INSIGHT: What I saw as one of the 20,000 at the Obama 'Yes, We Can' movement live in Houston. By Chido Nwangwu





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Abati's Revisionisms and Distortions of Nigeria's history
By OBI NWAKANMA
Special to USAfrica The Newspaper, Houston
USAfricaonline.com and CLASS magazine and The Black Business Journal

December 31, 2001: In a two-part essay titled "Obasanjo, Secession and the Secessionists" Reuben Abati (in picture, right) took us through the whorl of his own version of modern Nigerian history. His narration in The Guardian (Lagos) dated December 16 and 23 2001, was replete with too many untruths and distortions. I wish to draw attention to the numerous ahistoricalities and outright falsehoods prevalent in Reuben Abati's two-part exhortation -which ended up being a threat to Ndí Igbo. Abati knows, although he deliberately refuses to acknowledge this fact, that the Igbo people have suffered the burden of Nigerian history in a proportion that makes it legitimate for all conscious Igbo to rethink their relationship with Nigeria.

The Igbo have suffered victimization in public policies; they have suffered a terrible form of apartheid in post-war Nigeria in terms of employment, in terms of education, in terms of investments, and in terms of political representation; to the point that the exclusion of the Igbo from the public sphere is the beginning of orthodox wisdom in Nigeria.

The Igbos have also suffered ethnic violence disproportionately around Nigeria, and it is now taken for granted that the Federal government of Nigeria cannot protect the Igbo anywhere in Nigeria. As for Abati and what referred to as the Igbos not being able to deal 'with their new pre-eminence' they even had a song, Celestine Ukwu's 'Ewu Ne Ba Akwa' (meaning 'Goats Are Crying') with which they taunted the Northerners", to quote Abati , I must say that nothing can be further from the truth. First, is that 'Ewu N'ebe Akwa' was not Celestine Ukwu's song, it was Cardinal Jim Rex Lawson's, an Ijaw man, one of the finest Nigerian musicians of 20th century, which had been released to popular appeal as far back as 1964; that's long before the coup! To denote a triumphalist strain in that song is to generally justify the massacre of the Igbo as Reuben Abati has done, because, as he apparently grew up to "learn" and became indoctrinated. Today, he spews forth such lies that the Igbos are the demons of Nigerian history. Abati's essay and views on Igbos, essentially, constitute a form of puerile animadversion.

Abati knows, although he deliberately refuses to acknowledge this fact, that the Igbo people have suffered the burden of Nigerian history in a proportion that makes it legitimate for all conscious Igbo to rethink their relationship with Nigeria. The Igbo have suffered victimization in public policies; they have suffered a terrible form of apartheid in post-war Nigeria in terms of employment, in terms of education, in terms of investments, and in terms of political representation; to the point that the exclusion of the Igbo from the public sphere is the beginning of orthodox wisdom in Nigeria. The Igbos have also suffered ethnic violence disproportionately around Nigeria, and it is now taken for granted that the Federal government of Nigeria cannot protect the Igbo anywhere in Nigeria.

Very often, when the Igbo and their leaders make known their grief publicly, the response from the rest of Nigeria has always been very familiar: it resonates in the kind of ministerial idiocy that a Dupe Adelaja could muster, or in the imponderable hagiography that is immediately inscribed in Abati 's essay. It is often a form of puerile animadversion.

The latest form of these kinds of response was recently directed at the Head of state of the former Republic of Biafra, Gen. Chukwuemeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu,, whose warning to retired Gen. Olusegun Obasanjo was simply to girdle up. Ojukwu took a close look at Nigerian history and uttered the obvious: if the current caretakers of this sad entity called Nigeria do not accede to the Igbo quest for equity within the federation of Nigeria, the Igbos would once again seek secession. Rather than taking a disinterested look at the general ineptitude of the Obasanjo administration, Reuben Abati sallied forth, his breath hot with aporetic fallacies, as he descended on the Igbo.

