“The only reason to vote for a democrat is if you’re tired of winning” – Donald Trump
“Why are we having all these people from shit-hole countries come here.” That was the impudent question put forward by President Donald Trump to the American congress while discussing the migrant issue. Notwithstanding such insults, Trump still enjoys some flowing in Nigeria. Why is Trump popular with Nigerians? Why are Nigerians so obsessed with this Americafirst man? We can go on raising issues why America’s 45th President, Donald Trump should not be liked by Nigerians but it’s not so.
On the eve of the US Presidential election there was a solidarity parade for him in Nigeria. Even though such parade or support was inconsequential electorally, it registered its own impact in the social media that this man detested by the World is still liked by somebody somewhere. President Trump himself gave weight to the parade by acknowledging it publicly in his tweet.
But a deep look into Nigeria’s uncanny political challenges, one can easily figure out why such repulsive political eccentric is being admired here. In-depth gaze into it shows a connection with our own local problems.
Trump appeared to have queued into our challenges by the way he brutally reacted to issues concerning Nigeria. Our President, Muhammadu Buhari is yet to come out of the shock from the direct question once put to him by Trump, “Why are you killing Christians?” The question wasn’t suggestive but assertive and didn’t give Nigeria President much room to manoeuvre. Such question coming from a whole US President has a huge effect. It shows vividly that the cries of Nigerian Christians were resonating internationally.
Trump’s curious question came at a press conference of the two Presidents in Washington during Buhari’s visit. As the US President waited in vain for journalists to confront Buhari with the issue, and being a character who rarely play the ostrich, he fired the question himself. In President Buhari’s memoirs this Presidential question is going to be recorded as one of the embarrassing things he faced as President.
This singular act of bravado from Trump trying to underscore a problem faced by a people of a particular faith, ingratiated him to the people although the question also has gravely angered people of the other faith.
In his reaction to the defeat of Trump by Democrat candidate Joe Biden, flamboyant Pastor Chris Oyakhlome of Christ Embassy Ministry said that what seems like Americans don’t like Trump is not true.
Rather he said that Americans love Trump but hate those he supports, the Christians and Israelis as a test case. The other issue that cannot be wished away why Trump is still being admired here despite his awkward and obdurate politics is the fact that the people trying to defeat him, the Democrats are being seen by a cross section of Nigerians as having a hand in the destruction of Nigeria and African politics.
The needless killing of Muamar Ghadafi of Libya and the instigation of division in Nigeria by the apparent sympathy shown to the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in Nigeria against the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) by the Barack Obama regime where Joe Biden was a critical player as number two man are all indexes of a poor relationship with a section of political family in this country. Also in social parlance we already know and seen how Trump detested the issue of abortion and same sex marriage which Joe Biden group were indeed propagating.
It’s believed that Obama regime’s main hatred for Goodluck Jonathan was more for his stubborn refusal to buy into gay marriage which they were aggressively marketing than any other variables. Trump abhorred gay marriage and did not hide it. It’s, therefore, not surprising that Trump in his four-year reign displayed characteristics akin to that of Nigeria. He abused the press and looked for means of governing without the media.
He told lies shamelessly without blinking an eye. His arrogance with power was glaring and only comparable to African dictators. What he was not sure of never existed. To him COVID-19 was a fake news even after he suffered it. In his congratulatory letter to the President- elect, Nigeria’s former President Olusegun Obasanjo appropriated the history making Vice President-elect Kamala Harris as having a Nigeria DNA in her being a black of Caribbean origin.
Obasanjo claimed that her ancestors must have been taken as slaves from Nigeria. While history may very well support Chief Obasanjo, politically reality shows that the man whose DNA is African and indeed Nigerian by deeds is Trump.
Trump singlehandedly made this year’s electioneering in America look like a photocopy of Nigeria politics. Through Trump we heard a candidate going into election saying that the only way he could lose is by being rigged out by the opponent. And went further midway to the compilation of results to declare himself winner.
Not done he rushed to the court to halt counting but couldn’t get what he deserved, unfortunately for him it was American not Nigeria judiciary. He then started shouting via twitter that they have overturned his victory and now bringing in their fictitious figures. He rejected outright the outcome of the result even before conclusion.
As the U.S. electoral body continued their counting undeterred, he continued howling. If it were Nigeria electoral body, if an incumbent President engages in such doleful cry, the least he could get would have been to declare the election inconclusive and allow him time to regroup to crush the challengers. But the cry baby Trump was exhibiting a Nigerian political character in American environment and could not get the needed support.
When eventually his opponent Biden, the Democrat candidate crossed the 270 electoral college threshold and Trump saw he was going to be declared, he screamed again saying he will never accept the result. That his legal team was already compiling the monumental electoral fraud for challenge at the court. He warned those congratulating Biden not to jump the gun as the election is not yet concluded. In Nigeria his supporters were bitter and their spokesman warned those jubilating and congratulating Biden to wait for a shock.
We are still waiting. Our dear former President Goodluck Jonathan who in 2015 very un-Nigerian even as an incumbent willingly accepted defeat and congratulated his then opponent, General Muhammadu Buhari, tried to send a timely message to Trump that it’s sweet and rewarding to leave office graciously but he refused to listen. Instead he is heading to the court desiring to have the election result upturned in his favour.
Political pundits still embarrassed by the development are jokingly saying that in 2015 Jonathan of Nigeria behaved like one with an American DNA while in 2020 President Trump is behaving like one with a Nigerian DNA. All said and done, Joe Biden even with his black American Vice with her appropriated Nigerian DNA has a lot of work to do to erase Trump in the minds of Nigerians especially those opposed to the governance style of President Buhari. Rightly or otherwise Christians believe that their interest would have been better protected with Trump than Biden.
The rebellious Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB) rightly or wrongly gives their supporters the impression that getting Biafra independent was closer under Trump than it would be under Biden, ditto the Oduduwa Republic crusaders.
Nigerians are no longer thrilled by having a black in power in America because of what they saw under the Kenyan, Barack Obama who had nothing tangible for Africa but only trying to market gay marriage. Biden and his Democrat party should put all these into the box as they consider their programmes for Africa and in particular Nigeria. Any leader no matter how popular whose actions and inactions are not impacting in our lives is certainly not going to enjoy the admiration of the people.
Even in his selfish America-first policy plus his reference to the continent as shithole, Trump continued to enjoy measurable following because of the perception that he is concerned about what happens here.
But all said and done the underlying message to gobble in all the dramas coming out of America politics is that strong institutions not strong persons are what is required. Trump is strong but stronger institution diminished him and caged his excesses.
It was our search for strong person instead of strong institutions in Nigeria that landed us in a Buhari and we have since realized that even the strong person cannot function in a weak institution.
It’s not a strong Commander-in-Chief that will wipe out Boko Haram but a strong military backed by political will with the required weaponry. What makes religious and ethnic card, corruption and other vices continuously relevant in our clime is lack of great institutions. Anybody afraid of strong institutions in our system is not a democrat. Simple! God help us.