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





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How the 2007 Nigeria campaign has madea Nehemiah of me....

By Prof. Pat Utomi, presidential candidate ofthe African Democratic Congress of Nigeria
Special to USAfricaonline.com,CLASSmagazine, USAfrica The Newspaper, Houston, TheBlack Business Journal and IgboEventse-group

http://www.usafricaonline.com/patutomi2007.nigeriastrugg.html

April 29, 2007: I set out to run the 2007 campaign on issues,avoid casting aspersions that take away from the dignity of anyperson. I am pleased that I was significantly able to stay the chosencourse. But this happened with the help of friends, staff persons andmen of goodwill at home and in the Diaspora.

Hence, as we reflect on dozensof lives lost in protest of election rigging, billions of Nairaexpended on campaigns even as many of our compatriots are dehumanisedby dreadful poverty, it is important to extend gratitude, and commitafresh to the struggle on the long road to freedom for Nigeria.

When about a year ago I gave up all income, stepped down fromboards and committed to seeking votes for the presidency many thoughtit was a three month quest to prove a point. It turned out to be agrueling venture that involved at least three near death experiences,thousands of miles of road and air travel and a discovery of acountry I thought I knew well.

For the privilege of such remarkable personal growth I owe muchgratitude to so many. To the Governors who gave me warm welcome intheir Government Houses, the thousands of citizens who welcomed me torural village squares; traditional rulers from Sokoto to Gombe,Oloibiri to Benin and Ife to Biu. They taught me that tradition hasbeen updated by men of great exposure who have taken up the thronesof their ancestors. Surely I cannot be the same because they crossedmy path.

I learnt a long time ago that I grow from acknowledging that Ihave made mistakes in the past. Traversing this country deepened myrecognition that I could do many things that I had done in the pastdifferently. This Return on Experience (ROE) was more valuable thanany investments I had ever made. For this immeasurable gain I willnever be able to say thank you enough.

My debt of gratitude can only be paid through continuoussacrificial service to Nigerians, especially those less fortunatethan I. To say that politics, especially in the kind of presidentialsystem we run, cost a lot of money, is to state the obvious. While wepush for reform that should place a cap that is measurable oncampaign finance, I want to thank immensely friends and well wisherswho sent generous cheques, particularly the poor woman who truly gavea widow's mite of N500. I know it is more generous than theN5,000,000 cheques from some more endowed compatriots.

Criss-crossing Nigeria put my conscience to the test regardingwhat must be done to rescue our country. After some challengingreflections I have had to conclude that the rest of my life will haveto be dedicated to directing Nigeria away from the road to serfdomthat we currently travel unto navigating the lanes to liberation. Ican see clearly from the vantage point of becoming involved inpolitics, the troubling crossroads we stand on, as a crisis of valueswe have long lamented, moves Nigeria ever so close to the precipice.The least I can do, in the circumstance, is quit my day job anddedicate the rest of my life to this struggle. I am convinced thatthe struggle as my life is worthwhile venture.

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

No one can go through what I have experienced this last year andbe the same, if they have a sensitive conscience. The sacrifice oftotal commitment therefore comes easy. As soon as the period ofreflection is over with the rainy season, we shall begin a nationwide"Thank you" tour, traveling the same very path we traced during thecampaigns to personally say how grateful we are for the privilege ofsharing our vision of a new Nigeria with you, whether Maurice Iwubother to count your votes or not. I know you heard me and I feltyour pain.

During the tour we will begin to put in place through PrivateDevelopment Agencies (PDAs), sometimes called NGOs platforms forimplementing some initiatives we promised for uplifting the humancondition, in places where we made such promises. The two key targetsof the initiatives are poverty and ignorance through ideas thatconfront the crisis of values that is crippling Nigeria, and thepoverty of ideas that leave people so deep in want that a ripple candrown. We hope the flame imagined possibilities will be kept alive.Indeed Nigerians have no business being poor.
Utomi, a professor of business management and founder of the LagosBusiness School, is the presidential candidate of the ADC in therecently concluded controversial elections of 2007 in Nigeria.


