Friday, February 20, 2015

Robert Mugabe Prepares For Lavish 91st Birthday Celebrations

Zimbabwe’s president and guests to enjoy a $1m party at a luxury golf course amid widespread child malnutrition and high unemployment

President Robert Mugabe enjoys his 85th birthday
cake in in 2009 
(Pix: Philimon Bulawayo/Reuters)

John F Kennedy being serenaded by Marilyn Monroe apart, most presidents tend to make their birthdays private, low-key affairs. Not Robert Mugabe. Year after year the leader of Zimbabwe holds a lavish celebration, regardless of the state of the economy, and his 91st birthday will be no different. 
There will be music, dancing and elephant meat on the menu as an estimated 20,000 guests gather on a luxury golf course near Victoria Falls for a jamboree set to cost at least $1m (£650,000). Opposition MPs have branded the feast obscene in a country where the UN says one in three children are stunted because of hunger.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Nigeria: Seasonal Brinkmanship Again

Banji Ojewale

An old star departs, leaves us here on the
Shore, Gazing heavenward for a new star
Approaching. The new star appears, foreshadows
Its going, Before a going and coming that goes
On forever … 
 –  Christopher Okigbo, in Path of Thunder.

*President Jonathan (right) and General Buhari

Nigeria appears to be falling again under the excruciating spell of a star presaged by this remarkable poet of limitless possibilities.   At the time Christopher Okigbo wrote the poem shortly before his death in 1967 the young republic had writhed in a series of setbacks dating from the Western Region upheavals.

Okigbo  had a keen mind that correctly interpreted these rocking crises as the shadows of some bigger, more devastating whirlwind into which we were being drawn.  As he studied the events of his time, he decoded an abiku-like character in them.    The details and nuances which chroniclers ignored or gave little attention to, he noted and scrutinized to find out why they exerted such powerful but hardly visible influence.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Shed Your Own Blood, Mr. Politician!

Whenever Nigerian politicians threaten that blood would flow if they lose in an election, what they always have in mind is not their own blood or that of their children and wives.  Even their distant relations and friends do not figure in their calculations.

*Post-election violence: who dies? (pix: salon)

What they have in mind is the blood of grossly impoverished Nigerians (people totally unfamiliar and unrelated to them whose death or impairment would not interfere with their happiness, assuming they even get to hear of it) whom they believe they would always be able to easily brainwash and deceive with dirty naira notes to unleash violence. These sometimes waste their lives in the service of those selfish and ultra-callous politicians who do not even place the slightest hint of worth on the lives of other Nigerians. These politicians have also learnt to deploy two usually highly reliable intoxicants, namely, ethnicity and godless religion, to confuse and blur the reasoning of the people and lure them into the streets to embrace their wasteful deaths.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Soyinka’s 60 Reasons (2)—An Investigative Report

By Chinweizu

 Is this one of them?
Global Research, May 28, 2010

Or is this one of those off-the-radar reasons that it pays not to mention to the people?
Now, about my friend and old sparring partner WS. If you want to know what the Western powers are up to in Nija, you just watch WS. He has been their boy-in-the-hood ever since one of his lecturers at IU inspired him to set up his Pyrates as cover for a Nija network branch of British intelligence. And you think he got his Nobel for his unreadable books? But that’s another story.

Anyway what has that deal, signed in May 2010, got to do with Wole’s pro-Buhari position, or with the momentum of the Buhari campaign despite his being prima facie the Boko Haram candidate?

The report about that China deal concluded on this note:
“Western policy on Nigeria is driven by the super-profits generated from the extraction of oil and its processing. While publicly the US and its allies proclaim the need for democracy and openness, this is window dressing. Anything that impedes their drive for profits, whether from local opposition or from a rival nation, will be dealt with ruthlessly when required. The latest moves by China will have caused consternation in the boardrooms of the big oil companies, and countermeasures are all but inevitable.”
That’s the link, I tell you, to events now unfolding in the 2015 elections.
Is the pro-Buhari campaign momentum part of the countermeasures? An effort at regime change by orchestrated propaganda?

To appreciate that possibility, go watch the film “A Very British Coup” to see how such is done.

