TranscriptCNN International interview with Nigeria'sPresident Obasanjo and USAfricaonline.com Publisher Chido Nwangwu onDemocracyand Security Issues

 

Nigeria: a good country led on thewrong path

By Ken Kemnagum Okorie
Special to USAfricaonline.comand USAfrica The Newspaper, Houston

January29, 2004: Nigeria's Education Minister, Professor Fabian Osuji, wasrecently quoted as relaying a UNESCO report which classified Nigeriaamong nine countries with the highest rate of illiteracy. What areputation, rather notoriety - after almost 44 years of independencefrom Britain!

When will Nigeria's leaders realize the depth of harm they have doneto this country? This is a country that once was the pride of theworld in quality education! Recall that Nigeria produced the famousDMGS Onitsha, Kings College Lagos, Hope Waddell Institute Calabar,Queens Colleges in Lagos and Enugu, various regional GovernmentColleges, among others. Where the quality of education was such thatindividuals typically scored on the top quartile of mostinternational tests (GCE, Advanced Papers, Bar Exams, etc.) and oftenqualified for and gotcalled to the British Bar from private tuition.

I remember my undergraduate days at the University of South Floridawhen Professors lobbied Nigerian students to their classes. Thereason was that Nigerian students were scholastically reputed toelevate the level and quality of intellectual discourse in theclassroom. That was typical of most American universities at thetime.

Problem began when Nigeria started to fix a system that was notbroken by introducing a National Universities Commission (NUC), whoseusefulness has remained unclear. A group of inexperienced anduninformed goons were seated to set policy to guide the intellectualdevelopment of Nigeria's young minds. Among the appointed policymakers where persons who wangled questionably through their ownacademic programs and/or never previously had mere clericalexperience, much less the capacity to understand higher education.Almost twenty five years later, it is clear that all that the NUC hasdone is hold still the educationally progressive sections of thecountry and bring them down to the levels of those parts thatpreviously were uninterested in education or had given it littlepriority.

Enter the Babangida dictatorship (1985-1993). Education wasdrastically degraded during this era. Students spent much of theirschool year on strikes and school closure than actually studying. Onecouldn't help but wonder the type of graduates or productivecitizenry the government expected out of institutions that were neveropen or teaching!

Add to that the fact that the Babangida administration, although didnot introduce corruption in Nigeria, embraced and legitimized as aninstrument of governance. Persons who disagreed with or criticizedthat administration were "settled", often in a manner and with theintent to a set-up for later use as self-implicating evidence or forblackmail.

As an outgrowth of that environment, America began to see a new cropof "Nigerian students" for whom education was far from an interestmuch less a priority. Not surprisingly, these Nigerians began beingassociated with credit card fraud, check fraud, mail fraud, drugtrafficking (including swallowing balloons of heroine, cocaine andother potent drugs). The red carpet previously enjoyed by Nigerianstudents in welcoming American homes during Thanksgiving and othernational holidays gave way for suspicion, blanket categorization andtargeted harassment by the police. In some American locales, beingNigerian became the virtual equivalence of being a criminal. A young,quiet Nigeria, Martin Nana, shot by Houston Police for allegedlyplaying music loud in his apartment was an apparent a victim of thatenvironment.

With the government having set this tone in our public life, a newcrop of Nigerians began to grow up believing that industry anddiscipline were no longer essential to earning a living, but that onecould gamble or crook one's way through life! The polity gotcomfortable with the notion that public service was aboutself-enrichment and no longer about serving the people; the entitycalled Nigeria became practically forgotten as each person focused onwhat he/she could get into his pocket. In this environment, moretankers bunkered Nigeria's oil wealth illegally on the high seas forthe Generals and their cohorts than made their way legally into themarkets or official coffers of the government.

Signs were openly displayed at busy international airports in Americaand elsewhere warning travelers about how corrupt and dangerousNigeria was! As sitting Nigerian Head of State, General Babangida,while attending the UN General Assembly in New York, was reportedlyrestricted within few blocks of the UN Headquarters......a treatmentbefitting a common criminal! Under the circumstances prevailing atthe time, there was not much one could quarrel with regarding suchtreatment of a Nigerian leader. To some extent it might even havebeen deserved, considering that American-trained Nigerian journalistDele Giwa (of Newswatch) painfully reminds that the Babangida regimesummarily eliminated those it could not win over or "settle".

