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

On the Prof. Chinua Achebeproject, log on to www.Achebebooks.com••CLASSmagazine'the Ebonymagazine for Africans in north America'

 

Obasanjo's Biafraand anti-Igbo battles running past 33 years

By Professor HerbertEkwe-Ekwe
Special to USAfricaonline.comand USAfrica The Newspaper, Houston

January 2004 marked 33 years since the end of the Nigeria-BiafraWar. Nigeria's war against Biafra was a war of genocide, a war thatwas waged in its totality (with all the annihilative indices thatthis particular war strategy connotes) in a very limited expanse ofterritory (Africa's most densely populated areaoutside the Nile valley) where the defenders did not have access to a"neutral" or friendly contiguous state for refuge and respite.

The 1967-1970 war was waged by the federalNigeria military government led by General Yakubu Gowon to overwhelmand destroy the corporate ability of the Igbo people to resist anaggression triggered, in the first place, because they were simplyexpressing their inalienable fundamental human right to freely decideto belong or not to belong to a political relationship, in the wakeof the most horrendous spate of massacres the previous year. Duringthe months of May-October 1966, about 100,000 Igbo were hunted downand killed in several northern towns and cities and elsewhere in thefederation in a pogrom that was planned and executed by the northernNigerian political, military and religious establishment. Most werekilled in their houses, offices, businesses, schools, colleges andhospitals, as well as those who were attacked at railwaystations and on trains, bus stations and buses, airports and in cars,lorries and on foot as they sought to escape the pogrom for theirhomeland in eastern Nigeria.

Thousands of others sustained horrific injuries,several of whom were maimed for life. No known safe passages for theIgbo (victims or would-be victims) for flight or escape to theirhomeland from northern Nigeria or elsewhere in the country wereplanned, nor adhered to, by any of the prosecuting forces involved inthe pogrom throughout the course of this tragedy.

In the Biafra War itself, three million Igbowere killed. This figure is much higher than the casualties recordedin each of the following four wars: Vietnam, Iran-Iraq, Angola andthe Sudan. To underscore the brazen brutality of the war in Biafra,we should stress that the duration of each of the former conflictsmentioned was in fact much longer than Biafra's. The three milliondead represented a quarter of the Igbo population then. No Igbofamily in the world escaped the immediate or long-term impact andconsequences of this holocaust.


FridayMay 6, 2005, the USAfrica13th annual ANNIVERSARY AWARDS,Best of AfricanFashion andCLASS magazine's Mothers' Day banquet. Atthe Hilton Towersat Westchase, Houston. As has been the tradition every first Fridayof May (this year's May 6), the13th Anniversary of Houston-basedUSAfrica will hold its prestigious awards dinner in honor of Africanprofessionals. On Saturday May 7, 2005 at the same Hilton Towers, theUSAfrica FORUM will deliberate at its internetional live event on theissue: OBASANJO'sCORRUPTION WAR: THE REAL THING or WINDOW-DRESSING; WHICH WAY NIGERIA,WHAT NEXT?

The Igbo, who 20 years earlier had been in thevanguard for the liberation of Nigeria from the British conq

uest and occupation, had suffered anincalculable catastrophe &endash; the second in 100 years since theirdefeat by British imperialism. No other African nation had sufferedsuch a grand-scale holocaust and impoverishment in 200 years. KingLeopold II of Belgium, "The Rapist of Congo", had in the19th century killed three million Africans in the Congo ashis troops ravaged the country in search of ivory, diamonds, and thelike &endash; enormous wealth that would soon transform the nascentBelgian state into a modern European country. But that scourge atleast included peoples from several nations and nationalities thatmake up contemporary Democratic Republic of Congo, Republic of Congo,Rwanda, Burundi, Central African Republic and Angola.

