Benjamin Obiajulu Aduba

Benjamin Obiajulu Aduba

Benjamin Obiajulu Aduba  currently lives in Medfield, Massachusetts.

With the likes of Binta Nyako as judges in the Nigerian justice system it is impossible to reform the delivery of justice to Nigerians. Justice Nyako’s is so ignorant of the meaning of justice that one wonders how she obtained her law degree and how she managed to be called to the Bar. Even more, who appointed her to the judgeship?

The last question could be attributed to the desire of the appointee to have on the bench one who could be manipulated or one who would dance on a leash. This can only be the reason she was assigned to handle the “hot potato” judgement of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu. Two earlier judges had handled the case and came to essentially the same conclusion but the Nigerian Federal Government of President Muhammadu Buhari wants a guilty verdict and so it shopped around until it found Justice Binta Nyako.

And what a find she has been!

Our “learned justice” found grounds to keep Mazi Kanu in jail contrary to the prior findings by two judges. Now that the health of Mazi Kanu has become apparent, the learned lady has found a way to deny him bail while pretending that she was granting bail. Unfortunately, the double talk exposed her underbelly, ignorance of the law.

Someone should have reminded the justice that there is separation of powers in the Nigerian constitution. A senator has no role in prosecution, defense, and judgement in any case criminal or civil. Yet our learned justice draws the services of a senator as a condition for grating Mazi Kanu bail. Does Nyako think the parts of constituency services include posting bails for constituents? What her excellency was trying to do is called “fishing.” It is an attempt to find if any politician is supporting Mazi Kanu or to peel off such a support if it exists. By this action, Ms. Nyako is injecting herself into and with prosecution of Mazi Kanu. She is supposed to be independent.

Phew!

Apart from introducing the legislative arm into the judicial process, the requirement that the senator must be Igbo narrows the pool for the selection to a mere 15 senators. Why must the person be Igbo? What beef does her majesty have with the Igbo? Or is this one more proof that the Igbo nation is being tried in the guise of Nnamdi Kanu?

How could justice Nyako not know that whatever it is that Kanu is accused of is a domestic Nigerian affair? Why would she bring in foreign nationals into this domestic matter? Would a Jew from say Brazil be allowed to post bail in Nigeria for a Nigerian? Would she/her meet the residency requirements? Is Ms. Nyako also taking over the immigration department of Nigeria? This in legal parlance is “judicial over reach.”

The last of the three conditions, that he cannot be among more than 10 people at a time; that he cannot grant interviews; etc. means that the freedoms that Kanu enjoyed while a prisoner is being denied him when he is out of prison. Every legal concept is turned on its head by this requirement. Start with innocent until proved guilty in a court with jurisdiction. The fact that Mazi Kanu had been imprisoned for nearly two years does not qualify as guilty. He is still “innocent.” Why curtail his citizenship rights? The day he would step out of prison would be an opportunity for his supporters to rally at the prison gates to welcome him back. It is obvious that there would be more than 10 people. Just by stepping out of prison he would be guilty of violating the condition of his bail. Would he or his attorneys be expected to deny other Nigerians their freedom of movement or association? The same applies to when he gets to his village where he would be welcomed home as the conquering lion of Judah.

President Muhammadu Buhari has made the destruction of the Igbo nation, his number one priority and Justice Binta Nyako has signed on as an acolyte. She should resign her justice position and serve Buhari in other capacity, perhaps as one of the generals policing the Igbo nation and shooting and gunning down peaceful demonstrators. She cannot do it from the bench. Lawyers and others interested in the administration of justice ought to be up in arms against this injustice.

Introducing religion, tribalism, and internationalization of domestic legal affair is no way to be a judge.

Ms. Nyako should be impeached.

Detaining Mazi Kanu was a mistake. A free Kanu is much less a problem for the Nigerian government than the symbiology of Kanu in prison. The Nigerian Federal Government should free Kanu unconditionally, and apologize to him and pay him for illicit detention. And everybody will breathe easy.

It is a very simple solution.

Benjamin Obiajulu Aduba

Boston, Massachusetts,

April 28, 2017

The President of United States is in a class all by himself because a lot of world peace depends on him. It follows that in anything the president says or does domestically or internationally must be very measured. No national leader takes the actions or words of a US President as a joke.

The current president of US seems to be making statements that make much of the world nervous. I saw my Primary Care Physician last week. She was preparing to go to Korea and she was afraid that there may not be “Korea” while she is there or even before she goes. Reason? President Trump says that he is sending an armada to the Korean peninsula and the President of North Korean says that he would sink the Aircraft Carrier if it ventures into the Korean peninsula. My PCP’s worry is “everyman’s” worry. Xi Jinping, the Chines Leader in his statements of the tension in the South China Sea calls on both sides to ratchet down their comments and statements. It is a voice of reason but it also carries a note of fear.

