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Trump And The Limits Of A Failed Experiment: A Review Article With Obama’s Remarks To The African Union



Trump and the Limits of a ‘Failed Experiment_NEWTIMES


Paul C. Okwumabua

This article is a review article with an unusual and unique style – using an article alongside to review another article. The title Trump and the Limits of a ‘Failed Experiment’ is an article that was published on January 24 and 25, 2021 in two Nigerian newspapers (Premium Times and The Guardian) respectively, written by Prof Mimiko, a seasoned scholar in the Department of Political Science, Obafemi Awolowo University.This paper is a review article foregrounding the U.S. nose-diving democracypiloted by Donald Trump and the ‘commander-in-tweet’ in the last past four years.

However, as I perused the article under review (Trump and the Limits of A ‘Failed Experiment’) with mental keenness, I noticed some brilliant homogeneity in the salient points raised by Prof Mimiko as I compared it with that of the perspicacity of Obama’s historical remarks addressed to the African Union in 2015, being the first and only President of the United States to be invited to address the African Union. These similitudes will be briefly accentuated below:

Mimiko: There are a few lessons in all of the foregoing for us in Africa in particular, and indeed elsewhere. First is that democracy is a process, a journey, and not a destination. Every democratic system must therefore keep working on its democracy to deepen it.

Obama: And every country has to go through that process. No country is perfect, but we have to be honest, and strive to expand freedoms, to broaden democracy. Our American democracy is not perfect. We’ve worked for many years — (applause) — but one thing we do is we continually reexamine to figure out how we can make our democracy better. And that’s a force of strength for us, being willing to look and see honestly what we need to be doing to fulfil the promise of our founding documents.

Mimiko: At the end of the day, Trump sought to overturn an election that he had lost so resoundingly! These, under normal circumstances, would be unspeakable in the American political process! They were things no one could have imagined prior Trump. They depict a character model that was not thinkable for the big job in the White House , an institution Americans had, perhaps justifiably, showcased for more than two centuries as the very citadel, and bastion of moral rectitude. Trump blew all of those assumptions in four short years; and then sought to arm-twist the system to get a second term for himself!

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Obama: When a leader tries to change the rules in the middle of the game just to stay in office, it risks instability and strife — as we’ve seen in Burundi. (Applause.) And this is often just a first step down a perilous path. And sometimes you’ll hear leaders say, well, I’m the only person who can hold this nation together. (Laughter.) If that’s true, then that leader has failed to truly build their nation. (Applause.)

Mimiko: The third lesson for all is that ultimately, the success of any system and institution depends on the acts of few very good people, individuals of conscience and integrity who are sold on defending a system when it faces existential threats.

Obama: You look at Nelson Mandela — Madiba, like George Washington, forged a lasting legacy not only because of what they did in office, but because they were willing to leave office and transfer power peacefully. (Applause.)

Mimiko: Now, we’ve often heard people talk of the cruciality of strong institutions. The validity of this thesis has just been demonstrated in the manner the American system stood against Donald Trump’s thinly veiled efforts to damage it. It is, however, important to appreciate that strong institutions do not get built, but on the shoulders of strong, visionary, courageous and committed individuals (leaders). Strong institutions do not just drop from the skies; they are products of years of toiling and sacrifice by positively inclined individuals who, invariably, have got to be strong, and public spirited!

Obama: When I first came to Sub-Saharan Africa as a President, I said that Africa doesn’t need strongmen, it needs strong institutions. (Applause.) And one of those institutions can be the African Union. Here, you can come together, with a shared commitment to human dignity and development … Our American democracy is not perfect. We’ve worked for many years — (applause) — but one thing we do is we continually reexamine to figure out how we can make our democracy better. And that’s a force of strength for us, being willing to look and see honestly what we need to be doing to fulfill the promise of our founding documents..

Mimiko: Reforms are a normal process in any political economy. As nations, including those that had been at this for centuries, operate their constitution, certain imperfections become obvious. It doesn’t make sense denying such. What serious nations do is to isolate such limitations, from time to time, and address them comprehensively. It is all part of the process, which in American parlance is referred to as the drive towards a more perfect union. Failure to do such, and at the nick of time, reproduces crises, some of which may indeed be of existential dimensions for the system. This is the sense in which the restructuring advocacy in Nigeria, for instance, with all its promise of inclusivity, must be thoroughly interrogated in the context of the desire for transitioning to a united and thriving Federal Republic.

READ ALSO; Ethnic and Religious Hatred and the Deceitful Campaigns in Nigeria By Salihu Moh. Lukman

Obama: For more than two centuries since our independence, we’re still working on perfecting our union. We’re not immune from criticism. When we fall short of our ideals, we strive to do better. (Applause.) But when we speak out for our principles, at home and abroad, we stay true to our values and we help lift up the lives of people beyond our borders. And we think that’s important.

Mimiko: The possibility of a return of Trumpism would then not be completely unimaginable. This is the sense in Donald Trump’s hint that he would be back in some form, as he made his final exit as president out of Washington DC.

Obama: And I’ll be honest with you — I’m looking forward to life after being President. (Laughter.) I won’t have such a big security detail all the time. (Laughter.) It means I can go take a walk. I can spend time with my family. I can find other ways to serve. I can visit Africa more often. (Applause.) The point is, I don’t understand why people want to stay so long. (Laughter.) Especially when they’ve got a lot of money. (Laughter and applause.)

