From local variety to the international terrain, populism has been instrumental in determining the trend of politics. And on a large scale, populism thrived in determining the eventual victory of Donald Trump’s as a Republican President in American society through his populist agenda “Make America great again”. Likewise, Emmanuel Macron has thrived on the populist agenda of being youth as the nation’s youngest president.
Sam Nujoma (born in 1929) was the first president of Namibia’s liberation movement, the South West African People’s Organization, in 1960. He was also the country’s first head of state in 1990. In 2005, after three terms as the country’s president, he retired. Namibian MP’s awarded him the official title “Father of the Namibian Nation.” He kept his post at SWAPO till 2007. This was the same way Robert Mugabe accrued power till he was dethroned through military intervention recently. Notwithstanding this dethronement, his fame still remains intact as the new government has declared him immune from allegations which usually follow such an inglorious exit.
In 2010, the former President of Nigeria raised the ‘I had no shoes’ narrative. A populist agenda which won him the election with a clear margin away from his opponents. As his government took a downward spiral from allegations of corrupt practices of all sorts, he was ousted. President Buhari came onboard with anti-graft policies, which were received by the populace as a relief from the impunity of the former government. Part of his campaign moves was for him to be shown on national TV drinking sachet tea produced in Nigeria; the reception of the images shows the moving chart of populism in Nigeria.
If populism in politics thrives on the perception of what people think of themselves, we would not be too far to conclude that it has established an inherent host-vector relationship in Nigerian politics and Africa in general.