Jul 11, 2009

Nigeria and Obama’s Visit to Ghana

Nigeria’s democracy suffers from epilepsy and would not function properly. It ensures that only the incumbent wins an election. Members of the opposition parties have thus been defecting to the ruling party. Nigeria is practically now a one-party state.

Foreigners from outside Africa often say that Nigeria is the most conspicuous African nation. By extension, its sins are also conspicuous and Americans have also seen them. The administration of Barack Obama has not hidden its displeasure with the path of events in Nigeria. Thus it chose not to come to Nigeria despite Nigeria’s leading role in Sub-Saharan Africa. it means that Nigeria is still an outsider in the circle of nations, a status it suffered during the military era. It also means that Nigeria during and after the military era has remained the same.

While Obama’s refusal to come to Nigeria is a source of pain to Nigerian leaders, it is a source of joy to the ordinary man. Professor Jubril Aminu who is presently a Senator and who served as a Minister of Education and Petroleum Resources at different times during the military era condemns Obama’s action. According to him, “Obama should have come to Nigeria and scold us here. It would have made more sense.” Again he says, “I don’t have anything against Ghana, but Obama shouldn’t have been specific by pronouncing Nigerian democracy as sinister as one of his aides told us when we visited the White House.” These comments seem to express the mind of a man that has chosen to remain stiff-necked. On the other hand, an ordinary Nigerian commented mockingly on VOA Hausa on the morning of the second day of Obama’s visit to Ghana saying, “Aso Rock has a history of electric power failure and Obama would not compromise his security. He could be shot in the dark.” Too harsh one would say, but the Nigeria situation is capable of provoking such vitriolic comments.

In case the Nigeria leadership cannot troubleshoot, the hitch has now been diagnosed for them. There are more than six billion pair of eyes now staring at it to see whether it cherishes material possession or its integrity.

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