The world cannot go about its business in fear.

Last week President Trump signed a decree imposing a 20% tariff on Canadian lumber in the name of protecting America’s interest. Canada responded very critically and threatened a retaliation. Taken together with Mr. Trump’s beef with NAFTA it looks as if there is a looming economic warfare with Canada. Mr. Trump’s views on building a wall along Mexican border and his perception of Mexican immigrants are well known. Can America afford an economic war with both her northern and southern neighbors? Will the President force a new treaty that binds Mexico and Canada but excludes the United States?

America’s security, including economic and military safety, depends largely on her relationship with her neighbors. If President Trump revokes Mr. Obama’s opening to Cuba he would be creating a nation surrounded by enemies on all sides.

US’s air strike on Syria was not amusing to Russia. It has forced Russia to scale down the level of cooperation in the fight against ISIS. Without cooperation between US and Russia ISIS hands would be strengthened

This is bad news for the United States since it considers ISIS the greatest threat to her national security interests.

Even the most reliable of America’s friends in Europe have expressed some doubts about their US relations: Germany, France, even UK. To say nothing about NATO as an organization.

If Mr. Trump’s foreign policy agenda make significant parts of the world (Russia, China, Korea’s, Arabs, etc.,) nervous his domestic policies are also dividing the nation.

His vision of former President Obama as a sworn enemy of United States and the democrats as anti-American party members create a “my America” VS “your America” war at a time when national unity is most needed. Ordinary Americans are beginning to get the feeling of a nation at war.

This feeling has been induced by the fights over health care reform, over tax reform, over the president’s resolve not to make public his tax filings as all recent presidents had done, by the president’s and his senior staffs’ past relationship with Russia.

At the beginning of the 20th century Germany was the strongest power in the world, a position currently held by US. Then Germany became arrogant and started threatening her neighbors. It did not take long for European nations began to gang up against their unruly “big brother.” The world wars of 1914-1918 and again in 1939-1945 demolished Germany and divided the nation and stripped her of her foreign territories. The total deaths from both World Wars have been estimated up to 89 million. And only two nuclear bombs by USA were dropped. In the 21st century who knows how many nuclear bombs would be used.

Germany’s history ought to be our yardstick for measuring how far a strong nation should go in threatening the rest of the world. A nation that wants to threaten the world must at least have a united front.

Benjamin Obiajulu Aduba

Boston, Massachusetts

Massachusetts

April  27, 2017

The interest of the nation and Buhari's personal interests intersect at this point and a single action would serve both interests well. This single action is to quietly ease Mr. Buhari out of the office of the president.

Except for those who are selfishly invested in President Buhari's presidency all other people know that Mr. Buhari's ability to govern is imperiled by his sickness. It is not his fault. Each of us can get sick and those of us who have reached the landmark age of 70 know how had even simple tasks can become. And if simple tasks are difficult consider being a president, especially the president of Nigeria!

It was important for Mr. Buhari to be the Nigerian civilian president and that mission has been accomplished. He and Mr. Obasanjo are the only Nigerians who have headed the country twice as a military man and as a civilian. It is not likely that any other Nigerian would accomplish this feat. Having accomplished his life's ambition Mr. Buhari should be allowed to live out his life in as much comfort as possible. He needs to enjoy his family and to pass on family stories to his children and grandchildren.

The best people to perform this onerous task are PMB's family and friends. They owe it to him to let him realize that he would be serving Nigeria best by removing himself from office in a peaceful and fluent manner. He would be remembered honorably as one who took a step down so that Nigeria would step up. But if this quiet approach is not possible, the legislature would call for his medical records and decide PMB's ability to continue as the commander-in-chief and president. Nigeria is bigger than any one of us.

Nigeria needs a strong person to lead her in these difficult times. Nigeria is a challenge to any person of any age. Mature president Obasanjo surrounded himself with the best brains Nigeria had and yet struggled; Young President Jonathan also had some strong ministers and struggled. It is no surprise that old and ailing President Buhari with weaker ministers is struggling mightily in the office. It is fortunate that Buhari has a vice president who is both young and who has exhibited some ability to govern. He should be put back in charge.

Nigerian local politics of North and South should not stop Nigeria from moving forward. To sacrifice Mr. Buhari in the interest of appeasing the North will do good to nobody. If Mr. Osibanjo's government brings progress to Nigeria both the North and South would benefit. Christians and Muslims would be better off.

