TRUMP’S PRESTIGE IN THE BELLY OF THE SEA: WHAT NIGERIA SHOULD LEARN FROM THE U. S.

Since the U. S. elections which saw President-elect, Joe Biden, returned as the winner, U. S. democracy has been in the eye of the storm. A situation which was heightened on 6 January 2021 as the supporters of President Donald Trump caused a riot at the U. S. Capitol in an attempt to stop the Congress from counting and confirming the Electoral College results. The awful incident led to the death of at least four people before the security agencies put it under control.

The Capitol incident seems to be the last push needed to finally deliver the prestige of Trump into the belly of the sea. It was reasonably believed that Trump’s comments which appear to be inciteful motivated his supporters into rioting. In reaction, Trump’s social media accounts were suspended or permanently banned by the social media giants, Facebook, Instagram  and Twitter, for offending platform rules and being allegedly used as a tool for inciting violence. The embarrassing development was such that on Twitter for instance, Trump’s account was not only banned, but some tweets from his account as the President of the United States (POTUS) was also disallowed.

World leaders such as the British Prime Minister, Boris Johnson; Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission; French Foreign Minister, Jean-Yves Le Drian are some of those who condemned the pro-Trump riot at the Capitol.

Although President Trump has agreed that there will be peaceful handover of power to Joe Biden, the riot at the Capitol and its results have been registered in the bad page of the history book of the U. S. politics.

Lessons

As observed elsewhere, “The loyalty of a vice-president should not be squarely to the president alone, but to the nation. Where the president appears to set himself up against the Constitution of the nation and will of the people, the vice-president and every well-meaning member of his administration should not stand with him.”

The U. S. Vice President, Mike Pence, led by example. He bravely presided over the counting and confirmation of the Electoral College votes to the displeasure of his boss, Trump. In Nigeria, no Vice President has demonstrated such bravery. None has stood against any unconstitutional and unlawful acts of the President.

In Nigeria, retaining power and position is the ultimate desire of those serving in any administration. Virtually no kind of development will inspire resignation by any office holder as a mark of protest. But in the U. S. for instance, the aftermath of the Capitol riot saw the resignation of the U. S. Secretary of Transportation, Elaine Chao. Some others who resigned their positions include, the Deputy National Security Adviser, Matthew Pottinger; Tyler Goodspeed, the Acting Chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers; and Ryan Tully, President Donald Trump’s top White House Adviser on Europe and Russia.

Rather than resign, office holders will go to any length to defend the indefensible. Even if it means rendering opinions that murders common sense.

The slogan in Nigeria appears to be, “Nothing will happen”. Impunities are executed and nothing truly happens. For instance, a sitting Chief Justice of Nigeria was evacuated from office by unconstitutional means and nothing happened. Live bullets were used on peaceful protesters at Lekki Toll Gate in Lagos by the military and nothing happened. There are more, many more in this current administration and even past administrations.

Instead of receiving undue accolades, President Trump has received well-deserved criticisms within his fold for his conduct thus far. In Nigeria, a sitting President enjoys nothing but praises within his camp. Even if he defecates on the altar, persons in his outer and inner cabinets will use their clothes to wipe out the mess against all odds. 

Conclusion

Most Nigerian leaders seem to love their positions more than they love Nigeria, with the proud exception of President Goodluck Jonathan who proved otherwise. The high level of unpatriotism is sitting deep within the masses too. Office holders should bear in mind that their true allegiance in line with their oath of office lies with the nation and its constitution, and not with the President or Governor as the case may be.

Featured Image Credit: CNN



Stephen Azubuike
Author: Stephen Azubuike
Stephen is a lawyer with expertise in Commercial Dispute Resolution and Technology Law practice. He is a Partner at Infusion Lawyers. He has successfully argued cases from the High Courts of various jurisdictions to the Appellate Courts on behalf of financial institutions, other corporate bodies and multinationals. He has worked with a number of startup tech companies. He tweets @siazubuike.

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