“IN THE course of some 200 years,
the presidency of the United States has
become the most powerful office in the
world”.
“The duties and responsibilities of
the office are immense. Unlike many of
the democratic government of Europe
and elsewhere that have both a Chief
of State and a head of government, the
U.S system of government has only one
Chief executive, the president”.
“The holder of that office serves not
only as head of government but also
in the primarily ceremonial post of
Chief of State. As Chief of State, the
president performs many of the public
and ceremonial duties undertaken
by the king or queen of the United
Kingdom, other monarchs, and the
governor-general of Canada and other
Commonwealth nations”.
“Although some of the duties the
President performs as chief of state
may seem trivial, the role helps the
occupant of the office maintain contact
with the overall populace. As head of
government, the President is the Chief
executive of the nation, the director
of the government. In addition the
president serves as commander in chief
of the armed forces of the United States
and the voice of the American people.”
According to presidential scholar
Clinton Rossiter, the presidency is a oneperson
job. The person “who holds it can

never

escape making the final decision
in each of many areas in which the
American people and their constitution
hold “him or her responsible.” A sign
on the presidential desk of Harry S.
Truman, the nation’s chief executive
from April 1945 to January 1953, said
it perfectly: “The buck stops here.”
According to Rossiter, “that in the end,
is the essence of the presidency. It is
the one office in all of the land whose
occupant is forbidden to pass the buck.”
(The New Webster’s Dictionary of
the English Language , International
Edition, Lexicon Publications, Inc, 2004).
The above citations from a global
authority shows how significant the
office of the United States President  is.
Perjoratively and indeed factually, it is
stated that “when America coughs, the
rest of the World catches cold.”
America in World’s politics is known
by virtually two thirds of the global
community as a BIG BROTHER.  The
USA is also called UNCLE SAM by
most less developed segments of the
international community because a
lot of funding supports are required
to be donated yearly by the American
government towards the building
of democratic institutions in most so
called Third World countries. Even such
developed Western society like United
Kingdom, strengthening economic ties
with the United States of America is vital.
This is the reason that informed the
decision by the British Premier Mrs.
Theresa May to accept and indeed gladly
honored her invitation to the White House
in Washington DC which made her the
first leader of the free World to visit the
new US President after his January 20th
inauguration as the 45th President of the
USA.
It is therefore imperative to understand
the position of Africa and Nigeria in the eyes
of President Donald Trump of America.
If developed Western allies of the USA in
the North Atlantic Treaty Organization
are keen to get reassurance of solidarity
of President Trump how much more will
a continent in perpetual want of foreign
assistance like Africa not want to become
friendlier to the US administration now.
And so the brief question we set out to
tackle in this piece is the place of Nigeria
and Africa in the context of the Donald
Trump’s presidency.
The apprehension of an African who
resides in Africa should rise considerably
after going through this speech by the
United States of America’s president to
the congress which is his first major parley
with the joint session of the US Congress.
If the saying by the typical philosophers
hold true that “first impression of anything
matters a lot”, it therefore follows that the
lack of any detailed mention of Africa and
Nigeria by President Trump in his first ever
major policy speech to the US congress
shows how degraded he holds the black
continent. In that speech Africa or indeed
Nigeria were conspicuously missing but
in much of his explanations of his foreign
policy direction for instance, President
Trump sounded a note of warning to
Africans that his administration will
basically focus on making America great
again.
His words: “Our foreign policy calls for a
direct, robust and meaningful engagement
with the world. It is American leadership
based on vital security interests that we
share with our allies across the globe.”
“We will respect historic institutions, but
we will also respect the sovereign rights of
nations.”
“Free nations are the best vehicle for
expressing the will of the people — and
America respects the right of all nations
to chart their own path. My job is not to
represent the world. My job is to represent
the United States of America. But we know
that America is better off, when there is less
conflict — not more.”
“We must learn from the mistakes of
the past — we have seen the war and
destruction that have raged across our
world.”
“The only long-term solution for these
humanitarian disasters is to create the
conditions where displaced persons can
safely return home and begin the long
process of rebuilding.”
“America is willing to find new friends,
and to forge new partnerships, where shared interests align. We want harmony
and stability, not war and conflict.”
“We want peace, wherever peace can
be found. America is friends today with
former enemies. Some of our closest allies,
decades ago, fought on the opposite side of
these World Wars. This history should give
us all faith in the possibilities for a better
world.” (www.edition.cnn.com )
The President of the United States has
not hidden his intention however to fix the
broken down black societies within the fore
walls of the United States of America.
He has already gone ahead to nominate
Dr. Benjamin Carson, the renowned
Professor of Neurosurgery, plastic surgery,
Oncology and Pediatrics, as his Secretary
for Urban Housing with emphasis
on delivering better shelters for black
Americans and other low income earning
Americans and to reduce urban violent
crime.
Dr. Ben Carson may be a renowned
neurosurgeon and humanitarian now, but
growing up he never had it easy.
“Abandonment by his father, the
turbulence of life in inner cities of Detroit,
being called stupid at school and a violent
temper, in every respect, Ben’s tough
circumstances seemed only to point to a
harsher future and a bad end. But that’s not
what happened(see Dr. Ben Carson’s book:
“You have a Brian: A TEEN’S GUIDE TO
T.H.I.N.K.I.N.G B.I.G”).
So as he has made a good choice of his expresidential
primary rival Dr.
Ben Carson

