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OBAMA’S VICTORY, OUR HYPOCRISY

By

CHRIS EDACHE AGBITI, ESQ.*
 Published December 2nd, 2008

 

November 4th, 2008 will undoubtedly go down in world history as epoch making. It was a day that signposted the final internment of the age long divisive philosophy that held one race superior to another (apology to the Legend, Bob Marley); it was a day the entire world came together, irrespective of creed and religion, to recite Dunc Dimitis (however, not with long faces) for the monster of racial discrimination that had for long defined the political climate of America but now chased away; it was the day Barack Hussein Obama won with landslide, the U.S Presidential election.

The U.S. Presidential Election has come and gone but the echoes of it continue to reverberate in every nook and cranny of Africa especially in Kenya where Obama traces his patrilineal descent from. The euphoria of Obama’s victory will for long continue its ripples in the Negroid race of Africa.

However, the point is worth making that for the Americans, the euphoria of joy sweeping through their entire nation is understandable: that at last, someone who has a clear vision and a good grasp of the issues that need to be addressed to restore U.S. lost glory, consequent upon the lack-lustre performance of the out-going President, was not held back from realizing that ambition by prejudices. But for Africans, what other reason beside the sentimental consideration that a fellow brother African now becomes President of U.S., can we adduce to bedrocks our own euphoria on the election of Obama? If one may ask, what business do African countries together with their stinking leaders have in rejoicing over Obama’s victory at the U.S. poll when we know in our hearts of hearts that we will never allow the kind of system that has produced Obama in U.S. election to be replicated in our own land? Or are we under a delusion that with Obama’s presidency African countries shall wake up one morning, like the fabled Alice in wonderland and find all the good things of life in sufficiency for all as obtain in the western world, even while our leaders and people continue in their culture of greed, corruption, ethnic hostilities and all such practices antithetical to the dictate of modern civilization?

It bears repeating to state here that it borders on crass hypocrisy for African countries such as Zambia, Ivory Coast, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Nigeria et al, to rejoice over Obama’s victory even when they are all still involved in various acts of prejudices, this time around, not even against a coloured person but against their own black brothers. We have witnessed instances as in Zambia where the first post independent Kenneth Kaunda had his citizenship withdrawn on the allegation that his ancestry is somewhere in another African country! Similar acts have played out in Ivory Coast and Nigeria (Shugaba’s case). The Xenophobic hostilities in South Africa and Zimbabwe are all still fresh in our memories.

Africans must be reminded not to expect too much from the presidency of Obama any more than they expected from the presidency of Bill Clinton. Our only obvious claim to Obama is his blood ties to his Kenyan father. But we must call to memory that for all the time the elder Obama lived, his conduct in juxtaposition to what Obama Jr. is and stands for today shows in very lucid details those sad commentaries of a pure bred African man The elder Obama came to America and deceitfully led Obama’s mother into marriage even while he was already married to another Kenya woman back home. He was to later abandon Obama’s mother and returned to Kenya, leaving young Obama in the care of his maternal grand parents in American. It was recorded that he died drunk-driving. If Obama’s father were to be alive, one imagines that he too may be rejoicing just like the other African leaders are hypocritically doing.

We must stop deceiving ourselves. It is high time we told ourselves a few home truths. What ever Obama is today or stands for, he owes it all to the American society. If he were to be brought up in Kenya, his fatherland, with all his seeming immeasurable grace of intelligence, he would have ended up, at best, as a very brilliant but frustrated university don holed up somewhere in one of our glorified secondary schools, called university, like many other frustrated 'Obamas' in our African society today . The American society that shaped Obama to become what he is to day places a higher premium of kinship of ideas over and above that of blood. That explains the acceptance of Oboma’s candidature across racial divides.

If Obama were not of the rare breed of mankind (who recreates themselves independent of genetic force) he would not even be identifying his African root. It is only for Obama’s high sense of humility and decency that he does so and I commend him for it.

Africans must be reminded that as we cheer Obama’s victory, we must cast away that extra baggage of hypocrisy and begin to reflect on the need for us to home-grow a system similar to what obtains in the U.S. that has made possible the Obama phenomenon. The world today is ruled by ideas. It is not enough for us bank on blood kinship to Obama and think that that alone will be the open sesame to our El Dorado. In today’s modern world, kinship of ideas, as aforesaid, rather than of blood or ethnicity is one of the driving force of attraction. In doing so, we must remind ourselves that until we jettison that negative attitude that encourages subjugation of fellow man rather than our environment which is what the white man has effectively achieved, we shall continue in our collective grope.


*CHRIS EDACHE AGBITI, ESQ. IS A PORT-HARCOURT BASED ATTORNEY IN THE FIRM OF THE AMAZING GRACE PARTNERS, No 320, (IZZI CORPORATE SUIT), ABA ROAD, PORT-HARCOURT
 


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