Tuesday, April 28, 2009
Lyndon LaRouche and Nigeria! (part three in a series on Lyndon LaRouche and Africa)
In december 1997 Helga Zepp LaRouche visited Nigeria and participated at an economic conference there, and she met with several highranking Nigerians, including the President, or rather the military dictator, Sani Abacha. (The gentleman with sunglasses on the picture above. Helga is dressed in white and stands to the right.)
She was introduced to speak right after the dictator himself and she praised Nigerian development projects, and she was thanked afterwards by the dictator:
Helga said: "It is most advantageous that the political leadership of Nigeria wants to shape the future through a ``Vision for the Year 2010.'' There is nothing more important in a world, in which all of the old institutions are collapsing, than to think big; than to have a grand vision for how Africa can overcome the underdevelopment--for which it bears no fault--within a relatively short period of time. For, the moment of the great crisis of the old system is at once an enormous opportunity for a completely new beginning!" ( http://american_almanac.tripod.com/helganig.htm )
The 1997 visit to Nigeria was the highpoint of the cooperation between the LaRouchecult and the Nigerian dictator Sani Abacha.
General Sani Abacha (20 September 1943 - 8 June 1998) was the military dictator of Nigeria from 1993 to 1998. He had made a coup against another dictator in 1993, after which he decladed himself to be President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces.
Lets look at a decription of his rule:
"Early in his presidency, Abacha dissolved all civilian democratic institutions at national and state levels and replaced government and elected officials with military officers. A provisional ruling council of senior army officers, of which he was chairman, was formed. Unofficial political parties and any form of political opposition were suppressed including the pro-democracy movement the National Democratic Coalition. The new and as yet unimplemented constitution crafted in 1989 was abandoned. Abacha's regime enforced its rule through the arrest, imprisonment and execution of dissenters, press censorship and the development of a police state. Amongst the more notable individuals detained by the regime were Chief Abiola, the would-be head of state who died in prison in July 1998; former head of state Olusegun Obasanjo; and environmentalist and journalist Ken Saro-Wiwa who was executed in 1995 despite intense international demand for his release. Saro-Wiwa was killed with eight other Ogoni colleagues from Nigeria's oil rich region who objected to the government's oil policies. Abacha's control of the army was maintained by purging army officers. A former vice president and army officer, Shehu Musa Yar'Adua, was also to die, in prison, in 1997...
Abacha's regime was resistant to both internal and international insistence on human rights reforms, seemingly unaffected by the impact of international sanctions, diplomatic isolation, United Nation's condemnation and Nigeria's suspension from the Commonwealth...
Opinions of Abacha and his military regime vary across Africa and the international community. He is credited with leading the African military intervention in the civil war in Sierra Leone that resulted in the restoration of civilian rule in that country in March 1998. His supporters see him as a strong leader and centrifugal force that sustained ethnically diverse Nigeria as a cohesive state and regional power. His opponents maintain that he was a cruel despot that embezzled almost three billion dollars of public funds into private bank accounts in Europe and the Persian Gulf.
In 1999, the Nigerian Federal Government began efforts to recover the stolen funds. Mohammad Abacha, the late president's eldest son was arrested on related charges of fraud, money laundering and embezzlement and for the murder of Chief Abiola's wife, Alhaja Kudirat. Later, a deal was struck between the Nigerian government and the Abacha family in which all criminal proceedings against Mohammad were dropped in return for eighty percent of the family's liquid assets. It has been reported that the Abacha family has been allowed to retain $100 million of the looted money as part of a protracted settlement." ( http://www.dictatorofthemonth.com/Abacha/Jul2002AbachaEN.htm )
The most known case of political oppression at the time was the murder of Ken Saro-Wiwa in 1995. The LaRouchemovement had already in 1995 highlevel contacts in the Nigerian government so the internal briefings of the movement basicly denounced Ken Saro-Wiwa as a British agent!
Once again, the same pattern as in the case of Rwanda (and as we shall see in the case of Zimbabwe and Sudan)... All opponents of the fraction the LaRouchecult supports are declared to be agents. The fraction it supports is supported 100% and NOTHING IS SAID ABOUT THE CRIMES THEY COMMIT. It is as if the cult thinks that any critique will harm the cooperation with the dictators and geoncidialists they are in contact with.
As members of the cult we believed that economic development was the path to democracy, and that there was no need to talk about democracy and human rights with these dictators. Everything would be ok in the long run!
The main contact Lyndon LaRouche and Helga Zepp-LaRouche had in Nigeria at the time was the economist and former chairman of the National Economic Intelligence Committee (NEIC), Sam Aluko. He is still LaRouches number one friend in Nigeria.
