Nigerians Greet O-B-A-M-A over his Presidential Victory

1 Comment » November 10th, 2008 posted by // Categories: Nigeriawatch



 

GUARDIAN
Saturday, November 8, 2008

 

 

 

Nigerians Greet O-B-A-M-ABy Samson Ezea, Ajibola Amzat, Bankole Adeshina, Chiemerem Umene, Damilola Odukoya and Ngozi Ibiam

The historic electoral victory of Senator Barak Obama as the first African-American President of the United States has been creating ripples around the world, and Nigerians are not left out in this euphoria. The Guardian interviewed a cross section of Nigerians regarding the lesson that Nigeria can learn from the electoral system of America. Their viewpoints are captured below.

 

Chief Don Etiebet, PDP chieftain

 

Senator Obama’s victory is a manifestation and triumph of free, fair, transparency and reliable electoral process in a free world democracy. We must pray to God to give us an environment where we would have such electoral process. Nigerians politicians have not learnt until when we applied what happened in America in Nigeria situation where we would see a loser congratulating a winner in a free and fair election.

 

Prof Sam Oyovbaire

Nigeria is a country that does nothing pleasing. What produced Obama is a system in America we don’t have the system in Nigeria and I don’t know when we would have such system. Throughout the election, there is nothing like chairman of the electoral commission or no state result was not collated. Let our leaders put in place a system that could allow the worth of individuals to be appreciated at the poll.

 

Chief Frank Ovie Kokori, Former Labour leader and activist

 

Obama’s victory election signifies that a country does not attain civilization and development without free and fair election. A country that cannot elect its leaders without encumbrances is not civilized and cannot achieve any meaningful development. Transparency is the cardinal point for us to be where America is today. America has shown the way and they would continue to show the way to liberty, freedom and democracy.

 

Chief Great Ogboru, governorship candidate of Democratic Peoples Party (DPP) Delta State.

 

Nigerians need to learn a lot from Obama’s victory. It shows that people choose their leaders collectively and not invisible hands imposing leaders on people. It is something we must emulate and all Nigerians have to insist that they must elect their leaders. We have to stop the idea of rigging because the right to choose our leaders is sacrosanct. We should not allow any form of rigging in Nigeria again.

 

Dr Mrs Joe Okei Odumakin, President Campaign for Democracy (CD)

 

 

Politicians should learn that the election of Obama was violent-free. Obama and McCain realized that what they were struggling for has nothing to do with thuggery but issues-driven politics. Also, despite the incumbency advantage, they could do nothing to stop the march for change in America. So the greatest lesson we should learn is to always allow wishes and aspirations of people to triumph in an electoral process and not allow people to see politics as do or die affair. We should learn from McCain’s maturity of congratulating Obama. The victory is a model.

 

Chief Dan Nwanyanwu, National Chairman Labour Party

 

I am more concerned about the lesson than the euphoria that has trailed the victory of Obama. If you relate what has happened in America to Nigeria, it is a different thing. I disagree with Iwu. America has nothing to learn from Nigeria. That is why we want Yar’Adua to give us a true electoral process. Are we prepared to learn anything from what happened in America? The ruling government in America did not open the public treasury to support McCain. The lessons are endless. I don’t think Nigerians, especially politicians are ready to learn.

 

Alhaji Balarabe Musa, Former governor of Kaduna State

 

My position is that the political leadership in this country is not capable of learning from the election in America because in America free and fair election took place. Political leadership in Nigeria is weak. We can still talk to some people in Nigeria who can listen and are capable of moving the country forward but they would not be allowed. These people are the few political leaders in Nigeria who have social conscious and patriotism. These people know that American system overreach itself in every respect and needs change to survive and therefore supported a candidate who can give peace a chance in America and the whole world.

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Mr Jimi Agbaje, the governorship candidate of Democratic Peoples Alliance (DPA) Lagos State.

 

There are many lessons to learn. Obama victory proved that democracy is driven by the people. Majority of the people believe that he is a better candidate person. In spite of oppositions from big wigs in America the people massively voted for Obama. Because of the openness of the system, the most accepted candidate was elected. The process was open and transparent. It is democracy in action.

