Opinion: Reactions to Trump’s Presidency – focus on Nigeria

by Ebuka Emebinah

The election of Donald J. Trump on 9th November 2016 sent shock waves around the world. I like most Nigerians supported and rooted for Hillary instead of Trump who I felt was not prepared to lead and ran a negative campaign.

The Donald lost all three debates, which I stayed awake to watch, but managed to nip the electoral college due to the very divisive political rhetoric he championed focused on protectionism and anti-globalisation, thus awakening the angry nature of the majority of the electorate in decisive states.

I have great respect and admiration for President Obama and see him as the most popular icon of the 21st Century and a role model for African leaders, the black race and the world at large. I am biased in my assessment of him, as I was one of the beneficiaries of his flagship Young African Leaders Initiative now the Mandela Washington Fellowship.

He has had a scandal free and largely successful Presidency and I wish him, Michelle and the kids a beautiful life after the Presidency.

The Obama Presidency definitely affected Africa and Nigeria in very specific ways. America always affects us.

First the United States purchase of Nigerian crude has become negligible in the last few years and this has impacted every Nigerian (wealthy, middle and low income) through the adverse effect on our exchange rates to the dollar and the unavailability of the greenback for various transactions which feed our import dependent lifestyle.

Obama killed oil prices and Trump may bury it further with increased production (shale) and the increased focus on coal as an alternative.

In the area of defence and security, Nigerian citizens continue to suffer somewhat from the effects of the refusal to sell or authorise the purchase of American arms in the fight against Boko Haram. Trump’s policy in this respect remains largely unknown.

In the run up to the 2015 Nigerian Presidential elections, there was also a tacit feeling amongst Nigerians that the Obama administration supported Nigeria’s incumbent President and eventual winner of that election even though no direct proof of this exists.

Nigerians however continue to bear the brunt of an inept government which has failed to provide economic leadership and seems bent on settling old political scores. The killing of Shitte Muslims and pro Biafra protestors in their hundreds is unprecedented and beginning to attract condemnation from the US Mission and questions from the ICC, which is a clear departure from the past.

Although the trajectory of a Trump Presidency on Nigeria and Africa remains largely unknown and is dependent on his choice of Secretary of State, the United States continues to wield considerably influence on Nigeria and many millions of Nigerians look up to its leadership as a voice against hunger and repression.

Op–ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija

Ebuka Emebinah
@cemebinah (twitter)

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