By Dele Momodu
Fellow Nigerians, please, permit me to invite you on a flight to the United States of America this weekend. You must be wondering what is my own with American elections, I’m sure. Many have asked me to my face if I’m able to vote in America or why am I flexing muscles like a pugilist. Truth is America is the first nation of the world. Love them, loathe them, the Americans know how to mesmerise and hypnotise everyone of us. And they are so good at it.
In case you’ve not noticed, Nigerians and Americans have so much in common. As a matter of fact, many have described us as the Americans of Africa. Nigerians are flamboyant, boastful, loud, brilliant, fun-loving, entertaining, adventurous and so on. Many people hate us for those attributes. But like the Americans, we hardly care and we just do our own thing as the mood directs us. So be it.
The other thing is that there are too many Nigerians sojourning or living permanently in the US. What is even more important is that they are good ambassadors of our country. On some of my trips, I attended The Nigerian Reunion summits (probably the largest gathering of Nigerians abroad apart from the Nigerian Independence Parade in New York and the Nottinghill Carnival in London), The Eko Club activities, the Nigerian Medical Practitioners in America, the African Times Awards in Los Angeles, The Moremi Club events, the Africa Women in Leadership conferences, the so many beautiful weddings and birthday bashes, there were always so many distinguished Nigerians doing great things. We have featured too many of such great men and women in Ovation in the past 20 years yet it seems like a drop in the ocean.
Nigerian doctors, pharmacists, nurses, lawyers, lecturers, bankers, scientists, surgeons, engineers, businessmen and women and other professionals litter everywhere. United States has been our major business partner. Many African Americans have traced their roots to Nigeria and truly they display many of our sharp features. Nigerians love America and there is hardly any major university you won’t find a Nigerian studying or teaching. So no one should be surprised if we appear to be behaving like outsiders crying louder than the bereaved.
My love for American politics is huge. Politics has been turned to reality shows in the US. That fact has become palpable this year with the emergence of the Commander-in-Chief of Abusers, Donald Trump, and the old man, Bernie Sanders who continues to behave like a sore loser. A man who claims he’s been cheated but does not mind asking the super delegates to upturn a presidential primary in which he’s been beaten soundly and roundly by Hillary Clinton by a margin as wide as over three million votes and so many pledged delegates and super delegates. What manner of injustice is this from a man who claims to be a socialist revolutionary?
I’m always glued to television, especially CNN. It is incredible the depth of political analysis and the excruciating pain candidates must endure by fire by force going through endless debates and press interviews. It is difficult for a complete ignoramus or nonentity to become the President of America. I never want the race to end once it begins. And this year’s has been more than exciting. It has been a mixture of the good, the bad and the ugly. But all that concerns me is how Hillary Clinton would become the first female President and Commander-in-Chief of the United States armed forces.
I know you are likely to ask why Hillary? That answer is too simple and straightforward. I have been a fanatical fan of Hillary. It all started from a tragedy that befell the Clinton family when her husband was accused of infidelity and President Bill Clinton was nearly sacked. Anyway, all the self-appointed Pontiffs started their holier-than-thou demonstrations. Bill must be destroyed instantly and totally. At a point, it seemed all hope was lost and he was going to go with the winds but merciful God brought him back from the brink. I believed God used one woman to save his skin and that woman is the presumptive nominee of the Democratic Party today, HILLARY. Once Hillary forgave her husband, who are we to judge anyone? From that day, she gained my respect and admiration. An average human being would have thrown caution to the winds but not Hillary. I do not care if she managed to slap her husband in their bedroom but none of us witnessed it. That is the hallmark of a smart and intelligent woman.
There’s no way Hillary would not have been angry. She is human and would have had justification for behaving even erratically but she was forward-looking. She’s a woman who saw tomorrow and held it with both hands. She chose family over destructive rancour. Only a visionary does that and I decided to support her whenever the chance presents itself. I knew that day would come about and indeed it came. The year was 2008 and for the first time an African American, Barack Obama was the charming contender. The war between the two was bound to be hotter than that of Muhammad Ali against George Foreman. Would I leave my first dream for a second one that came from the blues? I was saddled with a big dilemma but I thought long and hard and settled for Hillary against Obama. That is me. I do what I believe, just like I supported Buhari against Jonathan who could have performed miracles in my life. But I must have positive reasons for reaching my decisions. That is why I supported Jonathan when he was being bullied by the cabal and I was never a member of PDP.
