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



Transcript CNN International interview with Nigeria's President Obasanjo and USAfricaonline.com Publisher Chido Nwangwu on Democracy and Security Issues


Age and lying about one's age in the Nigerian workforce

Exclusive commentary for USAfrica The Newspaper, Houston, CLASS magazine
USAfricaonline.com and The Black Business Journal

By KC PRINCE ASAGWARA, Ph.D

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.

I made known to him my disappointment at his action but informed him that in Canada where he wanted to immigrate, age limit at the entry point in the workforce is not asked in application forms nor during job interviews. I told him that qualification, experience and skills gained to do the job are the qualifying criteria.

Evidently, the issues arising from members of the Nigerian workforce of lying about age(s) or presenting false declaration of their ages, especially, in employment related situations deserve further scrutiny. It has, since, become a sociological malady.

There was a time the Nigerian workforce, particularly, the civil service was among the best in terms of dedication and commitment to the delivery of public service among the Commonwealth countries. This was before the Mohammed/Obasanjo military regime that rule Nigeria from 1975 to 1979. For all his alleged greatness as a no-nonsense and decisive military Head of State, Murtala Mohammed began the process that compromised and destroyed integrity, dedication, commitment and probity in the Nigerian Civil Service. When the Mohammed/Obasanjo military regime came into office in 1975, most middle and senior levels civil servants were adjudged incorrectly, as incompetent, corrupt or out of touch with the times. That regime embarked on unplanned and indiscriminate retirement exercise that created till today, a disorganized and nervous civil service whereby anyone in a position to steal and loot, lie and cheat just does that, due to the uncertainty in staying employed till the next day.

The military regime of retired Gen. Ibrahim Babangida compounded the situation by introducing retirement at age 55 or after 25 years of service. The sad effect is that those that are due for retirement continuously, doctor or present false age declarations to remain employed. The policy of retirement at age 55 was one of the IMF/World Bank Structural Adjustment Program (SAP) economic prescriptions. The irony is that in the Western countries, no one is forced to retire at or after 55 years of age. Rather retirement at 55 years or shortly thereafter, is a rich financial package and benefits offered to encourage those who choose this option. Only a handful does so.

Most retire voluntarily at 65 years old or thereafter. For instance, in 1987, a female professor at the University of Manitoba was compulsorily retired after 65 years. She challenged her retirement in the court of law as an act of age discrimination under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. She won her right to stay employed and not be forced to retire because of age. The irony is that a year later, she retired. I guess she wanted to make a point.

A case similar to the above is currently being played out at the University of Winnipeg. Here a 75-year-old professor who was forcefully retired is challenging his retirement in the court, asserting his rights and freedom to stay employed as long as his health carries him and as guaranteed him in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Given the precedent set in the University of Manitoba case, he will likely win his case.

Under normal times, whether in Nigeria or Canada, no one wants to work till they are ready for the walking stick. The Nigerian employee hangs on to their jobs and lies about his/her age because of the dread of life after retirement. The reason is, if the employed is not paid regularly and sometimes owed months of salary arrears, imagine his/her lot on retirement. We are constantly reading and seeing the thousands of retired Nigerian workers who are entitled to pension benefits but have received nothing several years after retirement. Some have died trying to collect their pension benefits. Part of the destructive net effect of military rule in Nigeria was the bankrupting of the National Provident Fund (NPF) that used to handle pension/benefit payments to retirees in Nigeria.

In a country so much blessed by God with resources, any Nigerian of work age and eligible for the workforce ought to be gainfully employed. The older employees 55 or more do not have to be pushed out of jobs for the youths to be employed. If the nation's money stolen and stashed away in the foreign banks by the corrupt ministers and other functionaries of government over the years had been used to build industries and infrastructures, both young and old would be employed and no one would be forced to give way to the other in the Nigerian workforce.

 

2006 CALENDAR, FRIDAY May 5, AND SATURDAY MAY 6, 2006: 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), will hold the USAfrica 14th internationally-acclaimed 2006 BEST OF AFRICA awards dinner in honor of African professionals and our annual Mothers' Day Honors on FRIDAY MAY 5 and on SATURDAY MAY 6, 2006. Nominate some African professionals and community builders. E-mail: Class@Classmagazine.tv. It will be an invitation-only event. The open annual international townhall meeting, USAfrica Forum, will hold on Friday May 5, 2006. USAfrica was founded in May 1992, in Houston, Texas by television broadcaster and multimedia media executive Chido Nwangwu. Contact USAfrica/CLASS event manager Alverna Johnson and Chuck Obazei at 713-270-5500. or 832-45-CHIDO (24436) - E-mail: Class@Classmagazine.tv


