FEATURE ARTICLE

Temple Chima UbochiWednesday, November 5, 2008
ubochit@yahoo.com
Bonn, Germany

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ALL HAIL BARACK OBAMA:
THE 44TH PRESIDENT AND THE COMMANDER IN CHIEF OF THE UNITED STATES

Continued from Part II

That which God writes on thy forehead thou wilt come to. (Koran)
I find that the harder I work, the more luck I seem to have. (Thomas Jefferson)
We are but as the instrument of Heaven. Our work is not design, but destiny. (Lord Edward Robert Bulwer Lytton)
Nobody can predict the pregnancy that will produce a king (Odighi onye ma afo ime ga amu eze) (Igbo Proverb)
Only a king anointed by God will rule the world and there will be peace (nani eze chukwu kwadoro ga achi uwa udo ewe di) (Igbo Saying)
I feel that I am a man of destiny. [Ich fuhl’s das ich der Mann des Schicksals bin. (in German)] (Johann Christoph Friedrich von Schiller)
Destiny is not a matter of chance, it is a matter of choice; it is not a thing to be waited for, it is a thing to be achieved. (William Jennings Bryan)
I know that nothing comes to pass but what God appoints; our fate is decreed, and things do not happen by chance, but every man's portion of joy and sorrow is predetermined. (Seneca)


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am short of words: Barack Obama has made history as the first black president of the United States of America. The history made here surpassed that of John F. Kennedy. This feat is phenomenal and right from the start; I saw the divine and heavenly seal every step of the way Obama took to get to this pinnacle. Obama is a very, very, very lucky and hardworking man and it all paid off for him. Many people might have also worked harder than Obama but didn’t make it, Obama could still do all he did and still fail, so goodluck and knowing what to do at the right time, might have helped him to get to this place. God must have ordained Obama king right from the start, for him to have endured everything he went through and still came out on top.

When I watched Obama´s comportment and aura when he visited Kenya last year or in 2006, even before he declared his intention to contest for the White House, I knew then that he will go places. When Obama won the Iowa caucus during the primaries, I knew then there will be no stopping of him. When he went ahead of Hilary Clinton during the primaries despite the smear campaigns against him, I knew then that destiny will lead him to the place of his dream. When he won the Democratic Party’s nomination, I knew then that it will only be a matter of months before we have the first black president. When he visited Germany on a familiarisation tour, I saw then a president in waiting. When McCain became the GOP´s presidential nomination, it became clear to me then that he will be no match to Obama. When McCain appointed Sara Palin as his running mate, I knew then that they have handed over the presidency to Obama on a platter. When the global financial crisis broke out, I knew then that nothing will be standing in Obama´s way to the White House. When McCain ran an intensely negative campaign and it failed to stick, I knew then that the heaven is on the side of the black man. When Colin Powell and other prominent republicans ignored their party’s presidential candidate to endorse Obama, I knew then that the White House is only a heartbeat away.

When Barack Obama scored three high-profile newspaper endorsements including two from papers that have never endorsed a Democratic presidential candidate before (Los Angeles Times, the Chicago Tribune and the Washington Post) which all praised his handling of the gruelling presidential campaign and the historical nature of his candidacy as the first black to be the nominee for a major political party, I knew then that he will be victorious. Remember that it was the first time either the Times or the Tribune, Obama´s historically conservative hometown newspaper, endorsed a Democrat for the White House. When Kenyan MPs (months before the election) called for an airport in the west of the country to be upgraded for Air Force One (U.S Presidential Plane) to land and take off from it, in case Barack Obama wins the US elections and wants to visit, I knew then that the ruler of the world will soon be elected. When Gallup Polls conducted in 70 countries from May to September 2008 reveal widespread international support for Barack Obama over John McCain in the U.S. presidential election (World Citizens Prefer Obama to McCain by Nearly 4-to-1 according to Gallup Organization), I knew then that the hands of God are in all these. Supposing Obama was a white contesting against McCain, the election would have ended a long time ago with McCain throwing in the towel earlier and nobody would have been surprised with this landslide victory because of the stuff McCain is made of.

