President Barack Obama of the United States of America is unrelenting in his campaign for same sex marriage. He was the happiest man on earth and visibly so excited on
the day the US Supreme Court ruled in favour of same sex marriage. His joy knew no bounds. He did not hide it. He has campaigned for it outside the shores of his country. While playing host to Buhari in DC, he tried to sell it to the Nigerian president. He took the campaign to Kenya and Ethiopia while on a visit there. Expectedly, he failed woefully.
Ordinarily, President Obama’s action is understandable being as it were a beneficiary of freedom that was denied people of his colour for a long period in the United States. President Obama, the son of two students (a Kenyan man and an American lady who met on the campus of a university on Hawaiian Islands), is a black man by classification of American laws. I do not understand why the offspring of a union of two persons must be compelled by law to belong to one side and not both of them.
President Obama is not president of United States because of his ancestry by his mother. He is president because the American constitution says that anybody born on American soil automatically acquires American citizenship. Besides, only American citizens born in America qualify to be elected president of the country. If President Obama was born of two Kenyan parents on American soil, he would still have qualified to stand election for the office of the president and would have become one if so elected. This is by the way.
Black men and women were forcefully taken from Africa to America where they were treated like and were indeed slaves and were owned like personal property. Of course, the white people could not have taken them away into slavery if their kith and kin in Africa were not complicit in the nefarious transactions. They were sold by chiefs and middlemen to the white slave dealers. As slaves, they were treated as slaves, animals and subhuman.
For over two centuries this man’s wickedness to his fellow man flourished because of profit motive and racial considerations. God, in his mercy however threw up leaders of the ‘superior’ white race who accepted that all men and women were created after the image of the Almighty God and should be treated decently as equals. Thus, the struggle to abolish the most inhuman treatment of man by man in human history began. Thank God that sanity prevailed and the sale and possession of human beings as if they were articles of merchandise was abolished.
In America, unfortunately, the abolition of slavery, even at the cost of a civil war, did not abolish racial discrimination, which went on for a long time. Blacks were no longer sold as private property but they were discriminated against on the basis of their skin colour. Of all discriminations that man has devised and visited on his fellow man, none is as debasing, dehumanizing and arrogant as racial discrimination. Its basis was and still is that one race was superior to another race, which flies in the face of our equality before our maker, the Almighty God.
Blacks had to struggle against it with all their strength and indeed everything they had. Victory, even superficially did not come easy or cheap. It cost lives of great men, ordinary men and women of African descent. Prominent victims of racial arrogance in America include Malcolm X and Martin Luther King Jr. Their sacrifice made it possible for Barack Obama to become a member of the American congress and of course president, later.
It is easy to conclude that President Barack Obama’s openness to same sex marriage derives from having been a victim of racial discrimination. Put differently, his aversion for discrimination derives from his passion for equality of treatment for all including lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transsexuals. This is superficial reasoning. By ascribing the victory of the blacks over white racial bigotry to man’s ingenuity, steady fast commitment to the struggles, etc., leaves God out of it completely. This is sad because the truth is that the power that overcame the evil that was racial discrimination belonged to and still belongs to God.
However, as long as God does not appear in human form to stamp out any evil he is denied any role in bringing it to an end. Since God was not Martin Luther King Jr. or Malcolm X or any other civil rights activists, he had no role in ending racial discrimination in the United States. He is even accused of partiality in providing profusely for the white man while giving little to the black man. Therefore, God must be partial. Yes, he is the God of the strong white people and the enemy of the less privileged black race. Yet, nothing can be further from the truth.
The struggle to end racial discrimination in America had God at the centre stage. God was the rallying point for all those-black and white alike-who opposed man’s inhumanity to man. It was in the churches that the momentum against racial arrogance built up. In history, all those who have been maltreated or persecuted have always been drawn to God. One way or another he has always provided solutions, although the solutions may not come as at and when we expect it. But he for sure answers.
I strongly maintain that God is the author of every good success. In doing so, he is not to be taken for granted. He insists on what must be fulfilled in any bargain with man without which there will be no show. So, when he says he is righteous and holy, he does lower the standards because he is dealing with man. He says that man should not do certain things if he were to relate smoothly with him. Yes, he gave his commandments, which are not to be observed selectively as man likes. A man cannot sleep with another man. It is an abomination. God has created enough women to satisfy the sexual needs of men. Similarly, no woman should engage in sexual relationship with another woman-God created more than enough men to satisfy her sexual urges.