USAfrica VIEWPOINT: PresidentObasanjo, Nigeria is dying in yourhands. Another Open Letter toNigeria's President by Prof.Niyi Osundare:


INSIGHT:Why America should halt thegenocide in the Sudan. By Chido Nwangwu,Founder and Publisher of USAfricaonline.com. Certain facts and thecontinuing, bigoted impudence of Islamic Sudan offer clarity to whythe U.S should aggressively halt the genocide and gory events inAfrica's largest country. The Sudan has almost 918,000 square milesin size and a war-weary population of 30million. Even as I call for ared line to be drawn against the rag-tag army ofArab-taliban-fascists in Africa and the assorted troops ofreligio-criminal rapists who have since four decades set upon thesouthern Christian, indigenous African Sudanese, I agree with Gen.Powell that "America will be a friend to all Africans who seek peace;but we cannot make peace among Africans." He is right. Africans mustrespect and love each other. Continuedhere....
Monitors, opposition reject Nigeria's 2007presidential elections vote

 April 22, 2007 ABUJA (Reuters/By Barry Moody) -International and local monitors rejected Nigeria's election as afailure on Sunday in scathing verdicts on the first handover from onecivilian president to another. The opposition and foreign observerscalled the vote, marred by rigging, a shortage of millions of votingpapers and violence in which 16 people were killed, the worst inNigeria, plagued by years of military rule since independence fromBritain in 1960.

As early results showed the ruling People's Democratic Party (PDP)heading for victory, the main opposition party said it would notaccept the election and called for President Olusegun Obasanjo to beimpeached. The chaotic poll dashed hopes it would boost democracy inthe West African giant, scarred by lengthy periods of military ruleand corruption that have left much of the population still cursed bypoverty despite the country's huge oil wealth.

"The system failed the Nigerian people and suffers from a lack ofcredibility...the Nigerian people were failed by their leaders," saidPierre Richard Prosper of the International Republican Institute,which monitored the vote. The IRI, a U.S.-based pro-democracy group,said both Saturday's presidential election and regional polls a weekago fell below international standards. The biggest local monitoringgroup, which had 10,000 observers across Africa's most populousnation, said voting was either delayed for hours or did not occur atall in many areas. "We are going to call for a rerun of elections.You cannot use the result from half of the country to announce a newpresident," said Innocent Chukwuma, chairman of the TransitionMonitoring Group.


INEC chairman Iwu's exclusive interview in Abuja with USAfrica'sPublisher Chido Nwangwu on Nigeria's April elections, the concerns ofthe international community and his relationship with Obasanjo, AndyUbah and other issues
USAfrica VIEWPOINT: Nigeria'sflawed 2007 elections and avoiding a tragedy.Nigerians not ready to be governed once again by those they did notgive the consent had began to protest and to call for new elections.Clickhere for an exclusive commentary for USAfricaonline.com by our NewYork columnist Rudolf Ogoo Okonkwo. He is the author of a newbook, Children of a retired God.

USAfrica INSIGHT: PresidentialSuccession and National Stability following 2007Nigeria. By andlarge then, Nigeria's 2007 presidential election is, to my mind,first a search for a strong leader who has both the experience andproven capacity to take charge of Nigeria and permanently put to restthe fears and schisms that constantly threaten the survival of thenation. Put simply, the priority issue that ought to inform thesearch for and choice of the next president is national security andstability in their fullest meaning. By Dr. Chidi Amuta, ExecutiveEditor of USAfrica. Clickhere for full commentary.


