Nigerians rally for Trump in Onitsha

Reported by By Angela Ukomadu, Libby George

Hundreds of Nigerian men and women marched, clad in T-shirts supporting U.S. President Donald Trump, as they waved American flags, Republican presidential campaign signs, and even a few Nigerian flags.

The rally, was not in the United States, but in Onitsha, a city in Anambra, eastern Nigeria.

The show of support to Trump was despite the American leaders racist reputation.

Trump has disparaged African nations, including Nigeria, calling them “shithole countries”.

He had said Africans would never leave the United States if allowed in.

This year, he slammed visa curbs on Nigeria and five other countries.

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But some Nigerians love the bombastic 45th U.S. president all the same.

“President Trump, may we shout for joy over your victory,” Rev. Daddy Hezekiah of the Living Christ Mission Inc., which organized the Oct. 25 rally, said in a video.

A Pew Research Center poll in January found that 58% of Nigerians had confidence in Trump, behind only Israel, the Philippines and Kenya.

A 2020 Gallup poll showed 56% of Nigerians approved of U.S. leadership, versus 24% for Europeans.

In a posh Lagos eatery, a portrait of Trump in a gold-trimmed red agbada, a flowing robe worn by Yoruba men, hangs on the wall.

The traditional clothing is a “mark of respect”, said artist Peter Udoakang.

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“I made this painting to bring him closer to us,” said the 23-year-old.

He added that Trump’s “radical” approach to governing appealed to Nigerians, who are used to hustling in a tough economy to survive.

On a busy Lagos road, driver Michael Onyeonoro said if Nigeria found a similar leader, the U.S. visa troubles might not matter.

“If we have a person like Trump…Nigeria will be a better place to stay,” Onyeonoro said.

“There will be no need of going outside the country.”

*Angela Ukomadu, Libby George work for Reuters