By Dr. CHIGBO OFONG
Special to USAfricaonline.com , USAfrica The Newspaper, Houston, CLASS magazine and The Black Business Journal
The African Union summit which began in Egypt June 30, 2008, attracts a lot of attention as the world wonders if African leaders can find a solution to the crisis in Zimbabwe, where Robert Mugabe was sworn in for the 6th term as president in a run-off election in which he was the only candidate. The opposition leader, Morgan Tsvangirai, had more votes than Mugabe in the March general election, though short of the majority required for outright victory, had to withdraw last week from the run-off election, citing widespread intimidation and murder of his supporters by the ruling Zanu-PF party.
As Mugabe arrived in Egypt for the African Union summit, several African election monitoring groups and African leaders including the African Parliamentary Observer Mission, the Southern African Development Community, Zambian President Levy Mwanawasa and Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga condemned the June 27, 2008 election as not free and fair and thus not reflecting the will of the people of Zimbabwe. Like the West, some African countries and leaders favor punitive action against Mugabe's government but Zimbabwe's neighbors in southern Africa are deeply divided about it.
A solution to the crisis would be a satisfactory disposition of it which would mean canceling the run-off election and conducting a free and fair election that will truly reflect the will of the people of Zimbabwe. However, this seems impossible given the divisions within the summit.
But there's already a snag. On Tuesday July 1, 2008, Mugabe's
spokesman George Charamba said a Kenyan-style power-sharing deal is
not of interest to Mugabe. "I don't know what power-sharing is....
Kenya is Kenya, Zimbabwe is Zimbabwe." He added furl to the fires of
the controversy by telling the major critics of the elections
Britain, the U.S and the rest of the West: "They can go and hang a
thousand times, they have no basis, they have no claim on Zimbabwe
politics at all."
On the other hand, the summit seems to be moving towards a consensus on a resolution of the crisis and that means finding a good enough compromise such as a power-sharing deal similar to the one that ended the Kenyan crisis. Both Robert Mugabe and Morgan Tsvangirai can be persuaded to accept this in the interest of African unity and spirit of African brotherhood.
Dr. Ofong is Washington DC-based Executive Editor of USAfrica, USAfricaonline.com and CLASSmagazine.Tv
Mugabe sworn in for 6th term after violent, discredited election. Zimbabwe's controversial President Robert Mugabe has been sworn in for a 6h term on Sunday June 29, 2008, in the State House complex, Harare. This followed after a few hours of a widely condemned and discredited runoff. "The inauguration is meaningless," Morgan Tsvangirai, leader of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change. He told the AP that "The world has said so, Zimbabwe has said so. So it's an exercise in self-delusion."
The hastily arranged inauguration of the defiant 84-year-old Mugabe was done, among other consoderation, to have him leave for the African Union summit that opens Monday in Egypt. Mugabe has been Zimbabwe's leader since independence from Britain in 1980. Mandela and Bishop Desmond Tutu have added their voices to condemn the autocratic and violent ways of Mugabe and his supporters. Before their statements, neighboring Angola's president urged the Zimbabwean leader "to stop the violence and intimidation" ahead of next week's run-off election, state radio said Friday June 20, 2008.
In a letter to Mugabe, Jose Eduardo Dos
Santos advised his counterpart to "observe the spirit of tolerance,
respect for difference and cease all forms of intimidation and
political violence", the radio reported.
Zimbabwe votes in Mugabe's one-man election... despite opposition withdrawal. By Fanuel Jongwe/AFP: Polls closed in Zimbabwe's run-off election Friday with President Robert Mugabe certain of victory as the sole candidate in a contest that the opposition urged world leaders to reject. Counting began immediately after polling stations closed their doors on the stroke of 7:00 pm (1700 GMT) at the end of a 12-hour process denounced as a sham by the United States and the European Union.
Morgan Tsvangirai won the first round 13 weeks ago with 47.9 percent of votes to Mugabe's 43.2 percent but decided to boycott the second round after a spate of deadly attacks against his supporters. And amid widespread reports that the electorate was being coerced into voting for Mugabe, Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) leader Tsvangirai advised followers not to risk their lives with futile gestures of defiance.