 

Chief Eddie Onwuchekwa, Director -General, Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA)

Barack Obama’s electoral victory has made obvious the indispensable need to reform the Nigerian electoral system. In Nigeria, elections are characterized with violence, killing, manipulation and snatching of ballot boxes, among others. But from the election of Obama, the Americans have proved to the world that in any democratic system of government, election of the leaders should be left for the masses to decide. The prompt release of the election result also shows that Nigeria needs to quickly catch up with the trend of globalization.

Another lesson is that we should not be discriminatory of ourselves during election but unite and ensure that the qualified people are elected for the job.

 

 

 

Chief Olapede Agoro, Politician

 

Obama’s victory in the election has taught us a big lesson that nothing is impossible. The lesson is that if we want true leadership to emerge, it was high time we stopped basing selection of our leaders on geographical consideration. We should search for and allow a leader with dynamic and purpose to emerge. This is the time we should re-brand our democracy to that of collective bargaining. We should repackage our nation to that oneness of purpose, unity and love. We should move together under a purposeful leadership with focus for progress beyond political party corruptive inconsequentialities. Yar’Adua should now call a meeting of all the registered political parties and other stakeholders for remodeling of our democracy for better understanding and growth.

 

Dr Dozie Ikedife, President General Ohaneze Ndigbo

 

We have seen democracy in action in America. We must learn that politics and election must not be a “do or die” affair. Nigerians have come to a time that political change is the word. From another angle, it shows that there is no limit to Blackman’s aspiration in the world today. Black Americans from now would be looking up, thinking like eagles that can fly.

 

Chief Tajudeen Oladipo, National Vice Chairman PDP South west

 

America electoral system is living up to expectation. They are like us and they have advanced. I believe we would reach there sooner or later. Rome was not built in a day. We must have a spirit of give and take. It is because the election was transparent that is what made it easy for the loser to accept the defeat. America has its peculiarities just like Nigeria. America is nobody’s land. What is operating here is quite different from what is happening there. All of us are to be blamed for what is happening in Nigeria.

 

 

Chief Clement Ebri, National Chairman Progressives Peoples Alliance (PPA)

 

 

 

 

The election of Obama has eventually nailed the coffin of racism in the world. For us in Nigeria, it simply sent a message that real power lies with the people not the people at the helm of affairs. Despite the power of incumbency, the Republican lost the election. If Nigeria did not learn lesson from this, we would definitely not stand as a nation for too long.

 

 

Adebisi Arewa, Management consultant

Obama victory has shown us that you should not judge people by their colour, ethnicity,tribe. Not by racial bigotry, and prejudices, either bigotry based on ideology or certain strongly held views and positions. We shouldn’t allow that to becloud our judgment. We should accept people by the strength of what they have to offer to the society and not where they come from. If we bring that into Nigerian context for instance, why was Nigerian June 12 election annulled? It was annulled because of differences, prejudices and bigotry. Some people felt that a Southerner should not become a president or that probably their interest is going to be disparaged if a Southerner should become the president, so they annulled the election, an election that was touted as the most transparent election, and where people voted across ethic barriers.

The second lesson that Nigeria can learn is about institution. We should start building resilient institutions. The outcome of that election shows that America has a very strong institution. And what generate such institution is enduring values. Every Nigerian must have a course worth dying for. And we must have respect for truth. If we respect truth in this country, June 12 would not be annulled. We should learn to eschew prejudices, bigotry. These are the shadows that becloud our judgment in choosing the leaders.

 

Ademola Adesina , On-line entertainment journalist

 

Obama victory’s is a victory for the black race, and lesson for Nigeria are innumerable. The debates and the campaigns showed that elections are not meant to be mere selection exercises but also a re -education of the populace and redefinition of ideals.. The build-up to the elections, the debates, the campaigns and the elections are areas where we can learn from. We are far behind in this part of the world and it is so sad. We can also get there but we need prayers, dedication and most importantly honesty. May God help us.

 

Salawudeen Maliq,, Masters student

I am impressed by the conduct of the American election. America has been able to prove to the world that they can leave up to the world expectation. Obama victory has cured the racial issue that has been in existences for centuries. We need to do something about political reform, the way we conduct our election. We need to keep the idea of godfatherism aside. We need to allow the people to chose their leaders.

 

Folasun Abiodun, Businessman

This election has demonstrated the fact that America has risen beyond racial difference. They have shown the world the right leadership that we don’t have to deny anyone of his right to vote in elections and be voted for because he is of a particular religion or tribe or sex.