Perhaps the most important meeting of the administration is the FEC meeting scheduled for every Wednesday. It was earlier amended to twice a month to accommodate Mr. Buhari's health requirements. Then Mr. Osibanjo presided over it for a couple of months due to the president's sick leave. Now it is being skipped for two weeks for unexplained reasons. It is at FEC that ministers report on what is going on in their ministries. It is the FEC that approves most important moves by the federal government. One of the implications of canceling FEC meetings is that the government is at a standstill. Nigeria cannot afford to stand still. World events move at the speed of light and those not fast enough would be left behind.

Nigeria has a lot of work to do and must get on with it.

Benjamin Obiajulu Aduba

Boston, Massachusetts

April 20, 2017

Friday, 17 February 2017 17:37

An Open Letter to President Donald J. Trump

The White House

1600 Pennsylvania Avenue

Washington DC

Dear President Donald J. Trump,

I am one of your subjects and a proud American along with over 300 million others plus additional 11 million (or so) illegal aliens. We all love our America. But our love pales in comparison to your love which you have demonstrated in the many years you have invested in American politics, albeit from the sidelines. You devoted less than your full attention to the Trump Empire of billions of dollars in 2015-2016 and now you have practically abandoned your empire to serve the country at a penny a year.

Greater love has no man for his country.

Mr. President we all love America and want it to remain great.

You are now in charge and your full attention, your undivided attention and loyalty, are required for the job of number one headmaster of the world. I suspect that small things are distracting your attention. I suggest the following:

  • That you give up your twitter account. You cannot be responding to every Tom, Dick and Harry as you seem to be doing. You have surrogates, let them do their work. Not every comment deserves a presidential response.
  • Make peace not war for you cannot govern this country alone. The country is designed not to produce a dictator. You cannot rule USA as the North Korean Leader can. You saw with your own eyes as Senator Rick McConnell rejected, singlehandedly, Mr. Obama’s nominee to the Supreme Court. Many legislators can do such things. Messrs.’ McCain, Bill Graham, Speaker Ryan, et all. And even combined Democratic senators. Make peace for it is a sign of strength not weakness.
  • You are making so many people nervous. EU, China, NATO Allies, Iran, even Russia etc., are afraid. Fear is what leads to actions that lead to wars. Calm things down before somebody makes a precipitous mistake. With nuclear war heads all over the place, WWIII will not be anything like WWII or WWI. There too much at risk in 2017. The America that we all love, even though it has superior military apparatus, will not get out of this one free like it did in WWII or WWI. Of course, USA did not get out of either war free what with over 500,000 dead soldiers. In WWII alone.
  • The press is not the enemy; democrats are not the enemy; Black Caucus is not the enemy; Liberals are not the enemy; Intellectuals in our universities and elsewhere are not the enemy; competition with China is not the enemy; Mexicans and illegal immigration are not the enemy; and others. These people have different ideas of how to keep America great. They have always been around and will always be around. I have seen the enemy and it is us; it is poverty; it is unequal distribution of wealth and opportunities; it is blindness to see the bigger picture. We need friends like NATO, like Australia, like Africa, and Mideast, like Japan, like Korea, Like Nigeria, like South Africa Like UN and other World Organizations. These are what we need to be successful.

Mr. President the above suggestions are from a plebian. But they are offered because of my ernest desire that you succeed for if you succeed, we all gain; if you fail we all pay the huge price your failure would bring. Let’s not behave like Senator McConnell who prayed for Obama’s failure and did his best to see him fail. Obama did not fail because the strength of his character would not allow it, but he could have succeeded much more if Mr. McConnell had not been a stumbling block.

In the interest of full disclosure, yes, I did not vote for you but I believe that you are still my President.

May God bless America; land of the free!

I am Sincerely,

 

Benjamin Obiajulu Aduba

Boston, Massachusetts

February 17, 2017

President Donald Trump is an amateur in politics. He has never been elected to any political office in his life. He has played politics much as I have played football, from the sidelines. I can make almost any calls that a referee would make and debate all questionable calls ad infinitum. Or if you prefer, J can second guess every political action taken by any president or senate or the House.

