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USAfrica: Why Nnia Nwodo’s a courageous, daring leader of Ohaneze. By Obinwa Nnaji.

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Why Nnia Nwodo’s a courageous, daring leader of Ohaneze

By Obinwa Nnaji.
USAfrica Executive Editor [Nigeria and West Africa].
@USAfricaLIVE
With just few weeks away, it will be six months since the new leader piloting the affairs of this all important socio-cultural body of a most audacious, brave, industrious and homogeneous people that speak Igbo in Nigeria and the Diaspora – the Ohaneze, came aboard.
The hopefulness that greeted the election of Chief John Nnia Nwodo Jnr., two-time Federal Minister of Transport (Aviation), later Information and one who had been in the race for the presidential ticket of one of the political parties, could not have been a mere fluke. The reverberations could be felt in far flung places away from the Ohaneze Secretariat in Enugu.
It was a night of long knives, horse trading , compromise and final elections which saw Chief Nnia defeating a renowned Professor in a landslide victory to become the President-General of Ohaneze.
Chief Nwodo has been vocal in pushing against the deprivations and marginalization from the 1970s and the maze of problems confronting the Igbo within the polity of Nigeria since 1999 and currently under President Buhari in 2017.
He has proven to be a leader with grit; someone who has the heart of a bull, intellect, courage, industry and acceptability; a leader who will seek solutions to the harsh evidences of marginalization of the Igbo and the old East in all Federal appointments, agencies and parastatals.
Who can challenge and speak out without fear or favour against the domineering policy. Who will challenge oligarchy. Who would look the mafia whether in Kaduna or Abuja in the face and say enough is enough. The alleged wanton killings of innocent Igbos by Federal security agencies, during peaceful protests aggitating for their rights as covered by the Geneva United Nations Rights of protests and demonstrations, should no longer go unpunished and must be made a criminal case of murder and genocide before world bodies and their aliases.
The horror and the consequences of abandoned Federal roads in the east that have become death traps sending hundreds of Igbos and other road users to their untimely death. Must Igbo land continue to quiver and remain cowed because it bravely fought a civil war decades ago to defend its people from total annihilation. If we keep capitulating , what future holds out for our children and generation yet unborn.
How do we  meaningfully engage other Federating blocs in peaceful and positive dialogue to resolve the myriad of contentious issues and now is time to get cracking. For so long have we been deceived with white elephant projects – the ever tale talk on building second Niger Bridge including several eye-popping gigantic projects that have remained on the drawing board for ages.
The Igbo needed a man of Nnia  Nwodo’s stature that commands respect, universally and has friends cutting across ethnic groups and religious divide of the country. A man who then at University of Ibadan trounced other students including Yorubas ‘sons of the soil’ to emerge President of the Students Union.  Worthy of note that  Nnia since assuming leadership of Ohaneze has begun the bark and bite — to give the Igbo a stronger voice.
Suffice it to say we must  not only concentrate in asking and demanding for our rights, but adopt a policy of looking inwards to develop Igbo land. In looking inwards, there is the urgent need to establish an all purpose Igbo Village, east of the Niger, which would be all encompassing; developing and showcasing the best of the Igbo in science, information technology, tradesmen and artisans, iron and metalic craftsmen, music, sports, literature, agriculture and other areas. The potentials are better imagined. The Igbo should partner with more overseas investors to turn Igbo land to prime investment havens and tourist centres in West Africa.
Goods and materials from the Igbo villages would find ready markets in Europe, America,  Canada, Asia and the Far East including Africa, thus earning for our people the much sought after foreign currencies.
A people endowed by nature with muscular energy and knowledge of industry, self reliance and never say die spirit cannot continue to play second fiddle nay second hand citizens. No never! One can say without any fear of contradiction that Igbo businessmen and women worldwide remain one of Nigeria’s treasure base in terms of individual wealth made genuinely through dint of hard work. All they need is a man they can trust and the rest will be history. There must be a synergy with our multi billionaires to begin to show more interest back home. Of course, a transparent and well focused Ohaneze should be able to attract the best of our intelligentsia overseas, doctors and paramedics, engineers, educationists and industrialists to return home and develop Iboland urgently.
It would thereafter checkmate our chaps who run helter skelter after moving cars to sell their wares on the streets of Lagos and Abuja under severe risks of being arrested or being knocked down by vehicles.
The challenge therefore is enormous . The Ohaneze mantle on Nnia could be optimized. My reminiscences record same Nnia Nwodo, Ike Ukehe, as having told this writer about the motto of the British Security agency, approximately, that “Only those who dare, win.” This motto has inspired the Ohaneze leader, all along. The stake is so high. So if you dare, you win. A food for thought for all Igbo east of the Niger, Delta, Rivers and the Diaspora.
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USAfrica is an international multimedia company, founded since 1992 by Dr. Chido Nwangwu [author of Mandela & Achebe: Leadership, Identity and Footprints of Greatness], with its headquarters in Houston, Texas. Also, he established the 1st African-owned, U.S.-based professional newspaper published on the internet USAfricaonline.com, both assessed by the CNN and The New York Times as the largest and arguably the most influential African-owned, U.S-based multimedia networks. USAfrica’s first print edition of USAfrica magazine published August 1993; USAfrica The Newspaper on May 11, 1994; The Black Business Journal in 1998; CLASSmagazine on May 2, 2003; PhotoWorks.TV in 2005, and several platforms and products. USAfricaonline.com is powered by the global resources of USAfrica, CLASSmagazine, CLASSmagazine.TV, PhotoWorks.Tv, USAfrica.TV, MandelaAchebeChido.com, AchebeBooks.com and ChidoNwangwu.com

