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USAfrica: Why Donald Trump is leading and confusing Republicans. By Chidi Amuta




Why Donald Trump is leading and confusing Republicans

By Dr. Chidi Amuta.                                                                                                                                           (Executive Editor of USAfrica & since 1992, based in Lagos)

Special to,  and USAfrica multimedia networks, Houston. Follow USAfrica at , and

The egotistic real estate and leisure billionaire, Donald Trump, excites this reporter to no end. Hence, my ritual of summer vacation in America was somehow alleviated by one excitement: his emergence of as lead political actor. American politics and its accompanying theatre is to me what European major league soc

Chidi Amuta

Chidi Amuta

cer is to numerous urban Nigerians. Each time I turned on the television to any of the major American news and current affairs networks and saw Mr. Trump, I giggled to myself. My American friends and family could not understand why.


For one thing, Mr. Trump has enlivened what would ordinarily be a dull run up to the 2016 Republican presidential primaries. Somehow, the man has rekindled some interest in the Republican Party whose fortunes in recent times have been less than glorious.

Above all, the man is lending American politics a new language, which I consider a ‘revolutionary’ national service in a political culture where linguistic atrophy has become symptomatic of other declines.

Donald Trump is engaging in a rather entertaining but cavalier way. He is predictably unpredictable. Only Mr. Trump knows what he is going to say or do next on the political trail. He is allergic to the obsession with political correctness in Washington and says so by verbally assaulting the high priesthood of political Washington. He has accused the American leadership of being mostly ‘stupid’ hence the declining strength and power of his country.  He has questioned senator John McCain’s stature as a war hero: you do not become a war hero just because you were a prisoner of war! He respects President Obama’s office but is not hesitant to describe the man as ‘incompetent’.  He admires Hillary Clinton mostly because she did him the honour of attending his wedding in Florida. He dismisses fellow Republican presidential aspirant Jeb Bush as a ‘low energy’ person and has unprintable words about his elder brother, former President George W. Bush.  

Under pressure after excoriating Fox News panelist Megan Kelly following the first Republican presidential debate in Cleveland, he concedes that he respects women except TV personality Rosy O’Donnell with whom he has had a long running publicity battle.

Mr. Trump has his own iconoclastic views about nearly every pressing national issue in today’s America. To stem the tidal influx of illegal immigrants from Mexico, he will build a wall on the US-Mexico border and get the Mexican government to pay for it. He will respect whoever emerges as Republican front-runner but will not guarantee that he will not run as an independent except the party gives him the ticket. On the challenge of the rise of China as a rival super power or the trade imbalance with Japan, Mr. Trump reels off any number of his friends to whom he will outsource these major international engagements. No facts, no figures, no silly specifics and boring academic sounding plans. Just get the job done. And America seems to like his ‘can do’ approach which contrasts with the long talk and inertia in Washington. He wants to fix the nation by cleaning out the cronyism, boring ‘correctness’ and sometimes unthinking partisanship that holds Washington hostage. Ask him how he is going to fix America and he says: wait till I become president!

In spite of a pile up of the kinds of indiscretions that would ordinarily bury a normal politician, Mr. Trump has maintained a confounding comfortable lead in the polls. In the process, the Republican party is split and confused.  A good number of Republicans admire and support Mr. Trump’s bid as an act of rebellion against the lack of creativity in Washington. Others are simply bored, dismissing the rest of the pack in the line up of Republican presidential hopefuls as more of the same.

The danger here is that it is hard to convince Mr. Trump that he could possibly be wrong on any of the issues he addresses so casually. How do you convince a very wealthy man (he is worth over $10 billion and personally earns $400 million annually) that any of his views or strategies could be wrong when they have worked for him?

There have been timid noises of condemnation of Trump’s unconventional rhetoric. Few have disagreed with his iconoclastic perspectives on major national issues. But no one has had the courage to spiritedly and frontally condemn Trump. It turns out that in America as in my village, it is hard to disagree with a very rich man. When he wears rags, people say that is the new fashion. When he talks nonsense, many will say there is hidden wisdom in it. When he advances a foolish doctrine, many will say maybe that is what gave him all that wealth. If it has worked for him, why dare to question him when your own counter wisdom has condemned you to a life of penury?

