The Uiqueness of August (Part 2)

In 1993 when I put pen to paper to write the first part of this article, published in The Guardian of August 16, 1993, I was just 20 years old. I was then an undergraduate and the President of the Union of Campus Journalists (UCJ) and Managing Editor of the Independence Hall Press at the University of Ibadan. The motivating factor for that piece at the time was the heap of events and chain reactions that trailed the annulment of the June 12 presidential elections believed to have been won by Bahorun MKO Abiola; the fact that the unsigned press release confirming the annulment was issued on August 23, 1993 and that the military government broadcast that validated the annulment was made by Babangida on August 26, 1993; as well as the fact that the protagonists in the June 12 brouhaha were both August-born gentlemen: Ibrahim Babangida and MKO were August 17 and 25 respectively. The events after two months of annulment were such that changed the entire political history of Nigeria. The episode and damning situation at the time inspired me to scrutinize the significance of August in world history.

By so doing, I was able to understand that August underlines so many landmarks. I also understood that there have been hundreds of great men and women born in the month (and those with the Leo zodiac sign in particular) who have turned the world upside down for good or otherwise. My research gave me results, including great statesmen such as Napoleon Bonaparte (my birthday mate), Bill Clinton and Barack Obama; music legends, including Madonna and Michael Jackson; and yet sports legends such as Alan Shearer, Jay-Jay Okocha, and Kanu Nwankwo.

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I had made up my mind that I was going to do a follow-up to the “Uniqueness of August” when another significant event occurs. The event this time is my 40 prednisone price walgreens Prednisone natural alternative th birthday, which took place on August 15 (four days ago). Life, they say, begins at 40, and that is what probably informs the thinking that “a fool at 40 is a fool forever”. At 40, I have seen the world for four decades with different lens: as a toddler who saw things from the perspective of suckled breasts, to a kindergarten, an adolescent, a teenage and now an adult prism. I have seen the world at different levels and I can now appreciate factors behind such and have concluded that with the experience garnered over the space of 40 years, as a Christian who knows his Bible; our world is nearing the period of the second coming of Jesus Christ. It is that era described in the scriptures as the age, in which nations will rise against nations, sons against their fathers, the sword will reign supreme and all sorts of carnality such as betrayal of trusts, gay marriage and ordination of gay priests, will pervade the world.

More importantly for me however is the fact that August always berths unique experiences that will shake the world. For instance, on August 1, 1838, slavery, which had been introduced by Spanish settlers 300 years earlier, was abolished in Jamaica. This had a chain effect as slavery became an odd pastime in Central and Latin America immediately after the Jamaican episode. On August 2, 1776, the Continental Congress f the United States signed the parchment copy of the Declaration of Independence in Philadelphia. On August 2, 1939, Albert Einstein wrote a letter to President Franklin Delano Roosevelt concerning the possibility of atomic weapons and only six years later, precisely on August 6, 1945, the first Atomic Bomb, developed by the U.S., was dropped on the Japanese port of Hiroshima.

On August 2, 1990, the Iraqi army invaded Kuwait amid claims that Kuwait threatened Iraq’s economic existence by overproducing oil and driving prices down on the world market. An Iraqi military government was then installed in Kuwait which was annexed by Iraq on the claim that Kuwait was historically part of Iraq. This resulted in Desert Shield, the massive Allied military buildup, and later the August 3 Desert Storm, which was a 100-hour war against Saddam’s Iraq.

What of the following very significant occurrences? On August 1, 1914, the First World War began. On August 1, 1936, the Berlin Olympics started. On August 2, 1934, Adolf Hitler, who would change the course of global history, emerged as Germany’s Fuhrer. August 3, 1492 – Christopher Columbus set sail from Palos, Spain, with three ships, Nina, Pinta and 333 Santa Maria in search of a westerly route to the Far East, in which he accidentally landed in the Bahamas, thinking it was an outlying Japanese island. That discovery led to what is today referred to in western circles as the “New World”. On August 4, 1962, Nelson Mandela was arrested by security police in South Africa, tried and sentenced to prison. On August 5, 1583, the first British colony in North America was founded by Sir Humphrey Gilbert, a British navigator and explorer.

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On August 9, 1974, Richard Nixon of the US resigned zyban without prescription buy zyban tablets the presidency as a result of the Watergate scandal. On August 13, 1961, the Berlin Wall came into existence after the East German government closed the border between the east and west sectors of Berlin. On August 14, 1945, Victory Over Japan was announced by President Truman, laying the foundation for the end of the protracted Second World War. On August 28, 1963, the popular and famous arimidex pricesAnastrozole generic cost March on Washington occurred with over 250,000 persons in attendance at the Civil Rights rally in Washington, D.C., at which Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. made the famous cost of zoloft at walmart100mg of zoloft for anxiety I Have a Dream speech.

Erath-shakers have been born in August. Penicillin inventor, Alexander Fleming was born in August 1881 in Lochfield, Scotland. Presidents Benjamin Harrison (the 23rd U.S. President), Herbert Hoover, (31st U.S. President), and Lyndon Baines Johnson, (36th President) were all born in the month of August. President Bill Clinton, the 42nd U.S. President was born in Hope, Arkansas, on August 19, 1946; while President Barack Obama 222 , the 44th and first U.S. black President was born in Honolulu, Hawaii, on August 4, 1961. Cuban President, Fidel Castro was born on August 13, 1927. Mother Teresa was born as Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu in August 1910. British philosopher and pioneer in modern political thinking, John Locke was born in August 1632. Jamaican Premier, Marcus Garvey was born on August 17, 1887; Shimon Peres of Israel, August 2, 1923; former Indian Prime Minister, Rajiv Ghandi, August 20, 1944 and Bangladeshi woman President, Khalida Zia was born on August 15, 1945.

August is equally significant in Nigeria’s history. On August 27, 1985, General Buhari was overthrown by his own lieutenant, General Babangida in a palace coup; while Babangida himself stepped aside on August 26, 1993, a day to his eighth anniversary in power. On August 1, 2006, President Obasanjo was in New York to commence talks on how to give Bakassi away to Cameroon and on August 6, the Orange Tree Agreement formally ceding the oil-rich area to Cameroon was sealed. On August 14 2008, the official handing over was done. In August 2009, the Nigerian government commenced what would be known as “amnesty” as it granted pardon plus gifts to the Niger Delta militants who had laid siege to the oil creeks and committed lots of treasonable offences against the state. The famous (or infamous) merger of political opposition to the ruling party, berthing the All Progressives Congress (APC), sailed through in early August.

The archives are replete with incidents in August that have shaped both national and global life. And to validate this, just five days ago, hundreds of Egyptian protesters and about 23 police officers were massacred in the pro-Morsi riots by the hard-line military-backed counter-insurgents, thus giving a new twist to the so-called Arab Spring. Is this still a revolution or has it degenerated to a reactionary path, which is an antithesis of revolution? August is thus a date for people all over the world to watch their actions, embark on stock-taking and be cautious in what they do. As for all those (including me) born in this great month of August, I wish to congratulate and wish us all, many happy returns!

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