The world was left in deep shock yesterday after the unexpected election of Republican Donald Trump as United States’ 45th President.
Bolaji Akinyemi, a professor of political science, described Mr. Trump’s victory as a worrisome development and “a victory of the ugly side of the U.S.”
Prof. 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.
He added that that it would be difficult to predict Mr. Trump’s policies toward Nigerians or Africans in the Diaspora and the continent itself
A former Nigerian ambassador to the United Nations (UN) Ambassador Dapo Fafowora said Trump’s victory was a lesson to Nigerians and Africans to remain in and contribute to the development of their countries.
“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.”
Nigeria’s former Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations, Prof. Ibrahim Gambari, advised the leadership of Nigeria and Africa to promote policies in the interest of the citizens.
He said such interests would encourage development and reduce the flow of African citizens to western countries.
“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.
“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.”
According to a survey of people across the world by the NBC, the Trump Presidency is evoking fear.
From Rome, Italy on hearing that Trump had won, Alessio Renda, a 25-year-old music student, was incredulous. “Seriously? It’s impossible. Oh my god. It’s really strange, that’s my first reaction.”
Anna Maria Fagetin, a 35-year-old lawyer, reflected on Trump’s pledge to bring his business acumen to the White House — and drew parallels with Italian tycoon and ex-Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi.
“Berlusconi said the same thing when he ran in Italy … that he would run Italy like he would run his companies,” she said. “The companies were successful, but Italy was not. So, what advice can I give to the Americans? Good luck.”
Michele Angelini, a 24-year-old student in Rome, said that the first thing that came to his mind when he learned the news was that he would “have to create a nuclear shelter in the basement.”
His second thought was: “Well, now [Americans] have Berlusconi, too.”
From Tehran, Iran, a 27-year-old civil engineer, who did not give his full names said: ”I’m happy Trump got elected because I think he is going to pull America down and weaken the country.
”I think the election of Trump means the weakening of America and it will be good for Iran.”
Suleiman Mordai Rad, a 58-year-old cab driver, said: “We are revolutionaries …whether its Trump or Clinton, it makes no difference. As the supreme leader said, we will deliver a massive punch to America’s mouth. They have to respect us, that’s it. But they are not going to because they take their instructions from Israel.”
Trump will have a “negative effect” on the Middle-East “if he can’t control himself,” said Hesam Modir, a 60-year-old mechanical engineer. “He seems to favour conflict. But today, after the nuclear deal, I don’t think America will have any effect on Iran, good or bad.”
From Tokyo, Japan, Yoshihiro Iseki, a 78-year-old retiree said: “I think the result will bring huge damage to the Japanese economy,” said. “Mr. Trump has said Japan should defend itself on its own, if that’s the case it’s going to be a huge problem.”
Kumiko Kurosawa, a 47-year-old who runs her own business in the music industry, said: “I’m afraid Japan will now appear weak to China and North Korea because Mr. Trump doesn’t appreciate the strong U.S. and Japan security alliance. I think Japan should shoulder its fair share of responsibilities in terms of security, but not having a strong U.S.-Japan cooperation is a problem.”
Trump “seems to poke at the weakness of others,” said Yasushi Tetsuka, a 49 -year-old male white-collar worker. “I think having him as president will be a disadvantage to us. I am deeply worried about the future of our economy.”
From Beijing, China, Feina Zhen, a 27-year-old from Shenzhen who lived in the U.S. for six years and works at an investment firm in Beijing, said:”We’re seeing a disaster coming, from my perspective, because I think he’s crazy,” said Ironically sporting a blue “Make China Great Again”, Feina expressed concern about her Chinese friends in the U.S. because of Trump’s stance on immigration. “If I had the right to vote, I’m definitely not voting for him,” she said.
Mico Ma, a 41-year-old business consultant from Jiangsu Province living in Beijing, said: “I’m very surprised you American people vote for a person like that as a leader, as a state leader. I don’t think he’s … a cautious person in terms of speeches and behaviour and presenting his political viewpoints – not only to the American people, but also to the world.”
