President Obama again leaves Nigeria off his Africa trip Itinerary; So What?

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President Obama again leaves Nigeria off his Africa trip Itinerary; So What?
President Obama again leaves Nigeria off his Africa trip Itinerary; So What?

In 2009 when President Barack Obama of the United States of America visited Africa without visiting Nigeria, a lot of people made a whole lot of noise about it. Many took it as a calculated insult on the sitting President of Nigeria and indeed the people of Nigeria. President Obama visited neighbouring Ghana where he praised them for their democratic strides.

Fast forward to 2015, immediately after, in fact during President Buhari’s working visit to the United States of America, President Obama is once again visiting Africa and once again, Nigeria is not listed in his itinerary. According to Los Angeles Times, if Obama’s reason for not visiting Nigeria in 2009 was for any perceived democratic failings, what could his reason be this time, given the fact that after the last elections, Nigeria now stands as an icon and an example to other African countries as far as elections and democracy is concerned?

Away from the whys. President Obama will be visiting Kenya, a country that does not want him. In fact, there are about 5000 nude anti-gay protesters who are waiting to let Obama know how much he is not welcome in their country yet he still chooses to visit Kenya over Nigeria.

He will also be visiting Ethiopia, a country that has been criticized for oppressing the opposition, the press, bloggers and anyone who holds a view different from those of the government in power. The elections in that country was anything but free or fair. Despite all these, Obama still chose to visit them rather than visit Nigeria.

Is there a hidden message here? President Buhari’s visit to the U.S was much celebrated in Nigeria. However, the press in the U.S did not make much of it as it did not warrant much media time. In fact, some Nigerians who paid close attention to the media in a bid to hear about their president’s visit were roundly disappointed.

Aside from this, President Obama is said to have left for Kenya even while President Buhari was still his guest in the U.S. Is this an indication of how Obama sees Nigeria and her President? Someone asked a vital question – can Obama leave Angela Merkel of Germany in his country and travel out? Can he leave David Cameron the way he has left our dear President? Sadly, he left him to visit people who did not ask for his visit. In fact, some of them are even protesting his visit.

Los Angeles Times had this to say about Nigeria. “Nigeria, the continent’s most populous country, is sub-Saharan Africa’s largest economy and an important source of oil for the United States.” From this description, we see that the relationship between Nigeria and the U.S should be a symbiotic one and not a parasitic one as depicted by the “cap in hand” beggarly way our president has gone to the U.S and indeed the G7.

Nigeria is a sovereign nation and must be seen to be acting as such. What we’ve been hearing for some time now is – U.S has promised to help Nigeria fight insurgency, U.S has promised to help Nigeria recover looted funds, U.S has promised to train our judiciary and prosecutors so we can better prosecute offenders etc. Are we saying we cannot exist as a nation without the help of the U.S? The U.S refused to sell weapons to Nigeria under President Goodluck Jonathan. Russia and China did and Nigeria started recording successes in the fight against Boko Haram.

Nigeria and Nigerians must begin to place their priorities right, Obama is the President of the United States of America. He is not the President of Nigeria neither is he the President of Africa. If he chooses not to visit Nigeria, that is his headache and not ours. Why must we give people authority over us? President Obama has simply insulted Nigeria by traveling out of the country while our President was still in his country specifically to visit him. If he saw President Buhari as an equal, he would not have acted in such a manner.

Having seen all of these, what then must we do? We must know who our friends really are. U.S has never helped any country fight insurgency successfully. The U.S is more known for causing instability in countries. U.S has enough domestic economic troubles that their offer to help Nigeria sounds hypocritical. China is in a better economic state to help anyone, hence U.S’ serious indebtedness to them.

The G7 asked our president to come with his shopping list. Why are they not bailing out Greece? Greece is a member state of the EU and they are not gushing to offer their support to them. They are rather asking Nigeria to come with her shopping list. The big questions is – What are you requesting in return?

President Buhari, it is high time you sat down in your country and manage the affairs of the nation you were elected to govern. Leave the west and let us solve our challenges ourselves. Our challenge has never been a lack of skill or manpower but the absence of proper leadership and a will to effect a meaningful and lasting change. when we keep running to the west, they will keep treating us like dirt.

Let us build out nation ourselves and let the west begin to beg to come to us the way they are now trying hard to be a part of the Asian economic rise.

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2 Comments on "President Obama again leaves Nigeria off his Africa trip Itinerary; So What?"

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Iyke Anyanwu

Lol. So they want people with well articulated policy to wait for #BabaGoSlow. Lol. Try another

Chimerenka Odimba

He is the President of the United States and not the President of Nigeria. He has the right to go wherever he chooses to go. Let us build out nation by ourselves joor!
Iyke Anyanwu, Isiaka Steven