President Barak Obama’s return to the White House may be seen as an American show, but former Abia State Governor, Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu, called it the Nigerian dream. Dream in the sense that there is, according to Kalu, so much of America in Nigeria.
Kalu said: “For the first time, nearly the entire Nigerian population watched the U.S. elections. President Obama and Mitt Romney debated, united against Sandy, went back to campaign and came out clean. Mr. President hailed his opponent, Romney congratulated him and life goes on. This is what Nigerians expect in 2015.”
The former governor drank from Obama’s ‘Change We Can’ slogan, toasting to American Nigerian historical similarities. “They fought a civil war from 1861-1865,ours lasted from 1967-1970. Andrew Johnson, a southern Senator, supported the union and was rewarded with the position of war governor of Tennessee in 1962. Ukpabi Asika from the East supported the federals and was appointed administrator of East Central state in 1967. We have a lot in common and change we can too,” Kalu stated.
He was not done. “There is so much between America’s 22nd president, Steven Grover Cleveland and Chief Olusegun Obasanjo. Both ruled, left office, and came back. Cleveland first came in 1885, and left in 1889, Obasanjo took his turn between 1976-1979. Now wait for this, “Kalu added. “Cleveland’s Second term was from1893-1897, just like Obasanjo’s second term as president ran between 2003 -2007.Then this one. Cleveland was born in 1837, Obasanjo came exactly 100 years later in 1937.” Continuing, Kalu said: “Cleveland assumed office as a bachelor until he married Frances Folsom in 1886. Sounds like General Yakubu Gowon, bachelor when he became Head of State in 1966.
He would later marry Victoria Zakari. Kalu is right. The Americans say theirs is God’s own country. In Nigeria, there is God’s own state, Abia, which incidentally is Kalu’s home state. While Nigerians dream, Kalu hopes that in the 2015 presidential elections, a compatriot of Igbo extraction would get a call on Obama’s hotline, and shout hello Mr. President, change we can.