History is repeating itself in Nigeria. Dr. Reuben Abati, a prolific columnist an former Chairman of the Editorial Board of Concord Newspapers got the most difficult job he could ever ask for when he canvassed for a was appointed the Chief Media Adviser and Spokesman for Ebele Jonathan, the first Ph.D holder by merit to ever rule Nigeria as President.
Dr. Jonathan had graduated from the great University of Port Harcourt where he got his degree in Zoology, the study and the management of animals. He wasn’t going to be Director of the National Zoo at Abuja but a President who was going to be rubbing shoulders with individuals like Harvard, Oxford, Yale or MIT graduates and leaders like George Bush, Barack Obama, David Cameron, Bibi Netanyahu of Israel or John Mahama of Ghana, Magifuli of Tanzania to mention a few.
President Jonathan always reminded me of my 9 year old American –born granddaughter, Folake in Williamsburg, Virginia. Every time I call her parents and I ask for them to put her on the phone to talk to me, she tells her parents she does not want to talk to GrandPa and when I ask her why, she tells me there is nothing to talk about.
I got upset the first time Folake said that but on sober reflection I realized my little girl was exactly right. There is really nothing to talk about between the 9 year old girl and her 70 year old Papa. By the same token Jonathan with a Ph.D in Zoology ought to find some better things to do with his time than running for President of a complex country like Nigeria. It was a misplacement of priorities and a big error of judgment on his part and on the part of Nigerians who voted for him.
Talk about making a certified plumber do the job of a commercial pilot, the election of Ebele Jonathan as President of Nigeria is about the closest analogy to such a development. Jonathan knew he was going to need a genius of a journalist like Reuben Abati to start defending the indefensible when he began to fumble and the man fumbled a lot in his close to 7 years as President of Nigeria. I was glad when the man lost to Buhari in 2015 but I never knew Nigeria was actually going from fry pan to fire as we put the retired 70 year old sick man back on the saddle to pilot our ship of state. It was a colossal mistake. He too did what Jonathan did by looking for another reputable Media guru in Femi Adesina to help be his mouth organ in defending the indefensible.
Donald Trump - the crazy but narcissistic and delusional President of the United States - has found himself in the same “cul de sac” by appointing Sean Spicer as his Chief White House Press Officer to explain all of his naïve and crazy Policies and as the man goes from one blunder to another trying to divide the country further and antagonizing any Media outlets that ever have the spine or the effrontery to criticize him or reserve the right to challenge him or educate the Public about some of his blunders in Government. I have never seen anything like that in America.
Donald Trump publicly admits he is going to clamp down hard on any Media opposed to him while extolling the virtues of those who sing his praise in pretty much the same way like Kim Jon UN and Vladimir Putin. He has called the Media opposed to his policies as nothing but fake News outlets and the enemies of the people and he is on a mission to gag and suppress them using the powers of his bully pulpit. The scariest observation is that he expects Sean Spicer to out-perform him in that regard. Mr. Spicer is therefore more at risk for self-destruction because he works for a President who many believe he is narcissistic, bipolar and delusional because he is showing all the traits of such behaviors.
It is only in Nigeria and America do you now have such a terrible misplacement of priorities with Donald Trump the world’s greatest con artist becoming the President of the United States with some help from Russian KGB and their most famous leader, Vladimir Putin.
"Loju Amokoko beni pe ki ile o d’Amo, L’oju Aayan beni pe ki gbogbo nkan ko d’Eko ni” the Yorubas would tell you in our rich language because laterite (iyepe) is the main ingredient for making or molding a pot so the pot maker looks at laterite as all that matters in life just like the carpenter sees a nail in every wood he touches. Donald Trump sees the Presidency first and foremost as an opportunity to self-enrich himself and make money not only after he leaves office but during his tenure. That is the scariest part.
Donald Trump whose Real Estate Empire has now metamorphosed into the World greatest Contract Business now run or managed by the President of the United States, the richest country in the World and the greatest Military Power and industrial complex. Donald Trump sees the award of contract at the international level as part and parcel of his job as President.
His first priority right now is building the wall in Mexico, repealing Obamacare, and starting an Arms Race that turns America to the greatest arms pusher in the whole Universe with deregulation. That was why he once boasted he would be the first American to ever make a profit out of running for President, win or lose.
Every major decision he makes, every deal or negotiation he makes is seen by him as an opportunity to benefit or enrich his name brand and his Trump Financial Empire one way or the other. He justifies that in his convoluted mind because he says he is not getting paid for being President but the flamboyant guy is causing the country ten times his annual salary thru his flamboyant life style. He uses the Air Force One and the Beast to transact his own personal business as the owner and CEO of his Trump Business Empire. He uses his Holiday Resort at Mara Lago in Florida as an extension to the White House where he can have some privacy and do anything he wants as the most powerful man in the World. The cost of providing security for him everywhere he goes has quadrupled and is most likely to go higher than that of any President before him.
