Nigerians Salivating Over An In- Law In White House
BY VICTORIA N. IKEANO
Ever since the news broke that Democratic presidential candidate, Joe Biden chose Kamala Harris as his vice president for the November elections, black people the world over have been rejoicing over it. According to Historians, Harris is the first black woman and indeed first black person to be chosen as vice president by any of the major parties in the United States of America (USA). America despite its centuries of democratic practice and being the bastion of feminism is yet to produce its first female president or vice president. That country was close to achieving it and in fact the world was gearing for it as per the pre-election polls that tipped Democrat’s Hilary Rodham Clinton to win in 2016. Alas, it was not to be as an inexperienced Donald Trump against whom some of his fellow Republicans had turned their backs emerged tops and was subsequently sworn-in as the 45th President of the United States of America. Hilary Clinton won the popular vote (simple majority) but Trump won the electoral college vote – the decisive factor for declaring a presidential election winner according to their electoral law. Tellingly, many are wondering what manner of system this is. If democracy is a game of numbers, should not the majority carry the day? Nevertheless, Americans aver that the electoral college system best suits them because of their diversity.
The world has since been experiencing a Donald Trump presidency for nearly four years now; a President Trump that is to all intents and purpose, turning our world upside down, deviating from generally accepted norm of presidential etiquette and international relations. The word ‘diplomatic language’ appears not to be in President Trump’s dictionary as he does not shy away from raining insults on his opponents and so on and so forth. Whether America, the acclaimed ‘leader of the free world’ has led the world aright under these Trump years is questionable. In this age of Trump, President Trump is detaching America the world’s largest economy and most industrialized nation from multilateral organizations, multilateralism that had enabled the world to fight many common causes jointly with a unity of purpose. Now America under Trump is going a separate way, often the opposite way on many causes, among them, climate change that is threatening the earth direly but which the American president thinks otherwise, even doubting scientific evidence on the matter.
Trump is pulling away from the World Health Organization (WHO) over the rather petty, unsubstantiated allegation that the body is taking sides with China. America is the largest contributor to the WHO. By pulling America out of it and with it its funds, Trump is endangering the lives of many Africans by denying them resources that come through that organization for a continent with weak health infrastructure. The rich in Africa can afford to access good healthcare facilities in industrialized countries. Not so the poor in Africa who are in the majority and have to contend with eking out a living for themselves first. Poor Africans would be the hardest hit by Trump’s policy on the WHO. Surely, a leader as America prides itself, has a duty to extend a helping hand to those ‘below it’ to get them out of the jaws of poverty to a higher level of wellbeing. To be candid, America under the grip of Donald Trump is no longer undertaking responsibly, the role of a world power. Forget the recent restoration of diplomatic relations it brokered between United Arab Emirate (UAE) and Israel. That is an isolated case. And it would not be surprising if Providence thrusts this role/obligation of a world power on another country. Many shudder to think of what another four years of a Donald Trump presidency would bring for the world should he win the forthcoming election. It would be the age of Trump in full bloom…
Barrack Obama is regarded as America’s first black president. Notwithstanding that he is of mixed parentage (his mother a white and father black) black people worldwide, Africans in particular, warmly embraced him and regarded him as one of their own for the simple fact that his father was a Kenyan, an African man. Kamala Harris herself is also of mixed parentage, her parents being of Jamaican and Indian descent respectively. The bottom line for most Africans is that she is black and that is why they are elated. Still, one looks forward to when we shall have a full blooded black American as vice president or president of America That will be the day America rewrites its history. However, I am reminded of a Nigerian proverb which says, ‘softly, softly, catch monkey’ and another Chinese saying that states that a journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step.
Anyway, Nigerians especially are thrilled that they would have an in-law in the White House should Biden, the Democratic candidate triumph over Trump in November. This is because Harris’ niece is married to a Nigerian by name Nick Ajagu from Nimo, Njikoka local government area of Anambra state, south east region. There is no gainsaying the fact that there is a large proportion of Nigerians, most of them naturalized Americans living in the USA. The black population in America most of whom trace their origins to Africa would therefore, be excited by the choice of Harris as are Africans, nay Nigerians here in the home land. Expectedly, they and we here will be rooting for Biden. What is more, it is being speculated that Biden because of his age, may not vie for a second term if he wins and that will make Harris the automatic Democratic candidate for 2027. Then should she win, we shall thence have a presidential in-law too. Africans and blacks generally prefer the Democrats that are a little to the left than the conservative Republicans which policies are pro-rich. Those of the Democrats are in theory more sympathetic to marginalized blacks and other minority groups. Still, America largely practices a laissez-faire economy that is dependent on free markets. Donald Trump nonetheless, still has his supporters even here in Nigeria. This piece of news may sway them to Biden, given that we generally like to associate with our relatives in high places, not least a potential White House in-law.