Goat Owner’s neighbor- by Mahmud Jega
Everyone rears the animal that he finds most suitable; so said the goat rearer's neighbour when she began rearing a hyena. US President Barack Obama, who plans to host a lunch in New York this week for a select group of African Heads of State and Government on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly, will shortly find out that his agenda for the social and economic development of Africa is miles apart from African leaders' own concerns.
African rulers are only too pleased to feast on food provided free-of-charge by the White House, but to their chagrin, Obama will be eating the lunch in a hurry because he has many other high-profile events lined up for this week. He will be hosting another meeting on the sidelines of the ministerial session with countries that contribute the largest number of policemen and troops to U.N. peacekeeping operations. He will be attending a U.N. Summit on Climate Change tomorrow, and he will deliver a speech at the opening of the General Assembly's ministerial meeting on Wednesday. Obama will also chair a meeting of the Security Council on disarmament and controlling the spread of nuclear weapons on Thursday. The next day, Friday, Obama will host a G-20 summit in Pittsburgh on the world's wobbling economy.
In announcing this week's lunch with African rulers, the Associated Press said it “promises to be an important opportunity for African leaders to voice their most important concerns to the first black US President.” Very good. Mr. Obama is expected to give an eloquent speech akin to the one he gave during his last visit to Accra, when he urged African leaders to shun corruption and tyranny. He will then listen to African leaders, one by one, getting up to state the issues of the greatest concern to them.
The first African leader to speak, so honoured because of his country's huge population, will say, “Mr. Obama, when you visited Africa in June, why did you go to Ghana and did not come to my country? You embarrassed me very much, because people were saying it was because we did not hold free elections in my country. You yourselves, which free elections did you hold in Florida in 2000AD? Even in Chicago in 1960, did you hold free and fair elections, when Mayor Dick Daley privately declared the results in favour of John Kennedy before counting was over?”
The second African leader to speak, so honoured because President Obama's father was his subject, will rise up, adjust his fly whip and say, “Mr. Obama, I bring you greetings from your step-grandmother. She said you have not sent to her any dollars since you entered the White House for the upkeep of the cows you inherited from your late father. You have not paid the Masai herdsman who is looking after them. She said you should send Airforce One to bring the cows to you here so that you can tie them up in the South Lawn of the White House.”
The next leader to speak, chosen because his country's economy is the continent's largest, will rise and do a Zulu warrior's dance. He will then say, “Mr. Obama, talk to these White people who embarrassed my daughter Semenya. They said she is a boy so that they can steal her hard-earned gold medal. Tell them that in Africa, some women are so industrious that they look like a man.”
White House officials will then invite the next African leader to speak, so honoured because of his good policies against HIV/AIDS. He will rise, adjust his greying moustache and say, “Mr. Obama, please tell those Whites in your State Department to stop harassing us in Africa because of Third Term in office. Just because I have been president of my country for 23 years now, they are harassing me. Even here in your country, didn't President Franklin Roosevelt do a Third Term and even a Fourth Term? Please tell them to stop molesting me.”
The next leader, who is chosen to speak because his country recently discovered oil, will rise and say, “My brother Mr. Obama, I have only one serious question for you. Why did you not attend the funeral of Mr. Michael Jackson? We in Africa, we want you, our sons here, to be more united.”
Next, another leader will be called to speak, who recently got a slice of oil-rich territory from his big African neighbour. He will get up, brush his dark moustache and say, “My friend Mr. Obama, let me give a good advise if you want to stay in that White House for many years, like I have been living in my own State House for 27 years now. There are too many Whites in that White House. Why can't you appoint your own black kinsmen as Chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank, as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, as Director of the CIA, and another one as Commander of the Strategic Bomber Command? That is the only way you will survive there for very long.”
Next, White House aides will invite an African leader whose government operates from outside his own country. He will say, “Salam, Mr. Obama. In the name of Allah, send your Marines back to my country to control Al-Qaeda activities. No one is going to drag their corpses on the streets again, because we don't have General Mohamed Farah Aideed anymore.”
The next African ruler to speak, a young soldier who gate-crashed his way into the lunch and snatched the microphone, will then say, “Mr. Obama, I have done my best in my country to stop the trafficking of cocaine and heroin. You should tell your own people in America here to stop sniffing cocaine and to stop injecting themselves with heroin. Why can't you people stop sniffing it, then we will not bother with traffickers again?”
The next speaker, a female African leader much liked by the White House for her pro-US stance, will say, “Mr. Obama, why are you allowing the Commander of Africom to remain in Stuttgart? Please tell him to come to my country. We are ready to host the headquarters of Africom. They can take over the old Firestone Rubber Plantation and establish their base there. It is very good for military training.”
With the US President flashing his trademark broad grin at every speaker, though internally confused by the speeches, the White House aides will call on the last African leader to speak before the President's next appointment, with the Chinese President. This last speaker, a favourite of the White House and the State Department, will get up, adjust his native wrapper and say, “Mr. Obama, my people are saying that when you paid me a visit recently, that several US Airforce Hercules planes were seen unloading bags full of dollars to enable me rebuild The Castle. Others are also saying that I gave you several pieces of gold from Ashanti Goldfields. Mr. Obama, please use the Voice of America and tell them that it is not true.”| Article source