"If possible, we ask you not to vote
today. But if you must vote for Mr Mugabe because of threats to your
life, then do so," he said. "If forced to cast your ballot for Mr
Mugabe to avoid personal harm, then again I say do so." Despite state
media predictions of a "massive" turnout, numbers voting in Harare
were well down on the first round although reports from rural areas
suggested polling stations were busier there.
Angola president rebukes Mugabe to halt political violence ahead of June 27 re-vote. The letter was sent to Mugabe through Angola's representative in the observer mission from the 14-nation Southern African Development Community (SADC), the radio added. Violence has escalated in Zimbabwe ahead of the June 27 presidential run-off, with the United Nations alleging that Mugabe's supporters are responsible for most incidents.The opposition Movement for Democratic Change claims that around 70 of its supporters have been killed in a campaign of intimidation since first-round elections on March 29.
By CHIDO NWANGWU
Special to USAfrica The Newspaper, Houston
USAfricaonline.com and CLASS magazine and The Black Business Journal
(First written on March 1, 2002, for USAfrica, updated for Prof. Achebe's 74th Birthday tribute on November 16, 2004, and published in CLASS magazine same month)
His globalist underpinnings and outlook are truly reflective of
the true essence of his Igbo world-view, his Igbo upbringing and
disposition. Igbos and Jews share (with a few other other cultures)
this pan-global disposition to issues of art, life, commerce,
juridical pursuits, and quest to be republicanist in terms of the
vitality of the individual/self. In Achebe's works, the centrality of
Chi (God) attains an additional clarity in the Igbo cosmology... it
is a world which prefers a quasi-capitalistic business attitude while
taking due cognizance of the usefulness of the whole, the community.
I've studied, lived and tried to better understand, essentially, the
rigor and towering moral certainties which Achebe have employed in
most of his works and his world. I know, among other reasons, because
I share the same ancestry with him. Permit me to attempt a brief
sentence, with that Achebean simplicty and clarity. Here,
folks, what the world has known since 1958: Achebe is good! Eagle on
the Iroko, may your Lineage endure! There has never been one like
Ugo n'abo, chukwu gozie gi oo!
Chinua Achebe, Africa's most acclaimed and fluent writer of the English Language, our pathfinder, the intellectual godfather of millions of Africans and lovers of the fine art of good writing, was only 28 years when he wrote the classic, Things Fall Apart, in 1958 -- long before I was born. In the year 2005, that magnum opus of a novel by Achebe had been translated into 60 languages, sold almost 16 million copies and loisted among the world's best 100 novels. He has been translated in more languages than any other writer in the developing world.
Reasonably, Achebe's message has been neither dimmed nor dulled by time and clime.
Let's go back 30-something months ago. On February 18, 2002, a distinguished jury of scholars and critics (from 13 countries of African life and literature) selected Achebe as the writer of the Best book, 'Things Fall Apart.' In Achebe's works, the centrality of Chi (God) attains an additional clarity in the Igbo cosmology... it is a world which prefers a quasi-capitalistic business attitude while taking due cognizance of the usefulness of the whole, the community. I've studied, lived and tried to better understand, essentially, the rigor and towering moral certainties which Achebe have employed in most of his works and his world. I know, among other reasons, because I share the same ancestry with him. Permit me to attempt a brief sentence, with that Achebean simplicty and clarity. Here, folks, what the world has known since 1958: Achebe is good!
Let's go to October 15, 2004. I was informed that Prof. Achebe,had taken the extraordinary step of "declining to accept the high honor awarded me in the 2004 Honors List" by Nigeria's president, retired army General Olusegun Obasanjo (born on March 5, 1937).
In Achebe's October 2004 letter to the presidency of Nigeria, the eminent writer and statesman Achebe informed President Obasanjo, that "Nigeria's condition today under your watch is, however, too dangerous for silence. I must register my disappointment and protest...." Achebe pointed to the issues of Nigeria's leaders failing to unite the country's diverse peoples and what he identified as "the silence, if not connivance, of the Presidency" in the destabilization of parts of Nigeria and state governments by political and business renegades.