On 4th of November 2008, when Obama won and made history: When I saw the margin of his victory, I know now that destiny is at work here. When Obama received 43% of the white American votes, more than what Bill Clinton received in 1992 and 1996; more than what Al Gore received, more than what John Kerry received, I know now that a colour-blind president is elected. When I saw people in almost all the countries in all corners of the world rejoicing and dancing in the streets when Obama was declared the president elect, I know now that the world may not have had such a president so widely accepted before. As Obama won 349 as against 163 electoral votes (a landslide); as the Democratic Party retained their majority status at both the Senate and House of representatives and even gained many seats and boosted their control of both chambers; as the Democratic Party wins seven out of the eleven governorship posts contested, I know now that a leader that will give the world hope and peace has just been elected. When Kenya decided to observe Thursday the 6th of November, 2008 as a holiday in honour of Obama´s election, I know now that a world president (a president without borders) has been elected.

With this election, America has started paying for the sins it committed during slave era: it is not yet enough, it is just a start, it is only when every black in America is being given equal opportunity and rights like every white, that the sins of slavery might be forgiven. This Obama´s victory has started the emancipation of the black race, but, it is only when the rogues that call themselves the ruling class in all African countries are done away with and when the majority of people in the African continent stop dying from ignorant, poverty and diseases will the emancipation be all encompassing.

Remember that slavery ended 200 years ago and it was in 1965 that the Civil Rights Act was passed that allowed blacks to vote in the Southern part of the United States. But now, Americans have voted for a black man, for the first time in their history, to lead the most powerful country in the world. This is the start of a crescendo!

I congratulate the president elect and his family for making it possible for us to be part of this history in our lifetime and for being the first black family of the world, so to speak. No one believed it could ever happen. The tears I saw as Obama was declared the winner is heart moving; Rev. Jesse Jackson, Oprah Winfrey and millions, couldn’t hold back their tears, because, nobody thought this could ever be possible in our lifetime. I know that Martin Luther King Jr. will be very happy in his grave because one of his dreams has come true. I know that Obama´s mother, father, grandmother, grand father etc will all be proud of him, wishing they were alive to be part of this history. The suffering of the black people, the pains of the blacks, the humiliation and disgrace they went through, have gotten a bit of down payment with the election of Obama. This is a realisation of what Martin Luther King had in mind. King was like the biblical Moses that started leading the Israelites out of Egypt, but, didn’t make it to the promise land himself. Martin Luther king started all these but didn’t see them come to fruition; 40 years after his assassination, one of his dreams has come true.

I congratulate the vice-president elect Biden and family (first catholic vice president and the first from the state of Delaware)

McCain was gracious in defeat; I thank him for a wonderful concession speech where he acknowledged defeat and urged his supporters to move beyond partisan differences to put country first and for acknowledging the historic nature of Obama´s barrier-breaking accomplishment.

The bottom line today is that young People will grow up in a world that will not see a black president or leadership as un-usual again.

On the other hand, the enormous task that will be facing the president elect will be overwhelming; George Bush wrecked havoc on American economy that it will take a divine intervention, which might be on the side of Obama, to put things right. The problem is that this Bush’s administration has wrought damages to American economy and American psyche more than they have been willing to acknowledge or report, the president elect might marvel to see the problems that he will face when he takes office, problems that nobody envisaged are of such magnitude before now, amongst which are the thorny diplomatic relations and an understated world hatred against America and Americans, the economic melt-down, the deficit, the Iraqi war, the foreclosure etc.

In my article of Monday, February 11, 2008 (published in Nigeriaworld), I wrote this (Very Important):

“There is a silent revolution going on in the USA. Barack Obama will lock-in the democratic Party's nomination and go on to win the presidential election come November 2008 against a lack lustre GOP candidate, John McCain. That will be a breakthrough for the black race. I don't want to put the cart before the horse, but, I am asking the FBI, The Police, the Secret Service and other state security agencies to beef up the security around Obama; I don't want to be seen as evil messenger, but, every effort should be made to keep this "one man squad" safe and well, we don't want stories, there are a lot of deranged white people out there.

