Monday

Soyinka taunts Obasanjo for ordering monarchs to ‘stand up and sit down’

CC™ Nigeria News

By Deji Komolafe

Professor Wole Soyinka mocked former President Olusegun Obasanjo over his action to order traditional rulers to ‘stand up and sit down’ at an event in Iseyin, Oyo state, a fortnight ago.

At a gathering on Sunday, Soyinka told some monarchs that he was not in their presence to bark at them to stand up and sit down, which made them laugh.

Former civilian president and military ruler, Olusegun Obasanjo, publicly rebuked some Obas in Oyo for allegedly not standing up to honour him when he was called to the podium.

Oyo State Governor Seyi Makinde had invited the ex-Nigerian leader to come and commission a project, but he was enraged that the traditional rulers present did not welcome him appropriately, leading him to disrespect them publicly. 

As Obasanjo’s action has continued to receive wide criticisms for being a desecration of traditional institutions and an affront to Yoruba people, the Nobel Laureate joined Nigerians to take a jab at his Egba kinsman at the gathering.

“My royal highnesses, I wish to assure you that I’m not about to bark at you to ‘stand up and sit down’. This is a cultured gathering,” Soyinka said in the video.

Meanwhile, the former leader said he stood by his action in Oyo, following the apology another one of his many estranged wives, Taiwo, tendered on his behalf.

The development has degenerated into another embarrassing public spat between Obasanjo and Taiwo, as they called each other names in recent statements.

Sunday

Flashback: Whither the GOP and true conservatism

By the Editor-in-Chief

I was a young man those days when I was back in Lagos, Nigeria. Lived on the Island, good family upbringing, went to some of the best schools, had a healthy knowledge of current affairs and world politics at a young age and above all, grew up in a political family which gave me a vantage view of the nuances and intricacies of the oldest game in the world.

Yes, politics is a game upon which the dreams and aspirations of many hinge. It is because of the latter that it is incumbent upon us all as a nation, a people and a world to get it right.

This brings me then to the current state of American politics, particularly the GOP as it is presently constituted. As I would watch the NTA (Nigerian Televison Authority) World News @9 pm those days, I would reel off the names of the members of Ronald Reagan's team. These were essentially all Republican stalwarts. The likes of James Baker III, George Schultz, Casper Weinberger and many others. Many of the Reagan aides went on to serve in the administration of Bush 41 (Herbert Walker) and we also saw the advent of one Dick Cheney. Dick Cheney? Whatever happened to him an old friend of mine from back home asked the other day? Dick Cheney's "metamorphosis" into the abyss of political thuggery masked as altruistic patriotism is the one line that most perfectly describes the current state and decline of this once storied party.

I don't know if I have said it here before, but I have never been a Democrat, as the party was in fact the party of segregation, Jim Crow as well as the marginalization and abuse of African-Americans for decades and even centuries if I might add. It was not until the realization of reason and human decency, thanks to a "Texas red-neck", Lyndon Baines Johnson that blacks began to be treated with the decency deserving of humans and it was during this period that the "Dixiecrats" (Southern Democrats) left en-masse and it is unquestionable that they have now found a home over the years in the GOP.

I am also not a Republican, but I have always admired the party mainly because of Ronald Reagan and Bush 41. They were both decent men who respected their opponents and had a statesman-like disposition to them that was appealing to many across the political and other divide. I was brought up in a family where education, hard work and self-less sacrifice were imbibed into us and passed from generation to generation. We were told that we represented not only ourselves, but our family name and its ideals and believe in personal responsibility and dutiful citizenship.

While it is the duty of government to "correct" the wrongs of the past, I have NEVER believed that overtime, it was also the duty of government to teach fathers and mothers how to be responsible parents and conduct themselves with dignity and a strong sense of purpose.

The crux of the GOP's mantra on personal responsibility - a "small government" built on enduring and fiscally responsible policies, as well as a "strong defense", has always appealed to me. The problem though is that the GOP, Reagan included, has left the nation in debilitating debt each time they have been in power, thus betraying their own ideals and in the process eroding the confidence many had reposed in them. However, the difference between the Reagan/Bush 41 years and this current band of marauders masked as conservatives, has been how low they have sunk in their attempt to control the tone and direction of the national conversation.

While I would posit that the one component missing from the Reagan dynamic was that of a certain form of compassionate conservatism, Bush 41 addressed this during his tenure in office and it is no wonder he was never liked by the rabid-dog neo-cons that have now usurped the mantle of leadership in the GOP. Both Reagan and Bush 41, I will reiterate, were decent men and believed that the GOP had room for as many as possible without the party necessarily changing its core ideals and principles.