Permit me to be a bit vulgar here. Let us assume that man was not created by God. Yes, let us remove God from this argument now. Man evolved through time by various processes known to the sciences. Evolution is the name. Yes, we evolved from apes. Yet, in the evolution of man to the present form, evolution was very careful. It did not make mistakes. For instance, let us get two men and place them face to face. Now let us look at their physical features. The incongruence of features is not in doubt. Now, let us introduce a woman and a man face to face. The affinity, harmony, congruence, agreement between their features speaks for itself. The man’s flat chest finds comfort and welcome in the woman’s boobs. Down the line, are we pretending that we do not know what goes in where? And all these are by nature’s evolutionary wonders? So, even by removing God from the origins of mankind, nature, the presumed author still did not cause confusion.
Therefore, how can any sane person abandon the most enjoyable human experiences that are found in the union of man and woman and opt for odium? Why should I be looking for the canal for evacuating waste instead of plunging into the pleasurable love of God or is it nature?
The question of being born with a form of a life style that is at variance with what is socially acceptable needs be addressed here. We are being told that a man or woman could be born with a form of sexuality that makes him or her attracted to same sex. This is understandable. It is possible. Yes, it is not impossible because there is a vocabulary that has been in existence for long called “freak”. A “freak” is an oddity, aberration, abnormality, etc. A “freak” cannot and should not be made normal by the society. In traditional African social life, a freak is not accommodated by kindness, which could encourage more of it. It is unacceptable and everything is done to discourage further manifestation of it.
When a freak develops and instead of condemning it and doing everything to stop its further manifestation we call it the right of the bearer, then we are not being fair to others who have been sentenced to death or lives of imprisonment for manifesting different types of “freaks”. An armed robber is just a freak like serial rapists. Why then do we bring the full wrath of the law against them? Is it not possible that they were born that way and should be encouraged by being given special attention? A man who decides to sleep with animals because of his sexuality ought to be accorded a social recognition instead of being hounded into hiding. There is no difference between him and the man or woman who wants to marry same sex.
We can stretch this argument to any length but it will not make any sense. Same sex marriage is as an aberration as a man marrying his daughter or mother. Society needs to guard them out it instead of encouraging them on grounds of human rights.
What President Obama and the band of abominable LGBT are dishing to us on grounds of equal rights flies in the face of reality. Whether created by God or man evolved over time, there is no justification for a man to marry another man, or for a woman to marry another woman. Among Ndiigbo, there is a recognition that a society is incomplete without fools but nobody wants to sire them. President Obama is enjoying his marriage to his wife, Michelle. He admires his two lovely daughters. Yet, he is deceiving some folks that a life of abomination is the best way to enjoy their human rights in the society. What a pity!
Be it as it may, I am worried that President Obama, the first African America president of America may end up like King Jeroboam, who the Bible records as the man who led Israel to sin. Before King Jeroboam, the Israelites, like other imperfect human beings everywhere had been committing sins. But by building a temple outside of Jerusalem, King Jeroboam became the King that led Israel to sin.
President Obama is the 44th president of America. All the past 43 presidents were white men. Homosexuality in America is as old as the country. No previous president went out of his way to promote same sex on the basis of human rights. Now, the only African American to occupy the White House has chosen to write his name in infamy. History will record him as the President who led America to sin. How sad!
I wrote the attached essay after President Obama’s inauguration in 2009, although I did not post it for publication. You can imagine how I feel about him now.
I remain yours without rancour.
