Benjamin Obiajulu Aduba

Benjamin Obiajulu Aduba

Benjamin Obiajulu Aduba  currently lives in Medfield, Massachusetts.

North Korea’s quest for nuclear capabilities is almost a fait accompli. And there is no easy way to roll it back. President Trump might try but it will be difficult to turn this might ship around diplomatically or militarily.

Why is diplomatic turn around near impossible? Several factors:

  1. There are a few or may be even many countries that do not like NK to possess nuclear capability but are non-the-less happy that Kim Jong Un is irritating the President of United States, Donald Trump. Here we must separate the president from the people of United States.
  2. Mr. Trump all through the campaign and even now as president does not speak endearingly of China. Words such as currency manipulator, copy right infringement, are irritating to Chinese leadership. His planes over flying territories claimed by China in the South East Asia Sea; his supporting of the other claimants to the sea fall under the expression that the friend of my enemy is my enemy. Thus America in China’s leader’s eyes is an enemy. When America tries to deal with Taipei, America is asking for trouble with Beijing.
  3. Mr. Trump is cultivating a good relationship with Russian’s Putin but Americans of all stripes are opposed to any rapprochement with Russia and have made it very clear via the congress that it will not happen. Putin and Russia feel like a lady spurned and would not mind using NK to “teach US a lesson.” So like China she would vote for any sanctions US may propose but will not enforce them.
  4. On economic grounds some countries like there economic cooperation with NK and to make them pay a price to make US happy is not wise. We must here recognize that US has made NK Question a US affair, a personal affair. Even though US should have no more interest in the matter than UK, France, China or Russia.
  5. Mr. Trump’s rhetoric does not help matters. When USA threatens to put both China and Russia under economic sanctions unless they embargo NK it makes the countries less likely to do so for their people would see it as US dictating acceptable global behavior.
  6. US under Mr. Trump is no longer seen as a strong supporter of EU or NATO or even a defender of the West. In other words America’s isolationist tendency is helping NK get stronger and stronger. “US first” should be the goal of every American president and has been but Mr. Trump is the first to say so in a way that makes it selfish.
  7. Etc.

Why is military action near impossible? There are several factors here as well:

  1. With the possible exception of Israel US would have to do so alone. The planes and pilots that will do the bombing would all come from US. And even getting the declaration of war document through US senate would not be a piece of cake. The people of United States would like to hold on to relative peace they now enjoy.
  2. US history is a baggage. The only time a nuclear bomb was dropped in the world was in 1945 by US and the only place it was dropped was in Asia not minding that the main theater of the second world was in Europe. It is not lost on the Asian people. US citizens would not like to do so again even to save the world. Unless NK first drops the bomb on US or on its allies.
  3. No Asian country including Japan, and South Korea would support preemptive strike. China is on record as opposing the use of nuclear weapons or even a war with NK. Russia is opposed too.
  4.  So without a signed accord there is an implicit agreement that an attack on NK is an attack on all NK’s neighbors. US cannot afford to start the Third World War.

How then should the Korean question be resolved? This question would be resolved by the world accepting the new kid on the block, North Korea. She should join US, China, UK, France, India, Pakistan, Israel, and others as nations with nuclear weapons.

The more countries that have nuclear weapons the more peaceful the world will become contrary to the theory that more weapons means more threats to peace. When USA and USSR were the leading nuclear war powers and almost at war with each other what kept the peace was Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD). This MAD will still keep the world at peace. The day the world truly wants peace all the countries would destroy their nuclear capabilities. Iran will be the next country to seek membership. There will again be noise and commotion; but like NK they will be admitted.

 

Benjamin Obiajulu Aduba

Boston, Massachusetts

September 19, 2017

The twenty pound policy was an attempt by Nigeria to wriggle out of a messy situation it had in its hand because of failed governance; man’s inhumanity to man that resulted in genocidal behaviors, which led to a war and loss of millions of lives; and economic misery for what was/is known as Biafra. The policy was not intended to be fair or it would have been propounded differently; it was intended to be just or it could have been implemented differently; It was not intended to rehabilitate the Biafrans who had been defeated in the field of war and in spirit or it could had been implemented humanely. 

