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Nubiart Diary - Ayo Obe (NDI) / Chukwudum Ikeazor

By Kubara Zamani, Nubiart Producer / Presenter | Mon 12 March 2007

“NUBIART - A DIFFERENT PERSPECTIVE ON THE AFRIKAN WORLD”


Nubiart - Wed @ 5-7pm / Sat @ 7-9pm on Sound Radio 1503AM. Also on the web at: www.soundradio.info E-mail: afrikanquest@hotmail.com

NB: Nubiart Diary can also be read weekly at www.ligali.org and on the Afrikan Quest website.


NUBIART EDITORIAL:
Editorial Pt 1
On midweek Nubiart we started our week of shows focusing on the forthcoming Nigerian elections by interviewing Ayo Obe, from the National Democratic Institute. She is also a former President of the Civil Liberties Union in Nigeria. The voter registration has been completed with the Independent National Electoral Commission announcing that there are 61 million official voters in Nigeria. However, there are still people claiming that they have not been registered or their registration had not shown up on the lists which were only displayed for a limited time.

Ayo felt there were even more problems with the registration of presidential candidates with the dispute between current President Olusegun Obasanjo and his Vice-President Atiku Abubakar becoming increasingly heated. At present, Abubakar is being investigated by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) who are pushing for those being investigated for corruption to be barred from standing in the elections, whether or not they are charged or convicted. The Federal government has approved an indictment on corruption charges but under Nigerian law a vice-President has immunity from prosecution. The Electoral Commission insists Abubakar is barred from standing. This strengthens Obasanjo who promoted Umaru Yar’Adua as the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) candidate.

The dispute between Obasanjo and Abubakar goes back to when Abubakar announced that Obasanjo had told him that he was not seeking a third term in office but the President then changed his mind. Abubakar has left the PDP coalition and is a candidate for Action Congress (AC). Most of his privileges have been withdrawn and many of his aides are going unpaid. “He very much sees himself as a victim of selective politics and the vindictiveness of the President. Because from the moment when he made it clear that he wanted to run for President of the country the current President, who at that time unbeknown to everybody was harbouring the ambition of extending his stay in office by having a third term, felt that this was extremely disloyal.”

The dispute has become internecine and ‘Machiavellian’ with claim and counter-claim, court actions and appeals to remove and re-instate. Obasanjo was reported as saying that the re-election of the PDP is a ‘do-or-die affair’. This is very ominous coming from an army General, with a history of involvement in coups stretching back 40 years. Meanwhile, Abubakar’s supporters have stated that if he is not allowed to stand for the presidency then ‘there will be no election’.

On the economy, Nigeria has cleared its ‘debts’ to most of the foreign creditors – Paris Club, London Club, IMF, etc – through the use of oil revenues. However, there are concerns that the removal of the Finance Minister, Dr Okonjo-Iweala, to Foreign Affairs and her subsequent departure from the cabinet means that any economic stability may be short-lived and also does not reflect Nigeria in a good light. Nigerians were disappointed that the President refused to back her for a position at the United Nations under the new Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon. This would have been a boost for Nigeria and changed the global perception of Nigerians as being prone to financial crime.

Across the 36 states, many of the Governor and Senate elections revolve around the mismanagement and embezzlement of funds with many officials receiving money but doing nothing or ‘disappearing’ until the next payment from the Federal government arrives. Human Rights Watch recently produced a report on the lack of substantial improvement in the Niger Delta, despite it being the source of Nigeria’s wealth.

We then moved on to the first part of an extensive interview with Chukwudum Ikeazor, a Nigerian commentator and author of ‘Nigeria 1966: The Turning Point’, ‘The Ethnic Factor’, ‘Lament of the Niger Delta’, ‘The Report to the People of Nigeria’ and other books. The discussion spanned over 100 years of Nigerian politics, economics, history, religious and current affairs. Chukwudum grew up in eastern Nigeria and during the Nigerian civil war from 1967-70 was a ‘Biafran’. He worked for the Nigerian Police before leaving for Britain in 1987. After ‘The Ethnic Factor, which was published in 1996, he wrote ‘The Report to the People of Nigeria’. This argued against the creation of more states within a federal Nigeria to redress inequalities in finances, resources and political power.

