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Mayor Coleman stands by his Police Chief on hijab ban

ONUMBA.COM, USA – Somali immigrant Ismahan Isse loves Columbus.  Isse is part of a sprawling Somali community that is second largest in the nation, behind only Minneapolis-St Paul metropolis.  She wants to serve the city as a police officer.  And the good thing about Isse wanting to become a cop is that it will help Mayor Michael Coleman achieve his goal of creating a force that is as diverse as the city. But for Isse and Coleman, there’s one little problem. Isse is a Muslim woman, and with that comes a smorgasbord of requirements imposed by her Islamic faith, including the fiercely forbidden practice of not going out in public without wearing head-scarf, also called hijab.  Unfortunately, that iron-clad religious ukase not too long ago collided head-on with the decision by Columbus Police Chief Kim Jacobs to ban women on the force from wearing head-scarf while on duty or training. While Coleman stands with Jacobs concerning her decision, he also recognizes the problem of lack of diversity bedeviling the force, which explains why he is pushing efforts to ensure that his administration is reaching out and encouraging all residents of the city to join the force. “I’ve said this to our chief and safety director, to step up our efforts in this area,” said Coleman in a recent interview, adding, “I strongly believe that our police force needs to be reflective of every corner of our city.”

Currently, the police force is nowhere near that level of reflection, but the mayor’s intention clearly underscores acknowledgement of the problem and more importantly the mission of his administration to solve it, mindful of how diverse the city has become over the years lacking adequate representation on the police force. Continue Reading


Onumba Q & A: City Council candidate Ibrahima Sow on why he is running

Onumba Q & A:  An African immigrant from Senegal could make a monumental history as the first to serve on Columbus City Council. His name is Ibrahima Sow.  If Sow succeeds, he will not only be the first African immigrant to serve on the council, he will also be the first Muslim to do so. Sow, 24, is profoundly determined in his historic bid to serve his community as a councilmember, but he also knows it is going to be an uphill battle unseating the incumbents on the council, all Democrats, all supported by a very popular Mayor Michael Coleman. Recently, Sow took time out of his busy schedule to visit Onumba Media Group (OMG) office on East Dublin-Granville Road where he spoke about his campaign, his vision for the city, and for the immigrant community and above all why he decided to run for city council.  The interview: Columbus city council candidate Sow in his own words  Thank you for coming. Continue Reading


Councilwoman Mills resigns as fog of scandal hovers over City Council

ONUMBA.COM, USA – When Michelle Mills was appointed to the Columbus City Council several years ago, she was extremely excited, telling at her swearing in ceremony that one thing she would like to focus on as councilmember was the “people” of Columbus. “We must make sure we don’t neglect the people,” she said, calling them “our biggest assets.” After about five years on the council, Mills’ primary focus is still on the “people.”  The difference going forward though is that she would no longer be able to help the people of Columbus as a councilwoman; it would have to be only as the CEO of St. Stephens Community House, a job she had before her appointment to the council, but continued on while serving on the council. Mills, who was a shoo-in to replace Andrew Ginther as Council President, announced recently that she was resigning her seat on the council, totally catching everyone by surprise. Continue Reading


GOP debate in Cleveland: Kasich is in

ONUMBA.COM, USA –It was a cliffhanger, but that was enough. Ohio Governor and Republican Presidential Candidate John Kasich barely made the roster of candidates qualified to participate in the first GOP primary debate in Cleveland this week. In that gathering, expect the controversial matter of Obamacare to feature a lot. There, the mugwump governor would have a chance to explain to his fellow Republicans why he supported Obamacare. Kasich, though, always points out that even though he implemented the Medicaid expansion portion of the health care law, he is generally opposed to Obamacare. Continue Reading


Why is Donald Trump doing well in polls, now?

ONUMBA.COM, USA – It is a bizarre phenomenon that really can be summed up in two words: mob mentality. Hey, you will drive yourself absolutely crazy if you look deeper than that trying to figure out what is clearly a fleeting campaign buzz by a wealthy and boisterous political minnow whose most potent weapon is to yell and lob insults at folks. Real-estate mogul and political greenhorn Donald Trump is thumping his dumbfounded opponents in poll after poll (now) despite having spewed god-awful things about just about everyone breathing out there. One of his opponents, U.S. Senator from South Carolina Lindsey Graham, at a total loss for what to make of rising Trump, settled for calling him “a wrecking ball for the future of the Republican Party.” Graham’s probably right, but Trump’s annoying, insulting, in-your-face style has not affected his poll numbers. Continue Reading

Mayor candidate City Council President Andrew J. Ginther discuss issues during a forum at Corinthian Missionary Baptist Church in Columbus on January 29, 2015. (Dispatch photo by Kyle Robertson)