Equally reprehensibly, those who ordered andsustained the war against the Igbo had the unenviable record, not totalk of responsibility, of literally clearing the undergrowth fromwhich the gruesome killing fields that have since littered Africaexpanded almost inexorably. The haunting milestones of Uganda,Ethiopia, Somalia, Sudan, Liberia, Zaire/Democratic Republic ofCongo, Republic of Congo, Sierra Leone, Rwanda, Burundi,Guinea-Bissau, southern Guinea and Cote d'Ivoire testify to this.These latter wars have resulted in the death of nine millionpeople.

As I show in my book African Literature inDefence of History: An essay on Chinua Achebe, no post-Biafra WarNigerian head of state has been so obsessed with the subject ofBiafra and the Biafra War as Olusegun Obasanjo, the current presidentof the country. Equally, no post-Biafra War Nigerian head of statepossesses as vindictively a pathological anti-Igbo disposition asOlusegun Obasanjo &endash; a condition apparently developed in the1960s prior to the pogrom when several of his fellow officers, mostlyIgbo, often questioned his intellectual competence.

On these two counts, not even six previousleaders centrally associated with the Biafra War (YakubuGowon, Murtala Muhammed, Muhammadu Buhari, Ibrahim Babangida, SaniAbacha, Abdulsalami Abubakar), all northern Nigerians whoseinvolvement impulses in the conflict were dictated and driven largelyby their support for, or indifference to the perpetration of thefirst phase of the Igbo genocide in the north (May-October 1966) or adesire to safeguard (in the long term) the north's hegemonicpolitical and military leadership of Nigeria, have been so transfixedby Biafra and the Igbo people. Indeed one or two of the survivingsextet of leaders just mentioned have shown more reticence over theirinvolvement in the war, and a third has in fact offered what amountsto an unqualified "apology" over his own participation in thewar.

More generally in northern Nigeria,presently, there are steadily, openly expressed views of revulsion,remorse and apologies among members of the political elite and otherson the region's planning and execution of the Igbo genocide &endash;both in its initial pogrom phase in the north and in the war inBiafra.

Not so for Olusegun Obasanjo are thesedynamics of revulsion, remorse and apologies felt, nor remotelyplayed out… On the contrary, Obasanjo, who commanded thenotorious federal 3rd marine infantry division in thelatter stages of the war and which committed widespread atrocities inthe southern front of the so-called Igbo heartland, is still waging awar on the Igbo &endash; albeit an Obasanjo-version of a "lowintensity conflict", even though the end of hostilities in Biafra wasdeclared 33 years ago. In this context, especially, Obasanjo'sprincipal focus for now is to disrupt the profound economic andindustrial transformation underway in the crucial northwest Anambraregion of the Igbo country. He has literally laid siege on the localadministration in the region by raising clusters of fiendishofficials on presidential payroll and other patronage whose main taskis to eventually overthrow the governor. In the pursuance of thisprogramme, Obasanjo has flagrantly utilised the security forces andthe judiciary contrary to clearly stipulated constitutionalprovision.

Obasanjo does not really believe that theIgbo lost the war on 12 January 1970. The "evidence" on the grounddoes not convince him otherwise. Despite the fact that successivecentral governments since 1970 have adhered strictly to a policy ofno development in Igboland, a programme which Professor NnaemekaIkpeze has categorised succinctly as an "atrocity," despite the factthat Igboland with a population of 30 million (about a quarter ofNigeria's total) continues to receive the lowest annual fiscalresource transfers from the central government to the regions since1970, despite the fact that Igbo experts and officials have beenbarred from key state appointments in defence and security and theposition of head of state, despite the fact that Igboland has theworst communication infrastructure in the country and that powerstations and other major industrial enterprises destroyed during thewar still lie in ruins, despite the fact that the centralgovernment has scandalously ignored the extensive erosion of croplandacross the north-western stretch of Igboland (Anambra region) whichposes a long term danger to the ecology of the area and far beyond,and despite the fact that Obasanjo'srigging of the 2003 presidential elections was carried outlargely in the electoral districts across Igboland, the presentNigerian president believes that the continuing stubborn resilienceand ingenuity of the Igbo shown in the steadfast reconstruction oftheir lives and homeland, without evident central government support,cannot be indicative of a people who lost so catastrophicallyin a war of genocide just a generation ago.