It is true that the Igbo have become the mule that anybody who could muster enough attitude kicks, just to make a point of it. But I suggest that Reuben Abati should look a bit more carefully and see, that Ojukwu in fact may not be making an empty threat. Recent events indicate that Nigeria has willingly stepped into the Blakean cycle of Orc: the seasons have turned full circle. History is, once again, being enacted on the same scale that authored our original eruption.

My worry however is that Abati has evinced a clear propensity to evacuate history or has simply chosen to ignore its solemn truths. Nothing can be more horrendous than a deliberate effacement of the facts of history - especially the whole history of a particular people. As an act, it equals intellectual genocide. Abati's take on Ojukwu very deliberately distorts Igbo history. But it points to a clear problem: other Nigerians have been nurtured in their hatred and suspicion of the Igbo around the lies that have often been spouted from the intellectual perch, by people, so many of whom are ignorant of Nigerian history even down to its more elementary detail.

Abati for instance took his first degree from the University of Calabar and a doctorate from the University of Ibadan. He is a leading commentator on public issues in the Nigerian media. Only two possible interpretations can explain his treatment of historical verities in his essay - one is that he certainly does not have his facts in which case he succumbs to damaging inaccuracies, or the second is that he may be just too reckless with truth, with the intent of mischief. Both in my mind have consequences that utterly frame the significance of his place in the Nigerian media.

First is that Colonel Nwobosi may have led the operations in Ibadan on January 15, 1966 but he did not kill Akintola. Another fact is that the carpet-crossing episode in the western house took place in 1951-52, not in 1964. But more to the core issues he raised: there are more facts out there now to show that the so-called 'Igbo Coup' was by no means an Igbo coup, not if one of its objectives was to install Obafemi Awolowo as president. I would refer Abati to Ifeajuna's unpublished manuscripts, but in the Oputa commission, Colonel Ben Gbulie made that fact very clear.

In actual fact, if the truth must be told, the government that was overthrown in January 1966 was the government of Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe. Given the Republican Constitution of 1963, which made Nnamdi Azikiwe President of the Republic and commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces, the authority that was usurped was the authority of the state as it devolved around the person of the Commander-in-chief of the Republic. In other words, only the President could reconvene parliament and appoint the Head of government. Once that authority was ceded, Nigeria went on break.

 

It must be an act of supreme patriotism and idealism for Igbo officers to overthrow the government ran by their kinsmen in order to install Awolowo. It is an act that deserves more than the backhanded analysis that Abati makes of it. Besides, the January 15, 1966 was certainly a coup executed by mostly Igbo officers as Abati but I do not think that names like Ademoyega and Oyewole are Igbo names. In the North, such officers like Atom Kpera and the late Anthony Ochefu, among others crop up as participating in the Nzeogwu operations.

It is one of the greatest fallacies of Nigerian history that Ironsi "surrounded himself with his Igbo kinsmen." This again, in Abati's article rekindles one of those unique ways in which the Igbo dog was called a bad name, in order to hang it. Let us start with Ironsi's supreme military council:

General Aguiyi-Ironsi Ironsi -Head of state.

Brig. Babafemi Ogundipe (Chief of Staff, Armed Forces)

Lt. Colonel Yakubu Gowon (Chief of Army staff)

Commodore J.E.A Wey (Chief of Naval Staff)

Lt. Colonel George Kurubo (Chief of Air Staff)

Lt. Colonel Chukwuemeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu (Gov. East)

Lt. Colonel David Ejoor (Gov. Mid-west)

Lt. Colonel Hassan Kastina (Gov. North)

Lt. Colonel Adekunle Fajuyi

From the above its is clear that only Ojukwu and Ironsi were the two Igbo in Ironsi's SMC. The other Easterner was George Kurubo, an Ijaw. The west had Ogundipe, Fajuyi and Wey. While the North had Kastina and Gowon. The minorities had two: Kurubo and Ejoor. This was the highest law making body of the land and it had only two Igbos out of nine. Of the twenty one permanent secretaries who worked with Ironsi, there were only three were from the East (Tim Eneli, S.S Waniko and B.N Okagbue), one of whom was an Eastern minority. Philip Asiodu (Mid-west) was the only other Igbo. So of the twenty-one federal permanent secretaries that Ironsi appointed only three were actually Igbo. Five from the North and Four from the West. I do not want to extend this further. Ironside, Chuks Iloegbunam's important biography of Ironsi gives close details of the Ironsi years.