In ‘Nigeria 1966: The Turning Point’, Chukwudum considered 1966 the turning point in Nigeria because it was the first time a military coup had replaced a civilian government bringing excessive military involvement in politics. It also saw the introduction of mass killings as a form of political discourse; the first attempts at secession; the first mass exodus of Nigerians internally and abroad; the legitimisation of political and military assassinations; and the impunity of corrupt politicians.

After the ending of the civil war there was a noticeable change in values away from meritocracy and the promotion of education. This led to the marginalisation of those groups who did not have strong influence in the army as this was where major political and economic decisions were being made (despite the fact that most soldiers have no extensive training or knowledge in economics, politics, law, medicine, education, arts or history). “If you join the army you are trained for military purposes not governance. You are not trained for economics, you’re trained to be a soldier and, in theory, you ought to be at the behest of the civil authorities not the other way around.”

“The irony is, today, Nigeria is not known for any agricultural produce anymore – not [palm] oil, not cocoa, not groundnuts. They’re now known as an oil producer.” Nigeria also moved from self-sustaining itself through agriculture to a high dependence on oil revenues and financing the economy through the service sector or by taking a percentage on brokering deals rather than through local production. Before the war broke out in 1967 the atmosphere was one of hope. There were still poor people but they could eat properly, schools had books and hospitals functioned. Although there were less roads, railways and aircrafts they were more efficient than today. Chukwudum sees the problem as being leaders with a lack of vision failing to invest in the infrastructure, (eg electricity) but keeping the money for themselves. Politicians adopted a culture of not thinking long-term and are now out of the habit of solving problems strategically if it doesn’t directly affect them. Also, after the war Nigerians increased their imports of foreign goods to the detriment of their own economy. Parents now push their children towards any uniformed authority – army, police, customs, etc – as this is where there the money and influence is.

The federal government now gets 95% of its revenue from oil up from around 25% in the 1960s. But while they built a new capital, Abuja, in the centre of the country and paid off foreign ‘debts’ this was at the expense of the people in the Niger Delta where the oil comes from. The ‘debts’ themselves were incurred for projects that did not benefit the Delta in the past either. Chukwudum believes that all Nigeria’s ‘debts’ could have been paid off without touching the state revenues but instead retrieving money from the generals, politicians and entrepreneurs who have ripped off the country for the past 40 years stashing money in bank accounts, property and other investments both in Nigeria and abroad.

There is strong support for independence in the Delta, especially among the youths. However, the rest of Nigeria would not allow them to secede with the ‘golden hen’. Prominent politicians in the Delta also may not support independence as they would be held directly answerable for the history of mismanagement without being able to continue claiming it was the fault of the federal government and foreign businesses.
Politicians from the Delta have been state governors and some have even been oil ministers in the federal government yet they didn’t use their influence to develop the Delta. “There’s hardly any governor today from Niger Delta area, former governor, that isn’t a millionaire. The Question remains, how?

Other states across east and south-east Nigeria are also considering secession because of the marginalisation they have experienced. Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) want a state smaller than the ‘Biafra’ of the 1960’s “because Nigeria’s ethnic politics has ensured that distrust is so deep that people now feel they can only work with their own people.” However, it is impractical for every group who feel marginalised to have their own country so there needs to be political negotiations for people to learn the art of co-operation. Solutions could include rotational presidency and governorships limited to two terms of office with no hand-picking ‘coronation’ of the successor. This works in some Nigerian states and is used in Tanzania “but every now and then somebody spoils the game and tries to sit for too long. Hence, we have conflicts again.”

We asked if the problem was that Nigeria had a larger number of language groups and religions to share influence among? Chukwudum gave examples of India which is larger than Nigeria and has even more major religions and poor people but doesn’t have the political convulsions and coups. Misrule leads to corruption and failure to improve the infrastructure but also to a lack of trust not just in the leader but also in his kinsmen leading to demands for secession. “I don’t think any country is too diverse for good government but I think any country in the world would be too diverse for a long period of misrule…But I can assure you if India was subjected to the same degree of misrule as the Nigerians are subjected to they would have a civil war, no doubt!”

