US elections Nigerians by birth, Americans by neglect

Nigerians are so engrossed in the US presidential elections while they neglect their own political system.

  • Published:
Trading floors around the world have been plunged into turmoil this week as market favourite Hillary Clinton's lead over maverick rival Donald Trump has been slashed days before the November 8 poll play

Trading floors around the world have been plunged into turmoil this week as market favourite Hillary Clinton's lead over maverick rival Donald Trump has been slashed days before the November 8 poll

(AFP)
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Today, Tuesday, November 8, 2016, is D-Day in America.

Irrespective of who wins the election history will be made. Hillary Clinton is on the cusp of being the first female president of the powerful nation in the world. If by chance Donald Trump wins, he will America's first dictator.

The whole world is tuned in right now to watch the elections including Nigerians. For months Nigerians have been hooked on the electoral machine and tweeting their opinions about the Democratic and Republican candidates. Nigerians have joined the global conversation about the who will be the 45th POTUS.

Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton play

Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton

(Reuters)

 

The interesting thing about Nigerians tweeting about Hillary or Donald Trump is you would think they are this invested in Nigerian politics. Yes, we tweet about Buhari, the recession and the wailing wailers but the percentage of people who do this are probably lesser than Nigerians tweeting about the US general elections.

President Buhari with Gov. Adams Oshiomhole in one of the classes of the newly commissioned Samuel Ogbemudia College in Benin on 7th Nov 2016 play

President Buhari with Gov. Adams Oshiomhole in one of the classes of the newly commissioned Samuel Ogbemudia College in Benin on 7th Nov 2016

(Vanguard)

 

Nigerians love to check what's over 'there' and forget what is in their own backyard. Yes, the US presidential election is a global event but the focus Nigerians put on it might just be a tad bit too much when in contrast local politics is neglected.

 

Apart from state governors and the President most Nigerians are oblivious of other elected officers in our political system. Who is your local government chairman? Who is your senator? The answer most times is a blank stare of a nonchalant shrug.

Nigeria's political structure is not as well defined as America's. If we are focused on the US election, it should be to learn from their system and how we can adapt it here.

 

Talking about the US elections just for laughs and entertainment is baseless. Unfortunately, the 2016 US election has been marred by Trump's trash TV antics. It hasn't really allowed for substantial issues to come out and be debated on. Still, there are a lot of things to be learnt from the Yankees. Unfortunately, it's the wrong things we are focused on.

 

Nigerians should know that politics for Americans does not happen every four years. The average American belongs to a political party and is involved in day-to-day party politics. How many Nigerians belong to political parties? How many Nigerians go to rallies? Politics is not bants in America, in Nigeria it mostly is sadly.

We are Nigerians by birth but in politics we are Americans neglecting our own political system.

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