Kenya Terror Attack: Putting The Westgate Siege In Context

By Horace G Campbell

As peace loving beings in all parts of the world absorb the enormity of the extremists attack on innocent civilians in Kenya leading to the deaths of over 70 persons, it is important to start out by condemning in no uncertain terms the cowardly nature of this attack by the fanatics who claimed responsibility in the name of Al Shabaab. This attack on innocent civilians at the Westgate Mall in Nairobi had nothing to do with Islam and everything to do with the debasement of human beings in Africa and the need for a clear political project to expose and isolate the extremists.

One of the many realities of this form of violence and low intensity warfare is the ways in which global competition for African resources have served to manipulate gullible elements within and outside of Africa. While the media has sensationalized this attack, it is worth reflecting on some of the underlying contradictions inside the region of Eastern Africa and how these contradictions are being played out inside of Kenya and the region. For many entrepreneurs in the strategic industries that profit from militarism, the event in Nairobi is a godsend in so far as it vindicates the argument that Africa is a hotbed of terrorism and it is not possible to wind down the war on terror. For the planners who are strategizing for the rich oil and gas resources of the East African coast, this episode provides another opportunity to deepen the divisions within Eastern Africa and pump out more stories and images of ‘failed states.’ For the discredited leaders of Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda, this episode provides an opportunity to grandstand in support of the Kenyan political leadership against the International Criminal Court (ICC). In a speech before the General Assembly of the United Nations on Tuesday September 24, Museveni said, “The ICC, in a shallow, biased way, has continued to mishandle complex African issues. This is not acceptable. The ICC should stop.”

That Yoweri Museveni, the President of Uganda serving for 27 years, has now stood before the 68th session of General Assembly of the United Nations as a champion of Pan Africanism and African independence is most ironic in so far as the army of Museveni has been the most servile in the interests of US forces in Eastern Africa. These distortions call for clarity in the ranks of the peace and justice forces internationally and for sharper analysis and actions within the global Pan African Movement.

Kenya is an important base for the consolidation of the unification of the peoples of Africa and the recent experiences of warfare, famine, alienation and militarism point to the urgency for coordination for peace from the peoples of Africa. The massive discovery of oil and natural gas off the East African Coast from Djibouti down to Mozambique has the possibility of changing the geo-political map of the world as all and sundry now see the future of the world economy as centered in the Indian Ocean as opposed to the Atlantic Ocean. The genius and creativity of the youths of Eastern Africa can be mobilized by the progressive Pan African forces if there is slow and careful planning for the Pan African project of removing the artificial boundaries that were established at the Conference of Berlin in 1884.

In our contribution this week we assert our opposition to the extremists who are manipulating Islam in the name of violence. At the same time we are opposing the imperial forces in Africa and their allies in the Gulf who are opposed to the dignity and peaceful existence of African peoples. The veteran Pan African writer Prof Awoonor, 78, was a one of those who lost their earthly lives in this senseless attack by individuals who are as anti-African as they are anti-human. Awoonor had served in the literary ranks of the Pan African movement with distinction in areas of importance for the Global Pan African family, Brazil, USA, UK and Africa. He had been in Nairobi to commune with other literary Pan Africanists in the Storymoja Hay Festival.

Kenya is the base of a vibrant populace whose creativity in literature has produced some of the leading Pan African writers and activists such as Micere Githae Mugo and Ngugi Wa Thiongo. It is from the same Kenya where we are in the midst of new platforms for finance and technology that have democratized banking and changed the political economy of Kenya and East Africa. The challenge for the progressive wing of the global Pan African movement is to mobilize energies in the midst of this tragedy to speed the processes of political transformation and unification in Africa.
WHO CONTROLS THE NARRATIVE ON KENYA AND SOMALIA?

When tragedies such as the killings and hostage taking in the Westgate Mall occur, there are immediate calls from within the movement for the right kind of literature and analysis that can make sense of the nonsense that comes from the western media. As the images were being played out in the media in print and television, I remembered the many meetings that were held by Fahamu staff and this writer at that mall. The office of Fahamu (parent organization for Pambazuka News) is just next door to this mall. This is just one of the messages that I received from comrades in Kenya,

“Hi Prof,
Many days? ‘Ope you’ve been keepin’ well. Trust me, I’m safe and sound. Do you remember the last time I was with you, we sat at Art Cafe at Westgate? Just thought of all the times I’ve been at the shopping mall and I recalled meeting you there, last year.”

This was a journalist from a prominent daily in Nairobi who has kept in touch over the past six years. One of our students from our Pan African Master’s Program in Syracuse wrote to ask, ‘What should I be reading?’ I referred him to the writings of Abdi Samatar and alerted him to the fact that I had been in the middle of reading the book by James Fergusson, The World’s Most Dangerous Place: Inside the Outlaw State of Somalia. This book written by an English journalist is presented in the mode of psychological warfare from the British point of view. It represents the disinformation from the British journalistic world to reinforce the arguments about failed sates in Africa. From the contents of the book, especially the sections n Al Shabaab, one can see that the writer had access to British intelligence sources on the different factions in the differing regions of Somalia, Somaliland, Puntland and the areas of central Somalia around Mogadishu.

The other noteworthy book to have come out recently by a British writer is that by Mary Harper, Getting Somalia Wrong.: Faith and War in a Shattered State. Although less strident in its vilification of Africans and praise for western humanitarianism, this book again carries the underlying analysis of Somalia as a ‘failed state.’ These writers are part of the network of experts and journalists who are then fed into the networks for consultancy and news that forms the background for the reports to the Security Council of the United Nations. What was significant about the book by Mary Harper was that in its discussion of the numerous resources in Somalia: livestock, cattle, camels, charcoal, qat, etc, there is no mention of the massive oil resources that lie off the coast of Somalia and East Africa. Instead the topics of piracy and terrorism grace the pages without clarity on the interconnections between the so-called pirates and the international insurance companies. In an effort to control the narrative on Somalia and Africa we are bombarded with details of the ‘tribal’ and clan factions in Somalia. African anthropologists and social scientists who have written extensively on the politicization and militarization of the clan structures in Somalia are not usually cited in the reviews and commentaries about the rise of violent extremism in Somalia. There are a few Kenyan researchers who have been writing and commenting on the conflagration but their output has come in the form of consultancy report. One of the better studies from the pan African point of view was that by Afyare Abdi Elmi, Understanding the Somalia Conflagration: Identity, Political Islam and Peace-building on the decomposition of the Somalia state and the responsibility of progressive Somalis and Africans to rise above political Islam.

Abdi Samatar has been consistently working and writing to articulate a Pan African analysis of the conflagration in Somalia and from time to time the public broadcasting stations in North America call on him for commentaries but the resources for labeling Somalia as a hotbed of terror ensure that progressives in the Pan African intellectual circuits do not have access to the big research budgets. I remember vividly the differences between Professor Abdi Samatar and Jendayi Frazier (then Assistant Secretary of State for Africa) over how the world should view the response of the peoples of East Africa to the Ethiopian invasion and incursions into Somalia. Somalia’s Islamic Courts Union, a coalition of a dozen groups, had created the basis for a peaceful life and had isolated the military entrepreneurs who the West called warlords. We now know that the violence and destruction of the past seven years could have been avoided if the arguments of Samatar and other peace activists in and outside Somalia had been heeded. The Ethiopians and the Bush Administration could not tolerate peace breaking out in Somalia because instability in Somalia and Eastern Africa served the geo-strategic interests of war planners in Washington. Along with its allies in Saudi Arabia, the Gulf and Yemen the networks for violent extremism were tolerated while the United States rolled out the Africa Command to fight terrorism in Africa. That fight against terror has now been complicated by the intense competition between the differing states of Europe over the future oil and gas mining in Somalia.
THE FUTURE OIL BONANZA IN SOMALIA

In the past two years the news from Somalia has been dominated by the information that there could be as much as 110 billion barrels of oil and gas off the shores of Somalia. There is also likely to be vast natural gas reserves in Somali waters in the Indian Ocean. Fields containing an estimated 100 trillion cubic feet of gas have been found off Mozambique and Tanzania. British politicians and British oil companies have been the most active in seeking to corner the future exploration of this oil and it is not by accident that the most recent conferences on the future of Somalia has been held in London and hosted by David Cameron, the Prime Minister and head of the Conservative Party of Britain. One of the first companies to have signed a contract with the Government of Somalia is the front for British petroleum interests that is now registered as Soma Oil & Gas Exploration Ltd. This company was recently founded in the United Kingdom and its chairman is Michael Howard, a former leader of the Conservative Party. We are also informed that CEO Robert Sheppard has experience as an adviser for the U.K. oil company BP PLC (LON: BP) in Russia.

Very soon after the long transition and the more than fifteen meetings to organize a sensible form of governance in Somalia, the British moved in to muscle out an African as the Special Representative of the Secretary General (SRSG) for Somalia. Nicholas Kay has emerged as the SRSG for Somalia at a moment when Britain is seeking to dominate the institutions and organizations that will have control over the decision making processes for the oil and gas exploration in Somalia. From the moment of the decomposition of the Somalia government and the manipulation of the military entrepreneurs by western forces, Britain had been cooling its heels working with the political elements in that section of Somalia that had been colonized by Britain after the Berlin Conference. During the colonial era Britain had used this region to provide meat for its troops in the Gulf and British Somaliland was governed from India.

British oil companies for decades had knowledge of the massive oil reserves off the coast of Somalia and the British teased the ‘leaders’ of Somaliland with the gesture that they would recognize this secessionist region as a breakaway state. Pan Africanists will remember that at the Berlin Conference in 1885 the peoples of Somalia were divided in to five areas (French Somaliland, -now called Djibouti, British Somaliland, Italian Somaliland, the Ethiopian areas of Somalia –in the Ogaden and the Somalia peoples who were located in what came to be known as Kenya), There are up to 300,000 citizens of Somali extraction in Europe and while the racism of Britain alienates the more than 100,000 Somali youth, Britain is opportunist and when Mo Farah won the gold medal for the 10,000m at the London 2012 Olympics, the British press forgot the jingoism that alienated and confused many youth of Somali extraction who yearned for some purpose in their lives.