America election has also taught us to do away with the idea of godfatherism. There is no godfather somewhere forcing a candidate on American people. People chose their leader out of free will, and Nigeria has a lot to learn from this example.

 

Mr. Aloysius Ofodunu, Newspapers vendor

The America election has let us know that anybody can become the president of a nation whether that person is black or white. Imagine Americans- white and black -coming out in their large number to vote for a black man. This is a historic victory. It is a victory for America. It is a victory for the black world. But can this kind of thing happen in Nigeria? Here, some people are denied of their right to be elected because they from the minority group, whereas some people are going to say they are born to rule. Who is not born to rule? I think every Nigerian should have a right to become the president of this country.

 

Ishola Babatunde, Printer

I am very happy indeed. And there is a great lesson for Nigeria in what happened in America. In Nigeria what we have is not elections but rigging here and there. Our leaders are just interested in rigging election. It is so sad.

 

Ben Irumah, Businessman

Personally, I have learnt a great lesson from that. As a black man, I can walk the streets of any country, unlike those days when I travel abroad, I find it very difficult to walk the streets because I’m black but right now, I’m proud of being black and which means there is no limits to what I can achieve here on earth and as for the election, it was actually free and fair and the results came out in less than 24 hours.

 

Yinka Jemifor, Real Estates Manager

Actually Nigerians have a lot to learn from what has taken place in United States recently, in the last election and most importantly, the transparency aspect of it. In our own similar election in Nigeria, some people annulled the election. This election has shown that better days are ahead for the black man

Shola Afolabi, Caterer

Well, I will say that Obama’s victory is a victory for the black race, a victory that is worth celebrating as an African. In two years ago, nobody gave Obama the chance. One, he didn’t have the money, two, he didn’t have the experience and today, he is the world’s Chief Executive. The election was very free and fair and the whole world could testify to it. I stood awake all through the night, monitoring the election on CNN, so I can say that it was very free and fair.

 

Chinonso Alafonyo, Banker

Obama’s victory has thought Nigerians a very big lesson, not just Nigerians but also the world in general irrespective of colours, tribe and all that; you can be what you want to be. Just believe in yourself, your vision, and make others believe in that same vision. Concerning the election, it was very free and fair because I had been watching him from day one, when he came out to make his victory speech, very sincere and open-minded.

Tuale Fala, Clergy

I think it’s a big lesson for us to learn in Nigeria. It really means you can come from nowhere and become somebody irrespective of your colour or ethnic background. I’m encouraged and I’m proud to be a black man. The election was free and fair, I watched it myself. It was one of the best election Americans ever had.

 

Obikoli Charles, student

We really have a great lesson to learn from their style of election. It was so coordinated and that is why I will say it was a free and fair election. I have also learnt that in any thing we want to do, we should be determined because Obama himself was determined irrespective of what is called racism.

 

Rev. O. Dickson, Clergy

For a black, to contest and win the post of the president in a foreign land, it’s really a great lesson for Africans at large. It’s a thing to show that US citizens are living examples of no deprivation of power in as much as the person has the potential and ability to carry the people along. Concerning the election; it was a free and fair.

 

 

 

 

Emmanuel Ubaka, student

I think we should learn their pattern of conducting election over there, because our elections here have been nothing to write home about. The head of the electoral commission of Nigeria went there and witnessed proper way of conducting election. Martin Luther King once said it, that a black man would rule the whites one day, nobody believed, but now, it’s coming to pass, so I think his post as the president of US is a great achievement to all Africans.

 

Ayodele Olerie, Business woman

Well, Obama’s victory is something that every black person should celebrate. I particularly, have followed Obama campaign for a year and a half, I have watched him from the beginning and seeing him emerge as the winner was really something to be grateful to God for. Apart from that, he had so many oppositions and so many negatives stories about him flying all over that could tarnish his image and could even put an end to his career. But there was a particular thing I liked about him, at every point in time, he braced up, he never really saw them as obstacles that could hinder him to his progress. He had that goal, and he set it as a focus. For the fact that Obama won, it was a free and fair election. If he had not won, it would have been an issue of race in America today.

Mr. Peter, Civil servant

 

America is a great country and for Obama to be chosen, it shows that America is a country for all. It is the “world-power”. But my fear for Obama is that what happened to Martin Luther King should not happen to him. Martin was assassinated because he was black and then racism was rampant. Africans are capable of doing anything. I’m happy he is the president and all we need to do is to put him in prayers. Obama should not disappoint us.

