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USAfrica: Congo’s Kabila and Gambia’s Jammeh disgrace to democracy in Africa




The world, today, watches with indignation as armed forces massacre innocent civilians justly protesting against incumbent Democratic Republic of Congo President Joseph Kabila, whose mandate to rule expired in November. For nearly 10 years, the DRC has been an electoral democracy, a fragile and dysfunctional one, but an electoral democracy nonetheless.

The 45-year-old Kabila has typically continued to shove election dates further in the wake of a disgruntled nation, igniting bloody protests in the process. [In pix, top, DR_Congo_president-Kabila-wt-Pope_Francis-at-the-Vatican]

On the other extreme, the world watches repugnantly as headstrong Gambian President Yahya Jammeh unabashedly insists on clinging to power despite losing a presidential poll and admitting defeat in the beginning. Jammeh, in his vindictiveness, has recalled Gambia’s ambassador to the United States for asking him to concede defeat.

Africa is characterised by nascent democracy and each time that defeat is gracefully accepted it calls for celebration.

The African leader, somehow, has to be inveigled to leave power; something they cannot do without high-pressure methods.

To incumbents, it would appear they are cut to rule forever and anything that threatens their hold on power has to be crushed ruthlessly.

Many will remember the adulation that followed former Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan when, without much hemming and hewing, he accepted loss and congratulated Muhammadu Buhari in May 2015.

Under normal circumstances, this should not be something to write home about; it should be the natural path of democracy. Praises were, expectedly, showered on Jonathan who, despite numerous failures, will have this pleasant act of statesmanship etched in people’s memories for ages.

African leaders have yet to learn the noble art of relinquishing power and, above all, to understand that someone else can take a country forward.

As a general fact, African States that can presently be described in the language of democracy still number in the minority.

It is as if to say the archaic monarchical system of governance exists in a thinly veiled form in Africa. The chief disappointment with most African leaders is their failure to leave power in an agreeable manner.

A myriad of theories exist as to why most African leaders cannot leave power in an acceptable way.

Somehow, these leaders, insist on obstinacy and, sadly, live to face inglorious and humiliating exits which all but obliterate the little good they would have done for their countries.

Ivory Coast former President Laurent Gbagbo is a classic example of a man who stubbornly held on to power to a point where he had to be apprehended and harangued like a criminal in a hotel.

The same is true for slain Libyan leader Colonel Muammar Gaddafi (although some would disagree) who was severely assaulted and dragged by the public in the streets and his mutilated body paraded in the open. Mobutu Sese Seko of the DRC and Uganda’s third President Idi Amin also make the ill-reputed list of African leaders who had to leave power through mutiny.

The common factor in the fracas stifling African growth across many of its States is anchored in the wanton disregard of constitutions by leaders who, ironically, should serve as custodians of the very constitutions.

Cling–on African leaders have characteristically proffered all manner of excuse to hold on to power. The most common ones being that “the people still want me to rule” and “no one can lead this nation better.”

This political grandstanding is quite laughable seeing as it is that most African economies crumble in the hands of such headstrong leaders. Despite much showboating by such leaders on the global stage, their people are virtually everywhere in the world living a life of near-servitude as they seek greener pastures in other States.

Inanely, they claim that the people still love them. It is a given that any President, upon assuming office is energetic and eager to have wheels turning and that is perfectly normal but the question comes: honestly, what new thing does a leader who has been in office for two or three decades have to offer?

How much innovation is to be expected from such a leader? Just like in recognised democracies, ten years is quite a long time to be ruling a country. Beyond the first 10 years, it is inevitable: arrogance, a sense of nation-ownership, corruption, nepotism and similar vices set in.

There is surely nothing good that comes out of more than ten years of sitting in power except abuse of power. It is quite disconcerting that this is Africa’s horrendous story of governance.

The most perturbing fact is the indifference exhibited by leaders while innocent people die as they cling onto power. It won’t surprise if Gambian President — Yahya Jammeh — will carelessly put up a fight that will result in a needless loss of lives.

It behoves African leadership to take a cue from the developed world where a single country can boast of a 16th President. Again, one wonders, why, but why Africa? Is the famine, droughts and diseases ravaging the continent not enough? Should it always take the bullet to usher in new leadership?

Dictatorship and autocracy must fall and a new Africa grounded in true democracy and free will of the masses must be born.

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USAfrica: Buhari to debate Atiku, Moghalu on January 19; rising Sowore not listed



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As the countdown to the February 2019 presidential elections in Africa’s most populated country continues, Nigerian Elections Debate Group (NEDG) and the Broadcasting Organisations of Nigeria (BON) have announced the “names of political parties” that they have pre-qualified to participate in the 2019 vice presidential and presidential debates.

