"WR6_gUnUj-ztiW07KQcOCnTel9A"/> Notes From Atlanta: November 2020

Saturday, November 28, 2020

Where’s Buhari? Is That a Body Double in Aso Rock?

 By Farooq A. Kperogi

Twitter: @farooqkperogi

The last few weeks have seen a curious resurgence of the preposterous conspiracy theory that Muhammadu Buhari has been dead and that it’s his body double that lives in Aso Rock. Readers of my column have invaded my email and social media inboxes with persistent requests for me to illuminate the ambiguities surrounding the existence—or lack thereof—of Buhari. 

I frankly thought the silliness and infantilism of the conspiracy theory of Buhari’s putative death was too apparent to deserve the attention of any serious person. In any case, I’d addressed this in a December 8, 2018 column titled, “Buhari: Not a Clone but a Clown” where I described it as an “insanely absurd IPOB whispering campaign” and as “so ludicrous, so off-the-wall, and so patently illogical that even acknowledging it would be an exercise in the legitimization of stupidity.”

I pointed out that the conspiracy theory gained some traction at the time “because it captures the vast disconnect between the Buhari Nigerians thought they elected in 2015 and the bungling, wimpy, aloof, unjust, and inept Buhari that we have as president now.

“Buhari had an unearned reputation as a firm, fearless, just, disciplined leader who was animated by a restless thirst to transform Nigeria, to build enduring institutions, to wipe out or at least minimize corruption, and to bequeath a legacy of justice, fair play, and national cohesion.

 “But he has turned out to be an infirm leader who looks the other way when injustice is committed by his close associates, who disdains the poor, who defends and praises corruption when it’s committed by people who are loyal to him, who lies interminably, who has not a clue how to glue the nation and transform lives, and who is consumed by a monomaniacal obsession to perpetuate himself in power.

“For people who invested hopes in an idealized Buhari that never existed, the Buhari they see now is figuratively a clone. Even his wife, Aisha Buhari, casts him as a helpless, ineffective, and isolated leader who is held prisoner by an evil, sneaky, corrupt, vulturous, and conniving two-man cabal.”

What is driving the revival and intensifying mainstreaming of the notion that Buhari is dead and that a body double lives in Aso Rock to give cover to a cabal of larcenous rogues to plunder Nigeria’s wealth? I have two answers—three actually.

The first is what I adverted to in my December 2018 column, which is that Buhari isn’t in charge, merely holds the horns of the cow while others milk it, and is cognitively, symbolically, and politically absent. That is as good as being dead.

The second reason is that in the last few months, in momentous moments when even the most lethargic and disaffiliated leaders of nations are compelled to demonstrate that they are in charge, Buhari has always been missing.

When the new coronavirus officially became a pandemic in March and everyone in the world was spooked and wanted reassurance from their countries’ leaders, Buhari was missing. After enormous public pressure, his minders caused him to informally address the nation on March 22.

But although his speech was pre-recorded and lasted only a couple of seconds, he mispronounced COVID-19 as "Kovik one nine"! As I pointed out at the time, there was no sentient, living being on this earth— and certainly no world leader—who didn’t know that there was a global pandemic tipping over the world that was called the new coronavirus or COVID-19.

Again, during the #EndSARS revolt, which convulsed the foundations of Nigeria, Buhari was absent. Then on October 13, a video surfaced on the Internet of Lagos State governor Jide Sanwo-Olu briefing Buhari on what the Inspector General of Police was doing about the EndSARS protests. Buhari stood like a breathing, insentient mannequin and intermittently laughed vacuously. 

More disturbingly, when Sanwo-Olu said the IGP recommended that governors set up commissions of inquiry into SARS brutality, Buhari interrupted him. “I said that,” he said and looked at Ibrahim Gambari, his Chief of Staff, for assurance. “I said that in my speech.” He hadn’t given any speech at the time.

 But Ibrahim Gambari flashed a sheepish, fawning grin of dishonest, sycophantic approval of Buhari’s dementia-inflected mendacity. The video dramatized yet again the reality that Buhari is disconnected from reality and is barely aware of his own existence.

 It wasn’t until October 22, after sustained public outrage, that Buhari was compelled to appear in a heavily edited, pre-recorded broadcast to talk about the EndSARS revolt, but the speech sidestepped the October 20 military-executed Lekki Massacre, the most distressing tragedy that had befallen the nation two days prior. Apparently, the speech had been recorded and edited days before it was broadcast, which explained why it wasn’t current.

