On Tuesday November 18, 2008, I read with considerable irritation and consternation, “The flip side of Obama” an article by one Dr. Femi Babalola, an Ophthalmologist and chorister in Nigeria’s federal capital territory, Abuja, an article in which he used the revered pages of The Guardian to ruminate ruefully about how his favorite political party in America, the Republican Party or Grand Ole Party (GOP) lost the elections, as he stated his blissful unawareness of how America works and or how he wish America should.
He attempted blithely to make some informed comments on President-elect Barack Obama and the very nature of American politics, roles played by the two major political parties, Democratic Party and the Republican Party respectively. He confessed rooting for the Republicans based on their arch-conservative social policy agenda which reeks of moral certitude.
He informed his readers that he was dismissive of Mr. Obama’s candidacy. But alas, the world now knows that Mr. Obama prevailed against sundry opponents and those who under estimated and were dismissive of the then junior senator from Illinois; The world now knows about the cynosure with brilliance beyond incandescence, the man who is admired for his self-discipline and unalloyed singular focus, which in turn, has given America a rebirth and redemption and an opportunity to look good again.
There is one thing that I could not understand, actually more than one thing that numbed me upon reading Dr. Babalola’s article. It is this, in the past couple of weeks disgraceful and more disgraceful stories have been emanating from Nigeria, there was the Uzoma Okereke, a young lady who was beaten into a stupor and stripped of her clothes, by uniformed men at the behest of and supervision by a Nigerian Navy Admiral! Many Nigerians at home and abroad, including myself, found the brutality most reprehensible.
It gave us and Nigerian image a new damage and black-eye
Then as if on cue, or almost simultaneously, there was this heart wrenching story reported from Akwa Ibom where innocent Nigerian children are arbitrarily and in summary manner labeled and castigated as witches, then murdered, maimed and scalded by the moronic adults in these children’s lives, amply assisted by money grubbing pastors, so-called Christians too!
There are these Nigerian public officials, also known as corrupt rogues, who have plundered and pillage Nigeria with impunity, especially in the recent years, while the EFCC is being emasculated in the most brazen of manner.
There is this pervasive abundance of abject poverty in Nigeria, and, children are the worst victims. No child asks to be born, and no child asks to be neglected or abused; in Nigeria, where there now exists, cases of abuse and extreme neglect of children, children who are here, right in front of our physical eyes, are unprotected from abuse and neglect and the crudity that seems to always rear its ugly heard in our Nigeria. I do not live in Nigeria, and still, I find every story from Nigeria very depressing, to the extent that I want leave my abode thousands of miles outside Nigeria to return to Nigeria with the hope that some us can make a difference or play a role in changing the way things are currently in Nigeria.
In this midst of all this bad news from Nigeria, coupled with extreme hardship, suffering and hopelessness permeating children in Nigeria, Dr. Femi Babalola is more concerned with retrograde abortion rules and the safety of unwanted fetuses; His 17th Century abortion logic is so egregious, and particularly so, when just a few days ago, a report emanated from Nigeria, in which helpless and hapless children were being reportedly maimed and or murdered soon after such children are ignorantly labeled and castigated as witches, all in the name of the Christian God
Where is the morality and religion in Dr. Femi Babalola’s Nigeria, a nation that ought to be the beacon and shinning light for all Africans and peoples of African descent including Mr. Barack Obama on whom Dr. Babalola commented extensively?
There were these plethora reports regarding children in Akwa Ibom and Cross Rivers States who were summarily and randomly branded witches and wizards, these children were branded like slaves or farm animals for the whole world to see! And as someone born in Nigeria, even though living thousands of miles away from Nigeria, I was embarrassed, ashamed and shocked to view the videos of these horrendous brutalities meted out to children in modern day Nigeria, Dr. Babalola’s Nigeria.
