Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Sunday, 24 April 2011

Peace and Justice a Lecture


The lecture is an indept analysis of the causes of global violence. An excellent intelletual discourse. Prof. Mamdani at his best.

The link below is a debate on Darfur: John Pednergras and Prof Mamdani, a context of the Darfur civil war.

Sunday, 17 April 2011

Bit and pieces of Pan Africanism...


Joseph Stiglitz noted:
In Africa, the high aspirations following colonial independence have been largely unfulfilled. Instead, the continent plunges deeper into misery, as incomes fall and standards of living decline. The hard-won improvements in life expectancy gained in the past few decades have begun to reverse. While the scourge of AIDS is at the center of decline, poverty is also a killer. Even countries that have abandoned African socialism, managed to install reasonably honest governments, balanced their budgets, and kept inflation down find that they simply cannot attract private investors.1
I argue that despite the willingness of some leaders to effect change, and the continued struggles of Africans to improve their economic and political conditions, the African state, in its current form, will not be able to produce consistent policies that engender social progress and new national visions.

There has been, however, no consensus about the pragmatic significance of pan-Africanism across social classes and countries:

The discussion about its significance, both in Africa and in the African diaspora, continues to attract scholars and students of African politics and history. As an ideology and intellectual discourse … pan-Africanism is not new in terms of its intellectual position as to what directions Africa should take and the kind of projects that should be developed to allow Africans to set up institutions of societal transformation. But at the policy and political level, pan-Africanist advocates have not seized or created any real opportunity for its actualisation ... In other words, they have not been creative, imaginative, and daring enough to translate this ideology into political actions.5

Pan-Africanists have mostly articulated the issues of unity across geopolitical boundaries in an intellectualistic, abstract, ahistorical, and apolitical fashion. Furthermore, definitions and interpretations of pan-Africanism have produced various meanings, which have been difficult to actualise as policy frameworks. Policy formulation requires a high level of political realism. Thus, some common characteristics of pan-Africanism must be identified and their meanings explored.

From George Padmore, W. E. B. Dubois, and Kwame Nkrumah to Thomas Sankara, pan-Africanism has generally included the following aims: the search for common cultural specificities and affinities among Africans and the actualisation of intellectual liaisons among them based on “race”, ethnicity, geography, and history. These objectives were to foster an understanding and appreciation of the African cultures, which should be the foundation of politics. Thus, pan-Africanism embodies an ethnic/racial, cultural, and continental unity of some kind.

Pan-Africanism is essentially an international phenomenon embedded in multicultural linguistic expression. It is an element of the discourse of international diplomacy and the international political economy. Despite the proliferation of actors in international relations, the state, with its claim of sovereignty and the imperatives of international law, is still the major operating actor:

We all are citizens with or without rights in some states. These states name us, give us cultural identities, and define where we can operate. The states define geopolitical boundaries and the social environment in which citizens operate. We speak the languages that have been defined by the states. Despite the marginalisation and segmentation of the state the world over, it is still a major actor in international relations and the international political economy.6

Although political pan-Africanism, especially as interpreted by Nkrumah, called for the establishment of a federal African state in the 1960s, cultural pan-Africanism has focused on the search for a common cultural symbolism and historical linkages. Any possibility for transforming pan-Africanism as an ideological alternative to existing systems of governance must be discussed within the framework of the centrality of the state. Its discourse should include the invention of new theories and practices of diplomacy, and co-operation among Africans, their states, and the rest of the world.

By Naiwu Osahon
The World Pan African Movement

We know, for instance, that DuBois was half black and never tired of reminding everyone who cared to listen to him about his aristocratic white half. Mind you, his was very much the era of the darker you are the further down the social ladder of progress you were confined. So, DuBois had no respect for Garvey, not because Garvey was dark hopefully.
Ask any African in the streets of Europe and America about the 6thPAC and you would draw a blank. Ask any grassroots African on the continent about Pan Africanism today and he would think you are speaking Greek. The 6thPAC has not stopped the continued racial rape and murder of our people in the Diaspora nor has it educated Africans on the continent, sixteen years later, to think beyond the severely circumscribed OAU.