Reagan and Bush 41 were however both pragmatic men with great vision as Reagan reached out to democratic leaders consistently during his tenure, while Bush 41 had one singular act that showed how much wisdom he had as a leader by resisting every attempt by hard-core "conservatives" to lure the US into invading Iraq having ejected Saddam Hussein from Kuwait. His son, Bush 43 went against his father's sound judgment (and the US and indeed the world has been worse off for it) with the invasion of Iraq (the torture at Abu Ghraib in particular) being a solid rallying point and recruiting advertisement for radical Islam and its murderous proponents.

While I largely disagreed with the policies of both Reagan and Bush 41, with regard to their seeming indifference to the policies of the apartheid regime in the then racist enclave of South Africa as well as their "tepid" support for civil rights, they both still recognized the importance of a party where dissension was actually healthy as it helped shore up whatever "policy white spaces" there were in the political landscape. The current GOP, in the last two decades or so has become increasingly intolerant, xenophobic and downright unrelenting in its attempt to rid America of its most important source of strength and dynamism, its diversity.

That the leaders of today's GOP look to the likes of Sean Hannity (a Neo-Nazi sympathizer), Rush Limbaugh (an unabashed racist) and Joe "the plumber" is really quite telling. That the notion of someone being educated and going to some of the best schools in the US and indeed the world makes them an elite is also quite revealing. That the usurpers of the party of Lincoln see nothing wrong in America spearheading torture at Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo Bay while forceful defending the same tactics used by the Nazi and imperialistic Japanese soldiers shows just how much the GOP, as presently constituted, is not the party to lead this nation.

Indeed again, I must ask. Whither the GOP? The party of Abraham Lincoln, one of the greatest leaders in the history of mankind, has been taken over by those who resent a culture that encourages a divergence of opinion and backgrounds within their ranks and through their rhetoric and seditious irredentism, these agents of intolerance and hatred have created an atmosphere where discord is the order of the day, and destructive violence, in the name of religion and "morality", has again been visited on the American consciousness.

This is not the party that gave us decent men like Bush 41, Ronald Reagan James Baker III and Brent Scowcroft I must say. Obviously Dick Cheney was always "a wolf in sheep's clothing" as his conduct has betrayed the dignity, integrity and decency of most of the men he served with under Reagan and Bush 41.

In a write-up by former New Jersey Governor, Christine Todd Whitman, she alluded to the convincing dynamic of the Obama candidacy and asserts his victory was a "personal" one steeped in the persona and vision of the candidate himself, much like Reagan and that it was not a victory based necessarily on ideology. She states, rather cogently, that the GOP's inability to figure out a way to hold together a coalition of economic conservatives, foreign policy conservatives as well as social moderates and conservatives while resisting the specter of a circular firing squad, has been to the party's detriment and will be so for a long time to come.

I am not one of those that wants the GOP to die away, on the contrary, like the true democrat that I and most Americans are, I very much want a vibrant two-party system like we've always had as I believe it is healthy for our democracy. The GOP as it currently stands, however makes that increasingly less likely.

Wednesday

We want Akpabio to stop the ‘Yorubanization’ of the financial system - Northern Senators


CC™ Global News

By Justina Otio 

Fresh reports have indicated that the controversy trailing Senate President, Godswill Akpabio is the suspicion of his incapacity to checkmate what some northern senators are calling the ‘Yorubanization’ of the country’s financial system and economy.

There have been various conspiracy theories claiming that some senators are plotting Akpabio’s downfall.

However, the Senate refuted the report, maintaining that the lawmakers are united behind Akpabio’s leadership.

Despite the denial, fresh details emerging from Daily Sun have claimed that some senators are angry with the senate leader because of his inability to checkmate the domination of the Yoruba in the financial ecosystem and also deal with some powerful interest groups, particularly some petrol importers and the electricity distribution companies on some proposed financial deals bordering on 40 percent electricity tariff hike and payment of outstanding money to fuel importers.

Among the senators who are alleged to have regrouped with a mission of standing up to Senator Akpabio are some former governors drawn from the North and at least one from the South-South.

The group has now formally come out by presenting Senator Elisha Abbo, APC, Adamawa North, as the face of the group.

Over the weekend, Abbo, in newspaper interviews, accused Akpabio of marginalising his rivals in the leadership contest and their supporters in the distribution of the committee positions.

