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On the Prof. Chinua Achebe project, log on to www.Achebebooks.comCLASSmagazine'the Ebonymagazine for Africans in north America'
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Monitors, opposition reject Nigeria's2007 presidential 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 ofmillions of voting papers and violence in which 16 people werekilled, the worst in Nigeria, plagued by years of military rule sinceindependence from Britain 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 in the WestAfrican giant, scarred by lengthy periods of military rule andcorruption 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'spresidential election and regional polls a week ago fell belowinternational standards. The biggest local monitoring group, whichhad 10,000 observers across Africa's most populous nation, saidvoting was either delayed for hours or did not occur at all in manyareas. "We are going to call for a rerun of elections. You cannot usethe result from half of the country to announce a new president,"said Innocent Chukwuma, chairman of the Transition MonitoringGroup.
Former military ruler Muhammadu Buhari, the leading oppositioncandidate, told Reuters in an interview: "We will not accept it.Clearly there was no election in more than half of the states." Hesaid he would ask the National Assembly to impeach Obasanjo.
Rivers, the first state to publish its results, showed a landslidefor Umaru Yar'Adua of the PDP, Obasanjo's chosen successor as hestands down after allies failed to secure a change to theconstitution to allow a third term.
Senate leader Ken Nnamani, the third most senior state officialand a member of the PDP, said Nigeria had abdicated its role as anexample to the rest of Africa.
"There will be a legacy of hatred. People will hate the newadministration and they will have a crisis of legitimacy," he toldReuters by telephone.
But the government said criticism was part of a coup plot andaccused Nnamani of being involved. "These people have no shame," heresponded, saying he had no interest in a coup.
The electoral commission acknowledged late arrival of materials insome parts of Nigeria but said this would not invalidate the result."The poll we had yesterday was free and fair. Nobody was molested,"commission chief Maurice Iwu said.
The government alleged coup plotters were trying to discredit thepoll and fan protests, after failing to blow up electoralheadquarters on Saturday with a petrol tanker.
The opposition said it might bring its supporters out on thestreets if the PDP claimed victory.
"This is the worst election ever in Nigeria ... They have noalternative than to cancel the election altogether," said outgoingVice-President Atiku Abubakar, arch-enemy of Obasanjo.
The president tried every possible maneuver to exclude Abubakar,who stood for the opposition.
(Official INEC) results are expected on Monday April 23, 2007
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)
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.
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
A KING FOR ALL TIMES: Why Martin Luther King's legacy and vision are relevant into 21st century.
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!
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.
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.'
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.