The sit tight mentality and doctor your age syndrome in the Nigerian workforce is because jobs are scarce, and no government, since 1970 when the Civil War ended till date, has seen the need to build industries. Every government that has ruled or governed Nigeria since the 1970s derived stupendous amount of money from oil revenue. Rather than used the oil revenue to diversify the economy, government after the other squandered the nation's wealth on one frivolous, unsustainable white elephant project or the other. Gowon's military regime initiated the World Festival of Arts and Culture before he was thrown out in 1975. And the Mohammed/Obasanjo regime that succeeded him executed it in 1977 with no lasting economic benefit for the country. Between the two regimes, not a single industry was built.

The Shehu Shagari civilian government that succeeded the Obasanjo regime in 1979 wallowed in corruption for four years without building any industry before it was booted out in 1983 by Buhari/Idiagbon military regime. Two years later (1985), another group of coupists led by Ibrahim Babangida kicked out the Buhari/Idiagbon regime. The Babangida regime ruled Nigeria for solid 8 years. His only lasting legacy and to his eternal shame is that he elevated corruption to national pass time. Babangida and his regime of treasury looters did not build a single industry before being forced out of office in 1993.

Abacha's regime that followed that of Babangida was equally enmeshed in corruption and a complete waste in terms of economic development. Nigeria returned to democratic system of government in 1999, and Obasanjo was elected the first civilian President after sixteen years of military rule. He has ended his 6th year in office without building a single industry. His remaining two years would likely end the same way. Had the recently uncovered $500 billion stolen in the past four decades by Nigeria's corrupt rulers been used to build a few industries capable of absorbing Nigerians willing to work and capable of productive services, the incidents of doctoring and lying about one's age to remain employed would be uncommon.

The fault really, is not in the Nigeria worker who may doctor and lie about his/her age to remain employed but rather with a country incapable of producing leaders that see governance as a privilege to serve the public. And believe in the use of government's power to make life better for the people. For a country as rich as Nigeria, it is to her eternal shame that those who served their country for years and retired live out the remaining years of their lives in penury and want. And those who reach retirement age continue to doctor and falsify their ages for fear of retiring and facing the adversarial economic hardship confronting their retired colleagues.

For the number of years that I have worked in Canada, were I to retire now, I will live a happy, relatively young pensioner. I believe that the retired Nigerian could live in similar situation, if Nigeria were not cursed with military rulers and political leaders from hell.

Dr. Asagwara is Canada-based contributing editor of USAfricaonline.com and CLASS magazine and global e-list IgboEvents. He wrote this essay exclusively for the USAfrica multimedia networks


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. It is published by professional journalists and leading mulitmedia leaders and pioneers.



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Why Chinua Achebe, the Eagle on the Iroko, is Africa's writer of the century. By Chido Nwangwu

Summary: Africa's most acclaimed and fluent writer of the English Language, the most translated writer of Black heritage in the world, broadcaster extraordinaire, social conscience of millions, cultural

custodian and elevator, chronicler and essayist, goodwill ambassador and man of progressive rock-ribbed principles, the Eagle on the Iroko, Ugo n'abo Professor Chinua Achebe, has recently been selected by a distinguished jury of scholars and critics (from 13 countries of African life and literature) as the writer of the Best book (Things Fall Apart, 1958) written in the twentieth century regarding Africa. Reasonably, Achebe's message has been neither dimmed nor dulled by time and clime. He's our pathfinder, the intellectual godfather of millions of Africans and lovers of the fine art of good writing. Achebe's cultural contexts are, at once, pan-African, globalist and local; hence, his literary contextualizations soar beyond the confines of Umuofia and any Igbo or Nigerian setting of his creative imagination or historical recall. His globalist underpinnings and outlook are truly reflective of the true essence of his Igbo world-view, his Igbo upbringing and disposition. Igbos and Jews share (with a few other other cultures) this pan-global disposition to issues of art, life, commerce, juridical pursuits, and quest to be republicanist in terms of the vitality of the individual/self. In Achebe's works, the centrality of Chi (God) attains an additional clarity in the Igbo cosmology... it is a world which prefers a quasi-capitalistic business attitude while taking due cognizance of the usefulness of the whole, the community. I've studied, lived and tried to better understand, essentially, the rigor and towering moral certainties which Achebe have employed in most of his works and his world. I know, among other reasons, because I share the same ancestry with him. Permit me to attempt a brief sentence, with that Achebean simplicty and clarity. Here, folks, what the world has known since 1958: Achebe is good! Eagle on the Iroko, may your Lineage endure! There has never been one like you!