The Executive Secretary of the NEDG, Eddie Emesiri, listed the parties as the following: Allied Congress Party of Nigeria (ACPN), Alliance for New Nigeria (ANN), All Progressives Congress (APC), Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Young Progressives Party (YPP).

The Presidential debate will hold on Saturday, January 19, 2019 while the VP debate will be in Abuja on Friday, December 14, 2018.

President Buhari, a retired army general who does not warm up to contrary even if helpful views, USAfrica notes, will have the opportunity of counterpoint exchanges with his 2015 former ally Atiku Abubakar, and especially from the  former deputy Governor of Nigeria’s Central Bank Prof. Kingsley Moghalu. 

Significantly, the debate excludes Omoyele Sowore, the activist-journalist and young candidate who is among the top canvassers and most travelled candidates (inside and outside Nigeria) in search of votes. By Chido Nwangwu, Founder & Publisher of USAfrica [Houston] and



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Global Terrorism Index ranks Nigeria, Somalia and Egypt among the worst hit.




The Global Terrorism Index for 2018 has been released by the Institute for Economics and Peace, which recorded 3 African countries of Nigeria, Somalia  and Egypt among the worst hit. Iraq’s almost daily blasts placed it at the top, followed by Afghanistan, Nigeria, Syria, and Pakistan. 

The GTI found that “the global impact from terrorism is on the decline, it also shows that terrorism is still widespread, and even getting worse in some regions.”

The United States is at number 20. 

The Index ranked 138 countries based on the severity of terror attacks throughout 2017, and found that “The total number of deaths fell by 27 percent between 2016 and 2017, with the largest falls occurring in Iraq and Syria. The overall trend of a decline in the number of deaths caused by acts of terror reflects the increased emphasis placed on countering terrorism around the world since the surge in violence in 2013.”

“In the Maghreb and Sahel regions of Northern Africa, there has been a resurgence of terrorist activity in the past two years, most notably of al-Qa’ida. As of March 2018 there were more than 9,000 members of terrorist groups active in the region, mostly concentrated in Libya and Algeria,” it noted.

The GTI assessed the total global economic impact of terrorism at almost $52 billion. notes that the attacks by Nigeria’s Boko Haram and its affiliates mainly in the north east and exponential rise in the violence unleashed by the Fulani herdsmen negatively affected the country. By Chido Nwangwu @Chido247

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Nigerian army posts Trump video to justify shooting muslim Shiites




Nigeria’s army (has) posted a video of US President Donald Trump saying soldiers would shoot migrants throwing stones to justify opening fire on a Shiite group (last) week.

In the video, Trump warns that soldiers deployed to the Mexican border could shoot Central American migrants who throw stones at them while attempting to cross illegally.

“We’re not going to put up with that. They want to throw rocks at our military, our military fights back,” said Trump in remarks made on Thursday.

“I told them (troops) consider it (a rock) a rifle. When they throw rocks like they did at the Mexican military and police, I say consider it a rifle.”

Nigeria’s defence spokesman John Agim told AFP that the army posted the video in response to criticism that its security forces had acted unlawfully.

The Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN) said 49 of its members were killed after the army and police fired live bullets at crowds who marched near and in the capital Abuja. The army’s official death toll was six.

Amnesty International said Wednesday it had “strong evidence” that police and soldiers used automatic weapons against IMN members and killed about 45 people in an “unconscionable use of deadly force by soldiers and police”.

The United States embassy in Nigeria said Thursday it was “concerned” and called for an investigation.

“The video was posted in reaction to the Amnesty International report accusing the army of using weapons against pacifist Shiite protesters…. Not only did they use stones but they were carrying petrol bombs, machetes and knives, so yes, we consider them as being armed,” said Agim.

“We intervened only because the IMN members are trying to harm our people, they are always meeting us…at security check points and trying to provoke us, they even burned a police vehicle.”

Nigeria, Africa’s largest economy, is almost evenly split between a mostly Muslim north — which is predominantly Sunni — and a largely Christian south.

Experts have warned the government that a heavy-handed response to the group risks sparking conflict in a volatile region where poverty is widespread.

IMN leader Ibrahim Zakzaky has been in custody since 2015, when an army crackdown killed 300 of his supporters who were buried in mass graves, according to rights groups.

Zakzaky is facing a culpable homicide charge in connection with the 2015 violence. He remains in jail despite a court order granting him bail.

On Thursday, 120 of 400 IMN members arrested by police on Monday were  charged with “rioting, disturbance of public peace and causing hurt,” said a court official in Abuja on Friday.

According to court documents seen by AFP, the IMN members had been ordered to disperse but they “refused and started throwing stones at the police officers and other members of the public and thereby caused them bodily harm”.

All the suspects pleaded not guilty and were granted bail with the court hearing to resume on December 5.

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