I am a good at what Americans call Monday Morning quarterbacking

Not only is Mr. Trump an amateur, he has surrounded himself with other amateurs in high places and the results are showing. In three weeks, we have seen:

  1. His senior counsellor Ms. Kellyanne Conway counseled when she forgot that the she is paid by “we the people” and not by her direct boss Mr. Trump as she used her position to promote Ivanka Trump’s clothing line when Ivanka’s line is in competition with many other clothing lines by other Americans. She did not know or forgot it was not permissible for one on public payroll to promote one American over the others.
  2. Mr. trump’s security adviser Gen Flynn quit on Monday after Trump lost trust in him and asked for his resignation. "The issue pure and simple came down to a matter of trust," Flynn had held a discussion with the Russian Ambassador to the United States before Trump’s inauguration without consulting and reporting to the then President Obama and lied about it to the current Vice President.
  3.  Us lawmakers are calling for the investigations of the president’s and other cabinet and senior advisers about their relationships with Russia. These calls are coming from both Democrats and Republicans.
  4. President Trump had issued a Presidential Directive that bans all refugees and immigrants from the mostly majority Islamic nations from entering US. It led to confusion in most US airports and even worse in international airports around the world. It also caused widespread demonstrations in US cities. It led to court battles and a US Appeals Court has rejected the Presidential Directive
  5. The president himself held a security meeting in a public place. Cries are going up demanding to see the Security Clearance for Mar A-Lago restaurant where the security meeting was held. A republican congressman has requested information on what was discussed in the meeting and the level of security assurances that Mar-A-Lago place provided.

All the above are a just a tip of the iceberg. It has been a mere three weeks and all these and more have happened. President Trump’s administration is an amateur administration run by amateurs for the people of United States. If the present trends continue, it will be a matter of time before the amateur advisers would lead the president astray and he could do something that could lead to calls for impeachment.

Democrats must start to formulate their strategy for dealing with Mr. Trump’s moves. I suggest the following:

  1. On the domestic front, Democrats should mount a vigorous opposition to some of the announced Trump moves such as repealing of Obamacare without a better plan in place; such as building a wall in US southern border; such as bringing back torture of terrorists; such as tax cuts for the 1%. They should propose their own agenda including making college affordable to all citizens, protecting the seniors from social security cuts and privatizing social security and Medicare; that infrastructure development agenda will create jobs; and many other things they ran on in 2016. These will not pass but it will demonstrate that they have a plan for governing.
  2. On Foreign Affairs Democrats, should ensure that no new wars are started by the administration; that withdrawal from international treaties approved by Congress and signed by former presidents are inviolable; that US should be an even hand in the Mideast and not an agent of Israeli’s Prime Minister Mr. Netanyahu. The tail ought not wag the dog. Democrats must continue to emphasize the special relationship US has with her allies such as UK, EU, Australia, Canada, etc.; Democrats must ensure that that while US is in competition with China that this competition does not lead to war with China or the start of WWIII. Above all Democrats must oppose any attempt to enter a second arms race with any country/ies.

As the Opposition Party, Democrats, must accept the result of 2016 and not seek to revise it directly. If and when calls for the impeachment of Mr. Trump comes up, Democrats must make sure that such impeachment fails. Mr. Trump in office is the bestselling reason for the democratic return to government. If Mr. Trump is impeached successfully, Mr. Pence would become the president. Mr. Pence is not an amateur, but a seasoned political practitioner. He would change Republican failures overnight and make them the darling of the public with a possible chance of eight years of Republican dominance.

US has given Mr. Trump a four-year mandate. Four years it must be.

In the interim Democrats, must start thinking of 2020. Not just in terms of the presidency but in terms of governorships, state Houses and senates as well as US Congress. The key is in recruitment of acceptable younger members and the development of grass roots campaign, the sort that elected Mr. Obama twice. College campuses present good recruiting grounds. Democrats had conceded rural America to Republicans. This ought to change. If we have the Electoral College system on our books rural America will continue to have exaggerated influence on who occupies the White House. If we have state assemblies’ in Republican hands, gerrymandering will remain the order of the day.

Democrats should help Mr. Trump serve out his four years. He will help Democrats out a lot.

 

Benjamin Obiajulu Aduba

Boston, Massachusetts

February 14, 2017

The slogan for Nigeria’s development ought to be in the words of Booker T. Washington in 1895, at the Atlanta Cotton States and International Convention, during which he called on Blacks to “Cast down your bucket where you are.” It was the story of a ship lost at sea that sent passionate pleas to a friendly ship at a distance to send water. The friendly ship knew where the lost ship was and that fresh water was everywhere around it, so he ordered the captain of the lost ship to cast his bucket where they were. The captain of the lost ship cast his bucket where he was and lo and behold, there was fresh water for everybody.

Life for Nigerians is very challenging in 2017, perhaps worse than it ever was since independence. Those of us who lived in Biafra even think that Biafra was much better. It is probably not so but the idea that we were at war and that the war would end soon made adapting to prevailing conditions tolerable. Nigeria is not really at war in the same vein as 1966-1970.

