Transcript CNN International Interview Sept 17, 2002 with Nigeria's President Obasanjo and USAfricaonline.com Publisher Chido Nwangwu on Democracy and Security Issues

CHUBA OKADIGBO: A big tree has fallen (1941-2003)


Philosopher, scholar, strategist, wordsmith, publisher, activist, orator, traditionalist (Oyi of Oyi) and former President of the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria passes on at 61

Special to USAfrica The Newspaper, Houston
USAfricaonline.com and Class magazine

A big tree has fallen in the political and intellectual landscape of Nigeria; and indeed Africa. Dr. Chuba Okadigbo, philosopher, master of political intrigues scholar, publisher, activist, orator, traditionalist (Oyi of Oyi), and former President of the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, died on Thursday September 25, 2003, at the age of 61, in Abuja. He was vice presidential aspirant of the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) with retired Gen. Muhammadu Buhari, as leader of the ticket.

Chuba, a hardnosed political operator, was a bridge between the transited old brigade of the Azikiwe and Awolowos and the new, unsophisticated, impatient new breed of politicians in Nigeria. He was colorful, flamboyant and sometimes controversial in his activist life. But one of his misadventures was the oft-cited statements where he allegedly said that Dr. Azikiwe's opposition to the NPN "victory" of 1982 could be "likened to the rantings of an ant."

On many issues, he showed rigor and lucidity in intellectual discourses. Chuba was in Kano for an ANPP rally on Tuesday in Kano where federal police sprayed tear-gas to disperse their opposition to the Obasanjo presidency and "reelection." Okadigbo, who holds a doctorate in philosophy, had a health record of respiratory issues.

Meanwhile, a key member of Okadigbo's ANPP in Kano State Hajiya Naja'tu Mohammed has told the Voice of America (VOA) Hausa Service the former senate president may have died from the impact of of an "offensive liquid" which the Nigerian police poured on ANPP leaders dignitaries at the same rally in Kano. "Immediately Okadigbo inhaled the offensive liquid, he was not himself again and party men started administering first aid on him to revive him.... It was something else, I and Okadigbo were soaked, even Buhari was soaked by the offensive liquid. The Police will not say they don't know Buhari. That was the beginning of Okadigbo's travails, because he started behaving like an asthmatic patient."

On his part, durable journalist and nationalist Chief MCK Ajuluchukwu pointedly said that Chuba's death is a "national calamity which was sure to embarrass President Olusegun Obasanjo and the Inspector General of Police (Tafa Balogun). It is a national calamity. It must be an embarrassment to the president and IGP that the police in Kano had to throw teargas at a rally being addressed by the Governor of Kano State and the Presidential candidate of the ANPP (Buhari) and his running mate (Okadigbo). There should be a revisit to the constitutional provision for freedom of Assembly without police molestation. This death is a kind of incident that can bring the North and the East together because they share a common sense of grief. Things like that should not be allowed to happen. The death of Bola Ige is shocking enough, Okadigbo's death is even more bizarre. There should be an investigation regarding the real cause of death, which is now being attributed to police teargas in kano. I don't believe he died a natural death. It seems like a respiratory collapse arising out of poisonous gas."

Also, the Kaduna State chairman of ANPP Alhaji Kabir Umar has said his party "vehemently object to the way and manner Okadigbo was tear gas(ed) during the Kano rally...the death of Okadigbo was unfortunate, this is because we believe that his sudden death is not unconnected with the use of tear gas fired by the police. If they know that a man like Okadigbo was asthmatic and the security men still went ahead to fire tear gas in that environment, what did they expect?"

USAfricaonline.com contacts indicate that Dr. Okadigbo was taken to his Jerome Udoji Close residence in Asokoro, Abuja, the city where he has a home, to get additional medical attention and some rest. He was also planning for next day to see if could make another court appearance in the ANPP's electoral-legal challenge to President (retired (Gen.) Olusegun Obasanjo's controversial reelection of May 2003. The petitioners, the alliance of Nigeria's political parties, the European Union, Human Rights Watch, and many international observers have since described the "reelection" in various terms as "rigged, unfair, and not credible" - citing certain cases of vote inflation and violence.