My previous opinion about Obama:
An Enquiry into Senator Obama’s Victory
By Ubanese Nwanganga
Senator’s Obama’s epoch-making victory in the US presidential elections held on November 4, 2008 and his subsequent swearing in on January 20, 2009 expectedly attracted so much global attention that they could well be described as the most important global events of the recent past. The world stood still for America. The events were discussed in several world capitals and even in the remotest of villages. Many people across the globe did not believe that Senator Obama would win. Prior to the elections, many analysts on major international television stations discussed the elections from several perspectives. No matter how hard they tried to hide it the race factor was always an issue. Senator Obama’s defeat of Mrs. Clinton to clinch the Democratic Party ticket surprised some of the journalists and analysts who tried to play the American electorate. Repeatedly, they wondered if America was ready for a black president. If only the analysts, journalists and newsmen on BBC, CNN, Sky News and several other western media houses were to choose for the American electorate, Senator Obama would have lost his deposit. During the election of a successor to Pope John Paul II in 2005, they came out with the position that the world was not ready for a black Pope. And it went their way. Unfortunately, against their expectations, Senator Obama won.
Senator Obama ran a campaign, which could be the envy of any presidential aspirant anywhere any day. The armchair analysts did not dispute that. Their concern was not so much about Senator Obama’s election campaign promises. Rather, their concern had to do with the man’s roots in Africa. And as the saying goes, there is no offspring of the snake without a long tail. Black Africa had produced the likes of Milton Obote, Idi Amin, Mobutu Sese Seko, Kamuzu Banda, Daniel Arap Moi, Ibrahim Babangida, Sani Abacha, Charles Taylor, Joseph Kony, Paul Biya, Robert Mugabe and the randy young King of Swaziland, King Mswati III. All these black African leaders and many more had several things in common: They inflicted on their hapless people the worst forms of tyranny. They visited untold hardship on their compatriots. Through their actions and inactions, Black Africa became synonymous with poverty, stunted development, disease, squalor, civil wars, political intolerance, etc.
The United States of America is not one backwater country whose internal and external affairs are entirely its own, which do not impact on the rest of the world. No, the US is the number one nation on earth today. Its ability to project power beyond its borders to any part of the globe remains unmatched. Its economy, its military, its politics, its world outlook, etc, tower above those of every other nation in the world. Although it is going through difficult economic times, like most countries, it is likely to retain the title of number one nation of the world for a pretty long time to come, no matter the breathtaking developments taking place in China and India. Even a resurgent Russian Federation cannot share that title with the US. Therefore, the analysts were wondering if the world would be safe in the hands of an African even if he was born and brought up in America. Whatever the analysts said and the justifications for their fears, my conclusion is that the extraordinary interests the elections generated outside the US were a fitting tribute to a world leader. The American electorate, fortunately, brushed aside all fears and voted according to the dictates of their conscience.
So, why did the Americans vote for Senator Obama, the son of two students, one Kenyan and the other American who met on the campus of the University of Hawaii? This is a big question. As I said earlier Senator Obama ran an effective campaign, which was driven by issues. A person does not give what he does not have. Senator Obama’s effective campaign was a reflection of his personality. To choose a good campaign manager presupposed that he was a manager of managers. He was able to sift the chaff from the wheat. He subjected himself to reasons instead of being held hostage to emotions. He was a Blackman vying for the office of the president of the United States of America. Yes, black votes alone could not make him USA president. The entire country was his constituency. Therefore, he reached out to all men and women of whatever colour.
Senator Obama was not the first US citizen born by an African student with a white American. Before him, many African students who studied in the US had fathered children with white women. Many of them may have made waves in their chosen areas of human endeavour but little or nothing has been heard about them. In other words, they may have been remarkable in their own right, but they have not made history on the scale of Senator Obama’s. This is a self-evident incontestable truth. Therefore, there must be something special about this young man who not only saw the Promised Land but has now entered it. I think that Senator Obama prepared for history to recognize him. He knew that his background was a burden in itself. It was not just a burden, it was very intimidating. Therefore, instead of succumbing to its weight, with all the willpower in him he took up the challenge:
“Who art thou, my intimidating background? Before me, Barack Obama, thou shall become a stepping stone for my elevation.”
Yes, Senator Obama looked life in the face and refused to beg to live. Therefore, instead of his background being an obstacle, it spurred him to aspire to live life to its fullest, just like any other child of his generation in the country born of white parents. His determination to succeed in life irrespective of his intimidating background was not a product of chance. I mean, it was not as a result of a failed attempt to be like the white boys of his generation that spurred him to action. He knew that if he could brush aside his background the sky would be his limit. Thus he made up his mind early in life to be an achiever who would be celebrated by others. In doing so, he reckoned with his environment, which demanded much from everyone-black, red, white, green, etc. who wished to survive and impact positively on the lives of others.