Obama is phenomenal; nobody can stop this moving "human train". No black person has gotten so far and the world is changing their erroneous perceptions of the black race because of what Obama is doing. His performances so far have reinforced my deep sense of pride as a black man and I will from now on walk with my head held higher than before. God is using this great son of Africa in emancipating the entire black race; it will never be the same old ball game after all this. Our time has arrived. Those doubting Thomases should give up on their scepticism about whether a black man will ever be the president of America. Barack Obama as the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of United States of America is as good as given. We should all support him in our thoughts and prayers.

The Nigerian government should identity itself with Obama and his campaign morally and financially as that will pay off well when he wins the presidency. No matter whatever that will happen, Obama is and will remain a hero to yours truly and millions of black people. He has made the world to know that they have been underestimating the black people to their own shame. The world is now seeing the black race in a different light, because of what Obama is doing; now they know that black people are intelligent and can excel when there is a levelled playing field, Obama has put the world on notice that they have all along held a wrong view of the black race.

Through Obama, the black people is telling the other races that they will not sit down and allow any other race to undervalue them anymore, after all, black people are intelligent and resilient, because, no other race can suffer what the black race has been through and still raise their heads up high. What a wonderful race?”

In my article of Saturday, June 28, 2008 (published in Nigeriaworld.com), I wrote:

“Many blacks gave Obama no chance of making it past the first two states in the Democratic Party nomination process, their reason then being that America was not ready for a black president and as such the Democratic Party will never give Obama the nomination. But how would they know that without somebody first of all giving it a trial? Now the doubting Thomases have to swallow their words, not only that Obama has made it pass the nomination phase, but, is going for a landslide in November! Obama has made it because he tried that which many considered as impossible, he never allowed the people with myopic senses to discourage him, he believes in himself and in what he is pursuing. Without Obama first of all trying and working hard for it, nobody would have known that the new dawn has arrived, that a black American President is within reach”.

In my article of Friday, July 11, 2008 (in Nigeriaworld.com), I wrote:

“No matter how bleak things seem now, this century is for the black race in that it seems that God has finally remembered the people of this race and wants to uplift them once and for all.

The silent revolution and the history in the making in United States of America is something that can only happen with divine intervention. With the rise of Barack Obama and his imminent winning of the U.S presidency, the world will never be the same again. Obama has changed politics as it used to be and he has succeeded in dismantling the entrenched political institutions, personalities, principalities, powers and culture. Is it not surprising that the Clintons of all people were helpless and were pushed into the defensive while facing the fledging Obama campaign machinery? Obama dismantled the Clinton dynasty and forced them to commit one blunder after another; something unthinkable of the Clintons before now. Obama is on the verge of taking the White House come November with a landslide; Obama is phenomenal and will defeat Senator John McCain hands down. Obama, the son of a Kenyan immigrant will soon be the most powerful man in the world. Who thought such a thing could happen in our life time? That’s why I am optimistic that there is a fundamental change in the air that will change the world forever. It will never be the same ball game after this, when the dust settles.

The Obama success story brings us to a cross-road. A son of an immigrant having the opportunity to take the highest office in America and infact the world, but, in our Nigeria, some people are discriminated upon because of their place of birth or religion. An Igbo man or a Benue-Plateau person or a Niger Deltan still finds it hard to take a shot at the Nigerian presidency even if he or she is qualified simply because, the presidency is “exclusively reserved” for some people from a part of the country even though that those from that part of the country that have ruled us all along were only dunces. It can’t work this way, we are not talking about rearing cattle, but, ruling Nigerians; the nomads (Fulanis) should give up on the presidency and the ruling of Nigerian human beings (since they can’t get it right ever since) and concentrate on what they know best, the rearing or ruling of cattle, carmel, goats, sheep.

When Obama takes the White House, I will see how anybody can prevent any qualified Nigerian from contesting for the presidency simply because of where he or she is from; that injustice will not be sustained again. Obama´s presidency will also change the negative opinion greater part of the world has about the black race; the world as of now wrongly sees the black race as “inferior”, but Obama and his success story is changing all that and if he succeeds in November, which I know he will in a grand style, that will be the beginning of the ascendancy of black people to the highest offices in many countries having black population in future. Britain for instance, despite having blacks as part of their population for centuries hasn’t given the black people the chance to break the glass ceiling; the highest office a black person has attained (to my knowledge) is that of a junior minister, please correct me, if I missed it here. With the Obama factor, in less than five to ten years from now, I have a dream that a black man will take a shot at the prime ministership and might as well occupy No. 10 Downing Street.