He wrote Obasanjo "For some time now I have watched events in Nigeria with alarm and dismay. I have watched particularly the chaos in my own state of Anambra where a small clique of renegades, openly boasting its connections in high places, seems determined to turn my homeland into a bankrupt and lawless fiefdom. I am appalled by the brazenness of this clique and the silence, if not connivance, of the Presidency." Achebe's concerns and principled position were apparently validated only 3 weeks later when a murderous gang burnt down the (s)elected governors' office, legislative headquarters, elections organizing offices and other symbols resembling democratic quests in Anambra, the home of the great, late Owelle, Dr. the Rt. Hon. Nnamdi Azikiwe.....
Let's go back to Achebe the scholar and educator. I agree with Princeton University's professor of philosophy, Kwame Anthony Appiah, who said recently that "In every English and non-English speaking country on the planet, if you ask a student to name just one African novel, it is most likely to be Things Fall Apart by Achebe. It is the beginning of the African canon. it is difficult to think of anything else without it."
I believe and propagate the informed view that Prof. Achebe 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 the Achebean ease and facility with the English language insight made him a favorite of African-Americans, and other scholars and regular folks in search of a better, realistic understanding of Africa.
In Achebe's works, the centrality of Chi (God) attains an additional clarity in the Igbo cosmology. Similarly, in my letter to my son, Chido Nwangwu II, on his first birthday on February 12, 2002, such core values and messages are embedded and made whole.
One of our web sites, USAfricaonline.com (first African-owned, U.S-based professional newspaper to be on the Internet), has published a number of essays about Achebe, and one by him concerning his friend, novelist Prof. Chukwuemeka Ike.
Also, very insightful is the USAfricaonline.com exclusive essay by Prof. Douglas Killam, one of the leading and pioneer publishers of African literature and a friend of the Achebes. I met Prof. Killam during Achebe's 70th birthday event at the Bard College in New York. His piece is titled Since 1958, Achebe's Things Fall Apart set a standard of artistic excellence, and more. Killam's contribution is a very insightful and valuable read for all and any serious student and writer on Achebe's works.
Some of Achebe's other major books are 'No Longer at Ease' (1960), 'Arrow of God' (1964&emdash;rev. 1974), and more recently 'Anthills of the Savannah' (1987).
See list of selected works of Prof. Achebe at www.Achebebooks.com
Also, see commentaries at www.USAfricaonline.com/chidoachebe.html
Literary giant Chinua Achebe returns 'home' from U.S., to love and adulation of community; Achebe turns 70; celebrates with Mandela, Morrison, world's leading arts scholars in New York.
Achebe's October 2004 brief letter to Obasanjo's presidency reminded even the indifferent and the cynical that some of Nigeria's very best cannot be attracted to the seductive allurements of State power and its increasingly sham honorifics. Again, the Eagle on the iroko proved why his message and timing are reflective of the ways of a sage. In rejecting the award from the embattled presidency of Obasanjo, Achebe's symbolic point further drew the line between the toadying apologists of Obasanjo and his critics.
Obasanjo's loud-hailers and hoary apologists attacked Achebe with such hideous ignorance and crass incivility. Mr. Femi Fani-Kayode, their lead attack-dog and privileged rascal who masquerades as "presidential adviser/assistant" to retired Gen. Obasanjo, dramatized his bovine ill-mannerisms to the international community. But presidential spokesperson Ms. Remi Oyo showed class by taking a different, mild approach. Achebe's decision to reject the 2004 national honors from Obasanjo is not accidental; it's rooted in his position that a writer ought to see himself/herself as a part of the wider goal of building a better society. For him, there's an organic relationship between writing as education and the building of a better society. Recall that the prolific Achebe wrote in 1975 in his work 'Morning Yet on Creation Day' that "The writer cannot be excused from the task of re-education and regeneration that must be done "
Achebe has never shied away from speaking his truths to the face of power, especially writing with such lucidity and accessibility that his essays and books have since become equalizers for the scholarly and the average reader. Essentially, there has never been any one like Achebe.