The environment and mentality of the Babangida regime was one which,rather than prevent and punish white-collar crime and fraud, placedthe burden on foreigners to secure their own investments andfinancial interests within Nigeria. Under that "investor beware"mentality, a foreign investor who was defrauded by a Nigerian hadhimself to blame and was without recourse. That policy soontransformed into the infamous Decree No. 419 that has since givenNigeria its worst notoriety as a nation of fraudsters whose citizenscannot be trusted in business. Every Nigerian today is victim of the419 mentality and those who have made a career from living up toit

It was an environment ripe to take advantage of Nigeria at theinternational level. The IMF and the World Bank quickly came callingon the one hand; on the other hand, the masses were fedpseudo-patriotic acronyms such as the MAMSER campaign in the guise ofstreamlining the Nigerian economy. But indeed, these were no morethan the typical IMF/World Bank one-pill-cures-all prescription forevery ailing Third World economy, no matter the underlying facts orcircumstances. It is intended to satisfy the economic and financialinterests of affiliate investor banks and institutions, not alleviatelocal economic woes. The outcome for Nigeria was no different becausethese campaigns only perpetuated the people's misery and our nationalservitude through inextinguishable debt servicing. This was thehallmark of the Babangida economic policy. Looking back over twentyyears later, one wonders what we have to show for it other than themortgaging of our nation's future!

It was in this era that previously glorified citizenship of theCommonwealth of Nations was lost and Nigerians began having to payfor visas, not to enter British or other European towns orcountryside, but to simply pass through their Airports. BritishCaledonian, KLM, and other European carriers began spraying theiraircrafts soon after Nigerians boarded (an experience never seen onother foreign routes)!

In sum, I believe it is fair to conclude that, perhaps more than anyother leader, General Babangida elevated corruption to itsinstitutionalized stature in today's Nigeria. Of course he didinherit the Import License mentality from President Shagari's 2ndRepublic. In that scheme, buffoons paraded as business people,acquiring import licenses for services and goods about which they hadno clue only to sell the licenses to third parties at increased costto Nigerians.

Gen. Babangida capped his record by annulling what many still believewas one of Nigeria's fairest elections. Strangely Nigerians neverlearned from the June 12 experience, as many of the same crooks andcronies used by Babangida in that evil adventure have remained closeto the seat of power even as we speak.

Transit forward to Gen. Abacha, and it was more of the same.Everything Abacha did or attempted he learned or carried forward fromGen. Babangida, his co-conspirator for many years. Things got so badNigeria became the pariah to the civilized world.

But to Abacha none of that mattered. He only cared about few thingsas he further brutalized Nigeria. He paid no attention to anyone butclosed his eyes to the suffering of the people; he killed or lockedup anyone whose complaint got a bit loud; shifted whatever lookedmost attractive to his private Swiss and other bank accounts, andbalanced the budget through zero spending. It did not matter to himthe state of the economy or its consequence on the population. Simplystated, there is no accurate way to fully or properly explain theabsurdity that was Abacha. Yet he believed he was the perfect answerfor Nigeria, and that Nigerians were having it so good he had toperpetuate himself in office. And so he indulged in a fancifulmission to transform himself from military dictator to civilian rulerof Nigeria. And true to form, there were the Kanus and many othersycophants who yearned for more. Reflecting on the actions of thesefolks and others of their ilk, one could conceive that there is a bitof sadism that comes with being Nigerian, for money alone does notseem to explain certain of the extremes in the behavior ofNigerians

From crediting certain imported super models from India or theircounterpart home-grown hotties from East of the Niger, Abacha'asabuse of power was matched only by the mystery of his demise. Throughit all, Nigerians, and I mean all 200 or so million of us, seemedutterly powerless as the brute raged on till his last breadth!