British newspapers and politicians had showered praises on the breakaway region telling them that this was a region of peace in a haven of violent Somalia. However, the British always had their eyes on the massive oil resources. Some foreign companies signed deals with the breakaway governments of Puntland and Somaliland but these entities were never recognized by the African Union.

For about ten years the British were waiting in Somaliland until they knew that Ugandans had cleaned up the situation and many Africans died. They were quite willing for Africans (Ugandans and Burundians) to die in the AMISOM operation while the western P3 members of the Security Council quibbled over how much money the UN should spend on the peacekeeping force in Somalia. Nicholas Kay, the new SSRG, has traveled to the General Assembly this week to lobby for more resources for AMISOM, presumably because it will be important to guard the British nationals who will be flocking to Mogadishu. Kay is by no means a small player in the British political establishment. Before he was deployed to Mogadishu as the SSRG he had been the Africa Director at the United Kingdom Foreign and Commonwealth Office. Prior to this position at the FCO, he served as Ambassador to the Republic of the Democratic of the Congo and the Sudan from 2007 to 2010 and 2010 to 2012, respectively. He was also the United Kingdom’s Regional Coordinator for Southern Afghanistan and Head of the Provincial Reconstruction Team for Helmand Province from 2006 to 2007. In short, he has the experience of serving British interests in war zones. There are numerous other British elements in the interstices of the United Nations system working to ensure the ascendancy of British interests.
MOVING AGAINST AFRICANS AND MANIPULATING AFRICANS

The US form of warfare in Somalia had followed the new template of drones, local militia forces, private military contractors and third party countries. In the war in Libya, this form of warfare had been used with the army of Qatar acting as the third party country. In Somalia; Uganda had been the country most willing to serve imperial interests after the Ethiopians had invaded to oust the Union of Islamic Courts. The historic differences between Somalia and Ethiopia ensured that Ethiopia could not be a real force for peace, especially in the very undemocratic and repressive conditions inside Ethiopia. Ugandans deployed more than 6000 fighters to Mogadishu and hundreds lost their lives. The Ugandans and Burundians formed the bulk of the African Union Peace Keeping forces (AMISOM) that drove Al Shabaab out of Mogadishu

The reports from the families in Uganda were that hundreds, if not thousands of Ugandans lost their lives in the forms of battle that raged from street to street and alley to alley in Somalia. Reports of the fighting were that it was similar to the kind of warfare of 1914-1918. While this fighting was going on, the western countries were opposed to financing the AMISOM mission and were quite willing and ready to have Africans die in the streets of Mogadishu as it turns out now to serve the interests of western oil companies.

If Museveni was a front for the US military in Somalia, by the time the body bags were being flown back to Kampala, Museveni had his own interest in ensuring that the violent extremists in Somalia were decapitated. Museveni worked closely with Augustine Mahiga who had moved from the safety of Nairobi when he took up the position of SRSG in 2010. Both Mahiga and Museveni had worked closely with Nyerere and both had been on the periphery of the Dar es Salaam school in the era of Walter Rodney, Issa Shivji and the period when all operatives in Tanzania identified with the African liberation project. When Britain wanted to get the position of SRSG, the campaign of disinformation intensified about the diplomatic and military capabilities of their African allies such as Mahiga and Museveni.

After the Ugandans died in the hundreds, the Western military lobby moved against Augustine Mahiga the Special Representative of the Secretary General. Mahiga is a Tanzanian and he worked hard from Mogadishu while the European members of the UN team spend their time in Nairobi. There had been a struggle between Germany, Norway, Britain and South Africa to get this SRSG post that can be like the neo-colonial governor in Mogadishu. Kay won out using the British special relationship with the USA to succeed.

The Norwegians wanted the position of SRSG and promised $30 million in aid to the new Somalia government, but the British muscled out the Norwegians. The secessionist state of Somaliland had signed a production sharing agreement with DNO, a Norwegian oil and gas company, but British interests were working hard against Norway. Enter David Cameron who became the champion for the convening of conferences to reconstruct Somalia. This very same Cameron who had been attacking Somali nationals in Britain as the forces that ensured that multiculturalism does not work was the same who dispatched William Hague to Mogadishu in n 2012. The Prime Minister of Turkey, Edrogan had been the first leader of a foreign government to visit Mogadishu in 2011 and Britain wanted to be counted as a state that supported the people of Somalia. More recently in September 2013, there was the convening of a special EU New Deal for peace meeting in Brussels. The European Union pledged 650 million euros to help Somalia’s peace and rebuilding process but after one read the fine print one could see that most of what was said amounted to pledges. The British Department for International Development (DFID) rolled out and published its own commitments made in the meeting but when the sums were added it did not come to the $30 that had been pledged by Norway and rejected by the Government of Somalia in favor of the British promises.
REGIONAL DIMENSIONS

The heavy fighting to remove Al Shabaab from Mogadishu had been undertaken by Ugandans and Burundians but in September/October 2011, the Kenya Defense Forces (KDF) invaded Somalia under the banner of Linda Nchi (Kiswahili for defend the nation). At the time of the Kenyan incursion in 2011, I had written in Pambazuka that the intended remilitarization of Africa will fail. I had written,

“The government of Kenya has declared that it will end its military campaign against Al-Shabaab in Somalia when it is satisfied it has stripped the group of its capacity to attack across the border. If one goes by the experience of the past 18 years, then this statement can be read that Kenya will be in for a long-term deployment to Somalia. The corollary to this is the reality that Kenya and its cities will be spaces of war, security clampdown and general destabilisation of the population. Since the Kenyan foray, there have been two grenade attacks at a bar and a bus terminal that killed one person and wounded more than 20 people in the Kenyan capital Nairobi. These attacks have already affected the tourism industry, one of the most important sources of revenue for the government of Kenya.”

From the books mentioned above we have read that the Kenyan incursion into Somalia had been planned long in advance by the KDF and that the Kenyans were looking for the most opportune time to justify the incursion into Somalia. The international media blitz about famine, refugees and Al Shabaab in 2011 provided the right background for the Kenyan people to support the KDF into Somalia. Kenyans had been lukewarm towards the military after the security forces had failed to protect innocent civilians after the violence of 2008.

The political leaders of Kenya had been working with French companies to map out the future of the recovery of oil resources in Kenya on land and offshore. There had been disputes between Kenya and the Federal Transition Government of Somalia over the Exclusive Economic Zones of Kenya and Somalia. Both countries had produced competing maps to lay claim to the EEZ off the coast of Southern Somalia. The Kenyan forces had collaborated with a questionable military entrepreneur of the Ras Kamboni group and the Ugandans were not happy that Kenya had intervened in Somalia after hundreds of Ugandans had already lost their lives.
CONTRADICTIONS BETWEEN KENYA AND BRITAIN

There is now a major contradiction between Britain and Kenya over the future of Somalia. In the past one hundred years, Kenya had been the base for British imperial operations in East Africa. From Nairobi, British capitalism had sought to dominate the East African region and Britain had encouraged Kenyan capitalists to break up the East African community. British exploitation of the resources of Kenya was originally concentrated on agriculture with the production of tea, coffee, flowers and other products high on the list. In the era of energy, consumer products, telecommunications and security, British companies did profitable business in Kenya while the academic institutions of Britain and the USA churned out data on the tribal differences in Kenya.

After the contested elections in 2007, the Kenyan political leadership had gestured economically to China while firmly linked ideologically to western capitalism. Britain was most concerned about this gesture of the Kenyan leadership towards China crowned by the successful visit of Mwai Kibaki to China in 2010. Bilateral trade volume between Kenya and China has increased significantly in recent years, with China becoming Kenya’s major trading partner. In 2012, imports from China were $1.92 billion, imports from the United States $776 million, and from the United Kingdom $575 million. When the Kenyans rolled out plans for the Lamu port and the corridor to link the coast to South Sudan and Ethiopia, western capitalist companies could not compete in the bidding and so Britain decided to switch and plan to control Somalia.

The impressive Lamu Port and South Sudan Ethiopia Transport (LAPSSET) Corridor project involves the development of a new transport corridor from the new port of Lamu through Garissa, Isiolo, Maralal, Lodwar and Lokichoggio to branch at Isiolo to Ethiopia and Southern Sudan. This will comprise of a new road network, a railway line, oil refinery at Lamu, oil pipeline, Isiolo and Lamu Airports and a free port at Lamu (Manda Bay) in addition to resort cities at the coast and in Isiolo. It will be the backbone for opening up Northern Kenya and integrating it into the national economy. Despite this impressive planning for LAPSSET, the shortsightedness of the Kenyans about the future Pan African Unification meant that the planning for this project fell under the banner of the dubious Kenya 2030 project.

Britain had been the number one trading partner of Kenya right up to 2008. France waited quietly and patiently while the relationship between Kenya and Britain deteriorated and the French oil company Total prepared itself to be the major partner of the Kenyan financial and real estate barons. France has methodically maneuvered to become a force in the English speaking enclaves of Eastern Africa.
US PRIVATE CONTRACTORS AND GULF CONSERVATIVES

For the preservation of the investment in militarism in Africa, Somalia had been the most important talking point for the strategic planners in Washington. With the awareness that the presence of US troops had fuelled a massive anti-imperialist consciousness inside Somalia, the US maintained a very low profile with in Somalia working with drone warfare and private contractors. In the book by James Fergusson on Somalia we have the most detailed information of Bancroft International as a CIA front in Mogadishu and Nairobi. Western intelligence agencies cannot deny knowledge of the various networks of violent extremists because it is from this very same network that the west is now recruiting Jihadists for its war in Syria.

From the Reports of the Secretary General of the United Nations to the Security Council we have the names of the ten or so prominent private contractors that are involved in the war against Africa in the differing parts of Somalia. According to the press, all of these private military contractors dream of being as successful as Bancroft International. According to the UN Report of June 2013,

“In Kismaayo, the United States-based Atlantean Worldwide represented itself to the Monitoring Group as a “life support” company. Meanwhile, it is marketing its presence in Somalia to oil and gas companies with the image of a risk management company, as well as portraying itself to several Nairobi-based diplomats as the “Bancroft of Kismaayo”.

