Something has been bothering me on the international front. I really want to tell President Jonathan, but I doubt he will be in the position or mood to listen. For one thing I know, he is very busy moving his things out of the villa. This is tricky because after nearly six years in that palatial building, one can get too comfortable and start buying things as if one is going to be there forever. Patience Jonathan must be having a problem deciding what to take, what to leave behind and what to sell off. (I wonder if she will sell the fittings she bought to Aisha Buhari the way the former tenant of my new house insisted. I should pay for the kitchen cabinet she installed. I do not know Patience that well. So, I cannot say if she is the type to dash Aisha her kitchen cabinet or insist on a refund.) But one thing is sure: Unless they have a house in Abuja or Otuoke as big as the villa, moving will be very difficult.
Jonathan must also be busy folding his clothes and gathering his hats. I gather they are quite a lot. I think he should auction them online. I know many who would want to buy clothes and hats worn by a former president.
My other option is to discuss this issue, bugging me with president-elect Muhammadu Buhari. In addition to all the meetings with politicians looking for a soft landing, he is probably busy with the tailor making his clothes for the handing over ceremony.
So, I will just say what is bothering me here. It is America. Let me explain.
Nigeria is the most populous (and arguably the most powerful) black nation on earth. It should be providing guidance on matters affecting black people all over the world. In the last week, the United States of America has descended into turmoil and especially in Baltimore; there has been rioting, violence and looting following the death in police custody of a black male by the name of Freddie Gray. He was arrested by police, and while at the back of the police van, sustained injuries that eventually led to his death. The death has been ruled a homicide.
As someone who was in the running to become president in Nigeria, the killing of blacks in America by law enforcement worries me deeply. And I refuse to be silent. The days when countries could just do as they please with their citizens, especially their minorities, are over. The world is now a global village and countries must have a minimum level of conduct if they want to be respected among the comity of nations. America must tell us, if they want the black people they stole from Africa hundreds of years ago or not. Nobody forced them to take black people to America. They were the ones looking for cheap labor because they were too lazy to work in the fields and clean their own homes. If they agree to return the blacks, however, the least they can do is return them in the same condition they met them here – healthy and alive. The same way if you buy a television and you do not want it anymore, you cannot return it with the screen broken. No one will accept it from you.
Some have said that because Americans are addicted to guns, any attempt to stop or reduce the liberal use of firearms will lead to trouble. They might just die of withdrawal symptoms. For me, they do not have to stop extra-judicial killing altogether. They should just make the killing democratic. There are white Americans, Asian Americans, Arab Americans and Latinos. They can start by killing other groups of people and allowing the blacks to get off on time served. This is only fair.
I hope that when Buhari is sworn in, he will have the will to speak to this issue with the firmness that is required from the leader of the largest black nation on earth. He must warn that there will be consequences for killing black Americans, especially as it is likely that many of them are descendants of Nigerian slaves. He must threaten them with sanctions, like refusing to accept any aid from them. Because these days, ‘sanctions’ is the only language some countries understand. If all fails, he must evacuate black people from that violent, gun loving country, before they are killed off. That would be a brilliant way to start his foreign policy. Until then, I hope his tailors do a good job on that inauguration babban riga.