Current Nigerian governments and enterprises are going about development in the wrong way. They think big when they should be thinking small. They think about large airports, and best hospitals, and fancy hotels and mega industries like iron and steel. They think of skyscrapers and dual carriage ways and modern railroads, and car manufacturing. All this are “good-to-have ideas”. But they are difficult to implement.

They are difficult to carry out because of technological obstacles and foreign exchange. To build most of these projects foreign nationals will be involved and the cost of their services is not cheap. Nigerian employees may be denied knowledge of how to continue after the initial construction because of the fear of technology transfer and impending patents. The country does not have sufficient foreign exchange.

The above makes it essential that Nigeria casts her buckets where they are.

Take food for an example. Nigeria imports rice, a stable food item that Nigeria has been producing from time immemorial. How did we get to importing rice in the first place? I do not know but if Nigeria were to stop importing rice and if our governments and entrepreneurs were to invest in the production, preservation, and storage of rice, Nigeria would be self-sufficient in a mere five years. Nothing needs to be imported; from the agricultural tools, the building of storage places and other things. Maybe trucks could be imported for distribution but that would be all.

In many hotel bars, and in “high society” events hard liquor (whiskey, gin, bourbon, rum, etc.) are served. They were purchased at high prices from abroad. When the white man came to Nigeria they told our people that our home-made gins, (akamere, ekpeteshi, oologoro) were contraband and banned them. I have tasted this local brew and tested the imported stuff and cannot tell much difference. Imagine how many jobs would be created if we allow our Warri and Ikwerre brethren to make these gins legally and establish mechanism for quality control and fancy labelling. Ikwerre Dry or Warri Scotch will have no apologies to offer for the European and American Kentucky Bourbon.

Why are we not making bicycles? I doubt that there are any patents on the production of bicycles. A modest investment in the manufacture of bicycles will ease a good deal of our transportation difficulties. In the 50’s and 60’s China made bicycles before graduating to automobile manufacturing. I can remember when Honda the giant automobile manufacturer, made only motor cycles. Why is Nigeria not making these “simple products”? A bicycle plant at Achi, in Oji-River would provide ample jobs to the youth of the area. It will take a very modest capital investment.

And talking about Oji-River, the best pottery makers (china, dishes and plates) in the world are natives of Achi and Inyi. A N5 million investment in pottery in Inyi where pottery clay is easily available would create wonders. Egwusi soup served in oku-Inyi tastes much better. With proper marketing these plates would quickly displace the imported brands.

How about chocolates? Western Nigeria was once the cocoa capital of the world of cocoa production. Nigeria sold the raw material and imported chocolate drinks and snacks. Hershey is multi-billion-dollar corporation. Why is a cocoa factory in Ibadan or Ado Ekiti a bad idea?

Former President Obasanjo upon receiving some shoes made in Aba proclaimed them as good as anything made in Italy or elsewhere. He should know. Why are Aba shoe makers not supplying Nigeria defense forces and police foot wears? The leather from the north and the technology on the ground in Aba could easily create 50,000 high paying jobs overnight.

There are possibly a million other goods and services that could be made from Nigeria’s raw materials and Nigerian technologies and with a minimum of foreign development assistance. And without the need to beg for technology transfers. These intermediate industries would serve as the breeding grounds for managers, accountants, sales force, etc. that would take over once Nigeria graduates to automobile, aircraft, jet, etc., production.

“Cast your buckets where you are” is not a bad advice.

 

Benjamin Obiajulu Aduba

Boston, Massachusetts

February 9, 2017

Wednesday, 08 February 2017 22:36

American Democracy is Under Siege

All the stars are properly aligned for the Republican Party to mold and shape the future of America for the next half century. The presidency, the senate, the House, the judiciary, majority of state houses and legislatures, etc., are all under the Republican leadership. This is good and bad. Good, because most of the gridlock in Washington that stymied the Obama Administration and some others before it can now be overcome. Bad because United State of America can now be counted among nations that have a one-party government. The one party is the Republican Party.

It gets worse.

The Republican Party is a monolithic Party. It is composed of mostly white European descended Christian Americans. The clear majority of its members are white men drawn from the upper segment of American society, the notorious 1%. This evidence can be seen from the composition of President Trump’s cabinet where more than half the executive are billionaires and millionaires, mostly white and Christian or in the senate and House leaderships where again most of the members are rich white men.

In such a closed organization, there are no avenues for the voices of other ethnic groups, or the voices of the downtrodden, or the voices of other religious groups or even the voices of women can be heard.