It is from Kismayo where Kenya is seeking to create a buffer state called Jubaland, dividing Somalia even further so that the Kenyan bourgeoisie can control the oil of the coast of Kismayo.
SALAFISTS AND WAHABISTS

We now know from the information provided by Edward Snowden that the National Security Agency of the USA has a massive information gathering apparatus all around the world. Hence, it would be incredible to believe that the US does not have the information about the foundations and organizations in the Gulf that finance the violent extremists that are labeled as Al Shabaab. The spoilers for the Kenyan bourgeoisie in their manipulation of the war on terror are the conservative fronts from the Gulf and Saudi Arabia. They finance the religious extremists in Somalia who have links to the militarists. These spoilers finance extremists all over East Africa. It is here important that these extremists act in the name of Islam but their activities have been most unislamic. As Samir Amin rightly observed, “The Islam proposed by political Islam in all its diverse organizations (‘extremist’ or even ‘terrorist’ and so-called ‘moderate’) is definitely an obscurantist Islam, unable to help understand the nature of contemporary world challenges. It is a version of Islam at the service of primitive and brutal forms of exploitation of the weak (‘the people’) by the ‘strong’ (the ruling cliques who exploit the return to religion). And these ‘strong’ are nothing but transmission belts for the country’s integration into the global system dominated by the monopolies of the Triad (USA, Europe, Japan). The Somalian ‘small market’ provides no means of resistance to this domination, and the leaders of Islamic movements may not even be aware of this.”

Somalia must be kept unstable in preparation for the coming war in the region. Africa must be destabilized so that imperialism and their allies can use African resources in the coming wars.
INTELLECTUAL AND IDEOLOGICAL WARFARE

The intellectual and ideological war over the future of Africa is now intense and it is important that Somalians at home and abroad along with their allies in the overseas Somali community as well as in the wider Pan African community to get more information on how this attack on the Mall fits into the overall imperial strategy. Whatever the outcome of this Mall event, it will be used to strengthen repression and to isolate progressive forces. Progressive forces internationally must intensify our opposition to religious extremism and at the same time expose how the Global War on Terror fuels actions such as the one that took place at the Mall.

Kenya is in a very difficult situation because the Kenyan leadership will want to gesture in an anti-imperialist direction over the International Criminal Court. They also want to be anti-imperialist so that the financial forces that control banking and telecommunications can branch out into the energy sector and control the oil in Somalia
PSEUDO ANTI-IMPERIALISM AND THE AFRICAN UNION

Progressives in Africa cannot fall for the pseudo anti-imperialism of Uhuru Kenyatta that is now being voiced by Museveni. This anti-imperialism is so layered that it will require a high level of sophistication to grasp the subtexts of game playing that is going on with the Kenyan leadership. At the time of the 50th anniversary of the struggles for the unification of Africa the discussions were hijacked by Kenya who called for the African Union to boycott the ICC in solidarity with the leadership of Kenya. After the meeting in May, that same leadership went on a diplomatic offensive to call on African people to oppose the ICC. Yoweri Museveni was the front person for this task and his presentation before the General Assembly this week was part of the alliance between the Ugandan leadership and the Kenyan leadership. Museveni had been one of the first leaders in Africa to refer a case to the ICC when he cooperated with the ICC to issue an arrest warrant for Kony of the Lord’s Resistance Army to the ICC.

Kenya had mounted a diplomatic offensive using Museveni as a front calling on the African Union to hold a special summit on the question of the trial of the President of Kenya Uhuru Kenyatta and Vice President William Ruto before the ICC. The Kenyan information platforms had argued that, “the trial of Kenya’s top two executives will undermine their ability to govern the country; that a lot of work has already been done to resettle the people displaced by the post-election violence in 2008; that the trial will reopen old wounds; that Kenya has a new Constitution that can be used to create local courts to try the cases; and that the AU request to have the case moved to Kenya has been ignored by the ICC.”

From the East African newspaper of the region, one can see that there are many different levels to the manipulation. When William Ruto, the Vice President of Kenya was slated to travel to The Hague to stand trial, both Uganda and Rwanda asked President Uhuru Kenyatta to stop Ruto from flying to The Hague as his trial on charges of crimes against humanity kicked off.

According to the same newspaper, “the request was tabled when President Kenyatta met Uganda’s Foreign Affairs Minister Sam Kutesa and Rwanda’s Louise Mushikiwabo in Nairobi on September 8, two days before Mr Ruto flew out to the International Criminal Court. The EastAfrican has learnt that President Kenyatta insisted on his deputy attending court, arguing that failure to appear before the ICC could trigger a warrant of arrest and “the argument of whether they are innocent would be lost.”

Future revelations will inform the people of Kenya if this is another layer of the financial and political struggles inside Kenya where some sections may be willing to sacrifice Ruto.

There is genuine opposition within Africa to the selectivity of the ICC but the progressive forces within Africa may oppose the ICC but they cannot support the impunity that is embedded in the campaign of Yoweri Museveni. In the post-election violence of January 2008 there were over 1300 Kenyans who died violently and more than half a million have been displaced. Up to the present time of writing September 2013, five years after the carnage no one has been held accountable for the deaths of these Kenyans. Just as Uhuru Kenyatta has appeared on the world stage calling for the prosecution of those who carried out the Westgate Mall attack, it is necessary for Kenyans for find the right basis for holding accountable those who orchestrated the post-election violence.
PAN-AFRICANISTS MUST BE VIGILANT INTENSIFY POLITICAL WORK

Since 1992 Somalia has been destabilized by imperial forces. Imperialism has attempted to solve the political problems of Somalia by military means. This effort to militarize Somalia drew in the entire region as the militarization of ethnicity emboldened military entrepreneurs who understood the business of warfare. The peoples of Somalia are now spread over the length and breadth of Eastern and southern Africa. What affects Somalia will affect all of Africa. The political solution to the questions of destabilization cannot be resolved outside a process of demilitarization, reconstruction and unity. The new oil resources have provided the basis for a new round of militarism as the British have switched sides in East Africa. The siege of the Mall and the killing demand a higher level of understanding than to shout about terrorists. There must be a sober inquiry into the nature of the forces that carried out this terrible attack.

Kenyans and the peoples of East Africa have been suffering from economic terrorism for decades. It is in Kenya where there are some of the most sophisticated political forces. Imperial Britain, the USA understands this and since the period of the Land and Freedom Army has worked to divide the people of Kenya. Tribe was the preferred tool but in the era of extreme fundamentalism, religion is now the tool to divide and dominate. These extremists all thrive on the oppression of women.

The political leaders of Kenya and Uganda want to divert the reconstruction project of Africa by calling a special session to defend Uhuru Kenyatta. Progressive Pan Africanists cannot support this special session that is called and being masterminded by Yoweri Museveni. There must be special courts in Kenya and a Truth and Reconciliation Commission to heal the wounds of the political killings that took place in 2008.

Kenyan researchers and progressive intellectuals must go beyond the media to work against impunity. Somalia will have to be integrated into a people centered Eastern Africa. There is too much at stake.

The covert struggles between Britain and Kenya over oil have to be uncovered while progressives find a way to undercut the Museveni call for a special session of the African Union. Kofi Awonoor, Tajudeen Abdul Raheem and Philippe Wamba were outstanding Pan Africanists who departed this life in Kenya. They have joined the hundreds of thousands whose lives watered the seeds for freedom and unity. We cannot disappoint them. As Tajudeen would say, Don’t Mourn, Organize.

Horace Campbell is Professor of African American Studies and Political Science, Syracuse University. Campbell is also the Special Invited Professor of International Relations at Tsinghua University, Beijing. He is the author of Global NATO and the Catastrophic Failure in Libya: Lessons for Africa in the Forging of African Unity, Monthly Review Press, New York 2013

Misreading the War Against Al-Shabaab – By Abdihakim Ainte

The news from Nairobi over the last few days has been appalling. But, given the frequency of Al Shabaab’s grenade-throwing over the past 18 months, the attack shouldn’t have come as much of a surprise to watchers of the region. Yet, despite the magnitude of the death toll, the Kenyan government has shown a remarkable sangfroid, both in managing the crisis and taming the potential for ethnic flare-ups.

While investigations are still in progress, analysts and experts have choreographed the attack into different interpretations, but it seems to me the focus has been misplaced.

The Kenyan invasion of the southern Somali city of Kismayo only broke the back of the Al-Shabaab and, more importantly, created an opportunity for the group to reorganize and rebrand its operational tactics. Just a few days before the attack, I wrote a piece in which I argued that Al-Shabaab is now far more lethal than it has ever been before.

To showcase its strength, over the last six months, Al-Shabaab has carried out multiple attacks; half of them targeted at heavily guarded government institutions in Somalia – the UN complex, airports and embassies.

As the blame game starts, it should be understood that the biggest failure of the Kenyan government wasn’t whether its security fraternity or Intel agencies were prepared for the attack. They were. However, the overwhelming majority of terrorist experts agreed before the siege began that, at some point, a terrorist attack was more or less inescapable.

The first misreading lay in the thinking that toppling Al-Shabaab from Kismayo and subsequently declaring victory would wipe it from the terrorist map. On the contrary, it opened a Pandora’s Box in which Al-Shabaab retreated back into society and re-established itself as a guerrilla force able to strike back.

The attack at Westgate is, if anything, an indication of their new asymmetric tactics – the hallmark of Al-Shabaab 2.0. Booting Al-Shabaab out of Kismayo was a just and rational act, but the idea that it is now on the back foot is misplaced. Also, the notion that insurgency can be defeated by force displays a fundamental misreading of the enemy’s strength.

The second misreading is Kenya’s preoccupation with Kismayo. When Ethiopian troops broke the power of the Islamist Courts Union in 2007, they cautiously avoided any preoccupation with any one region, and expanded their operations across Mogadishu. Kenyan troops seem to have underestimated the adaptability and vitality of the organization’s threat. Al-Shabaab, like Al-Qaeda, is now a diffuse organization that has clandestine cells and sympathizers across the region. It still controls large swathes of provinces in much of the south and central part of the country. Despite its recent structural crisis, and loss of key strongholds, it is now morphed into monolithic organization that has a coherent ideology and determination to apply itself to a global jihadist ideology.

