In these days of social unrest and political tension, when the problems of Nigeria have become gigantic in extent and chaotic in detail, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s open letter to the President of the United States, Joe Biden, engenders a timeless truth and an undeniable testimony about the political legitimacy and morality of the controversial 2023 presidential election in which the compromised chair of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) announced and endorsed the ruling party’s candidate, Bola Ahmed Tinubu as the winner.
In the wake of Adichie’s open letter has been a mass of juvenile and childish criticisms, which, undoubtedly, showboats a predilection for corruption, crass subterfuge, deflection from the real and burning issues, and a spot-on hostility to the truth. Quite sadly and distressingly annoying is the fact that many learned people have joined these facile criticisms, forming a terrible tidal wave of hateful oligarchs who scorn truth, ridicule objectivity and rational reasoning, ordain corrupt sovereigns and validate an odious aristocracy suffused with a penchant for greed, bribery, corruption, injustice and barefaced illegality.
It is my opinion that Nigerians must refuse to play to the gallery and address the real issues of Adichie’s open letter. These self-evident issues include INEC’s double tongue and ongoing shenanigans, INEC’s deliberate attempt to manipulate the election results, the role of law enforcement officers in promoting voters intimidation, the disenfranchisement of Nigerians, election rigging, and Nigerians’ pervasive distrust in the electoral system. These are the burning issues which the criticisms against Adichie either miss or ignore. Indeed, these intellectually facile and shallow criticisms aim at swerving Nigerians from the ideal reality and distorting their judgment of the real issues!
The 2023 presidential election was, to a great extent, fraudulent, manipulated and crippled by the manacles of desperation and the chains of the unfettered thinking that money can buy everything and anything – it was a downright mockery of democracy. Nigerians, therefore, must continually read the signs of the times to understand that the institutions of neck-deep poverty, inept infrastructures, poor healthcare systems, dysfunctional education, endless hunger, untold strife, unwarranted pestilence, incessant insecurity challenges and much more help our politicians to thrive and perpetuate their evil, vile antics and abominable theatrics.
Hence, we must all be committed to tearing down these institutions by objectively analysing issues, standing for virtues, becoming congenital truth-tellers, dissociating ourselves from the ropes and tyranny of bribery, greed and corruption; and allowing a proper entrenchment of justice and peace to take their pride of place. As it stands, it is hoped that the judiciary will uphold justice and restore the trust of Nigerians in the electoral process. The judiciary must not jeopardise the future of over 200 million Nigerians, nor should they sacrifice the dreams, hopes and aspirations of Nigerians on the altar of personal gains, bribery and corruption.
Undoubtedly, we unequivocally want a functional Nigeria with systems that favour the well-being of all Nigerians. We want an accountable and transparent government. We want to be ruled by people with unquestionable pedigree and character. We want to be governed by qualified and innovative minds. However, if we are to recalibrate Nigeria and set it on the path that leads to peace, prosperity and progress, then, we must learn to tell ourselves the truth.
Adichie has set an example for us to follow. Her untrammelled courage to write Biden exemplifies that she is not just a literary savvy, but an undaunted philosopher whose unbridled search for truth has torn the veil of ignorance and taken her out of the cave of disillusionment and falsity. ◆