Thursday, July 10, 2003
Don't Cry For Me Nigeria
Don't cry for me Nigeria
Everybody's Happy Now
Bush left Uganda on his Airforce One jet in mid-afternoon and was due to arrive in Abuja around 7:00 pm (1800 GMT), officials said. There was no sign of any imminent protest in Abuja, as squads of riot police swarmed around the city arresting street traders and seizing their stalls in a last minute bid to make the city look neat for the visit. Earlier police backed with bulldozers carried out orders from Bush's host President Olusegun Obasanjo to destroy at least 60 illegally built homes and businesses, leaving hundreds homeless and destitute. Police spokesman Chris Olakpe told AFP that no specific threats had been received in connection with Bush's visit, and that enough men and equipment had been deployed to counter any protests.
I believe in the justice of God. So if justice is not done to me here on earth it will be done in the hereafter
Ziba Mir Hosseini, author of Islam and Gender, says: "We do not have in modern times any state which has introduced Sharia and has been able to respect women's rights." She says nowhere does the punishment of stoning appear in the Koran. She adds that pre-modern interpretations of the Sharia, which often have a heavy overlay of cultural prejudices, are not in keeping with the spirit of Islam, which is about justice and equality.
Mother-of-four Amina Lawal, 30, was told her case will not be heard by the Islamic appeal court until August 27 -- two days after the date set for her execution. But the court reassured her the execution will not go ahead before the appeal has been heard.
Because of the circumstances in Nigeria today, which are very volatile, we felt that having a big international campaign and protest letters that were based on inaccurate information and not very carefully worded, would actually be more damaging than helpful.
We decided that we had to put out an international appeal trying to clarify the situation and asking people not, at this moment, to participate in international protest campaigns.
The US First Lady, Laura Bush, had tears in her eyes yesterday as she listened to a performance by the Watoto children's choir - made up mainly of children orphaned by HIV/Aids. Laura, and her husband, US President George W. Bush, were at The Aids Support Organisation clinic in Entebbe on the last stop of their four-hour visit to Uganda...President Bush, who is travelling with wife Laura, daughter Barbara and other senior officials, was in Entebbe for slightly less than the scheduled four hours.
Republican presidential candidate Gary Bauer criticized Gov. George W. Bush Tuesday for making fun of an executed Texas woman in an interview Bush gave to Talk magazine. "I think it is nothing short of unbelievable that the governor of a major state running for president thought it was acceptable to mock a woman he decided to put to death," Bauer said of Bush.
Bush is portrayed in Talk as ridiculing pickax killer Karla Faye Tucker of Houston for an interview she did with CNN broadcaster Larry King shortly before she was executed last year. Just before her execution date, Tucker appealed for clemency on the grounds that she had become a born-again Christian.
" 'Please,' Bush whimpers, his lips pursed in mock desperation, 'don't kill me' "
Nigeria presents the best and worst that Africa has to offer. The continent's most populous nation, it is a former military dictatorship that has become a democracy, albeit a flawed one that sometimes barely seems to function. As one of the world's great oil exporters, it is a rich place that is often shockingly poor. It is nationalistic and yet deeply divided by ethnic rivalries. Mr. Bush could see little of this from Abuja, the shiny capital where politicians retreat to "run" the country.
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