Donald Trump President Elect of the United States, the world’s richest country and Akinwunmi Ambode, Governor of Lagos, Nigeria’s Richest State, were both born on June 14. Trump in 1946 and Ambode in 1963. Trump and Ambode both studied at the Wharton School of Business. A fundamental difference between Trump and Ambode is the fact that Trump has no government experience whereas Ambode has spent all his working career in Government either as a civil servant for 27 years or as an independent management consultant for government.
Donald Trump has as a firm supporter Russian President, Vladimir Putin once described as the world’s most powerful man and born in 1952 whereas Akinwunmi Ambode has as god father Bola Tinubu, leader of the ruling all progressive party several times referred to as Nigeria’s most powerful Politician, also born in 1952.
In 2002, Sergey Brin, Google’s co-founder opined that Russia is Nigeria with snow because of the problem of corruption. Perhaps he could have said Russia is Nigeria with nuclear weapons. But for the crisis in the Niger Delta area of Nigeria, Russia and Nigeria both led the African Continent and Europe in oil and Gas production. The Russians are the most experienced in outer space and Nigeria and South Africa lead Africa in the applications of space science.
The Population of Russia and Nigeria are the largest in Europe and Africa respectively. Russia has a population of 144 million and Nigeria 180 million.
There are some other interesting developments between Russia and Nigeria in respect of late Chief Gani Fawehinmi and Vladimir Lenin. Vladimir Lenin and Gani Fawehinmi were both born on April 22, 1870 and 1938 respectively.
Both of them were politicians, lawyers and publishers. Lenin is described as a revolutionary and Gani an activist.
Both lived in London. Lenin was involved in the October Revolution and Gani Fawehinmi launched his political party in October. Earlier on, he had said he was prepared to lead a revolution in Nigeria.
Lenin was first President of the Soviet Union and Gani a presidential candidate of the National Conscience party (NCP).
According to the Wikipedia, Lenin’s family was originally known as Ulyanov. Being educated folk, the Ulyanovs imparted to their children hostility against the ills of their time — violations of human rights, servile psychology, and readiness to struggle for higher ideals, a free society and equal rights. Gani in his life time was known as a human rights activist.
Lenin attended the first International Socialist Conference on September 5-8 1915 at Zimmerworld. Gani died on September 5, 2009, surrounded by those who could have been of the socialist leaning. Gani’s death triggered “a conference” of the left. Depending on how you look at it, Gani was a peculiar socialist or a peculiar capitalist.
Over the years some Nigerians have had a certain fascination for the Russians. One of them appears to be Nobel laureate Wole Soyinka, presently opposed to Donald Trump, who about 35 years ago in a song titled Unlimited Liability company declared:
“The Russian Astronauts flying in Space
Radioed a puzzle to their Moscow base
They said we are flying over Nigeria
And we see high mountains in built up area
Right in the middle of heavy traffic
Is this Space Madness tell us quick
The strange report was fed to the computers
Which analysed the ponderous beauties
The computer replied ‘no don’t be snobbish
You know it’s a load of their national rubbish’”
Perhaps the mountains of Rubbish have stopped being a feature of the Lagos landscape and this explains why Wole Soyinka had agreed to Chair a committee set up by Akinwunmi Ambode to mark the 50th anniversary of the creation of Lagos State. It should be noted that Wole Soyinka shares the same birth date with the Russian Astronaut Aleksei Yeliseyev winner of State Prize of the USSR.
At a gathering of young writers then in Lagos as organised by the British Council, Wole Soyinka had suggested that the Young writers could embrace Space Fiction.