 

Mallam Salisu, Commercial Driver

 

Obama is a very nice person, and God-sent. Nigeria and other nations should learn from the Americans.

 

Abayomi Kafaru, Student

 

It’s not easy for a Blackman to win in America. It was shown that election in America is free and fair, though it was tough for Obama. He sounded confident in his speeches, so I believe that he would do magic (“Oba-magic” as he’s being called) in America and the rest of the world.

 

Aweh Ivie. Youth Corp member

 

It had never happened that a Blackman ruled America. Now the problem of racism would no longer be an issue. Seeing Obama, I had always known that he was going to win.

 

Mr. Shobowale, Banker

 

Obama’s victory in the election has taught us a great lesson that nothing is impossible and good things come to those who desire it. With this, it was shown that the election was free and fair. Being a leader requires far-driven determination, love for the people and great strength. I congratulate Obama on his victory.

Dr. Tony Okeregbe Lecturer, UNILAG

Nigeria’s politicians should try to critically analyze and emulate the mature manner of accepting defeats after elections and even, they should also ensure that the common goals of people are achieved. Electoral contest can always be healthy, if there is a transparent electoral system on ground. The manner with which McCain altered his speech of acceptance calming his supporters on the need to support Obama to rebuild America is a great thing to behold.

The Americans are mature enough to know that politics is a game, they are aware that only one person will emerge and so, there is no need to start maiming. McCain is one who could father Obama, but he accepted true defeat.

We should understand that sacrifice for change is a feedback for survival. Politics is not an avenue to take a share of the ‘national cake’. How to address the states of affairs as it affects the generality of people in the society should be the focus. Nigeria is moving towards having an “Obama”. Because people are becoming more conscious, they are coming out to criticize and demanding to know. I believe with time, we will get there some day. This gospel of change must be taking to Abuja, Delta, Sokoto, everywhere in Nigeria.. Things can get brighter. It is not really amending the constitution, but conscious change that is al encompassing.

 

Mr. Smart Ufoh, Procurement Manager, Olam Nigeria Ltd

 

It is a development the whole World have got to learn from. Starting from the primaries of the Democratic Party, the ambitious Barack Obama was the only one who came from nowhere to beat the political Machineries of a well-respected former American President, Bill Clinton. The strong political machineries were to be used for the successful election of Mrs. Hilary Clinton as the Democrat Candidate in the first place. But Obama proved critics wrong by outsmarting the woman. That was the first signal to the eventual actualization of his historic achievement.

Another significant thing about his victory was his ability to play a perfect grass-root politics, which later enabled him to mobilize the American people regardless of their tribes, ethnicity, accent, colour and or political class to win the election. His humbling personality is so inspiring that even the unexpected youths, among others were going door-to-door to sell his name and raise funds for the greatest campaign in the American political history.

One of the lessons the African countries, especially Nigeria should learn from is the level of maturity of the American politics and Democracy. The transparency displayed in the organization of the Presidential election, shows that Nigeria is yet to have an acceptable Electoral System. Nigerians should hence realize that during election period, core competence and willingness to alleviate peoples sufferings should be the basis for electing our leaders and not geo-political consideration, ethnicity, popularity and or amount of wealth.

For Nigeria to exhibit the willingness to inculcate the acceptable American Electoral System, it must ensure that electoral matters are decided not longer than six months in the court. Matters can be investigated and judgment delivered within first four months and the appeal, if any should be concluded not later than two months. This will enable the incumbent political leaders to concentrate on the problems of the masses and adopt a better blueprint on how to solve them.

 

Mr. Yinka S. Gbenjo

 

His electoral victory as the first Black-American to become the President of the United State has made me realize that there is nothing impossible for one to achieve in this life. No matter how big the dreams, it might seem impossible in the first place but with adequate preparation and sacrifices, those dreams can materialize..

One thing I will want the Nigerian youths tovoi learn about Obama’s victory is his personality. From the onset, his self-confidence, humility and charisma have been a source of inspiration for many of the Americans. So, I will appreciate if Nigerians can start believing in themselves, regardless of who they are, they should remain focus and never feel inferior. By doing that, I am optimistic that one day, such a feat can be achieved by a Nigerian.

 

Pastor Kanu Issac

 

For a Black-American to become the President of the United States is a clear indication of global unity between the white and blacks.