The intention was to teach Biafrans a lesson and to punish, especially those believed to have financed the rebellion and to ensure that they will never be able to do so in future. What could be another minor objective was to ensure that Nigerian economy did not collapse as Biafrans were being “helped out.” 

First the background.(a) In 1966-1967 a pogrom was visited on Easterners by vandals in various parts of Nigeria. The easterners (Biafrans henceforth) fled in droves from North and West of Nigeria and returned to Biafra. Those who had the presence of mind and time grabbed the most important things they had that can be carried including their bank passbooks. Others who did not have time or the presence of mind left everything behind including their passbooks. Those whose banks were in Biafra started operating their accounts as usual. Most transferred their accounts to ACB which was everywhere and started operating their accounts as usual also. 

First the background. (b). In Biafra of 1960’s only the rich and middle to senior civil servants had bank accounts. Banks were located only in the urban areas of Enugu, Onitsha, Aba, PH, Owerri, Umuahia, and Calabar (and Nsukka ACB because of the university). The only other financial institution was the post Office, but most people did no patronize them as financial institution. Most people kept their money under their mats and mattresses. 

During the war economic activities went on as normal as possible. The government printed paper money as needed which led to hyperinflation. Biafrans saved their money in their bank accounts sometimes and most often in boxes, cartons or in other storage places. There was plenty of paper money available to hustlers. The people who did not have them were soldiers, civil servants and old folks. The vast majority of male citizens were soldiers almost anyone from 13-60 years. 

One bright and sunny day in January 1970, the war ended. If you can conceive it, the real suffering then began. There was no effective government in Biafra. Nigerian Battalion commanders (in my village Major Dinka of Coup fame [Jet 22nd battalion Div. 1, NA]{he had an eye on my girlfriend}) became administrators. We officers surrendered to him/them. 

Post War. Nigerian money was illegal in Biafra and Biafran money was illegal in Nigeria; any Biafra caught with the wrong currency in either side was an enemy saboteur and the punishment was summary execution by the officer who caught the villain. Immediately after the war, NFG reiterated the illegal nature of Biafran money which was all everybody had. Commerce stopped. Or rather trade by batter was reinvented. But what do you trade for a gallon of gas assuming that you had a vehicle? What do your potential passengers trade for a ride in your vehicle? Biafrans figured out how to do these businesses. 

The Twenty Pound Policy. (a) The announcement was that all who had Biafran money should pay them into their accounts, But as there were no banks except in urban areas it was modified to paying them either into your bank accounts or to go to the Divisional offices and deposit them with the treasury. It was chaotic. Imagine 30 Million people trying to make deposits at one time. In what is now Enugu State the divisional offices were in Enugu, Nsukka, Awgu, and Udi. That is it. There were no roads or vehicles to move people around, and no money to patronize the vehicles that were available. Families and friends came together to sponsor a person to go make deposits. The combined pounds were deposited on one account and one receipt. The Aduba-Okorohugwo family for example, numbering hundreds had a mere four of us who had accounts. and we collected from our family and in laws and deposited millions of pounds in our accounts. It was the same in every family. I was connected so I could deposit portions of my collections in two treasuries. I therefore had two receipts and my account. There was no directive other than to make the deposits. I kept a record of who gave me what. Most people did the same thing. 

The implementation. Once all the money were in the banks and treasuries the plan was revealed. There will be two situations (1) Accounts that were not operated in Biafra and (2) Accounts that were operated in Biafra including the deposits in treasuries. Accounts that were not operated at all in Biafra would receive the full balance on the accounts in Nigerian pounds. The accounts that were operated in Biafra and those new treasury deposits will receive twenty pounds per account or receipt. 

The accounts that were NOT operated in Biafra. The holders of these accounts suffered the most in Biafra. They returned with no money in their hands and had to start all over with nothing. It would be good that they be fully compensated for their suffering. The reality was that many no longer knew where the passbooks were, since their houses had been vandalized; the passbooks stolen or eaten by termites; they no longer knew the account numbers or the balance in their accounts. Even those who were facially recognized by bank officials must provide documents as facial recognition was not what the banks home offices needed. It was anguish on anguish. Some did it the Nigerian way. They asked their friends in the bank to discreetly find out for them their account numbers and other information. They were the lucky ones. But many could not get their information. I do not know how their cases were finally resolved. 