On the Igbo therefore, Obasanjo still subscribestenaciously to the composite amalgam of the infamous federal Nigeriawar strategy enunciated by Obafemi Awolowo (deputy chair of the warcabinet and minister of finance) during the Biafran confrontation&endash; the "starvation as weapon/quick kill", which accounted for80 per cent of all Biafran casualty in the war, and its post-warvariant, the "financial/economic strangulation of Igbo assets acrossthe country" which, in effect, is the policy guideline that has beenin vogue in the past 33 years and whose striking features we sketchedabove.

Just as Awolowo, Obasanjo exhibits a virulentstreak of Igbophobia which explains why the president's ownimplementation of the anti-Igbo post-Biafra War state policy inthe past five years has been remarkably undisguised, quite oftenaggressive, if not crude. In not too infrequent bouts of rage andangst, Obasanjo often boasts of "teaching the Ibos a lesson," or"crushing these Ibos who… don't seem to have learnt the lessonsof 12 January 1970" or "I will ensure that these Ibos never rule thiscountry in my life time...."

It is against this background that one shouldunderstand the current highly-charged dramatic quest by Obasanjo toremove Chris Ngige, the governor of the Anambra region from power,even though the latter, as well as the other governors of the eastwere imposed on the people by the president when he rigged lastyear's poll. Since the election, Ngige has somehow become his "ownman," much to the consternation of the president. The groundswellsupport that Ngige has received from the region and across Igbolandhas been tremendous particularly from women's organisations,businesses and from the youth. Last week's widely publicised pressconference in Awka (regional capital) by Mike Balonwu, the speaker ofthe local legislature, was undoubtedly poignant for its franknesswhen the lawmaker charged: "We the honourable members of AnambraState House of Assembly would hold President Olusegun Obasanjoresponsible for any outbreak of anarchy in Anambra state as a resultof his unflinching support for this band of treasury looters andrascals of known pedigree."

More such calls have been made and similarpositions taken across varying shades of political opinion acrossIgboland. Ironically, the Anambra crisis has had an unintended resultthat Obasanjo could never have reckoned with when he embarked on hiscourse of action. More conservative sectors of the Igbo "politicalclass" who have since Biafra treasured the mantra of"marginalisation" as the flag of convenience to fly in their politicsvis-à-vis the rest of Nigeria, have suddenly realised in thelast few weeks and months that the Igbo "self-determination" thatsustained the resistance against the forces of genocide 33 years agodid not dissipate on January 12,1970.

It decisively moved to another level ofcontemplation &endash; and realisation. To that extent, these sectorswere catching up with the rest of the Igbo, particularly theintellectuals, who have no doubts about the seminal meaning of Biafrain their history and their lives. But perhaps more surprisingly,these Igbo "conservatives" were also catching up with what MatthewAremu Olusegun Obasanjo has always thought of the subject &endash;namely that the Igbo have never really accepted defeat.
Prof. Ekwe-Ekwe, contributing editor of USAfricaonline.com haswritten several books and essays on Africa and Nigeria. His new book,Beyond the "failed state": Reconstituting Africa, will bepublished in 2004. He wrote in May 2001, an exclusive commentary forUSAfricaonline.com titled 'Obasanjoobsession with Biafra versus facts of history.' Also, seeexclusive and related interviewBiafra's leader Dim ODUMEGWU EMEKA OJUKWUhad with USAfricaonline.com Publisher Chido Nwangwu: "It was simplyachoicebetween Biafra and enslavement!And, here's why we chose Biafra"

 

CLASSis the social events, heritage excellence and style magazine forAfricans in north America, described by The New York Times as themagazine for affluent Africansin America. It is published byprofessional journalists and leading mulitmedia leaders andpioneers.



Click image for the
latest2005 cover editions of CLASS magazine Vol. 2.5 and2.6
Subscribe@Classmagazine.tv-- 8303 SW Freeway, Suite 100, Houston, Texas 77074.Phone: 713-270-5500. Cell direct:832-45-CHIDO (24436)

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