TranscriptCNN International Interview with Nigeria's PresidentObasanjo and USAfricaonline.com Publisher Chido Nwangwu onDemocracyand Security Issues


EVA champions efforts to combat AIDS amongNigerian youth

By Jessica Rubin

 Special to USAfrica The Newspaper, Houston
USAfricaonline.com,TheBlack Business Journal and NigeriaCentral.com

Located in West Africa, with an estimated 120 million people,Nigeria is home to approximately a fifth of the African continent'spopulation. The many ethnic groups that inhabit the land have givenit a diverse and valuable culture, but this greatly populated countryis currently facing a most horrific health crisis, with the prevalenceof HIV infected individuals increasing at a frightening rate. At theend of 2001, 3,500,000 cases of HIV positive individuals werereported, 270,000 under the age of 15, according to a surveyconducted by UNAIDS and the World Health Organization. At the timethat this statement was produced, 1,000,000 children had lost one ormore parents to the epidemic. These figures do not even fully revealthe state of peril that Nigeria is in today. Nigeria has, fordecades, made efforts to deny the reality of HIV. Only in 1986 wasthe first case of AIDS reported, and this late admission meant a muchbelated response to the disease.

It is the younger segment of the population that is sadly bearingthe great weight of this epidemic. Within this group, HIV and AIDSare spreading the most rapidly, with the percentage of infectedvictims reaching disturbing levels. In 2001, amongst testedindividuals, aged 15-19, 5.9% were HIV positive, amongst those, aged20-24, 6.0% were infected, and 6.3% of tested individuals, aged25-29, had HIV. Nigerian youth are lacking knowledge about theirreproductive health and are therefore unprepared to face the healthrisks associated with sexual activity. Young people do not receivethe appropriate education, despite the revealing figures, and theyare reluctant to seek help from their parents and society.


USAfricaonline.com SPECIAL REPORT:Africasuffers the scourge of the virus.This hard life and pain of Kgomotso Mahlangu, afive-month-old AIDS patient (in picture, left) in a hospital in theKalafong township near Pretoria, South Africa, on October 26, 1999,bring a certain, frightening reality to the sweeping and devastatingdestruction of human beings who form the core of any definition of acountry's future, its national security, actual and potentialeconomic developmentand internal markets. By ChidoNwangwu

 


22 million Africans HIV-infected, ill withAIDSwhile African leaders ignoredisaster-in-waiting

Education as a Vaccine against AIDS (EVA), was founded onOctober 5, 2000 with this educational deficit in mind. Its mission'is to combat the rapidly rising AIDS epidemic in Nigeria throughformal and informal educational initiatives.' EVA seeks changethrough personal, continued contact with these young people,curriculum changes in secondary schools, community-wide AIDSprevention programs, and counseling to those living with HIV andAIDS. The organization believes that in order to have a sustainableimpact, young people must be involved in all aspects of theorganization. Natasha Blakley, a veteran intern for EVA says, 'Thefact that EVA is controlled by fellow Nigerians that all the workers[can] easily relate and identify with the age group, reallyhelps to foster deeper relationships.' There is evidence of this inthe core principles that led to the establishment of theorganization, as well as the development, implementation andevaluation of its programs.

The founders of this growing non-profit are two young,Nigerian-born women who were motivated by the startling HIVstatistics to return to, and enact change, in their homeland. Aftercompleting their education at Wesleyan University, FadekemiAkinfaderin and Damilola Adebiyi received a generous grant from theprestigious Echoing Green Foundation to establish EVA, and have sincebeen developing the organization and establishing themselves as greatendorsers of change in Nigeria. Akinfaderin described the responseEVA first received from young Nigerians as astonishing. 'HIV doesn'treally exist. That's just fabricated in the western world. It's a gaydisease. I'm not white, it doesn't apply to me. I'm not American, itdoesn't apply to me. I'm young. I can't get HIV.'