Sources within the group told the aforementioned publication that “The main issue is our fear that Akpabio cannot check this Yorubanization of the financial system that is going on now.”

The source, who spoke on the basis of confidentiality, alluded to the appointments at the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Federal Inland Revenue Service, Customs, among others that have recently been infused with Yoruba leadership.

“Yes, the reason why you can see that Northerners are mostly involved is that most of those being removed and replaced with Yoruba are northerners,” the source further revealed.

It was further gathered that the aim of the senators is to enthrone a senate president the group believes can checkmate President Bola Tinubu.


NAIJA NEWS

Tuesday

Aremu Obasanjo unapologetic over treatment of Yoruba Monarchs


CC™ NaijaBeat

By Rachel Fadoju

Former President, Olusegun Obasanjo, has said he is unapologetic over his recent statement and actions towards traditional rulers in Oyo State last week.

Naija News reported that Obasanjo, in a viral video, had condemned the monarchs for failing to stand and greet the state governor, Seyi Makinde.

The former president described their behaviour as a sign of disrespect for the Governor and his office.

This prompted Obasanjo to order the traditional leaders to stand up and greet Governor Makinde.

Obasanjo’s actions and statements generated outrage among some Yoruba leaders and political elites, including the Oluwo of Iwo, urging him to apologise to the traditional rulers.

However, speaking in a statement through his media aide, Kehinde Akinyemi, Obasanjo said he stands firmly and uncompromising to the statement as the Constitution gave the Governors power over the royal fathers.

He said, “Obasanjo affirmed that he stood firmly, unapologetically and uncompromisingly on the position that the Governor of a State holds the highest office in the State.

“By that position, the respect, protocol and dignity that must be given to the office by virtue of the Constitution must not be denied. To do otherwise is to deride the office and the Constitution.”

Reacting to the apology issued on Sunday by his self-acclaimed wife, Taiwo Martins, Obasanjo said she is not his wife or a member of the Obasanjo family.

He described her as an imposter, adding that nobody makes statements on behalf of the Obasanjo family except those delegated.

He said, “For the records, Ms. Martins has two children, Jonwo and Bunmi, for Chief Obasanjo, but to say emphatically that she is neither his wife nor a member of the Obasanjo family.

“Her posturing as Chief Obasanjo’s wife is false and that of an impostor. Nobody makes statement on behalf of the Obasanjo family except Chief Obasanjo or people delegated by him to do so.

“It must be noted that the state of health of Ms. Martins is known to all and sundry and whatever she says or does has nothing to do with Chief Obasanjo as an individual or the Obasanjo family as a whole.”


NAIJA NEWS

Sunday

Lost MiG-31K’s Kh-47M2 pseudo-hypersonic found a month later by a tractor driver sticking in the ground


CC™ MilitarySpective

By Mak Panasovskyi

On August 11, 2023, Russia launched one of many missile strikes against Ukraine. However, not all launches were successful. A MiG-31K fighter jet lost a Kh-47M2 pseudohypersonic missile.

Here's What We Know

On that day, the Kh-47M2 missiles were sent to an airfield in the Ivano-Frankivsk region. The Russian military reported to the leadership about the successful launch, however, one aeroballistic missile was lost on Russian territory.

What is most interesting is that no one went looking for the expensive weapon. It lay in the Tula region for a month. 12 September 2023 sticking in the ground missile Kh-47M2 found a local tractor driver near the village of Biryulyovka.

Law enforcement officers and representatives of the design bureau "Mashinostroyenie" went to the site. According to the results of the analysis it was decided to detonate the missile in view of the impossibility to deliver it to the plant and restore it.

Source: @vchkogpu

Saturday

The Russian Navy will receive a nuclear-powered submarine armed with SS-NX-30 ballistic missiles with a thermonuclear warhead and a range of 9,300 kilometres

CC™ MilitarySpective

By Mak Panasovskyi

The Russians have announced plans to take into service a fourth-generation nuclear submarine "Emperor Alexander III". This was announced by the Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu. 

Here's What We Know

According to the head of the Russian defence ministry, the Russian Navy will be replenished with a dozen surface and submarine ships. One of them will be the nuclear-powered submarine "Emperor Alexander III".

The submarine is being built under the modernised Borei-A project. It was launched in the last days of 2022. The submarine "Emperor Alexander III" will join the Pacific Fleet. Very often the words of Russian officials have nothing to do with reality. So only time will tell when the new ship will be inducted into the fleet in 2023.

