I rank Yinka Aiyefele and Donald Trump as the leading candidates for my own men of the year award for 2015. I see an interesting comparison between Aiyefele’s Nigeria and Trump’s America if by any unlikely chance Mr. Trump is elected President of the greatest nation on Earth in 2016. The Nigeria that Yinka Aiyefele sang about in his album titled “Transformation” can never be the same Nigeria that you and I know and have experienced.
It was a Nigeria in which the rich got richer and the poor got poorer. It was a Nigeria in which our President completely mortgaged our future and the future of our children and generations yet to come by looting our commonwealth and by diverting the money meant to protect and secure our country to a few private pockets including his own and that of his first lady and their political friends in the PDP.
The Nigeria that Yinka Aiyefele sang about in that album is what has captured my imagination to want to end the Year 2015 with this satire of an article.
Some of you can say there is no basis for comparison between Yinka Aiyefele and Donald Trump but I see some striking commonality between the two men in the way they both view and speak about their country.
Aiyefele saw a Nigeria where life is all about having a good time and making the best of what Nigeria has become. Donald Trump, on the other hand, saw an America that is going to crush Islam and “to make America great again” by using his presidency to bully the rest of the world into submission.
Mr. Trump wants to use his amazing skill as a snake oil salesman to intimidate the world into submission by bombing the hell out of any country that ever threatens America. He would make the American military so strong and formidable that no other country would ever dare to challenge America.
He and Ted Cruz would “carpet bomb the areas captured by ISIS from Syria and Iraq and make the desert sand glow” to use their exact words. Donald Trump is going to build walls rather than build bridges because he wants an America totally different from Abraham Lincoln’s America or FDR’s America or Ronald Reagan’s America which finally won the cold war against the Soviet Union without firing a single shot.
He was going to end what he labelled as the “appeasement” policies of great Presidents like Dwight Ike Eisenhower, Lyndon Baines Johnson, Jimmy Carter, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, and Barack Obama who all argued that America’s interest was better served when America works with the international community to make the world a better place.
Those great Presidents all wanted an America that leads the rest of the world not through intimidation but through cooperation and collaboration and through her moral values and compassion. They all wanted an America that opens her doors to the oppressed people of the world who are law-abiding and who may be seeking asylum in America.
They all wanted an America that leads the rest of the world through innovation, competition, and the advancement of science and technological breakthrough. They wanted an America where there would be freedom of expression and freedom of religion unlike what Donald Trump wants to do as President because he could care less about political correctness.
I base my comparison of Aiyefele and Donald Trump’s on their views of their two countries as revealed in Aiyefele’s music that has captured my imagination.
I paid special attention to Yinka Aiyefele’s music when I attended Alfred Uzokwe’s, latest book Launch at Harrisburg, Pennsylvania on November 14.
As one of the few Yoruba guests at the party, I volunteered few of my own Yoruba music CDs for the D.J. to add to his retinue for the night. The one I could not easily forget was one of Aiyefele’s latest albums titled,” Transformation” comprising of so many tracks including “Fun mi lagbara kin le fe o ju fadaka lo”, “Yimi Pada, Oluwa”, and “Ise Oluwa e male baje”.
The second track of the Transformation CD by Aiyefele was titled, “Wa gb’ope mi o. Baba Baba Baba o se Eleruniyin” That was the composition that really touched me the most as I listened to the exact words. It was Yinka Aiyefele’s portrayal of Nigeria as an” Eldorado”
The rainbow coalition of guests had a lot of fun dancing to that melodious track and awesome composition by Yinka Aiyefele who, I understand, became a celebrity and a born-again music idol in Nigeria following a terrible motor accident that nearly took his life. He narrowly escaped death but he is now wheelchair bound.
Aiyefele is today on the same pedestal with King Sunny Ade and Commander Ebenezer Obey, if not better than them because his own music is so unique with its heavy percussion and the magic in his voice and all his composition.
