A Nigerian based lawyer, Professor Yomi Oke has written to the President of the United States Of America Joe Biden over the letter written by Nigeria’s award winning writter Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie titled Nigeria’s Hallow Democracy where she criticized the out come of the February 25 presidential election and the declaration of the Presidential candidate of APC Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu as the president-elect.
In the letter, Chimamanda Adichie said that the process of the election did not meet the expectations of many Nigerians and blasted the United States government Joe Biden and UK prime minister Rishi Sunak for hurriedly congratulating Asiwaju Bola Tinubu as the president-elect.
Professor Yomi in his letter which he directed to Joe Biden and Canada Titled”CHIMAMANDA’S SEDITIOUS OPEN LETTER TO PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN- A CASE OF EXTRATERRITORIAL ETHNOCENTRIC POLITICKING OF A NON-RESIDENT NIGERIAN-AMERICAN said that Chimamanda intentionally wrote the letter to paint Nigera her country black.
According to him,Chimamandi’s letter was against Tinubu the President-elect, but against the entire “Nigeria’s Democracy” that was fought and procured with patriotic bloods, labour, efforts, lives and undeterred resolve of democrats, chief among them being Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, who, he said by divine arrangement, is now the President-Elect of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
The Statement Reads:
It is most bewildering that a privileged Nigerian-born writer, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie born in Enugu, Nigeria in 1977 but now lives in the United State of America, has decided to paint her country of origin “black”. Sadly, Chimamandi’s letter is a reckless affront on our resolve not to be part of the “brain-drain” syndrome against our dear country Nigeria like the writer. Some of us are determined to be “brain-gain” to Nigeria. It is in view of this that we felt taken aback that Chimamandi went below expectations to pen- down a seditious letter against the Government and people of Nigeria.
Chimamandi’s letter titled “Nigeria’s Hollow Democracy” was not about the election or person of the President-Elect, Bola Ahmed Tinubu whose victory was freely and fairly unveiled despite dis-oriented opposition politicking and those of their supporters in Nigeria and their allies in the diaspora. Chimamandi’s letter was against entire “Nigeria’s Democracy” that was fought and procured with patriotic bloods, labour, efforts, lives and undeterred resolve of democrats, chief among them being Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, who, by divine arrangement, is now the President-Elect of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
The misplaced reference to certain “The smoldering disillusionment felt by many Nigerians” in her letter is, at best Chimamanda’s sole experience of agonies of defeat suffered by her and her preferred candidate/Party in the recently concluded Presidential elections in Nigeria.
Seditious Elements of Chimamandi’s Letter:
Sedition is an offence in the US where Chimamandi lives. It is also an offence in Nigeria, her country of origin that she now holds and views with disdains. Sedition not only covers a person’s actions but also any words or writings in print that may incite, encourage or promote the overthrowing of a government. The US criminalizes seditious conspiracy by virtue of 18 U.S.C. § 2384.
Sedition is a transnational crime defined as the “inciting by words or writing to show disaffection towards the state or constituted authority”.
The transnational nature of sedition committed by US resident against sovereign nations led to the enactment of the Alien and Sedition Acts (1798) which aimed to prevent “aliens,” or non- citizens, living in the United States from resorting to seditious acts or conduct, like Chimamandi did in her letter.
The law authorized the President to deport “aliens,” and also permitted their arrest, imprisonment, and deportation for seditious acts or conduct. The Sedition Act also made it a crime for American citizens to “print, utter, or publish…any false, scandalous, and malicious writing” about a government.
Locus Standi of Chimamandi’s Letter
Under the Nigerian constitution, Chimamandi’s franchise, constitutional right to vote and be voted for, is guaranteed but the writer opted to snub the legal right by refusal to collect a PVC- Permanent Voter’s Card.
She opted to be more “American” than the real Americans! She also did not participate in Nigeria’s election as a candidate or as eligible voter. She opted to make several videos to publicly endorse and campaign for her “messianic” candidate of the Labour Party. Chimamandi became needlessly embittered because her tribal option and those of her political Party failed woefully.
Chimamandi’s claims and assertions on the recently concluded Presidential elections in Nigeria is not only ludicrous, it is also illogical, baseless and depicts ignoble ranting of an uninformed mind about legal and judicial processes or procedures.
It is unimaginable that someone who did not participate or vote in an election would make categorical statements about an election she did not witness.
What Chimamandi did not tell her gullible readers is that her candidate won mostly in her/his ethnic enclaves and that the President-Elect, Bola Tinubu, President Buhari, notable Nigerian Governors, Senators and others also lost in their strongholds, which should ordinarily have been their locational advantage for “manipulating” the outcome, as Chimamandi unconscionably and recklessly alleged much as for PDP, LP, and other major political parties in Nigeria.
More importantly, he has also declared that his administration will govern for the benefit of those who voted for or against it.
Now that the season of politics, politicking and electioneering is over, it is time for all of us to collaborate, including diaspora Nigerian citizens, writers and intelligentsias like the Chimamandis of the US, Canada, the UK and elsewhere, to team- up and get Nigeria working again under PRESIDENT BOLA AHMED TINUBU.The GIANT called NIGERIA must rise, and never fall again!
The intention of this open letter is not to vilify, ridicule or incite and set the law of sedition in motion against Chimamandi. It is to right-size her over-bloated ego of perceived global self-esteem.
She needs to realise that thousands, if not millions of Nigerians (including those of us who are now back home in Nigeria- but still frequently travel to those sides – to be a part of the solution and those still in the diaspora) have had similar and even better opportunities in Canada, US, UK and other countries of the world without deploying our privileged positions to undermine our country of origin, Nigeria.
At a time all hands are on deck to build a Nigeria of Renewed Hope under the in- Coming President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the unpatriotic Chimamandis opted for the ignoble act of stimulating crisis against Nigeria, a country that prepared them for their perceived global fames.
This is not the Canadian or American culture we had imbibed and which has now positively and progressively shaped our worldviews and socio-political and other forms of engagements. For the records, the pride of Canada and the US democracies is Multi-ethnicity and Multiculturalism, not ethnocentrism. This is a vital lesson for all concerned.
Thank you.Yours faithfully,Prof. Yemi Oke, PhD, FCTI, FCIArb.