Saturday, December 26, 2009

Brother Obama's Visit To Ghana - The Nigerian Perspectives

Good people, Great Nation

Good listeners, welcome back to Nigerian Television NewsFile. I am Iyiola Oba, your moderator today. Today's programme will be dominated by the upcoming visit of the president of the United States, Brother Barack Obama, to Africa. The US State Department has released the information that he will be visiting Africa in the month of July in the year of our Lord 2009. Specifically, President, Brother Obama will be going to Ghana. Our neighbor and rival for influence in the West African sub-region. To African watchers, this is regarded as a big snub to Nigeria. Coming a few months after the G20 meeting in which our nation was also excluded, many analysts are of the opinion that the fortunes of Nigeria are waning in the international fora. President Yar'dua expressed his disappointment at the non-invitation of Nigeria to the G20 meeting. The latest diplomatic snub will surely upset the Nigerian government. To help us unravel why our country, the so-called Giant of Africa, is being ignored -- to use a mild phrase -- by the international community, we have two accomplished Nigerians in our studio. First, we have Chief Alhaji Dr. Professor Engineer Deacon Architect Senator Ambassador Bello Akanni. An accomplished diplomat and a very versatile professional, he was our ambassador to the U.S. in the 1980s. We also have Comrade Chuks Anyaoli, a trade unionist and leader of the Nigeria Road Sanitation Technologists (NRST). Comrade Anyaoli is a well travelled Civil Rights and Environmental Activist. Welcome, gentlemen.

Thank you.

Thank you.

Ambassador, if we may begin with you. Why do you think that the international community is ignoring us?

Thank you, Mr. Moderator. First, I must take serious exception to your categorization of our great and highly esteemed nation as the so-called Giant of Africa. We are not so called. We evidently are the giant of Africa. Ordained by God and attested to by the global inference of our unique pre-eminence on the continent. Our superior population figure, the ponderous continental leadership credentials garnered over the years by our nation's totally selfless contribution to the continent. The unstinting help and solace bestowed by our nation on Africa over the years...

Mr. Moderator, can you ask the man to get straight to the point?

Look, young man, such rascality is totally out of place. We are not here discussing how to clean streets and de-silt gutters.

I thought that we were invited to talk about why President Obama refused to come to Nigeria.

Yes, Mr. Ambassador, if you can give us your insight...

I was coming to that before I was so peremptorily, so recklessly, so rudely and so rascally interrupted by a loutish, common, garden-variety of the human specie...

Na me you dey call rascal, you this thick-necked obese son of mammy-water? Barawo bansa! Corrupt man like! You chop government, look at his belly... (Nigerian curse-fest)

Gentlemen, please, let's keep things in order. Please listeners, bear with us. Gentlemen, we are here to discuss the very important issue of our nation's standing in the comity of nations. Comrade Anyaoli, kindly let the ambassador give us his views. You shall have the opportunity to have your say. Senator Ambassador, please.

Thank you. In analyzing the global and continental ramifications of the visit of a US president to any part of the words, we have to be very mindful of some very pertinent geopolitical as well as the geostrategic considerations that informed such visits. We ought also to be mindful of the fact that the U.S. remains the world's only superpower whose decisions, actions, or non-actions consequently directly impact on our lives where ever we are on this earth. It is in light of such superior inter-global thinking that we should posit such visit and our nation's international obligations within the framework of globalization and continental imperatives...

Hmm, thank you Professor Ambassador for those very insightful analyses. But why is the American president going to Ghana instead of coming to Nigeria?

Yes, I was coming to that...

Mr. Moderator, won't you allow me also to talk or is he the only one you invited?

Sorry, Comrade Anyaoli, what is your take on why the American president is not coming to Nigeria?

Mr. Moderator, why should the American president come to this yeye (Nigerian slang for nonsense or rubbish) country? You think sey the Americans dey craze? Master, where do we even begin to talk about this thing? Can his plane land at our airports that lack the most basic of navigational equipment and where there are no lights? Do you want Mr. Obama to come and sleep in darkness or do you expect him to bring his own generators and water treatment plant? Since we have no fuel, do you expect him to bring his own refinery? My brother, don't talk. Do you want him to be waylaid by armed robbers or have his life snuffed out by the trigger-happy brigands we call police around here? Or do you want him to come and be kidnapped for ransom by the Delta militants? Do you want him to come to a country where our famous 419 guys will happily separate him from his hard-earned income? Or do you want him to come and be swindled by the thieves we call legislators at the National Assembly? Or do you think that he should come and waste his time visiting our comatose president? My brother, I will not even advise my dog to visit Nigeria not to mention the whole president of the United States of America. Allah Kiaye (God forbid)!

Thank you, Mr. Anyaoli for giving us your own perspectives. If we may return to you Engineer Senator Ambassador, what do you think of the reasons adduced by Mr. Anyaoli?

Come on, now! You do not expect me to dignify such verbal ejaculations with comments, do you? What arrant nonsense! That type of gutter-snipish verbal diarrhea belongs in side-street ogogoro (Nigerian gin) bar and not in a dignified studio. Be that as it may, as to the question as to why President Obama refuses to include our country on his itinerary, we can surmise and situate it in the global strategic extenuations informed by American national security deliberations and considerations. Since we are not privy to the innards of the Obama administration, we can merely conjecturise the hypothesis that the over-riding and aver-arching global American interests informed the choice of Ghana over Nigeria.


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