest financiers of the ruling party the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). The Chairman of Zenon Oil, Mr. Femi Otedola (son of a past governor of Lagos State), is another big financier of the ruling PDP.

-- The Onigbolo Cement Company was grabbed by the Dangote Group at a ridiculous sum of $1.78 billion.....Click here for full report intervention, it's a long-term project," says Karim Dahou, an advisor to the Paris-based Africa Partnership Forum.


USAfrica VIEWPOINT: President Obasanjo, Nigeria is dying in your hands. Another Open Letter to Nigeria's President by Prof. Niyi Osundare: "President Obasanjo, you had the greatest opportunity in the world to shape the destiny of Nigeria and put her foot on the road to the future. But you turned the noble act of political competition into a "do-or-die" battle. And true to your words, the country is dying from your doing....Everywhere you have turned in the past four years (sometime in the future, you would wish you hadn't had a second term), your feet have fallen on thorns and pebbles: the fomenting of wasteful political disaffection in Anambra, and Oyo States, the cunning manouevering that has turned you into an absolute monarch of your great Party, the PDP, your routine disrespect for legitimate court injunctions and well-deliberated laws from the Legislature, your back-handed attempt to extend your presidential tenure, and your embarrassing showdown with your Vice President over how BOTH of you have mismanaged and squandered the resources of the Petroleum Trust Fund Development (PTDF). As scandalized Nigerians watched their so-called Number One and Number Two citizens dancing so abominably naked in the streets despite their lavish robes, we all wondered: what manner of rulers are these that have absolutely no sense of shame?! Your Excellency, you remind me of the proverbial king that has shat on the throne. Your nose may be too far from the message of your discharge, but the country is surely choking from the stench."
VIEWPOINT: Obasanjo, Go! Just go! Prof. Wole Soyinka
Obasanjo's failed quest for 3rd Term has damaged his reputation. By Prof. Patrick Wilmot
USAfrica VIEWPOINT: Nigeria's flawed 2007 elections and avoiding a tragedy. Nigerians not ready to be governed once again by those they did not give the consent had began to protest and to call for new elections. Click here for an exclusive commentary for USAfricaonline.com by our New York columnist Rudolf Ogoo Okonkwo. He is the author of a new book, Children of a retired God.

USAfrica INSIGHT: Presidential Succession and National Stability following 2007 Nigeria. By and large then, Nigeria's 2007 presidential election is, to my mind, first a search for a strong leader who has both the experience and proven capacity to take charge of Nigeria and permanently put to rest the fears and schisms that constantly threaten the survival of the nation. Put simply, the priority issue that ought to inform the search for and choice of the next president is national security and stability in their fullest meaning. By Dr. Chidi Amuta, Executive Editor of USAfrica. Click here for full commentary.

EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Anambra's deputy Gov Mrs. Etiaba: "How I became Nigeria's first woman Governor" "...I did not know Gov. Peter Obi until 2003; and why I said Obasanjo is father of the Nigerian nation...."

ASA-USA demands INEC should conduct another Anambra governorship elections including Ngige, Ukachukwu and Obi
NEWS: Achebe says Obasanjo's anti-corruption fight is a myth; president has taken Nigeria "as low as she has ever gone." Special to USAfricaonline.com, CLASS magazine, USAfrica The Newspaper, Houston and The Black Business Journal  
The world acclaimed author of Things Apart and several other books, Professor Chinua Achebe has said that Nigeria's President retired General Olusegun Obasanjo, has since 1999 taken Nigeria "as low as she has ever gone." In a statement, titled "The clouds are gathering,", Achebe added that this assessment "will surprise foreign 'friends' of Nigeria who may believe the myth that Obasanjo has been fighting to end corruption in the country and to bring democracy to its citizens. Nigerians know better."

"President Obasanjo has had the opportunity to rule Nigeria for three years (1976-79) as an unelected military dictator and later for two terms of eight years as a retired general/civilian (1999-2007). People don't exactly remember what Obasanjo did in his first civilian incarnation. His second coming, however, was a different matter. He unfolded a gigantic scheme for staying in power beyond his tenure. He set up agencies with long titles like the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission and the Independent National Electoral Commission. It soon became clear, however, that these devices were not intended to curb the crimes they enumerated but to go after people who disagree with the President, especially on his desire to extend his tenure."

"Perhaps the strangest of these events took place in my own state, Anambra, where a governor was kidnapped by a criminal gang who claimed that they had 'fixed' the election and earned the right to receive the state budgetary allocation.

"Whatever the merit of this bizarre story the governor refused to turn over the allocation to these thieves and began to spend it on building roads and bridges which nobody had done in decades. He began to pay pension to retired civil servants who had not been paid in years. Anambra State was transformed overnight. No where else in Nigeria had such a change happened. Governor Ngige became the people's governor."Also, see AchebeBooks.com


USAfricaonline LITERATURE
Why Chinua Achebe, the Eagle on the Iroko, is Africa's writer of the century. By Chido Nwangwu
ACHEBE ON OBASANJO AND ANAMBRA STATE:
"One would have thought that our anti-corruption president, Chief Obasanjo, would have embraced Governor Ngige as a fellow fighter against corruption. But no. The fellows demanding the state revenue were Obasanjo's friends who in anger set about burning down and destroying state property while the Police stood at a distance, watching."

"I have told this story again although we all know it. I am retelling it because as it goes with Anambra, so will it go with Nigeria. As Nigeria gets ready for the election of Governors, Anambra State is in a quandary. President Obasanjo's hatchet man for elections is determined that only one candidate will be allowed to run in the state and has gone ahead to disqualify everybody else so that the President's favourite man will be alone in the field. If this plan goes through, it would amount to nothing less than the disenfranchisement of the people of Anambra State."

"I must congratulate the Judiciary on the tough battle many of its members are waging for the soul of Nigeria. The Senate came ever so close to snatching Nigeria out of the fire, and then... That was a historic moment lost. What a pity."

But he INEC chairman has stated in an interview with USAfrica and CLASSmagazine that the elections will be free and fair. The excerpts of this exclusive interview appear here at USAfricaonline.com. Only in a few days through this April 2007, the Obasanjo government's position will be tested by the turn out and assessments by voters and observers.


USAfricaonline.com VIEWPOINT
"
Obasanjo has ruined this country...." An open letter to Nigeria's President Obasanjo. By Prof. Niyi Osundare:
Dear President, millions of Nigerians see you as the source of their problems. Millions curse you under their breadth. Millions more loudly pronounce their imprecations at the slightest opportunity. You rule over a degraded country, Mr. President; your every act has consistently contributed to that degradation. In the reckoning of most Nigerians, you are the most arrogant, most insensitive, most callous, and most self-righteous and hypocritical ruler that this unfortunate country has ever been saddled with in its hapless saga of misrule.Your words, behaviour, disposition, and general track record seem to justify these negative impressions.

Consider these facts: in two years, you have hiked the price of petroleum products two times. You met a litre of petrol selling for 21 naira; it now goes for a whooping 42 naira in a few places and twice as much in many others. As if this were not enough, you topped it all with a N1.50 levy misnamed "fuel tax". You started by flaying us with whips; now you fleece us with scorpions. What good you thought would come out of these hikes, you alone in your unfathomable wisdom will ever know; you and the Mephistophelean PPPRA and your horde of "Special advisers." Osundare, Professor of English at the University of Ibadan (Nigeria), poet and prolific essayist, is the winner of the Commonwealth Poetry Prize for 1986, and the 1991 Noma Award for Publishing in Africa. His essays and reviews have appeared previously on USAfricaonline.com and USAfrica The Newspaper. Click here for FULL commentary
DEMOCRACY WATCH: What Bush Should Tell Obasanjo.... By Chido Nwangwu (Founder and Publisher of USAfricaonline.com): March 29, 2006, at the White House, where Bush also met a few days earlier with Liberia's Sirleaf, new face of Africa; welcomed Nigeria's President retired General Olusegun Obasanjo, an old face of Africa, to thank him for regional support of the U.S.,discuss "strengthening democratic institutions, and the need to bring Charles Taylor to justice." (Both presidents are seen in this 2004 USAfrica news archive picture). The visit comes against the current background of the outrageous nonsense parroted by hangers-on and political idol worshippers, the philistines of Nigeria's politics who have since become the domestic and international canvassers of the indecent baloney that: Nigeria's constitution must be amended for one man, retired General Olusegun Obasanjo, to govern for a 3rd 4-year term (12 years!). This they,  shamelessly, claim is for Nigeria's survival. Worse, they add that without Obasanjo, there will be no progress, criminality of the political economy will abound and the polity will collapse. Good heavens! The sheer hubris that Nigeria can only move forward only by the "divine" and eternal governance of a 74-year former dictator Obasanjo is simply stupefying and immoral, to say the very least.  Hence, the enabled executors and conductors of this folly on behalf of Obasanjo only remind me of the infamous words of the 17th century  French monarch, Louis X1V (1638-1715) who reportedly said "L'État, c'est moi"  meaning  "I am the State." If only Obasanjo could drive us back to the 17th century; only there was no Nigeria, at the time.

In comparison, while Liberia's Madam President Sirleaf represents the manifestation of the triumph of popular constitutional methods and emerging institutional democratic values in Africa, retired General Obasanjo's imperious, know-it-all, emerging project for a sit-tight  presidency in Nigeria remind us all of the 1970s old Africa where constitution-tweaking soldiers (his colleagues) and power drunks  funnily believed their country's sun rose and shone at their hideous and idiosyncratic say-so. We won't go back there; no; not now that we  have the great Nelson Mandela as our icon, historical benchmark and reference point. Obasanjo makes it difficult for Obasanjo to be a statesman; no doubt, he's a regional leader.

