Does Trump want to oppose Buhari’s reelection? -By Odilim Enwegbara

Filed under: Global Issues |

 

Americans have always been known to, in order to protect their various hegemonic interests around the world, do everything to influence elections in other countries. In most cases, they have no difficulty having their way. During her time as the US Secretary of State, Ms Hillary Clinton, reportedly tried to influence the Russian presidential election with the goal of having an American puppet defeat Vladmir Putin.

Putin was believed to be so angry that he decided to make sure Clinton herself would never become her own country’s president.

Americans are still in shock that Russia could determine who should occupy the White House. But besides his accord with Russia’s Putin, President Donald Trump also promised Israel of making sure that during his first year in office, he would be moving the US Embassy to Jerusalem in full recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

But before his recent announcement to that effect, Trump tried to lobby powerful countries, whose leaders promised him that while they might not support it at the UN, they would never vote against it as well. Unfortunately, notwithstanding that it’s our sovereign right to cast our votes at the UN, for less powerful countries like Nigeria, who thought that their decisions would hardly matter on such decisions of theirs, it seems that by shifting the whole blame on them this time round, Washington has decided to make them scapegoats.

That is why I have the fear that if it is true that President Trump recently expressed anger at our country — and particularly our President — for our voting against Jerusalem being Israeli capital, no doubt, his threats could include undermining him at the polls come 2019 presidential election.

We all know that if America decides not to allow President Buhari to be reelected, it would be extremely difficult for him to be reelected, especially given that no nation is perceived to be more sophisticated and much better at rigging elections than the US. And the fact remains that no organisation is better equipped than the CIA in forcing Washington’s preferred candidates on nations of strategic interest.

Besides being perceived as master riggers, by making the entire economy to collapse a few months to the general election, the CIA can easily make people to hardly vote for the incumbent President.

So, who exactly would Trump’s America likely support?

Given that both the APC and the PDP have agreed that the presidency should remain in the North, who exactly should Trump be supporting? Some Nigeria watchers in Washington are insisting that it should be former Vice President Atiku Abubakar who is considered to be a religious moderate as well as ethnically more of a unifier than a divider.

Because there is yet to be an agreement to that effect, there are others who are leaning towards Governor Nasir el-Rufai, who as a graduate of Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, is considered to be more cosmopolitan with a more sophisticated understanding of world economy and politics.

But as it stands now, both Atiku and el-Rufai are going to have tough time getting there. For Atiku, President Olusegun Obasanjo is his major nut to crack. It will be difficult to underestimate Obasanjo when decisions concerning Nigeria are being made in Washington, given his long closeness to Washington. But, is Obasanjo indispensable? It is likely that Trump will ignore the Obasanjo factor should he decide it must be Atiku after all he is actually an anti-establishment president.

In the case of el-Rufai, it is going to be extremely more difficult given that President Buhari has not only declared his intention for second term, but had since started his reelection campaigns with the former Governor of Rivers State, Chibuike Amaechi, reportedly appointed for the second time as his campaign’s Director-General. It is unlikely that the APC would refuse the President’s reelection bid, especially given that there is no official opposition coming from the national leader of the party, Bola Tinubu.

In any case, isn’t it possible that both President Trump and President Buhari could easily resolve their differences, especially with Buhari seeking the intervention of Saudi Arabia? After all, as it was whispered to my ears some time ago by one of my Washington friends, there was no way Washington would have openly and forcefully opposed Jonathan’s reelection had it not been calls from the Saudi King seeking support for Buhari.

Unfortunately, the current relationship between Washington and Riyadh has become so toxic because of Trump’s insistent on Jerusalem being officially recognised by his government as the authentic capital of Israel. But why should it given that that pronouncement is in the process of degenerating to another inevitable Arab/Israeli conflict, with America as usual supporting Israel? Even if Buhari could diplomatically sort himself out of the current situation, he is still to confront the growing internal opposition to his reelection.

One of the bones of contention is the unresolved incessant Fulani herdsmen killings across the nation, particularly in the South and the Middle Belt. Because of this, most Christians in America and Europe have come to believe that it is a kind of covert religion-induced killing of Christians. Worsening the situation or giving credence to this thesis is the fact that President Buhari has not been forceful and proactive in dealing with these reckless killings of powerless people whose territories they always invaded with dangerous machine guns.

Odilim Enwegbara, Abuja

 

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