“I think Trump being president will bring a very positive influence” to China-U.S. relations, said Gao Yan, a 42-year-old professional investor in Beijing who hails from Henan Province. “Unlike Hillary’s e-mail controversy; he will discuss a few things with Chinese government in a transparent way. Trump is a blunt man. So, he won’t hide what he does.”
From Tel Aviv, Israel, Michael Eladi, said:Trump is “a one-of-a-kind-guy” and America is ready for him “because he steps out of the border, he says what he thinks and people like that.” Eladi, a 26-year-old media director added: “He is going to do something new. I’m actually happy. Trump might be a little childish, but he is not a liar. He is the lesser evil.”
Omri Shuva, a 30-year-old computer scientist, said: “I’m not sure Trump is capable to this job and I hope he will surprise us all. I think that for us it’s bad that Trump won. If he weakens the U.S. worldwide, then it’s bad for Israel.”
“I’m surprised, I’m shocked. But to tell you the truth, I was very happy because he ran alone and Clinton had the support of President Obama,” said Shoshana Klien, a 65-year-old who works in a bank and lives in Jerusalem. “Concerning Israel, I don’t see any difference between the Democrats and Republicans. And I hope Trump learns about foreign relations. He has a lot to learn and he will be a good president. Yes I’m happy, very happy.”
From Paris, France, Jean Pierre B, a 65-year-old retiree, said: ”My reaction is probably the same you will hear many times in France because people don’t like him at all. They are afraid of what that guy has said all the time and for us he’s really the picture of the redneck American.”
“Well, the reaction is really shock,” said Genevieve Derouvre, a 60-year-old guide book writer. “I’m really shocked and deeply sad for the country. For all that has been done before by Obama, all the projects that Hillary Clinton had, all that I hope will not collapse. But it will be in danger.”
“People often associate Mr. Trump with what he had said during election campaign. For example his comments about Muslims were not only deeply offensive here, but it also alienated lot of people,” said Bilal Sarwary, a 34-year-old journalist in Kabul. “But more importantly, this is a country (that) heavily relies on the U.S.A. Almost $3.5 billion and even more is paid every year by the U.S.A. to pay the salaries of Afghan security forces to run the country’s military forces. So, if I were President Ashraf Ghani … I would be worried about first guaranteeing the money keeps on coming.”
“American elections results took me, like many others, by surprise. I am concerned about the future of human rights in America as well as U.S. foreign policy,” said Shaharzad Akbar, a 29-year-old political activist. “The president-elect’s campaign rhetoric, and his lack of political and military experience, are both causes for concern. The world will be watching the U.S. with anxiety and concern in the months and years to come.”
Ramallah, West Bank
Naser Abdel Hade, a 53-year-old restaurant owner in Ramallah, said Trump’s victory was “an international political earthquake.”
“I think America got what it deserves, I think it shows the true picture of America, it’s racist,” he said. “I think it’s a wake-up call to the people of America to become more compassionate, to become fairer towards itself and the world. So, I think we will wait four more years to see the repercussions of what happened this morning.”
“In my opinion, all of them are liars. No one will improve the Palestinian issue,” said Doha Sheikh, a 21- year-old student in Ramallah. “No one cares about Palestinians issues, but about themselves.
“I think it will be four miserable years for the U.S. for normal citizens and also for Arabs,” said Omar Ziadi, a 29-year-old writer.
“I personally thought a woman should win the election as it would have changed U.S. history … We have seen their male presidents always fighting wars,” said Shehzada Khan, a 60-year-old farmer in northwest Pakistan.
Mohammad Jan, a 24-year-old who sells fruits and vegetables in Peshawar, said he was also a supporter of Clinton because he believed she might be able to control terrorism in Pakistan. “I was hurt when I learned that my favorite candidate has lost,” he said.
“Now, when Donald Trump has become the new U.S. president … you can convey to him our appeal to work for peace.”