(From BBC Monitoring International Reports)
Text of commentary by Bisi Olawunmi, published by Nigerian newspaper The Guardian web site on 8 July
President George W. Bush of the United States is the world's most powerful man. Any disputants? When he goes abroad, it is understandable common sense if host presidents should, in local parlance, "bow and tremble". The reason is not far fetched. He is the man with the longest arm that reaches everywhere. Ex-President Saddam Husayn of Iraq and Usamah Bin-Ladin are my witnesses on the vice-grip of America's long arm. We get reports that Saddam is alive. But that even makes the case very compelling -a native son to be in hiding in his own country for fear of an alien who came charging in from across five seas.
On the other hand, President Bush will be barnstorming five countries across Africa in early July 2003 - from Senegal, Nigeria, Uganda, Botswana on to South Africa. So, as Bush touches down in these African countries, don't be surprised if you see presidents falling over themselves in effusive show of friendship, a chummy camaraderie by Africa's local champions. Don't blame them if they appear rather overweening. You see, the situation is getting to a point that to have the president of the United States on your side becomes a sort of comprehensive insurance coverage in today's turbulent global arena.
As of today, this Yankee Man is the Oga patapata (Big Boss) of all presidents. And it will be unfair to only take pot shots at Saddam and effusive Africans when we have seen the presidents of France and Germany similarly falling over themselves to be nice to an angry President Bush, following the two European leaders' populist stand against the US …