Chuba's police orderlies were withdrawn recently and he has been getting threatening calls. A number of his supporters are outraged by his sudden death.

Chuba told me in an interview during the 2002 World Igbo Congress in Houston that "Nigeria's President Obasanjo is sorely lacking in the mannerisms of running a democratic government. We fell out because I insisted and worked constitutionally on the principle of separation powers. He believe he owns the government. He's a soldier and acts like one. But this is a democracy." He fell out with Obasanjo and the party, PDP, and said the following in Nigeria "Now, the Nigerian polity is sick of second term syndrome, a threatening political cancer. Sadly, I must say that the PDP, which had been a big party of the people, is fast becoming a problem party for Obasanjo and his associates, which is run by his sycophantic cronies. They now lie prostrate in the trauma wing of a political hospital. Some good persons have been trying to nurse the PDP back to good health. But Obasanjo and his cronies are unwilling to let go, due to their 'second term' mania. So, what next? We all know that nothing succeeds like failure...."

Before then, Dr. Okadigbo informed USAfricaonline and NigeriaCentral.com in another brief interview after his election in 1999 as Nigeria's 7th Senate president that "we'll continue to place the overriding interests of all Nigerians at the top of our legislative agenda. We'll return quickly to the task of rebuilding the country and its democratic institutions."

Chuba was key negotiator for Nigeria's government led at the time (1979-1983) by Alhaji Shehu Shagari in securing the return of Biafra's leader, Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu. He was Shagari's political adviser. On the same issue of Biafrans and rehabilitation into Nigeria, he argued in 2001 that calling "ex-Biafran soldiers traitors is nonsensical, as it is inflammatory and unpatriotic....it is an attempt to boost up this anti-Igbo sentiment."

On June 24, 2002, as he was planning to be president of Nigeria, he said "I do not wish to be a South-East nor an Igbo President. Nor do I wish to be a Southern President. I wish to be a Nigerian President, because I am thoroughly Nigerian, very Nigerian. I want my fellow Nigerians to accept me, to endorse me, to vote for me, because I will run a programmatic government which will get things done for Nigerians and for Nigeria and thereby, Move Nigeria Forward- positively."

On the issue of the Presidency of Nigeria, and a subtle dig at retired Gen Obasanjo, Chuba said elsewhere the same month that Nigeria "As a country, we have been endowed by God Almighty with so much resources and potentials to be great. However, we have to free our Nation from direction-less, authoritarian rulers who are suffocating our democracy and have arrested our growth. What we need to do is simple- with our votes; we can free our nation and free ourselves.
Nigerians, free yourselves and fly!
Nigerians, free yourselves and fly!"

Regarding the ruling PDP which he co-founded with Nigeria's vice president Atiku Abubakar, and others, later joined by Obasanjo, Chuba said, pointedly, "Sadly, the PDP has been unable to manage victory. The party has burst at the seams and has been in persistent trouble, no thanks to self-inflicted wounds. The problem began in June 1999, when President Olusegun Obasanjo of the PDP induced Senators in the opposition parties, namely, the All Peoples Party (APP) and the Alliance for Democracy (AD) to defeat the PDP candidate for the post of Senate President in the person of Dr. Chuba Okadigbo. Thereafter, discord between the executive and legislative arms of government began.

"Next, Obasanjo engineered the ouster of the PDP National Chairman, Chief Solomon Lar, whom he replaced with Chief Barnabas Gemade, whom he again replaced with Chief Audu Ogbe. Then. Gen. Olusegun Obasanjo made it known that he wanted a second term as President. So did all PDP Governors and Local Government Chairmen. The APP and AD Chief Executives have followed suit. Now, the Nigerian polity is sick of second term syndrome, a threatening political cancer. Sadly, I must say that the PDP, which had been a big party of the people, is fast becoming a problem party for Obasanjo and his associates, which is run by his sycophantic cronies. They now lie prostrate in the trauma wing of a political hospital. Some good persons have been trying to nurse the PDP back to good health. But Obasanjo and his cronies are unwilling to let go, due to their 'second term' mania. So, what next? We all know that nothing succeeds like failure. What may happen next can be anybody's guess. Bearing in mind the fact that success has many friends whereas failure is an orphan."

