The exemplary conduct of Imam Abubakar Abdullahi, the 83-year-old Muslim cleric who put his life on the line to save about 300 persons, mostly Christians, from murderous herdsmen in Nghar Village in Gashish District of Barkin Ladi Local Government Area of Plateau State, is commendable. His patriotic act is a reminder of our common humanity…
According to William Shakespeare in Henry V, “There is some soul of goodness in things evil, will men observingly distill them.” Today, throughout the world, a seeming evil in all ramifications is American President Donald Trump. Whatever his good cause or intention attracts no notice let alone sympathy.
In fact, as the world’s most powerful man completes his first year in office, Donald Trump exhumes the notoriety of Adolf Hitler. Even among fellow Americans, Trump is perceived as dangerously calculating, recklessly blunt and crudely manipulative. Expectedly, the man is controversial and despised at home and abroad.
However, critically examined, President Trump is largely discharging the obligation of his office – to ensure the security of United States homeland after the experiences of 9/11. The truth is that in a world of mutual co-operation, no eventual head of government ever went to the electorate without pledging national interest even if not openly saying so. Trump was one of such since the last world war. The pivot of his campaign was “America First,” an emotive issue he maintains till today, after one year in office.
Was there any reason for theAmerican leader to exploit the fear and biases of the innocent, the ignorant and the prejudiced among the intelligentsia? Trump was uninhibited that suspected criminals would be deported, refused tourist visa and denied immigrant prospects. He was clear and distinct much to the applause of his audience at every campaign stop.
It, however, has to be stated that apart from routine proclamation, there were existing laws Donald Trump relied on.
What was absent was the will of previous American presidents to enforce the laws, in the fear of attracting criticisms at home and abroad.
If, therefore, President Trump came and did the unusual, he could only be honouring his campaign pledge.
Who enacted the laws? Trump’s predecessor(s) and serving congressmen and women. If they never wanted the laws as they are pretending today, why (did they) enact the laws in the first place? Even if President Trump initiated the Patriot Act (which was not the case), why did the Congress pass it? The difference is that Trump is straightforward and open, even if a racist as alleged. On the other hand, his fellow politicians are hypocrites and more dangerous to society.
The Patriot Act confers on the President powers to deport criminals or suspects.Terrorists’ threat posed to the security of the United States at home and abroad makes it legitimate for the country to take stern measures against every potentiality. Such powers are not limited to the United States. A few years ago, Britain deported a naturalised Briton of Arab descent back to Jordan, his home country of origin, following his penchant for inciting hate speeches at daily and Friday sermons in England.
Britain also operates a general deportation law under which two women who had lived in Britain illegally were sanctioned. In February 2017, Irene Clennel, aged 53, who had lived in Britain for almost 30 years and legally married with two sons, was deported to her country, Singapore, despite the fact that she was taking care of her gravely-ill husband. Noticeably, the woman was not even a terrorist but an illegal immigrant. Her long stay in the country did not save her.
Another illegal immigrant who had lived in Britain for at least 50 years, Paullette Wilson, a grandmother, was detained at an immigration centre to be deported to her country in West Indies. Her saving grace was the intervention of the British Liberal newspaper, the GUARDIAN, which mounted a major campaign for her permanent stay. In Britain, that power of deportation are exercised by ordinary ministers.
What therefore is Donald Trump’s crime in enforcing an existing power of deportation, the type of which is routinely exercised in good old Britain?
Who is more dangerous, a direct talking Donald Trump or pretentious rival Democrats? For the records, Trump’s predecessor, Barack Obama, deported more foreigners than any American president in history. The same liberal Barack Obama, within his eight-year tenure, ordered more drone assassination operations in history, both according to analysts on the Cable News Network (CNN). Indeed, when Obama ordered the armed operation which took out Osama Bin Laden, it was generally regarded as a relief. But if that same operation had occurred under Donald Trump, such would have been cause for protests all over the world, including the United States, only because he is Donald Trump.
Throughout his campaign, Donal Trump repeatedly drummed “America First,” especially on all matters of security. A source of crime rate in United States is the indulgence granted to foreigners. Every country is infested with crime rate by indigenes and necessary measures in placed aimed at reforming the criminals. It is a different matter when foreigners, especially illegal immigrants glorified as undocumented, took the advantage as license to commit murders, rapes, assassinations and various financial crimes. Before Donald Trump was elected president, illegals, specifically from neighboring Mexico, revelled in committing murder, rape and assassinations.
They were, to worsen matters, foreigners awaiting regularisation of their papers. Ideally, such should be of good conduct, at least, till they attained full American citizenship. Even after full citizenship, they must justify their new status with continued good conduct. America operates very liberal laws on crimes. Bail and parole are meant to be human face of criminal prosecution.
Unfortunately, Mexicans enjoying these privileges while standing trial repeat the same offence(s). Do such fellows deserve to live in a decent society? Only Donald Trump made it clear during the campaigns that such violators of temporary freedom would be deported. Or which country in the world would accommodate such recidivists? Most likely, Mexico has the largest concentration of immigrants in the United States. Mexicans are mostly Christians, specifically Catholics. All President Trump is making clear is that he has a duty to ensure the security of the lives and property of his fellow Americans who put him in office, and that any foreigner, Muslim or Christian, who commits criminal offense will be deported.
That is the mildest condition a host country can give a naturalised citizen. America’s case against Muslims even deserves sympathy and understanding America’s policy against Muslim nations may be discriminatory (in matters of dealing with Israel). Should that be a reason for virtually declaring war on the most powerful country in the world, thereby endangering the lives of innocent non-Americans visiting or resident in the United States?
In that case, any American government also has a duty to secure its homeland and citizens against terrorism. One of the ways for such security is to refuse entry (to) or expel any potential criminal. The erstwhile laxity of easy entry for almost every intending visitor or settled resident result in the tragedy of 9/11 in which over three thousand lives were lost at the Trade Centre in New York. Such a bereaved nation should be expected to firm up its immigration rules and regulations.
You don’t have to be an American or President Trump to sympathise with the country on their imperative for survival.
Nigerians were among those who died in the 9/11 tragedy in New York. To then see a misguided Nigerian Muslim, only years later, arrested for a failed plane bombing on a Christmas day in America was an anti-climax. Even then, President Trump was careful not to treat Nigeria as a Muslim country (which it is not) to be black-listed for a travel ban. That concession should convince Nigerians that those being refused entry are mainly those with the risk of potential terrorism.
Scores of thousands of Nigerians are residents of United States, living or studying in the country. They are not in any way hindered, as long as they are law-abiding, the only stipulation of any country all over the world. But then, Nigerian media, as the need arises, report our fellow citizens (Muslims and Christians from the South) arrested, prosecuted and convicted for various offences – rape, murder, or series of financial crimes, especially credit cards fraud. These are unemployed crooks, pharmacists or medical doctors fiddling prescription charges to defraud the state. It is quite legitimate for any country to impose punitive measures including conviction and deportation.
First in Africa
There is God, definitely. A day after former President Olusegun Obasanjo released what he and his desperate co-thinkers thought was their letter of poison, African Union announced its intention to, very soon, inaugurate Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari as Anti-Corruption Champion in/of Africa.
Indisputably, Buhari is, henceforth, First in Africa, until any other leader similarly earns that honour. Meanwhile, the man can indulge in sound sleep.
His new names are Muhammadu OLORUNWA BUHARI.
•Next week: Regret on Buhari or Jonathan?