With Obama’s electoral victory, I am optimistic that the unnecessary discrimination of the blacks by the white will be reduced, especially on visa application to the Western countries, in which the Blacks are often time denied on no other account but discrimination of colour.

 

Kunle Adeniran, Aviation Expert.

 

The lessons to learn from Obama’s electoral victory are numerous but in a specific term, we can say that Nigerians should believe that with dint of hard work, whatever one dream in life could be achieved.

 

Bethel Jonah, Student

 

What I learnt from the election and would want the Nigerian leaders to emulate is the need to be humble and cool-headed. Barack Obama is an epitome of inspiration, humility and humbleness and that was why the Americans casted their votes overwhelmingly for him, not minding his colour or class. Whatever position we find ourselves today, we should not abuse it or use it to oppress or humiliate others.

Kolawole Ogunnowo, Teacher

US election may have come and gone but there are lessons for Africa and Nigeria, especially the secrete of Obama’s success was that Americans were matured at poll and ethnicity was totally ignored. Greater number of white did not vote for John Mccain, but Obama . Above all, obama presented a better ideas and was consistent in all through his campaign. And Good enough, MCcain, accepted defeat in good faith and congratulated Obama. That is a spirit of good sportsmanship. I really am proud of American electoral system.

Lanre Arogundade

Coordinator, International Press Center (IPC)/Reporter PIWA

 

The election of Obama is symbolic and represents a radical change giving the fact that he comes from a minority stock of blacks who have for years been held under a ferocious slave regime by American ruling classes. The election offers many lessons against the background of crucial missing elements in our own elections. The media freely highlighted the problems with voting due to the unprecedented high turnout of voters while results were declared as voting progressed in the different states. the transparency of the whole process is a radical departure from what obtains here, where ballot boxes are snatched and the crudest forms of rigging and violence are routinely embarked upon. obama, by the way, defeated the candidate of a government in power – and that doesn’t happen here, PDP for PDP in PDP states and AC for AC in AC state. Overall the election bears testimony to the fact that change is possible provided people are ready to fight for it. Again the

lesson here is for the Nigerian genuine radical opposition to come together and build a fighting political party of the working masses and work tirelessly towards victory.

But in the euphoria of the Obama celebrations, it must not be forgotten that both democrats and republicans are parties of the American big bosses, big businesses and capitalist establishment whose commitment to profit, the market and neo-liberal policies and the attendant anti-working peoples programs like privatization and commercialization brought about the present crisis in the world economy. Against this background, there is limit to what populist retorics can do to address the problems of unemployment, housing, health care that millions of Americans – black and white face today. Yet the real test for Obama would be how he addresses these problems. Meanwhile it would be carrying expectation too far, to think, for example, that Africans problems, would easily be resolved under an Obama presidency. There may be more flow of aid, but that would come with conditionalities that might translate to debt. Africans would therefore have to first and

foremost fight for their own liberation. America’s foreign policy will hardly change.

 

Chief Chekwas Okorie National Chairman All Progressives Grand

 

Our admiration for the transparency and depth of the American democratic process which we have been trying to emulate for several years in Nigeria caught our fancy. The beauty of the people’s power to freely choose their leaders in an unfettered, free and fair democratic environment was profoundly demonstrated. No wonder Senator John McCain the presidential candidate of the Republican Party accepted the result of the election in a very graceful manner when he publicly admitted that “the people of America have spoken”

Government of countries that do not practice democracy but had the opportunity to watch the democratic process that led to Obama’s victory are bound to witness pressure from their citizens to democratize their institutions in order to empower their people to freely choose their leaders. The fact of his special circumstance in which he was elected president as a bona-fide America citizen, with an African paternity from Kenya, and an Asian step-father from Indonesia is a rare pedigree which only the Almighty God can design and bring about and which may not be repeated in several centuries to come. We have ever since been trying to emulate America’s democratic practice especially as it relates to transparency and level playing environment. For the first time we have a President in the person of President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua who has shown deep concern on how to resolve our fundamentally flawed democratic practice. He pledged to Nigerians in his inaugural speech on May 29, 2007, that the reformation of the electoral process shall be one of the cardinal objectives of his administration. He has shown sincere commitment to his promise and has taken practical steps to achieve this objective.

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One Response to “Nigerians Greet O-B-A-M-A over his Presidential Victory”

  1. Godknows says:

    i ave reads trtu

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