In an address to Nigerians in London on July 14, 2002, he directed his sharp mind to the issue of Incumbency as factor in Nigeria's politics, and what Nigerians should learn from the U.S. He noted that "Incumbency is a two-edged sword. It can be quite raw. It can cut an opponent and it can also cut the holder of the sword. If the holder is a good performer, he can use the relevant performance as a sword of incumbency. But if he is a bad performer, that same sword can cut him, even to pieces. In the contemporary Nigerian setting, it all seems that incumbency will hurt many of its holders, due to dubious performances. Remember that George Bush, Snr, was an incumbent President of the United States when Bill Clinton defeated him. Bush led the US to fight and defeat Saddam Hussein and Iraq in 1990 but the American thought he did not perform at home. They turned out to be right in that Bill Clinton gave America eight straight years of unprecedented prosperity and peace."

He continued: "Similarly (at the time) incumbent President Kenneth Kaunda, incumbent President Kerekou and incumbent President Gerald Ford were defeated at one time or the other, when the incumbency sword cut its holders in favour of opponents. When voters are appalled by bad performance and when they are vigilant, watch out for change. Moreover, change is the only thing that does not change. Every thing else is subject to change. No one, no class, no nation can stop the mind of change from blowing when it must and none can halt change itself when it is in real motion."

With an erudite mind and powerful political connections, Okadigbo achieved most of his ambitions. But he could have even been more awith just a little more discipline. Fact is: like or hate him, you cannot ignore Chuba Okadigbo and his imprints on the sands of Nigeria's politics. Goodbye, Oyi. Thank you! May your valiant soul rest in peace!


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 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. (September 26, 2003)

A thumbnail biography of Okadigbo's and some of his thoughts will include, the following:

Birth: December 17, 1941

Marital Status:
Married to Margery Okadigbo (they have children and he has other kids before then)

Education :
Diploma in Trade Economics Blankenburg College of Technology, Germany, 1963.

Master der Philosophie Karl Marx Universitaet, Leipzig, Germany, 1967.
Master of arts in philosophy the Catholic University of America, Washington, D.C., USA, 1972.

Post-doctoral fellow of politics the catholic university of america, Washington. D.C., USA, 1973-1975

Teaching experience :
Assistant professor, later adjunct associate professor of philosophy University of the District of Columbia Washington D.C., 1973-75.

Adjunct assistant professor of politics the Catholic University of America, Washington D.C., U.S.A, 1973-75.

Adjunct assistant professor of politics Howard University, Washington D.C., U.S.A, 1974-75.

Director-general centre for inter-discilinary and political studies, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, 1975-1978.

Lecturer in philosophy University of Nigeria, Nsukka, 1975-78.

Professor of philosophy Bigard Memorial Senior Seminary [Roman Catholic Mission]. Enugu, Nigeria, 1975-77.

Academic visitor and research scholar [visiting professor] London School of Economics and Political Science, Department of Government. London, United Kingdom, 1984-1987.

Author:
Logic for Black undergraduates,

1973 on Hegel's treatment of Egypt: the middle-point between nature and spirit,

1973 Time for change,

1978 The mission of the NPN,

1979 Consciencism in African political philosophy,

1985 Power and Leadership in Nigeria,

1987 Transition to Transition: a senate profile,

1995 -several articles in national and international journals, magazines and newspapers-

Politics :
Organizing secretary, later administrative assistant, NCNC national secretariat. 2 Ikorodu road, Yaba, lagos, 1959-1962.

