By Dakuku Peterside.
Joe Biden is formally the President-elect of the US of America. A number of world leaders have congratulated him together with our personal former President Olusegun Obasanjo and present President Muhammadu Buhari . In an election that divided the nation into two opposing camps, with accusations and counter-accusations and the best variety of voting in US historical past, People have unequivocally voted for change from the established order. The outgoing president of the US of America, Donald J. Trump, will go down in historical past as one of the crucial consequential world leaders in trendy historical past. The presumed ‘Chief of the Free World’ is beloved and hated virtually in equal measure.
Those who detest him are in awe of how a sane and respectable particular person could be interested in an alleged serial philanderer, a racist, a megalomaniac, a narcissist and a conman. They marvel how Evangelical Christians can swear by a person who allegedly hardly goes to church, can not quote a verse of the bible, boasted that he has by no means requested God for forgiveness. How can any trustworthy particular person admire a president who allegedly admitted to paying off a prostitute, cheated on his three wives, gamed the federal government by declaring bankruptcies and avoiding taxes?
The Donald Trump presidency defied odds . Nobody took him critically when he declared his intention to run for president. Few individuals believed that an outsider like him might defeat the well-entrenched Hilary Clinton. He’s thought by many to be racist, however he expanded his African American vote. He accused Mexicans of sending rapist and murderers to the US, and his central marketing campaign mantra was constructing a wall on the US Southern border with Mexico to be paid for by Mexico ,however he elevated his Latino assist base all through his presidency. Many know him for his anti-Islamic stance and rhetoric. Nonetheless, exit polls from the final election confirmed that he bought an astounding 35% of the Muslim vote. Within the US the place there’s a consensus that President Trump mishandled the Covid-19 Pandemic, counties with worst virus surges overwhelmingly voted for him. An Related Press evaluation reveals that in 376 counties with the best variety of new circumstances per capita, the overwhelming majority — 93 per cent of these counties — went for Trump, a price above different much less severely hit areas.
Donald Trump is just a phenomenon.
Lengthy earlier than he launched his bid for the US presidency, he was a vocal proponent of the “birther” fable, claiming that Barack Obama, the first-ever African-American president who was born of a Kenyan father, was not born within the US and subsequently ineligible to be president. His derogatory feedback in January 2018, the place he described African states as ‘shitholes’ confirmed that he had scant regard for the continent.
The continent of Africa didn’t profit a lot on the financial entrance. He didn’t have an African coverage and by no means set his foot on African soil . He imposed tariffs on African international locations like South Africa, Egypt and Rwanda. They’ve little energy to retaliate, not like the EU or China. His administration took excessive steps towards Rwanda for taxing second-hand American garments to guard its toddler textile trade. He suspended the nation from duty-free entry to US markets.
President Donald Trump has met with simply two African presidents on the White Home in virtually 4 years, fewer than any of his predecessors. He has repeatedly proposed deep cuts to international help applications, that are important to the continent.
For Nigeria, particularly, it has been a difficult journey with Trump. Since US President Donald Trump took workplace in 2016, Nigeria has been one of many targets of a number of of his administration’s anti-immigration insurance policies. There may be the proposed change to pupil visa guidelines by the US Division of Homeland Safety which is able to imply Nigerian college students (alongside 35 different African international locations) will solely be issued with preliminary two-year visas even when their diploma applications will take longer. Whereas extending these visas at further prices, there is no such thing as a assure they are going to be granted. Moreover, there may be the indefinite suspension of the visa interview waiver for Nigerian candidates and a ban on issuing immigrant visa to Nigerians. Nigeria recorded essentially the most huge world drop-off in guests to the US in 2019.
Regardless of these, Trump is seemingly beloved in Africa, particularly amongst Nigerian Pentecostals. On the day of the US elections final Tuesday, Trump tweeted to his 88 million followers a video of a whole lot of individuals in Onitsha, Anambra State holding a rally and carrying banners in prayer and assist for his re-election.
Nigerians are among the many prime 5 international locations that comply with Trump on Twitter.
The widespread assumption is that the primary purpose for Nigerians’ assist for Trump is rooted in his well-cultivated political picture of somebody who represents conservative and household values. His coverage stances within the areas of abortion and homosexuality pull amongst swathes of Nigerians the place the inhabitants is usually conservative. In Nigeria, most individuals grew up in non secular properties, that means that Nigerians are more likely to be extra conservative than liberal.
