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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!

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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.
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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Aisha Buhari Withdraws Defamation Case Against University Student Aminu Mohammed

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Aisha Buhari Withdraws Defamation Case Against University Student Aminu Mohammed

First Lady Aisha Buhari on Friday withdrew a defamation case against a student of the Federal University, Dutse, Aminu Mohammed.

The prosecution counsel, Fidelis Ogbobe, told the court in Abuja on Friday that the president’s wife withdrew the case due to the intervention of well-meaning Nigerians.

The first lady has been under pressure since news of Mohammed’s arrest broke last week.

Celebrities, social media influencers, students, politicians, media analysts have been commenting on the plight of Mohammed, who landed in trouble over a comment that the wife of Nigeria’s number one citizen found offensive.

Back in June, Mohammed had tweeted that the First Lady was feeding ‘fat’ on poor people’s money.

READ ALSO: Questions For Aisha Buhari

The tweet, which was posted in Hausa, read: “Su mama anchi kudin talkawa ankoshi.” It loosely translates as “Mama has fed fat on poor people’s money.”

A picture of Aisha Buhari was posted with the tweet to match the post.

 

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Labour Party Rejects Suspension Of Okupe As Campaign DG

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Labour Party Rejects Suspension Of Okupe As Campaign DG

The Labour Party has rejected the purported suspension of its presidential campaign council (PCC) director-general, Doyin Okupe.

Umar-Farouk Ibrahim, the national secretary of the party said this when he addressed reporters in Abuja on Friday.

Ibrahim said that the national leadership of the party was surprised at the suspension by the Ogun chapter which was without due process.

“The Ogun State Chapter has acted outside its constitutional jurisdiction; the party has an internal conflict resolution mechanism of handling cases against members as enshrined in the party’s constitution.

“There are also disciplinary measures to be taken, for example, before you discipline any member, there are certain procedures that you have to follow, you have to issue a query among other procedures, and that has not been followed.

“No complaint was written by the state chapter, his ward and his local government, so we are saying the national headquarters is not aware of what they are doing, they are doing it on their own.

“The National Working Committee(NWC) is going to set up a committee and appropriate disciplinary action would be taken against the perpetrators in the state exco and we are going to fish them out and take appropriate action,” he said.

READ  ALSO: Okupe Sacked From Labour Party

Ibrahim said the suspension was void as Okupe remained a card- carrying member LP and the DG PCC.

He said that the party was not unaware of attempts by opposition parties to infiltrate its structures at all levels.

Ibrahim said that the party’s leadership would do everything within its powers to ensure that its cohesion was not tampered with and would not be distracted by the antics of the opposition candidates until all its candidates were victorious in the 2023 general election.

He expressed worry over recent attacks on party members, candidates and officials in some states, particularly Edo, Ebonyi states and Kaduna where the state women leader was gruesomely murdered.
(NAN)

 

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BREAKING: Wike Dares Buhari To Name Governors Diverting Council Funds

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BREAKING: Wike Dares Buhari To Name Governors Diverting Council Funds

President Muhammadu Buhari was on Friday challenged to name the state governors who diverted local government allocations.

The challenge came from Rivers State Governor Nyesome.

The president had at an event on Thursday alleged that some state governors divert allocations to local governments councils sent from the federation account.

He also accused the governors of making the council bosses sign undertakings for money not received and agreeing to have received the full allocation.

But on Friday, at the commissioning of a project in Port Harcourt, Gov. Wike claimed that he has never touched monies meant for the local government since he came on board in 2015.

READ ALSO: How Buhari Govt Is Shielding Amaechi From Prosecution For Corruption – Wike

The governor also claimed that none of the G5 governors in the Peoples Democratic Party has ever touched local government allocations.

He then challenged the President to name the governors who tamper with local government allocations.

Wike said ” I challenge Mr. President, you must come out and tell Nigerians those committing this offence.

“You said the Governors are taking local government funds. I want to say, in the name of Almighty God, I’ve never touched local government funds one day. I have never and I have no reason to do that.

“So Mr President, tell us who are those people? You know them, tell us.

“I’m not one of those governors. Mr President tells Nigerians that the Integrity Governors are not part of them.

“Do us a favour to announce all those states that are taking local government funds”.

 

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