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Buhari In America

The lamentation of Tony Onyima on his Facebook wall, that the local American media didn’t attach much importance to the recent visit of President Muhammadu Buhari to the United States, made me laugh. Onyima, my friend and senior colleague, expressed worry about what he called the arrogance of the Western media.

He lamented, “Most of the local and national broadcast networks, from ABC, CBS, Fox, NBC to CNN have not considered it newsworthy the visit of the President of the most populous black nation…I know if it were in Nigeria the visit will be broadcast live by NTA and other channels. So, what’s going on here?” What’s going on is that America and indeed, the Western world, don’t consider us very important. Many of them must have heard about Nigeria through the exploits of Boko Haram and advance fee fraudsters.

The visit of our President means little or nothing to them. The question is, outside oil and crime, what do we have to offer them? Even, they also produce oil such that they have drastically reduced oil imports from Nigeria. Mutual relationships are built and sustained on the solid exchange of values. The United States citizens made their country what it is today. And so, they have some values to offer. That is why almost every Nigerian President wants to go to America first.

That is why many Nigerian citizens want to go to the US. And that is why President Barack Obama can afford to ignore visiting us after over seven years of being in power while our own President, soon after assuming office, rushed to America with a bagful of requests which include begging Obama to visit us. The US President may not easily agree to visit us because his country has a low estimation of Nigeria. They   had denied our country weapons to prosecute the Boko Haram war because of human rights violations allegedly perpetrated by our forces.

Our president put it this way, “In the face of abduction of innocent schoolgirls from their hostels, indiscriminate bombings of civilians in the markets and places of worship, our forces have remained largely impotent because they do not possess the appropriate weapons and technology which they could have had, had the so-called human rights violations not been an obstacle.” You see what I mean? We have tied our fate to America, and Obama can afford to dictate to us to legalise gay marriage, which is against our constitution, or no weapons for us.

Our president may have rejected the same-sex marriage proposal from Obama but do we have the muscles to stand by that decision if the US seriously insists on having her way? The truth is that we need to enhance our value so as to become relevant in the world. The Western world massages our ego by calling us the most populous black nation on earth.

But big population alone will get us nowhere. Our destiny lies in our hands. President Buhari sums it up, “The international community can only assist, but the hard work belongs to Nigerians and their government. I will as President, lead from the front, but all Nigerians, including the opposition parties, civil society, business and religious leaders, public servants, labour unions, the youth and professional associations all have important roles to play to get our country back on a sound economic footing.”

I completely agree. Reactions to ‘Ambode And Ndigbo In Lagos’ Casmir, you barely know anything about the history of the portion of the Ladipo Main market that is being marked for redevelopment. Over a year ago, far before the electioneering, there was a move to develop that portion of Ladipo Main Market. The traders are very much aware of this move, which stems from an amicable resolution of dispute between Owoyemi Family and Mushin Local goverment, which was finally resolved by the Lagos State House of Assembly in 2013.

The outcome of the resolution was communicated to the leadership of the market. Ladipo Main market is just a section out of the over 36 sections that make up Ladipo Auto Spare parts Market Association. Buying and selling are going on every where in the market daily. In fact, the Local Government is developing 60 per cent of that section of the market if you understand my point. A Developer, Ushefu, moved to the site in 2013 , the traders rejected him but preferred the current Developer.

Meetings were held to determine the best option. The leadership of the market agreed that it should be developed in phases, meaning the traders will trade there while the construction would be going on simultaneously. Unfortunately , the self acclaimed President of the Traders association (name withheld) was willing to extort his fellow traders, and in order to curry their favour as having been working for their welfare, gave the traders wrong impression, by using the ethnic card.

He vigorously campaigned for APC during the Governorship race in Lagos State. He knows that nobody can ever punish the Igbo in that market for not voting for the APC. The traders are today contributing fifteen thousand naira each to pursue a wrong battle. The Members of the Board of Trustees who are all Igbo, which we consulted extensively agreed with us to develop the place provided no one who had genuine allocation papers would not be denied allocations on completion of the stalls.

The facts are there. No structure was demolished in that section of the market. Go to Ladipo Market and see dirt, filth, garbage, clumsiness .You will immediately approve that the place should be developed. They have a grace of one month to move, as signed and sealed by all the stakeholders. Olu Yemi The government of Lagos state should go ahead and do whatsoever it deems needful with regard to Ladipo market. If it comes out as punishment so be it. After all the traders there and their promoters ran their mouths and boasted to no end about their population in Lagos and how they will decide who becomes governor irrespective of what others say or do.

They have had their boasts, we the winners of this election will have our way. Hope they learn, if they don’t, 2019 is just around the corner, they can wait and emptily boast again. Emeka Anthony Opah Nice piece, Casmir. Igbo and Yoruba are conjoined twins. Their unity and brotherhood are a sine qua non for the survival and progress of Nigeria. Occasional frictions between persons or groups based on micro interests are unavoidable like between other groups and should not be mistaken as enmity. Nosike Ogbuenyi I will just use the words of Mr.Martin Luther King Jnr.. “We either find a way to live together as brothers or we perish together as enemies” Rotimi Atolagbe Nice one sir. Maduka Uzoeto I concur with your submission totally. Remi Adelowo.

-CASMIR IGBOKWE e-mail: casmir.igbokwe@theunion.com.ng

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