The 14th of January 1970 saw the end of the senseless bloodshed that was Nigeria’s counter against the secession of the Igbo people (Biafra) from Nigeria. In the years following the war, many have lived, and died in some cases, with the hope that the Biafran dream would come to life someday yet. Well, it would appear that that hope still lives in many.
You might be wondering what the American elections has got to do with African civil wars. Well, just a few hours ago, I would have been just as confused as you probably are if I had seen an article connecting these two events.
The thing is, on twitter today, I spent a great deal of time scrolling through Mr. Amara Nwankpa’s (@Nwankpa_A) timeline – my go-to twitter account on economic and political issues. I did pick up on how a Trump win might favour the Nigerian economy momentarily. He explained in a thread how the panic that would follow might cause a decline in the strength of the dollar and reduce attention from Nigeria’s naira. Yet, Mr. Nwankpa was not convinced that those were good enough reasons for a Nigerian to want a Trump win.
It gets interesting. You know the thing with twitter threads is this: they always spring up conversation. Someone somewhere is bothered by one or two of your tweets and there, you have yourself a little debate. The debate that inevitably ensued following Mr. Nwankpa’s thread were from pro Trump Nigerians tweeting with the hashtag #AfricansforTrump. Now, I noticed that these tweeters were not the usual misogynists who were repulsed by the idea of a female president, or the ones who simply do not buy into Hilary’s policies. No, these were Igbo Nigerians, proudly representing the imaginary nation of Biafra.
At this point, I had a few questions. At what point did Mr. Trump promise you a secession from Nigeria? By what logic do you rationalize that a man who wants to build a wall around America, would have the best interest of an African nation he probably couldn't point out on a map?
Now, I don’t know a lot about Trump’s or even Hilary’s actual policies. All I know about this elections, in all sincerity, is that Hilary is under investigation by the FBI over some email and Trump is a misogynist, a racist, an alleged rapist, a blabbermouth, an typical a**hole, uncouth, talks funny, always red and old (I'm not ageist or anything). I mean, I really know nothing else. But I doubt that Mr. Trump would spare a thought about Biafra after he wins.
Not to be misconstrued, I love my Igbo people. I love being Igbo. I wouldn’t even mind a Biafra in the future if it’s worked out peacefully. But if there’s one thing Ive learned from these elections it’s that America is just as much of a mess, if not bigger, as Nigeria is, politically.
It is in our best interest as Nigerians and ultimately Africans not to, for the sake seeking help, seek advice from the person whose house is already on fire.
When I began this article, the election process was still on. This morning, I woke up to Donald Trump as the president of the free world (how ironic) and I cannot be more disgusted that any African would even nurture the idea that Donald Trump or America as a country has our best interest at heart.