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If the president is not sick, let him wake up, think, roll out his plans and work? And if

he is, and unable to perform, as seems to be the case, let him excuse himself

from the throne, instead of holding everyone else to ransom.



Yar' Adua May Happen Again In Nigeria!

By Ugochukwu Ejinkeonye


Gradually, President Yar’Adua’s health condition is becoming an item for very debilitating blackmail. And it seems to be working effectively!

Just wonder aloud why the president of such a critically sick and sinking country cannot allow himself to be roused from crippling inertia to seek with clear vision, focus and vigour the nation’s healing and revival, and the next accusation that would be laid at your doorstep is: “Oh, there you go again, making fun of the president because of his ill-health.”

And so political correctness now dictates that we all enlist in the confused choir of incurably naïve optimists who seem to derive peculiar animation from continually chorusing the hope that a heavy truck trapped in the middle of a collapsing bridge, because its driver was having a good, refreshing nap, would not soon disappear into the deep waters even though the bridge is already down and about to be washed away.

I think this is sad and most unfortunate.

Now, why would somebody make fun of anyone because he or she is sick? Can the person accurately predict what the state of his or her own health would be tomorrow? I think what most people are trying to say is that there are too many sick persons in the country and Mr. Yar’Adua just happens to be one of them. What we owe all of them are our sincere sympathies, prayers, and help if we are in a position to offer any. But there is definitely no justification for turning anyone’s personal health challenges into a national burden. In other words, Nigeria cannot continue to just sit still, fold its hands and do nothing in the face of threatening devastating global economic crises on the unpardonable excuse that its president is sick—as if there are no capable and healthy persons in the country?

For goodness sake, this state of inertia has gone on for too long. If the president is not sick, let him wake up, think, roll out his plans and work? And if he is, and unable to perform, as seems to be the case, let him excuse himself from the throne, instead of holding everyone else to ransom. I am quite sure that not many people would object to Nigeria undertaking to pay the president’s medical bills for life, as compensation for the “invaluable sacrifice,” if he decides today to let go and retire to the serenity of his family house in Katsina.

But will the leeches and parasites feeding fat on his incompetence and the nation’s carcasses allow him to make up his mind?

For a nation as badly run as Nigeria is, where decisions and actions that determine the direction and future of the country are mostly inspired by acute selfishness, Yar’Adua would never lack a formidable army of self-serving loyalists hailing his special capacity to sleep through the worst crises, as we are witnessing at the moment. It is not impossible, too, that a President Umar Musa Yar’Adua may reappear in Abuja in 2011. I think that should not shock anyone who has been watching the course of events in the nation’s political horizon for the past few months. This is one nation where people are continually drinking and eating poison with utmost relish, and yet wanting to live; yes, a country where people continue to assure and reassure themselves that no matter how long they keep stabbing their nation and drinking its blood, they would still wake up every other morning to see it standing on its feet and flourishing.

Well, all these acts of self-delusion would in no distant time be forced to evaporate by the grim realities that would soon dawn on this nation. For so long now, Nigeria has remained the best example of how a richly endowed country could look like in the absence of any of form of government. People who found themselves at the seat of power merely looted the treasury pale and retired at the expiration of their tenures to enjoy their unearned wealth. So long as there was still oil pumping out crispy dollars for the next regime to loot and put away in coded accounts abroad, no one complained; and no one was asked to give account. Only those foolish enough to die, like Gen Sani Abacha, were branded corrupt, and their loot diligently looted.

And so, at a time world leaders are spending sleepless nights with their economic managers and experts, devising ways to save their nations from the looming global economic calamity, we, in this ungoverned entity called Nigeria are busy debating about our president’s vacation, which, if we must be sincere to ourselves, he has enjoyed with little or no interruptions since May 29, 2007. I once heard that the motto of an association of pensioners was: “Rest Is Sweet After Labour.”

Pray, what has Yar’Adua done since the two years he has encumbered the ground in Abuja to warrant his disturbing the nation’s peace with tiresome talk about vacation? Which responsible and responsive president would allow himself to be caught dropping the slightest hint about a vacation at time oil prices, his country’s   sole revenue earner, was crashing from near $145 to about $30? The earthquake in the nation’s stock market is an economic tsunami that ought to have kept any president alert and worried, but our own man could not just be bothered. He would rather go on vacation, even as major multi-national companies are closing shops in Nigeria, and relocating to functional countries like Ghana, causing countless Nigerians to be dumped in the unemployment market. Mind you, Nigeria remains the biggest market for these companies; they produce in Ghana and sell in Nigeria. What an unlucky nation.