But it questions Abati's assertion that Ironsi surrounded himself with his Igbo kinsmen, including the headstrong Francis Nwokedi. In case Abati does not know, Nwokedi was the highest ranked Nigerian civil servant appointed by the British, long before Nigerian independence. He was a sort of 'fair-haired boy' for the Brits. But more importantly was that he had already retired as Permanent Secretary for Labour, where among his other numerous accomplishments was that he established the National Provident Fund. He had been seconded to the UN, and like Simeon Adebo was one of those whom Ironsi invited to help stabilize Nigeria. It is patently false to dress those men in the garb that Abati has done. One of the greatest challenges before the Nigerian administration today is that it must release the classified transcripts of the SMC meetings held under Ironsi and the truth will be further revealed.

As for the Abati and what referred to as the Igbos not being able to deal 'with their new pre-eminence' they even had a song, Celestine Ukwu's 'Ewu Ne Ba Akwa' (meaning 'Goats Are Crying') with which they taunted the Northerners", to quote Abati , I must say that nothing can be further from the truth. First, is that 'Ewu N'ebe Akwa' was not Celestine Ukwu's song, it was Cardinal Jim Rex Lawson's, an Ijaw man, one of the finest Nigerian musicians of 20th century, which had been released to popular appeal as far back as 1964; that's long before the coup!

To denote a triumphalist strain in that song is to generally justify the massacre of the Igbo as Reuben Abati has done, because, as he apparently grew up to "learn" and indoctrinated and spews forth these days, the Igbos are the demons of Nigerian history. Abati's consistent distortion of the history of that event resonates even in his conclusion that Ojukwu 'fled' to the east with the July 29, 1966 coup.

The truth is truly different: Ojukwu simply prevented the coup from succeeding in the East. He was governor of the Eastern region. The Northern coupists had murdered General Ironsi and Lt. Colonel Fajuyi in Ibadan, secured Lagos with the help of the British and carried out a systematic pogrom of Igbo officers in the Army. But Ojukwu held firmly to his command in Enugu.

His face-off with Gowon was on the principle that since General Ironsi was dead, the next officer to take command of the Armed forces was Brigadier Ogundipe. Ojukwu, like any well-trained professional soldier refused to cede his command to mutineers, and remains the only Nigerian officer who has refused to serve under his junior. Besides, when the genocide against the Igbo and other Easterners in the rest of Nigeria ensued, he secured the East as haven for them, and led them valiantly to a defence of their humanity and their rights to live. That was the real story of Igbo resistance.

Adaka Boro was not any idealist: he was given money by the NPC government of Tafawa Balewa in 1966 to subvert the government of the Eastern Region under Okpara. The ploy was to instigate a condition of anomie, which would necessitate the federal government declaring a state of emergency in the East. He too is one of the great products of the utter revisionism which has generally been the hallmark of modern Nigerian history.

I just want Abati and his group to understand, that there is no amount of alteration that would change certain basic facts of Nigerian history. The one truth Abati cannot change no matter how much he distorts the facts on the pages of The Guardian or elsewhere is that the Hausa-Fulani North alone did not fight the Igbo. The Yoruba west was always complicit in the political oppression of the Igbo, and especially since the end of the war has been in the alliance that justifies its deeds by distorting the true story of the events that led to war. The laws that have been written to subvert Igbo ascension had always come from the willing pen of the Yoruba, and fortified by the fear and hatred of the North and the suspicion of the rest of Nigeria against this group. But the truth is, the Igbo is a unique race of survivors and high-achievers.

