first African-owned U.S.-based professional newspaper to be published
on the internet, is listed among the world's hot sites by the
international newspaper, USAToday. USAfrica has been cited by the New
York Times as America's largest African-owned multimedia company.
8303 SW Freeway, Suite 100, Houston, Texas 77074.
Phone: 713-270-5500. Cell direct:
OBAMA turns the page of America's history with 2008 nomination. By Chido Nwangwu
Why Biafra resonates globally for the Igbo nation
By Prof. KALU OGBAA, May 31, 2008 in Irving New Jersey.
Special to USAfricaonline.com, CLASS magazine, IgboEvents e-group, USAfrica The Newspaper (Houston) The Black Business Journal and PhotoWorks.Tv
On May 30, 1967, a child of circumstance, known as the Federal Republic of Biafra, was born in consequence of prior genocidal activities of the Nigerian military junta in Lagos against their fellow citizens from Eastern Nigeria, which took place in the form of military coups of May 29, July 29, and September 29, 1966. The Northern-led plotters staged the three coups purportedly in revenge of the first Nigerian military coup of January 15 of the same year; for they claimed that its plotters were mainly Igbo officers. So, on July 29, 1967, reacting to the creation of Biafra, the head of that junta, Lt. Col. Yakubu Gowon (a Northerner), declared war against the young Republic.
After three years of heavy fighting, the war ended officially on January 15, 1970 in favor of the Federal Military Government of Nigeria, which was militarily and diplomatically assisted by two super powers: Great Britain and the USSR. But because Gowon&emdash;now a general&emdash;ostensibly wanted to inspire hope in the defeated Biafrans, who were being forced back to Nigeria, and to impress the world that he was a man of peace, he proclaimed the platitude, "No victors, no vanquished," as he proudly accepted Biafra's document of surrender from Maj. Gen. Philip Efiong on behalf of the Armed Forces and peoples of Biafra. The surrender exercise took place in the absence of General Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu, their Commander-in-Chief and Head of State, who had just traveled outside the country "in search of peace." But following the news of the collapse of Biafra four days after his departure, General Ojukwu stayed back in self-imposed exile in Ivory Coast. Additionally, while ending his euphoric end-of-war speech, General Gowon promised before the world press that his government was going to pursue vigorously the policy of "Reconstruction, Rehabilitation, and Reintegration" of erstwhile Eastern Region and their peoples; that is the defunct war-torn Biafra and its surviving peoples. Yet, to date, as history has since revealed, none of those three "R" words have been truly implemented. Obviously, federal government's failure to keep those promises has been the major trouble with the unity and peaceful coexistence of postwar Nigerians.
photos/flags digital illustration by Chido Nwangwu
Since the end of that regrettable Nigeria-Biafra War (1967-70), many newspaper, journal, and magazine articles, as well as books that critique it have been published by both foreign and Nigerian authors within and outside Nigeria. For example, my own contribution to the ongoing discourse on the war has been published in my 2007 book, General Ojukwu: The Legend of Biafra (New York: Triatlantic Books, 2007). However, the book is not only a study in the personal and professional development, the vision, and services of Ojukwu, a 20th century Oxford-educated black general to his nation, but also a critical analysis of the Nigerian (indeed African) military history, genocidal activities, and sociopolitical leadership. For that reason, this keynote address does not concern itself with detailed analysis of the causes and prosecution of the war as it does with its sociopolitical, economic, and cultural effects on the Igbo ethnic people living in the defunct Biafra, now known as Southeastern States of Nigeria. .
The most telling adverse effect of the war on the former Biafrans and their descendants is sociopolitical. From January 15, 1970 through May 29, 1999, Nigeria was ruled by Northern Nigerian dictators and one Western Nigerian dictator, General Olusegun Obasanjo, with only a two-year interregnum of civil administration headed by yet another Northerner, Alhaji Shehu Shagari. For having fought for their survival against Nigeria, the Igbo people&emdash;who were political, educational, and military leaders in antebellum Nigeria&emdash;have never been allowed to have any say in the governance of their country after they had been forced back to their original fatherland. Furthermore, the few Igbo officers the Hausa/Fulani oligarchy appointed to serve in their various administrations were treated as stooges of those who ruled by power of the barrels of their guns. For those reasons, the necessary infrastructures, such as roads and bridges, electricity, and portable water supplies, which the federal government provides to other Nigerian peoples, are not extended to the Igbo people. And that is why the death tolls on the ill-maintained roads built before the war in Igboland are disproportionately on the rise everyday, when compared to road disasters occurring at the same time in other parts of the country.