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

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

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


DEMOCRACYWATCH: What Bush Should TellObasanjo.... By ChidoNwangwu (Founder and Publisher of USAfricaonline.com)
VIEWPOINT: Obasanjo,Go! Just go! Prof. Wole Soyinka
DEBATE: HowBlack intellectuals let Africa down, and westernstereoptypes complicate therest.By Cedrick Ngalande at the USC, LosAngeles

Why Chinua Achebe, the Eagle onthe Iroko, is Africa's writer of the century. By ChidoNwangwu(First written on March 1, 2002, for USAfrica, updated forProf. Achebe's 74th Birthday tribute on November 16, 2004, andpublished in CLASS magazinesame month): Africa's most acclaimed and fluent writer of theEnglish Language, the most translated writer of Black heritage in theworld, broadcaster extraordinaire, social conscience of millions,cultural custodianand elevator, chronicler and essayist, goodwill ambassador and man ofprogressive rock-ribbed principles, the Eagleon the Iroko, Ugo n'abo Professor ChinuaAchebe, has recently been selected by adistinguished jury of scholars and critics (from 13 countries ofAfrican life and literature) as the writer of the Best book (ThingsFall Apart, 1958) written in the twentieth century regarding Africa.Reasonably, Achebe's message has been neither dimmed nor dulled bytime and clime. He's our pathfinder, the intellectual godfather ofmillions of Africans and lovers of the fineart of good writing. Achebe's cultural contexts are, at once,pan-African, globalist and local; hence, his literarycontextualizations soar beyond the confines of Umuofia and any Igboor Nigerian setting of his creative imagination or historical recall.

His globalist underpinnings and outlook are truly reflective ofthe true essence of his Igbo world-view, his Igbo upbringing anddisposition. Igbos and Jews share (with a few other other cultures)this pan-global disposition to issues of art, life, commerce,juridical pursuits, and quest to be republicanist in terms of thevitality of the individual/self. In Achebe's works, the centrality ofChi (God) attains an additional clarity in the Igbo cosmology... itis a world which prefers a quasi-capitalistic business attitude whiletaking due cognizance of the usefulness of the whole, the community.I've studied, lived and tried to better understand, essentially, therigor and towering moral certainties which Achebe have employed inmost of his works and his world. I know, among other reasons, becauseI share the same ancestry with him. Permit me to attempt a briefsentence, with that Achebean simplicty and clarity. Here,folks, what the world has known since 1958: Achebe is good! Eagle onthe Iroko, may your Lineage endure! There has never been one likeyou!
Ugo n'abo, chukwu gozie gi oo!
. ChidoNwangwu, recipient of the Journalism Excellence award (1997), isFounder and Publisher of USAfricaonline.com (first African-ownedU.S.-based professional newspaper to be published on the internet),USAfrica The Newspaper,CLASS magazine and TheBlack Business Journal. He has served as an adviser to theMayor of Houston on international business (Africa) and appears as ananalyst on CNN, VOA, NPR, CBS News, NBC and ABC news affiliates.


This USAfricaonline.com commentary is copyrighted. Archivingon any other web site or newspaper is unauthorized except with aWritten Approval by USAfricaonline.comFounder. 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.


InvestigatingMarcRich and his deals with Nigeria'sOil
Through an elaborate network of carrots and sticks anda willing army of Nigeria's soldiers and some civilians,controversial global dealer and billionaire Marc Rich, literally andpractically, made deals and steals; yes, laughed his way to the banksfrom crude oil contracts, unpaid millions in oil royalties and falsedeclarations of quantities of crude lifted and exported from Nigeriafor almost 25 years. Worse, he lifted Nigeria'soil and shipped same to then embargoed apartheid regime in SouthAfrica. Read Chido Nwangwu's NEWS INVESTIGATION REPORT

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


Winnie Madikizela-Mandela's burden mounts with murder charges, trials

Why Bush should focus on
dangers facing Nigeria's return to democracy and Obasanjo's slipperyslide
TRIBUTE
A KING FOR ALL TIMES: Why Martin Luther King's legacy and vision are relevant into 21st century.




DIPLOMACY Walter Carrington: African-American diplomat who put principles above self for Nigeria (USAfrica's founder Chido Nwangwu with Ambassador Carrington at the U.S. embassy, Nigeria)
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.

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?
110 minutes with Hakeem Olajuwon
Nigerian stabbed to death in his bathroom in Houston.

