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

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Trump and the Limits of a ‘Failed Experiment_NEWTIMES

By

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!

READ ALSO; True Federalism, Nigeria’s Volatile Politics and the APC Report

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.
Institutions
= [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.
Email: Okwumabua1234@gmail.com

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Police Teargas EndSARS Protesters At Lekki Tollgate

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Police Teargas EndSARS protesters At Lekki Tollgate

Some EndSARS protesters at the Lekki Tollgate, Lagos State, were teargassed by the police on Wednesday.

The protesters, who gathered for the EndSARS memorial protest at Lekki Tollgate, Lagos State, were dispersed by men of the police force.

The demonstrators had gathered to call for justice for protesters who were allegedly shot dead on October 20, 2020

The EndSARS protests which were held in October 2020 were against the activities of the now-disbanded Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), a unit of the Nigeria Police Force accused of brutality.

READ ALSO: Pro-Buhari Protesters Say Nobody Died At Lekki Tollgate

However, on Wednesday the peaceful protest was disrupted by police officers who fired teargas at the youths.
The protesters scampered for safety as they chanted “EndSARS”.

 

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Pro-Buhari Protesters Say Nobody Died At Lekki Tollgate

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Pro-Buhari Protesters Say Nobody Died At Lekki Tollgate

Protesters loyal to President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday converged on the Unity Fountain in Abuja, saying “nobody died at Lekki tollgate” in Lagos.

The protesters who were conveyed to the venue on a bus, held up placards stating,”#EndSarsProtest; Lekki shooting was a hoax”, and ”Nobody died at Lekki tollgate”.

On October 20, 2020, soldiers reportedly opened fire on protesters campaigning against police brutality at Lekki tollgate.

READ ALSO: No Massacre Of Lekki Protesters In 2020 – Mohammed

While some reports, including civil society groups say some protesters were killed in the attack, the federal government has disputed this account.

Lai Mohammed, minister of information, on Wednesday described the Lekki incident as a ”phantom massacre”.

Nigerians poured into the streets in Lagos, Abuja and other places on Wednesday to mark the first anniversary of the #EndSARS protest.

 

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No Massacre Of Lekki Protesters In 2020 – Mohammed

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No Massacre Of Lekki Protesters In 20220 - Mohammed

A year after the EndSARS protest, Information Minister Lai Mohammed has insisted that there was no massacre of Nigerians at Lekki where the event held last year.

READ ALSO: Police Arrest Two At Lekki Tollgate As EndSARS Procession Holds

During a news conference in Abuja, Mohammed said that most of the claims of killings were false and misleading as most of those who made the claims of losing people were yet to show up and give evidence a year after such allegations.

 

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