As a specialist on US. and Africa public policy and cultural issues, here are things I'll suggest President Bush tell President Obasanjo, in a short, sweet but realistic summary: Full commentary here


USAfrica NEWSBANK: OBASANJO'S FAILED 3RD TERM POWER-PLAY IS GOOD NEWS TO NIGERIANS, ABROAD AND HOME....
USAfricaonline.com and its correspondents in Nigeria and across the major cities of the U.S are reporting an increasing tally of anti-3rd term phone calls and e-mails from our readers. By a margin of almost 7-2, USAfricaonline.com data show that an overwhelming majority of the politically active citizenry are happy that Nigeria's Senate halted retired Gen. Olusegun Obasanjo's stealthy, unpopular, behind-the-scenes-wink and nod power plays to secure an "unrequested" 3rd term as president of Nigeria (a total of 12 consecutive years).
Nigeria's 2007 Elections: A pre-voting report from The Institute for Advancement of Democracy (TIAD). The Institute for Advancement of Democracy (TIAD) early in 2007, sent a high level delegation of its team to Nigeria to assess the level of the preparedness of the 2007 general elections in the country.

TIAD has also announced that its team is already in Nigeria as part of the international observers for the April 2007 elections. In their report published by USAfricaonline.com and CLASSmagazine they note among other things that: "The INEC voter registration effort was initially hindered by Direct Data Capture machines from foreign vendors, which failed to perform in the field as expected. The resilient INEC used laptops with web cameras and fingerprinting capacity to continue the voter registration. This exercise as completed, should improve the credibility of the election results." TIAD concludes that from "our observations on the ground and in meetings with election officials at various locations revealed a vigorous and innovative voter registration effort." Click here for full report


Obasanjo, Go! Just go! Prof. WOLE SOYINKA's January 19, 2006 press statement/conference in Lagos on the crisis in Oyo State and alleged roles and incapacities of President Olusegun Obasanjo: "In the name of that very God whom you thank for yanking you back from the abyss, I implore you-Go! Go while it is still possible to forgive you for robbing us all of our earned retirement. Go! Just go! This is no time to beat about the bush.

The presidential hand in this (Oyo State) affair is blatant. Obasanjo has openly endorsed violence as a means of governance, embraced and empowered individuals whose avowed declarations, confessions and acts are cynically contrary to the democratic mandate that alone upholds the legitimacy and dignity of his office.

Let me repeat this: the contempt of President Obasanjo for the demands for a democratic self-realisation by the electorate is no longer in doubt, and can be proved, chapter and verse - from Anambra to Oyo.... We are confronted by a mind that has gone awry, a mind that is subject to no order except that of the crudest, most despotic notions of dominance in a primitive society. Nigeria is not a primitive or private fiefdom. It is governed by law.

The respectful 'Baba' accolade has turned to be yet another Baabuism, mimics the culture of the 'dons,' literally actualised by Obasanjo as that of a Mafia godfather whose hand you either bow and kiss, or receive the kiss of death." Full text here


AIDS vaccine partnership launches in South Africa. The launch of the Southern African leg of a global partnership intended to produce a vaccine against HIV and Aids was announced by the International Aids Vaccine Initiative (IAVI) on Tuesday, November 21, 2006. "My vision is a vibrant Southern Africa that is Aids free. To achieve this, we need a regional collaboration that brings together diverse partners from South Africa and other countries to create the enabling environment for continued progress on AIDS vaccines," said Dr Valeria Manda who will head up the IAVI's Southern African program, to be based in Johannesburg. The organisation has been collaborating with African scientists to study promising Aids vaccine candidates since 1998 and has since conducted eight clinical trials on the continent.
Corruption charges and Questions trail Obasanjo's controversial shares in Transcorp. Last week Wednesday, Chairman of Transnational Corporation, Dr. Ndi Okereke-Onyuike confirmed speculations that President Olusegun Obasanjo holds equity shares in the company. Her revelation came barely 48 hours after the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) raided the Head Office of the company reportedly in a bid to 'investigate' the shareholding structure and operations of the company.

Okereke-Onyuike told the House Committee on Capital Markets that the president had subscribed to the shares of the company when it was established. Even though she did not specify the amount of shares held by the president, her revelation confirmed media reports that the president owns between 200million to 600million shares in Transcorp.....


INSIGHT: Africa, Africa-Diaspora Partnership gains momentum, amidst challenges. By Chinua Akukwe, Ph.D
VIEWPOINT:
Genocide against the Igbo continues in Onicha. By Professor Herbert Ekwe-Ekwe: A vandal army is ruthlessly on the loose. Genocide, of catastrophic proportions, has been unleashed in Igboland in these past two weeks. It is a continuation of the Igbo genocide that started in the sabon gari residential districts of Hausa-Fulani/north Nigeria in May 1966 which cost 100,000 Igbo lives during the course of five horrific months, followed by the extended second phase of gruesome ordeal that lasted from July 1967-January 1970 when 3 million Igbo people were murdered. This current phase has been ordered by Obasanjo, the most viciously insensate of the genocidist officers of the Awolowoist-Yoruba wing of the Nigerian military establishment. Obasanjo has insisted, all along (since January 1970), that the pan-Nigerian genocide against the Igbo, supported by Britain and the moribund Soviet Union, failed to accomplish its desired objective: the destruction of the Igbo as a viable nation. As a result, Obasanjo has given his commanders the orders this time round to accomplish his envisaged goal, which he boasts will be his "legacy", as he supposedly plans to leave office next May (2007). Full commentary appears here
NEWS: South African President Mbeki unveils World Cup 2010 logo at 2006 World soccer event in Berlin. South African President Thabo Mbeki has presided over the unveiling of the World Cup 2010 logo in Berlin. In remarks to an audience that included United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan and Liberian football legend George Weah, Mr. Mbeki said Africa is ready to host the world's largest sporting event. The president said by selecting South Africa as the next host nation, the world soccer federation (FIFA) has rewarded all African football lovers. It will be the first time the World Cup is played in Africa. Mr. Annan, a Ghanaian citizen, said football is a universal language that helps heal countries recovering from conflict. Germany will officially hand over hosting of the World Cup to South Africa on Sunday July 9 in Berlin.

The logo for the 2010 World Cup shows a silhouette of a soccer player kicking a ball with a background the colors of South Africa's flag. Mr. Mbeki said the drawing of the soccer player was inspired by rock paintings in his country.


OBASANJO'S FAILED 3RD TERM POWER-PLAY IS GOOD NEWS TO NIGERIANS, ABROAD AND HOME....
USAfricaonline.com and its correspondents in Nigeria and across the major cities of the U.S are reporting an increasing tally of anti-3rd term phone calls and e-mails from our readers. By a margin of almost 7-2, USAfricaonline.com data show that an overwhelming majority of the politically active citizenry are happy that Nigeria's Senate halted retired Gen. Olusegun Obasanjo's stealthy, unpopular, behind-the-scenes-wink and nod power plays to secure an "unrequested" 3rd term as president of Nigeria (a total of 12 consecutive years).

Many Nigerians still feel disappointed that a man (Obasanjo) who had gained so much from Nigeria would cling so tightly to power, even against the popular will of the people, moreso with age, energy and fresh ideas for a new era not on his side.

Also, USAfricaonline.com review of Nigeria's recent history show that President Obasanjo seems to be moving rapidly into the zone of ill-repute of his former military colleagues who, like him, refused to leave office when it was time to go. Gen. yakubu Gowon in 1975; Gen. Ibrahim Babangida in 1993; Gen. Sani Abacha in1995, 1996, 1997, 1998. More baffling many Nigerians we interviewed recall is the lessons of the excesses of the late Gen. Abach who jailed Obasanjo while the former schemed to remain in power. For the special report by USAfrica multimedia networks' Publisher Chido Nwangwu, click on
3rd term.


MILESTONE: Day the Senate killed Obasanjo's 3rd term bill in Abuja. Abuja, May 16, 2006 (IRIN) - Nigerian senators voted on Tuesday May 16, 2006 to throw out a bill seeking to amend the country's constitution to give President Olusegun Obasanjo the chance to run for a third successive term in office next year. A majority of lawmakers in the upper house agreed in a voice vote to scrap the bill, which has raised tensions in Africa's most populous country plagued by ethnic and religious violence. "By this result, the Senate has said clearly and eloquently that we should discontinue further proceedings on this amendment bill," Senate President Ken Nnamani announced to applause.

Obasanjo, who was on a visit to France as the lawmakers took the decision, has never stated he wants to run again when his second, four-year term comes to an end in 2007. But he has hinted he would like to complete economic and political reforms he has initiated. However, many Nigerians believe he is behind a powerful campaign by his supporters to prolong his rule. Six months must now elapse before the bill can be re-presented to the Senate, if Obsanjo's third term supporters wish to.
Obasanjo's current 2nd tenure (8 years in office) will end on May 29, 2007.


Obasanjo's "3rd term agenda is dead"- says Nigeria's Vice-President Atiku Abubakar, on Thursday night, May 11, 2006, in Abuja: "By today, we definitely know that the third term agenda is dead.... We have enough votes to block the third term agenda and it is also a blessing for Nigerians. The struggle for the enthronement of democracy has virtually started today..." 
USAfricaonline.com SPECIAL REPORT:
Liberia's president Ellen Johnson Sirleaf calls for "partnership" rather than "patronage" relationship with U.S.
Related insight:
Liberia's bloody mess and hopes of a battered nation.
Liberia: Death by installment. By Chido Nwangwu, June 21, 1996.