Since 1958, Achebe's "Things Fall Apart" set a standard of artistic excellence, and more. By Douglas Killam
Why Chinua Achebe, the Eagle on the Iroko, is Africa's writer of the century. By Chido Nwangwu(First written on March 1, 2002, for USAfrica, updated for Prof. Achebe's 74th Birthday tribute on November 16, 2004, and published in CLASS magazine same month): Africa's most acclaimed and fluent writer of the English Language, the most translated writer of Black heritage in the world, broadcaster extraordinaire, social conscience of millions, cultural custodian and elevator, chronicler and essayist, goodwill ambassador and man of progressive rock-ribbed principles, the Eagle on the Iroko, Ugo n'abo Professor Chinua Achebe, has recently been selected by a distinguished jury of scholars and critics (from 13 countries of African life and literature) as the writer of the Best book (Things Fall Apart, 1958) written in the twentieth century regarding Africa. Reasonably, Achebe's message has been neither dimmed nor dulled by time and clime. He's our pathfinder, the intellectual godfather of millions of Africans and lovers of the fine art of good writing. Achebe's cultural contexts are, at once, pan-African, globalist and local; hence, his literary contextualizations soar beyond the confines of Umuofia and any Igbo or Nigerian setting of his creative imagination or historical recall.

His globalist underpinnings and outlook are truly reflective of the true essence of his Igbo world-view, his Igbo upbringing and disposition. Igbos and Jews share (with a few other other cultures) this pan-global disposition to issues of art, life, commerce, juridical pursuits, and quest to be republicanist in terms of the vitality of the individual/self. In Achebe's works, the centrality of Chi (God) attains an additional clarity in the Igbo cosmology... it is a world which prefers a quasi-capitalistic business attitude while taking due cognizance of the usefulness of the whole, the community. I've studied, lived and tried to better understand, essentially, the rigor and towering moral certainties which Achebe have employed in most of his works and his world. I know, among other reasons, because I share the same ancestry with him. Permit me to attempt a brief sentence, with that Achebean simplicty and clarity. Here, folks, what the world has known since 1958: Achebe is good! Eagle on the Iroko, may your Lineage endure! There has never been one like you!
Ugo n'abo, chukwu gozie gi oo!
. Chido Nwangwu, recipient of the Journalism Excellence award (1997), is Founder and Publisher of USAfricaonline.com (first African-owned U.S.-based professional newspaper to be published on the internet), USAfrica The Newspaper, CLASS magazine and The Black Business Journal. He has served as an adviser to the Mayor of Houston on international business (Africa) and appears as an analyst on CNN, VOA, NPR, CBS News, NBC and ABC news affiliates.


This USAfricaonline.com commentary is copyrighted. Archiving on any other web site or newspaper is unauthorized except with a Written Approval by USAfricaonline.com Founder.


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

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.
22 million Africans HIV-infected, ill with AIDS while African leaders ignore disaster-in-waiting

In a special report a few hours after the history-making nomination,
USAfricaonline.com Founder and Publisher Chido Nwangwu places Powell within the trajectory of history and into his unfolding clout and relevance in an essay titled 'Why Colin Powell brings gravitas, credibility and star power to Bush presidency.'

Powell named Secretary State by G.W. Bush; bipartisan commendations follow.

AFRICA AND THE U.S. ELECTIONS
Beyond U.S. electoral shenanigans, rewards and dynamics of a democratic republic hold lessons for 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


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

Cheryl Mills' first class defense of Clinton and her detractors' game 
It's wrong to stereotype Nigerians as Drug Dealers

Private initiative, free market forces, and more democratization are Keys to prosperity in Africa


Apple announces Titanium, "killer apps" and other ground-breaking products for 2001. iTunes makes a record 500,000 downloads.
Steve Jobs extends
digital magic
CLASS is the social events, heritage excellence and style magazine for Africans in north America, described by The New York Times as the magazine for affluent Africans in America. It is published by professional journalists and leading mulitmedia leaders and pioneers.