But what was the deal for? Why did it give offence and cause consternation in the boardrooms of the western oil giants—Shell, ExxonMobil and the lot?

Friday, February 6, 2015

A Humbling Reality!

By Banji 0jewale

One day in the very near future, naysayers of the Goodluck Jonathan Presidency are going to be confronted with the greatest and indisputable evidence of their error and ignorance: the aircraft in which they travel to take care of their vast business empire straddling the length and breadth of Nigeria and sometimes across our shores will be handled by pilots trained under the Amnesty scheme of the Jonathan Administration! When their jets and helicopters would have flown safely through the turbulence of the sky and landed to the applause of both the passengers and loved ones waiting to receive them at well-lit airports maintained by electricians including trainees of the Amnesty school, the critics would be humbled by a numbing reality: Jonathan isn’t “clueless” after all!

*President Jonathan

But it is not only in that field the president has confounded his captious compatriots. In education he has become the first president of Nigeria to address the vexatious issue of federal universities being the exclusive preserve of some states. By causing the establishment of nine of such institutions in the states that had none, Jonathan has ensured that each state in Nigeria now has at least one federal university either in existence or under actual construction.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Robert Mugabe Falls At Harare International Airport

As he left the podium after addressing supporters... 

Mugabe falls after addressing supporters at Harare
International Airport
Zimbabwe's 90-year-old president, Robert Mugabe, fell down a staircase Wednesday as he left the podium after a speech.
There was no indication Mugabe was hurt by the fall, and presidential spokesman George Charamba refused to discuss the incident with reporters.  
The president had just finished addressing supporters at Harare International Airport upon his return from an African Union summit in Ethiopia, where he was elected AU chairman.
Witnesses say Mugabe missed a step and fell while walking down the stairs. The president was helped to his feet by aides, who escorted him to a waiting car while dusting off his suit.
Video of the incident 

Security agents quickly rounded up journalists covering the event and ordered them to delete all pictures of Mugabe's fall.
Journalists have often complained of censorship in Zimbabwe, where Mugabe has ruled with an iron fist for nearly 35 years.
Civil society groups opposed his election as AU chair because of alleged election rigging and human rights abuses.

2015 Presidential Election Issues (3)

By Chinweizu

Part II of “2015-- Between Liberation and Slavery (3)”
Copyright © by Chinweizu, 2015
A contribution to the Abuja symposium on “NATIONAL CONFAB AND THE 2015 GENERAL ELECTIONS” on MONDAY, 2ND FEBRUARY  2015
2015 Presidential Election Issues
After that historical backgrounder, I shall now examine 4 election issues, the two on everybody’s mind —Corruption and Insecurity, with insecurity in the two forms of Boko Haram and The Fulani militia, plus two others that are not but should be on everybody’s mind namely, the 1999 Constitution—hereafter referred to as the Constitution; and Candidate Buhari.  So all in all I shall examine 5 distinct election issues: Corruption; Boko Haram; The Fulani Militia; the 1999 Constitution; Candidate Buhari.
1] On Corruption, I submit that, under the Constitution, no President of Nigeria can tackle corruption without inviting impeachment, simply because corruption is encouraged and protected by the constitution which he is sworn to enforce.

2] On Boko Haram, I submit that it is partly funded through the structures of the Constitution and can’t be extinguished without first discarding the Constitution. I also submit that a military solution to Boko Haram is not possible under the Constitution.

3] On The Fulani Militia, I submit that it is an ethnic cleansing and land grabbing instrument of the Caliphate and a mortal danger to all other Nigerians, and that it can’t be curbed under the Constitution.

4] On the Constitution, I submit that it is the godfather of corruption, as well as the codification of the sources of all the vices that plague Nigeria, and that Nigeria cannot be reformed without discarding it. Though ostensibly democratic, its frauds make it a fake-democracy constitution.