RWANDA: THE GENOCIDE THAT SHOOK THE WORLD, AFTER THE FACT

Special to USAfrica The Newspaper, Houston and
USAfricaonline.com

On Wednesday April 7, 2004, Rwandan President Paul Kagame pinned the country's darkness during the 1994 genocide on the international community and the United Nations in the 10th anniversary of the tragedy. He pinned the cause of the genocide on Western countries, namely Belgium, Britain and the United States that withdrew their forces when they were badly needed. "Injustice of powerful nations should be stopped. Rwanda shouldbe a good example to learn a lesson," the president said.
Also, the retired
General Romeo Dallaire of Canada, former commander of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Rwanda (UNMIR), has said that the 1994 genocide in Rwanda could have been stopped if the international community had shown their political will. In an interview with Xinhua in Kigali, where commemoration events are being organized for the 10th anniversary of the genocide, Dallaire expressed his disappointment with the world leaders over their inaction during those horrible days. Dallaire, who led the UN peacekeeping force in Rwanda from October 1993 to August 1994, was invited to the International Conference on Genocide and the April 7 public ceremony, also known as National Reflection, at the Kigali National Stadium.


Why Rwanda matters 10 years after the slaughter of 800,000. By Gerald Caplan, author of 'Rwanda: The Preventable Genocide'

Rwanda's lesson: 'Never again'. By Clarence Page
U.S. First Lady Bush, Sec of State Rice in Liberia for inauguration of the first woman elected President in Africa, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. America's First lady Laura Bush witnessed history on Monday January 16, 2006 at the swearing-in of Liberia's new leader, the first woman elected president in Africa who has pledged to restore peace after 14 years of civil strife in this nation founded by freed American slaves.

On her second trip to Africa, Mrs. Bush is joining Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to attend the inauguration of President-elect Ellen Johnson Sirleaf who has called on women to help govern other African nations.

"I think it's really important worldwide," Mrs. Bush said about Sirleaf's inauguration, which falls on the day Americans honor civil rights icon, the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. "I think it's particularly important on the continent of Africa, because traditionally women have been excluded in many African cultures not all of them, but in many." Full report by Deb Reichmann in Monrovia/AP here.


NEWS: President Museveni's controversial re-election sparks violence in Uganda; continues his 20-year old rule. Uganda's President Yoweri Museveni won a controversial re-election on Saturday (February 25, 2006) to extend a two-decade rule but his main rival rejected the results and opposition supporters clashed with security forces on the streets. Final results gave the ex-guerrilla leader 59 percent of votes, compared with 37 percent for his former doctor and main rival, Kizza Besigye of the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC). Details here
From USAfrica NewsBank 2005: Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni says he'll quit at "the right time...." Amidst claims he plans to further his decades-old leadership of the East African country has told the political opposition to "relax," saying he will hand over power "when there is a good arrangement.....Museveni knows when to hand over power," he said. Opponents fear he might try to stay in office past his constitutional term limit. "I do not want to cause a stampede but only hand over in good faith," the President added. Museveni was presiding over his last ceremony as chancellor of the university, after the Universities and Other Tertiary Institutions Act took that responsibility away from an incumbent President. His country has been dealing with the issue of AIDS and has been commended for making significant progress against the pandemic.
MONEYWATCH: Malawi loses US$ 40 million to corruption.... The Malawi government has lost close to a whopping kwacha 5 billion (Euro 34 million, US$ 40 million) in the last five years due to high-level corrupt practices that involved top government and party officials, 'The Chronicle' has learnt. Malawi's anti-corruption agency is investigating a large number of cases involving high ranking government officials and opposition party members.
Anarchy rules when corruption takes over. By USAfrica editorial board member attorney Ken Okorie
HEALTH CARE AND BLACK HISTORY: CELEBRATING THE CONTRIBUTIONS OF ROLAND SCOTT. By U.S. Senator Jim Talent
Dr. Roland Boyd Scott's first publication on the disease, a 1948 report on the incidence of red cell sickling in newborn infants, was not only the first of its kind, but it also laid the groundwork for the newborn screening programs which would be started more than two decades later.  He was the first to report growth and development norms for healthy African-American children which became a nationwide standard.  
He published hundreds of articles on the disease and treatment methods.  Among his biggest challenges were educating parents about their children's disease and persuading the government to provide funding for research.  

The official manifest of the December 10, 2005 crashed Sosoliso airlines plane in Nigeria where 107 persons were killed has been released. Most of the dead are mainly students from Loyola Jesuit College in Abuja. In October 2005 another plane crash near the commercial city of Lagos killed 117 people. Poor airport conditions and old aircrafts have been major problems of flying in Nigeria.
EXCLUSIVE: How deciding against flying the Sosoliso schedule saved some lives:
Emmanuel Okoro, one of the CLASS magazine and USAfricaonline.com executives who attended the PDP convention in Abuja was planning with his Port Harcout-based close friend Nnanna Udonsi and visiting associates from Houston to fly back to the East on the same flight. As fate will have it, he informed me in a phone conversation Saturday morning, that he persuaded Nnanna and the rest to stay the weekend in Abuja since they had been out for most of Friday night and very early into Saturday morning regarding the PDP event. USAfricaonline.com has also learnt that about 75 young students from Loyola school, an American Catholic model school and place of first choice for mainly rich Nigerians, were on board the Sosoliso flight. One student who returned to the Port Harcourt this Saturday morning, we gather from a close family source, insisted on driving back to the East rather than fly with the rest. After persistent arguments the student's parents yeilded; and they were glad to see their daughter. Recovery of bodies and post-crash investigations are beginning. USAfricaonline.com will report additional info and background insight as we get them. By Chido Nwangwu with USAfrica correspondents

ICON: Civil rights pioneer Rosa Parks honored in America's capital, as she died at 92. Rosa Parks, the black seamstress whose refusal to give up her seat on a Montgomery, Alabama, bus to a white man sparked a revolution in American race relations, died on Monday October 24, 2005. The U.S. civil rights pioneer was 92. Shirley Kaigler, Parks' lawyer, said she died while taking a nap early on Monday evening surrounded by a small group of friends and family members. "She just fell asleep and didn't wake up," Kaigler said.

The cause of death was not immediately known. Sen. Edward Kennedy, a Massachusetts Democrat, said in a statement: "The nation lost a courageous woman and a true American hero. A half century ago, Rosa Parks stood up not only for herself, but for generations upon generations of Americans." "We are saddened by the passing of Rosa Parks. We rejoice in her legacy, which will never die. In many ways, history is marked as before, and after, Rosa Parks," said civil rights leader Jesse Jackson. "She sat down in order that we all might stand up, and the walls of segregation came down." Reuters


COMMUNITY NETWORK: Africans volunteer and offer relief support to Katrina victims at Houston's Astrodome, other locations. Some reports and references at one of the e-list/discussion groups powered by USAfricaonline.com

BUSINESS/HUMAN RESOURCES: Age and lying about one's age in the Nigerian workforce. Exclusive commentary for USAfricaonline.com, USAfrica The Newspaper (Houston), CLASS magazine and The Black Business Journal. By Dr. Prince Asagwara Canada-based contributing editor of USAfricaonline.com and CLASS magazine and global e-list IgboEvents: I witnessed the ridiculousness of doctoring and lying about one's age to remain employed when I visited Nigeria in 2003. Someone that I knew as an adult when I was a boy in primary school came to me for assistance to migrate to Canada. I asked for his cv/resume. He recorded on his resume as being born in 1962. I thought it was a mistake and called his attention to it. To my horror, he told me that it was his "officially declared age." And that "it is the way it is done here in Nigeria, if you want to stay employed after 55 years of age." The man in question at the time was not less than 60 years old.

ISSUES: Race and the Hurricane: Howard Dean, Kanye West and Laura Bush disagree on Bush's treatment of Blacks, poor in Katrina's aftermath. U.S. Democratic party leader tells Baptists that U.S. must face the racial "ugly truth" about deaths in Gulf region. Race was a factor in the rising death toll from Hurricane Katrina, Howard Dean told members of the National Baptist Convention of America on Wednesday at the group's annual meeting. Dean, Democratic Party chairman, made the comments to the Baptists' Political and Social Justice Commission. The Baptist Convention has an estimated 3.5 million members representing 3,000 churches and is one of the largest black religious groups in the country. "We must . . . come to terms with the ugly truth that skin color, age and economics played a deadly role in who survived and who did not," Dean said. Dean said Americans have a moral responsibility to not ignore the devastating effects of damage caused by Hurricane Katrina when it struck the Gulf Coast. The former presidential candidate said the government will be judged on how it treats the old, the young and the poor. "People are poor in different parts of the country. They are not refugees. They are Americans," he said. Dean said that instead of considering proposed estate tax breaks, the Senate should channel the $760 billion savings into disaster relief funds. "Shall we give that to the wealthiest people in the country, or should we rebuild New Orleans?" Dean said. Kanye, America's young hip-hop icon, said during a tv telethon that Bush does not care about Blacks. Bush's wife, Laura, said in a radio interview that Dean and Kanye's views of her husband are "disgusting."
PERSPECTIVE:
Barbara Bush comments latest in series of blunders: U.S. President George W Bush is not the only member of his prominent political family to be drawing criticism for public utterances about Hurricane Katrina: His mother has raised eyebrows too. In widely reported comments after visting evacuees at the Texas sports arena (Astrodome) former first lady Barbara Bush on Monday (September 5, 2005 seemed to suggest a silver lining for the "underprivileged" forced from their flooded homes in New Orleans. "What I'm hearing, which is sort of scary, is they all want to stay in Texas. Everyone is so overwhelmed by the hospitality," Mrs. Bush said in a radio interview from the Astrodome in Houston, Texas."And so many of the people in the arena here, you know, were underprivileged anyway, so this &emdash; this is working very well for them," she said. Click here for additional reports on the Bushs' comments, etc.
CLASS is the social events, heritage excellence and style magazine for Africans in north America, described by The New York Times as the magazine for affluent Africans in America.
USAfrica INSIGHT: Africa's debt burden, poverty, and the G 8 countries. By Dr. KC Asagwara, Canada-based contributing editor of USAfricaonline.com

