Washington DC is like a City under a military siege, right at this hour. I was an eye witness on the eve of then-President-elect Obama’s swearing-in ceremony. I got selected to headline the African Inaugural Ball; the day was the 19th of January 2009. I performed to honor the incoming President around 1.a.m Eastern time.
After my performance, the entire crew rode freely amid thousands of folks to Capital Hill, where the swearing-in ceremony would occur. We also visited Baily’s house, where the Obamas stayed on the eve of his swearing-in ceremony. Our next port of call was the White house. I can never forget when a White Secret Service agent told me bluntly not to pass through his ‘yard.’ That night, around 3.a.m, President Bush and his family had their last night in the White House.
Thousands of people camped out at the national mall and folks who kept coming from different directions.
It was around 4.a.m that I drove back to New York City, leaving my crew behind in Washington D.C. I don’t have a word to describe what I saw as I saw thousands of people smiling, singing, and dancing in the streets. People partied across the United States all night long. Candidate Obama had mesmerized and dazzled a distressed nation with messages of hope. You can see that millions of people hoped that Obama would succeed after the economy took a turn for the worse.
Millions of people had lost their jobs. Companies went out of business.
A vast majority of Americans saw the President-Elect, Barrack Obama, who campaigned with a catchy phrase that says ‘Hope you can believe in,’ put their hopes on him. The man went to work as soon as he got sworn in; there was no drama, no scandal. Obama and Biden worked for the American people, who gave them a mandate. Obama, just like every other mortal out there, is not a perfect man; some of his policies, as controversial as they were, he dug the nation out of a hole. His detractors agreed.
Tonight as the United States people mourn the deaths of over four hundred thousand lives lost due to the coronavirus, Washington D.C is a no-go area. With over twenty thousand members of the national guard in military Kakis, their hands on the long guns, this night is the complete opposite of 2009 or even 2017 when the current President took over. The national guards are dealing with the harsh cold weather too. I don’t know how they do it, but this is hard. Imagine staying outside under this cold condition? Horrible. You can see hundreds of them sleeping on the bare floor. How do they even eat or shower under this condition? I salute these men and women who put their lives in harm’s way for us.
I remain grateful that I witnessed history in 2009, by every standard, Kamala Harris’s rise from slum to become the Vice president lect is historic. She was born and raised like an ordinary child out there. She rose from nothing to become somebody. Kamala also went to a regular school like every other poor kid in our neighborhood. The man who selected her ( President- Elect Joe Biden) is also an ordinary American whose parents lived from paycheck to paycheck. Many of us quarreled, fought, and became enemies and passionately supported our candidates. In the next 12 hours or less, a new President will be sworn in. Let’s bury the hatchets and be friends again. In politics, they say, there’s no permanent friendship but permanent interest.
It is an unusual night, surreal, frightful, and unprecedented in so many ways. Historians will never refer to this transition as a peaceful transfer of power. It reminds me of a military take over in Banana Republics. This night in Washington, D.C, looks nothing like an inauguration eve; it is a sad night. Earlier in the day, I saw the incoming President, Joe Biden, wept openly. I equally saw a woman, a staunch member of Qanon, who said President Biden would be arrested and won’t be sworn in as the President. Guys, these are challenging times; please pray for the United States, the land of the impossibilities.
AGU’s a New York-based Musicologist, Singer, songwriter, producer, web developer, and businessman.
R Kelly, Sean ‘P-Diddy’ Combs & the power of money, AGUIKE writes
R. Kelly, a highly talented musician, is currently serving a lengthy prison sentence after being convicted of sexual misconduct with multiple women. Most notably, some of these women were his girlfriends, including the mother of his children. Just last night, it was reported that Jamie Foxx, the musician, comedian, and Oscar winner, is facing accusations of sexual misconduct from an individual identified as Jane Doe.
Recently, Sean Combs (also known as P Diddy or Puff Daddy) was accused by his ex-girlfriend and R&B singer Cassie of rape and coercing her into engaging in sexual activities with prostitutes while also using drugs. However, before the situation could escalate further legally, a monetary settlement was reached, and Cassandra withdrew her lawsuit.
Despite reaching a financial settlement before going through the court system, P Diddy’s reputation had already been damaged. His public image has suffered dramatically.
Reflecting on R Kelly’s case and considering how many women have come forward accusing him of rape—including his former partner—it is likely that if he had substantial funds at his disposal, he would have sought an out-of-court settlement. While I do not support or dismiss any wrongful actions against women in any way whatsoever—I have observed numerous accusations made against various celebrities driven by financial motivations.
In the music industry, men often behave immaturely, while women may participate in more frivolous activities. It would be hard for any entertainer to claim they have never done something they are not proud of at some point in their career. Many musicians lead chaotic lives filled with womanizing tendencies alongside drug and alcohol abuse—all without much concern for their future consequences. They often father children across different cities during their tours.
I recall one instance where a famous Nigerian musician served as President of the Performing Musicians Association of Nigeria. One day, one of his children approached him, and he claimed not to know who the child was. Truthfully, he didn’t recognize his offspring. This musician was so famous and adored that every woman in South Western Nigeria would do anything to bear his child.
