While Nigerians Rejoice, Some Sections Express Fears Over Trump’s Presidency

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  • Akinyemi, Gambari, Fafowora: Victory portends grave danger
  • OPS, others express divergent views on economy
  • Buhari, world leaders, APC, PDP speak
  • Soyinka plans ‘Wolexit’

Top Nigerians, including former diplomats, yesterday, expressed fear over the emergence of Mr. Donald Trump as the 45th president of the United States (US) with his victory in the country’s Tuesday’s presidential election.

The Republican nominee defeated his Democratic counterpart and former US Secretary of State, Mrs. Hillary Clinton, and would be sworn in as successor to President Barack Obama on January 20, 2017.

But a cross section of Nigerians, who spoke on Trump’s shocking victory, expressed worry over what his reign portends for Nigeria and the rest of Africa, given his disposition to non-Americans during the campaigns.

Former Minister of Foreign Affairs, Prof. Bolaji Akinyemi, described Trump’s victory as a worrisome development, adding that it would be difficult to predict his policies towards Nigerians or Africans in the Diaspora and the continent itself.

He said: “It brings uncertainty into international politics because the world now has to deal with a man who is inexperienced, does not understand the complexities of international politics and has no respect for anyone who is not white or American. I think that is dangerous.

“There has always been an ugly side to the U.S., just as there is with every country in the world, but the good side in the U.S. has always prevailed, so that in tackling American problems, the interests of the U.S. are not defined in antagonism to the interest of the whole world.

But this victory of Trump is a victory of the ugly side of the U.S.” Former Under Secretary- General of the United Nations (UN), Prof. Ibrahim Gambari, who spoke in like manner, however, said Trump’s victory should spur African leaders to promote policies in the interest of the citizens. This, according to him, will encourage development in the continent and reduce the flow of African citizens to western countries.

“As Africans, we have survived slavery, colonialism, apartheid; I think the strength of the African people will enable us to survive any negative consequences arising from this result.

“The important thing is for the leadership of our continent to put the people ahead of anything else and if the link between the people and the leadership is strong, then we will survive the decision by the Americans to electing Donald,” he said, expressing optimism that U.S. laws and institutions will protect Nigerians and Africans in the U.S. A former Nigerian ambassador to the United Nations (UN), Dapo Fafowora, on his part, said Trump’s victory is a lesson to Africans to remain at home and contribute to the development of their respective countries to reduce reliance on world economic powers.

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His words: “There is nothing in his background to suggest he has any durable interest in Africa. I think it is a lesson for Nigerians; people should stay here and make contributions in developing our country.

“When people go abroad, they contribute to these foreign countries; one must agree that conditions are difficult, but if Nigerians abroad work half as hard as they do abroad in Nigeria, we will be a better country.

I think it is a good development for Africa that we should look inwards and try to develop ourselves without relying on any major economic power.”

An industrialist, Chief Tomi Akingbogwu, said there might be less foreign aid from the American government to developing nations like Nigeria as a result of Trump’s victory.

Akingbogwu said given the Trump’s victory, developing nations in the world might witness less of support from the new government in terms of grants, considering the conservative orientation of the Republicans.

He added that the policies and programmes of the new government might not be favourable to Nigerians and other immigrants, based on the campaign speeches of the US President-elect. Some Nigerians expressed fears of racism, which might be perpetu-ated by Trump. Mr. Sunday Adeleye, Chairman, Joint Negotiating Council (JNC), Ondo State, said Trump had expressed disdain against blacks in his various speeches.

“I congratulate him because the election was free and fair, and devoid of any malpractice, but Africans see the man as racist because he hates blacks.

“And we pray that he will rescind his decision not to send blacks away from America because it is the blacks that hold the economy of America.

“Trump once told the Mexican president that he would deport all Mexicans in America,” he said. Also, Dr. Michael Oke, senior lecturer, Department of Banking and Finance, Ekiti State University, Ado Ekiti, said that Trump’s victory had beaten the imagination of many people.

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Oke added that Trump’s hate speech for blacks and Mexicans during his political campaign would not stand and advised him not to embark on any stringent measures that could attract hatred towards America.

Despite the fears, there were others who saw Trump’s emergence as one that will open a new chapter in Nigeria-US relationship. The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), which expressed such belief, called on the US President-Elect to urgently formulate policies that would ensure a mutually beneficial relationship between his country and Nigeria.

The party, in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Prince Dayo Adeyeye, also urged him to move quickly to heal the divides created by the campaign, adding that Nigeria and US “must work harder to deepen mutual security and economic interests.”

The All Progressives Congress (APC) has congratulated Americans for buying into the “change mantra” by electing Trump, who canvassed change in U.S. polity.

National Chairman of the party, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, said that Americans had spoken by voting Trump, adding that APC could do nothing than to congratulate him for the victory. Odigie-Oyegun, however, declined to speak on the expected foreign policy of the Republican President-Elect, but stated that he preached change and Americans bought into change.

“Like APC, Trump preached change and Americans bought into the change by electing him,” he said. APC National Auditor, Chief George Moghalu, however, said: “I am a bit worried over the positions before and during the election, especially from the side of the President-Elect with regards to his foreign policy.”

The presidential candidate of KOWA party in the 2015 general elections, Prof. Remi Sonaiya, said it was regrettable that Clinton lost the election. According to her, the world was expecting that for the first time, a woman was going to rule America. “Unfortunately, she has not been able to make it; she was judged by all the emails scandal.

“It is disappointing, but the American people have made their choice and the important fact here is that democracy is about the people,” she said. Senate president, Bukola Saraki, said: “Mr. Trump’s years of being a private sector leader can be invaluable to Nigeria as we work to restructure and diversify our economy.

It is important for the private sector here to have a larger role in expanding our economic base, creating jobs and fostering entrepreneurship. In these areas, I am sure he will be able to serve as a strong partner.”

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Deputy Senate president, Ike Ekweremadu, on his part, called for better bilateral deals for Nigeria by the incoming Trump administration. Speaker, House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, expressed hope that the cordial relationship between Nigeria and the US would be maintained under the incoming administration.

The speaker noted that Americans have made their choice and the international community, whatever their preferences, must accept and respect the wishes of the American people.

Legal luminary and founder, Afe Babalola University, Ado-Ekiti (ABUAD), Aare Afe Babalola, in his reaction, said Trump won the election because of his appeal to nationalism.

“In all, the unexpected victory is as a result of Trump’s appeal to nationalism and patriotism and I congratulate him for his courage, doggedness and audacity to take on the drug barons, illegal immigrants and minorities even when some of his party leaders developed cold feet and vowed not to campaign for him.”

Ekiti State governor, Ayodele Fayose, described Trump’s victory as the “beginning of real change in Nigeria.” Fayose said: “Now that Trump has won, it portends hope for Nigerians that the excesses of the President Muhammadu Buhari-led federal government will stop.”

Sokoto State governor, Waziri Tambuwal, called for respect of the wishes of American electorate, while urging world leaders to partner with Trump and work for global peace.

Tambuwal also said that the outcome of the US election has clearly shown the dynamism of democracy. “To me, the wishes of Americans should be respected and we should work together as a team for the peace and progress of the World,” he said.

Source: New Telegraph

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