Home Opinion Fix Your ‘Shithole’: President Trump Challenges Buhari

Fix Your ‘Shithole’: President Trump Challenges Buhari


By Akin Fadeyi

ABUJA (Sundiata Post) ​I have taken a ride on Uber in the U.S. several times. Something seems consistent. Many who drive engage me in the question of and discussions on “where are you from?”

When I say Nigeria, they usually respond lik,e “oh, I got a lot of Nigerian friends!”

Some say, “oh, I met a Nigerian doctor in my hospital last week, she was good!” I always say “thank you”.

Then when I ask them, “have you been to Africa before?”, many respond, “oh no, I’ve only been to South Carolina”. They might also mention other states too.

Others say, “I’ve never been out of here before”.

I asked a lady one day why she never travelled out of Chicago, and she informed me that, “oh I’m afraid of flying”!

This is the clear picture of an average citizen in America currently under the leadership of Donald Trump, who in his prejudiced and convenient logic called Africa a shithole.

For those who have never seen other parts of the world amongst Americans, he has added to their ignorance another falsified “truth”.

The United States of America (USA) is still one of the greatest nations on earth.

The world’s wealthiest individuals and corporations are based in the USA. These are truths that no one can push under.

However, according to “Recovering Caucasian Racists Story” on chiniquy.wordpress.com, there was a time when the Native Americans, who had welcomed the European colonists, were forcibly removed from their lands during the 19th century and placed in internment, concentration and reservation camps.

There was a time when Native American children were taken away from their families and sent to the so-called boarding schools, during the late 19th and early 20th centuries, where they were prevented from speaking their native languages, and were subjected to the forceful indoctrination of accepting Christianity, with many of them being sexually molested by paedophiles who were in charge of running these schools.

There was a time America enslaved Africans and forcefully made them construct what we have as today’s America.

There was a time newly freed slaves were terrorised by the Redshirts – a terrorist group that existed in the southern states of America during Reconstruction.

There was a time in over 135 years after the signing of the Declaration of Independence, when the women of America were still being denied the right to vote because “women were too emotional; or too feeble-minded to vote”.

There was a time Japanese Americans were forcibly removed from the West Coast and sent to the internment/concentration camps, just like the Jews in Europe during the early years of WWII; the Japanese-Americans lost their homes and businesses. That’s was ethnic cleansing too.

America went through its crudity and savagery. America indulged in ethnic cleansing and slave trade. America tampered with human rights. All the ideals we are quick to naively celebrate America for today.

The white supremacists went numb and sick when Obama won elections. They could not fathom or stand the face of an African/American in the White House. They’ve retained the KKK as a symbol of the violent tradition of that and other allied bigotries.

The narrative Trump is pushing now goes deeper than trying to “fix America”. Trump is the symbolic voice of those who could not stand another colour, in clear maddening and consuming hatred.

I have interacted with a lot of Americans who say Nigerians are amongst the finest breed of people in the world. We are educated, we are cultured, we are intelligent and we are industrious. They say we raise kids well and make them compete to excel, like there’ll be no tomorrow. I have entered big health facilities around the world and found Nigerians practicing in superior capacities to the whites.

The foregoing is to let those lambasting Nigeria now and hailing Trump as a hero to remember that America did not start as a glowing, faultless picture. It’s a nation that went through her own gory moments. It’s a nation that dealt heavy blows on fellow humans. Before free democracy, America was demon-crazied!

While I agree our nation has a lot to fix, I remain a patriot and will never dance to Trump’s hate-filled tunes. His tarnishing comments make it the darkest moment for the world.

It’s sobering than our local political sentiments and prejudice are making us see.

Those who have children in American schools will soon witness their kids come home to tell them that their mates in school called them children from SHITHOLES.

Those who work will suffer double-takes from already prejudiced colleagues who normally assume a black man or woman should not move up the ladder no matter how brilliant. “After all, our president said they’re from shitholes”, they’d say as some sort of justification.

The African elderly might get the push-nose irritation because “they’re from shitholes”.

We need to think right as citizens and separate our biases from every debate. We cannot transfer the aggression of our hatred for Buhari or his government to lowering our sense of esteem as Nigerians. Somehow, we have all benefited one thing or the other from this nation. If not money, we have benefited great friendships across the Niger. Even some who have exploited our disorder as a nation for profiteering are still lampooning Nigeria! It’s a shame indeed.

You may hate Buhari all you care and that’s your right. But we shall continue to objectively point out his positive deeds and call him out for his negatives. If you say Buhari has done nothing so far, you are being unfair.

I will highlight a few of the president’s good deeds. I commend you Mr. President for opening up the space for the anti-corruption conversation and tightening the space for pilferers of our collective patrimony. Some of them are suffering from vocal hemorrhage right now because the era of free money is over; at least for now.

I commend you for working assiduously to ensure that our foreign reserve has now hit about $40 billion at the last count.

I commend you for chasing Boko Haram to near doldrums. In my visit to your chief of army staff, Yusuf Buratai, precisely on March 26, 2016, he said you were irrevocably committed to routing out the Boko Haram menace. I thought it was another political rhetoric. However, the president has proved the COAS was not joking.

I commend you Mr. President for ensuring that your personal integrity has so far resisted the boobytraps leading to a flurry of scandals. I have engaged with some Nigerians who have access to you. Not a few said, “Look, President Buhari cannot steal one kobo, irrespective of what his detractors say about him”.