There were also problems inherited at the time of independence in Oct 1960. Firstly, they lacked leaders of vision in the mould of Ghana’s Kwame Nkrumah or Tanzania’s Julius Nyerere. Secondly, the legacy from Britain, the coloniser, especially the amalgamation of north and south which were distinct peoples in terms of their values. It was not a voluntary process or something that Nigerians had a say on but was done for the administrative convenience and economic benefit of Britain. Having been joined together since 1914 with independence approaching the north was threatening to secede if there were no measures to protect their interests as they were less well educated the economy was less developed and they had fewer resources. It is at this time that Britain promised the Hausa-Fulani elite that, even though they were Muslim while the south was more Christianised, Britain would ensure the north was politically dominant as the educated southerners caused Britain problems by asking too many questions and demanding rights which Britain was not prepared to grant to any Afrikan country – colony, ex-colony or not. This fitted in with the Euro-American short-term worldview of the time that Islam was a bulwark against Soviet and Chinese expansion. Today, Islam has used that space and time to grow and challenge western hegemony across the world.

“The colonial master’s interests is economic and political not religious. That’s the mistake that many Christians in Nigeria tend to make. They tend to assume that because they are Christians therefore the British should be with them.” Britain also felt more at ease with the northern emirs as they were both empire-builders. If they made an agreement with the Sultan of Sokoto everybody in that area had to go along with it. This was different in the south which was made up of independent villages and nation-states and where the remit of the ruler or town council might only run to the next town or 5-10 miles. This meant the British had to negotiate separately with every group of peoples in the south which was too much hassle for them. (It also explains the high number of people who claim to be related to chiefs).

Editorial Pt 2
“People often confuse appointment with power. A person who’s appointed can be removed or ‘disappointed’”. – Chukwudum Ikeazor, author and Nigerian commentator

On weekend Nubiart the stories we covered in the Afrikan Worldview News Service were: ‘Racist Brutality Officer Caught On CCTV Given Desk Duties’; ‘Tory Axed Over Army Racism Row, As Soldiers Form Anti-Racist Union’; ‘Kidnapped Ethiopians And British Embassy Staff Reported In Eritrea’; ‘ASA To Investigate Complaints Over Racist Chewing Gum Ad’; ‘Britain Tops For Sex Trafficking, Drugs And Crime In Europe’; ‘Sainsbury’s To Stock Reggae Reggae Sauce In 607 Shops’; ‘Nine Afrikans Die In New York City House Fire’; ‘African Union Plane Set On Fire In Somalia’; ‘Nigerian Election Turmoil Over Health Of Frontrunner Yar’Adua’; ‘Peace Deal Signed In Ivory Coast’; ‘UN Says Police Torture Widespread In Nigeria’; ‘Uranium Smuggling Ring In DR Congo Smashed’; and ‘Presidential Elections In Mauritania Tomorrow’.

We played the second part of the interview with Chukwudum Ikeazor, Nigerian commentator and author of ‘Nigeria 1966: The Turning Point’, ‘The Ethnic Factor’, ‘Lament of the Niger Delta’, ‘The Report to the People of Nigeria’ and other books. We started by discussing Chukwudum’s expectations for the forthcoming presidential elections. He expected a repeat of 1979 where Obasanjo handed over to a hand-picked person “which led to corruption, coups, Babangida and where we are today. June 12 and all that. So I think the prospects for the future is very dire for Nigeria.”

We asked if he thought Nigeria had matured in the intervening 28 years? “Maturity, politically, is difficult when those who have run your affairs themselves have not changed. The Obasanjo who was here in 1979 is the same President you have today.” Chukwudum felt that all the coups have been pointless, palace coups with no development or accountability and the same names cropping up again and again since 1966 with the exception of Murtala Muhammed (but that’s only because he’s already passed away and if he was alive he would probably be looking for his turn to come round again). They are all friends and associates who know where each others skeletons are so they can blackmail and counter-blackmail each other but there is no space for anyone really interested in Nigeria’s development to step up into.