Secretary, academic board of NCNC, 1960-1963

Assistant publicity secretary Zikist National Vanguard lagos branch 1961-1963

Special correspondent: the Cock monthly newspaper of the NCNC, 1960-1963

Founder/Secretary, Lagos municipal tenants movement, 1960-1961

Founder/President, Nigeria Tenants movement, 1961-1963

General secretary Nigeria Union of students, East Germany1964-1966

General secretary NCNC, East German branch, 1964-1966

Vice president NCNC, East Europe wing, 1964-1966

Elected member, constituent assembly federal republic of nigeria, 1977-1978 (which framed the constitution of the federal republic of nigeria 1999).

Deputy national secretary later, acting national secretary national party of nigeria [npn], 1978-1979

Special adviser on political affairs to the president of nigeria, 1979-1983.

Secretary elders council [national] social democratic party [sdp] 1990-1992

Senator of the federal republic of nigeria 1992-1993

Chairman, senate foreign affairs committee dec. 1992-nov. 1993

National vice chairman [south east] Peoples democratic movement [pdm], 1993-date

Proponent of the name and title "peoples democratic party [pdp]"

Proponent of the flag of the pdp [green, white, red]

Proponent of the motto of the pdp [power to the people]

Co-proponent of the symbol of the pdp [umbrella]

Chairman pdp national publicity committee, 1998-1999

Re-elected as a Senator of the federal republic of Nigeria, 1999

Chairman, senate foreign affairs committee jun.1999- nov.1999

President of the senate of the federal republic of Nigeria. nov.18, 1999 - Aug. 8, 2000.

Founder/chairman Institute of civic affairs, July 2001 till date

Chairman, senate committee on Riots, crises and conflicts, sept. 2001 till date

Honours:
Ekwueme of Ogbunike, 1976.

Ikenga Iguedo, 1980

Oyi of Oyi, 1992

Ikenga Omaballa, 1999

Okwuluoha Ndigbo, fct, 1999

Orji [okeosisi] of Anambra state,

1999 Ijelle Awka, 1999

Ezeudo na Ihembosi, 2000

Okaome Ndigbo [Orlu], 2000

Ode jim jim [Okigwe], 2001

Enyi Nawfia, 2001

Order of diplomatic merit, gwanghwa medal of distinguished international service of the republic of korea, 1980.

National order of the Republic of Guinea, 1981.

Chuba had his way with words. Remarkable, among many, is an excerpt from his interview with erudite journalist Lewis Obi, in the Concord newspaper in July1982, on Statistics: "Statistics are useful, indeed necessary. But you must examine, indeed re-examine statistics before you take really rational decisions. Let me put it another way. Statistics are like bikinis. What they show are quite interesting. What they conceal is even more interesting. In other words, you must look deeper &endash;beyond the first flash of statistical data.

On Ideology:
An ideology is a world outlook or world view, a Weltanschauug to be more scientific. From the stand-point of government, you can call it a framework or the mirror of a leader or ruler for looking at the State and the world generally. In the specific case of Nigeria, there is an ideology in the form of the Fundamental Objectives and Directive Principles of State Policy, given in Chapter Two of the Constitution. Take note that every councillor, chairman, legislator and executive in Nigeria must take an oath of office wherefore he swears to maintain the Constitution. This is mandatory. In ADDITION, A LEGISLATOR, RULER OR LEADER SHOULD ADHERE TO THE MANDATE given in the manifesto and Constitution of the party on whose platform he came into office. Usually, they do NOT contradict any Constitution of our Fatherland. The central point is that Nigeria should be a welfare state, as originally ordained by the Founding Fathers of Nigeria and their political parties. Nevertheless, there is room for particularisations and rationalised ordering of priorities, according to existential circumstances. This must include the reality of free competition, marketi-sm, and the reward of Merit in the contemporary world.

