I found this little factoid somewhere on the Internet the other day which this writer found interesting. Was anyone aware that President Donald Trump has a 60% approval rating… in Nigeria? That is according to a Pew Research survey conducted in January of this year. When asked why, a journalist from that country theorized that Nigerians like Trump’s candor, tough talk, and resilience.
But, wait! Wasn’t our President accused of calling countries like Nigeria “s%$t holes?” Apparently, if statistics are to believed, even Nigerians in Nigeria think Nigeria is a S%$ Hole. All those refugees leaving North Africa for Italy or points north are not all Libyan or even from North Africa at all. In 2017, 26 Nigerians drowned after their rubber raft capsized in the Mediterranean Sea. Of 181,000 refugees leaving Libya for Italy in 2016, more than 14,000 were Nigerian.
Speaking of surveys, another found that 45% of Nigerians say they plan to move to another country in the next five years. When other countries were surveyed on that question, no nation came even close. Most people flee s%$t hole countries as best I understand the dynamic.
Then there is that pesky travel ban that the Trump administration recently imposed on Nigeria. You would think that would cause crazy social media meltdowns and riots in the streets as hordes of Nigerians burnt Trump in effigy. The international media was aghast that Trump would single out Nigeria of all places. They sung the praises of Africa’s “largest economy” and their “booming tech sector.” But as good as all those things are for a country like Nigeria, they are also the home of Boko Haram, a despicable Islamic group that targets Christians and has vowed allegiance to what remains of ISIS. They are also the home of the infamous “underwear bomber,” not to mention the numerous Nigerian princes who prey on elderly call answerers. They are also the home of some Islamic cities in northern Nigeria whose citizens poured into the streets cheering the terrorists on 9/11.
Clearly, there are threats that can originate in Nigeria and even the Nigerians realize that fact. Trump is protecting Americans from nefarious Nigerians when perhaps Nigerians should be protecting fellow Nigerians from nefarious Nigerians. And guess what? Even Nigerians say that!
In fact, many are blaming their own government for the travel ban. Sure, they do not like it and many feel that everyone is suffering because of the sins of the few. But, they also realize that the Trump administration tried to work with Nigerian authorities for more than a year to upgrade their information-sharing procedures. Nigeria failed to meet the minimum requirements for verifying a person’s identity and singling out those who posed a threat. Such actions scream: “Travel ban!”
As for those other reasons- candor and tough talk- perhaps Nigerians admire the sometimes lack of decorum on the part of Trump. In that respect, if true, he shares a lot with your average African politician. Who knew Trump was more “African” than his predecessor?
Nigerians are a people proud of their country who are usually distrustful of their government. They respect leaders who are blunt, sincere, strong, nationalistic and tenacious. They are also largely Christian and wary of appeasing Islamic extremism. They like their leaders unfiltered and they dislike rehearsed puppets. Trump checks all those boxes and that explains the 60% approval rating. To Nigerians, Trump is the ultimate anti-Obama who never came close to 60% approval in that country…and he was half black!
Now if only 15% of African-Americans were as smart and observant as actual Africans, then Trump would have no problem winning in 2020.