Most Nigerian Christians, just like the evangelicals in the US, are staunch supporters of the US President. Regardless of his racist’s tendencies and dangerous character, they see him as a ‘messiah’ who has come to ‘restore God to America’ after Barack Obama’s days of selling the ‘evil of homosexuality.’
As Trump exits the stage, the influence of his four-year drama-like presidency will reverberate in Africa for years to come back. For one, after the way in which President Trump has so demeaned American’s once-revered establishments, the US might have misplaced the ethical authority to dictate to any African chief the way to conduct him or herself in workplace. This president, each when he first ran in 2016 and later throughout his re-election marketing campaign in 2020, refused blatantly to commit himself to the orderly switch of energy within the occasion of a loss.
He had alleged that the American electoral system is rigged, claimed victory in an election when the votes have been nonetheless being counted, alleged huge voter fraud within the US electioneering course of and referred to as the counting course of a “main fraud,” after which introduced that he would name on the Supreme Courtroom to offer him victory. He has requested that his political opponents be despatched to jail and allegedly has personally profited illegally whereas in energy. He unilaterally pulled the US out of worldwide accords just like the Paris Local weather Settlement, began acrimonious commerce wars with buddies and foes of America and threatened to withdraw from NATO.
It has been astonishing to many individuals, watching essentially the most highly effective man on the earth throwing infantile tantrums, insulting adversaries, undermining the establishments of the state and mercilessly attacking the foundations of American democracy. When an African chief takes a clue and re-enacts the Trump principle, what turns into of that specific nation contemplating the prevalence of weak establishments and powerful personalities all throughout the African management spectrum? Suppose an African president loses an election tomorrow and refuses to just accept the end result with the excuse of unsubstantiated voter fraud as Trump is doing. Would the US State Division have the center or temerity to difficulty the same old menace of condemnations and sanctions when the strongman is barely moulding himself within the type of Donald Trump?
There have been the nice sides of Donald J. Trump. He introduced his enterprise experience to bear on his financial insurance policies, and the consequence was that the American financial system was thriving earlier than Covid-19 got here and upturned every part.
Nonetheless, the outgoing US President could be extra remembered for the identify callings, the impetuousness, his battle with information and fact, his internecine battle with the American information media, the decimation of worldwide alliances and treaties, the counter-productive disruptions he dropped at the world order. Extra dishonourably, Mr Trump might be remembered because the America president who relentlessly attacked and tried to destroy the American electioneering course of and by extension, the muse of America’s as soon as admirable democracy.
The primary lesson for Nigeria is that the Donald Trump presidency demonstrated the significance of getting robust establishments. He confirmed crass cronyism in appointing his daughter Ivanka Trump and son-in-law Jared Kushner to official authorities positions. He fired his first Legal professional Normal, Jeff Periods as a result of the previous senator refused to do his biddings and changed him with a extra compliant William Barr. He fought ferociously to maintain his tax returns hidden.
Nonetheless, the US was in a position to survive these as a result of the nation has over time constructed robust establishments. Establishments are so robust that they’ll survive a vicious and sustained assault by a sitting president. Due to this fact, Nigeria shall try to strengthen its establishments. We must always recognise that management is transient. Leaders come and go. Nonetheless, the establishments transcend the leaders.
Donald Trump waged a fierce battle towards the press. A frontrunner who has scant regard for fact and information will all the time are available in battle with a free press. The outgoing US President derided unfavourable information experiences as pretend information and declared the media because the enemy of the individuals.
However the US media refused to bow to the whims and caprices of Mr Trump. He has proven his admiration for authoritarian leaders. They continued to carry his authorities accountable and his defeat, the primary of an incumbent American president in virtually 30 years, is a kind of vindication for the US mainstream media.
On this vein, the Nigerian press ought to try more durable to show that they’re the Fourth Property of the Realm. They need to proceed to carry the federal government accountable by offering an goal and unbiased appraisal of presidency insurance policies and programmes.
The most important US networks referred to as the election for Joe Biden when he crossed the brink of 270 Electoral votes. With the decision, the previous vice chairman was routinely regarded by one and all because the president-elect even when the states who’re legally entitled to declare the winner of the election of their numerous states have been but to certify the election outcomes.
The above is a sign of how nicely regarded the American media are. Can the Nigerian media do that?
Trump got here to the reckoning of most People and the world because the host of The Apprentice – a actuality present. He most likely handled the American presidency as one other actuality present. And within the course of left a stain that may take years, if not many years to wash up.