Only the 5th congress was able to make immediate direct impact on our lives with its independence fire sweeping rapidly across colonial Africa soon after the congress. The 5thPAC set the standard by which to measure the success of all future PACs. The 6thPAC, therefore, was no more than a boring charade and if Pan Africanism is to be saved now, it must be moved beyond the constraining walls of our Ivory Towers, the deadly hold of our narrow-minded political leaders and deposited squarely on the laps of virgin Africans.

These were precisely the sources of my motivation when I began the campaign in 1982, as a private initiative, for the 7th Pan African Congress to convene within three years in a liberated African country. My principal ambition was to use the congress to institutionalise the Pan African Movement and unite the black world. I was building a farm house facility (I called the Monument to African civilisation), at Ilogbo-Eremi in the Badagry local government area of Lagos State in Nigeria, at the time, as venue for the 7th Pan- African Congress. The idea was to set up a possible meeting place that would be grand and yet rural in setting and relatively cost free to participants, to avoid recourse to government subvention or sponsoreship and, therefore, influence. At the time, I thought that the congress could hold in Nigeria in 1985. A picture of the still being constructed ‘Monument’ was eventually published in the Guardian newspaper of Nigeria, on Saturday February 4th 1984, with the following caption:

” This is the house Mr Naiwu Osahon is building. When completed, it would be one of the most unique, artistically designed houses ever built any where, says Mr Osahon of the house located on a suburban farmland. Mr. Osahon, ……………on the proposed retreat for local and visiting artistes says: ‘Discussions are already being held abroad about holding the next Pan African Congress at the Craftfarm House in 1985.”

Obstacles which I considered were mainly responsible for our disunity and lack of focus as a family included:

(1) Foreign religions and ideologies (which in all respects treat us as inferior human beings). These pull us in all sorts of directions to keep us divided despite our being the most marginalised people on the face of the earth right now. It is not in the interest of any dominating ideology for victims to unite or have a common focus. Peculiar spirituality serves to bind and encourage claims of ownership and birthright. Religion or spirituality is the greatest mobilising strategy available to man and we have nothing of our own as a rallying force like Islam is to the Arabs or Judaism to the Jews.

(2) Allowing colonisers (particularly Arabs who do not consider themselves even remotely as Pan Africanists) to participate in and sponsor our congresses. Arab occupiers of Northern Africa continue to exploit and dominate original African native owners of the land. The war in Sudan is ethnic cleansing against our race and is funded massively by the Arab League through Libya and Saudi Arabia. Arabs have their League but do not want blacks to have one. We as a race have not been able to focus on how to liberate Northern African blacks as we have done against white racists in Southern Africa because Northern Africa Arabs are equal partners with blacks in the OAU.

(3) Allowing our ‘Movement’ to be hijacked by reactionary African political leaders running our governments. These are leaders tied to the apron strings of our colonial masters for hand-outs which our leaders promptly divert to their individual private accounts abroad for personal gains. They are too busy enriching themselves at our expense to care about our collective welfare.

I strongly believed that while we could excuse the OAU perhaps, to serve the interest of all and sundry as a continental contraption, our ‘Movement’ cannot afford such a luxury. Not when there is liberation, reparations and repatriation wars still to be fought and won world-wide. Our Movement must aggresively tackle racism and our marginalisation if we are ever to collectively make progress as a people. And our ‘Movement’ must remain permanently on the alert thereafter. The best guarantee of this is a civil society controlled ‘Movement’ with grassroots Africans from the continent linking with the grassroots black Diaspora to wrestle power from our opportunistic political elite controlling our governments. The grassroots black world need to take their collective destiny into their own hands through an institutionalised ‘Movement’ that gives equal treatment to both governments and individual delegations. I was implacable over the 7thPAC institutionalising the Pan African Movement as a vibrant civil society compliment or challenge to the lame-duck OAU.