“It‘s so eerie for me to see President Obasanjo handing over power to a Yar’Adua. A Yar’Adua was his deputy in 1979 – the brother.” Obasanjo, a Yoruba, became President in 1999 following the death of Sani Abacha as a compensation for the northern elite stealing election victory from MKO Abiola in 1993 when Babangida (IBB) annulled the elections just as the results were to be announced. In 1976 Obasanjo came to power as a general after the death of another Muslim general, Murtala Muhammed, so Chukwudum felt the was being allowed to be president so long as he looked after the northern elite’s interests and gave the presidency back to them after his turn.

Chukwudum felt there was no fear of exposure of corruption in Nigeria and activities that get people jailed, impeached or removed from office in other countries are laughed at in Nigeria as normal. The leaders for the past 30 years have all ended up billionaires if they have spent any length of time in office while the EFFC concentrates mainly on the small fish. Chukwudum felt they needed to really take on the generals as they have made the most money from corruption in Nigeria’s. “That’s the problem with Nigeria – that we tolerate wrongdoing to such scales, we venerate them and until we have a proper accounting process, by whatever means, of our leadership, of service it will not change!”

We moved on to Chukwudum declaring last year that he was going to stand as an independent anti-corruption candidate. He realised that it would have been difficult for him to make any progress this time round as he did not have the funds to mount a campaign. We questioned the viability of trying to stand as an anti-corruption candidate when the presidential political scene has been dominated by the same names for forty years who wouldn’t let anyone even think about derailing the gravy train? Chukwudum appreciated this point as even the lawyer Gani Fawehinmi, who made his money through law and has an excellent human rights record over a 30-year period, had problems breaking down the cartel. Chukwudum had planned to ask every candidate: What is their history of service? What were they doing before entering the political sphere? How much are you worth? Will you declare your assets? Will they sign a contract declaring their assets before running for the presidency and at the end of their term submit a balance sheet and appear before a panel of enquiry?

Instead he has decided to support the campaign of Alice Ukoko to become the first female governor in Nigeria. All 36 states are run by men despite the rhetoric of the power of women and how they control the marketplace, etc. In the past women have been appointed to positions such as Dr Ojokwo-Ijeala to the Finance Ministry but the women themselves were not in charge but controlled by the male run political machine. “People often confuse appointment with power. A person who’s appointed can be removed or ‘disappointed’…Power is when you hold executive office yourself. You have no power if you’re appointed you have office.”

“I still think that Nigerians, ordinary Nigerians themselves, are not corrupt people. They are not corrupt by nature. They are people who have been forced into certain circumstance. People who have had the misfortune of being led by bandits and buffoons.” Chukwudum pointed out the media manipulation that makes it look as though the 5-10,000 people cheering on a political aspirant at a rally are representative of the nearly 100 million Nigerians who don’t or can’t vote.

“If we are not careful the Niger Delta is the tinderbox that will ignite the next conflict in Nigeria.” We moved on to discuss breaking the cycle of the last 40 years. Chukwudum felt there was much support from secession not just in the Delta but also among the Delta peoples in Lagos and the Igbos who, given their history, would probably not allow the federal military to attack the Delta through their territory. Chukwudum was against the current spate of kidnappings of oil workers in the Delta as he didn’t think they were directly anything to do with an internal Nigerian dispute which they have with the federal government and their own state political apparatus. He condemned the cynicism of the world’s press who refuse to cover the issues in the Delta until a ‘westerner’ is kidnapped or some other bad news and when 1,000 people die from flaring that’s only news for a day.

This brought us to the ‘Eritrean question’: Where a country’s business plan before independence doesn’t isn’t viable or is sabotaged by the federal government from who you seceded due to them having more established political, diplomatic and economic contacts in the wider world. Chukwudum didn’t think this would be a problem for the Niger Delta as they have oil which everybody wants so people would be forced by economic imperatives to deal with an independent Niger Delta, if it ever came to pass. He cited Venezuela, Saudi Arabia, Iran and Nigeria itself as oil producers that countries have to engage with.

“The Nigerian crisis, the Nigerian problem, isn’t just Nigerian – it’s an Afrikan problem…Nigeria’s failure has impacted not just on Nigeria but on all Afrikans and Afrikans in the diaspora.” The expectations of Afrikans in the anti-colonial period and first days of independence of the leadership role that Nigeria would (and should) play has not come to pass. This is reflected in the fact that Nigeria has the largest standing army in Afrika yet no Nigerian soldiers went to help Angola fight the apartheid regime.

