Monday, May 29

Trump, Buhari and Our National Psyche

There is an African saying that; “a child who constantly showers praises on his/her mother, will end up dishonoring his/her father”. Whether out of sheer mischief or descent, into the new world of intellectual decay, most Nigerian elites particularly on the social media lap up as decent meals any vulgar comments from western leaders. It is such disgusting that when Donald Trump referred to Africa as ‘shithole’, our social media elites and their counterparts in the mainstream media, found work in the devil’s anvil and provided the theoretical justifications for such a debasing comment. The latest is the comment by Donald Trump that referred to President Muhammadu Buhari as ‘lifeless’ and the Nigerian media again had a field day regurgitating the story credited to the Financial Times of London

Interestingly is that in that story was also the story of Donald Trump expressing his likeness for Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya. Anybody with a little patience to analyse this two conflicting characteristics of Donald Trump openly liking Buhari and going inside expressing dislike for him will have cause to be worried. It is easy to argue that for diplomatic reasons, he needed to sound nice and pleasant in the open. As an ancillary, his preferential love for Uhuru Kenyatta we are told is built on his youthful status. But if that is the case, why did he fall out with Justin Trudeau? Just as it is natural for an individual to be in love with people for specific reasons, same way we may not deny Trump of who to love and who to hate, but since Trump is not a private person and only related with the president of Nigeria from the standpoint of nations for bi-lateral reasons, it then becomes worrisome if people, particularly Nigerians will find pleasure clapping for Trump for such irresponsible behaviour.

It may not be out of order to even wonder whether Trump had some motives which in our gullibility, we have not bothered to take a critical look at. In this age that we have lost the sense of history of who we are, it becomes difficult to remind people of the long standing statement of victims of colonialism and White savagery that the only European to trust is the dead one. It then becomes curious when we begin to find validation or leadership approval from one imperial centre or the other. And because we are in hate, a president who has admitted touching women inappropriately, paid prostitutes and committed other infractions that are legally and morally reprehensible becomes a standard armor bearer for a group of people who lay claims to religious values. 

It is not surprising to me, but how we have descended to this level will keep being a bother to any person who is bothered about the future of Nigeria and Africa. If the new world we are headed to is a world where we will have validations for our beings as Nigerians by the gusto with which we embrace every sickening comment from one Western leader or an institution, then there is a cause to worry. The tragedy of the road we have taken, encouraged by men and women in the main stream media and social media is that; after long the object of our hate had gone, we may not be able to recap to normalcy because many of us will still have our heads fixed on when next a Whiteman would provide us a validating statement of who we are. The tragic thing is that we are in a situation where many countries and leaders of the world, particularly leaders from the so called third world countries are up in arms against some overbearing headmasters and mistresses from some Western capitals trying to remind them of who they are. 

We are still in hate that we do not see the fact that the Nicholas Maduros of this world are telling Donald Trump to go to hell. Yes, we must admit it that it is the Nigerian leadership that actually cheapens itself to warrant such an insult, because constantly they failed to have patriotic political education and therefore have not been able to carry themselves, with the requisite dignity when in contact with world leaders. This is because, I imagined for a moment any Western leader in drunken stupor that will look at Robert Mugabe and open his mouth to talk tommyrot, just as we will not have citizens of Zimbabwe clapping for such Western leader for such indiscretion at verbal diarrhea. 

The unfortunate truth as reported by Global Research is that the Trump regime, haven miscalculated with his tariff war has set up a new programme targeted at African market and possibly shutout the Chinese. He has then decided to employ Western media with the hope that their media counterparts in Africa will lap up the invidious stories about African leaders with the hope that they will effectuate the new scramble for Africa against other competitors. In this regard, the Trump administration has appointed Tibor Nagy as the new Assistant Secretary of State for Africa and developed a legislation called: Better Utilisation of Investment Leading to Development (BUILD) Act. See Phil Butler’s; Quick America – Take Over Africa Before China Does!

If we are to go back to history, a Buhari should even be proud that Donald Trump did not shower him with praises. Because as a matter of fact, any African leader that gets the red carpet at Western capitals must be doing something that injures his/her people. The examples are legions and the Mobutu Sese Seko, Savimbi can testify to that. If not that we have lost our sense of history, why will it not be a shameless spectacle that the American government that sent Nelson Mandela to prison for 27 years by tipping off the Apartheid South African secret police of who Nelson Mandela was, would turn up years later on the podium and be shouting; All Hail Mandela! The fundamental point is that we must save our politics from its current state of decay of not just the conduct of our political leaders, but followers who for whatever reasons are clapping for the odious. 

Onyeisi Chiemeke, is a legal practitioner and Principal Counsel at Onyeisi  Cheimeke and Associates, a law firm based in Lagos Nigeria. He is the author of the book; June 12 Election – Campaign for Democracy and the Implosion of the Nigerian Left. Copyright © Onyeisi Chiemeke

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