BY Chibuoka Chukwudebelu
Donald Trump, the controversial Republican Presidential hopeful candidate in the US 2016 elections, is at it again. This time around, he is not abusing a woman journalist, tongue-lashing his fellow Presidential opponents, criticizing the Mexicans or discrediting the Muslim religion and the Christian leadership.
No, he aimed his vituperation, this time around, at the Presidents of African countries. While addressing reporters at Nebraska, Donald Trump heavily criticized African Presidents for “turning their people into slavery, promoting corruption and as well having insatiable desire for power and wealth”. He did not end there, he did not mince words in suggesting that “Africa should be re-colonized once again because Africans are still under slavery,” this time perpetuated by our own people.
A casual observer may wonder why on earth should Trump sound so abusive and abrasive against African leaders, but looking critically at his viewpoint, one can hardly fault the comments of the US Presidential hopeful. The loquacious billionaire appears to be saying the obvious, and rather than flex our muscles and gnash our teeth, we should swallow our pride and take a closer look at the mirror, putting the performances of our past and present leaders into objective analysis before sticking out our neck in condemnation of Donald Trump.
Sooner or later, African leaders would come out smoking, charging like bulls and pouring vituperations at Donald Trump for daring to criticize them in the manner he did. They would call Trump names, deny ever embezzling public funds entrusted in their care, and swearing to African gods to punish Trump for not respecting their offices and dignity. Some African leaders are probably already fuming in rage, threatening to invoke their voodoo shrines to deal decisively with recalcitrant Donald.
Some may have started plotting with the like of EFCC, DSS, Police, etcetera, on how they could forge imaginary charges of embezzlement of funds against Trump in order to get him arrested, tried and jailed as revenge for spending his campaign funds the way he is doing at the moment. They may be doing so because that is their only means of getting at political opponents who dare speak bad of the mighty. Unfortunately for them, Donald Trump is in faraway United States of America where human rights and the rule of law reign supreme. He is in a country where people speak their minds without fear or favor. A society where leaders and rulers listen to the feelings of the masses, respect such views and learn from them.
Trump must have spoken out of years of experience as one of the leading world business tycoons for decades, who may have in one way or another partnered with African leaders, our politicians, businessmen and the like, and must have felt their pulse. He must have heard of trillions of African wealth stolen and stashed away in European and Asian Banks by privileged Africans. He must have evaluated the rich mineral resources which nature endowed Africa with and could not fathom why our leaders could not salvage the continent with the enormous gifts of nature.
Trump, as an aspiring President of the US, must have discovered from his campaign activities cum programmes, and after closer study of the activities of past and present US governments, the level of commitment of government functionaries, from president down the line, to the socio-economic growth of the nation, the welfare of the citizenry and the loyalty of the leadership towards sustained technological and economic advancement of the US. He must have observed through the level of poverty in Africa, despite abundant natural resources, that African leaders have not been sincere enough to their people. He must have realized from his discoveries that, in reality, African leaders have all this while deliberately subjected the masses to the most harrowing and dehumanizing slavery.
Trump must have looked back in retrospect to realize that Africans fared better during colonial era in terms of electricity supply, potable water, road network, industrialization, employment of educated few, standard of living, sustained economic growth and transparency in governance, before advocating that Africa should be recolonized once again. He must have been bewildered by the stupendous wealth of our leaders, wondering what they did during their reign to enable them amass such staggering wealth.
Can anyone still disagree with Donald Trump at this point? Can you see through him now, and do you now agree that his wake up call demands self-examination and sober reflection rather than flexing of muscles? Can you now agree that Africa deserves to be re-colonized once again, so we can learn our bitter lessons, and so our leaders can learn the attributes of good leadership?
How many African countries can boast of a stable economy, sustainable socio economic development, technological advancement, robust employment generation strategies, progressive industrialization process, and a progressive democratic system? Most African countries still rely on the technologies, manpower, aids, loans and advice from Europeans to run their economies.
This is why the World Bank, dominated by Europeans, continually recommend IMF programmes to every African country, so they can, in one way or another, continue to have firm grip on our economies.
•Chukwudebelu writes from Onitsha, Anambra State