Although Kismayo was Shabaab’s largest revenue-making source, it was not, however, the greatest income generating means available to them. Conversely, the largesse of its budget comes from its core donor sympathizers and a few charitable individuals who believe in their cause.

Short on specifics, operation Linda Nchi has fed the perception that Kenya is pursuing a buffer zone through proxies, allowing Al-Shabaab a rallying cause by painting the KDF as intruders from afar. In addition, relations between Nairobi and Mogadishu over the KDF’s role in Kismayo have been hostile, preventing a joint and genuine cooperation against al-Shabaab. While Nairobi and Mogadishu have generally showed a common interest in the war against Al-Shabaab, they have not come to a clear term of reference on how to combat terrorism.

Worse yet, Somali legislators tabled a motion demanding Kenyan troops pull out from Kismayo, fueling already rancorous relations. Furthermore, the operation of Kenyan maritime assets is a source of great concern for the Somali government, which has publicly called for international stakeholders to support its own navy.

As of now, relations between Kenya and Somalia can best be summarized as that of ‘frenemies’.

Al-Shabaab uses the stalemate as an organizing factor for its audiences, arguing that the two governments are squabbling amongst themselves at the expense of you – the people. Needless to say, Al-Shabaab is widely despised in Somalia but, after all, it was born out of foreign troops stumbling into the country, which helped them to reinforce their narrative of ‘foreign imperialism’.

There is a clear connection between Kenya’s post-Kismayo interventions, the Westgate attack, and the political standoff between Kenya and Somalia.

That said, both countries have historical relations that date way back and share key concerns. To avert future attacks, both need to understand that Al-Shabaab’s threat cannot be managed without their mutual cooperation. And the international community at large needs to encourage and support a collaborative discourse between Nairobi and Mogadishu.

Abdihakim Ainte is political analyst and he tweets at @Abdikhakim

Ethiopian housemaid commits suicide inside prison

An Ethiopian housemaid committed suicide at the women’s ward of the Abyar Ali Penitentiary in Madinah on Friday.

The domestic worker had been in prison since the end of August, a local daily reported Saturday.
“The 23-year-old inmate was found hanging by her head scarf at about 8 a.m. She was immediately taken down and rushed to the nearby Meeqat Hospital, but the doctors there declared her dead on arrival,” said a source at the provincial prison directorate.
The woman, who arrived in the Kingdom as a housemaid, was sent to prison on charges of stabbing her female employer.
She was arrested a month ago after reportedly stabbing Gheelah, her octogenarian employer. Aziziah police handed her over to Aqiq police after her relatives identified her, Col. Fahd Al-Ghannam, spokesman for Madinah police, said in a statement shortly after her arrest. The Bureau of Investigation and Public Prosecution then took over the case.
Ahmad Al-Ahmadi, the victim’s son, said he knew nothing about the motive of the maid’s near-fatal attack on his mother, who used to treat her well.
The younger son of the elderly woman added that the maid’s attack was shocking and unexpected because she showed good conduct and had not manifested any signs of violent behavior or mental imbalance in the past.
Investigators could not obtain information from the maid because she refused to speak during the interrogation to reveal the motives for her attack.
Suhail Khan, director of a hospital for the mentally unstable in Jeddah, said 90 percent of female patients at his hospital were Ethiopian and that one patient a day on average is admitted. The doctor added that most cases were complicated and hard to deal with. The cases included serious psychological disturbances and schizophrenia.

ArabNews.com

Toronto visit by Rwanda’s Paul Kagame divides expats

Paul Kagame of Rwanda

Paul Kagame of Rwanda

Rwanda’s Paul Kagame was re-elected as president in 2010 with close to 94 per cent of the vote. On September 18, his party won an overwhelming majority in legislative election — 40 of 53 available seats.

But his approval is not universal.

When he arrives in Toronto for Saturday’s Rwanda Day festivities, he will be greeted by a protest organized by Rwandan and Congolese ex-patriot groups.

“Kagame is known as a war criminal responsible of massive killings in Rwanda and Congo,” says Pierre-Claver Nkinamubanzi, president of the Rwandan Congress of Canada. ”He also supports the M23 rebels who are killing and raping innocent civilians in eastern Congo.”

Nkinamubanzi is part of an international effort that protests Kagame wherever he goes. In most instances, Nkinamubanzi tries to stop the Rwandan president from going anywhere at all.

He threatens the hotels that he believes Kagame will be staying at.

He told both the Sheraton and Westin Harbour hotels that his protests would “strongly, but negatively, affect business activities”, and that “huge crowds of Canadians from Congolese, Burundese, Tanzanian origin but also native Canadians” would show up on Rwanda Day.

(The organizers of Rwanda Day would not address the protests, and do not list Kagame’s location on their website.)
Rebel leader turned president

Paul Kagame began his career in the military. He fought in the Ugandan Bush War to overthrow dictator Idi Amin. He joined the Rwandan Patriotic Front, a rebel group which invaded Rwanda in 1990. He was a rebel leader during that country’s tragic genocide period in 1993, the conflict was between Tutsis and Hutus, divisions that caused an estimated one million deaths.

He became president in 2000. His record since then has been one of economic triumph.

“He has really lifted up Rwanda GDP rate, and he has brought an efficiency in government which is unique in Africa,” says Thomas Tieku, an assistant professor at King’s College in Western University and a fellow at Toronto’s Munk School of International Affairs.

But it’s that economic progress, Tieku says, that can be seen as the root of opposition to Kagame.

“Economically he is doing really well, but like most despots, he is doing that at the expense of political openness,” he says. “Those who are benefiting from the economy will quietly support him. But others absolutely can’t stand him.”

In this respect, Tieku sees similarities between Kagame and recently deposed and murdered Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi — brutal and ruthless with his enemies, but creating wealth and stability in a poor country. (Though he adds Kagame is less melodramatic and more politically savvy.)

‘For those paying attention to the Congolese situation, Kagame is a horrible person’- Munk fellow Thomas Tieku

But what is most appalling for protesters like Nkinamubanzi is Kagame’s ties with rebel groups in the neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo.

“We protest today the Canadian government’s permission for the visit,” says Gally Gasana, a Rwandan ex-patriot and protester. “We protest today the war in Congo, the mass murder of hundreds and thousands of people.”

Several international agencies, including the United Nations, state that Kagame has links between the rebels, known as the M23, in the eastern Congo. The rebels use violence including rape to extract minerals from the Congolese countryside.

Rwanda, a country without such resources, is suspected of trading the minerals.

“People hate him because of his support for rebels in the DRC. These rebels are murdering individuals in the name of extracting minerals,” says Tieku. “For those paying attention to the Congolese situation, Kagame is a horrible person.”

Rwanda Day, predictably, does not touch upon this but instead focuses on the country’s recent prosperity, which, by all economic indications is a success story. Organizers call it a celebration of Rwanda’s “transformation.”
Polarizing figure

But Kagame does have his supporters.

Many see him as a force of peace during the horrific 1993 genocide, where he worked with Canadian Lieutenant-General Roméo Dallaire-led U.N. mission to bring an end to the ethnic war.

He has since grown the per-capita GDP of Rwanda by 300 per cent. Life expectancy has gone from 36 to 54 years. The country is seen as stable in an African Great Lakes region that has not seen stability for decades.

He also has a reputation as a charismatic speaker.

“The thing with our president is when he speaks, you feel like he’s speaking to you individually, “ says Allan Karakire in a video posted by Rwanda Day organizers. “He makes you proud of where we come from. He unites us.”

But more than being a polarizing figure, Kagame is troubling for anyone who is looking at the future of the African continent, says Tieko.

Kagame, he argues, is the new mold of an African dictator. He creates a facade of democracy by holding elections without an opposition, creating mayhem in neighbouring countries under the cover of militias and operating a police state where the economy can grow but civil liberties are non-existent.

Tieko says Kagame is in a class with Uganda’s Yoweri Museveni and recently deposed Mali leader Amadou Touré.

“He is creating another bunch of African dictators. He’s leading new generation,” he says.
CBC

The International Criminal Court on an African Safari? By Professor Alemayehu G. Mariam

ICC African Race Hunting, the Race Card and Racing After African Thugs?

Hailemariam Desalegn, the titular prime minister of Ethiopia, says the International Criminal Court (ICC) is on African safari. In May 2013, according to the BBC, Desalegn said, “African leaders were concerned that out of those indicted by the ICC, 99% are Africans. This shows something is flawed within the system of the ICC and we object to that. The process has degenerated into some kind of race hunting.” Last week a spokesman for the ruling regime in Ethiopia chimed in. “We never appreciated what the ICC has been doing, particularly when it comes African leaders, and its belittling and it’s disparaging the African leadership.”

Earlier this month, Hailemariam reportedly sent a letter to “the ICC copying the UN Security Council (UNSC) formally demanding that the charges against both president Uhuru Kenyatta and his vice president William Ruto be dropped.” African leaders are going ballistic and threatening a mass withdrawal from The Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (the treaty that established the international crimes of genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes and the crime of aggression). They have scheduled an extraordinary summit in Addis Ababa on October 13, 2013 for that purpose.

The ICC’s chief prosecutor, Gambian international lawyer Fatou Bensouda, has stated repeatedly that most ICC cases are opened in cooperation with African countries. She has rejected the idea that the ICC is engaged in selective prosecution of Africans.

The specific reason for the mass withdrawal of African countries from the ICC treaty is “race hunting”. I have heard of race baiting, race discrimination, the race card and even the rat race. But never “race hunting”. Is Hailemariam, in his provocatively dramatic phrase, trying to suggest that the ICC is on an African safari hunting down and prosecuting innocent black Africans? Does he mean the ICC has “degenerated” into a white racist lynch mob using legal institution to chase, capture and hang crimeless and guiltless African leaders? Is he saying that the ICC was established to selectively prosecute African because “99%” of its  indictees are Africans? Is he saying that the West is using the ICC to neutralize and punish African leaders who have an axe to grind with the West?  Who are the 99% of Africans being “race hunted” (indicted) by the ICC”?

