Like America, Unlike Nigeria By Adejare Ibrahim


The Speaker of the US Congress, Nancy Pelosi, in her speech revealed that the House was considering invoking the Twenty-fifth Amendment (Amendment XXV) to the United States Constitution on President Donald Trump for the roles he played in the January 6th violence. This may lead to his impeachment and eventual removal from the office.

This is the reason America keeps developing and advancing. They have strong institutions which no one, no matter their position, can overrun, suppress or subvert. America’s extant laws are sacrosanct and inviolable. Anyone who dares or attempts to trample or desecrate the laws of the land pays the heavy price.

President Donald Trump, by virtue of the constitution, is the most powerful person in the United States. However, the legislature is always there for checks and balances. The President, in front of the White House, called for violence. His supporters were charged to march to the Capitol, where Vice President Mike Pence was presiding over the validation of Joe Biden as the United States president-elect.

Proceedings were disrupted. Attacks were launched on the US’s temple and symbol of democracy, the Capitol. Property were vandalised. Windows shattered. Doors broken and forcefully opened. Legislators molested. Trump’s thugs, miscreants and hoodlums invaded the hallowed chamber of the Senate and took over. This is unprecedented in the over 250 years history of the United States democracy.

Now, President Trump may be removed from office before its expiry date of January the 20th. This is how responsible politicians and citizens do. An individual cannot be more powerful than the entire country or hold the whole nation to ransom. Democrats and Republicans spoke in one voice. They all condemned the violence. Mike Pence did not support the violence. Mitch McConnell, Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer, Mitt Romney and other ranking US legislators, collectively, rebuked and lampooned the anarchists.

U.S. Education Secretary, Betsy DeVos;  U.S. Transportation Secretary, Elaine Chao, who is also wife of the US Senate Majority Leader (Mitch McConnell), Tyler Goodspeed and other key supporters of the Trump administration have all resigned because of the Capitol invasion. Hilary Clinton, Collin Powell and other bigwigs in the US politics condemned the violence. None of them made a case for the destruction of public property. Troops were quickly deployed to nip the violence in the bud. In the cause of quelling the violence, about four people lost their lives and several injured. No one supported those lawless and destructive elements.

In Nigeria, reverse was the case during EndSARS violence. Many politicians, especially in the Southern part of Nigeria, felt so intimidated and timid to condemn the wave of violence that trailed the protest. They were all making frantic efforts not to heap any blame on the EndSARS hoodlums. With no just cause, some disgruntled Nigerians unleashed terror on their fellow citizens. Public and private properties were vandalised. BRT and TVC were set ablaze. Some public buildings were torched. Innocent Nigerians were murdered. Police were killed and roasted in broad daylight. In Oyo State, under the watch of the Governor, policemen were killed, roasted and eaten. Nothing so significant has happened. Still, our leaders still speak glowingly of this destructive youths.

The Press added more flame to the gloomy carnage through fake news and unfounded reports. Many media houses, especially in Oyo State, covered a whole lot of atrocities. They invited guests who gleefully uttered inciting statements. Some radio stations, which I won’t like to mention, supported the rave of carnage. A founder of a popular radio station in Ibadan went to the scene of violence to speak and give moral support to anarchists. The State Governor gave a tacit support to the violent by assuring the protesters that all the arrested suspected criminals would be released within 24 hours. We have the video. He even told the Oyo State Police Command to step back in the maintenance of law and order. Our law-enforcement agents were totally demoralised. Oyo State!

This is our predicament in this part of the world. We love to be like the Americans, but we hate to act like them. Our leaders, especially the political class, make politics of all issues. The masses are as well eternally compliant and complicit. We support evil. We tolerate criminality. We see no evil in what some criminal elements perpetrate. Yet, we want a sane and prosperous society, established on the foundation of egalitarianism, equality, equity, fairness and justice. We all need to shed the toga of hypocrisy, bigotry and prejudice. We cannot eat our cake and have it. God bless Nigeria.

Adejare Ibrahim is a public affairs commentator, writes from Oyo Alaafin, Oyo State


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