"Emperor Alexander III" will be part of the nuclear triad. It will be armed with 16 R-30 Bulava ballistic missiles (SS-NX-30 according to NATO classification). The missile has a maximum launch range of 9,300 kilometres and can deliver 6-10 thermonuclear warheads.


SOURCE: RIA NOVOSTI

Friday

U.S. Court takes decision in Atiku’s case after Chicago State University confirmed female Bola Tinubu transcript


CC™ Politico

By Chukwuani Victoria

The judge of United States District Court for the Northern District, Jeffrey Gilbert presiding over a subpoena application for Nigerian’s president, Bola Tinubu’s records has reserved judgement after learning that the politician’s college transcript, which he used to gain admission into Chicago State University (CSU) in 1977, indicated it belonged to a female.

The judge, according to the People Gazette had earlier scheduled September 12, to rule on the matter, but said he needed additional time to digest his decision after learning that there was a transcript bearing Bola A. Tinubu released by CSU under a separate court subpoena that carried the owner’s gender as female.

Trying to demonstrate the frivolity of the case, Tinubu’s lawyer, Christopher Carmichael, raised the female issue, dismissing it as a fishing expedition based entirely on a conspiracy theory being peddled in Nigeria by Tinubu’s political detractors.

‘It is like Donald Trump coming up in 2010 to claim that Barack Obama was not born in the United States,” Carmichael said.

But lawyer to plaintiff Atiku Abubakar, Alexandre de Gramont quickly informed the court that the possibility of Bola Tinubu, who attended CSU in the same 1970s, being a woman was first revealed in records produced by the school itself.

The school had, in mid-2022, submitted Tinubu’s records in its possession while complying with a state court subpoena.

The records, handed over to Nigerian civil rights lawyer Mike Enahoro-Ebah, showed that Bola A. Tinubu was admitted into CSU in 1977 based on a transcript from Southwest College Chicago that was marked as belonging to a female.

Judge Gilbert became confused after CSU lawyer Michael Hayes confirmed that the school had indeed turned in records to Enahoro-Ebah in 2022, but insisted that the Nigerian president, Tinubu was the one who attended and graduated from the school.

Hayes, however, said he could not explain the contradictions, and the school’s administrators would not be able to state under oath that the certificate Tinubu has been parading was genuine or otherwise.

“Is the diploma authentic or is it a forgery? My client can’t answer yes to either of those questions,” Hayes said of Tinubu’s certificate that he submitted to be Nigeria’s president.

Consequently, a confused Judge Gilbert said he would need additional time to process the confusion, especially given Hayes’ confirmation of the records released last year by CSU.

“I will have to take this matter under advisement,” the judge said, adding that his court would communicate a new judgement or hearing date with counsel to all parties.

The judge said additional documents or clarification about already submitted documents may be required from the parties.

NAIJA NEWS

Thursday

Opinion Flashback: Muhammadu Buhari - From tyranny to democracy and back again to tyranny

Nigerian soldiers were buried in secret graves
CC™ Viewpoint - By Editor-in-Chief 

It is becoming increasingly difficult to defend President Muhammadu Buhari.

As news of a general descent into lawlessness permeates the Nigerian and indeed global airwaves, the neutral among those that supported Muhammadu Buhari's aspirations for the highest office in Africa, as well as one of the most influential in the world in 2015, have been left rather disappointed and almost embarrassed at the turn of events in the country.

The recent proscription of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) the Shiite Muslim sect in Northern Nigeria by a Fulani president of the Sunni faith, is further proof that PMB's propensity for tyranny was indeed a valid fear harbored by millions of Nigerians before the 2015 elections. This move could not have come at a worse time and adds to the litany of missteps by a man reputed by his military peers for being impatient and reactionary, two traits not conducive to ensuring good judgement as a leader.

When the same Buhari came into power in 2015, this time through the ballot as opposed to the bullet (as he had done in 1983 in overthrowing the late Shehu Shagari), most Nigerians were hopeful that he had learned his lessons and was a more mature, open-minded and cerebral leader. Unfortunately, the decisions that have been made by this administration, from the Fulani herdsmen terror of the Nigerian people that still rages on, to the recent proscription of a religious sect that was demanding the release of their leader (as has been already ordered by the highest court in the land), have left a lot to be desired and the environment is becoming even more fertile for a potential conflict of civil war proportions, if things continue the way they are going.

