The Tweeting President! -By SOC Okenwa

Filed under: Global Issues |


President Donald Trump of the United States of America is a magniloquent megalomaniac who does not suffer fools gladly. His election last November to the White House in DC sent shock waves across the world. The touted favorite, Hillary Clinton, lost out due mainly to many factors American and non-American (like the alleged Russian electoral cyber meddlesomeness). And upon assuming office, taking power from the charismatic Barack Obama Trump had set out to dismantle whatever the first black President had done in power. Every achievement of Obama came under assault. Suddenly Obama became a ‘bad’ President in the skewed eyes of the confused Trump team.

Donald Trump single-handedly got himself elected as President last November despite the clear choice of the establishment. As an anti-establishment, he went about the campaign for the White House with proposed policies and programs that could, upon execution, cause more trouble than proferring solution to the American waning greatness — something he had used successfully in his “Make America Great Again” campaign slogan. He had declared his intention, then, to build an imposing wall on the Mexican border post to prevent deviants from that country (prostitutes, drug purveyors and criminal gangs etc) from gaining easy access to the American ‘dream’. He promised to dismantle the ‘Obamacare’; to undo the Iranian nuclear accord, the restored relationship with Cuba, the Paris environmental accord etc.

Though he has suffered defeat after defeat on almost all these radical ‘reforms’ he has refused to back down. His first failure came when few weeks to his presidency he had decreed that nationals of some seven muslim countries would be barred from entering the US for their links to terrorism. Initially, it caused commotion across the United States but that edict was challenged in the law courts and ruling after ruling faulted the presidential directive thus rendering it nugatory. ‘Obamacare’ is giving him more trouble than anticipated to repeal or modify. North Korea and her rogue young leader is testing nuclear weapons and defying both Trump and the entire free world. No wall has emerged thus far in the US/Mexico border ever since his inauguration since January.

The good old Donald loves twitter and the social media. He tweets daily and prefers tweeting than the traditional press briefings or conferences. He has defended this preference on more than one occasion and told off those complaining of his style and method. Trump courts controversy and relishes in drawing same to himself. He ‘hates’ the vociferous free press in the US and has attacked some powerful media organizations in the past accusing them of propagating “fake news”. This is about the first time in the history of America that a President who loathes the fourth estate of the realm could be defensive despite the enduring low popularity rating and many presidential gaffes. As a man of money, Trump could be accused of arrogance but it goes more than that.

The controversial billionaire who happens not be a professional politician has had a lot to deal with on a daily basis in terms of scandals and gaffes. His presidential swagger is not impressive enough to a large number of Americans. He loves twitter and tweets daily where insults were directed at his perceived enemies especially journalists and politicians of the opposition hue. Trump loves the limelight and imperially craves attention. As a self-made billionaire, he appears unafraid of any challenge and unfazed by any controversy.

When one compares this 71-year old man with our President at 74 there is a marked difference in style. First and foremost, Trump is as fit as a fiddle; he is not known to be suffering from any ailment. Two, he speaks to Americans on a daily basis even though some of his thoughts are unpresidential in nature. While Buhari is presently indisposed with little or no information in the public domain regarding the nature of his malady Trump’s health status is like a book anyone could easily read online or offline.

While Trump as a septuagenarian (much like Muhammadu Buhari officially) must have told the truth about his real age Buhari (like OBJ) may not have known when he was born! Doubts persist over his real age. Obasanjo has since confessed that he (and not his uneducated parents) had given himself the age he bears today having compared the age of his childhood friends. Nothing bad in such guess-work; after all age is just a question of number. There are people out there who alter their ages deliberately for one reason or another (footballers and politicians).

Trump communicates with Americans on a daily basis even though such presidential sorties tended to fight his personal battles or settle family disputes on twitter. But of course, he cannot be accused of mutism. Our President, on the other hand, however, hospitalized for more than two long months in the British capital city, is a study in taciturnity. Even before he took ill Buhari was not known to be good at communicating with Nigerians. He was more at home speaking his vernacular Hausa language than English. The Sallah audio message smuggled home from London by the Aso Rock cabal some weeks back was delivered in some blabbing Hausa language as if ours has suddenly become a Hausa kingdom or empire!

President Trump is seen daily and he works without let or hindrance. President Buhari has remained invisible for weeks running feeding the rumor mill about his actual state of health and current health status. Some opposition elements have since joined issues with some government officials (including the Acting President Yemi Osinbajo who had jetted off to London and back) who continued to claim that PMB was doing well and set for a return.

The Ekiti ‘basketmouth’ Governor, Ayodele Fayose, had claimed that Buhari was on a life support machine even recently threatening to release some ‘damaging’ photographs in his possession that capture the true health status of Buhari. There is the urgent need for full disclosure as regards the President’s health condition. What, on earth, ails him that we are not entitled to know? Is it cancer as alleged by some online portals? Or diabetes? Or AIDS? Or spiritual attack? Or food poisoning?

Whatever is it that ails the President is as important as making it public. He is not the first President to have fallen sick in power and would never be the last. If Buhari drops dead today Nigeria must move forward and we must mournfully move on with our lives. So no big deal about that! It is only Allah or God that can’t sick or die. Every other mortal does one way or another. From the President down to the homeless mortician or artisan no one is indispensable in any society. Only the Supreme Being, in His Majesty, is eternal in the Kingdom above.

Lately, Nigerians at home and abroad have been treated to pictorial images of our ailing President recuperating in far-away London. First, it was a delegation comprising the APC National Chairman, Odigie-Oyegun and Governor Rochas Okorocha and others wining and dining with President Buhari. And when the only picture released to the curious public failed to douse the anxiety surrounding Buhari’s health challenge another delegation (this time comprising the PDP opposition Governors) were hosted by Buhari and many pictures were published to shut up the doubting Thomases like Governor Fayose of Ekiti state and the philandering corrupt former Aviation Minister Femi Fani-Kayode.

The social media has become a powerful tool through which the rich and poor express themselves to the global audience. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Whatsapp, what have you, have revolutionalised the world making same more and more a global village where distance no longer counts or matters. With these Internet tools, the global village phenomenon has reached a point of no return! Let the tweeting, facebooking, Instagramming and whatsapping continue. Things can only get better and better in our post-modern world.

SOC Okenwa
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