When sympathizer weeps louder than the bereaved
By Emma Eke
His mien was steel-laden. He was serious enough to draw a lot of attention from the potpourri of audience at the newsstand. The middle-aged man with his sonorous voice, as he was sighted at the Ikeja round about by Allen Avenue, a metropolis of Lagos was arguing with all his strength. All of the energy spent was to convince his fellow free readers at the newsstand that President Barack Obama was neither an enemy to Christianity nor to the black race.
Beside the scene was another reasoning, tailored in a good spoke English (as this writer eavesdropped yet another shouting match) aimed drawing up the minds that hold that Obama was a good leader. They saw his identifying, openly, with some rejected groups in the US, including the gay, the free thinkers and other religious adherents, with saw him emerge a president in 2008 as political exigency. That he still held on to the groups in his re-election in 2013 is enough reason to convince anyone Obama was actually one of the groups.
To worsen his case, at his inauguration parties, seen stealing the show were the American artistes, most of who are said to belong the Illuminati movement (anti-Christ). The free readers were, with this citation left the newsstand with impression that the salvation of a bad situation now lies on the emergence and swearing in of Donald Trump as the 45th President of the Unite States.
This view, by all standards should have been dismissed as emanating from a half-baked fellow. But when such view is held by some elite, among them senior journalists, there lies the danger of misinformation. Little wonder the debate has been allowed to gain root. Just recently, a columnist with one of the popular newspapers in Nigeria, citing a website, once addressed Obama as ‘Osama Obama’. His was not different from the afore-mentioned ,though he argued that he drew his conclusion of linking the former US President with Islam , based on a certain website’s publication, which listed some actions and in-actions of Obama, and which portray him as having sympathy with Islam.
Therefore, the expectation of many Christians, especially in Nigeria, is that with the coming on board of Trump, darkness is beginning to pave way for light to shine on Africa, nay Nigeria. One of such hopes is that Trump would focus more than needed attention on Nigeria; he would come down on Nigerian government to immediately release all those in detention, particularly Daniel Kanu. IPOB leader, Col. Sambo Dasuki (retd) and a whole lot of relief sought after by many.
But it is not difficult indenting some of the ignorance, naivety or deliberate distortion of facts to suit a purpose. It could be by simplifying a complex issue to just say that many of those holding this type of opinion are turning logic head down.
Firstly, what Obama did by merely identifying with the entire minority group as is what any astute politician that knows his onion would have done. Secondly, given his status as a black man amidst the intolerant majority whites and the Hispania, all he did was to wear his thinking cap and to tell himself and all that believe in him that “We Can”. He tapped from the discarded group, so to say and smile into the highest set of power in his country, if not the world.
An objective analyst would have been taking to dissecting Osama’s two-term tenure, comparatively with other predecessors, as to know where to critique. Above all, with his rating soaring above 60 percent in performance, and his scandal -free rating, being 80 per cent, the question is from where come the US non citizens, who hold that his coming in power has put the country behind? They could be classified among sympathizers that weep louder than the bereaved.
As a parting shot, here is the surprise that is bound to be the lot of many Africans, mainly, Nigerians who have so much hope of Trump to be their savior. He will be so preoccupied with the issues that are to confront him, such that they will surely understand that election promises and outreach are never used in judging politicians. Since Trump is a politician, he can run faster than his shadow.
Here is a man that has never been in corridors of power, as he openly admits that as a factor, who has created his own albatross by way of flippant talks. Just recently a leader in the Republican Party, who contested the primary with Trump advised him (as then President-Elect), to show some sense of majority in his utterances having emerged the choice of the party. But did he listen? He was still seen courting enemies internationally and locally.
Having admitted that Russia play some role in his winning the poll; having the Mexican emigrants issue on his neck, and other security matters to sort out with the security operatives that are yet to get to term with him, he may not even have more than a casual interest in what happens in African let lone Nigeria, with own heap of social, political and economic challenges to resolve by themselves. Even his harsh-laden, unreconciliatory speech at his inauguration as a president, shows that he won’t have time for others, for him: “It’s America first, America second and America last.”
But does this mean that that Obama was the messiah that the blacks, both in US and the world have been looking for? Not at all, for he disappointed many of his race as there could hardly been any special empowerment of the black Americans, let alone the Diaspora blacks, as was believed, prior to his taking up the oath of office. Many can’t forget the enthusiasm in having the first blackman occupy the coveted White House.
There is no blaming those frustrated that Obama spent eight years facing only internal issues that favour only the US, without raising eye brow to effect some changes in Africa. If he did, Jammahs of this world could’t have found a voice today the way he did embarrass the sub-Saharan regional countries. There is the renewal of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) under Obama till 2025. Though he needed to have paid more attention on policies that could have deliberately promote economic and political growth in Africa, as Bill Clinton and George Bush, both of who are whites, tried to do. Still that does not befit him with what the names that he is tagged , by largely the uniformed class, who are egged on by the better informed ones.
But to have expected a black man to be totally focused on African course, and ignore his immediate challenge, as is thought by some, is extending logic to its extreme. Therefore, tagging Obama, a gay, a Moslem or a secret cult promoter, is taking the anger of disappointment too far. This is for many out there, who still believe that Obama’s charisma, his eloquence and reach-out is yet to have any rival in today’s world.
- Eke is a Lagos-based journalist(08033009625, firstname.lastname@example.org)