Benjamin Obiajulu Aduba

Benjamin Obiajulu Aduba

Benjamin Obiajulu Aduba  currently lives in Medfield, Massachusetts.

President Muhammadu Buhari is seek. Very sick. Of this there can be no doubt or doubters. His importance to those who want power to remain in the north, cannot be over stated. That they brought it to themselves is obvious and it is their fault. The saying goes that if you fool me once shame is on you; but if you fool me twice shame is on me. The shame is on northern oligarchs. President Obasanjo fooled them once by promoting a sick Yar’ Adua for president and putting up a young vibrant Jonathan as Vice President to take up the presidency when Mr. Yar’ Adua gets killed by the job. He succeeded; although the pliability of Jonathan turned out to be a miscalculation. Shame on OBJ. Then Mr. Tinubu took OBJ’s script and fooled the northern oligarchs a second time by casting his lot with an obviously sick old Muhammadu Buhari and attaching a young Mr. Osibanjo as VP. It worked again. Shame on the oligarchs.

The northern oligarchs must know when and how to cut their losses. And this is the time to do so.

Mr. Buhari has been president for about two years and if Osibanjo is made the president now it will be regarded as a full term and he would only have one more term to serve for a total of 6/7 years in all. But the longer easing out President Buhari is delayed the more chances Osibanjo has to serve full two terms (8years) plus whatever part of Buhari’s term he serves. It could be ten years or even more given that he has for all practical purposes served since November 2016.

Time to cut losses.

Some people could argue that 2019 would be a good time to force out Osibanjo from the presidency.  This school of thought could hang on to their position, but the truth of Nigerian politics is that dethroning an incumbent is difficult. Jonathan’s case is different. Jonathan’s presidency was anchored at the banks of SS and SE: The old Biafra. It was easy for the true Nigerians to come together to again defeat Biafra. Osibanjo’s presidency would this time be a battle fought by the real Nigerians. SW need to only make vague promises to SE/SS and maybe NC to keep Osibanjo in place for what could be 10 years.

Those who have ears to hear should do so.

Former Secretary of State for USA Mr. Kerry had already interviewed northern governors for the post of the president of Nigeria, but Obama’s administration is no longer in power and President Trump’s agenda is based on dismantling anything with Obama’s signature. He may not look up to the north to provide the president of Nigeria. His hatred for Islam is not hidden.

And on finding a northern president after Buhari, it appears that the eyes are focused on former VP Mr. Atiku. That too will be another mistake much akin to Buhari/Yar’ Adua debacle. He is an old man with not much left in him.

Nigeria is not a place for the old or sick in mind or body. With ethnic, religious, educational and economic, etc. differences, a Nigerian leader should be between 40-60 years old and in a tip-top health and mind. Such a man or woman is likely to survive the slings and arrows of outrageous faith thrown at him/her.

And since men have had a go at it since 1960 and before independence it could be the right time for a woman.

I offer Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala if she would accept. She can be tough.

Benjamin Obiajulu Aduba

Boston, Massachusetts

May 24, 2017

Things must be bad when the President of Russia, Vladimir Putin, is the principal defender of the President of United State, Donald J. Trump. In a press conference with the Italian Prime Minster standing by Mr. Putin offered to give the US legislators the transcript of Russian leaders meeting with Mr. Trump. He suggested that the American legislators are harming US interest and preventing Mr. Trump from doing the work he was elected to do.

When did the Russian government become The Defender of OLD GLORY? When?

Mr. Putin’s offer came because of the tumultuous week Mr. Trump, the republican president, is having this week, and had last week and even before: the firing of the FBI Director; the news that the President divulged intelligence secrets to Russia; rumored stories about the president’s attempt to interfere with the investigation of the Russian involvement in US election; among other things. All these have made the nation jittery. Recent poll showed that young adults, the millennia are leaving the Republican Party in droves, the estimate ranges from 10% to 20% in the period 2015-2017. These young adults are the future of any organization. GOP ought to do whatever it can to keep them.

2018 mid-term elections are merely months away and the prospects are not looking good for the GOP. The possibility of losing the senate and even the House is looming large. The agenda on which the Republicans ran on in 2016 elections, are not being tackled or even talked about. Initial effort to repeal and replace Obamacare floundered. The version passed by the House has been rejected by the Senate and the Senate is writing its own Bill. Efforts to reform the tax code seems to have been put in the back burner. Although the stock market had been soaring, it took a nose dive today as the uncertainty in DC took center stage.

The nation is drifting.

The Republican Party can act on its selfish interest and on the nation’s interest to save itself and the nation by one bold action. It should work to remove Mr. Donald J. Trump from the presidency. Failure to do this will cost the party a lot for a long time.

Positive things could happen to GOP if it finds the courage to abort the presidency of Mr. Trump:

  1. Vice President Mike Pence who has a lot of credibility, would have three years to rebuild the GOP image before the general election of 2020. If Mr. Trump continues on his merry way, it will not be long before both he and Pence would be damaged and there will be nobody to do the rehabilitation work needed.
  2. The badly fractured party would begin the process of healing. It might even find the courage to jettison the Ultra Rights like the Tea Party that is mostly responsible for the discordant messages GOP frequently puts out.
  3. GOP would then have the time to pursue its electoral agenda that are now either forgotten or not being attended to by the distraction that is Trump’s administration. Implementing items on this agenda would solidify GOP case to be given four more years. It will be difficult to face the next election with the same promises that were neglected in 2016-2019 era.
  4. ETC.

