Before President Obama takes on democracy for Africa, he should reduce the murder rate in his own home zip code of South Side Chicago. Charity must be seen to start from home. That the president's home zip code recorded the highest murders in US - 500, in 2012, should be an embarrassment for Mr. President.
Second, African-Americans, Obama's biggest supporters, are still waiting for their political dividend. Unemployment is still a song and dance issue in African-American communities, a matter that deserves effective action. The key is deploying instruments of political resources to effect change where it may not have existed or where it is needed most.
Mr. Daley, was Mayor of Chicago and later Chief of Staff to President Obama. Now, Mr. Emanuel is Mayor of Chicago but before Chief of Staff to President Obama. How come there are no reciprocal benefits to Chicago South Side?
On appointments, apart from Eric Holder, no African-American has enjoyed senior cabinet level position. When such was raised, Obama through the White House Press Secretary, said that he wanted those who are qualified. What an irony? When Barack Obama was candidate in 2008 most people said that he was not qualified. Is he using the same line?
Back to Africa. The US ought to help stop and eliminate the incessant cases of corrupt African leaders who stash their stolen wealth in US. President Obama ought to issue an Executive Order and ask Mr. Holder, the US Attorney General, to move fast to implement this. It is good on one hand to say that Africa needs democracy but allowing conducts that thwart effective rule of law go unchecked, is counterproductive. Countries in the Middle East are not pressured to allow democracy and yet, the US has not hesitated to deal with them and extend them courtesies, something that Africa is denied.
President Obama should during this term first visit Kenya, before he goes to any other African country. He is of Kenyan ancestry and visited his father's village as US Senator. President Kennedy visited Ireland and that gave the Irish people sense of pride resulting in many Irish folks in the US running for office and getting elected. So Mr. President, heed this suggestion.
It is time to use the instruments of political resources to effect change where it is needed most. But first, charity must start from home and Chicago Southside is home. Show it love.
There are no ANGELS in Politics - Just ANGLES. You are the angle that many expect. Now go take on the mantle of leadership laced with using your good office to make it happen.
E E OKPA, II
RE: Nigeria: Will Prof. Chinedu Nebo Revive Nigeria's Power Sector
Calling Nebo a mere teacher and without boardroom experience makes you lose all credibility, and tells me how little of a research you did before writing your article. People like you are what is wrong with Nigeria, people who never believe anything good can come out of Africa. Your statement that God did not have Nigeria in mind when He created light says it all. Prof Chinedu Nebo is a man that rose to fame through his managerial accomplishments in the University of Nigeria, a university which was on the verge of collapse before the man took over. Without the support of the federal government, he raised money to build one of the largest sports complex in the country (for the NUGA games 2008), renovated ALL student hostels, and gave the university a completely new look. Before him, there were only two banks in Nsukka, and only one in campus. He single-handedly convinced 14 extra banks to build their branches in Nsukka, and make various donations to the school, including some worth hundreds of millions of naira. Saying he manages an institution that has a budget of less than $15m shows how shallow your research was, because the university he managed before the current has budget that is order of magnitudes higher. Prof Nebo is not just a title-wielding individual, but he lives up to his title. He is certainly not untested, as you said, but is well tested and absolutely trusted. Please do your research again, because everything you said about him seems to be completely wrong.
By Chinenye Kizer
RE: Nigeria: Will Prof. Chinedu Nebo Revive Nigeria's Power Sector?
I appeal to Ejike Okpa and Prof Nebo to bring in Mr Okpa as Special Assistant to Prof Nebo if he becomes Min of Power. The power situation in Nigeria is so dire that it is worth any sacrifice to get it on the right track. The Minister is only a political leader so if we have a good man like Prof Nebo, he will succeed with good technical team backing him. Mr Okpa can bring that team.
Waititu and Sonko: Triumph of the Subalterns?
Very interesting piece. You have analysed the facts well, but again, facts are the same for all of us. I however take issue with your statement that poor people do not trust corporates because, "they will use their academia to steal from them." Please. You are one hell of an accomplished academic, a captain, a lawyer, and many more i guess, does it follow you are more predisposed to steal?
On the other matter of saying if a leader has been arrested before for fighting for people's rights, then they deserve election, I would kindly ask whether it is not true, as you learn in law school, that the first and best and most noble resolution of conflicts is by negotiations, followed by mediation, through and through till courts, and finally, if courts fail, (gods forbid) an eye for an eye.
And if they have so far been such great leaders, how come Dandora is dirtier than it was when Mwenje was the MP, and progressively backwards? How comes the dumping site has not been moved. How comes violent crimes are on the rise? How comes house rates are not established for rentals?
Brother Captain, there is totally no relationship between 'wealth and oppression', indeed, the poor are some of the most valueless, and mannerless people you can come across. The situation where we are in as a country calls for a new breed of politician, one who like Peter Kenneth, can use connections of office to install private public partnership projects to deliver development. Antagonism, violence, and rubble rousing will only lead to more deaths, and we had had enough since before independence.
RE: Waititu and Sonko : Triumph of Sabalterns?
Surprise, surprise, the comment by this Captain Collin has very strange leaning, not that I am suspecting his class, but that the author of the article knows all too well why the mention of " a known thief a declared violent land grabber," and mostly these too have been in the media for all the wrong reasons!!!!! I guess Collins wouldn't want his son to emulate Sonko or Waititu's abbrasive character. By the way both candidates have tasted police cells and are out of prison for reasons Collins knows all too well. What Collins forgot is that it was the party nominations, and TNA chose these. What the residents of Nairobi should guard against is the assumption that someone will vote the right person. Please know that the characters mentioned and preferred by Waititu have nothing to lose if Karen or Kileleshwa is grabbed or if Jim Nambaru doesn't start another factory. Anyway, won't he be looking for profit? Strangely the rural folks are much better in filtering their candidates, so, Nairobians, get serious!
RE: Somalia Mulls over US Diplomatic Recognition
I have read, and re-read your piece, and i have only one question to seek clarity on: "since when did one country's foreign policy become the domestic, and foreign policy of another successfully, especially when the former was 'millitarised' into the later?" If i may remind you of Allah’s warning in the Quran, " Allah will not make a people better unless the people change their thoughts." Do you think Somalis have changed their thoughts? or they are happy when other countries, including Kenya, Uganda, and their puppet masters, EU and US, are managing their affairs for them?
RE: Somalia Mulls over US Diplomatic Recognition
Why should the recognition of the US mean so much? Is it just because they have money? Why wasn't the recognition of African states or other states - like Turkey given the same amount of pomp?
RE: Slum Demolition and the Urban Poor
This is a fabulous account of this unfortunate and monstrous act of governments which are blindly and wrongly trying to copy western approach to development. Thanks so much for this very educative piece. Kudos, keep on keeping on; you represent on of the loudest voices of the helpless and vulnerable in society.