Thursday, July 09, 2009

Obama visits Ghana, Snubs Nigeria

Nigerians lament the choice of Ghana as President Barack Obama’s first port of call on the highly popular first Black American President’s first official visit to Sub-Saharan Africa. Ghana, which enjoys relative peace and stability, seems a natural choice over the chaotic and fractious situations in Nigeria, South Africa and Kenya, other countries deemed to have been considered for the historic visit.

Nigeria, which touts itself as the giant of Africa has been stifled and plagued with civil strife and unrests in the Niger Delta and still struggles with its democratic process with many of its public officials indicted in gross acts of corruption and various numerous crimes. During the presidential campaign of Mr. Obama, the chairman of the Nigerian Security and Exchange Commission was indicted for illegally collecting what was sold as contributions to aid the Obama candidacy despite the clearly spelled out disclaimer on the Obama website that foreign donations were not eligible.

The apparent snubbing of Nigeria by the Obama administration is appropriate. Obama should not be rubbing shoulders with the criminals and thugs that make the majority of the Nigerian public officials and politicians.