Most importantly, unlike any president or head of state Nigeria ever had, Buhari studiously avoids the press. Or, more correctly, his minders studiously keep him away from the press. And they do so because any question-and-answer session with the press exposes Buhari’s irreversible mental degeneration.

For instance, an August 1 video of Buhari answering a question from a journalist about the revelations of colossal corruption at the Niger Delta Development Commission and the EFCC showed a man who was in the land of the living dead. 

Instead of answering the question, Buhari went on an irrelevant rant about “TSA, Treasury Single Account where all the monies are taken, and I said that assets should be sold and the money be put through TSA Treasury Single Account so that it can be identified at any level, and I’ll see who will take it back again to those who misappropriate public funds.”

Buhari’s spokesman, Garba Shehu, was so embarrassed by the interview that he was caught on camera frantically telling the reporter to abruptly cut the video and stop the interview. That’s not the picture of a man who has control over his cognitive faculties. 

The final reason the Buhari body double conspiracy has endured in spite of its implausibility is that there are actual historical cases of presidential body doubles in the world. For example, in British author W. Hugh Thomas’s 1996 book titled “Doppelgangers,” we learn that Adolf Hitler had a body double by the name of Gustav Weler who occasionally served as his decoy for security reasons. 

The striking resemblance between Hitler and Weler ensured that the general population didn’t suspect when Weler represented Hitler at meetings and at formal occasions.

USSR leader Josef Stalin has also been recorded to have used body doubles to represent him at formal occasions. In 2008, then 88-year-old Russian man by the name of Felix Dadaev wrote a book in which he disclosed that he had acted as a body double for Stalin. He and Stalin shared a striking physical resemblance.

Saddam Hussein, Boris Yeltsin, and other world leaders had been said to have had body doubles merely as a decoy. But there is no record anywhere in the world that I know of where leaders die and are replaced by body doubles.

The truth is that even if they wanted to, Buhari’s inner circle is too incompetent to pull off putting a body double in Aso Rock to replace a supposedly dead Buhari. Incompetence is supposed to be the strong suit of the Buhari regime, but they've shown time and again that they are incredibly incompetent at even being incompetent!

Buhari appears to be dead and replaced by a body double because he is wracked by the ravages of dementia. His continued stay in Aso Rock in spite of his cognitive incapacities is the biggest con game in Nigeria’s political history.

Related Articles:

Buhari’s Physical and Mental Health is Now a National Emergency

Buhari Doesn’t Rule Nigeria. His Wife Confirms It

Saturday, November 21, 2020

My 2018 Prediction About Buhari’s “NextLevel” is Materializing

 By Farooq A. Kperogi

Twitter: @farooqkperogi

It’s now two years since the Buhari regime launched its “NexlLevel” agenda. In a November 24, 2018 column titled “APC’s ‘NextLevel’ of Fraud, Incompetence, and Sorrow,” I predicted most of what is unfolding now. Read it below:

APC’s embarrassing “NextLevel” reelection campaign has erased all lingering doubts that the Buhari presidency is a veritable graveyard of creativity, intelligence, and basic decency. The campaign’s logo and slogan, as most people know by now, are unoriginal. They are also the product of willful intellectual theft. More than that, though, its symbolism portends a frightening future for Nigeria.

Let’s start with the logo that President Buhari shared on his verified Twitter handle on November 19. The creativity deficit in the graphic is truly unsettling, but it powerfully encapsulates, without intending to, the terrifyingly escalating sense of foreboding that a Buhari second term would mean for Nigeria.

 It shows Buhari and Osinbajo insouciantly detached from the people they are leading. Buhari appears as a clumsy, clueless leader who can’t even get his steps right: unlike Osinbajo, he skips a step on the staircase as he leads Nigerians to what seems like bottomless perdition.

Both the leaders and the led wear sheepish, vacuous grins—except Buhari who looks stiff-backed and joyless— as they head to their damnation like moths to a flame. The photo shows them climbing up the edge of a cliff from where they'd fall into the cruel, unforgiving blue ocean that surrounds them. It’s a contagiously depressing graphic, but I give it credit for its fidelity in capturing the ruination that Buhari is inexorably leading Nigeria to.