To keep rancour to the barest minimim at congresses, I insisted that decisions and resolutions of the ‘Movement’ must be fine-tuned and worked out at preparatory conferences and workshops etc in advance, with congress being used only to endorse. The preparatory activities of the 7thPAC were, therefore, to focus principally on the following three planks:

The latest version of the African Union concept started from a totally discredited non-black source with an OAU’s special meeting bankrolled by Muamar Gaddafi in Sirte, Libya in 1999. Gaddafi, as we all know is the rascal or Satan behind all the modern civil wars in Africa. From Chad to Liberia to Sierra Leone, Gaddafi had his fingers on the rotten, smellie pie. He financed and trained Museveni’s gorilla adventure and he is the leading sustainer of Arab pogrom against Africans in the Sudan right now. After failing to build his, the United States of the Arab world dream, he turned to halpless Africa for relevance in international politics. His interest in the African Union is fiendish and totally opportunistic and was designed to lead to the setting up of the AU’s headquarters in Sirte, Libya with Muamar Gaddafi as the United States of Africa’s first President.

At first, Gaddafi’s dream project was opposed by Presidents Obasanjo of Nigeria and Thabo Mbeki of South Africa in what may have been no more than a power struggle between the personalities involved. President Obasanjo and Abdoulai Wade of Senegal opposed the Reparations for Slavery and Colonialism strategy of the black world at the 2001 UN World Conference against Racism in South Africa. Mbeki, of course, is pocketed by apartheid architects in South Africa. General Abacha’s regime in Nigeria, during a moment of discomfort with Mbeki, described Mbeki’s government as a structure with white skin and black head. He probably believed the tail wags the head.

During our struggle to assert our 7thPAC variance in the 1990′s, one of our most formidable foes in Senegal was Abdoulai Wade. Wade who had strong links with the anti-African ‘Labour International,’ in collaboration with Pierre T. Sane of Amnesty International and a Senegalese based in Canada tried to prempty 7thPAC to convene what they called PANAF ’92 to deliver the black world on a platter to their French government cohorts. Wade as the leader of the P.D.S party was reputed for creating confusion and mayhem in the ranks of opposition political parties in Senegal before he became the country’s President. His antecedence is decidedly Western oriented so it was no surprise that along with Gaddafi, Obasanjo and Mbeki they crafted a constitution that delivers the AU as a neo-colonial appendage of the West. These leaders are not Pan-Africanists and do not love Africa or the black world. They are in all these for selfish personal gains (crumbs), from under the tables of their Western benefactors.

The Obasanjo-Mbeki cabal went down on their knees to beg the West for a $64 billion handout but instead got $6 billion spread over a period of years. A Pan-Africanist friend, Lester Lewis, believes that, that is where the NEEEEPAD name comes from. Obviously, the $6 billion bailout is to enable us continue to buy the loads of KNEEPADS we are going to need from the West. The deputy leader of the World Pan African Movement, Charles C. Roach who is based in Canada, describing the African leaders begging scene at the 2002 G8 conference in Canada, said: “There is an amusing photograph of Prime Minister Chretien of Canada sitting astride a kneeling camel on his recent trip to Algeria and five other African countries over the NEPAD issue. The Prime Minister is entreating the camel not to stand up and this is understandable, because the way a camel gets up, unfolding its long legs is a roller-coaster ride for anyone on its back. Symbolically, Chretien was telling the African camel to stay on its knees while he perches on its back.”

