Monday, 06 March 2017 15:42

What Lessons Can Nigerians Learn from the US President Donald Trump?

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The purpose of this essay is to discuss  how Nigerians ought to be wise and not foolish and how we Nigerians  have to grapple with the prospect of being looked upon as the most corrupt, the most foolish, and the most fucked-up nation led by the most evasive leadership Nigerians have been fools in more ways than one. Trump says Nigeria is a den of kleptomaniacs, stealing from their treasury and enriching their enemies.  Leaders of Nigeria, without exception, are authoritarian, using power to oppress and annihilate the powerless. Consider the mass beheadings of Christians in Benue State.  We mistake good governance with absolute cruelty.

Nigerian merchants keep their people sick and unhealthy by importing dangerous food and worthless drugs.  Because Nigerians love to eat rice and noodles, the Chinese are flooding Nigerian markets with plastic rice and noodles which the Nigerian stomachs cannot digest and which can only be removed surgically.

Trump wants to use the wealth of America to improve the lives of Americans. Can we say Nigerians are interested in bettering lives of our people by banning importation of essentials (such as rice, wheat, sugar, and medicines for malaria)  while not stimulating local production? Why do we sell our petroleum cheap to others to refine and sell back to us at exorbitant prices? Why do we bastardize our healthcare system only to send our ill to die in clinics overseas?  There are many ways in which we Nigerians have been foolish.

Trump extols/praises America and deprecates/lowers the ascendancy of competitors.  Ascendancy is the dominancy, superiority, preeminence, power, upper hand, or control others have over us. How more can we be foolish than to allow colonial masters to continue to control the very existence of empire servant? Trump would want all manufacturing concerns to relocate to America. Foolish Nigerians would rather give our good stuffs away  and go overseas to import useless luxury items that add little or no value to Nigerian economy

It is not always an insult when someone calls you a fool. What is foolish is to not stop to consider why someone should  have the audacity call you a fool. Were you actually behaving in a foolish way and deserve being called a nincompoop? Name calling is not often what it appears to be.A large proportion of ikonu (insulting name calling) can be a disguised blessing.  An India proverb goes this way:  "a fool stumbles over the same stone twice". How many times have we Nigerians stumbled over the same pebble?

Haven't we Nigerians stumbled 55 times if each passing year represents a stumble?.A stumble is defined as a slip, trip, lurch, or falter. How many times are we going to fall to in order to realize that we have fallen? In the case of Nigerian, we did not just stumble. We fell flat on our faces. We went plump! We went kapoop and are finding it hard to get up.

Many people reading this essay can remember this puerile song we learned in elementary school:  "Jack and Jill went up a hill to fetch a pail of water. Jack fell down and broke his crown, And Jill came stumbling after." A crown is the earthen pot village girls used to carry water from streams in those beautiful, hard-to-forget days that are nostalgic, homesick,  wistful, reflective, melancholic, evocative, or regretful.

This writer has a friend who is Vice Chancellor at a large community college somewhere on the East Coast of the United States, and who called to rain abuses upon our recently elected US President, Donald Trump. This friend named Dr. O, says that Trump is, among other things, a fool, a poor administrator; a racist, intolerant of the disabled, egocentric, ethnocentric, and interested in running government only with and for the benefit of wealthy Americans. Dr. O and this writer agreed on one thing: Trump is xenophobic. Xenophobia denotes the fear and dislike of foreigners and other visitors.

The Vice Chancellor Dr. O argues that President Trump is egocentric  at best and extremely self-serving at worst. We further agreed that Trump's mantra "Let's make America Great Again" is created to obfuscate, to confuse or disguise the real message.   A mantra is a song, hymn, or tune President Trump has popularized. Trump's "Let's Make American Great" resonates an ethnocentric view that evaluates other groups according to the values and standards Trump and his Trumpets have set up in their own ethnic group.

Without judging Trump harshly and while giving him the benefit of the doubt, we realize that we cannot knock a man down for loving his country so much that he brags with gusto: "This is the best there is in the whole wide world ; all other places are bunkum, twaddle, hogwash, claptrap, or nonsense".  Coming back to ethnocentrism, it is the belief lurking in Trump's mind in the intrinsic superiority of the nation,  culture, or group  to which one belongs. Ethnocentrism is the dislike of competitive, gung-ho others. What lessons are many Nigerians going to learn from President Trump?

First and foremost, Trump, is a no-nonsense person who shoves back when he is nudged. Have we ever had a Nigerian president or, leader who fights for the rights of Nigerians? The rights of Nigerians have been trampled underfoot for too long  by so many leaders that an average Nigerian is beginning to see himself as the Invincible Man in Ellison's novel. The invisible Man is a nonentity to whom all sorts of evil are done and who affects nothing. Don't we Nigerians  have a right to clean water, good roads, places to buy daily provisions at reasonable prices?  The naira fluctuates like a yoyo in the hands of a devil.

One important lesson this writer Is learning from Trump is this: Nigerians ought to develop pride in their own nation. We would rather put Nigeria on a pedal and other places than in the dumps. Why must I swallow everything American and  British  and downgrade the Nigerian culture?.  President Trump is definitely proud of America for giving him the incentive to amass money and become billionaire. An Igbo proverb says: "ebe onye no ka ona awachi," meaning one fortifies where one lives. Am I proud of Nigeria for instilling in me such prideful values as honesty and fair dealing, respect for others, protectiveness of family, personal humility, and tenacity?  We Nigerians ought to wachie (fortify) our home.

To fortify is to make stronger, strengthen, reinforce, brace, buttress. One who does not fortify one's house is said to weaken his compound and let robbers in. The ancients built a fortress to protect their cities. Trump's threat to build great walls around the borders separating America and South America, though laughable, is not entirely frivolous.  The desire to build costly walls is motivated by the need to instill pride in Americans and prevent the inflow  of Illegal immigration, harmful drugs, and corrupting influences .

Trump wants to make America great as the bastion of hope and freedom . What is a bastion? A bastion is defined as  a stronghold, mainstay, fortress, citadel, support or supporter,  or promoter of good works. That President Trump is protective of America cannot be gainsaid, refuted, or argued with, though we may disagree with Trump's modus operandi . Trump would rather fight than flee to preserve the values that are America.

Trump would rather kick out all others than have others kick America into submission. Persons Trump would like to kick out include but are not limited to violent criminals fired up or intoxicated with murderous religions that are predicated upon it-is-either-mine-or-none-at-all philosophy. How many more helpless Nigerians  are to be murdered by herders and professional beheaders  before the House,  Senate, or governorship  steps in to say "enough is enough?"

By Dr. James C. Agazie, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ; jamesagazies.blogspot.com

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James Agazie Ed D

A retired college Professor  with educational backgrounds in law (JD) education (Ed.D, MA) counseling,( MS) and and mathematics.  Write on topics dealing with Nigerian families, marriages, education, and employment.