On Money and Power:
Every body needs money to live and cope with life. You can use money to do good and you can use government money to do good for the many. But as they say, money is the root of all evils. Like the incumbency sword, money can cut both ways, the giver or taker, the rich or the poor. The worst part of money is to have more than you need. With respect to power, the greedy but very important personalities (VIPs) who seek or have more money than they need are among the shamelessly corrupt. They can do any thing bad to stack money and to induce any body to do evil. In business, some persons who worship money are fraudsters, while others may even sell drugs to little, innocent children. Some of the moneybags have often told me that the only way to get power is have money or to be a slave of moneybags. I did ask them how much personal money they think or know that Dr. Nnamdi Azikwe, Alhaji Tafawa Belewa, Sir Ahmadu Bello, Mallam Aminu Kano and Alhaji Shehu Shagari had to be Heads of State or Governments. Also, I told them that it is God, not money that gives or takes power to who He wills. Furthermore, I know that God provides money through good men to any one that He wanted to give power.

On Travails and setbacks:
"When one door closes, another opens". A man may rise or fall. Otherwise, he is static and this can be very boring. When you rise, try to hang in there but never abandon principles. When you fall, stand up, dust up, and move. In addition, I always remember the deep British thinker, Rudyard Kiplins, when I rise or when I fall. He wrote: if you can meet with Triumph and Disaster and treat those two impostors just the same…if you can fill the unforgiving minute with sixty seconds worth of distance run, yours is the Earth and everything that's in it &endash;And which is more-you'll be a Man, my son!" during a chat with students in Umuahia, June 2001.

On Foreign Policy:
At the beginning, Nigerian foreign policy was non-alignment, with either the West or East, as power blocks and as capitalist or communist nations. In 1976, this policy was revised, wherefore Africa became the centrepiece of Nigerian foreign policy. Thanks to this doctrine, Nigeria facilitated the independence or liberation of a host of colonized African countries, including apartheid South Africa, Angola, Mozambique and Zimbabwe. Recently, this policy was made to include military intervention for unity and peace in troubled African states, such as Liberia, Sierra-Leone and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. This has been overly expensive, in terms of money, human life and property. This spontaneous policy review is in search of yet a more rational review. In addition, the world is no longer as ideologically divided as it was before the fall of the Soviet bloc of nations. It is no longer bipolar or multipolar. The world is now unipolar. This is an additional rationale for some inevitable but dynamic review of Nigerian Foreign Policy. Therefore, I should propose an All Nigerian Foreign Policy Conference, as distinct from any unilateral and undemocratic decision by any ruler or group.

On Nigeria's Budget
…In his Budget Address, President Olusegun Obasanjo aptly observed in page 2: "for this Government and most Nigerians, our hard-won democracy is yet to translate into significant improvements in our lives." I completely agree with this. But why? The major reason for this pitiful failure was given by several Senators who spoke yesterday. To wit: The Y1999 Supplementary Budget and the Y2000 Budget, with all their Amendments, have not been properly implemented by the Executive, whose two hands were totally free to implement. You will recall that a highly placed public officer in the Ministry of Finance has been quoted as saying that less than 30% of budgeted money for projects in Y2000 has been spent! Ironically, the Senators, after all, are right at last.

Mr. President, I hereby suggest that the political economy approach, as opposed to the bookkeeper, is the best way for budget formulation and costing in Nigeria. From this standpoint, our national budget must be made to be consistent with the federal principle. In this connection, no state or zone may have more than the other, excepting when and where the Rationale are clear, empirically verifiable, and socially/morally defensible. Unfortunately, in the Y2001 Budget, there are many manifestation of disproportion, with regard to the allocation of fluids and projects to our Zones and States in several particulars. For example, I cannot find any justification for the reduction of my Zone, the South-East, to the sixth and lowest position in the Y2001 Budget of President Obasanjo. Why can't all Zones have equal share and why must the South-East be at the very bottom of the 'Zonal Distribution of Core Projects'?

Chuba: pragmatic idealist and political strategist. By Dr. Chidi Amuta, author of 'The theory of African Literature: implications for practical criticism.'


After Okadigbo's death, John Nwodo alerts 'my life is in danger'
Why Chinua Achebe, the Eagle on the Iroko, is Africa's writer of the century. By Chido Nwangwu

Since 1958, Achebe's "Things Fall Apart" set a standard of artistic excellence, and more. By Douglas Killam
OIL in NIGERIA: Liquid Gold or Petro-Dollars Curse?
Elections in Nigeria more a battle of the retired Generals, and votes buying bazaar. By Chido Nwangwu
Osama bin-Laden's goons threaten Nigeria and Africa's stability. By Chido Nwangwu
Nigeria, a terrible beauty....

