Special to USAfrica magazine (Houston) and USAfricaonline.com, first Africa-owned, US-based newspaper published on the Internet
Peter Obi, Coming to America. By Chido Nwangwu
Follow him on Twitter @Chido247
Coming to America is the successful 1988 movie of American romantic comedy and cultural interactions based on a story originally created by the superstar actor Eddie Murphy. I have watched this epic movie several times as it has so many things to say about the African heritage and American cultural differences.
Murphy played the lead role, as Akeem Joffer, the crown prince of Zamunda, a fictional African nation. He visits the United Statesb with hopes of meeting a woman he can marry for love, not status.
In some ways, Peter Obi’s latest visits and engagements in the diaspora seek to create a synergy with the global, trans-continental interests of millions of us in the diaspora with his pastel vision for Nigeria, a country in the clutches of exploding crises, murderous impunity and crippling incompetence of the leadership of the country of 220 million people.
Obi, technocrat and presidential candidate of the Labour Party, begins a set of lectures and exchanges across some key cities in the north American continent. I’ll classify those as the diaspora engagement and civic information strategy.
On Sunday, August 28, 2022, Obi’s first port of call and lectureship will be Ontario in Canada; followed by Los Angeles in California; Houston in Texas; Charlotte in North Carolina; Washington DC; Atlanta in Georgia; New York City. He will address such diverse organizations as Africa Business Club, Black Law Students Association, Columbia University. U.S. Chamber of Commerce, from a mix of Nigerian, African, American groups and coalitions.
On Wednesday August 31,2022 in Houston (the undisputed capital city of Nigerians in the American diaspora), I’ll have a one-on-one USAfricaLIVE interview with Mr. Peter Obi, the disruptive leader of the movement also known as “Obidients”.
My chat with Obi will seek, from the proverbial horse’s mouth, a “structure” and “capacity” assessment of his battle for the 2023 presidency of Nigeria. I’ll ask him (if by any possibilities he’s elected President), what would be the biggest problem to tackle first: insecurity/banditry/terrorism or economic hardships/inflation and existential needs such as the cost of a loaf of bread?
What he considers his biggest challenge? What is the single most important infrastructure that Nigeria needs, at this time?
How should we make the business relations between the United States, Nigeria and Africa work better for all of us?
What about the entrenched bigotry against Nigerians by other Nigerians? Why should a recent Nigerian immigrant live/reside or move to most parts of the U.S to live life, pursue happiness and liberty, and it’s a hill of beans to have an Effiong, Adanna, Kikelomo, Abdullahi to contest as local government chairperson or representative in other parts of Nigeria? For example, I can run for President of the United States, and get very good support without some privileged bumpkin and hatemonger telling me that I’m from the “wrong” part of the country!
Sadly, in Buhari’s Nigeria, some Nigerians are more equal than others. It is not the way of modern systems and progressive societies. It is especially remarkable that for the second highest position in the very influential and impbortant U.S Treasury department, Biden did not only pick an African-American he chose a Nigerian-American, Adewale Adeyemo.
I’ll like to know what he thinks of the jejune concept of “Emi lokan” — a Yoruba phrase which simply means “it’s my turn”, as being asserted by Buhari’s ruling APC’s presidential candidate Bola Ahmed Tinubu?
Does it mean Alhaji Tinubu’s “turn” (with his VP Alhaji Kashim Shettima) to extend or simply manage the catastrophic failures of the Buhari presidency from personal to economic insecurities, from ancient nepotism to divisive religious and ethnic preferential treatments, daily killings across all the zones/regions of Nigeria, the scandalous drop of the Naira in the parallel market. Especially, complicated by the scarcity of fuel and kerosine, the collapsing of airline services, mortal danger with road transportation and the murderous visitations of known and unknown gunmen have altered many of the geopoltical assumptions of the past 20 years. For the February 2023 presidential election, I think that Peter Obi is a game-changer with realistic vision, forward and strategem. •Dr. Chido Nwangwu, author of the forthcoming 2022 book, MLK, Mandela & Achebe: Power, Leadership and Identity., is Founder of the first African-owned, U.S-based newspaper on the internet, USAfricaonline.com, and established USAfrica in 1992 in Houston. He has appeared as an analyst on CNN, ALJazeera, SKYnews, and served as an adviser on Africa business to Houston’s former Mayor Lee Brown. Follow him on Twitter @Chido247