By Emmanuel Aziken in Washington D.C. and Gbenga Oke, Las Vegas
The Nigerian-American community in the United States was Wednesday putting a brave face on the outcome of the Tuesday presidential election in their adopted country, vowing to make the best out of the situation.
The majority of the Nigerian immigrant community had flocked towards the Democratic Party presidential candidate, Mrs. Hilary Clinton on the fear that the anti-immigrant inclination of Mr. Donald Trump, the Republican winner would negative affect the community.
The Nigerian-American community was 16 years ago reported to be about five million.
Among those who spoke were officials and coordinators of the Nigerian Diaspora Union, NDU in the US who on Election Day actively mobilized the community to vote.
The elections were observed by a team of Nigerians including officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC led by its national chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, officials of the INEC Committee of the Senate and the House of Representatives and elements of the civil society from Nigeria. Mr. Awal Ibrahim, executive director of the Civil Society Legislative and Advocacy Centre, CISLAC told Vanguard yesterday commended the quick reconciliation of the two major political parties to the Nigerian political class saying that issues that divide during election must be put behind immediately after elections for the good of the country.
Dr. SKC Ogbonnia, Secretary General of the NDU, himself a lifelong Republican who, however, confessed voting for Clinton in line with the resolution of the NDU said yesterday:
“For the Nigerian community, we cannot say it is a total loss. We are a very dynamic community in the United States of America and no matter what happens we will find a way to embrace the change. It is expected that in the Trump presidency, the Supreme Court would be composed of conservative judges who could in a way repeal the Homosexual Marriage Act which conforms to our culture than what you have under Obama and what could have continued under a Clinton presidency had it come to be.
“Secondly, the issue of trade can go either way. A number of Nigerians in America could benefit in Donald Trump’s regime, but at the same time I am worried that his protectionist policy may affect Nigeria.”
Mr. Tayo Kubi who coordinated the move to bring Nigerian-Americans to vote in the Washington, Delaware and Baltimore areas on the East Coast told Vanguard yesterday that democracy was the winner.
“The majority has spoken and this is America, the land of freedom and even the opposition candidate has conceded for peace to reign.
For Mr. Dom Njoku, he simply said “I told you earlier that Trump will win and I will pop champagne. Like I said before the election, virtually everybody is guilty of whatever they said Trump did. And very, unfortunately, the Black community has not gained anything significant under the Obama Presidency. So what do you expect? However, the people have spoken, and we have to move on”.
For Mr. Yomi Balogun, the loss of Hillary Clinton might hunt the blacks and other millions of Americans that have dual citizenship.
He said, “Though the election has been won and lost but I am afraid majority of African Americans might suffer the this loss putting in mind some of the things Mr. Trump stood for in this election. Though I believe some of the blacks staying in this country without valid documents will be most affected.”
Mr. Ibrahim, (Rafsanjani) on his part described the outcome as a big lesson to Nigerian and African politicians that it is a game that one must win.
“If you have the interest of your country and the people at heart it will not matter to you who wins, you will have to work together to sustain the country, not like the way we see some people doing in Nigeria and in Africa.
“It is about the nation, and the people have done the election, it has come, and it has gone and what is important is that they are putting heads together to protect the interest of their country. This is a lesson that every Nigerian politician should learn; they should learn to work together whether they win or lose an election.”
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