The rest of Nigeria may fight it, clobber it, and even levy war against it, but its fate is determined: God has kept the Igbo to lead the Black races of the world. Those who hold the Igbo on the ground are simply wrestling with their chi.
Nwakanma, poet, journalist and former visiting scholar at one of the pre-eminent universities in Nigeria, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, is currently a visiting scholar at The Meeting School, Rindge, New Hampshire,USA, where he teaches Literature, Creative Writing and Journalism. This winner of the Association of Nigerian Authors Cadbury Poetry Prize in 1996, is at an advanced stage in the writing of 'The Stifled Sneeze', a biography of the late poet Christopher Okigbo who died during the 1967-1970 Nigeria-Biafra war. He is a contributing editor of USAfricaonline.com, CLASSmagazine and USAfrica The Newspaper. This commentary for USAfricaonline.com and USAfrica The Newspaper is copyrighted and archiving on any other web site or newspaper is unauthorized except with a written approval by USAfricaonline.com Founder.


Obasanjo was not sworn in merely to "mean well" for Nigeria. By Obi Nwakanma

Abati and other anti-Igbo bigots in Nigeria. By Chuks Iloegbunam, USAfricaonline.com contributing editor and author of 'Ironsi'
INSIGHT: Why America should halt the genocide in the Sudan. By Chido Nwangwu, Founder and Publisher of USAfricaonline.com. Certain facts and the continuing, bigoted impudence of Islamic Sudan offer clarity to why the U.S should aggressively halt the genocide and gory events in Africa's largest country. The Sudan has almost 918,000 square miles in size and a war-weary population of 30million. Even as I call for a red line to be drawn against the rag-tag army of Arab-taliban-fascists in Africa and the assorted troops of religio-criminal rapists who have since four decades set upon the southern Christian, indigenous African Sudanese, I agree with Gen. Powell that "America will be a friend to all Africans who seek peace; but we cannot make peace among Africans." He is right. Africans must respect and love each other. Continued here....

ARTS: Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie author of the critically-acclaimed novel 'Half of a Yellow Sun' speaks to USAfrica and CLASSmagazine on her work, life....
One of the world's most creative writers of this generation, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie author of the critically-acclaimed novel 'Half of a Yellow Sun' has been interviewed exclusively by CLASSmagazine and USAfricaonline.com Publisher Chido Nwangwu at the Harvard University.

The award-winning novelist shares her thoughts on writing, inspiration, hopes, her 'permission' from the father of the modern African novel Chinua Achebe and the increasing presence and achievements of young African writers. The interview will also run in the 15th Anniversary August 2008 special edition of the USAfrica-powered CLASSmagazine.


The 'Who Is Obama?' slanderous, malicious screed; a brief response
DEMOCRACY WATCH: What Bush Should Tell Obasanjo.... By Chido Nwangwu (Founder and Publisher of USAfricaonline.com)
FLASHPOINT! In 15 years: Nigeria could collapse, destabilize entire West Africa - U.S. intelligence analysts claim; Obasanjo calls them "prophets of doom...."
VIEWPOINT: Obasanjo, Go! Just go! Prof. Wole Soyinka
Why Bush should focus on dangers facing Nigeria's return to democracy and Obasanjo's slipperyslide. By Chido Nwangwu
USAfricaonline LITERATURE
Why Chinua Achebe, the Eagle on the Iroko, is Africa's writer of the century.
Achebe, scholar, social conscience, cultural historian and globally-acclaimed writer, has been a significant and binding source for an engaging understanding of African pre-colonial, colonial and post-colonial history and realities. I believe that such insight has made him a favorite of African-Americans, and other scholars and regular folks in search of a better, realistic understanding of Africa, at least, from Achebe's utilization of his rich and dynamic Igbo ancestry, in south eastern Nigeria. I share the same ancestry, and he's one of my mentors.
By Chido Nwangwu. Click here for commentary
Chinua Achebe returns "home" from U.S., to love and adulation of community.
Exclusive USAfricaonline.com tribute: Since 1958, Achebe's "Things Fall Apart" set a standard of artistic excellence, and more. We met in person at the first conference on Commonwealth Literature, organized by Professor An Jeffares at Leeds University in 1964. We met again in Lagos, later, the same year. We met again at the Canadian Association of Commonwealth Literature conference in Toronto in 1973. By Douglas Killam
Chinua Achebe: A Literary Diaspora Toasts One of Its Own. By Somini Sengupta