Why Bush should focus on dangers facing Nigeria's return to democracy and Obasanjo's slipperyslide. By Chido Nwangwu


INSIGHT: Destruction of property and human massacres are always traumatic events in a community, saddening and enraging, but the organizers of the beauty contest, as well as the participants, must understand that they are totally free of guilt. The guilty are the storm troopers of intolerance, the manipulators of feeble-minded but murderous hordes of fanaticism. By Prof. Wole Soyinka

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

 

 


USAfricaonline LITERATURE
Why Chinua Achebe, the Eagle on the Iroko, is Africa's writer of the century.
Achebe, scholar, social conscience, cultural historian and globally-acclaimed writer, has been a significant and binding source for an engaging understanding of African pre-colonial, colonial and post-colonial history and realities. I believe that such insight has made him a favorite of African-Americans, and other scholars and regular folks in search of a better, realistic understanding of Africa, at least, from Achebe's utilization of his rich and dynamic Igbo ancestry, in south eastern Nigeria. I share the same ancestry, and he's one of my mentors.
By Chido Nwangwu. Click here for commentary
Chinua Achebe returns "home" from U.S., to love and adulation of community.
Exclusive USAfricaonline.com tribute: Since 1958, Achebe's "Things Fall Apart" set a standard of artistic excellence, and more. We met in person at the first conference on Commonwealth Literature, organized by Professor An Jeffares at Leeds University in 1964. We met again in Lagos, later, the same year. We met again at the Canadian Association of Commonwealth Literature conference in Toronto in 1973. By Douglas Killam
Chinua Achebe: A Literary Diaspora Toasts One of Its Own. By Somini Sengupta

POLICY
A trial of two cities and struggle for justice. By Jack E. White, an essay by Time magazine columnist for USAfricaonline.com

COMMUNITY INTEREST
Johnnie Cochran will soon learn that defending Abacha's loot is not as simple as the O.J Simpson case. By Chido Nwangwu
A
Lott of Racism?
Implications of
Obasanjo's late wake up to the challenges of Sharia in Nigeria. By Ken Okorie
Osama bin-Laden's goons threaten Nigeria and Africa's stability. By Chido Nwangwu
What has Africa to do with September 11 terror? By Chido Nwangwu
Reflections on
September 11. By Jonathan Elendu
And the Rocks Cried Out (For Safiyatu). By Effenus Henderson
DEMOCRACY'S WARRIOR Out of Africa. The cock that crows in the morning belongs to one household but his voice is the property of the neighborhood. -- Chinua Achebe, Anthills of the Savannah. An editor carries on his crusade against public corruption and press censorship in his native Nigeria and other African countries. By John Suval.
Pope John Paul, Abacha and Nigeria's Christians
DIPLOMACY
Walter Carrington: An African-American diplomat puts principles above self for Nigeria. USAfricaonline.com Founder Chido Nwangwu with the U.S. former Ambassador Carrington (right) at the U.S. embassy in Lagos during a courtesy visit.

HISTORICAL INSIGHT
Biafra-Nigeria war and history get fresh, critical look from a survivor. By Alverna Johnson and Vivian Okeke.


  'Biafra: History Without Mercy' - a preliminary note. By Chido Nwangwu
ODUMEGWU EMEKA
OJUKWU:"It was simply a choice between Biafra and enslavement! And, here's why we chose Biafra"
Biafra: From Boys to Men. By Dr. M.O. Ene

African Union: Old wine in new skin?
Sharia, Sex and hypocrisy of Gendered Justice. By Chika Unigwe, columnist for USAfricaonline.com
And the Rocks Cried Out (For Safiyatu). By Effenus Henderson
NEWS INVESTIGATION: The Marc Rich Oil Deals in Nigeria


Should Africa debates begin and end at The New York Times and The Washington Post? No
AFRICA AND THE U.S. ELECTIONS Beyond U.S. electoral shenanigans, rewards and dynamics of a democratic republic hold lessons for African politics.
Osama bin-Laden's goons threaten Nigeria and Africa's stability
What has Africa to do with September 11 terror?
Africans reported dead in terrorist attack at WTC
September 11 terror and the ghost of things to come....
Arafat's duplicity, terrorism at the heart of Israeli-Palestinian crises. By Barry Rubin
Will religious conflicts be the time-bomb for Nigeria's latest transition to civilian rule?
Johnnie Cochran will soon learn that defending Abacha's loot is not as simple as his O.J Simpson's case. By Chido Nwangwu
Should Africa debates begin and end at The New York Times and The Washington Post? No
Nelson Mandela, Tribute to the world's political superstar and Lion of Africa 
Winnie Madikizela-Mandela's burden mounts with murder charges, trials
Conflicting emotions, feeling of disappointment, timing of revelation that Rev. Jackson fathered a child with former aide lead to charges of "right-wing orchestration."