Dr. Babalola recounted how he did not wash his hands after a golden handshake from former President Bill Clinton, I recommend that he washes not just his hands, but remove the wax from his ears and wash his eyes; all this, just so, he can hear and see first hand, the extreme abuse and utter neglect of Nigerian children who are already here on earth, and while he should stop worrying about his rather romantic ideas about Nigerian, and for that matter, American fetuses!
Dr. Babalola betrays his blissful unawareness with his incongruous praise-like commentaries about the Republican Party, his Grand Old Party, GOP; as a result, I would like to remind him that the Republican Party, the party of former President Ronald Reagan, led the efforts that sustained Apartheid rule in South Africa and Southern Africa’s Angola, Mozambique, Namibia and Rhodesia-Zimbabwe, etc; Ronald Reagan called it constructive engagement, an apparent willingness to engage in dinner jokes with Apartheid oppressors while Africans in Southern Africa suffered endlessly!
Republican policy pursuits regarding Africa have been repugnant, repulsive and reprehensible! Africans should be unwilling to forget these quickly.
She was pro-apartheid… she advocated “constructive-engagement” she was President Reagan’s arrow head for warped-twisted foreign policy that was anti-African, anti-liberty anti liberal ideals of freedom and a world free from dictatorships.
Africans should be reminded of how Reagan and his Republican Party supplied the lifeline oils which lubricated Apartheid South Africa, as America and Britain sustained Apartheid regime longer than was possible, through the warped policy known as constructive engagement. And this is the same Republican Party which Dr. Babalola is nostalgic about?
Africans should be reminded of how liberation movements labeled terrorists by the US and the UK, the US under Reagan and the UK under Thatcher wanted liberation struggles in Angola, Mozambique, Namibia and Zimbabwe defeated. Those anti freedom, anti progress and anti democratic movement were eventually defeated. Lancaster House Agreement intended to provide economic relief and land redistribution-re-appropriation slated for post independence Zimbabwe were not adhered to; which in my view constitutes the origin sin, before today’s troubles in Zimbabwe.
There is for me, a clear difference between advocating abortion rights and gay lifestyle compared with recognizing the rights of those who desire abortions and gay lifestyle, a reading of Dr. Femi Babalola’s rueful ruminations, establishes him as neither knowing nor caring about such difference. He is simply happy to mouth how it is so Yuk and ughhh and disgusting these rights of others are to him!
There is a difference, I think, between advocating abortions and or gay lifestyles, as compared with a recognition of the right of women to abortions and the right of gays to a sexual preference; Dr. Babalola does not seem to have any qualms in suggesting the elimination or decimation of these rights.
I am not a woman, and I am not gay, nevertheless, I find Dr. Babalola’s complete disregard of women and gay rights unacceptably offensive
The learned Dr. Babalola wrote that women who carelessly get pregnant should not have abortion rights! But everyone knows that it takes a man and a woman to get pregnant or to have sexual intercourse without necessary precautions; Dr. Babalola thinks it takes just a careless woman!
These moralizing puritanical preachments belies the failures President Bush wrought on America and the world with his moral certitude of the gut convictions. Conservatives are too quick to spout moral certainty about social issues, such as abortion, they worry so much about fetuses or potential and indeterminate life, instead of lives which are already physically present here with us on earth. A poignant case in point is the news reports and a series of articles in connection with children in Akwa Ibom state; innocent children who were tortured, maimed, mutilated and some even murdered soon after such children were incongruously labeled witches!
What is reported to have happened to Nigerian children in Akwa Ibom reminder of brutalities of the 17th and 18th Centuries reminiscent of Salem Massachusetts Witch Trials or the Spanish Inquisitions in parts of Spain colonial empire, it is a shameful and embarrassing that this is happening in modern Dr. Babalola’s Nigeria. Why does a Nigerian medical doctor, an educated man no doubt, a member of the Nigerian middle class perhaps, think he needs to cry the tears of aborted American fetuses, even though Nigerian children are being abused, killed, maimed and neglected in real time and under his nose?
Please Google: What Does President Reagan’s Death Mean to Nigerians, Africans and Arabs?