Obama´s success will unleash a chain reaction the world can’t stop, no amount of stereo-typing or discrimination can stop this revolution Obama has single-handedly initiated. Somebody that has come so far from no where when nobody even gave him the slightest chance of succeeding, must have something pushing him so up, that is fate, that is destiny, that is God. That thing, whatever it is, will take him into the White House and he will be a very successful president that will make white people to pinch themselves for having missed the Midas touch of the intelligent black people for such a long time, because, it will be different from what they have experienced before now and it will be a pleasant one. Obama has an appointment with destiny and that he will keep in a style.

The humiliation, suffering, subjugation etc that the black race has been facing since more than 500 years will be coming to an end; Obama is the man destined to commence the process of bringing them to an end and the conditions of the black people will never be the same after this, unless the black people blow the chance which is possible, but, I hope not.

To sign off, I read this piece in NaijaPolitics and I want to end on that note:

This older white guy asked his older black friend, 'Are you voting for Barrack Obama just because he's black'?

So the older black guy fires back and says, 'Are you not voting for him because he's black? Why can't I vote for him just cause he's black? Hell in this country, men are pulled over everyday just cause they're black, passed over for promotions just cause they're black, considered to be criminals just cause they're black, but you don't seem to have a problem with that. This country was built with the sweat and whip off the slaves back, and now a descendent of those same slaves has a chance to lead the same country where we weren't even considered to be people. A country where we weren't allowed to be educated, drink from the same water fountains, eat in the same restaurants, or even vote, so you damn right I'm going to vote for him!

But not just because he's black, but because he is hope, he is change, and he now allows me to understand when my grandson says he wants to be president when he grows up, it is not a fairy tale but a short term goal. Now he sees, understands, and knows, he can achieve, withstand, and do anything just because he's black.”

But who is this Barack Obama? Barack Obama was born at the Kapi'olani Medical Center for Women & Children in Honolulu, Hawaii, to Barack Hussein Obama, Sr., from Nyang’oma Kogelo, Nyanza Province, Kenya, and Ann Dunham, a white American from Wichita, Kansas. His parents met in 1960 while attending the University of Hawaii at Manoa, where his father was a foreign student. The couple married February 2, 1961; they separated when Obama was two years old and subsequently divorced in 1964. Obama´s father returned to Kenya and saw his son only once more before dying in an automobile accident in 1982.

Barack Hussein Obama II (born August 4, 1961), more notably known as Barack Obama, He is currently the President-elect of the United States of America and is expected to take office as the forty-fourth President of the United States on January 20, 2009. He is currently the incumbent junior United States Senator from Illinois.

Obama is the first African-American to be elected President of the United States, and was also the first African-American to be nominated for President by a major U.S. political party. A graduate of Columbia University and Harvard Law School, where he became the first black person to serve as president of the Harvard Law Review, Obama worked as a community organizer and practiced as a civil rights attorney before serving three terms in the Illinois Senate from 1997 to 2004. He taught constitutional law at the University of Chicago Law School from 1992 to 2004. Following an unsuccessful bid for a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives in 2000, he announced his campaign for the U.S. Senate in January 2003. After a primary victory in March 2004, Obama delivered the keynote address at the Democratic National Convention in July 2004. He was elected to the Senate in November 2004 with 70 percent of the vote.

As a member of the Democratic minority in the 109th Congress, he helped create legislation to control conventional weapons and to promote greater public accountability in the use of federal funds. He also made official trips to Eastern Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. During the 110th Congress, he helped create legislation regarding lobbying and electoral fraud, climate change, nuclear terrorism, and care for returned U.S. military personnel. Obama announced his presidential campaign in February 2007, and was formally nominated at the 2008 Democratic National Convention with Delaware senator Joe Biden as his running mate.