The “NextLevel” slogan is also a powerful linguistic affirmation of the depressing future the graphic evokes. There’s no question that Buhari’s record as president these past three years has been an unrelieved disaster. Nigeria now leads the world from the bottom in almost everything. For the first time in Nigeria’s history, we now have the unenviable notoriety of being the poverty capital of the world.

According to the most recent World Internal Security and Police Index (WISPI) released by the International Police Science Association (IPSA) and the Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP), Nigeria’s police service is now the absolute last in the entire world.

The only quality Buhari proclaims to possess is an inscrutable “integrity” that no existing English dictionary in the world has a definition for, yet his government was ranked the second worst in the world in “government integrity” in 2018 by the US-based Heritage Foundation. It is only better than Venezuela’s government.

In Oxfam’s and Development Finance International (DFI)’s 2018 global ranking of “Commitment to Reducing Inequality Index,” Nigeria was ranked 157 out of 157 countries. And, in spite of the president’s tiresomely sanctimonious noises and holier-than-thou “anti-corruption” grandstanding, Nigeria has consistently regressed in Transparency International’s corruption perception index since Buhari became president. We are currently ranked 148 out of 180 countries.

Similarly, according the BBC of July 25, 2017, “Nigeria has largest number of children out-of-school in the world.” So, in Buhari’s more than three years in government, Nigeria has been in an unexampled free fall in every imaginable index of human development. To be sure, we weren’t first before, but we were never at the bottom.

These damning global assessments of Buhari’s excruciatingly biting incompetence are painfully familiar to everyday Nigerians. We know, for instance, that nearly 8 million people lost their jobs between January 2016 and September 30, 2017, according to the National Bureau of Statistics, which is a federal government agency.  

Youth unemployment also more than doubled during Buhari’s presidency. According to data from the National Bureau of Statistics, when Buhari ascended to the presidency in May 2015, youth unemployment was 13.7 percent. By July 2017, it climbed to 33.1 percent.

Current statistics are grimmer and scarier than the 2017 ones, which explains why the government has chosen to starve the National Bureau of Statistics of funds, which has prevented it from bringing to light more embarrassing statistical testimonials of Buhari’s frightful incompetence.

But even without official statistics, we know Nigerians are enduring unparalleled existential torments. Prices of goods and services have gone through the roof. Insecurity used to be limited to the northeast, but it has now become democratized nationally. Governance has ceased. Governing boards of several federal agencies are still not constituted, which means the nation is literally at a standstill. 

The economy has tanked, and everyday folks are writhing in unspeakable agony, but the president bragged about never being in “a hurry to do anything.” Corruption by the criminally favored few in government is ignored, defended, celebrated, and rewarded (remember Abdullah Ganduje AKA Abdollar Gandollar).

Imagine what the “NextLevel” of this grim reality would be. That’s what the Buhari campaign is warning Nigerians about, and that’s why critics have rechristened the campaign slogan as the “NextDevil.”

APC's NextLevel campaign isn't just deficient in creativity; it's also a shameless theft of an organization's intellectual property. The logo that the president shared on his verified Twitter handle was stolen from Winthrop University in the US.

 I was one of the first people to call attention to this on social media. How can the government afford not to be original in something as consequential as its campaign logo and slogan? What level of cognitive indolence can activate that sort of intellectual dishonesty?

Remember that the “Change Begins With Me” campaign was also a brazen intellectual theft. According to the Premium Times of September 11, 2016, one Akin Fadeyi, identified as “a creative artist and former head of communications at Airtel Nigeria,” said he sent a proposal about the campaign to Lai Mohammed, who rejected it but later used it without the originator’s permission. 

But Premium Times found out that the slogan “Change Begins with Me” actually came from a public campaign in India. Interestingly, President Buhari’s speech at the official launching of the “Change Begins with Me” campaign plagiarized passages from Obama’s previous speeches!

What has become agonizingly obvious about the Buhari presidency is that everyone there from top to bottom is lazy and dishonest in even the little things. That’s why Buhari's government has been one giant, hypocritical criminal enterprise. No one thinks in that government. They are all intellectually low-grade malefactors.

Should Winthrop University decide to sue the Buhari campaign, it would inflict incalculable reputational damage on Nigeria.  Although it’s unlikely that Winthrop University has trademarked the NextLevel logo, it can still win a copyright infringement suit. Nigeria is a signatory to the Berne Convention, the international copyright treaty.

