The Warlord Travels

Tony Abdo aabdo at
Sun Aug 27 16:37:31 MDT 2000

American warlord, William Jefferson Clinton, has begun a busy week of
travel.        Escorted by Rainbow Coalition leaders, Jessie Jackson,
and Chelsea, and greeted by festive tribal dancers of Nigeria, he has
been talking it up for democracy.     At long last, according to the
humanitarian warlord, Nigeria is now on the road to full democracy.
Stay the course, please..... Bill intones.

Nigeria, Tanzania, Egypt, and Colombia will all benefit this week from
the saintly expressions of kindness and goodwill being spread generously
in all directions.    Mandela will join Clinton in Tanzania.
Together, they will solve the problems of Burundi, and redistribute
power in The Congo.    Then it's on to Egypt to deliver 'peace' to The
Middle East.

So far, to the people of Nigeria asking for debt relief of their 35
billion dollar burden, Clinton has promised to send them the Peace Corp
instead!      In exchange for their government's willingness to have
their troops carry the US flag elsewhere on the African continent,
military aid will also be forthcoming.       Thanks, Bill.

Nigeria's main export to the US is oil and African 'peace keepers' for
use in even less fortunate areas of Africa.    In exchange, Nigeria will
not be partitioned into pieces as supported elsewhere by warlord
Clinton.       It'll get some millions to maintain its crumbling oil
well and pipeline infrastructure, instead.

Then, on to South America... to sunny Cartagena, Colombia.       There,
warlord Clinton won't have time to gamble at the famous Caribbean
casinos , but instead will gamble the future of the northern part of a
continent.       When he's not preaching the dangers of drug addiction
he'll find time to chat with fellow democrats, who share his pension for

His concern for Black Africa, Arabs & Jews, and funky South America will
play good to those back home, who just see 'Dub' Bush as not being
compassionate enough.   And it's true.     The Bush family hasn't been
anywhere near as compassionate like Al and Bill have been.

Tony Abdo
August 25, 2000
Moses Uchendu

Members of the Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of
Biafra (MASSOB) will tomorrow embark on a three-day hunger strike at the
American Embassy in Lagos, to protest alleged marginalisation of Igbos.

According to a statement made available to P.M.News and signed by Arc.
Kenneth Anyanwu, Personal Assistant to the MASSOB leader, Chief Ralph
Uwazuruike, the 3-day hunger strike is to press for the release of more
than two thousand MASSOB members being held by the government across the

The hunger protest is also meant to bring to the attention of the
visiting United States President, Bill Clinton, the ill-treatment
allegedly being meted to Igbos.
August 26, 2000
Philip Nwosu

One major economic dividend of President William Jefferson Clinton's
visit to Nigeria today would be recorded in the area of endorsing an
agreement to boost the focal point of the nation's economy, oil.

In the planned deal, Washington would be required to increase the volume
of its oil import from Nigeria by a record quarter of its total
consumption by year 2000.

The oil deal was explained as one of the ways the Clinton administration
is seeking to end much of the obstacles that hostile nations impose when
oil prices rise, either because of a cut in oil supply or constant
crises that always rock the Middle East.
But the oil pact would enable Nigeria rake in more money necessary for
the repair and maintenance of its refineries which have been out of work
and created hardship on the local scene.

Indeed, for nearly ten years now, Nigerians have been having hard times
over local fuel consumption which government often lay blame on the
inability of the four refineries to work at full capacity.

It is expected that with the heavy American presence in the Nigerian oil
sector, the frequent hike in the price of local fuel by the government
would be curtailed.

Even though oil is the mainstay of the Nigerian economy, the US
government would not be discussing petroleum related issues alone.
Efforts must be channelled into other business ventures which would
reduce the country's over dependence on oil.

For instance, Nigerians would want to see after the American president
has come and gone, an improved economy, which could come as a result of
debt forgiveness for the country.

Presently, Nigeria owes over $35 billion to most advanced nations of the
world, including the United States. But the US government continues to
insist that it would make no sense forgiving Nigeria due to the
insignificant size of its own part of the debt.

The United States claims Nigeria's debt to it is not more than two
percent of the entire $35 billion, Nigerians think that even at that,
the country has the capacity to influence creditors on the issue.

But the US secretary of treasury, Lawrence summer, told congress some
months ago that there isn't much the US government can do to influence
these other members of the Paris club which Nigeria owes 72 percent or
$20.4 billion of the country's total debt.

President Olusegun Obasanjo told US officials recently during his visit
to that country, of the willingness of Nigeria to settle its debt, but
this urge died down when it was discovered that a lot of funds owned by
the country are cooling off in Foreign banks courtesy of past corrupt

Based on this, he called on the American government to assist Nigeria in
repatriating such funds stolen by the country's past leaders and stashed
in banks in the United States.

Obasanjo believes like the rest of Nigerians, that America can do this.
Indeed, the new thing in world economic is that the International
Monetary Fund (IMF) ratified Nigeria's stand-by agreement as a result of
Clinton's visit, since this would afford Washington the opportunity to
fulfil its promise of including Nigeria in the heavily indebted poor
countries (HIPC).