So, as a man who had taken his destiny in his hands, so it appeared, Senator Obama started in time to plan for November 4, 2008. While his black mates frequented brothels and beer parlours, cavorted with women of easy virtues and tried hard drugs, Senator Obama worked hard on how to make history. Michelle was and still remains his “jewel of inestimable value”. Yes, he was conscious of the moral demands of the project he was contemplating. He knew from experience that the moment he threw his hat into the ring, he ceased to have any privacy. His life would become public property. Everybody who knew anything about him would be free to make it public, without his permission. No part of his life could be hidden from the public.
In the 1980s, Senator Gary Hart, leading Democratic contender for the While House, fell after eating a human bowl of rice known as Donna Rice. Even Reverend Robertson was forced out of the race for the highest elective office in the world on the platform of the Republican Party when it was recalled that his wife had given birth to his first child a few months after his wedding, meaning that he had been sleeping with her long before he wedded her. Yes, a man of God who preached against sex before marriage could not justify having a baby in less than the normal gestation period of pregnancy after his wedding. Have we forgotten how the Reverend Jesse Jackson was shut up as the mouthpiece of the African Americans (onu n’ekwulu ndi oji Amerika)? He fathered a child out of wedlock!!
Senator Barack Obama knew without being told that education frees the mind from ignorance and that it is only the mind that is so free that can change history. So, he did not pay lip service to education. Therefore, he worked hard academically and became rewarded with a position, which no Blackman before him had occupied: Editor of the Harvard University Law Journal. Intellectually, he was ready to tackle difficult tasks.
Instead of stealing from the public purse, Senator Barack Obama left indelible mark in his community in the state of Illinois. His integrity was intact and unquestionable. He was not a moral misfit looking for concessions or tokens on which to ride to national prominence.
I doff my heart for the young man who said “yes, we can.” He claimed victory in a remarkable way. But I believe that without his determination to succeed, the victory being savoured by all and sundry would not have happened. He saw an opportunity and went for it and won. Senator Obama was not a candidate by accident. He was not a Shehu Shagari. He was not an Obasanjo either. Nor would anybody equate with him a Yar’Adua. All these are men who ran for the highest office in Nigeria against their will. Shagari was a monumental failure even though he was an honest man in office and did not steal from our collective purse. Obasanjo did not only fail to leave a good legacy, his record as a leader who abused the public trust is unrivalled.
Yar’Adua is hanging on in office despite poor health. There is no doubt that he will not leave any appreciable mark. Why did he allow himself to be stampeded into office by Obasanjo? I thought that after eight years of being in charge in poverty stricken Katsina state, where the likes of Dr. Usman Bugaje and Hon. Bello Masari gave him sleepless nights, the prince of the Caliphate would have taken a well-deserved rest of not less than one year during which his wife of many years, Turai, would just nurse him back to health. Unlike his late senior brother, who had built political bridges of understanding across Nigeria in preparation for national public office, Yar’Adua did not know some of his ministers whom he met for the first time at their swearing in ceremony. Therefore, it is obvious that he may not leave any worthwhile legacy in office.
I salute the white American population. Senator Obama’s victory would not have been possible without white votes. Instead, Senator Obama would have joined the ranks of such failed presidential aspirants as John Kerry, Al Gore, Bob Dole, Michael Dukakis, Walter Mondale, George McGovern, etc. What is interesting about the white voters is that it was not because of their love for Senator Obama that they voted for him. Rather, the white Americans made Obama’s victory possible in defense of enlightened self-interest. George W. Bush of the Grand Old Party had frittered away eight years of opportunity to write his name in gold by improving on what he inherited from the remarkable Clinton’s presidency. He failed to better the lives of his countrymen and women, majority of who are white people. The nadir of his presidency was the misadventure in Iraq, which has now become a waste pipe. Taxpayers’ money is being wasted there while the American economy slips deep into recession. American troops are being killed in Iraq. This needless war must be stopped. Whoever promised to pull America out of another Vietnam in the making, the white population would file behind him, no matter the colour of his skin or eyes.