Copyright protection applies to “original works of authorship” that are “fixed in any tangible medium of expression.” In the US, creators of original works don’t have to formally apply to the US Copyright Office; their works are already automatically copyrighted.  Besides, the Berne Convention protects copyrighted materials from unauthorized “adaptations and arrangements of the work.” Changing the colors of the original logo, as the Buhari campaign did, is unauthorized adaptation.

How can the Buhari government take you to any level when it can't even come up with an original slogan and logo for its reelection campaign?

What is probably worse than APC’s intellectual theft is its insultingly inept attempt to cover its fraud with easily refutable lies. After our exposure of their mortifying intellectual theft, the Buhari campaign first blamed its supporters for it. 

Then Buhari campaign spokesman Festus Keyamo (who has been caught and exposed for stealing stock photos from the internet to bolster the Buhari regime’s habitual lies of infrastructural upgrades) took the lie a notch higher: he said on AIT that that the logo was actually designed by PDP to embarrass the Buhari government! But it was President Buhari who first tweeted it from his verified Twitter handle!

There’s little doubt at this point that the “NextLevel” that the Buhari reelection campaign is promising Nigerians is unmentionably unprecedented lying, ineptitude, fraud, and anguish.

Saturday, November 14, 2020

Trump-Loving Buhari Critics are Bigoted Christofascists. Here’s Why

By Farooq A. Kperogi, Ph.D.

Twitter: @farooqkperogi

The stubborn, pigheaded, and religion-inspired support for Donald Trump by large swathes of Nigerian Christians (who also happen to be virulent critics of Muhammadu Buhari) is the clearest evidence that their criticisms of Buhari isn’t informed by Buhari’s tragic missteps in governance but by the mere fact of his being a Muslim.

Buhari and Trump have a lot of things in common. They both live in alternate realities. They both lack empathy. They are both bigots who exploit the primordial loyalties of their natal constituents to divide their countries. They both supervise the most corrupt regimes in their countries’ histories. And they both deploy state-sanctioned violence to squelch dissent that rattles them.

But Nigerian Trump supporters criticize in Buhari what they praise in Trump. For instance, when Trump ordered the military to crack down on peaceful Black Lives Matter protesters, Nigerian Trumptards praised it. They are even ferocious opponents of Black Lives Matter and repeat racist rightwing propaganda against it. They say it’s a coordinated stratagem to dislodge Trump from power, not to protest and seek systemic redress against police brutality.

Interestingly, Nigerian Trumptards are enthusiasts of the #EndSARS revolt against police brutality who resent Buhari’s brutal military action against protesters. They resist the government’s narrative that #EndSARS is a well-planned civil insurrection to unseat the Buhari regime.

Nigerian Trumptards defend Trump’s white supremacist bigotry. They see no wrong in Trump characterizing African countries as “shitholes”; in  limiting visa issuance to Africans; in halting immigration from African countries; in preferring only immigrants “from countries like Norway”; in appointing only white judges; in having the whitest, least diverse cabinet in recent American history; and in defending negrophobic, white supremacist, domestic terrorist groups such as the Proud Boys (whom he told to “stand back and stand by”).

They also see no big deal in Trump’s habitual preferential treatment to “red” Republican states that voted for him and his antagonism to “blue” Democratic states that voted against him.

But they impotently rail against Buhari’s Arewacentric appointments, his inveterate defense of his Fulani kinfolk, his mollycoddling of Boko Haram terrorists, and his systematic exclusion of states that he said gave him only “5 percent” of their votes.

Nigerian Trumptards also defend Trump’s unprecedented nepotism and exploitation of the presidency for personal gains—in contravention of the U.S. Constitution. Trump’s employment of his daughter and her husband as his senior advisers with undeserved national security clearance has no precedent in recent American history. As I showed in a recent column, several watchdog groups have found Trump guilty of corrupt enrichment. Nigerian Trumptards said it was small potatoes.

But my revelations about the unprecedented number of Buhari’s family members who work in his government drew the fury of these same defenders of Trump’s nepotism and corruption. Apparently, for them, only Trump has the right to be nepotistic and corrupt.