President Muhammadu Buhari rode the wave of a popular democratic uprising at the polls like has never been seen before in the history of Nigeria and indeed Africa. For the first time ever, an incumbent democratically elected president was defeated at the polls, and Buhari assumed office without a single shot being fired! 

The previous administration under the abjectly clueless Goodluck Jonathan, was an absolute train-wreck and had in fact ceded some Nigerian real estate to the Boko Haram terror group. PMB promised to deliver on security as he was a retired General who had also fought in the Nigerian civil war.

To date, the president has not delivered on that singular promise and if recent reports by the Wall Street Journal are anything to go by, the war is anything but won as PMB recently declared. Things are actually getting worse in the brutal war being waged by Boko Haram and its affiliates, with Nigerian soldiers reportedly being buried in unmarked secret graves. Thus, family members and indeed Nigerians (and possibly the president himself) are being lied to by the military with regard to the true state of things on the war front.

Whether it's the continued detention of the only Christian among the kidnapped Chibok female students - Leah Sharibu (with reports now saying she may have been killed by her captors), while her Muslim peers were all released, the heavy-handed response to IPOB, the selective prosecution of supposed corrupt individuals (while Buhari himself remains surrounded by corrupt benefactors), the equally heavy-handed response to the Shiites in Nigeria (which risks another Boko Haram-like insurgency) while turning a blind eye to the murderous escapades of the Fulani herdsmen, the president has shown a propensity for jaundiced ethno-religious and parochial malfeasance. 

At the last elections in 2019, given the President's vulnerability as a result of his political missteps, if the PDP or any of the opposition parties had fielded a credible candidate, Buhari would have had to resort to massive rigging to stay in office. Some may say he did but Atiku, his main rival lacked the moral fabric or political cache to move the needle across the Nigerian landscape. 

In closing, President Buhari must do better as history will judge him as a man that was given so much but gave back so little, if anything. There needs to be an inquiry by the legislative arm of the government into the report by the Wall Street Journal of Nigerian soldiers being buried in secret graves. There is a good chance that most, if not all of the soldiers being given such a horrendous treatment, are probably from the South or the Middle-Belt (my reliable sources tell me). Nigeria will not survive at this rate and no amount of intimidation by the security forces can stop the impending revolution that will surely follow, if the status quo remains. 

Nigeria as presently constituted, is unsustainable and it is incumbent upon those that truly have the best interest of the nation at heart to stand up and be counted. There is currently a Jihad being waged by the Fulani hegemony in Nigeria (please do not be fooled by the appeals of the Sultan of Sokoto - as he is the third arm of Nigeria's own Third Reich), but it has already failed as these are different times and the people are prepared. If the genocide currently being perpetrated against Christians, Middle-Belters and Southerners continues, not only will Nigeria collapse, but President Buhari and Nasir El-Rufai may end up having a case to answer at the Hague. 

Nigeria must not only survive, but also flourish (as it should) for the good of Africa. 

Wednesday

China's Fujian aircraft carrier, which will house fifth-generation J-35 fighters, will pose a major threat to Taiwan


CC™ Military News

By Maksim Panasovskyi

A few days ago, a photo of China's Fujian aircraft carrier appeared on Chinese social media. Taiwan's Ministry of Defence is wary of the promising ship of China's People's Liberation Army.

Here's What We Know

Taiwan's defence ministry believes the Fujian will pose a major threat to the country in the event of a military conflict. China is expected to begin testing the aircraft carrier's electromagnetic catapults soon.

The Fujian will be one of the largest aircraft carriers in the world. It will be only a few metres shorter than the USS Gerald R. Ford. The future ship will be China's first aircraft carrier with electromagnetic catapults. The People's Liberation Army now operates the Shandong and Liaoning with outdated springboards.

The deck of the Fujian aircraft carrier will carry J-35 and J-15T fighter jets. The former will be the Chinese analogue of the US F-35C Lightning II aircraft. The J-15T, on the other hand, is a deck modernisation of the fourth-generation J-15 fighter. It is expected to be the one that will participate in the electromagnetic catapult test.

The Fujian will have a displacement of 80,000 tonnes, an increase of 20,000 tonnes compared to the Shandong and Liaoning. China's third aircraft carrier will join the fleet in two years.


SOURCE: SCMP

Tuesday

FRANCE AND ITS PERMANENT COLONIES: It ruined Haiti, the first black country to become independent in 1804 • It is on course to ruin all its former African colonies

CC™ FeatureSpective

By Toyin Falola

It is no coincidence that the recent spate of coups in Africa has manifested in former French African colonies (so-called Francophone Africa), once again redirecting the global spotlight on France’s activities in the region.

