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Osamabin-Laden's goons threaten Nigeria andAfrica's stability. USAfricaonline.com Special Report

 

June 16, and South Africa's treble historicevents

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By NKEM EKEOPARA

June 16, 1999, was a treble historical moment for South Africa. Onthis day, 198 days to the new millennium, the much loved and highlyvenerated post-apartheid president of South Africa, Nelson 'Mahdiba'Mandela voluntarily yielded power to a new generation ofleadersled by Thabo Mbeki.  Thabo Mbeki was sworn in as the secondPresident of a free multiracial South Africa on this day. This wasafter an election in which the ruling party, the African NationalCongress (ANC) had hoped for an overwhelming majority to enable iteffect some fundamental changes in the transitional constitution thatsaw Nelson Mandela becoming the first democratically electedPresident of post-apartheid South Africa and the Head of a NationalUnity Government, sworn in on April 27, 1994. That hope did notmaterialise, some say it was good it did not, at least at thattime.

 

One of the reasons it remains a historic moment for a free SouthAfrica is the fact that a realistic 'old guard', conscious of itsplace in history, ushered in a much younger but confident leadershipon a date possibly chosen to underscore their hard won freedom fromthe forces of retrogression and darkness.

June 16, we must not forget, is the same date in 1976, 26 yearsago that school children revolted and embarked on a protest marchagainst the imposition of an inferior educational curricular on them,Afrikaans, by the apartheid regime. As was typical of that evil era,the South African Security Forces mowed down hundreds of SchoolChildren in the sustained protest that followed after 13-year-oldHector Peterson was martyred on the first day. Today, that day isknown and celebrated as Youths' Day in South Africa.

 

Watching proceedings on that eventful day, June 16, 1999, notquite a few of us did agree that the new millennium has begun inSouth Africa. Were we wrong in this imaginative view of the event ofthat day? I believe the answer is no. I believe it is no becausethere were very many unsavoury commentaries from the prophets of doomthat the Mandela led government may not be able to overcome theprevailing political violence, mistrust and an apparent intimidatingdisparity in the living standards of white South Africans and theirblack counterparts besetting the country as at the time he  tookpower.

 

Indeed, this sense of uncertainty was made so real in the daysfollowing President Mandela's accession on that glorious April 27(Freedom Day) in 1994 that many white South Africans emigrated to'more secure' parts of the world. But the peaceful transference ofpower from Mandela to Mbeki on June 16, 1999, proved the prophets ofdoom wrong. It signposted the rugged resolve of a people to overcomea sad past and march into future with confidence for the good of allmembers of their hitherto bitterly divided society.

 

Mbeki's record in leadership and power has since proven thatleadership should not be an all-comers affair. It is something onehas to prepare for and not to be grudgingly walked into. In his earlydays, he occasionally blamed the apartheid regime for the monumentaltasks that he met even with the firm foundation laid by formerPresident Nelson Mandela, which included the Truth and ReconciliationCommission, chaired by the graceful Archbishop Desmond Tutu, acritical component in achieving set goals in the new South Africa.Even onto this day, it is still a valid option to blame the evillegacy of apartheid. However, President Mbeki has not hopelesslychosen this option as the dictator turned civilian president ofNigeria, retired General Olusegun Obasanjo and other members of hisadministration which came into office about the same time as Mbeki, have chosen to blame the military regimes they succeeded.

 

Mbeki has since settled down into providing astute leadership thathad seen South Africa maintain its enviable place as an investor'sand a tourist's delight in Africa. It is estimated that South Africaholds 60% of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) of Africa's gross total.This bright picture for South Africa did not come by its presidentbeing in the air frequently in chase of FDI as is the case with theNigerian president, retired general Olusegun Obasanjo. It camethrough creating and maintaining a stable political outlook, theneeded infrastructure, especially power, transport and communicationfacilities and of course putting in place transparent monetary andfiscal policies that bolster investors confidence at home. It came bythe government of South Africa doing whatever it can to providesecurity to lives and property of all its residents and visitors, forwithout these, any talk of increasing FDI, would have have beengibberish and deceitful.

 

Additionally, South Africa's aggregate industrial output is beenupped by 10% in the post-apartheid period, part of which was achievedunder the Mbeki led government. Also, the country runs one of themost successful airlines in the world. At a time, the NigerianAirways lacking in organisational discipline, had sought to provideservices to its always disappointed customers through a partnershiparrangement with The South African airlines.

 

In spite of this encouraging picture of progress in South Africaunder President Mbeki, there are still a lot to be done, especiallyin the areas of hard drug use, management and prevention of HIV/AIDSand equalisation of opportunities in the economic well-being of allSouth Africans regardless of gender, colour, creed and politicalpersuasion. One is pleased though, that President Thabo Mbeki, trueto his receptive approach on issues of concern to his constituents,did jettison his personal views on HIV/AIDS controversy for thelarger interest of South Africans and humanity. His government hassince April, put in place a well-thought out program of action tocontain the HIV/AIDS pandemic. According to the statistics releasedearlier this month by the South African Ministry of Health, infectionrate among the youths is going down, while the overall infectionrates is said to be stabilising. Given the level of creativity beinginfused in leadership by President Thabo Mbeki and his team, one isconfident that the few grey areas are not beyond the young, butconfident leaders of a free South Africa.

 

As President Thebo Mbeki enters into the 4th year of his 5-yearfirst term, one wishes him and the people of South Africa, aconfident march into future and a continued activist role inproviding the right leadership for Africa's Renaissance.
Ekeopara, anEngineer, worked for the Kuwait Public Authority for AgriculturalAffairs and Fish Resources (PAAF). He contributes to the opinionpages of USAfricaonline.com

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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.

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.



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    

 


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
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
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.
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