Last week, the vicious African warlord and ex-Liberian president Charles Taylor lost his appeal in his criminal conviction by the U.N. Special Court for Sierra Leone (SCSL). Taylor was found guilty of murder, rape, mutilating civilians, conscription of  child soldiers, sexual slavery and other acts of terrorism in in Sierra Leone over an 11 year period beginning in the mid-1990s. Over 50,000 people died in that conflict. Taylor’s trial took nearly four years; and he testified on his own behalf for seven months. The Taylor trial cost USD$250 million! A total of 22 other suspects were indicted by the SCSL on similar charges. Fourteen were convicted and nine are now serving long prison terms. The rest died before trial or were released following a short imprisonment.

When Taylor was convicted in May 2012, I wrote a commentary titled, “Justice for Sierra Leone! No Justice for Ethiopia?” I argued that the Taylor “verdict is undoubtedly a giant step forward in ending the culture of official impunity and criminality in Africa. African dictators and tyrants may no longer assume automatic impunity for their criminal actions.” David Crane, the chief prosecutor of the SCSL correctly pointed out, “This is a bell that has been rung and clearly rings throughout the world. If you are a head of state and you are killing your own people, you could be next.” U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon described the Taylor verdict as “a significant milestone for international criminal justice” that “sends a strong signal to all leaders that they are and will be held accountable for their actions.”

Who has been “game” in the ICC’s African Safari?

The system of accountability established in the ICC and the U.N. Special Courts is now coming under fire by African “leaders” who are pulling out the old race card (it used to be the old colonial, imperialist card) to evade responsibility and perpetuate their crimes and culture of impunity and lawlessness. The question is whether there is any factual basis for Desalegn’s thinly veiled provocatively inflammatory charge that the ICC has “degenerated” into a racist international legal institution arbitrarily chasing after African leaders. Or is the real reason for Hailemariam’s complaint a gnawing and foreboding fear of  David Crane’s warning, “If you are a head of state and you are killing your own people, you could be next.”

Since the Rome Statue was entered into force in 2002, the ICC has issued indictments against two sitting heads of state (Sudan’s president Omar Al-Bashir and the late Libyan supreme leader Moamar Gadhafi), two individuals who became heads of state after they were indicted (Kenya’s president Uhuru Kenyatta and his vice president William Ruto), one former head of state (Liberia’s Charles Taylor) and another leader who refused to leave office after losing an election (Cote d’Ivoire’s Laurent Gbagbo).  The ICC has also returned indictments against dozens of African rebel and opposition leaders.

The ICC indicted Kenyatta and Ruto on charges of crimes against humanity in connection with the communal post-election violence between supporters of presidential candidates Raila Odinga and Mwai Kibaki in 2008. The U.N. estimated some 1,200 people died in Kenya in weeks of unrest between December 2007 and February 2008, and 600,000 people were forcibly displaced.

Beginning in 2003, Bashir pursued a policy of genocide in the Darfur region which by U.N. estimate claimed 400,000 lives and displaced over 2.5 million people. Bashir sneered at the ICC when he was indicted in 2009. “Tell them all, the ICC prosecutor, the members of the court and everyone who supports this court that they are under my shoe.”

In 2010, Gbagbo refused to leave office after his opponent was declared the winner in a runoff vote. The U.N. estimated that 3,000 people were killed in the postelection conflict.

In 2011, Gadhafi ordered and organized the arrest, imprisonment, and killing of hundreds of civilians opposed to his regime in the initial days of the Libyan uprising.  At one point, he urged, “I want provocation. People should take to the streets. Smash those dogs, and tell them: ‘you traitors will bring us the British.’”

The expanded list of suspects indicted by the ICC includes the names of some of the most ruthless and vicious criminals of the 21st Century. In Uganda, the ICC indicted senior leaders of the “Lord’s Resistance Army” including the notorious Joseph Kony who abducted children for decades and forced them to become child soldiers. His top commanders including Vincent Otti, Raska Lukwiya, Dominic Ongwen, Okot Odhiambo were also been indicted. In the DR Congo, the ICC indicted various rebel and militia leaders, Congolese military officers and politicians who committed war crimes and crimes against humanity including Thomas Lubanga Dyilo (the first person ever convicted by the ICC), Germain Katanga, Jean-Pierre Bemba Gombo, Bosco Ntaganda, Mathieu Ngudjolo Chui, Callixte Mbarushimana and Sylvestre Mudacumura. In the Sudan, Ahmed Haroun who coordinated the operations of Sudanese military and Janjaweed forces along with interior minister Abdel Rahim Mohammed Hussein were indicted by the ICC for their roles in the Darfur conflict. Saleh Jerbo and Ali Kushayb, Sudanese rebel leaders, were also indicted for, among other crimes, the killing of peace keepers of the African Union Mission in Sudan.

The ICC indicted Moammar Gaddafi’s son Saif al-Islam and Libyan intelligence chief Abdullah al-Senussi for violent oppression of popular uprisings in the early weeks of the Libyan civil war. Mohammed Hussein Ali, Commissioner of the Kenya Police was indicted by the ICC for acts and omissions following the 2007 elections along with Cabinet Secretary Francis Muthaura, radio station manager Joshua Sang and government minister Henry Kosgey.  Simone Gbagbo, wife of Laurent Gbagbo,  was indicted for her role in the systematic attacks against civilians when her husband refused to leave office after he was defeated in the 2010 election.

ICC indictment has not meant certain conviction. In a number of instances, ICC indictments have been  withdrawn, dismissed  or not confirmed. Among indictees the ICC declared nolle prosequi (case dropped) Francis Muthaura, Mohammed Ali, Callixte Mbarushimana and Bahr Abu Garda.

Unringing the ICC Bell in Africa

SCSL special prosecutor David Crane warned that “If you are a head of state and you are killing your own people, you could be next.” All of the inflammatory race baiting and race laced rhetoric and temper tantrums by African “leaders” is intended to “unring the ICC bell”.  The African “leaders” who are racializing, demonizing, scandalizing, disparaging and damning the ICC are the ones feeling the ICC heat is getting too close for their comfort. These “leaders” are not interested in prosecuting human rights violators because they are the prime human rights violators. In fact, the only African leader on record who directly requested ICC prosecution of  suspects in Africa was Cote d’Ivoire’s president is Alisane Ouattara who in 2011 wrote a letter to ICC prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo emphatically urging him to bring the “people who bear the greatest responsibility for the most serious crimes before the International Criminal Court.”

The African Union’s (AU) has been openly contemptuous of the ICC. In 2010, the AU thumbed its nose at the ICC stating: “The AU Member States shall not cooperate pursuant to the provisions of Article 98 of the Rome Statute of the ICC relating to immunities, for the arrest and surrender of President Omar El Bashir of the Sudan”. The AU officially took a stand to protect and shelter the Butcher of Darfur from facing justice!

Why are there no ICC indictments in Ethiopia?

Is Desalegn concerned that he and his crew maybe next on the ICC prosecution list? Do members of the ruling regime in Ethiopia have reasonable cause for concern that the ICC may one day come knocking on their door? Let the evidence speak for itself.

An official Inquiry Commission appointed by the late leader of the regime in Ethiopia in its 2006 report documented the extrajudicial killing of at least 193 unarmed protesters, wounding of 763 others and arbitrary imprisonment of nearly 30,000 persons in the post-2005 election period in Ethiopia. (That’s the singular reason I got involved in Ethiopian and African human rights advocacy.) That Commission was limited to investigating the “violence  that occurred on June 8, 2005 in Addis Ababa and violence that occurred from November 1 to 10, 2005 and from November 14 to 16, 2005” in other parts of the country. (The Commission has evidence on extrajudicial killings by security forces for dates other than those indicated; and had those casualties been included in the official Commission report the numbers would have increased several fold.) The killings investigated by the Commission occurred after the late leader of the ruling regime publicly declared that all of the country’s security and military forces were under his direct, exclusive and personal command and control.

The Commission’s evidence further showed that nearly all of the 193 unarmed protesters died from gunshot wounds to their heads or upper torso. The Commission found substantial evidence that professional sharpshooters were used in the indiscriminate and wanton attack on the unarmed protesters. The Commission further documented that on November 3, 2005, during an alleged disturbance at the infamous Kality prison near Addis Ababa, guards sprayed more than 1,500 bullets into inmate cells in 15 minutes, killing 17 and severely wounding 53. These and many other shocking facts were meticulously documented by the Commission which examined 16,990 documents, received testimony from 1,300 witnesses and undertook months of investigation in the field. There is also documentary evidence to show that there are at least 237 named police and security officials directly implicated in these crimes who were subsequently dismissed from their positions. No person has even been criminally investigated, arrested, charged or prosecuted or in any way held accountable for any of these crimes.

In December 2003, in the Gambella region of Ethiopia, 424 individuals died in extrajudicial killings by security forces of the ruling regime in Ethiopia.  A report by the International Human Rights Clinic of Harvard Law School’s Human Rights Program corroborated the extrajudicial killings.

In 2008, in the Ogaden region of Ethiopia, reprisal “executions of 150 individuals” and 37 others by regime soldiers were documented by Human Rights Watch:

Ethiopian military personnel who ordered or participated in attacks on civilians should be held responsible for war crimes. Senior military and civilian officials who knew or should have known of such crimes but took no action may be criminally liable as a matter of command responsibility. The widespread and apparently systematic nature of the attacks on villages throughout Somali Region is strong evidence that the killings, torture, rape, and forced displacement are also crimes against humanity for which the Ethiopian government bears ultimate responsibility.”

In 2010, Human Rights Watch made a submission to the U.N. Committee Against Torture “regarding serious patterns of torture and other cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment in Ethiopia.” Human Rights Watch reported, “Torture and ill-treatment have been used by Ethiopia’s police, military, and other members of the security forces to punish a spectrum of perceived dissenters, including university students, members of the political opposition, and alleged supporters of insurgent groups, as well as alleged terrorist suspects.”

Suffice it to say that what is good enough for the Sudan, Kenya, Uganda and the DR Congo MUST be good enough for Ethiopia because what is good for the goose is good for the gander. The available evidence of crimes against humanity is compelling and substantial. I believe the ICC has a legal duty and a moral obligation to at least open an investigation into war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in Ethiopia since 2002. (But I will revisit that issue another day.)