One would think that a man who survived Abacha's archipelago wouldhave been most suited to right his wrongs and heal the wounds of ourbattered nation. More so, when that survivor was getting a raresecond bite at the plum! As George W. Bush was assuming the WhiteHouse in 2000, the acclaimed Authoritative Link between America andAfrica, USAfricaonline.com's publisher
ChidoNwangwu advised in aHouston Chronicle op-ed that "the problem with Nigeria was sittingacross the table" from the President there at the White House. At thetime, many did not think Chido's was being sufficiently kind orcourteous to Obasanjo's on his first official visit after becomingcivilian President of Nigeria in 1999. Fouryears later, in January 2004, the voices of the former Secretary toNigeria's government Chief Olu Falae and the highly respected formerMinister and retired military governor of Kaduna State, Col. Umar,all reaffirm that apt assessment. Indeed it seems that every voice inNigeria today echoes Obasanjo performance as gross failure (Obasanjois in the picture with hands raised).

In a recent outing with the Nigerian community in Houston, TexasObasanjo spent his time reminiscing about how much worse things werewhen he came back in 1999 from where he had left them in 1979. But Ido not believe that to be the dividend of democracy Nigeriansexpected from this born-again former prisoner and third timepresident. Indeed for there to be any dividend, Nigerians first musthave democracy, which is the privilege
Obasanjohas consistently denied themthe most. While it may be true that once a general always a general,self-acclaimed born-again Obasanjo cannot forget that there is timefor everything.....I hope his version of the Bible contains thatverse.

To be compared to the murderous dictatorAbacha (indeed Obasanjo was recently graded worse by Col Umar) isperhaps the most telling review of leadership in Nigeria. Col. Umarand Publisher Nwangwu are familiarvoices of reason and fairness on contemporary Nigerianaffairs. Nwangwu actively co-hostedObasanjo's first public event in the U.S. (with Obasanjo's kinsmanRaymond Sowemimo) after he (Obasanjo) was released from prisonfollowing Abacha's death. Umar worked hard for Obasanjo to beselected to lead in 1999. Umar's recent comments said all that needsbeing said about Obasanjo's record in office.  Sadly, theimplication of his failures is worsened by the realization that thisman had previously superintended the affairs of this nation from 1976to 1979 as a miliatry dictator. Did he learn or understand anythingabout Nigeria the first time?  That is the billion Nairaquestion.
Attorney Okorie, former secretary-general of the World IgboCongress, is a member of the editorial board of USAfrica TheNewspaper. Responsesare welcome and will be published. He also wrote exclusively forUSAfrica: Is Obasanjoendangering Nigeria'sdemocracy? and the Sagain Anambra, Obasanjo and Nigeria'sfederalism

OPINION
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


Bush's lead on AIDS fight in Africa commendable. By Chido Nwangwu (this essay appeared in the Houston Chronicle's Outlook page, Sunday Feb 2, 2003
LITERATURE
Why
Chinua Achebe, the Eagle on the Iroko, is Africa's writer of the century. By Chido Nwangwu

INTERNATIONAL SECURITY
bin-Laden's goons threaten Nigeria and Africa's stability. By Chido Nwangwu
Liberia's bloody mess and hopes of a battered nation
Liberia: Death by Installment.
Can Africa live a future without war? An Open Letter to Mandela. By Fubara David-West
MEDIA
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


Implications of
Obasanjo's late wake up to the challenges of Sharia in Nigeria. By Ken Okorie
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
SAFIYA GETS REPRIEVE FROM ISLAMIC COURT: Safiya Husaini, a Nigerian Muslim woman who had been convicted of adultery under Islamic law and sentenced to death by stoning has achieved a reprieve from a Sharia court in the country. The lady who was divorced in Sokoto when she had her young baby has drawn international interest from civil rights activists and the media. She said what seems a well-known point in northern Nigeria "Others have committed worse crimes, but because they are men and because they have influence in high places, they are not punished."Another Muslim woman, Amina Lawal, has been sentenced to die by a Sharia court at Bakori in Katsina State. She she confessed to having had a child while divorced.
Sex and hypocrisy of
Gendered Justice
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.

APPRECIATION
A young father writes his One year old son: "If only my heart had a voice...."
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.
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
OIL in NIGERIA: Liquid Gold or Petro-Dollars Curse?
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."