Such Igbo group deprivations by even post military civilian administrations have been so persistent since May 29, 1999 that the Igbo people&emdash;one leg of the so-called Nigerian tripod&emdash;have been struggling to have one of their own elected as president of Nigeria to no avail. That continues to be the situation despite the fact that the other two legs&emdash;the Hausa/Fulani and the Yoruba&emdash;have had their turns in the Nigerian presidency many times over. It is no wonder then that the political domination and disenfranchisement of the Igbo have continued to create unbearable social malaise, which both federal and local sociopolitical leaders are neither capable of handling nor equipped to deal with effectively. Hence, one can say that what is happening to the Igbo people compares metaphorically with what happens to a falcon in W. B. Yeats' poem, which Chinua Achebe paraphrased in his famous trailblazing African novel Things Fall Apart:
Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer,
Things fall apart, the center cannot hold,
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world.
The kind of uncontrollable anarchy the poem romanticizes exists between the restive, violent youths (the falcons) who live in all nooks and corners of the former Biafran territory comprising the current five Southeastern (Igbo) states and the six South-South states on one hand, and the security agents of the Federal Government of Nigeria (the falconer) on the other hand.
I believe that because things have so precariously fallen apart, the epicenter of governance in Nigeria cannot hold. Therefore, Nigeria will continue to boil and writhe in awful waves of sociopolitical crisis until its political leaders learn to treat all Nigerian citizens with equity and social justice, without regard to their ethnic, sociopolitical, economic, and religious backgrounds.
At any rate, it is important to note that some aspects of the restiveness and violence of the youth derive from the economic impact of the war on the lives of the Igbo people as a whole. To appreciate the problem fully, one has to understand that its root cause emanates from what happened during and immediately after the war: While the war raged, there were no educational activities going on in Biafra, for schools were closed to prevent teachers and students becoming casualties of the indiscriminate daily bombing of all Biafran towns and villages by the Nigerian military. In fact, only children of the rich and powerful, who had been flown out of the country, were able to continue their education abroad during the war years. So, by the end of the war, the average Igbo students had lost three years of schooling, which meant that they had fallen three years behind other Nigerian students in terms of when they graduated and when they started pursuing post graduation job opportunities.
Besides, all the senior civil service and diplomatic positions Igbo personnel held before the war were taken over by Yoruba and Hausa/Fulani personnel whether or not they were qualified to hold such jobs and positions. That way, the Northerners, upon whom military, political, and economic powers devolved, began deciding how appointments were to be made to reflect the corrupt policy they dubbed "federal character" without any regard to merit. Having been pushed out of the corridors of power, the Igbo elite and technocrats could no longer offer jobs to their people since 1970, when they were forcefully brought back to the Nigerian federation. Hence unemployment became the bane of Igbo society. For Igbo communities, which used to pride themselves as the hub of superior education industry for their children, were no longer in a position to provide the same level of quality and affordable education to many of their sons and daughters. Even the few rich parents that owned landed properties across the country were not allowed to collect rent on such properties because some state governments outside Igboland had taken over the properties they characterized as "abandoned" because their owners had fled those states for Biafra to avoid the mass killings that took place in non-Igbo societies.
Having been thus dispossessed in all areas of their lives, the once proud Igbo nation began to change their corporate cultural life, ethos, and mores as a way to survive the aftermath and vagaries of the war. Men became subservient to the whims and caprices of Northern political overlords. Young women and girls&emdash;especially those who had been raped by the soldiers occupying their villages&emdash;began to sell their bodies for money and for other material necessities. Thereafter, some Northern military officers began to propose marriage to our Igbo women, some of whom obliged out of love, and others out of the need to survive economically. Thus by 1973, nine out of the twelve military state governors in Nigeria were married to Igbo women.
Soon, the trend became a norm for the Nigerian military brass. Whether or not they married them for love or as Igbo trophies only time will tell. In addition to the inter-ethnic marriages came the conversion of Igbo Christians to Islam. Nowadays, we see churches and mosques existing side by side in Igboland&emdash;a development that was unheard of before the war. And it is not unusual nowadays to find Christians and Muslims in an Igbo family. Ordinarily, one would welcome such postwar cultural developments a good thing to happen to the Igbo people socially and politically. Yet, when we find that the Igbo suffered the worst humiliating political and economic deprivations and persecutions during the political regime of our prominent non-Igbo in-laws, such as President Obasanjo and Vice President Atiku; when we reflect on the massive religious mass killings of the Igbo (including Igbo Muslims) in the Moslem North; and when we see all manner of political self-centeredness, greed, hedonism, debauchery, and beggar mentality in some contemporary Igbo leaders' behavior&emdash;all of which are antithetical to our traditional Igbo culture, ethos, and mores&emdash;then we should be so amazed and baffled that we wonder to what extent these cultural aberrations can be attributed to, or blamed entirely on, the war.