TECHNOLOGY:
"Apple's Switch to Intel: The Ultimate Power Move? Steve Jobs' decision to build Macs with Intel chips may finally give the company a shot at challenging Microsoft's Windows." By David Kirkpatrick
AADD: Africa Attention Deficit Disorder. A U.S. disorder that hurts Africa. By David Sarasohn of Newhouse News Service: Today's pictures are from Niger, but they could be from lots of places in Africa, and from lots of times during recent decades. These children with the matchstick legs, and the eyes bigger than their fists, could have been from Biafra, a runaway province of Nigeria, in the 1970s, or from Ethiopia in the 1980s, or the Congo in the 1990s. The hideous massacre stories, this time from Darfur, could be from Liberia, or Sierra Leone, or -- most bloodily -- Rwanda. The AIDS stories come steadily from the same places. Full commentary here


CLASS magazine and USAfrica held their 2005 annual the BEST OF AFRICA weekend, first Friday and Saturday of May 6 & 7, 2005) in Houston, Texas. The events which featured African and American professionals, and guests from Nigeria, included the USAfrica 13th annual Anniversary awards, and CLASS magazine's Mothers' Day honors banquet at the Hilton Towers at Westchase, Houston. Features of honorees, VIPS and personalities at the event will be published in print and online, soon. The 2005 USAfrica FORUM deliberated on Nigeria's President Obasanjo's War on Corruption: What Next?
June 16 and South Africa's treble historic events. By Nkem Ekeopara
INSIGHT: Nigeria may not disintegrate within 15 years; but.... By Dozie Ezeife, Oakland-based Contributing Editor and Special correspondent of USAfricaonline.com and CLASS magazine
FLASHPOINT! In 15 years: Nigeria could collapse, destabilize entire West Africa - U.S. intelligence analysts claim; Obasanjo calls them "prophets of doom...."A coup in Nigeria could cause the oil exporting country to collapse and bring down much of West Africa with it, the U.S. National Intelligence Council said in a long-term outlook released in Nigeria on Wednesday, May 25, 2005. The catastrophic scenario was listed as a possible risk in a long-term forecast for Africa by the U.S. government intelligence body, which also saw most of the continent becoming increasingly marginalised over the next 15 years.

"While Nigeria's leaders are locked in a bad marriage that all dislike but dare not leave, there are possibilities that could disrupt the precarious equilibrium in Abuja," said the report, which was given to the press by Nigerian lawmakers....Click for report on In 15 years: Nigeria could collapse....


OVERCOMER: Don't let me die... An African journalist writes a song of survival. Please don't let me die; and from here I draw you all to my song of sorrow: 
Don't let me die;
a cockerel at mid life....


RWANDA: THE GENOCIDE THAT SHOOK THE WORLD, AFTER THE FACT....
Special to USAfrica The Newspaper, Houston
USAfricaonline.com and Classmagazine.tv
On Wednesday April 7, 2004, Rwandan President Paul Kagame pinned the country's darkness during the 1994 genocide on the international community and the United Nations in the 10th anniversary of the tragedy. He pinned the cause of the genocide on Western countries, namely Belgium, Britain and the United States that withdrew their forces when they were badly needed. "Injustice of powerful nations should be stopped. Rwanda shouldbe a good example to learn a lesson," the president said.
Also, the retired
General Romeo Dallaire of Canada, former commander of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Rwanda (UNMIR), has said that the 1994 genocide in Rwanda could have been stopped if the international community had shown their political will. In an interview with Xinhua in Kigali, where commemoration events are being organized for the 10th anniversary of the genocide, Dallaire expressed his disappointment with the world leaders over their inaction during those horrible days. Dallaire, who led the UN peacekeeping force in Rwanda from October 1993 to August 1994, was invited to the International Conference on Genocide and the April 7 public ceremony, also known as National Reflection, at the Kigali National Stadium.

Why Rwanda matters 10 years after the slaughter of 800,000. By Gerald Caplan, author of 'Rwanda: The Preventable Genocide'

Rwanda's lesson: 'Never again'. By Clarence Page

USAfricaFORUM: Africa, Blair and United Kingdom's commendable push for development assistance. By Dr. Chinua Akukwe

VIEWPOINT
"
Obasanjo ruined this country...." An open letter to Nigeria's President Obasanjo. By Prof. Niyi Osundare:
Dear President, millions of Nigerians see you as the source of their problems. Millions curse you under their breadth. Millions more loudly pronounce their imprecations at the slightest opportunity. You rule over a degraded country, Mr. President; your every act has consistently contributed to that degradation. In the reckoning of most Nigerians, you are the most arrogant, most insensitive, most callous, and most self-righteous and hypocritical ruler that this unfortunate country has ever been saddled with in its hapless saga of misrule.Your words, behaviour, disposition, and general track record seem to justify these negative impressions.

Consider these facts: in two years, you have hiked the price of petroleum products two times. You met a litre of petrol selling for 21 naira; it now goes for a whooping 42 naira in a few places and twice as much in many others. As if this were not enough, you topped it all with a N1.50 levy misnamed "fuel tax". You started by flaying us with whips; now you fleece us with scorpions. What good you thought would come out of these hikes, you alone in your unfathomable wisdom will ever know; you and the Mephistophelean PPPRA and your horde of "Special advisers." Osundare, Professor of English at the University of Ibadan (Nigeria), poet and prolific essayist, is the winner of the Commonwealth Poetry Prize for 1986, and the 1991 Noma Award for Publishing in Africa. His essays and reviews have appeared previously on USAfricaonline.com and USAfrica The Newspaper. Click here for FULL commentary
VIEWPOINT
Obasanjo's Biafra and anti-Igbo battles running past 33 years. By Professor Herbert Ekwe-Ekwe, USAfricaonline.com contributing editor of USAfricaonline.com, author of the highly-acclaimed African Literature in Defence of History: An Essay on Chinua Achebe

ANOTHER VIEW: Haba, Obasanjo, please spare us some of this emotional blackmail! Who put Wabara there in the first place? By Ishaq Modibbo Kawu (Daily Trust newspaper, Abuja):
"Nigerians had started yawning every time "crusader" Obasanjo re-iterated his commitment to a corruption-free process of governance. The reason was simply the huge credibility deficit Obasanjo's government has consistently run, since his election in 1999. There were too many examples of corruption at the heart of the hypocritical and quixotic tilting at the windmill of corruption. The monster of corruption seemed to have successfully entrenched itself, almost like an ancient pagan god, that was propitiated in the various levels of Nigeria's ruling elite. I'll take one example; the infamous Defence Ministry Permanent Secretary, Makanjuola, who stole N400m from his ministry. It was General T.Y. Danjuma, who blew the whistle on this executive thief. A challenge was thrown by that patriotic act of T.Y Danjuma, because the story that has continued to make the rounds is that the thief Makanjuola is infact, Obasanjo's cousin...

COMMUNITY EVENT
USAfrica 6th Annual Prayer Breakfast 2005 held, as usual, on the last Saturday of January (the 29th day of 2005) as a multi-denominational family event hosted by our community's multimedia leader, USAfrica and
CLASS. U.S. congressman Al Green who attended the 2004 event was represented. There were other community leaders and members of the faith-based organizations, families and inspirational leaders. Keynote speakers were Dr. Joshua Uhiara and Rev. David Okumgba. For the 2004 breakfast event, Pastor Tunji Osinulu was the keynote speaker. He spoke on the power of one by drawing from the lessons of Daniel in the Bible. Retired Archbishop Benjamin Nwankiti, a former Dean of the Church of Nigeria, was guest of honor for the 2003 event at the Holiday inn Sugar Land. African-American educator Rev. Lee Thompson was keynote speaker on 'The Power of Prayer' while Camerounian-born Pastor Bridget Fominyam spoke on the 'Role of Women in Family and Community development.' Its convener is Chido Nwangwu, USAfrica's Founder and Publisher. 713-270-5500. Contact: Owen Woghiren (assistant to the Publisher)
FAITH MATTERS
To pray or not pray? By Judith Brown
Anambra's rigged 2003 elections: Chris Uba's confession at WIC 2004 in Newark, USA.
In a matter-of-fact manner, PDP's chieftain in Anambra Chris Uba stood up and astonished all that were present in Newark when he said, "We, the PDP, did not win the election (of 2003). I have gone to church to confess. The election had no document. I called the result before 12 midnight. I gave INEC the money and asked them to call the result." The revelation caused an uproar as well as some applause in the hall. "The person we took his thing is here," Uba said, pointing at Peter Obi (the APGA candidate) who was sitting among the audience, in the back row. There was a thunderous applause as people looked at Peter Obi and some began to call him 'governor.' By Rudolf Okonkwo, special correspondent and columnist for CLASS magazine, USAfrica The Newspaper, Houston and USAfricaonline.com in New Jersey.

Related commentary on corruption and graft in Nigeria:
Vagabonds In Power (VIP). Parts 1 and 2. By USAfricaonline.com contributing editor and columnist Jonathan Elendu
"Obasanjo has ruined this country...." An open letter to Nigeria's President Obasanjo. By Prof. Niyi Osundare:

September 11 terror and the ghost of things to come....

Will the rash of
Ethnic and Religious Violence disrupt Nigeria's effort at Democracy?DEMOCRAZY: Haruna Yerima and Nigeria's depraved National Assembly. By USAfricaonline.com columnist Jonathan Elendu.
How Obasanjo's self-succession charade at his Ota Farm has turned Nigeria to an 'Animal Farm.' By Prof. Mobolaji Aluko
Is Obasanjo ordained by God to rule Nigeria? And, other fallacies. By Prof. Sola Adeyeye

Resignation of Togo's military-installed president Faure Gnassingbe opens more demands, constitutional crises....

INSIGHT: Why Togo Must Say No to Faure. By Jonathan Elendu
Anarchy rules when corruption takes over. By USAfrica editorial board member Ken Okorie
USAfricaonline.com INSIGHT:
Those who eat with Obasanjo....:By Jonathan Elendu, USAfricaonline.com Michigan-based columnist. Click here for full commentary.
SLAVERY AND THE MAKING OF AMERICA is a four-part public television series. USAfrica qualifies the program as vital, recommended viewing.