The accounts that were operated in Biafra. This was where man’s inhumanity to man was best displayed. The total account was valued at twenty ponds. Were fairness the intent; a line could have been drawn on May 29, 1967. This would be the date before Biafran secession. All transaction from this date forward would be events in Biafra and could be valued at twenty pounds. All the transaction from that date back would be legitimate Nigerian activities and would be valued at face value. But the motive was robbery and punishment. For those who transferred the money from nonresident Biafran Banks, the balance on the transfer date would establish Nigerian transactions. But nay, everything became valued at twenty pounds. Punishment, punishment, punishment. 

The collection Announcement. One will have to assume that the total policy was thought through before the announcement. Why was the method of paying out kept secret? If people knew that each account would be worth just twenty pounds each person would have opened an account in his/her name. This Aduba would not have comingled other people’s money and would have received the twenty pounds on his own for his account and twenty pounds each for the two receipts for a total of sixty pounds. What he got was eleven shillings and change after twenty pounds were shared with the other people whose money were deposited together in his bank account; eight shillings from one receipt and another thirteen shillings from the second receipt for a little over one pound for all his monies and of course some peace of mind because he agreed to share equally with friends and family. Those who refused to share started fighting, some of the fighting’s are still going on in 2017and resulted in a divided family or divided friendships. The government could have sent treasury collectors to every village of say 10,000 to locally collect their Biafran pounds thus making it easier for individuals to deposit their collections especially because the government knew that transportation was a huge problem. This was how it collected taxes. But rehabilitating Biafrans was not the goal. 

Nigeria does not keep statistics. But if she did, it would show an outstanding number of deaths by suicide in 1970. Rich people who could not collect their life savings and earnings from banks, went back only to find that their properties have been considered abandoned by the people who drove them out and pursued them to their villages to kill them and have starved their grandparents to death and killed their sons in battle field could not take it anymore and they took their lives. Life was not worth living. 

Conclusion. I was an adult throughout this period, I had a Grade one Teachers’ Certificate, a higher school certificate (GCE A/L) and had a job. I therefore am in a position to tell this story of what happened. These incidents are carved in my memory and I am sure that those who lived in those times can confirm my story. There is no need to rewrite history for those who forget it are apt to repeat it. 

 

Benjamin Obiajulu Aduba 

Boston, Massachusetts 

August 31, 2017

The above statement coming from me may be a blasphemy for I am not one of Mr. Trump's fans. Mr. Trump represents a political ideology that has not been tried in America before. Previous Republican presidents had represented what I might call traditional Republican views: conservative views; less government; power to the markets; capitalism; various freedoms; etc. Some of the luminaries like the Bushes, Rockefellers, Nixon, even Mr. McCain, are a little to the left of this point of view and others like Mr. Reagan (the government is the enemy) are a little to the  right of this view point.

Mr. Trump is Alt Right. He advocates American isolationism; Extreme American exceptionalism. If America is OK the rest of world could go to blazes.

This theory is held by a large segment of voters in US which is why Mr. Trump is he president today. The ideology of Alt Right has never been tried as a governing tool. If it works then America will be great again and if it fails, it will be thrown into the dustbin of history.

Mr. Trump came to office surrounding himself with an alt right advocates lead by Steve Bannon. During the first seven months of governing he put forward this ideology and by decries and executive orders he tried to isolate and insult every nation in the world (except, perhaps Israel); huge segments of America population, Blacks, Hispanics, Muslims, immigrants, the poor, etc. and by his recent ambiguity on Neo-Nazis, KKK, White Supremacists, he may have even made Israel nervous.

Former President Barack Obama represented the exact opposite of Alt Right ideology and President Trump hates Obama with passion and always blames him for what is wrong with America and swears to obliterate whatever Obama did as president. Thus far Mr. Trump has failed to undo some of Obama's contributions.

The fallout from Mr. Trump's effort to govern as an Alt Right ideologue is a chaotic White House. Democrats, his avowed enemy, is opposing as Democrats had never done before. Mr. Trump has accomplished what nobody before him had ever done: unite the party. Mr. Trump's Republican Party is divided into little parties each with its own beef with the president. The former strength of the Republicans had been its single voice on most matters but no longer is this so. Even though the Republicans have control of the White House, the House and the Senate and majority in the Supreme Court, It is yet to accomplish a major legislative victory.