Achebe's poignant letter to Obasanjo and the "powers that be" in today's Nigeria follows in his decades-old commitment to call the leadership to do better for a long-suffering people - especially in Nigeria and the rest of Africa.
I recall flying back to the U.S. (from South Africa directly to New York) to attend Prof. Achebe's 70th birthday at the historic Bard College (November 3-4, 2000) and its related conference titled, "Home and Exile: Achebe at 70" - where Achebe made a similar point.
In the midst of his friends and some of the best writers in the world, he mentioned how everyone was speaking so nicely of him in honor of his birthday; then he joked that were he a military dictator may be those two days of November would have been declared national holidays. He burst into laughter.... That's vintage Achebean sarcasm. He has been richly blessed by the iron-clad support and love of his outstanding wife, Prof. Christie Chinwe Achebe.
In 1983, Achebe wrote the often quoted pamphlet, 'The Trouble with Nigeria.' In the latter, he cited the litany of failures of the leaders and pointed the way forward. In rejecting Obasanjo's 2004 award, he's making a statement about the direction and quality of leadership in Nigeria, today. The sage picked the fitting moment to set his revered, valuable company and name apart from a list which does not separate dealers from leaders. With Chinua Achebe, Eagle on the Iroko, you may never mistake his message.
Permit me to attempt a brief sentence, if you may, with that Achebean simplicty and clarity. Here, folks, what the world has known since 1958: Achebe is good!
CHOOSING ACHEBE'S NOVEL AS AFRICA'S BOOK OF THE CENTURY
THE scholarly jury of Africa's great minds chose Achebe's Things Fall Apart as the Best Book of the century. They made their selection of Africa's 100 best books at a meeting in Accra, Ghana and their decision was announced at the Golden Tulip Hotel Accra on Tuesday February 18, 2002.
According to the team and statement on the book fair web site, they considered at least "five hundred nominations, from the original one thousand five hundred and twenty-one nominations proposed from many sources all round the world. Prior to the meeting in Accra, members of the Jury had already reduced this list, via electronic discussion, to a more manageable number. An initial meeting to set the guidelines for the process of selection was held in Harare Zimbabwe in August 2001."
The group credits distinguished professor of African history and cultures, Ali Mazrui, with pushing the idea of a list of Africa's 100 best books of the twentieth century during the Zimbabwe International Book Fair in 1998. "His vision was to find a way to direct the spotlight of the world on the achievements of African writers who have had their works published in the twentieth century."
The organizers note that "the books considered were in three categories: children's writing, non-fiction/scholarship and creative writing, which further divides into short stories, novels, poetry and drama. Books were considered in Afrikaans, Arabic, English, French, Gikuyu, Portuguese, Sesotho, Shona, Swahili, IsiXhosa, Yoruba and IsiZulu."
In summarizing their effort and goal, the jurors and the book fair
state "We believe it is time to celebrate a century of superb
achievement in African creative writing, scholarship and
children's literature. We believe that this list will
provoke debate and lead to republication, translations
and curriculum inclusion. We can look forward to the next
100 years of an Africa brimming with creative energy
across the entire continent."
The top twelve best books selected by the jurors are listed below, with a brief on its content and value by the scholars:
Chinua Achebe, Things Fall Apart, 1958
This book has moved from its setting in a small Igbo village into universal prominence as Africa's most widely read novel. Its portrayal of the impact of British colonization on the life of a settled African community makes it a classic on the clash of cultures.
Meshack Asare, Sosu's Call, 1999
This book received the 1st UNESCO Prize for Children's Literature in the Service of Tolerance in 2000. It is a wonderful story about a physically disabled girl left in village because she is ìgood for nothingî. She however manages to alert the surrounding villages of coming floods through the miraculous use of talking drums and this way saves them all. The book is beautifully illustrated by the author.