Since 1776, USA has been sustained by three pillars: the constitution, multi-political parties and the strongest pillar of them all, the integrity of her rulers. One might add an independent press. The importance of a free press was the subject of Thomas Jefferson’s oratory:

"The basis of our governments being the opinion of the people, the very first object should be to keep that right; and were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter. But I should mean that every man should receive those papers and be capable of reading them." --Thomas Jefferson to Edward Carrington, 1787. ME 6:57

The earliest leaders had many opportunities to become dictators as was common in other parts of the world of their era but refused to become one principally because it was not the honorable thing to do. George Washington was a prime example. After two term in office he declined to serve a third term and that standard held for over a century before the term limits amendment was passed. The honesty and integrity of the present Republican leadership is being questioned by some people.

With the Republican Party, being for all practical purposes, the only party of consequence another pillar, the multi-party, seems to be crumbling. The third pillar, the constitution is also getting roughed up at the edges. Some examples include the following actions:

  1. The Presidential Order banning immigration from majority Muslim nations. The government argues that religious requirement was not in the document, but several promises made by the president during the campaign remove any doubt that, that was the intention. Even his initial draft included Islam but was changed on the advice of counsel.
  2. The press has never been under attack by any president as it is now. The press is constantly show-cased as anti-American without evidence.
  3. The senate had refused to vote on the appointment of a Supreme Court judge nominated by former President Obama almost a year before the end of his term merely on the basis that he was a Democrat. It is unprecedented.
  4. The senate rules required that committee meetings would require at least one member of the opposition to be present for a quorum to exist. The idea is to make a one-party decision impossible. Well, this requirement has been suspended so that GOP can make decisions all alone.
  5. Senator Elizabeth Warren while addressing the senate needed to quote a part of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr’s widow, Lorretta Scot King’s letter to the senate many years ago, but could not do so because the Senate majority leade,r Mitch McConnell, cut her off and disallowed her to continue her speech. The Republican majority voted in support of their leader and Mrs. King’s Letter was not read.

There are other examples but the above serve to prove that the constitution and other requirements for a multi-party government are being compromised to enable an effective one-party government of the United States.

What are the implications of all these?

  1. The nation is now divided along ethnic, religious, class, etc., lines as can be seen in:

Women’s marches across the nation. The women’s march in Washington DC, attracted a larger crowd than attended the Trump’s inauguration ceremonies.

A scientists’ march is being planned and the momentum shows that another huge crowd will descend on DC soon.

Muslim marches are cropping up every day in many parts of the country.

A few Islamic mosques have been vandalized or burnt down by islamophobics encouraged by anti-Islam rhetoric’s in the air.

  1. United States, the one Super Power in the world is slowly losing both its voice and prestige in the world. The British Prime Minister visited with President Trump in Washington and invited him for a return visit. The invitation caused an uproar in Britain such that even the non-political Speaker of the Parliament suggested that US president not speak to the people’s representative in Parliament. An unprecedented move by US’s most dependable ally. Australia, Mexico, China, Canada and other allies are rattled to say nothing about the perceived enemies like China, Iran, etc. US has been the stabilizer in the world since the end of WWII and the end of cold war. If her friends and enemies are concerned, it is not good news for world peace.

The status quo impacts both the domestic issues and world affairs. It makes people fear that American politics is unstable. What will happen if per chance the democratic party attains the same one-party status say in 50 years. Will it govern as the republicans are doing now: stopping senators at the middle of their speeches in Congress; dispensing with quorum requirements; refusing all appointments by the presidents other than the one from their party; etc.?

Those who have powers must learn to weld it with caution. What goes around comes around. All revolutions in history, including American Revolution, were encouraged by authoritarian governments.

Users beware!

 

Benjamin Obiajulu Aduba

Boston, Massachusetts

February 8, 2017

The newly elected US President Trump has come to office with a promise to make America great again; to secure her borders; and to make America's interest the corner stone of all negotiations. In his first week in office he has used his pen to put into effect some of the foundations for accomplishing these goals. We do not know now how far he can go. The next few years will show how far. Some of the foundations put on paper include the start of building the wall with Mexico which Mexico would pay for. Mexico has made it clear that it does not want a wall and would not pay for it. Another foundation is taking US out of the Trans-Pacific Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP). Another step is the letter of intent to re-negotiate North Atlantic Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). Executive Order has been signed abolishing Sanctuary Cities that harbor illegal aliens with a threat to withhold Federal Government funds from the states where Sanctuary Cities are located There are several other Executive Orders Mr. Trump has initiated.