Despite Yar’Adua’s repeated promise to declare a state of emergency in the power sector, power supply has worsened beyond what anyone would have imagined was possible in a nation ruled by a human being. I doubt if there is any community in Nigeria today where anyone can walk to a public tap, fetch healthy water and confidently drink it. Indeed, no one with the means to afford alternatives in Ghana, Cameroon or any of our tiny neighbours, takes the risk of enlisting his children in Nigerian schools any more. I challenge Yar’Adua or any governor to prove that his children are in Nigerian public universities—where many public officials had attended.  Nigeria’s health institutions are only patronized by those willing to take a risk with their lives, because they are too poor to fly out for medical treatment; not even the president of Nigeria receives treatment in Nigerian hospitals.

But the worst is yet on the way, in fact, very close to the door.

By the time the devastating effect of President Barack Obama’s New Energy Policy reaches home to us here in Nigeria, there is no doubt that the price of oil may go down to 50 cents. At that time, there won’t even be enough public funds to steal. Maybe, then, and only then, would Nigerians be forced by very unbearable conditions to seek authentic leaders, people with a mind and clear ideas to move society forward, and not a horde of bankrupt creatures occupying offices where they are not even qualified to be cleansers. Today, we are complaining about the rise of violent crime in Nigeria. By that time, it would degenerate to almost an open war.

And until then, some vacuous fellows can still afford the luxury of campaigning for a Second or even Third for Yar’Adua, so he could stay back to “continue the good work he is doing.” What a nation!  

Ugochukwu Ejinkeonye writes a highly-regarded column (SCRUPLES) for Nigeria's leading national newspaper, The Independent ( every Wednesday. He is also on the Editorial Board of the paper. / /

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News Update

An ailing president and a country on edge—Last Friday, senior aides to Nigerian President Umaru Yar'Adua dropped a bombshell, announcing that he would be taking "a two-week leave of absence." Rumors that he suffers from a serious kidney ailment aren't new, and the news quickly reignited fears for the president's health.

Whenever rumors that a developing country head of state suffers from a life-threatening illness begin to swirl, political uncertainty (and political risk) rises. It's especially worrisome when the country in question is one of the world's ten largest oil producers. . .  .

But it didn't take long for Yar'Adua's ill health to make headlines. In fact, it first came to national attention when he collapsed during a campaign speech and was flown to Germany for immediate medical attention. Yar'Adua managed to keep rumors about his health at bay long enough to win the election, but late last year he traveled to Saudi Arabia and stayed longer than originally announced. (Speculation centers on a deadly vascular auto-immune disease called Churg-Strauss syndrome.) Word today from his spokesman that the president will remain inside the country throughout his "vacation" and that his leave has "nothing to do with his health" will do little to ease growing doubts about his future.

Only Yar'Adua's doctors know the true state of his health, but the sudden announcement of his leave of absence will only further fuel doubts about his ability to cope with Nigeria's large (and growing) list of problems.

But here's the larger risk: Were he to die in office or to become incapacitated, Vice President Goodluck Jonathan, a southerner and Christian, would succeed him. Nigeria's northern Muslims won't quietly accept an abrupt transition to another southern presidency, and early elections would fuel tensions and the risk of large-scale civil unrest. Eurasia Foreign Policy

*   *   *   *   *'s 25 Best Selling Books

For July 1st through August 31st 2011


#1 - Justify My Thug by Wahida Clark
#2 - Flyy Girl by Omar Tyree
#3 - Head Bangers: An APF Sexcapade by Zane
#4 - Life Is Short But Wide by J. California Cooper
#5 - Stackin' Paper 2 Genesis' Payback by Joy King
#6 - Thug Lovin' (Thug 4) by Wahida Clark
#7 - When I Get Where I'm Going by Cheryl Robinson
#8 - Casting the First Stone by Kimberla Lawson Roby
#9 - The Sex Chronicles: Shattering the Myth by Zane

#10 - Covenant: A Thriller  by Brandon Massey

#11 - Diary Of A Street Diva  by Ashley and JaQuavis

#12 - Don't Ever Tell  by Brandon Massey

#13 - For colored girls who have considered suicide  by Ntozake Shange

#14 - For the Love of Money : A Novel by Omar Tyree

#15 - Homemade Loves  by J. California Cooper

#16 - The Future Has a Past: Stories by J. California Cooper

#17 - Player Haters by Carl Weber

#18 - Purple Panties: An Anthology by Sidney Molare

#19 - Stackin' Paper by Joy King

#20 - Children of the Street: An Inspector Darko Dawson Mystery by Kwei Quartey

#21 - The Upper Room by Mary Monroe

#22 – Thug Matrimony  by Wahida Clark

#23 - Thugs And The Women Who Love Them by Wahida Clark

#24 - Married Men by Carl Weber

#25 - I Dreamt I Was in Heaven - The Rampage of the Rufus Buck Gang by Leonce Gaiter


