U. S. DEMOCRACY IN THE EYE OF THE STORM: WHY TRUMP OWES NIGERIA AN APOLOGY

With the current development at the U. S. Capitol (Capitol Building – the meeting place of the United States Congress and the seat of the legislative arm of the U. S. Federal Government), U. S. democracy is in the eye of the storm.

The Washington Post reports that:

A day that began with thousands of President Trump’s supporters in Washington for demonstrations turned violent as many in attendance saw Wednesday as a last stand for Trump because Congress was set to confirm that President-elect Joe Biden won the election.

Trump — who lost the popular and electoral college vote — continues to dispute the election results, without evidence, and has encouraged his supporters to attend the rallies. He took the stage about noon to roaring crowds, falsely claiming he had won the election.

Later at the U.S. Capitol, throngs of people pushed past police who were trying to block them from entering the building as lawmakers inside debated counting electoral college votes confirming Biden’s victory. A mob was able to breach security and successfully enter the building, where one person was shot and later died.

According to CNN, the U. S. Capitol has not witnessed anything like this since 1814:

The stunning display of insurrection was the first time the US Capitol had been overrun since the British attacked and burned the building in August of 1814, during the War of 1812, according to Samuel Holliday, director of scholarship and operations with the US Capitol Historical Society.

Trump’s offensive claim

President Trump has refused to accept defeat at the elections. In a tweet from his official Twitter handle, he claimed that the U. S. Election Process is worse than that of third world countries.

Trump’s claim is spiteful against third world countries like Nigeria, in particular. When Nigeria was at the brink of political turmoil during the 2015 elections, the former President at the time, President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan (GEJ) conceded defeat to the current President, President Muhammadu Buhari, by that telephone call that saved the nation of bloodshed.

GEJ has till date been regarded as a national hero. Looking at what is happening in the U. S., GEJ is truly a world hero. Nigerians mostly revere the former President because it was seriously doubtful if Buhari would have conceded defeat if tables were turned. Considering the violence that greeted previous elections where Buhari had contested and lost, Nigerians were soaked in fear in 2015 mostly because no one could predict what would have happened if Buhari had lost. GEJ had promised that his political ambition is not worth the blood of any Nigerian and he kept his word. He conceded defeat not because he did not smell foul play like Trump, but because he looked at the big picture and the overall interest of the nation.

As a result, Trump owe Nigeria an apology by his utterance against third world countries which includes Nigeria.

While the U. S. is presently setting a bad example in democratic process, there are still some good examples for our attention in Nigeria. For instance, we learnt of the greater speed with which the U. S. courts treated certain cases filed by Trump’s camp at the heat of the election. Although our courts are doing their best in election cases, there is room for improvement. Also, the disposition of the U. S. Vice President, Mike Pence, in not taking sides with President Trump is commended. From the reports, there is mass resignations from Trump administration following the President’s failure to stop Capitol violence. This is notwithstanding that he had called for for everyone to remain peaceful.

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. 

Conclusion

At the moment, Trump seems to be crossing the Rubicon. Will he burn his boat? We will know in the coming days. The development at the U. S. Capitol reminds us of what happened to Julius Caeser at the Capitol, as depicted in the famous Shakespeare Play, Julius Caeser – a Play based on true story in Roman history. May there be no civil war in the U. S. – the darling nation of the world, and arguably the greatest.

 

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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