Continued from Part 1
Being president doesn't change who you are, it reveals who you are (Michelle Obama)
Leadership should be born out of the understanding of the needs of those who would be affected by it (Marian Anderson)
Our hearts cannot find peace while there are still brothers and sisters who suffer from lack of food, work, shelter or other fundamental goods. If I may be permitted to make one last appeal, I would ask that the just realisation of the fundamental aspirations of the most needy peoples should be the principal concern of those in public office. The revenues from the sale of the continent's resources should be used to improve the lives of the people of Africa (Pope Benedict, during his first trip to Africa, in 2009)
et me digress here due to President Trump's "shithole" comments. We all know that he, President Donald Trump, referred to Haiti, African nations and El Salvador as "shithole countries" during a meeting with a bipartisan group of senators at the White House about a week ago. Trump said he would prefer immigrants from Norway than from those shithole countries. The U.N. human rights office said the comments were "shocking, shameful" and "racist" - Rupert Coleville, spokesperson for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, said: "If confirmed, these are shocking and shameful comments from the President of the United States. There is no other word you can use but 'racist.' "You cannot dismiss entire countries and continents as 'shitholes', whose entire populations who are not white, are therefore not welcome." African Union ambassadors to the UN have demanded a retraction of the statement, and an apology from President Trump.
The insulted countries are outraged because of the xenophobic and racial remarks and have been summoning the United States' Ambassadors, in their respective countries, for clarification. The Nigerian government, on its own part, has summoned Stuart Symington, the United States Ambassador to Nigeria, to the foreign ministry.
Unfortunately, Americans, just like Nigerians, elected a racist, and an incompetent man as president. Trump, just like Nigeria's Buhari, is mentally unsuitable for the respective offices they're occupying. Trump has hijacked the Republican Party and the Oval Office, and from there he's spewing racism, insults, prejudice, and hatred (just as Buhari hijacked the APC Party and Aso Rock, and have been very divisive and incompetent through his actions and inactions). The world is in a big trouble with Trump as the president of the United States, because, he has his fingers on the nuclear button, and can blow the world out of existence, due to his erratic or cringe-worthy behavior.
We all thought that the office would have changed Trump to be a better human being, but just as Michelle Obama pointed out in her quote above, Trump is even worse than before. Michelle Obama, in September 2016, on her first campaign stop for Hillary Clinton, "dissected" Donald Trump well, and what she said then is unfolding right before our very eyes now. Her words: "As I've said before, the presidency doesn't change who you are, it reveals who you are. And the same thing is true of a presidential campaign. So, if a candidate is erratic and threatening, if a candidate traffics in prejudice, fears, and lies on the trail, if a candidate has no clear plans to implement their goals, if they disrespect their fellow citizens, including folks who make extraordinary sacrifices for our country - let me tell you, that is who they are. That is the kind of president they will be. Trust me."
Based on Ms. Obama's words, Americans, and even Nigerians, should have been more circumspect when they were electing their respective presidents, but instead, they ended up electing dumbbells (as their respective presidents). Being the president of the world's largest economy, and the most powerful country - the Commander-in-Chief of the world strongest military, has "intoxicated" Trump, and now, he often throws caution to the wind. Being the president of the United States should have restrained Trump from making careless utterances like this one about Haiti and African countries. He can think anything he likes, but he shouldn't say anything he likes, due to the office he's occupying. Ordinary Americans can say anything they like and get away with it, but the president of the United States should have been guarded in his utterances and behavior. Trump has really disgraced that office.
Let's clear this: Trump wants immigrant from affluent Norway. What Trump doesn't know is that the United States is a shithole country when compared with Norway. No Norwegian will like to move to America, as Norway is the best place to live in the world, according to the UN, and it's also the world's happiest country. Norway has Universal Health Care that America doesn't have; Norway has 5 Weeks Paid Vacation, that is not given in America; Norway has One Year Parental Leave, that is unthinkable in America; Norway has Tuition Free Universities, that is impossible in America; Norway has Pay Equality, that will never happen in America; Norway has Free Birth Control, that is unimaginable in America; Norway has Strict Gun Control, that can only be a dream in America; etc. So, tell me what can make a sensible Norwegian relocate to the Sodom and Gomorrah called America?
Paul Thornton wrote in Los Angeles Times that Norway "has a higher per-capita GDP, life expectancy and, for what it's worth, "happiness" rating than the United States. It also has universal healthcare, a ridiculously large sovereign wealth fund, and top-notch infrastructure". The Independent wrote that Norway "has been named the best country in the world to live in - for the 12th year in a row. The Human Development Index (HDI) is a measure of basic human developments within 188 countries, released by the UN in its annual Human Development Report. It uses three categories of human development - categorised as a long and healthy lifestyle, access to knowledge and decent standard of living - to assess the long-term progress of nations. Norway ranks at the top, followed by Australia and Switzerland, with values of 9.44, 0.935 and 0.930 respectively, making them the best countries to live in for health, life expectancy, education and high incomes. Norway has also been named the most prosperous country in the world- for the seventh year running". The Guardian wrote that Norway "has moved up four places to knock Denmark off the top spot as the world's happiest country, with Iceland and Switzerland rounding out the top four. According to the World Happiness Report 2017, Norway ranked highly on the main factors found to contribute to happiness: "caring, freedom, generosity, honesty, health, income and good governance".