His ideological traducers, especially the intellectual vanguards of the Republican conservative movement, are rattled by his rampaging pop star appeal. George F. Will, conservative and syndicated columnist of The Washington Post has described Mr. Trump as ‘a counterfeit Republican… and no conservative’ who should be shown the way out by the party.  Others, who may not be so eager to dismiss Trump, insist that he is a curious political phenomenon that needs to be watched closely. My friend, Fareed Zakariah, Time magazine columnist and CNN GPS host sees him as unique on account of his ability to confound both his followers and opponents without addressing key issues in any serious way.

For this reporter, the lure of American politics is its dramatic flourish and intellectual veneer. Even outright nonsense has a way of being ceded center stage. Political idiocy sometimes dominates prime time, gets endlessly rehashed, analysed, celebrated and sometimes expensively promoted in limitless media outlets. Mr. Trump takes himself seriously and so does a sizeable faction of Republicans, hence his lead in the polls.  His current rating is somewhere around 33.3 percent while his closest rival, Jeb Bush, is trailing at 12.4 percent. Mr. Trump’s lead becomes even more significant given the fact that his campaign has raised very little money, only a paltry $1.9 million against Mr. Jeb Bush whose super-pacs have raised in excess of $100 million. Mr. Trump’s popularity relies mostly on his personal media outings. His popularity escalates as his views become more controversial and even objectionable.

Some see Mr. Trump as essentially political entertainment. Of course Mr. Trump who hosts his own TV show, The Apprentice, savours entertainment and relishes his celebrity stature and the immense attention it brings. So, there is a sense in which the man is having a ball while his opponents are griping over his excesses. It reminds you of Mr. Ross Perot, the Texas millionaire with oversize ears who ran as an independent in the contest between George Bush snr. and Bill Clinton. It was Perot that denied Bush snr a second term in the White House while vicariously ushering in the Clinton era with its record economic benefits for America. It would appear that wealthy political gadflies have a superior vision, which their political opponents may not be equipped to grasp immediately. When M.K.O Abiola vied for the Nigerian presidency, he probably saw his long term significance ahead of the rest of us.  His entry into Nigerian politics redefined Nigerian democracy and re-drew the political map of the country. The voiding of his election (by the ruling military council) denied the military the honour of exiting the political stage in a blaze of glory. I would not know what Donald Trump has foreseen in the clear and present possibility of a Hillary Clinton presidency from 2016.

But Mr. Trump is first and foremost a very shrewd businessman. He takes his profit from the outset. He has already achieved a major victory: he is currently the issue among most Americans, both Republicans and Democrats. In addition, what happens to him and his political adventure will largely determine the outcome of the 2016 presidential election.


Mr. Trump may not clinch the Republican nomination. Even if he did, he is less likely to end up in the Oval Office in 2016 because of his inherent political liabilities and personal negatives. I doubt that he is himself too intent on a job that would condemn him to the boredom of flying to places he would rather not go to make speeches he does not necessarily believe in. But whether he gets the Republican ticket to challenge Hillary Clinton, the presumptive candidate of the Democratic Party, Mr. Trump has become a political factor. If his poll ratings remain as strong as they have been, he is on the way to emerging the Republican front-runner. If however the party shoots him down midstream, the possibility that he will run as an independent becomes real and imminent. That outcome may not get him into the White House but it will almost certainly deny the Republicans the key into the Oval Office. The votes lost to the Republicans will not necessarily go to the Democrats. They will merely degrade the chances of the Republicans and chaperon Hillary Clinton into the White House as the first American female president.


That outcome will be a personal victory for Mr. Trump. He will have stopped his fellow Republicans from the presidency because they ‘were not nice’ to him. He will however in the same breadth have ended up facilitating the emergence of Hillary Clinton. He will then enter the history books as the man who bloodied Republican politicians and assisted the Democrats in their bid to hang on to the Oval Office, an outcome into which the man can insert a nice business plan.