Mariama Ba, Une si longue letter (So Long a Letter),
A spellbinding book which paved the way for contemporary women's voices being heard through francophone literature. The central character in Ba's novel narrates her life through a letter to her friend, and manages to succinctly capture the everyday frustrations that many women undergo, especially after the death of their spouses.
Mia Couto, Terra Sonambula 1992
In this novel, Couto has managed to blend, in a very unique way, African oral tradition and the Portuguese literary language. The way the plot unfolds (a boy and an old man read together a diary they found on a ravaged bus) takes the reader to an unexpected end, as the boy himself was part of the story and, thus, boundaries between reality and fiction become blurred. More than a novel about the recent civil war in Mozambique, this is a book in which broken and fragmented identities are exposed.
Tsitsi Dangarembga, Nervous Conditions, 1988
An excellent portrayal, exposition and interpretation of an African society whose younger generation of women struggle with varying degrees of success and almost fatal failure, to wrest it from the unrelenting complexity of patriarchal domination and colonialism. Unique in African writing for portraying anorexia, an eating disorder that affects one of the central characters.
Cheik Anta Diop, (The African Origins of Civilization: Myth or
An outstanding multi-disciplinary work leading the thesis that the founders of Pharaonic Egypt and, in particular, the 1st Kingdom, were black Africans. His is a theory that has stood the test of 50 years of international scholarship in the area.
Assia Djebar, La'Amour, La fantasia, 1985
Djebar is an outstanding contemporary writer from Algeria. She is also a filmmaker. L'Amour, la fantasia is a literary work of mixed genres, historical and autobiographical narratives, and interlaced with memories of youth and childhood. It speaks of the conquest of Algeria and the war of Independence from a woman's perspective and in such a way as to produce a real feminist literary masterpiece.
Naguib Mahfouz, The Cairo Trilogy, 1945
The Cairo Trilogy is a panoramic three-part work written to explain the sensitivity and mentality of the people who lived in Cairo from the 1900s to the 1940s. It gives a rich description of their daily lives while portraying this as part of a wider historical process. Mahfouz won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1990.
Thomas Mofolo, Chaka, 1925
This truly continental masterpiece explores the theme of power and its effect on those who have too much of it. The sweep of Zulu history and the central figure of that history, Chaka Zulu, is very impressive. In the hands of Mofolo the Sesotho language reveals its natural poetic beauty. Published in 1925, this novel from Lesotho has inspired generations of African writers across the continent. Its abiding quality is it evocative beauty and its insight into the relationship between character and history.
Wole Soyinka, Ake: The Years of Childhood, 1981
The evocation of the wonder of a child's discovery of the world and his place in it is a classic autobiography of childhood. It is a remarkable insight into the growth of a writer's imagination as well as an enchanting portrait of natural and human environment of a great writer's beginnings.
Ngugi wa Thiongo, A Grain of Wheat 1967
This is one of four novels written in English by Ngugi wa Thiongo which depict some of the dilemmas that face an emergent nation. In this novel, Ngugi moves away from the Christian literalism of his first books while retaining respect for the moral values which religions instill. His rich characterization, complex narrative and deep humanity weave together to form one of the most ambitious and fully achieved African novels ñ one which is widely studied and admired in nAfrica and beyond.
Leopold Sedar Senghor, Oeuvre Poetique 1961
Leopold Sedar Senghor, who died only recently at the age of 97, was one of the founding fathers of modern Africa. His political achievements as the first President of Senegal should not be allowed to obscure his poetic genius. Oeuvre Poetique is, without doubt, one of the expressions of African cultural identity. In poems which have been translated into many languages and which appear in anthologies throughout the world, Senghor explores the mythic origins of the African persona. His negritude philosophy influenced every subsequent African author, especially those of the 1950s and 1960s who followed in the wake of his first poems in this mode. In French of magisterial resonance, Senghor revealed the soul of Africa to Africa itself, to French literature and to the world.