5] On Candidate Buhari, I submit that he has neither the will nor the ability to discard the Constitution but has every reason to perpetuate it. Accordingly he can’t solve any of the problems whose solution requires discarding the Constitution. So, those who expect him to change Nigeria by solving these problems are taking themselves for a ride.
From these submissions I argue that because these top problems—Corruption, Insecurity in its Boko Haram and Fulani Militia forms--- can be solved only after scrapping the Constitution; so, the principal election issue becomes the Constitution itself and how to replace it.  Hence, this election should be decided by the answer the candidates give to just one question: What’s your program for replacing the Constitution?
I shall now discuss these submissions one by one.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Burkina Faso: Nine Months To Complete The Transition

Africa Report: No:222

*Burkina Faso's Interim President Michel Kafando

Three months after Blaise Compaoré’s departure, Burkina Faso’s transition is moving forward in an uncertain context. The provisional government, with the help of its international partners, should initiate urgent reforms and ensure the October 2015 elections allow for peaceful, democratic change.

Sudan and South Sudan's Merging Conflicts

Africa Report: No: 223
*South Sudanese President, Salva Kiir Sudanese and President Omar al-Bashir of Sudan in  Khartoum

The conflicts in Sudan and South Sudan are increasingly merged. Halting drift toward a Uganda-Sudan proxy war on the Sudan-South Sudan border requires better coordination by regional organisations and more engagement by influential outside powers, notably China and the U.S., including via the UN Security Council. A UN-imposed arms embargo, improved border monitoring, and a UN panel of experts mandated to study the funding of South Sudan’s war are needed.

Discourse On Our 'Mumu', Part II -- Liberty Or Slavery?

--A backroom view of the state of the struggle for a True Federalism Constitution.
By Chinweizu
10 January 2015

Why rebrand as the New South Liberation Movement, NSLM?

Another issue that the CSC session should take up is the rebranding of the struggle and turning it into the Nigerian Liberation Movement, NLM, or better still into the New South Liberation Movement, NSLM? So, why rebrand? Why NLM or NSLM?

A crucial step in ending our “mumu” is for us to recognize that the issue for us all in the New South is liberty or slavery.

One consequence of our “mumu” has been our comparatively laid back approach to the struggle. Instead of meeting the militancy of Arewa with our own counter militancy, we have been making gentleman, negotiating rather than fighting. In December 2013, on the way to the National Conference, one of the Caliphate militants, Junaid Mohammed, even warned us “‘Supporters of SNC asking for civil war’ and that “‘There’ll be bloodshed, if Jonathan runs’. And, like mumu, we failed to take the hint, failed to realize that they were already in war mode going into the National Conference. And we went to the same conference in gentlemanly negotiations mode. The other side has been fighting with the vigilance and courage of desperation, the desperation of a hungry lion who won’t let his prey escape and deny him his dinner.  

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Discourse On Our “Mumu” (Part I)

--A backroom view of the state of the struggle for a True Federalism Constitution.

By Chinweizu
10 January 2015

Our 'mumu' (is it stupidity?) has caught up with us. Now, no one can escape the dire consequences of living in our cultural and institutional deceit, self-denial and delusions. In brotherly frankness, please take these from me,
Amos Akingba.

 The quote is the last paragraph of Amos Akingba’s email of 05jan15 to his aburo. It shall be the text for my discourse on why the decades-long struggle for a True Federalism Constitution stands today in danger of being defeated.

From the backroom where ill health has confined me, I’ve been watching this struggle for a True Federalism Constitution, TFC, and I have a few observations to share with the elders  and captains of the struggle.

The handwriting on the wall, as I see it, is that the chance of winning the struggle for TFC by dialogue and negotiation was lost on the Confab floor during its closing session when Arewa introduced a surprise amendment to the Confab Report requiring that it be sent to the NASS as proposed amendments to the 1999 Constitution. By not defeating that amendment, the non-Caliphate majority of the delegates—from the New South: i.e. south of Shariyaland, and comprising the zones of South-West, South-South, South-East, and North-Central as well as the indigenous non-Hafukawa who are trapped in Shariyaland itself, such as the Zuru in Kebbi State and the Chibok in Borno State, whose new alliance had secured those far reaching recommendations in the Confab Report-- threw away all the marvelous gains they had made. In not defeating that amendment, the New South delegates sent the report to a NASS where Arewa can kill or gut it.  Unless their fraudulently built-in dominance at the NASS can somehow be overcome, Arewa will get NASS to nullify the Confab Report and return the struggle for TFC to square zero where it started decades ago.

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