America’s President Donald Trump is peculiar on such a scale almost unknown in history. Four years ago, Trump emerged from almost political nowhere as an underdog and shook the world with his remarkable victory over Hillary Clinton in the presidential race. Hillary is the wife of former President Bill Clinton, whose popularity could not deliver for the wife. Trump’s election was unusually peculiar to him, being the first time in very many decades with minority votes but more delegates in the electoral college.
As if that was not peculiar enough, Trump has made his tenure so far almost unprecedented with right-wing policies. As in 2016 when an unknown Trump neutralised all odds to win the presidential election, the show is here again and the imponderables should neither be limited nor underestimated, still less ignored. It is not American, if not sensational. Ordinarily, Donald Trump’s peculiarity in the last four years should make the end of his tenure imminently close by. But the guy is clever with his flaunting of patriotism as the major weapon the country needs to change how Washington works. Not every American detests the idea of clearing corruption from the country’s political system,or asserting the country’s supremacy in every aspect all over the world or that America should limit its ambition to home security but, if to police the world, America alone should not and would not, as in the post-World War period, shoulder the burden for other nations.
The way to achieve this, according to Donald Trump’s political doctrine, is strong leadership at home, with the by-product against the world. It is such a lone ranger’s task that the turnover of (especially) key lieutenants is about the highest in the country’s history. For example, four press secretaries in three years with two of them each serving for only weeks. Defence Secretary? Chief of Staff? Secretary of State? National Security Adviser? Naturally, such engagements and/or dismissals were always applauded or derisively criticised, depending on vested interests.
Donald Trump enjoys wielding his power against anybody. The higher their rank or status, the more he (Trump) gloats even publicly that “I fired him.” Like in Nigeria’s case when former finance minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala was attending a public function cocktail in London, only to be called aside and asked “What is going on in your country? You have been removed from your portfolio.” Trump’s first Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, was on official visit to Nigeria and Trump ordered him to return to Washington immediately and replaced him with Mike Pompeo. In a way, that was no surprise. Tillerson’s dismissal was triggered by a report in one American newspaper quoting Tillerson as describing Trump as a moron. Perhaps, appropriately. Tillerson, a retired chief executive of Mobil in Texas, United States, was conducting world affairs in his own way, while Trump was ever the other way without consultation or information. As expected, Tillerson denied but the excercise was more grudging than desperate. It was, therefore, a question of time for Tillerson’s exit, except that was Trump’s way.
Still in peculiar ways, Donald Trump’s third wife, Melania, is his First Lady in the White House. In deporting immigrants, Trump was merely bragging himself as some kind of macho man. Otherwise, former President Barack Obama deported more immigrants than Donald Trump. America’s withdrawal of subvention to World Health Organisation (WHO) also generated worldwide criticism but the decision seemed tenable as America claimed to be subventing the organisation with $400 million against China’s $40 million.
Undoubtedly, Trump is desperate for re-election. Indeed, in modern times, only two American leaders lost office after first term, Jimmy Carter (1980), and George Bush Snr. (1992). With his achievements in economy and boost in millions of jobs. But pride, overzealousness and, perhaps, fate combined to make Trump’s second term uncertain. Very often, he praised himself and claimed to have superseded all his predecessors. He also constantly whipped up racial and religious prejudice and fears of his supporters.
Then, suddenly, came the worldwide coronavirus pandemis, which Trump either dismissed or underestimated or accused China as the major source, and that coronavirus would soon disappear from the United States. The more assurances he gave, the more the pandemic spread in United States. On the contrary, fatal victims of coronavirus topped 210,000, while, eventually, Trump caught the virus and had to be isolated for a couple of days in a military hospital.
Stubborn, proud, ever bellicose, Trump refuses to be counted out but his prospects for re-election continue to dim. Until opponent, Joe Biden, is declared the new American President, Donald Trump will be there fighting.
Another election test for APC
The second governorship election within a month, putting All Progressives Congress (APC) to test towards the 2023 general election, takes place in Ondo State tomorrow as Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu fights for his political life. With all the advantage of an incumbent, Akeredolu is yet facing such challenge, which, at last, has generated such excitement and anxiety and, perhaps, uncertainty of the outcome, just as was in Edo State, three weeks ago.
As elections go currently in Nigeria, large crowd at each candidate’s rally always raises hope of not only the candidates but also their respective party supporters. The campaigns for Ondo elections featured mixed observations. There were the intermittent, violent clashes between supporters of the three contesting parties, APC, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Zenith Labour Party. Equally, the debate between Governor Akeredolu of APC and his challenger, Eyitayo Jegede of PDP, gave out the two men for their decency, or how better could an election debate be conducted?
That standard should be extended to the entire voting exercise tomorrow, after which, short of glaring irregularities, the contestants must all accept the results.
A judge’s task for Police IG
They are criminals robing themselves as men of God parading as alfas, pastors, alhajis, bishops, prophets, prophetesses general overseers, archbishops, etc. And what havoc they have been committing all over the country. As American President Donald Trump would describe them, they are rapists, drug addicts, drug barons, fornicators, wife snatchers, husband snatchers, fraudsters, even the women among them. So helpless society has been rendered that, even in many cases, supposed law enforcement agents turned out to be accomplices.
That was the shock verdict of an Akure, Ondo-based judge, Olusegun Odusola, who rose to the occasion by jailing a self-designated prophet and founder of Sotitobire Praising Chapel, Babatunde Alfa for life. The convict’s offence? Masterminding the disappearance of a 13-month boy, Gold Kolawole, son of a member of the church, during service. Eleven months later, the boy is still nowhere to be found. There could only be various frightening presumptions of the fate of the poor boy.
Accordingly, Justice Odusola was so disgusted especially with what he called the complicity, connivance and compromise of the (Ondo) state police command in the missing boy’s drama. For once, there was Justice Odusola, whose remark must be seen for what it is, very uncomplimentary and indicting of the force. But for the strong observation of Justice Odusola, police personnel in Akure and perhaps entire Ondo State, would have continued with their criminal activities itemised in the judge’s ruling. Is this a matter to be overlooked by the Inspector-General of Police? He must, therefore, conduct a very thorough investigation and throw the culprits in the Akure church kidnap case out of the Police Force.
The judge has done his part and there can be no reason for the continued stay of these men in the force. Meanwhile, where is baby Gold Kolawole?
The boy’s rescue is a task for the Inspector-General of Police. Or Nigerians must be told his fate.