The scholars offered and listed for for Special Commendation the UNESCO General History of Africa vol. I VIII . This work received a special commendation from the Jury both for the wealth of new information it marshals as well as the new interpretations it brings to bear on African History. Published over nearly two decades from 1981 to 2000, it has established itself as an indispensable source on all periods of African history. It was not included in the list of Africa's 100 best books only because it falls outside the Jury's terms of reference in that it is edited, and includes chapters by Non-Africans. The Jury noted however that the International Advisory Committee for the UNESCO General History of Africa was two-thirds African in its composition and that the editors of each of the volumes were African.
The chairperson of the Jury is the disnguished Professor NJABULO NDEBELE, a Noma Award winner and Vice Chancellor of the University of Cape Town. The book fair site notes that "his special interest areas are creative writing, cultural studies, critical theory, communication skills and expository prose. As an internationally respected author, he has published numerous, short stories and novels as well as essays, articles and chapters in books. His books include Death of a Son, 1996; Sarah, Rings and I, 1993; The Prophetess, 1992; Bonolo and the Peach Tree, 1991; Rediscovery of the Ordinary, 1991; and 'Fools' and other Stories, 1983. His book "Fools" and other Stories was the joint winner of the SANLAM prize for outstanding fiction in 1986."
The others are: WANGUI wa GORO, DR. ALASTAIR NIVEN, DR. FATOUMATA KEšTA, PROFESSOR FATIMA MENDONÁa, DR. ATO QUAYSON, DR. ZIFIKILE MGUNI-GAMBAHAYA, PROFESSOR ALI MAZRUI (Initiator of the Project), PROFESSOR HELGE RONNING, PROFESSOR BANKOLE OMOTOSO, PROFESSOR ELDRED JONES, MR. BERNARD MAGNIER, DR. ADOTEY BING, DR. NANA WILSON-TAGOE, MR. SAMIR SAAD KHALIL and PROFESSOR ALOIS SIMON MLAMBO (ex-officio member and a trustee of the Zimbabwe International Book Fair).
USAfricaonline.com has published a number of essays on Achebe. Also see the website, Achebebooks.com.
I'm equally privileged to speak with the distinguished Professor Achebe, a number of times a year, for some time now. As I've indicated on a number of platforms and interviews, he's one of my mentors.
I believe and propagate the informed view that Prof. Achebe has been a significant and binding source for an engaging understanding of African pre-colonial, colonial and post-colonial history and realities. Hence, the fact this latest honor validates his nearly 5 decades of capturing the true essence and dynamism and cosmology of African life via his Igbo nation and realities.
I believe that the Achebean ease and facility with the English language insight made him a favorite of African-Americans, and other scholars and regular folks in search of a better, realistic understanding of Africa.
Also, see my reports/commentaries: Literary giant Chinua Achebe returns "home" from U.S., to love and adulation of community; and Achebe turns 70; celebrates with Mandela, Morrison, world's leading arts scholars in New York
The point is Achebe's cultural contexts are at once globalist and local; hence, his literary contextualizations soar beyond the confines of Umuofia and any Igbo or Nigerian setting of his creative imagination or historical recall. His globalist underpinnings and outlook are truly reflective of the true essence of his Igbo world-view, his Igbo upbringing and disposition. Igbos and Jews share (with a few other other cultures) this pan-global disposition to issues of art, life, commerce, juridical pursuits, and quest to be republicanist in terms of the vitality of the individual/self. In Achebe's works, the centrality of Chi (God) attains an additional clarity in the Igbo cosmology. Even, in my letter to my son, Chido Nwangwu II, who turned One on February 12, 2002, those values and messages are embedded and made whole.
Also, Achebe captures the Igbo world taking due cognizance of the usefulness of the whole, the community. I've studied, lived and tried to better understand, essentially, the rigor and towering moral certainties which Achebe have employed in most of his works and his world. I know, among other reasons, because I share the same ancestry with him. And, reasonably, Achebe's message has been neither dimmed nor dulled by time and clime. He has been translated in more languages than any other writer in the developing world. He's our pathfinder, the intellectual godfather of millions of Africans and lovers of the fine art of good writing.