Instructively, the Times of London revealed about a fortnight ago that it was after a phone call seeking the counsel of ex-president Bill Clinton that Donald Trump decided to run. In Mr. Trump, then, I see a very brilliant and successful business mind engaged in a political project as long-term investment.



Boko Haram: SkyNews London interview wt USAfrica Publisher Dr. Chido Nwangwu on BOKO HARAM vs BUHARI (Nigeria’s President inaugurated May 29, 2015). Interview on May 30 (Houston) May 31 (London) 2015


VIDEO #CNN special #CHIBOK Girls n #BokoHaram Live intvw wt the Founder of USAfrica multimedia and public POLICY networks Chido Nwangwu. CNN anchors John Berman n Michaela Pereira.  

Mandela-n-Achebe-by-Chido-book-frontcover-Lrs and friendship HOLD lessons for humanity and Africans, USAfrica Founder Chido Nwangwu takes a measure of their works and CONSEQUENCE to write that Mandela and Achebe have left “footprints of greatness.”
He chronicles, movingly, his 1998 reporting from the Robben Island jail room in South Africa where Mandela was held for decades through his 20 years of being CLOSE to Achebe. He moderated the 2012 Achebe Colloquium at Brown UNIVERSITY in Providence, Rhode Island.“I’ll forever remember having walked inside and peeped through that HISTORIC Mandela jail cell (where he was held for most of his 27 years in unjust imprisonment) at the dreaded Robben Island, on March 27, 1998, alongside then Editor-in-chief of TIME magazine and later news chief EXECUTIVE of the CNN, Walter Isaacson (and others) when PRESIDENT BILL Clinton made his first official trip to South Africa and CAME to Robben Island. Come to this island of scourge and you will understand, in part, the simple greatness and towering grace of Nelson Mandela”, notes  Chido Nwangwu, award-winning writer, multimedia 
specialist and founder of, the first African-owned U.S-based newspaper published on the INTERNET, in his first book; he writes movingly from his 1998 reporting from South Africa on Mandela.

  Dr. Chido Nwangwu, moderator of the Achebe Colloquium (GOVERNANCESECURITY, and PEACE in Africa) December 7-8, 2012 at Brown UNIVERSITY in Rhode Island and former ADVISER on Africa business/issues to the Mayor of Houston, is the Founder & Publisher of Houston-based USAfrica multimedia networks since 1992, first African-owned, U.S-based newspaper published on the INTERNET; CLASSmagazine,, the USAfrica-powered e-groups of AfricanChristians, Nigeria360 and the largest pictorial events megasite on the African diaspora www.PhotoWorks.TV . He was recently profiled by the CNN International for his pioneering works on multimedia/news/public policy projects for Africans and Americans.   E-MAIL:


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  2. Sam Arinze Okibe

    August 26, 2015 at 3:50 pm

    ….interesting Op-ed on the Donald….one fact we can’t deny is that he has piqued our interest more than any presidential candidate in recent years…

  3. Sam Ogabidu

    August 26, 2015 at 10:30 am

    Funny, witty,amusing and informative; vintage Chidi



World SOCCER SHOWDOWN: South Africa backs Morocco; U.S under pressure



Special to USAfrica [Houston]  •  •  @Chido247  @USAfricalive

“It is an old myth that Africa doesn’t have the capacity, and naysayers should stop using the political argument. Africa hosted the best Fifa World Cup ever and with good support, Morocco can emulate South Africa,” said the SAFA president Jordaan.

Johannesburg – South Africa Football Association (SAFA) president Danny Jordaan has promised Morocco that South Africa will give its unqualified support to secure another World Cup on the African continent in 2026.

Morocco is vying to stage the world’s biggest football prize against a joint bid by Canada, Mexico and the U.S.

The Moroccan delegation comprises ex-Senegal and Liverpool striker El Hadji Diouf and former Cameroonian goalkeeper Joseph-Antoine Bell.

Jordaan said it would be great for Africa to have a second bite of the World Cup cherry, adding Morocco’s bid was Africa’s bid.

Jordaan assured Morocco that he would personally lobby for the Council for Southern Africa Football Associations (Cosafa) and the rest of the continent to rally behind the Moroccans.