#1 - Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention by Manning Marable
#2 - Confessions of a Video Vixen by Karrine Steffans
#3 - Dear G-Spot: Straight Talk About Sex and Love by Zane
#4 - Letters to a Young Brother: MANifest Your Destiny by Hill Harper
#5 - Peace from Broken Pieces: How to Get Through What You're Going Through by Iyanla Vanzant
#6 - Selected Writings and Speeches of Marcus Garvey by Marcus Garvey
#7 - The Ebony Cookbook: A Date with a Dish by Freda DeKnight
#8 - The Isis Papers: The Keys to the Colors by Frances Cress Welsing
#9 - The Mis-Education of the Negro by Carter Godwin Woodson

#10 - John Henrik Clarke and the Power of Africana History  by Ahati N. N. Toure

#11 - Fail Up: 20 Lessons on Building Success from Failure by Tavis Smiley

#12 -The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander

#13 - The Black Male Handbook: A Blueprint for Life by Kevin Powell

#14 - The Other Wes Moore: One Name, Two Fates by Wes Moore

#15 - Why Men Fear Marriage: The Surprising Truth Behind Why So Many Men Can't Commit  by RM Johnson

#16 - Black Titan: A.G. Gaston and the Making of a Black American Millionaire by Carol Jenkins

#17 - Brainwashed: Challenging the Myth of Black Inferiority by Tom Burrell

#18 - A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose by Eckhart Tolle

#19 - John Oliver Killens: A Life of Black Literary Activism by Keith Gilyard

#20 - Alain L. Locke: The Biography of a Philosopher by Leonard Harris

#21 - Age Ain't Nothing but a Number: Black Women Explore Midlife by Carleen Brice

#22 - 2012 Guide to Literary Agents by Chuck Sambuchino
#23 - Chicken Soup for the Prisoner's Soul by Tom Lagana
#24 - 101 Things Every Boy/Young Man of Color Should Know by LaMarr Darnell Shields

#25 - Beyond the Black Lady: Sexuality and the New African American Middle Class  by Lisa B. Thompson

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Blacks in Hispanic Literature: Critical Essays

Edited by Miriam DeCosta-Willis 

Blacks in Hispanic Literature is a collection of fourteen essays by scholars and creative writers from Africa and the Americas. Called one of two significant critical works on Afro-Hispanic literature to appear in the late 1970s, it includes the pioneering studies of Carter G. Woodson and Valaurez B. Spratlin, published in the 1930s, as well as the essays of scholars whose interpretations were shaped by the Black aesthetic. The early essays, primarily of the Black-as-subject in Spanish medieval and Golden Age literature, provide an historical context for understanding 20th-century creative works by African-descended, Hispanophone writers, such as Cuban Nicolás Guillén and Ecuadorean poet, novelist, and scholar Adalberto Ortiz, whose essay analyzes the significance of Negritude in Latin America. This collaborative text set the tone for later conferences in which writers and scholars worked together to promote, disseminate, and critique the literature of Spanish-speaking people of African descent. . . . Cited by a literary critic in 2004 as "the seminal study in the field of Afro-Hispanic Literature . . . on which most scholars in the field 'cut their teeth'."

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Sister Citizen: Shame, Stereotypes, and Black Women in America

By Melissa V. Harris-Perry

According to the author, this society has historically exerted considerable pressure on black females to fit into one of a handful of stereotypes, primarily, the Mammy, the Matriarch or the Jezebel.  The selfless Mammy’s behavior is marked by a slavish devotion to white folks’ domestic concerns, often at the expense of those of her own family’s needs. By contrast, the relatively-hedonistic Jezebel is a sexually-insatiable temptress. And the Matriarch is generally thought of as an emasculating figure who denigrates black men, ala the characters Sapphire and Aunt Esther on the television shows Amos and Andy and Sanford and Son, respectively.     

Professor Perry points out how the propagation of these harmful myths have served the mainstream culture well. For instance, the Mammy suggests that it is almost second nature for black females to feel a maternal instinct towards Caucasian babies. As for the source of the Jezebel, black women had no control over their own bodies during slavery given that they were being auctioned off and bred to maximize profits. Nonetheless, it was in the interest of plantation owners to propagate the lie that sisters were sluts inclined to mate indiscriminately.

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The White Masters of the World

From The World and Africa, 1965

By W. E. B. Du Bois

W. E. B. Du Bois’ Arraignment and Indictment of White Civilization (Fletcher)

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Ancient African Nations

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Negro Digest / Black World

Browse all issues

1950        1960        1965        1970        1975        1980        1985        1990        1995        2000 ____ 2005        


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The Death of Emmett Till by Bob Dylan  The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll  Only a Pawn in Their Game

Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson Thanks America for Slavery

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The Journal of Negro History issues at Project Gutenberg

The Haitian Declaration of Independence 1804  / January 1, 1804 -- The Founding of Haiti 

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posted 5 March 2009 




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