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
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?
USAfricaonline LITERATURE As Chinua Achebe turned 70, Africa's preeeminent statesman Nelson Mandela, Toni Morrison, Wole Soyinka, Ali Mazrui, Leon Botstein (president of Bard College), Ojo Maduekwe, Emmanuel Obiechina, Ngugi wa Thinong'o, Micere Mugo, Michael Thelwell, Niyi Osundare, and an army of some of the world's leading writers and arts scholars joined to pay tribute to him at Bard College in New York. (Achebe is in pix with Morrison). Meanwhile, the Nobel committee has, again, chosen a relatively less known (globally-speaking) Chinese novelist, Gao Xingjian, rather than Achebe for the Literature prize. Achebe was seen as a top favorite for the 2000 award. What the Swedish Nobel committee will not give, Achebe has, for well over 30 years, won in the hearts of millions in 53 languages. By Chido Nwangwu
Literary giant Chinua Achebe returns "home" from U.S., to love and adulation of community
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.
ARTS
The Life and Irreverent times of Afrobeat superstar, FELA

 

 

TRIBUTE Tanzania's founding president Julius Nyerere    

 

Nnamdi Azikiwe: Statesman, Intellectual and Titan of African politics


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
Will the rash of Ethnic Violence disrupt Nigeria's effort at Democracy?

Nigerian stabbed to death in his bathroom in Houston
BUSINESS Dr. Anaebonam's strategic vision for BREEJ is a model for business excellence and empowerment.
EndGame in Kinshasa: U.S must boot Mobutu for own interest, future of Zaire and Africa

DEMOCRACY
Why Bush should focus on dangers facing Nigeria's return to democracy and Obasanjo's slipperyslide


Nigeria, a terrible beauty. By Chido Nwangwu
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.
Are we Igbos or "Ibos"? By Chido Nwangwu.
The "Ibo" misspelling of the south eastern Nigerian Igbo ethnic nation of almost 32 million people reflect, essentially, a post-colonial hangover of British and Euro-Caucasoid colonial miseducation, misrepresentations, and (mis)pronounciation preference. It is/was just easier for the White man/woman to say 'Ibo' rather than 'Igbo.' We must remember the late psychiatrist, pan-African scholar and activist Franz Fanon's mytho-poetic and insightful words in his 1952 book, Black Skin White Masks, that "A man who has a language [consequently] possesses the world expressed and implied by that language." Should Igbos and other African nationalities, incrementally and foolishly give up the core of their communal and national identity on the discredited altars of Euro-Caucasoid racist supremacy and colonial predations? I have two modest answers: first is No; and second is No.
Click here for Full commentary

"
PNF-USA will eliminate shortcomings of the World Igbo Congress (whose) mantra is organizing large conventions and little else. Once the party is over, everyone goes home till next outing...." says Dr. Acho Orabuchi in USAfricaonline.com interview
COUNTERPOINT
Tiger Woods is no Nelson Mandela! By Chido Nwangwu

Africa suffers the scourge of the virus.
This life and pain of Kgomotso Mahlangu, a five-month-old AIDS patient (above) 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. By Chido Nwangwu
22 million Africans HIV-infected, ill with AIDS while African leaders ignore disaster-in-waiting
What has Africa to do with September 11 terror? By Chido Nwangwu
One year after: Reflections on
September 11. By Jonathan Elendu
PUBLIC POLICY
Private initiative, free market forces, and more democratization are keys to prosperity in Africa.
The
Civilianizing of African soldiers into Presidents
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

Sex, Women and (Hu)Woman Rights. By Chika Unigwe


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



 


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.

Maduekwe, Nwachukwu clash over Obasanjo at World Igbo 2002 convention in Houston. USAfrica Special report

USAfrica FORUM IN THE HOUSE OF MANDELA: A SILLY CRY FOR REPARATIONS By Prof. Chimalum Nwankwo
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
Apple announces Titanium
,
"killer apps" and other ground-breaking products. iTunes makes a record 500,000 downloads.
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
Nigerian stabbed to death in his bathroom in Houston.
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
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?
110 minutes with Hakeem Olajuwon
Cheryl Mills' first class defense of Clinton and her detractors game 
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 ..... 
Soni Egwuatu, Houston businessman, joins his ancestors
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