Any wonder, that our Eagle on the Iroko, Chinua Achebe, effortlessly utilizes his rich, moralistic and dynamic Igbo ancestry, on south eastern Nigeria, to speak to the world.
Permit me to attempt writing a brief sentence, if you may, with that Achebean simplicty and clarity. Here, folks, what the world has known since 1958: Achebe is good!
Eagle on the Iroko, may your Lineage endure!
There has never been one like you!
Ugo n'abo, chukwu gozie gi oo!
Chido 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 magazine 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.
This USAfricaonline.com commentary is copyrighted. Archiving on any other web site or newspaper is unauthorized except with a Written Approval by USAfricaonline.com Founder.
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Nigerian stabbed to death in his bathroom in Houston.
EndGame in Kinshasa: U.S must boot Mobutu for own interest, future of Zaire and Africa
PetroGasWorks Shell picks Leslie Mays as VP Global Diversity
Why Powell's mission to the Middle East failed. By Jonathan Elendu
General Tunde Idiagbon: A nationalist, an iron-surgeon departs
Abiola's sudden death and the ghost of things to come
Gen. Shehu Musa Yar'Adua's prison death, Nigeria and The Ghost of Things to come .....
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.
More baffling many Nigerians we interviewed recall are
the lessons of the excesses of the late Gen. Abach who
jailed Obasanjo while the former schemed to remain in
How Obasanjo's self-succession charade at his Ota Farm has turned Nigeria to an 'Animal Farm.' By Prof. Mobolaji Aluko
Is Obasanjo ordained by God to rule Nigeria? And, other fallacies. By Prof. Sola Adeyeye
Obasanjo was not sworn in merely to "mean well" for Nigeria. By Obi Nwakanma
Obasanjo's 'prayers' and the Abacha path of staying in power. By Nkem Ekeopara
Creative writing, publishing and the future of Nigerian Literature. By Prof. Chukwuemeka Ike
A young father writes his One year old son: "If only my heart had a voice...."
Nigeria, a terrible beauty. By Chido Nwangwu
Why Nigeria and Africa's leaders are leading us to nowhere. By Professor Herbert Ekwe-Ekwe, contributing editor of USAfricaonline.com, author of the highly-acclaimed African Literature in Defence of History: An Essay on Chinua Achebe and a visiting fellow at the London School of Economics.
Anambra's rigged 2003 elections: Chris Uba's confession at WIC 2004 in Newark, USA. In a matter-of-fact manner, PDP's chieftain in Anambra Chris Uba stood up and astonished all that were present in Newark when he said, "We, the PDP, did not win the election (of 2003). I have gone to church to confess. The election had no document. I called the result before 12 midnight. I gave INEC the money and asked them to call the result." The revelation caused an uproar as well as some applause in the hall. "The person we took his thing is here," Uba said, pointing at Peter Obi (the APGA candidate) who was sitting among the audience, in the back row.
USAfrica The Newspaper voted the "Best Community Newspaper" in the 4th largest city in the U.S., Houston. It is in the Best of Houston special as chosen by the editors and readers of the Houston Press, reflecting their poll and annual rankings.
DEMOCRACY WATCH: Obasanjo raped Nigeria's constitution by suspending Plateau Assembly and Governor. Prof. By Prof. Ben Nwabueze, leading constitutional scholar in the Commonwealth for almost 45 years, former Nigerian federal minister and SAN.
OIL in NIGERIA: Liquid Gold or Petro-Dollars Curse?
Investigating Marc Rich and his deals with Nigeria's Oil
Through an elaborate network of carrots and sticks and a willing army of Nigeria's soldiers and some civilians, controversial global dealer and billionaire Marc Rich, literally and practically, made deals and steals; yes, laughed his way to the banks from crude oil contracts, unpaid millions in oil royalties and false declarations of quantities of crude lifted and exported from Nigeria for almost 25 years. Worse, he lifted Nigeria's oil and shipped same to then embargoed apartheid regime in South Africa. Read Chido Nwangwu's NEWS INVESTIGATION REPORT for PetroGasWorks.com
Should Africa debates begin and end at The New York Times and The Washington Post?