Now, let me tell Trump who's the real shithole: First of all, Trump should know that that word fits him well - the man who inherited wealth made from gambling and prostitution is a shithole; the man who spews racial remarks, insults, and hatred, through comments or twitter, is a shithole; the family that uses the exploitation of cheap labor in poor countries to manufacture products it sells in developed world for maximum profits, is a shithole family; the president who has refused to release his tax returns is a shithole president; the president who uses his office for personal enrichment is a shithole president; the man who was fond of groping women, is a shithole; the man who dodged the Vietnam war, and while his contemporaries were fighting or sweating it out in Vietnam, he was bedding women in America as part of his own national assignment, is a shithole.
Let me tell Trump that Nigeria is not a shithole country; but our leaders and politicians are. The real shithole country is the United States of America that falsely claims to give its citizens freedom, when millions are enslaved by more subtle rulers - in the inner cities of America, a generation is in bondage to the rule of drugs, guns and poverty. Many see crime as the only way-out, and will then end up in the wasteland of America's prison. Meanwhile, just as Charles Colson pointed out, the more affluent Americans embrace the false gods of materialism, hedonism and egoism. There is the real shithole country.
Nigerian leaders who failed to make Nigeria the leader of the black race is the shitholes, and not Nigeria itself - If successive Nigerian leaders had utilized Nigeria's abundant human and material resources to uplift the country, and by so doing, would have energized, encouraged and pulled the other peoples of the (African) continent, in particular, and the black race, in general, along with. But they failed to do so, and that's why they're the real shitholes. Nelson Mandela (1918-2013) noted this when he said that "The world will never respect Africa until Nigeria earns the respect. The black people of the world are looking up to Nigeria to be a source of pride and confidence. Every Nigerian citizen should be made to understand this truth".
A president who's clueless; appoints unqualified persons into positions of authority; Islamizes Nigeria; appoints only northerners as heads of all major security agencies and other strategic positions; allows his guerrillas - Fulani herdsmen - to be killing people, rampantly, all over Nigeria, while he does nothing about it, gives Trump a reason to also call him a shithole. The leaders who have made Nigeria to be useless to the citizens are the shitholes - the citizens gain nothing from the country they call theirs; there are no jobs for the teeming population; there are no unemployment benefits or welfare schemes for those that have no job or have lost one, there are no free medical services or a national health insurance policy for the people so that with or without money, every citizen will have access to medical service whenever it becomes necessary; the country offers no succour to the sick and the elderly; there are no homes for the elderly; there's no free education at all levels despite the claims to the contrary; students of universities and other higher institutions of learning are not being given educational grants, to help them in their studies, which they can pay back after getting a job upon graduation, the students do not even have the conducive environment and other things needed for their studies.
The Nigerian politicians - from the president to a councilor - who expect the citizens to be patriotic and law abiding and to perform their civic obligations without anything in return are the shitholes - the workers are not paid regularly; the citizens are expected to pay tax, rate and other levies while the government or the state provides nothing for them; there are no good roads, power supply is as good as none, the government cannot even guarantee the security of lives and property - the cardinal responsibility of any government, the security agents such as the police, the army etc turn their weapons on the law abiding citizens but not on the criminals.
Those who made it possible for the unqualified to be "lording" it over the best are the shitholes - the best people get no opportunity to do something for the nation. In a country where the best are frustrated or despised, and the worst are celebrated or elevated to the highest offices, nothing will work.
The Nigerian politicians right from the president to a councilor, who peddle deceit, lies, hypocrisy and, selfishness, are the shithole, and not Nigeria as a country. As I wrote somewhere, all the people's representatives receive funds for constituency projects every year. The councillors represent wards, and they get funds every year for constituency projects for their respective wards. Here the money runs into thousands of Naira for each ward. The members of the 36 States Houses of Assembly represent communities, and they get funds every year for constituency projects for their respective communities, and here, the money runs into millions of Naira for each community. The members of the House of Representatives represent the local government areas, and they get funds each year for constituency projects for those local governments, and here, the money runs into millions for each local government. The senators represent the senatorial zones, and they get funds each year for constituency projects for their respective zones, and here, the money runs into hundreds of millions of Naira for each zone. The wards make a community, the communities make a local government, the local governments make a senatorial zone, the senatorial zones make a state, and the states make the nation. With this, every part of Nigeria is supposed to be covered by the developmental umbrella, and is supposed to feel government's positive impact, at least, through their representatives, but, that's not the case, Still, all the constituencies have no good roads, no improved health care delivery system, no better and equipped schools, no portable and safe drinking water, no affordable means of transport, no scholarship awards, no homes for the elderly, no recreational facilities, no regular power supply, no welfare schemes, no sanitation schemes etc. So where is all the money earmarked for constituency projects going into?
If one adds up the amount each constituency receives through its representatives, right from its councilor to its senator, it is more than enough to make life easier and meaningful for the people of the constituency, but, no place in Nigeria is better off today.
Those who made poverty a "famous citizen" of Nigeria are the shitholes - Nigeria is one of the poorest nations in the world, despite the huge human and material resources it has. Do you know that the 10 poorest nations in the world include Afghanistan, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Sierra Leone, Angola, Liberia, Niger, Nigeria, Guinea, Chad and the Democratic Republic of Congo? Look at the other countries competing with Nigeria for these unenviable positions, and you will then ask yourself: How did we get to this disgracefully level.
To be continued!
Continued from Part 1