And that the commentaries, especially among Africans, have been most critical of France and its continued interference in the region.

This is coming against the backdrop of France’s continuous meddling in the economic and political affairs of “independent” Francophone countries, an involvement that has seen it embroiled, both directly and indirectly, in a series of unrests, corruption controversies, and assassinations that have bedevilled the region since independence.

Unlike Britain and other European countries with colonial possessions in Africa, France never left—at least not in the sense of the traditional distance observed since independence by the other erstwhile colonial overlords.

Instead, it has, under the cover of a policy of coopération within the framework of an extended “French Community,” continued to maintain a perceptible cultural, economic, political, and military presence in Africa.

On the surface, the promise of cooperation between France and its former colonies in Africa—which presupposes a relationship of mutual benefit between politically independent nations—where the former would, through the provision of technical and military assistance, lead the development and advancement of its erstwhile colonial “family—is both commendable and perhaps even worthy of emulation.

However, when this carefully scripted façade is juxtaposed with the reality that has unfolded over the decades, what is revealed is an extensive conspiracy involving individuals at the highest levels of the French government.

Along with other influential business interests—also domiciled in France—they have worked with a select African elite to orchestrate the most extensive and heinous crimes against the people of today’s Francophone Africa.

A people who, even today, continue to strain under the weight of France’s insatiable greed.

The greed and covetousness that drove the European nations to abandon trade for colonialization in Africa are as alive today as they were in the 1950s and 1980s.

The decision to give in to African demands for independence was not the outcome of any benevolence or civilised reason on the part of Europe, but for economic and political expedience.

Thus, when the then President of France, Charles de Gaulle—who nurtured an ambition to see France maintain its status as a world power—agreed to independence for its African colonies, it was only a pre-emptive measure to check the further loss of French influence on the continent.

In other words, the political liberation offered “on a platter of gold” was a means to avoid the development of other costly wars of independence, which, after World War II depleted France, was already fighting in Indochina and Algeria.

Independence was, thus, only the first step in ensuring the survival of French interests in Africa and, more importantly, their prioritisation.

Pursuant to this objective, De Gaulle also proposed a “French Community”—delivered on the same “golden platter”—as a caveat to continued French patronage.

As such, the over ninety-eight percent of its colonies that agreed to be part of this community were roped into signing cooperation accords—covering economic, political, military, and cultural sectors—by Jacques Foccart, a former intelligence member of the French Resistance in the Second World War, handpicked by De Gaulle.

This signing of cooperation accords between France and the colonies, which opted to be part of its post-independence French Community, marked the beginning of France’s neo-colonial regime in Africa, where Africans got teachers and despotic leaders in exchange for their natural resources and French military installations.

Commonly referred to as Françafrique—a pejorative derivation from Felix Houphouet Boigny’s “France-Afrique,” describing the close ties between France and Africa—France’s neo-colonial footprint in Africa has been characterised by allegations of corruption and other covert activities perpetrated through various Franco-African economic, political, and military networks.

An essential feature of France is the crookish mafia-like relations between French leaders and their African counterparts, which were reinforced by a dense web of personal networks.

On the French side, African ties, which had been the French presidents’ domaine réservé (sole responsibility) since 1958, were run by an “African cell” founded and managed by Jacques Foccart.

Comprising French presidents, powerful and influential members of the French business community, and the French secret service, this cell operated outside the purview of the French parliament, its civil society organisations, and non-governmental organisations.

This created a window for corruption as politicians and state officials took part in business arrangements, which amounted to state racketeering.

Whereas pro-French sentiments in Africa and elsewhere still argue for France’s continuous presence and contributions, particularly in the area of military intervention and economic aid, which they say have been critical to security, political stability, and economic survival in the region, such arguments intentionally play down the historical consequences of French interests in the region.

Enjoying a free reign in the region—backed mainly by the United States and Britain since the Cold War—France used the opportunity to strengthen its hold on its former colonies.

This translated into the development of a franc zone—a restrictive monetary policy tying the economies of Francophone countries to France—as well as the adoption of an active interventionist approach, which has produced over 120 military interventions across fourteen dependent states between 1960 and the 1990s.

These interventions, which were either to rescue stranded French citizens, put down rebellions, prevent coups, restore order, or uphold French-favoured regimes, have rarely been about improving the fortunes of the general population of Francophone Africa.

