Three shorter commentaries:

Tajudeen Abdul-Raheem on Bala Usman and Obasanjo

I would like to thank Shemang for the clarification of his recollection or record of this encounter.

I would also like to recall a Yoruba saying ( our Moderator whose Yoruba is as sound as his grasp of history! should help me here with the translation): Ninu awada ni ododo ti njade. I lay no claim to deep understanding of Yoruba but roughly it means: the truth comes out in jokes.

When is the President in jest and when is he hiding his strong arms in velvet jokes?

I am not surprised that Shemang's account is at variance with the reports in many Nigerian papers
including the Abuja based Trust who also had people there. It is a question of interpretation since ' the truth is partisan' in many cases. So there may be more than one truth.

Shemand may have found the exchange an executive banter while others may not have found it funny.
It is perhaps indicative of the undeniable space for some public engagement that Bala was never arrested. I never saw any report that said he was or even cautioned apart from the mic being snatched from him as directed by the President who was only presenting a Key note paper but somehow could not resist being the Commander of all before him!

Ayesha Imam on Jallo's

Mohammed Jalloh's article is impassioned, accurate and amusing - until he implies that it is only those Africans living outside Africa who are competent and not corrupt, when he refers to "the distinguished record of Africa's current bright generation whose accomplished members living and working successfully in Western countries give the lie to the racist myth that all Africans, and only Africans, are uniformly incompetent and corrupt." There are thousands, if not millions, of bright young African women and men living in Africa - under very difficult conditions, who are nonetheless accomplished in their fields, competent and not corrupt. I can speak directly for many of the women's, and human rights, and other civil society activists across the continent. And I would not assume that the millions of other people that I do not know personally are therefore incompetent or corrupt. Theirs is also a distinguished record for those who care to note it.

"Aidoo, Akwasi" on Biko's

Thanks so much for this valuable service!!! This piece by Biko is brilliant, delightful, and insightful. While I think Chika is effective in inflaming our passions (and that in itself is not a worthless practice), it's really pieces like Biko's that incontrovertibly succeed in reaching the
deeper levels of what truly makes Africa tick as well as alerting us to the fact that Africa can not be honestly understood without a socio-historical prism of global interconnections.