After this brief exploration of the war's aftermath on the Igbo people, permit me to ask the question that is weighing heavily on the minds of many people, including those of us who are gathered here for today's solemn ceremony: "What then is Biafra to the Igbo nation worldwide?" It would be presumptuous of me to claim that I can give any answer that would be acceptable to everybody, since we all have our individual opinions on the war itself. Yet, having said that, let me hazard one that comes out of my personal experiences during and after the war in Biafra, and from the research I have so far conducted on that bloody conflict.
First of all, the relevancy of the question is that those whose memorial we have gathered in this "2008 Service of Triumph" to celebrate gave their blood, their limbs, and, above all, their lives for the prevention of Nigerian soldiers' attempted annihilation of returnee Easterners from other parts of Nigeria and their people at home, as well as for the protection of the lives and property in their newfound land, the Republic of Biafra. In carrying out their duty, they fought, they bled, and they laid down their lives so that their fellow Biafrans and their descendants (including you and me) might survive and have better lives beyond the bloody conflict. Their sacrifice was supreme. For as Jesus Christ taught his followers in the Bible (a lesson Biafran Christians learned), "Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends" (King James Version: John 15, v.13). I believe that because they were obedient to the Word, they now live in Glory with Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior. Yes, for the reasons I outlined in my aforementioned book, the soldiers may have lost the physical and political war, but they surely won the psychological and emotional war of survival for their beloved Igbo people who were marked for total annihilation in old Nigeria.
As a twenty-one year-old man then, I was aware of how Northern soldiers and civilians murdered our Igbo children, beheaded their fathers, and disemboweled their pregnant mothers with impunity during the Northern riots and coups; I heard of how Northern officers and men murdered in cold blood the highest ranking Nigerian military officer and Supreme Commander of the Nigerian Armed Forces, General J.T.U. Aguiyi-Ironsi, just because he was Igbo; I witnessed the Nigerian Air Force randomly throw bombs on innocent civilians, including women and children, as well as the old and the infirm in Igbo towns and villages; I heard stories of how Biafran prisoners of war were murdered by Nigerian troops with fanfare; I observed Nigerian soldiers firing at women and children as they fled their captured villages to seek refuge in other secure Biafran villages; and, above all, I experienced personally Nigeria's use of hunger and starvation as a legitimate weapon of war in Biafra. Umu Igbo ibe m [My fellow Igbo people], these are some of the atrocities that young able-bodied Biafrans experienced firsthand and thus decided to join returnee Igbo professional soldiers from Nigeria to fight for the survival of their people. Evidence of their gallantry can be found in our own very existence and presence today. And, to date, other Nigerian peoples, especially those who took part in the war, know very well that valor resides in former Biafra: our own Igbo country!
The scenario I have described above defines what Biafra was to the wartime Igbo nation: a land of refuge for the teeming oppressed and hunted returnee refugees; a land of comfort, warmth, and succor for the starved, the hungry, the sick, and the dying; and, a land of those who were initially fearful but later became fearless, because of the courage they mustered, which was fueled by an uncanny&emdash;almost animal&emdash;capacity to endure, and then survive, all manner of human adversity they were confronted with. All of those experiences happened at the physical and emotional realm. However, at the spiritual and metaphysical realm, they were driven to live the Igbo apothegm, "Aha m efula! [May my name be not forgotten!] Such people were watched and protected daily by their dead-living ancestors, who dwelled in the spirit world, Ala mmuo, the womb of Mother Earth. Since the only land of origin the Igbo had is Ala Igbo [Igboland] in Nigeria, how could they who dwelled on the physical world have failed to fight to defend that land and protect those who were born into it? They had to fight to guarantee the continued existence of the land and the people, as they waded through each muddied battleground that was watered by the silent tears and blood of the slaughtered.
Quite recently, I met a Biafran veteran who, encouraged by that Igbo cosmological belief, told me that he would fight again even at his old age, if Ala Igbo and its people were threatened again. For Igbo bu Igbo [true Igbo patriots] would surely unite and rise up in arms to protect them again and again, and again. That was why in the past the people developed the spirituality, creativity, and ingenuity that enabled them to produce war implements like the dreaded Ogbunigwe they used in fighting the troika of Nigeria, Great Britain, and Russia for the three agonizing years the war lasted; that is why they were able to survive economically in Biafra albeit it very barely for as long as the war raged without any exportation or importation of goods to and from foreign countries; and, that is also why everybody treated each other as his or her brother's or sister's keeper.