French interventions have maintained undemocratic regimes in Cameroun, Senegal, Chad, Gabon, and Niger.

At the same time, its joint military action in Libya was responsible for unleashing Islamic terrorism that threatened to engulf countries like Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger, and Nigeria.

In pursuit of its interests in Africa, France has made little secret of its contempt for all independent and populist reasons while upholding puppet regimes. In Guinea in 1958, De Gaulle embarked on a ruthless agenda to undermine the government of Ahmed Sékou Touré—destroying infrastructure and flooding the economy with fake currency—for voting to stay out of the French Community.

This behaviour was again replicated in Togo, where that country’s first president, Sylvio Olympio, was overthrown and gruesomely murdered for daring to establish a central bank for the country outside the Franc CFA Zone.

Subsequently, his killer, Gnassingbé Eyadema, assumed office and ruled from 1967 until his death in 2005, after which he was succeeded by his son, who still rules. In Gabon, you had the Bongo family, who ran a regime of corruption and oppression with the open support of France throughout 56 years of unproductive rule.

As for Cameroun’s most promising pan-Africanist pro-independence leader, Felix Moumie, he died under mysterious circumstances in Switzerland, paving the way for the likes of Paul Biya, who has been president since 1982.

France also backs a Senegalese government, which today holds over 1500 political prisoners and singlehandedly installed Alhassan Ouattara as president of Cote d’Ivoire.

Therefore, the widespread anti-France sentiment spreading through the populations of Francophone Africa and beyond is not unfounded, as it has become apparent to all and sundry that these countries have not fared well under the shadow of France.

In Niger, where France carried out one of the bloodiest campaigns of colonial pacification in Africa—murdering and pillaging entire villages—and which is France’s most important source of uranium, the income per capita was 59 percent lower in 2022 than it was in 1965.

In Cote d’Ivoire, the largest producer of cocoa in the world, the income per capita was 25 percent lower in 2022 than in 1975.

Outside the rampant unemployment, systematic disenfranchisement, and infrastructural deficits that characterise these Francophone countries, there’s also the frustration and anger of sitting back and watching helplessly.

In contrast, the wealth of your country is being carted away to nations whose people feed fat on your birthright and then turn around to make judgements and other disparaging comments on your humanity and condition of existence.

The people are tired of being poor, helpless, and judged as third-world citizens! France is a dangerous country.

It is indeed overdue for France to cut its losses—whatever it envisages they are—and step back from its permanent colonies to allow the people of Francophone Africa to decide on their preferred path to the future.

After nearly 200 years of occupation, the people have had good reasons to say France should leave.

The restlessness and coups that have become commonplace in the region are symptoms of deeper underlying social, economic, and political problems, including weak institutions, systematic disenfranchisement, poverty, corruption, and/or misappropriation of national wealth.

And as we call on France to do the honourable thing and withdraw, we should also rebuke Africa’s leaders, who have not only put their interests above those of their people but have also turned the instruments of regional intervention and development (like the AU and ECOWAS) into tools for ensuring their political survival.


SOURCE: NIGERIAN TRIBUNE

Monday

How Alabama is defying the supreme court to discriminate against Black voters

CC™ Politico

By Sam Levine & Andrew Witherspoon

“In June, the US supreme court upheld a decision ordering Alabama to redraw its congressional map – but state Republicans ignored the mandate”

Just a few months ago, the US supreme court issued one of its most surprising rulings in recent memory.

In a 5-4 decision in Allen v Milligan, the court said Alabama’s congressional mapviolated the 1965 Voting Rights Act because it diluted the influence of Black voters, who make up about a quarter of the state’s population, but comprise a majority in just one of Alabama’s congressional districts. The justices upheld a lower court’s decision ordering Alabama to redraw its map “to include two districts in which Black voters either comprise a voting-age majority or something quite close to it”.

It was widely seen as a major win for the Voting Rights Act, a statute that the US supreme court has significantly hollowed out over the last decade. It was a victory that was supposed to give the Black belt, a historically Black region in the state that is among the poorest in the US, better representation in Washington.

The statute, a landmark of the civil rights movement, has been critical in increasing Black representation at all levels of government across the US.

But when Alabama’s Republican-controlled legislature convened just a few weeks later, they ignored the mandate. Their new map still included just one majority Black district. It increased the percentage of Black voters in a second district to be around 41% Black, but continued to crack the Black belt, a historically Black region that stretches across the middle of Alabama, into multiple districts. Now, it is asking a federal court to approve that map and, if they don’t, the case will probably return to the supreme court.