I have read some local commentaries, which concluded that the white votes were cast for Senator Obama as atonement for the slavery or racial segregations of the past. In politics whether in the jungle (Black Africa) or in an enlightened environment as in the States, there is no morality. If there was no cause, i.e., impending countrywide recession, Senator Obama would have been rejected by the white voters. There was also the question of Senator Obama’s convincing appeal. Therefore, it is, to me, wrong to conclude that the white voters voted for Senator Obama to atone for the injustices of the past against black people of America. In fact, I think it is dangerous to travel this route. However, I am happy that Senator Obama would not for once entertain it. I am happy that he has started off well. He understands that he was elected by the generality of Americans-white, black, green, red, blue, etc.to reinvent America. Senator Obama was elected to chart a new course for the foremost nation in the world.
His brief includes fixing the American economy, that is, to arrest the rapid slide into recession. It also includes projecting a new face of America that could win friends instead of making enemies. Similarly, the mandate recognizes that the world needs a leader without which global anarchy would be the order of the day. Senator Obama is that leader. Therefore, America would provide world leadership by righting wrongs where they exist and reining in errant members of the international community. In this regard, while everybody expects President Obama to fast tract the resolution of the Arab-Israeli conflict, rogue elements and terrorists groups would have nowhere to hide. Rogue regimes in Africa such as Mugabe’s Zimbabwe need to be dealt with promptly. Any measure to force the old man of 85 years out of office will be received in Africa as a forward-looking American Africa policy.
Even then, it takes a mind that is free to take some critical decisions, which may bother on self-preservation or self-interest. Back home in Africa, the Hausa/Fulani, the Shona, Hutus, the Kikuyus, the Luos, etc., would rather retrogress instead of electing an Obama, who is not one of them, on merit to put their countries on the path to greatness. In other words, in Africa south of the Sahara, enlightened self/group interest is daily sacrificed in order to massage egos. Sometime last year, Godwin Daboh, who will never cease to be mischievous until he enters six feet below, spoke the mind of the north when he declared that power in Nigeria must reside in the north until 2015. To underline the seriousness of his position, he said emphatically that if Yar’Adua dropped dead or resigned on account of poor health, the north would not allow the sitting Vice President, Goodluck Jonathan to succeed him. For Jonathan to succeed Yar’Adua, should the need arise, is a constitutional matter. To the unpredictable rascally politician from Benue state, who is like a reed in a river being tossed about by violent currents, violating the supreme law of the land is no big deal, provided the north has its way. That explains why Africans are suffering in spite of God’s benevolent abundance.
Similarly, I salute the black population of America. Although Senator Obama did not run as a black candidate, the overwhelming majority of African Americans gave their unqualified support to one of their kind. To a good number of them, it appeared surreal initially. Many of them did not believe an American president of African descent could be a reality in their lifetime. Some even thought that it was better to vote for Obama’s opponent, Senator John McCain, who was more likely to win instead of wasting their votes. Yet, those of them who studied Senator Obama’s life saw a man who had appointment with history. He was scandal free. Intellectually, he was heavily loaded. In his community in Illinois State he was a bridge builder and a man of the people, black and white. Therefore, those who could afford it like the Oprah Winfreys contributed to Senator Obama’s campaign funds. Others joined in mobilizing young voters to register so as to enable them to vote. On the Election Day proper they trooped out in their numbers to be part of making history.
In paying tribute to African Americans, one must not forget the man of vision through whose faith in God Almighty, foresight and dogged non-violent engagements of the forces of oppression, which enjoyed state support, died for the freedom of the Blackman in the land of freedom. Although he was assassinated in 1968, the Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. saw and lived November 4, 2008, when in his famous speech “I have a Dream”, he predicted that the US would one day live up to the dreams of its founding fathers. He did not die in vain. With only 39 years on earth, Reverend King’s life gave meaning to the saying that it is not how long but how purposeful.