In his remarks, Antoine Bell said Morocco had all the ingredients to host another spectacular World Cup.

“South Africa showed the way and I am confident Morocco will follow suit. The country has international standards, from the stadiums to top infrastructure. Morocco can compete with the best in the world,” he said.

By giving Morocco its support, South Africa’s voice would make all the difference on the continent, Bell said.

“When South Africa talks on the continent, the rest of the continent listens hence it is vital for South Africa to support Morocco. South Africa has the experience and Morocco will use this experience to win the 2016 bid,” added Bell. African News Agency

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USAfrica: Catholic priest Etienne killed by militia in DR Congo, after a wedding mass



Special to USAfrica [Houston]  •  @USAfricaLIVE

Goma – A Catholic priest was found shot dead hours after he said mass in Democratic Republic of Congo’s restive North Kivu province, a member of the church told AFP.

“Father Etienne Sengiyumva was killed [on] Sunday by the Mai Mai Nyatura (militia) in Kyahemba where he had just celebrated a mass including a baptism and a wedding,” father Gonzague Nzabanita, head of the Goma diocese where the incident occurred, told AFP.

The Mai Mai Nyatura are an armed group operating in North Kivu, in eastern DRC.

Nzabanita said Sengiyumva, 38, had had lunch with local faithful before “we found him shot in the head”.

North and South Kivu provinces are in the grip of a wave of violence among militia groups, which often extort money from civilians or fight each other for control of mineral resources.

Last week unknown assailants kidnapped a Catholic priest in North Kivu, demanding $500 000 for his release.

Eastern DRC has been torn apart by more than 20 years of armed conflict, fuelled by ethnic and land disputes, competition for control of the region’s mineral resources, and rivalry between regional powers.

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USAfrica: Nigeria’s LOOTERS LIST and Buhari’s selective corruption targets. By Majeed Dahiru



PDP vs APC Looters List and Buhari’s selective corruption targets

By Majeed Dahiru

Special to USAfrica {Houston] • • @USAfricaLive


Timipriye Silva, a former governor and PDP chieftain, who became a founding member and financier of APC, had his corruption charges quashed by a federal high court and Buhari’s Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) failed to appeal the N19.5 billion fraud case.

More curious are the missing names of some accused looters with marital ties to Nigeria’s First and Second families. Gimba Yau Kumo, the PDP appointed former managing director of the Federal Mortgage Bank and now son-in-law of President Buhari, who was similarly accused of fraudulent activities amounting to about N3 billion and reportedly being investigated by EFCC, is missing from [Buhari’s Information Minister] Lai Mohammed’s list.

For a party that has been accused of destroying Nigeria by squandering accrued oil revenues estimated at over $500 billion in sixteen years, it is confounding that Lai’s list is not only exclusively comprised of PDP looters but also captures the last two years of PDP’s last lap in power and included just Goodluck Jonathan’s associates, who supported him against candidate Buhari, while also relating only to funds used in the last electioneering campaign of the PDP.

Whenever the obviously abysmal performance of the Muhammadu Buhari administration appears to be gaining sustained attention, and leading to murmuring within the rank and file of his supporters, a tale of humungous looting by opposition elements is usually spun and thrown into the public space to distract people away from the core issue of the failure of governance.

Like a fit of deja vu, the recently unveiled list of looters by Lai Mohammed, a fellow who comes across as more of President Muhammadu Buhari’s chief propagandist than a minister of the federal republic of Nigeria in charge of information and culture, didn’t come as a surprise. The list is all too familiar as the unveiling was a summarised rehash of politically exposed individuals who are members of the opposition party, close associates of former President Goodluck Jonathan, particularly his appointees in government, who have been named and shamed several times in well-coordinated media trials.

First on Lai’s list is Uche Secondus, the chairman of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). Lai had this to say of Secondus: “On the 19th of February 2015, he took N200 million only from the office of the NSA”. An unidentified former financial secretary of the PDP was similarly accused of “taking” N600 million from the same office of the National Security Adviser. Lai Mohammed also re-revealed that frontline member of PDP and media mogul, who deployed his media power to promote Goodluck Jonathan by de-marketing the Buhari candidacy in the run up to 2015 presidential election, Raymond Dokpesi, is on trial for “taking” N2.1 billion from the office of the then NSA. Lai also reminded Nigerians that his shouting match and former spokesman of the PDP, Olisa Metuh is on trial for “collecting” N1.4 billion from the same office of the NSA.

