It was not long ago that U.S. President Donald Trump said that he would like to go to Nigeria. “They say it’s a beautiful country,” he said. “I have heard a lot about how beautiful it is.” He said this at the White House while hosting Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari in 2018. Ironically, those words came shortly after his remark that Africans come from S-hole countries.
Beauty turned to beast?
So what drove a man whose value of a people smacks of scatology to suddenly think of the same people as “beautiful”? But then again, he thinks that these glorious people in Africa don’t deserve a visa to the United States?
The truth of the matter is that Mr. Trump has already made up his mind that he is at war with Black people. What better way to stick it to them than to malign the most influential Black nation on earth? Nigerians account for the most educated ethnic group in the American workforce, according to statistics from U.S. Department of Labour statistics. So there’s apparent jealousy attached to the Trump worldview, a kind of vindictiveness any good leader must eschew.
Let me explain. The U.S. State Department recently restricted six countries’ nationals from obtaining visas that would lead to residency and American citizenship. Four of the countries are in Africa: Nigeria, Tanzania, Eritrea and Sudan. The others are Kyrgyzstan and Myanmar.
Under the “Suspension of Entry for Nationals of Countries of Identified Concern” new regulations, terrorism is one of the main agenda. The Trump administration says it is concerned about terrorism among the nations specified; and that the high risk they pose could spill over into the United States.
The ban explained
Trying to justify the restrictions, the State Department says that Nigeria “does not comply with the established identity-management and information-sharing criteria assessed by the performance metrics… However, Nigeria is an important strategic partner in the global fight against terrorism, and the United States continues to engage with it on these and other issues.
“The Department of State has provided significant assistance to Nigeria as it modernizes its border management capabilities, and the Government of Nigeria recognizes the importance of improving its information sharing with the United States. Nevertheless, these investments have not yet resulted in sufficient improvements in Nigeria’s information sharing with the United States for border and immigration screening and vetting.”
These words run the gamut for all the countries specified in the document, except that in the case of Eritrea it states that the northeast African country does not provide its citizens “electronic passports”.
Why this makes no sense
There are all kinds of problems with this. America’s head of state is not guided by science, history and the fundamental norms of decency; let alone his own experts and minions whom he berates in public and detests in theory.
Nigeria has for decades provided regional peace and security across the continent. Mali, Somalia, Sudan and Kenya need military assistance against terrorist organizations such as Al Qaeda, Al Shabbab and ISIS. Now Africa’s largest and most influential nation might no longer feel emboldened to work with the Americans and Europeans for this purpose. How can Trump reconcile this?
The Canadian military is currently in a peace mission in Mali. However, Nigeria (with a population of over 200 million) provides logistical as well as personnel support. And at the same time, works with the U.S. – Africa Command in the area. Nigeria is today planning retaliation against the U.S. visa restrictions. American citizens will be punished. Where do all these restrictions lead? To what end?
To say that U.S. President Donald Trump is a nincompoop is putting it mildly. It does not make geopolitical sense to shoot oneself in the foot. He’s should be in the Nigeria’s good book.
Also, why are Saudi Arabian nationals not on the American restriction list? Were Saudi nationals not responsible for 9-11? This is clearly a maddening grudge towards Black people.
Peter Uduehi is a journalist and currently publisher and editor of African World News in Toronto. Versed in African and American politics, he has spent most of his adult years in the USA where he studied journalism and later worked as reporter and news editor for several US media outlets before emigrating to Canada 10 years ago.