The role of luck in Senator Obama’s victory should not be glossed over. As we have seen already Obama knew that he was destined to make history and worked hard toward achieving it. We have also seen that he had a good dose of foresight. But all things considered Senator Obama was and is lucky. Consider the financial crises, which started in the US and have now assuming global nature. Now, suppose that Obama came out after Clinton’s eight years in office? Many white voters would have rejected him. Besides, all things considered there was no serious male contender against Obama for the Democratic ticket. His strongest challenger was the former First lady, Hilary Clinton. I would not say that Americans are not yet ready for a female president but Mrs. Clinton did not make few enemies while in the White House as First Lady. Besides, there is a difference between a Bill and a Hilary.
But the greatest factor, which favoured Senator Obama’s victory, was President Bush’s nonperformance in office. His eight years in the White House was an unmitigated disaster. Burgeoning national budget deficits, increasing unemployment, factories closing and transferring operations to India and China, the so-called outsourcing of production and to cap it all, the Iraq debacle, all contributed to make the GOP unpopular. President Bush however was not in office alone. Therefore, all those who were associated with his administration, including those who supported him from the Congress such as Senator John McCain were part and parcel of President Bush’s failures in office. I doubt if a Ronald Reagan could have turned the fortunes of the Republican Party around, after President Bush’s dismal performance.
Since Senator Obama won the elections, Africans south of the Sahara have joined the rest of the world to celebrate the victory. In fact right from the time it became obvious that Senator Obama was the candidate to beat in the Democratic primaries, all over black Africa there was rejoicing. His Kenyan origins became a factor. A black man was going to occupy the most powerful elective office in the world. We had Obama music and Obama souvenirs of different designs. Success, they say, has many relatives. Senator Obama’s historic success has underlined it very eloquently.
While it is the inalienable right of every individual or group of individuals to celebrate whatever they wish to celebrate I found the declaration of a public holiday in Kenya on Thursday, November 6, 2008 by President Mwai Kibaki very hypocritical and disgusting. The declaration was without conscience. Here was President Kibaki, an old man in his seventies, who was chosen by the opposition to wrench power from the clenched fists of a ruthless dictator and former President, Arap Moi who wanted to die in office. In choosing Kibaki, the opposition gave him one term of office of five years. Considering his age and physical fitness, he was a stopgap president. Alas, the opposition was wrong. The moment he was sworn in, on a wheelchair, the Arap Moi in him began to manifest. Once he tested power it suddenly dawned on him that it was very sweet. Little wonder, he wondered, African leaders found it difficult to let go power once it was safely in their hands. He began to dream dreams about extending his stay to a second term.
But what was he going to tell the so-called progressives who had been united in opposition against Arap Moi? The answer was simple: take recourse to ethnic sentiments. Even though he had not shared his loot nor is he ever going to share it in future with his Kikuyu kinsmen, what if he raised a band of praise singers and ethnic jingoists and wrestlers who would let anybody who cared to listen know that the Kikuyus were born to rule in Kenya forever? Systematically, Kibaki began to breach the gentleman’s agreement he had reached with the members of the former opposition on whose back he had ridden to power. As he introduced ethnic politics into the former opposition, which had been united against a despot, the stage was set for violence in the next Kenyan elections schedule for December 2007. The rest they say is now history. So, was Kibaki declaring public holiday to celebrate the American dream, which he had worked so hard and tirelessly to stifle in his native Kenya? In Kenya would Senator Obama have had any chance of winning decisively, as he did in the US? Why is America different from Kenya? I am sure there are many Obamas in Kenya whose potentials cannot see the light of day because the Kibakis would not allow them.
Back home in Nigeria, Maurice Iwu, Selector-In-Chief of the Independent (?) National Electoral Commission, INEC, could not stand the history being made in the US. Dazed and confused, he declared that the Americans should come down to Nigeria to learn how to conduct elections. What an insult! The professor of pharmacology had allowed himself to be rubbished by political reprobates. If I were Maurice Iwu I would have resigned immediately after the havoc he helped create across his fatherland in the name of conducting elections. In fact, I had expected that he would have seized the opportunity of his several unnecessary trips to the US to seek political asylum, far from the reach of the nest of killers called PDP, which had hired him to destroy democracy in Nigeria. From there he should have apologized to Nigerians and asked for forgiveness. He refused to do so, and instead added insult to injury by making mockery of Nigeria and Nigerians, before the international community. I hope he would find a dungeon dark enough to hide him when his tenure of office would be over.