Why is this so?

The answer seems to be that the Alt Right ideology is not practical. It has resulted in the forced removal of it Trumps first choice of Advisers like Steve Bannon. It has resulted in the isolation of USA from world bodies including cool relationship within NATO allies; heads of large corporation are distancing themselves from Trump Administration initiatives; cooler relationships with neighbors like Canada and Mexico, reigniting the Cuban Crisis; disenchantment from the Caribbean's; etc.

With all these troubles facing President Trump little signs are beginning to show of a chastised Mr. Trump. The Alt-Right are either being forced out of the inner circle of advisers or isolated in the White House. Trump's speeches are often modified by his cabinet of other senior officers; his other extreme right officers like Jeff Sessions are becoming more moderate in their statements and even Mr. Trump's tweets have become rarer, and moderate opinions are now appearing.

If this trend continues, it will be that the Alt Right agenda has failed and a return to the more moderate Republican views will prevail. Should this become the new reality then several of the more Alt Right advocates would lose their seats in the chambers. And fewer people would campaign on this isolationist policies.

And America would be made great again.

But it is all too early!

Benjamin Obiajulu Aduba

Boston, Massachusetts

August 23, 2017

We hope that the threat to the Igbo by the Arewa Youths organizations (http://thewillnigeria.com/news/arewa-youths-give-igbo-three-months-to-leave-northern-nigeria-or-be-mopped-up/) is nothing but youthful ignorance and over-reach. We also hope that the Buhari/Osibanjo Administration is taking this threat seriously. The world is watching to see how this threat to Nigerian security is handled vis-a-vis Mr. Nnamdi Kanu’s threat. This is a far worse confrontation than Nnamdi Kanu ever posed to Nigeria. His crime was possession of broadcast equipment and promotion of Biafran independence. The Arewa youth has proposed expulsion of the Igbo from Nigeria which is Kanu’s ambition. Both constitute a plan to dismember Nigeria.

Those who advocate for Biafran Independence can always use this as another reason for an independent state of Biafra. And they have history on their side. When this kind of warning was given in 1966-67 it was followed by a genocide in which hundreds of thousands of Eastern Nigerians were murdered in cold blood. The Eastern Nigerian government, under Col Ojukwu, at the time was forced to declare the Republic of Biafra for which about 3 million Easterners paid with their lives. This genocide of 1966-67 has been followed up by other massacres after the war and since.

Anybody taking this as an empty threat has himself/herself to blame.

The Igbo, Nigerians and the world are waiting to see how the Buhari/Osibanjo government would react. They are also waiting to see how our politicians, police, military, and other government agencies would react. So far all that there is, is dead silence. APC, and other political leaders and parties, from all parts of Nigeria either have not heard the warning or feel it is well deserved, and in this case are collaborators.

Evil happens when good men/women keep quiet.

What should Nigerians be doing?

The Igbo, as Individuals. Should take any threat to their lives seriously. A plant is the only living organism that does not react to threats to their lives. If you live in the north, you should be aware of where you are at all times and have plans to escape in emergency. You may start relocating to you Igbo state or at least sending your family home until you see credible movement by the government to protect you and your business.

The Igbo as a collective. Those who live in the north should have team plans to disseminate information and should have their ears to the ground to gather intelligence. Actionable intelligence would be reported to the police. It is doubtful that the police would be able to act but that would be left to their conscience.

The Igbo as a collective. All SE/SS governments should be on the lookout for trouble. Although not all SS/SE people are Igbo, it is obvious that many SS/SE people look alike and behave in much the same way that the Ikwerre, Ijaw, Ibibio, Efik people are all considered Igbo in terms of dislike. Emeka Okalla may be Ikwerre, while Emeka Okafor is Igbo but how and where does a northerner draw the line especially in a stampede? The government should make contingency plan to accommodate and resettle returnees in case the worst happens.