Nigeria's Presidential Election: Is it just for the Highest Bidder?

Nigeria at 40: punish financial thuggery, build domestic infrastructure
Is Obasanjo really up to Nigeria's challenge and crises? By USAfricaonline.com contributing editor Ken Okorie. Commentary appears from NigeriaCentral.com

Africa suffers the scourge of the virus. This life and pain of Kgomotso Mahlangu, a five-month-old AIDS patient (left) in a hospital in the Kalafong township near Pretoria, South Africa, on October 26, 1999, brings a certain, frightening reality to the sweeping and devastating destruction of human beings who form the core of any definition of a country's future, its national security, actual and potential economic development and internal markets.
22 million Africans HIV-infected, ill with AIDS while African leaders ignore disaster-in-waiting

Wong is wrong on Blacks in Houston city jobs
Why is 4-year old Onyedika carrying a placard against killings in Nigeria?
How Nigeria's Islamic Sharia crises will affect the U.S.
USAfrica INTERVIEW "Why African Catholics are concerned about crises, sex abuse issues in our church" - a frank chat with ICCO's Mike Umeorah
Johnnie Cochran will soon learn that defending Abacha's loot is not as simple as his O.J Simpson's case. By Chido Nwangwu The Economics of Elections in Nigeria
HUMAN RIGHTS AND DEMOCRACY How far, how deep will Nigeria's human rights commission go?
Rtd. Gen. Babangida trip as emissary for Nigeria's Obasanjo to Sudan raises curiosity, questions about what next in power play?
COUNTERPOINT 'Why is Bill Maher spreading racist nonsense about HIV/AIDS and Africa on ABC?
Hate groups' spin by Lamar Alexander benefits anti-Blacks, anti-Semites, and racists
Annan, power and burden of the U.N
The Civilianizing of African soldiers into Presidents
At 39, Nigerians still face dishonest stereotypes such as Buckley's, and other self-inflicted wounds.
JFK Jr.: Death of a Good Son
'Why is Bill Maher spreading racist nonsense about HIV/AIDS and Africa on ABC?
National
Summit on Africa, Congresswoman Jackson-Lee hold policy forum in Houston
'100 Black Men are solutions-oriented' says Thomas Dortch, Jr., Richard Johnson and Nick Clayton II as they share perspectives with USAfrica's founder on the national
organization.
Community Service Awards bring African-American, American
policy and business leaders together with African community at Texas Southern University
110 minutes with Hakeem Olajuwon
Cheryl Mills' first class defense of Clinton and her detractors' game 
Nigeria, Cry My Beloved Country


BULLET Versus BALLOT The bloody stain of military coup, on Friday December 24, 1999, sullied the once unique history of democratic rule in the beautiful and historically democratic, French-speaking west African country of Cote d'Ivoire (Ivory Coast) by General Robert Guei (inset). USAfricaonline report and commentary.
COMMUNITY INTEREST Why the revisionist forces of racist oppression in South Africa should not be allowed to intimidate Ron and Charlayne Gault.

Index of Founder's Notes (1)

Index of Founder's Notes (2)

Index of other Viewpoints USAfricaonline contributors and columnists on the issues


Will the rash of Ethnic Violence disrupt Nigeria's effort at Democracy?
USAfrica FORUM
IN THE HOUSE OF MANDELA: A SILLY CRY FOR REPARATIONS By Prof. Chimalum Nwankwo
Nigerian stabbed to death in his bathroom in Houston.
EndGame in Kinshasa: U.S must boot Mobutu for own interest, future of Zaire and Africa
Seriously, is your web site a Turkey, too? Get Solutions
PetroGasWorks Shell picks Leslie Mays as VP Global Diversity
Why Powell's mission to the Middle East failed. By Jonathan Elendu
TRANSITION
General Tunde Idiagbon:  A nationalist, an iron-surgeon departs
Abiola's sudden death and the ghost of things to come  
Gen. Shehu Musa Yar'Adua's prison death, Nigeria and The Ghost of Things to come ..... 