He now has a free ride to becoming the World’s greatest Businessman. There is no way in the world he could do that without running into serious conflict of interest as the President of the United States.
Trump is therefore desperately looking for Houdini of Media juggernauts in America like who will have the unenviable role of explaining his transformation from a Businessman to the most powerful President in the world. He is desperately looking for a Media guru who can navigate his conflict of interest as President while putting a positive spin on every bad policy he makes like repealing and replacing Obamacare and his cantankerous ban on illegal immigrants and the mayhem and the fallout those decisions have already caused nation-wide. John Boerner the retired Speaker of the House has just lambasted his decision to repeal and replace Obamacare as a step in the wrong direction.
Donald Trump believes he needs a Sean Spicer to be the fall guy for all his blunders and President because he himself does not have the language to intelligently articulate such policies. The man tweets and speaks Ebonics and pidgin English and nothing close to the verbiage of great communicators like JFK, Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton and Barack Hussein Obama, his predecessors in that office.
It therefore makes some sense to compare and contrast Femi Adesina and Sean Spicer in this article and how both of them have become laughing stocks as they both try to defend their bosses in the world of public opinion. Right now Femi Adesina is in Abuja while his boss is out sick in a London hideout provided for him at tax payers expense in Savoy Row because he is suffering from an undisclosed terminal illness that the 73 year old President is just too embarrassed to share with his own country.
Buhari is behaving like Umoru Yar Adua who had spent more time in the Hospital outside Nigeria for much of his 30 months as President. His corpse had to be flown back to Aso Rock under cover of darkness because his wife and many of his closest aides would not admit he was dead or totally incapacitated to do his job as at the time he was brought back home for burial. We are watching the same movie all over again or a version of it in the Buhari saga as Femi Adesina and Pastor Yemi Osibajo play the Russian roulette with Nigerians on the state of health of their boss and his whereabouts in London.
It seems that Sean Spicer has taken a script from the Nigerian buffoonery and foolhardiness by telling Americans only what he thinks Americans want to hear about how President Trump is going to turn America into a new Eldorado. His goal is to distract people and never to put any searchlight on how Mr. Trump has conspired with the KGB and Vladimir Putin to hack American elections. Sean Spicer does not want Americans discussing the need for Trump to release his tax returns or what role Vladimir Putin might have played in his election as President.
All these revelations are treasonable offenses that could predictably lead to the impeachment of Donald Trump and the automatic choice of Mike Pence as President in pretty much the same way like Gerald Ford was picked to succeed Richard Nixon who was forced to resign following the move to impeach him for his involvement in the Watergate scandal.
I can predict here and now that many of the appointees of Donald Trump who join him in any way to cover up Donald Trump would end up getting humiliated and destroyed after Donald Trump is forced to face impeachment Hearings just like Richard Nixon. It is only a question of time. Sean Spicer is going to be among the first casualty just like Femi Adesina is going to lose his credibility just like what happened to Reuben Abati following the fall of Ebele Jonathan in 2015.
You can call Sean Spicer and Femi Adesina the Siamese twins in that context. They are most likely to suffer similar fate as it becomes clear to all sundry they can no longer continue to cover up for their lying bosses who believe they can continue to pull a fast one on their respective nations by lying their ways out their predicament.
Donald Trump believes he could demonize the Media and never get caught just like Richard Nixon. Buhari, on the other hand, believes like Umaru Yar Adua believes he can pull a fast one on Nigeria by telling a cock and bull story about his health and his ability to continue in office.
The tragedy of America and Nigeria right now is bad and grossly incompetent leadership. Gone were the days of Presidents like George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy, Dwight Ike Eisenhower, Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton, Barack Hussein Obama who fully understand that the greatness of America rests squarely on America’s empathy and compassion and her ability to earn the trust and loyalty of her many allies around the World and not in trying to intimidate and bully the rest of the World like Donald Trump is doing.
The tragedy of Nigeria on the hand lies in bad leadership unlike what makes India one of the greatest countries in the world due to the selfless leadership of Mahatma Gandhi, Pandit Kneru, and Indira Gandhi not to talk of African leaders like the late Julius Nyerere and the present President Magifuli of Tanzania, the late Kwameh Nkrumah of Ghana, the late Madiba Nelson Mandela of South Africa, the late Leopold Senghor of Senegal and the late Sekou Toure of Guinea and late General Murtala Mohammed of Nigeria to mention just a few.
Sooner or later Trump would have to throw in the towel either thru impeachment or resignation and the same truth is sure to catch up with Buhari sooner or later and whether he likes it or not.
Need I say anything more?
I rest my case.