Race hunting the ICC

It looks like hunting season on the ICC will open on October 13, 2013 at the AU summit. I have no doubts that African “leaders” will bring out their long sharp knives, scoped hunting rifles, lures and whistles and wrap up the ICC in straight jacket with a bull’s eye. They will surround the ICC like a cackle of hyenas ringing around a lone lion patrolling the African savanna. They will take turns and froth at the mouth delivering self-righteous, self-congratulatory and self-aggrandizing speeches. They will preach fire and brimstone about the old colonial masters and imperialists, the not-so-old neocolonialists and neoliberalists and the new globalists and the invisible members of the of the invisible New World Order that secretly dominate the world and scheme to keep Africa in permanent bondage and servitude. 

On October 13, 2013, African “leaders” will gather at the African Union and collectively growl, howl and call foul. They will take turns to demonize, criminalize, scandalize, criticize, anathematize, racialize, ideologize, stigmatize, bestialize, politicize, ostracize and trivialize the ICC. We need not wait; we have already heard it. Thabo Mbeki, the former South African president, delivered it a few weeks ago in his speech, “The West’s contempt for Africa must end!”. Mbeki defended Robert Mugabe, Zimbabawe’s 89 year old president who has been in power since 1980, to show the West’s contempt for Africa. Mbeki said, “one of the strange things is that you have [in] the entire continent [of Africa] in terms of its credible and legitimate institutions” is that the  “will of the people of Zimbabwe” and Africans is disregarded. “You have an alternative voice in Washington, London and Brussels which says, ‘No, you Africans are wrong’”. Mbeki said the last election in Zimbabwe was free and fair, and the reason it lacks credibility is because “Washington and London and Brussels have [said] the elections were not credible. In reality, the only reason they were not credible is because Robert Mugabe got elected. That’s all.” Simply stated, if Mugabe was a dictator “Washington, London and Brussels” liked, his election would be sanctified by them. Does that mean the ICC indicts African “leaders” disliked by the West? (That is an important issue I have addressed on numerous occasions, most recently in April.)

All the talk about “contempt” by African “leaders” is just chaff thrown over real issues of crimes against humanity, war crimes, genocide and rigged and stolen elections in Africa. African “leaders” want to define the issue as Western disrespect and contempt for Africans instead of their own contempt and disrespect for the basic human rights of Africans. 

If African “leaders” really want to stick it to the West and get the West’s respect, the way to do it is not by moaning, groaning, griping, grousing, bellyaching and teeth gnashing. The best way is to put their money where their mouth is: Establish the equivalent of the ICC or even an institution much better than the ICC in Africa. Instead of windbagging and badmouthing the ICC, let them show the world that African leaders can take care of their own criminals against humanity, war criminals and perpetrators of genocide. How beautiful the sound of “The African Criminal Court”! How proud I would be to see such an institution founded on the African continent. But I am not hopeful. The African Union could not afford to build its own building for its gabfest so it got a USD$200 million building “donation” from China. Charles Taylor’s trial at the ICC cost USD$250 million! 

In his recent speech Mbeki called on “African intellectuals, to demand with one voice that the West’s contempt for the African people and African thought must end!” I call on African intellectuals worldwide to demand in one voice that African “leaders” stop showing contempt for the human rights of African peoples.  Standing up for the International Criminal Court is standing up against African war criminals, criminals against humanity and perpetrators of genocide! The time to defend the ICC is NOW!

Professor Alemayehu G. Mariam teaches political science at California State University, San Bernardino and is a practicing defense lawyer.

Letter To Mr President: President Jonathan; Kedu M’aka America? S, (How Is America?)

By Fejiro Oliver
Until we totally change the way we elect our leaders, until we remove private money from public campaigns, lying will be the de-facto method of governance in this country-.Peter Schuyler
Dear President Jonathan, – I’m not supposed to ask how you are the way I asked my grandparents when I wrote letters to them in those days, because

I know that you are very fine. I should even be flogged if I ask such useless question from you. So the best way to phrase it is how is America? Kedu m’aka America? Oh yes, I must ask you that since I know that it’s not all the people that went there truly had it all fine. But for you, it’s very obvious that you are more than fine, even finer than the United States President, right there in his own country.
I would have even called you while you were there, but my Airtel number has been tampered with by people who obviously hate my reports and write-up, hence I cannot call or receive calls. They have made it impossible for me to stay away from the internet for a full day; hence I could not even send you a mail. I tried to even send message to your wife, who is a Facebook friend, but I have also be reported to Mark that my Facebook is a source of terror to people who feel they own Nigeria and Africa, hence I have been blocked from sending messages for some time, probably until I ‘repent’ and play ball. I tender my unreserved apology for the lack in communication.
I understand that you will be having a media chat tomorrow with selected media practitioners, who were picked by Reuben Abati, media men that will not ask you the real questions that the masses would have wished to ask you. I won’t bother to waste my megabyte in sending you questions via twitter, knowing that they won’t read it for you to answer. Please I advise you; do not try to use your signature language of “I don’t give a damn” this time around; else the real media (social media) will chew you raw and make mincemeat of you. I do know you will also deny spending 6 billion Naira for the UN trip, but please, do us a favor by accepting the blames if need be and not give excuses or defend yourself. But before you go on the ‘hot seat’, take 20 minutes of your time to read my sincere letter to you. I’m told that you read any of my reports and write up and this will be no exception.
I’m sorry for not writing this letter to you earlier, as I had been busy, just the way you are busy. I read the text of your speech delivered to the UN general assembly and I must confess, once again, you disappointed us. As I write, I cannot remember one memorable thing written in that speech, an act that leaders are known for. I cannot remember the last time that true world leaders made speeches and writers like us did not pen down one or two lines as quotes. You sure need a speech writer and if you need my services, I will gladly offer it to you pro bono.
Anyway, that’s not the essence of my letter to you. How do you find your hotel room in your favorite hotel, where everything is working and you did not need to call the hotel services to pump water for you? Did you also observe that when you got in, there was no special display on the hotel brochure saying, “24 hours light with standby generator and internet facilities? That is what most of us enjoy in America when we lodge in hotels, as there is a 24 hours internet service and power supply.
When you got to the Venue of the UN assembly, the streets were sealed off by security, but did you observe that there were no battalions of armored tanks with helicopters hovering over the place? Did you also notice that the residents there talked to the security men with smiles on their faces? Can you remember that there was no stop and search on any of the citizens who drove past or walked down the road? That is how it is done everywhere in America, where we don’t have gun trotting men harassing citizens because Obama is around. Don’t think it’s due to America’s age; far from it. It has been so even when they celebrated 20 years of Independence.
GEJ, how did you see the fox news you watched four days ago, where President Obama was being reported on negatively and yet there was no cry from his media aide that such stories were false or did you check International Newsdesk websites (it was even reported there on how you spent 6 billion Naira for your UN trip) were citizens frown at the few security in the UN assembly complex, which they feel intrudes on their ‘free movement’ and yet his party members did not have to cry that they were opposition voices and the Senators did not attempt to pass a law regulating the social media?
You were in America when Kenyan President delivered his heart touching speech to the country on the mall incident, but do you recall that he never blamed the insurgents on his political foes who want to make Kenya ungovernable to him. That is your fellow African President, in case you think I’m comparing you with Obama too much.
When you were driven to the New York Stock Exchange building, your multitudes of aides stayed back and you did not see vehicles clearing the way because the President of Africa most populous country is passing. You sure did not feel embarrassed as you had to drive gently without some irresponsible sets of military men driving and swinging on the road just to announce you presence. That is America for you; nobody gives a damn if you are the President.
By the way, what was that grammar you said to Obama that he must fix Nigeria? You obviously must have taken a shot of vodka to have used the word ‘must’, or don’t you know that in America, that word is forbidden? How would you expect Obama to fix Nigeria if he must fix Africa? Did we vote for Obama to lead Nigeria? If that is your language of saying that the problems of Nigeria are two big for you to handle, quietly tender your resignation letter as soon as your Presidential jet land. Obama should fix while you loot. When you budgeted 6 billion Naira for this trip, did you seek Obama consent?
Here we are; waiting for you to explain to us how many people you took to US and how many billions you budgeted, since your aides are denying the report, you are busy asking a black man like you who does not earn half the salary you earn to run your government for you.
Before I continue, I want to point out to you were you goofed in your watery speech to the UN; you kept using the word “Mr. President” while addressing them; or weren’t you told that Prime Ministers and Monarchs were in attendance? When you spoke on the Syrian issue, you condemned the continous use of chemical weapons there, but you refused to state Nigeria stand on the issue, whether the US should use the instrument of war on Syria or not. Was it part of the weakness you have in you, that you could not tell Obama that we reject his planned invasion to Syria?
You were asking for support for Nigeria seeking a non permanent seat of the UNSC in the 2014-2015. What rubbish support? Do the people back home support you, before you stood up to ask the world to support you? On what ground do you have to combat terrorism, when few members of the Boko Haram sect have grounded the North. Didn’t you hear over there that the man, Shekau who was alleged to be dead is not dead, but alive and kicking as he gets ready to make our soldiers scamper for their own safety? When next you want to ask for international support, please seek our collective consent before you embarrass us in the comity of nations.
Did we hear you right that you are offering assistance to Kenya in order to combat terrorism? Common, don’t make us laugh; you must not play April fool with everything. How can you render assistance when you have worse scenario in your birth place? What manner of assistance will you offer when Borno state burns and your soldiers kill innocent citizens in Apo and tag them “Boko Haram”? Please stop taking serious issues like jokes; we beg of you.
Do you know I forgot to ask you how the roads you were driving on is? Sorry my dear president. Did you hear any bump sound as you drove past the various buildings in New York and did you see that there were no patch roads? Those roads are over 55 years, built by ministers of works like the ones you have in Nigeria and none of the money allocated for it went into building of mansions for themselves.
You watched the CNN more often there; I hope you remember that there was no time in all the days you stayed that you saw the First Lady of America, Michelle Obama appearing and making long speeches? You didn’t see her, not because she hates publicity, but she knew that she is not an elected official who should be seen often; rather she was in the white house taking care of the home.
You wife must have learnt a great lesson seeing that nobody in America knew who she was, as you people entered the $10,000 hotel. Did you see that she was greeted casually as you entered the lift with her, with nobody falling over themselves on who will bow down first before the Jesus of Okirika? Certainly, America don’t give the f**k who you are as they go about their duties.
We have a version of the African Union First Ladies meeting, which is hosted by your wife after the African Union meeting is held, with even a proposal by her to waste our collective wealth on an African Union first ladies peace mission building. Do you think Michelle Obama cannot do a thing like that and name it United Nations first ladies anti-terrorism building? She can, but American Senators will never allow her, hence she can’t even dream of it. Who will take the land of former President George Bush wife and give to her in the first place? That is the America you stayed and enjoyed.
I forgot to ask you about your arrival and departure at John Kennedy Airport. Did you see that there was no stern looking security frisking passengers as you have in MIA? All the passengers you saw there are going to live at the exact time on their ticket and failure to do some may attract penalty from the America Government. It’s not like the Arik airline I fly to Abuja, when I leave by 10.30pm, when my ticket bears 8am, and no government official listens to me when I complain. That’s America for you and if you think I’m lying, tell your pilot to delay for five minutes when he is supposed to take off and watch for yourself how he will be arrested and queried, before he would be allowed to go after an apology from you.
I didn’t forget to ask you how it felt like to look through Pierre Hotel windows at night and there was light everywhere, without sound of generating sets deafening your ears. They are not magic o. They are electric light with some powered by solar, should you be thinking otherwise. When you got to the meeting, I’m 100 percent sure that there was no blink of light for a second; that is America for you where money is used for the right purposes.
The call you made across New York did not have to ‘cut’ as you answered as there was neither network failure, but the call you made to Nigeria I know had to ‘cut off’ annoyingly at every 2 minutes; typical of a system that don’t work, which you head. I bet you that should you have network problem America, that telecommunication network will be very sorry for themselves.
You have enjoyed America with our money and have seen the civility of governance to respond less to criticism and work hard to earn even the praises of your enemies. We do not expect you to be the best for there are no best men anywhere. The only places where best men exist are in weddings; just as there are no saints even in the temple; yet we have men who remained immortal. This you can be. Jona, Kedu m’aka America?
These little things matter…
Your humble citizen reporter
Fejiro Oliver, a Journalist can be reached on secretsreporters@gmail.com and +2348026797588 (sms only please). Engage him on twitter @fejirooliver86 and Facebook; fejirooliver86. Like our Facebook page- secretsreporters