“To lose hope for Nigeria is to lose hope for Afrika.” We asked if Nigerians were really willing and capable of developing the country equitably and gaining political and economic stability? Chukwudum pointed out ‘the advantage of the latecomer’ is that they shouldn’t repeat the mistakes of those who have gone previously. “A lot of Afrikan problems, their solutions are in Afrikan hands not outside…I think it’s how you run your house that makes the outsider think he can come inside and do what he wants to do.”

Part of Afrika’s failings is that the descendants of chiefs who were prepared to trade enslaved Afrikans with Europeans are in power as state governors or regional powerbrokers today and the biggest problems are with those who have not changed their dismissive attitude to the welfare of other Afrikans. Also, Arabs and Arabised Muslims never formally ended slavery and had a reconciliation or reparations process for their treatment of Afrikans. It continues in Mauritania and Sudan and only ended in Northern Nigeria in 1936 and Sierra Leone in 1928. There was no Middle East civil war to abolish slavery.

Chukwudum felt that where Afrikans have fallen short we must take responsibility and address it as just to blame everything wrong in Afrika on ‘the white men’ is to imbue them with superhuman powers which they obviously don’t possess. Nigeria’s rulers allowed corruption to flourish instead of jailing people who tried to bribe their way through. “Life is about self-interest. Why would I blame Tony Blair or George Bush – they are not elected to look after Afrika. They were elected to look after their own national interests. And in the game of life sometimes my interests mean I have to take from you and vice versa. Like a football game. You go out there to win. If your coach don’t train you right…that’s your problem. I’m here to win. I’m here to defeat you; you can’t say ‘I got bad boots. It’s God’s fault. Who wants to hear that?’”

Chukwudum also wanted to keep God out of politics and keep religion personal. If praying and libation could solve Afrika’s problems then it would have happened by now giving how much we have prayed. He felt it was better to have a contract with people where you support them if they are doing the right thing and you ensure they are never disadvantaged or cheated. Politics should be about service. Chukwudum believed there was a new generation of youths coming up across the Delta and the east who were looking to take their future into their own hands after all their experience of misrule. “It’s hard, to negotiate with somebody who has nothing else to lose unless you can offer him what he wants…Would you be surprised if I told you Nigeria has no ambulance service. If you get run over by a car if you have no money for a taxi, you walk it or you die. I’ve had friends who died – no ambulance service…This is in an oil-rich country and you have presidents who are billionaires, governors who have homes and mansions in the United States and England and Europe. The youths have every right to be angry. In fact, they’ve been very patient. I’m no longer a young man but my heart is with them.”

Full copies of the shows and track playlists are available from Afrikan Quest at the address below.


FORTHCOMING NUBIART SHOWS:
NUBIART 1: Every Wed at 5-7pm. Focus on arts, education, business, sport and health.
- Mar 14: Kimathi Donkor, artist with exhibition, ‘Hawkins & Co’, at Elspeth Kyle Gallery (see below for details).

NUBIART 2: Every Sat at 7-9pm. Focus on political developments and the media. (Inc. Afrikan Worldview, Nubiart’s half-hourly weekly news round-up of stories affecting Afrikans worldwide.)
- Mar 17: Janet Edwards, Entrepreneur and florist.


MAR PROMO:
~ ‘Ariwa 81 Sessions’ – Various Artists [Ariwa Sound Studio – Out Now] Pick of the early recordings from the Mad Professor’s front room. Includes ‘Kunta Kinte’, ‘Lonely / Love on a Mountain Top’ and ‘Stylers’.


NUBIART LIBRARY – MAR MEDIA:
We will try to recommend books we have read and DVD / videos we have seen and that are available in shops or libraries. However, given the nature and current state of Afrikan publishing and production there may be books, games and films on this list that are worth the extra effort to track down.

~ ‘Nigeria 1966: The Turning Point’ – Chukwudum Ikeazor [New Millennium ISBN: 1-85845-151-5] 1966 was the turning point in Nigeria because it was the first time a military coup had replaced a civilian government bringing in a cycle of excessive military involvement in politics. It also saw the introduction of mass killings as a form of political discourse; the first attempts at secession; the first mass exodus of Nigerians internally and abroad; the legitimisation of political and military assassinations; and the impunity of corrupt politicians who are on the gravy train conveyor belt.