EVA's largest program, is the Secondary School Based Program. TheSSBP is a multi-dimensional program, which incorporates the ideologyof a reproductive health curriculum, peer health counseling, youthfriendly health services and youth development/service based learningapproaches. The program is implemented by a highly trained group ofpeer health educators (recent high school graduates) in over 20secondary schools in Abuja, Nigeria's growing capital. The SSBP hasprovided over 3,000 students with much needed information onreproductive health topics with special emphasis on HIV/AIDS, andequipped them with life skills, which focus on decision-making,social assertiveness and effective communication as a means tominimize risk behavior. 'Young people anywhere in the world, andespecially in more conservative societies, are more likely to listenand talk to the young hip person they want to be[like] aboutsex--abstinence and safe sex--than their parents and teachers,' saidChinelo Dike, a board member of EVA.

In addition to the youth program, EVA offers the same comfortable,receptive assistance to individuals already infected with HIV/AIDS.Working with existing clinics, EVA provides care and encouragement toinfected people who may have been rejected by their families and thecommunity.

This program is aimed to improve the quality of life of peopleliving with HIV and AIDS by the provision of weekly support groupmeetings and the distribution of informational pamphlets onnutrition, physical activities and mental health. EVA also works incollaboration with Health and Labor Ministries to provideAnti-retroviral therapy treatment to their clients and is in theprocess of embarking on an anti-stigmatization campaign targetedtoward the general pubic to reduce all forms of discrimination.

EVA's work in Nigeria has only just begun. The founders have goalsto create a young men's health program specifically tailored to theneeds of adolescent males in single-sex high schools, a girl's healthleadership program to increase the young girl's involvement in theirreproductive health, and to expand their current services to youth intertiary institutions. In the long term, EVA hopes to broaden itsgeographic realm of contact into other nations of West Africa. Whilethere is not yet a foreseeable end to the AIDS epidemic, EVA's workis visible in the faces of young people, who now have a chance ofavoiding the deadly disease. 'You can see the impact,' saidAkinfaderin. 'A kid will walk up to you and say thank you; you're socool and wonderful.' Contact info: Education as a Vaccine againstAIDS Inc., P.O.Box 469 Grand Central Station, New York, NY 10163.www.evanigeria.org

Why Chinua Achebe, the Eagle on the Iroko, is Africa's writer of the century. By Chido Nwangwu


APPRECIATION
A young father writes his One year old son: "If only my heart had a voice...."

DIPLOMACY Walter Carrington: An African-American diplomat puts principles above self for Nigeria  USAfricaonline.com Founder Chido Nwangwu with the U.S. former Ambassador Carrington (right) at the U.S. embassy in Lagos during a courtesy visit.
COUNTERPOINT
Tiger Woods is no Nelson Mandela! By Chido Nwangwu
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.

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.
Biafra-Nigeria war and history get fresh, critical look from a survivor. By Alverna Johnson and Vivian Okeke.
  'Biafra: History Without Mercy' - a preliminary note. By Chido Nwangwu
ODUMEGWU EMEKA
OJUKWU:"It was simply a choice between Biafra and enslavement! And, here's why we chose Biafra"
Biafra: From Boys to Men. By Dr. M.O. Ene

African Union: Old wine in new skin?
Sharia, Sex and hypocrisy of Gendered Justice. By Chika Unigwe, columnist for USAfricaonline.com
And the Rocks Cried Out (For Safiyatu). By Effenus Henderson
OIL in NIGERIA: Liquid Gold or Petro-Dollars Curse?
NEWS INVESTIGATION: The Marc Rich Oil Deals in Nigeria