When Buhari lost previous elections and perpetually complained that he was “rigged out” even though he never even campaigned outside the Muslim North and therefore couldn’t possibly have won a national mandate, he was dismissed as a sore loser by the same Nigerian Trumptards who are now defending Trump’s infantile, mendacious claims that he lost because he was cheated.

Buhari lost his second term election in 2019 but used the power of incumbency to steal it. He was roundly condemned by the same Nigerian Trumptards who are excited that Trump is refusing to concede an election he has clearly lost.

In 1985, Buhari was accused of betraying Nigeria by supporting a Hausa-speaking diplomat from Niger Republic to become Secretary General of the Organization of African Unity at the expense of a Nigerian by the name of Peter Onu.

Well, largely because of his racial animus toward Black people, Trump has also voted against Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala to become Director General of the World Trade Organization even though Okonjo-Iweala became a US citizen in 2019.

Nigerian Trumptards’ defense is that Barack Obama also denied Okonjo-Iweala the headship of the World Bank in 2012. Well, at the time she vied for the headship of the World Bank, Okonjo-Iweala wasn’t a U.S. citizen.

As I pointed out in my April 27, 2012 column titled, “Nigeria’s Failed World Bank Presidency Bid,” “Historically, Europeans lead the IMF and Americans lead the World Bank. That's how it has been from the beginning. While it makes sense to demand that this undemocratic practice be stopped, it is unreasonable to let Europe lead the IMF but insist that America give up its own hold on the World Bank.”

The similarities between Trump and Buhari are almost endless. But it’s amazing what kind of self-indulgent cognitive bias causes people to condemn a vice in one person but praise it as a virtue in another.

This isn’t altogether surprising, though. Nigerian Trumptards also tend to be knee-jerk Goodluck Jonathan partisans who defended Jonathan for exactly what they criticize Buhari for. For instance, they attacked Bring Back Our Girls activists who demanded that the government rescue schoolgirls abducted by Boko Haram in April 2014. They even said the abduction never happened—or that it was staged to bring down Jonathan’s government.

But they are the most strident in condemning Buhari for Boko Haram’s February 19, 2018 abduction of more than 100 schoolgirls in Dapchi, Yobe State on Buhari’s watch.

When Jonathan signed a draconian anti-social media law before he left power in 2015, which is now being used to muzzle and try activists like Omoyele Sowore, Jonathanian-Trumptards-turned-Buhari-critics praised it as a necessity to guarantee “national security.” Now they are up in arms against the series of duplicative anti-social media bills the Buhari regime is planning on unleashing shortly.

(Jonathan’s Cybercrime Act, which he signed into law in 2015, prescribes a three-year jail term or a fine of 7 million naira or both for anyone convicted of “causing annoyance, inconvenience, danger, obstruction, insult, injury, criminal intimidation, enmity, hatred, ill will or needless anxiety to another.”)

The Jonathanians-turned-Nigerian-Trumptards also opposed the #OccupyNigeria protest, saw it as a coup against Jonathan, and had not the feeblest compunction that the Jonathan government murdered at least 12 #OccupyNigeria protesters. Now they criticize Buhari’s strong-arm tactics against protesters and even gaslight Nigerians by falsely claiming that Jonathan gave Nigerians “total freedom” and never murdered anyone for protesting.

What has become apparent is that Trump-supporting Buhari critics don’t criticize Buhari because of his disastrous policies; they do so because of his religious, ethnic, and regional identity. They aren’t animated by the imperatives of critical democratic citizenship; they are simply two-bit religious and ethnic bigots who hate Buhari for who he is and not for what he does or doesn’t do.

They support Trump because, in their twisted, infantile, and impoverished minds, he is the Christian messiah who has come to establish a Talibangelical theocracy in America and the rest of the world. Never mind that Trump isn’t a Christian and has deep-seated contempt for believing Christians.

In other words, Trump-loving Nigerians are Christofascists. Like Islamofascists, their only goal in life is to impose their religious beliefs on others, to merge religion and everyday life, and to close off secular spaces.

In the last few years, because of my consistently searing critiques of the Buhari regime’s frightful ineptitude, I’ve become popular with Nigerian Trumptards. But I block them on social media now because I share nothing in common with them. I criticize Buhari, as I criticized his predecessors, out of a civic obligation to hold the government accountable.