ACHIEVERS: Kenyan Environmentalist Wangari Maathai winner of the Nobel 2004 Peace Prize. When Wangari Maathai got word she had won the 2004 Nobel Peace Prize, she was campaigning to protect Kenya's forests and distributing food to villagers suffering from drought the same work she's been doing for decades. Maathai was in the countryside just one hill away from her childhood home when told she had won the $1.3 million prize, joining a club that includes Nelson Mandela, Kofi Annan and the Dalai Lama.

The 64-year-old Maathai, the first black African woman to win a Nobel Prize in any category since the awards were first handed out in 1901, gained recent acclaim for a campaign planting 30 million trees to stave off deforestation. "Many of the wars in Africa are fought over natural resources," Maathai told The Associated Press. "Ensuring they are not destroyed is a way of ensuring there is no conflict." Maathai, Kenya's deputy environment minister and a former presidential candidate, has worked for nearly half her life to protect the environment and human rights. During the 1980s and 1990s, she also campaigned against government oppression and founded Kenya's Green Party in 1987. She was repeatedly arrested and beaten for protesting former President Daniel arap Moi's non-progressive environmental policies and human rights record. AP. Click here for details



COUNTERPOINT
Bush, if not Affirmative Action, then what: Reparations? By Dr. Rufus G.W. Sanders
MEDIAWATCH: Style Matters, blacks, Blacks and Journalism. I find it extremely insulting to use lower case 'b' when the reference is to Blacks/African-Americans. Style-wise, it is wrong for the dominant media to continue the imposition of such substantial error of form and content since, the basic color, black, should be in lower case. Some dude will attempt, for the 1000th time to "explain" away why its correct to identify Blacks as "blacks" while the hold as accurate the capitalization of Hispanic, Jewish, or Irish. It does not make sense!
LITERATURE:
Why
CHINUA ACHEBE, the Eagle on the Iroko, is Africa's writer of the century.
POLITICS and POLICY
African Union: Old wine in new skin?
Nigeria: a good country led on the wrong path. By USAfrica editorial board member Ken Okorie
Venatius Ikem, Anambra saga and the confessions of a hypocrite. By Jonathan Elendu

INSIGHT: Why America should halt the genocide in the Sudan.


USAfricaMUSIC: Femi Kuti brings the roof down at Ravinia music festival. By Pamela Mojekwu, Chicago-based contributing editor of USAfricaonline.com and CLASSmagazine Houston

Rise of African migration to U.S embodied by Obama. By Dr. Benjamin Ola Akande
MANDELA turns 91:
Mandela's political trinity: the man, the messiah and the mystique. 


INSIGHT: Lindhs' Mandela comparison is foolish and scandalous.


USAfricaonline.com FORUM: Africa should break World Bank's hold on the continent's economy. By Ejike Okpa II
For President Barack Obama. By Dr. Rufus Sanders

Pan-Africanist: Soul singer and arranger Isaac Hayes, who won Grammy awards and an Oscar for the theme from the 1971 action film "Shaft," died on Sunday August 10, 2008, at age 65. Cherishing "The Black Moses" is a poetic tribute to Isaac Hayes. It's written by Okey Mbonu, an attorney in Maryland and a contributing editor of USAfricaonline.com and CLASSmagazine.

USAfricaBOOK pick: "Destini the Chocolate Princess." A summary from the book publisher says: Women all over the world want to be like Destini - the beautiful, sexy heroine is intelligent, witty, strong, feminine, and caring.  Amidst the evil challenges she faces, and her life in danger without her knowledge, she comes forth triumphant . .  or does she?  What's more, her best friend conspired against her.

Stephan, the sharp, handsome heartthrob, the sort of young man women long for, is courageous and passionate.  He is assailed by obstacles on all sides, and confronts them directly.

Come with us on a journey, through a stirring adventure. Experience tears, laughter, anger and contentment through the pages of Destini -the Chocolate Princess."


Nigeria's foreign debts payments reflect devastating transfer of wealth. By Emeka Chiakwelu
INSIGHT: Obama turns the page of America's history. By Chido Nwangwu.

SOCCER: Nigeria and South Africa host world soccer fests in 2009 and 2010: By Lavinia Mahlangu. Special to USAfrica and CLASSmagazine. It's official! In 2009 and 2010 the world will be treated to a spectacular soccer experience in Africa, as FIFA announced Egypt and Nigeria would host world cup youth soccer tournaments in 2009. FIFA's Executive Committee has agreed that in 2009, Egypt would host the FIFA under 20 World Cup and that Nigeria would host the FIFA under 17 World Cup. The Nigerian government has already submitted the necessary guarantees to FIFA, assuring that it can host a successful event."With South Africa hosting the FIFA Confederations Cup in the same year, it promises to be a busy one for the African continent, but also an extremely exciting one," the world football governing body said on its website.

Both Nigeria and Egypt have hosted FIFA junior events in the past. In 1997 Egypt hosted the U-17 World Cup, with Brazil, inspired by a young Ronaldinho emerging as the winners. Nigeria hosted the U-20 event two years later. This time Spain took the laurels, with many of the stars of the 2006 FIFA World Cup Germany on display, including Esteban Cambiasso, Rafael Marquez, Xavi and the irrepressible Ronaldinho. In 2010, South Africa will host the biggest soccer event of them all, the 2010 FIFA World Cup, set to take place at ten stadia in nine cities across the country.


FLASHPOINT: Why Biafra resonates globally for the Igbo nation. By Prof. Kalu Ogbaa
Prof. Pat Utomi says Nigeria should learn from Obama momemt. A leading scholar on Africa issues and 2007 presidential aspirant in Nigeria, Pat Utomi has said in a statement to USAfricaonline.com that Obama's victory allowed the world to see "the grave irony of (Nigeria's) House of Representatives rejecting the freedom of Information Bill on the day (June 3, 2008) a more open society saw Obama cross the tape of the Democratic Party nomination process."

He argued that "good men and women in Nigeria must arise , draw inspiration from this Obama moment and make our country rise from the ashes of corruption, poverty and mutual distrust into the glorious future that is its potential."


POLITICAL NOTES: What I saw as one of the 20,000 at the Obama 'Yes, We Can' movement live in Houston.
"Houston, I think we've achieved liftoff here..." Before an enthusiastic 20,000 plus audience (inside and around) the Toyota Center in Houston on Tuesday Feb 19, 2008, Senator Barack Obama told Houstonians that his break-away win over Hillary Clinton in the Wisconsin primaries reflected further momentum. In affirmation and appreciation, many chanted Obama's mantra of change, "Yes, we can!" When the impact and dynamics of the Obama movement is explained in textual formats or even on television, it brings only a part of the totality of its socio-political breadth and purpose-driven, evangelistic frenzy. Significantly, more than we have ever seen him before, he laid out more detailed, policy specific offerings to woo voters. Especially, he spoke about changing what he considers the prevailing "disease care" to real "healthcare" while challenging the youths of America to service. The Houston event is especially valuable too, for the fact that there was not teleprompter; minor recourse to his written notes and a direct policy points on such issues covering energy, education, AIDS, jobs in America, NAFTA, AIDS, use of America's armed forces, veterans care, war on terrorism, Iraq and others .

Taking the battle to Clinton and Sen. John McCain, the Republican front-runner who also won Wisconsin, Obama said with his pitch rising and booming through the massive arena: "I opposed this war in 2002. I will bring this war to an end in 2009. It is time to bring our troops home." The Clintons are ratcheting up their negative, sharp "contrasts" campaign which have, thus far, not yeilded votes or better value for the agenda to govern if elected. Rather those tactics and some ill-advised comments especially by former President Bill Clinton in South Carolina have combined to minimize, as polls and reactions and voters show, the Clinton legacy -- especially among African-Americans where Obama is averaging 86% of votes in the primaries.

The debates are expected to get more aggressive as Hillary Clinton says it's all about her "experience" versus what she insists are nothing but Obama's "speeches." As one among the 20,000 who heard some of the substance behind the speeches, more surprises will unfold in Ohio and Texas where the Clintons are positioned as front-runners. Remarkably, I saw several 4 year-olds with their parents, enthusiastic college students and young professionals, hundreds of seniors over 60 years old chanting and throwing their fists into the air in a revivalist fervor and finality of resolve "Yes, We Can", and affirming their shared hopes that the young, impressive candidate Obama will make a difference in their lives, should he become President of the United States. But he cautioned them that "The change we seek is still months and miles away." So true, because a day is a long time in political contention and struggles. By Chido Nwangwu, USAfricaonline.com at the Feb 19, 2008 rally in Houston CLICK here.


ARTS: Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie author of the critically-acclaimed novel 'Half of a Yellow Sun' speaks to USAfrica and CLASSmagazine on her work, life....
One of the world's most creative writers of this generation, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie author of the critically-acclaimed novel 'Half of a Yellow Sun' has been interviewed exclusively by CLASSmagazine and USAfricaonline.com Publisher Chido Nwangwu at the Harvard University.

The award-winning novelist shares her thoughts on writing, inspiration, hopes, her 'permission' from the father of the modern African novel Chinua Achebe and the increasing presence and achievements of young African writers. The interview will also run in the 15th Anniversary August 2008 special edition of the USAfrica-powered CLASSmagazine.