Aluko has participated at several conferences of the LaRouchecult as one of the speakers. Here is the links to two of them: http://www.larouchepub.com/other/2001/2821_aluko.html , http://www.schillerinstitute.org/conf-iclc/2003/bd_schw/aluko.html .
Aluko was chairman of chairman of the Nigerian National Economic Intelligence Committee (NEIC)while General Sani Abacha was dictator of Nigeria. With other words, LaRouche had a DIRECT channel to the Nigerian government!
Sam Aluko is respected by many still. He is a wellknown intellectual figure in Nigeria that has been active for a LONG time, but many question his role during the Abacha regime.
There are also people that question his earlier actions, way back in the days of the Biafra war, and that implies that he was responsible for some kind of crimes back then ( Search for Aluko here: http://messageboard.biafranigeriaworld.com/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=print_topic;f=1;t=000413 ) but I know too little about the Nigerian history of the time to say anything about this.
Lets return to his role as the respectable establishment figure that supported and legitimized the murderous dictator Abacha. There is an interesting article from this winter, detailing some of this critique that can be found on the internet. "Prof. Sam Aluko: Saint or sinner?"
By Tunde Fagbenle.( http://www.nigeriavillagesquare.com/forum/main-square/28700-prof-sam-aluko-saint-sinner.html )
"It‘s a question that bothers my mind, with the revered economist‘s evident commitment to what I would call pragmatic intellectualism and his unquestionable integrity clashing furiously with his role in providing some degree of legitimacy to the despised tyrannical regime of late Gen Sani Abacha - throwing up issues of where ego and veiled self-interest starts and genuine nationalism ends.
It is a tough one.
Where should the line be drawn? To what extent should one allow one‘s sense of patriotism and nationalism to carry one in serving one‘s country regardless of the political environment? Can one‘s life, and one‘s role in it, be completely separated from politics?
In looking for answers to these questions, one cannot but take historical perspectives on brutal regimes the world over and the role played by notable and respectable personalities – professionals, academics, scientists, et al – in propping up the regimes, wittingly or unwittingly, through the inadvertent legitimacy their blind-eye turning, only-doing-my-job, position offered.
Let‘s take Hitler. The Nuremberg Trial of many eminent Germans for crime committed against humanity in the name of serving Germany‘s interest (or, more appropriately, The Fuehrer‘s interest) brought to light the complex issue of when moral or ethical imperatives should override ‘national call‘ rationale. Those tried included Hans Frank, who was the President of the Academy of German Law, and Walther Funk who was economic advisor to Hitler (a role akin to that of Aluko for Abacha), and many others; although it must be said that several of them, including Funk, were freed on the grounds that they did not play a ‘lead role‘ in the activities they participated in. But the fact that they were brought to trial was point enough.
Talking of Hitler in relation to Abacha may be stretching the argument too far, even to absurdity. But say that to the many families whose father, mother, or child were brutalised, maimed, or even murdered by agents of that evil regime, and the equation may not be that remote! It is not a question of numbers, not of how many innocent people were killed by a regime; one unjust murder is bad enough.
I think Abacha was in a class of his own - making any brutality associated with the regimes of Buhari and Babangida, before him, pale into insignificance. And that is the point. Aside from the very criminal sustenance (bearing in mind Babangida did the act) of the annulment of the freest and fairest presidential election the country ever held, Abacha‘s regime abducted, jailed and murdered scores of innocent civilians, even in broad daylight. The list is long: from the dastardly murder of people like Chief Alfred Rewane, Kudirat Abiola, Bagauda Kaltho and many others, to the Gestapo attack on Chief Abraham Adesanya, Chief Alex Ibru, amongst others! Nay, it set itself in virtual war of attrition against the Yoruba ethnic group as a whole for what he considers as their most vociferous and fierce challenge to the continued annulment in general and the insulting detention of the winner of the election, late Chief MKO Abiola, for seeking to claim his mandate, in particular!
Certainly, Prof Sam Aluko cannot claim ignorance of such monumental atrocities. He either chose not to believe them, projecting into his face as they were, or he chose to be indifferent to them, deciding that the need to help salvage the nation‘s economy was overriding of all issues, including the real threat of dismemberment the nation itself faced politically.
But we must pause to consider what persuaded the elder professor to accept to serve Abacha in the first place, and the benefits derived there-from.
A glimpse is provided in his media appearance. Abacha emissaries, including Gen Oladipo Diya, came to beg for his service, in an ”only-you-can-save-the-economy” fashion (now, who would not be drunk by that?) and he accepted on his own terms, which included being part-time. Aluko also let us know that Abacha respected, indeed accepted virtually all of his economic advice and recommendations! – something that Aluko believes made the country‘s economy formidable in Abacha years.