 If I were as bigoted as they are, I would either ignore or vigorously defend Buhari because he and I share the same religious and regional identity. Plus, I had related personally with Buhari in the past and have personal relationships with many people who serve at the highest levels of his government.

I can’t stand Nigerian Trumptards the same way I can’t stand Buharists. They are two sides of the same sordid, bigoted coin. Buharists also criticize Trump for the same things they defend in Buhari—just like they gave Jonathan hell for the exact same things they are defending Buhari for. I was also their hero when Jonathan was in power, but they can’t stand me now.

The redemption of our world from ruin will come not from bigoted, self-interested, and situational critics of leaders but from people who transcend cheap emotions and show willingness for dispassionate examination of the ills that ail us.

Related Articles:

Fake Trump Quotes about Nigerians and Africans

Making Sense of Trump’s Victory for Nigerians

Sleepy Joe is in, Sleepless Donald is Out, and Nigerian-Americans on the Rise

Trump NOT a Christian. Here’re 7 Proofs

Trump, Chauvin, and English Morphology of Vileness

Adesina and Trump’s America: A Case of Corruption Fighting Corruption?

Biden is Right; If You Vote Trump You Ain’t Black

Nigerian Trumptards Are the World’s Most Annoying Humans

Social Media, Mental Health, and Nigerian Trumpists

Mangled Trumpian Grammar as New American English?

Video of Young Senator Biden Fighting for South African Blacks in US Senate

Video of Trump Defending Homosexuality at the UN

Saturday, November 7, 2020

Sleepy Joe is in, Sleepless Donald is Out, and Nigerian-Americans on the Rise

By Farooq A. Kperogi, Ph.D.

Twitter: @farooqkperogi

As of the time of writing this, all indications point to a decisive Electoral College win for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris. Donald Trump, who stays sleepless at nights to rage-tweet insane inanities, had in his characteristic juvenile schoolyard bullying called Joe “Biden Sleepy Joe.”

Well, Trump’s infantile nickname for Biden is ironically fitting in retrospect. After four years of a tumultuous, unconventional, incompetent, and immature presidency that kept both Trump and the world sleepless, we need a sleepy person at the helm so we can all go to sleep and not be worried that a corrupt, self-dealing, inept, perpetually enraged sociopath with access to nuclear codes is president of the world’s most powerful nation.

When my wife and I voted early on October 15, I said on social media that I did so to bring back decency to the White House and to restore the values that attracted me to America.

I’m a Nigerian by birth and an American citizen by choice. In my nearly two decades of living here, I hadn’t ceased to be amazed by the grace, magnanimity, and hospitality of most Americans; by the resilience, beauty, and ruthless efficiency of America’s institutions; and by the opportunities the country gives to immigrants. Then Donald Trump became president. And everything changed.

In the last four years, Trump’s America has reminded me of the country of my birth in many ways. Trump supervised the systematic demolition of the institutions, traditions, norms, and values that made America a transcendent shiny star in the world’s firmament and a welcoming place for everyone who shared in the country’s ideals of “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

Even in defeat, Trump is continuing with his banana-republic-style destruction of America’s centuries-old traditions. He is baselessly sowing doubts in the integrity of the electoral process. He did exactly that in 2016 when he thought he’d lose.

Like a stereotypical Third World dictator, he is inflaming the passions of his supporters and rousing them to violence. He wants to burn the system down because he can’t have his way. Just like he has made a habit of mindlessly labeling any factual and accurate but unflattering news about him “fake news,” he is alleging electoral malpractice, without evidence, because he is losing.

Trump checks all the classic characteristics of the sorts of authoritarian narcissists the US State Department threatens with visa bans and that U.S.-based NGOs habitually denounce and shame. That is why every reasonable American is worried that Trump has diminished America’s global moral authority in ways no one has ever done.

For instance, when U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo tweeted on November 2, “We are deeply concerned by reports of election irregularities, politically motivated arrests, and violence during Tanzania’s elections last week. We urge authorities to fully address concerns of irregularities and will review allegations of the use of force against civilians,” his message was at once hollow, hilarious, and self-indictingly satirical.

As you would expect, Pompeo was widely panned on social media for looking at the speck of sawdust in Tanzania’s eye and paying no attention to the plank in America’s own eye. Someone, for example, told Pompeo that he “misspelled America” as “Tanzania.”