The Igbo as a Collective. The governments of SS and SE should issue a public statement to the effect that all Northerners are safe in the SE/SS states and demonstrate their commitments to protect all residents of each state in their places of business, in their churches and mosques, etc. Individuals who have friends among the northerners should also send their felicitations and refrain from planning a tit-for-tat against their neighbors.

Non-Igbo Nigerians: Should decide to make bold statements either in favor of the Arewa Youths or in condemnation of the threat. Such statements would help Buhari/Osibanjo Administration guess the mood of the country. If the mood is to let Biafra go then the government would not have to waste resources protecting the Igbo. But if the mood is different then, the government must plan accordingly. This a plebiscite on the unity of Nigeria.

October 2017 is the deadline. Nobody should claim surprise if something happens.

Forewarned; forearmed.

 

Benjamin Obiajulu Aduba

Boston, Massachusetts

June 7, 2017

President Trump's first foreign trip as the US president directed the world's attention to Trump's world view: a pivot to the Mideast. It also showcased the beginning of the dissolution of NATO.

In Middle East, the red carpet was rolled out for Mr. Trump as the leaders of the Arab League gathered in Riyadh to welcome his team with bouquets. They celebrated the change which Trump's election signaled. Trump enjoyed his visit. And on to Jerusalem where an even more elaborate celebration was held.

It was, by all accounts, the best segment of the 9-day foreign travel.

It is a result full of ironies as it demonstrated how fickle the human mind is. No part of the world received as much ridicule from Mr. Trump as a candidate, and in his first days of Trump's administration, as the Arabs and Islamic religion. It took the courts and demonstrations by Americans to stop Mr. Trump's efforts to ban Muslims from entering USA. But here we find the President being hailed as a hero to the Arab course. Mr. Trump's allegiance to Israeli leadership has been on display for over a year.

What was the common bond? We will see if Iran explains everything. On the surface, it would seem that the messiah, the one to bring peace between Arabs and Israelis, is finally here. That would be quite an accomplishment should it happen.

Come with me now to the president's trip to Europe. Trump campaigned as the most Christian prince. He deplored the treatment of Christians by Muslims. He extolled the heroics of minority Christians fighting corrupt Muslim leaders and promising Armageddon on Muslims. His travel ban was a down payment of the evils he would unleash on Islamic countries. But when he got to the headquarter of Christendom in Rome, his reception was tepid at best

Another irony. What went wrong?

What went on in Rome was a mere harbinger of what happened in Brussels and Sicily. In these places, there were videos of actual pushing and shoving by heads of states led by Mr. Trump himself; there were refusals to shake extended hands; and finally scolding of NATO countries and leaders by Mr. Trump. The overall result was Mrs. Angela Merkel's frustration expressed by demanding that Europe should take caring for themselves into their own hands and not relying on USA. President Trump returned the favor by his own tweets that USA has been getting a raw deal in the relationship. Mr. trump refused to assert that an attack on one NATO nation is an attack on all NATO members.

America will not necessarily join if one NATO nation is attacked.

The implication of this statement is earth shaking or should be. It means that NATO is dead.

To the world America is the only Super Power in the world standing. This Super Power status is earned because the world sees America in the context of its NATO membership. On a one-on-one engagement USA cannot defeat Russia. US cannot defeat China and perhaps one or two more countries. Just as it did not win in Korea, in Vietnam, in Iraq, in Afghanistan, etc. It is with NATO behind her that US can overwhelm any country or any combination of countries in the world. Neither Russia nor China has comparable backing. If US detaches herself from NATO she will become just another strong country in the world.

Does Mr. Trump understand this? Does USA understand this?

Former President Reagan is credited with the dissolution of the Soviet Union. Could it be that the current Russian ruler Vladimir Putin will succeed in dissolving NATO? That too would be an accomplishment. The Trump's administrations relationship with Russia is a subject of inquiry by an independent attorney, by both the senate and the House. Will anything come out of it. Will it come out soon enough to save NATO? Only time will tell.

Mr. Trump is on his way to becoming the best president US ever had if he is able to bring peace between the Arabs and the Israelis. Or becoming the worst president US ever had if he succeeds in weakening USA by pulling out of NATO and thereby helping Putin accomplish his most ambitious foreign policy wish.

We shall see.

Benjamin Obiajulu Aduba

Boston, Massachusetts

May 31, 2017

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

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