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U.S says it will investigate Zimbabwe presidential election violence; MDC disputes result; winner acknowledges there were “challenges”

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Special to USAfricaonline.com

The MDC Alliance led by 40-year-old Nelson Chamisa is disputing the outcome of the polls alleging that they were rigged to the point of having more votes than registered voters.

While the winner, ZANU PF leader and incumbent president, Emmerson Mnangagwa, 75, acknowledged that there were “challenges” he insisted the polls were free and fair.

The US Department of State said Zimbabwe’s 30 July elections presented the country with a historic chance to move beyond the political and economic crises of the past and toward profound democratic change.

“Unfortunately, Zimbabwe’s success in delivering an election day that was peaceful, and open to international observers, was subsequently marred by violence and a disproportionate use of deadly force against protestors by the security forces,” the department’s spokesperson Heather Nauert said in a statement.

Six people were shot dead on Wednesday by soldiers and many others were injured. A seventh person is reported to have succumbed to gunshot wounds on Friday at a hospital in Chitungwiza.

The US said it welcomes the commitment by Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) to release comprehensive election results in a form that provides full transparency. ZEC maintains that the election results were an accurate reflection of the voters’ will.

Former colonial master, Britain, also remained concerned about the developments.

“The UK remains deeply concerned by the violence following the elections and the disproportionate response from the security forces,” said UK Minister of State for Africa, Harriett Baldwin.

She, however, urged electoral stakeholders to work together to ensure calm.

“While polling day passed off peacefully, a number of concerns have been raised by observer missions, particularly about the pre-election environment, the role of State media, and the use of State resources. There is much to be done to build confidence in Zimbabwe’s electoral process.”

Baldwin urged that any appeals against the results or the process be handled swiftly and impartially.– African News Agency (ANA)

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Zimbabwe’s presidential election offers opportunity for post-Mugabe progress. By Wilf Mbanga

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Zimbabwe-Politics-USAfricaonline

Today, Monday July 30, 2018, Zimbabweans [went] to the polls to elect Robert Mugabe’s successor. For pretty much the average life expectancy of many Zimbabweans, one man has ruled the country with an iron fist. Eight elections were held during his rule – and every time, that fist ensured victory for Mugabe.

The current president, Emmerson Mnangagwa, 75, the man who finally ousted Mugabe in a bloodless coup last November, has also crushed his enemies ruthlessly in the past – but his iron fist lies within a well-padded velvet glove.
Mnangagwa goes head to head at the polls with Nelson Chamisa, 40, who took over as leader of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) after Morgan Tsvangirai died earlier this year.

Whoever wins, this election heralds a new dawn for Zimbabwe. Mugabe has gone. Things will never be the same again. Certainly, Mnangagwa brings a lot of baggage from the Mugabe era – having been the former president’s righthand man.

But he is different in many significant ways – today, Mugabe even urged voters to turn their backs on his leadership, and went so far as to wish Chamisa well. Most importantly, Mnangagwa understands business and is determined to resuscitate Zimbabwe’s moribund economy and give the people what they so desperately want and need – jobs.

He is primarily a soldier, having left Zimbabwe as a teenager in the early 1960s for military training in China. He has fashioned himself after the former communist leader Deng Xiaoping, who modernised China and laid the foundations for the economic powerhouse it has become, while maintaining a strictly authoritarian regime.

