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US election: Lessons for Nigeria

THE United States of America presidential election, 2016 has come and gone but the outcome will be subject of debate for a very long time. The polls, pundits and experts prediction did not come true, even the man of God in Nigeria got it  wrong.

What happened? How could a man someone in the social media described as; ‘a bully, unashamedly racist, rabidly xenophobic and ultimate misogynist’ become the President of the most powerful and influential country in the world? By the time we allow all of our sentiments to simmer down and picture the United States that we have seen in the recent years, we will be more tolerant of the election outcome.

The people were afraid of Donald Trump but they were more afraid of the consequences of the alternative. The country has become more divided, foreign policies have become more disjointed and morality had sunk to its lowest ebb. The United States of America was waiting to implode like the PDP government of Goodluck Jonathan. The people wanted a change, no matter the colour or shape. Are you not surprised that the majority of American white women did not vote for Hilary Clinton? Are you not surprised that the blacks did not troop out to vote the way they did for Obama? Are you surprised that the Latinos – much touted – did not deliver the result for Clinton? The answer is; win or lose, they do not give a damn, ‘he that is down need fear no fall’.

The beauty of the US election and the first lesson for Nigerians is that the wishes of the people prevailed and that the best candidate does not necessarily have to win the election. That is democracy, it does not always produce the best, but, another beauty is that they have put in place a mechanism to correct their mistake if the chosen one refuses to deliver on his promise. In four years time, they will have the opportunity to determine his eligibility for extension of his presidency or throw him out through the ballot. So, people should not knock their heads over the failure of Hilary Clinton to win the presidential election.

In the US, the system is self regulatory and it will not allow Donald Trump the opportunity of implementing some of those obnoxious ideas he said he will execute during the campaigns. After all, Guantanamo bay gulag still exist and US troops are still in Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan. It is one thing to say and another to do, for Trump we must not fret, our salvation does not lie in the United States of America or any foreign power for that matter, it lies in ourselves, in our looking inward, in our self confidence, in our focus and strategy, in our implementation of workable ideas that are wholly Nigerian and above all, in the leadership that we chose to impose. If the leader we choose does not have it, every other thing follows suit.

Let us examine why Hilary Clinton did not win. Her vulnerability was exposed by the Bernie Sanders movement during the Democratic party primaries. It took some manipulation from the DNC leadership for her to wriggle out of the Sanders grip. This action also got so many people disillusioned with the party, the youth and college students, the radical members of the party wanted change and they did not see change in Hilary who has been an establishment person for a long time and coupled with several antecedents – email leaks, FBI, Libya, ‘Wall Street links,

LGBT and more – they did not see her as a candidate who can be trusted. The conservative Christians were becoming anxious about the direction the morals of the country was  heading in the name of freedom, the homosexuals and their LGBT brethren  flooding the nation. They have watched in amazement as the foundation of the Church was being threatened by satanic philosophies. It was only a matter of time before matters got to a head. The blacks were already overwhelmed by several killings of their fellow brothers and sisters and were therefore bitter with the system. This,  perhaps explained the lack of enthusiasm on their part, despite the efforts of Barak and Michelle Obama and other celebrities.

Almost everywhere there is crisis in the world today, you see the US involvement – Libya, Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, Ukraine and others. Even the Philippines, their old reliable ally have chosen to look elsewhere. With Barak Obama as President, the plight of Africans did not  change for good. For example, he did not visit Nigeria,the most populated black nation in the world during his eight years reign, instead the US was more interested in imposing sanctions and persecuting African leaders who refused to endorse its homosexual policies. It was at that point that they fell out with Goodluck Jonathan.

That was the reason they subtly fanned the embers of division in the country and allowed the Boko Haram activities to get out of hand. They refused to label Boko Haram as a terrorist organisation until it was too late and they had to succumb because of the under wear bomber attempt to blow up a US bound aircraft.

In recent times, one cannot point to any single country that the United States has nurtured to stability.There is always a price to pay and this price is always higher than the Greek gift that it offers.  The USA will never give  anything  for free, there is always a price to pay. Only recently, it  has just blocked the purchase of a fighter jet that Nigeria is negotiating from Brazil. According to naija news of Sunday November 13, “they have prevented Nigeria from buying fighter jet A-29 Super Tucano light attack aircraft jet” from Brazil. To imagine that, this is a US government that the Buhari government has tried so much to court.

That is why Nigerians  must relax and not fret. Whether Trump or Clinton, their interests is basically American first and foremost as it concerns Nigeria, Africa and the rest of the world.

We need our own Donald Trump, one with the ability to do things differently. One who will not place political correctness over the people’s interests. One that will consider our collective prosperity and bring all interest groups together, leveraging on our distinct and diverse potentials. One that will be ready to set clear examples and rally the people to make the necessary sacrifice that will benefit the people, not just for sacrifice sake.

One that will not be afraid to impose the necessary protection for our local manufacturers and not be intimidated by any super power pressure. One  that will re awaken the Nigerian sentiments and bring pride and joy to the people. The one that will be unapologetic in his actions and thinking; the one that is ready to govern for all and not a few and also, be ready to weed the nation of all undesirables. That is who this country needs now.

*Mr. Sunny Ikhioya www.  Twitter: @SunnyIkhioya


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