Evicting Donald Trump

It is almost like American politics is taking lessons from the third world.

President Donald Trump / Photo credit: middleeasteye.net
President Donald Trump / Photo credit: middleeasteye.net

At the height of the 2011 Arab Spring in Egypt, when everything else had failed to placate protesters, President Hosni Mubarak quietly relocated to the safety of the seaside resort of Sham el Sheik.

It was from that location he would step down as the country’s president.

But as it turned out, after nearly 30 years in power, it wasn’t going to be so easy evicting a first family from the presidential residence.

His wife, Suzanne, who remained back in Cairo needed convincing to leave the presidential palace and even a blunt message from the Egyptian military, giving her an ultimatum wasn’t enough.

She had to be dragged out of the Heliopolis Palace by her son Gamal only to later learn of her husband’s resignation.

No one is expecting the United States military to give Donald Trump an ultimatum to quit the White House.

The Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Mark Milley, months before the November 3, 2020 presidential election had already declared that the army, marines and other armed forces would be playing no role in the election, even in a protracted dispute, which had long been predicted because of the character of the US president.

The declaration by Milley was made to Congress after Trump suggested he might not accept the outcome of the election if he lost.

And as far back as July 2020, Joe Biden, poised to be sworn in as American president on January 20, 2021 had suggested Trump should be removed from the White House if he refused to accept defeat.

A few days ago, his campaign repeated the suggestion, saying the US government was capable of removing trespassers from the White House.

With the military determined not to interfere, even in the face of a dispute, the task of evicting Donald Trump might fall to the Secret Service, who have already ramped up security around President-elect Joe Biden.

But then nobody really expects it to come to that.

Still, as of Sunday night, Trump was showing no signs he planned to concede.

Who in the world would imagine something like this could be happening in America, where modern-day democracy was founded?

It is almost like American politics is taking lessons from the third world.

In so many ways, the aftermath of 2020 election in the United States is playing out exactly the same way the 2015 presidential election played out in Nigeria

And it is not just the way Trump has been responding.

A number of party leaders have been following his lead with some suggesting the Republican controlled legislature should appoint their own electors in Pennsylvania, ignoring the will of the people and vote for Trump in December when Congress ratifies the results of the election.

In so many ways, the aftermath of 2020 election in the United States is playing out exactly the same way the 2015 presidential election played out in Nigeria.

In fairness to Goodluck Jonathan, maybe not exactly the same.

Jonathan repeatedly expressed willingness to accept defeat and not sacrifice any life for the sake of his ambition.

But the moment it became clear the election had been lost, Jonathan was being pulled in different directions, from those who wanted him to do whatever it took to thwart the will of the people, to those who wanted him to put the country first.

And according to Mohammed Adoke, his Attorney General, Vice President Namadi Sambo was of the handful of politicians urging him not to concede the election. it has also been said that the First Lady Patients Jonathan was not too keen on packing her bags.

So, what is Melania Trump telling her husband about accept defeat?

What do you tell someone like Trump knowing that he makes fun of losers and publicly shames anyone on the losing side of a contest?

In fact, the fact Biden had been projected to have won the election, Trump accused him of rushing to falsely pose as the winner and suggesting the election was far from over.

On Twitter, what Melania is saying is that the elections were not fair and that legal, not illegal votes should be counted.

In private though, news reports say she, along with the president’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, are urging him to concede.

No doubt, she loves political power as much as Patience Jonathan and Suzanne Mubarak.

There are dozens more urging him not to accept defeat. In the lead are his two sons, his personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani.

As for the vice president, Mike Pence, he appears to be completely absence in this moment of history.

Why isn’t pushing for a concession, and as a consequence is hard to explain unless he sees his fate tied to the end of the Trump presidency.

What it all means is that political appointees and even civil servants who report directly to presidential aides are making sure there will be no peaceful transition.

And the office responsible for facilitating the transition is refusing to cooperate with Joe Biden’s transition team, give them office space and access millions of dollars and government officials.

In the end though, the US is nothing like Africa where an incumbent can basically refuse to handover power and nothing happens.

If Trump had his way, he would probably borrow from the Robert Mugabe play book, who after losing an election simply refused to acknowledge the results and threatened to opposition.

After global pressure, all Mugabe agreed to was to name Morgan Tsvangirai the prime minister.

Unfortunately for Trump, that option is not open to him.

And regardless of whether he concedes defeat or not, on January 20, 2021, he will be escorted out of the White House with the Secret Service on all sides.

Written by Shuaib Shuaib

Shuaibu, a former Editor of the LEADERSHIP Newspapers, is based in Abuja.

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