The 'Who Is Obama?' slanderous, malicious screed; a brief response
INSIGHT: Why America should halt the genocide in the Sudan. By Chido Nwangwu, Founder and Publisher of USAfricaonline.com. Certain facts and the continuing, bigoted impudence of Islamic Sudan offer clarity to why the U.S should aggressively halt the genocide and gory events in Africa's largest country. The Sudan has almost 918,000 square miles in size and a war-weary population of 30million. Even as I call for a red line to be drawn against the rag-tag army of Arab-taliban-fascists in Africa and the assorted troops of religio-criminal rapists who have since four decades set upon the southern Christian, indigenous African Sudanese, I agree with Gen. Powell that "America will be a friend to all Africans who seek peace; but we cannot make peace among Africans." He is right. Africans must respect and love each other. Continued here....
Analysts say
Bush's handling of Darfur genocide falls short. By DEB RIECHMANN. May 31, 2007: It has taken President Bush nearly three years to match his impassioned rhetoric about what he decries as genocide in Darfur with tougher U.S. action against some of those blamed for the suffering.When Bush announced sanctions Tuesday, May 29, 2007, advocacy groups and lawmakers wished the president had been harsher and wondered whether it was a case of too little, too late for Darfur. The violence has killed 200,000 people and forced 2.5 million more from their homes since it began in February 2003.... It's not as if the Bush administration has been unaware of the bloodshed in Darfur, The United States has been working on the issue at the U.N. Security Council, and Bush has appointed special envoys to the region. The United States is the world's largest single donor to the people of Darfur, providing more than $1.7 billion in humanitarian and peacekeeping assistance. Still, the administration's steps have not been sufficient to halt the violence in Darfur, an arid region in eastern Africa about the size of Texas. Click here for Full commentary
SPORTS: Emeka Okafor remains a champion on all fronts....

USAfricaonline.com INSIGHT: Nigeria and burden of the fraudulent 2007 elections. By Dr. Chidi Amuta. In the unsettling aftermath of the 2007 general elections, we come face to face with a rather uncanny choice: to accept the outcome of an electoral fraud or allow the nation to degenerate into anarchy. Quite understandably, the thrust of domestic political opinion is today is ranged on both sides of this unwholesome divide. Similarly, international impressions about Nigeria are likely to be coloured by the shadow of those bad elections. FULL commentary here
USAfricaonline.com recommends The New York Times editorial titled: Thousands Died in Africa Yesterday. When a once-in-a-century natural disaster swept away the lives of more than 100,000 poor Asians last December, the developed world opened its hearts and its checkbooks. Yet when it comes to Africa, where hundreds of thousands of poor men, women and children die needlessly each year from preventable diseases, or unnatural disasters like civil wars, much of the developed world seems to have a heart of stone.
















OIL in NIGERIA: Liquid Gold or Petro-Dollars Curse? By Chido Nwangwu
NEWS INVESTIGATION: The Marc Rich Oil Deals in Nigeria. Through an elaborate network of carrots and sticks and a willing army of Nigeria's soldiers and some civilians, controversial global dealer and billionaire Marc Rich, literally and practically, made deals and steals; yes, laughed his way to the banks from crude oil contracts, unpaid millions in oil royalties and false declarations of quantities of crude lifted and exported from Nigeria for almost 25 years. Worse, he lifted Nigeria's oil and shipped same to then embargoed apartheid regime in South Africa. A special News Investigation report for PetroGasWorks by Chido Nwangwu examines the Marc Rich Deals in Nigeria's lucrative oil industry and beyond.
Spain, Terrorism and anti-democratic balderdash. By USAfricaonline.com contributing editor and columnist Jonathan Elendu
Vagabonds In Power
(VIP). Parts 1 and 2. By Jonathan Elendu
REGIONAL CONFLICT: COUNTERPOINT
Aristide cruelly turned his back on his people and promises
Again,
Haitian blood on America's hands. Exclusive USAfricaonline.com commentary by Rufus G.W. Sanders, Ph.D

INSIGHT: Debating Obasanjo's record toward Nigeria's South East and South-South. By Pini Jason
How Obasanjo's self-succession charade at his Ota Farm turned Nigeria to an 'Animal Farm.' By Prof. Mobolaji Aluko
Is Obasanjo endangering Nigeria's democracy? By Ken Kemnagum Okorie
USAfrica The Newspaper voted the "Best Community Newspaper" in the 4th largest city in the U.S., Houston. It is in the Best of Houston 2001 as chosen by the editors and readers of the Houston Press' poll and annual rankings.

HOUSTON's iFest 2008 is spotlighting 'Out of Africa'; announces music lineup including Buddy Guy, The Neville Brothers, The Wailers, Taj Mahal, The National Dance Theater Of Ethiopia, Habib Koite, The Garifuna Collective, and others.

UN Sec Gen Annan criticises Darfur response.
The US has called the crisis genocide, but the UN has not. United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan has criticised the developed world for being too slow to respond to the crisis in Sudan's Darfur region. "We were slow, hesitant, uncaring," Mr Annan said in a BBC interview. He said the international community had "learnt nothing from Rwanda" - a reference to the 1994 genocide there. At least 180,000 have died since 2003 in the western region of Darfur.

More than two million people have been forced from their homes. Human rights groups, the US Congress and the US government say that genocide is taking place. However, a UN team sent to Sudan to investigate concluded that war crimes had been committed, but there had been no intent to commit genocide by the Sudanese government. The UN secretary general was heavily criticised at the time of the Rwandan genocide for failing to take heed of warnings from his staff on the ground.

In the case of Darfur, Mr Annan has made a point of continuing to demand international action and his comments in an interview for the BBC's Panorama programme are the strongest yet, says the BBC's Fergal Keane. Asked by our correspondent whether the judgment on Darfur would be as damning as in the case of Rwanda, Mr Annan replied: "Quite likely". Darfur has become the first case referred by the UN Security Council to the International Criminal Court.


GIANTS OF NOVEMBER: Azikiwe and Achebe.

Zik of Africa: Statesman, Intellectual and Titan of African politics. November 16, 2005 in what could have been his 101st birthday,  may I make this toast to our father, the great and unmatched one. Here, to:

The
Zik of Africa, master of crafty political game-plans, member of a thousand learned associations, eminent alumnus of Howard, Michigan State, Pennsylvania, and Lincoln Universities, founder of University of Nigeria, Nsukka (my alma mater), father of generations, inimitable wordsmith of euphonious diction and oratorical elegance, poet and politician, statesman and living legend, I thank for illuminating my mind, our collective mind.

Even after 101 years, your lineage and works endure. On this your 101st birth date, I rise, again, to propose a toast that  in another 101 years to come,  that the son of my  now 46 months old son Chido Nwangwu II,  (born Feb 12, 2001) by His grace, Chido Nwangwu III,  will also rise to toast to honor you, Zik of Africa, for the plenitude of roles and assorted inspirations you brought to all of us. They will rise to toast to Zik of Africa, as the man who saw tomorrow. Nna anyi  Owelle, nwa Eze Chima, ndeewo!!!
By Chido Nwangwu


Chinua Achebe (born November 16, 1930). Why Chinua Achebe, the Eagle on the Iroko, is Africa's writer of the century. By Chido Nwangwu
AchebeBooks.com: On the books, life and work of our Literary ...Achebe, the eagle on the iroko, our pathfinder, social conscience of millions...
Achebe on oral tradition, juxtapositioning of language and linguistic colonialism. World-famous Nigerian writer Chinua Achebe has said that Africans should not be overly concerned if the long-established tradition of oral storytelling dies out. Achebe, once described by Nelson Mandela as "the writer in whose presence prison walls fell down," told the BBC that he agreed that the art was dying out - but insisted it could be revived "if we decide that the oral story is absolutely necessary." "Oral storytelling was important when I was writing - it may not be important when the next generation is writing," he said. Achebe, who is very critical of colonialism and its aftermath in Africa, explained that he himself writes in English because he is a victim of linguistic colonialism.

But he added that he felt it was important not to "lose sight of the need for our mother tongue." "I hope I have shown it is possible to show respect to English and Igbo together. Chinua Achebe added that "The situation may well develop in the future, in which the different languages of Africa will begin to reassert themselves," he added. "I have made provision for that myself, by writing certain kinds of material in Igbo. For instance, I will insist my poetry is translated back into Igbo while I'm still around."


Why Nigeria and Africa's leaders are leading us to nowhere. By Professor Herbert Ekwe-Ekwe, contributing editor of USAfricaonline.com, author of the highly-acclaimed African Literature in Defence of History: An Essay on Chinua Achebe and a visiting fellow at the London School of Economics.
Zambian president meets opposition over constitution dispute. - Zambian President Levy Mwanawasa and opposition leaders held talks Saturday seeking a solution to the simmering political situation over a draft constitution in the southern African nation. The closed-door meeting, attended by Zambia's main opposition leader Michael Sata, was taking place at the Mulungushi International Centre in the capital to mainly deal with the contentious constitution-making process. "I hope all the leaders will be debate the issues in a sober manner," said justice Frederick Chomba, who is chairing the deliberations, the first of its kind since Mwanawasa began president in 2001.

Political tension has been rising in Zambia over the process of adopting a new constitution with Mwanawasa accused of bulldozing the exercise without consulting major players. The draft constitution calls for reducing the powers of the president, which Mwanawasa has refused to accept. (AFP).


2007 Mothers Day event, honorees network in Houston at USAfrica and CLASS annual banquet. The cream of the African community flew into Houston, Texas, from diffeerent parts of the U.S., Nigeria and the Cameroons for the 2007 Annual MOTHERS' DAY Honors on Saturday May 5, 2007. The honorees for International Educators of the Year were Prof. KAYODE MAKINDE, Vice Chancellor/President of Babcock University, Ogun State, Nigeria; Prof. Mrs. FELINA NWADIKE of Coppin University, Baltimore in Maryland, Mrs. JOSEPHINE 'JOE ARISE' OKORONKWO--ONOR of Southern University of New Orleans; Mrs. IDIAT BABAJIDE as USAfrica Youth Educator of the Year; Dr. PAULINE KWANG and Mrs. BIBIAN MUKORO were honored with the USAfrica Community Leadership award; Ms. SHUNTA FLETCHER got the USAfrica Community Healthcare Facilitator award; Dr. MRS. TINA O'KEHIE is the USAfrica Pioneer Business woman (Chiropractor).