Executive Orders to build the Mexican wall and to abolish Sanctuary Cities are intended to secure American borders. Were Mr. Trump to look back in time he would discover that when God made America, He made sure that the continent was secure. On one side is the Atlantic Ocean, 13,000 ft. deep and 42 million sq. miles, on the other side is the Pacific Ocean, 35,000 ft. deep and 64 million sq. miles. This would be the equivalent of building walls three and five miles Ocean is 4,00 ft. deep and is covered by high in the sky. On the north side, nature built the Arctic Circle. Arctic Ocean is about 4,000 ft. deep and covered all year round by over 13ft thick ice block. There were no planes and boats or GPS. Yet both the white and black species crossed all the formidable obstacles and entered America. The lesson here is that no walls will be more difficult to climb than sailing across the Pacific and the Atlantic or overcoming the challenges of the Arctic Circle.

Immigrants will enter USA legally or otherwise despite Mr. Trump's best efforts.

The pursuit of US security, by all means necessary, could result in less security for a country that has been very secure relative to other nations. US security comes from good affections of her neighbors and the world. The president wants to rebuild the country's nuclear arsenal even if it could result in nuclear arms race. The thinking is based on an old war theory of OverwhelmingForce, most recently clarified by General Powel. The hypothesis is that in a massed war between two forces, the stronger force would overwhelm the weaker force. Both WWI and WWII proved this theory right. But we do know that generals fight the old war which is what President Donald Trump is trying to do. The last time this kind of war was fought was in Korea.

Vietnam war introduced a different kind of war. In this new warfare, there are no trenches, no borders, no frontlines, no known enemies and no military depots. The difference between combatants and civilians are obliterated. The well-defined rules of engagement such as the Geneva Convention no longer applies. The emphasis is on mobility and speed. It requires no bombers, or huge heavy weapons or nuclear weapons. Boldness of a new kind, and individual's commitment to the "cause" whatever the cause is, are the primary requirements. Hannibal's, Napoleons, Macarthur's are not needed and are not effective. A few hand guns and a few grenades are all that is needed.

It is important to note that USA has not won any of these new wars it entered, not Vietnam, not Iraq, not Afghanistan and not against ISIS. And not even against the Somalian war Lords. Under the old war theory Israel was able to defeat the entire Arab world in three days; US entry into both World wars ended each in a treaty of peace. Each side in the modern war chooses the place and time to fight as we are seeing in Paris, London, California, Berlin, etc.,. Modern wars do not end in any peace treaty because there is no one to impose or enforce the treaty. It will be nice if our president recognizes this Brave New World. A hostile neighbor at the southern border will make the new war so easy for the perceived enemies

Trade agreements benefit all the parties and all signatories to the agreement almost equally. One side agrees to manufacture some products and the other agrees to buy the manufactured goods. Most often different manufacturing and purchasing of different goods and services are involved. On one side of the equation could be manufacturing of industrial products and another side could be the production of agricultural goods and services. All the benefits are mutual. If The president wants an agreement where his side is the sole beneficiary, it will not get any agreements at all and every side would be the loser. For Mexico and Canada in NAFTA US could be substituted with China or EU. It will be more difficult for USA to substitute her north American neighbors with other countries using the formula that was not acceptable to Canada and Mexico.

What do all these mean?

First our newly minted president needs to sit down and understand the lay of the ground before embarking on any new adventures. For this he needs people with experience in political matters and just as important he needs a strong opposition to give him time to reconsider some of his ideas.

He needs time to switch the "business hat" he has won for decades to the much derided "political hat" that is required for the present calling.

America's institutions such as the legislatures, the courts, the press, the civil and military services need to be a little bit more assertive to ensure that the peace which America and the world have enjoyed for many decades are not interrupted.

We the people must make sure that there is no bull in the china shop.

Benjamin Obiajulu Aduba

Boston, Massachusetts

January 26, 2017

They first arrested Mr. Nnamdi Kanu for possession of broadcasting equipment which is legal in Nigeria. We shouted Y-E-A-A-A! that is good for him, for he was/is one of those Biafrans. Mr. Ojutalayo and others exclaimed “Let him rot and die in jail!”

They next arrested, gestapo style, some judges. We cried “and them too!” for they accept tainted money from Wilke and PDP! They are dirty judges and part of the corruption. Jail them! Jail them! Nigeria must get rid of corruption! Them too!

Then they arrested the publishers of Sahara Reporters. Many more joined the rabble and proclaimed “he should be number one for he is an Igbo hater.” Do not let him out of Nigeria. Lagos is as good as Queens where he has been hiding and causing havoc. Crucify him!

Emboldened by their successes with arresting officers of the judiciary (judges) and promoters of free speech (Nnamdi Kanu; Sowole) they arrested the publishers of Premium Times, and the mob swelled and cried angrily, “death to these people who hate Nigeria.” President Muhammadu Buhari is God’s gift to Nigeria for he is a messiah. Go get them PMB. God is with you. Allah dey!