From the foregoing, I make bold to conclude that Africa and the world at large do not just need strong democratic institutions as repeatedly voiced out by Obama during his visits to Africa as President. (“When I first came to Sub-Saharan Africa as a President, I said that Africa doesn’t need strongmen [dictators & autocrats], it needs strong institutions “) but also ‘strong’, ‘qualified’ and ‘good’ leaders who will complement and not contradict and corrupt the strong institutions put in place. This is validated from my experimental model (UPEM) below:

U.S Political Experimental Model (UPEM) 1
More Democratic, More Qualified, & Less Corrupt Leader (Obama) + ‘Strong’ U.S. Institutions
= [Good Governance]

U.S. Political Experimental Model (UPEM) 2
(Autocratic) (Karkistocratic) (Kleptocratic)
Less Democratic, Less Qualified, & More Corrupt Leader (Trump) + Strong U.S.
= [Bad Governance]

U.S. Political Experimental Model (UPEM) 3
(Autocratic) (Karkistocratic) (Kleptocratic)
Less Democratic, Less Qualified, & More Corrupt Leader (Trump) +Weak U.S. Institutions
= [ Worse Governance]

Okwumabua Paul C.
Department of Political Science, Obafemi Awolowo University,
Ile-ife, Nigeria.

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Court Jails APC Senator Seven Years For Fraud



Court Jails APC Senator Seven Years For Fraud

The Senator representing Delta North Senatorial District at the National Assembly, Peter Nwaoboshi of the All Progressives Congress (APC) , has been sentenced to seven years’ imprisonment.

The Court of Appeal in Lagos on Friday also ordered that the senator’s two companies, Golden Touch Construction Project Ltd and Suiming Electrical Ltd, be wound up in line with the provisions of Section 22 of the Money Laundering Prohibition Act 2021.

The court’s ruling was delivered in an appeal challenging the judgment of Justice Chukwujekwu Aneke of the Federal High Court which on June 18, 2021, discharged and acquitted the defendants on two counts of fraud and money laundering. The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) which arraigned him however challenged the lower court’s decision.

EFCC had arraigned the three defendants over the acquisition of a property named Guinea House, Marine Road, in Apapa, Lagos, for N805 million.

 READ ALSO: Why Move To Impeach Senate President Will Fail – Nwaboshi

Part of the money paid to the vendor – N322 million transferred by Suiming Electrical Ltd on behalf of Nwaoboshi and Golden Touch Construction Project Ltd – was alleged to be part of proceeds of fraud.

Earlier in his judgment, Justice Aneke said the evidence of the prosecutor “proved that the third defendant obtained a loan of N1.2 billion from Zenith Bank to purchase additional equipment and as provision of working capital”.

“It also proved that the loan of N1.2 billion together with interest of N24 million was properly granted to the third defendant .Nothing else was proved by the complainant or prosecutor in this case,” the EFCC quoted the judge as saying in a statement.

The high court judge was also quoted as claiming that a fatal blow was dealt to the case of the prosecution by its failure to call officials of Sterling Bank “to testify and probably tender exhibits F and F10. Consequently, he discharged and acquitted the defendants”.

However, ruling on the EFCC’s appeal on Friday, the Court of Appeal held that the trial judge erred in dismissing the charges against the respondents.

“The court said the prosecution had proved the ingredients of the offence and consequently found the defendants guilty as charged,” EFCC said.


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Drama In Court As Lawyer Appears In Priestly Attire



VIDEO: Drama As Lawyer In Priestly Attire Appears In Court

By John Michael Ojo
There was a mild drama today at the Okpoko Magistrate Court in the Ogbaru Local Government Area of Anambra State, as a lawyer simply identified as Ogbachalu Goshen appeared before the court in a pastoral robe.

But Ogbachalu who was standing before the magistrate, CB Mbaegbu, was denied  hearing on the ground that he was not properly attired, leading to a minor incident in the court.

READ ALSO: Female Students Can Wear Hijab To Lagos Schools – Supreme Court

However,  citing a recent Supreme Court’s judgment which supported the wearing of hijab by female students in public schools as a reference point, Ogbachalu reminded the court that it was his right to dress in his priestly attire as he was an ordained pastor and that the objection by the court to hear him, was an infringement on his fundamental human right as enshrined in section 38 of the 1999 constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria

The magistrate however disagreed his submission which only forced the court to dismiss.


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Court Orders Immigration, Banks To Release David Ukpo’s Details To Ekweremadu



Court Orders Immigration, Banks To Release David Ukpo's Details To Ekweremadu

To enable detained former Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu to effectively defend himself in London, a Federal High Court in Abuja on Friday ordered the Nigerian Immigration Service and three banks to immediately release details of David Ukpo to him.

Justice Inyang Ekwo issued the order while delivering judgment in a suit instituted by Ekweremadu and his wife, Beatrice.

The judgment against the defendants followed their non-appearance in court to defend the suit.

By the court order, all official information including the account opening package in relation to Ukpo are to be released to Senator Ekweremadu to ascertain the real age of the said Ukpo.

READ ALSO: Real Age Of Ekweremadu’s Kidney Donor – Immigration

Ukpo had claimed at a London court that he was a minor of 15 years old which led to the arrest and detention of the Nigerian Senator.

Other defendants are the Comptroller General (C-G), Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS); Stanbic-IBTC Bank, United Bank of Africa (UBA), and Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System Plc as 2nd to 5th respondents, respectively.


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