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.
Why Bush should focus on dangers facing Nigeria's return to democracy and Obasanjo's slipperyslide. By Chido Nwangwu
Abati's Revisionisms and Distortions of history. By Obi Nwakanma, USAfrica The Newspaper contributing editor and award-winning poet
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

Obasanjo's late wake to the Sharia crises, Court's decision and Nigeria's democracy. By Ken Okorie
Obasanjo's own challenge is to imbibe "democratic spirit and practice," By Prof. Ibiyinka Solarin
Is Obasanjo really up to Nigeria's challenge and crises? By USAfrica The Newspaper editorial board member, attorney Ken Okorie. This commentary appears courtesy of our related web site, NigeriaCentral.com
Obasanjo's late wake to the Sharia crises, Court's decision and Nigeria's democracy. By Ken Okorie

Sharia-related killings and carnage in Kaduna reenact deadly prologue to Nigeria-Biafra war of 1967. By Chido Nwangwu.

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
Jonas Savimbi, UNITA are "terrorists" in Africans' eyes despite Washington's "freedom fighter" toga for him. By SHANA WILLS

Nelson Mandela, Tribute to the world's political superstar and Lion of Africa  
Winnie Madikizela-Mandela's burden mounts with murder charges, trials

TRIBUTE
A KING FOR ALL TIMES: Why Martin Luther King's legacy and vision are relevant into 21st century.





ARINZE: Will he be the FIRST BLACK AFRICAN POPE? By Chido Nwangwu
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?


Apple, Steve Jobs extend
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How Obasanjo's self-succession charade at his Ota Farm has turned Nigeria to an 'Animal Farm.' By USAfricaonline.com contributor Prof. Mobolaji Aluko


Lifestyle
Sex, Women and (Hu)Woman Rights. By Chika Unigwe
APPRECIATION
A young father writes his One year old son: "If only my heart had a voice...."

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

OPINION: 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. The nation will mourn the dead and render aid to the maimed and bereaved, but that same nation must understand that it will itself join the graveyard of nations if it fails to uphold the principles of plurality, choice and tolerance. The phenomenon of intolerance is eating up a world that can only survive on peaceful coexistence. By Prof. Wole Soyinka
Debating Obasanjo's record toward Nigeria's South East and South-South. By Pini Jason

DEMOCRACY DEBATE
CNN International debate on Nigeria's democracy livecast on CNN. 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.


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 2001 special as chosen by the editors and readers of the Houston Press, reflecting their poll and annual rankings.

Tragedy of Ige's murder is its déjà vu for the Yoruba southwest and rest of Nigeria. By Ken Okorie
What has Africa to do with September 11 terror? By Chido Nwangwu
Should Africa debates begin and end at The New York Times and The Washington Post? No
NEWS INSIGHT
CNN, Obasanjo and Nigeria's struggles with democracy.
Why Obasanjo's government should respect
CNN and Freedom of the press in Nigeria.
Jonas Savimbi, UNITA are "terrorists" in Africans' eyes despite Washington's "freedom fighter" toga for him. By SHANA WILLS


It's wrong to stereotype Nigerians as Drug Dealers

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

What has Africa to do with September 11 terror? By Chido Nwangwu
Africans reported dead in terrorist attack at WTC
September 11 terror and the ghost of things to come....
Will religious conflicts be the time-bomb for Nigeria's latest transition to civilian rule?
Bola Ige's murder another danger signal for Nigeria's nascent democracy.

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.'

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

Johnnie Cochran will soon learn that defending Abacha's loot is not as simple as his O.J Simpson's case. By Chido Nwangwu

110 minutes with Hakeem Olajuwon
Nigerian stabbed to death in his bathroom in Houston.
Cheryl Mills' first class defense of Clinton and her detractors' game