Obama Wandirasa? Is Obama truly pro-black?

   qThe day Barack Obama stood on that podium in 2009 accepting the 44th Presidential nomination of the United States of America, how many Africans within the international community that day would have thought that George. W. Bush would have achieved more for Africa rather than Africa’s own son?

Barack Obama, the embodiment of everything liberal within the United States has only managed to produce a lukewarm variation of a moderate conservative President at best. Was his election just a feel good bumper-sticker moment for the world? Where Black people bamboozled by the skin color to vote as a single voting bloc for President Obama?

As I wrote this piece on Obama from North America, it pained me to chronicle a growing black view albeit a minority based view within the ghetto of America. Community elders have been furtively concealing dialogue amongst the underprivileged community; for at least the last two years of Obama’s previous administration, why?

The sentiment permeating within the ghettos of North America is that of disappointment towards the mantra of “Hope and Change”. The community feels President Obama no longer supports the underdog which most of the time happens to be the minority within the lower rungs of life.

 Just in the same manner that most Black people supported O. J Simpson even though they thought he killed his wife. The same fervent black loyalty is holding strong for President Obama besides his lacklustre performance as a fighter for black issues.

 Forget about Africa, President Obama at his core, has failed to deliver in the big; caffeine-Obama jolt that most expected, this is a hidden and oft embarrassing topic amongst the African American communities across the U.S that black people refuse to talk about and just choose to sweep under the carpet.

As much as it hurts to say it; as a black man, the facts on the ground continue to substantiate that Obama’s vacillating nature has produced lukewarm results and eroded the black movement by hypnotizing the community into a state of appeasement with society. If this was World War 2, President Obama would be Prime Minister Chamberlain.

 Currently residing within Canada and having had the fortune of living within the United States, the disappointment I feel towards Obama is palpable. Nevertheless within North America, a black person cannot speak badly of an African American leader no matter how ineffectual he is without being shunned.

eTypically speaking, black people believe that; there are bigger enemies out in the world trying to bring down black people. For black people; fighting existential threats takes more priority than dealing with our own ineffectual leaders. Tearing each other down has never helped anything within African American culture, criticising elders is frowned upon no matter your country of birth; so long as if you are black .

Ask yourself though; what possibly can the international world attach to Barack Obama that is noteworthy of having accrued a Noble prize?

 As the world stares down the belly of genocide within Syria; the inadequacies of Obama become more apparent, whilst the death-grip of racism and classism become more profound across the globe.

 President Obama is viewed as a Black president however he runs away from this title; fervently trying to establish a neutral state of leadership where he is viewed equal to other Caucasian presidents. The days of Thurgood Marshall, Steve Biko, Leopold Takawira Hebert Chitepo, Lyndon Johnson, Kwame Nkurumah, Malcolm X, Thomas Paine or Martin Luther King are gone. Welcome to the future of political appeasement and a predatory-capitalistic facade within North America.

I now chide myself for having expected a change within my society. Is the pressure of failure, so intense; that we as minorities cannot live within our own skin?  Is knowing that we may fail our own race, so scary that we choose not to highlight our differences and instead follow the ebb and flow of dogma?

Obama now has a. the Syria crisis, b. the remnants of Libya, c. the flip flopping in regards to Egypt, d. the increase in drone attacks within Africa, e. the reduction in humanitarian efforts within Africa, f. lack of an aggressive climate change policy, g. the resurgence of Russian influence and h. the possible beginning of a East-Asia sea-lane crisis.

 

George Bush Policy

Barack Obama Policy

1.      Initiated Guantanamo Bay detention

1.      Ran on closing Guantanamo Bay but could not deliver

2.      Initiated Immigration reform but was stalled within congress

2.   Still to be decided; depends on Republicans realising they need Latinos.

3.      Thought Vladimir Putin was a friend and misjudged him

3         Thought Vladimir Putin was a friend and misjudged him

4.      Was scorned internationally but had strong allies such as Tony Blair or Jose Anzar

4        Was well received internationally, but has or had no  

strong allies to lean on unlike George Bush      

5.      Ordered a military surge for Iraq

5        Ordered a Military surge for Iraq

6.      Initiates the Automobile bailout program

6        Continues the program and uses it as

A campaign platform for re-election          

7.      Launches an Anti-Aids initiative for Africa that saves up to 1.5 million Africans

     7     TBA

8.      Fails to catch or kill Bin Laden

     8    Kills Bin Laden

 

Bush was considered intellectually inferior and foolishly stubborn; Obama will be considered as the professorial type who weighed all viewpoints before coming to a final conclusion. In all honesty besides being African-American; President Obama has actually been a very normal President compared to other administrations.

 At a time when Black Americans and Africans needed a pit bull within the White house, President Obama has been found wanting and shirking from making difficult and albeit divisive choices that may have bettered the more under-privileged minorities within the globe.

From an African perspective President Obama has been a major blow for Pan-Africanism, for the past 8 years African leaders just as their counterparts; the Black- Congressional caucus, have allowed themselves, to  be caught up in facilitating an ideal no longer compatible with 2013. Being black without ideology is meaningless.

 In a world made up of variant systems and a conflagration of manipulation techniques. Simply viewing race as a skin-colour is no longer adequate, in 2013 a racist supremacist could be a best friend for a black person in certain situations, or a Wall Street mogul could be your next slave master as a white person.

President Barack Obama being elected has shown us the biggest fallacy that exists within the American political culture. No other nation on planet earth can espouse and guarantee opportunity like the United States. Anyone can be; whoever they want to be, however as proven by the President, everything in life exists within a restriction.

 The biggest gift Barack Obama has given to black people all over the world is making them realise that racism is systemic and that, only an overhaul of the whole entire system can change this; in other words everything dating backing to the Magna Carta or before that, is worthy for conversation or revision if it helps us change our system.

Within North America black people have quietly realized that, the “Matrix” is too insurmountable to challenge. The legislation and protocols set in place to overlap dominance and simple day to day living are simply confusing for an average Joe.

We are entering a period in history where minorities will play a more prominent role within government without actually wielding any power to effect change. As President Obama grapples with his last term, for those who still believe in his “hope for change” mantra, the only way to keep the dream alive is to cut Obama from the equation and start making the change on our own.

Nigeria: Attack on Jonathan: New PDP members disagree

The handiwork of a poorly schooled and badly lettered ‘Chief’ Eze who clearly does not even know why he was conscripted by his benefactors to do the dirty PR job for a band of rebellious elements.
Methinks that the Eze fellow does not even liaise with the other members of that nauseous renegade group before jumping on his computers to churn off press releases with questionable email addresses.
I have advocated time and time again that this Eze fellow needs to be jailed for impersonation and being being a cheap imposter. He has no right to sign off press releases as National Publicity Secretary of the People’s Democratic Party.

They will not learn IF they are not taught a lesson!

