Maduekwe, Nwachukwu clashover Obasanjo at WIC 2002

Special to USAfrica The Newspaper, Houston
USAfricaonline.comand NigeriaCentral.com

USAfrica Special report by CHUKS ILOEGBUNAM and CHIDO NWANGWU(at the 2002 convention) 

The largely fraternal warmth and frank exchanges among the Igbopolitical activists and political leaders was dislocated at theclosing hours of the 8th annual convention of the World Igbo Congressat the five-star Adam's Mark Hotel in Houston, Texas.

Apolitical fireball hit the well-attended convention when Chief OjoMaduekwe, Nigeria's Transport Minister who serves, also, as one ofNigeria's president Obasanjo's staunch Igbo defenders took on SenatorIke Nwachukwu (a retired army General and one of the 2002 electionspresidential aspirants) in a direct verbal assault questionedNwachukwu's "integrity."

The Minster called the Senator dishonest. According to Maduekwe,Nwachukwu was not long ago a constant visitor to Aso Rock where hetirelessly lobbied retired Gen. Obasanjo to enthrone him as SenatePresident and over the head of another Igbo incumbent.

Healleged, without mincing words, that Nwachukwu who aspired to removehis boss to lead Nigeria as president was without ethics. But whenChief Maduekwe looked Senator Nwachukwu in the eye and called him aliar, the convention could take it no more. Hundreds of voices rainedabuses on Maduekwe, calling him 'stooge', 'puppet', 'turncoat' andsome other names that are unprintable. Nwachukwu maintained his calm,and later spoke against the allegations made by the Minister.

It all started when Senator Nwachukwu, former External Affairsminister, laid into President Olusegun Obasanjo with uncommon animus,during his detailed presentation on his candidacy. Obasanjo (wavingin picture, right) did not attend the convention.

Nwachukwu, who hails form the same senatorial district asMaduekwe, pronounced Obasanjo's administration a failure,dictatorial, tribalistic, lacking focus and fairness to allNigerians. He accused Obasanjo of gross marginalization of Ndigbo. Hebuttressed his allegation with the would have been NEPA power stationin Alaoji, in Abia State which, months ago, the Ohanaeze Ndigboaccused the Obasanjo administration of relocating at Ota, in OgunState.

Nwachukwu received a standing ovation for his efforts andarticulation. It was a congress with outright antipathy for theObasanjo administration, and any swipe at the political leadership ofthe country ignited instant celebration. But out came Maduekwe wholit into Nwachukwu, denying that Obasanjo was anti-Igbo. He locatedthe problem in General Nwachukwu who he, in effect, described asunscrupulous. Maduekwe said it was not true that any power stationwas relocated from the Igbo country to Ogun State.

Some of the Minister's supporters demanded that he be given moretime to continue his arguments. About 90 minutes earlier, he hadaddressed the convention . For some moments during the disagreementsand shouts, Maduekwe resumed his seat on the front row, momentarilyand finally walked out of the convention at an end.

Before the rumpus, Aviation Minister Dr. (Mrs.) Kema Chikweaddressed the audience. She also defended her largely commendedrecord in improving Nigeria's aviation infrastructure. Although, shefaced mounting demands to make Enugu an international airport.

The convention, which had the theme of Agwo No N'akrika or CrunchTime For Ndigbo, started on August 29. It was the most attended sincethe inception of the World Igbo Congress in 1994. General AlexanderMadiebo, the commander of the defunct Biafran army who gave thekeynote address, called on Ndigbo and Nigerians to "focus on the taskof rebuilding Nigeria on the principles of equity and fairness toall."

Five of the known Igbo presidential aspirants, namely, Dr. KaluIdika Kalu, former Senate president of Nigeria, Dr. Chuba Okadigbo,Chief John Nnia Nwodo, Chief Rochas Okorocha and Senator Nwachukwuand were in attendance, as was Chief Chekwas Okorie, the nationalchairman of the newly registered All Progressive Grand Alliance,APGA. Apart from Chief Maduekwe, Professor A.B.C. Nwosu, the HealthMinister were in attendance. Prince Vincent Ogbulafor, the nationalsecretary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) was also present. Theonly South East Governor to make it was Dr. Chinwoke Mbadinuju ofAnambra State who was embroiled in a conflict with some members ofthe Anambra community. He watched as one of his commissioners wastaken out of the Anambra Forum by the police for disrupting the peaceof the assembly.

The communique presented a ten-point resolution which called for"true federalism that allows each state to develop at itspace,provides security to its people, gives it right to control itsnational resources, and reduces its fiscal dependence on the federalgovernment." It endorsed the Ohanaeze Ndigbo position on the "rightand turn of Ndigbo to produce the next Nigerian president in 2003."


Nwangwu,an analyst on CNN International and CNN's Inside Africa, is Founderand Publisher of USAfricaonline.com (first African-owned U.S.-basedprofessional newspaper to be published on the internet), USAfrica TheNewspaper, NigeriaCentral.comand TheBlack Business Journal. He is the recipient of theJournalism Excellence award (1997) and appears on the VOA, NPR, CBSNews, NBC and ABC news affiliates. (Iloegbunam, an experiencedNigerian journalist, is a USAfricaonline.com contributing editor)
AreweIgbos or "Ibos"?
By Chido Nwangwu: The "Ibo" misspelling of the south easternNigerian Igbo ethnic nation of almost 32 million people reflect,essentially, a post-colonial hangover of British and Euro-Caucasoidcolonial miseducation, misrepresentations, and (mis)pronounciationpreference. It is/was just easier for the White man/woman to say'Ibo' rather than 'Igbo.' We must remember the late psychiatrist,pan-African scholar and activist Franz Fanon's mytho-poetic andinsightful words in his 1952 book, Black Skin White Masks, that "Aman who has a language [consequently] possesses the worldexpressed and implied by that language." Should Igbos and otherAfrican nationalities, incrementally and foolishly give up the coreof their communal and national identity on the discredited altars ofEuro-Caucasoid racist supremacy and colonial predations? I have twomodest answers: first is No; and
secondis No."


Why Chinua Achebe, the Eagle on the Iroko, is Africa's writer of the century


Since 1958, Achebe's "Things Fall Apart" set a standard of artistic excellence, and more. By Douglas Killam
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

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




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)
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
Nigerian stabbed to death in his bathroom in Houston.

Apple announces Titanium, "killer apps" and other ground-breaking products for 2001. iTunes makes a record 500,000 downloads.
Steve Jobs extends
digital magic

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


USAfricaonline.com has been listed among the world's leading web sites by the international newspaper, USAToday.

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.

The Economics of Elections in Nigeria
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.
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


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
Cheryl Mills' first class defense of Clinton and her detractors' game 
It's wrong to stereotype Nigerians as Drug Dealers

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