POLICY
A trial of two cities and struggle for justice. By Jack E. White, an essay by Time magazine columnist for USAfricaonline.com

COMMUNITY INTEREST
Johnnie Cochran will soon learn that defending Abacha's loot is not as simple as the O.J Simpson case. By Chido Nwangwu
A
Lott of Racism?
Implications of
Obasanjo's late wake up to the challenges of Sharia in Nigeria. By Ken Okorie
Osama bin-Laden's goons threaten Nigeria and Africa's stability. By Chido Nwangwu
What has Africa to do with September 11 terror? By Chido Nwangwu
Reflections on
September 11. By Jonathan Elendu
And the Rocks Cried Out (For Safiyatu). By Effenus Henderson
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.
Pope John Paul, Abacha and Nigeria's Christians
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.

HISTORICAL INSIGHT
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
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

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


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


Will the rash of Ethnic Violence disrupt Nigeria's effort at Democracy?
USAfrica FORUM
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
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

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.

PetroGasWorks Shell picks Leslie Mays as VP Global Diversity
Why Powell's mission to the Middle East failed. By Jonathan Elendu
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 ..... 
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.
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

Achebe's 'Things Fall Apart': time for Nobel prize for Literature has come - says Prof. Lindfors at USAfrica Best of Africa 080808 events in Houston; challenges Nobel committee to do what's right and deserving....


Achebe honored with USAfrica 1st Lifetime Achievement award at celebration of 50 years of 'Things Fall Apart'

Houston, Texas. August 13, 2008: As the world awaits the release of Prof. Chinua Achebe's latest work, a 179-page collection of seventeen
autobiographical essays called Reflections of a British Protected Child, an intriguing, familiar issue: the award of the next Nobel Prize for Literature, turned a key issue at the USAfrica Harvest of Achebe international symposium in Houston, Texas.

Bernth Lindfors, the distinguished Professor Emeritus of English and African Literatures at the University of Texas at Austin and keynote speaker at the USAfrica 080808 celebrations of the 50th anniversary of Chinua Achebe's literary classic, 'Things Fall Apart' addressed the contentious issue by calling the attention of the Nobel Prize for Literature committee to what millions of people and readers continue to take exception to: its denial of the worthy honor of its highest literature prize to Achebe, one of the most gifted, celebrated and creative writers in the world.

Prof. Lindfors, leading teacher of Achebe's 'Things fall Apart' novel for 33 years, told the USAfrica conferees/scholars that this might be the time the Nobel Committee makes it up and does the right thing to the venerable Achebe. "I think his time will come. It will be a belated recognition. I remember, I was in Nairobi (Kenya) when the announcement of Wole Soyinka's Nobel Prize occurred and my colleagues at the University of Nairobi were [surprised]. They thought Achebe should have been the first one...."

Various discussions by other scholars and participants at the USAfrica Best of Africa 080808 reflected on Chinua Achebe's body of ground-breaking works, comparative outlook on culture, identity, religion, education, colonialism, post-colonialism, the issue of Achebe not being honored with the prestigious Nobel Prize for Literature, with many arguing and hoping it will happen soon.

