When will the arrogance of the West towards Africa and other non-Western countries stop? I ask this question because of the recent statement credited to Richard Grenell, a former spokesman for four United States Ambassadors to the United Nations. Grenell, for reasons that can only be described as bias against Muslims, disparaged one of Nigeria’s potential candidates for president and said: “Mr. Buhаri’ѕ еlесtiоn аѕ Nigеriа’ѕ hеаd оf ѕtаtе would bе a disaster fоr Afriса. It would аlѕо ѕignаl trоublе for thе West’s fight against ISIS аnd tеrrоriѕm thrоughоut thе Middlе Eаѕt.”
This kind of statement is out of line on so many levels. No foreign country has the right to make such unguarded statements regarding the presidential candidate of another sovereign country; it is a slap in the face of the integrity and sovereignty of such nation. The Obama administration should distance itself from this malarkey and make it known that the crass statement made by this attention seeking former apparatchik does not in any way or form reflect the views of this administration.
Grenell also stated that the All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential candidate Gеnеrаl Buhari wants Shаriа lаw thrоughоut Nigеriа which cannot be further from the truth. These fabrications are all lies from the pit of hell in order to the further the somewhat negative prevailing narrative about the person of General Buhari. It has been rumored in the past that Buhari has an agenda of Islamizing Nigeria, without anything to substantiate such claim. I can only liken this baseless rumor against Buhari to that of the racially charged birther conspiracy theory about President Barack Obama, despite overwhelming evidence of the contrary!
Here is the evidence that demonstrates that the claims against Buhari are false: In 2011, he chose Pastor Tunde Bakare, a Nigerian prominent clergy as his running name. And come 2015, he decided to choose another prominent Pastor as his running mate, Yemi Osinbajo. I believe Buhari chose two Nigerian pastors who are not push overs to prove to Nigerians and nosy Americans, that he has no intention of Islamizing the country as previously propagandized. Yet this lie won’t go away!
To set the record straight, my intention here is not to campaign for Buhari. Nigeria’s contentious election is much more complex and nuanced than what time allows me to unpack. However, it is necessary to push back against the destructive narrative that Grenell purports, a narrative that is consistently propagated by the U.S. in an attempt to control the affairs of others. How dare Grenell suggest that Buhari’s election would be a disaster for Africa when the U.S. is in quite the international pickle? According to 2014 WIN/Gallup International, 68 countries found the U.S. as the greatest threat to peace in the world, followed by Pakistan and China.
If we went with Grenell’s premise, Buhari only represents a disaster for Africa if he is elected president of Nigeria. Because he is an individual, supposedly, Africa would be saved if he lost the election. Yet the larger question that I wish Grenell would speak to is how we can begin to address the fact that the U.S., as an entire country, is deemed to be the greatest threat to the peace of the world? If he really cares about the safety of the world, I suggest he works on fixing the problems here at home in the U.S. and leave the African continent alone!