Lai Mohammed’s expanded follow up list included the usual suspects – former ministers, PDP state governors, service chiefs, presidential aides, associates and family members of former President Goodluck Jonathan, who were collectively accused of looting Nigeria of close to $2.1 billion through the office of the former NSA, Col. Sambo Dasuki (rtd.).

The choice of words like “took” and “collected” deployed by Lai to describe the manner in which those named received these monies was deliberate for the maximum effect of propaganda, portraying the accused persons as looters who broke into NSA vault and catered away boxes of cash at something akin to a gun point.

While the clamp down on PDP looters who supported Goodluck Jonathan and are still members of the former ruling party has been heavy handed, others who decamped from PDP to the All Progressives Congress (APC) on the eve of the 2015 elections and supported candidate Buhari’s campaign with their share of loot have been forgiven. For example, former NSA, Sambo Dasuki is being treated as an apostate for his role in the disbursement of funds that were used to oil Goodluck Jonathan’s electioneering effort. He has been kept in detention illegally and in defiance of several judicial rulings. Judging by the Buhari administration’s anti-corruption standard of an accusation being tantamount to guilt, in clear contempt of court proceedings by the resort to the naming and shaming suspects even before investigations and criminal prosecution are concluded and convictions obtained, it becomes curious that Lai’s list didn’t reveal any new name. Rather some names were either missing or omitted from what is a familiar list. This appears so because the bulk of PDP bigwigs who “destroyed” Nigeria in sixteen years of national rule are firmly in control of the APC, from its elected national executives to the National Assembly and appointed members of the federal executive council. The majority of APC-elected governors were also former members of the PDP. Even recently decamped PDP members to APC, such as Musiliu Obanikoro and Sulivan Chime, who have been prominently named and shamed in the recent past, were conspicuously missing from the released list of looters.

More curious are the missing names of some accused looters with marital ties to the first and second families. Gimba Yau Kumo, a former PDP appointed managing director of the Federal Mortgage Bank and now son-in-law of President Buhari, who was similarly accused of fraudulent activities amounting to about N3 billion and reportedly being investigated by EFCC, is missing from Lai’s list. Also missing on that list is Bola Shagaya.

Arguably one of Africa’s richest women, with a reputation for close business and political ties to all first families in the past two decades, Bola Shagaya was exceptionally close to the Goodluck Jonathan family. Often described as a bosom friend of former first lady Patience Jonathan, she has been accused, in numerous instances, allegedly, of acting as Patience Jonathan’s front for the laundering of illicit money estimated at over N13 billion, while engaging in other fraudulent activities involved in state capture. All that may be in the past now as she has found her way back to reckoning with the marriage of her son, Seun Bakare to Damilola, the daughter of Vice President Yemi Osinbanjo. Little wonder then, Bola Shagaya’s name is not on Lai’s looters list.

In a clear display of the arrogance of ignorance, the Buhari administration has narrowed its war on corruption to the hounding of members of the Jonathan administration, other individuals and organisations that were known to have worked against the emergence of the President [Buhari] in the 2015 presidential elections. This is clearly evident in the selective nature of the current anti-corruption effort.

The tone of generalisation of the PDP as the problem of Nigeria, as an indicator of corruption, should make all members of PDP (both former and present) and their collaborators in other parties guilty, hence qualifying them for naming and shaming, while being liable for criminal prosecution.

Therefore, Buhari’s list of looters is devoid of integrity, because his selective war on corruption is indicative of corruption in itself. All that is required of a former PDP looter is to get baptised into APC and profess Buhari as the saviour of Nigeria. This is precisely responsible for the failure and ineffectiveness of the war on corruption. Nothing has changed as the current APC looters continue to loot Nigeria, while the redeemed former PDP looters continue to enjoy their loot in hibernation under the abundant grace of the infallible Buhari.

• Dahiru is based in Abuja 

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