One of them is not a Northerner, so it cannot be because he’s pushing a sectional defence. Very recently, your minister of health, Prof. Isaac Adewole used these exact words in my personal conversation with him and I quote: “This I can tell you, my principal, President Buhari is a decent man, no one can ever say he once took a contractor to him to influence procurement options!”

While it is convenient to wave Adewole aside as defending the man that appointed him, the fact that your name has not dotted pages of social media for cornering contracts or dipping hands into the treasury is a confirmation of sorts that you are walking on the privileged carpets of power, as if they are laid with explosives.

In a nation such as ours, these are laudable achievements. Well done Mr. President.

However, because I am not an apologist, and because those of us who love you mostly are those who will tell you the truth, a few negative observations are here Mr. President:

You were missing at the mass burial of the victims of the Benue massacre and blood chilling pogrom. That was a disastrous error. Mr. President, and you have my thumbs-down on that! Let me remind you what great leaders of the world do. When nine people were shot during worship at Charleston, South Carolina on June 17, 2015, President Barack Obama, his wife, Michelle and his vice president, Joe Biden were in full attendance. No more honour could be better for the dead.

Mr. President, in Benue, men were killed, women were butchered and children were slaughtered. We ought to have seen you hold a weeping father; we ought to have seen you take out your handkerchief to wipe the tears of a weeping mother; we would have loved to see you lift up an orphan whose parents have been slaughtered by the herdsmen, with a promise to them that you shall ensure their lives won’t end in the streets without education. At that heart-wrenching mass funeral, you should have read out riot acts to the murderers. It is at that event that you ought to have issued your order to the IGP to relocate to Benue.

Mr. President, missing that event has indeed denied Mr. Femi Adesina, your amiable spokesperson, a very rich material for the “Part Two” of his documentary on “The Human Side of President Buhari”. You simply blew that up and painfully too. Adesina would have to now source “man-made” raw materials.

And to think that barely 24 hours later, seven Northern governors were practically kissing your feet to come back in 2019. While one of them was trying to be placative, the vocal one amongst them, Nasir El Rufai, reportedly said “Yes, we came to tell him to continue in 2019 and we have no apology for that”! Oh my God, inthe context of the mood of the nation, that was an accidental discharge from the “accidental civil servant”! It was wrong, it was insensitive, it was grossly inhuman!

I like Nasir El Rufai, I have defended some of his intentions at some quarters and on some platforms. But he needs to balance brutal frankness with diffident thoughtfulness. This eccentricity should have been displayed a short sensible calendar distance away from the Benue mourning. Otherwise his seeming pragmatism might be mistaken for sheer rascality.

Mr. President, you have also not made a categorical statement on the Fulani herdsmen.

What are you waiting for? What was good for IPOB is equally good for killer Fulani herdsmen, don’t you think? Criminality has no other name.
I support practical positive solutions. But striking unaware innocent people with a sudden cobra sting in form of this genocide must be met with the full wrath of the law.

You rose to power on the strength of a very strong branding. You therefore owe all of us the continued conviction that we did not vote for a sectional leader. Otherwise your brand value will continue to dwindle.

Rumor is also rife in news reports that the suspended executive secretary of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), Usman Yusuf, from the same Katsina State as you are from is scheming desperately that you return him to the scheme. In case you do not have adequate information on Yusuf, though I am certain you do, please call for the report of the investigative panel that probed his stewardship before the suspension. President Buhari, for certain reasons allegedly surrounding highhandedness, nepotism and lack of any regard for constituted authority, Yusuf was suspended by your own minister of health under the active superintending of your vice president, while you were away on medical treatment abroad. While these remain allegations until proven, Yusuf was investigated under the state apparatus and instruments not alien to your administration as commander-in-chief. If these allegations prove true, it means Yusuf was contemptible, roguish and most unrefined amongst your political appointees. This crudity is not far fetched when you recall that a few weeks ago, when a news reporter from the PUNCH, Mr. Eniola Akinkuotu sought an interview with Yusuf, he used the most uncivilised and barbaric words on a man discharging his lawful duties as a journalist. He said “F**k the minister and f**k you” … then he charged the reporter to “put that in print”. President Buhari, is that the man you will reinstate to lead NHIS? Please save your white garment by steering clear of this palm oil.

Returning Yusuf to duty when you should actually make him another example of your commitment to fighting corruption is a total antithesis of your anti-corruption narrative. It is also an utter disregard for your VP who led the nation in your absence and cut Yusuf to size. I believe the then Acting President Osinbajo acted in consonance with your administration’s policy of collective responsibility while you were away.

Already, this nation is divided on a particular opinion that you thrive on Orwellian methodologies where some of your animals are more equal than the other. The best way to negate this is for you not to send confusing signals when it comes to handling corruption cases affecting your kinsmen.

Finally Mr. President, Nigerians who are hailing the toxic “shithole” rapper, Donald Trump, are aware Mr. Trump is not their friend. They know Trump is pushing a supremacist agenda, and he is pushing it through hate-filed gangsterism. But they are only expressing frustrations from their dissatisfaction with past administrations’ non-performance and your non-too impactful intervention so far.

You may therefore want to accept the Trump challenge to fix this country and rescue us from it’s obvious SHITHOLE.

Akin Fadeyi is the convener of the Corruption Not In My Country Project.

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