Why did he continue even when it became clear he was serving the devil? Abacha was no devil, says our professor, in fact he was near enough an angel – he did not loot the treasury, as widely reported (although lately amending that to: perhaps his agents helped themselves to lifting and selling some of the nation‘s crude petroleum on Abacha‘s behalf, something that, according to Aluko, is still happening till today). Moreover, and very importantly, Abacha, for Aluko‘s sake, created Ekiti State as a ”thank you” for having ”really worked for the government,” and, when the issue of Aluko‘s first son‘s name getting on the ”wanted” list for anti-Abacha and pro-democracy activism surfaced, the favoured chief economic adviser used his position in the government to get his son‘s name removed from the list!
One can then imagine how Bolaji, (the professor‘s oldest child, himself a professor of chemical engineering in the United States) would have felt. I was in the States for some of that ugly period, and Bolaji – a leading crusader against Abacha‘s regime, and a young man with prodigious zest and intellect – suffered severe emotional torment on account of his father‘s chosen counter-position, even while distancing himself from it.
Would Awolowo have wondered if the old professor was going senile, as his friend, Gen Olusegun Obasanjo, lately crudely and uncharitably put it? No one going through the interview published in The Sun newspapers in December would share Obasanjo‘s opinion, though. The professor‘s intellect remains as acute, and his contentions as robust as ever.
But how would history view Professor Sam Aluko‘s support for the Abacha regime at a time the regime was committing the vilest atrocities against his own ethnic group? Was Aluko‘s role purely altruistic? Is our dear uncle a saint or is his defence of Abacha insincere? God dey."
Was Aluko a collaborator or a duped fool? That is the question. What do you think? But why does he not speak up against the Abacha regime today? Good question!
DICTATORS; MADMEN AND GENOCIDIALISTS
To sum up! As I have said before, the fate of Africa lies close to my heart. That is why I always were so impressed by all this "political work" to "save" Africa that the LaRouchecult did.
I legitimized much of my work as a member of the cult by the fact that it, as the "only" political force, cared for Africa.
I participated in the campaigns against the Ugandan dictator Museveni and even congronted him at a UN conference in Copenhagen about the genocide in Rwanda. I participated in the diplomatic work. I wrote articles and gave speeches on the industrialization of Africa. I wrote articles for the EIR in 1994 and 1995 against the UN Population conference in Cairo, detailing the connections between the eugenic movement and the population control "experts". I participated in the insane attempts to support the dictators in Sudan and Zimbabwe. Etc, etc..
All this, since I believed that the organization really cared for Africa. The industrialization of Africa and the end of poverty and starvation there, is something that I still care very much about. The ideas to make the deserts green, that the cult has, is something I still support. I have met ingeneers that comfirm that with some water Africa could really be the breadbasket of the world, and it could be done in environmentaly safe ways.
But the belief the cult has, that dictators with blood on their hands, with the help of Lyndon LaRouche, should transform Africa, is a belief I strongly oppose today.
My transformation came when I asked one simple question...: WHO WAS GOING TO BUILD THE TRANSAQUA, THE RAILROADS ACROSS AFRICA? WHO WAS GOING TO INDUSTRIALIZE AFRICA? IN SHORT: WHO DID THE LAROUCHECULT COOPERATE WITH IN AFRICA?
When I asked that question I begun to look around and I saw dictators, madmen and people with the blood of many people on their hands. And some of them were people I had met at the conferences of the cult.
LET ME RESTATE IT. IF A PERSONAL FRIEND OF MINE DOES SOMETHING REALLY STUPID AND PERHAPS ILLEGAL AND DANGEROUS, LIKE BEATING HIS KIDS OR HIS WIFE, DO I HAVE THE RESPONSIBILITY TO TRY TO SHOW HIM THAT HE IS WRONG, AND PERHAPS WARN OTHERS (THE POLICE!) ABOUT HIM, OR NOT?
IF A POLITICAL FRIEND COMMITTS MURDERS AND AUTROCITIES, DO I AS A POLITICAL LEADER HAVE THE RESPONSIBLITY TO PROTEST AND DENOUNCE THAT, OR NOT?
Lyndon does not, and therefore Lyndon is a dangerous fraud! One might ask why he does not do that. Could it be that Lyndon likes bullies because he himself is one. After all... He used to beat his wife in the early 60s, as the wife herself has acknowledged!
Bully seeks bullies... Equals attracts equals!
To read the earlier posts in this series, click here: http://american-lycurgus.blogspot.com/2009/04/friends-of-lyndon-larouche-in-africa.html
FOR MORE READING
Please look at the documentation by Dennis King on who the friends of LaRouche in Latin America are. You will see that there are many similarities to the work the organization did in Africa: http://lyndonlarouchewatch.org/larouche-fascism.htm