Since Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu was declared president-elect of Nigeria in the 2023 presidential poll held on February 25, we have been dealing with such revolting and mendacious characters in the country’s political space, and by extension, the global arena. The results of the election declared by the country’s electoral umpire indicated a resounding victory for Tinubu and a ‘death knell’ to the political ambition of other presidential hopefuls.
Unable to swallow the bitter pills of reality, opposition elements, especially those who go by the name ‘Obidients’ have set the country on overdrive, fuming with the ferocity of a wounded lion, in their attempt to wield the country back to the era of military dictatorship.
Not satisfied with their futile bid to impose an interim government at home, these enemies of the Nigerian State and their collaborators in the diaspora have chosen to stretch democratic tenets and freedom beyond elastic limit. The price for being unpatriotic in this regard must go to literary scholar, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. Granted, this US-based Nigerian of the South East extraction is one of the brilliant writers making Nigeria proud in the literary world, but on issues pertaining to Nigerian politics she has shown such habitual indolence that her fans must be literally ashamed of.
In her medieval era approach to issues of politics, Chimamanda threw caution to the wind and tried to incite the international community against the incoming Tinubu presidency.
Apparently inebriated by the fecundity of her literary skills, she questioned the motives behind the United States and the United Kingdom congratulating Nigeria’s president-elect. In a recent letter to US President Joe Biden titled, “Nigeria’s Hollow Democracy”, she chided Biden for extending congratulatory message to Tinubu.
One is compelled to yield to the pressure of responding to Chimamanda’s letter to President Biden. In as much as we respect and recognise her literary prowess and success globally, I would insist, if contacted for counseling, that she should rather remain a global figure in what she knows how to do best than to jump into the Nigerian political arena where her knowledge appears to be abysmally low. From the content of her missive to Biden it is clear that she does not have a very positive mindset towards the evolution of democracy in her own country.
The cumulative effect of this indiscretion is that she has ridiculed her global status by meddling in an electoral process based on primordial sentiment and political bigotry.
In the first instance, Chimamanda, who resides in America, does not have a Permanent Voter Card (PVC). She didn’t even participate in Nigeria’s elections, either as a voter or an observer. So, what are the credentials giving her the quality to challenge the credibility or otherwise of the 2023 presidential poll?
Secondly, coming from the same tribe as presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP), Peter Obi, who she openly supported, does not in any way give credence to the delusion Chimamanda and her ilk are labouring under, that since the Labour Party candidate did not win the election then the process was not credible.
Of concern is Chimamada’s immature and dangerous index behind her letter inducing and attempting to make the president of the Free World to believe that our democracy is tainted and that the last general election was not free and fair.
To say the 2023 general polls in Nigeria is the freest and fairest since the return of democracy in 1999 is to say the least in the mildest way. Recently, one of the foreign observers from America gave genuine reasons why the presidential election went in favour of Asiwaju Tinubu. He said that there are three things that are responsible for electoral victory in Nigeria: “first, you need to have a strong financial muscle; secondly, you need to be on ground, and thirdly, you need a formidable political structure.” What he meant is that Peter Obi lacked two of these attributes. Without adequate financial support and a strong political structure, it will be difficult to win elections in Nigeria. That is his conclusion about Nigerian politics, though his view is open to debate.
For Chimamanda, the nature of her mental indolence in comprehending the dynamics of Nigerian politics is understandable. Perhaps, her inordinate ambition to ensure his kinsman, Peter Obi, becomes the next president has instilled a bias in her mind that has becloud her sense of intellectual reasoning. So, in her warped sensibility, because Peter Obi did not win the 203 presidential poll the election was not free and fair. This is unbecoming of a highly educated fellow Nigeria should boast of as one of its intellectual minds making the nation proud at the international community.
Chimamanda’s refusal to come to terms with Tinubu’s victory at the presidential poll could be minimally reduced by a firm understanding of INEC’s guidelines for the 2023 polls. Failing to do minimal research that any fair-minded person would attempt, she jumps to the hasty conclusion that Obi, who came a distant third, was rigged out of the election. This is the result of not acquainting yourself with your country’s electoral laws.
For the avoidance of doubt, a court in Nigeria has ruled that only INEC can determine the mode of collating, transmitting election results. Justice Emeka Nwite of the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja also held that it is only INEC that has the prerogative to direct how a presiding officer of a polling unit should transfer election results, including the total number of accredited voters and results of the ballot. What this means is that manual collation and manual declaration is also recognised and permitted by law.
Unfortunately for Chimamanda, the policy-making organs of the United States where she challenged its leader for congratulating Nigeria’s president-elect do not premise their decisions on bias. She ought to be reminded that the White House, the seat of American Presidency, would not sever its diplomatic ties with Nigeria just because one disgruntled individual from the country is protesting in an unfounded letter that the party and candidate she supported did not win the election.
It is a direct affront on the sensibilities of Nigerians that one of their own would take insolence too far to the extent of reporting her country to another country that her own country is incompetent and mediocre to manage issues of governance such as the electoral process. It is the peak of disrespect to one’s fatherland. This is the lowest watermark of Chimamanda’s writing career.
We urge every well-meaning Nigerian and the members of the international community to ignore this frail attempt to discredit a process that produced another democratically elected government in Nigeria, with a cerebral and competent leader, Tinubu, as the incoming president. We have stated it loud and clear that the 2023 elections in Nigeria were free, fair and peaceful, and the court will prove us right on judgement day at the presidential election tribunal.
…..Biodun Ajiboye is an Assistant Director;
Media & Publicity, APC Presidential Campaign Council