APC as Mr. Trump’s teacher

TRUMP is so bad they impeached him twice. That underscores the depth of error President Donald Trump of the United States has turned out to be for America, Americans; lovers of America, lovers of American democracy and lovers of democracy. Trump and his supporters have destroyed the bastion of democracy. They have desecrated the hallowed temple of government of the people by the people and for the people, aka Democracy!

President Trump’s tweets, retweets and sundry social media messages as well as speeches about the election he lost as a pointer: he goofed! Then his speech, believed to have led to the invasion of the most secured places in the American national assembly, was another source of worry. It has been reported in a section of the media that his lawyers have been primed for another difficult job – to argue that the speech in which he charged his supporters to march on Pennsylvania Avenue etc, was a “protected speech”. Whatever that means, it cannot be erased off people’s thoughts that Trump said things that served as the tonic his angry, enraged supporters needed to storm the American legislature.

The desecration of the American House of Representatives and Senate, housed at their Capitol, brought the invasion of the palace of the Oba of Lagos to mind. It was the last straw that broke the camel’s back for everything Trump had stood for and argued about in that election. In that incident, five people were reported killed and many policemen, among other people, were injured. It was a new low for the American people amid back and forth arguments on an election Democrat, Joe Biden obviously won. That brazen invasion and routing of the Capitol also brought new interpretations to the threats posed by a desperate and battling Donald Trump and his supporters, who had, at some point in the course of the election cycle, called on the president to declare a martial law.

Trump’s despotic shenanigans which incited his obviously deceived supporters attracted opprobrious reactions from across the world. Many countries’ presidents decried the invasion of the US legislature and expressed worries that Trump was driving America to a dangerous precipice. The countries that dared to speak up against Trump and his supporters were those which could lay competent, credible claims to democratic ideals and attributes. England, Canada and France were among the front liners. And they have such bully pulpit. Nigeria’s governing All progressives Congress (APC) also joined the anger chorus. The APC condemned the events at the US parliament as “condemnable” and called on President Trump to emulate President Muhammadu Buhari’s democratic ideals.

The intervention of the APC made the serious, dangerous issue to appear like a huge joke. Not a few Nigerians were alarmed that the ruling party in Nigeria made such call. It might not get to the notice of Trump or any of the people who might make him read it; it also might not mean anything to Trump now that he is in a desperate fight for his political and business life, but it means a lot to many of us in Nigeria. The call, which came through Senator James Akpan Udo-Edehe, rather than send a message to Trump and his gang, is further dragging us through the mud and exposes us as Nigerians to more ridicule.

APC, PDP and indeed any political party operating in Nigeria is not qualified to be a counsel for an American president. I don’t think so. APC said President Donald J. Trump of America had a lot to learn from Buhari about democracy. Pardon!!!? Are we joking here? Like Mr. Debo Macaroni would blurt: “Are you normal!?” I don’t see any grounds for comparison. To begin with, the Trump that should learn from Buhari has lived all his life in democratic setting/governments and must have only heard about or have dealings with dictatorships in far away countries. Comparatively, the Buhari we want Trump to learn from had been a military head of state, and this means that he had once usurped democratic powers. Before he won election in 2015, President Buhari had contested elections and Nigerians remember some of the hallmarks of those electoral losses. One of the fears leading up to 2015 was the “dogs and baboons” speech that many of the president’s supporters tried so very hard to explain.

APC in and of itself is a product of great political stridency. It did a hell of a work to successfully dislodge the behemoth PDP from power. To achieve the remarkable victory and arrive at this milestone of becoming the ruling party in Nigeria, APC did a lot in terms of propaganda and it was so neck deep in all forms of it. By the estimation of many, the party has come such a long way in self-adulation, deceit, confusion, propaganda and the sort that it can no longer decipher which is fair between truth and guided propaganda. Many people take whatever partisan politicians say with a pinch of salt. There are those who trivialise their chest-thumping promises until they see actual results. This is even more so in Nigeria and considerably worse with the APC and its government. Trump has brought America to such level of disrepute that APC has now presented itself as a model to him and his country.

Now that we have a new teacher in democratic ideals, I think we should exercise our privilege as students to ask questions. We have monumental institutional deficiencies, should we not just focus our attention on building institutions that might one day grow to be strong like those which fearlessly tackled Trump when he raised his head? How do we grow when the Senate President openly pledged that the Senate would endorse anything from President Buhari because ‘it’s for the good of the country’? Judges were hounded, unarmed protesters were shot, critics of the government and contrary opinion holders are threatened. Are those the lessons? America has long moved from a military that would pledge allegiance to the president and commander in chief rather than to the constitution. Where are we?

In accordance with Fela, I will say teacher, “I beg don’t teach me nonsense” o! In his Mr Teacher album, Abass Akande Obesere known in the music world as Omo Rapala Papa Tosibe sang that “if you walk with a Christian prophet, you would learn about the bible; if you walk with Muslim cleric, you would learn about the Islamic amulet; if you walk with Papa, you would learn…”. Who taught Trump? Please don’t teach me nonsense!

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