Every month of September annually global leaders usually gather at the United Nations headquarters in New York, the US, for the UN General Assembly sessions. Leaders in attendance, including those from Africa, are always billed to address the world and meet and familiarise with each other. President Joe Biden is participating for the first time in this year's 76th edition having been sworn in in January.
His remarks were impressive as he hammered on the need for a COVID-less world and the one with controlled human-friendly climate. Promising to release billions of dollars to help fight the Coronavirus pandemic and climate change, President Biden demonstrated America's leadership in a turbulent world.
Again, the US President commended the Zambian youths for effecting a positive democratic change in their country by electing Hakainde Hichilema as their new President. He declared that the democratic world existed everywhere pushed by the youthful anti-corruption militants and human rights advocates. He made it clear that the best way to usher in change and remove a government found wanting was through the ballot box.
Conspicuously absent from the New York event is the charismatic French President, Emmanuel Macron, a self-professed champion of multilateralism, who sent in his Foreign Affairs Minister, Jean Yves Le Drian, to represent him. President Macron is presently locked in a diplomatic feud with the United States, Australia and Britain. Macron had recalled his Ambassador in Washington, Philippe Etienne, and the one posted in Australia to vigorously protest the way France was treated by London, Canberra and Washington over a submarine contract gone sour.
Some years ago Australia had signed a multi-billion dollar-contract with France for the supply of some submarine vessels. But recently Australia had renounced the contract signing a fresh one with America with active support of Britain. The difference between the contract annulled and the new one signed is that while the French contract had nothing to do with nuclear arsenal the American version involved the submarines with nuclear armament.
By snubbing the 76th UNGA, President Macron sent a strong message of French discontent. Recently however, he had a telephonic chat with President Biden and issues are being ironed out. The French fury over the loss of what was described as "the contract of the century" valued at 56 billion Euros was understandable hence the rapid intervention of the POTUS to re-assure France as a European reliable ally.
Equally absent is the deposed Guinean President, Alpha Conde. After suffering a bloody insurrection that culminated in a coup d'etat led by the erstwhile imposing Commander of the Special Forces, Colonel Mamady Doumouya, Prof. Conde, 83, under house arrest was reported to be erratic whenever he saw the new Head of State on the state television. Some electronic appliances had to be removed from the room where he lives to avoid any violent eventuality.
Paranoid, the old man was said to have asked for his confiscated mobile phones and his laptop saying that he had to complete the editing of the message he had to deliver at the current UNGA! Talk of dementia or paranoia! Up until now Conde has not fully digested the fact that he had been ousted from power. The same thing happened to the late Liberian Samuel Doe when he was captured and being tortured in Monrovia.
President Muhammadu Buhari is in New York accompanied by a huge entourage. Ordinarily, Nigeria as the giant of Africa should be speaking officially for the poor continent but given our nasty home issues and leadership mediocrity, Buhari is seen generally by his counterparts across the globe as a misfit.
The South African President, Cyril Ramaphosa, is more considered and respected. As a leader of a great country wracked by terrorism, poverty and internal dispute bordering on secessionist campaigns, Buhari has nothing to offer the wider world. Thank goodness ex-President Donald Trump who once described him as "lifeless" is no longer in power.
The Nigerian President is billed to address the world this weekend. And there is this planned NINAS 'Million-Man Freedom March' on September 14th and 15th opposite the United Nations Headquarters in New York. As President Buhari would be speaking, some Nigerians would be 'speaking' of the ills of their society thereby countering whatever the President would say in terms of leading Nigeria aright.
The Nigerians would be demonstrating against human rights abuses and other atrocities being committed by the Buhari regime. Again, they would be calling for a referendum to determine who wants to stay in Nigeria and who wants to opt out voluntarily. And the so-called 'One-Nigeria' hired group could equally be present marshalling their arguments for unity in diversity.
In New York there were these scenes of shame as pro and anti-Buhari demonstrators slugged it out. We had 'exported' our national chaos and anarchy to the outside world. While some concerned folks were genuinely protesting at the American glittering city, telling the world how Buharism had destroyed the country, other hired folks were singing his praise!
According to reports online the two oppossing groups clashed to deliver messages of hope and despair to the outside world. The rented pro-Buhari mob was led by one Emmanuel Duara while the contract for recruitment of participants was given to one Haruna Bello, a US-based government contractor. He was said to have paid the useful idiots (nay, 'patriots') some dollars ranging from 50 to 150 depending on the hours of active participation.
Bello was captured on video online with the 'terrorist' Minister Ali Pantami. And in another video Shehu 'Garbage', the Special Media Assistant to President Buhari, was passing by ostensibly expressing his solidarity!
The Buhari regime, aware of its failure to provide security for the homeland, has since resorted to hiring crowds to drum up support for its impotence. But we know the truth and that undeniable truth remains that Buharism has failed the primary purpose of governance to wit: the provision of security for lives and properties. The overall welfare of the people, Nigerians, constitutes something insignificant in the parochial divisive tribalistic policies of the federal government.
In the Big Apple the shame of a nation was exposed! It had happened before in London as opposing protesters clashed over Buhari's failures at home as the underwhelming President was busy taking good care of his fragile health while doctors were on strike back home! This time Nigerians in the American diaspora were demanding a referendum on the way forward. While those hired were harping on unity in diversity and the efforts of the President to maintain peace and orderliness amidst overwhelming security challenges, the white audience know us better than we know ourselves.
The clash over Buhari in New York must have sent positive and negative messages across the world. Positive in the sense that there are Nigerians out there who still see hope and light in these moments of obscurity. Even though they were hired we believe that there are our compatriots who still see Buhari as a 'messiah'!
Negative, on the other hand, however, in the sense that the Igbohos and Kanus of this world are not alone in their violent separatist crusades. Nigeria, we persist, must be renegotiated for every Adam and Eve to feel part of the nationhood.
Buhari is a failure and the world must take notice. If Nigeria should 'die' tomorrow in his hands then let it not be said, like the Rwandese genocide, in Paris, Washington, London or elsewhere that the global community were not sufficiently informed of the crisis or disaster waiting to happen.