Despite probe, Ginther not “worried” about indictment, damage to campaign

ONUMBA.COM, USA – When it comes to the investigations over the allegations that Columbus City Council President Democrat Andrew Ginther was part of bribery activities involving one of the companies that installed red-light cameras in the city, a number of things are no longer in question:  the god-awful cameras have been removed, the contract with the company RedFlex terminated and the investigation deepening. But what is not so certain yet is how much, if at all, any of this is hurting Ginther’s campaign for mayor. Since he announced his candidacy, Ginther has been seen by many as a shoo-in to win the mayoral race and replace outgoing Mayor Michael Coleman, who ironically, is also grappling with his own burgeoning mess over an unrelated allegations that he sold his pricey pad located in the Columbus Berwick neighborhood to a Chinese business woman who was also looking to do business with the city. Coleman, a very popular mayor, is stepping down at the end of the year after a historic 16 years in office.  He has endorsed Ginther for mayor, an imprimatur that carries heavy weight. But with all of this playing out, and with the mayor’s backing more important now than ever, is this investigation going to wreck Ginther’s campaign or at least give his opponent Franklin County Sheriff Zach Scott a modicum of chance to wage a respectable battle and possibly win? Continue Reading


Thick skull; Why is Musevini mediating Burundi’s row?

ONUMBA.COM, USA – Whoa, whoa, this is really interesting, to say the very least. Talk about toiling, as though his next money wire transfer depends on it, to put out a picayune worth of fire in another man’s mud house when his own sprawling pricey pad is smoldering in a raging inferno. Perhaps, this is the Holy Grail of misplaced priorities cloaked in glib pursuits that ended up dangling for all to see as being no more than a rodomont and an apocryphal display of regional leadership and neighborly peace making. It doesn’t make a whole lot of sense, now does it? Who’s Musevini kidding?  Only himself. Continue Reading


Ginther defends himself in wake of bribery allegations

ONUMBA.COM, USA – Columbus residents saw the devices going up all over the city, but not too long ago, the controversial red-light cameras were yanked back down from Columbus city streets and streets across the cities in Ohio quicker than you say “illegal”. Those cameras were pulled down simply because they were illegal.  Now, it turns out the cameras themselves were not the only thing illegal in all of this.  Reportedly, there were also a tidal wave of illegal deals and a smorgasbord of other jaw-dropping shenanigans involving one of the companies that helped install these cameras in Columbus. One thing is for sure.  The cameras are gone, to the delight of those who ferociously hated it.  Now, could the frontrunner in the Columbus mayoral race be next? Recently, Governor John Kasich signed into law a measure passed by the Ohio legislature banning red-light cameras in the Buckeye state.  Now, serious questions are emerging over whether some elected Columbus city officials broke the law by accepting bribe from one of the companies under contract to install these cameras in the city. While those questions remain largely unanswered, the investigation into the unfolding saga is widening, getting uglier and uglier by the day.  On its path is Democrat Andrew Ginther, the frontrunner in the Columbus mayoral race who is caught up in the maelstrom of the raging mess. Continue Reading


Why gay rights, ‘same sex marriage’ won’t fly in Africa

ONUMBA.COM, USA – Some Africans have been caviling from the rooftop knocking President Obama for not visiting Africa enough. The president would probably beg to differ, but all of that is now water under the bridge with the good news for everyone being that Obama is about to visit there. And as Obama prepares to visit Africa, with plans to go to his ancestral homeland of Kenya for the first time as president, his grandmother Mama Sarah who lives in the western village of Kogelo has already turned in her special request, asking that she be allowed to prepare a meal for her grandson. That right there is not asking for much. hopes they grant her modest request. Continue Reading


Probe launched into sale of Columbus’ mayor’s pad to woman

ONUMBA.COM, USA – If you ask Columbus Mayor Michael Coleman, he would tell you straight up he is not under investigation for anything. And he is right. But even so, Coleman knows quite well that federal investigators are fiercely looking into whether there is any connection between the sale of his pricey pad to a Chinese business woman and the fact that the same woman was also exploring the possibility of establishing her business in the city. “This is simply untrue,” said Coleman, in a statement concerning ongoing investigation involving the sale of his home.  “I have cooperated with federal authorities in their investigation into the buyer of our property, but I have no reason to believe that I am under investigation.” Presently, it doesn’t appear as though the mayor is under investigation but federal officials are rummaging through a mudslide of documents obtained from city employees who were allegedly directed by Coleman to assist the Chinese business woman Jianhua Li set up a business in Columbus. Continue Reading