It was announced 18th December that the 45th President of the United States, President Donald J. Trump has been impeached by the American House of Representatives.
It was news heard around the world because it had been a long time coming. After Trump asked Ukraine to look into the affairs of his political rival, former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter against the 2020 presidential election, he was accused of abusing his power causing the Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi to raise two articles of impeachment against Trump.
The first article charges him with abuse of power for pressuring Ukraine to assist him in his re-election campaign by damaging Democratic rivals. The second article charges him with obstruction of Congress for blocking testimony and refusing to provide documents in response to House subpoenas in the impeachment inquiry. Bearing in mind that there are still allegations that Russia meddled in the 2016 election in favour of Trump, an allegation both Trump and Russian President, Vladimir Putin have vehemently denied.
Both the impeachment inquest and Russian meddling has been divided along party lines even from day one, while the Democrats controlled House has continued to oppose Trump and his alleged abuse of power, the Republican controlled Senate have been unwavering in their support for him.
The impeachment have been tagged a witch hunt by both the White House and Republicans with Republican Majority Leader Mitch McConnell who has the upper hand in setting the rules saying he will coordinate with the President’s team in doing so. Suffice to say that Trump is expected to be fully acquitted when he goes to trial in the Senate.
What this whole scenario simply means is that Trump remains the President of the United States of America and remains a viable contender in the coming 2020 election. The impeachment will only serve as a dent on his record since he is only the third of 45 Presidents to be impeached coming behind Andrew Johnson in 1868 and Bill Clinton in 1998, Trump however is the first Republican President to be impeached.
While all of these were going on, it seemed no one was happier about the news of Trump’s impeachment than Nigerians who took to various social media platforms especially Twitter to air their views. Impeachment immediately shot to the top of Nigeria’s Twitter trends, a lot of people were confused as to what was going on.
While some thought the news meant Trump was out of the office which should make it easier for them to emigrate to America, others wondered why we are always more enthusiastic about foreign issues than we are about ours.
Some commentators however tried to draw a parallel between the Nigerian government and American government, seeing that Trump’s alleged offenses so far pales in comparison to the consistent lapse in judgment and gross human rights violations that have bedeviled this administration. Some people lamented that while we have a dictator in power who has done nothing but increase the agony of Nigerians for nearly five years, we have been unable to do anything about it and our representatives are more focused on mass censorship than they are on doing the right thing. Whereas America with bigger landmass, more population and a working system is already taking action on what can be considered little infractions compared to what we have to deal with in Nigeria.
Meanwhile, the Democrat controlled House of Representatives in America has served as a system of checkmating the Republican power in America. In today’s Nigeria, Nigerians lack confidence in all the arms of government be it the Executive, Legislative or Judiciary arm.
While Americans can always count on at least one arm of the their government to fight for them and uphold their rights, who will bell the cat in Nigeria?
Funto Babawale, a public commentator writes from Lagos.