We can also recall former President Donald Trump once stating that when someone is a celebrity, they allow you to do whatever you want with them—and he wasn’t wrong. However, it should be noted that some of these individuals who consented initially may eventually pursue financial compensation from the celebrities involved. This phenomenon affects both male and female stars.
As the saying goes, “Money answers everything.” Many individuals who have accused various celebrities of wrongdoing often receive significant monetary settlements.
While the world and music industry rightfully condemn R Kelly for his irresponsible actions toward his accusers, we should also consider that if he had sufficient financial resources, he might have found a way out of the mess he created. There are countless other celebrities out there who may have committed worse deeds than R Kelly but continue to thrive due to their wealth.
As attention turns towards Jamie Foxx and the individual suing him for financial damages, I hope we allow the court system to decide this case fairly. The mainstream media tends to fixate on black celebrities—rarely waiting for legal resolutions before passing judgment on them; this severely damages their public image long before any jury reaches a verdict in their trials.
My prayer is that one day, R Kelly will be granted parole as nobody is above sin; none of us are saints.
OBAMA, fully vaccinated and boosted TESTS POSITIVE TO Covid-19
I just tested positive for COVID. I’ve had a scratchy throat for a couple days, but am feeling fine otherwise. Michelle and I are grateful to be vaccinated and boosted, and she has tested negative.— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) March 13, 2022
It’s a reminder to get vaccinated if you haven’t already, even as cases go down.
The former President of the United States, Barack Obama said on Sunday that he has tested positive for COVID-19 and is “feeling fine” other than a scratchy throat.
Both the 60-year-old Obama and his wife Michelle Obama are fully vaccinated and boosted, the former president said. Michelle Obama has tested negative.
Obama said his diagnosis is “a reminder to get vaccinated if you haven’t already, even as cases go down.”
Cheslie Kryst, Former Miss USA Jumps Off Manhattan Skyscraper
Miss USA 2019 pageant winner, Cheslie Kryst has passed away at the age of 30, after jumping off from the roof of her New York City condominium. Kryst’s body was discovered on the sidewalk outside the Orion Condominium building at 7:05 a.m. on Sunday. At the scene, she was pronounced dead. “In devastation and tremendous grief, we share the demise of our dear Cheslie,” a statement said, confirming the 30-year-old beauty queen’s death.
The 2019 pageant winner and 30-year-old lawyer jumped from her luxury 60-story Orion building at 350 W. 42nd St. around 7:15 a.m. and was found dead in the street below, sources said.
“In devastation and great sorrow, we share the passing of our beloved Cheslie,” the former beauty queen’s family said in a statement Sunday.
“Her great light was one that inspired others around the world with her beauty and strength. She cared, she loved, she laughed and she shined.
“Cheslie embodied love and served others, whether through her work as an attorney fighting for social justice, as Miss USA and as a host on EXTRA,” her family said. “But most importantly as a daughter, sister, friend, mentor and colleague — we know her impact will live on.”
New Year Shocker: Texas judge dismisses suit aimed at overturning election results
WASHINGTON (AP) — A federal judge on Friday dismissed a last-gasp lawsuit led by a House Republican that aimed to give Vice President Mike Pence the power to overturn the results of the presidential election won by Joe Biden when Congress formally counts the Electoral College votes next week.
Pence, as president of the Senate, will oversee the session Wednesday and declare the winner of the White House race. The Electoral College this month cemented Biden’s 306-232 victory, and multiple legal efforts by President Donald Trump’s campaign to challenge the results have failed.
The suit named Pence, who has a largely ceremonial role in next week’s proceedings, as the defendant and asked the court to throw out the 1887 law that spells out how Congress handles the vote counting. It asserted that the vice president “may exercise the exclusive authority and sole discretion in determining which electoral votes to count for a given State.”
In dismissing the lawsuit filed by Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas, and a group of Republican electors from Arizona, Texas U.S. District Judge Jeremy Kernodle, a Trump appointee, wrote that the plaintiffs “allege an injury that is not fairly traceable” to Pence, “and is unlikely to be redressed by the requested relief.”
The Justice Department represented Pence in a case that aimed to find a way to keep his boss, President Donald Trump, in power. In a court filing in Texas on Thursday, the department said the plaintiffs “have sued the wrong defendant” — if, in fact, any of those suing actually have “a judicially cognizable claim.”
The department said, in effect, that the suit objects to long-standing procedures laid out in law, “not any actions that Vice President Pence has taken,” so he should not be the target of the suit.
“A suit to establish that the Vice President has discretion over the count, filed against the Vice President, is a walking legal contradiction,” the department argued.
Trump, the first president to lose a reelection bid in almost 30 years, has attributed his defeat to widespread voter fraud. But a range of nonpartisan election officials and Republicans has confirmed there was no fraud in the November contest that would change the results of the election. That includes former Attorney General William Barr, who said he saw no reason to appoint a special counsel to look into the president’s claims about the 2020 election. He resigned from his post last week.
Trump and his allies have filed roughly 50 lawsuits challenging election results, and nearly all have been dismissed or dropped. He’s also lost twice at the Supreme Court.
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