Nikki Haley and Donald Trump Need Nigeria’s Igbo Lessons

Nikki Haley and Donald Trump Need Nigeria’s Igbo Lessons

In the Igbo tradition (Nigeria), we have an axiom: when the village cooks for you, you cannot finish the food, but no matter what you cook for the village, you are sure the village will consume all. The essence of that axiom is to remind everyone that no matter your position, the community is always stronger. That is also reflected in names as the tradition puts communities above all, including the kings: parents name their children “Ezebuiro” (the king is the enemy), implying that while we honor elders and tradition, even the king cannot be stronger than the community. When a king tries to go beyond his bounds, the community will remind him that they own the kingdom. It does not mean that we do not respect kings, but our spirit of individual entrepreneurial liberty makes it clear that everyone is a king in his house (first), and the king must understand that because everyone is a king!

I have no opinion on Jerusalem/Tel Aviv as the capital of Israel or whatever [count me out]. But I have an opinion when United States UN Ambassador Nikki Haley threatened cutting off U.S. aids to any nation that votes against the U.S. By saying that, and the nations actually voting against the U.S., she has embarrassed herself, Trump and the nation she represents. The UN village had cooked for America and it was too much. That is a lesson Ms Haley would have mastered.

UN ambassador Nikki Haley warned that the US would be “taking names” of countries that voted for a resolution condemning President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. Hope she has a pencil handy; she’s got a lot to write down.

The UN brushed off Haley’s threat and overwhelming approved the resolution 128 to 9, with 35 nations abstaining. Trump had threatened to cut off foreign aid to any country that voted for the resolution, and Haley said the US “will remember it when we are called upon to once again make the world’s largest contribution” to the UN. A State Department spokeswoman said the US would “explore various options” following the UN vote. (CNN Newsletter)

Leadership does not come by putting fears on subjects. It used to work when the world was unipolar with only the U.S. as the superpower. But we are in a duopolar (with China), if not a tripolar (if you include Russia) world, where if U.S. pushes countries out, they could run to China and Russia. Trump and his lieutenants are diminishing America by showing strength where it is not necessary. There was no need for the threat: it made Ms Haley looked tough, but now, she looks like a simpleton. I can assure you that if Nikki withdraws U.S. money to most of the countries that voted against U.S., the next day China will ship a truckload of money, making sure the leaders stay closer to Beijing. That outcome is not what America will like either!

Business Lesson

The threat from Ms Haley is one that even if she goes ahead to execute will not be a good outcome. If U.S. cuts all supports to countries fighting terror, America and the world in general will not be safer. This means that a threat whose outcome would even hurt you more is not a wise one. So, when the people decide not to align, and you punish them, you are not doing well to yourself: U.S. will not be better off withdrawing all funds in countries where it fights terror in Middle East, North Africa, and so on.


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