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 MEETING WITH FORMER VICE-PRESIDENT JOE R. BIDEN JNR –  If the headline of this piece conjures a negative picture in your memory because of occurrences in the United States for a relatively long time since the days of slavery, please don’t start fuming yet that these Americans have come again! It is preposterous to judge before examining issues, events, and people critically. No racy sentimental judgment.

I am sharing this from my memoirs, not as a reputation enhancing piece, but as information that could aid African nations to embrace the culture of good governance that includes accountability and transparency. The first experience is about accessibility to public office holders who must behave like servants not bosses of the civil populace. A few decades ago, I was in the United States for a relatively long time that afforded me the opportunity of asking my wife and children to join me for a few weeks. In the process of completing their immigration formalities in Lagos, they got stuck on account of suspicion that they were intending illegal migrants. But I had enough money on my account.  I felt that the consular officer was unjust in arriving at his decision and decided to act like the average citizen of the United States who presses for his/her fundamental human rights at the slightest opportunity. The rule of law is one of the distinguishing characteristics of the ‘’land of Human Rights’’ like I always describe the United States.

MY PROTEST AGAINST VISA DENIAL DECISION I wanted the issue revisited. Promptly, I landed in the constituency office of Senator Joseph R. Biden Jr. (Joseph Robinett Biden) in Wilmington, Delaware. There was nobody waiting outside to ask for a monetary gift or similar obligations. Biden was there for a pure legislative business of attending to constituents. He was then the Chairman of the United States Senate Judiciary Committee and Member of the Foreign Relations Committee; a very influential senator.  In other climes, that position commands enough weight to breathe down the neck of the officials who treated my family members’ visa applications. Imagine – summon the Comptroller-General of Immigration and possibly the Hon. Minister of Interior.  We spoke for a couple of minutes one-on-one and I submitted a petition quoting cogent reasons why I felt my wife and children were not fairly treated. I latched on to one statement by the consular-officer advising my wife to use the money on her account for good purposes in Nigeria. Senator Biden looked every inch a very compassionate and simple personality. He educated me: ‘’Gentleman, those consular officers are officials of the United States Secretary of State. ‘’I have no power to ask them to reverse their decision. ‘’Not even the Secretary of State dabbles into their business. ‘’What I would do is to issue a letter appealing to the Consulate-General in Lagos to review the visa denial decision based on the representations you have made’’

FAMILY VALUES & VISA ISSUANCE: Joe R. Biden Jnr. (who became Barack Obama’s deputy for 8 years) as the 47th Vice-President of the United States wrote a two-page letter requesting that my representations be examined by the United States Consulate in Lagos. Another surprise – Biden said: They will not treat the letter if I send it by fax myself because they would always require the original copy. So please send the letter by courier and let me know the outcome. Promptly, I sent the letter as instructed and two weeks later, the visa denial decisions were reviewed for my family members to join me for vacation. Pix Biden % Wife – Credit: GoogleIncidentally, one of the reasons I pleaded was FAMILY VALUES that one of our media/communication channels is currently handling as a social development activity. I utilized subtle ‘’blackmail’’ that someone probably wanted me to commit bigamy by going out with another lady in the United States if my wife was prevented from coming in. Don’t mind me. If legislation on bigamy is to be enforced today in our society, the prisons will be full, majorly of very prominent people.

My wife recently reminded me that we visited the Bidens for dinner when she and our children joined me but I never sustained the relationship.  Let me warn visa applicants who may wish to plead same reason that no two situations are exactly alike in immigration matters. The discretion is that of the consular officer. Besides, times have changed.  Joe R. Biden Jr. in my personal estimation is an extremely simple, level-headed and humble personality. Before becoming the Vice-President, Biden had represented the State of Delaware in the U.S Senate for 26 years. Nobody asked him to quit on account of the length of years or rotational regulations. Our prayers and best wishes for Joe Biden as he contests for U.S Presidency, having won his party’s ticket.  Biden, 77 years old, is coming out in his third bid for the presidency.

FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Barack Obama is greeted by Vice President Joe Biden as he arrives for his swearing-in during the presidential inauguration ceremonies as first lady Michelle Obama looks on at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, U.S. January 21, 2013. REUTERS/Jason Reed/File Photo

Strong support from black voters ensured his successes so far in capturing the Democratic nomination. CNN had on June 16 reported that: ”Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden’s campaign says it raised nearly $81 million in May, a clear jump over his April figures. ”Biden added to that haul later Monday night when he raked in $6 million through a 620-person virtual fundraiser with his one-time Democratic primary rival, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren. It was the campaign’s biggest fundraiser to date. “Thank you for asking your friends to help me out. It’s the biggest fundraiser we’ve ever had. And it’s all because of you,” Biden told Warren during the event, according to a pool report.”


PIX BELOW: Biden & Kamala – his running mate

Credit: USA Today


B“The buck stops here” is a phrase that was popularized by U.S. President Harry S. Truman, the 33rd President of the United States who fixed the phrase on his desk in the Oval Office. Some people have rated Truman as the most courageous president in U.S history.  He once stated that: ”Fame is a vapour, popularity is an accident, riches take wings, those who cheer today may curse tomorrow and only one thing endures: character”

DONALD TRUMP VS CNN: This account below left me gasping for breath because of the powers of the American media. Ordinarily, the American president as landlord of the White House cannot evict a correspondent attached to the White House! I initially thought that if I reside somewhere and I say I don’t want you around, you must keep off. But the White House belongs to Americans and not any sitting president they would always tell you. Indeed, there is no better example of a democratic society than the United States where citizens are always protecting their rights by appealing to the courts for remedy and the enforcement of their fundamental human rights. Prince Tony Momoh as Editor Daily-Times once did that boldly in Nigeria by taking the Senate of the Federal Republic to court over an attempt to make him disclose his source of information as a professional journalist protected by the 1979 Constitution.  Donald John Trump, is the 45th and current President of the United States.  White House media managers withdrew the official pass of a CNN correspondent on account of unruly behaviour. The accused – Acosta and CNN were accused of frequent targets of President Donald Trump who has always accused CNN of unfair coverage of his administration.

THE FIRST AMENDMENT TO THE RESCUE The Bill of Rights provides constitutional protection for certain individual liberties, including freedom of the press, freedom of speech, freedom of religion, and the right to assemble and petition the government. The First Amendment to the United States Constitution forbids the government from abridging the freedom of speech or freedom of the press. Washington, D.C. District Court Judge Timothy Kelly cited the due process argument in granting Acosta a two-week injunction to get back to work. The White House initially fought back, saying it had made a preliminary decision to keep Acosta out when the two weeks were up.

The White House respected the ruling of the court, took Acosta back, and remarked that “President Trump believes strongly in the First Amendment and interacts with the press in just such a way. But Acosta who was vindicated tweeted that:  ‘’We are not the enemy of the people. I am not your enemy. ‘’You are not my enemy. ‘’It is wrong to call your fellow Americans the enemy. ‘’We are all on the same team. ‘’We are all Americans’’

I give glory to God for creating me and locating me in Nigeria. But I have some wishes for the United States November presidential elections. Please pray along with me. Like I have always wished, even here in Nigeria, may the best candidate emerge. America is very strategic to the interests of the global community.

East, West, or anywhere,  home is the best. May the Good Lord Bless Nigeria! Nigeria will still rule the world by His Grace; because the Creator said so and I believe the Maker of Heaven & Earth. But we must WORK & WORK & WORK and PRAY.

May God Bless the United States too.