In these days of social unrest and political tension, when the problems of Nigeria has become gigantic in extent and chaotic in detail, Chimamanda Ngozi-Adichie’s open letter to United States President, Joe Biden, engenders a timeless truth and an undeniable testimony about the political legitimacy and morality of the 2023 Presidential election in which the compromised chair of the Independent Electoral Commission (INEC) announced and endorsed the ruling party’s candidate, Bola Ahmed Tinubu as the winner. In the wake of Chimamanda’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. Nigerians, therefore, must refuse to play to the gallery and address the real issues of Chimamanda’s open letter.
The real issues self-evident in the letter and in the 2023 presidential polls include: INEC’s double tongue and ongoing shenanigans; INEC’s deliberate attempt to manipulate the results; law enforcement officers and their collusion to voters intimidation; disenfranchisement of Nigerians; election rigging; and the Nigerian state’s pervasive problem of low-trust. These are the burning issues; and most of the criticisms you must have heard or read are intellectually facile and shallow, aiming to swerve you from ideal reality and affect your judgment of the real issues! Thus, it is pertinent to emphatically and unapologetically state that the 2023 presidential electoral process was fraudulent, manipulated and crippled by the manacles of desperation and the chains of unfettered thinking that money can buy everything and anything; indeed, it was a downright mockery of democracy. Nigerians 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 issues and many 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 analyzing 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, our last hope is the Judiciary, and we charge them to be upright saying yes to truth, justice, equality and fairness. The Judiciary must not jeopardize the future of over 200 million people; neither should they sacrifice their dreams, hopes and aspirations on the altar of personal gains, bribery and corruption. We unequivocally want a Nigeria functional with systems that favour the well-being of all Nigerians. We want to have a government that will be accountable and transparent in their dealings. We want to be ruled by people who have unquestionable pedigree and character. We want to be governed by qualified and innovative minds. Nevertheless, 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. This task Chimamanda unambiguously did with an untrammelled courage that 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.
• Johnpaul Nwabuisi can be reached via melchi5801@ gmail.com