Ms. GERTHA WILLIAMS got the USAfrica Community Health Leadership award; Mrs. CAROLINE OKPARA got the USAfrica Community Business Leadership award while Madam MONICA AZUBIKE bagged the USAfrica Mother of the Year honor for 2007. The awards were primarily presented by Senator Eze Ajoku, Dr. & Mrs. Vincent Nwabeke, USAfrica's Founder Chido Nwangwu, Nze & Dr, Mrs. Chinyere Agi, Edith Okere-Ejiogu, event master of ceremonies was Dr. Chris Ulasi; outstanding DJ for the evening was OJ Jammin' Juice. Event co-sponsor was Moneygram.

CLASS magazine, USAfrica and USAfricaonline.com (characterized by The New York Times as the largest and most influential African-owned, U.S-based multimedia networks). USAfrica was founded in May 2002, in Houston, Texas by television broadcaster and multimedia media executive Chido Nwangwu. Contact e-mail: Class@Classmagazine.tv . USAfrica mailing address: . 8303 SW Freeway, Suite 100, Houston, Texas 77074. Phone: 713-270-5500. Cell direct: 832-45-CHIDO (24436)



Chinua Achebe: Why I rejected Nigeria's 2004 national honors from Obasanjo's government

First and Special to USAfricaonline.com, USAfrica The Newspaper, Houston CLASS magazine and The Black Business Journal

October 15, 2004: The author of the epic, literary masterpiece, 'Things Fall Apart' (written in 1958), social conscience of millions, cultural custodian and elevator, chronicler and essayist, goodwill ambassador and man of progressive rock-ribbed principles, the most translated writer of Black heritage in the world, the Eagle on the Iroko, Professor Chinua Achebe, has taken the extraordinary step of "declining to accept the high honor awarded me in the 2004 Honors List" by Nigeria's president, retired General Olusegun Obasanjo. According to the letter obtained by USAfricaonline.com, USAfrica The Newspaper and CLASS magazine (the first media networks to obtain and publish its content), Achebe pointed to the issues of Nigeria's leaders failing to unite the country's diverse peoples and the what he identified as "the silence, if not connivance, of the Presidency" in the destabilization of parts of Nigeria and state governments by political and business renegades.
Click here for special report by Chido Nwangwu



NIGERIA'S POLITICAL TWISTS and TURNS: Enugu Gov. Chime's election nullified by tribunal; tension mounts: Enugu&emdash;The election petition tribunal in Enugu, on Friday, 18 January 2008, nullified the election of Gov. Sullivan Chime. The nullification was based on the grounds of electoral malpractice, irregularities and non-compliance with the Electoral Act, 2006. In the lead judgment, the Chairman of the tribunal, Justice Samuel Otta, said the petitioners, proved the allegations of malpractice and irregularities at April 2007 election beyond reasonable doubt. The petitioners were the  Rev. Oscar Egwuonwu of the Democratic People's Party (DPP), Mr. Okey Ezea of the Labour Party and Mr. Dubem Onyia of the Action Congress.

Said the chairman: "We are of the humble view that the election of April 14, 2007 in Enugu State was not conducted in compliance with the Electoral Act...We hereby set aside the declaration of the first respondent (Chime) by INEC as the winner of that election." For the Enugu and Igbo communities reactions and political insights, log on to two of the USAfrica-powered e-groups, IgboEvents@yahoogroups.com and Nigeria360@yahoogroups.com. News report, click here


CONFLICT: African Union's failure to end impasse puts Kenya in worse spot. By Mwaura Kimani in Nairobi. Controversy over President Mwai Kibaki's re-election in a December 27 vote triggered bloodletting that displaced over 350,000 people, dented the stable reputation of East Africa's biggest economy and disrupted essential supplies to nearby countries. For a country which is increasingly becoming host to foreign business and political interests, the intervention of international missions is seen as the only key that might unlock what has been a stalled process.

DEBATE: How Black intellectuals let Africa down, and western stereoptypes complicate the rest. By Cedrick Ngalande at the USC, Los Angeles

Nigeria's government opens negotiations with General Electric. Special to USAfricaonline.com. After several complaints about failing to revamp the country's terribly inefficent power supply, President Umaru Musa Yar'Adua has met with officials of the American corporation on January 14, 2008. John Rice, Vice President of GE led a meeting with the government. Nigeria's President noted: "We urgently need this partnership in our effort to develop Nigeria and transform it to be among the twenty top nations in the world by 2020, and we know that GE has the capacity to deliver in this partnership." Nigeria's former president Obasanjo promised and failed to deliver on improving the energy/power infrastructure after 8 years of ruling the country.
Nollywood superstar
Zack Orji wins the 'USAfrica International Actor of the Year'. ZACK ORJI, one of Africa's most versatile actors, has been honored at USAfrica 14th anniversary BEST OF AFRICA banquet with USAfrica's first International Actor of the Year 2006 honors in Houston Houston, Texas, USA. The prestigious award was presented to Zack on behalf of USAfrica by veteran civil rights advocate and U.S Congressman Al Green on Friday May 5, 2006, at the Hilton Towers at Westchase, Houston.

In the prefacing the presentation of the award citation, Chido Nwangwu (Founder & Publisher of USAfrica, USAfricaonline.com, The Black Business Journal, CLASS magazine and AchebeBooks.com) told the dignitaries that "I strongly recommended Zack for this special award of being the first USAfrica International Actor of the Year because it reflects Zack's profound artistic and dramatic versatility, Zack's boundless commitment to professionalism, and for being, in very sense, our true ambassador of excellence. He's our own Eddie Murphy and Will Smith, and more. Zack is bilingual in French and English. He is internationalist in outlook. Zack, we're all very proud of you, and we'll push your creative work across the entire networks of USAfrica and other platforms here in the U.S, and beyond."

Immediately, a standing ovation was given Zack by the professionals, creme d'le creme of the African, African-Americans and other Americans at the annual banquet from different sections of the U.S., Nigeria and parts of Africa.

In accepting the international honor, Zack said "I'm humbled by this major recognition. I'm very appreciative of being honored by USAfrica and all of you here in Houston. I thank you for this special recognition, for your support and your kind gestures." FULL report here



MENTORS: Oprah opens South African school for disadvantaged girls; Mandela thanks her, again....

Special to USAfrica, USAfricaonline.com, CLASS magazine

Former South African president Nelson Mandela hailed talk show host Oprah Winfrey as a benefactor to the disadvantaged as she opened a girls' school near Johannesburg on Tuesday, January 2, 2007.

The Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls in Henley-on-Klip, South Africa, was built with a $40-million US donation by Winfrey. Winfrey took a hand in every stage of the school's development, from design of the campus to selection of the 152 students. "I wanted to give this opportunity to girls who had a light so bright that not even poverty could dim that light," Winfrey said.

The opening was attended by singers Tina Turner, Mary J. Blige and Mariah Carey, actors Sidney Poitier, Chris Rock, and Chris Tucker, director Spike Lee and former president Nelson Mandela. Winfrey promised Mandela six years ago that she would create the school. In pix, U.S. talk show host Oprah Winfrey and students at her Leadership Academy for Girls cut the ribbon to open the school (Denis Farell/Associated Press).

"This is a lady that has, despite her own disadvantaged background, become one of the benefactors of the disadvantaged throughout the world," Mandela said.

Winfrey said she hoped she could "change the face of a nation" by offering a quality education to girls who are raised in poverty. Winfrey made a promise to build the school six years ago to Nelson Mandela, former president of South Africa, shown here in 2003. In remarks at the gala opening, she referred frequently to her own disadvantaged background. "I was a poor girl who grew up with my grandmother, like so many of these girls, with no water and electricity," said the host of the influential Oprah Winfrey Show. She said she planned a second school for boys and girls in the eastern province of KwaZulu-Natal.


TRIBUTE: Happy 79th Birthday to our Mother, the grand dame Oyibo Odinamadu (born Jan 2, 1928). By Chido Nwangwu.
USAfrica COMMUNITY: Moneygram Donates N1m to Kanu Heart Foundation in Nigeria. Special to USAfricaonline.com and CLASSmagazine, Houston: MoneyGram, a leading provider of money transfer services, has donated N1 million (approximately $7,800 U.S. dollars) to the Kanu Heart Foundation (KHF) in Nigeria.

The foundation established 6 years by international soccer star Kanu Nwankwo helps children with defective hearts live longer by offering them free heart surgeries abroad. MoneyGram's Country Director in Nigeria, Joke Giwa, presented the donation to KHF Coordinator, Onyebuchi Abia. Giwa commended KHF for its mission to help so many needy Nigerian families with children with heart problems.

The foundation has provided open-heart surgeries for 254 children, and 2,000 are still on the waiting list. Abia called on other companies to emulate the kind gesture of MoneyGram by donating to KHF so many more children with defective hearts could be given a chance to live longer and more productive lives. Click here for more reports


USAfricaonline.com DEMOCRACY WATCH: Peter Obi takes charge as Governor of Anambra State of Nigeria; following court affirmation of his 2003 electoral victory. Businessman and financial expert Peter Obi, affirmed only a few days ago as governor-elect of Anambra State of Nigeria, has been sworn in March 17, 2006 at the Alex Ekwueme Square, Awka, following the ruling by courts that he won the 2003 governorship elections. He belongs to the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA). Related, USAfricaonline.com background report: Anambra's rigged 2003 elections: Chris Uba's confession at WIC 2004 in Newark, USA
www.PhotoWorks.Tv : Our community's digital domain for your pictures and special events
African Leaders Offered $5 Million Prize: Mo Ibrahim, a 60-year-old Sudanese-born billionaire who made his money in the cellphone business, has announced the creation of what he called the world's biggest individual prize &emdash; $5 million, spread over 10 years, for the African president who on leaving office has demonstrated the greatest commitment to democracy and good governance. "We must face the reality," Mr. Ibrahim said, referring to Africa's leadership record. "Everything starts by admitting the truth: we failed. I'm not proud at all. I'm ashamed. We really need to resolve the problem and the problem, in our view, is bad leadership and bad governance."
USAfricaonline.com MoneyWatch: Mobile phone prospects attract more investments to Ghana. By Amos Safo in Accra

A new Sultan of Sokoto, the spiritual leader of Nigeria's 70m Muslims, has been announced. He is Colonel Sa'ad Abubakar, 53, brother of Sultan Mohammadu Maccido, who was killed in a plane crash on Sunday, along with 95 others. Col Abubakar until recently served as Nigeria's military attache to Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and Afghanistan.
$300 Billion Lost to Bribery in Regional Contracts in East Africa. Rampant corruption in the construction and electrification sector costs at least $300 billion a year and undermines sustainable development, according to Transparency International (TI), the leading global anti -corruption organization. According to a release early July, TI chose to concentrate on the construction, electrification sector because of the size, complexity and potentially huge costs of large construction, electrification projects in the region.