Earlier this year, President Moi of Kenya, said in a speech in Blantyre, Malawi that Africa was doomed to perpetual poverty and backwardness unless African leaders free themselves of egocentricity. That “no country in the West had an obligation to baby-sit and spoon-feed independent African nations. African leaders must accept this fact, however unsettling, and rethink about their development strategies.” Recently too, President Yahya Jammeh of the Gambia was reported to have described NEPAD as a charter for beggars. Hear him: “NEPAD would not work. ….Africa is the richest continent in terms of mineral resources, but because of ignorance, Africa in economic terms, is the poorest continent and we Africans are the laughing stock of humanity. We have failed because some of us are agents of the same people we are supposed to fight against. We produce the bulk of the world’s raw materials so why are we still poor? Some of us are fighting proxy wars in Africa for the benefit of others. Africa has never colonised anyone. Some people who prolonged apartheid are now waving the flag of democracy and freedom. The African debt is not globalised, it is Africanised.”

At a forum in Addis Ababa in March 2002, Prof Shadrack Gutto of South Africa’s University of the Witwaterstrand asked why NEPAD was presented first to the G8 before African governments had a chance to discuss it. Mr. Wiseman Nkuhlu, the South African president’s special adviser on NEPAD, provided the not so wise answer at the forum that it is because African governments have been pre-occupied with building the AU. In answer to another question at the forum, Mr. Nkuhlu admitted that consultation with civil society “is not where we would like it.”

If the Obasanjo-Mbeki cabal, set up by the West to perpetuate our developmental pains would not consult with even their colleagues in African governments before inflicting the culture of the begging bowl on Africa all over again, does the African civil society have a right to expect a miracle from the AU? Where does that leave the black Diaspora in the scheme of things? What about ‘Reparations’ and Repatriation’?

The answer is for African civil society to link up with the black Diaspora civil society to impose a vibrant, uncompromising institutionalised ‘ Movement’ on the black world, independent of African governments’ control. The two priority areas of activities of the institutionalised ‘Movement’ would be: (a) To pressurise the AU to produce a Pan-African Passport (PAP) to enable any black or African, regardless of nationality, return home to Africa at will without let or hindrance. (b) To compel the West and Arabs, by any means necessary, to pay Reparations to the black world. This is, therefore our ‘ CALL’ to all Africans, African organisations, institutions and NGO’s of goodwill, wherever they may be in the world, to nominate their representatives to the 8thPAC International Co-ordinating Committee working to convene the Eight Pan-African Congress within the next three to five years in Africa to launch the Institutionalised Pan-African Movement.

By Naiwu Osahon
The World Pan African Movement
7th August, 2002.

Wednesday, 13 April 2011

African Resistance against Colonialism

Samori Toure illustrated that state formation was still occurring in Africa even as Europeans attempted to justify their incursions by suggesting that Africans were incapable of governing themselves. Had the French not intervened, there might well be a large, indigenously created states in West Africa embracing all or parts of some of the present states.
West Africans had, in fact, been creating greats for over a 1,00o years and did not require European help. The great irony here was that as Africans began to recover and regroup after the end of the Atlantic slave trade, Europeans again intervened to suppress the freedom, not merely of unfortunate captives, but of all Africans.
Fulani resistance to British rule was the normal reaction of any state and its rulers to invasion and conquest.
The Fulani reaction dispels the European myth that Africans welcomed colonial dominations. Superior weapons, not superior social institutions, forced most Africans to yield to foreign rule.
Claude S Philips The African political dictionary 1982

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

The African Union Should Be Disbanded

The Spanish President last week announced that, "I will not stand for the 2012 election, because I want to give democracy a chance for Spain...it will be good for my country and party" Why is it that such progressive stands cannot be taken by African leaders? Why do the incumbent leaders belief that, their country will crumble if they leave office? The truth is, they are refusing to cap their terms of office because of corruptions and crimes against their people. The AU should be disbanded and a new progressive African Union be set up. All leaders who ruled beyond tens years be expel from the Union. African leaders must give democracy a chance by sacrificing the taste and love of Power for progress of African human dignity. To allow perpetual election victory as a brand of democracy will only foster the corruption and power exploit by our leaders. They will continue owning public fund, overstepping their marks, and interfering in the Judiciary. On Ivory Coast, without Guillian Soros and Ouattarra taken matters in their own hands, Gbagbo will go where. Let the AU be disbanded, only those who agree to cap their own leadership be allowed in. A strong well funded military unit be set up, proper network be set up with pressure groups, a seat be made available to independent media, opposition parties, student unions, women rights groups etc in all AU heads of state meetings as part of the awakening of the slumbering Heads of states. "Gbagbo is now negotiating his surrender. Two of his senior generals are negotiating his end.When the AU promised to deal with him, I knew, it will never happen. With monsters like Yahya Jammeh among their ranks, the AU is nothing but a dinosaur infested grouping.The U.N now declare that, the war is over. Gbagbo like other so-called bravado cowards who can only hide behind weapons, however, we always maintain that, the African military will never kill their own people if people come out in numbers. The same thing can happen in any African countries." Suntou