That was then, but today, we cannot turn Ala Igbo into the mythic&emdash;yes, emotional and physical&emdash;Biafra, which existed from May 30, 1967 to January 15, 1970. It is now part and parcel of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, even for the ultra patriotic Igbo people worldwide. That is because, as a geographical expression, wartime Biafra spanned a territory beyond the present five Southeastern states&emdash;the Igbo heartland. Its other parts contained five other ethnic peoples who now have their own territories and states. That means that if we want to actualize the sovereign state of Biafra today as MASSOB has been agitating for some time now, the Igbo people in the six South-South states can only join other Igbo people in the heartland spiritually and metaphysically but not physically.
They belong physically to the states in which they now live and have their being. And they do not have to live in the heartland to qualify as Umu Igbo. Also, it is impossible for them to uproot their homes from those states so as to integrate them into any proposed physical Biafra. Instead, what is possible and needed now is Biafra of the spiritual and metaphysical realm&emdash;a loadstone which provides psychic escape for any Igbo persons living anywhere in the world, whenever they are in trouble. For that Biafra embodies the qualities of true Igbo nationalistic patriotism, creativity, ingenuity, altruism, compassion, and proclivity for community service, which have always helped the Igbo as a formidable ethnic people of Nigeria "to get up." We must revive such qualities since they have always been beneficial to our corporate Igbo sociopolitical life.
In conclusion, as every socially and politically conscious Igbo person knows, although the armed hostilities ended thirty-eight years ago, Nigeria is still waging sociopolitical and economic warfare against Ndigbo at home. (Some of) their leaders have continued to use hunger and starvation as legitimate weapons to kill our people slowly. They do so through political domination, economic suppression, senior civil service exclusion, and legal and civil rights deprivation. However, they have been successful in doing so only because they have been using our corrupt so-called sociopolitical leaders as camouflaged agents to sabotage our progress.
Therefore, like Biafran warriors of old, our generation is now being called upon to stand up like men to save our people in this subtle but equally dangerous war that postwar Nigeria has been waging relentlessly against us since the secession of armed hostilities. Just as Biafra had military commanders in the various branches of its Armed Forces, the Igbo nation boasts a lot of professional leaders like us in every field of human endeavor worldwide. All we need is to develop the necessary qualities that our Biafran ancestors had&emdash;such as the ones I outlined above&emdash;so we can pull together in a meaningful and sincere way all the available resources there are to enable us help our people.
For they are now asking: "Who will come to our aid?" Yes, some of us were not in a position to help those who died fighting so Biafrans might survive; yet survive they did! But what about their comrades who are now merely existing and languishing in abject poverty and disease at the Oji River Biafran Veterans Home? Can any of us here sincerely say that we are not in a position to help the veterans today? Yes we can help if we want to. So, I am asking each and every one of us today, "Who shall stand up like men of courage for their survival? Or, are we too cowardly to play the role of latter day Biafrans?"
We must remember that the warrior swords and shields of our
forefathers have been handed over to us. Therefore, we cannot fail
our dead-living ancestors, who are demanding our services to their
poor descendants. No, we cannot afford to fail them; for their
ubiquitous eyes are watching us wherever we may be!
Ogbaa, author of 7 books, professor of English Language and scholar of African literature delivered these views on May 31, 2008, during Biafra Memorial service and fundraising event at the Igbo Anglican Church, in Irving, New Jersey.
Why America should halt the
genocide in the
DEMOCRACY WATCH: What Bush Should Tell Obasanjo.... By Chido Nwangwu (Founder and Publisher of USAfricaonline.com)
Can Africa live a future without war? An Open Letter to Mandela. By Fubara David-West, USAfricaonline.com contributing editor
FLASHPOINT! In 15 years: Nigeria could collapse, destabilize entire West Africa - U.S. intelligence analysts claim; Obasanjo calls them "prophets of doom...."
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
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
Will the rash of Ethnic Violence disrupt Nigeria's effort at Democracy?
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
PetroGasWorks Shell picks Leslie Mays as VP Global Diversity
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, energy and fresh ideas for a new
era not on his side.
More baffling many Nigerians we interviewed recall are
the lessons of the excesses of the late Gen. Abach who
jailed Obasanjo while the former schemed to remain in
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
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.
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
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
Nnamdi Azikiwe: Statesman, Intellectual and Titan of 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.' 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
The Life and Irreverent times of Afrobeat superstar, FELA
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
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.
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
EVA champions efforts to combat AIDS among Nigerian youth. By Jessica Rubin
Pros and cons of the circumcision debate. By Ngozi Ezeji, RN
Prof. Chimere Ikoku: Remembering the legacy of a pan-Africanist, scientist and gentleman. By Prof. Chudi Uwazurike
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.
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),
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
transcript of the CNN
International news program.
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
Why Powell's mission to the Middle East failed. By Jonathan Elendu
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 .....