30 March 2020
Donald Trump means different things to different people. But I never thought I would liken him to a Nigerian ruler or ex-ruler. Until yesterday.
Responding in the White House Rose Garden to estimates that 100,000 or more Americans may die from the coronavirus, Trump said: “So you’re talking about 2.2 million deaths, 2.2 million people from this. And so if we could hold that down, as we’re saying, to 100,000, it’s a horrible number, maybe even less, but to 100,000. So we have between 100 (thousand) and 200,000. We altogether have done a very good job.”
The American president displayed the same callous indifference towards the lives of his fellow citizens as his typical with Nigerian rulers. The morbid body count, the insensitivity, the deplorable choice of words, all brought back memories of another ruler that always seemed to have his mouth running without getting his brain in gear: Olusegun Obasanjo.
When Obasanjo was president between 1999 and 2007, he was asked on CNN about up 10,000 Nigerians dying under his watch from communal violence. His response was “what is 10,000 in a country of 100m”.