Monday, 4 April 2011

WAG (Gambian Writers' Association) Refute President Jammeh Title Rumour

Dear all, We have learnt that false information is circulating claiming that the Gambia Writers' Association (as our association is also referred to) has conferred to His Excellency a title. We would like to clearly state the following as a disclaimer: None of the members of the Executive Committee is aware of such a conferred title; If such a title has been conferred, the Writers Association of The Gambia has no hand in it; We hereby inform all that our official name is the Writers Association of The Gambia with the acronym WAG. I hope this will dispel all rumours and assure the members we will continue to represent them adequately as we are mandated to do. Cherno Omar Barry General Secretary For President Writers' Association of The Gambia

Friday, 1 April 2011

Why Women have sole right over a child born in wedlock

Suntou Religion regulate certain aspects of human society. Marriage happens to be one such category. Men are highly likely to cheat on their partners than the other round. God's justice sometimes looks unfair to the Unbeliever, however, polygamy is not a religious precondition. In fact marriage in Islam is on the need basis.What IT meanS is that, if you can live your life without the need for sex, marriage is optional on you. Howerver, in our this sweet, fat comsuming, sexual images in everything age, I doubt many can sleep without longing for six month. One will commence counting the wall papers. The Prophet Muhammad only marry one wife for the larger part of his live. Ali also never marry a second wife until after the passing of his first wife. These are our guide in the aspect of Islam. Polygame is abuse more often that not, just like many men will be cheating and giving all sorts of excuses for their coming home late and inability to romance the Wife. Marriage itself is not stipulated for a man/woman who will not stop cheating after the marriage. If you cannot stick to your wife/husband, then to remain unmmarried is your best option. The rationale is that, the Shariah stipulate capital punishment for a cheating married person, whilst only a 100 lashes for an unmarried person.Coming to why Polygame was recommended by Islam... In many societies, men can have children with women and yet later get married to somebody different. Society then don't count illegitimate children as part of the Will of the father. It mean that children born out of wedlock is left on the sideline. Even in the West, East and North, you cannot even become a King or replace your father. You cannot be a Priest etc etc and even political position is a no go area. Islam sees that as an oppression, a stain on an innocent child. This is why, the concept of Original Sin has no place in Islam, because children cannot have sin. It is is irrational and unjust burden. To safeguard the future of the unborn child, men are advised to marry women before any canal sexual relationship. To safeguard the child name, honour and future respectability is far more important than arguing over whether monogamy or polygame is the best, because women will go into polygamy by their free choice. The strict condition laid down for a polygamous relationship is so high, many men are falling headlong against the rule unperturb... So if polygamy is practise with all the right principle, no father's responsibility will ever be in doubt. The Islamic ethic is that, a father has no claim over a child born outisde marriage. You cannot sue a woman in court for access to a child you had with her outside marriage. She has sole claim over the child. This is why, Sex outside marriage fall under the category of things incuring God's anger... The rule is that, "do not go near fornication and adultry.." A multiple meaning but at the same time meaning, if going to a night club will mean getting tempted to do fornication, then watch out.. If being alone with a sister will wiggle your tail, then watch out... close all doors to your weakness..Marriage is so important in Islam, it said to be half of one's religion.