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Opinion: A Historic Summit, So-Called – By Otunba Gbenga Teejay Abass



By Otunba Teejay Abass

It was a very beautiful hot afternoon in Lagos, Nigeria’s commercial capital. The weather, typical of this famed Centre of Excellence, was humid.

by a lunch table in a restaurant, close to the Atlantic Ocean, the impact of the humidity was significantly being contained.


There with yours sincerely, over lunch, was a visiting American citizen whose political views and ideologies are at variance with mine.

He is a Republican but I am democrat to the core. Our discussion was, not surprisingly, focused on Uncle Don, the President of the United States, who has been riding the waves of controversy in the recent.

To my chagrin, this friend of mine had a long list of supposed achievements by Uncle Don, to wit, the tax cut for the rich, typical of Republicans featuring prominently.

He also underscored the recently concluded South Korea and North Korea summit, which type, according to him, the world had not seen before.


For this particularly, he had a basket full of praises and encomiums for Donald Trump, the Architect of the supposedly unprecedented summit.

Mike Wallace, not any relation of the late legendary Broadcaster, of the infamous 60 Minutes on CBS, went on for almost 20 minutes heaping accolades on a man I consider the worst American President ever.

Here is a man, who for me, has not demonstrated friendliness with the truth, the only major accomplishment of his Presidency being the TAX CUT for the rich, excluding the middle class at variance with his promises during the campaign. Is it true that the world has not witnessed a summit as epochal as the one under reference?


Even if it were to be so, how much of the credit should actually go to Uncle Don? The summit undoubtedly got the entire world glued to their television screens, intrigued as it were, by the spectacle of two ideologically separated leaders hugging themselves, tossing champagne amidst assurances of total commitment to the de-nuclearisation and peace programme in the peninsular.

The spectacle of standing shoulder to shoulder with glasses of champagne reminded me of a similar posture of previous leaders of the two countries – President Kim Dare Jung of South Korea and Kim Jong Il of North Korea in Pyongyang, a similar summit in 2000 which was­­­ a testimonial that the 2018 summit was not after all, as historic and unprecedented as asserted by Mr Wallace, Uncle Don ardent apologist.

As a matter of fact, the 2000 summit produced a very tangible result evidenced by the commitment to ending the Korean War and uniting the two countries.


They went further in 2000 to formalise  arrangement creating a joint North and South Korea industrial park in Kaesong, allowing South Korean tourists visit  North Korea and reunifying families long divided by the demilitarized zone. Aid money involved in the broad arrangements was almost 8 billion Naira.

The then sunshine policy so widely embraced turned out a monumental failure  as North Korea had not come up with their own side of the bargain.

Another summit was held in 2007 before the sunshine policy was later jettisoned when a conservative took over power in Seoul. The significance of going down the memory lane of historic summit between the two (2) countries is to address the misconception of my good friend and others with the same conviction that the 2018 summit was quite unprecedented.


How much credit does Uncle Don actually deserve? Let’s face it, he is beginning to realise that campaign rhetoric is quite different from the reality of governance.

He is beginning to know that diplomatic efforts in resolving international crisis is more effective than seeking to pummel other countries to submission.

The United Nations Security Council resolution undoubtedly put a lot of pressure on the North to come to the negotiation table, and the global body deserves credit for that.


Will the 2018 summit follow the path of the 2000 and 2007 summits respectively, or would things be different ? The entire world is watching.