Friday, April 07, 2006

A Little Respect

With almost a million square miles and a population of over 125 million people, the importance of Nigeria should not be overlooked. The country is Africa’s most populous, it has a GDP of over $130 billion, and it is the fifth largest oil producer in the world. Who could blame Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo for expecting a little respect on his recent trip to the United States? After all, diplomatic visits are a big deal. There are joint sessions of Congress to address, and trips to W’s ranch in Texas or to Camp David. The UN General Assembly is always good for a laugh and there’s always some American University willing to give away a fake degree. Then there are the public appearances. Between giving a speech to the National Press Club and the Sunday morning TV interview circuit, there’s a lot of respect to go around. After this trip, however, Olusegun may need to hire a new public relations outfit.

To start with, President Obesanjo’s big solo public appearance in New York was to discuss the African Fertilizer Conference. That registered a little low on the US Respect-o-Meter. Even worse, the conference is scheduled for June and it will be held back home in Nigeria. Not a lot of news or international respect in that. Not even a trip to Upper Volta. After handing out a press release on the value of compost to a reporter from Monthly Manure Digest in Rockefeller Center, he had plenty of time to finish the book he started back at the hotel room. This was particularly disappointing after the stop in Washington. Of course, the timing there could have been better.

The US Congress was busy arguing whether the New Orleans evacuation plan could be used as a model to evacuate 12 million people to Mexico. The local TV stations were busy arguing about who would play left field for the local baseball team. W was busy arguing with everyone else in the United States. As a result, there wasn’t much chance of a state lunch at the White House, much less a state dinner. There was a 15 minute photo op in the White House with a state cup of coffee and a donut. Of course, that was only if Charles Taylor was handed over to the United Nations.

Mr Taylor used to be the President of Liberia. Since he was indicted on multiple counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity, and declared Africa’s most wanted man, the US was determined to have him hauled into court. The fact that he was living in Nigeria and seemed to have disappeared just when the guys with the arrest warrants were about to show up didn’t help with the arrangements for the state coffee and donut. W was not happy. At the last minute, Taylor was miraculously caught trying to sneak across the border into Cameroon. The meeting with President Bush was back on. The White House sent out for a couple of decafs and a box of assorted donuts. Twenty minutes later, President Bush was on a plane to Mexico and President Obesanjo was in a cab back to the hotel.

So President Obesanjo can go home to Nigeria and brag that he made nice with President Bush and deserves to have the constitution changed so he can be President for Life – how’s that for respect George! That will give him plenty of time to send a thank you email to everyone in the US Government. One of those nifty letters asking for help in recovering $37 million from a mayonnaise jar in the Central Bank of Nigeria if only the recipient will forward their bank details so that the commission and fees can be paid. Some of the greedy buggers and idiots in Washington are bound to sign up. Just like donuts, respect comes in assorted flavours.


Blogger Amal said...

:) Great post. I agree that Nigeria's importance should not be overlooked as they are a large country with a large population and really can be a catalyst for change on the African continent.

Loved the remark about the U.N.

4:12 PM  
Blogger birdwoman said...

well, at least charles taylor is off the streets now, and we can force him to design new sneakers. The old chucks are timeless, but rather boring. And they don't offer much support.


7:26 AM  
Blogger Chic Alert said...

1. With almost a million square miles.... means lttle

2. A population of over 125 million people....means little more

3. The country.....has a GDP of over $130 billion....means little

4. and it is the fifth largest oil producer in the world....Now this deserves a lot more respect

8:07 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well done!
[url=]My homepage[/url] | [url=]Cool site[/url]

11:18 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nice site!
My homepage | Please visit

11:18 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great work! |

11:19 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home


Humor Blog Top Sites