58% of Nigerians have faith in Trump – Pew

Conned? President Donald Trump appears to be up to something as President Muhammadu Buhari signs the visitors register
President Donald Trump and President Muhammadu Buhari

At least 58 per cent of Nigerians have faith in US President Donald Trump despite reportedly labeling Africa a ‘shithole’ and slamming harsh immigration sanctions on the country.

A new report by the Pew Research Center details what the world and Nigerians thinks of the US leader.

Not many Nigerians will agree with the Pew research following visa rejections at the embassies in Lagos and Abuja, Nigeria’s capital.

Pew, a non-partisan US-based opinion pollster, surveyed nearly 37,000 individuals across 33 countries from May to October of last year.

So the polling was done before the US president gave the order to kill Iran’s top general, Qasem Soleimani.

Here are some key findings.

Views on Trump…

Only 29% of the countries surveyed by Pew expressed confidence in Mr Trump last year, in keeping with how his presidency has been viewed since its infancy in 2017.

Pew notes that this lack of confidence is in part due to opposition to the president’s foreign policy.

Mr Trump’s policies on tariffs, climate, immigration and Iran are all largely unpopular globally. His negotiations with North Korea’s Kim Jong-un garnered the most support, with a median 41% approval across the 33 countries polled.

Overall, Israel has the highest rating of the US in Pew’s survey, with 83% of those polled viewing the US in a favourable light.

In Mexico, the Middle East and Northern Africa, views of the US are mostly negative. In Turkey, just one in five reported a favourable opinion of the US.

How Trump stacks up against other leaders

It appears none of the five leaders have received particularly high marks overall, but Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel saw the highest of the group.

The US president received the highest negative ratings of the group, though Russia’s Vladimir Putin and China’s Xi Jinping were also seen in a negative light.

“Trump is more popular among people on the political right, yet even among these respondents, confidence in Trump rises to 50% or higher in only six nations,” according to the report.

Trump vs other world leaders graphic
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So which countries love Trump the most?

While overall, it seems the world lacks confidence that the US president will make the right choices, Mr Trump does find support in some countries.

Mr Trump is popular in the African nations surveyed despite his past missteps – including reportedly calling African states “shithole countries”.

Graph showing countries support of Trump

Kenya and Nigeria, which view Mr Trump favourably, are both among the top recipients of US economic aid, according to the Security Assistance Monitor.

Pew also notes sub-Saharan African nations have typically expressed favourable opinions of the US.

President Muhammadu Buhari was the first sub-Saharan African leader invited to the White House in 2018. The Trump administration also sold 12 US military aircraft to Nigeria in a reversal of an Obama-era policy.

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