Many Nigerians were shocked at my choice of Hillary. Some even abused me as if I had no right to my own choice. But I’m used to that now. The primary was hotly contested and Obama won. I couldn’t believe it but later saw the hand of fate in it. It was a bitter pill to swallow by Hillary supporters like me but we eventually accepted God’s verdict. While we were busy sulking, Hillary endorsed Obama. Not just that, she and her charismatic husband joined Obama and campaigned with and for him vigorously and rigorously. The maturity displayed by this famous couple was uncanny. They saw what most people could never see, tomorrow; and did what most people would not do, magnanimity. That was it. They crossed the Rubicon and remained steadfast. They sowed a seed that would take eight solid years to grow and harvest but did not mind. How many people would have such patience at this time and age?
Obama won and made Hillary one of the most powerful Secretaries of State America ever had. Trouble was it was not only Hillary who saw tomorrow, her enemies even saw beyond tomorrow and waited for her with road blocks at every corner, day and night. She was never acknowledged for things that went right. She was attacked for anything that went awry. Such is the way and manner of man’s inhumanity to man. But when God is with you who can be against you? Hillary will be recorded in American history as the most investigated public officer. She’s had to sit through some horrendous interrogations lasting almost half a day. The brave woman defended herself as much as she could possibly do. Her traducers have searched everywhere looking for any dirt they could splash at her but the stains have been rather weak and nothing indelible.
Going into this year’s election, this formidable and irrepressible woman has been fired at from two ferocious cylinders by two trigger-happy snipers, yet no bullet has hit her. She has recorded more votes than both the internal and external challengers. Hillary is unfazed and unbowed. Her main opponent now, a rambunctious fellow called Donald Trump has been an embarrassment to even the party he claims as his but which he merely hijacked and it is obvious that God deliberately raised him up to make the difference crystal clear and make the job somewhat cleaner. For those who believe in God, His ways are not those of men. Whatever he would do, he would do so well as to leave no doubts that he did it so resoundingly. I’m reasonably convinced that the world is set to watch and see another miracle so soon after a Black man became the world’s greatest President. These are just interesting times.
I have told those who care to listen that this is Hillary’s time. No matter what Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump decide to do, Hillary will triumph, according to the will of God. An average African is familiar with the concept of Destiny, what the Yoruba would call ori or ayanmo. No man or woman can be President without God playing a role one way or another. I never expected to see an apartheid-free South Africa in my lifetime. I was so sure Mandela would never be released and he may eventually die in prison. Not only did he come out alive, he contested and won the Presidency ostensibly. What’s even more remarkable, he forgave his enemies and encouraged genuine reconciliation across the land. He did his best within one term and chose to quit when the ovation was loudest.
The greatest surprise for me was the first election that ushered in Obama. I was in Newark with my good friend Benny Obaze of The House of Bevista, and I assured him there was no way all those white supremacists would allow a Blackman to get power. In fact, I was so scared of how the African Americans would react to Obama’s defeat and I decided to run back to London that very night. Benny saw me off and we spent time at the Virgin Atlantic lounge where we argued again over the chances of Obama. Everywhere was tense as we could just picture what would happen if the sharpest Black candidate missed the boat.
I boarded my flight that night and slept off almost immediately trying to put the American election way behind me. We were close to landing in London when the Captain woke us up with one of that rare news: OBAMA has just won the Presidential election. The entire plane roared spontaneously into bouts of congratulations. That was it. God has spoken and no one ever appeals the cases he has decided already.
As we navigate and meander towards November again, something tells me a monumental occurrence is about to explode again; please, step forward Madam President, for your time has come.
Congratulations in advance HILLARY CLINTON because the Lord is with thee.