Mr. Barrack Obama made history in 2009 as the first African – American and the first non – Caucasian to be the President of the United States. As fate would have it, whoever of Mrs. Hillary Rodham Clinton, the candidate of the Democratic Party and Republican Donald John Trump, that won last week’s election as the 45th Chief of State (as the Americans call their Head of State), was also bound to be a trial – blazer. If it was Senator Clinton, a former Secretary of State during Obama’s first administration (2009 – 13), she would have been the first woman and the first former First Lady to become the country’s First Citizen.
For Trump, who is the fourth to be president without previously being elected into a legislature or serving in a public (government) office, he has made history at 71 as the oldest person to be elected president after Ronald Reagan who assumed office in 1981 two weeks to his 70th birthday anniversary. Trump is also the first businessman to be elected the president of the U.S. and whose wife is a foreigner and the second First Lady not born in America.
The other one was Louisa Catherine John Adams, the wife of John Quincy Adams, the sixth President (1825 – 29) and the son of John Adams, the first Vice – President (1789 – 97) and second President of the US (1791 – 1801) and first to live in the White House when he moved in in 1800. Mrs. Louisa Adams was the daughter of an American diplomat in London whom her husband married in the British capital in 1797 when he was the US Ambassador to the Netherlands (1794 – 97).
Donald Trump also becomes the first president – elect whose emergence caused street protests, riots and general unrest across the cities and states in America in the two hundred and twenty – eight years of holding presidential polls in the country (1788 – 2016).
That people would challenge Trump’s election as president was predictable because during the campaigns he had spoken against Africans and Muslims and promised to deport all illegal immigrants said to be over eleven million. Most of them being from Africa, Middle East and South America, particularly Mexico at whose borders with the United States he said he would cause a wall to be built by the president of that country. The fear is that if Trump does not recant some of his pronouncements or take steps to allay the fears of those angry with him and their sympathizers, he may face assassination attempt sooner or later, especially from the Arabs and other Muslims in Europe or Asia.
Hillary Clinton beat Trump in the popular vote by 60, 071, 650 to 60, 467, 245 but lost to him by 290 – 228 in the more crucial Electoral College votes that determine who becomes U.S. President. Did Trump win the election because of the promises he made that he would change the status quo and make America great again, deport eleven million illegal immigrants, facilitate the creation of twenty – five million jobs in the next ten years and the effects of Clinton’s email scandal? I don’t think so. Were it so, Trump should also have won the popular vote as was the case with 35 of the 39 elected as presidents before him as from the 1824 poll, when popular vote was introduced to go with the electoral votes used since the first election in 1788?
I do not support either Trump or Clinton. But for me, she must have lost to him because of either or a combination of the offering of bribe to the 538 members in the Electoral College or the discrimination most American men have had against women in politics since 1788. Or her defeat could have been caused by the desire or jealousy of the Electoral College voters to deprive Mrs. Clinton the opportunity of becoming the first woman and the wife of a former president or First Lady to become First Citizen herself.
The Americans have had two fathers and two sons as presidents in John Adams and John Quincy Adams and George Bush Sr. the 41st President (1989 – 93) and George Bush Jr. the 43rd in office (2001 – 09). They had also produced a grandfather and grandson presidents in William Henry Harrison, the 9th Head of State who died of pneumonia a month after inauguration (March 4 – April 4, 1841) and Benjamin Harrison, the 23rd to serve (1889 – 93). And two cousins as presidents in Theodore Roosevelt, the 26th Chief of State (1901 – 09) and Franklin Roosevelt, the 32nd First Citizen (1933 – 45). So, what remains are two brothers which the Kennedys missed in 1968 and a husband and wife presidents that has just slipped from the Clintons.
To be continued next Wednesday. After which the solution to the nation’s political challenges, the concluding part of the four major tribes and Nigeria’s problem will come up.
8 History – Making Juju Bandleaders (6)
From the reactions to last week’s column from three readers who either missed the first part or have forgotten, I need to restate that this series is about the bandleader who invented juju music (Tunde King) and those who introduced some of the instruments used or who brought innovations in stage performance or dancing style. And those who first played and waxed records abroad or took this genre of Yoruba beat to international prominence or global reckoning. It is not about famous juju bandleaders or leading stars.
After IK Dairo of blessed memory, first Nigerian musician to be honoured abroad (by Queen Elizabeth II of England who conferred him with Member of the British Empire), the focus now shifts to late Tunde Thomas who was better known as “Tunde Nightingale,” the fifth on the distinguished list. His contribution is that he was the first juju musician to play the guitar dexterously and stylishly and give his beat a name and who introduced a fascinating and graceful manner of dancing to juju music, both of which he called “Owanbe” (It is there in literary translation of the Yoruba word). His invention was what Chief Commander Ebenezer Obey and King Sunny Ade built upon calling their own brand of juju music and dancing styles miliki and syncro system respectively.
To be continued next week