George Kerley

———————
Attack on Jonathan: New PDP members disagree
SEPTEMBER 29, 2013 BY JOHN ALECHENU AND OLUSOLA FABIYI 3 COMMENTS

Jonathan
| credits: File copy
Cracks are beginning to appear in the New Peoples Democratic Party as some of its members are unhappy over the faction’s recent criticism of President Goodluck Jonathan’s handling of the economy,SUNDAY PUNCH reports.
It was gathered in Abuja on Friday that signs that all was not well within the New PDP manifested when some of the governors grumbled about how its leadership is fighting the Jonathan administration.
Governors in the New PDP are Rotimi Amaechi (Rivers), Rabiu Kwankwanso(Kano), Murtala Nyako (Adamawa), Sule Lamido(Jigawa), Abdulfatah Ahmed(Kwara), Babangida Aliyu(Niger) and Aliyu Wamakko(Sokoto).
The Abubakar Baraje-led New PDP had in a statement raised the alarm that the Jonathan-led administration was presiding over a collapsing economy.
A statement issued by the faction in Abuja and signed by its National Publicity Secretary, Chukwuemeka Eze, said with the massive scale of officially-induced oil theft, the dwindling returns from oil and massive looting going on at the federal level, Nigeria was surely on the brink of economic collapse.
But one of the governors, who spoke with one of our correspondents in confidence, said Baraje’s statement was “too strong.”
He said though they were fighting the President based on principles, it had not reached the stage of painting his entire administration black, adding that all of them were still members of the same ruling party.
The governor said, “I read what was published about the way the President is running the economy and I felt bad.
“Though we are not happy with him (Jonathan) based on some issues, which we have told him, I think we should not have gone to the extent of painting the entire PDP government black.
“With that statement, we are giving enough campaign material to the opposition to use against us in 2015. Even if we later settle our differences, can we withdraw that damaging statement?”
However, Eze insisted that there was nothing wrong with the statement.
He said “All of us are Nigerians. As an individual, are you happy that your children who are supposed to be in school are at home because the Academic Staff Union of Universities is on strike?
“If anybody is not happy and they want us to continue the way the government is going and expect us to clap our hands while the people are suffering, then some of us cannot be part of it.”
The main Peoples Democratic Party has however called on the aggrieved members of the party not to destroy the house they built because of anger.
The Deputy National Publicity Secretary of the party, Ibrahim Jalo, said, “My appeal is that these people should not destroy the house they built with us.”

Nigeria: Another policeman caught on video demanding N10,000 bribe

The policeman

For the third time in the past two months, another policeman has been caught on video demanding a bribe of N10,000 from a motorist.

The footage, secretly filmed by a passenger at the back seat of a vehicle in Onitsha, Anambra State, has so far received thousands of hits on YouTube. The three-minute 18-second video which first appeared on the YouTube channel of one Tola Tim, has since become an Internet sensation.

In the video, a policeman apprehended the driver of a vehicle that was coming from Akure, Ondo State to Umuahia, Abia State. The policeman sat in the front seat with the driver, and after checking the vehicle particulars, declared that he had discovered some discrepancies between the documents and the chassis number.

In the video, the policeman explained that the number ‘0’ was the last number on the chassis number inscribed on the vehicle, while number ‘3’was the last number on the documents presented to him for perusal.

The driver was seen arguing with the policeman that he had asked him to veer off the road in order to enable him (policeman) do proper checking of the vehicle. Once the alleged discrepancies were discovered, the policeman insisted that he would collect N10,000 before he would release him.

The driver’s appeal that there was an unintended mix-up somewhere and that the vehicle was not a stolen one fell on deaf ears.  A nursing mother who sat at the back also appealed to the policeman.

The man in uniform bellows, “Settle us. Just give us N10,000 make I waka comot. Or is it too much? If I knew you stole the vehicle, I won’t collect money from you.”

But the driver, on noticing the adamance of the policeman, said he won’t give in to his demands.

It is three much! I want you to take me to your station. I’m not afraid of anything. I can go back to Akure. At worst, I will miss my appointment in Umuahia. Why will I part with N10,000 on the vehicle I didn’t steal? No sir! I can’t do that.

“I will rather go back to Akure, get the registration officer and other supporting documents, come back with another vehicle and clear myself. And that is to tell you that I have not done something wrong,” the driver said.

The unidentified driver also calmed the nerves of the apprehensive nursing mother who clutched a baby girl to herself. “My sister, don’t worry! At worst, you will sleep in a hotel with your baby when I go back to Akure,” the driver added.

The policeman replied, “Eh eh. It is three much. Wetin make am too much?” After ruminating over the issue for some seconds, the policeman, who was armed with a gun, ordered, “Driver, come down.” And the video went dead.

Meanwhile, outrage has trailed the incident on various social media platforms. Those who have watched the video online describe the encounter as a pointer to the depth of rot and decay in the Nigeria Police Force.

They urged the Inspector General of Police, Mr. Mohammed Abubakar, to conduct an orderly room trial to ascertain the policeman’s culpability in the alleged crime and place appropriate sanctions on him if found guilty.

An anonymous reader on lindaikeji.blogspot.com says apart from condemning the act of corruption and sacking the culprit, more needs to be done to cater for the welfare of the rank and file of the police.

The reader said, “If you have a police officer as your relative, you will understand better. The income they get can’t even feed them alone not to talk of their families. The country doesn’t cater adequately for their needs. Many police barracks look like refuse dumps and they are expected to live there with their children.”

But a YouTube user, Paul Saint, argued that there is no excuse for being corrupt, attributing the behaviour to greed.

Saint stated, “This has nothing to do with the service welfare of the police. Corruption in Nigeria has nothing to do with low or high salary pay. If you are corrupt, no matter what you earn, you will still find ways to illegally enrich yourself. Most cases of corruption recorded in this country are perpetrated by persons who are otherwise fairlycomfortable with bribes.

“Corruption is as a result of greed only. Not poverty or low pay. We must condemn corruption at all times and not make excuses for it. But even if they are not well paid, there is no excuse for corruption. The most corrupt persons in Nigeria started off with collecting less than N10,000 and because we excuse them or celebrate them, they step up their demands to millions and billions. Well paid or not, do not demand or collect bribe.”

It will be recalled that three cops have so far been dismissed by the police authorities after being filmed demanding bribes from motorists.

A police sergeant, Chris Omeleze, who was caught on video camera extorting N25,000 from a motorist in Lagos in August was the first casuality of the social media whistle-blowing.

Two traffic policewomen, corporals Elizabeth Itolor and Jennifer Azingbe, who were also videotaped receiving N100 bribe from a commercial bus driver at the Oshodi/Apapa Expressway were dismissed earlier this month.

PDP plot to rig 2015 polls, destabilise Nigeria – APC

The All Progressives Congress (APC) has uncovered a grand and serpentine plot by the PDP and the Presidency to rig the
2015 general elections, especially the presidential poll, and also to destabilize Nigeria.

In a statement issued in Lagos on Sunday by its Interim National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the party said the
multi-faceted strategy that is being employed by the diabolical duo of the PDP and the Presidency, in their unbridled desperation to win the 2015 elections at all cost, include suppression of votes in areas where the President’s chances are slim, using the police and the military .

They also plan to use what they have tagged a Third Force to bamboozle Nigerians and project the image of a performing Presidency, even when they admit that the current public perception of government is less than salutary because of its weakness and lack of vision; Engage in the destabilization of the APC using moles and fifth columnists; Instigate chaos in the South-West using what they called the ”Old Afenifere Guards” as well as infiltrate and weaken socio-cultural and socio-political organizations in areas they deemed to be unfavourable to the President.

Shockingly, the party said, the PDP/Presidency’s grand plot also did not exclude even the PDP itself, as they are pursuing a strategy of decisively and ruthlessly purging from the ranks of the party’s inner decision-making caucus all recalcitrant members, including governors and House of Representatives members.

”The dogged pursuit of this action of dealing with supposed recalcitrant members has led to suspensions, expulsions and alienation of some PDP members, and it was the immediate trigger of the collapse of the party of tattered umbrella,” APC said. ”After all, it is said that a house divided against itself cannot stand.”

Elaborating on the satanic plot, the party said the North-East and the North-West have been singled out as areas where votes must be suppressed in 2015, by creating an enabling environment for the deployment of ”special forces” in the run-up to the 2015 elections. Simply put, they intend to launch police/military actions in the run-up to 2015, to ensure most of the registered voters in the zones are disenfranchised.

”The reason these two geo-political zones have been singled out for ‘vote suppression’ is because of what the PDP/Presidency called the ‘voting demographics’ in the zones in 2011. The North West had 18,900, 543 registered voters in 2011 while the North-East had 10,038,119. By contrast, the President’s ‘safe support base’ of South-South and South-East had 8,937,057 and 7,028,560 respectively, the total of which was less than that of the North-West alone!

”The PDP/Presidency therefore believe that unless the votes in these two zones are suppressed, and those of the South-West (14,298,356) stifled one way or the other, the chances of the President winning re-election are very poor. Needless to say that these three zones (NE, NW and SW) are considered to be hostile to the President, hence must be tamed,” APC said.

On the Third Force, APC said it involves railroading unsuspecting credible and independent-minded Nigerians with deep knowledge of, and extensive penetration of the media, civil society, labour, youth, women and ethnic nationalities into the plan, in which they will be given scripts written by the government and sent out to inundate the airwaves and the print media, posing as experts and public analysts to peddle lies and reel out statistics that have no bearing on the standard of living of the average Nigerian.

The party said perhaps the most dangerous aspect of the plot is the determined attempt by the PDP/Presidency to constrict the democratic space by moving against the main opposition party which they regard as a ”real threat” to the President if it (party) does not implode or forced to break up before 2015.

The strategy to achieve this is multi-pronged: The PDP/Presidency will use those they called fifth columnists, disillusioned party members and ‘deep cover plants’ to fracture the APC; Play up clash of ambitions among its leaders, as well as create and empower a new anti-APC political force in the South-West, comprising the old Afenifere guards whom they described as spent and disillusioned forces, but who can be manipulated to achieve the desired objective of neutralizing the APC; And to revive some dormant political forces.

APC said while it is not bothered by the desperation of the PDP/Presidency to engage in unfair and foul means to win elections, it is astounded that a democratically-elected President will resort to actions that are far from democratic just to retain power at all cost.

”The PDP/Presidency should know that no power in the world can stop an idea whose time has come. For Nigeria, this is the time for change, and change will come in spite of the shenanigans of the devilish duo. Our hope is that these desperadoes do not destroy the country in their rabid ambition,” the party said.

It called on Nigerians to be vigilant in the days, weeks and months ahead as the PDP/Presidency begin to roll out their grand plot.

Alhaji Lai Mohammed
Interim National Publicity Secretary
All Progressives Congress (APC)
Lagos, Sept. 29th 2013