How did it all started? On February 10, 2007, Obama announced his candidacy for President of the United States in front of the Old State Capitol building in Springfield, Illinois. The choice of the announcement site was symbolic because it was also where Abraham Lincoln delivered his historic "House Divided" speech in 1858. Throughout the campaign, Obama emphasized the issues of rapidly ending the Iraq War, increasing energy independence, and providing universal health care, at one point identifying these as his top three priorities.

The Encyclopaedia tells us that Obama´s campaign raised $58 million during the first half of 2007, of which "small" donations of less than $200 accounted for $16.4 million. The $58 million set the record for fundraising by a presidential campaign in the first six months of the calendar year before the election. The magnitude of the small donation portion was outstanding from both the absolute and relative perspectives. In January 2008, his campaign set another fundraising record with $36.8 million, the most ever raised in one month by a presidential candidate in the Democratic primaries. Among the January 2008 DNC-sanctioned state contests, Obama tied with Hillary Clinton for delegates in the New Hampshire primary and won more delegates than Clinton in the Iowa, Nevada and South Carolina elections and caucuses. On Super Tuesday, he emerged with 20 more delegates than Clinton. He again broke fundraising records in the first two months of 2008, raising over $90 million for his primary to Clinton's $45 million. After Super Tuesday, Obama won the eleven remaining February primaries and caucuses. Obama and Clinton split delegates and states nearly equally in the March 4 contests of Vermont, Texas, Ohio, and Rhode Island; Obama closed the month by winning Wyoming and Mississippi.

In March 2008, a controversy broke out concerning Obama´s former pastor of twenty years, Jeremiah Wright, after ABC News broadcast clips of his racially and politically charged sermons. Initially, Obama responded by defending Wright's wider role in Chicago's African American community, but condemned his remarks and ended Wright's relationship with the campaign. During the controversy, Obama delivered a speech entitled "A More Perfect Union" that addressed issues of race. Obama subsequently resigned from Trinity United Church of Christ "to avoid the impression that he endorsed the entire range of opinions expressed at that church."

During April, May, and June, Obama won the North Carolina, Oregon, and Montana primaries and remained ahead in the count of pledged delegates, while Clinton won the Pennsylvania, Indiana, West Virginia, Kentucky, Puerto Rico, and South Dakota primaries. During the period, Obama received endorsements from more superdelegates than did Clinton. On May 31, the Democratic National Committee agreed to seat all of the Michigan and Florida delegates at the national convention, each with a half-vote, narrowing Obama´s delegate lead while increasing the delegate count needed to win. On June 3, with all states counted, Obama passed the threshold to become the presumptive nominee. On that day, he gave a victory speech in St. Paul, Minnesota. Clinton suspended her campaign and endorsed him on June 7. Since then, she has campaigned for the general election race against Senator John McCain, the Republican nominee.

On June 19, Obama became the first major-party presidential candidate to turn down public financing in the general election since the system was created in 1976, reversing his earlier intention to accept it.

On August 23, 2008, Obama selected Delaware Sen. Joe Biden as his vice presidential running mate. At the Democratic National Convention in Denver, Colorado, Obama´s former rival Hillary Clinton gave a speech strongly supporting Obama´s candidacy and later called for Obama to be nominated by acclamation as the Democratic presidential candidate. Then, on August 28, Obama delivered a speech to the 84,000 supporters in Denver. During the speech, which was viewed by over 38 million people worldwide, he accepted his party's nomination and presented his policy goals.

On November 2, 2008, Obama´s grandmother, Madelyn Dunham, died from cancer at the age of 86. Obama learned of his grandmother's death on November 3, one day before his election as the 44th President of the United States. On November 4, 2008, Barack Obama defeated John McCain to become the 44th President of the United States and the first African American President in U.S. history.

In his victory speech, delivered before a crowd of hundreds of thousands of his supporters in Chicago, Obama proclaimed that "change has come to America." Echoing Martin Luther King's "I've Been to the Mountaintop" address, he declared, "The road ahead will be long, our climb will be steep. We may not get there in one year, or even in one term, but America I have never been more hopeful than I am tonight that we will get there."

My pride as a black has been reinforced.

THE THANKS IS AKLL YOURS!!!

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