 That is the lowest watermark in America’s moral standing that I have ever seen. And it’s all thanks to Sleepless Donald who has ensured that America has literally become the laughingstock of the world and the butt of cruel jokes.

It isn’t surprising that in his hours of desperation, Trump looked up to Africa, which he had called a “shithole,” for forlorn hope. On Election Day, for instance, he retweeted a video of braindead and self-hating Nigerian Trumptards rallying in support of him. He said he was “honored” by it.

And after it became apparent that Trump would lose, his comically unhinged spiritual adviser by the name of Paula White went on a wild prayer rant calling for “angels from Africa” to magically give Trump electoral victory. Many people joked that the African angels were denied visas at US embassies.

But this joke has a basis in reality. In a March 7, 2020 column titled, “Nigerian Trumptards Are the World’s Most Annoying Humans,” I wrote: “For instance, ‘Nigeria had the biggest drop in visitors to the US’ in the world in 2019, according to data from National Travel & Tourism Office. This has roots in Trump’s racial animus against Nigerians (and, of course, other non-white people who come to or live in America).

“Trump was widely quoted in January 2018 to have said he didn’t want immigration into the US from ‘shithole countries’ like Nigeria and Haiti and instead wanted ‘more people coming in from places like Norway.’ In other words, he wants only white immigrants.”

I wonder why Trump was suddenly “honored” by the rally of “shithole” people who dwell in “huts” (in December 2017, he said Nigerians should be denied visitor’s visas because they would never ‘go back to their huts’ after seeing the US,” according to the Business Insider) and why his spiritual adviser wanted shitty angels from shitholes to salvage his doomed reelection bid.

Well, it’s probably because he knows there are hordes of brainless know-nothings who worship him in Nigeria. After he is finally booted out of the White House in January next year, he should get in touch with his Nigerian supporters and establish a new country. They can call it the “Talibangelical Republic of Trumpistan.”

Whatever it is, Trump will go down in history as the absolute worst president America has ever had. In America’s nearly 250-year history, only three presidents have been impeached, and Trump is one of them. The other two are Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton.

Again, in America’s entire history, only five presidents lost the popular vote, and Donald Trump is one of them. The others are John Quincy Adams in 1824, Rutherford B. Hayes in 1876, Benjamin Harrison in 1888, and George W. Bush in 2000. But “Trump lost the popular vote by a greater margin than anyone ever elected president,” according to U.S. presidential historians.

Finally, out of America’s 45 presidents, only 12 have lost their reelection bids, and Trump seems headed for that fate. With the likely outcome of this election, I think 2020 has redeemed itself. I can forgive all the hurt it has thrown our way.

My In-Law Elected U.S. Congressman

My relative-in-law by the name of Oye Owolewa is one of at least three Nigerian-Americans I'm aware of who just got elected into legislative positions in the United States.

The shadow House of Representatives member-elect from the District of Columbia is the grandson of my aunt-in-law, that is, the older sister of my wife's father. His maternal grandmother, the late Chief Phoebe Chiadi Ajayi-Obe, about whom I wrote in a July 18, 2020 column, is Nigeria's second female Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) and Eastern Nigeria's first female SAN.

Although I have never met the younger Owolewa, his father, who is from Omu-Aran in Kwara State, attended my wedding. He came to me after the wedding ceremony and said, “Asalam alaikum, brother! I’m delighted to welcome the second Muslim into the family.”

The newly elected congressman is a product of tolerance and compromises along Nigeria’s primordial fissures. His maternal grandmother was an Igbo woman from Anambra State who married a Yoruba man from Osun State, and his mother married a Muslim from Kwara State. Just like his maternal grandmother “converted” to a Yoruba identity, his mother converted to Islam.

The Owolewas are devout Muslims, and the House of Representatives-elect brought his Muslim identity to the fore during his campaigns. “As a Nigerian-American and a Muslim, I look at [Donald Trump’s] policies as a direct finger at me saying, ‘You’re not welcome here,’” he said in a campaign video. “Even though I have done my best to provide for my community…I still feel I’m not good enough for Donald Trump.”

In spite of his “outsider” identity, Owolewa won more votes than his two other competitors combined. So in spite of Trump's racist, juvenile vileness, America is still a great, tolerant country.

Plus, I doubt that the three young recently elected Nigerian-American legislators would have had a snowball's chance in hell of being elected if they vied for equivalent positions in Nigeria.