The organization established that not only is there fierce competition for major contracts in the region, but the need for multiple approvals and permits that leaves the process open to abuse. The TI report adds that between US$3 trillion and US$4 trillion are spent on construction procurement annually and TI estimates that about 10% of the total is wasted through bribery and corruption. By Jumah Ssenyonga & Henry M. Lule, The New Times (Kigali)


Counterpoint: Why Nigeria and Africa's leaders are leading them nowhere. By Professor Herbert Ekwe-Ekwe, contributing editor of USAfricaonline.com
U.S. expands support to fight terrorism in Africa, with $100 million each year. The plan and action will bring together military staff from nine participating countries for medical training and command-post exercises, drawn and focused on: Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Senegal, Mali, Niger, Mauritania, Chad and Nigeria Blair stands up for Africa. A new effort outlined Wednesday in a statement from the U.S. Embassy in Senegal proposes spending $100 million a year over five years to boost security in some of the world's least-policed areas, starting with a joint military exercise in the region next month.

An earlier anti-terror exercise with a budget of just $6 million focused on troop training in four west African nations. The new campaign will target nine north and west African nations and seek to bolster regional cooperation Analysts were waiting to see if the program would be fully funded &emdash; but said the intended budgetary increase shows the United States is taking West Africa more seriously.



INTERVIEW: 'Nigeria needs a democratic system guided by the truth....' Senator Francis J. Ellah, the Eze Nwadei Ogbuehi of Ogba in Rivers state of Nigeria. He is a highly regarded elder statesman with outstanding political credentials and a former Second Republic Senator and a delegate to Nigeria's ongoing national political reforms conference in Abuja.
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CHUBA OKADIGBO: A big tree has fallen (1941-2003). On September 25, 2003, Philosopher, scholar, strategist, wordsmith, publisher, activist, orator, traditionalist (Oyi of Oyi) and former President of the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria passed on at 61. Chuba told me in an interview during the 2002 World Igbo Congress in Houston that "Nigeria's President Obasanjo is sorely lacking in the mannerisms of running a democratic government. We fell out because I insisted and worked constitutionally on the principle of separation powers. He believe he owns the government. He's a soldier and acts like one. But this is a democracy." He fell out with Obasanjo and the party, PDP, and said the following in Nigeria "Now, the Nigerian polity is sick of second term syndrome, a threatening political cancer. Sadly, I must say that the PDP, which had been a big party of the people, is fast becoming a problem party for Obasanjo and his associates, which is run by his sycophantic cronies. They now lie prostrate in the trauma wing of a political hospital. Some good persons have been trying to nurse the PDP back to good health. But Obasanjo and his cronies are unwilling to let go, due to their 'second term' mania. So, what next? We all know that nothing succeeds like failure...." Excerpts from the exclusive tribute-profile written a few days after his death in 2003 by USAfricaonline.com Founder Chido Nwangwu
Nigeria's Senate prez Wabara's face ignominous fall
USAfricaonline.com recommends The New York Times editorial of February 27, 2005: Thousands Died in Africa Yesterday. When a once-in-a-century natural disaster swept away the lives of more than 100,000 poor Asians last December, the developed world opened its hearts and its checkbooks. Yet when it comes to Africa, where hundreds of thousands of poor men, women and children die needlessly each year from preventable diseases, or unnatural disasters like civil wars, much of the developed world seems to have a heart of stone.

Not every African state is failing. Most are not. But the continent's most troubled regions - including Somalia and Sudan in the east, Congo in the center, Zimbabwe in the south and Ivory Coast, Liberia and Sierra Leone in the west - challenge not only our common humanity, but global security as well. The lethal combination of corrupt or destructive leaders, porous and unmonitored borders and rootless or hopeless young men has made some of these regions incubators of international terrorism and contagious diseases like AIDS. Others are sanctuaries for swindlers and drug traffickers whose victims can be found throughout the world. In many of these places, poverty and unemployment and the desperation they spawn leave young men vulnerable to the lure of terrorist organizations, which, beyond offering two meals a day, also provide a target to vent their anger at rich societies, which they are led to believe view them with condescension and treat them with contempt. Training camps for Islamic extremists are now thought to be sprouting like anthills on the savanna.... One hundred years ago, before we had the medical know-how to eradicate these illnesses, this might have been acceptable. But we are the first generation able to afford to end poverty and the diseases it spawns. It's past time we step up to the plate. We are all responsible for choosing to view the tsunami victims in Southeast Asia as more deserving of our help than the malaria victims in Africa. Jeffrey Sachs, the economist who heads the United Nations' Millennium Development Project to end global poverty, rightly takes issue with the press in his book "The End of Poverty": "Every morning," Mr. Sachs writes, "our newspapers could report, 'More than 20,000 people perished yesterday of extreme poverty.' "

So, on this page, we'd like to make a first step. Yesterday, more than 20,000 people perished of extreme poverty. Click here for full text



NIGERIA'S SENATE PRESIDENT NNAMANI: ELECTIONS RESULTS "BEING PREDETERMINED...." Nigeria's Senate President Ken Nnamani, a key member of the ruling PDP in his home state of Enugu for the elections said on television that "Many of us have not voted and we have no chance of voting...Any person being declared a winner as far as Enugu is concerned has no mandate of anybody. People believe that the result has already being predetermined." He is Nigeria's number 3 person in order of succession. He has fallen out recently with Nigeria's president Olusegun Obasanjo particularly on the controversial Petroleum Tax Development Fund (PTDF) on which issue a properly constituted Senate committee indicted Obasanjo and his embattled deputy Atiku Abubakar over wrong-doings in the management of the fund. Click here for USAfrica's special news feature report.
: Nigerians Voting make progress amidst familiar problems; INEC extend voting hours as late starts, missing ballot boxes, and violence affect Nigeria's April 14 elections; especially in the south, southwest; 7 police officers killed in Port Harcourt; voting booths and INEC office burnt in north; 17 dead across the states. Nigeria's latest march into another transition is making progress but beset with familiar problems in some constituencies. Hence, the INEC extended voting hours against the harsh realities of late starts, missing voters registers and ballot boxes.

Overall, USAfricaonline.com and CLASSmagazine reporters inside Nigeria are reporting that the elections are progressing with thousands if not more disenfranchised due to INEC's logistical problems, the actual acts of partisan political violence and threats of violence. The killing in a mosque of a radical Islamic cleric has left some tension around the voting and politics. Click here for USAfrica's special news feature report. Nigeria's 2007 elections: progress with familiar problems....


"Obasanjo does not interfere with my job as INEC chair" Only in USAfricaonline.com and CLASSmagazine: USAfrica Publisher Chido Nwangwu's EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW with INEC CHAIRMAN Prof. Maurice Iwu in Abuja, Nigeria.
We cover the controversial issues of the debate over INEC's preparedness and logistics capabilities for the April 2007 elections, alleged influence of President Obasanjo on Iwu and an exchange between the two (and the president' daughter, PDP senate candidate Iyabo-Obasanjo-Bello).

He breaks his silence on the latest technical disqualifications and court cases of Nigeria's VP Atiku and INEC's roles, Peter Obi and Chris Ngige's disqualifications for Anambra governorship, Iwu's relationship with Anambra's PDP Governorship aspirant, Andy Uba. Prof. Plus, Prof. Iwu also speaks on how he would like to be remembered after the 2007 elections and the controversies which typically follow his job as elections chief in Nigeria, a country of almost 110 million people....
The first text and photo excerpts of this exclusive interview appear here at USAfricaonline.com. Only in USAfrica and CLASSmagazine.



VIEWPOINT: Things I should have said. This is my 100th article for the USAfrica MultiMedia Networks, Houston. I felt the best way to celebrate this milestone is to talk about things I should have commented on, but for some reason did not. Although, first I would like to say that being a columnist for USAfrica publications have been a very rewarding experience, intellectually and otherwise. By Jonathan Elendu
DEMOCRACY WATCH: Obasanjo rapes Nigeria's constitution by suspending Plateau Assembly and Governor. Prof. By BEN NWABUEZE, leading constitutional scholar for almost 45 years, former federal minister and SAN.
Obasanjo's own challenge is to imbibe "democratic spirit and practice," By Prof. Ibiyinka Solarin
Is Obasanjo really up to Nigeria's challenge and crises? By USAfrica The Newspaper editorial board member, attorney Ken Okorie.

USAfricaonline.com, the first African-owned, U.S.-based professional newspaper to be published on the internet, contains excerpts from USAfrica The Newspaper and other content written exclusively for this web site. USAfrica The Newspaper, published since May 11, 1994 on the 2nd and 4th Wednesday of every month, is the highest-circulation newspaper serving the rapidly growing, vibrant community and business demographic mix of immigrant Africans, African-Americans and other Americans.

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