Deng abandoned many orthodox communist doctrines to incorporate elements of the free-enterprise system. Mnangagwa seems determined to do the same for Zimbabwe. He is a wealthy man in his own right, having run Zanu-PF’s and his own businesses since the early 1980s. He has been mentioned in a UN report on the plundering of mining and logging resources in the Democratic Republic of the Congo together with General Sibusiso Moyo, who is now the foreign affairs minister.

Over the eight months since he took the reins from Mugabe, Mnangagwa has given clear signals of a clean break with the past – actively courting the west, preaching and practising peace instead of violence, eschewing corruption, meeting business leaders and white farmers, and generally projecting himself as a reformist. He has met personally the many business missions that have visited the country this year, and has promised to get rid of the cumbersome bureaucracy that currently stifles new investment. He has suspended Mugabe’s populist indigenisation act, which required foreigners to cede 51% of their shares to locals (ZANU-PF, of course) in all sectors except gold and diamond mining. He has even made it his election slogan – with party supporters everywhere sporting T-shirts proclaiming “Zimbabwe is open for business”.

While Mugabe was a consummate manipulator, skilfully playing people off against each other and weaving a complex web of patronage, Mnangagwa is a much more of a strategist. He will be prepared to make tough decisions that could ultimately benefit the economy. He has certainly been more successful in attracting foreign investment in the short time he has been in power than Mugabe was in decades of berating the west.

 

The MDC’s Chamisa is just as pro-business as Mnangagwa, and to his credit has surrounded himself with several capable technocrats. There is no whiff of corruption about him and he has been drawing massive crowds in many rural areas which, under Mugabe, were no-go areas for his party. And of course the MDC’s democratic and human rights credentials are well established – while those of Zanu-PF are a constant cause for concern.

Should Chamisa win the election, there is no doubt that the world would welcome Zimbabwe back into the fold with open arms. But Mnangagwa is smart enough to realise that international recognition of his government can only come if this election is acknowledged as free and fair by the global community. While Britain has been unswervingly supportive of the post-Mugabe regime, the US has reserved judgment – recently renewing its sanctions on Zanu-PF leaders and companies, but promising to lift them once credible elections have taken place.

And there’s the rub.

Many believe it is impossible for the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission to run a free and fair poll. It is accused of rigging every election since it was established in 2004; it is still staffed largely by the military and Zanu-PF loyalists; and it has shown shameful bias towards the ruling party in recent months. For example, the law says the ballot paper should be in alphabetical order, which places Chamisa second on the 23-person list. The commission cleverly formatted the paper into two lop-sided columns, in order to place Mnangagwa at the very top of column two.

So this election could bring three possible results: if Mnangagwa wins, the MDC already has enough ammunition against the electoral commission to cry foul.

If Chamisa wins convincingly, it will be a new dawn indeed – but the military might not accept this, as the Generals have already invested a lot in Mnangagwa.

But if there is no clear winner, the most sensible way forward would be for the two protagonists to agree to a marriage of convenience – otherwise known as a government of national unity.
• Wilf Mbanga, once falsely classified by Mugabe’s government as ‘enemy of the people’, is the founder, editor and publisher of The Zimbabwean weekly, published in the UK and Johannesburg

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USAfrica: “Resign! Get out of office!” – Bishop Oyedepo tells Nigeria’s President Buhari

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The founder of the Living Faith Church Worldwide, aka Winners’ Chapel, Bishop David Oyedepo, has called on Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari, a retired army General, to resign due to what he considers to be the continuing failure of Buhari to stop  the incessant killings by militant Fulani herdsmen.

Oyedepo who spoke on the theme, “Enough is enough” recalled that “When I was talking in 2015, people were saying my own was too much, now everybody can see what’s happening,” he said. ”What has moved forward in anybody’s life? You don’t know it’s war. Why are they attacking the Christian communities? Why has nobody been arrested? I can tell you this, the authorities and the powers that be are behind them.”

“We must wake up and push this evil back. Not one of those so-called herdsmen – they are jihadists – has been brought to book till date. Herdsmen don’t shoot; they have been here all along. They are just taking cover under the herdsmen to assault innocent citizens. They wake up in the night and slice innocent children to pieces. Yet, you have a government in place. What!

“The most honourable thing for any non-performing leader to do is to resign. The most honourable thing is to resign. That’s my own for Mr President. Resign! Get out of office! Even our Islamic friends in the North are calling on him to resign. Because that’s the noblest thing to do. Or are we going to look at one system destroy a whole nation?”

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