It is expected that if Nigeria enters this new group, it would ease some
of the problems of this regime. Attention would be shifted to meeting
debt service obligations in the area of infrastructural and social

The problems of fuel and electricity generation in Nigeria have posed a
great headache for the ordinary Nigerian who cannot afford other sources
of power supply like generators.

The National Electric Power Authority (NEPA) suffered neglect in the
past years resulting into the grounding of its equipment and the
epileptic supply of electricity which Nigerians have come to live with.

Today, Nigerians, especially industrialists, regard NEPA, the sole
supplier of electricity in the country as being on stand-by. Most of
them have shifted to constant use of generators for their electricity
needs during production.
Presently, the Lagos State government, like some other states, has
stated moves to ensure that the problems of power cuts in the state
becomes a thing of the past.

The engagement of ENRON Power Company, a private outfit in the US by the
administration of Governor Bola Tinubu was applauded by many. It is
believed that the visit of Clinton will bring more investors in this

At the moment, the Federal Government has flunged open its doors,
beckoning on foreign consortia to assist in turning around the epileptic
energy establishment in Nigeria.

Specifically, the National Council on Privatisation (NCP) headed by Vice
President Atiku Abubakar with the assistance of the world bank is
inviting energy companies to bid for rights to rehabilitate operators
and transfer the country's electricity generation facilities.
Days before Mr. Clinton's arrival, most residents of Lagos have been
experiencing improved power supply, indicating that more goodies are
expected from the visit today of the most powerful leader in the world.

Nigerian industrialists could have a Field day wooing over 1000 American
businessmen on the entourage of President Clinton. This would not be
another jamboree but a solid effort towards the revival of Nigeria's
industrial sector.

The MAN president said recently, his group would be presenting to the
Americans requests for the lowering of the entry barrier for export of
Nigerian goods to America.

It is expected that Nigeria would be exporting to America, not just
crude petroleum products, but also goods manufactured from Nigeria.

Indeed, Nigeria is presently lagging behind in technology, especially
the telecommunication sector. Telephone is still regarded here as an
instrument of affluence rather than a necessity.

The Federal Government had been reluctant in taking on the Global System
Mobile Communication (GSM) which is expected to make telephone
facilities available to Nigerians.

It was discovered that Mobile Telecommunication Limited (M-Tel) had,
before the government aborted the GSM, spent N84 million on survey. This
is aside the N28 million licensing fee it paid to the Nigerian
Telecommunication Commission NCC) before it was cancelled.

While the GSM issue should be a lucrative area for Americans, the
average Nigerian looks forward to having basic food made available to
him, especially at present when the price of various food stuffs have
hit the roof.

Nigerians, would not want Americans to come and cultivate the soil for
them. But the basic ways by which bouyancy could be achieved in the
agricultural sector would be the priority of the American government.

Recently, the US Secretary of Agriculture, Dan Glickman, visited and
accessed ways this country could be useful to Nigeria in this direction.

Glickman and his entourage decried the production of flour in Nigeria
without the basic vitamins and nutrients essential for the growth and
proper development of Nigeria.

He visited the Nigerian Flour Mills, Apapa, which admittedly, he said is
the largest in Africa in terms of capacity, "regrettably, it took a
downward plunge."

"We intend to work towards the revival of this, the tools are there for
the market to be opened. We want private sector investment in this
direction, because the private sector and government working together
can make a great change," Glickman noted.

The American government official promised that N4 billion ($40 million)
would be expended by Washington in pursuing its food for education
initiative in Nigeria. The initiative, he stressed, would focus on not
just feeding alone, but feeding well.

The ordinary farmer in Nigeria agrees with Glickman on reforms. But one
of the main reasons the prices of food stuff went beyond the reach of
Nigerians is lack of transportation to reach the various corners of the

The cost of transporting commodities they insist, is extremely high,
urging assistance from government, especially in reviving the rail

The rail industry has remained one aspect that had given the government
sleepless nights in view of the effort invested in this sector. But it
has yielded negative resolute.

Presently, every Nigerian relies on either road or air as a means of
reaching their destinations at the required time, the rail transport
system had been totally forgotten over the years.

Not even the air transportation could be said to blossom as the nation's
carrier, the Nigeria Airways has also suffered serious neglect, and
mismanagement. Most of its planes are not airworthy and planes of other
countries are heavily relied on for its international operations.

Aviation experts expect Washington to make a concrete pronouncement on
the status of Nigeria's international airports as well on assistance for
the Nigerian military.

Expectedly, Clinton would be announcing a $20 million aid package for
the Nigeria Armed Forces currently involved in the United Nations peace
keeping efforts in Sierra Leone.

The funds, it was gathered, would assist the Nigerian military in
preparing its troops for future peacekeeping roles in Africa. Nigeria
soldiers impressed the United States during the existence of the now
defunct ECOWAS monitoring group (ECOMOG) both in Liberia and Sierra

This credential has assisted in making the Nigeria military a trusted
friend of the United States in the efforts to maintain international
peace and security.

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