Getting rid of the president is not an easy job and will be more difficult for a Republican Party that has so many different denominations. There are also constitutional questions. The only legal way to remove a sitting US president in by impeachment. The bar for this is purposely set very high. There is the impeachment at the House, the trial by the Senate presided over to the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court and requires a two thirds majority vote. It will take as long as a year to accomplish this feat. The short course is to persuade the president to resign. Nixon was convinced to take this path because there were strong members of GOP who Mr. Nixon trusted to give him good advice. It is doubtful that Mr. Trump has this level of trust on anybody but his children, and they are freshmen/women in national politics.

The fear of failing should not stop Republicans from trying.

It might work.

 

Benjamin Obiajulu Aduba

Boston, Massachusetts

May 17, 2017

That the four-month-old presidency of Donald Trump is floundering and falling apart is now clear to all except perhaps the neophytes the president has appointed to his inner circles. Even these loyal followers are exhibiting signs that all is not well with the administration they have been called upon to nurture to health.

Overt signs of a disintegrating presidency include the chaotic press briefings by the presidential spokespersons such as Sean Spicer and now his deputy. Sarah Huckabee Sanders in which what is said in the morning is often modified in the evening. There have been numerous occasions when the president has been contradicted directly either by his cabinet members or senior advisers or other members of the executive such as the acting FBI director. And vice versa when the president has contradicted his senior level advisors. The most visible evidence is when the vice President had indicated that the president fired FBI Director Mr. James Comey, on the advice of the Attorney General Jeff Sessions and the Deputy Attorney General Ron Rosenstein only for the president to say that he did so on his own and not on anybody’s advice.

There have been a lot of he-said-and-she-said going on.

That the white House does not speak with one voice is just one sign of disarray. The communication with America’s friends and foes, especially foes, has not been done coherently. Is China a currency manipulator or not? Is China a friend or a foe? Nobody can say with any degree of certainty. Will the North Korea nuclear ambition going to be solved via negotiations or by the use of force? The world is worrying. The same can be said of all the hot spots from Syria, to Iraq, to Iran, etc. Is US still a firm believer in UN Security Council, NATO, and other global organizations? Your guess is as good as mine.

Who are US friends? Britain, Germany, France, EU, South Korea, etc.? At this point in US administration under Mr. Trump, only Israel is seen as a safe ally. And even the Israeli’s might be experiencing a nervous breakdown.

There are two possible explanations for the seeming discordance in the  Trump Administration. And they are both related.

  1. Mr. Trump’s political inexperience. And Mr. Trump’s business experience. Many people who see how government is run as outsiders, wish and yearn that government is run like a business. Most of these people do not understand that government is not business and cannot be run like one. Many of Trump’s supporters come from this school of thought. Mr. Trump is a successful business man and it is assumed that he would be able to run a government as a successful business man. And even this school of though was not able to understand that Mr. Trump is not the ideal candidate for this office for Trump has never run a private public corporation such as General Motors where there are supervising Boards of Directors and shareholders who can control a run-away executive. Trump’s experience is in running his own company where the only interest that matters is his own interest.
  2. Mr. Trumps selection of senior advisers who also have no political experience. Take the case of any of Stephen Bannon, Rex Tillerson, Steven Mnuchin, Betsy DeVos, Kellyanne Conway, etc. Each of these people have seen governing from a distance but never experienced it at close quarters. The advice they give to the president is of a necessity is sophomoric. The two main political parties GOP and Democrats have what in Britain is called “shadow ministers” supported by technicians hiding at Harvard, Yale and other universities. When a democrat is in the White House, they come out of their hideaways and join the democratic administration and when the Republicans come to office, they move out, to be replaced by their republican counterparts. Mr. Trump had no use for these experienced technocrats.

The result is a case of the blind leading the blind. Any wonder both are about to fall beside the high way that is Washington.

How can Mr. Trump start stabilizing his administration to save it?

  1. Mr. Trump should shake up his senior advisers/cabinet with a major overhaul. All the neophytes should be reassigned to positions at least two levels down so that they would be supervised by experienced men and women who have studied and trained in managing government departments. He should go to the universities to recruit conservative republican technician who have served in past republican administrations. If he is smart he could a sprinkling of democratic leaning public servants.
  2. Mr. Trump could bring in political practitioners who are or were in politics and understand the art of government deal making. People who understand the give-and-take of governing. These people would be most needed in matters that involve legislating, a necessary part of governing.
  3. As I have written on several occasions, some adult in the house such as the first daughter Ivanna Trump should take Mr. Trump’s favorite toy, his twitter, away from him. Drop it into the Potomac if need be. It has done more harm than is called for.
  4. Sue for peace:with the press, democrats, Obama, etc. The election is over and Mr. Trump has won. There is no need to re-fight 2016. Make peace with the outsiders, Blacks, Hispanics, Muslims, Arabs, Indians, immigrants including the illegal immigrants. Bring these “enemies” inside the fold. There is still time to win them over. It will be a sign of strength not weakness.
  5. Reassure US neighbors especially Canada and Mexico. They offer the strongest security to US. No more talk of walls, bricks or economic tariffs.

Above all take a break. Get off the news cycle for a month.

Think!

Benjamin Obiajulu Aduba

Boston, Massachusetts

May 16, 2017

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

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