USAfricaonline.com INSIGHT:
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
Obasanjo was not sworn in merely to
"mean well" for Nigeria. By Obi Nwakanma

Obasanjo's 'prayers' and the Abacha path of staying in power. By Nkem Ekeopara
Creative writing, publishing and the future of
Nigerian Literature. By Prof. Chukwuemeka Ike
APPRECIATION
A young father writes his One year old son: "If only my heart had a voice...."
Nigeria, a terrible beauty. By Chido Nwangwu
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.

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.

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 special as chosen by the editors and readers of the Houston Press, reflecting their poll and annual rankings.
DEMOCRACY WATCH: Obasanjo raped Nigeria's constitution by suspending Plateau Assembly and Governor. Prof. By Prof. Ben Nwabueze, leading constitutional scholar in the Commonwealth for almost 45 years, former Nigerian federal minister and SAN.
OIL in NIGERIA: Liquid Gold or Petro-Dollars Curse?
Investigating Marc Rich and his deals with Nigeria's Oil
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. Read Chido Nwangwu's NEWS INVESTIGATION REPORT for PetroGasWorks.com
MEDIAWATCH
Should Africa debates begin and end at The New York Times and The Washington Post?
Nelson Mandela, Tribute to the world's political superstar and Lion of Africa  
TRIBUTE
Nnamdi Azikiwe: Statesman, Intellectual and Titan of African politics

CONTINENTAL AGENDA

Bush's position on Africa is "ill-advised." The position stated by Republican presidential aspirant and Governor of Texas, George Bush where he said that "Africa will not be an area of priority" in his presidency has been questioned by USAfricaonline.com Publisher Chido Nwangwu. He added that Bush's "pre-election position was neither validated by the economic exchanges nor geo-strategic interests of our two continents." These views were stated during an interview CNN's anchor Bernard Shaw and senior analyst Jeff Greenfield had with Mr. Nwangwu on Saturday November 18, 2000 during a special edition of 'Inside Politics 2000.' Nwangwu, adviser to the Mayor of Houston (the 4th largest city in the U.S., and immigrant home to thousands of Africans) argued further that "the issues of the heritage interests of 35 million African-Americans in Africa, the volume and value of oil business between between the U.S and Nigeria and the horrendous AIDS crisis in Africa do not lend any basis for Governor Bush's ill-advised position which removes Africa from fair consideration" were he to be elected president. By Al Johnson
ARTS
The Life and Irreverent times of Afrobeat superstar, FELA

 

 

PANAFRICANIST
Tanzania's founding president Julius Nyerere    

 


ELECTIONS
Gigolos on the Campaign Trail. By Prof. Walt Brasch
Can Africa live a future without war? An Open Letter to Mandela. By Fubara David-West
Sex, Women and (Hu)Woman Rights. By Chika Unigwe

Abati's Revisionisms and Distortions of history. By Obi Nwakanma, USAfrica The Newspaper contributing editor and award-winning poet
Reuben Abati's fallacies on Nigeria's history and secession. By Bayo Arowolaju
How Abati, Adelaja and others fuel the campaign of hatred against Ndigbo. By Jonas Okwara
"Obasanjo, secession and the
secessionists": A response to Reuben Abati's Igbophobia. By Josh Arinze, USAfricaonline.com contributing editor.
Abati and other
anti-Igbo bigots in Nigeria. By Chuks Iloegbunam, USAfricaonline.com contributing editor and author of Ironsi

DEMOCRACY DEBATE
CNN International debate on Nigeria's democracy was livecast on February 19, 2002. It involved Nigeria's Information Minister Prof. Jerry Gana, Prof. Salih Booker and USAfricaonline.com Publisher Chido Nwangwu. Transcripts are available on the CNN International site.

WILL ARINZE BE THE FIRST POPE of RECENT AFRICAN ORIGIN? To our Brother Cardinal Arinze: May your pastoral lineage endure!