… to be continued…

Benjamin Obiajulu Aduba

Boston, Massachusetts

January 20, 2017

Wednesday, 18 January 2017 17:31

2017

We have entered 2017, a year that promises to change the world in radical ways. Change is both good and bad and it is this ambiguity that makes the world tremble, tremble, tremble. We do know that changes must occur and that we should not be afraid of them but somehow, we are not able to shake off our fears of the unknown. Here are some of the anticipated changes that could make the world shake:

  1. In America (and in much of the world) the election of Donald Trump as the president of the United States is worrisome. The influence and global importance of USA is hard to underestimate. The president elect has made statements that if he implements them would shake up the world. US neighbors such as Mexico and Canada are worried about what would happen to the trade agreement that had worked very well for the past decade. Would he scrap it and what would be the replacement? Would he build a wall at the Mexican border and would he ask that Mexico pay for cost?
  • In the Mideast, the president elect is generating a lot of anxiety and worry. Mr. Trump seems to be rejecting the widely accepted Two-States solution and accepting a Greater Israel solution which would trap the Palestinians in a Greater Israel where they would be second class citizens much like the blacks in the Apartheid South Africa. Both the West and East do not like a one state solution. What will this bring to the Mideast? What would the move of US embassy to Jerusalem mean to the Arabs? When Mr. Trump’s bias against Muslims is introduced into the equation what will the Mideast look like. The Arabs are trembling.
  • President Obama had introduced the concept of a pivot to Asia which was thought to bring America closer to Asia and make the two peoples of Asia and American more friendly. Mr. Trump sees things differently. He seems set on confrontational relationship with the emerging China. China can fight back. Will China and USA be locked in a cold war? Or even in a hot war? Asia is nervous.
  • President elect’s position on NATO is very vague. On the one hard he seems to believe in NATO and on the other hand he seems to consider NATO as an organization whose time has come and gone, a remnant of the cold war. He seems to want to charge Germany and other Europeans the cost of US military in Europe. There are no signs that he would work well with the German Chancellor Angela Meckel. He also seems to support the break-up EU countries. European countries are concerned.
  • On the domestic front, many segments of the country are afraid of what a Trump administration will bring. Blacks, Hispanics, gay and lesbian people, Muslims, and other minorities fear a reversal of the gains of the civil rights movement. There is a divide between cities. suburban and rural communities; a divide between fossil fuels and renewable energies policies; a divide between politicians that had ruled the country since its inception and the industrialists who developed it; a divide between the rich who are getting richer and the poor who are becoming poorer; there is big fracture in the society’s role players: the press, the government, Hollywood, labor and employers of labor; etc. What will the United State look like after 2017 and beyond? People are anxious.
  1. Another factor that makes 2017 a difficult year is the Brexit vote. UK has opted out of the EU and the conservative prime Minister has stated that she would implement the will of the people. What will that mean to Europe? What will that mean to Europeans resident in Britain and the British residents in Europe? There is a wait see attitude. Britain, France and Germany are the economic pillars of EU that is keeping the union together economically as Greece, Italy, and other southern countries undergo economic restructuring. Will Germany and France be able to hold the forth alone? Will more exits follow? More concerns
  2. How about Africa? Will Nigeria survive another full ear under the Buhari Administration? Mr. Buhari is becoming more dictatorial and is increasing employing the tools of dictatorship in governing: secret police and secret trials (Nnamdi Kanu and his lieutenants), military occupation of supposedly hostile territories (SS and SE) suppression of the press; harassment of political opponents under the guise of fighting corruption; neglect of key areas of development such as agriculture, infrastructure and education; etc.
  • Zuma’s South Africa seems to be unravelling. How will the 2018 election go? Is the division in ANC real or imagined?
  • West Africa is in turmoil. It seems that the era of military takeovers is back. The Gambia, Mauritania, Ivory Coast, etc. has each experienced a complete or attempted military takeover. Has the march of democracy been stopped? Ghana is a shining example so far, but can Ghana go it alone?

There are more reasons to be concerned but the above is used to illustrate why so many people are so afraid. It seems that the world, particularly USA, is embarking on an experiment. Who is best suited to rule a nation: the experts as represented by politicians who have ruled nations since the beginning of the world or the business people who have managed business from the get go? Are the skills transferable? Can business people run a country? Can politicians’ run businesses? Can a country be run without politics?

It is a bold experiment.

 

We will be watching.

Benjamin Obiajulu Aduba

Boston, Massachusetts

January 18, 2017

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