Prof. Lindfors, founder of the journal of African literary studies, Research in African Literatures, said he felt the ongoing global celebrations and expositions of the 50th anniversary of Achebe's 'Things Fall Apart' show, in part, the universal creative reach and acceptance of the novel. Lindfors who got his Ph.D. from the University of California, Los Angeles in 1969, outlined the worldwide celebration of 'Things Fall Apart' from Australia, Africa, Asia and Europe through North and South America by several organizations including the Modern Language Association. He commended USAfrica for championing and hosting the international exposition on Achebe's works the weekend of 080808. USAfrica has been assessed by The New York Times and other key American organizations as the most influential African-owned, U.S-based multimedia networks.

The USAfrica Harvest of Achebe host/convener Chido Nwangwu declared open the event by noting that "we honor Achebe because he reflects uncommon decency and iron-clad commitment to values which uplift all cultures and heritage while confronting racist scholarship and ill-informed stereotypes. Achebe portrays the Igbo nation and by extension many parts of Africa as communities where hard work can transport you from the pits of poverty to the pinnacle of prosperity as Okonkwo's farming prowess showed, amidst all the existential contradictions and tragic twists of life, especially Okonkwo's life." Chido who serves as Founder and Publisher of USAfricaonline.com, first African-owned U.S-based professional newspaper published on the internet, stated that "in many ways, Achebe is timeless; he's ancient and modern. He carries forth his message to the world in ways which artfully find meaning and resonance across cultures, demographics, gender and all manner of platforms" Full report here


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

INSIGHT
Why Martin Luther King's legacy and vision are relevant into 21st century. By Chido Nwangwu
NEWS: OBASANJO'S FAILED 3RD TERM POWER-PLAY IS GOOD NEWS TO NIGERIANS, ABROAD AND HOME.... USAfricaonline.com and its correspondents in Nigeria and across the major cities of the U.S are reporting an increasing tally of anti-3rd term phone calls and e-mails from our readers. By a margin of almost 7-2, USAfricaonline.com data show that an overwhelming majority of the politically active citizenry are happy that Nigeria's Senate halted retired Gen. Olusegun Obasanjo's stealthy, unpopular, behind-the-scenes-wink and nod power plays to secure an "unrequested" 3rd term as president of Nigeria (a total of 12 consecutive years).

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.

Also, USAfricaonline.com review of Nigeria's recent history show that President Obasanjo seems to be moving rapidly into the zone of ill-repute of his former military colleagues who, like him, refused to leave office when it was time to go. Gen. yakubu Gowon in 1975; Gen. Ibrahim Babangida in 1993; Gen. Sani Abacha in1995, 1996, 1997, 1998.

More baffling many Nigerians we interviewed recall are the lessons of the excesses of the late Gen. Abach who jailed Obasanjo while the former schemed to remain in power.
For the special report by USAfrica multimedia networks' Publisher Chido Nwangwu, click on 3rd term.


USAfricaonline.com 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'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
APPRECIATION
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.
Seriously, is your web site a Turkey, too? Get Solutions



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
MEDIAWATCH
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  
TRIBUTE
Nnamdi Azikiwe: Statesman, Intellectual and Titan of 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
ARTS
The Life and Irreverent times of Afrobeat superstar, FELA

 

 

PANAFRICANIST
Tanzania's founding president Julius Nyerere    

 


ELECTIONS
Gigolos on the Campaign Trail. By Prof. Walt Brasch
Can Africa live a future without war? An Open Letter to Mandela. By Fubara David-West
Sex, Women and (Hu)Woman Rights. By Chika Unigwe

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

DEMOCRACY DEBATE
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

HEALTHWATCH
EVA champions efforts to combat AIDS among Nigerian youth. By Jessica Rubin
Pros and cons of the
circumcision debate. By Ngozi Ezeji, RN
TRIBUTE
Prof. Chimere Ikoku: Remembering the legacy of a pan-Africanist, scientist and gentleman. By Prof. Chudi Uwazurike
 
Can Africa live a future without war? An Open Letter to Mandela. By Fubara David-West, USAfricaonline.com contributing editor
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.
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.
Why Colin
Powell brings gravitas, credibility and star power to Bush presidency.

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