SOURCE: GUARDIAN

Saturday

North Korea unveils Hero Kim Gun-ok nuclear submarine with a vertical launch system for 10 nuclear-tipped missiles


CC™ Global News

By Maksim Panasovskyi 

North Korea launched the Hero Kim Gun-ok nuclear submarine. Kim Jong Un attended the ceremony.

What We Know

The new North Korean submarine is not an original design. In fact, behind Hero Kim Gun-ok is a Soviet Romeo-class submarine. But it has undergone radical modernisation and changed beyond recognition. Her ship number is 841.

Hero Kim Gun-ok is equipped with a vertical launch system. It contains two rows of five cells. It is believed that the missiles will carry nuclear warheads. The conversion of the Soviet submarine into what was unveiled as the Hero Kim Gun-ok took about 10 years.

Details on armament are not yet available. Military experts speculate that the Hero Kim Gun-ok will be able to launch both ballistic and cruise missiles. At the same time, Kim Jong-un has explicitly hinted at nuclear capabilities, saying that the DPRK navy is entering a new era and improving nuclear strike capabilities against capitalist countries.

The DPRK has ballistic missiles of the Pukguksong family in service, which are designed to be launched specifically from submarines. They have a length of 9.7-10.6 metres and a diameter of 1.5-1.8 metres. The DPRK also possesses Hwasal-2 cruise missiles, which resemble the American Tomahawk.

Judging by the photos, the vertical launch system has cells of different dimeters (four large and six smaller). This implies a mixed load. For example, the Hero Kim Gun-ok can be armed with four Pukguksong ballistic missiles and six smaller missiles.


Source: Naval News

Friday

China sneezes and Apple catches a cold as tech giant loses $200 billion in one day…..

CC™ Business 

Apple has lost around $200 billion in market capitalization over several days as tensions between the U.S. and China rise, with several media outlets reporting this week that the iPhone maker is being singled out by Beijing.

Apple shares fell 3% Thursday and are down more than 5% for the week on reports of an iPhone ban for Chinese state employees that is being dictated by Beijing. 

The ban was first reported by the Wall Street Journal, which cited unnamed sources saying China is ordering officials at central government agencies not to use iPhones or other foreign branded phones. The Financial Times cited six unnamed sources at government institutions and state-owned companies, including a nuclear technology company and a hospital, saying they’ve been told to stop using Apple phones. The ban widens earlier restrictions on using iPhones for work, the outlets said.

“Beijing is looking to reduce its dependence on U.S. technology, but this (ban) acts as a significant headwind to Apple as China is its largest international market and accounts for about 20% of its revenues,” said Victoria Scholar, head of investment at interactive investor, a U.K. investment platform.

Apple didn’t respond to a request for comment. 

When asked about the ban at a daily briefing in Beijing, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mao Ning didn’t comment directly, saying only that “products and services from any country are welcome to enter the Chinese market as long as they comply with Chinese laws and regulations.”

Tensions between the U.S. and China have been rising and early last month, President Joe Biden signed an executive order to impose blocks and regulations on U.S. high-tech investment in China, reflecting the intensifying competition between the world’s two largest economies.

White House officials said Biden, who departed Thursday evening for New Delhi, will use the annual G20 summit as an opportunity for the U.S. to highlight a proposition for developing and middle-income countries that would increase the lending power of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund by some $200 billion.

Biden seeks to drive home that the United States and its like-minded allies are better economic and security partners than China. 

The reported ban on the iPhone comes at a bad time for Apple, which is gearing up for its latest product launch next Tuesday Sept. 12, when it’s expected to unveil its latest smartphone, the iPhone 15. 

A teaser of the livestream for the event, dubbed “Wonderlust,” has been posted on YouTube, revealing no details. Reports are swirling that big changes are in store for the iPhone, including a switch from Apple’s Lightning connector to the USB-C plug that rivals are starting to adopt, partly in response to a European Union mandate. 

Apple also faces a threat from Chinese tech giant Huawei, which recently launched its latest flagship smartphone, the Mate 60 Pro. 

The phone reportedly has enough power and speed to rival the iPhone and has been selling briskly in China. Huawei has been low key about the device, but its capabilities have raised concerns that China has been able to circumvent U.S. curbs on Huawei that stop it from acquiring high tech components like advanced processor chips that had effectively crippled its smartphone business.

AP NEWS