to

tackle the essential poverty that afflicts
African- American society, it is yet to be
known what particular humanitarian focus
his government would give to the typical
Africa’s problems of perennial poverty,
political corruption and instability, Radical
Islamic terrorism and growing rate of
irregular migrations by Africans caused
by the collapsed economies in Africa and
growing warfare.
Although Nigerians forms a significant
portion of the Black American communities
which implies that policies churned out by
President Trump that positively impacts
their lives it follows therefore that  Nigeria
will benefit indirectly.
Nigeria receives huge funds coming
from the vibrant Nigerian- American
community annually but on the aggregate,
it is unknown what particular policy focus
towards Africa does Trump possess that
could improve Africa and Nigeria.
What would be the area of strategic
engagement for the Donald Trump’s
administration as it relates to Africa?
Africa is resource rich, no doubt, but
the existential problems weighing down
the African continent such as poverty,
corruption, capital flights,  and political
instability must be tackled and confronted
with greater effort so as to reduce the
growing appetite by Africans to migrate
to the western world to search for greener
pastures.
The Donald Trump’s presidency must
look at ways and means of compelling African nations to inculcate the culture
of genuine Constitutional democracy
and the advancement and consolidation
of institutions that would guarantee
fairness, equality, equity, transparency
and accountability in Africa.
President Trump should be encouraged
to maintain economic policies that would
boost trades between our continent, our
country Nigeria and the United States of
America.
Nigeria has a devastating affliction
of Islamic terrorism in the North East
of Nigeria and the rampaging Fulani
terrorists invading different Southern
communities and so President Trump
should help the millions of Nigerians in
the line of fire of these centripetal and
centrifugal forces tearing apart Nigeria
not to carry through their mass slaughter
agenda of conquer and occupy.
Nigeria is a divided country where
certain component parts are treated with
the short end of the stick. For instance
the Igbo being a significant portion of
Nigeria has being treated unfairly by
President Muhammadu Buhari.
President Muhammadu Buhari
has ordered the Army and police to
crush civilian protesters in the Igbo
speaking Southeast of Nigeria who were
canvassing self-determination.
Since one year now Mr. Nnamdi Kanu
who founded the Indigenous peoples
of Biafra has remained incarcerated and
his constitutional and legal rights denied
him.
Over 200 civilian protesters were killed
by soldiers in the South East of Nigeria
which was even reported by Amnesty
International in it’s current World human
rights reports.
In the North the Christian tribes of
Southern Kaduna have been attacked and
killed in their hundreds by armed Fulani
terrorists but President Muhammadu
Buhari has done nothing and critics say
he is unwilling to stop the attacks because
his kinsmen are involved.
In the North even Moslems of Shiites
Islamic Movement have suffered
extralegal killings by armed forces. Over
26,000 Nigerians have died from attacks
by Islamic terror group of boko Haram.
Looking at all of these violent
trajectories, it is therefore frightening
to know that President Trump hasn’t
yet figured out how to be of positive
influence in the troubled black continent
and the ever troubled and unstable
Nigerian society.
We won’t give up hope but will keep
speaking out so the US administration
can package and deliver significant
development projects and programmes
that could benefit Nigeria cum Africa.

*Emmanuel Onwubiko is the national
coordinator of Human Rights Writers
Association of Nigeria and blogs @
www.emmanuelonwubiko.com , www. thenigerianinsidernews.com .


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