~ ‘Ethiopia and the Origin of Civilization’ – John G Jackson [Black Classic Press] Good introductory primer to Afrikan history research from one of the foremost scholars in the field.

~ ‘When We Ruled’ – Robin Walker [Every Generation Media ISBN: 0-9551068-0-X] We decided to leave this on the library list from last month given its essential value to all Afrikans. Comprehensive study of Afrikan life and customs from prehistory to 20th century. Also contains chapters on the Afrikan diaspora including primary research on Iraqi-based Afrikan skeletons and linguistics by Fari Supiya.


NUBIART DIARY:
*EDITORIAL POLICY: Nubiart is a factually-based Africentric arts and current affairs radio programme. We do not accept that the ‘slave trade’ or Afrikan chattel enslavement was abolished by Britain in 1807 in Afrika, the Americas, Caribbean or anywhere else. We therefore request everybody sending info to us publicising events, articles, TV or radio programmes relating to the 200th anniversary of 1807 to make this clear when submitting info. We will amend items submitted to reflect this historical fact.

~ ‘Black Heroes in the Hall of Fame’. 20th anniversary return of 5000 years of Afrikan history in one night.
Mar 15: De Montfort Hall, Leicester. Tel: 0116 233 3111 Web: www.demonforthall.co.uk
Apr 25: Royal Concert Hall, Nottingham. Tel: 0115 989 5555 Web: royal-concert-nottingham.co.uk
May 2-5: Ashcroft Theatre, Croydon. Tel: 020 8688 9291 Web: www.fairfield.co.uk
Web: www.blackheroesinthehalloffame.com

~ ‘Hawkins & Co’ exhibition exploring the legacy of Sir John Hawkins, England’s first trans-Atlantic slave trader. This group show features six contemporary artists - Larry Achiampong, Jean-Francois Bocle, Kimathi Donkor, Corrine Edwards, Joelle Ferly and Tam Joseph.

Kimathi Donkor’s UK Diaspora is a composite portrait that will achieve both its completion - and its destruction - when the individual subjects have been purchased and dispersed. Until 30 Mar at the Elspeth Kyle Gallery 233 Blackfriars Rd, London, SE1 8NW/. Mon-Fri 10am-5pm and Sat 11am-5pm. Adm: Free. Tel: 020 7261 9527.

~ Black Stock Photography in and X5 Studio present ‘Inspirations: Things That Make You Go, Mmm!’ exhibition showcasing the work of 15 up-coming photographers who have captured their own unique moment of inspiration. Until 19 March at Hackney Central Library, 1 Reading Lane, London, E8. On Mon, Tues, Thurs: 9am-8pm; Wed: 9am-6pm; Sat: 9am-5pm. Adm: Free.

~ Pan-Afrikan Society Meetings: Dr Steven Ssali. HIV – man-made vs natural disease. At 5:30pm on Tues 13 Mar at London South Bank University, London Road Building, Elephant & Castle Campus, London, SE1. For more info call: 07908 204 788.

~ ‘A Homecoming for Jobs in Africa’. Premiere of documentary on diaspora self-help. 200 years ago, Olaudah Equiano and Ignatius Sancho’s ‘The Sons of Africa’ was the first Afrikan-led NGO in Britain working to abolish the slave trade. Come and witness what today’s generation of ‘Sons and Daughters of Africa’ are doing to help Africa through SEEDA (Supporting Entrepreneurs and Enterprise Development in Africa) Programme.