After Senator McCain conceded defeat and congratulated Senator Obama, I called up my son in the US to congratulate him for witnessing history in that great country. We exchanged views on a number of issues concerning the elections. Then, he shocked me when he asked what lesson the Igbo nation could learn from the Obama victory. He argued that Ndiigbo should not wait for rotation to clinch the presidency in Nigeria. I wanted to change the topic but considering his age and the keen interest he had shown in the past in the political fortunes and/or misfortunes of Ndiigbo in Nigeria, I decided to enlighten him on a few home truths about Nigeria and the fate of the Igbo man especially after the failed Biafran war of independence.
To begin with, I admitted that the great moment in the US being celebrated by many across the globe was made possible by human beings, who did not have two heads. I also admitted that although our educational achievements had a lot room for improvement, we had reached a stage that we could handle such national civic duty as conducting elections without assistance from anybody outside our shores. Then, I pointed out that in the US or elsewhere in the developed countries of Europe and the Far East, politics was service to the people. People who had made money in their chosen areas of human endeavour go into politics to contribute to the uplift of the society.
In other words, politics in such countries is not like investing in stocks, for instance, which must yield dividends. Besides, political parties in those countries are associations, which bring together men and women who subscribe to and are driven by the same visions, positive or negative, after all the German National Socialist Party, Nazi, which produced Adolf Hitler, won elections in Germany in 1933. Party men and women are ideologically compatible. They have convictions. As such, they do not jump from one party to another looking for where to feather their nests. Governor Ikedi Ohakim has just dumped PPA for PDP. Why? Two reasons: he has failed to impact positively on the people of Imo state to earn him a re-election in 2011. Secondly and more importantly, in PDP he is guaranteed a second term despite his performance. He will be imposed on the state through rigging.
In other words, politicians in advanced democracies are not hungry men and women who are looking for opportunities to feed their families and pay school fees or own houses in their national capitals or elsewhere. If their party is not in power they see themselves as a government in waiting. Yes, in the advanced countries of the world, opposition is an integral part of the political landscape, which the governments of the day respect and would not go all out to crush or destroy by branding their members enemies of the states, who must be dealt with by applying the carrot and stick. In the US, a man or woman does not offer himself for public office when his/her past is as filthy as a pit latrine. A man without much upstairs does not join the fray just because he has got the financial muscle. This is because as the saying goes “None ought to govern who is not better than the governed.” In developed democracies, leaders resign their positions if their integrity and judgments were questioned. Nor would they desire to change the constitution of their countries or political parties just to accommodate their personal or group interests.
The direct opposites of all the points mentioned above and much more, I pointed out to the young man, obtain in Nigeria and much of Africa south of the Sahara. The PDP has destroyed the ANPP using hungry politicians such Edwin Umezuoke. The Action Party, which gave us some hope in the build-up to Maurice Iwu’s abracadabra in 2007, is on the verge of disintegration. Its facilitators cannot stay any longer in the cold, out of power. Members of the senate Committee that screened ministerial nominees in 2003 were accused by el Rufai of demanding N54 million bribe from him before they could approve of his appointment. According to el Rufai, he refused to pay but it is widely believed that his mentor then who had nominated him to the cabinet paid the money on his behalf. Following el Rufai’s allegation, the Senate quickly set up a committee to investigate the scandal. Expectedly, the committee did not waste time to clear the Ibrahim Mantu-led screening committee of any wrongdoing. Senator Ibrahim Mantu lived in his own house in Asokoro area of Abuja. He negotiated the rent as well as how much to furnish it with himself. In the end, after serving as both landlord and tenant at the same time, more than N54 million of taxpayers’ money went into Mantu’s pocket fraudulently.
The first woman to head the House of Representatives, Hon. Patricia Olubunmi Ette, a Hairdresser who was imposed on the House by former President Obasanjo, was involved in the N628 million renovation scandal. It took a lot of pressure before she reluctantly resigned as Speaker. She is still a member of the House. In the same Honourable (or is it Dishonorable?) House, a big scandal has been raging. Youthful Speaker, Oladimeji Bankole, used about N2.3 billion to buy cars for the lawmakers. Barrister Festus Keyamo says he smelt rat and asked Bankole to come clean of the allegation or resign honourably. No way! The House has now cleared him of any wrong doing. Besides, the Dishonorable Members have instructed the security agencies to go after Barrister Keyamo. I will not be surprised if Barrister Keyamo is in the dock while men and women who should be tied to the stakes at Bar Beach and shot will be riding about town in bulletproof Peugeot 407 bought with taxpayers’ money.