The Democratic Party stood for nothing in 2002 election cycle. By Jonathan Elendu

HEALTHWATCH
EVA champions efforts to combat AIDS among Nigerian youth. By Jessica Rubin
Pros and cons of the
circumcision debate. By Ngozi Ezeji, RN
TRIBUTE
Prof. Chimere Ikoku: Remembering the legacy of a pan-Africanist, scientist and gentleman. By Prof. Chudi Uwazurike
 
Can Africa live a future without war? An Open Letter to Mandela. By Fubara David-West, USAfricaonline.com contributing editor
COUNTERPOINT
Tiger Woods is no Nelson Mandela! By Chido Nwangwu
SPORTS: Tiger Woods makes more history with another golf Masters win. He shot 12-under-par 276 and a final round 71 at Georgia's Augusta National Golf Club event and collected $1,008,000, on Sunday April 14, 2002. With it, the world's golf phenom added another green jacket to his array of championships and titles, placing him, in this instance, in the same respected Masters' league as Nicklaus (winner 1965 and 1966) and Nick Faldo (1989 and 1990). The three are the only men to win back-to-back Masters. At 26, Woods has since become the youngest golfer to win his seventh professional major championship. He was joined by his parents and his 22 year-old Swedish model girlfriend, Elin Nordegren.
Impeachment process shows Nigerian democracy "is alive... being tested." Nigeria's president retired Gen. Olusegun Obasanjo has said that the impeachment process shows that "democracy is alive, is being tested, and being tried.... What they (the legislators) have tried to do in the democratic way, which is not easy, would probably have been done by taking arms or by -- with bullets. So, but with democracy, of course, some people feel that this is the way this should be, and then I have an opportunity to defend myself. There is discussion. There is dialogue. There is a decision. There is fairness." He made these comments when he appeared on Tuesday September 17, 2002 on CNN International to discuss the issues of impeachment facing him, the allegations of corruption, abuse of the constitution and deployment of soldiers ina civilian environment which led to the "massacre of civilians" in Odi (Bayelsa) and Zaki Biam (Benue). On the charges by international human rights organizations and Nigerian media that his government has been involved in actions which have led to the deaths of thousands of Nigerians, the retired General gave a surprising answer. He was asked that "as many as 10,000 people, it's being reported, have been killed in Nigeria (in) communal rivalries, and the number is believed to be increasing. And people are saying that although President Obasanjo has done a lot of good for Nigeria, you're accused of not -- accused of failing to halt that spiraling violence."

Obasanjo: Let me say this to you, when you put the question of 10,000 -- 10,000 people dying in Nigeria, of course, for a population of over 120 million people...." But USAfricaonline.com Founder and recipient of the Journalism Excellence award (1997), Chido Nwangwu, who appeared on the same program as as a CNN International analyst (Africa) pointed out that "when (President Obasanjo) answered that in a country of 100 million that 10,000 people are said to have died, as if that was a small number, that in itself reflects a disconnect with the concerns of Nigerians. The second one is that when the risk is civil disagreement, the police are required to intervene in the country. And the deployment of the armed forces of Nigeria requires at least some consultation, however modest, with the parliament." Nwangwu, former member of the editorial board of Nigeria's Daily Times continued that "the third factor that is equally important to underscore is that the armed forces of Nigeria moved in for a punitive action rather than just containing a civil disagreement." He noted in USAfricaonline.com backgrounder "it was revealing and interesting interesting discussing Nigeria's issues with its leader - under the current circumstances of an increasingly out-of-schedule elections and the gathering storm of an impeachment process by a majority of the members of the National Assembly, predominantly by Obasanjo's party members." See rush transcript of the CNN International news program.


Obasanjo facing corruption and ineptitude impeachment charges, again since the parliament, a few weeks ago, passed a motion carrying a majority of the members of Obasanjo's party, the PDP.
RELIGION AND ETHNIC CONFLICT: Sharia-related killings and carnage in Kaduna reenact deadly prologue to Nigeria-Biafra war of 1967. By Chido Nwangwu
It's wrong to stereotype Nigerians as Drug Dealers. By Chido Nwangwu
Nigeria as a Nation of Vulcanizers
Why Colin
Powell brings gravitas, credibility and star power to Bush presidency.
PUBLIC POLICY
Private initiative, free market forces, and more democratization are keys to prosperity in Africa.
The
Civilianizing of African soldiers into Presidents
Maduekwe, Nwachukwu clash over Obasanjo at World Igbo 2002 convention in Houston. USAfrica Special report

DEMOCRACY DEBATE
CNN International debate on Nigeria's democracy livecast on February 19, 2002. It involved Nigeria's Information Minister Prof. Jerry Gana, Prof. Salih Booker and USAfricaonline.com Publisher Chido Nwangwu. Transcripts are available on the CNN International site.

Steve Jobs and Apple represent the future of digital living. By Chido Nwangwu
The coup in Cote d'Ivoire and its implications for democracy in Africa. By Chido Nwangwu
(Related commentary) Coup in Cote d'Ivoire has been in the waiting. By Tom Kamara