One thing that separates Aiyefele’s music from either Sunny Ade or Ebenezer Obe’s music is the frequent interjection by one of his vocalists with his typical Ijesha accent. “Eeeo”, “O se gbede” “Asiwaju’ “Segun Sege”, “Yin mi nu” “ Fi mommy le” “Ye e!” “Ope e da” “Ilu yin ti dun ju” “Igbayi ti yato”, “Naija ti dunju” meaning that Nigeria is” the” fons et origo” of Happiness” despite all the signs to the contrary and even while the country is evidently on life support from Corruption. Kidnapping and crimes you could ever imagine.
The album was released during the tenure or President Good luck Jonathan. Nobody listening to that song would ever believe that some of the revelations and confessions coming out of the mouth of Sambo Dasuki the Security Adviser to President Jonathan actually took place. How could a country with that level of Corruption be described as the beacon of Happiness? Will you have to ask Yinka Aiyefele and his boys? Sambo Dasuki, to all intent and purposes, has become the poster child for Corruption in Nigeria. He was, in fact, the conduit pipe that Jonathan had effectively used to loot the Nigerian Treasury.
I guess we all can now agree that Jonathan presided over the liquidation of Nigeria for all of his 6 years as President doling out taxpayer money to anybody he liked and hoping that nobody would have to account for how the security vote is spent or disbursed in Nigeria. Jonathan clearly turned the Security Adviser into his Accountant General of the Federation. Furthermore, he could care less about the Auditor-General whose statutory function under the Nigerian Constitution is to ensure that the revenues are closely monitored and audited every year to avoid the kind of abuse and looting that Sambo Dasuki has confessed to the EFCC.
It will be nice to bring to justice the individuals that served as Accountant-General and Auditor-General under President Jonathan and to find out from them what kind of job they did and if they were part of the malfeasance to begin with.
The looting of the Treasury at the Federal level was repeated in each of the 36 states of Nigeria and the Federal Territory leaving Nigeria in a state of hopelessness. All of the 36 Governors and the Minister of Federal Territory must now have a case to answer as to what they did with their security votes since they were all security officers of their states just like Mr. President was the Security Chief at the Federal level.
Obaigbana collected more than 300 million nairas as a consultation for doing nothing. Raymond Dokpesi received more than 2.3 billion Naira for a publicity that never took place. If Dokpesi and his AIT got 2.3 billion only God knows how much was given to NTA and Radio Nigeria with the statutory responsibility for the role given to AIT. Chief Annenih of Edo State alone received billions of naira paid out to him for doing nothing.
Only God knows how much went to the Office of the First Lady. All these individuals including Jonathan must be made to return all the money they looted. There is no point sending them to jail. They should just return the money.
The PDP politicians were spending Nigerian money like a drunken sailor all because Jonathan allowed it. He lost total control, and the “Ariya boys” like Aiyefele, Sunny Ade, Wasiu Ayinde and the rest of them had a field day. Can you blame them? That was what Aiyefele was singing about in that composition. If you think that that all that glitters in Nigeria is gold, you have something coming. You must be living in a fool’s paradise. It is a terrible country!
That said, let me briefly return again to the Trump segment of the satire. Donald Trump is painting a picture of how the United States would be quickly transformed if Republicans would make him their nominee and if Americans would elect him President in 2016. I have News for American voters before they do that.
The vicious and reckless real estate mogul and the snake oil salesman sees himself as the only elephant in the room who is going to change America and make it the Eldorado the whole world has never seen before.
America is hovering today on the edge of the “Bermuda triangle” to borrow a cliché from Patrick Obahiagbon. Trump is trying to envelop America in a state of “Ogar Mogar” whatever that means. You will all have to ask Patrick Obahiagbon, the philosopher king of Nigerian politics. All I know is that Donald Trump, as I said earlier, is leading America on a journey of no return.
Donald Trump is a ticking bomb waiting to explode. He is one candidate who is going to run America aground and change America from the greatest country on Earth we used to know because he thinks the rest of the world is stupid and that he is the only wise man and the only elephant in the room.
It is a prediction I make as the father of two young men proudly serving today in the US Navy and making a big difference defending their country and the values that make America the leader of the Free World.
I rest my case as I wish all of you and the fans of this column around the world a happy and a prosperous New Year.