‘A Homecoming for Jobs in Africa’, a compelling 30-min documentary, directed by Ishmahil Blagrove of Rice‘N’Peas, tells how Sierra Leonean entrepreneurs are given a hand-up (not handouts) from diasporan Afrikans working with them as business advisors, friends & mentors. Q&A chaired by playwright and actor Kwame Kwei Armah. Panel includes returned Diaspora Resource People Ife Piankhi and Angela Kiire; filmmaker Ishmahil Blagrove and AFFORD Executive Director, Chukwu-Emeka Chikezie. On Mar 16 at 7–9pm at the Tricycle Cinema, 269 Kilburn High Road, London, NW6. Adm: £10. Box Office: 020 7328 1000. Contact: Onyekachi Wambu. Tel: 020 7587 3905. E-mail: onyekachi@afford-uk.org

~ 100 Black Men of London present ‘Black Women Run the World’, ‘The Yaa Asantewa Story’ and ‘The Shirley Chisholm Story’ on Sat 17 Mar at 11am-5.30pm at the Imperial War Museum (conference room), Lambeth Road SE1. Adm: Free.
- ‘Slave Catchers, Slave Resisters’ on Sun 25 Mar at 2-3.45pm.
Contact: etf@100bmol.org.uk or visit: http://www.blackhistorywalks.co.uk/3.html or www.iwm.org.uk

~ Following a meeting on Mon Feb 12 in Peckham the Afrikan community will come together on Mar 17 at the Heartbeat International Community Venue. At this conference called ‘Our Solutions’ attendees will discuss current service providers outcomes; community-based providers resourcing; responsibilities regarding all our youth; what we need to be put in place, 2 safeguard our children’s future. This is a collective community response to deliver remedies for our collective condition. If you want to help organise this event call Kenyasue on 07770 300 220. E-mail: iletocpn@yahoo.co.uk for bookings.

~ Remembering Chima Ubani. Friends of Africa present a tribute to the late Chima Ubani, former Executive Director of the Nigerian Civil Liberties Organisation, where he had worked for 15 years. A committed human rights activist, Chima was unwavering in his dedication to social justice for ordinary Nigerians. Since his university days, Chima was actively involved in shaping political events in Nigeria. He held a number of key positions: General Secretary, Campaign for Democracy (CD), 1992–1994; Joint Secretary, United Action for Democracy (UAD), 1997–1998; General Secretary, Democratic Alternative (DA), 1994–2001. He will be remembered as a skilled and effective mass organiser and strategist. At the time of his passing he was organising opposition to another petrol price increase by the federal government. He was killed in a car crash returning from a rally in Maiduguri on 21 Sep 2005. His untimely death is a terrible loss for his family and a huge blow to the movement in Nigeria.

‘Remember Chima’ speakers: Dr Raufu Mustapha, Oxford University, talks about Chima and his political intervention in Nigerian politics; Dr Paul Okojie, Manchester Metropolitan University, School of Law, on challenges for Nigeria; Dapo Awosokanre, Ex-Civil Liberties Organisation, Nigeria on "Chima in pictures": A slideshow of photographs of Chima at work and with his family. "Chima speaks": Film footage of Chima in Nigeria; Dike Chukwumerije: A Poem for Chima; From 2–5pm on Mar 17 in Room G50, School of Oriental & African Studies (SOAS), Thornhaugh Street, London, WC1. For more info tel: 07984 405 307. E-mail: friendsofafrica_soas@yahoo.co.uk

~ Truth 2007 will be screening ‘The Maafa’ at 12-6pm at the Rose Green Centre, Gordon Road, White Hall, Bristol on Sun Mar 18 and at Castle Lecture Theatre, London South Bank University, London Road, London, SE1 on Sat Mar 31. Adm: Free, Donations welcome. For info tel: 07868 707 932. E-mail: mail@ligali.org Web: www.ligali.org or www.truth2007.org

~ With the African community under threat from gun violence, and our young people being murdered, there is no better time to learn and use Non-violent Communication. Free introductory evening on NVC on Wed 21 Mar at The Nub, 25 Clarendon Road, Walthamstow, E17. For more details visit: http://www.thenub.org.uk or http://tinyurl.com/ywjm33

~ Nu-Beyond present a commemorative conference ‘2007-2012 Remembering the Past to Safeguard the Future’ on Sun 25 Mar 2007 at the Civic Suite, Catford, London, SE6. Tel: 020 8480 8068. E-mail: info@nubeyond.com or check: www.nubeyond.com


Contact Details

Contact: Kubara Zamani, Afrikan Quest International, PO Box 35165, London, SE5 8WU. Tel: 07811 494 969. E-mail: afrikanquest@hotmail.com Web: www.southwark.tv/quest/aqhome.asp




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