Nelson Mandela, Tribute to the world's political superstar and Lion of Africa
Nnamdi Azikiwe: Statesman, Intellectual and Titan of African politics
Bush's position on Africa is "ill-advised." The position stated by Republican presidential aspirant and Governor of Texas, George Bush where he said that "Africa will not be an area of priority" in his presidency has been questioned by USAfricaonline.com Publisher Chido Nwangwu. He added that Bush's "pre-election position was neither validated by the economic exchanges nor geo-strategic interests of our two continents." These views were stated during an interview CNN's anchor Bernard Shaw and senior analyst Jeff Greenfield had with Mr. Nwangwu on Saturday November 18, 2000 during a special edition of 'Inside Politics 2000.' Nwangwu, adviser to the Mayor of Houston (the 4th largest city in the U.S., and immigrant home to thousands of Africans) argued further that "the issues of the heritage interests of 35 million African-Americans in Africa, the volume and value of oil business between between the U.S and Nigeria and the horrendous AIDS crisis in Africa do not lend any basis for Governor Bush's ill-advised position which removes Africa from fair consideration" were he to be elected president. By Al Johnson
The Life and Irreverent times of Afrobeat superstar, FELA
Reuben Abati's fallacies on Nigeria's history and secession. By Bayo Arowolaju
How Abati, Adelaja and others fuel the campaign of hatred against Ndigbo. By Jonas Okwara
"Obasanjo, secession and the secessionists": A response to Reuben Abati's Igbophobia. By Josh Arinze, USAfricaonline.com contributing editor.
Abati and other anti-Igbo bigots in Nigeria. By Chuks Iloegbunam, USAfricaonline.com contributing editor and author of Ironsi
CNN International debate on Nigeria's democracy was livecast on February 19, 2002. It involved Nigeria's Information Minister Prof. Jerry Gana, Prof. Salih Booker and USAfricaonline.com Publisher Chido Nwangwu. Transcripts are available on the CNN International site.
WILL ARINZE BE THE FIRST POPE of RECENT AFRICAN ORIGIN? To our Brother Cardinal Arinze: May your pastoral lineage endure!
The Democratic Party stood for nothing in 2002 election cycle. By Jonathan Elendu
EVA champions efforts to combat AIDS among Nigerian youth. By Jessica Rubin
Pros and cons of the circumcision debate. By Ngozi Ezeji, RN
Prof. Chimere Ikoku: Remembering the legacy of a pan-Africanist, scientist and gentleman. By Prof. Chudi Uwazurike
Can Africa live a future without war? An Open Letter to Mandela. By Fubara David-West, USAfricaonline.com contributing editor
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),
Nwangwu, who appeared on the same program as as a CNN
International analyst (Africa) pointed out that "when
(President Obasanjo) answered that in a country of 100
million that 10,000 people are said to have died, as if that
was a small number, that in itself reflects a disconnect
with the concerns of Nigerians. The second one is that when
the risk is civil disagreement, the police are required to
intervene in the country. And the deployment of the armed
forces of Nigeria requires at least some consultation,
however modest, with the parliament." Nwangwu,
former member of the editorial board of Nigeria's Daily
Times continued that "the third
factor that is equally important to underscore is that the
armed forces of Nigeria moved in for a punitive action
rather than just containing a civil
disagreement." He noted in USAfricaonline.com
backgrounder "it was revealing and interesting interesting
discussing Nigeria's issues with its leader - under the
current circumstances of an increasingly out-of-schedule
elections and the gathering storm of an impeachment process
by a majority of the members of the National Assembly,
predominantly by Obasanjo's party members." See
transcript of the CNN
International news program.
Steve Jobs and Apple represent the future of digital living. By Chido Nwangwu
The coup in Cote d'Ivoire and its implications for democracy in Africa. By Chido Nwangwu
(Related commentary) Coup in Cote d'Ivoire has been in the waiting. By Tom Kamara