So, to answer my son’s interesting question, in Nigeria, selections are made in the name of holding elections. Spineless men like Maurice Iwu are employed to carry out the selection exercise on behalf of the cabal that has held Nigeria down since independence. Unless the Igbo man is anointed by the Caliphate he cannot be selected to occupy Aso Rock Villa. And the Caliphate does not intend to lose its stranglehold on state power, as it uses it to manipulate and influence Nigeria the way it pleases it. One of its errand boys, Godwin Daboh, not long ago decreed that power must remain with the north until 2015. By then, the north will allow power to rotate to the south. Vice President Goodluck Jonathan is being positioned to take over in 2015, if he remains a loyal servant, especially with regard to reining in his restive brothers to maintain the peace so that the oil wells of the Niger Delta will continue to give out the black gold for our petrol dollars. If he desecrates his high office, another Ijaw man, in order to appease the militants, will be chosen to hold the cow for the Caliphate to milk from 2015 to 2023 when the north will take over again for another eight years.
Therefore, assuming Chukwuma Soludo, former Governor of the Central Bank decides to throw his hat into the ring by 2011, he will receive no more votes than Chief Gani Fawehinmi received in 2003. Therefore, the Nigerian Obama cannot be an Igbo man, at least for now. Worse still, the system we operate, which enthrones mediocrity and downplays merit, cannot allow our own Obama to emerge even from the preferred stock of Nigerians. This is simple. A Nigerian Obama would not condone election rigging. He would not allocate populations figures to different ethnic nationalities that make up Nigeria, which do not reflect their actual populations. He would not protect ex-governors who bled their states to death simply because they invested part of the loot in his election. Nor would he appoint such ex-governors into his cabinet.
You see, the hood does not make the monk. A progressive is not made by mere mouthing it. A lot of noise was made about President Yar’Adua’s background going by his PRP days. In politics, marriages of convenience do not last. That President Yar’Adua has worked harmoniously with political reprobates, prostitutes, wolves, thieves, etc., shows that he is one with them. Now, imagine President Yar’Adua appointing Tony Anenih as the Chairman of Nigerian Ports Authority, the second largest money spinner after the customs and excise. Here is a man whose tenure as Minister of Works was an unmitigated disaster. Despite over N300billion appropriated for construction and rehabilitation of roads during his tenure of office there was nothing to show for all that money. Tell me the company you keep and I will tell you who you are. President Yar’Adua is not a man of the people, his socialist pretences of the past notwithstanding.
Despite poor health and lackluster performance, President Yar’Adua is contemplating going for a second term in office come 2011. I feel very sorry for Nigeria. Why is patriotism scarce in our country? Patriotism has many variants; it manifests in so many ways. If a man is unfit for an office, patriotism demands that he should not accept it. If Yar’Adua made mistake in 2007, what will he tell Nigerians in 2011? Or, is it true that his wife, who is believed to be running the show now, seizing every opportunity to hug the limelight, is the one who is in the forefront of Project 2011? Let us not forget that this is how Third Term started. Fly the kite. Test the waters. Keep mum. Ignore the press. If the project fails, ask for evidence that you were interested in it.
I wish to conclude this essay by returning to Senator Barack Obama. By sheer willpower and determination, he propelled himself to the reckoning of his countrymen and women, nay the world. He was a young man to watch. He was not half baked. He was not a bad product, which required all the primordial and mundane considerations to sell. The American dream was beckoning. He took a look at the conditions and standards attached to it, which could not be lowered, altered or diluted to accommodate misfits masquerading as leaders of the disadvantaged. Yes, the conditions were tough but achievable. He put on the armour and took the plunge and thus became the first American of African descent to be elected President of the most powerful country in the world. We wish him the best in the White House.
By Ubanese Nwanganga; firstname.lastname@example.org
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