Nigerian foreign policy experts react to Trump’s U.S. victory

International relations experts have described the victory of U.S. President-elect, Donald Trump, as a surprise that will bring uncertainty to international politics.

The experts told the News Agency of Nigeria in Abuja on Wednesday that Mr. Trump does not have experience and expertise in international affairs.

Bolaji Akinyemi, a professor of political science, described Mr. Trump’s victory as a worrisome development.

Mr. Akinyemi, a former Minister of Foreign Affairs, said global predictions of the Democratic candidate, Hilary Clinton’s victory was cut short by Trump’s win.

“It brings uncertainty into international politics because the world now has to deal with a man who is inexperienced, does not understand the complexities of international politics and has no respect for anyone who is not white or American; I think that is dangerous.

“There has always been an ugly side to the U.S. just as there is with every country in the world but the good side in the U.S. has always prevailed so that in tackling American problems, the interests of the U.S. are not defined in antagonism to the interest of the whole world.

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“But this victory of Trump is a victory of the ugly side of the U.S.”

The professor added that it would be difficult to predict Mr. Trump’s policies toward Nigerians or Africans in the Diaspora and the continent itself.

Former Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations, Ibrahim Gambari, advised the leadership of Nigeria and Africa to promote policies in the interest of the citizens.

Mr. Gambari said such interests would encourage development and reduce the flow of African citizens to western countries.

He added that “as Africans, we have survived slavery, colonialism, apartheid; I think the strength of the African people will enable us to survive any negative consequences arising from this results.

“The important thing is for the leadership of our continent to put the people ahead of anything else and if the link between the people and the leadership is strong, then we will survive the decision by the Americans to elect Donald.”

The don expressed optimism that U.S. laws and institutions would protect Nigerians and Africans in the U.S., stressing, however, that “clearly, we should be prepared.

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“The Africans in the Diaspora are the sixth region in Africa as being decided by the African Union so we have to be supportive and look out for them.”

Dapo Fafowora, former Nigerian ambassador to the UN, however, said Mr. Trump’s victory was a lesson to Nigerians and Africans to remain in and contribute to the development of their countries.

Mr. Fafowora said Africans needed to reduce their reliance on world economic powers.

He added that “there is nothing in his background to suggest he has any durable interest in Africa.

“I think it is a lesson for Nigerians; people should stay here and make contributions in developing our country.

“When people go abroad, they contribute to these foreign countries; one must agree that conditions are difficult but if Nigerians abroad work half as hard as they do abroad in Nigeria, we will be a better country.

“I think it is a good development for Africa that we should look inwards and try to develop ourselves without relying on any major economic power.”

The U.S. presidential election of 2016 held on November 8 was the 58th and most recent quadrennial U.S. presidential election.

Republican candidate Donald Trump, and his running mate, Governor Mike Pence of Indiana defeated Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton and her running mate, Senator Tim Kaine of Virginia.donald-trump-2

Mr. surpassed the expected 270 electoral votes.

He will take office as the 45th President of the U.S. on January 20, 2017 and Mr. Pence will take office as the 48th Vice President.

Meanwhile, Mrs. Clinton has called Mr. Trump to concede victory, while the president-elect had made his maiden speech commending all Republicans for the victory.

Mr. Trump also commended Mrs. Clinton for her efforts throughout the campaign for the White House.

(NAN)

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