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
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
Why Bush should focus on dangers facing Nigeria's return to democracy and Obasanjo's slipperyslide
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?
USAfricaonline LITERATURE As Chinua Achebe turned 70, Africa's preeeminent statesman Nelson Mandela, Toni Morrison, Wole Soyinka, Ali Mazrui, Leon Botstein (president of Bard College), Ojo Maduekwe, Emmanuel Obiechina, Ngugi wa Thinong'o, Micere Mugo, Michael Thelwell, Niyi Osundare, and an army of some of the world's leading writers and arts scholars joined to pay tribute to him at Bard College in New York. (Achebe is in pix with Morrison). Meanwhile, the Nobel committee has, again, chosen a relatively less known (globally-speaking) Chinese novelist, Gao Xingjian, rather than Achebe for the Literature prize. Achebe was seen as a top favorite for the 2000 award. What the Swedish Nobel committee will not give, Achebe has, for well over 30 years, won in the hearts of millions in 53 languages. By Chido Nwangwu
Literary giant Chinua Achebe returns "home" from U.S., to love and adulation of community
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.
ARTS The Life and Irreverent times of Afrobeat superstar, FELA

 

 

TRIBUTE Tanzania's founding president Julius Nyerere    

 

Nnamdi Azikiwe: Statesman, Intellectual and Titan of African politics


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


BULLET Versus BALLOT The bloody stain of military coup, on Friday December 24, 1999, sullied the once unique history of democratic rule in the beautiful and historically democratic, French-speaking west African country of Cote d'Ivoire (Ivory Coast) by General Robert Guei (inset). USAfricaonline report and commentary.
COMMUNITY INTEREST Why the revisionist forces of racist oppression in South Africa should not be allowed to intimidate Ron and Charlayne Gault.

Index of Founder's Notes (1)

Index of Founder's Notes (2)

Index of other Viewpoints USAfricaonline contributors and columnists on the issues


BUSINESS Dr. Anaebonam's strategic vision for BREEJ is a model for business excellence and empowerment.
Pope John Paul, Abacha and Nigeria's Christians
TRANSITION 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 ..... 
Soni Egwuatu, Houston businessman, joins his ancestors

THE FIRST POPE of RECENT AFRICAN ORIGIN? To our Brother Cardinal Arinze: May your pastoral lineage endure!


INSIGHT
Why Martin Luther King's legacy and vision are relevant into 21st century.



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), Chido 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 rush transcript of the CNN International news program.


Obasanjo facing corruption and ineptitude impeachment charges, again since the parliament, a few weeks ago, passed a motion carrying a majority of the members of Obasanjo's party, the PDP.
INSIGHT: 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
RELIGION AND ETHNIC CONFLICT: Sharia-related killings and carnage in Kaduna reenact deadly prologue to Nigeria-Biafra war of 1967. By Chido Nwangwu
It's wrong to stereotype Nigerians as Drug Dealers. By Chido Nwangwu
Nigeria as a Nation of Vulcanizers
Why Colin
Powell brings gravitas, credibility and star power to Bush presidency.

What has Africa to do with September 11 terror? By Chido Nwangwu


One year after: Reflections on September 11. By Jonathan Elendu
PUBLIC POLICY Private initiative, free market forces, and more democratization are keys to prosperity in Africa.
The
Civilianizing of African soldiers into Presidents
Maduekwe, Nwachukwu clash over Obasanjo at World Igbo 2002 convention in Houston. USAfrica Special report
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. USAfrica FORUM IN THE HOUSE OF MANDELA: A SILLY CRY FOR REPARATIONS By Prof. Chimalum Nwankwo
DEMOCRACY DEBATE
CNN International debate on Nigeria's democracy 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.

Steve Jobs and Apple represent the future of digital living. By Chido Nwangwu
Apple announces Titanium
,
"killer apps" and other ground-breaking products. iTunes makes a record 500,000 downloads.
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
Nigerian stabbed to death in his bathroom in Houston.
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
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?
110 minutes with Hakeem Olajuwon
Cheryl Mills' first class defense of Clinton and her detractors game 
Seriously, is your web site a Turkey, too? Get Solutions

PetroGasWorks Shell picks Leslie Mays as VP Global Diversity
EndGame in Kinshasa: U.S must boot Mobutu for own interest, future of Zaire and Africa
Why Powell's mission to the Middle East failed. By Jonathan Elendu
Will the rash of Ethnic Violence disrupt Nigeria's effort at Democracy?

Nigerian stabbed to death in his bathroom in Houston.